WATCH : Bulldogs and Raiders Ready for Semifinals

WATCH : Bulldogs and Raiders Ready for Semifinals

November 22nd, 2019 – The IHSA Semifinals kick off on Saturday, with two local teams still fighting for a chance to play on Black Friday in DeKalb. Central A&M hits the road for the first time in the playoffs, taking on Athens at 2pm while St Teresa hosts Nashville with a 1pm kickoff. You can hear from both teams as they prepare for Semifinal action in a preview video on NowDecatur.com thanks to Kenney’s Ace Hardware. You can hear all the action this Saturday on both WSOY and ESPNDecatur and the NowDecatur.com app starting at 12:30pm.

DPS61 and DTFA Release Joint Statement: Negotiations to Continue Dec 16

DPS61 and DTFA Release Joint Statement: Negotiations to Continue Dec 16

November 21, 2019 – The negotiations between DPS61 and the DFTA did not result in a contract, however representatives from DPS61 and the DFTA released the following joint statement:

Representatives from District #61 and DFTA met tonight with a federal mediator to continue contract negotiations. Although no tentative agreement was reached, the union did submit a proposal for the Board to review at its next meeting on December 10. We remain hopeful that a settlement between Decatur Public Schools and DFTA will happen soon. The next mediation session is scheduled for Monday, December 16.

The Decatur Public School Board and the Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants have been negotiating since April and the TA’s contract expired in June.  The largest sticking point has been the cost of health insurance.  

RCC’s Industrial Job Skills Training Honored with Innovation Award

RCC’s Industrial Job Skills Training Honored with Innovation Award

November 21, 2019 – training program at Richland Community College has been awarded the 2019 Illinois Council of Community College Administrators Innovation AwardRCC’s Industrial Job Skills Training with Essential Skills, was recognized for its innovative approach to training delivery methods. The IJST program provides basic technical skills in Welding, CNC, Occupational Safety, precision measuring tools, hand tools, Technical Math, blueprint reading, and heavy equipment operation.  Courtney Carson, Executive Director of External Affairs, said that the Essential Skills portion of the training is a combination of life skills, job readiness, and a trauma sensitive practice termed Motivational Interviewing. In just over a year the program has seen some outstanding results with 95% of IJST graduates receiving employment with various manufacturing companies and 100% of employed Essential Skills Training students remaining employed after three months. 

Millikin Announces Fundraising Effort for Athletic Facility Expansion

Millikin Announces Fundraising Effort for Athletic Facility Expansion

November 21, 2019 –

Millikin University officials today announced fundraising efforts for the first phase of a multimillion-dollar Athletic Facility Expansion and Renovation plan titled “M-Powered.”

M-Powered will strengthen the future of Millikin Athletics and enhance the University’s ability to recruit and retain the finest student-athletes and coaches; provide outstanding strength and conditioning facilities to maximize performance; and will include spaces for coaching, teaching and learning.

The initial goal for phase one is a new $15 million athletic facility that features the following:

• A 10,000-square-foot fitness center and weight room open to all students, faculty and staff.

• Six locker rooms to accommodate junior varsity and varsity football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s track and field, and men’s and women’s cross country.

• Breakout classrooms and team meeting spaces.

“We are excited about the future of Millikin Athletics. This initiative continues Millikin‘s forward-thinking momentum and will add to the outstanding physical transformations on campus, such as the Workman Family Baseball Field and the new Center for Theatre & Dance,” said Millikin President Dr. Patrick E. White. “Millikin Athletics programs are a great source of pride for the University, the surrounding communities and beyond. We invite our alumni and friends of the University to help shape the future of Millikin Athletics by supporting this important capital initiative, which will increase enrollment and thus positively affect the entire community.”

The new facility will be located at the current site of the Old Gym, which will be razed to allow for new construction.

“Facilities are an important part of Division III athletics. Competing on an athletic team is the tag that brings many of its students through the door of higher education throughout the country,” said Millikin Director of Athletics Dr. Craig White. “Millikin is no exception to this fact, as our coaches routinely recruit 50 percent of the freshmen class year after year. In addition, Millikin is fortunate to be a part of one of the most respected Division III conferences in the country with membership in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW).”

White added, “The improvements to athletic facilities will allow Millikin Athletics to experience facilities equal to membership in this great conference. Strength and conditioning facilities, locker rooms and meeting spaces that are equal to the schools we compete against in the CCIW will mean more successful recruitment of both athletic and academic high achievers.”

Millikin 1982 graduate Gregg Eichelberger says the campus-wide community will benefit from the investment in a fitness center with abundant space for vigorous use and state-of-the-art equipment.

Millikin University is a top-tier academic institution in the Midwest, and for nearly 120 years, it has been a diamond in Decatur,” said Eichelberger. “Recent building additions to the campus such as the University Commons and the Center for Theatre & Dance have enhanced campus life. By updating Millikin‘s athletic facilities with a fitness center, Millikin will compete at a high level in the CCIW as well as recruit and retain premier student-athletes. This new initiative demonstrates an institutional commitment to building, supporting and sustaining a winning athletics program.”

Josh Warren ’96, member of the Millikin Board of Trustees and co-chair of the Millikin Football Alumni Advisory Board, says the athletic facility expansion will be a key component for recruitment.

Millikin has completed some remarkable building projects under President White’s leadership. As a Millikin alum, it makes me proud that these buildings are some of the best in the country in their respective areas – including the Workman Family Baseball and Softball Fields,” said Warren. “We will follow a similar standard with phase one of this athletic expansion, which will allow us to attract top tier students and student-athletes.”

Warren noted, “Having best-in-class facilities shows recruits that as an institution, we are committed to giving them access to the resources and tools to maximize their potential. Every Millikin student-athlete deserves that opportunity.”

Decatur Sees Drop in Unemployment for October

Decatur Sees Drop in Unemployment for October

November 21, 2019 – Decatur’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.8 percent in October 2019 from 5.5 percent in October 2018, according to the latest statistics by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were an estimated 2,450 unemployed people in the labor force in October 2019. The total number of nonfarm jobs in the Decatur metro area increased by 600 compared to one year ago. Payrolls increased in Manufacturing, Government, Leisure & Hospitality, Professional & Business Services and Other Services. Declines were reported in Retail Trade and Information. All other major industry sectors were stable compared to last year. Andrew Taylor of the Macon County EDC said while Decatur is still maintaining a  four-year low in unemployment that started last May, it’s important to note that historically there is almost always a spike in the unemployment rate over December and January as Construction, Seasonal Government and Holiday Retail jobs slow. 

Full Jobs Report:

Unemployment Rate Down in All Fourteen Metro Areas, Jobs Up in Eleven Record Lows in October for Two Metros, 16 Counties Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates SPRINGFIELD – The unemployment rate decreased overthe-year in October in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also shows the number of nonfarm jobs increased in eleven Illinois metropolitan areas, decreased in two, and was unchanged in one. “Communities in every corner of the state have experienced sustained job growth throughout this year. By passing the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan and legislation like the minimum wage increase, Governor Pritzker is ensuring the state’s economy continues to thrive,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. Illinois businesses added jobs in eleven metro areas, with the largest percentage increases in: Champaign-Urbana (+2.8%, +3,200), Carbondale-Marion (+2.5%, +1,500), Kankakee (+1.5%, +700) and Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI (+1.5%, +6,400). The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metro division was up (+0.6%, +22,500). Total nonfarm jobs were down in Peoria (-0.8%, -1,500) and Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL (-0.1%, -100). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (9 of 14), Education and Health Services (9 of 14), Government (9 of 14), and Leisure and Hospitality (8 of 14). Not seasonally adjusted data compares October 2019 with October 2018. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 3.6 percent in October 2019 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in October 2019 and 10.6 percent in January 2010, at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment. Total Nonfarm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) – October 2019 Metropolitan Area Oct 2019* Oct 2018** Over-the-Year Change Bloomington MSA 94,000 93,600 400 Carbondale-Marion MSA 61,100 59,600 1,500 Champaign-Urbana MSA 116,100 112,900 3,200 Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division 3,850,300 3,827,800 22,500 Danville MSA 27,800 27,800 0 Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA 188,300 188,400 -100 Decatur MSA 52,900 52,300 600 Elgin Metro Division 270,400 267,400 3,000 Kankakee MSA 47,500 46,800 700 Lake-County-Kenosha County Metro Division 435,500 429,100 6,400 Peoria MSA 176,300 177,800 -1,500 Rockford MSA 155,500 154,400 1,100 Springfield MSA 116,600 115,200 1,400 Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA 246,000 244,000 2,000 Illinois Statewide 6,251,900 6,197,800 54,100 *Preliminary | **Revised – continued Metropolitan Area Oct 2019* Oct 2018** Over-theYear Change Bloomington 3.5% 4.3% -0.8 Carbondale-Marion 3.7% 4.7% -1.0 Champaign-Urbana 3.5% 4.5% -1.0 Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights 3.4% 3.6% -0.2 Danville 4.9% 5.9% -1.0 Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 3.8% 4.0% -0.2 Decatur 4.8% 5.5% -0.7 Elgin 3.7% 4.6% -0.9 Kankakee 4.3% 5.1% -0.8 Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI 3.5% 4.0% -0.5 Peoria 4.2% 4.9% -0.7 Rockford 5.0% 5.4% -0.4 Springfield 3.5% 4.2% -0.7 St. Louis (IL-Section) 3.7% 4.6% -0.9 Illinois Statewide 3.6% 4.1% -0.5 * Preliminary | **Revised Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates (percent) for Local Counties and Areas Labor Market Area Oct. 2019 Oct. 2018 Over-theYear Change Decatur MSA Macon County 4.8% 5.5% -0.7 Springfield MSA Menard County 3.2% 3.8% -0.6 Sangamon County 3.5% 4.3% -0.8 Cities Decatur City 5.5% 6.2% -0.7 Quincy City 3.6% 4.2% -0.6 Springfield City 3.7% 4.5% -0.8 Counties Adams County 3.3% 4.0% -0.7 Brown County 2.4% 2.7% -0.3 Calhoun County 4.0% 4.6% -0.6 Cass County 3.5% 4.2% -0.7 Christian County 4.3% 5.2% -0.9 DeWitt County 3.5% 5.1% -1.6 Greene County 3.7% 4.7% -1.0 Jersey County 3.8% 4.6% -0.8 Logan County 4.0% 4.7% -0.7 McDonough County 4.1% 5.0% -0.9 Macoupin County 3.7% 4.6% -0.9 Montgomery County 4.5% 5.7% -1.2 Morgan County 3.7% 4.3% -0.6 Moultrie County 3.0% 4.1% -1.1 Piatt County 3.2% 4.1% -0.9 Pike County 3.4% 4.7% -1.3 Schuyler County 3.6% 4.4% -0.8 Scott County 3.9% 4.4% -0.5 Shelby County 3.4% 4.1% -0.7 Other Areas LWA 19 4.7% 5.5% -0.8 LWA 20 3.6% 4.4% -0.8 LWA 21 3.8% 4.7% -0.9 Central EDR 3.9% 4.7% -0.8 Central Illinois Highlights Decatur MSA The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.8 percent in October 2019 from 5.5 percent in October 2018. There were an estimated 2,450 unemployed people in the labor force in October 2019. The total number of nonfarm jobs in the Decatur metro area increased by (+600) compared to one year ago. Payrolls increased in Manufacturing (+300), Government (+200), Leisure & Hospitality (+100), Professional & Business Services (+100), and Other Services (+100). Declines were reported in Retail Trade (-100) and Information (-100). All other major industry sectors were stable compared to last year. Springfield MSA The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.5 percent in October 2019 from 4.2 percent in October 2018. There were an estimated 3,900 unemployed people in the labor force in October 2019. The total number of nonfarm jobs in the Springfield metro area increased by (+1,400) compared to a year ago. Payroll increases were reported in Leisure & Hospitality (+900), Educational & Health Services (+300), Government (+300), Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities (+100), Wholesale Trade (+100), and Other Services (+100). Declines were reported in Retail Trade (-100), Professional & Business Services (-100), Information (-100), and Manufacturing (-100). All other major industry sectors were stable compared to last year.

 

 

LISTEN: Chief Macon County Assessment Officer Kimberly Fowler Talks About the Tentative Multiplier

LISTEN: Chief Macon County Assessment Officer Kimberly Fowler Talks About the Tentative Multiplier

November 21st, 2019 – Macon County has been issued a tentative property assessment equalization factor of 1. The equalization factor is determined annually for each county by comparing the sales price of individual properties sold over the past three years to the assessed value placed on those properties by the county supervisor of assessments/county assessor.

Learn more about what this means in the podcast below with Chief Macon County Assessment Officer Kimberly Fowler below.

Senator Manar Honored for Ag Education Work

Senator Manar Honored for Ag Education Work

November 21st, 2019 – State Senator Andy Manar was honored today with the Jim Guilinger Legislative Award by the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education for his efforts to expand and promote agricultural education in Illinois schools. 

“Agriculture is a driving force of our state’s economy,” said Manar. “ It’s imperative that we do everything we can to strengthen and expand agricultural education and expose our students to the many promising careers offered in this industry”  

ILCAE is an advocacy group focused on legislation, funding, and promotion of agricultural education and serves as an advisory council for the initiatives of the Agricultural Education line item.