June 25, 2012 Local & Area News


(OLNEY)  As yet another front moved thru the Midwest with no local rain results, another high pressure will build in with dry & some cooler air to start with, but then more heat & humidity by the end of the work week – in fact, our hottest conditions of the year so far – still no rain in sight in the extended forecast – listen for weather updates.


(NEWTON)  Illinois smokers may be surprised when they buy a pack of cigarettes with the extra dollar tax added to the price – Governor Quinn approved the additional tax a few weeks ago as part of the plan to reform the state’s Medicaid system – the idea is to bring in an additional $700 million in revenue – some refute the Governor’s idea that the extra money will force some to quit smoking and lead healthier lives.


(OLNEY)  The Governor has signed a measure into law that returns an early-release program for state prison inmates – the new plan revives “good time” credit for nonviolent offenders who complete drug treatment, job training, and/or rehabilitation programs during the time they are locked up – the Governor’s idea is to use the law as a way to help control the growing prison population throughout the state.


(NEWTON)  Bill Enyart is the new Democratic candidate for Illinois’ 12th Congressional District, which mainly represents the Metro-East area – the former Illinois National Guard Commander was selected unanimously over seven total candidates vying to replace Brad Harriman on the November ballot – while Harriman won the March primary, he soon after dropped out of the race due to a medical condition.


(OLNEY)  With the extremely dry conditions continuing to grow worse each day, authorities are reminding folks that most areas are under “no burn orders” until further notice – whether its trash or brush, no matter how large or small, all open burning should be avoided – this restriction has been passed along from local authorities in Richland, Jasper, Edwards, Clay, & other surrounding counties and the communities that are within these counties – the regional “burn ban” for our entire area will remain in effect until further notice.


(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Fair continues each day & night this week after a successful start this past weekend – it’s more Harness Racing this afternoon at 1:00 with the final two days of racing tomorrow and Wednesday – the nightly featured events include the Gospel Music tonight at 7:30, the Queen Pageant is tomorrow night at 7:30, the Flat Drag Races Wednesday night at 7:00, the ITPA Sanctioned Truck / Tractor Pull Thursday night at 7:00, the Non-Sanctioned Tractor / Truck Pull Friday night at 7:00, and the Demo Derby Saturday night at 7:00 – the Jasper County Fair will also feature the Golden Afternoon events today, with Family Night at 6:00 tomorrow night with armbands available at the gate, the 4-H Livestock Auction is Thursday at 5:00, the Antique Farm Machinery Show from 10:00 to 2:00 Friday, and another Family Night with armbands after 6:00 Friday night – the 4-H Shows continue this afternoon, featuring Sheep at 3:00 and Goats at 4:00, then Swine & Beef tomorrow, and the Open Shows & Grandparents Day on Wednesday – not to mention all the concession and popular Fair week foods available each day and night, plus the carnival rides start tomorrow – now thru the rest of this week at the Jasper County Fairgrounds in Newton.


(OLNEY)  Prior to tonight’s regular bi-monthly meeting of the Olney City Council, the public is welcome to attend a Public Hearing, at which time input will be heard concerning the possible renewal of the cable franchise agreement between the City of Olney and NewWave Communications – the meeting will begin at 7:30 with the Public Hearing to be held first – all are invited out to share their input about the special topic.


(NEWTON)  With the Jasper County Fair Queen Pageant coming up tomorrow night, organizers are still inviting all past Jasper County Fair Queens to attend and be a part of this year’s event – while this is the first time in a long time for former Queens to return to the stage, organizers need help in contacting the past winners – for those former Queens that have not been contacted, call Kelly Hemrich at 618-553-2978 – the annual Jasper County Fair Queen Pageant starts tomorrow night at 7:30 on the Fairgrounds in Newton.


(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police are investigating a single vehicle traffic accident from last night at 9:12 in Wayne County – 78 year old Ralph Halfacre of Iuka was traveling eastbound on a rural county road when his pickup truck hit a horse that had escaped from a nearby pasture – Halfacre, and a passenger, 71 year old Marjorie Halfacre, were both taken to Clay County Hospital in Flora – no tickets have been issued.


(OLNEY)  The City of Olney has recently listed several surplus items for sale on the internet, being sold online at www.GovDeals.com – the list of items from the City of Olney includes several highway signs that recognize the accomplishments by local basketball, baseball, cross country, and FFA teams, plus a pair of 1,000 gallon double-wall fuel tanks with pumps, a trash pump with motor, a 2006 Ford car, a 2000 Chevy car, traffic signal parts, & more – the GovDeals.com website is a government surplus auction service that provides services to various government agencies, allowing them to sell surplus & confiscated items on the internet – interested buyers can register, for no fee, at www.govdeals.com – click the “register” button in the upper right hand corner of the homepage & follow the instructions – Olney’s items can easily be found by selecting “Search by Location” and entering Olney’s zip code of “62450” – if questions, call 618-395-7302.


    The Annual Freedom Celebration, presented by the West Salem Volunteer Firemen, is this weekend – the Saturday events include a morning breakfast, village-wide yard sales, 5K run/walk, a parade, & fireworks – Sunday’s events are a morning community church service, Country Rhodes fish fry lunch & car/truck show

    The Richland County Fair Queen contestants will have a fundraising “bake sale” this Saturday morning at the downtown Farmers Market – starting at 7:00, they’ll have homemade cakes, cookies, & pies on sale

    The 175th Anniversary Celebration of Ste. Marie is this weekend – Friday evening includes a wine tasting, food, music, bingo, a quilt show & more – on Saturday, it’s a 5K run/walk, parade, live music, games, food, & much more – everything wraps up with a fireworks display – all in Ste. Marie this weekend

    The Latona Church of Christ is hosting the Mobile Museum of Earth History each evening at 6:00, now thru Friday, this week – stop by and view the historical display now available – all ages are urged to stop by

    It’s a busy Wednesday coming up this week  :  the Cummins Band in concert that night in the Olney City Park Band Shell from 8:00 to 9:00  :  a “story hour” at the Olney Public Library starting at 2:00  :  and the next area blood from 8:00 to 1:00 at Olney Central College with all types of blood very much needed

    There’s a few meetings tonight in Richland County  :  the Noble Village Board will meet tonight at 7:00 at Village Hall in Noble  :  the West Richland School Board will meet tonight at 7:30 in the Administrative Board Room in Noble – the Board will have a FY 2012 Amended Budget Hearing at 7:15, just prior to the regular monthly meeting  :  the Olney City Council will meet tonight at 7:30 at the Olney City Hall

    Starting today, the Apple Shed Road, from the intersection of 900 East & 1400 North south to State Route 130, will be under construction for approximately two weeks – alternate routes should be taken until this Jasper County project is complete – drivers should observe all barricades and use other routes of travel