LOCAL NEWS

Local News

April 29, 2016

 

(OLNEY) While we stay dry with some sunshine today, more clouds will build into the downstate area by tonight as another slow-moving frontal boundary moves in our direction – like earlier this week, the front’s expected to stall out and give us more on-and-off chances of rain & storms tonight thru tomorrow & Sunday – with the rain ending Sunday night, we should be dry the first half of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON) In state news – a report from a state-run commission says Illinois laws are preventing juveniles with criminal records from getting employment, education, and housing – yesterday’s report shows costly fees and strict eligibility rules are among the barriers for youth to have their records expunged – the commission says an average of only three in one thousand juvenile arrest records were expunged from 2004 to 2014 – the report also showed that many people have access to the records that should not by law.

 

(OLNEY) An outbreak of mumps at Eastern Illinois University has affected about a dozen students so far – EIU officials say the current outbreak started about three weeks ago, around April 11th, as students affected are asked to isolate themselves for at least five days & return home, if possible – university staff is working with state and local health officials to evaluate and manage the current outbreak there in Charleston.

 

(NEWTON) With our weather conditions growing warmer, the 2016 motorcycle season is shifting into high gear – but, before taking the first real ride of the season, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police remind motorcyclists to take necessary steps to ensure their safety – the state’s “Gear Up – Ride Smart” campaign encourages all riders to make sure those bikes are ready to hit the road – also, all other motorists are reminded to be on the lookout for motorcycles while traveling in the months ahead.

 

(OLNEY) It’s been announced that the Richland County School Board will have a special meeting next Monday night, May 2nd, starting at 7:00, in the District Office board room in Olney – the short agenda includes an executive session to discuss personnel and to discuss the filling of a vacant seat on the School Board – a resignation request will also be considered – the special board meeting is open to the public.

 

(OLNEY) Time is running out for local charitable organizations that serve the youth of Richland County to submit a grant application with the Carrie Winter Trust – while the grant application deadline is next Monday, May 2nd, the applications are available thru the First National Bank in Olney’s Trust Services Department, by calling 618-395-8541, or go online, at www.fnbolney.com – the Carrie Winter Trust has benefitted the youth of Richland County for over 29 years with more than $1.8 million awarded.

 

(NEWTON) Appointments can now be made for Kindergarten Pre-Registration in Jasper County – it’s for children who’ll turn 5 years old on or before September 1st, 2016 and for those whose parents are planning to have them attend Kindergarten in the 2016-2017 school year – the required Pre-Registration and Screening will be conducted on three consecutive days at the Ste. Marie Elementary School and appointments are necessary – the dates and times include : Tuesday, May 24th, from 11:00am to 6:30pm : Wednesday, May 25th, from 8:30am to 4:00pm : and Thursday morning, May 26th, from 8:30am to 10:45am : call Elementary School in Ste. Marie during office hours for an appointment : 618-455-3219.

 

(OLNEY) The Richland County Fair is now accepting entries for the upcoming 2016 Little Miss Pageant, which will be held in conjunction with the 2016 Fair Queen Pageant – the Little Miss event is open to girls ages 4 to 6 who are Richland County residents and they must be 4 years old before July 1st, 2016, and not turn 7 years old before July 7th, 2016 – to enter, post cards with the contestant’s full name, age, date of birth, parent’s names, address, phone number, and t-shirt size to Little Miss Director, Malory Urfer, C/O the Richland County Farm & Fair, P.O. Box 579, Olney, Illinois, 62450 – the first entries postmarked by May 10th will be accepted as Little Miss contestants – no phone entries accepted and no past contestants please.

 

(NEWTON) The Illinois State Bar Association will have its 35th Annual “Ask A Lawyer Day” tomorrow morning from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – a time that anyone in Illinois with a question about a legal matter can consult a lawyer, at no cost – volunteer attorneys will be standing by to provide general information about consumer problems, family law, estate planning, personal injury, and other common legal issues – statewide residents can call one of two seperate toll-free phone numbers : 1-800-252-8908 or 1-800-678-4009.

 

(OLNEY) Richland Memorial Hospital is hosting a “Look Good Feel Better” session for area women who are currently going thru cancer treatments – offered thru the American Cancer Society, the program is free, as a licensed cosmetologist will teach beauty techniques to participants to help them manage the appearance related side effects of cancer treatments – the event is coming up this Monday afternoon, May 2nd, from 1:00 to 3:00, in the Heim Room at RMH – limited to only ten participants, call today to register, which is required – call Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney now, at 618-395-7340, extension 4608.

 

(NEWTON) Casey Police Chief Mark Jenkins is asking the citizens in and around Clark County to go about their regular worship schedules and to “politely ignore” some pre-announced visitors that might show up in Casey this Sunday – members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, have announced plans to be in Casey to protest the worship services scheduled at three churches there, the United Methodist Church, the First Baptist Church, and the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church – the Westboro members have gained nationwide attention in the past, protesting outside churches where funerals are being held for military service personnel killed in action – while there are no military funerals scheduled in Casey or the surrounding area this weekend, it appears the Westboro Church members may be looking for more than just a protest – Clark County authorities ask everyone to keep their cool and pay no attention to the visitors.

 

(NEWTON) All area donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up : today at the Altamont High School from 8:00 to 1:00 : next Tuesday at the Clay County Hospital in Flora from 12:00 to 4:00 : all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS :

   It’s another DC fundraising breakfast this Sunday morning at the St. Joseph School cafeteria with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon – pay at the door – proceeds to the next St. Joe educational trip to Washington, D.C.

 

   The Lawrence/Crawford Association for Exceptional Citizens has a Jonah Fish Fry fundraiser tomorrow evening from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Robinson Community Center – it’s all-you-can-eat – cost at $10 per plate – carry-outs available – also a 50/50 drawing – tickets available at the door Saturday evening

 

   Tomorrow is a “cleaning day” at the Grove Township Community Center, starting at 9:00 in the morning – all help will be greatly appreciated – so get the family together & help them out in rural Jasper County

 

   It’s the 2016 “Clash of the Talents” tonight in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium starting at 6:30 – admission is only $3 per person at the door – all proceeds to the High School Drama Club in Olney – all ages are invited

 

   The Jasper County Autism Awareness Arbor Day “tree dedication & balloon” release is set for this evening, starting at 5:30 in Peterson Park in Newton – all are invited to attend

 

   The Jasper County Cancer Support Group will host a fundraising “fish fry” tonight at the Newton VFW – with serving from 4:00 to 7:00, all proceeds to the local Jasper County fight against cancer

 

   It’s “taco night” tonight at the Olney VFW with serving from 5:30 to 7:30 – proceeds from the 50/50 drawing will support the Gaitway To Motion horseback riding program for area children with special needs

 

   The Richland County Elementary School 5th grade classes will perform their music program today in the RCES dining hall – four classes perform at 9:45 with the remaining classes at 2:00 – all are invited

 

 

 

 

April 28, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As the warm front that brought us the stormy weather last evening has now moved further north, our downstate weather will be calm for a couple of days & nights – however, an almost identical situation is setting up for the weekend – a slow-moving low pressure system will lift northward across our region Friday night thru Saturday with the rain ending Sunday night – stay tuned for continued weather details & updates.

 

(OLNEY)  Last evening’s passage of the warm front thru Richland County brought some unusual weather to the Olney area – a storm that originated in Clay County at around 6:30, dropped from 1 to 2 inches of rain  in less than an hour, then moved into Richland County at around 7:00, with over 2 inches of rain falling in less than an hour in the area north of Noble, and eventually producing a tornado that moved along the north edge of Olney – with the City of Olney’s warning sirens sounding twice, the twister was spotted northwest of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter and again north of Olney, in the Millers Grove area, along East Fork Lake – seen touching down for less than a minute, the tornado caused no apparent damage – there was hardly no rain with this particular storm, with only a quarter of an inch on average in the Olney area, however other parts in northern Richland County had 1-3 inches of rain – other funnel clouds were also spotted south of Altamont in Effingham County and near Brownstown in Fayette County, plus stormy weather reported in almost every surrounding county as well.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois Department of Insurance yesterday launched a consumer education awareness campaign in partnership with other state agencies and healthcare organizations across the state to help Illinois families navigate health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorders – the DOI also announced that its new consumer mental health insurance toolkit is now available on its website, at  www.insurance.illinois.gov  – statewide residents are urged to get this information as soon as possible.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Supreme Court will take its work on the road in May, when the State’s high court will hear oral arguments at Benedictine University in Lisle – the one-day change of venue is part of the Court’s and Chief Justice Rita B. Garman’s initiative to bring the Court to the people it serves and its continuing goal for greater transparency in the judicial process – the Supreme Court will hear two cases on Thursday morning, May 19th, as students and teachers from more than three dozen schools in DuPage County have been invited to participate either by attending in person or by watching on a live stream.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Bar Association is getting ready for its 35th Annual “Ask A Lawyer Day” coming up this Saturday morning, April 30th, from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – it’s at this time that anyone in Illinois with a question about a legal matter can consult a lawyer, at no cost, as volunteer attorneys will be standing by to provide general information about consumer problems, family law, estate planning, personal injury, and other common legal issues – questions can be emailed in advance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with answers provided on Saturday – the toll-free phone numbers are 1-800-252-8908 or 1-800-678-4009.

 

(NEWTON)  It was two weeks ago yesterday that State Representative David Reis, State Senator Dale Righter, and other downstate legislators met with students representing area electric cooperatives during the Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day in Springfield – over 225 students from around Illinois had an opportunity to visit the State Capitol, to view state government in action, and to question their lawmakers on key issues – among the 24 cooperatives from across the state represented were Norris Electric Cooperative based in Newton, Clay Electric Cooperative based in Flora, and Wayne-White Electric Cooperative based in Fairfield – at the end of the Youth Day activities, the students were interviewed for a chance to take part in the Youth to Washington Tour to be held June 10th thru 17th later this year.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into a two vehicle crash that occurred at 8:45 last night on Illinois Route 130, at the Deer Farm Lane intersection, north of Olney – the State Police report 24 year old Molly Schmidt was northbound on Route 130 when she lost control of her SUV as it overturned in the northbound lane – then a semi-truck, driven by 61 year old Paris Cooper, was unable to stop in time, striking the SUV in the northbound lane – both Schmidt and Cooper were ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident – Schmidt was taken to Richland Memorial Hospital for injuries – Cooper was not injured.

 

(OLNEY)  The IECC Board of Trustees continues tonight with the third of three special meetings at the IECC District office in Olney to interview candidates for the President’s position at Lincoln Trail College – no formal action will be taken as most all of the meeting will be held in closed session – the next regular monthly meeting for the IECC Board of Trustees will be May 17, at 7:00. at Wabash Valley College.

 

(NEWTON)  The popular American Pickers, Mike and Frank, are heading to Illinois next month and they are looking for leads in South Central and Southeastern Illinois – they are specifically interested in visiting folks with a lot of unique and interesting items – producers of History Channel show say the sooner people with collections reach out to them, the better, as plans are being made now for the trip to downstate Illinois in May – call toll-free, at 1-855-OLD-RUST (653-7878), or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that resident Illinois deer hunters can apply now thru April 30th, this coming Saturday, for the first lottery drawings for 2016 Illinois Firearm Deer Season permits – applications can be submitted on the DNR website online  :  also a note to visitors of all Illinois State Parks, Fish & Wildlife Areas, and other IDNR-managed sites with spring turkey hunting programs in April & May, that hunting areas are closed to activities other than spring wild turkey hunting from one-half hour before sunrise until 1:00 daily – that’s thru May 5th in the South Zone and thru May 12th in the North Zone  :  for more on these and all other things outdoors, check the IDNR website available online, at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  All area donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :  today at the Lake Land College offices in Effingham from 9:00 to 1:00  :  also today at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Altamont High School from 8:00 to 1:00  :  next Tuesday at the Clay County Hospital in Flora from 12:00 to 4:00  :  all blood types & platelets are needed to help replenish the low regional supply here in Southeastern & South Central Illinois.

 

REMINDERS  :
    A Career Expo & Hiring Event is next Tuesday morning, May 3rd, at Lincoln Trail College, east & north of Robinson – that’s from 8:30 to 12 noon in the LTC Gym – call Erin at  618-544-8657, extension 1163


    The Olney Quilt Guild has its regular monthly meeting next Monday night at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Olney – the mini lesson starts at 6:00 with the main program at 7:00 – all are invited to attend


    The RMH Auxiliary will host a fundraising Nature Creations birdhouse sale next Monday in the RMH private dining room – that’s from 8:00 to 3:30 – proceeds go to Auxiliary projects at Richland Memorial


    The Carnegie Museum on Main Street and the Heritage House & McsBurg Schoolhouse Museums on Kitchell Avenue, all in Olney, are open for the 2016 season – that’s every Sunday from 1:30 to 4:00


    It’s another DC fundraising breakfast this Sunday morning at the St. Joseph School cafeteria with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon – pay at the door – proceeds to the next St. Joe educational trip to Washington, D.C.


    The Lawrence/Crawford Association for Exceptional Citizens has a Jonah Fish Fry fundraiser Saturday evening from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Robinson Community Center – it’s all-you-can-eat – cost at $10 per plate – carry-outs available – also a 50/50 drawing – for advanced tickets, call  618-943-4401  or  618-546-5625


    This coming Saturday is a “cleaning day” at the Grove Township Community Center, starting at 9:00 that morning – all help will be greatly appreciated – so get the family together and come on out to help


    It’s the 2016 “Clash of the Talents” coming up tomorrow night in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium starting at 6:30 – only $3 admission at the door – all proceeds to the RCHS Drama Club – all ages are invited


    The Jasper County Autism Awareness Arbor Day “tree dedication & balloon” release is set for tomorrow evening, starting at 5:30 in Peterson Park in Newton – all are invited to attend for support


    The Jasper County Cancer Support Group will host a fundraising “fish fry” tomorrow night at the Newton VFW – with serving from 4:00 to 7:00, all proceeds to the local Jasper County fight against cancer


    It’s“taco night” Friday night at the Olney VFW with serving from 5:30 to 7:30 – proceeds from the 50/50 drawing will support the Gaitway To Motion horseback riding program for area children with special needs


    The Richland County Elementary School 5th grade classes will perform their music program tomorrow in the RCES dining hall – four classes perform at 9:45 with the remaining classes at 2:00 – all are invited


    The Olney Central College Music Department will present its Spring Recital tonight in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center, starting at 7:30 – admission is free and open to the public – all ages welcome

 

 

 

April 27, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  With the cold front that brought us storm activity & rain last evening is draped across downstate Illinois, today’s question is just how far north the now warm front will be able to move as a wave of low pressure approaches from the west this afternoon – this will dictate the severe weather threat for our region – we’ll have our first wave of rain & storms this morning followed by a re-development of rain & storms later this afternoon & evening – it all clears out tonight for a dry Thursday & Friday – listen for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  Last evening’s weather prompted a few thunderstorm warnings by the National Weather Service for some of our area counties – the thunderstorms caused some wind damage and a lot of hail reports were called in, ranging from marble to golf ball size, causing some damage – a few power outages were reported in the region, with rainfall amounts ranging from 1 to 2 inches – area airports recorded winds gusting from 45 to as high as 55 miles-per-hour – the National Weather Service is expecting another round of possibly severe weather conditions again this evening – stay tuned to your NOAA weather alert radio for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – a few bills are up for consideration in Springfield to limit gun ownership – one deals with people suffering from mental illnesses while another involves those who have protection orders against them – a third proposal would include those that a judge has ruled as mentally disabled – some say these bills border on the infringement of constitutional rights – others say they are simply common sense.

 

(OLNEY)  The spring market is in swing with steady gains in March median prices and modest growth in statewide home sales even as the housing supply is low for the season – according to the Illinois Realtors, the statewide home sales last month totaled 11,900 homes sold, that’s up 1.9% from March of 2015 – the statewide median price in March was $172,000 which is up 4.3% from a year ago in March – the data shows that 46 of Illinois’ 102 counties reported sales gains for March 2016 over previous-year numbers.

 

(NEWTON)  Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has announced that entry forms are available for the 12th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award – the competition is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over as all entries must be postmarked by June 30th, 2016 – cash prizes will be awarded with $500 for first place, $300 for second, and $100 for third – the winners will read their poems at a ceremony later this year at the Illinois State Library in Springfield – entry forms and other competition information can be found online at  www.illinoiscenterforthebook.org.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met this past Monday night – the Board  :  agreed to advertise for a Village Freshwater / Wastewater Trainee – various requirements apply and information’s available at the Noble Village Hall  :  discussed the condition of the basketball court surface at the Village Park – an estimate to repair the court surface will be obtained for the next Board meeting  :  agreed to allow the use of the Noble Little League ball diamond with proof of adequate insurance coverage provided  :  agreed to purchase a new scanner and printer for the Noble Village Hall  :  agreed to purchase two Citywide Garage Sale signs for bi-annual sale every May and August  :  noted that a flyer will be developed listing addresses that are having a yard sale for the upcoming Citywide Garage Sale in Noble on May 21st next month – addresses should be dropped off at the Noble Village Hall  :  noted that the Village’s water hydrants will be flushed on May 9th and 10th  :  noted the Village’s Farmers Market is each Thursday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 in the Noble Village Park  :  the Noble Village Board has its next regular meeting on May 9th.

 

(OLNEY)  State Representative David Reis recently voted to support a proposed Illinois Constitutional Amendment that seeks to protect a funding mechanism for Illinois’ roads, highways, and transportation systems – the bill passed thru the State House overwhelmingly and now moves to the State Senate for its consideration – Reis says the Amendment is meant to finally stop the misuse of taxpayer dollars intended for road repair and other transportation infrastructure projects – the Senate could vote on this bill today.

 

(NEWTON)  Appointments can now be made for Kindergarten Pre-Registration in Jasper County – it’s for children who’ll turn 5 years old on or before September 1st, 2016 and for those whose parents are planning to have them attend Kindergarten in the 2016-2017 school year – the required Pre-Registration and Screening will be conducted on three consecutive days at the Ste. Marie Elementary School and appointments are necessary – the dates and times include  :  Tuesday, May 24th, from 11:00am to 6:30pm  :  Wednesday, May 25th, from 8:30am to 4:00pm  :  and Thursday morning, May 26th, from 8:30am to 10:45am  :  call Elementary School in Ste. Marie during office hours for an appointment  :  618-455-3219.

 

(OLNEY)  The Dodransbicentennial Commission is still soliciting Requests for Proposal for a mural to be placed in downtown Olney as part of this Celebration Year – the mural will be located on the east wall of the “Farmers Market” parking lot area between 108 and 208 East Main Street, and while the deadline to submit a proposal is May 20th, the project completion date is proposed for July 22nd, 2016 – proposal and project specifications can be picked up at the Olney City Hall at 300 South Whittle Avenue from 8:00 to 4:00, Monday thru Friday – for details or to send a request, contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Central College Science Club has a “plant sale” today from 9:00 to 4:30 in the hallway outside the Student Services Office at OCC – plants available range from vegetables to spices, plus tomatoes, flowers, and more – the OCC Student Senate provided the start-up funds for the project and the Science Club cultivated the plants, which are being sold as a fundraiser for both college organizations.

 

(NEWTON)  All area donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :  tomorrow at the Lake Land College offices in Effingham from 9:00 to 1:00  :  also tomorrow at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  and Friday at the Altamont High School from 8:00 to 1:00  :  all blood types & platelets are needed to help replenish the low regional supply.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Gym Bob’s Jamboree in Bible Grove is this Sunday afternoon at 1:00 – featuring Mike Porter, Marsha Banning, and the Panther Creek Band, plus special guest Logan Kirby – all ages are invited to attend


    It’s another DC fundraising breakfast this Sunday morning at the St. Joseph School cafeteria with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon – pay at the door – proceeds to the next St. Joe educational trip to Washington, D.C.


    The Lawrence/Crawford Association for Exceptional Citizens has a Jonah Fish Fry fundraiser Saturday evening from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Robinson Community Center – it’s all-you-can-eat – cost at $10 per plate – carry-outs available – also a 50/50 drawing – for advanced tickets, call  618-943-4401  or  618-546-5625


    This coming Saturday is a “cleaning day” at the Grove Township Community Center, starting at 9:00 that morning – all help will be greatly appreciated – so get the family together and come on out to help


    It’s the 2016 “Clash of the Talents” coming up this Friday night in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium starting at 6:30 – only $3 admission at the door – all proceeds to the RCHS Drama Club – all ages are invited


    The Jasper County Autism Awareness Arbor Day “tree dedication & balloon” release is set for this Friday evening, starting at 5:30 in Peterson Park in Newton – all are invited to attend for support


    The Jasper County Cancer Support Group will host a fundraising “fish fry” this Friday night at the Newton VFW – with serving from 4:00 to 7:00, all proceeds to the local Jasper County fight against cancer


    The Richland County Elementary School 5th grade classes will perform their music program this coming Friday in the RCES dining hall – the classes of teachers Hearn, Michels, Mitchell, and Muffler perform at 9:45 – the classes of teachers Dobbs, Hagan, and Shipman perform at 2:00 – all are invited to attend


    Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney will host a fundraising “silent auction” today in the private dining room – running from 9:00 this morning to 3:30 this afternoon, all proceeds to the local fight against cancer and the 2016 Richland County Relay For Life – the list includes a wide array of various items

 

 

 

April 26, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As the strong storm system continues to move in our direction, leading edge showers and storms are possible by later this afternoon – after a dry period this evening, another round of storms and rain will spread across our region late tonight and thru the day tomorrow before ending by late Wednesday night – then a dry period Thursday & Friday before maybe more rain over the weekend – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – after approved in the State Senate late yesterday morning, Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation authorizing $600 million in emergency funding to keep major Illinois universities & community colleges operating thru the summer – it also includes $170 million for the Monetary Award Program to help low-income students – some hope this compromise leads to a state budget agreement.

 

(OLNEY)  The contract negotiations between Governor Rauner and AFSCME, the state’s largest employee union, have reached the State Labor Board – both sides are making arguments regarding whether labor talks stalled – if the Board rules an impasse, the Governor could impose his own terms, but would also allow the union, which claims there is no deadlock, to go on strike – yesterday’s hearing will likely last thru May.

 

(NEWTON)  This is Illinois Bird Appreciation Week as proclaimed by Governor Rauner – it was this week back in 1916 that the Migratory Bird Treaty was signed, a migratory bird protection agreement between the United States & Canada – this week recognizes the more than 100 species of migratory birds that spend time in Illinois each year to feed and rest while on their migration flights to and from the north and south.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night – the Council  :  approved the fiscal year 2017 city budget as presented, which will go into effect this Sunday, May 1st  :  accepted the $49,870 bid from Keifer Brothers Construction for the Hall Street / Berger 8-inch sanitary sewer extension project  :  agreed to award the West Main Street Water Main replacement project to B&T Drainage  :  accepted the yearly concrete bid from Schrey Systems for street patching, curb & gutter construction, sidewalk construction, and miscellaneous construction  :  accepted the yearly bid from Heuerman Trucking for sand, pea gravel, crushed stone, and riprap  :  agreed to spend tourism funds to purchase promotional items for the City’s Celebration this year  :  approved various appointments and re-appointments to the Plan Commission, Library Board, and Police Pension Board, as presented by Mayor Vaughn  :  agreed to work with the City’s Tree Board to plant different kinds of trees thru the Street Tree Replacement Program  :  approved the City’s Park & Recreation Board’s recommendation to use property south of Miller’s Grove for a proposed Dog Park – this also included a letter of Council support to seek possible grant funds for the project  :  and after a closed session, approved salaries and wages for non-bargaining employees  :  also approved negotiated insurance premium allocations for non-bargaining employees – a deal where the new rates were negotiated down from 12.76% to 7.83%  :  the Olney City Council’s next regular meeting will be May 9th.

 

(NEWTON)  In yesterday’s USDA Crop Report – statewide farmers were able to make significant progress planting corn over the past week, but so much here in Southeastern & South Central Illinois – the statewide average temperature last week was 60.8 degrees, 5.4 degrees warmer than normal – last week’s statewide precipitation averaged 0.78 inches, 0.17 inches less than normal – both topsoil and subsoil moisture levels remain high as the state’s winter wheat crop remains in mostly good to excellent condition – as of Sunday, corn planting in Illinois jumped to 42%, up 30 percentage points from a week ago  :  farmers in our ten area counties report less than a quarter of the intended corn acreage has been planted, if that – less than 1% of the soybeans are planted – farmers are reminded to think “safety first” during this spring planting season.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau weekly rainfall report is out as all the rain that fell in the nine townships was pretty much last Wednesday & Thursday – the largest amount of rain was in Madison Townhip with 3.30 inches, followed by Olney Township at 2.45 inches – then Claremont Township at 2.11 inches, Denver Township at 2.10 inches, and both German & Noble Townships each at 2.00 inches even – Decker Township had 1.90 inches, Preston Township had 1.50 inches, and Bonpas Township with 1.30 inches – here at our WVLN-WSEI Weather Station we recorded 2.07 inches of rain during the recording period – the Richland County rainfall totals this spring are now running mostly higher than a year ago.

 

(OLNEY)  The IECC Board of Trustees continues tonight with the second of three special meetings at the IECC District office in Olney to interview candidates for the President’s position at Lincoln Trail College – no formal action will be taken as most all of the meetings are held in closed session – the third and final special meeting to continue the search process will be held Thursday night – the next regular monthly meeting for the IECC Board of Trustees will be May 17, at 7:00. at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship again this year – it’s available to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2016 – interested parties may email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for an application or call for more information, Jane Hart at  618-783-2867  or Ruth Kerner at  618-783-2412  – applications must be received by Saturday, May 28th – entrants may reapply annually.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College will host a Job & Career Fair today from 11:00 to 3:00 in the OCC Gymnasium – close to 50 different businesses will be on hand including many regional manufacturers and production plants, plus representatives with long-term care facilities, metal working, and sales – the event is open to students and the public alike – those planning to attend should bring their resumes and be prepared for a possible job interview on-site – that’s at Olney Central College tomorrow, from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

 

(NEWTON)  All area donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :  today at St. Anthony’s High School in Effingham from 8:00 to 2:00  :  also today at Lincoln Trail College, east & north of Robinson, from 9:00 to 1:00  :  Thursday at the Lake Land College offices in Effingham from 9:00 to 1:00  :  also Thursday at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  and Friday at the Altamont High School from 8:00 to 1:00  :  all blood types & platelets are needed.

 

(OLNEY)  The Southeastern Illinois Agency on Aging has announced that the planned workshop on emergency preparedness at Olney Central College, scheduled for this Thursday, has been cancelled – however, anyone interested is welcome to attend the training session scheduled for this Friday afternoon from 2:30 to 4:30 at the Clay County Health Department in Flora – for more details, call the Department offices in Flora or call the Agency on Aging’s toll-free telephone number, at  1-800-635-8544.

 

REMINDERS  :
    It’s another DC fundraising breakfast this Sunday morning at the St. Joseph School cafeteria with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon – pay at the door – proceeds to the next St. Joe educational trip to Washington, D.C.


    This coming Saturday is a “cleaning day” at the Grove Township Community Center, starting at 9:00 that morning – all help will be greatly appreciated – so get the family together and come on out to help


    It’s the 2016 “Clash of the Talents” coming up this Friday night in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium starting at 6:30 – only $3 admission at the door – all proceeds to the RCHS Drama Club – all ages are invited


    The Jasper County Autism Awareness Arbor Day “tree dedication & balloon” release is set for this Friday evening, starting at 5:30 in Peterson Park in Newton – all are invited to attend for support


    The Jasper County Cancer Support Group will host a fundraising “fish fry” this Friday night at the Newton VFW – with serving from 4:00 to 7:00, all proceeds to the local Jasper County fight against cancer


    The Richland County Elementary School 5th grade classes will perform their music program this coming Friday in the RCES dining hall – the classes of teachers Hearn, Michels, Mitchell, and Muffler perform at 10:00 – the classes of teachers Dobbs, Hagan, and Shipman perform at 2:00 – all are invited to attend


    Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney will host a fundraising “silent auction” tomorrow in the private dining room – running from 9:00 to 3:30, all proceeds to the local fight against cancer and the 2016 Richland County Relay For Life – the list includes a wide array of various items up for grabs


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will have its Kindergarten Preview Night tonight – it starts at 6:30 and all are invited – that’s at 700 North East Street – call EOCA for details, at  618-392-0300

 

 

 

April 25, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As a strong storm system tracks eastward along a stalled frontal boundary near the Upper Midwest, a cold front over the Plains will move in our direction – this combination will give us rain & storm possibilities starting tonight, increasing in likelihood tomorrow, with the better chance of rain & storms Tuesday night thru Wednesday evening – we’ll then dry out for a while until more rain is likely next weekend – but, look for another mostly dry and warm day on this Monday – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the State House of Representatives last Friday approved the $600 million short term funding fix for financially struggling community colleges and universities that have been without the state money for the past eight-plus months – the bill also provides nearly $170 million in tuition grants for low-income students – passing the House on a 106 to 2 vote, it now moves to the State Senate for a possible vote today – Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to sign the bill into to law if approved in the Senate.

 

(OLNEY)  Hundreds of libraries across Illinois will get two books about Abraham Lincoln – announced last week, the Abraham Lincoln Association says it will donate copies of the books to all 810 public and academic libraries around the state – the Illinois State Library’s Illinois Center for the Book will distribute the copies in the days and weeks ahead – the goal is to increase knowledge of Abraham Lincoln in Illinois.

 

(NEWTON)  As announced Saturday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied the Illinois’ appeal for federal assistance to help local governments in several counties recover from severe flooding & storms in late December & early January – IEMA officials say the process is supposed to take into account several factors, but this denial demonstrates that only the numbers really matter – the high population areas get the aid, but rural areas not so much – the denial ends the state’s chance of getting aid in this instance.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into the traffic death of a Saline County woman last Friday morning at shortly after 9:00 – the State Police report 29 year old Britney Deaton of Stonefort was northbound in a pickup truck along U.S. Route 45 just north of Carrier Mills – after passing two vehicles that were also northbound, Deaton lost control of her truck, it ran off the road, into a ditch, and overturned – Deaton was not wearing a seatbelt and was partially ejected from her truck – she was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into the traffic death of an Edgewood man early yesterday morning at shortly after 6:00 – the State Police report a pickup truck driven by Jason Hazzard was traveling south on State Route 37 in very foggy conditions when he drifted across the centerline & struck the driver’s side of a utility truck driven by Michael Logan of Farina – Hazzard was pronounced dead at the scene while Logan was not injured & refused treatment on the scene – Effingham County authorities are assisting.

 

(OLNEY)  The IECC Board of Trustees have three special meetings this week to interview candidates for the President’s position at Lincoln Trail College – most all of the meetings will occur in Executive Session and no formal action will be taken – the meetings will be held at the IECC District Office in Olney and will all start at 6:00 on the evenings of tonight, tomorrow night, and Thursday night, April 25th, 26th, and 28th.

 

(NEWTON)  Starting today, appointments can be made for Kindergarten Pre-Registration in Jasper County – it’s for children who’ll turn 5 years old on or before September 1st, 2016 and for those whose parents are planning to have them attend Kindergarten in the 2016-2017 school year – the required Pre-Registration and Screening will be conducted on three consecutive days at the Ste. Marie Elementary School and appointments are necessary – the dates and times include  :  Tuesday, May 24th, from 11:00am to 6:30pm  :  Wednesday, May 25th, from 8:30am to 4:00pm  :  and Thursday morning, May 26th, from 8:30am to 10:45am  :  call Elementary School in Ste. Marie during office hours for an appointment  :  618-455-3219.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College will host a Job & Career Fair tomorrow from 11:00 to 3:00 in the OCC Gymnasium – close to 50 different businesses will be on hand including many regional manufacturers and production plants, plus representatives with long-term care facilities, metal working, and sales – the event is open to students and the public alike – those planning to attend should bring their resumes and be prepared for a possible job interview on-site – that’s at Olney Central College tomorrow, from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

 


(NEWTON)  Eighteen regional railroad crossings are slated for safety improvements as part of the Illinois Commerce Commission's Crossing Safety Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2017 thru 2021 – the list of projects include automatic flashing light signals & gates, installing concrete slab crossing, and reconstructing approaches in the nine area counties of  Jasper, Crawford, Clark, Coles, Effingham, Lawrence, Wabash, and White  :  projects thru this year includes crossings on both Franklin Street and Eaton Street in Robinson, on York Street in Martinsville, on Burrell Street in Carmi, & on Wabash County Township Road 4 near Bellmont  :  projects in fiscal year 2019 includes crossings on Crawford County Road 450 East near Stoy and on White County Road 900 East near Carmi  :  projects in fiscal year 2020 includes crossings on Crawford County North 2200th Street near Oblong, on Effingham County Township Road 302 near Dieterich, on Coles County 32nd Street in Mattoon, and on Wabash County Road 550 East near Bellmont  :  and projects in fiscal year 2021 includes crossings on Crawford County Road 375 East near Oblong, on Lawrence County Road 750 East in Bridgeport, on Dutch Bank Road in Wayne County near Ellery, and on Effingham County Roads 1800 East and 1900 East, both near Teutopolis.

 

(OLNEY)  An Emergency Preparedness Workshop for area people with disabilities is coming up this Thursday morning, from 9:00 to 11:00, at the Olney Central College Wattleworth Hall Banquet Hall – the free workshop will cover why it’s important to be prepared for emergencies and what a person can do to be better prepared if they are forced to stay in their home during a disaster or if they must take shelter at another location – materials and resources will be provided to assist in creating an emergency plan and/or kit to meet specific needs – light refreshments will be served – registration is required – for details or to register, go online at  www.eventbrite.com/o/connie-polke-7505917187  or contact Olney Central College.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :  today at South Central High School in Farina from 12:30 to 5:30  :  also today at the Mattoon Middle School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at St. Anthony’s High School in Effingham from 8:00 to 2:00  :  also tomorrow at Lincoln Trail College, east & north of Robinson, from 9:00 to 1:00  :  Thursday at the Lake Land College offices in Effingham from 9:00 to 1:00  :  also Thursday at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  and Friday at the Altamont High School from 8:00 to 1:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to replenish low area supplies.

 

(OLNEY)  There are two municipal meetings in Richland County tonight  :  the Olney City Council will meet tonight at the Olney City Hall, beginning at 7:00  :  the Noble Village Board will meet tonight at Village Hall in Noble, but earlier than normal, with a 5:00 start  :  both meetings are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    This coming Saturday is a “cleaning day” at the Grove Township Community Center, starting at 9:00 that morning – all help will be greatly appreciated – so get the family together and come on out to help


    It’s the 2016 “Clash of the Talents” coming up this Friday night in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium starting at 6:30 – only $3 admission at the door – all proceeds to the RCHS Drama Club – all ages are invited


    The Jasper County Autism Awareness Arbor Day “tree dedication & balloon” release is set for this Friday evening, starting at 5:30 in Peterson Park in Newton – all are invited to attend for support


    The Jasper County Cancer Support Group will host a fundraising “fish fry” this Friday night at the Newton VFW – with serving from 4:00 to 7:00, all proceeds to the local Jasper County fight against cancer


    Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney will host a fundraising “silent auction” this coming Wednesday in the private dining room – running from 9:00 to 3:30, all proceeds to the local fight against cancer and the 2016 Richland County Relay For Life – the list includes a wide array of various items up for grabs


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will have its Kindergarten Preview Night tomorrow night – it starts at 6:30 and all are invited – that’s at 700 North East Street – call EOCA for details, at  618-392-0300


    The Richland County Farm Bureau’s Foundation has a community day fundraiser today thru tonight at Monical’s Pizza in Olney – fill out a fundraising flyer before ordering and a portion of the receipt will benefit our local Ag in the Classroom program – that’s today thru tonight at Monical’s Pizza in Olney