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home : news : local September 21, 2020

Breeze earns Illinois Press Association awards for news and ad content
SPRINGFIELD — The Breeze-Courier brought home 11 different Illinois Press Association awards at the annual convention, which was held virtually this year for the first time ever. The contest  evaluated news and advertising content in the 2019 calendar year.
Saturday, September 19, 2020


THS FFA members still competing in competitions
TAYLORVILLE — Growing up on a farm with horses throughout her life, Taylorville High School freshman Abby Erlenbush is staying determined to push through the pandemic and compete with her Missouri Fox Trotter. Standing at 13 hands tall, Erlenbush’s sorrel colored horse recently competed in the Junior State Horse Show in Du Quoin.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

THS FFA student Gracie Corso seeks success at section level
TAYLORVILLE — With school in full swing and COVID 19 keeping students from in person learning, FFA has found a way to come together in a safe and orderly environment.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Crimestoppers
TAYLORVILLE — This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Illinois dairy regs put the brakes on Spfld. business
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Tim and Emily Lewis built their reputation on scratch-made splurges with unique flavor profiles crafted using ingredients culled from local farms.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

U of I ag safety prof offers advice for safe harvest
ILLINOIS — Dr. Josie Rudolphi, University of Illinois Assistant Professor of Agricultural Safety and Health said there are several tips for a successful harvest season.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Benefit your health by growing own vegetables
URBANA, Ill. — As summer comes to an end, many vegetable gardeners are busy reaping what they've sown and harvesting the fruits of their labors. Growing your own vegetables has health, nutritional, and environmental benefits, says University of Illinois Extension Educator Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Prolong shelf life of garden produce with good habits
URBANA, Ill. — The fruits of our summer labors have been ripening, and soon, more fruits and vegetables will be ready for harvest. As gardeners, overplanting is a common problem, and it is a struggle to get the longest life out of the harvest.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Growmark System continues sustainability efforts
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — As wildfires ravage the West and another hurricane leaves damage along the Gulf Coast, scientists say the effects of climate change are getting more dangerous.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

U of I soybean lab event unveils new $1M initiative
URBANA, Ill. — The Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) at the University of Illinois has been selected by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to lead a new $1 million project -- Innovation to Impact (i2i), as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

IFB comments on 2nd round of USDA funding
ILLINOIS — The following is a statement from Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr., regarding USDA's announcement of a second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
Saturday, September 19, 2020

U.S. Secretary of Ag Perdue in Illinois on Monday
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will be in Illinois Monday, September 21st with Congressman Rodney Davis for a visit to the Boys & Girls Club of Central Illinois, a partner in USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program, which has delivered more than 90 million food boxes to Americans in need during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Secretary and Congressman Davis will help distribute food boxes after the visit at Union Baptist Church. Following distribution, the Secretary and Congressman Davis will attend a forum with local farmers.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Circuit Clerk employee tests COVID positive
TAYLORVILLE — The Christian County Circuit Clerk's office will be closed through Tuesday, September 29 to the general public due to a positive COVID-19 test of an employee. No one from the public is allowed in the office and employees are working from home while quarantined.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Millikin announces a reimagined fall 2020 performance season
DECATUR — Students and faculty in the Millikin University College of Fine Arts are adjusting to a new world of virtual instruction, social distancing and practicing their art in unexpected ways. The new modes of learning on Millikin's campus have led to a reimagined fall 2020 performance season for the College of Fine Arts featuring a combination of in-person and virtual performances in accordance with University's health and safety regulations.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Still staying close to home these days? Consider these options:
SPRINGFIELD — Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has been recognized with a Travelers’ Choice award from Tripadvisor because of its thousands of stellar reviews from visitors.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

So really, an apple a day can keep the doctor away
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — The apple is probably the most widely known fruit in the world. When we go into our grocery stores, we see about a dozen different varieties in the bins, but in reality there are thousands of different named varieties. They come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. Those few we see in the store have been selected due to their visual appeal, popular flavor, and their ability to be stored and transported effectively.  A trip to a local orchard or farmers market could open the door to the many unique flavors and textures of apples that are not readily available in the stores.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Big spring beauty takes just a little bit of fall work

TAYLORVILLE — Fall planted flower bulbs are easy to grow and very rewarding once you see their beautiful blooms emerge in the Spring. The most difficult part of planting spring bulbs is remembering to plant them in the fall.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

AFSCME retirees hear about proposed tax amendment, early voting at meeting
TAYLORVILLE — On Tuesday, September 8, 2020 the AFSCME Retiree Sub-Chapter #87 held a Zoom conference meeting for current members, new members and retired seniors.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Memorial school to hold Scholastic book give away September 24 and 25
TAYLORVILLE — Memorial Elementary School in Taylorville will host a Scholastic book give away for third and fourth grade students on Thursday and Friday, September 24-25.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Hospital Auxiliary announces scholarship recipients
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 scholarships. Each year the auxiliary makes available scholarships to employees of the hospital who are furthering their education in the health care field. Martha Zimmerman, scholarship chairman, announced that a total of $3000. was awarded to five employees this year.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Technology makes a difference in FFA competition
 TAYLORVILLE — With COVID19 changing the face of several high school competitions, the National FFA Organization has moved to virtual style of National FFA Proficiency Awards and the National FFA Agriscience Fair. With this change happening, FFA members that have earned the title “National Finalists” are competing for National titles in different ways than in years past.
Friday, September 18, 2020

THS FFA members still competing in competitions
TAYLORVILLE — Growing up on a farm with horses throughout her life, Taylorville High School freshman Abby Erlenbush is staying determined to push through the pandemic and compete with her Missouri Fox Trotter. Standing at 13 hands tall, Erlenbush’s sorrel colored horse recently competed in the Junior State Horse Show in Du Quoin.
Friday, September 18, 2020

THS FFA members work to restore 1950 Oliver
TAYLORVILLE — The Taylorville FFA is in full swing….. in a somewhat different fashion. Facemasks, social distancing, and a limited number of students is the new normal for ag students this year.
Friday, September 18, 2020

Stonington Firefighters Prepare For Farm Safety
Friday, September 18, 2020

Christian County Courthouse employee tests positive for COVID
TAYLORVILLE — The Christian-Montgomery Emergency Management Agency announced at 1:45 p.m. Friday, September 18, 2020 that an employee of the Christain County Circuit Clerk’s Office located inside the County Courthouse at 101 S. Main St., Taylorville, has tested positive for COVID 19.
Friday, September 18, 2020

Police/Fire
Friday, September 18, 2020

City looking at nuisance home ordinance
TAYLORVILLE — Currently, the City of Taylorville has three separate ordinances in place that address disorderly properties. The problem, Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says, is that none of those ordinances really have any teeth when it comes to reducing repeated criminal and drug activity.
Friday, September 18, 2020

Courthouse
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 Sept. 18, 2020:
Friday, September 18, 2020

DMCC collecting names and monetary donations for Christmas military packages
TAYLORVILLE — Davis Memorial Christian Church will once again send military Christmas packages to local military citizens deployed overseas.
Friday, September 18, 2020

It will get better
TAYLORVILLE — Tired, weary, reluctant, frustrated, given up, burnout. We have experienced all of these emotions. And for good reason. Life can be a grind.
Friday, September 18, 2020

M'ville CUSD approves budget; talks of consolidation
MORRISONVILLE — The Morrisonville CUSD Board of Education met last night in regular session, after the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Hearing.
Friday, September 18, 2020

Taylorville School Dist. reports positive COVID case
A Taylorville School District staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release dated today from Taylorville School Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty.

The release does not indicate which district building the staff member works out of, nor does it indicate what capacity that individual has with the district.

Dougherty says that the employee was last on campus Sept. 10, and she also notes that the employee did have contact with other employees and students.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Courthouse
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Police/Fire
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Edinburg schools prepared for 'worst possible' scenario
The Edinburg Board of Education held a regular meeting immediately following the Budget hearing at 5:49 p.m. in the district media center on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

Superintendent Ben Theilen presented the fiscal year 2021 budget to the Board, explaining that the numbers he drew upon were for the ‘worst possible’ scenario for the school. He had planned how the district’s finances would look if they received no money from the state and the 1% sales tax revenue dried up.

Theilen told the Board that, thanks in part to excellent budgeting done by previous Boards, the district would survive such a dismal financial year. For an example, he pointed out the education fund. In the worst possible scenario budget, they would only be running on $400,000 less than in the previous year. Despite the large difference between 2019 and the ‘worst possible’ numbers, the district would still be able to pay for salaries and supplies. Theilen explained they would be falling back to around 2017 levels of finances, with their gains in the last three years used up to keep the district afloat.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

South Fork School District shows steady financial improvement
On Wednesday night, the South Fork School Board was briefed on their financial situation following the audit of their 2020 Fiscal Year. Adam Mathias, of Lively, Mathias, Hooper and Noblet, CPA’s of Taylorville, reported the school district is in good financial shape.

Mathias pointed out, over the past five years, revenues have kept pace with expenses and the current fund balance of the five main funds has a $1.8 million surplus. The district’s bond debt has dropped by $50,000 to $1,130,000 for two bonds the district previously sold. One of the bonds will be paid off in Fiscal ‘27 and the other, in Fiscal ‘29. He reported in FY 20, revenues were up by $103,000 in those accounts and expenditures increased by just $47,000.

The district’s financial rating from the Illinois Board of Education is at 3.90 and “recognized status.” Top score is 4.0.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

THS band adapting to remote learning
No Friday night lights, no problem. Instead, the Taylorville High School marching band is happy to make due with Mondays.

Despite the current remote-learning protocols in place at Taylorville, as well as the IHSA’s decision to postpone the high school football season, the Taylorville marching band is still honing their craft and forging ahead in an attempt to stay sharp musically.

“Band looks a little different this year, but the kids are just happy to be out here making music,” Taylorville High School Director of Music Chris Gunn said, explaining that his group meets weekly on Monday nights for a three-hour marathon practice session. “That’s actually pretty close to how much time we would get with a traditional school week, so it kind of works out,” Gunn said.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Virtual benefit concert for 'Remember Me Thursday'
The APL will host a benefit concert Thursday, September 24th as part of the global Remember Me Thursday campaign to raise awareness of the number of animals waiting for adoption in shelters and in memory of those who never knew a loving home.

The virtual concert will begin at 6:00p.m. on Facebook Live! The concert will feature many local talents and artists, including the A Quartet from Lincoln Land Choir, Johnathan Len, Ian Wick from the Shenanigans, and For the Love of Lennon. Tickets are $15 which includes an invite to the special Facebook Group where the Facebook Live event will take place. Tickets are available here https://illinoistimestix. com/events/apl-RMT2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Additional COVID-19 death in county
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Tuesday announced 1,466 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease  in Illinois, including 20 additional confirmed deaths, one, a man in his 90s from Christian County.

IDPH is reporting a total of 264,210 cases, including 8,332 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from September 8 – September 14 is 3.6%. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Turbines likely gone with the wind
With a vote of 10-6 in favor, the Christian County Board may have doomed wind energy development as they approved text amendments recommended by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to the zoning code’s Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS). The prospects of development was already on life support according to company executives and the action last night may have pulled the plug with the passage of the amendments with highly restrictive setbacks. The action took place during the Board’s regular September meeting held in the Courthouse Tuesday night.

“We are disappointed that the Christian County Board accepted the text amendment recommendations of the ZBA,” Tom Swierczewski, Senior Director, Development for Tradewind said following the meeting. “We appreciate the time and energy invested by all concerned parties, but this is a step in the wrong direction. The unreasonable restrictions against wind will not help in keeping Christian County open for business and future economic development. Tradewind Energy remains grateful for our positive dialogue with members of this community who made their voices heard in favor of a responsible wind ordinance.”

The vote followed nearly an hour of comments from the public. The only matter of any discussion was a motion to table the vote until the December 15 meeting of the County Board offered by District 3 representative Ray Koonce. Special Attorney to the Board for wind matters, Ben Jacobi, cautioned against such a move.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Courthouse
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Kincaid approves ordinance to issue General Obligation Bonds
The Village of Kincaid met Monday night in regular session.

David Pistorius, of First Midstate Inc., provided an update on the General Obligation Bonds. Pistorius commented that “This is the last step in the bond process and is an annual issue that we do. In the Bond Issue process, there are two steps: 1) to conduct a public hearing which was done on August 10, 2020 and 2) adopt the bond ordinance itself, which we will do tonight. The bond amount is $42,000 of which $31,260 will go towards the payment on the 2009 debt certificate. $6,140 will be what is left over after cost of issuance to go into your projects fund. The total cost of the issue is $4,600 for the bond, attorney fees and consultant fees. Your local bank, Midland Community Bank, they stepped up and purchased the bonds. So, we did have local participation, which is always a good thing. They treated you very well because your interest rate on this issue is 1.25%, which is a pretty good rate in today’s world. This bond ordinance will be filed with the County Clerk’s office. The County Clerk will instruct what the levy will be each year. This levy will take place in December of 2020. Next year, you’ll pay this bond off and it looks like as far as that debt certificate we only have to do this one more time and we will finally pay off the 2009 debt certificate. You’re making this payment now, which is a principal and interest payment, and then you’ll have an interest payment due on April 1, 2021 on the certificates of $630.00 and final payment of the bonds next year on October 1, 2021 will be $30,000 in principal and another $630.00 of interest and it will finally be paid off.” The board unanimously approved the ordinance for the issue of the bonds.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Morrisonville Jr./Sr. to move to remote learning until Oct. 1
MORRISONVILLE — Morrisonville CUSD #1 Superintendent Dave Meister, released an announcement Tuesday evening stating numerous members of the Morrisonville Jr./Sr. High School learning community are under quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure and the school will be closed for in-person learning until October 1, 2020.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Pana City Council agrees to revised bike trail bridge resolution
With Friday as a looming deadline, the Pana City Council passed two resolutions concerning a revise inter-governmental agreement with the City of Taylorville on cost sharing for the bridge replacement on the Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail during their meeting on Monday night. The resolution had to be passed prior to the bid letting for the project on Friday of this week.

Mike Trello from Kuhn and Trello Engineering in Springfield which designed the bridge said since first conceived in 2016, costs have risen. He also said many contractors are currently working “and their pencils are not as sharp as they once were.”

The bridge replacement is being paid through a grant from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The grant allocated is for 80% of the project’s cost, $424,000. The remaining 20% is a local match, currently estimated and slightly more than $211,000. In 2017, the two cities agreed to split the local match. Last week, Taylorville approved a resolution to up their ante to $106,000.

Pana Ward Three Alderman Steve Scott was troubled by the wording in the resolution which capped Taylorville’s investment at $106,000. He questioned whether the city of Pana was responsible for anything over the $106,000 limit. Trello said Pana could go back to Taylorville and seek any overage in costs. He also said it was up to the City of Pana alone to reject any bids which were deemed excessive.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Parents rally for in-person learning
Dozens of parents and students rallied before Monday evening’s Taylorville School Board meeting to advocate for the return of in-person learning.

While as many as about 50 parents and students gathered in a show of support before the meeting, about ten actually approached the board to offer their perspective on Taylorville’s current remote learning model.

Almost unanimously, the group stressed that prolonged remote learning hinders the educational opportunities of students, has an adverse effect on social-emotional development, and creates a hardship for working families.

Nearly all of the parents referenced an article posted to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) website titled ‘The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall.’

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Courthouse
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Police/Fire
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Village of Edinburg finances holding steady
The Village of Edinburg held a regular meeting on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the community building to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Mike Blakeman presented the audit report before the board at the meeting. He explained that there were no issues with the audit, and that the finances were holding pretty steady to their previous levels. Some expenses were up, but revenues had also risen. In the general fund, Blakeman saw an increase of roughly $7,000. He also said that expenses had increased $9,000 on the year, but assured the Board their account was still showing a positive trend. In the sewer fund, he saw an increase in revenue of $4,200 and the water funds showed an increase of $8,200. Blakeman explained this was due to the recent increased in utility rates the Village had passed. Expenses in both accounts were down on previous years. For the gas fund, Blakeman did report a $1,200 drop in revenue, but he followed by saying the expenses in that fund had also dropped $9,300.

Over all, the Village had a positive cash balance on hand in a majority of its funds. Blakeman said the village was holding steady financially and looked solid for the fiscal year audit. The Board approved the audit.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

One day a week remote learning for Pana schools
Over the weekend, Pana School Superintendent Jason Bauer announced to parents in the district the school system will be going to remote learning for all public school students, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 16. When the school year started, 27% of students in the district had chosen to learn remotely, and Bauer stated with the number of students added to that list with 14-day quarantines was,

“Changing the dynamics of the number of remote learners has impacted the learning environment and not enabled the teachers to with the opportunity to provide remote learning students with the support they need.”

Parents were given the option of in-person attendance or remote learning at the start of the school year. Remote learners could reevaluate that status at the end of the first quarter, which is Oct. 14, 2020. Starting today, in-person education will be Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays. This will continue until the end of the first quarter. Bauer said the school district will reevaluate the situation in early October.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Police/Fire
Monday, September 14, 2020

Courthouse
Monday, September 14, 2020

Bond set at $400,000 in child porn case
A 64-year-old Springfield man has been charged with three counts of possession of flims/photos of child pornography. Robert T. Tobin appeared in Christian County Court for the first time this morning.

The incidents allegedly occurred last year and earlier this year while Tobin was residing in Christian County. State’s Attorney Michael Havera said a similar case is being investigated in Sangamon County and he expects charges to be filed in that county as well. The Christian County investigation is being conducted by the Taylorville Police Department and more charges are also expected here.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Saluting First Responders
Local attorney Skip DePaepe (right) hosted a free cookout for all local first responders Friday afternoon to honor them on the anniversary of September 11.  Dozens of law enforcement officers, EMTs, and firefighters trickled in and out of the event.
Saturday, September 12, 2020

Tradewind chief holds out hope for zoning regs denial
The Development Director for Trade Wind Energy Co., Tom Swierczewski, has been in Christian County this past week. He is has been drumming up support for his company’s Rolling Farms Wind Project, a 200-megawatt wind farm which is proposed to be built in the county.

But with the recent recommendations by the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) which makes setbacks of more than 3,200 feet from primary structures (home) and over 1,600 feet from property lines, the project seems to be in jeopardy. Especially if those guidelines are approved by the  Christian County Board during its meeting on Tuesday night.

“ This community has been discussing wind energy for quite a while and Tradewind has played a role, but not a significant role, sitting back and listening and watching what happens,” he said. “We were disappointed in the ZBA’s recommendations a week ago and to put it very plainly, if those recommendations are adopted by the Christian County Board, I don’t see how anybody can develop a wind farm in the county.”

Swierczewski said there about a half-dozen reasons why wind cannot be harnessed here.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Pawpaw Hike at Sand Creek Conservation Area Sept. 20
Join a naturalist for a Pawpaw Hike at Sand Creek Conservation Area on Sunday, September 20 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 12, 2020

Pawnee Fire Department to host blood drive Sept. 21
The Pawnee Fire Department will host a community blood drive Monday, September 21, 2020 from 1-6 p.m. at 711 8th Street in Pawnee. Appointments are required.

To make an appointment, please contact the blood center at 217-241-7550 or visit www.bloodcenter.org and use code 60037 to locate the drive.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Lake Land College Alumni Association celebrate Lake Land Fall event cancelled
In accordance with the Lake Land College Return to Campus Plan, state and local guidelines, the alumni association's Celebrate Lake Land event has been cancelled.

 Originally scheduled for Sept. 26, the event was going to incorporate a car show and several activities for families. Although the event is cancelled due to the pandemic, the alumni association will move forward with plans to announce the newest inductees of the Lake Land College Distinguished Alumni Society.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Rock Springs hosting mini camp about acorns
Children ages 1-5 with one adult buddy are invited to Rock Springs Nature Center for Mini Camp: Acorns. This Mini Camp will be offered Tuesday, September 22 and Wednesday, September 23 from 9:30-10:30am. Campers will look at how nature prepares for winter by creating seeds, like acorns. These camps provide a great opportunity for young ones to learn about nature alongside other children, with the comfort of a loved one nearby.
Saturday, September 12, 2020

"Music makes you feel good and music lifts the soul"
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” — Plato

When you think about the Taylorville Municipal Band or the band program in the Taylorville school system, you can’t help but think of the Lindvahl family and how their musical talent gave soul to our universe.

I recently spoke with Ron Lindvahl about his memories of the Taylorville Municipal Band and his nearly three decades of band leadership at Taylorville Junior High School (TJHS).

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Never Forget
A piece of a twisted steel girder from the World Trade Center in New York City, a remnant of the terrorists attack which took the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans, stands in silent tribute to the men and women - office workers, fire fighters, police, first responders - who lost their lives 19 years ago today at a memorial in the Pana Fire House on East First St. The two obelisks on each side of the display case represent the twin towers.
Friday, September 11, 2020

Taylorville muling lake lot lottery system
For decades, the City of Taylorville has doled out lake lots based on a waiting list. Those at the top of the list have been given priority to decide whether or not they want new lots as they become available.

At Thursday night’s lake and airport committee meeting, however, aldermen discussed the possibility of doing away with that list and moving to a lottery system for open lots only. Individuals wanting to renew an existing lot could do so just as the process exists currently.

No vote was cast on the matter, and the committee only discussed the topic casually, but Aldermen Ernie Dorchinecz and Larry Budd say the possible change may be needed because there is a long history of people circumventing the current waiting list.

Friday, September 11, 2020

City election petitions available Sept. 22
City Clerk Julie Lilly announced that Tuesday, September 22, 2020 is the first day a candidate may begin circulating petitions for elected office for the City of Taylorville. The Consolidated Election will be held on April 6, 2021.

Citizens of Taylorville will be voting for the Mayor, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and one Alderman from each of the four Wards. All are four year terms.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Committee again rejects development tool
Despite the pleas of several local government officials, their reasoning fell on deaf ears again and three of the five members of the Christian County Board’s Finance Committee voted against moving a proposal to file the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) to the full county board for a vote. District One representatives Venise McWard and Timothy Carlson and Vicki McMahon, District Two voted “No.” with Mike McClure and Committee Chairman Clark Pearce, both from District Three, voted “Yes.”

The vote followed an hour-and-15-minute discussion about the regional development tool of the U. S. Department of Commerce which includes Christian, Montgomery, Macoupin, Scott, Jersey, Calhoun and Greene Counties. Filing of the CEDS documents is mandatory to be eligible for any federal funds. The committee heard from supporters urging the passage, saying it is an essential tool is essential for towns and villages in Christian County to apply for such 50-50 matching grants.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Police/Fire
Friday, September 11, 2020

ISP assists TPD in child porn arrest
Taylorville Police Department started an investigation on a subject back in February 2020 for alleged Possession/Distribution of Child Pornography. The subject lived in Taylorville at that time. TPD was able to compile enough evidence to obtain a court authorized search warrant for this subject and his apartment on Sept 8, 2020. TPD learned that the subject moved to Springfield. 
Friday, September 11, 2020

Courthouse
Friday, September 11, 2020

Bible reading downtown Sunday
On Sunday, September 13 from 2:00-3:00 pm, people from various churches or those who just want to help read from the Christian County area will meet on the courthouse lawn to read together theBible. This has been an annual event for the past several years. Anyone who has not been called to read or would like to participate is welcome to join in. Just bring a lawn chair and a Bible.
Friday, September 11, 2020

Catholic Schools in Taylorville And Pana Pay Tribute to 9-11 Anniversary
Friday, September 11, 2020

Headed in the right direction
When you’re in London, England, Dusseldorf, Germany is 357 miles to the east. Edinburgh, Scotland is 403 miles to the north. If you’re flying to Dusseldorf, you would not expect your airplane to land in Edinburgh. But that’s exactly what happened on March 25, 2019.

Someone from the aviation company operating British Airways filed the wrong flight path for Flight 3271 to Dusseldorf, sending the jet to Edinburgh. The pilots, cabin crew, and air traffic controllers thus assumed the plane was supposed to go to Scotland.

Friday, September 11, 2020

New Officers Sworn In
The Taylorville Police Department and the City of Taylorville welcomed three new officers at Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Railroad Building Razed
After years of waiting, a crew from Steve’s Trucking and Demolition in Decatur took down a dilapidated building belonging to the Norfolk and Southern Railroad on Thursday morning near Manners Park. City of Taylorville Building and Zoning Director Andy Goodall said the building had been planned to be demolished, but when parts of it began to collapse, the city asked the railroad to accelerate their plans.
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Cookout Friday for local first responders
Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry and local attorney Skip DePaepe will be hosting a cookout for all first responders on Friday, September 11 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Courthouse
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Council approves elected official raises
City of Taylorville aldermen approved an annual two-percent raise over a four-year term for the position of mayor, city clerk, and city treasurer at Monday’s regular full city council meeting.

Currently, the mayor’s salary is $58,000, and the clerk’s salary is $55,000. Prior to Monday’s meeting, the treasurer’s salary was also $55,000, but the council actually voted to reduce that to $50,000 before the two-percent raises go into effect.

The vote to approve the mayor’s raise passed 6-2 (Kathy Driskell-no, Chris Skultety-no). The vote for the clerk’s raise passed 7-1 (Driskell-no).

Aldermen were split 4-4 on the reduction of the treasurer’s salary. Ernie Dorchinecz, Kathy Driskell, Lee Lanzotti, and Chris Skultety all voted against the decrease while Jim Olive, Shawn Burtle, Megan Bryant, and Larry Budd all voted for the reduction.

Mayor Bruce Barry broke the tie with a yes vote to officially lower the treasurer’s salary.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Taylorville Pizza Hut closes doors; Family Video set to close
A pair of local businesses with long histories in Taylorville have either closed or are planning to close. On Tuesday, Pizza Hut, at 303 Springfield Rd., abruptly closed. In the meantime, Family Video, at 433 W. Spresser, has announced it will be closing its location.

No one at the local Pizza Hut answered the telephone this morning and the corporate office in Palno, Tex., did not return a call from the newspaper.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Stonington Village Board 2020 audit shows general fund up
The Stonington Village Board met in regular session last night.

Village Auditor Mike Blakeman presented and discussed the Fiscal 2020 audit. “There’s nothing unusual this year about the audit. General fund revenues were up $64,000 with most of that being from grants you received from the state. Exceptions include infrastructure maintenance that was up $11,000.00, mostly because of the tornado recovery work and being reimbursed for that. Police expenditures were up $13,000; mostly for supplies above and beyond from the previous year, plus the police car. There are no real changes in the general fund. It was up $10,000 from the previous year. The motor fuel tax - you didn’t spend any money. You spent almost $50,000 less in fiscal year 2020 than you did in fiscal year 2019. The biggest expense you paid out was for the demolition of the building on Main Street. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have spent any money in the TIF fund. In the Enterprise Funds, the revenues are pretty consistent in total, so I’m not really going to talk about those. What has increased is the salaries and benefits; up $67,000. That’s mostly due to a little more overtime because of the tornado cleanup and things. And you have an assistant superintendent for a whole year, so that’s really the cost for having that extra person. Repairs/Maintenance and supplies are up $24,500 - mostly repair work to the sewer system, which is an ongoing battle every year. Overall in the Enterprise Funds, your expenditures were up $113,000. So, if you look at the effect of all that, your change over the previous year - you made $35,000 in the previous year. This most previously completed year, you’ve lost $72,000 in the Enterprise Fund. If you look at the General Fund, the TIF Fund and the Motor Fuel Tax Fund are all up, and the Enterprise Fund is down. You still got $563,000 in the Enterprise Fund and some of that you’ll recoup from previous year’s engineering fees,” said Blakeman.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Police/Fire
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Schools and local health officials urge parents to please keep sick kids home
Local schools, public health  officials and Chris-Mont EMA urge parents to not send their children to school when sick

Many parents have the same question every year. “When is my child too sick to send to school”? It is a vastly different question this year with concerns of COVID-19.

Currently, many schools are sending children home daily because of illness that is discovered when they arrive because of children showing obvious symptoms. Please talk with your child each morning and determine their health status prior to allowing them to go to school. You are asked to please refrain from sending your child to school if they have COVID symptoms.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Lincoln library reaches milestone in documents
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has finished publishing every known Lincoln document from his birth to the end of his single term in Congress, an important milestone on the way to making all Lincoln documents available online.

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project had previously released all Lincoln documents through the end of his Illinois legislative career in 1841. Now the project has added 509 documents that extend through March 3, 1849, when Lincoln left Congress.

“These eight years were pivotal in the personal life and career of Lincoln,” said Dr. Daniel Worthington, director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln. “Personally, he married, welcomed his first two sons and purchased the land on which he would build his only home. Professionally, he saw his law practice flourish. Politically, he rose from a little-known state politician to a U.S. congressman and a rising star in the Whig Party.” 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Kincaid Class of 1955 Celebrates 65th Reunion
KINCAID — The Kincaid High School Class of 1955 held their 65th class reunion Saturday, September 5, 2020 at Witt’s End in Taylorville. Pictured in the front row from left are: James Fassero and Lorretta Hunt Sinnard; back row: Charles Kuntzman, Tracy Laverne Bandy, Dolores Davis Miller and Eileen Fabry Wadding.
Submitted photo

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Meeting Notices
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Courthouse
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Police/Fire
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Labor Day Tradition Continues
A Labor Day tradition continued on Monday when Pana Elks Lodge 1261 marched with their mammoth flag through Pana’s Kitchen Park. The Elks usually lead the parade through downtown Pana, but didn’t have the opportunity this year due to the parade being canceled by the COVID emergency.
Monday, September 7, 2020

Rose City Classic starts Pana Labor Day
After a nearly 40 year absence, runner, walkers and bicyclists are at the starting line to revive the Rose City Classic on Monday morning. When the race was run, it led off the annual Pana Labor Day Parade, which was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 emergency. There was a 5K run/walk, half-mile run/walk/bike ride which featured about 40 people of all ages.
Monday, September 7, 2020

A classic car profile with Pana's Jerry Stone
PANA — “If you’re going to own ‘em, you might as well enjoy ‘em,” Pana’s Jerry Stone says about the two classic cars that occupy his garage. “I drive ‘em everywhere. To me that’s the whole point.”
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Courthouse
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Public Meeting Notices
Saturday, September 5, 2020

If your vehicle isn't equipped with Wi-Fi, add it on
TAYLORVILLE —  There are various ways to access the internet in a car. Drivers can buy an add-on device. Even mobile gadgets that aren’t specifically designed for vehicle applications can be easily connected. The devices plug into the 12-volt accessory outlet. OBD II devices connect to a car’s OBD II port. This is most often located below the steering wheel. Mechanics use this port to run digital vehicle diagnostics. However, it also can be used to create a Wi-Fi hot spot with an OBD device.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Bottom line: Gas can go bad in as little as 3 months
TAYLORVILLE — Can gas go bad? Yes it can, according to Consumer Reports, which notes that the lighter, more volatile components of gasoline evaporate over time.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Something Strange In The Neighborhood
(THE DRIVE) — The original Ghostbusters traveled around in a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor.

Miller and Meteor were initially competing companies. Wayne Corporation, an Indiana company that made buses, wanted to diversify. In 1954, they purchased Meteor Motor Car, which built limousines and ambulances. Two years later, Wayne bought A.J. Miller Company, maker of hearses and ambulances. Wayne aligned the two former competitors and by 1957, they were a well-oiled machine. Two years later, the base model for the Ecto-1 rolled out of the Piqua, Ohio plant.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Now more than ever, Central Illinois Foodbank needs support in fight against hunger
SPRINGFIELD — Hunger impacts people in every corner of the country, including 100,000 of our neighbors in central and southern Illinois. And given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number may increase this year.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Finding Strength In An UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
TAYLORVILLE — “This thing we call life is not a destination with an end but a path down which we continue to journey as long as we can breath. Life is to be lived not squandered or to give away waiting for the end to close up on.” — Byron Pulsifer
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Lukas Schneider, RN, earns DAISY award at Taylorville Memorial Hospital
TAYLORVILLE — Lukas Schneider, RN, pictured right, 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.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Owner of Vintage Dresser speaks to women's group
Saturday, September 5, 2020

New nurse practitioner joins local HSHS Medical Group
TAYLORVILLE — Karen Koenig, Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) began working at HSHS Medical Group in Taylorville on June 1, 2020 with Dr. Dr. Manjeshwar B. Prabhu, MD.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Feel like heading outdoors? How about helping out
DECATUR — Help  “Restore the Past” as it was when Lincoln lived here, organizers of a work day Saturday at Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial say. Volunteers are needed to help remove bush honeysuckle.
Friday, September 4, 2020

State approves local Enterprise Zone
TAYLORVILLE — With the local enterprise zone expiring soon, a new Enterprise Zone application was submitted and Christian County Board Chairman Becky Edwards announced on Thursday, the application for the Taylorville/Christian County Enterprise Zone has been approved. The Taylorville/Christian County area was one of just seven enterprise zones across the state which were approved. The county had the third highest score according to Edwards.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Police/Fire
Friday, September 4, 2020

Courthouse
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 Douglas Jarman presided over the following cases on Sept. 4, 2020:
Friday, September 4, 2020

Information sought in local hit and run
TAYLORVILLE — This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a hit and run that occurred in Taylorville.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Life's Journey in Taylorville has staff member test positive
TAYLORVILLE — The Life’s Journey senior care facility in Taylorville, located at 920 McAdam Drive, has confirmed that one staff member has tested positive for COVID-19.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Nine Pana students quarantined after positive COVID test
PANA — Pana School Superintendent Jason Bauer sent a letter to parents of students on Thursday, stating a Pana Junior High School student has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Following contact tracing, the Superintendent said nine students have now been quarantined at home.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Davis Memorial Plans Drive-Through Fish Fry
Friday, September 4, 2020

Kincaid Church of God honors Mike Summers
KINCAID — Sunday, August 30, 2020, Kincaid Church of God (KCOG) celebrated the faithful service of one of God's servant’s, Mike Summers. He and his wife, Sharon Summers have been committed members of KCOG since 1971 or 49+ years.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Minister's Message: Guard your heart
TAYLORVILLE — Scripture tells us of the return of Christ who ascended into Heaven following His resurrection from the dead. No one knows the date, however Jesus said we can know the season. It is spoken of as The Latter Days, The Last Days, That Day and more.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Police/Fire
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Zoning Board approves wind ordinance changes Wednesday night
TAYLORVILLE — After months of hearings and testimony, it took the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) less than 10 minutes to unanimously pass a series of text amendments to update the county’s Wind Energy Conversion Systems ordinance on Wednesday night. The amended text of the ordinance now goes before the Christian County Board for consideration, possibly as early as the September board meeting which is set for Sept. 15.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Courthouse
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 Douglas Jarman presided over the following cases on Sept. 3, 2020:
Thursday, September 3, 2020

One arrested after high speed chase Saturday
PANA — James Anderson, 36, of Shelbyville was arrested by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office for multiple offenses after a vehicle pursuit ended in a collision with a building at Olive and Vine Streets in Pana.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

TMH re-designated as an acute stroke-ready hospital
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville Memorial Hospital has been re-designated as an Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital. This designation maintains TMH has the processes and technology in place to promptly diagnose and treat stroke patients with lifesaving measures prior to transfer.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Revival of Rose City Classic to benefit service animal fund
PANA — A sight many people in Pana are accustom to seeing the black New England Water Lab around town - especially at Pana High School sporting events - along with owner Denise Jones, 38, of Pana. “Ember,” about 9-1/2 years old, has been the constant companion of Denise for seven years, acting as her service dog, alerting those around when she suffers from a bout of Autonomic Neuropathy.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Pollinator Hard At Work
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Meeting Notices
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Police/Fire
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

County investigating Pana death
On August 28, 2020 at 5:41 PM Christian County 911 received a call of a deceased male in rural Pana, Ill. Pana Ambulance, Pana Fire Dept., Christian County Sheriff’s Office, and the Christian County Coroner’s Office responded to the call.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Mt. Auburn Village finances better than expected
The Village of Mt. Auburn held their regular meeting on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. in the Village Hall.

Adam Mathias from LMHN was present at the meeting to share with the Board the result of their yearly audit. He was happy to say that the village’s finances were looking good. In the General Fund cash on hand, the Village had an increase in revenue on the previous year. The overall cash held was up $4,000, bringing the balance to roughly $119,000. Mathias also reported that revenue was up by roughly $3,000, for a total of around $134,000 for the Village. Even better, expenses were down $9,000. Mathias attributed this to a decrease in police salary paid as well as some decreased spending on parks and electrical work.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Courthouse
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Pana Rose City Classic run and ride to be held on Labor Day
The Pana Rose City Classic will include a 5K fun run/bike ride (all ages), a 1.5 mile kids run (6th grade and under), and a 1.5 mile walk (all ages). The race will be on Labor Day, Monday, September 7th, starting at 8:00 a.m. All races will start and end at Brewin’ Hope. The 5K will take runners behind the high school, around Washington Elementary School, behind Save-A-Lot, and back to Brewin’ Hope. The 1.5 mile races will take runners behind the high school and back to Brewin’ Hope. Runners are asked to park in the old Wal-Mart parking lot.

The registration fees for this year’s race are: Adults (18 & up) – $20, High School Students (grades 9-12) – $15, and Grades 8 & under – $5. Registration forms can be picked up and dropped off at Pizza Man, Pana News, Brewin’ Hope, Save-A-Lot, and Holthaus Heating and Appliance. Forms can also be picked up from and returned to Carol Schramm, Denise Jones, and Cathy Jones. You can also register on the day of the race in front of Brewin’ Hope.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

APL announces virtual fun run and adoptions
Animal Protective League (APL) will hold their 2nd Annual Donuts & Dogs 5K Fun Run/Walk fundraiser. Due to COVID-19 this year's fun run will be a virtual event.

Participants can run or walk at any location or time they like. APL just asks that you complete your 5K between September 1st through the 30th.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Options for students and adults both at LLCC
Lincoln Land Community College is launching a series of LateStart classes along with a hotline to assist students looking for options this fall in light of COVID-19.

Recognizing that some four-year college and university students may be staying home because their schools have cancelled in-person classes, and other students may have missed LLCC’s fall registration deadlines due to challenges brought on by the pandemic, LLCC will offer a full array of LateStart classes. Twelve-week transfer and career/tech courses will begin Sept. 21, and eight-week transfer and career/tech courses will begin Oct. 19. All of the courses can be completed by the end of the fall semester in mid-December.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

WWII began 81 years ago on Sept. 1
Pearl Harbor may have dragged the United States into World War II.  But across the Atlantic, the war was going strong well before that.

 Tuesday (Sept. 1) marks the 81st anniversary of the start of the second world conflict, as German forces invaded Poland on that date in 1939.  The remarkable speed of the offensive helped give rise to the term “blitzkrieg,” or “lightning war,” that terrorized Europeans in the years that followed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Courthouse
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Courthouse
Monday, August 31, 2020

Police/Fire
Monday, August 31, 2020

Big perennials yield big dividends
Last month I promised to talk a little bit about dividing the perennials in your garden that will thrive best when tackled in late summer/early fall.  I encourage all gardeners to take precautions when working in heat and humidity and tackle these tasks when the sun’s rays are low during the coolest part of the day, typically early morning. Then you can follow up with a cold glass of tea and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.

Let’s start chronologically (garden-wise) with irises. Except for some newer-to-the-market reblooming and fall blooming varieties, irises are the first of the four plants we’re focusing on to bloom in the perennial border. Starting with the shorter Dutch irises and finishing with the exotic-looking Siberian varieties, these reliable garden favorites provide color throughout late April and into early June. By the time July and August roll around, the foliage is often looking tired and any left-over bloom stalks are yellowing. You may notice the dastardly Iris rot on susceptible varieties, especially the tall bearded irises. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

More tips for planting native perennials
Retailer shortages of the most popular native perennial plants were common this spring as there was an unprecedented run on supplies. But fall is another great opportunity to plant, says Austin Little, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

Herbaceous natives like butterfly milkweed or echinacea from transplants can be planted in the spring. However, Little says planting in fall has a few more benefits, such as improved establishment and flowering in the following spring, better vigor, and greater weed suppression.

Monday, August 31, 2020

TPD arrests Kincaid man on several meth charges
Taylorville Police Department (TPD) conducted an investigation of an alleged source suppling methamphetamine to the Taylorville area and other surrounding towns.  

According to Taylorville Police Chief, Dwayne Wheeler, they were able to gather enough evidence to get a court authorized search warrant.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Legacy of service with Lt. Col. Heather Jane Schaefer Richards commissioned
A family legacy of Lieutenant Colonels in the Schaefer-Richards families in the U. S. Army continued on Aug. 15, 2020, when, in a virtual promotion ceremony, Heather Jane Schaefer Richards, a Taylorville native, was promoted to Lt. Colonel while home with her family in Taylorville.

Service in the military is a theme of the Schaefer family. It dates back to Heather’s grandfather, the late Jack Schaefer, a former Illinois State Trooper and a veteran of World War II and Korea. As a member of the U. S. Army Reserves, the elder Mr. Schaefer was promoted to Lt. Colonel. He wore his Lt. Colonel insignias/rank with pride and when he passed away in 1971, those items were passed down to his son, John. Those same insignias now sit on the shoulder and beret of his granddaughter, Heather, making this promotion ceremony very special.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Schneider earns Daisy Award at Taylorville Memorial Hospital
Lukas Schneider, RN, 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 August 24, Schneider was recognized in front of his colleagues. He received a certificate commending him 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.” He was also given a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch”, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Build and fly a kite at Rock Springs
Build and fly a kite at Rock Springs Conservation Area on Sunday, September 6 at 2pm. Join a naturalist for Let’s Go Fly a Kite.  Make a homemade kite out of everyday materials, then see if you can get it to fly. Meets in the small gravel parking lot at the Rodney T. Miller Wetland, located at 1400 Brozio Lane. This program is free and for all ages, but you must pre-register online by noon on Friday, September 4 at MaconCountyConservation.org. Face masks and social distancing required.
Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Coffee Can set to open Monday
They say a good cup of coffee starts with the bean. That may well be true, but for Taylorville’s Ashley Kochniarczyk and Niki Vanairsdale, theirs actually started, oddly enough, with an oil change and a dash of espionage.

On Monday, August 31, Kochniarczyk and Vanairsdale will open Taylorville’s newest coffee hotspot, The Coffee Can, which is housed out of a decidedly retro and all-together awesome 1963 Airstream trailer.

The journey to Monday’s grand opening actually started in the lobby of the old Larry’s Service Center. “It’s been almost two years ago, and I was getting my oil changed at Larry’s. The place was packed, so I said to my husband, ‘If you were smart, you would sell coffee and doughnuts outside Larry’s.’,” Kochniarczyk recalled. “He told me that wasn’t the worst idea I’ve ever had. I ended up mentioning it to someone else, and they told the same the thing. Next thing you know I was picking out an Airstream trailer on Bay. I found it on Thursday, bought it on Friday, and picked it up on Sunday, and now here we are.”

Saturday, August 29, 2020

COVID-19 outbreaks continue at local senior facilities
Chris-Mont EMA is providing an update of the COVID-19 outbreaks at Life’s Journey Senior Living located at 340 IL-29, Pana, and the Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center located at 800 McAdam Dr, Taylorville. Both facilities are working closely with Christian County Public Health and Chris-Mont EMA.

As of today, Life’s Journey Senior Living of Pana has 9 residents and 6 staff members that have tested positive for COVID-19. The residents that have tested positive are isolated, and the staff members that are positive are quarantined.

Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab has 33 residents and 12 staff members that have tested positive for COVID-19. The residents that have tested positive are isolated, and the staff members that are positive are quarantined.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Information sought in Taylorville theft incident
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a theft and criminal damage that occurred in Taylorville.

Sometime between 3:00 am and 5:00 am on Monday, August 17, 2020, an unknown subject used an item to break open a soda machine in the 100 block of South Main Street, in front of Taylorville Pawn and Jewlery. The unknown subject took an undetermined amount of change from the machine. The machine was damaged while making entry. The total dollar amount of damage and theft is unknown at this time.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Courthouse
Saturday, August 29, 2020

New THS AD guest speaker at Optimist meeting
The Taylorville Optimist Club held its regular meeting on Thursday, August 27, 2020,in the Community Room of the People’s Bank. The club has been operating on a temporary situation due to the covid guidelines for the past several months. They will continue to meet at People’s Bank through the month of September, but will return to the First United Methodist Church in October. Dates of meeting for the remainder of the year are: September 10, 24, October 8, 22, November 5, 19 and December 3, 17.
Saturday, August 29, 2020

Mini Camps at Rock Springs
Children ages 1-5 with one adult buddy are invited to Rock Springs Nature Center for two differently themed Mini Camps in September. These camps provide a great opportunity for young ones to learn about nature alongside other children, with the comfort of a loved one nearby.
Saturday, August 29, 2020

County finance committee reviews budget requests
Member of the Christian County Board’s Finance Committee review budgets submitted by elected officials and department heads for their offices for the 2021 Fiscal Year on Thursday night at the Courthouse in Taylorville. For the most part, the budgets were approved. However, there were a couple of budgets the committee decided needed more scrutiny.

Among those budgets included the Sheriff’s Office, Probation Office, ESDA Office and the Public Defender’s Office. Heads of those departments and offices will be asked to come back to another meeting to answer questions about budget items.

Friday, August 28, 2020

COVID-19: More cases reported at 2 long-term care facilities
Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab, a skilled nursing facility in Taylorville, Ill., reports that nine residents and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19.

To date, the facility has had 23 residents test positive for COVID-19, with one already recovered and one deceased. Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab has had six staff members test positive, to date, with two recovered. Four of the positive staff members are quarantined at home.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Courthouse
Friday, August 28, 2020

Police/Fire
Friday, August 28, 2020

APL offering special kitten adoption rates
Come one, come all to the Cutest Show on Earth! The Animal Protective League's (APL's) Kitten Circus is one of the best times of  the year to adopt a kitten with over 60 adorable kittens up for adoption! Though there is never a bad time to adopt, this is typically the time of year that APL has the highest number of kittens looking for their forever homes. That means this is the public's opportunity to "adopt a little clown" of their own for just $25, or half the normal adoption fee. Plus, with APL's Better Together program, you can adopt a cage mate or litter mate for free. All kittens have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped at the time of their adoption. As part of the circus celebration, on Saturday, August 29th, APL will host a Special Kitten Circus Adoption Event at the shelter located at 1001 Taintor Rd., Springfield. APL's Mobile Adoption Unit will be present with additional kittens available for adoption.
Friday, August 28, 2020

Again?
Last week, I took my daughter back to college to get settled before her junior year, and after dropping her off twice before and seeing her off for a mission trip and an internship over the years, I thought it would be relatively easy emotionally to say goodbye and head home.

After I said my goodbyes and drove away from campus and onto the highway, I found that I was wrong. Though leaving her the first time at college was far more difficult, leaving her for this third year wasn’t nearly as easy as I thought it would be. Thinking of not seeing her for a few months and knowing that I wasn’t there to protect her from life was tough, and I felt a real sadness take over during that drive back home.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Courthouse
Thursday, August 27, 2020

Police/Fire
Thursday, August 27, 2020

COVID-19 outbreak confirmed in Pana long-term care facility
An outbreak, as defined by IDPH at a long term care facility, is two or more positive COVID-19 cases of staff or residents because of the higher-risk population. They currently have two residents and three staff members who have tested positive.

Upon notification of the positives within the facility, they were in direct contact with the local health department and Chris-Mont EMA and they are working together closely. All residents and staff are currently being tested.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Courthouse
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Police/Fire
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

WECS text amendments discussions at special meeting
A session of the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) was held on Tuesday night, and for the first time in 10 meetings, text amendments to the Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) was not the topic of discussion. Although text amendments were discussed, this discussions were to amend different parts of the code.

However, WECS amendments will have their day in the spotlight on Sept. 2, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. Members of the ZBA were given the draft proposal of the text amendments on Monday, prepared by Special Counsel to the ZBA, Ben Jacobi. ZBA Chairman Steve Sipes said he had not had a chance to fully review the documents. Several other Board members agreed with Sipes,  so it was decided to reconvene the WECS hearing next week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Pana will host a drive thru COVID testing site next week
The City of Pana will host a COVID drive thru testing site Monday and Tuesday only, August 31-September 1, 2020 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Pana Tri-County Fairgrounds, 605 N 2500 East Road, in Pana.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Police/Fire
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Courthouse
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Pana Council hears census presentation
Members of the Pana City Council heard a presentation from Gordon Wayman of the U. S. Census Bureau and the importance of residents responding to the 2020 Census during their regular meeting on Monday night.

Wayman reported Pana residents are at 61.8% in reporting to the Census. This compared to the county number of 69%. He said for everyone not counted in the Census, studies show it costs a community $1,000 per year in possible federal funding for programs such as Head Start, WIC and 55 other entities. This translates to $10,000 over a the 10-year period between each census.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Information sought in local burglary
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.

Sometime between the evening hours of Wednesday, August 19, 2020 and the morning of Thursday, August 20, 2020, person or persons unknown entered into Debbie’s Gaming Parlor, located at 514 East Main Cross Street. The unknown subject or subjects broke out the glass of a door to make entry into a hallway in the business. While in the hallway, the unknown subject or subjects damaged a wall in an attempt to gain entry into the gaming area. Nothing appeared to be missing from the business. The total dollar amount of damage is unknown at this time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Courthouse
Monday, August 24, 2020

80-year-old Decatur man dies in accident
An 80-year-old Decatur man died as a result of injuries he sustained in an truck-motorcycle accident on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, at 4:21 p.m. The victim was identified as Larry D. Yochum by Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert-Winans and was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the Christian County Sheriff’s Department, the Yochum motorcycle was westbound on 2300N Road at 1900E. A collision occurred with a Ford SUV, driven by Anne E. Horne, 57, of Blue Mound, which was southbound on 1900E Road. Horne reported minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Police/Fire
Monday, August 24, 2020

Meeting Notice
Saturday, August 22, 2020

State of Illinois reports ninth consecutive year of record tourism growth
CHICAGO — Prior to the impact of COVID-19 and record losses in the industry, Illinois achieved its ninth consecutive year of record tourism growth in 2019. According to new data released today by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Office of Tourism, Illinois welcomed a record 120 million visitors last year, and a record economic boost for the state. In 2019, visitors spent nearly $43.1 billion, a $1.3 billion increase over the prior year, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Agronomy Day goes virtual in 2020
URBANA, Ill. — In its 63rd year, Agronomy Day at the University of Illinois will be an event unlike any other. For the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event moves online and features recorded video presentations from College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) researchers and Extension specialists.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Taylorville teens earn first place honors in ag photo contest
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced the winners of the 2020 Cream of the Crop Photo Contest. The annual contest encourages young photographers to explore and take photos that share their vision of agriculture in our state.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Entries being accepted for Chillifest pageants
TAYLORVILLE — The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce today announced that it's received its maximum 20 entries for the 2020 Little Miss Chilli Pepper contest, which is part of the annual pageant being held on Saturday, October 3, 2020 during the two-day event.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Station donates to local Kiwanis Club
TAYLORVILLE — The Miller Media Group donated  $1100 to the Taylorville Kiwanis Club, which was part of the total sales from the club's recent radiothon.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

People Brief
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Preschool program for tots at Rock Spgs.
DECATUR — Young children with an adult buddy are invited to Rock Springs Nature Center for Preschool Peepers: Fish on Sunday, August 30 at 2pm.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Experience the changing seasons on Sangamon River
DECATUR — Experience the changing of the seasons on the Sangamon River, during guided canoe trips with Macon County Conservation District staff.  Canoe trips will be Saturdays, August 29, September 19, and October 17 from 1-4pm.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Pana Senior Center hosting two upcoming events
PANA — The Pana Senior Center will offer two upcoming events for Seniors.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Bourne is named champion of Free Enterprise
SPRINGFIELD — State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) has been named a Champion of Free Enterprise, an award given by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce to legislators who have made special contributions to the defense of free enterprise, and the furtherance of policies that promote job growth and economic opportunities for Illinoisans.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

AFSCME retiree group to hold virtual meeting
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — This AFSCME Retiree Subchapter #87 will hold a Zoom meeting for current members, new members or retired seniors on Tuesday September 8 at 1:00 p.m. Zoom will allow you to either connect by computer or phone.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Pediatrician's tips help kids transition to daily use of masks
SPRINGFIELD — While masks are one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it can be a challenge to get young children to leave on things they don’t want to wear – whether it’s mittens, socks or a face mask..
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Millikin University cancels Vespers this year due to COVID
DECATUR —Millikin University's 2020 Vespers celebration has been canceled due to the restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Virtual Prairie Pedal Bicycle Ride raising funds for nature and wildlife
DECATUR — Support natural areas and wildlife by riding your bicycle in Prairie Pedal! The Macon County Conservation Foundation will hold its annual bicycle ride fundraiser event from now through Sunday, Oct. 11. With health and safety in mind, this year's fundraiser will be held virtually through the Prairie Pedal Facebook page. All proceeds support natural areas and wildlife in Macon County, Illinois.
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Low rates, heavy demand send home sale surging
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Spurred by ultra-low mortgage rates, home buyers rushed last month to snap up a limited supply of existing houses, causing the pace of purchases to jump by a record-high 24.7%.
Friday, August 21, 2020

Millikin again named among best colleges in the Midwest
DECATUR — Millikin University is one of the 158 best colleges in the Midwest according to The Princeton Review. The education services company lists Millikin University in the Best in the Midwest section of its "2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region" website feature that was posted on Aug. 18 at princetonreview.com/bestMWcolleges.
Friday, August 21, 2020

Police/Fire
Friday, August 21, 2020

Courthouse
Court appearances
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 Douglas L. Jarman presided over the following cases on Aug. 21, 2020:

Friday, August 21, 2020

Local nursing facility reports COVID outbreak amongst staff and residents
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — The Chris-Mont EMA JIC is providing an update on the outbreak of COVID-19 at the Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab located at 800 McAdam Drive in Taylorville . They currently have nine residents and three staff members who have tested positive. All residents and staff have been tested as previously mentioned.
Friday, August 21, 2020

Committee approves elected official raises
TAYLORVILLE — Beginning next election cycle, nearly all City of Taylorville elected officials could see a pay increase, except the treasurer.
Friday, August 21, 2020

Meeting Notices
Friday, August 21, 2020

Sticks and stones
Proverbs 12:18
18 Careless words stab like a sword, but wise words bring healing.

Proverbs 18:21
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Police/Fire
Thursday, August 20, 2020

Local woman charged with possession, delivery of meth
On August 20, 2020, Taylorville Police Department executed a search warrant at 2 E. Lawn Drive, Taylorville, Ill. to search the person and residence of Megan R. Lynn, 41 years of age.  

Taylorville Police Officers went to that location at approximately 6 a.m. and executed the search warrant. The subject was located and detained without incident.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

ZBA finishes deliberations on wind amendments
A review of text amendments submitted for the Christian County Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) ordinance have been completed and now the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals awaits a written advisory report. Wednesday’s two-hour session wrapped up three meetings totaling more than 8 hours of reviewing text amendments from the City of Roses Wind Energy LLC and Rolling Farms Wind Project, LLC; Vince Harris, Christian County Zoning Administrator Vince Harris; and Protect Christian County (PCC).

Wednesday’s session was to tie up several loose ends which the Board had passed over in earlier deliberations. In one instance, the Board reverse a previous decision on shadow flicker. Earlier in the deliberations, the Board approved allowing no more than 30 hours of shadow flicker at a primary residence in a calendar. But Wednesday, reversed course and accepted the PCC text amendment which bans shadow flicker altogether.

ZBA Chairman Steve Sipes said the change was due to the Board finding out the wind energy companies could program the turbines to shut down to prohibit the phenomenon.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Courthouse
Thursday, August 20, 2020

South Fork schools to start in-person on Monday
KINCAID — The South Fork Board of Education held a regular meeting on Wednesday, August 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the junior high Media Center.
Thursday, August 20, 2020

Economic development strategy tabled
An effort to get a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) placed on file by the Christian County Board last night was sent back to the Finance Committee after it was tabled during Tuesday night’s meeting. The effort was shot down in the Finance Committee last Thursday when it was rejected by a 3-2 vote.

A CEDS is documentation needed for an entity, such as a city or village, to qualify them to apply to the U. S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for a matching grant for an improvement project. Without the CEDS, there is no way for the application to proceed.

In August of last year, the Board passed a resolution to participate in the regional strategy, with 14 of the 16 members voting in favor. A planning grant was available from the EDA for $40,000 with the agency putting up 80% of the tab with five local counties - including Christian - share in the remaining 20%. This amounted to just about $1,400, which was paid by the county.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Pana Schools Open For In-Person Learning
Washington School teacher Amanda Bowker, in doorway in the top photo, welcomes Pana elementary school students back to school this morning after they are dropped off by bus. The Pana School District is offering both in-person and remote learning as the school year starts. About 75% of families opted for in-person learning. The first attendance day was pushed back by 24 hours to allow teaching staff to prepare for the remote learning aspect of school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

City awarded $1.5-million state grant
East Main Cross Street, from Cherokee to Walnut, is set to get a much needed facelift, and the City of Taylorville won’t have to pay for it.

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry announced Wednesday morning that the city received a $1,551,000 Fast-Track Capital grant from the State of Illinois to take on the project, which will see the road resurfaced. New curbs, gutters, and sidewalks will also be installed as part of the work to be completed.

Taylorville was one of only 17 Illinois communities to receive grant money under the Fast-Track Capital program, which seeks to kickstart capital projects in underserved Illinois communities.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Courthouse
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Still time to register for LLCC classes
Registration is still open for fall semester classes at Lincoln Land Community College. Weekday classes begin Monday, Aug. 24.

"We're here for students who want to stay home, stay safe and move forward in their education this fall,” said Charlotte Warren, Ph.D., LLCC president. “We've added hundreds of online courses to our schedule.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Police/Fire
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Courthouse
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Census count behind pace in Taylorville
According to Gordon Wayman of the U.S. Census Bureau, only 69.2 percent of Taylorville residents have participated in the 2020 census.

“It’s a lot lower than some of the other areas in the state, so we would like to see what we could do to increase that response rate,” Wayman told the Taylorville City Council Monday night.

In regards to government funding, Wayman says any uncounted residents could ultimately be costly to the city. “I’m sure you’re probably aware of how important it is for government funding,” he said. “It’s been reported that for everyone that’s not counted, you could lose up to $1,000 a year for the next ten years.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

COVID-19 cases at State's Attorney's office and Taylorville Care
There has been one positive case confirmed out of the Christian County State's Attorney's Office (CCSAO).

CCSAO is working closely with Christian County Health Department to complete contact tracing. Additional COVID disinfecting protocols are being completed. Staff will be reduced over the next 14 days due to Covid-19 protocols.

If you were briefly at the CCSAO recently, you would not meet the exposure guidelines of less than six feet for more than fifteen minutes, therefore your risk would be low by IDPH protocols. As always, you should monitor your health because COVID is a virus that is active throughout our communities. If you should begin to feel ill or have a concern, contact your physician for further guidance. Chris-Mont EMA encourages social distancing, wearing of masks to protect others when social distancing is not possible, frequent hand washing and the cleaning of common touch areas regularly. We have the ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 by following these simple protective measures.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Pana Schools fiscal '21 budget shows surplus
The budget for Fiscal year 2021 for the Pana School District was presented during the regular meeting of the Pana School Board on Monday night in the Pana High School library. Figures presented by Superintendent Jason Bauer shows a surplus in the Education Fund of over $1.1 million when the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2021.

Revenues for the coming fiscal year are up more than a million dollars over last year’s figures. Bauer said this is due to an influx of Coroniavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds for the district. He said anticipated state aid is the same as last year, which was increased under a new spending plan. Expenses are nearly the same as the previous year, just about $6,000 less than a year ago.

The entire budget, made up of 11 funds, shows revenues at almost $17 million, about $1.3 million less than last year. Expenditures are almost $15.8 million, slightly less than last year by $36,000, when the total came to $15.7 million.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

CTI made the Inc. 5000 list for third year in a row
CTI has made the Inc. 5000 list for the third year in a row. The Inc. 5000 is the most prestigious arrangement of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment, independent small businesses. Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists as well. CTI ranked No. 2912 on this year’s list.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Police/Fire
Monday, August 17, 2020

Courthouse
Monday, August 17, 2020

Applications available for 2020 archery deer herd management program
Applications are now available for the 2020 archery deer herd management program at the Macon County Conservation District. This program helps control the deer population and maintain healthy, balanced ecosystems within the District's conservation areas.
Saturday, August 15, 2020

Morrisonville Am. Legion to host blood drive Aug. 26
The Morrisonville American Legion will host a community blood drive from 2-7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26 at 607 Ricks Street, inside the Legion Hall.
Saturday, August 15, 2020

Optimist salute to law enforcement set for Oct. 1
The Taylorville Optimist Club held its regular meeting on Thursday, August 13, 2020, in the meeting room of the People’s Bank & Trust. Meeting was called to order with the Pledge of Allegiance led by President Ron Spears, with the morning invocation given by Pastor Steve Switzer. Terry Wright gave a report on the status of the “Salute to Law Enforcement”  which has been on hold since May. The club has decided to proceed with recognition of law enforcement personnel with a breakfast on Thursday, Oct. 1st, at the Taylorville VFW. Due to the guidelines in place for group meetings, there will be a limit of 50 persons allowed to attend. All safety precautions will be adhered to for the protection of everyone attending. Wright will be contacting the various chiefs of police and department heads to make the final arrangements.  Guest speaker for the event will be Ed Wojiciki, executive director of Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
Saturday, August 15, 2020

THS graduate elected to the National Junior Angus Board of Directors
In a year of uncertainty, one thing remained consistent at the 2020 National Junior Angus Show – the election of high-quality individuals to lead the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA). Every summer, NJAA members elect six young adults to serve on the National Junior Angus Board (NJAB). The members selected are recognizable by their green coats at livestock shows and youth events throughout the country. This year twelve individuals from across the nation ran in a tough election to  obtain one of the six coveted National Board spots. Candidates were required to be selected by their state to run for the National Board in February, submit a 8 page application in June, campaign during the week of Angus Junior Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, give their candidate speech at the Annual NJAA Meeting, and conduct round table discussions with two delegates from each state at the national meeting. The new team members were announced during the virtual closing ceremonies on Sunday, July 26.

The National Junior Angus Board members serve two-year terms; the first year on the board of directors and the second as officers in the Association. During their tenure, they travel to shows and conferences across the US and Canada, plan and execute educational events for fellow young cattlemen and women, promote the Angus breed and help juniors succeed in the classroom, show ring and various educational contests held by the Association.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

County sees vote-by-mail request surge
Postcards from the Christian County Clerk’s office notifying residents of necessary steps needed to receive a mail-in ballot only went out a couple of weeks ago. As of Thursday, August 13, Christian County Clerk Mike Gianasi  says his office has already received more than 1,000 requests for vote-by-mail ballots.

In the 2016 presidential election, the clerk’s office received a total of just 718 vote-by-mail ballots. In the 2018 election, featuring the race for governor, the clerk’s office had 849 total vote-by-mail ballots.

Concerns over COVID-19 are obviously fueling some of the increase, and Gianasi says he thinks vote-by-mail requests will continue to climb in the coming weeks. “There’s just this uncertainty going forward about what is going to happen, so I think some people are just making the decision now to go ahead and request a vote-by-mail ballot,” Gianasi said, though he also noted that the State of Illinois is heavily promoting the process, which he says has certainly accounted for some of the increase.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Apollo, Illini Prairie joining forces for 2021 football
The Tornado football team and the rest of the Apollo Conference will have a unique opportunity this season to take on teams from the Illini Prairie Conference  when the season rolls around in the spring.

Both conferences began talks after the IHSA announced that football would move to the spring and that there would be only a seven game schedule.

As the Apollo has seven teams in their league, and the Illini Prairie nine, there was an opportunity for the two conferences to band together this upcoming season, which will eliminate the bye week for Apollo teams.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

August 31 deadline for Lake Land scholarship
The Lake Land College Foundation will reopen its scholarship application period to allow incoming students to apply for a scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year. Applications are now being accepted.

All incoming students, including non-traditional students, recent high school graduates and current students, are encouraged to apply. Students who applied during the original period (November 1- February 1) and were not awarded in March will be considered again in the second round along with new applicants. These students do not have to re-apply.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

LLCC Foundation announces new scholarships
The Lincoln Land Community College Foundation recently announced new scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year. More than 230 scholarships were awarded to students totaling over $366,000.

The new LLCC scholarships include the Judith L. and Donald T. Anderson Scholarship for students in the agriculture program, Kevin Cory Scholarship for past and present members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois in any field of study, Lorie Anne McDonald Scholarship for students who are education majors, Miss Liberty Memorial Scholarship for Christian County students in any field of study, Sam Germann Aviation Scholarship for students in the powerplant and aviation mechanics programs, and Stand Together Scholarship with preference to black students with financial need in any major.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

2020 UWCC scholarship winners are announced
Claire Lupton and Isabella Thomas each received an $1,800 scholarship offered this year by the University Women of Christian County. Scholarship Chairman Ann Chandler presented a check to each winner.

Claire  Lupton is the daughter of Greg and Ann Lupton of Palmer. She graduated from Taylorville High School in 2019. Claire will be a sophomore at Milliken University in Decatur Illinois, with a major in nursing. Her career goal is to become a labor and delivery nurse.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Chillifest forms and information available
Entry forms for many of the events and activities at the 35th annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest, are now available online.

By going to chillifest.info, participants will find downloadable entry forms for the two days of International Chilli Society chilli judging, along with the form to be a judge, arts and crafts vendor spaces, the Little Chilli Bean baby contest, and the form for local businesses to be a sponsor of this year's event.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Pana Lake level to be lowered for work starting Monday
Pana Mayor Don Kroski has announced the level of Lake Pana is to be dropped by three feet, beginning Monday, Aug. 17, 2020.

Kroski says the reason for the lowering is to allow repair work and refurbishing of the lake’s spillway and water intake tower into the water treatment plant.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Information sought in Taylorville burglary
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.

Sometime between July 20, 2020 and July 27, 2020, person or persons made entry into a resident located at 1004 East Park Street. While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took numerous items from the residence. There did not appear to be any damage done while making entry. The total dollar amount of the theft is unknown at this time.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Committee rejects development tool
The filing of a document which could give Christian County towns, businesses, schools and organizations a leg up for funding of projects was turned down Thursday night during the Finance Committee meeting of the Christian County Board. The vote was two in favor - Clark Pearce and Mike McClure - with Vicki McMahon, Venise McMann and Tim Carlson voting “no.”

“I’m going to make it known to everyone that I can that you just turned down economic development in Christian County, once again,” Christian County Board Chairman Becky Edwards said after the vote. Although not a member of the committee, Edwards participated remotely and offered insight into the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) which was the topic of discussion. CEDS is offered through the U. S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), a branch of the U. S. Department of Commerce.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Marina privatization debate takes shape
Taylorville residents gathered at city hall Thursday night for the City of Taylorville Lake and Airport committee meeting where aldermen discussed a proposal that could bring expanded offerings to the Lake Taylorville marina

Two possibilities were debated Thursday: One would see the city try to expand marina offerings itself, and the other explored a privatization scenario where the city would simply lease the marina property to a third party.

In the first scenario, a couple of employees from the city clerk’s office have already spearheaded a plan to make the marina more robust; they even presented a tentative proposal to the council Thursday night. In their plan, they say they would like to consider a more comprehensive upgrade to the entire marina area, including improvements to the beach and maybe even expanded recreational activities that could include the installation of giant inflatable lake toys at the beach and the rental of non-motorized equipment like paddle boats, kayaks, and the like.

Cost estimates for those projects were not available as of Thursday night.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Local schools' food service during remote learning is explained
Taylorville schools Food Service Director Megan Nunn has issued the following information regarding how food services will be handled during remote learning.

“During these unprecedented times we want you to know that keeping your students safe while eating with us is our #1 priority. We have been busy working alongside school leaders to determine what is the safest dining solution and option(s) to offer students when they come back to school.

Here is what our foodservice program will look like during the full remote learning schedule which Taylorville School District has implemented.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Presbyterian Church resumes in-person worship
The First Presbyterian Church in Taylorville has resumed in-person worship services each Sunday at 10 a.m.

In addition, they are still offering recordings of the full service for those that wish to participate that way.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Courthouse
Friday, August 14, 2020

Village looking at water, security, and updates
The Village of Mt. Auburn held a regular meeting on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Village Hall.

Eric Emmerich came to the meeting to update the Board on the status of the water project group the Village joined with United Regional Water Cooperative (URWC). The co-op was formed by Harristown, Niantic, Illiopolis, Latham, Mt. Auburn communities, as well as EJ Water. The goal of the co-op is to provide long term affordable water to all communities while allowing each community to maintained local ownership of their water distribution system. To do so, URWC plans to eventually construct a large 9.8 million dollar 1.5MGD water treatment plant south of Illiopolis. The more communities that sign onto the URWC, the cheaper the overall cost for Mt. Auburn becomes. Ultimately, the water treatment plant hopes to help facilitate easier water to village customers and reduce the cost to produce it for the village. According to Emmerich, the project could begin construction as early as October, with the treatment plant itself coming online in January of 2022 if everything goes smoothly. However, the costs to Mt. Auburn depend on the grant, what the IEPA parameters require, and if other communities sign on. Emmerich did say the USDA Rural Development closed on a loan with a 45% grant covering the total cost of the project with an interest rate of 1.5% fixed for 40 years. The Board was pleased with that prospect.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Rock solid
For many years a rock formation in the White Mountains of New Hampshire had stood large and proud. It was affectionately known as “The Old Man of the Mountain.” This 40-foot rock configuration had been naturally carved over time to resemble the profile of an old man’s face. The “Old Man” was first reportedly observed in modern times in 1805. Referring to the sighting, Daniel Webster (famous lawyer and politician) said, "Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoemakers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but in the mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men." Nathaniel Hawthorne later visited the site and then wrote about it in his short story “The Great Stone Face.”
Friday, August 14, 2020

Courthouse
Thursday, August 13, 2020

Police/Fire
Thursday, August 13, 2020

Look to the heavens: Astronomy program next weekend
Explore the cosmos with Macon County Conservation District staff at the annual Astronomy Jamboree on Saturday, August 22  from 7-9pm at Griswold Conservation Area in Blue Mound.

Attendance  is limited, and face coverings are required. You must pre-register online by noon the day before the event at MaconCountyConservation.org.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Taylorville Memorial building project on schedule
Work is continuing on Phase II of the construction project at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, according to Allyson Phillips, marketing director of the hospital. Work being done is part of a $60 million rehabilitation project started in July of 2018.

“Everything is right on schedule,” Phillips said.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Edinburg schools preparing for reopening
The Edinburg Board of Education held a regular meeting on Wednesday, August 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the district library to allow for proper social distancing.

At the meeting, school principal Michelle Reiss gave the Board a presentation on the plans the schools have in place to make the reopening of their buildings as safe and controlled as possible for their students. Reiss stated on teacher institute day August 17, all staff will be present to learn about proper COVID-19 preparedness and advice from the CDC. Reiss had also been meeting with teachers over Google Meet to discuss preparing for going back to school. According to superintendent Ben Theilen, the custodians had been hard at working preparing classrooms and school buildings for the student’s return. They’ve been measuring the distances between desks, laying down tape on the floors to control the flow of students, and Theilen stated they were prepared to install Plexiglas shields if necessary.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

County committee approves listing appointees names
On Monday night, the Christian County Board’s Executive and Personnel Committee, agreed to recommend to the full County Board, a proposal to list all of the individuals the Board is responsible to appointing to various other committees and boards on the county’s website. The vote was 4-0 with Committee Chairman, Donna Hibbetts, absent. Senior Board member Matt Wells presided in her absence.

Under the proposal, every person which the Board has jurisdiction to appointing, such as the Health Board, fire districts, park boards, etc., will have their names listed. And, if County Clerk Michael Gianasi can work it out, a proxy e-mail form to fill out which will be directed to the individuals e-mail address. The individual’s e-mail address, nor their telephone number, will be listed on the county website.

Also to be included is the party affiliation of the committee member, if applicable. President of the Taylorville Water Reclamation Board, Tom Snyder, Sr., told the committee some boards and committees are required by state law to have a majority of individuals who associate with the majority party of the County Board; at this time, Republican. He claimed “Over the past 30 years,” committee memberships have not had the majority party appointed, or that all members of a committee or board, have been affiliated with the same political party.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Pana schools to open a day later than planned
Students in the Pana Unit 8 School District will get one more day of summer break this year with the decision of the Pana School Board last night to push “opening day” back 24 hours. It is part of the plan which members approved to get school started for the 2020-21 school year. The addition of “remote learning planning days” was added prior to approving a 10-page guide to restart school.

“There is no perfect plan to reopen school out there, but I believe this plan gets us started out on the right foot,” said Board President Dr. Bill Beyers.

During the discussion of the re-opening plan, School Superintendent Jason Bauer told the Board he had received an e-mail from Pana Education Association (PEA) President, Mark Schmitz, requesting a day prior to the start of school for teachers to make final plans for remote teaching of students. According to figures provided by the school district, just over 75% of students enrolled will be attending in-person classes. Slightly less than 25% have opted for remote learning. Less than half of one percent are going with home schooling.

Bauer explained the Illinois State Board of Education is giving each school district five remote learning planning days for the 2020-21 school year. These are days which allows the schools to develop or tweak plans for remote learning. These days are counted for student attendance days so there is no requirement to make theses days up.

Schmitz requested the first two days of scheduled classes - Aug. 18 and 19 - be used as remote learning days, but Dr. Beyers said this would be a burden on parents who are planning to have their kids in school on Aug. 18.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Police/Fire
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Nokomis city employee tests positive for COVID
An employee of the City of Nokomis has tested positive for COVID 19. The City of Nokomis immediately notified the Christian-Montgomery County EMA and the Montgomery County Health Department. Contact tracing is being conducted by the Montgomery County Health Department to identify any individuals who may have come into contact with this employee. Any City employee or member of the Nokomis Emergency Response Community who has been in contact with the affected individual will be immediately tested to determine COVID positivity status. Emergency Services functions in the City of

Nokomis will not be impacted in any negative way at this time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Kincaid approves bonds; discusses solar project
The Village of Kincaid held a public hearing and special meeting Monday night in the American Legion Hall in Kincaid and via phone conference.

The purpose of the public hearing was to hear any public comments about the village selling bonds not to exceed $53,000. This is for finance capital improvement and to pay outstanding obligations for the Village.

First Midstate Inc. representative David Pistorius spoke to the board and explained there is a tax levy that pays back the bonds. “You have tax caps with regards to bond issues. You are tax capped and have a debt service extension base. For the year 2020 your debt service extension base is $43,213. That is the maximum your principal and interest levy can be this year. We publish the hearing for $53,000, but it doesn’t mean we have to issue that amount. That’s the most you could have issued on a non-referendum basis,” said Pistorius.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Local student awarded scholarship
Lincoln Land Community College student Nicole Erwin-Gaynor of Taylorville is among 207 Phi Theta Kappa members nationwide to be named 2020 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars and will each receive $1,000 scholarships.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

South Fork schools will host 1 teacher from inaugural class in new teacher residency and licensure program
Golden Apple, a leading Illinois nonprofit committed to preparing, supporting, and mentoring aspiring teachers, has announced that it inducted 30 future teachers into the inaugural class of the organization’s Accelerator’s Program, a teacher residency and licensure program that is expediting the preparation of highly-qualified teachers in areas of the state most in need, in southern, central, and western Illinois. Golden Apple announced the program in December to address Illinois’ teacher shortage crisis and help fill critical positions throughout the state. In fact, at the start of last school year, 1,800 educator positions went unfilled.

Accelerators have been placed at several schools across Illinois including South Fork Junior/Senior High School in Kincaid.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Millikin announces spring dean's list
Millikin University is pleased to announce the names of the outstanding undergraduates who have been named to the Dean's List for the spring 2020 semester.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Stonington Lion Club Presents Scholarshp
Caleb Grover has been named the recipient of the Stonington Lions Club Scholarship for 2020. He is the son of Greg and Lisa Grover of Stonington. Caleb has been home schooled his prep school years.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Courthouse
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Memorial Elementary still battling water leaks
Last December, the Taylorville School District approved an extensive, $336,000 drainage project at Memorial Elementary School to alleviate a water problem in the basement and cafeteria of the building.

That project included the installation of a drainage membrane underneath the playground area, which was designed to slope away from the building. A curb on the north side of the property was also installed to prevent runoff from surrounding properties. Downspouts were also extended and tied directly into the storm sewer system.

Unfortunately, school officials announced at Monday night’s regularly scheduled school board meeting that the project hasn’t totally remedied the water problem.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Police/Fire
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Courthouse
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Edinburg plans to clarify building permit requirements
The Village of Edinburg held a regular meeting on Monday, August 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the community building to follow social distancing guidelines.

The Zoning officer and a Zoning Board member were present at the meeting to discuss the issues with the property owner who struggled to get a permit at the last meeting. The property owner themselves was not present at the meeting, but a relative came to listen and discuss on their behalf. The zoning officer told the Board that he still did not have the required information from the property owner to issue the building permit. The relative of the property owner denied this, declaring that all the information requested had been delivered. They argued that the property owner had not been told of all the items needed, and had thought they had already received permission to start building. The relative eventually admitted that the property owner did not actually have the physical permit to build. They insist, however, that they had not been told about the requirements for getting the permit and thought they had been given permission to start on their building project.

They also claimed that they had never had issues with building permits in other towns, to which the village attorney, Rocci Romano, stated that the Village of Edinburg’s ordinance for building permits was very lax compared to surrounding municipalities. The property owner’s relative left the meeting shortly afterward.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Pana senior facilities reporting COVID-19 cases in staff
Chris-Mont EMA is confirming that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Prairie Rose Health Care Center located at 900 S. Chestnut St, Pana. An outbreak, as defined by IDPH at an assisted living facility, is two or more positive COVID-19 cases of staff or residents because of the higher-risk population. They currently have two staff members who have tested positive. Upon notification of the positives within the facility, Prairie Rose was in direct contact with the Local Health Department and Chris-Mont EMA.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Pana Council considers Locust Street demo project
The Pana City Council agreed in principle to a project which would have two buildings demolished in the 100 block of South Locust St. for a parking lot and possible expansion of Pana Family Dental. If the project is ultimately approved, $40,000 in Pana Business District Tax Funds would be used.

Pana City Attorney Steve Mahrt is working on an agreement with the ownership of Pana Family Dental, at 128 S. Locust, to transfer title of the building which the city owns to the south. The dental office is then planning to buy the Sculptor II Men’s Hair-styling Salon - Spinner’s Barber Shop - at 140 S. Locust. According to Alderman Leon Goff, chairman of the Economic Development Committee, they plan to demolish those buildings and temporarily use them as a parking lot. He indicated at some point, Pana Family Dental may expand its practice by building an addition.

For the city, the investment would be up to $40,000 from the Business Tax District Fund, to be paid to Pana Family Dental once the demolition work was completed.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Police/Fire
Monday, August 10, 2020

Courthouse
Monday, August 10, 2020

Troop 74 Goes Canoeing
The scouts of Troop 74 in Morrisonville we're glad to get back to outdoor activities in July. They held their first fundraiser with a pork chop sandwich and Mel OCream donut sale. They ended the month with a canoe trip on Sugar Creek near Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. The weather was a little wet, but the boys didn't mind. They also went swimming and hiking at Raccoon Lake State Park.
Monday, August 10, 2020

Lake Land College looks forward to welcoming students in the Fall
Lake Land College faculty and staff look forward to welcoming students to the fall semester.

“We understand there are a lot of uncertainties at this time in our lives. We want our community to know that Lake Land College is here to help however we can,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said. “Students who may have to make last minute changes in their plans to attend universities are more than welcome to connect with a Lake Land representative and stay on course with our excellent general education courses”.

Monday, August 10, 2020

When facing illness, take control of finances
TAYLORVILLE — In light of the coronavirus pandemic, virtually all of us have considered health-related issues. But for people facing a serious, chronic illness, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes or cancer, health concerns are an everyday matter. If you’re fortunate, you may never be afflicted with such maladies, but the future is unpredictable. Of course, going through these health challenges bring physical and emotional concerns – but also financial ones. How can you prepare for them?
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Your Credit Score Will Not Suffer If You Have Lots Of Credit Cards
(NERDWALLET via AP) — People who care about their credit scores tend to obsess about some things they probably shouldn’t, such as the possibility they might have too much credit.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Authorities: Exposure risk low in latest case
TAYLORVILLE — An employee at the McDonal’ds located at 401 Spresser St. in Taylorville, IL, which has closely followed the CDC/IDPH guidelines, ha has tested positive for COVID. Upon notification of the positive case within the facility, McDonald’s in direct contact with the local health department and Chris-Mont EMA.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Hole-in-one flurry at Lakeshore
TAYLORVILLE — One of the most prestigious things in golf is a hole-in-one, and it isn’t exactly a common feat. Lakeshore Golf Course, however, had three of them over the past week.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Community Women Award Scholarships
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Ken Deck scholarship awarded to THS senior
TAYLORVILLE — Recently, Kristina Allen, daughter of Stephen Allen and Adriana Allen of Taylorville, was awarded a check in the amount of $1,000 to help her pursue her college education. Kristina will attend Southeast Missouri State university of Cape Girardeau and plans to study to become a speech pathologist, which she describes as her dream career.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Ford Motor Compy makes PPE donations to Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab received a significant donation from Ford Motor Company to help fight the spread of COVID-19 at the facility: hundreds of plastic face shields for the healthcare staff to wear when treating residents at the facility.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Healthcare Organizations remind visitors: masks required at hospitals, clinics
SPRINGFIELD  — Local healthcare organizations on Friday emphasized that anyone visiting a hospital or clinic must wear a mask at all times, saying that the public’s compliance is critical to reduce the community spread of COVID-19.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Local artwork donations recognized by TMH Foundation
TAYLORVILLE — The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation gratefully recognizes the five artists whose submissions were chosen for display in the new Taylorville Memorial Hospital facility.
Saturday, August 8, 2020










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