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home : news September 30, 2020

New Kincaid Chief Sworn In
DJ Mathon was sworn in as the new Kincaid Chief of Police at last night’s special board meeting. Mathon is pictured along with Village Clerk, Marla O’Dell, who administered the oath of office.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020


No return to in-person learning in Taylorville for now
At the beginning of the school year, the Taylorville School Board and district administrators were hopeful that a return to in-person learning could materialize by the end of the first quarter, which is October 16. After a special school board meeting on Monday night, however, it appears that Taylorville students won’t be back in the classroom by that date due to the still upward trending COVID-19 numbers.

The school board did not assign a new target return date Monday night. Instead, administrators say that data will drive the decision.

Right now, Taylorville School Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty says that the data does not allow for the return of in-person learning. “The district leadership team met on the 23rd, which was last Wednesday, and it is comprised of each school leaders, parents, key staff members, board members, union representation,” she explained. “Basically, the conversation reviewed the data, and it reviewed whether or not, at this time, as promised, if we can make a recommendation to return kids to school. Overwhelmingly, that cannot happen at this time because of the numbers of COVID we are dealing with. We have 47 employees during that semester time that have been quarantined, positive, exposed, and then put out by the health department in our organization.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Pana City Council talks lake lots and bike trail bridge
During their meeting on Monday night, members of the Pana City Council discussed issues with lake lot leases and transfers and the bids concerning the replacement of the Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail bridge near Taylorville.

The topic of lake lots came up during the report from Community Operations Committee Chairman Ron Miles when he made a motion to fine a lake resident who built a boat dock on the lake without a permit. The committee had met on Sept. 22 and recommended the action.

During the discussion, City Attorney Steve Mahrt was asked his opinion and he said there were two options. If the dock was constructed without a permit, the owner should be made to remove it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Golf rounds up locally during pandemic
The Taylorville Community Pleasure Driveway and Park District Board of Trustees met in regular session last night.

Jason Boldig provided the board with an update of Lakeshore Golf Course. “I’ve done a rounds assessment compared to last year at this time.  We are currently up by 1,500 rounds of golf. Last year, we had a total of 14,500 rounds played for the season. This year, we’ve had 16,000 rounds played from May-September. I believe this is due to the fact that through COVID more families are getting out and playing together, which is nice. We also changed our policy where kids could golf for free with a paid adult. Despite the fact we’ve had to deal with COVID, and in the beginning, we weren’t sure what was going to happen, it’s been nice to see families out enjoying a round of golf together, and they’ve been repeat customers,” said Boldig.

Boldig also made three requests of the board for areas that need attention at the course. He cited a large dead locust tree on the south side of the building needs removed, as it poses a threat to structures should it fall during a wind storm. Park Maintenance Superintendent Gary Brown indicated he would take a look at it to determine if it was something park staff could take care of, or they will get bids for the removal of the tree.

Boldig indicated he would like to replace 18 fluorescent lights in the proshop, switching them to LED lighting that would be more efficient. The costs are estimated at approximately $1,800. He stated he would do the electrical work and replacement if the Park Board could purchase them. The board approved the motion.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

County's positivity rate jumps to 15.9%
The Illinois Department of Public Health has put Christian County in the warning level for COVID-19 cases.

Christian County’s COVID-19 positivity rate now stands at 15.9 percent.

Christian County is located in Region 3 of the Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 zones. The region includes Sangamon, Christian, Cass, Morgan, Montgomery, Macoupin, Logan Menard, Hancock, Pike, Jersey, Schuyler, Calhoun, Greene, Scott, Mason, Brown and Adams counties. Christian County’s rate of 15.9% is nearly three times higher than the overall positivity rate for the region of 5.8%. Statewide, the test positivity 7-day rolling average is now at 3.7 %.

Greg Nimmo, director, Christian County Emergency Management Agency, said this morning: “What it means is, it’s really a warning from the Department of Publish Health to the county and the county leadership. That’s public health, mayors, nonprofit leaders, anybody, It’s to tell them that we need to be aware that we are going the wrong way as a county, because our counts are increasing, and we need to make sure that we are promoting doing the proper things and stepping up our game, basically.”

This includes the Chillifest, which is  scheduled for this weekend in Taylorville.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Pana School Board passes budget Monday night
During its regular meeting on Monday night, the Pana School Board unanimously passed a balanced budget for fiscal year 2021. The new fiscal year started on July 1. The meeting was held in the Library of Pana High School.

Figures show the Education Fund will have a $600,000 balance at the end of the Fiscal Year on June 30, 2021. Revenues are pegged at $12.9 million and expenses are $12.3 million. Although five of the school district’s funds show a negative balance at the end of the fiscal year, School Superintendent Jason Bauer said the Illinois Board of Education considers this a balance budget. When all 11 funds are totaled up, there is a surplus of $588,000 for the year. Total revenues are estimated at $16.9 million with expenses totaling $16.3 million.

“Moving forward, there is more uncertainty with this year’s budget due to the pandemic and overall condition of the economy,” Bauer said. “We are optimistic that the budget will be balanced at the end of the fiscal year, but understand without a crystal ball, there is no way to tell what we are in store for.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Courthouse
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Area bike trail closed for maintenance
The Rock Springs-Fairview Bike Trail, linking Rock Springs Conservation Area and Fairview Park, will be temporarily closed for maintenance today through Friday, October 2, weather permitting.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Taylorville Library closed temporarily due to positive test
The Christian County Emergency management Agency released the following information about a positive COVID-19 test at the Taylorville Public Library:

“Taylorville Public Library located at 121 W. Vine St. in Taylorville has an employee who has tested positive for COVID. Upon notification of the positive case within the facility. They were in direct contact with the Christain County Health Department (CCHD) and Chris-Mont EMA. Additional contact tracing/testing is being completed. The facility is currently closed to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Additional COVID deep cleaning protocols are also being implemented to mitigate the virus.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Wright virtual visits series to feature Dana-Thomas House
The Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site in Springfield will be featured Thursday, Oct. 1 as part of the Wright Virtual Visits social media video series highlighting Frank Lloyd Wright-designed public sites from around the country.

 The series is made possible through a partnership of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy of Chicago, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation of Scottsdale, AZ, and Unity Temple Restoration Foundation of Oak Park, IL.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Police/Fire
Monday, September 28, 2020

Courthouse
Monday, September 28, 2020

Christian County deaths deemed accidental
Christian County Coroner Amy Winans has released the manner and cause of death for several area death investigations that were conducted in August. 
Monday, September 28, 2020

Best methods to repair damaged driveways
Even the most durable driveways can suffer from cracks and pits over time. As cracks form, they pave the way for more deterioration if they are not addressed. Water infiltration can break down the integrity of the driveway during freeze and thaw periods, and any little hole or crack can promote weed growth. Driveway repair can be a do-it-yourself project, but pay attention to the details to ensure the job is done right.
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Safe entertaining options
Entertaining has changed quite a bit in 2020. Government-issued restrictions dictated how many people you could invite into your home or even your backyard. Large family gatherings, such as weddings or birthday parties, were put on hold. Many people are still cautious about crowds and maintaining their distance, even from close friends and family and even as safety protocols have been loosened.

Those who are eagerly awaiting hosting dinner parties or backyard gatherings can take various steps to ensure the health and safety of their guests. These guidelines can help make entertaining that much safer.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Exterior renovations that can improve home value
Renovating a home to improve its value can be a smart investment. Interior improvements, such as updating kitchens and baths, offer good return on investment, but there are plenty of exterior renovations that can add value to a home and give it that coveted “wow” factor.
Saturday, September 26, 2020

A room with a view? How about one with a door
Without warning last spring, millions of parents found themselves working from home while their kids attempted to do schoolwork under the same roof. The changes happened so quickly that families  especially those short on space  could only make the best of it with hastily arranged solutions.

Nearly six months later, many interior designers are helping clients make more considered decorating changes, big and small, to serve the whole family during the new school year.

Interior designer Everick Brown says a priority for his clients in the suburbs outside New York City has been finding enough quiet space and privacy to effectively work, study and take Zoom calls.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

5 tips to prepare for window replacement
Winter is coming, and for millions of people who reside in areas of the country that see the mercury drop considerably between December and March, that means prioritizing staying warm. Inefficient or aging housing materials may compromise your ability to do just that.

Drafts from doors, poorly protected attics and basements and aging windows may force heating systems to work extra hard to maintain interior temperatures.

Replacing old windows can make a home quieter by blocking out exterior noises. Consumer Reports also notes that new windows are often easier to clean and maintain than older varieties.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Bold decor, and you still get the security deposit back
Noelle Daumeyer and her roommates knew they needed a big, bold art piece to decorate the bland, white walls in the living room of their rented apartment, but they also worried about damaging the paint.

They solved the problem by painting their own version of Henri Matisse’s “Dance” and using hooks with removable adhesive to hang the canvas.

“We wanted to give the space more personality,” said Daumeyer, of Columbus, Ohio. “All of our friends comment on the painting. It really brightens up the room.”

Many renters who are hoping to get back their security deposits can still pursue ambitious decorating ideas thanks to a growing number of landlord-friendly products. In addition to removable hooks, temporary decorating updates include removable wallpaper, tile decals and easy-to-install light fixtures.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Types of home insulation and where to install them
When thinking about renovating their homes, homeowners may imagine changing wall colors, expanding room sizes or upgrading appliances and fixtures. However, unless people take inventory of the less glamourous components of the home, such as structure, plumbing, heating and cooling, and insulation, other improvements may be for naught.

A home insulation project certainly doesn't offer the wow factor of a kitchen remodel, but insulation serves a vital function in the house that helps keep people comfortable and reduces energy consumption. Insulation is typically placed in areas where air escapes, such as between the stud cavities inside the walls and in the attic, and serves to slow and reduce heat transfer.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Holiday gifts to spark home improvement ideas
People have spent more time at home in 2020 than they likely have in years past. This has provided homeowners with plenty of time to ponder potential upgrades to their homes. After taking inventory of their lifestyles, surroundings and furnishings, people have embarked on construction projects or home interior design renovations in record numbers.

Holiday gifts that cater to projects around the house are likely to be highly valued this holiday season. Here are some ideas for home improvement-related gifts.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Steps for hanging holiday lights outdoors
Prior to taking out the lights, ladder and thermos of coffee to get you through the job, it's important to note that there are right and wrong ways to hang holiday lights. HL20A326

It begins to look a lot like Christmas when twinkling lights brighten up homes inside and out. Few things liven up the season more than holiday decorations, particularly clear and colored lights.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

How to design a fitness room at home
People exercise for many different reasons. Exercise can improve one's appearance, reduce the risk for illness, alleviate stress or anxiety, and even help pass some time. Exercise is often a social activity, but in the wake of social distancing guidelines issue in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have found themselves looking for ways to exercise at home.

Building a home fitness room has never been a more timely project, and such a project can continue to provide rewards even when life returns to some semblance of normalcy. Here's how to successfully stock a home gym.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Taylorville Home Source new store to open Oct. 1
Owners of Taylorville Home Source, Rick and Cathy White, are leaving their cramped quarters at 919 W. Spresser St., and expanded their services and selections at a new location, 1316 E. Park St. In fact, they will open their new store to the public on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

“We’ve out-grown our present location and are moving into our new 8,500 square-foot showroom,” Rick said. “We’ll be able to have more items in stock and customers may chose products for DIY projects or, we have installation crews ready to complete the project.”

Both are Taylorville natives and after living in Florida for 20 years, they came back to their hometown 16 years ago.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

A Beautiful Day To Finish
The annual Downtown Taylorville Farmer’s Market on the square had a beautiful end to it’s unusual season on Saturday, September 26, 2020.
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Christ-Mont EMA urges everyone to help stop COVID-19 spread
The Christian County Emergency Management Agency has provided the following information urging everyone to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19:
Saturday, September 26, 2020

PCH Is "Moving Healthy Ahead" with a public education campaign
Pana Community Hospital, a member of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA), is participating in a statewide public education campaign encouraging patients to move their health ahead. Due to safety concerns from COVID-19, many patients have put off important health screenings, physician visits, preventive care, surgeries and even emergency room visits.
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Rural Electric Convenience Co-op donates to Food Pantry
Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) awarded Co-op Community Grants to four local charities. RECC donated $10,000 and CoBank’s Sharing Success program matched the $10,000 contribution. A combined total of $20,000 was donated to food pantries in Taylorville, Virden and Loami, with an additional grant awarded to the Refuge Ranch in Rochester.
Saturday, September 26, 2020

"Moving Forward to LLCC" events in October for prospective students
Prospective students are invited to a variety of October events, including a Campus Cruise Oct. 28, to learn more about Lincoln Land Community College. Participants can attend virtual sessions on various majors, career programs and financial aid, and schedule tours and one-on-one appointments by visiting www.llcc.edu/forward.

Virtual information sessions for various majors include: Oct. 8, 5 p.m. – Health Professions; Oct. 12, 5 p.m. – Social Sciences and Business; Oct. 13, 5:30 p.m. – Transportation and Industrial; Oct. 19, 5:30 p.m. – Math, Computer Science, Natural and Agricultural Sciences; Oct. 21, 5 p.m. – Arts, Communication, English and Humanities; Oct. 26, 5:30 p.m. – Short-term training programs at LLCC's Capital City Training Center; Oct. 29, 5:30 p.m. – Culinary and Hospitality.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Four decades of smiles: Taylorville dentist retires after 47 years
For 47 years, Dr. Robert Huss has been a soothing, smiling presence for many dental patients in the community. He has given four decades worth of smiles to his patients. With a steady and gentle personality, Dr. Huss has served generations of families as a reliable and trustworthy dentist. All good thing must come to an end, though. Dr. Huss has announced his intention to retire from Mid-Illinois Dental Associates. His long career has given him numerous fond memories and helped him forge deep connections with all his patients. He is not only a doctor, but also a friend and a neighbor. He is part of the community.
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Information sought in Taylorville burglary
At around 3:00 am on Friday, September 25, 2020, an unknown male subject attempted to break into FS Gas Station, located at 1200 North Cheney Street.  The unknown subject attempted to make entry by breaking a front glass door.  No entry appeared to have been made. The subject was described as a male, wearing a black hoodie, and blue jeans. He left the scene heading north. The total dollar amount of damage is unknown at this time.
Saturday, September 26, 2020

City looking to address east end flooding
At the Taylorville Street and Sewer Committee meeting Thursday evening, Benton and Associates, the city’s engineering firm, told aldermen that there are currently five collapsed or plugged storm sewer pipes in the area of North Paw Paw, East Poplar, East Vine, and East Main Cross Streets that have contributed to major flooding concerns near the railroad track in that area.

Alderman say the flooding is also a signficiant problem for homeowners in the neighborhood.

Benton and Associates presented mulitple plans for addressing the problem Thursday night, and alderemen elected to combine two of those in order to try and bring relief to the area.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Another COVID case in Taylorville Schools
Superintendent of the Taylorville School District, Dr. Chris Dougherty, has announced staff members of the District have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The news was released late Friday morning.

In addition to the employees, their families have also tested positive, have been exposed and/or have been quarantined for the disease. Those staff members exhibiting symptoms from recent exposures to COVID-19 are quarantined while awaiting test results as a measure to slow the spread of the virus.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Christian County courthouse reports positive COVD test
The Christian County Emergency Management Agency relseaed the following information about postive COVID-19 tests at the courthouse:

“An employee of the Christain County Clerk and Recorder’s Office located inside the County Courthouse located at 101 S Main St, Taylorville has tested positive for COVID 19. The Christian County Health Department implemented contact tracing to identify any individuals who may have come into contact with the employee. Additional COVID-19 disinfection is being completed. The Clerk and Recorder’s Office, as well as the remainder of the courthouse offices, with the exception of the Circuit Clerk’s Office due to a previous positive case, will be able to remain open to in-person traffic and early voting as scheduled. The voting booths and materials used will be wiped down after each use. Masks are required to enter the courthouse and hand sanitizer will be available according to Clerk, Michael Gianasi.

If you should have any questions regarding voting or the office operations, you may call the Clerk and Recorder’s Office at 217-824-4966.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Early Voting not effected by COVID case
Christian County Clerk and Recorder, Michael Gianasi is clarifying the situation in his office as it pertains to Early Voting in the 2020 General Election. This week, an employee of his office tested positive for COVID-19. Early Voting began yesterday and will continue through election day on Nov. 3, 2020.

Gianasi said the employee who tested positive works in the back room of the office, separate from the front counter area where voter assistance is provided. The person was last in the office on Monday, Sept. 21. As a precaution, the other employees of the back office were quarantined under guidance from the Christian County Health Department.

The Clerk said none of the voting equipment was set up until Wednesday, Sept. 23, and all common surfaces in the office are wiped down. Ink pens are cleaned after each use and patrons may bring and use their own pen with black ink to vote. Voting booths and laminated ballot privacy covers are wiped after use.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Courthouse
Friday, September 25, 2020

Police/Fire
Friday, September 25, 2020

Blaming the body of Christ and your pastor
Now more than ever before, with everything going on in the world, we who believe, need to connect ourselves and be faithful to the body of Christ, the man or woman of God and our local assembly.

Connecting and staying connected is very important in your walk and relationship with God. I ask you today to evaluate yourself. How do you stay connected?

Friday, September 25, 2020

Police/Fire
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Courthouse
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Two Pana businesses reporting positive COVID-19 cases
The Christian County emergency Management Agency released the following information about new COVID-19 cases in Pana:

“Two Pana businesses are reporting positive COVID-19 cases today.

The first, Pizza Man located at 800 Jackson St. in Pana, IL. They have an employee who has tested positive for COVID. Upon notification of the positive case within the facility, they were in direct contact with the Christian County Health Department (CCHD) and Chris-Mont EMA. The facility immediately closed to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Additional contact tracing is being completed by the Christian County Health Department. Additional COVID deep cleaning protocols are also being implemented to mitigate the virus. The facility will reopen tomorrow 9/24/20 with the approval of the CCHD.

The second, First National Bank (Pana Branch) located at 306 S Locust St, Pana, IL. They have an employee who has tested positive for COVID. Upon notification of the positive case within the facility, they were in direct contact with the Christain County Health Department (CCHD) and Chris-Mont EMA. The facility immediately closed to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Additional contact tracing is being completed by the Christian County Health Department. Additional COVID deep cleaning protocols are also being implemented to mitigate the virus. The facility will reopen tomorrow 9/24/20 with the approval of the CCHD.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Il Realtors Deliver Candy Bars To Healthcare Workers
Illinois Realtors recognized the work of local health care workers by donating candy bars to the staff at Springfield Clinic Taylorville in September. The candy bars were part of a Hearts for Health Care Workers Challenge for Illinois Realtors and local Realtor associations around the state.
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Manar announces $2 million in grants to local schools
Local schools are set to receive nearly $2 million in grants to improve students’ access to remote learning technology, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Wednesday.

“Many school districts have employed a remote or hybrid learning model to protect staff and students during the pandemic,” Manar said. “These funds can help provide every child with the resources they need to stay engaged in their education during this difficult time.”

Digital Equity Formula Grants, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, are intended to help schools bridge the digital divide and offer students more reliable access to the technology they need to participate in e-learning. School districts can use the funds to expand connectivity and provide students with devices like computers or tablets.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Courthouse
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Police/Fire
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Aircraft Rescue Training
Taylorville firefighters had a unique opportunity to take part in aircraft rescue training on Tuesday under the guidance of Chris Collins from the Mt. Vernon Airport Authority. Firefighters were trained on various emergency situations that could develop on a host of different types of aircraft that could come in and out of the Taylorville airport.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Memorial Elementary to reopen tomorrow
On Tuesday afternoon, the Taylorville School District issued a press release saying that Memorial Elementary School was temporarily closed for deep cleaning after two additional district employees exhibited COVID-like symptoms.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Rep. Avery Bourne sets traveling office hours
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) will be holding traveling office hours on Tuesday, September 29 in Taylorville.

The event will be held at the office of Congressman Rodney Davis, 108 West Market Street, in the US Bank Building on floor 2R, from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Decision on Permit for solar farm in October
A decision on issuing a Special Use Permit (SUP) for a nearly 2,400 acre solar farm south and west of Tovey is expected by the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) within two weeks. The Board met for three hours and 15 minutes on Tuesday night to hear testimony from developers of the Black Diamond Solar Power Co. who are planning to build the 299 megawatt facility, with an estimated cost of $425 million. The next meeting is set for Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, at 6:00 p.m.

Several property owners which are adjacent to the projected voiced objections, based on potential problems with drainage tiles on their properties and site views of the solar panels. Toward the end of the meeting, ZBA Chairman Steve Sipes called for a recess so the attorneys for the developers and the objectors could meet. After about 20 minutes, the sides emerged saying they had “an agreement in principle” and would present a final draft at the next meeting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Christ-Mont urges everyone to follow IDPH guidelines to stop COVID spread
The Christian County Emergency Management Agency has released the following press release urging everyone to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19:

“The Christian and Montgomery County Health Departments, as the lead authorities on promoting the health and safety of our communities take this responsibility very seriously. We understand that everyone, whether front-line or citizen is tired of COVID-19. As the local health departments, our priorities are to help our agency, partners and the public, plan for and address emerging health threats, and promote healthy living through awareness, education, programs and community development. Some of our fundamental responsibilities include: Communicable disease control and investigation, Inspection and enforcement of the food safety codes, private sewage codes and potable water systems. This responsibility also includes the regulation and enforcement of public health codes within our counties to include the COVID-19 virus.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Gold Star Families Remembrance Week set for Sept. 20-26
The week of September 20-26, 2020 has been designated as Gold Star Families Remembrance Week. It is a time to honor and recognize the sacrifices made by the families of members of the Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice in order to defend freedom and protect the United States and the families of veterans of the Armed Forces.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

SIUE announces Summer 2020 graduates
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is pleased to announce its Summer 2020 graduates. Honors for undergraduate students are indicated as follows:
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Start your kids on a heart-healthy path
You're there to help your children with their homework, and you remind them to brush their teeth.

But have you helped them do something good for their hearts lately?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

LLCC offering free virtual FAFSA events for high school students
Lincoln Land Community College is hosting free virtual events about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for high school students who are planning to attend college and need help figuring out how to cover the cost.

The first event on Sept. 23, 6 p.m. will provide an introduction to the FAFSA. FAFSA completion events will be held: Oct. 6, 6 p.m.; Oct. 14, 5 p.m.; Oct. 15, 5 p.m.; Oct. 20, 5 p.m.; Oct. 22, 5 p.m.; and Oct. 28, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Bring houseplants indoors before the first frost
As fall draws near, it’s time to bring houseplants inside for winter. Many houseplants are native to tropical and subtropical climates and do great outside in Illinois in the summer, but cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

“When temperatures drop below 55°F, it’s time to bring plants indoors,” says Ken Johnson, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. “Be sure you don’t also bring in unwelcome guests.”

Insects, such as aphids, whiteflies, scale, and spider mites are pests commonly found on outdoor plants. Inspect plants for any insects and other pests before bringing them indoors. Once inside, populations can rapidly increase and spread to other plants.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) safety precautions necessary around farms
ATVs have become popular for work and recreation on many farms and ranches. Unfortunately, reported cases of serious injury and death have increased along with their increased use. Most of these injuries and deaths can be attributed to improper use of ATVs. Make ATV safety a priority on your farm or ranch.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Farm shop safety is a year round chore
Service and maintenance tasks can often lead to serious injury. The farm shop and the field are the primary locations where repair operations are completed. Make sure your farm shop is part of a farm safety solution, not a problem.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Falls from tractors and trailing equipment
Runovers caused by falls from tractors and trailing equipment are one of the most common forms of unintentional injuries that happen on the farm or ranch. Many of these lead to serious injury and death. Falls from farm machinery are particularly common for the older farmer and children. Falls from machinery can be prevented by adopting these basic practices.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Safe use of harvesting equipment
Harvesting equipment is a necessity on farms to gather the crops for a bountiful harvest. Harvest time is primary revenue time on many farms and is also one of the peak periods for farm injuries and deaths. Many of these injuries can be prevented through effective farm safety management.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Council tables nuisance home ordinance
At last Thursday’s City of Taylorville Ordinance Committee meeting, Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler spoke to aldermen about the possibility of adopting a nuisance home ordinance that would allow the city to hold landlords accountable for repeated criminal and drug activity that occurs on their property.

Wheeler says the proposed ordinance is modeled after one utilized by the City of Peoria, which allows the city to shut a property down for up to 180 days if it’s found to be a “crime nuisance”

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Courthouse
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Police/Fire
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Shawn Hocq sworn in as PPD part-time officer
On Friday, Shawn Hocq of Pana, was sworn in by City Clerk Terry Klein to be a member of the Pana Police Department as a Part-time Police Officer. His appointment was approved by the Pana City Council during its meeting on Sept. 21, 2020.

“We are excited to welcome Shawn to our team, and utilize his law enforcement and medical certifications, training and experience,” Pana Chief of Police Daniel Bland said. “With his law enforcement certifications, he will have the necessary tools and authority as a police officer to make arrests and enforce other ordinance violations if need be while he is handling animal control issues. Hocq will also be available to assist with open shifts within the police department which will reduce overtime costs and provide support for full-time officers.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Rock Springs offering nature day camp for kids
Itching to get outside? Rock Springs Nature Center is offering a Nature Day Camp for children ages 6-12 on Saturday, October 10. Camp will meet from 9am to 4pm.

Children can join a naturalist for  “Changing Seasons” on Saturday, October 10. Campers must bring a sack lunch and bottle of water.  $20/child. Must pre-register online by noon the day before camp at MaconCountyConservation.org.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Loving Arms Pregnancy Center to host diaper giveaway
To assist the community during the pandemic, Loving Arms Pregnancy Center is planning a “Diaper Giveaway.” The event will be held at their new location at 201 S. Locust Street in Pana on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, and at the main Center located at 500 N. Walnut Street in Taylorville on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Those in need of diapers, may contact their main office at 217-824-7200 to place their order for pickup on either date. The Diaper Giveaway will occur only on those dates, quantities are limited and available while supplies last. (Safety and social distancing guidelines will be followed.)
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Quad County Home Health celebrates those who have recovered from COVID-19
Quad County has many reasons to celebrate but currently some of the most special reasons are for those who have recovered from COVID-19 that have been in the care of Quad County’s professional staff.  Quad County Director, Tom Culberson wanted to have a visual way to honor each patient that has recovered.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Christian Co 4-H sweeps virtual Livestock Judging Contest
This summer, several Livestock Judging Events were canceled due to Covid 19. Even during these difficult times the Christian County 4-H Livestock Judging Team worked hard to find every opportunity possible to improve upon their livestock evaluation talents. One contest that this group of hard working individuals took part in every week was the Joliet Jr College Virtual Livestock Judging Contest.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

IDOL stresses farm vehicle safety as busy harvest season begins
The agricultural industry is one of the most dangerous with a work-related death rate of 23 deaths per 100,000 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the fall harvest season is one of the busiest and most dangerous times for agricultural workers.

Recognizing the dangers of harvest season, the National Safety Council each year designates the third week of September as National Farm Safety and Health Week -- September 20-26 -- which this year emphasizes the need for farm vehicle and rural road safety. This year’s theme is “Every Farmer Counts.”

“September is tractor season in Illinois,” said Michael Kleinik, director of the Illinois Department of Labor. “This is the time of year when it is so important for both farmers and motorists to be patient and share the roads. We want everyone to head home to their families safe and sound at the end of each day.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Advice to grow by: How to collect seeds for next year
In this article, I will explain some of the techniques for collecting seeds in your garden and some of the basic terminology. There is some basic terminology that needs to be explained to truly get viable seeds for next year.  

First of all, if you have hybrids, which are a cross of two types of plants to get a certain color or flower or improve the characteristics of a certain plant, you will not get the same flower or plant, if you save the seeds. You need to collect plants that are open pollinated. Open pollinated are plants or flowers are pollinated by nature such as bees, beetles, wind or even humans. These open pollinated plants are true to their species if collected. Among the many native flowers that are open pollinated are the compass flower or false sunflower, tall tickseed or coreopsis, or the Black-eyed Susan, and of course the native Common Milkweed. These plants will be true to their flower when the seeds are collected. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Taylorville Schools report 2 more positive cases
Taylorville School Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty issued another press release this weekend stating that two more Taylorville School District staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

The release identifies one staff member as an employee of the high school while the other is an employee at Memorial Elementary. They were last on campus on September 12 and September 16 respectively. Both positive tests were received on September 19, 2020.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Police/Fire
Monday, September 21, 2020

Bids for Lincoln Prairie Trail Bridge all over estimates
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) opened bids on Friday for the replacement of the Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail Bridge south of Taylorville over Flat Branch Creek and all four estimates were well over budget. It will be up to the Pana City Council to either accept or reject the bids.

Lowest bid is from Halverson Construction Co. of Springfield with an estimated cost of $805,250. The engineer’s estimated bid for the project, delayed several times since 2017, was $635,500, nearly $170,000 lower than the low bid.

A comment under the bid from IDOT said the bid was “not within a reasonable approximation of the estimate.”

Monday, September 21, 2020

Courthouse
Monday, September 21, 2020

CAM FFA has three members advance to State
This year, Central A&M FFA had three members advance to competition at the State FFA Awards Day, which is like the grand finale of proficiencies, more commonly known as record books.

Ella Forlines competed with her Landscape Management record book, Hunter Mott competed with his poultry record book, and Spencer Uphoff competed with his Sheep Production record book, making all three of them top five individuals in the state in their areas.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Harvest is stressful: What's your PLAN
The harvest season can be very stressful with breakdowns of equipment, long hours and setbacks. There is no way to predict what harveest might bring. This year, be ready and have a PLAN to manage your stress for a safe and healthy harvest.

Dr. Josie M. Rudolphi and Courtney Cuthbertson developed information for farmers using the acronym PLAN.

Monday, September 21, 2020

FFA members continue to learn by doing even during Covid 19
Taylorville FFA members headed to Mount Auburn on Friday, September, 18 to harvest the 7.5 acre plot of corn. The Taylorville chapter has farmed this area of land since the consolidation of Mount Auburn and the Taylorville School Districts in 1992. Every year FFA members have enjoyed helping with the plot and have gained numerous valuable hands-on skills through planting, summer crop care, and harvest of the plot.  

“It is really enjoyable to see all of the hard work and effort pay off when harvesting the plots,” Taylorville senior and FFA chapter Vice President of Technology Toby Winans said. “Harvesting the plot has alway been one of my favorite things to do in FFA.”

Monday, September 21, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police/Fire
Friday, August 28, 2020

Courthouse
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










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