The Lunch Wagon Serves 8,854 Meals In First Year

The final numbers from the initial year of the Lunch Wagon summer meal program are in and they are impressive. Organizer Melissa Smith said a total of 8,854 meals were served during the 10 week program that wrapped up last Friday.

Before the program started, Smith estimated 80 to 100 meals a day would be served compared to the average of 170 a day that were served. 

Planning for next year’s Lunch Wagon is already underway as Smith said even bigger things are planned for 2019.

Melissa was our guest on Tuesday's Morning Show. Click the link to hear the entire interview with Rodger Beard.


Water & Sewer Projects To Cost Even More

Efforts to rehabilitate Mt. Carmel’s old and crumbling water and sewer systems keep getting costlier and costlier at every turn. At Monday night’s city council meeting, commissioner Justin Dulgar said crews refurbishing the 3rd Street water tower found that the riser in the middle of the tower is bad and beyond repair….

On the sewer side, replacing the digester is almost doubling the already costly upgrades at the sewer plant…

The council approved an ordinance Monday night authorizing a loan agreement with the Illinois EPA for $3.5 million. City Clerk Rudy Witsman said it’s not anticipated the city will need the entire $3.5 million and will only borrow what is needed for the work.

 Photos of 3rd Street water tower which is undergoing extensive rehabilitation work. 

Photos of 3rd Street water tower which is undergoing extensive rehabilitation work. 

Wabash District #348 Starts '18-'19 School Year In Black

The 2018-19 school year started today and as the year begins, the financial outlook for Wabash District #348 is a lot brighter than what it has been in the last several. Just last year, district officials were trying to figure out how many days schools would stay open because of the school funding impasse at the state level. This year, the proposed 18-19 budget is a lot more optimistic according to Superintendent Dr. Chuck Bleyer….

The school board will hold a public hearing on the budget next month before voting to approve it.


Governor Signs Bill Cracking Down On Texting & Driving

Legislation strengthening the law on texting while driving was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. House Bill 4846, which takes effect July 1, 2019, cracks down on texting while driving by classifying first-time offenses as moving violations. Under the current law, which took effect in 2014, second and subsequent texting while driving offenses are treated as moving violations, while first offenses are treated as nonmoving violations.

“With the increased use of technological devices, distracted driving has become a serious problem on the roads of our state and throughout the nation,” said Secretary of State Jesse White. “This important legislation will make our roads safer. No driver should be texting while driving.”

The penalty for a violation of this law results in a moving violation that will be recorded to the motorist’s driving record, as well as fines and court costs which will be determined by a judge. A driver who is convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period is subject to a driver’s license suspension.

The original law was based on recommendations made by the state’s Distracted Driving Task Force chaired by White. The task force, which was created by Joint House Resolution 22, was charged with examining ways to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by distracted driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. NHTSA estimates that at least 25 percent of police-reported crashes involve some form of distracted driving. Texting while driving is considered among the most deadly forms of distracted driving.

House Bill 4846 was sponsored by state Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago) and state Sen. Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). The bill passed the House on April 18 and the Senate on May 29.


Illinois State Fair Honors Bicentennial Farm Family From Wabash County as Twilight Parade Grand Marshals

SPRINGFIELD, Ill - The Illinois Department of Agriculture is proud to announce that the Wiseman Family, which owns the Wiseman Farm in Wabash County, were the Grand Marshals for the 2018 Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade last night.

The Wisemans have been recognized as one of only two Bicentennial Farm families in Illinois. They grow corn and soybeans on their land, which has been in their family since 1818.

"We're proud to have the Wisemans lead our Twilight Parade this year," said Governor Bruce Rauner. "Our farm families play a critical role in feeding people in Illinois and across the globe. And since we're celebrating our state's 200th birthday this year, it's the perfect time to recognize the contributions that the Wisemans have made for the past 200 years."

"Very few families can say they've owned the same farm ground since the year Illinois was founded. That's a tremendous feat," said IDOA Director Raymond Poe. "The Wiseman's have shown their commitment to building Illinois' greatest industry and we are proud to have them join us for the Fair this year."

The Wisemans are descendants of William Tanquary, who first purchased the farm land outside Bellmont in August of 1818. The family says the original land deed was signed by President James Monroe but was lost when the Tanquary family home burned in 1975. The farm was passed down through generations to Nell (Tanquary) Wiseman, the late wife of current owner Dr. Robert Wiseman.

"The Wiseman Farm will never be sold as long as I live. I have hopes of it being in the family until the year 2050 and beyond," Dr. Wiseman said.





A high-quality reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph was presented to the Wabash County Courthouse yesterday afternoon during an unveiling ceremony.

The photograph was taken in Springfield by well-known photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. Historians consider Hesler’s portrait one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years.

The permanent installation is made possible by donations from the Illinois Judges Association (IJA), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and their respective foundations – the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation. Printed on canvas, the image of the beardless Lincoln is encased in a richly stained wood frame and measures 30-inches wide by 40-inches tall.

The four organizations are partnering with the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS), which owns the glass-plate positives of Hesler’s Lincoln portrait. The ISHS is leading a statewide campaign to place a framed copy in a courthouse in each of Illinois’ 102 counties in commemoration of the state’s bicentennial this year.

“This photograph shows Lincoln shortly after he received the national Republican Party nomination for president,” said William Hudson, judge of the 2nd Judicial Circuit. “It is truly an honor to be part of this historic endeavor to celebrate one of Illinois’ most famous lawyers during the bicentennial.”


Man Arrested On Various Charges After Wednesday Incident

On 8.8.18 at approximately 8:42 p.m. Wabash County 911 received a call of a man holding his wife and another family member against their will. Furthermore the called advised that the man was armed with an AR style rifle and was threatening to shoot them and their vehicles. When the Sheriff's Office arrived on scene two subjects were seen fleeing the residence and seeking shelter in a near by barn. The Sheriff's Office was able to get the female and other occupant away from the barn safely and they were transported into Mt. Carmel by the Mt. Carmel Police. Several attempts were made to contact the male inside the residence which were unsuccessful. As units from the Sheriff's Office, Mt. Carmel Police Department and Illinois State Police were forming the male emerged from the garage area and was taken into custody without incident.

The male subject was identified as 52 year old Troy A. Hinderliter of Mt. Carmel. Hinderliter made a first appearance today in Wabash County Court were he was advised of two charges against him. The 2 count charge is for aggravated unlawful restraint, both Class 3 Felonies. Hinderliter's bond had been set at $40,000 or $4,000 cash and he remains in custody at the Wabash County Jail pending the posting of that bond.