Local News

Warner Hospital Ready to Move Forward with Emergency Department Project

Warner Hospital in Clinton has for a few years now been looking forward to a makeover of its emergency department.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Paul Skowron told Regional Radio they recently wrapped up the pharmacy relocation project and are ready to move on to the emergency department renovation.

 

 

According to Skowron, the hospital's emergency department is one of the smallest in the state and he calls it uncomfortable to see it when it is busy. He explains they are looking to utilize space left behind from their move to the offices near KFC in Clinton.

 

 

The hospital is beginning to plan for the entrance they are planning to add to the specialty clinic portion of the facility. He notes they are beginning to think about zoning things they need to take care of for properties they've acquired that they plan to turn into a parking lot. 

Clinton Police Chief Discusses Fireworks as Fourth of July Weekend Approaches

The Fourth of July weekend is one of the loudest weekends as folks break out the consumer-grade pyrotechnics. 

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers is reminding fireworks are illegal in Illinois and only novelty items are legal.

 

 

The Chief admits on the Fourth of July, his department tends to be a little more lenient on the use of those items in the city limits but he says that has its limitations. He asks residents to be respectful of neighbors leading up to the Fourth of July, reminding it is a $100 fine for any violations. 

DNR: So Far So Good on Clinton Lake This Summer

It's been a pretty good summer on Clinton Lake.

 

Knocking on the wood of the WHOW studios, Captain John Williamson on the WHOW Morning Show told Regional Radio they have been pleased with the summer on the lake. He says the campground at Weldon Springs is always busy. 

 

 

According to Capt. Williamson, thefts on the lake are seeing a slight increase. He explains it isn't a big issue but they have seen thefts of items left in boats. He says there are some transient visitors to the lake. 

 

 

Many may not realize Clinton Lake Beach does not allow alcohol possession. Capt. Williamson says this is something they are dealing with this summer more than in years past.

 

 

Capt. Williamson anticipates another busy weekend for the Fourth of July. He says overall, those coming out to the lake have been very good about safety, sobriety and following parking rules and hopes to see it continue. 

Some Rain Chances for Early July

Some much-needed rain fell on parts of Illinois last weekend and there could be some good chances in early June.

 

 

That’s Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford. He spoke with the RFD Radio Network this week.

New Crime Gun Tracing Portal for Law Enforcement Announced

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL IS ANNOUNCING A NEW TOOL TO HELP POLICE INVESTIGATE GUN CRIMES IN ILLINOIS.

 

THE ONLINE PLATFORM IS CALLED “CRIME GUN CONNECT,” PROVIDING LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCESS TO THOUSANDS OF CRIME GUN TRACE RECORDS DATING BACK TO 2009 SAYS ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL.

 

 

PREVIOUSLY THAT INFORMATION WAS IN PAPER FORM, MAKING IT HARD FOR VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS TO COMPARE NOTES AND LINK CRIMES SAYS RAOUL.

 

 

RAOUL SAYS THE PLATFORM ALSO FEATURES SOPHISTICATED MAPPING TECHNOLOGY TO IDENTITY GUN TRAFFICKING TRENDS AND LIKELY OFFENDERS.

Illinois Department of Transportation Fourth of July Traffic Enforcement

YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE MORE LAW ENFORCEMENT OUT ON THE ROADS THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND. 

 

STATE POLICE TROOPERS AND MORE THAN 200 LOCAL DEPARTMENTS ARE BOOSTING EFFORTS TO CATCH DRUNK DRIVERS AND OTHER OFFENDERS SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL.

 

 

LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS, 22 PEOPLE DIED ON ILLINOIS ROADS OVER THE 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY. THAT’S THE HIGHEST TOTAL IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS.

Governor Signs CROWN Act

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW TO ADDRESS HAIR DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE.

 

THE “CROWN ACT” ENSURES EMPLOYERS CAN’T DISCRIMINATE AGAINST EMPLOYEES WHO WEAR THEIR HAIR NATURALLY OR IN ETHNIC STYLES. IT WAS SPONSORED IN THE HOUSE BY PEORIA REPRESENTATIVE JEHAN GORDON-BOOTH.

 

 

STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT BLACK WOMEN ARE 80 PERCENT MORE LIKELY THAN THEIR COUNTERPARTS TO CONFORM THEIR HAIRSTYLES TO MEET EXPECTATIONS AT WORK. 

 

 

THE LAW TAKES EFFECT IN JANUARY. A SIMILAR MEASURE WAS SIGNED LAST YEAR THAT BANNED SCHOOLS FROM DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ETHNIC HAIRSTYLES.

Clinton Schools Superintendent Offers Update on District's ISBE Lawsuit

In the thick of COVID this past school year, Clinton Schools joined a small, less-publicized lawsuit against the Illinois State Board of Education alleging they wrongly threatened to take away recognition status of schools if they did not follow the mandates from Gov. JB Pritzker.

 

That lawsuit recently received a ruling from the judge in the case. On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles told Regional Radio the ruling was it is a moot lawsuit because there is no standing executive order but the judge noted ISBE overstepped its authority.

 

 

According to Nettles, it was not a summary judgment but he felt it was enough to reference in the event more mandates are handed out in the future.

 

 

Nettles feels the previous school year was almost two years in one separated by masking requirements and the mask mandate being lifted.

 

He says they took advantage of the ability to relax COVID restrictions as much as they could when given the opportunity. 

University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Educator Discusses Food Preservation During Inflation, Energy Issues

It's going to be a tough summer for a lot of people as gas prices and food prices reach all-time highs in addition to predicted energy supply challenges.

 

A University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Educator is hoping some tips she has can be of help to those that anticipate a struggle. If we end up with power outages this summer, Caitlin Mellendorf says food preservation is going to be something we'll want to make sure we keep top of mind.

 

 

An increasingly popular food preservation practice is dehydration and Mellendorf says this can be a great option this summer. She explains there are several foods that can be dehydrated and thus do not have to be refrigerated.

 

 

As things heat up this summer, Mellendorf says we are going to want to use the food in our refrigerators first because that will go bad first. She says a strange but effective suggestion is to reheat food on the grill if you can.

 

 

In the event you have to turn to foods from the freezer, Mellendorf says to make sure those foods get completely cooked. She indicates there is growing evidence undercooked food, even vegetables, can cause sickness. 

Extension Educator Discusses Butterfly Gardens

Flower gardens are a popular hobby during the warmer months in Illinois, and pollinators play a key role in allowing them to flourish.

 

But how to get pollinators like butterflies into your gardens? Horticulture Educator with the University of Illinois Extension Office Brittany Haag (Hay-gue) has a surprising solution: milkweed.

 

 

She goes on to say there are other types of milkweed that caterpillars and butterflies really like and can be found at any local garden shop.

State Fire Marshal Promotes Fireworks Safety

THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO LEAVE FIREWORKS TO THE PROFESSIONALS.

 

FIREWORKS AND EVEN NOVELTY ITEMS LIKE SPARKLERS CAN BE DANGEROUS, CAUSING FIRES OR A TRIP TO THE E-R SAYS FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ. LAST SUMMER IN ILLINOIS, 202 PEOPLE WERE INJURED BY FIREWORKS AND ONE PERSON DIED.

 

 

FULTZ REMINDS THAT SPARKLERS BURN AT TEMPERATURES OF MORE THAN 12-HUNDRED DEGREES, WHICH IS HOT ENOUGH TO MELT MANY METALS. JUST ONE TOUCH TO THE SKIN MAY CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE OR SCARRING.

 

 

LAST SUMMER, MORE THAN 200 INJURIES CAUSED BY FIREWORKS AND ONE DEATH WERE REPORTED IN ILLINOIS. FULTZ SAYS MORE LIKELY OCCURRED BUT WENT UNREPORTED.

Gov. Pritzker to Face Sen. Bailey in Governor's Race

The Illinois gubernatorial race is set. Incumbent J.B. Pritzker will meet Republican challenger Darren Bailey in the fall. 

 

The Illinois Farm Bureau questioned the candidates on several ag related issues leading up to Tuesday night’s primary. Among the questions—"Over the years it appears that private property rights have become less important in the public policy debate, what are your ideas to balance private property rights with projects perceived to be for the public good?”

 

 

The general election is Nov. 8.

Incumbent Congressman Rodney Davis Defeated in Republican Primary

Incumbent 13th District Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville conceded his primary race late Tuesday night, after challenger Mary Miller of Oakland beat Davis in the new 15th District by a margin of 57 to 43 percent.

Davis issued a statement just before 10 o’clock Tuesday night, saying that he congratulated Congresswoman Miller and President Trump on their victory after a hard-fought campaign, and he wished Miller the best in representing the new 15th District.

Davis went on to say he has been honored to serve the 13th District since 2013, and will now focus on campaigning to help Republicans across Illinois get elected.  

He added that he hopes that if the Republicans re-take the U-S House, that they, quoting Davis, “work to end dysfunction and deliver results for the American people.”

Local Primary Election Results

Only a few contested races highlighted local elections in DeWitt County.

 

In the primary election for the Republican ticket in County Board District C, incumbent Megan Myers, Tom Farris, and Kristina Deerwester edged Steve Oswald.

 

In District D, incumbents Dan Matthews, Brian Riddle, and Melonie Tilley were unchallenged. 

 

In District A, incumbents Buck Carter and Jamie Prestegaard along with Joe White were unchallenged.

 

In District B, Terry Ferguson was the lone incumbent to be unchallenged. John Werts and Patrick Ryan joined Ferguson to advance to the general election in November. 

 

There was one other contested race for DeWitt County Treasurer. Sara Jade Russell defeated Codilee Snow. The race was to replace retiring Treasurer Gloria Wills.

 

Uncontested races in DeWitt County included Sheriff Mike Walker seeking re-election and Kari Harris for DeWitt County Clerk replacing retiring Clerk Dana Smith.

 

Results are unofficial but election night turnout is roughly 25 percent. 

It's Primary Election Day in Illinois; Several Local Races on Ballot

Today is Primary Election Day across Illinois.  Besides statewide races for several offices including Governor, State Senate and State Representative races, several counties in the Regional Radio listening area have some contested races on both the Republican and Democratic ballots.

In DeWitt County, Sara Jade Russell and Codilee Snow are competing for the Republican nomination for DeWitt County Treasurer.

And, in DeWitt County Board District C, 4 Republican candidates are running for 3 slots on the November ballot:  Thomas Ferris, Kristina Deerwester, Megan Myers, and Steve Oswald.

Polls close at 7 tonight.  Hear your vote count in our reports tonight on Regional Radio, and follow your county's races with the links we'll provide on dewittdailynews-dot-com.

DeWitt County Board Debates How to Pay for Flooring Improvements in DeWitt County Jail

Lengthy discussion last Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board meeting over spending of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds started when DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker requested a fix for the floor in the jail. 

 

Last week on Regional Radio News, this story was introduced just briefly and the conversation on how to pay for the nearly $100,000 expense. Dan Matthews, who temporarily led the property committee meeting, indicates they did not make a determination on how to pay for the flooring because there was no direction for ARPA money.

 

 

Sheriff Walker informed the Board the floor is original to the building and maintenance stopped waxing it and just cleaned it and now it is starting to become a safety hazard with the impacts of the change in care.

 

 

Roughly $300,000 sits in a fund called power plant escrow. Buck Carter wondered why that money has been untouched for several years to which Newberg offered an explanation on how it got there and why it is being left there.

 

 

Carter suggested taking funds from the general fund and then reimbursing the money with the escrow account funds. County Administrator DeeDee Rentmeister wasn't sure how that could be done but pointed out it was going to be her suggestion they re-allocate the funds to the general fund for the next budget cycle.

 

 

DeWitt County Board Chair Terry Ferguson brought up the prospect of using ARPA funds for the project or using the deprecation fund.

 

 

The conversation quickly transitioned to calls for plans for ARPA money. Aaron Kammeyer says there are a lot of different opinions on the use of the money but called for a plan to be put together for it.

 

 

Melonie Tilley suggested the ARPA funds pay for the project.

 

 

Sheriff Walker had his request approved to be funded through ARPA money. 

Weekly Crop Report

THERE'S BEEN A BIG JUMP IN WINTER WHEAT HARVESTING. 

 

FARMERS USED THE MORE THAN SIX DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK TO HARVEST WINTER WHEAT. CROP STATISTICIAN STEVE PARN LOOKS AT SOYBEANS.

 

 

WINTER WHEAT WENT FROM 18 PERCENT THE PREVIOUS WEEK TO 66 PERCENT NOW. THAT COMPARES TO THE AVERAGE OF ABOUT 57 PERCENT HARVESTED BY THIS TIME.

 

 

THE CONDITION OF THE ILLINOIS CORN CROP DROPPED SLIGHTLY TO 70 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NEARLY COMPLETE AND AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE CAME IN AT NINE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 22 PERCENT SHORT, 68 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND ONE PERCENT SURPLUS.

City of Atlanta Gearing Up for Busy 4th of July Weekend

Atlanta, Illinois is going to be hopping with activity this weekend for the 4th of July.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Tourism Director for Atlanta, Whitney Ortiz, told Regional Radio Atlanta's fireworks display is Saturday, July 2 and then Sunday there is going to be a car cruise-in on Sunday morning.

 

 

Later this month is an event Ortiz is very excited about. It's a Christmas in July celebration with all sorts of activities going on around the community. There will be a food truck in town, a golf scramble, and another car cruise-in.

 

 

The Christmas in July celebration will help the community raise money for the Christmas display in December. Ortiz indicates they are looking to refresh the things they do for Christmas in Atlanta.

 

 

Ortiz points anyone wanting more information on a busy July in Atlanta to the Atlanta, Illinois Facebook page or visit atlantaillinois.org. 

June is Men's Health Month

June is Men's Health Month. Dr. Andrew Peterson from OSF Healthcare shares some statistics on Men's Health in the state of Illinois...

 

 

Among the important elements of Men's Health to remember is quitting smoking. Men tend to smoke more than women and tend to die from smoking related illnesses in greater numbers than women do.

Illinois Farm Bureau Senior Economist Talks Input Prices

There doesn’t appear to be any significant relief in sight on input costs like anhydrous or potash. Illinois Farm Bureau Senior Economist Mike Doherty recently participated in a Kansas State University ag economist webinar.

 

 

Doherty says the K-State ag economist webinar indicated crude oil prices will likely stay at or above the $100 mark even if the Russian-Ukraine situation is resolved.

WHOW/WEZC's Big Red Barn Being Remodeled Inside

 

The Big Red Barn 4 miles south of Clinton, that houses WHOW, WEZC, and dewittdailynews.com, is getting an inside facelift.

 

The building’s suspended ceiling, which was over 20 years old, is being replaced with brand new ceiling tile.

 

 

The work began earlier this month, and is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

 

Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc., owns the stations, and company president Randal J. Miller said it’s a further investment in the Clinton broadcast properties to keep the nearly 40-year-old building up to date.

 

 

The building’s broadcast studios were remodeled in 2009, and it got a new roof—with the iconic call letters WHOW installed on the new metal roof—in 2010.  

 

The entire interior was painted and flooring replaced, during the first quarter of 2013.

 

KBI took over management of the stations in October 2007, and took possession in January of 2008.

 

The 2 Clinton stations are part of group owner Miller Media Group’s 8 stations across Central Illinois.

DeWitt County Board Discusses Dealing With Illegal Parking at Clinton Lake

When Clinton Lake is at its busiest, parking violations are abundant.

 

It's an issue that was taken up by the DeWit County Board last Thursday night at its regular monthly meeting. Clinton Lake Marina Chairman Dan Matthews says the County needs to put something in place to deter that kind of activity.

 

 

DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker suggested any violators be towed. He does not want to see his limited resources, particularly manpower that is continuously fluctuating in numbers, be the parking police at the lake.

 

 

According to the Sheriff, when they encounter a parking violation in town, they can run a license plate, contact the owner of the vehicle and get voluntary compliance. At the Lake, you run into the situation of a person on the water who cannot or won't be back to their vehicle for some time.

 

 

Matthes stressed this is not a revenue-generating measure for the county, they simply want parking compliance for the safety of everyone at the lake. DNR has recently discussed the lack of compliance in regards to parking at the campground of the lake and the dangers it has presented in recent years. 

Mt. Pulaski Schools Looking Into New Security System

A security system the federal government has condemned is leaving a Logan County school district in a pickle.

 

Mt. Pulaski Schools Superintendent Fred Lamkey explains the security system they installed as a part of a multi-million dollar facility update is being banned by the government for its ties to China.

 

 

Despite the short notice, they hope to have everything swapped out by the end of the summer in time for school to start in the fall. He notes they have access to COVID dollars and are exploring grants to cover the costs of the system change.

 

 

Conversations around security in schools are certain to amplify once again following the tragic events in Uvalde, Texas. Lamkey indicates security conversations never stop but they certainly become more urgent after tragic events.

 

 

Lamkey feels having a law enforcement presence at their buildings acts as a deterrent to anyone who might think about harming people near the campus. He also credits the district's SRO for forging strong relationships with teachers and students to stay apprised of any issues that may be going on. 

Importance of Staying Hydrated

You probably don't need the reminder to stay hydrated during the heat of the summer but remaining hydrated does more than just protect you from these hot summer days.

 

Dr. Jim LaValle is the author of 'Cracking the Metabolic Code' and is the clinical director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Performance Health Program. He explains water is vital to kidney function and filtering.

 

 

Dr. LaValle says there are varying schools of thought on how much water we should be drinking. He a quart, half a gallon, a gallon, or a quart are fine as long as you drinking enough water to fit your lifestyle.

 

 

Like the dairy case, the selections for water have evolved a lot with technology and research however, Dr. LaValle is not a fan of all the options there are out there. He is a big proponent of filtered water if you can. 

 

 

If you are going to use drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, and others, he recommends going with the zero sugar options because our bodies don't need that much sugar. 

Watch Out for Fake Websites

If you’re surfing the web for business or pleasure, it can be easy to be tricked into clicking on a fake website. Fake websites are sites put up by scammers that claim to be an official site for a business, charity, or government agency, but they are actually just trying to mine your personal information or trick you into sending money.

 

BBB Investigator Don O’Brien says scam websites often have very similar URLs and can look nearly identical to the real website.

 

 

He also advises you to watch out for tricky subdomains. Sometimes attackers hope you will confuse a subdomain with the real domain name of their website. For example, a scammer might use the domain name netflix.com.movies.com hoping you won’t notice the real domain name is actually movies.com.

Illinois Student Assistance Commission Highlights Increased MAP Grant Funding

THE ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION IS HIGHLIGHTING A BIG INCREASE IN COLLEGE MAP GRANT FUNDING THAT WILL HELP AS MANY AS 155-THOUSAND STUDENTS.

 

601 MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE NEW FISCAL YEAR THAT STARTS NEXT MONTH. I-SAC SPOKESPERSON LYNNE BAKER SAYS THAT MEANS MORE STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO RECEIVE THE VALUABLE FINANCIAL LIFELINE TO COLLEGE.

 

 

THE GRANTS WILL COVER 42 TO 55 PERCENT OF AVERAGE TUITION AND FEE COSTS, DEPENDING ON WHERE A STUDENT GOES TO SCHOOL IN ILLINOIS. 

 

moremap222 :10 CUE: low-income students.

 

THE INCREASE IN MAP FUNDING WILL ALSO ALLOW FOR HIGHER GRANT AMOUNTS. VISIT: ISAC DOT ORG TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND HOW TO APPLY.

DeWitt County Board Chair Weighs In On County's ARPA Money Debate

The Chairman of the DeWitt County Board believes they have finally agreed on how to best go forward with several million dollars in COVID relief money from the federal government.

 

The County Board at various points throughout the year have had spirited discussions on how to spend the money they are getting as a part of the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA. Terry Ferguson on the WHOW Morning Show Friday told Regional Radio there are varying opinions on what to do with the money and believes they have started to figure it out.

 

 

According to Ferguson, the guidelines for the funding have changed quite a bit since its first issuance. He explains it went from an offset of lost revenue for the County to lost revenue for any entity.

 

 

Ferguson notes they have decided to make roughly $600,000 available to the community's non-profits and the rest will be used within the county for improvements.

Lightning Safety Awareness Week

THIS IS LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK.

 

THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY SAYS WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS…SINCE THAT USUALLY MEANS LIGHTING IS CLOSE BEHIND. BUT IF YOU’RE STUCK OUTSIDE, SPOKESPERSON KEVIN SUR HAS THIS ADVICE:

 

 

THE BEST SHELTER IS A SUBSTANIAL BUILDING OR A HARD-TOPPED VEHICLE WITH DOORS AND WINDOWS CLOSED.


 

IEMA SAYS EVEN INDOORS YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL WHEN IT’S LIGHTNING. THAT MEANS AVOIDING ANYTHING CONNECTED TO ELECTRICITY, LANDLINE PHONES AND PLUMBING. SUR SAYS YOU SHOULD ALSO STAY OFF YOUR BALCONY OR PORCH AND DON’T LIE ON CONCRETE FLOORS OR LEAN AGAINST CONCRETE WALLS.

Gov. Pritzker Calling for Special Legislative Session to Address Women's Reproductive Rights

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS CALLING LAWMAKERS BACK TO SPRINGFIELD TO FURTHER PROTECT REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS THE SPECIAL SESSION WILL BE HELD IN THE COMING WEEKS. IT'S SUPPORTED BY HOUSE SPEAKER CHRIS WELCH.

 

 

IT WILL IN PART ADDRESS THE INFLUX OF WOMEN EXPECTED TO COME TO ILLINOIS FOR AN ABORTION.

 

 

THE GROUP, PLANNED PARENTHOOD ILLINOIS ACTION IS CALLING FOR NURSE PRACTIONERS TO BE ALLOWED TO PERFORM EARLY STAGE ABORTIONS AS WELL AS MORE FUNDING FOR PROVIDERS TO EXPAND LOCATIONS AND SUPPORT WOMEN TRAVELING TO ILLINOIS FOR THE PROCEDURE.

Weekly Weather Summary

It was a warm week in Illinois but the oppressive heat was minimal. U of I Extension's Todd Gleason has more on the weather...

 

 

DeWitt County Board Continues Debate Over ARPA Funds

The DeWitt County Board for the better part of 2022 has been debating how to use federal COVID dollars and there was more of it Thursday night at the monthly Board meeting.

 

On the Thursday agenda were a couple of requests for funding for projects and ARPA (America Rescue Plan Act) funds - that are in the millions - were roped into the conversation. It started with a request from DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker for upgrading his department's jail flooring. The debate centered around where the funding should come from as it wasn't budgeted for.

 

 

Upon Buck Carter's proposal to use money from an Exelon escrow account, which we'll have more on next week on Regional Radio News, the conversation progressed to using ARPA funds for the proposal. 

 

 

The Board approved the Sheriff's request for the new jail flooring from ARPA money but Megan Myers echoed Aaron Kammeyer's thoughts on prioritizing where they want the money to go. Board Chair Terry Ferguson pointed out there was an agenda item later in the meeting to do just that.

 

 

Later in the meeting, the Board approved making 20 percent of the total ARPA funds available for grants to small businesses. Ferguson pointed out most businesses that applied for the funding when it was initially made available earlier this year are having a banner year and he felt it would best be used to go to non-profits for their revenue losses.

 

 

Over $600,000 was proposed to be made available from the funds to the public. David Newberg pointed out DeWitt County is doing more with this funding for the business and non-profit community than any community surrounding it.

 

 

 

Ferguson and Dan Matthews outlined how they arrived at the 20 percent and Matthews noted the federal guidelines have changed significantly regarding how the money can be used.

 

 

As the conversation progressed, County Administrator DeeDee Rentmeister pointed out the firm they hired to assist the County in using the funds, Bellweather, has advised if the County decides to just distribute the money, to request tax returns. The other option is to go back to these groups and have them make a request for a project.

 

 

The Board held a recent meeting regarding the applications they received for the funding and according to Newberg, no one from the public showed up to the meeting. The conversation between Kammeyer and Newberg grew tense when Kammeyer suggested Kammeyer suggested those applicants be made aware of the meeting to which Newberg took exception because the meeting was posted and an open meeting.

 

 

CENCOM Director Tony Harris soon after the 20 percent of the ARPA money, or just over $600,000, was approved was making a presentation for an upgrade to his office's equipment. Before a vote or Harris could field questions, Kammeyer interjected further regarding needing more organization regarding requests for ARPA money.

 

 

Travis Houser and Sheriff Walker defended the request from Harris citing its importance. 

 

 

As the County's annual budget process begins in July, Melonie Tilley, the County's finance committee chair, encouraged any requests to be submitted to the Board with details of what they need and why.

 

 

Like the Sheriff's request for new flooring in the jail to be paid for with ARPA money, the Board approved Harris' request for new equipment in the 9-1-1 center from ARPA funds.

 

We'll have more from the County Board meeting next week on Regional Radio. 

Pollinator Week Celebrated

Pollinator Week is being celebrated this week and the Illinois Farm Bureau is highlighting several projects throughout the state.

 

 

Illinois Farm Bureau's Raelynn Parmely says pollinator resources are available at ilfb.org/pollinators.

More Energy Savings Advice from Ameren

Summer has officially arrived, and increased temperatures are already here.

 

Ameren Illinois officials are advising customers on how to stay safe and cool and manage their electricity usage to save money. Stephanie Robinson is an Energy Efficiency Consultant with Ameren Illinois.

 

 

Robinson also recommends increasing your thermostat a few degrees and invest in a dehumidifier as reducing the amount of moisture in the air can make your home seem much cooler.

 

Customers can find my information on how to save by heading to amerenillinoissavings.com. 

Prairie Flyers Aviation Exhibit Hosting Sunday Drone Competition

The Prairie Flyers; A Century of Aviation in DeWitt County and its organizers are hosting a drone competition this weekend.

 

Drones are growing in popularity by the day and a competitive drone competition takes place Sunday at the DeWitt County Museum. It will be an Illinois Multirotor race at 1 pm.

 

Organizers hope those in attendance will check out the professionally curated exhibit in the carriage barn of the museum. It features the stories of DeWitt County people with ties to aviation, along with a large collection of artifacts, are on display in the Carriage Barn at the museum. 

 

Visitors will learn about Red Irwin, owner of Hooterville Airport, the county’s oldest airfield whose reputation as a stunt pilot and oil company executive, military pilots like Earnest Thorp, crop duster and hot air balloonist Jack Holland and navy pilot Henry Kleemann.

 

The special exhibit has attracted visitors from across the country and recognition for the level of professional design by Denis Hambucken, a New Hampshire graphic artist, author and historian, who volunteered his time and talent to the exhibit. An exhibit catalog of Prairie Flyer stories and a large selection of aviation-themes items is available.

 

The final presentation of speakers related to the exhibit will be held at 6 p.m. on June 30 at the Vespasian Warner Public Library with local pilot John’s Warner’s presentation on the Hooterville Airport. Warner will share stories of Red Irwin’s history as a daring stunt pilot and the fascinating history of the airfield. Reservations may be made by calling the library at 217-935-5174.

 

The Prairie Flyers exhibit is open until July 3. Exhibit hours are 10-5, Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday.

Constellation Energy Says Plants are Ready for Summer Heat

A Constellation Energy spokesman says the company’s nuclear power plants haven't been bothered by the heat waves and are expected to provide enough electricity reliably all summer. 

 

The company was spun off from Exelon and now owns the former Exelon nuclear plants. Brett Nauman says ComEd buys most of Constellation’s electricity in Illinois. That electricity doesn't have far to go. So, the risk of transmission line trouble is minimized for those customers.

 

 

Some electric companies are warning they have to get electricity from out of state this year after coal powered plants in Illinois closed. The transmission lines that bring it from other places may reach their peak loads before customers get to peak demand.

June is Dairy Month

An Illinois dairy advocacy group is celebrating in the month of June.

 

Not only is June Dairy Month but it is also the 90th year of the St. Louis District Dairy Council. Monica Nyman indicates the theme is how dairy has moved forward in its nine decades and gives recognition to dairy farmers.

 

 

According to Nyman, nearly 100 years ago, the promotion of dairy consisted of posters for marketing and demonstrations with a milk cow. With the advancements in technology, that promotion has been made easier.

 

 

The evolution of dairy has included the introduction of new products to the dairy case over the years. Nyman says this largely is driven by consumer demand but there is also a component of dairy products that provide an abundance of nutrients.

 

 

According to Nyman, ultra-filtered milk is becoming very popular that offers a significant amount of protein. She points out dairy offers healthy bacteria which is good for gut health.

 

 

Nyman predicts the evolutions in the dairy case will continue to expand as people's dietary needs and health goals change.

Registration for Annual Dudley Smith Field Day Coming Up Fast

Registration for a popular ag event in Christian County is quickly approaching.

 

The Dudley Smith Farm Field Day is coming up in July but registration for the event is this Friday. Director for the University of Illinois Extension Logan, Menard, and Sangamon Counties Terri Miller-Casey indicates you do not want to miss out on this opportunity.

 

 

It's a day full of education and information for farmers and those in the ag world. Miller-Casey says there will be topics of interest for anyone in agriculture.

 

 

The field day is wildly popular and Miller-Casey emphasizes you do not want to miss out on this opportunity that she feels is a good networking opportunity. 

 

 

You can get more information about the Dudley Smith Farm Field Day by visiting dsi.aces.illinois.edu. 

New Name for Asian Carp

In a world often dominated by marketing an invasive fish that hasn’t found many takers when it comes to eating it is getting a rebrand.

 

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources wants people to stop thinking about Asian Carp and instead call them ….

 

 

That’s chef Brian Jupiter from Chicago. The effort will hopefully boost the fishing industry to take more of the fish out of local rivers and create more of a commercial market for them.

 

The IDNR says the more people that are willing to eat them will create jobs in the state and help restore natural fishing habitats. In the Illinois River as much as 70% of fish biomass are Asian Carp or now Copi.

Natural Gas Prices Soaring

The price for natural gas has doubled since April. Nicor Gas spokesperson Jennifer Golz says that’s a cost Nicor passes on to customers without profiting. It may not be a big deal to most customers in the summertime, but it will be if the price doesn’t come down by the fall when people start turning on their furnaces.

 

 

The $1.11 per therm on the most recent bills reflects uncertainty in the market due to the energy supply. Golz says it’s affected by things like politics and conflicts around the world. The utility company has a service called the Community Connection Center to help people find financial aid paying their utility bills and cutting their energy use. There’s financial aid to cover bills. And there are rebates for insulating and sealing a home.

This Weekend is the Sangamon County 4-H Fair

The Sangamon County 4-H fair is this weekend in New Berlin.

 

Extension Director for the Logan, Menard, and Sangamon County University of Illinois Extension Terri Miller-Casey on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday told Regional Radio things are returning to normal at this year's show.

 

 

According to Miller-Casey, a practice they started during the pandemic will carry into future fairs. She explains they are arranging for the youth to come to the fairgrounds for showing at certain times.

 

 

Miller-Casey finds the most enjoyment in the talent of the kids being on display at the 4-H fairs. 

Clinton Schools End Up With Bigger Profit for 2021-22 School Year Than Planned

Thanks to federal funds through COVID, Clinton Schools ended up with a bigger profit margin than expected for the fiscal year that wraps up on June 31.

 

That's according to Assistant Superintendent Drew Goebel who presented the Clinton Board of Education with the amended budget at the Tuesday night Board of Education meeting.

 

 

According to Goebel, operations and maintenance are where they saw the most impactful results of inflation. However, he points out, they still have a healthy fund balance for those things.

 

 

Goebel reminds next year, the free lunch program that was offered the last two years goes away, so money for that program will not be coming in any longer, and students that do not qualify for free or reduced lunches will have to go back to paying for their meals. 

How to Deal With the Heat at Home

The dangerous heat may be straining your air conditioner, but there are ways to ease the load. 

 

An Ameren Illinois spokesman says you can do several little things to improve your home's efficiency, allowing your AC to be more effective. Marcelyn Love says you can change the direction of your ceiling fan to a counter-clockwise direction, blowing the air straight down, and take a look at how you are illuminating your home too.

 

 

She also suggests you use adequate insulation in the attic, ceilings, walls, floors, and crawlspaces. Seal air leaks with caulk and use weather stripping around exterior doors and windows. And close the shades or curtains during these hot days to keep the sun out during the heat of the day.

New Law Creates Statewide Drug Take-Back Program

A NEW ILLINOIS LAW CREATES A STATEWIDE DRUG TAKE-BACK PROGRAM. 

 

THE GOAL IS TO KEEP UNUSED MEDICATIONS OUT OF THE HANDS OF KIDS, THOSE WHO MIGHT ABUSE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND WATER SUPPLIES. THE MEASURE WAS SPONSORED BY SENATOR LAURA FINE OF GLENVIEW.

 

 

IT WILL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES TO GET THE PROGRAM SET UP.

 

 

SOME COUNTIES AND DRUG STORES ALREADY HAVE A TAKE BACK PROGRAM, BUT THIS WILL BE THE FIRST SYSTEM AVAILABLE ACROSS THE STATE.

Illinois State Police Warns Motorists No to Engage in Aggressive Driving Behaviors

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE IS URGING MOTORISTS TO TAMPER DOWN THE ROAD RAGE, ESPECIALLY ON CHICAGO AREA EXPRESSWAYS. 

 

ACCORDING TO THE STATE POLICE, THERE’S BEEN AN INCREASE IN ROAD RAGE INCIDENTS ON CHICAGOLAND EXPRESSWAYS THAT HAVE ESCALATED TO GUN VIOLENCE. TROOPER RODGER GOINES (go-ins) SAYS YOU SHOULD TRY TO AVOID DRIVERS WHO ARE TAILGATING, SPEEDING AND CUTTING OFF OTHER VEHICLES.

 

 

AND IF YOU CAN’T GET AWAY FROM THAT DRIVER…

 

 

THE STATE POLICE SAYS GETTING AHEAD OR GETTING EVEN WITH ANOTHER DRIVER IS NOT WORTH THE RISK OF A CRASH OR VIOLENCE.

Weekly Crop Report

SOYBEAN PLANTING IS WRAPPING UP IN ILLINOIS. 

 

98 PERCENT OF SOYBEAN ACRES HAVE NOW BEEN PLANTED, AND THE CONDITION OF THE CROP DROPPED TO 66 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

 

THE CONDITION OF THE CORN CROP FELL A LITTLE AS WELL, TO 71 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT SHAPE. STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT THE WINTER WHEAT CROP.

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT TWO PERCENT VERY SHORT, 29 PERCENT SHORT, 68 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND ONE PERCENT SURPLUS.

No Live Poultry Shows at Illinois State Fair This Year

THERE WILL BE NO LIVE POULTRY SHOWS AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR THIS YEAR. 

 

THE MOVE IS DUE TO CONTINUED CONCERNS ABOUT THE HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS AVIAN INFLUENZA SAYS THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S DOCTOR STACI SLAGER.

 

 

IT’S JUST NOT A SAFE ENVIRONMENT SAYS SLAGER.

 

 

JUNIOR POULTRY EXHIBITORS HAVE UNTIL JULY 15TH TO ENTER THE POSTER CONTEST. MORE DETAILS WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: ILLINOIS STATE FAIR DOT INFO.

Clinton City Council Hears of Slow Progress on Illini Drive Development

Residents in Clinton have been wondering what the hold-up is for planned residential development on Illini Drive near the Clinton schools campus.

 

Development of Illini Drive on the community's southwest side has been ongoing for roughly a year but since November, there's been minimal movement. Tuesday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Neil Fenwick from the Farnsworth group indicates the rains of the spring have resulted in the moisture of the ground has resulted in problems that have held up pavement being laid.

 

 

Council members seemed to be upset the paving could have been done last November but it was not and now it is costing the City extra money to mitigate the extra moisture to allow the pavement to be laid without issues in the future. Clinton Public Works Director Steve Lobb says he is disappointed this was not done last spring but the reality is, they need to start finding solutions. 

 

 

Council members agreed to move forward with the recommendation from Farnsworth but Commissioners were adamant they let the contractor, Stark Excavating be aware of the displeasure the job was not done when at the opportune, and agreed upon time, of last fall.

 

 

To properly accept bids but to move forward on the work, City Attorney Steve Meyers recommended the Council recess the Tuesday meeting to next Tuesday night to approve the bids at that time but allow the contractors to move forward on work necessary. 

 

While Farnsworth stressed they could not guarantee the mitigations would be 100-percent effective, they felt it was a quality solution but also noted prime working days were being wasted.

Clinton YMCA Highlighting Insurance Coverage Programs for Help with Membership Costs

A central Illinois health and wellness non-profit is highlighting how your insurance might be able to help cover membership costs.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Clinton YMCA Executive Director Rennie Cluver called health insurance 'sick insurance' because we only use it when we're sick. He believes healthcare involves an active lifestyle that will help you reduce your medications and illness side effects.

 

 

Bonnie Taylo with the Clinton Y outlines how your health insurance might be able to help you afford to be a part of the YMCA and improve your health. She says there are several programs available that various insurance providers offer.

 

 

No matter your fitness level or your mobility limitations, there is something for everyone at the Y. Cluver explains they have staff that would be happy to point you in the right direction if you're looking to get involved.

 

 

Taylo indicates while Y staff can answer basic questions on the programs available, this is something the member is going to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting on because they will have to get in touch with the insurance provider.

 

Cluver points out if your insurance provider has a program but the Y is not a part of it, let them know and he will do what he can to enroll the Y so you can experience that benefit. He also notes, if you have income limitations and your insurance does not have any benefits like this, get a hold of the Y because you may qualify for assistance on your membership. 

 

Contact the Clinton YMCA at 217-935-8307 or visit clintoncommymca.org. You can also stop in at 417 South Alexander Street in Clinton. 

Master Gardener Help Desk Coming To Clinton Library

If you're in need of help identifying issues in the yard or garden, then a service returning this week to Clinton's Warner Public Library could be just what you're looking for.

 

Samantha Rusk, Business Manager at the Vespasian Warner Library, notes they are teaming up with the University of Illinois Extension to offer a Master Gardeners Help Desk at the library on select dates this summer...

 

 

According to Rusk, Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to help you with specific issues you're having in the yard or garden...

 

 

Again, the next Master Gardeners Help Desk at Clinton's Warner Public Library takes place this Thursday, June 23rd, from 3-5pm.  To learn more, contact the library at 217-935-5174.

State Officials Celebrate Juneteenth, Say More Needs to Be Done

STATE OFFICIALS ARE CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH, BUT SAY MORE MUST BE DONE.

 

LAST SUMMER GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SIGNED A LAW CREATING THE HOLIDAY, MARKING THE END OF SLAVERY IN THE U-S. JUNETEENTH LATER BECAME A FEDERAL HOLIDAY. TODAY (MONDAY) HE JOINED AN EVENT IN CHICAGO, ECHOING THE SENTIMENTS OF MANY THAT THE FIGHT ISN'T OVER.

 

 

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JULIANA STRATTON IS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO HOLD THE POSITION IN ILLINOIS.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THE STATE IS MAKING STRIDES WITH INVESTMENTS IN VIOLENCE REDUCTON PROGRAMS, JOB TRAINING AND EDUCATION AND REFORMS TO THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

Local Lawmakers on Caterpillar Move

Last week Caterpillar announced they will be moving headquarters from Deerfield, Illinois to Texas and a couple of state lawmakers offer their opinions on the subject.

State Representative Dan Caulkins indicates the decision of Caterpillar to relocate creates a "public relations nightmare" for the state. He says companies like Cat and Boeing leaving the state sends the wrong message.

 

 

Caulkins fears once Caterpillar and other companies move their headquarters out of the state it will only make it easier for them to relocate manufacturing plants.

 

 

State Senator Chapin Rose feels this move should be a wake-up call to Gov. Pritzker and Illinois Democrats. He says corporations relocating headquarters out of Illinois are a blow to the state's economy.

 

 

Rose echoes Caulkins's sentiments regarding relocating headquarters only making it easier for companies to move their manufacturing. He would like to see more investments being made for plants to stay in Illinois.

 

 

Both lawmakers remind the public to vote in the upcoming primary election and general election in November if they are unhappy with the current political and economic climate of the state.

Social Security Reminding Medicaid Members to Update Address With Illinois Healthcare and Family Services

Social Security is asking Medicaid Members to update their addresses for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS).

 

During the Public Health Emergency (PHE) they have not been required to do verifications of eligibility factors for the Medicaid program. Jack Myers at Social Security explains once the emergency ends, they will have to resume these Medicaid verifications, and they will do so via mail.  

 

 

According to Myers, HFS does not know when that will be, but they are trying to let people know that it is very important to update their address with Illinois HFS. If they don’t have your correct address, you won’t get the verification forms they send out and you risk losing your Medicaid health insurance. If you are on Medicare, but the premiums are being paid by Medicaid, you risk losing that assistance as well. 

 

 

Again those phone numbers are 877-805-5312 or 877-204-1012 and you can call Monday through Friday between 7:45 AM-4:30 PM. You can also update online at www2.illinois.gov/hfs/address. 

Illinois Housing Development Authority Announces $75-Million in Affordable Housing Development Grants

THE STATE IS AWARDING NEARLY 75 MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS TO INCREASE AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPTIONS IN ILLINOIS.

 

THE FEDERALLY-FUNDED GRANTS WILL BE USED TO FINANCE CONSTRUCTION AND REHAB PROJECTS AROUND THE STATE, PROVIDING OVER ONE-THOUSAND UNITS SAYS ILLINOIS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KRISTIN FAUST.

 

 

THE MONEY COMES FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND WILL HELP FUND THE CONSTRUCTION OR REMODEL OF MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND UNITS ACROSS THE STATE. 

 

 

OTHER LOCATIONS RECEIVING GRANTS INCLUDE PERU, BLOOMINGTON, MUNDELEIN, MOUNT CARROLL, EAST SAINT LOUIS AND MARION.

Gov. Pritzker Discusses Political Future

Governor JB Pritzker is raising some eyebrows with upcoming trips to the northeast including New Hampshire. The trips and planned events have some wondering if the Governor is thinking about a run for President in 2024. Gov. Pritzker says he’s going on the road to campaign for other Governors. Maintaining its about supporting pro-choice governors if Roe V. Wade is overturned.

 

 

Pritzker is also pushing hard for Chicago to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

Celebrate Clinton Association Fundraising for Fourth of July Fireworks Display

The community group that has taken up the efforts to raise money for the annual Clinton fireworks display is actively fundraising for this year's display.

 

Edith Brady-Lunny with the Celebrate Clinton Association says they are well on the way to having the funds for this year's display but points out they face an increase in the cost for the display this year.

 

 

Donation boxes for the display are scattered at various businesses and locations in the community. Brady-Lunny says you can also mail a contribution to PO Box 436 in Clinton. 

 

The Celebrate Clinton Association is introducing a 'Founder's Day' event later this summer and she also notes they have their eye on introducing other events that highlight the rich history of the community. 

Clinton Chamber of Commerce Hosting Summer Golf Outing Tuesday

While the registration for the event has closed, the Clinton Chamber of Commerce is reminding you'll likely see an uptick in activity at the Clinton Country Club Tuesday for its annual golf outing.

 

Marian Brisard is the Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber and says despite the number of teams being down for the June event, there's still a lot of fun going to be had at the outing this year, and everyone that participates always has a good time.

 

 

Hear live coverage from the Chamber golf outing next Tuesday on WHOW from 1 pm to 2 pm.

 

Brisard also reminds that will be the day of the drawing for the 'Experience Clinton Lake' raffle they have going on. She says you can still get tickets up to the start of the outing on Tuesday. 

Illinois Attorney General Announces Employment Program for Crime Victims

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL IS LAUNCHING AN EMPLOYMENT PILOT PROGRAM FOR VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIME. 

 

THE REBOUND TO WORK PROGRAM INCLUDES A SERIES OF WEBINARS THAT FOCUS ON WRITING A RESUME, INTERVIEWING SKILLS AND MORE. ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL SAYS THIS WILL HELP SURVIVORS OF VIOLENCE WHO HAVE BEEN TRAUMATIZED ENOUGH.

 

 

THE CORPORATE PARTNERS INCLUDE AMAZON, A-T-AND-T AND MCDONALD’S. AFTER PARTICIPANTS GO THROUGH THE WEBINARS, BUSINESSES AND VICTIM ADVOCACY GROUPS WILL PROVIDE INDIVIDUAL COACHING AND REVIEW JOB OPPORTUNITIES.

 

 

CURRENT CORPORATE PARTNERS INCLUDE A-T-AND-T, ILLINOIS AMERICAN WATER, AMAZON, MCDONALD’S AND SOUTHWEST AIRLINES.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Bill to Further Protect Survivors of Sexual Assault

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING TWO BILLS TO FURTHER PROTECT SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.

 

ONE NEW LAW CLARIFIES THAT A PERSON WHO KNOWINGLY GETS DRUNK OR HIGH CANNOT GIVE CONSENT SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

ONE OF THE NEW LAWS WAS PROMPTED BY A YOUNG SUBURBAN WOMAN, KAYLYN ANH. SHE WAS RAPED LAST YEAR AFTER DRINKING.

 

 

THE LAW CLARIFIES THAT A PERSON WHO KNOWINGLY GETS DRUNK OR HIGH CANNOT GIVE CONSENT. ANOTHER IMPROVES THE CARE AVAILABLE TO SURVIVORS. A SECOND NEW LAW EXPANDS WHERE SURVIVORS CAN ACCESS TREATMENT AND FOR HOW LONG.

Weekly Weather Summary

This week saw the first extended run of heat in central Illinois and State Climatologist Trent Ford says more heat is on the way next week.

 

 

BBB Offers Tips on Booking Summer Vacations

If you're planning a vacation this summer, there are some pitfalls the Better Business Bureau says you can avoid by following some simple advice. So far this year, U.S. consumers have reported over $80,000 lost to travel scams – a 187% increase in monetary losses compared to the same period in 2021.

 

Investigator Don O'Brien says you should book your trip through a reliable travel agent, travel site or directly with the hotel or carrier. He says if you are purchasing tickets for an event, take the time to understand what you are buying and who you are buying them from.

 

 

When planning an event or looking for a good deal for a family vacation or getaway, BBB encourages people to plan ahead to save money, avoid scams, and travel safely. Scammers will often target people looking for great deals online by offering tempting vacation packages at unrealistically low prices.

Consumers Spend More on Food Away From Home in 2021

Consumers in the United States returned to pre-pandemic trends, purchasing more food away from home than food purchases intended for consumption at home. 

 

USDA’s Economic Research Service released the data Monday, which shows food away from home spending increased 21.1 percent in 2021 from the previous year. Food at home spending also increased, up four percent in 2021.

 

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, real total food expenditures fell 6.6 percent from 2019. U.S. consumers’ food-spending patterns changed as efforts were made to limit the spread of COVID-19, which included stay-at-home orders. 

 

Food away from home spending decreased by 15.8 percent in 2020, while food at home spending increased by 3.9 percent. In 2021, real total food expenditures increased 12.2 percent from 2020. 

 

USDA describes food at home as food intended for off-premise consumption from retailers, and food away from home as food consumed at outlets such as restaurants or cafeterias. 

U.S. Ag Tractor, Combine Sales Fall Below Five-Year Average in May 2022

U.S. tractor and combine monthly unit sales in May 2022 fell below the five-year average for the first time since March 2020, while Canadian sales remained above the line. 

 

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers released the monthly data last week, which shows U.S. total farm tractor sales fell 14.5 percent for the month of May compared to 2021, and U.S. combine sales for the month declined 12.7 percent to 315 units sold. 

 

Total farm tractor sales and combine sales are both down 14.2 percent year-to-date. 

 

In Canada, unit sales fell 11.3 percent, and combine sales fell 28.4 percent. Year-to-date farm tractor unit sales are down 8.6 percent in Canada, while harvesters are down 28.1 percent. 

 

AEM’s Curt Blades says, “Supply chain remains the primary issue in the ag equipment market right now.”

 

Blades points out another thing to keep in mind, especially when comparing numbers year-over-year, is 2021 sales were significantly above historic trends. 

Red Cross Seeks Blood Donations

Amidst the pandemic, the Red Cross is seeing a blood shortage across the board.

 

According to Lyn Hruska, executive director of the central Illinois chapter, the pandemic strains blood donations.

 

 

According to the Red Cross, blood donations are checked for COVID antibodies.

New Law Bans Latex Gloves in Healthcare, Food Service Settings

A NEW STATE LAW AIMS TO PROTECT PEOPLE WITH LATEX ALLERGIES. 

 

THE LAW PROHIBITS THE USE OF LATEX GLOVES IN FOOD PREPARATION, HEALTH CARE SETTINGS AND DURING EMERGENCY RESPONSE SITUATIONS. IT WAS SPONSORED IN THE HOUSE BY REPRESENTATIVE MICHELLE MUSSMAN OF SCHAUMBURG.

 

 

MUSSMAN OF SCHAUMBURG. THE LAW APPLIES TO EMERGENCY WORKERS AS WELL.

 

 

THE LAW TAKES EFFECT FOR FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS AND E-M-S PERSONNEL ON JANUARY FIRST. HEALTH CARE FACILITIES HAVE UNTIL 2024 TO IMPLEMENT THE CHANGE.

 

THE LAW DOES MAKE AN EXCEPTION FOR HEALTH CARE FACILITIES, RESTAURANTS AND OTHER FOOD SERVICE BUSINESSES THAT ARE HAVING A HARD TIME GETTING NON-LATEX GLOVES. THEY CAN POST A PROMINENT WARNING SIGN UNTIL SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES ARE RESOLVED.

Clinton's Christ Lutheran Church Hosting Saturday Fundraiser for DOVE, Ukraine

A Clinton church is inviting the community out to join them in a fundraiser for DeWitt County DOVE and the refugees of Ukraine.

 

Pastor David Dunlop is the Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Clinton and indicates Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm at the church on Mulberry Street, they'll be serving bratwursts and river rat potatoes to go to support the community and those displaced individuals in Ukraine.

 

 

Pastor Dunlop says this stemmed from a discussion those in the church had about being more involved in supporting the community. He hopes to see this fundraiser be something they can do on an annual basis with the funds going to worthy causes across the community.

 

 

The fundraiser is Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm at Christ Lutheran Church in Clinton at 701 South Mulberry Street. You will find the event outside the church but Pastor Dunlop points out they will have the church open for those that will want a reprieve from the heat of the day. 

Central Illinois Lawmaker Reacts to Energy Situation

The manager of the Illinois energy grid is warning of widespread brownouts at points this summer and a central Illinois lawmaker is very concerned about the situation.

 

State Senator Chapin Rose says the progressive left's efforts to go all green is leaving Illinois without enough energy to supply the entire state with the energy necessary to navigate the summer energy demand.

 

 

According to Sen. Rose, at the very minimum, the price of energy is going up but he fears because renewable energy cannot keep up with the demand, there could be brownouts this summer.

 

 

The Mahomet Republican says this is not going to be an easy fix to make the situation right. He explains there are a lot of federal regulations if they want to fire up coal plants again but also he says this is an issue the elites among the progressive left do not care about.

 

 

Sen. Rose says renewable energy simply is not ready to be the main supply of energy in America today. He says the person causing this is Gov. JB Pritzker and the bills he's passing. 

New Illinois FFA President Elected

There is a new Illinois FFA President. Rachel Hood was elected to the position Thursday.

 

 

Elected Illinois FFA vice president was Derek Sample from the Sesser-Valier chapter; State Reporter--Levi Maiehofer from the Seneca chapter, State Secretary—Haley Bode from the Waterloo chapter, and

 

State Treasurer—Kate Colgan from the Princeville chapter. The Illinois FFA Convention wrapped up Thursday in Springfield.

Gov. Pritzker Reacts to Caterpillar Move

The state is losing the corporate headquarters of one of its most historic companies.

 

Heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is moving its’ home office from Deerfield to Irving, Texas. Governor JB Pritzker says he’s disappointed with the move but Cat’s footprint in Illinois is actually growing.

 

 

Caterpillar moved its corporate headquarters from Peoria to Deerfield in 2017.

More Ag Teachers Needed

Schools around Illinois are looking for more ag teachers. At the state FFA Convention this week Megan Coy with Facilitating Coordination in Agriculture Education says they have more than 20 openings still to be filled by the start of the school year. And those positions can be filled by graduating college students or professionals from the industry looking for a career change.

 

 

Coy adds there is a state grant available for ag teachers that boosts their pay by an average of $18,000.

Illinois FFA Convention This Week

This week’s Illinois FFA Convention will include remarks from Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello. RFD Radio's Jim Taylor reports.

 

 

IDPH, SHIELD Offering Free COVID Testing for Illinois Districts

ONCE AGAIN, SCHOOLS WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE COVID-19 TESTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS’ SHIELD PROGRAM.

 

ABOUT 258 DISTRICTS THROUGHOUT THE STATE PLUS MANY PRIVATE SCHOOLS WORKED WITH SHIELD ILLINOIS DURING THIS MOST RECENT ACADEMIC YEAR, UTILIZING THE SPEEDY SALIVA TESTS SAYS THE PROGRAM’S BETH HELLER.

 

 

HELLER SAYS THIS P-C-R TEST IS ESPECIALLY HELPFUL IN EARLY DETECTION OF THE VIRUS. THE FREE TESTING FOR THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR WILL BE PAID FOR WITH FEDERAL FUNDS.

 

 

HELLER SAYS INTERESTED SCHOOLS SHOULD SIGN UP BY JULY 15TH TO ENSURE TESTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS. THEY CAN DO THAT AT: SHIELD ILLINOIS DOT COM.

Gov. Pritzker Signs New Law Requiring Insurance Coverage for Continuous Glucose Monitors

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW REQUIRING INSURANCE COVERAGE OF CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITORS. 

 

THE WEARABLE MONITORS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR PATIENTS WITH TYPE ONE AND TYPE TWO DIABETES TO TRACK THEIR BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL THROUGHOUT THE DAY BUT AREN’T ALWAYS AFFORDABLE SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THE LAW ENSURES EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO THIS POTENTIALLY LIFE SAVING OPTION.

 

 

THE LAW, WHICH TAKES EFFECT IN JANUARY, ENSURES THAT HEALTH PLANS COVER THE DEVICES. MORE THAN ONE POINT THREE MILLION PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS SUFFER FROM DIABETES.

DCFS Enhances Training for Foster Parents, Staff; Expanding Resources for LGBTQI+ Youth in Care

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES IS ADDING TRAINING AND RESOURCES TO BETTER SERVE L-G-T-B-Q-I-PLUS YOUTH IN CARE. 

 

STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT ABOUT 30 PERCENT OF KIDS IN THE SYSTEM IDENTIFY AS L-G-B-T-Q-I-PLUS. THAT'S WHY IT’S IMPORTANT THAT FOSTER PARENTS UNDERSTAND THE NEED FOR YOUTH TO BE IN A SAFE SPACE SAYS D-C-F-S SPOKESPERSON DEBORAH LOPEZ.

 

 

D-C-F-S STAFF MUST TAKE A SIMILAR COURSE AS WELL. LOPEZ SAYS THEY ARE TRYING TO ADDRESS OTHER CHALLENGES L-G-B-T-Q-I-PLUS YOUTH FACE SUCH AS HOMELESSNESS AND GENDER BIAS.

 

 

D-C-F-S STAFF ARE UNDERGOING ADDITIONAL TRAINING AS WELL AND THE AGENCY IS WORKING ON OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT THE L-G-T-B-Q-I-PLUS POPULATION BY LISTENING TO FORMER YOUTH IN CARE ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES.

Conservation Reserve Program Reopening

A conservation program is reopening to Illinois farmers and landowners. $20 million dollars is coming from the Rebuild Illinois program to open the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program or CREP for new enrollments for the first time since 2015. IDNR Director Colleen Callahan says it’s a good way to support conservation efforts.

 

 

Some of the finer details of the program have changed, including the length of the contracts between the state and the landowner. CREP signup is open across 63 counties in the Illinois and Kaskaskia River Watersheds.

Clinton Chamber's "Experience Clinton Lake Raffle" Wrapping Up

Time is running short to take part in a unique raffle that gives you the chance to spend two nights on the shores of Clinton Lake. 

 

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau's "Experience Clinton Lake" Raffle wraps up next week.  Marian Brisard, Chamber Executive Director, explains the raffle winner receives a two-night stay with Clinton Lake Vacation Rentals, a guided crappie fishing trip with Feel The Thump Guide Service, and much more...

 

 

Jared White, Clinton Chamber President, explains the 10-dollar raffle ticket gives you a chance to win a prize package valued at well over six hundred dollars...

 

 

Tickets for the "Experience Clinton Lake" Raffle again are only 10 dollars, and are available at the Clinton Chamber of Commerce office, or from any Chamber Board member.  All proceeds from the raffle benefit the Chamber.   

 

If you want to participate, you need to hurry and get tickets....the winner will be drawn next Tuesday at the Chamber's annual Golf Outing.  Call the Clinton Chamber at 217-935-3364 to learn more.

Miller Park Zoo Superintendent Announces Resignation

After 13 years at the Miller Park Zoo, Jay Tetzloff is calling it quits and moving on.

 

The Superintendent of the Miller Park Zoo told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday he is taking over at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa. This gets him closer to home and called it a great opportunity.

 

 

Tetzloff says Bloomington-Normal has been a great community to raise his family and enjoyed his time in central Illinois. He credits the people around him for the things they were able to accomplish in his time at the Miller Park Zoo.

 

 

 

According to Tetzloff, there is a transition team in place to find his replacement. He says the Miller Park Zoo opening receiving interest from his colleagues in other areas.

 

 

There have been several initiatives taken on by Tetzloff and his staff in his time in Bloomington. He points to the flamingo exhibit that was the first they were able to construct out of the master plan they put together.

 

 

Tetzloff's final day in Bloomington will be July 15. 

Central Illinois Lawmaker Calls For Residents to Scale Back on AC, Energy Usage This Week

It's a matter of survival.

 

That's how State Representative Dan Caulkins described his call for Illinoisans to scale back on the air conditioning temperatures and energy consumption Wednesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show. The Decatur Republican says this is a matter of survival.

 

 

Rep. Caulkins says Illinois is facing an energy shortage this week if people do not turn down their air conditioners during peak consumption hours during this current heat wave. He says the chickens have come home to roost regarding Illinois' energy policies.

 

 

Rep. Caulkins is calling on everyone to participate but do not rely on everyone else to do this. He calls this a test of people in central Illinois if residents can come together and do what needs to be done to conserve energy.

 

 

The central Illinois republican calls this a man-made catastrophe that needs to be fixed with better policy at the state level. 

 

 

Rep. Caulkins recognizes trying to transition to renewable energy is a noble goal but he says in the meantime, we need the capacity to meet the needs of Illinoisans, and the state simply does not have it. 

Caterpillar Moving Illinois Headquarters to Texas

Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar said Tuesday it is packing up its headquarters from its longtime home state of Illinois and moving to Texas.

 

Caterpillar Inc. said that it’s transferring its global base to the Dallas suburb of Irving, from Deerfield, outside Chicago.

 

The company had been based in Peoria, Illinois, for over 90 years before announcing a move to Deerfield in 2017. At the time, it touted Deerfield as meeting its goal of being more accessible to its global customers, dealers and employees.

 

Caterpillar already has an office in Irving and has been in the state since the 1960s.

 

Caterpillar said it will begin transitioning its headquarters to Irving this year.

 

It’s the latest major corporation to ditch the Chicago area after Boeing Co. said last month that it was moving its headquarters to the Washington, D.C., area.

 

A handful of technology companies have also recently shifted their headquarters from California’s Silicon Valley to Texas. Tesla and Oracle have moved to Austin, while Hewlett-Packard Packard Enterprises is now in Spring, Texas, outside Houston.

 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that Texas is a “perfect fit” for Caterpillar, despite not quite getting the company’s name spelled correctly. “We are proud that Catapillar now calls Texas home,” he wrote.

Illinois EMA Offers Heat Tips

THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS OFFERING TIPS TO STAY SAFE DURING THE HEAT WAVE. 

 

EXTREME HEAT IS HITTING MANY PARTS OF ILLINOIS, AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO USE A LITTLE EXTRA CAUTION SAYS I-EMA SPOKESPERSON KEVIN SUR.

 

 

EVEN IF YOU DON’T FEEL THIRSTY, SUR SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT TO STAY HYDRATED WITH WATER, ELECTROLYTE DRINKS AND DILUTED JUICES, AND STAY AWAY FROM CARBONATED BEVERAGES AND ALCOHOL WHEN IT’S THIS HOT. LOOSE, LIGHT-COLORED CLOTHING IS BEST, WITH LONG SLEEVES AND PANTS TO AVOID SUNBURN.

 

 

IF YOU DON’T HAVE AIR CONDITIONING AT HOME, SUR RECOMMENDS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF PUBLIC SPACES LIKE MALLS AND MOVIE THEATERS, OR ONE OF THE STATE’S SIX COOLING CENTERS. VISIT: KEEP COOL DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV FOR A LIST OF LOCATIONS AND OTHER HOT WEATHER TIPS.

Caring for Livestock During Heat Wave

Livestock producers on alert this week with excessively hot temps in play.

 

 

Nic Anderson is with the Illinois Livestock Development Group.

Clinton Police Chief Says Meth Making Comeback

It's a trend that is a couple of years in the making but meth is making a comeback.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates it was just five or six years ago that heroin overdoses were alarmingly high but now it is meth and this isn't the meth they were seeing from the 90s.

 

 

According to the Chief, with the legalization of marijuana in Illinois, the issues they have seen with that have decreased but he is noticing an uptick in issues with drugs that can be life-altering.

 

 

Chief Lowers believes substance abuse is plaguing our society and is a substantial issue. The stress of the economic hardships some are enduring can be a trigger of crime and the Chief adds substance abuse and mental health issues are recurring themes.

 

 

Chief Lowers is very thankful to have people in the Clinton community that want to address these things and gives a lot of credit to Paul Skowron at Warner Hospital for his efforts in addressing the rising substance abuse problems of the community. 

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and a local domestic violence advocate is highlighting some of the ways elder abuse plays out.

 

Jennifer Tolladay with DeWitt County DOVE says as seniors age, the more dependent they become on those around them for assistance, the more susceptible they are to becoming a victim of abuse.

 

 

According to Tolladay, elder abuse can be anything from physical harm to a senior to financial exploitation and theft to even abandonment or neglect.

 

 

The financial abuse and exploitation of seniors is the most common form of abuse but Tolladay points out the sexual abuse of seniors is not uncommon either. Financial abuse of a senior can look like simple theft or using the senior's money for the caregiver's gain to not taking care of their financial responsibilities like paying bills. 

 

 

Tolladay indicates there are signs to be on the lookout for in an abusive situation. Be on the lookout for a senior to suddenly not be interested in doing things they used to enjoy. Physical signs are bruises or sores from abuse or neglect.

 

 

If you suspect a senior in your life is being abused, Tolladay says to call the authorities. Seniors are a very protected class in society and the penalties for elder abuse are severe.

 

 

Tolladay says seniors are undervalued in our communities and encourages spending time with seniors in your neighborhood. She says they will appreciate that but it can also be a way to protect them from becoming a victim. 

Above Normal Temperatures For Remainder of June

If you are hoping a reprieve from this heat is coming, don't count on it.

 

For the rest of June, things are trending above normal says Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln. There is a chance for a short period of relief but get ready for temperatures in the 90s and heat indices in the triple-digits.

 

 

Getting through June and into July and August, the entire country is going to be above-average temperatures. Shimon says it's a pretty strong signal that could provide some water usage concerns. 

 

 

Shimon points out we're doing fine now for soil moisture but if things continue to be dry, it could trigger the drought monitor to fire up for Illinois. He notes rain has been hit-and-miss so far this month for Illinois. 

Weekly Crop Report

WHEAT HARVEST IS UNDERWAY IN ILLINOIS.

 

NEARLY FIVE AND A HALF DAYS WERE SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK THIS PAST WEEK, GIVING FARMERS TIME TO WORK ON THE WINTER WHEAT CROP SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT SOYBEANS.

 

 

CORN PLANTING IS FINISHED AND 96 PERCENT OF THE CROP HAS EMERGED. 

 

THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 71 PERCENT COMPLETE AND AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE CAME IN AT ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 11 PERCENT SHORT, 85 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND THREE PERCENT SURPLUS.

War, Pandemic, Disasters Upend Farm Bill Calculations

Ag economists told a U.S. House Ag Subcommittee last week that the war in Ukraine, trade wars, the pandemic, and disasters have all combined to upend calculations for the next farm bill. 

 

University of Illinois Ag Economist Joseph Janzen says commodity prices and input costs will depend largely on the war in Ukraine, but on other issues as well…

 

 

Especially since countercyclical Title I safety nets ARC and PLC don’t help much when commodity prices are high, leaving crop insurance and ad hoc disaster aid as critical backstops. Ranking Ag Republican Glenn ‘G.T.’ Thompson…

 

 

Texas A & M Food Policy Center Co-Director Joe Outlaw suggested higher reference prices and paying the higher of either ARC or PLC each year but also a pilot with crop-specific margin coverage…

 

 

Outlaw says prices, high even before the war in Ukraine, will come down, but farming costs will stay up for a while, so what worked in the 2018 Farm Bill may no longer work in the next one.

IDOA planning to hire more veterinarians

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is preparing to hire four additional state field veterinarians. The hiring comes after $750,000 was included in this year’s state budget to expand the staff. Currently, the state operates with one chief veterinarian and one field vet. State Vet Dr. Mark Ernst says the additional vets will allow the Department to be ready to assist in any foreign animal disease outbreak.

 

 

Ernst says at one point in time the state had five field vets dispersed around Illinois.

Gov. Pritzker Expands Early Childhood Programs

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS TOUTING NEW INVESTMENTS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS. 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS THE CHANGES WILL HELP PROVIDE AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE TO WORKING FAMILIES AND HELP PROVIDERS SERVE THEIR COMMUNITIES. FOR EXAMPLE, AN INITIATIVE SET TO END THIS MONTH GIVING THREE MONTHS OF DAYCARE ASSISTANCE TO PARENTS TRYING TO RE-ENTER THE WORKFORCE WILL CONTINUE.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS PROVIDERS PARTICIPATING IN THE STATE'S CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM WILL RECEIVE A HIGHER RATE OF REIMBURSEMENT.

 

 

IN ADDITION, MORE MOMS AND DADS WILL QUALIFY FOR THE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AS INCOME LIMITS ARE RAISED AND THE STATE IS ELIMINATING COPAYS FOR FAMILIES EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS.

$214-Million Expansion Announced in Bloomington

For the second time this year, Italian chocolate maker Ferrero plans another expansion in Bloomington of roughly $214 million. The 1-hundred 69-thousand square foot expansion expects to create up to 2-hundred jobs and be home to the only North American plant to produce their Kinder Bueno chocolate bars. Here's Ferrero President and Chief Business Officer Todd Siwak (SEE-wock).

 

 

Just eight months ago, the chocolate factory announced a 50-million-dollar investment into the plant, creating another 50 jobs.

Warner Hospital Foundation Gearing Up for Big Fundraiser

'Glow Bingo' is a growing trend in the gaming world and the Warner Hospital Foundation is excited to host a special event Friday, June 24.

 

Director of the Foundation Curt Homann on the WHOW Morning Show Monday told Regional Radio 'Glow Bingo' brings bingo to a new level with musical entertainment and that is glow-in-the-dark.

 

 

There will be a cash bar at the event and there will be light snacks provided by the hospital as well as prizes. Homann is working on some giveaways like raffles or 50/50s.

 

 

Homann is in roughly his sixth month as the Director of the Hospital Foundation and is tasked with increasing the fundraising of the Foundation. He explains more events like 'Glow Bingo' and golf outings will be a part of future events for the community to support them in their efforts to support the city-owned facility.

 

 

Homann reminds the event is again Friday, June 24 at the Lincoln Banquet Center in Lincoln with doors opening at 6 pm and bingo starting at 7 pm. He encourages those attending to dress to the glow-in-the-dark portion of the event. 

 

Get more information by visiting glowbingo.com and doing a search for Warner Hospital. You can also get a hold of Melissa White at the hospital by calling 217-935-9571. 

Second Chance for Pets Says Think of Furry Friends During Summer Heat

The first extended heatwave of the summer is upon and based on information coming from weather professionals, there's sure to be an abundance of heat this summer.

 

As we cope with the heat, Second Chance for Pets is sending out a reminder pets need protection from the heat as well. Heather Wantland says if you are hot, your pet is likely hot so much sure they have at least some shade and cold water to drink.

 

 

If you encounter a dog you suspect to be in distress to contact local authorities to do a wellness check. She says it doesn't take long for a pet to overheat and become distressed.

 

 

If a pet is an outside pet, Wantland encourages checking on that pet at least three or four times through the heat of the day and providing it with ice water. Water, even in shade, can quickly become warm.

 

 

While many enjoy running errands with a pet in the car, Wantland encourages when it is oppressively hot like it will be throughout the summer, to simply leave the animals at home. She says even leaving a car running, a dog can bump the climate control dashboard and turn the air conditioning off or the car could turn off. 

Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park & Memorial Hosting Celebration On The Sangamon

A "Celebration on The Sangamon" is set for this weekend in Macon County.

 

Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park & Memorial is hosting its annual homecoming celebration on Saturday.  The park, which is about 10 miles straight west of Decatur on Old Route 36 past Harristown, is hosting numerous activities for the public.  

 

The Macon County Conservation District will host canoeing to the park from Wyckles Road from 9 am to noon.  There will also be a Native Garden and Cemetery Walk at 11;  Weiner Roast at noon; guest speakers; and more.  

 

For further information about Saturday's event at Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park & Memorial contact Melody Arnold at melody2a@hotmail.com    

Governor Signs Law Expanding Mental Health Care

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW TO INCREASE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN ILLINOIS.  

 

THE IDEA IS TO MAKE CARE MORE READILY AVAILABLE BY STRENGTHENING THE STATE'S MENTAL HEALTH WORKFORCE. THE LAW LETS THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN OUT OF THE PROFESSION FOR LESS THAN FIVE YEARS REACTIVE THEIR STATE LICENSE AND MAKES IT EASIER FOR ADVANCED PRACTICE R-N'S TO TREAT PATIENTS SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER.

 

 

THE LAW ADDRESSES THE SHORTAGE OF MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

THERE'S ALSO A NEW TAX CREDIT FOR QUALIFIELD EMPLOYERS WHO HIRE PEOPLE IN RECOVERY FROM A MENTAL ILLNESS OR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER AND EXPANDED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TRAINING.

ISU Receives $5-Million Gift

An anonymous donor is gifting five million dollars to Illinois State University to set the stage for the next generation of teachers.

 

Among the most significant gifts in university history, the gift is set to benefit the College of Education to boost teaching talent through research and advocacy. In addition, a portion of the funds will support a scholarship for University High School students. Here's Illinois State University Vice President for University Advancement Pat Vickerman.

 

 

According to a news release, the gift provides scholarships for U-High students and research opportunities at I-S-U. In addition, the gift is enhancing training for teachers in the College of Education

CHS Principal on Summer School

The past week on Regional Radio we heard from the administration at Clinton Elementary and Junior High schools on summer school. A similar program is ongoing at the high school level.

 

CHS Principal Jerry Wayne indicates high school summer school is different as the main purpose is for students to earn credits towards graduation. During the summer students will take one class to make up the credit to stay on track.

 

 

Wayne says they have almost twenty students taking advantage of the opportunity. At the end of the spring semester, they communicate with parents whose students they believe will benefit from summer school. The parents then communicate if their child wants to enroll.

 

 

Wayne notes that 2023 may be the last time they can offer summer school. The current program is funded by a COVID-related grant that is set to expire.

 

 

Concerning the impact the pandemic played on education, Wayne says during his tenure there has always been a need for summer school but has been intensified in the past couple of years. He notes students during remote learning did not perform as well as they could have if they were in the classroom.


 

 

In addition to summer school, the custodial and grounds staff are busy at work getting the building ready for another school year.

'County Fair' Documentary to Air Tonight

A documentary about a local county fair will debut tonight on WILL-TV.

 

Sarah Edwards is the director and producer of 'County Fair,' a documentary about the 2021 Champaign County Fair. She notes this was a passion project for her as she grew up attending the Champaign County Fair and wanted to document the culture and people who attend fairs.

 

 

Edwards indicates the film covers the people who show and the fair and their lives. Viewers will learn about five different individuals and see their journey leading up to the county fair and then how well they perform at the fair.

 

 

Edwards hopes viewers will find the film relatable as county fairs are such a staple across Central Illinois and the greater Midwest region. She wants the audience to take away from the film a greater appreciation and understanding of the many individuals at the fair.

 

 

'County Fair' debuts at 8 pm tonight on WILL-TV. A trailer can be viewed at will.illinois.edu/countyfair.

Wednesday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Wednesday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and Social Security is reminding that seniors can be the most vulnerable to scams that can financially debilitate them.

 

It is a great time to raise awareness of the importance of preventing the mistreatment of and violence against older people. Jack Myers believes this is also a great time to raise awareness of scams. Social Security, and other government agency, scams are widespread across the United States.

 

 

Scammers use sophisticated tactics and con-artist-type skills to scam people out of money and/or information. Myers says those tactics include using tales of urgent problems to create fear or panic or, at times, making threats. He emphasizes real Social Security or other government officials will never call you and make threats or ask for cash, gift cards, wire transfers, or other forms of immediate payment nor will they ask for secrecy. 

 

 

The scammers target people of all ages. It is not just elders who need to be on the lookout. Myers says the best thing to do if you get one of these calls is to hang up.  If it is an e-mail, delete it and don’t click any links.

 

 

Myers encourages talking to your friends and family members about scams. Additional information can be found at www.ssa.gov/fraud. If you or a loved one are victimized by such a scam, you are not alone, and you should not be too embarrassed to report it. You should report it at https://oig.ssa.gov/scam   

Heat Wave Incoming To Central Illinois

Hopefully you've enjoyed the milder start to June, because there's a heat wave coming to central Illinois.

 

Ed Shimon, of the National Weather Service in Lincoln, indicates this weekend will likely see the last moderate temperatures for quite awhile.  He says the week ahead will see highs spike into the 90's, with Tuesday's highs hitting near 100-degrees even before factoring in the humidity....

 

 

Shimon reminds residents to take precautions, especially if you'll be working outside in the heat this week....

 

 

Sunday we'll see high temperatures creep towards 90-degrees.  Tuesday & Wednesday look to be the hottest days of the upcoming week.  Shimon says a late week front could bring some chances for rain, and some minor relief from the scorching heat toward more normal summer temperatures.   

New IL Law Allows Schools To Teach Gun Storage

SCHOOLS WILL BE ABLE TO TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT PROPER GUN STORAGE UNDER A NEW STATE LAW. 

 

THE MEASURE WAS SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE MAURA HISCHAUER OF BATAVIA, WHO EXPLAINED IT TO HER COLLEAGUES ON THE HOUSE FLOOR.

 

 

THE BILL WAS SUPPORTED ON THE HOUSE FLOOR BY REPRESENTATIVE AVERY BOURNE OF MORRISONVILLE.

 

 

SUPPORTERS SAYS THIS WILL HELP PREVENT GUN ACCIDENTS AT HOME. SCHOOLS CAN ALREADY TEACH KIDS ABOUT HUNTING SAFETY. THE NEW LAW TAKES EFFECT IN JANUARY.

Dandelions Not the Way to Help Honey Bees

With pollinator numbers dropping around the United States, some homeowners will leave dandelions in their yard saying they’re trying to help the honeybees with a source of food.

 

While their intentions may be good, experts say dandelions are not the best for bees.

 

Katie Buckley says dandelions lack many of the acids and minerals honeybees need for a balanced diet. She says the best way you can help honeybees and other pollinators is by planting a variety of flowers.

 

Buckley noted a variety of colors, sizes, bloom schedules will make your property attractive, and every little bit helps…

 

 


Those living in apartments or small lots can help with potted plants. She says the average honeybee will travel up to two miles in search of pollen.

 

She adds the agriculture industry is working on many of the pollinator issues, but she said the non-farming community plays a role as well…

 

 

Buckley added if you’re not a fan of the maintenance required for flowers, trees and shrubs can help pollinators.

Clinton Police Seeing Rise In Petty Crimes

Warm weather has brought with it the annual uptick in petty crimes around the Clinton community.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers notes the start of summer typically sees a rise in things like thefts from vehicles, but he says this summer has already been busy....

 

 

According to Lowers, their officers are dealing with an increase in petty crimes and disturbances with a majority being committed by repeat offenders.  He feels the recent Illinois bail reforms have had frustrating consequences...

 

 

If you see something suspicious, the chief encourages you to report it to the police department.  However, he says that means a PHONE CALL to the department...not a message on Facebook...

 

 

The quickest way to report suspicious activity is to call 9-1-1.  The Clinton Police Department non-emergency phone line is 217-935-9441.

Clinton Junior High School Principal Hopes Consistency Next Year Will Be Beneficial

It's been a few weeks since Clinton schools announced a ban on cell phones at the junior high level during the school day and a lot of it stems from social media and the ripple effect it has on the education process.

 

Principal Jim Peck recognizes the distractions social media creates aren't going away but if they can take phones out of kids' hands during school, there will be better focus. He believes a lot of it stems from kids who aren't ready for the technology they're given.

 

 

Peck is hopeful having a normal school year from start to finish next year will be beneficial for students. He says development has been impacted both socially, emotionally, and academically. He believes consistency will help make things better.

 

 

Clinton High School has been focused on mental health and identifying individuals that need help and how to help them, a similar effort has been taken on at the junior high level around emotional wellness for their students. 

Social Security Highlighting 'Compassionate Allowance' Program

More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and Social Security is highlighting a program that offers faster processing for those with a disability claims.

 

Since the onset of Alzheimer’s can occur in people before they retire, it may strike during a person’s working years. Social Security or SSI disability benefits and services can be vital to people with early-onset Alzheimer’s who are unable to work. Jack Myers with Social Security points out that for more than a decade, Social Security has included early-onset Alzheimer’s disease on their Compassionate Allowance list. The Compassionate Allowance program identifies debilitating diseases and medical conditions that are so severe they meet the Social Security disability standards by themselves. 

 

 

If a disability applicant is diagnosed with one of the 250+ conditions on the list, Social Security can approve the medical portion of the disability application much faster. Myers points out to identify CAL conditions, Social Security receives information from the public, disability determination service communities, medical and scientific experts, and the National Institutes of Health. On that website you can submit conditions that you think should be included on the list.  

 

 

You can learn more about the Compassionate Allowance program at www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances.

Lincoln Farmer's Market Pet Day Saturday

A Saturday morning trip to the Lincoln Farmer's Market is fun for everyone, including your pet, and this weekend you're encouraged to bring along Fido.

 

Angela Stoltzenburg, Director of Community Health at Lincoln Memorial Hospital, notes the market at the Logan County Fairgrounds is always "pet friendly," but she says this Saturday is "Pet Day"...

 

 

Lincoln Memorial Hospital's weekly Farmer's Market takes place each Saturday morning from 8 to noon at the Logan County Fairgrounds in Lincoln.

JUNE IS PET PREPAREDNESS MONTH

THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY REMINDS YOU TO INCLUDE YOUR DOGS, CATS AND OTHER PETS IN ANY DISASTER PREPARATIONS SAYS SPOKESPERSON KEVIN SUR.

 

 

SUR SAYS YOU SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE A TOY FOR YOUR PET AND ANY OTHER COMFORTING ITEMS, AS WELL AS A FEW PHOTOS OF YOU WITH YOUR PET.

 

 

 I-EMA SAYS IT’S ALSO A GOOD IDEA TO THINK ABOUT WHERE YOU WOULD GO IF YOU HAD TO EVACUATE YOUR HOME SINCE NOT ALL HOTELS OR SHELTERS ACCEPT ANIMALS.

Warner Library Offers Seed Library

If you're still finishing up planting your garden this year, or looking for a few unique options to add in, Clinton's Warner Library has a service you might be interested in.

 

Samantha Rusk, Business Manager at the Vespasian Warner Public Library, explains they offer a seed library to patrons that offers seeds available for "check out"....

 

 

Rusk encourages residents interested in gardening to utilize the seed library.  She says they offer a wide variety of produce, flowers, and more...

 

 

The seed library at Clinton's Warner Library is free to all patrons.  Learn more by visiting the library on North Quincy Street. 

Central Illinois Circus History Highlighted In DAAC Exhibit

A unique, free exhibit highlighting central Illinois' rich circus history is now open for viewing in Decatur. 

 

Last week the Decatur Area Arts Council unveiled, "Circus Stories: Big Tops In Our Backyard," during a special grand opening celebration.  Jerry Johnson, Executive Director of the D-A-A-C, explains the exhibit specifically highlights the contributions of several central Illinois communities to the circus world...

 

 

Johnson notes that a century ago, central Illinois was a main hub in the circus industry...

 

 

"Circus Stories: Big Tops In Our Backyard" is a free exhibit running through July 26th at the Decatur Area Arts Council at 125 North Water Street in downtown Decatur.  Learn more by visiting, decaturarts.org.

Congressman Davis Weighs In On Latest Gun Debate Arguements

The Uvalde, Texas grade school massacre has renewed the gun debate across the country.

 

Congressman Rodney Davis explains when he considers any gun legislation asks if it will keep things like what happened in Texas from happening. He would like to see improved security measures at schools in America. 

 

 

The Taylorville Republican says Democrats are trying to do what they always do with gun legislation and just make things harder for law-abiding citizens. He would like to see more focus on prosecuting criminals who commit crimes with guns. 


 

Congressman Davis points out he has proposed legislation offering a tax credit for gun dealers that sell gun safes.

 

 

Congressman Davis believes the public needs to be better educated on what it takes to purchase and acquire a gun legally. 

Willow Tree Missions Outlines 'Cycles of Abuse' in Domestic Violence Situations

Earlier this week on Regional Radio, we heard from the folks at Willow Tree Mission in Piatt County about the 'power control wheel' that makes up the dynamics of an abusive situation.

 

Susan Houston indicates the 'cycle of abuse' starts with an increase in tension followed by an instance of domestic abuse. She points out victims will often talk themselves out of the fact tensions are rising.

 

 

That is followed by a period of calm with a honeymoon period where the abuser claims to have changed or will work to change and the victim drops any legal proceedings they have started and may stop receiving help from agencies like Willow Tree Missions.

 

 

Oftentimes, domestic violence is perceived as men victimizing women and while that is the majority of the cases, women can victimize men. Houston also points out domestic violence is a learned behavior and when children see it, they are more likely to duplicate the behavior as teens or adults. 

 

 

On Regional Radio last week, Houston noted it takes a victim around seven attempts to leave a relationship before they are successful. One thing Willow Tree does through its services is help victims develop a safety plan. 

 

Get more information about Willow Tree Missions by finding them on Facebook, visit willowtreemissions.org. 

Governor talks COVID uptick

COVID infections are making a comeback around the state. Will there be measures taken to try and control the spread?

 

Governor JB Pritzker says this uptick in cases is different than it was in the past and what he’s closely watching is the number of people that are in the hospital with the virus.

 

 

Pritzker urged anyone who was unvaccinated to get a shot and for those who already are - to make sure they are up to date on their boosters.

Pritzker says National Guard could be deployed in response to high crime

As concerns about crime in larger cities in Illinois lingers into the summer Governor JB Pritzker says that he will always be ready to respond to what local leaders tell him they need – that includes bringing out the National Guard.

 

 

Pritzker has touted his efforts on crime prevention this year including a substantial increase in the hiring of Illinois State Police officers as compared to prior years.

Warner Library Summer Reading Club Off To Great Start

School is out, the weather is warming up, and another sure sign of summer in Clinton is well underway...

 

The annual Summer Reading Club is in full swing at Clinton's Vespasian Warner Public Library.  Cory Campbell, Youth Services Manager, notes this year's Club has taken off like a rocket, with more people already participating than all of last year...

 

 

Campbell believes a few factors are leading to the increased popularity of the program this year.  He feels promoting the club in Clinton schools, as well as the program's great prizes, are both contributing to the excitement...

 

 

The Summer Reading Club asks participants of all ages to commit to reading over the months of June & July.  Campbell says it's not too late to sign up...  


 

Again, registration for the Warner Library's Summer Reading Club is ongoing.  To learn more, visit www.vwarner.org, or just stop by the library.

Blue Ridge Schools Dealing With Inflation

Dealing with inflation is something central Illinois Schools are dealing with and it's impacting so many areas of its budgets.

 

From gasoline to food to electricity, districts are seeing expenses increase. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools Dr. Hillary Stanifer indicates they recently increased pay for officials despite an increase in that rate just a few months ago.

 

 

Dr. Stanifer says a lot of increase in rates is following the lead of your neighbors. She says if other districts are raising their rates, they are going to likely follow to remain attractive.

 

 

Inflation was also part of the latest contract negotiations with its teachers' union. Dr. Stanifer says inflation was the talking point when discussing yearly raises.

 

Dr. Stanifer directs anyone interested in teaching or working in the district to check out the district's web page for information on openings at blueridge18.org.

Willow Tree Missions Talks Cycles of Domestic Violence

Last week on Regional Radio News, we heard from professionals about the increase in domestic violence reports as the season changed.

 

Today, those officials are highlighting the cycles of abuse. Susan Houston (house-ton) points out domestic violence can impact anyone of any age and it can be perpetrated by teenagers or adults.

 

 

What's known as the 'power control wheel' starts with outbursts that can be physical with the destruction of property or abuse of animals. Houston adds there's also the mental and emotional abuse component.

 

 

Abusers will control their victim's finances and if the victim can get out of the situation, they leave with almost no money to their name. Houston points out Willow Tree Missions is there to help victims rebuild.

 

 

The 'power control wheel' is only a portion of the total dynamic in a domestic violence situation. Later this week, we'll have more on the 'cycle of violence and how it can keep a victim in a situation for a long time before they break free. 

IWU touts Bloomberg Finance Lab

The next generation of investors can now learn the ins and outs of wall street at Illinois Wesleyan University in a new Bloomberg Finance Lab.

 

Thanks to a generous gift from I-W-U alums Greg Yess and his wife Kari, the new lab features 12 licensed terminals and two live stock tickers says IWU President Georgia Nugent.

 

 

The labs allow finance students and economic majors to get hands-on training.

The Bloomberg terminal is a computer software system that allows students and professionals to monitor real-time financial market data.

Clinton Junior High School Opens Summer School This Week, Looking Forward to Return of Normal School Year in 22-23

Earlier this week, Clinton Junior High School students that were tabbed for summer school began those sessions this week.

 

Principal Jim Peck indicates summer school is from 9 am to noon Monday through Thursday. He explains summer school would have allowed students a full week off before returning to class but because of snow days, they are starting less than a week from the final day of school.


 

According to Peck, they used intervention methods as well as benchmark scores to determine who could use the program. While they would hope most students would take advantage of summer, ultimately it's a parent's decision.

 

 

Peck believes the learning loss is starting to be made up. He points to an improvement in the benchmark scores but realizes there is still work to be done.

 

 

Peck hopes consistency going into the new school year will be a boost for everyone in all areas of the education process. 

Piatt County Mental Health Center Director Discusses Wellness For Parents

Raising kids in today's world is not an easy task.

 

From the exposure of unsavory content on social media and the world wide web to an often toxic culture, today's youth faces some unprecedented challenges. That's why Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center Tony Kirkman says as parents, we need to set a good example for our kids.

 

 

Kirkman says parents should have a good understanding of self-awareness. He points to issues putting your self-worth in your profession or your accomplishments are important but it does not define you.

 

According to Kirkman, parents need to adopt healthy outreaches. There are a lot of areas of wellness to keep track of but if you can develop a strong, healthy network of individuals that will lovingly keep you accountable, that can be very helpful.

 

 

When it comes to parents dealing with their kids and mental and emotional wellness, Kirkman says to talk to them about these things and make sure they are doing well mentally and emotionally. 

Illinois Forensic Kit Backlog Down To Zero

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER AND THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE SAY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES, THERE IS NO LONGER A BACKLOG OF FORENSIC KITS WAITING TO BE TESTED.

 

THIS IS A RESULT OF ADDING MORE RESOURCES TO THE STATE POLICE'S FORENSICS DEPARTMENT, AND IS A HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND OTHER CRIMES SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

THE GOAL SET IN STATE STATUTE IS TO PROCESS THE D-N-A KITS WITHIN 180 DAYS. THE STATE POLICE HAS NOW HIT THAT MARK SAYS DIRECTOR BRENDAN KELLY.

 

 

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE WEB PAGE HAS A TRACKING SYSTEM FOR SURVIVORS TO FOLLOW THE PROGRESS OF EVIDENCE FROM THEIR CASE.

Illinois Now Has An Official State Rock

ILLINOIS NOW HAS AN OFFICIAL STATE ROCK.

 

THE QUEST TO ADD A ROCK TO THE LIST OF STATE SYMBOLS BEGAN WITH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN BURR RIDGE AND NAPERVILLE SAYS AREA REPRESENTATIVE JANET YANG ROHR. 

 

 

THEY NARROWED DOWN THE CHOICES AND HAD STUDENTS ACROSS ILLINOIS VOTE FOR THEIR FAVORITE. THE WINNER? DOLOSTONE - A TYPE OF LIMESTONE, SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR AND TEACHERS SAY THE PROJECT HAS SERVED AS A GREAT WAY TO INTRODUCE STUDENTS TO THE LAW-MAKING PROCESS.  STUDENTS INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT WROTE LETTERS TO LAWMAKERS ABOUT THEIR EFFORT AND A FEW TESTIFIED IN A LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE.

Durbin talks assault rifles

More and more leaders are calling for action on control in the wake of shootings in places like Uvalde, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. US Senator Dick Durbin is the latest to speak about weapons like assault rifles being in the hands of the general public.

 

 

In the past week alone, there have been mass shootings with multiple casualties in Michigan, Arizona, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.

DCDC Opens Small Business Grant Applications

If you are a small business in DeWitt County, an economic development non-profit wants you to consider applying for the grants they just made available.

 

Around $10,000 is available from the DeWitt County Development Council and on the WHOW Morning Show Friday, Curt Homann told Regional Radio this is one of the premier programs the DCDC offers.

 

 

Homann indicates they want applicants to either have their business established or they need something that will get them over the top to that point. They want to make sure the investment they make is going to further the local economy in some form.

 

 

According to Homann, there is a panel that includes the DCDC board that reviews the applications and then invites business owners to present their ideas to them and they then decide on how to best invest those dollars.


 

Homann indicates they may find a situation where a business asks for an amount of money but they decide they are going to give them a portion of that ask. 

 

Those applications will go live on the DCDC website this week, dcdc-illinois.net.

Rural Hospitals Keeping Up With Evolving Healthcare Industry

A DeWitt County healthcare executive is the President of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network and explains the rural healthcare model is trying to keep up with the ever-evolving world of healthcare.

 

Paul Skowron is the CEO of Clinton's Warner Hospital and Health Services and indicates this is a network of roughly 57 hospitals. Skowron says it is interesting because the hospital's recent shift in focus of its facilities coincides with a recent theme of this network. 

 

 

Telehealth was a big development during COVID as it came on the scene as a very viable option for providing healthcare in a safe manner but this was something the network was talking about before the pandemic.

 

 

A more current and increasingly popular development from this network is to offer a mobile clinic. Skowron says this has been wildly popular in Sparta where its mobile units roam throughout the community throughout the week.

 

 

Skowron says rural facilities face limitations and so he is stressing making the most of the space they have. This has been a focus for the Clinton facility as it transitions away from the dream of a brand new multi-million dollar space.

 

 

The network recently heard about how physicians coming out of school now will on-call shifts but are much more proficient in the technological advancements for healthcare. 

Congressman Davis Says No One Should Be Surprised By High Gas Prices

Gas hit five bucks a gallon last week and a central Illinois Congressman says this should be a surprise to no one.

 

Congressman Rodney Davis says gas prices are what everyone is talking about and it's impacting the budgets of people across the country. This is on top of increasing food prices to feed families and increased prices to keep our homes and workplaces heated and cooled.

 

 

Congressman Davis calls it offensive to the people of America that the Biden administration doesn't care about gas prices. He points out this was an issue that the President campaigned on and so no one should be surprised.

 

 

Predictions of brownouts have been forecast for Illinois and other parts of the country at points this summer because of a shortage of energy. Congressman Davis says that is something Americans should never have to experience. 

 

 

Congressman Davis says if Republicans take back the House later this year, they will provide a backstop for the energy policies of the Biden administration and protect the American people from executive action of government agencies. 

Things you can do to lower energy costs

A wattage wallop is coming. Ameren Illinois predicts customer bills will rise an average of $52 per month, because it’s costing more to buy electricity. Spokesman Tucker Kennedy says you can do something: adjust the thermostat and look for appliances you can leave on a little less.

 

 

Kennedy says it’s important to make careful decisions about the appliances you buy so you can save energy. And if you have wanted to start making your home or business more energy efficient, now’s the time.

Clinton Junior High School Principal Outlines Cell Phone Policy

Clinton school administration made headlines in central Illinois a few weeks ago when it announced it would be banning cell phones during the school day at the junior high school.

 

Principal Jim Peck says conversations around the policy change started as far back as January when teacher leadership saw how much of a distraction they were creating in the classroom.

 

 

According to Peck, issues on social media that aren't necessarily starting the building are spilling over into the school day and it is creating a number of issues.

 

 

Peck recognizes this measure is not going to stop the drama that happens outside the school building but stresses this is a measure that will limit the distractions in the classroom. 

Weekly Weather Summary

The Memorial Day weekend brought in a feeling of summer with a bit of mid-week rain. State Climatologist Trent Ford offers the outlook on the weekend and week ahead.

 

 

Illinois Ag Leadership Foundation Has Over 500 Graduates

The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation continues to grow leaders in the ag industry. Sam Detwiler of Livingston County is a fellow in the Class of 23 and works as a field sales rep for Bayer Crop Science.

 

 

The first ag leadership class graduated in 1984. There have been over 500 graduates since the program’s inception. More info available at agleadership.org.

Farmer City Heritage Days This Weekend

Farmer City's Heritage Days are this weekend with still plenty of time to check things out.

 

Mayor Scott Testory says Saturday has a lot of activities for kids along with musical entertainment throughout the day in downtown Farmer City.

 

 

Visit farmercityheritagedays.com for more information on the weekend activities. 

Clinton Junior High School Principal Recaps 2021-22 School Year

The Clinton School year wrapped up earlier this week and the principal of the junior high school says despite all the challenges, it ended up being a good year.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show, Jim Peck told Regional Radio News, things started a little rocky but the kids got into a groove and it ended up being a very good year. He says they were pleased with the academic progress they saw.

 

 

According to Peck, the extracurricular activities largely resumed as normal. He points to the success in athletics as well as resuming the challenger program at Heartland Community College in Bloomington.

 

 

The school year started a little rough and Peck attributes that to students getting used to the full school day plus activities. He says once kids got into a rhythm, things went much smoother.

 

 

Peck indicates they are bringing some students back for summer school starting Monday, June 6. Summer school will encompass the month of June from 9 am to noon Monday through Thursday. 

Blue Ridge Schools Secure Four-Year Teacher Contract

The Blue Ridge School District and its teachers' union has a four-year contract.

 

This was the first negotiation for Superintendent Dr. Hillary Stanifer and she believes things went very well after having a contentious negotiation the last time around.

 

 

Dr. Stanifer felt the process was very smooth as representatives from both sides met daily for about a week. At the end of the process, she joked about getting a 90-percent favorable vote and they got nearly 95-percent.

 

 

According to Dr. Stanifer, there were not very many contentious sticking points in the contract and uniquely the latest contract is a four-year contract.

 

 

Dr. Stanifer calls the scheduled raises for staff 'significant' as they looked at inflation and tried to account for those things in the contract. 

Piatt County Sheriff Targeting Radio Upgrades to Improve Communications

Piatt County officials are working to upgrade its first responder's communications equipment to improve dead zones in areas of the county.

 

Sheriff Mark Vogelzang indicates the dead zones can sometimes leave officials in a sticky situation and he hopes to correct that with an update very soon.

 

 

According to Sheriff Vogelzang, not having good radio communication could leave officers in a vulnerable position if a situation were to escalate to where they need assistance. He points out, this isn't an issue unique to Piatt County. 

 

 

Sheriff Vogelzang reminds the Piatt County Sheriff's Department is the law enforcement presence for a couple of communities within the county so having quality radio communication is also important for those individuals. 

State Board of Elections Launches Accessible Vote-by-Mail Option

THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IS LAUNCHING A NEW EFFORT TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES TO CAST A MAIL-IN BALLOT. 

 

THE BLIND, VISUALLY IMPAIRED OR DEAF-BLIND CAN NOW REQUEST A SPECIAL BALLOT SO THEY CAN VOTE PRIVATELY IN THEIR OWN HOME WITHOUT ASSISTANCE SAYS ELECTIONS SPOKESPERSON MATT DIETRICH.

 

 

VOTERS WILL THEN PRINT OUT THAT BALLOT AND SEND IT BACK USING THE SPECIAL ENVELOPE PROVIDED. 

 

 

DIETRICH SAYS THOSE INTERESTED CAN CONTACT THEIR LOCAL ELECTION AUTHORITY FOR THE SPECIAL BALLOT.

More 'Rebuild Illinois' Money Being Released

Another round of Rebuild Illinois funds were sent to villages, towns and cities this week.

 

State money is going out to improve wastewater treatment, storm water runoff and roads and bridges. Governor JB Pritzker says the new projects being announced this week only build on the improvements that have been made over the past few years.

 

 

In this latest round, more than $50-million in funding has been released.

First Case of Probable Monkeypox Confirmed in Illinois

THE FIRST PROBABLE CASE OF MONKEYPOX IS BEING CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS.

 

THE PATIENT IS A MAN FROM CHICAGO WHO RECENTLY TRAVELED TO EUROPE. HE DID NOT NEED TO BE HOSPITALIZED AND IS ISOLATING AT HOME. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH VETERINARIAN DOCTOR CONNIE AUSTIN SAYS MONKEYPOX CAN BE SERIOUS BUT IS RARE. SHE HAS THIS ADVICE FOR ILLINOISANS:

 

 

AT LEAST 19 CASES OF MONKEYPOX HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED ACROSS MULTIPLE STATES. THE LAST TIME THE VIRUS POPPED UP IN ILLINOIS WAS IN 2003.

 

 

MONKEYPOX INFECTION INCLUDED FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS ACCOMPANIED BY A RASH. AUSTIN SAYS ANYONE CAN SPREAD MONKEYPOX BUT THIS MOST RECENT OUTBREAK INITIALLY BEGAN AMONG GAY OR BISEXUAL MEN.

Still Openings for The Vault's Summer Career Camps

A DeWitt County non-profit still has a few openings for its popular summer program series.

 

The Vault in Clinton's summer career camps was a huge hit in its first year and is back with another full lineup of new careers to explore. Executive Director Tammy Wilson indicates these camps begin Monday, June 6.

 

 

The camps will include constructions, culinary arts, theater arts, and of course the law enforcement camp. Wilson indicates there are still a few openings across some of their camps.

 

 

You can call The Vault at 217-934-4003 for more information on the openings for the summer career camps. Wilson notes there is a $50 deposit but if you attend four out of the five camp sessions, you get that $50 back. 

Uptick in Domestic Violence as Season Changes

Rolling into the summer means vacations, swim parties, and all sorts of fun.

 

For far too many, seasonal change is one of the most common times for individuals stuck in the cycle of domestic violence to try to escape their situations. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Susan Houston with WillowTree Missions in Piatt County told Regional Radio this could be due to the fact when winter ends, mental and emotional health seems to improve and victims feel better about themselves.

 

 

On average, it takes a domestic violence victim around seven attempts to escape an abusive situation. Houston recommends victims put together a safety plan and that is something they will work with victims to do.

 

 

Executive Director of Willow Tree Missions Jill Maxey says they see a lot of people that come for help and then end up going back to their abuser as part of the cycle of domestic violence. She encourages these individuals it is OK to keep seeking help no matter how many times they return to their abuser.

 

 

We'll have more on domestic violence next week and the cycles of domestic violence. 

 

Get more information about Willow Tree Missions by finding them on Facebook, visit willowtreemissions.org. 

Heyworth Schools Superintendent Says Inflation Impacting Everything

Central Illinois school leaders are grappling with how to deal with inflation as costs for nearly everything have gone up in 2022.

 

Dr. Lisa Taylor is the Superintendent of Heyworth Schools and indicates this is the time year school leaders are looking at costs and it is not a pretty picture trying to make everything work within its budget.

 

 

Because costs are going up, there are priority projects that are going to need to be put on hold. Dr. Taylor explains despite the district's recent multi-million facility update, they still have things in their facilities that need to be addressed.

 

 

Dr. Taylor points out the impacts of inflation are going to have a trickle-down effect on other components of the school system and could even impact the classroom setting. 

 

 

As for transportation, Heyworth Schools had contracted out bussing but with that contract ends, they will be looking at combining bus routes which will mean longer wait times at bus stops for kids and longer rides getting home after school.

 

 

Heyworth Schools are looking at developing a multi-year plan for the budget to get ahead of the inflation issues that are sure to be long-term. 

State Awards Next Round of Craft Growers Licenses

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS ISSUING THE NEXT ROUND OF CRAFT GROW LICENSES FOR ADULT-USE CANNABIS. 

 

48 LICENSES HAVE BEEN AWARDED, ALL GOING TO SOCIAL EQUITY APPLICANTS. THEY ARE DESIGNED FOR SMALL GROWERS JUST GETTING STARTED SAYS THE STATE’S DIVISION OF CANNABIS MANAGER DAVID LAKEMAN.

 

 

SOCIAL EQUITY APPLICANTS COME FROM AREAS HARDEST HIT BY THE WAR ON DRUGS OR WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED FOR MINOR MARIJUANA OFFENSES IN THE PAST.

June Opens Start of Climatological Summer

June 1 means the first day of climatological summer, which runs through August says DTN ag meteorologist John Baranick.

 

 

Baranick says drought remains a significant concern for much of the western US this summer.

DNR Gives Thumbs-Up For Backyard Bird Feeders to Return

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SAYS YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND HANG BIRDFEEDERS BACK UP IN YOUR YARD. 

 

D-N-R HAD ASKED THE PUBLIC TO PUT AWAY BIRDFEEDERS, CONCERNED THAT BIRDS FLYING THROUGH ILLINOIS WOULD EAT THE SEED AND POTENTIALLY SPREAD THE AVIAN FLU SAYS WILDLIFE DISEASE PROGRAM MANAGER CHRIS JACQUES (jakes).

 

 

HE RECOMMENDS CLEANING YOUR FEEDERS BEFORE PUTTING THEM BACK OUT.

 

 

D-N-R STILL ADVISES AGAINST FEEDING DUCKS AND GEESE THOUGH, SINCE THE AVIAN FLU MAY STILL OCCUR IN RESIDENT WATERFOWL.

Attorney General Files First Ever Hate-Crime Lawsuit

ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL IS FILING HIS OFFICE’S FIRST HATE CRIME LAWSUIT. 

 

THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED IN CARROLL COUNTY AGAINST A MOTHER AND ADULT SON WHO ALLEGEDLY SPENT MONTHS HARASSING THEIR BLACK NEIGHBOR. THIS INCLUDED HANGING A BOUND AND CHAINED EFFIGY OF THEIR NEIGHBOR FROM A TREE IN THEIR FRONT YARD SAYS ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL.

 

 

THE SUIT SEEKS CIVIL PENALTIES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF. RAOUL SAYS HE WILL CONTINUE TO PROSECUTE HATE CRIMES AND SEND A MESSAGE THAT HATE AND BIGOTRY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED IN ILLINOIS.

Weekly Crop Report

CORN AND SOYBEAN PLANTING IS MOVING ALONG AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 

 

NEARLY FOUR DAYS WERE SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK ON AVERAGE, LETTING FARMERS CONTINUE TO MAKE PROGRESS SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

89 PERCENT OF CORN ACRES HAVE NOW BEEN PLANTED WITH 76 PERCENT EMERGED. 

 

 

91 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS HEADED AND THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS ABOUT A QUARTER OF THE WAY DONE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT FOUR PERCENT SHORT, 72 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 24 PERCENT SURPLUS.

New State Law Aims to Curb Catalytic Converter Thefts

A NEW STATE LAW AIMS TO CURB CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFTS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE MEASURE WAS SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE LA SHAWN FORD OF CHICAGO, WHO EXPLAINED ON THE HOUSE FLOOR HOW IT WORKS.

 

.

 

THE LAW ALSO PROHIBITS METAL DEALERS FROM PAYING CASH FOR A CATALYTIC CONVERTER WORTH MORE THAN 100 DOLLARS.

 

 

THIS TYPE OF THEFT HAS GONE UP SUBSTANTIALLY IN RECENT YEARS. A STATE FARM REPORT LAST YEAR RANKED ILLINOIS IN THE TOP FIVE FOR STOLEN CATALYTIC CONVERTER CLAIMS.

Gov. Prtizker Announces $50-Million in Infrastructure Grants

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING MORE THAN 50 MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS FOR ESSENTIAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS AROUND THE STATE. 

 

THE MONEY IS GOING TO 34 COMMUNITIES FOR A VARIETY OF IMPORTANT PROJECTS SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

THE GRANTS RANGE FROM 343-THOUSAND DOLLARS UP TO TWO MILLION, GOING TO AREAS LIKE ROCKFORD, MACOMB, LITCHFIELD, SHELBY COUNTY, VANDALIA AND THE VILLAGE OF JUSTICE.

 

 

THE FUNDING IS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE STATE’S REBUILD ILLINOIS PROGRAM.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Nursing Home Reform Legislation

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW TO IMPROVE NURSING HOME CARE FOR ELDERLY ILLINOISANS. 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS THIS HISTORIC LAW WILL PROVIDE INCREASED MEDICAID FUNDING TO NURSING HOMES THAT MEET CERTAIN STAFFING AND QUALITY STANDARDS.

 

 

IT WAS SPONSORED IN THE HOUSE BY REPRESENTATIVE ANNA MOELLER OF ELGIN.

 

 

THE LAW ALSO INCLUDES A NEW PAY SCALE FOR CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANTS, BASED ON YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.

DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition Disbands

A DeWitt County group of individuals passionate about getting help to those battling substance abuse has disbanded.

 

The DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition is no longer and its President, Paul Skowron who is also the CEO of Warner Hospital and Health Services, says it's not a bad thing. He points out many agencies that they relied on for networking are receiving more money now to help more people.

 

 

Skowron reminds, the Substance Abuse Coalition was put together to combat the growing overdose epidemic that was impacting communities all over the country. 

 

 

The Coalition held several community events for support and awareness but also made contacts in the community helping individuals in need find recovery resources as well. 

Atlanta Public Library Opens Summer Reading Club This Saturday

This Saturday kicks off the summer reading club season at the Atlanta Public Library in Logan County.

 

Librarian Julianna Nordmann says the thing that makes the Atlanta Public Library's summer reading club unique is they have a kick-off event this Saturday but the program is open to anyone in any zip code.

 

 

Nordman indicates they are offering lots of hands-on programs including one that is gaining a lot of excitement and that is the dissection of owl pellets. She indicates these can uncover some pretty incredible remains.

 

 

The Atlanta Public Library will have a lot of prizes for those kids that make the various milestones they achieve. Nordman notes the summer reading club is well supported through the budget to make sure they engage with kids during the summer months.

 

 

Nordman stresses the reason the Atlanta Public Library opens its program to anyone in any zip code and then makes it a free program is to allow as many kids access to books and reading during the summer because of the benefits summer reading proves to have.

 

 

The Atlanta Public Library summer reading club kicks off this Saturday. If you plan to be a part of the summer reading club, Nordman encourages getting signed up by this Wednesday or Thursday so they can have enough materials for everyone.

 

You can get more information about the summer reading club by finding the Atlanta Public Library on Facebook or calling 217-648-2112. 

DNR Talks Camping Safety

With the summer boating and camping season officially underway at Illinois recreation areas, DNR authorities are sending out some reminders about camping safety.

 

DNR Conservation Police Acting Captain John Williamson indicates like the advisories to boaters, campers need to be checked because it is often an underreported issue but campers do catch on fire from time to time.

 

 

According to Captain Williamson, the campground of Clinton Lake can oftentimes become very congested and people parking in areas they are not supposed to can be problematic. He encourages anyone visiting the park this summer to follow the parking rules and regulations to avoid any issues.

 

 

For boaters coming to Clinton Lake this summer, Capt. Williamson says it's not uncommon to encounter some pretty long lines to get your boat launched into the water. He is encouraging boaters to consider alternate ramps and parking spots.

 

 

With a dry and hot summer coming our way in the midwest, Capt. Williamson also encourages campers to be mindful of those recreation fires and not leave them unattended. He says it is not uncommon for some sites to restrict open flame recreation fires when it gets really dry. 

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