September 12, 2017


(OLNEY)  As an approaching cold front moves in from the northwest, the Tropical Depression that once was Hurricane Irma moves in from the southeast – our scattered rain chances increase thru the day today, with more rain chances tonight thru tomorrow – but rain from the south will eventually push off to the northeast and we’ll dry out Thursday thru Sunday, plus a warm up into the weekend – listen for updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news today – Illinois’ top education advisor is leaving her post this Friday – Secretary of Education Beth Purvis will join a national nonprofit group with an undisclosed position – Purvis joined the Rauner Administration in 2015 and was instrumental in leading the push for the recent school funding bill which has now been signed into law – no replacement plans have been announced as first lady Diana Rauner’s chief of staff, Emily Bastedo, will now oversee the Governor’s education policy team.


(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.


(NEWTON)  Hunters in Illinois may now use crossbows during archery hunting seasons, including the Illinois Archery Deer Season and the Illinois Fall Turkey Archery Season beginning Sunday, October 1st – it all came about as the Governor signed into law a House Bill to amend the Illinois Wildlife Code to repeal restrictions on the use of crossbows during archery hunting seasons in Illinois – the law previously allowed the use of crossbows for archery hunting by persons age 62 or older & those with disabilities who qualified for a crossbow permit issued by the DNR – for more, check the website online, at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.


(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night in regular session – the Council  :  accepted the $51,225 quote from Beachy Construction to build an accessory storage building at the Olney Wastewater Treatment Plant to be completed as soon as possible  :  heard the Annual Audit Report from Kemper CPA Group, showing a clean audit with no findings discovered  :  due to a previous technicality, approved funding of water & sewer extensions for the Parkside Plaza LLC Hotel Project, just west of the Olney City Park, due to State EPA requirements for a city-funded project  :  also approved a redevelopment agreement between the City of Olney and Parkside Inn LLC  :  amended the Peddlers & Solicitors portion of the City’s Municipal Code whereas the City of Olney will offer plastic cards for city residents to place near their front door, stating whether solicitors are accepted or not – the one-time $1 cards are available at the Olney City Hall  :  agreed to allow the City’s Tree Board to decide on where to plant donated trees near the Soccer Field and Aquatic Center in Musgrove Park  :  approved the reappointment of Paul Wirth to the Richland County Airport Authority as recommended  :  and approved six raffle licenses as presented  :  no executive session was held  :  the Olney City Council’s next regular bi-monthly meeting will be September 25th.


(NEWTON)  The investigation continues today into a single vehicle traffic accident that occurred at 6:00 early yesterday (Monday) morning, located 2 miles southwest of  Wheeler in Jasper County – the Illinois State Police report 54 year old Lori A. Westendorf of  Wheeler was southbound on a county road when her pickup truck swerved to avoid hitting a deer crossing the roadway, ran off the road, struck the ditch, and rolled onto its side – Westendorf was flown from the scene to Carle Hospital in Urbana – no tickets were issued – Jasper County emergency personnel also responded to the scene to assist the Illinois State Police.


(OLNEY)  Richland County landowners are reminded that the second & final installment of real estate taxes is due today, this September 12th – payments can be made by mail with a September 12th postmark accepted – in person at the Treasurer’s office at the Richland County Courthouse, open today from 8:00 to 4:00 – or by using the drop box located on the south side of the Richland County Courthouse – a 1.5 percent penalty will apply on all second installments that are paid after today, on this September 12th.


(OLNEY)  In this week’s Richland County Rainfall Report, it was the driest week so far in 2017 as none of the nine townships received any rainfall at all, plus no rain was recorded at the Farm Bureau office in Olney – that’s for the recording period that ended at 8:00 yesterday morning – we also received no rain for the week here at our WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service Weather Station, at the south edge of Olney.


(NEWTON)  In yesterday’s USDA Crop Report – it was more dry and cool weather across the state – the statewide average temperature was 63.2 degrees, which is 6.8 degrees below normal – the average precipitation around the state was just under one tenth of an inch (0.09), just over a half inch (0.55) below normal – as of Sunday, the state’s corn condition was 56% good to excellent and 32% fair, while the beans were 57% good to excellent and 30% fair  :  farmers in the ten county area report 85% of the local corn crop is denting, with over a third (35%) now mature, & a tenth of local corn (10%) now harvested – over half (55%) the local soybean fields are turning colors with a quarter of the bean (25%) fields now dropping leaves  :  farmers are reminded to continue thinking “safety first” as the 2017 fall harvest in well underway.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County and Lawrence County Extension Offices, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is offering a Hunter Education Class for youth wanting to secure a hunting license – the class will be held on three consecutive nights, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, September 25th, 26th, and 27th, from 6:00 to 9:30 each evening, at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds Building, just off of U.S. Route 50, between Sumner and Lawrenceville – while there is no fee for the class, registration starts at 5:30 each evening, with class size limited to the first 100, plus participates must attend all three sessions – youth must be 10 years of age or older, although its IDNR policy that youth under the age of 10 must be accompanied to and during the safety education courses by an adult or guardian – register online at  www.web.extension.illinois.edu/elrww  – for details, call the Richland County Extension office in Olney at  618-395-2191  or the Lawrence County Extension office in Lawrenceville at  618-943-5018.


(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Citizens for David Reis will have their annual Hometown BBQ this Thursday night across from the Village Park in Ste. Marie, with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – includes beef brisket or pork loin dinners with all the sides plus drinks for the price of  $20 per person or $50 per family – special guest will include Attorney General candidate Erika Harold – everyone’s invited out this Thursday night.


(OLNEY)  The next Community Engagement Session is tonight at the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Olney, starting at 6:30, with two main topics for discussion – to explore renovation ideas for the Richland County High School & to examine possible funding options to support a long-range facility plan – tonight’s session is the third such meeting on the topic, following two that were held earlier this past spring, however it’s not necessary to have attended the previous meetings to attend tonight – in fact, all residents are urged to attend tonight to add input to develop a long-range facility plan for the Richland County School District.


(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  :  tomorrow & Thursday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Thursday at The Holiday in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the Clay County Hospital in Flora from 12:00 to 4:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed.


    The movie “Case for Christ” will be shown for free this Friday night, at The Venue in Olney, starting at 6:30 – popcorn, soda, and water will be provided – all are invited out this Friday night to The Venue

    The Jasper Post #20 American Legion in Newton will host a pulled pork sandwich sale this Friday, with serving from 10:30 to 1:00 – all are invited to stop by – tickets on sale at the door

    The Richland County Retired Teachers will meet this Thursday at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 11:00 – the future of the local group is at stake – officers will have to be elected if the RCRTA is to continue – Regional Director of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, Glenn Decker will be at the meeting to assist

    The Red Rooster, at the intersection of Routes 50 and 130 in Olney, will have its Customer Appreciation Day and Grand Re-Opening today – includes free coffee and doughnuts from now to 9:00 this morning and free pork burgers from 11:00 to 1:00 – plus spin the Prize Wheel from 7:00 to 3:00 to win special prizes and a grand prize drawing for a Yeti Cooler is at 3:00 – the Rooster will also be hosting open interviews for potential workers from now to 3:00 today as well – all are invited to the Red Rooster in Olney