Local News

It Was A Derecho That Swept Through Centra lIllinois Yesterday

IT WAS A DERECHO (deh-REY-cho) THAT SWEPT THROUGH THE CENTRAL PART OF THE STATE YESTERDAY. 

 

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DEFINES A DERECHO AS A WIDESPREAD, LONG-LIVED WIND STORM THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH A BAND OF RAPIDLY MOVING SHOWERS OR THUNDERSTORMS. THURSDAY'S STORMS LEFT THOUSANDS WITHOUT POWER, SEMI'S OVERTURNED ON THE HIGHWAY AND TREE LIMBS STREWN ACROSS YARDS AND STREETS. THE ONLY GOOD NEWS IS THAT ALONG WITH THE DAMAGE, CAME MUCH NEEDED RAIN SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST TRENT FORD.

 

 

FORD SAYS WIND GUSTS WERE REPORTED TO EXCEED 80 MILES PER HOUR FROM THE IOWA TO INDIANA BORDER AND REACHED AN ESTIMATED 100 MILES PER HOUR IN A FEW AREAS OF HANCOCK, WARREN AND MCDONOUGH COUNTIES.

 

 

THE STORMS DID BRING SOME MUCH NEEDED RAINFALL. WIDESPREAD TOTALS EXCEED MORE THAN THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH FROM THE QUAD CITIES TO THE INDIANA BORDER, WITH A FEW SPOTS AROUND BLOOMINGTON NORMAL GETTING MORE THAN TWO INCHES OF RAIN.

Ameren Illinois Gives Update On Situation; Reinforcements Arriving

Ameren Illinois continues to bring in many extra workers to continue working on fixing power lines and restore power after a storm rolled through in central Illinois on Thursday.  The storm is being called a derecho by the National Weather Service and has caused problems for a massive area of more than 240 miles throughout the state. Brian Bretsch, spokesperson for Ameren, says they have been bringing in all kinds of reinforcements.

 

 

While Bretsch says there’s no timeframe on restoration of power.  Some areas are still being assessed and the hope is that there will be a lot of answers today.

 

 

Bretsch encourages everyone to keep their fridge and freezer closed at all costs, but if you do lose some food, you can file a claim through Ameren.

 

 

Bretsch says he is asking for patience but understands the frustration of many of the Ameren customers. They have been bringing in many extra hands to help.

 

 

Ameren says there are still over 250 power lines that are down.  For more information, visit their outage map on the Ameren Illinois website. 

Clinton Chamber of Commerce Prepping for Haunted House Season

It's the middle of the summer and for most folks, the fall and haunted house season might be the furthest thing from our minds but not for a Clinton agency.

 

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce recently wrapped up the busy first sixth months of the calendar year with its recent golf outing, now they turn their attention to the Terror on Washington Street Haunted House says Executive Director Janice Peterson.

 

She indicates she will be relying on the volunteers of the haunted house that know the ins and outs of the preparations.

 

 

For Peterson, the haunted house was the first thing she was involved in when she started at the Chamber last October. She explains she got a good initiation into what all happens during the thick of the haunted house season.

 

 

In the months ahead, Peterson will be reaching out to various groups to volunteer for the nights of the haunted house. It will be every Friday and Saturday night in October starting October 6. Visit clintonhauntedhouse.com or follow the Terror on Washington Street Haunted House Facebook page to keep up with the latest. 

University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Educator Busts Some Common Summer Food Myths

The summer cookout season is in full swing and a nutrition educator at the University of Illinois Extension is busting some myths around some of those popular food items that you may encounter or even prepare for your gatherings.

 

Caitlin Mellendorf is a nutrition educator at the U of I Extension in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties and starts with a common myth around potato salad and why if you find yourself ill after a gather, perhaps it wasn't that potato salad that is the culprit.

 

 

According to Mellendorf, look to your carbohydrates or proteins as the reason you've fallen slightly or temporarily ill, and reminds to keep those foods chilled as much as possible.

 

 

Another myth Mellendorf addresses are the myth of using your hands or touch to determine if meat is done or ready to consume. She stresses this is not a good way to gauge the readiness of meat and implores the grill master to keep a thermometer handy.

 

 

Additionally, there can be myths about sun tea. Mellendorf explains some folks still like to set their tea out in the sun for preparation. Because of the possibility of bacteria getting in that tea while it is in the sun, she recommends boiling it first, then setting it out in the sun. 

 

 

Mellendorf says Extension is starting to work on its food preparation website and giving it a makeover. In the meantime, check out the tools they do have available by visiting extension.illinois.edu/dmp. 

Looking at gas prices headed to 4th

Some good news for summer road trippers this Fourth of July weekend, as gas prices should be cheaper than a year ago, according to GasBuddy.

 

Patrick De Haan is the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

 

 

According to GasBuddy's 2023 summer travel survey, 36% of drivers are planning to take a road trip over the Independence Day weekend, up 9% from last year.

LaHood reacts to latest drought monitor map

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map shows much of Illinois at the moderate to severe drought level. Here’s Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood.

 

 

The drought monitor map is updated every Thursday morning.

Storm Rips Through DeWitt County

A storm that wreaked havoc on DeWitt County left significant damage in its wake throughout the county.

 

DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker tells Regional Radio a tree on Rt 10 west of Clinton was the most significant rural damage he encountered - and there was plenty of it to survey.

 

 

During live coverage of the post-storm, Sheriff Walker was just getting into Wapella and told Regional Radio it looked like they had suffered the worst of the storm in DeWitt County.

 

 

The Sheriff advises if you're going to go out this afternoon or this evening, be careful and be aware of any potential down trees that may have live wires attached to them.

 

 

The National Weather Service advised there was no severe weather expected after 5 pm.

 

Regional Radio was also informed West Side Access Road was closed for a short time with three trees that were knocked down. It re-opened around 2:45 pm Thursday.

 

The DeWitt County Courthouse closed for the day Thursday due to no power. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farmer City Fourth of July Fireworks Display Friday

Farmer City's Fourth of July Fireworks display will be this Friday night.

 

It's in conjunction with fan appreciation night at Farmer City Raceway. City Manager Sue McLaughlin indicates it's $5 to get in, watch some racing and enjoy the fireworks at dusk.

 

 

Check more happenings throughout the summer at the Farmer City Raceway by finding them on Facebook. McLaughlin also points those interested in the happenings in Farmer City to check out their Facebook page. 

Local Veteran Welcomed Home from Honor Flight Last Week

A local veteran was welcomed home last week from the Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C.

 

Mike Ferguson made the trip to Washington, D.C. June 20 thanks to the Honor Flight that gives veterans a chance to check out the monuments in Washington, D.C. 

 

 

That's Jeff Morlock with Battle Cross Crusaders who invites the public to be a part of a fundraiser they have coming up this weekend in Wapella Saturday evening.

 

 

Find the Battle Cross Crusaders on Facebook for more on that event and other opportunities to help local veterans in the community. 

Central Illinois Mental Health Executive Highlights Importance of Fathers

Last weekend we celebrated Father's Day and June is men's mental health awareness month.

 

It's a combination that is of particular importance to Tony Kirkman who is the Executive Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center. He stresses a father's importance in the family unit and a community in no way diminishes that of a mother's.

 

 

Kirkman points out the presence of young person's father significantly reduces his or her's chances at misfortune befalling them.

 

 

According to Kirkman, young children want to see what a healthy man looks like. That means a father that treats his wife with respect and loves her. He says a father should be a good example for his son and for his daughter.

 

 

Kirkman recently wrote a piece in a Piatt County publication regarding men's mental health month and why men receiving help and being honest about their situation is imporant. 

 

You can learn more about the Piatt County Mental Health Center at piattmhc.org. 

Sen. Durbin Discusses Russia Situation

Last weekend Russia was the center of global attention with what looked like a possible coup or direct military confrontation coming from a private Russian army.

 

US Senator Dick Durbin says the world is watching closely what’s transpiring and its’ clear to him the leader of Russia is paying a heavy price for deciding to wage war in Ukraine.

 

 

Fourth of July Safety Reminders

Independence Day is approaching, but the American Red Cross reminds the public to think twice before lighting up fireworks.

 

Due to the abnormally dry conditions in Central Illinois, the Red Cross is worried about house fires. Brian Williamson, the Red Cross Communication Manager.

 

 

According to Williamson, the Red Cross responded to seven home fires in the past week impacting more than 30 people.

President Biden Visits Chicago Wednesday

The President was in Chicago mid-week to tout his self-branded economic plan. Democrat Joe Biden was sounding like he was on stump with an eye towards the Democratic National Convention that will be in Chicago next summer.

 

 

After his speech, Biden was the guest of honor for a high dollar fundraiser hosted by Governor JB Pritzker.

Drought's Impact on Specialty Growers

How is drought impacting specialty growers? Apple producer Randy Graham is owner operator of Curtis Orchard in Champaign.

 

 

Graham also serves as chairman of the Illinois Specialty Growers Association.

A Few New Laws Go Into Effect July 1

SOME NEW LAWS AND INCREASES TAKE EFFECT JULY FIRST. 

 

STARTING SATURDAY, THE ONE PERCENT SALES TAX ON GROCERIES RETURNS AND A DELAYED THREE-CENT INCREASE IN THE MOTOR FUEL TAX WILL BE IMPLEMENTED. PUTTING OFF THESE FEES FOR AWHILE HELPED FAMILIES STRUGGLING WITH RISING PRICES SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER’S TAX RELIEF PLAN INCLUDED SUSPENDING A ONE PERCENT STATE SALES TAX ON GROCERIES. THE GOVERNOR REMINDS THAT REVENUE FROM THE GROCERY TAX GOES TO COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE STATE.

 

 

A FEW NEW LAWS TAKE EFFECT ON THE FIRST. ONE MARKS SEPTEMBER 17TH, CONSTITUTION DAY, A COMMEMORATIVE HOLIDAY AT SCHOOL. A SECOND WILL HELP YOUTH LEAVING THE CARE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES LOCATE FORMER FOSTER PARENTS AND SIBLINGS.

Farmer City Implements Burn Ban, To Offer City-Wide Brush Pick Up This Week Only

A burn ban is in place in Farmer City for the remainder of the week.

 

City Administrator Sue McLaughlin tells Regional Radio the dry weather is obviously the reason for this ban but points out it is a short extension of the burn ban for July and August.

 

 

Coincidentally, the burn ban comes on the heels of the city surveying the community in regards to burning in the city. McLaughlin says the community overwhelmingly told city officials they want to leave the burning rules in place.

 

 

McLaughin also indicates because of the windy day it was on Sunday, the City is implementing a city-wide pickup of brush this week. She explains residents can just leave that brush out on the curb and crews will come get it.

 

 

For the latest on all things Farmer City, McLaughlin points residents and others to follow the City's Facebook page. 

Wet Start to July

As we head to the Fourth of July, it looks like we are seeing good chances of rainfall. 

 

That's according to Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln. The first chances of rain in our area appear to be on Thursday.

 

 

Shimon hopes some rain that is looking to pop up to our south will get up to central Illinois and start to break through this drought.

 

 

Looking farther out, Shimon notes 90-degree days are likely through July. He does note, the drier the days are and the hotter they are, the cooler they can get at night. 

State of Illinois Ad Campaign

Illinois is launching another ad campaign to draw more visitors to the state and once again it features actress Jane Lynch. And she was all over the state…

 

 

The ads are tagged, ‘The middle of everything’, they feature Lynch all over the state from Murphysboro to Chicago. The ads will air in 22 states and Toronto Canada. The state’s tourism office says the previous campaign led to an additional 2 million trips that turned into $1 billion more dollars being spent in the state.

Illinois Farm Bureau Asking for Emergency Haying, Grazing on CRP Land

Illinois Farm Bureau has requested the federal government’s help to allow emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land.

 

Citing a “widespread drought impacting farmers throughout the state,” IFB President Richard Guebert Jr. sent a letter to U.S. Senate and House leadership last week asking them to work with Illinois’ congressional delegation and USDA on behalf of Illinois’ farmers. Illinois has yet to meet federal drought requirements for emergency haying and grazing before the primary nesting season ends Aug. 1. Here is Wendy Muller, a chief in CRP compliance for Illinois FSA

 

 

IFB initiated an emergency conference call last week with Illinois congressional staff and state USDA officials, including Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA) Director Scott Halpin, to discuss drought conditions.

 

The drought monitor map is updated every Thursday morning.

Drought Getting Worse in Illinois, Chances for Rain This Week Though

Weekend rains largely skipped over the central part of Illinois as drought continues to intensify.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio Saturday night storms really benefitted Illinois north of I-80 and south of Springfield.

 

 

Shimon indicates one of the challenges with this drought is the fact we're not getting any moisture and so weather systems need moisture from the ground to help develop a storm and right now there is nothing to draw from on the surface.

 

 

There are chances for scattered rains throughout the week this week tho.

 

 

So far in June, we are unsurprisingly well below normal for rainfall to the point Shimon says if we don't get some rain this week, the Lincoln office will report the driest June in history.

 

 

Shimon points out, the good news is we're trending for a wet start to July. We'll hear more from him on that later this week on Regional Radio. 

Social Security Offers Reminders About Personal Information Safety

The last few weeks on Regional Radio, we've been highlighting tips from Social Security officials regarding guarding your information online.

 

Today we take a look at a few final reminders for those social media accounts as well as security in what is lying around your home. Jack Myers with Social Security reminds shred paper documents that contain personal information, like your name, birth date, and Social Security number.

 

 

Myers also encourages you to be careful about how much you're revealing on social media.

 

 

In the event your information is compromised, Myers has this advice...

 

 

Basics of protecting your information include not carrying that Social Security card regularly, carefully screening phone calls, text messages, or emails, and a reminder that Social Security will rarely, if ever, reach out to you by phone or text message. 

Clinton Power Station Hosts Community Open House

Nearly 500 guests and visitors toured the training facility at the Clinton Power Station Monday night for its annual community open house.

 

Crystal Brinkley told Regional Radio during its live coverage the event offers a chance for the community to learn more about the station, and its operations and speak with employees of the station.

 

 

Communications Manager Paul Dempsey indicates the power station has some exciting things happening. He indicates they will soon be preparing for a fall outage that will welcome hundreds of contracted employees for the refueling and maintenance of the plant. 

 

 

Angela Olesom was welcoming individuals at the main entrance of the training facility. She is the Supervisor of Records Management and told Regional Radio about the employee giving they do each and every year.

 

 

Tenesha Swan is the training project specialist at the power plant and indicates getting on at Constellation doesn't always require an advanced degree.

 

 

Bob Pakidis was helping lead demonstrations of the wildly popular control room simulator. He feels it is great to get the community in that room and experience what the actual control room is like and how things work at the power station.

 

 

The open house was from 4 pm to 7 pm Monday with Moe's Southwest Grill in Bloomington catering the event. Organizers were very pleased with the turnout and always appreciate the community coming out to support them and be a part of its events. 

 

 

 

 

DeWitt County Board Chair Defends Board, Process for Re-Zoning Property South of Clinton

The DeWitt County Board Chair is defending the Board and believes all procedures were properly followed during a re-zoning process for a parcel of property just south of Clinton.

 

Dan Matthews tells Regional Radio the parcels of land were zoned for two different designations and the owner wanted them re-zoned to the same designation, RD1.

 

 

Matthes reminds there are policies and procedures the Board has to follow in matters like these and does not believe the claim that the process was abused is accurate.

 

 

According to Matthews, the rezoning process does not necessarily mean something is going to be developed on that property. He points out if the owner of the land wants to develop, he has to go through the exact same process to apply for that development.

 

 

One of the issues brought up to the County Board last week was the fact the owner of the property did not show up to the re-zoning hearing nor that they were available to answer questions to the nearby residents about their intentions for the re-zoning. 

 

Matthews believes the owner did not need to be in attendance pointing once again to the fact no plans were applied for therefore, they did not have anything to present. 

June is Men's Mental Health Month

June is men's mental health month and a central Illinois mental health professional has some thoughts on men as what he calls reluctant patients.

 

Tony Kirkman, Executive Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center, believes there is good reason to believe men are stubborn when it comes to addressing their mental health.

 

 

One of the stigmas of men and their mental health is the fact that men have been taught addressing their mental health isn't an appropriate thing to do. Kirkman believes this plays out not only in men addressing mental health issues but primary care issues and that is the minimizing of anything going on.

 

 

For men's mental health month, Kirkman would like to see more conversation and advocacy for men to find resources for care. 

 

 

Like women and children, Kirkman believes men can fall into the trap of the comparison mindset and while their comparisons may not stem from the things they see on social media, they might notice the family down the street with the latest trendy vehicle or new things at their home or they took an elaborate vacation. He believes this has its impact on men given their desire to provide for their family. 

 

He encourages any men in need of resources to find the Piatt County Mental Health Center at piattmhc.org or your local mental center in your community. 

Farm Rescue Helping Illinois Farmers

Farm Rescue now offering services in Illinois. 

 

The non-profit provides free planting, haying, harvesting, commodity hauling and livestock feeding assistance to farm families who have experienced a major illness, injury or natural disaster. The effort was started in 2006 and is available in seven other states. They just provided their 1000th assistance case—the Brad Pifer farm in Crawford County—impacted by an early spring EF3 tornado.

 

 

Information on Farm Rescue available at farmrescue.org.

Curing Food Desert Problem in Southern Illinois

A number of agencies coming together to solve a nearly seven year food desert in soutern Illinois. The success story—Cairo, says USDA Rural Development State Director Betsy Dirken Londrigan.

 

 

USDA Rural Development offers a number of programs to assist local communities. To learn more, visit rd.usda.gov/il.

Immigrant Drivers License Legislation Awaits Governor's Signature

A bill yet to be signed by the Governor would give eligible immigrant citizens in the state an Illinois Drivers License.

 

Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias says the licenses would replace existing TVDL’s which often leave drivers worried about being outed as an immigrant.

 

 

The wording “Federal Limits Apply” would be on the license. The Governor has yet to sign the bill.

DeWitt County Board Chair Discusses Interest in Clinton Lake Marina

The Department of Natural Resources is interested in purchasing the Clinton Lake Marina.

 

DeWitt County Board Chair Dan Matthews Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board meeting made the announcement and Friday morning on the WHOW Morning Show told Regional Radio DNR is exploring making a proposal to DeWitt County.


 

For Matthews, keeping a government entity involved in the processes of operation at the Marina would be better than a private owner because of the uncertainty of a private owner's intentions.

 

 

Earlier this year, Matthews announced the intention of the County Board to explore the possibility of selling the Marina.

 

DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson will join the WHOW Morning Show Monday. 

Big Toy Train Show This Weekend

This weekend marks the 45th annual Galesburg Railroad Days. 

 

The festival features a carnival on the city square, car cruise-in, tours of the BNSF rail yard and railroad museum, firefighter water competitions, as well as one of the Midwest's biggest toy train shows. Greg Norris, one of the directors of the event, says that this is the 30th year of the show.

 

 

The event takes place Saturday and Sunday at the T. Flemming Fieldhouse on Knox College's campus. Admission is $5 but kids under 12 are free.

Update on Ag Teaching Positions in Illinois

An update on the ag teaching situation in Illinois as we look toward the new school year.

 

 

Casey Bolin is District 5 Program Adviser for Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education.

 

She says the state’s ag teachers are attending a 4-day conference in Lisle this week.

Fireflies Emerging in Illinois

FIREFLIES ARE EMERGING AND A HORTICULTURE EXPERT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION HAS ALL SORTS OF FACTS ABOUT THE BLINKING BUGS.

 

FIREFLIES, OR LIGHTNING BUGS, ARE ACTUALLY BEETLES THAT SPEND MOST OF THEIR LIVES IN THE LARVAE STAGE, PREYING ON SLUGS, CATERPILLARS AND INSECTS IN THE SOIL. THE EXTENSION’S KEN JOHNSON SAYS ONCE THEY EMERGE AS ADULTS, THEY ONLY LIVE FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS. WHEN FIREFLIES LIGHT UP…THAT’S THEIR VERSION OF SPEED DATING.

 

 

 JOHNSON NOTES THAT MOST SPECIES HAVE THEIR OWN PATTERN OF SIGNALING.

 

 

JOHNSON SAYS LIGHTNING BUGS FLASH LESS OFTEN WHEN THE WEATHER IS COOLER. THEY ARE PART OF THE BEETLE FAMILY AND ADULTS TYPICALLY ONLY LIVE A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

Drought Monitor Update

The latest update with the U.S. Drought Monitor. Illinois still seeing some problem areas.

 

 

That’s Freese-Notis-Weather Meteorologist Paul Otto speaking with the RFD Radio Network on Thursday.

Drought Impacting Cattle Producers

It's been a dry June in Illinois and every part of the state has officially slipped into drought according the US Drought Monitor. The dryness has been taking its toll on cattle producers who are finding stunted growth in pastures and are worrying about feeding cows as grass goes dormant. Travis Meteer with the University of Illinois Extension says the flash drought is just yet another problem for cattle producers to deal with.

 

 

The drought monitor map is released each Thursday morning.

DeWitt County Board Approves Rezoning Bid for Lot on South Side of Clinton

The DeWitt County Board approved a re-zoning bid on Clinton's south side Thursday night, much to the disapproval of area residents. 

 

The property is at the northwest corner of US 51 and 500 North Road, just east of the Heather Meadow's subdivision. Residents in the area obtained legal representation. Their attorney, Rich Marvel, Thursday night appealed to the Board the process of the re-zoning from RD3 to RD1 was abused.

 

 

Speaking for his clients, Marvel says they simply want more information about what is going on for the owner of the property.

 

 

Comments by the Board were limited Thursday night. Terry Ferguson told the representatives for the residents he was told claims about signatures being met. Joe Witte pointed out the language in the ordinance was not very specific regarding the notices and could use some work.

 

 

Buck Carter, Kristina Deerwester, Terry Ferguson, Dan Matthews, Megan Myers, Brian Riddle, John Werts, and Joe Witte voted for the approval of the rezoning. 

 

Tom Farris, Jamie Prestergaard, and Pat Ryan voted against the rezoning. 

Clinton Police Chief Promoting Heat Safety

We're coming up on one of the warmer stretches we've had so far this year and local authorities are promoting heat safety.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says with this heat we need to be mindful of not only our own health but those around us. He says for those that are fortunate to be in good health, be mindful of any compromised neighbors like the elderly.

 

 

Of course with this heat, pet owners need to be mindful of the condition and environment we're keeping our pets in. Chief Lowers hopes pet owners will consider giving outside animals a place inside, even if it is in the garage or a transitional space.

 

 

Other tips from Chief Lowers - plan your outdoor activities around the weather. Try to get things done when the mornings are still cooler or the evenings are cooling down. 

 

Additionally, he says to get plenty of water and if you need a cool place to go, the public library is a quiet place to go as well as the DeWitt County Friendship Center. 

Illinois Housing Development Authority Awards Nearly $2.6-Million in Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to Several Communities

THE ILLINOIS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY IS AWARDING 26 MILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL TAX CREDITS TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS THE STATE. 

 

THE CREDITS ARE SOLD TO INVESTORS TO GENERATE CAPITAL FOR THE 18 AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECTS IN 12 ILLINOIS COUNTIES SAYS I-H-D-A SPOKESPERSON ANDREW FIELD.

 

 

THE MONEY WILL BE GOING TO 18 DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS…CREATING 11-HUNDRED NEW UNITS IN ILLINOIS.

 

 

DEVELOPMENTS RECEIVING THE CREDITS ARE LOCATED IN COMMUNITIES LIKE ADDISON, NORTHBROOK, JOLIET, CHICAGO, CHAMPAIGN, PEORIA, WOOD RIVER, HARRISBURG AND MORE.

Federal, State National Guard Leaders Discuss Challenges of Recruiting

FEDERAL AND STATE NATIONAL GUARD LEADERS ARE DISCUSSING THE CHALLENGES OF RECRUITING TROOPS. 

 

RETENTION RATES AT THE ILLINOIS ARMY AND AIR NATIONAL GUARDS ARE PRETTY GOOD, BUT IT’S GETTING PEOPLE TO SIGN UP THAT IS SOMETIMES A STRUGGLE. BOTH BRANCHES RELY ON CURRENT MEMBERS TO SPREAD THE WORD, AND FOCUS ON THE SUMMER MONTHS TO BRING IN RECENT GRADUATES. TECHNICAL SERGEANT STEPHEN GRAVES WITH THE AIR GUARD SAYS THEY WANT POTENTIAL RECRUITS TO KNOW THAT SERVING CAN FIT INTO THEIR BUSY LIVES.

 

 

ARMY STAFF SERGEANT YOON KIM WITH THE ILLINOIS ARMY NATIONAL GUARD SAYS THEY TRY TO PROMOTE FLEXIBILITY WHEN UP AGAINST OTHER EMPLOYERS.

 

 

FEDERAL MILITARY LEADERS ALSO SAY IT’S A TOUGH TIME TO RECRUIT, NOTING THAT BRANCHES CONTINUE TO LOOK AT POLICIES THAT MAY REDUCE THE POOL OF POTENTIAL MEMBERS SUCH AS RULES ABOUT BODY MASS INDEX AND TATTOOS.

Alta Farms II Wind Farm Operational

Enel North America has begun operations of the 200-megawatt Alta Farms wind farm in DeWitt County. 

 

The project supports Meta’s DeKalb Data Center through a 125 MW long-term power purchase agreement. Alta Farms also supports the Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) with a 75 MW long-term power purchase agreement.

 

Enel began construction at Alta Farms in 2021. Representing an investment of over $345 million, the project created over 275 jobs during construction and will employ around 12-15 full-time workers for long-term operations and maintenance. 

 

Over its lifetime, Alta Farms is expected to generate over $44 million in local property tax revenue and over $50 million in lease payments to landowners

Gibson ACE in Clinton Celebrating 75 Years on Saturday

Gibson ACE Hardware in Clinton is celebrating 75 years in business this year and this Saturday is a special celebration the community is invited out for.

 

Brad Barton with Gibson Ace indicates they will have sales going on in the store Friday and Saturday and then the parking lot will be blocked off on Saturday for a cookout and several demonstrations.

 

 

Owner Candy Heap is excited about this weekend because she has family coming to town to join in the celebration.

 

 

Heap tells the story of how ACE started in Wapella but wasn't necessarily a hardware store right away.

 

 

Check out all the happenings this Friday and Saturday at ACE in Clinton, caddy-corner to Clinton Save A Lot on Madison Street. Barton indicates the Saturday demonstrations should start around 10 am and lunch and food served around 11 am. 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Hopeful Summer Work Done In Time for Start of School

A lot of work is being done at Clinton High School this summer and administration is hopeful it will be done in time for the start of school.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles indicates the renovation of the high school kitchen is probably the most pressing project they are monitoring.

 

 

The high school gym is what Nettles calls 'the wow factor' and he feels it is going to be very stylish.

 

 

So far, Nettles indicates they have found very few issues with access to materials and unexpected cost increases. In fact, they received very positive news about an upcoming project.

 

 

For Nettles, he is very excited about the gym. He feels the community is going to be very impressed with the gym. 

 

Additionally, a piece of this summer's work that high school principal Jerry Wayne was excited about is starting to go up at the entrance of Clinton High School. The administration has kept the plans close to the chest. 

Clinton Chamber of Commerce Hosts Annual Golf Outing

The annual Clinton Chamber of Commerce golf outing was Tuesday afternoon in Clinton.

 

Chamber Director Janice Peterson indicates they had 11 teams this year on a warm but nice afternoon at the Clinton Country Club. The annual golf outing is a fundraiser for the Chamber. 

 

 

For the first-year Chamber Director, Peterson credits former Director Marian Brisard and the folks on the Chamber Board and Ted Morris at the Country Club for being a good guide in putting the event together.

 

 

Also as a part of Tuesday's golf outing was the drawing for the plethora of gift cards for the 'gift card-palooza' fundraiser the Chamber tried for the first time this year. 

 

She also told Regional Radio, she felt May Days was another big success last month. The Chamber will now begin to turn its attention to preparing for haunted house season in October. 

 

 

Time Running Out for One of a Kind Event with McLean County Farm Bureau

The McLean County Farm Bureau is hosting a one-of-a-kind event this Saturday and registration is fast approaching.

 

Anna Ziegler at the McLean County Farm Bureau indicates registration for the annual Ag Bus Tours is this Thursday.

 

 

The bus tours are led by local ag historian Don Meyer. There will be a light breakfast at 7:30 am and will explore history in Danvers, Stanford, McLean, and Funk's Grove.

 

 

Tickets are $25 for Farm Bureau members and $35 for non-members. Contact the McLean County Farm Bureau office for tickets or more information by calling 309-663-6497. 

Another Chance For Weekend Rains

The last two weekends there have been chances of rain in Illinois. Same story this weekend.

 

 

That’s DTN ag meteorologist John Baranick. He spoke with the RFD Radio Network Tuesday.

Deadline for Preschool Grand Funding Extended to June 30

THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IS EXTENDING THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR PRESCHOOL GRANTS. 

 

THE GOAL IS TO ADDRESS PRESCHOOL “DESERTS,” WHERE LOCAL CHILDREN DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO QUALITY EARLY EDUCATION. GRANTS ARE AVAILABLE TO DAYCARES, NOT FOR PROFITS GROUPS, SCHOOLS AND MORE TO EXPAND OR CREATE PRESCHOOL OPPORTUNITIES SAYS STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION TONY SANDERS.

 

 

SANDERS SAYS THE GOAL IS TO ELIMINATE THE MANY PRESCHOOL “DESERTS.”

 

 

THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR THE GRANT FUNDING HAS BEEN MOVED TO JUNE 30TH. MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: ISBE DOT NET. THAT’S I-S-B-E DOT NET.

New Twist on Fake Invoice Scams

The fake invoice scam is making the rounds again, some with a slightly different twist. 

 

While usually targeting businesses, con artists pretend to be contacting you as part of the Geek Squad, which is owned by Best Buy or through PayPal. The scammers attempt to fool employees into paying for products that the business didn’t order and that may not even exist. Better Business Bureau Investigator Don O’Brien says you should be wary of all invoices.

 

 

Fake invoices can be for any product or service; the most common are office supplies, website or domain hosting services, and directory listings which may be referred to as a “renewal”. And train your staff. Make sure that the people processing invoices or answering phone calls are aware of this con. Scammers are great at mimicking official seals, fonts, and other details.

Weekly Crop Report

ANOTHER WEEK OF VERY LITTLE RAIN HAS LED TO A DECLINE IN ILLINOIS CROP CONDITIONS. 

 

THIS PAST WEEK WAS COOLER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL, WITH RAINFALL MORE THAN AN INCH BELOW AVERAGE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. THAT’S LEFT JUST 33 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS AND 36 PERCENT OF CORN IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT THE WINTER WHEAT CROP.

 

 

THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NEARLY COMPLETE AND FOUR PERCENT OF THE SECOND CUTTING IS DONE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DROPPED TO 42 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 45 PERCENT SHORT AND 13 PERCENT ADEQUATE.

 


 

JUST 17 PERCENT OF PASTURE ACREAGE IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT SHAPE. 13 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED. THAT COMPARES TO 17 PERCENT NORMALLY. THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS ALMOST DONE AND FOUR PERCENT OF THE SECOND CUTTING IS NOW COMPLETE.

Clinton City Council Says No to Non-Union Pay Raises After Union Employees Social Media Stir

Social media was abuzz over the weekend over an agenda item that was taken up Tuesday by the Clinton City Council.

 

The item on the agenda was in regards to proposed pay increases for various City employees ranging from the Treasurer to the vacant City Administrator's position - stemming from the City's struggle to fill the vacancy in the Administrator's office.

 

The raises set to be administered at various levels were ultimately shot down Tuesday night but city worker Kyle Morris, whose Facebook post received a lot of attention over the last week, told the Council Tuesday they wanted their fair share and what they deserved in light of the raises set for non-union officials.

 

 

The City surveyed other communities regarding salaries for positions like the City Administrator due to its mentioned struggle to replace Tim Followell right after the start of 2022. The survey concluded the City needed to increase its salaries for several non-union roles at City Hall. 

 

The City has had two administrators in that time that lasted only a short time in the role. 

 

The Council went to closed session prior to Tuesday's meeting for roughly 30 minutes. The Council unanimously shot down the pay increases. 

State Officials Impressed by FFA Award Recipients

Illinois Director of Ag Jerry Costello and Illinois Lt. Governor Julianna Stratton spoke at last week’s Illinois FFA Convention in Springfield and also presented Illinois Star Awards. The two spoke with RFD Radio after the presentations.

 

 

Over 6,100 members were on hand for last week’s Illinois FFA Convention at the Bank of Springfield Center.

Four More County Fairs This Week

Another week of county fairs in Illinois. Jasper County celebrating 152 years of their summertime tradition says fair board member Connie Elliott.

 

 

Also taking place this week, the Henry, Montgomery, and Western Illinois Fair in Pike County.

Costs Associated with State's Health Care Program for Undocumented Citizens Getting Attention

An attempt is being made to reign in the costs connected to the state’s healthcare program for undocumented citizens.

 

The state will pause new enrollments on July 1st. Governor JB Pritzker has backed the program, but cost containment has become a concern. He said prior to the announcement of restrictions that it needed to be managed to keep costs under control.

 

 

Co-pays are also going to be a part of the healthcare coverage, with hospitals being allowed to charge a $100 for an emergency room visit.

Heritage Behavioral Health Services Excited About Possibilities at New Location

As Heritage Behavioral Health Services transitions to its new location at the former Richland Center on Sunset Court in Clinton, the administration is excited about a world of possibilities.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, CEO Mary Garrison told Regional Radio its new building is already housing group services. For now, the organization is planning for renovations to provide more intimate services in addition to those group services.

 

 

For Heritage, the advantage of being able to renovate the space the way they want it is the fact they will be able to customize the space to better fit 21st-century treatment. Director of the Clinton site, Cory Baxter says the way services are administered has changed.

 

 

Currently, Heritage offers substance use group services and Baxter has the goal of increasing those offerings.

 

 

For Garrison, the possibility of adding to the group settings is among the aspects of the new building she is most excited about.

 

Heritagenet.org is where you can go for all things Heritage and its services or find them on social media like Facebook and Linked In. 

Busy Summer Underway at Heyworth Schools

Heyworth Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Taylor likes to tout the fact that just because it is summer doesn't mean the school building isn't a beehive of activity.

 

Dr. Taylor explains they have camps and other activities going on almost every week of the summer in their building in southern McLean County.

 

 

While there is nothing comprehensive like the district saw with its multi-million dollar renovation the last few years, Dr. Taylor indicates they have some smaller projects the community will appreciate.

 

 

As the district does facility planning going forward, for Heyworth, new wind farm development in the southern portion of McLean County will provide a huge boost of revenue when it is complete.

 

 

Dr. Taylor also points out she gets asked a lot about the football, baseball, and softball facilities and turfing those. While she would like to do that she notes they would have to put other important projects on the back burner and they cannot afford to do that right now. 

New State Law Lets Law Enforcement Use of Drones as Public Safety Tool

LAW ENFORCEMENT IN ILLINOIS WILL NOW BE ABLE TO USE DRONES AS A PUBLIC SAFETY TOOL. 

 

A NEW STATE LAW JUST SIGNED BY GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER ALLOWS POLICE TO LAUNCH DRONES OVER LARGE CROWDS SUCH AS FESTIVALS AND PARADES. SENATOR LINDA HOLMES OF AURORA SPONSORED THE MEASURE, CALLING IT ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT OF HER CAREER.

 

 

SENATOR JULIE MORRISON OF LAKE FOREST WAS AT THE PARADE WITH HER FAMILY THAT DAY.

 

 

POLICE COULD ALSO USE DRONES TO RESPOND TO A CALL, SO THAT THEY CAN COLLECT REAL-TIME INFORMATION BEFORE THEY ARRIVE ON THE SCENE. THE LAW TAKES EFFECT IMMEDIATELY.

Illinois Department of Public Health Urging to 'Fight the Bite'

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS URGING PEOPLE TO "FIGHT THE BITE" AND PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM MOSQUITOS THIS SUMMER. 

 

THE WEST NILE VIRUS HAS BEEN DETECTED IN FOUR COUNTIES SO FAR...SAINT CLAIR, MORGAN, LASALLE AND COOK. WHILE MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE INFECTED DON'T HAVE MANY SYMPTOMS, THE VIRUS CAN BE SERIOUS FOR THE ELDERLY AND THOSE WITH A COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEM. PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MIKE CLAFFEY SAYS THAT'S WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO "FIGHT THE BITE."

 

 

CLAFFEY SAYS IT'S ALSO A GOOD IDEA TO ELIMINATE ANY STANDING WATER ON YOUR PROPERTY.

 

 

SOME OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE MOSQUITO REPELLANTS CONTAIN DEET, OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS OR PICARIDIN. LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS, EIGHT PEOPLE DIED OF WEST NILE VIRUS.

Tickets On Sale Now for October Event at DeWitt County Museum

Tickets are on sale now for an event at the DeWitt County Museum in October.

 

Joey Long is the Director of the Museum and indicates the 'Mourning Moore' exhibit completely restages the entire CH Moore Homestead. She believes this is very much a one-of-a-kind event.

 

 

Tickets are on sale now for special tours during October. There are evening candlelight tours that you can purchase tickets for. Long explains there are time slots with limited availabilities.

 

 

Long explains this is an event she has wanted to do for some time but the timing hasn't seemed to work out until now.

 

 

The special candlelight tours are again on October 14 and October 27 from 6 pm to 7 pm and then from 7 pm to 8 pm. 

 

Get your tickets by calling the Homestead at 217-935-6066. 

Central Illinois Lawmaker Disappointed Despite Seat at Table, Few GOP Priorities in Latest Illinois Budget

A central Illinois lawmaker is disappointed that even though Senate Republicans had a seat at the table, none of the things they prioritized were in the latest Illinois budget.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, State Sen. Sally Turner told Regional Radio Illinois Democrats disregarded everything Senate Republicans wanted in the budget.

 

 

According to the Lincoln Republican, it is not good government to have one party making all the decisions with no input from the other side.

 

 

Sen. Turner is concerned with the spending in this budget because not only did budget forecasters indicate a lower revenue projection but they also do not have any more COVID dollars from the federal government coming in.

 

 

While Sen. Turner is appreciative education spending was increased in Illinois, there was a crucial program that largely benefitted underprivileged families in Chicago for school choice that was not renewed.

 

 

Sen. Turner credits east central Illinois Senator Chapin Rose for representing Illinois Republicans in the budget process. She applauds his knowledge of government budgeting and his understanding of the implications of the massive spending happening in Illinois. 

>DeWitt County Friendship Center Taking Orders for Take n' Bake Fundraiser

If you are thinking making that apple pie or dessert for the Fourth of July might be too much this year, a fundraiser at the DeWitt County Friendship Center might be just the help you need.

 

Paula Jiles is the Executive Director of the Friendship Center and indicates its take n' bake fundraiser is taking orders through this week for a pickup that June 30.


 

Contact the Friendship Center at 217-935-9411 to place an order. Pies are $15 and cobblers range from $10 to $18 depending on the size. 

DeWitt County Museum Facebook Page Compromised

If you are a follower of the DeWitt County Museum on Facebook, you're going to want to be on the lookout for its new Facebook page.

 

Director Joey Long indicates the Homestead had its Facebook page compromised a few weeks back and they've been forced to start a new page and hope followers will find their new page and give them a follow.

 

 

Additionally, the Museum's Apple n' Pork Festival Facebook page was compromised and this is really a predicament for the Museum Board because you cannot re-create a page with the same name as another.

 

 

Long says the Facebook pages being compromised is particularly disappointing because they had built up quite a following and will have to work to re-establish that presence again. 

Don't Forget About Clinton Farmer's Market

Don't forget about the Clinton Farmer's Market on the Clinton Square each Saturday.

 

The market runs from 8 am to noon each Saturday on the square. Elizabeth Burns says there are always new vendors popping up on the square and you don't want to miss out as the prime vegetable buying season gets ever closer.


 

The market is each Saturday from 8 am to noon and you can find out all about the market each week by searching for the Clinton Farmers and Artisans Market on Facebook. 

 

The market will also be set up for the Fourth of July celebration on the Clinton Square. 

Unemployment Down Last Month in Illinois

JOBS WERE UP AND THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WAS DOWN LAST MONTH IN ILLINOIS. 

 

GOOD NEWS FOR MAY SAYS STATE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY ACTING DIRECTOR RAY MARCHIORI.

 

 

THAT COMPARES TO FOUR POINT TWO PERCENT IN APRIL. MARCHIORI SAYS 25-HUNDRED JOBS WERE ADDED LAST MONTH. 

 

 

SECTORS WITH THE MOST GROWTH INCLUDE GOVERNMENT, FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES, EDUCATION AND HEALTH SERVICES AND LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY. LOSSES WERE SEEN IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND MANUFACTURING INDUSTIRIES.

Report Looks at How Students Decide to Attend Out of State School

A RECENT REPORT LOOKS AT THE REASONS WHY STUDENTS CHOOSE TO GO OUT OF STATE FOR COLLEGE. 

 

THE ILLINOIS WORKFORCE AND EDUCATION RESEARCH COLLABORATIVE SURVEYED 12-HUNDRED HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS WHO PLANNED ON GOING TO A FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE. OVERALL, THERE WERE FOUR MAIN FACTORS STUDENTS CONSIDERED: COST, LOCATION, ACADEMIC REPUTATION AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT. COLLABORATIVE DIRECTOR MEG BATES SAYS THEY ASKED STUDENTS LEAVING THE STATE WHAT WOULD GET THEM TO STAY IN ILLINOIS.


 

RESEARCHER MARIANA BARRAGAN-TORRES ADDS...


 

BATES SAYS “LEAVERS” ARE ALSO MORE LIKELY TO LOOK AT A SCHOOL’S SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT AND ATHLETICS, WHILE STUDENTS STAYING IN-STATE PUT THE MOST EMPHASIS ON COST AND THE OPINION OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Weekly Weather Summary

Weekend rains did not amount to much for Illinois and now the state is facing a growing drought issue... but could relief be on the way? State Climatologist Trent Ford has more.


 

 

Clinton's Christ Lutheran Church Hosting Saturday Cookout to Benefit Local Organizations

Clinton's Christ Lutheran Church is hosting a Saturday cookout fundraiser benefit a pair of local organizations.

 

Pastor David Dunlop says they will have river rat potatoes and brats for sale at the church. He says the hope is for the church to be more involved in the community.

 

 

Pastor Dunlop says last summer they tried it and he felt it was a good turnout and he was able to interact with a lot of new people. He hopes for more of the same this year as they seek to support 'Write Stuff for Kids' and the summer reading program at the library.

 

 

The Saturday cookout is from 10 am to 2 pm at the Church on Mulberry Street in Clinton. 

State Gas Tax to Increase July 1

The state’s gas tax is set to rise in July. The tax is set to rise automatically with the pace of inflation. The tax increase might be unwelcome for drivers, but Governor JB Pritzker says the recent tax increases have led to massive improvements on roadways and other infrastructure.

 

 

The tax increase will make Illinois’ fuel the 4th highest taxed in the nation.

Illinois FFA Officer Team Named

The Illinois FFA held their annual convention this week in Springfield and a new slate of State Officer’s were elected on Thursday. The new state president is Thad Bergschnider from Franklin.

 

He says when he was thinking about running for state office, he had to take every chance that is in front of him for growth and opportunity and he wants to share that message with every member of the FFA.

 

 

Eric Wisley of the Nashville FFA was elected Vice President, Cooper Nelson of the Canton FFA was elected Reporter, Riley Kessler of the Staunton FFA was elected Secretary and Ben Bremmer from the Pearl City FFA was elected Treasurer.

Clinton Police Chief Talks Summer Crime Trends

Central Illinois has been blessed with tremendous weather as we head into the summer. 

 

That means more people will be out and about and some with nefarious intentions. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers told Regional Radio it feels like this summer more kids are out playing and more people are simply out walking, so motorists need to be alert for those individuals. 

 

 

Chief Lowers recognizes he says it every year and multiple times but residents need to be vigilant in locking car doors, removing valuables, and keeping those doors to your home locked.

 

 

One area that is helping bring those individuals to justice has been the explosion of home security cameras. Chief Lowers says they are a great resource to law enforcement in a variety of instances where criminal activity has taken place.

 

 

With the City now allowing golf carts on the streets of the community, the golf cart has been a resource for a more stealth approach to policing at night.

State FFA Convention Rolls on in Springfield

State Honorary FFA Degrees are a big part of the Illinois FFA Convention. An ag teacher and former FFA’er was among those receiving the honor Wednesday. More from RFD Radio’s Jim Taylor.

 

 

The Illinois FFA honors junior high efforts too. Taylor shares one example from the State FFA Convention in Springfield.

 

 

Hear more coverage from the State FFA Convention next week on the Farm Show with WHOW Farm Broadcaster Jared White.

New Law Creates Pilot Program to Explore Ways to Prevent Low Bridge, Viaduct Collisions

A NEW STATE LAW AIMS TO PREVENT REPEATED ACCIDENTS AT LOW BRIDGES AND VIADUCTS IN ILLINOIS.

 

THE LAW CREATES A PILOT PROGRAM TO DETERMINE IF EARLY WARNING DEVICES LIKE “LIDAR” TECHNOLOGY, RADAR AND SPECIAL SIGNAGE CAN HELP PREVENT CRASHES. IT WAS SPONSORED BY SENATOR RACHEL VENTURA OF JOLIET.

 

 

 

VENTURA SAYS THESE CRASHES ARE A PROBLEM IN HER AREA AND OTHERS.

 

 

THE LAW WILL SURELY BE PUT TO GOOD USE IN THE NORTHWEST SUBURBS, WHERE THE HISTORIC COVERED BRIDGE IN LONG GROVE HAS BEEN STRUCK 50 TIMES SINCE IT REOPENED IN 2020.

IHSA To Look at Public, Private School Issues

The IHSA forming an advisory committee to look at public school and non-boundaried school issues. They’ll likely have some recommendations, but IHSA Executive Director Craig Anders doubts there will ever be separate state tournaments for public and non-boundaried schools.

 

 

The IHSA Board met earlier this week and won’t meet again until August.

Attorney General Raoul Urging Public to Be On Alert for Scam Texts, Emails

ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO WATCH OUT FOR EMAIL AND TEXT MESSAGE SCAMS. 

 

FIRST THERE WAS PHISHING…WHERE CON ARTISTS SEND AN EMAIL TO TRY TO GET YOU TO CLICK ON A LINK OR OBTAIN YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. BUT NOW…SMISHING IS BECOMING MORE PREVALENT. THAT’S WHERE SCAMMERS REACH OUT VIA TEXT SAYS ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL.

 

 

RAOUL ALSO ADVISES AGAINST SENDING THE WORD “STOP” TO A BOGUS TEXT BECAUSE REPLYING CONFIRMS THE PHONE NUMBER IS ACTIVE AND THAT YOU’RE WILLING TO OPEN SUCH MESSAGES.

 

 

RAOUL ALSO REMINDS THAT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WON’T CALL, EMAIL OR TEXT YOU FOR MONEY OR PERSONAL INFORMATION, AND THAT GOVERNMENT WEBSITES TYPICALLY END IN “DOT GOV” OR “DOT ORG.”

John Warner IV Dies in Car Crash in New Hampshire

A pillar of the Clinton community has died.

 

Regional Radio News has learned 69-year-old John Warner IV died on Monday afternoon from injuries sustained in a car accident.

 

Authorities in Carroll County, New Hampshire tell Regional Radio the accident happened on Rt. 109/Gov. Wentworth Highway and Edge O Lake Road in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire just before 1 pm local time on Monday.

 

Authorities indicate the accident was a two-vehicle incident. Warner was the only person in the vehicle. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.  

 

And the second vehicle also had a single person. The driver of the second vehicle was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and released.

 

Local police, state police, fire, and EMS crews were on scene for roughly four hours with the road blocked off. 

 

The crash and its details are under investigation at this time. Arrangements are pending with Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton.

 

Warner's family roots date back to the founding and establishment of Clinton. The Warner's had been influential in the community for generations. 

Clinton American Legion Taking Over Fourth of July Activities

The Clinton American Legion is taking over the Fourth of July activities on Clinton Square.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Josh Thielen with the Legion told Regional Radio this was an idea he had a few months ago and has since taken up the cause and run with it in hopes of boosting the annual walk/run event for the Legion.

 

 

According to Thielen, the Legion's run/walk event will take up the same route as before. It opens the Fourth of July activities with registration at 7 am and the run/walk beginning at 7:30 am. He indicates there is a donation to the IGY6 Foundation and the rest of the funds benefit the Legion.

 

 

Once the walk/run event wraps up, it's off to more activities. Thielen indicates activities are beginning at 8 am with breakfast from 'Wapella Says Yes' to the traditional watermelon eating contest and the dunk tank is back.

 

 

Thielen indicates they do need a few volunteers. He's been encouraged by those that have been willing to step up and help support this event. To get more information on the Fourth of July activities or volunteering, find the Clinton American Legion on Facebook. 

Social Security Highlights Protecting Your Identity, Social Media

Protecting your identity goes beyond who you give your social security number or carrying your social security card around with you.

 

Jack Myers at Social Security indicates your social media accounts can be detrimental to your identity being compromised. 

 

 

Your cell phone or iPad is stored with tons of personal information you may not even realize could compromise your security. Myers stresses avoiding internet threats by installing and maintaining strong anti-virus software on all your devices.  

 

 

As it relates to other aspects of our technology, Myers reminds do not click on any link sent via unsolicited e-mail or text messages.  Type in the web address yourself, and only provide information on the secure website “https”. That 'S' signifies the site is secure. 

State FFA Convention Underway in Springfield

The Illinois FFA Convention is underway in Springfield. What does it take to become a state officer? More from RFD Radio’s Jim Taylor.

 

 

Taylor has more from the state FFA convention in Springfield.

 

 

This week’s Illinois FFA Convention in Springfield serving as a homecoming for a National FFA Officer.

 

 

WHOW Farm Broadcast Jared White will have more from the FFA Convention next week ont he WHOW Farm Show. 

Illinois Department of Ag Director to Speak at State FFA Convention

The Illinois FFA Convention is underway in Springfield. IDOA Director Jerry Costello will provide a message to the group on Wednesday. He says the recently approved state budget includes funding for FFA dues.

 

 

Costello will speak at the Illinois FFA Convention on Wednesday.

July, August Looking Promising for Rain

Much of Illinois is in dire need of rain and while short-term outlooks don't have much to offer, July and August just might.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates soil moisture is rapidly declining and so the need for rain is significant. While June only has limited possibilities for rain, he is optimistic July and August could help us turn our fortune.

 

 

Because the spring was so dry, it altered the outlook for the summer. Shimon explains that on top of El Nino forming in the Pacific is causing forecasters to adjust the outlooks for this summer.

 

 

Yesterday on Regional Radio, we made note of Shimon pointing out the development of an El Nino pattern and perhaps as it develops it gives us the possibility of some beneficial rains. 

 

 

Only a tenth of an inch of rain or less was reported across most of Illinois from those weekend rain showers but Shimon notes we see another possibility of rain as soon as Friday afternoon and evening. He says the most beneficial rain will be a slow and steady rain shower. 

St. Louis District Dairy Council Promoting Mobile Dairy Classroom

June is dairy month and the St. Louis District Dairy Council is utilizing a unique resource to promote dairy.

 

Monica Nyman with the St. Louis District Dairy Council explains the mobile dairy classroom has already visited ten counties in Illinois with roughly 6,000 students.

 

 

According to Nyman, the dairy classroom is a 32-foot classroom on wheels with a live dairy cow named Louise. She says Louise is a great advocate for teaching all sorts of lessons on dairy.

 

 

Nyman says the mobile dairy classroom gives a good opportunity for kids and communities to learn about the dairy industry, especially with the number of dairy farms reducing across the country.

 

 

Nyman points anyone interested in learning more about Louise and the mobile dairy classroom to visit stldairycouncil.org or follow them on FB and IG at @STLDairyCouncil. 

Weekly Crop Report

CROP CONDITIONS DECLINED OVER THE PAST WEEK.

 

THE WEATHER WAS COOLER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL. STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT SOYBEANS.

 

 

SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT CORN:

 

 

63 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT AND 22 PERCENT OF PASTURE ACRES ARE RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

 

RAINFALL WAS MORE THAN AN INCH BELOW NORMAL LAST WEEK, DROPPING AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE TO 31 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 42 PERCENT SHORT AND 27 PERCENT ADEQUATE.

Illinois Liquor Control Commission Taking Action to Protect Public From Confusion Over Alcoholic, Non-Alcoholic Beverages

THE ILLINOIS LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION IS TAKING ACTION TO HELP MAKE SURE CONSUMERS DON'T GRAB THE WRONG DRINK AT THE STORE.

 

THE COMMISSION HAS FILED AN EMERGENCY RULE TO ADDRESS CONCERNS OVER CO-BRANDING, WHERE ALCOHOLIC AND NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES CARRY THE SAME OR SIMILAR BRAND NAME AND LOGO SAYS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LISA GARDNER.

 

 

UNDER THE RULE, LARGE RETAILERS CAN'T DISPLAY ALCOHOLIC DRINKS RIGHT NEXT TO SODA, FRUIT JUICES, WATER OR CERTAIN SNACK FOODS. SMALLER STORES MUST EITHER DO THE SAME THING OR POST SIGNAGE INDICATING THE PRODUCT CONTAINS BOOZE.

 

 

AS A RESULT, THE COMMISSION HAS FILED AN EMERGENCY RULE, WHICH IT HOPES TO MAKE PERMANENT. 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Has Some Tips for Pet Preparedness Month

THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS URGING FAMILIES TO CONSIDER THEIR PETS IN ANY DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLANS. 

 

THIS IS PET PREPAREDNESS MONTH AND A GOOD TIME TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOUR FURRY FRIENDS NEED IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY SAYS I-EMA SPOKESPERSON KEVIN SUR.

 

 

SUR REMINDS THAT IF YOU ARE DISPLACED, MANY SHELTERS DON’T TAKE PETS.

 

 

SUR SAYS YOU SHOULD ALSO HAVE PHOTOS OF YOUR PET, INCLUDING ONE WITH BOTH YOU AND THE ANIMAL IN THE PICTURE IN CASE YOU’RE SEPARATED.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Law Prohibiting Book Banning in Illinois

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND LAW PROHIBITING BOOK BANNING IN ILLINOIS. 

 

UNDER THE LAW, LIBRARIES THAT REMOVE BOOKS BECAUSE OF PARTISAN OR PERSONAL DISAPPROVAL WILL NO LONGER BE ELIGIBLE FOR STATE GRANTS. THE GOVERNOR SAYS THE THREAT IS REAL.

 

 

SECRETARY OF STATE ALEXI GIANNOULIAS PROPOSED THE LAW, WHICH TAKES EFFECT JANUARY 1ST. HE SAYS IT WILL ALSO PROVIDE PROTECTION FOR LIBRARIANS WHO ARE HARASSED AND THREATENED OVER CERTAIN TITLES.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THERE WERE 67 ATTEMPTS TO BAN BOOKS LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS.

Amtrak Between Chicago to St. Louis Reaches 110 MPH

IT'S SOON GOING TO BE A SPEEDIER TRIP ON AMTRAK'S LINCOLN SERVICE FROM CHICAGO TO SAINT LOUIS. 

 

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL SAYS THANKS TO THE ROUTE'S HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT, PASSENGER TRAINS WILL NOW REACH 110 MILES PER HOUR.

 

 

THE NEARLY TWO BILLION DOLLAR PROJECT ALSO INCLUDED MAJOR SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS AT OVER 200 GRADE CROSSINGS TO HELP PREVENT VEHICLE AND PEDESTRIAN COLLISIONS ON THE TRACKS.

 

 

39 CROSSING DEEMED AT-RISK WERE PERMANENTLY CLOSED.

Ameren Illinois Purchasing Energy at Lower Rate This Year

A local utility company has good news as consumers go to the A-C to battle the heat.

 

According to Tucker Kennedy with Ameren Illinois, the utility giant recently purchased energy at a much lower rate compared to years past.

 

 

According to Kennedy, some consumers could see up to three-hundred dollars off their power bill this year. Ameren's cost is down about 36 percent this year.

Nearly All of Illinois Considered to be in Drought, Abnormally Dry

NEARLY ALL OF ILLINOIS IS NOW CONSIDERED TO BE ABNORMALLY DRY OR OFFICIALLY IN A DROUGHT. 

 

THERE WAS SOME RAINFALL THIS PAST WEEK, ALTHOUGH PRECIPITATION WAS UNDER ONE-10TH OF AN INCH IN THE NORTHEASTERN PART OF THE STATE AND OVER AN INCH IN SOME AREAS OF CENTRAL AND WESTERN ILLINOIS SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST TRENT FORD.

 

 

FORD SAYS THERE ARE SOME SIGNS OF PROBLEMS.

 

 

FORD SAYS FORTUNATELY, THE OUTLOOK FOR THE REST OF THE MONTH IS CALLING FOR MORE NORMAL RAINFALL AND POTENTIAL STORMS IN MID TO LATE JUNE.

Illinois State Board of Education Reminds of Deadline to Apply for Grants to Help Eliminate Preschool Deserts in Illinois is Wednesday

THE ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION CONTINUES TO SEEK APPLICATIONS FOR 75 MILLION DOLLARS IN PRESCHOOL GRANT FUNDING. 

 

THE FUNDING IS PART OF THE GOVERNOR'S SMART START INITIATIVE AND WILL GO TO NEW OR EXISTING PROGRAMS THAT PLAN TO EXPAND. THE IDEA TO TO MAKE SURE ALL THREE AND FOUR-YEAR-OLDS HAVE ACCESS TO QUALITY PRESCHOOL SAYS STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION TONY SANDERS.

 

 

SANDERS. THE MONEY WILL GO TO CURRENT PRESCHOOLS LOOKING TO EXPAND, AND TO DISTRICTS, DAYCARES AND NOT-FOR-PROFIT GROUPS HOPING TO START A NEW PROGRAM.

 

 

APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14TH. YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ONLINE AT: ISBE DOT NET.

Gov. Pritzker Signs 90 Bills

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SIGNED 90 BILLS INTO LAW FRIDAY. HERE'S A LOOK AT A FEW OF THEM... 

 

THE LAWS RANGE FROM REQUIRING LARGE MUSIC VENUES TO HAVE NARCAN ON HAND IN CASE SOMEONE OVERDOSES...TO ELIMINATING ANY MENTION OF THE DEATH PENALTY IN STATE STATUTES. ONE, FROM REPRESENTATIVE AMY ELIK OF ALTON, MAKES SEPTEMBER 17TH CONSTITUTION DAY AT SCHOOL.

 

 

SENATOR MIKE SIMMONS OF CHICAGO SPONSORED LEGISLATION THAT REPLACES PRONOUNS LIKE "HIS" AND "HERS" WITH "THE CHILD" AND REPLACES "MOTHER" WITH "PERSON WHO GAVE BIRTH" IN SEVERAL STATE STATUTES THAT DEAL WITH CHILDREN.

 

 

ANOTHER NEW LAW REQUIRES SCHOOLS TO NOTIFY PARENTS WITHIN 24 HOURS OF LEARNING ABOUT A BULLYING INCIDENT. AND GO AHEAD AND HANG THOSE FUZZY DICE FROM YOUR REARVIEW MIRROR, BECAUSE THAT'S NOW LEGAL UNDER A BILL THE GOVERNOR SIGNED.

Social Security Continues to Promote Protecting Your Identity

Identity theft continues to affect millions of people each year and can cause serious harm.

 

That's why Jack Myers is highlighting the importance of protecting your information. Protect your Social Security number by keeping your card in a safe place.  Don’t carry it with you or provide your number unnecessarily. 

 

 

Be careful when the phone rings. Myers stresses scammers may call and try to mislead you by claiming to be government officials and trying to make you think there is an urgent problem. He reminds Social Security will never call and threaten you, tell you your SSN has been suspended, or demand cash, gift cards, or other unusual forms of payment.  

 

 

Create strong, unique passwords and use different passwords for different accounts so that if one account gets compromised they don’t get the password to all your accounts.

 

 

Myers has a few more tips about navigating technology and protecting your identity. We'll have more with him in the days ahead on Regional Radio. 

June Weather Calls for Warm Days

The rest of June could be warm.

 

That's what Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates the outlooks are showing. With the above-normal temperature signal are equal chances of above or below-normal precipitation.

 

 

Shimon explains we need the rain. He says soil moisture conditions are tanking quickly.

 

 

The problem, according to Shimon, is becoming if we don't get more rain is that drought begets drought. So if we don't start to build up some soil moisture, things could get really dry really fast.

 

 

The summer outlooks are being impacted by the ongoing drought. Shimon indicates some of the shifting in the outlooks could also be impacted by El Nino starting to set up in the Pacific. We'll have more on that later this week on Regional Radio. 

Clinton AmVets Dedicate Post to Darvin Volker

A local veterans organization renamed its post in honor and memory of one of its members and a beloved man of the community.

 

Clinton AmVets Commander Ed Beck on Saturday evening announced the post would be renamed the Darvin Volker Post 14. Beck indicated Volker was very active in the organization and the AmVets originally held their meeting at his barbershop on the Square.


 

A sign bearing the new post's name was unveiled at the dedication ceremony. The Clinton AmVets building is located at 302 North Monroe Street.

New Baum Chevrolet Buick Collision Center Moving Along

This fall, the new collision center at Baum Chevrolet Buick is hoping to be open.

 

Scott Baum, owner of Baum Chevrolet Buick, tells Regional Radio things are moving along. Folks that drive through where Route 10 and 54 intersect in Clinton have watched the progress of the building over the last several months.

 

 

Baum Chevrolet Buick has been in the news recently as the dealership announced the purchase of Wilson Chrysler Jeep just off the square in Clinton. 

Next Ten Days Could Offer Relief From Drought

The next ten days could provide relief for an intensifying drought developing in the midwest.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio there are chances of rain the next two weekends.

 

 

Next week on Regional Radio, we'll hear from Shimon on what the rest of June has in store for the weather. 

Yellowstone Having Impact on Baby Name Trends

Fans of the TV drama Yellowstone will get a laugh out of this bit of news.

 

The popular 21st-century western is impacting the baby name trends. Jack Myers at Social Security says the names 'Dutton' and 'Casey' are exploding on the baby name scene from 2022.

 

 

Social Security began compiling the baby names list back in 1997, with names dating back to 1880. The information is sought after and the release typically generates a lot of extra visits to its website. They enjoy sharing information that the public likes, but also hope that you will learn a little about your Social Security while you are on the website. 

 

Check out the list at www.socialsecurity.gov/babynames.

DeWitt County Museum Hosting 'Secrets of David Davis Mansion' Program Sunday Highlighting Ties to CH Moore

A special program is coming to the DeWitt County Museum this Sunday.

 

'The Secrets of the David Davis Mansion' is a book authored by Dr. Marcia Young who was formerly the Director of the David Davis Mansion. On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, she called it a biography of the house.

 

 

For Young, the way CH Moore helped preserve the legacy of David Davis after his passing was something she was surprised to learn about. She explains Moore took time to care for his wife and help his son after his passing.

 

 

The presentation Sunday, set for 2 pm in the carriage barn of the Homestead, will be a presentation but Young stresses this isn't your typical PowerPoint presentation.

 

 

The presentation with Dr. Marcia Young begins at 2 pm Sunday at the CH Moore Homestead.

Maintaining Vitality As We Age

A leading light of health and wellness is dialing in on maintaining vitality as we age. 

 

Dr. Jim LaValle is the author of 'Cracking the Metabolic Code' and the clinical director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame performance health program. On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, he told Regional Radio one of the top things we can do is exercise and that can be as simple as 20-50 minutes of walking a day.

 

 

According to Dr. LaValle, nutrition is very important as we age. Getting enough good, quality food is very important. He says you want to avoid foods that are going to bring down your energy and focus on foods that will make you feel good.

 

 

Dr. LaValle indicates there are plenty of models of healthy eating across the world where people are active and energetic as they age. He notes it requires discipline and dedication but it is worth it.

 

 

Dr. LaValle encourages finding things to be grateful for to improve your mental health and notes getting exercise with help with that as well. 

Illinois Farm Bureau Resource Looking at Farmland Assessments, Property Tax Process

It's a great resource for Illinois County Farm Bureau members. It’s called LINK—Local Information, News and Know-How. It’s a digital newsletter dealing with local government issues. One of the subjects in the upcoming June issue will involve property taxes says Illinois Farm Bureau Director of Local Government Programs Brenda Matherly.

 

 

You can find the resource at ilfb.org. Type in “LINK” in the search box.

Gov. Pritzker Says Budget Details His Administration's Priorities

Illinois’s newest state budget is official this week. Governor JB Pritzker says the $50 billion spending plan showcases his administration’s priorities.

 

 

No Republicans voted for the budget – they say its’ balanced off of gimmicks and should have contained other important items like the Invest in Kids tax break.

Applications Now Being Accepted for Early Childhood Education College Scholarships

THE ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS. 

 

THE EARLY CHILDHOOD ACCESS CONSORTIUM FOR EQUITY, OR “E-CACE” SCHOLARSHIP AIMS TO STRENGTHEN THE WORKFORCE OF TEACHERS FOR THE STATE’S YOUNGEST STUDENTS. PREVIOUSLY, ONLY COLLEGE JUNIORS COULD APPLY, BUT I-SAC’S LYNNE BAKER SAYS THE PROGRAM HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDED.

 

 

BAKER SAYS THE SCHOLARSHIP CAN COVER AS MUCH AS THE TOTAL COST OF ATTENDANCE AT A PARTICIPATING COLLEGE. 

 

 

APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR ARE DUE BY AUGUST SEVENTH. ALL OF THE DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE AT: ISAC DOT ORG.

Farmers Assessing Dry Conditions

Dry conditions prevail throughout most of Illinois. A first hand account from corn and soybean producer Ryan Frieders in the northern portion of the state.

 

 

Frieders farms in Waterman in DeKalb County.

June is PTSD Month

June is recognized as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) month. 

 

PTSD is common among veterans returning from war who experience flashbacks, nightmares, and extreme distress when reminded of past triggering events. Dr. Jill Schreiber is a clinical psychotherapist at OSF HealthCare in Alton and says there are many causes of PTSD.

 

 

It is estimated that there are currently about 12 million people in the United States living with PTSD.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Announces 'Clean Sweep' Pesticide Disposal Program

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S ANNUAL “CLEAN SWEEP” PROGRAM WILL BE HELD IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS THIS YEAR. 

 

CLEAN SWEEP GIVES ILLINOIS RESIDENTS A CHANCE TO GET RID OF OLD AGRICULTURAL PESTICIDES AND SIMILAR CHEMICALS. IT WILL BE AVAILABLE IN BOND, CLINTON, FAYETTE, JERSEY, MACOUPIN, MADISON, MARION, MONROE, MONTGOMERY AND SAINT CLAIR COUNTIES SAYS THE AGENCY’S BRAD BEAVER.

 

 

BEAVER SAYS THOSE INTERESTED NEED TO PRE-REGISTER BY JULY 28TH. 

 

 

MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: AGR DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV. FROM THERE SELECT “PLANTS” AND THEN “PESTICIDES.”

Illinois Milk Producers Make Donation

The Illinois Milk Producers donated more than 2,400 half gallon jugs of milk today. 

The milk will be shared between the Central Illinois and Eastern Illinois Food Banks. The donation comes at a time when increasing prices for food continue to hit families struggling to afford food. Tasha Bunting, Executive Director of the Illinois Milk Producers says the donations were planned by their dairy producer members and includes many different choices of milk.

 

 

Prairie Farms, Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Soybean Association all partnered on the donations.

Better Chances for Rain Back Half of June

A good chance of rain this weekend for much of aIllinois and also some optimism for the back half of June says DTN ag meteorologist John Baranick.

 

 

Baranick making his comments to the RFD Radio Network on Tuesday.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Budget

Pen was put to paper this week on a state budget. Governor JB Pritzker signed a $50 billion budget that he says is balanced and makes big strides in funding education from preschool to college.

 

 

The budget also sends an additional $200 million to the state’s pension liabilities and has added funds to the state's now $2 billion rainy day fund.

Willow Tree Missions Highlights Early Volatility in Victims Seeking Recovery, Stability

Victims of domestic violence face a tough road to recovery and stability when they are finally able to break free from their abusers and a Piatt County non-profit is highlight what the early stages of that journey look like.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Andrea Kocher at Willow Tree Missions in Piatt County indicates the first thing they want to do for a victim of domestic violence provides them with safety.

 

 

Once a victim has secured safety through shelter, Kocher indicates the next step comes in securing safety through an order of protection. She indicates however, there are many, many challenges when it comes to getting an order of protection the public oftentimes is not aware of.

 

 

Law enforcement is often involved in these cases and Kocher says Monticello police and Piatt County sheriff's deputies are incredibly helpful and gracious to victims of domestic violence. 

 

 

Another issue early on in the process of a victim breaking free from the cycle of abuse is getting them support for the mental and emotional abuse they've endured. Kocher also notes they far too often have to find help for the elderly in elder abuse circumstances. 

 

Learn more about Willow Tree Missions by visiting willowtreemissions.org or find them on Facebook. 

Significant Summer Projects Underway at Bement Schools

A Piatt County School District has a busy summer that is underway.

 

Bement Schools are going through an extensive upgrade of its security system and Superintendent Mary Vogt explains it has been quite some time since security cameras were updated in Bement schools.

 

 

Easy access to schools is often something predators key in on and for Bement schools, this summer will provide a boost to the entry point access for the school buildings. Vogt indicates H-VAC is also being addressed this summer.

 

 

According to Vogt, the building is aging but it is very well maintained and is in excellent shape. 

John Deer Continues As Lead Sponsor for Quad Cities PGA Tour Event

John Deere will continue to serve as title sponsor of the Quad Cities PGA Tour event. The three-year extension was announced Monday. John Deere Classic Tournament Director Andrew Lehman says the relationship started back in 1998.

 

 

This year’s tourney is July 6-9 at TPC at Deere Run in Silvis. The prize purse includes $7.4 million.

Secretary of State Joins Nine States in Lawsuit Against Crypto Exchange Company 'Coinbase'

ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE ALEXI GIANNOULIAS’ OFFICE IS JOINING NINE OTHER STATES IN A LAWSUIT AGAINST CRYPTO EXCHANGE COMPANY COINBASE.

 

THE SUIT ALLEGES THAT COINBASE VIOLATED SECURITIES LAWS BY ILLEGALLY SELLING UNREGISTERED INVESTMENTS TO MORE THAN 140-THOUSAND ILLINOIS CLIENTS SAYS SECRETARY GIANNOULIAS.

 

 

GIANNOULIAS SAYS BY NOT REGISTERING WHAT’S CALLED “STAKING OFFERINGS” WITH THE SECURITIES DEPARTMENT, INVESTORS DIDN’T FULLY UNDERSTAND THE RISKS INVOLVED.

 

 

THE LAWSUIT IS GROUNDBREAKING BECAUSE IT’S THE FIRST TIME THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE HAS TAKEN LEGAL ACTION AGAINST A PUBLICLY TRADED DIGITAL ASSET COMPANY.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce Director Dies

Chamber of Commerce members around the state are remembering the life of the organization's President after his sudden passing.

 

President and CEO Todd Maisch passed away recently after over 20 years of service. McLean County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Charlie Moore (MORE) says the passing of 57-year-old Maisch is heartbreaking.

 

 

According to Moore, the passing does not impact Chamber of Commerce organizations around the state.

 

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is looking for a new president.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Law Limiting Constitutional Court Challenges Heard in Two Counties

NO MORE VENUE SHOPPING WHEN IT COMES CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CHALLENGES. 

 

ANY LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST STATE LAWS WILL BE LIMITED TO JUST TWO COUNTIES: COOK AND SANGAMON, UNDER A BILL GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER HAS JUST SIGNED. REPRESENTATIVE JAY HOFFMAN OF SWANSEA (SWAHN-see) SAYS THE IDEA IS TO PREVENT LAWYERS FROM CHOOSING A CERTAIN COUNTY WHERE THEY THINK A JUDGE MIGHT TAKE THEIR SIDE.

 

 

HOFFMAN SAYS THIS WILL ALSO MAKE IT EASIER FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, WHICH REPRESENTS THE STATE IN THESE CHALLENGES, TO TRAVEL TO COURT. REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK WINDHORST OF METROPOLIS OPPOSED THE MEASURE.

 

 

THE LAW COMES IN RESPONSE TO NUMEROUS CHALLENGES OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS SUCH AS COVID-19 MANDATES AND THE BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS.

Bill Awaits Governor's Signature Expanding Probation Program for First-Time Gun Offenders

A BILL AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE EXPANDS A PROBATION PROGRAM FOR FIRST TIME GUN OFFENDERS.

 

UNDER THE LEGISLATION, JUDGES COULD SENTENCE A PERSON OF ANY AGE CAUGHT ILLEGALLY POSSESSING A GUN TO SIX TO 24 MONTHS OF PROBATION INSTEAD OF JAIL TIME. IT WAS SPONSORED BY SENATOR RAM VILLIVALUM (villy-vallum) OF CHICAGO.

 

 

SENATOR STEVE MCCLURE OF SPRINGFIELD OPPOSED THE BILL.

 

 

THE CURRENT PROGRAM WAS SET TO END IN JANUARY BUT THE LEGISLATION MAKES IT PERMANENT.

Clinton Junior High School Adjusting to Life After COVID

Summer school is up and going in what is likely its final year at Clinton Junior High School.

 

Principal Jim Peck indicates summer school is serving several purposes in its third year. Some of its students are trying to make up learning losses as they continue to recover from the pandemic issues while others are in summer school to do some credit recovery.

 

 

One thing the junior high continues to deal with is attendance issues. Peck explains they anticipated that being an issue getting back to school in a normal setting this year because many students got used to not having to be in class all the time.

 

 

For Peck, it's not just students that struggled during the pandemic. He believes everyone struggled and so the impacts of COVID were much more far-reaching than just students and their learning progression.

 

 

According to Peck, the responsibility for schools to be more and more involved in the raising and development of kids grows. A policy change that sent shockwaves across central Illinois was the banning of cell phones on students during school hours.

 

 

Peck says grit and resiliency were themes in the school building this year and teaching kids the skills and value of overcoming adversity. He believes that will be a bigger theme going into next year and something they expand on heading into the 2023-24 school year. 

Summer Reading Club Underway at Warner Library

The summer reading club is off and running at the Warner Library in Clinton.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, children's librarian Corey Campbell told Regional Radio they have had a huge response to the reading club since it started last Thursday.

 

 

This summer, there will be lots of programs for kids to participate in. Campbell explains they will have morning yoga sessions, a pollinators program, and much more.

 

 

One of the goals of the summer reading club is to keep the community's children engaged in reading. Campbell explains the summer slide happens when kids go home for the summer and don't engage their minds through reading and other activities.

 

 

The summer reading club runs the entire month of June and July. There is no cutoff for registration. Registering is simple and just requires a visit to the Warner Library at 310 North Quincy Street.

 

Keep up with the latest in programs and activities at the library this summer by visiting vwarner.org or following them on Facebook and Instagram. 

Decatur Area Arts Council Extends Grant Deadline

If you are a non-profit under the umbrella of the arts surrounding Macon County, a non-profit is giving you a few extra days to get in requests for grant funding.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Executive Director of the Decatur Area Arts Council Jerry Johnson told Regional Radio the deadline for its most recent grant cycle has been pushed back to this Monday, June 12.

 

 

Requests for grant funding can cover a variety of needs within the arts community. According to Johnson, they receive requests from school groups putting on productions to community arts groups starting new programs.

 

 

Johnson believes if you can take a little bit of time to dedicate to the grant writing, it isn't a strenuous process. He points out they have staff available Monday through Friday to help those who may have questions available that can answer questions about the grant application.

 

 

The Arts Council website is decaturarts.org. You can also give a follow the Decatur Area Arts Council on Facebook and they have information about all the upcoming events there. 

Clinton Fire Responds to Kitchen Fire Monday Afternoon

Clinton emergency crews were called to a fire reported at 12 Arcadia Court around 3 pm on Monday.

 

Upon arrival, crews witnessed smoke coming from the east side of the home. Upon forced entry, a fire was discovered in the kitchen.

 

A search of the home resulted in the discovery of a Dalmatian that was cared for with the use of pet oxygen masks by the fire department. No people were home at the time of the incident. 

 

The damage to the kitchen was significant according to authorities. 

 

Maroa, Kenney, and Wapella Fire crews assisted at the scene and Waynesville fire covered the Clinton Fire Station. 

 

Crews were on scene for two hours and the cause is under investigation. 

Weekly Crop Report

THE HOT, DRY WEATHER IS AFFECTING ILLINOIS CROPS. 

 

WITH VIRTUALLY NO RAIN THIS PAST WEEK. STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT CORN:

 

 

SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT SOYBEANS.

 

 

WINTER WHEAT CONDITIONS DROPPED BY JUST A POINT, TO 65 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE ALSO DECLINED, TO 29 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 43 PERCENT SHORT, 27 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND JUST ONE PERCENT SURPLUS

Illinois Department of Public Health Providing Air Filters to Head Start Classrooms

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS PROVIDING AIR PURIFIERS TO HEAD START PROGRAMS AROUND THE STATE. 

 

MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND PURIFIERS ARE GOING TO 45 DIFFERENT PROGRAMS TO HELP IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND REDUCE TRANSMISSION OF VIRUSES SAYS STATE PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MIKE CLAFFEY.

 

 

CLAFFEY SAYS THE IDEA IS TO KEEP KIDS HEALTHY BY CIRCULATING AIR IN THE CLASSROOMS.

 

 

ALONG WITH THE AIR PURIFIERS COME REPLACEMENT FILTERS AS WELL AS RAPID COVID-19 TESTS FOR STAFF AND FAMILIES SERVED BY HEAD START AND EARLY HEAD START PROGRAMS.

Illinois FSA Promoting Urban Ag

The Illinois Farm Service Agency promoting urban agriculture with a meet and greet in Chicago last week.

 

 

Scott Halpin serves as Illinois FSA director.

Gov. Pritzker Highlighting Investments in Prevent, Ending Homelessness

THE NEW STATE BUDGET INCLUDES AN INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE BUDGET INVESTS MORE THAN 360 MILLION DOLLARS INTO THE EFFORT, AN 85 MILLION DOLLAR INCREASE OVER THE PREVIOUS YEAR. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS "HOME ILLINOIS" WILL INCLUDE HOMELESS PREVENTION PROGRAMS, STREET OUTREACH AND MORE TEMPORARY HOUSING.

 

 

THE GOAL IS TO REACH "FUNCTIONAL ZERO" AS A STATE, WHICH WOULD MEAN THAT THERE ARE ENOUGH RESOURCES TO ASSIST EVERYONE ABOUT TO BECOME HOMELESS.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS MORE THAN 120 THOUSAND ILLINOISANS EXPERIENCE HOMELESSNESS EACH YEAR. OVER 60 PERCENT OF THOSE PEOPLE ARE BLACK.

First-Year Lincoln High School Principal Reflects on Year One

Lincoln High School is wrapping up the 2022-23 school year and first-year principal Dave Helm is reflecting on his first year as the school's principal.

 

Helm is a graduate of Lincoln High School and just wrapped up his first year as the school's principal. He explains his time in education has kept him in central Illinois and originally started out teaching music.

 

 

It was a response to the COVID pandemic and issues that are stemming from it but Helm explains an advisory period they started this year will continue next year. He hopes to see it bolster relationships between students and give everyone an understanding of each other's experiences.

 

 

For Helm, his passion in education was always teaching music but he was encouraged to get his administration certifications. He explains his father was a longtime superintendent but never had an interest early in his career in being an administrator.

 

 

Helm this summer will be tapping back into his band director skills bag as he is set to direct the Lincoln Community Theater's summer production. 

Clinton High School Senior Receives Mediacom Scholarship

Mediacom Communications announced the selection of Braden Nuttall, a senior at Clinton Community High School, as a recipient of the company’s World Class Scholarship program. The $1,000 scholarship recognizes the Clinton resident for excellence in leadership and academics. 

 

Mediacom Area Operations Director, Beau Hicks said in a statement - as a technology company, Mediacom understands how important it is to invest in future leaders like Braden Nuttall. I’m proud that our company supports talented local students with scholarship support. We congratulate all graduates in the Class of ‘23, and particularly acknowledge Braden for his outstanding achievements.

 

Mediacom annually selects 60 graduating seniors who each receive scholarships to support their post-secondary education. Recipients must attend an accredited two-year or four-year college, university, or technical school within the United States. 

Time Running Out on Registration for 2023 Tour DeWitt Bike Ride, And Possibly Event Itself

Time is running out to get registered for the 2023 edition of the Tour DeWitt bike ride - and possibly the event itself. 

 

Director of the event, Steve Lobb on the WHOW Morning Show Monday told Regional Radio, they are taking registrations until Friday for this year's event scheduled for June 24.

 

 

Obviously, with COVID, the event was canceled in 2020 but Lobb notes they planned to bring it back in 2021 but unforeseen circumstances canceled the event again and so Tour DeWitt officially returned in 2022 with a less than stellar turnout.

 

 

Lobb believes the Tour DeWitt ride offers some great scenery of central Illinois and routes that are challenging but attainable for riders of all levels.

 

 

Tour DeWitt benefits the Macon County CASA program. Lobb points those interested in pre-registering to visit tourdewitt.weebly.com for more information or find the Tour DeWitt Facebook page. Registration is mail-in so ideally those should be complete by mid-week to reach Clinton by Friday. 

When, How to Water Garden During Dry Weather

Advice for that garden and outdoor plants. How much should you water and when should you water during this excessive dry spell? Here’s U of I extension horticulture educator Ken Johnson.

 

 

Johnson is from the Jacksonville office, which serves Calhoun, Cass, Greene, Morgan, and Scott counties.

Reminders for Landowners When Considering Wind, Solar Projects

Wind and solar developments continue to get plenty of attention in Illinois. Before entering into an agreement with a developer, a few reminders for landowners.

 

 

Bill Bodine serves as Illinois Farm Bureau Director of Business and Regulatory Affairs.

Clinton Elementary School Administrators Reflect on Time in Clinton

Clinton Elementary School will be in a time of significant transition this summer as both Principal Sasha Young and Assistant Principal Ben Mooney will be moving on to new school districts.

Mr. Mooney (left) will be taking an assistant principal job in the Midwest Central school district and says he has greatly enjoyed his time in Clinton, however, this move gets him closer to his family.

 

 

Mrs. Young will be the superintendent of the Central A&M school district. She indicates the last few months have been quite the whirlwind as she found herself interviewing for that job and now transitioning to that new role while she wraps up the current school year in Clinton.

 

 

Becoming the Superintendent of a school district was never on the radar for Mrs. Young, however, the impact of successful and strong women in education leadership had her inspired that she could be in a role of leadership greater than a principal position.

 

 

Mr. Mooney, before he entered the world of education leadership, had several stints as a basketball coach in the Peoria area of central Illinois. He says he was drawn to elementary education because of the kids in that age range.

 

 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles has said the district will quote - "do some head hunting" in its pursuit of an elementary principal while the search for an assistant principal will be put on hold until a principal is found. 

June is Dairy Month

June is dairy month.

 

The St. Louis District Dairy Council is promoting the benefits of dairy. Monica Nyman explains we have come to learn that dairy contains 13 essential nutrients for our bodies - that is a recent development from the nine that experts had known of for many years.

 

 

Nyman is promoting the mobility of dairy and how it can be a great snack or added to our breakfast, lunch, or dinners on the go.

 

 

For this June Dairy Month, the Dairy Council will be out and making connections with health and wellness groups in the community. Nyman says they offer a lot of programs and resources to the community and this is a good time of year to promote those things.

 

 

Nyman indicates she was able to return to the schools this year to work with coaches, trainers, and cafeteria personnel. She felt that was a welcome return to normalcy for her and the Council.

 

You can learn more about the resources and programs available through the St. Louis District Dairy Council by visiting stldairycouncil.org. You can also follow them on social media on Facebook and Instagram. 

Social Security Expanding Outreach for SSI Program

Social Security has recently announced it is expanding outreach for the supplemental security income, or SSI program.

 

SSI provides payments to adults age 65 and older and younger adults and children with a disability. Jack Myers with Social Security explains to qualify, recipients must have limited income and financial resources. And SSI helps pay for basic needs like rent, food, clothing, and medicine. 

 

 

Social Security is seeking to reach people in underserved communities to help them understand that SSI may be able to help. Myers explains they are also trying to reach organizations that provide services in underserved communities so they can help connect those who need SSI.

 

 

According to Myers, they are using data to identify and reach underserved communities in rural and urban areas across the country where we noted the greatest decline in SSI applications since the pandemic and where the majority of people in those zip codes are people of color and/or people living at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty level. The campaign uses a variety of ways to reach people.

 

 

People with limited income and financial resources or those who assist them should visit www.ssa.gov/ssi to learn more about SSI eligibility. People without internet access can call 1-800-772-1213 to speak with a representative. 

Heritage Behavioral Health Center Holds Ribbon Cutting on New Building

Heritage Behavioral Health Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning at their new facility in Clinton.

 

Heritage CEO Mary Garrison said Heritage has been offering services to the Clinton area since 2017. Since that time, they have seen an increase in demand for services and have outgrown their current facility.

 

 

Cory Baxter, director of DeWitt County clinical services for Heritage, indicated with the new building, Heritage will begin offering group services in addition to the individual services currently offered.

 

 

Heritage's new Clinton location is at 140 Sunrise Court, the former location of the Richland Community College Clinton Center. Services will be offered at both the new location and the current Clinton Plaza location through the end of November.

Clinton Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing June 20

An annual event for the Clinton Chamber of Commerce returns later this month.

 

Janice Petersen, Clinton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, indicates the annual Chamber golf outing at the Clinton Country Club is set for Tuesday, June 20.

 

 

At the golf outing, the winner of the Chamber's gift card raffle will be drawn. Petersen notes one person will win $400 worth of gift cards from Chamber member businesses.

 

 

Raffle tickets for the 'Gift Card-a-Palooza' are $10 per ticket and are available to purchase until June 20 from any Clinton Chamber board members or at the Chamber office on the square. You do not need to be present to win.

 

Those wanting to participate in the golf outing who have not yet registered are encouraged to contact the Chamber office as soon as possible.

Weekly Weather Summary

June began with some of the warmest weather so far this year. A cold front next week will bring some reprieve from the heat. State Climatologist Trent Ford has this report...

 

 

New Bill Will Allow Purchasing a Prescription Without Pharmacist Present

Illinois residents have most likely encountered the inconvenience of trying to pick up a prescription but are unable to do so due to a pharmacist not being present.

 

State Senator Chapin Rose sponsored a bill that would allow retail clerks to sell filled prescriptions to customers when a pharmacist is on a meal break or has left.

Prescriptions will still have to be filled by the pharmacist.

 

 

Certain prescriptions such as opioids will still be required to be sold with a pharmacist present. The bill has passed the General Assembly and now awaits the Governor's signature.

Baum, Wilson Families Reach Purchase Agreement for Clinton Chrysler Jeep Store

Clinton, Ill. – For the first time in 70 years, a new family will be manning the Wilson Chrysler Jeep store in Clinton.

 

The Baum family has reached an agreement with the Wilson family for purchase of its auto dealership in downtown Clinton, effective June 21.

 

The last day for business as Wilson Chrysler Jeep will be June 20. The store will reopen as Baum Chrysler Jeep on June 26, and will continue to operate in the downtown Clinton location at 307 E. Main St. Customers can expect existing services to be offered, including expert auto repair, factory parts, and new and used vehicle sales.

 

The Baum family intends to retain current staff.

 

"My wife Karol and I have been blessed with wonderful customers and staff that we have come to know during our time at the dealership. We value the many friends we have made in our community over the years," said Steve Wilson, President of Wilson Chrysler Jeep. "They say timing is everything, and the timing was right for us."
 

Steve joined his father Joe Wilson in the business in 1982 and took over management in 1988.  This year will complete 71 years of family ownership. 
 

"It was important for us to find a partner who can continue to serve customers the way we would," Wilson said. "This was not an easy decision, but we are confident that the Baum family was the best choice to carry on the Wilson legacy, and we wish them the best."

 

Scott Baum, President of Baum Chevrolet Buick, says this is a positive development for the town of Clinton and area automotive customers. Combined, the Baum and Wilson stores have been doing business in Clinton for nearly 130 years.

 

"Wilson Chrysler Jeep and Baum Chevrolet Buick have reputations for positive customer experiences and strong product lines," Baum said. "We are excited to continue offering Chrysler and Jeep products in Clinton with a focus on excellent customer service, as Wilson's has done since 1952."

 

The store will be managed by Clinton native Will Daniels. Daniels has been employed with Baum for 28 years, and brings with him a wealth of automotive industry and management experience. He is a graduate of the National Auto Dealers Association Academy, an 18-month complete study on dealership management and direction. He has previously served in the detail, parts, sales and service departments at Baum Chevrolet Buick. He was manager of Baum Motor Company in Farmer City from 2007-2013 before returning to the Clinton store to serve in his current role as Sales Manager.

 

Joining Daniels will be fellow Clinton native Logan Woolridge, who has served in the sales department at Baum Chevrolet Buick for five years.

 

Wilson himself will assist in the transition, and play a vital role in helping the Baum organization best serve existing Wilson Chrysler Jeep customers. Key department leaders including Scott Massey, Service Manager, and Kathy Sullivan, Finance and Insurance and Office Manager, plan to retain their current roles.

 

"Wilson's business has been built on friendly and familiar faces, and we intend to maintain that for years to come," Baum said. "It has been a privilege to work with Steve and his family."

 

Customers can reach the store via phone at 217-935-3131, and online at www.baumchryslerjeep.com following the transition.

 

Baum Chevrolet Buick is a family-owned automotive dealership located in Clinton, Ill., since 1964. First established in 1928 in Carlock, Ill., Baum Chevrolet Buick emphasizes complete customer service with a focus on doing things "Right from the Start.." In addition to new and used light vehicle sales, the dealership has a service division composed of a parts and service department, 24-hour wrecker service, collision repair center, detail shop and Quick Lube center.

 

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Clinton Junior High School Principal Recaps 2022-23 School Year

The 2022-23 school year is in the books and the principal of Clinton Junior High School says the latest year offered its highs and lows.

 

Jim Peck says the latest school year was as normal as they've had since COVID and it offered many activities to return that all junior high students looked forward to.

 

 

Peck believes the opportunities of the junior high school are second to none and applauds the district and the school building staff for their hard work to provide these opportunities to the community's kids.

 

 

The theme of the 2022-23 school year was grit and resiliency. Peck explains everyone has things they need to work through right now and they are trying to teach those values to their students.

 

 

For Peck and his staff, the challenges of the last year were continuing to make up ground that was lost during the COVID pandemic. We'll hear more from him on that next week on Regional Radio.

Encore Developmental Services Hoping to Raise Funds for Upcoming Projects

With a roughly one-million-dollar project ahead to address fire safety concerns, a DeWitt County non-profit is going to be taking on some fundraising efforts this summer.

 

Encore Developmental Services are trying to find ways to fund what will end up being a roughly one million dollar expense for fire improvements to its facility on the east side outside of Clinton. Executive Director Stephanie Coonce indicates the first fundraiser is Saturday at Encore Developmental Services.

 

 

Encore is planning to have a couple of fundraisers at the IGA cookout location in front of the Clinton store. Coonce also indicates they have a few special things planned later in the summer and will be back at the Apple n' Pork Festival.

 

 

Late last year, there was an inspection of the Encore facility and it was devastating to the agency. Coonce explains a new inspector from the Fire Marshal's Office went through things with a fine-toothed comb and they were hit with a comprehensive report of violations that needed immediate attention.

 

 

The good news for Coonce is they are going to likely be able to break the project up into phases and they are starting to gain some moment in prioritizing those projects as they build up funding.

 

 

Coonce explains the Fire Marshal's office has been good to work with and flexible with the agency but that will be put to the test when they receive the plans put together by its architect. They await word on the approval from the Fire Marshal on those plans. 

 

Get details on the happenings at Encore this Saturday by finding them on Facebook. 

More Dry Weather on the Way

May finished hot and dry across most of the state and it looks to be starting that way for most of June.

 

Except for some scattered showers – Meteorologist Eric Snodgrass says the first part of the month won’t see much improvement in the weather.

 

 

June 1 represents the first day of meteorological summer.

IDOT Reboots 'It's Not A Game' Safe Driving Campaign

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS REBOOTING THE “IT’S NOT A GAME” SAFE DRIVING CAMPAIGN FOR 2023.

 

YOU’LL LIKELY SEE THE ADS ONLINE, ON T-V AND IN BARS AND RESTAURANTS, PROMOTING TRAFFIC SAFETY WITH A REMINDER THAT THERE ARE NO EXTRA LIVES ON THE ROAD.

 

 

I-DOT SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL SAYS THERE’S EVEN A WEBSITE: ITS NOT A GAME ILLINOIS DOT COM WITH VIDEOS AND AN ONLINE QUIZ. NEARLY 13-HUNDRED PEOPLE DIED ON ILLINOIS ROADS IN 2022. 

 

 

SO FAR THIS YEAR IN ILLINOIS, THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN 430 TRAFFIC FATALITIES.

Gov. Pritzker Says 'Invest in Kids' Program Could Be Revived But May Need Some Changes

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THE INVEST IN KIDS PROGRAM COULD BE REVIVED…BUT MIGHT LOOK A LITTLE DIFFERENT.

 

LAWMAKERS DID NOT VOTE TO EXTEND THE PRIVATE SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR LOW-INCOME CHILDREN, WHICH IS SCHEDULED TO END DECEMBER 31ST. THE GOVERNOR WAS ASKED ABOUT IT AT AN UNRELATED EVENT AND SAID THE PARAMETERS NEED SOME FINE-TUNING.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAID THAT CREDIT MAY BE TOO MUCH.

 

 

INVEST IN KIDS IS SET TO END DECEMBER 31ST UNLESS LAWMAKERS VOTE TO EXTEND THE PROGRAM WHEN THEY RETURN FOR THE FALL VETO SESSION. IF THAT HAPPENS, THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE WILL SIGN THE BILL.

First Signs of West Nile Virus Confirmed in Illinois

THE FIRST SIGNS OF WEST NILE VIRUS ARE POPPING UP IN ILLINOIS. 

 

SO FAR THREE BATCHES OF MOSQUITOS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS, ALL IN COOK COUNTY SAYS STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MIKE CLAFFEY.

 

 

LAST YEAR, THE WEST NILE VIRUS WAS DETECTED IN 44 ILLINOIS COUNTIES. THERE WERE 34 REPORTED HUMAN CASES AND EIGHT DEATHS. SENIORS AND PEOPLE WITH A WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEM ARE THE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE COMPLICATIONS IF THEY ARE INFECTED.

 

 

 

CLAFFEY SAYS IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM MOSQUITOS WITH INSECT REPELLENT, MAKE SURE THERE AREN’T ANY TEARS IN YOUR WINDOW SCREENS AND ELIMINATED ANY STANDING WATER ON YOUR PROPERTY WHERE THE LITTLE BITERS CAN BREED.

Congressman Sorensen Discusses Southern Border

The United States needs to address the southern border crisis - at least, that's the word from a Democratic Illinois Congressman.

 

Earlier this month, Title 42, a rule that allowed the U.S. to turn back migrants for the past three years, ended. 17th District Congressman Eric Sorenson is blaming Republicans for the problems.

 

 

In the amendments filed, Sorenson proposed a hiring spree of border patrol agents and a move to stop the trafficking of fentanyl. However, Republicans killed the amendment in committees.

Sen. Durbin Weighs In On Debt Ceiling Agreement

The US Senate is rushing to get a vote done on increasing the nation’s borrowing limit. US Senator Dick Durbin says after the House passed the bill this week the Senate must get the job done now.

 

 

The Treasury Secretary has said the US could begin to default as soon as June 5th.

June is the Quilt Show at the DeWitt County Museum

The annual Quilt Show gets underway today at the DeWitt County Museum.

 

Joey Long is the Director of the Museum and indicates all month long, quilts of the Victorian Era will be on display throughout the CH Moore Homestead in Clinton.

 

 

The Quilt Show is part of the price of admission to the Museum for June.

 

 

The DeWitt County Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and then Sundays 1 pm to 5 pm. Get more information about the Museum by finding them on Facebook or visiting chmoorehomestead.org. 

Central Illinois Republican Lawmaker Critical of Democrats 'Gimmick' Budget

A central Illinois lawmaker is criticizing the budget passed by Illinois Democrats late last week that he says is filled with gimmicks.

 

Sen. Chapin Rose says the Governor has a lot of nerve to get in front of Illinoisans and call the budget balanced. He says the gimmicks start with the rate increases that begin on Jan. 1 instead of July 1. 

 

 

The Mahomet Republican, who now represents the eastern and southeastern part of Illinois, explains Illinois hospitals came to Springfield needing more money in state support after nearly three decades of no increase. 

 

 

The reason Illinois hospitals won't see that increase until Jan. 1 is that the State of Illinois has committed itself to being a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants and Sen. Rose says because of that, money has to go to the programs for those people.

 

 

Sen. Rose points out that Illinois is 51st in the country in the funding for the developmentally disabled and Illinois is prioritizing the healthcare for undocumented immigrants over the developmentally disabled.

 

 

Sen. Rose says for those that are critical of Illinois Republicans for not having a plan, he notes Republicans offered a proposal to Democrats but none of the Republicans' priorities were put in the budget.

Zero Republicans Vote for State Budget

No Republicans voted for the recently passed state budget.

 

State Rep. Mike Coffey who was appointed to his seat this year says it was a decision based on how some money was spent and lack of input Republicans had on the final spending plan.

 

 

A few Democrats in the Senate voted no on the budget.

No Significant Rain in Forecasts

It’s the same question again this week in Illinois. When is it going to rain?

 

 

Freese-Notis Weather meteorologist Dan Hicks speaking with the RFD Radio Network on Tuesday.

Governor Traveling State Touting New Budget

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS TRAVELING THE STATE PROMOTING THE NEW FISCAL YEAR ’24 BUDGET. 

 

THE GOVERNOR MADE STOPS IN SPRINGFIELD AND CHAMPAIGN, WITH MORE SCHEDULED IN THE COMING DAYS. HE'S HIGHLIGHTING MAJOR INVESTMENTS IN ILLINOIS COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

 

 

THAT INCLUDED THE NEW “SMART START” PLAN TO ENSURE ALL KIDS HAVE ACCESS TO QUALITY PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS.

 

 

THE NEW BUDGET ALSO INCREASES FUNDING FOR COLLEGE MAP GRANTS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER PLANS TO VISIT MORE AREAS OF THE STATE IN THE COMING DAYS.

Big Crowds Expected for NASCAR Race in Madison This Weekend

Things will look a bit different around the entrance points to World Wide Technology Raceway’s complex in Madison this weekend. 

 

The Illinois Department of Transportation has been working with track officials and the Illinois State Police in advance of the second NASCAR Cup Series race at the track. I-DOT operations engineer Joe Monroe says they have made some changes after last year’s inaugural event.

 

 

Monroe says public transportation is an option for spectators coming to see the Enjoy Illinois 300 and associated events, as Southbound IL 203 will be closed to through traffic between Bend Road and the interstate between 7am and 9pm both Saturday and Sunday. https://wwtraceway.com/enjoyillinois300

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