Local News

Richland Workforce Consortium Now Offering Students More Class Options and Locations

The Richland Community College Office of Adult Education and Workforce Investment Solutions have partnered to offer students more class options. The Richland Workforce Consortium offers free classes to Decatur area residents. Orientation and registration begins August 13 at all locations:  Richland Community College main campus, Decatur Public Library, Richland’s Fairview Park Plaza, and Richland’s Clinton Higher Education Center.
 
A few of the classes offered include HSE/GED Test preparation, English as a Second Language (ESL), Bridges to Manufacturing, Healthcare, & Hospitality, Tutoring Connections (one-on-one tutoring for math & reading), Career Planning Support Services via Workforce Investment Solutions.
 
The Richland Workforce Consortium class times vary throughout the day at each location. For more information or to sign up for an orientation visit www.richland.edu/adulted. Classes begin August 20.

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Serve Illinois Announces $35.7 Million For AmeriCorps

The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Serve Illinois) today announced $20 million in Corporation for National and Community Service federal grants to place 1,830 AmeriCorps Members in 46 programs to serve Illinois communities.  
This is an increase of $2.5 million over last year, allowing AmeriCorps Members to serve in seven additional programs.  
 
These awards include $7.4 million in education awards that AmeriCorps Members can use to pay for college after their term of service.  AmeriCorps programs will match these funds with an additional $15.7 million in local funding.  The total investment into Illinois communities will be $35.7 million.
 
 AmeriCorps Members dedicate up to one year to help communities with unmet economic, education, health, public safety, disaster preparedness, veteran services, and environmental needs.  Members may receive a modest living allowance, student loan deferment, health insurance, childcare, and professional development.  Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award of up to $5,920 to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training, or to pay off student loans.

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Summer safety tips from the State Fire Marshal's Office

THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL IS OFFERING SOME TIPS TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SAFE REST OF THE SUMMER. 
 
ONE OF THE BIGGEST HAZARDS GETS A LOT OF USE AT SUMMER COOKOUTS…YOUR GRILL. STATE FIRE MARSHALL MATT PEREZ SAYS YOU SHOULD KEEP THE GRILL CLEAN AND REMOVE ALL GREASE OR FAT BUILD UP. AS WELL AS:
 

 

 
PEREZ REMINDS THE GARAGE IS NOT A GOOD PLACE FOR GRILLING. ANOTHER SUMMER CONCERN IS CAMPFIRES. FIRES SHOULD BE AT LEAST 25 FEET AWAY FROM ANY STRUCTURE OR TREES THAT CAN BURN. PEREZ SAYS YOU SHOULD NEVER LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED SINCE IT TAKES ONLY A FEW MINUTES FOR IT TO SPREAD AND CAUSE DAMAGE.

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First Lady Diana Rauner is urging the public to come out tomorrow for the grand re-opening of the Governor's Mansion in Springfield

FIRST LADY DIANA RAUNER IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO COME OUT THIS WEEKEND FOR THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION IN SPRINGFIELD. 
 
RESTORATION OF THE MANSION, WHICH WAS BUILT IN 1855, BEGAN A FEW YEARS AGO. THE BUILDING WAS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC LAST YEAR FOR MAJOR REHAB WORK…ALL FUNDED WITH PRIVATE DOLLARS. MRS. RAUNER SAYS IT’S ALMOST READY.
 

 

 
THE MANSION WILL NOW BE FULLY A-D-A COMPLIANT, FEATURE A NEW VISITORS CENTER AND WORKS FROM ILLINOIS ARTISTS. TICKETS WILL BE HANDED OUT STARTING AT 9 A-M TODAY FOR TOURS OF THE MANSION. THERE IS A FIVE TICKET LIMIT PER PERSON.

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Hy-Vee and Illinois Department of Public Health Partner to Offer Naloxone Without a Prescription at Hy-Vee Pharmacies in Illinois

To assist in the national crisis concerning opioid overdoses, Hy-Vee, Inc. and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced today that naloxone is now available without a prescription at Hy-Vee pharmacies in Illinois.
 
In Illinois, pharmacists can dispense naloxone without a prescription through a physician-signed standing order with a designated pharmacy or pharmacy chain. In a joint effort to help prevent opioid-related deaths, the Illinois Department of Public Health provided the physician-signed standing order to Hy-Vee. Previously, the only way for individuals to obtain naloxone was through their doctor or other prescriber, followed by a trip to the pharmacy for the drug.
 
Naloxone is available upon request at Hy-Vee pharmacies in nasal spray and injection forms (upon request), although, nasal spray is the most commonly used form. The drug is stored behind the counter and cost varies, depending on the form and whether a customer goes through his or her insurance, or pays cash.
 
Hy-Vee pharmacists will also ensure that patients and their family members understand how to recognize signs of an opioid overdose and how to administer the medication. While naloxone is not a cure for an opioid overdose, it can assist an individual until emergency treatment is available and long-term treatment is provided.. The medication has no effect if opioids are absent.
 
Naloxone can be administered to any person who has overdosed on a wide range of opioids, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and codeine, as well as heroin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, more than any year on record. Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.

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Social Secutiry when you are self-employed

Most people who pay into Social Security work for an employer. Their employer deducts Social Security taxes from their paycheck, matches that contribution, sends taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and reports wages to Social Security. However, self-employed people must report their earnings and pay their Social Security taxes directly to the IRS. These taxes will help determine your eligibility for benefits later.
 
You’re self-employed if you operate a trade, business, or profession, either by yourself or as a partner. You report your earnings for Social Security purposes when you file your federal income tax return. If your net earnings are $400 or more in a year, you must report your earnings on Schedule SE, in addition to the other tax forms you must file.
 
Net earnings for Social Security are your gross earnings from your trade or business, minus your allowable business deductions and depreciation. Some income doesn’t count for Social Security and shouldn’t be included in figuring your net earnings. 
 
You can read more about self-employment, paying your Social Security taxes and figuring and reporting your net earnings at www.socialsecurity.gov.

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Macon-Piatt County 4-H Youth Showcase Projects at Show, Open House and Awards Ceremony July 17-18

Celebrate the accomplishments and discover the talents of Macon and Piatt County 4-H members at the 2018 Macon-Piatt County 4-H Show, Open House and Awards Ceremony July 17-18 at Richland Community College. Participants will have an opportunity to peruse projects 4-H members created throughout the year.
 
On Tuesday, July 17, 4-H members will present their projects for judging starting at 9:30am. Project areas include foods, health, crops, tractor display, aerospace, technologies, clothing and textiles, intercultural, visual arts, communications and more. The fun continues at 9:30am on Wednesday with horticulture, animal science, photography, video, entomology, natural resources and more.
 
During the 4-H Open House and reception, hundreds of projects will be on display to enjoy. The Open House will be held from 4:30 until 5:45pm. The 4-H Awards Presentation will be from 6-7pm in the auditorium, doors open at 5:30pm. All events and activities take place in the Shilling Center at Richland Community College, One College Park, Decatur and are open and free to the public.

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First National Bank to host free luau themed family game night

First National Bank is hosting a free Family Game Night on Friday, July 20th, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. located 2 Kelli Ct, Clinton, IL 61727.
 
The luau themed event will feature booths with “bigger than life” games and Hawaiian Shaved Ice provided by Coconut Hut. There will also be a prize table for children that includes candy, small toys and books.
 
“The goal of Family Game Night is to bring the family units in our community together for a night of games, fun and entertainment that is free of charge. At the same time, it allows us to reach out and connect with our community members,” said Vice President of Personal Banking Rachel Costello.
 
 The event is free and open to the public. Look for the event on Facebook.

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Macon-Piatt County 4-H Youth Showcase Projects at Show, Open House and Awards Ceremony July 17-18

Celebrate the accomplishments and discover the talents of Macon and Piatt County 4-H members at the 2018 Macon-Piatt County 4-H Show, Open House and Awards Ceremony July 17-18 at Richland Community College. Participants will have an opportunity to peruse projects 4-H members created throughout the year.
 
On Tuesday, July 17, 4-H members will present their projects for judging starting at 9:30am. Project areas include foods, health, crops, tractor display, aerospace, technologies, clothing and textiles, intercultural, visual arts, communications and more. The fun continues at 9:30am on Wednesday with horticulture, animal science, photography, video, entomology, natural resources and more.
 
During the 4-H Open House and reception, hundreds of projects will be on display to enjoy. The Open House will be held from 4:30 until 5:45pm. The 4-H Awards Presentation will be from 6-7pm in the auditorium, doors open at 5:30pm. All events and activities take place in the Shilling Center at Richland Community College, One College Park, Decatur and are open and free to the public.

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Hy-Vee and Illinois Department of Public Health Partner to Offer Naloxone Without a Prescription at Hy-Vee Pharmacies in Illinois

To assist in the national crisis concerning opioid overdoses, Hy-Vee, Inc. and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced today that naloxone is now available without a prescription at Hy-Vee pharmacies in Illinois.
 
In Illinois, pharmacists can dispense naloxone without a prescription through a physician-signed standing order with a designated pharmacy or pharmacy chain. In a joint effort to help prevent opioid-related deaths, the Illinois Department of Public Health provided the physician-signed standing order to Hy-Vee. Previously, the only way for individuals to obtain naloxone was through their doctor or other prescriber, followed by a trip to the pharmacy for the drug.
 
Naloxone is available upon request at Hy-Vee pharmacies in nasal spray and injection forms (upon request), although, nasal spray is the most commonly used form. The drug is stored behind the counter and cost varies, depending on the form and whether a customer goes through his or her insurance, or pays cash.
 
Hy-Vee pharmacists will also ensure that patients and their family members understand how to recognize signs of an opioid overdose and how to administer the medication. While naloxone is not a cure for an opioid overdose, it can assist an individual until emergency treatment is available and long-term treatment is provided.. The medication has no effect if opioids are absent.
 
Naloxone can be administered to any person who has overdosed on a wide range of opioids, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and codeine, as well as heroin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, more than any year on record. Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. 

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First Lady Diana Rauner urging public to attend grand re-opening of the Governor's Mansion in Springfield

FIRST LADY DIANA RAUNER IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO COME OUT THIS WEEKEND FOR THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION IN SPRINGFIELD. 
 
RESTORATION OF THE MANSION, WHICH WAS BUILT IN 1855, BEGAN A FEW YEARS AGO. THE BUILDING WAS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC LAST YEAR FOR MAJOR REHAB WORK…ALL FUNDED WITH PRIVATE DOLLARS. MRS. RAUNER SAYS IT’S ALMOST READY.
 

 

 
THE MANSION WILL NOW BE FULLY A-D-A COMPLIANT, FEATURE A NEW VISITORS CENTER AND WORKS FROM ILLINOIS ARTISTS. TICKETS WILL BE HANDED OUT STARTING AT 9 A-M TODAY FOR TOURS OF THE MANSION. THERE IS A FIVE TICKET LIMIT PER PERSON.

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Summer safety tips from the State Fire Marshal's Office

THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL IS OFFERING SOME TIPS TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SAFE REST OF THE SUMMER. 
 
ONE OF THE BIGGEST HAZARDS GETS A LOT OF USE AT SUMMER COOKOUTS…YOUR GRILL. STATE FIRE MARSHALL MATT PEREZ SAYS YOU SHOULD KEEP THE GRILL CLEAN AND REMOVE ALL GREASE OR FAT BUILD UP. AS WELL AS:
 

 

 
PEREZ REMINDS THE GARAGE IS NOT A GOOD PLACE FOR GRILLING. ANOTHER SUMMER CONCERN IS CAMPFIRES. FIRES SHOULD BE AT LEAST 25 FEET AWAY FROM ANY STRUCTURE OR TREES THAT CAN BURN. PEREZ SAYS YOU SHOULD NEVER LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED SINCE IT TAKES ONLY A FEW MINUTES FOR IT TO SPREAD AND CAUSE DAMAGE.

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Social Secutiry when you are self-employed

Most people who pay into Social Security work for an employer. Their employer deducts Social Security taxes from their paycheck, matches that contribution, sends taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and reports wages to Social Security. However, self-employed people must report their earnings and pay their Social Security taxes directly to the IRS. These taxes will help determine your eligibility for benefits later.
 
You’re self-employed if you operate a trade, business, or profession, either by yourself or as a partner. You report your earnings for Social Security purposes when you file your federal income tax return. If your net earnings are $400 or more in a year, you must report your earnings on Schedule SE, in addition to the other tax forms you must file.
 
Net earnings for Social Security are your gross earnings from your trade or business, minus your allowable business deductions and depreciation. Some income doesn’t count for Social Security and shouldn’t be included in figuring your net earnings. 
 
You can read more about self-employment, paying your Social Security taxes and figuring and reporting your net earnings at www.socialsecurity.gov.

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Resurfacing of three main roads underway at Illinois State Fairgrounds

Three main roads at the Illinois State Fairgrounds will be receiving new resurfacing for the upcoming fair.  The Illinois Department of Agriculture is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation and The Capital Development Board to undergo the project, as Morgan Booth, a Public Information Officer for the Illinois State Fair, says the money is funded by the Capital Bill...
 

 

 
The roads being worked on are Main Street from the Main Gate to Illinois Avenue, Central Avenue from Main Street to 8th Street, and Illinois Avenue from East of Main Street to the Northwest side of the Grandstand... 

 

 
Work is already underway at the fairgrounds and is expected to be completed in four weeks.

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BLDD and Millikin University to host Idea-to-Incubator Open House

BLDD Architects and Millikin University's Center for Entrepreneurship have been working in tandem this summer to develop a dynamic ecosystem for entrepreneurs, explorers, scientists, innovators and contributors in downtown Decatur, Ill., called Idea-to-Incubator (i2i).
 
Idea-to-Incubator is a program designed to support Millikin University's entrepreneurial students through Performance Learning. An exciting collaboration, i2i couples BLDD's creative environment and innovative business practices with the Center for Entrepreneurship's mentoring and resources to provide student start-ups with the ideal support system to move ideas into reality.
 
BLDD and Millikin University's Center for Entrepreneurship will host an open house for guests to get an inside look at the Idea-to-Incubator program today from 2 – 4 p.m. at BLDD Architects, located at 100 N. Merchant St. in Decatur.
 
Guests will have an opportunity to check out the budding co-work space featuring Millikin University's Idea-to-Incubator student start-up businesses; explore virtual reality architecture demos; bring design challenges to the third-floor "IDEA BAR" for problem solving over a cold drink with BLDD's architects and designers; and sample food and drinks from Millikin's Blue Brew, Decatur Brew Works, Del's Popcorn Shop and Wildflour Artisan Bakery.

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IDPH investigating increase in food-borne illness with some cases linked to salads from McDonald's

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS REPORTING AN INCREASE IN FOODBORNE ILLNESS LINKED IN PART, TO SALADS FROM MCDONALD’S. 
 
ABOUT 90 CASES OF SICKNESS DUE TO THE CYCLOSPORA PARASITE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED…AND AROUND A QUARTER OF THOSE PATIENTS SAY THEY BECAME ILL AFTER EATING A MCDONALD’S SALAD. PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MELANEY ARNOLD SAYS THEY ARE WORKING TO FIND OTHER CAUSES.
 
 
SYMPTOMS USUALLY BEGIN A WEEK AFTER EXPOSURE AND INCLUDE DIARRHEA, LOSS OF APPETITE, CRAMPING AND FATIGUE. ARNOLD SAYS MCDONALD’S IS PULLING ITS SALADS AND LOOKING TO OTHER SUPPLIERS.

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Massive Job Fair Set for today

The job market has been on a continued upswing in Illinois and an upcoming job fair is trying to connect people looking for work or for those searching for to a new opportunity to businesses ready to hire. The Illinois Department of Employment Security and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is hosting a job fair with the American Legion in Springfield on Friday. IDES’s Bob Gough says that there will be at least 75 employers at the fair.
 

 

 
The job fair will be at the Bank of Springfield Center from 10 to 2 today, with the first hour set aside for veterans or active duty military. 

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"Fatal 4" Violations Lead to Unsafe Roadways

Making sure road conditions are safe at all times is the main focus for Illinois State Police, but in particular, with the warmer temperatures it brings about heightened traffic and increased motorists on the roads.  Illinois State Police District 8 Trooper Lisa Osborne explains what "Fatal 4" violations involve.
 

 

 
Osborne gives examples of each violation and why avoiding them will help keep yourself and other motorists safe.

 

 
For more information on the "Fatal 4" violations and how to avoid them while on the roadways visit www.isp.state.il.us.

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Weaver sizes up gubernatorial race

State Senator Chuck Weaver says that the race for Governor in Illinois between incumbent Bruce Rauner and Democrat challenger J.B Pritzker is a referendum on Speaker Michael Madigan and his longtime stranglehold on state politics in Springfield.
 
 
Weaver's district runs from his hometown of Peoria all the way west to Mercer County and the Mississippi River.

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IHSA looking for more officials

It’s not a crisis, but the Illinois High School Association is experiencing a shortage of officials throughout the state. Jim Taylor reports.
 

 

 

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Plane makes emergency landing on I-55 in Logan County

A plane makes an emergency landing on I-55 in Logan County, north of Lincoln. District 9 State Trooper Sean Ramsey describes the events.
 

 

 
Jeremy Kampwerth of O'Fallon and his 9-year-old son escaped injury, although the elder Kampwerth said it was an eerily close call.
 

 

 
The plane, which was being flown by 51-year-old William Farnsley of Austin, Indiana was trying to land at Logan County Airport when it lost power for unknown reasons.

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Motor Vehicle Accident in Ford County

Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a Loda, Illinois
woman who has died after being involved in a motor vehicle crash
in rural Ford County near Paxton, Illinois on July 11, 2018.
 
Lori Whitfield, 54, was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation
Hospital in Urbana at 12:57 PM on July 11, 2018. Ms. Whitfield
was in a vehicle traveling southbound on County Road 1600 East
near Paxton just before noon. Ms. Whitfield’s vehicle collided
with a Dodge Ram pickup truck when it entered the intersection of
County Road 100 N.
 
An autopsy is scheduled for July 12, 2018 and an inquest may be
held at a later date. This death is being investigated by the
Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Ford County
Sheriff’s Office.

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Warrensburg-Latham Community Unit School District Discusses Strategic Planning at Board Meeting

 
 Many school districts around central Illinois continue with board meetings and plans during the summer months to help prepare themselves for the upcoming school year and success down the road.  The Warrensburg-Latham Community Unit School District is doing the same as they discussed strategic planning for the district.
 

 

 
Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle is the superintendent of the Warrensburg-Latham district, as she explains there are many areas the board and administrators look to cover in the long and short-term.

 

 
Plans also include looking at financial records and maintaining a balanced financial outlook, building and facility improvements in both the upcoming months and several years down the road along with safety and community engagement.
 

 

 
With all of these items on the strategic plan for the district, the next step is sitting down to sort out what areas need to be accomplished before others.
 

 

 
For more information on the Warrensburg-Latham Community Unit School District visit www.wl.k12.il.us.

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Sugar Creek Arts Festival Celebrates 35 Years

The McLean County Arts Center has long been around in Central Illinois, serving the community with engaging entertainment.  Doug Johnson is the Executive Director at the Arts Center as he explains the history and purpose of center.

 

 
Arts festivals have been around for close to four decades, just about the amount of time the Sugar Creek Arts Festival has been in McLean County.
 

 

 
The two-day event offers everything from art displays, to live entertainment and competitions.  The free event is set to begin this Saturday and will run through Sunday in Uptown Normal.  For more information visit sugarcreekartsfestival.com.  

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Governor says he supports President Trump's Supreme Court nominee

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER SAYS HE SUPPORTS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NOMINATION TO THE U-S SUPREME COURT. 
 
THE GOVERNOR IS PRAISING THE CHOICE OF JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH, SAYING HE’S A GOOD PICK.
 

 

 
AND IN LIGHT OF THE NOMINATION OF A CONSERVATIVE TO THE BENCH…RAUNER IS REMINDING HE SIGNED A BILL LAST YEAR PROTECTING ABORTION RIGHTS IN ILLINOIS, REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.

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Durbin Critical of Trump, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Senator Dick Durbin had harsh words for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ahead of President Trump’s upcoming meetings with NATO allies and Russian President Putin. ...
 

 

 
Durbin is concerned about President Trump's mindset and rhetoric when it comes to Nato..
 

 

 
In June, Durbin introduced a resolution that would reaffirm America’s commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

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WHOW Signs On New Signal in Lincoln at 106.5 FM

The Miller Media Group's Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Incorporated, Wednesday afternoon signed on its new FM signal at 106-point-5 in Lincoln, to bring WHOW's news, agriculture, and talk programming to Logan County 24 hours a day.

The signal is being transmitted from a 140-foot tower on Keokuk Street in the center of Lincoln, and covers that city as well as Logan County.

WHOW continues to be heard on the radio full-time at 92-point-3 FM in DeWitt County, and THE BIG 1520 daytime across Central Illinois.  WHOW is also streamed 24/7 at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Fundraiser Event this Weekend for DeWitt County Friendship Center

The DeWitt County Friendship Center is a place for seniors in the community to gather and socialize in a fun space.  In order to help make the Friendship Center operate several different fundraisers are done throughout the year.  April Harvey explains that this weekend the Friendship Center will host their annual cookout.
 

 

 
For more information on the DeWitt County Friendship Center call (217) 935-9411.

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Ag teacher shortage continues in Illinois

There's still a shortage in ag teachers around the state, but gains are being made. 
 

 

 
That's former ag teacher Megan Coy of Champaign. She now serves as a program adviser for Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education or FCAE.

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Rain chances better next week in Illinois

There won’t be many rain chances in Illinois for the remainder of the week, but what about the 6-to-10 day and 8-to-14 day outlook? Meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather says things look better. 
 

 

 
72-percent of the Illinois soybean crop is rated as good to excellent in the latest crop report with 81-percent of the corn crop in good to excellent condition.

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Weekly Crop Report

WHEAT HARVESTING IS NEARLY COMPLETE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 
 
92 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED… ABOUT ON TRACK WITH LAST YEAR AND AHEAD OF THE FIVE-YEAR AVERAGE. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS THE CORN CROP IS MOVING RIGHT ALONG.
 

 

 
64 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING AND 21 PERCENT ARE SETTING PODS. 72 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION…DOWN A BIT FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STANDS AT ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 11 PERCENT SHORT, 80 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND EIGHT PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Treasurer's I-Cash program returned recording breaking $180 million this past fiscal year

IT WAS A RECORD BREAKING YEAR FOR TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS’ I-CASH PROGRAM. 
 
TREASURER FRERICHS SAYS HIS OFFICE RETURNED 180 MILLION DOLLARS TO INDIVIDUALS, EMPLOYERS AND NON-PROFITS IN THE PAST FISCAL YEAR. MORE THAN 116 THOUSAND CLAIMS WERE PAID OUT WITH AN AVERAGE VALUE OF MORE THAN 15-HUNDRED DOLLARS.
 

 

 
FRERICHS SAYS IT’S EASY TO SEARCH THE I-CASH DATABASE FOR ANY MONEY YOU ARE DUE AT: ILLINOIS TREASURER DOT COM.

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Attorney General Lisa Madigan launches investigation into "no-poach" agreements at fast food restaurants

ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN AND 10 OF HER COUNTERPARTS IN OTHER STATES ARE INVESTIGATING “NO-POACH” AGREEMENTS AT FAST FOOD CHAINS. 
 
THE GROUP IS ASKING EIGHT NATIONAL FAST FOOD COMPANIES INCLUDING BURGER KING, ARBY’S AND LITTLE CAESARS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE AGREEMENTS…WHICH PROHIBIT EMPLOYEES FROM WORKING AT ANOTHER STORE IN THE SAME CHAIN. ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN SAYS IT’S A POLICY THAT’S BAD FOR WORKERS. 

 

 
MADIGAN IS ALSO ASKING ANYONE IMPACTED BY THESE NO-POACH CLAUSES TO CONTACT HER OFFICE.

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Social Security Payment Can Grow After Retirement

Social Security payments can grow after retirement due to three common ways.
 
Megan Forristall, Public Affairs Specialist for Social Security, indicates that one way benefits can increase is due to cost of living adjustments (COLA). COLAS for Social Security are tied to inflation by law and adjustments happen automatically.
 

 

 
Another way to see an increase is if you continue to work after retiring. Forristall reports that if earnings after retirement are higher than the indexed higher years used in the computation, a raise will occur automatically.
 

 

 
Forristall says that if you retire early and work in excess of the annual limit you may see an increase once you hit the full retirement age. If your benefits were reduced due to excess earnings, those will be removed automatically when you are the full retirement age.
 

 

 
For more information about Social Security visit www.socialsecurity.gov or follow on social media.

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Scovill Zoo Ice Cream Safari

The annual Ice Cream Safari will return this weekend at the Scovill Zoo in Decatur.  Zoo Director Ken Frye says hundreds of patrons are expected to attend the event.
 

 

 
Frye also says a reoccurring group will be in attendance to help serve ice cream.
 

 

 
For more information on the Ice Cream Safari and the Scovill Zoo visit scovillzoo.com.

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4-acre Museum Offering Displays and Antiques

With five different buildings, there is everything from old cars, fire trucks, trains, planes, farming equipment and everything in between.
 
The Wheels O' Time Museum just north of Peoria offers guests a sense of 20th Century Midwestern living.  Bobbie Rice is the Marketing Director at the museum as she explains the museum concept has been around for over four decades.

 

Rice explains along with all the displays and antiques there has been a new addition recently.
 

 

 
Many of the items seen within the museum are donations or stored there by original owners for museum-goers to admire.
 

 

 
For more information on the Wheels O' Time Museum visit www.wheelsotime.org.

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Construction season for Illinois livestock industry

It’s construction season on the roads….and it’s also construction season for the livestock industry. The numbers from Nic Anderson with the Illinois Livestock Development Group.
 

 

 
Anderson says the numbers are trending just a bit lower compared to last year at this time. 

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Pritzker campaign continues pursuit of graduated income

Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Prizker has called for a graduated income tax in Illinois. His running mate, State Representative Juliana Stratton is carrying the torch for the Prizker on that issue...
 

 

 
Stratton notes there are no sacred cows that will be spared of the graduated tax.....
 

 

 

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President Lincoln's death leads the list of top heartbreaking moments in Illinois

PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S DEATH LEADS THE LIST OF HEARTBREAKING MOMENTS IN THE LATEST ILLINOIS TOP 200 POLL. (two stories, same lead).
 
LINCOLN WAS KILLED IN WASHINGTON D-C BUT THE LOSS HIT ILLINOIS HARD SAYS ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS. OTHER HEARTBREAKING MOMENTS INCLUDE THE CHICAGO FIRE IN 1871, THREE OF THE WORST MINING DISASTERS IN U-S HISTORY…AND THE 1993 FLOOD.
 

 

 
THE CHICAGO RIOTS, EFFINGHAM HOSPITAL FIRE AND THE TYLENOL MURDERS WERE ALSO ON THE LIST. VOTE NOW IN THE NEXT CATEGORY, TOP ILLINOIS MUSICIANS AT: ILLINOIS TOP 200 DOT COM.

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BBB Warning About Vehicle Shippers

The Better Business Bureau wants you to use caution if buying a vehicle online. At least a half-dozen people have lost between $2,800 and $9,500 by wiring money to purchase vehicles through fraudulent vehicle shipping companies. At least 18 claim to be based in Springfield, Missouri. Most seem to have at least some connection to a business called Springfield Shippers, according to BBB investigator Don O'Brien, who says when purchasing any vehicle, it's wise to take it for a test drive.
 

 

 
Red flags that you might be dealing with a scammer include: The seller shares a sad story and can’t meet face-to-face or let you inspect the vehicle. A third party handles the money and/or shipping. In an effort to appear legitimate, the seller tells you that the third party, whether eBay or an escrow service, will refund your money if you don't like the vehicle. And a big one is if the payment is by wire transfer. Scammers avoid payment by personal or cashier’s check, PayPal, credit card or any other traceable method.

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Eagles Auxillary to Hold Fundraising Event for HOOAH Deer Hunt For Heroes

The HOOAH organization and their Deer Hunt For Heroes program look to help create an outreach for disabled veterans. Vice President of the Eagles Auxillary in Clinton Jean Rogers explains how they got involved with HOOAH.
 

 

 
Rogers explains the fundraising strategy to help support Deer Hunt For Heroes.

 

Other activities include breakfast and lunch, a bounce house, dunk tank, raffles, and 50/50.  More information on the Eagles Auxillary fundraiser for HOOAH can be found on their event Facebook page.
 

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American Legion Hiring Event for Veteran Job Seekers

The American Legion is organizing a hiring event for veteran job seekers and military spouses.  Bob Gough is the Public Information Officer for the Illinois Department of Employment Security as he explains the vision of the event.
 

 

 
The hiring event is also open to non-veterans members.
 

 

 
For more information on the 2018 American Legion hiring event in Springfield visit www.legion.org.

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Applications now being accepted for the Governor's Hometown Awards program

THE STATE IS NOW ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR THE GOVERNOR’S HOMETOWN AWARDS. .
 
THE HOMETOWN AWARDS RECOGNIZE COMMUNITIES THAT TAKE ON SERVICE PROJECTS AND ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR RESIDENTS SAYS SERVE ILLINOIS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SCOTT MCFARLAND.
 

 

 
INTERESTED TOWNSHIPS, CITIES, VILLAGES AND COUNTIES CAN APPLY ONLINE AT SERVE DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV. NOMINATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED THROUGH AUGUST FIRST.

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Route 66 Centennial Commission Act Clears Committee

Taylorville Republican Rodney Davis was pleased that his bill, H.R. 66, the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act, was passed out of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week.
 
Rep. Davis says the historic road deserves to be recognized and have its history celebrated.
 

 

 
The bill created a 19 member Commission to recommend activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026, directs the Commission to host a conference on the U.S. Numbered Highway System, marking it's 100 year anniversary, and directs the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the governors of eight states through which 66 passes, to develop a plan on the preservation needs of Route 66.

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Tools to Help Students Plan for Financial Planning

Learning how to manage money and finances is part of growing up, but helping a younger generation better grasp financial planning can be done with the help of a new educator toolkit.
 
The Social Security Administration is offering a free tool to educators who are looking to incorporate practical knowledge about financial planning into their lesson plans.  Megan Forristall is a Public Affairs Specialist with Social Security as she explains the educator toolkit.
 

 

 
More information on the Social Security Educator Tool Kit can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov.

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Champaign County Coroner Seeking Information

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name
of an Armstrong, Illinois man who has died after being involved in
a motor vehicle crash near the town of Penfield, Illinois in rural
Champaign County on July 7, 2018.
 
Lorin A. Schluter, 59, was pronounced dead at the scene of the
two-vehicle crash at 2:06 PM on July 7, 2018. Mr. Schluter was
the driver of a Pontiac Grand Prix traveling westbound on 2500 N.
near Penfield, Illinois. Mr. Schluter’s vehicle was struck on the
driver’s side by a Dodge Ram truck when he entered the
intersection of 2500 N. and 2500 E.
 
An autopsy will be performed on Monday July 9, 2018 and an
inquest may be held at a later date. This death is being investigated
by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Champaign
County Sheriff’s Office.

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Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation Awards $80,000 in Healthcare Career Scholarships

The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation board has named four recipients of the 2018 Healthcare Career Scholarship. David Curry, Lindsey Goodwin, Katie Hunsley all of Lincoln and Hannah Freer of Mt. Pulaski were selected as recipients after a rigorous application process that included three rounds of interviews with members of the ALMH leadership team and foundation directors.  Each student will receive $20,000 to help fund their pursuit of a degree.  The award includes an agreement to work at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital (ALMH) in Lincoln following graduation. 
 
Sarah Helm, executive director of the ALMH Foundation reports that the foundation has made a commitment to invest in the future workforce of ALMH through its healthcare career scholarship program.  Since 2013, the foundation board has awarded over $350,000 to students pursuing degrees in healthcare with intentions to work at ALMH after graduation.  Helm says the opportunity is possible thanks to the generosity of donors.
 
 

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Gina Bianchi named Vice President for Alumni and Development at Millikin University

Millikin University President Dr. Patrick White has appointed Gina Bianchi '93 vice president for alumni and development at Millikin. Her appointment is effective July 1, 2018. In this position, Bianchi will guide Millikin's fundraising and alumni relations efforts, and, as a member of the president's cabinet, will be a leader and advocate for the entire Millikin community.
 
Bianchi succeeds Charles Hahn, who served as vice president for alumni and development from February 2017 to June 2018. Hahn will remain with the Millikin Alumni and Development Office as a senior advisor for development.
 
Prior to her appointment as vice president, Gina Bianchi served as associate vice president for alumni and development from February 2017 to June 2018. She also served as interim vice president from August 2016 to February 2017.
 
Bianchi previously served as senior director of alumni and donor engagement at Millikin University starting in August 2013. During her tenure, she was responsible for the overall management of the University's alumni and donor engagement programs and events, which were designed to engage Millikin alumni and friends with the overall life of the University. Bianchi's leadership in strategizing and collaborating with others across campus to reach out to alumni and friends was instrumental in the success of the recent Transform MU Capital Campaign. Bianchi recently earned the credential of Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

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Free Food Challenge Competition for Teens

A group of area youth will be challenged to use their creativity to create a nutritious dish during the Cerro Gordo 4-H Food Challenge.
 
Youth, age 8-14, are eligible to participate in this fun and energetic program. During the five-day program, teams of two to four will strengthen their food nutrition and preparation skills and compete against each other during a final contest on July 27 when they are challenged to prepare a healthy food dish from an assortment of key ingredients.
 
In addition to preparing the food item, each team will give a short presentation and answer questions about the dish they created. Their final score will reflect the team’s comprehensive ratings on their nutrition knowledge, food preparation skills, food safety skills, serving size knowledge, as well as the food’s appearance, quality and presentation. Winning teams receive prizes and all participants receive 4-H Food Challenge aprons to keep.
 
The Cerro Gordo 4-H Food Challenge meets July 23-27 at 9:30-11am at the Cerro Gordo Civic Center, 304 E. North Street in Cerro Gordo. Participation in the program is free, however, registration by July 18 is required by visiting go.illinois.edu/dmp or
calling 217-762-2191. 

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Illinois Department of Insurance Becomes Nation's First Regulator to Address Opioid Crisis Through Benchmark Plan

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) announced today that the state is taking additional steps to curb the growing opioid crisis in Illinois. The DOI is asking the federal government to approve five critical changes to its Health Care Benchmark Plan, ensuring that people who struggle with substance use disorder have access to the most affective forms of treatment.
 
The Benchmark plan serves as a minimum scope of benefits that most health plans sold in Illinois must cover. The Illinois DOI hosted an electronic public notice and comment period to solicit recommendations from the public this past Spring. Based on the analysis of the comments and the expertise of the providers and researchers, DOI revised the Benchmark Plan with the aim of reducing addiction and overdose by covering alternative therapies for chronic pain, improving the way opioids are prescribed, and expanding access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment and services. 
 
DOI submitted its revisions to the Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Sunday, July 1st, making Illinois the first state in the nation to address the opioid crisis through its Benchmark plan. 

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American Legion State Golf

The 4th annual American Legion State Golf Tournament will be held in Danville on August 4th and 5th (2018) at Harrison Park Golf Course and Turtle Run Golf Club.
 
Opening ceremonies will begin at 8 AM Saturday, Aug 4 at Harrison Park Golf Course.  The American Legion Riders will be present and there will be presentation of colors, fly over, and National Anthem.  The Marine Corps League and Post Honor Guards will present the colors.
 
The $125.00 entry fee includes Saturday and Sunday rounds, cart fees, a commemorative golf tin, Saturday meal, and prize money (in the form of Golf Shop credit).  Entry fees are due by July 15th, late entries accepted if availability.    Registration Forms may be obtained at participating golf courses or by calling Gregg Alpers, Tournament Chairman, at 217-443-3863.

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OSF PromptCare at College Avenue is Moving

OSF PromptCare at College Avenue is moving to its new location at 1765 Bradford Lane in Normal effective Monday, July 9. The hours of the new location will remain the same, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday – Friday.The new location is part of OSF HealthCare’s ongoing investment in the Bloomington/Normal community. 
 
The new primary care and PromptCare office is a $5 million, 13,125 square foot medical office building that includes 24 exam rooms, with room for 10 providers. It also features laboratory and imaging services.

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Raphaella Prange named Millikin University's Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Development

Millikin University President Dr. Patrick White has appointed Raphaella Prange vice president for student affairs and dean of student development at Millikin effective July 1, 2018. Prange has served as dean of student development at Millikin since 2011.
 
Prange has over 20 years of experience in higher education. She has served Millikin University since 1999 beginning as the assistant director of student programs. Since her employment at Millikin, she has served in a number of capacities including positions in Student Programs, Greek Life, Residence Life and Student Development. She has also taught in the Millikin Program for Student Learning.
 
During her time at Millikin, Prange has led many initiatives including the development of the University's Retention Strategies, Student Conduct System, Trauma Informed Advising and Title IX compliance initiatives.

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Bikers Brave the Heat for Tour DeWitt

With temperatures well into the 90s that didn't stop bike riders from hitting the road to help raise money for children in need.
 
Tour DeWitt is a fundraiser bike ride throughout DeWitt County and helps to raise money for the Child Protection Network according to Steve Lobb.
 

 

 
Since the reestablishment of the tour, this year was the best number statistically in attracting riders.
 

 

 
Lobb explains that riders participation, sponsors, and volunteers all help to make the event run smoothly.
 

 

 
The event is, in the long run, a great benefit for charity while also allowing people from all over to observe the scenery in DeWitt County.
 

 

 
Tour DeWitt 2019 is scheduled for June 29th.  More information can be found at tourdewitt.weebly.com. 
 
 
 
 
 

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10-Year Facility Plan for Heyworth Community School District to be Announced this Month

Staying up to date and planning ahead is the initiative being taken by the Heyworth Community School District.
 
Superintendent Lisa Taylor joined the WHOW Morning Show and explained a new 10-year facility plan that has been in the works over the last six months.

 

 
The final plans for the facility upgrades are scheduled to be announced to the public this month and work is planned to get underway this fall. 

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Rock Springs Nature Center Outdoor Concert Series Continues this Weekend

Summer brings local concerts and local concerts series all over Central Illinois.  This weekend the Macon County Conservation District will continue with their outdoor concert at Rock Springs Nature Center according to manager Richie Wolf.
 

 

 
The series will continue to roll several weeks later during the month.
 

 

 
For more information on the Rock Springs Nature Center outdoor concert series visit maconcountyconservation.org.

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U of I entomology expert urges the public to watch out for ticks

A UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS ENTOMOLOGY EXPERT URGES THE PUBLIC TO WATCH OUT FOR TICKS THIS SUMMER. 
 
TICK-BORNE ILLNESSES ARE ON THE RISE…SO IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHEN YOU’RE IN THE WOODS OR A GRASSY AREA. U OF I ENTOMOLOGY PROFESSOR BRIAN ALLEN SAYS SPRAYING YOUR CLOTHING WITH A REPELLANT CONTAINING PERMETHRIN CAN HELP KEEP THE BUGS FROM HITCHING A RIDE. HE RECOMMENDS DOING A “TICK CHECK” BEFORE ENTERING YOUR HOME AND NOTES THEY DON’T TYPICALLY ATTACH RIGHT AWAY.
 

 

 
 
ALLEN SAYS THE BEST WAY TO REMOVE A TICK THAT HAS LATCHED ON IS TO GRASP IT WITH TWEEZERS CLOSE TO YOUR SKIN AND SLOWLY PULL STRAIGHT UPWARDS.

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Rauner talks about ways to fund higher teacher salaries

Governor Bruce Rauner is weighing the impact of legislation that would require higher minimum teacher salaries. When it comes to the impact of legislation that would eventually require a starting salary of 40-thousand dollars, Rauner says size matters....
 

 

 
Rauner believes the state can help school districts fund the higher salaries without spending a dime...
 

 

 
The legislation was sent to the Governor last week.

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Bustos likes Senate version of Farm Bill

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos supporting the Farm Bill version in the U.S. Senate, but she says there are some items in the House version worth keeping.. 

 

Bustos serves on the U.S. House Ag Committee. Her district includes 14, mostly rural counties.

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USDA Tips for Food Safety

Food poisoning is a serious public health threat, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that foodborne illness results in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the United States annually.
 
To help eliminate the risk for these foodborne illnesses there are four key steps to food safety according to Technical Information Specialist for the USDA Janell Goodwin.  These steps include clean, separate, cook and chill.

 

 
Making sure to keep utensils and food separate is key to avoid cross-contamination.
 

 

 
While many people think they know the proper doneness of certain foods lots of the time that isn't the case.
 

 

 
The directed temperature for beef, pork, and lamb is 145 degrees, ground meats 160 degrees and poultry 165 degrees.  Lastly, Goodwin says keeping foods cold is just important even with the warmer outdoor temperatures.
 

 

 
For more information and tips on preventing foodborne illness visit FoodSafety.gov. 

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DeWitt, Macon, Piatt Counties 4-H Horse Show Underway This Weekend

A tricounty 4-H horse show is taking place this weekend at the DeWitt County 4-H Fairgrounds.
 
Kim Gibbons, DeWitt County 4-H Community Worker, indicates that the 4-H horse show is combined with Macon and Piatt counties as are the rest of the 4-H animal shows. The show kicks off Saturday, July 7,  at 9am with the horse classes.
 

 

 
The horse show continues Sunday, July 8, at 1pm and features the gaming classes.
 

 

 
The DeWitt, Macon, Piatt County 4-H Horse Show runs Saturday, July 7, from 9am to aprroximately 5pm and Sunday, July 8, from 1pm to approximately 6pm. Concessions will be available. 

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July Book Arrivals at Vespasian Warner Public Library

Each month the Vespasian Warner Public Library will receive new books to keep library patrons satisfied with new material.
 
Executive Director Bobbi Perryman explained the new additions being added to the shelves for July.
 

 

 
Perryman also says new movies and television additions are set for the month.
 

 

 
For more information on the Vespasian Warner Public Library visit www.vwarner.org.
 

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Sam McCann Calls for Debates After Official Entry to Gubernatorial Race

Conservative Party candidate Sam McCann and running mate Aaron Merreighn formally joined the race for Illinois Governor after the deadline for objections to his nominating petitions passed with no objections filed. McCann submitted more than 60,000 signatures, far surpassing the requirement of 25,000. He immediately called for debates to be scheduled with Gov. Bruce Rauner, J.B. Pritzker and Kash Jackson.  

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Manar says school funding reform is working

State Senator Andy Manar pushed hard for school funding reform before it became a reality. Now, with many schools seeing additional revenue, Manar says improvements can be seen in the classroom...
 

 

 
The Bunker Hill Democrat was also a driving force behind boosting teacher minimum salaries.

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Rural connections to state bicentennial exhibit

We may have celebrated our nation's birthday, but it's the state's too. 20-18 represents Illinois' bicentennial and a new exhibit that recently opened in Springfield recognizes the state's rural history. Erika Holst serves as curator of decorative arts at the Illinois State Museum;
 

 

 
Holst acknowledges many Illinoisans didn't even know Illinois had a state museum until a budget standoff between the governor and General Assembly forced its shutdown for a period of time in recent years;
 

 

 
The bicentennial exhibit at the Illinois State Museum will be on display through next February.

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Weekly Crop Report

Here is this weeks crop report...
 

 

 

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Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois' Offering Incentive for Head Start Program

The Head Start Program is offered by the Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois' to help both parents and young children succeed. 
 
George White is the recruitment coordinator for Head Start as he explains what the program entails.
 

 

 
White also explains what qualifications are needed to partake in the program and benefits of Head Start.
 

 

 
There is now an added benefit for those families who sign up for Head Start, as a chance to win six-day passes to Knight Action Park are up for grabs until July 24.
 

 

 
For more information on CAPCIL, Head Start, or the Knights Action Park day passes giveaway visit www.capcil.info. 

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Computer Lab Updates Scheduled in Heyworth School District

The Heyworth Community School District held their end of the year board meeting discussing plans and updates for the coming months.
 
Superintendent Lisa Taylor explained computer lab updates happening at some of the schools in the district.
 

 

 
Taylor says allowing students to have the best learning space and opportunities is the goal of her and those within the district.
 

 

 
The computer lab updates in both the junior high and high school are scheduled to be ready by the start of next school year.
 

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Tech-Go Technology Camp Returns to Richland Community College

Keeping young minds fresh during the summer months can be a challenge, but sometimes the use of 3-D printers and drones can help spark some creative thinking.
 
Richland Community College will host their Tech-GO Technology Camp for Creative Thinkers aimed at middle school students.  John Oliver is the Director of Workforce Development at Richland as he says this is the fourth year since the camp's inception.
 

 

 
Making sure the camp goers have a fun experience while also learning is the intention of Tech-Go camp.
 

 

 
Tech-Go Technology Camp will be offered July 16-19.  More information on the camp can be found at www.richland.edu

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Talk & Taste with ALMH Dietitian Jennifer DiPasquale

Community members are invited to join Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital dietitian Jennifer DiPasquale at The ALMH Market for a seasonal, local-foods discussion of tomatoes.
 
DiPasquale is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator.  ALMH Market bags and market tokens will be given away at the event along with free samples.  Although walk-ins are welcome, samples are limited. Individuals who are interested in the Talk and Taste are encouraged to sign up on the Facebook event page or call (217) 605-5701.
 
Talk & Taste will be this Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

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AHSCME & JANUS decision

Because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last week, public employees who opt out of labor unions can also opt out of paying fair share fees.
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch says that changes a rule that’s been in place since a high court decision in 1977. Some of those who’ve been paying the fair share fees say they object to paying for the union’s political activity. Lynch says they’re not being charged for it.
 

 

 
Since the employees who aren’t in unions get the same pay and benefits union members get, the unions have felt it’s fair to get some money for negotiating the deals. Gov. Rauner started the Mark Janus case that the court ruled on last week. He feels unions are too powerful and block changes Illinois needs to improve.

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Independence Day Celebration in Clinton

The Celebrate Clinton Association will host their annual Independence Day Celebration on Mr. Lincoln's Square in downtown Clinton July 4.  
 
Sissy Leggett is a board member with CCA as she explains how the day will get underway with an event at 6 a.m.

 

 
Free breakfast will then be served at 8:00 a.m. by the Clinton Fire and Police departments while supplies last.  
 

 

 
Other activities will take place throughout the morning and afternoon.

 

 
Fireworks will be held on July 5th around 9:15 p.m. off of Rt. 51 South and Kleemann Drive.  More information on the Independence Day Celebration in Clinton can be found at the Celebrate Clinton Association Facebook page.  
 

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Fourth of July Festivities Around Central Illinois

Monticello Freedom Fest
 
Time:Tuesday July 3rd 4:00-11:00 p.m.
 
Location: Lodge Park
 
Fireworks, food, and entertainment.  Free admission.
 
Heyworth Celebration
 
Time: 6 a.m.-dusk
 
Location: Centennial Park
 
fishing derby, games, food, live entertainment, fireworks
 
Lincoln Old-Fashioned Children's Walking Parade/Fireworks
 
Time: 10:00 a.m.-Noon; Fireworks at 9:00 p.m.
 
Location: Scully Park
 
Parade, games, live entertainment, concessions

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New Fitness Court coming to ALMH

The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital is looking to give back to the city of Lincoln by purchasing a fitness court that will be the first of its kind in the state of Illinois.
 
The National Fitness Campaign has been launching outdoor fitness courts all around the country and is installing 100 by the end of 2018 according to Community Health Collarbrative director Angela Stoltzenburg.
 

 

 
The site of the new outdoor fitness court is planned to be located at the old location of ALMH.
 

 

 
The new outdoor fitness court is schedueld to be open in mid-August. 

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Fourth of July Food Safety Tips from IDPH

While the summer conditions bring warmer weather that also means there is an increase in foodborne illness or better known as food poisoning.  Illinois Department of Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold says there is something called the "Danger Zone," when food sits between 40 and 140 degrees, which is when bacteria grow most rapidly...

 

 
The same precautions hold true for the handling of cold foods...
 

 

 
It's also advised that food not sit out longer than two hours and less than one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees.

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