LOCAL NEWS

Local News

August 17, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As the approaching cold front moves thru by tonight, our chance of getting wet continues until sunset – we’ll dry out tonight with some sunshine on tap for Friday – however, an upper level disturbance could now bring us some spotty showers late tomorrow night thru Saturday morning – then we dry up for Saturday afternoon, Sunday, and Monday – more rain chances next Tuesday – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Speaker Michael Madigan says the State House of Representatives will take a vote next week on whether or not to override the Governor’s veto of a school funding plan – the vote is set for next Wednesday on legislation that incorporates the changes that the Governor wants made on a new formula for financing public schools – lawmakers say the delay is to gauge support for the Governor’s plan.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is Democrat Day on the fairgrounds with Jason Derulo on stage tonight : tomorrow is First Responder Day as all police officers, firefighters, and EMT’s who show their badge at the gate will be admitted free and on stage tomorrow night is the Southern Uprising Tour, which includes the Charlie Daniels Band, Montgomery Gentry, the Marshall Tucker Band, and The Outlaws – plus Conservation World is open each day from 10:00 to 7:00 and the Agriculture Tent is open each day with Ag Tours from 10:00 to 3:30 each day : go online at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met earlier this week in Mt. Carmel for its monthly meeting – the Board  :  approved an existing six year old agreement between the Richland County TB & Health Office and IECC for the use of Olney Central College facilities during emergencies and/or disasters  :  approved a water retention plan and construction easement on IECC property located adjacent to the Seals property along Route 130 in Olney  :  approved an existing Athletic Training Services contract for Olney Central College with Carle Richland Memorial Hospital for the 2017-2018 academic year  :  approved revisions to the Lincoln Trail College Student Handbooks for three medical programs with updated fee information  :  and noted a public hearing will be held during the next IECC meeting to discuss the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which has been available for public viewing since August 9th at the IECC District Office in Olney  :  in personnel matters, the Board – accepted the resignation from Workforce Education Instructor James Beer – changed the employment status for Taryn Bunting from an OCC Assistant to an OCC Administrative Assistant and for Amber Malone from a LTC Office Assistant to a LTC Administrative Assistant – and hired Chris Murphy as Maintenance / Custodian at OCC, Shelby Ennis as an Administrative Assistant at WVC, and Peter Wood as Manager of Food Service at WVC  :  the next regular meeting for the IECC Board of Trustees is September 19th at Frontier Community College in Fairfield.

 

(NEWTON)  It was this past Tuesday during Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, that Governor Bruce Rauner signed several agriculture-related bills into law – one of those measures was a bill sponsored by local State Representative David Reis, which will be of great benefit to the small meat and poultry packing facilities around the state – in fact, beginning in July of next year, licenses to Type I and Type II meat & poultry processing establishments will not expire if the licensee remains in compliance with provisions of the Meat & Poultry Inspection Act – according to Representative Reis, current annual fees for renewal of these licenses are approximately $8,900 and could be easily offset by savings in administrative time needed to mail renewals and process all applications & fees  :  among the other bills signed into law – one that designates corn as the official state grain of Illinois – another creates an Agriculture Education Shortage Task Force to examine that status of agriculture education in the state – and several others were initiatives of the Department of Agriculture to cut red tape and reduce regulations and agency costs.

 

(OLNEY)  Fall semester classes get started today at all four of the IECC campuses in Olney, Mt. Carmel, Fairfield, and near Robinson, although the sign up for the various courses continues into next week – while some of the Olney Central College classes are offered at the West Richland Center in Noble, others are at the OCC campus in Olney – courses range from Artistic Welding to Zumba Aerobics, from Basic Welding to Unmanned Aerial Systems (for a commercial drone license), from Furniture Refinishing to Cosmetology – plus those free GED test preparation classes are available thru the Learning Skills Center at Olney Central College, including day, night, and online – for more information on the various courses offered at OCC, call 618-395-7777, or for details on any other classes within the IECC District, go online at  www.iecc.edu.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s the Illinois Water & Climate Summary from the Illinois State Water Survey in Campaign for July  :  the state’s average temperature was 76.1 degrees, less than a full degree (0.7) above the long-term average – the southwest crop reporting district had the highest average temperature at 79.4 degrees while the northeast CRD had the state’s lowest average at 72.7 degrees  :  Illinois’ average precipitation in July was 4.61 inches which was just over a half inch (0.53) above the long-term average – the northwest district had the highest rainfall average with 7.47 inches while the driest CRD was the southwest with an average at 2.79 inches  :  soil moisture around the state at the 2 inch level declined 5% on average in July, especially in the south & east central areas  :  and the water surface levels at the end of July were below the full pool or target level at 15 of the 26 reporting reservoirs in Illinois – despite the dry conditions nearly all of the downstate readings were slightly above the spillway or seasonal target levels, including at Newton Lake, East Fork Lake, Lake Shelbyville, Carlyle Lake, and Rend Lake, among others.

 

(NEWTON)  The Women in the Outdoors event is this Saturday from 8:30 to 4:00, rain or shine, at the Red Hills State Park, at the Lakeside Shelter, near Sumner – it’s open to all area females, ages 14 and older at a cost of $55 per person – a few of the activities offered include basket-weaving, geocaching, tree & plant identification, shot-gunning, archery, canoeing, handgun safety, nature photography, horseback riding, and more – today’s the deadline to pre-registration – to register or for details, call Michelle at  812-881-5389.

 

(OLNEY)  A “Clear the Shelters” event is coming up this Saturday as twelve Wabash Valley animal shelters are hosting the popular pet adoption drive – the local animal shelters involved, including the Humane Society of Olney, will offer low cost fees to help area families and individuals adopt a new pet – the hours are from 1:00 to 5:00 – visit the online website  www.MyWabashValley.com  for more details and to access a list of the participating animal shelters – for more details locally in Olney, call  618-392-2699.

 

(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show this Saturday in the Olney City Park with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – over 100 awards to be passed out, plus plenty of concessions and more  : also being held is a Ms. Vintage Pin Up Contest, open to area women age 18 or older with an entry fee of $20 per contestant, however limited to the first 25 entries – while pre-registration is preferred, walk ups are welcome if spaces are available with sign up that morning from 10:30 to 12:00 noon in the Olney City Park Community Building – the contest starts at 1:30 to 2:30 – call  618-723-2853.

 

(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 7:15  :  today at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  today at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  tomorrow at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  tomorrow at the Salvation Army Store in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  There are two area regular monthly school board meetings scheduled for tonight  :  the Jasper County School Board meets tonight in Newton at 6:30  :  the Richland County School Board meets tonight in Olney at 7:30  :  both of these meetings are open to the public at their respective locations.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The next Jasper County blood drive is coming up this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30 – all blood types are needed – all donors and first donors are urged to turn out


    The Cornerstone Community Church in Noble will host an Open House / Ice Cream Social to formally welcome their new Pastor, Chris Spenner and his family, this coming Saturday afternoon & evening from 3:00 to 7:00 – includes hot dogs, ice cream, & other snacks, plus face painting, balloons for the kids, other games & activities – also, the Jake Hoult Band will be performing for a free-will offering – all are invited


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for this Saturday with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The Richland County High School Marching Tiger Color Guard will have a fundraising “car wash” this Saturday at Wood’s Auto Body, along South Route 130, in Olney – that’s from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – the cost is a simple money donation – please stop by and help them out


    The 2017 Willow Hill Annual Homecoming is this Saturday, starting at 9:00 and running throughout the day & evening – includes an antique tractor show, a car/bike show, corn hole rally, cake walk, bingo, flea market, pedal tractor pull, a rabbit catch, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, afternoon entertainment, plenty of food with pulled pork, hot dogs, pork burgers, nachos, and more – that’s all in Willow Hill this Saturday

 

 

 

August 16, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A developing storm system over the Plains this morning will strengthen and lift northeast today – that means more clouds for our downstate area today with the chance of scattered rain, possibly storms, this afternoon thru tonight – plus on-and-off chances of more rain tomorrow morning with lingering rain still possible Thursday afternoon – then we dry out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois House will convene today in Springfield to take up the school funding issue – however, House leaders say they do not plan an attempt to override the Governor’s veto, but instead put the Governor’s rewrite into a new bill for a House vote – if this fails, the House deadline for an override is August 29th – the State Senate voted to override the veto this past Sunday – the Governor used an amendatory veto to delete a portion of the bill that would provide “bailout” money to Chicago schools.

 

(OLNEY)  The excitement continues to build for next Monday’s total solar eclipse that will be visible in a 70-mile-wide path in downstate Illinois – while crowd estimates vary, at least 145,000 people are expected to travel to the totality area in the 18 southernmost counties to experience the rare celestial event and take part in dozens of eclipse-related activities scheduled over a four-day period – as result, the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield will be activated August 18th thru 22nd, plus the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will establish a State Unified Area Command in Effingham, where representatives from the state departments of Transportation, Natural Resources, Public Health, Corrections, IEMA, State Police, Illinois National Guard, American Red Cross, and local fire, law enforcement, & emergency mutual aid organizations will also be staged this Friday thru next Tuesday – for links to get more information about eclipse safety and other related details, visit the state’s website online, at  www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – it was yesterday during Agriculture Day that Governor Rauner named teacher Vic Worthington & his students at Rochelle Middle School as “Illinoisans of the Day” at the State Fair for helping an injured farmer by designing & creating a prosthetic hand : today is Governor’s Day on the fairgrounds – with several past Governors in attendance, it will be Alabama with Neal McCoy on stage tonight : tomorrow is Democrat Day on the fairgrounds with Jason Derulo on stage tomorrow night : for more on the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, logon at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt, is reminding area motorists that with area schools beginning classes this week & next, that means an increase in pedestrian & vehicular traffic around schools – all motorists need to be watchful for children walking or riding their bike to & from school, possibly darting out from between parked cars – plus motorists also need to on the lookout for the slowing & stopped school buses, not only in area communities, but throughout the rural region as well – and remember to always stop when school bus warning lights are activated, regardless of which direction of travel – all are reminded that the speed limit in school zones is 20 miles-per-hour & is in effect from 7:00am to 4:00pm each school day when children are present and remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk – let’s make sure everyone stays safe as the downstate 2017-2018 school years gets started.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met this past Monday night in regular session – the Board  :  agreed to change the Village’s utility billing system to include a single standard sheet bill in a windowed letter size envelope instead of using the current & past postcard system – the additional $780 for a year cost will likely end the past mailing delays thru the Post Office  :  agreed to increase the rate of the Village of Noble water salesman up to $1.00 per 100 gallons, the same rate as the City of Olney  :  approved the recommended changes to the Village’s Codebook  :  agreed to inquire about possible historical items that may be located at the IECC West Richland Center, the former West Richland High School  :  discussed trees within the Village of Noble, noting that an oak tree on the south side of the Village Park is dead and probably should be removed – however noted that a specific tree near the corner of South First Street & West Locust Street is not dead and is on private property  :  noted that the Noble Villagewide Garage Sale Day is this coming Saturday, August 19th  :  and a big “thank you” goes out to all the local businesses and individuals that took time to help, plus those that donated & contributed to last Saturday’s Noble Chowder, making it possible & another success – it’s also noted that raffle winners from the chowder can stop by the Noble Village Hall during regular office hours to pick up their winnings  :  the Board’s next regular meeting is August 28th.

 

(NEWTON)  In this week’s USDA Crop Report – with the extended dry period around most of Illinois, there were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork around the state last week – the statewide average precipitation was 0.40 inches, which was 0.43 inches below normal – the average statewide temperature last week was 69.2 degrees, 4.5 degrees below normal – despite the lack of rain in many areas of the state, both Illinois’ topsoil and subsoil moisture levels are still averaging about 60% adequate  :  here in our ten county area, farmers report over 80% of the local corn crop is in the dough stage with at least a quarter of the corn now denting – meanwhile, the local soybean crop is over 90% blooming with close to 80% now setting pods – while most areas are in need of rain, farmers are reminded to think “safety first” when working outdoors.

 

(OLNEY)  SIHF Healthcare in Olney, formerly Weber Medical Clinic, is celebrating National Health Center Week, now thru Saturday, with public health screenings across Southern Illinois and charity donation drives at its more than 30 health centers – in recognition of this special week, SIHF Healthcare in Olney is now accepting donations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County, based in Olney – the health center, at 1200 North East Street, is also accepting school supply donations to be delivered for area students this coming Friday – for more information or to see how folks can help, call  618-395-5222.

 

(NEWTON)  Congressman John Shimkus has announced the Congressional App Challenge – officially launched by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015, this nationwide effort allows students to compete against their peers by creating an application, or “app” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices – the contest is designed to promote innovation and engagement in coding and computer science and it is open to all students in the downstate 15th Congressional District – the winner’s “app” will be on display in the U.S. Capitol Building and featured nationwide online – for more, logon at  www.CongressionalAppChallenge.us.

 

(OLNEY)  Here's a few notes from the Richland County Farm Bureau  :  area farmers and landowners are invited to an upcoming National Legislative Meeting to be held next Tuesday evening, August 22nd, at the West Salem Community Building, beginning at 5:30  :  meanwhile, a State Legislative Meeting will be held two nights later, on Thursday night, August 24th, at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 7:00  :  also area folks can sign up now for the 2017 Farm Progress Show Bus Trip, which will be Wednesday, August 30th – the Bus Trip will leave from the Mt. Carmel Parkview Christian Church at 6:00 that morning, then depart from the Lawrenceville First Christian Church at 6:30, and leave from the Olney Rural King parking lot at 7:00 – the cost is $35 for active Farm Bureau members and $40 for non-members – the trip will include a stop at Niemerg’s Restaurant in Effingham on the trip home – to reserve a seat, call the respective Farm Bureau offices in Olney (618-393-4116), Lawrenceville (618-943-2610), and Mt. Carmel (618-262-5865).

 

(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show this Saturday in the Olney City Park with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – over 100 awards to be passed out, plus plenty of concessions and more  : also being held is a Ms. Vintage Pin Up Contest, open to area women age 18 or older with an entry fee of $20 per contestant, however limited to the first 25 entries – while pre-registration is preferred, walk ups are welcome if spaces are available – the sign up is that morning from 10:30 to 12:00 noon in the Olney City Park Community Building – the lineup is at 1:00, with the contest from 1:30 to 2:30 – awards will be given and professional photographers will be on site – for details, call  618-723-2853.

 

(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 7:15  :  also today at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are needed to help replenish the low regional blood supply.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The next Jasper County blood drive is coming up this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30 – all blood types are needed – all donors and first donors are urged to turn out


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for this Saturday with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The Richland County High School Marching Tiger Color Guard will have a fundraising “car wash” this Saturday at Wood’s Auto Body, along South Route 130, in Olney – that’s from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – the cost is a simple money donation – please stop by and help them out


    A “boil water order” remains in effect for the eastern portion of the Village of Clay City and some of the surrounding area southeast of Clay City – this “boil order” is in effect for this area until further notice


    It’s back to school today for the schools in Richland and Jasper Counties – the Richland County Schools in Olney, along with the St. Joseph School, will have early dismissals at 2:10 and 1:50, respectively – the Jasper County Schools in Newton and Ste. Marie, along with the St. Thomas School, are in session all day

 

 

 

August 15, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As a weak frontal boundary moves across upstate Illinois and stalls out in the Upper Midwest, an upper level weather disturbance is moving ahead of our next storm system, which will give us rain chances tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow night, and thru the day on Thursday – then the cold front moves thru, returning us to dry and less humid conditions for the upcoming weekend – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – preschool-age children enrolled in publicly-funded early childhood programs & schools in Illinois will be protected from expulsion under a new law signed yesterday by Governor Bruce Rauner – taking effect in 2018, the new law allows early education programs to temporarily remove a child for safety concerns, but officials must try to address the behavior thru intervention & community resources – the state’s child welfare agency has to develop rules to prevent expulsion in licensed day cares as well.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois has made a long-delayed move toward replacing the private manager of the lottery, years after the first of two Governors tried to fire the current manager for missing sales goals – a new company, Camelot Illinois yesterday presented an overview of its plan to increase lottery sales and put more money in state coffers for schools & other programs – officials say it could be months before the change is complete.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues today in Springfield as this Tuesday is noted as Agriculture Day on the fairgrounds – the Governor’s Sale of Champions will highlight activities later this evening, plus more tractor & truck pulls and on stage tonight is Sublime with Rome featuring Blues Traveler  :  tomorrow is Governor’s Day with more livestock judging, another truck & tractor pull, and on stage Tuesday night is Alabama with Neal McCoy – not to mention all the carnival rides, food, and more  :  for details on what’s coming up the rest of this week at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, logon at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night for its first regular meeting in August – the Council  :  agreed to rezone the property at 528 West South Avenue from R-5 (trailer/mobile home district) to C-2 (commercial district) as requested by the Embarras River Basin Agency  :  approved the placement of a 16’ x 44’ storage shed at the Musgrove Aquatic Center for use by the Olney Tigersharks Swim Team  :  agreed to vacate a portion of  South Camp Avenue from West Main Street to West Chestnut Street  :  approved a parking agreement with Rural King to prohibit parking between 8:00pm and 7:00am  :  agreed to allow the City’s Tree Board to submit a grant application to Trees Forever  :  accepted the $102 per cubic yard quote from Schrey Systems in Olney for MFT concrete  :  noted that pending any weather delays, the Whittle Avenue Street project should be completed by mid-October  :  approved three raffle licenses as presented  :  and took no action on a motion to have a Dog Swim Day at the Musgrove Aquatic Center – there was no vote due to the lack of a second to the motion  :  the Council’s next regular meeting will be August 28th.

 

(OLNEY)  In this week’s Richland County Rainfall Report, with the recording period ending yesterday morning at 8:00 – it was another very dry seven days & nights, although there were areas of rain, only two townships reported measurable amounts – Madison Township recorded one tenth of an inch of rain (0.10) while Olney Township had five hundredths of an inch of rain (0.05) – all other Townships measured no rain at all, including Denver, Preston, German, Noble, Claremont, Decker, and Bonpas – plus the Farm Bureau office in Olney – here at our WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service Weather Station, at the south edge of Olney, we measured thirteen hundredths of an inch of rain (0.13) during the seven day recording period – by the way, it was a year ago yesterday, that our WVLN-WSEI Weather Station recorded nearly three and a half inches of rain (3.44), one of the heaviest amounts recorded in Richland County is a 24 hour period.

 

(NEWTON)  The Women in the Outdoors event is this Saturday from 8:30 to 4:00, rain or shine, at the Red Hills State Park, near Sumner – hosted by the Lawrence County Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the event will be held at the Lakeside Shelter on the south side of the State Park and is open to all area females, ages 14 and older at a cost of $55 per person – a few of the activities offered with hands-on instruction includes basketweaving, geocaching, herb growing, tree & plant identification, shot-gunning, archery, canoeing, handgun safety, nature photography, horseback riding, and more – the deadline to pre-registration is August 17th – call Michelle to register or for more information, at  812-881-5389.

 

(CLAY CITY)  The Village of Clay City is repairing a water line, running from now until approximately 2:00 this afternoon, possibly longer – the eastern part of Clay City and its respective water customers are currently without water until that work is completed – the areas affected are South First Street Southeast, Clark Addition, the Industrial Park, plus customers along Morning Glory Road, Blackberry Lane, Big Four Road, Bluebell Road, and Saddle Club Road – once service resumes, all these areas will be under a boil water order until further notice – again that’s until later today for water customers in & around Clay City.

 

(OLNEY)  A “Clear the Shelters” event is coming up this Saturday, August 19th, as twelve Wabash Valley animal shelters are hosting the popular pet adoption drive – the local animal shelters involved, including the Humane Society of Olney, will offer low cost fees to help area families and individuals adopt a new pet – the hours are from 1:00 to 5:00 – visit the online website  www.MyWabashValley.com  for more details and to access a list of the participating animal shelters – for more details locally in Olney, call  618-392-2699.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Farm Bureau has announced it will be taking a bus trip to the Quilt Show in Paducah, Kentucky, on Thursday, September 14th – the cost is $60 for Farm Bureau members and $65 for non-members with reservations as soon as possible, payments due August 25th – for more information or to sign up for the unique trip, call the Jasper County Farm Bureau office in Newton, at  618-783-2733.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Farm Bureau is urging farmers to sign a petition supporting a proposed federal rule to repeal the definition of “waters of the U.S.” put in place under previous administration – the proposed rule, initiated by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, has a 30-day comment period with a deadline of August 28th – to sign the petition, folks can go to the Farm Bureau’s website, at  www.ilfb.org/actioncenter  – farmers can also sign the petition at the Illinois State Fair, continuing today thru Sunday, in Springfield.

 

(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 Moose Lodge in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  tomorrow at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also Thursday at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types needed.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The next Jasper County blood drive is coming up this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30 – all blood types are needed – all donors and first donors are urged to turn out


    The Wabash County EMA & the Radio Amateur Downstate Illinois Organization will hold a special licensing test session this Saturday afternoon at 2:00 at the EMA EOC located at 930.5 Market Street in Mt. Carmel – it’s open to all levels of testing – those interested should show up a half hour early for paperwork


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for this Saturday with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The 2017 Willow Hill Annual Homecoming is this Saturday, starting at 9:00 and running throughout the day & evening – includes an antique tractor show, a car/bike show, corn hole rally, cake walk, bingo, flea market, pedal tractor pull, a rabbit catch, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, afternoon entertainment, plenty of food with pulled pork, hot dogs, pork burgers, nachos, and more – that’s all in Willow Hill this Saturday


    The City of Olney has announced that the Parks & Recreation Board meeting originally scheduled for tomorrow, August 16th, has been rescheduled for the following Wednesday, August 23rd, at 7:00 that night


    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is set up again today under the pole barns in the Olney City Park – that’s fresh produce, baked items, and more available to the public from 10:00 to 4:00 today

 

 

 

August 14, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  With the weekend’s high pressure ridge over the Midwest moving off to the east, an upper level disturbance over the Upper Midwest will give us some clouds today thru tonight, although we’ll stay dry – an approaching storm system will give us rain chances late tomorrow night thru Wednesday and Thursday – then we appear to be dry for Friday and thru the upcoming weekend as well – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the State Senate yesterday voted 38 to 19 to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of the school funding plan that was approved by lawmakers back in May, but just sent to the Governor two weeks ago – the vote will ensure no school district gets less money than last year & will pump new dollars to the neediest districts first, although the Governor calls it a “bailout” for the mismanaged Chicago School System – the State House will convene on Wednesday to consider the issue.

 

(OLNEY)  Authorities report that applications for concealed-carry gun permits have been generally falling in Illinois since the program was launched three years ago – the Illinois State Police numbers show nearly 104,000 people applied for the permits to carry concealed weapons in 2004, but only about 32,900 have applied so far this year – experts cite several reasons, mostly that the strongest supporters applied first.

 

(NEWTON)  A Petersburg brewer has won the Illinois Bicentennial Craft Beer competition at the Illinois State Fair – the Hand of Fate Brewing Company will now create the recipe & brew the official beer for the Prairie State’s Bicentennial, with activities due to kick off later this fall : the winner of yesterday’s State Fair Hog Calling Contest was Andrew Metheney from Georgetown : the winner of the State Fair Husband Calling Contest was Lisa McLaughlin from Petersburg : and the winner of Saturday’s State Fair Karaoke Contest was Mary McMillin-Koski from Decatur : today at the State Fair is Senior Citizens & Scout Day – those age 60 and older will be admitted free to the fairgrounds today with plenty of special events through tonight – it’s Tractor Pulls and Herman’s Hermits featuring Peter Noone on stage tonight : tomorrow is Agriculture Day, highlighted by the Governor’s Sale of Champions and more : for information on what’s coming up the rest of this week at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, logon at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into a single motorcycle traffic accident that occurred early this morning at 3:48 along U.S. Route 50 about 2 miles west of Flora – the State Police report that 50 year old Jesse J. Henry of Olney was westbound on Route 50 when he had to swerve to avoid hitting a deer standing in the roadway – Henry fell off the motorcycle onto the pavement as the Harley Davidson continued and ran off the highway into a creek – Henry was transported to Clay County Hospital in Flora and then air lifted by helicopter to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville – no tickets were issued – Henry was wearing a helmet.

 

(OLNEY)  The long-discussed and awaited total solar eclipse coming up a week from today will occur in the United States for the first time since 1979 and Chicago’s Adler Planetarium now has its science road show, Galaxy Ride, on a trip to downstate Illinois, bringing hands-on, eclipse-related activities to various towns & communities today thru Saturday this week, getting everyone ready for the experience of the total solar eclipse – the “Galaxy Ride” team is giving residents this week the chance to observe the Sun and other objects during the visits – in fact, the first of eight stops is this evening from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Olney Public Library for solar viewing and family activities – then a stop tomorrow night in Du Quoin, and Wednesday night in Jacob – two stops Thursday will be at the Cache River Wetlands Center & at Shawnee Community College – then Friday night in Sparta, Saturday afternoon at the Science Center in Carbondale, and Saturday night in Murphysboro – all events are free and open to the public – for more information about “Galaxy Ride” and what it’s all about, check the website online at  www.adlerplanetorium.org.

 

(CLAY CITY)  The Village of Clay City will be doing water line repair work tomorrow, on Tuesday, from 7:00 to 2:00, possibly longer – the eastern part of Clay City and its respective water customers will be without water at that time – the following areas will be affected  :  all of South First Street Southeast, all of Clark Addition, all of the Industrial Park, plus customers along Morning Glory Road, Blackberry Lane, Big Four Road, Bluebell Road, and Saddle Club Road – once service resumes, all these areas will be under a boil water order until further notice – again that’s tomorrow for water customers in & around Clay City.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA has released its Illinois Crop Production Report for August  :  the planted area for corn is estimated at 11.10 million acres, down 4% from last year – the harvested area is forecast at 10.95 million acres, which is down 4% from 2016 – based on August 1st conditions, the Illinois corn yield is forecast at 188 bushels per acre, down 9 bushels from a year ago – corn production is forecast at 2.06 billion bushels, down 9% from last year's production – if realized, this would be the third highest yield on record in Illinois  :  the planted area for soybeans is estimated at 10.40 million acres, up 3% from last year – the harvested area is forecast at 10.34 million acres which is up 3% from 2016 – based on August 1st conditions, the Illinois soybean yield is forecast at 58 bushels per acre, a 1 bushel drop from a year ago – soybean production is forecast at 600 million bushels, up 1% from 2016 and the highest production level on record in Illinois  :  the harvested area for wheat in 2017 is forecast at 490,000 acres, up 4% from the previous year – the winter wheat yield is forecast at 74 bushels per acre, the same as 2016 – if realized, this number will tie the record high yield in Illinois – wheat production is forecast at 36.3 million bushels, which is 4% above the previous year  :  all numbers provided thru the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

 

(OLNEY)  There’s a couple of municipal meetings scheduled for this Monday night  :  the Olney City Council meets tonight in Council Chambers at the Olney City Hall, beginning at 7:00  :  the Noble Village Board also meets tonight at Village Hall in Noble, starting at 7:00  :  both meetings are open to the public.

 

(NEWTON)  The Open House at the Newton Elementary School is this evening from 4:30 to 6:30, while the Open House at the Ste. Marie Elementary School is tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 – students are urged to bring their school supplies, plus students, parents, & guardians will have the chance to meet all the teachers and staff at each school – the first day of student attendance in the Jasper County School District is this Wednesday – the Pre-K Open House at the Ste. Marie Elementary School is Thursday from 4:00 to 6:30.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County High School will host its “Freshmen First” program this morning from 8:30 to 10:30 in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium – the students attending will have the opportunity to visit each of their classes, meet their teachers, and discuss topics that every freshmen or new student at RCHS needs to know – the first day of student attendance in the Richland County School District is this Wednesday.

 

(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 Moose Lodge in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Wednesday at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also Thursday at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types needed.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host the Wild Horse Ministries next Monday night, August 21st, at the East Fork Arena, north of Olney, starting at 6:30 – gates open at 5:30 with free admission, plus free will donations accepted – plus food concessions will be available – lawn chairs welcomed – bleachers provided

   
    The next Jasper County blood drive is coming up this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30 – all blood types are needed – all donors and first donors are urged to turn out


    Rides Mass Transit District will offer another trip to Crawford & Jasper County residents this Saturday afternoon & evening – it’s a trip to the Centralia Balloon Festival with the featured Balloon Glow Saturday night at 7:30 – interested residents in Jasper & Crawford Counties can call toll-free now, at  866-389-7536


    The Cornerstone Community Church in Noble will host an Open House / Ice Cream Social to formally welcome their new Pastor, Chris Spenner and his family, this coming Saturday afternoon & evening from 3:00 to 7:00 – includes hot dogs, ice cream, & other snacks, plus face painting, balloons for the kids, other games & activities – also, the Jake Hoult Band will be performing for a free-will offering – all are invited


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for this Saturday with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The 2017 Willow Hill Annual Homecoming is this Saturday, starting at 9:00 and running throughout the day & evening – includes an antique tractor show, a car/bike show, corn hole rally, cake walk, bingo, flea market, pedal tractor pull, a rabbit catch, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, afternoon entertainment, plenty of food with pulled pork, hot dogs, pork burgers, nachos, and more – that’s all in Willow Hill this Saturday


    The Carle Richland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary in Olney has a Book Fair fundraiser today in the hospital’s Private Dining Rooms from 9:00 to 3:30 – proceeds go to Auxiliary projects at the hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 12, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  It’s another great weekend, weather-wise, as high pressure settles across the Midwest today thru tonight – as that high pressure slowly moves eastward, we’ll have a slight warm up each day thru the first half of next week with a mid to late week chance of scattered rain, maybe some storms – the humidity levels will also increase with that chance of rain next Wednesday thru Friday – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – just days before statewide schools begin their 2017-2018 school year, the Democratic-controlled Illinois General Assembly is grappling with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner over how to fix the biggest gap in the United States between the state’s richest and poorest schools – while the Governor used his amendatory veto power to cut out a bailout for the Chicago Public School system’s teacher pension plan, State Senate & House leaders say it’s a political ploy, although they’re the ones that have held the bill up since last May – the State Senate convenes tomorrow in Springfield to consider an override of the Governor’s veto – the State House returns for debate on the issue next Wednesday.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County High School is inviting all incoming freshmen and new students to the school’s “Freshmen First” event coming up next Monday morning from 8:30 to 10:30 in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium – it’s at this time that the students attending will have the opportunity to visit each of their classes, meet their teachers, and discuss topics that every freshmen and new student needs to know.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District will host an Open House at the Ste. Marie Elementary School next Monday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 – Josh Benefiel will speak both at 6:00 & 7:00 respectively – students and parents / guardians are encouraged to bring their school supplies, plus they’ll have a chance to tour the school, meet all the teachers & staff, and ask any questions – all are invited to attend.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Today has been designated as City Wide Garage Sale Day in Olney, with various garage sales throughout the community this morning into this afternoon  :  meanwhile, in Newton, the Scott Avenue Christian Church invites one and all to UPCYCLE, that is “Using Possessions to Connect Your Community and Love Everyone” – it’s an “all free” rummage sale for the community with something on hand for everyone – stop by the church, at 404 Scott Avenue in Newton, this morning, from 8:00 to 11:00.

 

(OLNEY)  The 2017 Annual Fall Kids Mall of Richland County Shopping Day is today at the Trinity Lutheran Church, at the east edge of Olney – it’s for Richland County children, preschool thru 8th grade, with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 this morning – there are no financial requirements to participate and all children will receive new items, including socks, athletic shoes, toiletries, and clothing – plus backpacks & minimum school supplies will be donated and distributed by the Salvation Army 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 Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:45  :  and tomorrow morning at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the low regional blood supply.

 

REMINDERS :       
    A fundraising benefit “spaghetti dinner” is tomorrow night at “The Venue” in Olney, at 303 South Fair Street – it’s serving from 5:00 until 8:00 with all donations accepted at the door – also a bake sale and raffle with specialty baskets with tickets available – proceeds to help Bev Ziegler with medical expenses and bills


    The Noble Chowder is today in the Village Park with serving by the bulk or bowl at 11:00 this morning – there will be other food available, plus activities and more


    The 6th Annual St. Thomas Duck Race is this morning at the Newton Aquatic Center, starting at 10:00


    The Willow Hill Fire Department will have its first annual breakfast fundraiser this morning from 6:00 to 11:00 at the firehouse – also a 50/50 drawing – tickets on sale at the door – all are invited