LOCAL NEWS

Local News

December 5, 2017

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 (NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  today at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Patoka High School from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also tomorrow at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 6:45  ::  all blood types and platelets are needed to help replenish low area blood supplies.

 

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

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

 

 

 

December 4, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  While the high pressure ridge that gave us some great weekend weather moves off towards the East Coast, we’ll have a strong wrap-around wind from the south today – and the warm weather will come to an end as an approaching cold front will move thru with rain chances tonight followed by dropping temps – a cold air mass then moves in for tomorrow and the rest of the week – stay tuned for continued updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner and leaders of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission officially kicked off the state’s yearlong 200th birthday celebration yesterday in Chicago – through the next 364 days, Illinois Bicentennial will pay tribute to the people, places, and things that are being Born, Built, and Grown in Illinois every day – a simultaneous Flag Raising will take place in communities and counties around the state at 12:00 noon today, with the special Bicentennial Flags to fly over the next year, noting Illinois’ 200th Birthday – to learn more, check the Bicentennial website online, at  www.Illinois200.com.

 

(OLNEY)  Growmark and its FS member cooperatives around the state recently renewed their commitment to Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom programs with a $60,000 donation – it was during the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting this past weekend that a symbolic check was presented to represent the contribution – the funds will be used to support the grassroots effort in most all Illinois counties – it’s estimated that over 660,000 students and 40,000 teachers are involved in the statewide Ag in the Classroom program.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation is continuing into a single vehicle crash that occurred at 2:22 early Sunday morning on a Jasper County road, two miles west of Hunt City – the State Police report that 36 year old Keri Wittgan of Willow Hill was traveling east on Road 1400 North when the pickup truck ran off the road, thru the ditch, and overturned several times before coming to rest upside down – Wittgan and a passenger, 20 year old Brieanna Jones of Olney, were transported to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana – another passenger, 30 year old Eugene Birch of Newton, was taken to Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson – the State Police ticketed Wittgan for driving under the influence, for no valid insurance, for failure to wear a seat belt, and for driving on the wrong side of the road – Birch was ticketed for failure to wear a seat belt – emergency personnel from Jasper County assisted the Illinois State Police at the accident scene.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation is continuing into a single vehicle traffic crash early yesterday morning in Clay County that claimed the life of a Kinmundy man – the Illinois State Police report that 21 year old Clint Allen Huddlestun was westbound on Songer Township Lane, northeast of Xenia, at 12:27 Sunday morning, when his pickup truck went off the road, struck a culvert, began airborne, and overturned multiple times – Huddlestun was ejected from his pickup truck and was pronounced dead at the scene – emergency personnel from Clay County assisted the Illinois State Police at the accident scene.

 

(NEWTON)  An investigation is also continuing into a two vehicle crash that occurred at 10:28 this past Saturday night on Interstate 57 in Effingham County that resulted in two deaths – the State Police report 83 year old Shirley M. Klitzing of Brownstown was traveling south in the northbound lanes when her car crashed into a northbound semi-truck, causing it to overturn – both drivers had to be extricated by emergency personnel – the truck driver, 68 year old Richard P. Messerve of Mayer, Arizona, was pronounced dead at the scene – Klitzing was transported to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, then flown to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, where she was pronounced dead, due to her injuries – the northbound lane of I-57 was closed for several hours thru the early Sunday morning – emergency personnel from Effingham and Effingham County assisted the State Police at the scene.

 

(OLNEY)  As we reported earlier in this newscast, with Illinois’ 200th birthday countdown now underway, most every county and community in Illinois is hosting a Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony on this Monday, December 4th – a special Bicentennial Flag will then be flown thru the next year until the 200th birthday, which is December 3rd, 2018, a year from yesterday – the Richland County Courthouse will host its Flag Raising Ceremony today 12:00 noon and the public is encouraged to attend the short, but important event – refreshments will be available afterwards – all are invited to attend today in downtown Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  Applications are still being accepted by the Embarras River Basin Agency for winter heating assistance thru the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – the signup is now open to all applicants, including senior citizens & people with disabilities, for disconnected households & families with children ages 5 or under, and all others that meet the signup requirements – potential applicants should contact their local ERBA office in Richland, Jasper, Lawrence, Crawford, Cumberland, Clark, Coles, Edgar, or Douglas Counties for an appointment & further details, or logon at  www.liheapIllinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Firefighters will conduct their annual “door-to-door” Food Drive this Thursday evening to pick up non-perishable food items to help those in need this holiday season – those who’d like to help out are asked to place their food items in a bag and place those bags on their front porch with the porch light turned on – the food pick up in Calhoun, Parkersburg, and Dundas will begin at 6:00 Thursday evening – non-perishable food items can also be dropped off at several locations for those outside the collection areas or for those that will not be at home Thursday evening – those locations include the Olney Fire Department on North Walnut Street, the TNT Stop in Claremont, at Noble Foods, and at the Wakefield Mill – all food collected will be distributed to those in need in Richland County – it’s the hope of the Noble-Wakefield, Claremont-Bonpas, and Olney firefighters that no one goes hungry this Christmas.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County 5th & 6th Grade Bands, along with the Jasper County Junior High Band, will be hosting their 1st Annual Tablescape Contest and the public is encouraged to stop by the Jasper County Chamber of Commerce office in Newton to check out the beautiful tablescapes displayed from ten local businesses from throughout the community as each table will depict a special theme – the Tablescape Contest is this coming weekend with the public to decide what business deserves the “People’s Choice Award” – that’s this Friday night from 5:00 to 7:00, Saturday afternoon from 12:00 to 3:00, and Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 6:00 – tickets for admission will only be sold at the Chamber Office, priced at $5 each for Friday and Saturday with the $10 price per person on Sunday to include refreshments and an entry pass for a Christmas House Walk, which will be held from 3:00 to 6:00 this Sunday, December 10th, at four homes in Newton – that will be held after the Newton Community High School Chorus performs their Christmas Program at the St. Thomas Church at 2:00 this Sunday afternoon – all proceeds from the busy weekend coming up go to help the bands in Newton purchase instruments, new uniforms, and music.

 

 (NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  tomorrow at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Patoka High School from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also Wednesday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 6:45  ::  all blood types and platelets are needed to help replenish low area blood supplies.

 

(NEWTON)  The Farm Service Agency is reminding eligible farmers that today is the final day to cast their votes for the 2017 FSA County Committee elections – all ballots must be returned to the local FSA offices by the close of office hours today – terms of the newly elected members begin January 1st, 2018.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The OCC Music Department and the Richland County High School Concert Choir will have a Holiday Concert this Saturday night in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center, beginning at 7:00 – admission is free and all ages are invited to attend – it’s entitled “The Many Moods of Christmas” – check it out


    The Olney VFW Auxiliary will host another “taco night” this coming Friday night at the Olney VFW with serving from 5:30 to 7:30, or until sold out – carry-outs available – the Richland County High School Dance Team will benefit from the 50/50 raffle and bake sale also Friday night – all are invited


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


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

 

 

 

December 2, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  With high pressure controlling our weather this weekend with sunshine and warmer than normal temperatures on tap today thru Monday, an approaching cold front brings a massive change next week – we’ll have some rain Monday night thru Tuesday morning & then the coldest air we’ve had so far this fall moves in for Wednesday & thereafter – maybe some snow by the end of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – health officials say influenza activity is starting to increase across the country and that getting a flu shot now is the best line of defense – while the flu causes millions of illnesses with thousands of hospitalizations and even death, the majority of those affected are people 65 years and older – this next week, December 3rd thru 9th, is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a time that everyone is encouraged to get their flu shot as soon as possible – plus remember to Clean, Cover, and Contain, the three C’s – for more, check the Illinois Department of Public Health website or contact your physician, healthcare clinic, or hospital.

 

(OLNEY)  With Illinois’ 200th birthday coming up a year from tomorrow, on December 3rd, 2018, the statewide celebration is officially kicking off tomorrow throughout Illinois – in fact, every county and community in Illinois has been asked to host a Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony this coming Monday, December 4th – a special Bicentennial Flag will then be flown in each county thru the next year until the 200th birthday a year from tomorrow – the Richland County Courthouse will host its Flag Raising Ceremony Monday at 12:00 noon and the public is strongly urged to attend the short, but important event – refreshments will be available afterwards – for more on Illinois’ birthday, logon at  www.Illinois200.com.

 

(NEWTON)  The 2017 Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas kicked off last night in downtown Newton – the Holiday Shopping Expo is today from 9:00 to 3:00 at the Ste. Marie American Legion, while the Holly Jolly Craft Show is today from 9:00 to 3:00 at the KC Hall in Newton – and the Santa Train visit in Newton is tomorrow morning from 9:00 to 10:00 – the Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas activities in Newton.

 

 (NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  tomorrow morning in northern Clay County at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12:00  :  all blood types and platelets are needed to help replenish low area blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Tomorrow night’s full moon qualifies as a “supermoon” as it will be about 16% brighter & appear nearly 7% bigger than normal – best viewing time will be right after sunset – the next “supermoon” is in Januar

y
    The annual Gym Bob’s Christmas Show is tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 in Bible Grove – the show will feature special music, entertainment, Santa Claus, Sylvester the Cat, and more – all are invited to attend


    The Mt. Gilead Church, northwest of Olney, will host it’s second & final night of the Bethlehem Walk for public viewing – that’s tonight from 5:00 to 8:00 – all ages are encouraged to check it out


    The Olney Public Library will host a special Children’s Program, “The Magic of Christmas” this afternoon, starting at 2:30 – Santa Claus will be there to visit – all area children and adults are invited


    Hospice of Southeastern Illinois has its Cookie Walk & Festival of Trees this morning at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Olney from 9:00 to 12 noon – it will feature a large assortment of homemade cookies, pies, cakes, candies, breads, and more, plus the “Festival of Trees” silent auction – all proceeds will benefit Hospice of Southeastern Illinois, providing care & support to terminally ill patients & families in our 13 county area


    The Sailor Springs American Legion Post #230, just off the Clay City / Dieterich Blacktop, is now serving sausage, biscuits, & gravy, followed by a lunch later today, including vegetable soup, chili, sloppy joes, & desserts – also, raffle tickets on sale to win a freezer with a $250 gift certificate and cash


    Tonight’s the second of three performances of  “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in the Sliva Auditorium at Richland County High School, starting at 6:30 – tickets are at all local banks, plus at the door tonight – the third and final performance is tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 2:00 – all are invited


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

 

 

 

December 1, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  High pressure settling into the Midwest will control our weather for the weekend ahead with plenty of sunshine and dry conditions today thru Sunday – even with a slight warm up as well – then a strong cold front moves thru the state late Monday night, bringing with it rain chances, maybe even a storm or two for next Tuesday – then much colder air moves in for the last of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – a group of Republican Illinois lawmakers and pro-life organizations are suing the state in an attempt to block controversial new legislation that would allow taxpayer dollars to be used to pay for elective abortions in Illinois – it’s estimated that taxpayers could be forced to pay for 20,000 to 30,000 abortions every year if the legislation stands – a hearing in Springfield will be held December 7th.

 

(OLNEY)  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum's newest exhibit, “Holidays at the White House : A Presidential Christmas,” is now open to the public, offering a peek at the festivities during four different administrations – the exhibit features photos, videos, & original artifacts from Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush – the special exhibit runs now thru January 7th, 2018, and is provided as part of regular admission – for more, logon at  //This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation is continuing into a two vehicle traffic crash that occurred at 4:45 early yesterday (Thursday) morning on U.S. Route 50, one mile east of  Illinois Route One, just north of Lawrenceville, in Lawrence County – the State Police report that 22 year old Alicia D. Stephens of Bridgeport was westbound on Route 50 when her SUV crossed the center line and struck an eastbound pickup truck head-on – that driver, 38 year old Rodney S. Stephens of West York, was pronounced dead – Alicia Stephens was taken to Lawrence County Memorial Hospital in Lawrenceville, then flown to St.Vincent’s Hospital in Evansville – she was ticketed for improper lane usage, for no insurance, and for DUI of drugs – Lawrence County emergency personnel assisted the State Police at the accident scene.

 

(OLNEY)  Everyone is welcome to attend the Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony this coming Monday, December 4th, starting at 12:00 noon, at the Richland County Courthouse in Olney – the ceremony will include a special proclamation by the Richland County Board, special music, the flag raising by the Richland County High School JROTC, and a closing benediction – refreshments will be available afterwards – while this Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 marks Illinois’ 199th birthday, as the Land of Lincoln became the nation’s 21st state in the union on December 3rd, 1818, the Illinois Bicentennial will be a yearlong celebration over the next year thru December 3rd, 2018 – officials say the Bicentennial is a great opportunity to renew pride in the State of Illinois as statewide citizens join together to celebrate the people, places, and moments that have made Illinois great – for more details, logon at  www.Illinois200.com.

 

(NEWTON)  The Winter Jasper County Solid Waste Program starts tomorrow, December 2nd, and will continue to operate for the next four months, thru March 31st, 2018 – while the Newton / Jasper County Highway Garage location will be open on Saturdays from 7:00 to 3:30, all other sites thru the week will be open starting at 7:30 each morning – these sites will be open until 12 noon or when the dumpster is filled after 10:30 in the morning – appliances will be accepted only at the Highway Garage location with either the compressor removed or the freon line opened to show the freon has been properly removed – one dumpster at the Highway Garage site is reserved for metal only, plus a drop-off recycling container at the site will accept aluminum cans, clear glass bottles, tin cans, plastic milk jugs, plastic soap jugs, and plastic soda bottles – however, no yard waste, no tires, & no electric items are accepted – the Highway Garage site is the only one open in December, on the five consecutive Saturdays – for more details, call  618-783-2915.

 

(OLNEY)  Hospice of Southeastern Illinois will host its 28th Annual Cookie Walk & 11th Annual Festival of Trees tomorrow morning at the Trinity Lutheran Church, at the east edge of Olney – running from 9:00 to 12 noon, the event will feature a large assortment of homemade cookies, pies, cakes, candies, breads, and more, plus the “Festival of Trees” silent auction – all proceeds will benefit Hospice of Southeastern Illinois, which provides care & support to terminally ill patients and their families throughout 13 area counties – to donate items for the Cookie Walk or for more details, call the Hospice office in Olney, at  618-392-2745.

 

(NEWTON)  The 2017 Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas kicks off tonight, the first of three weekend celebrations in Newton – it starts this evening with a Tree Lighting & Special Dedication at 5:00 – then Children’s Craft Activities and plenty of cookies & hot chocolate at the Chamber of Commerce Office from 5:00 to 7:00 – also visits with Santa Claus and a host of Holly Jolly Characters, plus great shopping, live music, and more all in downtown Newton – also this weekend, it’s the Holiday Shopping Expo from 9:00 to 3:00 tomorrow at the Ste. Marie American Legion – the Holly Jolly Craft Show from 9:00 to 3:00 tomorrow at the KC Hall in Newton – Cookies with Mrs. Claus from 11:00 to 3:00 tomorrow at State Farm – and the Annual Santa Train visit to Newton from 9:00 to 10:00 Sunday morning – all in Newton this weekend.

 

(OLNEY)  The Good Samaritan of Richland County is inviting the community to take part in one more food drive coming up next week – first of all though, a huge “thank you” goes out to everyone that helped with the recent Boy Scout food drive in Olney – coming up next Thursday, the fire departments in Olney, Noble, and Claremont will conduct their annual food drive with drop off locations also in Olney, Noble, Claremont, and Wakefield – all non-perishable food items will be collected, sorted, and distributed to those in need during this holiday season – Good Samaritan has been serving the Olney community for almost 35 years, providing food, clothing, and other needs, serving over 250 households a month, with an average of over 8,000 people a year touched in one way or another – please help with next week’s fireman food drive.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Farm Service Agency is reminding eligible farmers to cast their votes for the 2017 FSA County Committee elections – all ballots must be returned to the local FSA offices by next Monday, December 4th – terms of newly elected committee members & their alternates take effect January 1st, 2018.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s Moonlight Madness tonight in Olney – most all of the local downtown businesses will stay open late, from 5:00 to 10:00 – for a list of those businesses taking part and the various specials available, check out the Olney Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook Event Page online – all this Friday night in Olney.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  today at the Richland County High School in Olney from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also today at the Sandoval High School from 11:00 to 3:30  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12:00  :  all blood types & platelets are needed to help replenish low blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual Gym Bob’s Christmas Show is this Sunday afternoon at 1:00 in Bible Grove – the show will feature special music, entertainment, Santa Claus, Sylvester the Cat, and more – all are invited to attend


    The Olney Public Library will host a special Children’s Program, “The Magic of Christmas” tomorrow afternoon, starting at 2:30 – Santa Claus will be there to visit – all area children and adults are invited


    The Sailor Springs American Legion Post #230, just off the Clay City / Dieterich Blacktop, will have sausage, biscuits, & gravy at 6:00 tomorrow morning, followed by a lunch of vegetable soup, chili, sloppy joes, & desserts – also, raffle tickets on sale to win a freezer with a $250 gift certificate and cash


    The Mt. Gilead Church, northwest of Olney, will host the Bethlehem Walk for public viewing – that’s tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 and tomorrow night from 5:00 to 8:00 – all ages are encouraged to check it out


    The American Legion Post #30 will host another Friday night “Fish Fry” tonight with serving from 5:30 until sold out – that’s at 227 East Main Street in Olney – the $6 tickets will be on sale at the door


    Tonight’s the first of three performances of  “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in the Sliva Auditorium at Richland County High School, starting at 6:30 – tickets are at all local banks, plus at the door tonight – the second show is tomorrow night at 6:30 with the final performance Sunday at 2:00


    Don’t forget to check out the Christmas Lights Display, lit up each night thru December 31st, in the Olney City Park – from dusk to 9:30 each night – donations accepted by the Bucket Brigade appreciated

 

 

 

November 30, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A short wave weather trough interacting with an approaching cold front has triggered some widespread light rain across our downstate area which will end by mid-morning – then the cold front moves thru and we’ll have mid-to-late afternoon sunshine – an extended period of mild & dry weather is expected tomorrow thru Sunday before we get more rain Monday & Tuesday of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – new money General Obligation bonds for 2018 worth $750 million has been issued by the State – the bond proceeds will be used to fund major capital construction projects around the state and also finance information technology projects as well – Wednesday’s bond issue has an all-in borrowing cost for a combined series of 4.29 percent and is fully tax-exempt from federal taxation.

 

(OLNEY)  The start of the Illinois Bicentennial is only five days away and each day leading up to the kick off, the office of the Governor will share a winning entry in the Something to Learn About Illinois History video contest – yesterday’s video was by Will Elliott of Lake Forest High School, telling the incredible story of John G. Shedd, a retail clerk at Marshall Field who rose thru the ranks to succeed Field himself as President of the company – various events leading up to the Bicentennial Birthday Party on December 3rd, 2018, will continue throughout the next year – for more details, go online at  www.Illinois200.com.

 

(NEWTON)  Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White yesterday awarded poets as this year’s winners of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award in the 13th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition – Anita Olivia Koester of Chicago was awarded 1st place, while Faisal Mohyuddin of Chicago was 2nd – the 3rd place award went to Bryce Berkowitz of Carbondale – the winning poems are available for reading on the Secretary’s website online,   www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/center_for_the_book/.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County School Board met last night in special session in Olney – the Board  :  reviewed the results of the Richland County FACTS (Facility Advisory Citizens for Tomorrow’s Students) Committee report, which was presented at the Board’s regular monthly meeting on November 14th – the Committee’s series of five community engagement sessions over the past eight months gathered input from the community about a long-range facility plan for the Richland County School District – the highlights of the FACTS Committee include  :  the priority area of the long-range facility plan is the Richland County High School, which is the oldest building within the District (opened in 1952 / the Elementary School opened in 2000 / the Middle School had a complete renovation in 2009) – in addition to being the oldest building, RCHS also scores much lower on an assessment of educational adequacy conducted by the District’s architectural firm  :  secondly, a general renovation plan of the Richland County High School was suggested by the FACTS Committee – the plan was developed thru the five engagement sessions held in Olney as various options were reviewed – the estimated cost of the RCHS renovation work is $25 million  :  and lastly, the Committee suggested the use of a 1% county-wide sales tax to fund the long-range facility plan – this would prevent an increase in the property tax rate on the School District’s annual tax levy  :  the Board also reviewed information that the annual revenue generated in Richland County by the proposed 1% sales tax would be an estimated $1.2 million – items that would be exempt from the county-wide sales tax would be licensed & titled vehicles, boats, and RV’s, plus unprepared food intended for home consumption, over the counter & prescription drugs, and farm equipment & agricultural inputs, such as seed & fertilizer  :  no action was taken last night – the School Board’s next regular monthly meeting is on December 21st.

 

(XENIA)  Darren Bailey has formally filed his papers to be a candidate for State Representative in the 109th District – the Clay County farmer says he was truly humbled to be standing in line in Springfield to officially file the necessary paperwork to become a candidate for the Illinois House – Bailey’s been meeting voters & passing petitions over the past few months – the owner of Bailey Farms, Darren, and his wife Cindy, have four children and four grandchildren – the 109th District includes all or parts of nine downstate counties, including Clay, Effingham, Jasper, Richland, Lawrence, Wabash, Edwards, Wayne, and White.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board of Review has started its duties for the 2017 assessment year – all complaints must be filed or postmarked on or before December 22nd, 2017, in the Jasper County Office Building, at 204 West Washington Street, in Newton – office hours are mornings from 9:00 to 12:00 noon, Monday thru Friday – afternoons by appointment only – call the Assessment Office at  618-783-8042.

 

(NEWTON)  Applications are still being accepted by the Embarras River Basin Agency for winter heating assistance thru the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – while the signup continues for senior citizens & people with disabilities, also for disconnected households & families with children ages 5 or under, the signup will be open to all applicants beginning tomorrow, December 1st – potential applicants should contact their local ERBA office in Richland, Jasper, Lawrence, Crawford, Cumberland, Clark, Coles, Edgar, or Douglas Counties for an appointment & details – logon at  www.liheapIllinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s Moonlight Madness in Olney coming up this Friday night, December 1st – most all of the local downtown businesses will stay open late for your shopping needs as the participating stores will be open from 5:00 until 10:00 – for a list of those businesses taking part and the various specials available, check out the Olney Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook Event Page online – all this Friday night in Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton’s Street Department continues to vacuum leaves along the city streets, but time is starting to run out – leaves only will be vacuumed, no twigs and no tree limbs, and the leaves must be on the roadside of the ditch near the street or at the edge of the street as no leaves should be in the street as not to interfere with traffic – residents can call  618-783-8511  and leave a message with address and phone number if there are leaves to be vacuumed – do so quickly as the days are limited for vacuuming.

 

(OLNEY)  Area hunters are reminded to be safe while in the woods this weekend – the final four days of the 2017 Firearm Deer Season are today, tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday in all area & downstate counties – hunting is allowed a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset, again each day now thru Sunday.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 6:45  :  tomorrow at the Richland County High School in Olney from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also tomorrow at the Sandoval High School from 11:00 to 3:30  :  all blood types & platelets are much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Richland County High School will present three performances this weekend of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in the Sliva Auditorium at RCHS – that’s this Friday night & Saturday night, December 1st & 2nd, each night at 6:30 – then the final show Sunday afternoon, December 3rd, at 2:00 – tickets are available at all local banks, plus at the door – all ages are encouraged to check it out


    The Olney Public Library will host a special Children’s Program, “The Magic of Christmas” this coming Saturday afternoon, starting at 2:30 – Santa Claus will be there to visit – all area children are invited


    Hospice of Southeastern Illinois has its Annual Cookie Walk & Festival of Trees this Saturday morning at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Olney from 9:00 to 12 noon – it will feature homemade cookies, candies, pies, cakes, breads, and more, plus the “Festival of Trees” silent auction – proceeds will benefit Hospice of Southeastern Illinois – to help out by donating baked goods or more, call the HSI office at  618-392-2745


    The Sailor Springs American Legion Post #230, just off the Clay City / Dieterich Blacktop, will have sausage, biscuits, & gravy at 6:00 Saturday morning, followed by a lunch of vegetable soup, chili, sloppy joes, & desserts – also, raffle tickets on sale to win a freezer with a $250 gift certificate and cash


    The American Legion Post #30 will host another Friday night “Fish Fry” this weekend with serving from 5:30 until sold out – that’s at 227 East Main Street in Olney – the $6 tickets will be on sale at the door


    Don’t forget to check out the Christmas Lights Display, lit up each night thru December 31st, in the Olney City Park – from dusk to 9:30 each night – donations accepted by the Bucket Brigade appreciated