August 14, 2017


(OLNEY)  With the weekend’s high pressure ridge over the Midwest moving off to the east, an upper level disturbance over the Upper Midwest will give us some clouds today thru tonight, although we’ll stay dry – an approaching storm system will give us rain chances late tomorrow night thru Wednesday and Thursday – then we appear to be dry for Friday and thru the upcoming weekend as well – stay tuned for updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news – the State Senate yesterday voted 38 to 19 to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of the school funding plan that was approved by lawmakers back in May, but just sent to the Governor two weeks ago – the vote will ensure no school district gets less money than last year & will pump new dollars to the neediest districts first, although the Governor calls it a “bailout” for the mismanaged Chicago School System – the State House will convene on Wednesday to consider the issue.


(OLNEY)  Authorities report that applications for concealed-carry gun permits have been generally falling in Illinois since the program was launched three years ago – the Illinois State Police numbers show nearly 104,000 people applied for the permits to carry concealed weapons in 2004, but only about 32,900 have applied so far this year – experts cite several reasons, mostly that the strongest supporters applied first.


(NEWTON)  A Petersburg brewer has won the Illinois Bicentennial Craft Beer competition at the Illinois State Fair – the Hand of Fate Brewing Company will now create the recipe & brew the official beer for the Prairie State’s Bicentennial, with activities due to kick off later this fall : the winner of yesterday’s State Fair Hog Calling Contest was Andrew Metheney from Georgetown : the winner of the State Fair Husband Calling Contest was Lisa McLaughlin from Petersburg : and the winner of Saturday’s State Fair Karaoke Contest was Mary McMillin-Koski from Decatur : today at the State Fair is Senior Citizens & Scout Day – those age 60 and older will be admitted free to the fairgrounds today with plenty of special events through tonight – it’s Tractor Pulls and Herman’s Hermits featuring Peter Noone on stage tonight : tomorrow is Agriculture Day, highlighted by the Governor’s Sale of Champions and more : for information on what’s coming up the rest of this week at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, logon at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.


(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into a single motorcycle traffic accident that occurred early this morning at 3:48 along U.S. Route 50 about 2 miles west of Flora – the State Police report that 50 year old Jesse J. Henry of Olney was westbound on Route 50 when he had to swerve to avoid hitting a deer standing in the roadway – Henry fell off the motorcycle onto the pavement as the Harley Davidson continued and ran off the highway into a creek – Henry was transported to Clay County Hospital in Flora and then air lifted by helicopter to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville – no tickets were issued – Henry was wearing a helmet.


(OLNEY)  The long-discussed and awaited total solar eclipse coming up a week from today will occur in the United States for the first time since 1979 and Chicago’s Adler Planetarium now has its science road show, Galaxy Ride, on a trip to downstate Illinois, bringing hands-on, eclipse-related activities to various towns & communities today thru Saturday this week, getting everyone ready for the experience of the total solar eclipse – the “Galaxy Ride” team is giving residents this week the chance to observe the Sun and other objects during the visits – in fact, the first of eight stops is this evening from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Olney Public Library for solar viewing and family activities – then a stop tomorrow night in Du Quoin, and Wednesday night in Jacob – two stops Thursday will be at the Cache River Wetlands Center & at Shawnee Community College – then Friday night in Sparta, Saturday afternoon at the Science Center in Carbondale, and Saturday night in Murphysboro – all events are free and open to the public – for more information about “Galaxy Ride” and what it’s all about, check the website online at  www.adlerplanetorium.org.


(CLAY CITY)  The Village of Clay City will be doing water line repair work tomorrow, on Tuesday, from 7:00 to 2:00, possibly longer – the eastern part of Clay City and its respective water customers will be without water at that time – the following areas will be affected  :  all of South First Street Southeast, all of Clark Addition, all of the Industrial Park, plus customers along Morning Glory Road, Blackberry Lane, Big Four Road, Bluebell Road, and Saddle Club Road – once service resumes, all these areas will be under a boil water order until further notice – again that’s tomorrow for water customers in & around Clay City.


(NEWTON)  The USDA has released its Illinois Crop Production Report for August  :  the planted area for corn is estimated at 11.10 million acres, down 4% from last year – the harvested area is forecast at 10.95 million acres, which is down 4% from 2016 – based on August 1st conditions, the Illinois corn yield is forecast at 188 bushels per acre, down 9 bushels from a year ago – corn production is forecast at 2.06 billion bushels, down 9% from last year's production – if realized, this would be the third highest yield on record in Illinois  :  the planted area for soybeans is estimated at 10.40 million acres, up 3% from last year – the harvested area is forecast at 10.34 million acres which is up 3% from 2016 – based on August 1st conditions, the Illinois soybean yield is forecast at 58 bushels per acre, a 1 bushel drop from a year ago – soybean production is forecast at 600 million bushels, up 1% from 2016 and the highest production level on record in Illinois  :  the harvested area for wheat in 2017 is forecast at 490,000 acres, up 4% from the previous year – the winter wheat yield is forecast at 74 bushels per acre, the same as 2016 – if realized, this number will tie the record high yield in Illinois – wheat production is forecast at 36.3 million bushels, which is 4% above the previous year  :  all numbers provided thru the National Agricultural Statistics Service.


(OLNEY)  There’s a couple of municipal meetings scheduled for this Monday night  :  the Olney City Council meets tonight in Council Chambers at the Olney City Hall, beginning at 7:00  :  the Noble Village Board also meets tonight at Village Hall in Noble, starting at 7:00  :  both meetings are open to the public.


(NEWTON)  The Open House at the Newton Elementary School is this evening from 4:30 to 6:30, while the Open House at the Ste. Marie Elementary School is tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 – students are urged to bring their school supplies, plus students, parents, & guardians will have the chance to meet all the teachers and staff at each school – the first day of student attendance in the Jasper County School District is this Wednesday – the Pre-K Open House at the Ste. Marie Elementary School is Thursday from 4:00 to 6:30.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County High School will host its “Freshmen First” program this morning from 8:30 to 10:30 in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium – the students attending will have the opportunity to visit each of their classes, meet their teachers, and discuss topics that every freshmen or new student at RCHS needs to know – the first day of student attendance in the Richland County School District is this Wednesday.


(NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  tomorrow at the Moose Lodge in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Wednesday at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also Thursday at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types needed.


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host the Wild Horse Ministries next Monday night, August 21st, at the East Fork Arena, north of Olney, starting at 6:30 – gates open at 5:30 with free admission, plus free will donations accepted – plus food concessions will be available – lawn chairs welcomed – bleachers provided

    The next Jasper County blood drive is coming up this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30 – all blood types are needed – all donors and first donors are urged to turn out

    Rides Mass Transit District will offer another trip to Crawford & Jasper County residents this Saturday afternoon & evening – it’s a trip to the Centralia Balloon Festival with the featured Balloon Glow Saturday night at 7:30 – interested residents in Jasper & Crawford Counties can call toll-free now, at  866-389-7536

    The Cornerstone Community Church in Noble will host an Open House / Ice Cream Social to formally welcome their new Pastor, Chris Spenner and his family, this coming Saturday afternoon & evening from 3:00 to 7:00 – includes hot dogs, ice cream, & other snacks, plus face painting, balloons for the kids, other games & activities – also, the Jake Hoult Band will be performing for a free-will offering – all are invited

    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for this Saturday with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited

    The 2017 Willow Hill Annual Homecoming is this Saturday, starting at 9:00 and running throughout the day & evening – includes an antique tractor show, a car/bike show, corn hole rally, cake walk, bingo, flea market, pedal tractor pull, a rabbit catch, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, afternoon entertainment, plenty of food with pulled pork, hot dogs, pork burgers, nachos, and more – that’s all in Willow Hill this Saturday

    The Carle Richland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary in Olney has a Book Fair fundraiser today in the hospital’s Private Dining Rooms from 9:00 to 3:30 – proceeds go to Auxiliary projects at the hospital