July 13, 2017


(OLNEY)  With an approaching cold front slowly moving in our direction, we’ll another day of high heat & humidity levels, plus the better chance of getting wet this week later this afternoon thru tonight – while the chance of a lingering shower hangs around tomorrow morning, most of Friday will be dry with less humid air filtering in for a mostly dry weekend – maybe some showers Sunday evening – stay tuned for updates.


(NEWTON)  The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for today from 12 noon until 6:00 this evening for Jasper, Effingham, Clay, Crawford, Lawrence, and Richland Counties – it’s during the mid to late afternoon hours today that the heat index values could hit between 102 and 106 due to the very high temperatures and dew point readings – prolonged exposure to this level of heat and humidity could lead to heat-related illnesses – those working outdoors should take the needed precautions against today’s heat.


(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois Department of Revenue is providing general information regarding the recent Income Tax increase, and changes to various credits, deductions, and additions to income – taxpayers should go online to review the information & check out the various websites to determine how the recent change in tax rates impacts their status – for most taxpayers, their employees will change withholding amounts based on rate tables provided by the IDR – for all the details, go online at  www.tax.illinois.gov.


(OLNEY)  The USDA has released the Illinois Crop Production Report for winter wheat – the harvested area in 2017 is forecast at 490,000 acres, up 4% from the previous year – the winter wheat yield is forecast at 75 bushels per acre, up 1 bushel from 2016 – if realized, this will be a record high yield in Illinois – statewide production is forecast at 36.8 million bushels, which is 6% above last year  :  farmers in our ten county area report the local wheat harvest came in with yields averaging between 65 & 80 bushels per acre.


(OLNEY)  The four colleges within the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges are among the top 2% in the nation for graduating students – recent research numbers show that between 2009 and 2014, only 16 of the nationwide 990 two year public and community colleges were actually improving and graduating students, showing “better than average” data – while some of the 990 colleges had steady graduation numbers each year, at least two-thirds of the colleges were not improved & actually decreased in the number of graduates – while the national graduation rate is around 40% or much less in many cases, the IECC colleges in Olney, Mt. Carmel, Fairfield, and near Robinson had graduation rates well above 50% during the time of research.


(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District will be offering student registration for the 2017-2018 school year completely online over a two week period, with the registration “window” open from July 17th to July 31st – students can be registered by going to TeacherEase on the District website & entering username and password – payments may be made online & additional instructions will be provided during the online registration process – contact the student’s school if the username and/or passwords have been forgotten – in the case a family does not have computer access or needs assistance in the registration process, the individual public schools in Newton have set up a one day, Walk-In registration, when computers will be available and staff will be on hand to help out – that’s on Tuesday, July 25th, from 10:00 to 6:00 – various requirements apply to each grade, such as physical examinations, immunization records, dental exams, birth certificate copies, and more – contact the student’s respective school if any questions and check the District’s website for details, at  www.cusd1.jasper.k12.il.us  – the first day of attendance for students in the Jasper County School District is Wednesday, August 16th, 2017, while the first day of attendance for Pre-K students in Jasper County is a week later, on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Fair continues today in the Olney City Park – it’s the 4-H Overall Showmanship Contest this morning, the Antique Equipment Show today from 10:00 to 7:00, the 4-H Livestock Auction this afternoon at 3:00, and the Tractor Pulls tonight at 7:00 – then the Truck Pulls tomorrow night with the White Tent featuring Story Hour with Susie Bishop tomorrow afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 – and Saturday night’s Demo Derby will finish things up – don’t forget the Carnival rides each night on the Midway with armbands from 6:00 to 10:00 – the grandstand tickets are on sale each day at the Fair Board Office from 8:00 to 5:00 – be listening for live reports each night on Freedom 92.9 WSEI – it’s all at the 161st Richland County Fair, now thru Saturday night, on the fairgrounds, in the Olney City Park


(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Here’s some reminders to area men & women in the outdoors  :  online applications are now being accepted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for dove hunting at select state sites – the second lottery drawings are being held daily from now until July 21st – remaining free dove hunting permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis July 28th thru August 25th  :  resident Illinois hunters can still apply online for permits for the 2017 Illinois Fall Shotgun Turkey season October 21st thru 29th  :  and the 2017-2018 Illinois State Park guide is now available in print and online  :  for more on these items & all other things outdoors in Illinois, check the website at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.


(NEWTON)  The 100 Women Who Care Jasper County will make its second community grant of 2017 this Thursday night at the Lifetree Cafe in Newton – with registration to start at 5:00 this afternoon, the meeting will begin at 6:00, with light refreshments available this evening – guests who are interested in learning more about 100 Women Who Care Jasper County are encouraged to attend tonight’s meeting for free – it was three months ago in April, that the members contributed $5,200 to the Jasper County Blessings in a Backpack program in support of children in Newton and Jasper County – for more about the women’s organization and what it’s all about, go online at  www.enrichingourcommunity.org  or attend tonight.


(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Speaking of tonight, there are two regular monthly meetings coming up this evening  :  the Richland County Board meets tonight in the County Jail Meeting Room at 7:00 – the Board’s Finance Committee will meet an hour earlier at 6:00, also in the Jail Meeting Room  :  the Jasper County Board also meets tonight at 7:00 in the County Office Building in Newton  :  all meetings are open to the public.


(NEWTON)  The Honey Do Ministry is continuing with this week’s 2017 Mission Work Week in Newton and Jasper County – that’s today and tomorrow, with only two days left for work – jobs require carpentry work, painting, & cleaning skills, plus “runners” are needed for errands and kitchen help is needed to pack coolers & more – to see how you can help out, call Jane at  618-783-2534  and leave a message or volunteers can simply show up each morning at 7:15 at the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton – monetary contributions are also appreciated.


(OLNEY)  The Parkersburg Chowder is coming up on Saturday, July 29th, and today’s the deadline for Parkersburg-area girls, ages 5 thru 8, to sign up for the 2nd Annual Parkersburg Chowder Queen Contest – contestants must live in either Bonpas or Madison Townships, be a member of the Parkersburg Community Center, or attend any of the churches in the Parkersburg area, including the Christian Church, Methodist Church, or Oak Grove Church – for more information or to sign up, call Roberta now, at  618-838-2432.


    It’s a “Free Movie Night” this coming Sunday evening, July 16th, at the First Christian Church in Noble – doors open at 5:30 with the movie “The Case For Christ” to start at 6:00 – there will be free popcorn and drinks – the child’s movie “Sing” will be shown at the same time in the church’s Fellowship Hall

    The Annual Stringtown Picnic is this coming Sunday at the St. Joseph Catholic Church – the all-you-can-eat smorgasbord will be served from 11:00 to 2:00 in the air-conditioned, handicap-accessible, Paris Center – tickets at the door, carry-outs available – also other concession food, fun, & games from 11:00 to 6:00, plus live entertainment & the raffle drawings at 6:00 – for raffle tickets or more, call  618-395-1919

    The County Line Sodbusters have their Annual Prairie Days Consignment Auction this Saturday, on the Show Grounds at the east edge of Bible Grove – consigned items must be farm equipment and/or farm related items – it’s buyer registration at 1:30, the auction starts at 2:00 – consignment items are needed, but no junk tires – for more information, call Ed Leak at  618-662-4238  or Dale Stanford at  618-292-9043

    The Calhoun Community Club will have a chowder meeting tomorrow night at the Calhoun Community Building starting at 6:30 – it’s for all community club members and/or volunteers interested in helping with this year’s Labor Day Chowder – a carry-in meal will be held before the meeting and an outdoor movie will be shown with free popcorn, plus free ice cream after the meeting – for more, call Gary at  618-841-1332

    The Olney VFW Ladies Auxiliary will have another “taco night” tomorrow night with serving from 5:30 until sold out – proceeds to help with Auxiliary projects and programs – all are invited

    The American Legion in Olney reminds everyone that there will be Bingo tonight – all are invited