July 17, 2017


(OLNEY)  As the stalled out frontal boundary hangs over downstate Illinois, we could see a few showers pop up this afternoon – otherwise, a strong high pressure ridge will build into the Midwest with more high heat & humidity on tap all this upcoming week, plus into and thru the weekend as well – at this point, it appears no real significant chance of rain is in sight until after the upcoming weekend – listen for updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner has added a county to the state disaster proclamation that he issued late last Friday – Cook County will now join the original list of McHenry, Lake, and Kane Counties – it’s all due to the extreme flooding along the Fox River, which has already resulted in hundreds of evacuations, road closures, & more – the declaration makes state resources available to the areas in need.


(OLNEY)  A federal grant totaling just over $1.2 million will enable the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to coordinate planning, training, and exercises that will enhance state and local government capability to prepare for, prevent, and respond to complex coordinated terrorist attacks – the project will involve several state agencies, mutual aid partners, law enforcement, fire services, voluntary organizations, and federal agencies – other CCTA grant recipients in Illinois included the Cities of Aurora and Chicago.


(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) welcomes the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) to the newly created Division of Historic Sites within the IDNR Office of Land Management – officials say the merger will complement and enhance the state’s mission to protect the natural and cultural resources throughout Illinois – the merger will also further bolster IDNR’s impact around the state by adding historic sites that attract nearly one million visitors a year and a tax-credit program that generated more than $1 billion in private-sector spending on historic rehabilitation projects.


(OLNEY)  The 161st annual Richland County Fair finished up its nine day and ten night run this past Saturday night in the Olney City Park with the popular Demolition Derby – the Fair was another huge success for the 4-H members in Richland County, not to mention all the other competitors in the various contests and activities – a big “thank you” goes out to all the great Fair sponsors this year and, of course, to all the members and volunteers of the Richland County Farm & Fair Association – a job very well done!!!!


(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Water Survey has released its Illinois Water & Climate Summary for the month of June  :  the statewide average temperature was 72.6 degrees, less than a full degree (0.7) above the long-term average – the state’s southwest crop reporting district had the highest temperature average at 74.2 degrees  :  the statewide precipitation in June averaged 3.09 inches, which was 1.12 inches below the long-term average – while the state’s northwest district had the highest average of precip at 4.25 inches, the west district was the driest at 2.12 inches  :  the state’s soil moisture at depths of 2 to 20 inches deep declined by 10% to 17% on average during June – the deeper levels at 39 to 59 inches remained steady  :  the water surface levels at the end of June were below full pool or target levels at 10 of the 24 reporting reservoirs – most all of the downstate lakes, including Newton, East Fork, and others had above summer target levels.


(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into a traffic crash last Friday afternoon at 4:21along U.S. Route 51, 1 mile north of Shobonier, in Fayette County – State Police say 78 year old James Allen Brown of Dixon was southbound in a motor home when he crossed the center line and sideswiped a northbound pickup truck pulling a trailer – Brown was taken to Fayette County Hospital in Vandalia where he was pronounced dead – a passenger, 67 year old Carol Brown, and the other driver and passenger, 72 year old Lewis Nelson and 69 year old Una Nelson, both of Mulberry Grove, were all taken to Fayette County Hospital for treatment.


(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into a SUV / Motorcycle traffic accident that occurred Saturday morning at 9:50 along Illinois Route 49, approximately 2 miles north of Yale, in Jasper County – the State Police report 37 year old Scott A. Hamilton of Robinson was northbound in a van and failed to use his turn signal while turning into a private drive – also traveling northbound was 51 year old John D. Boatright of Sandoval, who had to lay his motorcycle down on the highway to avoid a collision – both the driver and a passenger on the motorcycle, 48 year old Tammy S. Boatright of Sandoval, were transported to Carle Hospital in Urbana – Hamilton was not injured and was ticketed for failure to signal when required.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department will be performing repairs to short sections of several rural roads this week – any thru traffic should avoid the following roads while the construction work is underway – local traffic will have access, but should expect some delays while traveling in these areas  :
* Mt. Gilead Lane, between Shipley Road and Timber Trail Road
* Seven Hills Lane, west of Fox Road
* Pleasant Ridge Lane, between Midway Road and Higgin Switch Road
* Higgin Switch Road, near the Illinois Route 250 intersection
* and Seminary Lane, west of Gentry Road
here’s some other road improvement  and road construction announcements for our area  : 
*  the City of Olney has announced that the East Fork Lake parking lot near Rotary Park will be closed today, this July 17th, thru this coming Thursday, July 20th, for repair work 
*  IDOT has announced that starting tomorrow, 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 and alternate routes will be needed to avoid the intersection.


(NEWTON)  The Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff program is sponsoring two free field days this week in Illinois to share the latest management strategies, technologies, and on-farm advice to those attending – the events begin with a light breakfast and check-in at 7:45 each morning – the presentations will run from 8:00 until 1:00 each day with lunch and refreshments included – the first of two field days in this Wednesday, July 19th, at Moore Farms, in Roseville – the second field day is this Thursday, July 20th, at the Southern Illinois University Research Center in Belleville – for a reservation and/or more information, visit the ILSoyAdvisor Field Days webpage at  www.ilsoy.org/fielddays.


(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 Lions Club Building in Noble from 2:30 to 6:30  :  today at the Red Brush Christian Church along Route 45 north of Louisville from 1:30 to 6:30  :  also today at the Central Community Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at Lake Land College, just south of Mattoon, from 10:00 to 2:00  :  Wednesday at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 11:30 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to replenish low regional supplies.


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club and the International Barrel Racing Association will have their next event this coming Saturday evening at the East Fork Arena, just north of the East Fork Lake Damn, north of Olney – with trainers checking in at 5:00, the show gets started at 6:00 – the barrel and pole racing will include eight different divisions with youth, adult, and masters classes – concessions will be available and spectators are welcome – for more details, check the website at  www.whitesquirrelsaddleclub.com

    All are invited to the Cork & Pork Festival this Saturday at Picquet Park in Ste. Marie – the event will feature live entertainment & music, some great food, wine tastings, and more – the activities will run throughout Saturday afternoon and evening, from 12 noon until 11:30, in Ste. Marie

    It’s Pork Day USA and the Edwards County Fair kicking off this coming Saturday on the square in downtown Albion – starting at 8:00 in the morning, the activities include a car show, a great variety of food, craft vendors, live entertainment, and more – check it all out this weekend, down in Albion

    It’s GiveAway Day this Saturday in the Noble Village Park from 9:00 to 1:00 – items available include all sizes of children’s clothing, school supplies for students in K thru 5th grades, toys, and more – also free haircuts, along with food, drinks, games, and prizes – all sponsored by the Noble First Christian Church – items can be donated for the GiveAway today thru Friday from 8:00 to 12 noon – call  618-723-2319

    The “Original” Jonah Fish Fry is this Friday evening at the St. Paul Lutheran Church, located on the blacktop north of Dieterich – it’s an all-you-can-eat meal with carry-outs available – tickets on sale at the door with serving in the air-conditioned fellowship hall from 4:30 to 7:30 – all ages are invited

    The Jasper Post #20 American Legion will host a smoked pulled pork sandwich sale this Friday with serving from 10:30 until 1:00 – all are invited to stop by for some great food, all for a great cause

    The Carle Richland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is hosting a one day only Tastefully Simple fundraiser today in the hospital’s Private Dining Rooms – that’s from 8:00 to 4:00 today – all proceeds will go directly to fund the various Auxiliary projects at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney