Local News

February is Heart Health Month and a central Illinois non-profit is providing tips for caregivers and their heart health.

 

Caregivers often overlook their health in pursuit of caring for those around them but on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Rebecca Wheat told Regional Radio they are trying to promote heart health during this Heart Health Month for caregivers.

 

 

According to Wheat, caregivers tend to have at least two chronic illnesses they deal with. She reminds of the golden rule of caregiving - one must take care of oneself before one can care for others. 

 

 

The American Heart Association has some tips for caregivers to help with better heart health and Wheat indicates one of the top priorities is a hearth healthy diet and they are welcoming a University of Illinois Extension nutrition educator to talk with caregivers about ways to maintain a better diet.

 

 

Caregivers need to prioritize physical activity and Wheat says there are many options locally that have opportunities for caregivers to benefit from. She says for many of the American Heart Association's recommendations, there are local resources available for caregivers.

 

 

There are a lot of opportunities also through Community Care Systems. Contact Wheat for more details on her classes and other informative health offerings by calling 309-445-7098. 

 

Community Care Systems also has an office at the DeWitt Manor high-rise in Clinton at 520 East Main Street. 


Heartland Community College celebrated the opening of a new facility designed for the instruction of state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing programs including Electric Vehicle Technology, High-Voltage Energy Storage, Robotics, Renewable Energy, and Automation. 

 

Funded in part by a $7.5 million State of Illinois grant from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, Heartland’s Advanced Manufacturing Center features the State Farm Electric Vehicle Laboratory, the permanent home of the College’s pathbreaking Electric Vehicle/Energy Storage program which launched in 2021. Gov. JB Pritzker was on hand earlier this week to give remarks about one of the two new state-of-the-art facilities opening in Illinois.

 

 

Heartland Community College President Keith Cornille touted the advancement in program opportunities offered at the school and what this new facility means for students who will go through it.

 

 

Construction of the 45,000 square foot facility began in the fall of 2022. The $17M facility incorporates remodeled space to further support programs such as robotics, HVAC, welding, and digital media, in addition to the newly constructed State Farm EV Lab. 

 

The Advanced Manufacturing Center project is funded in a public/private partnership with programmatic and financial support from local business leaders. In August of 2023, State Farm provided a $1 million grant to support the 6,278 square foot Heartland electric vehicle/energy storage training facility. 


The Illinois State Police has announced it will conduct several special patrols in March

 

Troop 5 Commander, Capt. Tim Sweeney, announces the ISP will conduct Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement (ACE) patrols in Kankakee and McLean Counties in March on the 15th, 22nd, and 29th. 

 

Officers working the detail will be watchful for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, transporting open alcoholic beverages, and most importantly DUI, speeding, and distracted driving.

 

Capt. Tim Sweeney also announced troopers will conduct Nighttime Enforcement patrols in Kankakee and McLean Counties on March 2nd, 8th, 17th, and 30th. 

 

Roadside Safety Checks (RSCs) will be conducted in McLean County on March 16th. 

 

There will also be distracted driving enforcement patrols in Kankakee, Iroquois, Ford,


Livingston and McLean Counties on March 14th and 21st. This allows ISP to focus on distracted driving laws to prevent traffic deaths and serious injury crashes. Distractions can increase a driver’s risk of being in an accident.

 

Officers will be looking for drivers who disobey Illinois’ distracted driving laws,
especially reading, sending, or receiving text messages or communication, and from browsing the internet. ISP reminds drivers are prohibited from using handheld electronic communication devices and drivers under the age of 19 are prohibited from using any cellphone, even hands-free.

 

ISP will conduct alcohol countermeasure enforcement patrols in Kankakee and McLean Counties on March 15th, 22nd, and 29th. 

 

Alcohol and drug impairment are factors in more than 30% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. There is one alcohol-related traffic fatality every 53 minutes in the United States. The ACE program allows officers to work even harder at removing dangerous DUI offenders from the road.


A Clinton child who is headed to see the ocean is getting a police escort on his way out of town.

 

The child is part of the 'Make A Wish' Foundation and wants to be a police officer when he grows up. Chief Ben Lowers says it would be an honor to enhance the 'wish' of this young person in our community.

 

 

Chief Lowers has rallied the Sheriff's Department and the Fire Department to participate. If you hear sirens in Clinton around 1:30 pm tomorrow (Thursday), that likely will be the reason for those sirens.


The DeWitt County Board has been working to sell the Clinton Lake Marina for the last six months and things are picking up momentum as we approach the boating season.

 

Board Chair Dan Matthews indicates the sale of the Marina was a brief topic at last Thursday's DeWitt County Board meeting and informed the Board there were seven bids that came back from the recent request for proposal (RFP) process.

 

 

According to Matthews, this week, the County Board will go through a process to narrow down the proposals to a few for the full board to consider. He indicates with the boating season fast approaching, he hopes to have something in place before then.

 

 

Matthews hopes to have the process wrapped up and a recommendation for the full board next month. 


A central Illinois law enforcement official is encouraging residents in his community and others to be mindful keeping vehicle and outside home doors locked.

 

Springtime weather seems to be here early this year and Monticello Police Chief Rob Bross says the nice weather gets people out and moving and not always people with the best intentions. He indicates Monticello has seen a slight uptick in burglaries to unlocked vehicles.

 

 

Chief Bross is encountering a unique situation where residents will have their vehicles burglarized and then go to social media to talk about what happened to them. He is finding people expect police to respond to those posts, something they do not do.

 

 

Individuals that have their vehicles burglarized but suspect nothing was taken will sometimes not call in the crime but Chief Bross says just knowing something happened in a certain area of the community can help them with future patrols and investigations.

 

 

Chief Bross also points out residents with video doorbells have also become increasingly helpful in investigations. For those that are comfortable doing so, the police department keeps a database of residents with a ring camera for investigations where that video footage may come in handy. 


During the Governor’s budget address, he said that he would like lawmakers to eliminate the one percent sales tax on groceries.

 

The idea has its supporters, but it also has some in local governments worried about losing out on $350 million in collected grocery taxes each year. Gov. Pritzker says the move is all about affordability.

 

 

A law could be made to allow local governments to decide if they wanted the one percent tax to be levied in their communities.


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