LOCAL NEWS

Local News

April 16, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As the high pressure ridge keeping us dry and cool moves off to the east today, another low pressure system is moving towards the upper Midwest – this means strong winds and warmer air for our downstate region thru tomorrow – a weak cold front will bring us a brief chance of rain tomorrow night and Friday morning – then dry for the weekend with another shot of rain by Sunday night – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  A recent proposal to raise the Illinois fuel tax to pay for state transportation costs is drawing plenty of debate – statewide retail gas station owners say they are opposed to the plan because raising the tax would hurt drivers and businesses – the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association says the state should stop diverting money intended for roads to other areas of the budget, such as pension funding – it was several days ago that the Transportation for Illinois Coalition unveiled its plan for funding road construction and public transit by increasing the motor fuel tax by 4 cents and eliminating the ethanol credit for gasoline.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is asking for statewide residents to help conserve the Monarch Butterfly – with documented population drops, the State DNR wants to help the official “State Insect” and is asking landowners to plant and raise milkweed plants, which aid the survival of the Monarchs by providing egg-laying area and protection for the chrysalis process from larvae to caterpillar to butterfly – landowners are urged to include milkweed and native flowering plants in their landscaping plans, plus never mow or spray with herbicide any milkweed plants – for more information, logon at www.dnr.state.il.us.

 

(NEWTON)  A recent report shows that Illinois is far from recovering from its economic woes – the Rich States, Poor States study, conducted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, ranks the Land of Lincoln 48th out of the 50 states as it pertains to the state’s economic outlook – Illinois ranked #46 a year ago in 2012 – the report also tracks the states’ competition involved in developing tax and policy reform.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met Monday night – the Board  :  approved the replacement and purchase of two new computers for Village Hall – the total cost from Locis was $2,500  :  agreed to purchase the empty property lot at 129 East North Avenue, connecting to the Village Hall parking lot, from the Summers-Kistler Funeral Home  :  discussed a possible water rate increase from the City of Olney, but no word received as of yet  :  discussed the condition of specific property on West South Avenue and West North Avenue  :  discussed, but took no action to stop vandals from driving thru the Noble Village Park  :  noted that the Farmers Market in Noble will begin May 1st, from 3:00 to 6:00 each Thursday thereafter  :  took no action on a request to lay approximately 800 feet of new sidewalk at the south part of the Village  :  noted that this Friday is the Village’s “spring clean-up” day as trash customers should have their trash items curbside before their normal trash pickup time Friday morning  :  and agreed to donate $25 to the West Richland Schools for the May Day Parade  :  the Village Board’s next regular meeting is April 28th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night in regular session – the Council  :  approved payment of bills totaling $89,777 for the month of March  :  approved the balanced city budget for fiscal year 2015, which includes no electric and/or water utility rate increase for the year ahead  :  unanimously approved the appointment of City Department Heads effective May 1st, 2014  :  approved a 45 cents per hour wage hike for Department Heads  :  approved a 40 cents per hour wage increase for the City’s Electric Consultant and Clerk  :  approved the City Treasurer’s salary agreement  :  approved the appointment of Melissa Brooks as Risk Management Coordinator and IMRF Authorized Agent  :  approved the Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Agreement resolution  :  passed an ordinance to amend the requirements for golf carts and neighborhood vehicles within the city  :  passed an ordinance to amend the requirements for concealed weapons  :  noted that the City of Newton’s “City-Wide Clean-Up” will be next Friday, April 25th  :  and took no other action after a 20-minute closed session to discuss litigation  :  the Newton City Council’s next meeting is May 6th.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau continues with its 2014 planting season rainfall report this spring – with the reporting period ending at 8:00 this past Monday morning, Richland County’s average rainfall for the previous 7-day period came in at 0.89 inches – the county’s highest total of rain reported to the Farm Bureau in the 7-day time frame was 1.90 inches in Bonpas Township, followed closely by 1.20 inches in both Preston and Decker Townships – the 7-day total was 1.10 inches in Madison Township, followed by 0.90 inches in German Township, 0.80 inches in Claremont Township, 0.45 inches in Olney Township, 0.30 inches in Denver Township, and 0.20 inches in Noble Township – the week’s total at our WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service weather station at the south edge of Olney was at 1.02 inches.

 

(NEWTON)  This week’s USDA Crop Report shows last week’s activities included anhydrous application, some spring tillage, and oat planting, although some severe storms and heavy rainfall put a hold on some work – last week’s statewide average temperature was 54.5 degrees, that’s 5 degrees above normal – the state’s average rainfall amount was 0.32 inches, which was 0.63 inches below normal – as of Sunday, 1% of the state’s corn crop had been planted, the same as a year ago, but a little below the 5-year average of 10% – farmers here in our ten county area report some tillage work in the fields, but no real planting as of yet.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s those area blood drives coming up : today from 1:00 to 6:00 at the Robinson Community Building : tomorrow from 8:30 to 2:00 at the Flora High School : Saturday from 11:00 to 3:00 at Papa Murphy’s in Mattoon  :  next Monday from 1:00 to 5:00 at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson  :  also next Monday from 2:00 to 6:00 at the Community Building in Stewardson : also next week near Louisville, in Flora, Olney, Carmi, and Effingham : as always, all blood types are very much needed.

 

(OLNEY)  This month’s meeting of the Radio Amateur Downstate Illinois Organization is tonight at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 7:00 – an IEMA presentation will be made on the SuperStorm Sandy devastation on the East Coast and the emergency efforts that followed – area EMA, IEMA, Public Service and first Responders, Emergency Service organizations, and other interested folks are invited tonight.

 

(OLNEY)  State Representative David Reis has three area stops during traveling office hours today – a member of the lawmaker’s staff will be at the Dieterich City Hall this morning from 9:00 to 10:00, at the Louisville City Hall from 11:00 to 12 noon, and at the Clay City Village Hall this afternoon from 1:30 to 2:30 – local residents are invited to stop by at these times to share any concerns or to ask any questions.

 

REMINDERS :
    A Quarter Auction fundraiser to benefit the Humane Society of Olney will be held this Saturday night at the Olney VFW – doors open at 6:00 with the Auction at 6:30 – for tickets or details, call Deb at 843-3470


    The next City of Olney Community Clean-Up Day is set for this Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 – all volunteers should meet at Musgrove Park as teams will walk around Olney picking up litter – then those helping out will meet back at the Park to sort recyclables and dispose of trash – free pedometers to the first 250 volunteers – for more information or details go to www.facebook.com/Citizens.for.a.Greener.Olney


    The Olney Knights of Columbus will have its final Friday night “fish fry” this weekend along Whittle Avenue – serving from 5:00 to 7:30 with carry-outs available and tickets at the door – all are invited


    The Richland County Tea Party has its next monthly meeting tomorrow night at the Olney City Park Community Building, starting at 6:30 – topics of discussion will include the minimum wage law, national Senate elections, and the upcoming “Faith, Family, & Freedom Rally” in June – all are invited to attend


    The Calhoun Community Club Building will host a public meeting tomorrow night at 7:00 to talk about the upkeep and mowing of the Calhoun and Richland Cemeteries – those interested are invited


    A National Healthcare Decision Day event is later today from 4:00 to 6:00 at Richland Memorial Hospital, in the lower level conference room – topics include legalities of advanced directives & power of attorney, organ donations, and orders for life sustaining treatment forms – all are invited


    Today’s the final day to place orders for the RMH Auxiliary Geranium sale with three colors available, either red, pink, or white – the pickup date is a week from tomorrow – call RMH today to place your order

 

 

 

April 15, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  A high pressure ridge will shift across the region today thru tonight, giving us quiet and cool conditions – by Wednesday a southerly wind flow on the back side of the high will bring in some warmer air – then some rain Thursday night thru Friday – looks like a dry and mild holiday weekend coming up.

 

 (NEWTON)  Illinois lawmakers are debating on how to avoid major cuts to schools and social services next year – one option is to make the temporary income tax permanent to avoid an estimated $1.6 billion loss in revenue in fiscal year 2015 – some are thinking about changing the state’s tax code from a “flat” tax, where everyone pays the same rate to a progressive system, which taxes higher-earners more – while Democrats must weigh the political risks of another tax hike, Republicans are making streamlined government spending a focal point in their campaigns for governor and legislative seats around Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Fair is announcing more performers to the list of grandstand shows at this summer’s event in Springfield – added is classic legendary 70’s jazz rockers Steely Dan and country music singer songwriter Hunter Hayes – the list already includes classic rock band Boston, country duo Florida Georgia Line, plus Sweet and April Wine – the 2014 State Fair will be held August 7 thru 17 – for more about the Grandstand entertainment lineup, visit the fair’s website at  www.illinoisstatefair.info.

 

(NEWTON)  Early polls show the incumbent Governor in a slight uphill battle in his re-election bid – the Rasmussen Poll has GOP challenger Bruce Rauner with 43% of the vote compared to Pat Quinn’s 40% – while 10% were undecided, 6% said they would prefer different candidates – the election is November 4th.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night – the Council  :  approved an ordinance for new water and sewer rate increases which take effect with bills processed in May, due in June – the 3 to 1 vote was on the rates approved at the March 24th meeting  :  approved the $16,900 bid from Dolls Incorporated to construct a new road thru a new part of Maple Dale Cemetery  :  on a 2 to 2 vote with one Councilman absent, turned down a Liquor License request, basically dealing with video gaming  :  agreed to take a poll of residents near the intersection of Hedgerow Drive and Jonathan Drive to see if stop signs are needed in this area  :  approved various appointments to Boards and Commissions made by the Mayor  :  discussed the parking at Musgrove Park and agreed to leave things as there are and let the newly appointed Park Board to discuss  :  took no action on discussions involving the fiscal year 2015 budget  :  noted that the Electric Aggregation contract will expire within the month with new rates out in June – customers again have the right to opt-out of the program in the future  :  noted that the city’s curbside recycling will be picked up by Wilson Metals beginning next Monday, April 21st – there’s no pick up this Friday due to the Good Friday observance  :  and took no other action after a closed session  :  the Olney City Council’s next regular meeting is April 28. 

 

(NEWTON)  Newly named Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, has released the activity and enforcement figures for the month of March – District 12 Troopers assisted 240 motorists, conducted 469 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 91 traffic wrecks – District 12 Troopers issued 1,031 citations and 1,050 written warnings, which included 498 speeding citations, 26 DUI’s, 170 seatbelt citations, 12 child restraint citations, 245 written warnings for speeding, and 38 criminal arrests during the 31 days – Troopers answered 330 calls for service & initiated 1,701 incidents in the field – also, District 12 Troopers handed out 647 citations and 279 written warnings for the “Fatal Four” violations, which include speeding, DUI, distracted driving, and failure to wear a seatbelt – District 12 includes the regional counties of Jasper, Cumberland, Clark, Crawford, Lawrence, Richland, Clay, Marion, Effingham, and Fayette.

 

(NOBLE)  The West Richland FFA Chapter has had more recent success, placing 1st overall at the Regional Envirothon contest held last week at East Richland High School in Olney – the winning team from Noble consisted of Bryan Allard, Molly Walker, Mackenzie Michels, Holly Stallard, and Matthew Runyon – the team now advances to the State Envirothon competition in Monticello on April 30th later this month.

 

(OLNEY)  In regards to erroneous information we announced yesterday, the USDA has plans to open enrollment today for the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), which according to the 2014 Farm Bill, makes these programs permanent and provides retroactive authority to cover eligible losses back to October 1st of  2011 – various requirements apply and additional details will become available from the USDA – producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency office.

 

(NEWTON)  Special Olympics Illinois has named a Mattoon woman as the new East Central / Area 9 Director at the Area Office in Charleston – Vanessa Duncan will be responsible for managing Special Olympics activities including training, competition, fundraising, and administration for the area – Duncan previously served as a mental health provider in Cumberland, Douglas, Coles, Clark, and Edgar Counties – in addition to these counties, the Special Olympics East Central / Area 9 also serves the counties of Jasper, Crawford, Richland, Lawrence, Clay, and Shelby, with more than 779 athletes and over 1,000 volunteers.

 

(OLNEY)  Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel is hosting its semi-annual Job Fair tomorrow afternoon from 12 noon to 6:00 in the Spencer Sports Center – the event is open to all area high school students, as well as WVC students and alumni – area employers will be on hand – call Wabash Valley College for more.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s those area blood drives coming up this week : today from 9:00 to 2:00 at the Oblong High School : also today from 10:00 to 3:00 at Lake Land College, south of Mattoon : and tomorrow from 1:00 to 6:00 at the Robinson Community Building : as always, all blood types are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS :
    The next City of Olney Community Clean-Up Day is set for this Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 – all volunteers should meet at Musgrove Park as teams will walk around Olney picking up litter – then those helping out will meet back at the Park to sort recyclables and dispose of trash – free pedometers to the first 250 volunteers – for more information or details go to www.facebook.com/Citizens.for.a.Greener.Olney


    The Runyon’s Beach Relay for Life team will have a fundraising cookout this Saturday at CVS in Olney with serving from 10:00 to 2:00 – includes pork burgers, brats, grilled chicken sandwiches, hotdogs, and plenty of baked goodies – the Easter Bunny will also be on hand – proceeds to the local fight against cancer


    The Olney Knights of Columbus will have its final Friday night “fish fry” this weekend along Whittle Avenue – serving from 5:00 to 7:30 with carry-outs available and tickets at the door – all are invited


    The Richland County Tea Party has its next monthly meeting this Thursday night at the Olney City Park Community Building, starting at 6:30 – topics of discussion will include the minimum wage law, national Senate elections, and the upcoming “Faith, Family, & Freedom Rally” in June – all are invited to attend


    The Calhoun Community Club Building will host a public meeting this Thursday night at 7:00 to talk about the upkeep and mowing of the Calhoun and Richland Cemeteries – those interested are invited


    A National Healthcare Decision Day event will be held tomorrow from 4:00 to 6:00 at Richland Memorial Hospital, in the lower level conference room – topics include legalities of advanced directives & power of attorney, organ donations, and orders for life sustaining treatment forms – all are invited


    The Jasper County Health Department has its next Children First class tomorrow afternoon from 3:00 to 7:00 with registration starting at 2:00 – the cost is $75 – the class is for divorcing or separating couples who have minor children – to pre-register or for details, call the Department at 618-783-4154

 

 

 

April 14, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As the strong low pressure system moves across Illinois today, colder air will move in and drop our temperatures by this evening – plus, an upper level disturbance will likely bring us a few more spotty showers, possibly some light snow by tonight, but no accumulation is expected – then a high pressure ridge will keep us dry tomorrow and thru the rest of the work week with a warm up – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois lawmakers are pushing for legislation that childproofs electronic cigarettes – a new proposal would allow the State to set standards for the packaging of e-cigarette liquid or e-liquid refills, which contain concentrations of nicotine in liquid form, which in turn could cause acute nicotine poisoning if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed into the skin and/or eyes – consideration of this bill is expected this month.

 

(OLNEY)  Taxpayers are reminded of tomorrow’s April 15th tax deadline – not only has more statewide residents filed their taxes by internet than ever before, but the Internal Revenue Service estimates that at least 85% of the national taxes have been filed online – for last minute details, logon at www.irs.gov.

   

(NEWTON)  There’s a big regional winner who bought a $20 million Illinois Lottery ticket in Christian County, up in Taylorville – the holder or holders have yet to come forward to claim their prize – the ticket was purchased at the local Kroger Store – Saturday’s drawing had a few other upstate winners as well.

 

(OLNEY)  A huge “thank you” to everyone who helped us out during last Thursday and Friday’s Country Cares St. Jude Radiothon on Freedom 92.9 – while our corporate group of radio stations in the four states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee raised nearly $41,000 during the two day event, our Freedom 92.9 total raised came in at just over $8,000 – all of the funds go straight to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which leads the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases – in fact, St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for the most aggressive childhood cancers, and treatments at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago – from all of us at 92.9, thanks so much for your great support.

 

(OLNEY)  Time’s running out for residents to go online and cast a vote in support the students at East Richland High School – simply go online at www.seedsofchangegrant.com and vote for the ERHS Classroom to Cafeteria Program – a $10,000 or $20,000 grant could be won by the school, that would result in students growing fresh produce to help feed the students in the ERHS cafeteria – so logon now thru next Monday, April 21st, and vote at least once a day – again, that website is www.seedsofchangegrant.com.

 

(NEWTON)  Three Jasper County residents are still in custody indicted on various drug charges last week – 45 year old Terry Miller of Newton, 36 year old Joshua Hill of rural Wheeler, and 30 year old Jessica Dilley of Wheeler face different charges dealing with the delivery, possession, and/or manufacturing of methamphetamine, all the result of a lengthy multi-agency investigation conducted by the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force with cooperation from the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Newton City Police, and the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department – with one court date set for tomorrow, the other two court dates will be next month, on May 20 – remember, all are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

(OLNEY)  The U.S. Route 50 Four-Lane Coalition recently visited legislators in Springfield earlier this month to sit down and talk with various leaders of the General Assembly – Coalition members stressed the need for a Capital Bill to fund Highways and other infrastructure projects – in fact, the Coalition requested $50 million be designated to complete the Phase I and II studies for the U.S. Route 50 Four-Lane expansion project – also while in the Springfield, the Coalition interviewed three lobbyist candidates to succeed Chuck Hartke after he retires at the end of June this year – the Coalition was represented members of different area counties : RCDC Executive Director Courtney Yockey of Richland County : Charles Gillespie of Lawrence County : Clay City Mayor and Co-President Trevor Bissey of Clay County : Breese Mayor & Co-President Charlie Hilmes of Clinton County : Salem Mayor John Raymer of Marion County : and Mike Burton of Clinton County : for more information or for contact details, logon at www.us50coalition.com.

 

(NEWTON)  Lake Land College has announced that Jean Anne Grunloh of Effingham is the new Executive Assistant to the President at LLC – she will support the President’s Office, provide leadership relations & strategic planning, serve as a liaison to the Board of Trustees, and manage special projects at the college – Grunloh previously served as Executive Director of the East Central Illinois Development Corporation.

 

(OLNEY)      Here’s those area blood drives coming up this week : today from 10:00 to 3:00 at Lawrence County Memorial Hospital in Lawrenceville : tomorrow from 9:00 to 2:00 at the Oblong High School : also tomorrow from 10:00 to 3:00 at Lake Land College, south of Mattoon : on Wednesday at the Robinson Community Building from 1:00 to 6:00 : as always, all blood types are much needed throughout the area.

 

REMINDERS :
    The next Community Clean-Up Day is set for this Saturday in the City of Olney, scheduled from 1:00 to 4:00, at the Musgrove Park – all volunteers are welcome to come out and help out this Saturday


    The Richland County Tea Party has its next monthly meeting this Thursday night at the Olney City Park Community Building, starting at 6:30 – topics of discussion will include the minimum wage law, national Senate elections, and the upcoming “Faith, Family, & Freedom Rally” in June – all are invited to attend


    The Calhoun Community Club Building will host a public meeting this Thursday night at 7:00 to talk about the upkeep and mowing of the Calhoun and Richland Cemeteries – those interested are invited


    A National Healthcare Decision Day event will be held this Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 at Richland Memorial Hospital, in the lower level conference room – topics include legalities of advanced directives & power of attorney, organ donations, and orders for life sustaining treatment forms – all are invited


    The Jasper County Health Department has its next Children First class this coming Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 to 7:00 with registration starting at 2:00 – the cost is $75 – the class is for divorcing or separating couples who have minor children – to pre-register or for details, call the Department at 618-783-4154


   There are two municipal meetings tonight : the Noble Village Board meets at 7:00 at Village Hall in Noble : the Olney City Council meets at 7:00 in Council Chambers at the Olney City Hall


    The East Orchard Christian Academy has a fundraiser at Monical’s Pizza today thru tonight Monday – stop by, fill out a form while ordering, and a portion of the receipt will be donated – that’s thru tonight

 

 

 

April 12, 2014

(

OLNEY)  Mild and windy weather conditions are on tap for today and tomorrow as the warm front stays to our north – however, an approaching cold front will roll thru by Monday morning – it will give us our next chance of rain by Sunday night – then cooler air returns Monday with the rain ending that night – it’s mostly dry conditions next Tuesday thru the rest of the work week with warm air returning – listen for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  Time is running out for Richland County residents to go online and cast a vote in support our local students – the East Richland High School has entered the Seeds of Change Grant Program for an opportunity to receive one of two $20,000 or one of fifteen $10,000 grants – the ERHS application is looking for grant funds to raise and provide fresh produce to the ERHS cafeteria by utilizing hydroponic equipment in the ERHS Ag Department’s greenhouse – continuing now thru April 21st, a week from next Monday, visitors can go online and vote once per day with the top 50 organizations advancing to the final judging phase – simply go online at www.seedsofchangegrant.com and vote for the ERHS Classroom to Cafeteria Program – the Seeds of Change organization was founded back in 1989 by passionate gardeners with a vision to make organically grown seeds available to gardeners and farmers throughout America.

 

(OLNEY)  Time is running out for area farmers who plan to participate in FSA programs this year to register at their FSA Service Center – producers must report farm records and business structure changes by the close of office hours next Tuesday, April 15th – this includes enrollment for the disaster programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill – farmers should call or stop by their respective FSA Service Center.

 

REMINDERS :
    The East Orchard Christian Academy has a fundraiser at Monical’s Pizza next Monday – stop by, fill out a form while ordering, and a percentage of the receipt will be donated – that’s Monday afternoon thru night


    City workers will begin spring maintenance and mowing next week in Haven Hill Cemetery, Maple Dale Cemetery, & Haven Hill Memorial Garden – all cemetery decorations should be picked up by next Monday


    Here’s those area blood drives coming up : tomorrow morning from 8:00 to 12 noon at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste. Marie : Monday from 10:00 to 3:00 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrenceville : next Tuesday from 9:00 to 2:00 at the Oblong High School : as always, all blood types are very much needed


    The Dundas Ruritan Club has its fundraising “bulk chowder” today with serving from 11:00 until sold out – it’s by the gallon or half gallon, plus homemade pies & baked goodies – no glass containers


    The Southern Smilers 4-H Club will have a fundraising pork burger sale today at the Rural King Store in Olney, with serving to start at 10:00 – all proceeds go to club activities and projects


    A “spring bazaar” is today from 9:00 to 3:00 at the Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton – with catered food available, there will be a large selection of vendors – something for everyone


    The White Squirrel 4-H Club has a fundraising cookout today at the Olney IGA with serving from 9:00 to 2:00 – they’ll have freshly cooked pork burgers & brats with proceeds to benefit club activities


    The Jasper County Shrine Club will host a mini screening clinic for children with bone, muscle, or joint problems this morning from 9:00 to 11:00 at the Jasper County Health Department in Newton


    The Olney Firefighter’s have a fundraising breakfast this morning at the Olney Fire Station on North Walnut Street – serving from now to 11:00 or until sold out – donations accepted at the door


    The Olney Public Library has its annual “book sale” this weekend – it continues today from 9:00 to 2:00 with plenty of good used books, CD’s, DVD’s, and more – stop by & check it out

 

 

 

April 11, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As last night’s cold front has stalled out here in Southern Illinois, the chance of scattered rain will hang around for a while today, although most all of us will stay dry – then a good-looking weekend with warmer conditions will come about tomorrow and Sunday – but an approaching storm system could give us rain by Sunday night – then cooler with rain next Monday and Tuesday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  State lawmakers were busy in Springfield yesterday : a bill to provide pregnant women with new workplace rights passed in the State House and now goes to the State Senate : a bill to ban Illinois government departments from buying, renting, or leasing vehicles not made in America passed in the House and now goes to the State Senate : & the proposal to amend the State Constitution to ban voter-suppression tactics that passed in the House last week was approved by the State Senate yesterday – the question will now be on the November 4th ballot – it becomes law if three-fifths of those approve it with a “yes” vote.

 

(OLNEY)  The former Chief of Staff for the State Public Health Department will be sentenced this summer – Quinshaunta Golden pled guilty yesterday to stealing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in several kickback schemes – Golden, the niece of Congressman Danny Davis, was hired back in 2003 by then State Health Director Dr. Eric Whitaker, a friend of President Obama – the plea calls for at least 10 years in jail.

 

(NEWTON)  During this National Public Health Week, it’s a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation – this year’s theme is “Public Health : Start Here” and each weekday has a specific focus – today’s focus is “Be The Healthiest Nation in One Generation” – folks are encouraged to check with one of the 96 certified public health departments across the state for tips on how to stay healthy – or check the Department’s website online at www.idph.state.il.us.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met last night in regular session – the Board  :  on a 4 to 2 vote, with one member absent, approved the county claims worth $73,356 – the high costs included $8,500 for attorney fees and $2,500 for juvenile housing outside of Richland County  :  approved nearly $9,000 to purchase new radio repeaters for the Claremont-Bonpas Fire Department  :  approved the $4,800 payment for asbestos removal from the Courthouse  :  approved the development of a new Liquor License – the new B-1 License is for a combination restaurant / package liquor establishment with the cost at $1,800 per year  :  approved a joint agreement with IDOT for the funding of county and township road sign replacement  :  agreed to seek bids for the Preston Township Jacko Creek bridge replacement project for next fiscal year  :  approved Liquor Licenses for the Stringtown Picnic and for the D & R Restaurant, south of Parkersburg  :  approved the annual tax levy to support the Richland County Extension Service  :  noted a public hearing on proposed action by the Public Building Commission of Richland County will be held prior to the next regular meeting  :  also said a “thank you” to the Builders of the Future 4-H Club for providing and serving supper to the Board last night  :  the Richland County Board’s next regular meeting will be May 8th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board met last night in regular session in Newton – the Board  :  agreed to purchase ten more computers for the County Offices to complete the replacement project  :  also agreed to buy additional monitors, protection sonic walls, monitor cards, and other needed items  :  agreed to return the recommendation of salaries for elected officials to the Finance Committee  :  agreed to lift the residency requirement to hire a much needed full-time paramedic for the Ambulance Service  :  agreed to repair the Ambulance Service doors at the cost of  $1,435  :  approved a resolution to encourage the State General Assembly to increase the surcharge on cell phones to help with emergency 9-1-1 funding  :  agreed to split the cost with Effingham County for bridge improvements in North Muddy Township  :  and heard details about the possible coal mining process  :  the Jasper County Board’s next regular meeting will be May 8th.

 

(NEWTON)  Three Jasper County residents have been indicted on various drug charges – 45 year old Terry Miller of Newton, 36 year old Joshua Hill of rural Wheeler, and 30 year old Jessica Dilley of Wheeler are all in custody with court dates set for next week and later in May – the three face charges of drug delivery, possession, and more, all the result of a lengthy multi-agency investigation conducted by the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force with cooperation from the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Newton City Police, and the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department – all are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

(OLNEY)  Time is running out for area farmers who plan to participate in FSA programs this year to register at their FSA Service Center – producers must report farm records and business structure changes by the close of office hours next Tuesday, April 15th – this includes enrollment for the disaster programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill – farmers should call or stop by their respective FSA Service Center.

 

(NEWTON)  Congratulations to the Newton FFA Chapter as members have done well in recent competitions – the Livestock Judging Team includes seniors Jacob Lidy and Andrea Cartright, junior Garrett Hall, and freshman Henry Volk – the team recently finished 2nd out of over 60 teams at the Lake Land College contest – they also have placed 4th in competitions at the Illinois Beef Expo and a Fayette County Clinic – the Newton FFA team now prepares for State FFA Competition later this month.

 

REMINDERS :
    The East Orchard Christian Academy has a fundraiser at Monical’s Pizza next Monday – stop by, fill out a form while ordering, and a percentage of the receipt will be donated – that’s Monday afternoon thru night


    City workers will begin spring maintenance and mowing next week in Haven Hill Cemetery, Maple Dale Cemetery, & Haven Hill Memorial Garden – all cemetery decorations should be picked up by next Monday


    Here’s those area blood drives coming up : Sunday morning from 8:00 to 12 noon at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste. Marie : Monday from 10:00 to 3:00 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrenceville : next Tuesday from 9:00 to 2:00 at the Oblong High School : as always, all blood types are very much needed


    The Dundas Ruritan Club has its fundraising “bulk chowder” tomorrow with serving from 11:00 until sold out – it’s by the gallon or half gallon, plus homemade pies & baked goodies – no glass containers


    The Southern Smilers 4-H Club will have a fundraising pork burger sale tomorrow at the Rural King Store in Olney, with serving to start at 10:00 – all proceeds go to club activities and projects


    A “spring bazaar” is tomorrow from 9:00 to 3:00 at the Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton – with catered food available, there will be a large selection of vendors – something for everyone


    The White Squirrel 4-H Club has a fundraising cookout tomorrow at the Olney IGA with serving from 9:00 to 2:00 – they’ll have freshly cooked pork burgers & brats with proceeds to benefit club activities


    The Jasper County Shrine Club will host a mini screening clinic for children with bone, muscle, or joint problems tomorrow morning from 9:00 to 11:00 at the Jasper County Health Department in Newton


    The Olney Firefighter’s have a fundraising breakfast tomorrow morning at the Olney Fire Station on North Walnut Street – serving from 6:00 to 11:00 or until sold out - donations accepted at the door


    The Olney Public Library has its annual “book sale” this weekend – from 5:00 to 7:00 tonight and from 9:00 to 2:00 tomorrow – plenty of good used books, plus CD’s, DVD’s, and more – stop by & check it out


    The OCC Music Department has its Spring Alumni Reunion Concert tonight in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center, starting at 7:30 – a reunion reception will follow – all are invited


    The Newton Junior Woman’s Club has its annual “purse auction” fundraiser tonight at 6:30 at Parklanes in Newton – full of various donated items, the new and gently used purses & bags will be up for auction with proceeds to the Jasper County Cancer Fund – admission & refreshments are free – all invited


    It’s another Friday night “fish fry” tonight at the Olney Knights of Columbus Hall on Whittle Avenue – serving from 5:00 to 7:30 with carry-outs available – pay at the door – all are invited


    The Fine Art Showcase continues at The Holiday in Olney, today from 11:00 to 8:30 – the Showcase Reception & Rewards Ceremony is tonight at 6:00 – check it out at The Holiday today thru tonight


    The Elementary School Kindergarten classes will perform their music program today in the ERES dining hall – that’s at 10:00 this morning and at 2:15 this afternoon – all are invited to one or both performances


    The Jasper County Unit #1 Kindergarten pre-registration ends today at the Ste. Marie Elementary School, from 9:30 to 11:00 this morning and from 12:30 to 2:00 this afternoon – if questions, call 618-455-3219