LOCAL NEWS

Local News

October 22, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  The cool and dry weather will continue today with a high pressure ridge in control – as it moves off to the east starting tomorrow, we’ll have a more southerly wind flow, therefore a slight warming trend will start tomorrow – but, a frontal boundary will move thru late Thursday, bringing a very slight chance of some spotty rain showers towards tomorrow evening – then dry thru the weekend – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  With the November 4th election less than two weeks away, Illinois' State School Chief says the outcome of the Governor’s race will not make a difference for the state’s education funding problems – State School Boss Chris Koch was in Peoria earlier this week and spoke at the Illinois Principal Association Conference, saying the state’s school revenue will still be a problem, no matter who’s elected – school officials agree that a fully funded education budget for Illinois would need an additional $3 to $4 billion.

 

(OLNEY)  Tighter inventory was a factor driving home prices higher in September, while home sales showed an annual decline – the Illinois Association of Realtors reports statewide home sales last month totaled 12,879 units, down 4.4% from September 2013 – the statewide median price was $161,900 which is up 4.5% from a year ago – forty-two of the 102 counties in Illinois showed annual home sales increases in September 2014 – fifty-five of the counties showed year-over-year median price increases since last year.

 

(NEWTON)  A long-time Champaign businessman who’s been an outspoken critic of Illinois’ income tax is being taken to task – the State says two companies that belong to the founder of the Jimmy John’s sandwich chain owe the state more than $1.4 million in taxes on a pair of corporate jets – attorneys for Jimmy John Liautaud say the state is not properly applying its tax code, arguing that the jets should be tax exempt – but State attorneys say the jets don’t qualify for a commercial-transportation exemption – the case against the two companies is currently pending before the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal, based in Springfield.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police District 12 has announced activity and traffic enforcement figures for the month of September – Troopers in the ten District 12 counties answered 267 calls for service & initiated 1,540 incidents in the field within the 30-day period – the enforcement numbers include 956 written warnings, 809 citations, 387 speeding tickets, 349 written warnings for speeding, 114 seatbelt citations, 37 criminal arrests, 20 DUI’s, and 10 child restraint citations – Troopers also assisted 191 motorists during the month – they conducted 270 motor carrier inspections and investigated 59 traffic wrecks, including one fatality – also during September, State Troopers wrote 548 citations and 457 written warnings for the “Fatal Four” violations, which are the most associated with fatal traffic crashes, including distracted driving, DUI, failure to wear a seatbelt, and speeding – the State Police District 12 includes enforcement in the counties of Richland, Jasper, Crawford, Lawrence, Cumberland, Clark, Effingham, Fayette, Clay, and Marion.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night in regular session – the Council  :  approved the bills and accounts payable worth $98,274  :  accepted the bid from Kemper CPA Group for the City’s annual audit – the three year contract begins at $9,200 for 2015 and increases $100 each of the next two years  :  accepted the $510,079 bid from B & T Drainage for the Brookside (Xanders) Addition / City Square water project  :  on a 6 to 1 vote, approved the TIF application submitted by Newton Petroleum  :  on a 5 to 2 vote, approved the TIF application submitted by Newton Mini Storage  :  also on a 5 to 2 vote, approved the $55,830 purchase of electrical equipment for the City’s new electric building  :  noted a recent donation from EVAPCO for firing range improvements  :  and took no other action after a 27-minute closed session to discuss litigation and potential litigation  :  the Council’s next regular meeting is November 4th.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s reported that an estimated crowd of nearly 400 people attended last night’s meeting down in Fairfield to hear the latest on the “fracking” issue – one of the speakers was Rod Taylor, a Wayne County native and an Indianapolis lawyer who have filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of a number of Wayne County landowners over delays in the issuance of oil drilling and fracking permits for Southern Illinois – another guest speaker was engineer Terry Quindry who talked about the environmental concerns dealing with the use of high volume, high pressure, hydraulic fracturing to stimulate the shale formations for oil production – also oil producer Wayne Woolsey spoke to the crowd about his recent tests of oil-rich shale formations in the downstate area that resemble those recently discovered in North Dakota, which triggered a huge oil boom now taking place there – the O.IL group, Opportunities in Land, will schedule another such public meeting in the near future to continue the regional efforts in promoting the pro-fracking issue.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into a two vehicle crash that occurred this past Sunday afternoon at around 4:20 in Jasper County on Illinois Route 49, about 3 miles north of Willow Hill – State Police say 61 year old Dana Chapman of Willow Hill was southbound on Route 49 when she fell asleep, crossed the centerline, and collided head-on with a northbound car driven by 52 year old Pamela Goss of Calhoun – Chapman and a passenger, 89 year old Kenneth Chapman of Willow Hill, were both seriously injured and transported to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham – Goss and a passenger, 54 year old James Clark of Calhoun, received only minor injuries – State Police ticketed Chapman for improper lane usage.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to go online at www.celebratemydrive.com and vote for the East Richland High School – now thru this Friday folks can vote once per day for each email address they have – the nationwide “Celebrate My Drive” teenage driving initiative continues, sponsored by State Farm Insurance, now with over 3.2 million commitments nationwide – in checking the leader board this morning, ERHS was sitting at number 27 on the list of top 50 small school vote-getters – so spread the word, it’s not too late to help out – simply logon and follow the instructions online at www.celebratemydrive.com – your help is appreciated.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District will have Parent / Teacher Conferences later this week and parents or guardians are urged to make an appointment – the conferences will be held tomorrow night from 5:00 to 9:00 or Friday morning from 8:00 to 11:30 – parents can call the school office for an appointment – it’s a great opportunity to meet with the Jasper County teachers and to talk about the development of students on a one-on-one basis – again, call the school offices today – there will be no school on Friday.

 

(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 Southeastern Illinois College near Harrisburg from 10:00 to 3:00  :  also today at the Salem Community Building from 12 noon to 6:00  :  also today at the Brownstown High School from 2:00 to 7:00  :  tomorrow at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at The Holiday in Olney from 11:30 to 3:30  :  also Friday at the Buck Grove Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  then more next week in Effingham, Robinson, and Olney  :  for more, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The 2nd Annual Indoor “Trunk or Treat Night” will be this Sunday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Grove Township Community Center (the former Grove School) in rural Jasper County – pork burgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks available for purchase – also a best costume contest – all ages are invited


    The Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin will host a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser this Sunday morning with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon and by donation only – also will feature duck dump Bingo – all proceeds go to the Holy Cross CYM to help pay for the 2015 mission trip and other youth activities


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host a costume party and dance this Saturday night from 8:00 to 11:00 at the Olney VFW – includes live music and prizes – a $5 admission at the door – all are invited


    The Olney Knights of Columbus “drive thru or carry-out” chowder is this Saturday along Whittle Avenue in Olney – serving starts at 10:30 and continues until they’re sold out – it’s sold by the gallon or half gallon


    The Lawrence Allison Fire Association has an all-you-can-eat sausage & pancake breakfast this Saturday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 at the Lawrenceville VFW – free will donations accepted at the door


    The OCC Student Senate begins it six night run of Gothic Nightmares tomorrow night in the woods on the north side of the campus along Parker Street – tomorrow night, Friday night, and Saturday night from 7:00 to 10:00 each night, plus Thursday, Friday, & Saturday next weekend – cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children – the OCC Automotive Club will be selling refreshments – all are invited starting tomorrow night


    County Clerk’s offices are currently assisting residents with Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Grace Period Voting – call or stop by your Clerk’s office, open Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00

 

 

 

October 21, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  Cool and dry weather conditions will prevail for the next several days as a surface high pressure slides south over our region – with some clouds filtered in, a slight warming trend will begin Thursday with a southerly wind flow, however we’ll mostly stay dry now thru the upcoming weekend – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Governor Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner did not present any new ideas in their final debate last night in Chicago – in fact, it was pretty much a boxing match between the two as Governor Quinn repeatedly blasted Rauner on his failed business tactics and his plan to let the income tax rate rollback, which the Governor says would make “savage cuts” to education – on the flipside, Rauner blasted the Governor’s plan to keep the income tax rate in place, saying it hurts families and businesses in Illinois – the two will square off in what may be one the closest races ever in the November 4th election.

 

(OLNEY)  Speaking of the November 4th election, which is set for two weeks from today, voters all over Illinois have a special chance to make their voices heard on five rare ballot questions – ranging from constitutional amendments on voter and victim rights to advisory referendums on birth control, the minimum wage, and a so-called millionaires’ tax – it is a rare year, as state records show that dating back to the year 1970, the most questions on an Illinois ballot is only three – lawmakers say the non-binding questions are aimed at taking the public’s temperature so they know how to proceed in Springfield.

 

(NEWTON)  Champaign and University of Illinois police are urging people there to travel in twos after several violent attacks have occurred on campus – over the past two weeks, twelve incidents of mob action and robbery have taken place in the U of I campus area – while special public safety alerts and bulletins are being issued to all students and staff, the police are increasing plainclothes & uniformed officers in the area.

 

(NEWTON)  With the November 4th election now two weeks away, the Early Voting process is now available to registered voters now thru November 3rd around the state – it’s for those who want to skip the lines on Election Day and cast their ballot in advance at their respective County Clerk’s office – also, the Grace Period registration is also underway for anyone who missed the registration deadline – they can also go to their respective County Clerk’s office with two forms of identification and vote at that time, all the way up until 7:00 on election day, November 4th – plus, Absentee Voting is also now available, however this Thursday is the final day for a requested ballot to be mailed from a County Clerk’s office – for details, call the Jasper County Clerk’s office in Newton, the Richland County Clerk’s office in Olney, or the Clerk’s office in your county of residence – they’re all open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Fire Department was busy this past weekend  :  the firemen were called out at 6:03 last Friday evening to a two vehicle traffic accident at the intersection of U.S. Route 50 and Holly Road – the firemen were on the scene for just under a half hour  :  the firemen were then called out at 1:44 early Sunday morning to a business fire at 308 South Kitchell Avenue – a fire was found in the basement with extension up to the first floor and eventually it was brought under control – mutual aid was received from other firemen from Claremont-Bonpas, Noble-Wakefield, Newton, Bridgeport, Lawrenceville, and West Salem – no injuries were reported, but some damage – the firemen were on the scene for nearly six hours  :  the firemen were then called out at 7:13 Sunday night to a semi-truck tire fire located along Illinois Route 130 north of Olney – the firemen extinguished the trailer tire fire – they were on the scene less than an hour.

 

(NEWTON)  While three weeks of wet conditions have left the ground saturated in many parts of Illinois, limited harvest activity took place last week around the state – in the latest USDA Crop Report, statewide precipitation last week averaged 1.45 inches, that nearly three quarters of an inch (0.73) above normal – last week’s average temperature was 54.1 degrees, less than a half degree below normal – while the corn maturity level is slightly ahead of last year, the average corn harvest numbers are considerably lower around the state  :  farmers in our ten county area report just over half of the local corn has been shelled and just over a third of the bean crop has been cut, plus some winter wheat is going in the ground – farmers are looking forward to a dry weather week to increase those harvest number – remember to be safe out there!

 

(OLNEY)  Since crude oil was discovered in downstate Illinois over 76 years ago, the oil production industry has been a mainstay in our region, putting hundreds of people to work and adding millions of dollars to our local economies – therefore, the anticipation of new hydraulic fracturing rules are looking to add more jobs and money into the downstate region – area residents interested in the development of oil rich shale formations in Southern Illinois will gather for a public meeting tonight in Fairfield to hear more – one of the guest speakers will be environmental engineer Jerry Quindry, who’ll talk about the environmental concerns surrounding the use of high volume, high pressure, hydraulic fracturing to stimulate the shale formations – tonight’s meeting starts at 7:00 and will be held at the First Christian Church in Fairfield.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to go online at www.celebratemydrive.com and vote for the East Richland High School – now thru this Friday, October 24th, folks can vote once per day for each email address they have, as the nationwide “Celebrate My Drive” teenage driving initiative continues, sponsored by State Farm Insurance – in checking the leader board this morning, ERHS was sitting at number 25 on the list of top 50 small school vote-getters – so far, nearly 2.5 million committments have been emailed in nationwide – so spread the word and follow the instructions online at www.celebratemydrive.com – your help’s appreciated.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District will have Parent / Teacher Conferences later this week and parents or guardians are urged to make an appointment – the conferences will be held Thursday night from 5:00 to 9:00 or Friday morning from 8:00 to 11:30 – parents can call the school office for an appointment – it’s a great opportunity to meet with the Jasper County teachers and to talk about the development of students on a one-on-one basis – again, call the school offices today – there will be no school on Friday.

 

(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 Wal-Mart Store in Flora from 12 noon to 4:00  :  also today at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also today at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  drives also this week in Olney, Salem, Mattoon, and Flora  :  for more, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The 2nd Annual Indoor “Trunk or Treat Night” will be this Sunday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Grove Township Community Center (the former Grove School) in rural Jasper County – pork burgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks available for purchase – also a best costume contest – all ages are invited


    The Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin will host a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser this Sunday morning with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon and by donation only – also will feature duck dump Bingo – all proceeds go to the Holy Cross CYM to help pay for the 2015 mission trip and other youth activities


    The Olney Masonic Lodge #140 will host a chili dinner fundraiser this Saturday in the Olney City Park Community Building with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – chili will also be sold by the bulk – pay at the door


    It’s a Country Rhodes fish fry fundraiser this Friday night at the Olney VFW with serving from 4:00 to 7:00 – all-you-can-eat fish, mini shrimp, chicken strips, and more – either dine-in or carry-out – also a 50/50 raffle – all proceeds to benefit CTF Illinois in Olney – for more, logon at www.ctfillinois.org


    The Ridgway Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society has its October meeting tonight at 7:00 in the hospitality room at the First Presbyterian Church in Olney – with a special guest tonight, all are invited


    Representatives from Richland Memorial Hospital will host a pork burger cookout at the Olney IGA from 10:30 to 2:00 today with proceeds to benefit the Illinois Hospital Association and its efforts on behalf of all downstate rural hospitals, including RMH – for large orders in advance, call today at 395-6012


    Starting today, the remaining Illinois firearm & muzzleloader deer permits are available over the counter from DNR direct license & permit vendors – until they’re gone, the permits are on sale thru December 7th

 

 

 

October 20, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  A weak cold front over Northwestern Illinois will continue to push southward today with the slight chance of light rain ending and gradual clearing to follow – cool and dry conditions will follow behind the front later today thru tomorrow and right on thru the rest of the work week ahead – in fact, at this point, it looks like a dry and cool Halloween Weekend coming up as well – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Early voting gets underway today as registered voters who want to skip the lines on Election Day can head to their County Clerk’s office to cast their ballot – Grace Period registration is also underway for anyone who missed the registration deadline – they can also go to their respective County Clerk’s office with two forms of identification and vote at that time as well – all for the November 4th general election.

 

(OLNEY)  Unemployment in Illinois continues to fall, but is still higher than the national average – the State Department of Employment Security says the September jobless rate was 6.6%, down a tenth of a percent from the month before, in August – unemployment has fallen from 9.2% in August 2013, a year ago, however still remains above the national jobless average at 5.9% – county rates will be out next week.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois health officials are briefing the public daily on the state’s readiness to cope with any Ebola cases that may arise – even though no cases have been reported in Illinois, health workers are stepping up their awareness – the state has activated a new hotline to answer the public’s questions about the Ebola virus – call toll-free at 800-889-3931 – or go online at www.idph.state.il.us/ebola/index.

 

(OLNEY)  A group of about a dozen landowners in neighboring Wayne County is suing the state, claiming the Governor’s Administration and the State DNR has been dragging their feet on awarding permits for horizontal hydraulic fracturing in oil production, therefore claiming the delays are unconstitutional – the suit claims oil companies are abandoning Illinois and going to other states because of the delay in issuing rules on the process – unless changed, state law requires those rules to be in place by November 15th – a local group, O.IL (Opportunity in Land), will have a town hall meeting to discuss the issue coming up tomorrow night, at the First Christian Church in Fairfield, starting at 7:00 – all are invited to attend the public meeting.

 

(NEWTON)  Regional Superintendent of Schools, Monte Newlin, is pleased to recognize the approximately 50 building administrators in Jasper, Richland, Clay, Crawford, and Lawrence County schools as we note this week as Principals’ Week – each of these dedicated professionals put in countless hours before, during, and after the school day, plus on the weekends, providing leadership and management that help our schools operate efficiently and effectively while still putting the emphasis on individual student needs – a tip of the hat to all Principals, Assistant Principals, & Deans of Students, not only this week, but throughout the year.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to go online at www.celebratemydrive.com and vote for the East Richland High School – now thru this coming Friday, October 24th, folks can vote once per day for each email address they have with hopes of ERHS winning prize money in this year’s nationwide “Celebrate My Drive” teenage driving initiative, sponsored by State Farm Insurance – in checking the leader board this morning, ERHS was sitting at number 25 on the list of top 50 small school vote-getters – so far, over 1.8 million votes have been emailed in nationwide – so spread the word to all family, friends, co-workers, fellow church members, and everyone else – just follow the instructions online at www.celebratemydrive.com.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District will have Parent / Teacher Conferences later this week and parents and/or guardians are encouraged to make an appointment – the conferences will be held Thursday night from 5:00 to 9:00 or Friday morning from 8:00 to 11:30 – starting today, parents can call the school office to set up an appointment – it’s a great opportunity to meet with the Jasper County teachers and to talk about the development of students on a one-on-one basis – again, call the school offices today.

 

(OLNEY)  In regional news – two Jefferson County people were killed late last Friday night in a house explosion – authorities report 87 year old Byford Campbell and 87 year old Wastina Campbell were inside the Ina home when it exploded, causing the structure to leave its foundation – while autopsy results have yet to be announced, the State Fire Marshall’s Office is investigating the cause of the explosion and fire.

 

(NEWTON)  An Effingham woman is dead after a two vehicle crash last Friday afternoon on Interstate 57 in Effingham County – the State Police report 23 year old Brianne Martin was traveling behind a semi-truck when it came to a stop trying to enter the median lane crossover of the Interstate – Martin’s car was struck in the left rear passenger side and she was pronounced dead at the scene – the truck driver, 60 year old John Adams of Bluff, Illinois, was not injured, but was ticketed for driving with unsafe equipment.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton Elementary School is again collecting children’s coats, looking for new or gently used coats for the upcoming cold winter season – folks are asked to make sure all donated coats are in new or good condition and free from any rips, tears, and/or stains – in special need this year are coats for girls, size 7 to 14, and boys size 8 to 18, plus small size coats for women and men as well – for those who don’t have a coat to donate, monetary donations will also be accepted which will then be used to purchase new coats for a child in need – all coats will be accepted at the Elementary School now thru November 14th.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s leaf collection program is scheduled to begin today, on the 20th – the leaf pick up machines will drive thru the City collecting loose leaf piles or leaves that are bagged – the citizens of Olney are asked to place their leaves as close to the roadway as possible, but not in ditches or directly in the streets – if bagging leaves, citizens can place them near the street and notify the Olney City Hall if they’re ready for pick up – plus, the City’s Landscape Waste Facility is open for public drop off – that’s each Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 10:00 to 4:00, off of West Mack Avenue.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are encouraged 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 Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also today at EIU’s Andrews Hall in Charleston from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Wal-Mart Store in Flora from 12 noon to 4:00  :  also tomorrow at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  drives later this week in Olney, Salem, Mattoon, and Flora  :  a big “thank you” to those who turned out to give blood yesterday at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste. Marie  :  to schedule a blood-giving appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Richland County SWCD is now taking orders for its fall fish sale – grass carp orders must be placed by October 21st with other species’ orders by October 31st – call the Olney office at 618-392-7141, ext 3


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host a costume party and dance this Saturday night from 8:00 to 11:00 at the Olney VFW – includes live music and prizes – a $5 admission at the door – all are invited


    The Richland County Home Front will host a fundraising breakfast this Saturday morning from 6:30 to 10:30 at the Olney VFW with tickets at the door – proceeds for Christmas care packages for our area troops


    Representatives from Richland Memorial Hospital will host a pork burger cookout at the Olney IGA from 10:30 to 2:00 tomorrow with proceeds to benefit the Illinois Hospital Association and its efforts on behalf of all downstate rural hospitals, including RMH – for large orders in advance, call today at 395-6012


    Olney Central College is offering free GED classes – night classes begin tomorrow with daytime classes starting today – it’s not too late to sign up – call OCC during office hours now at 618-395-7777


    The East Orchard Christian Academy has a fundraiser at Monical’s Pizza on this Monday – fill out a fundraising form before ordering today thru tonight and a portion of your receipt will benefit EOCA

 

 

 

October 18, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  The low pressure ridge sitting over the Upper Midwest will control our weather over the next few days – while we’ll stay dry this weekend, it will be cool with sunshine mixed up with some clouds – a weak cold front will pass thru our region Sunday night into Monday with a few scattered showers included, but otherwise dry conditions are expected for the rest of the work week next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois health officials are briefing the public daily on the state’s readiness to cope with any Ebola cases that may arise – while no cases have been reported in Illinois, health workers have stepped up their awareness – the state has activated a new hotline to answer the public’s questions about the Ebola virus – call toll-free at 800-889-3931 – or go online at www.idph.state.il.us/ebola/index.

 

(OLNEY)  A group of about a dozen landowners in neighboring Wayne County is suing the state, claiming the Governor’s Administration and the State DNR has been dragging their feet on awarding permits for horizontal hydraulic fracturing in oil production, therefore claiming the delays are unconstitutional – the suit claims oil companies are abandoning Illinois and going to other states because of the delay in issuing rules on the process – unless changed, state law requires those rules to be in place by November 15th, four weeks from today – a local group, O.IL (Opportunity in Land) will have a town hall meeting to discuss the issue this coming Tuesday night, at the First Christian Church in Fairfield, starting at 7:00 – all are invited.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to go online at www.celebratemydrive.com and vote for the East Richland High School – now thru next Friday, October 24th, folks can vote once per day for each email address they have with hopes of ERHS winning prize money in this year’s nationwide “Celebrate My Drive” teenage driving initiative, sponsored by State Farm Insurance – in checking the leader board this morning, ERHS was sitting at number 25 on the list of top 50 vote-getters – so spread the word to all family, friends, co-workers, fellow church members, and everyone else – just follow the instructions online at www.celebratemydrive.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s leaf collection program is scheduled to begin next Monday, the 20th – the leaf pick up machines will drive thru the City collecting loose leaf piles or leaves that are bagged – the citizens of Olney are asked to place their leaves as close to the roadway as possible, but not in ditches or directly in the streets – if bagging leaves, citizens can place them near the street and notify the Olney City Hall if they’re ready for pick up – plus, the City’s Landscape Waste Facility is open for public drop off – that’s each Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 10:00 to 4:00, off of West Mack Avenue.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau Young Leaders “A Harvest of Hope” bushel of grain donation drive is today at the CGB grain facility in Olney – although donations will be accepted at any time – the funds raised thru the grain donation program will help provide food to the needy in Richland County, plus provide scholarships to Richland County high school seniors that pursue a career in the agricultural industry – check the local Farm Bureau website for details at www.richlandcountyfarmbureau.com.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Harvest Festival & Corn Maze at the St. Paul Lutheran Church, north of Dieterich, ends this weekend – that’s from 3:00 to 10:00 today thru tonight and from 3:00 to 6:00 tomorrow – it’s train rides, games, concessions, a bonfire, music, the amazing flashlight corn maze, and more – all ages invited


    The 2014 St. Joseph Smorgasbord & Bazaar is tomorrow with serving from 10:30 to 2:30 – dine-in meals for those with accessibility needs & their guests, plus carry-outs available in the multi-purpose room – the Bazaar includes bingo, a country store, and more – ticket at the gym and multi-purpose room begin at 10:00


    The next area blood drive is tomorrow morning at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste. Marie from 8:00 to 12:00 noon – with all blood types and platelets very much in need, all are urged to get out and give blood


    A “dinner and dance” to benefit the Emma Kocher family is tonight at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin, starting at 5:00 – it’s a pulled pork dinner for a free will donation with carry-outs available – gun raffle, 50/50 drawings, and auction at 7:30 and a live band at 8:00 – bring your lawn chairs


    A St. Joseph Building fundraiser is coming up tonight at the Olney Knights of Columbus on Whittle Avenue, starting at 6:00 – the music lineup includes local and area talent, performing throughout the night – admission is at $10 at the door – proceeds to the St. Joseph Parish Building fundraising effort


    The Richland County Republican Central Committee will host its annual Fall Event today in the Olney City Park Community Building – the free event includes the serving of chowder, barbeque, desserts, and more from 11:30 to 1:00 – also a chance to meet the Republican candidates and elected officials


    A fundraising Clay Target Shoot is today from 8:00 to 3:00 at the Clay County Sportsman’s Club southwest of Ingraham – it’s trap field targets for shotguns only with all ages invited, plus concessions – all to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, sponsored by Wal-Mart DC 6059


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will host a 5K Color Run/Walk this morning at Musgrove Park in Olney with registration at 7:30 – signup forms are available online at www.eocaolney.org – fee is $35

 

 

 

October 17, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  Low pressure over the Great Lakes Region will track southeastward today, pulling a cold front thru the Midwest, however dry conditions will prevail for us, although we could see a few clouds mixed up with sunshine – plus, after a brief warm-up ahead of the front, we’ll return to cool conditions this weekend and thru most all of the work week next week – stay tuned for weather updates on WVLN-WSEI-WIKK.

 

(NEWTON)  That new hotline for people who have questions about the Ebola virus is up and running – state officials say someone will be on hand 24 hours-a-day to answer questions like how to avoid getting Ebola and many more – operators will also be able to tell callers how the virus is spread and provide details on who’s at risk of getting infected the most – that new hotline number is toll-free, at 800-889-3931.

 

(OLNEY)  Governor Pat Quinn is getting a bit of presidential help as he rounds out the final weeks of his campaign – President Obama will be in Chicago this Sunday, while former President Clinton will hit the Windy City next Tuesday – Vice President Joe Biden will visit Chicago next Wednesday  :  meanwhile, GOP candidate Bruce Rauner is stumping at various stops around the state this weekend  :  registered voters are reminded the “early voting” process officially begins next Monday at statewide County Clerk’s offices.

 

(NEWTON)  Gas prices continue to fall and it may be that way for a while – not only does the demand for gas drop during the winter months, but there’s also a current price war on crude oil taking place between several countries in the Middle East – the combination is a big part of why gas prices have dropped below the $3 per gallon mark in downstate Illinois – although Richland County’s gas prices remain 10 to 15 cents per gallon higher than in many of the other regional communities in Southeastern and South Central Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met with a special meeting last night – the Board  :  approved the tentative fiscal year 2015 budget worth $3,612,758 – with just over $3.45 million in revenue, the budget includes a $161,388 deficit – it will lay over for public viewing until the next regular meeting in November  :  approved a one year renewal of Health Insurance for all county employees with Blue Cross Blue Shield  :  approved an amendment to the County’s Mutual Aid Agreement with area counties and municipalities, noting that compensation for extra hours of mutual aid will be shared equally with those involved  :  noted a permit agreement between the Richland County Highway Department and the semi-truck haulers of hogs and livestock feed to a farm in rural Decker Township – the agreement designates a specific route of roads that must be taken to assure safe travel, while at the same time preserving the condition of roads involved  :  the Richland County Board then adjourned until its next regular monthly meeting on November 13th.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School Board met last night in Olney – the Board  :  approved the tentative fiscal year 2014 tax levy as presented – the Board will hold a Truth in Taxation Hearing during the next meeting in November  :  approved and accepted the fiscal year 2014 audits for the East Richland and past West Richland Districts  :  agreed to donate a sidewalk easement thru the Elementary School property and a temporary use permit for the Middle School property to the City of Olney for its Safe Routes to Schools Project  :  approved a resolution in support of the City of Olney’s Enterprise Zone  :  agreed to reschedule the monthly November meeting to the 18th of next month  :  after a 33-minute closed session, approved the following personnel action – accepted the resignation of ERES Speech Pathologist Ryan Spicer – approved the hiring of ERES Speech Pathologists Lindsey Tomlin and Kaci Wells, part-time Food Service worker Marchele Dehner, Assistant ERHS Wrestling Coach Brad Ameter, 7th Grade Boys Basketball Coach Terry Puckett, ERHS Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Andrew Kapper, ERHS Freshman Boys Basketball Coach Ian Laughlin, plus several sports volunteers for ERHS wrestling, boys basketball, and volleyball  :  also heard a district financial update from Superintendent Marilyn Holt  :  next meeting is November 18th.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that Jasper County residents with American Flags to display for Veteran’s Day 2014 on the Courthouse Lawn in Newton have until October 31 to bring their flags to the Newton American Legion Post #20, between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00 each afternoon and evening, Monday thru Saturday – flags can also be dropped off at the Ste. Marie Bank during regular business hours thru the end of October – those dropping off the flags should make sure their name, address, and phone number is inside each flag case – those in need of a new flag or with a flag that needs to be lettered, call Patty at 618-793-2624 by the end of October – if any questions, feel free to call the Newton American Legion Post #20 at 618-783-2622.

 

(OLNEY)  The state yesterday announced a capital investment of more than $664,000 for construction projects at IDOT facilities in Olney, Robinson, and Effingham, all part of Governor Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now construction program to create jobs and increase the state’s economy – new roofing systems will be installed on the Olney IDOT Yard Equipment Storage Building and the Robinson IDOT Yard Salt Dome – plus an addition will be built on the Effingham IDOT West Yard Equipment Storage Building – the low bids came in from Grunloh Construction in Effingham for the general construction contract, from Boos Enterprises in Effingham for plumbing, and from Pals Electric in Teutopolis for electrical work.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s leaf collection program is scheduled to begin next Monday, the 20th – the leaf pick up machines will drive thru the City collecting loose leaf piles or leaves that are bagged – the citizens of Olney are asked to place their leaves as close to the roadway as possible, but not in ditches or directly in the streets – if bagging leaves, citizens can place them near the street and notify the Olney City Hall if they’re ready for pick up – plus, the City’s Landscape Waste Facility is open for public drop off – that’s each Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 10:00 to 4:00, off of West Mack Avenue.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton Elementary School is again collecting children’s coats, looking for new or gently used coats for the upcoming cold winter season – folks are asked to make sure all donated coats are in new or good condition and free from any rips, tears, and/or stains – in special need this year are coats for girls, size 7 to 14, and boys size 8 to 18, plus small size coats for women and men as well – for those who don’t have a coat to donate, monetary donations will also be accepted which will then be used to purchase new coats for a child in need – all coats will be accepted at the Elementary School now thru November 14th.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to go online at www.celebratemydrive.com and vote for the East Richland High School – now thru next Friday, October 24th, folks can vote once per day for each email address they have with hopes of ERHS winning prize money in this year’s nationwide “Celebrate My Drive” teenage driving initiative, sponsored by State Farm Insurance – in checking the leader board this morning, ERHS was sitting at number 27 on the list of top 50 vote-getters – ERHS is currently six behind Mt. Carmel High School on the list of nationwide small schools – so spread the word to all family, friends, co-workers, fellow church members, and everyone else – just follow the instructions online at www.celebratemydrive.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau Young Leaders “A Harvest of Hope” bushel of grain donation drive is tomorrow at the CGB grain facility in Olney – although donations will be accepted at any time – the funds raised thru the grain donation program will help provide food to the needy in Richland County, plus provide scholarships to Richland County high school seniors that pursue a career in the agricultural industry – check the Richland County Farm Bureau website or call the office at 618-393-4116.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Fire Department is teaming up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for a “Fill the Boot” fundraiser coming up this afternoon & evening in Olney – with 100% of all the funds raised to stay here in Richland County to benefit the 18 to 20 families in the county affected by the disease, the funds raised will help with health services, flu shots, support sessions for physical, respiratory, & speech therapy, and for the yearly summer camp – the Olney Firemen will be collecting donations at the intersection of East Street and Main Street from 3:00 to 6:00 this afternoon and evening – please plan to help them help others.

 

REMINDERS :
    The 2014 St. Joseph Smorgasbord & Bazaar is this Sunday with serving from 10:30 to 2:30 featuring ham, roast beef, homemade noodles, and more – dine-in meals for those with accessibility needs & their guests, plus carry-outs available in the multi-purpose room – the Bazaar includes bingo, a cake stand, a country store, and more – ticket sales at both the school gym and the multi-purpose room begin at 10:00


    The next area blood drive is this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste. Marie from 8:00 to 12:00 noon – with all blood types and platelets very much in need, all are urged to get out and give blood


    A “dinner and dance” to benefit the Emma Kocher family is tomorrow night at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin, starting at 5:00 – it’s a pulled pork dinner for a free will donation with carry-outs available – gun raffle, 50/50 drawings, and auction at 7:30 and a live band at 8:00 – bring your lawn chairs


    A St. Joseph Building fundraiser is coming up tomorrow night at the Olney Knights of Columbus on Whittle Avenue, starting at 6:00 – the music lineup includes local and area talent, performing throughout the night – admission is at $10 at the door – proceeds to the St. Joseph Parish Building fundraising effort


    The Richland County Republican Central Committee will host its annual Fall Event this Saturday in the Olney City Park Community Building – the free event includes the serving of chowder, barbeque, desserts, and more from 11:30 to 1:00 – also a chance to meet the Republican candidates and elected officials


    A fundraising Clay Target Shoot is tomorrow from 8:00 to 3:00 at the Clay County Sportsman’s Club southwest of Ingraham – it’s trap field targets for shotguns only with all ages invited, plus concessions – all to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, sponsored by Wal-Mart DC 6059 – call Jim at 618-393-5950


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will host a 5K Color Run/Walk tomorrow morning at Musgrove Park in Olney with registration at 7:30 – signup forms are available online at www.eocaolney.org, plus at Curves or any First National Bank in Olney location – fee is $35 – all are invited to take part and help out


    The Richland County Farmers Market is set up today from 11:00 to 4:00 in the Olney City Park, under the pole barns – its fresh produce and more available to the public there today – check it out


    The East Richland Elementary School 3rd grade classes will perform their music program “Summer Vacation Memories” today in the ERES dining hall – the classes of teachers Greenwood, Taylor, and Rusk perform at 10:00 am – classes of teachers Erwin and McVicker perform at 2:15 pm – all are invited