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WSMI News

Jury selection is now complete in the murder trial of Robert Tarr, the Collinsville man who is accused of murdering his former girlfriend Leslie Reeves of Troy in Farmersville on Thanksgiving 2021. He’s also charged with the shooting of Christopher Smith, who was on a first date with Reeves. He’s also charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill a Montgomery County Sheriff’s office investigator and Christopher Smith.   The trial is expected to begin this afternoon. 


HSHS St. Francis Hospital is planning to bring back a retro, throwback event that was previously done back in the 1970s – the Follies Variety Show. 

  

The event will have two shows on September 14 and 15 at the W. D. Kilton Fine Arts Center in Litchfield. It will kick off a year of celebrations and activities for the hospital’s 150th anniversary, and proceeds will benefit the hospital's Cancer Center. 

  

Auditions for various talents and acts, including singing, dancing, comedy, juggling, magic or anything else, are open for all ages, children to adults. Auditions will be on the following dates: 

  • April 2, April 10, and April 15 in the St. Francis Hospital Auditorium from 5 to 7 p.m. (Enter through the Emergency Department entrance) 

  • April 4 and April 11 at Litchfield High School from 3:30 to 5 p.m. 

These will be five-minute auditions. Please bring your own music. Any talent will be considered. 

  

“We are very excited to bring back this event to showcase the talents of many of our community members and colleagues while raising funds that will continue to support the needs of local cancer patients who we care for,” said Paula Endress, director of philanthropy for St. Francis Hospital. 

  

Endress also noted that there will be many other opportunities for people to volunteer at the Follies even if they are not on stage as performers. Support for backstage help with costumes, make-up and sets is also needed. 

  

For more information on the auditions or to learn about options to volunteer for the event, contact Paula Endress at (217) 324-8200. 


Major Fire in Carlinville, Now Scene of a Rekindle

Fire Departments have scrambled back to the scene of a major Easter Morning fire in Carlinville after rekindling before 4 p.m. today.   Here are the details of the earlier fire that drew a large number of departments for mutual aid.

 

Carlinville Fire Department along with mutual aid resources from
Macoupin, Montgomery and Sangamon Counties are presently engaged in
fire suppression activities at an industrial site north of Carlinville. The
address of the fire is 14855 University Street.
The initial call for response was placed to Macoupin County 9-1-1 at 3:55
AM
Chief Jess McKee of Carlinville Fire Department established defensive fire
operations and begin requesting mutual aid resources. Carlinville Fire
Officers and officers from neighboring departments have assisted Chief
McKee in managing the large number of resources and multiple exposures
on the large complex.
Departments from: Girard, Virden, Staunton, Litchfield, Bunker Hill,
Northwestern, Auburn, Raymond, Mt Olive, Unit 7, Farmersville-
Waggoner, Nokomis Area Fire Protection District, Medora, Witt, Gillespie
and Greenfield are on the scene providing water tenders, ladder trucks or
engines.
There have been no confirmed injuries at the scene.
The public is discouraged from coming to the scene and further updates
will be issued throughout the day.


Newkirk Resigns from Litchfield Council

The Litchfield City Council could not vote yet on potential action against City Economic Development Director Tonya Flannery but that didn’t prevent a significant departure from Corwin Hall. Alderman Dan Newkirk’s chair was empty when Mayor Steve Dougherty dropped the gavel to open last night’s meeting. That won’t change as the legendary former Litchfield High coach has decided to step down from his Ward 2 seat. Newkirk joined the board back in May of 2022 to fill the seat vacated by Mark Brown. Newkirk was elected to fill the remaining two years of Brown’s term in last April’s election. Mayor Steve Dougherty will appoint a successor but the City Council would have to confirm the choice.  We reached out to former Alderman Newkirk and he is not commenting on his departure at this point.  


The votes are in from the Illinois Primary.

 

In Montgomery County, turnout nudged just above 20%.  The winner in a battle of police chiefs seeking the office of Montgomery County Coroner went to incumbent Randy Leetham.  The Hillsboro Police Chief beat Nokomis Chief Talon Burton, collecting 79% of the vote. 

 

Republican District 2 County Board Member Kenneth Folkerts was ousted from the board, as Keith Hancock racked up 62 percent of the vote. 

 

Incumbent State Reps Blaine Wilhour and Brad Halbrook easily defeated challengers within the borders of Montgomery County.  Wilhour also easily went on to victory within Bond County.  Districtwide numbers for both candidates indicate they'll coast to victory.

 

The Litchfield advisory referendum on golf cart and UTV use on city streets was rejected by voters with 56.5 percent against and 43.5 percent in favor.  

 

Bond County voters slammed the door on a public safety tax with nearly 70% of voters voting against the sales tax proposal.

 

There was one major race in Macoupin County as Thomas Denby grabbed two-thirds of the vote in a Republican three way race for Judge in the 7th Judicial Circuit.   Jonathan Verticchio had 23 percent of the vote and Aaron Bellm 13 percent of the vote.

 

In a stormy contest for Madison County Board Chairman, County Treasurer Chris Slusser defeated incumbent Chairman Kurt Prenzler collecting 62% of the vote. 

 

 


The HSHS St. Francis Hospital Foundation has announced the winners of two special awards in local agriculture.

 

The Special Recognition award is not presented annually, rather
when the HSHS St. Francis Foundation’s Agricultural Committee seeks
to recognize an organization or person who is furthering the well-being
of our community through service, stewardship, or philanthropy. Past
honorees have included Litchfield Family Practice Center, the Arthur L.
Fogelman Trust, and the W. Darrell Kilton Foundation. Today we honor
the James A. and Owen M. Duff Memorial Trust.
James Allen Duff, a revered figure in our agricultural landscape,
left an indelible mark upon our community before his passing
on October 29, 2013. Born on April 25, 1921, to Fred Russel and
Florence Edith (White) Duff, James was a son of the soil, deeply rooted
in the farming traditions of Litchfield. His journey began at Litchfield
High School, where he received his education before embarking on a
lifelong commitment to farming alongside his brother, Owen Duff.
Beyond his agricultural pursuits, James was a pillar of the
community, dedicated to the well-being of Litchfield and its residents.
He found solace and purpose in his membership at the First Baptist
Church in Litchfield and his active involvement in the Montgomery

County Farm Bureau. Though he remained unmarried, his devotion to
his family, his land, and his community knew no bounds.
In testament to his generosity and foresight, James outlined in his
will his desire to establish the James A. Duff and Owen M. Duff
Memorial Trust Fund, entrusting the stewardship of his estate to the
Bank & Trust Company's trust department in Litchfield. This trust was
designated to support charitable endeavors within North and South
Litchfield Townships, with a particular emphasis on educational
initiatives within the Litchfield school district.
The scope of James' and Owens' philanthropy extended far beyond
educational pursuits, encompassing the enhancement of local amenities
such as the Litchfield Carnegie Library, the development of Lake Lou
Yaeger Park, and the beautification of the city itself. His vision for the
improvement and expansion of recreational and cultural facilities within
Litchfield serves as a testament to his commitment to fostering a vibrant
and flourishing community.

As we gather to honor James and Owen Duff and the enduring
legacy of their benevolence, we do so with gratitude. The Duff Brother's 
unwavering dedication to the betterment of our community serves as an
inspiration to us all.
At this time I would ask Denise DeLaCruz, Trust Officer, and
Trisha Bradley, Assistant Trust Officer at the Bank & Trust to come
forward to accept the award.

 

Today’s recipient of our St. Isidore award has been a farmer for 80
years in South Litchfield, beginning with 13 horses when he was just 8
years old. The family homestead was a creek bottom farm planted with
30 acres of corn, 10 acres of oats and 10 acres of hay. For livestock there
were cattle, chickens and pigs. They did their own butchering and
milked the cows for their own us while selling the cream and eggs.

The corncrib held 1000 bushels with the land yielding 35 bushel
per acre of corn. There was no weed killer or fertilizer. They utilized
check row planting and hand hoeing to control weeds.

The only son of his parents, Otto and Lorene Lay, Ross Lay
graduated from Litchfield High School in 1955. He had one younger
sister, Betty Hittmeier, now deceased. Ross and his wife, Mary, are the
parents of two children, Lisa Heyen and Daniel Lay and have two
grandchildren, Eric and Tyler Heyen, and five great-grandchildren:
Oliver, Eleanor, Rory, Clark and Sadie Heyen.

Ross bought a farm near WSMI where his family lived for the next
60 years. Ross now farms about 1000 acres in primarily South

Litchfield. Ross credits Lynn Back and his family who he has farmed
with over 45 years. Ross noted Lynn knows fabrication and the two men
enjoy modifying farm equipment, taking pride in the fact that they don’t
buy new, they modify what they have.

Mindful of conservation practices, Ross favors deep tilling which
he says turns the clock back a million years, bringing clay up to mix
with the silt. Deep plowing tills 30 inches deep, rather than the normal
six to eight inches. He also advocates for making dry dams which lets
the water out slowly onto grass which helps prevent erosion.

As for farming advise, Ross recalls his Dad always telling him that
you need to have a little piece of bottom land to help offset the drought.

Civic-wise, Ross is President of Litchfield Farmers Grain, and
served on the Montgomery County farmland assessment committee, the
Hart Cemetery Board and the Montgomery Service Board. He has been
a 4-H leader and in high school Ross achieved the State Farmer degree
in FFA.

At this time I would ask Ross to come forward to receive the
HSHS St. Francis Hospital Foundation’s St. Isidore Friend of
Agriculture Award.

 


Breaking News. Nokomis Police Investigating Apparent Murder-Suicide at Dollar General

Nokomis Police are investigating a Friday night murder-suicide at the Dollar General store, the former Kroger, at 415 North Spruce.   Police Chief Talon Burton tells us, just before closing time in the moments before 10 pm last night (Saturday 3/15), a 22-year-old woman, an employee of the store was shot and killed by a 47-year-old Nokomis man described as her estranged boyfriend.    He died after being transported to HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield.  Nokomis Police are continuing their investigation.  


I-55 Work Resumes near Farmersville

Work on the Interstate 55 Farmersville interchange has resumed. Last year,  the Illinois Department of Transportation started a 9.5-mile resurfacing project on Interstate 55 in Montgomery County.  The remaining work includes resurfacing the approaches to the bridge over I-55 and repainting. Lane closures using drums and spotters can be expected on both I-55 and County Highway 17 (Mine Street). A temporary closure of the I-55 southbound on-ramp may occur during weekdays. Officials said the project, when completed, will make the road more durable and provide a more comfortable ride for drivers. It also includes preserving and protecting the structure. The project is expected to be completed by mid-April. Drivers are told to expect delays and are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using cell phones and be alert for workers and equipment. 


Macoupin and Montgomery County Health Survey Launched by HSHS St Francis Hospital

HSHS St. Francis Hospital, Montgomery County Health Department and Macoupin County Public Health Department are asking residents of Montgomery and Macoupin counties to complete a short survey about health issues in their communities. The brief survey will be used to guide community health efforts for the next three years. 

  

“Our organizations share a common goal of providing resources to the communities and individuals we serve,” said Alex Schneider, HSHS community health outreach specialist. "We look forward to hearing directly from our community so we can work in partnership with them to address identified needs.”  

  

Residents of Montgomery or Macoupin counties can take the survey at (surveymonkey.com/r/5WJJKXL) through April 5. Hard copies will be available at the Montgomery County Health Department and the Macoupin County Health Department. Responses are anonymous. 

  

Non-profit hospitals like St. Francis are required by the Affordable Care Act to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years to identify specific health priorities within the county where those hospitals are located. Hospitals work with other local health care organizations and health departments to collect this data and use it to develop a Community Health Implementation Plan to address the selected priorities. 

  

Following the survey and other information gathering, the hospital and health departments will determine which health priorities they should address over the next three years and how to implement those priorities. The completed CHNA report with identified health priorities will be available by the end of June 2024. 

  

Six other hospitals in Hospital Sisters Health System are also conducting health needs assessments at this time. They are HSHS St. John’s Hospital for Sangamon County, HSHS St. Mary's Hospital for Macon County, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital for Effingham and Jasper counties, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese for Clinton County, HSHS Holy Family Hospital for Bond County, and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland for Madison County. 


Montgomery County Farm Bureau Announces Nutrient Stewardship Field Day Tour

When you talk about successful farming in Montgomery County, it all starts from the ground up. The Montgomery County Farm Bureau is hosting its Nutrient Stewardship Field Day on Wednesday, March 20th from 9am to 1pm. The event will be held rain or shine. The Nutrient Stewardship Field Day will feature a tour of local cover cropped fields and you can learn about best cover crop management practices. You can join the tour at the Montgomery County Farm Bureau office on the square at 102 North Main in Hillsboro or join the tour at the Reynolds Farm at 20-275 Irving Road in Nokomis. The Farm Bureau check in time is 9am, 9:30 at the Reynolds Farm. Field Visits will begin at 9:45. At 11am, the buses will return to the farm. Lunch will be provided with additional presentations from Kris Reynolds, Midwest Director of American Farmland Trust, David Kleinschmidt, owner of Progressive Agronomy Consultant, Montgomery Soil and Water Conversation with a talk about the Lake Hillsboro Watershed planning effort, Julie Hewitt executive director of NREC and Raelynn Parmely, Environmental Program Manager for the Illinois Farm Bureau. RSVP by Friday, March 15th by calling the Montgomery County Farm Bureau at (217)-532-6171. 


US EPA Announces Cleanup of Asarco Site

The area once was home to  the world’s largest lead smelter and in its day, when Asarco pumped out paychecks and put food on the table, it had a lot of positive impact. Then when it closed, the legacy became less and less nostalgic as the years have passed. Local leaders have sought a cleanup of the site far beyond their means. Yesterday, the US EPA announced a breakthrough on that front. The Asarco site was among sites chosen for cleanup in a third and final wave of cleanups under a one billion dollar effort nationwide. Asarco is among 25 new Superfund cleanup projects.  EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “This final round of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has made it possible for EPA to initiate clean ups at every single Superfund site where construction work is ready to begin. This is an incredible milestone in our efforts to clean up and protect communities, deliver local jobs, enhance economic activity, and improve people’s lives for years to come.”    

“Alongside Illinois’ rich industrial history lies the sobering reality of polluted sites that pose significant risks to public health and the environment,” said Sen. Dick Durbin. “This federal funding is critical in our mission to restore contaminated sites for the benefit of every Illinois resident and safeguard the surrounding ecosystems.”  

“I’m proud to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is continuing to support critical projects throughout Illinois, and I’m pleased this Superfund site in Montgomery County, Illinois, will benefit,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth. “Eliminating contaminated sites is an important part of protecting the health of children and families, and it is also a necessary part of helping spur development, job creation and economic growth for affected communities. I’ll keep working to help ensure that all Illinoisans can breathe clean air and live in a safe environment without fear of toxins and pollution.”  

“Illinois EPA is pleased to see this federal funding being directly applied to the Asarco Superfund site in Taylor Springs, Illinois,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim.  “With no required state match, 100 percent of this funding will go directly to remediating this site, which is a win for Illinois residents.”  

Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, cleanup will begin at the Asarco Taylor Springs Superfund site. EPA completed the remedial investigation and feasibility study phase of the Superfund process in 2021 and issued a proposed cleanup plan for public comment in June 2021. Funding will be used to remediate lead- contaminated soil, process residues, and groundwater at the site. For the residential areas, this involves the excavation of contaminated soil and backfilling with clean soil.  At the former smelter property, cleanup includes excavation of source materials and lake dams and spillways repair to prevent release of contaminated material and protect aquatic habitat.  


Pickers Markets Set for 2024

If ain’t broke, don’t fix it but that doesn’t mean don’t add a new tweak or two. That sums up the gameplan for this year’s Litchfield Pickers markets. The Litchfield Tourism Office and Prairie Pickers have announced that the 2024 Litchfield Pickers Markets will again be on the second Sunday of each month from May through October. There is one change though as the event will start and finish one hour earlier running from 8am to 2pm in the Downtown area. The first Pickers Market is set for May 12th with the events running through October. New this year, in addition to the juried vintage antique sale organizers will also feature other vendors in the separate Monroe Street area – arts and crafts markets in May and October, non-juried toy and collectibles markets in June and September, and traditional farmers’ markets in July and August.More information and applications for all of the markets can be found on the tourism office’s website at visitlitchfield.com, or interested vendors and visitors can call 217-324-8147. 


Litchfield Looking for Route 66 Centennial Input

In 2026, the states through which historic Route 66 passes will celebrate the 100 th anniversary of the route’s designation. Posts on many Route 66 social media platforms show that travelers are already 

making plans to travel the route during its centennial. In preparation, the Litchfield Tourism Office, the Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center and other area Route 66 landmarks and businesses would like to form a group comprised of those who are interested in helping plan for this once-in-a-lifetime celebration in the Montgomery County area.Route 66 was designated on November 11, 1926 by the United States Numbered HighwaySystem. Illinois was the first of the eight states through which the route passes to have its portionpaved, or slabbed, as it was called. Eight miles of the route pass through Montgomery County, with two alignments going through Litchfield. 

Every year, the historic route attracts not only visitors from across the U.S., but also thousands of international travelers, and local economies benefit from route tourism. From Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California and in every community in between, Mother Road tourism boosts employment opportunities, household incomes and government revenues. 

The tourism office will host the first planning meeting in the Carnegie Building at 400 N. State Street in Litchfield on Wednesday, February 21 at 7 p.m. The public and all interested parties are invited to attend the meeting. Those who would like to attend are asked to RSVP by calling the tourism office at 217-324-8147 or sending an e-mail to tourism@cityoflitchfieldil.com. 


Mapping Strategic Planning Sessions Involving Public Set to Begin February 12th

Litchfield is taking a grass roots approach to long term economic development and city planning.  They are teaming up with Western Illinois University’s Rural Affairs Program to bring  ‘MAPPING The Future of Your Community’ back to Litchfield, 22 years after a previous effort.  Mapping offers five, three-hour sessions at SCI  Regional Workforce Training and Innovation Center at 2001 Eilerman Avenue, Litchfield to discuss the questions: 
• Where are we now? 
• Where do we want to be? 
• How are we going to get there? 
• How do we make it happen? 
• How do we make it happen and maintain the momentum?  
Sessions will be held five consecutive Mondays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. starting next Monday February 12th.   City officials prefer participants take part in all five sessions.  
For more information, or to sign up to participate in the sessions, please contact Tonya Flannery at 217-324-8151 or tflannery@cityoflitchfieldil.com


Guidelines for Vote by Mail for Montgomery County

The Montgomery County Clerk’s Office reminds voters who wish to vote by mail for the Tuesday, March 19 th , 2024 General Primary Election that they may apply for a ballot from that office. To vote by mail, voters may go to the County Clerk’s page of the county website at www.montgomerycountyil.gov and download, complete and sign the Vote By Mail Ballot Application form and mail it to the County Clerk’s Office. Voters may also call the County Clerk’s Office at 217-532-9530 during business hours of Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (excluding holidays) to receive a Vote By Mail Ballot Application. All Vote By Mail Ballot Applications must be received at the County Clerk’s office by Thursday, March 14 th , 2024 in order to receive a mailed ballot. To be counted, Vote By Mail ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day (March 19 th , 2024) and received within 14 days after Election Day. Voters may also return their Vote By Mail ballot by placing it in the secure outdoor Ballot Drop Box located on the north side of the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro, or they may return it to the County Clerk’s Office in person. Anyone needing further information about the upcoming election is encouraged to visit the county website 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@montgomerycountyil.gov

 


Hillsboro Area Hospital Now Hillsboro Health

One of the trends in the hospital/health care field is changing names these days and that trend has reached Hillsboro. The name Hillsboro Area Hospital and its familiar abbreviation of H-A-H is entering the history books. Hospital officials announced late Monday that the facility has been rebranded to Hillsboro Health. Hospital officials say the rebranding effort underscores a commitment to growth, local access to health care, and additional services to meet the needs of people in the community. Hillsboro Health Chief Executive Officer Michael Alexander says  "This project is the next step in our long-range plan to provide a greater range of health and wellness services to our community,” . As part of the expansion, Hillsboro Health has opened a new primary care clinic. “By opening a primary care clinic and planning upgrades to our outpatient surgery facility, we want to go beyond being just a great hospital. We want people to choose Hillsboro Health the next time they need care," states Alexander. 

Health care providers Michael Koeppen, MD, and Katie Wollerman, FNP-C, are now available to see patients at the Douglas-Telfer Building, located at 1220 E. Tremont St. Anyone interested in scheduling an appointment at Hillsboro Health Primary Care may call 217-532-4351. 

While the rebrand includes a name and logo change, the organization remains a local, independent hospital. These entities are included in the change: 

  • Hillsboro Area Hospital, now known as Hillsboro Health 

  • Hillsboro Health Primary Care 

  • Hillsboro Health Specialty Clinics 

  • Hillsboro Health Therapy Services (formerly TeamWork Rehab) 

  • Hillsboro Health Assisted Living (formerly Tremont Ridge Assisted Living) 

  • Hillsboro Health Fitness & Aquatics (formerly Fusion Fitness & Aquatics) 

  • Hillsboro Health Foundation (formerly Hillsboro Area Health Foundation) 

Hillsboro Health, formerly Hillsboro Area Hospital, is a local, independent health care organization comprised of a 25-bed, not-for-profit, critical access hospital that provides inpatient, outpatient, and emergency services. Hillsboro Health also offers primary and specialty care, therapy services, assisted living facilities and a fitness and aquatics center. Hillsboro Health is committed to providing compassionate and quality care in an environment that fosters healing and wellness and follows the highest standards for patient safety. 


Litchfield, Others Offer Plan for Dangerous Cold Blast

The City of Litchfield is preparing for upcoming extremely low temperatures. The
temperatures are expected to be in the single digits with subzero windchills beginning
1/13/24-1/16/24. If you or someone you know needs relief or assistance from the cold call 217-324-5991. Listed below are some recommendations from the National Weather Service to prepare for the upcoming cold weather event.
 Check the Forecast at weather.gov or your favorite weather app, station,
etc.: Make checking the forecast part of your regular routine so you'll know when
to expect cold weather.
 Adjust Your Schedule: If possible, adjust your schedule to avoid being outside
during the coldest part of the day, typically the early morning. Try to find a warm
spot for your children while waiting for the school bus outside.

 Protect Your Pets, Livestock and other Property: If you have pets or farm
animals, make sure they have plenty of food and water, and are not overly
exposed to extreme cold. Take precautions to ensure your water pipes do not
freeze. Know the temperature thresholds of your plants and crops.
? Fill up the tank: Make sure your car or vehicle has at least a half a tank of gas
during extreme cold situations so that you can stay warm if you become
stranded.

Dress for the outdoors even if you don't think you'll be out much.
Update Your Winter Car Survival Kit

 

 


Senator McClure, Plummer, Harriss Launch Valentines for Seniors Drive

As Valentine’s Day approaches, State Senator Steve McClure (R-Springfield) is once again working to make sure that senior citizens aren’t forgotten, with his annual “Valentines for Seniors” card drive. 

“Living in a nursing home or assisted-living facility can be a lonely experience,” said Senator McClure. “We want to make sure that those seniors know that they are an important part of the community and are loved.” 

To help with this goal, McClure is asking students, scout groups, churches, and other groups to consider creating homemade cards that will be delivered to nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and other long-term care facilities throughout the 54th Senate District. 

Cards can be dropped off from now until February 5th at McClure’s Litchfield district office, which is located at 410 N. Monroe Street in Litchfield, or his Effingham district office, at 208 N. 4th Street Suite B, in Effingham. There will be a drop box inside each office during normal business hours, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

As a way to honor area seniorsState Senator Erica Harriss (56th-Glen Carbon) and Senator Jason Plummer (55-Edwardsville) will host their annual Valentines for Seniors Card Drive through February 5, 2024.

“I often hear of people in the community looking for ways to help others. This is an opportunity people can show our seniors love and support this Valentine’s Day,” said Senator Harriss. “We have several nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the district, and I want to make sure these residents don’t feel unloved or forgotten about on a day focused on love.”

Both Senators are asking students, scout groups, churches, families, and other groups to consider creating homemade cards that will be delivered to nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and other long-term care facilities throughout each Senate District.

“This is a chance to make sure people know that we care and are thinking about them,” said Senator Plummer. “Every year our communities show these recipients that they are appreciated, and I look forward to another great response in 2024.”

 

Cards can be dropped off from now until February 5th at Senator Harriss’ District Office at 120 North Main Street, Suite 1B, Edwardsville or at Senator Plummer’s District Office at 310 West Gallatin Street, Vandalia.

There will be a drop box inside both offices during normal business hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A small mailbox will be located outside the office for after-hour drop-offs.


Simeon Huber Passes Away

Heavy hearts in Hillsboro as little Simeon Huber passed away last week after a courageous battle with leukemia.   The three year old touched a lot of hearts in his short time on Earth and the people of Hillsboro and beyond made every one of his precious days on Earth count.   Not only were there a number of fundraisers but  Hillsboro poured their hearts out to Simeon and his parents Seth and Jessie,  rallying around them over the holidays with a  parade past his house with some of his favorite vehicles, ATVs, motorcycles and jeeps. Every entry was decorated for Christmas and a few days later a good number of residents turned up at the Huber home to sing Christmas Carols.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hubers and the entire Hillsboro community. 


Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Springfield Clinic "Patch things up"

There’s a huge breakthrough for Blue Cross Blue Shield customers who lost access to health care service from Springfield Clinic during their high profile divorce two years ago.   Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Springfield Clinic have come to an agreement that will once again put blue cross blue shield customers in network with Springfiled Clinic facilities in Hillsboro, Raymond, Nokomis and at HSHS St Francis Hospital’s campus where Springfield Clinic helps with specialties like nephrology, rheumatology and general surgery needs.  It’s a five year deal and will take effect on New Years Day. State Rep Sue Scherer of Decatur says her office has worked on the issue for two years now and she couldn’t be happier for constitutents who lost their insurance or their doctor.  Individuals with questions about their coverage can call the number on the back of their Blue Cross insurance card, on or after January 1."


RFD