LOCAL NEWS

Local News

May 16, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  With our next weather system moving in our direction, we’ll likely stay mostly dry today although we’ll have plenty of cloud cover – the better chance of rain for our downstate region is tonight thru Tuesday with the rain ending tomorrow night – then a high pressure gives us dry conditions Wednesday and Thursday – and after some rain chances Friday, maybe a dry weekend coming up – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – a federal judge has approved a settlement between the Illinois State Prison system and lawyers for 11,000 mentally ill prisoners who alleged that inadequate treatment amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment” – while the lawsuit calls for new treatment units at the Logan, Pontiac, Dixon, and Joliet prisons at a cost of $40 million, hiring new staff members as part of the deal will likely cost an additional $40 million a year – Judge Michael Mihm called the settlement “fair and reasonable”.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police report the subject of a massive manhunt over the past week ended this past weekend in the Shawnee National Forest – 35 year old Dracy “Clint” Pendleton was killed during an exchange of gunfire at an abandoned home in a wooded area near Sulphur Springs at around 5:00 yesterday morning – Pendleton was spotted around midnight Saturday night and eventually tracked to the abandoned structure – an FBI agent was injured in the gunfire, but is expected to recover – Pendleton had been the on the run since a week a week ago Saturday night when he shot a Mahomet Police Officer in the arm after he attempted to taze Pendleton during a traffic stop in front of the fugitive’s home – the weeklong search led authorities to the Shawnee National Forest after Pendleton’s truck was found abandoned this past Friday.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into an ATV accident late Saturday afternoon in Fayette County – the State Police report 50 year old Eric Forbes of Brownstown was on a county road making a turn when he lost control of the ATV and it eventually overturned – Forbes was taken to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham – Forbes was ticketed for driving under the influence of alcohol, for driving while license revoked, for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and for careless operation of an ATV.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into a three car crash that occurred last Thursday night down in Edwards County – the wreck was on a county road west of Grayville, just west of the old Gun Club – the authorities report Terry Cox of Grayville was southbound and allegedly ran a stop sign – a westbound driver, Andrea Rhinehart, also of Grayville, swerved to miss the collision, but drove into the path of an eastbound car, driven by Albion Police Chief Mike Judge – both Cox and Rhinehart was transported to a nearby landing zone and were airlifted to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville – Chief Judge was taken by a private vehicle to Wabash General Hospital in Mt. Carmel where he was treated and released.

 

(NEWTON)  The boil water order that was in effect for a portion of Newton has been lifted - that effected Scott Avenue, from the highway to Scott Avenue Christian Church - also Decatur Street, from Scott Avenue to the railroad tracks - and Reynolds Street, from Scott Avenue to the railroad tracks - plus all of Davis Street - again that boil water order has been lifted - the City of Newton thanks all customers for their patience.

 

(OLNEY)  Former Congressman and past President at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Glenn Poshard, will be the keynote speaker at a special event coming up this Friday night in Olney – hosted by the Richland County Democratic Central Committee, along with other area Democrats from the area counties of Jasper, Clay, Edwards, Lawrence, and Crawford – free and open to the public, the event will run from 6:00 until 8:00, at the Olney City Park Community Building and will also feature several area candidates for judge, plus others – that’s this coming Friday night in Olney – again, everyone is welcome to attend.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, along with several area lawmakers representing downstate Illinois, are teaming up to honor and remember the sacrifice of the brave servicemen and servicewomen who have passed away – the public is encouraged to submit a photograph and written remembrance of Veterans who are no longer with us, which will then be displayed on the Illinois State Capitol Memorial Day Remembrance Wall later this month – the submissions will also be displayed in the State Capitol Rotunda starting at the beginning of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Thursday, May 26th, all the way thru Independence Day, Monday, July 4th – while any deceased Veteran can be honored, the display will pay special tribute to those who were killed in combat – the public can submit a photo and a written remembrance (maximum of 250 words) by email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or by mail to Memorial Day Remembrance Wall, 309G State House, Springfield, Illinois, 62706 – for more details, call  217-782-1650  – the deadline to submit the information is Monday, May 23rd, a week from today.

 

(OLNEY)  Signups for the 2016 City of Olney summer recreation program are now being accepted at the Olney City Hall during regular office hours – that’s Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00, each day – registrations will be accepted for both sessions which run thru the months of June and July – the program offers several different levels of swimming classes and parent/tot swimming, plus punch cards are available – more details and registration forms can be found on the City of Olney’s website, at  www.ci.olney.il.us.

 

(NEWTON)  A special “Listening Session” is planned for Jasper County as the Rides Mass Transit District will host the event next tomorrow morning, May 17th, at the Newton Senior Center, beginning at 11:00 – it’s at this time that RIDES will hear from interested persons and/or agencies with their comments about the current RIDES service in Jasper County – those interested can submit oral or written comments at the event next Tuesday morning – comments about service improvements or routes are encouraged – all are invited.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library will today begin registering children for its Summer Reading Program – this year’s theme is “Read For The Win” and this summer’s reading will support Olney’s Together We Play Park in Musgrove Park – the Library staff and trustees are also dedicating this summer’s program to the memory of  Wilma Hanna in honor of her faithful service to the Library in the past, serving as a very special storyteller for many years – that Summer Reading Program signup starts today during regular hours.

 

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

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm & Fair Association will host a special event this Saturday on the Fairgrounds in the Olney City Park – it’s the ATV/UTV/Dirt Bikes Straight Rhythm Racing starting at 2:00, with the grandstand seats going on sale at 12:00 noon – riders must be 16 years old or older to compete in the ATV/UTV/Dirt Bike Racing – a Beer Garden, provided by Bobalou’s Bar, will be open in the infield area from 6:30 to 10:00 that night, with two bands live in concert – The Thing-A-Ma-Jugs from Olney will perform at 7:00, followed by the Matt Poss Band from Effingham – check it out this Saturday in Olney.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Richland County Trivia Contest is this coming Sunday afternoon, the 22nd, in the Olney Public Library Multi-Purpose Room, beginning at 2:00 – registration is all this week at the Library, so call or stop by – refreshments will be available for a donation – all are welcome to take part or observe this Sunday


    It’s a special Dinner & Garden Theater this Saturday at Fox River Assisted Living Center in Olney – pork burgers, hot dogs, & more will be served from 6:30 to 7:30, with the movie “Junglebook” to start at dusk – tickets available by calling the Fox River Assisted Living Center in Olney at  618-392-6168 – all are invited



    The Newton Firefighters Association will host a fundraising pork burger sale this Friday at the K.C. Hall in Newton, with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – a drive thru pick up in available, plus deliveries are possible by pre-ordering at  618-783-2165  or call  618-562-7805  – all proceeds go to purchase rescue equipment

 

 

 

May 14, 2016

 

 

 

(OLNEY)  As another cold front moved thru the downstate area over the past few hours, a high pressure ridge will build into the Midwest to give us a dry and cool sky for today and tomorrow – then another frontal boundary will move in with scattered, on-and-off again chances of rain and/or thunderstorms on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday – then we’re back dry next Thursday & Friday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois State Police are underway with another “Click It Or Ticket” mobilization, running now thru the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend – Troopers are conducting seatbelt patrols, encouraging all vehicle occupants to wear seatbelts in order to reduce traffic crash fatalities – plus extra patrols by other local law enforcement agencies are out looking for those not buckled up.

 

 

(NEWTON)  Dynegy, Incorporated is continuing with its plans to shut down multiple downstate coal-fueled power units, including unit two at the Newton Power Station in Jasper County, with a target date set for September – two units at the Baldwin Power Station are scheduled to shut down in October and next March  – the entire Wood River Power Station is set to shut down next month – Dynegy officials say the decision to shut down these units is a result of the plants being unable to recover their costs due to what Dynegy calls, the “flawed” downstate wholesale market, set up by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) – the current situation allows utilities from surrounding states to bid their capacity and energy into the downstate Illinois market at little to no cost – Dynegy is calling on Illinois lawmakers to take immediate action – the Newton Power Station shut down will impact some 47 jobs while the Baldwin shut downs will effect some 143 jobs – State Representative David Reis has vowed to investigate the issue immediately. 

 

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Area residents are encouraged to help out today during the annual Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive” – Post Offices in Olney, Newton, and the entire downstate area are taking part in this yearly event – mail customers are asked to place their bagged, non-perishable food items, in or by their mailbox, before the normal mail delivery later today – only non-perishable items will be accepted – the food items will then be donated to local food banks or food pantries, such as The Master’s Hands in Olney and Newton – postal service employees thank everyone in advance for their support on this Saturday.

 

 

(OLNEY)  The USDA has announced the enrollment of more than 800,000 acres in the most recent Conservation Reserve Program signup period – thru CRP, the USDA helps farmers offset the costs of restoring, enhancing, and protecting certain grasses, shrubs, and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and strengthen wildlife habitat – plus, the CRP provides nearly $2 billion annually to land owners – officials say the past signup was one of the most selective periods in CRP’s 30-year history – as of March this year, there were 23.8 million acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program nationwide.

 

 

(OLNEY)  Area sportsmen & sportswomen are reminded that resident deer hunters can apply now for the second lottery drawing for 2016 Illinois Firearm Deer & Muzzleloader-only Deer permits – the deadline to do so is June 30th  :  also, May is Invasive Species Awareness Month with a special symposium coming up later this month – logon at  www.invasive.org/illinois  :  and don’t forget Illinois Free Fishing Days coming up June 17th thru 20th  :  for all things outdoors in Illinois, check the website at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

 

(OLNEY)  There were several area high school and junior college graduations held last night – meanwhile the Class of 2016 at Richland County High School in Olney will receive their diplomas tomorrow afternoon in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium, beginning at 3:00 – for those unable to attend, the RCHS graduation will be streamed live on the school’s website online, that’s at  www.rchs.rccu1.net  and click on the live link.

 

 

 REMINDERS  :

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

 

    The next area blood drive is tomorrow morning at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin from 8:00 until 12:00 noon – all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish low supplies

 

    The Rotary Club of Richland County has a fundraising cookout today at the Olney IGA from 10:00 to 1:00 – pork burgers, brats, chips, & a drink – proceeds will benefit local

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 13, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  While today’s weather feature is plenty of rare sunshine, the weather focus is mostly on yet another cold front that’s quickly moving in our direction – there is a potential for severe weather, however it all clears out by tomorrow morning – we’ll have more sunshine tomorrow and Sunday with cool conditions on tap until more rain and storm activity rolls in next Monday thru Wednesday – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – lawmakers were busy in Springfield yesterday  :  the State Senate has okayed an interstate redistricting plan that would independently draw political districts every decade – if approved in Illinois, 37 other states would have to say “yes” as well  :  the State Senate failed to approve a measure that would prohibit tobacco sales to people younger than 21 – the vote fell just two votes short with three Senators voting “present”  :  the Illinois House approved $700 million to partially finance various human service programs – the Governor says he would prefer a full state budget, but will likely approve the plan.

 

(NEWTON)  State Attorney General Lisa Madigan is supporting the House Committee approval of legislation to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in Illinois – the bill will update the State’s Environmental Barriers Act (EBA), originally enacted in 1985 – it would also update state law with the federal American with Disabilities Act – the legislation now moves to the State House for consideration.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police are reminding motorists to buckle up before heading onto statewide roadways during the May 13th thru 30th “Click It or Ticket” mobilization, which starts today – Troopers will be conducting seatbelt patrols, encouraging all vehicle occupants to wear seatbelts in order to reduce traffic crash fatalities – after all, it’s state law that all vehicle occupants are buckled up while traveling.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met for its regular monthly meeting last night in Olney – the Board  :  approved claims worth $64,390 for the month of April  :  approved two scheduled salary increases for the next fiscal year – a $750 yearly increase each of the next two years for the Circuit Clerk ($46,834/$47,634) and a $150 yearly increase each of the next two years for the County Coroner ($19,350/$19,500) as well  :  approved a letter of support for the proposed Enterprise Zone to serve the City of Olney, City of Newton, Village of Ste. Marie, and the Counties of Richland and Jasper  :  noted the County has received a $4,865 refund from its insurance coverage for workers’ compensation  :  approved a culvert air petition for both Olney Township and Decker Township  :  heard from Judge Larry Dunn, noting changes to be made to his Public Service Work program, mostly by adding two additional part-time supervisors  :  noted the Illinois Department of Agriculture will soon be holding a public information meeting concerning the application for livestock management facilities to be located in northeastern Richland County  :  said “thank you” to the Happy Workers 4-H Club for serving the Board supper  :  and took no action after a closed session to discuss personnel and negotiations  :  the next regular meeting for the Richland County Board is June 9th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board met for its regular monthly meeting last night in Newton – the Board  :  approved on a 7 to 1 vote the contract agreement with the Sheriff’s Union, calling for a 2.5% salary increase, retroactive to December 1st, 2015  :  agreed to the $64,018 payment of the balance due in ERI with the State IMRF program – this will save the 7.5% interest that the County was paying  :  approved the gasoline purchase price from Superior Fuels for Animal Control  :  approved a bridge aid petition for Smallwood Township  :  approved training classes to be held to update the requirements for the Jasper County dispatchers  :  noted that the classroom work at the Ambulance Service is nearly complete and that a full-time EMT will be hired  :  noted that the recent jail inspection was completed  :  discussed an update on the County’s 911 computer system and improvements, plus a possible agreement to share equipment and costs with Robinson & Crawford County  :  the next regular Jasper County Board meeting is June 9th.

 

(OLNEY)  A Richland County man has been sentenced to six months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, the first six months of which will be served under home confinement – 50 year old David M. Carter of Olney was charged with theft of government funds, related to fraud of the Social Security benefit program from 2008 thru 2014 – Carter must pay $77,353 in restitution to Social Security.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into a two vehicle crash that occurred at 12:51 yesterday afternoon on Route 33, in Jasper County, 3 miles west of Newton – the State Police report 54 year old Julie Ann Sudkamp of Effingham was eastbound when she fell asleep and drove into the path of a westbound car, driven by 53 year old Misty Dawn Johnson of Jasper, Indiana – both drivers were transported to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham – Sudkamp was ticketed for improper lane usage.

 

(OLNEY)  The month of April’s weather in Richland County was two different pictures, according to our numbers here at the WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service Weather Station at the south edge of Olney – while the average high temperature during the first 15 days in April was 58 degrees, the average high for the second half of the month was 75 degrees – the average daily low for the first half of April was 34 degrees, while the daily average low in the last 15 days in April was 51 degrees – the average high for the entire month was 66.7 degrees – the month’s average daily low was 42.2 degrees – April’s high temperature was 82 degrees on the 18th – the month’s lowest temperature was 28 degrees on three mornings, the 2nd, 8th, and 9th – the month of April’s rainfall total was 5.27 inches here at the south edge of Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA has released an Illinois Crop Production report for the state’s winter wheat crop – the harvested area in 2016 is forecast at 520,000 acres, the same as the previous year – the winter wheat yield is forecast at 68 bushels per acre, which is up 3 bushels from 2015 – the production forecast for wheat at 35.4 million bushels is 5% above the previous year – last week’s USDA Crop Report showed two-thirds of the state’s wheat crop is in good to excellent condition – less than a tenth of the crop is in poor condition.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Area residents are encouraged to help out tomorrow during the 24th annual Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive” – Post Offices in Newton, Olney, and the entire downstate area are taking part in this yearly event – mail customers are asked to place their bagged, non-perishable food items, in or by their mailbox, before the normal mail delivery on Saturday – only non-perishable items will be accepted – the food items will then be donated to local food banks or food pantries, such as The Master’s Hands in Olney and Newton – postal service employees thank everyone in advance for their support.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s graduation night for all four of the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges tonight, with all the commencement programs to start at 7:00 at each location  :  it’s the 52nd annual exercise in the Olney Central College Gym with more than 360 degrees and certificates to be conferred  :  it’s the 54th annual program at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel  :  the 46th annual ceremony at Lincoln Trail College, east & north of Robinson, in the LTC Gym  :  and for Frontier Community College tonight at the Fairfield Community High School  :  all are encouraged to attend the graduations at any of the four IECC sites.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s also high school graduation night at several locations tonight as well – the Class of 2016 at Richland County High School in Olney will receive their diplomas this coming Sunday afternoon in the Sliva Auditorium, beginning at 3:00 – for those unable to attend, the RCHS graduation ceremony will be streamed live on the school’s website online, that’s at  www.rchs.rccu1.net and click on the live link – by the way congratulations to the 8th graders promoted earlier this week in Richland County – to those from the St. Joseph School on Wednesday and those from the Richland County Middle School last night.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton reminds the residents of Newton that the City’s Brush Dump will be open today to accept storm debris – that’s today from now until 4:00 and again tomorrow from 8:00 to 4:00 – the Brush Dump will also be open a week from tomorrow, on May 21st, from 8:00 to 3:00 – plus don’t forget that the Citywide Cleanup Days are next Friday & Saturday, the 20th & 21st, for the entire City of Newton.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The next area blood drive will be this Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin from 8:00 until 12:00 noon – all blood types and platelets are very much needed


    A Women’s Empowerment Class will be held tomorrow afternoon from 12:00 to 1:30 at Transformations Fitness Center, at 108 East Main Street in Olney – the cost is $14 per lady with group discount available –today is the registration deadline – for more details, or to sign up, call now at  512-645-6575


    The Rotary Club of Richland County has a fundraising cookout tomorrow at the Olney IGA from 10:00 to 1:00 – pork burgers, brats, chips, & a drink – proceeds will benefit local projects and more


    It’s another fundraising “taco night” this Friday night at the Olney VFW, with serving from 5:30 to 7:30 – all are invited to stop by with a wide array of “taco night” items on the menu

 

 

 

May 12, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As a cold front moves across our region by mid-afternoon, our rain chances will diminish as we move thru the day, plus the wind will switch from the west / northwest, bringing in a little cooler air for the next few days – we’re back to a little bit of sunshine tomorrow before another front moves thru with some rain chances Friday night – then cooler, but dry on Saturday and Sunday before more unsettled weather with rain chances again on-and-off next Monday thru Thursday – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois Democrats are proposing $700 million to partially fund various human service programs that have gone without state money since last summer due to no state budget in place – with the House committee approval yesterday, the bill now goes to the House floor – the funds would go programs for homelessness prevention, rental assistance, addiction treatment, & Veteran’s rehabilitation.

 

(OLNEY)  With all the recent rainfall throughout the state, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding folks of the diseases carried by mosquitoes and the best ways to avoid being bitten – as the West Nile virus in now joined by the newly discovered Zika virus, people around the state should be more diligent than ever in their fight against mosquitoes – precautions include practicing the three R’s  :  Reduce, Repel, and Report  :  check the Department’s website for more details, logon at  www.dph.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois State University and the University of Illinois say they have created a partnership to help ISU get the most out of research it believes could help build the state’s economy & more – announced yesterday, the agreement Illinois State will pay the U of  I to help identify, patent, & license new intellectual property developed by ISU faculty that could lead to new companies & products – the University of Illinois will also hold workshops to help ISU faculty identify commercial possibilities in research opportunities.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police, District 12, has released its activity and enforcement numbers for the month of April – Troopers answered 232 calls for service during the 30 days & nights, and they initiated 2,072 incidents in the field – there were 952 citations and 854 written warnings, including 550 citations for speeding, 86 citations for seat belt violations, 45 criminal arrests, 15 DUI’s, and 3 child restraint citations – District 12 Troopers also assisted 182 motorists, conducted 625 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 71 traffic crashes, two of which involved fatalities – Troopers also issued 529 citations and 243 written warnings for the “Fatal Four” violations, those that are most associated with fatal traffic wrecks, including DUI, distracted driving, failure to wear a seat belt, and speeding – Troopers in District 12 serve ten area counties : Richland, Jasper, Crawford, Lawrence, Clark, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Clay, & Marion.

 

(NEWTON)  A special “Listening Session” is planned for Jasper County as the Rides Mass Transit District will host the event next Tuesday morning, May 17th, at the Newton Senior Center, beginning at 11:00 – it’s at this time that RIDES will hear from interested persons and/or agencies with their comments about the current RIDES service in Jasper County – those interested can submit oral or written comments at the event next Tuesday morning – comments about service improvements or routes are encouraged – all are invited.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s some dates to keep in mind with the end of another school year rapidly approaching – the last day of school for students in the Jasper County School District is Thursday, May 26th, two weeks from today – the last day for Pre-K classes in Jasper County is a week from tomorrow, May 20th – the Newton Community High School Graduation is Saturday night, May 21st, from 7:00 to 8:00 – the 8th Grade Promotion at the St. Thomas School in Newton is Sunday afternoon, May 22nd, at 1:00 – the 8th Grade Promotion for the Jasper County Junior High School is Tuesday night, May 24th, from 7:00 to 8:00.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s some important dates for the Richland County School District – the last day of student attendance in the Olney schools is tomorrow, with an early dismissal starting at 2:10 tomorrow afternoon – the 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony for the Richland County Middle School in Olney is tonight (May 12th) from 7:00 to 9:00 in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium – the Richland County High School Graduation in the Sliva Auditorium is this coming Sunday afternoon (May 15th) from 3:00 to 5:00 – congratulations to all in the local School District.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges are gearing up for graduation night coming up tomorrow night  :  the 52nd annual commencement exercise at Olney Central College will begin at 7:00 in the OCC Gym with more than 360 degrees and certificates to be conferred  :  the 54th annual graduation program at Wabash Valley College also begins at 7:00 with 241 degrees and certificates to be awarded  :  the 46th annual commencement ceremony is also at 7:00 Friday night at Lincoln Trail College, east & north of Robinson, in the LTC Gym  :  and the graduation of Frontier Community College is Friday night at 7:00 at Fairfield High School  :  all are encouraged to attend the graduations at any of the four IECC sites.

 

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

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois High School Rodeo State Finals is moving from Effingham County to the State’s Capital for the first time in more than two decades – the Illinois High School Rodeo Association will hold competition in Springfield next month in June mostly due to lack of interest in volunteering and the fact that two longtime organizers have moved out of the Effingham County area – officials also hope that the larger venue may also lead to more people attending as the popular event relocates to the center part of the state.

 

(OLNEY)  A Women’s Empowerment Class is coming to Olney this weekend – to be held this Saturday afternoon from 12:00 noon to 1:30 at Transformations Fitness Center in downtown Olney, at 108 East Main Street – the cost is $14 per lady with a group discount included – those attending will learn how to minimize daily stress, to relax the mind, to turn challenges into opportunities, and to overcome life’s frustrations – tomorrow, Friday, the 13th, is the registration deadline – call now to sign up or for details, at  512-645-6575.

 

(NEWTON)  All area donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include  :  today at the Salem High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  also today at the Hutsonville High School from 1:30 to 5:30  :  and Sunday morning in neighboring Clay County at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed in our area.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Olney Center Shrine Club has those popular Vidalia Onions now available at the Rural King Store in Olney – price at $10 per ten pound bag, stop by and gets your bag as soon as possible – as in the past, all proceeds go to support Shriner’s Hospital for Children – thanks in advance from the Shriners


    The Rotary Club of Richland County has a fundraising cookout this Saturday at the Olney IGA from 10:00 to 1:00 – pork burgers, brats, chips, & a drink – proceeds will benefit local projects and more


    The OCC Music Department celebrates a milestone with the OCC Community Band with its 10th Anniversary Celebration Concert tonight in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center at 7:30 – admission to the concert is free and all ages are welcome to come help celebrate the music


    The ERBA Office in Newton will be distributing federal surplus commodities today to Jasper County residents from 4:00 to 6:00 while supplies last – for those not able to show up this evening, the pickup of any remaining commodities will be tomorrow from 1:30 to 3:30 – the regular requirements apply

 

 

 

May 11, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A Dense Fog Advisory is in effect until mid-morning so drive with added care this morning – otherwise, a warm & humid day on tap as we’re on the south side of that warm front that hangs over Central Illinois – the unstable air mass will lead to thunderstorm activity later this evening ahead of a cold front that pushes thru by noon tomorrow – that brings cooler and drier air in for Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday – then back to rain again Sunday night thru the first half of next week – stay tuned for continued updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – this year’s Illinois Governor’s Prayer Breakfast has been postponed & could eventually be cancelled – it’s all mostly because the state’s ongoing budget stalemate has made it difficult to find guest speakers for the event – while postponed, the event’s prospects are dim because the legislative spring session is winding down and the breakfast is usually held when lawmakers are in Springfield – those in charge say this could be the first year the annual event has not been held since it began back in 1963.

 

(OLNEY)  Secretary of State Jesse White has announced that Illinois’ organ/tissue donor registry has reached 6 million registrants as of yesterday – with at least 5,000 people on a statewide organ waiting list at any given time and with nearly 300 people dying each year waiting on an organ transplant in Illinois, the increasing number of donors signing up is encouraging – for more details, go to www.LifeGoesOn.com.

 

(NEWTON)  Firefighters from across the state gathered in Springfield yesterday to remember firemen who died in service & to honor 27 other firefighters for their outstanding bravery & service to their communities during the Annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Firefighter Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony – it’s a good time to say “thank you” to all downstate and local firefighters for all they do in our communities.

 

(NEWTON)  Dynegy, Incorporated is continuing with its plans to shut down multiple downstate coal-fueled power units, including unit two at the Newton Power Station in Jasper County, with a target shut down date set for September – two units at the Baldwin Power Station are scheduled to shut down in October this year and in March 2017 – the entire Wood River Power Station is set to shut down next month, in June – Dynegy officials say the decision to shut down these units is a result of the plants being unable to recover their costs due to what Dynegy calls the “flawed” downstate wholesale market set up by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) – Dynegy says the shut downs would not be occurring if the units were in the Northern Illinois PJM market for generation – the current situation allows utilities from surrounding states to bid their capacity and energy into the downstate Illinois market at little to no cost – Dynegy is calling on Illinois lawmakers to take immediate action – meanwhile, the Newton Power Station shut down will impact some 47 jobs while the Baldwin shut downs will effect some 143 jobs, all of which have been in place since the early to mid 1970’s – State Representative David Reis has vowed to investigate the issue immediately.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met Monday night for its regular meeting – the Board  :  accepted the $2,706 bid from Kocher Brothers Construction to repair the 10x20 foot basketball court in the Village Park  :  received a $20,538 estimate to replace most of the concrete floor in the Noble Park Pavilion, however no action was taken  :   accepted the $5,000 purchase price offer for the property at 205 South First Street in Noble  :  agreed to retain existing services for the Village from Charleston Engineering, Auditors Kapper & Company, and Attorney Barry Bright for the new fiscal year  :  agreed to terminate the extended warranty contract with Pittsburg Tank & Tower concerning the Village’s water tower  :  noted that the “Book Bus” Summer Reading Program will be visiting Noble every Thursday afternoon May 25th thru July 28th  :  agreed to send a letter in regards to the property condition at 121 West South Street  :  and noted that seven applications had been received so far for the Freshwater / Wastewater Supervisor Trainee position that’s open  :  the next regular meeting for the Noble Village Board will be Monday night, May 23rd, at 7:00.

 

(OLNEY)  The academic year in the Richland County School District is quickly coming to a close as this coming Friday is the last day of student attendance in the Olney schools with an early dismissal starting at 2:10 that afternoon – the 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony at the Richland County Middle School in Olney is tomorrow night (May 12th) from 7:00 to 9:00 – the Richland County High School Graduation in the Sliva Auditorium is this coming Sunday afternoon (May 15th) from 3:00 to 5:00 – meanwhile, the 8th Grade Promotion at the St. Joseph Catholic School in Olney is tonight, starting at 6:00 – congratulations to all.

 

(NEWTON)  With the school year coming to a close in the Jasper County School District as well – a special reception will be held later this evening to recognize the District’s retirees for this year – that’s from 4:00 to 6:00 at the Newton Community High School Cafeteria – all are invited to attend – those to be honored this evening include  :  Custodian Betty Yaw  :  Secretary Scherry Willis  :  Teacher Aide Jeannie Weddell  :  Technology Teacher Jerry Tharp  :  Kindergarten Teacher JoAnn Phillips  :  Teacher Aide Marge Parr  :  Head Cook / Bus Chaperone Elaine Kitchen  : Secretary Diane Farley  :  and Bus Driver Bill Barbee  :  again, that’s this evening from 4:00 to 6:00 in the NCHS Cafeteria – come on out and say “thank you”.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s some dates to keep in mind with the end of another school year rapidly approaching – the last day of school for students in the Jasper County School District is Thursday, May 26th, two weeks from tomorrow – the last day for Pre-K classes in Jasper County is a week from this Friday, on May 20th – the Newton Community High School Graduation is Saturday night, May 21st, from 7:00 to 8:00 – the 8th Grade Promotion at the St. Thomas School in Newton is Sunday afternoon, May 22nd, at 1:00 – the 8th Grade Promotion for the Jasper County Junior High School is Tuesday night, May 24th, from 7:00 to 8:00.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Residents throughout the area are encouraged to help out this Saturday during the 24th annual Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive” – both Post Offices in Newton and Olney, plus many others all around the region, are taking part in this yearly event – mail customers are asked to collect non-perishable food items and to place the bagged items in or by their mailbox for collection by the letter carriers – remember, only non-perishable items are accepted and no glass containers – the food items will then be donated to local food banks or pantries, such as The Master’s Hands in Olney and Newton – make sure the bagged items are in or by the mailbox prior to the normal delivery time this Saturday – the area letter carriers and postal service employees thank everyone in advance for support of this worthy cause.

 

(NEWTON)  The public’s invited to a retirement reception to be held tomorrow afternoon for outgoing Lincoln Trail College President Kathy Harris – to be held from 3:00 to 5:00  Thursday afternoon in the LTC Cafeteria – Harris is retiring this month after spending 35 years at Lincoln Trail College, east and north of Robinson – in her time, she has served as an instructor of education, physical education, & speech – she’s also been a coach for women’s basketball & softball, plus athletic director, pool manager, academic advisor, Student Senate sponsor, and Dean of Instruction – Harris has served at LTC President since 2013.

 

(OLNEY)  A Women’s Empowerment Class is coming to Olney this weekend – to be held this Saturday afternoon from 12:00 noon to 1:30 at Transformations Fitness Center in downtown Olney, at 108 East Main Street – the cost is $14 per lady with a group discount included – those attending will learn how to minimize daily stress, to relax the mind, to turn challenges into opportunities, and to overcome life’s frustrations – this Friday, the 13th, is the registration deadline – call now to sign up or for details, at  512-645-6575.

 

(NEWTON)  All area donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include  :  today at the Burgess Osborne Auditorium in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Salem High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  also tomorrow at the Hutsonville High School from 1:30 to 5:30  :  and Sunday morning in neighboring Clay County at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish low area supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Olney Center Shrine Club has those popular Vidalia Onions now available at the Rural King Store in Olney – price at $10 per ten pound bag, stop by and gets your bag as soon as possible – as in the past, all proceeds go to support Shriner’s Hospital for Children – thanks in advance from the Shriners


    The Rotary Club of Richland County has a fundraising cookout this Saturday at the Olney IGA from 10:00 to 1:00 – pork burgers, brats, chips, & a drink – proceeds will benefit local projects and more


    The OCC Music Department celebrates a milestone with the OCC Community Band with its 10th Anniversary Celebration Concert tomorrow night in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center at 7:30 – admission to the concert is free and all ages are welcome to come help celebrate the music


    The ERBA Office in Newton will be distributing federal surplus commodities tomorrow to Jasper County residents from 4:00 to 6:00 while supplies last – for those not able to show up Thursday evening, the pick up of any remaining commodities will be Friday from 1:30 to 3:30 – the regular requirements apply