Local News

DeWitt County Board Chair Gives Update on Animal Shelter

The DeWitt County animal shelter has been in the spotlight in the last month and the search for a new administrator is ongoing and a new position is in the works as well.

 

DeWitt County Board Chairperson Dan Matthews explains the leadership of the animal shelter will be recreated. He feels they needed to revamp the staffing in order to give the animals the proper care.

 

 

According to Matthews, they've held interviews for the administrator role and feel they have a good potential candidate for that position.

 

 

Matthews explains there is also work to be done in getting the County's ordinances in line with the municipalities that they serve. 

 

 

For Matthews, the shelter should work and function best when you get the right people in positions and there is an understanding of everyone's role in the operation. He hopes the changes will allow for that to happen going forward. 

Illinois Department of Ag Promoting Grain Tour

The Illinois Department of Agriculture used the Farm Progress Show as a stop on this year grain tour. More than two dozen participants from Latin America and Asia were in the state and came to see the show. Director of Ag Jerry Costello says the tour produces revenue each year for the state’s agribusinesses.

 

 

The grain tour is sponsored and operated by the Illinois Department of Agriculture but all of the participants pay their own way to be a part of it.

Congressman LaHood Talks Farm Bill

A new farm bill will be late, but an Illinois Congressman remains optimistic about the future of a bill in Washington, D.C.

 

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Kentucky Farm Bureau Congress is simply out of time before the September 30 deadline. Here's Republican Congressman Darin LaHood.

 

 

The farm bill covers crop insurance, agriculture research, biofuels, and other agriculture sectors. 

Clinton Board of Education Discusses Bullying Policy

The Clinton Board of Education recently took up the conversation of bullying versus a student who may become physically disruptive to the learning environment as they sought to approve an updated anti-bullying policy. 

 

Superintendent Curt Nettles explains it is essentially a policy written by the Illinois State Board of Education and most school districts follow the recommendation of ISBE.

 

 

Tammie Ennis questioned the policy as it relates to unruly students in the classroom who may become physically distracting to the learning environment. She feels that behavior would fit into the anti-bullying policy. 

 

 

According to Nettles, ISBE has explicitly made it clear the scenario laid out by Ennis is not bullying and is a separate policy that has strict parameters on how to handle those situations.

 

 

Nettles points out the new law regarding bullying requires much more work on the administration's end because they have to notify the parents of the parties involved in the situation and do some record-keeping that will get submitted to ISBE.

 

 

The Board approved the policy last month at its monthly meeting. 

September Will Start Hot

The upcoming Labor Day weekend is expected to be very warm as we usher in September. 

 

It's a trend that shouldn't last long says Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service who believes the heat will shift south and create a battle of developing tropical storm systems and make for equal chances of above or below-normal temperatures.

 

 

Shimon explains the whole outlook for September indicates equal chances of above or below-normal temperatures and precipitation.

 

 

Shimon notes, El Nino continues to develop and should have an impact on central Illinois and the midwest this winter. 

Illinois Farm Bureau Promoting Harvest Permits at Farm Progress Show

The Illinois Farm Bureau is promoting harvest permits at the Farm Progress Show this week.

 

Rodney Knittel is the Assistant Director of Transportation at the Illinois Farm Bureau and indicates harvest permits are a great resource for farmers to make the harvest more efficient.

 

 

According to Knittel, those permits go live on Sept. 1 and explains there are ways to make the process more streamlined for producers during a very busy time of the year.

 

 

For the Farm Bureau, they are trying to increase awareness of this opportunity as Knittel believes most farmers don't take advantage of it because of the technology component that in the past was not user-friendly.

 

 

Knittel is also imploring producers to make sure the equipment they'll need for the upcoming harvest is serviced and has had a good once-over given to make sure everything is firing on all cylinders. 

 

If you're at the Farm Progress Show, stop by and see the folks at the Farm Bureau in booth 753 on Seventh Street. 

IHSA Continues To Address Officiating Shortage

After a crazy week one of high school football, Illinois High School Association leaders are highlighting the need for officials.

 

Kurt Gibson is the Illinois High School Association Associate Executive Director. He says in over 20-years with the I-H-S-A, he's never seen anything like it.

 

 

Despite an uptick in new officials last year, Friday night's heat and lightning delays put the spotlight on the shortage. Some teams around the state moved their second half to a Saturday matchup at a neutural sight to get officials.

Gov. Pritzker Introduces Rural Mental Health Initiative at Farm Progress Show

The state is starting a new partnership to help support the mental health of farmers and those living in rural areas.

 

Soon, FFA chapters will be able to apply for a $1000 grant to build awareness in their schools and small towns. Governor JB Pritzker says as a parent of Gen Z kids, he knows they can be excellent messengers about the importance of talking about mental health.

 

 

The farm family resource initiative emergency help line is 833-FARM-SOS and is up and running 24 hours a day for anyone struggling with their mental health.

Gov. Pritzker Addresses Estate Tax

Early this year, changing the state’s estate tax threshold to mirror federal limits was getting some steam in Springfield.

 

By the end of the spring session, the plan didn’t make it for a vote. Governor JB Pritzker says for now he wants to see what lawmakers are prepared to do and how it would impact the budget.

 

 

Any changes for the estate tax could come back for the fall veto session.

Bullying at Senior Facilities

Shunning people from cafeteria tables, gossip, vandalism, physical scuffles, and residents checking their mail at night to avoid running into an unkind cohabitant are just some examples of bullying among older people living in assisted living facilities. 

 

While the issue may not be widespread, experts are telling the 65+ population, their loved ones and their caregivers why the problem exists and how to confront it. Ari Lakritz is a clinical psychologist at OSF HealthCare in Alton who has taken a keen interest in mental health care for older folks. He says some of the seniors arrive with untreated and possibly unknown mental health issues. Dr. Lakritz sums up the second reason: old habits are hard to break.

 

 

Another simpler explanation: older people are cranky due to issues that come with age like chronic pain or feelings of helplessness. Lakritz says the solutions are multi-faceted but must start with the caregivers. And the facilities can take short-term steps, such as holding anti-bullying or anger management classes for staff and residents.

DeWitt County Board Chair Discusses Ban on CO2 Carbon Capture

Last Thursday night, the DeWitt County Board implemented a ban on CO2 carbon capture in the County.

 

DeWitt County Board Chair Dan Matthews explains this is one of the final steps of cleaning up the County's renewable energy development ordinances and while some may view this as another step in an anti-renewable energy development stance, he doesn't see it that way.

 

 

A former Logan County Board member suggested the Board get a professional opinion about the subject to guide them in the decision making but Matthews believes he has a few Board members who have done their homework and are well informed on the topic.

 

 

The County Board in 2021 issued a moratorium on issuing building permits to Enel Green Power and a Circuit Court judge reversed that decision and while Matthews neither supported that effort nor voted for it, he believes the wind farm is here and they have to work with Enel. 

 

 

As for the County potentially opening itself up to a lawsuit from the Navigator, the CO2 company seeking wells in DeWitt County, he says they consult with State's Attorney Dan Markwell on all their votes and the implications they could have and they believe this vote was the right thing for the County. 

Clinton Junior High School Administration, Staff Focused on Data This Year

Clinton Junior High School staff will be focusing on data but not all the data.

 

Principal Jim Peck explains data for schools can be overwhelming at times and so this school year, they are trying to narrow down what data points they need to focus on.

 

 

According to Peck, there is a system in place that works collaboratively to find out what is important in the data they have available.

 

 

For Peck, assessments aren't always indicative of the progress of a student or a group of students but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its place. Particularly right now he points out there are local assessments they administer that are helpful.

 

 

 

While it isn't directly related to data, Peck believes the school's policy of no cell phones in the classroom that was implemented last year went very well. 

Ameren Energy Saving Tips

The summer heat is not over and those high temps can lead to a high-power bill, but Ameren Illinois has some tips to stay cool and save money.

 

Last week's temperatures hit the upper 90s, forcing Illinoisans to crank up the A-C. But Tucker Kennedy, the Communication Director for Ameren, says there are ways to save on a power bill.

 

 

Temperatures are expected to return to the 90's this weekend into early next week.

Ideal Weather for Farm Progress Show This Week

Other than a slight chance of a scattered rain shower or storm, weather for the Farm Progress Show in Decatur this week is looking ideal.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio temperatures are starting in the 70s with them reaching the lower 80s Tuesday but becoming unseasonably cooler by Wednesday and Thursday.

 

 

Getting into the Labor Day weekend, temperatures will warm back up. They won't be as hot as last week but still warming into the 90s for most of the weekend.

 

We'll hear more from Shimon later this week on Regional Radio.

Preventing ID Theft on Campus

Identity theft on college campuses continues to be a concern. 

 

That's why the Better Business Bureau is urging students and their parents to be careful in protecting new and returning students' sensitive information as most have recently begun the fall semester. BBB Investigator Don O'Brien says one of the best ways to prevent fraud is by protecting sensitive documents.

 

 

O’Brien also cautions about loaning out your debit or credit card.

New Clinton City Administrator Hopes to Take Advantage of Grant Funding, Improve Recreation

New Clinton City Administrator Taylor Baxter has extensive experience grant opportunities in his former role as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Pontiac.

 

Many in Clinton feel the recreation opportunities in Clinton could be greatly improved and Baxter hopes to use his experience pursuing grants.

 

 

According to Baxter, applying for grants doesn't always equal millions of dollars in funding coming to the community. He says oftentimes there are strings attached or they are matching grants for a community. 

 

 

Baxter has felt very welcomed so far in his time in Clinton and believes there is a lot of positive energy in Clinton. 

Farm Progress Show Begins Tuesday

The Super Bowl of Agriculture is upon us and it returns to central Illinois in Decatur at Richland Community College.

 

Matt Jungmann is events manager for Farm Progress and says the Farm Progress Show always offers something new no matter what color tractor you prefer.

 

 

The layout of the Farm Progress Show will have a new look for the layout of the grounds. Jungmann explains there are a few factors that go into those changes for this show.

 

 

A staple of the Farm Progress Show is the field demonstrations and Jungmann says the April corn is looking really good for this week. He says the heat of last week is setting it up for a great field demonstration.

 

 

Jungmann reminds to download the Farm Progress Show app for planning your time at Progress City in Decatur. He says they are preparing parking lots and reminds of admission prices to the show.

 

 

Farm Progress runs Tuesday through Thursday. 

 

Hear live coverage from Farm Progress throughout the week, starting this afternoon with an extended noon farm show through Thursday on WHOW and its many digital platforms. 

Lots of Options Besides Mums for Colorful Fall Blooms

FALL FLOWERS ARE MORE THAN ABOUT MUMS. A HORTICULTURE EDUCATOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION OFFICE OFFERS A FEW OTHER OPTIONS. 

 

THERE’S STILL PLENTY OF TIME FOR COLORFUL DISPLAYS OF BLOOMS. ONE OPTION IS THE GOLDENROD. THE EXTENSION’S CHRIS ENROTH LIKES THE FIREWORKS, ZIG-ZAG AND STIFF-LEAVED VARIETIES BUT RECOMMENDS STAYING AWAY FROM ONE TYPE:

 

 

ANOTHER FAVORITE…

 

 

Meat Processing Facility Breaks Ground in Southern Illinois

Ground broken for Saline River Farms in Creal Springs in southern Illinois. 

 

The meat processor received funding from the USDA earlier this year under the the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program says USDA Rural Development State Director Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.

 

 

You can learn more about the M-PEP program at rd.usda.gov.

States Are Restarting Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program Renewals

For the past 3 years, people on Medicaid or Childrens’ Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, were not required to renew their coverage due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

 

This exception was referred to as the “continuous enrollment condition” which ended earlier this year, so states have resumed eligibility reviews. Jack Myers at Social Security explains to avoid a gap in coverage, people who have Medicaid or CHIP need to take action to renew their coverage.

 

 

The steps to take are not difficult, so awareness is the main issue. First, if you have moved since your last renewal, make sure the state has your current mailing address. Second, watch your mail for a letter about your Medicaid or CHIP renewal. When you receive the letter complete and return it right away.

 

 

Myers points out, renewal dates are staggered, so not everyone will be due at the same time.

 

In addition to the website, you can also call Illinois DHS at 800-843-6154.

Gov. Pritzker Celebrates Ag, Ag Tourism in Southern Illinois

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SPENT TIME IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS FRIDAY, CELEBRATING GROWTH IN THE AGRICULTURE AND TOURISM INDUSTRY. 

 

SALINE RIVER FARMS IN CREAL SPRINGS IS EXPANDING THANKS TO STATE AND FEDERAL GRANTS. THE GOVERNOR SAYS THIS WILL BE GREAT FOR THE REGION.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER ALSO STOPPED IN CARTERVILLE FOR THE OPENING OF THE WALKER'S BLUFF CASINO RESORT'S OFFICIAL OPENING. THE RESORT INCLUDES 113 HOTEL ROOMS, A SPA, FITNESS ROOM, BARS AND RESTAURANTS AND A CASINO WITH SLOT MACHINES AND TABLES GAMES.

 

 

WHOW Schedules Service Outage For Its AM 1520 Signal Monday

WHOW has scheduled a service outage for its AM 1520 signal Monday afternoon from 3pm to 5:30pm to do work on our tower.   WHOW's FM and streaming platforms, as well as WEZC 95-point-9, will not be affected by this service outage.

Farm Progress Show Begins Tuesday

The Super Bowl of Agriculture is upon us and it returns to central Illinois.

 

Matt Jungmann is events manager for Farm Progress and says the Farm Progress Show always offers something new no matter what color tractor you prefer.

 

 

Farm Progress runs Tuesday through Thursday of next week. 

 

Hear live coverage from Farm Progress throughout the week, Monday through Thursday on WHOW and its many digital platforms. 

Weekly Weather Summary

It could not have been any hotter in Illinois this week and thankfully, the extreme heat should be out of the way. State Climotologist Trent Ford has more...

 

 

DeWitt County Board Approves Ban on Injection Wells

The DeWitt County Board Thursday night approved a ban on injection wells in all its zoning districts.

 

While discussion at the Board level was minimal, a former Logan County Board member offered his thoughts on how they approached this topic when he was on the Board. 

 

Dr. David Hepler from Lincoln told the County Board they recognized they were not experts in the field of environmental science and sought out professional guidance.

 

 

Dr. Hepler also notes that the US Department of Energy has been an ally to the community of Clinton testifying in support of the Clinton power station. He also notes carbon capture is one of three initiatives taken up by the US Department of Energy with very well-qualified people studying it and he believes if the Board is going to reject it, they should be guided by someone of that caliber of qualification. 

 

 

Hepler notes that the County would receive around $ 3 million for CO2 wells in DeWitt County and points out those dollars would likely touch every department in the County which would likely impact each citizen in the County. 

Clinton High School Without Spanish Teacher for This Year

Clinton High School is operating without a Spanish teacher this year and it is creating a uniquely complex situation.

 

High School Principal Jerry Wayne indicates without a Spanish teacher, all students are turning to German teacher Joe Scanavino for their foreign language class.

 

 

According to Wayne, they could easily just hire someone to have a teacher but he doesn't believe that is how you create a good learning environment and so they dial in on candidates that would fit the culture of the high school.

 

 

The high school is currently dealing with a bottleneck as students seek to take a foreign language in the only class offered. Wayne points out, that this problem could worsen in the next few years with high school students required to take two years of a foreign language to graduate.



 

 

For Wayne, he believes the two-year foreign langauge requirement and the ongoing teacher shortage will make things challenging for school leaders and even students in the years ahead. 

Clinton High School Without Spanish Teacher for This Year

Clinton High School is operating without a Spanish teacher this year and it is creating a uniquely complex situation.

 

High School Principal Jerry Wayne indicates without a Spanish teacher, all students are turning to German teacher Joe Scanavino for their foreign language class.

 

 

According to Wayne, they could easily just hire someone to have a teacher but he doesn't believe that is how you create a good learning environment and so they dial in on candidates that would fit the culture of the high school.

 

 

The high school is currently dealing with a bottleneck as students seek to take a foreign language in the only class offered. Wayne points out, that this problem could worsen in the next few years with high school students required to take two years of a foreign language to graduate.



 

 

For Wayne, he believes the two-year foreign language requirement and the ongoing teacher shortage will make things challenging for school leaders and even students in the years ahead. 

Illinois Department of Revenue Reminds Parents, Teachers About State's Tax Credits for School Expenses, Classroom Materials

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE IS REMINDING PARENTS AND TEACHERS THAT THEY MAY BE ABLE TO CLAIM SOME OF THEIR EDUCATION RELATED COSTS. 

 

THE STATE OFFERS AN EDUCATION EXPENSE TAX CREDIT…SO SAVE THOSE RECEIPTS SAYS REVENUE SPOKESPERSON MAURA KOWNACKI (kuh-nacky).

 

 

ADDITIONALLY, ELIGIBLE TEACHERS, COUNSELORS, AIDES AND THE LIKE CAN CLAIM A CREDIT OF TO 500 DOLLARS FOR QUALIFYING CLASSROOM MATERIALS. THAT’S AN INCREASE OVER LAST YEAR.

 

 

YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE EDUCATION EXPENSE TAX CREDITS ONLINE AT: TAX DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

For Local Cooling Centers, Call 2-1-1

With the excessive heat warning of recent days in Illinois, the United Way has stayed busy directing people to cooling centers. 

 

There are locations in many communities, with a mix of retail businesses, community, and government buildings on that list. The United Way's Katie Felts says the go-to number is 2-1-1.

 

 

If you or someone you know is suffering from a heat-related illness that requires medical attention, you are advised to call 911. You can find a cooling center near you by clicking on the link: www.211helps.org

'Pork and Pigskins' Championship Back This Fall

The Illinois High School Association and Illinois Pork Producers Association are looking for the best concession stand pork sandwich. It’s the 3rd year for the Pork and Pigskins Championship says the IHSA’s Tracie Henry.

 

 

Schools can enter their concession stand at ihsa.org. They’re also looking for guest judges. Normal Community won the title in year one and Hall Township in Spring Valley took top honors last year.

Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association Promoting MAGIE Show This Weekend

Getting to test drive the latest equipment and see the latest technology up close and personal. That’s the goal of the MAGIE (Midwest Ag Industries Exposition) Show presented this week by the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association says IFCA’s KJ Johnson.

 

 

The event is Wednesday and Thursday on the 40-acre McLean County Fairgrounds. More info at ifca.com.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Reminds of Safe2HelpIL Hotline

THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS REMINDING STUDENTS OF A STATE HOTLINE FOR PROBLEMS RANGING FROM BULLYING TO DRUG USE. 

 

"SAFE 2 HELP ILLINOIS" PROVIDES A CARING EAR, COUNSELING AND RESOURCES IF APPROPRIATE TO KIDS OF ALL AGES BATTLING DEPRESSION OR FACING OTHER PROBLEMS. I-EMA’S SAMANTHA KANISH (cain-ish) SAYS STUDENTS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE HOTLINE IF THEY THINK A CLASSMATE MAY BE CONSIDERING SUICIDE.

 

 

THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS STRUGGLING STUDENTS CAN REACH OUT. KANISH SAYS TEXTING: “SAFE 2” IS THE MOST POPULAR. KIDS CAN ALSO DOWNLOAD THE SAFE 2 HELP IL APP OR VISIT THE WEBSITE: SAFE 2 HELP IL DOT COM.

 

 

KANISH SAYS THEY RECEIVED 817 REPORTS LAST YEAR, WITH BULLYING THE MOST FREQUENT COMPLAINT. STUDENTS CAN ACCESS THE SERVICE BY TEXTING: SAFE 2. 

Illinois Department of Public Health Sending Heat Safety Reminders

TEMPERATURES ARE RISING AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS WARNING ILLINOISANS TO BE CAREFUL IN THE HEAT. 

 

EXPOSURE TO EXTREME HEAT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS HEALTH COMPLICATIONS SAYS THE STATE’S CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER…DOCTOR ARTI BARNES. THERE’S HEAT EXHAUSTION, AND THE MORE DANGEROUS HEATSTROKE.

 

 

OTHER TIPS INCLUDE:

 

 

SYMPTOMS OF HEATSTROKE INCLUDE A BODY TEMPERATURE OF OVER 103 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT, DIFFICULTY BREATHING, SKIN THAT’S HOT TO THE TOUCH AND AN ELEVATED HEART RATE. IF THIS HAPPENS, BARNES SAYS YOU SHOULD CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.

Ameren Illinois Holding Public Hearings on Grid Transformation Program

A series of public hearings is being held this week across Illinois by Ameren Illinois about their new Grid Transformation Program.

 

The program includes approximately 380 miles of new or upgraded transmission lines across the region, with nearly 85% rebuilt along existing corridors. The program also includes building three new substations and upgrades to several existing substations. Program manager Sam Morris says that the project is all a part of MISO's portfolio to upgrade transmission capacity.

 

 

There will be three opportunities this week for the public to see the project first hand. 

 

The first is Tuesday in Quincy at The Ambiance, located at 5225 Kochs Lane from 11AM-1PM and again from 5-7PM. 

 

Subsequent meetings will be held at the same times in Mt. Sterling, at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Wednesday and in Meredosia at the American Legion on Thursday.

 

For more information or to find ways to leave comments if you cannot attend the public forums, visit ameren.com/central-il-grid.

Weekly Crop Report

IT WAS A COOLER AND A LITTLE DRIER THIS PAST WEEK AS WE HEAR IN THE LATEST CROP REPORT.

 

TEMPERATURES WERE FOUR DEGREES LOWER THAN NORMAL. RAINFALL AVERAGED UNDER AN INCH. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 80 PERCENT OF CORN ACRES ARE IN THE DOUGH STAGE.

 

 

 SCHLEUSENER HAS AN UPDATE ON THE ILLINOIS SOYBEAN CROP.

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DROPPED TO SIX PERCENT VERY SHORT, 21 PERCENT SHORT, 71 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND TWO PERCENT SURPLUS. 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 69 PERCENT COMPLETE.

Warner Hospital Foundation Golf Outing Coming Up Next Month

The Warner Hospital Foundation annual golf outing is coming up September 8 and the registration deadline is fast approaching.

 

Executive Director of the Hospital Foundation Curt Homann indicates the golf outing is a Friday this year and there's room and time to get registered.

 

 

There are individual rates and groups of four rates as well as discounts if golfers or teams provide their own carts. Additionally, Homann says there will be plenty of games and giveaways throughout the day.

 

 

For Homann, the golf outing allows them to support not only the hospital but the community through scholarships and other efforts. Going into its second year, the first year for the golf outing was very successful.

 

l

 

To get registration information, Homann points those interested to find Warner Hospital on Facebook, and again the deadline to register is next Friday. 

Lincoln's 'Balloons Over 66' This Weekend

An annual event that has been reimagined is this weekend in Lincoln.

 

For many years, the Art and Balloon Festival was a major draw to the City of Lincoln but over time they had a hard getting volunteers to keep the event going. It has since been reimagined with a focus on BBQ and balloons says Lincoln Mayor Tracy Welch.

 

 

According to Mayor Welch, they continue to need volunteers to make this event happen and indicates they try to make volunteering worthwhile for those individuals.

 

 

The Mayor reminds former Mayor Seth Goodman is a hot air balloon enthusiast and was instrumental in restarting the festival at a scaled-down level.

 

 

Visit destinationlogancountyil.com for more information on all the happenings this weekend. 

New Clinton City Administrator Here for Long Haul

The City of Clinton has struggled to replace Tim Followell in the City Administrator's office for nearly two years and many in the community wonder how long the latest hire the City has made will last.

 

Taylor Baxter comes to Clinton from the parks and recreation department for the City of Pontiac and tells Regional Radio he isn't shying away from the question about his potential longevity in Clinton and hopes the community knows, Clinton isn't a stepping stone for him.

 

 

According to Baxter, Clinton's unique, commissioner-style government and the unique role of the City Administrator in that government didn't keep him from finding the job appealing. He believes it actually plays to his strengths.

 

 

Followell was instrumental in coordinating the concerts on the square and Baxter says he wants to bring those back. Not only does he have experience in coordinating events like that in Pontiac but he believes the Clinton square is ideal for those.

 

 

Baxter hopes to bring fresh, new ideas to the community and has extensive experience seeking out grants for Pontiac and hopes to be able to do the same for Clinton.

 

We'll hear more from Baxter the next week on Regional Radio. 

Community Members Bring Concerns About School Playground Accessibility

A Clinton family recently approached the Clinton Board of Education about the accessibility of equipment for their child with special needs.

 

Tyler Smith (right) and his wife have been in the Clinton district for three years and have a special needs child in the district. They are hoping to work with the district to improve accessibility for the playground equipment at the school buildings.

 

 

For better surfaces for students with special needs, assistant superintendent Drew Goebel says there are options for the district to explore to make the playground equipment more accessible.

 

 

Smith and his family say there are parks, mainly in the Bloomington-Normal area and the new park in Farmer City, that have better surfaces they pointed the Board of Education to. They are hoping this is something that can be addressed soon but be a long-term solution instead of a short-term fix.

 

 

Board President Dan Matthews told the Smiths they would look into options to improve the playgrounds at Clinton schools. 

LeRoy Fall Festival Underway

An annual tradition for the LeRoy community is currently underway.

 

The LeRoy Fall Festival kicked off Tuesday night. Lindsay White with the LeRoy Fall Festival Committee indicates the festival consists of a carnival, vendors, and live music every night.

 

 

A big draw for the festival is its nightly ice cream socials. White told Regional Radio during its live coverage of the festival, the ice cream socials are put on by various nonprofit groups in the community.

 

 

Those with sensory issues or who have children with sensory issues are invited to come out Friday for the festival's Special Persons Day. White says on Friday those individuals can enjoy the carnival without all of the traditional lights and sounds.

 

 

Again the LeRoy Fall Festival runs each night through Saturday beginning at 6 pm with live music starting at 7.

'Battlecross Crusaders' Hosting Welcome Home Honor Flight Event for Local Veteran

A DeWitt County veteran is spending the day in Washington, D.C. getting an up close and personal look at the veteran's memorials.

 

The group Battlecross Crusaders has become synonymous with the day's activities for local veterans as they work to welcome the veterans back with a special police escort and welcome back celebration.

 

 

That's Jeff Morlock with Battlecross Crusaders who indicates the honor flight has returned to its normal operations out of COVID and encourages veterans who have not made the trip on the Honor Flight to consider doing so.

 

 

Morlock points out they have organized over 100 welcome-home celebrations for local veterans for the last 10 years. 

Clinton YMCA Readies for Annual Strong Kids Campaign

The Clinton YMCA is gearing up for its annual 'Strong Kids' Campaign.

 

Executive Director Rennie Cluver told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show Monday the annual campaign is the biggest fundraiser for the Y and is its most impactful.

 

 

While many organizations across the country are experiencing a downturn in giving, Cluver indicates the YMCA is not seeing that decline in giving and believes the Clinton community is very generous when it comes to its support of the Y.

 

 

The 'Acres for Kids' portion of the 'Strong Kids' campaign has been a huge success for the YMCA and Cluver credits board president Darren Moser for bringing this idea forward about five years ago.

 

 

Campaign letters should be going out in the near future. Cluver says if you don't receive yours or would like more information, visit clintoncommymca.org. 

Local FFA Student Touts Program to Clinton Board of Education

Davis Howell is a senior at Clinton High School and was the Vice President of the Clinton FFA Chapter last year.

 

Howell presented to the Clinton Board of Education last week a recap of the 2022-23 school year. He indicates numbers within the FFA program are very high right now.

 

 

Hannah Riedle is the Clinton FFA Advisor and told the Board of Education it was a strong year for the chapter.

 

 

Howell reflected on the 2023 State and National FFA conventions and what a great opportunity it is to get together with FFA students from across the state and be recognized for their yearly accomplishments.

 

 

Last year, Howell was one of two Clinton FFA members to get his state degree - a high achievement for an FFA member in Illinois. The other was Kreston Carter.

 

Additionally, Elsie Nord received her American degree. Riedle says it takes a lot of hard work to achieve those designations and says it is very exciting for those individuals.

Sangamon Valley CEO Makes Appeal for Mentors

A central Illinois entrepreneurship program is appealing to local business leaders to step up and mentor youth in its footprint.

 

The Sangamon Valley CEO program is a business program for students in the Argenta-Oreana, DeLand-Weldon, Cerro Gordo, Monticello, and Bement School districts. Facilitator Lisa Sheppard indicates the mentorship program is a vital part of the program.

 

 

The mentorship program is typical in that a business leader is paired with a student. Sheppard explains they make these matches early on in the program so that relationships can develop throughout the year.

 

 

Sheppard points out they ask mentors to meet with their students once a month, attending the trade show at the end of the year and the class business around the change in the semester time. 

 

Mentors are asked to be from or around the communities in the school districts of the program. 

 

To learn more, visit sangamonvalleyceo.com. 

Local Lawmaker Reacts to Governor's Veto of Nuclear Power Plant Legislation

Governor JB Pritzker recently vetoed legislation that would allow nuclear reactors to be built in Illinois again, a moratorium that goes back many years in the state.

 

State Senator Chapin Rose says this is another effort by the Chicago Democrat to appeal to the radicals within his base. He says this bill is something that needs to happen. 

 

 

According to Sen. Rose, Illinois Republicans have been vindicated in their claims that Illinois' energy policies were going to be destructive to Illinoisans stuck paying the bill. But moreover, he believes it all could have been prevented. 

 

 

Sen. Rose says the irony of the situation is Illinois is going to have to make up for the electrons on the grid that are not being produced in Illinois by importing them from other states and it will be from the coal-powered plants in other states.

 

 

It remains to be seen if the Illinois legislature will seek to overturn the Governor's veto during the fall legislative session. 

Very Hot This Week

Excessive heat impacting Illinois this week. Temperatures will be well into the 90's with heat indices into the triple digits says Tom Philip with the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities.

 

 

Philip says there should be some relief by Saturday.

DeWitt County Museum Needs Volunteers for Apple n' Pork Festival

he Apple n' Pork Festival is a little more than a month away and organizers are calling on the community for help this year.

 

Joey Long is the Director of the CH Moore Homestead and DeWitt County Museum and on the WHOW Morning Show Friday told Regional Radio they need volunteers for this year's festival.

 

 

The Apple n' Pork Festival comes up on Sept. 23-24 this year. Get more information about volunteering by calling the Museum at 217-935-6066. 

Gov. Pritzker Signs Legislation Creating Illinois Grocery Initiative

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING THE NEW ILLINOIS GROCERY INITIATIVE INTO LAW. 

 

THE PROGRAM INCLUDES A 20 MILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT TO HELP ALLEVIATE "FOOD DESERTS" ACROSS THE STATE SAYS THE GOVERNOR. HE NOTES THAT A GROCERY STORE ANCHORED AND RUN BY PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS MORE LIKELY TO SURVIVE.

 

 

UP TO 20 PERCENT OF THE PROGRAM FUNDING CAN BE USED BY GROCERY STORES TO MAKE ENERGY EFFICIENCY UPGRADES. MORE THAN THREE MILLION PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS CURRENTLY LIVE IN FOOD DESERTS. 


 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS MORE INFORMATION WILL BE AVAILABLE WHEN THE STATE STARTS ACCEPTING GRANT APPLICATIONS.

Vets and Pets Subject of New State Law

VETS AND PETS ARE THE SUBJECT OF A NEW STATE LAW.

 

THE LAW WAIVES THE FEES FOR VETERANS TO ADOPT A DOG OR A CAT FROM A SHELTER OR ANIMAL CONTROL FACILITY. FEES VARY ACROSS THE STATE BUT CAN RANGE FROM 30 DOLLARS TO 275. IT WAS SUPPORTED BACK IN MAY BY SENATOR STEVE MCCLURE OF SPRINGFIELD.

 

 

THE LAW TAKES EFFECT JANUARY FIRST.

Sen. Durbin on Farm Bill

The US Senate is working on a Farm Bill says US Senator Dick Durbin. The senior senator from Illinois sits on the Senate Ag committee and says he has confidence in Senate committee leadership on both sides of the isle, but he isn’t so sure about the House being able to get their bill done.

 

 

The bill expires at the end of September. If a new one isn’t crafted and approved, a one year extension could be passed.

BBB Highlights Back to School Tips

Most Illinois school districts will have students back in class by the middle of the month, but some parents may still be finishing up their back-to-school shopping. 

 

While there are many deals to be found, the Better Business Bureau wants to ensure you are using all the tools at your disposal to save as much as possible. One tip is to look in your child’s backpack to see what supplies remain, then cross those off your shopping list. BBB Investigator Don O’Brien says you would be wise to set a budget and stick to it.


 

Another trick that can save you money is buying in bulk if possible. He says many stores and software companies offer discounts. Some are available to students with either an .edu email address or a student ID. O’Brien reminds it never hurts to ask.

Weekly Weather Summary

It was a mild week in Illinois but things are going to completely turn starting Sunday. State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details...

 

 

Local Authorities Encourage Parents Talking With Children

Clinton school children are back in class and as we get into the swing of things, local authorities are encouraging parents to have some conversations with their kids about safety in the community and online.

 

School resource officer Kody Mair says for parents with young drivers, the messages should be around driving undistracted and being aware of the areas of the community you are in, and watching for kids who may be on foot going to or from school.

 

 

Officer Mair also encourages parents to talk with their kids about online safety. He explains he is seeing an increase in teenagers being scammed or taken advantage of online and he notes, it is completely avoidable.

 

 

Chief Ben Lowers implores parents to be mindful of their children's activities on social media and online. Predators can gain access to our kids in a variety of ways and bullying has taken on a digital form in recent years.

 

 

Officer Mair notes one of the increasing forms of bullying and exploitation is through the chat room features of video games.

Local Lawmaker Blasts Governor's Attempt to Censor Pro-Life Centers' Speech

A central Illinois lawmaker is blasting Governor JB Pritzker's attempt to censor pro-life centers' advertisements because he doesn't agree with it.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, State Senator Chapin Rose told Regional Radio a judge's opinion called it 'stupid and most likely unconstitutional'. He says this is all an appeal to the radical base of Democrats.

 

 

According to Sen. Rose, this is all about a bigger issue of progressives trying to censor speech in a free society. He believes Illinois Republicans need to do a better job of organizing to fight back against these damaging policies.

 

 

The Mahomet Republican also points out the fight for these values needs to be taken to your local school board. He explains the Governor understands this as he got involved in several school board elections in the Chicago-land area this spring.

 

 

As for the pro-life speech lawsuit, an injunction was upheld which puts a restraint on the law while it gets figured it out in court. Sen. Rose this is rather significant because it is rare for a State law to be put on hold by the courts unless there is a clear violation of the constitution. 

Second 'Clinton Founder's Day' Celebration on Sunday

The Celebrate Clinton Association is hosting its second 'Founder's Day' celebration this Sunday and they are hoping folks will battle the heat with them for a presentation that will feature a new character from Clinton's past.

 

Edith Brady-Lunny with the CCA tells Regional Radio the festivities start on the Clinton Square with remarks from Clinton Mayor Tom Edmunds and Warner Library Director Bobbi Perryman. She believes this gives two different perspectives on the appeal of living in Clinton.

 

 

Brady-Lunny wrote the performance for this year's Founder's Day. She found there was plenty of preserved information about Thomas Snell around the community.

 

 

The staples of the Founder's Day performance are of course CH Moore and Abraham Lincoln. 

 

 

Founder's Day starts at 1 pm on the Clinton Square and will transition to the Homestead around 2 pm. 

 

Brady-Lunny encourages those interested to check out the Founder's Day Facebook page for more information. 

Clinton Board of Education Approves Rt 10/Illini Drive as 'Dangerous Intersection'

The Clinton Board of Education has deemed the intersection at Route 10 and Illini Drive in Clinton a 'dangerous intersection' - a move that could provide further funding to make the area of Clinton safer.

 

At the Tuesday night Clinton Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Curt Nettles told the Board the State of Illinois, specifically the State Board of Education, or ISBE, pays attention to these types of designations.

 

 

According to assistant superintendent Drew Goebel, there are reimbursement opportunities for the district if they make the designation of the intersection deemed dangerous.

 

 

Nettles does not believe the State of Illinois simply designating the area dangerous and throwing money at the district solves any problems. Goebel also mentioned ISBE personnel will be in Clinton next week to take a look at the intersection.

 

 

Nettles told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday he'd prefer the State keeps its money and install flashing yellow lights in the area because he feels that would be more effective and get more people's attention. 

Mt. Pulaski Schools Focused on Facilities With Surplus Revenue

Mt. Pulaski Schools are focusing on its facilities thanks to the extra revenue the district is receiving in recent years. 

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Superintendent Fred Lamkey told Regional Radio the district has an excess of dollars thanks to the one-cent sales tax in Logan County as well as wind development in southeast Logan County.

 

 

According to Lamkey, the wind farm has allowed the district to rely less on the taxpayer. This has meant they have more flexibility with the dollars they receive.

 

 

Thanks to the excess of dollars coming in, the district has been able to address its facilities, evidenced by the recent multi-million dollar renovation of the high school. Lamkey says they are getting to a point they can focus on smaller things to make its buildings better.

 

 

With money from the one-cent sales tax flowing in and the EAV increases thanks to the wind farms, Lamkey says the district is yearly evaluating its facilities plan.

 

 

Lamkey recognizes the value of wind farms is not going to be at their current levels forever. He notes while they are aware of that, they understand there is still development happening within the district so it is something they will likely not have to worry about for a while. That doesn't mean they aren't living within their means. 

 

 

Lamkey points out they still have things they want to do to address facilities and learning before they start to take on the extras that many districts in central Illinois are starting to build with the extra money from these revenues. 

Gov. Pritzker Vetoes Nuclear Bill

The Governor vetoed a bill to allow for possible expansion of nuclear power in Illinois. 

 

The veto continues Illinois moratorium on new power plants being built. But could changes to the bill attract the Governors’ signature? JB Pritzker says the bill changed at the last minute and became one that included the opportunity to build large scale traditional reactors – not just the latest smaller modular reactors that many in the industry are trying to get approval on.

 

 

There might be enough votes in the legislature to overcome the Governor’s veto this fall.

IDPH Encouraging Downstate Daycare Providers to Apply for Free HEPA Air Purifiers

THE DEADLINE FOR LICENSED DAYCARES TO APPLY FOR FREE HEPA AIR PURIFIERS IS BEING EXTENDED.

 

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH LAUNCHED A 10 MILLION DOLLAR, FEDERALLY FUNDED PROGRAM TO GET THE AIR PURIFIERS INTO DAYCARES, AND SOME ARE STILL AVAILABLE. THE AGENCY'S CHARLES WILLIAMS SAYS THEY CAN HELP REDUCE THE SPREAD OF RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES LIKE COVID, THE FLU AND R-S-V. HE ESPECIALLY URGES DAYCARES IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ILLINOIS TO APPLY.

 

 

THE AIR PURIFIERS COME WITH REPLACEMENT FILTERS, AND CAN HELP REDUCE ILLNESSES SAYS THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S CHARLES WILLIAMS.

 

 

ONLY DAYCARES OUTSIDE OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO AND LICENSED BY THE STATE ARE ELIGIBLE. THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS NOW AUGUST 25TH.

Weekly Crop Report

CORN AND SOYBEAN CROP CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO IMPROVE IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THIS PAST WEEK WAS SLIGHTLY COOLER AND WETTER THAN NORMAL IN MOST PARTS OF THE STATE. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS SOYBEANS WERE BLOOMING ON 95 PERCENT OF ACRES.

 

 

THE CONDITION OF THE ILLINOIS CORN CROP ALSO IMPROVED AND IS RATED AS 64 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 71 PERCENT OF CORN ACRES HAVE REACHED THE DOUGH STAGE AND 20 PERCENT HAVE HIT THE DENT STAGE. 

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 55 PERCENT COMPLETE.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE CAME IN AT THREE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 13 PERCENT SHORT, 66 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 18 PERCENT SURPLUS.

New State Law Expands Excused School Absences for Work-Based Learning Events

A NEW STATE LAW WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR STUDENTS TO PURSUE ACTIVITIES LIKE FOUR-H AND THE FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA. 

 

INSTEAD OF BEING CONSIDERED ABSENT, KIDS ATTENDING WORK-BASED LEARNING EVENTS WILL HAVE THAT TIME COUNT TOWARDS THE SCHOOL DAY. SENATOR DORIS TURNER OF SPRINGFIELD SPONSORED THE BILL.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE SONYA HARPER OF CHICAGO SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO NURTURE THESE INTERESTS.

 

 

IT WILL BE UP TO STUDENTS TO MAKE UP ANY MISSED SCHOOL WORK.

Free Entertainment at State Fair

THERE’S PLENTY OF FREE ENTERTAINMENT AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR THIS YEAR. 

 

FIRST UP IS: JUMP! THE ULTIMATE DOG SHOW…WHICH FEATURES STUNTS, TRICKS, FRISBEE CATCHING AND THE HIGH JUMP. OWNER AND TRAINER LOU MACK USES 10 DOGS, ALL WITH THEIR OWN SPECIALTY. THE BEST PART? THEY ARE ALL RESCUES.

 

 

NEW TO THE FAIR THIS YEAR IS CYCLE CIRCUS LIVE, A FREESTYLE MOTORCYCLE STUNT SHOW. FOUNDER JOHNNY ROCKETT:

 

 

AND OF COURSE, THERE IS LIVE MUSIC AT SEVERAL STAGES SCATTERED AROUND THE FAIRGROUNDS DAILY.

Illinois First State to Have 'Kidfluencers'

CHILDREN WHO WORK AS SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS WILL BE GETTING SOME PROTECTIONS COME NEXT SUMMER.

 

ILLINOIS IS THE FIRST STATE IN THE COUNTRY TO ENACT A LAW ENSURING SO-CALLED “KID-FLUENCERS” ARE ADEQUATELY COMPENSATED. IT REQUIRES A PERCENTAGE OF ANY EARNINGS FROM POSTS ON SITES LIKE TWITTER AND TIK-TOK TO BE PUT INTO A TRUST FUND FOR THE CHILD SAID SENATOR DAVID KOEHLER (kay-ler) OF PEORIA THIS PAST SPRING.

 

 

AURORA SENATOR LINDA HOLMES EARLIER THIS YEAR.

 

 

THE APPLIES TO CHILDREN UNDER 16 AND TAKES EFFECT NEXT JULY FIRST.

State Police Send Back to School Reminders

AS SCHOOL STARTS BACK UP IN SOME AREAS, THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO BE EXTRA CAUTIOUS ABOUT ROADWAY SAFETY. 

 

BACK TO SCHOOL MEANS MORE VEHICLE, BICYCLE AND FOOT TRAFFIC SAYS TROOPER JOSH KORANDO (co-rondo).

 

 

STATE POLICE ALSO REMIND THAT THE SPEED LIMIT FOR POSTED SCHOOL ZONES IS 20 MILES PER HOUR. THAT’S IN EFFECT FROM SEVEN A-M TO FOUR P-M ON SCHOOL DAYS WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT. 

 

 

FINES INCREASE FOR TALKING OR TEXTING ON A HAND-HELD CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING THROUGH A SCHOOL ZONE.

City of Clinton Hires New City Administrator

After nearly two years, the City of Clinton has a city administrator.

 

Tuesday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, the council hired Taylor Baxter as the City Administrator. Baxter comes to Clinton from Pontiac, Illinois, previously serving as the Pontiac Director of Parks and Recreation, filling the vacancy left by Tim Followell's retirement. Commissioner John Wise is looking forward to working with Baxter.

 

 

Also at Tuesday night's meeting, Commissioner of Public Health and Safety Dan Ballenger informed the council he had the property at 216 E Adams St, commonly known as the Brownstone, boarded up after receiving multiple reports of squatters.

 

 

The city council passed an expansion of the residency agreement with the Clinton Police Department and placed on file exemptions for vendors of the Apple n' Pork Festival.

Clinton Board of Education Hears of Possible Funding Sources for Future Facilities Projects

Facilities have been top of mind for the Clinton Board of Education in the last 18 months and at the Tuesday night monthly meeting, the Board was finally updated on how some of the dreams of administration would come to fruition. 

 

Superintendent Curt Nettles laid out two scenarios for the Board of Education Tuesday. The first involves a short-term bond to be issued that could be paid off within a year.

 

 

According to Nettles, the Board could begin movement on these bonds as soon as later this fall.

 

 

Nettles points out the district can issue the bonds without raising the tax rate. He also notes the district can do this by paying off an existing bond and re-issuing a bond and simultaneously keeping the tax rate at the lowest level in the area.

 

 

Looking longer term, Nettles points out decisions are going to be made after he has retired from his post but the Board will be able to issue more bonds for the bigger projects they have their sites on.

 

 

Nettles points out the decisions will be up to the Board going forward working with incoming superintendent Drew Goebel. Nettles calls this good debt because it keeps the tax rate steady and it isn't hurting property owners and is giving the district access to several million dollars. 

Wet August Easing Drought in Much of Illinois

Much of Illinois is seeing a decrease in the drought conditions that have plagued the state most of the summer.

 

John Bumgardner at the National Weather Service in Lincoln says so far, August has outpaced its precipitation totals for up to this point in the month.

 

 

Bumgardner says this is great news for the drought condition in Illinois. Additionally, other than a few outlying areas of Illinois, rain has been slow and steady creating the time the moisture needs to seep into the soil. 

 

 

The rest of August is showing a slight trend for below-normal precipitation and good chances for above-normal temperatures. 

 

Getting into September and into the harvest season, outlooks show equal chances of above or below-normal temperatures and precipitation. 

Clinton Police Investigating String of Vehicle Burglaries

A loaded handgun was among the items stolen from vehicles on Clinton's southwest side in the early morning hours of Monday.

 

Local authorities are investigating the rash of burglaries. Items stolen from vehicles include cash and coins, credit and debit cards, and a loaded handgun.

 

Authorities do not believe any of the entries were forced and area surveillance footage shows at least two subjects entering vehicles.

 

Authorities remind residents in all communities and neighborhoods to lock their vehicles and remove all valuables. 

 

Authorities indicate it has been some time since they've encountered a spree of vehicle thefts like this. 

Local Authorities Imploring Motorists to Be Aware of Increased Pedestrian, Motoring Traffic as School Starts

As kids get back to school this week, Clinton and DeWitt County authorities are asking the motoring public to be mindful of the increased traffic around the schools and community.

 

Clinton Police Department School Resource Officer Kody Mair implores the public to avoid school zones and the areas around them if they're going to be in a hurry in the morning. 

 

 

Motorists need to be aware of areas with crossing guards and notes when those arms are sticking out from the school buses. Officer Mair says he's not going to take it easy on motorists who disregard these.

 

 

Additionally, DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker implores rural motorists to be mindful of those buses when they see them in rural settings. He indicates they are often making stops where it might not always be convenient so be cautious around them. He also notes the rules apply in the country just as they do in town regarding school bus safety.

 

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers has been around for numerous first days of school and says it never fails, the first day of school is inevitably hectic by it won't take long for kids, parents, and motorists to fall into the routine of the school year.

 

 

Officer Mair encourages parents to have conversations with children about watching for traffic, knowing where the crossing guards are around their school, and being safe going to and from school. He is looking forward to starting his first year as the school resource officer and getting to know the faculty and students in all the buildings. 

Mild Week to Be Followed By Very Hot Weather

A mild week in Illinois is going to be proceeded by a very hot weekend and likely a hot finish to August. 

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, John Bumgardner at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio this should be a very mild week with minimal chances of rain.

 

 

After this week, things get hot and they are appearing to stay hot. Bumgardner says the outlooks are showing excellent chances for above-normal temperatures until the end of the month.

 

 

Getting into September, outlooks are showing equal chances of above or below-normal precipitation and temperatures. 

 

Bumgardner says one positive of August so far is the early rains of the month are going a long way to ease drought conditions. We'll hear more from him this week on Regional Radio News. 

Clinton Authorities Highlight Back to School Reminders

It's back to school time already and Clinton authorities have some reminders for parents about the routines of the school year.

 

Kody Mair is the Clinton Police Department School Resource Officer and stresses that parents must have any information schools must have on hand to be up to date. One of the more detrimental issues they encounter is children involved in split custody situations not having information updated at a school building and it comes to a head when the information isn't updated. A child may not be able to go home with a certain parent or guardian.

 

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers echoes Officer Mair's remarks and notes it isn't fair to the school staff to be put in the middle of those situations as they are often not able to do anything about it.

 

 

We'll hear more tomorrow from Officer Mair and Chief Lowers with more back-to-school information. 

Busy Summer at CHS with Project Updates

When students return to Clinton High School later this week, a few aspects of the building will be different.

 

Jerry Wayne, CHS principal, indicates this summer has been busy with several project updates. He says he is excited about the new bleachers and gym floor that will set Clinton apart from other schools in the surrounding area.

 

 

Most likely, the major project is the complete renovation of the kitchen. That project began as soon as school ended, and Wayne notes it may not be finished when students return.

 

 

In addition to the gym, kitchen, and parking lot, another project completed is the sign on the side of the building. Wayne addresses the controversy that the sign has caused on social media.

 

 

Another project completed this summer was repaving the blacktop portion of the parking lot around the building.

 

Wayne directs parents to pay attention to Skyward for important information regarding the beginning of the new school year.

Willow Tree Missions Seeing Increase in Domestic Violence Cases

A local non-profit that aids domestic violence victims is seeing an influx in reports.

 

Andrea Kocher, Director of Services for Willow Tree Missions in Piatt County, notes they have been "inundated" with calls to begin the month of August. She believes a factor in this may be a return to more structured schedules.

 

 

For more information on Willow Tree Missions, call (217) 631-1018 or visit willowtreemissions.org.

Social Security Highlights Benefits and Children Turning 19 in High School

Some children attending high school and receiving Social Security benefits on a parent's record may encounter an issue this fall. 

 

Jack Myers at Social Secutity says they recived the question a lot - a child, who gets Social Security on a parent's record, will be attending his last year of high school in the fall.  He turns 19 in a few months. Does that parent need to fill out a form for his benefits to continue?

 

 

Visit ssa.gov for more information and follow along in the news and publications page or the frequently asked questions page for more topics that might apply to you and your Social Security situation. 

IL Supreme Court upholds state's ban on assault weapons

THE ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT HAS UPHELD THE STATE'S BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS.

 

IN A FOUR TO THREE DECISION, THE COURT FOUND A LAW PROHIBITING THE SALE OR POSSESSION OF CERTAIN SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS AND HIGH CAPACITY MAGAZINES IS CONSTITUTIONAL. REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK OF WINDHORST OF METROPOLIS SAYS HE'S DISAPPOINTED BUT NOT SURPRISED. HE'S HOPEFUL ANOTHER CHALLENGE, NOW BEFORE A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT, HAS A DIFFERENT OUTCOME.

 

 

THE LAW PROHIBITS CERTAIN SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS, AND PLACES LIMITS ON MAGAZINE ROUNDS. IN A FOUR TO THREE DECISION, THE COURT RULED THAT IT IS CONSTITUTIONAL. REPRESENTATIVE BOB MORGAN OF DEERFIELD SPONSORED THE PROTECT ILLINOIS COMMUNITIES ACT AND WAS AT THE HIGHLAND PARK 4TH OF JULY PARADE SHOOTING.

 

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER PRAISED THE STATE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION, CALLING THE LAW "COMMON SENSE GUN REFORM TO KEEP MASS-KILLING MACHINES OFF OF OUR STREETS."

Governor vetoes bill lifting moratorium on building new nuclear plants

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS VETOING A BILL LIFTING THE CURRENT MORATORIUM ON BUILDING NEW NUCLEAR PLANTS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

IN HIS VETO MESSAGE, THE GOVERNOR CITED CONCERNS ABOUT THE BILL SUCH AS NOT HAVING REGULATIONS TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE AND WORK NEAR THE PLANTS. SENATOR SUE REZIN OF MORRIS, WHO SPONSORED THE LEGISLATION, SAYS THE STATE NEEDS ACCESS TO NUCLEAR POWER.


 

THE GOVERNOR RAISED CONCERNS IN HIS VETO MESSAGE ABOUT THE LEGISLATION NOT HAVING RULES TO PROTECT PEOPLE LIVING AND WORKING NEAR THE PLANTS, AND THAT IT COULD LEAD TO HUGE PLANTS THAT WOULD BE SO COSTLY TO BUILD, THAT RATEPAYERS WOULD TAKE A HIT. BUT MORRIS SENATOR SUE REZIN SAYS ILLINOIS NEEDS NUCLEAR POWER AS A RELIABLE SOURCE OF ALTERNATIVE ENERGY.

 

 

THE BAN HAS BEEN IN PLACE SINCE 1987. REZIN SAYS SHE WILL BE PUSHING FOR A VETO OVERRIDE THIS FALL.

Weekly Weather Summary

This past week saw average temperatures and multiple storms. Mild but stormy weather is expected for the week ahead. State Climatologist Trent Ford has more...

 

 

Blue Ridge Schools Utilizing Wind Farm Dollars to Lower Taxes, Renovate Track

Blue Ridge Schools are taking advantage of an opportunity their Superintendent calls 'almost too good to be true'.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Superintendent Dr. Hilary Stanifer told Regional Radio, thanks to the wind farm dollars in southern McLean County, they are going to lower their tax rate, issue bonds - something they have to do - and renovate the track facility at the school.

 

 

According to Dr. Stanifer, the district has an influx of dollars coming their way because of the footprint of the windfarm that is in the Blue Ridge district. She stresses this is not her or the district taking a stance on wind farm projects in or around their district. 

 

 

The goal is to resurface the track and do extensive work on the grass field at the track. Dr. Stanifer hopes to see this all completed by 2025.

 

 

Dr. Stanifer indicates the Board of Education has been going back and forth about leaving the grass in place or going to turf on the field.

 

 

Dr. Stanifer indicates they are sending informational material out to residents to make them aware of this process. She notes much of this financial maneuvering are things they have to do anyway. 

University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Educator Highlights Back to School Nutrition Tips

Next week, most Illinois school children will be headed back to class and a University of Illinois Extension nutrition educator has some tips to make keeping our kids fed easier.

 

Caitlin Mellendorf at the Extension in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties indicates the grocery store is going to have a lot of items we should consider that will make packing lunches easier - if that is something families choose to do.

 

 

The 'My PAlate' is the latest version of the meal planning recommendations. Mellendorf says the 'my plate' simplifies what all we need to have in a meal and gives us some variety to work with.

 

 

According to Mellendorf, if your kids are going to be eating the lunch provided by the school, rest assured, those meals are going to be healthy and have to fall into certain guidelines.

 

 

Mellendorf explains there's a trendy meal prep that takes foods and cuts them into snack portions. She says this can make things quick and easy for not only mom and dad but the child at school.

 

 

Extension.illinois.edu/food is the website for more on all things nutrition. Mellendorf recognizes meal planning during the school year can be hectic but encourages planning ahead and working with your children to find healthy things they will eat. 

State Fair Opens Today

The state fair officially begins today (Thursday).

 

As the ribbon is cut, fairgoers will see improved buildings and grounds thanks to nearly $60 million of investments into the grounds. Governor JB Pritzker says it means the fair will continue to be bigger and better than ever.

 

 

The fair runs through August 20th.

State Fair Butter Cow Unveiled

800 pounds of butter have been sculpted into the 102nd butter cow displayed at this year’s state fair.

 

Sarah Pratt created the sculpture again this year – and put the focus on the families that put in the hard work on dairy farms. The farmer set in the scene is Lorilee Schultz of Orangeville and she says growing up in a dairy family, the fair holds so many good memories and this year is certainly special.

 

 

A second dairy sculpture features her daughter and this year the Dairy Building is highlighting a new flavor of fair ice cream – Cookies and Cream.

State Fair Ag Day Friday

THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR IS CHANGING THINGS UP A BIT AND WILL HOLD “AGRICULTURE” DAY THIS FRIDAY. 

 

AG DAY IS USUALLY HELD ON TUESDAY, BUT WITH SCHOOL STARTING NEXT WEEK FOR SOME, FAIR OFFICIALS WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOUNG EXHIBITORS HAVE A CHANCE SHOW OFF THEIR HARD WORK SAYS MANAGER REBECCA CLARK.

 

 

CLARK SAYS THEY MOVED AG DAY FROM THE USUAL TUESDAY SLOT TO FRIDAY.

 

 

THE DAY KICKS OFF WITH AN AG-DAY PROGRAM AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TENT WILL HAVE AN ARTISAN’S MARKET AND SPECIALTY GROWERS FARMSTAND. 

THERE’S ANOTHER SCHEDULE CHANGE THIS YEAR - THE GOVERNOR’S SALE OF CHAMPIONS WILL NOW BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY THE 16TH WHICH IS GOVERNOR’S DAY.

The Vault Touts Summer Career Camps Success

Another summer of career camps is in the books at a Clinton non-profit youth center and the returns continue to be very beneficial for area youth.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Executive Director Tammy Wilson told Regional Radio the five-session summer career camps explored aviation, construction, culinary arts, cosmetology, and healthcare services.

 

 

For Wilson and The Vault organizers, these camps have been successful not just because so many kids participate but also because of the opportunities it brings for the students.

 

 

One of the goals of the program is to get students hands-on experience in these industries they may have an interest in. Wilson adds it also gives the students confidence to try new things and have new experiences.

 

 

Wilson thanks all those that supported the program through their contributions of time or money. 

 

Organizers of the summer career camps will likely begin planning for next year's sessions around the first of the year. 

Warner Library Recaps Summer Reading Club

Another summer reading club is in the books at the Warner Library in Clinton.

 

Samantha Rusk is the Business Manager of the library and says they reached their goal of 700 participants in the reading club this summer.

 

 

Rusk says the trend of this summer has her optimistic things at the library are returning to the way they were before the pandemic. Mel Snow, who takes over on the children's floor as Corey Campbell departs for a new opportunity, feels this summer was great on the children's floor. 

 

 

Rusk encourages you to keep up with the latest at the library by finding them on almost every social media platform, visit vwarner.org, or stop the library at 310 North Quincy Street. 

Breaking News: Memorial Health Systems Lays Off Several Hundred to Reduce Workforce

Memorial Health Systems this afternoon announced layoffs of several hundred people at their hospitals in Springfield, Jacksonville, Taylorville, and Lincoln, due to what they're calling the current national and statewide economic trends negatively affecting the healthcare industry.

In a written statement to Regional Radio News, spokesperson Angie Muhs in the release said Memorial is restructuring to reduce its workforce with main focuses on leadership, administrative and support positions.   The statement went on to say several hundred employees are affected, including 20-percent of leadership positions across the organization.

The statement also said the reduction represents 5-percent of Memorial Health's total salary and benefits, and that departing employees will receive a severance package, health insurance stiped and support resources.   It also indicated some individuals may also be offered to transfer roles within the Memorial Health system.

It was not announced how many of the layoffs will specifically affect their Taylorville and Lincoln locations.

Memorial Health President and C-E-O Ed Curtis in the statement said the decisions were difficult and made after analysis and implementation of other cost-saving measures.   Curtis also cited the rising costs of supplies and equipment used by the Memorial Health system hospitals, plus the high cost of temporary labor and shifting trends in payer reimbursements.  Curtis concluded his portion of the statement by saying Memorial Health remains committed to providing the highest quality of care for the communities they're located in.

Tuesday Exercise Prepares Local Authorities for November Simulation

Local authorities were at the DeWitt County Building Tuesday for a practice exercise that will help prepare them for a main exercise with State officials in November.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, CENCOM Director Tony Harris told Regional Radio this exercise is called NARS, Nuclear Accident Reporting System. He explains local authorities from a variety of sectors are a part of this.

 

 

According to Harris, his dispatchers are getting accustomed to a new piece of technology in this that is going to make communicating much easier. He indicates this was something he had an idea for a while back and the State of Illinois was already ahead of the game.

 

 

Harris explains Tuesday's event was a test run before preparing for an actual event with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency on Nov. 14. 

 

 

Harris explains this is one of several exercises that local authorities participate in. NARS training happens every other year and he calls it one of their bigger training events. 

University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Educator Highlights Options for Summer Produce

Vegetable gardens across the area are getting to the point of harvesting those vegetables and a University of Illinois Extension nutrition educator has some tips to make sure none of it goes to waste.

 

Caitlin Mellendorf at the U of I Extension in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties indicates there are plenty of options on how to preserve those. While she has finished up her summer series on preserving, she is giving us a preview of those courses.

 

 

Canning is the most popular of the food preservation methods. Mellendorf explains there are several ways to can as well.

 

 

Another popular and easy method for vegetable preservation is freezing. Mellendorf indicates this is not a difficult method for food preservation.

 

 

Mellendorf encourages keeping tabs on extension.illinois.edu/dmp for coming information about the September food preservation classes. 

Illinois Farm Bureau Offering Reminders for Landowners Before Signing Agreements

Solar, wind, transmission, and pipeline projects continue to draw plenty of attention in Illinois, but before entering into any type of agreement with developers, landowners should check with legal counsel.

 

 

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

IHSA Looking for Top Pork Chop

The Illinois High School Association is looking for the top pork chop in the state during high school football games.

 

For the third year, the I-H-S-A is teaming up with the Illinois Pork Producers Association for the 'pork and pigskins' competition. I-H-S-A Executive Director Craig Anderson says just like last year, the winner receives the top prize of a golden spatula.

 

 

The 2023 competition will follow a similar recipe as a year ago, as the contest will feature a mix of online fan voting and special guest judges.

State Fair Bargains, Promotions

THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR IS OFFERING SOME BARGAINS THIS YEAR TO HELP FAMILIES SAVE MONEY.

 

MANAGER REBECCA CLARK SAYS THE EVENT IS ALREADY THE MOST AFFORDABLE STATE FAIR IN THE MIDWEST, AND NEW PROMOTIONS WILL GET VISITORS AN EVEN BETTER DEAL. ONE IS FOR TUESDAY, AUGUST 15TH.

 

 

THERE’S ALSO THE DOUBLE THE FUN PARKING PROMOTION.

 

 

THERE ALSO WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON CARNIVAL RIDES. THE MEGA PASS OR THE JUMBO PASS IS GOOD FOR UNLIMITED RIDES ALL 11 DAYS OF THE FAIR. THE JUMBO VERSION INCLUDES THE GIANT SLIDE. 

 

THERE’S ALSO THE BARGAIN BRACELET FOR ONE DAY OF UNLIMITED RIDES FOR 35 DOLLARS. MORE DETAILS ARE ONLINE AT: STATE FAIR DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

New State Law Makes Fishing, Trapping and Hunting Licenses Good for Three Years

TIRED OF HAVING TO RENEW YOUR FISHING LICENSE EVERY YEAR? YOU WON’T HAVE TO START IN 2024.

 

A NEW STATE LAW CREATES A FISHING, TRAPPING, HUNTING, OR SPORTSMEN’S COMBINATION LICENSE THAT’S GOOD FOR THREE YEARS. IT WAS SUPPORTED BACK IN MAY BY SENATOR NEIL ANDERSON OF DOWNSTATE ANDULUSIA (an-duh-LUUZ-yuh).

 

 

THE THREE-YEAR LICENSE WON’T BE AT A DISCOUNTED RATE. IT WILL COST THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THE ONE-YEAR LICENSE. THE LAW TAKES EFFECT JANUARY FIRST.

Illinois May Get New State Flag Under New State Law

ILLINOIS’S STATE FLAG MAY BE REDESIGNED UNDER A NEW LAW. 

 

THE LAW CREATES THE ILLINOIS FLAG COMMISSION, WHICH WILL EXPLORE WHETHER THE CURRENT FLAG SHOULD BE REPLACED AND POTENTIAL DESIGNS. IT WAS SPONSORED BY SENATOR DORIS TURNER OF SPRINGFIELD, WHO WANTS THE PUBLIC TO GET INVOLVED.

 

 

TURNER ADDS.

 

 

THE GROUP WILL SELECT UP TO 10 NEW DESIGNS BY SEPTEMBER OF NEXT YEAR AND SUBMIT A REPORT TO LAWMAKERS BY DECEMBER 2024. THE CURRENT STATE FLAG IS WHITE AND FEATURES THE GREAT SEAL OF ILLINOIS.

Weekly Crop Report

CONDITIONS IMPROVED IN THIS WEEK'S CROP REPORT. 

 

TEMPERATURES WERE ABOUT AVERAGE BUT IT WAS WETTER THAN NORMAL THIS PAST WEEK. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS SOYBEANS WERE BLOOMING ON 93 PERCENT OF ACRES, WHICH IS AHEAD OF THE FIVE YEAR AVERAGE.

 

 

THE CONDITION OF THE ILLINOIS CORN CROP ALSO IMPROVED TO 58 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

 

THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NEARLY COMPLETE AND 43 PERCENT OF THE THIRD CUTTING IS DONE.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE INCREASED TO NINE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 21 PERCENT SHORT, 59 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 11 PERCENT SURPLUS.

Visitors to State Fair Can Expect Several Renovated Areas

VISITORS TO THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR CAN EXEPECT TO SEE SEVERAL IMPROVEMENTS THIS YEAR. 

 

AFTER YEARS OF DEFERRING PROJECTS, NEARLY 65 MILLION DOLLARS HAS BEEN PUMPED INTO RENOVATIONS OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS. THAT INCLUDES THE MULTI-PURPOSE ARENA, WHICH WAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN 2022 SAYS STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DIRECTOR JERRY COSTELLO.

 

 

PHASE TWO OF WORK ON THE HISTORIC COLISEUM IS UNDERWAY, WITH MOST OF THE NEW SEATS IN SAYS COSTELLO. AN H-VAC SYSTEM IS BEING INSTALLED TO ENABLE THE COLISEUM TO BE USED YEAR ROUND AND TWO ELEVATORS WILL MAKE THE FACILITY MORE ACCESSIBLE. 

 

 

OTHER IMPROVEMENTS INCLUDING REPAVED ROADS NEAR THE CATTLE AND SWINE BARNS AND NEW ROOFS AT THE EMMERSON AND EXPO BUILDINGS. THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR OPENS THURSDAY.

States Restarting Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program Renewals

For the past 3 years, people on Medicaid or Childrens’ Health Insurance Program - or CHIP - were not required to renew their coverage due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

 

This exception was referred to as the “continuous enrollment condition” and it ended earlier this year, so states have resumed eligibility reviews. Jack Myers with Social Security says to avoid a gap in coverage, people who have Medicaid or CHIP need to take action to renew their coverage.

 

 

The steps to take are not difficult, so awareness is the main issue. First, if you have moved since your last renewal, make sure the state has your current mailing address. Additionally, Myers notes to watch your mail for a letter about your Medicaid or CHIP renewal and when you receive the letter complete and return it right away.

 

 

Renewal dates are staggered, so not everyone will be due at the same time.

 

Again, that website is www.abe.illinois.gov and look for 'Manage My Case'.You can also call IL DHS at 800-843-6154.

State Fair Accommodating Individuals With Sensory Sensitivities

The Illinois State Fair starts next week and this year the fair is making strides to accommodate individuals with sensory sensitivities.

 

Sunflower hours will be held on Saturday August 12 from 9 until noon. State Fair Manager Becky Clark says the morning will be packed with traditional fair fun but an adjustment will be made on the sights and sounds throughout the grounds.

 

 

The fair opens on Thursday August 10.

Gov. Pritzker Continues to Sign New Laws

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER HAS BEEN SIGNING DOZENS OF BILLS INTO LAW. HERE'S A LOOK AT A FEW OF THEM: 

 

ONE LAW REQUIRES THE STATE TO INVESTIGATE THE ELECTRONIC THEFT OF "SNAP" BENEFITS, WHILE ANOTHER EXPANDS ACCESS TO FENTANYL TEST STRIPS. REPRESENTATIVE RITA MAYFIELD OF WAUKEGAN SPONSORED A BILL REQUIRING AMBULANCES TO SLOW DOWN AND ACTIVITE BOTH LIGHTS AND SIRENS WHEN PROCEEDING THROUGH A RED LIGHT. SHE EXPLAINED TO HER COLLEAGES EARLIER THIS YEAR THAT IT WAS PROMPTED BY THE 2022 DEATH OF D-J STALLWORTH, WHO WAS HIT WHILE ON HIS MOTORCYCLE.

 

 

THERE'S ALSO ONE PROTECTING FREELANCE WORKERS TO MAKE SURE THEY GET PAID SAID THEN-SENATOR CHRISTINA PACIONE-ZAYAS OF CHICAGO.

 

 

THERE'S ALSO A LAW REQUIRING COOK COUNTY TO SET UP A VEHICLE THEFT HOTLINE AS WELL AS ONE LETTING SOMEONE CONVICTED OF A FELONY SERVE AS AN EXECUTOR OF AN ESTATE IN CERTAIN CASES.

Being Active As You Age

It can be a challenge in this climate to eat healthy and absorb the rising cost of food but a nutritionist has a couple of suggestions he hopes will help.

 

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. He recognizes it can be a challenge to desire the magic youth pill and still live a healthy lifestyle. 

 

 

According to Dr. LaValle, there are two indicators for longevity - one is activity and the other is diet. He points out one of the biggest risk factors as we age is falls.

 

 

Dr. LaValle says one of the best things you can have as you age and seek to improve your mobility is to have a network of friends that you are active with. He says there are plenty of ways to make this happen.

 

 

Dr. LaValle points out one thing you want to consider when you start to meal plan as you age is what are people eating in places where they are living longer. Additionally, he has some things to consider as you head to the grocery store. We'll have more with Dr. LaValle later this week on Regional Radio.

Clinton City Council Approves Summer Maintenance Work

The Clinton City Council last week approved a couple of projects in the summer maintenance schedule, one is a rather significant project.

 

Mayor Tom Edmunds explains portions of South Madison and West Washington Streets will be repaved.

 

 

The Mayor hopes to see movement on those street projects very quickly now that the bids have been approved. It was a total cost of just over $100,000.

 

Also last week - the Council also approved a contract with the plummers and pipefitters. Additionally, the City is going to out for bid on an empty lot at 523 North Maple Street.

REV Grants Available

It's REV grant time through First National Bank in Clinton.

 

The REV grants are small business grants that help enhance an existing business. Curt Homann with the DeWitt County Development Council told Regional Radio on the Morning Show Friday they help First National Bank administer the grants that are due by Sept. 15.

 

 

Homann encourages interested businesses to not wait until the last minute. He explains while the application is not complicated, you do need to gather some crucial information that will take some time. 

 

 

For the panel that will hear the presentations, Homann indicates those are an extension of what is in your application and stresses they want to hear how the funds you are applying for will enhance your business.

 

 

Homann again stresses the applications are due September 15. Presentations are then Thursday, November 9, 2023, at Clinton High School. 

 

Get more information at the First National Bank website, firstnbtc.com/rev. 

DNR Conservation Police Concerned About EHD Later This Summer

As we get drier and drier in Illinois, Department of Natural Resources authorities say we could be in store for a nasty year of EHD in the deer population.

 

DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson says EHD comes around when the summer is dry and those waterways dip to low levels.

 

 

The worst year for EHD in Illinois was 2012 when 2,968 cases were reported from 87 counties. In 2013, the IDNR received reports of 1,224 cases from 64 counties.  EHD was virtually absent in 2014 and at low levels in 2015-2017.

 

Landowners, hunters, and concerned citizens are asked to be on the lookout for dead or dying deer and to report suspected EHD cases to their local IDNR field office, or the Wildlife Disease and Invasive Species Program (WDIS). 

Far-Reaching AI Impacting Insurance

The far-reaching nature of artificial intelligence is impacting so many sectors of life and it is impacting insurance.

 

Jay Peterson owns Peterson Insurance in Clinton and is the President of the Illinois Insurance Association Board of Independent Agents. He explains the data gathered from the devices and even vehicles is very far-reaching.

 

 

For Peterson, insurance has always been based in data but he doesn't know if this much data is a good or bad thing.

 

 

Peterson indicates not only are the devices we use able to give plenty of data that is shared across several sectors of society but the high-tech vehicles we drive now have all sorts of data that is stored and shared. 

Mental Health Voucher Program for Farmers

A new voucher program aims to help farmers with mental health help from the cab during harvest season.

 

Farmers can receive up to three free telehealth sessions through the University of Illinois Extension program. Kacie Hulshof (HULL-solf) is the Illinois Agricultural Mental Health Voucher program coordinator.

 

 

The United States Department of Agriculture funded the program with a grant.

Illinois Sweet Corn Farmer Helping Feed the Hungry

An Illinois farmer wants to feed a quarter of a million people with his small operation.

 

Last year, Dr. David Nayak (NIE-yack) of Gardner fed nearly 1-hundred thousand people with his sweet corn. Now, he's working with legislators in Springfield to ensure Illinoisans always have food.

 

 

Farmers can donate up to two thousand dollars worth of crops to local food banks for a tax write-off in the act. Last week, Dr. Nayak (NIE-yak) donated 14 tons of sweet corn to the Midwest Food Bank in Normal.

IDPH Launches New Vaccination Campaign

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS LAUNCHING A NEW CHILDHOOD VACCINATION CAMPAIGN.

 

"DON'T WAIT, GET YOUR KIDS UP TO DATE" IS THE THEME AND THE GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE CHILDREN GET ALL THE LIFESAVING SHOTS THEY NEED SAYS STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR SAMEER VOHRA.

 

 

VOHRA SAYS THANKS IN PART TO THE PANDEMIC, THERE ARE STILL CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOT RECEIVED ALL THEIR RECOMMENDED SHOTS.

 

 

VOHRA SAYS RECENT OUTBREAKS OF CHICKENPOX AND THE MEASLES UNDERSCORE THE IMPORTANCE OF RECEIVING TIMELY VACCINATIONS. HE RECOMMENDS SPEAKING TO YOUR CHILD'S DOCTOR ABOUT WHICH SHOTS ARE RECOMMENDED AND NOTES THE C-D-C HAS NOT YET ISSUED GUIDANCE FOR GETTING A COVID-19 BOOSTER THIS FALL. 

Gov. Pritzker Signs Bills Establishing Expanded Protections for Native Americans in Illinois

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A SERIES OF LAWS TO EXPAND PROTECTIONS FOR NATIVE AMERICANS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

ONE NEW LAW ALLOWS NATIVE AMERICAN REMAINS TO BE BURIED ON STATE LAND. ANOTHER, PROHIBITS RESTRICTIONS ON CULTURAL REPRESENTATION AT GRADUATION SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER. THAT COMES FROM AN EVANSTON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT WHO WAS NOT ALLOWED TO WALK ACROSS THE STAGE BECAUSE HE WAS WEARING A SACRED EAGLE FEATHER ON HIS CAP.

 

 

THE THIRD LAW REQUIRES NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY TO BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS, ESPECIALLY FOCUSING ON THE GENOCIDE AND RESETTLEMENT OF NATIVE AMERICANS BY SETTLERS.

 

 

THE LAST LAW PROHIBITS SCHOOLS FROM BANNING CULTURAL GARB AT GRADUATION.

August Signals Start of Hunting Season for DNR

While they aren't the most popular of the hunting seasons in Illinois, August 1 kicked off the hunting season for Department of Natural Resources authorities.

 

DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson indicates the season starts with squirrel season in August then transitions to more and more busy seasons as we get into September and then obviously October.


 

Capt. Williamson reminds the deer season is the big kickoff in Illinois and there's still time to get tags.

 

 

dnr.illinois.gov has all the information about hunting seasons and regulations for your part of the state. 

Scovill Zoo in Decatur Transitioning to Fall Hours

The Scovill Zoo in Decatur is transitioning to its fall hours starting Monday.

Director Ken Frye says the zoo annually reduces its open time by one hour each because of staffing issues with its staff going back to school.

 

 

Frye says the last two Thursdays of the summer tend to be very busy as folks realize it's back-to-school time and want to get to the zoo. 

National Weather Service Will Have a Presence at the State Fair

The Illinois State Fair opens next week and the National Weather Service will be there providing weather updates to fair officials.

 

Ed Shimon indicates they'll be working with Emergency Management Agency officials throughout the fair in addition to its 'doppler on wheels'.

 

 

Preliminary forecasts for the fair are looking tremendous with low chances of rain and temperatures consistently in the lower to mid 80s. 

Weekly Weather Summary

It was a pleasant weather week in central Illinois after last week's heat wave. State Climatologist Trent Ford has more on the weekend and the week ahead - including some rain chances for Illinois.

 

 

State Fair Opens Next Week

THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR KICKS OFF NEXT WEEK. HERE’S A PREVIEW. 

 

THE FAIR OPENS NEXT THURSDAY, WHICH WILL ALSO BE COUNTY FAIR AND HORSE RACING DAY. HARNESS RACING ON WHAT’S CONSIDERED ONE OF THE FASTEST DIRT TRACKS IN THE WORLD IS SCHEDULED FOR FIVE DAYS OF THE FAIR. THERE’S ALSO CHARACTER BRUNCHES AND FREE ENTERTAINMENT. STATE FAIR MANAGER REBECCA CLARK SAYS THE ARENA WILL BE BACK OPEN THIS YEAR.

 

 

THERE’S MORE SAYS STATE FAIR MANAGER REBECCA CLARK.

 

 

RIDES WILL BE RUNNING IN THE CARNIVAL MIDWAY AND ADVENTURE VILLAGE WITH SPECIAL PASSES AND BARGAIN BRACELETS AVAILABLE. 

 

YOU CAN FIND ALL THE DETAILS AND PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE AT: STATE FAIR DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV. 

 

THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR RUNS AUGUST 10TH THROUGH THE 20TH IN SPRINGFIELD.

New Law Aims to Provide Supportive Learning Environment for Students Suffering from Trauma

ILLINOIS HAS A NEW LAW THAT WILL REQUIRE SCHOOLS TO BETTER ADDRESS STUDENT TRAUMA. 

 

THE LAW IS BASED ON RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE WHOLE CHILD TASK FORCE, WHICH WAS CREATED BY THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS TO CREATE A MORE SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR STUDENTS. IT WAS SPEARHEADED BY SENATOR KIMBERLY LIGHTFORD OF MAYWOOD.

 

 

IT WAS SPONSORED IN THE HOUSE BY REPRESENTATIVE CAROL AMMONS OF URBANA WHO SAYS THE TRAUMA KIDS FACE CAN GREATLY AFFECT THEIR ABILITY TO LEARN.

 

 

THE LAW REQUIRES THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO DEVELOP AN INDEX TO MEASURE A CHILD’S EXPOSURE TO VARIOUS FORMS OF TRAUMA. 

 

THERE WILL ALSO BE TRAINING WORKSHOPS FOR TEACHERS ON THE ISSUE.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Laws Supporting Soldiers, Veterans, and Families

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER HAS SIGNED A HANDFUL OF NEW STATE LAWS THAT WILL HELP SOLDIERS, VETERANS, AND THEIR FAMILIES. 

 

SOME OF THE CHANGES ARE SMALL BUT ADDRESS SIGNIFICANT ISSUES FACING MILITARY MEMBERS SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS’ AFFAIRS DIRECTOR TERRY PRINCE.

 

 

PRINCE SAYS ANOTHER DEALS WITH DEATH CERTIFICATES.

 

 

OTHER NEW LAWS DESIGNATE THE HONOR AND REMEMBER FLAG AS THE SYMBOL FOR SOLDIERS WHO HAVE DIED IN THE LINE OF DUTY AND ESTABLISH CRITERIA FOR A GROUP TO BE CONSIDERED A STATE-CHARTERED VETERANS ORGANIZATION.

Treasurer to Host Live Unclaimed Property Auction at State Fair

GET YOUR BIDS READY…TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS’ OFFICE IS HOLDING A LIVE UNCLAIMED PROPERTY AUCTION AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR. 

 

ALL SORTS OF ITEMS ARE UP FOR GRABS INCLUDE A 14-KARAT GOLD WOMEN’S RING, RARE COINS, BASKETBALL CARDS, POLITICAL MEMORABILIA AND MORE. TREASURER FRERICHS SAYS THEY COME FROM OLD SAFE DEPOSIT BOXES THAT PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT AND THE PROCEEDS ARE SAVED.

 

 

TREASURER FRERICHS SAYS THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF ITEMS AVAILABLE.

 

 

THE LIVE AUCTION WILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 19TH AT 11 A-M ON THE LINCOLN STAGE AT THE FAIRGROUNDS IN SPRINGFIELD. VISITORS CAN PREVIEW THE ITEMS IN PERSON STARTING AT 9 A-M THAT DAY.

New State Law Takes Aim at Deepfake Technology

A NEW STATE LAW TAKES AIM AT USERS OF “DEEPFAKE” TECHNOLOGY.

 

DEEPFAKES ARE ESSENTIALLY DIGITAL FORGERIES AND ARE OFTEN USED TO ARTIFICIALLY CREATE SEXUAL VIDEOS OF WOMEN WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. THE BILL SPONSOR, SENATOR MARY EDLY-ALLEN OF LIBERTYVILLE SPOKE ABOUT THE LEGISLATION BACK IN MAY.

 

 

HOUSE SPONSOR REPRESENTATIVE JENNIFER GONG-GERSHOWITZ OF GLENVIEW BACK IN MAY.

 

 

THE LAW LETS DEEPFAKE VICTIMS SUE FOR CIVIL DAMAGES. IT TAKES EFFECT IN JANUARY.

Stay Injury Free on Pickleball Court

A recent report from financial services company UBS says pickleball injuries could cost Americans $250-$500 million in medical costs this year. 

 

The tennis-like sport continues to grow in popularity, so a doctor with OSF HealthCare has some advice, especially for older adults. A good warm-up and cool-down is a must, according to Dr. James Murphy, an OSF HealthCare orthopedic surgeon. And remember - it’s a game. You’re there to have fun.

 

 

If you are injured, go to an urgent care for minor things like abrasions, strains, and sprains. A call to 9-1-1 is needed for more serious concerns like chest pain, shortness of breath, or a head or eye injury.

New State Law Requires School Districts to Offer Full Day Kindergarten By 2027-28 School Year

A NEW STATE LAW REQUIRES ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO OFFER FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN BY THE 2027-2028 SCHOOL YEAR. 

 

THE LEGISLATION WAS CHAMPIONED BY SENATOR KIMBERLY LIGHTFORD OF MAYWOOD, WHO SAID BACK IN MAY THAT IT GIVES DISTRICTS PLENTY OF TIME TO COMPLY.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE HARRY BENTON OF PLAINFIELD BACK IN MAY.

 

 

SUPPORTERS SAY THIS GETS KIDS OFF TO A GOOD START AND HELPS WORKING PARENTS WHO MAY HAVE A HARD TIME GETTING DAYCARE IF THEIR CHILD ONLY GOES TO KINDERGARTEN FOR HALF A DAY. 

 

THE NEW LAW ALSO CREATES A TASK FORCE TO STUDY THE CURRENT STATE OF FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN IN ILLINOIS.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Abortion Laws

Governor JB Pritzker signed a number of laws this week that further Illinois’ position as a safe haven for women seeking abortions and reproductive care. The new programs include reducing costs for patients, supports for healthcare facilities and help for women seeking care to understand the help available and know where to find it.

 

 

Pritzker signed the bills Monday.

President of Illinois Insurance Association of Independent Agents Hopes State Stays Out Insurance Business

A Clinton insurance agent who heads a statewide board of insurance agents is hoping the State of Illinois will stay out of the insurance business as costs go up for all agencies right now.

 

Jay Peterson owns Peterson Insurance in Clinton and is the President of the Illinois Insurance Association of Independent Agents. It is his hope the IAA's hope that the State of Illinois will stay out of the insurance business.

 

 

While there have been hard markets in the insurance world before, Peterson says there are a few things that make this one unique. However, he does believe we will eventually see rates go back down.

 

 

If you're looking to find ways to cut back on costs on your insurance, Peterson encourages sitting down with your agent and having a conversation about the options for bundling or paying for the year's coverage upfront.

 

 

Peterson indicates there are some agents in smaller markets that may be shut down that are struggling but says his business and his agency's several locations are doing well.

Drought May Persist Into Fall and Winter

Drought conditions in Illinois are re-emerging as July ended being below average for precipitation.

 

Unfortunately, while we likely will see some rains in August and September, the chances of those rains being impactful to the point of breaking the drought is questionable. Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln has an update on the outlooks for August.

 

 

Getting into the fall, Shimon says the three-month outlook shows equal chances of above or below-normal temperatures and rainfall.

 

 

According to Shimon, when you're at a deficit in moisture, you need a solid indication that above-normal precipitation is coming your way and right now there isn't that signal for quite some time.

 

 

Getting into the winter outlooks, there's still very little indication that above-normal precipitation could be on the way. You have to look into the spring to find an above-normal signal, and even that outlook is still very preliminary. 

Latest Ag Economy Barometer

Farmers remain cautiously optimist about the ag economy. That's the latest finding from the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The data is for July says Purdue's Jim Mintert.

 

 

The index is based on a survey of 400 agricultural producers.

Decatur Groundbreaking Combining Manufacturing, Training Facility and Innovation Hub

Another step forward for Illinois to become a landing spot for the leading edge of electrifying vehicles. A groundbreaking was held in Decatur - combining a new manufacturing facility, training facility and innovation hub.

 

The manufacturing side of things will be done by TCCI to make an essential electrical compressor needed in EV’s. Governor JB Pritzker says this expansion is being bolstered by the REV act and for now the act is working as it should.

 

 

The workforce training academy will be a partnership with Richland Community College with three classrooms dedicated to EV careers based at the TCCI manufacturing facility.

Clinton Mayor Says Current Situation on City Council Nothing New to Him

Clinton Mayor Tom Edmunds says the role of taking over for a resigned Mayor is nothing new.

 

It's happened twice in the veteran's time in public service. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Edmunds told Regional Radio he still doesn't know why former Mayor Roger Cyrulik abruptly resigned last month but this situation is not new to him.

 

 

Mayor Edmunds says there are several things the Council will have to tackle coming up and one of those will be the hiring of a City Administrator. He believes that could happen in short order.

 

 

In addition to the hiring of a City administrator, Mayor Edmunds indicates they will need to update some city codes but he doesn't believe it needs to be wholesale.

 

 

The Mayor also looks forward to the new water tower project getting started however it may not be as imminent as some would hope. He calls on the community to be patient with that project.

 

 

The Mayor led what was a rather uneventful meeting Tuesday night, the first meeting since former Mayor Cyrulik had resigned. 

DeWitt County TRIAD Senior Academy Returning This Month

Seniors in DeWitt County and surrounding areas always looked forward to the Senior Academy programs hosted by the DeWitt County TRIAD.

 

COVID put those on hold for a few years but they are returning. On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, TRIAD President Connie Unruh indicates these are held the first three Thursdays, this year in Farmer City, and are free to people of all ages. The two-hour seminars offer a great deal of relevant information to today's seniors. 

 

 

The Senior Academy seminars are the first three Thursdays in August from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Unruh says things get started this week with some great presenters that have some really good information.

 

 

The program for August 10 has Unruh addressing seniors regarding qualifying for Medicaid and spending. Additionally, the program addresses seniors in a nursing home and their rights. 

 

 

The final program, set for August 17, will hear from Tony Harris again regarding security cameras and their ease of use. Additionally, Clinton attorney Bryce Lynch will discuss legal issues with seniors. Unruh indicates if you can make only one seminar, this is the one to attend.

 

 

Unruh reminds the program is absolutely free and Unruh says you can simply show up to these events in Farmer City the first three Thursdays from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. 

 

For more information, contact Unruh at First National Bank in Clinton at 217-935-7464 or find one of the many flyers around the community. 

DeWitt County Animal Control Needs A New Administrator Again

DeWitt County needs a new animal shelter administrator.

 

At a special meeting of the DeWitt County Board's public safety committee Monday night, an employee aired several issues happening at the animal shelter. 

 

Sage Lash is an animal control officer at the animal shelter and alleges there are several issues not only with the facility but the way the County operates the shelter. She says public safety committee chairperson Megan Myers' "micromanagement" of the facility is not needed. 

 

 

John Werts told Lash - who also outlined the training required of employees in shelters across the country - it saddens him to hear the lack of attention the animals are receiving because of the shelter being understaffed. 

 

Lash has been outspoken about the issue on social media the last week and Werts told her blasting the issue on social media isn't the way to handle the situation.

 

 

Steven Runyan spoke before the committee and offered some scathing comments about the committee and County's commitment to the animal shelter.

 

 

Runyan continued to defend Lash and exiting administrator Holly Gehlbach and adamantly insisted the board do better. Werts says the County is in a unique position because the non-profit group Second Chance for Pets works with the shelter to find homes for pets that are fit to be re-homed. 

 

 

Kristina Deerwester is a volunteer for Second Chance for Pets and a County Board member. She says Second Chance was asked to step back from its involvement at the animal shelter and did so. 

 

 

The Board met Monday to discuss the future of the animal control administrator. DeWitt County Board Chair Dan Matthews was in attendance and believes the position needs to be revised as it is too much for one person.

 

 

Myers says the County needs to advertise the position more broadly and if they are going to do it right it is going to require the appropriate staffing at the shelter.

 

 

Melonie Tilley proposed closing the facility or cease taking in animals until they can get someone hired but that was met with opposition because there are already animals in the shelter and a small handful that are problematic.

 

 

As for the pet adoption group, Second Chance for Pets, Werts says communication between all the parties needs to improve because Lash says they would also come in with expectations and opinions on how things should be done.

 

 

Lash indicates the County needs to consider coverage at the shelter for the weekends. She explains they get several calls throughout the weekend and administrators in the past would not go out on those calls.

 

Gelbach's final day as the shelter administrator is next week. Lash encouraged the Board to close the facility and make it 'by appointment only'. 

 

The County decided Monday night to move forward with revising the job description for the animal shelter. 

What's Next for Clinton After Resignation of Mayor

The Clinton City Council will have to wait until 2025 to find a new Mayor. 

 

Last week it was announced Clinton Mayor Roger Cyrulik had abruptly resigned his post as Mayor and Tuesday night was the first City Council meeting without the Mayor. Clinton City Attorney John Hoblit laid out the situation moving forward for the City. 

 

 

Mayor pro-temp Tom Edmunds says while it was abrupt, he thanks Mayor Cyrulik for his years of service to the City over a couple of separate terms.

 

 

Also at the Tuesday night Clinton City Council meeting:

'

>>The Council approved the plumbers and pipefitter's contract

 

>>The Council approved going out for bid for the property at 523 North Maple Street in Clinton

 

>>The Council approved the motor fuel tax summer maintenance bid to Illiana Construction for just over $96,000.

New Illinois State Police Cadet Class Graduates

The Illinois State Police is graduating a new cadet class. 

 

The class of 17 cadets brings the total number of ISP Troopers added since 2019 to 445, as the department continues to rebuild its ranks. State Police Director Brendan Kelly told graduates they would be taking a sacred oath:

 

 

That oath contains the words: "I pledge to be honest in thought, word, and deed and to maintain unimpeachable integrity."

Weekly Crop Report

THERE WAS A SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT IN ILLINOIS CORN AND SOYBEANS THIS PAST WEEK.

 

IT WAS A HOT WEEK - TEMPERATURES WERE ABOUT FIVE DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL THIS PAST WEEK. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER TAKES A LOOK AT CORN:

 

 

SCHLEUSENER TURNS TO SOYBEANS:

 

 

THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 91 PERCENT COMPLETE.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS NOW RATED AS 17 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 30 PERCENT SHORT, 51 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND TWO PERCENT SURPLUS.

Illinois Health Care Providers Receiving USDA Funding

Several rural Illinois health care providers are benefiting under USDA Rural Development’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program. A few examples from USDA Rural Development State Director Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.

 

 

Emergency Rural Health Care Grants are just one of many programs offered by USDA Rural Development. More information is available at rd.usda.gov/il.

Gov. Pritzker Clarifies Law Allowing Non-Citizens to Become Police Officers

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS CLARIFYING A NEW STATE LAW THAT LETS SOME NON-CITIZENS BECOME A POLICE OFFICER IN ILLINOIS. 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, THE LAW HE SIGNED LAST WEEK DOES NOT LET ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS BECOME COPS.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS ONLY NON-CITIZENS WHO ARE LEGALLY AUTHORIZED TO WORK IN THE U-S UNDER FEDERAL LAW WOULD BE ELIGIBLE AND POINTS OUT THAT THIS IS THE SAME CATEGORY OF PEOPLE THAT CAN ALREADY SERVE IN THE U-S MILITARY. CRITICS SAY THE LAW IS A “BREACH OF DEMOCRACY.”

 

 

THE LAW ALSO APPLIES TO INDIVIDUALS ALLOWED IN THE U-S UNDER THE DACA PROGRAM. IT TAKES EFFECT JANUARY FIRST.

Gov. Pritzker Announces New Initiative To Increase Access to Reproductive Healthcare

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING A SERIES OF NEW INITIATIVES TO INCREASE ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE IN ILLINOIS.

 

FIRST UP IS THE COMPLEX ABORTION REGIONAL LINE FOR ACCESS…OR “CARLA” PROGRAM, TO HELP PATIENTS WITH COMPLEX MEDICAL NEEDS NAVIGATE LOCAL HOSPITAL SYSTEMS.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS CARLA WILL ALSO HELP ARRANGE TRANSPORTATION AND CHILD CARE FOR TREATMENT. ADDITIONALLY, THERE WILL BE A FAMILY PLANNING PROGRAM FOR LOW-INCOME ILLINOISANS WHO EARN JUST A LITTLE TOO MUCH TO QUALIFY FOR MEDICAID AND A GRANT PROGRAM FOR OVERWHELMED REPRODUCTIVE CARE FACILITIES TO MAKE REPAIRS OR EXPAND.

 

 

THE PLAN ALSO INCLUDES A TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM FOR STATE EMPLOYEES WHO LIVE OUTSIDE OF ILLINOIS TO COME HERE FOR REPRODUCTIVE CARE AND EVENTUALLY A HOTLINE TO HELP IN-STATE AND OUT-OF-STATE PATIENTS FIND ABORTION SERVICES.

Analyst Talks EV Impact on Oil Industry

Electric vehicles may be the future, but a petroleum analysis expert with Gas Buddy says the oil industry won't hit the brakes anytime soon.

 

Patrick DeHaan expects gas-powered vehicles to stick around for more than a decade - especially in rural areas.

 

 

In an ambitious goal, Governor Pritzker wants to have over one million electric vehicles on Illinois roadways by 2030.

 

Reports posted by the Illinois Secretary of State's office show that a little over 76-thousand EVs are on Illinois roadways today.

DeWitt County Board Approves Improvements for Animal Shelter

Animal shelters across the country are dealing with an influx of animals coming to them and the DeWitt County Board is trying to do something for the staff of the animal shelter in DeWitt County.

 

County Board Chair Dan Matthews indicates the Board approved expanding the fencing of the animal shelter to give more space for more dogs to be outside.

 

 

The board also approved modifications to the pens inside the shelter to keep staff from having to handle aggressive dogs.

 

 

The influx of animals at the shelter is going to impact the budget for next year. Matthews explains they need to budget for the increase in medicine used. 

 

 

Matthes also points out the Board approved an agreement with the University of Illinois for veterinary care for five years. 

Piatt County Sheriff Highlights Week in Washington, DC For Training With FBI

A central Illinois law enforcement administrator was recently able to spend a week in the nation's capital for a special training through the FBI.

 

Piatt County Sheriff Mark Vogelzang on the WHOW Morning Show Monday told Regional Radio the training was full of great information on the importance of sleep, prioritizing mental wellness, and information about leadership. 

 

 

The sleep portion of the conference stood out the most to Sheriff Vogelzang because oftentimes deputies may struggle to sleep well because of things like stress or the odd hours of work.

 

 

Because of the nature of the job, countless officers and deputies across the country see some of the worst scenes in our community and Sheriff Vogelzang indicates this conference helped reinforce what a great resource Piatt County has in the Piatt County Mental Health Center.

 

 

Sheriff Vogelzang says a friend within the FBI was able to get him into this opportunity in Washington, DC, and reminds the FBI paid for everything and no expense came from local taxpayers. 

Alarming Number of Ground Fires at Clinton Lake Alarming DNR Authorities

With how dry this summer is turning out to be, Department of Natural Resources officials are growing concerned with the ground fires they are seeing pop up at Clinton Lake.

 

DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson indicates before it looked like the drought and dryness of central Illinois was going to ease at the start of July, things are getting dry again and he says there are too many ground fires popping up at Clinton Lake.

 

 

Capt. Williamson says it doesn't take much to dry the ground out after some heavy rains from three or four weeks ago. Last week's 90-degree day with plenty of wind most likely dried things out quite a bit.

 

 

Capt. Williamson indicates after the June 29 derecho, they did close down the campsites of Clinton Lake for two or three days because there was no power, however, he indicates they were spared a lot of damage from that storm. 

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