17-year old Spencer Toohill of Clinton has been identified as the teen killed in a Thursday afternoon single-vehicle accident in rural DeWitt County.
Toohill was driving an SUV north of Wapella on Harrold Point Road just after 4:30 pm and was pronounced dead at 5 pm.
The crash is being investigated by the DeWitt County Coroner's office and the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office.
Arrangements are incomplete through Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton.
Leaders from Clinton, Farmer City, and DeWitt County plan to meet in early April to discuss several aspects of the county and its entities.
Cris Rogers updated the County Board Thursday night on the meeting to take place at the County Building with the intent to reflect on good policies and put in place policies to make things more efficient.
Also at the Thursday County Board meeting, County Board Chair David Newberg presented DeWitt County Friendship Center Executive Director, Paula Jiles, with a $150 check from the Illinois Counties Association.
The American Legion Women's Auxilary is hosting a chili fundraiser for a group aimed at reducing the suicide rate among veterans who return from active duty.
Jeff Gaither is one of the leaders of HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes and indicates they host veterans for deer hunts, pheasant hunts, and fishing trips and try to give them an outlet to find other veterans who may be facing the same challenges they are.
Gaither indicates veterans who have been through the program have taken it to where they come from and Gaither says they've helped other veterans set up similar programs in different parts of the country.
Because HOOAH pays for all the expenses of the veterans to go on these trips, fundraisers like the one this Saturday at the American Legion are vitally important. This Saturday's fundraiser is from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Legion building at 219 North Elizabeth Street.
He won by the narrowest of margins and is looking for party unity, so it seems Governor Bruce Rauner will pick up the phone and try to call his primary opponent.
Rauner skipped the customary call to Jeanne Ives on election night. Rauner now says that he will set up a call with Ives who lost by less than 3 percent of the vote.
Rauner will need to look towards unity in his party as he begins his general election campaign. An electoral historian says in Illinois no previously elected Governor was ever faced with such a narrow primary victory.
THE STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WAS DOWN AND JOBS WERE UP LAST MONTH ACCORDING TO THE LATEST NUMBERS FROM THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY.
THE ILLINOIS JOBLESS RATE CAME IN AT FOUR POINT SEVEN PERCENT IN FEBRUARY…A SLIGHT DECREASE FROM THE FOUR POINT EIGHT PERCENT POSTED IN JANUARY. AND MORE THAN 15-THOUSAND JOBS WERE ADDED LAST MONTH SAYS DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON BOB GOUGH (goff).
HE’S HOPEFUL THIS WILL BE AN ONGOING TREND.
THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR FEBRUARY WAS FOUR POINT ONE PERCENT.
In advance of farmers market season in Illinois, the Illinois Famers Market Association promoting its “what’s in season” app.
It’s a great tool if your looking for some fresh produce this spring and summer says Illinois Farm Bureau local foods manager Raghela Scavuzzo.
The “what’s in season” app is available at “ilfma.com.”
A first of its kind program launched last year at Clinton High School and it returns again this year.
Clinton High School offered seniors a chance to go through a course to get their CDL and Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles, says they are readying for the second group of students to embark on that again this year.
One thing the district has sought is a volunteer from the community to allow the youth the opportunity to drive with someone's rig. Nettles says it would be good for the youth get some behind the wheel experience with a veteran driver.
According to Nettles, there is a big need for CDL drivers in central Illinois and he says this is something a lot of people who try to get their CDL do not have access to.
The class meets on Saturday's and it's about an eight-week course.
Come out to Clinton High School this Saturday and watch former Maroons take the hardwood in volleyball and men's basketball.
Rotarian Terry Ijams organizes the game each year as a benefit for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He says they are againg starting with a women's volleyball game and then a men's basketball game.
Ijams indicates the game originates back to the early 80s and then took off from there. He says they started with players that were out of high school for at least ten years but have since wanted to attract players of all ages.
Last year the alumni game turned to a women's volleyball game and Ijams says that has been well received and feels it increased interest in the event.
Ijams says Habitat runs the concessions as part of the fundraiser and while funds from admissions go back to Habitat, there's also a 50/50 during the event and a raffle as well.
The women's volleyball game starts at 6:30 pm and doors open for the event at 5:30 pm.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has told Illinois to clean up its water and cities, towns and even farmers have started to make some changes.
More blankets of green vegetation are popping up around the state this time of year. They're not weeds, but crops planted to provide a protective cover. Southwest Illinois farmer Jack McCormick explains why he planted cover crops on his farmland;
In addition to farming, McCormick serves on the board of GROWMARK, made up of farm supply or F-S member companies around the state. The farm cooperative, along with the Illinois Farm Bureau, launched an effort to work with local F-S facilities and county Farm Bureaus to promote environmental tewardship;
The federal E-P-A requires Illinois to significantly reduce its nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from farm fields and city sewage treatment plants by 20-25.
WHILE OVERALL VOTER TURNOUT NUMBERS WON’T BE AVAILABLE UNTIL NEXT MONTH…THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SAYS MORE PEOPLE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF EARLY VOTING FOR THE PRIMARY.
437 THOUSAND ILLINOIS VOTERS CAST THEIR BALLOTS EARLY. THAT’S MORE THAN DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO EARLY VOTED IN THE 2014 GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY SAYS ELECTIONS SPOKESPERSON MATT DIETRICH.
DIETRICH SAYS MORE THAN TWICE AS MANY VOTERS CAST A BALLOT BEFORE ELECTION DAY AS THEY DID IN THE LAST GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY IN 2014.
DIETRICH SAYS THEY WON’T KNOW UNTIL ALL THE NUMBERS ARE IN IF THE INCREASE IN EARLY VOTING IS DUE TO THE ACTUAL RACES OR THAT VOTERS ARE GETTING MORE USED TO THE IDEA OF CASTING A BALLOT BEFORE ELECTION DAY.
There were apparently no phone calls between Governor Bruce Rauner and Jeannie Ives Tuesday night to let bygones be bygones after their race for the Republican nomination ended with a narrow Rauner victory.
In a conversation with Chicago's Morning Answer on W-I-N-D Radio, Ives didn't sound ready for a unity breakfast.
Ives went on to call Rauner unelectable. In his victory speech, Rauner acknowledged a strong race run by "his opponent", but did not mention Ives by name.
Crude oil futures still trading well below $100 a barrel. What’s that mean for prices at the pump?
GROWMARK’s Harry Cooney with the answer.
May crude oil futures are just over $64 a barrel. Prices at the pump in Illinois are averaging $2.62 a gallon.
Dan Caulkins is the State Representative for the 101st State House district.
Defeating Randy Keith with 44 percent of the vote, Caulkins received 6060 votes to Keith's 5,237 and Todd Hendricks received 2,493 votes.
Caulkins takes over the seat currently held by the departing Bill Mitchell, who announced his retirement from state service last year.
Other races include Republican Dan Brady in the 105th district, Jim Durkin in the 82nd district.
Incumbent David Reis in the 109th District was the only GOP incumbent to be defeated.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker has coasted to victory in the Illinois Primary. Pritzker vastly outspent his main opponents Chris Kennedy and State Senator Daniel Biss.
Now Pritzker is turning his attention to back to where it was in the early stages of the race..... Governor Bruce Rauner.
Governor Bruce Rauner held off a determined State Representative Jeanne Ives to win the Republican nomination. Rauner says the close margin of last night's vote did not go unnoticed.
With a small number of remaining Illinois precincts left to count, Rauner held a 3 percentage point lead over Ives.
There are openings for Head Start in Community Action's service area.
Leslie Keller says the program structure varies from county to county but it is a structured environment with a curriculum their instructors follow in each class.
The program is income and age-based. Keller says they encourage their head start families to go through some of their educational courses.
There's also a home-based program through Head Start. Keller indicates they have caseworkers who go into the home for a birth to three-year program and work with parents on development milestones among other things.
George White indicates while there are some areas that are at full enrollment, it never hurts to inquire about getting into the program because they want to be able to get someone into a vacant spot when it comes up.
Head Start officials will make their way around the areas they serve and knock on doors to make the community aware of what they are all about. White says they're not soliciting money or donations, they just want to make folks aware of their program.
To get more information about the Head Start program in your area, contact the Lincoln Head Start office at 217-732-2159 or visit capcil.info.
Voters across the state headed to the polls on Tuesday for the March primaries. Voter turnout in DeWitt County was 23.67 percent.
There were three contested races in DeWitt County. In the Democratic race for State Central Committeewoman in the 13th District Jayne Mazzotti lead Pamella Gronemeyer 445 to 245. In the Republican race for Clintonia 5 Committeeman Nathan Ennis defeated Dan Matthews 95 to 66. Terry Ferguson defeated Travis Houser in a landslide 53-0 in the Republican race for Harp Committeeman.
Uncontested County Board races included Democrat incumbent Randy Perring in District B, Democrat incumbents Sue May and Cris Rogers in District D, Republican incumbents Terry Ferguson and Christina Pruser in District B, and incumbent Republican Melonie Tilley along with Nate Ennis and Dan Matthews in District D.
District D will have contested races in the November election.
In Piatt County, a Monticello school referendum for issuing $29.8 million in bonds for upgrading buildings was leading 1947 yes to 1158 no with 14 of 16 precincts reporting.
In Logan County, a referendum for Mt. Pulaski schools to issue $15.7 million dollars in bonds for uprading buildings was defeated 499-714.
In the Republican race for State Representative in the 101st District Dan Caulkins was leading with 2,467, Randy Keith in second with 2,125 and Todd Henricks with 975 votes as of 10:30pm Tuesday night.
In the Republican race for Judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit Randy Rosenbaum leads Sami Anderson 6,909 to 4, 028 as of 10:30 pm Tuesday night.
All results are unoffical with absentee ballots having up to fourteen days to be counted.
Voters across the state headed to the polls today (TUE) for the March primaries. WHOW/WEZC/DeWittDailyNews.com will be broadcasting live from the DeWitt County Courthouse beginning at 8pm. The coverage will be heard on 92.3FM, 95.9FM, streamed online with reports every half hour.
Contested races in DeWitt County we will be watching include:
Democratic race for State Central Committeewoman 13th District -
JAYNE MAZZOTTI versus PAMELLA GRONEMEYER
Republican race for Clintonia 5 Committeeman -
NATHAN ENNIS versus DAN MATTHEWS
Republican race for Harp Committeeman -
TERRY FERGUSON versus TRAVIS HOUSER
We will also be watching area races, including:
Republican race for State Representative in the 101st District -
Todd Henricks versus Dan Caulkins versus Randy Keith
Republican race for Judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit -
RANDY ROSENBAUM versus SAMI ANDERSON
Polls are opening across Illinois in a primary that is being widely watched because of the money being spent in the governor's race.
Among the leading Democrats in Tuesday's primary is billionaire J.B. Pritzker, who has put almost $70 million into his campaign fund already. Democrat Chris Kennedy has about $2 million in his. State Sen. Daniel Biss is campaigning as the "middle-class candidate."
The Democrats are looking to unseat wealthy Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in November. He is being challenged by conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives.
Illinois State Board of Elections data show the number of voters casting early ballots for the Illinois primary has far exceeded the number who voted early four years ago.
Voters are also choosing nominees for the U.S. House, attorney general and other races.
Locally, voters are deciding between three candidates for the Republican ticket in the 101st Illinois House district.
There is also a contested DeWitt County Board district.
Hear coverage of election results tonight on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com starting at 8 pm.
Tom Anderson was a 21-year veteran of the DeWitt County Sheriff's office, and after a brief retirement from law enforcement, he is returning to the field with the Clinton Police Department.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers introduced Anderson at the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting and says he is nothing short of elated to have his experience on their staff.
Coming up at the next Clinton City Council meeting in April, the Council will consider their annual donation to the Clinton fireworks display, a $6000 donation.
If you're the family member of a DeWitt County senior with Alzheimer's, the DeWitt County TRIAD is hoping you'll take advantage of a resource they have that will help keep track of your relative.
Tony Harris is the CENCOM Coordinator in DeWitt County and indicates their 'Locate-You' program pairs a senior with a GPS-tracking device that is worn like a bracelet or smartwatch and does just what the name implies, helps track the senior wearing it.
According to Harris, TRIAD has purchased two bracelets for the seniors of the County, however, only one has utilized the device. He hopes more seniors or their families will consider taking advantage of this resource.
There is a small subscription fee for the devices but Harris says if that is going to keep someone from utilizing the device, they can find ways to get it to someone in need. He hopes to improve their marketing of the program and it's availability.
To learn more about the Locate You program, contact Harris at the 9-1-1 center by calling 217-935-3196.
On Friday, March 16, 2018, members of BPD’s Patrol Division conducted a drug investigation into the sale of illegal narcotics.
As a result of this investigation, Ruban T. Watson, age 39, of Bloomington, was arrested for Manufacture/Delivery of 15 less than 100 grams Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine 15 less than 100 grams, Manufacture/Delivery of Cannabis 2,000 to 5,000 grams, Manufacture/Delivery Cannabis greater than 5,000 grams, Possession of Cannabis greater than 5,000 grams, Possession of Cannabis 2,000 less than 5,000 grams, Manufacture/Delivery of Cannabis 30 to 500 grams, and Possession of Cannabis 100-500 grams.
Members of BPD's Patrol Division and Vice Unit, served a search warrant in the 2300 block on 25th Street, Bloomington. Recovered were 24.6 grams Crack Cocaine (approximate street value $2,880), 13 pounds of Cannabis Butter (approximate street value $116,720), $3,040 U.S. Currency, prescription medication, 169 grams of Cannabis, and evidence of drug distribution were seized as evidence.
Watson was transported to the McLean County Jail.
Shifting the cost of teacher pensions to local school districts is not anything new for Illinois school leaders.
So when Governor Bruce Rauner proposed the idea last month during his budget address, few school leaders were surprised. Dr. Vic Zimmerman, Superintendent of Monticello Schools, questions where the Governor thinks schools will get money from if they have to pay for teacher pensions and then may not get access to local tax dollars because of a property tax freeze.
This is a problem perpetuated by the state legislature, who many years ago, required districts to make their payments into the program but never matched those dollars.
Dr. Zimmerman says there is no doubt something needs to be done but school districts will be handcuffed if they cannot access dollars through local property taxes.
A NEW EXHIBIT OPENING FRIDAY AT THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM IN SPRINGFIELD HIGHLIGHTS PRESIDENTS FROM ILLINOIS.
THE EXHIBIT…”FROM ILLINOIS TO THE WHITE HOUSE” FEATURES SEVERAL ITEMS USED BY PRESIDENTS LINCOLN, GRANT, REGAN AND OBAMA AND CELEBRATES THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS SAYS MUSEUM SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS.
THERE’S ALSO A LOVE LETTER FROM REGAN TO HIS WIFE NANCY AND THE GRAMMY THAT OBAMA WON FOR THE AUDIO VERSION OF HIS BOOK…DREAMS FROM MY FATHER. THE EXHIBIT RUNS THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR AND IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF MUSEUM ADMISSION.
THE EXHIBIT ALSO GIVES VISITORS A CHANCE TO ANSWER PRESIDENTIAL TRIVIA QUESTIONS AND POSE FOR PICTURES BEHIND A LECTERN AS THEY DELIVER THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS FROM A TELEPROMPTER. IT RUNS THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR.
TWO ROCK LEGENDS ARE BEING ADDED TO THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR GRANDSTAND CONCERT LINEUP.
FOREIGNER AND JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS WILL PERFORM AT THE FAIR ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 12TH. THEY JOIN A LINEUP THAT ALREADY INCLUDES HALESTORM AND MASTODON, BRETT ELDREDGE AND BRANTLEY GILBERT SAYS FAIR SPOKESPERSON REBECCA CLARK.
TICKETS PRICES HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED BUT TICKET SALE DATES ARE STILL PENDING. DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT ILLINOIS STATE FAIR DOT INFO.
AGRICULTURE COMPANIES LEAD THE LIST OF THE TOP BUSINESSES IN ILLINOIS.
THE LIST IS PART OF THE ILLINOIS TOP 200 PROJECT…DESIGNED TO HIGHLIGHT WHAT’S BEST THE STATE AS PART OF THE BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS SAYS THE TOP THREE AS CHOSEN BY THE PUBLIC ARE ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND, DEERE AND COMPANY AND CATERPILLAR.
EVERY COUPLE OF WEEKS YOU’LL HAVE A CHANCE TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITES. THE NEXT CATEGORY IS INNOVATIONS AND INVENTIONS AND CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT ILLINOIS TOP 200 DOT COM.
If you get home from work Monday and don't feel up to making supper for the whole family, just come to the Clinton United Methodist Church.
Brother Randy Myers says they have started offering a free meal to the community on Monday nights in their great hall. They call it "Extended Table".
Myers hopes the community will come out and fellowship with one another. He says it's an effort to bring neighbors together during a time of the week that can be most challenging.
Before the meal is served at 5 pm, Myers offers a prayer and brief devotional and they put out the menu for the night on their Clinton United Methodist Church Facebook page before each meal.
HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes is a none for profit organization that seeks to reduce the suicide rate among veterans by organizing hunting and fishing trips in central and southern Illinois.
The Clinton American Legion Women's Auxilary is hosting a fundraiser for the group. Jean Rogers explains they got connected with them a few years ago and says they are a great organization doing great things for veterans in need.
Rogers explains the ladies helped out with one of the events they held a few years ago and then decided to host the fundraiser. She says the veterans the group helps are very open and easy to talk to, making it worthwhile to give their time and money.
The fundraiser is Saturday at the Legion building at 219 North Elizabeth Street. It will be a chili and sandwich fundraiser from 5 pm to 9 pm. There will also be a silent and live auction as a part of the event.
Last week on Regional Radio News, we outlined a program that places young workers, ages 16 to 24 into the workforce.
Shelby Valladares says they have orientation meetings this week. Orientation meetings give anyone interested in the program the opportunity to learn more about it and find out how it can help them.
According to Valladares, you can fill out an application for the program at the orientation meeting and then from there you would do some assessments. She notes while it is not required it is preferred you be there if interested.
To get in contact with Valladares, dial 217-875-8766.
The democratic race for Governor is a three horse race headed towards Tuesday primary.
JB Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss are the frontrunners. This week they sat down for a debate on WTTW in Chicago and Chris Kennedy went on the attack towards both Pritzker and Biss.
Kennedy says Biss didn’t do enough when he could have to further Democrat ideals and the campaign promises that he’s running on now.
Voters go to the polls on Tuesday.
The ethanol industry and its backers in Congress are keeping the heat on Trump Administration officials not to cap ethanol credits as the oil industry wants, and instead back the renewable fuels program as written. It appears, the pressure campaign may be having some impact.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently suggested there may be other ways to bring down RIN prices the oil industry complains about—perhaps more transparency of the RINs market, maybe targeting speculators.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue just days ago, dismissed in a USDA Radio story recent public skepticism about his support for the Renewable Fuels Standard.
And at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on infrastructure this week, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth told Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross…
But, unsure Ross or other Trump officials won’t hedge again if the President presses them to find a way to help the oil industry, Duckworth asked Ross for his word, he will continue to fight demands to cap RINs…
Secretary Perdue also raised doubts about his RFS support at this year’s Commodity Classic conference, questioning the connection between RIN prices and ethanol demand.
But Duckworth also put Perdue on the record…
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley defended Perdue this week after criticizing Perdue’s earlier RINs stance, arguing Perdue was just ‘thinking through’ the economics of capping RIN prices and was probably under pressure by the president to resolve the issue.
Winter weather delayed progress at a planned gas station in Clinton but crews are back to work now that the weather has broken.
City Administrator Tim Followell says there's movement and things are going to start to take shape over the next few weeks.
Followell says he's not been updated on a timeline for completion but estimates construction crews lost probably a month of progress.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS REMINDING THE PUBLIC TO PARTY SAFELY THIS ST. PATRICK’S DAY.
IT’S A GOOD IDEA FOR THOSE CELEBRATING TO PLAN AHEAD OF TIME HOW THEY ARE GOING TO GET HOME SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON KELSEA GURSKI. POLICE ACROSS THE STATE WILL BE LOOKING FOR DRUNK DRIVERS THIS WEEKEND.
LAST YEAR 15 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN CRASHES AROUND ST. PATRICK’S DAY AND FOUR OF THOSE DEATHS WERE LINKED TO DRUNK DRIVERS.
Job gains are being seen in Illinois. Eleven of the twelve metro areas picked up jobs over last year. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that the unemployment rate is lower in all metro areas. That marks the 8th consecutive month of improvement.
That’s IDES’s Bob Gough. Areas with a heavy reliance on manufacturing saw solid job bumps including Rockford and Peoria.
It’s a crowded race for Attorney General on the Democrat side, and the field includes former Governor Pat Quinn. He says that running for AG is no step down for him; rather it’s another opportunity to represent the middle class of the state.
The primary election day is Tuesday March 20.
We saw a brief warm up in the weather mid-week but things finished cool and wet in places this week. State Climotologist talks this weekend's forecast and what's ahead for next week.
Illinois is brewing up excitement for the bicentennial celebration.
This week, Governor Bruce Rauner visited Binny's Beverage Depot in Springfield for the roll out of the state's official bicentennial beer ‘1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale', which was created by Petersburg based Hand of Fate Brewing Company. They defeated other top craft brewers i a competition at last year's Illinois State Fair.
Hand of Fate owner Mike Allison is thrilled to represent the state, less than two years after Hand of Fate opened its doors.
Governor Rauner says its an exciting moment for Illinois agriculture and the craft brewing industry.
The beer is now available at most Binny's, Jewel-Osco's, HyVee's and other select retailers statewide.
Drive a Ford vehicle Saturday and $20 goes to The Vault in Clinton.
Board member for The Vault, Jered Shofner indicates Andrerson Ford is donating $20 for every test drive this Saturday at their dealership in Clinton.
Join The Vault, again on Saturday at Anderson Ford in Clinton for the test drive event from 8 am to 5 pm.
In April, there are two more fundraisers the weekend of April 21 and 22. Visit their Facebook page, by searching The Vault Clinton.
Join the Kenney Fire Department again on Good Friday when they host their annual blood drive.
Fritz Robinson says this has become an annual event they host for the community and this year Good Friday falls on March 30, and the drive is from noon to 6 pm at the Kenney Fire Department.
Kenney Fire's Troy Lashbrook says they took 49 units last year. He hopes to get that much and more this year.
Last year, the Fire Department last year did the drive in memorial of a former firefighter in Kenney.
If you've given blood before, you can electronically access your donor card and Lashbrook says you can get yourself in and out faster if you use the app to get all your information filled out before you arrive, but you have to do it the day of.
To get registered, you can contact Lashbrook at 563-321-0416 or Robinson at 217-620-5407. You can also register at redcrossblood.org.
If you are teen who is not in school and looking for work or a young displaced worker, a program for DeWitt and Macon County residents is for you.
Shelby Valladares with Workforce Investment Solutions in Decatur explains they work with young adults between 16 and 24 and they are seeking to get them into work through a number of avenues.
According to Valladares, getting help through Workforce Investment Solutions can be as simple as providing resume support. She points out it can be as extensive as getting help for continuing education opportunities.
In some cases, it could take up to two years to find permanent stable employment, but if you stay committed to the process, Valladares says she'll work with you to get to that point.
Valladares can be reached in Decatur for questions at 217-875-8766.
The state may finally have a plan to handle, on a long term basis the Legionella outbreaks at the Quincy Veterans Home.
Since 2015, 13 people have been killed by Legionnaires’ disease and dozens more sickened. Governor Bruce Rauner says they want to go further than what the Centers for Disease Control has suggested doing.
A consideration is to purchase a vacant nursing home next door to the Quincy Veterans Home for some residents to move into along other potential home sites.
Rauner says there is also a plan to design a new facility to replace the existing home where Legionnaires has been difficult to eradicate. As the new plans were released Rauner is still trying to defend his administration’s handling of the outbreak dating back to 2015.
If you choose to participate in the community electric aggregation program, your electric rates will be dropping come June.
That's the message from Clinton City Administrator Tim Followell, who indicates the bidding process happened last week and the supplier for this cycle is the same, the rate is dropping and it will go into effect June 1.
The first year of the upcoming three-year bid is going to be lower, and while it is not much, Followell says some households could save anywhere from $5 to $15 per month.
Followell says because this will be a new cycle, residents who do not want to participate will need to submit another opt-out letter, which they should be expecting in the mail very soon.
After year one of the three-year contract, the rate goes down for years two and three, and Followell points out they are also projecting the rate to be lower than what Ameren will likely come in at around June as well.
Students in Clinton this month will be under the instruction of the School Resource Office, Mike Bennett, for the annual self-awareness training through the Clinton Police Department.
Officer Bennet indicates the training is intended for female students in junior high school and high school and it is given during a week in March in their physical education class.
The program is a three-to-five day program for the students. According to Bennett, the students start out learning about some simple things in areas of self-awareness with a little self-defense.
Last week, Officer Bennett was in the junior high school. This week, he is working with high school students. He will also be at Blue Ridge Schools and for the first time at Olympia. The program originated in LeRoy, where Bennett will also be.
School leaders in Monticello are hoping the third time's a charm for a referendum to update their facilities.
Two prior referendums have failed in the community as the district seeks to update school buildings that are, in some cases, over 100 years old. Dr. Vic Zimmerman says they're proposing an almost $30-million renovation to their current high school and Washington School campus.
Under the proposal, Lincoln School would close and the district would go to two elementary schools. Dr. Zimmerman says this proposal is different from the first two proposals in that there is no proposal for a new school building.
Dr. Zimmerman feels the district needs new facilities as their current facilities do not match up to the level education happening in the district nor does it meet the standards of students and families in the district.
Buildings in Monticello were constructed in 1893, 1911, 1921, and 1923 and a new middle school was constructed in 2003.
SENATE LAWMAKERS ARE ADVANCING A SERIES OF GUN CONTROL MEASURES.
LEGISLATION REQUIRING A 72 HOUR COOLING OFF PERIOD FOR BUYING AN ASSAULT WEAPON IS HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK. A BAN ON BUMP STOCKS AND RAISING THE AGE TO PURCHASE AN ASSAULT RIFLE GO TO THE HOUSE. SENATOR DON HARMON OF OAK PARK SAYS HE’S HOPEFUL THIS IS THE YEAR TO CHANGE GUN LAWS.
HARMON SAYS HE IS ALSO PREPARING TO OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR’S VETO OF A BILL REQUIRING GUN DEALERS TO BE LICENSED BY THE STATE.
THE SENATE APPROVED A BAN ON BUMP STOCKS…AND RAISING THE LEGAL AGE TO HAVE AN ASSAULT RIFLE TO 21. SENATOR NEIL ANDERSON OF MOLINE OPPOSES THAT MEASURE.
BOTH OF THOSE BILLS RETURN TO THE HOUSE FOR A VOTE.
As the debate on gun control took the national stage with school walkouts across the country the Illinois Senate passed a number of measures to try and curb gun violence.
The senate did not try and override Governor Bruce Rauner’s gun store licensing bill veto. That vote is expected in April. Rauner says today understood the action that brought students to walk out of class.
He’s still pressing for what he calls bipartisan action on gun control. Rauner says as the walkouts were going on he was meeting with law enforcement officials on plans to create an interstate crime prevention network.
Sunday Night's deadly New York City helicopter crash claimed the life of a Springfield (IL) High School graduate. 34-year-old Daniel Thompson, who worked as an employee of the helicopter tour company that operated the craft, was among five killed when the sightseeing chopper went down in the East River.
Thompson also devoted much of his time in New York to his love of music. It's something that began in his Springfield High School days under the tutelage of his mentor Mark Gifford.
Thompson served as president of the nonprofit Young New Yorkers’ Chorus.
Downstate State Senators Andy Manar and Sam McCann are pushing legislation that would bring broadband internet access to all schools in Illinois.
Manar says small town kids face a road block in their education due to a lack of internet access.
The bill would make state funds available and utilize federal funds to make Illinois one of the first states to make high-speed internet access available in every school.
Senator Dick Durbin tackled the issue of gun violence and mass shootings as students walked out of classrooms around the country to express concerns about school safety.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Parkland, Florida shooting last month, Durbin said the time to act is now on new gun restrictions.
Durbin than lashed out at Congressional Republicans and President Trump, as well as a three letter target.
Durbin also called on NRA members to demand tougher standards.
The flu bug hitting Clinton and DeWitt County combined with the opening of the Walk-In Clinic at Warner Hospital and Health Service's Family Medicine Center was a perfect storm, and it's resulted in a healthy financial bottom line.
CEO Paul Skowron says the opening of the Walk-In Clinic came right at the same time the flu intensified in Clinton and DeWitt County and resulted in January is one of the strongest months in the history of the hospital.
New customers have made up 20-percent of the Walk-In clinic's patients and Skowron hopes to continue to bring new customers to the clinic when the next wave of immediate care needs arrives.
Skowron feels the City-owned entity has laid a great foundation of services for bringing new patients to their facility. He feels there's plenty of things that can be serviced in Clinton.
After Skowron thought the flu bug had peaked, he indicates volume at the Walk-In Clinic has remained strong.
The numbers don’t lie. Many agencies are feeling the impact of the state’s opioid crisis and are also playing a role in the response.
Doug Wilson is the state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois.
The USDA announced they will be hosting a series of roundtable talks on the opioid epidemic throughout all parts of the country. The first one is taking place this week in Pennsylvania.
With health insurance premiums that can total more than a thousand dollars every month, some Illinois farmers dread getting sick and wonder if they can get well without going broke.
Illinois Farm Bureau wants to find a prescription and held a rural Health Care Summit Tuesday to look for affordable health insurance options. Brian Duncan serves as the organization's vice president and leads a group of county Farm Bureau leaders examining the issue;
A representative from the Chicago office of Lockton Companies, which bills itself as the "world's largest privately held insurance brokerage firm," told the group the federal Affordable Care Act has been both a benefit and a beast. Lisa Carlson says some secured insurance despite prexisting conditions but now find only one or two options that are very expensive;
An effort to repeal and replace the A-C-A failed in Congress. In the interim, farmers hope they can find some affordable solutions to stay healthy in a dangerous and aging profession.
Governor Bruce Rauner is set to veto legislation demanding Illinois gun retailers get state licenses. Rauner wasn't willing to say whether he supported or opposed the legislation Monday, but he offered his priorities to reporters.
Reporters suggested Rauner may have been delaying a decision on the gun dealer licensing legislation until after the primary, but Rauner countered that he is looking for comprehensive solutions to gun safety.
Ahead of the primary election Governor Bruce Rauner has maintained that he’s being clear on gun control measures for the state.
Rauner says he has four goals that he is willing to work with Democrats on in the statehouse.
The only clear policy point Rauner laid out was a willingness to ban bump stocks and says he will veto a gun store licensing bill.
The first day of spring isn’t until March 20, but that doesn’t mean it’s not tornado season. Twisters are a year round thing in Illinois, according to Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Patti Thompson.
In fact the National Weather Service reports there were 16 tornadoes that swept across the state on Feb. 28, 2017 and that’s why you should always have access to a weather.
Further information on weather related tips are available on the state’s emergency preparedness website at "ready.illinois.gov".
The site is also giving away 100 weather radios as part of a contest that features a severe weather quiz. The contest runs through March 31.
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs is trying to fight off legislation designed to limit his office's ability to audit life insurance companies and other types of businesses to ensure they are in step with unclaimed property laws.
Frerichs says a new Senate bill would outlaw those audits and he says companies that knowingly keep unclaimed property would essentially receive a get out of jail free card.
Senate Bill 2901 is sponsored by McHenry based Republican Senator Pamela Althoff.
Jobs, sanctuary state, and taxes were among the many topics discussed by Republicans vying in the 101st district Tuesday night at Clinton High School.
Candidates Randy Keith, Todd Hendricks and Dan Caulkins shared their thoughts on a number of issues Tuesday night during the event hosted by the DeWitt County Republican Party and the DeWitt County Young Republicans.
When it comes to jobs, Randy Keith says Illinois needs to invest in itself and the jobs will follow.
Improving roads would come up again later in the forum and Dan Caulkins points to when the gas tax bill was rewritten and sent millions of dollars to Chicago for the Chicago Transit Authority.
Todd Hendricks echoed Caulkins comments and also points out Illinois' problem is not a revenue problem but a spending problem.
The candidates also discussed working together with Democrats to get things done in Springfield. Keith points to his record as Piatt County Board Chair and his ability to work with other people.
All three candidates oppose the sanctuary bill that was signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Caulkins says he would not have signed the bill and calls it a terrible mistake.
When it comes to a property tax freeze and shifting the cost of teacher pensions to local schools, Hendricks says the Governor cannot have both or he will devastate schools.
Keith says his number one priority if he is elected, is to meet all his peers in Springfield and try to work with all of them.
Caulkins believes that he can make a difference and to do that, lawmakers on each side of the aisle have to find something in common.
Hendricks says he wants to make changes to the teacher retirement system in Illinois. He feels Illinois employees need to be able to participate in Social Security and have a 401K.
When asked about which Republican Gubernatorial candidate each is endorsing, Caulkins said he would make a decision next Tuesday when he gets the polls, Hendricks says he is endorsing Governor Rauner because of electability issues with Jeanne Ives, and Keith says he is staying out of their race.
The candidates running for the Republican ticket in the 101st district will be at Clinton High School tonight to answer questions on the issues important to you.
Nate Ennis with the DeWitt County Republican Committee indicates we are a week from the election and you can hear from candidates Randy Keith, Dan Caulkins, and Todd Hendricks on their stances on the issues that are important to central Illinois.
An audience at the Clinton High School auditorium will be able to submit questions for the candidates and a couple local radio personalities will also have prepared questions for the candidates.
Again, the forum is tonight at Clinton High School in the auditorium from 5:30 pm to 7 pm. Hear it in its entirety on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
When the IndyCar series returns to Gateway Motorsports Park later this year, you have an opportunity to experience what is being billed as one of the most unique lodging opportunities in all of motor-sports.
A tiny-house village will be constructed in the infield between turns 3 and four during race week, August 23- 26. Track spokesman John Bisci (BEE-shee) says similar villages have been popular additions at the Bristol and Indianapolis Motor Speedways.
Each unit rental will include two or four general admission tickets to the race (based on occupancy), one infield parking pass, two or four paddock passes and a concierge service provided by the Try it Tiny group. for more information, go to https://www.tryittiny.com/gateway
Republican Attorney General Candidate Erica Harold is fighting off allegations that as a beauty pageant contestant she told an interview panel that she would pick a home for foster children with known heterosexual child abusers over placing the kids in a home with a loving gay couple.
Harold says she can’t remember answering the question in 2000. NBC 5 Chicago says they have three people who remember her answer. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner recently donated $350,000 to her campaign and says that he supports gay adoption and Harold.
Rauner didn’t directly address her stepping out of the race for Attorney General. Harold’s campaign says that her current stance is supportive of same sex couples adopting children and being foster care parents.
Senate budget hearings in Springfield continue to progress and the Appropriations Committee Chair, State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, says he is confident the current budget will be used as a framework for the next budget.
Manar says spending limits were set in the current budget so state bills will not continue to pile up, and that after the long budget stalemate, he doesn’t see lawmakers wanting to start another budget dilemma.
Manar says the relative calm in the news about this year’s state budget shows that it has been successful for Illinois.
Senator Dick Durbin remains unconvinced that President Trump's talk of infrastructure investment will come to realization.
Durbin says the infrastructure program the President has promoted, isn't as big as advertised.
Meanwhile, Durbin is weighing in on the President's tariffs on steel and aluminum.
"President Trump wants to put China on notice for their abusive trade practices that hurt American workers and industries. I support that. The sweeping tariffs announced today are like dropping a bomb on a flea. Launching an all-out trade war will alienate the allies we need to actually solve the problem of steel dumping, and could have huge unintended consequences for American manufacturers who depend on imported materials."
A portion of Clinton High School students is planning to participate in a national walk out of class Wednesday morning to honor the students who were slain in the February 14 massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Principal of Clinton High School, Jerry Wayne, says he was pleased with the way the students presented why they wanted to participate in this organized event. He feels this shows a lot about the students of the high school.
Wayne indicates the school is supporting the students right to freedom of speech but they also plan to follow the policies in place that do not excuse a student from walking out of class. He says these are policies are already in place.
Wayne views this as a way to change the culture as an example of how to treat people with respect.
Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles, hopes whether you agree with what the students end up doing Wednesday, that the opinions of the students and the school does not change.
Nettles says their message to students is once you know all the information and they still want to go through with walking out of class, they will do so knowing there will be consequences but leaders in the school will take their safety seriously as they exercise their first amendment rights.
Students across the country are planning a peaceful walk-out from classes Wednesday to honor the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School massacre from one month ago.
School leaders of central Illinois are behind their students right to freedom of speech but the response to students doing so is varied. Superintendent of Monticello Schools, Dr. Vic Zimmerman indicates as long as their students do not disrupt the school day, they view things as "perfectly fine".
Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles, says their administration is planning to follow the student handbook in dealing with students who choose to walk out of class. He calls it a potential disruption to the school day.
Both school leaders appreciate their student bodies for taking a respectful and mature approach to exercising their rights to freedom of speech during this time.
DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner is among many that have been involved with The Vault in Clinton since founder Michelle Witzke took her dream public for a community youth center in Clinton a few years ago.
'Investing in youth is fighting crime' is the message from Sheriff Shofner and the reason he feels this youth center is something the community needs.
The Sheriff explains, what The Vault will create is the breaking of a cycle that exists from generation to generation. He feels it will give kids a chance to reverse trends in their families that exist and provide them mentorship.
Sheriff Shofner says youth are getting exposed to drugs and alcohol at an earlier and earlier age and the mission of The Vault is to give kids who do not have a stable home life an outlet with some help and support.
Sheriff Shofner feels if they can get a youth into The Vault early, they have a good chance to change deviant behavior, those lessons sticking and that individual becoming a productive member of society.
Governor Bruce Rauner is proposing shifting the cost of teacher pensions from the State to local school districts and one local school leader says the issue has already been solved.
The Superintendent of Lincoln High School, Bob Bagby, says the pension shift issue has been solved but it is still many years away.
Bagby points out the new funding formula allows districts to fund their own pensions through general state aid. He says he has the solution...
Bagby feels school boards are conservative and responsible with money because it is a community's money and taxpayers money.
Comparing this winter to winters of recent memory can be very different from one area to another depending on where you're at.
James Auten with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says this winter has been in line with precipitation of recent winters but temperatures are varied depending on where you live.
Even though snowfall has been normal, Auten says moisture levels are actually below normal.
Auten indicates the abundance of rains from a few weeks went a long way to restore moisture levels across the state.
The Warner Library in Clinton is reminding the community of the free tax help being offered this tax season.
AARP is providing free tax help at the library this spring as the tax filing deadline approaches. Janet Ward with the Warner Library says tax professionals are in on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings.
Ward says if you want to take advantage of the free service, you do not need to make an appointment. Call the library at 217-935-5174 and when you make the appointment, library officials can tell you what you'll need to bring at the time of the appointment.
Kindergarten registration and orientation for Blue Ridge students will be held on Monday, March 12 at 6 p.m. in the Schneider School Cafeteria at 309 N. John Street in Farmer City.
Students who turn 5 on or before September 1, 2018, are eligible for Kindergarten.
Officials are asking only parents to attend the orientation session and to bring an official birth certificate and two proofs of residence if your child did not attend the Blue Ridge PreK/ECSE program.
Children must have a birth certificate and up-to-date physical and immunization record before entering school in the fall. These items are required before your child can attend the first day of school.
Please call the Schneider Office 309-928-2611 to ask any questions.
Blue Ridge has set dates for this year's free preschool screenings.
April 5 and 6 at Schneider Elementary School at 309 North John Street in Farmer City, children who are 3 or 4 years old at the time of the screening can be registered.
Children who turn 5 on or before September 1, 2018 are not eligible for the screening.
Blue Ridge officials say screening could take up to 2 hours and are also asking not to bring other children with you as you will be asked to join your child’s appointment.
Parents will be asked to complete an information packet and return it to the school a week before the appointment.
Please call Mary at the Schneider School Office at 309-928-2611 to schedule an appointment or ask any questions.
Illinois state Comptroller Susana Mendoza wants to force governors to meet payroll with their own personnel budget.
She's promoting legislation ending so called "off-shoring", the practice of shifting salaries to other agencies....
Mendoza says the practice impacts the wrong agencies at the wrong time...
While Mendoza has been an outspoken critic of Governor Bruce Rauner, she says off shoring has been an issue for Democratic and Republican Governors alike. Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold says the governor is open to discussing bookkeeping changes.
Trade is on many minds right now, between new tariffs enacted by President Trump to the renegotiations of NAFTA.
With that as a backdrop Governor Rauner says he’s headed on another trade mission. Rauner is going to Europe in April and will begin in Poland.
Rauner’s trip also includes stops in Germany and the UK.
Vermont Democratic Representative Pete Welch, along with New Hampshire Democratic Senator Tom Udall, introduced companion legislation into Congress attempting to reform the Renewable Fuels Standard.
On a press call announcing the legislation Thursday, the lawmakers were joined by Collin O’Mara, President of the National Wildlife Federation, as well as Debbie Sease, Director of the Sierra Club National Campaign.
The National Corn Growers Association says the bill seeks to kill what has been the most successful renewable energy program America has ever had. An NCGA news release says, “This bill ignores current science reflecting the significant environmental benefits of ethanol and would have a catastrophic impact on the nation’s economy, energy security, and family farmers.”
The bill would immediately phase out the ethanol mandate and reduce the amount of ethanol in American fuel by up to one billion gallons. It would also help farmers return cornfields to pasture and wildlife habitat through a ten cents per RIN fee to fund a new Private Land Protection and Restoration Fund in the U.S. Treasury.
It would pay easements designed to keep private land out of agricultural production and
keep the lands in conservation uses, including grassland, forests, and pollinator habitat.
Criminal justice reform has been on the mind of lawmakers and the Governor for a few years now. That even trickles down to what can be seen as fairly minor violation including driving on a suspended license.
But it’s one that can get you tossed in jail. So the House approved a measure to change that. Republican Rep. Peter Breen says that throwing someone in jail for failure to pay off parking tickets or other minor violations isn’t a proper punishment.
If caught, individuals would face another citation but they would not be jailed. The Senate gets a say on the matter next.
Expect a warmer and wetter March. That's according to State Climotologist Jim Angel, and as we enter a new week, it will be a cool and dry week.
About 20-percent of Warner Hospital and Health Services funding was on the line before Illinois lawmakers took action last week.
CEO of Warner Hospital and Health Services, Paul Skowron, indicates the legislature acted on a mandate to revamp the Medicaid distribution formula for Illinois hospitals.
Skowron explains the legislation would set in place a new formula and he hopes in the next week, it will be signed by the Governor and then passed along to federal lawmakers. He calls this a very good thing for Warner Hospital and Health Services.
Overall, Medicaid is about a third of the hospital's budget and Skowron indicates if the formula had not been revamped, the State would have lost the funding match that comes from the federal government.
Skowron says overall, Warner Hospital and Health Services will gain 2-percent to 3-percent. He calls that a victory after original proposals would have seen the City-owned entity lose about five-percent.