August 17, 2017


(OLNEY)  As the approaching cold front moves thru by tonight, our chance of getting wet continues until sunset – we’ll dry out tonight with some sunshine on tap for Friday – however, an upper level disturbance could now bring us some spotty showers late tomorrow night thru Saturday morning – then we dry up for Saturday afternoon, Sunday, and Monday – more rain chances next Tuesday – listen for weather updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news – Speaker Michael Madigan says the State House of Representatives will take a vote next week on whether or not to override the Governor’s veto of a school funding plan – the vote is set for next Wednesday on legislation that incorporates the changes that the Governor wants made on a new formula for financing public schools – lawmakers say the delay is to gauge support for the Governor’s plan.


(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is Democrat Day on the fairgrounds with Jason Derulo on stage tonight : tomorrow is First Responder Day as all police officers, firefighters, and EMT’s who show their badge at the gate will be admitted free and on stage tomorrow night is the Southern Uprising Tour, which includes the Charlie Daniels Band, Montgomery Gentry, the Marshall Tucker Band, and The Outlaws – plus Conservation World is open each day from 10:00 to 7:00 and the Agriculture Tent is open each day with Ag Tours from 10:00 to 3:30 each day : go online at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.


(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met earlier this week in Mt. Carmel for its monthly meeting – the Board  :  approved an existing six year old agreement between the Richland County TB & Health Office and IECC for the use of Olney Central College facilities during emergencies and/or disasters  :  approved a water retention plan and construction easement on IECC property located adjacent to the Seals property along Route 130 in Olney  :  approved an existing Athletic Training Services contract for Olney Central College with Carle Richland Memorial Hospital for the 2017-2018 academic year  :  approved revisions to the Lincoln Trail College Student Handbooks for three medical programs with updated fee information  :  and noted a public hearing will be held during the next IECC meeting to discuss the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which has been available for public viewing since August 9th at the IECC District Office in Olney  :  in personnel matters, the Board – accepted the resignation from Workforce Education Instructor James Beer – changed the employment status for Taryn Bunting from an OCC Assistant to an OCC Administrative Assistant and for Amber Malone from a LTC Office Assistant to a LTC Administrative Assistant – and hired Chris Murphy as Maintenance / Custodian at OCC, Shelby Ennis as an Administrative Assistant at WVC, and Peter Wood as Manager of Food Service at WVC  :  the next regular meeting for the IECC Board of Trustees is September 19th at Frontier Community College in Fairfield.


(NEWTON)  It was this past Tuesday during Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, that Governor Bruce Rauner signed several agriculture-related bills into law – one of those measures was a bill sponsored by local State Representative David Reis, which will be of great benefit to the small meat and poultry packing facilities around the state – in fact, beginning in July of next year, licenses to Type I and Type II meat & poultry processing establishments will not expire if the licensee remains in compliance with provisions of the Meat & Poultry Inspection Act – according to Representative Reis, current annual fees for renewal of these licenses are approximately $8,900 and could be easily offset by savings in administrative time needed to mail renewals and process all applications & fees  :  among the other bills signed into law – one that designates corn as the official state grain of Illinois – another creates an Agriculture Education Shortage Task Force to examine that status of agriculture education in the state – and several others were initiatives of the Department of Agriculture to cut red tape and reduce regulations and agency costs.


(OLNEY)  Fall semester classes get started today at all four of the IECC campuses in Olney, Mt. Carmel, Fairfield, and near Robinson, although the sign up for the various courses continues into next week – while some of the Olney Central College classes are offered at the West Richland Center in Noble, others are at the OCC campus in Olney – courses range from Artistic Welding to Zumba Aerobics, from Basic Welding to Unmanned Aerial Systems (for a commercial drone license), from Furniture Refinishing to Cosmetology – plus those free GED test preparation classes are available thru the Learning Skills Center at Olney Central College, including day, night, and online – for more information on the various courses offered at OCC, call 618-395-7777, or for details on any other classes within the IECC District, go online at  www.iecc.edu.


(NEWTON)  Here’s the Illinois Water & Climate Summary from the Illinois State Water Survey in Campaign for July  :  the state’s average temperature was 76.1 degrees, less than a full degree (0.7) above the long-term average – the southwest crop reporting district had the highest average temperature at 79.4 degrees while the northeast CRD had the state’s lowest average at 72.7 degrees  :  Illinois’ average precipitation in July was 4.61 inches which was just over a half inch (0.53) above the long-term average – the northwest district had the highest rainfall average with 7.47 inches while the driest CRD was the southwest with an average at 2.79 inches  :  soil moisture around the state at the 2 inch level declined 5% on average in July, especially in the south & east central areas  :  and the water surface levels at the end of July were below the full pool or target level at 15 of the 26 reporting reservoirs in Illinois – despite the dry conditions nearly all of the downstate readings were slightly above the spillway or seasonal target levels, including at Newton Lake, East Fork Lake, Lake Shelbyville, Carlyle Lake, and Rend Lake, among others.


(NEWTON)  The Women in the Outdoors event is this Saturday from 8:30 to 4:00, rain or shine, at the Red Hills State Park, at the Lakeside Shelter, near Sumner – it’s open to all area females, ages 14 and older at a cost of $55 per person – a few of the activities offered include basket-weaving, geocaching, tree & plant identification, shot-gunning, archery, canoeing, handgun safety, nature photography, horseback riding, and more – today’s the deadline to pre-registration – to register or for details, call Michelle at  812-881-5389.


(OLNEY)  A “Clear the Shelters” event is coming up this Saturday as twelve Wabash Valley animal shelters are hosting the popular pet adoption drive – the local animal shelters involved, including the Humane Society of Olney, will offer low cost fees to help area families and individuals adopt a new pet – the hours are from 1:00 to 5:00 – visit the online website  www.MyWabashValley.com  for more details and to access a list of the participating animal shelters – for more details locally in Olney, call  618-392-2699.


(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show this Saturday in the Olney City Park with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – over 100 awards to be passed out, plus plenty of concessions and more  : also being held is a Ms. Vintage Pin Up Contest, open to area women age 18 or older with an entry fee of $20 per contestant, however limited to the first 25 entries – while pre-registration is preferred, walk ups are welcome if spaces are available with sign up that morning from 10:30 to 12:00 noon in the Olney City Park Community Building – the contest starts at 1:30 to 2:30 – call  618-723-2853.


(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  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  today at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  today at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  tomorrow at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  tomorrow at the Salvation Army Store in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.


(NEWTON/OLNEY)  There are two area regular monthly school board meetings scheduled for tonight  :  the Jasper County School Board meets tonight in Newton at 6:30  :  the Richland County School Board meets tonight in Olney at 7:30  :  both of these meetings are open to the public at their respective locations.


    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

    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 Richland County High School Marching Tiger Color Guard will have a fundraising “car wash” this Saturday at Wood’s Auto Body, along South Route 130, in Olney – that’s from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – the cost is a simple money donation – please stop by and help them out

    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