LOCAL NEWS

Local News

August 21, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  An approaching cold front will give an unstable air mass today with a slight chance of getting wet this afternoon, plus an associated short wave will give us some cloud cover today as well – the better chance of rain is tomorrow morning thru midday with some severe weather conditions possible – then the cold front moves thru with cooler and dry air moving in for the rest of this work week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – with the solar eclipse set for today, researchers in Illinois are hoping the great event can shed light on how sudden atmospheric changes can alter the weather – the Illinois State Water Survey, based in Champaign, will use weather-monitoring equipment to collect temperature and other data before, during, and after the eclipse – the last total solar eclipse in the U.S. was in 1979 – the next total solar eclipse in the U.S. is forecast for 2024 and will again, at that time, move right across Southern Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  Authorities in downstate Illinois spent this past weekend preparing for thousands of people to be in the state’s southernmost counties to view the total solar eclipse this afternoon – the State Transportation Department is restricting some traffic today and has installed digital message boards, providing travelers with real time information on backups or delays – law enforcement agencies have added officers from all over Illinois and other Midwestern states to help out – in Carbondale, where the eclipse will last the longest, nearly three minutes in totality, Southern Illinois University is hosting a sold-out viewing party at Saluki Stadium, not to mention hundreds of other viewing sites throughout the downstate Southern Illinois area.

 

(NEWTON)  An Illinois State Police District 12 Trooper, patrolling Interstate 70 east of Vandalia, discovered 4 pounds (1,852 grams) of heroin after a routine traffic stop at around 10:55 last Thursday morning – the heroin’s street value is at $648,000 – the driver, 54 year old Rosario Gonzalez, of San Diego, California, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and for controlled substance trafficking, and is currently being held in the Fayette County Jail in Vandalia – the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force assisted with the investigation – the Trooper pulled the Dodge Durango over for improper lane usage.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced that it has closed the Pleasant Ridge Lane Bridge over Sugar Creek, which is approximately 800 feet east of the Ridge Road intersection, about three and a half miles north of Noble – the bridge there will be closed until a replacement structure can be designed and installed, which could and most likely will take several months – drivers should be alert to any and all signs and/or barricades concerning this road closure – if questions, call the Highway Department.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt, has released the activity and enforcement figures for the month of July – Troopers answered 222 calls for service and initiated 1,254 incidents in the field – there were 561 citations and 610 written warnings issued in July, including 293 tickets for speeding, 41 seat belt citations, 35 criminal arrests, 6 DUI's, and 1 child restraint citation – Troopers assisted 234 motorists, conducted 247 motor carrier inspections, and investigated 79 traffic crashes, 4 of which involved fatalities – also during July, there were 208 citations and 247 written warnings issued for the “Fatal Four” violations, those most associated with fatal traffic crashes, including DUI, failure to wear a seat belt, distracted driving, and speeding – the ISP District 12 includes the ten area counties of Jasper, Richland, Effingham, Cumberland, Clark, Crawford, Lawrence, Clay, Marion, and Fayette.

 

(OLNEY)  While the fall semester classes at Olney Central College & the other Illinois Eastern Community Colleges began last week, there’s a couple of classes that are getting started on this Monday at OCC  :  a Sound Recording & Engineering Course is being offered on Monday nights, starting tonight, from 6:00 to 8:50 – the class will include both lecture and the chance to work on projects in the OCC recording studio and new Mac lab, plus the class is ideal for both musicians and sound technicians at churches or clubs who want to improve their skills  :  also a Genealogical Class is being offered at OCC with the first of two organizational meetings set to start this morning at 9:30, with a lunch break from 11:30 to 1:00, followed by an afternoon session from 1:00 to 3:30 – anyone unable to attend today’s meeting can join a second organizational meeting coming up next month, on Wednesday, September 6th  :  plus, many other classes are still open with the second meetings available for sign up this week – for more information or details, call Olney Central College at  618-395-7777  or check the District’s website online, at  www.iecc.edu.

 

(OLNEY)  The South Central Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission, in partnership with the Greater Wabash Planning & Development Commission, will host an Elected & Local Official Training / Workshop this coming Thursday morning, August 24th, from 9:00 to 12:00 noon, at Olney Central College, in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center – no RSVP’s or pre-registration is required & all are invited to attend – some of the agencies invited include the Departments of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Natural Resources, Transportation, Aging, Agriculture, Employment Security, Workforce Development, and the State Comptroller’s Office – for more details, call the SCIRPDC office in Salem, at  618-548-4234.

 

(OLNEY)  A special fundraising event is coming up this Saturday afternoon and evening at the Olney VFW, from 3:00 to 10:00 – it includes a dinner and silent auction with all proceeds to help 16 year old Miranda “Roo” Acord of Olney – diagnosed with Leukemia at 11 months of age, Miranda spent over a year in St. Louis Children’s Hospital, received a bone marrow transplant from her oldest sister, and was in remission until 4 years ago when she was diagnosed with Cardio Myopathy, which now has progressed – with no cure, a heart transplant is needed – to donate a silent auction item or to help out in general, call Lauren, at  618-839-8383  – a Go Fund Me page has also been set up at “Miranda’s Heart Transplant”.

 

(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 Beecher City High School from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Wednesday at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Stewardson Community Building from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets needed.

 

(OLNEY)  The Birthright Office in Olney has announced that due to today’s eclipse occurring during the main part of its open hours, it will be closed all of today, on this Monday – the Birthright Office will be pleased to assist with any infant and/or maternity needs later this week, on either Wednesday and/or Friday.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The Claremont Community Center has its Summer Chowder this Saturday evening – the serving will start at 4:00 in the air conditioned center and continue until it’s all sold out – also ground beef barbeque, fish, hot dogs, pies, cakes, and drinks – bulk chowder also available, but no glass containers – all are invited


    The Rides Mass Transit District is offering another trip to Jasper and Crawford County residents this Saturday – it’s a trip to the Frog Follies in Evansville, including supper – those who live in Jasper or Crawford Counties interested, can schedule a ride by calling the RMTD office toll-free, at  866-389-7536


    The Richland County Farm Buruea Young Leaders have their annual Trap Shoot this Saturday at the County Line Gun Club, west of Noble, just north of Hites Hardwood, along U.S. Route 50 – it’s registration at 9:00 that morning, with the shooting to start at 10:00 – the pre-registration for individuals in $20 or $25 on Saturday – the pre-registration for a team of five is $100 or $125 on Saturday, with cash prizes – plus $20 raffle tickets on sale for $500 cash or a Silver Hunter 4+1 3 inch 12 gauge shotgun – a concession stand available for lunch – for details or to pre-register, call the Farm Bureau office at  618-393-4116


    The Olney Central College Community Choir will begin rehearsals tomorrow night at 6:15 – the choir is open to anyone high school age or older, regardless of musical experience – the OCC Community Choir is starting its 8th season - for details, call OCC at  395-7777  or simply attend the rehearsal tomorrow night


    It’s been announced that the Richland County Animal Control will be closed tomorrow, on Tuesday, August 22nd – so again, the Animal Control will be closed tomorrow, on Tuesday


    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life is tonight at St. Mary’s Church up in Shumway – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00, followed by the 6:30 mass – then a 7:30 business meeting will follow with refreshments – plenty of pro-life literature, books, bumper stickers, and more


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host the Wild Horse Ministries this evening at the East Fork Arena, north of Olney, starting at 6:30 – gates open at 5:30 with free admission, plus free will donations accepted – food concessions will be available and bleachers are provided – lawn chairs are also welcomed

 

 

 

August 19, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As an upper level disturbance moves across downstate Illinois this morning, there could be a few lingering showers and/or isolated thunderstorms, but it will all be short-lived – we’ll return to sunshine by later today, as the dry sky will rule our weather thru both Sunday and Monday – our next approaching storm system could bring us come afternoon clouds on Monday, then rain by next Tuesday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois State Fair continues up in Springfield – today is Park District Conservation Day with more livestock shows, USAC Auto Racing, & a Demolition Derby – the final day tomorrow, is Family Day, with plenty of family activities, plus ARCA Auto Racing and John Mellencamp on stage Sunday night : also Conservation World is open today and tomorrow from 10:00 to 7:00 with special outdoor amphitheater events on this Saturday and the Agriculture Tent is open both today and tomorrow with Ag Tours from 10:00 to 3:30 each day – go online for details, at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation is continuing into a fatal traffic crash that occurred in Clark County, at a construction site along Interstate 70, about 4 miles east of Martinsville – the State Police report the seven vehicle pile-up took place yesterday afternoon at 4:56, started by an eastbound semi-truck that failed to stop for slowing traffic at the construction site – the driver of the first car hit by the semi-truck, 74 year old Raymond Johnson of Orange, Connecticut, was pronounced dead at the scene – a passenger in Johnson’s car, 76 year old Ruth Johnson, also of Orange, Connecticut, was air-lifted to Regional Hospital in Terre Haute – the semi-truck driver, 66 year old Wayne Kauffman of Oakland, Maryland, was not injured, but ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, for aggravated reckless driving, and for using an electronic communications device while driving – two other drivers were injured, 70 year old Dale McWilliams of Rolla, Missouri was air-lifted to Carle Hospital in Urbana, and 43 year old Amy Allen Crosier of Overland Park, Kansas was taken to Regional Hospital in Terre Haute – the other un-injured drivers were from Kansas, Ohio, and Indiana – multiple emergency crews responded to the accident scene – Interstate 70 was closed for nearly 9 hours, reopened shortly after 2:00 earlier on this Saturday morning.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced that it has closed the Pleasant Ridge Lane Bridge over Sugar Creek, which is approximately 800 feet east of the Ridge Road intersection, about three and a half miles north of Noble – the bridge there will be closed until a replacement structure can be designed and installed, which could and most likely will take several months – drivers should be alert to any and all signs and/or barricades concerning this road closure – if questions, call the Highway Department.

 

(OLNEY)  A “Clear the Shelters” event is today as twelve Wabash Valley animal shelters are hosting the popular pet adoption drive as they offer low cost fees to help area families & individuals adopt a new pet – visit the online website  www.MyWabashValley.com  to access a list of area animal shelters taking part – for more information or details here locally, call the Humane Society of Olney, at  618-392-2699.

 

(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show today in the Olney City Park with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 noon this morning – over 100 awards to be passed out, plus plenty of concessions and more  :  also being held is a Ms. Vintage Pin Up Contest, open to area women age 18 or older with an entry fee of $20 per contestant, but limited to the first 25 entries  :  check it out today.

 

(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 Effingham Blood Donation Center from 7:45 to 2:45  :  also today at the Flat Rock Community Building from 9:00 to 1:00  :  the next Jasper County blood drive is tomorrow morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30  :  there are blood drives next week in Olney, Robinson, and Effingham  :  all blood types and platelets are needed.

 

(OLNEY)  The Birthright Office in Olney has announced that due to Monday’s eclipse occurring during the main part of its open hours, it will be closed all of next Monday, August 21st – the Birthright Office will be pleased to assist with any infant and/or maternity needs later next week, on either Wednesday and/or Friday.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life is next Monday night at St. Mary’s Church up in Shumway – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00, followed by the 6:30 mass – then a 7:30 business meeting will follow with refreshments – plenty of pro-life literature, books, bumper stickers, and more


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host the Wild Horse Ministries next Monday night, August 21st, at the East Fork Arena, north of Olney, starting at 6:30 – gates open at 5:30 with free admission, plus free will donations accepted – plus food concessions will be available – lawn chairs welcomed – bleachers provided

   
    The Cornerstone Community Church in Noble will host an Open House / Ice Cream Social this afternoon & evening from 3:00 to 7:00 to formally welcome their new Pastor & his family – includes hot dogs, ice cream, & snacks, plus face painting, games, & more – the Jake Hoult Band will also be in concert as well


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for today with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The Richland County High School Marching Tiger Color Guard will have a fundraising “car wash” today at Wood’s Auto Body, along South Route 130, in Olney – that’s from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – the cost is a simple money donation – please stop by and help them out


    The 2017 Willow Hill Annual Homecoming is today through evening – includes an antique tractor show, a car/bike show, corn hole rally, cake walk, bingo, flea market, pedal tractor pull, a rabbit catch, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, afternoon entertainment, plenty of food with pulled pork & more

 

 

 

August 18, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As a narrow ridge of high pressure gives us a sky full of sunshine today, an approaching short wave weather system will bring in some clouds tonight and likely bring a sprinkle or two after midnight – then after the spotty showers end tomorrow morning, we’ll return to sunshine the rest of tomorrow and thru Sunday – maybe a few clouds by Monday afternoon and some rain next Tuesday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law earlier this week a bill which allows Emergency Medical Services to transport police dogs injured in the line of duty to a veterinary clinic, that is provided that no people require medical attention or transport at that time – supported by the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies all over state, Illinois lawmakers passed the bill earlier this year.

 

(OLNEY)  The State Attorney General’s office has issued a consumer alert warning Illinois residents about reports of scam artists selling counterfeit solar eclipse glasses to try to take advantage of the many people planning to watch Monday’s event – to double-check those glasses available, the American Astronomical Society provides a list of manufacturers & authorized dealers that are verified to meet the safety standards – go online, at  www.eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters  :  meanwhile, IEMA has set up its State Unified Area Command in Effingham to monitor the downstate eclipse-related activities today thru next Tuesday – the SUAC includes reps from the state departments of Transportation, Natural Resources, Public Health, Corrections, State Police, Illinois National Guard, American Red Cross, & IEMA, plus the downstate local law enforcement, fire, & emergency mutual aid organizations – for more, go to  www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is First Responder Day as all police officers, firefighters, & EMT’s who show their badge at the gate will be admitted free, plus on stage tonight is the Southern Uprising Tour, which includes the Charlie Daniels Band, Montgomery Gentry, the Marshall Tucker Band, and The Outlaws – tomorrow is Park District Conservation Day with more livestock shows, USAC Auto Racing, & a Demolition Derby – and the final day Sunday is Family Day with plenty of family activities, plus ARCA Auto Racing & John Mellencamp on stage Sunday night : also Conservation World is open each day from 10:00 to 7:00 with special outdoor amphitheater events Saturday and the Agriculture Tent is open each day with Ag Tours from 10:00 to 3:30 each day : go online at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County School Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in Olney – the Board  :  heard an update on the start of the new 2017-2018 school year, noting the District’s enrollment in Pre-Kindergarten thru 12th Grade is at 2,457 students  :  noted that the State now owes the District at least $563,000  :  approved the various building reports as presented  :  approved the first readings of five new policies  :  and after a 28 minute executive session, made several personnel moves – accepted resignations for retirement from RCMS Teacher Sherri Snider, effective July 25, 2017, and from RCES Secretary Sherry Clinton, effective December 31, 2017 – accepted resignations from RCES Nurse Heather Maschoff as of July 31, 2017, and from Parent Educator Sarah Vaal – recalled from a Reduction in Force RCES Teacher Kelli Prevo and RCMS Math Teacher Megan Graves – employed Darla Johnson as RCES Nurse, Barbara Geltz as RCES Food Service Staff, Jennifer Fancher was part-time Pre-K Secretary & part-time Pre-K Paraprofessional, Brianne Urfer as Pre-K Paraprofessional, Clarissa Kocher as RCES Teacher Assistant, Eric Combs as RCMS Band Director, and Matt McLaren as the new RCHS Head Baseball Coach – agreed to reduce from full-time to part-time RCES Teacher Deven Moseby and RCES Food Service Staff Donna Swinson – and also approved various volunteers  :  the Board’s next regular meeting is September 21st.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in Newton – the Board  :  approved the tentative Fiscal Year 2018 Budget as presented  :  heard Transportation Reports from the end of last year and the start of this school year  :  approved a loan agreement with People’s State Bank in Newton for new bus purchases  :  agreed to amend the Title District Improvement Plan  :  on a 6 to 1 vote, approved a contract for Dr. Beth Presser as Co-Author of the District’s Title Grant  :  recognized retiree David Rubsam for his years of service in Maintenance since 1999 and Annette Kirts for her service as a District Secretary since 1986  :  and after a 25 minute closed session, made several personnel moves – accepted resignations from  NES Aide Kimberlin Wallace Michels and NES Nurse Nikki Westendorf – employed Chris Bradley as District Maintenance, Joni Milliman as NCHS Library Aide, Steve Bickers as NCHS Lunch Supervisor, Shanelle Julian as SME Special Education Aide, Brad Harris as Sophomore Class Sponsor, and Jan Thompson as JCJH Head Track Coach  :  and gave Superintendent Johnson the authority to hire, if needed, until the next meeting  :  the School Board’s next regular meeting will be September 21st.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s a couple of notes from the Richland County Farm Bureau  :  area farmers and landowners are invited to an upcoming National Legislative Meeting next Tuesday evening, August 22nd, at the West Salem Community Building, beginning at 5:30  :  meanwhile, a State Legislative Meeting will be held two nights later, next Thursday night, August 24th, at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 7:00  :  also, the Illinois Farm Bureau is urging farmers to sign a petition supporting a proposed federal rule to repeal the definition of “waters of the U.S.” put in place under previous administration – the proposed rule, initiated by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, has a 30-day comment period that ends a week from next Monday, August 28th – to sign the petition, folks can go to the Farm Bureau website online, at  www.ilfb.org/actioncenter  – farmers can also sign the petition at the Illinois State Fair, continuing today thru Sunday, in Springfield  :  for more details about upcoming events or more, call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116.

 

(OLNEY)  A “Clear the Shelters” event is tomorrow as twelve Wabash Valley animal shelters are hosting the popular pet adoption drive as they offer low cost fees to help area families & individuals adopt a new pet – visit the online website  www.MyWabashValley.com  for more details and to access a list of area animal shelters taking part – for details locally, call the Humane Society of Olney, at  618-392-2699.

 

(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show tomorrow in the Olney City Park with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – over 100 awards to be passed out, plus plenty of concessions and more  : also being held is a Ms. Vintage Pin Up Contest, open to area women age 18 or older with an entry fee of $20 per contestant, but limited to the first 25 entries – for more, call  723-2853.

 

(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 Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  today at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also today at the Salvation Army Store in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 7:45 to 2:45  :  tomorrow at the Flat Rock Community Building from 9:00 to 1:00  :  blood drives next week in Olney, Robinson, and Effingham  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life is next Monday night at St. Mary’s Church up in Shumway – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00, followed by the 6:30 mass – then a 7:30 business meeting will follow with refreshments – plenty of pro-life literature, books, bumper stickers, and more


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host the Wild Horse Ministries next Monday night, August 21st, at the East Fork Arena, north of Olney, starting at 6:30 – gates open at 5:30 with free admission, plus free will donations accepted – plus food concessions will be available – lawn chairs welcomed – bleachers provided

   
    The next Jasper County blood drive is coming up this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30 – all blood types are needed – all donors and first donors are urged to turn out


    Rides Mass Transit District will offer another trip to Crawford & Jasper County residents for tomorrow afternoon & evening – it’s a trip to the Centralia Balloon Festival with the featured Balloon Glow Saturday night at 7:30 – interested residents in Jasper & Crawford Counties can call toll-free now, at  866-389-7536


    The Cornerstone Community Church in Noble will host an Open House / Ice Cream Social tomorrow afternoon & evening from 3:00 to 7:00 to formally welcome their new Pastor & his family – includes hot dogs, ice cream, & snacks, plus face painting, games, & more – the Jake Hoult Band will also be in concert


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for tomorrow with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The Richland County High School Marching Tiger Color Guard will have a fundraising “car wash” tomorrow at Wood’s Auto Body, along South Route 130, in Olney – that’s from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – the cost is a simple money donation – please stop by and help them out


    The 2017 Willow Hill Annual Homecoming is tomorrow throughout the day & evening – includes an antique tractor show, a car/bike show, corn hole rally, cake walk, bingo, flea market, pedal tractor pull, a rabbit catch, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, afternoon entertainment, plenty of food with pulled pork & more


    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is set up today under the pole barns in the Olney City Park – that’s fresh produce, baked goodies, and much more available to the public to purchase from 10:00 to 4:00

 

 

 

August 17, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As the approaching cold front moves thru by tonight, our chance of getting wet continues until sunset – we’ll dry out tonight with some sunshine on tap for Friday – however, an upper level disturbance could now bring us some spotty showers late tomorrow night thru Saturday morning – then we dry up for Saturday afternoon, Sunday, and Monday – more rain chances next Tuesday – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Speaker Michael Madigan says the State House of Representatives will take a vote next week on whether or not to override the Governor’s veto of a school funding plan – the vote is set for next Wednesday on legislation that incorporates the changes that the Governor wants made on a new formula for financing public schools – lawmakers say the delay is to gauge support for the Governor’s plan.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is Democrat Day on the fairgrounds with Jason Derulo on stage tonight : tomorrow is First Responder Day as all police officers, firefighters, and EMT’s who show their badge at the gate will be admitted free and on stage tomorrow night is the Southern Uprising Tour, which includes the Charlie Daniels Band, Montgomery Gentry, the Marshall Tucker Band, and The Outlaws – plus Conservation World is open each day from 10:00 to 7:00 and the Agriculture Tent is open each day with Ag Tours from 10:00 to 3:30 each day : go online at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met earlier this week in Mt. Carmel for its monthly meeting – the Board  :  approved an existing six year old agreement between the Richland County TB & Health Office and IECC for the use of Olney Central College facilities during emergencies and/or disasters  :  approved a water retention plan and construction easement on IECC property located adjacent to the Seals property along Route 130 in Olney  :  approved an existing Athletic Training Services contract for Olney Central College with Carle Richland Memorial Hospital for the 2017-2018 academic year  :  approved revisions to the Lincoln Trail College Student Handbooks for three medical programs with updated fee information  :  and noted a public hearing will be held during the next IECC meeting to discuss the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which has been available for public viewing since August 9th at the IECC District Office in Olney  :  in personnel matters, the Board – accepted the resignation from Workforce Education Instructor James Beer – changed the employment status for Taryn Bunting from an OCC Assistant to an OCC Administrative Assistant and for Amber Malone from a LTC Office Assistant to a LTC Administrative Assistant – and hired Chris Murphy as Maintenance / Custodian at OCC, Shelby Ennis as an Administrative Assistant at WVC, and Peter Wood as Manager of Food Service at WVC  :  the next regular meeting for the IECC Board of Trustees is September 19th at Frontier Community College in Fairfield.

 

(NEWTON)  It was this past Tuesday during Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, that Governor Bruce Rauner signed several agriculture-related bills into law – one of those measures was a bill sponsored by local State Representative David Reis, which will be of great benefit to the small meat and poultry packing facilities around the state – in fact, beginning in July of next year, licenses to Type I and Type II meat & poultry processing establishments will not expire if the licensee remains in compliance with provisions of the Meat & Poultry Inspection Act – according to Representative Reis, current annual fees for renewal of these licenses are approximately $8,900 and could be easily offset by savings in administrative time needed to mail renewals and process all applications & fees  :  among the other bills signed into law – one that designates corn as the official state grain of Illinois – another creates an Agriculture Education Shortage Task Force to examine that status of agriculture education in the state – and several others were initiatives of the Department of Agriculture to cut red tape and reduce regulations and agency costs.

 

(OLNEY)  Fall semester classes get started today at all four of the IECC campuses in Olney, Mt. Carmel, Fairfield, and near Robinson, although the sign up for the various courses continues into next week – while some of the Olney Central College classes are offered at the West Richland Center in Noble, others are at the OCC campus in Olney – courses range from Artistic Welding to Zumba Aerobics, from Basic Welding to Unmanned Aerial Systems (for a commercial drone license), from Furniture Refinishing to Cosmetology – plus those free GED test preparation classes are available thru the Learning Skills Center at Olney Central College, including day, night, and online – for more information on the various courses offered at OCC, call 618-395-7777, or for details on any other classes within the IECC District, go online at  www.iecc.edu.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s the Illinois Water & Climate Summary from the Illinois State Water Survey in Campaign for July  :  the state’s average temperature was 76.1 degrees, less than a full degree (0.7) above the long-term average – the southwest crop reporting district had the highest average temperature at 79.4 degrees while the northeast CRD had the state’s lowest average at 72.7 degrees  :  Illinois’ average precipitation in July was 4.61 inches which was just over a half inch (0.53) above the long-term average – the northwest district had the highest rainfall average with 7.47 inches while the driest CRD was the southwest with an average at 2.79 inches  :  soil moisture around the state at the 2 inch level declined 5% on average in July, especially in the south & east central areas  :  and the water surface levels at the end of July were below the full pool or target level at 15 of the 26 reporting reservoirs in Illinois – despite the dry conditions nearly all of the downstate readings were slightly above the spillway or seasonal target levels, including at Newton Lake, East Fork Lake, Lake Shelbyville, Carlyle Lake, and Rend Lake, among others.

 

(NEWTON)  The Women in the Outdoors event is this Saturday from 8:30 to 4:00, rain or shine, at the Red Hills State Park, at the Lakeside Shelter, near Sumner – it’s open to all area females, ages 14 and older at a cost of $55 per person – a few of the activities offered include basket-weaving, geocaching, tree & plant identification, shot-gunning, archery, canoeing, handgun safety, nature photography, horseback riding, and more – today’s the deadline to pre-registration – to register or for details, call Michelle at  812-881-5389.

 

(OLNEY)  A “Clear the Shelters” event is coming up this Saturday as twelve Wabash Valley animal shelters are hosting the popular pet adoption drive – the local animal shelters involved, including the Humane Society of Olney, will offer low cost fees to help area families and individuals adopt a new pet – the hours are from 1:00 to 5:00 – visit the online website  www.MyWabashValley.com  for more details and to access a list of the participating animal shelters – for more details locally in Olney, call  618-392-2699.

 

(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show this Saturday in the Olney City Park with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – over 100 awards to be passed out, plus plenty of concessions and more  : also being held is a Ms. Vintage Pin Up Contest, open to area women age 18 or older with an entry fee of $20 per contestant, however limited to the first 25 entries – while pre-registration is preferred, walk ups are welcome if spaces are available with sign up that morning from 10:30 to 12:00 noon in the Olney City Park Community Building – the contest starts at 1:30 to 2:30 – call  618-723-2853.

 

(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 Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  today at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  today at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  tomorrow at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  tomorrow at the Salvation Army Store in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  There are two area regular monthly school board meetings scheduled for tonight  :  the Jasper County School Board meets tonight in Newton at 6:30  :  the Richland County School Board meets tonight in Olney at 7:30  :  both of these meetings are open to the public at their respective locations.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The next Jasper County blood drive is coming up this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30 – all blood types are needed – all donors and first donors are urged to turn out


    The Cornerstone Community Church in Noble will host an Open House / Ice Cream Social to formally welcome their new Pastor, Chris Spenner and his family, this coming Saturday afternoon & evening from 3:00 to 7:00 – includes hot dogs, ice cream, & other snacks, plus face painting, balloons for the kids, other games & activities – also, the Jake Hoult Band will be performing for a free-will offering – all are invited


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for this Saturday with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The Richland County High School Marching Tiger Color Guard will have a fundraising “car wash” this Saturday at Wood’s Auto Body, along South Route 130, in Olney – that’s from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – the cost is a simple money donation – please stop by and help them out


    The 2017 Willow Hill Annual Homecoming is this Saturday, starting at 9:00 and running throughout the day & evening – includes an antique tractor show, a car/bike show, corn hole rally, cake walk, bingo, flea market, pedal tractor pull, a rabbit catch, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, afternoon entertainment, plenty of food with pulled pork, hot dogs, pork burgers, nachos, and more – that’s all in Willow Hill this Saturday

 

 

 

August 16, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A developing storm system over the Plains this morning will strengthen and lift northeast today – that means more clouds for our downstate area today with the chance of scattered rain, possibly storms, this afternoon thru tonight – plus on-and-off chances of more rain tomorrow morning with lingering rain still possible Thursday afternoon – then we dry out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois House will convene today in Springfield to take up the school funding issue – however, House leaders say they do not plan an attempt to override the Governor’s veto, but instead put the Governor’s rewrite into a new bill for a House vote – if this fails, the House deadline for an override is August 29th – the State Senate voted to override the veto this past Sunday – the Governor used an amendatory veto to delete a portion of the bill that would provide “bailout” money to Chicago schools.

 

(OLNEY)  The excitement continues to build for next Monday’s total solar eclipse that will be visible in a 70-mile-wide path in downstate Illinois – while crowd estimates vary, at least 145,000 people are expected to travel to the totality area in the 18 southernmost counties to experience the rare celestial event and take part in dozens of eclipse-related activities scheduled over a four-day period – as result, the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield will be activated August 18th thru 22nd, plus the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will establish a State Unified Area Command in Effingham, where representatives from the state departments of Transportation, Natural Resources, Public Health, Corrections, IEMA, State Police, Illinois National Guard, American Red Cross, and local fire, law enforcement, & emergency mutual aid organizations will also be staged this Friday thru next Tuesday – for links to get more information about eclipse safety and other related details, visit the state’s website online, at  www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – it was yesterday during Agriculture Day that Governor Rauner named teacher Vic Worthington & his students at Rochelle Middle School as “Illinoisans of the Day” at the State Fair for helping an injured farmer by designing & creating a prosthetic hand : today is Governor’s Day on the fairgrounds – with several past Governors in attendance, it will be Alabama with Neal McCoy on stage tonight : tomorrow is Democrat Day on the fairgrounds with Jason Derulo on stage tomorrow night : for more on the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, logon at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt, is reminding area motorists that with area schools beginning classes this week & next, that means an increase in pedestrian & vehicular traffic around schools – all motorists need to be watchful for children walking or riding their bike to & from school, possibly darting out from between parked cars – plus motorists also need to on the lookout for the slowing & stopped school buses, not only in area communities, but throughout the rural region as well – and remember to always stop when school bus warning lights are activated, regardless of which direction of travel – all are reminded that the speed limit in school zones is 20 miles-per-hour & is in effect from 7:00am to 4:00pm each school day when children are present and remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk – let’s make sure everyone stays safe as the downstate 2017-2018 school years gets started.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met this past Monday night in regular session – the Board  :  agreed to change the Village’s utility billing system to include a single standard sheet bill in a windowed letter size envelope instead of using the current & past postcard system – the additional $780 for a year cost will likely end the past mailing delays thru the Post Office  :  agreed to increase the rate of the Village of Noble water salesman up to $1.00 per 100 gallons, the same rate as the City of Olney  :  approved the recommended changes to the Village’s Codebook  :  agreed to inquire about possible historical items that may be located at the IECC West Richland Center, the former West Richland High School  :  discussed trees within the Village of Noble, noting that an oak tree on the south side of the Village Park is dead and probably should be removed – however noted that a specific tree near the corner of South First Street & West Locust Street is not dead and is on private property  :  noted that the Noble Villagewide Garage Sale Day is this coming Saturday, August 19th  :  and a big “thank you” goes out to all the local businesses and individuals that took time to help, plus those that donated & contributed to last Saturday’s Noble Chowder, making it possible & another success – it’s also noted that raffle winners from the chowder can stop by the Noble Village Hall during regular office hours to pick up their winnings  :  the Board’s next regular meeting is August 28th.

 

(NEWTON)  In this week’s USDA Crop Report – with the extended dry period around most of Illinois, there were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork around the state last week – the statewide average precipitation was 0.40 inches, which was 0.43 inches below normal – the average statewide temperature last week was 69.2 degrees, 4.5 degrees below normal – despite the lack of rain in many areas of the state, both Illinois’ topsoil and subsoil moisture levels are still averaging about 60% adequate  :  here in our ten county area, farmers report over 80% of the local corn crop is in the dough stage with at least a quarter of the corn now denting – meanwhile, the local soybean crop is over 90% blooming with close to 80% now setting pods – while most areas are in need of rain, farmers are reminded to think “safety first” when working outdoors.

 

(OLNEY)  SIHF Healthcare in Olney, formerly Weber Medical Clinic, is celebrating National Health Center Week, now thru Saturday, with public health screenings across Southern Illinois and charity donation drives at its more than 30 health centers – in recognition of this special week, SIHF Healthcare in Olney is now accepting donations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County, based in Olney – the health center, at 1200 North East Street, is also accepting school supply donations to be delivered for area students this coming Friday – for more information or to see how folks can help, call  618-395-5222.

 

(NEWTON)  Congressman John Shimkus has announced the Congressional App Challenge – officially launched by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015, this nationwide effort allows students to compete against their peers by creating an application, or “app” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices – the contest is designed to promote innovation and engagement in coding and computer science and it is open to all students in the downstate 15th Congressional District – the winner’s “app” will be on display in the U.S. Capitol Building and featured nationwide online – for more, logon at  www.CongressionalAppChallenge.us.

 

(OLNEY)  Here's a few notes from the Richland County Farm Bureau  :  area farmers and landowners are invited to an upcoming National Legislative Meeting to be held next Tuesday evening, August 22nd, at the West Salem Community Building, beginning at 5:30  :  meanwhile, a State Legislative Meeting will be held two nights later, on Thursday night, August 24th, at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 7:00  :  also area folks can sign up now for the 2017 Farm Progress Show Bus Trip, which will be Wednesday, August 30th – the Bus Trip will leave from the Mt. Carmel Parkview Christian Church at 6:00 that morning, then depart from the Lawrenceville First Christian Church at 6:30, and leave from the Olney Rural King parking lot at 7:00 – the cost is $35 for active Farm Bureau members and $40 for non-members – the trip will include a stop at Niemerg’s Restaurant in Effingham on the trip home – to reserve a seat, call the respective Farm Bureau offices in Olney (618-393-4116), Lawrenceville (618-943-2610), and Mt. Carmel (618-262-5865).

 

(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show this Saturday in the Olney City Park with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – over 100 awards to be passed out, plus plenty of concessions and more  : also being held is a Ms. Vintage Pin Up Contest, open to area women age 18 or older with an entry fee of $20 per contestant, however limited to the first 25 entries – while pre-registration is preferred, walk ups are welcome if spaces are available – the sign up is that morning from 10:30 to 12:00 noon in the Olney City Park Community Building – the lineup is at 1:00, with the contest from 1:30 to 2:30 – awards will be given and professional photographers will be on site – for details, call  618-723-2853.

 

(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 Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  also today at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are needed to help replenish the low regional blood supply.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The next Jasper County blood drive is coming up this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30 – all blood types are needed – all donors and first donors are urged to turn out


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for this Saturday with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The Richland County High School Marching Tiger Color Guard will have a fundraising “car wash” this Saturday at Wood’s Auto Body, along South Route 130, in Olney – that’s from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – the cost is a simple money donation – please stop by and help them out


    A “boil water order” remains in effect for the eastern portion of the Village of Clay City and some of the surrounding area southeast of Clay City – this “boil order” is in effect for this area until further notice


    It’s back to school today for the schools in Richland and Jasper Counties – the Richland County Schools in Olney, along with the St. Joseph School, will have early dismissals at 2:10 and 1:50, respectively – the Jasper County Schools in Newton and Ste. Marie, along with the St. Thomas School, are in session all day