Local News

Clinton's Neighborhood Care Center Excited for Future in Heyworth Thanks to Downtown Thrift Store

A downtown Heyworth thrift store and the Neighborhood Care Center are partnering together as the non-profit continues to establish itself in the southern McLean County community. 

 

Cody Monkman is the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Care Center and Amy Law with Worn Again Too say the partnership between the two ministries just works well.

 

 

According to Monkman, one of the things that are helpful about Worn Again Too is the fact they've been in Heyworth for 11 years with established relationships and can make connections to the Neighborhood Care Center across all sorts of individuals in the community.

 

 

Worn Again, Too recently renovated space in its store and the Neighborhood Care Center is going to occupy that space for about six months to get its 'neighborhood market' program off the ground. Law says it will give them time to decide how to best utilize the space.

 

 

Monkman notes the renting of the space at Worn Again, Too is a temporary solution as they seek a permanent location in Heyworth. 

Encore Development Services Frustrated by Recent Theft, Vandalism

A DeWitt County non-profit is frustrated by recent theft and vandalism incidents at its rural Clinton location.

 

Encore Developmental Services Executive Director Stephanie Coonce is frustrated with a recent rash of theft at their store outside the community on the east side. She says on top of some petty thefts recently, they've also encountered occurrences of vandalism.

 

Encore has taken up some security measures but Coonce hopes anyone that knows anything might tell the authorities. They themselves have filed complaints and police reports regarding the incidents.

 

 

Coonce says because of things like the increases in the minimum wage, inflation, and other current factors, they are not able to take the measures they'd like but are simply hoping for respect for some of the most vulnerable in our community and their workspace. 

Wednesday (Today) is 'National Overdose Awareness Day'

Wednesday (today) is National Overdose Awareness Day and a central Illinois healthcare provider is zeroing in on training for communities on Narcan.

 

Bryan Hinman is the Associate Director of the Court Treatment Programs at Chestnut Health Systems and explains they can offer not only Narcan training but access to Narcan completely free.

 

 

Hinman compares Narcan training to CPR training and believes everyone should be trained on how to properly administer Narcan.

 

 

According to Hinman, his role oversees the coordination of treatment programs for those in the court system that need support services. He points out it saves taxpayers money and improved public safety.

 

 

Hinman points any organization or business that would like more information on Narcan training to Chestnut at 309-827-6026 and asks for Hinman. He notes there are similar programs throughout the state through the Illinois Helpline.

 

As we start September, September is Recovery Month. 

Wednesday Farm Progress Report

The Farm Progress Show also features the latest advancements in farm building materials. RFD Radio’s Jim Taylor has more from one of the many vendors in Boone, Iowa this week.

 

 

Continue to hear coverage of the Farm Progress Show today and tomorrow on WHOW. 

Scammers Using 'Ameren Illinois' in Their Pitch

Officials with Ameren Illinois want you to be on your toes if someone calls you claiming to be with the utility and saying you owe them money. 

 

The company is warning of those attempting to scam customers with a disconnect threat if they do not make a payment. Ameren Illinois spokesman Brian Bretsch explains what the scammers are doing.

 

 

He says Ameren will never request immediate payment through a cash app or money card. Common red flags of utility scams include unsolicited requests for personal information, requests to pay with prepaid credit cards, calls originating from a non-Ameren phone number, and offers that seem too good to be true. 

 

Contact Ameren at 1-800-755-5000 with any questions or if you feel you’ve been the victim of an attempted or successful scam.

Rural Illinois Healthcare Providers Receive USDA Rural Development Funding

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Illinois State Director Betsy Dirksen Londrigan announced that the agency awarded $2.7 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural Illinois. The funding is from the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program.

 

 

Grant funding is also going to Marshall Browning Hospital Association; Memorial Hospital Association in Hancock County; and the Hamilton County Ambulance Service.

Kenney Fire Department Appreciative of ARPA Funds From County Board

Kenney Fire Department officials say they are appreciative of around $100,000 from the DeWitt County Board for American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA funds.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Fritz Robinson indicates they hope to take the funds from the County Board and begin on a new shed for their fire engines. He adds they are out of space with what they currently have.

 

 

Of the roughly $125,000 the Department received, they will be purchasing an automated CPR machine. Troy Lashbrook explains the science behind the importance of having consistent compressions for CPR.

 

 

According to Robinson, the $100,000 or so they will be able to dedicate to a new structure adjacent to the existing fire station will allow them to get a building started but not all the way completed.

 

 

Robinson hopes to get the building project started in the next year. He thanks the County Board for the funds and for the consideration they gave them during the process. 

Maroa-Forsyth Schools Building Project on Schedule

The Maroa-Forsyth Schools Building project is still on schedule despite supply chain issues and inflation.

 

Superintendent Dr. Kris Kahler credits the project manager for preparing ahead of construction to have materials ordered before they needed them and just getting ahead of the challenges before they came up.

 

 

The addition being built tears down the existing middle school and builds a new building that will connect to the high school. Dr. Kahler points out they are still on track for a February move-in.

 

 

Part of the project when it went to referendum was to replace the turf on the high school football field. While you might wonder why it has to be replaced, Dr. Kahler explains it has a life expectancy of around a decade and to replace the turf is much less expensive than installing it.

 

 

Maroa-Forsyth Grade School received a new roof and Dr. Kahler notes they will begin the evaluation of their facilities after the renovation and addition is complete.

 

 

The total cost of the current renovation and addition is around $ 33 million. 

New Bloomington Superintendent Discusses Snapchat, Social Media

An Illinois superintendent continues to worry about the negative impact some social media platforms can have on the school. Bloomington's Dr. David Mouser says Snapchat is his biggest concern.

 

 

Mauser goes on to describe the ubiquitous presence of social media as the new normal, and part of student's lives.

Farm Progress Show Setting Up in Boone, Iowa

The 2022 Farm Progress Show setting up shop in Boone, Iowa this week. RFD Radio’s Jim Taylor reports.

 

 

Hear live coverage from Boone, Iowa this afternoon through Thursday on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and on all the WHOW digital platforms.

Central Illinois Superintendents Happy to Have Normal School Back

With limited to no COVID mitigations on Illinois schools heading into the 2022-23 school year, central Illinois school superintendents are celebrating having kids back and a normal school calendar ahead.

 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles says it feels fantastic to embark on a normal school year and looks forward to the regular activities that make the Clinton community tick like Homecoming and Veteran's Day celebrations and grandparents day at the elementary school.

 

 

Lincoln High School Superintendent Dwight Stricklin is looking forward to one of the best school years ever at Lincoln. He appreciates the support of the community throughout the pandemic and with Homecoming in a few weeks at Lincoln High School, he looks forward to having events like that return to normal.

 

 

Mt. Pulaski Schools Superintendent Fred Lamkey calls it undoubtedly mostly pleasant. With the uncertainty and stress of the last two years, Lamkey calls it a breath of fresh air to be back to normal.

 

 

Dr. Lisa Taylor, Superintendent of Heyworth Schools indicates it is nice to start the school year without a divisive cloud hanging over the community and everyone is on the same page as the school year starts in her district.

 

 

For Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Dr. Hilary Stanifer, she's only known her position through the COVID pandemic and says she and plenty of others in the community have been looking forward to normal for some time.

 

 

Like Dr. Stanifer, Dr. Kris Kahler at Maroa-Forsyth Schools also took over in the thick of the pandemic. He is noticing teachers and students are much more relaxed. His district has a mask-optional policy and asks every respect the decisions of each individual.

 

 

Superintendent of Warrensburg-Latham Schools, Cheryl Warner took over durnig the 2019-2020 school year and she is looking forward to seeing the guests and volunteers of the district return this school year.

 

 

Most school districts went back to class a few weeks ago, Wednesday, Aug. 17. Several central Illinois school districts are also finally able to fully utilize the capacity of their facility updates over the last year and a half. 

August Has Been About Average for Temperatures, Rain Hit-And-Miss

It's felt like a pretty mild August to this point but weather officials say we're trending to a pretty average August.

 

Matt Barnes with the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates the heat has largely set up in the west and some cooler, Canadian air is keeping it out there instead of dominating the summer weather like was anticipated earlier this year.

 

 

Some parts of central Illinois are enjoying lush gardens and head-high crops thanks to timely rain but others are not. Barnes indicates the August rains have been hit and miss depending on where you're at.

 

 

According to Barnes, the mild temperatures should be short-lived as we get into September. The last half of the month has a strong above-normal temperature and below-normal precipitation signal. We'll have more on that later this week on Regional Radio. 

Simple Lawn Care Tips

SIMPLE LAWN CARE TIPS FOR THE LAZY.

 

SOME LAWNS RIVAL THOSE OF THE LARGEST BALL PARKS, WHILE OTHERS BARELY GET MOWED. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION HORTICULTURIST CHRIS ENROTH SAYS IF YARD MAINTENANCE ISN'T YOUR THING, THERE ARE A FEW BASICS TO FOLLOW SO YOU DON'T GET KICKED OUT OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

 

 

ENROTH SAYS MOWING TOO SHORT OR REMOVING MORE THAN A THIRD OF THE BLADE REALLY STRESSES THE GRASS. THAT MAY MAKE IT GROW FASTER AND CAUSE MORE WEEDS TO POP UP. 

 

 

HE SAYS IF YOU ONLY FERTILIZE ONCE A YEAR, APPLY IT LATE SUMMER TO EARLY FALL.

Illinois Student Assistance Commission Outlines What's Next for President's Debt Relief Plan

SO, YOU THINK YOU MIGHT QUALIFY FOR THE PRESIDENT’S STUDENT LOAN DEBT PLAN…WHAT’S NEXT? 

 

ABOUT EIGHT MILLION TAXPAYERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE RELIEF SINCE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ALREADY HAS THEIR INCOME INFORMATION. ALL OTHER BORROWERS WILL NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION SAYS ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION SPOKESPERSON LYNNE BAKER.

 

 

YOU CAN SIGN UP TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN THE APPLICATION IS AVAILABLE AT: ED DOT GOV.

 

 

BAKER SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE ONE-TIME RELIEF DEAL ONLY APPLIES TO FEDERAL LOANS THAT WERE DISBURSED BEFORE JULY FIRST OF THIS YEAR. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO PRIVATE LOANS TAKEN OUT FOR COLLEGE EXPENSES.

DuQuoin State Fair Underway in Southern Illinois

THE 100TH DUQUOIN STATE FAIR IS UNDERWAY IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS.

 

THE FAIR MAY HAVE HIT THE CENTURY MARK, BUT THERE ARE PLENTY OF NEW ATTRACTIONS THIS YEAR. THEY INCLUDE A PIRATE PUPPY SHOW, DOCK DOGS, AN ILLINOIS PRODUCTS EXPO AND THE BUDWEISER CLYDESDALES. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER OPENED THE FAIR:

 

 

GRANDSTAND CONCERTS FEATURE RANDY HAUSER, CHASE RICE, JORDAN DAVIS AND MORE. THE DUQUOIN STATE FAIR RUNS THROUGH THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND.

Beautiful Weekend Ahead; A Bit Warm Sunday

It should be a glorious weather weekend in central Illinois. 

 

Friday night is the kickoff of the high school football season and the weather will be ideal. Matt Barnes at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio News Friday on the WHOW Morning Show, Sunday will warm up a little bit but overall, not too bad for late August.

 

 

Getting into early next week, we could see some rainfall in central Illinois. We'll hear more from Barnes Monday as we get set to wrap up August.

President's Student Loan Relief Plan Could Be Significant for Illinois Borrowers

THE ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION SAYS THE PRESIDENT’S STUDENT LOAN DEBT PLAN COULD BE FAIRLY SIGNIFICANT FOR BORROWERS HERE. 

 

MORE THAN ONE POINT FIVE MILLION ILLINOIS BORROWERS HOLD OVER 57 BILLION DOLLARS IN DIRECT STUDENT LOANS, SO THE DEBT RELIEF PLAN COULD HAVE A SERIOUS IMPACT. I-SAC SPOKESPERSON LYNNE BAKER RUNS THE NUMBERS, BUT STRESSES THAT THEY DON’T KNOW HOW MANY BORROWERS MEET THE INCOME ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES.

 

 

BAKER SAYS 31 PERCENT OF ILLINOIS BORROWERS, ASSUMING THEY ARE UNDER THE INCOME LIMIT, WOULD SEE THEIR DEBT COMPLETELY ERASED.

Weekly Weather Summary

It was a mild and, at times, a wet week in Illinois. State Climatologist Trent Ford takes a look back

 

 

DeWitt County CENCOM Director Says NextGen 9-1-1 Still Has Kinks to Work Through

The Illinois State Police earlier this week touted Illinois agencies that have already rolled out NextGen 9-1-1 systems.

 

DeWitt County's CENCOM Director says while the new system will bring emergency response into the 21st century, there are still going to be kinks to work through. Tony Harris foresees things like apps for the public to use or even tapping into software that could gain access to information about your health.

 

 

According to Harris, the capabilities of this new system will allow for text messages, pictures, and videos to be sent to 9-1-1. While there could be a few challenges associated with that, he believes it will be more helpful than anything.

 

 

While there will be benefits to the new system, Harris also has concerns for the well-being of his dispatchers from a psychological perspective because of some of the things they could see without warning.

 

 

Like when a 9-1-1 call comes in, there will be a routing process to get the geographical location of any submission to them. He says that will be an important factor in implementing the new system.

 

 

Harris stresses this will be as seemless of a transition for the public and there is still a lot of work to be done but they will be ready as soon as the State of Illinois is ready to go live.

Bio-Plastics Plant Announced for Decatur

Illinois will soon be getting a new manufacturing facility. 

 

LG Chem based in South Korea will join ADM in Decatur to build a new factory to create plant-based bio-plastics. The project is expected to sustain 125 new jobs in the area and Governor JB Pritzker says the state was ready to jump in with financial incentives, but companies also look at the benefits of being in the state.

 

 

Civic leaders in Decatur expect construction to begin next year.

'Balloons Over 66' This Weekend in Lincoln

BBQ and balloons are the highlights of 'Balloons over 66' this weekend in Lincoln.

 

Mayor Tracy Welch says the highlights include balloon glow on Saturday night at four locations and then balloon launches on Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday evening, and Sunday morning. Additionally, there will be a local BBQ competition on the square on Saturday with food vendors throughout downtown.

 

 

According to the Mayor, the fact the 'Balloons Over 66 has come back and become nearly the festival it was before the Chamber of Commerce in Lincoln went defunct is a testament to the community. He points out, they dedicated some of the ARPA, or American Rescue Plan Act funds, to go to the various groups putting on events this weekend.

 

 

There are some events happening tonight (Friday) in Lincoln. For more information on all things 'Balloons Over 66', visit destinationlogancountyil.com/events. 

McLean County Superintendent Discusses Curriculum for 2022-23

A McLean County school superintendent is weighing in on some pieces of curriculum that were implemented by the State of Illinois for the 2022-23 school year.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Heyworth Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Taylor told Regional Radio, the new sex-ed standards the federal government passed and is being passed down to Illinois schools are getting largely rejected, including in Heyworth.

 

 

For Dr. Taylor, the public is starting to take notice of what is happening in education and get involved in voicing their concerns about the things they see or hear. She stresses in Heyworth, they try to do their best to keep parents informed on changes. 

 

 

The increased parent interest in education is keeping local districts honest. Dr. Taylor adds while Heyworth tries to be as transparent as possible, the increased attention is forcing transparency to the forefront.

 

 

Dr. Taylor also points to technology and foreign language mandates but she believes the foreign language mandate will be nearly impossible to follow because there is a severe shortage of foreign language educators. 

Illinois State Police Executed FOID Compliance Checks This Summer

For about 6 weeks this summer the Illinois State Police went on a blitz to make sure gun owners in Illinois were in compliance with FOID card regulations. 

 

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly says more than 1,700 checks were done and more than 1000 people were brought to compliance.

 

 

The enforcement details were conducted in all 102 counties in Illinois.

State Fire Marshal's Small Equipment Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SMALL EQUIPMENT GRANTS. 

 

ONE POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLARS FOR SMALL FIREFIGHTING AND AMBULANCE EQUIPMENT IS UP FOR GRABS TO ELIGIBLE DEPARTMENTS SAYS FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ.

 

 

THE GRANTS ARE UP TO 26-THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH. 

 

 

THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS NOVEMBER 30TH. YOU CAN FIND ALL THE DETAILS ON THE OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S WEBSITE.

Clinton Police Update Missing Person

The missing Clinton woman has left the area voluntarily.

 

Authorities released a statement early Thursday afternoon that 32-year-old Juana Arellano-Garnica left the area without any evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

 

Arellano-Garnica went missing Sunday night and was believed to be seen in several local surveillance images.

 

The Police Department thanks the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office, the Illinois State Police, and several law enforcement agencies who contributed to the investigation. 

 

Clinton Police say the investigation is closed and no further details will be released. 

Local Professionals Encouraging Youth Caught in Teen Dating Violence Circumstances

While recent data suggests around one in ten teens are involved in a teen dating violence circumstance, local professionals are hoping to empower that group of young people to find the strength to get out.

 

Jill Maxey is the Executive Director of Willow Tree Missions in Piatt County and implores young people that they deserve the respect of a significant other and they are entitled to privacy online.

 

 

Parents can play a role in helping their teens involved in these circumstances. Andrea Kocher with DOVE Inc. of Piatt County echoes Maxey's comments and stresses these things are why parents need to remain involved with their child's online activity.

 

 

Piatt County Schools Resource Officer with the Piatt County Sheriff's Office, Dep. Lindsey Bross says there are phone apps to help monitor what you're kids are doing online.

 

 

Dep. Bross encourages having conversations about transparency early on with your children so you're not all of a sudden approaching them with suspicion. She feels this builds a foundation of mutual trust. 

 

Next week on Regional Radio, we'll wrap up this topic with how to provide help for teens in these circumstances. 

New Monticello Superintendent Feels Fortunate to Walk Into A Good Situation

First-year superintendent Adam Clapp has been preparing for his newest role in the Monticello School district for most of the calendar year.

 

He says that's why when he started day one it was a little different to be on the other side of the Superintendent's chair but because he had been so well prepared, he didn't need to step in and quote - "upset the apple cart".

 

 

Clapp says the start of the school year has gone very well and goes back to the transition work that went into him taking over on July 1. While there were some differences, he feels fortunate to have been able to consistently meet with Dr. Zimmerman to learn about the job.

 

 

According to Clapp, he'll now have to work much closer with the Board of Education. He calls the current Board of Education excellent and in tune with where the district wants to go. 

 

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Clapp indicated he hopes to continue to remain still somewhat visible with the kids of the district. He says it's the interactions with the students that appeal to educators and so he hopes to remain involved as much as he can. 

McLean County Farm Bureau Awards Heyworth FFA $15,000

A $15,000 FFA Capital Grant from McLean County Farm Bureau will help provide
agriculture shop upgrades for Heyworth High School students.

Mark Hines, McLean County Farm Bureau President, said in a statement Wednesay, quote - “We’re happy to help our local high school agricultural education programs upgrade their facilities and build capacity for future students. With the McLean County Farm Bureau FFA Capital Grant program, our goal is to
support the development of future agriculture leaders by maintaining strong local high school agriculture programs.”

 

Heyworth FFA will use the funds to invest in six new tables for the ag shop with storage space.

 

Heyworth agriculture teacher and FFA Advisor, Kara Barling, said in the statement, quote - “The opportunity to receive this grant helps us have the ability to update our shop area to provide more space for student projects as well as area to work and create a positive learning environment. We appreciate having the wonderful support of the McLean County Farm Bureau for our agriculture program.”

 

The FFA Capital Grant program, established by McLean County Farm Bureau in 2021, is available to all high school agriculture programs that serve McLean County students. More information is available at www.mcfb.org/grants.

Secretary of State Awarding Construction Grants to 18 Public Libraries

SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE’S OFFICE IS AWARDING CONSTRUCTION GRANTS TO 18 PUBLIC LIBRARIES ACROSS THE STATE.

 

THE MONEY WILL GO TOWARDS PROJECTS LIKE NEW FLOORING AND REPLACING ROOFS, BETTERING FACILITIES FOR ALL SAYS SECRETARY WHITE’S SPOKESPERSON HENRY HAUPT.

 

 

COMMUNITIES RECEIVING GRANT MONEY FOR THEIR LOCAL LIBRARIES INCLUDE ANTIOCH, CARLINVILLE, NORTH CHICAGO, WILMINGTON, PONTIAC AND SPRING VALLEY.

IHSA To Allow Shot Clock Experimentation at High School Level

The high school basketball season may still be a few months away, but some schools will be experimenting with what is normally at the higher levels: a shot clock. Executive Director of the IHSA Craig Anderson says it's still in the data gathering stage.

 

 

Anderson adds that it would still be a number of years before a shot clock would be implemented state-wide, but the feedback gathered this year will prove useful.

IDPH Reminds to Watch for Ticks After Tick-Borne Heartland Virus Reported in Southern IL

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS URGING PEOPLE TO WATCH OUT FOR TICKS AFTER THE HEARTLAND VIRUS WAS REPORTED IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS. 

 

AN OLDER PERSON IN JACKSON COUNTY RECENTLY TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE TICK-BORNE HEARTLAND VIRUS, ONLY THE THIRD SUCH CASE IN ILLINOIS SINCE 2018. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MIKE CLAFFEY SAYS TICKS CAN CARRY OTHER DISEASES SUCH AS LYME AND ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER AS WELL, SO IT’S IMPORTANT TO BE CAREFUL.

 

 

SIGNS OF INFECTION MAY INCLUDE FEVER, HEADACHES, FATIGUE, MUSCLE ACHES AND DIARRHEA. MOST PEOPLE REPORT FEELING SICK ABOUT TWO WEEKS AFTER BEING BITTEN BY A TICK.

 

 

TICKS CAN ALSO CARRY LYME DISEASE, ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER AND OTHER ILLNESSES. IF YOU FIND A TICK ON YOURSELF OR YOUR PET, REMOVE IT RIGHT AWAY BY GRASPING IT WITH TWEEZERS AS CLOSE TO THE SKIN AS POSSIBLE, PULLING IT STRAIGHT OUT. WASH YOUR HANDS AND THE AREA WITH SOAP AND WATER.

Maroa-Forsyth One-to-One For Every Student Starting 2022-23 School Year

As students in Maroa-Forsyth get back to class, they are now equipped with one-to-one devices across the district.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Superintendent Dr. Kris Kahler told Regional Radio they are equipping students in second through 12th grades with Google Chromebooks while kindergarteners and first graders have Apple iPads.

 

 

Dr. Kahler says technology in the classroom has several benefits including textbooks on the devices but it allows for greater collaboration.

 

 

According to Dr. Kahler, the district now has a technology fund and will look to replace the devices every three to four years. He explains there is a fee families pay as part of insurance on the devices.

 

 

Dr. Kahler says the COVID experience with technology helped in equipping teachers for the change but they also did some training over the summer for more specific training on the devices specific to the schools. 

LeRoy Fall Festival This Week

Folks have until Saturday, August 27, to catch this year's installment of the LeRoy Fall Festival.

 

LeRoy Fall Festival Committee President Gayle Goss indicates the Fall Festival has been going on for over 80 years. Festivalgoers can expect carnival rides and food as well as live entertainment.

 

 

Different non-profit groups each night will host an ice cream social at the gazebo in Kiwanis Park. Goss gives a rundown on ice cream socials and the week's entertainment lineup.

 

 

Goss notes that on Saturday the carnival will open at noon and they will have a wide range of fun family activities.

 

 

The LeRoy Fall Festival opens at 6 pm each night except for the matinee carnival on Saturday. For more information follow Le Roy Fall Festival on Facebook.

No Official Numbers But All Indications Point to Successful Illinois State Fair

OFFICIAL NUMBERS AREN'T AVAILABLE YET BUT ALL INDICATIONS POINT TO A SUCCESSFUL ILLINOIS STATE FAIR.

 

AS THE FAIR WRAPS UP, STATE FAIR MANAGER REBECCA CLARK SAYS THEY ARE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT ATTENDANCE WAS UP THIS YEAR.

 

 

CLARK SAYS SHE RECEIVED A LOT OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK FROM VENDORS AS WELL.

 

 

UP NEXT...THE DUQUOIN STATE FAIR WHICH KICKS OFF FRIDAY AND RUNS THROUGH LABOR DAY.

New Student Loan Repayment Program for Behavioral Health Professionals

A NEW STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IS NOW AVAILABLE. 

 

THE REPAYMENT BENEFIT IS FOR ELIGIBLE MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROFESSIONALS SAYS ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION SPOKESPERSON LYNNE BAKER.

 

 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NEW PROGRAM IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: I-SAC DOT ORG. THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS NOVEMBER 15TH, ALTHOUGH LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED IF FUNDING IS STILL AVAILABLE.

 

 

THAT WEBSITE AGAIN IS: I-SAC DOT ORG.

Illinois State Police Announce First Counties to Go Live With Next Gen 9-1-1

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE IS STARTING TO ROLL OUT THE NEW NEXT GENERATION 9-1-1 SYSTEM.

 

BASICALLY, NEXT GENERATION BRINGS 9-1-1 EMERGENCY SYSTEMS INTO THE 21ST CENTURY SAYS STATE POLICE DIRECTOR BRENDAN KELLY…MOVING ON FROM A TIME WHEN PEOPLE CALLED FOR HELP FROM THEIR LANDLINE PHONES.

 

 

STATEWIDE 9-1-1 ADMINISTRATOR CINDY BARBERA-BRELLE.

 

 

KELLY SAYS THIS SHOULD REDUCE RESPONSE TIMES AND PROVIDE FIRST RESPONDERS WITH MORE INFORMATION. NEXT GEN 9-1-1 IS CURRENTLY OPERATING IN GRUNDY, KENDALL, PEORIA, CLINTON AND MACON COUNTIES.

Illinois Farm Bureau Host Final Nutrient Stewardship Filed Day of 2022

Illinois Farm Bureau finishing up the 2022 nutrient stewardship field days. There have been 12 across the state this year says IFB environmental program manager Raelynn Parmely.

 

 

The final one is Thursday in Wayne County near Fairfield, highlighting a Nutrient

 

Loss Inhibitor Demonstration plot.

Clinton Police Continue Search for Missing Clinton Woman

Clinton Police are actively looking for a missing Clinton woman who was last seen Sunday evening.

 

The Department indicates that 32-year-old Juana Arellano was last seen Sunday around 9 pm at her home in Clinton. She was reported to have left her home on a walk and never returned home. 

 

Authorities are asking they review video footage of the late night hours. Security footage from Clinton Elementary School may have spotted her walking down Illini Drive around 11:15 pm. 

 

She was known to be wearing black leggings and a brown exercise shirt. 

 

Authorities say they continue to conduct interviews in regards to Arellano's whereabouts. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Clinton Police Department at 217-935-9441. 

New Magill Hotel Owners Call Hope to Develop Center of 'Community Wellness'

The new owners of the Magill Hotel hope to develop a hub of community wellness.

 

Owners Susan Kline and Lisa Lueras told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show they have a passion for the wellness of the people of Clinton and feel they are on the way to developing a hub.

 

 

The two have big dreams for the building. For now, there is a retail shop open. They are offering yoga and are continuing to work on renovations with their spouses.

 

 

For Lueras and Kline, they hope to make this a long-term vision in Clinton. Kline calls it a ministry and hopes it thrives well after they step aside.

 

 

You can follow along with all the things developments and happenings at the building by finding 'Magill Restoration Centre' or visiting magillrestorationcentre.org. 

Scovill Zoo Officials Headed to Baltimore for AZA Hearing

Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or AZA, officials have been to the Scovill Zoo in Decatur, and later this week, officials from the Macon County zoo head to the Baltimore area for a final determination on its review.

 

To be accredited through the AZA, Director Ken Frye explains the association does a thorough review of the facility and its resources. That took place earlier this summer with several recommendations. 

 

 

According to Frye, the process now shifts to the Baltimore, Maryland area later this week when zoo officials attend the annual AZA conference where their review culminates in an ultimate verdict on the accreditation.

 

 

Frye points out there are lots of break-out programs and conferences as a part of the week-long event. He calls it a busy week. 

University of Illinois Extension Warns of Invasive Species

August is the time to keep a lookout for invasive species. 

 

University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger says to be on the lookout for the spotted lanternfly. They pose a threat to desirable plants. 

 

 

The Emerald Ash Borer has wreaked havoc on trees across the country and can be a threat to trees native to Illinois. 

 

 

Invasive insects are not the only species to keep an eye on. Invasive plants may cause trouble, too. Holsinger wants you to keep an eye out for bush honeysuckle. 

 

 

Whether it’s a plant or an insect, Holsinger hopes you’ll say something if you think you find an invasive species. 

 

 

Make a report when you visit extension.illinois.edu.

Weekly Crop Report

CROP CONDITIONS DECLINED SLIGHTLY OVER THE PAST WEEK. 

 

LAST WEEK'S TEMPERATURES WERE ABOUT TWO AND A HALF DEGREES BELOW NORMAL AND RAINFALL WAS A LITTLE ABOVE AVERAGE. STATE CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 80 PERCENT OF THE ILLINOIS CORN CROP HAS REACHED THE DOUGH STAGE.

 

 

95 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING AND 80 PERCENT ARE SETTING PODS. THE CONDITION OF THE SOYBEAN CROP DROPPED TO 68 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT SHAPE. 

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW MORE THAN HALFWAY DONE. 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED SEVEN PERCENT VERY SHORT, 20 PERCENT SHORT, 68 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND FIVE PERCENT SURPLUS.

Weekend Rains Boost Soybean Crop

The heavy rains over the weekend brought with it much-needed moisture to Central Illinois crops, and that will benefit soybean farmers.

 

 

State Statistician Mark Schleusner goes on to say, however, that the rains may be too late for corn to help out.

Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council Celebrating Ten Years

Celebrating ten years of the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council. It’s an important milestone says Illinois N-REC chairman Jeff Kirwin.

 

 

The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council was created by state statute in 2012 and is funded by a 75-cent per ton assessment on bulk fertilizer sold in Illinois.

FARM SOS Hotline Being Promoted

It’s 833-FARM-SOS. The Farm Family Resource Helpline is a project coordinated by the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development says SIU med school's Karen Stallman.

 

 

The 833-FARM-SOS helpline was promoted during Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair last week.

CH Moore Homestead Needs Apple n' Pork Volunteers

The Apple n' Pork Festival is nearly a month away and volunteers are needed.

 

Joey Long is the Director of the CH Moore Homestead and DeWitt County Museum. On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, she told Regional Radio they need volunteers to man the home, help in the carriage barn, and even in the machine shed.

 

 

According to Long, when she talks to potential volunteers, she often hears a couple of concerns. The first is volunteers in the home not knowing enough about the home and they get worried their volunteer time will take them away from being able to enjoy the festival.

 

 

Long indicates they have very simple tasks someone can take on like working the apple butter barn or in the meal grinding. She feels there is something for anyone no matter how involved they are hoping to be.

 

 

If you find the Apple n' Pork Facebook page, there is a survey there for interested volunteers that weekend. Long indicates they actually struggled with volunteers in the Homestead last fall and are hoping to see a bounce back in interest this fall.

 

 

For all things Apple n' Pork weekend, you can visit the Apple n' Pork Facebook page or visit chmoorehomestead.org. 

 

The Apple n' Pork Festival is Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25. 

Lincoln High School Adding Artificial Turf to Baseball, Softball Diamonds; Football Next

Ball diamonds at Lincoln High School are getting a major facelift this fall.

 

The Logan County district will be adding artificial turf to the baseball and softball diamonds on the school's campus. Superintendent Dwight Stricklin explains they are also adding new dugouts and the track is getting a minor adjustment.

 

 

According to Stricklin, they are prioritizing the ball diamonds first over football because in the spring months, those sports saw nearly 40 rainouts because of wet weather. He feels this will allow those sports to get more games in and it can be an opportunity for other teams in the community to use their facilities if they need.

 

 

The Lincoln school district is taking advantage of the one-cent sales tax in Logan County. Stricklin says that tax has been immensely beneficial to addressing facility improvements. He does note, ARPA money is helping with some things. 

 

 

In addition to the outdoor sports improvements that are wrapping up this fall, Stricklin indicates those are part of a plan of facility updates at the high school. He indicates next year they have several in-building updates they are going to make.

 

 

Lincoln High School's first home football game isn't until Sept. 9 as the tack gets wrapped up. 

Social Security Outlines Representative Payee Program

You may know someone who gets a monthly Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security Income payment. If that person needs help managing their money, Social Security can appoint a person or organization to act as a representative payee.

 

The representative payee would be responsible for receiving and managing the person’s benefits. Jack Myers at Social Security says they would need to ensure that the person’s needs were being met with the benefit before other purchases could be made. 

 

 

When Social Security assigns a payee, they select someone who knows the beneficiary’s needs and is in a position to best use their benefits for the person’s care and well-being. Representative payees are accountable for how they use the beneficiary’s funds and for reporting issues to Social Security that may affect the beneficiary’s eligibility. Myers points out, depending on their relationship to the beneficiary, a representative payee may be required to complete an accounting form each year for Social Security.

 

 

The form as well as other helpful services for the payee can be completed through its 'Representative Payee Portal' at mySocialSecurity. Myers indicates the 'Representative Payee Portal' is accessed through the payee’s mySocialSecurity account but it is not available to organizations who serve as a payee. 

 

 

Now when you apply for Social Security benefits, you have the option to designate up to 3 different people who could be your representative payee if you ever need one. You list their name, relationship to you, and contact phone number. Myers explains it gives Social Security an idea of whom to turn to should you ever need a payee and not be able to tell us about it.

 

 

To learn more about the payee program, visit www.ssa.gov/payee.

IHSA To Take Up NIL Issue This School Year

Should Illinois high school student-athletes be able to profit off of their name, image, and likeness like college athletes? It’s an issue many state associations are taking up including the IHSA says executive director Craig Anderson.

 

 

The Iowa High School Athletic Association announcing this week student-athletes are now eligible to make money from the use of their name, image, and likeness.

Fall Vegetable Gardens

A HORTICULTURIST AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION SAYS THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS TO PLANTING A FALL VEGETABLE GARDEN. 

 

WHETHER YOUR SUMMER VEGGIES ARE PAST THEIR PRIME OR YOU WANT TO ADD SOME NEW SELECTIONS, THE EXTENSION’S KEN JOHNSON SAYS FALL IS A PERFECT TIME TO START OVER.

 

 

JOHNSON SAYS VEGETABLES THAT CAN TOLERATE A LIGHT FROST INCLUDE BEETS, CARROTS, LETTUCE AND CAULIFLOWER. BROCCOLI, CABBAGE, SPINACH AND RADISHES CAN WITHSTAND A HARD FROST.

 

 

JOHNSON SAYS YOU NEED TO GIVE THE PLANT TIME TO DEVELOP BEFORE THE TYPICAL FIRST FROST IN YOUR AREA. MOST VEGGIES CAN BE STARTED FROM SEED IN THE GARDEN, BUT SOME, LIKE BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER, SHOULD BE TRANSPLANTS.

Back To School Time Means Time to Review Emergency Preparedness Plans

AS THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS, THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY SAYS IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO ARM KIDS WITH A PREPAREDNESS PLAN.

 

I-EMA RECOMMENDS MAKING A FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS PLAN IN CASE OF DISASTER AND ENCOURAGING YOUNGER KIDS TO TAKE DRILLS SERIOUSLY. SPOKESPERSON KEVIN SUR SAYS YOU SHOULD ALSO MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD HAS EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION READILY AVAILABLE.

 

 

COLLEGE KIDS SHOULD HAVE THEIR OWN DISASTER PREPAREDNESS KITS AT SCHOOL.

 

 

SUR ALSO RECOMMENDS MAKING SURE YOUR CORRECT EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION IS ON FILE AT YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL AND ENCOURAGING STUDENTS TO DOWNLOAD THE SAFE 2 HELP ILLINOIS APP WHICH CAN HELP WITH MENTAL HEALTH, BULLYING AND OTHER ISSUES.

Clinton Schools Plan to Keep E-Learning in Event of Snow Days

Next month, there will be a hearing to keep in place the district's e-learning plan.

 

Superintendent Curt Nettles told the Board of Education Tuesday night there was legislation to make e-learning to implement but it did not pass so the Board has to hold a hearing in September for community input before voting on the plan for the district.

 

 

This past winter, Clinton Schools did not need to 'use e-learning for weather-related events. 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Stresses the Mission of the District to Staff

We're just a few days into the new school year and the leader of the Clinton School District addressed his staff ahead of the start of the new year earlier this week.

 

At the Tuesday night Clinton Board of Education meeting, Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles told his Board he wants the staff focused on the mission of the district of educating the community's children and to leave any political agendas outside the walls of the school.

 

 

Earlier this year the district rejected a controversial sex-ed curriculum imposed by the State of Illinois. Additionally, Nettles implored the district to re-focus on the mission statement coming out of COVID with more time for attention on those things. 

Taylorville Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Five Counts of Wire Fraud

A Taylorville woman indicted on wire fraud has plead not guilty to 5 counts of wire fraud. 

 

63 year old Lori Zeitler of Taylorville appeared in federal court on August 10th in front of Judge Karen L. McNaught for her initial appearance and arraignment.  


Zeitler plead not guilty to all five counts.  Zeitler has been released on a recognizance bond and is set for her initial pretrial on September 22nd at 2:30 PM with a jury trial set for October 4th at 9 AM before Judge Sue E. Myerscough. 

 

Zeitler, who was a bookkeeper with the YMCA, is accused of wire fraud from the YMCA from 2005-2018. 

City of Taylorville Gets Grant for Downtown

The city of Taylorville is set to receive a $3 million grant from the state of Illinois as part of the Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets program. 

 

Thanks to federal funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity administered grants to 50 commercial corridors throughout the state including Taylorville. These improvements will go a long way towards needed improvements of the downtown Taylorville Square and business corridor. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says he knows how important this is for the city of Taylorville.

 

 

The Mayor highlighted some of the things he hopes to see with the money.

 

 

DCEO originally administered $50 million for the program in 2021 but due to federal funding, the state was able to allocate an additional $56 million to support 29 more projects.  Thanks to matching funds from recipients, a total investment of $215 million was made for downtowns across Illinois. 

Illinois State Police Conducts Firearm Enforcement Blitz

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE IS ANNOUNCING THE RESULT OF A SUMMER FIREARM ENFORCEMENT BLITZ.

 

SINCE 2019, THE STATE POLICE HAS RUN HUNDREDS OF THESE SPECIAL DETAILS, MAKING SURE THOSE WHO HAVE HAD THEIR FOID CARD REVOKED, DO NOT HAVE ANY GUNS. THIS LATEST EFFORT RAN FROM MID-JUNE THROUGH THE END OF JULY SAYS I-S-P DIRECTOR BRENDAN KELLY.

 

 

KELLY SAYS WHILE THIS ALONE WON’T PUT AN END TO GUN VIOLENCE, THESE ENFORCEMENT DETAILS ARE AN IMPORTANT TOOL FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT.

 

 

KELLY SAYS THOSE TARGETED LOST THEIR FIREARM PRIVILEGES BECAUSE OF A NEW FELONY CONVICTION OR MAKING SERIOUS THREATS AGAINST THE PUBLIC. IN THAT CASE UNDER ILLINOIS LAW, GUNS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TURNED OVER TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR TRANSFERRED TO SOMEONE ALLOWED TO LEGALLY HAVE FIREARMS.

Weekly Weather Summary

It was a mild mid-August week in Illinois. State Climatologist Trent Ford has more...

 

 

Time Running Out for Rare Fall Master Gardeners Course Through U of I Extension

If you're interested in becoming a Master Gardener through the University of Illinois Extension, there is a rare fall training opportunity.

 

According to Terri Miller-Casey, Extension Director for the University of Illinois Extension in Logan, Menard, and Sangamon Counties, the training is both in-person in Logan County and there are several ways to participate. 

 

 

To be a part of the hybrid course, the deadline for registration is this coming Monday, Aug. 22. Miller-Casey indicates the online-only course begins Sept. 12 and you can get that completed all way into October.

 

 

Master Gardeners not only learn the core lessons of horticulture, but they are very versatile to go out to the community and connect in a variety of ways and be as out and active or behind the scenes as they want.

 

 

If you are interested in being a Master Gardener, Miller-Casey explains there are some basic requirements they have. For instance, there is a minimum hours requirement for volunteering but she points out their volunteers generally go way over that threshold because of how much they enjoy it.

 

 

Miller-Casey says Master Gardeners have had a demonstration garden that is an ongoing project at the Illinois State Fair. If you missed that opportunity at this year's state fair, she points out it is available for viewing at any time as it is maintained throughout the growing season.

 

Get more information about the upcoming Master Gardeners fall training opportunity, visit extension.illinois.edu. The deadline, again, for the hybrid offering is this coming Monday, Aug. 22. 

Astro-Jam This Weekend at Macon County Conservation District

Macon County Conservation District hosting lots big events and programming as the summer continues. 

 

Senior Program Naturalist Alysia Callison invites you to the Astrojam this weekend. 

 

 

Callison is excited to provide pre-schoolers with some of their first learning experiences in an educational setting this weekend. They’ll learn about life in a pond. 

 

 

Other upcoming events at the Macon County Conservation District include the Hummingbird Festival the weekend of August 25th, and in September, the Conservation District will help host the Prairie Pedal bike-riding fundraiser.

 

Learn more at maconcountyconservation.org. 

DeWitt County Finally Has Plan for ARPA Funds

It took nearly a year, but the long journey of DeWitt County settling on funds for its American Rescue Plan Act funding has finally been settled.

 

Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board meeting, the Board voted on how to allocate roughly $3.3-million. Dan Matthews, with help from County Administrator DeeDee Rentmeister, brought forward a rough outline of funding for entities and non-profits that applied for a piece of the pie that the County Board made available.

 

 

The proposal makes available funds for a small business grant program that would help to be administered through the DeWitt County Development Council. Matthews deferred to Megan Myers to help explain that program.

 

 

In reviewing applications for the ARPA funds, Buck Carter found a common theme among the first responder applications for chest compressors for heart attack patients. He felt it would be a worthy investment to provide the area fire departments each with a unit and three for the DeWitt County EMS. 

 

 

Aaron Kammeyer continued his calls for the Board to establish guidelines for the money and for there to be more clarity so those that applied. Kammeyer wondered if the County was planning to take care of the entirety of its building needs with ARPA funding, which seemed to be the consensus.

 

 

Kammeyer felt the Board did not have a plan in place for how they wanted to proceed with the funds and Board members took exception to that notion. Board Chair Terry Ferguson hoped the Board would focus on requests that had a lasting impact and not temporary things. 

 

 

The YMCA's request for $150,000 was a request the board reduced to afford the chest compressors for first responders. The issue became should the Clinton Fire Department be given a chest compressor or should it fall on the City of Clinton to decide to fund things for the Clinton Fire Department.

 

 

As the Board put more clarity on the amounts for each applicant, the conversation shifted to accountability and how to get money to the groups. Rentmeister explained it would need to be determined if the groups would spend the money and then be reimbursed or given the money and provide receipts of purchase.

 

 

County Clerk Dana Smith provided one last breakdown of the funds and how they would be distributed....

 

 

The Board had been set to discuss the funding earlier this month but the agenda for the special meeting was not posted in time for the set date and so it was canceled. 

 

The Board unanimously approved the funding. 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Encouraging Board of Education To Make Plans for District Facilities

Nothing is imminent and they don't have to be grand but Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles is encouraging his Board of Education to start thinking about future planning for facilities.

 

While the district has five buildings that are all in good shape, if not nearly brand new, Nettles says the Board needs to start thinking about the things they need and the things they want.

 

 

According to Nettles, the process will take roughly three to five years to complete. He hopes for a plan to be more comprehensive than just maintenance items. 

 

 

Funding for these things could come from a one-cent sales tax that would have to go to referendum. Nettles emphasizes again, the nice things folks see at schools in Macon, Champaign, and even Logan Counties are largely thanks to the one-cent sales tax.

 

 

Nettles says as activities return to normal schedules, Clinton Schools are hosting many school-sanctioned functions that will be bringing people from all over the area. He says that is a base to tap into with a one-cent sales tax. 

DeWitt County CENCOM Ready for NextGen 9-1-1

It's been nearly a decade in the making but the DeWitt County CENCOM office is ready for the rollout of the Next Generation 9-1-1.

 

Director of DeWitt County CENCOM, Tony Harris on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday told Regional Radio they are ready for the rollout of this system that will be a completely new way for the public to report emergencies to authorities.

 

 

The final stages of the planning and implementation are going on now before the system goes live as soon as early next year. Harris explains he has had this change on his radar for nearly a decade while the State of Illinois has been hard at work to make the change for less than five.

 

 

To get ready for this change, a lot of work over many years has been done not only by Harris in DeWitt County but also by the State of Illinois. He points out it has been an expensive process but the fact they have stretched it out over many years has allowed them to not put stress on budgets.

 

 

NextGen 9-1-1 is going to allow the public numerous ways to report crimes or emergencies to authorities and next week on Regional Radio, we'll hear more from Harris on those things and how he sees this new system expanding and the potential problems still to be worked out. 

Teens Sending Sexually Explicit Images Is A Crime

Even if consenting teenagers are sending sexually explicit content back and forth, that is still a crime.

 

That's according to Piatt County Sheriff's Office School Resource officer Dep. Lindsey Bross - who takes time during various points of each school year to highlight the dangers and laws surrounding child porn.

 

 

According to Dep. Bross, her presentation highlights not only the legal issues a young person can face if they are caught engaging in this conduct but it can also come back to be the point of exploitation if they are engaging with strangers or abusive partners.

 

 

Dep. Bross hopes every teen and parent understands that images sent online while they may think they are gone forever not ever gone permanently. She implores anyone who may be entangled in one of these abusive situations to contact authorities immediately.

 

 

Dep. Bross was a part of a roundtable discussion recently on WHOW with area professionals and experts in teen dating violence. We'll have more from that discussion next week on Regional Radio. 

Prairie Tech STEAM Expo Open at State Fair

THE NEW TECH PRAIRIE “STEAM” EXPO IS NOW OPEN AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR. 

 

THE STEAM EXPO IS LOCATED IN THE ORR BUILDING ON THE FAIRGROUNDS AND INCLUDES SEVERAL INTERACTIVE EXHIBITS AND EVEN 3-D BUTTER COW PRINTING SAYS STATE CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER JENNIFER RICKER.

 

 

SPECIAL EVENTS INCLUDE DRONE RACING AND AN AFTERNOON JOB FAIR ON FRIDAY AND AN E-SPORTS COMPETITION ON SATURDAY.

 

 

VISIT ILLINOIS STATE FAIR DOT INFO FOR A FULL SCHEDULE. THE FAIR RUNS THROUGH SUNDAY.

No Timetable for Special Session on Abortion, Gun Control

STILL NO TIMETABLE FOR A PROPOSED SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION ON GUN VIOLENCE AND ABORTION. 

 

THERE’S BEEN TALK ALL SUMMER ABOUT A SPECIAL SESSION TO FURTHER PRESERVE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND TO POSSIBLY ADDRESS A BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER WAS RECENTLY ASKED FOR AN UPDATE.

 

 

OR ANY NEW LEGISLATION MAY NEED TO WAIT UNTIL THE SPRING WHEN LESS VOTES ARE REQUIRED FOR PASSAGE. THE GOVERNOR SAYS IT’S ABOUT TIMING.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS WORKING GROUPS HAVE BEEN TACKLING THESE ISSUES IN HOPES OF PRODUCING VIABLE LEGISLATION.

Illinois Department of Revenue Highlights Ability to Claim School Supply Expenses on Tax Returns

SAVE THOSE RECEIPTS, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO CLAIM CERTAIN SCHOOL SUPPLY EXPENSES ON YOUR TAX RETURN. 

 

THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF TAX CREDITS AVAILABLE SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SPOKESPERSON MAURA KOWNACKI (kuh-nacky). THE FIRST IS FOR FAMILIES WITH STUDENTS IN KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12TH GRADE.

 

 

KOWNACKI ADDS...

 

 

TEACHERS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND SUPPLY TAX CREDIT, WORTH UP TO 250 DOLLARS. NEXT YEAR, THAT CREDIT WILL INCREASE TO A MAXIMUM OF 500 DOLLARS.

Illinois Corn Growers Association on Farm Bill Listening Session at State Fair

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos hosting a Farm Bill listening session during Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair. Among those participating was Illinois Corn Growers Association President Rodney Weinzierl (wine-zurl). He says top of mind is crop insurance.

 

 

Bustos serves on the U.S. House Ag Committee. She is not seeking re-election this fall.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Participates in Farm Bill Listening Session

A listening session was held this week at the Illinois State Fair to hear about priorities for the upcoming farm bill. The event drew Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert and he says one thing he hears over and over is that their farmer members want the crop insurance program to remain strong.

 

 

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from the Quad Cities held the event on Tuesday.

Significant Increase in CPPRT Funds Fueling Strong FY23 Clinton Schools Budget

A significant increase in Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax, or CPPRT, is fueling a very strong Fiscal Year 23 budget for Clinton Schools.

 

Assistant Superintendent Drew Goebel told the Clinton Board of Education Tuesday night at its regular monthly meeting the CPPRT numbers are going to allow them to put away nearly a million dollars.

 

 

According to Goebel, the district can keep its tax-levy steady and increase its revenues because property values continue to increase. He points out the Clinton district has one of the lowest levies in the area.

 

 

Goebel is pleased because, after teacher salaries, which include raises for nearly all staff, they are still coming out significantly ahead.

 

 

Superintendent Curt Nettles told the Board, in addition to the tax base increasing thanks to property values going up, the district's agreement with the power plant is going to be a big boost in covering increasing expenses. 

Broadband, Fiber WiFi Coming to Farmer City

Farmer City officials are excited to announce broadband, fiber WiFi is coming to the community.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, City Manager Sue McLaughlin told Regional Radio CCG/Pavlov Media is installing what she describes as very fast and reliable internet signals.

 

 

Currently, Farmer City has limited options for internet. She notes the school has fiber internet but the rest of the community is without.

 

 

McLaughlin appreciates the addition of fiber internet in the community because it will improve the quality of life in the community. She believes it will benefit not only residents but the business of the city.

 

 

McLaughlin points out the addition of reliable WiFi in the community is just the latest in quality of life developments. She points to the ongoing park work they are doing. We'll have more on that next week on Regional Radio.

University of Illinois Extension Coordinator Calls Logan County 4-H Fair 'Best Ever'

The best fair ever is how a University of Illinois Extension official described the Logan County 4-H Fair a few weeks ago.

 

Not because coming out of COVID everyone was all together again or because participation was at record levels but Terri Miller-Casey says it is because it was an imperfect fair where things didn't go as planned but everyone involved came together for the show to still happen.

 

 

Miller-Casey especially enjoys the fair because it showcases the growth of the young people in 4-H. She points out it is always amazing to see how much the kids change through the course of a year.

 

 

Miller-Casey thanks the Logan County Fair Board for their flexibility and all the families that come together to make the fair a huge success year after year.

Tuesday Was Ag Day at Illinois State Fair

IT’S AGRICULTURE DAY AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR. 

 

THE DAY KICKED OFF WITH A BREAKFAST, HONORING PRODUCERS AS WELL AS FAMILY FARMS THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR A CENTURY OR MORE. STATE TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS SPOKE AT THE EVENT ABOUT HIS TIME WORKING ON A FARM.

 

 

STUDENTS FROM THE CHICAGO HIGH SCHOOL FOR AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES SPOKE TO THE CROWD AND THANKED FARMERS FOR ALL THEY DO. SENIOR KAILI (ky-lee) NORWOOD:

 

 

OTHER AG DAY ACTIVITIES INCLUDE THE GOVERNOR’S SALE OF CHAMPIONS AND A WILLIE NELSON CONCERT. 

 

ALL THROUGHOUT THE FAIR YOU CAN STOP BY THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TENT FOR LIVE MUSIC AND LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCTS.

Sale of Grand Champion Steer Goes for $105,000

THE PRITZKERS ONCE AGAIN ENGAGED IN A BIDDING WAR AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR'S SALE OF CHAMPIONS. 

 

EVERYTHING FROM GRAND CHAMPION CHEESE, GOATS, BARROW AND WINE IS AUCTIONED OFF IN THE STATE FAIR COLISEUM. WHEN THE GRAND CHAMPION STEER, SHOWN BY ASHTIN GUYER OF RICHMOND STRUTTED UP ON STAGE, GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER AND FIRST LADY M-K PRITZKER STARTED BIDDING AGAINST EACH OTHER AS THEY HAVE IN YEARS PAST. MRS. PRITZKER WON, TYING LAST YEAR'S RECORD OF 105-THOUSAND DOLLARS. THE GOVERNOR SPOKE TO THE EXHIBITORS.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THE YOUNG EXHIBITORS ARE THE FUTURE OF THE STATE'S MOST IMPORTANT INDUSTRY, AGRICULTURE.

 

 

THE STEER WILL BE DONATED TO THE CENTRAL ILLINOIS FOOD BANK.

Governor, Lt. Governor Promote Pet Adoption

STATE OFFICIALS TOOK A STEP AWAY FROM THE STATE FAIRGROUNDS TUESDAY TO PROMOTE PET ADOPTION.

 

SELF-PROCLAIMED DOG LOVER GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER TOURED AN ANIMAL SHELTER IN SPRINGFIELD AND TALKED ABOUT THERE BEING NO GREATER LOVE THAN THAT OF A DOG.

 

 

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JULAIANA STRATTON SPOKE AFTERWARDS, ASKING PEOPLE TO "ADOPT, DON'T SHOP."

 

 

A REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE HUMANE SOCIETY WAS ALSO ON HAND AND SAID AN ESTIMATED ONE MILLION DOGS AND CATS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ADOPTED ARE EUTHANIZED EACH YEAR. 

 

GOV. PRITZKER POINTED OUT THAT IT'S CHEAPER TO ADOPT A SHELTER PET AND THAT MANY ANIMALS ARE ALREADY POTTY TRAINED AND READY TO GIVE A NEW FAMILY THEIR LOVE.

Clinton Grocery Store Owner Says Inflation More Than Increase in Prices

A Clinton grocery store owner says inflation is at least at 20 percent currently and it's because it is more than just increases in prices.

 

Dave Jackson owns the Clinton Save-A-Lot and told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show maintains this is the worst inflation he's ever seen in the grocery business spanning several decades.

 

 

Jackson says there are almost zero items left in the store that has not been touched by a price increase. He points to water which has had to gradually increase its price after years and years of having the lowest price.

 

 

One of the biggest culprits of price increase has been what Jackson refers to as 'stealth-inflation, or companies reducing how much of a good you get without reducing the purchase price.

 

 

Jackson has countless examples of products that, over time, have decreased in what you get but the prices are not reflected in those decreases. 

 

Clinton Save-A-Lot is located at 205 East Washington Street in Clinton. 

Celebrate Clinton Hosting First Ever 'Founder's Day'

The first-of-its-kind event in Clinton takes place this weekend.

 

The Celebrate Clinton Association, known for events like the downtown Fourth of July Celebration and the organizer of the annual Fourth of July fireworks display, is hosting the first-ever Founders Day in Clinton. Edith Brady-Lunny indicates this event will highlight the relationship between Abraham Lincoln, CH Moore, and Jesse Fell.

 

 

This idea for a Founder's Day celebration is two years in the making but like most ideas that morphed around 2020, COVID put a wrench in those plans. Brady-Lunny says the time is now right for an event like this.

 

 

The day starts on Clinton Square at 1 pm with a couple of short presentations and will transition to the lawn of the CH Moore Homestead at 2 pm.

 

 

The event is again, Sunday starting on the Downtown Clinton Square at 1 pm and transitions up Center Street to the CH Moore Homestead at 2 pm. You can learn more by finding the Celebrate Clinton Association on Facebook. 

Teen Dating Violence Has Evolved Thanks to Social Media

As school gets back in session for most central Illinois schools this week, a group of central Illinois professionals is encouraging parents to engage their teenagers regarding healthy romantic relationships.

 

Last week on Regional Radio, we introduced listeners to the basics of teen dating violence with Jill Maxey, the Executive Director of Willow Tree Missions in Piatt County, and Andrea Kocher with DOVE Inc. in Piatt County. They point out teen dating violence can often mirror domestic abuse.

 

 

According to Maxey, social media is a bigger driver of teen dating violence today than ever before. She explains abusers will gain access to a partner's online information and gain control through that means.

 

 

Kocher points out that social media is an easy avenue for stalking and harassing an individual. She explains it is a tool for an abuser to maintain control.

 

 

Deputy Lindsey Bross is the Piatt County Sheriff's Office School Resource Officer in Piatt County and points out law enforcement has to get involved in situations when the relationship turns a corner into 'sexting' and exchanging sexually explicit images.

 

We'll hear from her still this week on Regional Radio News. 

Winner in Illinois State Fair Master Showmanship

Plenty of talent at the Illinois State Fair Master Showmanship Contest. There were 60 participants and the winner was Carter Hoge from McDonough County.

 

 

The competition was Friday night.

Weekly Crop Report

CROP CONDITIONS DETERIORATED JUST A BIT OVER THE PAST WEEK IN ILLINOIS. 

 

IN THE LATEST WEEKLY CROP REPORT, SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING ON 93 PERCENT OF ACRES SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

70 PERCENT OF CORN IS IN THE DOUGH STAGE AND 12 PERCENT IS IN THE DENT STAGE. 73 PERCENT OF THE CORN CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION, A DROP OF TWO POINTS FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK. 

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED SEVEN PERCENT VERY SHORT, 16 PERCENT SHORT, 64 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 13 PERCENT SURPLUS. THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 47 PERCENT COMPLETE.

State Awards $106-Million in 50 Communities Across Illinois

THE STATE IS AWARDING 106 MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS TO 50 COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE STATE. 

 

THE MONEY COMES FROM THE REBUILD ILLINOIS DOWNTOWNS AND MAIN STREETS CAPITAL PROGRAM AND IS THE LARGEST INVESTMENT IN COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

FEDERAL MATCHING GRANTS BRING TOTAL FUNDING TO MORE THAN 200 MILLION DOLLARS.

 

 

PROJECTS INCLUDE REVITALIZING THE DOWNTOWN SQUARE IN MONMOUTH, IMPROVING THE CIVIC CENTER IN NILES, REDEVELOPING DOWNTOWN HISTORIC BUILDINGS IN CHAMPAIGN AND RENOVATING THE TIMES THEATRE IN ROCKFORD.

New Program for Elderly Illinoisans Launched

THE STATE IS LAUNCHING A NEW PROGRAM FOR ELDERLY ILLINOISANS. 

 

THE INITIATIVE IS DUBBED "PACE," THE PROGRAM OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY. THE GOAL IS TO COORDINATE MEDICAL CARE AND HEALTH SERVICES, SO THAT SENIORS CAN REMAIN IN THEIR HOMES INSTEAD OF MOVING INTO A NURSING HOME FACILITY SAYS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JULIANA STRATTON.

 

 

THE GOAL OF "PACE," THE PROGRAM OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY, IS TO HELP SENIORS STAY IN THEIR HOMES INSTEAD OF A NURSING FACILITY BY COORDINATING CARE AND LOCAL RESOURCES SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

THE NEW PACE PROGRAM WILL INITIALLY BE AVAILABLE IN WEST CHICAGO, SOUTH CHICAGO, SOUTHERN COOK COUNTY, PEORIA AND EAST SAINT LOUIS.

Clinton Police School Resource Officer Discusses Back to School Safety

School in central Illinois gets back in session this week and a local law enforcement official is offering up his annual reminders for safety around schools.

 

Clinton Police Department School Resource Officer Mike Bennett indicates the biggest change in Clinton will be the traffic around the various school buildings. He encourages motorists to either avoid the areas or allow for extra time during their daily commutes.

 

 

According to Officers Bennett, the pick-up list is one of the biggest issues the district encounters on a regular basis when it comes to dropping off/pick up. He encourages families to have that list updated before the first day of school.

 

 

If your child is on any medications that will need to be administered at school, Officer Bennett encourages parents to make sure the school is aware of those and if there are any changes from the previous school year.

 

 

In areas of the schools, motorists are asked to be aware of children walking or biking to school. Officer Bennett also encourages parents to go over the rules of the road and to encourage them to look both ways before crossing the street.

 

 

One of the most egregious offenses Officer Bennett says he encounters far too often is motorists that simply ignore the crossing guard signals on buses. He emphasizes the severe consequences this offense carries.

 

 

Officer Bennett encourages parents as much as possible, get kids to school on time, and for the general public to be aware of the increase in traffic that is inevitably going to come starting Wednesday in Clinton. 

Clinton Chamber of Commerce Readying for Haunted House Season

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is readying for its annual haunted house season.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, Marian Brisard announced the dates for this year's Terror on Washington Street Haunted House noting because Halloween falls on a Monday this year, there will not be a Halloween night Haunted House.

 

 

Brisard says progress on the annual haunted house will likely go all the way up to opening day.

 

 

Brisard explains they are taking the entrance room where guests would normally have the rules of the house presented and turning that into another scare room. She notes rules will be presented outside. 

 

Get more information about the annual haunted house by visiting clintonhauntedhouse.com. 

August Outlooks Have Completely Turned

If you're not a fan of the oppressive August heat, you're going to like the latest outlooks from the National Weather Service.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates the August outlooks have gone from above normal for temperatures and below normal for rainfall to below average temperatures and below average rainfall.

 

 

The heat has shifted to the Pacific Northwest and the east. Shimon indicates we may not get the excessive heat at all that we once anticipated this summer.

 

 

At the halfway point this month, Shimon explains while we're a few degrees above normal at this point, it wouldn't take much to drop to an average temperature for the month and if we get several cool nights, we could end up cooler than normal.

 

 

Shimon notes if the dry trend lasts through the fall months, which is the trend for the time being, that could bring back drought concerns heading into the winter. 

Today (Monday) is Senior Day at Illinois State Fair

MONDAY IS SENIOR DAY AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR.

 

VISITORS AGE 60 AND OVER GET INTO THE FAIR FOR FREE ON SENIOR DAY. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT ON AGING DIRECTOR PAULA BASTA SAYS THERE ARE PLENTY OF ACTIVITIES SCHEDULED.

 

 

HEALTH SCREENINGS ARE ALSO BEING OFFERED, ALONG WITH COVID BOOSTER SHOTS AND HAIRCUTS. SCOOTERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR RENT INSIDE THE ILLINOIS BUILDING BY THE MAIN GATE. 

 

 

MUCH OF THAT IS LOCATED IN THE ILLINOIS BUILDING ON THE FAIRGROUNDS NEAR THE MAIN GATE. SCOOTERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR RENT THERE AS WELL. THE STATE FAIR RUNS THROUGH AUGUST 21ST.

Sunday Was Veteran's Day at the Illinois State Fair

SUNDAY WAS VETERAN'S DAY AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR. 

 

THE DAY KICKED OFF WITH A SPECIAL CEREMONY FOR GOLD STAR FAMILIES, THE FAMILIES THAT HAVE LOST SOLDIERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SPOKE AT THE EVENT ABOUT WHAT LOVED ONES GO THROUGH WHILE THEIR SOLDIER IS AWAY.

 

 

GOV. PRITZKER SPOKE TO THE CROWD ABOUT THE SACRIFICES MADE BY SOLDIERS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

 

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES INCLUDE A VETERAN'S PROGRAM AND PARADE.

Previewing DNR's 'Conservation World' At Illinois State Fair

LOOKING FOR SOME FUN, FREE ACTIVITIES FOR THE KIDS AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR? CHECK OUT CONSERVATION WORLD.

 

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES WANTS FAIRGOERS TO EMBRACE THEIR LOVE FOR THE OUTDOORS WHEN THEY VISIT CONSERVATION WORLD. DIRECTOR COLLEEN CALLAHAN SAYS IT'S A GREAT ENVIRONMENT FOR FAMILIES WITH PLENTY TO DO.

 

 

CALLAHAN SAYS THE 30-ACRE TRACT THAT MAKES UP CONSERVATION WORLD OFFERS FREE FISHING CLINICS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND WILDLIFE TENTS

 

 

CONSERVATION WORLD ALSO HAS A LUMBERJACK SHOW, LIVE MUSIC, A YOUTH B-B GUN RANGE AND A ROCK CLIMBING WALL.

Weekly Weather Summary

It was a mild week in central Illinois, setting up a trend for the rest of the month. State Climatologist Trent Ford has more...

 

 

New Legislation Ensures Families of Fallen First Responders Receive Benefits

NEW LEGISLATION PROPOSED BY ILLINOIS COMPTROLLER SUSANA MENDOZA WOULD ENSURE THE FAMILIES OF FALLEN FIRST RESPONDERS RECEIVE THE APPROPRIATE BENEFITS. 

 

FAMILIES ARE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS UNDER THE LINE OF DUTY COMPENSATION ACT, BUT FUNDING SOMETIMES RUNS OUT BEFORE THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR. THIS CAUSES DELAYS IN THE MONEY TO BE PAID OUT SAYS COMPTROLLER MENDOZA.

 

 

THE MEASURE JUST FILED WOULD MAKE THESE PAYMENTS A CONTINUING APPROPRIATION, SO THAT FUNDING FOR BENEFITS IS ALWAYS THERE SAYS MENDOZA.

 

 

MENDOZA SAYS CURRENTLY, FUNDS SOMETIMES RUN OUT BEFORE THE END OF A FISCAL YEAR, LEADING TO A DELAY IN THE MONEY BEING PAID OUT.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Six-Year Transportation Plan for Illinois

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING A MORE THAN 34 BILLION DOLLAR SIX-YEAR STATE TRANSPORTATION PLAN.

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS THIS INVESTMENT IS THE STATE'S HIGHEST YET, ADDRESSING REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS ACROSS ILLINOIS.

 

 

FOR EXAMPLE...

 

 

THERE'S ALSO MONEY TO BOOST RAILROAD CROSSING AND HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ADDRESS AIRPORT AND TRANSIT NEEDS.

August Above Normal for Temperatures So Far

It's been warmer than average in August so far but not noticeably painful.

 

That's how Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln described the month so far. He explains it hasn't been noticeably above normal but so far it's been wet and warm.

 

 

The traditional oppressive heat of August has largely stayed away but Shimon notes some warm nights at the start of August have helped the average temperature trends stay high.

 

 

The above normal trends for the rest of the month and in fact, have almost done an entire 180. We'll have more from Shimon Monday on Regional Radio News. 

Sheriff Walker Outlines New Body Cameras and Benefits

DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker says new body cameras coming to his department thanks to ARPA funds will be very high tech and years of use have already proven beneficial.

 

Body cameras are becoming increasingly in demand as police come under more and more public scrutiny. Body cameras have been used in DeWitt County for many years and Sheriff Walker says they've proven to be largely beneficial.

 

 

According to Sheriff Walker, the department is getting body cameras that will match the brand of in-car laptops, which he says they are in the process of getting new in-car laptops.

 

 

Among the perks of updating the body and in-car cameras will be the automatic turning on of the body cams and in-car cameras when certain events trigger them on.

 

 

Sheriff Walker says while the body cams provide good evidence for police in the event of complaints or incidents they are involved in, he says it provides for more accurate report writing.

New Bement Superintendent Looks Forward to New Opportunity

Mary Vogt calls her journey to the Superintendency in Bement one that has come full circle.

 

The Champaign native began her career in education briefly outside of Piatt County. When her youngest daughter entered school, she came to the Monticello district in White Heath, and in her final year in Monticello, her daughter graduated. 

 

 

As Vogt transitions to the role of Superintendent, she is learning there is quite a difference in starting the school year as a building administrator versus the district administrator. She explains there is a lot more to keep track of and she is learning to rely on her administrative team.

 

 

According to Vogt, the support of the community and the future outlook of Bement Schools has her motivated to continue the good things happening and continue to make the district stronger.

 

 

Vogt calls herself extremely fortunate that the students of her district are all on one campus and if she leaves her office, it's likely she's going to run into those students that she got into education to serve. 

OSF Doctor Concerned Over Lack of Routine Pediatric Immunizations

A recent study by the CDC shows a drop-off in children receiving routine vaccinations. During the 2020-2021 school year, the rate dropped from 95% to lower than 94%, which represents more than 35,000 children. A doctor with OSF HealthCare thinks it may be linked - at least in part - to the pandemic.

 

Dr. Rebecca Sierra says getting people into the office and keeping them up to date on their visits and vaccines fell off during the height of the pandemic. She says a decrease in vaccination rates could result in fewer communities maintaining herd immunity for preventable diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough.

 

 

She says if kids haven't had a routine physical within the last year they need to check in and make sure that there's nothing that needs to be addressed. If you have questions about your child’s vaccination schedule or about vaccines in general, Dr. Sierra recommends reaching out to your child’s pediatrician.

Fair Food Preview

The ribbon was cut on the Illinois State Fair on Thursday and Governor JB Pritzker says as he spends time on the grounds there are a few food items that stand out as must-haves.

 

 

The fair runs through next Sunday in Springfield.

Central Illinois Financial Advisor Reacts to 'Inflation Reduction Act'

A 4-hundred 30-billion-dollar Inflation Reduction Act economic package is heading to the House of Representatives on Friday.

 

However, a financial advisor reports the package has little to do with inflation. Kevin Kingston is a financial advisor at Savant Wealth Management.

 

 

The economic package includes billions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, impose a 15-percent tax on corporations earning over one-billion dollars and invest in clean energy technology. According to President Joe Biden, the economic package would bring down inflation by "lowering the deficit and lowering costs for regular families." The latest Consumer Price Index, measuring the nation's inflation, showed inflation cooled to 8.5% from 9.1% over the past month.

After Latest Deposit, State's Rainy Day Fund Tops $1-Billion

AFTER THE LATEST DEPOSIT, THE STATE’S RAINY DAY FUND NOW TOPS ONE BILLION DOLLARS. 

 

THAT’S THE MOST THE FUND HAS EVER HAD SAYS ILLINOIS COMPTROLLER SUSANA MENDOZA, AND A VITAL RESOURCE SHOULD THE STATE SUFFER TOUGH TIMES.

 

 

MENDOZA WOULD EVENTUALLY LIKE TO SEE MORE THAN THREE BILLION DOLLARS IN THE FUND. 

 

 

WHILE THE STATE BUDGET STALEMATE OF 2015 TO 2017 WAS GOING ON, THE RAINY DAY FUND DROPPED TO AROUND 48 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Local Experts Outline Basics of Teen Dating Violence

As kids get set to get back to school in the next few weeks, they will quickly be reunited with friends they haven't seen in some time.

 

New friendships and romantic relationships will be forged and local experts are imploring parents to be mindful of the things kids are doing online. Andrea Kocher with DOVE Inc. in Piatt County says teen dating violence happens in roughly one in ten Piatt County relationships.

 

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Kocher told Regional Radio teen dating violence will look a little different than domestic abuse. While they may not be stuck in the same home as their abuser, they can be stuck in a relationship.

 

 

Jill Maxey is the Executive Director of Willow Tree Missions in Piatt County and says when kids approach adults about a situation they are dealing with, we need to believe them. Piatt County Sheriff's Office Deputy Lindsey Bross - the School Resource Officer - notes many times she encounters a victim who has disclosed the information to someone who encourages that person to come forward.

 

 

We'll have more from Kocher, Maxey, and Det. Bross next week on Regional Radio on teen dating violence as school gets back in session across much of central Illinois. 

Illinois State Fair Opens Today

The Illinois State Fair will open with a flourish at the Grandstand this year. Ahead of the annual Twilight Parade, harness racing will begin at noon on Thursday according to Rebecca Clark, State Fair Manager.

 

 

A free ice cream social will be held at noon and the first 100 kids who come to the races will receive a free stick horse.

Social Security Says Change Any Personal Information Through A mySocialSecurity Account

If you receive Social Security benefits and have a general information change to make, the agency is encouraging you to do that online.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security encourages, if you haven't, start a mySocialSecurity account, and make any changes you need to your account there.

 

 

Myers clarifies, if you receive Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, you can check the address they have on file for you, but would need to contact Social Security by phone or in person to change it. 

 

 

If you haven't created a mySocialSecurity account, Myers reminds this is a fantastic resource offered that allows you access to so much information about Social Security.

 

 

To create a mySocialSecurity account and get started exploring everything an account offers, visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount. 

IHSA, Illinois Pork Producers Looking for State's Best Concession Pork Chop Sandwich

The Illinois High School Association and Illinois Pork Producers Association teaming up again this fall to find the state’s best concession stand pork chop sandwich. It’s called the Pork and Pigskins Championship and last year’s winner was Normal Community High School says the IHSA’s Tracie Henry. They received a state championship banner and golden spatula.

 

 

Over 100 schools entered the competition last year. Schools can sign up for this year’s competition beginning Aug. 15. The winner will be announced Nov. 26 during the state football championships in Champaign.

Gov. Pritzker Urging Schools to Apply for Federal Clean Bus Rebate Program

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS URGING ILLINOIS SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO APPLY FOR THE FEDERAL CLEAN SCHOOL BUS REBATE PROGRAM. 

 

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY AUGUST 19TH, SO IF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS HAVEN’T CHECKED OUT THE PROGRAM YET, THEY MAY WANT TO DO SO SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER.

 

 

THE REBATES ARE FOR SCHOOLS REPLACING EXISTING BUSES WITH LOW AND NO-EMISSION VERSIONS. 

 

 

THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS AUGUST 19TH. MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: EPA DOT GOV SLASH CLEAN SCHOOL BUS.

National Weather Service Offers Services for Larger Events

The fall festival season is nearly upon us and the National Weather Service indicates they are promoting services they can provide to organizers of these larger events.

 

Unfortunately, weather can sometimes interrupt these gatherings and Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln explains they can coordinate with event organizers for plans of action in the event severe weather may strike.

 

 

Shimon points organizers interested in the weather planning phase of their gatherings to visit weather.gov/lincoln.

 

 

Shimon notes with the County Fair season starting to wrap up and the Illinois State Fair kicking off this week, they have worked with some of those organizers and says the State Fair will keep them busy in the next ten days. 

Tourism in Atlanta Remaining Strong

As the summer tourism season starts to wrap up in Illinois, a central Illinois community says their tourism season will last until at least September.

 

The Illinois State Fair often signals the end of the summer vacation season as the new school year begins but tour groups will still make the rounds in central Illinois. Whitney Ortiz is the Tourism Bureau Director in Atlanta, Illinois in Logan County and indicates they will continue to see groups coming to town into October.

 

 

According to Ortiz, Atlanta is seeing a lot of international travelers going making their way down Route 66. She says if they have enough people on hand in the community, those visitors get an extensive tour of the community.

 

 

In early August, Ortiz indicates they are about to match their 2021 tourism numbers. She explains tourism has increased in the last couple of years in Atlanta.

 

 

Ortiz has been making her way to several areas along Route 66 and will also be promoting Atlanta, Illinois at the Illinois State Fair this week and next. She believes those efforts pay off. 

Voters Can Start Requesting Permanent Mail-In Ballots Today

ILLINOISANS WILL BE ABLE TO SIGN UP FOR PERMANENT MAIL-IN VOTING STARTING TODAY. 

 

ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO REQUEST A MAIL-IN BALLOT AND TO SIGN UP FOR FUTURE ELECTIONS IS TO START ONLINE SAYS STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SPOKESPERSON MATT DIETRICH. THE WEBSITE IS: ELECTIONS DOT IL DOT GOV.

 

 

VOTERS CHOOSING THE PERMANENT MAIL-IN OPTIONS WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE SENT BALLOTS FOR PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTIONS. 

 

 

THAT WEBSITE AGAIN IS: ELECTIONS DOT IL DOT GOV.

Sen. Durbin Says Inflation Reduction Act Will Benefit Solar Power

The US Senate has been busy recently passing legislation and Democrat Dick Durbin says the recent inflation reduction act will take major steps forward in fighting climate change. Durbin says the incentives for solar power, more efficient cooling and heating equipment and rebates for electric cars will all save people money.

 

 

Durbin recently installed solar panels on his home in Springfield.

BBB Warning of Another Scam

Scammers are targeting home service providers, playing the role of a customer looking for estimates.

 

CEO and President of the BBB, Jessica Tharp, says that scammers pay above and beyond when sending the transaction, causing business owners to scratch their heads.

 

 

Tharp says that scammers typically use a business check when overpaying, then ask for the extra money to be paid to a second contractor working on the property. If you receive a call similar to this scam, the agency asks you to report any potential frauds to their website: www.bbb.org

Back to School Nutrition Tips From U of I Extension Nutrition Educator

School for most Illinois kids gets back underway next week and a University of Illinois Extension nutrition educator has a few tips on how to go back to school with a good nutrition plan for our kids.

 

Caitlin Mellendorf is the Nutrition Educator at the University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties and explains when parents send kids to school with a lunch, kids bring that lunch box home and parents discover just a little bit of the meal was eaten.

 

 

Mellendorf recommends within the guidelines of the schools, sending foods your kid enjoys and will eat. She explains a kid's appetite is going to vary depending on if they've eaten breakfast or had a snack.

 

 

When it comes to nutrition in the lunch we send kids to school with, Mellendorf says we want to keep the 'my plate' model in mind. She says some of these foods will provide good protein and hold off hunger a bit longer.

 

 

When it comes to keeping foods hot or cold, Mellendorf says there are lunchboxes and materials to allow to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. 

Local Lawmaker Part of Five-Legislator Forum in Effingham Thursday

A central Illinois lawmaker is going to be a part of a five-legislator panel in Effingham this Thursday.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, State Representative Dan Caulkins told Regional Radio the event will take place at the Effingham Holiday Inn conference center and the topic discussed will be the energy policy of Illinois.

 

 

According to Rep. Caulkins, part of the program will focus on the energy policies of other states and how it is impacting Illinois. Other states are essentially creating enough energy for themselves and if there is anything left, they can send it to places like Illinois.

 

 

Local representative Brad Halbrook will also be a part of the event along with Blaine Wihour, Chris Miller, and Adam Niemerg.

 

Again doors open in Effingham around 5:30 pm at the Holiday Inn.

Weekly Crop Report

THE CONDITION OF ILLINOIS CROPS IMPROVED AGAIN THIS PAST WEEK.

 

IT WAS A HOT, WET WEEK AND 96 PERCENT OF CORN ACRES ARE NOW SILKING SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

90 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING AND 61 PERCENT ARE SETTING PODS. 70 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 32 PERCENT COMPLETE. 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS EIGHT PERCENT VERY SHORT, 16 PERCENT SHORT, 58 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 18 PERCENT SURPLUS.

Another Record Year for Illinois Treasurer's I-Cash Program

IT WAS ANOTHER RECORD YEAR FOR ILLINOIS TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS' I-CASH PROGRAM. 

 

DURING THE LAST FISCAL YEAR, I-CASH RETURNED A RECORD 280 MILLION DOLLARS IN UNCLAIMED PROPERTY TO TAXPAYERS. THIS INCLUDES FORGOTTEN BANK ACCOUNTS, OLD LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES AND THE LIKE. TREASURER FRERICHS CREDITS OUTREACH EFFORTS AND SIMPLIFYING THE CLAIMS PROCESS.

 

 

FRERICHS URGES THE PUBLIC TO SEE IF THEY HAVE ANY OLD LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES OR BANK ACCOUNTS WAITING FOR THEM.

 

 

FRERICHS SAYS ABOUT ONE IN FOUR PEOPLE WHO SEARCH THE I-CASH DATABASE FIND SOMETHING. HE ENCOURAGES EVERYONE TO GIVE IT A SHOT, AND TO ALSO TRY INPUTTING YOUR BUSINESS, NON-PROFIT GROUP OR DECEASED RELATIVE'S NAME. VISIT: I-CASH DOT ILLINOIS TREASURER DOT GOV.

DCDC Hoping to Establish Late-Fall Annual Meeting

A DeWitt County organization is hoping to start an annual dinner later this year to highlight the good things they are accomplishing.

 

Curt Homann is the Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council and on the WHOW Morning Show Friday told Regional Radio he hopes to start an annual dinner before the hectic holiday season later this fall. He feels it would be a good chance for the community to get to know about the things they are doing.

 

 

According to Homann, an annual dinner would be a good opportunity to highlight some of the grant recipients from the year but he feels it's a good way for like minds to get together and share ideas with one another.

 

 

As developments on an annual dinner come about, Homann points those interested to follow the DCDC on Facebook. 

McLean County Museum of History In Midst of Accreditation Process

A McLean Count non-profit is in the midst of its accreditation process.

 

The McLean County Museum of History every ten years has to go through an extensive process to be accredited through the American Alliance of Museums and the Museum's Candace Summers says this is a big deal because less than three percent of the nation's museums are accredited.

 

 

Every ten years an evaluation is done on the museum and Summers explains they are looking at the collection of the museum and how well that collection is cared for. She also points out evaluators want to see the museum engage the community.

 

 

To get ready for the evaluation of the Museum, not only is the collection and engagement part of the process but the facility needs to be in tip-top shape. Summers says they've already done a lot of work on the building in the last few years. 

 

 

For museum staff, the readying process for its evaluation is always ongoing. Summers says it is a natural preparation because museums want to offer great programs and care for the history they are entrusted with. 

 

 

Summers says the last time the Museum was evaluated, she was a very young historian at the library and so she was not a large part of the process but she compares it to defending a thesis and having everything in line for that extensive process. 

State Fair Rates Staying Steady

The price of everything seems to either be going up or higher this year than in years past. But that won’t be the case to get into the Illinois State Fair. Becky Clark, State Fair Manager, says they have held the line on admission.

 

 

Full price admission is $10 for adults and parking inside the fairgrounds is $5. The fair begins on Thursday.

Why Exercise Makes You Feel Better Emotionally, Mentally

If you've ever been having a bad day or things aren't going your way and you have an urge to just leave and take a walk it is because there is a response in our bodies when we exercise that can help us feel better.

 

Dr. Jim LaValle is the author of 'Cracking the Metabolic Code' and the clinical director for the Pro Football Hall of Famer performance health program. He explains getting that heart rate up releases serotonin, a natural chemical in our bodies that makes us feel good.

 

 

A few weeks ago we heard from Dr. LaValle regarding the lawsuit over Skittles and the challenge in court over their appropriateness for human consumption. Dr. LaValle says one way to reset your body's glucose response is to exercise.

 

 

Dr. LaValle points you don't have to be in a weight room under a bench press or pushing out dumbbell exercises for a moderate workout. He encourages people to just walk in their neighborhoods for 30-45 minutes at a time and that is ideal moderate exercise. 

Road Improvements At State Fairgrounds

The Illinois State Fair starts this week and when you first arrive you will certainly notice improvements to the roads.

 

Jerry Costello, the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, says more than $4 million has been spent to resurface and improve them.

 

 

 

 

The spending is part of more than $58 million of overall infrastructure spending dedicated to the grounds.

IDPH Acting Director Discusses Spread of Monkeypox

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS REMINDING PEOPLE HOW MONKEYPOX IS SPREAD. 

 

FOR STARTERS, ACTING STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR SAMEER VOHRA SAYS THIS IS NOT AN AIRBORNE VIRUS.

 

 

THE VIRUS CAN ALSO BE SPREAD BY TOUCHING AN OBJECT OR FABRIC THAT HAS COME IN CONTACT WITH AN INFECTED PERSON'S RASH OR THEIR BODILY FLUIDS. 

 

VOHRA SAYS THE STATE IS WORKING WITH FEDERAL OFFICIALS TO SECURE MORE OF THE MONKEYPOX VACCINE.

Downstate Daycare Worker Has Monkeypox

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SAYS A DOWNSTATE DAYCARE WORKER HAS MONKEYPOX. 

 

THE INFECTION OF AN ADULT AT A DAYCARE IN THE RANTOUL AREA IS THE THIRD CASE IN CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH ACTING DIRECTOR DOCTOR SAMEER VOHRA SAYS CHILDREN AND STAFF AT THE DAYCARE ARE BEING SCREENED AND THE ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN IN TOUCH WITH THE WHITE HOUSE.

 

 

LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS WILL STAY IN CONTACT THE AFFECTED FAMILIES. THE INFECTED PERSON ALSO WORKS IN HOME HEALTH CARE AND THE ONE CLIENT THEY CAME IN CONTACT WITH IS ALSO BEING MONITORED.

 

 

THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 600 PROBABLE AND CONFIRMED CASES OF MONKEYPOX IN ILLINOIS.

Redman Re-Elected to Democrat Party of Illinois

Terry Redman of Wapella has been elected to serve as the State Central Committeeman for the newly drawn 15th Congressional District representing the Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI).  

 

The 15th Congressional District includes all or parts of 35 counties, running from near Rock Island south to Metro East, and across the state to Vermillion County.

 Committeeman Redman has served as a member of the Democratic Party of Illinois for the past 20 years. 

 

DPI consists of 17 women and 17 men who are elected at large to represent each of the 17 congressional districts in the State of Illinois. 

 

Committeeman Redman’s counterpart in the 15th is Kathryn Daniels of Quincy. 

Scovill Zoo Going to Fall Hours Monday

Fall hours at a Decatur entity go into effect Monday.

 

Ken Frye is the Director of the Scovill Zoo in Decatur and told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show Friday it is the time of the year when a lot of their volunteers head back to school and so they need to scale back on hours.

 

 

With kids going back to school, programs are also slowing down but you can keep up with the latest at Scovill Zoo by following them on Facebook.

 

Frye also notes the free admission Thursdays until the final day of the season, Oct. 10. 

Voter Turnout Low for June Primary Election

VOTER TURNOUT WAS LOW FOR THE JUNE PRIMARY ELECTION. 

 

ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SPOKESPERSON MATT DIETRICH SAYS LESS THAN 22 PERCENT OF REGISTERED VOTERS CAST A BALLOT BACK IN JUNE.

 

 

DIETRICH GIVES A PARTY BREAKDOWN:

 

 

DIETRICH SAYS ABOUT 16 PERCENT OF VOTERS CHOSE MAIL-IN BALLOTS FOR THE PRIMARY.

Weekly Weather Summary

It was a very wet week for much of central Illinois. State Climatologist Trent Ford has a recap on the severe weather and a look at the week ahead.

 

 

Local Business Owner Asks City of Clinton for Action on Crumbling Downtown Sidewalks

An owner of a downtown Clinton storefront in the midst of opening a business is requesting the City Council address crumbling sidewalks adjacent to her storefront.

 

Melissa Morris owns the storefronts once occupied by Darvin's Barbershop Shop on the north side of Clinton Square and is requesting the City address concerns she has over sidewalks that are falling apart to the point they have resulted in an injury and are a safety hazard.

 

 

While the City has taken steps to correct the issue, she feels it is not enough and other tenants nearby are concerned. She points out they have done what they can but it is not enough. 

 

 

Mayor Roger Cyrulik, who owns a cement business, explained to Morris the work would need an engineer to review and he emphasized when embarking on concrete work, you want only have to do it once.

 

 

Mayor Cyrulik told Morris they have plans to make improvements to that area but Morris had more questions about issues that will linger until then. 

 

 

The Mayor assured Morris the issue is being worked on and would be fixed. 

Social Security Goes Over Commonly Used Acronyms

A couple of times a year, Social Security reminds the public of commonly used acronyms as part of the Plain Writing Act of 2010.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Jack Myers says this can be challenging when talking about complicated programs like Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare. He notes they have an online glossary of terms and acronyms that will help you understand the meaning.  

 

 

COLA, or cost of living adjustment, will be making headlines soon. Myers explains Social Security and SSI benefits keep pace with inflation through COLAs. Most years your benefit will get a COLA, which usually means extra money. This “inflation protection” is a very valuable aspect of your Social Security benefits. 

 

 

Credits are another term the public may hear when talking about Social Security. Myers explains as you work and pay Social Security taxes on your earnings, you earn credits - previously called “quarters of coverage”. You can earn up to 4 credits per year, and the amount of gross wages or net earnings from self-employment required to earn a credit typically increases from year to year.  

 

 

Earnings records is is the history of the amount of money you earned each year during your working lifetime. And finally, Myers says FICA is one that is becoming less and less known as pay stubs go digital. 

 

 

Again that website is www.ssa.gov/agency/glossary. 

Illinois State Police Squad Car Hit Again

ANOTHER ILLINOIS STATE POLICE SQUAD CAR HAS BEEN STRUCK, MARKING THE 14TH SCOTT’S LAW RELATED CRASH THIS YEAR. 

 

A CHICAGO AREA TROOPER WAS SITTING IN HIS CAR WITH THE LIGHTS ACTIVATED WHEN HE WAS HIT BY A DRUNK DRIVER. THE TROOPER SUFFERED NON-LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES, BUT THIS IS HAPPENING WAY TOO OFTEN SAYS STATE POLICE MASTER SERGEANT JOEY WATSON.

 

 

WATSON SAYS BOTTOM LINE, ANYTIME YOU SEE ANY VEHICLE PULLED OVER WITH THE LIGHTS FLASHING OR HAZARDS ON, PASSING MOTORISTS MUST SLOW DOWN AND CHANGE LANES IF POSSIBLE.

 

 

SCOTT’S LAW REQUIRES DRIVERS TO SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER IF POSSIBLE WHEN PASSING A STOPPED VEHICLE WITH FLASHING LIGHTS. VIOLATORS FACE A FINE OF AT LEAST 250 DOLLARS AND COULD LOSE THEIR LICENSE IF THEY HURT SOMEONE.

Illinois State Fair Manager Previews Upcoming State Fair

THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR KICKS OFF NEXT WEEK, WITH NEW ATTRACTIONS AND NO ADMISSION PRICE INCREASES. 

 

UNLIKE EVERYTHING ELSE, THE COST TO GET INTO THE FAIR IS NOT GOING UP THIS YEAR SAYS STATE FAIR MANAGER REBECCA CLARK.

 

 

CLARK SAYS NEW FEATURES INCLUDE THE GIANT DINOSAURS EXHIBIT WITH OVER 20 HUGE ROBOTIC CREATURES, CHARACTER BRUNCHES AND THE BASS MOBILE. 

 

 

CARNIVAL MEGA AND JUMBO PASSES ARE STILL AVAILABLE, AS ARE TICKETS TO GRANDSTAND SHOWS LIKE SAM HUNT, DEMI LOVATO, WILLIE NELSON, AND COMEDIAN TREVOR NOAH. 

 

THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR RUNS AUGUST 11TH THROUGH THE 21ST IN SPRINGFIELD. MORE DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: ILLINOIS STATE FAIR DOT INFO.

Illinois Has Third Most Monkeypox Cases

The state of Illinois has declared Monkeypox a public health emergency. Dr. Sameer Vohra, the new acting director of the Illinois Department of Public Health says they are acting quickly to get more vaccines to individuals in the state who need them.

 

 

Illinois currently has 520 presumptive cases of Monkeypox – the third most in the country. And the state has 7,000 vaccines on hand and 13,000 more are expected to arrive soon.

Illinois Corn Growers Association Promoting E-15

While gas prices throughout the state of Illinois have dropped significantly from lofty highs over the summer, prices remain expensive for consumers.

 

E15 fuel is a less expensive alternative to the more conventional gasoline. But what exactly is E15 and how can it help prices at the pump? Here to explain is Executive Director of the Illinois Corn Growers Association Rodney Weinzierl.

 

 

Weinzierl adds that because of E15's movement in the marketplace, it's possible more and more stations will begin offering the fuel moving forward.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Increase in Medicaid Reimbursements for Abortion Services

MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT RATES FOR ABORTION SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE GOING UP NEXT MONTH.

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS ILLINOIS WILL REMAIN A SANCTUARY FOR WOMEN TO MAKE THEIR OWN REPRODUCTIVE CHOICES, AND THAT PROVIDERS NEED MORE SUPPORT TO HANDLE THE INFLUX OF PATIENTS.

 

 

ILLINOIS IS ONE OF ONLY 16 STATES THAT ALLOWS MEDICAID COVERAGE OF ABORTIONS. THE GOVERNOR IS ALSO ANNOUNCING AN ADDITIONAL TWO MILLION DOLLARS FOR FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES.

 

 

ILLINOIS PROVIDERS ARE ALREADY SEEING A RISE IN WOMEN FROM OTHER STATES SEEKING AN ABORTION. 

Peace Meal Still Building Back After COVID

Peace Meal continues its return to the routine of central Illinois seniors as COVID concerns ease.

 

Shelly Tolley with Peace Meal says this is the time of the year when many seniors may be taking a pause from the program because of travel plans and it's simply a good time for easier mobility. 

 

 

Peace Meal is in need of volunteers. Tolley explains there are several capacities a volunteer could make a difference. She points to drivers who could volunteer for roughly an hour a week or a volunteer could help at congregate sites.

 

 

Tolley offers an update on moving into northern Piatt County and eastern DeWitt County. In Farmer City, it is a restaurant program while in DeLand they are only able to do home-delivered meals.

 

 

Those interested in signing up for Peace Meal or volunteering can call 309-665-5900 or 833-923-3905. 

Illinois Food Bank Helping With Flood Victims

Amid eight inches of rainfall in eastern Kentucky, the Midwest Food Bank in Normal is sending truckloads of supplies to support victims of flooding.

 

Mike Hoffman, the director of logistics and inventory at the food bank, says the organization is sending six truckloads full of food.

 

 

With the death toll continuing to rise, Kentucky officials report almost forty people died from flash flooding and mudslides. For those who wish to donate, visit the Midwest Food Bank dot-org and click 'donate,' then select ' disaster relief.'

Gov. Pritzker Announces $17.5-Million to Renovate Shuttered Rend Lake Resort in Southern Illinois

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING FUNDING FOR THE LONG-AWAITED RENOVATION OF REND LAKE RESORT IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS.

 

THE RESORT OPENED IN THE 90'S BUT WAS SHUTTERED IN 2016 AFTER MOLD WAS FOUND IN SEVERAL AREAS. THE GOVERNOR SAYS THIS 17 AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN FUNDING WILL RESTORE THE SITE TO ITS FORMER GLORY.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE DAVE SEVERIN OF BENTON.

 

 

REND LAKE IS THE SECOND LARGEST OF THE STATE’S THREE MAN-MADE LAKES WITH 19-THOUSAND ACRES OF WATER AND 162 MILES OF SHORELINE. THE RESORT USED TO ATTRACT MORE THAN TWO MILLION VISITORS ANNUALLY.

Monday, Tuesday Storms Bring Flooding, Small Tornado to Central Illinois

Flooding in parts of central Illinois and a small tornado in eastern Logan County highlighted some crazy weather that rolled through Monday and Tuesday this week.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln says things were much calmer on Monday but still a small tornado hit the eastern Logan County community of Beason.

 

 

Tuesday things ramped up in a big way with thunderstorms lasting throughout the area for much of the morning hours. According to Shimon, there were significant rains in Jasper County and the Decatur area saw severe flooding.

 

 

More rain is expected this afternoon (Wednesday) and then after today, things heat and dry out. Shimon does not anticipate too much more rain for the rest of August.

 

 

Shimon implores the public to be on the lookout for those watches and warnings as they are issued. He reminds severe weather can pop up out of nowhere. 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Randall Forehand from Chestnut

Clinton City Council Hears Comments on Animal Ordinance; Codifies Ambiguous Issue

The Clinton City Council Tuesday night heard from community members interested in a change in policy regarding animals in city limits of the livestock description.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers admits he is the author of the code that would regulate the number of animals allowed in the City of Clinton explaining there has never been a code to enforce when the issue comes up - and he notes, it is a frequent issue the encounter.

 

 

According to the Chief, there have been exactly two complaints regarding the number of chickens on a property. He explains in the past there were only estimates regarding how many animals could be on a property and enforcement is difficult because nothing is in writing.

 

 

Seth Reddington says this ordinance will impact his home in town.

 

 

Sharon Reddington also spoke against the ordinance. She points out it has been an acceptable practice for over a generation to allow animals categorized as livestock to be at her residence in Clinton.

 

 

To craft the ordinance, Chief Lowers looked at communities around Clinton. He used mostly the Farmer City ordinance as it is a community that closely resembles Clinton.

 

 

While many are critical of the ordinance, Chief Lowers looks at the situation as now there are rules in place to allow something the community wants whereas previously, this was technically an illegal practice. 

 

The Council approved the measure 4-1. 

Warner Library Wraps Up Wildly Successful Summer Reading Club

500 participants were the goal for the Warner Library for the 2022 edition of the summer reading club and organizers say they blew that number out of the water.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Librarian Corey Campbell told Regional Radio they totaled nearly 650 participants between the kids' program and the adult program. 

 

 

The Summer Reading Club offered a full summer of activities and prizes for submitting reading logs as the last few summers had been slowed by COVID concerns. 

 

 

With the summer reading club wrapped up, organizers are hoping to hear from participants about what can improve the program. Campbell explains they did a similar survey last year and used the feedback to improve the program this year.

 

 

Campbell points out the breakdown for kids and adults is around a 50/50 split. He credits the staff of the library for engaging the patrons and making them aware of the program and how fun it can be for all ages. 

Unclaimed Property Auction Taking Place at State Fair

A staple of the Illinois State Fair is coming back. The state’s unclaimed property auction. The Treasurer is preparing for another sale of valuable unclaimed items. Michael Frerichs says they have already returned more than a million properties that total more than $1.5 billion in value.

 

 

The state can’t simply hold all the items in perpetuity, so they auction surplus items and hold those dollars for the family to eventually claim.

State Finalizes Regulations for Nannies, Housekeepers

NEW RULES ARE NOW IN PLACE FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS INCLUDING NANNIES, HOUSEKEEPERS AND CAREGIVERS. 

 

THE STATE’S MINIMUM WAGE LAW HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO INCLUDE DOMESTIC WORKERS, ENSURING THEY HAVE RIGHTS ON THE JOB SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR JASON KELLER.

 

 

THE RULES ALSO SPECIFY THAT DOMESTIC WORKERS MUST BE PAID TIME AND A HALF FOR ANY OVERTIME HOURS.

 

 

THE RULES ALSO ADDRESS OVERTIME PAY AND CASES WHERE MULTIPLE EMPLOYERS SHARE THE SERVICES OF A DOMESTIC WORKER.

IHSA Continues Call for More Officials

As the Illinois High School Association gets set for a new season, attention continues to focus on recruiting more officials. Craig Anderson serves as executive director of the organization.

 

 

The new IHSA season begins next Monday.

IEMA Urges Caution Through Flooding, Heavy Rains

THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO REMAIN AWARE AND BE PREPARED FOR FURTHER HEAVY RAINS AND FLASH FLOODING. 

 

SEVERAL SIGNIFICANT STORMS MAY BE IMPACTING ILLINOIS THIS WEEK, BRINGING A POTENTIAL FOR RAPID FLOODING AND STORM DAMAGE. I-EMA SPOKESPERSON KEVIN SUR STRESSES THE NEED TO STAY ALERT DURING THE THREAT OF SEVERE WEATHER.

 

 

SUR ALSO ADVISES HAVING AN EMERGENCY KIT AT HOME AND IN THE CAR AND TO INCLUDE FAMILY PETS IN ANY PREPAREDNESS EFFORTS.

 

 

SUR ADDS YOU SHOULD NEVER TRY TO CROSS A FLOODED ROAD, SINCE IT ONLY TAKES ABOUT SIX INCHES OF WATER TO WASH AWAY YOU OR YOUR CAR.

DeWitt County Board Sticking With Marina Operator After Insurance Paperwork Issues

The DeWitt County Board last week decided it would stay with its Marina operator after it was brought to light at the regular County Board meeting in July Joe Caldwell and his organization was out of compliance on insurance coverage.

 

In July when the findings came to light, board members pressed to have a special board meeting to direct State's Attorney Dan Markwell to take corrective action but Caldwell ultimately filed the paperwork ahead of the Board's special meeting last Tuesday. Board Chair Terry Ferguson indicated during the meeting it was proposed to terminate Caldwell's contract, which was voted down.

 

 

The question the County Board has largely been unable to answer is just how long has the operator been without insurance? Some speculation is it was the entirety of his first year as operator plus the first half of this year. Ferguson believes it is an easy oversight to make.

 

 

According to Ferguson, the County Board heard from a couple of marina users that spoke in favor of Caldwell and his organization praising the job he's done at the marina. Ferguson felt those comments went a long way for the Board.

 

 

Ferguson reminds the Board extended Caldwell's contract through 2023 to allow him time to work through all the COVID challenges and make the appropriate changes at the Marina.

 

 

Ferguson indicates breakwater installation at the Marina continues this week. Rain mid-week last week held things up a little bit and so that project continues. 

 

Also at the special meeting last week, the Board approved a $67,500 mowing tractor from Central Illinois Ag for the highway department. 

Warner Hospital Foundation Announces First Ever Golf Outing in September

The Warner Hospital Foundation is announcing its first annual golf outing to take place this September.

 

Board Director Curt Homann on the WHOW Morning Show Monday told Regional Radio says it's a lot of work upfront to establish the event but hopes as it becomes an annual event, it will grow in popularity.

 

 

Homann will be pursuing sponsorships for the outing on Friday, September 9. He notes now is also the time to start getting registered.

 

 

The Warner Hospital Foundation will be the latest to introduce a golf outing among a host of local groups that offer such an event throughout the nice weather of the summer. Homann says while you might think adding another outing to the lineup would oversaturate the demand, he says golf outings are usually very successful for a number of reasons.

 

 

There are a number of ways to support the get registered or sponsor the golf outing. Homann points anyone to the Warner Hospital Foundation Facebook page and send a direct message. You can also contact the Hospital itself and they will direct you to Homann for more details. 

 

Again the outing is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9 at the Clinton Country Club. 

Weekly Crop Report

ILLINOIS CROP CONDITIONS IMPROVED OVER THE PAST WEEK. 

 

THE WEATHER WAS COOLER AND WETTER IN MANY PARTS OF THE STATE, GIVING CROPS A LITTLE BOOST. STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 76 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING.

 

 

91 PERCENT OF CORN ACRES ARE SILKING AND 31 PERCENT HAVE REACHED THE DOUGH STAGE. 74 PERCENT OF THE ILLINOIS CORN CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS NOW RATED AT THREE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 23 PERCENT SHORT, 61 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 13 PERCENT SURPLUS.

National Night Out Tonight

National Night Out, held the first Tuesday in August each year, will be celebrated all across the country in several communities. 

 

The event started in the 1980s as an opportunity for neighbors to turn their porch lights on and talk with law enforcement and first responders on ways to keep communities safer. Jacksonville National Night Out Co-Chair Leslie Forsman says its a way for a community to meet first responders in their community in a non-stressful situation.

 

 

131 Illinois communities are hosting National Night Out events.

National Minority Organ Donation Awareness Month

SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE'S OFFICE IS ENCOURAGING MORE MINORITIES TO CONSIDER ORGAN DONATION.

 

THIS IS NATIONAL MINORITY ORGAN DONATION AWARENESS MONTH AND SECRETARY OF STATE SPOKESPERSON BETH KAUFMAN EXPLAINS WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.

 

 

KAUFMAN SAYS TRANSPLANTS CAN BE SUCCESSFUL REGARDLESS OF THE ETHNICITY OF THE DONOR AND RECIPIENT BUT LONG-TERM SUCESS MAY BE GREATER IF BOTH ARE MORE CLOSELY MATCHED.

 

 

ANYONE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT ORGAN DONATION AND SIGNING UP TO BE A DONOR CAN VISIT THE WEBSITE: LIFE GOES ON DOT COM.

Illinois Farm Bureau Resolutions Work Underway for Annual Meeting

An update on the resolution process heading toward the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December. Subcommittees have been doing work. Steve Warrick serves as Chair of the Agricultural, Production & National Issues Subcommittee.

 

 

Warrick is also President of the Will County Farm Bureau.

Sunday Night Blaze Destroys Clinton Country Club Golf Cart Garage

A Sunday night fire outside of Clinton left the golf cart garage at the Clinton Country Club a total loss.

 

A DeWitt County Sheriff's Deputy reported the fire shortly before 11 pm Sunday and was fully involved by the time crews arrived on scene. 

 

Clinton Fire Department personnel indicate by the time crews arrived at the scene the barn was already nearly a total loss and the goal was to protect the main Country Club building adjacent to the garage.

 

In addition to Clinton Fire, tankers were at the scene from Kenney Fire, Wapella Fire, and a Maroa Fire Department with Waynesville Fire on standby at the Clinton Fire Station.

 

Around 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water were used, primarily to protect the main Country Club building. According to Clinton Fire personnel, that is a relatively small amount of water used and it was in part because the building was nearly a total loss by the time of their arrival.

 

Crews were at the scene until roughly 1 am and the cause of the fire is undetermined. 

August Expected to Be Warm, Dry

The warm-up is coming and it looks like we're not going to be able to avoid it.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service explains as we enter August, the Climate Prediction Center has Illinois solidly above normal for temperatures and below normal for precipitation.

 

 

Excessive heat warnings could come into the fold in August. Shimon explains an excessive heat advisory or even a heat warning could be issued at times this week.

 

 

While August is showing strong above normal temperatures trends, getting into September and October the trends are still above normal for temperatures but they are not as strong as for August. 

DNR Conservation Police Captain Says Now is Time to Think About Upcoming Hunting Season

Now is the time to begin preparing for the upcoming hunting seasons that are right around the corner.

 

That's the message from Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police Captain John Williamson. On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, Capt. Williamson indicates tags are starting to be awarded.

 

 

Capt. Williamson reminds now is the time to get those hunter safety courses taken care of. He says there is a full list of locations on the DNR website if you need to attend in person. Some individuals can just log on and take care of that online.

 

 

Now is also the time to think about checking tree stands and giving those a good once over. Capt. Williamson explains now is a good time to do that as it will allow deer to bed where you want them.

 

 

Today opens the squirrel season. Capt. Williamson says Sept. 1 opens the busy hunting season with dove season and then Oct. 1 is the opening of the archery deer season. 

 

Visit dnr.illinois.gov for all things hunting, fishing, and outdoors in Illinois. 

Winning MegaMillions Ticket Bought in Illinois

A single ticket bought in a Chicago suburb beat the odds and won a $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

 

According to megamillions.com, there was one jackpot-winning ticket in the draw Friday night, and it was bought at a Speedway gas station and convenience store in Des Plaines.

 

The winning numbers were: 13-36-45-57-67, Mega Ball: 14.

 

The jackpot was the nation’s third-largest lottery prize. It grew so large because no one had matched the game’s six selected numbers since April 15. That’s 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.

 

Lottery officials had estimated the winning take at $1.28 billion, but revised the number up to $1.337 billion on Saturday.

 

The total prize is for winners who choose the annuity option, paid annually over 29 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which for Friday night’s drawing was an estimated $780.5 million.

 

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.

 

According to the Illinois Lottery, the store that sold the ticket is a pretty big winner, too; it will receive half a million dollars just for selling the ticket. A clerk at the Speedway store who answered the phone but declined to give his name said the store had not been officially notified that it sold the winning ticket and that he learned about it from reporters calling for comment.

 

Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.

 

Illinois is among the states where winners of more than $250,000 can choose to not reveal their names and Illinois Lottery spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said the vast majority of those winners do just that.

 

Even lottery officials may not know for a while who won because winners don’t have to come forward straight away. And the winning ticket may have been bought by a group of people.

Today is First Ever Sweet Corn Appreciation Day in Illinois

August 1st means the first ever Sweet Corn Appreciation Day in Illinois. The special day is thanks to legislation by State Rep. Tony McCombie of Savanna. It won approval in the Illinois General Assembly this spring and was signed by the Governor in June.

 

 

McCombie is hosting an event today in Savanna recognizing Sweet Corn Appreciation Day.

State Officials Announce Next Step in Fighting Opioid Crisis After National Settlement

ILLINOIS IS SET TO RECEIVE AS MUCH AS 760 MILLION DOLLARS TO FIGHT THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC. 

 

THE MONEY WILL COME OVER THE NEXT 18 YEARS, THE PRODUCT OF LAWSUIT SETTLEMENTS WITH PHARMACEUTICAL DISTRIBUTORS AND MANUFACTURERS. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO ENSURE THE FUNDS GO TOWARDS THE STATE'S EFFORTS BATTLING OPIOID ABUSE.

 

 

THE MONEY WILL BE USED FOR PREVENTION, INTERVENTION AND TREATMENT. DEATHS FROM OPIATE RELATED OVERDOSES CONTINUE TO RISE IN ILLINOIS.

 

 

NEARLY EIGHT PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS DIE EACH DAY FROM AN OPIOID OVERDOSE.

Opening for USDA Rural Development Jobs

The state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois says jobs are available within the agency.

 

 

There are 15 job openings and again you can find more info at usajobs.gov and type in the search words “Illinois rural development”.

Gov. Pritzker Announces $15-Million in Tourism Grants

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING 15 MILLION DOLLARS IN TOURISM GRANTS. 

 

10 MILLION HAS ALREADY BEEN AWARDED THROUGH A NEW STATE PROGRAM TO SUPPORT EXHIBITS, FESTIVALS AND ATTRACTIONS AROUND THE STATE AND NOW AN ADDITIONAL 15 MILLION IS UP FOR GRABS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS IT HAS BEEN IMPORTANT TO SUPPORT AN INDUSTRY HIT SO HARD BY THE PANDEMIC.

 

 

STRATTON SAYS THE ILLINOIS TOURISM INDUSTRY OFFERS SO MUCH TO STATE RESIDENTS AND VISITORS.

 

 

GRANTS ARE FUNDED BY THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT AND APPLICATIONS FOR THIS SECOND ROUND ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED VIA THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY'S WEBSITE. DOWNSTATE COMMUNITIES ARE BEING PRIORITIZED THIS TIME AROUND.

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