LOCAL NEWS

Local News

May 16, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A strong high pressure ridge will keep us dry with plenty of warm air and sunshine over the next two to three days – that’s when our next low pressure system will move thru with rain chances on Friday, maybe as early as Thursday night – the rain chances could hang around into Saturday and maybe even on Sunday as well – our high temperatures all this work week will be in the 80’s – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – lawmakers are expected back in Springfield this week, both the State House and State Senate – both chambers have several proposed bills and measures to consider, not to mention the ever-looming discussion and debate on the ongoing state budget stalemate – the General Assembly has only a couple more weeks remaining in the State Capitol before the spring legislative session is scheduled to end.

 

(NEWTON)  Fair officials are expanding a statewide competition to find a singer who’ll be the opening act for both State Fairs in Springfield and Du Quoin – starting June 10th, there will be 12 karaoke competitions at local county fairs for soloists to compete – those taking part must be 18 years old and the registration on the Illinois State Fair website is already underway – one of the downstate sites is the Jasper County Fair in Newton – for contest rules and more, check the State Fair website online, at  www.illinois.gov/statefair.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police report a traffic crash occurred at 9:00 am yesterday morning. Preliminary investigations report that a 2007 Freightliner truck and tractor driven by William L. Hill, age 61, of Oblong was traveling southbound on Crawford County Road 25 East when he attempted to overtake and pass a southbound 1994 Case IH farm tractor, driven by 64 year old Jack W. Snider of Oblong, when the truck and tractor left the roadway to the left and rolled over onto its driver side and came to a rest in the ditch.  Hill was transported to Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson for non-life threatening injuries.  Hill was cited for improper lane usage and failure to wear a seatbelt.  All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met in regular session last night – the board  :  approved the final 2016-2017 school calendar, with May 18 being the students last day and May 19th being a teacher’s institute  :  approved on a six to one vote to advertise for bids for a small economical car to e utilized for trips outside of the school district  :  approved to purchase seven busses from Bluebird at $79,820 each, and one wheelchair bus from Bluebird at $86,918  :  after an approximately 21 minute closed session, the board accepted the retirement of Darlene Walker at the end of the 2019-2020 school year  :  approved the resignation of Brock Tarr as NCHS assistant football coach at the end of this school year  :  approved the resignation of Josh Benefiel as JCJH head baseball coach at the end of the school year  :  approved the resignation of Yvonne Will as assistant musical director at NCHS effective the end of this school year  :  Approved the hiring of Jessie Smith as Social Worker at Newton Elementary, Amy Casey as JCJH Girls Basketball Coach, Brock Tarr as NCHS head cross country coach, Christina Murray, Darlene Coffin, and Jacque Holsapple to teach the Summer Bridge Program, Whitney Ritchhart and Stephanie Klingler for 3rd through 6th grade and Emily Myers as High School Summer School  :  approved to hire Jan Thompson as NCHS JV boys basketball coach, Katelyn Hardiek for the student summer technology position  :  approved to hire Kristen Hardiek and Donovan Cantrell for summer transportation building and grounds position  :  approved a 1.9% increase for all classified staff and administrators and Josh Benefiel will move from a 10 month contract to a 10.5 contract and serve as Principal at Ste. Marie Elementary and Assistant Principal at Newton Elementary  :  Approved to transfer Darla Mahaffey to Newton Elementary from St. Marie Elementary as Physical Education Teacher  :  Approved the collective bargaining agreement with the Jasper County Education Association for the 2017-2018 school year  :  The board’s next meeting will be held on June 15th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Rides Mass Transit District will hold a “Listening Session” this week, on Thursday morning, May 18th, at the Newton Public Library meeting room, starting at 11:00 – since RMTD provides transportation services in Jasper County, the “Listening Session” will allow interested persons or agencies in Jasper County a chance to comment about the current service, possible improvements of service, and the current routes – for those that cannot attend in person, oral comments can be called into the RMTD office at 618-253-8761, extension 500312, or written comments can be mailed to : Rides Mass Transit District, 30 Veterans Drive, Harrisburg, Illinois, 62946 – all are invited to share their views about the RMTD services.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney has announced it is now soliciting Requests for Proposal for a mural to be placed on the south wall of the Olney City Hall, at 300 South Whittle Avenue – proposal and project specifications can be picked up at City Hall between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00, Monday thru Friday, or may be emailed by sending a request to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the deadline for proposal submission is June 30th, 2017, with a project completion date set for September 30th, 2017 – call if any questions.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau will host a “pallet sign painting party” this coming Saturday afternoon at The Holiday, starting at 2:00 – in conjunction with Sweet Hazel K, who is well known for creating crafty décor, all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Richland County’s Ag in the Classroom program – while signs, stencils, paint, and instruction to help complete the project will be provided and participants will take home their very own work, the cost is $30 for a regular sign or $37 for a custom sign – sign up today online, at www.sweethazelk.com, scroll down to “Richland County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Fundraiser” and choose from any of the four, farm-themed designs, and pay online – or call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116  to sign up and pay – all are invited to take part & have fun.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2017 – applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31st, two weeks from this coming Wednesday – those interested can email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Jane Hart at  618-783-2867.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  Friday, also at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

(OLNEY)  An update on a couple area meetings :  The Illinoi Eastern Community Colleges Board will meet tonight at Frontier Community College in Fairfield tonight at 7:00  :  The City of Olney has announced the Parks & Recreation board meeting scheduled for tomorrow, May 17th, has been cancelled.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Bikers With a Heart Motorcycle Show and Car Cruise In for Team Dale is this Saturday in the Olney City Park, from 11:00 to 9:00 – includes a tattoo contest, gun raffle, 50/50 raffle, corn hole tournament, food vendors, a guitar raffle, & more – to benefit 11 year old Dale Howser who’s awaiting a heart transplant

    The Flora Public Library will host the 2017 Local Authors Book Fair this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 – fourteen area authors will have their work on display – also light refreshments and a door prize drawing

    The Wynoose Mother’s Day Salad Banquet will be held this Friday night, starting at 6:30 in the Wynoose Community Center – those attending are asked to bring their favorite salad to share – all are invited

    The Newton Firefighter Association will host a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – drive-thru pick up available or delivery – for pre-orders, call  618-783-2165  – all proceeds go towards the purchase of needed rescue equipment

    The Ridgeway Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society will meet tonight at the First Prebyterian Church in Olney, starting at 7:00 – former Wildlife Specialist and outdoorsman Tom Micetich will discuss the status and population of Whitetail Deer in our region – the meeting is open to the public

 

 

May 15, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A strong high pressure ridge will keep us dry with plenty of warm air and sunshine over the next three to four days – that’s when our next low pressure system will move thru with rain chances on Friday, maybe as early as Thursday night – the rain chances could hang around into Saturday and maybe even on Sunday as well – our high temperatures all this work week will be in the 80’s – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – lawmakers are expected back in Springfield this week, both the State House and State Senate – both chambers have several proposed bills and measures to consider, not to mention the ever-looming discussion and debate on the ongoing state budget stalemate – the General Assembly has only a couple more weeks remaining in the State Capitol before the spring legislative session is scheduled to end.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois poets are being given a chance to show their stuff in a statewide competition – Secretary of State Jesse White says that entry forms are now available for the annual Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award – the competition is open to any Illinois resident at least 18 years of age and the winner will receive $500 in cash, with second and third place also receiving cash – the winning poems will be submitted for publication in various journals – entries must be postmarked by June 30th.

 

(NEWTON)  Fair officials are expanding a statewide competition to find a singer who’ll be the opening act for both State Fairs in Springfield and Du Quoin – starting June 10th, there will be 12 karaoke competitions at local county fairs for soloists to compete – those taking part must be 18 years old and the registration on the Illinois State Fair website begins today at 12 noon – one of the downstate sites is the Jasper County Fair in Newton – for contest rules and more, check the State Fair website online, at  www.illinois.gov/statefair.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police in District 12 and the Farm Bureaus in both Richland and Jasper Counties are urging all motorists to be extra alert while traveling on Illinois roadways this week and for rest of the 2017 spring planting season – with many fields drying out this week and farmers returning to the fields for the first time in at least two weeks or longer, drivers should be on the lookout as farmers and farm service workers move agriculture equipment from field to field, traveling at speeds of 25 miles per hour or less – drivers should be ready to reduce speed immediately upon encountering slow moving vehicles – let’s keep it safe on highways & rural roads as the spring planting season slowly comes to an end.

 

(NEWTON)  The Rides Mass Transit District will hold a “Listening Session” this week, on Thursday morning, May 18th, at the Newton Public Library meeting room, starting at 11:00 – since RMTD provides transportation services in Jasper County, the “Listening Session” will allow interested persons or agencies in Jasper County a chance to comment about the current service, possible improvements of service, and the current routes – for those that cannot attend in person, oral comments can be called into the RMTD office at 618-253-8761, extension 500312, or written comments can be mailed to : Rides Mass Transit District, 30 Veterans Drive, Harrisburg, Illinois, 62946 – all are invited to share their views about the RMTD services.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney has announced it is now soliciting Requests for Proposal for a mural to be placed on the south wall of the Olney City Hall, at 300 South Whittle Avenue – proposal and project specifications can be picked up at City Hall between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00, Monday thru Friday, or may be emailed by sending a request to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the deadline for proposal submission is June 30th, 2017, with a project completion date set for September 30th, 2017 – call if any questions.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau will host a “pallet sign painting party” this coming Saturday afternoon at The Holiday, starting at 2:00 – in conjunction with Sweet Hazel K, who is well known for creating crafty décor, all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Richland County’s Ag in the Classroom program – while signs, stencils, paint, and instruction to help complete the project will be provided and participants will take home their very own work, the cost is $30 for a regular sign or $37 for a custom sign – sign up today online, at www.sweethazelk.com, scroll down to “Richland County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Fundraiser” and choose from any of the four, farm-themed designs, and pay online – or call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116  to sign up and pay – all are invited to take part & have fun.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2017 – applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31st, two weeks from this coming Wednesday – those interested can email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Jane Hart at  618-783-2867.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins a week from today, on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  today at the Noble First Christian Church from 2:30 to 6:30  :  Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  Friday, also at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

(NEWTON)  There’s two area meetings coming up tonight  :  the Jasper County School Board will have its regular monthly meeting for May tonight in Newton, starting at 6:30  :  the Edwards County School Board will have its regular monthly meeting tonight in Albion, beginning at 7:00  :  both are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Bikers With a Heart Motorcycle Show and Car Cruise In for Team Dale is this Saturday in the Olney City Park, from 11:00 to 9:00 – includes a tattoo contest, gun raffle, 50/50 raffle, corn hole tournament, food vendors, a guitar raffle, & more – to benefit 11 year old Dale Howser who’s awaiting a heart transplant


    The Flora Public Library will host the 2017 Local Authors Book Fair this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 – fourteen area authors will have their work on display – also light refreshments and a door prize drawing


    The Wynoose Mother’s Day Salad Banquet will be held this Friday night, starting at 6:30 in the Wynoose Community Center – those attending are asked to bring their favorite salad to share – all are invited


    The Newton Firefighter Association will host a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – drive-thru pick up available or delivery – for pre-orders, call  618-783-2165  – all proceeds go towards the purchase of needed rescue equipment


    The Ridgeway Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society will meet tomorrow night at the First Prebyterian Church in Olney, starting at 7:00 – former Wildlife Specialist and outdoorsman Tom Micetich will discuss the status and population of Whitetail Deer in our region – the meeting is open to the public


    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life will be held this evening at the St. Aloysius Church in Bishop Creek – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00 with a 6:30 mass to follow – then the 7:30 business meeting in the Parish Hall – includes refreshments and pro-life and pro-family information


    The Carle Richland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has an Arbonne and Tupperware fundraiser today in the hospital’s private dining rooms from 8:00 until 4:00 – proceeds go to Auxiliary projects at the hospital

 

 

 

May 13, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A dry today & warmer for Mother’s Day, plus thru the first half of next week – our next chance of rain holds off until next Thursday and Friday – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Newton and Olney Post Offices, among others in our downstate region, will be taking part in today’s “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive”, the nation’s largest single-day food drive – it’s all sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and U.S. Postal Service – to take part, residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable food items next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery today – letter carriers will collect the food as they deliver the mail and the food items will be delivered to local food banks for distribution – items needed include canned soup or vegetables, peanut butter, pasta, rice, and/or cereal– your help is appreciated to help those in our area.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that Jasper County Cancer Support, Incorporated, will be at the Chamber of Commerce office in Newton the next two Saturday afternoons to distribute this year’s t-shirts to survivors and sponsors – that’s from 12:00 noon to 2:00 each Saturday, both today and a week from today – they’ll also be selling shirts to anyone who’d like to have one, priced at $10 each for sizes Small thru Extra Large and $12 for sizes 2X thru 4X – they’ll also be selling their “No One Fights Alone” & “Cancer Sucks” wristbands priced at $3 each – all proceeds go to support our local Jasper County fight against cancer.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins a week from next Monday, on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney will host its annual Community Health Screenings today from 6:30 to 10:30 each morning – fasting is required for the Lipid profile test, plus A1C with a cost of $25, plus the PSA Screening is also $25 – also offered are other free screenings such as blood pressure, osteoporosis, and more – it’s all in the Heim Room with registration in the Main Entrance area – that’s this morning at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  today at the Hutsonville High School from 9:00 to 3:00  :  and next Monday at the Noble First Christian Church from 2:30 to 6:30  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed – for those that donate blood by this coming Sunday, there’s a chance to win a $1,000 gift card shopping spree.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life will be held Monday evening at the St. Aloysius Church in Bishop Creek – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00 with a 6:30 mass to follow – then the 7:30 business meeting in the Parish Hall – includes refreshments and pro-life and pro-family information

    The annual Mother’s Day Breakfast will be this Sunday at the American Legion Post 932 in Ste. Marie, with serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – includes a great menu – all mothers are encouraged to stop by

    The Rotary Club of Richland County will host a cookout today at Rural King from 10:00 to 1:00 – pork burgers, brats, chips, & drinkgs – all proceeds to help with local projects and the Rotary Foundation

    The Richland County ABATE has its Downed Rider Run today – with sign up from 9:30 to 10:45 at the Olney VFW, the ride starts at 11:00 with stops in Ste. Marie, Newton, Robinson, Lawrenceville, & Bridgeport, followed by a spaghetti dinner, silent auction, & music at the VFW – all are invited to attend

 

 

May 12, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As the cold front has now moved on, some clouds will hang around today before clearing out with sunshine later – then dry tomorrow & warmer for Mother’s Day, plus thru the first half of next week – our next chance of rain holds off until next Thursday and Friday – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – another attempt is being made to move the date of school board elections in hopes of improving voter turnout – the State Senate Executive Committee yesterday unanimously endorsed a bill to move school board elections from the spring to general elections held in the fall – some believe the change could also help get more people involved in running as candidates for their local school boards.

 

(OLNEY)  The State Senate has passed legislation to reform the student loan servicing industry to help student loan borrowers repay their loans – the bill addresses widespread abuses and failures in the student loan industry that were revealed by a recent investigation by the State Attorney General’s office – after the 34 to 15 vote in the State Senate, the measure now advances to the State House for consideration there.

 

(NEWTON)  In an effort to celebrate the accomplishments of youth exhibitors, officials have announced that changes outlined in the 2017 Illinois State Fair Joint Livestock Open & Junior Premium Book will allow for more youth exhibitors to receive prize money at the Governor’s Sale of Champions – another change will allow off-label drugs prescribed by a licensed veterinarian, if disclosed at check-in – the State Fair’s Premium Book is now available online – the State Fair will run August 10th thru 20th in Springfield.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met last night in Olney – the Board  :  approved county claims for the month of April worth $59,948  :  heard from the Public Building Commission, noting that the finishing touches are being made to the Courthouse improvement project  :  reminded the public of the Courthouse Open House, which is set for Saturday morning, June 3rd, from 9:00 to 11:00  :  heard from the County Engineer, noting recent water damage to various county roads, due to flooding  :  approved a resolution for improvement work on a Denver Township bridge  :  noted a health insurance informational meeting will be held next Tuesday, May 16th, in Flora, with a Richland County representation attending  :  noted that the Public Building Commission will take care of installing a backup generator for the Courthouse  :  noted that the Board’s Courthouse Security Committee is meeting  :  and took no action after a closed session to discuss internal auditing and more  :  the next meeting of the Richland County Board will be June 8th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board met last night in Newton – the Board  :  on a 10 to 1 vote, agreed to engage with the Community Marketing Group on a month to month basis with the cost at $100 per month – the County will share the cost with other entities if they also approve, such as the City of Newton, the Jasper County School District, the Chamber of Commerce, and others to develop and maintain social media pages for public information  :  approved the purchase of garage bay doors for $8,400 and a copier for $1,669 for the Ambulance Service  :  approved the $10,000 per year dues to Jasper County Economic Development Inc.  :  approved the lease of office space for JEDI with the University of  Illinois Extension  :  on a 10 to 1 vote, agreed to apply for a County Highway Safety Improvement Program grant with an application fee of $12,000  :  approved a bridge aid petition for the North Muddy Bridge  :  and heard various reports from the Sheriff, County Clerk, Animal Control, & others  :  next meeting of the Jasper County Board is June 8th.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into a single vehicle wreck at 10:12 last night on a Jasper County road southeast of Ste. Marie – the Illinois State Police report that 58 year old Brian L. Mason of Olney was southbound just east of the Embarras River when a deer entered the roadway – Mason swerved to avoid hitting the deer and his pickup truck left the road and struck a culvert – Mason and a passenger, 58 year old James L. Wesner of Olney, were taken to Carle Richland Memorial Hospital – Mason was issued tickets for improper lane usage and for failure to wear a seatbelt – Jasper County authorities assisted at the crash site.

 

(OLNEY)  The USDA has released its Illinois Crop Production Report for the statewide winter wheat crop  :  the harvested area in 2017 is forecast at 450,000 acres, down 4% from the previous year – this year’s winter wheat yield is forecast at 73 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from last year in 2016 – the production in Illinois is forecast at 32.9 million bushels, which is 6% below the previous year according to the NASS.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Newton and Olney Post Offices, among others in our downstate region, will be taking part in tomorrow’s “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive”, the nation’s largest single-day food drive – it’s all sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and U.S. Postal Service – to take part, residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable food items next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday – letter carriers will collect the food as they deliver the mail and the food items will be delivered to local food banks for distribution – items needed include canned soup or vegetables, peanut butter, pasta, rice, and/or cereal– your help is appreciated to help those in our area.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that Jasper County Cancer Support, Incorporated, will be at the Chamber of Commerce office in Newton the next two Saturday afternoons to distribute this year’s t-shirts to survivors and sponsors – that’s from 12:00 noon to 2:00 each Saturday, both tomorrow and a week from tomorrow – they’ll also be selling shirts to anyone who’d like to have one, priced at $10 each for sizes Small thru Extra Large and $12 for sizes 2X thru 4X – they’ll also be selling their “No One Fights Alone” & “Cancer Sucks” wristbands priced at $3 each – all proceeds go to support our local Jasper County fight against cancer.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins a week from next Monday, on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney will host its annual Community Health Screenings today and tomorrow, from 6:30 to 10:30 each morning – fasting is required for the Lipid profile test, plus A1C with a cost of $25, plus the PSA Screening is also $25 – also offered are other free screenings such as blood pressure, osteoporosis, and more – it’s all in the Heim Room with registration in the Main Entrance area – that’s this morning and tomorrow morning at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges will conduct their annual commencement exercises tonight at their respective locations  :  it’s the 53rd annual commencement at Olney Central College in the OCC Gym with approximately 365 degrees and certificates to be awarded  :  it’s the 55th annual graduation at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel with 240 associate degrees and certificates to be awarded  :  it’s the 47th annual graduation at Lincoln Trail College east and north of Robinson  :  and the annual graduation at Frontier Community College will be in Fairfield  :  all four commencements will start at 7:00 tonight.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  tomorrow at the Hutsonville High School from 9:00 to 3:00  :  and next Monday at the Noble First Christian Church from 2:30 to 6:30  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed – for those that donate blood by this coming Sunday, there’s a chance to win a $1,000 gift card shopping spree.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life will be held Monday evening at the St. Aloysius Church in Bishop Creek – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00 with a 6:30 mass to follow – then the 7:30 business meeting in the Parish Hall – includes refreshments and pro-life and pro-family information


    The annual Mother’s Day Breakfast will be this Sunday at the American Legion Post 932 in Ste. Marie, with serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – includes a great menu – all mothers are encouraged to stop by


    The Rotary Club of Richland County will host a cookout tomorrow at Rural King from 10:00 to 1:00 – pork burgers, brats, chips, & drinkgs – all proceeds to help with local projects and the Rotary Foundation


    The Richland County ABATE has its Downed Rider Run tomorrow – with sign up from 9:30 to 10:45 at the Olney VFW, the ride starts at 11:00 with stops in Ste. Marie, Newton, Robinson, Lawrenceville, & Bridgeport, followed by a spaghetti dinner, silent auction, & music at the VFW – all are invited to attend


    The Newton Junior Women’s Club will host its 7th Annual Purse Auction this evening at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton – proceeds to the Soar Ministries Basketball Academy

 

 

 

May 11, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  With the slow-moving frontal boundary extending into the Ohio River Valley, our rain chances continue today thru tonight – however, the chance of rain decreases as we move thru today and overnight – then we’ll dry out with a few clouds tomorrow, but back to sunshine Saturday and on Mother’s Day – in fact, a high pressure ridge will set for what appears to be a mostly dry period next week – listen for updates.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The National Weather Service early this morning issued a Flood Warming for portions of Richland, Jasper, Crawford, Lawrence, Clay, and Effingham Counties in effect until 2:15 this afternoon – with an average of between 1 and 3 inches of rain falling in less than an hour in these areas last night, flooding is a problem – motorists are reminded to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” – never attempt to drive on roads that are covered with water, whether its running or idle – stay tuned for flooding updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – with time running out on this spring’s legislative session, Illinois lawmakers have again failed to reach a budget compromise – the State Senate leaders continue to push their “grand bargain” package, but the sticking points continue to the same as in the past – although no particular bills have been called for a vote either the House or Senate, it appears the thoughts of compromise are not real.

 

(OLNEY)  A measure expanding public financing for abortions in Illinois is now headed to Governor Rauner’s desk as the State Senate approved the plan yesterday on a 33-22 vote – if put into law, the plan would permit abortion coverage by state employee health insurance and Medicaid funds – while Democrats support the proposal, saying it would treat low-income women and state workers equally, Republicans say taxpayer dollars should not be used to finance an abortion – Governor Rauner previously opposed the plan.

 

(NEWTON)  An Illinois Appellate Court has ruled that the College of DuPage Foundation is subject to the state’s open records law and has ordered it to turn over a federal subpoena that the Chicago Tribune requested – the unanimous decision marks the first time an Illinois higher court has ruled in favor of releasing records in possession of a public college’s fundraising organization – the newspaper sued the college & its foundation in 2015 to obtain various documents after its open records requests were refused while investigating college spending and contracts – the ruling upholds an earlier Circuit Court decision.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that the Richland Family Counseling Center is closed thru today as appointments for this past week will be rescheduled for a later date – the Counseling Center will begin taking appointments next Monday, May 15th, and the Center will be relocated to the Arbors Center in downtown Olney, at 208 East Main Street – any questions should be directed to the Arbors Center, by calling  618-392-3090  – all crisis calls should still be directed to the Counseling Center’s Crisis Line, at  618-395-5026  – it was this time last week that an fire did extensive damage to the Counseling Center’s main building in Olney.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Newton and Olney Post Offices, among others in our downstate region, will be taking part in this Saturday’s “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive”, the nation’s largest single-day food drive – it’s all sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and United States Postal Service – to take part, residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable food items such as canned soup, vegetables, peanut butter, pasta, rice, and/or cereal next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery this Saturday – letter carriers will collect the food as they deliver the mail and the food items will be delivered to local food banks for distribution – your help is appreciated to help those in our area.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District will next week conduct its annual Preschool Screenings for children turning 3 years old on or before September 1st, 2017, and for children up to 5 years of age – the screenings are offered at no cost to parents and are used to help identify children who may need assistance before starting school – the one-hour screenings will be held at the Ste. Marie Elementary School next Wednesday, May 17th, from 11:00 to 6:30, and next Thursday, May 18th, from 10:00 to 5:30, with parents encouraged to bring their children – also at the same time, the Birth-to-Three program will be offering a no cost Developmental Screening for children from 6 months to 3 years of age – and Head Start will also have representatives available to accept applications for their program as well – appointments are required by May 12th – parents should call the Special Needs Office in Newton at  618-783-3651  for an appointment.

 

(OLNEY)  The Embarras River Basin Agency, Inc., is now accepting applications for its Skills Training Employment Program (STEP) to assist individuals with training for employment opportunities – ERBA will be assisting income eligible individuals who want to obtain a CDL driver’s license or CNA certificate, all made possible thru Community Services Block Grant funding thru the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity – for more details, contact any of the ERBA Outreach Offices in the nine area counties of Richland, Jasper, Lawrence, Crawford, Clark, Cumberland, Coles, Edgar, and Douglas, or call toll-free, at  800-252-1152  – in Richland County, call the ERBA Office in Olney, at  618-395-2714.

 

(OLNEY)  Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney will host its annual Community Health Screenings tomorrow and Saturday, May 12th and 13th, from 6:30 to 10:30 each morning – fasting is required for the Lipid profile test, plus A1C with a cost of $25, plus the PSA Screening is also $25 – also offered are other free screenings such as blood pressure, osteoporosis, and more – it’s all in the Heim Room with registration in the Main Entrance area – that’s tomorrow and Saturday mornings at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital.

 

(FLORA)  A former wrestling champion will be sharing his story to the schools in the Clay County area today and then holding an evening event tonight at the Oil Belt Christian Service Camp at Charlie Brown Park, just west of Flora – the 6:00 presentation is open to the public as both events will feature Marc Mero who will share his story from a rise to fame and fortune, followed by a career-ending accident and years of rebellion, substance abuse, and bad choices – then a turn-around by making the right choices in life – the Champion of Choices presentations are provided thru a drug awareness grant thru Clay County Hospital.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  Saturday at the Hutsonville High School from 9:00 to 3:00  :  and next Monday at the Noble First Christian Church from 2:30 to 6:30  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed – for those that donate blood by this coming Sunday, there’s a chance to win a $1,000 gift card shopping spree.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  There are two regular monthly meetings on tap tonight  :  the Jasper County Board meets tonight in the County Office Building in Newton, starting at 7:00  :  the Richland County Board has its monthly meeting tonight in the County Jail meeting room in Olney, also starting at 7:00 – the Board’s Finance Committee will meet an hour earlier at 6:00, also at the Jail  :  the meetings are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual Mother’s Day Breakfast will be this Sunday at the American Legion Post 932 in Ste. Marie, with serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – includes a great menu – all mothers are encouraged to stop by


    The Rotary Club of Richland County will host a cookout this Saturday at Rural King from 10:00 to 1:00 – pork burgers, brats, chips, & drinkgs – all proceeds to help with local projects and the Rotary Foundation


    The Richland County ABATE has its Downed Rider Run this Saturday – with sign up from 9:30 to 10:45 at the Olney VFW, the ride starts at 11:00 with stops in Ste. Marie, Newton, Robinson, Lawrenceville, & Bridgeport, followed by a spaghetti dinner, silent auction, & music at the VFW – all are invited to attend


    The Newton Junior Women’s Club will host its 7th Annual Purse Auction tomorrow evening at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton – proceeds to the Soar Ministries Basketball Academy


    The OCC Music Department has its 11th Annual OCC Community Band Concert tonight at 7:30 in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center – a wide variety of music featured – admission is free


    The Richland County Retired Teachers Association will meet this today at The Holiday, starting at 11:00 – Richland County Assistant Superintendent Chris Simpson will discuss programs in Olney schools