August 21, 2017


(OLNEY)  An approaching cold front will give an unstable air mass today with a slight chance of getting wet this afternoon, plus an associated short wave will give us some cloud cover today as well – the better chance of rain is tomorrow morning thru midday with some severe weather conditions possible – then the cold front moves thru with cooler and dry air moving in for the rest of this work week – listen for updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news – with the solar eclipse set for today, researchers in Illinois are hoping the great event can shed light on how sudden atmospheric changes can alter the weather – the Illinois State Water Survey, based in Champaign, will use weather-monitoring equipment to collect temperature and other data before, during, and after the eclipse – the last total solar eclipse in the U.S. was in 1979 – the next total solar eclipse in the U.S. is forecast for 2024 and will again, at that time, move right across Southern Illinois.


(OLNEY)  Authorities in downstate Illinois spent this past weekend preparing for thousands of people to be in the state’s southernmost counties to view the total solar eclipse this afternoon – the State Transportation Department is restricting some traffic today and has installed digital message boards, providing travelers with real time information on backups or delays – law enforcement agencies have added officers from all over Illinois and other Midwestern states to help out – in Carbondale, where the eclipse will last the longest, nearly three minutes in totality, Southern Illinois University is hosting a sold-out viewing party at Saluki Stadium, not to mention hundreds of other viewing sites throughout the downstate Southern Illinois area.


(NEWTON)  An Illinois State Police District 12 Trooper, patrolling Interstate 70 east of Vandalia, discovered 4 pounds (1,852 grams) of heroin after a routine traffic stop at around 10:55 last Thursday morning – the heroin’s street value is at $648,000 – the driver, 54 year old Rosario Gonzalez, of San Diego, California, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and for controlled substance trafficking, and is currently being held in the Fayette County Jail in Vandalia – the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force assisted with the investigation – the Trooper pulled the Dodge Durango over for improper lane usage.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced that it has closed the Pleasant Ridge Lane Bridge over Sugar Creek, which is approximately 800 feet east of the Ridge Road intersection, about three and a half miles north of Noble – the bridge there will be closed until a replacement structure can be designed and installed, which could and most likely will take several months – drivers should be alert to any and all signs and/or barricades concerning this road closure – if questions, call the Highway Department.


(NEWTON)  Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt, has released the activity and enforcement figures for the month of July – Troopers answered 222 calls for service and initiated 1,254 incidents in the field – there were 561 citations and 610 written warnings issued in July, including 293 tickets for speeding, 41 seat belt citations, 35 criminal arrests, 6 DUI's, and 1 child restraint citation – Troopers assisted 234 motorists, conducted 247 motor carrier inspections, and investigated 79 traffic crashes, 4 of which involved fatalities – also during July, there were 208 citations and 247 written warnings issued for the “Fatal Four” violations, those most associated with fatal traffic crashes, including DUI, failure to wear a seat belt, distracted driving, and speeding – the ISP District 12 includes the ten area counties of Jasper, Richland, Effingham, Cumberland, Clark, Crawford, Lawrence, Clay, Marion, and Fayette.


(OLNEY)  While the fall semester classes at Olney Central College & the other Illinois Eastern Community Colleges began last week, there’s a couple of classes that are getting started on this Monday at OCC  :  a Sound Recording & Engineering Course is being offered on Monday nights, starting tonight, from 6:00 to 8:50 – the class will include both lecture and the chance to work on projects in the OCC recording studio and new Mac lab, plus the class is ideal for both musicians and sound technicians at churches or clubs who want to improve their skills  :  also a Genealogical Class is being offered at OCC with the first of two organizational meetings set to start this morning at 9:30, with a lunch break from 11:30 to 1:00, followed by an afternoon session from 1:00 to 3:30 – anyone unable to attend today’s meeting can join a second organizational meeting coming up next month, on Wednesday, September 6th  :  plus, many other classes are still open with the second meetings available for sign up this week – for more information or details, call Olney Central College at  618-395-7777  or check the District’s website online, at  www.iecc.edu.


(OLNEY)  The South Central Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission, in partnership with the Greater Wabash Planning & Development Commission, will host an Elected & Local Official Training / Workshop this coming Thursday morning, August 24th, from 9:00 to 12:00 noon, at Olney Central College, in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center – no RSVP’s or pre-registration is required & all are invited to attend – some of the agencies invited include the Departments of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Natural Resources, Transportation, Aging, Agriculture, Employment Security, Workforce Development, and the State Comptroller’s Office – for more details, call the SCIRPDC office in Salem, at  618-548-4234.


(OLNEY)  A special fundraising event is coming up this Saturday afternoon and evening at the Olney VFW, from 3:00 to 10:00 – it includes a dinner and silent auction with all proceeds to help 16 year old Miranda “Roo” Acord of Olney – diagnosed with Leukemia at 11 months of age, Miranda spent over a year in St. Louis Children’s Hospital, received a bone marrow transplant from her oldest sister, and was in remission until 4 years ago when she was diagnosed with Cardio Myopathy, which now has progressed – with no cure, a heart transplant is needed – to donate a silent auction item or to help out in general, call Lauren, at  618-839-8383  – a Go Fund Me page has also been set up at “Miranda’s Heart Transplant”.


(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 Beecher City High School from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Wednesday at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Stewardson Community Building from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets needed.


(OLNEY)  The Birthright Office in Olney has announced that due to today’s eclipse occurring during the main part of its open hours, it will be closed all of today, on this Monday – the Birthright Office will be pleased to assist with any infant and/or maternity needs later this week, on either Wednesday and/or Friday.


    The Claremont Community Center has its Summer Chowder this Saturday evening – the serving will start at 4:00 in the air conditioned center and continue until it’s all sold out – also ground beef barbeque, fish, hot dogs, pies, cakes, and drinks – bulk chowder also available, but no glass containers – all are invited

    The Rides Mass Transit District is offering another trip to Jasper and Crawford County residents this Saturday – it’s a trip to the Frog Follies in Evansville, including supper – those who live in Jasper or Crawford Counties interested, can schedule a ride by calling the RMTD office toll-free, at  866-389-7536

    The Richland County Farm Buruea Young Leaders have their annual Trap Shoot this Saturday at the County Line Gun Club, west of Noble, just north of Hites Hardwood, along U.S. Route 50 – it’s registration at 9:00 that morning, with the shooting to start at 10:00 – the pre-registration for individuals in $20 or $25 on Saturday – the pre-registration for a team of five is $100 or $125 on Saturday, with cash prizes – plus $20 raffle tickets on sale for $500 cash or a Silver Hunter 4+1 3 inch 12 gauge shotgun – a concession stand available for lunch – for details or to pre-register, call the Farm Bureau office at  618-393-4116

    The Olney Central College Community Choir will begin rehearsals tomorrow night at 6:15 – the choir is open to anyone high school age or older, regardless of musical experience – the OCC Community Choir is starting its 8th season - for details, call OCC at  395-7777  or simply attend the rehearsal tomorrow night

    It’s been announced that the Richland County Animal Control will be closed tomorrow, on Tuesday, August 22nd – so again, the Animal Control will be closed tomorrow, on Tuesday

    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life is tonight 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 this evening 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 – food concessions will be available and bleachers are provided – lawn chairs are also welcomed