LOCAL NEWS

Local News

November 27, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As the fast moving storm system that gave us yesterday and last night’s rain & snow has now moved off  to our southeast, a weak high pressure ridge moves in to keep us dry and cold on this 2014 Thanksgiving Day – but a warming trend will get us into the 50’s for the weekend with the threat of more rain Sunday – then it turns cold again for the first of next week – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  With millions of people on the road for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Illinois State Police are boosting patrols and conducting more roadside safety checks – the State Troopers, along with hundreds of local law enforcement agencies, are out in extra force looking for those driving drunk or impaired by drugs – also looking for those not buckled up or for those using their cell phones while driving.

 

(OLNEY)  The Internal Revenue Service has issued a Tax Scam & Consumer Alert as an aggressive and sophisticated scam targeting taxpayers is circulating throughout the country – the callers claim to be an employee of the IRS, but they are not – the con artists sound very convincing, using fake names and bogus IRS identification numbers – in fact, even their phone numbers on caller ID have been altered to look like the IRS is calling – the victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly with a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer, otherwise they’ll face prosecution – in some cases, victims are told they have a refund awaiting them, but they must provide personal information, such bank account numbers, etc.. – folks should remember that the IRS never calls to demand an immediate payment, plus the first contact made by the IRS with any taxpayer is by mail – for more details, logon at www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams.

 

(OLNEY/NOBLE)  There’s some special meetings next week  :  the Richland County Board will have an Organizational & Special Meeting next Monday night, December 1st, in the County Jail meeting room, starting at 6:30  :  the Village of Noble Caucuses for the April 7th Municipal Election will be held next Monday, December 1st, at Village Hall in Noble – the Citizens Party will caucus at 6:00 and the Peoples Party will caucus at 6:30 – there are four Village of Noble Trustee positions up for election next spring.

 

(NEWTON)  Republic Services reminds all customers it will observe today, this Thanksgiving Day, as an official holiday, therefore there is no trash collection today – that means the trash pickup will run a day later than normal after today – the normal Thursday trash collection will be tomorrow and Friday’s normal pickup will be Saturday – this applies to all RS customers in the Newton, Olney, and surrounding areas  :  plus don’t forget that all City and Village Halls are closed today and tomorrow, reopening next Monday.

 

(OLNEY)  A few more reminders for the citizens of Olney  :  the Thursday curbside recycling will take place tomorrow, along with the regular Friday recycling pickup  :  the City’s brush dump is closed on this Thursday, but will be open both tomorrow and Saturday, from 10:00 to 4:00, and back to normal next week.

 

REMINDERS :
    A fundraising benefit for Lee Pickens and his family in Clay County will be this Saturday night at the Flora Elks Club – supper served at 5:00 with an auction and gun raffle to start at 7:00 – only a few limited amount of tickets will be on sale at the door – all proceeds will go to the family for medical expenses


    The Olney Christmas Parade is this Saturday night – the judging is from 5:00 to 5:30 during line-up along East Street near the Immanuel United Methodist Church – starting at 6:30, the parade route is the same as last year, traveling south on East Street, then west on Main Street, and then south on Whittle Avenue, all ending at North Avenue – everyone’s encouraged to check it out in downtown Olney this Saturday night


    This coming Saturday is being noted as Small Business Saturday in Olney & Newton – we urged everyone to shop and patronize our local businesses and stores in Newton, Olney, and the surrounding area


    The City of Olney’s Christmas Lights Display will be clicked on for the first time in 2014 this evening at 5:00 in the Olney City Park – the display will then be lit up each night thereafter thru the end of the year


    And be careful out there while traveling or at home – we here at WVLN-WSEI-WIKK in Olney and Newton pray that your Thanksgiving Day weekend is a special time with family and friends

 

 

 

November 26, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  Another fast-moving, weak storm system, will move thru the Midwest by tonight, giving us an above average chance of rain today, maybe mixed with some wet snow, but nothing significant expected – it all clears out by tonight as the wind switches with some cooler air moving for a rather cold, but dry day on tap for Thanksgiving Day – then a warm up over the weekend, maybe more rain Sunday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  With millions of people hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Illinois State Police are boosting patrols and conducting more roadside safety checks – the State Troopers, along with hundreds of local law enforcement agencies, are out in extra force looking for those driving drunk or impaired by drugs – also looking for those not buckled up or for those using their cell phones while driving.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding us to take the needed precautions to avoid foodborne illnesses this weekend – make sure that turkey is fully thawed out before cooking or frying, plus once that food is served, make sure it’s properly stored until the next meal – remember to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot – for safety tips in general, check the department’s website at www.idph.state.il.us.

 

(NEWTON)  It’s noted that the Secretary of State Police will be out in extra force, conducting statewide stings at shopping malls, targeting people illegally parking in spaces reserved for persons with disabilities, all starting this Friday – offenders found parking in disabled spots will be fined with no questions asked – the public can report abuse of disabled parking spaces by logging on a www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  There will be four candidates vying for only two seats on the Olney City Council in next spring’s April 7th Municipal Election – as the filing period ended at 5:00 this past Monday afternoon, neither of the two current Council members decided to seek another term, Brad Brown nor Barb Thomas – those seeking election include Belinda Henton, Byron Holdren, and Les Harrison, who all three filed a week ago Monday – the fourth and final candidate, Bryce Fehrenbacher, filed petition papers last Friday afternoon – so while no primary election will be needed, the ballot is set for the April 7th, 2015, Olney City Council election.

 

(NEWTON)  This coming Sunday afternoon will be a special event for a special Jasper County man – the Retirement Reception for outgoing Jasper County Sheriff Ed Francis will be held at the American Legion in Newton, running from 2:00 until 6:00 – folks are invited to stop by and join those in attendance in honoring Sheriff Francis for this over 25 years of law enforcement service, including the past 16 years as Sheriff of Jasper County – cake and punch will be served, all hosted by family and friends this Sunday in Newton.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met earlier this week for a regular meeting – the Board  :  adopted the Village’s tax levy for fiscal year 2014 at $61,910, reflecting a 4.98% increase over the previous year’s levy extension  :  noted the EJ Water will soon continue the process of hooking into the Village’s water supply as a secondary water source for the Village  :  took no action on discussion to improve a water drainage issue in the Village Cemetery  :  took no action after discussion to possibly change the West North Avenue and North First Street intersection into a four-way stop intersection  :  approved the proclamation of declaring December as National Drunk & Drugged Driving (3-D) Prevention Month  :  noted that the Village Hall Caucuses for the April 7th Municipal Election will be held next Monday, December 1st, at Village Hall in Noble – the Citizens Party at 6:00 and the Peoples Party at 6:30 – four Trustee positions are up for election next spring  :  noted the Village’s trash pickup by Republic Services will be this Saturday, instead of Friday  :  also noted Village Hall will be closed on Thursday & Friday this week  :  noted the Village Christmas Party will be December 16th  :  noted the Olney Christmas Parade coming up Saturday night with a Village entry taking part  :  the Noble Village Board will have its next regular meeting on December 8th, at 7:00.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois firearm deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of  51,830 deer during this past weekend’s first three days of the State DNR’s Firearm Deer Season – that number is considerably less than the 55,708 harvest number from a year ago – half of the area counties had a drop in harvest numbers from a year ago, including Jasper, Crawford, Cumberland, Wabash, and Wayne – the other half had an increase in harvest numbers, including Richland, Effingham, Clay, Edwards, and Lawrence – we’ll look at the specific numbers next week – the 2nd part of the season is December 4th thru 7th, starting at week from tomorrow.

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially now when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Clay County Hospital in Flora from 12:00 to 4:00  :  also today at the Hawthorne Inn in Shelbyville from 12:00 to 4:00  :  for more details on giving blood or to schedule an upcoming appointment to give the gift of life, go online at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Make your plans now to attend the City of Olney Christmas Parade coming up this Saturday evening, starting at 6:30 – the judging will run from 5:00 to 5:30 during line-up along East Street in the vicinity of the Immanuel United Methodist Church – various awards will be noted – the parade route is the same as last year, traveling south on East Street, then west on Main Street, and then south on Whittle Avenue, all ending at North Avenue –sponsored by the Olney Rotary Club, everyone’s encouraged to check it out in downtown Olney this Saturday night – the Christmas Parade in Olney – it will start at 6:30.

 

(NEWTON)  Republic Services is reminding all customers that it will observe the Thanksgiving Day holiday with no trash collection tomorrow – that means the trash pickup is normal for the rest of today, but will run a day later than normal after Thanksgiving Day – the normal Thursday trash collection will be done Friday and Friday’s normal pickup will be on Saturday – this applies to all Republic Services customers in the Newton, Noble, Olney, and surrounding areas of Southeastern Illinois – they appreciate your patience.

 

(OLNEY)  A few more reminders for the citizens of Olney  :  the Thursday curbside recycling will take place on Friday along with the regular Friday recycling pickup  :  the City’s brush dump will be closed on Thursday, but will be open both Friday and Saturday, from 10:00 to 4:00, after Thanksgiving Day.

 

REMINDERS :
    A fundraising benefit for Lee Pickens and his family in Clay County will be this Saturday night at the Flora Elks Club – supper served at 5:00 with an auction and gun raffle to start at 7:00 – only a few limited amount of tickets will be on sale at the door – all proceeds will go to the family for medical expenses


    This coming Saturday is being noted as Small Business Saturday in Olney & Newton – we urged everyone to shop and patronize our local businesses and stores in Newton, Olney, and the surrounding area


    The City of Olney’s Christmas Lights Display will be clicked on for the first time in 2014 this Thursday evening at 5:00 – the display will then be lit up each night thereafter thru the end of the year – check it out in the Olney City Park


   A reminder that most all City and Village Halls will be closed tomorrow and Friday – so after today, the City and Village Halls will not reopen until Monday of next week with normal operating hours


    And be careful out there while traveling – we here at WVLN-WSEI-WIKK in Olney and Newton pray that your Thanksgiving Day weekend is a special time with family and friends

 

 

 

November 25, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a weak high pressure ridge moves over the Midwest, our weather will stay dry and cold today thru tonight – another weak storm system will move into the downstate region tomorrow, bringing a chance of light snow, mixed up with rain, thru Wednesday night – then back to a dry and cold pattern for the next few days – a slight warm up Saturday will be followed some rain on Sunday – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is planning to appeal a judge’s decision regarding a pension overhaul passed last year by the General Assembly – last Friday, a Springfield judge ruled the overhaul aimed at fixing the state’s $100 billion pension crisis was unconstitutional – Madigan says the State Supreme Court could take up the case by the end of January with the expedited hearing request.

 

(OLNEY)  The Superintendent of the Rochester School District has been named Illinois’ Superintendent of the Year – Thomas Bertrand received the award during the Illinois Association of School Administrator’s annual conference Sunday – he’s been an educator for nearly three decades, a Superintendent since 2002.

 

(NEWTON)  The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that nearly 2,500 applicants will receive disaster assistance for losses suffered from October 1st, 2011, thru September 30th, 2013 – officials say beekeepers, most of whom suffered honeybee colony losses, represent more than half of the recipients – others were for livestock and farm-raised fish producers – the disaster funding is capped at $20 million per fiscal year.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night – the Council  :  set the maximum limits of increase for the 2014 Tax Levies – 4.99% for the City and 4.66% for the Library – the final Levies will be approved at a future meeting  :  on a 3 to 1 vote, with one abstention, rejected both bids to purchase the Senior Citizens Park at 310 East Main Street  :  accepted the $3,120 bid from Wilson Farms Excavating for the demolition of property at 1039 West St. John Street  :  approved the contribution of an additional $50,000 to the City’s IMRF funding obligation  :  accepted quotes totaling $187,081 for Liability, Workers Compensation, Property, and miscellaneous insurance coverages for 2015  :  agreed to give SOS Bucks to City employees as Christmas bonuses  :  took no action, but agreed to look into needed maintenance requests at various sites within the City  :  approved the Kemper CPA Group proposal for Annual Audit Services for the next three years, priced at $19,975 each year, with no increase  :  and decided not to seek out anymore grant money for further East Fork Lake shoreline protection work  :  the Olney City Council’s next regular meeting is December 8th.

 

(NEWTON)  In its final weekly Crop Report of the year, the USDA reports the 2014 farming activities are slowly coming to an end – last week’s statewide precipitation averaged 0.27 inches, just over a third of an inch (0.37) below normal – the state’s average temperature last week was 27.9 degrees, 13 degrees below normal – nearly all of the statewide crop harvesting is complete with topsoil and subsoil moisture supplies in pretty good shape  :  locally, farmers in our 10 county region report all the soybeans are cut with about 5% of the corn crop still standing – farmers are reminded to continue all safety measures while outdoors.

 

(OLNEY)  Richland County residents should mark their calendars for the upcoming Richland County Firefighters annual Food Drive, coming up on Thursday evening, December 4th, that’s a week from this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day – the firemen will go door-to-door to pick up the non-perishable food items, which will be separated, bagged, and distributed to those in need – those wishing to take part are asked to place their food items in a bag and place the bag on their front porch or steps with the porch light or front light turned on – the door-to-door pick up will begin at 6:00 in the communities of Calhoun, Parkersburg, and Dundas – food can also be dropped off at the following locations for those outside the collection areas or for those that will not be home that night  :  at the TNT Stop in Claremont  :  at Noble Foods in Noble  : at the Mill in Wakefield  :  and at the Olney Fire Department on North Walnut Street in Olney  :  other food drives may also be held with the non-perishable food items also donated to the Firemen for their distribution – let’s work together to make sure that no one, especially children, goes hungry during this time of the year.

 

(NEWTON)  The Regional Office of Education #12 sponsored its annual Team Quest competition for area students last week with 46 different teams and over 180 students participating in the four day challenge  :
*  an Oblong team won the high school 9th thru 12th Grade competition – the team members included Sam Pepmeier, Zander Laino, Ceceilia Slane, and George Schlalasky  :  a Robinson team was 2nd  :  a Newton team was 3rd  :  a Lawrenceville team was 4th  :  and teams from North Clay and Oblong tied for 5th
*  an Olney St. Joe team won the 7th & 8th Grade competition – the team members included Chelsea Ochs, Carmen Rodriguez, Wilson Conley, and Elanor Atkins  :  an Olney Middle School team was 2nd  :  a Newton team from Jasper County was 3rd  :  an Oblong team was 4th  :  a Lawrenceville team was 5th
*  another Olney St. Joe team won the 5th & 6th Grade competition – the team members included Lucas McVaigh, Ella Eimer, Brock Wilson, and Evy Atkins  :  another Olney Middle School team was 2nd  :  a North Clay team was 3rd  :  a Newton team was 4th  :  and another Olney St. Joe team was 5th 
*  a Robinson team won the 3rd & 4th Grade competition – the team members included Sydney Harmon, Remington Spencer, Jalyne Long, and Colby McGahey  :  a North Clay team finished 2nd  :  a Newton team from Jasper County was 3rd  :  a Lawrenceville team was 4th  :  another Olney St. Joe team finished 5th
*  a tip of the hat to all the students that took part and to each of the respective schools for allowing them to take part – the students worked together in groups to demonstrate their ability to solve real problems that required imagination, creative thinking, and engineering skills in science, math, language arts, and music.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially now when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Cotillion Ridge Nursing Center in Robinson from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also today at the Centralia Elks Lodge from 2:30 to 6:30  :  tomorrow at the Clay County Hospital in Flora from 12:00 to 4:00  :  also Wednesday at the Hawthorne Inn in Shelbyville from 12:00 to 4:00  :  for more details on giving blood or to schedule an upcoming appointment to give, go online at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Republic Services is reminding all of its customers that it will observe the Thanksgiving Day holiday with no trash collection this coming Thursday – that means the trash pickup is normal the rest of today thru tomorrow, then a day later than normal after Thanksgiving Day – the normal Thursday trash collection will be done Friday and Friday’s normal pickup will be done on Saturday – this applies to all Republic Services customers in the Olney, Noble, Newton, and surrounding areas of Southeastern Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  A few more reminders for the citizens of Olney  :  the Thursday curbside recycling will take place on Friday along with the regular Friday recycling pickup  :  the City’s brush dump will be closed on Thursday, but will be open both Friday and Saturday, from 10:00 to 4:00, after Thanksgiving Day.

 

REMINDERS :
    Get ready for the City of Olney Christmas Parade coming up this Saturday evening, starting at 6:30 – all sponsored by the Olney Rotary Club, everyone’s encouraged to check it out in downtown Olney


    A fundraising benefit for Lee Pickens and his family in Clay County will be this Saturday night at the Flora Elks Club – supper served at 5:00 with an auction and gun raffle to start at 7:00 – only a few limited amount of tickets will be on sale at the door – all proceeds will go to the family for medical expenses


    This coming Saturday is being noted as Small Business Saturday in Olney – we urged everyone to shop and patronize our local businesses and stores in Olney and all of Richland County


    The City of Olney’s Christmas Lights Display will be clicked on for the first time in 2014 this Thursday evening at 5:00 – the display will then be lit up each night thereafter thru the end of the year – check it out


   A reminder that most all City and Village Halls will be closed this Thursday and Friday – so after tomorrow, the City and Village Halls will not reopen until Monday of next week

 

 

 

November 24, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a cold front rolls across the Midwest, temperatures in our downstate region are dropping on the current blustery west wind – then dry and calmer winds will prevail tomorrow thru early Wednesday as a high pressure ridge builds in over the Midwest, but only briefly – with some spotty rain on Wednesday ending by that night, it should be dry and cold all the way thru the upcoming weekend – listen for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory in effect for Richland, Jasper, and all surrounding counties thru 6:00 this evening – the current west wind will persist thru the rest of today, hitting 30 miles-per-hour, with some gusts exceeding 40 miles-per-hour at times – needed precautions should be noted, especially for those driving high profile vehicles on north-south roads – unsecured outdoor objects, along with tree limbs, could be blown down & around as well – the wind should lay after 6:00 this evening.

 

(NEWTON)  The October unemployment rate in Illinois was 6.6%, unchanged from September, and down from 9.1% one year ago, according to preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security – while Illinois’ labor force grew by nearly 32,000 in October, the number of people working or looking for work went up to 6,531,100, the highest since November 2008.

 

(OLNEY)  The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall is urging residents across the state to keep in mind the importance of fire safety during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend – reports from the National Fire Protection Association continue to indicate that Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires in the United States, mostly due to accidents involving turkey fryers – for tips on turkey frying or other safety guidelines involved, check the Fire Marshall’s website online, at www.sfm.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  Nearly 10,000 public school leaders attended the 2014 Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, & the Illinois Association of School Business Officials this past weekend – almost all of our local and downstate school boards and school districts were represented at the annual joint conference, which highlights hundreds of sessions and workshops dealing with nearly all aspects of operating schools and school districts throughout Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney continues to accept nomination petitions for the April 7th, 2015 Municipal Election, in which two City of Olney Councilmen seats will be filled – however, today’s the final day in which to file nominating petition papers at City Hall as the filing period ends at 5:00 this afternoon – the four year terms of Councilman Brad Brown and Councilwoman Barb Thomas will expire next spring.

 

(NEWTON)  Petition packets are still available for area School Board candidates at County Clerk’s offices around the state, with the petition filing period set for December 15th thru December 22nd at the respective offices – the candidates will be on the April 7th Consolidated Election ballot next spring  :  also, nomination petitions of candidates for members of the Illinois Eastern Community College’s Board are available at the IECC District Office in Olney – the filing period is also December 15th thru December 22nd at the IECC District Office, with the election next April 7th, 2015  :  for general details, logon at www.election.il.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland High School Co-op Club is continuing its effort, asking for the public’s help as they collect new and gently used toys for the annual Good Samaritan Toy Drive – continuing thru Friday, December 5th, area residents can bring the donated toys to the East Richland High School office during regular office hours, however no stuffed animals can be accepted – it’s the goal of the ERHS Co-op Club to collect as many toys as possible to help the many families in Richland County have a better Christmas time for their children – if any questions, call the East Richland High School office and ask for Mrs. Billington.

 

(NEWTON)  Jasper County residents are being asked to pitch in and help others with Christmas time just around the corner – families in need of assistance to provide Christmas gifts for their children, ages 0 to 15, can pick up registration forms at three locations in Newton, the Jasper County Extension Office, the Jasper County Health Department Office, and the Jasper County ERBA Office, all during regular office hours – the forms should be returned to the Extension office by Monday, December 1st – meanwhile, all donations of money and/or new toys for distribution will be accepted thru December 12th – also, contribution jars are available at various businesses in the Newton area to allow residents to easily donate to the program to brighten the Christmas season of those less fortunate than others – for more details on how to help out, stop by the Jasper County Extension office in Newton, or call them at 618-783-2521 – all help is appreciated!

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially now when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Webber Township High School in Bluford from 12:00 to 5:00  :  also today at the Clay City Christian Church from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Cotillion Ridge Nursing Center in Robinson from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Centralia Elks Lodge from 2:30 to 6:30  :  Wednesday at the Clay County Hospital in Flora from 12:00 to 4:00  :  also Wednesday at the Hawthorne Inn in Shelbyville from 12:00 to 4:00  :  for more details, go online at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    Get ready for the City of Olney Christmas Parade coming up this Saturday evening, starting at 6:30 – all sponsored by the Olney Rotary Club, everyone’s encouraged to check it out in downtown Olney


    A fundraising benefit for Lee Pickens and his family will be held this Saturday night at the Flora Elks Club, starting at 5:00 – includes supper, an auction, and a gun raffle – proceeds for medical expenses


    This coming Saturday is being noted as Small Business Saturday in Olney – we urged everyone to shop and patronize our local businesses and stores in Olney and all of Richland County


    The City of Olney’s Christmas Lights Display will be clicked on for the first time in 2014 this Thursday evening at 5:00 – the display will then be lit up each night thereafter thru the end of the year  - check it out


    The Olney Public Library Teen Advisory Group meets tonight from 5:30 to 7:00 – it’s open to any Richland County teenager, ages 12 to 18 – refreshments provided – call the Library at 392-3711 if questions


    There are two municipal meetings tonight in Richland County – the Noble Village Board meets at Village Hall in Noble at 7:00 – the Olney City Council meets at the Olney City Hall at 7:00 – both open to public

 

 

 

November 21, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  The unseasonably cold airmass will stay in place over the Midwest for one more day before a pronounced warming trend begins this weekend – high pressure will keep us dry again today, then an approaching weather disturbance will bring us some widespread rain tonight, continuing thru tomorrow and Sunday – but much warmer conditions will also return – stay tuned to WVLN-WSEI-WIKK for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois home sales inched higher in October according to the Illinois Association of Realtors – the statewide home sales totaled 12,983 units sold, that up only two-tenths of a percentage point (0.2%) from October a year ago – the state’s median price last month was $159,000 which is up 6% from October 2013 – fifty-two (52) of Illinois’ 102 counties showed annual home sales increases in October of 2014.

 

(OLNEY)  As it enters its second year, Obamacare is less popular than ever, except with those enrolled in the healthcare program – a Gallup Poll released this week shows more than half of Americans disapprove of the healthcare reform law while fewer than 40% support it – however, the survey of those actually enrolled show more than 70% of enrollees rated their coverage as “good” or “excellent” – at least 75% of them said they plan to renew their current policies – by the way, the signup period runs now thru February 15th, 2015.

 

(OLNEY)  The State DNR reminds hunters to make safety their top priority as they head to the woods for the first segment of the Illinois Firearm Deer Season this weekend – the first three days of the season is today, tomorrow, and Sunday, each day from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset – the second part of the firearm season is December 4th thru 7th – while all hunters are required to wear their blaze orange clothing and hats, all residents should be aware of all area hunters out looking for deer.

 

(NEWTON)  The Embarras River Basin Agency continues to accept all applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program – that includes applications from the elderly and handicapped, families with children under the age of six, and now from all other applicants – those eligible should call their local ERBA Office to set up an appointment or for more information – 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 the towns of Lawrenceville, Robinson, Greenup, Martinsville, Paris, Charleston, and Tuscola.

 

(OLNEY)  Time is running out to place your orders from Olney FFA members for their fundraiser pizza and fresh Florida fruit sales – the fruit list includes navel oranges, juice oranges, tangelos, red grapefruit, sweet potatoes, red & gold delicious apples, granny smith apples, and gift sampler boxes – all proceeds go to FFA members for scholarships, leadership camps and conferences, and various leadership activities throughout the year – contact any FFA member or the Ag Department at East Richland High School.

 

(NEWTON)  The U.S Department of Agriculture is urging farmers to make their voices heard by voting in the FSA County Committee elections as ballots for the 2014 election were mailed out to eligible producers last week – producers must return the ballots to their local FSA offices by the December 1st deadline to ensure that their vote is counted – the newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office January 1st, 2015 – the FSA County Committee members provide an important link between the local agricultural community and the USDA on the national level – if any questions, contact the local FSA office.

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially now when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also today at the Marshall Avenue Christian Church in Mattoon from 11:00 to 3:00  :  tomorrow at the Family Video Store in Olney from 11:00 to 3:00  :  and next Monday at the Clay City Christian Church from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more information about giving blood or to schedule an appointment to give, go online at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Lake Land College Community Choir will present a holiday concert this Sunday afternoon at 3:00 in the Land Land College Theater – admission is free and all ages are welcome to attend


    The Dieterich Women’s Club will host its annual Holiday Craft Fair this Sunday from 12 noon to 4:00 at the Dieterich High School – there will be over 70 booths of Christmas decorations, wreaths, centerpieces, wood crafts, candies, ornaments, handmade jewelry, and much more – all are invited to the non-profit event


    The Fox River Apartments in Olney will host a Holiday Open House this weekend – tomorrow from 11:00 to 3:00 and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 – baked goods & candy, plus door prizes and entertainment


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club is sponsoring a special concert tomorrow night – the Matt Poss Band will perform at the Olney VFW from 8:00 to 12 midnight – admission is $7 per person – all are invited


    The Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton will host a Holiday Bazaar tomorrow from 9:00 to 3:00 – twenty different vendors will have a large variety of items for sale, including books, jewelry, crafts, woodworking, wreaths, and more – plus food will be available – all are invited


    The Walnut Grove Church of the Brethern will have a benefit breakfast tomorrow morning, with serving from 6:30 to 11:00 – by donation only at the door – proceeds to be used for Christmas food baskets


    The American Legion Post #230 in Sailor Springs will host a “deer hunter” breakfast and lunch tomorrow from 5:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – that’s just off the Clay City / Dieterich Blacktop – a gun raffle drawing at 1:00 – you need not be present to win and tickets are available


    The Olney Firefighter’s Association will host a fundraising breakfast tomorrow morning at the Olney Fire Station on North Walnut Street, with serving from 4:00 to 11:00, or until sold out – carry-outs available – all deer hunters welcomed – proceeds for future firefighter purchases and the OFA’s scholarship program