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Local News Archives for 2021-03

Madison Communications BBB Torch Award

Madison Communications in Staunton was awarded the 2020 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for BBB serving eastern and southwest Missouri and southern Illinois Torch Awards honor businesses and nonprofits demonstrating high ethics in their treatment of customers, employees and suppliers. Ten businesses and two nonprofits are receiving Torch Awards in 2020.

Madison Communications is an internet, TV, and telecommunications company serving Macoupin and Madison counties in Illinois, with a focus on rural communities. Madison Communication and other Torch Award winners were recognized during small, socially distanced cerremonies at their offices coordinated by the BBB.

Madison County Expands Vaccine Access

Madison County Health Department announces the expansion of eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines at Madison County clinics to include anyone who is 16 years of age or older and who lives or works in Illinois. Individuals will be asked to show proof of Illinois residency or proof of Illinois employment. Minors who are 16-17 years old are only eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and must be accompanied by a parent to their appointment. All vaccinations are by appointment only. Open appointment scheduling links can be found at www.madisonchd.org, https://coronavirus-vaccine-outreach-madcoil.hub.arcgis.com/, or on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. If someone needs assistance scheduling their appointment, please call (618) 650-8445 Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm. This change in eligibility is effective immediately.

Litchfield Firefighter Application/Testing Process Approaches

The Board of Fire & Police Commissioners of the City of Litchfield, Illinois will hold entry level Firefighter/Paramedic testing beginning with a mandatory orientation on May 7, 2021 followed by a written examination on May 8, 2021. The top 20 candidates passing the written examination will then take part in the oral interviews.
Applicants must be a U.S. Citizen, at least 21 and under 35 years of age, possess a high school diploma or G.E.D., possess a current CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) Certificate to include the ladder climb, be an Illinois Licensed Paramedic (at time of job offer), and possess a valid Illinois driver’s license. All applicants must provide a copy of their high school diploma or G.E.D., valid CPAT Certificate, valid Illinois Paramedic license (or EMT-B/EMT-I at time of application), and valid Illinois driver’s license no later than at time of Orientation.
The mandatory orientation will be held on May 7, 2021 at City Hall, in Corwin Hall, 120 E. Ryder Street, Litchfield, Illinois. Doors for the orientation will be open at 6:00 p.m. and the program begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. Anyone arriving after that time will not be admitted. Spouses or significant others are encouraged to attend with applicants. Details related to the written exam and oral interviews will be discussed at orientation. Applicants must bring with them a current legible photo ID.
Applications are available at Litchfield City Hall, City Administrator’s Office, 120 E. Ryder Street, Litchfield, Illinois and on the City’s website at www.cityoflitchfieldil.com. Applications and required supplemental documents must be returned to City of Litchfield City Hall, City Administrator’s Office, no later than 2:00 p.m. on May 3, 2021. Applicants with incomplete applications will not be allowed to take part in the testing process.

Weekend Sports Scores

This past weekends Sports Scores

Spring Football – Week 2 - Friday, March 26th

South Central Confrence

Pana 19, Carlinville 15

Greenville 44, Hillsboro 20

Southwestern 34, Gillespie 24

Vandalia 28, Roxana 17


Sangamo Confrence

North Mac 23, Auburn 9

Williamsville 55, New Berlin 0

Maroa-Forsyth 56, Athens 12

Pleasant Plains 19, PORTA 18

Riverton 26, Pittsfield 25


Prairie State Confrence

Nokomis 29, Wesclin 14

Freeburg 54, Wood River 12

Alton Marquette 28, Salem 21


Apollo Confrence

Mattoon 19, Taylorville 14

Effingham 34, Charleston 14

Mt. Zion 44, Mahomet-Seymour 34


Central State 8 Confrence

Glenwood 35, Jacksonville 14

SHG 54, MacArthur 0

Normal U. High 49, Southeast 6


WIVC South Confrence

Greenfield-NW 14, West Central 8

North Greene 33, Pleasant Hill 30


WIVC North Confrence

Brown County 38, Beardstown 12

Mendon Unity 8, Triopia 0


Mississippi Valley Confrence

Civic Memorial 14, Jersey 7

Triad 28, Highland 14

Waterloo 59, Granite City 16

Mascoutah 26, Collinsville 12


Volleyball

Lincolnwood def Edinburg

Brussels def Bunker Hill 22-25, 25-16, 25-23

Father McGivney def Metro East Lutheran 25-20, 16-25, 25-22

St. Elmo Brownstown def Mulberry Grove 25-13, 25-14


Boys Soccer

Jersey 6, Waterloo 1



Saturday, March 27th

Football Non-Conference

Breese Mater Dei 57, Staunton 6

Dupo 40, Madison 18

East St. Louis 69, Peoria 18



Central State 8 Confrence

Rochester 68, Springfield High 34



WIVC North Confrence

Camp Point Central 41, Jacksonville Routt 12

8 Man Football

Pawnee 22, Martinsville 20


Boys Soccer

Hillsboro 7, Springfield Lutheran 0

Jacksonville 4, North Mac 0

Glenwood 1, Quincy 0

Lincoln 3, Charleston 3


Volleyball

Staunton def Nokomis 25-10, 25-12

North Mac def Carlinville 19-25, 25-18, 25-17

Greenfield-NW def Pittsfield 26-24, 26-24

PORTA def New Berlin 25-22, 25-21

Lincoln def Riverton 25-22, 25-22

Jacksonville def Beardstown 25-18, 25-17

Glenwood def Quincy 25-15, 25-11


Triangular matches

St. Teresa def Vandalia 25-15, 25-18

St. Thomas Moore def Vandalia 25-15, 25-15


Civic Memorial def Wood River in 2 sets

Wood River def Carrollton in 3 sets


Alton Marquette def Cahokia 25-16, 25-17

Alton def Marquette 25-22, 16-25, 15-8

Alton def Cahokia 25-20, 25-17

$500,0000 Pledge to Blackburn

Carl and Cynda Zeidler have pledged $500,000 to Blackburn College to create the Peter Slavish Endowed Professorship in Art at Blackburn College. This gift honors Dr. Peter Slavish, a beloved Art professor at Blackburn for more than 23 years. Endowed Chairs and Professorships not only recognize outstanding achievement, but also provide permanent financial support for the research, special equipment and resources, and creative endeavors of distinguished faculty members.

Dr. Slavish was married to Cynda Zeidler until his death in 1996. After completing degrees at Penn State and Indiana State, and beginning his teaching career at Eastern Illinois University, Slavish was invited to Blackburn College to give a ceramics demonstration in the spring of 1973. "One can easily say his meeting with Blackburn was "love at first sight", Cynda explained. "The following year Pete left his tenured position at EIU and joined the Blackburn faculty in what would become a 23-year academic adventure."

"On behalf of the entire Blackburn Community, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Carl and Cynda Zeidler," Blackburn Presiden Mark L. Biermann said. "Pete Slavish is an incredible example of the impact Blackburn faculty can have on students and on our community, a community in which students build long-lasting relationships with faculty and staff members, and are mentored by experts in their field. This generous gift will help support outstanding faculty members and a remarkable Art program."

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Saturday in Butler

The Montgomery County Household Hazardous Waste Event is set for Saturday from 8 until 3 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Butler. It's co-sponsored by the Montgomery County Farm Bureau and the Illinois EPA. Among the items being accepted are oil based paint and paint thinner, aerosol paint and cleaning products, insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, mercury, gasoline, antifreeze, used motor oil, antifreeze, flourescent light bulbs, old and expired medications (please leave the portion of the label identifying the drug) and household batteries. Among the items that are off limits are explosives, fireworks, ammunition, fire extinguishers, needles, farm oil and agricultural chemicals, propane tanks, smoke detectors, lead batteries and controlled substances. Latex paint will not be accepted as it is not considered hazardous. It can be dried and disposed of with regular trash. Call the Farm Bureau with questions at 217-532-6171. You do not need to be a county resident to dispose of items.

Hillsboro Student's Vehicle had Guns but School Officials Don't Believe There was Danger

A rough start to the school week at Hillsboro High School. Administrators learned there may be a gun in a student vehicle in the parking lot. Hillsboro Police Department searched the vehicle and found three shotguns. The guns were not loaded and were all in gun cases. Superintendent David Powell says there is no reason to believe the student in question posed or intended to be a threat to staff or students. The incident is being investigated.

Macoupin Covid Vaccine Clinic March 26

Macoupin County Public Health Department will be holding a Moderna first dose covid 19 vaccine clinic on Friday, March 26 in the Gillespie Civic Center. The clinic is for Macoupin County residents or those who work in Macoupin County that are 18 years of age or older.

Individuals will be required to show proof of County residency with a photo ID. Those who do not live in Macoupin County but work in the County will need a pay check stub or a letter from their employer on company letter head.

To schedule an appointment go the the Macoupin County Public Health Department website or the Macoupin County Public Health Department Facebook page. Be sure to follow all directions and print the doucmentation that you will need to bring to the clinic.

Litchfield City Hall Reopens Next Week

Litchfield City Hall and other city facilities will soon be open for in person business.   All City facilities will re-open for daily business on Thursday, April 1st with State regulations and CDC guidelines. All visitors who arrive to any City facilities are to enter through the main entrance(s). Maximum capacity will be kept to no more than the maximum allowed with 6’ distance with signage for direction. Visitors are required to wear appropriate face masks/coverings and use the available hand sanitizer when entering any City facility.   All customers are encouraged to continue to make payments online or utilize the drop box outside of City Hall. All restrooms and water fountains will remain closed to the public. City facilities will be closed on Friday, April 2nd for the holiday.
The City staff appreciates everyone’s cooperation. Please call 217-324-8151 at City Hall with any questions

Suspect in Litchfield Shooting in Custody

A suspect is in custody in a Sunday afternoon shooting on Litchfield's East Side. A 47-year-old man was struck by multiple gunshots just before 2:40 p.m. in the 1100 block of North Locust. In a moment of good fortune, a Gillespie ambulance was passing through the area at the time of the incident and officers on-scene flagged the ambulance to the scene and they provided assistance to the victim. Minutes later, the victim was transported to airlifted to an area hospital.    A search wantant was issued for the residence of a possible suspect in the shooting, 46-year-old Justin Adkins of Litchfield. Authorities say they recovered several pieces of evidence of value to the case. After the initial investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for Adkins on charges of Attempted First Degree Murder and Aggravated Battery with a Firearm.   He was located in Litchfield just before 1 p.m. today (Monday) and was taken into custody.   He's being held at the Montgomery County Jail.   The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office, Illinois State Police, South Central Illinois Drug Task Force and the U.S. Marshal service assisted the Litchfield Police Department in this investigation. There's no further word on the victim's condition.

Apparent Shooting Injures One, Leads to Hospital Lockdown

There's word of an apparent shooting on Litchfield's East Side Sunday afternoon. The incident led to a lockdown of HSHS St. Francis Hospital for much of the afternoon although the incident did not happen at the hospital.   One individual was reportedly shot. The victim was airlfited from the scene and there's no word on their condition. St. Francis Hospital lifted the lockdown and normal operations resumed shortly after 6 p.m.    Scanner reports indicate State Police are looking across the region for a driver of a 2014 Black Mitsubushi Mirage Hatchback with license plates G-5-1-9-2-3-6. The vehicle had missing hubcaps and according to witness accounts, a suspect or suspects may have been carrying a long rifle.

Ameren Comes to Rescue of Customers Struggling During Pandemic

If Covid 19 has your family in a financial pinch or worse, and the power bill is one of your concerns, there's another reprieve from Amerern. The utility has announced the extension of the COVID-19 Economic Hardship Recovery Program that provides enhanced payment assistance and arrangements for customers who have fallen behind on their utility bills. "The COVID-19 pandemic took a financial toll on many of our customers," said Richard Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. "While there are encouraging signs that the economy is improving and more people are getting back to work, we know some customers need additional time and flexibility on down payments in order to retire past due balances. We're glad to be able to offer this support." Extended payment terms and flexible down payment options are available through June 30, 2021. Customers can review their options at AmerenIllinois.com or call 1-800-755-5000 to speak with a customer service representative during regular business hours Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.   Financial assistance is also available. Information on income guidelines and eligibility for bill assistance grants can be found on the Ameren Illinois Economic Hardship Recovery Program website at AmerenIllinois.com/Recovery. Ameren Illinois encourages customers to explore these additional programs:
Grants from the Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are available to income-qualified customers. For more information on financial guidelines, and to identify an assistance agency in your community, visit HelpIllinoisFamilies.com or call 1-877-411-9276.
Middle and moderate income families who don't qualify for LIHEAP funds may qualify for assistance. For example, a family of four with a monthly income between $4,367 and $7,642 may be eligible for funding from the Energy Assistance Foundation. See the list of participating agencies by visiting WarmNeighborsCoolFriends.org.
Ameren Illinois allocates $1 million each year for assistance to qualified businesses, military customers, and residential customers through the 2011 Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act.
"Anyone having difficulty paying their bills is urged to explore these payment options and apply for funding. It is in the best interest of our customers to take action now while resources are available," said Mark. "Bills that go unpaid end up raising rates for other customers."
Ameren Illinois also offers rebates and incentives on measures to make a home more energy efficient. Through Ameren Illinois’ programs, customers can gain greater control over their energy bills. The program provides free advice, low-cost home performance retrofits, as well as rebates and financial incentives on LED lightbulbs and smart thermostats. For more information on residential energy efficiency, visit AmerenIllinoissavings.com, call 1-866-838-6918 or email IllinoisresidentialEE@ameren.com

Macoupin County Rebuild Illinois Grants

Grants totaling 250 million dollars for counties, townships and municipalities statewide through Rebuild Illinois were announced this week. The grants are for local transportation projects in all parts of the state.

Macoupin County's allotment was $341,298.94. The 26 townships in Macoupin County were alloted $588,597.25. Most townships received an allotment between $20,000 and $29,000 dollars. North Otter Township received the largest allotment of $29,444.41 and Mt. Olive Township received the smallest allotment of $11,823.25. Municipalities in Macoupin County totaled an allotment of $359,714.66. Carlinville received the largest allotment of $64,992.26 and Scottville received the smallest allotment of $1,274.

Deer Run/Route 185 Subsidence to be Tackled by Montgomery Co Board

There will be deeper and public discussion in the days to come on the Route 185 and surrounding farmland subsidence issues tied to mining operations. Montgomery County Board Chairman Evan Young says they will be speaking with Foresight Energy about the undermining issues tied to the Deer Run in recent weeks at an upcoming County Board meeting.

Montgomery Co. Sheriff K9 Flex Gets Protection

Just like the human law enforcement personnel he works next to, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office K9 Flex is a potential target for criminals.   Now like the humans wearing the badge, Flex can spring into action with some protection. Non profit organization Vested Interest in K-9s has provided Flex a bullet and stab protective vest.   The passion for protecting police dogs reaches far beyond Mid-Illinois. The sponsor of K9 Flex’s vest comes from the capital city of Maryland. Deborah Kostakos of Annapolis is the sponor and the vest should arrive in mid to late May.    The potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and certified. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.

Chris Mont EMA Moves Closer to Demise

We recently told you that Christian County wanted a divorce when it came to the Chris-Mont E-M-A arrangement for emergency services. Now like a literal divorce, the split may become a battle over money and some of the parting words aren't all that friendly.   The Christian County Board this week unanimously approved a recommendation that County board Chairman Matt Wells move to dissolve the consolidated EMA Services. Christian County already indicated intent to end the agreement in communication from the Christian County Board's Personnel Committee. Now, Christian County can give 90 days notice to end the intergovernmental agreement.   Reports out of Taylorville indicate Treasurer Betty Asmussen addressed the board, saying both counties think the other county owes the other money.   Chairman Wells told members he believes Christian County got shortchanged and they want to make sure that Montgomery County got their fair share of the bills from the merger which took effect in late 2019. The process of sorting out who owes who gets even more difficult with the departure of former Director Greg Nimmo, who went to work for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. In a sign of how certain it appears the One Team, One Fight era is over, Chairman Wells is in talks with an unnamed individual to become a consultant to the county and later take on the role of Director of Christian County’s Emergency Management Services (EMS).

Free Food in Carlinville

A free drive-thru food giveaway will be held on Friday in Carlinville. The drive-thru giveaway is open to residents of Macoupin County. No registration will be required and there are no financial eligibility requirements. It will be conducted at the Cross Church in Carlinville on Friday, March 19th starting at 1:00pm and will last until the supply of food is exhausted.

Those participating are asked to wear a mask and clear a space in their trunk or back seat.

The food giveaway is sponsored by the Central Illinois Foodbank.

Witt Firefighters Rescue Man in Tree Incident

It's been a tough few days for Witt volunteer firefighters. On Sunday afternoon, they responded to a traumatic injury involving a person struck in a tree in the 300 block of 2nd Street.   They turned to their ladder truck to remove a patient to the care of EMS. A Medivac helicopter landed and transported the patient to the hospital. The WFD responded with 3 apparatus staffed by 21 personnel. No other information on the nature of the incident or the patient's condition has been released.

Montgomery Co Early Voting Expands

A reminder, early voting is ramping up in Montgomery County ahead of next month's Consolidated Election. You have a couple of weeks to request a vote by mail ballot with a deadline of April 1st. Meanwhile, the early voting room hours in the basement of the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro are on the verge of expanding to weekends Early voters can cast their ballots through Monday, April 5th.   Saturday hours begin this weekend with early voting avaiable March 20th, 27th and April 3rd from 8am until noon.   Anyone needing further information about the upcoming Election is encouraged to access their website at www.montgomeryco.com, or contact the County Clerk/Recorder’s office at the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro in person, by phone at (217) 532-9530, or by email at countyclerk@montgomeryco.com.

Montgomery Co Vaccine Supply Rebounds

There's noteworthy improvement in the Covid 19 vaccine supply in Montgomery County. Recently the state's weekly allotment dropped to 200 doses temporarily.   Last week, the weekly allocation grew to 500 doses of Moderna and 200 doses of Pfizer.   So far, 5,500 individuals have asked to be placed on the vaccine call list. Last week, the department had enough vaccine to perform two first dose appointment only clinics.

Montgomery Co Conservation Minded Farmers Score a Big Win

Montgomery County farmers are taking advantage of a new Illinois Department of Agriculture program, Fall Covers for Spring Savings. Established in 2020, the Fall Covers for Spring Savings rewards farmers, who plant cover crops for the IDOA program, receive a $5 per acre discount on their federal crop insurance. The IDOA program is limited to the first 50,000 acres enrolled. In this second year of the program, Montgomery County farmers reported 9,427 acres, or 5% of the IL total of 185,050 acres statewide. The Montgomery County acreage was the most acres applied for of any of the 86 reporting counties in Illinois. Montgomery County had 1,317 acres accepted into the program. These acres represent 2.6% of the 50,000 acres accepted state wide for the $5 savings per acre.

Fall Covers for Spring Savings is patterned after an Iowa DOA program established in 2019 of 1,000,000 acres. Kris Reynolds, local Rountree Township farmer and Midwest Regional Director of the American Farmland Trust, championed the initiative and moved the legislation through the IL General Assembly. Our Fall Covers for Spring Savings accomplishes a great deal toward conservation here in Illinois by reducing soil and water erosion and wind erosion, especially in the Spring. In addition, this program reduces the amount of fertilizer nutrients leaving farm fields, thus improving water quality. These facts are especially important for our drinking water lakes here in Montgomery Co.

If you take a drive around rural Montgomery County and see green fields in early spring, these are either fields of winter wheat or fields of cover crops. Take time to thank the farmer of these fields, they are protecting our two most valuable resources here in Illinois, our farmland and the water we drink. If you like what Montgomery County conservation farmers are doing with Fall Covers for Spring Savings, contact your local legislators and ask them to continue funding of this outstanding initiative.

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