September 7, 2017


(OLNEY)  As a surface high pressure moves towards the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes region, we’ll continue to have a dry and cool sky here in our downstate area with plenty of sunshine and a few clouds – our weather will stay as it is thru the upcoming weekend – Hurricane Irma remnants could bring us some rain next Tuesday & Wednesday, all depending on the storm track and strength – stay tuned for updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news today – a joint Illinois Senate-House Committee took testimony yesterday on the possibility of legalizing the general use of marijuana – while law enforcement officials and drug policy experts have different views on the issue, some lawmakers say a legalization plan would allow police to focus more on violent crimes & at the same time provide more tax revenue for a cash-strapped state budget – however, the overall goal would be to regulate and ensure the safety of a widely used marijuana product.


(OLNEY)  Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday signed an Executive Order creating the Opioid Overdose Prevention & Intervention Task Force, which will look at strategies to prevent expansion of the opioid crisis, to treat & promote the recovery of individuals with opioid-use disorder, and to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths – co-chaired by the Lieutenant Governor and Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, other Task Force members will include officials from the Departments of Human Services, Corrections, Insurance, Financial & Professional Regulation, Healthcare & Family Services, & State Police.


(NEWTON)  Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is warning used-car & truck shoppers to beware of automobiles damaged by Hurricane Harvey flooding – while the Secretary’s office is taking extra steps to closely monitor title applications involving vehicles potentially flooded, car & truck shoppers also must be aware of the issue – title applicants in Illinois must submit a statement signed by the owner and verified by an insurance agent that no flood claim was filed, therefore allowing the applicant to get a clean Illinois title.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Facility Advisory Citizens for Tomorrow’s Students (FACTS) will hold its next Community Engagement Session next Tuesday night, September 12th, starting at 6:30, to be held in the Fellowship Hall of the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Olney – the purpose of this upcoming session is to build upon the meetings from earlier this spring, which identified priorities in the development of a long-range facility plan for the Richland County School District – the two primary topics for next Tuesday night’s Community Engagement Session are to explore renovation ideas of the high school facility, and to examine possible funding options to support a long-range facility plan – all Richland County residents are encouraged to attend and it’s not necessary to have attended any of the previous meetings to attend next Tuesday night – for more details, check the School District’s website online, at  www.rccu1.net.


(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Water Survey / Prairie Research Institute in Champaign has released the weather summary from the month of August  :  the statewide average temperature last month was 70.6 degrees, which was 3 degrees below normal – this was the 12th coolest August on record in Illinois – the warmest daily temperature last month was 96 degrees reported on August 21st, while the lowest daily temperature was 42 degrees on August 25th  :  the statewide average precipitation was 2.41 inches, which was 1.18 inches below normal – with a narrow band with 3 to 6 inches of rainfall between Quincy to just north of Champaign, the rest of the state received 1 to 3 inches of rain, which was 1 to 3 inches below normal – Illinois’ monthly rainfall totals in August ranged from a high 7.09 inches to a low 0.94 inches.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau is offering an upcoming Amish Country Bus Trip on Friday, September 29th, to the Arthur, Illinois area – the trip will include a guided tour thru the Amish country, an Amish home tour, an Amish buggy shop tour, a “Shop with Arthur” stop, and a full-course Amish meal – the cost is $50 for Farm Bureau members, $60 for non-members – the trip will leave from the Olney VFW parking lot at 7:30 that morning and return at around 7:00 that night – for details or to register for the trip coming up three weeks from tomorrow, call the County Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116.


(NEWTON)  Illinois land values are dropping slightly – however, according to the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers, the higher the land quality, the higher demand for it, which is causing prices to drop more slowly – the Appraisers’ recent survey for the first half of 2017 found  :  the average price for good quality land was $8,900 per acre, down $500 from $9,400 per acre a year ago  :  the price for average quality land came in at $6,900 per acre, down $700 from $7,600 per acre last year  :  and the average price for fair quality land was $5,000 per acre, down 14% or $800 from $5,800 a year ago  :  while land values can vary greatly based on location, the availability of land for sale also adds to the value – it was also noted in the survey, an estimated 70% of farmland buyers so far in 2017 have been farmers.


(NEWTON)  A benefit fundraiser for Mark Geier is coming up this Saturday – it starts with the Road Rally registration at 11:00 at Vic’s in Wendelin with all street-legal vehicles leaving at 12 noon – then it’s back to Vic’s for a pulled pork meal at 5:00, plus a raffle drawing and plenty of fantastic auction items – the list includes cash, a gun, a Traeger grill, several metal signs (including a Phillips 66 sign that once hung above the Red Rooster in Olney) and much more – go to Road Rally for Bulldog on Facebook for pictures & more.


(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  :  today at the First United Methodist Church in Olney from 12:00 to 5:00  :  also today at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 12:15 to 7:15  :  tomorrow at the Hutsonville High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 7:45 to 2:45  :  Monday at the Olney VFW from 12:00 to 5:00  :  all blood types and platelets are needed.


    It’s a Tailgate Sunday this weekend in the Olney City Park – the family event begins at 9:00 this Sunday morning with John Louis / Illuisionist, followed by the family worship at 10:00, and a family meal served at 11:00 – all are invited to dress in their game day gear (or casual), plus bring those lawn chairs – all are invited out this Sunday morning to Tailgate Sunday in the Olney City Park – for more, call  618-393-6421

    The Jasper County Fall Festival is this weekend in Newton, beginning with breakfast at the Grace United Methodist Church from 6:00 to 10:00 Saturday morning – the Classic Car Show registration starts at 9:00 with judging at 12:00, the popular parade at 10:00, a beer garden from 12 noon to midnight, and plenty of games and live entertainment on stage all day and night Saturday and Sunday morning – check it out

    The Pink Warriors Support Group in Olney will have a fundraising “Happy Days Again” event this Saturday evening, starting at 5:00, at Hovey’s Restaurant, in downtown Olney – they’ll be serving hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, drinks, & desserts for $5 per person – with the 1950’s and 60’s style theme, everyone’s urged to dress accordingly with prizes awarded, plus bring your vintage cars and park in the downtown TrustBank parking lot – also live entertainment – all proceeds to help with the local fight against cancer

    The annual Wynoose Chowder is Saturday evening with serving at 4:00 – also barbeque pork, fried chicken, desserts, ice cream, & drinks – all at the Wynoose Community Building – all are invited to attend

    The annual Dundas Ruritan Bulk Chowder is Saturday with serving at 11:00 - it's chowder by the gallon or half gallon, priced at $15 per gallon, plus homemade pies and other baked goods – all invited to Dundas

    The Olney VFW Auxiliary has another “taco night” fundraiser tomorrow night with serving from 5:30 to 7:30, or until sold out – includes tacos, nachos, taco salad, & more – carry-outs available – all are invited

    The Jasper County Republicans have a pork burger and bratswurst cookout tomorrow at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton, with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – all sandwiches priced at $3 each – for large delivery orders call  618-554-5870  by this evening – that’s all tomorrow in Newton

    The American Legion Jasper Post #20 in Newton will have its monthly pork loin dinner tonight with serving to start at 6:00 – all are invited to stop by for some great food at a great price – pay at the door