SkyWest to Take Over Essential Air Service Contract in 2020

SkyWest to Take Over Essential Air Service Contract in 2020

December 13, 2019 – Starting February 1st, the Decatur Airport will have new essential air service to Chicago. SkyWest will take over the contract after approval of their proposal by the Department of Transportation.  SkyWest’s service will include 2 trips per day or 12 nonstop round trips per week to O’Hare.  The service uses 50 passenger regional Jets, which is the preferred service by local companies and community leaders who often use essential air service. This is not the first time SkyWest has attempted to become Decatur’s essential Air Service carrier. SkyWest Airlines had filed a petition with the Department of Transportation in 2017 to be reconsidered for the contract, which was ultimately awarded to the current carrier Cape Air. Like Cape Air, SkyWest will be able to connect baggage directly through a codeshare with United Airlines, allowing for seamless travel. Skywest will not, however, be offering flights to St Louis. The contract with Skywest will go through Jan. 31, 2022.  Listen to the podcast with Chris Harrison, President of the Park Board of Commissioners.

Decatur SCORE Honored as Chapter of the Year

Decatur SCORE Honored as Chapter of the Year

December 13, 2019 – The Decatur, IL Chapter of SCORE was recently awarded the IL District SCORE Chapter of the year for outstanding performance in 2019. The SCORE Decatur Chapter offers business mentoring, workshops and online resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Decatur SCORE chapter is one of the few to share an alliance with a university, recognizing it ties with the Millikin University Center for Entrepreneurship. “We are honored to receive this recognition from SCORE National” says Becky Hamilton, Chair of SCORE Decatur.  “Our volunteers have a passion for small business.  They are committed to the success of small business in the Decatur, Springfield and Champaign/Urbana areas.” 

Man Arrested and Charged with Threats Against Congressman Davis

Man Arrested and Charged with Threats Against Congressman Davis

December 13, 2019 – A Rochester man has been arrested and charged with making threats against U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis. 64 year old Randall E. Tarr, was arrested and appeared in federal court in Springfield. The affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint alleges that in the morning of Nov. 25, 2019, Tarr called Congressman Davis’ Decatur office and left a profanity-filled voicemail message in which he threatened to shoot the congressman. According to the affidavit, the voicemail message was forwarded to U.S. Capitol Police and Tarr was identified as the alleged caller by caller ID. The complaint charges Tarr with one count of communication of a threat to injure a person, which is punishable by up to five years in prison, and one count of making a threat to a federal official, which carries a statutory maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Tarr was issued a federal public defender and was released from custody under home detention. Tarr’s next scheduled the next court appearance for Dec. 17. 

Gurneys, Guns and Hoses Kicks Off

Gurneys, Guns and Hoses Kicks Off

December 13, 2019 – Local law enforcement and fire departments are ready to square off at the Red Kettles to raise money for the Salvation Army. The annual Gurneys, Guns & Hoses showdown will be held today and tomorrow from 8 am to 8 pm at various locations where Police, Sherriff, Ambulance, & Fire Departments will all be ringing bells to see who can raise the most money for the agency. Decatur Ambulance will be located at Sam’s Club Exit Doors.  The County Fire Dept will be at the Walmart East Food Door.  The City of Decatur Fire Dept will be at the Walmart East Pharmacy Door. The Decatur Police . . at the Walmart North Food Door and the Macon County Sheriff will be at the Walmart North Pharmacy Door. Last year the “hoses” of the Decatur Fire Department took home “The Bell” trophy, which traveled with law enforcement throughout the year.  It was the second year in a row for the Decatur Fire Department, collecting nearly $5,700.  The total collected last year from the effort was $18,500. 

Geo. A. Mueller Beer Company Celebrates 150 Years

Geo. A. Mueller Beer Company Celebrates 150 Years

December 12, 2019 – The George A Mueller Beer Company celebrated their 150th Anniversary with an event at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel.  The company, founded in 1896, starting off as a beer and wine company and with delivery to home residences.  During prohibition, the company started candy and soda distribution. . only to go back to it’s roots as a beer distributer when prohibition was repealed. Kevin Jackson, the Sales and Operation Manager at Mueller Beer Company said the event was to thank the community for their support. 

The event included sampling from 20 Mueller vendors and suppliers, live music and a silent auction to benefit Hudson Halfway Home, a local animal shelter for pets with special needs. 

DCFS Announces Program to Provide Families with Smoke Detectors

DCFS Announces Program to Provide Families with Smoke Detectors

December 12, 2019 – The Illinois Department of Children and Family services has announced a new program to provide free smoke alarms to families served by the department. With the program, caseworkers that visit homes serviced by DCFS determine if there is a working smoke alarm in the home. If not, the caseworker can provide one free of charge from any local field office. Illinois law requires every household to have smoke alarms within 15 feet of every bedroom and at least one on each floor of the home. Maria Miller, Regional Administrator, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services 

More than one-third of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present. So far, the program, which has been in place since October, has supplied 15 smoke alarms to families.  

Decatur Granted 5 Million Dollar Loan From IEPA For Stormwater Projects

Decatur Granted 5 Million Dollar Loan From IEPA For Stormwater Projects

December 12, 2019 – The Illinois EPA is giving the City of Decatur a 5 Million dollar loan for wastewater, stormwater and drinking water projects. The low-interest loan is provided by Illinois EPA’s State Revolving Fund and the City of Decatur qualifies to have over 886 thousand dollars of the loan amount forgiven by the State.TheCity of Decatur will use the loan funds to repair critical sewers and refurbish existing manholes. “ TheCity has chosen to proactively invest in our infrastructure to reduce long term maintenance costs and minimize the disruptive impacts of reactionary fixes. . “ said stated Decatur City Manager, Scot WrightonThe project is expected to be completed in May of 2020. 

Thinking About an Office “Lottery Pool”? Read This

Thinking About an Office “Lottery Pool”? Read This

December 12, 2019- ‘Tis the season for group play with family, friends or co-workers as the Mega Millions jackpot continues to roll. But. . if you are thinking about starting an office pool, the Illinois Lottery has a few tips. The jackpot is at its highest amount in more than six months, and Illinois players have the chance to win an estimated $340 million jackpot in the Mega Millions drawing at 10 p.m. tomorrow. Group play is a common way for offices to get in on the action, but sometimes it can come with pitfalls…especially in the case of a win. Some tips include designating a group leader who is responsible for the lottery pool management, making copies of the purchased tickets for each member of the group and create rules for the group that include a signed agreement.  You can also manage members of you pool with an online tool available through the Illinois Lottery Pool Group Sign-up sheet. 

Ways to Support Wildlife this Holiday Season

Ways to Support Wildlife this Holiday Season

December 12, 2019 – As the holidays near, it is important to remember of the loved ones in your life – including the furry ones!.  Scovill zoo has put together a list of ways to support wildlife and Scovill Zoo this season.

o Become a member of Scovill Zoo or give a Family membership as a gift: $80 for a family and $40 for an individual (Membership rates go up to $85 and $42 in 2020). More details can be found at www.ScovillZoo.com. Your zoo membership gives you discounted admission to 150+ reciprocating zoos across the US including Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, Peoria Zoo, Henson Robinson Zoo in Springfield, Niabi Zoo near the quad cities and others. A membership purchased at one of the reciprocating zoos gives you 50% off admission at Scovill Zoo.

o Adopt a Scovill Zoo animal in honor of a loved one. ( https://www.decatur-parks.org/scovill-zoo/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2016/01/General-Adoption-Application-2018-alphabetical.pdf) The adoption is good for a year with donations ranging between $10 and $75.

o Donate items for the zoo animals. Check out Scovill Zoo.com/Get Involved/Donate for a list of items compiled by the Scovill Zoo Keepers.

o Support Association of Zoos and Aquariums partners such as: Zebra Pen (https://www.zebrapen.com), Gorilla Socks (http://www.gorilla-socks.com), and AZA SAFE Wine (https://wildlifewineclub.org). They make great gifts. Portions of the proceeds benefit saving animals in the wild.

o Support your local animal shelters and wildlife rehab centers such as the Macon County Animal Shelter, The Raptor Center, The University of Illinois Wildlife clinic, etc.

o Make a donation in your loved ones’ name to a favorite animal welfare group such as AZA SAFE (Association of Zoos and Aquariums – Saving Animals From Extinction), The Wildlife Conservation Society, etc. Please research the organization to see what percentage of the funds are used in their mission to save animals in the wild.

o The following link is to Amazon Scovill Zoo wish lists, “For the Animals” and “For the Keepers”: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1P7TTX2LQ9DA6?ref_=wl_share

LISTEN: Debbie Bogle, United Way Update

LISTEN: Debbie Bogle, United Way Update

December 12, 2019 – Debbie Bogle of the United Way describes the difference between charity and investing in your community and details the process of how contributions from generous people are distributed to worthy programs.