When Taylorville’s Fourth of July Parade was given the green light just over a month ago, the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Taylorville were hopeful it would be a unifying event and a kickoff to a return to normalcy.
Saturday’s 10:00 a.m. parade, however, has become a source of contention as some residents argue the event is inherently dangerous and likely to result in greater community spread of COVID-19.
One Taylorville resident, Gary Merker, told the Breeze-Courier that Saturday’s parade is irresponsible and that he believes it should be canceled. Merker argues that the event encourages widespread congregation during a time when cases appear to be on the rise nationally.
Other residents assert that risk assessment and exposure should be a personal decision based on individual comfort levels. Friday, July 3, 2020
The Taylorville Fire Department took possession of a new pumper truck today. It was purchased by the Taylorville Fire Protection District. While the truck isn’t going into service immediately, Taylorville Fire Chief Matthew Adermann said the public can get a look at the new vehicle during the Fourth of July Parade on Saturday. Friday, July 3, 2020
Towering distinctly over New York Harbor, midway between the shores of New York and New Jersey, is the famous work of art known as the Statue of Liberty. “Lady Liberty” rises 305 feet out of the waters of the harbor with a stern face staring straight ahead, and her right arm outstretched to lift a burning torch. The massive statue was a gift from France to the United States and was officially inaugurated in October of 1886. The translation of her original name was, “Liberty Enlightening the World.” And for over 130 years now, that colossal statue has served majestically as a symbol for that very theme. Friday, July 3, 2020
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.
Sometime between the evening hours of Sunday, June 21, 2020 and the morning of Monday, June 22, 2020, person or persons unknown made entry into Dairy Queen, located at 401 Springfield Road. While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took an undisclosed amount of money. There was damage done to a door while making entry. The total dollar amount of the theft and damage in unknown at this time. Friday, July 3, 2020
The Supreme Court today turned away pleas from anti-abortion activists to make it easier for them to protest outside clinics, declining to wade back into the abortion debate just days after striking down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics.
The justices said in a written order that they would not hear cases from Chicago and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where anti-abortion activists had challenged ordinances that restrict their behavior outside clinics. Thursday, July 2, 2020
The Taylorville Business Development District (BDD) committee met Wednesday morning where members approved payouts to 42 ocal businesses as part of the city’s business stimulus plan.
Under the program, businesses affected by COVID-19 could seek reimbursement for one rent or mortgage payment capped at a maximum of $1,500; those businesses had to lie in the city’s business development district. Thursday, July 2, 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 July 2, 2020: Thursday, July 2, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals will continue their text amendment hearing for the Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) ordinance on both Monday and Tuesday, July 6 and 7. Meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. each night. Thursday, July 2, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — With more people in the audience of Courtroom “A” of the Christian County Courthouse, the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) continued their hearing on text amendments for the county’s Wind Energy Conversion System Ordinance on Tuesday night. It was the third night of testimony from those presenting text amendments and there was a sneak peak of some of the interested party testimonies which came near the end of the meeting. Wednesday, July 1, 2020
TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Deana Stefko, a nurse practitioner who works in Taylorville, says there were heartbreaking times as she watched COVID-19 victims die while on a five-week deployment to New York and New Jersey as an Air Force reservist. Wednesday, July 1, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — All tri-county residents are reminded they have through Friday, July 10th to donate to TCCU’s 6th annual ‘Freedom Tree’ community food drive. Donations of canned / boxed food items, as well as cash, can be dropped off at any of TCCU’s four locations. Wednesday, July 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 June 30, 2020: Tuesday, June 30, 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 June 29, 2020: Monday, June 29, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has selected Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler and Deputy Chief Vince Childers as the grand marshals for the upcoming Fourth of July parade. Saturday, June 27, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — William Arthur Ward once said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” There have been many great teachers in my life. Some were actual school educators, while others were mentors I just met along the road of life. Because of an English teacher, I became a writer myself. Because of a band teacher, I never gave up my passion for music. Because of my mother, I never let hardships get me down. I consider math teacher Sarah Marsaglia to be one of those great teachers who inspired me, as well. Fittingly, Marsaglia was once inspired by a great teacher of her own to become the math educator who guided many students, including me, during her thirty-one years teaching at the district. Saturday, June 27, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — It’s been a little more than 18 months since a devastating tornado ravaged parts of Taylorville, but the strength, unity, and generosity that swelled locally in the wake of that storm still endures. Saturday, June 27, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville Park Board members were hopeful to open park playground equipment to the general public today as the State of Illinois is set to usher in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. Friday, June 26, 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 June 26, 2020: Friday, June 26, 2020
PANA —Pana Community Hospital’s new FastCare, offering convenient walk-in clinic services to Pana and the surrounding areas, is opening Monday, June 29. Hospital officials want the public to know that the Emergency Department and FastCare share the same entrance. Friday, June 26, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The vote to dismiss Becky Edwards, District 4, as Chairman of the Christian County Board failed by one vote during a special meeting on Thursday afternoon. The vote was 12-4 in favor. However, Michael Gianasi said it required a 4/5th majority, which is 13. Thursday, June 25, 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 June 25, 2020: Thursday, June 25, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The second consecutive night of hearings of the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on Wednesday night ended up a lot more tamer than the first night without problems with technology or interruptions by audience members. Only two witnesses were heard during the slightly longer than two-hour session, along with Protect Christian County (PCC) Attorney Phillip A. Luetkehans explain their text amendment and give a brief explanation as to why PCC is presenting a request for a moratorium on building or issuing permits for Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS). Thursday, June 25, 2020
Six Christian County Board members - five of them Republican and one Democrat - have asked for a special meeting of the Christian County Board at 12:00 noon on Thursday with the sole agenda item being the removal of current Board Chairman Becky Edwards, Republican, from District 4. Those requesting the meeting were District 1 representatives Venise McWard and Tim Carlson; District 2 representatives Molly Alaria and Vicki McMahon; and District 4 representative, Dale Livingston - all Republicans and District 2 Democrat Brian Wilbur. Wednesday, June 24, 2020
A hearing by the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on text amendments to the county’s Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) ordinance got underway on Tuesday night in the Taylorville Courthouse, after a judge’s order earlier in the day gave it the green light. The three-hour long meeting, which featured testimony from several of the sources which have filed amendments, was punctuated by a couple of technical glitches with the Zoom program which delayed the meeting briefly several times as well as outbursts from Thomas Snyder, Sr., an audience participant, who clashed with ZBA Chairman Steve Sipes on the legality of the meeting and requests to end the meeting while it was in progress.
Local attorney, Dennis Atterberry said today, it is likely more legal action is to come to stop the proceedings. He is the attorney for Thomas Snyder, Jr., who filed the original motion on Monday to halt the proceedings. Atterberry announced he would be filing an amended motion and injunction to set aside the meeting last night and probably tonight’s hearing as well. Atterberry claims, “There were dozens of people who could not either get on because the capacity was maxed; could not hear; people were dropped; and people muted.” Wednesday, June 24, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — A hearing by the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on text amendments to the county’s Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) ordinance got underway on Tuesday night in the Taylorville Courthouse, after a judge’s order earlier in the day gave it the green light. Wednesday, June 24, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Six Christian County Board members - five of them Republican and one Democrat - have asked for a special meeting of the Christian County Board at 12:00 noon on Thursday with the sole agenda item being the removal of current Board Chairman Becky Edwards, Republican, from District 4. Wednesday, June 24, 2020
The Pana City Council passed two resolutions on Monday night during their regular meeting to apply for grants from the State of Illinois for a road project on 2500E Road on the city’s east side. The grants are with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Grant and the Rebuild Illinois Grant. Tuesday, June 23, 2020
During discussions at the end of their meeting on Monday night in the Pana High School library, the Pana School Board talked about what the opening of school would look like in the fall. All agreed it would be better for students with in-house attendance at all district buildings.
“The administrative team is committed to getting back to the classroom,” School Superintendent Jason Bauer told board members. “However, it’s a moot point right now because we don’t know what is going to be required of us.”
He was referring to the Illinois State Board of Education guidelines which are still being debated. The rules of opening school in the fall should be released in the next week or two, according to state sources. Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Judge Douglas L. Jarman of Montgomery County heard an emergency motion filed by Thomas Snyder, Jr., who is seeking to have a Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting postponed for tonight. Following the 30-minute session of oral arguments, Judge Jarman retired to chambers to review documents filed in connection with the injunction.
Following his review, the Judge has denied the motion. The meeting will be held as scheduled tonight at 6:00 p.m. in Courtroom “A” of the Courthouse. The meeting is to begin the process of hearing text amendments to the county’s Wind Energy Conversion Systems ordinance. There are five amendments which have been filed. It is anticipated the meeting may run over several nights. Tuesday, June 23, 2020
PANA — During discussions at the end of their meeting on Monday night in the Pana High School library, the Pana School Board talked about what the opening of school would look like in the fall. All agreed it would be better for students with in-house attendance at all district buildings. Tuesday, June 23, 2020
SPRINGFIELD — Kidzeum of Health and Science, located at 412 E. Adams St. in downtown Springfield, is launching a new initiative to help kids (and others around them) stay healthy. The campaign, titled “Superheroes for Health,” encourages kids to use their superpowers to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by incorporating facemasks into clever costumes, and by following other “superhero rules” like handwashing and social distancing. Tuesday, June 23, 2020
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — Although there are nearly 25 species of hummingbirds the Ruby Throated Hummingbird is the only species commonly seen in Illinois or anywhere East of the Mississippi. All Ruby throats are an iridescent green on the back and whitish in front, with only the adult male having the ruby throat. Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Christian County Board candidate Thomas Snyder Jr. is filing a lawsuit against the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals in an attempt to block a Tuesday evening meeting where an ordinance discussion regarding wind turbines is expected to occur telephonically.
“I’m neither for nor against the windmills at this point,” Snyder said of the suit. “I want to be the voice of the people, and the voices of the people that I’ve heard —not only from my district, but multiple districts within the county— has been that these telephone conferences are not ideal for everyone to get their voices hears. That is why I’m doing this lawsuit because they’re not taking everyone’s voice into consideration...On a teleconference call, you can only maybe hear five or six people talk, but what about the other 300 people that want their voices heard on this issue.”
The hearing, according to Atteberry, is set for 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning via Zoom. Ironically, it may take one digital hearing to prevent another. Monday, June 22, 2020
Taylorville Fire Chief Matt Adermann says one person was injured at a Lake Taylorville lake lot in a dangerous wind and rain storm Saturday.
According to Adermann, the individual was struck by a falling tree limb that snapped amid the fierce winds. The identify of that person has not been disclosed, but Adermann says the man was transported to a local hospital as a result of the injuries. Adermann stated Monday morning that he was unsure of the exact condition of the individual, but believes his injuries were not critical. Monday, June 22, 2020
Christian County FS presented the Taylorville FFA Chapter with a $4,000 check to assist with chapter activities for the upcoming school year. Over the past few decades, CCFS has been a big stakeholder of the Taylorville FFA Chapter. Not only has CCFS supported the FFA Chapter through monetary donations, they have assisted with supplies for the Taylorville FFA crop plots. The funds from Christian County FS have made it possible for students to travel to the National FFA Convention, purchase FFA jackets if they could not afford one, and assisted with travel expenses to State and National Contests for FFA Teams. Monday, June 22, 2020
The Pana Chamber of Commerce has decided to cancel their Annual Meeting for this year due to COVID-19.
If you are a business that made a donation for the auction that was to be held during the annual meeting, the chamber appreciates your support and they will hold these donations over for next year’s annual meeting. Monday, June 22, 2020
The Land of Lincoln Officials Association Scholarship Committee is proud to announce Kristina Allen as one of the Scholarship award winners. A 2020 graduate of Taylorville High School, Kristina showed a commitment to academic excellence by compiling a cumulative 4.69 grade point average. Saturday, June 20, 2020
The Christian County YMCA says it is making final preparations for the reopening on Friday, June 26, which will coincide with the state’s move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.
While many YMCA services will resume next Friday, Executive Director Chris Weittenhiller says the facility is taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of members. In that regard, the facility will be operating a 50-percent capacity, and guest passes will not be sold; only members will be permitted to utilize the facility under Phase 4.
During Phase 4, the pool facility will only be open to lap swimming, water walking, water exercise classes, and physical therapy sessions. Under normal circumstances, Weittenhiller estimates that more than 300 people utilize the pool on any given day throughout the summer, so the current plan does represent a dramatic reduction. Twenty-four hour advance reservations will be required for lap swimming, water walking, and land or water group exercise classes. Saturday, June 20, 2020
The equipment stands ready and the signage is out, announcing the beginning of a construction project on Route 29 between Pana and Taylorville. Plans call for milling off the old surface and re-paving the highway from Velma Road (1600N Rd.), near the Taylorville Correctional Center all the way to Magnolia St. in Pana. R. A. Cullinan and Co. of Tremont, a division of UCM, Inc., with offices across Illinois, was the low bidder on the 10.6-mile project at a cost of nearly $5.4 million, according to Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman, Paul Wappel. Saturday, June 20, 2020
Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis (R-13) of Taylorville returned to his hometown with donations of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in the form of face shields on Friday afternoon. The donations were made through the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) and the John Deere Tractor Co. in Moline.
“The John Derre plant retooled the assembly line to produce these face shields when there came a need for them,” Gordy Hulten, vice-president of External Affairs for IMA. “With a shortage of PPE’s, these donations are going to organizations which are in need, but may not be able to afford the supplies on the open market.”
He noted the face shields can be re-used after proper sanitization. Saturday, June 20, 2020
Jeff Peabody of Country Financial made donations to local first responders Friday morning when he presented checks to Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp and Taylorville Fire Chief Matt Adermann. Saturday, June 20, 2020
A group of about three dozen wind energy opponents gathered on the east side of the Christian County courthouse lawn today for a press conference where they challenged the viability and adequacy of an upcoming zoning board of appeals meeting that is to be held telephonically on June 23.
The group was comprised of current county officials, candidates for the Christian County board, and residents of the county. The central message was that a telephone meeting doesn’t adequately allow for the general public to voice their opinion. Friday, June 19, 2020
Pastor Scott Parks, Pastor of both First Baptist, Stonington and Old Stonington Baptist Church, has announced the two churches are coming together to offer "Gathering on the Grounds" on Monday, June 29 at 6:00 p.m. on the grounds of Old Stonington Baptist Church. Friday, June 19, 2020
The Taylorville Public Library will be reopening it's doors to the public on Monday, June 29. Public access will be restricted to the library’s lobby and to a single browsable shelf that contains the library’s newest materials. Access to restrooms, meeting rooms, and regular seating within the library will not be available. Holds on all materials can be placed through the SHARE link on the library’s website: taylorvillelibrary.org, or by calling a staff member at: 217-824-4736. Limited Curbside Pick-up services will remain available, by request only, for patrons not yet comfortable entering the library building. The new temporary hours will be Monday through Friday, 1pm-6pm. Friday, June 19, 2020
The Pana Labor Day Parade Committee met on Wednesday evening and after lengthly discussion, decided to cancel the 2020 extravaganza and begin work on the 2021 event. Committee members were concerned about the quality of a parade which could be organized in light of the COVID-19 emergency during the past few months.
“It really came down to the quality of the product we could put on the street,” Parade Committee Chairman John Downs said. “And when we thought through the process, from bands, floats, Shrine units, we couldn’t see where a parade this year would measure up to past parades, so, it’s our decision to work on a bigger and better parade for 2021.”
Downs said usually, the parade has between seven and eight high school and junior high school bands participate in the parade. Thursday, June 18, 2020
On Tuesday, the Taylorville Police Department —in conjunction with the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois State Police, and federal law enforcement agents— took action on a six-month campaign designed to help clean up Taylorville’s drug problem.
In one fell swoop, eighteen people were arrested for various drug charges Tuesday.
James Assad Jr, 22, Taylorville, was arrested for delivery of methamphetamine; Christopher R. Barnes, 33, Owaneco was arrested for aggravated delivery of methamphetamine; Adam Bolfing, 31, Taylorville was arrested for delivery of methamphetamine; Richard E. Busboom, 24, Taylorville, was arrested for delivery of methamphetamine; Dane Austin, 57, Taylorville, for possession of methamphetamine; Patricia Delahunt, 51, Taylorville, for possession of methamphetamine; Ashely Dodd, 39, Taylorville, for delivery of methamphetamine; Chism L. Haworth, 38, Taylorville, for delivery of methamphetamine; Rebecca Ittenbach, 40, Taylorville, for possession of methamphetamine; Wesley S. Kibodeaux, 38, Taylorville, for delivery of methamphetamine; Shawna Matthews, 48, Taylorville, for possession of methamphetamine; Zachary Morrisey, 30, Taylorville, for delivery of methamphetamine; Jason Newberry, 48, Taylorville, for possession of methamphetamine; Jacob A. Samson, 35, Taylorville, for manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance; Jillian C. Schull, 31, Kincaid, for delivery of methamphetamine; Shilo Thomas, 22, Taylorville, for delivery of methamphetamine; and Erica L. Wessling, 31, Taylorville, for delivery of methamphetamine.
Warrants for methamphetamine delivery are still our for three more individuals who, as of press time, had not yet been taken into custody. They are: Amanda Binkley, 31, Taylorville; Kristopher G. Coy, 34, Taylorville; and Jerry W. Riggs, 30, Taylorville.
The press release indicated that a search warrant was also conducted on a “known drug house” in the 1100 block of West Rich Street. Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Over the past four years, five Taylorville FFA members have been working extremely hard practicing their livestock judging skills in preparations for several contests throughout the United States, Illinois, and especially the State FFA Contest.
This past October this team won the American Royal in Kansas City and represented the USA in Edinburg, Scotland at the Royal Highland Contest last June. Livestock judging contests require students to evaluate cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and then present oral reasons defending their decisions. Wednesday, June 17, 2020
In the article on the Taylorville City Council meeting on Monday night which appeared in the Tuesday edition of the Breeze-Courier relating to collection of hotel/motel taxes in the city, it was not meant to imply current bed and breakfast, Market Street Bed and Breakfast, was not collecting and paying such taxes. Owner Myrna Hauser indicates her business is in compliance with these regulations Wednesday, June 17, 2020
A proposition will appear on the November ballot asking county voters their opinion on whether Cook County should be cut out as part of the state of Illinois. In a 12-4 vote Tuesday night, the Christian County Board voted to give residents the chance to weigh in on the issue.
A group known as “The Illinois Separation,” based in Athens in Menard County according to its Facebook page, has persuaded 15 counties in mainly southern and southeastern Illinois to put the question on the ballot. There are just over 29,300 people following them on Facebook with 28,600 “liking” the page.
Board Member Ray Koonce, who brought the proposal before the Executive and Personnel Committee last week, said the organization is trying to gauge the interest in such a proposal before they go to the expense of hiring lawyers and digging deeper into the logistics. Wednesday, June 17, 2020
The annual Taylorville FFA Chapter Banquet was held Friday, June 5, 2020. Due to the current pandemic, students and advisors had to think outside the box when planning this year’s banquet. The banquet was a drive-in movie style where a majority of the program was pre-recorded video of advisors and students recapping events of the year, recognizing students for their hard work, and presenting awards.
Although nearly all of the banquet was pre-recorded and scripted, students still managed to pull off a few surprises at the end. A group of officers and members decided to put together a “thank you” video for their three FFA advisors. They also enlisted the help of former Taylorville FFA member, Ben Curtin, to present each advisor with a personalized award of their own at the conclusion of the banquet. Lori Parks was really impressed by the awards, “Ben has created some really amazing pieces over the years, but this is by far my favorite. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to get it hung up in my classroom at THS.” Wednesday, June 17, 2020
The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) will open the Illinois Products Farmers' Market on Thursday, June 18th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures put in place patrons will see some changes in this years' market.
"Our priority is the health and safety of those who attend our Farmers' Market," said Nicole Moore, IDOA Farmer's Market Coordinator. "We worked with the Illinois Department of Public Health to come up with the safest way for us to hold the Illinois Products Farmer's Market and that includes modifications." Wednesday, June 17, 2020
PANA — Pana Community Hospital announces the main front entrance is now open. This entrance was temporarily closed in March due to the pandemic as a precautionary measure to screen patients in one centralized location. The general public will now have two entrances to enter the hospital while all other entrances including the Community Medical Clinic and Medical Mall entrances will remain closed to the public. Tuesday, June 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry told members of the Taylorville City Council on Monday night there has been a lot of interest and applications for the Taylorville Business Development District assistance program. The program was enacted recently to help businesses located within the District to apply for up to $1,500 in assistance with mortgage and rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuesday, June 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville school administrators are hopeful the upcoming school year will see the return of in-person learning beginning in August, but, ultimately, the decision isn’t up to them. In that regard, they say they have to be prepared for whatever the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the governor decide. Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Deana Stefko was serving as a nurse practitioner at HSHS Medical Group in Taylorville in mid-April when she was given 24 hours' notice that she was being deployed to assist with the COVID-19 response in New York and New Jersey.
A native of upstate New York, Stefko has been part of the Air Force Reserves stationed in New York for the past 15 years. She now lives and works in Taylorville. She had a 72-hour turnaround to report for deployment that could have lasted up to six months. She was one of about 120 reservists, 11 from her unit, the 914 ASTS stationed at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, who spent five weeks caring for COVID patients. Monday, June 15, 2020
Several residents in the 500 block of South Main St. celebrated Sunday, Flag Day, by displaying new American flags in front of their homes. This is part of an effort to re-energize residents to “Show Your Colors” on five special days each year, those being Memorial Day, Flag Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day. Monday, June 15, 2020
The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) has extended the deadline for accepting nominations for the 2020 Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame Awards. These awards recognize adults, 65 years of age and older, and highlight the meaningful contributions they have made in Illinois.
"We all know an older family member, friend or neighbor who has made a significant impact in their community," said Paula Basta, Director of IDoA. "Now, more than ever, I encourage everyone to take some time to nominate those special individuals who should be recognized for their notable service. Please help us honor those who embody the spirit of respecting yesterday, supporting today, and planning for tomorrow." Monday, June 15, 2020
The 92nd Annual Illinois Association State FFA Convention looks a little different this year due to Covid 19. The Illinois FFA Organization has been dedicated to it’s membership by making events happen virtually in order for students to have opportunities for success. Many contests and competitive events have been held on-line through Zoom, Conference Call.com, and Google Meets. The Star State FFA Awards are annually presented to the Top Individual in Business, Placement, Agriscience, and Farmer. This year these events happened through video conference calls instead of in person. Monday, June 15, 2020
Taylorville FFA always prides itself in pushing students to complete Science Fair projects. This all started years ago when the Taylorville High School Science Department hosted an annual Science Fair Night with all THS students. Since this is now a “thing of the past” the Agriculture department carries on the tradition by competing at the State level. Monday, June 15, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23, the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals meeting has a full agenda set, all dealing with proposed changes to the current ordinance regulating Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) in the county, more commonly called wind turbines. The agenda is so full, it appears a one-night meeting won’t be enough. Saturday, June 13, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Exterior renovations can enhance the appearance of a property and make it more enjoyable for homeowners. Certain renovations have the potential to add value to a home, while others may do the opposite. Learning which one have the largest return on investment can help homeowners select features that will have the most positive impact. Saturday, June 13, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — There are many advantages to designing your own home. Gone are the builder-basic styles, layouts that don’t work for your family and exteriors you can’t tell apart from your neighbors’. To help with your planning, check out these tips. Saturday, June 13, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — What began as a utilitarian space for personal sanitation has, in modern times, transformed into one of the most coveted rooms in the house. Bathrooms have become a place to relax and unwind, and new bathrooms are on the tops of many homeowners’ wishlists. Saturday, June 13, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville residents may have noticed some new signage around town as newly hung banners featuring all 180 of the 2020 THS graduates have started to crop up on telephone poles and streetlights throughout Taylorville. Friday, June 12, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Over the last two weeks, in Christian County, there have been three new positive COVID-19 cases, according to the weekly summary released by the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency. Locations of the new cases were not disclosed. Friday, June 12, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Things are a bit of a mess in our current time. Division, fear, uncertainty, changes on a scale rarely seen - these are the “new normal” for 2020. You would have to live under a rock to not be aware of this. Even if you lived under a rock, likely you still hear rumblings. What is a person of faith to do? Friday, June 12, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The Finance Committee of the Christian County Board met on Thursday evening with discussions centered next year’s budget and unexpected expenses which are occurring through the court system this fiscal year. Friday, June 12, 2020
The Central A&M senior class of 2020 will hold one of two graduation ceremonies Friday, June 12, 2020 due to three seniors who will be beginning service in the Army National Guard. They include: Halle McCay, daughter of Stephanie Hudson and Clifton McCay; Jacob Nash, son of David and Karen Nash and Aaron Schmitt, son of Jason and Leslie Schmitt. Thursday, June 11, 2020
As a 19-year-old, the Taylorville resident had a big dream for the future. She would finish college and earn a nursing degree, while her mom, Pam, would go to business school. When they both graduated, they would use their skills to open a care community for people with Alzheimer’s disease.. Thursday, June 11, 2020
Postponed from its original date in April, the Pana Township Board of Trustees agreed to hold the annual Township Meeting on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. The decision was reached during the Board’s monthly meeting Wednesday evening.
Annual township meetings across the state were postponed in April due to the COVID-19 emergency. Town Clerk Crystal Woolard reported new legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor, allows for townships to schedule the meetings for on or after July 21. Thursday, June 11, 2020
The Edinburg school Board of Education met remotely through Zoom on Wednesday, June 10 at 6:00 p.m.
High school principal Michelle Reiss announced that the date for graduation had been set. Seniors could expect to have a graduation ceremony of some kind on July 10 at 7:00 p.m. Reiss was not yet sure if the district would be able to hold a traditional ceremony in the gym or if they would have to do a drive-through. She explained that four different plans for the graduation ceremony were in the works and they would let families and seniors know what was happening closer to the actual graduation date. She also shared that the district would be doing on-line registration for school this year in July. Families would be able to register and pay for their students’ via an online payment option. Reiss added that there would be an in-person registration day at a later date in the library for those families which absolutely could not do the online registration. Thursday, June 11, 2020
The Taylorville Business Development District (BDD) committee met on Wednesday morning to discuss the first round of stimulus checks on offer to Taylorville businesses affected by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. So far, 21 businesses have applied, but city officials say there are several more still pending.
Under the program, any business located within the city’s BDD can seek reimbursement for one monthly rent or mortgage payment up to $1,500. Wednesday, June 10, 2020
With a payroll coming due in less than two weeks, Pana Treasurer “Pete” Scherzer told Pana City Council members Monday night, he is going to have to temporarily borrow from solvent financial accounts to prop up the dwindling General Fund of the city. The treasurer said the current balance of the General Fund is hovering around $18,000.
Scherzer said he is waiting on payments from the state income tax and sales tax revenues. He has been assured the money is coming, but has not been told when. With property tax bills being received by residents on Monday, he estimated it would be nearly the end of July before the city sees any of those revenues.
“Everyone has to watch what they are spending,” Scherzer said. Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Central Illinois residents should feel safe and secure in seeking health care at local hospitals and clinics as normal operations continue to resume across the region after the COVID-19 pandemic, local health-care leaders say.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study that found that emergency room visits for chest pain and heart attacks fell sharply, while the number of heart-attack deaths increased. Tuesday, June 9, 2020
The Christian County Board’s Executive and Personnel Committee unanimously voted to recommend to the full board a resolution placing a non-binding question on the ballot in November to separate Cook County from the rest of Illinois during its 20-minute meeting on Monday evening. Tuesday, June 9, 2020
The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that U.S. 51, approximately 1.5 miles northeast of Pana, will close June 10.
The closure is necessary for repairs to the Union Pacific railroad crossing. Work is expected to begin at 4 a.m. June 10, with repairs completed and the road reopened by noon. A detour will be posted. Tuesday, June 9, 2020
The Village of Edinburg held a regular session meeting at the village Community Building to adhere to social distancing guidelines at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 8, 2020.
Adam from Martin Engineering came to the meeting to present his final preliminary plans for the alleviating the flooding issues in the southern parts of town. Much of what he discussed was the same as his presentation from the March meeting. Adam plans on making ditches and swales in the flood-prone parts of Edinburg to help guide the water towards new drainage systems and pipes that would not link into the farming tiles alongside the edge of town. He suggested storm drains and concrete drain pipes where applicable. The Village would have to clear the drains and ditches of debris and silt, but Adam was confident the new water flow system would help control the water levels in town so that residents were not inconvenienced. Tuesday, June 9, 2020
“This group of seniors is very special; they’re very talented, great community servants, very strong academically, and this class endured some unique events including the referendum, the tornado, and now COVID-19. I think that speaks to their resiliency as a group,” THS FFA Advisor Sue Schafer said. Saturday, June 6, 2020
The Pana High School Class of 2020 was honored on the wall of this building on Pana’s east side. Each graduates name was painted on the side of the structure as a way of acknowledging the entire class.
The Christian County Public Defender’s Office now has an assistant. Edward “Ed” Brandt, 39, of Springfield began his duties on May 26, 2020. The office is led by Tiffany Senger, who was appointed Public Defender earlier this year.
Brandt received his law degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, in 2011. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2005. Brandt worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney, Chief of the Juvenile Division, in Sangamon County from 2011 until 2019. A native of Champaign, he is married and has one daughter with a son due to be delivered any day now.
“I had thought about doing defense work and heard about this opening,” Ed said. “I interviewed with Tiffany (Senger) and she and I really got along. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed things down and I got a delay in starting.” Saturday, June 6, 2020
Felicity Rose Beard becomes the first graduate of the night as Pana High School held its commencement ceremony Friday night in the PHS Gym. There were 86 graduates in the Class of 2020. As most other high school graduation ceremonies, due to the COVID-19 guidelines, students were allowed in the gym one at a time. Saturday, June 6, 2020
Lincoln Land Community College conferred more than 1,500 degrees and certificates at the college’s virtual commencement ceremony Friday, May 15. Also recognized at the ceremony were the recipients of the 2020 Honored Alumni and Outstanding Graduate awards. Saturday, June 6, 2020
It’s said that the only impossible journey is the one you never begin. Taking those first steps, then, can be a liberating process; just ask Taylorville native Ben Hogge.
Only a few short years ago, Hogge’s journey had stalled at the starting line. He says he lacked direction, focus, and passion in life. That was then; now, Hogge is relishing the climb as he heads toward the apex of the fashion and fitness world.
In July of 2018, Hogge co-founded Free Spirit, a sportswear brand that offers designer quality products without the huge price tag. He’s poured himself into the business, and he now finds himself, along with his three partners, at the helm of a world-wide brand, one that expects to eclipse $1 million in sales this year. Saturday, June 6, 2020
Morrisonville Jr. and Sr. High School have recently announced their school awards. Students will receive their pins when they return to school and seniors will receive theirs at the graduation ceremony in July. Saturday, June 6, 2020
The AFSCME Retiree Sub-Chapter #87 meetings for Monday June 8th and Tuesday, June 9 has been canceled due to the continuing current COVID-19 pandemic while adapting to recommendations from the CDC and the governor’s office.
Ms. Maria Britton-Sipe, Retiree Program Coordinator for AFSCME Chapter 31 has suggested the AFSCME group wait another month before meeting to see what happens with the virus numbers as older people are at a greater risk. Saturday, June 6, 2020
As with other small businesses during these difficult times, the Heartland Mini Hoofs Not-for-Profit has suffered greatly during the "stay at home" order. They have not be able to make any visits to nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living facilities. As a result, they have had no income during this time, and a decision was going to have to be made whether to close or try to continue. Saturday, June 6, 2020
The sixth nominee for the 2020 Officer of the Year award is Taylorville Corrections Officer, Amanda Wolfe. Amanda is the daughter of Joe and Julitta Newingham of Kincaid. She is a graduate in the South Fork class of 1994. Following graduation, Amanda went to work for Lexis Documents. She stayed there until 2002 when she was hired as a Corrections Officer at the Taylorville Corrections Center. In 2016, Amanda was promoted to the Intelligence Office, a position she holds today. Saturday, June 6, 2020
For nine minutes Thursday night, several hundred protesters lay face down on the pavement of the Taylorville square. The only words spoken in those minutes were the dying words of George Floyd, his desperate cries for help before dying at hands of police on May 25. “My neck hurts.” “I can’t breathe.” “Help me.” “They’re gonna kill me.” “Everything hurts.” “Mom.”
Thursday’s protest was a powerful and emotionally charged display of first amendment freedoms, a tribute to honor George Floyd, and a unified cry for justice, equality, and an end to hate and racism. It was delivered by an incredibly diverse collection of people from all walks of life. Police and protesters marched side-by-side in a show of solidarity, as did the young and old and black and white.
“Justice for George,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Love one another,” “All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter,” the signs read, all with a unified message. Friday, June 5, 2020
Denise Larson, who has been Administrator of the Christian County Public Health Department, has been removed from that position following the decision of the Health Board on Tuesday night. Long-time health department employee Greg Seiders has been named interim director.
Dr. Terry Cunnington, president of the Christian County Department of Public Health’s Board of Directors, said the board’s position “was for a change in leadership at this time.” He declined to elaborate any more on the decision to dismiss Larson. He said the Board was grateful for Larson’s leadership during “this COVID-19 outbreak.”
She has been director since December, 2019. Friday, June 5, 2020
I recently read of a Christian leader who was complaining about people who were afraid of the coronavirus because it is an unseen enemy. His argument was that he could understand the fear of a foreign army or a criminal invading a home, but this virus is unseen and hence, should not be feared. While I know lots of us tire of the precautions against disease (though we want to keep people healthy and safe), the argument this leader was making is inherently flawed. Friday, June 5, 2020
The 118-year-old town clock, situated atop the Christian County Courthouse, has had some repairs made to the clock face this week. According to Bill Kennedy, keeper of the clock, “The West tower clock face was disconnected last Thursday to prepare for wood replacement. All the existing copper and aluminum will be salvaged and restored for reuse on the new face. Thursday, June 4, 2020
Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says that all vehicle traffic to the Taylorville square will be halted Thursday evening in order to allow a Black Lives Matter march and protest that is expected to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Wheeler says he has no reason to beleive that the protest won’t be a peacful one, and he notes that he’s been in contact with organizers regularly. Thursday, June 4, 2020
Kim Jones was recently recognized as the latest recipient of the DAISY Award at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. The award is part of the national DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.
At a presentation on May 29, Jones was recognized in front of her colleagues. She received a certificate commending her for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” She was also given a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch”, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa. Thursday, June 4, 2020
“The best part of the Read-A-Thon was helping the American Red Cross raise money to help people. I will definitely keep reading this summer!” future TJHS student Madison Krachum noted. Memorial Elementary 4th grader, Lance Gideon added, “The best part was that he was able to read lots of books, purchase some more, and he cannot wait to read for the summertime.” Thursday, June 4, 2020
The Pana Farmer’s Market is looking for anyone interested in becoming a vendor at their farmer’s market this year.If you’re interested in selling your produce or other items, please contact Ben at 217-562-2263. Thursday, June 4, 2020
Sometime during the overnight between Wednesday, May 20, 2020 and Thursday, May 21, 2020, an unknown subject took a vehicle from 608 North Silver Street. The vehicle, a maroon 2014 Chevy Silverado, was later recovered in Stonington. There were items taken from the vehicle. No damage was made during entry. The total dollar amount of the theft and the damage is unknown at this time. Thursday, June 4, 2020
The Village of Stonington met in regular session Monday, June 1, 2020 at 7 p.m. via GoToMeeting.
Village President Bruce Dowdy reported to the board that the village had experienced a major water main break Monday. Superintendent Jeff Tumiati indicated this is the worst corrosion leak that he has seen in a decade with a lot of water being lost. Office Manager Debbie Niles confirmed that the Village hit low water levels by mid-day Monday.
Superintendent Tumiati reported that he located a bad sewer leak at the Community Center. The leak would go to North Street and on to the main lift station. Tumiati reported he would investigate further to see what next steps need to be taken to get it repaired. Thursday, June 4, 2020
Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler has confirmed that a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest is expected to occur Thursday evening in downtown Taylorville.
Wheeler says he and Mayor Bruce Barry have been in communication with event organizers and are working in conjunction with them. As of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Wheeler says more than 300 people are expected to turn out for the protest. Wednesday, June 3, 2020
An employee of the Pana Shell gas station at 215 E. First St., is facing misdemeanor assault and battery charges after an incident on Monday night at the station.
According to a press statement from Pana Police Chief Daniel Bland, Harsher Singh, has been given a notice to appear in court for battery/battery without injury following the incident. Wednesday, June 3, 2020
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club collected a total of 1328 pounds of dry goods and $3,042 in cash, all benefiting the Taylorville Food Pantry, during their four drive-thru donation days on the last four Saturdays in May. Wednesday, June 3, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has everyone at Pana Community Hospital very busy, and the Foundation office is no different.
With the completion of the hospital expansion and the PCH Building Project Capital Campaign, the PCH Foundation is working on a very special project. The support of the community during the historic expansion project and capital campaign was nothing short of amazing, and the Foundation is recognizing the individuals, businesses and organizations who generously donated to the project. All cumulative donations starting at $500 will be recognized on a new donor wall that is now being designed. Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Eight graduating seniors – two each from Taylorville, Hillsboro, Litchfield and Pana High Schools – were awarded $1000 checks toward their continuing education in Taylorville Community Credit Union’s 6th annual “Stop. Shop. VOTE!” Scholarship promotion.
This year’s winners from Taylorville High School are Keaton Hohenstein and Isabel Vincent. Wednesday, June 3, 2020
The Village of Mt. Auburn held a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Village Hall.
At the last meeting, Village Trustee Scott Vincent told the Board that the village’s budget was in bad shape from pandemic wrecking the economy. Vincent told the Board Tuesday night that the numbers were looking worse. Revenue had all but screeched to a halt in the village, and the state and federal government had warned that the economy was not rebounding as well as hoped. The gaming machines at the tavern and the gas station had not been turned back on, leading to a major drop in revenue for the village. Vincent voiced concerns about future Motor Fuel Tax money as well as the Village’s ability to recover if the economy continues to falter. It was briefly touched upon during the last meeting that the Village was going to have to make tough choices about cutting departments and budgets. Wednesday, June 3, 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
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