LOCAL NEWS

Local News

October 2, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  We’ll have warm & windy weather conditions today & tomorrow as we’re on the back side of the high pressure moving off towards the East Coast – then an approaching cold front will hopefully bring us some much-needed rain as early as Wednesday, although the better chances of getting wet are Thursday & Friday, maybe even into Saturday & Saturday night – for sure a dry & cool Sunday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – advocates for imprisoned women are thanking Governor Bruce Rauner for signing a law requiring gender-appropriate & informed practices in the Illinois women’s prison & parole systems – drafted by the Chicago-based Women’s Justice Initiative, the law adopts practices that recognize trauma women offenders often have suffered, ready them for community re-entry, and reduce recidivism – a 2016 study found women prisoners face unnecessary segregation and harsher discipline than men.

 

(OLNEY)  The Governor is looking to overhaul regulations on the last of the state’s coal-fired power plants – the Chicago Tribune reports the proposed amendments to Illinois’ rules would remove limits on the rate of pollution for eight downstate coal plants – the change would also impose annual caps on sulfur dioxide & nitrogen emitted by the plants owned by Dynegy, Inc. which would give the Houston, Texas-based company more flexibility in operations – however, critics say the changes will lead to dirtier air Illinois & elsewhere.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois’ in-state college tuition and fees rank fifth highest in the nation and a new report says those costs are a major reason degrees are increasingly out-of-reach for low-income students – the Partnership for College Completion reports data from 2014 show low-income families in Illinois must set aside 63% of their local income for a student to attend a four-year institution while middle-class families must set aside 25% – this year looks better for higher education with $1.1 billion for public universities.

 

 (OLNEY)  Superintendent of Schools Larry Bussard recently announced that the Richland County Community Unit School District #1 was granted AdvancED School System Accreditation from the national commission that confers the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement accreditation seal – this means that the Richland County School District and all of its schools are accredited and that the RCCU #1 is recognized across the nation as a quality school system – the three components involved in the accreditation process are  : 1) meeting high quality standards  : 2) implementing a continuous process of improvement  : 3) engaging in quality assurance through internal & external review :  the accreditation is for a five year term with regular monitoring of progress and reporting occurring during the term – the district’s accreditation process began shortly after the annexation of the West Richland School District into the East Richland School District, forming the county-wide system in Richland County.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police District 12 has released results of recent enforcement patrols from surrounding counties  :  an August Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol in Richland & Lawrence Counties resulted in 48 total citations, 31 safety belt citations, 13 total written warnings, & 1 child restraint citation  :  a September Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol in Crawford & Clark Counties resulted in 37 total citations, 31 safety belt citations, 13 total written warnings, and no child restraint citations  :  a September Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement Patrol in Clay and Marion Counties resulted in 13 total citations, 32 total written warnings, 3 driver’s license offenses, 1 DUI, 1 insurance violation, 1 registration offense, 1 occupant restraint offense, and no alcohol/drug citations  :  and a September Roadside Safety Check in Effingham County resulted in 29 total citations, 11 total written warnings, 10 alcohol/drug citations, 7 occupant restraint offenses, 5 insurance violations, 3 driver’s license offenses, 1 registration offense, & 1 DUI  :  all of these special patrols were funded thru the Illinois Department of Transportation.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Motorists using the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop are reminded the CSX Railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop in Montrose is now closed, today thru Friday for repair work – IDOT reminds all truckers to use alternate state or county roads that are appropriate, weight-wise  :  also, construction is underway to replace the Denver Township bridge over Coon Creek on Timber Trail Road, 3 miles west of Dundas – Timber Trail Road is closed south of the Dundas Lane intersection for six weeks.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College is introducing a new Art Instructor – hired in August, Heather Sandy is now serving as a temporary full-time art instructor – the Dayton, Ohio native earned a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in painting with a minor in art history from the University of Dayton, plus holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville – as a graduate student, Sandy taught design, drawing, and art introduction classes at SIU-E, plus she served as a substitute teacher for a year and was employed as a teacher’s aide – Sandy’s individual art work has been featured in studios and gallaries in St. Louis and Chicago – the new Olney Central College art instructor is in the process of relocating to Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA has released the Illinois Grain Stocks Report  :  old crop corn stocks in all positions on September 1st, 2017 totaled 381 million bushels, up 76% from a year ago – the on-farm stocks totaled 73 million bushels, while off-farm stocks totaled 308 million bushels – the June to August 2017 indicated disappearance is 501 million bushels  :  the old crop soybean stocks in all positions on September 1st, 2017 totaled 38.6 million bushels, up 40% from last year – the on-farm stocks totaled 6.3 million bushels, while off-farm stocks totaled 32.3 million bushels – the June to August 2017 indicated disappearance is 126 million bushels  :  all wheat stocks in all positions on September 1st, 2017 totaled 50.4 million bushels, up 11% from last year – the on-farm stocks totaled 3.5 million bushels, while off-farm stocks totaled 46.9 million bushels – the June to August indicated disappearance is 9.48 million bushels.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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 Christian Church Annex in Mason from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Wednesday at the Brownstown Elementary School from 2:00 to 7:00  :  Friday at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:30 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are needed to help replenish the low area blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The City of Olney’s biannual hydrant flushing start at 9:00 last night and continue thru this morning at select sites around town – residents may experience low water pressure and some discoloration in areas where the flushing occurs – everything should return to normal by later this afternoon or evening


    The Olney VFW Auxiliary 4226 will host it’s first-ever Family Freedom Festival this Sunday afternoon – from 1:00 to 4:00, it will include carnival games, music, a cake walk, bingo, and a light supper, all in the parking lot between the Courthouse and VFW Post – visitors are urged to bring their lawn chairs


    The Olney Public Library is hosting a free 9/11 Craft and Games event this Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 – all ages are invited to come share memories, play games, & make crafts to decorate the Library”s Never Forget 9/11 Tree – this event serves as a reminder of the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit that’s coming to Olney next week, courtesy of the Olney Public Library and Rotary Club of Olney


    The Flora American Legion Post 14 will host a Hutsonville Homeless Veterans Benefit Ride this Saturday & all vehicles are welcome to take part – with registration at 9:30 in the morning, the event leaves Flora at 11:00 – the 100-plus mile trip then returns to Flora for a live auction and entertainment that evening – donations appreciated – all are invited – for more details, call Annie at  618-662-8626


    The Yale Village-wide Garage Sale is this Saturday with all visitors welcome – with most of the garage sales planned for the morning hours, a few will continue into early afternoon – all this Saturday in Yale


    The Rotary Club of Richland County will host its Annual Homecoming Dinner this Friday night at the Richland County High School Veterans Hall, with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – catered by Niemerg’s Steak House, the meal features fried chicken, pork loin, and more – $1 desserts available by the RCHS Interact Club – $10 adult and $6 children tickets on sale at all Richland County banks or by calling  618-843-4811 – there will be limited tickets at the door Friday night all during Homecoming Week at RCHS in Olney


    The Jasper County Health Department will host a fundraising Bingo this Thursday evening at the St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton – doors open at 5:00 with Bingo at 6:00 – also a theme basket raffle, 50/50 raffle, door prizes, snack bags, drinks, & more – proceeds to the Jasper County Cancer Support, Inc.

 

 

 

September 30, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A high pressure anchored over the Upper Midwest will dominate our weather conditions today with plenty of sunshine and near normal temperatures – that ridge will also keep us dry for the next several days & nights as we enter the month of October – after warmer air moves in for the first of next week, a weak storm system could bring us our next chance of rain by next Thursday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation he says would restrict workers in deciding whether to join a union – the plan would have ensured that only the state’s General Assembly could restrict so-called union security agreements, that is deals between employers and unions – the Governor’s veto comes a day after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an Illinois case over whether non-union members who enjoy union benefits should have to pay “fair-share” fees to support union operations.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Motorists using the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop are reminded the CSX Railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop in Montrose will be closed next Monday thru Friday for repair work – IDOT reminds all truckers to use alternate state or county roads that are appropriate, weight-wise  :  also, construction is underway to replace the Denver Township bridge over Coon Creek on Timber Trail Road, 3 miles west of Dundas – Timber Trail Road is closed south of the Dundas Lane intersection for six weeks.

 

(OLNEY)  Hunters & trappers may apply for an Illinois Bobcat Permit online, but today’s the deadline to do so – while 1,000 permits will be allocated during a lottery, any leftover permits will be sold online on a first-come, first-served basis – the Bobcat season runs this November 10th thru February 15th  :  resident combination & antlerless-only archery deer permits are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors – the Illinois Archery Deer Season begins tomorrow  :  go to  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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 Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  tomorrow morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are much needed to help replenish the low regional blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The City of Olney’s biannual hydrant flushing will start at 9:00 tomorrow night and continue into Monday morning at select sites around town – residents may experience low water pressure and some discoloration – everything should return to normal by Monday afternoon or evening


    The St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3 miles north of Dieterich, will start its annual Corn Maze and related activities tomorrow afternoon & evening, from 3:00 to 6:00 – admission is $4 – children under 5 admitted free, but must be accompanied by an adult – includes train rides, games, and concessions – plus a Kiddie Tractor Pull tomorrow afternoon – the Corn Maze will also be held the next two weekends in October


    The 2017 Blues Fest is tonight from 7:00 to 11:00 at the Richland Country Club, featuring the blues music of the Matt “The Rattlesnake” Lesch Band – the $10 tickets are on sale at all area banks or at the Richland Country Club – bring your lawn chairs or blankets – no coolers or carry-in drinks


    A benefit fundraiser to help Becky Sanders is tonight at the Newton VFW from 5:00 to 11:00 – includes pulled pork sandwiches and all the fixings, an auction, a raffle, and DJ music, all for a free will donation – also includes $5 carry-out plates – proceeds to help with incurred medical expenses due to a recent stroke


    The American Legion Family spaghetti dinner is this evening in Olney, with serving from 5:00 until sold out – the cost is $7.50 per person, plus a 50/50 drawing – all proceeds will go to the American Legion to support their programs in Olney and Richland County to help Veterans & their families


    The Fall Festival of Arts & Crafts is today in the Olney City Park from 9:00 to 4:00 – there will be wooden items, pottery, paintings, wrought iron, & much more – plus children’s activities, plenty of entertainment on the Band Shell Stage, and at least 14 different food concessions – all for a $2 donation


    Local author Gary Totten will be at the Fall Festival today – it’s all for a book signing featuring Gary’s book of short stories entitled “The Life of a Dog and Other Tales, Stories From the Rural Heartland”

 

 

 

September 29, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  Nice early fall weather is expected thru this transition weekend between September and October – while everyone will stay dry, a cold front will move thru the state by later this evening, then a Canadian high pressure will settle in the Upper Midwest – that will keep us dry & allow a slight warm up into & thru most all of next week – the next significant chance of rain not til the end of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner says he understands the moral objections to abortion, but yesterday to signed into law expanded coverage for abortions because he believes all women should have the same health care options – the new law expands state health insurance coverage and Medicaid for low-income women for abortions – Governor Rauner said earlier this year, in April, that he would veto the plan, however he campaigned in 2014 in support of the abortion coverage expansion plan in Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has announced the Office of Trade & Investment received a grant from the State Trade Expansion Program grant, awarded by the Small Business Administration – the $890,000 in federal funds will support export growth for Illinois small businesses – since 2011, the State of Illinois has received a total of $4.8 million in STEP funding from the SBA – while Illinois is the largest exporting state in the Midwest and the fifth largest in the nation, most of the money will be used to assist more statewide businesses enter and expand to new international markets.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has received reports of 26 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in deer so far in 2017 – scattered reports from the southern two-thirds of the state involving a few deer suggests that EHD has been very light so far this year – however, recent unseasonably warm temperatures, along with prolonged dry conditions throughout the state, suggest that EHD may increase this fall – the State DNR continues to ask landowners, hunters, & others to be on the lookout for dead or dying deer & to report suspected EHD cases to their local DNR field office – so far, no EHD cases have been reported in any of the 15 area counties here in Southeastern & South Central Illinois.


 
(NEWTON)  This past week has been recognized as Rail Safety Week throughout Illinois as the State Police has partnered with local, state, and federal agencies to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains – and while Rail Safety Week officially ends today, it’s year round that motorists must obey the laws concerning railroads – during 2016, there were 120 railroad crossing collisions in Illinois involving motor vehicles, which resulted in 22 fatalities and 43 injuries – also last year, there were 39 trespassing incidents on railroad property which resulted in 22 deaths and 17 injuries – in fact, Illinois is ranked 2nd in the nation in grade crossing fatalities and 7th in the nation in railroad trespassing fatalities – for more information on rail safety, logon at  www.oli.org/about-us/news/rail-safety-week-2017.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity will next week begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for senior citizens & people with disabilities as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) gets started – the network of 35 local administering agencies around Illinois will accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis while various requirements apply – the sign up for disconnected households & families with children ages 5 or under begins November 1st and all other applicants can apply starting December 1st – for more, go online at  www.liheapIllinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  Construction work begins today to replace the Denver Township Road District bridge over Coon Creek on Timber Trail Road, located three miles west of Dundas – Timber Trail Road will be closed south of the Dundas Lane intersection during the construction work, which is estimated to be complete in six weeks, by mid-November – motorists are urged to obey all barricades in this area of Richland County.

 

(OLNEY)  At last week’s regular monthly meeting, the Richland County School Board :  heard a report from the RCHS Olnean yearbook student co-editor Jayla Hildreth and faculty advisor Amy Rusk, which included a presentation of the 2016-2017 Olnean – the theme was “Small Town, Big Dreams” – the RCHS yearbook staff was made up of 15 students, who spent an average of 360 hours per student designing the yearbook  :  also heard a update on the district’s ongoing accreditation process – the district hosted an accreditation visit in March. earlier this year. while the final approval of the district-wide accreditation occurred at the AdvanEd Accreditation Commission held back in June of this year  :  also heard an update on enrollment figures for the 2017-2018 school year showing the district’s total enrollment from Pre-K to Grade 12 at 2,465 students – the largest class in the school district is in the 9th grade, with a total of 218 students  :  the Richland County School Board will have its next regular monthly meeting on October 19th.

 

(NEWTON)  At last week’s regular monthly meeting, the Jasper County School Board  :  heard from the NCHS Ag Business Corporation Class, which announced its Fall Decoration Business – the students will deliver to the public a corn shock, hay bale, pumpkins, etc… for a small price  :  heard comments about the Jasper County Youth Wrestling Organization  :  noted that the district will host guest speaker Al Kerns, with the Ed Thomas Foundation – he’ll speak to the public on Sunday night, October 22nd, at 6:00, in the NCHS Auditorium – he’ll then address district students in Grades 6 thru 12 the following day, on Monday, October 23rd  :  noted that the Jasper County School District will host the Wabash Valley IASB Fall Divisional Meeting on Thursday night, October 5th, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton  :  and noted a list of those who donated to a recent pork burger sale in August – the Scott Avenue Christian Church, the Peoples State Bank, Martin’s IGA, Wabash Valley Service Company, Karla Koebele, Jackie Schackmann, Janice Catt, and others – also thanks to the Dieterich Bank and to Tabatha Cohorst for donations of $1,840 and $1,675 respectively towards the NCHS Marquee  :  the Board’s next regular meeting will be October 19th.

 

(NEWTON)  Motorists using the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop are reminded that the CSX Railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop in Montrose will be closed next Monday thru Friday for repair work – IDOT reminds all truckers to use alternate state or county roads that are appropriate, weight-wise – other motorists should also observe all barricades & related signs – again the road will be closed starting at 7:00 next Monday morning, October 2nd, and be closed all work week thru next Friday, October 6th.

 

(OLNEY)  Downstate motorists are reminded to be extra alert while traveling this fall – not only are area farmers moving from field to field for the 2017 fall harvest, but with the field cover disappearing due to harvest, the area deer population will become more active as their rut season is approaching – while the deer are most active in the early morning and late evening hours, especially along wooded areas, farmers are obviously on the road around the clock with farm equipment and grain trucks – let’s stay safe out there  :  by the way, the Illinois Archery Deer Hunting season will begin for all area counties this Sunday, October 1st.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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 Altamont High School from 8:15 to 1:45  : tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are much needed.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3 miles north of Dieterich, will start its annual Corn Maze and related activities this Sunday afternoon & evening, October 1st, from 3:00 to 6:00 – admission is $4 – children under 5 admitted free, but must be accompanied by an adult – also train rides, games, and concessions – plus a Kiddie Tractor Pull this Sunday – the Corn Maze will also be held the following two weekends


    The 2017 Blues Fest is tomorrow night from 7:00 to 11:00 at the Richland Country Club, featuring the blues music of Matt “The Rattlesnake” Lesch Band – the $10 tickets are on sale at all area banks or at the Richland Country Club – bring your lawn chairs or blankets – no coolers or carry-in drinks – all are invited


    A benefit fundraiser to help Becky Sanders is tomorrow night at the Newton VFW from 5:00 to 11:00 – includes pulled pork sandwiches and all the fixings, an auction, a raffle, and DJ music, all for a free will donation – also includes $5 carry-out plates – proceeds to help the daughter of Fred & Barb Bergbower


    The American Legion Family spaghetti dinner is tomorrow evening in Olney, with serving from 5:00 until sold out – the cost is $7.50 per person, plus a 50/50 drawing – all proceeds will go to the American Legion to support their programs in Olney and Richland County to help Veterans & their families


    The Fall Festival of Arts & Crafts is tomorrow in the Olney City Park from 9:00 to 4:00 – on display will be wooden items, pottery, paintings, wrought iron, & much more – plus children’s activities, plenty of entertainment on the Band Shell Stage, and at least 14 different food concessions – all for a $2 donation


    Local author Gary Totten will be at the Fall Festival Saturday – it’s all for a book signing featuring Gary’s book of short stories entitled “The Life of a Dog and Other Tales, Stories From the Rural Heartland”

 

 

 

September 28, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  With a surface ridge moving into place over Illinois by tonight, a fairly strong short wave will stay over the Upper Midwest keeping rain showers way to our north – therefore, we’re in store for plenty of dry & cool weather conditions today & thru the upcoming weekend – the 7 to 14 day extended forecast calls for more mild conditions and little, if any, real chances of significant rain – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois Department of Public Health has received a grant of more than $2 million for the next four years to help 18 rural counties in South-Central Illinois hit hardest by the opioid crisis – since rural areas often do not have an many emergency medical providers as more populous areas, law enforcement officers are often first to arrive at an overdose scene – the grant money will help equip every police agency squad car with naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose.

 

(OLNEY)  Wonderful weather and a great grandstand lineup were large contributors to a successful 2017 Du Quoin State Fair last month – officials have announced the preliminary estimates show that attendance in August increased by 3.5% compared to last year – the early numbers indicate that 109,305 people came thru the gates, that’s up 3,600 people from a year ago – while overall livestock numbers increased by 27% over 2016 entries, the 12,090 grandstand tickets sold generated $292,736 in revenue – the highest attended day at the 2017 Du Quoin State Fair was the Saturday before Labor Day when 18,498 people paid to enter.


 
(NEWTON)  A former suburban Chicago man who was wrongfully imprisoned for a 1999 murder will get $9 million in a settlement with law enforcement agencies involved in the case – 42 year old Jason Strong was convicted in 2000 for killing a Carpentersville woman, however the Lake County State’s Attorney dropped all charges against Strong in 2015, citing new medical and forensic evidence that contradicted the testimony at his trial – the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force in Waukegan investigated the death.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  State Representative David Reis is calling on his constituents to join him in urging Governor Rauner to veto a bill that would vastly expand access to elective, taxpayer-funded, abortions in Illinois – it was earlier this year in April that Representative Reis voted “no” on the bill which went on to narrowly pass thru the State House and Senate, therefore moving on to the Governor’s desk this week – the Ste. Marie lawmaker cited a moral imperative to oppose the bill and points out that the potential cost to the state could be in the tens of millions of dollars – in fact, it’s estimated the bill could result in an extra $60 million of Medicaid spending to cover abortions per year – constituents are encouraged to contact Governor Rauner’s office to tell him to immediately veto House Bill #40 – call  217-782-0244  or  312-814-2121.

 

(OLNEY)  While the City of Olney’s Water Department has switched the disinfectant in the city’s distribution system for maintenance purposes and some residents have noticed a stronger chlorine smell due to the switch earlier this week, city crews will be out this Sunday night to flush select fire hydrants all over town, starting at 9:00 and continuing overnight thru early Monday morning – it’s at time that residents may experience low water pressure and/or some water discoloration while the flushing is being done in their area of Olney – everything should be back to normal by later in the day on Monday, plus the Water Department will then make plans to switch back to the combined chlorine used on a regular basis in the near future.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  It’s this coming Sunday, October 1st, throughout America and Canada, that National Life Chain Sunday will again draw church congregations to their local sidewalks for prayer and public witness – now in its 30th year, the event’s mission is to focus the minds of Christians on the at-risk preborn children in each local area and to join hearts in prayer for an end to the horror of abortion – the Effingham Life Chain will begin at 1:00 this Sunday afternoon at the Sacred Heart Parish Center and following the prayer service, the Life Chain will be staged on Keller Drive and Fayette Avenue from 2:00 to 3:00 – a moment of silent prayer will be at 2:30 and refreshments will be served afterwards – churches in other area communities will also be conducting their own Life Chain this Sunday as well – all denominations invited.

 

(OLNEY)  Several meetings are coming up  :  the City of Olney’s Board of Appeals will meet next Monday night, October 2nd, at 7:00  :  the City of Olney's Fire Pension Board will meet next Monday morning, October 2nd, at 8:00  :  the City of Olney’s Tree Board meets tonight at 7:00  :  all are open to the public.

 

(NEWTON)  Motorists using the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop are reminded that the CSX Railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop in Montrose will be closed next Monday thru Friday for repair work – IDOT reminds all truckers to use alternate state or county roads that are appropriate, weight-wise – other motorists should also observe all barricades & related signs – again the road will be closed starting at 7:00 next Monday morning, October 2nd, and be closed all work week thru next Friday, October 6th.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College is excited to welcome Wade Baker as its new Director of Bands – the critically acclaimed Baker is an internationally touring jazz and blues musician who has collaborated with some of the greatest master artists – Baker will lead the OCC Concert Band, the Jazz Ensemble, and the Pep Band along with teaching transfer-level music courses and private lessons – born in Robinson and raised in Jasper, Indiana, Baker earned a bachelor’s of science degree with a concentration in jazz studies from the University of Indianapolis and holds a master’s of music college degree in jazz studies from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music – as a leader, Baker has recorded four albums with his jazz group and two albums with his guitar-driven blues and rock band – he frequently performs on bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, and flugelhorn alongside with many groups & individual musicians from around the nation – Baker, who resides in Vincennes, will also serve as the Director of Bands at Lincoln Trail College near Robinson as well.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has a few reminders for those in the outdoors  :  over-the-counter sales of remaining 2017 Illinois Firearm Deer Permits will begin October 17th, two weeks from next Tuesday  :  resident Illinois Youth Firearm Deer permits are now available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license & permit vendors – the Youth Deer Hunt is next weekend, October 7th – 9th, Saturday thru Monday  :  hunters and trappers may apply for an Illinois Bobcat Permit online, although the application deadline is this Saturday, September 30th  :  and resident combination and antlerless-only archery deer permits are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors – the Illinois Archery Deer Season begins this coming Sunday, October 1st  :  for more on these & all other things outdoors in Illinois, check the State Department of Natural Resources website, at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  More than 1,500 junior and senior high school students will have the opportunity to meet with more than 40 college representatives this year at the annual College Fair and Career Day scheduled for next Tuesday morning, October 3rd, at Lake Land College, just south of Mattoon – that’s from 9:30 to 11:30 that morning in the LLC Field House – students interested in attending should contact their guidance counselor to see about attending – the college reps will share their details about opportunities in higher education.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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 Blood Donation Center Effingham, from 12:15 to 6:45  :  tomorrow at the Altamont High School from 8:15 to 1:45  : Saturday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  the next Richland County blood drive will be Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are needed.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3 miles north of Dieterich, will start its annual Corn Maze and related activities this Sunday afternoon & evening, October 1st, from 3:00 to 6:00 – admission is $4 – children under 5 admitted free, but must be accompanied by an adult – also train rides, games, and concessions – plus a Kiddie Tractor Pull this Sunday – the Corn Maze will also be held the following two weekends


    A benefit fundraiser to help Becky Sanders is this Saturday night at the Newton VFW from 5:00 to 11:00 – includes pulled pork sandwiches and all the fixings, an auction, a raffle, and DJ music, all for a free will donation – also includes $5 carry-out plates – proceeds to help the daughter of Fred & Barb Bergbower


    The American Legion Family spaghetti dinner is this Saturday evening in Olney, with serving from 5:00 until sold out – the cost is $7.50 per person, plus a 50/50 drawing – all proceeds will go to the American Legion to support their programs in Olney and Richland County to help Veterans & their families


    The Fall Festival of Arts & Crafts is this Saturday in the Olney City Park from 9:00 to 4:00 – on display will be wooden items, pottery, paintings, wrought iron, & much more – plus children’s activities, plenty of entertainment on the Band Shell Stage, and at least 14 different food concessions – all for a $2 donation


    Local author Gary Totten will be at the Fall Festival Saturday – it’s all for a book signing featuring Gary’s book of short stories entitled “The Life of a Dog and Other Tales, Stories From the Rural Heartland”

 

 

 

September 27, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As the cold front moved thru overnight, the cooler air from the northwest will gradually make its way into our downstate region today thru tonight – plus, a clearing sky will give us plenty of sunshine over the next several days – while a Canadian high will keep us dry now thru the weekend, another cold front could bring us our next rain chance by Monday night and Tuesday of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  The return of “fall-like” weather finally ends an eleven day run of warmer-than-normal weather here in Southeastern Illinois – that stretch of time included the past seven days in a row of daily highs in the 90’s, plus a tie of yesterday’s record high for the date September 26 here at the WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service Weather Station at the south edge of Olney – yesterday’s high at 92 degrees ties the mark that was originally set 126 years ago, on September 26, in 1891, when according to our WVLN-WSEI weather books, they had twelve days in a row of highs in the 90’s and much like this September, very little rain – currently, we’ve had 1.04 so far this month, that compares to 1.01 at this time in September, 1891.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Govornor Bruce Rauner has signed into law a bill known as Conor’s Law, legislation that increases public safety by requiring law enforcement to develop policies regarding the response and care for intoxicated young people after an arrest, including attempts to contact a responsible adult – this will ensure the safety of impaired underage individuals by preventing them from harming themselves or others – the legislation is named after Conor Vesper, a 20 year old college student from Macoupin County who committed suicide hours after posting bond himself after a drunk driving arrest.

 

(OLNEY)  State officials are encouraging Illinois residents to participate in an earthquake safety drill next month – the Illinois Emergency Management Agency says October 19th, at 10:19, that morning, the “Great ShakeOut” drill will take place, not only nationwide, but worldwide – while nearly 500,000 people around Illinois participated in last year’s drill, roughly 300,000 have registered so far for this year’s event – for more details on next month’s drill or to sign up for the drill, go online to  www.shakeout.org/centralus.


 
(OLNEY)  The investigation is continuing into a fatal traffic crash that occurred in Richland County at 5:00 late yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon 2 miles south of Claremont – the State Police report that 19 year old Colton D. Bender of Claremont was traveling northbound on Oak Tree Road on a 4-wheeler ATV when he failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection with Mt. Pleasant Lane – the ATV was hit by an eastbound SUV driven by 18 year old McKenzie R. Kocher of Olney and Bender was ejected from the ATV – Bender was transported to Carle Richland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced deceased – no tickets were issued – emergency responders from Olney & Richland County assisted the State Police at the crash scene.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met earlier this week – the Board  :  was provided with five updated Codebooks for review with consideration of approval at the next regular meeting in October  :  continues to explore what type of display system would best be utilized to store the former high school class pictures currently at the West Richland Center in Noble, the former West Richland High School  :  discussed the large number of unlicensed, inoperable, and/or abandoned vehicles throughout the Village in violation of Village Ordinances – letters will soon be prepared for those responsible  :  discussed a potential water grant for replacing a water line along South First Street, however it was determined that the Village is not eligible for such a grant  :  noted the Village will be flushing water hydrants on Monday & Tuesday, October 16th & 17th next month  :  met in an executive session for five minutes, then agreed in open session to the August 8th, 2016 minutes closed  :  noted that Village Hall in Noble will be closed from 9:45 to 10:45 this morning (Wednesday)  :  and noted that Village Hall will be closed Monday, October 9th, for Columbus Day – the next regular meeting of the Noble Village Board will be held Tuesday night, October 10th, at 7:00.

 

(NEWTON)  At the latest Newton City Council meeting held a week ago last night – the Council  :  agreed to accept Kemper CPA’s 2016-2017 annual audit and the 2016-2017 TIF audit, both as presented  :  agreed to provide flu shots for all part-time and full-time City of Newton employees  :  approved TIF applications for Ishmo, Inc. and for Squeaky Clean Car Wash with each eligible for a $2,500 reimbursement  :  approved Halloween Trick or Treat Night in Newton for October 31st, from 5:00 to 7:00 with a bad weather date set for November 1st  :  approved a Special Event permit application for a pig roast fundraiser scheduled for November 11th in Newton  :  agreed to advertise for business insurance and annual audit quotes  :  and took no action after a 23 minute closed session to discuss litigation & real estate  :  next meeting is October 3rd.

 

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to the Olney FFA Forestry Team from Richland County High School which this past Saturday won the State Forestry Career Development Event (CDE) held down at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale – the Olney team nosed out second place Cumberland by 41 points among the event’s Superior Teams – there were 10 total teams representing 11 downstate schools taking part, which included 55 total individuals – Olney’s Seth Mitchell had the highest individual score, while teammate Evan Walker had the third best – Olney’s other team members included Austin Atwood, Adam Brewer, & Lance Mitchell – the Olney team from RCHS will now advance to compete in the National FFA Forestry CDE coming up next month in October at the National FFA Convention to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

(NEWTON)  Motorists using the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop are reminded that the CSX Railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop in Montrose will be closed next Monday thru Friday for repair work – IDOT reminds all truckers that while the Village of Montrose streets are not rated for heavy loads, trucks will have to use alternate state or county roads that are appropriate – all other motorists are asked to reduce speed thru this work zone & to observe all barricades & related signs – again the road will be closed starting at 7:00 next Monday morning, October 2, and be closed all work week thru next Friday, October 6 – that’s the railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop on the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop in Montrose.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College’s Massage Therapy Program is now accepting appointments for clinicals – the clinics are open to the public and will be held from 9:15 to 2:00 on September 30, October 14 and 28, November 11, and December 2, all at the West Richland Center in Noble – the cost for a relaxing, Swedish style massage is $30 for an hour or $15 for half an hour, plus a 20 minute chair massage is $10 – it all starts this Saturday, September 30 – call for an appointment at  618-392-2430  – callers should leave a message with their name & contact information, the date they would like to schedule an appointment for, & the type of therapy treatment they want – a confirmation call will then be returned by the OCC Program Instructor.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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 and tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center Effingham, from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Friday at the Altamont High School from 8:15 to 1:45  :  Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types & platelets are needed.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The Carle Richland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will have a Pampered Chef fundraiser next Monday from 8:00 to 4:00 in the hospital private dining rooms – proceeds will go to Auxiliary projects


    The St. Isidore Parish, St. Joseph Church of Island Grove, will have its annual Fall Breakfast & Raffle this Sunday morning, October 1st, with serving from 7:00 to 12:00 noon – plenty of great food, drink, and more, plus a country store, a quilt raffle, and cash raffle – pay at the door – all ages are invited Sunday


    The 2017 Blues Fest is this Saturday night from 7:00 to 11:00 at the Richland Country Club, featuring the blues music of Matt “The Rattlesnake” Lesch Band – the $10 tickets are on sale at all area banks or at the Richland Country Club – bring your lawn chairs or blankets – no coolers or carry-in drinks – all are invited


    The American Legion Family spaghetti dinner is this Saturday evening in Olney, with serving from 5:00 until sold out – the cost is $7.50 per person, plus a 50/50 drawing – all proceeds will go to the American Legion to support their programs in Olney and Richland County to help Veterans & their families


    The Fall Festival of Arts & Crafts is this Saturday in the Olney City Park from 9:00 to 4:00 – on display will be wooden items, pottery, paintings, wrought iron, & much more – plus children’s activities, plenty of entertainment on the Band Shell Stage, and at least 14 different food concessions – all for a $2 donation