2019 Year in Review

Posted

Featured in this edition are highlights from some

of the stories that appeared in the Clinton Journal in 2019.

JANUARY

A return to the 

Gold Standard

New barber Ryan Goldman opened his new Gold Standard Barber Shop on the southwest corner portion of Mr. Lincoln’s Square.  A native of Albion, Ill., Goldman has family in Clinton, and that guided his decision to open shop in Clinton.

Portable meth lab discovered in 

Kiwanis Park

Two bags containing items from a “one-pot” or portable methamphetamine lab was discovered in Kiwanis Park.  Clinton Police seized the items and turned them over to the ISP Meth Response Team for further investigation.

Botwana bound

Shannon and Becky Boehl announced there were selling their home in Clinton and traveling to Botswana, Africa to begin missionary work with the Assemblies of God USA.

Clinton school board stays neutral on wind farm issue

Clinton Unit 15 School Board announced it would remain neutral on the proposed Alta Farms II wind energy project issue.  The school district could be the recipient of tax revenue from the project if it were to become operational.

City workers praised 

for handling 

of  winter storm

The city council praised city crews for their handling of a winter storm that went through the area in mid-January.  Two consecutive weekend storms dropped snow on the area.

Paul Skowron named to board 

of state hospital network

Warner Hospital & Health Services CEO Paul Skowron was named to the 2019 Board of Directors of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN).  ICAHN is an important alliance of 57 rural hospitals in Illinois.

February

Tractor Supply 

coming to Clinton summer 2019

Tractor Supply Company revealed to The Clinton Journal it would open a new store in Clinton in the summer of 2019.  The store now occupies the majority of Clinton’s former Walmart.  A Goodwill store occupies the remainder of the building.

Low-income 

veterinary 

service coming

The University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine began working with the DeWitt County animal shelter to offer vet services to certified, low-income residents in the county.

Funds approved for changes, upgrades to facilities

The sheriff’s office was approved to return to a manually-operated filing system because of problems with its motorized systems.  The department also was able to upgrade its video security monitoring system.

Letters, opening statements begin county’s wind farm permit hearings

A series of hearings conducted by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) began to assess the merits of a special use permit requested by Tradewind Energy for its proposed Alta Farms II wind energy project.

Goodwill announced plan for Clinton Plaza store in 2019

Goodwill Industries officials told The Clinton Journal it would open a new store in 2019, sharing space with Tractor Supply Company in the former Walmart store.

M-Squad 

becomes state champions

The Clinton High School M-Squad became state champions in all three of its routines, as well as receiving the high-point award and Grand Champion award in the Class A Division.

Expert: Towers could cause insidious problem

Local resident and physicist Donald Waddell testified that erecting wind towers in the county would cause serious disruption of the Lincoln, Ill. Dopplar weather radar.  He said the wind towers could interfere with the radar system’s ability to show an accurate picture of severe weather in the area and referred to the potential situation as an “insidious problem.”

Fire training facility will save money, help insurance rates

Fire department officials gave The Clinton Journal a tour of its new training facility as its construction evolves.  Local training with reduce training costs and could help lower homeowners’ insurance rates.

March

County board fills vacant 

Regional 

Planning seat

The DeWitt County Board voted 8-3 to appoint former board member Randy Perring to the Regional Planning Commission (RPC).  

Local nonprofit marks 25 years

Nonprofit community organization Wapella Says YES marked its25 anniversary.  The organization hosts a number of free community events each year in Wapella, including its annual Halloween and Christmas activities at the community center.

New budget could compound trouble for small towns

Clinton finance commissioner Tom Edmunds filled the city council in on potential difficulties caused by the proposed state budget.  The new budget included a proposed 5-percent decrease in money transferred into the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF).  The proposal would have reduced by 5 percent available from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund (MFT) money used for street maintenance.

ZBA says ‘no’

The county Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted to send the special use permit application for the Alta Farms II wind energy project to the full county board as “not recommended.”  ZBA chairman Andy Hedrick felt the agreement involved in the permit application was not firm enough.  ZBA members voting to not recommend the permit felt some points of the agreement were not sufficiently spelled out.

DeWitt County will return to housing its own prisoners

The DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office ended an arrangement to house local prisoners in Piatt County and began housing them again in Clinton.  In 2018, the jail underwent some upgrades to bring the facility up to appropriate standards.

DAR Good Citizen winners announced

The DeWitt Clinton Chapter of the NSDAR named Morgan Schumacher, Olivia Bierbrodt and Erin Brown its 2019 DAR Good Citizen Award recipients.  

April

New council member elected

Nan Crang, commissioner of streets and public improvements, lost her reelection bid to challenger Kenny Buchanan, while Tom Edmunds was reelected as commissioner of accounts and finances, fending off a challenge from former mayor Carolyn Peters.  Mayor Roger Cyrulik and commissioners Dan Ballenger and John Wise were reelected, running unopposed.

DeWitt County Museum trademarks Apple n’ Pork Festival name

The DeWitt County Museum board trademarked the Apple n’ Pork Festival name to protect its use on merchandise sold using the name.  

More than 100 smoke detectors installed

Clinton Fire Department installed more than 100 smoke detectors free-of-charge for area residents as part of its annual fundraising effort.  Firefighters went door-to-door and installed detectors in homes that didn’t have them or replaced detectors that needed to be replaced.

Possible animal shelter 

resolution

The county reported it was working on a solution to enable Second Chance for Pets pet adoption group to use the animal shelter facilities.  Hours for pet adoption from Second Chance at the shelter were being worked out.

See the complete Year in Review and photos in the Friday, Jan. 3 print edition of the Clinton Journal or in the Clinton Journal E-Edition.