LOCAL NEWS

Local News

February 5, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A weak and dry frontal boundary will quickly move thru downstate Illinois this morning, followed by a high pressure area that will dominate our weather today and into the weekend – there will be little change tomorrow & Sunday, other than a slight warm up – but that will change with rain, maybe some light snow, on Monday – then very cold arctic air returns on Tuesday and Wednesday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan is forming a legislative panel to discuss changes to how Illinois’ schools are funded – the State’s top Democrat says the bipartisan Education Funding Task Force will meet this spring to craft legislation designed to ensure schools are funded evenly throughout the state – the first meeting will be a week from next Tuesday, February 16th, in Springfield – some wonder how school funding reform can be approved when the state budget stalemate is continuing.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Human Rights has released its interim report to the Governor on a wide-ranging study of statewide discrimination patterns and barriers to success – the study will now work with over 125 statewide partners to develop recommendations on improving diversity, inclusion, and non-discrimination throughout Illinois – over the next several months, information will be compiled of ongoing discrimination in identified issue areas, such as employment, housing, public accommodations, financial credit, education, criminal justice, civic engagement, and the provision of government services and benefits.

 

(NEWTON)  A Jasper County man is in custody for domestic battery charges – authorities in Edwards County indicate that 47 year old Troy Nester of  Newton is facing two counts for aggravated domestic battery, one count for intimidation, and one count for domestic battery – his bond was set at $100,000 – authorities say the incident took place a week ago tonight when Nester allegedly assaulted 35 year old Lacy Miller of West Salem, attempting to suffocate her and breaking her cheekbone after a strike to the face – Nester, who’s presumed innocent until proven guilty, has been housed in the White County Jail in Carmi.

 

(OLNEY)  It was earlier this week we announced that Olney Central College is one of 150 nationwide community colleges that’s eligible to compete for prize money and possible scholarships thru the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program – as part of that announcement, there were a total of eight community colleges in Illinois named to the program list – along with Olney Central College, two of the other three IECC colleges were also recognized, including Lincoln Trail College and Wabash Valley College – three of the other five Illinois colleges are from the downstate area, including Kaskaskia College, Rend Lake College, and John A. Logan College – the other two colleges are upstate, Kennedy-King in Chicago and William Rainey Harper College in Paletine – each of the 150 nationwide community colleges will now submit an application to the Aspen Prize – the top ten finalists will be named later this fall.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  A reminder that County Clerk’s offices can now mail out Vote by Mail ballots, plus Early Voting is now underway at County Clerk’s offices in Illinois – residents also have from now until February 16th, a week from next Tuesday, to make sure they are registered to vote for the March 15th Primary Election – additional information about early voting hours and how to submit an application to vote by mail can be obtained by calling or stopping by the Richland County or Jasper County Clerk’s offices in Olney and Newton respectively – the offices are open each day from 8:00 to 4:00, Monday thru Friday.

 

(OLNEY)  Wabash Valley College and the Southeastern Illinois County Farm Bureaus recently hosted the 2016 Ag Acquaintance Day on the campus of Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel – over 100 students from thirteen area high schools attended, including those in Olney, Albion, Mt. Carmel, Lawrenceville, Bridgeport, Oblong, Louisville, Clay City, Fairfield, Cisne, Wayne City, Flora, and Carmi – area Farm Bureaus also participated including those from the counties of  Richland, Crawford, Lawrence, Clay, Wayne, Edwards, and White, plus others from Wabash Valley Service Company, Wabash Valley College, and more – also taking part were area FFA Chapter Advisors from most all local high schools as well.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) has added first-time adult turkey hunting to its growing list of public access activities – a first-time adult hunter includes anyone who has not hunted turkey in the past five years – in addition, the IDNR has changed the age restriction for youth turkey hunting to 17 years & younger – this will allow IRAP to permit more young turkey hunters on youth turkey hunting sites – the IRAP program leases property from private Illinois landowners & makes it available to registered IRAP participants for specific activities such as youth turkey hunting, riverbank fishing, boat access to public waterways, hiking, birding, outdoor photography, archery deer hunting, small game hunting, and waterfowl hunting – to apply for an IRAP spring turkey hunting site, hunters must go to the IRAP website – various deadlines apply – go online to the DNR website, at  www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP/Pages.

 

(OLNEY)  Whitetails Unlimited is sponsoring the River Bottom Stump Sitters Banquet on Saturday, February 27th, at The Holiday in Olney – tickets are on sale for the special sporting event, which will feature a two-meat buffet and an auction with prizes including a wide array of products, from firearms, outfitter packages, hunting & outdoor-related equipment, plus artwork and collectibles only available at a WTU event – the social hour starts at 5:00 with dinner at 7:00 – tickets are $35 each, $15 for a spouse, or $10 for children 15 & under – the ticket order deadline is February 20th, two weeks from tomorrow – no tickets will be sold at the door – call Tim at  618-335-9631 or go online at  www.whitetailsunlimited.com.

 

(NEWTON)  All area and regional blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the upcoming area blood drives  :  today at the Newton Community High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the very low supplies in the Midwest.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council has a special meeting next Monday night, February 8th, starting at 6:00, in the Olney City Park Community Building – the public’s invited to hear a presentation regarding the renovation work at the Community Building – the Olney City Council will then adjourn that meeting and move to the Olney City Hall where a public hearing will be held at 7:00 in Council Chambers, to provide Olney residents an opportunity comment on the Taxicab License Application submitted by Charles Robertson of Olney – comments can be made at the hearing or to the City Clerk – call the Olney City Hall.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Highway Department has now reopened that portion of the CIPS Road (500E) that was closed to replace a bridge just north of the Golf Course Road (900E) intersection – the Highway Department appreciates the cooperation of all area motorists during the time of construction work.

 

REMINDERS  :
    It’s another Gym Bob’s Jamboree Show this Sunday afternoon at 1:00 in Bible Grove, featuring Mike Porter, Marsha Banning, & the Panther Creek Band – also a guest appearance by Janet Durham – all invited


    The St. Thomas Annual Soup Supper is this Sunday from 10:00 to 6:00 at the Parish Center in Newton – along with food, also a country store, children’s games, a cake walk, and more – carry-outs available

 
    The Dundas Ruritan Club will host a biscuits & gravy, pancakes & sausage, breakfast tomorrow morning from 7:00 to 12 noon or until sold out – advance tickets are cheaper than at the door – all are invited


    The Clay City Post Prom will have a fundraising breakfast tomorrow morning at the Clay City Community Building, serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – it includes pancakes, sausage, biscuits & gravy, and drinks – the cost is by donation – proceeds to help with Post Prom activities at Clay City High School


    The Olney American Legion Post #30 will host another “fish fry” tonight with serving from 5:30 until sold out – includes fish and sides, plus desserts, priced at only $6 per plate – all ages are welcome


    The Newton FFA has a pork burger fundraiser today at Newton Community High School with a drive-thru set up in the north parking lot at NCHS from 11:00 to 1:00

 

 

 

February 4, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  An approaching high pressure will push the remainder of clouds out of downstate Illinois this morning with sunshine expected thru the rest of this Thursday – the dry conditions continue thru tomorrow and the weekend ahead, plus a slight warm up – maybe some rain, possibly mixed with a little light snow, will move thru Monday night – then back down into the deep freeze by Wednesday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – a new law is requiring many Illinois businesses to post information about a human trafficking hotline in an attempt to curb what officials call “modern-day slavery” – the Department of Human Services is working with the State Labor Department & the Attorney General’s office to raise awareness of the problem – businesses ranging from truck stops to job recruitment centers must post the number near a public entrance or other locations where it can be seen – those that don’t could be fined.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois State Police officials have unveiled enforcement plans for the 50th Super Bowl weekend – ISP Troopers will strictly enforce moving violations with an emphasis on the FATAL-4 violations, which includes DUI, Speeding, Distracted Driving, and Seatbelt use – Troopers statewide issued more than 1,850 FATAL-4 citations during last year’s Super Bowl weekend, 105 were for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol / Drugs – State Troopers will be out in extra force with extended patrols and more this weekend – since alcohol is a leading factor in fatal traffic crashes, all fans are urged to celebrate responsibly and to use a designated driver when needed – local law enforcement agencies will also be assisting in extra patrols.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Public Health is encouraging everyone to wear “red” tomorrow, on Friday, February 5th, to raise awareness of heart disease & to celebrate American Heart Month & National Wear Red Day – since heart disease is the leading cause of death in Illinois, it’s important that people of all ages embrace a healthy lifestyle and know the risks for heart disease – so wear some red Friday and take the steps needed to become more “heart healthy” – check the state’s website online, at  www.dph.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  A Washington, Indiana man has been arrested and is sitting in the Richland County Jail in Olney on kidnapping charges – it was this past Sunday that the Olney Police Department received a call about a missing juvenile and the investigation began – then the next day, this past Monday, that missing juvenile returned home with no injuries reported – however, the investigation led police to arrest Blake McGillem on kidnapping charges, currently awaiting a court appearance & bond details – the investigation is ongoing and involves the Olney Police Department, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, and authorities in Indiana.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  A reminder that today’s the first day that County Clerk’s offices can start mailing out Vote by Mail ballots, plus also the first day that Clerks can conduct Early Voting – residents also have from now until February 16th, a week from next Tuesday, to make sure they are registered to vote for the March 15th Primary Election – additional information about early voting hours and how to submit an application to vote by mail can be obtained by calling or stopping by the Richland County or Jasper County Clerk’s offices in Olney and Newton – the offices are open Monday thru Friday, each day from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Hall has announced that the Olney City Council will have a special meeting this coming Monday night, February 8th, starting at 6:00, in the Olney City Park Community Building – the public’s invited to hear a presentation at that time regarding the renovation work at the Community Building – public comments are also welcome at that time – the Olney City Council will then adjourn that meeting and move to the Olney City Hall where a public hearing will be held at 7:00 in Council Chambers, to provide Olney residents an opportunity comment on the Taxicab License Application submitted by Charles Robertson of Olney – comments can be made at the hearing or to the City Clerk – call 618-395-7302.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Highway Department has closed a portion of the CIPS Road (500E), west & south of Newton, thru the rest of today – officials say the bridge, located a half mile north of the Golf Course Road (900E), is being torn out and replaced, due to a recent load posting – the Highway Department appreciates the patience of all motorists at this time – again, that’s today at that site – all motorists in the area should be alert to the road signs and barricades posted during the construction work.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Oil & Gas Association’s 70th Annual Convention & Trade Show is set for March 3rd and 4th at the Old National Events Plaza, down in Evansville, Indiana – the yearly IOGA Convention is the largest oil industry trade show hosted by the City of Evansville with more than 1,000 people having attended the event in recent years – more importantly, it gives tri-state oil producers, their oilfield workers, and others the chance to learn the latest in oilfield production news and more – various oilfield vendors will also have exhibits on display – plus this year’s entertainment during the Thursday night banquet will be the Oak Ridge Boys – for more information & details, visit the Association’s website online at  www.ioga.com.

 

(NEWTON)  Chad M. Miller, of Newton, current Jasper County State’s Attorney, has announced he will be seeking election to the position he was appointed to on February 26th, 2015 – the East Richland High School and Olney Central College graduate went on to attend Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where after obtaining his teaching certificate and after a brief teaching career, entered the SIU Law School from which he graduated from in 2009 – Miller has served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Hamilton County, while in college, and in Coles County until he became a Special Felony Drug Prosecutor for the Illinois State Appellate Prosecutor’s Office – Miller lives in Jasper County with his wife and two children.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s the 20th annual Hunting Heritage Super Fund Banquet coming up on Friday, February 19th, at The Holiday in Olney – hosted by the Richland County Long Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the event includes a sit down meal & an auction of  NWTF sporting art, knives, unique hunting firearms, wildlife calls, outdoor equipment & more – the doors open with a social hour at 6:00 – tickets are $50 per person or $65 per couple – sponsorships are also available for area businesses or individuals – for tickets or information, call Brad at  618-843-7967  or send an email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host a downstate Frog and Toad Survey Orientation this Saturday afternoon down at the Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center, from 1:00 to 3:00 – volunteers are needed to help conduct surveys of the frogs and toads of the Cache River watershed during their breeding seasons – at the orientation, volunteers will learn about the 19 frog and toad species in Southern Illinois and receive data sheets for a chosen route, plus survey protocol and other information – the surveys are to be conducted four times from February thru June – individuals and families are welcome to take part - check the State DNR website for more information, that’s online at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  All area and regional blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the upcoming area blood drives  :  this afternoon at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also this afternoon at the Cumberland Elementary School northwest of Greenup from 2:30 to 6:30  :  tomorrow at the Newton Community High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  and Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the very low supply throughout the Midwestern region.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The St. Thomas Annual Soup Supper is this Sunday from 10:00 to 6:00 at the Parish Center in Newton – along with food, also a country store, children’s games, a cake walk, and more – carry-outs available

 
    The Dundas Ruritan Club will host a biscuits & gravy, pancakes & sausage, breakfast this Saturday from 7:00 to 12 noon or until sold out – advance tickets are cheaper than at the door – all are invited


    The Clay City Post Prom will have a fundraising breakfast this coming Saturday morning at the Clay City Community Building, serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – it includes pancakes, sausage, biscuits & gravy, and drinks – the cost is by donation – proceeds to help with Post Prom activities at Clay City High School


    The Newton FFA has a pork burger fundraiser tomorrow at Newton Community High School with a drive-thru set up in the north parking lot at NCHS from 11:00 to 1:00 – pre-orders must be made by today – to pre-order, call the NCHS Office at 618-783-2303, ask for the Ag Department


    The Olney American Legion Post #30 will host another “fish fry” tomorrow night with serving from 5:30 until sold out – includes fish and sides, plus desserts, priced at only $6 per plate – all ages are welcome

 

 

 

February 3, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  While a surface weather trough keeps rain or snow way to our north, and after a brief period of clearing this morning, we’ll have increasing clouds until an overcast sky takes over – but, at least it will stay dry now for the next several days & night – some colder air will be replaced by a little warmer conditions over the weekend – then look for more rain, maybe snow, Sunday night into Monday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Rauner unveiled a plan yesterday that he says will save Illinois more than $500 million annually by streamlining how goods & services are bought – the main plan is to reduce the time it takes to buy products by eliminating redundant steps in the procurement process – the money saved could then be used for colleges and human service programs – this comes after State Comptroller Leslie Munger said yesterday that the state is on pace to finish the year $6.2 billion further in debt.

 

(OLNEY)  Medical marijuana sales in Illinois picked up in January as more dispensaries opened around the state – a total 2,774 patients legally purchased more than $1.2 million in marijuana last month exceeding the December $1 million sales total – the 7% tax included $66,000 going to the state in January – seven new marijuana shops opened in Illinois last month, bringing the total now up to 28 statewide as of yesterday.

 

(NEWTON)  In college news  :  SIU Edwardsville is seeing record enrollment this spring, the highest in the school’s history – enrollment for undergraduate & graduate students was up 168 students from 2015  :  SIU Carbondale saw a drop in enrollment this spring by more than 5%, down by some 420 students from 2015  :  the U of I Champaign has frozen the tuition for in-state students  :  due to the state budget impasse, WIU in Macomb is laying off at least 30 faculty members to save up to $2 million in costs  :  EIU in Charleston is cutting costs due to the budget stalemate and while none have been made so far, layoffs & furlough time for employees is expected  :  and the IECC District announced earlier it will not fill some vacant positions due to the state budget crisis, even with a plan that includes $5 million in revenue growth and cost savings  :  all of the state’s colleges have not received state payments, totaling in the millions of dollars, since last July.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Clerk’s Offices in both Richland & Jasper Counties have announced the official start date for Early Voting and Vote by Mail for the upcoming March 15th Primary Election is on track to begin tomorrow, February 4th – the Illinois State Board of Elections has notified statewide clerks that the challenges and objections to certain candidates have now been cleared and the ballot has been certified – so tomorrow will be the first day Clerks can mail out a Vote by Mail ballot, plus tomorrow is also the first day for Early Voting in Clerk’s offices – February 16th is the last day to register to vote or to change an address – February 17th is the first day a voter can grace register and vote – March 10th is the last day the Clerks can process a vote-by-mail application – additional information about early voting hours and how to submit an application to vote by mail can be obtained by calling or stopping by the Richland and/or Jasper County Clerk’s offices in Olney or Newton – the offices are open Monday thru Friday, each day from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night for only 32 minutes – the Council  :  approved a $400 dumpster reimbursement for 806 Fairground Street  :  noted that the City’s Street Committee recently met to discuss Newton’s sidewalk program for the upcoming year – also discussed the possible purchase of a new backhoe for the City’s Street/Electric/Park Departments  :  noted the Dues & Donations Committee met to discuss it’s $5,500 budget – applications are due in to the Committee by March 4th  :  noted that bids are due in for a new roof for the large pavilion at Peterson Park  :  heard the monthly animal control report for the City of Newton  :  and took no action after a 22-minute closed session to discuss litigation, personnel, and the possible sale of real estate  :  the Newton City Council’s next regular meeting will be February 16th.

 

(OLNEY)  Yesterday’s warmer-than-normal weather conditions broke a temperature record at our National Weather Service Weather Station at the WVLN-WSEI studios, at the south edge of Olney – Tuesday’s high temperature of  67 degrees broke the previous record high of  65 degrees which was set over 100 years ago on February 2nd, 1911 – a local and regional weather note to remember for Groundhog’s Day 2016.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Central College Music Department is hosting auditions for area high school students this month – in fact, today is the first of three audition dates set aside for area students – the additional dates are February 10th, a week from today, & February 20th, two weeks from this Saturday – students interested in taking part in OCC’s choral and instrumental ensembles must audition in order to be considered for a Music Department Tuition Waiver for the 2016-2017 academic year, waivers that are based on OCC needs as well as student ability & commitment – the audition dates also provide students the chance to perform with the OCC Cavalier Pep Band during OCC home basketball games – for more details about audition requirements, go online at  www.occmusic.org/auditions  or call OCC at  618-395-7777, extension 2251.

 

(NEWTON)  All area and regional blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the upcoming area blood drives  :  tomorrow afternoon at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow afternoon at the Cumberland Elementary School northwest of Greenup from 2:30 to 6:30  :  Friday at the Newton Community High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  and Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the very low supply throughout the Midwestern region.

 

(OLNEY)  Folks are reminded that the 98th Annual Meeting of the Richland County Farm Bureau will be held February 22nd, two weeks from next Monday night, at The Holiday in Olney – it will start with a 6:00 dinner, followed by the meeting and entertainment with comedian Jeremy Nunes – to attend folks are asked to RSVP to the Richland County Farm Bureau office by Tuesday, February 16th, or as soon as possible.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Highway Department has closed a portion of the CIPS Road (500E), west & south of Newton, both today and tomorrow – officials say the bridge, located a half mile north of the Golf Course Road (900E), will be torn out and replaced, due to a recent load posting – the Highway Department appreciates the patience of all motorists at this time – again, that’s today and tomorrow at that site – all motorists in the area should be alert to the road signs and barricades posted during the construction work.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The St. Thomas Annual Soup Supper is this Sunday from 10:00 to 6:00 at the Parish Center in Newton – along with food, also a country store, children’s games, a cake walk, and more – carry-outs available

 
    The Dundas Ruritan Club will host a biscuits & gravy, pancakes & sausage, breakfast this Saturday from 7:00 to 12 noon or until sold out – advance tickets are cheaper than at the door – all are invited


    The Clay City Post Prom will have a fundraising breakfast this coming Saturday morning at the Clay City Community Building, serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – it includes pancakes, sausage, biscuits & gravy, and drinks – the cost is by donation – proceeds to help with Post Prom activities at Clay City High School


    The Newton FFA has a pork burger fundraiser this Friday at Newton Community High School with a drive-thru set up in the north parking lot at NCHS from 11:00 to 1:00 – pre-orders will be accepted thru tomorrow, February 4th – to pre-order, call the NCHS Office at 618-783-2303, ask for the Ag Department


    The Olney American Legion Post #30 will host a Friday night “fish fry” this weekend with serving from 5:30 until sold out – includes fish and sides, plus desserts, priced at only $6 per plate – all ages are welcome


    The RMH Auxiliary is hosting a South Bend Chocolate Company fundraiser today from now until 3:00 in the Richland Memorial Hospital private dining rooms – a portion of the sales will benefit the Auxiliary and it’s projects at RMH – the chocolate sale is open to the public – today is the final day of the fundraiser

 

 

 

February 2, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  An approaching low pressure storm system will roll across the Midwest today with rain chances thru tonight, even lingering thru tomorrow as well – thunderstorm activity could be included today with the chance of damaging winds & possibly severe conditions – then we’ll dry out and cool back down to normal for the rest of the week & into the upcoming weekend, even with a slight warm up – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – while the Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants everyone to be ready for the chance of more winter weather over the next few weeks and to be prepared for severe spring weather in the months ahead, it also reminds folks to be prepared year round for an earthquake – being prepared is the key to preventing injuries & to reducing property damage – for tips, logon at  www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  Numbers from the Illinois State Police show the agency granted far fewer concealed carry permits statewide in 2015 than the year earlier in 2014 – nearly 55,500 permits were issued last year, that’s quite a bit lower than the 95,500 in the first year of the program in 2014 – but while those numbers are down, the number of objections to applications that were made by law enforcement more than doubled.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Agriculture says it’s not received any new reports of equine herpes virus which struck eight horses last week in Arlington Heights – the lack of new reported cases does not necessarily indicate the outbreak is contained since veterinarians are not required to report cases to the state – vaccinations for EHV-1 are available to mitigate some symptoms & increase a horse’s immunity, although the vaccination cannot completely protect a horse from the virus – horse owners should call their local veterinarian.

 

(OLNEY)  Highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America’s community colleges, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has named Olney Central College one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges – this now makes OCC eligible to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million in prize funds, as well as student scholarships through the Siemens Technical Scholars Program – the Prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges, and recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in the four areas of student learning, certificates and degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students – this is the fourth time that Olney Central College has been selected for this prestigious honor – Olney Central College will now submit an application to the Aspen Prize with the ten finalists among the 150 community colleges to be named later this fall – to learn more, check the website online, at  www.aspeninstitute.org.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Farm Bureau continues encouraging county Farm Bureaus to collect registered voters’ signatures on petitions to put a redistricting initiative on the ballot this fall – the Independent Map Amendment coalition aims to collect 600,000 signatures of registered voters by April this year and the coalition, which includes the Illinois Farm Bureau, is approaching its goal – while county Farm Bureaus can use the opportunity during the winter meeting season to circulate petitions, each page of signatures can then be signed by the circulator, notarized, and returned to the Illinois Farm Bureau offices in Bloomington.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  While ballots for the March Primary Election are still being held up on the state level by several Presidential candidates, County Clerks around the state are still waiting to see what the exact time frame will be – so while the ballots may be delayed, here’s some dates to keep in mind, again all subject to the ballots made available through the State Board of Elections  :  this February 4th is the first day for Clerks to mail out a vote-by-mail ballot  :  February 4th is also the first day for early voting  :  February 16th is the last day to register to vote or to change an address  :  February 17th is the first day a voter can grace register and vote  :  and March 10th is the last day the Clerks can process a vote-by-mail application  :  but again, we remind everyone that it all hinges on the statewide delay caused by those objections – for more details, contact your County Clerk’s office Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NEWTON)  Health officials are reminding sports fans to practice food safety during the upcoming Super Bowl weekend, when large amounts of food with a large gathering of people are a concern – while parties will go on for several hours and food is often put out early for guests to munch on before and during the big game, scientists say any foods, whether hot or cold, that have been at room temperature for more than two hours can easily become contaminated by bacteria and cause illness – simply put, keep all cold foods cold and all hot foods hot – for more information on food safety, check the State Department of Public Health’s website online at  www.idph.state.il.us  or contact the Jasper County Health Department in Newton.

 

(OLNEY)  Bowlers are needed for the upcoming Bowl For Kid’s Sake, the only major fundraiser for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County – as in the past, the event will be held on two consecutive weekends at the Olney Bowling Center – that’s back-to-back Saturdays and Sundays on February 20th and 21st and a week later on February 27th and 28th – each bowler is asked to raise $30 in donations and they’ll in return receive free bowling and free shoe rental – so challenge your co-workers, family members, and/or other groups as teams should consist of five people – call the BBBS Office in Olney for details at  618-392-3863.

 

(NEWTON)  All area and regional blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the upcoming area blood drives  :  this afternoon at the Village Municipal Building in Greenup from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday afternoon at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also Thursday afternoon at the Cumberland Elementary School northwest of Greenup from 2:30 to 6:30  :  Friday at the Newton Community High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  and Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are needed.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Highway Department has announced that a portion of the CIPS Road (500E), west & south of Newton, will be closed both tomorrow and Thursday – officials say the bridge, located a half mile north of the Golf Course Road (900E), will be torn out and replaced, due to a recent load posting – they appreciate everyone’s patience – again, that’s both tomorrow and Thursday at that site – all motorists in the area should be alert to the road signs and barricades posted during the construction work.

 

(NEWTON)  There’s a local municipal meeting on tap tonight as the Newton City Council will meet in regular session at the Newton City Hall – a rather light agenda will be considered by the Council tonight, starting at 6:00 – a closed session is included in the agenda tonight – the meeting is open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    It’s another Gym Bob’s Jamboree Show this Sunday afternoon at 1:00 in Bible Grove, featuring Mike Porter, Marsha Banning, & the Panther Creek Band – also a guest appearance by Janet Durham – all invited


    The St. Thomas Annual Soup Supper is this Sunday from 10:00 to 6:00 at the Parish Center in Newton – along with food, also a country store, children’s games, a cake walk, and more – carry-outs available

 
    The Dundas Ruritan Club will host a biscuits & gravy, pancakes & sausage, breakfast this Saturday from 7:00 to 12 noon or until sold out – advance tickets are cheaper than at the door – all are invited


    The Clay City Post Prom will have a fundraising breakfast this coming Saturday morning at the Clay City Community Building, serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – it includes pancakes, sausage, biscuits & gravy, and drinks – the cost is by donation – proceeds to help with Post Prom activities at Clay City High School


    Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney will host its monthly Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Support Group this afternoon in the RMH Ambulance Building classroom, beginning at 1:00


    The RMH Auxiliary is hosting a South Bend Chocolate Company fundraiser today from now to 4:00 and again tomorrow from 7:00 to 3:00 in the private dining rooms at RMH – a portion of the sales will benefit the Auxiliary and it’s many projects at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney – stop by and help them out

 

 

 

February 1, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As a high pressure sets up today over Illinois we’ll have some cooler conditions, but dry with plenty of high clouds mixed in with sunshine – but it all start to change with more clouds moving in tonight and scattered rain will be falling by noon tomorrow morning, continuing thru the day Tuesday with a chance of a thunderstorm or two – then colder and dry Wednesday thru Sunday – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – as Illinois enters its eighth month without a state budget in place, a long list of documents and emails are showing the strain it’s having on state agencies and with whom they do business – that list includes a state bill of at least $4.8 million that Illinois owes the State of Michigan for a health care partnership, not to mention payments for various services and much more – while a remedy looks far from being found, there is hope that lawmakers and the Governor will reach a compromise this spring.

 

(OLNEY)  The Director of an emergency dispatch system in Chicago’s northwest suburbs has been named to lead Illinois’ new statewide 9-1-1 system – Governor Bruce Rauner has named Cindy Barbera-Brelle to serve as Illinois’ first statewide 9-1-1 administrator – Barbera-Brelle will oversee the transition of  9-1-1 services from the Illinois Commerce Commission to the Illinois State Police, plus she’ll also supervise the expansion of  9-1-1 emergency services to the 11 rural counties in Illinois that currently do not have it.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Board of Education is looking for sponsors and sites for summer food programs – State Superintendent Tony Smith urged school administrators late last week to spread the word about the USDA’s summer food program – school districts, local governments, and non-profits can all sponsor a site, whether at schools, parks, recreation centers, housing projects, churches, or other locations – during the summer of 2014, the Illinois program sites served meals to more than 107,000 children in need.

 

(OLNEY)  A downstate detective with the Illinois State Police turned himself in to authorities this past week after a warrant for his arrest on a perjury charge was issued out of Richland County – Detective Rick White of Fairfield is accused of lying under oath, which means authorities believe he gave a false statement or false testimony – the published report indicates White turned himself in at the White County Sheriff’s Office in Carmi – White was released after paying a $1,000 cash bond – no other details are available at this time from authorities – remember, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into a two vehicle crash that occurred last Friday afternoon at 2:22 in Crawford County, nearly two miles north of Hutsonville on Illinois Route 1 – the State Police report 53 year old Stephen Lindley of West Union was northbound on Route 1 in his semi-truck – while stopped, waiting on an approaching vehicle, before turning left onto a county road, Lindley noticed an approaching vehicle behind him at a high rate of speed – Lindley then tried to avoid a collision by turning right, however the northbound pickup truck struck the semi-truck in the passenger door – Lindley was taken to Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson for treatment – the other driver, 17 year old Justin Lowrance of Hutsonville was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident – the investigation is continuing at this time.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College will offer a FAFSA Night on this Monday, February 1st – that’s from 5:00 to 7:00 tonight, in Room 208 – the Olney Central College Financial Aid Staff will be available to assist students, parents, and guardians in completing their 2016-2017 FAFSA application – for more information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or if there are any questions dealing with college funding, call the OCC Financial Aid Office today, prior to tonight, at  618-395-7777, extension 2021.

 

(NEWTON)  Time is running out to get applications in for consideration to win one of three $1,000 scholarships from Norris Electric Cooperative in 2016 – the scholarships will each be awarded to a 2016 senior student who’s a son or daughter of a Norris Electric Cooperative member who is currently receiving service from the cooperative at the time the scholarship application is submitted – the deadline for receipt of completed applications is today, this February 1st, 2016 – the scholarship information’s available at area high schools, plus it’s also available on the Cooperative’s website online, at www.norriselectric.com.

 

(NEWTON)  Beginning this month, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will contact Illinois farmers to gather land rental rate information for the Cash Rents & Leases survey with the results to serve as a valuable decision-making tool for farmers and other landowners – more than 10,000 Illinois farmers will receive the survey forms and as always, all information will remain confidential – for more information or details about the survey, check the NASS website online, at www.nass.usda.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Crossroads Beekeepers will hold their 5th Annual Bee School this Saturday at the University of Illinois Extension Center in Effingham – the doors open for check-in at 8:00 in the morning, the first session at 9:00, and all activities continue until 4:00 – this year’s Bee School is open for anyone interested in beekeeping and will focus on basic skills and information needed for the beginning beekeeper – in addition to the guest speakers, there will be educational displays created by club members and five demonstrations will be held on lighting a smoker and how to extract honey from frames – vendors will also be on site to offer equipment needed to start beekeeper this spring – the cost to attend the all-day Bee School is at $30 per person and includes all the classes, presentation handouts, sample copies of beekeeping journals, refreshments, and a catered lunch – unfortunately, today, this Feburary 1st, is the registration deadline – contact Dawn at  217-342-4233  or logon at  www.CrossroadsBeekeepers.blogspot.com.

 

(OLNEY)  All area and regional blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the upcoming area blood drives  :  this afternoon at the Christian Church Annex in Mason from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Greenup Village Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday afternoon at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also Thursday afternoon at the Cumberland Elementary School northwest of Greenup from 2:30 to 6:30  :  Friday at the Newton Community High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  and Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  as always, all blood types and platelets are needed in our region.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual meeting of the Richland County Farm Bureau is coming up on Monday, February 22nd, at The Holiday in Olney – it all begins with dinner at 6:00, followed by the business meeting & entertainment – those planning to attend are asked to RSVP the Farm Bureau office in Olney by February 16th


    The St. Thomas Annual Soup Supper is this Sunday with serving from 10:00 to 6:00 at the Parish Center in Newton – tables will be set up for dining, plus for kid’s games, a country store with the best cinnamon & hot rolls, child & adult themed baskets to win, plus cakes & pies for their cake walk – carry-outs will be available – all are invited to the indoor church / school picnic at St. Thomas in Newton this Sunday


    The Newton FFA will have a pork burger fundraiser this Friday at Newton Community High School – a drive-thru will be set up in the north parking lot at NCHS with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – pre-orders will be accepted until this Thursday, February 4th – to pre-order, call the NCHS Office at  618-783-2303  and ask for the NCHS Ag Department – the pork burgers will be priced at $2.50 each or two for $5.00


    The Dundas Ruritan Club will host a biscuits & gravy, pancakes & sausage, breakfast this Saturday from 7:00 to 12 noon or until sold out – advance tickets are cheaper than at the door – call Gerald at  395-2208  or Grover at  395-7362  – that’s all this Saturday morning at the Ruritan Club Building in Dundas


    The Clay City Post Prom will have a fundraising breakfast this coming Saturday morning at the Clay City Community Building, serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – it includes pancakes, sausage, biscuits & gravy, and drinks – the cost of admission is by donation – proceeds to help with Post Prom activities at Clay City High School later this spring 


    The Olney American Legion Post #30 will host a Friday night “fish fry” this weekend with serving from 5:30 until sold out – includes fish and sides, plus desserts, priced at only $6 per plate – all ages are welcome


    Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney will host its monthly Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Support Group tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon in the RMH Ambulance Building classroom, beginning at 1:00 – this month’s guest speaker is Joan Sager, RN, BSN, as she’ll talk about COPD Rehab and more – frequently asked questions will be answered and additional support provided – all are invited


    The RMH Auxiliary will host a South Bend Chocolate Company fundraiser tomorrow from 7:00 to 4:00 and again Wednesday from 7:00 to 3:00 in the private dining rooms at RMH – a portion of the sales will benefit the Auxiliary and it’s many projects at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney


    And due to a fire last week, the State Farm Insurance Office in Newton has temporarily been moved to the former Medicine Shoppe building, at 507 West Jourdan Street – for more, call  618-783-3266