January 9, 2018


(OLNEY)  While patchy fog is widespread this morning, an approaching weak shortwave out in the Plains is heading our way and will bring with it some light drizzle for tonight thru tomorrow – then a strong cold front moves thru with rain Thursday and a mixed bag of wintry precipitation Thursday night into Friday – then we’re back in the deep freeze for the weekend ahead – stay tuned for weather updates and information.


(OLNEY)  The National Weather Service has a Dense Fog Advisory in effect for all of our area counties until 12:00 noon today – widespread visibilities well under one mile are likely along and north of Interstate 70, while areas south will have more dense fog at and after sunrise, all lingering thru much of the morning – motorists should allow extra time for travel and make sure those headlights are on at all times – there could be more fog tonight, but not as dense – stay tuned to a NOAA Weather Alert Radio for details and updates.


(NEWTON)  The Illinois Legislature ethics panel has been hit with a complaint for neglecting to do their jobs for years with the question now “who will investigate them?” – anti-violence advocates claim the eight-lawmaker panel broke state law when they failed to appoint an acting legislative inspector general for three years, leaving dozens of complaints to go unaddressed – while some new ethics laws have passed thru the General Assembly, many are asking if the harassment issues will really be dealt with as a result.


(OLNEY)  The Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM) announced yesterday the application is live for the Small Equipment Grant Program – all interested departments should send an application to the Fire Marshall’s Office no later than February 28th – the OSFM will award $2.2 million to eligible fire departments and ambulance services during this application period – the program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment in Illinois.


(NEWTON)  The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partners (TRCP), in cooperation with the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF), has scheduled three public forums entitled “Illinois Sportsmen’s Guide to the 2018 Farm Bill” – the purpose is to help sportsmen learn about federal Farm Bill conservation programs that are important to the future of fish and wildlife habitat and to the future of hunting and fishing in Illinois – the forums are set for January 16th in East Alton and January 17th both in Springfield and Peoria – to register for a Farm Bill forum and to download a copy of the guide, logon online at  www.ILCF.org.


(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night for its first regular meeting in the new year of 2018 – the Council  :  adopted a policy prohibiting sexual harassment for the City of Olney  :  agreed to amend the City of Olney Municipal Code to allow raffles for up to one year – an ordinance will officially be considered at the next Council meeting  :  agreed to extend the City of Olney’s contract with Ameren Illinois for a 20-year period  :  approved a contract with Arthur J Gallagher Risk Management Services with no price increase  :  accepted the $49,641 quote from Straeffer Pump for needed repair work at Olney’s Sewer Treatment Plant  :  agreed to solicit bids for waterline and sanitary sewer extensions to the Parkside Plaza property line  :  agreed to hear presentations concerning road studies to look at long term improvements and needs on the streets of Olney  :  approved various raffles as presented  :  and took no other action after a closed session to discuss real property and personnel  :  the next Olney City Council meeting will be held January 22nd.


(NEWTON)  The U.S. Department of Agriculture / Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced it will offer special funding to improve habitat for migratory water fowl in Central Illinois – while funds are made possible thru a nationwide partnership program, the NRCS has partnered with the University of Illinois to help producers improve natural resource concerns, namely migratory wildlife habitat and water quality – producers can apply for this assistance thru the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to plan and install drainage water management and cover crop practices – the funding is available to producers in twelve regional counties, including Clark, Cumberland, Coles, Christian, Shelby, Moultrie, Piatt, Vermilion, Edgar, Douglas, Champaign, and Macon – interested producers should submit an application by the cutoff dates of January 19th and March 16th – the NRCS reminds producers can apply for regular EQIP financial assistance at any time throughout the year – for details, producers should visit their local NRCS field office or go online at  www.il.nrcs.usda.gov.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County High School will host its yearly Freshman Orientation Night tomorrow night, January 10th, in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium – it will begin with Freshmen packets being passed out at 5:20, then a 5:30 a general welcome and curriculum presentation will be made – then from 6:00 to 6:30, all incoming Freshmen and their parents and/or guardians have the chance to meet with the teachers by department – after 6:30, free pulled pork and ice cream will be available in the Ag Room, provided by the Agriculture & Tech Industrial Departments – all freshmen and their parents/guardians are encouraged to attend the informational evening tomorrow night at Richland County High School in Olney – the faculty will be on hand to discuss their classes and to answer any questions concerning high school programs.


(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) announced yesterday that the Veteran Service Office that was located at the USDA Farm Service Agency in Edgar County is moving to the newly renovated American Legion Post 211, located at 1031 North Main Street, in Paris – the first day for the new office is tomorrow, January 10th – for the past several years, the USDA and their staff generously offered space to the IDVA for the Veteran Service Officer to meet with Edgar County Veterans in the Paris area.


(NEWTON)  The Winter Jasper County Solid Waste Program continues now thru the end of March – the dumpster at the West Liberty site will be available tomorrow morning from 7:30 until 12:00, or if the dumpster is filled before 10:30, another dumpster will be brought to that location – the Newton / Jasper County Highway Garage location will be open Saturday and every Saturday this month from 7:00 to 3:30 accepting appliances (with requirements) plus the county’s drop-off recycling container also available.


(OLNEY/NEWTON)  All blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives in our area  :  today at the Southern Baptist Church in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 6:45  :  on Thursday at the Olney VFW from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also Thursday at the Xenia Fire Department from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  all blood types and platelets are much needed to help replenish low area and Midwestern blood supplies to help out those in need.


    The Trinity Preschool benefit breakfast is coming up this Saturday morning at the Trinity Lutheran Church, at the east edge  of Olney, with serving from 7:00 to 12:00 noon – includes pancakes, sausage, biscuits, gravy, sweet breads, & drinks – $6 for adults, $3 for children under 12 – the public is invited

    It’s another “taco night” this Friday night at the Olney VFW from 5:30 to 7:30 – open to the public, call in orders can be made for pick up – all proceeds to help with VFW Auxiliary projects and more

    The Jasper County Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Group will have its monthly meeting this Thursday evening at the St. Thomas School in Newton, starting at 6:30 – enter thru the west side, under the big blue awning – anyone can attend – if any questions, email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.