LOCAL NEWS

Local News

March 28, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  A high pressure ridge over the Upper Midwest will keep us dry & rather cold again today, but an approaching frontal boundary will bring us a quick shot of rain by late tomorrow afternoon before ending Sunday night – then dry & warmer for the first half of next week – rain again Thursday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  During this Severe Weather Preparedness Month, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging folks to develop a “family communications plan” that includes the “Text First, Talk Second” concept – it’s after an emergency that critical 911 calls or calls to family members can be blocked due to overloaded and/or disconnected telephone lines – therefore, short & simple text messages are the way to go – for more on developing a family communications plan, logon at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  There’s still some flooding issues in our downstate area, although most all regional rivers and their tributaries will continue to fall by the first of next week – motorists and those traveling are reminded to stay off of those rural roads covered by backwaters – use common sense in these areas of flood roadways.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially with all blood types & blood platelets in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  tomorrow at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Salem from 8:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at the Buck Grove Church near Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more information on giving blood or for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder to area voters that Absentee Voting for the April 7th Consolidated Election is now being conducted in County Clerk offices around the state (at the Richland County Courthouse in Olney and the Jasper County Office Building in Newton) – the early voting process is also now underway as well – call or stop by your County Clerk’s office for details – they’re open Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

REMINDERS  :
    It’s the final two performances of the OCC production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend at Olney Central College – tonight at 7:30 and tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 – remaining tickets an hour before show time

  
    The Second Annual Easter Egg Hunt is today at the Grove Township Community Center, starting at 1:00 – pork burgers, hotdogs, chips, and drinks served at 12 noon – it’s open to all children age 8 and under


   A Richland County  Easter Egg Hunt is this afternoon at Helia Healthcare in Olney, starting at 1:00 – there will be four age groups and special prizes, plus refreshments – everyone is welcome


    The St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton will host a “Spring Bazaar” today from 9:00 to 3:00 – over 20 different vendors on hand, plus food provided by Oak Street Smoked Meats & Catering


    It’s the Suntone Beach Survivors’ fundraising “Brunch with the Girls” this morning at the St. Joseph Multi Purpose Room from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – various vendors on hand with proceeds to fight cancer


    The 13th annual Sumner Masonic Lodge #334 Scholarship Breakfast & Benefit Fundraiser is this morning from 7:00 to 10:00 – free will donations accepted at the door with a regular breakfast menu on tap

 

 

 

March 27, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  High pressure will drift across the Upper Midwest thru the first half of the weekend, keeping us dry here in downstate Illinois – however, with colder air in place today and tomorrow, we’ll start a warm up Sunday, although a weak warm front could give us some rain Sunday afternoon thru that night – then a dry sky & warmer air moves in for the first half of next week – rain again Wednesday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  A new measure designed to temporarily fill a large hole in the state’s budget is now official – the State Senate approved a bill yesterday that would rearrange money in the current budget to plug a $1.6 billion gap – Governor Bruce Rauner later signed it into law – it will transfer nearly $1.3 billion and cut the entire budget by just over 2% – the funds will help pay prison guards, court reporters, & childcare workers.

 

(OLNEY)  With the approval of the budget bill in Springfield, what about the cuts and state funds losing money – a good chunk of the money will come out of the state’s road construction funds, which will likely reduce any highway or bridge improvement work around the state – also, statewide colleges & universities will lose money – the University of  Illinois for instance, will have to cut $15 million from its own budget – not much is being said about where else the funds will be cut from or what services will suffer as a result.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Housing Development Authority is offering first time homebuyers several options for financial aid – it’s called the “At Home Illinois” program, where low-income qualifiers can get a $5,000 grant that’s forgiven after a ten year period – they can also be eligible for a mortgage credit certificate – this will allow them to take part of their interest each year as a direct tax credit on their federal income taxes.

 

(OLNEY)  At its regular monthly meeting last week, the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees  :  agreed to renew a contract extension with the District’s software provider, Ellucian  :  approved five affiliation agreements with area health care institutions for the Pharmacy Tech Program and the Basic Nurse Assistant Program  :  approved a $25 fee for three new automotive service technology courses  :  approved a change to the Textbook Rental Fees at Frontier Community College, the only IECC college that uses such a program  :  approved changes to the District’s tuition waiver policy with revisions lowering the tuition cap from the current 19 credit hours to 16 credit hours – tuition will be waived for any credit hours taken that exceed 16 in a given semester  :  the IECC Board of Trustees will have its next regular meeting at a different day and time than usual – it will be Monday, April 20th, at 5:30, at Wabash Valley College.

 

(NEWTON)  At its regular monthly meeting last week, the Jasper County School Board  :  approved a few donations – $900 to the NCHS Scholastic Bowl Team from the Illinois Masonic Charities Fund for hosting the annual tournament – $100 from the Newton Junior Women’s Club for the District’s Our Community Reads Program – and almost $31 to the NCHS General Activity Fund from Target’s “Take Charge of Education” promotion  :  discussed the possibility of school bus leasing, plus borrowing options for the 2015-2016 school year, but no action was taken  :  and noted the School District’s enrollment projections, which shows enrollment in grades K thru 6 will likely drop by 40 students by the year 2020  :  while the Board’s next regular monthly meeting will be Monday, April 20th, at 6:30, the Board will conduct its organizational meeting a week later, on Monday, April 27th, at 6:30 – a representative from the ISBE will be there that night to conduct a board member training – this will follow the April 7th school board election.

 

(OLNEY)  A Wabash County investigation continues into the drowning of a Keensburg man – authorities say 22 year old Aaron Salter went missing a week ago today & after an extensive search, Salter’s body was found this past Wednesday in the Wabash River – his ATV was found submerged in river backwaters.

 

(OLNEY)  A Marion County woman has been charged with two counts of First Degree Murder after the death of her 3 month old child earlier this week – authorities report 23 year old Christina Thompson of Salem is currently being held on a $1 million bond – the downstate Child Death Review Task Force says Thompson apparently covered her infant daughter with several blankets when the baby would not stop crying – another 2 year old daughter was taken into protective custody – another sibling survives elsewhere.

 

(OLNEY)  Wayne County authorities are investigating the death of a rural Cisne man who was found earlier this week at his home – 24 year old Jerome Bugielski was unresponsive when found and evidence at the scene indicates he died from an overdose of heroin – an autopsy is scheduled to verify the cause of death.

 

(NEWTON)  Times running out for farmers to sign up for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill – it was nearly four weeks ago that the USDA extended the deadline until March 31st for farmers to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres and to sign up for the ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage) and PLC (Price Loss Coverage) programs – farmers should contact their FSA County office.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially with all blood types & blood platelets in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Community Center in Kinmundy from 2:30 to 5:30  :  tomorrow at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  on Sunday at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Salem from 8:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at the Buck Grove Church near Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more information on giving blood or to go online and schedule an appointment to donate, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder to area voters that Absentee Voting for the April 7th Consolidated Election is now being conducted in County Clerk offices around the state (at the Richland County Courthouse in Olney and the Jasper County Office Building in Newton) – the early voting process is also now underway as well – call or stop by your County Clerk’s office for details – they’re open Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NEWTON)  The Fife Opera House auditorium will host HighRoad in concert tonight at 7:00 as the award winning Appalachian gospel trio from Nashville, Tennessee will perform their favorites – tickets available at the door with the proceeds going to the FOH and other Palestine Preservation Projects – all are invited.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Second Annual Easter Egg Hunt is tomorrow at the Grove Township Community Center, starting at 1:00 – beginning at 12 noon, there will be pork burgers, hotdogs, chips, and drinks served – the Egg Hunt is open to all children age 8 and under – the Grand Prize is $50 in Jasper County Chamber Bucks – all invited


    The St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton will host a “Spring Bazaar” tomorrow from 9:00 to 3:00 – over 20 different vendors will be available, plus food provided by Oak Street Smoked Meats & Catering


    The Suntone Beach Survivors will host a fundraising “Brunch with the Girls” tomorrow morning at the St. Joseph Multi Purpose Room from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – various vendors will be on hand with proceeds to benefit the Richland County Relay For Life and our local fight against cancer – check it out


    The 13th annual Sumner Masonic Lodge #334 Scholarship Breakfast & Benefit Fundraiser is tomorrow morning from 7:00 to 10:00 – free will donations accepted at the door with a regular breakfast menu on tap


    The Olney Knights of Columbus have another Friday night “fish fry” this evening with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 at the KC Hall along Whittle Avenue in Olney – pay at the door – carry-outs available


    The Jasper County Law Enforcement “Shop With A Cop” program has a fundraising “fish fry” tonight at the Newton VFW – with serving from 4:30 to 8:00, carry-outs will be available


    The Newton Community High School Chorus presents the musical “Mary Poppins” tonight thru Sunday afternoon in the NCHS Auditorium – tickets on sale in the NCHS office – all ages are invited


    It’s the final three performances of the OCC production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend at Olney Central College – tickets on sale today from 10:00 to 2:00 – the next performance is at 7:30 tonight

   
    The ERES Kindergarten classes will perform their music program “Reach For the Stars” today in the Elementary School dining room – students of Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Hendrickson, & Mrs. Harmon perform at 10:00am – students of Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Grundon, & Mrs. Pampe perform at 2:15pm – all are invited

 

 

 

March 26, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  As the strong low pressure system moves thru the Midwest into the Ohio River Valley today, our rain chances end and some cooler air moves in for tomorrow and Saturday – as a high pressure ridge builds into the Midwest by Friday night, we’ll warm up for Sunday & the first part of next week – a quick moving disturbance could give us some rain Sunday night, otherwise dry for the next few days – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  During this Severe Weather Preparedness Month, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging folks to develop a “family communications plan” that includes the “Text First, Talk Second” concept – it’s after an emergency that critical 911 calls or calls to family members can be blocked due to overloaded and/or disconnected telephone lines – therefore, short & simple text messages are the way to go – for more on developing a family communications plan, logon at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs has released $353,100 in grants from Veterans’ Cash scratch-off lottery ticket sales to help 18 non-profits & local governmental entities deliver specialized programs and services to help statewide Veterans – while most all funds go to upstate groups, some of the recipients include the Veterans Assistance Commission, the National Vietnam Veterans, Midwest Shelter for Homeless, the American Legion Department of Illinois, and the Health & Disability Advocates – since it began in 2006, the Veterans’ Cash program has provided over $12.5 million in grants to over 220 groups.

 

(NEWTON)  A small earthquake was felt in a limited area of Northern Illinois last evening – the epi-center of the 2.9 magnitude earthquake was two miles west of the town, Lake in the Hills, which is just north of Chicago – those within a 20 to 30 miles radius of the town felt the quake which occurred at 6:08 last night – officials report no damage at this point, plus no injuries as well – the earthquake lasted less than 10 seconds.

 

(OLNEY)  Voting for the April 7th Consolidated Election is now being conducted in County Clerk’s offices around the state with various options available  :  Absentee Voting is underway thru April 6th – the last day to mail a ballot is next Monday, March 30th  :  Early Voting is now available with no appointment needed and the final day to do so is Saturday, April 4th  :  Grace Period Voting is underway for qualified voters who failed to register or change their address previous to the close of registration – voters can register to vote in person at their County Clerk’s office and then vote at that time – the final day for Grace Period Voting is Saturday, April 4th  :  for more information or for details on how to vote, call or stop by the Richland County Clerk’s office in the Courthouse in Olney or the Jasper County Clerk’s office in the County Office Building in Newton – they’re open each weekday from 8:00 to 4:00, Monday thru Friday.

 

(NEWTON)  Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has awarded nearly $1.4 million in Fiscal Year 2015 School District Library Grant Program awards to 669 public school districts throughout Illinois – in fact, nearly 1.7 million statewide students served by school library media programs will benefit from the grant funds – the grants are based on a formula of  75 cents per student with a minimum award of $750 – while the Jasper County School District will receive $950, the East Richland School District will get $1,460 – all other surrounding school districts will receive anywhere from $750 up to $1,500 as well.

 

(OLNEY)  Times running out for farmers to sign up for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill – it was nearly four weeks ago that the USDA extended the deadline until March 31st for farmers to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres and to sign up for the ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage) and PLC (Price Loss Coverage) programs – farmers should contact their FSA County office.

 

(NEWTON)  A couple reminders from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources  :  over the counter sales of county permits for the Spring Youth Wild Turkey Season continues – the Southern Zone Season for the counties of Crawford, Jasper, Effingham, Fayette, Richland, & all others south is this weekend, Saturday & Sunday, March 28th and 29th – the Northern Zone Season for the counties of Clark, Cumberland, Shelby, Coles and all others north is next Saturday & Sunday, April 4th & 5th  :  plus the 2015 Spring Trout Fishing Season in Illinois begins Saturday morning, April 4th, at various sites – unless exempt, anglers must have a valid state fishing license & an inland trout stamp  :  for all things outdoors, logon at www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Wild Turkey Federation Lawrence County Longbeards Chapter will host the 17th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet on Saturday, April 4th, at the Lawrence County 4-H Fairgrounds, along U.S. Route 50 between Sumner and Bridgeport – the doors open with a social hour at 5:30 with a sit-down meal and live auction for sporting art, hunting guns, knives, outdoor equipment, animal calls, and more – for ticket information or to reserve your tickets, call now at 812-568-6753 – all are invited to attend.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially with all blood types & blood platelets in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives  :  today at the American Legion in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Community Center in Kinmundy from 2:30 to 5:30  :  on Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  on Sunday at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Salem from 8:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at the Buck Grove Church near Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more on giving blood, logon at www.redcrossblood.org – by the way, the Richland County Farm Bureau thanks all donors who gave blood at yesterday’s drive in Olney.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton will host a “Spring Bazaar” this Saturday from 9:00 to 3:00 – with food provided by Oak Street Smoked Meats & Catering, all are invited out to the special event


    The Suntone Beach Survivors will host a fundraising “Brunch with the Girls” this Saturday morning at the St. Joseph Multi Purpose Room from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – various vendors will be on hand with proceeds to benefit the Richland County Relay For Life and our local fight against cancer – check it out


    The Olney Knights of Columbus have another Friday night “fish fry” tomorrow evening with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 at the KC Hall along Whittle Avenue in Olney – pay at the door – carry-outs available


    The Jasper County Law Enforcement “Shop With A Cop” program has a fundraising “fish fry” this Friday night at the Newton VFW – with serving from 4:30 to 8:00, carry-outs will be available – priced at $9 for all-you-can-eat, $12 for an all-fish plate, all proceeds to benefit the youngsters of Jasper County


    The ERES Kindergarten classes will perform their music program “Reach For the Stars” tomorrow in the Elementary School dining room – students of Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Hendrickson, & Mrs. Harmon perform at 10:00am – students of Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Grundon, & Mrs. Pampe perform at 2:15pm – all are invited


    The Newton Community High School Chorus presents the musical “Mary Poppins” tonight thru Sunday afternoon in the NCHS Auditorium – tickets on sale in the NCHS office – all ages are invited


    It’s the final four performances of the OCC production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend at Olney Central College – tickets on sale today from 10:00 to 2:00 – the next performance is at 7:30 tonight


    Hospice of Southeastern Illinois will host a “Vendor Bingo” this evening in the Olney City Park Community Building from 6:00 to 8:00 – some great prizes available – all proceeds to benefit Hospice


    The City of Olney’s Tree Board will have its next meeting tonight at 7:00 in the Olney City Hall Council Chambers – the agenda includes discussion about Musgrove Park and more – anyone can attend


    The Olney Public Library will host a special program this evening on “antique lanterns” featuring Russ Jausel and a portion of his collection – starting at 6:30, all are invited to the free event Thursday night

 

 

 

March 25, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  As the warm front stayed to our south yesterday, our temperatures were cooler and area rainfall amounts a little more than expected – but, as the storm system moves into the Midwest today, our chances for more rain & possibly some thunderstorm activity increases tonight with heavy rainfall likely – then we’ll turn cooler and dry for Friday and Saturday, and warmer by the first of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In a Special Weather Statement, the National Weather Service is predicting heavy rainfall for areas south of  Interstate 70 tonight – with storms expected after sunset this evening, anywhere from 1 to 2 inches of rain are expected overnight with the heavier amounts along & south of U.S. Route 50 – motorists are reminded of the flooding possibilities and remember to stay out of those backwaters on flooded roads – some of the thunderstorms tonight could produce small hail & gusty winds so stay tuned for severe updates.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois keeps inching closer to finding a possible solution to filling a large hole in the state budget as the State House yesterday approved a bill that rearranges money in the current year’s budget, all to plug a $1.6 billion gap – the plan transfers money from state funded programs, like road construction, and in turn cuts the entire budget by just over 2% – if the State Senate agrees, the transferred money would also be available to pay the salaries & backpay of prison guards, court reporters, and childcare workers.

 

(NEWTON)  A new bill that will ban drivers from smoking in a car with a minor inside has passed out of an Illinois Committee – the Senate Public Health Committee passed the legislation yesterday on a 5 to 2 vote – if approved, violators would have to pay a fine of less than $100 – the bill now moves to the Senate floor.

 

(OLNEY)  Meanwhile, nurses from throughout the state are trying to get the attention of lawmakers as close to 1,200 marched to the State House in Springfield yesterday afternoon from the Convention Center – the nurses were there to lobby over health and human services issues – it was their 16th annual Capitol rally.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met this past Monday night for just over a half hour – the Board  :  noted its Sidewalk Committee will be meeting soon to discuss repairs or replacement for this year, plus also discuss the cemetery drainage issue as well  :  agreed to donate $25 to the Boy Scouts for the annual Easter Egg Hunt  :  approved the $319 purchase of a new power washer from NAPA  :  heard from the owner of the RJI package liquor store in Noble discussing parking concerns – the Street Committee will meet this Saturday to investigate  :  noted the public should remove all ground decorations from the Noble Cemetery by April 15th, three weeks from today  :  noted that Noble’s village-wide Cleanup Day is set for May 1st, five weeks from this Friday  :  the next meeting for the Noble Village Board will be Monday, April 13th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals for federal specialty crop grants with more than $600,000 available to downstate and area farmers – with such crops described as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture & nursery crops, including floriculture, the grant proposals will be accepted until May 1st, five weeks from this Friday – numbers show that in 2012, more than 106,000 acres of Illinois farmland was devoted to growing specialty crops on more than 3,200 farms – to request a proposal packet or for additional details, check the IDOA’s website, at www.agr.state.il.us.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee invites all county-wide 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to take part in the 2nd Annual Agricultural Spelling Bee coming up on Tuesday night, April 7th – starting at 6:00 that evening in the East Richland Middle School cafeteria, the top prize a Bayer Crop Science sponsored iPAD, plus cash prizes for others – youngsters can register by calling the Farm Bureau office in Olney at 618-393-4116 or check the website online at www.richlandcountyfarmbureau.com.

 

(NEWTON)  Lake Land College will host a Laker Visit Day this Friday morning for potential students who are interested in learning more about LLC – parents, guardians, & spouses are also invited – representatives from admissions, financial aid, counseling, career services, and student life will be on hand to answer any questions and provide information – campus tours and informational sessions will be available – registration will run from 8:15 to 8:45 Friday morning with activities from 9:00 until 12:00 noon at Lake Land College.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder to area voters that Absentee Voting for the April 7th Consolidated Election is now being conducted in County Clerk offices around the state (at the Richland County Courthouse in Olney and the Jasper County Office Building in Newton) – the early voting process is also now underway as well – call or stop by your County Clerk’s office for details – they’re open Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially with all blood types & blood platelets in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives  :  today at The Holiday in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the American Legion in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  on Friday at the Kinmundy Community Center from 2:30 to 5:30  :  on Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  on Sunday at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Salem from 8:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at the Buck Grove Church near Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more details about giving blood or to go online and schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges will again be offering another Concealed Carry Course in this week at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel – that will be this Thursday & Friday nights, March 26th and 27th, from 6:00 to 10:00, and on Saturday, March 28th, from 8:00 to 4:30 – pre-registration is required with payment in advance – $167 for in-District students or $90 for enrollees over the age of 60 – the 16-hour course covers all aspects of Illinois’ Concealed Carry law – for more details or to signup, call toll-free, Wabash Valley College at 866-982-4322 or Frontier Community College at 877-464-3687.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton will host a “Spring Bazaar” this Saturday from 9:00 to 3:00 – with food provided by Oak Street Smoked Meats & Catering, all are invited out to the special event


    The Jasper County Law Enforcement “Shop With A Cop” program has a fundraising “fish fry” this Friday night at the Newton VFW – with serving from 4:30 to 8:00, carry-outs will be available – priced at $9 for all-you-can-eat, $12 for an all-fish plate, all proceeds to benefit the youngsters of Jasper County


    The ERES Kindergarten classes will perform their music program “Reach For the Stars” this Friday in the Elementary School dining room – students of Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Hendrickson, & Mrs. Harmon perform at 10:00am – students of Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Grundon, & Mrs. Pampe perform at 2:15pm – all are invited


    The Newton Community High School Chorus presents the musical “Mary Poppins” tomorrow night thru Sunday afternoon in the NCHS Auditorium – tickets on sale in the NCHS office – all ages are invited


    Hospice of Southeastern Illinois will host a “Vendor Bingo” this Thursday evening in the Olney City Park Community Building from 6:00 to 8:00 – some great prizes available and all proceeds will benefit Hospice of Southeastern Illinois and its mission to provide quality end-of-life care in its 13 county area


    The City of Olney’s Tree Board will have its next meeting tomorrow night at 7:00 in the Olney City Hall Council Chambers – the agenda includes discussion about Musgrove Park and more – anyone can attend


    The Olney Public Library will host a special program tomorrow evening on “antique lanterns” featuring Russ Jausel and a portion of his collection – starting at 6:30, all are invited to the free event Thursday night

 

 

 

March 24, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  A fairly strong storm system over the Central Plains will push eastward over the next few days, bringing chances for rain with thunderstorm activity, some of which could be severe, thru mid-week – with waves of rain expected today thru tonight, then late tomorrow & tomorrow night, before ending Thursday morning, it will all be followed by colder air on Friday & Saturday – warmer Sunday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The state’s online auction of unclaimed items last week was a success – the State Treasurer’s office says the 5-day event took in nearly $93,000 which was more than anticipated by over $30,000 – the list of items purchased included comic books, jewelry, collective coins, and more – the majority of items up for bid were those found in safe deposit boxes or in lost bank accounts that sat idle for well over a decade.

 

(OLNEY)  More than a thousand people in Illinois may be getting the opportunity to use medical marijuana – the “Belleville News Democrat” newspaper reports around 2,500 residents have applied for medical marijuana cards while 1,600 have already been approved – it’s also reported that some people are holding back from applying over concerns about the future of the new statewide program after a rather shaky start.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois home prices continued to strengthen as the state’s median price experienced a double-digit annual gain in February, marking 30 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases – the Illinois Association of Realtors reports statewide home sales last month totaled 7,865 units sold, down 1.7% from February 2014 – however, the state’s median price in February 2015 rose to $149,900, a 13.1% hike from a year ago – 35 of the state’s 102 counties reported sales gains this February compared to a year ago.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night for nearly four hours – the Council  :  continued its discussion of the fiscal year 2015 budget, reviewing the General Corporate and MFT Funds – a public hearing will be held at the Council’s next meeting with a budget vote expected at the last meeting in April  :  on a 4 to 1 vote, agreed to buy an $8,730 portable building from Built-Mor in Mt. Vernon for the City’s Police Gun Range  :  approved “letters of support” for the Rotary Club seeking funds to build a Rotary Park Pavilion and for SWAN seeking a $40,000 grant  :  discussed four locations for new industrial development and agreed to focus on the City’s 60-acre site north of Pacific Cycle  :  approved two “free” swim days at the Musgrove Aquatic Center on June 27th and July 4th  :  agreed to leave the swimming pool and summer recreation fees where they are with no increases this year  :  discussed, but took no action, on water rates outside the Olney City Limits  :  after a presentation, approved a service line warranty program to be offered to the residents of Olney in the near future  :  heard an update as workers are shaping & reseeding the area along East Main Street where recent water line work took place  :  and took no other action after a closed session to discuss real property, personnel, and negotiations  :  the Council’s next meeting is April 13th.

 

(NEWTON)  In a news update from the City of Newton – improvement work along Van Buren Street, from Marion Street to Water Street, is continuing, which includes relocating the existing overhead electric lines underground – plus, the overhead electric line that currently runs from the east side of the Jasper County Courthouse across Van Buren Street to the alley will also be relocated underground as part of the overall improvement project – current estimates have this work being completed later this summer, in June or July of 2015 – aside from electrical work, a waterline replacement project is also underway around the Square in downtown Newton, which should also be completed later this year – the City of Newton appreciates the patience of all citizens as the downtown improvements are being made, especially around the Square.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney and Greater Richland County Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Banquet last night with several members and guests in attendance – Executive Director Jessica Buckels took time to thank all Chamber members for their continued support and thanked the current Board Members for their efforts in making Olney and Richland County a better place to shop, live, and play – the Olney Daily Mail presented its annual Business of the Year Award to both Cathy Conley and Lauren McClain, local State Farm Insurance Agents – General Manager Mike Shipman presented the WVLN-WSEI Citizen of the Year Award to longtime physician and volunteer, Dr. Robert “Bob” Einhorn – all in all, a great night highlighting the success of  Richland County – to learn more about the Chamber, logon at www.olneychamber.com.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA has announced that during the second half of April, the National Agricultural Statistics Service will conduct its semi-annual Agricultural Labor Survey, which will collect information about hired labor from more than 380 Illinois farmers and ranchers – the USDA and the Department of Labor will use statistics gathered in the survey to help establish minimum wage rates for agriculture workers and more – all information gathered will be kept strictly confidential as required by federal law – the survey results will be released in the USDA Farm Labor report to be released later this spring, on May 21st.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder to area voters that Absentee Voting for the April 7th Consolidated Election is now being conducted in County Clerk offices around the state (at the Richland County Courthouse in Olney and the Jasper County Office Building in Newton) – the early voting process is also now underway as well – call or stop by your County Clerk’s office for details – they’re open Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially with all blood types & blood platelets in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Palestine High School from 12:30 to 5:30  :  also today at the Highland Church of Christ in Robinson from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at The Holiday in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney is today offering free ColoCARE screening kits to the public, all in recognition of this March being noted as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – the kits are being distributed today from now to 4:00 this afternoon in the Heim Room at RMH, located just inside the hospital’s Main Entrance – with a limited number of kits, they’re available on a first come, first serve basis.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Newton Elementary Leadership Team is still taking orders for its “pork loin fundraiser” for Easter – the pickup will be Friday, April 3rd, at either 12 noon or 5:00, at the Elementary School in Newton – loins are $25 for a half or $40 for a whole and pay when placing an order – call the Elementary School in Newton at 618-783-8464 to place an order, or contact any NES employee – proceeds to the NES Leadership Fund


    The Newton Community High School Chorus presents the musical “Mary Poppins” this week in the NCHS Auditorium – the performances are scheduled for this Thursday night thru Sunday afternoon, March 26th thru 29th – tickets are still available at the High School office in Newton – all ages are invited


    The Suntone Beach Survivors will host a fundraising “Brunch with the Girls” this Saturday morning at the St. Joseph Multi Purpose Room from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – various vendors will be on hand with proceeds to benefit the Richland County Relay For Life and our local fight against cancer – check it out


    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation will have a fundraising breakfast this Saturday morning from 8:00 to 10:00 in the Foundation Building in Sailor Springs – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs available


    Hospice of Southeastern Illinois will host a “Vendor Bingo” this Thursday evening in the Olney City Park Community Building from 6:00 to 8:00 – some great prizes available and all proceeds will benefit Hospice of Southeastern Illinois and its mission to provide quality end-of-life care in its 13 county area


    Tomorrow is being celebrated as “Paint the World Green” Day in support of Cerebral Palsy Awareness – everyone is encouraged to wear green tomorrow to show your support of those affected by the disease