Local News

Clinton Board of Education Fills Vacancy Left by Rodney Rogers

The Clinton Board of Education earlier this fall lost a veteran to the Board as Rodney Rogers resigned his post on the Board.

 

Tuesday night at the monthly Board of Education meeting, that vacancy was filled by Wes Cothern. Superintendent Curt Nettles says Rogers' absence will be felt but is excited for what Cothern brings to the table.

 

 

Chris Hammer was appointed as the new Board Vice President. Nettles says Hammer brings a good knowledge about education as he is a teacher in Lincoln, as well as a couple of terms on the Board now.

 

 

Nettles says he loves where the current Board of Education is right now, calling them one of the best boards he's ever worked with in 15 years as a Superintendent. He also points out none of the current board members were a part of the group that hired him. 

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Weekly Weather Summary

It's going to be extremely wet in central Illinois starting Sunday. What's next after all the rain? State Climatologist Trent Ford fills us in...

 

 

Hear from the National Weather Service in Lincoln Monday on the WHOW Morning Show. 

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Clinton Schools Superintendent Addresses National Rhetoric On Communities Engaging School Boards

Parents addressing a local school board is an essential part of the Democratic process in our country and recent conversations around these happenings are highlighting some of the worst of those interactions and categorizing hysterical individuals in terms like 'domestic terrorist' and 'threats to democracy.

 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles is disappointed by those categorizations and believes most interactions between communities and its school boards of education are peaceful and cordial. He says that is certainly the case in Clinton.

 

 

Last week, the Clinton Board of Education met, and again the topic of masking students came up and engagement between the audience and the Board of Education was peaceful and calm. The Clinton Board of Education welcomed Wes Cothern to the Board to replace the vacancy left by Rodney Rogers. Chris Hammer was appointed as the Board's new Vice President. 

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Clinton's Lincoln School to Get New Playground Equipment

Lincoln Elementary School in Clinton will be getting new playground equipment.

 

At the Tuesday night Board of Education meeting, special education teacher Ginger Morgan explained to the Board not only is the Lincoln School playground equipment very dated, but it also is not very inclusive for students with special needs.

 

 

According to Ginger, while she was concerned about what special needs students could use, she also worked with teachers throughout the building to find out what they wanted and did not want.

 

 

Up her alley, Morgan is very excited about the options for her special needs students and equipment for kids that lack skills to do things on a traditional playground and integrate those things with regular playground equipment so everyone can play together.

 

 

Ginger indicates this project has been in the works for a few years as she worked to secure funding. She explained to the board some of the things she's worked on and credits Maintenance Director Ryan Black for saving them thousands-and-thousands of dollars on this project to make it affordable.

 

 

Superintendent of Clinton Schools Curt Nettles is excited about this project and praised Morgan's work in coordinating this effort. 

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Sen. Rose Hopes Pro-Police Proposals Starts Conversations About Addressing Violence Problems

Increases in violence across the State of Illinois prompted an Illinois Senator to propose sweeping reforms to back police across the state.

 

Senator Chapin Rose led a coalition of lawmakers in a proposal that funnels money to local law enforcement agencies for equipment and training as well as reforms for keeping violent offenders behind bars.

 

 

Rose's proposal comes less than a year after sweeping reforms to policing in Illinois passed by Illinois Democrats in January. He says this is a result of Illinois Democrats supporting felons over victims.

 

 

The Mahomet Republican believes there is a shift happening in the prioritization of public safety because it is starting to impact communities in all parts of the state.

 

 

A component of Rose's proposal he is hoping will bring Illinois Democrats to the table encompasses mental health and dealing with the sector of the public with mental health challenges.

 

 

Sen. Rose says the key will be to not just involve law enforcement and the criminal justice system but religious leaders as well. He believes there needs to be support in the community for these individuals to keep them from repeating their crimes.

 

 

The Senator reemphasized his focus to keep coming back to this topic until there is an effort to make the streets of Illinois safer. 

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USDA Rural Development Promoting Programs

USDA Rural Development promotes a number of different programs. They can help rural communities in many ways says state acting director Molly Hammond.

 

 

Rural communities can learn more at rd.usda.gov/il.

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N-REC Promoting Proper Fertilizer Application

The Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council or N-REC promotes proper fall fertilizer application. It starts with soil temperature says N-REC’s Julie Hewitt.

 

 

N-REC was created by state statute in 2012. Funded by a 75-cent per ton assessment on bulk fertilizer sold in Illinois, N-REC provides financial support for nutrient research and education programs to ensure the discovery and adoption of practices that address environmental concerns, optimize nutrient use efficiency, and ensure soil fertility.

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Illinois Senate Passes Bill to Combat Sexual Abuse in Schools

THE ILLINOIS SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSED A BILL THIS WEEK THAT SEEKS TO COMBAT SEXUAL ABUSE IN SCHOOLS. 

 

THE MEASURE MANDATES SCHOOLS TO TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT THE SIGNS OF GROOMING AND REQUIRES TWO TRAINING DAYS FOR TEACHERS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT IDENTIFYING ABUSE SAYS CHAMPAIGN SENATOR SCOTT BENNETT.

 

 

THE LEGISLATION IS MEANT TO BETTER EDUCATE TEACHERS ABOUT THE SIGNS OF ABUSE, HARASSMENT AND GROOMING, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT SAYS SENATOR SCOTT BENNETT OF CHAMPAIGN.

 

 

IT’S NOW UP TO THE HOUSE TO CONCUR WITH THE BILL AND THEN ON TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK.

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Gov. Pritzker Critical of Mask Lawsuit

145 school districts, the Governor, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the and the Illinois State Board of Education are named in a class-action lawsuit this week.

 

The lawyer behind it is Tom Devore, an opponent to mask mandates and government shutdowns during the pandemic. The current suit questions the legality of the IDPH and ISBE mask mandates in schools and the exclusion of children from school who have been a close contact to someone with COVID-19. Governor JB Pritzker says Devore is being opportunistic and has no regard for public health.

 

 

The first hearing on the case will be November 5th in the 7th Circuit Court in Carlinville.

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DeWitt County 4-H Fair Board Hosting Chicken Dinner Saturday

The DeWitt County 4-H Fair Board is inviting the public to its second drive-thru chicken dinner Saturday evening.

 

4-H Fair Board member Terry Ferguson indicates they will be serving a half-chicken, two bone-in pork chops, cheesy potatoes, green beans, and apple pie with ice cream for $30.

 

 

While only the second time the 4-H Fair Board has held this fundraiser, Ferguson says the first time around it was a significant fundraiser for them.

 

 

Serving for the chicken dinner will be from 4 pm to 7 pm Saturday. Ferguson points those interested to Facebook to purchase reservations there. 

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Mt. Pulaski Schools Superintendent Optimistic After Recent Visit with ISBE

A Logan County superintendent is expressing optimism after his recent experience addressing the Illinois State Board of Education, or ISBE.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Mt. Pulaski Schools Superintendent Fred Lamkey told Regional Radio News, his message to ISBE was one of understanding and encouraging them to trust local schools to do what is best for its students, staff, and communities.

 

 

Superintendents up and down Illinois have been critical of ISBE in recent months for being disconnected and unsupportive of schools in Illinois. However, as Regional Radio listeners heard from Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles Wednesday, the vibes of the Board changed Tuesday and Lamkey says he felt that shift as well.

 

 

According to Lamkey, the one-size-fits-all approach is not working in Illinois and he hopes ISBE will do a better job to communicate with school leaders about what they are seeing as the day-to-day leaders of school districts.

 

 

While Nettles and Lamkey are more optimistic than they have been in recent weeks and months, many still may believe nothing will change because everything will come down to what Governor JB Pritzker wants. Lamkey hopes the rollout of the vaccine for kids ages 5-11 will change the game for local control.

 

 

Lamkey also believes a shift in the approach from ISBE is stemming from COVID cases and the positivity rates dropping throughout the state. 

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Waiting for Frost in Illinois

When is frost going to cover Illinois? It may be a while says DTN agriculture meteorologist John Baranick.

 

 

October temperatures continue to trend above normal in Illinois.

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Senate Republicans Call for Public Safety Bills to Be Called During Veto Session

SENATE REPUBLICANS ARE CALLING FOR A SERIES OF PUBLIC SAFETY BILLS TO BE HEARD DURING THE FALL VETO SESSION. 

 

THE MEASURES CRACKDOWN ON GUN OFFENDERS, CREATING STIFFER PENALTIES FOR VIOLENT FIREARM CRIMES. LEGISLATION ALSO DENIES BAIL FOR FELONS CHARGED WITH A GUN OFFENSE AND SETS UP A 100 MILLION DOLLAR POLICE GRANT FUND TO HELP LOCAL DEPARTMENTS HIRE MORE OFFICERS, BUY EQUIPMENT AND ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS. SENATOR CHAPIN ROSE OF MAHOMET SAYS CRIME IS OUT OF CONTROL AND THE FOCUS NEEDS TO BE ON VICTIMS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT.

 

 

SENATOR NEIL ANDERSON OF MOLINE SAYS THE PROPOSALS NEED TO BE VOTED ON NOW.

 

 

JUST THREE DAYS REMAIN IN THE VETO SESSION…NEXT TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY.

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Low Water Year for US Army Corps of Engineers

It’s been a low water year for the U-S Army Corps of Engineers-Rock Island District. That creates a different set of challenges compared to high water years says chief of operations Tom Heinold.

 

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District covers includes 314 miles of the Mississippi River and 268 miles of the Illinois Waterway and their tributaries.

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House Republicans Pushing for Limiting Governor's Use of Executive Orders

HOUSE REPUBLICANS ARE PUSHING LEGISLATION TO LIMIT THE GOVERNOR’S USE OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS.

 

ALL OF THE COVID-19 MANDATES AND EMERGENCY ORDERS ISSUED DURING THE PANDEMIC HAVE COME FROM THE GOVERNOR. THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE SAYS GENEVA REPRESENTATIVE DAN UGASTE (you-gas-tee).

 

 

THE G-O-P SAYS AFTER 30 DAYS INTO A STATEWIDE EMERGENCY, LAWMAKERS SHOULD HAVE A SAY IN ANY DECISION MAKING. LEGISLATION SUPPORTED BY REPRESENTATIVE NORINE HAMMOND OF MACOMB DOES JUST THAT, MAKING SURE THE GOVERNOR DOESN’T HAVE UNILATERAL POWER.

 

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER HAS SAID THAT LAWMAKERS COULD HAVE TAKEN UP COVID LEGISLATION AT ANY TIME, BUT REPUBLICANS SAY DEMOCRATIC LEADERS NEVER PURSUED THAT OPTION.

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All Calls to Require Dialing Area Code in Illinois

Starting Sunday, anyone making a local call in Illinois will have to dial the area code first, even for local calls. Your phone number will not change, but if you try to dial local without the area code first, you will be informed your call cannot be completed as dialed. Citizens’ Utility Board spokesman Jim Chilsen says the big phone companies claim they need this.

 

 

While he says it’s “not the end of the world,” it is still an annoyance that could have been avoided. You will still be able to dial three-digit numbers such as 911, 411, or 211 without dialing an area code first.

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Thursday DeWitt County Board Meeting Postponed to Next Tuesday

A late posting of the DeWitt County Board agenda for its scheduled monthly meeting Thursday has resulted in the meeting being pushed to next Tuesday, October 26.

 

DeWitt County Board Chair Terry Ferguson says it's a technicality so they're going to make sure they are in compliance with the open meetings act and will meet next week. He says the highlight of the meeting will be the annual budget and the levy will be placed on file.

 

 

The County Board again will meet Tuesday, October 26 at 6 pm at the DeWitt County Building. 

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Clinton Insurance Business Owner Named President of Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois

A Clinton business owner has been named the President of the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois.

 

Jay Peterson, owner of Peterson Insurance in Clinton was nominated to the post earlier this month. He says it's quite an honor to be recognized by his peers.

 

 

According to Peterson, the IIA advocates for insurance agents and consumers at the legislative level, and they also raise awareness. He says the group has had some success in the last year.

 

 

In Springfield, Peterson says it's hard to keep tabs on all the proposals coming forward because things are changing so fast. He anticipates legislation for policies relating to pandemics.

 

 

Phil Lackman is the IIA of IL CEO and said in a statement they look forward to Peterson's leadership and guidance during times of change. They are confident he will lead with integrity, perseverance, empathy, and positivity.

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Public Health Officials Urging Public to Get Booster Shot

STATE OFFICIALS ARE URGING ELIGIBLE ILLINOISANS TO GET THEIR COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOT.

 

THE BOOSTER ADDS AN ADDITIONAL LAYER OF PROTECTION AGAINST THE VIRUS, INCLUDING THE MORE CONTAGIOUS DELTA VARIANT SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER. HE NOTES THAT MORE PEOPLE WILL SOON BE ABLE TO GET THAT EXTRA DOSE.

 

 

SENIORS ARE ESPECIALLY ENCOURAGED TO PURSUE THE BOOSTER SINCE THEY ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO BREAKTHROUGH TRANSMISSION AND HOSPITALIZATION. OTHERS ELIGIBLE INCLUDE ADULTS WITH AN UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITION AND THOSE WHO WORK IN HIGH-RISK SETTINGS.

 

 

UNLIKE PFIZER, EZIKE SAYS THE MODERNA BOOSTER IS EXPECTED TO BE HALF OF THE ORIGINAL DOSE. IT’S RECOMMENDED THAT ADULTS WITH AN UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITION, THOSE WORKING IN HIGH-RISK SETTINGS AND ESPECIALLY SENIORS GET THE BOOSTER SHOT.

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Lincoln Lawmaker Among Illinois Republicans Calling for Parental Abortion Notification Law to Stand

A GROUP OF SENATE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS SAY A LAW REQUIRING PARENTS TO BE NOTIFIED BEFORE THEIR TEEN GETS AN ABORTION SHOULD STAND. 

 

ONE ISSUE THAT COULD COME UP DURING THE FALL VETO SESSION IS REPEALING THE STATE’S PARENTAL NOTIFICATION ACT. SUPPORTERS SAY TEENS SHOULD HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO THE PROCEDURE. SENATOR SALLY TURNER OF LINCOLN SAYS IT'S TOO IMPORTANT OF A DECISION.

 

 

SENATOR SUE REZIN OF MORRIS SAYS THIS ISN’T AN ARGUMENT ABOUT THE PROCEDURE ITSELF.

 

 

THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE PARENTS GIVE CONSENT, JUST THAT THEY BE NOTIFIED. THE ISSUE MAY COME UP DURING THE FALL VETO SESSION WHICH RUNS THIS WEEK AND NEXT.

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Gov. Pritzker Hoping Indoor Mask Mandate Can Be Lifted Around Holidays

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS HE’S HOPEFUL THE STATE’S INDOOR MASK MANDATE CAN BE LIFTED IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. 

 

WITH THE COVID SITUATION IMPROVING IN ILLINOIS…THE GOVERNOR IS ONCE AGAIN ASKED WHEN PEOPLE CAN DITCH THE MASKS.

 

 

THE DAILY NEW CASE RATE HAS BEEN FALLING IN RECENT WEEKS, AS HAVE HOSPITALIZATIONS. THE GOVERNOR SAYS THIS MAY LEAD TO NIXING “CERTAIN MASK MANDATES.”

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST DAILY DATA, THERE ARE 2,071 NEW CASES AND 21 ADDITIONAL DEATHS. AS OF MONDAY NIGHT, THERE WERE ABOUT 14-HUNDRED ILLINOIS COVID PATIENTS IN THE HOSPITAL.

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More Mask Dialogue at Clinton Board of Education Meeting

It has been a few months since the topic of masking has infiltrated the Clinton Board of Education meeting but that changed Tuesday night when a CES teacher offered her thoughts.

 

Fifth-grade teacher Shelby Shipley is standing up for her students and her kids. One of her kids is facing increased allergy concerns she believes are stemming from masking and another severely disabled child who is have seizures she also believes are stemming from masking in school.

 

 

According to Shipley, she previously worked in the pharmaceutical world and has a very good understanding of analyzing studies and their data. She laid out a number of concerns with recently released data by the CDC.

 

 

Last month, at an Illinois Association of School Administrators gathering, pictures surfaced on social media of administrators from all corners of the state unmasked. Shipley called out that meeting and expressed her anger over those leaders pictured in the images.

 

 

Shipley points to local data which shows cases in DeWitt County precipitously declining in the last several weeks and compared United States school COVID data to other countries.

 

 

Superintendent Curt Nettles engaged with Shipley admitting he did not have answers to her questions however, indicated later in the meeting he continues to address the Illinois State Board of Education and did so Tuesday. 

 

 

Nettles was encouraged by ISBE's increased dialogue with those that spoke on Tuesday. In previous attempts to engage the ISBE, Nettles has described their reactions as inattentive and standoffish at best. 

 

 

Board Secretary Sondra Baker was able to hear some of the meeting and she too was encouraged by the dialogue among board members that make up ISBE.

 

 

Nettles will join the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday morning to follow up the Tuesday night meeting.

 

Also at the Tuesday board meeting, the Board approved Chris Hammer as the Board's newest Vice President. Wes Cothern was sworn onto the Board Tuesday. Last month, long-time Board member Rodney Rodgers resigned his post on the Board. 

 

The Board also heard about new plans for the playground equipment at Lincoln School. They also heard from engineers regarding a redesign and renovation of the high school cafeteria. 

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Wind Turbines Beginning to Go Up in DeWitt County

Wind turbine components are rolling in and the erection process is underway for the Alta Farms II wind farm in northwest DeWitt County.

 

Brayten McGee is the project manager for the Enel Green Power and on the WHOW Morning Show Monday to Regional Radio they are receiving components, some have already started to go up, and the rest are on the way.

 

 

The project faced a short slowdown roughly a month ago as the County Board put a pause on issuing building permits over curtailment issues. McGee says though the biggest slow down for the project has been the recent rains in central Illinois.

 

 

There has been confusion over the work on Rt. 10 from this summer being prepared for the wind farm but McGee says they did not have a hand in that work. 

 

 

Components for the turbines will continue to be delivered over the next several weeks and McGee anticipates those being all delivered by the end of November and the turbines installed and online by the spring. 

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Brush Pickup Starting to Wind Down

After this week, there's only one more opportunity for brush pick up in Clinton.

 

Clinton Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements Ken Buchanan reminded residents at the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting city crews will pick up brush one more time in November, otherwise, you can put brush in paper bags starting in December and put those near the curb. He anticipates the yard waste facility being open throughout the winter.

 

 

Buchanan says leaf pick-up will likely begin the first part of November as right now leaves are not falling significantly enough to start dedicating daily time to it.

 

ResidentS may also have noticed the sidewalk work on North Center Street has started. Buchanan indicates that is moving right along.

 

Also at the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting, the Council approved a half-million-dollar purchase of a fire engine for the fire department. 

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Rep. Caulkins Calling for Pritzker to be Transparent

A local lawmaker says it is "very concerning" Gov. Pritzker has not released any information on who his advisers are regarding the COVID pandemic.

 

Rep. Dan Caulkins indicates lawmakers have been left in the dark about who is consulting the Governor. Since it is being done off the books, he says there is no way to request information.

 

 

Rep. Caulkins feels COVID guidelines should be made by the General Assembly and not by the Governor's executive orders. He says the guidelines have not been debated on either floor nor has it been discussed by a committee.

 

 

Rep. Caulkins contends that Gov. Pritzker is setting a precedent for future governors to use executive orders to pass whatever legislation they want to be passed. He notes that if a Republican governor were to be making executive orders, the Democrats in the General Assembly would be fighting them every step of the way.

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Weekly Crop Report

HARVEST PROGRESS SLOWED IN ILLINOIS AFTER A RAINY WEEK IN MANY AREAS.

 

ON AVERAGE, TEMPERATURES WERE MORE THAN FIVE DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL AND RAINFALL NEARLY AN INCH AND A QUARTER ABOVE NORMAL THIS PAST WEEK. THAT LEFT LESS THAN THREE DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 92 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE DROPPING LEAVES.

 

 

62 PERCENT OF CORN HAS BEEN HARVESTED, COMPARED TO 63 PERCENT AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR. 

 

 

51 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED AND 34 PERCENT HAS EMERGED. AVERAGE STATWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE INCREASED TO ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT, SIX PERCENT SHORT, 72 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 21 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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State Police Continue to Remind of Scott's Law

Penalties for Illinoisans who don’t slow down and move over will be tougher starting in January. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker recently signed two new laws to make penalties harsher for violating Scott’s Law also known as the Move Over Law which requires motorists to shift over a lane to give first responders more space. State Police trooper and Public Information Officer Josh Korando says they’ve gotten tougher because what they’ve been doing isn’t enough.

 

 

Earlier this year, Illinois State Police reported over 13-hundred violations of the law during a 19-day period. The added laws go into effect January 1, 2022.

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State of Illinois Joins National Effort to Keep Teen Workers Safe

THE STATE IS JOINING A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO KEEP TEENAGE WORKERS SAFE.

 

THE THREE WEEK CAMPAIGN IS UNDERWAY AND THE THEME IS "KEEPING TEEN WORKERS SAFE, IT'S EVERYONE'S JOB" SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SPOKESPERSON PAUL CICCHINI.

 

 

THE EFFORT FOCUSES ON EVERYTHING FROM THE NUMBER OF HOURS AN EMPLOYER CAN REQUIRE A TEEN TO WORK TO HAZARDS AND INJURIES ON THE JOB AND WORKPLACE BULLYING AND HARASSMENT. 

 

 

THE CAMPAIGN IS SOCIAL MEDIA BASED AND IS AIMED AT TEENS GETTING A JOB FOR THE HOLIDAYS. IT WILL RUN FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS. MORE INFORMATION FOR TEEN WORKERS IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: KEEP TEEN WORKERS SAFE DOT ORG.

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Republicans Still Upset Over Mapping Process

The city of Chicago and its police union are in a fight over a COVID vaccine mandate.

 

The city wants officers to tell the city what their vaccination status is, the union has urged its members not to comply. And if officers are ordered to stay home, the union says there might not be enough police to patrol the streets. If that’s the case would the state of Illinois step in and help, Governor JB Pritzker says he’s ready to assist if asked.

 

 

For now Chicago Police officials are saying cops that don’t comply with the mandate can face discipline up to and including termination. Police officers can submit to twice a week testing through the end of the year to avoid taking the vaccine.

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McLean County Woman Honored for Efforts to Get More Youth of Color Involved in 4-H

A central Illinois woman continues her mission of getting more youth of color involved in 4-H. Linda White volunteers in the Bloomington area and did not experience 4-H while growing up on a farm in Louisiana.

 

 

White was inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame for her efforts this past summer.

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Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation Continues to Grow Leaders

The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation continues to grow leaders in agriculture. The latest class, the class of 2023, is happy to be back in person says the foundation’s Todd Lowery.

 

 

550 individuals have participated in the program since 1982. Those interested in becoming members of the 2025 class can learn more at “agleadership.org”.

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Bill Would Allow Police Chief to Override State's Attorney in Charging Decisions

Republicans in the state want police to have the power to override the charging decisions that are normally given to state’s attorneys.

 

House Republican Minority Leader Jim Durkin says if a state’s attorney rejects felony charges from a local police department or declines to further investigate the case, that Police Chief should have the ability override that decision.

 

 

The bill would only apply to police departments in counties where there are more than 3 million people. That’s Cook County where the Chicago Police Department has an override option, but other police departments don’t.

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Miller Media Group Forms Digital Division, Partners with Guarantee Digital

The Miller Media Group today announced the launch of its new Digital division, partnering with Guarantee Digital of suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to offer a host of new digital products in MMG's Taylorville and Clinton markets.

 

MMG president Randal J. Miller said he was excited about launching the company's new Digital division, offering local businesses a complete menu of Facebook, Google, S-E-O, and web site design products to the company's existing customers as well as new customers.

 

Guarantee Digital CEO Daryl Hively will assist MMG account managers in offering these digital products in the Taylorville and Clinton markets.

 

The Miller Media Group owns and operates 6 radio stations and an on-line daily newspaper in the Taylorville/Pana/Shelbyville market, as well as 2 radio stations and an on-line daily newspaper in the Clinton/Monticello/Lincoln market.  

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DeWitt/Piatt Health Department Director Talks COVID, Schools

A handful of schools in central Illinois have had short-term challenges related to keeping school doors open so far this fall thanks to a perfect storm of COVID mitigations and a shortage of substitute teachers.

 

As schools continue to deal with COVID mitigations for students and staff when cases arise, administrators are indicating there is no spread of COVID in schools, something they noticed throughout the school year in 2020-21. DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department Executive Director Dave Remmert is confirming they too, are finding that to be the case.

 

 

Conversations regarding COVID have largely shifted how to handle schools and children. Remmert points to CDC data that shows the very minimal risk for kids from COVID and agrees with experts we've done more to protect children from this disease than the most vulnerable populations.

 

 

With a small number of local cases in recent months, Remmert has been able to begin to shift his focus back to the administrative duties of the health department and begin to reintroduce programs and services.

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Growing Community, Growing Student Body, Aging Facilities Creating Perfect Storm for Mahomet-Seymour Schools

One of the few growing communities in Illinois is facing the perfect storm of a growing student body in its school district and school buildings that are both aging out and become outgrown.

 

Mahomet is one of the few communities in Illinois that is growing and the Superintendent of Mahomet-Seymour Schools Dr. Lindsey Hall says they are beginning the process of investigating what is next for the district for facilities as its student body grows and its facilities quickly become both dated but too small. They're calling it 'Bulldog Blueprint'.

 

 

Next June the district will be asking taxpayers to approve a tax increase to improve its facilities. Dr. Hall stresses it is important for the district to involve the taxpayers in this process and so between now and next June, there will be planning meetings that offer a variety of scenarios.

 

 

Dr. Hall points out they are considering everything from extensive remodels to new buildings and repurposing other buildings to accommodate a different grade level of students.

 

 

Dr. Hall is inviting the community out to a series of meetings this week to get more information on the current status of the facilities as well as the options.

 

 

Dr. Hall points interested taxpayers to bulldogblueprint.com. You can find more details on the process and RSVP for upcoming meetings. 

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State Ag Director Concerned About Rising Input Costs

Rising input costs have the attention of Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello.

 

 

Costello also remains concerned about the current truck driver shortage and it’s impact on the supply chain.

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Medicare Part D Open Enrollment Open

THE MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD BEGINS TODAY AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT ON AGING IS HERE TO HELP. 

 

OPEN ENROLLMENT RUNS THROUGH DECEMBER, AND IT'S A GOOD TIME TO REVIEW YOUR CURRENT PLAN SAYS SENIOR HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM, OR "SHIP" DIRECTOR SANDY LEITH.

 

 

LEITH RECOMMENDS STARTING ONLINE AT: MEDICARE DOT GOV. IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE, THERE ARE MORE THAN A THOUSAND SHIP COUNSELORS STATEWIDE READY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AND GUIDANCE AT NO COST. TO FIND A COUNSELOR NEAR YOU, CALL THE SENIOR HELPLINE AT: 1-800-252-8966.

 

 

THE OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD RUNS THROUGH DECEMBER SEVENTH. 

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Illinois Announces $15-Million in Funds for Bio-Tech

Illinois is investing more than $15 million dollars in supporting the next generation of biotechnology.

 

The grants will support the creation or expansion of wet labs around Illinois. These dollars will go to schools and private labs that will be on the cutting edge of medical research and development. John Conrad, President of I-BIO, says the big players in medical research have always been in Illinois – but these dollars will go a long way to helping startups across the state.

 

 

Investment dollars are going to multiple universities including building new labs at both Southern Illinois University campuses.

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IDPH Promoting Getting Flu Shot, COVID Vaccine at Same Time

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS REMINDING THAT YOU CAN GET YOUR FLU SHOT AT THE SAME TIME AS THE COVID-19 VACCINE.

 

EVERYONE SIX MONTHS AND OLDER IS URGED TO GET THE FLU VACCINE THIS FALL. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gahzi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS IF YOU STILL NEED YOUR COVID VACCINATION OR BOOSTER, YOU CAN DO THAT AS WELL.

 

 

EZIKE SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET BOTH VACCINES TO HELP PREVENT A DOUBLE WHAMMY OF DUAL INFECTIONS.

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IDPH Announces COVID Guidance for Halloween

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS ISSUING COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR HALLOWEEN. 

 

THERE IS DEFINITELY ROOM TO BOTH PROTECT FROM THE VIRUS AND STILL ENJOY TRICK OR TREATING SAYS STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gahzi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay).

 

 

THOSE HANDING OUT TREATS AT THE DOOR ARE ENCOURAGED TO WASH THEIR HANDS OFTEN. EZIKE SAYS HAUNTED TRAILS ARE PREFERABLE OVER HAUNTED HOUSES. MASKS ARE STILL REQUIRED INDOORS.

 

 

WHEN IT COMES TO COSTUMES, EZIKE SAYS IT'S NOT RECOMMENDED THAT KIDS WEAR A FACIAL COVERING WITH A HALLOWEEN MASK ON TOP SINCE THAT COULD RESTRICT BREATHING. INSTEAD, IF CHILDREN ARE GOING TO WEARING A COSTUME INDOORS, THEY SHOULD OPT FOR OUTFITS THAT THEY CAN EASILY INCLUDE A COVID-19 MASK.

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First Two Weeks of October Were Warmest on Record in Part of Illinois

WEATHER THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF OCTOBER IS SETTING RECORDS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

IT HASN'T REALLY FELT LIKE FALL YET FOR MANY AREAS SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST TRENT FORD.

 

 

FORD SAYS TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN 10 TO 12 DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE SO FAR, MAKING THIS MONTH THE WARMEST START TO OCTOBER ON RECORD IN CHICAGO, ST. LOUIS, PADUCAH, ROCKFORD, PEORIA AND CHAMPAIGN.

 

 

FORD SAYS NIGHTTIME TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY WARM, RANGING FROM 12 TO 20 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. MORE SEASONAL TEMPS ARE EXPECTED NEXT WEEK. PRECIPITATION IN SOME REGIONS HAS BEEN ABOVE AVERAGE AS WELL, ESPECIALLY IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS WHICH NEEDED RAIN THE MOST.

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Pickleball Courts at Rotary Park to Be Resurfaced in Spring of '22

The City of Clinton earlier this month approved a resurfacing of the pickleball courts at Rotary Park.

 

City Administrator Tim Followell says they had hoped they could complete the project this fall but the supply shortages kept that from being done. 

 

 

The Clinton Rotary Club has talked about hosting a small pickleball tournament in the spring after the resurfacing has taken place. 

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After Brief Surge, COVID Cases Locally on the Decline

After a late-summer surge of COVID cases, the numbers are starting to go down.

 

DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department Executive Director Dave Remmert tells Regional Radio cases have steadily been going down for several weeks after a brief, small surge in August.

 

 

Remmert continues to be pleased with the trends in vaccinations in the two-county area. He says Piatt County remains ahead of DeWitt County but neither is close to the least vaccinated areas in Illinois.

 

 

The latest data from the Health Department as of Sunday, October 10 is 19 active cases in Piatt County and 13 active cases in DeWitt County. Saturday, October 9 there were no new reported cases in Piatt County and only one apiece in DeWitt and Piatt Counties from Sunday, October 10. 

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Warner Hospital Acquires Property on Van Buren Street

Clinton's Warner Hospital and Health Services recently acquired more property along Van Buren Street, continuing a recent trend of the city-owned entity expanding its real estate footprint.

 

CEO Paul Skowron says 521 Mulberry Street is now hospital property. He outlines their plans for the winter with the acquisition of this property.

 

 

Looking to the future is going to be an interesting practice for the hospital. Skowron explains the evolution of healthcare in just the last five years has made a new facility for the City-owned entity a very different dream.

 

 

For Skowron and the Hospital Board, the dream of a new facility has been on its radar for a few years now. Skowron indicates COVID did little to slow down that dream.

 

 

The hospital's current five-year strategic plan is soon to expire and Skowron is pleased to point out, they've done everything they set out to in that plan. 

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DNR Reminds Portion of Clinton Lake Closed for Yearly Refuge

The thick of the Clinton Lake boating season is wrapped for 2021 and DNR officials are reflecting on the year behind and reminding of some things on Clinton Lake for the winter.

 

DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson reminds now until the spring, the area of the lake between the DeWitt Bridge and the Rt. 48 bridge is closed. He says this gives the fish a place of refuge because it is the warm water portion of the lake.

 

 

The Clinton Power Station is currently on its refueling outage. Capt. Williamson says that is having an impact on the current of the water but other than that, Clinton Lake has been the destination for fishing this year.

 

 

Captain Williamson praises boaters for their awareness of having a sober operator. He is noticing boats where there is drinking but there's a sober operator. He believes the massaging of having a sober operator is paying off.

 

 

Capt. Williamson indicates while they still encountered some parking issues, he says they were not as prevalent as in years past and is thankful for that. He also points out the trash issue that plagued the parks shortly after they reopened after COVID has not been as much of an issue either and he attributes that to the efforts of local outdoorsmen who are coordinating those efforts. 

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Supply Chain Issues Continue to Draw Attention from Ag Groups

Ag groups continue to follow supply chain and labor shortage issues that are having a direct impact on store shelves. Mark Gebhards serves as executive director of governmental affairs and commodities for the Illinois Farm Bureau.

 

 

IFB leadership will be meeting with officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration next week to discuss the supply chain issue and what can be done on the regulatory side to improve the flow of goods and reduce the backlog.

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Gov. Pritzker Again Asked About Indoor Mask Mandate

Is the state’s indoor mask mandate going anywhere? As the state’s positivity rate sits at 2 percent, Governor JB Pritzker says there is no rush to change.

 

 

Pritzker says he wants to keep as many people as healthy as possible and hospitals from reaching capacity.

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Dairy Numbers Looking Promising

Where are dairy numbers trending? An update from Alan Bjerga (bee-air-guh) with the National Milk Producers Federation.

 

 

The National Milk Producers Federation represents a majority of U.S. dairy marketing cooperatives, including Illinois-based Prairie Farms Dairy.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month Scams

Scams on the internet are extremely common and come in many forms. Many scammers will try to tie their pitch into current events, so with Breast Cancer Awareness Month here, an investigator with the Better Business Bureau advises you to do your homework if you plan to donate.

 

BBB offers Charity Reviews of more than 11,000 charities nationwide, including several BBB Accredited Charities that support cancer research or provide support to cancer survivors. Investigator Don O’Brien says some charities have names that resemble well-known breast cancer charities, so it’s a good idea to check charities out on the agency’s website before making a donation.

 

 

In the last three years, 25 charity scams involving cancer have been reported to BBB Scam Tracker, out of about 580 charity scams reported over the same period.

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Clinton Chief of Police Discusses Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and a local law enforcement official says responding to domestic situations is the most volatile a police officer can encounter.

 

Clinton Chief of Police Ben Lowers on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday told Regional Radio small-town policing can be advantageous when dealing with all kinds of situation, including domestic issues.

 

 

Chief Lowers says domestic issues are the most common response call his office gets. He says these situations are extremely volatile and they can be dangerous.

 

 

According to Chief Lowers, most of the calls authorities responded to many years ago more often than not had a connection to substance abuse. He indicates while that is still the case, they also continue to see a rise in issues that stem from mental illness, and that includes domestic disputes.

 

 

Chief Lowers sends his praise to the folks at DeWitt County DOVE. He believes those individuals do great work for the victims of domestic violence for DeWitt County and the Decatur and Macon County communities. 

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State Bank of Bement COO Watching Transaction Legislation

Legislation in Washington, D.C. has bank executives across the country scrambling as the fed is proposing a requirement of reporting on transactions of $600 or more.

 

Michelle Gross is the COO and Community Bank President of the State Bank of Bement in Monticello and points out this is not going to be exclusive to just banks, it will encompass all sorts of financial institutions. She calls it troubling because it is not a very clear directive. 

 

 

Everything is word of mouth speculation on the details of the legislation, which is concerning for Gross. She speculates this could be a way for the IRS to better keep tabs on taxes paid and owed.

 

 

Gross has a lot of concerns for her customers when it comes to the legislation. She points out the legislation seems feckless but it also requires a lot of protected personal information and banks are concerned that information will not remain confidential.

 

 

Gross recently visited Washington, D.C. to talk about this legislation to lawmakers. She points consumers concerned to cba.com for information on how to make their voices heard. She believes the one way to stop this is for people to step up and say something to their federal delegates. 

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Veto Session Begins Next Week

LAWMAKERS ARE DUE BACK IN SPRINGFIELD NEXT WEEK FOR THE FALL VETO SESSION. 

 

THE SIX-DAY VETO SESSION BEGINS TUESDAY, WITH A FEW ITEMS ALREADY ON THE DOCKET. THE LEGISLATURE IS EXPECTED TO TAKE UP NEWLY DRAWN CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT MAPS, AS WELL AS A CORRECTION TO THE CLEAN ENERGY BILL THAT WAS JUST PASSED LAST MONTH. THE CHANGE WOULD ENSURE THE FOUR THOUSAND DOLLAR REBATE FOR BUYING AN ELECTRIC CAR APPLIES TO ALL OF ILLINOIS SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

THERE’S ALSO TALK OF POSSIBLY NIXING THE STATE’S PARENTAL NOTIFICATION ACT FOR ABORTIONS. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER WAS ASKED FOR HIS THOUGHTS ON THAT AT AN UNRELATED PRESS CONFERENCE MONDAY.

 

 

ANOTHER TOPIC MAY BE THE STATE’S HEALTH CARE RIGHT OF CONSCIOUS ACT, WHICH HAS BEEN CITED BY SOME IN HOPES OF AVOIDING THE COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE FOR CERTAIN WORKERS.

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Beer Nuts Closing Brick and Mortar Store

A downstate snack maker is shuttering its brick-and-mortar store and moving to an e-commerce format.

 

Beer Nuts, a Bloomington-based company, has announced they are closing their factory store. The store was closed last March due to the pandemic, but Beer Nuts President Andy Shirk says reopening the store was not a possibility.

 

 

Over the years, there were satellite stores at College Hills in Normal, Eastland Mall in Bloomington and Northwoods Mall in Peoria. The snack company produces a broad range of snacks, including peanuts, cashews, and almonds, along with mixes and specialty nuts. Beer Nuts have produced a full line of branded products in Bloomington for more than 68-years. The snack maker sells products all across the Midwest.

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Wet Finish to Week, Weekend Cool Down on the Way

It'll be a wet finish to the week with a weekend cool down coming to central Illinois.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio it'll be a wet finish to the week but a nice, cool weekend will follow.

 

 

After the cool weekend, Shimon notes things are going to return to a warmer than average and dry pattern. He says outlooks are showing the warm, dry trend that should carry us to the end of the month.

 

 

Heading into November, temperatures are showing to remain warmer than average with equal chances of above and below normal rainfall. Looking to December and through the spring, Shimon says things are looking to turn wet. 

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Local Financial Coach Excited to Return to Clinton Elementary School this Fall

A local financial coach is excited to return to Clinton schools' classrooms this school year and it starts next month when Clinton Elementary School students will be introduced to the world of banking.

 

Connie Unruh at the TS Institute at First National Bank in Clinton says parents can anticipate information coming home with their students regarding the banking program at CES. 

 

 

According to Unruh, starting Wednesday, November 3, this will be a real saving account with real money. She encourages parents to talk with kids about saving money and setting goals in preparation for the program's start.

 

 

For low-income students, Unruh says there is going to be no minimum deposit required to participate. On top of incentives for all students, she hopes this will allow those low-income families to participate.

 

 

Clinton Elementary School kids will be bringing home information about the program in the weeks ahead. Unruh looks forward to bringing this program to Clinton as it's had great success all over the midwest. 

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Heyworth Schools Going to Remote Learning Temporarily

Another central Illinois school district is going to remote learning for a temporary time thanks to a perfect storm of COVID mitigations and a shortage of substitute teachers.

 

Dr. Lisa Taylor is the Superintendent of Heyworth Schools and tells Regional Radio News they are going to remote learning for a few days this week at the junior high school level and the grade-schoolers will be on remote learning the rest of the week.

 

 

According to Dr. Taylor, finding substitutes was difficult in this circumstance so they are going to make the most of it and keep its elementary students in remote learning and focus on deep cleaning in the classrooms.

 

 

Dr. Taylor says if there were not a litany of mandates on schools and there were adequate substitute teachers, she probably would have opted to keep her students in school.

 

 

Dr. Taylor points out, like last year, they continue to see zero COVID spread in schools. She adds most of where their students are catching the virus is outside of the school walls.

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Waynesville Women's Club's Ginger Bread Cookies Again a Hit at Apple n' Pork Festival

The Waynesville Women's Club's gingerbread cookies are always a hit but after a year of Apple n' Pork Festival-goers not being able to go get them, the demand for the cookies in 2021 was at an all-time high.

 

The cookies were sold out before noon on Sunday and Patty Klemm on the Saturday of Apple n' Pork weekend said they sold 6,000 cookies with only 1,000 to sell for Sunday. She indicates the process of preparation starts in March.

 

 

Klemm says they use the funds raised from the Apple n' Pork Festival to support the community of Waynesville. Coming up, the Women's Club is focusing on improving a baseball/softball field in the community.

 

 

According to Klemm, last year the Waynesville Women's Club held a scaled-down sale of cookies around the holidays. She says it certainly was not as big as the Apple n' Pork Festival but they felt fortunate to do something.

 

 

Klemm indicates the Waynesville Women's Club can make it through an entire year of supporting the community. She says they try to support groups like the fire department and others. 

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Weekly Crop Report

FALL HARVEST CONTINUES MOVING RIGHT ALONG AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 

 

IT WAS WARMER AND WETTER FOR MOST OF THE STATE THIS PAST WEEK, WITH AN AVERAGE OF ABOUT FOUR DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK SAY CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

87 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE DROPPING LEAVES AND 43 PERCENT HAVE BEEN HARVESTED.

 

 

 21 PERCENT OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP HAS BEEN PLANTED AND AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IMPROVED TO FOUR PERCENT VERY SHORT, 17 PERCENT SHORT, 74 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND FIVE PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Trade Reacts to Tuesday Crop Production Report

A boost to soybean estimates pressures the commodity market. The latest USDA crop production report was released Tuesday and trade reacted. AgriVisor’s Karl Setzer speaking at the close.

 

 

November soybean futures lost 30-cents at the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday.

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Still Emergency Need for Blood, Platelets

The American Red Cross is putting out an emergency call for blood and platelet donors, as the recent surge in COVID-19 has apparently played a part in limiting the donations received in recent weeks. Agency organizers are asking you to find a blood drive near you and roll up your sleeve. Joe Zydlo (ZID-low), the spokesman for the American Red Cross, says traditionally school blood drives are a big percentage of their collection efforts, but that hasn’t been the case recently.

 

 

The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. You can find a list of blood drives or donor sites at www.redcrossblood.org.

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Record Corn, Soybean Yields Forecasted in Illinois

RECORD CORN AND SOYBEAN YIELDS FORECASTED FOR ILLINOIS THIS YEAR. 

 

IN THE LATEST MONTHLY REPORT, THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE ESTIMATES 11 MILLION ACRES OF CORN PLANTED, DOWN THREE PERCENT FROM LAST YEAR. BUT PRODUCTION WILL LIKELY BE UP SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

PLANTED AREA FOR SOYBEANS IS ESTIMATED AT 10 POINT SIX MILLION ACRES, WITH A RECORD YIELD FORECASTED AT 64 BUSHELS PER ACRE. THAT WOULD BE UP FOUR BUSHELS FROM LAST YEAR.

 

 

 

 

THE ILLINOIS CORN YIELD IS FORECASTED TO BE 210 BUSHELS PER ACRES, UP 19 BUSHELS FROM 2020 AND TYING THE RECORD SET IN 2018.

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Illinois Department of Labor Promoting Grain Bin Safety

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF GRAIN BIN SAFETY. 

 

GRAIN STORAGE IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF FALL HARVEST, BUT THE AGENCY’S HAP HILEMAN SAYS BINS CAN BE DEADLY.

 

 

HILEMAN ADVISES WORKERS TO AVOID ENTERING THE BIN IF POSSIBLE. IF THEY MUST, THEY SHOULD FOLLOW THE “LOCK OUT-TAG OUT” PROTOCOL SO GRAIN IS NOT BEING EMPTIED INTO OR MOVING OUT OF THE BIN. WORKERS SHOULD BE WELL TRAINED AND THE AIR INSIDE TESTED FOR THE PRESENCE OF COMBUSTIBLE AND TOXIC GASES.

 

 

IF A WORKER MUST ENTER A GRAIN BIN, IT’S ADVISED TO NEVER GO IN ALONE, TURN OFF AND LOCK ANYTHING THAT CAN MAKE THE GRAIN MOVE AND USE A BODY HARNESS FOR SAFETY.

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Gov. Pritzker Says State Will Continue to Defend Lawsuits Against COVID Mandates

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THE STATE WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT LAWSUITS OVER STATE COVID-19 MANDATES. 

 

A NUMBER OF SUITS HAVE BEEN FILED, TRYING TO LIFT THE MASK REQUIREMENT FOR STUDENTS AND STOP THE VACCINE REQUIREMENT FOR TEACHERS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER DEFENDS THE MANDATES.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS THOSE PUSHING THESE LAWSUITS ARE EXTRAORDINARILY IRRESPONSIBLE AND PUTTING THE HEALTH OF STUDENTS, SCHOOL STAFF AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES AT RISK.

 

 

AS OF FRIDAY, THERE WERE 206 CLASSROOM OUTBREAKS IN ILLINOIS IN GRADES K-THROUGH-12 AND 28 TRACED BACK TO SCHOOL SPORTS. AN OUTBREAK IS DEFINED AS TWO OR MORE RELATED CASES.

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Gov. Pritzker Favors Ending Parental Notifications in Cases of Abortion

During the upcoming fall veto session, Democrats might try and end the need for parental notification in cases of abortion. Governor JB Pritzker says it’s up to the legislature to decide what issues they tackle but he’s in favor of ending the notification.

 

 

Illinois Senate President Don Harmon has said recently he’s up to repealing the act.

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Farmers Reminded About Soil Temperatures When Applying Fall Fertilizer

As harvest finishes in Illinois, farmers move to fall fertilizer applications. A few reminders from Lauren Lurkins, who serves as Illinois Farm Bureau’s Director of Environmental Policy.

 

 

 

 

Measurements at the Illinois State Water Survey’s Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program sites show 4-inch soil temperatures have remained in the high 60s to low 70s across the state. Daily average 4-inch soil temperatures last week ranged from 66 degrees at DeKalb to 74 degrees at Rend Lake.

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Clinton Presbyterian Church Sweet Treats Back at Annual Apple n' Pork Festival

The Clinton Presbyterian Church's sweet treats are a take-home must for the masses that come to Clinton for the Apple n' Pork weekend.

 

Sharon Ijams helps coordinate the annual booth that is right off the main drive of the Homestead front lawn. She says they were able to bring back all the favorites in 2021.

 

 

The Presbyterian women use the proceeds from their labor to benefit local missions like 'Write Stuff for Kids' or The Vault.

 

 

According to Ijams, they planned for a normal Apple n' Pork year. Despite not having last year's event, the Presbyterian Church still contributed to the Museum and Homestead.

 

 

Ijams points anyone interested in learning more about the Presbyterian Church to find them and follow on Facebook. The Presbyterian Church held a special service on the Clinton downtown square on Sunday morning of the Apple n' Pork Festival weekend. 

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Atlanta Tourism Bureau, Public Library Hosting '13 Days of Halloween'

The Atlanta Tourism Bureau and Atlanta Public Library are teaming up for a series of events leading up to Halloween.

 

Tourism Director Whitney Ortiz and Atlanta Public Library programs coordinator Julianna Nordman on the WHOW Morning Show Monday told Regional Radio the '13 days of Halloween' kicks off Tuesday, October 19. 

 

 

Atlanta will be decorated and Tourism Director Whitney Ortiz is hoping those that may be in the community for the other activities will take notice of the various decorations. There will also be a photo opportunity that will look different upon the sunset in the evening.

 

 

Ortiz says she was inspired by what other communities are doing for their Halloween themes. Nordman was very pleased to partner with the City of Atlanta to coordinate events for the community and surrounding area.

 

 

Visit atlantaillinois.com or atlantapld.org for more information on the activities happening leading up to Halloween on Sunday, October 31. 

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USDA Funding Will Help Climate Smart Ag Effort in Illinois

USDA funding benefitting the Illinois Climate-Smart Agricultural Partnership. The effort is about increasing cover crops and, also education.

 

 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture—Bureau of Land and Water Resources will serve as lead on the partnership says the agency’s Michael Woods.

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Transportation Officials Continue to Remind Motorists to Be on Alert for Motorcycles

With the continued mild weather, there are more motorcycles on the roadways that we might be used to seeing this time of year. 

 

A trooper with the Illinois State Police says motorcycles and vehicles must share the road, so it is important for everyone on the highways to pay attention to their surroundings and be respectful of one another. ISP trooper Josh Korando says drivers need to check their mirrors and their blind spots.

 

 

Getting ready to ride can mean making sure you have protective gear including a helmet, inspecting your bike for any maintenance issues, and taking a refresher course if you haven’t ridded for a while. For more information and other tips, go to www.startseeingmotorcycles.org.

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FarmDocDaily Continues to Push Out Info for Farmers in Illinois

Plenty of content being pushed out by “farmdocdaily” to aid farmers in Illinois. One of the contributors is Brad Zwilling with Illinois FBFM. His latest piece looks at machinery values on Illinois grain farms.

 

 

A new article is posted each business day at “farmdocdaily.illinois.edu”.

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Clinton Schools Superintendent Discusses Social Media 'Challenges' That Results in Minor Damage to School Building

A challenge to teens on the social media network TikTok prompted the Superintendent of Clinton Schools to ask parents to be aware of the things happening on social media that may impact the school day and the school buildings.

 

Curt Nettles informed parents in a letter penned last week of a challenge on TikTok that resulted in minor damage to part of a school building recently - he's calling on parents to sit down with students to implore them not to participate in these things.

 

 

Nettles felt it would be best to get out in front of this before it becomes a recurring and chronic issue. He says the things being encouraged are egregiously disrespectful.

 

 

This TikTok challenge is the latest example of why parents should be involved in what their students are doing on social media. Nettles says social media moves so fast, keeping up can be challenging but he implores parents to be vigilant.

 

 

Nettles believes the very small number of students causing disruptions from what they see on social media is not representative of the rest of the student body. He praises the quality students they have in their buildings. 

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Friendship Center Leadership Ready for New Parking Lot

Ground will be broken today on a new parking lot at the DeWitt County Friendship Center and leadership is very happy for what it will mean for the community's seniors.

 

Last Friday, Executive Director of the DeWitt County Friendship Center Paul Jiles announced she would be using funds saved from the Friendship Center to forego waiting on state dollars and would install a new parking lot on the south side of the property.

 

Friendship Center Board President Leon Owens says area seniors should be very excited about this development.

 

 

Camille Redman serves on the Friendship Center Board and calls it long overdue. She believes this will make the Friendship Center more attractive to those who may not be coming out because of the limited parking.

 

 

Jiles reminds she is foregoing the funding that has been held at the State level for the last four to five years. The Pritzker administration froze funds promised from the previous administration and those have yet to be released.

 

 

The parking lot is targeting completion at the end of the week. Other than chances of rain Wednesday afternoon, it is looking like the weather should be cooperative to get the work done in that time. 

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CH Moore Homestead Board Member Discusses Annual Brat Barn

Vendors for the 2021 Apple n' Pork Festival faced a few unique challenges as the annual festival returned after a very small-scale event in 2020. 

 

Among the challenges was how much food to plan to serve over the uncertainty of crowd sizes and then where to get that food. Terry Ferguson is a member of the CH Moore Homestead Board and organizes the brat barn every year. He indicates they were running short on product late Sunday afternoon.

 

 

According to Ferguson, they didn't make any adjustments to the amount of food they planned to prepare and serve. He says the brat barn can net anywhere from $5,000 to $6,000.

 

 

The brat barn wasn't the only stand run by the Homestead and Museum Board to run out of food. Apple cider was gone by the early afternoon Sunday and vendors across the CH Moore Homestead grounds were out of food well before the Festival's 5 pm conclusion. 

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Two More Unions Agree to Vaccine Mandate

As President Joe Biden was in Illinois last week praising businesses who have established COVID vaccine mandates, Governor JB Pritzker says he’s reached an agreement with two more state worker unions to mandate vaccines for front-line medical workers.

 

 

One of the unions the Illinois Nurses Association staffs 24/7 medical wards at a state mental health facility, a veterans’ home and a prison.

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OSF Pediatrician Talks Childhood Obesity Spikes

Have you put on weight during the pandemic? If the answer is “yes” you are not alone. According to a recent study 61% of American adults experienced undesired weight changes during the pandemic, and now there is evidence kids 19 and younger also put on the pounds. According to a CDC study, younger children experienced the largest increases in the body-mass index.

 

OSF HealthCare pediatrician Dr. Ben Mikeworth says when the world shut down, so did activity levels for lots of kids. He says children often mirror the eating habits and activity levels of their parents and suggests setting family goals like not eating after a certain time or night, or making sure snacks are nutritious, instead of high calorie or calorie-dense foods.

 

 

Dr. Mikeworth says one of the most important things kids can do to start living a healthy lifestyle is quite simple: get out from behind the screen go out, play with friends, and get outside.

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City of Clinton Beginning Process to Replace Downtown Water Tower

The downtown Clinton water tower is reaching the end of its life expectancy and this past Monday, the Clinton City Council began the process to replace it.

 

The Council Monday approved the engineering agreement with Symbiont for over $121,000. City Administrator Tim Followell explains the City is targeting the vacant property across the street for the new site.

 

 

Followell says this is one of the earliest steps in the process that he predicts could take at least two years. 

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Final Weekend to Get Out to Scovill Zoo

This is the final weekend to check out the Scovill Zoo before the season comes to a close.

 

Director Ken Frye on the WHOW Morning Show Friday told Regional Radio they are getting ready to enter the off-season. An exciting development at the zoo this week, they welcomed a new camel. While Finnegan is in quarantine before he goes out on exhibit, you might be able to catch a glimpse of him near the petting zoo area.

 

 

Finnegan came to the zoo from the Idaho area of the country. He's a 9-month old 600-pound youngster that will likely be most visible to the public next year but Frye reminds, you could catch a close-up of him if you attend 'Boo at the Zoo' later this month.

 

Get more information about 'Boo at the Zoo' by finding the zoo on Facebook or go to scovillzoo.com. 

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Social Security Celebrating 60-Million MySocialSecurity Accounts Created

Social Security is celebrating a milestone reached for its MySocialSecurity accounts.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security says 60-million accounts have been created. He calls that significant because a MySocialSecurity account offers individuals so many options when it comes to anything they may need through Social Security.

 

 

For those who haven’t check it out yet, you can do so at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. 

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Clinton Homecoming Parade 2021

Clinton High School held its annual Homecoming Parade Friday afternoon prior to this evening's football game against Warrensburg-Latham....

 

 

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Clinton's Haunted House Opens for the Season Tonight (Friday)

The annual Clinton Chamber of Commerce Terror on Washington Street Haunted House opens for the season tonight (Friday).

 

Marian Brisard is the Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber and on the WHOW Morning Show Friday told Regional Radio she is excited for this year's haunted house season to return. She notes the house is ready to go and attendees should keep a few things in mind...

 

 

Organizers are asking for masks to be worn in the house, however, Brisard says as you wait for your turn through the house, you can enjoy the concession stand and a virtual haunted house as well.

 

 

The Terror on Washington Street is open this Friday and Saturday, October 8-9, then October 15-16, 22-23, and 29-31.

 

Visit clintonhauntedhouse.com for all the details on this year's haunted house season and for more information on the 'friendly ghost tours' that are also back this year. 

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DeWitt County Friendship Center Announces New Parking Lot

It's been ten-plus years in the works and a local non-profit is taking it upon itself to get a parking lot installed for area seniors. 

 

The DeWitt County Friendship Center has been in a ten-year figurative dance with the State of Illinois to get grant funds for a new parking lot on the facility's south side. Executive Director Paula Jiles announced to the seniors at the Friendship Center Friday.

 

 

Work on the parking lot will begin Monday and Jiles hopes it will be done next Friday. 

 

 

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Clinton YMCA Grateful to Have Apple n' Pork Weekend Back

The Clinton YMCA has multiple presences at the annual Apple n' Pork Festival. If you enjoy the pork cutlet sandwiches on the grounds of the CH Moore Homestead or the baked potato, those were served up by volunteers for the Y.

 

Rennie Cluver is the Executive Director of the Y and indicates upon the completion of the weekend, they sit down after they know how much money they've made and will decide the best place for those funds to go.

 

 

Darren Moser is the President of the YMCA Board and coordinates the Y's Otter swim team baked potato booth. He indicates the Apple n' Pork weekend pays for nearly everything associated with the program for the kids in the program.

 

 

There are many ways to learn more about the YMCA. You can visit clintoncommymca.org, find them on Facebook, call 217-935-8307 or stop into their facility at 417 South Alexander Street in Clinton and check out the recent renovations they've made. 

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Monticello Schools Superintendent Hoping Next Move From Gov. Pritzker Will Be Restoring Local Control

A Piatt County School leader is hoping the next move coming from Governor JB Pritzker as it relates to COVID and school will be to restore local control.

 

Monticello Schools Superintendent Dr. Vic Zimmerman says kids can't mask forever in schools and feels it is time for local control to be given back to school districts in Illinois who want to make their own decisions.

 

 

Dr. Zimmerman remains an advocate for local control, questioning if locally elected officials cannot make their own decisions then why even have school boards. He recognizes there are some places that have been content with the directives from the State but he does not believe those are the majority.

 

 

The veteran school leader encourages anyone with questions about the decisions being made in their district to sit down and talk with him. He believes often the public does not have all the information and is willing to have a civil conversation about what is happening in his district. 

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This is Manufacturing Month in Illinois

THIS IS MANUFACTURING MONTH IN ILLINOIS.

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IS ALREADY A LEADING DRIVER OF THE STATE'S ECONOMY, WITH OVER 100 BILLION DOLLARS IN ANNUAL ECONOMIC OUTPUT AND MORE THAN 18 THOUSAND COMPANIES LOCATED HERE. HE EXPECTS THOSE NUMBERS TO GROW AND MORE JOBS WILL NEED TO BE FILLED WITH TALENTED WORKERS.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR IS ALSO CELEBRATING THE 40TH NEW MANUFACTURING ANNOUNCEMENT THIS YEAR IN ILLINOIS, WITH NEWS THAT THE CHICAGO MAGNESIUM CASTING COMPANY IN DIXMOOR IS EXPANDING AND ADDING 40 JOBS. STATE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACTING DIRECTOR SYLVIA GARCIA SAYS IT'S THE 40TH SUCH ANNOUNCEMENT THIS YEAR IN ILLINOIS.

 

 

ILLINOIS IS HOME TO MORE THAN 18-THOUSAND MANUFACTURING COMPANIES AND BOASTS AND AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC OUTPUT OF OVER 100 BILLION DOLLARS.

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Pet Market Providing Opportunity for Corn Industry

The pet market providing some opportunities for corn producers. And it’s “beyond the bowl” says Michael Granche with the National Corn Growers Association.

 

 

Granche says a 2018 study showed the pet market moved 1.9 million tons of corn, equating to a $438-million impact.

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Nicor's Business Model Moderates Natural Gas Costs Will Be Way Up this Winter

Nicor Gas customers may have more protection from higher natural gas prices than other utility customers. A lot of the gas Nicor delivers in the winter is pumped during the summer when it costs less. Spokeswoman Jennifer Golz says it’s stored in aquifers until it’s needed. It's blended with the higher cost gas pumped during winter, which mediates the customer's price.

 

 

Customers may not feel certain the business model is working this winter. After a few years of very low gas prices, they’re up by a lot. Nicor paid 23 cents per therm last winter but the cost ballooned to 56 cents per therm over the summer. Golz says Nicor customers who are worried about high bills can contact the company now about bill payment help and payment plans.

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Joe Biden Visits Chicago

The President made his way to Chicago on Thursday. Joe Biden was at a construction site run by a company that is mandating COVID vaccines for all workers or they will face regular testing.

 

Biden’s visit comes weeks ahead of an OSHA rule that will set vaccine and or testing requirements for employers of over 100 people. Biden says that the fourth wave of COVID infections is being driven by those who aren’t vaccinated.

 

 

Chicago is also home to United Airlines, who has a vaccination requirement for all their employees, United says only 1% of their 67,000 employees have failed to comply and risk termination.

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State Pest Survey Coordinator Provides Update on Armyworm Infestation

An update on armyworm infestation in Illinois. Kelly Estes serves as the state’s ag pest survey coordinator.

 

 

Estes says her office is currently compiling survey data from the past growing season. You can follow her work on Twitter at “ILPestSurvey”.

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CH Moore Homestead Director Seeking Pictures of Old Homes in DeWitt County

The Director of the DeWitt County Museum is asking residents of DeWitt County to submit pictures of old homes in DeWitt County.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Joey Long explained she is working on an exhibit to highlight the old homes of our County and to tell their stories.

 

 

If you own a home or know of a home locally that has a great story, Long would like to hear from you. She says the size of the home matters not, but rather she is looking for homes with a story to be told.

 

 

Perhaps you have a picture of a home but don't know a lot about it. Long says if you can provide just a few pieces of information about the home, that could set her up for finding out more about it and find perhaps a unique story. She also is hoping to get homes from all over the County, not exclusive to Clinton.

 

 

Long hopes to have the exhibit ready to go for the holiday season at the Museum starting later next month.

 

To get more information, contact Long at the Museum at 217-935-6066. You can also stop by during regular business hours. 

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Arrests Made in June Hit-and-Run Crash Involving DNR Officer in DeWitt County

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources earlier this week announced the arrests of a 40-year Bloomington man and woman in a June hit-and-run crash involving a Conservation Police Officer who was blocking off a flooded portion of Rt 54 by Farmer City in DeWitt County.

 

A 40-year Bloomington man has been charged with obstructing justice while a 40-year old Bloomington woman is being charged with obstructing justice along with leaving the scene of a property damage traffic crash, violation of Scott's Law, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. 

 

The suspects struck the vehicle of a DNR CPO who was conducting traffic control for a flooded roadway near Rt 54 west of Farmer City when around 1 am, Saturday, June 26 when the officer's vehicle was struck and the suspects fled the scene.

 

Assisting DNR authorities in the investigation were the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services, Illinois State Police Investigators, the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office, and the DeWitt County State's Attorney's office.

 

The identity of the suspects is being withheld at this time. 

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Clinton Am-Vets Back at Apple n' Pork Festival

While they aren't on the DeWitt County Museum and CH Moore Homestead grounds, many attendees of the Apple n' Pork Festival make a point to find the Clinton Am-Vets on Center Street.

 

Commander Ed Beck says it was nice to be back at the annual festival and highlight the many things the Am-Vets have done the last several years and how they overcame the COVID pandemic.

 

 

According to Beck, membership for the Am-Vets is strong but they continue to encourage young veterans to be a part of the things they're doing.

 

 

Get more information about the Clinton Am-Vets by finding 'AmVets Post 14' on Facebook. 

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Latest Ag Barometer Released

Farmer sentiment declines in September. The data is from the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer says ag economist Jim Mintert.

 

 

The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer sentiment index is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey.

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Farmland Assessment Time

It’s farmland assessment time in Illinois and a few reminders from Brenda Matherly, who serves as director of local government programs for Illinois Farm Bureau. She says farmland is assessed differently than other properties.

 

 

Matherly says farmers who take issue with their assessment have 30 days from the publication notice to file an appeal.

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Changes Expected to Police Reform Bill

Although mayors, law enforcement, and community groups statewide opposed the bill, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation earlier this year enacting what some call a police reform bill. A local State Senator says House Bill 3653 is now being modified by lawmakers, with emphasis put on changes that need to be made to aspects of the bill that go into effect sooner than the parts in which they have some time to work with.

 

State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) says some of the immediate fixes were to the parts that went into effect in July, and they will continue to work on things that become effective in January when lawmakers return for the Fall Veto Session on October 19.

 

 

In addition to police reform bill fixes, Crowe says they will also be dealing with Congressional mapping and passing fixes on to the House for approval.

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Farmers Concerned With Fertilizer Prices

Farmers keeping an eye on fertilizer prices. There is a lot in play says Josh Linville, who serves as director fertilizer for StoneX…..

 

 

Logistical issues like transportation are also impacting the fertilizer market.

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Baum Chevrolet Buick Annual Apple n' Pork Car Show Raises $16,000 for Clinton YMCA

Nearly 250 classic cars entered the 2021 annual Baum Chevrolet Buick car show last month on Sunday of the Apple n' Pork Festival in Clinton and raised $16,000 for the Clinton YMCA.

 

The annual classic car show at Scott Baum's dealership in Clinton was hailed as a big success says Marketing Director Janell Baum-Thomas. The funds were raised thanks to entry fees as well as a trio of raffles.

 

 

Clinton YMCA Executive Director Rennie Cluver was pleased to see the enthusiasm for the car show and the YMCA. He is very thankful for everything that was done at the car show and was impressed with how the event was conducted.

 

 

Cluver had hopes of using the funds raised from the fundraiser for maintenance on its fleet of vehicles for Camp Osage, the summer program for area youth. With $16,000, Cluver says his sights might just be shifting to purchasing a much-needed new bus.

 

 

From the Baum Chevrolet Buick perspective, Baum-Thomas says they are going to look into helping kids that cannot afford the opportunities of the YMCA. The passing of youth activities director David Torbert earlier this year prompted the YMCA to be the beneficiary of this year's car show and Baum-Thomas says youth programming was very important to Torbert.

 

 

This year's Best in Show and Participants' Choice winners hail from Oreana, Ill., and Hudson, Ill., respectively. Best in Show was awarded to Chuck Wilson of Oreana, Ill., for his 1955 Chevrolet Truck. Mark Hanes of Hudson, Ill., earned a Participants’ Choice award for his 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline.

 

Austin Cooley of Clinton held the winning ticket for the EZ-GO Golf Cart, which was raffled to support Camp Osage at the Clinton YMCA.

 

In addition to the dealership employees and volunteer judges, the Decatur Blaze Hockey Team and YMCA volunteers helped staff the event. Baum Chevrolet Buick is a lead sponsor of the Blaze, a U.S. Premier Hockey League team that hosts its home games at the Decatur Civic Center from October through February.

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Clinton's Neighborhood Care Center Working on Connections in Heyworth As Expansion Continues

Clinton's Neighborhood Care Center recently expanded into Heyworth earlier this year and its Executive Director says as their plans unfold, the continued focus is to make connections in the community.

 

Cody Monkman explains they admit they don't have everything figured out and are dealing with a different community from Clinton. He says they are phasing in the program in Heyworth.

 

 

According to Monkman, as he and the Neighborhood Care Center Board considered expansion and researched where would be the best place to expand, he points out one thing that stood out to him was the underserved population of southern McLean County.

 

 

As he works to establish relationships in Heyworth, Monkman says it is a lot of knocking on doors, introducing himself and the Neighborhood Care Center is instrumental. He calls it time-consuming but fruitful.

 

 

Monkman spoke to the culture of the organization. He believes they need to establish the right community in Heyworth and if they can do that, they will be successful.

 

 

Monkman says the phased-in planning is intentionally structured so they do not need a very large group of community members. He indicates though, as they look to the holidays, they will need to start finding more volunteers. 

 

You can find the Neighborhood Care Center on Facebook for more information about both networks or visit neighborhoodcarecenter.net. 

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Clinton Legion Changes Up Offering at Apple n' Pork Festival

The Clinton American Legion is known for its pork wings they fry and sell at the annual Apple n' Pork Festival but a challenge in finding supplies this year forced the organization to change up its annual offering.

 

Josh Thielen is the Commander of the Legion and indicates they decided to switch their menu up to carnitas. Unsure of how popular they would be, the Legion sold out of product both days of the Festival weekend.

 

 

According to Thielen, the fund from the annual Apple n' Pork Festival helps the Legion maintain its facility on Elizabeth Street in Clinton. He also notes they help support other veterans-based organizations. 

 

 

Like most non-profits, Thielen says not is the Apple n' Pork weekend a great fundraising opportunity but he also points out it's a great opportunity to showcase their organization and the community.

 

 

You can learn more about the Legion by finding the Clinton American Legion on Facebook. 

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October is National Protect Your Hearing Month

OCTOBER IS NATIONAL PROTECT YOUR HEARING MONTH AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS FOCUSING ON SAFETY AT WORK.

 

HEARING LOSS CAN OCCUR AT ANY AGE, AND THOSE CONSTANTLY EXPOSED TO HIGH DECIBEL SOUNDS ON THE JOB ARE AT PARTICULAR RISK SAYS THE AGENCY'S HAP HILEMAN.

 

 

HILEMAN. EMPLOYERS ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE SURE WORKERS IN THAT SORT OF ENVIRONMENT HAVE HEARING PROTECTION.

 

 

HILEMAN REMINDS THAT WHILE HEARING AIDS ARE HELPFUL, THE DAMAGE IS PERMANENT. OFFICIALS RECOMMEND TALKING TO YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT HEARING LOSS.

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IDOT Urging Drivers to Watch Out for Deer

DEER MATING SEASON IS HERE AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS URGING MOTORISTS TO BE CAREFUL AND STAY ALERT. 

 

THE SEASON TYPICALLY RUNS OCTOBER THROUGH DECEMBER, SO DRIVERS NEED TO BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON MARIA CASTANEDA.

 

 

CASTANEDA SAYS YOU SHOULD PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION DURING DUSK AND DAWN.

 

 

CASTANEDA ALSO WARNS TO PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED AS DEER SOMETIMES STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD OR DOUBLE BACK. LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS, THERE WERE NEARLY 14 THOUSAND DEER-VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, RESULTING IN 611 PERSONAL INJURIES AND 10 DEATHS. ILLINOIS COUNTIES WITH THE MOST DEER RELATED CRASHES LAST YEAR INCLUDE COOK, MADISON, WILL, SANGAMON AND PEORIA.

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Warner Library to Adjust Saturday Hours

A Clinton entity is reducing its Saturday hours to better serve the community for the remainder of the week.

 

The Warner Library in Clinton will be reducing hours on Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm to 9 am to 1 pm. On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Business Manager Samantha Rusk told Regional Radio this will allow them to move those staff from a slow time during the week to more frequented times at the library.

 

 

Rusk took the opportunity to remind patrons of its digital services which are accessible via its website, vwarner.org. You can also access a couple of mobile apps with a wide variety of materials.

 

 

Again, visit vwarner.org for the latest in hours for the library as well as information on all the digital resources library cardholders can utilize. You can also call the library at 217-935-5174 or visit them at 310 North Quincy Street.

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Clinton City Council Hears of Upcoming Community Events

You can speak directly with our local law enforcement officers this week and also enjoy a parade of fire trucks on Wednesday.

 

Those were among the highlights of Monday night's Clinton City Council meeting. Police Chief Ben Lowers promoted 'coffee with a cop' on Wednesday at Hardee's.

 

 

Commissioner Dan Ballenger promoted this Wednesday evening's fire truck parade. The annual parade will again originate at the junior high school and proceed up Illini Drive towards the downtown square. 

 

 

The fire truck parade kicks off at dusk. You'll likely hear sirens throughout the community as most engines fire up the lights and sirens as they make their way down Illini Drive.

 

Chief Lowers also announced the resignation of Officer James McClure from the police department Monday. The Chief also announced the promotion of Officer Joe Krasney to Sergeant. 

 

Monday night the Council also approved the repaving of the pickleball courts in Rotary Park with work likely to be done next spring. The Council also approved the engineering agreement on the new water tower and water treatment plant improvements.

 

The Monday meeting was recessed to resume Tuesday, October 12 at 6 pm. 

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University of Illinois Extension Celebrating 4-H Week

It's 4-H Week and local youth leaders are making it a special week for participants.

 

Lindsey Burden is the youth educator for the University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She says if you make your way to Tractor Supply in Clinton or businesses in DeWitt County, the efforts of local youth in 4-H will be front and center.

 

 

Next weekend in Farmer City, on the square there will be several kids with livestock, robotics demonstrations and so much more highlighting all the things you can do in 4-H.

 

 

Robotics and shooting sports are a few of the programs that have grown significantly in recent years. Burden indicates now is the best time to join those programs. 

 

 

Burden says shooting sports has an interesting challenge because it is very popular but it is hard to market. She notes while it is wildly popular, there are still lots of people that still don't know they have it.

 

Additionally, the new 4-H year is about a month old but it's still not too late to join. Get more information about 4-H by contact Burden in DeWitt County at 217-935-5764. 

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Clinton M-Squad Continues Efforts at Apple n' Pork Festival

For many at the Apple n' Pork Festival, the Clinton High School M-Squad's caramel apple stand is a must stop.

 

The M-Squad is a staple of the Fesitval just off the seating tent and music stage on the Homestead grounds. Freshman Addison Beebe says the Apple n' Pork Festival is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the M-Squad, helping raise money for costumes and routines.

 

 

Beebe says the season is off to a great start and the girls are looking forward to the competition season getting started soon. Beebe and Avery Brown are both freshman in the program and discussed the jump from the junior high school program to the high school program.

 

 

Beebe and Brown encourage the community to follow their Facebook page for the latest in news and performance results. 

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Weekly Crop Report

HARVEST CONTINUES AHEAD OF LAST YEAR’S PACE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 

 

THERE WAS AN AVERAGE OF SIX DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK THIS PAST WEEK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

32 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN HARVESTED, COMPARED TO 23 PERCENT AT THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR. 

 

 

12 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED AND ONE PERCENT HAS EMERGED. 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IMPROVED TO NINE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 18 PERCENT SHORT, 71 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND TWO PERCENT SURPLUS.

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This is National Fire Prevention Week

THIS IS NATIONAL FIRE PREVENTION WEEK.

 

THE FOCUS THIS YEAR IS ON THE “SOUNDS OF SAFETY” SAYS ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ.

 

 

FOR EXAMPLE, A SINGLE CHIRP EVERY 30 OR 60 SECONDS MEANS THE BATTERY IS LOW AND MUST BE CHANGED SAYS STATE FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ.

 

 

FULTZ SAYS A CONTINUOUS SET OF THREE LOUD BEEPS MEANS THERE IS SMOKE OR A FIRE IN YOUR HOME AND YOU SHOULD GET OUT IMMEDIATELY. HE ALSO REMINDS THAT ALL SMOKE ALARMS MUST BE REPLACED AFTER 10 YEARS.

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Tar Spot Among Disease Pressures for Farmers This Year

Harvest rolling along in Illinois. A progress report from Ken Reinhardt in the western portion of the state. He farms near Seaton in Mercer County.

 

 

Reinhardt says “tar spot” has been among the main disease pressures this year.

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October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month

OCTOBER IS INFANT SAFE SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH. 

 

LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS, 114 CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE ONE DIED AS A RESULT OF UNSAFE SLEEP PRACTICES. STATE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SPOKESPERSON DEBORAH LOPEZ SAYS THERE ARE IMPORTANT STEPS PARENTS CAN TAKE TO KEEP THEIR BABIES SAFE.

 

 

SLEEP DEATHS ARE PREVENTABLE IF PARENTS FOLLOW THESE IMPORTANT RULES SAYS LOPEZ.

 

 

OF THE CHILDREN THAT DIED LAST YEAR BECAUSE OF UNSAFE SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS, D-C-F-S SAYS NEARLY ALL WERE FOUND IN LOCATIONS OTHER THAN A CRIB, BASSINET OR PACK AND PLAY.

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Gov. Pritzker Signs Executive Order to Ensure Employees With Disabilities Working for State Vendors Get Fair Wage

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ENSURING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WORKING FOR A STATE VENDOR ARE PAID A FAIR WAGE. 

 

THE ORDER REQUIRES THESE WORKERS TO BE PAID AT LEAST THE MINIMUM WAGE, ELIMINATING THE SUB-WAGE PAY SOME CURRENTLY RECEIVE. THE GOVERNOR SAYS THIS IS ABOUT EQUALITY AND DIGNITY, AND WON’T HURT EMPLOYEES.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS THIS IS ABOUT EQUALITY AND DIGNITY, AND WON’T HURT EMPLOYEES.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS MORE THAN 80 PERCENT OF STATE CONTRACTS ALREADY PAY INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES AT LEAST THE MINIMUM WAGE.

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Gov. Pritzker Not Ready to Relax Indoor Mask Mandate

How much longer will the indoor mask mandate be in effect in Illinois? Governor JB Pritzker says that even though recent health metrics are moving in the right direction they aren’t even close to what the state established to move to Phase 5 in the spring.

 

 

The trend for new COVID hospitalizations has been better in Illinois, 30 days ago the state saw 234 new admissions, yesterday that number was 159.

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Congressman LaHood Talks Infrastructure Bill

According to an Illinois Congressman, Republicans are prepared to work with Democrats and President Joe Biden to pass an infrastructure bill.

 

However, that infrastructure bill remains at a standstill, as Democrats, who control the Senate and House of Representatives, continue to work out the details in the House. Republican Congressman Darin LaHood says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats "can't agree on anything."

 

 

On Monday, House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats have imposed a deadline of October 31 to pass both a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a broader investment in social programs.

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Attorney General Launches Effort to Decrease Online Child Exploitation

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT PARTNERS ARE BOOSTING EFFORTS TO FIGHT ONLINE CHILD EXPLOITATION.

 

REPORTS OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND EXPLOITING KIDS ARE ON THE RISE AND EVERYONE MUST DO THEIR PART TO STOP THIS TREND SAYS ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL. HIS OFFICE HAS PUT TOGETHER A SERIES OF WEBINARS FOR PARENTS AND SCHOOLS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT INTERNET SAFETY, APPS LIKE SNAPCHAT AND TIK TOK, AND SIGNS THAT A CHILD OR STUDENT HAS BEEN A VICTIM OF ONLINE SOLICITATION.

 

 

ILLINOIS STATE POLICE DIRECTOR BRENDAN KELLY SAYS THE PUBLIC ALSO HAS A ROLE TO PLAY.

 

 

ADDITIONAL EFFORTS ARE BEING COORDINATED THROUGH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S INTERNET CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN TASK FORCE, WHICH IS DEPLOYING A NEW MOBILE COMPUTER FORENSICS UNIT THAT WILL TRAVEL THE STATE AS WELL.

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Small House Fire in Clinton Sunday Night

Clinton fire officials responded to a small house fire Sunday night.

 

At approximately 10:30 pm, Clinton fire was called to 821 East Woodlawn Street for a report of smoke in a living room. Upon arrival, the resident of the home told authorities the fire had been put out but authorities found smoke in the attic and discovered a small fire.

 

After quickly extinguishing the upstairs fire, the damage was mostly limited to the results of the smoke and water. 

 

Kenney, Wapella, Maroa, and Waynesville fire departments were dispatched to the scene but authorities called off Maroa and Waynesville. 

 

Local authorities could not identify a cause so the case has been turned over to the State Fire Marshall.

 

Authorities were on scene until almost 1:30 am Monday. 

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Clinton High School Band Planning for Summer Trip to Florida

Getting kids back to having fun is how the Clinton High School band director described a planned summer trip for his students in 2022.

 

Nathan Wheeler presented the band's plans before the Board of Education last month and indicates while he wants to get kids back to the things that make being in band fun, they will not take their health and safety lightly.

 

 

The band will be at Universal Studios and Wheeler notes this was a trip scheduled for the summer of 2020. He notes it keeps them on a larger trip like this every other year.

 

 

One of the other perks of this trip will be the opportunity to record in a professional recording studio. Wheeler explains a professional from Universal will speak to the kids about what it is like to work in the music industry.

 

 

The trip is planned for June 1 through June 6 next summer. 

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CH Moore Homestead Board President Pleased with 2021 Apple n' Pork Festival

With a wildly successful 2021 Apple n' Pork Festival in the books, the Board President of the CH Moore Homestead and DeWitt County Museum is very pleased with this year's event.

 

Kelby McMath indicates they faced a few supply issues getting ready for the Homestead's apple butter, apple cider, and apple cider float tents but they got everything they needed in planning for a normal Festival.

 

 

The funds raised from this year's Festival will go to the continued exterior work being done at the Homestead. McMath says a lot of work has been done and is very pleased with how its recent porch project turned out.

 

 

While not having a Festival in 2020 was not ideal, McMath says they were able to make it through that time thanks to good planning and a large donation. 

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U of I Extension Nutrition Educator Talks Fall Produce

It may not be feeling like fall much these days but the meteorological fall season is upon us and a local nutrition educator says that means the fall produce season is upon us.

 

Apples, squash, and cranberries are among a host of produce items coming into season. Caitlin Mellendorf is a nutrition educator with the University of Illinois Extension and indicates these items and more have a lot of diversity, especially as we start to begin cooking with our ovens, slow cookers, and pressure cookers more.

 

 

As the fall produce season nears, Mellendorf enjoys the versatility of the sweet potato, which is coming in season right now. She also is promoting an upcoming program about applesauce and the possibilities with apples that may be in your back yard, at the apple orchard, or just a bag of apples from your local grocery store.

 

 

Mellendorf plans to update her food blog at the University of Illinois Extension website soon. Find the DeWitt, Macon, or Piatt County Extension office websites and seek out her blogs and programs there. 

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September Drier Than Normal

SEPTEMBER WAS A LITTLE WARMER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL IN ILLINOIS. 

 

SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL ILLINOIS RECEIVED WITHIN AN INCH OF AVERAGE PRECIPITATION LAST MONTH, WHILE NORTHERN ILLINOIS WAS TWO TO THREE INCHES BELOW NORMAL SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST TRENT FORD.

 

 

STATEWIDE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES WERE ONE TO TWO DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL, BUT IT WAS MORE LIKE THREE TO FOUR DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS. LAST MONTH WAS THE FIFTH WARMEST SEPTEMBER IN CHICAGO.

 

 

THE LATEST U-S DROUGHT MONITOR SHOWS EXPANDED SEVERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS MOST OF ILLINOIS AND EXTREME DROUGHT IN MCHENRY COUNTY. EIGHT POINT EIGHT PERCENT OF THE STATE IS NOW IN SEVERE OR EXTREME DROUGHT, THE LARGEST PERCENTAGE SINCE 2013.

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IDPH COVID Ambassadors Program Helps Stop Spread of Misinformation

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH’S COVID-19 AMBASSADOR PROGRAM IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF DISPELLING MISINFORMATION ABOUT THE VIRUS. 

 

THE AMBASSADORS ARE VOLUNTEERS, COMMITTED TO TALKING WITH FRIENDS, RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS ABOUT PREVENTING COVID INFECTION, THE IMPORTANCE OF WEARING A MASK AND GETTING VACCINATED. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gahzi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SPOKE WITH SEVERAL AMBASSADORS VIRTUALLY THIS WEEK, MAKING SURE THEY HAVE THE CORRECT INFORMATION. SHE WAS ASKED ABOUT THE STRENGTH OF EACH DOSE OF THE PFIZER VACCINE.

 

 

OTHERS ASKED IF THOSE WHO GOT THE J AND J OR MODERNA SHOT CAN GET THE PFIZER BOOSTER. EZIKE SAYS THAT'S NOT RECOMMENDED AT THIS TIME BECAUSE THERE HASN'T REALLY BEEN MUCH RESEARCH ON MIXING DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE VACCINE.

 

 

MORE COVID AMBASSADORS ARE WELCOME. VISIT: IDPH DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV TO SIGN UP.

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Clinton YMCA Offering Free Month of Access to Clinton School Staffers

A Clinton non-profit is inviting staffers of Clinton Schools free access to its facility during October.

 

Clinton YMCA Executive Director Rennie Cluver indicates the Y is giving access to its wellness center, land fitness classes, the pool, and gym to any staffer of the Clinton school district this month.

 

 

Cluver is also taking the opportunity to invite employers to consider helping cover the costs of a Y-membership for its employees. He says they offer a program partnering with employers to provide a discount of memberships to employees.

 

 

According to Cluver, there is no threshold for employers to have employees participate. He encourages business owners and leaders to contact him at the Y at 217-935-8307. 

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Clinton Police Chief Talks Harvest Season Safety

The farm implements are rolling and chances are you've probably found yourself behind or in front of a slow-moving ag vehicle.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers is imploring motorists to slow down and be cautious when encountering these implements. Additionally, he's asking farmers and operators to keep those slow-moving emblems cleaned off. 

 

 

Authorities encourage drivers who encounter a deer on the road to not swerve to miss it. They say that can be riskier than simply hitting the deer while slowing down. 

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?State's eviction moratorium ends Sunday

THE STATE'S EVICTION MORATORIUM ENDS SUNDAY.

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS 443 MILLIONS DOLLARS IN RENTAL ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN AWARDED, WITH ANOTHER 61 MILLION TO BE DISTRIBUTED. THERE'S ALSO A 60 MILLION DOLLAR COURT-BASED PROGRAM FOR RENTERS WHO ARE STILL STRUGGLING.

 

 

443 MILLION IN FEDERAL RELIEF MONEY HAS BEEN AWARDED TO STRUGGLING RENTERS IN ILLINOIS, WITH ANOTHER 61 MILLION SCHEDULED TO GO OUT. AND WITH THE MORATORIUM ENDING, GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS AN ADDITIONAL 60 MILLION DOLLARS WILL BE AVAILABLE UNDER A COURT-BASED PROGRAM FOR RENTERS ABOUT TO BE EVICTED WHO MAY NOT HAVE APPLIED FOR GRANTS PREVIOUSLY SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

INFORMATION ABOUT PROGRAMS STILL AVAILABLE CAN BE FOUND AT: ILLINOIS RENTAL ASSISTANCE DOT ORG.

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Little Galilee Christian Camp Readying for Winter Retreat Season

Little Galilee Christian Camp in Clinton is waving goodbye to the busy summer camping season and ushering in the winter retreat season.

 

Executive Director Dr. Robert Shoaff on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday told Regional Radio they had an exceptional summer of camps. He notes last summer they were not able to have overnight sessions but they were back to camps as normal this year.

 

 

The winter retreat season is already underway in full force. According to Dr. Shoaff, they've welcomed two college-aged groups already and have a full winter of retreats already on the books.

 

 

If you've got a group or class that would like to use the grounds of Little Galilee, Dr. Shoaff says they have plenty of room to host you and often have several groups on their grounds at any given time. He emphasizes you do not have to be a faith-based organization or group to utilize their facilities. 

 

 

Dr. Shoaff points anyone interested in the winter retreat season schedule to their website, littlegalilee.com. 

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Clinton FFA Back at Apple n' Pork Festival in 2021

Hundreds of Apple n' Pork goers each year make it a point to get to the Clinton FFA Chapter's pork chops and riblets.

 

Izzy Arnold indicates the FFA Alumni help to coordinate the Chapter's Apple n' Pork tent and credits them for supporting the chapter.

 

 

According to Arnold, things within the FFA program are starting to return to normal. They are happy to have things return after not getting hardly anything last year, including the National Convention, which is right around the corner.

 

 

This year, there are 15 FFA members. v

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City of Monticello Embarking on Strategic Planning

As groups, businesses and municipalities come out of COVID, strategic planning may become the norm.

 

Among those embarking on strategic planning and comprehensive planning is the City of Monticello. Director of Community Development Callie McFarland indicates the City is due for an update in those areas.

 

 

While many areas of Illinois lost population in the last decade, Monticello was not one of those. While McFarland believes sometimes the narrative of people leaving Illinois is a bit overplayed, she also points out Monticello is a great place to live and work.

 

 

Long-term planning will be a part of the planning process. She explains it's a balance of assessing the needs of the community and aiming for attainable goals that are not too lofty and not too far in the future.

 

 

Improving community recreation has been on the radar of the City in the last few years. Additionally, new school facilities and new developments in various parts of the community have all gone up in recent years.

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Soybean Markets React to Quarterly Stocks Report

The USDA quarterly stocks report had an immediate impact on the soybean market at the Chicago Board of Trade. AgriVisor’s Karl Setzer speaking at the close on Thursday.

 

 

November soybean contracts lost 27-cents Thursday, finishing at $12.56 per bushel.

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Illinois Department of Revenue Launches New, Modernized Website

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE IS LAUNCHING A NEW WEBSITE.

 

THE SITE IS MORE USER FRIENDLY AND INCLUDES SOME NEW FEATURES SAYS AGENCY SPOKESPERSON MAURA KOWNACKI.

 

 

THE SITE HAS BEEN MODERNIZED AND FEATURES INTUITIVE DROP DOWN MENUS, A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT TO HELP ANSWER QUESTIONS AND GOOGLE TRANSLATE IN SEVEN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES SAYS KOWNACKI.

 

 

CHECK OUT THE REVAMPED WEBSITE AT: TAX DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV. THERE YOU CAN FILE YOUR TAXES, CHECK ON THE STATUS OF YOUR REFUND, LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT AND FIND ADDITIONAL TAX INFORMATION.

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Gov. Pritzker Discusses Bears

Are the Bears leaving the city of Chicago for a new home in the suburbs?

 

The Chicago Bears have a purchase agreement on a piece of property in Arlington Heights where they could build a new stadium. Governor JB Pritzker, says as a Bears fan he would like to see them stay in the city but doesn’t think any state support would come to keep the Bears at their lakefront home.

 

 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants the Bears to “come to the table” about what improvements could be made at Soldier Field to keep them through the end of the team’s stadium lease.

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Back to Business Recovery Grants Awarded, Future Grants Deadline Approaching

THE DEADLINE IS APPROACHING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES TO APPLY FOR STATE RECOVERY GRANTS.

 

24 MILLION DOLLARS IN BACK-TO-BUSINESS GRANTS HAVE ALREADY BE AWARDED, WITH ANOTHER 226 MILLION IN FUNDING STILL AVAILABLE SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR BACK-TO-BUSINESS GRANTS IS OCTOBER 13TH SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACTING DIRECTOR SYLVIA GARCIA.

 

 

MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY’S WEBSITE

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Archery Deer Season Opens Today

The archery deer season opens Friday in Illinois.

 

 

IDNR’s Tim Schweizer says the two-weekend firearm deer hunting seasons in Illinois are Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 2-5.

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