LOCAL NEWS

Local News

March 13, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  High pressure over the Midwest will settle into the Ohio River Valley by later today, keeping our weather fair with plenty of sunshine today and tomorrow – a southerly wind flow will warm us up into the weekend and our next chance of precipitation will be a quick one on Sunday with a fast-moving weak cold front – then back to a dry sky with seasonable temperatures next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  It’s no secret that Illinois is in deep financial trouble, but just how deep is the question – a new report reveals the state has a $45 billion deficit, slightly worse than a year ago – much of the problem can be attributed to growing pension obligations for state workers currently facing a $100 billion shortfall.

 

(OLNEY)  Netflix customers are the targets of a new phishing scam – the Better Business Bureau says thieves are trying to get the subscribers to click on fraudulent webpages – the fade pages look very much like the Netflix login site, but it’s a setup – customers are not allowed to login and are prompted to call a customer service number to download “support software” giving scammers full control of the computer.

 

(NEWTON)  Bruce Rauner is widening his lead in the race to become the Republican nominee for Governor, currently leading the poll’s at 46% – the other three candidates are splitting the other 54% of the voters – some are wondering why Bill Brady and Dan Rutherford won’t drop out of the race and pledge their support to Kirk Dillard, who’s polling in second place – but at this point, they’re all in it to win it.

 

(OLNEY)  With the March 18th Primary Election quickly approaching next Tuesday, area folks are urged to get out and vote as it all leads into the General Election later this year on November 4th – the only local race on the Richland County ballot is for the position of Richland County Sheriff – while current Sheriff, Andy Hires is unopposed on one ballot, challengers Ron Krueger and Brian James O’Neill II are on the other ballot – the final two men will square off in November – all of the other local races are uncontested, although the state gubernatorial race and state office races are reason enough to turn out to vote next week.

 

(OLNEY)  The Boone Street Storm Water Project starts back up tomorrow, therefore contractors will be closing Fair Street, between Scott Street and Vine Street, all for the purpose of installing a larger culvert under the street – Fair Street will remain closed for the next three to four weeks, depending on weather – local residents will be able to access their properties from either the north end or south end, however thru traffic will not be possible until the project is completed – thanks ahead of time for everyone’s patience.

 

(NEWTON)  With the March 18th Primary Election quickly approaching next Tuesday, area folks are urged to get out and vote as it all leads into the General Election later this year on November 4th – the local race for Jasper County Sheriff involves three men, including Rick Britton, Dan Cheadle, and John Curtis with the final square off coming in November – even more reasons for Jasper County voters to turn out to vote next Tuesday is the state gubernatorial race and state office races as well – polls will be open from 6:00 in the morning until 7:00 in the evening  :  by the way, Sheriff’s candidate John Curtis has a special “meet and greet” event coming up this Saturday at Parklanes in Newton from 10:00 to 2:00 – all are invited.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that “early voting” for next Tuesday’s Primary Election is still available at County Clerk’s offices around the state – voters do not need to state a reason for “early voting”, but they do need to present a valid photo identification to vote – the “early voting” will end this coming Saturday and both the Jasper County and Richland County Clerk’s offices will be open this Saturday morning from 9:00 to 12:00 noon to accommodate voters in both Newton and Olney   :  now “absentee voting” continues now until 4:00 next Monday afternoon – however, today is the final day to request a ballot thru the mail for absentee voting – if any questions, contact the Jasper County Clerk’s office in the County Office Building in Newton or the Richland County Clerk’s office at the Courthouse in Olney – both are open weekdays from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NOBLE)  The West Richland Pre-School and “Birth to 3” Screenings will be held next Friday, March 21st, at the Elementary School in Noble – parents who wish to take advantage of this free service should call the school office by the close of office hours today to set up an appointment – it’s for 6 month to 5 year old children in the West Richland School District who’ve not been previously screened – also includes vision and hearing tests – parents must bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate, immunization record, and social security card – to set an appointment or if any questions, call the Elementary School in Noble at 723-2415.

 

(OLNEY)  The OCC Theatre Ticket Office is extending its weekday hours for the upcoming production of “Shrek the Musical” – starting tonight, continuing thru next Thursday night, tickets will be on sale from 5:00 to 7:00 each evening, plus during the day, from 10:00 to 2:00 – call or stop by for your tickets today.

 

(NEWTON)  The Embarras River Basin Agency is still offering free assistance for those who still need help in signing up for expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act for individuals between the ages of  18 and 64 – area folks can call for an appointment to discuss qualification requirements, to discuss qualifications for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, to discuss qualifications for a different Health Plan if Medicaid does not apply, plus more – the services are available at local ERBA Offices – to make an appointment, call Dale Ziegler at 217-923-3215 or visit the agency’s website online at www.erbainc.org.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Senior Citizens Center in Olney will host a special program tomorrow from 10:30 to 2:00 for those with hearing impairments who have trouble hearing on their telephone – the special hearing test will be conducted at the downtown center in Olney with the opportunity to receive a free amplified telephone – the testing is open to the general public – for details and to register before tomorrow, call Pam at 618-244-9212, extension 108 – again, that’s tomorrow at the Senior Citizens Center in Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  EJ Water Cooperative has its annual meeting coming up tonight in the Dieterich High School Gym, beginning at 6:00 – all members are encouraged to attend the annual meeting tonight – three Directors will be elected, plus other items will be discussed in the business meeting – also refreshments and prizes.

 

(OLNEY)  There are two regular monthly meetings coming up tonight  :  the Richland County Board meets tonight at 7:00 in the County Jail meeting room – the Board’s Finance Committee will meet prior to the full Board meeting, starting at 6:00  :  the Jasper County Board meets tonight in the County Office Building in Newton, beginning at 7:30  :  all of tonight’s meetings in both Olney and Newton are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Jasper County Farm Bureau is taking a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio on April 10th to see Princess Diana’s Award Winning Exhibition, including the royal wedding gown and 150 other objects – $100 for members, $105 for non-members – reservations and payment due by March 15th – call the Newton office at 783-2733


    A “Zumbathon” charity event for Multiple Sclerosis is this Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 in Ron Herrin Gym at ERHS in Olney – $15 tickets at the door or $10 in advance – also t-shirts, refreshments, and prizes – all are invited out to support MS awareness – if any questions, call Marla at 618-302-7043


    The Annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner is this Saturday night at the 1st Presbyterian Church in Olney, with serving from 5:00 to 8:00 – it’s corned beef and cabbage with all the trimmings, plus desserts and drinks – carry-outs and bulk orders are available – for tickets in advance or if any questions, call 618-392-6101


    A benefit fundraiser for Danny Miller is this coming Saturday night at the KC Hall in Newton from 4:00 to 9:00 – includes a pulled-pork dinner, both a general & gun raffle, and a silent auction – a suggested $8 donation for adults will be accepted – proceeds to help defray medical costs in Danny’s fight with cancer


    The Noble/Wakefield Firemen will have their fundraising “ham & bean” feed this Saturday at the Noble Lions Club Building with serving from 11:00 to 2:00 – also pork burgers, hamburgers, vegetable soup, & desserts – plus raffle tickets & various prizes – proceeds for training and to buy needed safety equipment


    The Claremont Community Center will have its “spring carry-out chowder” this Saturday with serving from 11:00 until sold out – bulk chowder available at $15 per gallon – also homemade pies for sale as well


    A fundraising breakfast is set for this coming Saturday morning from 7:00 to 11:00 at the Senior Center in downtown Olney – it’s biscuits & gravy, with sausage, pancakes, & more, all for a donation at the door – all proceeds to benefit the Richland County Senior Citizens programs and services provided locally


    It’s another “taco night” coming up tomorrow night at the Olney VFW with serving from 5:30 until sold out – also a 50/50 drawing & a bake sale – all proceeds to the West Richland Post Prom activities in Noble


    A Country Rhodes Fish Fry fundraiser is tomorrow night at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Olney with serving from 4:00 to 7:00 – either eat in or drive thru with tickets on sale at area banks or at the door – all proceeds will be split between the Fall Kids Mall of Richland County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County, the Good Samaritan in Olney, and the Storybook Project at the Lawrence Correctional Center


    An Adult Pork Quality Assurance training will be held tonight at the Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton, starting at 7:00 – Dr. Micah Jansen will conduct the training, compliments of Cargill and the Jasper County Extension in Newton – all are invited – for details, call 618-783-2521


    The McKinney Family Longaberger Basket Bingo is tonight at the KC Hall in Olney – doors open at 6:00, with games at 7:00 – to benefit the American Cancer Society & American Heart Association

 

 

 

March 12, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As the cold front rolls into the Mid-Atlantic States by tonight, our return to winter will be brief as a high pressure ridge will move in with a dry and clear sky on tap tomorrow thru Saturday – a weak front could bring us some rain Sunday, otherwise it’s dry and seasonable over the next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Call it a win for Rod Blagojevich and his attorneys – a Federal Appeals Court has ruled that it will consider the transcripts of FBI wiretaps that were not allowed in the former governor’s corruption trial – the Blagojevich side has argued the unheard tapes will clear the former governor from any wrong-doing – Blagojevich was convicted of corruption back in 2011 and is currently serving a 14 year prison sentence.

 

(OLNEY)  A consumer friendly initiative by Secretary of State Jesse White has been approved in the State Senate – the legislation would allow a printed receipt from a Driver’s License facility to serve temporarily as the vehicle renewal sticker – this mostly helps those who purchase their renewal stickers online and then have to wait to receive them thru the mail – the bill now goes to the State House for consideration there.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging public elementary and secondary school districts, community colleges, and state universities to submit their applications for a portion of $25 million in grants to be awarded under the Illinois School Security Grant Program – the deadline to do so is this Friday, March 14th – for last minute information and details, logon now at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School District has its annual preschool and Kindergarten pre-registration screening coming up March 27th and 28th, two weeks from today and tomorrow, at the Elm Street Christian Church in Olney – the screenings are for children ages 3 thru 5 years of age – head start representatives will also be on hand to register children & answer any questions – that’s Thursday, the 27th, from 12:30 to 6:15, or Friday, the 28th, from 8:30 to 2:30 – it’s all free for children who live within the East Richland School District – to schedule a required appointment or for more information, call Shari at 392-3143 today.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met Monday night – the Board  :  discussed several topics with the Village’s Attorney, but no action on any of the particular items – talked about the possibility of taking control of the West Richland School District buildings – also discussed the concealed carry law and what it means to the Village concerning signage – and talked about the medical marijuana and the various issues to be dealt with in the Village – again, no action was taken on any of the before-mentioned topics  :  agreed to donate $500 to the Noble/Wakefield Fire Department for the purchase and installation of a new storm siren with the cost at $1,222  :  accepted the $314 bid to replace the Village’s utility truck grille  :  noted that pea gravel and sand will be used in the future to help cover street areas where the oil did not cure last summer  :  and accepted the Treasurer’s report as presented  :  the Board’s next regular meeting will be March 24th.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that “early voting” is still available at County Clerk’s offices around the state for the upcoming March 18th Primary Election – voters do not need to state a reason for “early voting”, but they do need to present a valid photo ID to vote – the “early voting” will end this coming Saturday – now “absentee voting” is continues now until 4:00 next Monday afternoon – however, tomorrow is the final day to request a ballot thru the mail for “absentee voting” – for more details, or if any questions, contact the Jasper County Clerk’s office in the County Office Building in Newton or the Richland County Clerk’s office at the Courthouse in Olney – the offices are open Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00 each day.

 

(NOBLE)  The West Richland FFA members have been busy lately  :  Jordan Weidner placed 2nd this past Monday night at the District Star in Ag Placement Award Interviews down at Rend Lake College near Ina – the WRHS senior is a State FFA Degree candidate and also had a second place finish in the Section contest back in February, allowing him to advance to the District level  :  also the West Richland FFA placed 2nd in the recent Parliamentary Procedure contest held down at SIU in Carbondale last week – Ben Baker was the top Chairman, Matthew Runyon was the top Secretary, & Holly Stallard was the 3rd overall Floor Member – other team members were Molly Walker, Sydney O’Dell, and Taylor Milburn – the team now advances to the State Contest on March 22nd at Illinois State University  :  congratulations to the West Richland FFA.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Senior Citizens Center in Olney will host a special program for those with hearing impairments, having trouble hearing on their telephone – the special hearing test will be conducted this Friday at the downtown center, from 10:30 to 2:00, with the opportunity to receive a free amplified telephone – the testing is open to the general public and will be conducted by Opportunities For Access, a Center for Independent Living, based down in Mt. Vernon – for more details and to register before Friday, call Pam at 618-244-9212, extension 108 – again, that’s this Friday at the Senior Citizens Center in Olney.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Jasper County Farm Bureau is taking a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio on April 10th to see Princess Diana’s Award Winning Exhibition, including the royal wedding gown and 150 other objects – $100 for members, $105 for non-members – reservations and payment due by March 15th – call the Farm Bureau office in Newton at 783-2733


    The Annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner is this Saturday night at the 1st Presbyterian Church in Olney, with serving from 5:00 to 8:00 – it’s corned beef and cabbage with all the trimmings, plus desserts and drinks – carry-outs and bulk orders are available – for tickets in advance or if any questions, call 618-392-6101


    A benefit fundraiser for Danny Miller is this coming Saturday night at the KC Hall in Newton from 4:00 to 9:00 – includes a pulled-pork dinner, both a general & gun raffle, and a silent auction – a suggested $8 donation for adults will be accepted – proceeds to help defray medical costs in Danny’s fight with cancer


    The Noble/Wakefield Firemen will have their fundraising “ham & bean” feed this Saturday at the Noble Lions Club Building with serving from 11:00 to 2:00 – also pork burgers, hamburgers, vegetable soup, & desserts – plus raffle tickets & various prizes – proceeds for training and to buy needed safety equipment


    The Claremont Community Center will have its “spring carry-out chowder” this Saturday with serving from 11:00 until sold out – bulk chowder available at $15 per gallon – also homemade pies for sale as well


    A fundraising breakfast is set for this coming Saturday morning from 7:00 to 11:00 at the Senior Center in downtown Olney – it’s biscuits & gravy, with sausage, pancakes, & more, all for a donation at the door – all proceeds to benefit the Richland County Senior Citizens programs and services provided locally


    It’s another “taco night” coming up this Friday night at the Olney VFW with serving from 5:30 until sold out – also a 50/50 drawing & a bake sale – all proceeds to the West Richland Post Prom activities in Noble


    A community Country Rhodes Fish Fry fundraiser, with the proceeds to be split between the Fall Kids Mall of Richland County, the Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Good Samaritan, the Storybook Project, and the Lawrence Correctional Center Project, is Friday night from 4:00 to 7:00, at the Trinity Lutheran Church, at the east edge of Olney – either eat in or drive thru – tickets at all area banks, at the church, or at the door


    An Adult Pork Quality Assurance training will be held tomorrow night at the Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton, starting at 7:00 – Dr. Micah Jansen will conduct the training, compliments of Cargill and the Jasper County Extension in Newton – all are invited – for details, call 618-783-2521


    The McKinney Family Longaberger Basket Bingo is tomorrow night at the KC Hall in Olney – doors open at 6:00, with games at 7:00 – to benefit the American Cancer Society & American Heart Association


    The Olney Central College Cosmetology School still has raffle tickets for sale with the drawing on Friday – two baskets can be won – the last day to buy tickets in today – call 618-395-1169 for tickets


    The Suntone Beach Survivors team in the Richland County Relay For Life will host a fundraising Italian Beef Night at The Gypsy, along Whittle Avenue in Olney, tonight with serving from 4:00 to 8:00 – it’s $7 per person with carry-outs available – all proceeds to help in the local fight against cancer

 

 

 

March 11, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  It’s another day of warmer than normal air and sunshine before the weather changes with rain, maybe some snow, and colder air moves in by tomorrow evening – while no accumulation is expected, it will get colder – but, we’re back into the 50’s by the weekend with rain on Sunday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Some of the first concealed carry applicants may have had their personal information compromised – it’s reported that a computer glitch gave applicants the ability to see other people’s personal information – it happened in January, on the first day the concealed carry system went live – the State Police say the problem was fixed immediately and there’s no evidence that any information was stolen.

 

(OLNEY)  AFSCME leaders say lawmakers need to make room in the budget to pay their tab to union workers – the state owes $112 million in back pay to about 24,000 union workers who did not get their guaranteed pay raises back in 2011 – while the Governor has refused to pay up, a judge ordered him to pay it because he violated the union contract – to this point, the Legislature has not approved the payment.

 

(NEWTON)  In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, the State Attorney General’s office is alerting Illinois consumers to the costly risk of tax refund anticipation products as they work to file their tax returns by April 15th – from loans, debit cards, and other early payments, taxpayers are reminded that getter a faster refund usually means losing some of it because of the process – for more, check the IRS website.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night – the Council  :  began discussion on the fiscal year 2015 budget, looking over the respective Water, Sewer, and Tourism Funds – no action was taken  :  discussed, but tabled until June the request to vacate the alley adjoining 720 East Butler Street  :  approved agreement with Wilson Metals of Noble for the Voluntary Residential Curbside Recycling pickup to begin at around May 1st – no real changes expected  :  discussed, but took no action on the Liquor License Classifications – information was provided specifically about “video gaming”  :  approved the $5,780 bid for the East Fork Lake spillway drain and drain replacement project – the Doll’s Incorporated bid was the only one received  :  approved a $2,000 Tourism Grant to the White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club to help host a “car show” later this year in August  :  and took no other action after a closed session to discuss real property, personnel, and collective negotiating matters  :  the Olney City Council’s next regular meeting will be March 24th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Health Department is offering several scheduled dates and locations for enrollment in the “Get Covered Illinois” health insurance program – due to limited space, it’s recommended that folks call ahead of time to schedule an appointment for a specific location – the next enrollment chance is tomorrow afternoon, March 12th, from 1:00 to 5:00, at the Circle K / Phillips 66, along West Jourdan Street, in Newton – two more enrollments will be held next Tuesday and Friday in Newton as well – for more information, or to schedule an appointment time, call the Health Department offices at 618-783-4154.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that “early voting” is now available at County Clerk’s offices around the state for the upcoming March 18th Primary Election – voters do not need to state a reason for “early voting”, but they do need to present a valid photo ID to vote – the “early voting” will end this coming Saturday – now “absentee voting” is continues now until 4:00 next Monday afternoon – however, this Thursday is the final day to request a ballot thru the mail for “absentee voting” – for more details, or if any questions, contact the Richland County Clerk’s office at the Courthouse in Olney or the Jasper County Clerk’s office in the County Office Building in Newton – the offices are open Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00 each day.

 

(NEWTON)  Meanwhile, State Representative David Reis has some traveling office hours set for today – a time when a staff member will be available for constituents to share their concerns – today’s visits will be at the Sumner City Hall from 9:00 to 10:00 this morning, at the Allendale Village Hall from 11:30 to 12:30, and at the West Salem Village Hall from 2:00 to 3:00 this afternoon – folks are also welcome to call or stop by the Representative’s District Office in Olney, located at 219 East Main Street – it’s open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30, but closed an hour at noon – call 618-392-0108.

 

(NOBLE)  The West Richland Pre-School and “Birth to 4” Screenings will be held Friday, March 21st, in Noble at the Elementary School – parents who wish to take advantage of this free service should call the school office now thru this Thursday to set up an appointment – it’s for 6 month to 5 year old children in the West Richland School District who’ve not been previously screened – also includes vision and hearing tests, plus more – parents must bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate, immunization record, and social security card – to set an appointment or if any questions, call the Elementary School in Noble at 723-2415.

 

(NEWTON)  The EJ Water Cooperative will have its annual meeting this Thursday night  in the Dieterich High School Gymnasium, starting at 6:00 – members are encouraged to attend – three Directors will be elected in the business meeting, plus there will be prizes and refreshments as well.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Jasper County Farm Bureau is taking a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio on April 10th to see Princess Diana’s Award Winning Exhibition, including the royal wedding gown and 150 other objects – $100 for members, $105 for non-members – reservations and payment due by March 15th – call the Newton office at 783-2733


    The Annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner is this Saturday night at the 1st Presbyterian Church in Olney, with serving from 5:00 to 8:00 – it’s corned beef and cabbage with all the trimmings, plus desserts and drinks – carry-outs and bulk orders are available – for tickets in advance or if any questions, call 618-392-6101


    A benefit fundraiser for Danny Miller is this coming Saturday night at the KC Hall in Newton from 4:00 to 9:00 – includes a pulled-pork dinner, both a general & gun raffle, and a silent auction – a suggested $8 donation for adults will be accepted – proceeds to help defray medical costs in Danny’s fight with cancer


    The Noble/Wakefield Firemen will have their fundraising “ham & bean” feed this Saturday at the Noble Lions Club Building with serving from 11:00 to 2:00 – also pork burgers, hamburgers, vegetable soup, & desserts – plus raffle tickets & various prizes – proceeds for training and to buy needed safety equipment


    A fundraising breakfast is set for this coming Saturday morning from 7:00 to 11:00 at the Senior Center in downtown Olney – it’s biscuits & gravy, with sausage, pancakes, & more, all for a donation at the door – all proceeds to benefit the Richland County Senior Citizens programs and services provided locally


    It’s another “taco night” coming up this Friday night at the Olney VFW with serving from 5:30 until sold out – also a 50/50 drawing & a bake sale – all proceeds to the West Richland Post Prom activities in Noble


    A community Country Rhodes Fish Fry fundraiser, with the proceeds to be split between the Fall Kids Mall of Richland County, the Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Good Samaritan, the Storybook Project, and the Lawrence Correctional Center Project, is Friday night from 4:00 to 7:00, at the Trinity Lutheran Church, at the east edge of Olney – either eat in or drive thru – tickets at all area banks, at the church, or at the door


    An Adult Pork Quality Assurance training will be held this Thursday night at the Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton, starting at 7:00 – Dr. Micah Jansen will conduct the training, compliments of Cargill and the Jasper County Extension in Newton – all are invited – for details, call 618-783-2521


    The Olney Central College Cosmetology School still has raffle tickets for sale with the drawing on Friday – two baskets can be won – the last day to buy tickets in tomorrow – call 618-395-1169 for tickets


    The Suntone Beach Survivors team in the Richland County Relay For Life will host a fundraising Italian Beef Night at The Gypsy, along Whittle Avenue in Olney, tomorrow night with serving from 4:00 to 8:00 – it’s $7 per person with carry-outs available – all proceeds to help in the local fight against cancer


    The East Richland Elementary School has a Parent Workshop coming up – the same program on “School Success for Varied Learners” will be presented at 6:00 tonight, with a meal at 5:30, or tomorrow morning at 11:00, with an optional free meal provided – childcare available – call Jennifer at 395-8540

 

 

 

March 10, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  Warmer weather will be on tap across the Midwest over the next day or two, but an approaching storm system will bring back some wintry-like conditions tomorrow night thru Wednesday – with rain and maybe some snow, along with colder air, we’ll warm back in the 50’s by the end of the work week – then look for maybe more rain coming up on Sunday, during the weekend ahead – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – Illinois taxpayers are paying for three new attorneys to help Treasurer Dan Rutherford clear his name – the candidate for Governor has been accused of sexually assaulting a former male employee – Rutherford has not released an internal investigative report, which he says can’t be done due to a federal lawsuit – the special attorneys general will be paid up to $200 per hour for their work.

 

(OLNEY)  Meanwhile, Kirk Dillard’s union endorsements seem to be paying off – the Governor candidate has received $450,000 from AFSCME and two major teachers unions in the past three weeks, plus Dillard has seen a surge in voter support – the latest Chicago Tribune / WGN Poll shows 23% of likely GOP voters would back Dillard next Tuesday, that’s still behind frontrunner Bruce Rauner, who has 36% support.

 

(NEWTON)  Lawmakers involved with the troubled Illinois Department of Children & Family Services say the agency faces “horrendous” challenges in the future – currently at hand, the DCFS is looking for a new director, plus state budget cuts are expected – then a change in Governor after November’s election could also mean yet another leadership change – therefore, any possible reforms are most generally on hold.

 

(OLNEY)  Back here at home – in the wake of the Illinois Auditor General’s scathing audit of Governor Pat Quinn’s $54.55 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, State Representative David Reis is demanding all state funds allocated to questionable Chicago anti-violence programs be frozen – the local lawmaker is also calling upon the Auditor General to further investigate state funds allocated to these programs – Reis says “The legislature must protect taxpayer dollars.” – look for plenty more debate this week in Springfield.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District will conduct its annual Preschool Screening for 3 to 5 year old children next week, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday – these screenings will help identify children who may need assistance before they start school – conducted at the First Baptist Church in Newton, the screenings will run Monday and Tuesday, March 17th and 18th, from 11:30 until 5:30 each day, and next Wednesday, March 19th, from 8:30 until 2:30 – the free screenings take about an hour to conduct – also, the Head Start will be there to accept applications, plus the local Birth-to-Three program will conduct its no cost screenings as well – for a required appointment, call Amy at the Special Needs Office, 618-783-3651 – the screening appointments are needed and must be made in advance, by this coming Friday, March 14th.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that “early voting” is now available at County Clerk’s offices around the state for the upcoming March 18th Primary Election – voters do not need to state a reason for “early voting”, but they do need to present a valid photo ID to vote – while the “early voting” will end this coming Saturday, “absentee voting” is continuing now until 4:00 on Monday, March 17th, a week from today – for more details, or if any questions, contact the Richland County Clerk’s office at the Courthouse in Olney or the Jasper County Clerk’s office in the County Office Building in Newton – open Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NEWTON)  Meanwhile, State Representative David Reis has some traveling office hours set for tomorrow – a time when a staff member will be available for constituents to share their concerns – tomorrow’s visits will be at the Sumner City Hall from 9:00 to 10:00 in the morning, at the Allendale Village Hall from 11:30 to 12:30, and at the West Salem Village Hall from 2:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon – folks are also welcome to call or stop by the Representative’s District Office in Olney, located at 219 East Main Street – it’s open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30, but closed an hour at noon – call 618-392-0108.

 

(OLNEY)  There’s a few chances to get out and give the gift of blood over the next week  :  today at the Iuka Grade School from 3:00 to 7:00  :  tomorrow at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Teutopolis from 1:30 to 6:30  :  as always, all blood types are much needed – all donors are encouraged to get out and give blood.

 

(NEWTON)  The EJ Water Cooperative will have its annual meeting this Thursday night, March 13th, in the Dieterich High School Gymnasium, starting at 6:00 – members are encouraged to attend – three Directors will be elected in the business meeting, plus there will be prizes and refreshments as well.

 

REMINDERS :
    A benefit fundraiser for Danny Miller is this coming Saturday night at the KC Hall in Newton from 4:00 to 9:00 – includes a pulled-pork dinner, both a general & gun raffle, and a silent auction – a suggested $8 donation for adults will be accepted – proceeds to help defray medical costs in Danny’s fight with cancer


    The Noble/Wakefield Firemen will have their fundraising “ham & bean” feed this Saturday at the Noble Lions Club Building with serving from 11:00 to 2:00 – also pork burgers, hamburgers, vegetable soup, & desserts – plus raffle tickets & various prizes – proceeds for training and to buy needed safety equipment


    A fundraising breakfast is set for this coming Saturday morning from 7:00 to 11:00 at the Senior Center in downtown Olney – it’s biscuits & gravy, with sausage, pancakes, & more, all for a donation at the door – all proceeds to benefit the Richland County Senior Citizens programs and services provided locally


    It’s another “taco night” coming up this Friday night at the Olney VFW with serving from 5:30 until sold out – also a 50/50 drawing & a bake sale – all proceeds to the West Richland Post Prom activities in Noble


    A community Country Rhodes Fish Fry fundraiser, with the proceeds to be split between the Fall Kids Mall of Richland County, the Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Good Samaritan, the Storybook Project, and the Lawrence Correctional Center Project, is Friday night from 4:00 to 7:00, at the Trinity Lutheran Church, at the east edge of Olney – either eat in or drive thru – tickets at all area banks, at the church, or at the door


    An Adult Pork Quality Assurance training will be held this Thursday night at the Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton, starting at 7:00 – Dr. Micah Jansen will conduct the training, compliments of Cargill and the Jasper County Extension in Newton – all are invited – for details, call 618-783-2521


    The Olney Central College Cosmetology School still has raffle tickets for sale with the drawing on Friday – two baskets can be won – the last day to buy tickets in this Wednesday – call 618-395-1169 for tickets


    The Suntone Beach Survivors team in the Richland County Relay For Life will host a fundraising Italian Beef Night at The Gypsy, along Whittle Avenue in Olney, this Wednesday night with serving from 4:00 to 8:00 – it’s $7 per person with carry-outs available – all proceeds to help in the local fight against cancer


    The East Richland Elementary School has a Parent Workshop coming up – the same program on “School Success for Varied Learners” will be presented at 6:00 tomorrow night, with a meal at 5:30, or Wednesday morning at 11:00, with an optional free meal provided – childcare available – call Jennifer at 395-8540


    There are two municipal meetings tonight – the Olney City Council meets tonight in the City Hall at 7:00 – the Noble Village Board meets tonight at Village Hall in Noble at 7:00 – both are open to the public


    Area folks are welcome to a “meet & greet” this evening from 5:45 to 6:15 with Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Maria Rodriguez – she’s making the short 30-minute visit at the Olney Town Hall, at 119 South Kitchell Avenue – it’s a great time for questions before next week’s March 18th primary

 

 

 

March 8, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  A fast moving cold front will drop southward thru our region today, triggering some scattered rain showers today thru this evening, maybe some light snow or flurries mixed in before it all ends later tonight – then some cool and dry air moves in for Sunday and most all of next week – outside of a rain chance by mid-week, we’ll warm into the 60’s next week for the first time in 2014 – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – the State of Illinois has been recognized as a top consumer of renewable energy – under a 2009 state law, Illinois cities and towns can buy their own electricity for residential and small business customers, and currently 600 are doing so, many requiring that a portion of the energy be from renewable sources – the World Wildlife Fund’s analysis of Illinois’ power consumption says that because of this, pollution has been reduced by the equivalent of a million cars taken off the road.

 

(OLNEY)  The state is passing out over $4 million worth of fire safety investments for 193 community fire districts to help purchase safety equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus, and other tools used by firefighters – that list includes eleven fire protection districts here in downstate Illinois  :  the Olney Fire Department will receive $10,620  :  the Wade Community Fire Protection District, based in Newton, will get $8,256  :  other area recipients will get anywhere from $7,000 up to $24,000 – they include the Norris City District in White County, the Bellmont Rural District in Wabash County, the Odin District in Marion County, the Ramsey District in Fayette County, the Neoga District in Cumberland County, the Oblong and LaMotte Districts both in Crawford County, and the Casey and West Union Districts both in Clark County.

 

(NEWTON)  Cellular One has announced it is again providing thirteen $1,000 scholarships to area students, however the application deadline is Thursday, March 20th, two weeks from today – each of the 13 Cellular One stores will award one of the scholarships to a 2014 spring high school graduate who is a Cellular One customer, or the child or grandchild of a Cell One customer – that’s in the counties of Jasper, Richland, Clay, Lawrence, Crawford, Clark, Cumberland, Coles, Douglas, Edgar, and Vermilion – other requirements apply – stop by your local Cellular One store for details and an application form as soon as possible.

 

(OLNEY)  There’s a few chances to get out and give the gift of blood over the next week  :  tomorrow morning at the St. Joseph Church in Stringtown from 7:30 to 11:30  :  next Monday at the Iuka Grade School from 3:00 to 7:00  :  and next Tuesday at the K of C Hall in Teutopolis from 1:30 to 6:30  :  as always, all blood types are much needed – all donors are encouraged to get out and give blood.

 

(NEWTON)  Don’t forget to set those clocks forward one hour before going to bed tonight – it’s early tomorrow morning that Daylight Saving Time officially kicks in – the main purpose of setting our clocks forward an hour in early spring is to make better use of daylight, giving extra time in the evening compared to morning – it’s also a good time to change batteries in all household or business smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide alarms – so don’t forget to set those clocks forward one hour before retiring to bed tonight.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Noble First Christian Church will have its rescheduled “open house” tomorrow afternoon with a short program from 2:00 to 4:00 – then a free concert with Andy Avery at 6:00 tomorrow evening


    The St. Joseph School is hosting an “open house” tomorrow from 1:00 to 2:30 – it’s at this time that school tours and other school information will be available for interested families – all are invited


    It’s the annual St. Mary’s Brunch tomorrow morning in the Parish Center in Ste. Marie, serving from 8:00 until 12 noon – a Youth Group “bake sale” will also be held – tickets available at the door

  
    The St. Joseph School Decadent Buffet and Art Auction is this evening at the Olde Tyme Steakhaus – the Buffet and Art Preview will begin at 6:30 with the Live Auction to follow at 7:30


    The West Salem Masonic Lodge has its fundraising “fish dinner and auction” tonight at the Community Center, on the square – serving starts at 5:00 for a free will donation – silent auction is from 5:00 to 7:00


    The St. Thomas “soup supper” is today from 12:30 to 8:00 in the Parish Center in Newton – includes food, bingo, and other games – the big raffle will be held at around 7:15 tonight – tickets at the door


    The East Orchard Christian Academy has its fundraising “pancake & sausage” meal with serving from now to 1:00 at the Immanuel United Methodist Church – also vendor booths with health and beauty items