LOCAL NEWS

Local News

April 23, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  High pressure will drift across the Upper Great Lakes today, keeping us dry and giving us a southerly wind by late tonight – however, our next storm system moves thru tomorrow with rain chances mostly in the late afternoon and/or evening – then we stay dry Friday and Saturday before another storm system moves thru Sunday in Monday, possibly with some severe weather at that time – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois home sales were down 11.6% over previous-year levels in March, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors – also, the number of houses on the market in March was down 15.8% compared to a year earlier – the statewide median price in March was $148,000, that’s up 9.7% from March of last year – only 32 of the 102 counties in Illinois showed annual home sales increases last month.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois lawmakers are taking a close look at a proposed bill that addresses the problem of bullying in schools – the measure would require school districts to have a policy on bullying and all cases of intimidation would have to be investigated and reported to parents – the bill has already been approved in the State House of Representatives and now goes to the State Senate for full consideration there.

 

(NEWTON)  The reason some people have a low or high tolerance for pain may be in their genes – research being presented this week at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting shows that people who suffer intense chronic pain are 25% more likely to have a particular gene in their DNA – those with high pain tolerance are 33% likely to the different version of the same gene – there’s plenty of debate.

 

(OLNEY)  The USDA Farm Report shows last week that farmers were busy applying anhydrous and preparing ground for planting last spring – in fact, as of Sunday, corn planting progressed to 5% complete, but remained well behind 22%, the 5 year average – statewide temperatures last week averaged 47.3 degrees, 6.7 degrees below normal – the statewide precipitation average last week was 0.64 inches, which was 0.32 inches below normal – the state’s topsoil moisture was rated at 11% surplus, 78% adequate, and 11% short to very short – farmers in our ten county area report corn planting has started along with a lot of tillage – farmers are reminded to remember “safety first” during the 2014 spring planting season.

 

(NOBLE)  The West Richland School Board met last night in Noble for its regular monthly meeting – the Board  :  authorized the District Superintendents to continue the process of developing an agreement with the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District for the transfer of property whereas the High School in Noble may be used for classes by Olney Central College in the future  :  heard the various administrative reports and updates  :  noted that the District’s fiscal year will end with a near balanced budget with no large indebtedness  :  approved the 2014 senior trip to Wisconsin Dells  :  approved the FBLA Trip to Nashville, Tennessee  :  approved an 8th grade trip to St. Louis  :  approved a proposed band trip  :  and hired Brenda Stallard and Christina Diel as Junior High Track Coaches  :  the Board’s next regular meeting is May 19th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Annual Spring Cleanup for the City of Newton is this Friday during the regular trash pickup by Republic Services – customers are asked to bag or bundle small items together and to tie multiple items together – the list of items not accepted includes no electronics, no batteries, no paint, no tires, no yard waste, no construction debris, no vehicle parts, no oil, no gas, no hazardous material, and no lawn mowers – again, that’s Cleanup Day this Friday in Newton during the regular pickup by Republic Services.

 

(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 tomorrow – 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 – to register for either event, call 217-235-6033 – for more, logon at www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.

 

(NEWTON)  An informational meeting for any young Jasper County woman interested in running for the title of Miss Jasper County Fair Queen will be held this Sunday afternoon, April 27th – that meeting will get started at 3:00 at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in Newton – contestants must be a resident of Jasper County and a minimum of 16 years of age and not have reached her 22nd birthday by January 1st, 2015.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges is offering another Concealed Carry Course this week at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel – it will be held tomorrow night and Friday night, from 6:00 to 10:00 each night, then Saturday from 8:00 to 4:00 – pre-registration is required for the 16-hour course – call Wabash Valley College to sign up or for more information – the number is toll-free at  1-866-982-4322.

 

(OLNEY)  This Friday is the annual Administrative Professionals’ Day Luncheon at the Olde Tyme Steakhaus in Olney and reservations are needed now to honor your employee(s) – that’s from 12 noon to 1:00 with good food, door prizes, and entertainment, all sponsored by the Rotary Club of Richland County – for the $15 tickets and to reserve a spot for your Administrative Professional, call now at 618-843-4811.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s those area blood drives coming up : today from 3:00 to 7:00 at the St. John Lutheran Church north of Louisville : today from 1:00 to 6:00 at the American Legion in Effingham : and today from 2:00 to 7:00 at the First Christian Church down in Carmi : tomorrow at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00 : Friday at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00 : all blood types are much needed.

 

REMINDERS :
    A taco bar and hotdog bar fundraiser will be held this Saturday at the Ruritan Building in Allendale, with serving from 11:00 to 7:00 – a live auction will run from 12 noon to 1:00 and again from 5:00 until sold out – freewill donations will be accepted with all the proceeds going to the Heart of Hope Food Pantry


    The Sumner Masonic Lodge has its annual scholarship fundraising breakfast this Saturday morning in the Lodge dining hall, with serving from 6:30 to 10:00 – freewill donations taken at the door – all are invited


    The Olney Central College Welding Technology Class will have an “open house” this Friday from 2:00 to 7:00 – plenty of prizes, plus raffle tickets available to win the “ultimate smoker” made by OCC students – most all proceeds to the Welding Technology Program – 5% will be donated to the OCC Foundation


    The Oblong FFA has its annual “Ag Day” this Friday on the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Oblong from 9:00 to 2:00 – with plenty of concessions, there will be over 30 ag-related displays, antique & new farm equipment, a petting zoo, flower & vegetable plants for sale, and a drawing at 1:00 for two half hogs


    The Vincennes University Music Department will have its “Guitar Fest” tomorrow night in the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center, starting at 6:30 Illinois time – it’s all free to the public – all ages invited


    The pickup date for the RMH Auxiliary pre-ordered “geraniums” will be this Thursday in the Olney City Park Community Building, from 10:00 to 6:00 – it’s a “one-day-only” pickup this Thursday


    The Public Building Commission of Richland County will meet this afternoon in the County Jail meeting room, beginning at 4:00 – the meeting is open to the public with a few items on the agenda


    State Representative David Reis has traveling office hours this morning with a member of his staff visiting with constituents : from 9:00 to 10:00 at the Edwards County Farm Bureau Office in Albion : from 11:00 to 12 noon at the Crossville Village Hall : or call or stop by the lawmaker’s office in Olney

 

 

 

April 22, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As the cold front moved thru last night with small amounts of area rain since yesterday, we’ll dry out today with a northerly wind – a high pressure will keep us dry now for a few days, but another front will bring us scattered rain chances Thursday – then dry until more rain on Sunday – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  A new audit shows Illinois taxpayers have paid over $12 million in medical costs for people that are dead – the payments are the direct result of the state’s decision to terminate a third party company that was cleaning up the Medicaid rolls last year – the company’s contract was cancelled after an arbitrator ruled the state’s union workers should be used to do the work – that decision came after the company had already caught tens-of-thousands of people who were ineligible to receive Medicaid or other such benefits.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois House Executive Committee will take another vote next week on a measure to fund a proposed Chicago Library and Museum for President Obama – the move comes after the $100 million plan passed late Thursday in the same committee without the presence of Republican lawmakers – while many Republicans are in favor of the Presidential Library, they believe it should be privately funded.

 

(NEWTON)  The peach crop in Illinois is taking a hit all due to the extreme winter weather and early spring – ag officials say the harsh weather may have destroyed some of the crop – however, since most of the peaches grown inside Illinois are sold at local Farmers’ Markets, so people shouldn’t necessarily see a reduction in statewide grocery stores – other fruits grown in Illinois should be generally okay as well.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Police Department, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, will conduct another “Prescription Drug Take Back Day” this Saturday in Olney, giving the public another chance to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unwanted, and unused prescription drugs – the service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked – the Saturday event will run from 10:00 until 2:00 at the CVS Pharmacy, at 914 West Main Street in Olney, and includes the collection of pills or patches only – no liquids or needles or sharps will be accepted – in the previous “Take Back Day” held last October, Americans turned in 324 tons of prescription drugs at over 4,100 sites.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in Newton – the Board  :  approved the purchase of two new school buses for $144,612 including two trade in’s  :  approved the $73,373 roof recoating bid from James Johnson Construction  :  noted that the District did receive a second round maintenance grant worth $50,000 – the matching grant money will help complete the District’s 10 year Health / Life / Safety requirements  :  noted that the last day of student attendance this school year is May 22nd  :  approved the 2014-2015 school calendar with students back to school on August 14th  :  after a lengthy closed session, the Board approved the Administrative assignments for the 2014-2015 school year – Beth Probst will be the Newton High School Principal, Travis Wyatt the Junior High Principal, Craig Carr the Newton Elementary Principal, Amy Tarr the Newton Elementary Assistant Principal, Kathy Johnson the Ste. Marie Elementary Principal and Curriculum / Grants Director, and Kim Kessler the Special Needs Administrator  :  in the Board’s Organizational meeting, the Board selected Fred Huddlestun as President, Gordon Millsap as Vice President, and Melinda Barthelme as Secretary for the 2014-2015 fiscal year  :  the Board also agreed to continue meeting on the third Monday of each month  :  and after the Board’s short meeting to discuss student discipline, the Board agreed to expel a student for the rest of the 2013-2014 school year  :  the Jasper County School Board will meet again on May 19th at 7:00.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau has released its weekly rainfall report for the nine townships with the 7-day recording period ending at 10:00 yesterday morning – the average county-wide rainfall was at .14 inches, although the four townships of  Denver, Preston, Decker, and Madison reported no rain at all – the county’s high rainfall total was in Claremont Township with 4 tenths of an inch – Olney Township had .35 inches, while Noble & Bonpas Townships each had .20 – our WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service weather station total for the 7 days was .18 – so far in April, the county’s average rainfall is 5.6 inches.

 

(NEWTON)  An informational meeting for any young Jasper County woman interested in running for the title of Miss Jasper County Fair Queen will be held this Sunday afternoon, April 27th – that meeting will get started at 3:00 at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in Newton – contestants must be a resident of Jasper County and a minimum of 16 years of age and not have reached her 22nd birthday by January 1st, 2015.

 

(OLNEY)  Some notes from the City of Olney  :  the City’s Water Department will be switching the disinfectant in the distribution system from combined chlorine to free chlorine this coming Thursday – all for maintenance purposes, it’s also part of the City’s “biannual fire hydrant flushing” – it’s at this time that water customers may notice a stronger chlorine smell while the free chlorine is being used  :  the City’s Water Department will be flushing fire hydrants starting at 9:00 this Sunday night and continuing overnight thru early next Monday morning – it’s at this time that residents may experience low water pressure and some water discoloration – everything should return to normal next week throughout the City of Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s those area blood drives coming up : today from 1:00 to 6:00 at the Grace United Methodist Church in Neoga : tomorrow from 3:00 to 7:00 at the St. John Lutheran Church north of Louisville : also tomorrow from 1:00 to 6:00 at the American Legion in Effingham : also tomorrow from 2:00 to 7:00 at the First Christian Church down in Carmi : remember, all blood types are much needed.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Crazy Horse 4-H Club has a fundraising pork burger cookout and bake sale this Saturday at the Olney IGA, with serving from 10:00 to 2:00 – all funds raised up to $500 will be matched by the home office of Modern Woodmen of America – proceeds go to the Club’s supplies and expenses


    The Oblong FFA has its annual “Ag Day” this Friday on the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Oblong from 9:00 to 2:00 – with plenty of concessions, there will be over 30 ag-related displays, antique & new farm equipment, a petting zoo, flower & vegetable plants for sale, and a drawing at 1:00 for two half hogs


    The pickup date for the RMH Auxiliary pre-ordered “geraniums” will be this Thursday in the Olney City Park Community Building, from 10:00 to 6:00 – it’s a “one-day-only” pickup this Thursday


    Lake Land College will host an interactive world music event tomorrow from 11:00 to 1:00 in the College Theater – it’s entitled “Drumming Up World Music – the event is free and open to the public – those attending can interact with the performers, invited to the stage to play instruments and more


    The Richland County TB Board will hold a meeting tomorrow afternoon starting at 5:00 in the TB and Public Health Office on Whittle Avenue in Olney


    The Public Building Commission of Richland County will meet tomorrow afternoon in the County Jail meeting room, beginning at 4:00 – the meeting is open to the public with a few items on the agenda


    State Representative David Reis has traveling office hours tomorrow morning with a member of his staff visiting with constituents : from 9:00 to 10:00 at the Edwards County Farm Bureau Office in Albion : from 11:00 to 12 noon at the Crossville Village Hall : or call or stop by the lawmaker’s office in Olney


    The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners will have a special meeting tomorrow morning at 9:00 at the Olney City Hall – interviews will be conducted in closed session for the Board’s eligibility lists


    The West Richland School Board will have its regular monthly meeting for the month of April tonight in the High School cafeteria in Noble starting at 7:00 – the meeting is open to the public

 

 

 

April 21, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  A cold front will move out of the Northern Plains states this morning and then push thru much of the Midwest by later this evening – this will trigger some spotty showers, maybe thunderstorms, across our region, but mostly after sunset – a high pressure ridge will return by Wednesday with dry and cool weather expected tomorrow thru the rest of the work week – maybe some rain again Thursday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  A Republican state lawmaker is opposing a bid for the President Obama Library & Museum to be located in Chicago – Mundelein State Representative Ed Sullivan says there are more important issues with higher priorities that need state funding – such as education, roads, and infrastructure improvements – he also added that past Presidential Libraries have been privately funded and not at the taxpayers’ expense.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Treasurer’s office says it wants people that have old paychecks or may have left money in a closed checking account to claim their cash – so far this year, the office has returned close to $30 million in unclaimed property thru the ICASH program and at this point, there is still $1.8 million of money still unclaimed – residents can simply go online for more information, at www.cash.Illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Southern Illinois University President is leaving his job sooner than first planned – it’s been announced that Glenn Poshard is leaving his post May 1st, two months early – the former downstate Congressman however will hang around thru June 30th as a consultant to incoming President Randy Dunn.

 

(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 this coming 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.

 

(NEWTON)  A Jasper County man was seriously injured in another ATV accident this past Saturday – the Illinois State Police report 37 year old Steven Everett of Wheeler was operating an ATV on a county road late Saturday afternoon when he lost control of the vehicle, causing it to hit a gas meter and overturn – he was life-lighted to Carle Hospital in Champaign with major injuries – Everett was ticketed for unlawful use of an ATV on a roadway, for improper lane usage, for operating an uninsured vehicle, and for DUI.

 

(OLNEY)  Time’s running out for residents to go online and cast a vote in support the students at East Richland High School – today’s the final day to go online at www.seedsofchangegrant.com and vote for the ERHS Classroom to Cafeteria Program – a $10,000 or $20,000 grant could result in students growing fresh produce to help feed the students in the cafeteria – again, logon and vote at www.seedsofchangegrant.com.

 

(NEWTON)  The Embarras River Basin Agency has scholarships available for income eligible individuals who want to attend college this fall – a limited number of $500 scholarships will be awarded to eligible applicants in each of the nine counties served by ERBA, including Jasper, Crawford, Lawrence, Richland, Cumberland, Clark, Coles, Douglas, and Edgar – various requirements apply - applications can be picked up at any of the local ERBA offices in these counties, plus make an appointment to submit the paperwork.

 

(OLNEY)  The Carrie Winter Trust Fund is accepting grant applications until May 1 for local organizations serving the youth of Richland County – for information, visit the online website at www.fnbolney.com, click on the Services, Trust Services, for the link to the revised grant application – or folks can contact the First National Bank in Olney Trust Department for more information or details – the grant applications are due in by May 1st – the Carrie Winter Trust has benefitted the youth of Richland County for over 28 years with more than $1.5 million being awarded to Richland County charitable groups and/or organizations.

 

(OLNEY)  Applications are still being accepted for the 2014 Olney Knights of Columbus Scholarships with two awards in the amount of  $500 each to be presented to a male and female graduating high school senior – applicants must have a parent or grandparent who’s a member of the Olney Knights of Columbus 3rd Degree or it’s Ladies Auxiliary – forms are available at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Olney, located along Whittle Avenue, or at the East Richland High School and West Richland High School guidance offices in Olney or Noble – the deadline to submit the applications is this coming Wednesday, April 23rd.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s those area blood drives coming up : today from 1:00 to 5:00 at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson  :  also today from 2:00 to 6:00 at the Community Building in Stewardson : tomorrow from 1:00 to 6:00 at the Grace United Methodist Church in Neoga : on Wednesday from 3:00 to 7:00 at the St. John Lutheran Church north of Louisville : also Wednesday from 1:00 to 6:00 at the American Legion in Effingham : also on Wednesday from 2:00 to 7:00 at the First Christian Church down in Carmi : drives later this week will be held in Flora and Olney : remember, all blood types are much needed here in our region.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Crazy Horse 4-H Club has a fundraising pork burger cookout and bake sale this Saturday at the Olney IGA, with serving from 10:00 to 2:00 – all funds raised up to $500 will be matched by the home office of Modern Woodmen of America – proceeds go to the Club’s supplies and expenses


    The Oblong FFA has its annual “Ag Day” this Friday on the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Oblong from 9:00 to 2:00 – with plenty of concessions, there will be over 30 ag-related displays, antique & new farm equipment, a petting zoo, flower & vegetable plants for sale, and a drawing at 1:00 for two half hogs


    The pickup date for the RMH Auxiliary pre-ordered “geraniums” will be this Thursday in the Olney City Park Community Building, from 10:00 to 6:00 – it’s a “one-day-only” pickup this Thursday


    Lake Land College will host an interactive world music event this Wednesday from 11:00 to 1:00 in the College Theater – it’s entitled “Drumming Up World Music – the event is free and open to the public – those attending can interact with the performers, invited to the stage to play instruments and more


    The Richland County TB Board will hold a meeting this Wednesday afternoon starting at 5:00 in the TB and Public Health Office on Whittle Avenue in Olney


    The Public Building Commission of Richland County will meet this Wednesday afternoon in the County Jail meeting room, beginning at 4:00 – the meeting is open to the public with a few items on the agenda


    State Representative David Reis has traveling office hours this Wednesday morning with a member of his staff visiting with constituents : from 9:00 to 10:00 at the Edwards County Farm Bureau Office in Albion : from 11:00 to 12 noon at the Crossville Village Hall : or call or stop by the lawmaker’s office in Olney


    The West Richland School Board will have its regular monthly meeting for the month of April tomorrow night in the High School cafeteria in Noble starting at 7:00 – the meeting is open to the public


    And tonight’s the first of several meetings for the Noble Chowder Committee as it starts to make plans for the upcoming August 9th event – all are invited to the Lions Club Building in Noble, starting at 6:30

 

 

 

April 19, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  The high pressure ridge over the Midwest continues to control our weather with a mostly clear and mild sky, which will continue thru today and tomorrow – then an approaching low pressure system will bring us our next chance of rain by Monday morning, but ending by that night – then we’ll warm up and stay dry thru midweek, next week – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  An internal state government memo says auditors have found the Illinois Medicaid program has paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people listed as deceased in other state records – it’s noted authorities compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database with state death records dating back to 1970 and they identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths – the state has since recovered more than $7 million with the rest to be collected by year’s end.

 

(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 next 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.

 

(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.

 

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 tonight 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 this 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 Runyon’s Beach Relay for Life team will have a fundraising cookout today 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 this morning at Parklanes in Newton, from now until sold out – homemade baked goods, candy bouquets, & Easter Baskets

 

 

 

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