May 19, 2017


(OLNEY)  An expanding area of showers and thunderstorms accompany the frontal boundary that moved into the area late Thursday evening.  The boundary continues into the southern part of the state bringing stronger winds with it.  The frontal boundary will push heavily into the area by the afternoon bringing with it the more likely chances of showers and storms. That is followed by a warm front following this frontal boundary which will enter the area tomorrow and will keep the rain chances in the area for the weekend.  We have a brief relief of rain Monday, before more rain Tuesday – listen for weather updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news –  officials say that in April, the Illinois unemployment rate dipped by 0.2 percent down to 4.7 percent.  Based on preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Studies, nonfarm payrolls decreased in Illinois by 7,200 jobs over the month.  April’s monthly payroll drop kept the over-the-year job growth below the national average.


(OLNEY)  An annual festival that toasts comedian Red Skelton’s life will honor Dick Van Dyke with the inaugural “America’s Clown Award.”  The 91-year old television won’t be able to attend the presentation held in Skelton’s hometown of Vincennes, Indiana on July 15th, but a video-acceptance speech from Van Dyke will be played for festival-goers.  The Danville native, Dick Van Dyke’s comedic body of work and joy he brought over the years embodies Skelton’s spirit.  Red Skelton died in 1997 at the age of 84, had an early impact on television with “The Red Skelton Show.”


(NEWTON) A new memorial located at the airport in Springfield will honor the city’s only resident to graduate from the Tuskegee Army Air Base during World War II.  The late Lyman L. Hubbard Sr. served in the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen.  A display honoring the late Hubbard was dedicated early this week at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport including several photos and some of his medals.  Hubbard was born in Springfield in 1926 and volunteered in the Army, flying a B-25 bomber.  Lyman Hubbard passed away in 2012 at the age of 85.  This award goes along with Lyman Hubbard Day in Springfield, which was declared on May 17th, 2006.


(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met in regular session this past Tuesday -  the council  :  approved bills and accounts payable in the amount of $175,413.30  :  approved rescinding TIF funds of $1.750 to Newton Elite Fitness  :  approved a TIF revised application for Newton Elite Fitness for TIF eligible reimbursable funds of $2,500  :  approved TIF funds of up to $30,000 to Legend Realty Services, Inc. on behalf of 3 Point Properties III, LLC or its assignee, 3PP Newton, LLC per agreement in Resolution 17-05  :  approved SCIRPDC applying for a grant to purchase a Newton PD Squad Vehicle  :  approved the acceptance of Ina Denton’s letter or resignation effective May 31st, 2017  :  approved TIF application fro JCCU #1, Newton High School for TIF funds of $25,000  :  approved the appointment of Alan Bogardus to the Zoning Board of Appeals  :  approved the authorization of one Newton Police officer to attend training on June 8-11  :  an executive session to discuss various topics before the meeting adjourned  -  all minutes are unofficial.


(OLNEY) The Embarras River Basin Agency is accepting applications the Skills Training Employment Program (STEP) to assist individuals with training for employment opportunities.  ERBA will be assisting income eligible individuals who want to obtain a CDL license, CNA certificate, Basic Welding Certificate, or CNC Operator Certificate.  The assistance is made possible through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding throught the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  For more information, contact your local ERBA office in Clark, Coles, Crawford, CUmberland, Douglas, Edgar, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland Counties.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County School Board met in regular session last night  :  approved the financial reports with a total bill list of $431,795.77  :  approved building reports provided by building administrators  :  approved bank bid to Trust Bank  :  approved changes to the 2017-2018 Student Handbooks  :  approved the district Title I Plan  :  approved various school-wide Title  I Plans  :  approved the resolution authorizing payment of phone systems from Operations and Maintenance Fund  : Approved of a Memorandum of Agreement for the CEO program at RCHS  : following a twenty five minute executive session, approved the 2017-2018 fall and winter coaches for RCHS,  Matt Music as head football coach, Matt Powell, Brad Ameter, Hassan Steele, Chuck Snyder all as assistant football coaches  :  Louis Gassman as boys cross country coach and Denyse Eagleson as girls cross country coach  :  Emily Rusk as head volleyball coach and Jill Greenwood as assistant volleyball coach  :  Kady Stallard as head boys soccer coach and Jason Burckhartt as assistant boys soccer coach  :  Curt Nealis as golf coach  :  Breann Milam as dance team coach  :  Rob Flanagan as head boys basketball coach, Andrew Kapper as assistant boys basketball coach and Tony Dueanas as Freshman boys basketball coach  : Mark Anselment as head girls basketball coach, Klay Wheeler as assistant girls basketball coach and Chelsea Kermicle as Freshman girls basketball coach  : Tommy Leslie as wrestling coach and Brad Ameter as assistant wrestling coach  :  Kristin Flanagan as head cheerleading coach and Breann Milam as assistant cheerleading coach  :  appoved the 2017-2018 extra-curricular positions for RCHS – Athletic Director Curt Nealis  :  Band Director Christopher Jones and assistant band director Nancy Deimel  :  Sheri Gray, Amy Rusk and Jeffrey Ryden as Junior Class Sponsor  :  Mandy Ginder as musical director, Jeffrey Ryden assistant director, Warren Weitkamp musical director, Bryan Cummins as set design and Joyce Fritschle as pianist  :  Olnean – Amy Rusk  :  JROTC Roy Waldhoff with rifle team and Mickey Haynes with drill team  :  Brenda Stallard with FBLA  : Schoolastic Bowl head coach Martin Dunn and Gary Harris assistant coach  :  Julie Fleming and Jason Smith with Student Council  :  Approved the following 2017-2018 coaches for RCMS – Rick Franklin with Cross Country and 8th Grade boys basketball coach  :  Curt Nealis as 7th grade boys basketball coach  :  Norm Henderson as 8th grade girls basketball coach  :  Jill Ginder as 7th grade girls basketball  :  Emily Rusk as 8th grade volleyball coach  :  Jill Greenwood as 7th grade volleyball coach  :  Rick Franklin as boys track coach  :  Approved the resignation of RCMS cross country, 8th grade boys basketball and boys track coach Rick Franklin effective at the end of 2017-2018 school year  :  Drew Muston as RCHS Girl’s Tennis Coach effective immediately  :  Jana Roark as RCHS Guidance Counselor effective June 28, 2017  :  approved a 5-year contract for Assistant Superintendent Chris Simpson, retroactive to July 1st, 2016. 


(OLNEY)  The City of Olney has announced it is now soliciting Requests for Proposal for a mural to be placed on the south wall of the Olney City Hall, at 300 South Whittle Avenue – proposal and project specifications can be picked up at City Hall between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00, Monday thru Friday, or may be emailed by sending a request to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the deadline for proposal submission is June 30th, 2017, with a project completion date set for September 30th, 2017 – call if any questions.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau will host a “pallet sign painting party” this coming Saturday afternoon at The Holiday, starting at 2:00 – in conjunction with Sweet Hazel K, who is well known for creating crafty décor, all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Richland County’s Ag in the Classroom program – while signs, stencils, paint, and instruction to help complete the project will be provided and participants will take home their very own work, the cost is $30 for a regular sign or $37 for a custom sign – sign up today online, at www.sweethazelk.com, scroll down to “Richland County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Fundraiser” and choose from any of the four, farm-themed designs, and pay online – or call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116  to sign up and pay – all are invited to take part & have fun.


(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2017 – applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31st – those interested can email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Jane Hart at  618-783-2867.


(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.


(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.


(OLNEY)  Olney Road commissioner wants to remind the public that the intersection of Miller’s Grove and Silver Street road will be closed to through traffic starting on Monday, May 22nd.  Alternate routes will be needed until the work is completed and the city thanks you for your patience.



    The Bikers With a Heart Motorcycle Show and Car Cruise In for Team Dale is this Saturday in the Olney City Park, from 11:00 to 9:00 – includes a tattoo contest, gun raffle, 50/50 raffle, corn hole tournament, food vendors, a guitar raffle, & more – to benefit 11 year old Dale Howser who’s awaiting a heart transplant

    The Flora Public Library will host the 2017 Local Authors Book Fair this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 – fourteen area authors will have their work on display – also light refreshments and a door prize drawing

    The Wynoose Mother’s Day Salad Banquet will be held this Friday night, starting at 6:30 in the Wynoose Community Center – those attending are asked to bring their favorite salad to share – all are invited

    The Newton Firefighter Association will host a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – drive-thru pick up available or delivery – for pre-orders, call  618-783-2165  – all proceeds go towards the purchase of needed rescue equipment

   Wabash Valley College is offereing concealed carry courses today through May 20th.  For more information or to sign up call 866-982-4322

   The City of Newton Cleanup day with Republic Services will be held May 19th and inlcude heavy items and electornics

   Gently used items and baked goods are needed for an adoption fundraiers for Andrea and Conan Tully.  The garage sale and bake sale will be held on May 20th, in Bridgeport.

   The Red Rooster will be holding open interviews coming up on Tuesday, May 23rd, from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  That is open interviews at the Red Rooster coming up on Tuesday