Local News

Clinton bank donates to Warner Hospital Health Services Foundation

First National Bank and Trust Company is pleased to announce a $5,000 donation to the Warner Hospital and Health Services (WHHS) Foundation to assist the hospital in Clinton, IL. The funds will support at-risk families with insurance needs as well as assist with ongoing patient and client care improvements and services.


Since 1906, the hospital has provided critical services and excellent patient care for the local community. The foundation is raising ongoing funds for essential hospital upgrades as well as scholarships to train and educate future healthcare workers.


In a release, First National officials stated the support of local healthcare helps provide critical community care for local patients, boosts the local economy and local jobs to elevate a healthier local community. 


Warner Hospital provides area residents with continued access to essential services such as a 24-hour emergency department, physical therapy, cardiac rehab services, updated exam chairs and more.  If you would like to consider supporting or volunteer to make a difference visit warnerhospital.org.


Submitted Photo: Danielle Decker with First National Bank and Trust Company and Curt Homann, WHHS Foundation Executive Director pose for a photo.


USDA Secretary Vilsack has issued a disaster declaration for Christian, Hancock, McDonough, Sangamon and Washington counties due to losses caused by a derecho and tornadoes that occurred June 29 through June 30, 2023.


Counties contiguous to Christian, Hancock, McDonough, Sangamon and Washington counties are eligible for the same assistance. The contiguous counties include: Adams, Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Henderson, Jefferson, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair, Schuyler, Shelby and Warren.


 Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello encourages affected producers in declared counties to contact their local USDA Service Center to confirm eligibility.


A Secretarial natural disaster designation allows the USDA Farm Service Agency to provide emergency loans to producers recovering from natural disasters. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. Those eligible should contact their local USDA Service Center to ask questions or file a Notice of Loss.

More than $3.7 million awarded for 19 Illinois recreational trail projects

More than $3.7 million has been awarded for recreational trail development projects in 19 Illinois communities to help them meet the growing demand for improved trails and outdoor recreation facilities, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced today.


The Governor said “Trail development projects contribute to safer transportation and improved recreation opportunities across Illinois.”


The program provides up to 80% reimbursement to local grant recipients for the cost of trail projects, with local sponsors providing the balance of the funding. Grants may be awarded for land acquisition, trail construction and rehabilitation, purchase of equipment for trail development and maintenance, and more.


The 19 projects were recommended for funding by the Illinois Greenways and Trails Council.


This year’s central Illinois recommended Recreational Trails Program grants and projects are:


- Champaign County Forest Preserve – Lake of the Woods bike trail renovation, $200,000

- Decatur Park District – Scovill Park West trails improvement project, $200,000

- City of East Peoria – Camp Street Trail, final phase, $200,000

- Trail Recreation Effingham County – Phase VI-C, $200,000

- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Allerton Park bike trail, $130,110

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum earns national accreditation on first attempt

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has been granted accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, a status that recognizes the ALPLM’s “exemplary practices” as a museum of national importance.


Only 3 percent of America’s museums are accredited. Those that earn accreditation usually apply several times over many years before demonstrating they qualify. The ALPLM was accredited on its first try after a review process of just two years.


 Accreditation is a rigorous process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. Reviewers met with ALPLM employees and volunteers, as well as community representatives. They examined museum exhibits, education programs, library services, technical support and more.


Since opening in 2005, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has worked to educate Illinoisans and share historical knowledge with millions of visitors from across the country. 


For more information, visit www.PresidentLincoln.illinois.gov.

Filing for statewide elections

Filing for next year’s statewide elections were done this week. Matt Deitrich with the Illinois State Board of Elections says candidates were turning out on Monday to turn over petitions to run for open seats in the state house and congress.



There are also nearly 80 judicial seats up for election or reelection next year.

Strategic tax planning for 2023

Thinking about tax season. Illinois Farm Business Farm Management’s Brad Zwilling’s latest piece on the farmdoc daily website is titled Strategic Tax Planning for 2023.



You can find the piece at farmdocdaily.illinois.edu.

NCGA Yield Contest Deadline Extended

The National Corn Growers association this week extended the National Corn Yield Contest Harvest Entry deadline to December 5. After considering the unique challenges that growers across the country have faced during the 2023 harvest season, NCGA moved the deadline from November 30. Contest participants can submit a harvest entry from now until 4 p.m. CT on Tuesday, December 5, at ncga.com/ncyc. 


Entry requirements, yield worksheets, and more information are available on that website. Participants must submit their harvest results to be included in the 2023 rankings. The 2023 National Corn Yield Contest Winner's Announcement will still take place on Wednesday, December 13. 


The NCGA National Corn Yield Contest has been organized to encourage the development of new, sustainable, and innovative management practices resulting in higher yields and to show the importance of using sound agricultural practices in United States corn production. Entrants must be a producer and member of the National Corn Growers Association.

Clinton Continues Look at Short Term Rentals

The City of Clinton is continuing its analysis of updating short-term rental ordinances.


In the last few years, the topic has been brought up several times to the City Council, and City Administrator Taylor Baxter says this is something the City Planning Commission is looking to update.



Currently, there is a six-percentage tax attached to the hotels and motels, but nothing exists like that for short-term rentals and Baxter explains that is something they are seeking to change.



According to Baxter, the planning commission is finalizing around 23 pieces of land in the Park Lane West subdivision. He points out they originally planned on 29 pieces of land but it is down to 23 because of a necessary retention pond. 

Clinton Neighborhood Care Center Highlights End of Year Giving

A Clinton non-profit is highlighting its end-of-year giving campaign.


The Neighborhood Care Center in Clinton continues its mission of helping people reach their God-given potential and Director of Communications, Mandi Ries on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday told Regional Radio, in the Center's upcoming newsletter they are highlighting the story of a person who came to them seeking help and has in turn begun to help others around her.



According to Ries, the story is one that shows how the Neighborhood Care Center is meant to impact people by bringing them in, getting to know them, and learning how the gifts they have can impact people around them.



Executive Director Cody Monkman says the Neighborhood Care Center is beginning its annual giving campaign and they have increased their annual budget simply due to inflation.



You can make a contribution by visiting neighborhoodcarecenter.net and finding the giving tab on the home page. 


Also, follow the Neighborhood Care Center on Facebook and Instagram. 

November and Tornadoes

Many in Illinois are marking anniversaries that they would rather not have too.


10 years ago this month an EF-4 Tornado ripped through Washington. That tornado killed three people in and was one of 77 to hit 7 states on November 17th, 2013. Meteorologist Eric Snodgrass says that storm and others should serve as good reminders that tornadoes can happen anytime of the year in the state.



The main tornado from that storm cell was an EF-3 and destroyed nearly 100 homes in Christian County.

New Illinois Corn Growers Association President Lays Out Priorities

The Illinois Corn Growers Association has a new president. Dave Rylander is a 6th generation farmer from Knox County. He says lock and dam improvements and the Next Generation Fuels Act continue to be key focus areas.



Rylander has served on the corn growers board since 2016.

USDA Rural Development Promoting Local Government Programs

USDA Rural Development State Director Betsy Dirksen promoting programs local governments can utilize. She recently attended a Township Officials of Illinois Conference.



More information on rural development programs available at rd.usda.gov/il.

Recap on This Weekend's Snow

Meteorological winter doesn’t arrive until Friday (Dec. 1), but some parts of Illinois have already received a significant dose of snow. A system Saturday night into Sunday morning brought some decent totals for this time of year says Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford.



After some parts of the state experienced single digit temperatures Tuesday morning, a gradual warm-up is in the forecast for the remainder of the week with rain also possible. Ford says above normal temps should hang around through the first full week of December.

Wapella Fire Firefighter Taking Over 'Toys 4 Tots' Program in DeWitt County

A Wapella Firefighter is taking up a Christmas program that gets Christmas gifts into the hands of children in need during the holidays.


Sean Horve is learning the ins-and-outs of the program with Donna Gaydosh in Logan County and indicates she has been a great resource to help get the program going in DeWitt County.



Gadosh is happy to see the program get going in DeWitt County and indicates it has had a lot of success in Logan County.



This Saturday, Horve will be set up at the Casey's gas station in Wapella off Highway 51 where the public is encouraged to drop off any toy donations or cash donations to help with this year's program.



Gaydosh reminds of the distribution dates coming up in both counties and some important dates in Logan County.



Gaydosh is concerned about kids in the ages 6-12 and teenagers in their programs. She hopes to make sure all the kids in the house are taken care of for Christmas.



Both DeWitt and Logan County Toys 4 Tots chapters are taking sign-ups for the program. You can find the program on Facebook for more information. 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Breaks Down School Report Card Data

Blue Ridge School administration is celebrating a successful 2023 school report card.


On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Blue Ridge Superintendent Dr. Hillary Stanifer told Regional Radio they had a targeted building last year that has improved and is no longer in that designation.



For Dr. Stanifer, she is watching closely growth and proficiency. She explains they are looking at improvement and compares how they are doing compared to state levels in math and reading.



According to Dr. Stanifer, chronic absenteeism is impacting her district and its report card. She says they have a 22-percent chronic absenteeism rate and believes a lot of the issues are stemming from COVID decisions. 



Dr. Stanifer says while they are pleased with where they are as a district, they are going to continue to seek to improve moving forward and not get complacent. 

Final Crop Report of Season

A string of unseasonably warm weather came to an abrupt hault over the weekend as the final crop report of the season noted a continuation of dry weather.


Crop Statistician Mark Schluessner notes things were cool and dry with some places in northern Illinois receiving some rain while topsoil moisture conditions continue to decline.



Winter wheat is 98 percent emerged, remaining ahead of the regular pace. Schluessner notes crop conditions declined in the last week.



Farmers are receiving several annual surveys that Schluessner stresses are confidential by law.

Gov. Pritzker Discusses State's Economy

Governor JB Pritzker sat down for a fireside chat this week to discuss the state’s economy and other key issues.


One of the main topics was the recent reopening of the Belvidere Stellantis auto plant. Pritzker says more and more manufacturers are in discussions to move to the state and it’s not always about tax incentives.



The event was moderated by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Cow Sculpture Unveiled by County Farm Bureau

What’s 14-foot tall and 23-foot long and weighs nearly 1-thousand pounds? It’s a cow sculpture, now with a name, outside of the Lake County Farm Bureau office in Grayslake.



Greg Koepen (kepp-un) serves as Lake County Farm Bureau manager.

December Could Be Mild Thanks to El Nino

December weather could include mild and dry conditions. Blame it on El Nino says DTN ag meteorologist John Baranick.



Chilly conditions will impact much of Illinois to end November, including Thanksgiving Day through the weekend. But dry weather will also be in play, which should aid in holiday travel.

Fall Covers for Spring Savings Sign Up Next Month

American Farmland Trust promotes the Fall Covers for Spring Savings program. The sign-up period begins next month says Midwest Regional Director Kris Reynolds.



More information at farmland.org.

Illinois Specialty Growers Conference Coming Up in January

Getting set for the winter meeting season. Don’t forget about the Everything Local Conference—involving Illinois food, farmers markets, and specialty crops. The event is promoted by the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, Illinois Farmers Market Association, and Illinois Farm Bureau.



The conference is Jan. 17-19 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield. More info at specialtygrowers.org.

City of Clinton Reminds of Coming Increase on Water Bills

The City of Clinton is reminding of the coming increase you'll see on your water bills.


Regional Radio brought you this story in October. DeWitt County Sanitation District is undergoing a roughly $14-million renovation and City of Clinton officials are reminding that will soon result in your water bills being more expensive.



That's City Administrator Taylor Baxter who reminds this is not an initiative of the Clinton Water Department, however, they are the ones that have to end up billing for this increase.



The upgrades to the Sanitation District's facility were a mandate from the EPA and were largely unexpected, therefore, the Sanitation District could not save money over time to make sure they did not burden water users with the cost. 


Once complete, the sanitation operations will run much more efficiently and will better filter the City's water. 

Clinton Chamber of Commerce Celebrating Another Successful Haunted House Season

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is celebrating another successful haunted house season.


Despite some poor weather weekends, the annual Terror on Washington Street Haunted House had a great turnout once again this year. That's according to Executive Director Janice Peterson who indicates she was concerned the weather might keep people away but they came out despite the poor weather on some nights.



Peterson says the Haunted House could not have happened without the organizations and groups that stepped up to help with the haunted house. She reminds the Chamber gives those groups a seven-percent contribution from the night's proceeds.



Now it's off to planning for next year's haunted house. Organizers will head to the annual haunted house convention in St. Louis next year and gather ideas and then return home to plan and start getting ready as soon as next summer. 

City of Lincoln Taking Advantage of Nice Weather to Continue Outdoor Projects

Up until this week, it has really been a mild transition to the cooler weather of the late fall season and early winter - which has allowed a central Illinois community to take up a few projects they may not have been able to otherwise.


Lincoln Mayor Tracy Welch indicates the mild weather so far in November is giving city crews a chance to address a collapsed culvert as well as a sinkhole on Fifth Street.



Hear more from Mayor Welch next month on Regional Radio. 

Scovill Zoo Celebrating Successful 2023 Season With Eyes to New Exhibit

The Scovill Zoo in Decatur is celebrating another successful summer season.


The zoo shuts down for the winter months for maintenance and any projects but Director Ken Frye says it does so this year, with another good year in the books.



The Zoo now transitions to the winter months with its sights set on fundraising for the new alligator exhibit and Frye is particularly energized because they have a donor willing to match contributions made totalling up to one-million dollars.



If you'd like to contribute to the alligator exhibit fundraising or learn more about the zoo, find them on Facebook or visit scovillzoo.org. 

Clinton Schools Administration Reacts to School Report Card

School report card data has been released and Clinton schools administrators say they did about how they expected.


Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles explains the designations are about the same as where they were except for the junior high school - which has improved out of being targeted. He notes the report card can be very complex.


Nettles indicates he is pleased with the initiatives and Director of Teaching and Learning Karrah Jensen explains while they need to take a critical look at the data, they also need to find areas to improve.



Districts throughout Illinois are dealing with an uptick in chronic absenteeism and Nettles points out there is always going to be a correlation between students not being in the classroom and their achievement. 



The full school report card data is available on the district's website. 

DeWitt County Museum Candlelight Tours Open Tonight

The DeWitt County Museum's annual candlelight tours open today with a special opening day event and another special event in December.


Director Joey Long indicates the candlelight tours offer a chance to check out the Victorian Era mansion decorated in holiday splendor. 



This year's candlelight tour theme is 'A Holiday Ball' and Long is excited - calling it a cute concept.



The annual candlelight tours always open with a special Friday after Thanksgiving event and Long points out Santa is back again this year.



Additionally, on Friday, Dec. 18, there will be another special event as the Museum will offer carriage rides. Long encourages those interested to inquire and get their tickets soon, as this is a ticketed event and they anticipate those tickets going quickly.



Get information on tickets for the carriage rides as well as information on the annual candlelight tours by visiting chmoorehomestead.org or find the CH Moore Homestead on Facebook. 


Long reminds to make sure it is the new CH Moore Homestead Facebook page, as the former page was hacked.

November Has Been Dry, Re-Establishing Drought Concerns

It seems as soon as the drought conversation comes up, it goes away thanks to some timely rain.


That may not be the case though as we look to December. John Bumgardner at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates the month ahead is not giving a strong indication that above-average moisture could be on the way.



There is a slight lean that December through February will come in below-normal for precipitation. Bumgardner hopes there could be a chance to make up some of the lost precipitation from November.



El Nino continues to show a strong signal as we get to the winter months. We'll have more from Bumgardner next week on the latest with El Nino on Regional Radio. 

Safety Tips for Black Friday Shopping

Shopping centers across the country will be filled with deal-seekers for the annual Black Friday shopping frenzy.


While online shopping has become increasingly popular because of its convenience, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says it is still very popular to head to large shopping centers and department stores.



Chief Lowers has some reminders about shopping like park in well-lit areas and remember where you parked. He also suggests shopping in pairs or groups.



As you are leaving these places, make sure you have keys readily available to quickly load up your merchandise and get in your vehicle. Chief Lowers also recommends finding a way to conceal valuables in your vehicle while you shop.



As you are shopping, make sure those items are concealed in your vehicle and use common sense as you shop. 


Next month, Chief Lowers will have recommendations for making sure those gifts don't become the target of home theft by discarding boxes that become Christmas gifts. 

City of Clinton Investigating Redesigning Website

The City of Clinton is exploring redesigning its website.


On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, City Administrator Taylor Baxter told Regional Radio at the Tuesday night City Council meeting, the Council heard from two companies interested in earning the City's business to help revamp its website - something Baxter says needs a refresh.



According to Baxter, each company that presented offered things that would be very beneficial for the City, and believes either would do a good job.



For those who feel the City website needs improved but may question how quickly this will move forward, Baxter reassures you this is an initiative that is important to him and has support on the City Council.



Baxter mentioned having the new website up and functional by the time the spring tourism season starts to roll in.

Clinton Schools Adding New Tutoring Program

Clinton's new Director of Teaching and Learning is helping the district set up its new tutoring program.


Karrah Jensen told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday the tutoring program is thanks to a grant from Illinois State University for students in grades 3-8.



According to Jensen, teachers are compensated for the time they give to the program, and in fact, are considered employees of Illinois State University. She explains students come into the program through designation but then also through recommendation.



Superintendent Curt Nettles indicates the district was asked to join this program and feels while they were late getting in on it, he and Jensen hope it will be something that carries on for a few more years in Clinton.



Jensen explains the program works to help catch students up who may still be behind from the COVID learning loss but then also helps students who may be struggling in certain areas. 


It is up and going in Clinton and both Jensen and Nettles feel it has been beneficial so far. 

Clinton Police Chief Wishing Everyone Happy, Safe Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday brings up one of the busiest holiday travel days of the year.


The Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be a beehive of activity, especially on those major highways and local authorities are imploring motorists heading out this year to be safe. 


Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers encourages giving yourself some extra time for travel, especially if you're going to be going through or around major metro areas. 


Holiday travel has changed a lot in the last decade. Vehicles are now equipped with screens that display your phone or have more advanced navigation offerings. There is Wi-Fi and more Bluetooth capabilities. He encourages not making that phone a distraction while driving.



If you're making a long trip this holiday, give that vehicle a good once over for any maintenance issues or have it checked out by professionals. Chief Lowers says the basics of having an emergency kit and not drinking and driving are always musts.



Chief Lowers wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving and hopes wherever your plans take you that you'll be safe and enjoy your time with family and friends.


We'll have more with Chief Lowers on Black Friday shopping tips tomorrow on Regional Radio. 

Central Illinois Lawmaker Plans to Propose Ban on American Adversaries Purchasing Illinois Farmland

A central Illinois lawmaker has plans to propose legislation that would prohibit adversaries of the US from buying up Illinois farmland.


The issue has come under the microscope recently as China and has purchased large swaths of land in Texas and other rural parts of the country. Senator Sally Turner says they should not have the opportunity to do so in Illinois.




Sen Turner believes this proposal will land well with the farmers in her district but she is curious what the response will be from Democrats in Illinois.



On the prospects of the success of her legislation, the Lincoln Republican believes her bill emphasizes the purchase of land around critical infrastructure.



The Illinois legislature enters a break for the holidays before they reconvene in January and will await Gov. Pritzker's budget address and State of the State address on the other side of the new year.

Warrensburg-Latham Schools Superintendent Reacts to Report Card Data

Warrensburg-Latham Schools Superintendent Reacts to Report Card Data


Schools across Illinois are analyzing their data from the recently released school report cards.


On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Warrensburg-Latham Schools Superintendent Cheryl Warner told Regional Radio, she is very pleased with the academic performance of her schools this past year.




English/language arts and math are always top-of-mind data points for Warner, who says there are a lot of other data points that matter from building to building. She calls it a moving target with an emphasis on standardized testing.




School leaders across central Illinois say chronic absenteeism is a lingering problem from COVID and Warner indicates her district is no different, as they see only marginal movement in a positive direction.




Districts in the last few years have been focused on making up for the learning loss students experienced because of decisions made during COVID.  Warner indicates it is difficult to know if some of the things in the report card are results of the learning loss because there were no report cards for two years during COVID.




Warner encourages the community to visit the district website and find the school report card data there. Additionally, she hopes the community would consider downloading the district app to keep up with the latest news and happenings within the district. 

Maroa-Forsyth Schools Name New Superintendent

Maroa-Forsyth School District’s Board of Education Monday evening that voted unanimously to hire Adam Ibbotson as the new Superintendent of the Maroa-Forsyth School CUSD#2 starting July 1, 2024. 


Ibbotson has worked in the education field for more than 20 years, currently serving as the principal at Sherman Elementary School as a part of the Williamsville CUSD#15. 


The announcement follows after the board completed a search involving the community's key stakeholders, and current school teacher and building leadership to hire for this vital leadership role for the district.


Upon completing his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University, Ibbotson's teaching career includes time at at Olney East Richland, Glenwood High School, and Williamsville. 


Beginning in 2015, Ibbotson transitioned to administrative roles within Williamsville district. He worked as the educational specialist in grades 5-12 and junior high assistant principal. Later he served the district as director of educational services K-12 and as the assistant principal at both Sherman Elementary and Williamsville Junior High School. In 2019, he became the principal at Sherman Elementary School where he currently serves. 


During his time as a teacher and administrator, he has also served as a football coach, track coach, and scholastic bowl sponsor.


Ibbotson holds a bachelor’s degree in middle-level education, a master’s degree in natural sciences with a concentration in chemistry, and a master's in educational leadership from Eastern Illinois University. He completed a postgraduate certificate from Illinois State University for school superintendent as well.


Ibbotson grew up on a farm in Southeastern Illinois where he graduated high school from Edwards County High School in Albion, IL. He and his wife, Kate, have two children, Claire and Charlie. Claire is a sophomore education major at Evangel University in Springfield, MO, and Charlie is a junior at Williamsville High School.

Congresswoman Budzinski Continues Work on Farm Bill

Illinois Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski visited the Prairie Farms headquarters in Edwardsville on Monday and heard from many in the ag industry and their thoughts on the Farm Bill extension. 


The one-year extension is part of the continuing resolution passed by Congress last week. She says many farmers tell her that crop insurance is important to protect.



Budzinski says she is disappointed the Farm Bill has not been reauthorized on time, and plans to work in a bipartisan way to get a “really good” farm bill done after this extension concludes.

Clinton Fire Responds to House Fire Monday Afternoon

On Monday at approximately 4 pm, the Clinton Fire Department was dispatched to Brush College Road for a structure fire called in by a passerby. 


The first arriving sheriff's deputy and EMS found a fully involved house on fire and a victim outside.  


Due to the location and visible fire, a second alarm was immediately requested for additional tankers. First arriving Clinton Fire Chiefs assisted Ems with patient care and moving.  The first engine arrived on the scene and immediately deployed a hand line to cool an LP tank and other hose lines to start fire suppression.   


The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshall is doing a fire investigation.  Last Clinton fire officials cleared the scene at 8:30 pm.


In a post on Facebook Tuesday Morning, authorities thanked all the departments for their assistance - including Wapella, Kenney, Hickory Point, Warrensburg, Maroa Fire Departments, the Dewitt Sheriff's office, Dewitt County EMS, and Abbott EMS. Waynesville provided station coverage for Clinton during the incident.  

Clinton Y Reminds of Y-Zone Extreme for Holidays

The holiday break season is upon us and a Clinton non-profit is reminding of the childcare options they have for parents who have to work while kids are out of school.


For Thanksgiving, Clinton schools are out of class starting Wednesday. On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Rennie Cluver, Executive Director of the Clinton Y told Regional Radio they will have Y-Zone Extreme Wednesday and Friday for parents.



With the Christmas break up next, Cluver indicates they will have Y-Zone Extreme days throughout the holiday break for students.



Cluver emphasizes you do not have to be a Y member to send your child to Y-Zone Extreme.



Visit clintoncommymca.org for more information regarding Y-Zone Extreme, call the Y at 217-935-8307 or you can stop into 417 South Alexander Street.

University of Illinois Nutrition Educator Highlighting Thanksgiving Food Preparation Safety

A University of Illinois Extension Nutrition Educator has some tips for those planning to do the preparing of food this holiday season. 


Caitlin Mellendorf is a nutrition educator at the U of I Extension in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She encourages, if you're planning for a potluck style gathering, encourage as many slow cooker offerings as possible to help keep those foods at a safe temperature throughout your gathering.



One of the most important parts of Thanksgiving food preparation is making sure the festive bird is prepared to the correct temperatures. Mellendorf also says to make sure the turkey is appropriately thawed.



However you plan to prepare your turkey, Mellendorf encourages keeping your hands washed as you transition from one dish or food to the next. Additionally, keep your food prep surfaces clean and those utensils cleaned well.



The Extension's 'Turkey for the Holidays' webpage has been updated. Mellendorf encourages visiting it for tips on things like choosing a turkey, how to thaw safely, and preparing your bird. There are also things for kids to do as well. Visit extension.illinois.edu/turkey. 

Business Owners and Social Security Retirement Benefits

Most business owners are hyper-focused on growing their business and legacy - they especially have a lot to juggle to try and keep things afloat, and hopefully even growing. That's why Social Security is reminding don’t forget about retirement benefits through Social Security.


During working years, small business owners often take advantage of legitimate ways to keep their taxable income down. While everybody can understand the advantages of that approach, don’t lose track of the impact that will have on your future Social Security benefits. Jack Myers with Social Security explains benefits are based on the taxes you’ve paid in. 



Through the years, Myers has seen many small business owners get to their retirement years without the safety net of a pension and a relatively low Social Security benefit. Worse yet, what if tragedy strikes and your survivors are left without much Social Security. 



Take a look at estimates of what you will receive from Social Security if you become disabled or when you retire and find out what your survivors would be eligible for if something happened to you. Myers says if being a business owner has kept your taxable income down, just be aware of the impact that will have and plan accordingly.



You can view all of that and more through your mySocialSecurity account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. Social Security has resources that might help as well at www.ssa.gov/prepare/plan-retirement and at the publication 'If You Are Self-Employed' - which is available at www.ssa.gov/pubs.

Weekly Crop Report

It was another dry week in Illinois as harvest is wrapped up.


State Crop Statistician Mark Schluessner says there were around four days suitable for any field work left as temperatures were above normal for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 19.



90 percent of the winter wheat crop has emerged and Schluessner points out, the percentage of acres is reported as very poor.



Schluessner reminds to be on the lookout for surveys coming producers way soon.



Next week's crop report is the final weekly crop report of the season. 

Holiday Travel Weather

As holiday travel picks up later in the week, weather in the state should be pretty good. Metrologist Eric Snodgrass says rain this week in parts of the state was much needed but by Wednesday or Thursday clear skies shouldn’t make for any travel trouble.



Snodgrass says chances of snow late this weekend would be very minor for most of the state, and he can’t say if temps will stay chilly for the start of December.

WHOW Airing News Special on 60th Anniversary of JFK Assassination Wednesday

Wednesday is the 60th anniversary of the assassination of U-S President John F. Kennedy.  WHOW will present a look back at the events of that date 60 years ago in a news special to air at 9:40 Wednesday morning called "The End of Camelot—The Assassination of John F. Kennedy."  The program will feature a lot of the live coverage from that day as well as the funeral when the country said its final farewell to the slain president on November 25th.  

Tune in Wednesday morning at 9:40 on all of WHOW's platforms—AM, FM, and on-line for our news special entitled "The End of Camelot—The Assassination of John F. Kennedy."

Wolf Carbon Solutions Withdraws CO2 Pipeline Proposal to ADM; Expects to Re-File Early Next Year

Wolf Carbon Solutions, the company proposing a carbon dioxide pipeline to run from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to an existing sequestration reservoir at the Archer Daniels Midland plant at Decatur, has voluntarily submitted a motion to withdraw its current application with the Illinois Commerce Commission.   The announcement was made by Wolf on Monday.

In its statement, Wolf did state it intends to update and refile an application with the I-C-C early next year.   Wolf added the withdrawal doesn't impact its commitment to the project and its stakeholders, saying they've receive significant support from a host of labor, business leaders, landowners, and local officials that see economic and environmental benefits from the project.

Clinton Police Chief Promoting Safety For Upcoming Holiday Week

It'll be a busy week of travel across the country and local authorities are hoping for a safe travel season.


Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says as college students return home, some for the first time since they left this summer, the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest party night of the year.



Chief Lowers encourages those heading out on that Wednesday night before Thanksgiving to be extra safe. If you need to have someone drive you home, please do so. Make sure someone knows where you are going that night as well.



We'll hear more from Chief Lowers later this week with more on Thanksgiving holiday safety and safety during the busy shopping day of 'black Friday'.

Early Rains To Give Way to Cool Thanksgiving Holiday

Wherever your Thanksgiving travel plans take you, if you are staying local, the weather is going to be rather cool for Thanksgiving. 


John Bumgardner at the National Weather Service in Lincoln tells us we could see some rain roll through the area tonight into Tuesday to start the week.



Past Thanksgiving, November is going to be cool for the remainder of the month. Bumgardner explains some of the cool, arctic air is going to slide south and the Midwest will catch some of it.



Moving into December and then the new year, temperatures are trending towards above-normal with El Nino impacting our weather for the winter months.


We'll hear more from Bumgardner on the winter outlook later in the week on Regional Radio. 

Local Lawmaker Reacts to Last Week's Veto Session

A central Illinois lawmaker is reacting to the end of the latest legislative session and the last veto session from a few weeks ago.


State Senator Sally Turner indicates like the veto session from October, November's veto session was uneventful. She says there was one good piece of legislation that moved forward and then another piece of legislation she was disappointed to see not get called for a vote.



Sen. Turner points out the development of the small reactors doesn't begin until 2026, so there will be a waiting period but she feels because of the overwhelming nature of the support, it should be signed by the Governor.



As for the Invest in kids scholarship, the Lincoln Republican says it is particularly disappointing because kids that benefit from those scholarship dollars were diligently in Springfield advocating to keep the program going and it fell on deaf ears.



As far as the nuclear legislation, Sen. Turner believes that legislation is going to end up being a win for the Clinton Power Station because the image and knowledge of nuclear power have changed. She feels it is a great source of energy that will help reduce electric bills in Illinois. 

Gov. Pritzker Lays Out State Funding Plan For Influx of Migrants

24,000 migrants and asylum seekers are in Illinois and many more are expected to arrive.


Governor JB Pritzker laid out plans for caring for those people and the money that the state will spend to do it. He says the weather is only going to be harder to live through, but the state is prepared to do what it can.



The state will budget $160 million, standing up an welcome center, building a tent camp to house 2,000 people, and money to resettle existing and incoming migrants.

ICC Cuts Ameren Illinois' Gas Rate Request

The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved part of what Ameren Illinois had requested in rate hikes for its natural gas delivery service. 


The utility had asked for a $71.57 million increase. The ICC disallowed $36.34 million, or about 50%. In addition, the ICC approved a 9.44 percent return on equity (ROE), a reduction from Ameren’s proposed 10.3 percent ROE. Citizen’s Utility Board spokesman Jim Chilsen says the ICC held Ameren Illinois and the other utilities requesting rate hikes accountable.



The decision also establishes a new low-income discount rate for eligible customers whose incomes are up to 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. If you are already enrolled in the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), you will automatically qualify for the newly-established low-income discount rate.

University of Illinois Extension Offers Tips on Deep Frying Thanksgiving Turkey

Deep frying the Thanksgiving turkey has become very popular for many.


If this is something you're considering for the first time this holiday, a food nutrition educator at the University of Illinois Extension has a couple of quick tips.


Caitlin Mellendorf is a nutrition educator at the University of Illinois Extension office in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties and says a few basic tips are to make sure the deep fryer is plenty far away from any structures and on a stable, level surface.



According to Mellendorf, it is imperative you thaw the turkey thoroughly before you put in the oil. Additionally, healthy oils like olive oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil are very popular options for cooking nowadays, however, do not use those to deep fry your turkey.



The Extension's 'Turkey for the Holidays' webpage has been updated. Mellendorf encourages visiting it for tips on things like choosing a turkey, how to thaw safely, and preparing your bird. There are also things for kids to do as well. Visit extension.illinois.edu/turkey. 


We'll have more with Mellendorf on Thanksgiving food safety next week on Regional Radio. 

Warner Hospital CEO Starting to Think Next Step for Facilities

A major renovation is going on at Warner Hospital and Health Services in Clinton.


It will wrap up what has been strategic planning on the city-owned facilities part. CEO Paul Skowron says even as the construction of a renovated emergency room and a new entrance to the family medicine clinic and a new parking lot continues, he is starting to think about what is next.



The current renovations are roughly $ 3 million. Skowron feels they are making necessary improvements to have a better facility without spending tens of millions on a new facility - particularly as healthcare evolves in how it treats patients. 

Clinton Boil Order From Thursday Lifted

The boil order for East Webster Street from November 16th has been lifted. 


If you have any questions, call the water department at 217-935-3432.

Warner Hospital Projects Rolling On

The parking lot at Warner Hospital and Health Services is complete but usage on it will be limited until the spring.


That's from CEO Paul Skowron who indicates it took a while to get to this point but they are glad to have it completed. Now they will get it striped and await the installation of the electric vehicle charging stations.



The parking lot will not be salted at all this winter to preserve the life of the parking lot. Skowron reminds, this is the first phase of a two-phase project on the west side of the facility.



On the east side of the facility, the emergency room renovation is well underway and making progress says Skowron.



According to Skowron, the hospital renovation is three phases with a completion date expected next spring. He points out they will be able to benefit from being able to seamlessly transition from one phase to the next without having to get state approval.



Skwron explains there has been a lot of shifting of personnel and repurposing of other spaces within the hospital over the years that has led to this project and now they can expand the emergency room by knocking down some walls and bringing in more private accomodations for patients.



The total amount for all the work happening right now is roughly $ 3.5 million. Skowron believes it beats spending $45 million for a new facility. 

Farmer City Christmas Parade This Weekend

The annual Farmer City Christmas Parade is this Sunday.


City Administrator for the City of Farmer City Sue McLaughlin explains the community is very proud of their Christmas parade as it is one of the largest in the area.



The Farmer City Christmas parade falls a little earlier than most which means City crews have to get out there and start getting those Christmas decorations up and ready early in November. McLaughlin says they have been fortunate to have been blessed with good weather the last few weeks.



According to McLaughlin, the City has had quite the saga getting a new tree in its downtown that they hope will become the tree that gets decorated for Christmas in future years. For now, she notes it will not be decorated this year.



The Farmer City Christmas Parade is again at 2 pm in Farmer City.  

FBI Warns of Charity Fraud

The FBI’s Springfield Office is warning the public that criminals are soliciting fake humanitarian donations during the Israel-HAMAS conflict. 


With disasters – natural or manmade - comes fundraising efforts. And with fundraising efforts come scam artists, according to the FBI. Special Agent in Charge Shannon Fontenot (FONT-eh-NO) says before you donate, understand there are those out there that will prey on your kind heart and good intentions.



If looking to fund a charity, visit the website directly rather than clicking on links in emails. And “charities” asking you to pay with cash, gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency. Criminals will often encourage payment by methods that make it difficult to track or seek reimbursement.

Firearm Deer Hunting Season Opens This Weekend

Shotgun hunting season for deer starts this weekend and if you’re still looking for a place to hunt, Mike Wefer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says go to the IDNR website. There, you can look for open public hunting lands and you can see how hunters did the year before.



The first weekend of firearm season for deer runs Friday through Sunday.

Cost of Thanksgiving Meal Down

The cost of a Thanksgiving meal is down 4.5 percent this year—to $61.17 for a holiday feast serving ten. The Midwest region has the lowest average at 58.66 compared to the highest in the northeast at 64.38.


Why the disparity? Here’s American Farm Bureau senior economist Veronica Nigh.



Even though the cost of a Thanksgiving meal is down this year, it’s still 25-percent higher than it was in 2019. More at farmweeknow.com.

Future of 8-Man Football in Illinois

28 high school teams now play 8-man football in Illinois and the sport continues to be governed by the Illinois 8-Man Football Association. The president of the group is John Lalor. He was asked about the IHSA eventually assuming oversight of the sport.



Friday night marks the fifth state championship in 8-man football in Illinois as Ridgewood battles Amboy at Monmouth College.

Boil Order Issued in Clinton

There is a boil order for East Webster Street from George Street going west to the railroad tracks in Clinton.


Stay tuned for further details.

Local Business Owners Come Together to Create 'Festival of Tree' in Downtown Clinton

A pair of Clinton business owners have combined forces to create an event that has the community buzzing.


By this time next week, it's entirely likely the Mr. Lincoln Square in Clinton will be filled with hand-decorated Christmas trees. Nate Ennis, owner of Nate Ennis State Farm Agency in Clinton, and Missy Morris, owner of Sweet Mae's Ice Cream Shoppe in Clinton, came together in late October to start this herculean effort to put on what is becoming a big event for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25 in downtown Clinton.



As Ennis and Morris started putting information out on social media, Ennis indicates he was very encouraged by the response to this. They sold 63 trees and there was tremendous interest from community groups, families, and businesses to decorate trees for this event.



The trees will be on display throughout the month of December with a big tree-lighting event on Saturday, Nov. 25. Ennis hopes to see this be a big draw for the downtown businesses.



The tree-lighting event will have a lot going on. Ennis and Morris have rallied numerous community businesses and groups to participate and offer free food and drinks and Morris will be leading an activity for the kids.



For the inaugural year, Morris and Ennis are both very excited about the enthusiasm from the community. Morris explains she's had people coming to her ice cream shop to express their gratitude to be able to honor a loved one who has passed. 



Trees were $50 to purchase to be decorated. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Ennis told Regional Radio it is entirely likely will not make back what it costs to allow the trees to be displayed on the square.



The City of Clinton, at its Tuesday night City Council meeting, is set to vote on a $2,000 contribution to the effort. Ennis and Morris hope that will allow them to expand the event next year and with more time to plan, they hope to have a bigger event. 


Find the 'Clinton Festival of Trees' on Facebook for all the details of the Nov. 25 event on the square. The trees will be on display until Dec. 31. 

DeLand-Weldon Schools Exploring Facility Improvements

DeLand-Weldon schools are hoping to take advantage of an influx in cash and start to address some areas of need within its campus.


First-year Superintendent Dr. Michael Tresnak explains the district was able to take care of a few things over the summer - mainly accessibility improvements - thanks to the COVID money.



According to Dr. Tresnak, they will look to improve the efficiency of the building through a couple of efforts.



Dr. Tresnak credits the administrators before him for keeping the facilities in excellent condition. If you've driven by the campus on Route 10 heading east out of DeWitt County, you've likely noticed the parking lot has been re-paved in the last few years and they've added excellent lighting to the parking lot.



Being the Superintendent of DeLand-Weldon Schools is Dr. Tresnak's first superintendency position but points out, that as an administrator in other districts, he felt compelled to keep up on those facilities, so facilities attention and maintenance are not anything new for him. 

Thursday is National Rural Health Day

Today is National Rural Health Day. The industry continues to bring attention to labor shortages says Ted Rogalski, speaking on behalf of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association and Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network.



Illinois has 84 small and rural hospitals, which includes 54 critical access hospitals and an annual economic impact of more than $13 billion.

Avoiding Holiday Shopping Pitfalls

Anything Barbie or Taylor Swift-related appears to be the most sought-after item as we head toward Christmas. 


Scammers are using the popularity of these items to trick parents out of their money, and the Better Business Bureau wants to make sure you don’t fall for the various schemes that are out there. BBB Investigator Don O’Brien says part of protecting yourself is to not wait until the last minute.



If you choose to shop online, O’Brien suggests you only buy from reputable stores and websites. The best way to avoid getting scammed when purchasing toys is to buy them directly from a seller you know and trust. And don’t be fooled by extra-low prices, which should be a red flag for a scam on many products. 


For more information about avoiding scams this holiday season, go to https://www.bbb.org/all/holiday

Small Earthquake in Illinois Wednesday

The town of Standard, Illinois in Putnam County was the epicenter of a small but noticeable Earthquake on Wednesday, November 15th, at around 4:41 AM. Geology Professor Mike Phillips of Illinois Valley Community College says the Earthquake registered as a 3.6 on the Richter Scale which is right on the edge of where people might feel an Earthquake...



According to the US Geological Survey, reports of people claiming to feel the Earthquake came in from as far as 30 to 40 miles from the epicenter. That said, the Earthquake is not a large one, a portion of Illinois felt a registered 4.3 Earthquake in 2022.

Farmer City Manager Discusses Leaf Cleanup Season

The fall leaf clean-up season is in full swing and Farmer City is highlighting the options for its residents.


On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Farmer City Manager Sue McLaughlin told Regional Radio they have a two-week window that is open now where there is curbside leaf cleanup for free.



McLaughlin says while some may not like the permitting of leaf burning, it is limited in when residents can burn and gives the option to deal with leaves.



McLaughlin encourages Farmer City residents to avoid getting leaves close to the catch basin as it blocks the water flow.



While many communities have yard waste facilities made available to their residents, McLaughlin indicates in exploring that option for Farmer City, they've encountered too many issues. For instance, they don't have a lot of property available to have such a place, and disposal of the yard waste would also be a challenge. 

El Nino Impacting Outlook for Winter

At one point this fall, El Nino was anticipated to have a record impact on the winter outlook.


While that prediction has scaled back to being a moderate impact, James Auten at the National Weather Service indicates we're still projected to see temperatures above normal this winter - standard for an El Nino winter.



According to Auten, snow events are still in play. Predicting snow amounts for winter is difficult because of how many areas of the country and its weather impact the midwest.



During El Nino winters, because of a southern jetstream that pushes north, Auten points out there's oftentimes more rain and wet weather.



Beyond the winter months, Auten says it is unknown how much of an impact El Nino will have on the spring but he also notes, depending on the rain, El Nino springs tend to be above normal for temperatures.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Promoting Firearm Deer Harvest Safety

The Illinois firearm deer hunting season is nearly upon us and that means hunters will be out in full force.


Jayette Bolinksi, Director of Communications with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, has some safety reminders for those outdoorsmen as they embark on one of the most exciting times of the year.



Tree stand and firearm safety are among the most top-of-mind safety concerns for conservation authorities and Bolinski has a few reminders for those.



Bolinski encourages all hunters of all ages to take a firearm safety course and it is a requirement for those born on or after Jan. 1, 1980. 


Visit dnr.illinois.gov for all safety and firearm regulations in Illinois. 

Ideal Weather for First Firearm Deer Hunting Weekend

As hunters head to the field this weekend for the first firearm deer season in Illinois, they should experience optimum weather conditions says Freese-Notis Weather meteorologist Paul Otto.



The first weekend of firearm deer hunting in Illinois runs Friday through Sunday.

Sen. Durbin Reacts to Supreme Court Code of Ethics

After recent scandals surrounding conflicts of interest and the US Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court is offering an official code of conduct.


US Senator Dick Durbin says the adoption of the code is a step in the right direction – but – he is concerned about enforcement of it and the self-governed nature of it.



Durbin serves as the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman.

Warner Library Highlights Local History Collection

The Warner Library in Clinton's local history collection is a major draw for patrons of the library.


Director Bobbi Perryman indicates the local history collection takes up two floors of the building and is a central part of the mission of the library.



According to Perryman, the library made a huge effort not that long ago to digitize its local history collection. In addition to online resources, they've been able to expand their programming thanks to those pieces.



Perryman indicates the vastness of what is available covers a wide range of spectrums of information from veterans' histories to photo archives like local school yearbooks. 



Perryman points out they get about 2,000 hits per month on its digital resources, which she points out, is very good for a community the size of Clinton. There is also a podcast produced by the library that highlights local history and even stemmed into a true-crime program at the library last year. 


Check out vwarner.org for more information on all the local history digital resources available. 

Cerro Gordo Schools Superintendent Breaks Down School Report Card

Last month, the annual school report card data was released by the Illinois State Board of Education.


On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Cerro Gordo Schools Superintendent, Dr. Emily Weidner told Regional Radio she was very pleased with the returns on the annual data.



A concerning piece of data for Dr. Weidner, and it is echoed by her peers in other places, is the chronic absenteeism rate among students. She believes this is still a byproduct of COVID.



The first-year superintendent has frustrations like a lot of her peers surrounding the emphasis on testing. Additionally, they are focused on the graduation rate because of the small student body they have.



According to Dr. Weidner, the English Language Arts scores were very strong but notes, her district could use to focus on math scores.

Weekly Crop Report

A warm, dry week allowed harvest to get nearly wrapped up.


State crop statistician Mark Schluessner says nearly the whole week was suitable for fieldwork as things dried out.



The corn harvest is nearly complete. Schluessner has an update on the winter wheat crop...



The wheat crop is 55 percent in good condition. 

Illinois Farm Bureau Resolutions Process Includes CO2 Pipeline Issue

A little over two weeks away from the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago. An update on the resolution process from IFB vice president Brian Duncan. He says the issue of CO2 pipelines drawing plenty of attention.



PHMSA (fim-suh) is the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. And again, Duncan says the resolutions committee will bring a proposal to the delegates asking for support of a moratorium on CO2 pipelines until new PHMSA regulations are produced.

Managing Stress During Holidays

Stress can increase during the holiday season


As we head toward the holiday season, the normal stressors of buying gifts and finding time for family and friends can weigh heavy on us. Kris Juelfs (julfs), a Registered Dietician and Nutrition & Wellness Educator with the University of Illinois Extension says it is important to acknowledge the emotions we are experiencing and to not hide or mask them. Several triggers can cause stress and anxiety during the holidays. Juelfs says taking care of yourself is the most important thing during this holiday season and stresses making your health a priority.



She again reminds individuals it OK to not be OK and to reach out if you feel overwhelmed.

Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leaders Discussion Meet Next Month

The Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago will feature the Young Leader Discussion Meet.



IFB Young Leader Program Coordinator Vanessa Wright says the young leader discussion meet is Saturday, Dec. 2.

'Holiday Hearts For Kids' Program Aimed at Providing Gifts to Underprivileged Kids

Community Action started the 'Holiday Hearts for Kids' giving program back in 2020 as the COVID pandemic impacted families across the six-county service area of the non-profit.


It was so successful the agency continued it in the years after COVID and it continues into 2023. Breann Titus is the Director of Agency Development for Community Action and indicates this program runs on the support of its communities to support underprivileged kids.



Anyone in need is welcome to be a part of this program. Titus says it is as easy as giving your local Community Action office a call to get signed up. If you are a community member that wants to support this program, they ask you make a cash donation so they can buy toys for the kids in the program. 



According to Titus, Community Action staffers go out and shop and then come back and some volunteers help wrap gifts and get them ready to distribute in early December.



If you'd like more information on this program, Titus directs you to visit capcil.info or find Community Action on Facebook for more information. 

October Was Warmer, Wetter

As parents across the state know, October closed itself out with a very, very cool night for Halloween, however, it still ended up being warmer and wet.


James Auten at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates because of a warm start to the month and remaining mild throughout, it ended up being warmer than normal.



Auten points out the disparity was not great - it ended up only a degree above the average temperature.



Average temperatures for October tend to come out around 55 degrees. 


This week, look for temperatures to be above normal and possibly remain that way for the remainder of the month. Auten does point out, if we see some rain roll in, that could cool things down temporarily, but overall, predicts a warmer-than-normal close to November. 

Illinois Congressman Co-Sponsors 'American Flag Act'

An Illinois lawmaker wants the Federal Government to purchase flags only made in the United States.


It's a part of the American Flag Act, introduced by Illinois Democrat Eric Sorensen and South Carolina Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace. The bipartisan legislation would end the current mandate that requires the federal government to purchase only 50 percent of American-made material. Congressman Sorensen says...



If the legislation passes, the federal government would be required to purchase the flags and materials only from companies that complete the manufacturing process in the U.S.

Clinton Chamber Extends Deadline for Christmas Parade Entries

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is extending its deadline for Christmas Parade entries.


On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, Chamber Executive Director Janice Peterson told Regional Radio entries are down right now and they were closed Friday for Veterans Day, so they are allowing those interested in being in the Dec. 2 Christmas parade the opportunity to still submit those into early next week.



Marian Brisard has been named this year's Christmas Parade Grand Marshal. 


Peterson is excited to move the parade to the first Saturday in December. They hope moving it away from the holiday weekend will allow more people to attend.


Again visit clintonilchamber.com to find the entry form and get more information. 

Christmas Card Lane Set for 2023

If you have enjoyed the handmade, larger-than-life Christmas cards in downtown Decatur, they are back again this year.


Jerry Johnson is the Executive Director of the Decatur Area Arts Council and looks forward to the creative Christmas cards that will line 'Christmas Card Lane' in downtown Decatur.



You can walk or drive by the 300 block of North Water Street in downtown Decatur. Johnson hopes those are up and ready by Nov. 20. 


Businesses, individuals, and families take on the challenge of the creative cards that take on various themes. 

Social Security Announces Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)

Social Security has announced its annual cost of living adjustment, or COLA increase.


Jack Myers with Social Security gives a brief overview of the increase for 2024.



When Myers joins the WHOW Morning Show in December, he'll have a full breakdown of the COLA increases at that time. Join us for his next appearance on Thursday, Dec. 7 just after 8:30 am. 

Details on Potential Smaller CO2 Pipeline

We’ve heard plenty about large-scale carbon dioxide capture and storage pipeline projects. What about smaller ones impacting Illinois?



Illinois Farm Bureau Director of Business and Regulatory Affairs Bill Bodine says although the pipeline is regulated by the ICC, the US EPA provides oversight of the storage field.

Clinton FFA Celebrating Victories at National FFA Convention

The Clinton FFA Chapter recently returned from the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis last week and they came home with a significant achievement.


Among them was Davis Howell - the National Proficiency Winner in the area of Swine Production Entrepreneurship. He calls it an exciting week with a lot of work leading up to receiving the award.



According to Davis, when he was in junior high, he began keeping records of breeding stock and showing swine.



National Convention in Indianapolis welcomed roughly 70,000 FFA students from across the country. 

Scams on Local Marketplaces Drawing Attention of Local Authorities

If you are planning to make a purchase on Facebook Marketplace or any other online site, local law enforcement is asking you to use extra caution and take any necessary steps to verify that your purchase is legitimate.


Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates his officers are coming across a concerning trend where residents are responding to items for sale on the Facebook marketplace and other sites and then Venmo-ing or other forms of digital payments and the seller never shows up or the item doesn't exist.



According to Chief Lowers, there is a new trend where local places are being advertised for rent, and after a security deposit is sent, the person accepts the deposit and it comes to light they are long gone or the place being advertised was never available for rent.



Chief Lowers advises caution when purchasing something on the local marketplaces. He encourages paying cash for those items and making sure to have a public place to meet the people selling those items. 



In addition to this new trend, they continue to see the continued scams from spam phone calls, emails, and text messages.

Clinton High School Students Help Seniors Learn Basics of Smart Phones

Last month, a group of Clinton High School students were paired up with local seniors to help them learn the basics about the smartphones they have.


Connie Unruh with TRIAD of DeWitt County says it was a great experience for not only the seniors but also the high school students.



Unruh indicates most teenagers are familiar with Apple phones so they had to learn on the run about Androids and Unruh praised their willingness to do that for the seniors with Androids.



It might seem hard to believe but young people are actually more susceptible to scams on their phones than seniors and Unruh points out it is one of the reasons the high school kids came away from the program having learned something.



Unruh is very active with the youth in Clinton. She is in the schools teaching financial literacy and works with students at The Vault teaching business lessons to junior high students. 

Central Illinois Lawmaker Reacts to Invest in Kids Act Funding Fall Through in Veto Session

Scholarship funding for hundreds of private school students in Central Illinois will come to an end after the Democrat majority in the Illinois House failed to act on the Invest In Kids program during the final day on the fall veto session.  


The program, enacted in 2017, allows private schools to use a Scholarship Granting Organization, in this case Empower Illinois, to give low-income families scholarships to offset part or all of private school tuition. State Representative Bill Hauter (R-Morton) addressed his Democrat colleagues and leadership during floor debate.



The program is set to expire at the end of this year. Supporters want it reauthorized but opponents say it represents a drain on public education and want it to end. 


Under the program, scholarships are funded from private contributions which yield a 75% state income tax credit in a program limited to $75 million in credits annually, so proponents ask how it is a drain on public education.


In five years, about 40,000 needs-based scholarships have been awarded.

DeLand-Weldon Schools Exploring Re-Establishing Ag Program

A DeWitt County school district is exploring re-establishing its own ag program after a couple of decades of partnering with a neighboring district.


On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Superintendent of DeLand-Weldon Schools, Dr. Michael Tresnak told Regional Radio for many years now, his district has partnered with Blue Ridge to give kids the opportunity to be a part of the FFA program but that could change.



According to Dr. Tresnak, DeLand-Weldon is set up to be able to provide many opportunities for its students in ag education and would hope to see that come to fruition to get more students involved.



The first-year Superintendent believes the hardest part of getting the program going is going to be finding an ag teacher. The teacher shortage has certainly impacted ag programs as there are some that have struggled to find and keep ag instructors.



Dr. Tresnak hopes having an ag program in the school would make it more accessible for students to participate and keep them from having to take so much time away from the classroom due to travel. 

Mild Weather on the Way

Mild weather is on the way.


After near-record temperatures on Wednesday, we'll cool off to more seasonable temperatures the rest of the week and through the next several days says James Auten at the National Weather Service in Lincoln.



Thanks to the mild El Nino pattern we've found ourselves in heading to the winter months, Auten indicates temperatures should remain above normal for the foreseeable future.



As for precipitation, on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Auten told Regional Radio things should get more active closer to Thanksgiving and then to close out November.



Anticipate above-normal temperatures into the first part of December as forecasters anticipate an El Nino winter coming our way. 

Social Security Reminds of Prioritizing Veterans on this Veterans Day

With Veterans Day upon us, Social Security is reminding of its small gesture of gratitude by prioritizing claims made by military veterans.


Jack Myers with Social Security explains the Wounded Warrior initiative gives prioritization of claims made by veterans. 



According to Myers, if active-duty service members are unable to work due to a disabling condition and continue to receive pay while in a hospital or on medical leave, they should consider applying for SSDI if their condition is expected to keep them out of work for at least a year.



A person can’t be approved for SSDI benefits if actively working and earning above substantial gainful activity level wages - $1470/month in 2023 - but if they aren’t working, we don’t have to count the wages.


The Wounded Warriors webpage is an important resource for military members who return home with injuries. Myers encourages directing the veterans in your life to www.ssa.gov/woundedwarriors. 

State Bill Proposes Audit of Healthcare for Immigrants

With bipartisan support, State Representative Amy Elik of Alton has passed a Legislative Audit Commission resolution calling for an audit to ensure transparency on how much the State of Illinois is paying to provide free healthcare for undocumented immigrant adults ages 42 and up. 


The resolution requires the Illinois Auditor General to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Medicaid Benefits for Undocumented Immigrants. The audit will also review the actual versus estimated number of enrollees and costs for the past three years. Elik says this is the consequence of a report from earlier this year.



She says the programs need to be limited since they are not always eligible for a federal match, and the General Assembly needs accurate numbers to craft a responsible budget.

More Invest in Kids Act Discussion

Senate Republicans say there is still time to save the Invest in Kids Act. 


The program expires at the end of the year – the program provides tax credits for donations for scholarships to private schools. Senate Republican Leader John Curran says the act needs to pass again to help low-income students attend private schools.



The Governor has said if lawmakers pass an extension, he’ll sign it. Many Democrats are against the act – feeling it takes away tax dollars from public schools. 


And a hard right faction of Republicans have said they won’t support any changes to the program being offered by some Democrats. Making it difficult for enough votes to be found on both sides of the isle to pass the measure.

Push for New Nuclear Plants in Illinois

Supporters of bringing new nuclear reactors to Illinois continue to push legislation to allow for the construction of carbon-free power plants.


Republican Sue Rezin says continued negotiations are going well and now she says there is a new bill that will work carefully to address oversite concerns and would allow for the possible building of newer smaller modular reactors, but that process to start is a long one, and takes years even to get close to construction.



Rezin expects a bill to be called and voted on this week. A previous bill to end the moratorium on new reactors from being built was vetoed by the Governor.

Seasonal Temperatures to Follow Warm Weather

Near-record temperatures are going to be short-lived in Illinois as more seasonable conditions return heading towards the weekend.


On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, James Auten at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional the jet stream is shifting north creating very warm weather for this time of the year in Illinois.



As we cool down overnight, there is a slight chance of rain but things should be very pleasant the next several days, remaining dry for the next seven to ten days.

Clinton City Council Meeting: More Utility Issues, Leaf Clean Up Underway

As utility companies continue to dig for fiber internet installation in Clinton, more issues continue to come up.


Last week, there was another gas line that was struck and it was near the Clinton schools campus. Tuesday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Commissioner of Public Safety Dan Ballenger indicated they had a meeting with officials from Ameren to continue to sort out how to deal with the problems of utility marking.



Sitting in for Mayor pro-tem Tom Edmunds, Commissioner John Wise and Commissioner Ballenger discussed how much longer this is going to go on in the community.



Leaf cleanup is underway in Clinton. Commissioner of Streets, Ken Buchanan told the Council the Madison Street project is just about wrapped up.



 City officials remind to get those leaf piles to the curb and not onto the street. Crews rotate through zones of the community throughout the week. 

Little Galilee Christian Camp Hosting Veterans Day Breakfast

Veterans are invited out to Little Galilee on Saturday morning for a free breakfast and a time of devotion.


Breakfast is served starting at 8 am and spouses of Veterans are invited to join.


Terry J. Gephart is a retired United States Marine Master Sergeant First Sergeant and will deliver the morning's devotion.


Little Galilee leaders ask for veterans to RSVP by Friday. You can RSVP by calling 217-935-3809. 

Domestic Violence Increases and the Upcoming Holiday Season

The holidays can be a joyous and fun time of year for many but for others, it brings anxiety and pain.


On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Andrea Kocher at Willow Tree Missions indicates it is very common to see increases in cases and instances of domestic violence.



Finances seem to the be top driver of issues related to domestic violence and abuse and Kocher points out, abusers will use finances against their victims.



According to Kocher, abusers' habits will change this time of the year. She points out abusers will isolate their victims and they often see victims covering for their abusers to not create unnecessary drama.



Compounding the issue of increased domestic violence issues around the holidays is also the increased instances of mental health issues as the winter months roll in. Kocher says there are direct links between domestic abuse and mental health. We'll hear more from her on that in the days ahead on Regional Radio. 

Better Business Bureau Promoting Being Smart This Holiday Shopping Season

Shop smart this holiday season - at least that's the word from leaders of the Better Business Bureau.


The B-B-B says imposters and scammers want to take advantage of shoppers dealing with high inflation and increased prices of consumer goods.


According to Don O'Brien, a scam investigator with the B-B-B, the worst scam is holiday pop-up shops.



According to O'Brien, the B-B-B receives hundreds of reports about holiday pop-up shops each year.


More often than not, the pop-up shops are selling poor quality merchandise with an inability to obtain a refund.

DNR Talks Trapping

The thick of the hunting and trapping season is underway and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has some reminders regarding those upcoming seasons.


Several trapping seasons start this weekend...



There's also a trapping season for woodchucks and it is among the furbearer seasons in Illinois.



Bobcat trapping is relatively new to Illinois and here are a few reminders...



Bobcat and furbearer hunting and trapping are highly regulated in Illinois. dnr.illinois.gov is the best place to find the latest in regulations for all trapping in the state.


You can also visit learntohuntil.com. You can also follow the group on Facebook and Instagram. 

Sen. Durbin Chairs Committee Looking at Code of Ethics in Supreme Court

A committee chaired by Illinois Senior Senator Dick Durban plans to tackle the code of ethics in the nation's highest court.


This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced plans to vote to authorize subpoenas to multiple Republican megadonors. The goal of the subpoenas is to squash their efforts to influence Supreme Court Justices. Democratic-Whip Dick Durbin says he tried to address the code of ethics 11-years ago by sending a letter to Chief Justice Roberts.



According to Durbin, Supreme Court Justices receive lavish, undisclosed gifts from billionaire megadonors, and that needs to change.

DeWitt County 4-H Hosting Parents Only Informational Night

If you're interested in your child or children joining 4-H, the University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt County is inviting you out for a parents-only informational meeting next week.


4-H Coordinator for DeWitt County Extension, Kendra Wallace on the WHOW Morning Show Monday told Regional Radio they are hoping parents will be able to get in front of leaders and volunteers with 4-H to have conversations about the program.



While the new 4-H year is underway, Wallace indicates they are actively recruiting new members now. There are several clubs and programs for young people to participate in through 4-H.



4-H gives young people the chance to learn a variety of skills and grow their confidence level to try new things. Wallace explains students may not realize it but they are putting together building blocks for success later in life.



4-H has traditionally centered around the club model with meetings within those clubs however, Wallace explains the program has become so much more than that with activities and special interest clubs (SPIN clubs) taking shape in recent years.



The 4-H 101 parents-only meeting comes up on Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 6-7 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension office in DeWitt County. Those interested in attending should RSVP by Monday, Nov. 13. 


You can RSVP by calling 217-935-5764. 

Weekly Crop Report

It was a cool, dry week as we hear in this weekly crop report. 


State crop statistician Mark Schluessner says rainfall was below average, as were temperatures for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 5.



Corn harvest is 90 percent complete while Schluessner says soybean harvest is 95 percent complete.



Winter wheat planting continues and Schluessner says the crop condition improved from last week.



USDA NAS will release the November crop production report on Thursday. 

University of Illinois Extension Promoting Farmland Owners Conference in Peoria

Put Monday, Nov. 20 on your calendars for the 'Farmland Owners Conference'  hosted by the University of Illinois Extension in Peoria.


Terri Miller-Casey is the Director for the University of Illinois Extension in Logan, Menard and Sangamon Counties and highlights a plethora of topics they will cover on that day.



There will be a variety of presenters at this conference and Miller-Casey believes this event could be beneficial for a number of types of individuals in the ag world - including for women who own farms.



Registration concludes this Friday, November 10. Visit extension.illinois.edu for more information on this event and to get registration information. 

Social Security Introduces 'Express Check-In' at Offices

When you arrive at a Social Security office, there will be signage including a QR code you can scan with your mobile device to check in.


You can use mobile check-in whether you have a scheduled appointment or not. 

Jack Myers with Social Security says this makes the check-in process more efficient and best of all, prevents you from having to stand in line.



Mobile check-in is most advantageous in the mornings this time of year.  Social Security offices open at 9:00 am but people often arrive before that and wait in line. Myes explains if you drive or get a ride to an office, you can use the mobile check-in starting 30 minutes before we open, and then you can wait in your vehicle. Your spot will be saved by your mobile check-in.  



Myers points out the service is most compatible with Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox browsers. 



You’ll also want to enable notifications so you can get your electronic ticket and be alerted when it is your turn. 



To find a Social Security office near you, visit ssa.gov/locator. 

Clean Up Your Garden, Landscaping

If you have been holding off on the fall garden clean-up, wait no longer. Last week’s hard freeze brought to an end the growing season for most plants, so it is now time to tidy things up for the winter.


If you have any diseased plant parts, now is the time to get rid of them. U of I Extension Educator Sarah Ruth says there are some good ways to get rid of it, and some not-so-good ways.



As for your leaves, instead of bagging them up to be hauled away, Ruth suggests using them in your garden. She says leaves make great mulch, and you can break them down with a shredder, mulcher, or lawn mower so they decompose quicker.

Clinton Police Chief Talks Fall Leaf Cleanup Season

The leaves are falling in mass right now and the leaf piles are already showing up around the community.


Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers is sending out the reminder that first and foremost, there is no burning within city limits in Clinton.



Chief Lowers reminds the yard waste facility remains open as we get into this heavy leaf cleanup season and after this weekend, the facility will adjust its hours with the time change.



Chief Lowers reminds to get those leaf piles to the edge of the curb or up to the road but not in the road itself. City officials have stressed in the past, getting those leaves into the roadway does not get them picked up any faster as the street department maintains a schedule when leaf cleanup starts that just rotates throughout the community for several weeks. 

Open Enrollment Time

It's open enrollment time and Social Security is encouraging anyone on Medicare to review their plans.


Jack Myers says open enrollment runs until December 7 and is an annual opportunity for those enrolled in Medicare to reevaluate their plans.



In Illinois, you can call the Senior Health Insurance Program through the Illinois Department on Aging at 1-800-252-8966.



The DeWitt County Friendship Center has access to a couple of individuals that can provide help as well. Contact them at 217-935-9411 for more information. 

Daylight Saving Ends Sunday

Daylight Saving ends Sunday morning at 2 am.


Make sure you set those clocks back an hour before you go to bed Saturday night or when you wake up Sunday morning. 

Neighborhood Care Center's New Heyworth Location Opening Doors for Greater Impact

A McLean County non-profit is hoping to take small interactions and turn those into big impacts.


"Small is big" is the motto of the Neighborhood Care Center - which just recently opened its doors at a new location in Heyworth. Mandi Ries is the Communications Director for the Neighborhood Care Center and indicates it is the small interactions that lead to the biggest impacts.



Margaret McLean is a mission partner for the Care Center in Heyworth and feels having a permanent location has made it feel like they are finally home.



According to Ries, the Bible sees many examples of a small gesture or service that has the greatest impact.



For McLean, oftentimes times the best way to show how the motto of "small is big" is simply being there for people consistently, and in turn, that consistency leads to trust and it snowballs to people opening up about their situations.



For Ries and McLean, while the Neighborhood Care Center is rooted in Christianity and its beliefs, they are not forceful about making anyone who comes to them do things they are uncomfortable with. The goal is to simply help people reach their potential and connect with them.


You can learn more about all things Neighborhood Care Center by visiting neighborhoodcarecenter.net. They are also on Facebook and Instagram. 

Public Hearing on State's New Assault Weapons Ban

A public hearing this week was held on the state’s new assault weapons ban and registration process for existing owners of assault weapons. The registration of existing assault style weapons is on-going but under temporary rules published by the Illinois State Police, and the uptake on registrations seems to be lagging the amount of those types of guns already owned in the state. ISP Director Brendan Kelly says they are committed to transparency in the process.



Halfway through October slightly more than 1,000 gun owners disclosed owing about 2,000 firearms. 

CEO Group Businesses Offer Safe Space to Fail, Learn, and Grow

Learning, failing, and growing are essential parts of an entrepreneurship course offered for Central Illinois students.


The CEO programs have begun embarking on the class business portion of the curriculum. Lisa Sheppard facilitates the Sangamon Valley CEO class that welcomes students from Argenta-Oreana, Bement, Cerro Gordo, DeLand-Weldon, and Monticello. She indicates this is a crucial point in the class where students are learning a lot of lessons about running a successful business.



Already, Melanie Brown's class is learning the tough lessons of failure and learning to get creative and pivot. She says a lot of the things they are learning are foundational for when they take on an individual business during the second semester.



Both Brown and Sheppard enjoy the group of students they have this year and while it's only a month or two into the class, they both are reporting growth in the students already.



The Central Illinois CEO welcomes students from Blue Ridge, Clinton, Maroa-Forsyth, and Warrensburg-Latham Schools. Find out more about what they are doing this year by visiting centralillinoisceo.com or find them on Facebook and Instagram.


You can check out more on the Sangamon Valley CEO program by finding them on Facebook and Instagram or by visiting sangamonvalleyceo.com. 

Another Gas Leak in Clinton, This Time Near Clinton High School

Another gas leak in Clinton Wednesday prompted some in-school adjustments at Clinton High School.


The gas leak happened along Van Buren Street.


Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles sent notices to impacted families of those students at CHS noting there was no danger to the school building and after inspection, the building was safe from the outside fumes. 


Students and staff remained in the building for the remainder of the day and school remained in session for the rest of the day. 


Last month, the City experienced the worst gas leak so far this year as fiber crews from various internet companies continued work to install infrastructure to bring high-speed internet to the area. 


It prompted a warning from City leadership they would be more vigilant in monitoring crews digging in the community. 

Clinton Police Chief Encourages Drivers to Mindful of More Active Deer

An outdoorsman himself, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers knows full well the tendencies of deer and how they act in the fall.


That's why the veteran law enforcement official is sending out reminders to drivers as they make their way around central Illinois - particularly its rural parts. 



Chief Lowers encourages motorists to be vigilant in watching for deer on the sides of the roads and do things like keep those cell phones put down and have their seatbelts on.



While the harvest is mostly wrapped up, there are still some combines and grain haulers around and Chief Lowers continues to remind to give them their space and make sure we are exceptionally careful in passing in rural areas when near the farm implements. 

Taylorville FFA Chapter in Running for Top Award

The National FFA Convention is underway in Indianapolis and one Chapter from Illinois has already been recognized as one of the three best in the nation - for the Premier Chapter Award in the area of Strengthening Agriculture.


The Taylorville FFA will find out this week if they are the best out of the final three. Taylorville’s Jay Bliler says they have been focusing on their interview skills, record book interviews and public speaking.



The National FFA Convention in Indianapolis draws nearly 70,000 agricultural students from the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

'Invest in Kids Act' Drawing Attention

Lawmakers return to the statehouse next week to wrap up veto session.


The Invest in Kids Act continues to be an issue and Democrat lawmakers have proposed changes to the law – lowering the maximum tax credit for many donors and lowering the total of all the tax credits the state could give back. Governor JB Pritzker says as lawmakers continue their work and he’s always focused on supporting public education in the state.



Some Republicans who broadly supported the original act have indicated they might not back a plan that shrinks support for private school scholarships.

Red Cross Needs Donors Ahead of Holidays

The American Red Cross is again putting out a call for blood donors. With the holidays just around the corner, you are being asked to take an hour or so out of your day and give the gift of life.


Red Cross spokesman Sharon Watson says this time of year, donating blood can become an afterthought.



All blood types are needed, especially type O, as that is usable for patients of all blood types. To find a blood drive, go to rdblood.org.

Staying Active During Cold Weather

A healthcare expert is hoping as the cooler temperatures roll in, any activity routines you picked up over the past several months don't go away because you can't get out.


Dr. Jim LaValle is the author of 'Cracking the Metabolic Code' and Integrative Medicine Program Director for the NFL Hall of Fame Health and Performance Program encourages you to seek ways to stay active.



If being as active as you were is going to be limited in the next several months, Dr. LaValle says one thing you can do to maintain a lot of progress you made is to eat healthier. 



Dr. LaValle encourages setting goals for yourself. Do things like commit to how much you're going to eat at the upcoming holiday party and get-together season. 



While the new year is still a couple of months out, Dr. LaValle says it's not too early to start to build momentum for yourself and create good habits to set yourself up for success as we get to the time of year when we commit to a better lifestyle.


Dr. LaValle has several tips for creating that positive momentum and we'll hear more from him on that next week on Regional Radio.


Dr. LaValle has worked with not only patients of all sorts of physical needs but has worked with professional athletes across the spectrum of sports, including working with teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Cardinals. 

As Encore Makes Progress on Safety Issues, Frustrations Continue

It's been about a year that Encore Developmental Service in Clinton has had a laundry list of safety issues to address at its aging facility on Clinton's east side.


On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Executive Director Stephanie Coonce told Regional Radio they have some positive momentum going on addressing the issues that came up around a year ago after a visit from the Illinois State Fire Marshal's office.



Coonce says it's nice to have something happening and get a start on the list of things they have to do.



While it is nice to see the fire alarm system started, Coonce indicates trying to work with the Illinois Fire Marshal's office has been increasingly frustrated as they try to get professional plans to them, Coonce feels the target is changing.



Coonce is encouraged they continue to get extensions on deadlines for the project's completion and is happy to have something tangible to report to the Fire Marshal's office. She wishes the good faith efforts would be returned from them as Encore wants their facility to be safe for their clients and workers. 

Illinois State Police Trooper in Recovery After Being Shot in Springfield Last Week

An Illinois State Police Trooper who was shot last week in Springfield is still recovering.


Cody Chapman-Green remains hospitalized. The trooper’s mom – Kim Green says her son always wanted to be a trooper.



Newly released dash cam video shows the shooting and the apprehension of the suspect - Cristobal Santana on October 24th. ISP says Santana fired 10 shots at Chapman-Green hitting him multiple times and the suspect is alleged to have beaten him with his pistol. 


Two citizens came to Chapman-Green’s aid and rendered medical help before other police officers and emergency medical crews could arrive. 


Santana was denied pre-trial release and is in custody.

Local School Leaders Frustrated Over Rollout of Latest School Report Card Data

Local school leaders are expressing their frustrations over the rollout of the most recent data from the Illinois State Board of Education for school report cards.


Heyworth Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Taylor says ISBE released the data, then it was constantly changing or there were issues with the website for school administrators to access it.



Within the data itself, Dr. Taylor is watching closely the attendance rates. Schools across central Illinois continue to deal with attendance issues among their students as the impacts of the COVID response linger.



Dr. Talor points out the data has a lot to do with funding from the State of Illinois as well as designations that end up leading to more or fewer interventions. 


Dr. Taylor spoke to Regional Radio before the public release of the data for Heyworth Schools so she was not able to publicly comment on how her school had done in the past year. 


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