August 18, 2017


(OLNEY)  As a narrow ridge of high pressure gives us a sky full of sunshine today, an approaching short wave weather system will bring in some clouds tonight and likely bring a sprinkle or two after midnight – then after the spotty showers end tomorrow morning, we’ll return to sunshine the rest of tomorrow and thru Sunday – maybe a few clouds by Monday afternoon and some rain next Tuesday – stay tuned for updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law earlier this week a bill which allows Emergency Medical Services to transport police dogs injured in the line of duty to a veterinary clinic, that is provided that no people require medical attention or transport at that time – supported by the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies all over state, Illinois lawmakers passed the bill earlier this year.


(OLNEY)  The State Attorney General’s office has issued a consumer alert warning Illinois residents about reports of scam artists selling counterfeit solar eclipse glasses to try to take advantage of the many people planning to watch Monday’s event – to double-check those glasses available, the American Astronomical Society provides a list of manufacturers & authorized dealers that are verified to meet the safety standards – go online, at  www.eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters  :  meanwhile, IEMA has set up its State Unified Area Command in Effingham to monitor the downstate eclipse-related activities today thru next Tuesday – the SUAC includes reps from the state departments of Transportation, Natural Resources, Public Health, Corrections, State Police, Illinois National Guard, American Red Cross, & IEMA, plus the downstate local law enforcement, fire, & emergency mutual aid organizations – for more, go to  www.Ready.Illinois.gov.


(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is First Responder Day as all police officers, firefighters, & EMT’s who show their badge at the gate will be admitted free, plus on stage tonight is the Southern Uprising Tour, which includes the Charlie Daniels Band, Montgomery Gentry, the Marshall Tucker Band, and The Outlaws – tomorrow is Park District Conservation Day with more livestock shows, USAC Auto Racing, & a Demolition Derby – and the final day Sunday is Family Day with plenty of family activities, plus ARCA Auto Racing & John Mellencamp on stage Sunday night : also Conservation World is open each day from 10:00 to 7:00 with special outdoor amphitheater events Saturday 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 Richland County School Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in Olney – the Board  :  heard an update on the start of the new 2017-2018 school year, noting the District’s enrollment in Pre-Kindergarten thru 12th Grade is at 2,457 students  :  noted that the State now owes the District at least $563,000  :  approved the various building reports as presented  :  approved the first readings of five new policies  :  and after a 28 minute executive session, made several personnel moves – accepted resignations for retirement from RCMS Teacher Sherri Snider, effective July 25, 2017, and from RCES Secretary Sherry Clinton, effective December 31, 2017 – accepted resignations from RCES Nurse Heather Maschoff as of July 31, 2017, and from Parent Educator Sarah Vaal – recalled from a Reduction in Force RCES Teacher Kelli Prevo and RCMS Math Teacher Megan Graves – employed Darla Johnson as RCES Nurse, Barbara Geltz as RCES Food Service Staff, Jennifer Fancher was part-time Pre-K Secretary & part-time Pre-K Paraprofessional, Brianne Urfer as Pre-K Paraprofessional, Clarissa Kocher as RCES Teacher Assistant, Eric Combs as RCMS Band Director, and Matt McLaren as the new RCHS Head Baseball Coach – agreed to reduce from full-time to part-time RCES Teacher Deven Moseby and RCES Food Service Staff Donna Swinson – and also approved various volunteers  :  the Board’s next regular meeting is September 21st.


(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in Newton – the Board  :  approved the tentative Fiscal Year 2018 Budget as presented  :  heard Transportation Reports from the end of last year and the start of this school year  :  approved a loan agreement with People’s State Bank in Newton for new bus purchases  :  agreed to amend the Title District Improvement Plan  :  on a 6 to 1 vote, approved a contract for Dr. Beth Presser as Co-Author of the District’s Title Grant  :  recognized retiree David Rubsam for his years of service in Maintenance since 1999 and Annette Kirts for her service as a District Secretary since 1986  :  and after a 25 minute closed session, made several personnel moves – accepted resignations from  NES Aide Kimberlin Wallace Michels and NES Nurse Nikki Westendorf – employed Chris Bradley as District Maintenance, Joni Milliman as NCHS Library Aide, Steve Bickers as NCHS Lunch Supervisor, Shanelle Julian as SME Special Education Aide, Brad Harris as Sophomore Class Sponsor, and Jan Thompson as JCJH Head Track Coach  :  and gave Superintendent Johnson the authority to hire, if needed, until the next meeting  :  the School Board’s next regular meeting will be September 21st.


(OLNEY)  Here’s a couple of notes from the Richland County Farm Bureau  :  area farmers and landowners are invited to an upcoming National Legislative Meeting next Tuesday evening, August 22nd, at the West Salem Community Building, beginning at 5:30  :  meanwhile, a State Legislative Meeting will be held two nights later, next Thursday night, August 24th, at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 7:00  :  also, the Illinois Farm Bureau is urging farmers to sign a petition supporting a proposed federal rule to repeal the definition of “waters of the U.S.” put in place under previous administration – the proposed rule, initiated by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, has a 30-day comment period that ends a week from next Monday, August 28th – to sign the petition, folks can go to the Farm Bureau website online, at  www.ilfb.org/actioncenter  – farmers can also sign the petition at the Illinois State Fair, continuing today thru Sunday, in Springfield  :  for more details about upcoming events or more, call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116.


(OLNEY)  A “Clear the Shelters” event is tomorrow as twelve Wabash Valley animal shelters are hosting the popular pet adoption drive as they offer low cost fees to help area families & individuals adopt a new pet – visit the online website  www.MyWabashValley.com  for more details and to access a list of area animal shelters taking part – for details locally, call the Humane Society of Olney, at  618-392-2699.


(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show tomorrow 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, but limited to the first 25 entries – for more, call  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 Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  today at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also today at the Salvation Army Store in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 7:45 to 2:45  :  tomorrow at the Flat Rock Community Building from 9:00 to 1:00  :  blood drives next week in Olney, Robinson, and Effingham  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.


    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life is next Monday night at St. Mary’s Church up in Shumway – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00, followed by the 6:30 mass – then a 7:30 business meeting will follow with refreshments – plenty of pro-life literature, books, bumper stickers, and more

    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 for tomorrow 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 tomorrow afternoon & evening from 3:00 to 7:00 to formally welcome their new Pastor & his family – includes hot dogs, ice cream, & snacks, plus face painting, games, & more – the Jake Hoult Band will also be in concert

    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for tomorrow 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” tomorrow 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 tomorrow 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 & more

    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is set up today under the pole barns in the Olney City Park – that’s fresh produce, baked goodies, and much more available to the public to purchase from 10:00 to 4:00