December 5, 2017


(OLNEY)  As the cold front has moved out of Illinois, our rain has ended and the cooler air is moving into our downstate region as sunshine will eventually take over the sky – a fast moving upper wave will swing thru our area tomorrow morning, bringing with it more Arctic air for Thursday and into the weekend – some light snow or flurries is possible Friday night, but nothing significant is expected – stay tuned for updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner addressed the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting yesterday in Chicago – the Governor commended the Bureau’s work on nutrient loss strategy, congratulated members on the organization’s recent centennial, and talked about a task force formed to address a shortage in agriculture education, among other topics – the Governor noted Illinois is home to 72,200 farms on 27 million acres, plus Illinois ranks third in the nation in the export of agricultural commodities, with $8.2 billion worth of goods shipped to other countries – the Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting ends later today.


(OLNEY)  The State Attorney General’s Office has issued a subpoena to a transportation company over potential civil rights violations based on a recent advertisement directed at college students traveling during the holiday season – the Champaign-based company offers bus services to students traveling between Chicago and its suburbs and downstate Champaign-Urbana – Suburban Express, Incorporated, must provide documents, records, and information that will help determine whether the company’s policies and practices violated the Illinois Human Rights Act – company officials have offered an apology to anyone offended.


(OLNEY)  The Illinois Student Assistance Commission has announced the names of the 2018-2019 Illinois State Scholars – the list rank is approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors from 737 high schools across the state – the State Scholars are chosen based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank – the list includes 12 seniors at Richland County High School in Olney – Anthony Bissey, Braxton Burgener, Sophia Colclasure, Madison McCorvey, Seth Mitchell, Abigail Roark, Jessica Shilling, Cole Simpson, Ryan Smith, Faith Stallard, Ashlee Vaughn, and Donald Watson – join us as we recognize these students as State Scholars for their outstanding academic achievement.


(NEWTON)  The Illinois Student Assistance Commission has announced the 2018-2019 Illinois State Scholars – the list rank is approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors from 737 high schools across the state – the State Scholars are chosen based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank – the list includes 16 seniors from Newton Community High School – Austin Barthelme, Ethan Carter, Crayton Chesnut, Abby Frohning, Collin Harris, Anna Hemrich, Chase Lemke, Isaac Ludington, Kate Richars, Tucker Rieman, Taylor Smith, Emma Weber, Paige Webster, Brett Woodard, Lesley Woods, and Sydney Zumbahlen – join us as we recognize these students as State Scholars for their outstanding academic achievement – we salute others from surrounding high schools as well.


(OLNEY)  A note from the City of Olney – that the 100 block of South Camp Street has been permanently closed while the new north / south alley extension between West Main Street and West Chestnut Street is now formally open for use – the public’s cooperation in this matter is appreciated by the City of Olney.


(NEWTON)  The 2017 Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas continues this weekend in Newton  :  the celebration includes an Ice Rink this Friday night from 5:00 to 9:00, Saturday from 12 noon to 9:00, and Sunday from 12 noon to 6:00 – also cookies & hot chocolate Friday night and Saturday afternoon – the cost is $5 per person or $10 for a weekend pass  :  plus a Live Nativity on the square presented by Scott Avenue Christian Church Friday night from 6:00 to 9:00  :  Holiday Movies will play at the Ice Rink Saturday night from 5:00 to 9:00 and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Movie will play at the Ice Rink Sunday night from 5:00 to 6:00  :  folks can register Friday night on the square to win prizes from area businesses  :  also check out the Tablescape Contest at the Chamber Office Saturday morning from 7:30 to 10:00  :  Story Time at the Newton Public Library Saturday morning at 10:00 and Cookies & Milk with Letters to Santa at Joe’s Italian Foods Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00  :  plus the first Annual Christmas House Walk Sunday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 – check it all out on Facebook, under Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas in Newton.


(OLNEY)  In news from the North Pole – the Letters to Santa Mailbox at Bower Park in Olney is still accepting letters from local children – while Santa and his elves are busily getting things ready for Christmas, including the naughty and nice lists, and because of his busy schedule over the next few weeks, Santa Claus is encouraging all local children to write letters to him as soon as possible, telling him what they would like for Christmas so the elves have time to make the gifts – it’s very important that children include their full name and address so Santa Claus can reply and there is no need for a stamp, as Santa has pre-paid all of the postage – simply drop the letters in the Santa Mailbox in Olney’s Bower Park, ASAP.


 (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 American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Patoka High School from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also tomorrow at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 6:45  ::  all blood types and platelets are needed to help replenish low area blood supplies.


(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council will meet in regular session tonight at the Newton City Hall – a public hearing will be held at 5:00 in conjunction with a housing grant – then the meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00 with a rather full agenda, including several new & old business items – it is open to the public.


    The Holy Cross Church in Wendelin will host its annual “Advent Evensong” this Sunday afternoon at 4:00 – includes a candelight service with scripture, organ music, English carols, and Austrian Christmas music, sung in German by the Wendelin Kloepfen Singers – refreshments available afterwards in the Parish Center – all are welcome – the service is dedicated to the memory of  Father David Braun

    An “Open House” is this Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Heritage House Museum and the Mcksburg Schoolhouse along Kitchell Avenue in Olney – refreshments will be served and there will be live musical entertainment – all ages are invited to tour the Victorian Home and former schoolhouse this Sunday

    The Beulah United Methodist Church south & back west of Sumner will host its 26th Annual “Travel Back to Bethlehem” Live Nativity this Saturday night from 5:30 to 8:30 – refreshments & music provided at the church – the church is also collecting non-perishable food items to help those in need this season

    The American Legion in Lawrenceville will host its Auxiliary’s Annual Christmas Auction this Saturday afternoon – doors open at 12 noon with the Auction to start at 1:00 – includes toys, jewelry, gift certificates, and much more – all proceeds to benefit area Veterans, children, youth, and educational projects

    It’s the 27th Annual “Breakfast with Santa” this Saturday morning from 7:30 to 10:00 at the St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton – at $3 per person, it includes a photo opportunity with Santa (bring your own camera), breakfast with donuts & drinks, free Kids ID provided by the Newton Masonic Lodge, door prizes, & holiday crafts – plus children 12 & under can visit Santa’s Mouse House for gifts – all are invited

    The St. Joseph Church in Stringtown will host a fundraising “Pasta Dinner” this Friday night from 4:30 to 8:00 to benefit Brenda Kocher, all by donations at the door – carry-outs available – plus a silent auction, 50/50 drawing, and bring your gifts for wrapping for a donation – to donate an auction item, call  843-5278

    A reminder that this coming Thursday is the “one day only” pick up date for the pre-ordered poinsettias sold by the Carle Richland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary – that’s from 8:00 until 6:00 at the Hospital’s Ambulance Building – those picking up the plants can park in the lot just north of the Ambulance Building

    Don’t forget to check out the Christmas Lights Display, lit up each night thru December 31st, in the Olney City Park – from dusk to 9:30 each night – plus Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for visits this Friday night & Saturday night in the Olney City Park Community Building from 6:00 to 8:00 each night