July 14, 2017


(OLNEY)  As the cold front that brought us the rain last night moves thru this morning, we’ll have some lingering showers with everything drying up this afternoon with some sunshine – then a weak high pressure settles over the state tomorrow with more sun & less humid conditions, but still warm – after a dry Sunday, we could see some spotty showers Sunday evening – then dry the first half of next week – listen for updates.


(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Some much-needed rain fell in our downstate region last night – while there was some thunderstorm activity with lightning, there was no real damage reported, however the area rainfall amounts have been reported between a half inch to over an inch of rain in most spots – but while some areas reported much less, others have reported anywhere from one to two inches of rain, all in less than an hour.


(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois has tapped nearly $700 million in existing funds to make the first payment to statewide colleges and universities they’ve received in at least seven months – the payment includes $327 million owed for  the needs-based Monetary Award Program for over 110,000 college students for the past school year – EIU’s share was nearly $6 million paid yesterday up in Charleston.


(OLNEY)  Illinois lawmakers have an ironic plan for dealing with the state’s $15 billion debt – that’s by taking on more of it – while the General Assembly recently approved by a veto override a new state budget, the spending plan did nothing to deal with the backlog of bills – the solutions appear to be either borrowing funds or to issue general obligation bonds – it is agreed upon though, Illinois must take quick action ASAP.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in Olney – the Board  :  approved the county claims for June worth just over $90,000 – the higher-than-normal amount includes the purchase of a new pickup truck & the county’s yearly audit  :  noted that with an increase in value, the county’s insurance cost will save some money by now being covered under an insurance umbrella  :  noted a report from Animal Control  :  approved the low bid for work on a Denver Township bridge  :  approved culvert assistance for both Bonpas and Denver Townships  :  heard an update on the county-wide bridge & road construction work  :  and took no action after an executive session to discuss personnel & negotiations  :  the next regular meeting for the Richland County Board will be on Thursday night, August 10th, in Olney.


(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board met in Newton last night for its regular monthly meeting – the Board  :  on a 6 to 6 vote, failed to pass an Off Road Highway ordinance for ATV’s and Side-By-Side’s in Jasper County  :  did approve an intergovernmental agreement with Crooked Creek Township, which was shorted during the levy’s tax processing – the funds will be advanced to the Township from the county  :  approved a bridge aid petition for Smallwood Township  :  noted that the Jasper County tax bills had been mailed out on June 29th with the Treasurer’s office now accepting payments  :  noted the Sheriff’s office is interviewing for part-time dispatchers, has purchased computers for squad cars, and is thinking about hiring a deputy due to a vacancy  :  heard the 2016 Audit Report, which noted a clean opinion for Jasper County  :  approved an IMRF Elected Officials resolution dealing with elected officials who work over 1,000 hours on county business  :  approved an updated Ethics ordinance  :  and approved various appointments as were recommended  :  the next regular meeting for the Jasper County Board is August 10th in Newton.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Fair is starting to wind down in the Olney City Park – a huge “thank you” to everyone, individuals and businesses, who supported yesterday’s 4-H Livestock Auction – meanwhile, officials have announced that after last night’s rain, anyone that had already purchased an armband for the carnival rides last night, they will be honored and can be used tonight from 6:00 to 10:00 on the Midway – on tap today, the White Tent is busy from 1:00 to 4:00, featuring Story Hour with Susie Bishop, and tonight it’s the popular Truck Pulls – then tomorrow night’s Demo Derby will finish things up – the grandstand tickets are on sale each day at the Fair Board Office from 8:00 to 5:00 – be listening for live reports on Freedom 92.9 – it’s all at the 161st Richland County Fair, now thru tomorrow night, in the Olney City Park.


(OLNEY)  Here’s some road improvement announcements  :  the City of Olney has announced that the East Fork Lake parking lot near Rotary Park will be closed next Monday thru Thursday, July 17th thru 20th, for repair work  :  IDOT has announced that starting next Tuesday, July 18th, Elbow Lane at the intersection of Illinois Route 130, just over 4 miles south of Olney, will be closed for a box culvert construction project – this closure will last approximately 8 weeks  :  the construction work to replace the Bonpas Township Bridge on Oak Tree Road at Simmons Creek is continuing, with completion expected soon within the next week or so – this section of Oak Tree Road is still closed during the construction work  :  also, the road project that started this week to replace the cross road culvert on Berryville Lane at Buck Run is continuing as Berryville Lane, between Oak Tree Road and Mt. Olive Road, is closed there  :  street construction work continues on the south end of Whittle Avenue in Olney  :  the Kitchell Avenue work in Olney is complete.


(OLNEY)  The Olney Central College Foundation is providing more funding to ensure student success thru the purchase of needed equipment for the classroom – both the Industrial Maintenance Technology program and the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning program will benefit from the purchase of six Siemens Programmable Logic Controllers and Human Machine Interface educational packages, as well as two dual-fuel heat pump systems for student use – the units include new technologies, giving students the opportunity to work with 401A refrigerant, which is now a standard in the industry – the IMT program is now enrolling students for the fall semester with classes to start August 17th – for this and other classes available, call OCC at  618-395-7777  or check out the classes available at any of the IECC campuses, at  www.iecc.edu.


(NEWTON)  The Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation will be hosting a seminar next Wednesday, July 19th, entitled “Theory of Change”, at the Dieterich Bank Corporate Center in Effingham, from 10:00 to 12:00 noon that morning – in partnership with Forefront, a statewide membership association for nonprofits, philanthropy, public agencies, advisors, and sector allies, those taking part will learn about the “theory of change” tool that helps develop solutions to complex social problems – attendees will learn how to identify long-term goals, preconditions to achieve those goals, learn how to assess performance, and more – the seminar is open to grantmaking and operating nonprofit organizations as well as the general public – the cost is $25 per person – to register, logon at  www.myforefront.org/events/theory-change-effingham  –for more information about the SICF, check out its website online at  www.enrichingourcommunity.org.


    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 tomorrow, 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 tonight 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” tonight with serving from 5:30 until sold out – proceeds to help with Auxiliary projects and programs – all are invited 

    Due to this week’s County Fair, the Richland County Farmer’s Market is set up today under the Olney City Park Shelter, north of the old swimming pool – that’s from 10:00 to 4:00 with fresh produce & more