LOCAL NEWS

Local News

April 18, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a weak cold front tracks to our southeast with little, if any, rain falling overnight, a high pressure ridge will build into the Upper Midwest today, giving us dry conditions today, tomorrow, and thru most of Easter Sunday – our next rain maker will move into the Midwest with rain likely next Monday and Monday night – then dry and warm until maybe more rain next Thursday – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The unemployment rate in Illinois is at a five year low at 8.4% – the state says it’s a positive thing to see the jobs market steadily improve and the state is urging people who are still looking for work to post their resume online at www.IllinoisJobsNet.com where there are nearly 200,000 job openings posted.

 

(OLNEY)  A plan to provide $100 million in state funds for the construction of a presidential library in Chicago to honor President Barack Obama now goes to the Illinois House of Representatives for debate – it was approved in a House Committee yesterday – three Chicago area colleges have expressed their plans to bid for the museum, however the Illinois plan faces competition from others in Hawaii and New York City.

 

(NEWTON)  Mumps are on the rise in the Illinois counties of Sangamon and Morgan – state health officials say the reported cases in these two counties are nearly double the amount from last year and that many have just came up in a matter of weeks – mumps is a contagious disease caused by a strong viral infection.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School Board met last night in Olney for its regular monthly meeting – the Board  :  approved seventeen policies for first reading – these policies will be brought before the Board again in May for a second reading and possible adoption  :  approved the rehiring and salaries for current Administrators, Tenured Teachers, Non-Tenured Teachers, and Educational Support Staff  :  approved the resignation of ERES Paraprofessional Melissa Belcher  :  noted that the State of Illinois still owes the East Richland District $851,499  :  noted that the District’s Service Awards Banquet will be held next week  :  noted that the German Exchange visit that ended earlier this week went very well – a “thank you” went out to all host students and families as well as all District personnel for making the exchange visit a success  :  the East Richland School Board will have its next regular monthly meeting in Olney on Thursday, May 15.

 

(NEWTON)  Congratulations to Jason and Lisa Meyer who made it official earlier this week, acquiring three area funeral homes with their continued commitment to service – the Meyers’ were afforded the opportunity to purchase the Blake-Buchanan Funeral Home in Newton, the Blake-Wright Funeral Home in Dieterich, and the Bishop Funeral Home in Greenup from Ronald F. Blake – having served as longtime employees and managers of the funeral homes, the transaction will be seamless, although the name at all three locations will be changed to Meyer Funeral Homes, LLC – all current phone numbers will remain in place for each funeral home location – check their new website, it’s available online at www.meyerfh.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting an earthquake that occurred last night at shortly after 10:00 with the epicenter located 9 miles east/northeast of Benton or 21 miles south/southeast of Mt. Vernon – the Southern Illinois quake was measured at 2.7 magnitude – authorities report no damage or injuries as a result, however the earthquake was reportedly felt within a 50 to 100 miles radius of the downstate location.

 

(NEWTON)  State Representative David Reis of Ste. Marie and State Senator Dale Righter of Mattoon have called upon the Quinn Administration to get serious about fracking and cease its endless delay tactics – the lawmakers argue next week’s meeting down in Carmi, hosted by the Illinois Finance Authority, on state assistance for fracking, is yet another political charade against fracking implementation in Illinois – while the bill to allow the oilfield process to be used was signed into law in June last year, the actual use of fracking is being held up until administrative rules are finalized – both Reis and Righter, among others say thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of new economic development are being held up as a result.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney FFA Chapter recently hosted the Section 23 Ag Mechanics contest and came away with first place, just over four points better than second place Red Hill – Edwards County was third, Clay City was fourth, then Cisne, West Richland in sixth place, followed by Fairfield and Lawrenceville – Olney’s top finishers individually included Jake Leist with a first place in Electricity, Andrew Steber with a first place in Welding, Jacob Chaplin with a first place in Surveying, Luke Doan with a third place in Carpentry, and Tanner Scherer with a fourth place in Ag Power – congrats to the Olney FFA members.

 

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

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of notes : due to the observance of Good Friday today, most all area City or Village Halls are closed today : the City of Olney brush dump is closed today : today’s curbside recycling pickup in Olney will be done on Monday : however, today’s trash collection by Republic Services will be normal for the Olney, Noble, Newton, and surrounding area, including the Saturday routes tomorrow as well.

 

REMINDERS :
    There are various activities at most all local and area churches this weekend – from special sunrise church services Sunday morning to those serving breakfast and special meals, plus special services tonight, tomorrow night, and all weekend long at the various churches in Richland and surrounding counties


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


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


    The 5th annual Step UP For Down Syndrome “bake sale” fundraiser is tomorrow morning at Parklanes in Newton, from 5:30 until sold out – homemade baked goods, candy bouquets, & Easter Baskets


    The next City of Olney Community Clean-Up Day is tomorrow afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 – all volunteers should meet at Musgrove Park as teams will walk around Olney picking up litter – then those helping out will meet back at the Park to sort recyclables and dispose of trash – all volunteers are welcome


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


    The East Fork Bassmasters will be cooking and serving their famous fish sandwiches today from 11:00 to 5:00 – that’s under the awning at the Olney IGA – orders to go will be available

 

 

 

April 17, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a low pressure system shifts into the Great Lakes area today thru tonight, a weak cold front will slowly move across the Midwest, bringing us a low chance of scattered rain showers later tonight thru tomorrow morning – then a dry and warm Good Friday afternoon, followed by a good looking weekend with warm and dry conditions – but another rainy storm system moves in Monday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA is concerned about a new virus that’s killing piglets, not only in Illinois, but all across the nation – pork farmers in Illinois report at least 245 baby pigs have tested positive, but that’s a small total compared to the over 1,400 positive tests in neighboring Iowa – the disease, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, known as PED, first appeared a year ag in at least 28 states across the country, causing at least 1 million pigs to die – the virus is not transferred to people who eat pork, therefore pork is safe to eat.

 

(OLNEY)  The Secretary of State’s office has awarded more than $670,000 in “Another Back to Books” grants, going out to 159 libraries around the state, to acquire fiction and/or non-fiction books, learning CD’s and DVD’s, and other educational materials – eight downstate libraries will receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 – they include libraries at Lake Land College south of Mattoon and Frontier Community College in Fairfield – also public libraries in Paris, Charleston, Albion, and Norris City – & school libraries in Dieterich and Fairfield.

 

(NEWTON)  American Idol’s top ten performers will take to the main stage at the Illinois State Fair this summer in Springfield – in fact, the “American Idol Live” performance will be the first show of this year’s fair, which begins August 8th – tickets go on sale May 10th – for more, logon at www.illinoisstatefair.info.

 

(OLNEY)  An Olney woman has been sentenced for her role in the August 2012 murder of a young downstate couple – 31 year old Candice Brown was sentenced yesterday to serve 60 days in the White County Jail, to be placed on 30 months of probation, ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, and told to pay $1,000 in various fines and costs – convicted of obstructing justice thru a guilty plea, Brown admitted that she lied to authorities about the whereabouts of her boyfriend Danny Coston on the night that Jacob Wheeler of Centerville and Jessi Evans of Norris City were killed – Coston, by the way, is currently serving a 53 year prison sentence after being found guilty for the double homicide in rural White County.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met Tuesday night – the Board  :  adopted a revised Evaluation Policy, calling for part-time faculty to be evaluated at least once every two academic years, rather than every nine semesters – the policy also clarifies that the year being discussed in the policy is an academic year  :  approved the Activity Fee allocations with no changes from last year  :  agreed to reduce the Concealed Carry Course fees – with additional fees and tuition, the eight hour course drops from $176 to $121 and the sixteen hour course drops from $222 to $167, both effective yesterday  :  approved several personnel moves – accepted retirements from OCC Academic Advisor Joyce Nix, from OCC Maintenance/Operation and Maintenance Team Leader Larry Gangloff, from OCC Administrative Assistant Tammy Harmon, and from WVC Groundskeeper / Operations and Maintenance Team Leader Ron Martin – accepted the resignation from OCC Library Assistant Kyle Thomas-Hughes – hired Clay Atkins as OCC Maintenance Worker – and changed the employment status for Loren Wingert as Information Systems Technician from LWIA / District Office to just the District Office  :  the Board’s next meeting is May 19th.

 

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

 

(OLNEY)  The Citizens Utility Board will analyze electric, natural gas, and phone bills at two free clinics to help Olney and Robinson area residents potentially save hundreds of dollars a year – consumers should bring their bills for a free, one-on-one consultation with a CUB expert, who’ll search for ways to lower their utility costs – the two clinics, hosted by State Senator Dale Righter, will be held a week from today on Thursday, April 24th, from 10:00 to 12 noon at the Richland County Senior Center in Olney, and from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Robinson Community Center – attendees should bring their phone, electric, and gas bills – to register for either event, call 217-235-6033 – for more details, logon at www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.

 

(NOBLE)  The West Richland FFA placed first in the recent Section 23 Horticulture Contest – individually, Matthew Runyon finished first, while Nathan Wilson was third and Vanessa Yager was tenth – other team members are Darcie Hawkins and Megan Rule  :  meanwhile, the West Richland FFA finished fifth in the Section 23 Livestock Judging Contest – individually, Holly Stallard was 11th and Edward Vancil was 14th out of the nearly 120 students that took part – the team members included Garrett Williams, Evan Tolliver, Jacob Bell, Cody Reynolds, Jordan Weidner, Mackenzie Michels, Taylor Milburn, and Molly Walker.

 

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

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of notes from the City of Olney : due to the observance of tomorrow as Good Friday, the Olney City Hall will be closed tomorrow, Olney’s will be closed tomorrow, and tomorrow’s curbside recycling pick up will be done next Monday not on Friday this week : Wilson Metals will begin Olney’s curbside recycling route next week, on Monday : the trash collection by Republic Services will be done as normal tomorrow : tomorrow is Clean Up Day in Noble as Republic Services will be picking up the extra trash during their normal Friday morning route in Noble – items must be curbside by early Friday morning.

 

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


    The 5th annual Step UP For Down Syndrome “bake sale” fundraiser is this Saturday morning at Parklanes in Newton, from 5:30 until sold out – homemade baked goods, candy bouquets, & Easter Baskets


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


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


    The East Fork Bassmasters will be cooking and serving their famous fish sandwiches tomorrow from 11:00 to 5:00 – that’s under the awning at the Olney IGA – orders to go will be available


    The City of Olney Tree Board will meet tonight at the Olney City Hall, beginning at 7:00 – the agenda includes the development of a mission statement, discussion about Board responsibilities and authority, and discussion about a Tree City USA application and Arbor Day activities – the meeting is open to the public


    A public meeting to talk about the upkeep and mowing of the Calhoun and Richland Cemeteries will be held tonight at the Calhoun Community Club Building, starting at 7:00 – those interested are invited


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

 

 

 

April 16, 2014

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

 

 

 

April 15, 2014

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

 

 

 

April 14, 2014

 

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

 

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

 

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

   

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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