With little league baseball already on hold and the cancellation of the Fourth of July fireworks display, summer entertainment opportunities, especially for children, are dwindling quickly amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, The Taylorville Park District was forced to make a similarly tough decision Monday night when it opted to cancel the upcoming summer pool season at Manners Park.
Board members voted unanimously in favor of the closure at Monday’s regular park board meeting. “Going over the guidelines set out by the Governor, the CDC, and the department of health, we felt it wasn’t really possible to open the pool this year,” Park Board President Marlane Miller said, noting that public safety was the number-one concern.
There was, however, also a financial consideration to the decision. “We would have been limited to ten kids at any given time, and, with the raise in minimum wage this year, all the employees would be making $10 and hour; we also have to have ten employees there every day, so the losses would pile up pretty quickly,” Miller added.
The park’s day camp program, too, has been canceled for the upcoming season. “With day camp restrictions, they had to be in pods of ten kids, and we would have to make sure they appropriately social distance. Indoor activities would have required a mask, and we, unfortunately, do not have the indoor space to accommodate the necessary social distancing protocols, so we decided to cancel day camp this summer as well.” Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Owners of businesses which are located inside the Taylorville Business Development District can apply for up to a $1,500 reimbursement for their mortgage or lease as a result of hardships caused by the COVID-19 emergency closings. The program was approved during the Monday night meeting of the Taylorville City Council.
Business owners may file for the COVID-19 Emergency Mortgage Subsidy Grant Program or the BDD Commercial Lease Payment Grant Program. Applications are available at the Taylorville City Clerk’s Office and should be on the city’s website (www.taylorville.net) according to Mayor Bruce Barry. The grants are reimbursable in an amount up to, but not to exceed $1,500 of total verified costs for one month’s mortgage payment or lease payment incurred on or after May 1, 2020. To be eligible, the business must have been established on or before Mar. 16, 2020. Tuesday, June 2, 2020
The Macon County Conservation District reports the following openings:
- All Conservation Areas (Rock Springs Conservation Area, Fort Daniel Conservation Area, Friend Creek Conservation Area, Sand Creek Conservation Area, and Griswold Conservation Area) continue to remain open for hiking, walking, and nature exploration. As you visit these areas, you must continue to follow all social distancing guidelines. Pets are welcome to enjoy the conservation areas with their owners, but all pets must be leashed at all times. Tuesday, June 2, 2020
With the Taylorville Driver’s License office re-opening for the first time in about two months, there was a long line of customers as the facility opened at 8:00 a.m. More than 50 people were in line to renew driver’s licenses and vehicle stickers. Only one person at a time was being allowed in the building for sticker sales and for driver’s licenses. Several people said they arrived to get in line shortly after 7:00 a.m. today. Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Meeting in special session on Monday night, the Pana City Council approved a bond ordinance which will help finance improvements to the water distribution systems in the city. The vote was 8-0 to borrow almost $3.9 million from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Fund.
The 40-year low interest loan will provide funds for improvements at the Lake Pana spillway, the water intake tower at the water treatment plant and other repairs to the plant. Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Let us look at what is a pollinator. According to Illinois Extension Master Gardener Educator Jennifer Fishburn, it is any insect or animal that carries pollen from the male part to the female part of a plant to fertilize the plant. These pollinators are vectors like wind, water, insects, birds, bats, and other animals. Insect pollinators are ants, bees, butterflies, flies, months, and wasps. Birds like hummingbirds, along with honeybees, are vital for pollinating 80 percent of cultivated crops. Monday, June 1, 2020
Published court appearances reflect the daily 10:00 a.m. criminal call and do not necessarily account for all felony proceedings heard that day. Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Christopher Matoush presided over the following cases on May 29, 2020: Saturday, May 30, 2020
TAYLORVILLE —Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. Although a traditional “Senior Night” was canceled for the Spring athletes during the 2020 season due to COVID-19, it is still important to recognize these athletes for their accomplishments throughout their careers as a Tornado. Saturday, May 30, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Sarah Van Huss, AVP, Consumer Banking, recently presented a donation to Amy Hagen representing the Taylorville Food Pantry for $2,000. Peoples Bank & Trust is making $22,000 in donations to 11 food pantries in its market areas. The bank received significant funding for the program due to its membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLB). Saturday, May 30, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville Community Credit Union’s 6th Annual Freedom Tree community food drive begins Monday, June 1st, and runs through Friday, July 10th. All area residents and credit union members are encouraged to donate boxed and canned food items, as well as cash donations, to benefit local food pantries. Saturday, May 30, 2020
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp has announced that the Christian County Courthouse will be open to the public beginning June 1, 2020. Anyone having business at the courthouse will be allowed entry after being screened by Court Security for COVID-19. Friday, May 29, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The Taylorville Kiwanis Club has collected a total of 964 pounds of non-perishable food and a total of nearly $1,700 in cash donations, all for the Taylorville Food Pantry, in its three "drive-thru donation days" May 9th, 16th, and 23rd. Friday, May 29, 2020
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp has announced that the Christian County Courthouse will be open to the public starting on June 1, 2020. Anyone having business at the courthouse will be allowed entry after being screened by Court Security for COVID-19. Friday, May 29, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — It was the scariest thing he had ever done! My son was all of about seven years old, and we were on a family vacation at a major amusement park. He was pretty new to the idea of riding the “big” rides, but he was determined that this would be the day he’d get started. Friday, May 29, 2020
After years of delays and work, the AT&T cell tower near Bulpitt is finally operational. Mike Lawrence, Kincaid zoning oficer, said he was informed on Wednesday by AT&T officials the “Switch has been thrown.” Thursday, May 28, 2020
In the past week, the Taylorville Police Department (TPD) has had two teenagers overdose and thankfully survive on a drug called the “HULK.”
TPD learned that this drug was a benzodiazepine (Xanax) allegedly mixed with what was possibly Fentanyl. TPD began scouring through social media accounts and spoke to several individuals who were friends with the two teenagers who overdosed. With the help of citizens and interviews TPD was able to locate the source. Thursday, May 28, 2020
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to burglary that occurred in Rosamond.
Sometime between Saturday, May 16, 2020 and Wednesday, May 20, 2020, person or persons unknown made entry into a storage unit, located at the Extra Shed Storage Facility. While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took multiple items, including a Huffy bicycle, a 42’ TV, and army uniforms. Several of the items had been brought back by a veteran from Afghanistan. The lock on the unit had been cut off while making entry. The total dollar amount of the theft and the damage is unknown at this time. Thursday, May 28, 2020
Out of an abundance of caution and in response to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Fourth Judicial Circuit is amending its procedures in an attempt to reduce the possibility of spreading the disease. Wednesday, May 27, 2020
During the Pana City Council’s regular session Tuesday night, Pana Mayor Don Kroski announced the Kitchell Park Swimming Pool will not open this summer, due to the COVID-19 emergency. The mayor also announced several other steps which will be taken as part of the Phase 3 of Open Illinois which takes effect on Friday.
The Council also approved the appointment of Katherine Stephens of Lake Pana as the newest member of the Council. She replaces Tracy Braye-Strawn who resigned from the Council late last month. Stephens has been a resident of the lake area for more than 10 years. She was sworn into office Wednesday morning by Pana City Clerk Terry Klein in his office. Wednesday, May 27, 2020
The most common symptoms of the coronavirus are fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. But as the virus spreads around the world, additional symptoms are being identified. Wednesday, May 27, 2020
One life lost is too many. Christian County has seen four deaths from COVID-19.
Statistically, here’s a look at the deadly virus according to the numbers:
As compared to other deaths reported in Christian County, COVID ranks currently close to the number of accidents in 2020. There have been five deaths deemed accidental, according to figures coming from the office of Christian County Coroner, Amy Calvert-Winans.
Out of 33 positive tests (as of May 19, 2020), the death rate is 12% of those suffering from the virus. And when this is compared to the 762 people tested, the percentage drops significantly - about .5%. Christian County’s population, based on 2019 figures is 32,304. The percentage of those tested comes to slightly more than 2%. Most health experts agree with more testing, more cases of the disease would probably be found.
In Illinois, heart disease is the number one cause of death, claiming almost 25,400 in a year. With just over 24,000 deaths, cancer ranks second. Strokes and accidents are listed as third and fourth, respectively, with slightly more than 6,000 deaths each. Chronic lower respiratory disease is fifth, claiming 5,700 residents. At this point in 2020, COVID-19 has been linked to almost 4,900 deaths out of 112,000 cases diagnosed in Illinois. This would rank the disease as sixth on the list, but the death toll from the virus is increasing by about 100 per day. Wednesday, May 27, 2020
The DowntownTaylorville.org Farmers Market is set to open Saturday, May 30, 2020 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on the east side of the Taylorville Square.
Market manager Marcia Neal said “It’s going to be different for sure but I feel it’s a necessary move as all our bakers and craft people, as well as farms from out of town will have product to sell. I’ve already spoken to the mayor, county board chair, city police, health department and county sheriff so that everyone is on board. Keeping everyone safe is our main concern, so there will be signs posted about social distancing, masks and not to touch the products. We are also asking customers to bring correct change with them to avoid over-handling of money for safety concerns.” Tuesday, May 26, 2020
According to Beth Fuchs, the Kitchell Memorial Library will be open June 1, 2020. “If we can fully open, we will. If not, we will offer curb side service the best we can,” said Fuchs. Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Donald Broaddus will join four other nominees for the Taylorville Optimist Club 2020 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. As the former chief of police in Morrisonville, and currently a part-time deputy for the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Broaddus joins Officer Jeremy Alwerdt, TPD, Det. Evert Nation, TPD, Deputy Chief Vince Childers, TPD, and Christian County Coroner, Amy (Calvert) Winans as the latest nominee for this year’s honor. Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Central School in Taylorville is holding pre-school screening online.
To sign up, please visit their website at central.tcusd3.org and locate the screening tab. Please click the link for the form and sign up or you may call Central School at 217-824-5050 to set up an online screening appointment. Tuesday, May 26, 2020
The Wanda Mountain Boys will be appearing at the United in Faith Church located at 609 Fairground Road in Pana for a drive in service performance on May 31 at 10:15 a.m. Southern Gospel music has always been known for it’s smooth harmonies, strong vocals, and powerful, straight forward lyrics. For the last 25 years, the Wanda Mountain Boys have displayed all of these qualities as they have established themselves in the gospel music community in the Midwest. Tuesday, May 26, 2020
The annual Memorial Day Celebration at Oak Hill Cemetery was held this morning in unusual fashion due to COVID-19. The ceremony was broadcasted via the radio and citizens were encouraged to drive through the cemetery as they listened. Monday, May 25, 2020
Pana Community Hospital announces the opening of many services that were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic including surgery and other medical procedures. Surgeries including general, orthopedic, podiatry, cataract and other procedures began on Monday, May 11.
“We are resuming our services and adhering to the strict guidelines established by the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health. Safety is our top priority,” stated Trina Casner President and CEO of Pana Community Hospital. Some of the guidelines include screening of all patients who enter the hospital, requiring masks be worn inside the hospital, limiting visitors, and requiring COVID testing for anyone having a surgical procedure. Monday, May 25, 2020
It’s been a hard time for everyone in the last couple of months. With all the extra stress coming from the pandemic, it has becoming increasingly difficult to find some happiness or good in the world. People have been stuck at home for months with dire predictions and hardship hanging over their heads. But life under quarantine has not been all negative. Some people have taken the extra time at home to start projects they never thought they’d have time for, like building new garden beds or fixing up the house. Others have begun exercising to live healthier lives. Many people have taken up new hobbies like sewing or painting to help pass the time. Wendy Dulakis of Kincaid is one local woman using her time at home to lend a little happiness to her community. She and her family have started a Little Free Library for their community to use. Monday, May 25, 2020
Local eateries, restaurants, cafes, pubs, and coffee shops are the social and economic lifeblood of many Illinois communities. Following the stretch of statewide shutdowns that began in late March, residents may be eager to see their favorite food and drink establishments reopen and employees return to work.
To prepare for successful reopening in light of the changing food industry landscape, restaurant owners and managers may participate in two free, online webinars offered by the Illinois Restaurant Association and University of Illinois Extension, in conjunction with U of I College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Monday, May 25, 2020
For book lovers, there is nothing worse than not being able to get your hands on the next book in a series you’ve been enjoying. With the local public library closed to visitors during the lockdown of the state, many bibliophiles have had to make due re-reading their favorites for the fourth or fifth time. But now, there is so good news. The Taylorville Public Library will be opening for curbside services starting on Monday, June 1. Monday, May 25, 2020
What do you do with your newspaper when you finish reading it? Do you just throw it away? Do you save it to be used as wrapping paper or kindling for a fire? How about using the newspapers you read - including this one - to make unique and functional decorations for your house or apartment? We have gathered together a few simple at home newspaper crafts for adults or children to enjoy.
The first step to all of these projects is gathering together a lot of newspapers. That’s no problem if you have a subscription of your own. If you don’t have a subscription currently, try asking older relatives if you can have their papers once they’ve finished reading them. Saturday, May 23, 2020
It will go down as perhaps the most unusual graduation ceremony in Taylorville High School History, but the class of 2020 still relished the moment and created some powerful memories Friday night. Class speaker Kristina Allen delivered a poignant speech to help kickstart the ceremony; it drew a resounding applause from administration, including THS Principal Matt Hutchison (back). Saturday, May 23, 2020
A large crowd of volunteers made up of veterans, children, and community members gathered at Oak Hill Cemetery in Taylorville on Saturday, May 23 to help pay tribute to our veterans and prepare for the Monday Memorial Day service. Saturday, May 23, 2020
There is no doubt everyone is anxious for a change of scenery and a vacation. Though a vacation may not be possible, it’s always fun to plan and think about possible destinations. No matter where you plan to go, consider a stop at a garden along the way.
You can visit gardens near and far. If you aren’t able to travel anywhere, consider just stopping by the University of Illinois Extension Center, 1120 N. Webster Street, Taylorville, to view the pollinator garden at the front of the building. The Master Gardeners of Christian County are in charge of this green spot, and although we have not been able to tend it in usual fashion during the restrictions of the worldwide pandemic, you can still drive by to see changes as the seasons progress. Saturday, May 23, 2020
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club has collected over 700 pounds of non-perishable food and over 900-dollars in cash donations, all for the Taylorville Food Pantry, in its first two "drive-thru donation days" May 9 and 16. Saturday, May 23, 2020
The volunteers helping to put up flags at Oak Hill Cemetary on Saturday, May 23, 2020 were of all ages. Young children worked along side high school students and adults to make sure the cemetery was ready for the services on Monday. Saturday, May 23, 2020
Christian County Coroner Amy Winanas has been nominated for the “2020 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.”
Amy is a 1996 graduate of THS and earned her Associates degree in 1998 form LLCC, studying Criminal Justice. She earned a bachelors decree form SIU-C in 2000, majoring in Mortuary Sciences and Funeral Services. Amy married Ben Winans in 2005. They are the parents of three children: Eric, 25, holding a PhD from the U of I in Agronomy; Travis, 23, with a Masters from UI in agronomy and weed sciences; and daughter Lily, 13, and a student at THS. She is the daughter of George and Susan (Black) Calvert. George is recently retired from service for the City of Taylorville. Saturday, May 23, 2020
Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says there was a chaotic and violent brawl in downtown Taylorville Thursday night that sent one to the hospital.
According to Wheeler, a fight between five men broke out on the east side of the Taylorville square at approximately 9:30 p.m.
Wheeler says that four men —Anthony R. Chavez, 24, of Taylorville; Alfred R. Compian, 19, of Taylorville; Steven S. Frost, 23, of Taylorville; and Caleb T. Barrows of Taylorville— were wielding hammers when they approached Trevor A. Durbin, 20, of Taylorville. Friday, May 22, 2020
Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce President Patty Hornbuckle told the City of Taylorville Finance Committee Thursday that plans are moving forward for the 35th annual Chillifest this October.
“I see no reason, if we’re on track the way we are now, that we won’t have the event. We should be on track for phase 5 in October,” Hornbuckle said of holding the event amid current COVID-19 restrictions. “We’re going to be celebrating 35 years, and we kind of hope it’s the kickoff to a return to normal. We are about two months behind because we usually get started with organizing the event in March, but we’re ready to go.”
Hornbuckle approached the committee Thursday about the city’s annual financial contribution in support of the event. A year ago, the council approved an $8,000 donation for Chillifest. On Thursday, Hornbuckle asked the city for a $2,000 increase in order to help offset some financial hurdles the Chamber has encountered amid the COVID-19 outbreak. “The Chamber gets no funds from anybody, we got no PPP loan because we’re a 501c6, and we’re not eligible for any federal grant or state grant...We are down probably 60 percent in dues right now, and I haven’t had my annual banquet,” she explained of the toll the outbreak has had on the Chamber. Friday, May 22, 2020
Late Thursday morning, Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera, held a press conference with county news affiliates to clarify how his office and county and local law enforcement, figures into matters concerning COVID-19 rules. He emphasized rules and regulations are civil matters under the jurisdiction of public health.
“Criminal law is not involved with any recommendations. It is a civil matter,” Havera said. “We do not enforce the governor’s orders because they are not laws. Our offices do not have a role in this.”
Havera said it is up to the health department - either state or county - to peruse those matters. “They have the burden of proof,” he said. Friday, May 22, 2020
Since the Coronavirus gripped our lives, there have been a slew of challenges, that have prompted closures of businesses and schools and causing much strain on available resources.
Area agencies, now more than ever, are being asked to help people who’ve been hit the hardest. It’s no secret that food pantries across the nation are seeing an increase in need, as many people are out of work. Friday, May 22, 2020
The pandemic for most people was a shock. No warning or preparation was made for this disaster. We were going about with work, recreation, hobbies, social gatherings, community projects, business transactions and daily interactions.
The South Fork Board of Education held their regular meeting on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
South Fork Superintendent Chris Clark made very clear at the board meeting that the district was going to follow the guidelines given to schools by Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) towards events like graduation and end of the year parties. The current guidelines, given in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), state that the power to hold such events is ultimately in the hands of the individual districts. However, any in person events held would have to follow strict rules regarding social distancing, mask wearing, and personal safety. No group pictures would be allowed and each student would have to walk across the stage individually to received their diploma. Everyone would have to maintain a minimum distance of six feet between themselves. Drive through graduations are allowed, but again, require everyone to wear masks, follow social distancing rules, and not to gather in groups. Holding a celebration over social media was also suggested in the guidelines. Thursday, May 21, 2020
On Monday night, the Taylorville City Council voted to issue stimulus checks to local businesses to cover qualifying rent and mortgage expenses up to $1,500. According to the city’s Business Development District administrator, Steve Kline, rent and mortgage expenses are the only eligible expense for the which the city can offer this stimulus plan. Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab and Life’s Journey Senior Living in Taylorville are co-organizing a special tribute for two local groups of heroes – armed forces veterans and healthcare workers – to start the Memorial Day weekend.
The “Salute Our Veterans and Healthcare Workers Car Parade” is open to any local residents who would like to participate in their own vehicles. The parade will start on Friday, May 22, 2020, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Members of the Christian County Board were called into special session at noon Tuesday, to try once again to discuss the possible opening of Christian County. It was rescheduled following an attempt last Friday to hold the meeting. However, due to a lack of space on the telephone system, the meeting had to be postponed.
In the end, the Board voted, 12-3 in favor of a proclamation to “open Christian County.” It was stated the measure will be sent on to Governor J. B. Pritzker in an effort to have the Illinois governor speed up his plan to open the state.
The meeting started with presentations by Dr. Terry Cunnington, medical director of the Christian County Health Department, Greg Nimmo, Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency and Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera, all spoke about the potential liability of early opening of the county, outside of the state guidelines. Wednesday, May 20, 2020
The Village of Kincaid met last night in special session via Google Meet.
Village President David Oller called the meeting to order. The board approved a modification to the 2020 Motor Fuel Resolution adding $22,330.50 for an oil and chip project. According to Public Works Director, Mark Wolfe “The tentative resolution was passed in November 2019 so that we can spend the money in January, however, the price of oil is not available until March.”
Wolfe presented an estimate to the board regarding repairs to the park pavilion totaling $12,400. “Insurance will cover $11,900 and we need to pay the $500 deductible to have the roof replaced that was caused by tree damage when Ameren was cutting down trees.” Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Mizzou Senior Hope Johnson, double majoring in Journalism (Strategic Communication) and Art (Graphic Design) was one of six seniors honored for her leadership, service and academic achievements.
The annual award, given by the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board, recognizes 39 outstanding seniors across all majors for their leadership, service and academic achievement throughout their time at the University of Missouri. Wednesday, May 20, 2020
The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) has announced the selections of Audrey Batts of Elburn, Henry Eberhart of Evanston, Alexander Morelock of Taylorville, and Natalia Rosinski of Chicago as the recipients of the 2020 Conservation Achievement Scholarships. The high school seniors each will receive $2,000 to apply for specified college expenses. Wednesday, May 20, 2020
City of Taylorville aldermen voted 7-1 (Chris Skultety-no) Monday night to approve a stimulus plan for local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Businesses located in Taylorville’s Business Development District (BDD) will be eligible for up to $1,500 in rent or mortgage relief. The BDD encompasses much of Taylorville’s commerce sector, including the area surrounding the Route 29 and Route 104 intersection and the Route 29 corridor through town. It also juts over to include the Kroger area. The Spresser and Park Street corridor also falls within the BDD boundary, as does the downtown area. Tuesday, May 19, 2020
The Fourth of July is always a star-spangled day of patriotism, but this year, there will be no “bombs bursting in air” in Taylorville to mark the occasion.
At Monday night’s Taylorville City Council meeting, the city announced that this year’s Lake Taylorville fireworks show is officially canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Preparations for graduation day at Pana High School on June 5 continue. That was the word from Pana High School Principal Casey Adam to the Pana School Board during their monthly meeting held Monday night.
Graduation, which was set for May 22, has been delayed by two weeks as logistics for the live/virtual ceremonies needed to be planned. Adam said part of the graduation are going to be videoed this Friday, such as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian addresses. Those parts will be added to the actual graduation on June 4. Students and up to four members of their families will be ushered along various stations from the parking lot north of the high school and into the building before making it inside the gymnasium to walk across the stage and get their diploma. Any academic awards or scholarships the student is receiving will be announced as part of the ceremony and the graduate will pick up any medallions or certificates at that time. Once they clear the stage, students and family members will go into the smaller gym where photos will be taken by a professional photographer before they are dismissed out of the west door. Tuesday, May 19, 2020
The Macon County Conservation District will again host a free summer concert series. However due to COVID-19, this year participants will enjoy the concert streamed live, on the Macon County Conservation District's Facebook page: Tuesday, May 19, 2020
The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce Ryan Bowsher and Blake Donnan, both 2020 graduates of Taylorville High School, have been awarded the 2020 Dr. George Ferry Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is administered annually through the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation. Tuesday, May 19, 2020
An experimental vaccine against the coronavirus showed encouraging results in very early testing, triggering hoped-for immune responses in eight healthy, middle-aged volunteers, its maker announced Monday.
Study volunteers given either a low or medium dose of the vaccine by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. had antibodies similar to those seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Monday, May 18, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Some members of the Taylorville Municipal Band play instruments and perform year-round. Others eagerly look forward to dusting off their instruments at this time of year and coming out to play at the first performance of the year, Taylorville’s Memorial Day celebration. Saturday, May 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Aldermen already voted this month to allow Lake Taylorville lake lot renters to put a second camper on their lots. The city couldn’t decide, however, how much that practice should cost. Saturday, May 16, 2020
NOKOMIS — The Nokomis High School Prom Court has been announced and is pictured on page nine.The prom will tentatively take place on Saturday, July 25, 2020 from 8-11 p.m. at the Parish Center in Nokomis with a “Roaring Twenties” theme. Coronation will begin promptly at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, May 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Students who have been in an Agriculture class at Taylorville High School have probably heard one of the teachers say, “You don’t have to be a farmer to be a part of agriculture.” And while production agriculture, such as growing crops and raising livestock, is the basis on which this Industry was founded, it’s true that a large part of today’s agriculture is made up of non-traditional segments. Saturday, May 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — A special meeting of the Christian County Board, which was called for a 12:00 noon starting time, was postponed, due to the overwhelming number of on-line participants trying to get into the meeting. Friday, May 15, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Much like the health of a COVID-19 virus patient, the health of the General Fund of Christian County is going to get worse as the year continues. Those remarks were made by auditor Rich Hooper of Lively, Mathias, Hooper and Noblet during the Finance Committee meeting of the Christian County Board last night. Hooper detailed the recently completed audit for the county for Fiscal year 2019 and looked to future revenues for the 2020 fiscal year. Friday, May 15, 2020
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — Over the last week, in Christian County there were two new positive COVID-19 cases, 165 new negative and no deaths. In Montgomery County there were 2 new positive COVID-19 cases, 97 new negative and 0 new losses of life. Total cumulative reported test numbers from each county as of 5:00 p.m. 5/14/20 are: Friday, May 15, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Bud Altman, Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservancy (LPTC) Vice-President, said they were notified on March 10, 2020 that a number of trees near the bridge on the bike trail were potential habitat for Indiana bats, an endangered species. If these trees were there and available to the bats during their nesting period of April 1-October 1, the trees could not be disturbed. Friday, May 15, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The Gospel of John records Jesus saying “if you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”. A few verses later He says “He whom the Son has set free is free indeed”. This freedom is of the Spirit and soul. No matter where our physical bodies are, nor how confined, Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Many of us are experiencing this truth now. Friday, May 15, 2020
While the full council has yet to vote on the matter, Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says he is optimistic that that the city will be able to provide stimulus checks to local businesses that reside within the city’s Business Development District (BDD).
The BDD encompasses much of Taylorville’s commerce sector, including the area surrounding the Route 29 and 104 intersection and the Route 29 corridor through town. It also juts over to include the Kroger area. The Spresser and Park Street corridor also falls within the BDD, as does the dowtown area.
At last week’s council meeting, Barry revealed the plan, saying he thought the city may be able to cut checks up to $2,000. After speaking more closely with the city’s BDD administrator about the proposal, Barry now says the city may be looking to cap the stimulus payment at $1,500. Thursday, May 14, 2020
A program will be offered starting Monday for Pana Township residents who may need some help paying bill under their General Assistance Program. Emergency Assistance up to $250 will be available. The program was outlined during Wednesday’s session of the Pana Board of Trustees.
The way the program works, a person must apply first for General Assistance and be denied. General Assistance is for those with an income of less than $312 per month and are single with no dependents. The Pana program does not support family situations. Thursday, May 14, 2020
The Edinburg Schools Board of Education meet remotely via the Zoom app on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
Like many schools in the state, Edinburg has been working hard to make sure all the needs of their students are met. However, the district has not been able to nail down a concrete date for their seniors’ graduation. Currently, Superintendent Ben Theilen said they were shooting for either an in-person graduation or a kind of drive through service in late July or early August. Surveys have been sent out to the seniors with four possible dates, asking for which is the best, but principal Michelle Reiss has not received many back yet.
Theilen did say that if the state allowed for in-person graduations sooner, the graduation committee would work hard to move the event to a closer date. With the current situation in the state, though, he could offer no promises on when the event could happen. He also mentioned that prom had been pushed until July 18, tentatively. Being able to hold prom depends largely on the state. If the prom for 2020 is canceled, any seniors who missed it would be invited to attend the 2021 prom if they desired to do so. Thursday, May 14, 2020
The Pana Chamber of Commerce celebrates member businesses for outstanding contributions made to the community and local economy through continued growth and expansion, innovation and community support. Thursday, May 14, 2020
Twin sisters, Wreatha Riva of Taylorville Estates and Leatha Brown of Mt. Carmel, Ill. celebrated their 93rd birthday Wednesday. Leatha came to town to celebrate with her sister. The sisters and staff from Taylorville Estates greeted well wishers in a drive-by parade, led by TPD, family and friends. Thursday, May 14, 2020
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville completed virtual 2020 Spring commencement exercises for more than 2,400 graduates on Sat., May 9. SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook bestowed degrees upon students from the Graduate School, College of Arts and Sciences, and Schools of Business, Engineering, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Education, Health and Human Behavior. Thursday, May 14, 2020
Several projects for the Christian County Courthouse and the Christian County Jail were discussed at the meeting of the Highway and Building Committee of the Christian County Board on Tuesday night. The repairs were approved by the Committee and sent to the Finance Committee for further consideration.
Engineer Bill Kennedy presented several plans for Courthouse repairs dealing with ceilings, painting and floor repairs. Included is repairs and scraping of plaster and removal of the waste. There will also be more chicken wire place on the ceiling of Courtroom “B” on the third floor of the Courthouse this is to keep plaster from falling on to or through the suspended ceiling in the courtroom.
With these projects is repairs to the floor of the Court Reporter’s Office and the replacement of the floor. The concrete floor will be leveled before new sub-floor and flooring is installed. Wednesday, May 13, 2020
The Christian County Board has a special meeting at noon Friday and the topic of discussion is listed as reopening Christian County. The meeting has been called by at least six board members. There was no indication as to whom the board members were. Wednesday, May 13, 2020
The Taylorville Park District says it’s taking a wait-and-see approach to the potential reopening of park district facilities.
The board met in a special meeting Monday evening to discuss possible reopening dates, but members ultimately elected to postpone any decision until the upcoming June 1 meeting where the board says it will reassess the COVID-19 landscape.
While the board did not settle on a reopening decision officially, several park officials and board members say they are hopeful that a July 1 opening could still be possible, even for the pool. Park Recreation Director Bailey Hancock told the board Monday that she arrived at that date after a conversation with the Christian County Health Department earlier in the day; Hancock, however, identified that date as a best-case scenario and one that may not come to fruition at all. Tuesday, May 12, 2020
When the Christian County Courthouse will again open to the public and under what guidelines may be decided at the next full meeting of Christian County Board on May 18. Guidelines were discussed at the Executive/Personnel Committee of the Board on Monday night.
The opening could come on the day following Memorial Day - Tuesday, May 26. While the guidelines presented at the meeting were not approved, the committee did recommend to the full County Board the Courthouse offices and all county offices, be opened one week following the County Board meeting, which is Tuesday, May 18.
This would be with consultation with Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp and Christian County Public Health Department Director Denise Larson as well as the Board as far as the Courthouse goes. Tuesday, May 12, 2020
The Taylorville School Board met virtually in special session last night. Superintendent Chris Dougherty announced the school board received a $1500 donation and the donor wished to remain anonymous. Dougherty said the donation came in one hundred dollar bill increments and designated that $500 be allocated for each of the following schools: North Elementary PTA, Taylorville Junior High and Senior High booster Clubs. “We’re very grateful the anonymous donor thought of our school district,” said Dougherty.
The board also received confirmation for a state maintenance grant in the amount of $50,000 to fix the drainage problem at Memorial Elementary School. The grant will partner with funds already set aside for the project.
Taylorville National Bank will be providing a grant to assist with COVID-19. Dougherty said the bank has some community dollars set aside that they wish to use to help with the cost of transporting meals in the school district as a result of COVID-19. Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Pana City Council members approved the new fiscal year budget which began on May 1 without much debate. However, it needed the yes vote of Pana Mayor Don Kroski to break the tie of three affirmative and three no votes. The action took place during the Council’s meeting held Monday night in the Council Chambers of Pana City Hall. Three members were in person and three others attended remotely with two members absent.
Aldermen Glenn Schneider, Steve Scott and Ron Miles voted “no” while Aldermen Ray “Butch” Hocq, Tim Eddy and Leon Goff voted “yes.” Alderman Kirk Woods was absent and later in the meeting, Mayor Kroski announced Alderman Tracy Braye-Strawn had submitted her resignation as Ward II Alderman. Tuesday, May 12, 2020
The Village of Edinburg held their regular monthly meeting via teleconference on Monday, May 11, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
The Board has been thinking about doing a large water infrastructure project for awhile. There are three major areas around the Village that need work. Mike Lebshier, the Water Superintendent, has told the Board that he is worried about the main raw water line supplying the village. Because of that, and because of concerns for future droughts, the Board has been tossing around the idea of building an interconnect with Sharpsburg’s water system as an emergency back up for water. Finally, the water lines at Sunnyside Acres are in need of replacement. Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Eric Schafer was selected as the State FFA Proficiency Winner in Diversified Livestock Production and Tanner Mickey was selected as the State FFA Proficiency Winner in Diversified Agriculture Entrepreneurship. Eric and Tanner are senior members of the Taylorville FFA Chapter and of the Illinois Association FFA. Illinois FFA recognizes students in fifty different areas based on their work-based learning, also known as Supervised Agricultural Experiences or SAE. FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through record keeping, leadership, and scholastic achievement may be considered for this award. SAEs allow students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results. Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Millikin University will stream a virtual graduate celebration for spring 2020 graduates on Sunday, May 17.
Millikin President Dr. Patrick E. White will preside over the celebration, which will be streamed on the University's Facebook page beginning at 2 p.m. CST.
The virtual graduate celebration will honor members of the Millikin Class of 2020. Friends, families and Big Blue alumni everywhere are invited to gather online to celebrate this special occasion as Millikin University recognizes the spring graduates and confers their degrees. Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Lincoln Land Community College's Financial Aid office is offering free, personalized financial aid assistance and help in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Tuesday, May 12, 2020
The second nominee for the 2020 Taylorville Optimist Club Law Enforcement Officer of the year, is K9 Officer Jeremy Alwerdt of the Taylorville Police Department. He graduated from THS in 2007, and studied Criminal Justice at LLCC. Officer Alwerdt also received training at a part-time academy setting, LETAC transitional training, and South West Illinois College. Monday, May 11, 2020
John R. Blakeman, a 2009 graduate of Taylorville High School, was awarded a PhD in nursing from the Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University on May 8, 2020.
His dissertation was titled "A Holistic Exploration of Fatigue Experienced by Women Before a Myocardial Infarction." This study explored the symptom of fatigue that women experience in the weeks and months leading to a myocardial infarction, also known as a "heart attack." Dr. Blakeman also holds a Master of Science in Nursing degree and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. Monday, May 11, 2020
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) launched the Pandemic EBT application for families on May 1 at https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/. P-EBT is a new special benefit that can help families buy food for their school age children who would normally receive National School Lunch Program (NSLP) free or reduced-priced meals when schools are in session. All families with school age children who attend schools approved for Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) are eligible for the benefits as they receive NSLP meals at no charge. Saturday, May 9, 2020
Taylorville’s Kate Graham is a brand new mother again for the third time, and just in time for Mother’s Day too.
For many, the road to motherhood is a nine-month journey. For Graham, this particular road was anything but conventional, and it was a journey that lasted more than 18 months.
On Friday, Graham officially completed the adoption process for her new daughter, Monroe Elizabeth Graham. Five-year-old Monroe is actually the half sister, on the father’s side, to Graham’s oldest son, Michael. “I think it gives him peace of mind to know that his little sister will have a loving home to grow up into and that she will have the same opportunities that he’s going to have,” Graham said of her son. Saturday, May 9, 2020
Masks worn in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should cover the bridge of the nose, mouth and chin to be most effective, local health-care providers say.
The advice comes in the wake of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s amended statewide stay-at-home order, which began May 1 and runs through May 30. The order says people must wear a face-covering or mask when in a public place or when working and unable to maintain a 6-foot social distance. Saturday, May 9, 2020
Out of an abundance of caution and in response to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Fourth Judicial Circuit is amending its procedures in an attempt to reduce the possibility of spreading the disease. Saturday, May 9, 2020
High schools throughout Christian County have been trying to cope with distance learning this spring and make plans for the usual end of the school year activities. But just because the preoccupation of the schools is making it to the end of the 2019-20 school year, doesn’t mean they haven’t lost sight of what’s to come when the school bell rings in August for the 2020-21 school year.
While what the next school year will look like, all of the administrators will make plans to open regularly, but know they must have a contingency plan if distance learning continues. Saturday, May 9, 2020
When people hear the word “farmer” they typically imagine a person wearing bib overalls, a hat and typically dirty working with crops and livestock. But, have we got something new for you to envision, a young, intelligent, athletic, pretty lady can be a farmer too. Saturday, May 9, 2020
Lincoln Land Community College will conduct a virtual commencement ceremony to honor its graduates on Friday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. A link to the commencement video will be available at www.llcc.edu/graduation.
“The commencement video will premiere on the date and time the live ceremony was originally scheduled, but graduates and their families can watch and enjoy it any time,” said Dr. Lesley Frederick, vice president of student services at LLCC. “Our theme for commencement this year is Moving Forward. We hope this virtual ceremony will provide a memorable celebration to commemorate the accomplishments and perseverance of our students in these unique times.” Saturday, May 9, 2020
Facing another possible month of being stuck at home with your children is enough to make any parent want to pull their hair out. How are you going to keep them entertained and tolerable for another four weeks when you’ve already watched all the Disney movies ten times and could recite Pete the Cat from memory? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here is a selection of kid friendly crafts and projects that can be done at home. Not only are they fun to do, each one can be turned into a learning opportunity to help teach your children to measure, count, cut, and play. Saturday, May 9, 2020
In their first weekly news release, the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency has announced an increase in COVID-19 cases in both counties. Christian County’s total went up by one and three new cases were reported in Montgomery County.
The report totals are, for Christian County, 29 positive cases with four deaths reported and 437 negative tests. In Montgomery County, the count is now 35 positive tests with one death. There have been 623 negative tests reported. Friday, May 8, 2020
Dunn’s Ambulance Service is looking for some businesses around the Taylorville Courthouse square, willing to post signs of the 180 graduates of Taylorville High School.
Paula Dunn, of Dunn’s Ambulance says the service has 11 x 13 photos of all of the seniors, laminated and ready for display. Dunn’s has paid for the signs and is asking for those businesses along the parade route of the May 22 Senior Parade around the square, to display them.
“I just woke up in the middle of the night and the idea struck me,” Dunn said. “It’s just a way to honor the seniors who have had a very challenging senior year. I just wanted to do something special for them.” Friday, May 8, 2020
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill) announced that the City of Taylorville was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants Program.
This Rural Development grant will be used to purchase a police vehicle for the City of Taylorville. The city is purchasing a 2020 Dodge after recently losing two vehicles from their fleet. The grant amount from USDA is $20,000, and the City of Taylorville is contribution $17,978. Friday, May 8, 2020
Cathy Schaeffer’s 6th grade class from St. Mary’s School has been reading the book titled “52 Little Lessons From It’s A Wonderful Life” by author Bob Welch.
Schaeffer indicated she’s read this to eight different classes throughout her time at St. Mary’s School. With approximately 20 students in each class, she estimates the story has touched 160 different lives just here in Taylorville.
It’s based on the Frank Capra’s 1946 classic story about a small town in Bedford Falls with characters George and Mary Bailey. It’s a reflection of what we can be when we’re at our best and a reminder that our lives can change everyone around us for better or worse. Friday, May 8, 2020
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, my guess is that many of us are thinking about mom. That, of course, is not limited just to those who carried us and gave birth to us, but all the amazing and astounding women in our lives who have been a mother or like a mother to us. Also, as is necessary on a day like this, is a recognition that for some this is a day of mixed emotions. Add into this already tenuous mix a global pandemic that has resulted in reduced or eliminated contact and you have the making of a Mother’s Day like no other. Friday, May 8, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The Taylorville Police Department is grateful for all the nurses at Taylorville Memorial Hospital for their dedication. In observance of National Nursing Week, the police dropped off flowers at the emergency room to say thank you.
The Christian County Historical Society has hired Raymond Gates, pictured, as the new Museum Coordinator to start on May 14. CCHS hopes to have the gates of the museum open at the end of May. Thursday, May 7, 2020
Memorial Health System, in accordance with guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health, on May 11 will begin resuming many surgeries and other medical procedures and visits that had been postponed during the initial stages of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As always, the safety of our patients and caregivers is our first priority, and we are confident these new guidelines will protect everyone involved,” said Dr. Raj Govindaiah, chief medical officer for Memorial Health System. Thursday, May 7, 2020
Heavy equipment has begun the task of taking down the old portion of Taylorville Memorial Hospital so Phase II of the construction project can begin. Kim Bourne, CEO of TMH, says portions of the building had been gutted in the past week and the heavy equipment moved in on Monday. Thursday, May 7, 2020
On April 2, 2020, at approximately 1:20 am TPD responded to an alarm at the Mach 1 gas station, located at Illinois Rt. 29 and Illinois Rt. 104. The alarm was for front counter motion. Thursday, May 7, 2020
The healthcare field has definitely been in the spotlight the last few months with the onset of COVID-19. Many stories have been shared about the profession, the risks and the sacrifices that the nursing community endures.
This week we celebrate National Nurses Week. In the past, it was considered a profession made up predominetly of female nurses, but that is changing. Thursday, May 7, 2020
A birthday parade of friends and church family paraded past Mickey Davis’ house Tuesday afternoon led by Taylorville Police Department. Passersby greeted the 62 year old Davis with honking horns, balloons, shouts of good wishes and lots of cards honoring his special day. Wednesday, May 6, 2020
The Village of Mt. Auburn held their regular monthly meeting via the Zoom app on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Village Board Trustee Scott Vincent presented the Board with a spread sheet he had made showing the possible projected revenue loss the village was going to suffer in the 2020 fiscal year because of the statewide lockdown. To make his projections, Vincent used the total revenue reports from the General Fund from 2019 and broke them down into four equal quarters. He then took the revenue projections from four major banks, JP Morgan/Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanely, along with the projections from the Congressional Budget Office, and averaged them out with the village numbers to build an estimate on what the total losses for 2020 were going to be.
Based on the projected numbers, the Village of Mt. Auburn was going to have anywhere between $12,254 to $28,976 less in revenue for 2020 than it had in 2019. Vincent had double checked his numbers with the Village Treasurer, Gerry Mahr. On Mahr’s suggestion, Vincent created another spreadsheet projection that took the annual property tax revenue out of the equation. They were not certain if people would be able to pay their property taxes this year, and did not want to build their numbers solely on past revenue that included that money in the totals. Without property tax included, Mt. Auburn would have between $9,275 and $21,929 less revenue to work with than they normally had. Vincent again told the Board that the numbers were only for the General Fund accounts, as he had no current way to figure what Motor Fuel Tax and other possible revenue sources were going to be bringing in. Wednesday, May 6, 2020
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.
Sometime between Friday, May 1, 2020 and Sunday, May 3, 2020, person or persons unknown made entry into the concession stand located on the Taylorville High School Football Field. The unknown subject or subjects damaged a door on the building to make entry. Nothing appeared to have been taken at this time. The total dollar amount of damage is unknown at this time. Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Nothing has been discussed officially by City of Taylorville aldermen, nor has any vote been cast, but Mayor Bruce Barry announced Monday night that the city is considering issuing stimulus checks to local businesses as a result of the financial toll the COVID-19 outbreak has taken.
“We will support our small businesses with up to a $2,000 stimulus stipend out of our current BDD (Business Development District) funds,’’ Barry said of the proposed plan.
Barry estimates that there are approximately 115 businesses located within the BDD. If every one of those were to receive a stimulus payment, the total financial commitment from the city would obviously approach $230,000.
Details were limited Monday night on how the program might work specifically; Barry says those items are intended to be ironed out at the upcoming finance committee meeting on May 21. Tuesday, May 5, 2020
While there is no confirmation the bids have been accepted by the Illinois Department of Transportation, bids were opened for two highway projects in Christian County. The bids were opened on Apr. 24, 2020.
Lowest bidder to resurface 10.6 miles of pavement on Illinois Route 29 from Velma Road near Taylorville to just north of Magnolia St. in Pana, is R. A. Cullinan and Co. of Tremont. The bid was just over $5,337,000. It has a 90-working day completion schedule. Tuesday, May 5, 2020
In their final daily press briefing issued today, the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency is reporting one new case of COVID-19, taking place in Montgomery County. As per usual, they did not release what town the new case was located.
With the new case, Montgomery County now has 30 positive cases with one death resulting. Negative cases stand at 410, an increase of nine from a day ago. For Christian County, positive cases are still at 28 with four deaths. Negative cases increased by 15, with 373 now reported. Tuesday, May 5, 2020
In their daily press briefing today, the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency is reporting three new case of COVID-19, taking place in Montgomery County. As per usual, they did not release what town the new case was located.
Testing has been conducted today on every resident and staff member at the Montgomery Nursing and Rehab Center in Taylor Springs. An organization, Home With Heart, assisted staff with Hillsboro Area Hospital in conducting the tests. Results from these tests could take as long as 72 hours. Last week, one resident was found to have contracted the virus. Monday, May 4, 2020
The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that resurfacing of Illinois 29 between Cardinal Hill Road in Rochester and Jett Road at Berry begins May 4.
At least one lane will be open in each direction during the resurfacing, which will help preserve the road and provide a smoother driving surface. Work is expected to last about a month. Monday, May 4, 2020
As if there wasn’t enough to worry about during the COVID-19 breakout, doctors on the east coast are noticing a relationship between the virus and strokes caused by blood clots in younger patients - some of them deadly. But in Christian County, this does not seem to be a problem.
Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert-Winans says there was no indication of strokes in the four victims from Christian County. Those who passed away were said to have been older people. A check with the pathologist who does autopsies for Christian County, Dr. John Denton of Bloomington, finds no cases as well. Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon’s office did not respond to the inquiry. Monday, May 4, 2020
On Friday, nine Taylorville High School students drafted a letter to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker asking him to reconsider a statewide ban on drive-through graduation ceremonies.
On Sunday, the Illinois State Board of Education laid out new, more relaxed guidelines on graduation ceremonies that will let THS students, and students all across the state, have their day in the sun after all.
“Students, and only their immediate family members who are staying at home together, should arrive in waves and leave after their individual recognition,” the state’s new guidelines read of drive-through ceremonies. “Students may exit the car individually, in their cap and gown if available, to have a photo taken. These events will require precise scheduling, traffic control, and school safety personnel, etc. and may be appropriate for small to medium-sized graduating classes in less trafficked areas.” Monday, May 4, 2020
One person was killed and three others were injured in a one-car accident at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. Deputy Christian County Coroner Austin Peters identified the victim as 35-year-old Michelle White. She died of blunt force trauma due to the accident according to the Deputy Coroner. Monday, May 4, 2020
The AFSCME Retiree Sub-Chapter #87 meetings for Monday, May11th and for Tuesday, May 12 have been canceled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. AFSCME is adapting to the recommendations from the CDC and the governor’s office to cancel all in-person meetings until the CDC lifts them.
On Monday, June 8 at 1 p.m. the AFSCME retiree Sub-chapter #87 will hold their regular meeting in the Staley Room at the Decatur Public Library. The program is to be determined. The Decatur meetings are held on the second Monday of each month. Monday, May 4, 2020
The Taylorville American Legion will be hosting a mostaccioli dinner (curbside pickup) on Thursday, May 7, 2020 from 4-7 p.m. at the American Legion parking lot, 110 W. Franklin Street in Taylorville. Monday, May 4, 2020
The Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter is proud to join with individuals and groups around the country and the world to support #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5.
Traditionally held on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday is designed to drive generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation and support for communities and nonprofits around the world. In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers of the annual event are designating May 5 as #GivingTuesdayNow – a timely additional opportunity for individuals and groups to support non-profit organizations hit hard by the current crisis. Monday, May 4, 2020
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has allocated funding to colleges and universities, including Lake Land College, to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Monday, May 4, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Christian County Board member Ray Koonce has filed a federal lawsuit against Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. Koonce asserts that the executive orders mandated by the governor are unconstitutional. Saturday, May 2, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — When the Christian County Courthouse reopens to the public - and employees as well - they will be able to take a new ride. While this pandemic has been going on, workers from Otis Elevator in Springfield have been busy refurbishing the 58-year-old Courthouse elevator from top to bottom. Saturday, May 2, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — As if there wasn’t enough to worry about during the COVID-19 breakout, doctors on the east coast are noticing a relationship between the virus and strokes caused by blood clots in younger patients - some of them deadly. But in Christian County, this does not seem to be a problem. Saturday, May 2, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — On Friday, May 1, 2020 at 10:19 a.m., Christian County 911 received a call that a femail was unresponsive in her home in Taylorville. Taylorville Fire and Dunn’s Ambulance responded and requested the coroner. Saturday, May 2, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) has teamed up with the Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Soybean Association to deliver hand sanitizer to local first responders and public health departments in Christian and Montgomery counties. In total they delivered 12 gallons of ethanol-based hand sanitizer manufactured by Marquis Energy in Hennepin, IL. Saturday, May 2, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — While school and classes may not be in session, the FFA Agriscience Fair is still on. The Illinois Association FFA has worked very hard over the past five weeks to still make competitive oppoprtunities available for students while still following social distancing guidelines. Saturday, May 2, 2020
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — With another month of shelter in place quarantine looming over May, many of us are wondering what the heck we are going to do with ourselves for the next four weeks. We’ve caught up on all our laundry, cleaned the house until we could eat off the floors, and binged watched shows until we can’t keep our eyes open anymore. With shopping excursions limited to bare necessities and only so much lawn work to be done, it may seem like there is nothing left to occupy our time. Saturday, May 2, 2020
(AP) — As the days go by, I am being forced to become more creative with my cooking. I’ve always been a fan of stews and hearty soups, and I make them all year round to stock my freezer. That stash has started to run low lately. So it was time to see what I could make out of the slim pickings I had and replenish the freezer stock. Saturday, May 2, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — A group of Taylorville High School Students have drafted a letter to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker asking him to reconsider a state ban on any and all high school graduation ceremonies, especially drive-through ceremonies designed around social distancing protocols like the one that had previously been planned by THS administrators. Friday, May 1, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — In their daily press briefing today, the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency is reporting one new case of COVID-19, taking place in Montgomery County. They did not release what town the new case was located. Friday, May 1, 2020
MEMORIAL SCHOOL— Students needing to pick up their personal items, learning packets, PTA spirit wear, and medication from Memorial elementary school can do so on the following days and times. Friday, May 1, 2020
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — The C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) still has energy assistance funding available for the 2020 season. The deadline for making an application has been extended this year due to COVID-19 to June 30, 2020. Any household that has not applied for assistance yet could apply as soon as possible. Any household that has applied as of October 1, 2019 or after and have a high outstanding balance, may apply again and receive further assistance at this time Friday, May 1, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Thursday night, April 23, 2020, students from the Taylorville FFA Chapter were trading traditional interview rooms for kitchen tables. Rather than meeting at the University of Illinois in Champaign to compete at the State Proficiency Award Contest, members will be competing virtually from the safety of their own homes Friday, May 1, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville High School administrators were already on plan B when it came to graduation. Now, a state directive will have school administrators scrambling to change gears yet again. Thursday, April 30, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Since its last report on Thursday, the number of positive COVID-19 tests has increased by one in Christian County. The report was made in the Thursday daily briefing by the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency. They did not release where the new case was located. Thursday, April 30, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — During the prime of their lives, people typically don't give much thought to scenarios in which they become ill or are facing the end of life. Sickness and mortality are not easy conversations to have, but it is important for everyone to approach these heavy topics with close family members so that individuals can rest easy knowing their needs will be met if or when their health falters. Thursday, April 30, 2020
SPRINGFIELD — A second Republican state representative on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Gov. JB Pritzker alleging he overstepped his authority in ordering Illinoisans to stay at home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Thursday, April 30, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The COVID-19 emergency is effecting almost every walk of life and it is no different for local attorneys. In observance of Law Day, three local attorneys - Dennis Atteberry, Nathan Frisch and John McWard - related how their practices have been challenged during the past two months. They agreed closed courthouses, inability to speak face-to-face with clients and delays in cases are just a few of the roadblocks they are facing. Thursday, April 30, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The Christian County Board approved a recommendation from the Finance Committee to allow for voluntary furloughs of employees during a special meeting on Wednesday night. The decision was made as offices and buildings of the county are closed due to the emergency orders issued by the Governor during the COVID-19 emergency. Elected office holders will be able to set up furloughs with members of their departments if there is a lack of work for those employees. Thursday, April 30, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The State of Illinois is in crisis mode when it comes to court reporters. There has been a definite decline in numbers and it’s only going to get worse in the next ten years, as the average age of a reporter is 52 years old. Thursday, April 30, 2020
The Montgomery Nursing and Rehab Center in Taylor Springs has confirmed a resident of the facility has tested positive for COVID-19. This information is provided in the daily update from the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency.
“We are in close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps,” reads a release from the facility. “Resident safety is our top priority.”
The center is continuing to insure they are preventing the spread by screening employees reporting to work on each shift; not permitting any visitors; and checking vital signs of residents multiple times during the day. Wednesday, April 29, 2020
The City of Taylorville Street crew was dispatched shortly after 8 p.m. last night to the 1700 block of E. Ash Street after several trees and large limbs were reportedly blocking the roadway. Straight-line winds were to blame for the damage. Wednesday, April 29, 2020
The Illinois State Museum (ISM) announces "Bugs! Virtual Super Saturday" – the first virtual event in its popular Super Saturday series – will take place online from Saturday, May 2 to Tuesday, May 5.
Families with elementary age children can join ISM over the weekend to explore the remarkable world of insects, bugs, and arachnids. "Bugs! Virtual Super Saturday" will include engaging art and science activities that families from across Illinois and beyond can do while at home. Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Kristina Allen, of Taylorville, is one of 198 students across the country to receive a Make An ImpactSM scholarship from Modern Woodmen of America. The award recognizes young Modern Woodmen members who have made a local impact through volunteerism and demonstrated outstanding academic achievement.
“We’re proud to support these exceptional students as they continue their educational journey,” says Jill Lain Weaver, chief fraternal officer at Modern Woodmen. “Thanks to their strong volunteer spirit, they’ve made a positive impact in their communities at a young age.” Wednesday, April 29, 2020
For the second consecutive time, the Taylorville Optimist Club’s board of directors met by way of teleconferencing. Many topics were discussed centered around the uncertainty caused by the current pandemic and the resulting restrictions. One thing is certain, however, and that is the fact that all decisions made at today’s meeting are based on the guidelines that are in force at the time. As the guidelines change, so may the decisions announced today. Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Christian County Treasurer Betty Asmussen told the Christian County Finance Committee Monday night that financial losses related to the COVID-19 outbreak could range between ten and twenty percent of the county’s general fund budget.
If the losses ultimately hover around the ten-percent threshold, Asmussen estimated them at more than $275,000. At twenty percent, the loss in revenue could top $550,000.
With those losses looming, the finance committee debated the possibility of employee furloughs Monday night.
The board ultimately voted unanimously against any mandatory furloughs, but members did say that they would be open to the potential of voluntary furloughs. Tuesday, April 28, 2020
With today’s COVID-19 report from the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency, they report no new cases of the disease in either county. There have been 32 total tests which have come back negative.
Current numbers show Christian County holding with 28 positive cases and four deaths. An increase of four negative cases, up to 248, are reported. Montgomery County has 23 positive cases with one death. The negative tests case numbers increased by 28 with 309 now reported. Tuesday, April 28, 2020
University of Illinois Extension is pleased to announce a free webinar series, Good Growing in Illinois on Wednesdays starting May 6, 2020 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. delivered using Zoom. University of Illinois Extension Educators Andrew Holsinger, Chris Enroth, Ken Johnson and Katie Parker will teach these webinars.
"Now is a great time to learn new techniques about gardening and further your horticultural knowledge," states University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Andrew Holsinger. "Participating in these webinars will give you some ideas to keep your garden productive and safe all season long.” Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Landri Salmon has been selected to represent Memorial Elementary as an outstanding student leader in the Illinois Principals Association, Abe Lincoln Region.
“We are all so proud of her accomplishments, but just as importantly, we are thankful that Landri's strengths in leadership bring out the best in others as well.” Principal Eric Bruder noted. Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Detective Evert Nation comes to the Taylorville PD with strong family ties. His father Evert served on the PD as did his brother Bill and sister-in-law Sheila. Evert is a 21 year veteran of the force. He graduated from THS in 1990. Det. Nation joined the US Navy in 1994 and served until 1998. He became an auxiliary officer in 1994 and served in that capacity until becoming full time in 1998. Tuesday, April 28, 2020
The Senior Christian County 4-H Livestock Judging Team was very disappointed when the spring meet of contests was cancelled, but this resilient group has been able to find new success in the online livestock judging world. In this new type of situation we are living in, the livestock judging team has found several opportunities for online cattle, sheep, hog, goat, and oral reasons contests.
Many livestocking judging websites have made it possible for these kids to still have the opportunity to get as much practice in during these times and even take part in nationally sanctioned online competitive events. Even though the competitive Christian County 4-H Team cannot see the livestock in person they have adapted well to the online version of contests. Tuesday, April 28, 2020
During its meeting on Monday night, the Pana City Council voted unanimously on first reading an ordinance to approve issuance of nearly $3.9 million for the city’s water system. Seven of the eight aldermen participated either in person or by telephone. Alderman Ray “Butch” Hocq was absent.
The bonds will cover a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Rural Development (RD) Act for the amount of the bonds. This is an increase in the indebtedness of the city, due to bids on two of the projects coming in above the estimated amount. City Attorney Steve Mahrt told council members the USDA had agreed to the higher loan request in order to fund the project. The USDA approved and the city accepted, a $1 million grant for the project.
While the bids have not been accepted by the city, by expanding the bond issuance, the contractors are able to start some of their paperwork which includes securing performance bonds and insurance. The city did pass a motion of intent to accept the bids, contingent on approval of the bond sales and USDA-RD approval. Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported by the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency as of Monday. The location of the positive tests have not been indicated.
This brings the number of positive COVID-19 cases to 28 with four deaths being reported. The number of negative tests returned by Christian County is now at 241, which is an increase of 32. For Montgomery County, positive cases number 23 with just one death reported. Negative tests total 281, which was an increase of 46 negative cases from Friday’s report. Monday, April 27, 2020
The Taylorville Community Garden (TCG) is entering its eighth year of providing valuable commodities to the community. The garden began in 2013 and is located at Davis Memorial Christian Church, 1500 W. Franklin Street.
In 2019, nearly 2100 pounds of food was raised with 558 volunteer hours logged between 32 adults and 8 children. Saturday, April 25, 2020
Usually, bringing home the baby would be cause for a huge celebration. Family and friends from all over converge, with congratulations, baby necessities, and offers of assistance readily handed out. People share food and wisdom while welcoming the precious new life to the world. But what happens when such a blessed event occurs during a global pandemic that brought the entire world to a screeching halt? Saturday, April 25, 2020
On Thursday, Governor JB Pritzker announced he will extend the Illinois Stay Home Order through May 30. In addition to the extension, the Governor announced some modest changes to the restrictions that accompany the Order.
"While I was glad that some of the common sense changes House Republicans asked for were made, I am disappointed that he has dismissed the idea of using a regional approach to reopen the economy," said State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville). "In fact, during the Q and A portion of the briefing on Thursday, when asked about reopening parts of downstate Illinois that are not seeing infection rates like in urban areas, the Governor laughed. To the Governor, I say this: We in Central and Southern Illinois, who are forced to abide by your statewide mandates, we're not laughing." Saturday, April 25, 2020
The Christian County Water Reclamation District (CCWRD) stepped up in a big way Friday to help local families impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
At a special board meeting held via phone conference, the district, which operates the local waste water treatment plant, committed $50,000 to local entities and organizations in an effort to provide immediate relief for Christian County residents.
The board voted unanimously to donate $20,000 to the Taylorville Food Pantry, $10,000 to Meals on Wheels, and $20,000 to the City of Taylorville Water Department. The money given to the City of Taylorville will be used to pay delinquent water bills for first-time delinquent accounts for people who have been affected financially due to the outbreak. Saturday, April 25, 2020
Six students graduating from Western Illinois University at the end of the Spring 2020 semester have received the highest recognition from their colleges for their overall academic excellence by being named a College Scholar.
Kaysi M. Vice, a Clinical Laboratory Science Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar from Kincaid, will graduate with high academic distinction, magna cum laude. Saturday, April 25, 2020
As the world continues to be on lockdown, the agriculture industry must run as normal as possible. Agriculture is the backbone to our society and provides food, goods and various other resources we need for our daily lives. This is something that many do not think about as they gather all goods from the store. As students in the agriculture program at THS we are fortunate enough to learn where our food comes from, how it is processed and ultimately how it gets on our table. On an average year, we are able to help plant our Mt. Auburn Crop Plot. This plot aids in our educational learning, as we are able to get hands on learning experience. With things being on lockdown, we are beyond grateful to work with an amazing agriculture business. This business everyone is familiar with, and that would be Brandt Consolidated. Despite the fact that we were not able to assist with planting this year, we hope that we will be able to take part in the harvesting process of the corn and beans this fall. On an average year, we are able to help fill the planter, record varieties and measure rows. This plot is replicated across Central Illinois to help gather data on various varieties of seed. Saturday, April 25, 2020
The numbers of Christian and Montgomery County residents who have tested positive for the Coronavirus remain stable. For Christian County the number is 26 cases with four deaths. There have been 217 negative cases, the number up by eight from the previous day. For Montgomery County, their total is now 23 positives - up by one - and one death. Negative cases are at 246, up by 11 over a day ago.
Taylorville Mayor Bruce Berry has delayed the opening of the Lake Taylorville Campgrounds and lake lots until Sunday, May 14, 2020.
“I understand that this is an inconvenience for all concerned but in the current circumstances with the safety and well-being of all our residents and visitors my top priority, this is a decision I must make,” said Barry in a statement released to the news media. Friday, April 24, 2020
At-home kits with monitoring equipment are helping Memorial Health System health care providers quickly spot potential complications for dozens of central Illinois residents who are recovering at home from COVID-19 symptoms. Friday, April 24, 2020
While the Coronavirus emergency progresses, the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency is reminding citizens of several precautions they should take or observe during this time. One of those cautions concerns social media.
Residents should be cautious of posts on Facebook and other social media formats from unofficial sources. The agency is seeing posts, Tweets, etc., which are opinion based or uninformed of all the facts regarding a given situation. These types of posts in turn, after several assumptions being made without all of the facts, many of which are confidential to HIPPA and privacy concerns, tend to fester into a highly shared post which only raises anxieties of those who see them. Residents should not get wrapped up in such postings and widely share them. Doing so only breeds fear and furthers anxiety of an already very stressful time for everyone. Everyone should do their part and be responsible for the information shared, commented on or post. Friday, April 24, 2020
So many things feel out of place at the moment. I feel a bit out of place as I’ve been working from home. The surroundings are familiar, but they are not familiar for the purpose I’m using them. I’m accustomed to work in the office and do the rest of life at home. Not right now. My schedule is a bit out of place. I’ve found that work and every other part of life mix themselves together at present. I find myself working at odd hours because tasks keep coming to mind. Nothing seems normal. Friday, April 24, 2020
The Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency is reporting employees in two stores in their jurisdictions have been tested - one positive - for the COVID-19 virus.
It was announced on Wednesday afternoon - after the regular daily update - the Montgomery County Health Department had a confirmed case of Coronavirus of an employee at the Raymond Dollar General Store. They have instituted proper cleaning protocols prior to this case that follows CDC recommendations. At this time, the store will remain open, according to CMCEMA Director Greg Nimmo. He also reported the store will provide staff with face masks and gloves for their safety, and the safety of others who enter the store.
Shopping at the Raymond facility within the last two weeks does not make you a “close contact,” Nimmo said. The Montgomery County Health Department will continue to work with the Raymond Dollar General Store and its corporate office.
The agency said no additional information will be released as this is an ongoing investigation. Thursday, April 23, 2020
Only one new case of COVID-19 has been reported by the Montgomery County Health Department during the past 24 hours according to the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency in their latest update about the virus. They now have 17 total positive tests with one death. The number of negative cases is now at 224, up by seven since the last report.
For Christian County, the positive cases and deaths remain the same, but the negative cases rose to 199, up six. Wednesday, April 22, 2020
It wasn’t until the tail end of the Christian County Board meeting on Tuesday afternoon when the subject of the status of county employees came up. In fact, there had already been a motion to adjourn the meeting, but before it was voted on, District 2 representative Vicki McMahon asked the question, “Are we going to have a Finance Committee meeting?”
Board Chairman Becky Edwards responded, “Conversations are taking place right now, there are several things that have to be discussed. We may be talking furloughs soon.”
“That was my next question,” McMahon said. “Are we going to be proactive or reactive?” Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Pursuant to Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-07 (COVID-19 Executive Order No. 5) which suspends the requirement of the Illinois Open Meetings Act requiring in-person attendance by members of a public body during the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, the members of the City Council may not be physically present for the Council Meetings, but may instead be participating in the meeting through audio access using a virtual meeting platform. Wednesday, April 22, 2020
With the staggering numbers of the unemployed across the United States caused by the COVID-19 virus, there is relief offered through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
In general, Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary income maintenance to individuals who have been separated from employment through no fault of their own and who meet the eligibility requirements, including being available for work, register with the state and actively seek work. Those who have been laid off could qualify for benefits as long as they are able and actively seeking work. Under emergency IDES rules recently adopted, an individual would not have to register with the employment service. They would be considered actively seeking work, as long as they were prepared to return to their job as soon as the employer reopens. Wednesday, April 22, 2020
During a virtual meeting of the Pana School Board on Monday night, members decided to form a committee to plan a student-parent graduation plan. The event will take place on the day graduation had been originally scheduled for, Friday May 22, 2020.
All seven members attended with President Bill Beyers, Superintendent Jason Bauer and Administrative Assistant Nicole Blodgett stationed in the Library of Pana High School. The other six board embers participated in the meeting from home.
A committee of Dr. Beyers, Superintendent Bauer, PHS Principal Casey Adam, Assistant Principal Heath Strom and others yet to be named, will put the event together. The main consensus was the seniors deserved their moment to “walk across the stage” for graduation.
“There is no perfect model which will fit all,” Bauer said. “It comes down to each local school district deciding.”
Beyers stressed he felt something was needed at this “Important, monumental time” in the life of the seniors. Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Aldermen were split on a vote Monday night that sought to prohibit the expenditure of ward money in case the city were to need to fall back on some financial reserves amid the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It took a “yes” vote from Mayor Bruce Barry to break the 4-4 tie, which means that aldermen will now be barred from spending previously allocated ward money, except for two projects that are already underway; one is in the area of Rich and England Streets and the other is on Madera Court.
With so many businesses shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the city says it expects to see a dramatic reduction in sales tax, video gaming revenue, utility tax, and BDD revenue. Tuesday, April 21, 2020