Local News

Another Record-Setting Apple n' Pork Festival

It wasn't by much but the 54th edition of the Apple n' Pork Festival was another record-setter.

 

Just by about 300 or 400 people the 2022 Festival again drew over 103,000 people to Clinton. Chief Ben Lowers says everyone felt like the Saturday crowd was fantastic and the Sunday crowd started late but they came out in force as the afternoon went on.

 

 

Tours of the Homestead returned in 2022 after a challenge finding enough volunteers in '21 in addition to working on the porches going on. Director of the Museum, Joey Long indicates a trend that was beginning before COVID was younger people interested in the home and that continued as tours resumed this fall.

 

 

The Apple n' Pork Festival at its core is a fundraiser for the CH Moore Homestead and DeWitt County Museum. Long indicates 54 years ago the mansion was in less than desirable condition and has greatly been improved over the years.

 

 

A very family-like atmosphere is how Chief Lowers describes the Apple n' Pork Festival and believes it's the traditional nature of the crafts, the flea market, and the food that brings out people that are traditionally not going to cause problems.

 

 

Keep it to Regional Radio and dewittdailynews.com over the next several weeks as we highlight the conversations from the 54th annual Apple n' Pork Festival from WHOW's live coverage of the weekend. 

Former Monticello Cross Country State Champion Inducted in Monticello High School Hall of Fame

This past Friday night was not just Homecoming night at Monticello High School but it was also Hall of Fame night.

 

Former cross country state champion Steve Schroeder was inducted into the Monticello High School Hall of Fame. His high school coach Dave Remmert called Schroeder the most talented runner he's coached.

 

 

Schroeder explains his transition to collegiate cross country at the Naval Academy was quite challenging because not only was he running cross country year round but he explains you're also a part of the military as a college student.

 

 

Schroeder did two deployments and those took place during COVID. He called that very challenging as well because his deployments looked vastly different than traditional deployments.

 

 

Schroeder is currently stationed in Hawaii at Camp HM Smith. 

September Marks Beginning of New 4-H Year

Every year the new 4-H year begins in September. However, you are welcome to join at any time during the year.

 

Teri Miller Casey, U of I Extension Director for Logan, Menard, and Sangamon Counties, says while officially the new 4-H year has already started it is open to anyone to join at any time. She gives a brief overview of the 4-H program as a whole.

 

 

Miller Casey indicates data supports why 4-H stands out from other youth programs. She notes 4-H is more leadership driven than the other programs students can get involved in.

 

 

The benefits of 4-H can happen from any amount of involvement, students do not have to start at six. Miller Casey says she has seen this growth not only in her job but as a parent of 4-Hers.

 

 

Miller Casey encourages anyone wanting to learn more to contact your local county Extension Office. She says 4-H offers programming throughout the year for those who can't commit to being a club member.

Taiwan Reaches Deal to Buy Billions of Dollars of Illinois Corn, Soybeans

Leading members of Illinois’ agriculture groups and government joined with a delegation from Taiwan on Friday to sign a letter of intent for the purchase of billions of dollars of corn and soybeans. Taiwan is agreeing to buy more than two billion dollars worth of Illinois soybeans and $600 million in Illinois corn over the next two years. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says the billion dollar deals are possible because of the state’s farmers.

 

 

The deal is the second billion dollar agreement since 2019. And Taiwan is the state’s third largest agriculture trading partner. Representatives from the Illinois Soybean Association and Illinois Corn Growers were on hand for Friday’s signing ceremony.

Grain Bin and Confined Spaces Safety

Harvest moving into full swing and a couple of safety reminders as it relates to grain bins and other confined spaces.

 

 

John Lee serves as the director of the safety-health-and-environmental services program for the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois.

Gold Star Families Honored Sunday in Springfield

THE GOLD STAR MOTHERS AND FAMILIES OF FALLEN SOLDIERS WERE HONORED AT A CEREMONY IN SPRINGFIELD SUNDAY. 

 

THE WEEKEND WAS A TIME TO BRING TOGETHER THOSE WHO HAVE LOST A LOVED ONE ON ACTIVE DUTY, AND RECOGNIZE THEIR PAIN AND SACRIFICE. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR AND BRIGADIER GENERAL ALICIA TATE NADEAU WAS THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT THE EVENT.

 

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER:

 

 

AT THE END OF THE CEREMONY, THE NAMES OF FALLEN HEROES WERE READ AND THEIR MOTHERS WERE GIVEN A YELLOW ROSE WHICH THEY PLACED AT THE FOOT OF THE FLAG REPRESENTING THEIR SON OR DAUGHTER'S BRANCH OF SERVICE.

Central Illinois Lawmaker Predicts Lawmakers Renegotiate 'Safe-T Act'

A Bloomington State Senator calls Governor Pritzker's Safe-T Act, which abolishes cash bail, an "overreach." According to State Senator Jason Barickman, he suspects Democrats would soon come to the negotiating table after the election.

 

 

Citing an uptick in crime across the country, Senator Barickman said the Safe-T Act would only skew things more in favor of the accused. In 2021, Gov. Pritzker signed the bill, authored by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and approved by the Illinois General Assembly.

Fall Trout Season Opens Next Month

THE FALL TROUT SEASON OPENS NEXT MONTH IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES STOCKS BODIES OF WATER WITH MORE THAN 80-THOUSAND RAINBOW TROUT EACH FALL SAYS ASSISTANT CHIEF OF FISHIERIES KEVIN IRONS.

 

 

IRONS SAYS IT’S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. HERE'S THE DETAILS:

 

 

THE FALL TROUT SEASON OFFICIALLY OPENS ON OCTOBER 15TH AND THE DAILY CATCH LIMIT IS FIVE TROUT. 

 

NINE SITES WILL OFFER CATCH AND RELEASE FISHING BEGINNING THIS SATURDAY. 

 

FOR A LIST OF LOCATIONS, VISIT THE WEBSITE: I FISH ILLINOIS DOT ORG.

Huge Crowds for Day 1 of Apple n' Pork Festival

The 54th edition of the Apple n' Pork Festival was ushered in with perfect weather for the Saturday of the two-day festival. 

 

At the ham n' bean stand just off the front drive of the CH Moore Homestead grounds, the line was lengthy well before 11 am and continued to be long for a few hours. Nathan Lippert told Regional Radio they hoped to match their sales from a banner year in 2021.

 

 

Maurine Collins-Kolb helps man the information booth at the Apple n' Pork Festival and explains a lot of people that stop by their small booth are asking for a map of the grounds or where some of their favorite foods are at.


 

Local authorities estimate 62,448 people attended day 1 of the Apple n' Pork Festival. That falls just short of last year's Saturday record of 62,960. 

 

Hear continuing coverage of the 54th annual Apple n' Pork Festival on Sunday on WHOW and its many digital platforms then stay with Regional Radio in the weeks ahead as we highlight many vendors and non-profits that make the Apple n' Pork Festival a successful year after year. 

University of Illinois Extension Offering Final Food Safety Course

If you're in the food service industry and need that food safety course before the year is out, there is one final opportunity to get it through the University of Illinois Extension.

 

It's not until November, so there's plenty of time to get signed up says Caitlin Mellendorf, Nutrition Educator for Extension in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties.


 

The classes again are on November 2 and November 4 in Decatur. Get more information by visiting extension.illinois.edu/dmp. 

Apple n' Pork Festival This Weekend

The Apple n' Pork Festival is here and organizers of the 53rd edition are reporting positive news as it relates to challenges like supply chains and inflation.

 

Terry Ferguson has been on the Homestead Board since the 80s and organizes the brat barn. He points out they had very few issues with the availability of the food they needed. While the price was a bit higher than last year, he didn't see the merit in raising prices by a quarter or two and making their volunteers deal with handing out change.


 

Last year's Apple n' Pork Festival was a banner year for so many groups, if not all the groups, on the grounds of the CH Moore Homestead. Rather than plan for another year like it, Ferguson says they are keeping their order for brats the same.

 

 

The Festival runs today and tomorrow in Clinton.

 

Hear live coverage all weekend long on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Record Returns for the Illinois Lottery in Last Fiscal Year

THE ILLINOIS LOTTERY IS ANNOUNCING RECORD RETURNS DURING THIS PAST FISCAL YEAR. 

 

THE LOTTERY POSTED RETURNS OF 834 MILLION DOLLARS TO THE STATE, PROFITING SEVERAL AREAS SAYS DIRECTOR HAROLD MAYS.

 

 

MAYS SAYS ANOTHER CHUNK IS FOR SPECIALITY CAUSES.

 

 

MAYS SAYS ILLINOIS LOTTERY PLAYERS WERE ALSO WINNERS, WITH 72 NEW MILLIONARES MADE IN FISCAL YEAR 22. MORE THAN TWO POINT TWO BILLION DOLLARS IN PRIZES WERE PAID OUT OVERALL.

New Flooring for County Building, Marina Purchases Highlight Brief County Board Meeting

The DeWitt County Board made approved a significant flooring project for the County Building and upgrades for the Clinton Lake Marina Thursday night at the regular monthly meeting.

 

Travis Houser explains $15,000 for replacement floats at the Marina is much needed. Board Chair Terry Ferguson agreed and felt this would be something that precedes longer-term maintenance items down the road.

 

 

Property Committee Chairperson David Newberg asked the Board to approve new flooring for a significant portion of the north end of the DeWitt County Building known as "The U".

 

 

The Board also approved a quote for upfitter work for a County truck for just over $29,200.

 

 

Thursday night, the County Board approved Ronald Ferguson to the Clintonia Special Union Drainage District, Mark Hobbie to the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department Board, Moe Winstead to the 9-1-1 Board, and Richard Dean to the Rutledge Empire Drainage District Board. 

Encore Developmental Services Looking Forward to First Weekend Back at Apple n' Pork Festival

The Apple n' Pork Festival this weekend will welcome to the CH Moore Homestead Grounds the folks from Encore Development Services.

 

She isn't sure if it's a return to the Homestead or a first-time affair, but regardless, Encore Developmental Services Executive Director Stephanie Coonce told Regional Radio Thursday on the WHOW Morning Show they are excited to just be on the grounds this weekend.

 

 

Coonce explains their clients are very excited and they have found that even family members of their staff are going to be willing to help. 

 

 

According to Coonce, the funds raised this weekend will go to their day services training program which seeks to give clients the skills they need to get a job and maintain employment.

 

 

Coonce reminds the lemon shake-ups they'll be serving will be where the former VFW stand was on the south side of the Homestead grounds on the front lawn against Woodlawn Street. 

Clinton Board of Education Begins Discussion on Facilities Future

The Clinton Board of Education has begun a process of outlining future plans for the district's facilities.

 

At the Tuesday night Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Curt Nettles told the Board he felt the initial meeting of the facilities committee was a good one and they came up with some good ideas. Now they need to prioritize those ideas and get an idea of the cost.

 

 

Nettles engaged with the district's architect to begin a preliminary discussion about costs to do an analysis of the district's ideas.

 

 

Board President Dan Matthews wondered if the district would need to keep paying the architect for each project they want to be done but Nettles feels the district has the resources and manpower to get some things done without the need for the architect's input.

 

 

Normally the facilities committee meets only a couple of times a year but going forward, Matthews hopes to see that committee meet about once a month. 

State Fair Coliseum Getting Worked On

Work continues to improve the Illinois State Fair grounds. More than $58 million is being invested to improve the roads and buildings in Springfield. Director of Ag Jerry Costello says another phase of work is underway on the Coliseum.

 

 

The Coliseum is getting new seats and heating and air conditioning. The MPI or multi-purpose arena was closed during the 2022 fair but is expected to be ready by 2023.

Rodeo at Illinois State Fair This Weekend

A rodeo is coming to the Illinois State fairgrounds

on Sunday.

 

The event is usually held during the fair but this year it had to be postponed because of work on the multi-purpose arena. Krista Lisser with the Illinois Department of Agriculture says this years’ rodeo will be held inside the Colosseum.

 

Tickets are $15 and available at the Colosseum or on Ticketmaster.

ISU Helping Combat Teacher Shortage

School districts across the state are in crisis mode as the statewide teacher shortage worsens, leading to larger class sizes.

 

Dr. Monica Norian (NO-re-anne), Acting Director of Illinois State University for student teaching, reports that the University is doing everything possible to stop the shortage.

 

 

To help with the shortage, in April, Gov. Pritzker signed laws lowering the registration fee for short-term substitute workers. Next week, I-S-U is welcoming over 1,000 prospective students who want to learn more about the field of education.

Illinois Farm Bureau Leaders Visit Washington

A recap of the Illinois Farm Bureau “Leaders to Washington” trip. Livingston County’s Sarah Hoerner participated in the event.

 

 

The trip took place last week.

Illinois Department of Employment Security Receives Grant to Make Employment Insurance More Accessible

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY WILL USE A NEW FEDERAL GRANT TO ADDRESS EQUITY GAPS IN THE STATE’S UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM. 

 

THE SIX POINT EIGHT MILLION DOLLAR GRANT WILL HELP THE AGENCY MAKE THE UNEMPLOYMENT SYSTEM MORE ACCESSIBLE SAYS DIRECTOR KRISTIN RICHARDS.

 


 

RICHARDS SAYS THE GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE ALL ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS GET THE BENEFITS THEY NEED.

 

 

RICHARDS SAYS THEY WILL ALSO WORK TO OFFER TEXT IN MORE LANGUAGES.

Health Experts Discuss Drug Prices

Prescription drug prices are sky-rocketing across the state of Illinois as inflation continues to set record highs.

 

In August, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act. The law includes several provisions to lower prescription drug costs for people with Medicare and reduce drug spending by the federal government. Antonio Ciaccia(CHA-CHA) is a leading health expert on drug prices.

 

 

The law includes several provisions to reduce prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries and federal government drug spending. These provisions will go into effect in 2023.

Comptroller Mendoza Pleased With Court Ruling on Lawmaker Back Pay

THE ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT IS SIDING WITH COMPTROLLER SUSANA MENDOZA IN A CASE WHERE TWO LAWMAKERS SUED FOR BACK PAY. 

 

THE COURT SAID THAT FORMER SENATORS MIKE NOLAND AND JAMES CLAYBORNE, AND SUBSEQUENTLY THE REST OF THE LEGISLATURE, CAN’T GET THE PAY RAISES THEY PREVIOUSLY FORFEITED. COMPTROLLER MENDOZA IS PLEASED WITH THE RULING.

 

 

MENDOZA SAYS WHILE THEY WERE IN OFFICE, THEY BOTH PUSHED FOR LAWMAKERS TO FORGO THEIR ANNUAL RAISES.

 

 

MENDOZA SAYS THE DECISION IS SAVING TAXPAYERS AT LEAST 10 MILLION DOLLARS.

Weekly Crop Report

THE LATEST ILLINOIS CROP REPORT FINDS CORN HARVESTING JUST GETTING UNDERWAY IN A FEW AREAS. 

 

77 PERCENT OF CORN IS IN THE DENT STAGE AND 27 PERCENT IS NOW MATURE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN STEVE PARN.

 

 

41 PERCENT OF SOYBEAN ACRES ARE DROPPING LEAVES AND 67 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 83 PERCENT COMPLETE.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE CAME IN AT 10 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 14 PERCENT SHORT, 61 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 15 PERCENT SURPLUS.

Today is Black Women's Equal Pay Day

TODAY IS BLACK WOMEN’S EQUAL PAY DAY. 

 

IT’S IMPORTANT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THE FINANCIAL INEQUITIES THAT BLACK WOMEN FACE IN THE WORKPLACE SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR JASON KELLER.

 

 

KELLER SAYS THIS INEQUITY MUST BE ADDRESSED.

 

 

THE DISPARITY FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN IS EVEN GREATER WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE TRADITIONAL EQUAL PAY DAY FOR WOMEN OVERALL WAS BACK IN MARCH.

It's Rail Safety Week

THIS IS RAIL SAFETY WEEK IN ILLINOIS.

 

LAST YEAR THERE WERE 101 VEHICLE CRASHES AT RAIL CROSSINGS, KILLING 24 PEOPLE. BRIAN VERCRUYSSE (ver-a-cruise) WITH THE ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION SAYS THEY ARE STRESSING THE DANGERS THESE AREAS PRESENT AND THE NEED TO REALLY PAY ATTENTION AS YOU APPROACH A CROSSING. THAT MEANS PUT THE PHONE DOWN, TAKE THE EAR BUDS OUT AND FOLLOW THE LAW. ADDITIONALLY...

 

 

VERCRUYSSE SAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING PEOPLE CAN DO IS PAY ATTENTION AND OBEY THE LAW WHEN NEARING A RAIL CROSSING.

 

 

THE I-C-C ALSO REMINDS NOT TO WALK ON TRAIN TRACKS AND TO ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN AT A CROSSING AS SCHEDULES OFTEN VARY.

International Buyers in Illinois for Grain Tour This Week

More than 40 people are touring Illinois this week to take an insider’s look at the state’s grain industry. 

 

The attendees are from Mexico and Central America. This year marks the first in-person tour since 2019 and Director of Ag Jerry Costello says given tight global grain supplies the need to connect buyers to markets is even more critical.

 

 

All the participants of the grain tour pay for their own airfare and lodging.

Marking her first year in office, Illinois State University President Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy outlined the future steps for the university during the school's annual State of the University speech. One of those new plans is to hire a Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer to be the center point of collaboration and creative thinking.

 

 

Houston and Milner Library Dean Dallas Long will lead the search for a new chief equity and inclusion officer to be in place by the summer of 2023. This week, students, faculty, and staff are receiving a survey to determine the university's current standing of diversity.

Department of Natural Resources Highlighting Recreational Access Program

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IS HIGHLIGHTING THE STATE'S RECREATIONAL ACCESS PROGRAM. 

 

NEARLY 97 PERCENT OF LAND IN ILLINOIS IS PRIVATELY OWNED, LEAVING OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS LIMITED PLACES TO HUNT AND ENGAGE IN OTHER RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES. THAT'S WHERE THE RECREATIONAL ACCESS PROGRAM OR "I-RAP" COMES IN SAYS D-N-R'S TAMMY MILLER.

 

 

I-RAP CURRENTLY HAS MORE THAN 27-THOUSAND ACRES IN 50 COUNTIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HUNTING AND FISHING ON I-RAP LAND OR JOINING THE PROGRAM.

 

 

YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT LEASING YOUR LAND TO THE PROGRAM OR APPLYING TO HUNT ON PARTICIPATING LAND ON THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES WEBSITE.

Illinois State Fair Set Attendance Record in '22

THIS YEAR'S ILLINOIS STATE FAIR SET SOME NEW RECORDS.

 

NEARLY 637-THOUSAND PEOPLE VISITED THE STATE FAIR IN SPRINGFIELD LAST MONTH, AN ALL TIME RECORD SAYS SPOKESPERSON KRISTA LISSER. SHE SAYS THE GORGEOUS WEATHER WAS A BIG FACTOR.

 

 

SHE SAYS THE GRANDSTAND SHOWS WERE ALSO A HIT.

 

 

 LISSER SAYS IT'S ESTIMATED THE FAIR GENERATED ABOUT SIX POINT FOUR MILLION DOLLARS IN TOTAL REVENUE.

History of the Apple n' Pork Festival

The annual Apple n' Pork Festival as we know it today have very humble beginnings when it started 54 years ago.

 

Joey Long, Director of DeWitt County Museum, details the need for the festival began with the DeWitt County Museum taking over the CH Moore Homestead and needing a fundraiser to complete the restoration.

 

 

Long says she remembers as a child there being a small flea market and it growing fairly quickly. She notes at the time the festival was started, there were grassroots efforts across the country to start festivals to restore historic landmarks. Unfortunately, not all of these festivals have had the same longevity.

 

 

The longevity of Apple n' Pork Long believes is the appreciation of the festival sticking to traditions. She adds while the festival has grown it also has stayed the same.

 

 

We'll hear more from Joey Long during WHOW's live coverage of the 54th annual Apple n' Pork Festival this weekend.

CENCOM Gearing Up for Busy Apple n' Pork Festival

The Clinton community sees an exponential increase each year in traffic and population during the Apple n' Pork Festival. Along with this in turn comes the need for medical and police attention.

 

DeWitt County CENCOM Coordinator Tony Harris notes they will have two dispatchers working with a third on standby to accommodate for an influx of calls if need be. He estimates they receive over 1,000 a day.

 

 

When asked about memorable instances over the years, Harris commented about a time when they received an influx of medical calls during the same time.

 

 

Harris reminds anyone on the museum grounds requiring assistance to stop by the CENCOM mobile command center or call 9-1-1.

Clinton Sports Teams Again Participating in Apple n' Pork Festival

The Apple n' Pork Festival is a community affair to the point the high school and its student-athletes get in on the action.

 

Athletic Director Matt Koepel indicates once again, the 10 programs will help park cars at the high school this weekend with the money going into those ten programs plus the athletic boosters.

 

 

According to Koepel, whatever is made gets divided 11 ways and then goes into accounts for the students for things like meals after games on long road trips or awards at the end of the season. He says it is for the things that make the activities fun.

 

 

Last year was a banner year for parking vehicles. Koepel asks those parking at the high school to be patient with the kids. He feels they are working hard and with thousands of people going to that part of the community, there are a lot of people to get in and out of that lot.

Clinton Board of Education Approves E-Learning Plan

The Clinton Board of Education Tuesday night approved a district-wide e-learning plan.

 

Superintendent Curt Nettles told the Board he would prefer to use a couple of snow days before turning to e-learning but in the event they would need to save snow days, they would use the e-learning plan.

 

 

According to Nettles, teachers will be prepared for e-learning days so long as there is some warning of inclement weather or the need for one arises. 

 

 

The district approved the e-learning plan as well as the tentative fiscal year '23 budget.

Clinton Authorities Sending Out Reminders for Apple n' Pork Weekend

The Apple n' Pork Festival is here and as thousands converge on the community this weekend, local authorities are sending out their yearly reminders of street closures, rules on the CH Moore Homestead grounds, and much more.

 

Police Chief Ben Lowers reminds of the street closures that start just off Clinton square and go all the way down Center Street to Woodlawn Street. 

 

 

With thousands of visitors converging on Clinton this weekend, Chief Lowers says the biggest issue they encounter is the traffic. He asks those in the community and those coming to the community to simply be patient and take advantage of the legal parking opportunities all over the community.

 

 

A new wrinkle to the closure of Center Street in Clinton over the last few festivals has been the legalization of golf carts and Chief Lowers reminds those are not allowed on Center Street.

 

 

Animals have not ever been allowed on the Museum lawn during the Apple n' Pork Festival and Chief Lowers says in recent years, they have been more aggressive in asking people to not have pets on the grounds as it is a request of the Homestead.

 

 

The Apple n' Pork Festival is this Saturday and Sunday in Clinton.

 

We'll have continuing coverage leading up, during, and well after the festival concludes on Sunday on Regional Radio. 

Piatt County Mental Health Director Voices More Concerns Over Illinois Youth Survey

The bi-annual Illinois Youth Survey given to school children in Illinois is bringing back some alarming trends for a local mental health professional.

 

Tony Kirkman is the Executive Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center and on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday posed the question - are our youth actually experiencing never-before-seen levels of mental issues or have they not been properly taught resiliency?

 

 

For Kirkman, people are able to project the outcomes of different actions we take but unfortunately, we seem to be consumed with the anxiety of what is next or reflecting on the past. He believes people need to be more present through mindfulness rather than worrying about the past or the future.

 

 

Another alarming piece of data coming from this year's survey of students is how much screen time our kids are being allowed to have. Kirkman says kids are suggesting they spend roughly eight hours a day on their devices.

 

 

Kirkman is concerned with the acceptability of what is online and the single-outcome trend of how to conduct yourself through relationships and other aspects of life. 

Lead negotiator defends Safe-T Act

Illinois' elimination of cash bail at the first of the year is stirring political debate across the state.

 

The bill, authored by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and approved by the Illinois General Assembly, also brings significant changes to law enforcement training and accountability.

 

Here's State Representative Patrick Windhorst, a lead negotiator on the act, and a former State's Attorney.


 

Last week during an unrelated press conference, Governor Pritzker said changes could be coming to the Safe-T act but did not disclose what changes could be coming.

Record attendance for Illinois State Fair

It was record attendance at the Illinois State Fair this year.

 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says that more than 636,700 visitors attended over the 11 days in Springfield. Agriculture Director Jerry Costello says that great weather certainly helped push fair attendance higher. He notes the Department of Ag took the counting seriously.

 

 

The IDOA says the fair was a financial success too, with estimated revenue topping $6.4 million.

State lawmaker and former NFL player discusses concussion awareness

STATE REPRESENTATIVE NAPOLEON HARRIS, A FORMER N-F-L PLAYER, IS DISCUSSING THE IMPORTANCE OF CONCUSSION AWARENESS. 

 

REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS OF HARVEY PLAYED FOR THE OAKLAND RAIDERS, MINNESOTA VIKINGS, AND THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, SUFFERING MULTIPLE CONCUSSIONS ALONG THE WAY. HE SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE SIGNS.

 

 

A CONCUSSION, OR TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY CAN OCCUR DURING SPORTS, ON THE PLAYGROUND, ON THE BATTLEFIELD OR JUST FROM A HARD FALL AT HOME. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS SAYS HE’S SUFFERED SEVERAL CONCUSSIONS DURING HIS NEARLY SEVEN YEARS IN THE N-F-L, ALL RANGING IN SEVERITY.

 

 

OTHER SYMPTOMS INCLUDE NAUSEA, DIZZINESS, LACK OF ENERGY, SPEECH IMPAIRMENT AND BEING MORE EMOTIONAL THAN USUAL. THE C-D-C SAYS SYMPTOMS MAY SHOW UP RIGHT AFTER THE INJURY OR A FEW DAYS LATER AND THAT IT’S IMPORTANT TO SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF YOU SUSPECT A CONCUSSION.

Fall Prevention Week

THIS IS FALL PREVENTION WEEK AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT ON AGING HAS SOME TIPS TO HELP KEEP SENIORS SAFE.

 

YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO TRIPPING HAZARDS AT HOME LIKE THROW RUGS, LOOSE CARPET, WIRES OR CORDS. ADDITIONALLY, STATE DEPARTMENT ON AGING DIRECTOR PAULA BASTA SAYS THERE ARE MODIFICATIONS YOU CAN MAKE IN THE BATHROOM.

 

 

FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF BOTH FATAL AND NON-FATAL INJURIES FOR PEOPLE AGED 65 AND OLDER, SO IT’S IMPORTANT TO MINIMIZE HAZARDS IN THE HOME SAYS STATE DEPARTMENT ON AGING DIRECTOR PAULA BASTA.

 

 

BASTA SAYS LIGHTING IS ALSO CRITICAL AND URGES SENIORS TO HAVE A LAMP OR LIGHT SWITCH WITHIN EASY REACH OF THEIR BED AND USE NIGHTLIGHTS IN THE BATHROOM AND HALLWAYS.

 

OTHER BATHROOM MODIFICATIONS INCLUDE ADDING A NON-SLIP RUBBER MAT TO YOU SHOWER OR BATHTUB, A SHOWER SEAT AND A HANDHELD SHOWER HEAD WITH AN ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT.

Clinton YMCA Otter Swim Team Season Underway; Biggest Fundraiser of the Year This Weekend at Apple n' Pork Festival

The Clinton YMCA Otter swim team opened its season this past week and its biggest fundraiser is this weekend at the Apple n' Pork Festival.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, President of the Otter Swim team parent board Kristina Bentz indicates while the swim season is underway, it's never too late to be a part of this program that she calls a big family.

 

 

The Otter swim program for several years now has manned the baked potato stand at the Apple n' Pork Festival. As a relatively new parent entering the world of volunteering with the group, she has learned how important this fundraising opportunity is to the team.

 

 

Bentz touts the flexibility the swim program offers. Because you can join and participate as much as or as little as you have the time for, it allows their kids to participate in school programs or do other things at the same time.

 

 

To learn more about the Otter swim team, you can visit the Clinton YMCA at 417 South Alexander Street in Clinton or call 217-935-8307. 

Parks in Lincoln to be Updated

Thanks to ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds, a Logan County community is going to be investing in some of its parks.

 

Lincoln Mayor Tracy Welch indicates they have four parks they are targeting with some minor improvements to the tune of about $250,000 in total.

 

 

Thanks to increased flexibility regulations from the federal government regarding ARPA dollars, Mayor Welch says that is going to allow them to take on all these projects now.

 

 

Allison Park in the Mayfair subdivision is destined for some ADA-compliant updates along. Mayor Welch points out that might be the most extensive of the work they have planned but feels the other improvements will be welcomed.

 

 

The property in downtown Lincoln where Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital used to be is now a green space and Mayor Welch points out there is going to be a dog park going in on that property. Like a lot of the conversation surrounding that property over the years, a dog park has been much talked about among the ideas in that time.  

 

 

According to Mayor Welch, there will still be spare space on the property, and believes there will be plenty of space for other things down the road. 

County Fair Season Winding Down in Illinois

The 2022 county fair season winding down in Illinois. Numbers were up at the Sandwich Fair in DeKalb County Sept. 7-11 says organizer Bradley Anderson.

 

 

The final county fair of 2022 is in Williamson County Oct. 2-8.

Social Security Promoting Online Resources for Educators

Social Security may not be top of mind on the curriculum agenda for educators but the agency is hoping, if you're looking for a topic to enhance a lesson, take a look at online resources for students.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security explains Social Security is an important federal program that touches the lives of most Americans. He notes they offer an educator’s toolkit to help introduce Social Security programs to young people. 

 

 

 

The toolkit contains two lesson plans 'what is Social Security and why is it important to me?' and 'is Social Security just for retirement and will it be there for me?' 

 

 

Visit www.ssa.gov and look for the Menu, then Information For… Educators or directly at www.ssa.gov/thirdparty/educators. 

IDOT Highlighting National Farm Safety Week

A few reminders from the Illinois Department of Transportation as we recognize National Farm Safety and Health Week. Paul Wappel is I-DOT’s public information officer.

 

 

Wappel says construction season is also continuing and you can find the status of the latest projects at idot.illinois.gov.

It's Apple n' Pork Festival Week in Clinton

Come Saturday in Clinton, thousands of visitors will converge on the community for the annual Apple n' Pork Festival.

 

Director of the CH Moore Homestead Joey Long believes the festival is a special opportunity to take a step back in time and enjoy the charm of the past. 

 

 

Among the traditions of the Apple n' Pork Festival is the meal grinding, the antique tractor show, and the flea market, which Long says there is a lot of interest in this year.

 

 

Long is excited to have tours of the mansion back this year. Last year they did not have enough volunteers to cover the weekend and so they had to close the museum down.

 

 

We'll have continuing coverage leading up to, during, and well after the Apple n' Pork Festival on Regional Radio.

 

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

Central Illinois Lawmaker Discusses Migrants Arriving in Chicago

A central Illinois lawmaker is finding amusement in what he calls the unbound hypocrisy of the left as Hispanic migrants arrive in Chicago.

 

Sen. Chapin Rose says the hypocrisy of the left knows no bounds as they spent the last decade declaring their cities sanctuary states and then Chicago's leadership complained about being unable to handle the influx of people arriving over the last few weeks.

 

 

The Mahomet Republican believes cities like Chicago would be dying without the inbound migration of illegals because of the volume of residents leaving the city.

 

 

Sen. Rose isn't sure if the migrants from the southern border will impact central Illinois, he is aware of several communities locally that are dealing with migrants from other parts of the world that are living among us now.

 

 

Sen. Rose believes the issue needs to be resolved by closing the southern border and reforming immigration laws. 

Avoiding Student Loan Forgiveness Scams

With the recent announcement that up to $20,000 of federal student loans per person will be canceled, scammers are looking for ways to capitalize on the news. 

 

It happens with any big government initiative, including the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, eviction moratorium and pandemic relief programs, according to a Better Business Bureau investigator. Scammers often try to trick victims into paying for free government programs, or they claim you can get additional benefits, or get them faster for a fee. Don O’Brien says you should never pay money for a free government program.

 

 

He says to be wary of out-of-the-blue calls, emails or text messages claiming to be from the government. In general, the government will not contact you using these methods unless you grant permission.

Plenty of Interest in Illinois Tractor, Truck Museum Auction

Interest continues to build for a tractor and truck museum auction in Frankfort, Illinois, south of Chicago. George Schaaf has quite the collection says auctioneer Dan Mecum.

 

 

Farm toys, road art and relics also part of the auction along with June Schaaf’s doll collection. The auction is Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. More info at mecum.com.

National Weather Service Calling for Above Normal Temperatures for Fall Months

An above-normal signal for fall temperatures is setting up in central Illinois.

 

Mike Albano at the National Weather Service in Lincoln earlier this week told Regional Radio that may be temperatures approaching 80 degrees some days with nighttime lows not nearly as cool.

 

 

The upcoming Apple n' Pork weekend is looking to be dry and overall mild with Saturday being the warmest for the two-day festival. 

Chocolate Milk for Post-Workouts?

If you enjoy a high-intensity cardio workout like a long run or perhaps you've just completed a weight training routine, while you could turn to that sports drink or energy drink with electrolytes, a central Illinois dairy advocate says try chocolate milk.

 

It doesn't have to be chocolate milk, it could be strawberry milk but Monica Nyman with the St. Louis Dairy Council says there is a lot of science behind a glass of some sort of flavored milk after a workout.

 

 

Chocolate milk offers fluid for hydration, electrolytes to replace what is lost in sweat: sodium, potassium & magnesium, an ideal amount of carbohydrate and protein for muscle recovery, a great way to help meet the recommended 3 servings a day, and high-quality protein-containing all essential amino acids for optimal muscle repair and growth. 

Clinton Police Chief Talks Homecoming Parade Today

It's Homecoming Week in Clinton and Police Chief Ben Lowers is reminding the Homecoming parade is this afternoon at 3 pm.

 

The Homecoming parade will take its traditional route from the downtown Clinton square, down Illini Drive, and to the junior high school and high school parking lots. 

 

 

Chief Lowers is asking those who will be passing out candy as part of the floats going down the street to pass out candy from those who will be on foot rather than throw it into the crowds from the floats. He says it's simply a safety request for the pedestrians.

 

 

The Chief is encouraging those attending the homecoming dance Saturday to have a good time and be safe at the same time. 

DNR Police Captain Implores Hunters To Check Tree Stands

October 1 opens the archery deer season and a local Department of Natural Resources official is imploring hunters to make sure those tree stands are ready this fall.

 

Tree stand safety is one of the most encountered issues DNR Conservation police face when the hunting season arrives and Capt. John Williamson says it is vital hunters make sure your stand is sturdy and those harnasses are still in good shape.

 

 

According to Capt. Williamson, tree stand thefts tend to show up around the time guys start checking in on their tree stands and discover they are missing or when they get to their site for the first time on or after Oct. 1.

 

 

Capt. Williamson is also promoting gun safety as the shotgun season starts later in November. He says a lot of the safety in those situations is on the hunter themselves to make sure safeties are on, they know what they are shooting, and make sure hunters are wearing proper colors in certain circumstances. 

Gas Prices Continue to Decline

Gas prices in the state of Illinois have continued their decline into September.

 

GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis, Patrick De Haan, thinks that prices at the pump will continue to fall as the winter months are ahead

 

 

According to GasBuddy price reports, average gasoline costs in Illinois dipped under $4.00 this week. De Haan notes diesel prices have dropped only half as much as gasoline, and he reasons that due to supply and demand issues.

Dry Weather Should Help Harvest

A good run of dry weather for most of the state plus warming temps for the remainder of the week, which should aid early harvest progress.

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford says it’s far too early to talk about frost.

Clinton Police Chief Discusses Recent Missing Person Investigation and Social Media

For the last few weeks, the public has been enthralled in the whereabouts of a 32-year-old Clinton woman who was determined by authorities to have voluntarily left the area.

 

The response and speculation on social media over the last few weeks have Clinton Police Chief rather irritated. He feels the speculation from the public projected an attitude of entitlement into the business of a private citizen.

 

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, the Chief admitted he did make a minor misspeak at one point in informing the public. He explains they did not close the case after they determined she left the area without evidence of criminal misconduct or foul play but in fact, the woman's status was considered still missing as they sought to verify her safety.

 

 

The Police Department put out a statement earlier this week Juana Arellano-Garnica's safety and well-being have been confirmed and the case is closed in its entirety. 

 

The Chief thanked the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office and the Illinois State Police for their assistance in the investigation. 

Little Galilee Christian Camp Celebrating Fourth Biggest Turnout This Past Summer

Attendance at Little Galilee Christian Camp in Clinton continues to show an upward trajectory after a very successful 2022 summer camp season.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Program Director Max Aper told Regional Radio it was the fourth biggest attended summer camp season on record for the Christian camp outside Clinton. Aper has a dream of getting 3,000 kids to Little Galilee in a summer which would fill every facility on its campus.

 

 

Little Galilee aims to not only provide a fun outlet for youth over the summer months but also aim to teach kids about Jesus and introduce kids to Jesus. Aper indicates they had nearly 100 students baptized this summer.

 

 

Aper reminds there are several types of camp sessions to attend. For the older kids that are at Little Galilee for a week, they start a session on Sunday and end on Friday and they have everything from 'glamping' to a wilderness camp where everything is outside with no electricity.

 

 

With the fall and winter retreat season coming up, Aper will now shift his attention to accommodating those groups but he'll also be getting to work on outreach and continuing to raise awareness to grow the camps numbers going into the summer of 2023. 

Social Security Promoting Applying for Medicare Online

Even if you are not ready to start collecting retirement benefits, you can still apply for Medicare online and knowing when to apply for Medicare is very important.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security stresses you must apply during an enrollment period. While there are a variety of reasons to apply for Medicare, the most common application reason is age-based reasons.

 

 

Most people will want to do this during the initial enrollment period. Myers explains the initial enrollment period for age 65-based Medicare is 3 months before, the month of, and 3 months after attainment of age 65.

 

 

According to Myers, the general enrollment period is January-March of each year, but there are late enrollment penalties for Part B so this is not a great option. The special enrollment period is possible after your IEP if you were covered by an employer group health plan based on your own or a spouse’s active employment continuously from age 65 until the point you are trying to enroll in Part B.

 

 

You will also need to consider if you want to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan and/or Medicare supplement or Medicare advantage plan. Myers points out both of those are sold by private insurance companies but are overseen by Medicare. You apply for those directly through the providers that offer the plans.

 

 

You can get additional information about these options directly from Medicare at www.medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-Medicare.

Weldon Springs Foundation to Celebrate 75 Years of Weldon Springs State Park

Weldon Springs State Park is in its 75th year as a recognized state park in Illinois and this Saturday there is a celebration of this accomplishment.

 

Stephanie Russell is the President of the Weldon Springs Foundation and on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday told Regional Radio Weldon Springs was once a City of Clinton property before the State purchased it and it exponentially has grown over the years.

 

 

Patty Kinder was appointed as a staffer at the Park for this year and while she's been a long-time volunteer at Weldon Springs through the Foundation, she is learning a lot about the park this summer and hopes to convey some of that to the public.

 

 

Not a lot of people know but the schoolhouse at Weldon Springs hasn't always been there. It was transported in from Beason while the other building was brought in from Texas Township. Kinder points out Carol Thompson and Dave Herzog were instrumental in getting those buildings to the park.

 

 

Russell and Kinder invite the public out to celebrate the history of Weldon Springs State Park and learn about some of the famous individuals that have graced the land over the years and celebrate the hidden gem of DeWitt County.

 

The celebration will be from 1 pm to 3 pm on Saturday at the schoolhouse. 

Late August Rains Help Ease Drought in Much of Illinois

Thanks to some timely rains late in August, the large swath of Illinois was battling drought through much of the summer and was just in time according to one National Weather Service official.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Mike Albano from the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio rains late in August came just in time to rescue a good portion of central Illinois from drought conditions that were hampering a good portion of the state.

 

 

According to Albano, the drought still lingers in the far western portion of Illinois but areas from eastern DeWitt County to Champaign, Piatt, and Vermillion County have seen an easing of drought conditions.

 

 

Getting in the fall season, above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall signals are setting up in the midwest. 

 

 

High temperatures for late September and early October tend to be in the 70s while that time frame tends to be one of the dryer times of the year. Albano indicates it won't be surprising to see less than a couple of inches of rainfall this fall unless we see the remnants of a tropical storm make their way into the midwest. 

This is National Preparedness Month

THIS IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH WITH A FOCUS ON BUILDING AN EMERGENCY KIT. 

 

THE BASICS FOR PUTTING TOGETHER A KIT INCLUDE WATER…AT LEAST ONE GALLON PER PERSON, PER DAY FOR THREE DAYS...A THREE-DAY SUPPLY OF NON-PERISHABLE FOOD AND A FIRST AID KIT SAYS ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR ALICIA TATE-NADEAU.

 

 

OTHER ITEMS INCLUDE A FLASHLIGHT WITH EXTRA BATTERIES, BATTERY-POWERED WEATHER RADIO, AND SUPPLIES FOR YOUR PETS.

 

 

TATE-NADEAU ALSO URGES FAMILIES TO INCLUDE FOOD AND WATER FOR PETS, SOME CASH, AND A WATERPROOF BAG WITH COPIES OF IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS LIKE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD AND INSURANCE POLICY.

Labor Shortage Impacting Pumpkin Production in Illinois

A labor shortage coupled with high costs is beginning to hurt farmers in the pumpkin capital of the world.

 

In Morton, John Ackerman, owner of Ackerman Family Farms, reports farmers across central Illinois are feeling the pinch.

 

 

Coupled with the high prices, Ackerman said this is the first year his farm has advertised for help amidst a growing labor shortage. Currently, Ackerman Family Farms grows over 1-hundred fifty different varieties of pumpkins.

ISU Setting Records for Incoming Freshman

Illinois State University is setting record numbers for its incoming freshman class, but the university's top brass is also touting other enrollment numbers.

 

Some of those enrollment numbers are being broken for the first time in nearly 40 years. Here's I-S-U Director of Admissions Jeff Mavros (MAV-ros).

 

 

The university's fall new student enrollment for first-time college students and transfers is up 1 percent and 6 percent, respectively. The university's total student population includes 17-thousand 6-hundred 64 undergraduates and almost 26-hundred graduate students.

Illinois State Fire Marshall Urges College Students to Consider Fire Safety

THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE IS URGING COLLEGE STUDENTS TO CONSIDER FIRE SAFETY WHILE THEY’RE AWAY AT SCHOOL THIS YEAR. 

 

THIS IS CAMPUS FIRE SAFETY MONTH AND FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ SAYS THE THREAT IS REAL.

 

 

TIPS INCLUDE COMING UP WITH AN ESCAPE PLAN IN CASE OF FIRE AND ENSURING SMOKE DETECTORS ARE WORKING IN OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING. FULTZ ALSO URGES STUDENTS NOT TO OVERLOAD ELECTRIC OUTLETS AND TO FOLLOW DORM RULES ABOUT WHAT APPLIANCES ARE ALLOWED.

 

 

NATIONALLY, SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER ARE THE PEAK MONTHS FOR DORM FIRES, WITH THE MOST OCCURRING BETWEEN FIVE AND NINE P-M. IN ILLINOIS, SEVEN STUDENTS HAVE DIED IN COLLEGE RELATED FIRES SINCE 2000.

Gov. Pritzker Reacts to Timing of Rebate Checks

As tax rebate checks go out to millions of Illinois taxpayers some are wondering about the timing of it – being a few months from election day. Governor JB Pritzker says the tax rebates became law in July and it took some time to collect enough financial reserves and even the needed supplies to cut physical checks.

 

 

Rebate checks started hitting the mail and bank accounts this week and payments will continue for the next month and half.

Fall Gardening Ideas

Although its only mid-September, many gardeners are planning for the fall. 

 

There are ways to get a start on the season, with some tips from the University of Illinois Extension Service. University of Illinois Extension Program Coordinator Sarah Ruth says you can plant most bulbs now.

 

 

Now would also be a good time to start planting cool-season vegetables. She says typically these crops can be planted early and late in the year, giving you a chance to extend the growing season. Right now, the 45-day growing cycle would theoretically give you a harvest just before Thanksgiving.

Clinton Police Makes Contact With Missing Clinton Woman

In reference to the missing person investigation involving 32-year-old Juana Arellano-Garnica of Clinton, on Tuesday, September 13, Arellano made personal contact with law enforcement to verify her safety and well-being. 

 

In respect to Arellano’s privacy, no other information will be released regarding this matter and it is considered closed in its entirety. 

 

The Clinton Police Department would again like to thank the Dewitt County Sheriff’s Office and Illinois State Police for their assistance in this matter.

Piatt County Sheriff Talks 'Safe-T' Legislation

Another central Illinois law enforcement official is sounding the alarm on the latest wrinkle in the Illinois 'Safe-T' legislation that goes into effect on January 1.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Piatt County Sheriff Mark Vogelzang told Regional Radio the latest 'no cash bail' has a lot of his peers concerned as awareness seems to be increasing.

 

 

The Sheriff is concerned because the 'Safe-T' Act would allow those accused of very serious crimes to walk free without being in custody. He says some very serious crimes would pertain to this portion of the legislation.

 

 

One of the portions of the legislation that is coming in a couple of more years is the body cameras. Sheriff Vogelzang indicates they just received the body cameras they ordered earlier this year and believes those will be very beneficial for his department.

 

We'll hear more from Sheriff Vogelzang later this week on his experiences with body cameras. 

Peace Meal Highlighting Food Deserts Even in Central Illinois

Many may be surprised to learn that it doesn't take much for a food desert to develop even in heavily populated areas of central Illinois.

 

That's according to Shelly Tolly with OSF Peace Meal. She explains the USDA defines a food desert based on poverty levels in a region. Roughly 82 percent of people living in an urban area would be considered living in a food desert.

 

 

According to Tolly, food deserts in central Illinois are closer than you think. US census data shows the west side of Bloomington is considered a food desert and it is because when it costs low-income households to get across town through public transportation or through other means, that impacts their access.

 

 

For Tolly and the Peace Meal program, they are working to expand the offerings they have to people in these areas. She points to developments they are working on in rural areas as well as more densely populated spots in central Illinois.

 

 

Earlier this month started an every Wednesday Peace Meal program that will bring grocery bingo to the Pontiac High Rise at 920 Madison Street in Pontiac. The meal will start at 11:00 and bingo will begin at 11:45 and will end around 1:00 pm. There will be grocery prizes for winning bingos.  

 

Peace Meal is working on reopening the Clinton and Weldon congregate sites.  Monticello and Rantoul’s congregate site is up and running, as well as many other sites throughout our seven-county region.  

 

If you would like to join Peace Meal by volunteering or working for them, call 309-665-5900 or 833-923-3905.  

US Ag Lab in Peoria Receiving $4.5-Million in Federal Funding

$4.5 million in federal funding for the USDA ag lab in Peoria.

 

The announcement made at the Peoria County Farm Bureau, in the same neighborhood with the USDA ag lab. Patrick Kirchhofer is Peoria County Farm Bureau manager.

 

 

The $4.5 million in federal funding was made in a joint announcement by U.S. Reps Darin LaHood and Cheri Bustos.

Weekly Crop Report

HERE'S THE LATEST ILLINOIS CROP REPORT. 

 

STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT SOYBEANS:

 

 

90 PERCENT OF THE CORN CROP HAS REACHED THE DOUGH STAGE OR BEYOND SAYS SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 79 PERCENT COMPLETE AND AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AS FOUR PERCENT VERY SHORT, 24 PERCENT SHORT, 70 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND TWO PERCENT SURPLUS.

Tax Rebates Going Out To Millions of Eligible Illinoisans

THE STATE IS STARTING TO SEND OUT TAX REBATES TO MILLIONS OF ELIGIBLE ILLINOISANS. 

 

THE INCOME AND PROPERTY TAX REBATES ARE PART OF THE ILLINOIS FAMILY RELIEF PLAN, GIVING HOUSEHOLDS A LITTLE BOOST SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

ABOUT SIX MILLION TAXPAYERS QUALIFY FOR THE REBATES, WHICH INCLUDES 50 DOLLARS FOR EACH ADULT AND 100 DOLLARS FOR EACH CHILD, UP TO THREE KIDS SAYS HARRIS.

 

 

TAXPAYERS THAT CHOSE DIRECT DEPOSIT PREVIOUSLY WILL RECEIVE THEIR REBATES THE SAME WAY. OTHERS WILL GET CHECKS IN THE MAIL. OFFICIALS SAY IT WILL TAKE SEVERAL WEEKS TO GET ALL THE MONEY OUT. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE REBATE PROGRAM IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: TAX DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV SLASH REBATES.

FBI Springfield Touting Organized Crime Task Force

The FBI Springfield Field Office is touting its shoulder-to-shoulder partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across the country. 

 

Their Southern Illinois Transnational Organized Crime West (TOC-W) task force includes officers from local agencies across Central and Southern Illinois, and a spokesman says this partnership has proven to be beneficial. Special Agent Parker says it’s to their advantage to have the addition of local knowledge when working a case.

 

 

The TOC-W Task Force was created to identify, target, and prosecute transnational criminal organizations that are engaged in criminal activity involving a myriad of federal violations including but not limited to: drug trafficking, money laundering, homicide, extortion, kidnapping, and public corruption.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Offers 'Tumultuous 2020', Oral History of COVID

THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY IS RELEASING "TUMULTUOUS 2020," AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. 

 

THE PROJECT INCLUDES INTERVIEWS WITH MORE TNAN 80 PEOPLE ACROSS THE STATE, DETAILING THEIR EXPERIENCES DURING THE PANDEMIC AND THE EFFECT IT HAD ON THEIR LIVES. TAKE LISA BADGER OF SPRINGFIELD WHO TESTED POSITIVE EARLY ON, IN MARCH OF 2020. HER NAME WAS RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC AS ONE OF THE FIRST LOCAL CASES. SHE DESCRIBES HOW HARD THAT WAS ON HER FAMILY.

 

 

THAT INCLUDES ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CRAIG ANDERSON WHO DISCUSSED THE SHUTTING DOWN OF SCHOOL SPORTS DURING THOSE INITIAL MONTHS.

 

 

PHARMACISTS, LAWMAKERS, MOVIE THEATRE AND SPORTS TEAM OWNERS AND MORE WERE ALSO INTERVIEWED. TO HEAR THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE PANDEMIC, VISIT: PRESIDENT LINCOLN DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV, SCROLL DOWN AND CLICK ON "ORAL HISTORY."

Clinton Chamber of Commerce's Terror On Washington Street Haunted House Coming Together

If you drive by the Terror on Washington Street Haunted House throughout the week, you'll probably notice Chamber officials and volunteers at the site getting things ready a couple of days per week. 

 

As the time gets closer to opening weekend, you'll likely see a more regular presence but the progress being made now has Chamber Executive Director Marian Brisard excited for the season ahead.

 

 

Each March, the Chamber takes off to St. Louis for a big convention of haunted houses and from that convention, they bring back new ideas. Brisard is very excited about the changes in the house for this year.

 

 

Between being able to operate the haunted house with no COVID restrictions and having new scares, Brisard feels this may be one of the best years yet for the haunted house.

 

 

Brisard is also very proud of the pre-entry entertainment attendees can participate in while they wait. She feels that is one of the things that separates their haunted house from others.

 

 

According to Brisard, the haunted house takes dozens and dozens of volunteers to make it possible to happen each weekend. She indicates they are starting to get some of the volunteer base returning.

 

 

The haunted house opens Friday, October 7, and Saturday, October 8. She points out they will not offer a haunted house on Halloween night in lieu of trick-or-treat events on the square. 

 

Visit clintonhauntedhouse.com for a full list of the dates and times for the haunted house as well as dates for the friendly ghost tours.

Red Cross Seeking African Americans to Participate in Blood Drives

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and the American Red Cross is putting out a call for African American blood donors. 

 

A spokesman for the organization says they are critically needed to help patients battling sickle cell disease. When patients living with sickle cell disease face a sickle cell crisis, blood transfusions can make a lifesaving difference. Red Cross spokesman Joe Zydlo (ZID-low) says a closer blood match leads to better outcomes.

 

 

More than half of blood donors who are Black have blood that is free of C, E and K antigens, making them the best match for those with sickle cell disease. To find a donation site near you, call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to redcrossblood.org.

Bement Schools Superintendent Noticing Social Impacts from COVID in Students

As students returned to normal school schedules last year after nearly a year and a half of interrupted learning because of the pandemic, the academic growth of students was heavily focused on but now a new issue appears to be rearing its ugly head.

 

The social development of students was largely impacted by masks, distancing, and other in-school COVID protocols over the last three years. Superintendent of Bement Schools Mary Vogt explains she and her staff are noticing the impacts of all those mitigations.

 

 

Conflict resolution is an issue students are trying to learn, especially at the younger levels. Vogt says while students haven't had opportunities to learn some of these things in the school setting, she believes some parents are not setting good examples, especially on social media.

 

 

The issue is putting teachers into uncharted waters of how to teach kids skills they are accustomed to them already having. Vogt predicts it will take at least a decade for what she calls their 'COVID kids' to fully recover.

 

 

When posed the question if students who participate in sports or group-related extra-curricular activities are better adjusted than those who do not, she felt as though even those students were impacted by the COVID mitigations in a way that may have held them back a little bit. 

New COVID Booster Expected to Be Rolled Out This Week

County Health Departments across Illinois are receiving a new formula of COVID-19 Booster. The new formula is aimed at combating the newest versions of the Omicron variant says Henry County Health Department spokesperson RaeAnn Tucker...

 

 

Those seeking the new booster will have had to have received their first and second COVID-19 shot before they can receive this new booster. Most Illinois Health Departments will be rolling out the new Booster this week.

More Local Musical Acts at Apple n' Pork Festival

We're just a few weekends away from the annual Apple n' Pork Festival and organizers are about ready for the biggest weekend of the year in Clinton.

 

Joey Long is the executive director of the CH Moore Homestead and says the musical entertainment this year is again sponsored by Exelon and there will be more local acts as a part of this year's lineup.


 

Long points anyone wanting more information about the Apple n' Pork Festival to follow the Facebook page by the same name.

This year's edition of the Apple n' Pork Festival is Sept. 24-25. 

Resurfacing Work Being Done on 51 South of Decatur

The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced new plans to resurface a 6 mile project on Old Business 51.  

 

The work will be done on OLD Business US 51/South Business Route 51 from US 51 south of Elwin to Cleveland Avenue in Decatur. 

 

The work will reduce US 51 to one lane in each direction at times, with traffic control using arrow boards, spotters, barricades, and message signs. The project includes resurfacing, curb and median repairs, and bridge repairs. The bridges at the Illinois 105 intersection will also have its joints replaced and a deck overlay. This will provide a smoother road surface and improve pedestrian safety.

 

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

Weekly Weather Summary

September has gotten off to a terrific start from a weather perspective and there appears to be more of the same ahead. State Climatologist Trent Ford has more in this week's weather summary...

 

 

Liberty Village of Clinton Hosts Ribbon Cutting

 

Liberty Village of Clinton hosted a Ribbon Cutting and Open House Thursday afternoon for their newly enhanced memory care program, Memory Lane - Fitness For The Mind.  

 

Pics: Marian Brisard - Clinton IL Chamber of Commerce

 

Sheriff Walker: People Still Learning What's in Safe-T Legislation

An overwhelming number of local law enforcement administrators and State's Attorneys in Illinois are opposed to the next wrinkle that will come to pass from the 2019 Safe-T legislation.

 

Just as he was about to appear as a guest on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker received a text from an acquaintance in disbelief at the offenses that will see criminals released from jail without bail starting January 1.

 

 

According to Sheriff Walker, there are a lot of things about the Safe-T legislation that is still unknown. He calls it demoralizing to law enforcement when a criminal is taken into custody and then released back onto the streets at a reduced offense. He explains there is some of that now but it will worse come Jan. 1.

 

 

Sheriff Walker says it is frustrating that people in the world of law enforcement were not consulted for this legislation. He recognizes there can always be improvements made but wishes there would be more input from law enforcement officials. 

Clinton United Methodist Church Teaming Up With Kloe's Giving Heart for Shoes and Socks Giveaway

A Clinton church and Clinton non-profit are teaming up to provide youth in our community with shoes and socks.

 

The Clinton United Methodist Church and Kloe's Giving Heart will come together next Monday night for a giveaway of shoes and socks to the community's youth. United Methodist Church Outreach Director Kelly Harvey says the need in the community is great.

 

 

According to Harvey, there will be no income guidelines for this drive. Anyone with a need is encouraged to contact her or the Clinton United Methodist Church to let them know what size shoes they need and how many pairs of socks.

 

 

The second and fourth Monday of the month is the church's 'Extended Table' and Harvey encourages the community to join them for that event on Monday as well.

 

To get a hold of Harvey, you can text or call her at 217-819-8801 or contact the Clinton United Methodist Church at 217-935-5869. 

Kenney Fall Festival This Weekend

If you're looking for some family fun this weekend, the Kenney Fall Festival is the place to be.

 

Things kick off Friday and run through Saturday says President of the Kenney Civic League Debbie Rhoades. A flag-raising presentation kicks things off Friday evening with the Kenney/Hallsville American Legion and then with biscuits and gravy breakfast at 7 am on Saturday.

 

 

Local groups will be selling various food items along with other vendors offering various food items. According to Rhoades, several businesses help support them in their efforts to put the annual fall festival on at little cost to the community's families.

 

 

The apple danish sheet pie sales at the Apple n' Pork Festival help support the Kenney Civic League in hosting the Kenney Fall Festival. 

 

The Kenney Civic League sends out annual newsletter folks can get signed up for to keep up with all the happenings at the Kenney Civic League. 

Former DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department Director Takes Interim Job in Christian County

Meet the Christian County Health Department Interim Director - Dave Remmert. 

 

Remmert comes out of retirement to meet a community need after many years at the bi-county department in DeWitt and Piatt Counties.

 

 

Remmert considers this a community service as he is taking on this role without a paycheck.

 

 

Remmert addresses the current status of the Christian County Health Department and believes he has the tools to properly navigate the situation. 

 

 

Remmert emphasizes he will not be director for very long. Dr Remmert has his eyes set on hiring new staff. The Health Department is hiring nurses, office staff, and sanitarians.

State Re-Launches 'Opening Doors' Homebuyer Program

THE STATE IS RELAUNCHING THE “OPENING DOORS” HOMEBUYER PROGRAM. 

 

OPENING DOORS IS DESIGNED FOR LOWER-INCOME BORROWERS AND HOUSEHOLDS OF COLOR, OFFERING A 30-YEAR MORTGAGE WITH A FIXED INTEREST RATE AND A SIX THOUSAND DOLLAR DOWN PAYMENT. MANY WON’T HAVE TO PAY THAT BACK SAYS ILLINOIS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SPOKESPERSON ANDREW FIELD.

 

 

IT’S AIMED AT LOW-INCOME AND MINORITY BORROWERS SAYS FIELD.

 

 

THOSE INTERESTED CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND PARTICIPATING LENDERS ONLINE AT: IHDA MORTGAGE DOT ORG.

Chicago In the Running for Democratic National Convention

The city of Chicago is a possible site for the 2024 Democratic National Convention. Governor JB Pritzker says Chicago is the best city in America to hold the convention.

 

 

Chicago is in the running against New York, Atlanta, and Houston. An announcement is expected after the November elections.

Gov. Pritzker Calls Busing Migrants to Chicago 'Disgusting'

The Governor of Texas has recently been sending buses full of migrants who cross the border from Mexico to cities around the US.

 

Chicago has become a destination for some of those buses and people. Governor JB Pritzker says he hasn’t spoken directly to Texas Governor Greg Abbot about it – but the state and local governments are ready to assist anyone sent to Chicago that is looking for help.

 

 

Pritzker says he has no idea how long Abbot may continue busing migrants to Chicago.

Clinton Business Owner Requests City Address Sidewalks In Front of His Downtown Location

Over the last month, the City of Clinton has addressed some sidewalk issues in front of a storefront on the north side of the square at the request of a business owner.

 

Now another downtown business owner is requesting the sidewalks in front of his store be addressed. Ed Cicenas owns EMC Photography in Clinton and says he has clients of all ages entering his business and believes the issues are an accident waiting to happen.

 

 

Cicenas says there are more than just his clients that frequent the sidewalk in front of his storefront including May Days, Apple n' Pork, and Homecoming attendees among others.

 

 

Cicenas expressed concerns over an accident occurring that would be on his insurance.

 

Mayor Roger Cyrulik told Cicenas his portion of the sidewalk has been on his radar and said they will start to look at addressing the issues and admitted it is a bad area of the sidewalk. 

The Vault Executive Director Touts Another Successful Year of Summer Career Camps

The summer career camps are almost becoming a staple of The Vault in Clinton.

 

While only concluding its second year, the benefits of this six-week program are proving to be immense. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Executive Director Tammy Wilson told Regional Radio this year's camp gave students a glimpse into a wide range of professions.

 

 

While introducing students to a wide range of career opportunities, the program has proven to be much more beneficial than that. Wilson explains kids find the courage to try things they perhaps would not have.

 

 

According to Wilson, students also find a sense of belonging during the week of camp. She notices students may start a week shy and stay away from attention and by the end of the week that all changes.

 

 

For other students, the career camps offered inspiration to pursue careers going forward. Wilson thanks all the community members that supported these programs and students and are looking forward to bringing them back again next year

Teens and Social Media: 'More Harm than Good'

A local school resource officer says behavioral problems linked to social media are more prevalent than ever.

 

Clinton Police Officer Mike Bennett is the school resource officer for Clinton schools. He indicates while social media brought problems before the pandemic it is even more relevant, as virtually every child he suspects has some online presence.

 

 

Officer Bennett contends that good parenting means being aware of which social media platforms your child is using. He says the possibility of catfishing is a concern with children using social media.

 

 

Problems with social media are not just two-sided problems. Bennett says teachers are seeing friends taking sides which can be very disruptive to the learning process.

 

 

Officer Bennett says the most popular apps include TikTok, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. He encourages parents to do a simple search online if they are unfamiliar with what their child is using.

 

 

Officer Bennett's message to students using social media is to keep the Golden Rule in mind at all times. Don't say something to someone that you wouldn't tell them in person, and don't post anything you wouldn't want your mother to see.

Regional Superintendent Highlights Teacher Shortage

A national teacher shortage is impacting Illinois schools.

 

According to Mark Jonty, the Regional Superintendent for DeWitt, McLean, Livingston, and Logan Counties, the impact is felt all over.

 

 

Jontry, who represents 40-thousand students in 30 different districts, said the impact is pushing to larger class sizes. In some cases, Jontry says some of his districts are canceling some classes.

Mid-Year Farmland Values in Illinois

Gauging Illinois farmland values through the first half of the year. Here’s Luke Worrell with the Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

 

 

The mid-year data is always released during the week of the Farm Progress Show.

Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs Recognizes Suicide Prevention Month

THIS IS SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS IS REMINDING THAT HELP IS AVAILABLE. 

 

VETERANS ARE ONE AND A HALF TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE FROM SUICIDE THAN THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER SERVED IN THE MILITARY. THAT’S WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO REACH OUT TO VETS AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE OKAY SAYS VETERANS AFFAIRS DIRECTOR TERRY PRINCE.

 

 

PRINCE SAYS IT’S VITAL THAT WE CHECK ON OUR VETS AND POTENTIALLY SAVE A LIFE.

 

 

PRINCE URGES VETS STRUGGLING WITH P-T-S-D, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, EMOTIONAL TRAUMA OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE TO CALL THE VETERANS CRISIS LINE AT: 9-8-8, AND THEN PRESS 1. COUNSELORS WILL BE THERE TO TALK AND DIRECT VETS TO THE APPROPRIATE RESOURCES.

Illinois Department of Transportation Readying for Winter

Winter snow is probably still several months away, but the Illinois Department of Transportation has begun its hiring effort for seasonal employees to help with snow and ice removal in the department's annual "Snowbird" program. 

 

IDOT is hiring Snow Removal Operators and salaried workers to help maintain more than 45,000 miles of roadway statewide during the winter season. IDOT Engineer Joe Monroe talks about what they are looking for in potential hires.

 

 

Applicants will be selected based on availability, experience, and qualifications.

WHOW-AM 1520 Schedules Service Outage for 3pm Today to Repair Tower Lightning Damage

WHOW''s BIG 1520 AM signal will leave the air at 3 o'clock this afternoon so that repairs can be made to the tower's strobe system.

The tower took a lightning hit July First and tower crews will be installing a new strobe system this afternoon causing the service outage.

WHOW's 92-point-3 FM signal in Clinton and 106-point-5 FM signal in Normal-Bloomington, as well as WEZC 95-point-9's signal, are not affected by this WHOW-AM service outage.

Thanks for your patience as we repair our tower strobe system after this summer's lightning damage.

Clinton Resident Takes Takes Exception to Notice of Overgrown Brush

A Clinton resident Monday night had scathing comments regarding the City's approach to ordinance violations regarding homeowner properties.

 

Bob Kreitler took exception to a recent warning he received from the City's zoning officer at the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting. Among his complaints was the timing of the notice that was issued late on Friday afternoon and with a holiday Monday, Kreitler says it'll take him about a day once he speaks to the officer when he returns to the office on Wednesday.

 

 

Kreitler called it "predatory enforcement of ordinances" and called the officer "a revenue collecting thug". Kreitler says he isn't sure what needs to be addressed at his home. 

 

 

Responding to Kreitler's issues, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says the City is already lenient in its enforcement of ordinances and called a voicemail message from Kreitler condescending. 

 

 

According to the Chief, the City seeks to bring people into compliance and admitted they really don't even write daily tickets for violations, they simply want compliance from residents.

 

 

Kreitler was disgruntled over the nature of the warning that underlined the $100 per day fine and seven days to come into compliance with the officer. 

 

In the midst of bringing up another issue with an adjacent property to his house that the hospital owns, Kreiter was cut off and the public comment portion of the meeting was ended. 

Warner Library Highlighting National Library Card Month

It is National Library Card Month and the Warner Library in Clinton is hoping to entice the community to renew that expired library card or get a new one.

 

The one-dollar card replacement fee is being waived for September. On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Executive Director Bobbi Perryman says new patrons receive a goody bag. 

 

 

A library card is good for three years at a time. Perryman explains there are library cards for adults and library cards for kids. 

 

 

A library card in 2022 does so much more for patrons than perhaps ever before. According to Perryman, digital offerings give patrons more access to titles, median and so much more.

 

 

You can renew your library card by phone by calling the library at 217-935-5174. You can stop into the library at 310 North Quincy Street.

 

For general information on the library, visit vwarner.org or follow them on Instagram and Facebook. 

Weekly Crop Report

HERE’S THE LATEST CROP REPORT FOR ILLINOIS.

 

BOTH TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL WERE A LITTLE ABOVE NORMAL THIS PAST WEEK, AND AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE NOW STANDS AT NINE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 21 PERCENT SHORT, 66 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND FOUR PERCENT SURPLUS. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 88 PERCENT OF THE ILLINOIS CORN CROP IS IN THE DOUGH STAGE OR BEYOND.

 

 

SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT SOYBEANS.

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 75 PERCENT COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AS NINE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 21 PERCENT SHORT, 66 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND FOUR PERCENT SURPLUS.

New Illinois State Police Regional Headquarters Planned for East St. Louis

A NEW ILLINOIS STATE POLICE REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS IS PLANNED FOR EAST SAINT LOUIS. 

 

THE STATE-OF-THE-ART HEADQUARTERS WILL HOUSE TWO OUT-DATED LOCAL OFFICES AND TAKE A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO REDUCING VIOLENT CRIME SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

KELLY SAYS THIS WILL HELP TO INCREASE PUBLIC SAFETY IN THE AREA.

 

 

THE LAND COMES FROM LOCAL NON-PROFIT GROUP LANSDOWNE UP. THE DESIGN PHASE WILL SOON GET UNDERWAY WITH COMPLETION ESTIMATED TO BE IN ABOUT THREE TO FOUR YEARS.

Encore Developmental Services Getting Clients into the Community More

As society returns to normal coming out of COVID, a DeWitt County non-profit is getting its clients out even more than pre-COVID.

 

Stephanie Coonce is the Executive Director of Encore Developmental Services in Clinton. She indicates they have been out and about resuming normal services this summer. They even participated in the recent dodgeball event at Clinton High School hosted by Heritage Behavioral Health Services.

 

 

This summer, Coonce has been taking their clients shopping, out to restaurants, and even to the movie theater. 

 

 

Coming back this fall, Encore will return to the Apple n' Pork Festival. It's been several years since Encore has had a presence at the Festival and later this month they'll be selling lemon shakeups.

 

 

Coonce directs those wanting to follow along with all the things happening at Encore Developmental Services to visit its Facebook page. 

Finalized Strategic Plan Has Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Excited

A fresh, streamlined mission statement and a refreshed school logo have the superintendent of a rural DeWitt County district excited.

 

Dr. Hilary Stanifer is the Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools and indicates the results from their recent strategic planning process have her very excited. It starts with the district's mission statement which she believes is short, memorable, and will guide everything they do.

 

 

For Dr. Stanifer, they need to make sure they know where students are academically and emotionally and how to move them forward to prepare them for the next step. She is excited about some new things happening that will allow them to do that.

 

 

According to Dr. Stanifer, equipping and empowering students relies on knowing students and students knowing staff. She is excited about some technology that is going to be able to meet students where they are at and push them appropriately to the next level of whatever they are working on.

 

 

If you drive by the main campus in Farmer City on John Street, you'll notice a fresh new look at the front of the building that is highlighted by the new logo for the district. Dr. Stanifer is especially enthusiastic about the fresh rebrand created by the athletic boosters. 

 

 

As far as the mission statement goes, Dr. Stanifer hopes the community keeps the district accountable to those words going forward and is looking forward to the school year that is just underway in her district. 

University of Illinois President Committed to Extension

He calls it “the crown jewel in what they do”. University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen was describing the school’s commitment to extension.

 

 

Killeen was at the Illinois State Fair Ag Day last month. It was the first stop on a three-part state tour to help build partnerships with local organizations and elected officials and business leaders to address local challenges and opportunities around the state.

Pollinator Garden in Shape of Illinois Being Planted by Northern Illinois County Farm Bureau

A local county farm bureau effort continues to grow pollinator habitat. Kane County Farm Bureau is finishing up a public planting this week with the goal of expanding a 400-square foot project in 2020 to 4,000 square feet—and the garden will be in the shape of Illinois says Kane County Farm Bureau mgr. Steve Arnold.

 

 

Kane County Farm Bureau is receiving a Pollinator Conservation Grant from the Illinois Farm Bureau to help with the effort.

Warner Hospital Readying for Emergency Room Renovation, West Side Entrance

Warner Hospital and Health Services officials last week had engineers in to look at a couple of target areas for renovation within its facility and are getting ready to move forward with one that is becoming the front runner.

 

Friday on the WHOW Morning Show, CEO Paul Skowron told Regional Radio, the emergency room renovation is starting to be the front-runner for what will get done first. He explains the fact that most of the work will be indoors will help them get it started sooner.

 

 

Not only does the fact the emergency room project is almost entirely an inside project make it a front-runner at this point to be taken on first, but there are three phases to the west side entrance project.

 

 

Skowron has to figure out how to handle the day-to-day adjustments of where people will wait. He speculates perhaps why they kept putting it off.

 

 

According to Skowron, the supply chain issues and inflation challenges should not hold this project back. If they had tried to take this project on six months ago, perhaps it would be a different story.

 

 

The Wellness Center of the hospital will be targeted down the road as activity picks up leaving space limited. Skowron notes, for now, they are looking to improve the look of the entrance and its signage. 

Monticello Schools Celebrating Increase in CPPRT Dollars

The Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax, or CPPRT, is up in every part of the state in the last few years and a central Illinois school district that predominantly relies on those dollars is celebrating the increase.

 

Adam Clapp is the first-year superintendent of Monticello Schools and indicates CPPRT dollars are a significant portion of Monticello Schools' budget, they take record-breaking projections with a grain of salt and budget conservatively in the event those projections don't pan out.

 

 

What will Monticello schools do with all this extra revenue? Clapp notes those are the conversations that are starting to come up. With a multi-million dollar facility update complete on the main campus, perhaps it's now time to turn the attention to the sports complexes and make upgrades.

 

 

The Monticello baseball and softball complexes recently built new concession areas and press boxes but those were furnished by the athletic booster club. 

Utility locating taking longer than usual

The underground utility locators are busier than usual. In some places, it’s taking more than two business days to mark where the electric, gas, telephone, cable TV, and other lines are. Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators, or JULIE, spokesman Kevin Chmura (sh-MOOR-uh), advises calling more than two business days in advance. You can also help the locators speed things up by telling JULIE where on your property the project is.

 

 

In any case, you must call 811 or contact the JULIE service online before digging. Besides the risk of disrupting services for your neighborhood if you hit a line, you could be hurt or killed.

Aging and Resistance Training

A national renown nutritionist and fitness expert has some tips for those that are seeking to remain active through their senior years, new research is suggesting resistance training can help keep you feeling fresh.

 

Dr. Jim LaValle is the author of 'Cracking the Metabolic Code' and is the clinical director for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Performance Health Program. He explains the science behind what interval training can do to protect these things in the body called telomeres. 

 

 

According to Dr. LaValle, resistance training also aids in slowing the aging process by maintaining bone density, and muscle density and just overall increases mood. 

 

 

Dr. LaValle continues to stress just moving and simple things like a walk around your neighborhood or finally getting that membership to the local YMCA or gym.

 

 

Dr. LaValle wrote a book about blood work and using blood work to better understand where your health is really at. He says just because we look healthy on the exterior isn't always the case underneath. 

Kenney Fire Annual Chicken Dinner Next Saturday

The Kenney Fire Department's annual chicken dinner takes place next Saturday and you can get your raffle tickets for the event now.

 

Kenney Fire's Troy Lashbrook says like the last couple of years, it'll be a drive-thru dinner and winners of the raffle do not have to be present to win. Raffle items include the selection of a trio of guns, a meat bundle, and cash.

 

 

Lashbrook says funds from the annual fundraiser traditionally go into the general fund of the department.

 

Kenney firemen have tickets available. If you don't know a Kenney firefighter and would like to purchase a ticket, Lashbrook directs you to find them on Facebook and use the direct message feature.

DeWitt County Soil and Water Conservation District Fish Sale Going on Now

The DeWitt County Soil & Water Conservation District is conducting its fall fish sale and the deadline to order is coming up fast.

 

The sale ends on Friday, September 9th at 3 P M. Available varieties are grass carp, channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, and fathead minnows all at various sizes. 

 

The fish will be delivered for pick up on Wed. September 28th at 2 PM at the District Office.

 

The District offers this sale as a service to make fish available in smaller
quantities for pond stocking not normally available to the public. 

 

If you would like to order or for up to date information, contact its office through Facebook - @dewittcountysoilandwater - stop by the SWCD Office in Clinton at 5920 Revere Road, or call 217-935-2181, ext. 3.

DeWitt County Sheriff Outlines Coming Radio Upgrades

Radio compliance mandates are forcing some Illinois law enforcement agencies to make major adjustments, including DeWitt County.

 

DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker explains the radio systems they have are starting to create issues it started back in 2012 and the Sheriff believes the solution then wasn't a sustainable option.

 

 

According to the Sheriff, they've done some adjustments to try to work out the issues they have but now they are turning to an old-style system that has been improved that will bring the digital compliance. He points out there will also be lots of security upgrades with this new system.

 

 

To upgrade the County's radio, the Sheriff applied for ARPA funds, or American Rescue Plan Act funding. He's received around $500,000 to update technology in his office. 

Farmers Getting Ready for Harvest

Farmers are preparing for harvest as the corn crop pushes towards maturity. From north to south in the state, the start of the harvest will vary but Marty Marr who farms near Jacksonville says he may be starting sooner rather than later.

 

 

Marr is hopeful that a cooler August will help push corn yields higher.

St. Louis Dairy Council Highlighting Evolution of School Lunches

With school back in session across central Illinois, a dairy advocacy group is highlighting the evolution of the school lunch program since its inception in the 40s.

 

Monica Nyman with the St. Louis Dairy Council indicates it wasn’t until the Great Depression that the federal government became involved in schools. Using President Roosevelt’s New Deal, the government purchased surplus crops from farms and employed thousands of women to cook and serve these food items to hungry students. 

 

 

 

Nyman has been with the St. Louis Dairy Council for nearly a decade and explains the school lunch program has even changed rather drastically in that time as well. Based on the percentage of poverty in a district, schools will either be a part of the 'free or reduced' lunch program. She notes, most schools are a part of this. 

 

 

Components of the meal are carefully calculated to ensure schools are offering maximum nutrition while minimizing saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.  If a food item doesn’t meet the parameters, it is not allowed to be sold like an a la carte sale. Nyman points out local milk is served at schools, and many school meal programs focus on bringing in local, farm-fresh produce from school gardens or local farms.

 

 

Nyman points interested parents to look at their back-to-school nutrition parent information packets in hopes of getting kids excited about being back to school and encouraging them to have a milk carton with their lunch and a glass of milk with breakfast and dinner. You can find that resource at stldairycouncil.org. 

Durbin Supports $1-Billion for National Health Service Corps

The healthcare workforce is being stressed and severe shortages could be on the way.

 

Data says more than half of the 195,000 registered nurses in Illinois are older than 55 and a quarter expect to retire in the next 5 years. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin recently held a Rural Health Summit and said he heard loud and clear that more needs to be done to train new nurses and keep the ones we already have on the job.

 

 

Durbin says that $1 billion in funding he’s proposing for the National Health Service Corps could help to train and retain nurses.

A Look at the Energy Market Heading Into the Labor Day Weekend

An update on the energy market heading into the Labor Day weekend. Gas prices are on the decline, but there are some wild cards worth watching says GROWMARK’s manager of customer risk management Scott Wilson.

 

 

The Illinois average is $4.15. It was $4.21 a week ago; $4.63 a month ago and $3.36 last year at this time. The national average is $3.82.

Rural DeWitt County Road Work Being Finished Around Wind Farm Area

Rural DeWitt County roads are being finished as work on the wind farm gets wrapped up.

 

At last month's DeWitt County Board meeting, Highway Engineer Mark Mathon indicated to the Board one stretch of work is being funded from portions of the money from the posting fee from the wind farm's application.

 

 

A bridge in rural DeWitt County was damaged a few years back and that bridge is finally going to get fixed. Road and bridge committee chairperson Travis Houser says the project should get underway soon.

 

 

Mathon indicates seal coat work has been taken care of in other parts of rural DeWitt County. Residents in that area of the county may have received notices of the work in the last few weeks. 

Working With Teens in a Teen Dating Violence Relationship

Teen dating violence can be hard to recognize but if you find a child or young person in your life caught up in a burdensome relationship involving violence, local professionals have some recommendations.

 

Jill Maxey is the executive director of Willow Tree Missions in Piatt County. She encourages parents or adults who are confronted by a teen in abusive relationships to believe them. If necessary, she says to take your concerns to a school leader or law enforcement official.

 

 

Andrea Kocher with DOVE in Piatt County says teens can hold on to the guilt of being in a teen dating violence relationship and so it is important for them to talk to someone. She emphasizes the individual may feel a great deal of guilt or shame and may fear an emotionally charged response if they up and leave.

 

 

According to Kocher, the handling of teen dating violence is similar to that of domestic abuse. She says they want to empower victims.

 

 

Domestic violence victims that seek help get the opportunity to put together a safety plan through Willow Tree Missions. Maxey explains for a teen may be working with the teen, their family, and potentially an agency like Willow Tree, DOVE, or even law enforcement, to work on what is shared online and who gets to see that information. 

 

 

Kocher says anyone can become a victim of domestic violence but there is a lot of evidence to suggest young people that are victims of teen dating violence are likely to become victims of domestic abuse as adults.

 

 

Maxey hopes anyone in Piatt County needing assistance will seek that help by visiting their website, willowtreemissions.org, or find them on Facebook. Kocher points anyone interested in services through DOVE to call 217-762-2122. Their 24/7 number is 217-762-2123.

 

For parents interested in just general information on teen dating violence visit loveisrespect.org. 

Protein Important For People of All Ages

Protein is vital for people of all ages.

 

Dr. Jim LaValle is the author of 'Cracking the Metabolic Code' and clinical director for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Performance Health Program. He explains especially as we age, it becomes more and more important to get the recommended 25 grams of protein per meal.

 

 

Dr. LaValle says protein for youth is particularly important because protein will help build a good bone structure for when they grow into adults. He stresses protein for young girls is rather important because it can help prevent osteoporosis as they age.

 

 

According to Dr. LaValle, there is new research suggesting immense benefits from whey protein and being able to best break down amino acids in your diet. He says it's coming from a top researcher in Arkansas.

 

 

Dr. LaValle has taken a recent interest in the science linking rigorous exercise and longevity. We'll have more on that next week on Regional Radio. 

Still No Special Session Yet for Abortion Laws

A special session isn’t any closer to being called at the statehouse to update Illinois abortion laws. Following the Supreme Court’s Decision on Roe vs Wade, Democrat Governor JB Pritzker said he would push for the session to further protect woman’s reproductive rights. But that hasn’t happened yet and Pritzker says lawmakers are still working to craft the right legislation.

 

 

Leaders with Planned Parenthood say demand for abortions has increased and the wait times for appointments has more than doubled after many Midwestern states rolled back abortion rights this summer.

Illinois Corn Growers Association President Weighs in on E-15 Waiver

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday that his administration is using the temporary waiver by the U.S. EPA to allow the sale of high volatility gasoline to be sold through September 15th in response to the Whiting, Indiana BP refinery fire.

 

The waiver also means that Illinois corn farmers will provide the needed fuel through their ethanol production, which is a lower emission alternative to gasoline. President of the Illinois Corn Growers Association Marty Marr says the waiver will add fuel security to Illinois and the Midwest and stabilize grain markets.

 

 

Marr says that Fall corn harvest is looking good for both size and prices in Illinois. He says by having E-15 stay on the market, it will help lobby the federal government to keep it as a permanent fuel option. Marr believes E-15 will be a bridge from gasoline to electric vehicles, and he says it has also opened up conversations for using ethanol as a possible future fuel source for power plants as the country continues its switch to greener energy sources.

Better Business Bureau Warning About High School Football Scams

Week two of high school football get's underway in Illinois this week, and scammers are looking to take the public's information.

 

The Better Business Bureau is warning the public to avoid fake football streams that pose as live streams. Don O'Brien with the B-B-B said scammers are out preying on the innocent.

 

 

The B-B-B reports state associations that oversee high school sports in North Carolina, Indiana, and New Mexico issued warnings about the scam streams last year.

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