October 13, 2017


(OLNEY)  As the cloud cover that’s hung around for the past few days eventually breaks up, we’ll get some sunshine later today and we’ll see a warm up as we move thru tonight and into tomorrow – a slow-moving cold front will move thru our downstate region with rain chances late tomorrow night and thru Sunday morning – then cooler air filters in with sunshine for the first half of next week – stay tuned for updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news – the union representing corrections officers around Illinois says inmate attacks on state employees have increased 51% over the past year – members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees noted yesterday that assaults increased from 541 in the 2015 calendar year to a projected 819 – however, State Corrections Department officials say the current number is lower.


(OLNEY)  With yesterday being noted as National Service Recognition Day, almost 1,000 Illinoisans pledged their continuing commitment to helping their communities at the 23rd Annual Recognition Day event – the Serve Illinois Commission kicked off the celebration by noting service projects benefiting several organizations, then the volunteers were sworn in for their year of service – approximately 2,600 current AmeriCorps members have dedicated a year each to helping communities meet their economic, education, health, public safety, or environmental needs – to learn more, logon at  www.Serve.Illinois.gov.


(NEWTON)  As National Fire Prevention Week continues thru tomorrow, it’s really a year-round effort for statewide residents to learn and prepare for emergency situations – the Office of the State Fire Marshall is reminding everyone, especially families, to be prepared in the event of a building fire – in fact, each building should have both a primary & secondary escape plan for a fire emergency, and these plans should be reviewed & practiced frequently, especially with children – last year, over 15,000 home fires in Illinois resulted in 121 deaths and over 500 fire-related injuries – for more information, logon at  www.nfpa.org.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met in regular session last night in Olney – the Board  :  approved monthly claims worth $83,131 for the month of September  :  acting on a request from last month, agreed to make yearly payments of $15,000 for the next ten years to the Noble Fire Protection District to help buy a new fire truck  :  agreed to budget $250,000 to build a new Animal Control facility in the future  :  directed officeholders to use the same scale of pay for all county part-time workers  :  noted that IDOT will cut it’s payments to the county & its townships – while the $145,000 that’s shared by the county’s nine townships will be cut in half, the County Highway Department will take a $60,000 hit  :  approved a culvert assistance petition for Claremont Township  :  heard updates from the Richland County Development Corporation & about the U.S. Route 50 Coalition, plus other reports and updates as well  :  and took no other action after a closed session to discuss litigation  :  the Richland County Board’s next regular meeting is November 9th.


(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board met for over two hours last night in regular session in Newton – the Board  :  after hearing from the public at last night’s meeting, voted again on an ordinance to allow ATV / UTV usage on county roads – however, the motion failed on a 6 to 6 vote  :  approved all claims and bills for the month of September  :  approved the Fiscal Year 2018 budget as it will now lay over for 30 days for public viewing  :  approved the $90,939 purchase of a new single axle truck for the Highway Department from Rush Truck Center  :  renewed the county’s Worker’s Compensation & Tort insurance coverage with a nearly $2,000 lower premium  :  approved the Kemper CPA audit proposal for the next three years  :  on a 10 to 2 vote, did not pass the professional services three year proposals  :  heard the various officeholder reports  :  noted improvements needed at the County Office Building such as insulation and more  :  noted a $10,000 grant for Power Load Systems had been received by the Ambulance Service  :  noted that a new Sheriff’s Deputy is now working, plus a grant has been applied for to get a new squad car for the Sheriff’s Department  :  and took no other action after a closed session  :  next regular meeting is November 9th.


(OLNEY)  The 9-11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit is set up in the public parking lot just north of the Richland County Courthouse – it’s open to the public this afternoon & evening from 1:00 to 7:00 and then tomorrow, the final day of the Olney visit, from 10:00 to 4:00 with free admission – all are invited out to tour and look over the nationally-acclaimed, mobile exhibit – that’s the 9-11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit now in downtown Olney – it’s co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Olney and the Olney Public Library.


(OLNEY)  Olney Central College’s Learning Skills Center recently celebrated National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week by helping others – teaming up with Olney Central College faculty and staff, the college’s GED students collected classroom items to be donated to the East Early College High School in Houston, Texas – the dual-credit high school, which serves primarily economically disadvantaged students, sustained heavy damage in the historic flooding following Hurricane Harvey – the donations included paper, pens, notebooks, and even gift cards, which the GED students packed and shipped to assist students affected by the natural disaster – meanwhile, the OCC Learning Skills Center is continuing its hard work to assist local residents in need by providing free classes and books for those wanting to earn their GED certificate – the eight week classes are offered in the day, evening, and online to ensure everyone who wants to earn a GED can do so – OCC is now registering students for GED classes as the next eight week session begins next Monday, October 16th – for more details or to register, call OCC today at  618-395-7777.


(NEWTON)  The 3rd Annual Midway Restaurant Jeep Run is this Saturday – doors open at 11:00 with lunch specials Italian Beef / Pulled Pork – then the Jeep Run leaves the Effingham restaurant at 12:30, with stops at Dozer’s Pub & the Toledo American Legion, before ending up at MVP north of Newton – proceeds to benefit 13 year old Elizabeth Weidner, who continues to battle Stage IV Neuroblastoma – per Elizabeth’s wishes, part of the proceeds go to Childhood Cancer Research – check Midway’s Facebook page for more.


(OLNEY)  The Olney Shriners will have their popular open fire Grilled Chicken Dinner this Sunday at the Olney City Park Community Building – serving inside or by drive thru from 10:00 to 2:00 or until gone – it’s a half chicken meal with dessert & drink for $9 – all proceeds to benefit Shriners Children’s Hospitals.


(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 Newton Community High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  all blood types and platelets are much needed to help replenish the very low blood supplies throughout the local region.


    The St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney will have its annual Smorgasbord & Bazaar is this Sunday – the ham, roast beef, and homemade noodle meals will be served from 10:30 to 2:30 with tickets at $8 for adults, $4 for children – the Bazaar in the gymnasium is from 9:00 to 3:00 with bingo, a basket chance stand, a country store, a cake stand, & quilt raffle, which has tickets at $1 each or six for $5 – also $20 tickets on sale for the $5,000 Cash Raffle with the drawing at 2:00 – everyone is invited out this Sunday

    The St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3 miles north of Dieterich, will host its Corn Maze this weekend – from 3:00 to 10:00 Saturday, including a bonfire & the Amazing Flashlight Corn Maze with flashlights provided – then Sunday from 3:00 to 6:00 – includes train rides, games, concessions, & a straw maze for tots – the Corn Maze admission is $4 per person – children under 5 admitted free / must be accompanied by an adult

    The Freedom Baptist Church northwest of Noble will host a Free Movie Night this Saturday night in the Noble Village Park – the pre-movie activities start at 6:30 with free popcorn and soda – then the movie, The Case for Christ, will start at 7:00 – bring your lawn chairs – all are invited

    The First Presbyterian Church in Olney will host a free “Adult Clothing Give Away” this Saturday morning from 9:00 to 11:00 – includes fall & winter adult sized clothing, plus shoes and coats, all of which have been donated – it’s up to four bags of clothing free – contact The Unity Project on Facebook for more

    Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney will host a Walk for Remembrance & Hope this Saturday morning at the Angel of Hope Memorial at the north edge of Musgrove Park – it’s registration at 7:30 with the walk to begin at straight up 8:00 – all are invited out to take part tomorrow morning

    The Olney VFW Auxiliary has another “taco night” fundraiser coming up tonight with serving from 5:30 to 7:30 – it’s open to the public and call-in orders with carry-outs are available – all are invited