LOCAL NEWS

Local News

October 25, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  An upper level high pressure ridge will make for a dry and mild weekend in downstate Illinois – however, a strong cold front will sweep thru the region next Monday night into Tuesday, bringing our next chance of rain and more cooler temperatures behind it – then next Wednesday thru Friday appears to be dry again with cool conditions – stay tuned to WVLN-WSEI-WIKK for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news this morning – Governor Pat Quinn has ordered the Illinois Department of Public Health to require a mandatory 21-day home quarantine for high-risk individuals who have had direct contact with an individual infected with the Ebola virus while in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea – before this order, these high-risk individuals were subject to a voluntary quarantine – the new order will now be implemented by local health departments across the state – there are still no confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in Illinois – for updates and more Ebola information, logon at www.idph.state.il.us/ebola/index.htm.

 

(OLNEY)  With the November 4th election fast approaching, the Early Voting process is available to registered voters, now thru November 3rd, all 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 continues for anyone who missed the registration deadline – go to a County Clerk’s office with two forms of identification and vote at that time, all the way up until 7:00 on election night, November 4th  :  Absentee Voting can still be done, however next Thursday, the 30th, 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 open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00 – the Richland County Clerk’s office is open this morning from 9:00 to 12 noon and next Monday night until 7:00.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police are again asking motorists to be extra aware of deer at this time of the year – with area farmers harvesting their crops, taking away some of the deer’s natural cover, the deer herd breeding season is heating up, therefore making deer more active as well – it’s estimated that more than 20,000 deer are involved in Illinois traffic accidents each year and it’s at this time of the year that is one of the most dangerous for drivers – so if you’re driving this weekend, be especially alert to deer along roads and highways, mostly during dawn and dusk hours, and especially close to wooded areas and/or fence rows.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s a busy weekend throughout the area with various Halloween Parades scheduled to take place  :  the Spooktacular Parade is tonight in Oblong with plenty of weekend activities there in Crawford County today thru tonight  :  the Fall Harvest Festival in Louisville runs all day today thru tomorrow morning – it’s annual Halloween Parade in Louisville is this afternoon at 2:00  :  then the annual Halloween Parade in Flora is tonight at 7:00  :  other area fall events also this weekend as well in Southeastern Illinois.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Indoor “Trunk or Treat Night” is tomorrow evening from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Grove Township Community Center in rural Jasper County – food for purchase and a best costume contest for all ages


    The Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin will host a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser tomorrow morning from 8:00 to 12 noon, by donation only – also Duck Dump Bingo – proceeds go to the Holy Cross CYM


    The OCC Student Senate’s Gothic Nightmares continues tonight from 7:00 to 10:00 in the woods on the north side of the campus – also next Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights – $5 for adults, $3 for children


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host a costume party and dance tonight 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 Masonic Lodge #140 will host a chili dinner fundraiser today 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


    The Olney Knights of Columbus “drive thru or carry-out” chowder today 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 Richland County Home Front will host a fundraising breakfast this morning from now to 10:30 at the Olney VFW with tickets at the door – proceeds for Christmas care packages for our area troops


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

 

 

 

October 24, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a weak upper level disturbance moves thru with some clouds, but dry – another high pressure ridge will build into the Midwest by tomorrow night, giving us a dry and mild weekend with above normal temperatures and sunshine – our next weather-maker will be another weak front with rain chances next week on Tuesday, but then dry and cool for the rest of the month after that – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Unemployment is steadily dropping in every metropolitan area in Illinois – yesterday’s update from the Department of Employment Security shows that Decatur has seen the biggest improvement over the past year, with a rate dropping from 12.2% to 7.9% – the Bloomington-Normal area has the lowest rate for joblessness, at 5.5%, down from 7.2% a year ago – Illinois’ county numbers will be released next week.

 

(OLNEY)  In Illinois’ Gubernatorial race : Republican Bruce Rauner is shoring up his campaign account, giving himself another $3 million – altogether, he’s tossed in more than $23 million in his bid for the state’s top job : meanwhile, Governor Pat Quinn is trying to win over women voters with the assistance of Gloria Steinem, who’ll be in Chicago this afternoon – the Governor had the President, Vice-President, and former President Bill Clinton in Chicago over the past week : recent polls reveal Rauner slightly leading Quinn by less than two percentage points, which is within the polls’ margin of error – many voters are still undecided.

 

(OLNEY)  The Dixon Springs Ag Center in downstate Illinois will host its fourth annual Sustainable Living Expo tomorrow from 9:00 to 4:00 – the free event will focus on local foods, energy, and safety with specific subjects including food preservation, aqua-ponics, beekeeping, vegetable gardening, small-scale cattle & backyard chicken farming, and edible landscaping – the energy area will have information on interior and exterior home energy efficiency and water quality, plus a kids area will feature sustainable and science-based projects – a food court will also be available – the Dixon Springs Ag Center is located at 345 State Highway 145N near Simpson, down in rural Pope County – for more, logon at www.slexpo.org.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met in Newton last night for its regular monthly meeting – the Board  :  approved a resolution to issue General Obligation School Bonds for the purpose of altering & reconstructing school buildings and the purchase of equipment for fire prevention, safety, security, and energy conservation  :  also discussed, but no action, on the options available on issuing bonds to payback claims against the District from the Ameren Property Tax Settlement  :  noted that the District did receive a clean independent audit of District funds as required by state law  :  noted the District received a Secondary Agricultural Education Incentive Grant worth $2,178  :  noted that all District Schools are fully recognized by the State Board of Education thru the Illinois School Code and all of its regulations  :  approved nine volunteers for the Elementary School  :  approved Jordan Michels as a 5th/6th Grade Volleyball Coach  :  accepted the resignation of Mike Hartrich as NCHS Cross Country Coach at the end of this school year, thanking him for his 30-plus years of service  :  took no other action after a 55-minute closed session to discuss litigation  :  the Jasper County School Board has its next regular meeting on November 17th.

 

(OLNEY)  With the November 4th election fast approaching, the Early Voting process is available to registered voters, now thru November 3rd, all 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 continues 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 night, November 4th  :  plus, Absentee Voting can still be done, however next Thursday, the 30th, 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 open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00 – the Richland County Clerk’s office is open tomorrow morning from 9:00 to noon and Monday night until 7:00.

 

(NEWTON)  The annual Jasper County Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Banquet last night in Newton with members and guests in attendance – while Chamber members were informed about the health of Jasper County, they also received several updates within the annual report as well – congratulations to this year’s Citizen of the Year, as the award was presented to June Bierman, who’s been heavily involved in promoting Newton and Jasper County, not only during her 7 year stint as the past Chamber President, but as a business owner, a volunteer for her church, school, and community, and an overall “people person – the Chamber also extended thanks to all its members for their hard work and dedication over the past year.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to go online at www.celebratemydrive.com and vote for the East Richland High School – although the leader board has been removed from the website, the voting continues all of today thru tonight, ending at 11:59 tonight, just short of midnight – at last check, ERHS was still in the top 30 on the list of top 50 small school vote-getters – so far, over 5.1 million safe driving commitments have been made nationwide – all part of the “Celebrate My Drive” initiative, sponsored by State Farm Insurance – it’s not too late to help out – simply logon and follow the instructions online at www.celebratemydrive.com.

 

(NEWTON)  It’s a busy weekend throughout the area with various Halloween Parades scheduled to take place  :  the Spooktacular Parade is tomorrow night in Oblong with plenty of weekend activities there in Crawford County tonight thru tomorrow night  :  the Fall Harvest Festival in Louisville begins tonight and runs all day tomorrow thru Sunday morning – it’s annual Halloween Parade is tomorrow at 2:00  :  then the Halloween Parade in Flora is tomorrow night at 7:00  :  other area fall events also this weekend as well.

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially now when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at The Holiday in Olney from 11:30 to 3:30  :  also today at Buck Grove Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  then more area blood drives next week in Effingham, Robinson, Mattoon, and Olney  :  for more details or to schedule an appointment, 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 OCC Student Senate’s Gothic Nightmares continues tonight in the woods on the north side of the campus – tonight & tomorrow nights from 7:00 to 10:00, plus also next Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights – the cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children – the OCC Automotive Club will sell refreshments


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host a costume party and dance tomorrow 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 Masonic Lodge #140 will host a chili dinner fundraiser tomorrow 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


    The Olney Knights of Columbus “drive thru or carry-out” chowder tomorrow 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 Richland County Home Front will host a fundraising breakfast tomorrow 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


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


    A Country Rhodes fish fry fundraiser to benefit CTF Illinois in Olney is tonight at the Olney VFW from 4:00 to 7:00 – all-you-can-eat fish, mini shrimp, chicken strips, and more – either dine-in or carry-out

 

 

 

October 23, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  An approaching frontal boundary will bring us some clouds here and there the next couple of days, and while most of the spotty sprinkles will stay to our north & west, there is a slight chance for us to get a drop or two of rain – however, an upper level ridge of high pressure will take control of our weather for a dry and mild weekend – our next significant shot at rain is next Tuesday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The state says Chicago’s infectious disease network was mobilized for the first time earlier this week as two O’Hare International Airport travelers from Liberia were transferred to area hospitals – officials at Rush University Medical Center say an adult traveler brought in Tuesday night has now been moved out of isolation and is in good condition – the other is a child in the isolation unit of University of Chicago Medical Center, but in stable condition – health officials remind the public that there have been no confirmed Ebola cases in Illinois and there’s no threat to the public – so far, Homeland Security says no Ebola cases have been detected among the 562 air travelers that have been screened since October 11th.

 

(OLNEY)  Meanwhile, there’s a new Task Force in Illinois, as appointed by Governor Pat Quinn, designed to help ensure the public health system across the state is prepared for the Ebola virus – made up of mostly health care professionals who can lead a coordinated effort to make sure everyone in Illinois receives timely and accurate information regarding any potential threat, the Task Force will be meeting this weekend.

 

(NEWTON)  The downstate gasoline prices continue to drop – while the price of a gallon of regular gas last week averaged $3.27, down 30 cents from last month, the price of diesel fuel averaged $3.75 a gallon, down 29 cents from September – a key driver of the drop revolves around crude oil production – the Energy Information Administration reports the U.S. oil production reached 8.7 million barrels per day last month, that’s the highest monthly production since July 1986 – some predict this could keep gas prices around or below the $3.00 mark for the next several months – the EIA projects household expenditures for natural gas, heating oil, electricity, and propane will decrease this winter heating season compared to last year.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met earlier this week – the Board  :  adopted the 2014 Tax Levy, estimating the aggregate amount of taxes to be levied at $4.235 million and certifying the IECC District’s tax levies for 2014 at 42.88 cents per $100 in equalized assessed valuation  :  adopted a new policy on hazing  :  adopted a policy on assignment of credits  :  rejected a proposed policy on employment of family members of key administrative staff  :  accepted the proposed Blue Cross Blue Shield overall 5.6% average rate decrease for District employee’s health coverage, plus no increase in dental rates  :  approved tax abatements for Enterprise Zones in Richland, Jasper, and Wabash Counties  :  approved a $1,000 contribution for Calendar Year 2015 to each qualified employee’s Health Savings Account  :  employed Christopher Forde as Coordinator of Public Information & Marketing at Lincoln Trail College  :  hired Cheryl Holder as Director of Adult Education at Frontier Community College  :  hired Robin Pearson as Office Assistant at Frontier Community College  :  moved Robert Conn as Dean of Instruction from Lincoln Trail College to Wabash Valley College  :  accepted the resignation of Transition / Data Technician Leslie Talia  :  approved a 3% raise for all non-bargaining unit employees for the current year and a 3% raise for next year, effective September 1st, 2015  :  also approved a 2% increase to entry levels of non-bargaining unit positions for the current year and next year  :  the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board will have its next regular monthly meeting on November 18th at Wabash Valley College.

 

(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.

 

(NEWTON)  All motorists are reminded to be alert to farm machinery and other equipment on area roads and highways as the 2014 fall harvest continues – be on the lookout for those slow moving emblems and flashing lights as the equipment moves from field to field – farmers are also reminded to keep all those SMV emblems clean and visible at all times, plus make sure those flashing warning lights are working – let’s make it a safe fall harvest here in all of South Central and Southeastern Illinois for everyone involved.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Fire Department and the Muscular Dystrophy Association wants to thank those that helped out last Friday during the firemen’s “Fill the Boot” fundraiser in Olney – during the short three hour period at the intersection of East Street and Main Street, the donations of cash and coins totaled $3,051 – that’s triple the amount set as a goal for the first-time event in Olney – all of the funds raised will go to help 18 families in Richland County that deal with MD – and again, a huge “thank you” to one and all that gave.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District has Parent / Teacher Conferences tonight and tomorrow morning, and parents or guardians are urged to make an appointment now – the conferences will be held this evening from 5:00 to 9:00 or tomorrow 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 – there will be no school in Jasper County on Friday.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to go online at www.celebratemydrive.com and vote for the East Richland High School – now thru tomorrow 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 4.1 million commitments nationwide – in checking the leader board this morning, ERHS was sitting at number 28 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)  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 Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow 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 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


    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


    The OCC Student Senate begins it six night run of Gothic Nightmares tonight in the woods on the north side of the campus along Parker Street – tonight, tomorrow 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 tonight


    The Jasper County School Board will have its regular monthly meeting tonight in Newton, starting at 7:00, in the Administration Office – with a rather normal agenda, the public is welcomed to attend


    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 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