LOCAL NEWS

Local News

February 10, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As high pressure continues to move eastward, away from the Midwest, a strong southerly wind flow will bring us warmer air for the days ahead – however, a low pressure storm system will bring us rain Saturday afternoon thru night and the cold front behind it will push the rain out by early Sunday, making it a mostly dry day – then dry and quiet until we turn a little cooler by next Wednesday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – a new report says Illinois’ financial situation is so bad that the state would have to slash spending by more than 26% to balance next year’s budget thru cuts alone – the nonprofit group, Civic Federation, has released its proposed five year plan for stabilizing Illinois’ finances, saying the nearly two year delay in approving a state budget means fixing the problem will take longer & require more dramatic measures – the group recommends the individual income tax rate be increased from 3.75% to 5.25%.

 

(OLNEY)  A group of agencies & businesses that provides services to state government was back in court yesterday to continue their legal fight to get Illinois to pay billions of dollars in back due bills – the Pay Now Illinois Coalition filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County demanding state officials pay bills dating back to last July – an $11 billion pile of overdue bills has grown with a nearly two year two long budget stalemate.

 

(NEWTON)  Democratic lawmakers from Chicago have proposed three bills to make former President Barack Obama’s birthday on August 4th an official state holiday – while two bills would declare it a “legal holiday” in which state government offices would close and schools & businesses would have the option of closing, the other bill would make “Barack Obama Day” commemorative only and not a “day off” holiday – the attempt to approve such action last year stalled out in committee work before going to the Legislature.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in Olney – the Board  :  approved the county claims for January worth $76,660  :  approved late claims worth $10,777 most of which were probation expenses  :  heard a presentation from the Wabash County Health Department on what would be required for restaurant inspections in Richland County – no action was taken  :  heard about new emergency medical dispatch software for the Richland County 911 service  :  approved the IDOT agreement for the Bonpas Township bridge project  :  approved the $3,000 culvert petition for Olney Township  :  heard an update from the Public Building Commission that the Richland County Courthouse work is nearly finished  :  discussed, but took no action on a county sign ordinance with more information needed  :  agreed to have a sale of surplus office equipment & supplies on Saturday, March 18th  :  agreed to hold a Courthouse Open House later this year, either in April or May  :  approved the recommended appointments of Andy Hires, Jeff Johnson, and John Reed to the Emergency Telephone Service (911) Board  :  approved the recommended appointments of Rodney Raines & Larry Miller to represent Richland County on the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission  :  and after an executive session, approved two options of an agreement with the County’s Laborer’s Union, which now will be considered by the respective county employees  :  and said “thank you” to the Hilltoppers 4-H Club for providing supper to the Board  :  the Richland County Board’s next regular monthly meeting will be Thursday, March 9th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board held its regular monthly meeting last night in Newton – the Board  :  agreed to spend $6,942 for a new phone system at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office  :  agreed to purchase file cabinets for the County Clerk’s Office worth $2,845  :  approved the $2,161 purchase of an electric heater for the Jasper County Courthouse lobby  :  noted from the Sheriff that two part-time dispatchers have been hired, that new weapons will be purchased at $159 per gun, and that the new squad car is in & is being equipped  :  approved changes in bank securities for county funds in regards to letters of credit  :  heard the various reports from Animal Control, the Health Department, and other committees  :  and after a nearly one hour executive session, the Jasper County Board took no action on the Jasper County Highway Engineers’ position  :  the Jasper County Board’s next regular monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, March 9th.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at the High School in Newton from 8:30 to 2:00  :  tomorrow at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  Sunday morning at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church near Wheeler from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the low regional and area blood supplies.

 

(OLNEY)  Bowlers are needed for the upcoming Bowl For Kid’s Sake 2017, which will be held the final two weekends here in February at the Olney Bowling Center – the fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County will be Saturdays and Sundays, February 18th, 19th, 25th, and 26th – five member teams can sign up with each bowler asked to raise at least $30 each in donations, all in exchange for free bowling, free shoe rental, lane prizes, t-shirts, pizza, and drinks – to sign up a team or for details, contact the BBBS office in Olney by calling  618-392-3863  or go to Facebook @ Big Brothers Big Sisters Richland County.

 

(NEWTON)  The Silk Purse Thrift Store, now located at the former Samuel Music Building in Effingham, will hold its bi-annual “bag sale” tomorrow from 8:00 to 1:00 – with bags priced at $4 each, items for sale include clothing, shoes, accessories for all the family, plus toys, linens, décor, books, household stuff, and more – meanwhile, all store items are priced at 50% off from 9:00 to 7:00, today thru tonight, on this Friday – it’s noted that next Monday, the 13th, the Silk Purse Thrift Store will be closed for cleaning & restocking.

 

(OLNEY)  The 20th annual Hunting Heritage Super Fund Banquet, hosted by the Richland County Long Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is tonight at The Holiday in Olney – the social hour at 6:00 will be followed by a meal and the chance to win valuable prizes such as knives, firearms, wildlife calls, outdoor equipment, sporting art, and more – tickets are $65 per couple or $50 per person – for last minute details or tickets today, call Brad Mann at  618-843-7967  or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(OLNEY)  The Friends of Olney will have their Chocolate Lover’s Tour on this Friday, from 11:00 this morning until 7:00 tonight – the $10 per person tickets are at all area banks, the Olney City Hall, and the Chamber Office – with over 25 local businesses taking part, ticket holders can visit the many different locations to show their ticket and get their chocolate – folks can check out the Facebook Event Page : 1st Annual Olney Chocolate Lover’s Tour for a list of business locations and their hours of participation.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The 17th Annual Old Post Bluegrass Jam is this coming Sunday at Vincennes University, running from 9:00 to 4:00, Illinois time – with free admission, the event will feature small jam sessions throughout VU’s new Jefferson Union on Chestnut Street, plus featured guests on stage – all are invited out this Sunday


    The Holy Cross CYM is hosting a “spaghetti luncheon” fundraiser this Sunday at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin – with serving from 10:30 until 12:30, the cost is by donation at the door, plus a cash raffle and a basket & dessert raffle – all raffle proceeds will go to a CYM Mission Trip this coming summer


    The Bend Community Club will have a Valentine breakfast this coming Sunday morning from 8:00 to 12:00 noon at the St. Valentine’s Hall, south and east of Ste. Marie – it’s a full breakfast menu with tickets at the door – plus a fundraising raffle drawing with be held with raffle tickets on sale that morning as well


    The St. Joseph School will host another DC fundraiser tomorrow evening – the baked potato bar with hot dogs, desserts, & drinks will be available from 4:45 to 7:00 in the St. Joseph School cafeteria – pay at the door – all are invited – proceeds will assist with the next educational trip to Washington, D.C.


    The next Jasper County paper drive is tomorrow morning from 7:00 to 12:00 noon at the Schackmann Insulation Building, along South Van Buren in Newton – no glossy paper accepted and no early drop offs


    The Olney Masonic Lodge #140 has a pancake & sausage breakfast tomorrow morning at the Olney VFW with serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – it’s all-you-can-eat with tickets at the door – carry-outs available


    The Richland County High School Construction Club will have a “bake sale and 50/50 drawing” tonight at the Olney VFW during the Auxiliary’s “taco night” from 5:30 to 7:30 – proceeds will help the Club fund it’s trip to the southern part of the United States to help build with Habitat for Humanity – help them out


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will host a fundraising “soup supper” this evening at the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Olney, with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – all Tiger basketball fans are encouraged to stop by for supper before the Newton at Olney boys game at Richland County High School

 

 

 

February 9, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  Unseasonably cold conditions expected across our downstate region today thru tonight as an area of high pressure builds over the Midwest – it will stay quiet weather wise thru tomorrow, but the high will bring us a southerly wind flow, which means warmer air moving in quickly by tomorrow afternoon – then an approaching cold front brings us rain Saturday and Sunday while the mild, warmer-than-normal weather hangs around, at least thru the first part of next week – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the State Attorney General’s Office has announced that Illinois has joined at least 30 other states and the federal government to settle allegations that Walgreen Company unlawfully solicited and persuaded Medicare and Medicaid recipients to enroll in its “Prescription Savings Club” in order to gain more profitable customers, which was a violation of federal and state anti-kickback laws – Illinois will get more than $740,000 from the settlement, most of which goes to Illinois’ Medicaid program.

 

(OLNEY)  The State Senate convenes again after a less-than-productive day yesterday, trying to advance its budget compromise – while votes were called on parts of the proposal on Wednesday, the non-contentious measures were approved by wide margins, but only with Democratic support on a package that’s supposed to have bipartisan backing – today’s the last day of work for the State Senate before Governor Rauner lays out another budget plan next Wednesday in Springfield – it’s for the fiscal year that will begin on July 1st.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Water Survey has released the numbers showing January was a very mild month weather-wise – the statewide average temperature last month was 31.4 degrees, exactly 5.0 degrees above normal, making it the 14th warmest January on record dating back to the early 1890’s – the state’s average precipitation in January was 2.16 inches, which was nearly a tenth of an inch (0.09 inches) above normal – in general, the eastern & northern parts of Illinois were wet last month, while the west and south were drier than normal – meanwhile, snowfall in January was almost non-existent around the state – the Climate Prediction Center is predicting an increased chance of above-normal temperatures for the rest of February, and for the most part, with equal chances for above, below, or near-normal precipitation as well.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt, has released the activity & enforcement figures for January – Troopers in the ten District 12 counties answered 171 calls for service and initiated 1,579 incidents in the field during the 31 days and nights – the enforcement statistics total 631 citations and 785 written warnings, including 348 tickets for speeding, 57 seat belt citations, 27 criminal arrests, and 12 DUI’s – Troopers also assisted 252 motorists, conducted 405 motor carrier inspections, and investigated 54 traffic crashes, including one fatality – there were 252 citations issued in January for the “Fatal Four” violations, those that are most associated with fatal traffic crashes, including distracted driving, failure to wear a seat belt, speeding, & driving under the influence of alcohol – the ten District 12 counties are Richland, Jasper, Clay, Marion, Fayette, Effingham, Cumberland, Clark, Crawford, and Lawrence.

 

(NEWTON)  A downstate area man has been chosen to lead the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) this next year – it’s Jason Propst from Cumberland County, who begins his seventh year on the IPPA Board – Propst is a production manager for TLS Farmer Network, LLC, where he manages wean-to-finish pig flow, and also serves as a swine enterprise specialist for FS Total Livestock Services – the three new members elected to the IPPA Board during the recent Illinois Pork Expo in Springfield includes Alan Hays from Christian County, Chad Leman from Woodford County, and Darren Sims from Adams County.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s some reminders for those outdoors  :  hunters can now apply for the third lottery for 2017 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits – however, the application deadline is today, this 9th of February  :  reservations can now be made for campsites and shelters for many of the Illinois State Parks and other IDNR sites for 2017 – to do so, go online at  www.reserveamerica.com  :  folks can go online now and register for upcoming Hunter Safety Education and Boating Safety Education courses thru the IDNR – spring classes are now being scheduled – check the IDNR website for class dates, times, and locations  :  and all Illinois fishing, hunting, and sportsman’s combination licenses for 2017 are now available from IDNR Direct license and permit vendors or online  :  check it all out online, at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s a few notes from Olney Central College  :  OCC’s Radiography Program will continue to accept applications for new students thru next Wednesday, February 15th, the submission deadline – official transcript copies are due by March 1st  :  OCC is also offering a Furniture Refinishing class starting next month – focusing on complete refinishing, restoration and repair, while addressing furniture stripping, staining, & color matching, the class with meet on Tuesday and/or Thursday nights from 6:00 to 8:40 beginning on March 14th  :  plus OCC is offering an 8-week class covering the basic functions and uses of both QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel – ideal for small business owners or individuals looking to enhance their skills and knowledge of the software, the class will meet on Thursday nights from 6:00 to 7:50 starting on March 16th  :  for more on these and other classes, or to register, call OCC today, at  618-395-7777.

 

(OLNEY)  Online registration is continuing for the 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge, all to benefit Special Olympics Illinois – last year, more than $1.9 million was raised by some 6,480 statewide Plungers – among the 22 total Polar Plunge locations and dates, here’s those in the downstate area – February 25th at Carlyle Lake, March 4th at Lake Sara near Effingham, and also March 4th at Rend Lake near Ina – individuals and teams can get more details and/or register online, at  www.plungeillinois.com.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the High School in Newton from 8:30 to 2:00  :  Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  Sunday morning at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church near Wheeler from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are needed.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  There are two regular monthly meetings coming up tonight  :  the Jasper County Board meets tonight in the County Office Building in Newton starting at 7:00  :  the Richland County Board meets tonight in the County Jail meeting room in Olney beginning at 7:00 – the Richland County Board’s Finance Committee will meet an hour earlier at 6:00 in the meeting room  :  all are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    It’s “community day fundraiser” next Tuesday, February 14th, at Monical’s Pizza in Olney, with all the proceeds to benefit this year’s local fight against cancer – customers can fill out the fundraiser form before they pay and 20% of the receipt goes to the Relay For A Cure Relay For Life team – for carry-out orders, customers can simply mention the fundraiser when placing an order – that’s next Tuesday, February 14th


    The Holy Cross CYM is hosting a “spaghetti luncheon” fundraiser this Sunday at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin – with serving from 10:30 until 12:30, the cost is by donation at the door, plus a cash raffle and a basket & dessert raffle – all raffle proceeds will go to a CYM Mission Trip this coming summer


    The St. Joseph School will host another DC fundraiser this coming Saturday evening – the baked potato bar with hot dogs, desserts, & drinks will be available from 4:45 to 7:00 in the St. Joseph School cafeteria – pay at the door – all are invited – proceeds will assist with the next educational trip to Washington, D.C.


    The next Jasper County paper drive is this Saturday morning from 7:00 to 12:00 noon at the Schackmann Insulation Building, along South Van Buren in Newton – no glossy paper accepted and no early drop offs


    The Olney Masonic Lodge #140 has a pancake & sausage breakfast this Saturday morning at the Olney VFW with serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – it’s all-you-can-eat with tickets at the door – carry-outs available


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will host a fundraising “soup supper” tomorrow evening at the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Olney, with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – all Tiger basketball fans are encouraged to stop by for supper before the Newton at Olney boys game at Richland County High School


    The public’s invited to today’s HEA February Craft Club at the Extension Office meeting room, use the east door – starting at 1:30, basic crochet stitches will be demonstrated – for those planning to attend the free get-together, bring your own yarn, a size H or I crochet hook, and scissors – all are invited to attend

 

 

 

February 8, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  Following last night’s cold front is a couple of upper level disturbances that will keep most of the snow to our north, however there is a chance of some precipitation today thru this evening, could be in the form or rain and/or light snow – sub-freezing temperatures will prevail tomorrow thru tomorrow night – then a warm up Friday thru the weekend with rain chances both Saturday and Sunday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the State Attorney General’s Office recognized yesterday as 2017 Safer Internet Day and offered advice to parents and educators to help students practice safe online habits and to identify signs of cyber-bullying – officials say it’s important for parents and teachers to talk to children and teens about their online followers and posts, and promote safety and respect on the internet – families and educators can learn about safe online habits on the AG’s website, at  www.illinoisattorneygeneral.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Human Rights and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission teamed up to resolve two lawsuits against various Illinois affiliated coal mining companies for having discriminatory hiring practices towards women in underground mines and related positions, which followed a collaborative investigation between both agencies – the $4.25 million settlement calls for the involved mining companies to provide payment to women applicants who were denied employment based on sex – the settlement will also result in the immediate hiring of women into Illinois coal production jobs.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Senate passed another day in Springfield without a vote on its much-anticipated budget compromise – although the Republicans and Democrats both discussed the plan separately in private meetings – the State Senate failed twice last month to call the wide-reaching proposal up for a vote.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney Plan Commission met this past Monday night to consider two rezoning requests, both of which were recommended for approval by the Olney City Council – the two requests were to change the properties at 800 East Locust Street and at 702 North Silver Street from the current R-1 (single-family residence district) to R-4 (multiple dwelling district) – the recommendation now goes to the Olney City Council for its consideration at next Monday night’s meeting   :  also meeting Monday night was the City of Olney’s Board of Appeals, which considered and eventually approved, a variance request as presented for the property at 710 South West Street – this recommendation will also advance to the Olney City Council for its consideration at its next regular meeting, next Monday night, February 13th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night in regular session for less than a half hour – the Council  :  approved the $23,064 purchase of utility poles from Bridgewell Resources for the City’s Electric Department  :  agreed to send two City of Newton Wastewater Department employees to the 2017 Illinois Wastewater Annual Conference in April at the cost of  $190 per person along with allowable expenses  :  discussed, but took no action on the access issues of the property on the corner of Maxwell and Van Buren Streets – more information will be gathered  :  talked about the options to resolve the issues on West End Avenue, but no action was taken  :  noted that the City’s Dues and Donations Committee recently met and discussed its budget of $5,500 – applications are due at City Hall by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 3rd  :  noted that the City’s Parks Committee discussed Newton’s Riverwalk project and also discussed the proposed Welcome to Newton signs  :  the Newton City Council will have its next regular meeting on February 21st.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Illinois Sheriff’s Association will again this year award over $54,000 in college scholarships throughout the state to students wishing to pursue higher education during the upcoming 2017-2018 academic year – the scholarship funds will be used for tuition and books & fees only – Sheriff’s Rick Britton in Jasper County and Andy Hires in Richland County will each be awarding one $500 scholarship, not to mention other surrounding Sheriffs in their respective counties as well – some restrictions apply – applications are now available at the Sheriff’s offices in Olney, Newton, and elsewhere, plus they’re online at  www.ilsheriff.org  – the submission deadline is March 15th, 2017 – for more details, contact your local Sheriff’s office, the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, a high school advisor, or college financial aid office.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  A free forestry management workshop and hands-on demonstration will be held tomorrow from 9:30 to 2:00 at the Ballard Nature Center in Effingham County, just east of Altamont, along U.S. Route 40 – those planning to attend should dress appropriately for the outdoor session – lunch will be available – it’s open to anyone from the counties of  Richland, Jasper, Cumberland, Effingham, Clay, Fayette, and Shelby – while the workshop is free, reservations are required in advance – call today at  217-347-7107, extension 3 – the event is being sponsored in part by the Effingham County Farm Bureau.

 

(OLNEY)  The Friends of Olney is gearing up for their Chocolate Lover’s Tour, coming up this Friday, from 11:00 to 7:00 – the $10 per person tickets can be purchased at all area banks, at the Olney City Hall, and the Chamber Office – with over 25 local businesses taking part, ticket holders will be welcomed to visit the many different locations to show their ticket and get their chocolate – folks can check out the Facebook Event Page : 1st Annual Olney Chocolate Lover’s Tour for a list of business locations and their hours of participation – folks can also call the Chamber Office in Olney for more information – get your tickets now.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 11:30 to 6:00  :  also today at the American Legion Post in Patoka from 2:30 to 6:30  :  tomorrow at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  on Friday at the Newton Community High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  Sunday morning at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church near Wheeler from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the low regional supply of blood.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Holy Cross CYM is hosting a “spaghetti luncheon” fundraiser this Sunday at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin – with serving from 10:30 until 12:30, the cost is by donation at the door, plus a cash raffle and a basket & dessert raffle – all raffle proceeds will go to a CYM Mission Trip this coming summer


    The Bend Community Club will have a Valentine breakfast this coming Sunday morning from 8:00 to 12:00 noon at the St. Valentine’s Hall, south and east of Ste. Marie – it’s a full breakfast menu with tickets at the door – plus a fundraising raffle drawing with be held with raffle tickets on sale that morning as well


    The next Jasper County paper drive is this Saturday morning from 7:00 to 12:00 noon at the Schackmann Insulation Building, along South Van Buren in Newton – no glossy paper accepted and no early drop offs


    The Olney Masonic Lodge #140 has a pancake & sausage breakfast this Saturday morning at the Olney VFW with serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – it’s all-you-can-eat with tickets at the door – carry-outs available


    The Richland County High School Construction Club will have a bake sale and 50/50 drawing this Friday night at the Olney VFW, all during the Auxiliary’s “taco night” with serving from 5:30 to 7:30 – proceeds will help the RCHS Club fund its annual trip to southern America to help build with Habitat for Humanity


    The public’s invited to tomorrow’s HEA February Craft Club at the Extension Office meeting room, use the east door – starting at 1:30, basic crochet stitches will be demonstrated – for those planning to attend the free get-together, bring your own yarn, a size H or I crochet hook, and scissors – all are invited to attend


    The Richland County Retired Teachers Association (RCRTA) will meet tomorrow morning at 11:00 at The Holiday in Olney – the program features students & administration from Olney’s Elementary School

 

 

 

February 7, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  With the second of two warm fronts to move north thru Illinois, our air is far above normal, however an approaching cold front will change that – the low pressure storm system will first bring us rain and maybe some thunderstorm activity, possibly with some hail – but as our sky clears by late today, we’ll have falling temperatures as the front moves thru – after cold conditions tomorrow thru Thursday, we’ll return to warmer-than-normal conditions with rain chances for the weekend ahead – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed an amicus brief yesterday in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco in support of a lawsuit challenging the federal Executive Orders on immigration as “illegal & unconstitutional” – the brief was filed with attorneys general from 15 other states and the District of Columbia against President Trump’s recent orders – the Court has already denied the administration’s request for an immediate suspension of a district court’s temporary restraining order that blocked the implementation of key portions of the Executive Orders on immigration.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Senate returns to Springfield today along with a promise of continued work on a budget compromise – while Senate leaders hoped to win endorsement of their negotiated plan last month, the wide-ranging proposal has enough pieces for everyone to dislike certain parts – the plan includes an increase in the income tax, a freeze on local property taxes, and more – look for plenty of discussion.

 

(NEWTON)  A bill proposed in the Illinois Senate would get rid of our state’s symbols, such as the state bird, state flower, and state animal, among others – State Senator Tom Rooney of Rolling Meadows says too many state symbols has decreased the value of the “important” ones – his legislation would only keep the state seal, state flag, motto, and state song – there currently seems to be mixed emotions in Springfield.

 

(OLNEY)  The USDA Rural Development Agency has announced that four grants have been awarded to the 15th Congressional District, here in downstate Illinois – Congressman John Shimkus says the money will be well spent to help provide necessary community upgrades and public safety resources – in fact, the Congressman encourages all local communities who may not have applied for competitive federal grants before to contact his offices if they have any questions about the process – here’s this month’s recipients  :
* the City of Flora will use $21,100 to refurbish two and replace three other warning sirens
* the Southeastern Illinois Counseling Center in Olney will use $20,400 to replace its building roof
* the Village of Odin will use $20,000 to purchase a police vehicle with new lights & radio equipment
* the Village of Oblong will use $17,300 to purchase a 2016 AWD utility Police Inceptor vehicle

 

(OLNEY)  Some Richland County clothing donations, by way of the Rides Mass Transit District, is now helping those in need in our regional downstate area – the RMTD Richland County office recently hooked up with the Factory Connection in Olney to donate and deliver several boxes of closed out items to the Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services in Carmi to help out dependent, neglected, and abused children – nearly five boxes of clothing went to help those in need – Rides Mass Transit District, Illinois’ largest rural transportation district, currently serves the residents of 18 downstate counties – in fact, each year, RMTD buses travel nearly 3.7 million miles taking residents of all ages to work, medical appointments, school, & to connect to other forms of mass transit – for more details, check online, at  www.ridesmtd.com.

 

(NEWTON)  Area residents should stay vigilant in the fight against circulating scams – remember that the State Police and Ameren Illinois will never call, threatening jail time or utility shut-offs due to what the scammer claims are criminal investigations or unpaid utility bills – if you get a call and are threatened in this way, IT IS A SCAM – do not give out personal information and do not rush to a payment of any sorts – simply hang up and call authorities – also, another scam has area residents getting a general phone call asking a person any type of question to get an answer of “yes” – the scammers then use that recorded “yes” to make bogus purchases and orders which could cost the victim hundreds of dollars – folks are encouraged to ask questions themselves from any call received without answering “yes” – we remind everyone to not be so forthright with personal information over the telephone until you know exactly who is calling and why.

 

(OLNEY)  The students at Olney Central College continue to benefit from recent donations and monetary assistance  :  new equipment has been added to enhance the experience of high school students enrolled in the CNA course – the South Central Illinois / Area Health Education Center recently provided grant funding to purchase a geriatric simulator vest, weights, and a neck brace – OCC also obtained a transfer board and aquathermia pad, plus a model lung will be arriving soon – the SCI-AHEC also provided funds to Frontier Community College in Fairfield as well  :  it was in December that the OCC Foundation provided funding to purchase twelve hand-held LabQuest 2 Data-Collection devices for the OCC Chemistry Lab – the devices will give students at OCC the access to modern equipment that’s being used at four-year universities and elsewhere  :  also, a donation last year is helping students in the Automotive Service Technology Program at Olney Central College – Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Princeton, Indiana, provided OCC with a new 2016 Toyota Highlander for lab use – it was the second donation from the Princeton Toyota Plant, which earlier last year gave OCC six engines and seven transmissions  :  for more, logon at  www.iecc.edu/occ.

 

(OLNEY)  The 20th annual Hunting Heritage Super Fund Banquet, hosted by the Richland County Long Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, is coming up this Friday night, on February 10th, at The Holiday in Olney – with the doors opening at 6:00 that evening for a social hour, the meal will be served, followed by a chance to win valuable prizes such as sporting art, knives, firearms, wildlife calls, outdoor equipment, and more by placing the highest bid or by winning raffle games – tickets to the Banquet are $65 per couple or $50 per person, which also includes a NWTF membership and much more – to reserve tickets, contact Brad Mann at  618-843-7967  or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – to learn more about the National Wild Turkey Federation, check out its website online, at  www.nwtf.org.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  tomorrow at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 11:30 to 6:00  :  the next Jasper County blood drive is Thursday at the KC Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed now.

 

(NEWTON)  The Silk Purse Thrift Store, now located at the former Samuel Music Building in Effingham, will hold its bi-annual “bag sale” this coming Saturday, the 11th, from 8:00 to 1:00 – with bags priced at $4 each, items for sale include clothing, shoes, accessories for all the family, plus toys, linens, décor, books, household stuff, and more – also, this Friday, February 10th, all store items are priced at 50% off from 9:00 to 7:00 – and next Monday, the 13th, the Silk Purse Thrift Store will be closed for cleaning and restocking.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The 17th Annual Old Post Bluegrass Jam is this coming Sunday at Vincennes University, running from 9:00 to 4:00, Illinois time – with free admission, the event will feature small jam sessions throughout VU’s new Jefferson Union on Chestnut Street, plus featured guests on stage – all are invited out this Sunday


    The Holy Cross CYM is hosting a “spaghetti luncheon” fundraiser this Sunday at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin – with serving from 10:30 until 12:30, the cost is by donation at the door, plus a cash raffle and a basket & dessert raffle – all raffle proceeds will go to a CYM Mission Trip this coming summer


    The St. Joseph School will host another DC fundraiser this coming Saturday evening – the baked potato bar with hot dogs, desserts, & drinks will be available from 4:45 to 7:00 in the St. Joseph School cafeteria – pay at the door – all are invited – proceeds will assist with the next educational trip to Washington, D.C.


    The next Jasper County paper drive is this Saturday morning from 7:00 to 12:00 noon at the Schackmann Insulation Building, along South Van Buren in Newton – no glossy paper accepted and no early drop offs


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will host a fundraising “soup supper” this Friday evening at the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Olney, with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – all Tiger basketball fans are encouraged to stop by for supper before the Newton at Olney boys game at Richland County High School


    The Newton City Council will have its next regular meeting tonight at the City Hall in Newton – with a rather light agenda, the meeting will begin at 6:00 tonight – as always, the meeting is open to the public


    The Richland County Development Corporation has a free “Business Start-Up” Workshop tonight from 6:00 to 9:00 at the RCDC Office in Olney – to sign up or to get more details, call now at  618-392-2305


    The Better Breathers Club will meet this afternoon at 1:00 in the RMH Ambulance Garage classroom – it’s for those with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer, plus caregivers – the group meets the first Tuesday of every month – for more, call Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney at  618-395-7340

 

 

 

February 6, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  It’s more unseasonably mild weather conditions on tap today & tomorrow as two warm fronts will lift north across our downstate area today thru tonight – that will give us rain chances with storms possible especially tonight – then the first of two cold fronts will move thru tomorrow before the second front Tuesday night brings us more cold air for Wednesday and Thursday – but then another quick warm up for Friday and the weekend ahead with rain chances on Saturday and Sunday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois lawmakers are attempting to boost immigrant protections in response to the President’s executive orders, a move that advocates say would essentially give the state “sanctuary” status – under the proposal, schools, medical facilities, and places of worship would not have to give access to federal immigration authorities or local law enforcement working on their behalf – another plan would limit cooperation and communication between police and immigration authorities – passage is uncertain.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency is holding a celebration to honor Abraham Lincoln’s birthday at his parents’ former home – volunteers will share and reenact stories from the 16th President’s life this Saturday at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site about 8 miles south of Charleston and back west of Illinois Route 130 – the site will also be open on Lincoln’s actual birthday, this Sunday, the 12th – for more information and/or details, check out the Site’s website online, at  www.lincolnlogcabin.org.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) and the Internal Revenue Service are reminding taxpayers that filing returns electronically and requesting direct deposit into a checking or savings account is still the fastest and most secure way to receive a refund – as fraud prevention measures continue in the weeks ahead, the IDOR anticipates direct deposit refunds will be issued four weeks from the time of filing, that is for those electronic returns that are submitted with no errors – for the latest up to date information, forms, schedules, and instructions on filing your taxes, go online to  www.tax.illinois.gov  or  www.irs.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  An Olney Central College administrator is mourning the loss of two family members – Indiana authorities report a late afternoon traffic accident last Thursday, February 2nd, at the Highways 64 and 65 intersection, between Princeton, Indiana and Mt. Carmel, claimed the lives of two Allendale residents – pronounced dead were 56 year old Dr. Claudine Cutchin and her 22 year old daughter, Adelaide Cutchin, the wife and daughter of  Dr. Jeffrey Cutchin, the current Dean of Instructions at Olney Central College – Dr. Claudine Cutchin was a 23-year employee at Oakland City University in Indiana, where the History Professor served as the University’s Dean of Arts and Sciences – meanwhile, Adelaide Cutchin had recently graduated from Oakland City University and was preparing to continue her education at Eastern Illinois University – the funeral services & visitations are tomorrow at the Short Funeral Home in Mt. Carmel.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation is continuing into a two vehicle traffic crash that occurred at 11:40 last Friday morning at the south edge of Effingham – the State Police report 25 year old Pauline A. Grames of Effingham was northbound on Banker Street when a pickup truck, driven by 60 year old Leslie E. Reed of Beecher City, pulled into her path – the Grames SUV collided with the truck and then overturned several times – both drivers were taken to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, then both were airlifted by helicopter to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana – no traffic tickets have been issued at this time.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton has announced that the boil water order that was in effect for a portion of West Jourdan Street and all of North Hutton Drive, Elderberry Drive, and Homestead Drive has now been lifted and is no longer in effect – the City of Newton thanks everyone for their patience in this matter.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Development Corporation and the University of Illinois Extension are teaming up to co-host a free “Business Start-Up” Workshop this week – in fact, the free workshop is tomorrow night from 6:00 to 9:00 at the RCDC Office, along West Main Street in Olney – various topics about starting a new business will be discussed, including the beginning stages, goal setting, money matters, & more – contact the RCDC office if you plan to attend, call  618-392-2305  or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at the Beecher City High School from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also today at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 11:30 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the KC Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed now.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library will be offering an 8-week weight loss team competition that will start on Thursday, February 16th, a week from this coming Thursday – the cost is at $10 per person with four people per team and the signup begins on the 16th at the Library during regular business hours – cash prizes will be awarded – for more information or details, contact or call the Olney Public Library at  618-392-3711  or visit the Library’s website online, at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org – all are invited to sign up & take part.

 

(OLNEY)  Area residents are encouraged to check out the next meeting of the Better Breathers Club at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney – it’s coming up tomorrow afternoon, February 7th, starting at 1:00, in the RMH Ambulance Garage classroom – the support group is associated with the American Lung Association and it welcomes individuals with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer, plus caregivers as well, with the goal to give each individual the tools they need to live the best quality of life they can – the Better Breathers Club facilitator is Lisa Holdren, Director of Respiratory Therapy and EKG at Richland Memorial Hospital – the group meets the first Tuesday of every month – for more, call  618-395-7340.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s Plan Commission will meet tonight at the Olney City Hall, beginning at 7:30 – on the agenda are two rezoning requests, for the properties at 800 East Locust Street and 702 North Silver Street – all recommendations will be considered by the Olney City Council at its next meeting.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Holy Cross CYM is hosting a “spaghetti luncheon” fundraiser this Sunday at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin – with serving from 10:30 until 12:30, the cost is by donation at the door, plus a cash raffle and a basket & dessert raffle – all raffle proceeds will go to a CYM Mission Trip this coming summer


    The Bend Community Club will have a Valentine breakfast this coming Sunday morning from 8:00 to 12:00 noon at the St. Valentine’s Hall, south and east of Ste. Marie – it’s a full breakfast menu with tickets at the door – plus a fundraising raffle drawing with be held with raffle tickets on sale that morning as well


    It’s another fundraising St. Joseph School DC fundraiser coming up Saturday evening – the baked potato bar with hot dogs, desserts, and drinks will be served from 4:45 to 7:00 in the St. Joseph School cafeteria – pay at the door – all are invited – proceeds will assist with the next educational trip to Washington, D.C.


    The Richland County High School Construction Club is partnering with the Olney VFW this Friday evening to raise funds for its annual trip to the southern United States to help build with Habitat for Humanity – while the VFW Auxiliary will have its taco night with serving from 5:30 to 7:30, the RCHS Construction Club will host a bake sale and 50/50 drawing – all are invited


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will host a fundraising “soup supper” this Friday evening at the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Olney, with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – the supper is scheduled before the Olney Tigers basketball game at the Richland County High School against the Newton Eagles


    The Richland County Retired Teachers Association (RCRTA) will meet this Thursday, February 9th, at 11:00 that morning, at The Holiday in Olney – the program will feature students & administration from the Elementary School in Olney – the RCRTA will discuss a donation to the Bowl for Kid’s Sake fundraiser


    A DivorceCare Support Group for those experiencing separation or divorce will meet at the Elm Street Christian Church in Olney on Monday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 beginning tonight, this February 6th, running through May 8th – anyone can join the group at any time during the 13 weeks – call  618-395-8411