Office Phone: 217-357-6056

WCAZ Radio News Archives for 2021-01

Illini West Athletic Director Zack Huston

Zach Huston - Athletic Director from Illini West  talks with Real Country Mornings about the IHSA Sports Schedule!    Basketball is happening and when the games are happening and what we can all expect!    Illini will be playing basketball the first week of Febuary!  Zach explains when each sport will play and how long the seasons are as of the latest information from IHSA.  


IHSA Announces Start Dates for High School Sports, Including Basketball and Football

The Illinois High School Sports Association has laid out its schedule and procedures for the remainder of the school year, with seven sports now allowed to begin practicing and potentially holding competitions by the beginning of February.

According to the detailed plan, released by the IHSA Wednesday, those seven sports include dance, cheerleading, bowling, girls’ gymnastics, badminton and boys’ swimming and diving.

Those six sports will be allowed to begin practices immediately, with games taking place so long as the health care regions involved are at Tier 2 or lower mitigation levels.

Boys’ and girls’ basketball, which are considered “higher-risk” activities, can also begin practicing immediately, but competition can only begin in those regions that are in Phase 4 coronavirus mitigation rules. There will be no statewide-postseason competitions this season, according to the IHSA.

Announcements were also made for several early-spring sports, including football, which will allow practices to get underway on March 3. According to the IHSA, games can begin on March 19 in regions that are in Phase 4 coronavirus mitigation rules, and the season will conclude on April 24. There will not be a postseason tournament for football this spring, the association announced.

Girls’ volleyball will allow practices beginning March 8, while baseball and softball will be permitted to start practicing on April 5. All sports will be allowed to resume competition seven days after the start of practices, under the IHSA guidelines.

Girls’ soccer, boys and girls’ lacrosse, boys’ tennis, boys and girls’ track and field, and boys’ volleyball will also start practices on April 5.

Finally, wrestling will allow practices to begin on April 19, with meets allowed to proceed seven days later, provided that the schools’ health care regions are in Phase 4 mitigation rules.

All athletes in indoor sports, with the exception of gymnastics and swimming, will be required to wear masks during competition. All officials in all sports, including outdoor sports, will also be required to wear masks.

Here is the full schedule for sports:

Kristin Huls with the Carthage Chapter of the IFB

Kristin Huls with the Carthage Chapter of the IFB discussed the effects of COVID-19 on her organization over the past year.  Those effects have impacted all the IFB activities including the various annual programs from the 2021 Scholarship program to the IFB Farm Records book distribution.  Because of Covid 19 the IFB has 2021 Calendars available.


Volunteers Needed to Help Local Domestic/Sexual Violence Survivors

Volunteers Needed to Help Local Domestic/Sexual Violence Survivors

Macomb, Illinois, January 26, 2021 – Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency (WIRC-CAA) Victim Services, a local non-profit agency that assists survivors of domestic/sexual violence, is calling for trained crisis response volunteers in order to help survivors in their service area. Per requirements by the State of Illinois, all crisis volunteers must complete special training. Victim Services is once again offering the crisis intervention training course needed by volunteers in order to meet state requirements.

The non-credit course, taught by staff members of Victim Services, will cover topics such as types of abuse; rape culture; safety planning; working with child survivors; dating violence; listening skills; the cycle of violence; medical and legal advocacy; and more.

Classes for the spring 2021 semester will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning Thursday, February 25. The course is expected to conclude in mid-April, although instructors may schedule one Saturday session in order to complete training earlier. While state guidelines permit, the class will be held in-person. All attendees must wear a facial covering and follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) physical distancing guidelines. In addition, attendees will have their temperature checked and be asked a few basic health screening questions. As the location of Victim Services is kept confidential in order to protect the safety of staff and clients, classes will be held at the WIRC-CAA Main Office, 133 West Jackson Street, Macomb, Illinois. 

The cost for the course is $100 for students and community members ages 18 and up, and $150 for working professionals.  Class size is limited.  The registration deadline is Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:00 p.m., or when the class is full.  To register or learn more information, call Victim Services at (309) 837-6622.

Victim Services also needs individuals interested in volunteering for non-direct service opportunities throughout the year, including Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities in April.  Individuals available to give an hour or two a month for awareness activities may call the Volunteer Coordinator at (309) 837-6622.

Victim Services provides free and confidential services in a safe environment with knowledgeable staff members who are ready to provide emergency services, advocacy, counseling, professional training, and public education. For more information, call (309) 837-6622, visit, or find “WIRC-CAA Victim Services” on social media. If you have experienced abuse at any point in your life, or if you think someone you know is being abused, call the 24-hour free and confidential crisis hotline at (309) 837-5555.  

Illini West Athletic Director Zack Huston

Illini Atheltic Director Zack Huston stops in to talk with Kevin Flynn on Real Country in the Mornings  and  discusses that sports will be happening SOON!!!!!!!


Regions 1 and 2 Move to Phase 4

25th Jan, 2021

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced Region 1 (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago) and Region 2 (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Woodford) are moving to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan effective today.  Information about which tier and phase regions are in can be found at the top of the IDPH website homepage.  

A Phase 4 Guidelines Overview can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.

Restaurants and Bars

  • Indoor dining and drinking now permitted for parties of up to 10 people
  • Seated areas should be arranged so that tables allow for 6 feet between parties; impermeable barriers may be installed between booths which are less than 6 feet apart

Retail and Service Counter

  • Continue capacity limit of no more than 50% occupancy

Personal Care

  • Continue capacity limit of no more than 50% occupancy

Indoor/Outdoor Recreation

  • Reopening select indoor recreation facilities (e.g., bowling alleys, skating rinks); indoor playgrounds and trampoline parks should remain closed
  • Indoor recreation to operate at lesser of 50 customers or 50% of facility capacity


  • Capacity limit of no more than 25% occupancy
  • Guided tours should be limited to 50 or fewer people per group

Meetings and Social Events

  • Limit to the lesser of 50 people or 50% of room capacity
  • Multiple groups may meet in the same facility if they are socially distanced and in separate rooms

IDPH will continue to closely monitor test positivity, ICU bed availability, and the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19.  Should data show regions trending in the wrong direction, based on the established mitigation metrics, regions could once again find themselves in a higher tier with increased measures.

Metrics for moving from a higher to lower tier are as follows:

Moving from Tier 3 to Tier 2

  • Test positivity rate ≥ 8% and below 12% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • Staffed ICU bed availability ≥ 20% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • Sustained decline in COVID patients in hospital (7-day average for 7 of 10 days)

Moving from Tier 2 to Tier 1

  • Test positivity rate between 6.5% and 8% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • Staffed ICU bed availability ≥ 20% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • No sustained increase in COVID patients in hospital (7-day average for 7 of 10 days)

Moving from Tier 1 to Phase 4

  • Test positivity rate ≤ 6.5% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • Staffed ICU bed availability ≥ 20% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • No sustained increase in COVID patients in hospital (7-day average for 7 of 10 days)

Information about mitigation and resurgence metrics can be found on the IDPH website at

Carthage Public Library District Bond Referendum Information

Carthage Public Library District Bond Referendum Information 

For more information call the Library, 217-357-3232, email, or visit website:


When do I vote?    Tuesday, April 6th between 6:00 am and 7:00 pm at your regular polling place. It will be on the consolidated election ballot for all residents of the Carthage Public Library District (same boundaries as CESD317).

What is the ballot question?    The proposition on the ballot will read as follows: Shall the bonds of the Carthage Public Library District, Hancock County, Illinois, in the amount of $1,200,000 be issued for the purpose of building and equipping a new library facility, constructing site improvements and furnishing necessary equipment in connection therewith?

How will this affect my taxes?     The tax rate will increase by approximately 9.27 cents per hundred dollars of assessed value. Property taxes are paid on assessed value, which is 1/3 of the market value of a house, after exemptions. For example 1/3 of a $100,000 house is $33,333— $6,000 homestead exemption = $27,333 x .000927=$25.34. The bonds will be paid off over a 19 year period. For more detailed tax impact estimates visit

What about other fundraising efforts? In order to receive approved grant funds through the State Library, Carthage Library District must show proof of having raised the local cost share by June 30, 2021. Passing the bond issue would ensure that. The referendum gives the Library District the authority to issue up to $1.2 million in bonds, but they are not required to sell the entire amount. If a significant portion of the needed funds are acquired prior to issuing the bonds, the Library can reduce the amount of bonds sold.


What happens if the referendum passes? Grant funds of $1,258,862.94 will be released to the Library. A new 10,660 sq ft. one-story library building will be constructed at First and Center Streets, on land donated to the library, with ample green space and room for future expansion. The building will be designed as a library with ease of supervision and patron flow a priority. Features include a drive-up book drop and pick-up window, more seating, ample electrical outlets, two study rooms, larger restrooms, and a large meeting room designed for use by the community even when the library is closed. As the new building nears completion, the Library will work with real estate agents to find a buyer who will make good use of the current building and abide by the State Historic Preservation Agency Requirements.

What happens if the referendum fails? If the bond issue fails and the Library is not able to raise the local cost share, then the $1,258,862.94 construction grant will be forfeited, and the new library will not be built. The library would continue to operate in the current facility. Money would need to be spent on maintenance and repair, including replacing air conditioning systems. It is unlikely that the Public Library Construction Act Grant program would be funded again in the near future (the last one was in 2012). The Library would need to raise over $1.2 million to renovate the current building and bring it up to code with a new elevator and additional stairway, or raise the full $2.5 million to build a new library. What are the issues with the current building? • Programs and meetings are held upstairs in small rooms, which limits attendance size and accessibility. • The elevator is old and unreliable and is too small to meet ADA requirements. It needs to be completely replaced including a new shaft. • A second stairway is required to meet code. • The upstairs is currently cooled with inefficient window air conditioners. One of the air conditioning units for the downstairs needs to be replaced soon. • Renovating the current building would cost more than $1.2 million. A two story building is more difficult to supervise, requiring additional staff members and increasing operating costs.

Informational meetings for the public will be held: Thurs., Feb. 11, 4:00 pm, Fortress Bank meeting room, 433 Main, Carthage, IL. Tuesday, March 9, 6:00 pm, First Baptist Church multi-purpose room, 601 Main St., Carthage, IL

Dawn Owen with Memorial Hospital


Dawn Owen from Memorial Hospital Community Health joined  WCAZ Real Country Mornings to discuss the Community Health Needs Assessment  Survey andf why it is important for everyone to  participate  We ask you to take a 10 to 15 minute survey, which will help us identify our community’s health needs and guide us in developing services to meet those needs. 

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