UPDATED: Warner Library closes in-person services through March

Clinton schools closed effective Monday, Mar. 16-30

Gordon Woods
Posted 3/15/20

Circuit Judge Karle Koritz announced Monday DeWitt County Court would reduce operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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UPDATED: Warner Library closes in-person services through March

Clinton schools closed effective Monday, Mar. 16-30


 CLINTON — Effective at 8pm tonight, Mar. 17,the Vespasian Warner Public Library District will be closed for all in-person services through at least March 30th. Limited curb-side or drive-up services are being evaluated, but are not available at this time. 

Our free WI-FI signal is available 24/7 and has been boosted to better reach patrons accessing the signal from parked vehicles. The parking lot remains open for this specific use only. 

We remind all Library District patrons that President Trump, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ALL urge Americans to use social distancing and stay at home as much as possible in order to break the spread of COVID 19 in our communities. Today President Trump asked Americans not to congregate in groups of 10 or more. Please follow this advice. 

Please refer to https://www.vwarner.org/ebooks for additional information on our e-services which can be accessed from home, and follow further updates on our website, http://www.vwarner.org, and on our social media accounts, which include Facebook (@VespasianWarner), Twitter (@VespasianWarner), and Instagram (@VWarner). 

CLINTON — Circuit Judge Karle Koritz announced Monday DeWitt County Court would reduce operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Koritz said the objective was to minimize personal contact and deter the spread of the coronavirus.

DeWitt County cases and court proceedings postponed until Mar. 31 include the following:

  • Civil cases (L, LM)
  • Traffic, conservation and ordinance violation cases (TR, DT, CV, OV)
  • Criminal misdemeanor cases (CM), except for those defendants in custody
  • Probate (P), except guardianship cases, which will proceed unless ordered otherwise
  • Small claims and mortgage foreclosures (SC, CH)
  • Family court (F, D)
  • Juvenile cases, with the exceptions set forth below
  • Miscellaneous Remedy cases (MR)

The attorney of record or unrepresented party in each case will receive a notice in the mail rescheduling their cases unless they have previously secured a new court date with the clerk.  It is the responsibility of the litigant to ensure their current address is on file with the clerk.  Upon rescheduling, the public access website, www.judici.com, will be updated with the new court dates.  Currently-scheduled status dates ay be converted to a phone conference upon request.

Emergency matters may be scheduled on a case-by-case basis.  Individuals should contact the DeWitt County Clerk for purposes of scheduling emergency matters.

The following DeWitt County cases and court proceedings will be held as scheduled with appearances expected for all litigants:

  • Criminal felony cases and their companion cases (CT)
  • Juvenile hearings (JA, JD), temporary detention hearings and shelter care hearings (Trials and adjudicatory hearings also will be held as scheduled unless the parties request and are granted a continuance.)
  • Domestic violence proceedings for orders of protection, stalking/no contact orders or civil no contact orders (OP)
  • Emergency hearings on family matters (D, F) as scheduled by the court
  • Other cases on a case-by-case basis in the discretion of the court with consent of the parties

Probation — Probation clients may report monthly as directed by the probation department until further notice.  Contact the DeWitt County Probation Department to confirm your reporting date.

Marriage ceremonies — The court will continue to perform marriage ceremonies, but minor children will not be allowed to attend and will be prohibited from entering the courtroom.

Individuals should not enter the courthouse if they:

  • Have been in any of the following countries within the past 21 days: China, South Korea, Italy, Japan or Iran, or
  • Reside with or had close contact with anyone who has been in one of the above countries within the past 21 days, or
  • Have been directed by a medical provider to quarantine, isolate or self-monitor at home for the coronavirus;
  • Have been diagnosed with or have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with the coronavirus; or
  • Have flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Attorneys or litigants who are unable to appear in court as required because of the above restrictions should contact the DeWitt County Clerk’s office.  The court will make reasonable accommodations and reschedule appearances and hearings as needed.  Continuances will be liberally granted.

Cleaning staff will continue to disinfect touch surfaces, and hand sanitizer will be provided throughout the building and in the courtroom. 

“The court strongly encourages litigants not to bring family or friends to court appearances in any case, Koritz said in a news release.  “The aim is to preserve access to justice, while proceeding in a manner consistent with public health and safety in line with policy directives from federal, state and local public health advisories.  Modifications to the above procedures may become necessary on short notice.  Thank you for your patience.  Stay safe.”

School closure began today

Unit 15 Schools superintendent Curt Nettles sent out a School Reach call Sunday saying Clinton schools would close a day earlier than previously announced.  Schools began a two-week closure starting today, Monday, Mar. 16.  Teachers were to report for work to use as a teachers' institute day.

Clinton schools are set to reopen on Tuesday, Mar. 31.

Below is Nettles statement:

"Due to the ever changing details of the COVID-19 issue in our state, we have been given more information and directions from the governor’s office and the state board of eduction.
Based on what we have learned today, I am cancelling all classes for Clinton Schools tomorrow, Monday, March 16.  Tomorrow will be a Teacher Institute Day.  So, Clinton Schools will not be in session Monday, March 16 - Friday, March 20.  Spring Break is the week of March 23 so there will be no attendance that week as well.  Classes remained cancelled for Monday, March 30.  As of right now, we are told Classes may resume, Tuesday, March 31.
Please understand that information from the state is changing daily.  I understand the difficulty this may presents for some of our families, but we will follow all guidelines and directives from the state.
If your student needs to retrieve something from his/her school, please contact your school to make arrangements to do that, or come in between 9:00 and noon.  We understand that some students may have left iPads or other devices behind on Friday.
On Monday, I will provide you with further information about food delivery and pick up so that we may provide meals for our families that will need that service during the time we are closed.  A call will come tomorrow to provide you with those specifics.
Also, all activities and athletics are cancelled.  There are no practices or use of our facilities indoors or outdoors during this time of closure.
You will also receive more specific information from your building principal later this evening that will be important for your children.  Please look for that phone call and email.
Clinton CUSD 15 remains committed to do the best we can for our students and families during this very difficult time.
Thank You
Clinton School District Supt. Curt Nettles"

The DeWitt County Friendship Center announced on its Facebook page Friday the center would close until Mar. 29, set to reopen on Mar. 30.

"If you need anything please call the Center. You might have to leave a message, but we will get back to you.
Peace Meals will be delivery only until further notice.  Community Care Systems is still going to be open, but please call 217-935-4560 for availability," Friendship Center officials posted.

On Thursday, the Illinois Department on Aging directed its facilities to suspend meal programs

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports there were 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Thursday morning. Three of those are believed to be from “community spread,” which means the infected persons have neither a travel history to an affected area nor a connection with other known cases.

Another 76 tests of people under investigation are pending, while 266 tests have come back negative.

The Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday announced the cancellation of legislative session next week, and the Illinois High School Association announced that it was curtailing attendance at the upcoming state basketball tournament and all remaining high school games to 60 spectators per school.

 In Chicago, the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parades were postponed, and several state colleges and universities have either canceled classes or moved to distance learning platforms indefinitely.

The NCAA announced its March Madness basketball tournament will be played without fans and the NBA announced the suspension of its season.

Warner Hospital & Health Services released the following statement on Thursday:

As your community hospital, our No. 1 priority at Warner Hospital and Health Services is to keep our patients and families, health care workers, and staff safe.

As you read and hear more about the coronavirus, or COVID-19, in national and local media, we wanted to reassure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and stand ready to respond should patients present with potential COVID-19. While COVID-19 itself is new, preparing for responses to disasters, including potential epidemics and pandemics is not new for our hospital.

Warner Hospital and Health Services is working closely with the DeWitt-Piatt County Health Department, DeWitt County EMA, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the CDC to prepare for COVID-19, following all daily updates and guidance.

 Paul P. Skowron CEO

Warner Hospital and Health Services

 Monday March 16 the Vespasian Warner Public Library will be open normal hours (9 a.m.-8 p.m.) for check-outs and returns and limited computer services only. 

Patrons will have access to the library collection, fax machine, notary service, and internet-access computers, but otherwise all public areas, meeting rooms, seating areas, and resources will be closed. 

Renewals and due date extensions may be conducted over the phone by calling 217-935-5174. 

The Board of Trustees will meet in emergency session on Monday to determine ongoing library services or potential full closure starting Tuesday March 17. 

Updates will be on our website, http://www.vwarner.org, and on our social media accounts, which include Facebook (@VespasianWarner), Twitter (@VespasianWarner), and Instagram (@VWarner).