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home : ag & business October 4, 2015

Innovation in mining topic of Millikin seminar
DECATUR, Ill. —  Millikin University's Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, a signature program of Millikin's Center for Entrepreneurship, will continue its 2015-16 Speaker Series on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, with keynote speaker Jim Hawkins, director of mining technology enabled solutions at Caterpillar Inc.
Saturday, October 3, 2015

Anderson Jewelers

Memorial named comprehensive stroke center
SPRINGFIELD — Memorial Medical Center has earned the nation’s highest designation for stroke care – one of only seven hospitals in Illinois to earn the certification from The Joint Commission.
Saturday, October 3, 2015

Duke's Office Supply closing after long history
TAYLORVILLE —After more than thirty-five years, Otis and Marlis Haerr, owners of Duke’s Office Supply, will bid farewell to their customers and the office supply business.
Saturday, October 3, 2015

Landmark names Sean Grant as president, CEO
SPRINGFIELD — Landmark Automotive Group has announced the appointment of Sean B. Grant as their new President and CEO. Sean has assumed responsibilities on August 1, 2015 and will succeed William T. Grant, Jr., who has stepped down after 40 years of leading Landmark to become one of the top dealer groups in the Midwest.
Saturday, October 3, 2015

These Four Phone Apps Assure You'll Take The Best And Safest Routes
Smartphones have transformed the way we navigate our world, notes Consumer Reports. They combine built-in GPS with a cellular data connection so that they know precisely where we are and can instantly download maps, driving (or walking) directions and traffic information from the Internet.
Saturday, October 3, 2015

Smart Money: Competent adviser can help direct property investments
Saturday, October 3, 2015

Shelby Electric Lineman take home first runner-up in annual safety rodeo
SPRINGFIELD — A team of linemen from Shelby Electric Cooperative was First Runner-Up at the 18th annual Lineman’s Safety Rodeo sponsored by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) on Friday, Sept. 18. This year 14 teams participated in the competition.      
Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mathes Massage welcomes new therapist
TAYLORVILLE — “I’ve wanted to do this for a very long time. I just like knowing that for some people, seeing me is the best part of their day,” Rachael Whitlow, new massage therapist at Mathes Massage, said. “I really enjoy knowing that when people leave here they are pain free and stress free; it is kind of a natural way to help heal yourself and that is also appealing to me.”
Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mike McClure announces retirement
TAYLORVILLE — After 48 years in funeral service I have decided it is time to step aside and let our son, Scott take over the funeral home. 
Saturday, September 26, 2015

You're settled in safe at home, when suddenly the lights go out and the comforting hums of fridge and furnace go dead. As you rummage around in a drawer for flashlights and batteries, you're probably kicking yourself for not investing in a generator after the last storm.
Saturday, September 26, 2015

Is your financial planner getting rich at your expense?
A recent decision in a lengthy legal case involving two certified financial planners was hailed as a victory for consumers, according to Consumer Reports.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Palomino Club opens new outdoor entertainment space
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville entertainment seekers now have a new venue to grab a cold drink, get a bite to eat,  and experience the atmosphere of New Orleans.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

McMillan Landscape welcomes new garden center manager
TAYLORVILLE — “I hope to be able to take what is a really great garden center and nursery and be able to offer my years of experience to help customers develop their dream gardens,” said John Heck, McMillan Landscape’s new garden center manager.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Smart Money
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Souther Illinois Women's Economic Summit to be in Effingham
EFFINGHAM Ill. — Sally Rutledge-Ott, regional director for the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce | Illinois including the Chicago Suburbs and Eastern Iowa, is proud to announce the upcoming Southern Illinois Women's Economic Summit will be held in Effingham on Wednesday, September 30.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

FNB in Taylorville introduces new president
TAYLORVILLE — After more than thirty-six years at First National Bank in Taylorville, Linda Crawford has been named as the institution’s newest president.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Quad County is on the move
PANA — Quad County has moved from their current office location on Huber Street to the former Tele-A-Pair office located on US Route 51.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Smart Money: Dream of building tiny homes may have to wait
Saturday, September 12, 2015

Here Are Some Sure-Fire Ways To Determine If Your 401(k) Plan Is A Dud
Given how tough it can be for many people to save for retirement, it's unfortunate that some companies make it even more difficult. But a large number of 401(k) plans do just that by imposing high costs and offering subpar investment choices, says Consumer Reports.
Saturday, September 12, 2015

ISBDC at LLCC offers workshop for prospective business owners
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) at Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) is offering “Starting Your Business in Illinois” workshops in September for prospective business owners. The free workshops are available in Jacksonville, Springfield and Taylorville.
Monday, September 7, 2015

NewWave launches 100 mbps internet service in Taylorville
TAYLORVILLE — NewWave Communications announced last week that they will be offering enhanced internet connectivey and speed packages to over 200 communities, including Taylorville.
Sunday, September 6, 2015

Latvian man pleads guilty in worldwide computer virus case
NEW YORK (AP) — A Latvian computer code writer who helped create a virus that spread to more than a million computers worldwide and corrupted some at NASA may be returning home soon after pleading guilty to a federal charge on Friday.
Sunday, September 6, 2015

Green energy company fights for life after getting billions from feds
WATCHDOG - Abengoa, a renewable energy multinational company headquartered in Spain, has been a favorite of the Obama administration in getting federal tax money for clean energy projects. Since 2009, Abengoa and its subsidiaries, according to estimates, have received $2.9 billion in grants and loan guarantees through the Department of Energy to undertake solar projects in California and Arizona — as well as the construction of a cellulosic ethanol plant in Kansas.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dear Bruce: Graduate looks for way to end harassment over college debt
DEAR BRUCE: I graduated college in 2011. I am $30,000 in debt with Sallie Mae and the school itself. I am being harassed morning, noon and night. I don't want to answer the phone because I can't afford to pay them. I just recently started working again. My question is, what can I offer to pay them monthly to stop them from harassing me? -- Reader

DEAR READER: Since you are in for more than $10,000, there are a number of companies that would be willing to negotiate for you. You might wish to contact a couple. Just be certain that you don't have to pay anything upfront -- only if the company is able to get part or all of your debt put aside. If you can demonstrate that there is no possibility of paying the $30,000, it's entirely possible that a certain amount of that will be forgiven.

DEAR BRUCE: I have a 401(k) with the company I have been working at for 37 years. My question is, do I have to take the 401(k) or can I leave it when I retire? -- F.E.

DEAR F.E.: In some cases, you can leave the money in the 401(k) and in others you are required to take it out. You will have to go to the people at your company who handle these matters and ask them what your options are. In the event that you must take it out, you will have to invest it elsewhere.

Send questions to Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided. The Bruce Williams Radio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at It is also available at

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Countryside Veterinary Services to acquire Nokomis clinic
TAYLORVILLE — “We are friends and we’ve kind of had a working relationship where he would refer cases to me and I would call him as well and get his opinion on certain cases,” Dr. Stacey Funderburk, Owner of Countryside Veterinary Services in Taylorville, said of Dr. Robert Lacey and her recent decision to acquire his practice, the Nokomis Veterinary Clinic.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Consumer Reports printed September 6, 2015
With the start of the school year upon us, you may be sweating about how much cash you'll have to drop on clothing, electronics and other back-to-school must-haves for your high school or college student, says Consumer Reports.
Sunday, September 6, 2015

World equity declines lead to commodity sell-off; corn trading lower
TAYLORVILLE — Grains have been lower this week in light of some spillover selling stemming from a decline in the financial markets. On Tuesday, for example, Japan’s Nikkei led the way downward with a four percent decline, China’s Shanghai Index was down one percent, and U.S. equities followed suit trading down two to three percent. As a result, basket selling has been noted across the commodity spectrum including crude oil which is down $3.20 since Monday. Subsequently, September corn is trading seven cents lower for the week, and September beans are down thirteen cents.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sharpsburg's Tumble N' Fly celebrates grand opening
SHARPSBURG — Students of tumbling and cheerleading now have a new home to bound, bounce, backflip, and, well, fly after Tumble N’ Fly, Sharpsburg and Taylorville’s newest tumbling and cheer academy, celebrated its grand opening on Saturday.
Saturday, August 29, 2015

Curtins elected delegates to Angus association
 TAYLORVILLE — John C. Curtin, of Taylorville, and T. J. Curtin, of Blue Mound, have  been elected as delegates to the 132nd Annual American Angus Association Convention of Delegates, Nov. 5 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan., reports Richard Wilson, Interim CEO of the American Angus Association.
Saturday, August 29, 2015

Locked & Loaded in-door gun range opens in Pana
PANA - Marksmen, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts across central Illinois now have another option for taking target practice with the recent opening of the Locked & Loaded Gun Range in Pana.
Saturday, August 29, 2015

Smart Money: Reducing interest payments is money in the bank
Saturday, August 29, 2015

Welcome to snack nation
Just a generation ago, between-meal eating was rare among Americans, notes Consumer Reports. At that time, many people firmly believed it was a sure way to spoil their appetite. Today, we have a serious snack habit.
Saturday, August 29, 2015

TCCU name Terri Meyer new corporate controller
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville Community Credit Union announced the recent hiring of Terri Meyer as that organization’s new Controller.  Meyer is responsible for filing all regulatory reports, reconciling the credit union’s accounts, and ensuring that TCCU stays in compliance with all regulations.
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Taylorville Vision Source opens in downtown Taylorville
TAYLORVILLE — After more than eighty years in practice, Vision Source of Effingham, has elected to broaden its horizons. Only six months after they expanded into the Pana area, the company has now selected Taylorville for its third market.
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Consumer Reports: Time to update your laptop or find a good alternative to it
Back-to-school season means that lots of people are looking for new laptops, says Consumer Reports. And not just kids. The National Center for Education Statistics says that there are almost 9 million college and grad school students 25 or older.
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Archery shop showcases owner's passion for hunting
TAYLORVILLE — Two black bears, three deer, and two more exotic animals are all waiting to great customers as they enter the front door of Broken Arrow Archery, Taylorville’s new archery and bow hunting shop located at 114 N. Webster St.
Saturday, August 15, 2015

Smart Money: Home purchase can be risky in retirement
Saturday, August 15, 2015

If Robocalls Were a Disease, They Would Be an Epidemic - What To Do
Saturday, August 15, 2015

Alpha Omega celebrates new expansion
TAYLORVILLE — “We want to be known as more than just an audio shop,” Mike Rodden, Owner of Alpha Omega said. He’s hoping that the newly erected 6,000 square-foot restoration and auto body shop that he debuted just last month will help send that message.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

Maltby Excavating installs bioreactor in Lake Springfield
 SPRINGFIELD — Using plastic drainage pipe systems has allowed agriculture producers to improve crop yields in areas that were not able to produce as much in the past because of poor drainage. The ever-growing need for more food to feed the world’s population will continue to motivate the producer to lessen the risk of crop failure due to poor drainage.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

Peoples Banks and Trust names new president
Pana, Illinois — David Sprigg recently joined Peoples Bank & Trust as Community Bank President.  In his role with the Bank, David will assume responsibilities in business banking in the Charleston area with particular emphasis on attracting branch customers for business lending and deposits solutions.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

ConsumerReports: When to say no to a prescription
An April survey of 1,000 adults found that patients are often prescribed antibiotics when the drugs aren't necessary, such as for colds, the flu, many sinus infections and before certain dental or medical procedures.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

Cash-Back Isn't The Only Fringe Benefit To Look For In A Credit Card
Saturday, August 1, 2015

Chandler joins staff of Quad County Health
PANA — Quad County Home Health, Hospice, and Home Medical Supplies & Equipment are pleased to announce Carol Chandler has accepted the position of Director of the Quad County Home Care agencies. Chandler began her position on July 1st.
Saturday, August 1, 2015

Taylorville woman receives top national award
TAYLORVILLE —  Heather Agnew, of Taylorville, recently was honored by H&R Block along with other tax professionals and franchisees with the company's top national client service award.
Saturday, August 1, 2015

First National Bank of Pana to acquire Blue Mound Bank
PANA, Ill. —  Matt Beavers, president and CEO, First National Bank of Pana and Frank McChristy, president and CEO, The State Bank of Blue Mound, are pleased to jointly announce the signing of a definitive agreement, pursuant to which First National Bank of Pana will acquire The State Bank of Blue Mound. The transaction is subject to standard closing conditions, including the approval of the appropriate regulatory authorities and of the shareholders. The parties anticipate that the transaction will close in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Saturday, August 1, 2015

4-H Issues Stockman Awards
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grocery shoppers are demanding more fresh foods, and retailers are responding by making more room for produce, meats and other "perimeter foods" along the outer edges in stores, according to Consumer Reports. The freshness trend isn't only having an impact on the layout of American supermarkets; it's also influencing refrigerator design.
Saturday, July 25, 2015

Land of Lincoln Credit Union Names New CEO
DECATUR — The Board of Directors of Land of Lincoln Credit Union are pleased to announce the appointment of Douglas B. Harris as the next CEO following the retirement of former CEO, Mac Dunaway. "We were searching for a person with the right balance of experience, vision, and passion to lead our team as we continue to grow. Doug brings that balance and we are very excited about the future of our Credit Union under his leadership" states Mark Kennedy, Board Chairman.
Saturday, July 25, 2015

Joseph R. Dively elected to Illinois Bankers Association Board of Directors
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Bankers Association (IBA) announced that Joseph R. Dively has been elected to the IBA’s Board of Directors for 2015-2016. He was elected at the IBA’s 124th Annual Conference on June 18 at the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette and Peoria Civic Center. Dively is chairman, CEO and president of First Mid-Illinois Bancshares Inc., based in Mattoon, Illinois.  He joined the First Mid team in 2011 as president after serving on the board of directors since 2004. Prior to joining the bank, he was a senior executive with Consolidated Communications, also in Mattoon.
Saturday, July 25, 2015

Smart Money: Renting reduces responsibility of home-ownership
Saturday, July 25, 2015

Your Fraud Squad: This years top scams
This comprehensive list of the major scams appearing this year is the work of the Consumer Fraud Reporting Organization. They are an independent organization collecting extensive reports on frauds and scams reported by the public.
Saturday, July 25, 2015

Woodhead replaces Hughes at Dansig agency
TAYLORVILLE — At the end of June, Dansig Insurance Services Agent, Marv Hughes, retired from the Taylorville office after 15 years. Though he had built a great rapport with many of his clients, Hughes left them knowing that they would be in good hands.
Saturday, July 18, 2015

Smart Money: Education is the way to start investing
Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pana Community Hospital names Bailey CIO
PANA — Pana Community Hospital announced that Dianne Bailey of Pana has been promoted to chief information officer as of July 1, 2015. Bailey was originally hired by the hospital in the role of administrative secretary in 1998, and has advanced through the positions of medical staff coordinator, information systems coordinator and manager of health information technology, with her determination and the support and training opportunities provided to her by the hospital.  
Saturday, July 18, 2015

Consumer Reports: Can You Afford To Live To 100? Here's How To Safeguard Your Nest Egg
How long will you live? It's a key question in retirement planning -- and one many of us answer with an educated guess, according to Consumer Reports.
Saturday, July 18, 2015

Smart Money: Move will end uncomfortable neighborhood situation
Saturday, July 11, 2015

Malaysian leader's wife under scrutiny
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities are investigating allegations that 2 million ringgit ($529,000) were deposited into the accounts of the wife of embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak earlier this year.
Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hawaii limits access to Mauna Kea amid telescope protests
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii officials voted to impose an emergency rule to restrict access to Mauna Kea after protesters blocked construction of a giant telescope.
Saturday, July 11, 2015

Business Highlights
Saturday, July 11, 2015

Consumer Reports: After so many data breaches, here are some new ways to protect your credit cards
After the rash of retailer data breaches this year, you may be tempted to stash your credit cards under your mattress and just pay cash, says Consumer Reports. Even if you managed to avoid being a victim of fraud or were covered by your bank or card company for your losses, credit card data breaches can still cause you headaches.
Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ready to bloom: Waterman buys A Classic Bouquet
TAYLORVILLE — For any business, a change in ownership often represents a monumental transition. For Carrie Waterman of Pana, and Taylorville’s  A Classic Bouquet, however, the transition is expected to be mostly seamless. Waterman, who took over the business at the beginning of this month, is an Illinois Certified Professional Florist, has been in the business for thirteen years, and has served as Classic Bouquet’s Head Designer and Manger since 2007.
Saturday, July 11, 2015

Head Cattle/Dipper Farms Named IBA Commercial Producer of the Year
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Beef Association (IBA) presented Head Cattle/Dipper Farms of Blue Mound, Ill., with the IBA Commercial Producer of the Year Award June 18 at the IBA Summer Conference in Bloomington, Ill. This award is presented annually to a producer for their dedication to improving and contributing to the viability of the beef industry.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Trinity Dodge Fixed
Larry's Service Center

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