Taylorville Kiwanis Club member Will Perkins, left, formally installed Adam Jeffrey, middle, as the new president of the club, at an installation ceremony during their weekly meeting Tuesday. The newly-installed president then installed Blain Cornwell , right, as treasurer of the club.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their first meeting since mid-March due to the coronavirus, on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.
The club installed new officers that were to have taken office October First, and also heard committee reports about on-going Kiwanis projects benefiting children and youth in the Taylorville community. Wednesday, October 28, 2020
For over 30 years, the Taylorville Fire Department has been helping families in need through their annual Angel Tree. Every year, they ask the community to submit names of those in need. As always, recipients of the Angel Tree must live in the Taylorville fire protection district and be 14 years old or younger. People may not nominate their own families for the Angel Tree.
This year, TFD has moved the submission process online due to the ongoing COVID-19 health concerns. Wednesday, October 28, 2020
On Friday, October 9th, members of the Strengthening Agriculture committee of the Central A&M FFA Chapter gave out a free meal to local farmers driving semis and grain trucks to and from fields in both Moweaqua and Assumption. Wednesday, October 28, 2020
During its regular meeting on Monday night, members of the Pana City Council boosted the pay for aldermen, mayor, city clerk and city treasurer. The ordinance passed on first reading.
By law, the salaries must be set at least 180 days prior to an elected official taking office.
Under the ordinance, those officials who will take office on May 1, 2021, will see the bump in pay. The mayor’s and aldermen’s salaries will go up by $600 per year to $8,400 and $3,900, respectively. The city clerk’s and city treasurer’s salary will increase 5% and each will be paid almost $67,400 annually.
The salaries for clerk and treasurer were last adjusted four years ago and it has been at least six years or more since the aldermen and mayor got a pay increase. Tuesday, October 27, 2020
The Sharpsburg and Neighboring Area Water System (SNAWS) already brings reliable rural water to more than 300 customers on a system that encompasses more than 100 miles of underground pipe.
The group, though, is once again looking to expand their system in a proposed phase-three project that would add an additional 18 miles of line. The project is estimated to cost between $1.3 and $1.5 million and could bring potable water to about 75 additional rural homes.
The proposed project seeks to construct lines on 1700 and 1800 East Roads, about three-quarters of mile south off of 2400 North Road. It would also add a line about a mile long on 2000 North Road, just east of Stonington. Finally, it would create a loop around the east side of Willeys Station, utilizing 1600 East, 1700 East, 1800 East, and Snake Road. Tuesday, October 27, 2020
A 53-year-old Hewitville woman has been charge with financial exploitation of the elderly in Christian County Court today. Lisa D. Stice is accused of taking nearly $87,000 from the female victim, 75, who may suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. The charges include financial exploitation of the elderly/more than $50,000 and theft/control between $10,000 and $100,000.
The investigation has been carried out by the Taylorville Police Department.
Before Judge Douglas Jarman, Christian County State’s Attorney Michael Havera laid out the case. The charges allege Stice, who was apparently the caretaker of the victim, has been writing checks out of the victim’s bank account. Tuesday, October 27, 2020
The Taylorville Park District Board of Trustees met in regular session last night.
George Deines, of Counsilman-Hunsaker & Associates, presented a proposal for the park pool project. Deines told the board if their firm was selected for the project, they would first provide an assessment of the pool to determine if it would need to be repaired, renovated or replaced, as well as a feasibility study that would take into account the type of facility needed, demographics, income levels, facility location, self-sustainability of a new and/or existing facility, as well as level of staffing required to operate the facility, expected expenses and revenue. Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Taylorville FFA members have been working extremely hard practicing their livestock judging skills in creative ways in preparations for the American Royal Livestock Judging Contest which was held in Kansas City, Mo. this month.
These practices have maintained social distancing guidelines and have required students to send coaches oral reasons through google classroom and in other virtual ways. Local farmers and livestock producers have hosted outside practices for teams and the Christian County Fairboard has allowed the team to use fairgrounds to prepare for this national competition. Livestock judging contests require students to evaluate cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and then present oral reasons defending their decisions. Tuesday, October 27, 2020
In a press release issued today, Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry has announced he has tested positive for COVID-19. The press release states the following:
“I would like to inform the residents of Taylorville that I, Mayor Barry, have tested positive for COVID-19. I am experiencing fatigue as the only symptom. As of this morning, I will be checking my messages several times a day. I am currently quarantined until Sunday, November 1, 2020. My staff are taking messages at City Hall for me and notifying me of any immediate needs.
We had the Municipal Building professionally disinfected and cleaned over the weekend to ensure the safety of our employees and the public. We ask that if you enter into City Hall to wear a mask and/or practicie social distancing of at least six feet apart when possible. We have increased our cleaning routine to several times a day throughout the Municipal Building.” Monday, October 26, 2020
The Taylorville Optimist Club held its regular meeting on Thursday, October 22, 2020, in the Fellowship Hall of the First United Methodist Church.
President Ron Spears called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Pastor Steve Robinson giving the morning prayer. Ron gave a brief report on upcoming events for the club which include our monthly board meeting next Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at the Peoples Bank, and the annual Christmas for Kids. Monday, October 26, 2020
In April 2019, Mike Builta, a Growmark vice president and long-time employee, passed away unexpectedly. To honor his memory, the Growmark Foundation set up a program to honor his legacy by awarding 100 FFA jackets to FFA members in Illinois. Twenty-five jackets will be provided each year from 2019-2022. Monday, October 26, 2020
On the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election ballot, 13 candidates for Christian County Board will appear, running for four-year terms and one unexpired two-year term. There are candidates in all four Board districts and for the unexpired term in District 2.
The Breeze-Courier contacted all of the candidates either by e-mail or regular mail, asking them to submit a profile and answer two questions felt pertinent, although with the Board voting down the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) on Tuesday night, question #2 might be a moot point. Saturday, October 24, 2020
Sometimes it is truly amazing how much of a small world it really is. Who would have thought that a born and raised Texan author, who has won multiple Texas Western Fiction first place awards, has connections to Christian County, Illinois. But connections Art Anthony has, to one community in particular.
“I taught for 31 years, well 21 years I taught, and then I was Superintendent in Kincaid for 10. I told my wife after about six months as superintendent that I wouldn’t last the whole year.” Anthony shares with a slow drawling laugh that marks his deep connection to Texas even after settling down in Tuttle, Oklahoma. There are probably many people in Kincaid who remember Anthony and all he did for the community. Though he is humble about his contributions, Anthony worked hard to improve the South Fork School District during his years as the Superintendent. Saturday, October 24, 2020
After a special Taylorville School Board meeting Friday night, it now appears that Taylorville students may be heading back to the classroom beginning Monday, November 9.
Board members came to a consensus Friday night to move forward with a hybrid learning plan. Friday’s meeting, however, produced only a consensus; no vote was officially cast on the matter as Taylorville School Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty told board members that Friday’s discussion regarding the hybrid model was , “not an actionable item.”
Under the new hybrid model, students all across the district will receive two days of in-person instruction each week and three days of remote instruction each week.
Students with last names A-K will be on campus on Mondays and Tuesdays while students with last names L-Z will be in-person on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will always be a day of remote instruction and sanitation. Saturday, October 24, 2020
While the actual election day is still nine days away - Nov. 3, 2020 - voters in Christian County have set records for early voting in the county.
As of Friday, Christian County Clerk Michael Gianasi, whose office is in charge of county elections, says there have been about 2,400 mail-in ballot request and 1,828 have been returned. As for those casting early ballots, those people have topped the 1,600 mark. All of these are county records.
For the mail-in votes, those received on or before Nov. 3, will be counted in the returns that night. However, the final mail-in vote tally won’t be official until Nov. 17, the last day mail-in ballots can be accepted for counting, as long as they bear a postmark on Nov. 3 or earlier. Saturday, October 24, 2020
On Saturday, October 24, the Christian County Animal Control held their Bark-A-Boo parade, when pet owners could dress up their fur babies and drive through for a picture and some donuts. The volunteers at the Animal Control had a photo spot set up for fantastically dressed pets to show off their best Halloween looks. Saturday, October 24, 2020
The National Drug Take Back Day is slated for Saturday, October 24, 2020 at Walgreens from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. You can drive up and drop off your medication.
This national day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue.
According to the 2018 National Survey on drug use and health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. Friday, October 23, 2020
The Christian County Emergency Management Agency has released the following information about a positive COVID-19 cases at Taylorville’s First National Bank.
“First National Bank of Taylorville located at 322 W Main Cross St, Taylorville, has an employee that has tested positive for COVID. Contact tracing has been completed by the Christian County Health Department. The bank’s walk-in lobby will remain closed for the remainder of the day. It will reopen tomorrow (10/23/20) with normal business hours. Additional deep cleaning due to a positive COVID case is being completed. Friday, October 23, 2020
“You know whether a house is being restored or condemned by the size of the tools that are out front. If you see a crane and a wrecking ball, the house isn’t being restored, it’s coming down.” Those words penned by author and teacher, Paul Tripp*, recently caught my attention. We’ve all seen a version of both scenarios: A house marked as “condemned” that is ultimately torn down and a good ol’ “fixer-upper” that someone restores to its intended beauty. There is vastly different approach to both projects. Friday, October 23, 2020
The South Fork Board of Education held a regular board meeting on Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the junior high Media Center.
Superintendent Chris Clark shared with the board his enthusiasm that the proposed solar farm outside of Tovey had been given preliminary approval by the County Board. Because the South Fork school district includes Tovey, they would be able to draw tax money for the schools from the solar farm. Clark shared that the current projected numbers from the solar farm’s taxes the school receive would be higher than what they currently collect from the entire community combined. He explained that the money from the solar farm would not impact the district’s money from the state at all. The evidence based funding the school district was provided was guaranteed to never decrease. Clark also assured the Board that the money they received from the community through their tax levy would continue to be set by them and not be impacted by the farm. Thursday, October 22, 2020
HSHS St. Mary's Hospital recommends more treats and less tricks this Halloween considering the real and increased presence of COVID-19 in our communities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls traditional trick-or-treating "high risk" for COVID-19 exposure.
HSHS St. Mary's Hospital's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Jennings says it's important to remember the pandemic is still in place. "As the holidays approach, it's easy to let our guards down, but it is still critically important to be physically distant, wear face coverings and stick close to home to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and the flu, which is also ramping up now," he says.
While traditional Halloween activities may look and feel different this year, based on each community's celebration restrictions, there are alternative ways to keep the spooky holiday special. Wednesday, October 21, 2020
By a vote of 7-8, the Christian County Board defeated a proposal to join a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) during its marathon three-hour long meeting Tuesday night in the Courthouse. In addition, following an hour long discussion, a Special Use Permit for the Black Diamond Solar Farm near Tovey was approved by a margin of 10-5.
The debate over the CEDS was contentious to say the least and at one point deteriorated into a shouting match between Board Chairman Becky Edwards and District Two Representative Vicki McMahon. Edwards, at times seemed to be pleading with her colleagues, promising the CEDS was only for “Municipalities and villages” in the county and “Not for private companies.” She assured the Board CEDS had “zero” to do with eminent domain and it simply allowed Christian County towns the opportunity to apply for a 50-50 matching grant from the U. S. Department of Commerce on projects such as water or sewer lines or street improvements.
District Two Representative Brian Wilbur asked the item be placed on the agenda for October, despite the measure failing to pass out of the Finance Committee on two occasions previous. Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Taylorville High School’s Lizzie Schafer is already the defending National FFA Science Fair champion, but she’s hoping lightning will strike twice as she’s now in the running to make it back-to-back titles.
Schafer was recently selected as a top-three finalist in the animal systems division of the national competition, which features the top FFA science fair projects from competitors across all 50 states. Tuesday, October 20, 2020
The Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO) will continue its 2020 virtual performance season with a Masterworks II Opening Night livestream performance from Kirkland Fine Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be available for viewing on the Millikin University School of Music's YouTube channel at youtube.com/MillikinUniversitySchoolofMusic. Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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.
Three dates remain for FAFSA completion events. They are: Oct. 20, 5 p.m.; Oct. 22, 5 p.m.; and Oct. 28, 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Pana’s Unit 8 school board met on Monday night at the Pana High School library, and Superintendent Jason Bauer released numbers of students enrolled in the school system to be a little lower than in 2019 when the count was taken for the Illinois State Board of Education. This year’s number is 1,215 students district-wide, compared to 1,266 a year ago.
According to Bauer, Pana isn’t the only school district in Illinois which is losing students.
“This is not unique to Pana,” Bauer said. “This is something typical we are seeing across rural school districts throughout Illinois.” Tuesday, October 20, 2020
The Christian County Emergency Management Agency released the following warning about the rising Positivity rate in Region 3:
“As of Sunday, October 18, Region 3 has reached a level of 7.0% (Highest To Date). If we reach 8%, IDPH will look at additional measures in our region to get our percentage down. Monday, October 19, 2020
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.
Sometime during the early morning hours of Wednesday, September 2, 2020, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 310 South Washington Street. While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a Gigaset tablet and some food items. A window may have been used to make entry. The total dollar amount of damage and theft is unknown at this time. Monday, October 19, 2020
Last Summer at the Taylorville FFA Drive In Movie Style FFA Banquet, Mayor Bruce Barry called Conner Grant “The Perfect Example of an Excellent FFA Member”. Once the Taylorville FFA “Drive In Movie Style FFA Banquet” hit Facebook, it received national attention.
During the summer, Matt Brechwald from “FFA Stories From The Off-Farm Income Podcast” contacted Agriculture Instructor Sue Schafer about the Mayors comments and wanted to interview “The Perfect Example of an Excellent FFA Member” Conner Grant. Mr. Brechwald from Kuna, Idaho wanted to share Conner’s FFA experience at Taylorville High School and learn more about his Supervised Agriculture Experience. Monday, October 19, 2020
Stressors in life, including the challenges of the current COVID-19 pandemic, can take a toll on marriages and other close, intimate relationships. Family studies researchers at the University of Illinois, in partnership with University of Illinois Extension, are addressing this issue by launching a new online program for Illinois couples seeking help for their relationship.
With the recently released Illinois Strong Couples project this help is now just a click away.
"Anybody who's been married for say, a week, knows that marriages and close relationships are difficult, oftentimes harder than we first realized they were going to be," says Allen Barton, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at U of I, and an Extension specialist. Monday, October 19, 2020
SHELBYVILLE — The annual October National 2020 juried show brought to the public by Gallery 510 in Decatur and held at the Anne Lloyd Gallery in the Madden Arts Center is open to the public during this month. Saturday, October 17, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — This year creativity and following IHSA guidelines are how Taylorville FFA members continue their tradition of success. FFA activities have changed in nature due to COVID-19 but members still have the chance to practice and compete at Section, District, State, and National FFA level contests and events. Competitive events at all levels this fall are being held virtually. This year in order to practice for events the Taylorville FFA Chapter follows IHSA, IDPH guidelines, and have secured the Christian County Fairgrounds to meet after school hours to prepared students for competitive events. Saturday, October 17, 2020
MORRISONVILLE — The Morrisonville American Legion will host a community blood drive Wednesday, October 28 from 2-7 p.m. The American Legion is located at 607 Ricks Street in Morrisonville. Saturday, October 17, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — They say retirement is an opportunity to become a kid again. It’s an opportunity to pursue your passions without guilt or self-consciousness. The happiest people over 60 are typically the ones that see retirement as a beginning, not an end. Saturday, October 17, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — With all the craziness that has dominated much of the year, the decorating budget might not be up for huge seasonal spreads or off the wall Halloween scares. A household can still decorate and celebrate, even on a budget. These are some of our favorite do-it-yourself Halloween decorating projects that can be done with simple supplies that are easy to buy or found around the house. Use one or all of these suggestions to create the ultimate spooktacular Halloween decor in your home. Saturday, October 17, 2020
Family Features — While this autumn season will likely look different than years past, wholesome meals celebrating fall flavors provide something to look forward to. Eating foods like walnuts, colorful fruits and vegetables, and whole grains can be a solution for improving overall well-being in an enjoyable, delicious way. Saturday, October 17, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Officials with the Taylorville Food Pantry have notified the Taylorville Kiwanis Club, that club members raised the equivalent of almost 19,000 of food between non-perishable food and cash donations received, during their drive-thru Donation Days each Saturday in May, July, and September. Friday, October 16, 2020
PANA— Officials with the Christian and Montgomery County’s health departments and the EMS held a press conference in Pana Community Hospital this morning, warning the outbreak of COVID-19 could become worse if people don’t practice some basic safeguards such as wearing a mask and social distancing. Friday, October 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE —On September 29, the Taylorville FFA chapter was able to host their first Tornado Tuesday of the school year. This event was started a few years ago and gives students a safe and welcoming place to attend after school. Every Tuesday, food, games and different activities are provided to all students who attended. Friday, October 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in addition to the year-round mammogram service Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation provides to uninsured and under insured women through its CUPS fund, qualifying women can also get free mammograms on Mondays this month at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. Friday, October 16, 2020
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — Over the past four years, youth Christian County livestock enthusiasts have been working extremely hard practicing their livestock judging skills to not only improve their own individual herds but to earn scholarships and career skills. Friday, October 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The Finance Committee of the Christian County Board approved some salary adjustments for non-bargaining unit employees and a 5% increase in salary for the Jail Administrator during its meeting Thursday evening at the Courthouse. They also approved a new contract with CTI of Taylorville to increase the amount of hours the company can work on the county’s computers and help protect them from cyber attacks. Friday, October 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — At Tuesday night’s Taylorville School Board meeting, district auditor Adam Mathias reviewed the annual audit with board members. Mathias says the district was able to improve its financial position over the course of the last year. Friday, October 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill) announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development office has awarded a total of $3,718,599 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants to five educational and medical institutions in Illinois' 13th Congressional District. Recipients include Blackburn College, HSHS St. John's Hospital, Jersey Community Hospital, Regional Office of Education #17, and Taylorville Community Unit School District #3. Friday, October 16, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Accused of aggravated battery of a child under the age of 13, Daniel S. Dailey, 23, of Taylorville, made his first court appearance on Thursday before Circuit Court Judge Kevin Parker. Charges were filed on Wednesday, following an investigation by the Taylorville Police Department and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Thursday, October 15, 2020
EDINURG — The Edinburg Board of Education held a regular meeting on Wednesday, October 14 at 6:00 p.m. in the district media center to comply with social distancing guidelines. Thursday, October 15, 2020
During a nearly 25-minute discussion at the close of the Pana City Council meeting on Tuesday night, members of the Council and a downtown business owner who has been forced out of her building due to conditions at a neighboring building, wrestled with the problems of neglected, abandoned and deterioration of downtown structures. Erica Matthews made an impassioned plea for the Council to hold building owners responsible for building conditions before they get out of hand.
Matthews owns Autism And Movement Project (AAMP), a business which helps people of all ages with Autism to become more functioning members of society. The program has 75 clients and due to a bulging wall on the building next to her at 13 S. Locust St., Matthews has moved her operation temporally from 11 S. Locust to the former Family Video building on South Poplar Street, about three blocks away. During her presentation, Matthews outlined the history she has endured with the next door owner, a web of complaints, citations and now in court to force him to fix the building. The back and forth between Matthews, the building owners and the city has been going on for about three years. However, she recently learned the owner of the building, Charles Bailey, has recently sold the property to another person for $200. Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The State of Illinois is sponsoring a community COVID test site for two days in Christian County this weekend.
The testing site will be located at the Taylorville Fire Dept., 202 N. Main St. on Friday, October 16th and Sunday, October 18th from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. There will be no Saturday testing available. Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The Highway and Building Committee of the Christian County Board covered a number of topics on their agenda on Tuesday night at the Courthouse. They mainly dealt with building conditions and possible repairs or repairs which have been completed.
Cliff Frye, highway engineer, reported a replacement for the storage building which was destroyed by the December, 2018 tornado will be built. He said not only insurance funds can cover it, but also Motor Fuel Tax Funds as well. He is also working to have the second half of County Highway 1 - Bear Creek Road, from Route 29 near Pana to where repairs stopped a couple of years ago from the other end, will be on the January bid letting in 2021. He did indicate it could go longer, but he will do everything he can to have the bids let in January.
Bill Kennedy reported repairs to the boiler in the Courthouse have been made and it will undergo inspection on Thursday. Once cleared, it will be “fired up” for the winter season. He is still looking a chemical treatments for the inside of boiler’s piping where deterioration was noted. Wednesday, October 14, 2020
At a September 28 Taylorville School Board meeting, administrators stressed that a return to in-person learning would be driven by local COVID-19 data. Specifically, the district said it would be closely monitoring the Christian County positivity rate as it relates to the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. The number of district employees in quarantine was the other metric to be closely monitored.
“We have to keep those metrics stable for about 14 days before we can start talking about bringing the students back in,” Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty said at that September meeting.
At Tuesday’s school board meeting, the district clarified its stance on an entirely data-driven decision. “Parents perceived that as a gatekeeping device to keep in a remote learning setting, and that, by no means, was the goal or the intent,” Dougherty said Tuesday of the data-driven approach that was discussed in September. “The recommendation is to adjust the language on those metrics that we will consider that data,” she continued, emphasizing the word consider. Wednesday, October 14, 2020
TPD started an Investigation of an injury of a 5-month-old child who was transported to Springfield for treatment.
The child suffered a broken bone and showed other signs of possible abuse. TPD investigations unit working with DCFS after several interviews and medical reports had enough evidence to show child abuse. Wednesday, October 14, 2020
How did Lincoln and Grant promote their presidential campaigns? How do you counter a slogan as catchy as “I Like Ike”? Was there an 1890s version of MAGA hats?
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will answer those questions when it goes “Beyond Bumper Stickers” in two online events this month.
On Thursday, Oct. 15, historian Jacob Friefeld will highlight some of the amazing campaign memorabilia in the presidential library’s collections. He’ll pay particular attention to items in the Stevenson Collection, which includes material from a U.S. vice president, a Democratic presidential nominee and a candidate for Illinois governor. Wednesday, October 14, 2020
During his first appearance in Christian County Court on Tuesday, bond was set at $500,000 (10% cash applies) for Dylan W. Prather, 29, of Bardolph, Ill., who was allegedly involved in a shooting incident in Pana on Friday afternoon. He is currently charged armed robbery with a firearm, with more charges pending, according to Christian County State’s Attorney Michael Havera. Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The Village of Edinburg held a regular meeting in the Community Building on Monday October 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Village Attorney Rocci Romano brought good news to the Board at Monday night’s meeting. He had been in contact with Billy William’s at CTI and was certain they were close to beginning hooking up the Village for fiber Internet. They just had three things they wished to discuss and finalize with the Village before they began their work. Tuesday, October 13, 2020
A walk to heighten awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in Pana is planned for Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in Pana’s Kitchell Park. Registration for the event begins at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 13, 2020
A second teacher at Taylorville High School has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release issued by TCUSD Superintendent, Dr. Chris Dougherty:
According to the release, the employee is quarantined, and the school district has contacted the Christian County Health Department as well as Regional Office of Education #3 to inform them of the positive test result. The last time the employee was on the campus was Thursday, October 8. Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Lincoln Land Community College is conducting field research at its Springfield campus to test agricultural hemp production practices. It is currently the only college in Illinois doing such research.
The LLCC agriculture program planted five different varieties of cannabidiol (CBD) hemp to learn more about cultivating the crop and is now in the process of harvesting. The focus is on hemp grown for CBD used in such products as oils, lotions and tinctures. Tuesday, October 13, 2020
The Christian County Emergency Management Agency has released the following report about a positive COVID-19 test from a staff member thert:
“The Christian County Health Department, located in Taylorville, has an employee who has tested positive for COVID. Additional contact tracing has been completed by the Christian County Health Department. Any required quarantines have been established. Additional deep cleaning for a positive COVID case has also been completed. The Health Department facility remains open for its normal hours of operation. Monday, October 12, 2020
The suspect being sought in connection with a Friday afternoon shooting in Pana has been apprehended in Macomb. Pana police report Dylan W. Prather, 29, of Bardolph, Ill., a small town just northeast of Macomb, was taken into custody by the Macomb Police Department late Saturday night.
He will be returned to Christian County where he will face charges of attempted murder and armed robbery. Monday, October 12, 2020
Ann’s Flower Shop, owned and operated by Ann Haywood from 1972 to 2015, has been a bright pink landmark on Taylorville’s Park Street for decades. Generations of people have bought their bouquets from the iconic building, and even more have fond memories of the store and it’s owner. Jeff Peabody is the same.
“I grew up in Stonington and I used to buy all of our seasonal flowers for all the different dances there, probably all the way back from when I was in Junior high. For years and years I bought flowers from Ann.” He shares fondly. Because of his memories of the store and a desire to help revitalize the iconic building, Peabody and his wife Betty jumped at the chance to buy the store.
“To be honest, when I bought it, it was if Ann had just walked away. It was completely full of ceramic molds. There were all kinds of displays and silk flowers. All the vases. Ann used to make her own out of ceramic and she had painting classes, then she’d sell them.” He states.
After Peabody purchased the Park Street property, he came to realize it had a lot more history than he had realized. Saturday, October 10, 2020
At approximately 2:39 p.m. on Friday, October 9, the Pana Police Department responded to an altercation in progress near the alley and parking lot behind the apartment complex located at 2 East Fourth Street.
Officers discovered that two adult males were involved in an argument, which started in the apartment 9 at 2 East Fourth Street. Saturday, October 10, 2020
According to Christian County Emergency Management Agency, a second person involved with Taylorville’s Chilifest has tested positive for COVID-19. Following is a press release, verbatim, issued by CCEMA Friday:
“The recent Chilifest held at Taylorville has a volunteer worker that was onsite 10/4/20 that has tested positive for COVID. Upon notification of the positive case, they were in direct contact with the Local Health Department. Additional contact tracing has been completed by the Christian County Health Department. Due to the quick response and cooperation by the Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, it has been determined that there are three additional people that will be quarantined as a result of this exposure.
All affected parties have been notified. Saturday, October 10, 2020
Lake Land College will be hosting several virtual information events throughout the fall semester. The virtual events are centered on specific topics students and families encounter in the college decision making process. Attendees will need to register for the events at lakelandcollege.edu/visit. Each of the virtual sessions will take place on Zoom and will be 30 minutes or less. Zoom meeting information will be sent to registrants via email.
The events will include five different areas of focus: Admissions Process, Financial Aid Process & Paying for College, Academic Divisions & Programs, Student Panel Q & A and Honors Experience. Saturday, October 10, 2020
The Taylorville Optimist Club board of directors met recently in the community room of People’s Bank. Several items were discussed, including finances, upcoming meeting dates, speakers, special programs, and the most recent event, our mostaciolli dinner. Saturday, October 10, 2020
Having admired the art displayed in the window for Flourishes Gallery and Studios, downtown Shelbyville, next to her place of employment at Merle Norman Cosmetics and Boutique, Valorie Eversole continues to remind herself of the visual art talent in the area through viewing the removed prints. Saturday, October 10, 2020
Over the past four years, youth Christian County livestock enthusiasts have been working extremely hard practicing their livestock judging skills to not only improve their own individual herds but to earn scholarships and career skills. Last weekend eight Christian County youth competed at the Fall Up Grade Contest in Grand Island, NE and came away with top honors. The group left a few days early and made 3 scheduled visits at cattle farms in Missouri and Kansas. These opportunities allowed the youth to practice judging cattle and meeting industry leaders such as the CEO of the American Hereford Association, young beef entrepreneurs and top breeders in the Angus and Hereford breeds. Saturday, October 10, 2020
The Taylorville Optimist Club held its regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. 8, in the Carrie Carroll Parlor of the FUMC. The meeting was moved from the Fellowship Hall to the Parlor to accommodate the “Zoom” appearance of Justice Judy Cates of the Appellate Court. Justice Cates is a candidate for the vacancy on the Illinois Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Karmeir. She took this opportunity to introduce herself to the club and to speak briefly about the upcoming election for the vacant judicial seat. Friday, October 9, 2020
Beginning next lake season, seniority may no longer play a part in determining whether or not residents are awarded vacant Lake Taylorville lake lots.
At Thursday’s City of Taylorville Lake and Airport Committee, aldermen voted unanimously to adopt a lottery system for the allocation of vacant lake lots. The full city council will still have to adopt the change before it takes effect, but the proposed lottery system will replace the current format, which is a long-standing list that allocates lots based on an individual’s position at or near the top of that list. Friday, October 9, 2020
Former Illinois Congressman Glenn Poshard leads a group of people in a march around the Courthouse in Taylorville this morning, to advocate for non-violence. He served two Illinois Congressional Districts from 1988 through 1998. Pana Township was included in one of those districts. He later became President of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. In his remarks, he encouraged people “Not to turn against each other” and to “Unite around non-violence.” Friday, October 9, 2020
The Christian County Health Department released this statement today:
“The Christian County Health Department, led by administrator Greg Seiders and assistant administrator Caitlin Sands, are dedicated to improving conditions for all residents of the County through the prevention of disease and the promotion of healthy behaviors. Currently the Health Department's mission and objective, in addition to its normal daily duties, is to supress the spread of COVID-19 in Christian County. This monumental task is being tackled daily. The department's staff is regulary communicating with positive cases and close contacts to prevent further spread of the virus. We are keeping in contact with those who are sick and making sure they have access to the resources and information they need.
The Health Department also has a regulatory obligation based on guidance provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health(IDPH).Often times the community, media, press and local officials feel we may not be doing as much as we should, but we have legal restrictions that are considered on a daily basis. At this time, we ARE pursuing matters with establishments/events that are not in compliance with the current emergency rules. Health authorities and officers, police officers, sheriffs, and all other officers and employees of the State or local officials such as mayors, boards and other localities, including the Department and certified local health departments need to come together to enforce the rules, regulations, and emergency orders that are currently in place. Friday, October 9, 2020
The Christian County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA) issued the following press release today on behalf of the Christian County Health Department confirming the public mass exposure potential to COVID-19 as a result of Chillifest last weekend
The press release follows, verbatim:
“In Christain County recently, there was an employee of Capital City Cornhole at the local Chilifest that tested positive after the event when symptoms developed. This has been verified with public health.
This in turn created a mass exposure potential. A mass virus exposure is defined as a person infected with a virus who transmits it to an unusually large number of other people. Any exposure over the gathering allowance of more than 50 people would qualify. It is not believed there was any malicious intent on anyone’s part. However, this event is a prime example of how quickly a single positive case can create a very risky environment in larger groups of people. Public health is unable to contact trace such an event to help prevent further exposure of potentially vulnerable people from this event exposure. Knowing this virus can be spread, even when asymptomatic, is a very serious concern of public health officials. To date, Christian County has had 832 positive COVID cases, 25 deaths and 110 positive cases quarantined. In addition, there are many more that are exposures that are also quarantined by IDPH rules. Friday, October 9, 2020
The Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty released the folling information on a positive COVID-19 tests result from a staff member at the high school:
“Dear Taylorville Community,
This release is to inform you that a teacher from Taylorville CUSD#3 High School has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee is quarantined. The school district has contacted the Christian County Health Department as well as Regional Office of Education #3 to inform them of the positive test results. The last time the employee was on our campus is listed below: Friday, October 9, 2020
The Apostle Paul spoke to Timothy about “perilous times” coming in what he called the latter days. Jesus warned of “deception” when teaching and being asked about His return. Seems to me, we are in that season. Friday, October 9, 2020
The Lincoln Prairie Trail Conservancy met one of its longtime objectives last month by building a 12' X 16' rain shelter at the Pana trailhead, with financial support from Peoples Bank & Trust, First National Bank, a private citizen, Pana Pride and the LPTC. Thursday, October 8, 2020
The Taylorville Chamber of Commerce issued the following press release Wednesday afternoon in response to yesterday’s announcement by the Christian County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA) that a mass exposure to COVID-19 had occurred at Chillifest and is not possible to fully contact trace.
“Officials with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest, learned today that an employee of the Capital City Cornhole company, who participated in the Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest over Oct. 3rd and 4th, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
The cornhole organization held four tournaments from Friday, Oct. 2nd to Sunday, October 5th in Taylorville, including two outdoors at Chillifest, one at the American Legion, and one at Mity’s Pub.
With the COVID-19 incubation period being 5 to 7 days, the participant had apparently contracted the virus before coming to the event last weekend. Thursday, October 8, 2020
To ensure the public’s health and safety, Memorial’s Festival of Trees is going virtual.
This year’s festival will be held Nov. 21-29. The community will be able to view more than 100 decorated trees and wreaths online at no cost, with the usual $5 admission fee to the Orr Building, where past festivals have been held, waived.
And this season’s previously announced theme, “Bling in the Season,” has been changed to “A Season of Hope.” The theme, “Bling in the Season,” will be reserved for the 2021 Memorial’s Festival of Trees. Thursday, October 8, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA’s 32nd annual benefit auction will be conducted online with participants bidding on a secure website developed by Walker Auctions. With the uniqueness of this year’s event, the auction will be chaired by the organization’s board of directors. Board members include Dan McNeely, Steve Youngblut, Rick Bonitzer, Alan Lockwood, J.C. Olive, Raedena Ryan, Tony Suggs, Jennifer Nagle, Jarred Rahar, Adam Vocks, James Kirk, Jeff Robinson, Harold Smedley, Clint Hohenstein, Chris Dougherty, Tyler Nation and Drew Peabody.
Everyone is welcome to participate; invitations with event details and bidding instructions will be mailed to past attendees the week of October 12. There is no fee to partake in the online auction, however, those interested will be asked to RSVP with their email address so updates can be shared leading up to the event and a welcome video can be sent. Participation instructions will also be posted on the Y’s website and Facebook page. The Y has dedicated staff to assist individuals with registering and navigating the site. The auction will go live on Wednesday, November 4 and close at 8:00p.m. on Friday, November 13. Once live, the online auction can be found at www.walkerauctions.com and clicking on 32nd Annual Christian County YMCA Benefit Auction. This year’s Fund-A-Need will be raising funds to make changes to the facility to support 24-hour access. The Y plans to offer 24-hour access to the wellness center and gymnasium by the end of the year. Sponsorship and gift donation opportunities are available for both businesses and individuals. Thursday, October 8, 2020
The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has announced a total of 109 cases of Coronavirus at the Taylorville Correctional Center. Since the pandemic began, inmate cases total 86 and staff, 23. Currently, seven staff members have tested positive and there are 32 inmate positive tests recently. As of Apr. 22, 2020, IDOC reports the population of the Taylorville facility at 959 inmates.
These COVID-19 case numbers are not reflected in the Christian County COVID-19 positive case totals released by the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency.
Two deaths at the prison have been connected to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to IDOC. Wednesday, October 7, 2020
The Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted Tuesday night to recommend to the full Christian County Board the issuance of a Special Use Permit (SUP) for a nearly 2,400-acre solar farm south and west of Tovey. The vote was unanimous with member Mark Dozier absent. The County Board meets on Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. to consider the recommendation.
About a half-dozen citizens opposed to the project were outside of the Courthouse to urge ZBA members not to grant the permit. Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA’s 32nd annual benefit auction will be conducted online with participants bidding on a secure website developed by Walker Auctions. With the uniqueness of this year’s event, the auction will be chaired by the organization’s board of directors. Board members include Dan McNeely, Steve Youngblut, Rick Bonitzer, Alan Lockwood, J.C. Olive, Raedena Ryan, Tony Suggs, Jennifer Nagle, Jarred Rahar, Adam Vocks, James Kirk, Jeff Robinson, Harold Smedley, Clint Hohenstein, Chris Dougherty, Tyler Nation and Drew Peabody. Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Patients in Memorial Health System’s five central Illinois hospitals will be able to vote in the upcoming election if they’re in the hospital on Nov. 3.
According to state law, a qualified voter admitted to a hospital not more than 14 days before an election is entitled to vote using a vote-by-mail ballot delivered by either a legal family member or someone who is registered to vote in the patient’s precinct. Wednesday, October 7, 2020
The Village of Mt. Auburn held a regular meeting on Tuesday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Village Hall.
During the last meeting, Mayor Amber Dooley was asked by the Board and citizens to find out if the contract for Phase I of the water project included road repairs in the scope of work. Dooley spoke with Lee Beckman and was able to inform the board that no, the road repairs were not included in the contract as part of the scope of work. Wednesday, October 7, 2020
More than 150 years after his death, Abraham Lincoln continues to inspire artists, from writers to filmmakers to painters. A fascinating new example has been unveiled at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
“400 Split Rails for One Yard of Cloth” by Donn Ziebell illustrates a story from Lincoln’s youth. He needed a new pair of pants but lacked money, so he worked out an arrangement with a neighbor. He would split 400 fence rails for each yard of cloth needed for the pants. Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Several new businesses could be on their way to Taylorville.
At Monday’s Taylorville City Council meeting, Taylorville Development Agency (TDA) President Ken Hart told aldermen that his group has “tentatively sold” seven of the 18 lots that are currently in development at the new Taylorville Industrial Park, which is located on Illinois Route 29, just south and west of the Trinity Dodge dealership.
“You’re going to get your money back pretty fast because we’ve already tentatively sold seven lots,” Hart told city officials, referencing the $100,000 that the city initially donated two years ago to help kickstart the project. Tuesday, October 6, 2020
During the meeting of the Christian County Board’s Executive and Personnel Committee on Monday night, it was decided to move discussions to of a Human Resources person to the Finance Committee for more discussion. The meeting was held at the Courthouse with Matt Wells conducting the meeting as acting chairman. Chairman Donna Hibbetts and Ray Koonce were absent.
The Human Resources position is held by Jan Bland, who is also assistant to the Board. She will be retiring in early 2021 and preparations are being made to fill that position. There had been some suggestion department heads and elected officials might want to take over some of the human resources aspects in their various offices, but that notion did not register favorably with those who commented at the meeting. Tuesday, October 6, 2020
According to Christian County Emergency Management Agency two more positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at two county business open to the public, China Pavillion in Taylorville and Pana Animal Hospital in Pana. Each has one employee who has tested positive.
Out of an abundance of caution, China Pavilion has voluntarily decided to close until 10/14/20. Additional COVID deep cleaning protocols to ensure customer and employee continued safety are being completed. Tuesday, October 6, 2020
After hearing from several teachers and administrators during a special meeting of the Pana School Board on Monday night, members of the Board voted to continue with the hybrid teaching program through the end of the first semester, with a couple of minor changes. Monday’s meeting was held in the Library of Pana High School.
Among those changes were allowing students to come back to school anytime from remote learning. However, a student would not be allowed to go back to remote learning unless they are quarantined for the COVID-19 virus. Also, for high school students, first semester final tests will only be given in-person at the high school. The vote was taken at the end of the two-hour meeting, which included a 55-minute executive session, presumably held to discuss the options.
To start off the discussion, several faculty members spoke and they agreed the in-person/remote learning process was going as well as it can. They are frustrated with some of the students on remote learning who are not tuning in and not completing assignments. All agreed using Wednesday’s as Remote Learning Days is helpful for teachers. Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Most people follow public health advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but many continue to ignore the warnings. As flu season approaches, taking precautions to prevent illness is more important than ever.
Leaders with five local health organizations met Monday morning at the Sangamon County Department of Public Health to encourage the public to not avoid or delay getting their flu shots this season.
“This year more than ever, we should all be aware of what we can do to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like influenza and COVID-19,” said Dr. Raj Govindaiah, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Memorial Health System. “This year everyone should get a flu shot, continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, socially distance and stay home if you are sick.” Tuesday, October 6, 2020
The Christian County Emergency Management Agency released the following warning about a return to restrictions in Region 3:
“Six out of 19 counties in Region 3 are at the IDPH Warning Level. Region 3 currently sets at a 6.0 Test Positivity Rate. The last time our region was in that range was on Aug 14, 2020 showing a 6.2%. That is the highest we have been as a region to date. Monday, October 5, 2020
Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert-Winans’ office has identified the two drivers killed in a head-on accident which happened about 2:02 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. Both Joe L. Taylor III, 59, of Kincaid and William D. Garrett, 67, of Taylorville, were pronounced dead at the scene. Monday, October 5, 2020
Royalty was crowned in five different categories during Saturday's Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest on the Taylorville square.
The event was the first-ever socially distanced pageant in Chillifest's 35 year history, and was also the first that was moved to the Christian County Fairgrounds Expo Building in the middle of judging due to rain. Monday, October 5, 2020
It was a round metal object the size of a beach ball, and only weighed 183.9 pounds. Yet it managed to throw a nervous world into a panic.
Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, was thrust into space by the Soviet Union on Oct. 4, 1957 and marked the beginning of the space race. It was also a landmark in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviets.
The launch, just months after Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev’s declaration that “we will bury you,” sent the United States into “near hysteria” in the words of one writer and “political pandemonium” in the words of another. Saturday, October 3, 2020
Twenty-eight Illinois counties are at a warning level for COVID-19 spread as of Friday, the same day the rolling seven-day average positivity rate in the state decreased to 3.4 percent.
The 28 counties at a warning level for COVID-19 spread include Bond, Boone, Brown, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, DeKalb, DeWitt, Fayette, Greene, Hancock, Jasper, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Massac, Monroe, Morgan, Pulaski, Putnam, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Wabash, Washington and Winnebago.
A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase, including number of deaths, new cases per 100,000, weekly test positivity and others. Saturday, October 3, 2020
Authorities say there is no doubt the 48-year-old man who fatally shot three co-workers at a central Illinois warehouse earlier this year before killing himself targeted his victims, Springfield’s police chief said Friday.
Police Chief Kenny Winslow said Michael Collins possessed two firearms with extra ammunition and magazines but didn’t use them. Saturday, October 3, 2020
Fifty-six years. A half a century. That is how long Dr. Joseph Smith of Taylorville has been a practicing dentist at Mid-Illinois Dental Associates. For many people, Dr. Smith is the only dentist they have ever worked with. He has taken care of them since they were children, his laughter, jokes, and his fish tank keeping them coming back even after they grew up. But now, Dr. Smith has decided it is time for him to retire.
Dr. Smith did not start out with a goal to become a dentist. “I didn’t know, when I first started out in school, if I wanted to be a dentist or not,” Dr. Smith admits lightly, “But, I got to college and I got into pre-dental and it wasn’t easy for me. I was spurred on by my mother. She was quite a woman.” With his mother’s urging, he completed his undergraduate studies at St. Louis University, and then finished his graduate program out of the University of Illinois Dental School in Chicago. Dr. Smith is from a family of hard workers. His brother became an orthopedic surgeon, and his sister a nurse. He is exceptionally proud of his family, especially his mother. He recalls with pride how she, a bookkeeper, was able to put three children through college and medical school without a single one of them owing money. He owes much of his success in life to her and how she raised him. Saturday, October 3, 2020
The Taylorville Optimist Club was proud to present the 2020 Salute to Law Enforcement on Thursday, Oct. 1st. The event was held at the Taylorville VFW Hall under the guidelines for the current Covid-19 prevention of spread. All attendees were checked for temperature, masks were given to each attendee, hand sanitizer was available on every table, and social distancing was maintained.
First item on the program was the posting of the colors by the Color Guard of the Springfield Police Department, the singing of the National Anthem by Jillian Lowry, the Pledge of Allegiance led by Dick Marshal, and the invocation by Pastor Steve Robinson.
That was followed by the introduction of guests in attendance, which included both candidates for the vacancy on the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice Judy Cates and Justice David Overstreet, Bill Wagner, Governor for the Illinois District of Optimist International, county officers Julie Mayer, Mike Havera, and Bruce Kettelkamp. Legislative members present included State Representative Avery Bourne, a video message from Congressman Rodney Davis. Mayor Bruce Barry was also in attendance. Saturday, October 3, 2020
A public drawing for the allocation of Sangchris Lake State Park trapping permits will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, October 17, 2020. Registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the site headquarters, located approximately six miles southeast of Rochester. The following protocols will be adhered to when trapper drawings are being conducted: Saturday, October 3, 2020
With apologies to the writer of the theme song for the CBS-TV comedy series, “WKRP in Cincinnati,” we take you to Jacksonville, where a former radio announcer from Taylorville, Allen Stare and his wife, Donna, are taking on the daunting task of watching each of the 88 episodes of the program, then sitting down together to record their podcast, “WKRP-Cast.”
Allen is a Taylorville native and 1983 graduate of Taylorville High School. He graduated SIU-Carbondale in 1987 with a degree in Radio-Television and minor in Public Relations. A native of Murphysboro, Donna graduated from Murphysboro High School and from MacMurray College in Jacksonville in 1982. A retired school teacher with a 35-year career, her last 19 were spent teaching at the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville. They have been married for 33 years. Saturday, October 3, 2020
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a series of vehicle burglaries that occurred in Taylorville.
Over the past 2 weeks there have been a number of vehicle burglaries that have occurred in Taylorville. Various vehicles have been entered into and items taken. Items have included: cell phones, money, laptops, and even firearms. The vehicles involved had been left unlocked. Crimetsoppers would ask the public to please remove valuables from your vehicle, especially firearms and to make sure that your vehicle is secured. Saturday, October 3, 2020
Taylorville Fire Chief Matt Adermann told the City of Taylorville Emergency Services Committee Thursday night that the city may be eligible to receive $463,000 in salary relief for first responders who have had to work through the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Adermann says the money may be available through the Cures Act, which is a federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) program that was signed into law in 2016. Initially, it was intended to accelerate medical product development and bring new innovations and advances to patients.
In the wake of COVID-19, Adermann says the Cares Act has been partially reshaped to help municipalities work through the financial hardships created from the virus. Friday, October 2, 2020
Officials are being tight-lipped about the outbreak of COVID-19 cases at the Taylorville Care Center, 600 S. Houston St., in Taylorville. One published report states five people have died of complications associated with the disease at the facility. Those numbers could not be verified by this newspaper.
The Breeze-Courier has reached out today to both the Christian County Health Department Director Greg Seiders and the administrator of Taylorville Care Center, Rhonda Handcock, and neither have returned telephone calls.
However, Greg Nimmo, director of Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management, did respond, but said he was unable to comment on specifics with the cases. He did say there are 56 patients who have tested positive as well as 13 staff members. Friday, October 2, 2020
Another restoration work day for Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial is set for Saturday, October 3, 2020 from 8:30-11:00 a.m.
Volunteers will be removing bush honeysuckle and performing general park maintenance. Anyone who would like to get outdoors and enjoy a work day is encouraged to come out to the park and bring gloves and a face mask. Friday, October 2, 2020
The Taylorville Police Department (TPD) will host a National Night Out on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 from 5-8 p.m., along with Taylorville Fire Department, Stonington Police Department, Assumption Police Department, Pana Police Department, Christian County Sherriff’s office, Morrisonville Police Department and Edinburg Police Department.
The event will be held at the Christian County Fairgrounds to allow plenty of space for social distancing. In addition, there will be plenty of hand washing stations availble, and hand sanitizer. Friday, October 2, 2020
The Taylorville Optimist Club held its regular meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2020, in the meeting room of the People’s Bank. President Ron Spears called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the invocation given by Pastor Steve Switzer.
First order of business was the discussion on the upcoming Mostaccioli dinner fundraiser. Due to the postponement from earlier this spring, and also to the Covid restrictions of the day, the dinner will be conducted as a “drive-thru” only. Hours are from 4:00-7:00 on Monday, Sept. 28th. Orders may be picked up at the rear window of Florinda’s. Cars will be directed to enter the alley at the rear of Florinda’s by using the Market St. entrance. They will then be directed around the parking lot to the pick-up area. From there, cars will exit to the north onto E. Main Cross. Dinners may be purchased on-site, or for those who purchased tickets previously, they will naturally be honored at this time. The dinner will consist of Mostaccioli with Florinda’s own sauce, garlic bread, salad, and cookie for dessert. Friday, October 2, 2020
The Farm Hands, a well known bluegrass group from Nashville, Tenn., will be in concert at the United in Faith Church, 609 Fairgrounds Rd. Pana, Sunday Oct. 4, at 5:00 p.m. The concert will be outside. Guests may remain in their vehicle or sit in lawn chairs. A love offering will be taken. Friday, October 2, 2020
Over the weekend, one of my daughters came to me feeling pretty down, and we spent a few minutes talking through her discouragement. I know her well enough to know that part of what I need to do in those moments is a bit of cheerleading. I need to build her up. That’s not to say that I’m telling her things that aren’t true just to make her feel better. Rather, I’m reminding her of what is true about herself and her circumstances to help her see a broader view of what can be. And it always makes me feel valuable in her life to walk with her through moments like this. Friday, October 2, 2020
Mrs. Boehme’s North School and Memorial School Art students are using their art skills to make the world a more beautiful place. Each Kindergarten through 4th grade student made a rainbow picture and hung them in their front windows to spread joy and happiness. Thursday, October 1, 2020
The Christian County YMCA located at 900 McAdam St. in Taylorville has a staff member 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 not required to close after some additional cleaning of touch surfaces due to the very limited potential of exposure in this case.
According to a press release issued by Chris-Mont EMA, “If you were recently at the facility, you would not meet the exposure guidelines of less than six feet for more than fifteen minutes cumulative, therefore your risk would be low by IDPH protocols. As always, you should monitor your health because COVID is a virus that is active throughout our communities. Thursday, October 1, 2020
Texas-based Vistra Energy announced Tuesday that it intends to shutter the Kincaid Power Plant by the end of 2027. The company, however, did say that the closure could happen sooner should, “economic or other conditions dictate.”
The 1,100 megawatt facility in Kincaid employs approximately 115 jobs and is one of five Illinois-based coal plants that Vistra will close between 2022 and 2027. Other sites to be closed include the Baldwin, IL plant; the Joppa, IL plant; the Bartonville, IL plant; and the Newton, IL plant.
Kincaid Mayor Bob Morris says the closure will be a big loss for the village. “This is really going to hurt Kincaid and the surrounding area,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that work out there that are going to be affected.” Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Morrisonville CUSD #1 Superintendent, Dave Meister, announced Tuesday afternoon that they will reopen Morrisonville Jr./Sr. High School on Thursday, October 1, 2020.
The school shut down September 16, 2020 because numerous members of the learning community had to be quarantined due to a COVID-19 exposure. Junior and Senior High students have been participating in remote school learning during this time, while the elementary school remained opened. Wednesday, September 30, 2020
The Farm Hands, a well known bluegrass group from Nashville, Tenn., will be in concert at the United in Faith Church, 609 Fairgrounds Rd. Pana, Sunday Oct. 4, at 5:00 p.m. The concert will be outside. Guests may remain in their vehicle or sit in lawn chairs. A love offering will be taken. Wednesday, September 30, 2020
The annual Blessing of the Animals will be held on Saturday, October 3 at 9:00 am in the Edinburg Community Park. The public is invited to bring any pet or livestock to be blessed. Contact Rev. Caleb McGregor at 618-263-8058 for more detail Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Every year the Illinois State 4-H Livestock Skillathon is held in conjunction with the Illinois State Fair. This year with the cancellation of the fair the State Skillathon was held with eht Illinois Department of Agriculture Youth Livestock Show at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. A Livestock Skillathon tests youth knowledge on livestock production practices. Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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