April 21, 2017


(OLNEY)  High pressure is building southward today behind the front, providing partly to mostly clear skies across the area this morning.  As the surface low will develop throughout the morning bringing some chances of rain showers later in the day today.  Due to the mid to high clouds and a northerly breeze, cooler temperatures will stay in the area today.  The showers will continue into Saturday before ending Saturday evening bringing dryer weather Sunday and Monday  -  Listen for updates.


 (NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois state officials say the state’s unemployment rate fell .5 percentage points to 4.9 percent in March.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported yesterday that the jobless level is now below five percent for the first time in a decade.  However, the Illinois unemployment rate is still higher than the national rate for March which was 4.5 percent.  The largest employment gains were leisure, hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities and other services.


(NEWTON)  Illinois State Police want high school students driving to their proms to be careful.  State troopers will be out in force looking for speeding, distracted and drunken drivers and anyone not wearing their seat belt.  Car crashes kill more teens during prom and graduation weekends than any other time of the year.  That is why state troopers are asking all teens to be safe during their prom and graduations as they should be times of celebration for students.


 (OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met for its regular monthly meeting this past Tuesday night - the Board  :  reorganized for the next two years - the oath of office was administered to elected Trustees Brenda Culver of Noble, Gary Carter of Fairfield, and Jan Ridgely of Olney - while Culver and Carter were seated for 6-year terms, Ridgely was seated for the remaining 4 years of an unexpired 6 year term - also, Madison Martin, a student at Wabash Valley College, was seated for a one year term as student member of the Board of Trustees  :  meanwhile, Trustee G. Andrew Fischer was re-elected Chairman of the Board and Trustee Brenda Culver was elected as Vice-Chairman  :  agreed to continue meeting on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00, except for the December meeting  :  approved Activity Fee allocations for 2017-2018 for Olney Central, Wabash Valley, Frontier Community, and Lincoln Trail  :  approved the revision and new policies for Military Leave, Drug Free Workforce, Victims Economic Security & Safety, Nursing Student Progression / Remediation, and Evaluating Student Performance  :  in personnel moves - accepted a retirement resignation from Lead Custodian / O&M Team Leader at Olney Central College Carl Sager effective June 1st - accepted resignations from Lincoln Trail College Dean of Instruction David Carpenter and from Olney Central College Band / Music Instructor Suzanne Fassett - renewed two year contracts for CEO Terry Bruce, OCC President Rodney Ranes, LTC President Ryan Gower, WVC President Matt Fowler, FCC President Jay Edgren, and Dean of Workforce Education Development Mike Thomas - hired Lincoln Trail College Office Assistant Amber Kramme - and changed the status for Jane Owen from Office Assistant to Coordinator of Financial Aid at Wabash Valley College  :  the next regular meeting for the IECC Board of Trustees is May 16th.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County School Board met last night in Olney - the Board  :  set a special meeting for Monday, May 1st, at 7:30, to seat the new school board - the new board was not seated due to the incomplete canvassing of votes from the April 4th election  :  approved the school district's financial reports worth $447,636  :  noted that the State of Illinois owes the school district in excess of $3 million  :  heard an update of the first Community Engagement Session which was held March 28th in Olney with approximately 100 people attending - the next such session is next Monday night, April 24th, at the Immanuel United Methodist Church, starting at 6:30  :  approved the amended 2016-2017 school calendar  :  approved the tentative amended Fiscal Year 2017 budget  :  and took the following action after a short 7 minute closed session - rehired all administrative staff, tenured certified staff, non-tenured certified staff, and all non-certified educational support staff - hired Luke Zimmerle as RCHS Custodian - accepted resignations from RCES Office Manager Shannone Ristvedt and from RCES Secretary Jennifer Balding  :  the Richland County School Board's next regular monthly meeting will be May 18th in Olney.


(OLNEY)  The City of Olney's Parks & Recreation Board met last night - the Board  :  discussed and finalized a draft of what should be placed on signs for the East Fort Trails entrance, north of Olney  :  heard that the several businesses have re-adopted their beds as the Adopt A Bed program continues in Olney  :  was presented information about implementing a tobacco free policy for Musgrove Park and in action approved an amended version of the policy  :  discussed, but took no action of the proposal to add camping spots in the Olney City Park  :  and elected Morgan Henton as Board Chairman and Luke Fairless as Board Vice Chairman  :  all recommendations now move on to the Olney City Council for its consideration.


(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met last night in Newton – the Board  :  Approved the financial reports including the treasurer’s report, balance sheet, bill and payroll  :  Approved of donations of $100 from Newton Junior Women’s Club to be used for the NCHS 1 to 1 Chromebook Initiative, $500 from the Eagle County Water Works for NCHS 1 to 1 Chromebook Initiative and $2000 from an anonymous donor for the NCHS baseball team.  :  approved of volunteer Kent Schafer to assist the High School Boys’ Basketball Program beginning immediately  :  Approved resignation of Josh Rushbrook as NCHS physical education and helth teacher as well as coaching duties of boys basketball and cross country effective the end of the 2016-2017 school season  :  approved resignation of Beth White as the assistant musical director and as Beta Club sponsor effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year  :  approval to accept a letter of intent from Cathy Rudolphi to enter the Three Year Retirement Incentive Plan with the intent to retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year  :  Approved retirement of Sandy Starwalt as custodian at Newton Elemetnery effective June 1, 2017  :  Approved to hire Alicia McClure as Newton Elementary Secretary, Jamie Martin as an Elementary Teacher at Newton Elementary and Jan Thompson as NCHS physical education and health teacher  :  approved maternity leave requests for Whitney Ritchhart and Rebecca Holkenbrink :  The Jasper County school boards nxt meeting will be May 15th.


(NEWTON)  Lineman from nine Illinois electric cooperatives brought power and opportunity to four Bolivian villages last month in March - the twelve linemen returned to Illinois safely after spending three weeks constructing a power distribution system to 62 households and two schools - the work included almost 30 kilometers of power lines and installed 21 transformers, plus a facility for handicapped individuals was also electrified for the first time - Bill Fields, lineman for Norris Electric Cooperative, was one of the twelve volunteers that traveled to work in Bolivia - the project was made possible thru the support of 19 Illinois electric cooperatives and a National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation International Projects Matching Grant.


(OLNEY)  The 2017 Forcht Broadcasting St. Jude Radiothon on Freedom 92.9 is today and Friday, April 20th and 21st, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.  To become a Partner in Hope for St. Jude Children’s Hospital you can stop by the radio station at 4667 E. Radio Tower Ln. in Olney or call 1-800-201-88-83.  Become a Partner in Hope for St. Jude by donating during the 2017 Forcht Broadcasting Radiothon today and Friday.  Every donation helps.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Relay For Life is coming up this Saturday evening at the Richland County High School in Olney – it all kicks off with the Opening Ceremony at 4:00 – the Survivor’s and Caregiver’s Lap begins at 6:00 with the Luminaria Ceremony to start at 9:00 – everything will finish up with the Closing Ceremony at 10:00 – a huge “thank you” goes out to everyone who has helped in any way in the many local fundraisers held by the various teams to benefit this year’s Relay For Life and our local fight against cancer.



    The St. Joseph DC fundraiser “wine tasting” is Saturday night at the Richland Country Club from 6:00 to 9:00, featuring four area wineries, plus a raffle, wine pull, and appetizers – it’s $15 per person and includes a complimentary wine glass – must be 21 to enter – tickets at TrustBank or St. Joe School Office in Olney

    The Olney VFW will host a benefit fundraiser for Shelly Barthelemy this Saturday evening – doors open at 4:00, a pulled pork barbeque dinner at 5:00, auction at 7:00, and live music from 9:00 until closing – also a 50/50 drawing and raffle – proceeds to help with medical expenses in Shelly’s fight against cancer

    The Olney Firefighters Association will host its “benefit breakfast” this Saturday morning with serving from 6:00 to 11:00 or until sold out at the Olney Fire Station on North Walnut Street – carry-outs available – donations accepted at the door – phone in orders available at  392-6341 – proceeds for scholarship help

    The Olney St. Joe Carnival is this tonigh with games from 5:00 to 7:00 and it’s smoked chicken legs, mac & cheese, green beans, and desserts all served from 5:00 to 6:30 - all are invited to attend

    A benefit fundraiser for Becky Hunt-Payne will be this Saturday at Johnny & Junes in Flora – it’s $10 for dinner and $10 for floor seats to hear Nashville recording artist Ira Dean and opening act, local artist, Kyle Hilliard – go online for tickets at  www.johnnyandjunes.com  or for details, call Lisa at  618-662-3344

    There will be a Revival at the Forrest Ridge Church April 21st through 23rd at 7:00 pm nightly.  Special singing will be the Peyton Sisters on Friday Night, Operation Restoration on Saturday and Sunday.  The church is located seven miles south of Noble, follow the signs  -  everyone is invited

    The Ridge Runners 4-H club is having a porkburger sale on Saturday April 22nd at the Olney Rural King.  All the money raised will go to help with community projects.

    RCES 5th grade classes will perform their music program, “Shine Your Way”, today in the RCES dining hall.  Classes of Flittner, Muffler and Shipman will perform today at 10:00  -  everyone is invited to attend

    The Olney Public Library is hosting a Grandparents / Grandkids Outing this Sunday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30 – the free event will include sharing books, playing board games, balloon art, face painting, and much more – those who’d like to attend are asked to RSVP at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call  392-3711