Local News

UPDATE: Tornado Watch Extended Until 10pm Saturday for DeWitt, Macon Counties and Further East

 

 

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has extended the Tornado Watch for DeWitt and Macon Counties, and counties to the east, in the Regional Radio listening area until 10pm Saturday night.

The Weather Service said the possibility of tornadoes still exist in those counties thru 10pm Saturday.

Stay tuned to WHOW THE BIG 1520/92.3 & 106.5 FM, or WEZC 95.9 FM, for the latest weather watches and warnings as issued by the National Weather Service.

dewittdailynews.com Upgrades School Closing, Cancellation Software for Officials to Use, with New "Event Delay" Service

The Miller Media Group radio stations across Central Illinois, and its 2 on-line daily newspapers taylorvilledailynews.com in Taylorville and dewittdailynews.com in Clinton, have upgraded its school and business closing and cancellation software with its new "Event Delay" service.

 

Company president Randal J. Miller said the new service makes it easier for area school superindents, factory managers, and governmental bodies to notify readers and listeners about their school closings, cancellations and notifications.

All they do is click on the "Event Delay Enrollment" icon on either site's blue menu bar.  They'll find their entity, put their e-mail address in and submit a secret password only they will have access to.  

 

By doing that, they're automatically signed up to then post their closing or cancellation anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for readers on each respective on-line daily newspaper to see.

 

That information will then automatically be shared on the respective radio station cluster in Taylorville or Clinton.

 

The service is absolutely free for school superintendents, factories, govermmental bodies and businesses use by just signing up at whichever on-line daily newspaper is in their area.

 

Questions can be answered by calling Miller at (217) 824-3395.

Tornado Watch In Effect Til 8pm Saturday for Several Regional Radio Counties

Several counties in the Regional Radio listening area, are under a tornado watch until 8pm today.

Counties included are Champaign, DeWitt, Logan, Macon, McLean, and PIatt.

The Weather Service says tornadoes are possible in and close to the watch area this afternoon and early this evening.

Stay tuned to WHOW THE BIG 1520/92.3 & 106.5 FM and WEZC 95.9 FM for the latest weather information.

Mason City Teen Earns National Junior Angus Bronze and Silver Award

Charles Parr, of Mason City, Ill., has earned the National Junior Angus Association’s (NJAA) Bronze and Silver awards, according to Caitlyn Brandt, events and junior activities director of the American Angus Association® in Saint Joseph, Mo.

 

Parr is the 18-year-old son of Bret and Kirsten Parr and attends Illini Central High School. He is a member of the NJAA and the Illinois Junior Angus Association, where he has served as director.

 

He has participated in local state and national shows and showmanship contests. At the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), Parr participated in the livestock judging contest. He also participated in the Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) conference in 2021.

 

Parr has submitted weight data to the Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®).

 

The Bronze and Silver awards are the first two levels of the NJAA Recognition Program that began in 1972. Junior Angus breeders must apply for the awards, then meet point requirements in many areas of participation before receiving the honors. Applicants are evaluated in areas of junior Angus association activities and leadership, participation in showmanship, contests and shows, using performance testing to improve their herd and their progress in producing and merchandising Angus cattle.

 

The NJAA promotes the involvement of young people in raising Angus cattle, while also providing leadership and self-development opportunities for the nearly 4,500 active members nationwide.

Illinois Department on Aging Warning Seniors of Medicare Card Scam

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT ON AGING IS WARNING SENIORS ABOUT A MEDICARE CARD SCAM THAT’S BEEN RECENTLY CIRCULATING.

 

SCAMMERS HAVE BEEN CALLING SENIORS AND ASKING IF THEY HAVE THE NEW MEDICARE CARD, SAYING IT’S A GOLD CARD OR HAS A CHIP LIKE A DEBIT CARD. IT’S JUST A PLOY TO GET YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION SAYS SENIOR HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM DIRECTOR SANDY LEITH.


 

CON ARTISTS WILL THEN SELL YOUR INFO TO BE USED TO FRADULENTLY PURCHASE DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT LIKE KNEE BRACES. AGENCY PARTNER AND ILLINOIS SENIOR MEDICARE PATROL DIRECTOR TRAVIS TRUMITCH....

 

 

THE PERSONAL INFO IS THEN SOLD TO A DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT COMPANY THAT FRAUDENTLY GETS A DOCTOR TO PRESCRIBE THINGS LIKE A BRACE THAT’S THEN BILLED TO MEDICARE.

Weekly Weather Summary

It was a cool, wet week in central Illinois. State Climatologist Trent Ford has our weekend outlook and a check on the week ahead.

 

 

Facebook's Parent Investing in Enel Green Power's Alta Farms Wind Project in DeWitt County

Meta, the owner of Facebook, announced on their corporate site this week, that they've become an investor in Enel Green Power's Alta Farms Wind Project in DeWitt County.

In the Meta news release, it stated that it was investing in Enel's project in DeWitt County, as well as a wind project in Morgan County, to feed the local grid, as their way of lowering the carbon footprint.

Meta is also building a new Data Center in DeKalb County, providing some 200 jobs for northeast Illinois.

Clinton Y Gearing Up for Camp Osage

It's almost summer camp time for the Clinton YMCA.

 

School has about four weeks left and as soon as the kiddos walk out of the classroom for the last time, the Y fires up its annual summer camp. Executive Director Rennie Cluver is touting the way camp keeps kids active throughout the summer.

 

 

According to Cluver, some camps at various YMCAs around the country have parents pay to reserve the spot of their child but the Clinton Y doesn't do that. He points out you just need to register your child.

 

 

Last year, the Y increased the cost for pre-and-post care for kids but they found not many kids were there early enough to continue to offer pre-care so they are opening camp later in the morning and kids still need to be picked up by 6 pm.

 

 

Camp Osage in years past has touted itself as a place for kids to get outside and play on the playgrounds at Weldon Springs or fish and the motto was "your kids will return dirty, tired, and hungry". While there are those opportunities still, Cluver points out they have added components of camp for kids to read or do artwork and appeal to those individuals that enjoy those activities.

 

 

Cluver indicates for each additional child that attends camp after the first child, there is a ten-percent discount for each additional child. He also points out they are charging for camp by the day and have done away with the weekly rate they used to offer. 

 

The Y is offering a Pre-K this summer again as well as a camp in Monticello. We'll have more on the Monticello camp coming up on Regional Radio News.

 

Get more information about Camp Osage or registration by visiting clintoncommymca.org or stop into the Y at 417 Sout Alexander Street in Clinton.

Heyworth Schools To Give All Teachers COVID Sick Days Back

Heyworth schools will be among a group of central Illinois school districts to give all teachers sick days back that had to be used due to COVID reasons.

 

The Illinois legislature passed a law allowing all vaccinated teachers their sick time back but central Illinois school leaders are taking the law into their own hands and electing to give all teachers that sick time back. On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Superintendent Dr. Lisa Taylor told Regional Radio they just want to get passed COVID.

 

 

According to Dr. Taylor, the record-keeping piece of this is also frustrating for the administration so to save time, they are simply asking teachers to give them the information they need about when they missed and for how long.

 

 

Dr. Taylor believes going into the new school year in August, schools will see very few, if any, impacts of COVID. 

April Was Wet, Cool

A normal amount of rainfall for May is just over four inches, so when the Climate Prediction Center says portions of Illinois could be above that threshold, weather officials say this May will be very wet.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates May brings over four inches of rainfall in an average year and as we turn the flip the calendar page, the month will start out cool and remain wet.

 

 

So far, April has been cool and wet. Shimon indicates over a week to ten-day stretch, there were areas that received over two inches of rain and that has boosted the rainfall totals for the month.

 

 

Severe weather threats were drastically lower for April than normal. He indicates April can be one of the most active months for severe weather.

 

 

Shimon indicates while May is projecting to be cooler than normal, we should still see temperatures regularly into the 60s until the middle-to-late part of the month. 

Reminders of Tractor Implements on Roadways During Planting

Work in farm fields across the state is getting underway and a central Illinois farmer is sending a warning about farm equipment safety.

 

As more farmers hit the roadways with planters, cultivators, and heavy equipment, accidents rise. Kent Casson, a farmer in Fairbury, has this message for those encountering farm equipment on the roadways.

 

 

According to recent data, about 130 people die from tractor accidents each year. The biggest way to avoid accidents - leave plenty of room between the farm equipment and your vehicle.

Energy Market Remains Volatile

It may be a while before there is stability in the energy market.

 

 

GROWMARKS’s Scott Wilson says he’s also keeping a close eye on inventory and production levels both domestically and globally.

Warner Hospital CEO Highlights FY23 Budget

Clinton's Warner Hospital and Health Services will look forward to the Clinton City Council approving its Fiscal Year 23 budget next week. 

 

CEO Paul Skowron calls it a more normal budget than the previous three because COVID impacted the previous three. He points out there are still COVID impacts in this year's budget but not as much as in previous years.

 

 

Skowron points out, federal COVID money was very helpful to facilities like Warner Hospital and other healthcare institutions. He explains there continues to be a shortage of medical supplies when they are needed.

 

 

A diminishing of COVID locally and in the healthcare system, in general, is allowing the hospital to shift its focus back to facility management. As Skowron told Regional Radio in March, the City-owned entity is planning to add an entrance to its specialty clinic.

 

 

The hospital will also be focusing on the wellness center. Skowron explains this is going to build on a program that is becoming very popular within its system focused on preventative health.

 

 

Skowron says there is a lot the hospital wants to do this year from a capital improvement perspective they are going to be pressed to afford to do it all.

 

 

Skowron says the focus of the hospital has shifted to building a bigger hospital without bigger walls. He explains that could be keeping telehealth options available for the community as well as eventually seeing healthcare professionals make home visits. 

Summer and Vitamins

During COVID, many people started adding supplements like Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and others to their diets to help prevent infections.

 

As the summer begins, many of those vitamins are readily available through natural sunlight exposure or popular summer fruits and vegetables like oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes. But Dr. Jim LaValle, author of 'The Metabolic Code' and Clinical Director for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Performance Health Program, says just because getting more sunlight and eating nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables doesn't mean we should let up on those vitamins.

 

 

Dr. LaValle says during the summer you do not want to drop off from those Vitamin C supplements because the body doesn't produce Vitamin C like it does other things. He points out Vitamin C is also vital to other bodily functions aside from warding off viruses.

 

 

Seasonal affective disorder symptoms often are suppressed and go away during the summer but Dr. LaValle says that doesn't mean stress goes away altogether. He continues to encourage adaptogens like ashwagandha and Rhodiola to manage that stress.

 

 

Dr. LaValle says the benefits of these supplements are maximized when you exercise regularly and eat right at the same time. 

Sen. Durbin Talks Border

The United State’s southern border continues to feel the pressure of immigrants and asylum seekers. 

 

As President Joe Biden prepares to end Title 42 – experts say more people will show up at the border seeking asylum and the opportunity to stay in the United States as their cases are heard. US Senator Dick Durbin says the number of migrants is overwhelming.

 

 

Title 42 allows border authorities to turn migrants back to Mexico or their home countries because of the COVID public health crisis.

IHSA Continues Push for Officials

The IHSA taking aim at the officiating shortage in the state in all sports. They’re calling the latest effort “Officiating 101”—trying to attract people to the profession around the state says the IHSA’s Sam Knox.

 

 

The first “Officiating 101” session will be Tuesday, May 3 at Tri Valley High School in Downs. More are planned throughout the state. You can also find more information on becoming an official at ihsa.org/Officials.

Grain Elevators Being Warned About Cyber Attacks

The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois reminds local elevators about cybersecurity.

 

 

Jeff Adkisson is the executive vice president of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, which represents more than 90-percent of the commercial grain storage space in the state. Members include grain elevators and grain handling facilities, processors, feed mills and companies that provide goods and services to the industry.

Governor Signs Teacher Bill Into Law

Illinois isn’t alone in the struggle to find teachers. But lawmakers are trying to take steps to ease the shortage. 

 

Four new laws to lessen the burdens on teachers and school districts were signed Wednesday. One new bill allows for substitute teachers to stay in the same classroom for 15 days– up from five. State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala says they’ve done a lot over the past few years to attract new teachers but the need for more teachers remains.

 

 

She says the state has attracted 5600 new teachers in the past year.

Governor Congratulates Winner of Illinois Manufacturing Association's 'Makers Madness' Contest

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS CELEBRATING THE WINNER OF THE 2022 ILLINOIS MANUFACTURERS’ ASSOCIATION’S MAKERS MADNESS COMPETITION.

 

THE CONTEST ASKED RESIDENTS TO VOTE FOR THE COOLEST PRODUCT MADE IN ILLINOIS. IT STARTED WITH MORE THAN 400 HOME-GROWN PRODUCTS AND WAS WHITTLED DOWN TO FOUR FINALISTS, WITH THE RIVIAN R-ONE-T ELECTRIC PICKUP TAKING HOME THE TOP PRIZE SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

RIVIAN’S ILLINOIS PLANT IS LOCATED IN NORMAL. THE OTHER FINALISTS INCLUDED GENERAL MILLS’ FRUIT-BY-THE-FOOT AND THE ORION SPACECRAFT BULKHEAD MADE BY INGERSOLL MACHINE TOOLS IN ROCKFORD.

 

 

THE TRUCK BEAT OUT MORE THAN 400 UNIQUE HOME-GROWN PRODUCTS INCLUDING GENERAL MILLS’ FRUIT-BY-THE-FOOT AND FREEDMAN’S FOLDAWAY CAMPER TABLE.

DeWitt County Board Approves Sale of Marina Property

The DeWitt County Board Thursday night approved the sale of 75 acres of Clinton Lake marina property.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday morning, Board Chair Terry Ferguson told Regional Radio the property sold at about the amount he thought it would and says it is going to be a big boost for the Clinton Lake Marina.

 

 

Breakwater replacement, parking lot improvements, and dock repairs are all among a list of items that need attention at the Marina. Ferguson says it won't get everything done but the money from the sale of the marina property will go a long way.

 

 

Ferguson reminds the sale of the property was cleared with Constellation and they offered some stipulations on the deed of the property. Ferguson is not sure what the intent of the new owner will be but knows there were some bidders that had some creative things they wanted to do with it.

 

 

Ferguson says with boats on Clinton Lake getting bigger over the years, the infrastructure of the marina has been a big focus of the board and he feels this will help in improving those issues. 

Saturday is 'National Drug Take Back Day'

This Saturday is the annual 'National Drug Take Back Day' and local authorities are promoting the benefits of this annual initiative.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers explains this initiative partners local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Agency in providing communities a safe place to dispose of unused prescription drugs. He says it keeps those pills from being flushed down the toilet or worse, getting into the wrong hands.

 

 

With this weekend's event, Chief Lowers is encouraging everyone to go through their drug cabinets and discard those unused prescriptions. He points out you can do that any time through the Police Department's drop box in the lobby of their downtown office.

 

 

Chief Lowers says the program has been well received locally. He indicates 600-700 pounds of unused prescription drugs can be handed over to the DEA in a given cycle. He emphasizes those unused bottles are completely confidential upon submission or some folks put them in plastic bags to take up less space in the depository.

 

 

Chief Lowers calls it responsible to hand over those unused drugs to them to hand off for proper disposal to the DEA. 

 

The depository at the Clinton Police Department is available 24/7 at 118 West Washington Street in Clinton. 

Semi-Annual Friends of the Warner Library Book Sale This Weekend

Folks across central Illinois look forward to the semi-annual Friends of the Warner Library book sale and the latest installment of the sale is this weekend.

 

Thomas Meyen is a member of the Friends of the Warner Library and explains the book sale happens this Friday and Saturday in the lower level of the Warner Library. 

 

 

The Friends of the Warner Library has provided support to the Warner Library for many years and Meyen indicates one of the most visible things they do is provide support for the annual summer reading club. Samantha Rusk points out the summer reading club recently received recognition for its program.

 

 

Books for the sale come from various donations and through books the library is cycling out of its collection.

 

 

Again the Friends of the Warner Library book sale is this Friday and Saturday at the Library. Meyen indicates the Friends of the Library are always in need of volunteers. You can learn more about the book sale or the Friends of the Library by stopping into the library or being a part of the book sale. You can also call 217-935-5174 or visit vwarner.org. 

ICC, Operation Lifesaver Celebrating 50 Years of Rail Safety Education

THE ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION AND OPERATION LIFESAVER ARE CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF RAIL SAFETY EDUCATION. 

 

IT’S THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY FOR THE OPERATION LIFESAVER INITIATIVE, WHICH WORKS TO PREVENT RAIL ACCIDENTS SAYS I-C-C EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MIKE MERCHANT.

 

 

MERCHANT STRESSES THE NEED TO CONTINUE THESE EFFORTS WHICH INCLUDE TRAINING NEW VOLUNTEERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS.

 

 

THE OPERATION LIFESAVER GROUP WORKS TO ADDRESS THESE CONCERNS AND EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT RAILWAY SAFETY THROUGH COMMUNITY PRESENTATIONS AND INFORMATIONAL CAMPAIGNS.

Short Stretch of Dry Weather This Week

Pockets of Illinois might just have enough time to get some planting in this week.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln on the WHOW Morning Show Monday told Regional Radio after nearly an inch of rain fell in parts of central Illinois Sunday, there might just be enough dry weather this week for some planting to take place.

 

 

Monday night saw a freeze warning and there is another freeze forecasted for Tuesday night but Shimon says that should be the last of the freezes for the season.

 

 

Shimon indicates things will remain cooler than average and rainfall will be above average. More specifically, temperatures will remain cooler for the first part of May. We'll have more on this later this week on Regional Radio. 

Piatt County Mental Health Center Executive Director Discusses Masks

A Piatt County Mental Health Professional says masking is becoming a big barrier to people getting the help they need.

 

Tony Kirkman is the Executive Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center and indicates because his services fall under the umbrella of a medical facility, they are required to wear masks.

 

 

Part of the barriers of the masks in counseling settings is the non-verbal communication cues and Kirkman says when 75-percent of communication is non-verbal, masks provide quite the barrier to helping individuals.

 

 

Kirkman explains if they wanted to unmask staff and patients, there would be severe financial consequences and he says the risks in doing that do not outweigh the reward.

 

 

To make sure people get the help they need in a setting where perhaps masks can be optional or everyone in the situation feels safe, Kirkman says technology has helped them continue to connect with clients but they have counselors meeting with clients in a safe place out in the community.

 

 

According to Kirkman, masks are increasing barriers to treatment and are not helping reduce stigmas and increase access. He says mental health facilities need to be a different delineation of classification away from a healthcare facility because of the one-on-one nature of their settings. 

Weekly Crop Report

CORN AND SOYBEAN PLANTING IS STARTING UP IN ILLINOIS. 

 

ON AVERAGE, LESS THAN TWO DAYS WERE SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK THIS PAST WEEK. STILL, SOME MINOR PROGRESS WAS MADE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

FIVE PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS HEADED AND 40 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

 

 

PASTURE CONDITIONS IMPROVED TO 53 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE CAME IN AT TWO PERCENT SHORT, 49 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 49 PERCENT SURPLUS.

New State Law Aims to Help Relieve Current Shortage of Substitute Teachers

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER HAS SIGNED A NEW STATE LAW TO HELP ADDRESS THE SHORTAGE OF SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS IN ILLINOIS.

 

THE IDEA IS TO GET MORE RETIRED TEACHERS BACK INTO THE CLASSROOM TO HELP OUT SAYS REPRESENTATIVE JANET YANG ROHR OF NAPERVILLE.

 

 

THE LAW TAKES EFFECT IMMEDIATELY.

New Law Further Protects Students from Sexual Abuse at School

A NEW STATE LAW IS DESIGNED TO FURTHER PROTECT ILLINOIS STUDENTS FROM SEXUAL ABUSE AT SCHOOL. 

 

UNDER THE LAW, SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION MUST LET SCHOOL BOARDS AND PARENTS KNOW IF A TEACHER IS FOUND TO HAVE ENGAGED IN SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WITH A STUDENT. IT ALSO ENSURES TEACHERS WHO ARE CAUGHT HAVE THE INCIDENT RECORDED IN THEIR PERSONNEL FILE, SO THEY CAN'T EASILY MOVE TO ANOTHER DISTRICT SAYS REPRESENTATIVE MICHELLE MUSSMAN OF SCHAUMBURG.

 

 

THE GOAL IS TO ENSURE THAT TEACHERS WHO HAVE GROOMED AND ESTABLISHED A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A STUDENT CAN'T JUST SWITCH TO A NEW DISTRICT WHEN THEY GET CAUGHT SAYS SENATOR JOHN CONNOR OF LOCKPORT.

 

 

THE LAW TAKES EFFECT NEXT SUMMER.

Checking on State's Highway Projects

Wondering about the status or timeline of that local highway project? There’s an online resource says Paul Wappel with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

 

 

Wappel says at the idot.illinois.gov website click on the “Travel Information” dropdown menu.

County Board Debates Role of County Zoning Administrator

What is the authority of the DeWitt County Zoning officer?

 

That was the question raised by the DeWitt County Board last week as part of a proposal to expand the role of the officeholder. Buck Carter offered clarity on the revisions.

 

 

DeeDee Rentmeister is the County's Administrator and serves as the Zoning officer currently as the County doesn't have an officer. She advocated for leaving the language alone but Megan Myers says the zoning officer should have more say in an application's completion. 

 

 

Rentmeister says the zoning officer's job is to accept an application and begin the process of it going to the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Regional Planning Commission before coming to the County Board. She does not believe there needs to be any authority for the zoning officer to decide if an application is complete or incomplete. 

 

 

Aaron Kammeyer says the costs of having a court reporter hired and paying the ZBA and RPC members all the time of hearings adds up for the County. Board Chair Ferguson wondered how the new language changes the current ordinance.

 

 

Carter and David Newberg went back and forth on the wording of the ordinance in defining the role of the administrator. 

 

 

Carter reminded board members the RPC and ZBA were trying to streamline ordinances. Board members and Rentmeister discussed the language about the wording surrounding a completed application.

 

 

State's Attorney Dan Markwell supported Rentmeister's assessment of the role of the zoning officer and believes it is that person's job to take an application to the RPC for review because it is going to have to be reviewed anyways.

 

 

The Board again got hung up on the correctness of an application. Kammeyer believes it would be a waste of time to run an application through the full process if an application is not filled out correctly but Newberg pressed Kammeyer about an instance where an application has not been done correctly.

 

 

Between Kammeyer, Ferguson, and Myers, the trio debated the proper way to get an application approved and if one person should have the authority to determine if an application is complete.

 

 

The vote was 5-5 and failed. 

Social Security Talks Benefits for Children With Disabilities

Social Security is highlighting its supplemental security income, or SSI, program for children with disabilities whose families have limited income and resources.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security indicates in order to qualify a child must have a medical condition or conditions that results in “marked and severe functional limitations.” This means the condition must very seriously limit the child’s activities. He also says the child’s condition must be expected to last for at least a year or result in death. 

 

 

Income and assets will affect SSI eligibility so Social Security will want to talk with you about those things. According to Myers, if a child is under the age of 18 and lives at home, may consider some of the parent’s income as the child’s income. Social Security makes allowances for other non-SSI eligible children living in the home when they consider parents’ income. 

 

 

Myers directs anyone with further questions to check out the publication, 'Benefits for Children With Disabilities' which is available at www.ssa.gov or at www.ssa.gov/ssikids.

Spring Cleaning Tips

HAVE SOME SPRING CLEANING TO DO? AN EDUCATOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION OFFERS SOME TIPS. 

 

THE EXTENSION’S JUDY SCHMIDT SAYS A GOOD PLACE TO START IS GETTING RID OF CLUTTER AND CLEANING OUT CLOSETS. SHE RECOMMENDS MAKING DISTINCT PILES FOR EVERYTHING.

 

 

ANOTHER CHORE TO TACKLE IS THE KITCHEN, WHERE SCHMIDT SUGGESTS CHECKING ALL SPICES AND CANNED GOOD FOR EXPIRATION DATES AND DEEP CLEANING YOUR FRIDGE. YOU CAN EVEN ORGANIZE RECIPES, DESIGNATING FAVORITES AND THOSE YOU WANT TO TRY EVENTUALLY.

 

 

SCHMIDT RECOMMENDS CREATING FOUR PILES FOR YOUR STUFF: GARBAGE, RECYCLING, DONATION AND GARAGE SALE. YOU CAN ALSO SET OUT A LAUNDRY BASKET FOR ITEMS THAT YOU WANT TO KEEP BUT NEED TO PUT AWAY CORRECTLY.

New COVID Cases Increased in Last Week, Hospitalizations Remain Steady

CASES OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS INCREASED BY 39 PERCENT THIS PAST WEEK. 

 

STATE PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS REPORT MORE THAN 19 THOUSAND NEW INFECTIONS THIS PAST WEEK. THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE THOSE WHO ONLY TESTED POSITIVE WITH AN AT-HOME KIT. BUT THERE IS SOME GOOD NEWS SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THEY ARE KEEPING AN EYE ON THE SITUATION AND WILL ANNOUNCE PRECAUTIONS IF APPROPRIATE.

 

 

MOST OF THE STATE REMAINS AT LOW RISK FOR TRANSMISSION, ALTHOUGH FOUR COUNTIES: DUPAGE, CHAMPAIGN, MCCLEAN AND PIATT ARE CONSIDERED AT MEDIUM RISK. IT'S ADVISED THAT THE ELDERLY AND IMMUNOCOMPROMISED WEAR A MASK IN INDOOR PUBLIC SETTINGS IN THOSE AREAS.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Encourages Ceasing Use of Bird Feeders, Baths

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES RECOMMENDS YOU STOP USING BIRD FEEDERS AND BIRDBATHS FOR NOW.

 

THE GOAL IS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE HIGHLY INFECTIOUS AVIAN FLU SAYS D-N-R'S CHRIS JACQUES (jakes)

 

 

HE SUGGESTS:

 

 

THE RECOMMENDATION APPLIES TO GRAIN AND SEED BIRDFEEDERS AND LASTS THROUGH THE END OF MAY. D-N-R SAYS WILD BIRDS WILL HAVE PLENTY OF NATURAL SOURCES OF FOOD IN THE MEANTIME.

Fire Department Receives Grant for Bunker Gear

The Clinton Fire Department has received $26,000 in grant funding from the State of Illinois but it's not going to go as far as they had originally hoped.

 

At the Monday night Clinton City Council Meeting, Commissioner Dan Ballenger explained to the Council the bunker gear they had targeted had risen drastically in price, and will not be able to purchase as many units as they had originally hoped.

 

 

Commissioner Ballenger also addressed illegal burning in the city. He says manufactured lumber, brush, and trash burning in the community are not allowed. 

Mt. Pulaski Schools to Give All Teachers COVID Sick Days Back

Last week the Illinois legislature passed a bill giving vaccinated teachers COVID sick days back.

 

Central Illinois school leaders are taking the legislation a step further and are giving all teachers COVID sick days back. For Mt. Pulaski Schools Superintendent Fred Lamkey, this is giving only a small number of teachers their sick time back.

 

 

Lamkey says non-certified staff was impacted more by the legislation because they do not have as many sick days accumulated so giving them their sick days back is a big help for them. He believes this is about helping everyone. 

Promoting County Fair Queen Pageants

This is the time of year when county fairs across the state are seeking sign-ups for county fair pageants. It was a good experience for Julie Hewitt, who now serves as executive director of the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council. She was Stark County Fair Queen in 1994.

 

 

Winners of county fair pageants compete at the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen pageant in Springfield in January.

IHSA Readies for First Ever E-Sports State Tournament Series

The inaugural IHSA state tournament series in esports begins this week. There are eight sectionals featuring 123 schools says the IHSA's Kurt Gibson.

 

 

The sectionals are this Saturday with the state finals April 30 in Bloomington.

Weekly Weather Summary

A wet and cool start to the week is giving way to warmer and windy conditions this weekend. State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details on the week ahead.

 

 

Gov. Pritzker Celebrating State's Third Credit Rating Upgrade in Two Decades

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS TOUTING THE STATE’S THIRD CREDIT RATING UPGRADE IN TWO DECADES. 

 

AFTER YEARS OF BOTTOM OF THE BARREL BOND RATINGS, MOODY’S INVESTOR SERVICE IS BUMPING UP ILLINOIS AGAIN. MOODY’S CITES SOLID TAX REVENUE GROWTH, PAYING OFF THE BILL BACKLOG AND INCREASING PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS. THIS IS GOOD NEWS SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THERE IS MORE WORK TO BE DONE BUT THAT THE STATE IS STEADILY CLIMBING OUT OF ITS FISCAL HOLE.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THE UPGRADE MEANS THAT ILLINOIS CAN LIKELY BORROW AT A LOWER INTEREST RATE, SAVING TAXPAYERS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center Nmaed 2021 Fusion Center of the Year

THE ILLINOIS STATEWIDE TERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE CENTER IS BEING RECOGNIZED FOR ITS WORK AS A ONE-STOP RESOURCE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT. 

 

DURING AN ANNUAL TRAINING EVENT LAST WEEK, THE “STIC” WAS NAMED THE 2021 FUSION CENTER OF THE YEAR. FUSION CENTERS WERE CREATED AFTER THE NINE-11 TERRORIST ATTACKS TO BETTER COORDINATE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL THREATS AND RESPONSE EFFORTS SAYS ILLINOIS STATE POLICE LIEUTENANT BYRON WORKMAN.

 

 

BUT WORKMAN SAYS IT’S THE ANALYSTS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT THAT WORK AROUND THE CLOCK AT THE STIC, AS WELL AS STRONG PARTNERSHIPS WITH LOCAL RESPONDERS THAT MAKE ILLINOIS’ FACILITY SO SPECIAL.

 

 

THE STIC IS IN IT’S 19TH YEAR AND IS ONE OF 80 FUSION CENTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

County Board Approves Solar Ordinance Changes

The DeWitt County Board Thursday night approved changes to its solar ordinances that have been worked on for the last few months.

 

Board Chair Terry Ferguson wanted to table the motion after it was sent back to the Regional Planning Commission last month. He says there's a lot to consider in this ordinance.

 

 

But Board members pushed back on the idea of further kicking the can down the road on the vote. Aaron Kammeyer pointed out that the RPC and the Zoning Board of Appeals have spent significant amounts of time on the ordinance review and changes and feels it's a vote of 'no confidence' in those bodies.

 

 

Ferguson argued pushing the ordinance proposals through would be a quick decision but Kammeyer did not agree with that assessment because of the time spent by the two zoning bodies on the review and modification.

 

 

Ferguson's proposal to table the changes failed and the Board took up the issues of the changes themselves. Much was made about ag land versus industrial land for solar development. State's Attorney Dan Markwell reminded the Board there was limited to no industrial land that could be developed in DeWitt County.

 

 

David Newberg wondered why in when the ordinances were written in 2019 they were just fine for that time and with interest in a solar farm from a developer in 2022, if we're changing the standards because all of a sudden, there is interest in the County as a development site.

 

 

Ferguson outlined the industrial areas of DeWitt County that could be developed and asked the Board to consider the fact you cannot eliminate legal entities by not giving them a place to go.

 

 

 

 

The changes to the code passed 6-4.

 

The Board also took up a lengthy discussion regarding the role of the Zoning Officer in the County. We'll have more on that next week on Regional Radio. 

Clinton Schools Give All Teachers COVID Sick Days Back

The State of Illinois passed legislation last week that would give vaccinated teachers sick days back due to COVID. 

 

Many districts in central Illinois are taking the law a step further and giving all teachers any sick time back due to COVID. Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday only allowing vaccinated people their sick days back is a political move by the Governor.

 

 

According to Nettles, the legislation does not cover unvaccinated staff but indicates the conversations among him and his peers are they are inclined to give all teachers their COVID sick time back. He points out this is the latest of superintendents' newfound empowerment to run their districts how they see fit.

 

 

The Clinton Board of Education approved the proposal Tuesday night. 

Second Chance for Pets Offering Low-Cost Spay, Neuter Clinics

Second Chance for Pets of DeWitt County is offering its annual spring vaccination clinics starting this weekend.

 

The clinics take place this Saturday from 9 am to 11 am at the Wapella maintenance shed on Walnut Circle and then at the Waynesville firehouse on West Second Street from 1 pm to 3 pm. 

 

One year or three-year rabies vaccinations are $10, one-year distemper, parvo, and corona vaccines are $10, and kennel cough vaccines are $10. There is a $15 microchip fee and nail trims can be taken care of for $5. 

 

All dogs and cats must be vaccinated for rabies in DeWitt County and registered with the County. A one-year registration for an animal under one-year-old is $10 while a one-year registration for animals older than one year old is $20. A three-year registration is $23 or $55. 

 

There will be a second set of clinics next weekend, Saturday, April 30 from 9 am to 11 am at the Weldon Fire Station on Maple Street and then at the Clintonia Township shed on the north side of Clinton at Highway 51 and North Walnut Street from 1 pm to 3 pm. 

 

Second Chance asks for those participating to bring proof of spay and neuter vaccination records. They also ask pets to be on a leash or in a carrier. Please call Second Chance Pets for complete information at 217-935-3488.

 

Second Chance also reminds low-cost spay and neuter clinics are offered monthly.

CH Moore Homestead Glad to Have Groups Returning

2019 was the last time the CH Moore Homestead and DeWitt County Museum was able to open its doors at its traditional first of April time.

 

The Museum was able to open its doors for the season on the first of April this year and Director Joey Long told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday she is glad to see individuals and now groups returning to the Museum and sharing local history.

 

 

Long can cater her tours of the home to the individual or group she is with. She enjoys getting to know who she will be showing the home to so she can give them the best tour possible.

 

 

When kids have been coming to the museum in recent years, she has been encouraged by the curiosity they come with. She gets really good questions and inquiries from them.

 

 

CH Moore was into gadgets and Long points out each age group find a couple of the gadgets in the home to be of interest.

 

 

The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays from 1 pm to 5 pm. Get more information about all things CH Moore Homestead by finding the museum on Facebook or visiting chmoorehomestead.org. You can contact the Museum by calling 217-935-6066. 

Take Benefits of Walking to Next Level With a Few Accessible Supplements

Last week on Regional Radio, we heard from nationally renowned doctor Jim LaValle about the many benefits of walking.

 

Walking is an easy way to increase your overall mobility and health but if you want to take the benefits of walking to the next level, Dr. LaValle has a few easy things to do. He first points out,  most people don't get enough magnesium in their diets so finding a magnesium supplement at your local retail store is an easy first step.

 

 

Most people also don't get enough water through the course of a day so Dr. LaValle implores everyone to get more water in their systems.

 

 

Dr. LaValle points out even a 20-minute brisk provides cardiovascular benefits and reduces diabetes risks. While many may think the 10,000 steps they get in steps throughout is enough, he says we need the consistent movement that walking for a sustained time or distance provides.

Lawmakers Introduce Budget Bill Giving Lawmakers Two Weeks Review Process

A downstate lawmaker says the state budget process needs reform. Recently, a final budget was delivered to lawmakers late at night and with only hours to review and before casting a vote. State Senator Win Stoller is introducing legislation that would require a budget bill to be delivered two weeks in advance of a vote.

 

 

Governor J.B Pritzker signed the new budget on Tuesday.

Illinois Adds Nearly 5,700 New Teachers in Single Year

ILLINOIS ADDED NEARLY 57-HUNDRED TEACHERS DURING THE LAST SCHOOL YEAR, MORE THAN THE PAST FIVE YEARS COMBINED.

 

THE LATEST SURVEY FOUND THAT STRIDES HAVE BEEN MADE IN EASING THE TEACHER SHORTAGE IN ILLINOIS SAYS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION DIRECTOR OF TEACHING AND LEARNING JENNIFER KIRMES.

 

 

KIRMES SAYS UNFORTUNATELY, THE REMAINING VACANCIES ARE IN AREAS THAT NEED HELP THE MOST SUCH AS IN LOW INCOME SCHOOLS, SPECIAL EDUCATION AND BILINGUAL EDUCATION.

 

 

KIRMES SAYS THE BOARD WILL CONTINUE EFFORTS TO ATTRACT AND SUPPORT MORE TEACHERS, ESPECIALLY IN STRUGGLING SCHOOLS THAT STILL HAVE VACANCIES.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is distracted driving awareness month, and the Illinois Department of Transportation is working with Illinois State Police to crack down on distracted driving. According to IDOT Public Information Director Paul Wappel, the message is simple.

 

 

If a driver is caught engaging in distracted driving, they could face a fine of $75 for the first offense. Any additional violations thereafter could rack up hundreds of dollars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accounts for over one million crashes each year in the United States.

$12.3-Million in Safe Routes to School Grants Awarded to Communities Around State

MORE THAN 12 MILLION DOLLARS IS BEING AWARDED TO COMMUNITIES AROUND THE STATE TO ENSURE STUDENTS GET TO SCHOOL SAFELY. 

 

THE SAFE ROUTE TO SCHOOL GRANTS ARE FUNDING 57 PROJECTS TO IMPROVE SIDEWALKS AND BIKE PATHS AND ADD A-D-A COMPLIANT RAMPS SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL.

 

 

APPEL SAYS THE GRANTS WILL BE USED FOR A VARIETY OF PROJECTS.

 

 

THE LARGEST GRANT TOTALS 250 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Clinton City Treasurer Breaks Down FY 23 Budget

The City of Clinton will be putting nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars into the coughers and nearly a million dollars is being dedicated to the upcoming water tower project in Clinton.

 

Those are just a few of the highlights of the Fiscal Year '23 budget for the City of Clinton as presented to the Clinton City Council Monday night by Treasurer Clint Lichtenwalter.

 

 

The Clinton Fire Department's purchase of a new fire engine, a couple of new police units, and park equipment at Downey Park highlight significant purchases in this year's budget. According to Lichtenwalter, the City is already getting its financial house in order for the big replacement of the downtown water tower.

 

 

Lichtenwalter explains federal dollars are helping the City of Clinton plan for the upcoming water tower project but that will encompass several other projects once it is complete.

 

 

During budget time and levy time, City officials tout the health of the City's pension funds. All three pension funds, according to Lichtenwalter, are as healthy as anyone's pension fund in the State of Illinois.

 

 

Lichtenwalner points out water rates are going up four percent and sewer rates are increasing three percent. 

University of Illinois Extension Offering Ag Law Webinars

It will stretch into 2023 but the University of Illinois Extension is beginning next week a five-part ag law webinar series for ag professionals

 

Extension Director for Logan, Menard, and Sangamon Counties, Terri Miller-Casey on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday told Regional Radio called them an action-packed hour of great information, and the webinars begin Monday, April 25.

 

 

The webinars discuss land leasing and what those contracts should look like it is in July. Miller-Casey another happens in October about business structure basics.

 

 

The webinars will spill into 2023 as organizers try to be sensitive to seasonal responsibilities. Miller-Casey notes the final webinar in January of 2023 covers insurance.

 

 

Miller-Casey points out they have gotten a lot more inquiries at Extension about ag law and the topics that will be covered in this five-part series. She implores ag professionals with questions on topics that will be covered in future webinars to continue to contact Extension and they'll get you in touch with the right person about your question or concern.

 

 

The webinars are completely free and kick off Monday, April 25 at 7 pm. You can get more information about the webinar and many more by visiting extension.illinois.edu/lms. 

Illinois Department of Transportation Boosting Efforts to Remove Litter From Illinois Roads

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS ASKING THE PUBLIC TO “THINK BEFORE YOU THROW.”

 

I-DOT IS INCREASING EFFORTS TO CLEAN UP DEBRIS ALONG THE ROADS OF ILLINOIS, AND URGES EVERYONE TO DO THEIR PART TO REDUCE LITTER SAYS SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL.

 

 

WAPPEL REMINDS THAT LITTERING IS ILLEGAL AND COULD RESULT IN FINES OF UP TO 15-HUNDRED DOLLARS. HE SAYS INTERESTED GROUPS CAN APPLY TO BE A PART OF THE “ADOPT A HIGHWAY” PROGRAM.

 

 

WAPPEL SAYS CREWS ARE OUT CLEANING UP LITTER ALONG THE ROADWAYS. LAST YEAR, I-DOT SPENT MORE THAN 41 MILLION DOLLARS ON THE EFFORT.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Budget

The state of Illinois has a new budget. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker signed it Tuesday – ushering in $1.8 billion in tax cuts. The savings will show up as property tax rebates, pauses on grocery taxes and gas taxes and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

 

Pritzker says another savings is coming to property taxpayers because of pension reforms passed by previous General Assemblies.

 

 

The budget spends $45.6 billion over the next fiscal year.

Gov. Pritzker Lifts Mask Requirement For Public Transportation

MASKS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN ILLINOIS. 

 

IN LIGHT OF MONDAY’S FEDERAL COURT RULING, THE GOVERNOR IS AMENDING A CURRENT EXECUTIVE ORDER SO THAT YOU WON’T HAVE TO WEAR A MASK RIDING PUBLIC TRANSIT, IN A TRANSIT STATION OR AT THE AIRPORT. HE NOTED EARLIER IN THE DAY THAT LOCAL OFFICIALS COULD SET THEIR OWN RULES.

 

 

EARLIER IN THE DAY HE SAID PEOPLE SHOULD STILL DO WHAT THEY FEEL MOST COMFORTABLE WITH GIVEN CURRENT COVID-19 CONDITIONS.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS NO NEW STATEWIDE MITIGATIONS ARE CURRENTLY PLANNED BUT URGES RESIDENTS TO GET ALL THEIR COVID VACCINATION SHOTS AND TAKE PRECAUTIONS AS THEY SEE FIT.

Clinton City Council Considers Expansion of Golf Cart Ordinance

At the first meeting of May, the Clinton City Council will consider an ordinance change for how late golf carts can be out on City streets.

 

The ordinance took effect late in the summer of 2020 and 2021 was the first full year of the ordinance. Commissioners felt limited issues through the first full year, trying to expand the ordinance to 9 pm or 10 pm was a worthwhile trial. 

 

 

At the advice of Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers, a 9 pm curfew for the golf carts is not much past sunset on a mid-summer night and felt the Council could expand to 10 pm.

 

 

While up to this point in the life of the ordinance, there have been minimal issues, Chief Lowers is concerned about the later the ordinance goes, the more likely a golf cart operator encountering an impaired operator of a vehicle.

 

 

The Chief wondered if the most noise about the issue was coming from residents that did not have a golf cart or even those outside the community. 

 

The City Attorney will work to craft a change to the ordinance to expand the hours of golf carts in Clinton to 10 pm and the Council will take it up at its next meeting. 

University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Educator Promoting Benefits of Eggs

During the Easter season, kids enjoy the excitement of a good Easter egg hunt and a University of Illinois nutrition educator says it is not uncommon to find eggs of different colors.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, U of I Extension nutrition educator in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties Caitlin Mellendor, told Regional Radio just like you might encounter a blue egg on an Easter egg hunt, you might encounter a blue egg as well.

 

 

According to Mellendorf, when you're shopping at the grocery store, just because you encounter a more expensive, brown egg doesn't necessarily mean it is better nutritionally. She says there are a lot of factors that may make an egg brown including a hen's diet or size.

 

 

When you purchase an egg from the carton in a grocery store, Mellendorf indicates those eggs are likely coming from various parts of the midwest, if not the country. She points out you'll find the fresher the egg, the more vibrant the colors of the yoke.

 

 

Eggs offer a tremendous value nutritionally as well. According to Mellendor, they offer a lot of protein but there are also nutrients in them that prevent various diseases.

 

 

Carbohydrates and cholesterol have always been two terms attached to eggs and Mellendorf indicates eggs are a zero carb food and points out recent studies are showing cholesterol from eggs is not contributing to cholesterol problems in people. 

 

 

Mellendorf says if you were limiting egg consumption because of cholesterol issues, you might reconsider that habit. She points outs they are still showing those with heart disease might consider a consultation with your healthcare professional before you reintroduce eggs or add them to your diet. 

Corn Hits $8 For First Time in Ten Years

May Corn contracts surpassed the 8-dollar threshold at the Chicago Board of Trade on Monday. Agrivisor’s Karl Setzer speaking at the close.

 

 

The last time corn hit the 8-dollar mark was in 2012.

Weekly Crop Report

IT WAS ANOTHER WEEK OF COOL, WET CONDITIONS AS WE HEARING IN THE LATEST CROP REPORT. 

 

ON AVERAGE ONLY ABOUT ONE DAY WAS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

FOUR PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS HEADED AND 45 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. THAT'S AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THE PREVIOUS WEEK.

 

 

PASTURE CONDITIONS IMPROVED AS WELL, TO 52 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

State of Illinois Launches 'Middle of Everything' Campaign

The state is ready to sell itself to visitors this summer. Governor JB Pritzker says a new tourism campaign will focus on getting folks out to try new things. During the announcement Pritzker talked about fun outdoor attractions even if they may not be calling him this summer.

 

 

The new campaign is called the “Middle of Everything” and will be voiced by actress and native Illinoisan Jane Lynch.

DARE Wrapping Up in Clinton Elementary School

The annual DARE curriculum taught by Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers and School Resource Officer Mike Bennett is wrapping up soon at Clinton Elementary School.

 

Chief Lowers indicates the 10-lesson curriculum is coming to a close with DARE projects due soon. He points out the kids have gotten very creative with their projects especially as technology becomes a bigger part of them.

 

 

Friday is the DARE graduation at Clinton Elementary School and before graduation, the fifth-grade halls are open to family to come to see the projects while other students in the building get to check them out too.

 

 

The program also brings in a panel of DARE role models that get in front of the fifth graders and answer questions about peer pressure things they faced in junior high and high school and the Chief says a lot of fifth-graders ask about the jump to the junior high school.

 

 

The Chief has always been impressed with the students he gets to be in front of. While the scope of the topics that DARE covers has changed over the years, the students are very receptive to the things he brings to them. 

DeWitt County Financial Coach Hoping to Better Help Community With Recent Masters Coursework Completion

A local financial coach has recently completed coursework for a master's degree.

 

Connie Unruh with the First National Bank in Clinton says she recently graduated with a Masters in Personal Financial Planning with an emphasis in Financial Therapy. She notes her courses taught her about behavioral finances.

 

 

Unruh indicates the factors behind individuals' spending habits are based on how they are raised and their relationship to money. She breaks down the most common types of spending and saving habits.

 

 

Unruh points out her education will her understand her clients' spending habits better and help teach them how to create healthier finances. She hopes clients will be able to recognize these harmful habits and understand their finances better.

 

 

If you would like to work with Connie Unruh you can learn more by contacting her at (217) 935-7464. 

Complaints Increasing Against Home Warranty Industry

If you are considering the purchase of a home warranty, you may want to weigh your options. Most home warranties offer consumers a chance to obtain discounted repair service on major home components like the furnace, HVAC system and its plumbing and electrical systems, but some companies are coming under the scrutiny of the Better Business Bureau.

 

Complaints against the home warranty industry have more than doubled since 2019. Better Business Bureau investigator Don O’Brien says these types of companies primarily market their plans using mailers, which often promote a sense of urgency for the recipient, similar to the auto warranty contracts that have also come under scrutiny in recent years.

 

 

Consumers tell BBB these companies fail to cover repairs, use misleading sales tactics and representations, fail to cancel contracts, do not issue refunds, and provide poor customer service.

IDPH acting director asked about mask mandate

A mask mandate has popped back up in a major US city. But could a mandate come back to Illinois? Acting IDPH Director Amaal Tokars says right now there is no indication that a return to mandated masking is coming to the state.

 

 

Tokars says the IDPH is concentrating on getting everyone fully vaccinated and others boosted against COVID 19.

Should the IHSA baseball season be pushed back

Should the Illinois high school baseball season be moved back to a later start? The IHSA’s Sam Knox says that issue is up to the membership.

 

 

This year, the high school baseball season started on February 28 with practices and March 14 with games .

Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame honor for Redneck Fishing Tourney founder

A Mason County woman honored for her efforts to remove the Asian carp from the Illinois River. In 2005, Betty DeFord started the Redneck Fishing Tournament to go after the invasive species. The event is held in the Bath Chute.

 

 

DeFord was inducted into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame earlier this month. The honor is from the Illinois Conservation Foundation.

Sangamon Valley CEO Students Getting Businesses Ready for Annual Trade Show

Students in the Sangamon Valley CEO program are completing the task of starting their businesses as they look to finish the year strong. 

 

Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, the four students discussed the program and the impact it has had on them. Ethan Robson says his graphic design business is something he's done since he was in grade school.

 

 

Jackson Trent is starting a media marketing business with a close friend. Trent indicates this was something he's at Monticello High School and thought they could help small businesses with their services.

 

 

Rosa Baker is starting a fudge-making business and is finding fudge can be somewhat of a holiday treat however is learning how to make it a year-round treat. 

 

 

Abby Lambert is embarking on a business of homemade bracelets and keychains. She is appreciative of the people around her supporting her business and helping her with promotion.

 

 

Lambert, a senior from Warrensburg-Latham High School, explains the CEO program has helped her grow and better connect with people. She called herself antisocial before she joined the program.

 

 

Baker, a senior at Monticello High School, says she was not a fan of group work and preferred to work alone but has grown to enjoy the group work the CEO program requires.

 

 

Trent has learned to take a more hands-on approach and has grown out of letting others tell him what needs to be done.

 

 

Robson, a senior at Monticello High School, says CEO has exceeded his expectations and feels he has learned a lot about networking that will help him in his future endeavors.

 

 

The Sangamon Valley CEO students will host a trade show Thursday, May 12 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Kirby Medical Center's community room. You can come out and learn more about these students and the businesses they are starting. 

Heyworth Schools Extend Remote Learning Plan

A rural McLean County school district was one of the first schools in the State of Illinois to pilot remote learning before it became a necessity during COVID.

 

Heyworth Schools piloted a remote learning plan and Superintendent Dr. Lisa Taylor indicates they are extending that pilot program for five years. She indicates it has been a popular program among families, students and staff.

 

 

One of the benefits they have encountered of remote learning is when a student is out sick, they can access homework while they are home sick and do not have to wait a day or two to get the assignments they have missed.

 

 

Dr. Taylor says an adjacent benefit to the technology upgrades they had to make during COVID was more parental involvement with IEP meetings or parent-teacher conferences if the option to participate virtually is available. 

This is National Work Zone Awareness Week

THIS IS WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO SLOW DOWN. 

 

EACH YEAR, THERE ARE MORE THAN 67-HUNDRED CRASHES IN ILLINOIS WORK ZONES, RESULTING IN OVER 16-HUNDRED INJURIES. I-DOT SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL SAYS THAT’S WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO WATCH FOR SIGNS INDICATING CONSTRUCTION WORK IS AHEAD.

 

 

WAPPEL ALSO REMINDS TO PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR STOPPED OR SLOWED TRAFFIC.

 

 

THERE ARE MORE THAN 67-HUNDRED WORK ZONE CRASHES ANNUALLY IN ILLINOIS. LAST YEAR, 25 PEOPLE DIED IN WORK ZONES, NONE OF WHOM WERE WORKERS.

New State Budget Invests Further in Illinois Children

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THE NEW STATE BUDGET INCLUDES RECORD INVESTMENTS IN THE CHILDREN OF ILLINOIS. 

 

THE BUDGET THAT TAKES EFFECT IN JULY INCLUDES 600 MILLION DOLLARS IN COLLEGE MAP GRANTS AND MORE MONEY FOR HOMELESS YOUTH AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS. THE GOVERNOR SAYS “K” THROUGH 12 SCHOOLS WILL RECEIVE A HIGHER LEVEL OF FUNDING THAN EVER BEFORE.

 

 

HOUSE SPEAKER CHRIS WELCH WAS ALSO THERE AND SAID THE BUDGET ALLOCATES FIVE AND HALF MILLION DOLLARS TOWARDS THE “YOUTH BUILD” PROGRAM.

 

 

ADDITIONALLY, THE NEW BUDGET TAKING EFFECT IN JULY WILL LET THE STATE HIRE 360 MORE D-C-F-S WORKERS AND FUNDS A PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN WITH SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESSES.

E-15 To Be Available Across the Country

Senior officials in the Biden Administration say the President today will move to make E15 available across the nation this summer. Todd Gleason reports.

 

 

 The Biden Administration is also said to be considering a year-round waiver for corn-based ethanol E15 gasoline blends 

Local Superintendents Making Decisions Regarding Teachers and Days Off for COVID

The state of Illinois in the spring legislative session codified several months of negotiations that would give fully vaccinated teachers back the sick days they used due to COVID illness.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Dr. Sheila Greenwood, Superintendent of Bement Schools, told Regional Radio this encompasses staff that had to take time off with COVID, a close contact absence, or taking care of children that had COVID.

 

 

For Dr. Greenwood, the conversation will encompass giving those unvaccinated teachers their sick days back as well. She points out this would be a school district's decision.

 

 

Also on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Dr. Hilary Stanifer pointed out the decision to give back sick days to teachers would be a school district decision and so they are considering a proposal to add to the number of sick days for staff.

 

 

For Dr. Stanifer, they are going to have to revisit records they had from the days of tracking COVID illnesses and quarantine times, and close contacts. However, she notes, not all absences were reported as COVID absences so they may have to do some back-tracking to find those days as well. She notes there is going to be a lot of work that comes with the legislation from Springfield. 

Kenney Fire Officials Touting Benefits of Giving Blood

Ahead of its annual Good Friday blood drive, Kenney Fire officials are touting the benefits of giving blood.

 

Kerry Coles with Kenney Fire says the need for blood in America is great right now and it provides the giver a great psychological boost.

 

 

According to Coles, if you have high iron content in your blood, it's recommended you get your blood drawn.

 

 

Coles indicates you can also get your blood tested for COVID antibodies. 

 

The blood drive at the Kenney Fire Department is this Friday from noon to 6 pm. You can get signed for any remaining times by visiting redcrossblood.org and walk-ins will be welcome. 

 

Masks will be required to be worn for this event and organizers encourage those with an appointment to fill out the Red Cross RapidPass before arriving to make your time go quicker. 

Sen. Rose Advocates for I-72 To Be Named After Officer Oberheim

A central Illinois lawmaker was particularly close to the situation that resulted in the loss of Champaign police officer and Monticello resident Chris Oberheim last spring and is advocating for the stretch of interstate connecting Decatur and Champaign to be named in his honor.

 

State Sen. Chapin Rose knew one of the officers that responded to a domestic situation that ultimately resulted in Officer Oberheim losing his life and on the Illinois Senate floor last week outlined how he experienced that fateful day.

 

 

Sen. Rose explains his friend was the other responding officer on the scene that morning. He is thankful his friend came away from the situation alive and points out the situation involved a multiple convicted felon.

 

 

Both officers were in leadership roles at their respective churches and coached softball. Officer Oberheim left behind a wife and four daughters and Sen. Rose says renaming that corridor is the least they could do to honor him.

 

 

Sen. Rose points out Officer Oberheim grew up in Decatur and served on the Decatur Police Department before transferring to the Champaign Police Department and Monticello is right between the two communities. 

 

The resolution passed 56-0. 

This is National Work Zone Awareness Week

THIS IS WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO SLOW DOWN. 

 

EACH YEAR, THERE ARE MORE THAN 67-HUNDRED CRASHES IN ILLINOIS WORK ZONES, RESULTING IN OVER 16-HUNDRED INJURIES. I-DOT SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL SAYS THAT’S WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO WATCH FOR SIGNS INDICATING CONSTRUCTION WORK IS AHEAD.

 

 

WAPPEL ALSO REMINDS TO PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR STOPPED OR SLOWED TRAFFIC.

 

 

THERE ARE MORE THAN 67-HUNDRED WORK ZONE CRASHES ANNUALLY IN ILLINOIS. LAST YEAR, 25 PEOPLE DIED IN WORK ZONES, NONE OF WHOM WERE WORKERS.

Cryptocurrency Scams Evolving

Cryptocurrency is the hot new trend in investing, but much is still not understood about this volatile digital payment system that does not rely on banks to verify transactions. This has created a fertile environment for scams, according to a new in-depth investigative study by Better Business Bureau.

 

One of the more widespread scams they are seeing right now uses a familiar pitch. BBB investigator Don O’Brien says criminals are using cryptocurrency as payment for other scams.

 

 

Reports from victims of large financial losses to cryptocurrency-related scams are skyrocketing. Cryptocurrency has some key traits that make it attractive to scammers: It is relatively unregulated and difficult to recoup once lost; it is wildly popular, fueled in part by celebrity endorsements; and it is not well understood by the general public.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

A DeWitt County agency is taking the month of April to highlight Child Abuse Awareness Month.

 

Macon County CASA last year established itself in DeWitt County and has since recruited roughly ten Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs. Executive Director Julia Livingston explains they want to take any opportunity to spread its message but April gives them their greatest opportunity to do so.

 

 

Per capita, Macon County has the second-highest total of children in the foster care system in the State of Illinois and Livingston feels the positive things their organization has done in Macon County will allow them to successfully operate in DeWitt County.

 

 

Livingston is highlighting some of the efforts being taken up by the Macon County CASA in DeWitt County. Blue pinwheels have been placed on the Clinton City Hall front lawn as well as a special next weekend, April 21-23, there will be a sidewalk chalk art event for people to get involved in.

 

 

Last week on Regional Radio, we highlighted the Macon County CASA's fundraiser for its playhouse that is set up on the Clinton Square with two more in downtown Decatur. Those are being raffled off and that raffle takes place in early June. 

 

You can learn more about that opportunity and more about the Macon County CASA program by visiting maconcountycasa.org and follow them on Facebook. 

Sen. Rose Weighs In On Illinois Budget

The State of Illinois passed its annual budget in the early morning hours of Saturday and a central Illinois Republican is sounding off.

 

State Sen. Chapin Rose calls the bill a perfect illustration of the difference between modern Republicans and modern Democrats. 

 

 

The Mahomet Republican feels this budget was a chance to do the right thing and give Illinoisans permanent  tax relief.

 

 

Lawmakers voted to receive pay raises and Sen. Rose points out that decision came at the expense of vulnerable Illinoisans.

 

 

He believes Illinoisans can see through the election year gimmicks and predicts lawmakers at that supported the legislation are going to have buyers remorse come election time. 

Social Security Highlights Scenarios That Could Increase in Benefits

If you receive Social Security benefits and your circumstances have changed since you first received those benefits, you may be in line to receive an increase in benefits.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security indicates in some circumstances, those changes would be automatically applied but in other cases, you would need to notify Social Security. He also notes there are times you would need to apply for the benefits increase.

 

 

Remember there is an earnings limit that applies prior to full retirement age, but once you reach your full retirement age you can work and earn as much as you want and still receive your benefits. When you started collecting benefits, Social Security reviews your earnings record, adjusted earlier years for inflation, and then selects the 35 best years to calculate your benefit amount. If you have a year of Social Security taxed earnings after retirement that is higher than the lowest year - after adjustment for inflation - Security Security used, you will automatically get an increase. Myers points out that because it is automatic, there is no need to apply for or ask for this increase.

 

 

An example of a potential increase that may not be automatic is if your spouse dies. Myers explains if you were both receiving your own Social Security on your own records and you were receiving a lesser Social Security benefit than they were, you will likely be eligible for survivor benefits on their record but you will have to apply for it.

 

 

Another component of spousal eligibility is having an ex-spouse that passes. Myers says this one dives a little deeper into the weeds and can be complicated but outlines it further...

 

 

For a spouse that does work not covered by Social Security, there is something called Government Pension Offset that makes you ineligible. Myers points out that teachers oftentimes fall under this umbrella of work. 

 

You can visit ssa.gov/potentialentitlement for more information on identifying situations that may lead to higher benefits. 

Illinois Lawmakers Pass Bill in Response to ISU Student's Death

A BILL HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK WAS PROMPTED BY LAST YEAR’S DEATH OF AN ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT. 

 

THE “JELANI DAY ACT” REQUIRES COUNTY CORONERS TO NOTIFY THE F-B-I IF A BODY IS NOT IDENTIFIED WITHIN 72 HOURS. IT’S SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE KAM BUCKNER OF CHICAGO.

 

 

DAY WAS REPORTED MISSING IN LATE AUGUST. REMAINS WERE FOUND IN THE ILLINOIS RIVER A LITTLE OVER A WEEK LATER BUT THEY WERE NOT IDENTIFIED AS DAY’S UNTIL SEPTEMBER 23RD, CAUSING HIS FAMILY ADDITIONAL TRAUMA.

 

 

THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS RULED AS DROWNING BUT DAY’S CASE REMAINS OPEN. THE LEGISLATION STILL NEEDS TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR.

Despite Slow Increase in COVID Cases, No Mask Mandate Being Considered

AS COVID-19 CASES SLOWLY RISE AGAIN, STATE PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THEY AREN’T PUSHING FOR ANOTHER MASK MANDATE YET. 

 

DURING A BRIEFING ON NEW COVID REPORTING METRICS, STATE PUBLIC HEALTH ACTING DIRECTOR DOCTOR AMAAL TOKARS (toe-cars) WAS ASKED ABOUT REQUIRING MASKS ONCE AGAIN.

 

 

TOKARS (toe-cars) SAYS AT THIS POINT, THEY ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT REQUIRING MASKS AGAIN.

 

 

ALTHOUGH THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASE IN CASES, TOKARS SAYS HOSPITALIZATIONS AND DEATHS CONTINUE TO REMAIN LOW. ALL PARTS OF THE STATE EXCEPT FOUR COUNTIES IN FAR SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS ARE CONSIDERED AT LOW COMMUNITY LEVELS OF THE VIRUS.

IDPH Adopts New Federal Guidelines Reporting COVID Data

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS ADOPTING NEW FEDERAL GUIDELINES FOR TRACKING COVID-19. 

 

THE STATE’S COVID DASHBOARD LOOKS A LITTLE DIFFERENT, FOCUSING ON CASE RATES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS TO GET A BETTER PICTURE OF VIRAL ACTIVITY IN EACH COMMUNITY. ACTING PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR AMAAL TOKARS (toe-cars) SAYS THEY HAVE ALSO ADDED NEW TYPES OF DATA TO THE WEBSITE.

 

 

CASE POSITIVITY RATES WILL NO LONGER BE POSTED. THE GOAL NOW IS TO FOCUS MORE ON THE SEVERITY IN A PARTICULAR AREA AND STRAIN ON LOCAL HOSPITALS.

 

 

THE DASHBOARD, ON THE DEPARTMENT’S WEBSITE, WILL ALSO NOW FEATURE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT VACCINATION RATES AND THE VACCINATION STATUS OF THOSE HOSPITALIZED WITH COVID-19.

Kenney Fire Department Holds Weekend Training

A weekend training event in DeWitt County allowed for a local fire department to be brought up to speed on recently purchased equipment.

 

The Kenney Fire Department Saturday weathered a windy and cool spring day to get caught up to speed on equipment that was purchased a few years ago. Assistant Chief Brian Robinson says despite having rescue jacks for a couple of years now, COVID interrupted opportunities to properly be trained on it so they took this weekend to get the training done.

 

 

According to Robinson, the department trained at the Tunbridge Township lot Saturday morning and afternoon and had a van on top of the front side of a sedan vehicle. He indicates there are a lot of scenarios the jacks may come in handy for.

 

 

Robinson thanked Baum Chevrolet Buick in Clinton for their support as well as Robin Huffman who donated the vehicles for the department to use Saturday. He says the community has been immensely supportive of them through The Eagles Daytona fundraiser as well.

 

 

Since the Kenney Fire Department is mostly volunteers and its volunteers are farmers, Robinson anticipates the next few months being a busy time for them but is looking forward to a live-fire training with Clinton and Warrensburg at a burn building during the summer. 

 

 

Central Illinois Lawmaker Disappointed in Another Spring Legislative Session

A central Illinois lawmaker is disappointed in another spring legislative session that lasted long hours into the night on Friday.

 

It's how the Illinois government has come to operate according to State Representative Dan Caulkins, who on the WHOW Morning Show Monday told Regional Radio this is the Mike Madigan way of operating the State of Illinois.

 

 

The Decatur Republican calls this year's budget full of election-year gimmicks. He highlights the temporary suspension of the gas tax increase as well as a 10-day suspension of sales tax on school supplies leading up to the start of school in August.

 

 

Rep. Caulkins is also ripping Illinois Democrats for underfunding the Illinois unemployment trust fund and porking up spending in other places instead. He says this is going to be a huge burden on employers and employees for years to come.

 

 

Rep. Caulkins says the unemployment fund issue was something that was surfacing last year and was told by Illinois Democrats they would take care of it last spring but it never was taken care of and now Illinois is paying interest to the Federal Government to the tune of $1-million a month. 

Walking Is A Great Way to Get In Shape

As the weather starts to be more optimal for outdoor activity, a nationally renowned clinical pharmacist is hoping you'll consider taking up walking a couple of times a week this summer as a way to greatly improve your health.

 

When many people think of getting in shape or getting healthy, they might conjure up images of joining an expensive gym with a lot of weights and treadmills and bikes but Dr. Jim LaValle, other of 'The Metabolic Code' and Clinical Director for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Performance Health Program is a huge advocate for walking.

 

 

If you make a habit of walking, the benefits can be huge. Dr. LaValle works with individuals from top athletes in the country to everyday people coming in for everyday health issues and says walking is the answer to so many issues anyone of any body type faces.

 

 

For those that like to train through an intense cardio session or a weight lifting session, Dr. LaValle says walking can be a great balance to throw into that routine that will bring the benefits of those workouts together.

 

 

Dr. LaValle encourages leaving the phone at home but if you do, turn the social media off, get to the text messages later, and just clear your head and think about happy things. While it sounds a bit batty, he says we need a break from the things that stress us during the day. 

 

Additionally, walking helps reset our nervous system by improving our resting heart rate. 

 

Later this week, we'll have more with Dr. LaValle on practical things we can do to improve the benefits of our walks. You can find more of his work at jimlavalle.com. 

Weekly Crop Report

COOL, WET WEATHER KEPT FARMERS OUT OF THE FIELDS FOR THE MOST PART AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

 

TEMPERATURES THIS PAST WEEK WERE BELOW NORMAL AND RAINFALL WAS ABOVE AVERAGE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER,

 

 

SCHLEUSENER GIVES AN UPDATE ON THE ILLINOIS WHEAT CROP:

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AS FOUR PERCENT SHORT, 50 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 46 PERCENT SURPLUS.

State's Mortgage Assistance for Homeowners Affected By COVID Now Open

HOMEOWNERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19 CAN NOW APPLY FOR HOUSING ASSISTANCE. 

 

THE 309 MILLION DOLLAR PROGRAM IS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS SAYS ILLINOIS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SPOKESPERSON AMY LEE.

 

 

THE GRANTS CAN ALSO BE USED TO PAY FOR CONDO FEES AND SOME OTHER HOUSE COSTS. 

 

 

APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED THROUGH MAY 31ST. YOU CAN BEING THE PROCESS ONLINE AT: ILLINOIS HOUSING HELP DOT ORG.

Gov. Pritzker Discusses Better Ways to Protect DCFS Workers

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES IS LOOKING AT WAYS TO BETTER PROTECT CASEWORKERS. 

 

LAWMAKERS PASSED A BILL LETTING D-C-F-S INVESTIGATORS CARRY PEPPER SPRAY, BUT THE GOVERNOR SAYS NOT EVERY PRECAUTION HAS TO BE LEGISLATED.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS WORKERS ALSO NEED AN EASY WAY TO CALL FOR HELP. ONE BILL THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT OUT OF THE SPRING SESSION WOULD HAVE INCREASED THE CHARGE FOR ASSAULTING A D-C-F-S INVESTIGATOR.

 

 

LAWMAKERS DID PASS A BILL LETTING D-C-F-S INVESTIGATORS CARRY PEPPER SPRAY. ANOTHER MEASURE CHARGING THOSE WHO ATTACK A WORKER WITH AGGRAVATED BATTERY DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF THE SPRING LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

Clinton Schools Touting Statewide Interest in Mental Heath First Aid Program

Before the COVID pandemic, Clinton High School was able to coordinate special training to equip its students with the skills to provide help to classmates that may be struggling with mental or emotional wellness issues.

 

That program at Clinton High School has been picked up on by several entities across the state and high school leadership has made appearances in all corners of the state. On top of that, at the March Board of Education meeting, Clinton Junior High School principal Jim Peck told of some new things they are doing in his building.

 

 

According to Superintendent Curt Nettles, this program has received recognition from all parts of the state and high school leadership has presented at several Regional Offices of Education on this program.

 

 

Nettles points out there are other things in place in both the junior high and high school that they do with the students on mental health. 

Love It Once More Aids in Ukraine Effort

A local thrift store recently participated in a global humanitarian crisis.

 

Tanner Lovett, son of Koni Lovett and Captain with the Illinois Air National Guard, indicated Friday on the WHOW Morning Show that Illinois has a partnership with Poland and recently has been sending the Guard to assist in Poland with the Ukrainian refugee crisis. On his last trip, he was inspired to take donations from his mother's thrift store, Love It Once More, with him.

 

 

In addition to the clothes, Captain Lovett also brought a suitcase full of toys for the Ukrainian children. Koni said that the toys she donated were small enough to fit in a child's pocket and would be easy to carry.

 

 

Tanner was able to hand-deliver the donations to the volunteers assisting the refugees. While he didn't get to see very many of the people who needed the clothes, he says as soon as we walked in the door there was a Ukrainian man who required a suitcase.

 

 

The trip to Poland was an eye-opening experience for Tanner and the other guardsmen. He says, unlike other refugee crises that he knew about from his history books, these are people up until recently who were living similar lives to what we live at home.

 

 

Koni notes that her current winter donations were sent with Tanner and she is calling for the community to help her store by donating winter clothes before next fall. She hopes their story inspires people to know that their donations helped people living on the other side of the world.

Dairy Council Discusses Changing Diet

It doesn't have to be the start of a new year to change your dieting habits.

 

Monica Nyman with the St. Louis District Dairy Council has some tips on getting started on a healthier diet. She first recommends going to more fruits and vegetables and making half of your plate be a fruit or vegetable.

 

 

Another healthy tip is to choose lean proteins. She encourages varying your choices to include beans, peas, and eggs. You can also choose seafood and lean cuts of meat and poultry that are prepared in a healthful way, such as baked or grilled instead of fried.

 

 

A recommendation about good dieting habits with the St. Louis District Dairy Council wouldn't be complete if more dairy wasn't recommended. Nyman encourages completing your meal with dairies like milk, yogurt, cheese, or lactose-free milk. Strive for 3 servings each day.  

 

 

March was National Nutrition Month but Nyman points out it's never a bad time to be evaluating your diet and if you're consuming the right foods daily. 

New budget approved

The state of Illinois has a budget.

 

A marathon debate on the last day of session pushed through Friday night and ended early Saturday morning. Democrats are calling the $46.5 billion in state spending - balanced.

 

It includes about $1.8 billion in tax cuts, from pausing the state’s grocery tax for a year to doubling property tax rebates. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says he’s proud of the budget, and it continues to put the state on the right fiscal path.

 

 

Republicans aren’t on board with the spending plan. They wanted more than $2 billion in tax cuts and wanted those cuts to be permanent. The budget bill now sits on the Governor’s desk and awaits his signature.

Bill passes banning ghost guns

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS ARE VOTING TO ENACT A BAN ON "GHOST GUNS." 

 

THE BILL BASICALLY REQUIRES ALL GUNS TO HAVE A SERIAL NUMBER, OUTLAWING SO-CALLED "GHOST GUNS" THAT CAN BE PUT TOGETHER WITH A KIT BOUGHT ONLINE OR USING A 3-D PRINTER. REPRESENTATIVE KAM BUCKNER OF CHICAGO SPONSORED THE MEASURE, SAYING IT DOESN'T TAKE AWAY GUN OWNER'S RIGHTS AND SHOULD STAND UP IN COURT IF CHALLENGED.

 

 

GHOST GUNS ARE FIREARMS WITHOUT A SERIAL NUMBER, OFTEN BUILT USING AN ONLINE KIT OR EVEN A 3-D PRINTER. ILLINOIS LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS SEEN A BIG INCREASE IN THESE TYPES OF WEAPONS OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS. BUT SENATOR NEIL ANDERSON OF MOLINE SAYS HE'S CONCERNED THIS MAY HAVE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES FOR LAW ABIDING CITIZENS WHO ENJOY BUILDING THEIR OWN GUN.

 

 

SUPPORTERS SAYS MAKING SURE GUNS HAVE A SERIAL NUMBER IS VITAL TO INVESTIGATING VIOLENT CRIMES. THE BILL STILL NEEDS TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR.

 

SUPPORTERS SAYS ILLINOIS LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS SEEN A 400 PERCENT INCREASE IN GHOST GUNS OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS.

Clinton High School 3rd Quarter High Honor Roll

SENIORS


BAKER, BLAISE L.
BEEBE, CASSIE R.
BIEBER, PHOENIX R.
BRINKOETTER, AUTUMN N.
BURTON, KAITLIN D.
CROSS, PAYTON T.
CRUTCHER, WYATT R.
CYRULIK, MALLORY L.
DECKER, BRADEN A.
DEMPSEY, GRACE A.
DIAL, ISAIAH J.
FORTUNE, MORGAN L.
GOLDEN, KAILEA J.
GRIFFIN, CHLOE L.
HARRIS, KYLER J.
HARROLD, WESLEY J.
HOLLAND, CLARE M.
KARR, CORINNE E.
KLITZING, LEAH H.
KROEGER, ADAM J.
LUX, DENNIS J.
MAHONEY, KAITLYN E.
MARTIN, WYATT H.
MCREYNOLDS, BRADY B.
MENDOZA, LUIS E. JR
MESSENGER, JACOB W.
MILLS, ERICA M.
QUEEN, JACKSON R.
RAUCH, KAITLYN D.
RAYMER, KYLIE R.
SEXTON, HALEN A.
SHANKS, AIDAN R.
STAPLETON, DENTON
STEPHENSON, NOAH K.
STERR, JACOB D.
SVENDSEN, SEAN E.
WERTZ, JESSIE M.

 

JUNIORS


ALEXANDER, AIDAN M.
BAKER, COLTON L.
BARTH, CHLOE E.
BRANNAN, TANNER W.
DENNISON, ALIZA G.
ERNST, MATTHEW V.
HARRIS, ALEXA G.
LEACH, EMMALEIGH E.
RAUCH, MAKENNA L.
SOBERALSKI, ALAINA M.
SPERA, WYATT A.
THIERRY, AVA N.

 

SOPHOMORES


CORNWELL, KAYLEE M.
DOUGLAS, ADDISON R.
FABIAN, JULIANNA T.
GRAHAM-INGRAM, TRENTIN A.
GUERRERO, LESLEY M.
HELFAND, ALYVIA A.
HOWELL, DAVIS J.
HUFF, JAMIE A.
HUMBLE, HEIDI B.
KOEPPEL, MAKAYLA R.
MILLS, SARAH S.
MOSER, DREW E.
RAMIREZ, KARLA A.
REEVES, BROOKE L.
REYNOLDS, CARLY K.
RIGNEY, JADEN P.
SALYERS, SEAN D.
STANEK, MIRANDA
WHEELER, DENSIL L.

 

FRESHMEN


BALL, JAMES L. JR
BARRINGER, JOHN A.
CAHILL, LYDIA G.
CICENAS, ALEXANDER E.
DUKE, GRACE R.
EARLE, CARLEY
ETTIEN, BRODIE L.
FILKIN, REGAN K.
GOEBEL, KATE E.
HARRIS, KADEN M.
HEMPHILL, AMERIE T.
HERNANDEZ, LUZ I.
HOLLAND, SOPHIA M.
JILES, CHRISTIAN R.
LEONARD, MADDISON L.
LORD, ALEXIS M.
MANNING, ETHAN
PIRTLE, NORRA E.
PROTHERO, ADDISON A.
ROBERTS, ADAM D.
RODRIGUEZ, AUDREY M.
SCHICK, CONLEY A.
THRASHER, TALAN S.
WEST, MCKINLEY G.
WILLIS, WYATT G.

Clinton High School 3rd Quarter A Honor Roll

SENIORS


ATKINS, ELI G.
ATTEN, CALEB S.
BATESON, ELLA D.
CARTER, JOSHUA T.
CHRISPEN, KYLIE A.
CULBERTSON, EMMA G.
DIMAS, CHRISTIAN P.
ELLIS, MAYCIE L.
FERGUSON, JASMINE E.
FUJISHIMA, FUKA
HITCHINGS, CARTER D.
JENKINS, AUSTIN D.
JOHNSON, MAXWELL K.
LINGO, CHEYANNE N.
MCGHEE, ZACHARY A.
MILTON, DREW M.
MORRIS, TRINITY C.
OSGOOD, CORTNEY S.
QUEEN, LILIAN E.
RICH, CAIDEN L.
SHOFNER, EMMA M.
SIMMONS, JEREMIAH D.
STINEBAKER, AALIYAH P.
TRIMBLE, KAINE B.
WEST, JUSTYN L.
WHITE, ISAIAH B.
WHITE, JAXSON L.
WILLIS, TREVOR M.
WILSON, EMILY J.
YOUNG, SOPHIE E.
ZENGER, NATHAN L.
ZENGER, NICHOLAS W.
 

JUNIORS


BOUGHTON, ROBERT T.
BURTON, WESLEY C.
CARTER, KRESTON R.
DANIELS, PRESTON L.
EARLE, ALAYNA R.
FILKIN, DEREK M.
GUSTAFSON, JADE C.
HARRIETT, LILLIAN
HOERR, BRANDY L.
JILES, JOSEPH M.
LOWE, GABRIELLE E.
MANNING, CHLOE
NUTTALL, BRADEN J.
PRIMEAUX, BENJAMIN J.
RILEY, RAMIAYAH S.
SCOTT, TREVOR E.
THOMAS, STEVEN R.
WILSON, BRODY T.
YOUNG, BRETT M.
ZOOK, CALEB R.
 

SOPHOMORES


CONATY, KIERAN R.
DALTON, NOAH E.
FATHEREE, JORDAN M.
FOEHR, LEAH M.
FRIESLAND, KELSEY N.
GRAVES, DAWSON W.
HOLT, CHYNEAH R.
KORITZ, ADELINE L.
LARSON, NORA E.
LOWERY, SUZANNE N.
MICHAEL, BIONCA L.
NEWBERRY, BROCK C.
PARSON, CARLYE A.
PATTERSON, CONNOR W.
STEPHENSON, ISIAH T.
TAYLOR, KYNDALL R.
TOOHILL, AIDEN J.
TUCKER, MADISON G.
YOUNG, ELLIE S.

 

FRESHMEN


ANAYA, NOEL B.
BEEBE, ADYSON V.
BELL, DALTON K.
BLACKLIDGE, MYRANDA F.
BOYSEN, NOAH X.
FINCH, BRADEN F.
FORD, KAYLEE R.
HALE, MELISSA R.
HELFAND, ALANIA G.
HENDRIX, LILLIANNE D.
HITCHINGS, ASHER S.
HUNTER, CADEN J.
MILTON, DELANEY M.
MORRISON, BRIELLE A.
SENTERS, DESTINY E.
SKANDERA, PAIGE N.
STEWARD, ELLA A.
WEST, TEEGAN A.
WILLIAMS, EMMA M.
WILSON, KHANTON J.
WOOD, ALEXANDER S.

Clinton High School 3rd Quarter B Honor Roll

SENIORS


ALSUP, HAYDEN B.
BANE, TAYLOR E.
BOYER, ETHAN M.
BROWN, NATHAN B.
CLYMER, DAMIEN J.
COX, ALLISON M.
HAYS, EMMA G.
HENRY, MARANDA J.
LIVELY, DILLON S.
MOORE, KYLEE K.
MOORE, PEYTON L.
MORRIS, SHELBY R.
OSGOOD, TAYLOR A.
SLINNING, SNORRE D.
SLOAT-SHANNON, KAEDYN J.
STAPLETON, CLAYTON
THAYER, DOMINICK K.
TULL, KAIRI I.
WHERRY, KATIE A.

 

JUNIORS


ARNOLD, ISABELLE M.
BARTELS, MADELYNN G.
BERRY, CONOR W.
BUGGAR, CARSON L.
BUGNER, CARTER J.
BURKETT, EMILY M.
CLARK, HAYDEN F.
DUNCAN, ASPEN R.
EVANS, CANDYCE S.
HARLOW, AUSTIN M.
HART, ALYSSA C.
HENDRIEX, KYLE W.
HENSON-KIVLEHAN, MEA E.
KALMER, JAKOB M.
KOONCE, TANNER A.
MANDRELL, WINTER R.
MCFEETERS, LONDON K.
RODGERS, CARTER M.
SMITH, TRENT L.
STAPLETON, HOUSTON J.
VARBLE, SETH A.
WEBB, SCOTT I.
WOLFE, BROCK M.

 

SOPHOMORES


ARMSTRONG, ASHLEY L.
BARTON, KYLIE J.
BATESON, LUKAUS L.
BLANKENSHIP, CARTER X.
CARTER, MACY M.
CLUVER, BROOKS W.
COLLIER, BRIAHNA
DEAVERS, ELIZABETH R.
DECKER, TRENTON M.
DOWNS, ISABELLA M.
FLOREY, DAVID M. II
FOSTER, AMBER D.
MOLITORIS, MACKENZI L.
MORLOCK, KAEL M.
NICHOLLS, BRIANA K.
PAGE, ANDREW D.
POTTS, TRISTIN T.
PURDUE, AIDEN N.
ROBERTS, CURTIS D.
SIGLER, NICKALAS R.
SLOAT-SHANNON, TRENTN L.
STAPLETON, RYAN N.
VILLANUEVA, MIA G.
WADDELL, JONATHON D.
WALKER, MASON G.

 

FRESHMEN


ADAMS, RILEY B.
AKEMAN, JADON I.
BALES, TYLER J.
BARNES, SIERRA E.
BROWN, AVARIE M.
BUGNER, TIMOTHY D.
CONSTANCE, WYATT G.
FATHEREE, NATASHA L.
FLORES, SHIRLEY
FORTUNE, AUSTIN A.
FULK, KIERSTEN
HIBBARD, KRISTIAN T. III
HUMES, ARIANA J.
HURTT, MICHAEL J.
LEIMBACH, EMELIA L.
MADSON, AMELIA D.
MARTIN, MARGARET J.
MONKMAN, IAN G.
MOORE, ALEXANDER J.
PASTORE, PIPER G.
PEAVLER, KINZIE R.
PETERSEN, AIDEN W.
POWELL, HANNAH E.
SANDERS, EMMA
SOBERALSKI, ELIJAH M.
WALKER, COLTON J.
WALSTON, LOUIS E.
WEBB, JACK D.
WILKINSON, MELISSA A.

Battle Cross Crusaders to Honor Trio of WWII Veterans This Weekend

Battle Cross Crusaders is inviting the public out this weekend to honor a trio of World War II veterans in Peoria.

 

Jeff Morlock with Battle Cross Crusaders says one veteran turns 100 and the other two are brothers. He says it's an incredible story of how the three came to be connected in central Illinois.

 

 

The event is front and center on the Battle Cross Crusaders Facebook page with all the details. Morlock says they are starting to get more things going as the weather starts to get better. 

DeWitt County Board Chair Discusses Sale of Marina Property, Breakwater Latest

At last month's DeWitt County Board meeting, the County Board approved what it hopes will be a long-lasting breakwater and provide some stability at the Clinton Lake Marina.

 

Board Chair Terry Ferguson tells Regional Radio News there was a concern brought up by the State's Attorney about purchasing a breakwater system from a Canadian company because of potential Canadian court issues but Ferguson felt those were not going to be an issue.

 

 

According to Ferguson, the breakwater they will be receiving not only is going to be the durable piece of equipment they need but it will be installed this year. He says that's better than most American-made companies they've looked into.

 

 

Ferguson points out the auction for the 74 acres of surplus property will be held on the morning of Tuesday, April 19, and will use the funds from that sale to support the purchase of the marina breakwater. 

CASA Playhouses on Display, Raffle Tickets on Sale Now

Perhaps you've driven around the square in downtown Clinton and noticed the large as life playhouse set up on the square.

 

The CASA playhouse is up for raffle through the Macon County CASA program that late last year expanded into DeWitt County. Executive Director Julia Livingston explains there is one playhouse in Clinton and two more in Decatur that is up for raffle in what is a 20-plus year fundraiser for the organization.

 

 

According to Livingston, the houses are raffled off but the organization also gets sponsors for the houses, and that provides a revenue stream for this fundraiser as well. She notes if you purchase more than one raffle ticket, you can choose which houses raffle you register for.

 

 

The playhouses are professionally designed, built, and painted and Livingston indicates the materials are professional grade and are donated.

 

 

The CASA playhouse fundraiser is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the organization and funds raised go back into each community they are raised in and helps Macon County CASA in its overall mission of being there for abused and neglected children in Macon and DeWitt Counties.

Illinois Republicans React to Democrats Budget Proposal

The budget seems to be agreed to, on one-side of isle.

 

Democrats are touting a balanced budget for the next year that cuts taxes along the way. But Republicans say they have been cut out of the budget making process. Senate Republican Leader Don McConchie says the Democrats budget is filled with election year gimmicks.

 

 

A number of Democrat cuts include suspending taxes or holding off on increases for six months to a year. Senate GOP members say they have proposals to make tax cuts permanent.

Illinois Lawmakers Pass Bill Letting DCFS Workers Carry Pepper Spray

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES WORKERS WILL BE BETTER EQUIPPED TO DEFEND THEMSELVES UNDER A BILL HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK. 

 

THE LEGISLATION IS SPONSORED BY SENATOR STEVE MCCLURE OF SPRINGFIELD, ALLOWING D-C-F-S INVESTIGATORS TO CARRY PEPPER SPRAY WHEN VISITING A HOME.

 

 

INVESTIGATORS WILL HAVE TO GO THROUGH A TRAINING COURSE WITH THE STATE POLICE ON THE PROPER USE OF A DEFENSIVE SPRAY. IT’S PROMPTED BY THE MURDER OF TWO WOMEN CONDUCTING HOME VISITS, DEIDRE SILAS IN JANUARY AND PAMELA KNIGHT WHO DIED OF HER INJURIES IN 2018.

 

 

THE BILL MUST BE SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR

Illinois Lawmakers Pass Agriculture Equity Bill

A BILL HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK SEEKS TO IMPROVE EQUITY IN ILLINOIS’ LARGEST INDUSTRY…AGRICULTURE.

 

THE MEASURE, SPONSORED BY SENATOR MIKE SIMMONS OF CHICAGO, SETS UP A COMMISSION OF LAWMAKERS, AG EXPERTS AND OTHERS TO COME UP WITH SOLUTIONS.

 

 

TOPICS TO BE ADDRESSED INCLUDE ACCESS TO LAND AND CAPITAL, PLUS TRAINING AND EDUCATION FOR MINORITY FARMERS. THE GROUP WILL DISCUSS THE PRODUCTION OF A WIDE RANGE OF CROPS INCLUDING HEMP AND CANNABIS AS WELL AS LIVESTOCK FARMING.

Social Security Resumes In-Person Services

If you've been needing to get in to your local Social Security office but have been waiting for in-person interactions to resume, Thursday, April 7 is your lucky day.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Jack Myers at Social Security told Regional Radio News those in-person interactions have expanded. Social Security continues to recommend making an appointment for any visit but walk-ins will be welcome back.

 

 

Heavy traffic at your local office is anticipated so Myers notes because of distancing and capacity limits, you may be asked to wait outside.

 

 

There is a personal health assessment officials are asking the public to review before they come in and masks are still required. But again, Myers stresses with the volume they are anticipating, they highly recommend making an appointment first.

 

 

The telephone number for the Social Security office in Bloomington is 877-405-4640.

Warner Hospital CEO Calls Latest Budget 'Tough'

Expenses on the rise are why the chief executive of Clinton's Warner Hospital calls its latest budget a tough one.

 

Paul Skowron is the CEO of Warner Hospital and Health Services and indicates expenses to address staffing shortages made things tougher on the hospital's budget than usual. He points out they sought to make sure their wages were competitive with the rest of the area to keep their staff from leaving. 

 

 

Conservative budgeting is the key to the financial success of the hospital over the years and Skowron indicates they are having to work very hard on that this year. An area of focus for them in this budget is making things more convenient for the patient and some of it stems from lessons learned from COVID.

 

 

Skowron explains part of making things more convenient for the patient will be improving the flow of foot traffic to the specialty clinic by adding an entrance that is wheelchair accessible.

 

 

A new roof is planned for the facility this year. Skowron explains because the hospital is owned by the City, they have to present the budget to the Clinton City Council and it will have to approve it later this month. 

The Vault in Clinton Gearing Up for Summer Camps

A quint of summer hands-on workforce opportunities are being offered again by a Clinton non-profit.

 

The Vault in Clinton is bringing back its summer career camps. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Jason and McKenna Kitson with The Vault told Regional Radio there are five offerings this year.

 

 

According to McKenna Kitson, they wanted to offer a few new choices this summer but brought back a couple of popular choices from last year. She is excited about this opportunity for the kids.

 

 

The Kitson's explains these opportunities are going to be very hands-on including dealing closely with robotics as well as a visit to the law enforcement training center in Decatur.

 

 

Sign-ups are going on now. You can visit thevaultclinton.org for more information. 

Rest of Spring, Summer Showing Above-Normal Temperature Trends

April is showing a warmer than average precipitation and temperature trend and as we get closer to the summer, the precipitation trends are dropping off but the warming trend is not.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates April is going to be on the wet side but as we get to May and then June, things are signaling to be warmer than average and that wet trend gradually declines.

 

 

According to Shimon, a persistent high-pressure system will hang out over the midwest and that will allow a lot more warmth to build and it will only enhance as the summer goes on.

 

 

What's interesting to Shimon about the outlooks so far in 2022 is how consistent they have been. Particularly with the summer outlook, he explains the Climate Prediction Center has been on this trend for some time.

 

 

Shimon is imploring the public to be ready for severe weather in April, May, and June. He indicates the upcoming three months are the most active for severe weather in Illinois. 

Gov. Pritzker Discusses Budget

It's budget week at the capitol and both sides are talking relief. House Democrats are touting a $1.8 billion plan that would send checks to families making less than $500,000 a year and pausing both the grocery tax and holding back on a slated increase in the motor fuel tax. Governor JB Pritzker says as the details get hammered out the budget must be responsible.

 

 

The Governor notes he and his office are still looking over the entire proposal, but he is in support of the expansion of the earned income tax credit.

Secretary of State Launches New Organ, Tissue Donatino Campaign

SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE IS LAUNCHING A NEW ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION CAMPAIGN.

 

THIS YEAR’S CAMPAIGN FEATURES 50-YEAR-OLD PHILLIP HANKS OF JOLIET, WHO RECEIVED FIVE LIFE-SAVING ORGANS.

 

 

MORE THAN SEVEN-POINT-THREE MILLION PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED UP FOR THE REGISTRY, BUT SECRETARY WHITE SAYS ABOUT 300 PEOPLE DIE EACH YEAR WAITING FOR A TRANSPLANT. HE URGES THOSE CONSIDERING DONATION TO SPEAK WITH FAMILY ABOUT THEIR CHOICE.

 

 

SECRETARY WHITE URGES FAMILIES TO DISCUSS THEIR WISHES ABOUT DONATION WITH EACH OTHER AND SIGN UP FOR THE STATE’S REGISTRY AT: LIFE GOES ON DOT COM.

Midwest Dairy, Undeniably Dairy, IHSA Join Forces for TikTok Challenge

The IHSA IS teaming up with Midwest Dairy and Undeniably Dairy for another TikTok Challenge. This one involves Earth Day says Midwest Dairy’s Selina King. The TikTok must showcase sustainability and a milk product.

 

 

All IHSA member schools are eligible to enter, using the hashtags #IHSADairy and #SustainabilityStartsWithUs. More info available at ihsa.org.

DeWitt County Extension Youth Development Program Coordinator Excited to Be Back in Schools

As Illinois schools return to normal, that is opening the door for outside program coordinators to return to classrooms for programs that have been on pause for nearly two years.

 

Among those returning to classrooms in DeWitt County is Lindsey Burden, the 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator at the University of Illinois Extension. She explains she has been doing a food preparation program with high schoolers in DeWitt County.

 

 

Prior to COVID, the U of I Extension was starting to gain real momentum in its after-school programming in Farmer City. Burden is hoping they can pick up right where they left off as they start to get back to some of those activities.

 

 

Burden also is coordinating with the Farmer City Library for programs they offered during COVID like growing a salsa garden among others. She is looking forward to those getting going again this spring. 

 

You can learn more about these programs and many more by visiting the Extension website, extension.illinois.edu/dmp. 

DCDC Starting 40-And Under Focus Group in Farmer City with Clinton Soon to Follow

Social media is often a sounding board for some people and oftentimes, the ideas and issues stop there.

 

Curt Homann, the Director of the DeWitt County Development Council, saw some conversation among a young group of individuals in Farmer City on social media and wanted to do more for them. That's why he's started a focus group of individuals under the age of 40 in Farmer City with another forming in Clinton soon.

 

 

In Farmer City, the conversations centered a lot around housing and Homann was surprised to find out the absence of a grocery store in Farmer City was not something that this group felt strongly about. 

 

 

Homann has been impressed by the community focus of the group in Farmer City. He explains they are going to be doing some fundraising intending to take up projects to improve the community this spring.

 

 

Homann notes the Clinton under-40 focus group should be getting off the ground soon. He encourages anyone interested in that group to keep tabs on the DCDC Facebook page as that will be where information is released as the details roll out. 

Governor Signs Bill Helping Vaccinated Teachers who Get COVID

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW TO PROTECT TEACHERS WHO GET COVID-19.

 

THE LAW APPLIES TO SCHOOL STAFF WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED, GIVING THEM PAID LEAVE IF THEY ARE INFECTED. THE GOVERNOR SAYS TEACHERS HAVE HAD TO BALANCE THE DEMANDS OF REMOTE AND IN-PERSON LEARNING, AS WELL AS THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THEIR OWN FAMILIES DURING THE PANDEMIC.

 

 

IT’S SUPPORTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT DON HARMON.

 

 

THIS APPLIES TO PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. VACCINATED TEACHERS WHO PREVIOUSLY HAVE HAD TO USE SICK DAYS BECAUSE OF THE VIRUS WILL GET THOSE DAYS BACK.

Illinois Senate Democrats Propose Bill to Address Carjacking's

ILLINOIS SENATE DEMOCRATS ARE ANNOUNCING A PLAN TO ADDRESS THE INCREASE IN CARJACKINGS IN ILLINOIS.

 

ONE BILL MAKES SURE VICTIMS AREN’T SADDLED WITH FINES RACKED UP BY THEIR CARJACKERS SAYS SENATOR OMAR AQUINO OF CHICAGO.

 

 

SENATOR KIMBERLY LIGHTFORD OF MAYWOOD HER HUSBAND SURVIVED A CARJACKING BACK IN DECEMBER.

 

 

ANOTHER MEASURE LETS LAW ENFORCEMENT GROUPS RECEIVE STATE GRANTS AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO HELP CATCH CARJACKERS.

House Passes Bill Taking Action to Support Ukraine

HOUSE LAWMAKERS PASSED A BILL TUESDAY THAT TAKES ACTION IN SUPPORT OF UKRAINE. 

 

THE LEGISLATION DIVESTS STATE PENSION FUNDS FROM INTERESTS IN RUSSIA AND BELARUS AND WILL MAKE IT EASIER TO OFFER RESOURCES TO UKRAINIAN REFUGEES. IT’S SPONSORED BY CHICAGO REPRESENTATIVE LINDSEY LAPOINTE.

 

 

IT ALSO SETS UP A GROUP TO WORK ON PROTECTING ELECTIONS FROM FOREIGN INTERFERENCE SAYS REPRESENTATIVE TIM BUTLER OF SPRINGFIELD.

 

 

THE BILL, WHICH NOW HEADS TO THE SENATE, ALSO SETS UP TWO TASK FORCES. ONE WILL LOOK INTO RUSSIAN MONEY LAUNDERING IN ILLINOIS AND THE OTHER WILL FOCUS ON SECURING ELECTIONS FROM FOREIGN INTERFERENCE.

Illinois House Passes Series of Public Safety Measures

THE ILLINOIS HOUSE IS ADVANCING A NUMBER OF PUBLIC SAFETY BILLS. 

 

THE MEASURES HIT ON VARIOUS ISSUES INCLUDING NEW WAYS TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN POLICE OFFICERS. THERE’S ALSO LEGISLATION CREATING A CO-RESPONDER PILOT PROGRAM IN PEORIA, SPRINGFIELD, WAUKEGAN AND EAST SAINT LOUIS SAYS REPRESENTATIVE JEHAN GORDON-BOOTH.

 

 

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER JIM DURKIN ARGUED THAT THIS IS A LAST-MINUTE ATTEMPT BY THE DEMOCRATS, WHO PASSED CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS LAST YEAR, TO ADDRESS RISING CRIME IN ILLINOIS.

 

 

SIMILAR LEGISLATION HAS BEEN INTRODUCED IN THE SENATE. THE LEGISLATURE IS SCHEDULED TO ADJOURN FRIDAY.

Warner Library Children's Area Brings Back Toys, Games, Puzzles and Activities

The Warner Library Children's floor is almost back to the way it was pre-COVID.

 

That's according to children's librarian Corey Campbell who told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday they have a huge selection of games, puzzles, arts and crafts, and many more activities for kids of all ages to enjoy.

 

 

Campbell indicates some of those things had slowly been coming back earlier in the year but says it's great to have most everything back and calls things pretty close to pre-pandemic levels.

 

 

As more and more families feel comfortable coming back to the library, Campbell says it has been great to meet more families that he didn't know before and it is great to see more kids starting to come out to the library as well. 

Budget Time in Lincoln

It's budget time in Lincoln and its Mayor says a major street project could be the next big domino to fall for things they are planning.

 

For many years, the City of Lincoln has seen Fifth Street on the community's west side as a spot for major improvement. Mayor Tracy Welch says it's always about being prudent with the tax dollars that supply them with the funds to operate.

 

 

As the City looks forward to getting Fifth Street renovated and providing a better route for travel on that side of the community, Mayor Welch says they are starting to make a lot of progress in that effort and foresees it becoming a  hot topic very soon.

 

 

Mayor Welch also points to adjustments in how the City of Lincoln has handled purchases like police vehicles. He explains they used to run those vehicles until they couldn't run anymore but they found that to be more expensive than just replacing them after a certain amount of time.

 

 

Mayor Welch explains that the City Administrator sits down with all the department heads and hashes out budgets for each department and the $20-plus million City budget gets brought to the Council for approval. 

Weekly Crop Report

FARMERS HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO GET INTO THE FIELDS MUCH AS WE HEAR IN THE FIRST WEEKLY CROP REPORT OF THE SEASON.

 

THANKS TO THE WEATHER, LESS THAN ONE DAY ON AVERAGE WAS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

SCHLEUSENER SAYS THERE HAVE BEEN SCATTERED REPORTS OF PLANTING AND TILLAGE. LOOKING AT WINTER WHEAT:

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS REPORTED AS FIVE PERCENT SHORT, 53 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 42 PERCENT SURPLUS.

This is the Final Week of Spring Legislative Session

THIS IS THE FINAL WEEK OF THE SPRING LEGISLATIVE SESSION WITH SOME BIG ISSUES STILL ON THE TABLE. 

 

THE TOP PRIORITY IS TO CRAFT A STATE BUDGET FOR THE NEW FISCAL YEAR WHICH BEGINS JULY FIRST. ADDITIONALLY, THERE ARE CALLS FOR SOMETHING TO BE DONE ABOUT THE INCREASE IN VIOLENT CRIME AND RELIEF FOR FAMILIES STRUGGLING WITH INFLATION. LAST WEEK SENATE DEMOCRATS UNVEILED WHAT THEY CALL THE "PAY IT FORWARD" PROPOSAL. THE PACKAGE INCLUDES AN INCOME TAX REBATE SAYS SENATOR SCOTT BENNETT OF CHAMPAIGN.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK WINDHORST OF METROPOLIS:

 

 

THE SPRING SESSION TYPICALLY DOESN'T ADJOURN UNTIL MAY 31ST BUT THE DATE WAS MOVED UP THIS YEAR TO APRIL EIGHTH.

Tax Filing Deadline Approaching

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE IS REMINDING THAT THE INCOME TAX FILING DEADLINE IS QUICKLY APPROACHING. 

 

YOU HAVE UNTIL MONDAY, APRIL 18TH TO GET YOUR RETURN IN, AND TAXPAYERS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO FILE ELECTRONICALLY. DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SPOKESPERSON MAURA KOWNACKI (kuh-nacky) SAYS HELP IS AVAILABLE.

 

 

KOWNACKI (kuh-nacky) EXPLAINS YOU HAVE PLENTY OF OPTIONS.

 

 

TO GET MORE INFORMATION OR TO FILE YOUR I-L-10-40 FOR FREE, VISIT THE WEBSITE: MY TAX DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

Illinois Lawmakers Working on Legislation to Ensure Families Have Access to Loved Ones in Nurshing Homes During Pandemic

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS ARE WORKING ON A BILL TO ENSURE FAMILIES CAN VISIT LOVED ONES IN A NURSING HOME DURING A PANDEMIC. 

 

AT THE HEIGHT OF THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK, MANY PEOPLE WERE FRUSTRATED THEY COULDN'T GO SEE THEIR RELATIVES IN A NURSING HOME, SOMETIMES UNABLE TO SAY THEIR LAST GOODBYES. THAT HAPPENED TO GENEVA REPRESENTATIVE DAN UGASTE'S FAMILY.

 

 

IT'S SUPPORTED BY REPRESENTATIVE CHARLES MEIER OF OKAWVILLE.

 

 

THE MEASURE ALLOWS RESIDENTS TO HAVE AT LEAST ONE VISITOR AT A TIME DURING A PANDEMIC AS WELL AS A CLERGY MEMBER COME TO THE FACILITY.

Illinois Democrats Introduce Legislation Supporting Law Enforcement

DEMOCRATIC STATE LAWMAKERS ARE OFFERING SEVERAL IDEAS THAT THEY SAY TAKE A SMART APPROACH TO SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT IN ILLINOIS.

 

WITH JUST DAYS LEFT IN THE SPRING SESSION, HOUSE AND SENATE DEMOCRATS ARE INTRODUCING A LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE THAT AIMS TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN POLICE OFFICERS AND ENSURE THEY ARE FAIRLY COMPENSATED SAYS SENATOR RACHELLE CROWE OF GLEN CARBON.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE NATALIE MANLEY OF JOLIET HAS A PLAN TO GIVE GRANTS TO DAYCARES OFFERING OVERNIGHT CARE.

 

 

THERE ARE ALSO GRANTS FOR DEPARTMENTS TO PAY TO STORE DATA FROM POLICE BODY CAMERAS AND MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR OFFICERS. REPUBLICANS SAY ANY EFFORTS TO HELP POLICE MUST BEGIN WITH REPEALING LAST YEAR'S "SAFE-T ACT."

Food Prices Rising Faster Than Expected

So far in 2022 retail food prices are rising faster than analysts had expected. Gary Crawford has the latest on where we are with food price inflation.

 

 

Fentanyl Evolving Meth Making Comeback

Fentanyl and designer drugs are being widely trafficked by drug cartels, and methamphetamine is also making a comeback. 

 

Those are just some of the observations of Richard Tucker, former Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. He says now that the borders have reopened following COVID, the cartels that had stockpiled drugs are using different delivery mechanisms.

 

 

He says while drug use is widespread, recovery is possible but stresses the person who is addicted must do it for themselves, not because someone else wants them to.

Wet Mid-Week to Cool Off Central Illinois

We'll start the week with normal temperatures for this time of the year in central Illinois but things will cool off as rain rolls through in the mid-week.

 

Monday on the WHOW Morning Show, Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio there's a cold front rolling through to bring some significant rainfall to central Illinois.

 

 

March was extremely wet and while it started out looking like it might be a great weather month, Shimon says we saw some very cold days that created another rollercoaster for weather throughout March.

 

 

Shimon indicates we should start to see more normal temperatures for this time of the year once we get passed this week as a strong signal is showing above-normal temperatures and precipitation for this month.

 

 

In years past, we've seen snow on Easter Sunday. Shimon says don't jump the gun on putting that shovel away just yet although he's not seeing any trends to suggest needing it in April.

 

 

As we head into May and June, the precipitation trend is dropping off to more normal but above-normal temperature signals are remaining strong through the summer. 

DCDC Director Excited By Early Returns from Networking

Curt Homann has been on the job for the DeWitt County Development Council for a few short months and he is already excited by the early returns he's seen from his networking and getting out in the community.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, Homann told Regional Radio he's been able to get in front of several business owners and even in some circumstances connect them to another business owner for a need they may have.

 

 

Beyond networking business-to-business, Homann touts some of the programs and access to grants the DCDC can offer a local business to help meet its needs.

 

 

For many years, the DCDC has touted the revolving loan fund but has found scarce success and interest in it. Homann indicates he has been able to help a couple of DeWitt County businesses secure funding.

 

 

Homann encourages anyone who would be interested in talking with him about what the DCDC can do to help their business with any need to contact him through their Facebook page or visit dcdc-illinois.net. 

Warner Hospital CEO Offers Positive Report on the Latest with COVID

COVID cases are declining rapidly and the amount of COVID in healthcare systems is declining.

 

That's the message from Paul Skowron who is the CEO of Warner Hospital and Health Services in Clinton. He indicates he hasn't had a COVID meeting in over a month.

 

 

For Skowron, the surge of COVID this past winter was challenging for him and his staff but he is proud of everyone in his facility for sticking together and they have weathered the storm.

 

 

As Skowron mentioned last week on Regional Radio News, he is encouraging people to return to their physicians and return to those normal preventative health screenings.

 

 

With COVID behind Skowron, he's now looking at future planning and preparing to present the hospital's latest budget to the Clinton City Council tonight. We'll have more on the budget later this week on Regional Radio News. 

First National Bank's Financial Literacy Coordinator Back in Schools

A local financial educator is pleased to finally be back in the schools in the last few weeks.

 

Connie Unruh is the Financial Literacy Coordinator for First National Bank in Clinton and is glad to be back giving lessons to kids of all ages on all things smart money management.

 

 

While Unruh hasn't been in the school for a few years now, she is excited to see that children are quickly catching up. For her curriculum, Unruh is making sure to reinforce previous lessons, something she does anyways for most levels.

 

 

For Unruh, she hopes the students come away with the message that money will be something they have to deal with for their entire lives and hopes they understand they have to take ownership of spending and managing money.

 

 

Unruh will use issues of the day to connect to money management and also leads an after-school business introduction program that is kicking off for the second semester. 'Bizz Town' meets at The Vault in Clinton on Wednesdays. 

Illinois Democrats Introduce Community-Based Public Safety Plans

HOUSE AND SENATE DEMOCRATS ARE UNVEILING A PLAN TO REDUCE CRIME IN ILLINOIS.

 

THE PROPOSAL TAKES A BROAD, COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH, AS OPPOSED TO JUST BEING TOUGH ON CRIME SAYS REPRESENTATIVE JEHAN GORDON-BOOTH OF PEORIA. SHE LOST HER SON IN 2014 TO GUN VIOLENCE AND NOTED THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING IT EASIER FOR WITNESSES TO COME FORWARD.

 

 

SENATOR ROBERT PETERS OF CHICAGO....

 

 

THE PLAN EXPANDS VICTIM AND WITNESS SERVICES AND CREATES A GRANT PROGRAM TO SET UP TIP LINES WHERE PEOPLE CAN COME FORWARD ANONYMOUSLY. IT ALSO FUNDS LOCAL EFFORTS SUCH AS AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING

Illinois GOP Disappointed in Budget Process

Republicans aren’t pleased with the way the budget process is going. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says the next spending plan for the state is being crafted without their input.

 

 

Lawmakers are expected to convene their work at the end of next week - that includes passing a budget for the next fiscal year.

Champaign Rappelling Event Raises Money for Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation

An urban rappelling event raising significant funds for a local county farm effort. The 13-story Hendrick House on the University of Illinois campus was used as the backdrop on Friday says Kirk Builta with the Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation.

 

 

Around $60,000 was raised through the effort.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

THIS IS DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH AND ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE’S OFFICE IS REMINDING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE DANGERS OF NOT KEEPING THEIR EYES ON THE ROAD.

 

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCOUNTED FOR 15 PERCENT OF ALL CRASHES IN 2019. SECRETARY OF STATE SPOKESPERSON HENRY HAUPT:

 

 

ADDITIONALLY,

 

 

HAUPT SAYS SECRETARY OF STATE POLICE WILL BE CONDUCTING SPECIAL PATROLS THROUGHOUT THE MONTH, LOOKING FOR DISTRACTED DRIVERS.

April is Safe Digging Month

April is Safe Digging Month. A few reminders for those living on the fam says Roger Watwood, who serves as a damage prevention manager for JULIE—Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators.

 

 

Watwood says there are several ways to contact JULIE before you dig. You can dial 811, call 800-892-0123 or submit an e-request at JulieBeforeYouDig.com.

Clinton Police Chief Discusses City Ordinance Compliance for Spring

As the community looks forward to better weather days ahead, local law enforcement officials are going to be a bit more vigilant in asking for compliance when it comes to city ordinances.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers at last week's Clinton City Council meeting reminded the public of ordinances regarding brush and burning in the community. He says you can expect more code enforcement coming this spring.


 

Chief Lowers hopes residents will be respectful of their neighborhoods and neighbors. He says oftentimes they'll receive complaints from residents about an issue and sometimes there just isn't an ordinance to address their concerns. 

CCEF Excited to Bring Back 'Derby Day' This Year

A premier event for an education non-profit in DeWitt County is returning in 2022.

 

The Clinton Community Education Foundation's annual 'Derby Day' fundraiser has been canceled the last few years due to COVID but the non-profit is very excited to have it back on the calendar this year. Kim Toohill indicates this is a big fundraiser for them.

 

 

On Saturday, May 7, doors open at the Clinton Country Club at 4 pm, and during the lead-up to 'The Running of the Roses', those in attendance can partake in drinks and browse auction items.

 

 

Tickets are $75 for an individual, $125 for a couple, and $500 for a table of eight. Toohill points anyone interested in ticket information or more on the event to their website, ccef15.org. 

Illinois May Soon Have State Snake

ILLINOIS MAY SOON HAVE AN OFFICIAL STATE SNAKE. 

 

AN 11-YEAR-OLD FROM WILLIAMSON COUNTY RECOMMENDED NAMING THE EASTERN MILKSNAKE TO THE LIST OF STATE SYMBOLS, SO SENATOR DAVE FOWLER OF HARRISBURG DID HIS RESEARCH.

 

 

HERE’S SENATOR SCOTT BENNETT OF CHAMPAIGN QUESTIONING THE BILL SPONSOR.

 

 

LAWMAKERS APPROVED THE DESIGNATION AND ALL THAT’S NEEDED NOW IS THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE FOR ILLINOIS TO HAVE ITS OWN OFFICIAL SNAKE.

Weekly Weather Summary

It was a cold and wet week in central Illinois. State Climatologist Trent Ford has more on the weekend and the week ahead. 

 

 

dewittdailynews.com Unveils Exclusive "Event Delay" Software for Closings, Cancellations

dewittdailynews.com, a division of the Miller Media Group’s Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc., in Clinton, has unveiled an exclusive “Event Delay” software program for schools, businesses, and governmental agencies to post closings and cancellations.

 

The new software allows those posting to set up their own account and then post via any Internet browser 24/7, saving them time from previously having to call station officials or send e-mails, then wait on the information to be posted on-line.

 

The 2 Clinton-based radio stations will then read those closings and cancellations posted via its exclusive “Event Delay” software, from that page on dewittdailynews.com, bringing listeners the latest information submitted by school, business and government officials.

 

The software is the first of its kind to be used in the WHOW/WEZC coverage area, which extends from I-72 to I-74 and I-55 to I-57.

 

Company president Randal J. Miller said the acquisition of the “Event Delay” software brings WHOW/WEZC into the 21st Century using the latest technology to benefit both those who provide dewittdailynews.com readers with information, but an easier way for them to also get that information on-the-air.

Scovill Zoo Opens for the Season Saturday

Scovill Zoo reopens for the season Saturday.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Friday Director Ken Frye told Regional Radio they are a hosting a celebration for the fifth birthday of its wolves.

 

 

As is the case with many zoos in the midwest, there are birds at the Scovill Zoo that are off exhibit for the time as the Avian Bird Flu is still on the radar of animal caregivers. Frye indicates that included the popular penguin exhibit.

 

 

Hours for the spring for the Scovill Zoo are 9:30 am to 5 pm during the week with last admissions at 4 pm and 9:30 am to 6 pm on the weekends with the final admissions are 5 pm.

 

Frye points those wanting more information to find them on Facebook by searching Scovill Zoo. 

Macon County CASA Appreciative of Opportunity at Recent Clinton Chamber Business Expo

A DeWitt County non-profit is singing the praises of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce for its recent event at Clinton High School.

 

Julia Livingston is the Executive Director of the Macon County CASA program that recently expanded its program to DeWitt County last year. She praises Marian Brisard at the Chamber for her efforts to host a great event.

 

 

For Livingston, the Expo was a great opportunity to get in front of people tell them about all the things CASA is doing for the community. She says when people hear about what they are doing, they are finding great support.

 

 

Livingston indicates they had a few community members fill out an application to be a court-appointed special advocate and others were offering support through compliments. She says all those interactions are equally worthwhile.

 

Livingston points anyone interested in learning more about their program in both DeWitt and Macon Counties to go to maconcountycasa.org or find them on Facebook. 

Mt. Pulaski Schools Superintendent Discusses Teacher Shortage

School leaders across central Illinois have for several years running faced a major challenge in finding teachers to fill vacancies and the situation, according to some, is as dire as its ever been.

 

Fred Lamkey is the Superintendent of Mt. Pulaski Schools and says applicants are at a premium for just the basic courses at all levels.

 

 

Lamkey speculates the prospect of being a teacher is becoming less and less appealing because of the experiences of current teachers and those that may be interested in education are finding it less appealing.

 

 

For Lamkey, bucking the teacher shortage takes teachers in our communities to sell education to their students. He believes it is a noble profession where individuals can make a great difference in the lives of kids.

 

 

Another sticking point for Lamkey is teacher salaries need to be more competitive. He says teacher salaries are much better than they were five years ago but there's still work to be done there.

March Was National Nutrition Month

As we wave goodbye to March, a central Illinois nutritionist is hoping the lessons of 'National Nutrition Month' will be remembered.

 

Monica Nyman with the St. Louis District Dairy Council on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday indicated National Nutrition Month focuses on the education and information created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

 

 

Each year the Dairy Council offers a different theme for National Nutrition Month and this year it is 'Celebrate a World of Flavors'. Nyman hopes this gets people to step outside their comfort zone and maybe explore the literal world of possibilities with their food choices.

 

 

Nyman says several ethnic foods offer dairy in everyday recipes that are rather easy to put together. She also highlights some of the varieties you can come up with.

 

 

For some communities, access to a grocery store with ingredients for these recipes may be challenging but if you go to a larger, urban area specialty grocery stores are starting to become more common. If you can't find your way to these areas, Nyman encourages exploring what your grocery store does offer.

 

 

Nyman explains she enjoys talking to friends and family that will try out new foods frequently and follow their lead in going to new places and trying new things. 

 

She points anyone interested in more tips or recipes to visit stldairycouncil.org for more. You can also follow the Dairy Council on Facebook and Instagram. 

Voters Can Now Request Mail-In Ballot for June 28 Primary Election

REGISTERED VOTERS CAN NOW REQUEST A MAIL-IN BALLOT FOR THE JUNE 28TH PRIMARY ELECTION IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE PRIMARY IS A LITTLE LESS THAN THREE MONTHS AWAY, BUT IT DOESN’T HURT TO START PLANNING AND GET YOUR BALLOT. STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SPOKESPERSON MATT DIETRICH SAYS YOU CAN START THE PROCESS ON THEIR WEBSITE: ELECTIONS DOT IL DOT GOV.

 

 

DIETRICH SAYS YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL ELECTION AUTHORITY, SUCH AS THE COUNTY CLERK.

 

 

DIETRICH SAYS EVENTUALLY, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO PERMANENTLY REQUEST MAIL-IN BALLOTS FOR ALL FUTURE ELECTIONS.

Vaccinated Teachers Won't Have to Use Sick Days For COVID

TEACHERS WILL GET PAID LEAVE IF THEY CONTRACT COVID-19 UNDER A BILL HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK. 

 

THE CATCH IS THAT THIS ONLY APPLIES TO TEACHERS AND OTHER SCHOOL STAFF WHO HAVE BEEN VACCINATED SAYS SENATE PRESIDENT DON HARMON.

 

 

THAT’S A PROBLEM FOR SENATE MINORITY LEADER DAN MCCONCHIE.

 

 

THE BILL ALSO RESTORES SICK DAYS THAT VACCINATED TEACHERS HAD TO TAKE DURING THIS CURRENT SCHOOL YEAR DUE TO COVID.

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility

TODAY IS TRANSGENDER DAY OF VISIBILITY. 

 

A GROUP OF SENATORS HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE TO RECOGNIZE THE DAY AND TO PLEDGE THEIR SUPPORT FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY IN ILLINOIS. SENATOR MIKE SIMMONS OF CHICAGO SAYS THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASE IN HATEFUL LEGISLATION, INCLUDING IN TEXAS AND FLORIDA.

 

 

SENATOR KIMBERLY LIGHTFORD OF MAYWOOD, WHOSE DAUGHTER IS TRANS, ALSO SPOKE. SHE SAYS YOU DON’T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND SOMEONE’S GENDER IDENTITY TO BE KIND AND RESPECTFUL.

 

 

OTHER LAWMAKERS SPOKE ABOUT THE INCREASING AMOUNT OF HATEFUL LEGISLATION BEING PASSED IN OTHER STATES AND PLEDGED TO ALWAYS SUPPORT TRANS ILLINOISANS.

BBB Urges Caution Before Downloading Cashback Apps

The payday loan business has been around for a long time, and like many industries, it is changing with the times. There are now apps that allow you to get a loan by downloading an app and following the instructions. An investigator with the Better Business Bureau offers some precautions. Don O’Brien says some of these call themselves cashback apps.

 

 

He says while not illegal, you should be aware of the interest and fees, and remember that if you can wait until your actual payday, you won’t have to give away a large chunk of it for the ability to get some money sooner.

Illinois House Passes Bill Reaffirming Women's Reproductive Rights

DEMOCRATS IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE ARE WORKING TO REAFFIRM WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS.

 

IF A NURSE OR DOCTOR LOSES THEIR LICENSE IN ANOTHER STATE BECAUSE THEY ASSISTED WITH AN ABORTION, THEY COULD NOT BE DISCIPLINED HERE IN ILLINOIS UNDER A BILL PASSED BY THE HOUSE. IT’S SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE MAURA HIRSCHAUER OF BATAVIA.

 

 

IT’S SUPPORTED BY REPRESENTATIVE LAKESIA COLLINS OF CHICAGO.

 

 

THE HOUSE ALSO APPROVED RESOLUTIONS SUPPORTING THE ROE-V-WADE DECISION AND FULL STATE FUNDING OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD LOCATIONS IN ILLINOIS.

$309-Million in Assistance Available to Homeowners Impacted by COVID

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING A 309 MILLION DOLLAR ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR HOMEOWNERS IMPACTED BY COVID-19. 

 

ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS CAN RECEIVE UP TO 30-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN AID FOR A VARIETY OF EXPENSES SAYS ILLINOIS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SPOKESPERSON ANDREW FIELD.

 

 

FIELD URGES THOSE INTERESTED TO START GETTING ORGANIZED.

 

 

APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED STARTING APRIL 11TH, BUT FIELD RECOMMENDS CHECKING THE WEBSITE, ILLINOIS HOUSING HELP DOT ORG NOW TO FIND OUT WHAT DOCUMENTATION IS NEEDED.

Archives:

2022-09 | 2022-08 | 2022-07 | 2022-06 | 2022-05 | 2022-04 | 2022-03 | 2022-02 | 2022-01 | 2021-12 | 2021-11 | 2021-10 | 2021-09 | 2021-08 | 2021-07 | 2021-06 | 2021-05 | 2021-04 | 2021-03 | 2021-02 | 2021-01 | 2020-12 | 2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-09 | 2020-08 | 2020-07 | 2020-06 | 2020-05 | 2020-04 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-05 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2019-01 | 2018-12 | 2018-11 | 2018-10 | 2018-09 | 2018-08 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-09 | 2017-08 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-04 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-12 | 2015-11 | 2015-10 | 2015-09 | 2015-08 | 2015-07 | 2015-06 | 2015-05 | 2015-04 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07 | 2013-03 | 2013-02 | 2013-01 | 2012-12 | 2012-11 | 2012-10 | 2012-09 | 2012-08 | 2012-07 | 2012-06 | 2012-05 | 2012-04 | 2012-03 | 2012-02 | 2012-01 | 2011-12 | 2011-11 | 2011-10 | 2011-09 | 2011-08 | 2011-07

Local Weather - Sponsored By:

 

Townhall Top of the Hour News

 

SRN News