LOCAL NEWS

Local News

September 2, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  The cold front rolling across the Midwest will continue to trigger scattered showers and storms across the region, at least thru this morning – some clearing is possible by nightfall as a weak high pressure ridge will mostly keep us dry until more rain and storm chances on Friday and Saturday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  While the National Weather Service has allowed the Flood Advisory for Jasper, Richland, and a few other surrounding counties to expire, motorists should be advised to not drive thru areas where water covers a roadway – with the 2 to 4 inches of rain received since midnight and more expected this morning, minor to major flooding is a problem and will be thru today – be alert to that excess rain thru this Tuesday.

 

(OLNEY)  The state is now accepting medical marijuana applications from patients whose last names begin with “A” thru “L” – those who are planning to apply will need to have a prescription from their Doctor, plus a background check is required – the State Department of Public Health has up to 30 days to review the applications once received – the rest of those wanting to apply will have to wait until the first of November.

 

(NEWTON)  Broaches, jewelry, and stamp collections are just some of the items that the State Treasurer’s Office is offering in the next Online Unclaimed Property Auction – in fact, nearly 5,500 items will hit the auction block starting at 10:00 next Monday morning, September 8th – the items have been in the state’s vault for a least five years with no one claiming them so far – for more, logon at www.treasurer.il.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  University of Illinois officials are alerting football fans that tailgaters in the Memorial Stadium parking lots must honor the school’s “smoke-free” campus policy – signs have been put up at all entrances to inform fans of the policy – the school became “smoke-free” on January 1st after a student referendum.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Employment Security released the unemployment numbers for July with most downstate rates an average of two full percentage points lower than a year ago – the area’s lowest joblessness number for July was 6.1% in Effingham County, followed closely by Wabash County at 6.5% – both Jasper County and Lawrenceville County were at 7.2%, followed by Cumberland and Wayne Counties each at 7.4%, then Edwards County at 7.5% – Crawford County came in at 7.8%, followed by Richland County at 8%, and Clay County with the area’s highest unemployment number for July at 9.2% – Illinois’ rate drop to 7% from 9.5% a year ago – America’s number fell to 6.5%, down from 7.7% last year.

 

(OLNEY)  The Embarras River Basin Agency will today begin accepting applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the elderly and handicapped – those eligible should call their local ERBA Office to set up an appointment or for more information – for Richland County, in Olney, call 618-395-2714 – for Jasper County, in Newton, call 618-783-3987 – the other seven ERBA Offices are located in the towns of Lawrenceville, Robinson, Greenup, Martinsville, Paris, Charleston, and Tuscola.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges will again be offering another Concealed Carry Course in September at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel – that will be Thursday & Friday nights, September 18th & 19th, from 6:00 to 10:00, and on Saturday, September 20th, from 8:00 to 4:00 – pre-registration is required with the $167 cost for in-District students or the $90 cost for enrollees over 60 years of age due in advance – the 16-hour course covers all aspects of Illinois’ Concealed Carry law – for more or to signup, call toll-free, Wabash Valley College at 866-982-4322 or Frontier Community College at 877-464-3687.

 

(NEWTON)  In regional news – authorities continue to investigate the death of an Indiana man last week when his body was found in a home along Illinois Route 1 in Flat Rock – Crawford County officials and the Illinois State Police say a weekend autopsy revealed that 74 year old Norman England of Freelandville died from a gunshot wound – while it’s been ruled a homicide no other information is being released at this time.

 

(OLNEY)  Authorities report a White County woman is safe after spending a night over this past weekend trapped in mud – 39 year old Amy Chitwood of Carmi apparently fell into a thick pile of mud near a boat ramp along the Little Wabash River Saturday night – eventually, after several hours, she was spotted and rescued at just before 10:00 Sunday morning – officials say Chitwood broke her hip when she fell and was unable to free herself from the mud – she was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder for all area blood donors to get out and give blood, with a special need now for all types of  blood and blood platelets – here’s upcoming area blood drives  :  today at St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia from 11:00 to 4:00  :  tomorrow at the Lake Land College location in Effingham from 10:00 to 2:00  :  also tomorrow at the American Legion in Patoka from 2:30 to 6:30  :  Thursday at the Bethlehem General Baptist Church in Vincennes from 1:00 to 5:00 (Illinois time)  :  and this coming Saturday at Family Video in Olney from 11:00 to 3:00  :  to schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau is hosting a 2014 Covered Bridge Festival Bus Trip coming up on Tuesday, October 14th, with the bus leaving Olney at 6:30 that morning – the cost is at $20 for any Farm Bureau member, or $30 for any non-member – for more information or to reserve a spot for the Bus Trip to Bridgeton, Indiana, call the Richland County Farm Bureau office in Olney at 618-393-4116.

 

(NEWTON)  There’s a couple area meetings on tap tonight : the Newton City Council will meet at 6:00 tonight at the Newton City Hall with a rather light agenda to be considered : meanwhile, the City of Olney’s Plan Commission will meet at 7:30 tonight at the Olney City Hall to consider one rezoning request : plus a reminder to all area Republic Services customers that some trash pickup will run a day later than normal the rest of this week due to yesterday’s observance of Labor Day – that’s for the Newton, Olney, & Noble area.

 

REMINDERS :
    The local chapters of Whitetails Unlimited will host their Central Illinois Banquet this Saturday evening at the KC Hall in Effingham – doors open at 4:00 – for ticket information and more, call 217-663-3142


   The monthly 4-H recycling drive is this Saturday morning from 8:00 to 11:30 at the six regular sites in Richland County – all newspapers, slick ads, plastic bags, aluminum cans, magazines, and computer paper should be bundled separately before dropped off – the Crazyhorse 4-H’ers are this month’s sponsors


    The Olney VFW will host the first of its two monthly dances this Friday night from 7:00 to 10:00 – must be at least 21 years of age to attend – the featured band this Friday night will be “Liberty Road”


    The Jasper County Republicans will have a pork burger fundraiser this Friday with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton – pork burgers will be $2.50 and chips and drinks also available – deliveries of large orders can be made by calling 618-783-3722 or by calling 618-554-5870


    The Richland County Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group will meet at 9:30 this Thursday morning at The Holiday in Olney – all are invited to bring pictures and stories – call Jennifer at 395-8540


    The Richland County Farmers Market is set up today in the Olney City Park, under the pole barns – that’s fresh produce and more from 11:00 to 4:00 available to the public – all are invited to stop by

 

 

 

September 1, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a cold front tracks across the Midwest, thunderstorm activity will increase later today and continue thru tonight before ending tomorrow morning – while there won’t be much temperature relief, we’ll have a midweek dry period until the chances of more rain Friday & Saturday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Governor Pat Quinn is on a very tight budget this week – he’s planning to live on just $79 until Saturday – that’s the estimated amount that minimum wage workers have left over once they pay their taxes, rent, and the cost of transportation – the Governor has been pushing to get the minimum wage raised but the plan has stalled out – opponents say it would hurt more businesses than help with jobs to be lost.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police and local law enforcement personnel all around the state are continuing extra patrols, looking for those not buckled up and for those driving impaired, either by alcohol or drugs – the saturation patrols, roadside safety checks, and more will continue thru the rest of today and overnight.

 

(OLNEY)  The Du Quoin State Fair will finish up today down in Perry County – today is Veterans Appreciation Day with ARCA car racing, more livestock shows, rodeo barrel racing, and more – plus, don’t forget the Ag Expo, the ag-related exhibits, concessions, and more – logon at www.duquoinstatefair.net.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred Sunday afternoon in Fayette County at the Brownstown exit along Interstate 70 – the report indicates that at shortly before 2:00 yesterday afternoon, 71 year old Jeanette Sassae of Shobonier entered I-70 going the wrong way going eastbound in the westbound lanes – her car was struck head-on by a semi-truck, driven by a Chicago man – Sassae was pronounced dead at the scene while the 22 year old truck driver was taken to Fayette County Hospital in Vandalia, but with only minor injuries – the westbound lanes of I-70 were closed for 2-3 hours.

 

(OLNEY  The State Department of Natural Resources last week released its list of proposed rules for the process of oil and gas drilling, known as “hydraulic fracking” – the initial draft of rules were criticized for being too soft while oil industry groups were upset with the delay of the rules which has resulted in no drilling permits over the past several months, even though the “fracking legislation” was approved in June of last year – local State Representative David Reis told us that “we’ll continue to review the proposed changes to the fracking rules over the weekend, but on the surface, we see some very disturbing changes, many of which were negotiated at great length and not included in the original bill” – it could be another 90 days before the rules go into effect – the State DNR believe they can meet a November 15th deadline.

 

(OLNEY)  The Embarras River Basin Agency will begin accepting applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program tomorrow for the elderly and handicapped – the LIHEAP program is designed to assist income eligible households offset the rising cost of home energy – the LIHEAP sign up for families with children under six begins October 1st – for all other applicants on November 3rd – starting tomorrow, call the local ERBA Office to set up an appointment for the elderly and handicapped – for Jasper County, in Newton, call 618-783-3987 – for Richland County, in Olney, call 618-395-2714 – the other seven ERBA Offices are located in Lawrenceville, Robinson, Greenup, Martinsville, Paris, Charleston, and Tuscola.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that Republic Services will observe today as Labor Day, an official holiday – therefore, there’s no trash collection today and the garbage pickup will run a day later than normal the rest of next week – today’s normal pickup will be tomorrow, Tuesday’s will be Wednesday, and so on for the rest of the this week – this applies to all customers in the Newton, Noble, and Olney areas – also a note that all area City and Village Halls are closed today in observance of Labor Day and will reopen tomorrow.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s a few notes to the citizens of Olney  :  the 100 block of North Lincoln Street, immediately north of East Main Street, is still closed for road repairs today as a result of the water main project – this portion of North Lincoln Street in Olney will be closed until further notice  :  the City’s brush dump is closed today, but open again tomorrow from 10:00 to 4:00  :  Olney’s recycling pickup for today will be delayed until the regular Tuesday collection tomorrow, then back to normal for the rest of this week.

 

REMINDERS :
    Clay County Highway officials have announced a portion of the Big Four Road will be closed again tomorrow and Wednesday – the nearly one mile stretch is from Saddle Club Road to Bunnyville Drive, just south off of U.S. Route 50 – the closure both days will be from 6:30 in the morning until 5:00 each evening


    The Richland County Highway Department will again be oiling and chipping rural roads tomorrow – that will include selected road in Claremont and Bonpas Townships – be alert to the equipment and workers


    The Calhoun Community Club will have its annual Labor Day Chowder today with serving to start at 11:00 this morning – carry-outs available – sandwiches, homemade desserts, and more – all invited


    The annual Labor Day Picnic is today at the Community Hall in Ingraham – the Truck Pulls start at 9:00 this morning, followed by the ISPA Tractor Pulls at 1:00, along with Semi-Truck and Antique Tractor Pulls – the fried chicken meals are served at 11:00 with the vegetable soup supper at 5:00 – plenty of music, games, a gun raffle, other food, & more with the raffle drawing at 6:30 – that’s in Ingraham on this Monday


    The annual Pioneer City Rodeo continues thru this Labor Day 2014 – the huge parade is at 10:00 this morning, with plenty of more activities thru this evening – visit their website at www.pioneercity.com


    The Wayne County Antique Tractor Drive is today with tractors over 30 years old taking part – the 35 mile route will begin at the CPS Plant in Johnsonville, heading to Orchardville for lunch then back – the check-in starts at 9:00 this morning with the drive to start at 10:00 – several awards will be given out

 

 

 

August 30, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  With the stalled out warm front to our north and an approaching cold front to our southwest, we’ll see a lot of cloud cover today and the chance of scattered rain – and that’s pretty much what we’ll see thru mid-week next week, chances of scattered showers and thunderstorms each afternoon and evening – while the temperatures aren’t as hot as a week ago, the humidity levels will remain high – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police and hundreds of local law enforcement agencies are out in extra force this weekend, looking for those not buckled up, and especially for those driving impaired by alcohol and/or drugs – the saturation patrols, roadside safety checks, and more will continue thru next Tuesday morning.

 

(OLNEY)  The Du Quoin State Fair continues down in Perry County – today is Agriculture Day with the heavy horse pull, pedal pull, various livestock shows, the demolition derby, the IPRA Rodeo, and K.C. & The Sunshine Band in concert tonight – tomorrow will feature a classic car show, more livestock shows, the IPRA Rodeo, and USAC racing – plus, don’t forget the Ag Expo, the ag-related Static Exhibits, carnival rides, concessions, and more thru next Monday – for more information, logon at www.duquoinstatefair.net.

 

(OLNEY  The State Department of Natural Resources has released its list of proposed rules for the process of oil and gas drilling, known as “fracking” – the initial draft of rules were criticized for being too soft while oil industry groups were upset with the delay of the rules which has resulted in no drilling permits over the past several months, even though the “fracking legislation” was approved in June of last year – local State Representative David Reis told us yesterday that “we’ll continue to review the proposed changes to the fracking rules over the weekend, but on the surface, we see some very disturbing changes, many of which were negotiated at great length and not included in the original bill” – look for more debate next week.

 

(OLNEY)  The Embarras River Basin Agency will begin accepting applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program next Tuesday, September 2nd, for the elderly and handicapped – the LIHEAP program is designed to assist income eligible households offset the rising cost of home energy – a determined number of applications will be taken Monday thru Thursday each week, starting at 8:30 each morning – applicants need proof of all household income for the past 30 days, the Social Security cards for all members of the household, and a current electric bill – TANF/Human Services clients will need to bring their medical card – call the local ERBA Office to set up an appointment – for Jasper County, in Newton, call 618-783-3987 – for Richland County, in Olney, call 618-395-2714 – the other seven ERBA Offices are located in Lawrenceville, Robinson, Greenup, Martinsville, Paris, Charleston, and Tuscola – the LIHEAP sign up for families with children under six begins October 1st – for all other applicants on November 3rd.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that Republic Services will observe next Monday, Labor Day, as an official holiday – therefore, there’s no trash collection on Monday and the garbage pickup will run a day later than normal the rest of next week – Monday’s normal pickup will be Tuesday, Tuesday’s will be Wednesday, and so on for the rest of the week – this applies to all customers in the Newton, Noble, and Olney areas – also a note that all are City and Village Halls will be closed next Monday in observance of Labor Day.

 

(OLNEY)  Some notes to the citizens of Olney  :  the 100 block of North Lincoln Street, immediately north of East Main Street, is now closed for road repairs as a result of the water main project – this portion of North Lincoln Street in Olney will be closed thru next Monday evening  :  the City’s brush dump will be closed Monday, but open again Tuesday from 10:00 to 4:00  :  Olney’s recycling pickup Monday will be delayed until the regular Tuesday collection, then back to normal after that  :  thanks for you patience.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Calhoun Community Club will have its annual Labor Day Chowder Monday with serving to start at 11:00 that morning – carry-outs available – sandwiches, homemade desserts, and more – all invited


    The annual Labor Day Picnic is Monday at the Community Hall in Ingraham – the Truck Pulls start at 9:00, followed by the ISPA Tractor Pulls at 1:00, along with Semi-Truck and Antique Tractor Pulls – the fried chicken meals are served at 11:00 with the vegetable soup supper at 5:00 – plenty of music, games, a gun raffle, other food, and more with the raffle drawing at 6:30 – that’s in Ingraham on Monday


    The annual Pioneer City Rodeo continues with various activities this weekend in Palestine – with its huge parade on Labor Day morning, the rodeo performances are today and tonight – plus plenty of activities for all ages, along with concessions and more – for details, visit their website online at www.pioneercity.com


    The 177th annual Pre-Labor Day Picnic is tomorrow in Ste. Marie – pork loin & chicken dinners will be served from 11:00 to 5:00, plus plenty of live entertainment, including blue grass music & more – also games, raffles, crafts, other food, and more – all tomorrow on St. Mary’s Church grounds in Ste. Marie


    The annual Elm River Chowder, south of Clay City or west of Zif, is today on the chowder grounds along the Elm River – other food available includes pulled pork, pork burgers, homemade pies, and more – bring your containers, but no glass – serving at around 12:30 this afternoon


    The Main Street Farmers Market is this morning from 7:30 to 11:30 in the parking lot just north of the Whittle Avenue / Main Street intersection in Olney – fresh produce and more available to the public

 

 

 

August 29, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  That chance of scattered showers and pop-up thunderstorms will once again be possible today as a warm front lifts further northward, although the better chance of rain in Illinois will be to our north – the rain chances continue tomorrow thru tomorrow night ahead of an approaching cold front – the on-and-off chances of afternoon storms will continue thru at least Wednesday of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois home prices rose again in July, marking nearly two years of annual gains – the statewide home sales last month totaled 15,390 units, down 6.5% from July of last year – the statewide median price in July was $179,000, up 7.2% from a year ago – 33 of the state’s 102 counties showed annual home sales increases in July 2014, while 56 of Illinois’ counties had year-over-year median price increases.

 

(OLNEY)  The State Attorney General’s Office is again alerting statewide residents to a rising phone scam in which the callers pose as government officials attempting to con people into sending money on supposed unpaid taxes or to collect winnings in a fake sweepstakes – folks getting these calls should immediately hang up and never give out any personal information – visit the Attorney General’s website for more.

 

(NEWTON)  The state has announced a new Illinois State Police cadet class is set to begin next month, in September – Class #125 marks the second cadet class for 2014 and it’s anticipated the graduates will report for duty in February 2015 – the rigorous 26-week regimen of physical and classroom instruction is one of the most respected in the United States and recognized across the country for its intensity and success.

 

(OLNEY)  The Du Quoin State Fair continues down in Perry County – today is First Responders Day with country musician Rodney Atkins on stage tonight – tomorrow is Agriculture Day with the heavy horse pull, pedal pull, various livestock shows, the demolition derby, the IPRA Rodeo, and K.C. & The Sunshine Band in concert tomorrow night – plus don’t forget the Ag Expo, the agriculture-related Static Exhibits, carnival rides, concessions, and more thru next Monday – for more information, logon at www.duquoinstatefair.net.

 

(OLNEY)  )  The state yesterday announced investments totaling $9.4 million will be used for construction projects at 18 Illinois airports, three of which are in our area  :  in Richland County – the Olney / Noble Airport will get $172,135 to replace the medium intensity lighting on Runway 3/21  :  in Crawford County – the Crawford County Airport will get $426,308 to improve the lighting systems on Runway 9/27 – plus, $129,645 to clear some trees  :  and in Wayne County – the Fairfield Municipal Airport will get $57,465 for runway remarking work  :  the project funding comes from the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s a note for anyone in the area interested in true, personal communications, an alternate communication source during emergencies, or just in amateur (HAM) radio in general – the Amateur Radio Downstate Illinois Organization will again be conducting classes for Amateur Radio Licensing, beginning soon in the weeks ahead – taught by certified instructors with several years of experience, there is no cost for the classes, but there are book and test session fees – in order to secure a facility for the classes and to preorder books, preregistration is suggested as soon as possible – for details, call Bill at 618-442-7718.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau is hosting a 2014 Covered Bridge Festival Bus Trip coming up on Tuesday, October 14th, with the bus leaving Olney at 6:30 that morning – the cost is at $20 for any Farm Bureau member, or $30 for any non-member – for more information or to reserve a spot for the Bus Trip to Bridgeton, Indiana, call the Richland County Farm Bureau office in Olney at 618-393-4116.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges will again be offering another Concealed Carry Course in September at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel – that will be Thursday & Friday nights, September 18th & 19th, from 6:00 to 10:00, and on Saturday, September 20th, from 8:00 to 4:00 – pre-registration is required with the $167 cost for in-District students or the $90 cost for enrollees over 60 years of age due in advance – the 16-hour course covers all aspects of Illinois’ Concealed Carry law – for more or to signup, call toll-free, Wabash Valley College at 866-982-4322 or Frontier Community College at 877-464-3687.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that Republic Services will observe next Monday, Labor Day, as an official holiday – therefore, there’s no trash collection on Monday and the garbage pickup will run a day later than normal the rest of next week – Monday’s normal pickup will be Tuesday, Tuesday’s will be Wednesday, and so on for the rest of the week – this applies to all customers in the Newton, Noble, and Olney areas – also a note that all are City and Village Halls will be closed next Monday in observance of Labor Day.

 

(OLNEY)  Some notes to the citizens of Olney  :  beginning this morning, the 100 block of North Lincoln Street, immediately north of East Main Street, will be closed for road repairs as a result of the water main project – this portion of North Lincoln Street in Olney will be closed thru next Monday evening  :  the City’s brush dump will be closed Monday, but open again Tuesday from 10:00 to 4:00  :  Olney’s recycling pickup Monday will be delayed until the regular Tuesday collection, then back to normal after that.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that for all area blood donors to get out and give blood, with a special need now for all types of  blood and blood platelets – here’s upcoming area blood drives  :  today at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also today at Lincoln Trail College northeast of Robinson from 9:00 to 1:00  :  tomorrow at the American Legion Hall in Edgewood from 10:00 to 2:00  :  next Monday at the Wal-Mart Store in Robinson from 11:00 to 3:00   :  to schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College and the local Rolling Thunder Chapter will host a ceremony later this morning at 11:00 to dedicate a MIA/POW Chair of Honor in the Olney Central College Student Union – the public is invited to attend – the Chair of Honor Program supports Rolling Thunder’s mission to publicize the POW/MIA issue and to educate the public that many American Prisoners of War were left behind – the Chair remains empty as a reminder that even though the soldiers are not here “there’s still a place for them”.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Calhoun Community Club will have its annual Labor Day Chowder next Monday with serving to start at 11:00 that morning – carry-outs available – sandwiches, homemade desserts, and more – all invited


    The annual Labor Day Picnic is set for next Monday at the Community Hall in Ingraham – the Truck Pulls start at 9:00, followed by the ISPA Tractor Pulls at 1:00, along with Semi-Truck and Antique Tractor Pulls – the fried chicken meals are served at 11:00 with the vegetable soup supper at 5:00 – plenty of music, games, a gun raffle, other food, and more with the raffle drawing at 6:30 – that’s in Ingraham on Monday


    It’s the annual Pioneer City Rodeo with various activities this weekend in Palestine – with its huge parade on Labor Day morning, the first of four rodeo performances is tonight – there’s plenty of other activities for all ages, plus concessions and more – for details, visit their website online at www.pioneercity.com


    The 177th annual Pre-Labor Day Picnic is this Sunday in Ste. Marie – pork loin & chicken dinners will be served from 11:00 to 5:00, plus plenty of live entertainment, including blue grass music & more – also games, raffles, crafts, other food, and more – all this Sunday on St. Mary’s Church grounds in Ste. Marie


    The annual Elm River Chowder, south of Clay City or west of Zif, will be tomorrow on the chowder grounds along the Elm River – other food available – bring your containers, but no glass – serving at 11:00


    The Richland County Highway Department will continue to oil and chip roads today – the Claremont & Bonpas Township roads  will be done next Tuesday – motorists should be alert to the equipment & workers

 
   The Richland County Farmers Market is set up today in the Olney City Park, under the pole barns – from 11:00 to 4:00, there’s fresh produce and much more available to the public – all are welcome to stop by

 

 

 

August 28, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  While that strong surface high pressure to our south continues to pump in hot and humid air, the frontal boundary that is stalled out over downstate Illinois will continue to produce those late afternoon or evening thunderstorms that can drop large amounts of rainfall in a matter of minutes, not to mention the dangerous lightning that’s included – look for more of the same now thru the weekend – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The state’s new fracking rules are slated to be available to the public tomorrow, however oil and gas drillers will have to wait a while longer before applying for a drilling permit – that’s because a legislative committee will need to sign off on the rules first – supporters say the process will lead to more jobs and a boost in Illinois’ economy – opponents argue there are too many health risks associated with it.

 

(OLNEY)  The Du Quoin State Fair continues down in Perry County – today is Vendor’s Appreciation Day with plenty of free entertainment and activities, plus the classic rock band .38 Special in concert tonight at 7:30 – tomorrow is First Responders Day with Rodney Atkins on stage tomorrow night – plus don’t forget the Ag Expo, the ag-related Static Exhibits, the carnival rides, concessions, and more each day and night now thru next Monday, Labor Day – for more details and information, logon at www.duquoinstatefair.net.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police are beefing up their patrols now thru the holiday weekend – the end of summer push will focus on catching drunk drivers, those that are speeding, and those not buckled up – motorists can expect to see extra patrols with roadside safety checks, saturation patrols, and much more.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council reconvened its Monday night meeting yesterday afternoon at 4:00 with only one agenda item up for discussion – the Council Chambers at Olney City Hall was full of concerned citizens, both in favor of and against the approval of applying for a medical marijuana cultivation and processing facility to be built on just over 17 acres of city property near the Wal-Mart Distribution Center – after nearly 90 minutes of hearing both sides of the issue, the Olney City Council voted 4-0, with one Councilman absent, to approve an agreement with Compassionate Medicine LLC, a limited liability company, to continue forward with plans to submit an application to the state to host such a medical marijuana facility, with hopes of being chosen as the only site in the 10-county State Police District 12 area.

 

(NEWTON)  The Embarras River Basin Agency will begin accepting applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program next Tuesday, September 2nd, for the elderly and handicapped – the LIHEAP program is designed to assist income eligible households offset the rising cost of home energy – a determined number of applications will be taken Monday thru Thursday each week, starting at 8:30 each morning – applicants need proof of all household income for the past 30 days, the Social Security cards for all members of the household, and a current electric bill – TANF/Human Services clients will need to bring their medical card – call the local ERBA Office to set up an appointment – for Jasper County, in Newton, call 618-783-3987 – for Richland County, in Olney, call 618-395-2714 – the other seven ERBA Offices are located in Lawrenceville, Robinson, Greenup, Martinsville, Paris, Charleston, and Tuscola – the LIHEAP sign up for families with children under six begins October 1st – for all other applicants on November 3rd.

 

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to a pair of area ladies recognized by the Illinois Department on Aging for their dedication as providers and advocates who assist older adults – the awards were presented at the IDOA’s Adult Protection & Advocacy Conference held last week – formerly called the Elder Rights Conference, the annual event allows service providers, advocates, and other professionals to gather together to learn the latest information on the topic of elder rights  :  receiving one of the 2014 Outstanding Community Long Term Care Ombudsman awards was Darla Gray of SWAN (Stopping Women Abuse Now) in Olney  :  another such award was presented to Jean Bohnhoff with the Effingham County Committee on Aging  :  congrats to these two ladies, among the five award winners – for more, logon at www.illinois.gov/aging.

 

(NEWTON)  Monte Newlin’s Regional Office of Education #12 has announced that a Back-to-School Parent Webinar is being offering for a week from next Tuesday night, September 9th, starting at 7:00 – held in conjunction with the Illinois PTA, various topics will be covered, including discussion on the new State Learning Standards, on the promotion of partnership between parents & school, and on the new online state assessments – the Webinar will be led by State Superintendent Dr. Koch – the registration information is available online at www1.gotomeeting.com/register/185876249 – call the ROE #12 Office for more details.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s just been announced that Olney Central College and the local Rolling Thunder Chapter will host a ceremony to dedicate a MIA/POW Chair of Honor in the Olney Central College Student Union tomorrow (Friday) morning at 11:00 – the public is invited to attend – the Chair of Honor Program supports Rolling Thunder’s mission to publicize the POW/MIA issue and to educate the public that many American Prisoners of War were left behind – the Chair remains empty as a reminder that even though the soldiers are not here, “there is still a place for them” – again, the short ceremony is open to anyone who’d like to attend.

 

(NEWTON)  A Cumberland County man has been charged for the early morning holdup of the Effingham Econolodge two weeks ago Tuesday, on August 12th – 24 year old Nicholas Jackson of Toledo faces an armed robbery charge, a Class X Felony, punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison – Jackson did not injure anyone, but did display a handgun and demand cash – Jackson is currently in the Coles County Jail, facing charges for allegedly robbing the Casey’s Store in Mattoon and for an alleged home invasion in Mattoon.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that Republic Services will observe next Monday, Labor Day, as an official holiday – therefore, there’s no trash collection on Monday and the garbage pickup will run a day later than normal the rest of next week – Monday’s normal collection will be taken Tuesday, Tuesday’s will be Wednesday, and so on for the rest of the week – this applies to all customers in the Olney, Noble, and Newton areas.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that for all area blood donors to get out and give blood, especially now with the emergency appeal still in place for blood and blood platelets – here’s upcoming area blood drives  :  both today at the Clay County Hospital in Flora from 12:00 to 4:00  :  tomorrow at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also tomorrow at Lincoln Trail College northeast of Robinson from 9:00 to 1:00  :  on Saturday at the American Legion Hall in Edgewood from 10:00 to 2:00  :  next Monday at the Wal-Mart Store in Robinson from 11:00 to 3:00   :  to schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Calhoun Community Club will have its annual Labor Day Chowder next Monday with serving to start at 11:00 that morning – carry-outs available – sandwiches, homemade desserts, and more – all invited


    The annual Labor Day Picnic is set for next Monday at the Community Hall in Ingraham – the Truck Pulls start at 9:00, followed by the ISPA Tractor Pulls at 1:00, along with Semi-Truck and Antique Tractor Pulls – the fried chicken meals are served at 11:00 with the vegetable soup supper at 5:00 – plenty of music, games, a gun raffle, other food, and more with the raffle drawing at 6:30 – that’s in Ingraham on Monday


    It’s the annual Pioneer City Rodeo with various activities this weekend in Palestine – with its huge parade on Labor Day morning, the first of four rodeo performances is Friday night – visit www.pioneercity.com


    The 177th annual Pre-Labor Day Picnic is this Sunday in Ste. Marie – pork loin & chicken dinners will be served from 11:00 to 5:00, plus plenty of live entertainment, including blue grass music & more – also games, raffles, crafts, other food, and more – all this Sunday on St. Mary’s Church grounds in Ste. Marie


    The annual Elm River Chowder, south of Clay City or west of Zif, will be this Saturday on the chowder grounds along the Elm River – other food available – bring your containers, but no glass


    The Olney Quilt Guild is hosting a trunk show tonight at 7:00 at the Christian Church of Olney – Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company will be showing various guilts and explaining how each was made – admission is at $5 per person and all ages are invited to this special event coming to Olney


    The East Richland School District will host a Parent Workshop tonight at 6:00 at the Elementary School in Noble – refreshments & childcare provided – to register, call Jennifer at ERES in Olney


    The Clay County Highway Department has a portion of the Big Four Road southeast of Clay City closed again today for ditch work – the section of road closed is from the Saddle Club Road to Bunnyville Drive, a mile stretch from just south of U.S. Route 50 – the road is closed from 6:30 until 5:00


    The Richland County Highway Department will continue to oil and chip roads today & tomorrow – the Claremont & Bonpas Township roads next Tuesday – motorists should be alert to the equipment & workers