Local News

Warner Hospital Sets Date for Health Fair

The Warner Hospital Health Fair is back this year and a date is officially set.

 

CEO Paul Skowron indicates the health fair will come up Thursday, May 18 from 5 pm to 7 pm in the big parking lot across the street from its Clinton facility.

 

 

Skowron indicates there will be all sorts of information about the services at Warner Hospital as well as other local providers that work with Warner Hospital.

 

 

Skowron points those wanting more details about specific vendors and other activities to visit the Hospital's Facebook page. 

Central Illinois Lawmaker Hosting Mother's Day Donation Drive

A central Illinois lawmaker is holding a donation drive for mothers in need in her service area.

 

State Senator Sally Turner indicates they are looking for things like diapers, wipes, baby soaps, and more.

 

 

If you're in the Lincoln area, you can drop those contributions off at Sen. Turner's office on the square in the building next to the post office that houses the Logan County Farm Bureau. 

Bill Would Require Parents Be Notified Within 24 If Child is Being Bullied

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS ARE WORKING TO FURTHER ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF BULLYING IN SCHOOLS.

 

LEGISLATION PENDING IN THE SENATE UPDATES CURRENT STATE LAWS ON BULLYING. FOR EXAMPLE, SENATOR SARA FEIGENHOLTZ OF CHICAGO SAYS SCHOOLS WOULD BE REQUIRED TO LET PARENTS KNOW THAT THEIR CHILD HAS BEEN BULLIED WITHIN 24 HOURS OF ADMINISTRATORS LEARNING ABOUT THE ALLEGED INCIDENT.

 

 

THE NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT WOULD ALSO APPLY TO CYBERBULLYING. ADDITIONALLY, THE BILL EXPANDS THE DEFINITION OF BULLYING TO INCLUDE PHYSICAL APPEARANCE, HOMELESSNESS, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS AND PREGNANCY. ALISON MALEY IS WITH THE ILLINOIS PRINCIPALS ASSOCIATION.

 

 

THE BILL HAS PASSED THE HOUSE AND NOW AWAITS A VOTE IN THE SENATE.

Expansion of Offerings Coming to Bloomington Area Career Center

The Bloomington Area Career Center will expand its offerings.

 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles says the new HEAT program will give students even more opportunities that are already a great resource to Clinton students.

 

 

According to Nettles, the HEAT program will bring a professional in the field of whatever the subject area may be and will lead the students. It would have several specific focuses.

 

 

This will be an extension of the BACC. Nettles notes COVID interrupted the planning of this but he remains excited. There are a few hurdles to clear before it becomes a reality but he believes it will be a great program once it is established. 

Extension Nutrition Educator Reminding of Safe Grilling Practices

As the grilling season starts to kick into high gear, a University of Illinois Extension nutrition educator is reminding those dusting off the grill to keep food safety in mind.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Caitlin Mellendorf at the University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties told Regional Radio you want to make sure any meat you are cooking reaches its recommended internal temperature.

 

 

According to Mellendorf, you want to make sure you keep different types of meats separated on the grill. It can be easy to just throw them on top of one another but that isn't necessarily a safe practice.

 

 

Mellendorf directs the public to their revamped website, extension.illinois.edu/foods. She says there are many resources there for helpful cooking safety information as well as recipes. 

Central Illinois Lawmaker Questions Springfield's Priorities

A central Illinois lawmaker wonders where Springfield's priorities are as the spring legislative session has brought forward some interesting bills.

 

State Senator Sally Turner says bills dealing with pets in your lap while you drive or the spice level of foods in school cafeterias are getting passed this legislative cycle.

 

 

The Lincoln Republican is part of a committee to help solve the child care desert issue in Illinois and is pleased there is a lot of movement on that issue but says anything they offer for stricter penalties of various crimes goes nowhere.

 

 

Sen. Turner has also been active in trying to push forward bills that deal with the fentanyl crisis that is ongoing in Illinois. There are some things that are going well in that effort but others that are gaining no traction.

 

 

Republicans are also trying to get a sales tax exemption for groceries for Illinoisans as well as rebates from Ameren because of energy bills that are going up. 

State Continues to Try to Address Teacher Shortage

STATE LAWMAKERS ARE WORKING ON LEGISLATION TO FURTHER ADDRESS THE TEACHER SHORTAGE IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE PROBLEM IS SERIOUS, ESPECIALLY IN HARD TO STAFF AREAS SAY SUPPORTERS. A BILL FROM SENATOR MEG LOUGHRAN-CAPPEL OF SHOREWOOD EXTENDS THE NUMBER OF DAYS THAT SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS FILLING AN EMERGENCY VACANCY CAN WORK IN THE CLASSROOM. 

 

 

A MEASURE FROM METRO EAST AREA SENATOR CHRISTOPHER BELT PROVIDES RETENTION BONUSES OF $4,000 PER YEAR, FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE YEARS TO TEACHERS EMPLOYED IN HARD-TO-STAFF SCHOOLS.

 

 

ANOTHER PROVIDES MONETARY INCENTIVES FOR TEACHERS WHO MENTOR THEIR NEWER COLLEAGUES.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Law to Protect State's Healthcare Workers After Pandemic Emergency Officially Ends Next Month

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW TO PROTECT THE STATE’S HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE AS THE PANDEMIC EMERGENCY OFFICIALLY ENDS NEXT MONTH. 

 

THE BILL WAS SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE BOB MORGAN OF DEERFIELD, WHO WANTS TO ENSURE TEMPORARY HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS CAN STAY ON THE JOB.

 

 

THESE WORKERS WILL BE ABLE TO OBTAIN FULL LICENSURE AS WELL. MORGAN SAYS THE LAW ALSO ALLOWS FOR CONTINUED ACCESS TO FLU AND COVID-19 TESTING AND VACCINATION AT LOCAL PHARMACIES.

 

 

THE NEW LAW TAKES EFFECT IMMEDIATELY.

Child Advocates Needed

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and there is a growing need for Child Advocates.

 

A child advocate works with a non-profit agency in concert with law enforcement to act as an advocate for children caught in the middle of abuse investigations. Rosa Rushing is a Child Advocate with Braveheart Children's Advocacy Center in Central Illinois and she says that part of the challenge in recruiting new Child Advocates is the emotional toll of the job. Many, many victims don't want to tell their story.

 

 

Braveheart has expanded services throughout 3 central Illinois Counties while similar non-profit CAC's are also struggling to recruit advocates across the state.

Ambulance Siren Bill Prompted By Death of North Chicago Man Last Year

AMBULANCE DRIVERS WOULD GET MORE TRAINING ABOUT THE USE OF LIGHTS AND SIRENS UNDER A BILL MAKING HEADWAY IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. 

 

THE BILL IS SPONSORED BY SENATOR ADRIAN JOHNSON OF BUFFALO GROVE AND REQUIRES THE EXTRA TRAINING AS WELL AS USING BOTH LIGHTS AND SIRENS WHEN AN AMBULANCE PASSES THROUGH AN INTERSECTION. IT WAS PROMPTED BY THE DEATH OF A NORTH CHICAGO MAN LAST YEAR.

 

 

STALLWORTH WAS RIDING HIS MOTORCYCLE IN WAUKEGAN LAST YEAR WHEN HE WAS STRUCK AND KILLED BY AN AMBULANCE TRANSPORTING A PATIENT. HIS MOTHER SATRESE (suh-treece) STALLWORTH:

 

 

THE LEGISLATION HAS PASSED THE SENATE AND NOW AWAITS A VOTE IN THE HOUSE.

Clinton Schools Name Director of Teaching and Learning

The Clinton Board of Education named its Director of Teaching and Learning at the Tuesday night Clinton Board of Education meeting.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Clitnon Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles told Regional Radio this wraps up a process that has been ongoing for the last few months. He is very pleased with their hire.

 

 

Nettles reminds this position fills one of two administrative roles at the top of the district. He explains with his retirement, the hiring of Karrah Jensen will fill the role to complement Drew Goebel, who will be the new Superintendent. 

 

 

According to Nettles, to have the best district Clinton can have, they need two people at the top, especially an individual to lead teachers to most effectively teach the students of the community.

 

 

The values of the person that took this job were important to Nettles and the Board of Education. He believes they have an individual that shares the values of the community and the Board of Education.

 

 

Clinton schools will see several changes in leadership over the next few years. This is the final year for Douglas and Lincoln Schools Superintendent Beth Wickenhauser and in a few years, high school principal Jerry Wayne and assistant principal Robert Svencner will be retiring as well.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and a local recovery organization is campaigning on the impacts alcohol can have on the community.

 

Nadia Klekamp is the Director of Integrated Community Education at Chestnut Health Systems. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, she told Regional Radio the campaign this year is focusing on the impacts of alcohol on youth.

 

 

Data collected by the University of Illinois has shown there is evidence to suggest parents are allowing students to consume alcohol but Klekamp points out that can be detrimental to the development of a young person.

 

 

 

 

The National Institute of Health data from a 2021 survey suggests more girls ages 12 to 20 will use alcohol than boys. Nearly 13.4 million youth ages 12 to 20 reported to have had at least one drink while 3.2 million youth ages 12 to 20 reported binge drinking in the past month. 

 

Additionally, 2.4 percent of 12th-grade students reported high-intensity drinking. 

Mississippi River Flooding Will Not Be Magnified By Local Rains

With Mississippi River flooding being caused by snowmelt to the north, the problem should not be magnified with local rains in Illinois over the next few weeks.

 

 

Dan Hicks is a meteorologist with Freese-Notis Weather. 

Specialty Growers Assessing Frost Damage

Illinois specialty growers are assessing damage from a late April frost.

 

The mercury hit 26.1 degrees at apple grower Randy Graham’s Curtis Orchard in Champaign County early Monday morning.

 

 

Graham serves as chairman of the Illinois Specialty Growers Association.

Illinois Comptroller Announces New Fiscal Milestone for State

ILLINOIS COMPTROLLER SUSANA MENDOZA IS HIGHLIGHTING SOME IMPORTANT FISCAL MILESTONES FOR THE STATE THIS WEEK.

 

FOR STARTERS, CONTROLLER MENDOZA SAYS HER OFFICE HAS DEPOSITED ANOTHER 350 MILLION DOLLARS INTO THE STATE’S RAINY-DAY FUND, BRINGING THE TOTAL EMERGENCY STASH TO A RECORD HIGH ONE POINT FIVE EIGHT BILLION.

 

 

ADDITIONALLY, THE STATE’S ACCOUNTS PAYABLE HAS HIT A 12-YEAR LOW OF 478 MILLION DOLLARS, MEANING VENDORS ARE BEING PAID FASTER THAN THEY HAVE IN DECADES.

 

 

Gov. Pritzker Asked About New Bears Complex Proposal

NEW LEGISLATION HAS BEEN INTRODUCED TO REINVIGORATE PLANS FOR A CHICAGO BEARS STADIUM IN ARLINGTON HEIGHTS.

 

THE BILL CREATES A THREE-DOLLAR-PER-TICKET TAX TO HELP PAY OFF DEBT FROM THE RENOVATION OF SOLDIER FIELD AND FREEZES PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS FOR THE SITE. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS HE HASN’T REVIEWED THIS LATEST PROPOSAL BUT THAT HIS GOAL IS TO ENSURE THE STATE REMAINS ON FIRM FISCAL FOOTING.

 

 

THE BEARS HAVE SAID THEY DON’T WANT TAXPAYERS TO HELP FUND THE ACTUAL STADIUM BUT ARE LOOKING FOR STATE HELP FOR THE SURROUNDING ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX AND INFRASTRUCTURE.

Black Farmers, Growers Lobby at State Capitol

BLACK FARMERS AND GROWERS FROM ACROSS THE STATE VISITED THE STATE CAPITOL WEDNESDAY FOR THEIR FIRST LOBBY DAY. 

 

THE GROUP IS PUSHING FOR SEVERAL BILLS TO HELP BOOST EQUITY WITHIN THE STATE’S AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY. CHICAGO REPRESENTATIVE SONYA HARPER WELCOMED FARMERS AND GROWERS TO SPRINGFIELD.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE ILLINOIS STEWARDSHIP ALLIANCE, OF THE APPROXIMATELY 70-THOUSAND FARMS IN THE STATE, LESS THAN 200 ARE OWNED BY BLACK FARMERS.

 

 

LEGISLATION INCLUDES GRANTS FOR SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED FARMERS AS WELL AS TRAINING, TECHNICAL SUPPORT AND INCREASING LAND ACCESS.

Bill Would Give Working Parents More Time to Grieve After Loss of a Child

WORKING PARENTS WOULD HAVE MORE TIME TO GRIEVE THE LOSS OF A CHILD UNDER A BILL PENDING IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE.

 

THE LEGISLATION EXTENDS BEREAVEMENT LEAVE FOR MOMS AND DADS WHOSE CHILD HAS DIED BY SUICIDE OR HOMICIDE. IT’S SPONSORED BY SENATOR KARINA VILLA OF WEST CHICAGO.

 

 

IT WAS PROMPTED BY THE CASE OF ROCKFORD AREA MOM LAURA KANE.

 

 

UNDER THE BILL, PARENTS WORKING AT A COMPANY WITH 250 OR MORE EMPLOYEES WOULD BE ALLOWED UP TO 12 WEEKS OF BEREAVEMENT LEAVE. THOSE AT SMALLER COMPANIES WOULD GET SIX WEEKS.

DeWitt County Battles Continuing With Local Ordinance Evaluation and Coming State Regulations for Wind, Solar

Despite many years of evaluation and adjustment to DeWitt County's wind and solar ordinances, the State of Illinois has come in this year and put in place statewide regulations that supersede local ordinances.

 

It's an ongoing evaluation says DeWitt County Vice-Chair and Land Use Committee Chair Terry Ferguson. He tells Regional Radio, the DeWitt County Board discussed this at last Thursday night's DeWitt County Board meeting.

 

 

According to Ferguson, the work of the County is currently trying to find places where state law might allow for some local control. 

 

 

Ferguson indicates the State has muddled some of the language around the acceptance of a renewable energy project application, leaving local governments believing they may have a say in giving the green light to a project.

 

 

Ferguson believes there are enough loopholes in the State law to allow for some local control and that is what they are working to implement before May 22 when the State law has to be put into effect locally. 

New Fishing Regulations Coming to Clinton Lake

Local authorities are making fishermen headed to Clinton Lake this spring of some rule changes.

 

Department of Natural Resources Captain John Williamson indicates crappie limits are changing some. It involves size limits of a certain number that you choose to keep - similar to Lake Shelbyville. 

 

 

According to Williamson, the idea is to let the crappie population in Clinton Lake get bigger and make the lake more appealing to fishermen.

 

 

Capt. Williamson anticipates more fishermen getting to the lake as the weather turns nice. He implores anyone visiting Clinton Lake and the park itself to pick up trash. He says the adage, if you bring it in, take it out should always be in mind at Clinton Lake or your local recreation spot. 

Senate Republicans Discusses Package of Bills to Fight Crime, Reduce Fentanyl Deaths

STATE SENATE REPUBLICANS ARE CALLING FOR PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO FIGHT CRIME, EMPOWER VICTIMS AND REDUCE FENTANYL DEATHS. 

 

SENATE G-O-P LAWMAKERS HAVE SEVERAL BILLS FILED ADDRESSING CRIME FROM A VARIETY OF ANGLES. THEY INCLUDE ENHANCED CHARGES FOR DOMESTIC BATTERY OF SOMEONE 60 OR OLDER AND EXPANDING THE AVAILABILITY OF FENTANYL TEST STRIPS. ANOTHER, SPONSORED BY SENATOR SALLY TURNER OF BEASON RAISES THE PENALTIES FOR SELLING DRUGS CONTAINING FENTANYL.

 

 

OTHER BILLS MAKE IT A FELONY TO THREATEN A DAYCARE FACILITY OR WORKER AND REQUIRE CORONERS TO LIST FENTANYL-RELATED DEATHS AS "FENTANYL POISONING" INSTEAD OF "FENTANYL OVERDOSE" SINCE MANY PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THEY ARE INGESTING THE DANGEROUS ADDITIVE. SENATOR STEVE MCCLURE OF SPRINGFIELD.

 

 

New Program Offers Millions in In-Home Improvements

A NEW STATE PROGRAM OFFERS HOME IMPROVEMENT GRANTS TO LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS. 

 

MORE THAN 15 MILLION DOLLARS IS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE INITIATIVE SAYS ILLINOIS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SPOKESPERSON ANDREW FIELD.

 

 

FIELD SAYS THE GOAL IS TO KEEP QUALIFYING FAMILIES IN THEIR HOMES UNDER SAFE LIVING CONDITIONS.

 

 

THE “H-RAP” GRANTS WILL BE ADMINISTERED BY 36 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. PROJECTS COVERED INCLUDE MAKING A HOME ACCESSIBLE AND ADDRESSING SAFETY CONCERNS. 

 

MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: IHDA DOT ORG UNDER “COMMUNITY.”

Illinois Treasurer Announces New Online Property Auction

ILLINOIS TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS IS ANNOUNCING ANOTHER ONLINE UNCLAIMED PROPERTY AUCTION. 

 

THE AUCTION BEGINS NEXT WEEK, RUNNING FROM MAY FIRST THROUGH THE FIFTH. TREASURER FRERICHS SAYS PLENTY OF ITEMS WILL BE UP FOR BID. THEY INCLUDE:

 

 

THE PROPERTY UP FOR BID MAY FIRST THROUGH THE FIFTH COMES FROM ABANDONED SAFE DEPOSIT BOXES. ATTEMPTS ARE MADE TO RETURN THE ITEMS, BUT IF THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE AFTER SEVERAL YEARS, THEY GO UP FOR AUCTION SAYS TREASURER FRERICHS.

 

 

TO REGISTER AS A BIDDER AND PREVIEW THE AUCTION ITEMS, YOU CAN VISIT: I BID DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV. FROM THERE, SELECT “STOREFRONTS” AND THEN CHOOSE “ILLINOIS TREASURER.”

Importance of Hospital Labs

April 25th to May 1st, OSF Healthcare is honoring the lab departments across the state. 

 

Lab Departments in hospitals are at work 24/7 performing tests and getting clean and clear results to doctors. Renee Turczyn (Tur-jin) is the Lab Director at the OSF Healthcare location in Kewanee, IL and she talks about what your typical lab is responsible for...

 

 

There is a shortage of lab workers for hospitals statewide and specific need for Phlebotomists.

Warner Hospital Executives Present Budget to Clinton City Council

Warner Hospital and Health Services executives presented its yearly budget to the Clinton City Council last week.

 

CEO Paul Skowron told the Council this budget projects at nearly a half-million dollar positive bottom line. He points out the hospital recently added a new doctor to the family medicine facility and it accounts for the increase in the minimum wage.

 

 

Technological upgrades continue to be top of mind for Skowron. The hospital a decade ago took on the daunting task of overhauling its medical records into digital form. Now they have another major project on the horizon.

 

 

According to Skowron, this year will also feature some cosmetic improvements, including an overhaul of the emergency room and an additional entrance to the specialty clinic on the west side of the building, with a new parking lot.

 

 

Skowron points out the hospital roof, which is part of the original building, will need replacing this year.

 

A success from 2022, Skowron is pleased to report they were able to fill all the emergency room nurse positions, something they struggled with dating back to the early days of COVID.

 

Because the hospital is owned by the City of Clinton, the Clinton City Council will approve the proposed hospital budget in May. 

Central Illinois Lawmaker Has Mixed Reviews About Chicago Mayor-Elect's Appearance in Springfield

A central Illinois lawmaker has mixed reviews about last week's visit to the Capitol by Chicago mayor-elect Brandon Johnson. 

 

Sen. Sally Turner thought it was odd the Mayor of Chicago was invited to address the joint General Assembly. Outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot made a similar address when she was elected in 2019, but that was before Sen. Turner's time. 

 

 

 

 

The Lincoln Republican applauded the incoming Chicago leader for his ability to deliver an effective message but did not think the message itself was that appealing, particularly to the values of the downstate resident.

 

 

Many conservative lawmakers are skeptical the visit was truly introductory and feel it was a chance for the Mayor-elect to make a pitch to the Illinois legislature for a potential bailout of Chicago in the years ahead.

 

 

Sen. Turner hoped the Mayor would have addressed the drug trafficking that impacts downstate Illinois as a result of the lack of action in Chicago. 

Importance of Sunlight on Health

Spending time in the sun can be so helpful to a healthy body.

 

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 tells us sunlight is so important in regulating our body's functions.

 

 

Just 20 minutes in the sunlight is recommended per day and Dr. LaValle points out it also helps our bodies shut down in the dark at night.

 

 

If possible, getting a little bit of sunlight when the sun first comes up during the day can be even more effective for the body. Dr. LaValle explains it in a way, that energizes our bodies.

 

 

The most common benefit of sunlight is the Vitamin D it provides your body but Dr. LaValle says that shouldn't be the only source of Vitamin D we rely on, especially in the summertime when we're outside more and there's more sunlight available.

 

 

In addition to some Vitamin D supplements, you might consider some Vitamin A to help absorb that Vitamin D. Dr. LaValle also recommends adding magnesium to your daily supplements.

 

If you are finding yourself tired, Dr. LaValle recommends some adaptogens to go with your daily vitamins. 

Weekly Crop Report

CORN AND SOYBEAN PLANTING REMAINS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 

 

LAST WEEK WAS COOLER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL AND THERE WERE ABOUT FOUR DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

SEVEN PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS HEADED AND 78 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT, SEVEN PERCENT SHORT, 66 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 26 PERCENT SURPLUS.

USDA Rural Development Program Looks to Help Solve 'Food Desert' Problem

The issue of “food deserts” or lack of access to grocery stores or supermarkets continues to be an issue in many rural areas. But there is some federal assistance available to help alleviate the problem. Farah Ahmad serves as USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development.

 

 

For more information, visit rd.usda.gov and then search “Healthy Food Financing Initiative”.

Snowmelt Crest Impacting Mississippi River

Spring snowmelt to the north resulting in significant Mississippi River flooding concern downstream. Senior Service Hydrologist Matt Wilson is with the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities.

 

 

At Rock Island Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities, the river is now expected to crest in the 21-to-23 foot range during the early part of May. The record crest is 22.7 feet in 2019.

 

With little or no additional precipitation in the basin over the next few weeks, Wilson says the crest is expected to be near the lower end of the range.

IDPH Adopts CDC COVID Booster Recommendations

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS ADOPTING THE C-D-C'S RECENT GUIDANCE ON THE COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOT. 

 

FEDERAL OFFICIALS ARE RECOMMENDING A SECOND DOSE OF THE COVID-19 BIVALENT BOOSTER, WHICH PROTECTS AGAINST SOME OF THE LATEST STRAINS OF THE VIRUS. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MIKE CLAFFEY EXPLAINS WHO THIS APPLIES TO:

 

 

IT'S ALSO RECOMMENDED THAT THOSE SIX AND OLDER WHO ARE IMMUNOCOMPROMISED GET AN ADDITIONAL BIVALENT BOOSTER IF IT'S BEEN AT LEAST TWO MONTHS SINCE THEIR INITIAL DOSE.

 

 

ABOUT 20 PERCENT OF ILLINOIS' TOTAL POPULATION HAS RECEIVED THIS BOOSTER, ALTHOUGH THAT NUMBER IS NEARLY 50 PERCENT AMONG SENIORS.

Wet Outlook Takes Us Into Summer

A wet outlook will take us into the summer months.

 

That's according to Brian Bumgardner at the National Weather Service in Lincoln who also notes temperature outlooks are trending for above-normal.

 

 

According to Bumgardner, as we get into May, temperatures obviously continue to increase. He calls May an overall pleasant month, historically.

 

 

For now, the Climate Prediction Center has the area trending for a slightly above-normal precipitation signal. For now, Bumgardner indicates we're trending to a pretty typical summer.

 

 

Severe weather tends to be at its peak in May and June. Because of the unpredictable nature of severe weather, Bumgardner says pinpointing the likelihood of severe weather in the outlook is difficult.

Social Security Explains Dates of Benefit Payments

If you receive Social Security benefits and have ever wondered how the dates of your payments are determined, there is a method to that.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security tells Regional Radiok, for most it is by the birthday of the Social Security number holder, and payments will be made on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Wednesday of the month.

 

 

If the birthday is the 1st through the 10th of the month, the payment date will be the 2nd Wednesday of the month. If the birthday is the 11th through the 20th, the payment date will be the 3rd Wednesday of the month. If the birthday is the 21st through the 31st, the payment date will be the 4th Wednesday of the month.

 

 

The payment schedule is available online at www.ssa.gov/pubs.  Then type “calendar” in the filter box.

Gov. Pritzker Announces $16-Million in Funding for Clean Energy Wrokforce Programs

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING 16 MILLION DOLLARS IN FUNDING FOR CLEAN ENERGY WORKFORCE PROGRAMS. 

 

10 MILLION DOLLARS IS EARMARKED FOR THE CLIMATE WORKS PRE-APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM, WHICH SETS PARTICIPANTS UP FOR A CAREER IN THE CLEAN ENERGY CONSTRUCTION TRADES SAYS JASON HORWITZ WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY.

 

 

THE REMAINING SIX MILLION WILL GO TOWARDS THE BARRIER REDUCTION PROGRAM, WHICH SUPPORTS APPRENTICES STUGGLING TO STAY IN THE PROGRAM BECAUSE OF THINGS LIKE LACK OF TRANSPORTATION AND THE COST OF TOOLS AND BOOKS.

 

 

INTERESTED GROUPS CAN VISIT THE WEBSITE: DCEO DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV FOR MORE INFORMATION. FUNDING IS ALSO AVAILABLE TO HELP LOW INCOME APPRENTICESHIP STUDENTS WITH BOOK AND TOOL COSTS AS WELL AS TRANSPORTATION AND CHILD CARE THROUGH THE BARRIER REDUCTION PROGRAM.

Extension Educator Highlights Types of Mulch

A UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION HORTICULTURE EDUCATOR IS OFFERING SOME ADVICE FOR SELECTING THE BEST MULCH FOR YOUR GARDEN.

 

MULCH CAN HELP MODERATE SOIL TEMPERATURES, REDUCE WEEDS AND LOOKS NICE OVERALL. THE EXTENSION’S NICOLE FLOWERS-KIMMERLE (kim-er-lee) SAYS THERE ARE FOUR TYPES: LIVING, SYNTHETIC, ORGANIC AND INORGANIC:

 

 

STONES ARE COSTLIER UP FRONT BUT LAST LONGER AND DO NOT INCREASE SOIL TEMPS IN THE SUMMER. FLOWERS-KIMMERLE SAYS SYNTHETIC MULCH LIKE LANDSCAPE FABRIC IS FINE FOR THE SHORT TERM, BUT THE BEST OVERALL MULCH CHOICE FOR EXPENSE AND EFFECTIVENESS IS WOOD CHIPS.

 

 

GROUND COVER PLANTS ARE CONSIDERED A LIVING MULCH, WHICH CAN COMPETE FOR RESOURCES LIKE WATER AND NUTRIENTS. THE LAST TYPE IS INORGANIC MULCH WHICH INCLUDES STONES AND CONCRETE PAVERS. FLOWERS-KIMMERLE SAYS THEY COST MORE UP FRONT BUT LAST LONGER.

Effort to Help with Ag Labor Shortage

Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert promoting the Illinois Agricultural Food Alliance’s Ag Ignite Effort.

 

 

You can learn more at ilagrifood.org.

Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig

THE ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION IS HIGHLIGHTING THE IMPORTANCE OF CALLING JULIE BEFORE YOU DIG. 

 

JULIE IS A FREE SERVICE, AND CALLING 8-1-1 AT LEAST TWO DAYS BEFORE YOU BEGIN A YARD OR EXCAVATION PROJECT IS REQUIRED BY LAW SAYS THE I-C-C'S MATT SMITH.

 

 

ONCE YOU CALL, JULIE WILL NOTIFY THE RESPECTIVE UTILITIES WHICH WILL COME OUT AND FLAG POTENTIALLY AFFECTED LINES. SMITH SAYS IF YOU HIT AN UNDERGROUND POWER LINE YOU COULD BE INJURED OR CAUSE A NEIGHBORHOOD OUTAGE. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER HAS DECLARED APRIL ILLINOIS SAFE DIGGING MONTH.

 

 

YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT JULIE AND DIGGING ON YOUR PROPERTY ONLINE AT: ILLINOIS THE NUMBER "1" CALL DOT COM.

Bill Banning Indoor Vaping Making Progress

A BILL BANNING INDOOR VAPING CONTINUES TO MAKE PROGRESS IN THE ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY. 

 

THE MEASURE UPDATES THE SMOKE FREE ILLINOIS ACT TO BAN VAPES AND E-CIGARETTES IN INDOOR PUBLIC SPACES LIKE BARS AND RESTAURANTS. IT'S STRONGLY SUPPORTED BY THE AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION. THE GROUP'S KRISTINA HAMILTON:

 

 

THE BILL HAS ALREADY PASSED THE SENATE AND NOW AWAITS A VOTE IN THE HOUSE.

Rep. Caulkins Critical of Illinois Supreme Court Justices For Not Recusing Themselves in Assault Weapons Ban Case

A central Illinois lawmaker is critical of two Illinois Supreme Court Justices who refuse to recuse themselves from the assault weapons ban appeal that will be heard before them next month.

 

State Representative Dan Caulkins says the two justices, Mary Kay O’Brien and Elizabeth Rochford, both Democrats, should recuse themselves from the case or the court disqualify them from participating.

 

 

The Decatur Republican says the Justices are proving they are political and they are going along with the agenda of Illinois Democrats. 

 

He also believes the other Justices on the Illinois Supreme Court will be swayed in this decision because they want access to Gov. JB Pritzker's millions of dollars in support for their next re-election bid. 

Participation in IHSA e-Sports State Tournament Series Growing

The IHSA eSports state tournament series is growing. The inaugural year had 124 schools and that has risen to 160 this year says the IHSA’s Dan Le.


 

The sectionals are this weekend with the state finals next weekend at Evergreen Park High School.

 

Competitions include a Team Game involving more than three students from one school playing against another school.

 

Individual or Small Group Game includes three or less students from one school playing against student(s) from another school.

 

Team Games are Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Crew Battle.

 

The Individual Game is FIFA.

 

Small Group Games are Rocket League and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Singles.

Illinois Lawmakers React to Brandon Jones Statehouse Address

CHICAGO MAYOR-ELECT BRANDON JOHNSON SPOKE BEFORE ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS WEDNESDAY AND WAS MET WITH PLENTY OF CHEERS AND SOME JEERS.

 

MAYOR-ELECT JOHNSON ADDRESSED THE HOUSE AND SENATE, NOTING THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CITY TO ILLINOIS AND PLEDGING A SPIRIT OF UNITY. SENATE PRESIDENT DON HARMON MET WITH HIM PERSONALLY:

 

 

REPUBLICANS, LIKE REPRESENTATIVE ANDREW CHESNEY OF FREEPORT ARE WARNING THAT MAYOR-ELECT JOHNSON’S PROGRESSIVE POLICIES WILL HARM ALL OF ILLINOIS.

 

DURING HIS ADDRESS TO THE HOUSE AND SENATE, JOHNSON CALLED FOR UNITY, STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF CHICAGO TO THE STATE AND THE NEED TO CREATE A TRAUMA RESPONSE NETWORK AT SCHOOLS THAT SEE THE MOST VIOLENCE.

Secretary of Transportation Weighs In On AM Radio

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg questioned about AM radio remaining in the dash of American-made cars and trucks. He was asked about the issue during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Washington Watch event this week.

 

 

The National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations is sending a "Radio In the Dash" survey to its AM member-stations. The group hopes to use the collected data to more accurately craft messaging and develop actionable items to keep AM in the dash of American-made vehicles.

Scammers Using Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is seeing an increasing number of scammers utilizing the technology. 

 

With AI image generators, you can type in a few words describing the image you want to be created, and the AI generates an image based on your text. It’s valuable technology, but an investigator with the Better Business Bureau says scammers can abuse it to create images to back up their stories, products, or outright lies. Don O’Brien says these images can be surprisingly realistic.

 

 

Just because something is shared widely on social media does not mean it’s real. For example, an AI-generated photo of Pope Francis in a designer puffer jacket recently went viral. A deepfake video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy telling his soldiers to surrender was also widely circulated on social media. O’ Brien reminds you should always do your due diligence before you purchase or reshare something you saw on social media.

Unfounded Threat in Clinton Friday Afternoon Causes Stir in Community

A recent trend of swatting was felt in Clinton on Friday afternoon.

 

Just before 2:45 p.m. on Friday,  the Clinton Police Department received an emergency call of a violent act in progress at a Clinton residence creating an emergency response from local law enforcement and emergency responders. 

 

The ensuing response concluded the circumstances to be deemed unfounded and further investigation into the details of the call led authorities to conclude this was a swatting incident. 

 

The term “swatting” refers to a criminal harassment tactic of deceiving an emergency service - via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher - into sending a police or emergency service response team to another person's address, school, or business. 

 

This is triggered by false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, or hostage situation, or a false report of a mental health emergency, such as reporting that a person is allegedly suicidal or homicidal and may or may not be armed, among other things. 

 

Clinton Police were assisted by the Dewitt County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Police. 

 

Chief Ben Lowers in a statement Friday said “This trend is an extremely dangerous and sometimes life-endangering prank that places first responders and the general public at great risk. We are thankful for the outcome in this matter and extremely grateful for the outpouring of support and prompt response from the assisting agencies.”

 

Clinton schools delayed the release of students following the school day for about 20 minutes on Friday due to the incident.

 

The investigation is ongoing and no other information will be released at this time.

Clinton Community Education Foundation Cancels 2023 'Derby Day' Fundraiser

A Clinton non-profit is pushing pause on its biggest fundraiser that was set for next month.

 

Ruth Lowers is the President of the Clinton Community Education Foundation and tells Regional Radio because of a lack of ticket sales and sponsorships to this point in the planning process, they are going to pause this year's fundraiser that centers around the running of the Kentucky Derby.

 

 

'Derby Day' is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the CCEF and helps them fund things like classroom grants and scholarships among other areas of support the CCEF offers the school district. Lowers says it will be a wait-and-see as to how much this impacts their ability to continue those supports.

 

 

While it isn't necessarily a driving factor in the postponement of this year's 'Derby Day' event, Lowers is noticing volunteerism is falling off and that is putting a strain on groups like the CCEF or the Celebrate Clinton Association, which she is also involved in.

 

 

If you enjoyed the 'Derby Day' fundraiser and are disappointed to see it go away this spring, Lowers hopes you'll consider making a donation or becoming involved in the CCEF. 

 

You can learn more about both by visiting ccef15.org or finding the group on Facebook. 

Clinton Athletic Booster Club Reshuffles

The Clinton Athletic Booster Club will have new leadership later this calendar year.

 

Outgoing Athletic Booster Club President Brian Ennis says it is time for him to step aside and let new leadership take over. He explains there are some new names on the Board and those with experience stepping up.

 

 

According to Ennis, the Boosters have raised close to, if not, a million dollars in his 15 years for the athletic programs of the school district. He indicates the new board will look to bring back the very popular 'Maroon Madness' event.

 

 

Ennis sends a heartfelt thank you to the entire community that has stepped up over the years to support the athletic boosters. 

 

He also thanks his wife, Tammie, who has been with him at meetings and events the entire time and appreciates her support of him and the Boosters. 

National Weather Service Looking for Rain Reporters

If you've ever been curious about how much rain falls in your neighborhood compared to those across town, perhaps becoming a cocorahs rain reporter would be a good way to find out.

 

The National Weather Service uses the website, cocorahs.org to help identify rainfall totals for weather systems that roll through. John Bumgardner at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates they are looking for reporters in southeast Illinois.

 

 

The process to become a cocorahs reporter is simple. According to Bumgardner, you register online and after a brief conversation with a National Weather Service official, a rain gauge is sent your way with instructions on how to report your rainfall totals.

 

 

Bumgardner appreciates those individuals that are already observers and making reports to the National Weather Service. You again can learn more at cocorahs.org.

Republicans Say They Are Being Left Out of Budget Process

The clock is ticking on budget negotiations at the state house and Republicans are again saying they have been getting ignored as about a month remains in the process. Norine Hammond is the Chief Budget Negotiator for the House Republicans and says she hasn’t been involved in any recent discussions.

 

 

Speaker of the House Chris Welch says having a budget by May 19th remains the goal.

More Students Will Have Access to Health Services at School with New Federal Dollars

MORE ILLINOIS STUDENTS WILL HAVE ACCESS TO HEALTH SERVICES AT SCHOOL THANKS TO ADDITIONAL FEDERAL MONEY COMING TO THE STATE. 

 

THE ILLINOIS SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH SERVICES PROGRAM WILL BE EXPANDING TO INCLUDE ALL MEDICAID-ENROLLED CHILDREN SAYS HEALTHCARE AND FAMILY SERVICES SPOKESPERSON EVAN FAZIO.

 

 

FAZIO SAYS CARE INCLUDES PHYSICAL THERAPY, PREVENTATIVE CARE, BEHAVIORAL HEALTH NEEDS AND MORE.

 

 

PREVIOUSLY, THE CARE WAS ONLY AVAILABLE TO KIDS RECEIVING MEDICAID WHO WERE LEARNING UNDER AN INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN OR I-E-P. FAZIO SAYS FEDERAL BACKING WILL ALSO HELP EASE FINANCIAL STRAIN ON SCHOOLS.

House Republicans Sounding Alarm on Growing Cost of Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults Program

HOUSE REPUBLICANS ARE SOUNDING AN ALARM ABOUT THE RISING COST OF THE STATE’S HEALTH BENEFITS FOR IMMIGRANT ADULTS PROGRAM 

 

THE PROGRAM SERVES UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS IN ILLINOIS AGES 42 AND OLDER. ENROLLMENT HAS BEEN HIGHER THAN EXPECTED AND WILL REQUIRE SUBSTANTIAL FUNDING IN THE NEW BUDGET YEAR SAYS REPRESENTATIVE NORINE HAMMOND OF MACOMB.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE RYAN SPAIN OF PEORIA SAYS THERE NEEDS TO BE A PAUSE ON THE PROGRAM, AND AN AUDIT.

 

 

THE PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO SERVE IMMIGRANTS WHO AREN’T ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAID BECAUSE OF THEIR STATUS AND IS FUNDED ENTIRELY BY THE STATE. 

 

SOME MEMBERS OF THE LATINO LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS ARE REPORTEDLY HOPING TO EXPAND COVERAGE TO INCLUDE YOUNGER ADULTS.

Lost 'National Coach of the Year' Ring Returned to Springfield Hall of Fame Football Coach

The winningest football coach in Illinois history is putting another ring on his finger.

 

It's a ring that former Sacred Heart Griffin's coach Ken Leonard had while visiting his brother in Australia.

 

But on his way back, he noticed his 2006 National Coach of the Year ring in a Texas airport was missing. That was three years ago, but this week a woman in Texas found the ring in a Texas mall elevator. And the search was on...

 

 

Leonard said the woman posted a picture of the ring on a Springfield page, and one of his former players sent him the post. The six-time state champion said the woman mailed him the ring, and he gave her a monetary reward for her efforts.

Clinton City Council Puts Annual Budget on File

The Clinton City Council put on file its Fiscal Year 24 budget at Tuesday night's Clinton City Council meeting.

 

City Treasurer Clint Lichtenwalter told the Council expenses are up by almost $1.5-million. He indicates expenses like a new fire truck and new police squad cars are reasons why. He also notes there is a dip into reserves totaling roughly $ 1.2 million.

 

 

Despite the dip into reserves this year, there are still roughly 13 months of operating expenses on hand for the City. Water and sewer rates will increase this year.

 

 

Lichtenwalter points to the continued good news the pension funds for police and fire remain well-funded, trending better than most communities in Illinois.

 

 

Commissioner John Wise addressed the water rates and indicates they have expenses for upgrades coming up they will have to address. He points out there will be a new water tower coming to Clinton and that largely falls under the COVID dollars the city received.

 

 

Warner Hospital and Health Services also presented its budget to the City Council Tuesday night. The Council will vote on both budgets at its May meeting. 

Warner Library Book Sale This Weekend

Clinton's Warner Library is hosting its bi-annual book sale this weekend.

 

The spring book sale comes up this weekend. It's the first of two sales for the year. Executive Director Bobbi Perryman indicates the book sale is this Friday and Saturday in the Revere Room of the library.

 

 

The Friends of the Warner Library host the book sale. Perryman explains the funds from the sale benefit the summer reading club and other library programs. 

 

 

vwarner.org has more information on the book sale. There are yard signs throughout the community or Perryman says you can find the library on Facebook. 

NAFB Pushing to Keep AM Radio on Car Dash

A push to keep AM radio in the dash of all American-made vehicles. That’s the push for the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. Right now it’s about raising awareness says NAFB Executive Director Tom Brand.

 

 

The AM radio issue is the subject of discussion among farm broadcasters at this week’s NAFB Washington Watch Session.

State Contract Talks Underway With Largest Union

The state is in the middle of contact negotiations with its’ largest employee union. AFSCME represents about 35,000 workers and one of the state’s Deputy Governor for Budget and Economy Andy Manar says talks are underway.

 

 

Manar is a former state lawmaker.

Sen. Durbin Frustrated With Leaked Documents

A 21-year-old Air National Guardsman faces federal charges for leaking classified documents, and an Illinois Senior Senator is frustrated.

 

Democratic Whip Dick Dubin says this is not the first-time classified documents were leaked to the public.

 

 

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice charged Jack Teixeira for allegedly leaking hundreds of intelligence documents about Russian efforts in Ukraine. Federal prosecutors say Teixeira allegedly leaked the documents on Discord's gaming chat site. Teixeira was serving in the Massachusetts Air National Guard when the documents were leaked.

Farm Cooperatives Discuss Farm Bill Priorities

Talking Farm Bill priorities. That’s what many ag groups are doing, including the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. The organization’s president is Chuck Connor.

 

 

Connor is from Indiana. He spoke with the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Washington Watch group this week.

Piatt County Mental Health Center Announces Program Coming to DeWitt County This Summer

A Piatt County non-profit announced a successful program will be coming to DeWitt County starting this July.

 

The Recovery Oriented System of Care, or ROSC, is a program that has been up and running in Piatt County for a couple of years now. On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Piatt County Mental Health Center Executive Director Tony Kirkman announced to Regional Radio, they have secured a grant that will allow them to start this program in DeWitt County this summer.

 

 

According to Kirkman, the ROSC approach brings a different philosophy to the road to recovery. He explains it brings those with experience in the journey of recovery alongside an individual that is in recovery. Kirkman adds this program became something he felt compelled to offer to the community when the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition disbanded last year. 

 

 

For Kirkman, he needs the recovery community in DeWitt County not only to step up to the table but to lead the charge in this effort. While sometimes shuffled away from the discussion, he hopes to see the recovery community be the leaders in this effort and allow their lived experience to guide the start of this program.

 

 

The coalition will face similar challenges to that in Piatt County. Kirkman says they have faced community-driven activities that may not have the presence of alcohol, or identifying gaps in services and other things.

 

 

To get involved in the coalition, you can visit piattmhc.org or contact Kirkman at the Piatt County Mental Health Center by calling 217-762-5371. He also directs those interested to contact the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department. 

Neighborhood Care Center Touts Recognizable Wrapping

A Clinton non-profit recently acquired a new van and now it will be hard to miss those making their way around the community in it.

 

ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds helped the Neighborhood Care Center in Clinton acquire a new van earlier this year and Executive Director, Cody Monkman on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday told Regional Radio, the van now has some sharp wrapping, making it stand out.

 

 

According to Monkman, the van is well-designed and feels it gives off the feeling of a network. He explains many people want to know what the Neighborhood Care Center does and what they're all about. He feels it gets the message across.

 

 

Monkman hopes by May the NCC van will be on the streets of Clinton regularly. For now, they await some issues with it being taken care of before it goes into full-time use.

 

 

April So Far - Trending Warmer, Still Dry

Thanks to a warm week last week, April is trending to be above normal for temperatures. 

 

John Bumgardner with the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates the start of April has been dry and while there are no areas of concern on the drought monitor, soil moisture levels are a bit of a concern.

 

 

Thanks to warm weather last week, we're trending above normal for temperatures but the next few weeks are looking to be below normal for temperatures and Bumgardner anticipates that leveling off the monthly temperature.

 

 

Looking ahead, May could very well be wet with temperatures right about normal. We'll hear more from Bumgardner on the outlook for May in the days ahead on Regional Radio. 

This is Work Zone Awareness Week

THIS IS WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK WITH AN EMPHASIS ON EVERYONE DOING THEIR PART TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE. 

 

MOST WORK ZONE CRASHES OCCUR BECAUSE DRIVERS AREN’T FOCUSING ON THE ROAD SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION HIGHWAY MAINTAINER DON BRADLEY. HE SHOULD KNOW, HE’S BEEN HIT TWICE.

 

 

HUFFMAN SAYS ROAD CONSTRUCTION INCLUDES EVERYTHING FROM CREWS FILLING POTHOLES TO A MAJOR HIGHWAY REHAB PROJECT, SO IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WHEN YOU SEE ORANGE, SLOW DOWN AND SAVE LIVES.

 

 

EACH YEAR MORE THAN SIX THOUSAND VEHICLE CRASHES OCCUR IN ILLINOIS WORK ZONES. IN 2022, 32 PEOPLE DIED AS A RESULT INCLUDING TWO WORKERS.

Gov. Pritzker Rallying Advocates for Improvements in Early Childhood Education

ADVOCATES RALLIED AT THE STATE CAPITOL TUESDAY IN SUPPORT OF THE GOVERNOR’S “SMART START” EARLY CHILDHOOD INITIATIVE. 

 

GROUPS LIKE “RAISING ILLINOIS” DESCENDED ON THE STATEHOUSE TO PUSH FOR HIGHER WAGES FOR CHILDCARE PROVIDERS AND AN EXPANSION OF EARLY INVENTION SERVICES AND HOME VISITING PROGRAMS. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SPOKE TO THE CROWD:

 

 

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JULIANA STRATTON SPOKE TO THE CROWD....

 

 

“SMART START” IS PART OF THE GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED BUDGET. HE AND LAWMAKERS ARE WORKING TO COME UP WITH A FINAL SPENDING PLAN.

Illinois Waterway Lock and Dam Projects

An update on Lock and Dam projects this spring and summer. Plenty of work is on the docket.

 

 

Tom Heinold is with the US Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District.

Mild Temperatures to Temporarily Return This Week

If you were hoping for more spring-like temperatures like last week, the outlook for the next few weeks is going to leave you frustrated.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, John Bumgardner from the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio there will be a short reprieve from the cooler temperatures of the last few days.

 

 

With some cooler-than-normal temperatures expected for this weekend, Bumgardner indicates the trends are offering hope for a smooth transition to spring though things will remain cool heading through the rest of the month.

 

 

April has been dry so far. It's also well above normal for temperatures but Bumgardner says with below-normal temperatures on the way, it's likely we end up only slightly above normal at the end of the month. We'll have more later this week on April so far Regional Radio.

State of Illinois Potential Intervention With Bloomington Airport Taxation Has Local Lawmaker Concerned

A central Illinois airport could increase its tax base if action is taken at the State level and that has a local lawmaker concerned.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, State Representative Dan Caulkins told Regional Radio the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington could expand its tax base to include the entirety of Mclean County. While this would reduce taxes for Bloomington-Normal residents, it would increase taxes for the rest of McLean County. 

 

 

Rep. Caulkins disagrees with this legislation because he believes it should be an issue taken up with the voters of McLean County. He believes the airport authority is circumventing the voters because they know this proposal would be shot down.

 

 

The Decatur Republican is hoping to postpone hearings on this issue to allow time to get people in McLean County the opportunity to get to Springfield to have their voices heard on the issue. 

Weekly Crop Report

ILLINOIS FARMERS HAVE STARTED PLANTING CORN AND SOYBEANS. 

 

IT WAS A DRY WEEK AND FARMERS HAD NEARLY SIX DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

SCHLEUSENER SAYS THREE PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT IS HEADING.

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 11 PERCENT SHORT, 63 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 25 PERCENT SURPLUS.

Senate Republicans Propose Bills to Attract, Keep Business in Illinois

REPUBLICANS IN THE ILLINOIS SENATE ARE PUSHING FOR LEGISLATION TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE G-O-P IS CALLING FOR PASSAGE OF A NUMBER OF BILLS AIMED AT MAKING THE STATE MORE BUSINESS FRIENDLY. THAT INCLUDES LOWERING THE FILING FEE FOR LIMITED LIABILITY CORPORATIONS BY 50 PERCENT AND SETTING UP A RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT SAYS SENATOR DON DEWITTE OF SAINT CHARLES.

 

 

SENATOR SETH LEWIS OF BARTLETT WANTS TO CREATE A TAX CREDIT FOR BUSINESSES OF ANY SIZE BASED ON HOW LONG THEY'VE BEEN IN ILLINOIS AND HOW MANY PEOPLE THEY EMPLOY.

 

 

REPUBLICAN SENATORS ALSO WANT TO ELIMINATE THE STATE FRANCHISE TAX AND CREATE TAX CREDITS FOR BUSINESSES OF ANY SIZE BASED ON HOW LONG THEY HAVE BEEN IN ILLINOIS AND THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES.

Gov. Pritzker Touts Illinois' Fiscal Health in New York

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER WAS IN NEW YORK TODAY (MONDAY) HOSTING AN INVESTOR MEETING AND TOUTING IMPROVEMENTS IN THE STATE'S FINANCES.

 

THE MEETING WAS HELD IN ANTICIPATION OF THE STATE'S UPCOMING GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND SALE. THE GOVERNOR SPOKE TO THE CROWD ABOUT THE NUMEROUS STRIDES ILLINOIS HAS MADE FISCALLY. THAT INCLUDES EIGHT CREDIT UPGRADES.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER ALSO TALKED ABOUT SHORING UP THE STATE'S RAINY DAY FUND FROM A LOW OF 60 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO NEARLY TWO BILLION NOW.

 

 

THE EVENT CAME IN ANTICIPATION OF THE STATE'S UPCOMING GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND SALE.

Field Work Underway, Heavy Machinery on Roadways

Fieldwork started in earnest last week in many parts of the state and that brings the need to be cautious as tractors and cars begin to share the roadways.

 

Sangamon County Sherriff Jack Campbell says cut down the distractions, never text and drive and increase your patience when behind large farm equipment.

 

 

Road construction season is also underway.

National Telecommunicators Week Highlights Dispatchers

National Telecommunicators Week is celebrated in April and a local administrator is celebrating his staff and promoting the work of those in the field.

 

Tony Harris is the DeWitt County 9-1-1 Coordinator and indicates telecommunicators are unseen voices that are in contact with everyone involved in an emergency.

 

 

When an officer or first responder heads to a scene that requires emergency personnel, oftentimes they may not know what they are walking into and it is pivotal that dispatchers make sure those individuals have all the necessary information for their protection.

 

 

Like many professions, telecommunicators are in high demand right now. Harris indicates while many people coming out of high school might focus on becoming an EMT or a police officer, he hopes to see young people consider being a dispatcher.

 

 

According to Harris, the DeWitt County 9-1-1 office has openings and has battled trying to find workers interested in the job. Being a telecommunicator is a difficult but rewarding job and it takes a special type of person to be successful at it.

 

 

Harris indicates they have been working to rally community support to provide gifts for their dispatchers and the work they do. When they are short-staffed, that means everyone has to pick up the slack and there have been a lot of long hours for those individuals lately. 

Social Security and Children With Disabilities

Social Security’s SSI program, or supplemental security income, provides payments to children with disabilities whose families have limited income and resources. 

 

Jack Myers with Social Security points out there are a few thresholds that must be met to qualify. A child must have a medical condition or conditions, that results in marked and severe functional limitations. This means the condition or conditions must very seriously limit the child’s activities. Additionally, the child’s condition or conditions must be expected to last for at least a year or result in death. 

 

 

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

 

 

Learn more by finding the publication 'Benefits for Children With Disabilities' available at www.ssa.gov or at www.ssa.gov/ssikids.

Tax Filing Deadline Tuesday

The IRS Filing Deadline is Tuesday and the IRS wants you to be on the lookout for scams as you await your tax return. Lauren Winebrenner of the Internal Revenue Service talks about the annual Dirty Dozen scams as documented each year by the IRS.

 

 

Remember, the IRS will not call, text or email you to initiate contact regarding your taxes.

Last Week Was Dry in Illinois

IT WAS AN UNUSUALLY DRY APRIL WEEK IN ILLINOIS. 

 

NO AREA OF THE STATE SAW ANY MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION THIS PAST WEEK, WHICH IS QUITE A RARITY SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST TRENT FORD. HUMIDITY WAS ALSO LOWER THAN NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

 

 

TEMPERATURES OVER THE PAST SEVEN DAYS WERE FOUR TO 15 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL, WITH MOST OF THE STATE HITTING THE 80'S ON MULTIPLE DAYS.

 

 

DESPITE THE DRY WEEK, THE LATEST U-S DROUGHT MONITOR SHOWS NO AREAS OF CONCERN IN ILLINOIS.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Human Services Grants

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING 14 MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS TO HUMAN SERVICE PROVIDERS AROUND THE STATE. 

 

THE MONEY IS GOING TO 70 GROUPS INCLUDING THE ASSOCIATION HOUSE OF CHICAGO, THE SURVIVOR EMPOWERMENT CENTER IN CARBONDALE AND THE STEPPING STONES CENTER IN JOLIET SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

THE GRANTS WILL HELP PAY FOR MUCH-NEEDED INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS AT PROVIDER FACILITIES INCLUDING SPRINKLER SYSTEMS, REMODELING BATHROOMS, AND REPLACING WINDOWS.

 

 

PROVIDERS RECEIVING THE MONEY INCLUDE THE CHRISTIAN COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION IN TAYLORVILLE, THE Y-M-C-A OF METROPOLITAN CHICAGO, RESIDENTIAL OPTIONS IN MADISON COUNTY AND THE ARC OF THE QUAD CITIES AREA IN ROCK ISLAND.

Extension Horticulture Expert Highlights Garden Work for This Time of Year

THESE WARM TEMPERATURES HAVE MANY GARDNERS OUT IN THE YARD ALREADY. HERE'S WHAT YOU MAY WANT TO TACKLE THIS TIME OF YEAR ACCORDING TO A UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION HORTICULTURE EXPERT. 

 

NOW IS A GOOD TIME FOR GARDEN CLEAN-UP, CUTTING BACK ORNAMENTAL GRASSES AND PRUNING ROSES SAYS THE EXTENSION'S CHRIS ENROTH.

 

 

ENROTH ALSO RECOMMENDS GETTING COOLER-WEATHER VEGETABLES LIKE LETTUCE, BROCCOLI AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS PLANTED. HE NOTES IT'S TOO EARLY FOR OTHER PLANTS.

 

 

ENROTH SAYS IT'S PROBABLY TOO LATE TO PUT DOWN CRAB GRASS HERBICIDE IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AND NOT MUCH TIME IS LEFT IN CENTRAL AND NORTHERN ILLINOIS.

Peterson Insurance Takes in Yearly Awards

A Clinton insurance agency is celebrating the recognition it recently received.

 

The Peterson Insurance Agency in Clinton was recently awarded several agency awards. Owner Jay Peterson tells Regional Radio it was at the Pekin Insurance awards banquet held earlier this year.

 

 

Peterson Insurance is located in downtown Clinton at 117 West Main Street. Get more information by calling 217-935-6605 or visit peterson.insurance. 

IDOT Asking for Participation in New Travel Survey

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS ASKING THE PUBLIC TO TAKE A NEW TRAVELER OPINION SURVEY. 

 

I-DOT IS OUT WITH IT'S ANNUAL QUESTIONNAIRE, LOOKING FOR YOUR THOUGHTS ON EVERYTHING TO STATE REST AREAS TO THE AGENCY'S WEBSITE SAYS SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL. AS WELL AS:

 

 

YOU CAN TAKE THE SURVEY VIA THE WEBSITE: IDOT DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

Weekly Weather Summary

It was as spring as spring could be this week in central Illinois. Cooler temperatures are on the way though says State Climatologist Trent Ford

 

 

Severe Weather Possible Across Central Illinois Saturday Night

The National Weather Service in Lincoln says thunderstorms are expected to move into central IL from the west this evening.

 

Some of the storms could be severe, with damaging wind and large hail the primary hazards.

 

Make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings and know where to go if severe weather threatens.   Stay tuned to the Miller Media Group radio stations and dewittdailynews.com for any watches or warnings as they're issued 24/7.

Community Action Adding Online Auction to Annual 'Cheeseburger in Paradise' Fundraiser

A central Illinois non-profit is inviting its communities to participate in an online auction that is an extension of its biggest fundraiser that comes up next weekend.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Director of Agency Development at Community Action, Breann Titus told Regional Radio the agency's upcoming Cheeseburger in Paradise kicked off its first online auction Wednesday morning.

 

 

Titus reminds Cheeseburger in Paradise is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Community Action. It's a Jimmy Buffet-themed gathering of 400 to 500 of their supporters from across its service area with food and drinks served throughout the night.

 

 

Cheeseburger in Paradise is a great opportunity for Community Action to raise money that can go towards any area of its budget that might need an infusion of funding. Titus explains because they are mostly funded by grant dollars, those funds have to be used for specific purposes.

 

 

According to Titus, they are going to seek to focus on getting clients for cancer treatments out of town. She explains they can offer that transportation currently but it's $75 a trip. While the agency still loses money on that ride, most of its clients still can't afford it.

 

 

Last year's Cheeseburger in Paradise was a banner year for the event, raising nearly double what it typically averages. The excursions and trips they offered in the auction portion of the evening helped increase the money raised. Titus points out, those are back again this year and she is looking forward to matching, if not exceeding, last year's money raised.

 

Find all the online auction items available by finding Community Action on Facebook or visiting capcil.info and finding the live online auction tab just down from the agency header on the home page. 

Sharing Road During Planting Season

Plenty of heavy machinery on the roadway with planting season underway. It’s also the start of road construction season says Illinois Farm Bureau Assistant Director of Transportation and Infrastructure Rodney Knittel (hard k)

 

 

April is also Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Illinois.

Physical Benefits of Gardening

A physical therapist at OSF HealthCare in Alton says a low-impact workout through gardening may be the perfect exercise for you. Kelly Bogowith (BAH-go-with) says planting roots – literally – is the jump-start much needed after being cooped up during colder temperatures. She gives some examples:

 

 

As for the benefits, she says reaching for flowers promotes flexibility. Hauling that wheelbarrow or lifting a dirt-filled shovel builds muscles and endurance. And being on your hands and knees promotes balance. But like any exercise, Bogowith warns you can overdo it.

Clinton Juvenile Arrested After Reports of Carrying a Gun Near CES

A Clinton juvenile was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after reports of carrying a handgun in the after-school hours near Clinton Elementary School.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers tells Regional Radio officers were responding to a male suspect with two female suspects and the male suspect was alleged to have a handgun in his waistband.

 

 

Chief Lowers applauds the individuals that made the call to 9-1-1 and provided very good descriptions of the suspects and kept the dispatchers informed of the suspect's whereabouts.

 

 

In a statement to the community on Wednesday night, Clinton School Superintendent Curt Nettles applauded the efforts of Chief Lowers, School Resource Officer Mike Bennett, and the law enforcement partners of the community that keep the schools and community safe. 

 

Nettles is grateful the incident was not an incident of someone seeking to do harm to the school and like Chief Lowers, implores families to be vigilant in their watch for suspicious activity. 

 

Nettles added he has always had the utmost confidence in local law enforcement officials and appreciated their efforts on Wednesday. 

Tickets Still Available For Harlem Wizards Event Saturday in Clinton

The Vault in Clinton is inviting you out for a night of family fun entertainment.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Executive Director Tammy Wilson told Regional Radio the Harlem Wizards are similar to the Harlem Globetrotters and are very engaging and bring a lot of energy and fun with them.

 

 

Tickets are still available for the Saturday night event that starts at 6:30 pm at Clinton High School. Wilson indicates there are some special ticket packages that will not be available at the doors.

 

 

Wilson notes this fundraiser is the biggest of the year for The Vault. She hopes the community will come out and support their cause.

 

 

Visit thevaultclinton.org is where you can find links to tickets. Admission at the door Saturday night increases by two dollars per admission. 

Farmer City Residents Working to Bring Grocery Store to Community

Laura Enger is spearheading an effort to bring a grocery store to the Farmer City community.

 

Enger says what Farmer City offers just doesn't meet the needs of the community and so she is networking with friends, residents, and local officials to seek out a food coop.

 

 

According to Enger, they have outlined about ten steps they need to take to establish a food coop in the community. The next step is to put together a steering committee. She says it will be quite an undertaking but they will have help.

 

 

Shopping locally would be the emphasis for this steering committee and food coop. Enger explains they have producers that have a wide variety of items they can offer to the coop and she feels it would diversify their ability to market those goods.

 

 

Enger points out one of the benefits of a local food coop would be less reliance on the supply chain which has seen its challenges in the last few years. Additionally, for items that may not be as available locally, they can work with other grocers in the area to get on the distribution lists they have to offer less available foods in their store.

 

Learn more about the steering committee by finding the Facebook page 'Farmer City Cooperative Food Store Supporters'. This effort has come together in the last few things so it is moving fast. She says they have had dozens and dozens of individuals already express interest in this idea. 

Illinois to Receive Funding from Juul Settlement

Illinois is part of six states receiving a multimillion-dollar payout in a lawsuit against E-cig maker Juul.

 

The e-cig company is settling claims by the states in which Attorney General claims the vaping company marketed its addictive e-cigs to underage teens. Three years ago, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced his administration was taking the vaping company to court.

 

 

The states that reach settlements with Juul are New Mexico, Colorado, California, New York, and Massachusetts. The vaping company is paying the six states over 4-hundred sixty million dollars to settle the claim. With the lawsuit, Juul has settled in suits with 45 states for more than 1 billion dollars.

Clinton American Legion Leading Charge to Bring Back Clinton's 4th of July Celebration

A Clinton non-profit is leading the charge to bring back a popular summer holiday event.

 

The Clinton American Legion is working with the Celebrate Clinton Association to bring back the annual 4th of July celebration in downtown Clinton. On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Josh Thielen with the Legion told Regional Radio he approached the Celebrate Clinton Association about bringing back the annual events that had fallen by the wayside in recent years.

 

 

According to Thielen, he is now in the process of rallying the community to create partnerships for volunteers and bring in sponsors to help support the events and activities they want to host.

 

 

Thielen stresses the Celebrate Clinton Association will continue to coordinate the annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

 

Thielen encourages anyone wanting more information about the event to find it on Facebook. He indicates they recently shared the newly created event page on the American Legion Facebook page. 

Clinton Lake Host of Weekend Collegiate Rowing Tournament

It's been an event that's happened at Clinton Lake for nearly a decade and it's back this weekend.

 

A weekend rowing tournament in Clinton will draw roughly 25 collegiate rowing teams and on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council told Regional Radio the tournament is for men's and women's teams that will come from across the country.

 

 

Homann anticipates many of the competitors and staff as well as spectators to be in Clinton and Farmer City convenience stores, gas stations, and restaurants this weekend providing a great boost to the local economy.

 

 

Homann credits the DCDC and others for bringing this tournament to Clinton Lake over a decade ago. He indicates Clinton Lake is well suited for rowing competitions thanks to its size. 

License Discounts Still Available for Seniors

Low-income Seniors, whether single or as a couple, are now eligible for a License Plate Discount as low as $10.00.

 

 

That's Cassandra Schmoll with the Henry County Senior Center. Seniors who would like to know if they qualify for this low-income license plate discount can contact their local Senior Center or the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.

Illinois, Michigan Canal Celebrates 175 Years

The Illinois and Michigan Canal has been closed for longer than it was open. But in its time, it was as important to commerce and transportation as the Interstate highways and airports are today. Monday marked 175 years since the canal opened. Starting a year-long celebration, the Canal Corridor Association had an Abraham Lincoln impersonator tell how important the canal was.

 

 

That was Lincoln actor Kevin J. Wood in Ottawa’s Washington Park. He also made stops in Joliet and Morris. Other events over the next year will include telling stories about the people and events in the canal’s history.

Congressman LaHood Claims FBI Wrongfully Spied On Him

An Illinois Congressman is accusing the F-B-I of 'wrongfully' spying on him.

 

Republican Congressman Darin LaHood, who oversees the House Intelligence Committee, said between December 2019 and 2020, the F-B-I searched his name multiple times in a bureau database.

 

LaHood says that the database should be used to search domestic terrorists, not Congressmen.

 

 

LaHood reports the search involves the F-B-I utilizing Section 702 of the so-called FISA (FY-sah) program. The program is up for reauthorization by the end of the year.

Chicago Receives 2024 Democratic National Convention

The City of Chicago will host the 2024 Democratic National Convention. Governor JB Pritzker is excited for the opportunity and says Chicago was the best place to hold it.

 

 

Chicago beat out Houston, New York and Atlanta as possible host cities. The convention will be August 19 – 22 in 2024.

Bloomington Fire Department Promoting Safe Grilling

Grilling season is here, and whether it's hotdogs or hamburgers, a spokesman for Bloomington Fire Department is warning the public to watch out for grease fires.

 

Grease fires are the leading cause, but Frank Friend, the Public Information Officer at B-F-D, says you should watch out for many things.

 

 

As more than 9-thousand grill fires happen each year, the U.S. Fire Administration reports cooking fires resulted in over 37 million dollars in property damage last year. Data shows that, on average, around ten Americans die yearly from grill fires, and many more are injured.

Alta Farms Wind Farm Closing in on Going Live

If you've been in the northwest DeWitt County area in recent weeks, you've probably noticed portions of the Alta Farms II wind farm turbines spinning.

 

It's part of the final touches of the commissioning process Enel Green Energy officials told Regional Radio Monday.

 

Officials with the project say the last few outstanding items with the County will be finalized in the coming days but did not have an exact time when they would go live for commercial operation.

 

If you've witnessed the turbines spinning, that is part of the commissioning process. 

DeWitt County 4-H Fair Dates Set

Dates are set for this year's DeWitt County 4-H Fair.

 

Kendra Wallace is the 4-H Coordinator for the University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt County and told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show Monday fair dates for the 4-H horse show and general shows are now set.

 

 

Wallace credits the local 4-H fair as a family affair that brings out lots of people to the DeWitt County 4-H fairgrounds. She also touts the updates that the 4-H fair board has made in recent years.

 

 

Visit extension.illinois.edu/dmp for more information on the 4-H fair in DeWitt County. 

April is Safe Digging Month

In observance of National Safe Digging Month, Ameren Illinois wants to raise awareness about safe digging practices. Dialing 811 will put you in contact with JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) which will come out to your property and mark where utility and other lines are for you, so you know where not to dig.

 

So, what happens if you or your contractor forgets to make the call and an “oops” happens? Janel White is with Ameren Illinois’ natural gas construction and operations:

 

 

The JULIE service is free of charge. The toll-free number is in operation 24 hours a day, and the law is to call at least 48 hours before you plan to dig. You may also put in an e-request for marking through https://www.illinois1call.com/

Gov. Pritzker Meets With Newly Elected Chicago Mayor

The newly elected mayor of Chicago and the Governor met for the first time this past week. The two met as Brandon Johnson has about 5 weeks before he is sworn into office.

 

He’s proposed a slate of new taxes to help balance the budget in Chicago and fund new programs. Some of Johnson’s proposals would increase real estate transfer taxes and boost the tax on aviation fuel at airports; those two need state and federal approval. Pritzker says as they sat and talked he didn’t get into backing any specific tax increases.

 

 

Pritzker chose not to make a public endorsement in the race. Johnson will be sworn in on May 15.

Celebrating 100 Years of Farmall

A display featuring a tractor from each year of the Farmall brand. That’s the goal of the Central Illinois IH Collectors for the Half of Century Progress Show this summer. The Farmall brand is celebrating 100 years. Here’s Central Illinois IH Collector member Rollie Moore.

 

 

The Half of Century Progress show is Aug 24-27 in Rantoul. More info on the Farmall 100-year effort at centralillinoisihcollectors.com.

DeWitt County Museum Preparing for Special October Exhibit

The DeWitt County Museum is back open for the season but leadership has October on its mind.

 

While that signals the conclusion of another Apple n' Pork Festival, Director Joey Long indicates that also is the target for a special exhibit coming to the Museum. She feels it will be a one-of-a-kind experience.

 

 

According to Long, there is the possibility this new idea will also allow them to host a couple of special events.

 

 

Long is pleased to report that memberships are going up despite a trend around the State and country of memberships for local museums going down. She feels the Museum keeping its collection fresh and having great offerings like the morning customs exhibit in October are why people continue to renew and sign up.

 

 

The morning customs exhibit will be a part of the standard admission during its time starting in October. Long notes special events will have their own admission prices.

 

Follow along with all things DeWitt County Museum by searching for DeWitt County Museum on Facebook or visiting chmoorehomestead.org. 

Blue Ridge Superintendent on McLean County Wind Farms

Although the Piatt County wind farm referendum failed, Blue Ridge schools will still see wind farm tax money, albeit from McLean County.

 

Blue Ridge Superintendent Dr. Hilaary Stanifer indicated due to the district's location they will be able to receive money from a wind farm in McLean County. She notes the tax levy will be written in the fall of 2023 and is estimated to have a $30 million increase in EAV.

 

 

Dr. Stanifer says the overall tax rate for taxpayers will stay the same although the amount the district will receive will increase due to the wind farm. If someone in the school district has to pay more property taxes that are due to their EAVs.

 

 

The new school board will be tasked with earmarking where the funds from the wind farm should go. Dr. Stanifer says the district is looking at adding an all-weather track and issuing bonds to complete building safety work.

 

 

Dr. Stanifer is excited about the addition of the all-weather track as Blue Ridge will be able to host track meets as well as provide recreation opportunities for the Farmer City community at large.

Social Security Highlights Financial Literacy Month

April is Financial Literacy Month.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security explains for most, Social Security is a vital part of your financial plans He hopes you'll make this April the month you decide to take a more engaged approach to learn more about your future Social Security benefits.

 

 

Myers encourages you to start by creating your mySocialSecurity account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. Once there, you can review your personal Social Security Statement. The Statement is a very important financial planning tool because it provides a summary of the estimated benefits you and your family could receive including potential retirement, disability, and survivors’ benefits. He notes it will provide estimates at future benchmark retirement ages and project current earnings up to those ages.

 

 

 

Check out the Retirement Calculator within your mySocialSecurity account for custom scenarios with different retirement dates and earnings levels. You can also review your earnings record for accuracy as your future Social Security benefits will be based on it. Myers says it is a good idea to check it out at least once per year.

 

 

The Social Security Plan for Retirement page also outlines several issues to consider as you think about retirement. For more information about everything Social Security, visit us at www.ssa.gov.  

Illinois FFA Announces State Proficiency Winners

Celebrating FFA success in Illinois. The state proficiency winner in ag sales placement is sophomore Ella Anderson from Annawan. She loves her role with the family’s consignment auction business.

 

 

In addition to FFA activities, Anderson is also a volleyball and basketball student-athlete at Annawan.

Four-Dollar Gas Could Be Coming This Summer

Four-dollar gas is on the table for the summer of 2023 here in Illinois, and five dollars won't be out of the question as OPEC has cut oil production.

 

OPEC has announced that it will be cutting production by more than a million barrels per day beginning in the month of May. Significant jumps are expected down the pipeline according to GasBuddy's Head of Petroleum Analysis, Patrick De Haan.

 

 

GasBuddy Price Reports indicated last week that prices were up over 15 cents per gallon, averaging $3.83. The national average rose a few cents as well, but still below the Illinois average, sitting at $3.49 a gallon.

Gov. Pritzker Addresses Census

Is the state losing population or are the numbers out of the US Census as unreliable as in the past?

 

The US Census released updated county population estimates weeks ago and those indicate population loss in 92 of 102 counties – showing the state lost more than 100,000 citizens.

 

The Census was wrong when it released estimates in 2020 that the state had lost 240,000 residents in the previous decade – the census count in 2021 indicated the state had only shrunk by 18,000 people and then Census came back in 2022 and did a final check of the numbers and said the state had in fact added 250,000 people. The continued miss counting by the Census Bureau has the attention of members of the Illinois Congressional delegation and has irked once again Governor JB Pritzker.

 

 

With 13 million people in the state – Illinois is at the largest it’s ever been.

Broadband Listening Sessions Coming Up

The Illinois Office of Broadband and Illinois Broadband Lab hosting broadband listening sessions around the state.

 

 

Bill Bodine has been following the process. He serves as Illinois Farm Bureau Director of Business and Regulatory Affairs.

Scovill Zoo Offering Free Admissions on Mondays During April

As the seasons begin to shift and being outdoors is more appealing, a central Illinois attraction is making things more convenient for the community to enjoy it.

 

Ken Frye is the Executive Director of the Scovill Zoo in Decatur and indicates for April, they are offering free admission to the zoo. 

 

 

Frye is excited about the upcoming season at the Scovill Zoo in Decatur. He hopes you'll follow them on Facebook to keep up with the latest in activities and information or find them online at scovillzoo.org. 

City of Clinton Brush Pickup Reminders

The Clinton Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements is offering reminders about the city's policy on brush pickup.

 

At Tuesday night's Clinton City Council meeting, Commissioner Ken Buchanan indicated in March city crews resumed the third Monday brush pickup. He is asking residents to be mindful of the ordinance regarding brush piles.

 

 

The next brush pickup will be Monday, April 17.

 

Also at Tuesday night's meeting, the council approved $100,000 of motor fuel tax money to be used for summer street maintenance. A bid from GFL Environmental for $3,165 for garbage pickup for all city facilities was approved.

Getting ready to garden

As long as the weather stays fairly mild, one gardening expert thinks you might be able to start planting some cool-season vegetables. Things like lettuce, kale, spinach, and radishes thrive in the cooler weather, but if you plant too early and a hard freeze hits the area, you may have to start over.

 

University of Illinois Extension Service Sarah Ruth says now is the time to plan ahead.

 

 

She says the average last date for a hard freeze is April 15, but freezes have been recorded as late as mid-May in this area.

Apex Clean Energy Releases Statement on Defeat of Piatt County Wind Referendum

Apex Clean Energy, developers of the proposed Goose Creek Wind Project in Piatt County, Friday released a statement on the defeat of the county's wind referendum on Tuesday.

Public Engagement Manager for the project Ray Hoover told Regional Radio News that they are unconcerned with the results of the wind referendum on Tuesday, in which some 70-percent of those voting said no. Hoover added that the Piatt County Board has stated that they knew Tuesday's referendum was meaningless, as the vote has no bearing on whether wind projects are built in Piatt County. 

Hoover went on to say in his statement, that he thinks the defeat of the wind referendum is a bad indicator of support when such a small percentage of voters came to the polls, with less than 20% of voters participating.   Hoover compared that to the last property tax question posed to Piatt County voters, which saw nearly 4 times the turnout, and Hoover concluded his written statement by saying what’s important to most residents are taxes, jobs, and the economy.

DeWitt County Friendship Center Bringing Back Annual Ham n' Bean Fundraiser

A DeWitt County non-profit is bringing back an annual fundraiser for the first time since COVID.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Executive Director of the DeWitt County Friendship Center, Paula Jiles told Regional Radio they are bringing the annual ham n' bean fundraiser back on Saturday, May 6.

 

 

According to Jiles, the two-hour fundraiser moves pretty quickly. Attendees move through the food line starting at 5 pm and the auction of the cakes and baked goods at 6 pm.

 

 

Local residents bring in their handyworks for the baked goods to be auctioned off. Jiles gets a kick out of a cash cake that gets auctioned off and local business owners bid on it and return it year after year to be auctioned off.

 

 

The ham n' bean fundraiser this year will go towards the Friendship Center's efforts to save for a roughly $50,000 roofing project.

 

 

Tickets can be purchased at the Friendship Center or from any Board members ahead of the event. You can also buy tickets at the door.

 

The ham n' bean fundraiser comes up on Saturday, May 6 from 5 pm to 7 pm. 

Tracking severe weather in 2023

Tracking severe weather in 2023. State Climatologist Trent Ford has been busy.

 

 

There has been a tornado confirmed in each of the first four months this year in Illinois.

April is Financial Literacy Month

April is Financial Literacy month and a local financial coach is highlighting her services.

 

Connie Unruh is the Financial Literacy Coordinator at First National Bank and Trust in Clinton. She points out America Saves Week is later this month and locally, she is seeing a lot of credit card debt in the financial coaching she's doing.

 

 

According to Unruh, she is noticing a lot of consumers are using credit cards to maintain the lifestyle they had pre-inflation but because of inflation, they cannot afford that lifestyle. 

 

 

It's not always easy for an individual or family to get to the point they recognize they need help and then take the next step of seeking out that help. Unruh says a big issue she notices with a lot of her clients is the lack of awareness of how much money is coming in and how much is going out.

 

 

Unruh says once she helps someone identify where their money is going, it then becomes a matter of controlling spending through things like shopping at discount grocery stores or doing more meal planning instead of eating out. 

 

You can contact Unruh for free financial coaching by calling her at First National Bank in Clinton at 217-935-7464 or emailing connie.unruh@firstnbtc.com. 

State ag pest survey coordinator ready for trapping season

State ag pest survey coordinator Kelly Estes ready for trapping season. She told the RFD Radio Network this week that they'll be monitoring black cutworm and true army worm moths.

 

 

You can follow Estes on Twitter @ILPestSurvey.

Million Dollar Lotto Ticket Sold at Big D in Clinton

A Clinton resident is the winner of a one-million-dollar Illinois lottery ticket it was sold right here in Clinton at Big D Food and Liquor.

 

Owner Francis Jackson tells Regional Radio it's a great honor to have another big winner sold at their store and says it was sold to a gentleman that is a regular player of the lotto at Big D.

 

 

For Big D, selling lotto-winning tickets is not anything new. Jackson says they consistently have smaller dollar winners and back in the late 90s they even sold a $4-million winner. He indicates the store gets a small portion of the winnings and they've been able to do some nice things to the storefront and even the community. 

 

 

Jackson indicates they have about 45 scratch-off lottery games available at Big D as well as all the online games.

 

Get more information about playing the lottery locally by stopping into Big D at 512 West Van Buren in Clinton or visit illinoislottery.com. 

Warner Library Collection Development Process

The Vespasian Warner Library in Clinton is in the process of adding and removing books from its shelves.

 

Bobbi Perryman, Warner Library Director, indicated on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday morning she and other staff members are reviewing circulation data for the last fiscal year. Perryman notes it offers a unique look into the tastes of the community.

 

 

The statistics, Perryman says, will inform her about what to add to the library's collection. She notes since the library is funded by taxpayers, she wants the collection to resemble what her patrons want.

 

 

Perryman remarks if you visit the library right now the shelves may look different due to a process called weeding. Library staff is currently inventorying the collection and pulling outdated books.

 

 

In addition to outdated information, books are also removed based on poor circulation statistics. Perryman affirms that the library has a certain amount of shelf space and should only keep items that are going to be used.

 

 

Once an item is going to be removed from the collection, it will either be donated to the Friends of the Library for a book sale or recycled depending on condition and subject matter.

 

 

Perryman says, along with items, programming data is also looked at to determine what they should do more or less of in following years.

Blue Ridge Superintendent Reacts to Local Election

A local superintendent is offering her thoughts on the outcomes of Tuesday's consolidated election.

 

Dr. Hilary Stanifer is the Superintendent for Blue Ridge schools. The Blue Ridge School Board had three four-year seats available and one two-year seat available. All eight candidates sought four-year terms.

 

 

Dr. Stanifer notes one of the first decisions for the new School Board will be appointing the two-year seat. She says they can decide to appoint the position to one of the candidates who ran or open it up and conduct interviews.

 

 

The Blue Ridge School Board election two years ago did not see many candidates take out petitions and ended up with seats being appointed. Dr. Stanifer indicated if appointments were made again this election, then in 2025 the entire board would be up for election.

 

 

Piatt County residents saw a referendum for the Goose Creek wind farm project fail. Dr. Stanifer contends she is a Piatt County resident and hears the concerns, but also notes the school district could benefit from additional revenue.

 

 

The new members of the Blue Ridge Board of Education will be sworn in at the Board's next regular meeting on Wednesday, April 19 at 7 pm.

National Weather Services Sizes Up Potential For Severe Weather In May and June

The severe weather experienced this week and this past week could stick around for the next two months.

 

National Weather Service Meteorologist Ed Shimon indicates current predictions are calling for above-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. He notes this could mean severe weather.

 

 

When it comes to severe weather, it can often be confusing when to take shelter. Shimon explains a watch means to be ready and a warning means to take action.

 

 

Shimon indicates it is a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your basement during severe weather season. He says it should include food, medicine, batteries, and whatever else you or your pets need.

 

 

weather.gov/lincoln will have updated watches and warnings during any severe weather event. You can also view up-to-date prediction models.

Illinois Department of Corrections Holding Sevearl Hiring Events This Month

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS IS HOLDING HIRING EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE STATE THIS MONTH. 

 

THE DEPARTMENT HAS NEARLY 30 LOCATIONS STATEWIDE, ALL WITH A CONSTANT NEED FOR CORRECTIONS OFFICERS SAYS RECRUITMENT COORDINATOR BRITTANY OTT.

 

 

OTT SAYS THEY’RE ALSO LOOKING FOR NURSES, WARDENS, OFFICE ASSOCIATES, SOCIAL WORKERS AND MORE. 

 

 

THE BEST WAY TO FIND ONE NEAR YOU IS TO FOLLOW I-D-O-C’S SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS.

Gov. Pritzker Reacts to Chicago Mayoral Outcome

The City of Chicago has a new mayor. Democrat Brandon Johnson beat another Democrat Paul Vallas on Tuesday. Johnson is seen as a much more progressive Democrat than Vallas was seen as.

 

He takes over a city that suffers from a poor reputation based on crime and underperforming schools. Governor JB Pritzker says he’s looking forward to working with him and says voters are sending a clear message about what is important.

 

 

Johnson is 47 years old and will take office next month.

Deadline for Tax Filing is Quickly Coming Up

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE IS REMINDING TAXPAYERS THAT THE FILING DEADLINE IS RAPIDLY APPROACHING. 

 

STATE AND FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURNS ARE DUE APRIL 18TH, AND BY THE SOUND OF IT, PLENTY OF PEOPLE STILL NEED TO FILE.

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SPOKESPERSON MAURA KOWNACKI (kuh-nacky) SAYS THE QUICKEST WAY TO GET YOUR REFUND IS TO E-FILE AN ERROR FREE RETURN AND OPT FOR DIRECT DEPOSIT.

 

 

TAXPAYERS WITH SIMPLE RETURNS CAN FILE FOR FREE AT: MY TAX DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

April is Minority Health Month

THIS IS NATIONAL MINORITY HEALTH MONTH. 

 

THERE ARE SEVERAL DISEASES THAT HIT MANY MINORITY GROUPS HARDER THAN WHITES. THEY INCLUDE DIABETES, CANCER, HEART DISEASE, STROKE, H-I-V AND INFANT MORTALITY. THAT’S WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE OF COLOR BE THEIR OWN ADVOCATE SAYS THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH’S CENTER FOR MINORITY HEALTH SERVICES’ CHIEF VERONICA HALLOWAY.

 

 

TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, MANY PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DISEASES LIKE DIABETES, H-I-V, CANCER, STROKE AND MORE SAYS HALLOWAY. FOR EXAMPLE:

 

 

HALLOWAY SAYS THEY WORK CLOSELY WITH COMMUNITY GROUPS TO HIGHLIGHT IMMUNIZATIONS, HEALTH SCREENINGS AND OTHER PREVENTATIVE MEASURES.

CHS Third Quarter B Honor Roll

SENIORS
APPLE, ZOE T.
BAKER, COLTON L.
BRANNAN, TANNER W.
BUGGAR, CARSON L.
CLARK, HAYDEN F.
DANIELS, PRESTON L.
DUNCAN, ASPEN R.
FAIR, TYLOR J.
FILKIN, DEREK M.
GUSTAFSON, JADE C.
HENDRIEX, KYLE W.
HENSON-KIVLEHAN, MEA E.
JILES, JOSEPH M.
KALMER, JAKOB M.
MANNING, CHLOE
NAPE, ALEXZANDER L.
ORTIZ, JEREMIAH
PRIMEAUX, BENJAMIN J.
SCOTT, TREVOR E.
SOSA DENEGRI, JACQUELINE
STAPLETON, HOUSTON J.
TROYER, GRACIE J.
WEBB, SCOTT I.
WHITLOCK, TYRAN S.
WINTER, WILLIAM R.

 

JUNIORS
BASS, NOAH D.
BATESON, LUKAUS L.
BLANKENSHIP, CARTER X.
CHITWOOD, AVERY M.
CLUVER, BROOKS W.
DECKER, TRENTON M.
DOWNS, ISABELLA M.
EWING, NEVAEH S.
FLOREY, DAVID M. II
HEREDIA, HANCY I.
HERNANDEZ, XAVIER
HOOKER, JONAH A.
HOPKINS, JONATHAN
MCINTIRE, PORTER R.
NICHOLLS, BRIANA K.
SALYERS, SEAN D.
SLOAT-SHANNON, TRENTN L.
STAPLETON, RYAN N.
SUTTON, ERIC
TAYLOR, KYNDALL R.
TUCKER, MADISON G.

 

SOPHOMORES
ADAMS, RILEY B.
ANAYA, NOEL B.
ANDERSON, TAYLOR
BRASSFIELD, KAELYN R.
BREWER, ADDISON B.
BUGNER, TIMOTHY D.
CICENAS, ALEXANDER E.
FATHEREE, NATASHA L.
FINCH, BRADEN F.
FLORES, SHIRLEY
FORTUNE, AUSTIN A.
GENTRY, JASMINE N.
HENDRIX, LILLIANNE D.
HOWARD, JAQILYNN C.
HUMES, ARIANA J.
HUNTER, CADEN J.
LEIMBACH, EMELIA L.
LORD, ALEXIS M.
LORD, AMIA B.
MADSON, AMELIA D.
MILTON, DELANEY M.
MONKMAN, IAN G.
PASTORE, PIPER G.
PEAVLER, KINZIE R.
POWELL, HANNAH E.
RETZER, MARK E.
RINGER, DUSTIN R.
ROBERTS, KHARSEN D.
RODRIGUEZ, ADRIAN
ROMERO, LESLIE M.
SCHACKMANN, WYATT A.
SOBERALSKI, ELIJAH M.
WALKER, COLTON J.
WEST, TEEGAN A.
WESTBROOKS, ANTHONY A.
WILLIAMS, EMMA M.

 

FRESHMEN
ALEJANDRO, MARLY
ANDERSON, CARLY
ATCHISON, NATALIE D.
CURTIS, PRESTON M.
FATH, JAYLENE S.
GENTRY, GRAYSON K.
GENTRY, JOHN R.
GOAR, OLIVER L.
GUNDY, BLAKE M.
HART, EMMA T.
HUNTER, SKYLEA L.
JOHNSON, GAVIN P.
LARSON, BRADEN E.
MENDOZA, MIGUELANGEL
PARKER, BRAYDEN K.
PENNELL, JACKSON J.
SCOTT, PHOENIX J.
STEWART, JOLEENA V.
TAYLOR, KIMBERLY A.
TAYLOR, SABLE
WALKER, GABRIEL R.
WEBB, SOPHIE L.
WHITLOCK, JAKOBE M.
WOODS, TRISTAN M.
WUNSCH, ETHAN M.

CHS Third Quarter A Honor Roll

SENIORS
ARNOLD, ISABELLE M.
BARTELS, MADELYNN G.
BIAMINO, LUCREZIA
BRYANT, MILES
BURKETT, EMILY M.
EVANS, CANDYCE S.
FREEMAN, RILEY K.
HART, ALYSSA C.
ISAAC, KYLEE L.
LOWE, GABRIELLE E.
MCCORMICK, REICE M.
MCFEETERS, LONDON K.
PEAVLER, ZOE L.
PURDUE, AIDEN N.
SIMMONS, JEREMIAH D.
WILLIAMS, NEVAEH L.


JUNIORS
ARMSTRONG, ASHLEY L.
BARTON, KYLIE J.
CARTER, MACY M.
CORNWELL, KAYLEE M.
DALTON, NOAH E.
DEAVERS, ELIZABETH R.
FABIAN, JULIANNA T.
FATHEREE, JORDAN M.
FOEHR, LEAH M.
FULMER, ETHAN M.
GRAHAM-INGRAM, TRENTIN A.
HOLT, CHYNEAH R.
LARSON, NORA E.
MOLITORIS, MACKENZI L.
POTTS, TRISTIN T.
TOOHILL, AIDEN J.
WALKER, MASON G.
WHEELER, DENSIL L.
YOUNG, ELLIE S.

 

SOPHOMORES
AKEMAN, JADON I.
ARMSTRONG, NATHANIEL J.
BARRINGER, JOHN A.
BEEBE, ADYSON V.
BELL, DALTON K.
BROWN, AVARIE M.
CONSTANCE, WYATT G.
ETTIEN, BRODIE L.
FORD, KAYLEE R.
FULK, KIERSTEN
HALE, MELISSA R.
HARRIS, KADEN M.
HELFAND, ALANIA G.
HITCHINGS, ASHER S.
KRIT, KENEDY R.
LEONARD, MADDISON L.
MARTIN, MARGARET J.
MOORE, ALEXANDER J.
MORRISON, BRIELLE A.
PROTHERO, ADDISON A.
RODRIGUEZ, AUDREY M.
STEWARD, ELLA A.
TREAKLE, IVORI B.
WEBB, JACK D.
WILLIS, WYATT G.
WILSON, KHANTON J.
WOOD, ALEXANDER S


FRESHMEN
ADAMS, LINCOLN J.
ALEXANDER, JACKSON F.
BAKER, ELAYNA W.
BAZER, EMILIE E.
BOW, ALEXIS C.
BRINKOETTER, SIENNA H.
BROWN, PAISLEA M.
CLARK, SANDRA
COLE, MADISON M.
COSTELLO, MASON R.
DEMPSEY, CLARA J.
FENTRESS, COLE C.
GOERGEN, SLOANE M.
GRAVES, KEATON R.
GUERRERO, EILEEN
HAND-SPELLMAN, EMALEIGH E.
HOFFMAN, ISABELLA N.
KILSON, NOAH J.
KOYAK, MADDISON J.
LYONS, REESE E.
MESSENGER, SARAH E.
MILLS, LEAH E.
MINER, NOAH S.
NAPE, JOSHUA
ORTIZ, RIHANNA
PINE, RYAN W.
POTTS, ZACKARY T.
REXSHELL, OWEN P.
RHOADES, BAILEY R.
RHODES, NOLAN E.
SCHICK, MABREY A.
STAMP, RUSSELL U.
THOMPSON, ANELISE I.
TIMMONS, WYATT J.
VAN ZEE, ABBY J.
WILSON, BROCK J.
WOODS, MARK T.
WRIGHT, DYLLON R.

CHS Third Quarter High Honor Roll

SENIORS
ALEXANDER, AIDAN M.
BARTH, CHLOE E.
BURTON, WESLEY C.
CARTER, KRESTON R.
EARLE, ALAYNA R.
HARRIS, ALEXA G.
LEACH, EMMALEIGH E.
NUTTALL, BRADEN J.
RAUCH, MAKENNA L.
RICH, MARLYN K.
SOBERALSKI, ALAINA M.
THIERRY, AVA N.
VARBLE, SETH A.
WILSON, BRODY T.
WINEBRINNER, CAYLEIGH R.
YOUNG, BRETT M.

 

JUNIORS
CONATY, KIERAN R.
COX, ASHLEY M.
DOUGLAS, ADDISON R.
FOSTER, AMBER D.
FRIESLAND, KELSEY N.
GRAVES, DAWSON W.
GUERRERO, LESLEY M.
HELFAND, ALYVIA A.
HOWELL, DAVIS J.
HUMBLE, HEIDI B.
KOEPPEL, MAKAYLA R.
KORITZ, ADELINE L.
MICHAEL, BIONCA L.
MILLS, SARAH S.
MOSER, DREW E.
NEWBERRY, BROCK C.
PATTERSON, CONNOR W.
POLLOCK, KRISTIANNA H.
RAMIREZ, KARLA A.
REEVES, BROOKE L.
REYNOLDS, CARLY K.
RIGNEY, JADEN P.
SKANDERA, PAIGE N.
STANEK, MIRANDA
STEPHENSON, ISIAH T.

 

SOPHOMORES
BALL, JAMES L. JR
BOYSEN, NOAH X.
CAHILL, LYDIA G.
DUKE, GRACE R.
EARLE, CARLEY
FILKIN, REGAN K.
GODBEY, TAYLOR L.
GOEBEL, KATE E.
HEMPHILL, AMERIE T.
HERNANDEZ, LUZ I.
HOLLAND, SOPHIA M.
JILES, CHRISTIAN R.
ROBERTS, ADAM D.
ROE, JADELYNN J.
SCHICK, CONLEY A.
SENTERS, DESTINY E.
THRASHER, TALAN S.
WEST, MCKINLEY G.

 

FRESHMEN
ATTEN, EMILY C.
COWAN, LAWSON
DANIELS, PARKER D.
FENTRESS, RILEY M.
HAYNES, ALIVIYAH M.
HILTON, ARIANNA N.
KEAGLE, NATALIE S.
KORITZ, ABEL J.
KOYAK, MILEY J.
MANNING, JACKSON J.
MORGAN, MCKEGAN E.
MOSER, ABIGAIL D.
NEWBERG, LOGAN J.
NOTARO, REED C.
SCHOTT, GRACE M.
SMITH, AVERY L.
TURNEY, JARRETT W.
VISINIA, LEILANI L.
WILLIAMSON, SAVANNA P.
WRAGE, HALLE E.

Clinton City Council Hears More Concerns about New Dollar General Store

The Clinton City Council last night heard more concerns from residents about a potential new Dollar General store on the east side of Clinton.

 

Clinton resident Glenna Rogers offered several concerns residents of the surrounding neighborhoods had. She feels the proceedings of the project have left residents feeling blindsided.

 

 

Commissioner Tom Edmunds indicated while residents are welcome to speak at city council meetings, the council is not yet able to take action on the issue. The Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals would have to complete preliminary work before it could be brought before the Council.

 

 

Commissioner John Wise commented that the City has annexed the property into the City legally. He stated that he had no knowledge of the land being sold to Dollar General or anyone else.

 

 

After making multiple inquiries, Regional Radio has not received any comments from Dollar General regarding a new store in Clinton.

Clinton Schools Superintendent Tracking Legislature

A bill in Springfield would add more burdensome mandates on Illinois schools.

 

That's according to Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles who is tracking a bill that would increase pay for support staff in Illinois schools.

 

 

According to Nettles, support staff is anyone that is not a teacher or an administrator. He points out that bumping pay for those individuals would force the district to increase other staffers because of their seniority.

 

 

While Clinton Schools might be able to absorb the mandate because of its financial footing, his concern would be other districts that are not in as good of a financial position.

 

 

Local control has been a big sticking point for Nettles and other administrators in Illinois in recent years for obvious reasons. He has vowed in the past to continue to fight for more local control after years of the State of Illinois coming in with heavy-handed mandates. 

Pritzker promoting higher education funding

The Governor is touring colleges and universities in Illinois – he’s touting already increased investment in MAP Grants and his desire to boost funding even more.

 

JB Pritzker says it’s important to get kids from Illinois to pick a college in Illinois because once they leave to go to school someplace else - they often don’t come back.


 

Pritzker was at NIU in DeKalb on Tuesday.

Update on ag teaching openings

Ag teachers are still in demand in Illinois. An update from Dean Ditmar, coordinator for Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education in Illinois.

 

 

More information on ag education efforts in Illinois available at ilaged.org.

IL Secretary of State Office launches new Organ/Tissue Donor campaign

ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE ALEXI GIANNOULIAS’ OFFICE IS LAUNCHING A NEW ORGAN AND TISSUE DONOR CAMPAIGN.

 

THE GIST OF THE RADIO AND T-V ADS IS THAT IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT COLOR OR GENDER YOU ARE, OR WHICH SPORTS TEAM YOU LOVE…YOUR PLEDGE TO GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE CAN SAVE LIVES.

 

 

THE IDEA BEHIND THE LATEST RADIO AND T-V ADS IS THAT IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO YOU ARE, YOUR DONATION CAN SAVE LIVES SAYS SECRETARY GIANNOULIAS. HE SAYS THAT ABOUT FOUR THOUSAND PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS ARE CURRENTLY IN NEED OF A TRANSPLANT.

 

 

GIANNOULIAS SAYS HE’S WORKING TO STREAMLINE AND AUTOMATE THE REGISTRATION PROCESS. TO SIGN UP NOW, VISIT: LIFE GOES ON DOT COM. 

USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development makes another stop in Illinois

USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small back in Illinois. She was in the western part of the state in late February for an 18-million-dollar broadband announcement, and late last week she stopped in the Metro East area.


 

Torres Small has been nominated by President Biden to serve as USDA Deputy Ag Secretary.

UPDATED: Local Election Results

In the 2023 consolidated election, DeWitt County voters saw contested races for Clinton City Council and Clinton Board of Education.

 

In the race for Clinton City Council Commissioner of Accounts and Finance, incumbent Tom Edmunds defeated Brad Barnes 440-272.

 

The other contested race for Clinton City Council was the Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements. Incumbent Ken Buchanan will serve another term after receiving 367 votes. Seth Redington received 250 votes and Cynthia Dupont had 104 votes.

 

For the Clinton Board of Education, incumbents Tammie Ennis, Dan Matthews, and Chris Hammer will retain their seats. The Board will also welcome Jenny Haycraft-Rudat. 

 

Clinton saw 17.7% of voter turnout, while the Clinton Community School District had 16.4%.

 

In Logan County, in the City of Lincoln Ward 4 alderperson race, Craig Eimer defeated Rhonda O'Donoghue 152-131. 

 

Lincoln saw 12.9% voter turnout.

 

In Piatt County, three positions on the Blue Ridge School Board were available and went to David Enger, Russell Woliung, and Jonathan Yeagle.

 

The referendum for the Goose Creek Wind Farm project failed 1,498-623.

 

Piatt County saw 18.09% voter turnout.

DeWitt County Sheriff Presents to County Board on New Tasers

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office will be getting new tasers.

 

The DeWitt County Board approved the purchase last month and Sheriff Walker says it's been nearly six years since they have purchased new tasers.

 

 

According to Sheriff Walker, the new tasers will have two cartridges loaded. One will be long distance and the other will be shorter. 

 

 

The Board approved the purchase of 15 new tasers for the Sheriff's Department at a cost of just under $62,000. The tasers will be paid for over a five-year period.

While not in his budget for this year, the Sheriff noted purchasing the tasers now makes them much cheaper than waiting. 

Farmer City Grocery Co-op Supporters Hold Meeting

Farmer City residents this past weekend held an informational meeting regarding a grocery co-op.

 

Sue McLaughlin, city manager for Farmer City, told Regional Radio there was an informational meeting about the grocery co-op initiative on Sunday. At the meeting, residents heard from a representative from the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs

 

 

McLaughlin indicates the City has been in contact with the group behind the initiative and is committed to offering the assistance they may need. She is hopeful this group will be more successful than others in the past.


 

Local producers would benefit from having a place year-round to sell their produce. McLaughlin believes Farmer City needs a grocery store but maybe not enough for a traditional full-size store.

 

 

The initiative is spearheaded by Laura Enger and more information can be found on Facebook.

April Weather Outlook

April showers bring May flowers will be true for Central Illinois this year.

 

Ed Shimon with the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates current outlooks are projecting above-normal precipitation for the Regional Radio listening area over the next few weeks.

 

 

Shimon notes the middle of April is looking to be drier and cooler. He notes this means we can expect to see more cloudy days than sunny days ahead.

 

 

Shimon says to expect cooler-than-normal temperatures for the remainder of the month, with a warmup at the end of the month to start May.

IDOT out with its annual anti-littering campaign

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS OUT WITH ITS ANNUAL "THINK BEFORE YOU THROW" ANTI-LITTERING CAMPAIGN. 

 

LITTERING ON THE STATE'S 150-THOUSAND MILES OF ROAD IS UNSIGHTLY, BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND EXPENSIVE SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON MARIA CASTANEDA.

 

 

LAST YEAR, I-DOT SPENT MORE THAN 26-MILLION DOLLARS CLEANING UP LITTER ALONG ILLINOIS ROADS...MONEY THAT COULD BE SPENT ELSEWHERE SAYS SPOKESPERSON MARIA CASTANEDA. LITTERING IS ALSO BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND UNSIGHTLY, SO SHE ASKS DRIVERS TO BE MINDFUL.

 

 

I-DOT REMINDS THAT LITTERING IS ILLEGAL AND CARRIES A FINE OF UP TO 15-HUNDRED DOLLARS.

LaHood discusses Trump indictment

An Illinois Congressman is sounding off on an indictment of former President Donald Trump.

 

Republican Darin LaHood, a former prosecutor himself, calls the indictment 'politically motivated.'

 

 

The charges against former President Trump stem from alleged hush payments to adult entertainment actor Stormy Daniels.

 

Though the indictment is under seal until a court hearing this week, multiple reports indicate that Trump could face up to 30 counts.

 

Trump is set to appear in a New York City courtroom later today (Tuesday).

National Weather Service Issues Severe Weather Alert for Tuesday Afternoon, Evening

 

The National Weather Service in Lincoln issued a special weather statement late Monday afternoon, on the possible threat of severe weather across Central Illinois Tuesday.

The Weather Service says  there will be two rounds of severe weather late this afternoon into this evening. The first round will focus across the Illinois River Valley and generally occur between 4pm and 8pm. 

Scattered supercells will pose a risk for hail larger than golf balls, damaging wind gusts in excess of 70 mph, and strong tornadoes in this area. 

Round 2 will occur later Tuesday night when a line of storms potentially sweeps through all of central and southeast Illinois. Damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and isolated tornadoes embedded within the line will be possible. 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio and dewittdailynews.com for the latest weather watches, warnings, and storm reports from the area 

Clinton City Council Election Day Preview

Tuesday is election day in Clinton and there are a couple of races on the Clinton City Council that are contested in this cycle.

 

The Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements will be one of those contested races with a trio of candidates. Incumbent Ken Buchanan tells Regional Radio News he was not planning to run again but found himself wanting to see through some projects that he's been instrumental in starting.

 

 

Buchanan will be challenged Tuesday by Seth Redington. Redington told Regional Radio if he were elected, he would hope to bring a fresh set of eyes to the Council and get the most out of the manpower that's available to the City.

 

 

Another contested race for the Clinton City Council is the Commissioner of Accounts and Finance. Incumbent Tom Edmunds indicates one of his proudest accomplishments is the fact when he came on the Council, things were not good financially.

 

 

Brad Barnes is challenging Edmunds for the Commissioner of Accounts and Finance on Tuesday. He tells Regional Radio trust is the foundation of the relationship between a public servant and the public. 

 

 

John Wise is running uncontested for the Commissioner of Public Property. In the next four years, he wants to see the City focus on growing and attracting people to it.

 

 

Commissioner Wise tells Regional Radio, the next four years will be his final on the City Council. He hopes to bring someone under his wing and show them the ropes in anticipation of running in '27.

 

 

Commissioner of Public Safety, Dan Ballenger is running unopposed tomorrow. He is hoping to begin the campaign for a new fire station. He indicates this has been a need for a long time and the City recently purchased property for the fire station.

 

 

Also seeking re-election unopposed is Mayor Roger Cyrulik.

 

The Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements has a third candidate, Cynthia DuPont, however, Regional Radio was unsuccessful in making contact with her for a comment about her candidacy. 

 

Tune to Regional Radio Tuesday night starting at 8 pm for live election results until races go final. 

Honor Flight flies on Tuesday

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight (LLHF) will take off on Tuesday for another mission from Springfield to Washington, DC. Veterans from all branches of the military will be on board. LLHF President Joan Bortolon says they are mostly caught up after not flying during the pandemic.

 

 

She says if you are a veteran and have been waiting your turn, now is your turn. Veteran and guardian applications are available at Landoflincolnhonorflight.org, or by calling 217-652-4719.

State Climatologist Needs Volunteers for Rain Data

THE STATE CLIMATOLOGIST SAYS WEATHER BUFFS ARE NEEDED TO HELP MEASURE PRECIPITATION IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE RAIN, HAIL AND SNOW NETWORK OR “COCORAHS” IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TO GATHER DATA FROM LOCATIONS THAT AREN’T MONITORED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.


 

SINCE RAIN AND SNOWFALL CAN VARY GREATLY FROM ONE LOCATION TO THE NEXT, MONITORS ARE NEEDED ALL OVER ILLINOIS SAYS FORD.

 

 

STATE CLIMATOLOGIST TRENT FORD SAYS THOSE INTERESTED WILL NEED A FOUR INCH MANUAL RAIN GAUGE. YOU CAN SIGN UP ON THE WEBSITE: COCORAHS DOT ORG. THAT’S C-O C-O R-A-H-S DOT ORG.

Tornadoes, Hail, High Winds Ravage Central Illinois Friday Night

Tornadoes, high winds, and hail ravaged Central Illinois between 6 and 9 o'clock Friday night.

 

Above is the National Weather Service map showing where the tornadoes tracked (red dots), hail as much as 2 inches in diameter (green dots), and winds as high as 70 miles an hour (blue dots).

 

The Weather Service summary of the outbreak indicated a very strong system developed on the morning of March 31st, which tracked a strong surface low across the state of Iowa. This system pulled unseasonably warm and moist conditions into the Midwest, which coupled with a very favorable wind profile, and created quite the volatile environment for severe thunderstorms.

 

The Weather Service added this event resulted with a tornado outbreak that this area has not seen in quite some time, with several tornadoes that led to a lot of damage. They said the event started initially with more discrete supercell thunderstorms, but quickly transitioned to a major weather event that led to many spin-ups along the leading edge, with embedded supercell structures.

 

Weather officials said that combined with the many tornado reports, they also received many large hail and wind reports. 

 

The Village of Sherman, just north of Springfield, suffered major house damage. 

 

The tornado outbreak in northern Illinois caused numerous damage there and in the metro Chicago area.  The roof of the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere collapsed during a performance Friday night with one person killed and 28 injured.

City of Lincoln Bringing Back 'Third Fridays' This Summer

The City of Lincoln is bringing back its third Fridays this summer.

 

It's a community event that happens on the square on the third Friday evening from May through July. Mayor Tracy Welch feels it is a community-oriented event to bring people together.

 

 

Third Friday themes for the summer of 2023 include 'down on the farm', 'national nights', and then 'summer vibes' concludes the themes in July. 

Peace Meal Coming to Weldon in April

Seniors in the Weldon area likely were ready for Peace Meal to go full time in their community last month but a small oversite delayed the start of the meal program.

 

Shelly Tolley with OSF Peace Meal indicates Monday is the official start of the Peace Meal program in Weldon. She explains a renovation of the Community Center in Weldon delayed the start of the program.

 

 

Peace Meal needs volunteers and paid staff. Visit osfhealthcare.org/osf-peace-meal.

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Wellness Kiosk on Every College Campus With Emergency Contraception

A BILL PASSED BY THE ILLINOIS SENATE THIS WEEK WILL GIVE COLLEGE STUDENTS MORE ACCESS TO EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVES. 

 

PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, COLLEGES AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES WOULD HAVE TO SET UP AT LEAST ONE “WELLNESS” KIOSK ON CAMPUS THAT OFFERS EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION UNDER THE BILL. OPPONENTS ARGUE THAT SCHOOLS SHOULDN’T BE REQUIRED TO BEAR THE COST OF THESE MACHINES. SENATOR CELINA VILLANEUVA OF CHICAGO RESPONDS:


 

SENATOR TERRI BRYANT OF MURPHYSBORO:

 

 

THE KIOSK MAY ALSO BE STOCKED WITH THINGS LIKE CONDOMS AND TAMPONS. THE BILL NOW MOVES TO THE HOUSE.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

AS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH KICKS OFF IN APRIL, THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES IS HIGHLIGHTING ONE TELLTALE SIGN.

 

BRUISING CAN OFTEN INDICATE THAT A CHILD IS BEING ABUSED, BUT IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE WHERE THE BRUISES ARE LOCATED SAYS D-C-F-S SPOKESPERSON DEBORAH LOPEZ. SHE SAYS THEY USE THE “TEN-FOUR” RULE.

 

 

TO REPORT SUSPECTED CASES OF CHILD ABUSE, YOU CAN CALL: 1-800-25-ABUSE OR VISIT THE WEBSITE: CHILD ABUSE DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

Sen. Durbin Weighs In On Assault Weapons Ban

Illinois' Senior Senator is calling on Congress to pass an assault weapon ban after another school shooting.

 

This week a 28-year-old shooter killed six people - including three children - at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee. In an interview with M-S-N-B-C, Senator Dick Durbin said enough is enough.

 

 

According to Durbin, banning assault weapons should not be a political issue. Police in Nashville say they are looking for clues into a motive in the shooting.

Weekly Weather Summary

Some wicket storms rolled through parts of Illinois Friday. State Climatologist Trent Ford says that may not be the end of the severe weather threat.

 

 

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