Local News

Registration Open for Little Galilee's Jr. High New Years Lock-In

Junior high youth groups are encouraged to register for Little Galilee's annual New Year's Eve event.

 

Dr. Robert Shoaff, Executive Director of Little Galilee Christian Camp, indicates registration is underway for "Midnight Madness." Junior high youth will usher in the new year in a safe and fun environment.

 

 

Dr. Shoaff says registration is open to individual students and for area youth pastors to bring their junior high youth groups to the event. In the past, they have offered New Years' activities for high school as well, but it was better attended by the junior high age group.

 

 

Dr. Shoaff notes while Little Galilee is Christian-oriented, they want to maintain a sense of openness to everyone. The main goal of the event is to provide kids with a safe communal experience.

 

 

To register, visit littlegalilee.com.

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Miller Park Zoo Excited for Wild Lights

A Bloomington/Normal entity is welcoming back a popular holiday event back to its original format after COVID canceled last year's event. 

 

Jay Tetzloff is the Executive Director of the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington and indicates their Wild Lights event is back and this year it is expanding to two weekends for the first time.

 

 

Tickets can be purchased ahead of the event but that is not required. According to Tetzloff, they are going to limit attendance this year to be respectful of the COVID conscience. He also points out masks will only be required if you are indoors.

 

 

Tetzloff believes Wild Lights is a great opportunity to not only enjoy a relaxing and charming night out, but can be a great opportunity to see some of their animals in an atmosphere not often offered at the zoo.

 

 

Wild Lights is from 5 pm to 8 pm on Friday and Saturday nights December 3-4, and the same times Friday and Saturday nights, December 10-11. Zoo members get into the event for $3 while the general public is $8. Children three and under are free. 

 

Get more information by visiting millerparkzoo.org or find the Miller Park Zoo on Facebook. 

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November Has Been a Meteorological Rollercoaster

Cold then warm, cold then warm - Mother Nature has offered up a rollercoaster of conditions this month.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln tells Regional Radio News we started the month cold, then warmed up in the 60s even some areas saw 70s and then there was a cooldown, and things have trended warmer again recently. 

 

 

As we get set to the turn the calendar page on November this week, Shimon indicates it's all looking like it's going average all out to average. 

 

 

After a cool weekend, this week is calling for temperatures to become above normal. Looking to December, Shimon says the trends are showing equal chances of above or below normal precipitation and equal chances of above or below normal temperatures. 

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Fall Has Been Warmer Than Normal in Illinois This Year

FALL HAS BEEN WARMER THAN NORMAL IN ILLINOIS THIS YEAR. 

 

CLIMATOLOGICAL FALL IS WRAPPING UP THIS MONTH, WITH SOME TEMPERATURES FOR THE RECORD BOOKS SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST TRENT FORD.

 

 

FORD SAYS FALL PRECIPITATION HAS BEEN ALL OVER THE PLACE, WITH JUST UNDER SEVEN INCHES SINCE SEPTEMBER IN NORTHWESTERN ILLINOIS AND OVER 12 INCHES IN EAST-CENTRAL ILLINOIS. 

 

 

DECEMBER IS LOOKING TO START OFF WITH AVERAGE TEMPS AND PRECIPITATION, ALTHOUGH FORECASTERS ARE LOOKING FOR A LA NINA EFFECT TO POTENTIALLY BRING WARMER AND WETTER WEATHER TO ILLINOIS THROUGH FEBRUARY.

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Cyber Monday Shopping Tips

Better Business Bureau representatives say this could be another strong Christmas shopping season, but warns not all online retailers are reliable, so it's up to you to protect yourself if you shop on Cyber Monday or anytime during the holiday season.

 

The National Retail Federation estimates 62.8% of shoppers plan to do at least part of their shopping online today. BBB Investigator Don O'Brien says when you are shopping, search out legitimate and respected retailers:

 

 

When shopping online, the Better Business Bureau suggests you: Research any business and its owners carefully before paying any money. Try to determine whether the business has an actual office. And read all terms and conditions carefully before completing a purchase.

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Warner Hospital Expanding Family Medicine

The Warner Hospital and Health Services will be expanding their Family Medicine.

 

CEO Paul Skowron notes the board at its meeting Monday approved an expansion of the Family Medicine area. The transfer to electronic records has cleared space in the nurse galleys.

 

 

Another purchase approved was a new John Deere tractor. Skowron indicates this will not only impact the hospital but the community as well.

 

 

Skowron reports through its partnership with Gibson Area Hospital they are bringing in a pulmonologist and a neurologist. 

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Lawmaker says COVID monies should be used to pay off debt

Illinois is running a debt in its unemployment fund balance. And it’s costing the state millions in interests. The fund, which includes money borrowed from the federal government was rapidly depleted during the pandemic. But the bill has been due for a while and the state hasn’t made a payment yet.

 

Republican Rep. Tom Demmer says lawmakers need to prioritize using federal COVID relief dollars to pay off the existing debt.

 

 

The loan to steady the unemployment fund from the federal government was $4.2 billion.

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Illinois State Fair Announces Mega, Jumbo Passes Go on Sale Soon

LOOKING FOR AN EASY GIFT TO GIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR SUGGESTS PURCHASING A MEGA OR JUMBO PASS.

 

YOU CAN BUY THE PASSES ONLINE AT THE LOWEST PRICES YOU’LL SEE BEFORE THE FAIR NEXT SUMMER SAYS SPOKESPERSON KRISTA LISSER.

 

 

LISSER SAYS FAIRGOERS CAN EXPECT TO SEE SOME NEW RIDES NEXT YEAR AS WELL AS FAVORITES LIKE PHARAOHS FURY, FREAK OUT AND ROCK STAR. 

 

 

MEGA AND JUMBO PASSES, AS WELL AS ADMISSION BOOKLETS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT: ILLINOIS STATE FAIR DOT INFO.

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IPPA continues to make donations

Illinois Pork Producers donated 400 hams to the Central Illinois Food Bank for this holiday season. The hams will be distributed across 21 counties. Pam Molitoris, the food banks’ executive director says the donation of protein is always needed and giving someone a center piece to their holiday meal helps make the day special for a family in need.

 

 

Through this donation and others, the Illinois Pork Producers have donated more than 3 million meals to food banks state-wide since 2008.

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Weekly Weather Summary

December is anticipated to begin how November ended with average temperatures and precipitation. State Climatologist Trent Ford has the latest...

 

 

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Warner Hospital CEO Touting Equipment Upgrade as Recruiting Tool

In college sports recruiting, a school's facilities can go a long way in attracting top talent and a local healthcare official is pointing out a similar trend.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Warner Hospital CEO Paul Skowron told Regional Radio he is finding the new CT machine is attractive to prospective medical professionals.

 

 

For Skowron, the fact the hospital continues to invest in its facilities and make upgrades shows they are progressive and moving forward. He believes this does in fact make a difference to professionals they showcase the facility to.

 

 

According to Skowron, there is also a connection when a potential recruit offers an idea on top of what is already happening in the facility. 

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Battlecross Crusaders Hosting Fundraiser at Forsyth Texas Roadhouse Sunday

If you're grabbing a bite to eat this weekend, a DeWitt County non-profit is asking you to consider choosing Texas Roadhouse in Forsyth on Sunday. 

 

Jeff Morlock with Battlecross Crusaders indicates a percentage of sales for those that show Texas Roadhouse staff their flyer will go back to their efforts to honor local veterans that have passed away.

 

 

For those unfamiliar with Battlecross Crusaders, Morlock indicates it is his goal to honor fallen veterans in DeWitt County by lining funeral processional routes with American flags and providing the family with a memento of their service.

 

 

If you cannot make the Sunday fundraiser, Morlock says they do accept donations at any time. The best way to contribute is to find their Facebook page, Battlecross Crusaders.

 

Again, the fundraiser is Sunday at Texas Roadhouse in Forsyth. 

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Social Security Offers Programs for Disability Recipients to Return to Work

If you receive Social Security or SSI disability benefits and want to try to return to work, there are programs available that can help you do just that.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security says one program they offer is the ticket to work program that is a free and voluntary program that supports career development for SSI beneficiaries or SSI recipients that want to work and progress towards financial independence.

 

 

The second program is called PASS, or Plan for Achieving Self Support. According to Myers, this allows an individual to set aside resources and other income besides benefits for a specified period. The purpose is to pursue a work goal that will reduce your need for benefits.

 

 

If returning to work is a goal of yours, it is important to communicate that with Social Security. Myers indicates to let them know you are starting a new job and report your earnings. You can make the initial report by calling your local office and then you can arrange how to report your monthly income. Online through your mySocialSecurity account is an additional option. 

 

For additional information on how work returning to work will impact your disability benefits, you can review our publications like 'Working While Disabled, How We Can Help', or 'Red Book'. Both are available at www.ssa.gov/pubs.

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Tips for Picking out Christmas Tree

IF YOUR FAMILY IS HEADED OUT THIS WEEKEND TO PICK OUT A CHRISTMAS TREE, YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER A FEW OF THESE TIPS. 

 

ONE THING PEOPLE OFTEN FORGET TO DO IS MEASURE THE SPACE WHERE THEY WANT TO PUT THE TREE, AND IT ENDS UP BEING TOO BIG SAYS UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION HORTICULTURE EDUCATOR RICHARD HENTSCHEL. HE SUGGESTS BRINGING A TAPE MEASURE WHEN YOU HEAD OUT TO THE TREE LOT OR FARM TO MAKE SURE IT WILL FIT. AS FAR AS THE TYPE OF TREE, THAT’S A PERSONAL CHOICE.

 

 

HENTSCHEL SAYS YOU NEED TO KEEP THAT WATER FILLED AT ALL TIMES. NO SPECIAL ADDITIVES LIKE SUGAR OR ASPIRIN ARE NEEDED.

 

 

HENTSCHEL SAYS ONCE YOU GET THE TREE HOME, MAKE A FRESH CUT RIGHT BEFORE PUTTING IT IN THE STAND. 

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DeWitt County Museum Looking Forward to Holiday Season

The DeWitt County Museum and CH Moore Homestead are looking forward to the return of its annual holiday activities.

 

Starting this Friday, November 26, the candlelight tour season kicks off with its annual special event that offers an evening of fun at the Homestead. Director Joey Long believes the Homestead decorated both inside and out brings out the feelings that make the holidays special.

 

 

According to Long, candlelight tours are from 5 pm to 8 pm on Friday nights in December. Long explains they decorate the CH Moore Mansion in Victorian decore and on the opening night of the tours, which again is Friday, November 26, they will offer musical entertainment.

 

 

If you're coming out with younger visitors, Long says Santa Clause will be at the Museum this Friday and Woods Photography will be doing photos for the kids. Long says you can purchase those photos although that is optional.

 

 

Get more information about the candlelight tour season at the Homestead by finding the DeWitt County Museum on Facebook or contact them by phone at 217-935-6066. 

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Atlanta, Illinois Inviting Central Illinois For Weekend of Christmas Fun

If you're in the area or looking for something to fill the time this weekend, officials in Atlanta, Illinois are hoping you'll join them for a weekend of holiday fun.

 

Whitney Ortiz is the Executive Director of the Atlanta, Illinois Tourism Bureau and indicates they have been hard at work to get things ready for the Christmas season. It's going to be a busy weekend in Atlanta highlighted by the community's first-ever Christmas Parade. 

 

 

If you're not in town for the festivities of Christmas, Ortiz indicates she is working on creating a map that will highlight the home Christmas lights displays.

 

 

The Atlanta Christmas Tree Lighting Committee is also doing some fundraising this weekend thanks to the participation of a couple of local establishments. Ortiz says if you're looking to grab a bite to eat this weekend, think of Atlanta.

 

 

Get more information on all things happening this weekend and throughout the holidays in Atlanta by visiting atlantaillinois.org. Ortiz indicates their social media accounts have been generating a lot of interest in the holidays lately and she is hoping that parlays itself into a big weekend in Atlanta. 

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Thanksgiving Weekend Expected to Cool Off

Whether you're heading over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house or staying in for the weekend, the weather is expecting to cool off as we head into the holiday weekend.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln says things will cool off through the day Thursday setting up a sunny but colder weekend in central Illinois.

 

 

It's been breezy in central Illinois this week but Shimon indicates those winds will calm down for the remainder of the weekend setting up a sunny and calm holiday weekend. 

Into next week, anticipate temperatures creeping back up into the 40s, maybe close to 50 degrees in some places. 

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Illinois Secretary of State's Office Announces Annual Parking Sting at Shopping Malls

ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE’S OFFICE IS LAUNCHING ITS ANNUAL DISABILITY PARKING STING AT MALLS ACROSS THE STATE.

 

THE MESSAGE OF THE OPERATION IS SIMPLE SAYS SECRETARY OF STATE SPOKESPERSON BETH KAUFMAN: “IF YOU DON’T BELONG THERE, DON’T PARK THERE.”

 

 

THOSE THAT ARE BUSTED FACE HEFTY FINES RANGING FROM UP TO 35O DOLLARS FOR PARKING IN A DISABILITY SPOT WITHOUT A PLACARD TO AS MUCH AS 25-HUNDRED DOLLARS AND LOSING YOUR LICENSE FOR A YEAR IF CAUGHT USING A DECEASED PERSON’S PLACARD.

 

 

THE STING BEGINS ON BLACK FRIDAY AT SHOPPING CENTERS IN SCHAUMBURG, SPRINGFIELD AND FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE HOLIDAY SEASON AT MALLS STATEWIDE.

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Illinois Office of the Attorney General Determines DeWitt County Board Members Violated Open Meetings Act

The Illinois Office of the Attorney General has determined DeWitt County Board Chair Terry Ferguson and Board member Megan Myers violated the open meetings act but is not issuing any corrective action on the County. 

 

DeWitt County Democrat Pary Chairperson Terry Redman filed the complaint in August stemming from the July 21 meeting where the Board voted to prohibit issuing further building permits to Enel Green Power for its Alta Farms II wind project in northwest DeWitt County. The agenda item sought to get more information from Enel regarding its curtailment of wind turbines during severe weather events. 

 

A Champaign County judge later overturned the Board's decision to withhold those building permits. Myers in email correspondence to Board Chair Ferguson in August defended her motion on the July meeting agenda saying she did her due diligence to ensure any taken was done properly. In the August 6 email, Myers claimed she had contacted Sarah Pratt, Public Access Counselor for the Attorney General's office and that Pratt had told her the motion would not violate the Open Meetings Act.

 

The Attorney General's office noted in its determination Myers' correspondence with the Attorney General's Public Access Counselor happened after the meeting and Pratt advised the agenda item must identify the general subject matter of any related final action. 

 

The motion Myers filed was under "old and new business" and determination added while the Open Meetings Act does not define the term "general subject matter" the Illinois Senate enacted a provision in 2013 that ensures agendas provide sufficiently descriptive advance notice of the matters upon which a public body anticipates taking final action.

 

The Attorney General's office determination noted a person reviewing the agenda before the meeting would have been deprived of advance notice of the general subject matter of the Board's action to prohibit the issuance of building permits to Alta Farms Wind Farm until it provided confirmation that power companies would automatically curtail turbines for its wind farm project during severe weather. 

 

While the Board was determined to have violated the open meetings act, the Attorney General's office has deemed no corrective action is required but did request the Board be mindful of its statutory obligations to include on its meeting agendas the general subject matter of all topics of final action. 

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DeWitt County Administrator Breaks Down Upcoming Budget

DeWitt County's Administrator is very pleased with the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

 

DeeDee Rentmeister told Regional Radio News they are lowering the overall County levy by two cents for this upcoming year. She is crediting elected officials and department heads for their diligent and conservative budgeting.

 

 

For DeWitt County, Rentmeister explains the County relies heavily on local tax dollars and other contracts like the hosting fee for the landfill.

 

 

The County operates on a $28-million budget. According to Rentmeister, there are several areas of the budget that do not rely on tax dollars and instead on fines and fees. She also points out by next year, the County will have received $3-million in COVID money from the government.

 

 

COVID funding is going to help the budget for the next few years. Rentmeister explains the CARES funding ended last year but the rescue plan funding does not have to be used until 2024.

 

 

Rentmeister again reiterated her appreciation to elected officials and department heads for being conservative in their budgeting. 

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Heyworth Schools Exploring Self-Established COVID Exit Strategy

The lack of communication from government officials regarding COVID is starting to frustrate local school leaders to the point they are exploring self-established metrics to unmask children and start to return to a completely normal school setting.

 

Administrators across the State have admitted the only thing different about this school year has been the masks and the fact there are still some distancing precautions but that is impacting group work - a critical piece to 21st-century learning. Dr. Lisa Taylor is the Superintendent of Heyworth Schools and says they are now exploring their own exit strategy.

 

 

According to Dr. Taylor, the goal would be to break down the exit strategy as close to building level and then grade levels after that. She indicates the goal would be to keep as many kids in school as possible.

 

 

Dr. Taylor calls it the professional responsibility to come up with a plan because anxiety is growing among the staff, kids, and community. She says if the experts were offering a plan of action, they would likely go along with that but as of now, there is none.

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Thanksgiving Gas Prices

Prices at the pump are on the decline, as a recent report details the lack of travel this Thanksgiving holiday.

 

According to a new study by GasBuddy, only 32 percent of Americans plan to travel for Thanksgiving this year, a decline from 35% from last year. Patrick DeHaan (DE-Hawn) is the Head of Petroleum at GasBuddy.

 

 

The recent report also details how 75% of Americans say that COVID-19 has had no impact on their holiday plans this year. On Monday, the average price per gallon stood at $3.51 in Illinois.

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Illinois State Police Upping Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement

STATE AND LOCAL POLICE ARE BOOSTING PATROLS FOR THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY. 

 

THIS IS ONE OF THE BUSIEST TRAVEL TIMES OF THE YEAR, SO EXTRA POLICE, SPECIAL DETAILS AND ROADSIDE SAFETY CHECKS ARE BEING DEPLOYED SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL.

 

 

POLICE WILL BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR DRUNK DRIVERS, SPEEDERS, THOSE NOT WEARING A SEATBELT, DISTRACTED DRIVERS AND MORE SAYS  WAPPEL.

 

 

AS OF NOVEMBER 12th…ONE THOUSAND 90 PEOPLE HAVE DIED ON ILLINOIS ROADS THIS YEAR. THAT’S AN INCREASE OVER LAST YEAR.

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Illinois GOP Announces Proposal to Fight Inflation

ILLINOIS HOUSE REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS ARE PROPOSING A RELIEF PACKAGE TO HELP COMBAT RISING INFLATION. 

 

THE ONE POINT FOUR BILLION DOLLAR PLAN INCLUDES A ONE-TIME TAX CREDIT OF UP TO 400 DOLLARS, DEPENDING ON INCOME. IT WOULD BE APPLIED TO TAXES FILED NEXT YEAR AND IS NEEDED AS EVERYTHING FROM THE COST OF BACON TO NATURAL GAS IS GOING UP SAYS LITCHFIELD REPRESENTATIVE AVERY BOURNE.

 

 

IT WOULD BE APPLIED WHEN YOU FILE TAXES IN THE SPRING SAYS REPRESENTATIVE TOM DEMMER OF DIXON.

 

 

THE G-O-P SAYS THIS COULD BE PAID FOR WITH FEDERAL COVID-19 RELIEF MONEY AND HOPES THE PROPOSAL IS APPROVED WHEN THE LEGISLATURE RETURNS TO SPRINGFIELD IN JANUARY.

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DeWitt County Museum Partnering With John Warner for Special Aviation Exhibit

Aviation and DeWitt County.

 

It's a story that John Warner wants to tell and so he is partnering with the DeWitt County Museum to make it happen. On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Director Joey Long told Regional Radio she is very excited about this exhibit and will need the public's help in making it happen.

 

 

(Pictured left to right: John Warner, Joey Woolridge, Denis Hambucken)

 

According to Warner, there is a long history of aviation in DeWitt County and he wants to tell that story. He says from airline hostesses to war veteran pilots or just airport workers, there are stories worth telling.

 

 

A friend and colleague of Warner's, Denis Hambucken is going to help with the exhibit. He indicates he's worked closely with Warner on other museum exhibits in other places and is also a photographer and designer.

 

 

Long says if anyone is interested in contributing to this exhibit or has stories and artifacts they are unsure if the Museum would be interested in those, to contact the Museum either on Facebook or give them a call.

 

 

The exhibit is targeted to get up and going in June of 2022. 

 

Get more information by finding the page 'Prairie Flyers: A Century of Aviation in DeWitt County' or call the museum at 217-935-6066. 

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Clinton Legion Serving Thanksgiving Dinners to Veterans, Working Municipal Workers

The Clinton American Legion is again taking up efforts to feed veterans and other municipal workers who cannot or do not have the means for a Thanksgiving dinner this year.

 

Tom Reddington leads the initiative through the Legion and says they look forward to this each year and will deliver meals for those who cannot pick up a meal.

 

 

Reddington indicates they are estimating doing 300 meals this year. The three veterans groups in the community help to fund these meals. He indicates they will continue to accept donations, preferably cash donations although food donations are helpful as well.

 

 

Reddington thanks the AmVets, the American Legion, and the Auxilary. 

 

For more information, contact the Legion at 217-201-8622. It is a voicemail but Reddington asks that you leave your name, phone number, address, and a number of meals and if those meals will be picked up or if you need a delivery. You can sign up and the Legion, Peg's Grub and Pub (formerly The Wishbone) Nixon Manner, DeWitt Manor or Kleemann Village.

 

The Legion phone number is 217-935-5183.

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University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Educator Says Cleanliness Paramount When Preparing Thanksgiving Meal

As you get set to spend a substantial amount of time in the kitchen preparing that Thanksgiving dinner, a University of Illinois Extension nutrition educator is reminded of the importance of a clean kitchen.

 

Whether you're preparing everything the day of or doing some pre-dinner work in the days leading up to that Thanksgiving meal, Caitlin Mellendorf explains it is very important to keep surfaces, utensils, and plates and bowls clean as well as your hands.

 

 

According to Mellendorf, a lot of germs can be transferred from surfaces like our phones or other electronic devices you have in the kitchen. While it feels like you might be washing your hands all the time, she says it goes a long way to keeping people healthy after the holiday.

 

 

Mellendorf indicates getting the internal temperature of the festive bird is very important. She explains if you are cooking the turkey in the oven, you want to cook it at a minimum temperature of 325-degrees.

 

 

When you go to take the temperature of the turkey, you want to check the inner part of the thigh meat, the inner part of the wing, and the thickest point of the breast meat. You are looking for a temperature of 165-degrees in those places. 

 

For more helpful tips, Mellendorf encourages a visit to usda.gov. 

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Weekly Crop Report

FARMERS ARE JUST ABOUT DONE WITH THE FALL HARVEST. 

 

CORN HARVESTING IS COMPLETE AND SOYBEANS ARE JUST ABOUT DONE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

90 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED WITH 75 PERCENT EMERGED. 85 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION, DOWN SLIGHTLY FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK. 

 

 

PASTURE CONDITIONS DECLINED TO 57 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT 11 PERCENT SHORT, 74 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 15 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Illinois Department of Employment Security Ending Debit Card Benefits

STARTING IN LATE DECEMBER, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS WILL NO LONGER BE PAID OUT VIA A DEBIT CARD.

 

THIS WON’T AFFECT HOW MUCH CLAIMANTS RECEIVE BUT WILL ALTER HOW THEY GET THE MONEY SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY ACTING DIRECTOR KRISTIN RICHARDS.

 

 

THE CHANGE COMES AFTER THE STATE’S VENDOR, KEY BANK, DECIDED TO STOP PROVIDING DEBIT CARDS FOR BENEFIT PURPOSES. 

 

 

RICHARDS SAYS THOSE CURRENTLY USING DEBIT CARDS CAN GO ONLINE AT: IDES DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV SLASH PAYMENT AND SWITCH TO DIRECT DEPOSIT IF THEY WISH.

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IDPH Stressing Importance of Getting Kids Vaccinated

THE STATE’S TOP PUBLIC HEALTH DOCTOR IS STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF KIDS GETTING VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19. 

 

I-D-P-H DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gahzi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) VISITED A COMMUNITY VACCINE EVENT IN THE FOREST PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT, AND URGED PARENTS TO MAKE SURE THEIR CHILDREN IN THE FIVE TO 11 AGE GROUP GET THE SHOT.

 

 

EZIKE PRAISED EVENT ORGANIZERS FOR TRYING TO MAKE THE PROCESS FUN FOR THE KIDS AND ENCOURAGES COMMUNITIES AROUND THE STATE TO HOLD VACCINE DRIVES FOR BOTH YOUTH AND ADULTS.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST DATA, MORE THAN 71 PERCENT OF ILLINOISANS AGE 12 AND UP ARE FULLY VACCINATED AND OVER 172 THOUSAND KIDS AGES FIVE TO 11 HAVE GOTTEN A COVID SHOT.

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Farmdocdaily Continues to Be Informational Port for Agriculture

More information pushed out by farmdocdaily. The latest piece is titled "Feeder Cattle Production-Are there differences based on the weight purchased?" The author is Brad Zwilling of Illinois Farm Business Farm Management.

 

 

You can find the piece at farmdocdaily.edu. A new article is posted each business day.

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Blue Ridge Schools Pivot to Remote Learning This Week

Blue Ridge Schools are transitioning to remote learning for the few days of scheduled school leading up to Thanksgiving and will remain in remote learning until next Monday, November 29.

 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Dr. Hilary Stanifer told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Monday, the recently introduced shield testing is catching COVID positives in the student body.

 

 

Last year, nurses' offices in schools were strained to try to keep up with all the close contact data and track who was in and out of quarantine. While that has been lessened to this point in the school year, Dr. Stanifer says the shield program is again requiring more of their time.

 

 

According to Dr. Stanifer, because of the guidelines of COVID testing and the fact shield labs will be closed for Thanksgiving this week, they are going to have to keep kids in remote learning through Monday of next week.

 

 

Because of the possibility of health department directives, the district will wait to make a decision on extracurricular activities until later today after they consult with the health department. The Blue Ridge girl's basketball season has tipped off and the boy's basketball team is in Cerro Gordo for Thanksgiving tournament action this week. 

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Clinton Schools Leader Touts Recent Meeting With State Superintendent

You'd be hard pressed to find yourself a local school leader who is fighting harder to restore local control than Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles and his relentlessness recently paid off in the form of a face-to-face meeting with the State Superinendent of schools.

 

The veteral school leader would not divulge a lot of details about the meeting he recently had with State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala but came away very encouraged by the interactions and a few of his colleagues were able to have. He hopes the next step is a meeting with officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Governor's office.

 

 

For some time, Nettles has been disheartened by not being able to reach the Governor nor his office to set meetings and speak to someone. He feels they are closer to something like that than they have been at any point in the last two years.

 

 

For Nettles, one of the main goals of meeting with Dr. Ayala was to broaden her scope of understanding of the Illinois education system beyond just the boundaries of Chicago Public Schools and the Collar County school systems.

 

Cut: nettlesfighting3 1:18 CUE: breaking the ice

 

After the positive interactions of recent weeks, Nettles looks forward to the next steps of getting in front of more people and having more positive conversations.

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Social Security Redesigns Online Statements

Social Security has redesigned its online statements and there are some changes you need to know if this is a form you regularly access.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security indicates adults who do not receive Social Security benefits can access their statement online via their mySocialSecurity account. Adults age 60 and older who do not receive Social Security benefits and do not have a mySocialSecurity account will get a statement in the mail. The statement provides estimates of your future Social Security benefits, a record of your earnings, and a basic overview of Social Security programs.

 

 

According to Myers, the streamlined statements are now easier to read. Information is divided into sections, like different types of benefits to make it easier to find what you are looking for. Bar charts show your personalized retirement benefit estimates for up to 9 different ages depending on when you may start to receive benefits. 

 

 

New fact sheets that are tailored to your age range or other circumstances are included as well. Myers says younger workers, for example, will get information about how to save for the future; older workers get information about how Social Security benefits may be taxed and how to avoid Medicare penalties.

 

Check out the new statement today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. 

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Scammers Looking to Take Advantage of Shipping Challenges

Every year, there’s always a few “must-have” toys on most kids’ holiday wish lists. The toy sells out fast and becomes expensive and hard to find. This year’s hot picks, according to Amazon, include this year are Baby Yoda, the various gaming consoles, LEGO, and L.O.L. Surprise dolls. Scammers know that if you can’t find a store that carries the hot item you may look online. BBB Investigator Don O’Brien says there may be challenges in finding what you want this year.

 

 

If you choose to shop online, O’Brien suggests you only buy toys from reputable stores and websites. The best way to avoid getting scammed when purchasing toys is to buy them directly from a seller you know and trust. And don’t be fooled by extra-low prices, which should be a red flag for a scam on many products. For more information about avoiding scams this holiday season, go to https://www.bbb.org/all/holiday

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Clinton Schools Tax Levy Remaining Steady

The Clinton School district's annual levy is going to remain steady for the upcoming year.

 

That's according to schools Superintendent Curt Nettles who indicates increases in the estimated assessed values are going up, so the district will see a bump in funds from those levies while keeping the rate the same.

 

 

According to Nettles, each fund in the district budget has its own tax rate, so dollars from those levies go to designated funds in the budget. He emphasizes Clinton has a tax rate that is roughly half that of surrounding larger communities. 

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Tax Revenues in Clinton Going Up Thanks to Online Revenues Starting to Trickle In

Clinton sales taxes are ahead $27,000 from this time last year.

 

Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, the Council was informed by Commissioner of Finance Tom Edmunds the reason for that could stem from the fact online sales are now bringing in sales tax dollars for municipalities.

 

 

The communities across the state that have pensions as well funded as Clinton's are few and far between. 

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County Board Approves Work for County Highway 17

The DeWitt County Board Thursday night approved a resurfacing project for County High way 17 that runs north/south into Waynesville.

 

Road and Bridge Chairperson Travis Houser told the Board most of the road is going to be resurfaced by Enel Green Power. Highway engineer Mark Mathon says they have decided to resurface the remaining road not being done by the wind farm company.

 

 

According to Mathon, they are looking to coincide the bidding process with Enel's plans for the work. Mathon indicates the cost is in line with other projects of this ilk.

 

 

The cost was for $37,275. 

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IDPH Recommends All Adults Get COVID Booster

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS JOINING THE F-D-A IN RECOMMENDING COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOTS FOR ALL ADULTS. 

 

THERE'S BEEN A 25 PERCENT INCREASE IN NEW CASES OVER THE PAST WEEK IN ILLINOIS, AND ALL BUT EIGHT COUNTIES ARE STILL CONSIDERED AT HIGH RISK FOR TRANSMISSION OF THE VIRUS SAYS PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI EZIKE.

 

 

WITH THAT IN MIND, IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO GET THE EXTRA PROTECTION.

 

 

EZIKE SAYS THOSE 18 AND OVER SHOULD GET THE BOOSTER SIX MONTHS AFTER THE PFIZER OR MODERNA SHOTS AND TWO MONTHS AFTER THE JOHNSON AND JOHNSON VACCINE. IT SHOULD BE AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT, PHARMACY, AND DOCTOR'S OFFICE.

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Illinois House Action Committee Looking at Best Way to Spend Federal Money to Help Struggling Homeowners

A HOUSE COMMITTEE IS LOOKING AT THE BEST WAY TO SPEND FEDERAL AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN MONEY TO INCREASE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THIS WEEK’S HEARING FOCUSED ON HELPING PEOPLE BUY AND MAINTAIN A HOME. SHEILA SUTTON WITH HOUSING ACTION ILLINOIS SAYS MORE DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE IS A GOOD PLACE TO START.

 

 

SUTTON SAYS THIS IS ESPECIALLY HELPFUL IN MINORITY COMMUNITIES AND RURAL AREAS. HER GROUP ALSO RECOMMENDS USING FEDERAL FUNDS FOR HOME REPAIR ASSISTANCE AND LOAN COUNSELING. CHICAGO REALTOR MABEL GUZMAN TOOK A DIFFERENT ANGLE AT THE HEARING, SAYING THERE’S NOT ENOUGH AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO MEET THE NEED IN ILLINOIS.

 

 

OTHERS TALKED ABOUT HELPING HOMEOWNERS HAVING TROUBLE PAYING THEIR PROPERTY TAXES.

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Weekly Weather Summary

It's cooling off in central Illinois. What does our Thanksgiving weather forecast look like? State Climatologist Trent Ford tells us...

 

 

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DeWitt County Board Approves Transfer of Rescue Plan Act Funds for Marina Work

The DeWitt County Board approved nearly $200,000 for the transfer of the American Rescue Plan Act funding to work that was done at Clinton Lake Marina.

 

Marina Committee Chair Dan Matthews told the DeWitt County Board at its Thursday meeting dedicating the roughly $186,000 would allow the County to put in a new breakwater.

 

 

Breakwaters at the marina have been a hot topic at the marina for a few years now and Matthews told the Board there are a couple of areas of concern - for those familiar with the marina, they are going to start at the south end. They are hiring Chastain and Associates to help with the project for $8,000. 

 

 

According to Matthews, a grant is going to help with some parking lot work at the marina and the hope is to see that completed in the spring as some repaving work is already done. 

 

 

Also at the Thursday night meeting:

 

>>The Board approved Robert Frantz to the DeWitt County Board of Review

 

>>The Board approved Katy Arnold to the DeWitt County Mental Health Board for a four-year term

 

>>The Board Approved Jeff Kiesling and William Tyler Yokley to the DeWitt County ETSB (Emergency Telephone System Board)

 

>>The Board approved a proposal to Cummins Engineering Corp. for work on County Highway 17 for $30,275

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Sen. Rose Blasts Governor For 'Tone Deaf' Overseas Trip

A central Illinois lawmaker called Governor JB Pritzker's trip to Scotland last week 'tone deaf'.

 

Senator Chapin Rose says the Governor needs to be in Illinois dealing with problems plaguing the State of Illinois. 

 

 

While overseas, Gov. Pritzker is touting the energy legislation he signed into law earlier this fall. The Mahomet Republican has been outspoken about the bill and its impacts on Illinois families but he did give the Governor credit for one aspect of the legislation.

 

 

According to Sen. Rose, the Governor's trip is him starting to campaign to become the President of the United States. He says when that becomes the focus for any politician, the needs of the people get pushed to the side.

 

 

Sen. Rose believes the international climate conference isn't for the Governor of Illinois and is for the world's elites. 

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Latest Illinois Production Cost Report Released

The bi-weekly Illinois Production Cost Report was released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The numbers from DeLoss Jahnke.

 

 

The next report will be issued Dec. 2.

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Monticello Names New Superintendent

The Monticello Board of Education has appointed current high school principal Adam Clapp (right) as the district's superintendent to replace the retiring Dr. Vic Zimmerman. 

 

Wednesday night the Board appointed and approved Clapp to the post after an extensive interview process. Dr. Zimmerman says one thing about Clapp that has stood out to him since he started is his hands-on approach at the high school.

 

 

Clapp says he is remaining focused on his duties as the high school principal but is certainly excited about the opportunity. He indicates he has had his superintendent certification since 2016 and it was around then he entertained the idea of becoming a superintendent. 

 

 

According to Dr. Zimmerman (right), the trend of having an internal candidate take over administrative positions seems to be more commonplace. He anticipates that making the transition for Clapp very smooth.

 

 

For Clapp, that learning process begins as he gets to work with Dr. Zimmerman and still maintain his role as principal. He feels come July 1, he'll be ready to hit the ground running.

 

 

Clapp has three young daughters and enjoys being with them when he isn't at school for sports and other activities. He's also an avid Illinois sports fan and enjoys being outside and fishing when the time allows. 

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Clinton Fire Department Seeking to Purchase New Radios

The Clinton City Council Monday night heard from Clinton Fire officials regarding the purchase of new radios.

 

Captains Brandon Robinson and Blake West along with Assistant Fire Stephen Page presented to the Council the planned purchases and a few hiccups in those purchases. Robinson explained they applied for a grant that did not provide as much funding as they were planning to purchase 12 new radios. 

 

 

To make up the difference the Department did not receive in grant funding, they requested the Council remove a capital expense in their yearly budget and dedicate that money to bridge the rest of the gap for the purchase of the new radios.

 

 

According to West, the gear extractor the department needs would require more electricity capacity for the building than they have and it would be a mounting expense to continue to pursue that. He says if in the event they need a washing machine for their uniforms, they can just contact Wapella or Kenney.

 

 

The request from the Department was put on file and will be decided on at the next meeting but Council members seemed to indicate they had no problem with the adjustment to the spending plan. 

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Brady Announces For Secretary of State

A Republican is ready to run for Secretary of State. State Rep. Dan Brady is seeking the nomination for the office.

 

The Bloomington area lawmaker says he’s running because the Secretary of State’s office is behind in technology, and he wants to improve the user experience at drivers’ licenses facilities.

 

 

Democrat Jesse White who has been in office since 1998 is not running for reelection next year.

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Archery Deer Season Picking Up After Slow Start

The archery deer season got off to a slow start in Illinois, but things have picked up in recent weeks. An update from Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

 

 

DNR officials continue to promote safety practices out when hunting. 

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Clinton's Ivan Stanwood Named Clinton Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade Grand Marshal

Clinton World War II veteran Ivan Stanwood has been named the Clinton Chamber of Commerce's 2021 Christmas parade Grand Marshal.

 

Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber Marian Brisard says Stanwood was nominated by three local men for his outstanding military service and dedication to the community.

 

 

The route for this year's parade is the traditional route starting near the high rises off the Square and making way around the Square, down Illini Drive, and to the high school. 

 

 

Again, this year's Christmas parade is Saturday, November 27 at 2 pm. 

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Mt. Pulaski Schools Superintendent Headed to Chicago To Address 'Big Three' of Illinois Education

This week, education officials will gather in Chicago for a meeting of Illinois education officials and a local school leader is excited to address these officials.

 

Fred Lamkey is the Superintendent of Mt. Pulaski Schools and on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday told Regional Radio News, he is headed to Chicago with school leaders across the state to appeal to officials to work closer with its schools.

 

 

Lamkey is concerned about the division the mask requirements are creating in not just the schools but the communities. 

 

 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles has been among a small handful of superintendents intent on forging a personal relationship with State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala. Lamkey points to the fruits of those efforts and the impacts it has had in recent months to start to move the needle.

 

 

Lamkey has been continuing to advocate for following the guidances brought forth by the State of Illinois but at the same continuing to provide input when given the opportunity in hopes of re-establishing local control. 

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Clinton Board of Education to Pursue Grant for Potential Kitchen Renovation

At last month's Clinton Board of Education meeting, the public was introduced to a plan for a kitchen renovation the Board is considering.

 

Those discussions went further at the Board's November meeting Tuesday. Superintendent Curt Nettles reminds there are a couple of concerns with moving forward on the project or pushing pause because of those concerns. He encouraged the board to at least go out for bid on the project.

 

 

According to Assistant Superintendent Drew Goebel, they have applied for some grant funding that they feel very optimistic about.

 

 

Nettles repeated his feelings that finishing the designs and going out for bid didn't lock the Board into any commitments and would be good just to get the ball rolling to be ready if they pursue the project starting in the summer of '23.

 

 

Tuesday night was one of the quicker meetings the Board has had. The Board held a nearly hour-long closed session with no action out of the closed session before the 6:30 pm start for the open meeting. 

 

They approved updates to the board policy and the 2022-23 tentative levy. 

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IDOT Improves Winter Road Conditions Website

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS ANNOUNCING SOME IMPROVEMENTS TO ITS WINTER ROAD CONDITIONS WEBSITE. 

 

"GETTING AROUND ILLINOIS DOT COM" JUST GOT A MAKEOVER THAT WILL PROVIDE MORE LOCALIZED INFORMATION SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL.

 

 

ADDITIONALLY,

 

 

YOU CAN VIEW HOW BAD THE ROADS ARE DURING WINTER WEATHER ON YOUR COMPUTER OR SMARTPHONE AT: GETTING AROUND ILLINOIS DOT COM.

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Ag Bankers Concerned About '22

It was a good 2021, but farmers are already anxious looking to 2022. That’s the observation of a leading ag economist speaking at the Agricultural Bankers Conference in Cincinnati.

 

 

David Kohl is an ag economist/professor emeritus from Virginia Tech.

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Gov. Pritzker Signs Law to Offer Incentives to Electric Vehicle Manufacturers

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW CREATING ECONOMIC INCENTIVES FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE PRODUCTION. 

 

THE MEASURE PROVIDES TAX CREDITS TO E-V MANUFACTURERS WHICH CREATE JOBS AND BUILD FACILITIES IN ILLINOIS SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER.

 

 

THE GOAL IS TO KEEP THE STATE AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE INDUSTRY SAYS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACTING DIRECTOR SYLVIA GARCIA.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS THIS IS A MAJOR STEP TOWARDS HIS GOAL OF HAVING ONE MILLION VEHICLES ON THE ROAD BY 2030.

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Local Boy Scouts Get Lesson in Local Government Pursuing Merit Badges

A group of local boy scouts came out to the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting in pursuit of a merit badge.

 

Bob Kreitler and Xander Cicenes briefly addressed the council. Kreitler says since the Scouts meet on Mondays it made sense to attend a Monday night Clinton City Council meeting.

 

 

Curious about why certain Council members ran for the City Council, Mayor Roger Cyrulik says he got into politics for the same reasons young men do scouts - to serve the public.

 

 

Commissioner Dan Ballenger has served on several boards over the years. Before running for the Clinton City Council, he was on the DeWitt County Board and has been involved with the Clinton Fire Department for many years.

 

 

Also a scout as a kid and after working for the City for many years, Commissioner Ken Buchanan says he was asked about serving on the Clinton City Council and decided to run a few years ago.

 

 

Commissioner John Wise offered advice to the young scouts in attendance Monday. He encouraged them to get involved. He believes you don't have to be on the City Council or County Board or School board to make an impact but did encourage the youths to get involved.

 

 

Kreitler also recounted his days in the boy scouts and encounters he had with other Council members as a youngster. 

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University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Educator Discusses Thawing Turkey

If you are among the millions of Americans that will be buying a frozen Thanksgiving Day turkey, a University of Illinois Nutrition Educator has some things to keep in mind as you prepare for the big day.

 

Caitlin Mellendor at the DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt County Extension offices says there are four options for thawing the festive bird - and the most efficient is to refrigerate it leading up to next week.

 

 

According to Mellendorf, you can microwave thaw or soak the bird in water. She says if you're going to thaw it in water, you want the water to be constantly flowing and if you're going to thaw it in the microwave, you'll want to make sure you end up getting the bird into an oven to cook it to completion.

 

 

A challenging technique is going to be cooking directly from frozen. Mellendorf explains this could present several issues primarily because of the size of a Thanksgiving turkey. For those tips, she points anyone in that situation to the USDA for their tips.

 

Over one million people in the United States are sickened by bacteria in turkeys while around 23,000 are hospitalized. We'll hear more from Mellendorf in the days ahead leading up to Thanksgiving. 

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This is Winter Weather Awareness Week

As the seasonal cool-down moves in on central Illinois and the fall leaves start to get picked up, winter weather is on the horizon.

 

With that in mind, local weather officials are reminding this is Winter Weather Awareness Week in Illinois. Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln says now is the time to start thinking about those emergency preparedness kits.

 

 

While most have turned the furnaces on for the season, Shimon says it's not too late to get your local HVAC guy or gal in to give those units a once over.

 

 

As the winter progresses, it is highly likely bitter cold temperatures will surface in Illinois. Shimon explains watches and warnings in the winter can be triggered at certain points when temperatures get cold.

 

 

If you end up with frostbite, do not run hot water over the impacted areas. Shimon says that will actually rush the cold blood to your heart which can be dangerous. While uncomfortable, it needs to be a slow warm-up. 

 

He also cautions to be careful when driving in the winter. He says winter weather can cause a lot of loss of life due to hazardous driving conditions it creates. 

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Regional Superintendent Hoping Mask Mandate Will Be Lifted in New Year

An Illinois school leader is 'optimistic' about Gov. Pritzker's mask mandate for children in the classroom. Mark Jontry, Regional School Superintendent for Livingston, Logan, DeWitt, and McLean counties, says he's hoping a change comes after the first of the year.

 

 

In addition, Jontry said his office is working with health departments in various counties to vaccinate children for those granted parental approval.

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Weekly Crop Report

THE CORN AND SOYBEAN HARVEST IS WRAPPING UP IN ILLINOIS. 

 

A WARM, DRY WEEK GAVE FARMERS ABOUT FIVE DAYS IN THE FIELDS SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

86 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED AND 71 PERCENT HAS EMERGED. THAT'S BEHIND THE USUAL PACE. 

 

 

93 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE NOW BEEN HARVESTED.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS NEARLY UNCHANGED AT FIVE PERCENT SHORT, 84 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 11 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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University of Illinois Extension Offering Broadband Development Webinar Series

The University of Illinois Extension promoting a three-part webinar series to enhance a community’s ability to support broadband development efforts. Nancy Ouedraogo (way-drago) is an extension community and economic development specialist.

 

 

The webinar series is this Tuesday and, also Jan. 11 and March 8. You can register at go.illinois.edu/EXTConnectedCommunities. The extension is partnering with the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society to offer the webinar.

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It's National Apprenticeship Week, ICCB Highlighting Opportunities in IT Field

IT'S NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK AND THE ILLINOIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD IS HIGHLIGHTING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FIELD. 

 

THERE'S A GROWING NEED FOR SKILLED I-T WORKERS, AND YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE CAN GET YOU STARTED ON THE RIGHT PATH SAYS BOARD SPOKESPERSON MATT BERRY. THERE, STUDENTS CAN TAKE CLASSES AND JOIN AN APPRENTICESHIP.

 

 

BERRY SAYS WHILE MOST COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN ILLINOIS HAVE AN I-T PROGRAM, FEDERAL FUNDING IS CURRENTLY SUPPORTING APPRENTICESHIPS AT 10 SCHOOLS. LOCATIONS INCLUDE THE CITY COLLEGES OF CHICAGO, THE COLLEGE OF LAKE COUNTY, RICHLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND REND LAKE COLLEGE.

 

 

BERRY SAYS JUST FIVE YEARS AFTER GRADUATION, ILLINOIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS COMPLETING I-T PROGRAMS EARNED AN AVERAGE YEARLY SALARY OF NEARLY $45,000.

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DNR Reminds About CWD Stations

FIREARM DEER SEASON KICKS OFF FRIDAY IN ILLINOIS.

 

IT'S THE BUSIEST HUNTING SEASON OF THE YEAR, AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IS REMINDING HUNTERS OF REPORTING REQUIREMENTS SAYS SPOKESPERSON TIM SCHWEIZER.

 

 

IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS, THERE ARE 15 COUNTIES WHERE HUNTERS WILL HAVE TO BRING THEIR HARVEST TO A CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE CHECK STATION. THEY INCLUDE BOONE, CARROLL, KANE, DEKALB, GRUNDY AND MORE. 

 

 

A LIST OF C-W-D CHECK STATIONS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: HUNT ILLINOIS DOT ORG.

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Clinton Chamber Sees Record Crowds for Haunted House

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce saw a record turnout for their annual scary fundraiser.

 

Marian Brisard, Clinton Chamber Executive Director, told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Friday, 2021 was a record year for the Terror on Washington Street Haunted House.

 

 

Brisard says the annual haunted house is a huge undertaking and is thankful for all of the volunteers from set designers to actors to concessions. Groups that volunteered this year included the high school thespians and Second Chance for Pets.

 

 

Brisard notes the crowd favorite this year was the fog and laser room. She says year after year this is always an effective scare.

 

 

Planning for next year's haunted house will begin in March with a trip to a convention in St. Louis. Brisard says the ideas for the different rooms come from the convention as well as specialty publications.

 

 

Brisard now turns her attention to the annual Christmas Parade on November 27. The Chamber will announce the grand marshal today on social media.

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Workforce Investment Solutions Promoting Zoom Recruiting Events - Several This Week

Employers across the country are hurting for workers and that includes central Illinois.

 

To connect employers to workers, a DeWitt and Macon County employer service provider is embracing the technology that has connected us for nearly two years now. Larry Peterson with Workforce Investment Solutions indicates they using Zoom to connect employers and workers.

 

 

Peterson reminds Workforce can help workers of all types. He explains if you're a displaced worker due to layoffs or looking to switch career paths, they offer lots of programs, resources, and funding to help people shift in the workforce or re-enter the workforce.

 

 

Right now it is a workers market with employers urgently seeking workers. Peterson indicates employers are doing a lot of pivoting to keep employees they hire through training them in preparation for advancement.

 

 

Peterson points to AAK Mechanical in Clinton who participated in a program through Workforce, trained a couple of young workers and one is still with AAK Mechanical and the other has found gainful employment elsewhere.

 

There are several Zoom recruitment events coming up. Peterson indicates this Tuesday, November 16 at 11 am, there is a Zoom recruitment event for JJ Swartz Company. Swartz does remodeling and restoration. 

 

Another is this Wednesday, November 17 at 11 am for S.A. Lewis Construction. S.A. Lewis is hiring carpenters, drywall/finishers, painters, and trill/millworkers. 

 

Mervis Industries is recruiting laborers, material handlers, and maintenance workers. They are hosting a Zoom recruiting event on Thursday, November 18 at 1 pm. 

 

Next Monday, November 18 at 11 am, Heritage is hosting a recruiting event for full-time guest advocates and part-time janitor positions. 

 

And finally, next Tuesday, November 19, Graceland-Fairlawn Funeral Home is hosting a recruiting event for full-time, night shift embalmer. Their event is at 1 pm next Tuesday.

 

All of these are through Workforce Investment Solutions and you can register for any of those by calling 217-875-8751. 

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Illinois Farmland Sale Brings in $19,9000 An Acre

Farmland values remain strong in Illinois. The market brought $19,000 an acre last week at a sale in Adams County in the west-central part of the state. A recap from Dan Sullivan from Sullivan Auctioneers.

 

 

The sale was last Thursday.

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Illinois Ag Official Has High Praise for Infrastructure Bill

A leader in the agricultural industry in Illinois says President Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is a "good piece of legislation."

 

The legislation provides billions of dollars for rural internet, which Rodney Weinzierl, Executive Director of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, says eliminates challenges to finding internet in rural areas.

 

 

According to Weinzierl, the new bill hits the nail on the head regarding waterway improvements. The bill includes over $100 billion for waterways across the country.

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Last Week of Brush Pickup

This coming week will be the final week for brush pickup in Clinton.

 

At the latest Clinton City Council meeting, Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements Ken Buchanan says the fall leaf pickup season is imminent. Crews started making the rounds around the community this week.


 

More leaves are changing colors in Clinton and there appear to be more leaves on the ground this week.

 

The City Council meets again Monday, Nov. 15 at 7 pm. 

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Trash at Clinton Lake Spillway Becoming a Problem Again

After Clinton Lake reopened last spring, trash piling up became a problem that nearly led to the shutdown of the spillway.

 

The last two summers, those that patronize that area of Clinton Lake have done a good job keeping it clean but the garbage is starting to pile up again says Department of Natural Resources Captain John Williamson.

 

 

If that portion of Clinton were to close, the decision would be up to Site Superintendent Charlie Montgomery.

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Severe Weather Not Out of the Question in November

November and severe weather aren't often linked together but a few central Illinois communities can testify to the fact severe weather in the non-traditional severe weather months can be treacherous.

 

Washington and Taylorville have been victims of severe weather in the fall and Ed Shimon with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says while those storms are certainly outliers, severe weather can pop up in November.

 

 

The rest of November is looking to be on the dry side and cooler but December is calling for above-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. 

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This weekend is the National Donor Sabbath

SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE'S OFFICE IS RECOGNIZING THE NATIONAL DONOR SABBATH THIS WEEKEND. 

 

THE ANNUAL EVENT IS MEANT TO REACH FAITH-BASED COMMUNITIES, EMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF ORGAN DONATION AND DISPELING ANY MISCONCEPTIONS SAYS SPOKESPERSON BETH KAUFMAN.

 

 

THERE'S A LOT OF MYTHS ABOUT ORGAN DONATION, SUCH AS IT'S AGAINST CERTAIN RELIGIONS. THAT'S NOT TRUE IN MOST CASES SAYS SECRETARY OF STATE SPOKESPERSON BETH KAUFMAN. SHE SAYS THE SABBATH IS ABOUT REACHING PEOPLE OF FAITH.

 

 

OTHER MYTHS INCLUDE DONORS NOT BEING ABLE TO HAVE AN OPEN CASKET AND THAT THE DONATION SYSTEM IS RIGGED. SECRETARY WHITE SAYS NEITHER ARE TRUE. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ORGAN DONATION, VISIT: LIFE GOES ON DOT COM.

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Weekly Weather Summary

November started out warmer than normal. The majority of the state can expect to see snow and rain this coming week. State Climatologist Trent Ford has the latest...

 

 

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Infrastructure package should benefit two regional locks

A couple of locks and dams in the region should benefit under Congress's recently passed infrastructure package. Tracy Zea is with the Waterways Council.

 

 

Lock and Dam 25 is located north of St. Louis.

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Monticello Superintendent Discusses 5-11 Vaccines

Wednesday evening, Monticello Schools offered a vaccine clinic for kids ages 5-11 and the Superintendent of the district believes it was a good event.

 

On the WHOW  Morning Show Thursday, Superintendent Dr. Vic Zimmerman estimates around 100-150 kids were inoculated. He indicates they polled the community and found around 66-percent of respondents said they would vaccinate their 5-11-year-olds.


 

As Superintendents across the State continue to fight to get local control back, Dr. Zimmerman believes a key to that will be vaccinating 5-11-year-old students. The veteran school leader was not at all happy with decisions involving COVID being taken out of the hands of schools in the summer.

 

 

Concerned parents who are deciding not to vaccinate their kids fear the State of Illinois mandating the vaccine for kids to attend school. Dr. Zimmerman predicts if that is to happen, it would likely be in the fall of next year but notes that would be much tougher for the Governor to get passed at the legislative level.

 

 

Dr. Zimmerman continues to be on the side of the school district keeping the ability to make their own decisions. He says he's signed on to a couple of letters to various entities in Illinois in the ongoing efforts to bring back local control. 

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November is American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month.

 

Caitlin Mellendorf is a nutrition educator with the University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties and says one in ten people suffer from diabetes in some form. Being a nutrition educator, Mellendorf likes to promote food and diet options for those that need to watch what they eat.

 

 

If you battle diabetes, the University of Illinois Extension not only offers great resources for information but programs as well. Mellendorf says this November they have a special program that is soon wrapping up but it will be available to access for free on the Extension website soon.

 

 

Again, you can search University of Illinois Extension on YouTube or visit diabetes.extension.illinois.edu for lots of resources on diabetes. 

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December Showing Warmer, Wet Trend

Earlier this week on Regional Radio, we heard from Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln tell us to expect a brief cool down in the middle part of November followed by a bit of a warm-up going into December.

 

That warming trend could take us to the new year but Shimon notes above-average chances of moisture throughout December open the opportunity for snowfall. He notes it may not be substantial but it's not out of the question to see some periods of snow.

 

 

Despite the chances for above-normal moisture, heading to the new year, Shimon again reiterates his prognosis for above-normal temperatures.

 

 

The cold air masses are expected to descend on Illinois and the midwest but Shimon says it's difficult to predict when that might happen. He anticipates February and March being cold.

 

 

La Nina will likely start to show up after the first of the year. Shimon says just because there are trends of above-normal temperatures doesn't mean there won't be snow. He also says there's a good chance there will be bouts of ice this winter as well. 
 

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Congressman Davis votes against Infrastructure bill; calls it "reckless spending"

A downstate Congressman is explaining why he voted 'no' on the passed bipartisan Infrastructure bill.

 

The $1.2 trillion bill, which provides billions of dollars of funding for roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, passed with the support of 13 Republicans.

 

However, Taylorville Republican Rodney Davis voted against the measure in an attempt to stop the "reckless spending in the House."

 

 

The bill also provides billions of dollars to airports and transit systems.

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Clinton Police Chief Says Hiring Efforts Going Well

The Clinton Police Department now reports four open vacancies within the agency but the hiring efforts are going well.

 

That's according to Police Chief Ben Lowers who on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday told Regional Radio News the four vacancies are a combination of the environment of law enforcement and others are just outside factors in officers moving on.

 

 

The Chief is reporting good news on the hiring front. He indicates they have a new officer starting next week with a few prospects that are potentially going to join the force. He is hoping by the start of the new year they can have most, if not all, of the positions filled.

 

 

While the City of Clinton and other smaller agencies are in a very competitive hiring market and they cannot pay as larger agencies do, they offer a great departmental culture and a small town, community policing environment to work in. 

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Junior High School Students Learning Basic Financial, Business Principles

Yesterday on Regional Radio News, listeners and readers were introduced to the program 'Bizz-Town' through The Vault in Clinton. 

 

Connie Unruh with the TS Institute in Clinton leads the program on Wednesdays after school. She explains each week offers a new lesson and students learn the ins and outs of financial management and business management.

 

 

Rowen Kaufman is a 13-year-old seventh-grader and has learned money management and how to save rather than spend. He has enjoyed his time in 'Bizz-Town' because he gets to go through the program with his friends.

 

 

Karalyen Peterson is a 12-year-old seventh-grader who enjoys the program especially because it teaches kids how to manage money and gives them early lessons into business management.

 

 

The theme of 'Bizz-Town' this year is grit. Unruh says the business world can be a great place to learn things like perseverance, resilience, and resolve.

 

 

The 'Bizz-Town' students are holding their Christmas Bazaar again this December. The event is Saturday, December 4 from 10 am to 2 pm. Get more information by contacting The Vault at 217-934-4003. 

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Social Security Highlights Veterans Initiatives

On this Veteran's Day, Social Security is highlighting the initiatives they take on to make sure those who served our country are taken care of expeditiously. 

 

Every year on Veterans Day, Social Security honors the people who risk their lives to protect our country. Jack Myers with Social Security says this is an important resource for military members who return home with injuries. One of the important ways that Social Security honors veterans are by providing expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims.

 

 

Myers points out they apply this expedited processing for military service members who became disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where they were when they became disabled. Social Security can also apply expedited processing for veterans who have a VA compensation rating of 100% permanent & total from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

 

It is important to note that Social Security disability benefits are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and require a separate application. Myers explains active duty status and receipt of military pay will not necessarily preclude Social Security disability benefits - although a person can’t be found disabled and eligible for Social Security disability benefits while they are engaging in substantial work for pay or profit, they can potentially be found disabled if the injury makes them unable to work, even if they are still receiving pay. 

 

 

If you are or know a wounded veteran, please check out the Wounded Warriors webpage at www.ssa.gov/woundedwarriors. 

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Rivian Hits Record Numbers on First Day of Trading

Shares of Rivian Automotive hit record numbers as the highest Initial Public Offering since 2014.

 

With a plant in Normal, the Electric-vehicle startup company began trading for the first time on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "RIVN." Common shares began trading at noon on Wednesday at $106.75 and hit a high of $119.38. Kevin Kingston, a Financial Advisor with Savant Wealth Management, said it's a monumental day for central Illinois.

 

 

At the close on Wednesday, shares popped 29% from the IPO price of $78 to $100.73.

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Illinois Department of Public Health Testifies in US House Hearing

THE STATE’S TOP PUBLIC HEALTH DOCTOR IS DISCUSSING VACCINE HESITANCY WITH MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. 

 

DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gahzi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) TESTIFIED AT A U-S HOUSE SUB-COMMITTEE HEARING, OFFERING HER THOUGHTS ON WHY SOME WON’T GET THE COVID-19 VAX AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT. SHE SAYS THOSE MOST LIKELY TO SKIP THE SHOT INCLUDE YOUNGER ILLINOISANS, RURAL RESIDENTS AND MINORITIES.

 

 

EZIKE SAYS THE STATE WILL CONTINUE OUTREACH EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THOSE SPECIFIC POPULATIONS AND CONCERNS. MORE THAN 56-THOUSAND DOSES ARE ADMINISTERED EACH DAY IN ILLINOIS.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST DATA, ABOUT 71 PERCENT OF THOSE AGES 12 AND UP ARE FULLY VACCINATED. A LITTLE OVER 36 THOUSAND KIDS AGED FIVE TO 11 IN ILLINOIS HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE DOSE.

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Illinois Department of Public Health Testifies in US House Hearing

THE ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IS ANNOUNCING A NEW EFFORT TO REACH KIDS EXPERIENCING HOUSING INSECURITY. 

 

38 MILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL MONEY WILL FUND THE EFFORT, MAKING SURE CHILDREN THAT ARE HOMELESS, LIVING WITH RELATIVES OR IN A MOTEL ARE ENROLLED IN AND ATTENDING SCHOOL. THE BOARD’S DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL WELLNESS CARA WILEY SAYS LOCAL NAVIGATORS WILL WORK TO IDENTIFY THESE FAMILIES.

 

 

WILEY SAYS NOT HAVING A SAFE, SECURE PLACE TO CALL HOME CAN BE A BIG BURDEN FOR KIDS SO THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE FAMILIES HAVE THE SUPPORT THEY NEED.

 

 

THE INITIATIVE IS BEING FUNDED BY 38 MILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL MONEY. IT WILL BE USED TO SUPPORT LOCAL NAVIGATORS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN IDENTIFYING FAMILIES WITH HOUSING ISSUES.

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Celebrating 100 Years of Insulin

This is the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of how insulin can be used to treat people with diabetes. In 1921, a surgeon named Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best figured out that removing insulin from a healthy dog’s pancreas and giving it to a dog with diabetes extended his life. Later, they did the same thing with cattle, giving their insulin to people with diabetes.

 

Tanya Munger, a nurse practitioner for OSF HealthCare says the ways people can administer their insulin has made substantial progress over the years.

 

 

Munger is encouraged about the future thanks to the research and clinical trials that are taking place around the world that could lead to more promising advances in diabetes care. More than 34 million people in the U.S. - or about 11% of the population - have diabetes, and about 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed every year, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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Illinois Department of Public Health Testifies in US House Hearing

THE STATE’S TOP PUBLIC HEALTH DOCTOR IS DISCUSSING VACCINE HESITANCY WITH MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. 

 

DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gahzi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) TESTIFIED AT A U-S HOUSE SUB-COMMITTEE HEARING, OFFERING HER THOUGHTS ON WHY SOME WON’T GET THE COVID-19 VAX AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT. SHE SAYS THOSE MOST LIKELY TO SKIP THE SHOT INCLUDE YOUNGER ILLINOISANS, RURAL RESIDENTS AND MINORITIES.

 

 

EZIKE SAYS THE STATE WILL CONTINUE OUTREACH EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THOSE SPECIFIC POPULATIONS AND CONCERNS. MORE THAN 56-THOUSAND DOSES ARE ADMINISTERED EACH DAY IN ILLINOIS.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST DATA, ABOUT 71 PERCENT OF THOSE AGES 12 AND UP ARE FULLY VACCINATED. A LITTLE OVER 36 THOUSAND KIDS AGED FIVE TO 11 IN ILLINOIS HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE DOSE.

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Bustos Supports Infrastructure Package, Touts Rural Broadband

The recently passed federal infrastructure plan will send at least $17 billion to Illinois.

 

Democrat Congresswoman Cheri Bustos says the billions for Illinois will go a long way in fixing many problems, including addressing high-speed internet access. But the dollars must be spent the right way.

 

 

The deal could be worth more if the state wins competitive grants. All of Illinois’ 13 Democrat Representatives voted for the bill but only one Republican did, Adam Kinzinger.

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Junior High School Students at The Vault Preparing for Annual 'Christmas Bazaar'

Junior high school students at The Vault in Clinton that participate in the program 'Bizz-Town' are gearing up for its annual Christmas event next month.

 

The entrepreneur club gives junior high school students lessons in business. It's led by Connie Unruh through the TS Institute. The students are planning now for the Christmas Bazaar event on Saturday, December 4. Layne Miller is a 12-year-old 7th grader and says they are offering vendors of last year's virtual event the first spot.

 

 

Owen Rexshell is selling Christmas crafts for this year's event. He takes up different hobbies and is going to display some of those.

 

 

Mason Costello is a 13-year-old eighth-grader and last year he offered a 'Zoom call with Santa'. He was impressed by the other food and crafts his classmates put together as well.

 

 

The event is again on Saturday, December 4 at The Vault in Clinton from 10 am to 2 pm. We'll have more tomorrow with other students in the program and hear from program leader Connie Unruh. 

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Piatt County Mental Health Professional Talks Seasonal Affective Disorder

Saturday, those clocks fell back an hour, ushering in earlier sunset times and as the winter rolls along, there will be a natural decrease in daylight. 

 

Accompanying the decrease in daylight as the winter approaches is the annual seasonal affective disorder that plagues millions of people each year and is found to be much more common in women than in men. 

 

Tony Kirkman is the Executive Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center says the natural progression of winter in the midwest gradually limits the amount of outside activity we can participate in and forces us indoors. 

 

 

To combat the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder like anxiety, apathy, loneliness, mood swings, and sadness, Kirkman encourages changing the lighting in your home. You can purchase special lights that emulate sunlight. Additionally, if you have access to it in your community, join a rec club or rec league.

 

 

Kirkman says when you give of your time through volunteering, it can be a humbling reminder of how blessed we are and how much we have.

 

He also points out that depression is something that can gradually eat away at us and he says it is important to have an accountability partner that would notice changes in you and can point those out and be there for support if you need it.

 

To get more information on the Piatt County Mental Health Center, contact them at 217-762-5371 or visit piattmhc.org. 

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Mt. Pulaski Schools Superintendent Touts Financial Benefits of Wind Farms; Excited For Latest Development

Another wind farm is coming to Logan County and it's the third development that will benefit Mt. Pulaski Schools.

 

Fred Lamkey is the Superintendent of the rural Logan County District and he indicates representatives from the renewable energy company Invenergy spoke to the Mt. Pulaski Board of Education at its October board meeting about its newest project.

 

 

Lamkey is very pleased with the financial benefits wind farms are providing to his district. He says they have nearly doubled the tax base and have completely changed the outlook for staff and programs in the district. 

 

 

DeWitt County is developing its first wind farm and much discussion has been around the economic impact of the development on the local economy. Lamkey says it is a process of value of those wind turbines showing up in the valuations of property for schools and then those dollars ending up in the hands of each entity.

 

 

The current wind farm in the Mt. Pulaski area was actually a two-phase project with the second phase just going online in early 2020. 

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November Crop Production Report Released

CORN AND SOYBEAN YIELDS ARE STILL EXPECTED TO BE HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR ACCORDING TO THE LATEST CROP PRODUCTION REPORT. (two stories, same lead).

 

ALTHOUGH FEWER ACRES WERE PLANTED WITH CORN THIS YEAR, THE YIELD IS ANTICIPATED TO BE HIGH SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

THE SOYBEAN YIELD IS EXPECTED TO HIT A RECORD HIGH OF 64 BUSHELS PER ACRE, UP FOUR BUSHELS FROM 2020. PRODUCTION IS FORECASTED TO ALSO BREAK A RECORD AT 675 MILLION BUSHELS, A 10 PERCENT INCREASE.

 

 

90 PERCENT OF CORN AND 85 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN HARVESTED. 

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Illinois House Committee Looking at Ways to Improve Health Services for Veterans in Illinois

A HOUSE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE IS DISCUSSING HOW TO IMPROVE HEALTH SERVICES FOR VETERANS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

SEVERAL ISSUES CAME UP DURING THE HEARING, INCLUDING THE LACK OF ACCESS TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR RESIDENTS OF STATE VETERAN’S HOMES, AS WELL AS VETERAN SUICIDE. IN 2019, 167 ILLINOIS VETS TOOK THEIR OWN LIVES. STATE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ACTING DIRECTOR TERRY PRINCE SAYS THEY ARE TRYING TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM WITH NEW FEDERAL FUNDING.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE ANNA MOELLER OF ELGIN SAYS SHE HEARS COMPLAINTS ABOUT A LACK OF COMMUNICATION AS TO THE SERVICES AND BENEFITS THAT ARE AVAILABLE. SHE SAYS THAT’S ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR YOUNGER VETS WHO MAY NOT BE HANGING OUT AT THEIR LOCAL V-F-W HALL.

 

 

LAWMAKERS EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THERE’S STILL A STIGMA AROUND VETS SEEKING MENTAL HEALTH CARE AND STRESSED THE NEED FOR MORE COMMUNICATION ABOUT WHAT PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE TO VETERANS.

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Chicago Area Republican Calls Right of Conscience Change Overreach

A little-known law in Illinois has become a hot topic now that COVID-19 vaccine mandates are coming for workers. The state’s Right of Conscience Act is being used by employees to object to taking a mandated vaccine.

 

Democrats pushed to alter the law to make it clear that it didn’t apply to vaccine and testing mandates. Republicans, including Deanne Mazzochi say the change is an overreach.

 

 

Democrats say the Right of Conscience Act was established to give medical professionals an out for performing a procedure if it goes against their religious beliefs.

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Local Veterans Take to The Skies Over the Weekend

This past weekend, local veterans were invited to join a couple of pilots for plane rides in central Illinois.

 

Jeff Morlock with Battlecross Crusaders in DeWitt County helped coordinate the flights with Nelson Thorpe in Wapella and an Indiana pilot to get local veterans back in the skies. He says for some veterans, it was the first time they'd flown since their days in the service.

 

 

You might think it would take months of planning and coordinating an effort like this but Morlock says they were able to pull it all together in a matter of days in late October and early November.

 

 

Morlock sends out thank you's to Nelson Thorpe, Chad Foster, and Kerry Coles from Kenney Fire Department for being a first responder on the ground. He called it a team effort and a huge success for everyone involved. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blue Ridge Schools Starting on Newest Strategic Plan

The Blue Ridge school district is embarking on its latest strategic plan and the first that will involve Superintendent Dr. Hilary Stanifer.

 

The second-year education veteran will lead the strategic planning process and she is looking forward to strategic planning as it's something she very much enjoys. 

 

 

So far, the district has enrolled the help of the Illinois Association of School Boards and also have brought major stakeholders in the community to the table for the early stages of the process.

 

 

According to Dr. Stanifer, the mission statement of the school is a priority at this time. Additionally, they are focused on things like facilities, curriculum, and district/community relations. She indicates everyone got the opportunity to weigh in on those things and they tried to find trends among the feedback on each of those areas.

 

 

As things move along, Dr. Stanifer and the Board of Education were asked to give their goals in strategic planning. Those goals along with what they heard from the community and its stakeholders, will be condensed and then worked on for the remainder of the school year.

 

 

Dr. Stanifer says while they have made progress to this point, they are by no means done with strategic planning. She's also very happy that once they have their plan finished and in place, the Illinois Association of School Boards continues to keep in contact with them about the things they are doing and making sure the plan is incorporated into everyday aspects of the district. 

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Cool Air Coming to Central Illinois

It was as perfect of a weather weekend as one could ask for in central Illinois and while the nice, warmer than usual air is going to hang around for a short while longer, things will change quickly later this week.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio News cold air from the north is going to move in with some passing rain and cooler temperatures.

 

 

For the remainder of the week, the above-normal temperatures will linger but later this week it's going to cool off preceded by rainfall.

 

 

Looking ahead, Shimon indicates we're looking for below normal temperatures. He says the lows shouldn't be too far below average but highs will be below normal and don't expect to see much sun either.

 

 

Shimon says as we transition to December, the above normal temperature trend could return. He says trends are showing warm air returning for December and even possibly into January. 

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Weekly Crop Report

THE COOL, DRY WEATHER GAVE FARMERS MORE TIME TO CONTINUE HARVESTING THIS PAST WEEK. 

 

NEARLY FIVE DAYS WERE SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT OTHER CROPS.

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE CAME IN AT FOUR PERCENT SHORT, 87 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND NINE PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Gov. Pritzker Touts State's Climate Change Initiatives in Scotland

Governor JB Pritzker has been in Glasgow Scotland at the UN’s climate conference. He’s been touting the state’s recent climate bill that works to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2045. Pritzker says the bill that was passed by lawmakers wasn’t just about climate change it was about preparing the state for the next generation of jobs.

 

 

Pritzker's overseas trip finishes up today.

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State Ag Pest Survey Coordinator Looking Ahead to Threats in 2022

Already thinking about the 2022 growing season. State Ag Pest Survey Coordinator Kelly Estes is compiling a list.

 

 

Those fact sheets should be available in early January—in both hard copy and on-line format.

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Sen. Durbin Offers Comment on UN Climate Change Conference

Illinois was well represented at the UN Climate Change conference in Scotland this past week. US Senator Dick Durbin says it’s critical that the United States is on board with the rest of the world fighting climate change.

 

 

Durbin says the Build Back Better bill would better prepare the US to address climate change here and across the planet.

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DCDC Names New Executive Director

The DeWitt County Development Council has a new Executive Director.

 

Curt Homann is one of the founding members of the DeWitt County Development Council and has most recently served as the President of the Board and indicates has had it on his radar that perhaps one day he could lead the organization.

 

 

Being a former business owner in DeWitt County and having a vast familiarity with the DCDC already is going to allow Homann to get a jumpstart on the things he wants to do within the DCDC. 

 

 

For Homann, he hopes to be able to help businesses with any issues they may have but greater than that, he hopes to help them grow and expand. Additionally, he will focus on businesses that want to locate or relocate to DeWitt County. 

 

 

The DCDC for many years was funded in part by dollars from the City of Clinton, the City of Farmer City, and the DeWitt County Board. In recent years, those dollars have been pulled back. Rather than seek those out again, Homann says he'll be engaged with those entities to be available for anything he can provide.

 

 

Homann used a basketball metaphor to describe his role as Executive saying he would rather be the team leader in assists and helping the leading scorer get to 40 points rather than be the person scoring the points and getting the publicity for it. 

 

You can contact Homann by calling 217-935-5271. He also points anyone interested in contacting them digitally to reach out through their Facebook page. 

 

Homann will be hitting the streets of the County this week introducing himself to business owners. 

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Douglas, Lincoln School Principal Touts Collaboration of Administration of District

Through the challenges of the COVID pandemic, a Clinton Schools administrator is singing the praises of the administration through the entirety of the situation.

 

At last month's Clinton Board of Education meeting, administrators gave an update on the things happening in their buildings, and Douglas and Lincoln Schools Principal Beth Wickenhauser gave props to the leadership of the entire district for adapting to all the changes and meeting the challenges that were presented in the last year-and-a-half.

 

 

Wickenhauser praised the response at the outset of the pandemic with little time to prepare and says no one blinked and everyone did what was best for the kids in their buildings.

 

 

Wickenhauser says she wanted to make the Board and the community aware of the collaboration there is between the administrators and the hard work everyone has put in to make school successful through these challenging times. 

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University of Illinois Epidemiologist Explains Why Parents Should Vaccinate Their Kids

A UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EPIDEMIOLOGIST SAYS PARENTS SHOULD REALLY CONSIDER GETTING THEIR YOUNG CHILDREN VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19.

 

NOW THAT THE PFIZER VACCINE HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR KIDS AGES FIVE TO 11, DOCTOR AND U OF I PROFESSOR REBECCA LEE SMITH SAYS THERE ARE A NUMBER OF REASONS YOUNGER CHILDREN SHOULD BE VACCINATED. ONE IS THAT IT PREVENTS SERIOUS ILLNESS AND DEATH, WHICH ALTHOUGH LESS LIKELY IN CHILDREN, DOES HAPPEN. SECONDLY, SMITH SAYS EVEN KIDS WITH A MILD COVID INFECTION CAN SUFFER FROM WHAT'S CALLED "LONG COVID."

 

 

SMITH HIGHLY RECOMMENDS THE VACCINE BUT WHAT ABOUT LETTING KIDS BUILDING A NATURAL IMMUNITY? SHE SAYS THAT'S NOT THE ROUTE FAMILIES SHOULD TAKE, SINCE THE BEST PROTECTION IS PROVIDED BY THE VACCINE.

 

 

AND THIRD, SMITH SAYS ANYONE THAT IS VACCINATED IS LESS LIKELY TO BE HIGHLY INFECTIOUS IF THEY DO HAPPEN TO CONTRACT THE VIRUS.

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St. Louis District Dairy Council Discounts Common Myths

The St. Louis Dairy Council is reminding everyone of the dietary benefits to steady servings of dairy.

 

Jill Williams is a Registered Dietician and Nutrition Educator. She says there are some common myths or misconceptions related to dairy.

 

 

Learn more myths about dairy, get helpful tips, recipes or information at stldairycouncil.org.

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October Was Wet, Warm

OCTOBER WEATHER WAS WARM AND WET IN ILLINOIS. 

 

IT DIDN'T REALLY FEEL LIKE FALL LAST MONTH, ESPECIALLY DURING THE FIRST FEW WEEKS. OVERALL, STATE CLIMATOLOGIST TRENT FORD SAYS TEMPERATURES WERE FIVE TO EIGHT DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE IN OCTOBER.

 

 

THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURE RECORDED LAST MONTH WAS 91 DEGREES IN CONGERVILLE, IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS. FORD SAYS OCTOBER WAS ALSO PRETTY SOGGY. RAINFALL WAS ONE TO THREE INCHES ABOVE NORMAL IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AND THREE TO SIX INCHES ABOVE AVERAGE IN CENTRAL AND NOTHERN ILLINOIS.

 

 

FORD SAYS THE WARMTH WILL LIKELY PUT LAST MONTH AMONG THE TOP 10 WARMEST OCTOBERS ON RECORD, AND AMONG THE TOP FIVE FOR NORTHERN ILLINOIS.

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Illinois Team Wins Back to Back Years at Prestigious Livestock Judging Event

Quite the run for the Normal West FFA Livestock Judging Team. They go back-to-back years winning the prestigious American Royal in Kansas City. Lauren Mohr is a team member.

 

 

Mohr currently serves as the Illinois FFA Reporter. Also on the team are Preston Rhode and Paige Lemenager.

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Illinois Team Wins Back to Back Years at Prestigious Livestock Judging Event

Quite the run for the Normal West FFA Livestock Judging Team. They go back-to-back years winning the prestigious American Royal in Kansas City. Lauren Mohr is a team member.

 

 

Mohr currently serves as the Illinois FFA Reporter. Also on the team are Preston Rhode and Paige Lemenager.

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Clinton High School 1st Quarter B Honor Roll

SENIORS:

 

ALSUP, HAYDEN B.
BANE, TAYLOR E.
BARNES, ZOE L.
BOYER, ETHAN M.
BROWN, NATHAN B.
CHRISPEN, KYLIE A.
CROSS, PAYTON T.
DIAL, TIERNEY L.
FOLLOWELL, BLAKE H.
HAYS, EMMA G.
HITCHINGS, CARTER D.
JOHNSON, ALEXIA S.
KARR, CORINNE E.
LIVELY, DILLON S.
MESSENGER, JACOB W.
MOORE, PEYTON L.
OSGOOD, CORTNEY S.
RAMIREZ, FATIMA G.
SIMMONS, JEREMIAH D.
SLINNING, SNORRE D.
SLOAT-SHANNON, KAEDYN J.
WESTBROOKS, MATHIS J.
WILSON, EMILY J.
 

JUNIORS:

 

APPLE, ZOE T.
ARNOLD, ISABELLE M.
AUSTIN, MCKAYLA R.
BAKER, COLTON L.
BERRY, CONOR W.
BRANNAN, TANNER W.
BRYANT, MILES
BUGGAR, CARSON L.
BUGNER, CARTER J.
BURTON, WESLEY C.
CLARK, HAYDEN F.
DEERWESTER, CADEN K.
ERNST, MATTHEW V.
FAIR, TYLOR J.
FILKIN, DEREK M.
FOFFEL, JOSEPHINE M.
HARRIETT, LILLIAN
HART, ALYSSA C.
JILES, JOSEPH M.
LEE, EVAN K.
LOVELL, JULIA R.
MANNING, CHLOE
MOYER, NATHAN T.
NAPE, ALEXZANDER L.
RETZER, MARK E.
RICH, MARLYN K.
SMITH, TRENT L.
SPENCE, LILY A.
SPERA, WYATT A.
STAPLETON, HOUSTON J.
VARBLE, SETH A.
WILLIAMS, NEVAEH L.
 

SOPHOMORES:

 

ARMSTRONG, ASHLEY L.
BARTON, KYLIE J.
BLANKENSHIP, CARTER X.
CARTER, MACY M.
DEAVERS, ELIZABETH R.
DECKER, TRENTON M.
DOWNS, ISABELLA M.
FULMER, ETHAN M.
HERRMANN, EVAN M.
JAMESON, MICHAEL S.
LOWERY, SUZANNE N.
MCINTIRE, PORTER R.
MICHAEL, BIONCA L.
MOLITORIS, MACKENZI L.
MORLOCK, KAEL M.
NEWBERRY, BROCK C.
OSORIO, OSCAR D.
POTTS, TRISTIN T.
PURDUE, AIDEN N.
SALYERS, SEAN D.
SIGLER, NICKALAS R.
SLOAT-SHANNON, TRENTN L.
WADDELL, JONATHON D.
WILKINSON, MEGAN M.
ZBINDEN, BLAINE C.
 

FRESHMEN:

 

BALES, TYLER J.
BLACKLIDGE, MYRANDA F.
BOYSEN, NOAH X.
BREWER, ADDISON B.
BROWN, ANDREW J.
CONSTANCE, WYATT G.
ETTIEN, BRODIE L.
FATHEREE, NATASHA L.
FORD, KAYLEE R.
HENDRIX, LILLIANNE D.
HUBBLE, JACOB W.
HUMES, ARIANA J.
JAMESON, COLIN D.
KRIT, KENEDY R.
MANDRELL, CYNTHIA M.
MCCUE, BRANNON J.
MOORE, ALEXANDER J.
PETERSEN, AIDEN W.
POWELL, HANNAH E.
RIGHTER, HAYDEN M.
ROBBINS, ALEXIS
RODRIGUEZ, ADRIAN
ROGERS, TRISTAN A.
ROMERO, LESLIE M.
SANDERS, EMMA
SCHACKMANN, WYATT A.
SMITH, AALEYA M.
THRASHER, JADON N.
WALKER, COLTON J.
WEBB, JACK D.
WEST, TEEGAN A.
WESTBROOKS, ANTHONY A.
WHITEHOUSE, KYA A.
WOOD, ALEXANDER S.

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Clinton High School 1st Quarter A Honor Roll

SENIORS:

 

ATKINS, ELI G.
ATTEN, CALEB S.
BATESON, ELLA D.
CARTER, JOSHUA T.
CLYMER, DAMIEN J.
CULBERTSON, EMMA G.
DEERWESTER, LOGAN W.
DIAL, ISAIAH J.
DIMAS, CHRISTIAN P.
ELLIS, MAYCIE L.
FOUGHT, EMILY N.
FUJISHIMA, FUKA
GOLDEN, KAILEA J.
HARRIS, KYLER J.
HART, KAYLEY L.
HENRY, MARANDA J.
MARTIN, WYATT H.
MCGHEE, ZACHARY A.
MILTON, DREW M.
MOORE, KYLEE K.
MORLOCK, KHLOE E.
MORRIS, SHELBY R.
ORNELAS, JOSE P.
PLOTKE, TRISTA
RAYMER, KYLIE R.
REEDER, CARLY E.
RICH, CAIDEN L.
STAPLETON, CLAYTON
STAPLETON, DENTON
TOTTEN, OLIVIA G.
TRIMBLE, KAINE B.
TULL, KAIRI I.
WEST, JUSTYN L.
WHITE, ISAIAH B.
ZENGER, NATHAN L.
ZENGER, NICHOLAS W.
 

JUNIORS:

 

BOUGHTON, ROBERT T.
BURKETT, EMILY M.
CARTER, KRESTON R.
DANIELS, PRESTON L.
DENNISON, ALIZA G.
DUNCAN, ASPEN R.
EARLE, ALAYNA R.
EVANS, CANDYCE S.
HARLOW, AUSTIN M.
HARRIS, ALEXA G.
KALMER, JAKOB M.
LOWE, GABRIELLE E.
MCFEETERS, LONDON K.
MCGLOTHLIN, KYLE S.
PRIMEAUX, BENJAMIN J.
SCOTT, TREVOR E.
WILSON, BRODY T.
WOLFE, BROCK M.
 

SOPHOMORES:

 

CHITWOOD, AVERY M.
COX, ASHLEY M.
DALTON, NOAH E.
FLOREY, DAVID M. II
FOEHR, LEAH M.
FOSTER, AMBER D.
GRAHAM-INGRAM, TRENTIN A.
GRAVES, DAWSON W.
HOLT, CHYNEAH R.
JILES, GAVEN A.
KORITZ, ADELINE L.
LARSON, NORA E.
MILLS, SARAH S.
OSBORNE, SAMARA N.
PARSON, CARLYE A.
PATTERSON, CONNOR W.
ROBERTS, CURTIS D.
TOOHILL, AIDEN J.
TUCKER, MADISON G.
WHITE, KARLI E.
YOUNG, ELLIE S.
 

FRESHMEN:

 

ADAMS, RILEY B.
ARMSTRONG, NATHANIEL J.
BALL, JAMES L. JR
BEEBE, ADYSON V.
BUGNER, TIMOTHY D.
EARLE, CARLEY
FINCH, BRADEN F.
FORTUNE, AUSTIN A.
FULK, KIERSTEN
HALE, MELISSA R.
HARRIS, KADEN M.
HELFAND, ALANIA G.
HUNTER, CADEN J.
JILES, CHRISTIAN R.
LEONARD, MADDISON L.
MARTIN, MARGARET J.
MILTON, DELANEY M.
MORRISON, BRIELLE A.
PEAVLER, KINZIE R.
ROBERTS, ADAM D.
RODRIGUEZ, AUDREY M.
SENTERS, DESTINY E.
SOBERALSKI, ELIJAH M.
STEWARD, ELLA A.
WALSTON, LOUIS E.
WILLIAMS, EMMA M

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Standard Time Begins at 2am Sunday; Set Clocks Back One Hour Saturday Night

Standard Time begins in most parts of the United States, including Illinois, at 2am Sunday.  

Clocks should be set back one hour before retiring Saturday night.

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Clinton High School 1st Quarter High Honor Roll

SENIORS:

BAKER, BLAISE L.
BATESON, JAYLEE A.
BEEBE, CASSIE R.
BIEBER, PHOENIX R.
BRINKOETTER, AUTUMN N.
BURTON, KAITLIN D.
CRUTCHER, WYATT R.
CYRULIK, MALLORY L.
DECKER, BRADEN A.
DEMPSEY, GRACE A.
FORTUNE, MORGAN L.
FOUGHT, MADELYN N.
GRAVES, IZAC M.
GRIFFIN, CHLOE L.
HARROLD, WESLEY J.
HOLLAND, CLARE M.
JENKINS, AUSTIN D.
JOHNSON, MAXWELL K.
JONES, AUTUMN M.
KLITZING, LEAH H.
KROEGER, ADAM J.
LAUDERDALE, ZACKERY
LINGO, CHEYANNE N.
LUX, DENNIS J.
MAHONEY, KAITLYN E.
MENDOZA, LUIS E. JR
MILLS, ERICA M.
MORRIS, TRINITY C.
PERHAY, ALEXANDER M.
RAUCH, KAITLYN D.
SHANKS, AIDAN R.
SHEPHERD, CARSON R.
SHOFNER, EMMA M.
STEPHENSON, NOAH K.
STERR, JACOB D.
STINEBAKER, AALIYAH P.
SVENDSEN, SEAN E.
THAYER, DOMINICK K.
WERTZ, JESSIE M.
WEST, JESSICA M.
WHITE, JAXSON L.
WILLIS, TREVOR M.
YOUNG, SOPHIE E.

 

JUNIORS:

ALEXANDER, AIDAN M.
BARTELS, MADELYNN G.
BARTH, CHLOE E.
LEACH, EMMALEIGH E.
NUTTALL, BRADEN J.
RAUCH, MAKENNA L.
SOBERALSKI, ALAINA M.
THIERRY, AVA N.
YOUNG, BRETT M.
 

SOPHOMORES:

 

CORNWELL, KAYLEE M.
DANLEY, JACE P.
DOUGLAS, ADDISON R.
FABIAN, JULIANNA T.
FATHEREE, JORDAN M.
FRIESLAND, KELSEY N.
GUERRERO, LESLEY M.
HELFAND, ALYVIA A.
HOWELL, DAVIS J.
HUMBLE, HEIDI B.
KOEPPEL, MAKAYLA R.
MOSER, DREW E.
RAMIREZ, KARLA A.
REEVES, BROOKE L.
REYNOLDS, CARLY K.
RIGHTER, HANNAH L.
RIGNEY, JADEN P.
STANEK, MIRANDA
STEPHENSON, ISIAH T.
TAYLOR, KYNDALL R.
WHEELER, DENSIL L.
 

FRESHMEN:

 

ANAYA, NOEL B.
BARRINGER, JOHN A.
BELL, DALTON K.
BROWN, AVARIE M.
CAHILL, LYDIA G.
CICENAS, ALEXANDER E.
DUKE, GRACE R.
FILKIN, REGAN K.
FLORES, SHIRLEY
GENTRY, JASMINE N.
GOEBEL, KATE E.
HEMPHILL, AMERIE T.
HERNANDEZ, LUZ I.
HITCHINGS, ASHER S.
HOLLAND, SOPHIA M.
LORD, ALEXIS M.
MADSON, AMELIA D.
MANNING, ETHAN
PROTHERO, ADDISON A.
SCHICK, CONLEY A.
THRASHER, TALAN S.
WEST, MCKINLEY G.
WILLIS, WYATT G.
WILSON, KHANTON J

 

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Clinton Schools Superintendent Still Encouraged As Local Control Issue Continues

Superintendents across the state are continuing to advocate for local control back to be returned to schools as it relates to COVID mandates.

 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles continues to be encouraged by the conversations he's having despite Governor JB Pritzker remaining steadfast in his indoor mask mandate.

 

 

The frustration among school leaders and Illinois families is the lack of an exit strategy from the mask mandate. Nettles continues to have conversations expressing those frustrations in hopes of coming up with something everyone can live with.

 

 

Coming out of the latest Illinois State Board of Education meeting, Nettles and others were encouraged because they felt as though they were being heard for the first time. 

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Mt. Pulaski FFA-er Makes Final 10 in Annual Convention Talent Show

The Mt. Pulaski FFA Chapter Chaplain recently had a very unique experience at the annual FFA convention in Indianapolis.

 

Walker Allen tells Regional Radio News he tried out for the talent show and made it to the top 10 and got to perform at the Friday talent show at Lucas Oil Stadium in front of all the chapters in attendance.


 

Allen indicates singing is among some of the things he is looking at beyond high school. Allen sang covers of songs but noted that students at the convention had written their music, which he was impressed by. 

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Daylight Saving Time Ends at 2am Sunday; Set Clocks Back One Hour Saturday Night; Check Smoke Alarms

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS AT 2AM SUNDAY MORNING.  CLOCKS SHOULD BE SET BACK ONE HOUR WHEN RETIRING SATURDAY NIGHT.

 

THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE SAYS IT’S A GOOD TIME TO CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARMS.

 

THE REMINDER APPLIES TO BOTH SMOKE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS SAYS FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION, ALMOST THREE OUT OF EVERY FIVE HOME FIRE DEATHS IN THE U-S CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO FIRES WHERE EITHER THE SMOKE ALARMS DIDN’T WORK OR WEREN’T INSTALLED AT ALL.

 

 

FULTZ SAYS YOU SHOULD ALSO CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE ON YOUR ALARMS, SINCE THEY ARE USUALLY ONLY GOOD FOR 10 YEARS.

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Weekly Weather Summary

It was a cool but pleasant week in central Illinois. State Climatologist Trent Ford tells us what the weekend and week ahead have in store...

 

 

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La Nina Setting Up for Illinois' Winter

A La Nina weather pattern will be in play for Illinois this winter. DTN agriculture meteorologist John Baranick was asked what that means for Illinois.

 

 

The first day of meteorological winter is December 1.

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Sen. Durbin Gives Update on Biden's Build Back Better Plan

The nation’s lawmakers are still debating just how big a pair of infrastructure bills will be. Both the one that will build roads and bridges and the one focused on human needs like paid family leave. US Senator Dick Durbin says the bargaining is ongoing.


 

Senate Democrats are largely waiting to see what two Senators will do – Democrats from Arizona and West Virginia.

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Clinton Elementary School Principal Thankful for Math Intervention Program

Last year, the Clinton Board of Education approved a math intervention program for Clinton Elementary School and the principal of that building is very pleased with the early results.

 

At the October Board of Education meeting, Clinton schools principals provided the Board with updates on the happenings in their buildings and Sacha Young was particularly excited to share the early results of the math intervention program in her building.

 

 

Second grade is seeing lower math scores but Young attributes that to the fact they haven't had a normal school year yet. She reiterated her gratitude to the Board for hearing them and providing what they needed.

 

 

Young explains they have two intervention teachers that work with three kids for from 20 to 30 minutes. She also notes more second graders are qualified for the program. 

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Piatt County's Willow Tree Mission's Names New Executive Director, Director of Operations

A Piatt County non-profit will be under new leadership at the first of the year and recently named the successors to its outgoing leadership.

 

Rachel LeJune is the Executive Director of Willow Tree Missions in Piatt County and on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday told Regional Radio News they are welcoming Jill Maxey as its new Executive Director and Heather Denam the new Director of Operations.

 

 

Maxey explains she recently left the University of Illinois as an architect and has been looking for a new venture. She explains through a sequence of events after she left her job at the University, she felt called to the role of Executive Director.

 

 

Maxey recognizes she has a lot to catch up on at Willow Tree but credits the staff of the organization and also points out she's done her 40 hours of training for domestic violence and is starting to make connections in the court system and the law enforcement agencies.

 

 

Denam started her time at Willow Tree Missions as a volunteer and has grown into her new role as the Director of Operations. She says her focus will be to be a refuge for anyone that comes to them with a need.

 

 

Denam credits LeJune for the leader that she has become. She believes she has grown in the leadership role she is about to take on.

 

 

Denam says she's particularly passionate about domestic violence trends in the youth and helping those individuals. 

 

Get more information about all things Willow Tree Missions, including its upcoming Christmas programming by visiting willowtreemissions.org. 

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Gov. Pritzker in Great Britain

Governor JB Pritzker remains in Great Britain. The Governor and top two legislative leaders met with businesses focused on green energy projects. Pritzker says Illinois has been leading the way on climate change with effective policy and the world has been paying attention.

 

 

The first part of Pritzker trip is centered in London where he will meet with business leaders the second part will be his attendance at the UN Climate Change Conference in Scotland.

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Farm Policy Discussions Part of IFB Resolutions Process

Farm policy discussions are part of the Illinois Farm Bureau resolutions process. An update from IFB vice president Brian Duncan.

 

 

County farm bureau delegates will vote on the resolutions at the IFB annual meeting next month in Chicago.

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IDOT Announces US 51 Closure For Railway Work

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that U.S. 51 between the north and south ends of Business U.S. 51 in Clinton will close Nov. 8. 
 
The closure is necessary for the Canadian National Railway to replace its crossing just north of Illinois 54 on the west edge of Clinton and is expected to last seven to 10 days. A detour will be posted. 

 

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, the use of alternate routes should be considered. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.  

 

Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 3,500 miles of highway and 9 million square feet of bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation. Accomplishments through Year Two included approximately $5.2 billion of improvements statewide on 3,020 miles of highway, 270 bridges and 428 additional safety improvements.  

 

For IDOT District 5 updates, follow them on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict5 or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com. 

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Clinton Schools 'Test to Stay' Program Adding to COVID Case Count in DeWitt County

The latest report from the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department shows a spike in COVID cases in DeWitt County.

 

Executive Director Dave Remmert indicates part of the increase in cases in DeWitt County is the rollout of the Clinton School District's 'test to stay' program that gives students the chance to test to stay in the classroom if they are a close contact. Remmert indicates Piatt County is remaining steady.

 

 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles says the cases within the student body are mostly limited to the high school kids. He points out not every student is doing the 'test to stay' protocols are coming up positive because that is not the case.

 

 

Nettles reminds high school kids are very social people and are back to their normal routines of extracurricular activities and hanging out away from school. He notes things are stabilizing at the high school.

 

 

Remmert reminds school-age kids continue to be at low risk of adverse outcomes of COVID and indicates when they do get COVID and show symptoms, their symptoms are very mild and short-lived. 

 

 

In the latest update from the Health Department, DeWitt County is totaling 47 active cases to Piatt County's 14. A case out of Heyworth from last Monday, October 25 is being considered a DeWitt County case. 

 

There has been growing concern regarding the Delta strain of the COVID-19 virus. The Health Department does not have adequate data at this time to determine if any of the active cases are from this strain. Delta has been detected in its jurisdiction.  

 

Both DeWitt or Piatt counties are no longer on the state warning for COVID-19. However, incidence rates are still considered “substantial”. 

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DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department Seeking Information Regarding Interest in 5-11 Vaccines

School districts in DeWitt and Piatt Counties have been asked to conduct an informal survey of their families to find interest in the vaccine for 5-11-year-olds.

 

Currently, Clinton Schools are surveying with plans to submit the results to Health Department Director Dave Remmert by the end of the week. Remmert says he's simply after the interest there might be in the forthcoming vaccine.

 

 

Wednesday, the Health Department hosted a vaccine booster clinic and Remmert anticipates the rollout of the 5-11 vaccine ramps up, more opportunity, and more availability of it locally.

 

 

According to Remmert, while the vaccine rollouts continue, he also is focused on resuming the services within the two-county area. 

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Shipping Issues Affecting Auto Repair Industry

The challenges of getting products of any kind that have been shipped from overseas has been well documented, and that is trickling down to almost every industry in the United States. 

 

That includes automotive repair, where parts can be hard to find. One shop owner says it’s been challenging to find what he needs on some occasions. Chuck Tucker, owner of Tucker’s Automotive Repair and Tire in Godfrey says he is watching prices go up weekly on some things.

 

 

Tucker says he has a lot of connections due to his long career in the business, so he can usually find what he needs. But he notes that when a part is in demand, “I pay for it.”

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Dates Set for Illinois Beef Expo

Dates have been set for the 2022 Illinois Beef Expo.

 

 

Illinois Beef Association’s Mareah Rauch says complete schedule updates will be available at “illinoisbeefexpo.com”.

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Gov. Pritzker Not Doing Away with Mask Mandate

The state’s mask mandate is going nowhere for now. The Governor says this week that he watches health metrics come in every day and for now they aren’t heading in the right direction. JB Pritzker says hospitalizations are slowing but they aren’t going down.

 

 

Pritzker says total immunizations are also a key part of the decision when it comes to removing the mask mandate.

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Workforce Investment Solutions Announces Program Targeting 18-24 Year Old Workers

A DeWitt and Macon County workforce program has been awarded a “Youth to Career Pathways” grant from the US Department of Labor to offer pre-apprenticeship training to young adults between the ages of 18-24.

 

Larry Peterson with Workforce Investment Solutions indicates this will allow youth to receive at no cost, pre-apprenticeship skills training in the construction industry.

 

 

Training will be delivered over 9 months and will introduce participants to the many types of Construction Industry jobs available. According to Peterson, the goal is to broaden and strengthen the local workforce and educate participants in the construction industry. Hands-on training will offer participants a chance to work with tools and equipment at various construction sites. Once classroom training is completed, a paid work experience will be provided with local contractors.

 

 

Peterson reminds Workforce Investment Solutions serves workers of all levels in DeWitt and Macon Counties with a variety of programs, services, and opportunities.

 

 

Upon successful completion of training, participants will earn a Multi-Craft Core Industry credential.  This credential is approved by the North America’s Building Trades Unions.  Participants will have the ability to apply to several different trade union apprenticeship programs.  Trade Unions will be involved during the classroom to offer mentorships and guidance.

 

Workforce Investment Solutions will host information sessions in the following weeks to recruit individuals with dates of the sessions forthcoming.  

 

For more information contact Rocki Wilkerson at Workforce Investment Solutions by calling 217-875-8720 or rwilkerson@mdwis.org.

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Warner Library Contributing to Project Seeking to Tell Veterans' Stories

The Warner Library in Clinton is participating in a nationwide initiative that tells the stories of veterans and submits those to the Library of Congres.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Executive Director Bobbi Perryman told Regional Radio News this is an exciting initiative they've been doing for a few years now. 

 

 

Dave Henard is a local veteran of the Vietnam War who was also recognized for his service with the Distinguished Flying Cross Award. Henard was a pilot during the war and the attack on the Ton Son Nhut Airfield and tells his role in that battle.

 

 

Local veterans advocate Jeff Morlock is helping the library get connected to veterans. While this is something that has been going on for a few years now, he still gets excited to give veterans the opportunities to tell their stories.

 

 

Once the veterans tell their stories, the work for the library to get those to the Library of Congress is just beginning. Because of all the paperwork, transcribing of the stories, and interviews that have to be done, the library is only doing about three veteran interviews per year. 

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DeWitt County Board Briefly Discusses Future of Zoning Administrator Position

For several months now, DeWitt County Administrator DeeDee Rentmeister has been serving in the capacity of the zoning administrator.

 

Since the retirement of longtime administrator Angie Sarver, the zoning office in DeWitt County has gone through several changes, but no long-standing administrator. At the October Board meeting, Travis Houser asked what the future of that office looks like.

 

 

The hiring process is on hold because there are no applicants. Rentmeister indicates they thought they had a good applicant at one point but circumstances changed and they moved farther north than DeWitt County. On the issue of pay scale for the position, it doesn't appear the advertised salary is an issue.

 

 

The zoning office has been a point of focus in recent years with the development of the wind farm in DeWitt County. 

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Clinton Junior High School Principal Focused on Morale of Building

Each year, the Clinton Board of Education welcomes the administrators for each school building in the district to briefly outline the things they're doing.

 

Last month, the Board made those invitations and Clinton Junior High School Principal Jim Peck spoke to the Board of his intent to focus this year on the well-being of those in his building. He explains this year alone is bringing back the challenges facing everyone before last year.

 

 

According to Peck, they are focused on 'living your why' with their staff and students. He also points out Dr. Courtney Orzel recently presented to the staff of the building on how to identify their 'why'.

 

 

Mental and emotional wellness has also been a focus not just this year but was last year. Peck indicates they are doing things like check-ins and asking questions about how to improve an individual's happiness.

 

 

Peck indicates they are also doing things like staff trivia as well as continuing to focus on connecting with kids and helping them through the already challenging time in the life of being a teenager but then the added layer of the pandemic. 

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USDA Rural Development Funding Awarded to Illinois Projects

Six different Illinois projects have received funding under the USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. It’s all about replacing aging infrastructure says state-acting rural development director Molly Hammond.

 

 

In addition to Bethany, funding has been awarded to the EJ Water Cooperative; McClure-East Cape Girardeau Public Water District; the village of Brownstown; Fayette Water Company; and the Raleigh Water District.

 

Information on USDA Rural Development programs is available at “rd.usda.gov/il”.

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Midwest Dairy, IHSA Form Partnership

Midwest Dairy has entered a new partnership with the Illinois High School Association. It’s all about promoting dairy says Midwest Dairy’s Wellness Manager Selena King.

 

 

The IHSA also has a partnership with the Illinois Pork Producer’s Association to find the state’s best pork chop sandwich.

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IBA Reminding About Beef Quality Assurance Certification

The Illinois Beef Association reminds producers about beef quality assurance certification. There is both in-person and online options says IBA’s Mareah Rauch……

 

 

You can register by calling 217-787-4280 or by visiting “illinoisbeef.com”.

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ISU Student Wins Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet

An Illinois State University senior is the 2021 Illinois Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet winner. The honor goes to Isaac Brockman.

 

 

Brockman is from Verona in Grundy County. He will now represent Illinois at the national discussion meet in Louisville in late February.

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Congressman Davis Promoting New Student Loan Tax Benefit for Employers

A Central Illinois Congressman is looking to tackle the student loan crisis through a new student loan tax benefit for employers.

 

Congressman Rodney Davis announced the Employer Participation in Repayment Act in a social media post. It allows employers to make tax-free student loan payments on behalf of their employees.

 

 

According to data compiled by C-N-B-C, some 44 million Americans hold over one point six trillion dollars in student debt. The Federal Reserve indicates the average Illinoian owes over 29-thousand dollars in student debt in a recent report.

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'Steamed' City Councilman Airs Grievance Regarding Reaction to Fire Department Purchase

A self-described steamed Clinton City Councilman is not happy about the responses to a purchase made by the Clinton Fire Department and its means of being brought to the city.

 

Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Commissioner John Wise was not happy about talk around the community in regards to a boat purchase by the Clinton Fire Department and the things Commissioner Dan Ballenger is being charged with. Wise asked Commissioner Ballenger to clear the air regarding the purchase of the boat.

 

 

Commissioner Wise is particularly tired of inaccurate information being strewn about. He came to the defense of Commissioner Ballenger and his usage of city gas to go get the boat from Benton and pointed out Ballenger could have charged the City a whole lot more for his gas mileage but spared them that expense.

 

 

The Commissioner was not particularly happy because he believes the City Council members sacrifice their time and personal property for the residents of the community. He's hoping those who have things to say will attend a City Council meeting and offer their criticisms and questions and do less complaining on social media and around the community.

 

 

Ballenger added that he used his own vehicle because the fire department has been running a lot of calls lately and did not want to take away a vehicle that might be needed if a call came in.

 

Also at the Clinton City Council meeting Monday night:

 

Commissioner Ken Buchanan reminded this will be the last month for brush pickup in the city and they are still waiting for more leaves to fall before they start to bring on their seasonal help for the leaf cleanup season.

 

Commissioner Tom Edmonds also noted the annual levy went on file. 

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More Housing Assistance Coming Available

Starting in a week, Illinois will begin distribution of the next round of federal housing assistance. Illinois dispersed its COVID-19 federal housing assistance funds faster than any other state. Illinois Housing Development Authority executive director Kristin Faust says more than 57-thousand Illinois households received help catching up on rent and now more households can benefit.

 

 

The next round of federal housing assistance begins going out on November 8. More information is at IllinoisHousingHelp.org.

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Clinton YMCA Executive Director Says Get a Head Start on That New Year's Resolution

A local proponent of physical fitness is encouraging you to get a head start on that New Year's resolution to get in shape or lose weight.

 

The two most common New Year's resolutions are to exercise more and lose weight and while the new year is still a few months away, Clinton YMCA Executive Director Rennie Cluver says now is the time to start getting those goals in motion.

 

 

Cluver encourages start now thinking about what specifically you want to accomplish from a physical fitness perspective and then get that ball rolling. He believes you might find getting that aspect started will help you in other areas of life.

 

 

Another key to jumpstarting some of those resolutions with a health and wellness theme is to start drinking more water. Cluver says it sounds easy but it can be challenging to drink the recommended amount of water you need each day but it is very helpful to your overall health.

 

 

Another component of a healthy lifestyle is also dieting. That aspect of wellness can be even tougher than getting in the gym regularly so beginning to form those habits now could be advantageous. 

 

As you consider these resolutions, whether that's now or in a few months, Cluver hopes you'll consider utilizing the facilities and resources available at the Y. He also encourages a visit to their facility on Alexander Street or call 217-935-8307 for more information. 

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Gov. Headed Overseas To Discuss Climate Change

Governor JB Pritzker and some of his top staff are heading to Great Britain this week to attend a worldwide conference on climate change.

 

Pritzker says Illinois is leading the way on climate-friendly policy and he will be touting the state as the destination for companies from around the world to set up shop.

 

 

The Governor departs today for London and Scotland.

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Logan County Courthouse Dome Getting Makeover

 

The dome on the top of the Logan County Courthouse in Lincoln is getting a makeover.

 

 

Construction officials have built an extensive amount of scaffolding on both one side of the courthouse, and around the dome, to do the work.

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Sunday Fire in Rural DeWitt County Results in Total Loss of Home

At approximately 5:45 pm Sunday, authorities were dispatched to reports of a house fire in the 5000 block of Paintball Road in rural DeWitt County. 

 

Upon arrival, crews encountered a heavily involved single-story residential fire, with flames coming out three of four sides. 

 

Due to the size of the fire, crews used a defensive attack to control flames, salvaging the basement and backside of the home, then began to try to stop the spread. Crews were able to get it under control, but due to the construction of the home, it took about an hour to control.

 

Authorities indicate the home is a complete loss.

 

Four trucks from Kenney were at the scene along with two engines from Clinton. Waynesville and Warrensburg provided an engine and a tanker and Chestnut staffed the Kenney fire station. 

 

A backhoe from Texas Township was provided to open house to get to certain places which, because of safety concerns, made fighting the blaze safer for crews. 

 

Authorities thanked other entities like the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office and the DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency for additional support as well as Lance Schmid for providing first responders with dinner.

 

Authorities departed the scene just before midnight.

 

A cause is undetermined at this time and no one was home with no casualties. 

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Clinton Schools Administration Highlights 2021-22 School Year So Far

Each year, the Clinton Board of Education welcomes the administrators for each school building in the district to briefly outline the things they're doing.

 

Last month, the Board made those invitations and Clinton High School Principal Jerry Wayne talked about a new staff member that Wayne described as someone you know you have to bring on when you meet them. 

 

 

According to Wayne, students will have a great opportunity to connect with students in Germany and possibly have the opportunity to visit a classroom across the pond thanks to Mr. Scanavino.

 

 

Students will have the chance to visit Germany this coming summer but Wayne would like to also expand the curriculum to offer German next year. Wayne is very excited about all these possibilities.

 

 

Wayne takes pride in the fact many teachers want to work at the high school and when they decide they are moving on professionally, it is a very tough decision because of the culture of the building. 

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All Signs Pointing to Above Normal Temperatures, Rainfall Through Winter

All signs are pointing to above-normal temperatures and above normal rainfall for the winter months.

 

It's an unusual trend but Ed Shimon with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says that's what the long-term outlooks are showing right through the winter months.

 

 

According to Shimon, snowfall is likely to not come to central Illinois until well into December and is not ruling out a rude awakening to winter as we saw on New Year's Day of this year.

 

 

If you were hoping above normal temperatures for the winter would result in spring coming at a traditional time in 2022, Shimon says don't count on it. Long-term predictions are showing a later start to spring once again.

 

 

Shimon says weather.gov/lincoln has a wide-ranging variety of weather information you can check out any time and is updated regularly. 

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Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale Set

A few reminders for the next Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale from University of Illinois beef extension specialist Travis Meteer.

 

 

The sale is Feb. 24 in Springfield during Illinois Beef Expo. Again the website is iptbullsale.com.

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LaHood Opposes Biden's Build, Back, Better Plan

As Democrats from across the country continue to debate President Biden's Build Back Better plan, a central Illinois Republic says now is not the time to pass the massive bill as the nation faces mounting debt.

 

Dunlap Republican Darin LaHood said this is "not the time or place" to pass the bill when the country has over 29 trillion dollars in debt.

 

 

If passed, the 1 point 7 trillion-dollar bill would provide funding for childcare and preschools, immigration, clean energy, and climate investments. According to a White House news release, the agenda would be paid for by raising corporate tax from 21% to 26%. In addition, the President is proposing the country raise the capital gains tax from 20% to 25%.

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Illinois Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Announced

Celebrating the Illinois Certified Crop Adviser of the Year. The honor is from the Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Certified Crop Adviser Board and it goes to John Babcock of Marshall….

 

 

Babcock advises producers in the southeastern Illinois counties of Clark, Edgar, Coles and Crawford. Babcock will be recognized during the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago in December.

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