LOCAL NEWS

Local News

February 11, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  An approaching low pressure system will track thru the Greats Lake Region today, allowing a frigid cold front to sweep across the Midwest by tonight – that means our temperatures will plummet on a strong northwest wind later today and overnight – very low wind chill values are likely later today thru the weekend – high’s will be back in the 30’s the first of next week – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The State Attorney General’s office is asking Illinois gas stations to stop selling synthetic drugs – nine oil companies are being requested to stop selling the products at their franchise service stations and convenience stores – while some of the drugs are illegal, it’s synthetic marijuana and bath salts that top the AG’s list – 42 other states have joined in on the call for an end to the sale of such drugs around the U.S.

 

(OLNEY)  Authorities are alerting statewide residents to “watch out” for a new telephone scam hitting the downstate area – the scammers are calling victims, telling them that they are behind in their utility payments to Ameren Illinois or other such utility companies and/or cooperatives, and that their power will be shut off unless they pay immediately – customers are reminded that downstate utility companies do not call and demand a payment with the threat of service cut-off – folks should simply hang up if they get such a call.


 
(NEWTON)  More than $15 million will be distributed to public libraries around the state with the funds coming from the Illinois Public Library Per Capita & Equalization Aid Grants Program, administered by State Librarian & Secretary of State Jesse White – the grant is designed to help maintain services such as free internet access, after school & summer programs for children, and special events for senior citizens.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met earlier this week – the Board  :  discussed, but took no action, in regards to banking options available to the Village – mostly in dealing with CD’s, interest rates, and better returns to the Village  :  took no action on requested information on how to obtain a liquor license within the Village – also included an inquiry about gaming machines  :  noted that the Village’s utility tractor is currently being repaired  :  noted that Village Hall in Noble will be closed next Monday in observance of President’s Day 2015  :  also noted an announcement that the First National Bank, Noble Branch, will be closing at the end of April, 2015  :  the Noble Village Board has its next regular meeting on February 23rd.

 

(NEWTON)  In this week’s USDA Crop Report – the numbers show the statewide average temperature for January was at 25 degrees, which is nearly 1 degree above normal – the state’s average precipitation came in at 1.53 inches for January, which is four-tenths of an inch below normal – the state’s winter wheat crop is rated at 49% good to excellent, with 38% fair, and 13% poor to very poor – the topsoil moisture supply was rated at 12% surplus, 83% adequate, and 3% short – local and area farmers in the 10 county region around Newton / Olney concur with the numbers as they prepare for the upcoming 2015 spring planting season.

 

(OLNEY)  Volunteers and supporters again are being called upon to help with this year’s Bowl For Kid’s Sake fundraising event for the Richland County Big Brothers Big Sisters – set for the last two weekends here in February, five member bowling teams can sign-up with each bowler to raise $30 each in donations – in turn, they’ll get free bowling, free shoe rental, pizza & a drink, a t-shirt, and lane prizes – it’s the only fundraiser of the year for the BBBS of Richland County – so get your groups together now to bowl on the Saturdays or Sundays, February 21st, 22nd, 28th, and March 1st, all at the Olney Bowling Center – call the Big Brothers Big Sister’s office in Olney if any questions or to get your team packet at 618-392-3863.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District has announced that it will conduct its annual Preschool Screening later than normal this year – instead of in March, the free screenings will this year be offered in May – the screenings are free to all parents and are conducted to help school officials identify children who may need assistance before starting school – also available, the Birth-to-Three program will be offering a no cost developmental screening for children from 6 months to 3 years of age – plus, the county’s Head Start program will be accepting applications – the screenings this year will be held at the St. Marie Elementary School, in conjunction with the Kindergarten screenings – more details will be provided in the days ahead.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of reminders from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources  :  Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses, plus various stamps are now available for the new outdoors year of 2015 – these are all available from any DNR Direct license & permit vendors, or online, at the DNR website – all 2015 licenses and stamps will be valid thru March 31st, 2016, unless otherwise noted  :  also, this Saturday, is another “Super Saturday” event at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, featuring The Underground Railroad – the free program runs from 11:00 to 3:00 – also, the Museum’s Junior Collector’s Day event is a week from this Saturday from 1:00 to 3:00 – for more, check the Museum’s website online.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives   :  today at the Burgess Osborne Auditorium in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  and Saturday at the Family Video Store in Olney from 11:00 to 3:00  :  for more details or to schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Olney Public Library is celebrating this as Library Lovers Month by waiving all fines on overdue items that are returned to the Library next week, February 16th thru 21st – however, old fines are not included in this offer – stop by and see what the Olney Public Library can offer you & your family today


    The 19th annual Rotary Trivia Marathon is this Sunday afternoon at The Holiday with registration at 1:00 and the competition to start at 2:00 – at a cost is at $10 per person, teams of four people will compete for prizes and fun – folks are encouraged to challenge other area businesses, churches, families, and friends to take part – it’s free to all spectators with popcorn and drinks available – all are invited Sunday afternoon


    A “meet & greet” pancake fundraiser will be held this Saturday morning from 9:00 to 11:00 in the Olney City Park Community Building – while there will be no charge for the breakfast, any donations will go to the election campaign of Bryce Fehrenbacher for Olney  City Council – all are invited to attend


    It’s another Friday night “fish fry” this weekend at the Olney Knights of Columbus Hall along Whittle Avenue in Olney with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – tickets at the door and carry-outs available


    The annual St. Joe Salad Bar Luncheon is this coming Friday in the St. Joseph Cafeteria with serving from 11:00 to 1:30 – tickets are $6 and available at the St. Joseph Parish Center, plus at local banks – a Country Kitchen will also be featured, offering homemade noodles, baked goods, and other homemade items – carry-outs will be available and all of the public is welcome – get your tickets as soon as possible


    The local Grief Support Group will meet tomorrow evening at the First Presbyterian Church in Olney, located at 227 Elm Street – starting at 6:30, the meeting is open to anyone who’d like to attend


    The City of Olney has a couple of meetings coming up  :  the City of Olney Tree Board will meet tomorrow night at 7:00  :  the City’s Police Pension Board meets this morning at 8:30  :  both at City Hall

 

 

 

February 10, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  Our clouds will mostly clear away today as a Canadian high pressure settles into the Great Lakes region in the Upper Midwest, which will also allow us to warm up a little thru tomorrow – but then another front moves thru by Wednesday night, bringing in much colder air for Thursday, Friday, and the upcoming weekend as well – it will stay cold until a slight warm up the first of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  State workers who are part of the union can stop paying their dues if they want – Governor Bruce Rauner issued an Executive Order yesterday, eliminating “fair share” dues for workers who don’t like certain union activities and positions – the Governor is basing his decision on a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling which says it is unconstitutional to force certain state workers to pay voluntary fees – yesterday’s move impacts about 6,500 workers in Illinois – those who want to keep paying, can do so without penalty.

 

(OLNEY)  Lawmakers are stepping up to make sure people know the rules when it comes to getting their children vaccinated for measles – while most kids usually don’t get the MMR vaccine until they are at least 1 year old, some parents choose not to get it at all – some believe the Illinois Department of Public Health should tighten guidelines on why children can “opt out” – the proposal comes less than one week after state officials announced a measles outbreak at a daycare center in suburban Palatine – look for plenty of debate.


 
(NEWTON)  A bill has been introduced in the State Senate that would make possession of small amounts of marijuana in Illinois legal – if approved, the measure would decriminalize the possession of 30 grams or less of cannabis and allow for pot smokers over the age of 21 to have five cannabis plants – the bill has been referred to Committee – a similar bill was introduced in the State House last month in mid-January.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night – the Council  :  agreed to amend Chapter 2.56 of the City Code, dealing with Personnel Rules & Regulations, mostly to cleanup and update regulations dealing with retirement, sick leave, and more  :  agreed to amend the Fiscal Year 2015 budget to rebuild two Sewer Department pumps at a cost of just under $20,000  :  failed to pass a resolution to purchase a mobile radar speed monitor at a cost of just over $7,000 which was over the budgeted amount – even though the vote was 3 to 1 in favor with one Council member absent, at least 4 votes are required to amend the budget  :  agreed to sell some Park Department scrap metal to Scrap Daddy’s  :  agreed to recycle some Sewer Department computer & electrical equipment with Wilson Metals  :  approved the Mayor’s recommendation to appoint Larry Knowlton to the City’s Board of Fire & Police Commissioners  :  heard an update on a Service Line Warranty program with more information next month  :  and took no action after a closed session to discuss personnel, real property, and negotiations  :  the Council’s next regular meeting will be February 23rd.

 

(NEWTON)  Norris Electric Cooperative will hold its annual meeting this Saturday at the Newton Community High School and all members are reminded to make plans to attend – entertainment for the meeting will be provided by the award-winning gospel group with local ties, Highroad III, from Nashville, Tennessee – while the music will begin at 10:30, the meeting will be called to order at 11:00 – the luncheon will be served immediately following the annual meeting with more music provided during the meal – all area Norris Electric members are urged to attend – the local cooperative serves more than 19,420 members on over 4,078 miles of electric line in parts of eight counties, including Jasper, Effingham, Cumberland, Clark, Crawford, Lawrence, Wabash, and Richland – for more, logon at www.norriselectric.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police have released the numbers from recent Nighttime Enforcement Patrols conducted in Richland and Lawrence Counties on two occasions last month in January – State Troopers issued a total of 42 written warnings, with 14 citations and/or arrests made – there was one DUI issued with one other arrest for alcohol or drug use – other offenses included 7 for registration, two for driver’s license, and one for occupant restraint – the NITE Patrols are designed to keep our roads safe by removing drivers that are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs – the patrols are conducted in late evening or overnight hours.

 

(NEWTON)  Registrations are now being accepted for the upcoming Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunges to benefit Special Olympics Illinois – area individuals and teams can sign-up on the special online website, at www.plungeillinois.com – the annual Polar Plunge is one of the premier fundraising events, raising more than $2.1 million last year with over 7,300 plungers taking part statewide – now with twenty different locations throughout Illinois, everyone’s encouraged to get involved – ranging from February 20th thru March 22nd, the plunges are available statewide – three downstate plunges will be held Saturday, February 28th, at the Campus Lake in Carbondale, at Carlyle Lake, and at Lake Sara near Effingham – a week later on March 7th, plunges will be held at Rend Lake and at Lake Decatur as well – for more details, check the official website online at www.plungeillinois.com and help support Special Olympics Illinois.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives   :  today in the Charleston Ballroom at EIU in Charleston from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Burgess Osborne Auditorium in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  and Saturday at the Family Video Store in Olney from 11:00 to 3:00  :  for more details on how to give blood or to schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Mark your calendars for the annual Hunting Heritage Banquet to be hosted by the Richland County Longspurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation – it’s coming up Saturday, February 28th, at The Holiday in Olney – doors open at 6:00, followed by a meal & auction of sporting art, hunting guns, knives, outdoor equipment, and more – for details or to reserve your tickets now, call 618-843-7967


    The Olney Public Library will again be hosting a 9-week weight loss team competition, starting February 19th, a week from this Thursday – four people per team and a $10 per person entry fee with cash prizes – the sign up begins this Thursday, on February 12th – for more, call or stop by the Olney Public Library


    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation will host a Country Breakfast with door prizes this Saturday morning with serving from 8:00 to 10:00 at the Foundation building in Sailor Springs – the $6 tickets will be sold at the door, plus carry-outs will be available – a full breakfast menu and all ages are invited


    The Olney VFW will host another Friday night “taco night” this weekend with serving from 5:30 to 7:30 – a 50 / 50 drawing will benefit the ERHS Construction Club – all are invited out Friday night to the VFW


    The annual St. Joe Salad Bar Luncheon is this coming Friday in the St. Joseph Cafeteria with serving from 11:00 to 1:30 – tickets are $6 and available at the St. Joseph Parish Center, plus at local banks – a Country Kitchen will also be featured, offering homemade noodles, baked goods, and other homemade items – carry-outs will be available and all of the public is welcome – get your tickets as soon as possible


    The local Grief Support Group will meet this Thursday evening at the First Presbyterian Church in Olney, located at 227 Elm Street – starting at 6:30, the meeting is open to anyone who’d like to attend


    The City of Olney’s Police Pension Board will meet tomorrow morning at 8:30 at the Olney City Hall – the Board will review the Treasurer’s report and more during the meeting, plus more on the agenda


    The Low Vision Support Group of Olney has a public informational meeting this morning at the Sunshine Village in Olney from 10:00 to 11:30 – the guest speaker is Olney City Manager Larry Taylor with a question & answer session to be held – the Group urges all who signed the recent petition to attend

 

 

 

February 9, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  As a cold front drops south of the Ohio River Valley today, we’ll see a mostly cloudy sky and colder conditions than we had over the weekend – while we return to some sunshine tomorrow, we’ll also warm back up on Wednesday – but, another front moves thru with back-to-winter-weather Wednesday night – it’s back to the deep freeze Thursday thru Sunday with temperatures below freezing – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  During a stop in Decatur last Friday, Governor Bruce Rauner said he will not sign a bill that was passed by the State Senate last week that would raise the minimum wage to $9 in July and then to $11 by the year 2019 – the Governor says he still believes that business reforms must be included in any type of minimum wage hike legislation – he wants to raise the wage to $10 an hour over a period of seven years.

 

(OLNEY)  The Governor’s plans to impose term limits and restrictions on campaign contributions are getting mixed responses from some statewide lawmakers – several of the politicians are in support of term limits, however some are concerned that restricting campaign donations will violate free speech – the Governor wants to block unions that do contract work with the state from becoming campaign donors.


 
(NEWTON)  A Chicago-area lawmaker has introduced a bill that would establish a concussion oversight team in Illinois high schools – if approved, the team would consist of doctors, athletic trainers, and others with expertise in the field – the goal of the team would be to create a return-to-play protocol which would basically take the decision of when a player returns to action away from the high school football coach.

 

(OLNEY)  Authorities are continuing their investigation into the death of a Wayne County man – the report indicates that 61 year old Robert Vaughn of Fairfield was driving southbound on Interstate 57, about two miles south of Edgewood at just before 12 noon late last Friday morning, when his vehicle ran off the road, crossed the median and northbound lanes, and struck a tree – Vaughn was transported to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham where it was determined that he died due to a cardiac event and not due to injuries sustained in the wreck – State Police Troopers were assisted by local emergency personnel.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council and Noble Village Board will meet tonight at their respective sites, at the Olney City Hall and the Noble Village Hall, both with meeting times at 7:00 – it’s a rather light agenda for the Olney City Council with a few new business items and a closed session to discuss personnel, real property, and negotiations – as always, both of the municipal meetings tonight are open to the public.

 

(OLNEY)  Area farmers are reminded that the Richland County FSA Office continues this week hosting Farm Bill informational meetings to help local producers with questions about how to proceed with getting their farms signed up – there are two meetings tomorrow, on Tuesday, at 9:00 in the morning and again in the evening at 6:00, followed by another meeting Thursday morning at 9:00 – the seating is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis, and anyone can attend – farmers have until Friday, February 27th, two weeks from this Friday, to update yields and/or reallocate bases – the end of March is the final date for farmers to select PLC, ARC County, or ARC Individual programs for their respective farms – call the Richland County FSA Office in Olney if any questions or attend any of the free informational meetings.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s some reminders from the State Department of Natural Resources  :  today’s the final day for hunters to apply online for the third lottery for 2015 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits  :  a week from today, February 16th, is the first day that permit applications will be accepted for the 2015 Spring Youth Turkey Special Hunt Areas – the regular county permits for the 2015 Spring Youth Turkey Season will be available over-the-counter from DNR license/permit vendors beginning March 3rd, three weeks from tomorrow  :  also mark those calendars for the 2015 Illinois Deer & Turkey Expo to be held February 20th thru 22nd at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield  :  for more on all things outdoors, check the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website, available around the clock online.

 

(NEWTON)  Lake Land College, south of Mattoon, has another special agriculture programming event coming up this weekend – the college will host the National Swine Registry Bootcamp for children ages 8 to 12, from 9:00 to 5:00 this Saturday, in Lake Land’s West Building – the event allows those taking part to learn new things about the swine industry, plus gain leadership skills and have fun meeting new friends with similar interests from across the country – contact Lake Land College or check its website online for more information – or go online at www.mail.nationalswine.com:8443/NJSAconferences/bootcampsignup.aspx.

 

(OLNEY)  This month of February is Financial Awareness Month, an important time to remind Illinois families that despite the rising cost of college tuition and fees, financial aid is most likely available to help make college possible, especially for families with the most financial need – while students can find free assistance thru the new ISAC Student Portal, they & their parents can get help by attending free downstate workshops, including one tonight at Olney Central College, from 5:00 to 7:00, and later this month, February 25th, at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, from 4:45 to 7:00 – for more information or to locate other workshops, logon at www.isac.org or call the ISAC call center toll-free, at 1-800-899-4722.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives   :  today at the Greenup Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also today at the Mason Christian Academy from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow in the Charleston Ballroom at EIU in Charleston from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Burgess Osborne Auditorium in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  and Saturday at the Family Video Store in Olney from 11:00 to 3:00  :  for details or to schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The 19th annual Rotary Trivia Marathon is this Sunday afternoon at The Holiday with registration at 1:00 and the competition to start at 2:00 – at a cost is at $10 per person, teams of four people will compete for prizes and fun – folks are encouraged to challenge other area businesses, churches, families, and friends to take part – it’s free to all spectators with popcorn and drinks available – all are invited Sunday afternoon


    A “meet & greet” pancake fundraiser will be held this Saturday morning from 9:00 to 11:00 in the Olney City Park Community Building – while there will be no charge for the breakfast, any donations will go to the election campaign of Bryce Fehrenbacher for Olney  City Council – all are invited to attend


    The annual St. Joe Salad Bar Luncheon is this coming Friday in the St. Joseph Cafeteria with serving from 11:00 to 1:30 – tickets are $6 and available at the St. Joseph Parish Center, plus at local banks – a Country Kitchen will also be featured, offering homemade noodles, baked goods, and other homemade items – carry-outs will be available and all of the public is welcome – get your tickets as soon as possible


    The Low Vision Support Group of Olney has a public informational meeting tomorrow morning at the Sunshine Village in Olney from 10:00 to 11:30 – the guest speaker is Olney City Manager Larry Taylor with a question & answer session to be held – the Group urges all who signed the recent petition to attend


    The Jasper County Health Department has a DUI Risk Education Class today thru Thursday, from 9:00 to 11:30 each morning – pre-registration is not required, but it will guarantee a seat – the $110 cash fee must be paid before the first class – call the Department offices 618-783-4154 before 9:00 this morning

 

 

 

February 7, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  As a high pressure ridge continues to sink further southward today, more warm air moves into our region and we’ll see temperatures rise well above normal today and tomorrow – a weak cold front will bring us some dry clouds tomorrow, a wind switch by Sunday night, and then colder air for Monday – we’ll warm up again by next Wednesday with a chance of rain thru that night – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – children who make a trip to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield with their school can get in free – the deal is available now thru the end of February – schools can book their trips thru the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau – for more information about the Library and Museum and on what’s available, check the web at www.PresidentLincoln.gov.


 
(NEWTON)  Area residents are being reminded by local authorities to be alert to all types of scams that are circulating, most of which are telephone calls wanting your banking account or credit card account numbers or any other type of personal information – whether it’s someone posing as a family member in need of an emergency loan or cash, or someone posing as the IRS or local utility company demanding payment on an account as soon as possible, residents are reminded to be calm, get as much information from the caller, including a call back number and their name and the name of their supervisor – then hang up & call police.

 

(OLNEY)  This month of February is Financial Awareness Month, an important time to remind Illinois families that despite the rising cost of college tuition and fees, financial aid is most likely available to help make college possible, especially for families with the most financial need – while students can find free assistance thru the new ISAC Student Portal, they & their parents can get help by attending free downstate workshops, including one next Monday night at Olney Central College, from 5:00 to 7:00, and later this month at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, February 25th, from 4:45 to 7:00 – for more information or to locate other workshops, logon at www.isac.org or call the ISAC call center toll-free, at 1-800-899-4722.

 

(OLNEY)  Volunteers and supporters again are being called upon to help with this year’s Bowl For Kid’s Sake fundraising event for the Richland County Big Brothers Big Sisters – set for the last two weekends this month, they’re looking for five member bowling teams who in turn raise funds individually to support the event – each bowler with $30 in donations receives free bowling, free shoe rental, pizza & a drink, a t-shirt, and lane prizes – it’s the only fundraiser of the year for the BBBS of Richland County – so get your groups together now to bowl on the Saturdays or Sundays, February 21st, 22nd, 28th, and March 1st, all at the Olney Bowling Center – call the BBBS office in Olney next Monday if any questions at 618-392-3863.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives   :  next Monday at the Greenup Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also next Monday at the Mason Christian Academy from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Jasper County Health Department has a DUI Risk Education Class next Monday thru Thursday, February 9th thru 12th, from 9:00 to 11:30 each morning – pre-registration is not required, but it will guarantee a seat – the $110 cash fee must be paid before the first class – call 618-783-4154 early Monday


    The annual Old Post Bluegrass Jam is tomorrow from 9:00 to 4:00 (Illinois time) at the Beckes Student Union on the campus of Vincennes University – admission is free with four bands and others performing


    The Newton Elementary / Jasper County Junior High School Band-Aides will host a Trivia fundraiser tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 – teams of 6 to 10 members can compete for a fee of $10 per player – with concessions, a basket raffle also will be held – all invited out to support the Jasper County fundraiser


    The Dundas Ruritan Club has another “biscuits, gravy, pancakes, & sausage breakfast” this morning from 7:00 to 12 noon, or until they’re sold out – tickets at the door and all are invited – carry-outs available


    The Richland County 4-H monthly recycling drive is this morning at the six normal locations in Calhoun, Claremont, Dundas, Noble, Olney, & Parkersburg, from 8:00 until 11:30 – all newspapers, slick ads, magazines, aluminum cans, computer paper & junk mail, plus cardboard, plastic bags, and other items should be bundled separately before dropped off – this month’s sponsor is the Shooting Sports group

 

 

 

February 6, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  As the high pressure ridge over the Midwest sinks further southward today, a marked warming trend will get underway over the next couple of days – in fact, temperatures will rise will above normal thru tomorrow and Sunday – a weak cold front will bring us some dry clouds tomorrow and then some colder air for Monday – we’ll warm up again by Wednesday with a chance of rain – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The State Senate has approved a plan to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 up to $11.00 per hour by the year 2019 – with a 35 to 18 vote by the Democratic-controlled Senate, the proposal now moves on to the State House of Representatives, where there is much less support – Governor Rauner opposes the plan – he has his own proposal to raise the wage to $10, but only if accompanied by pro-business reforms.

 

(OLNEY)  With less than two weeks left to sign up, thousands of statewide residents have enrolled for private health insurance under the federal health law – the updated numbers thru January 30th show the state number at 296,293, which includes those who selected a health plan thru www.HealthCare.gov and those automatically enrolled – the open enrollment continues thru February 15th, a week from this Sunday.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Human Rights has announced a ruling describing evidence of discrimination by the Exxon Mobil Corporation following a gay rights group’s hiring complaint – the report indicates the 2013 incident involved two similar resumes for a job at the nearby Patoka Pipeline facility and while one applicant noted she was a gay rights activist and had higher test scores, only the other applicant was contacted – a hearing before the Illinois Human Rights Commission is being requested in the case.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland Memorial Hospital Incorporated Board of Trustees met for its regular monthly meeting last week – the Board  :  reviewed the Annual Audit Report as presented  :  reviewed the updated financial statements for the month of December  :  approved the Finance Committee’s recommendation to purchase a new CPSI server which is needed to meet the level of electronic charting in every department and clinic of the hospital  :  and heard a CEO update about current physician recruiting efforts, along with federal and state funding concerns  :  the Board’s next regular meeting will be Tuesday, February 24th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Liquor Control Commission conducted January compliance checks around the state by visiting 245 businesses licensed to sell liquor, 34 of which were cited for violations of liquor control laws – there were 13 checks in Marion County with three violations issued, including those to DJ’s Party Supply in Salem, The Legend at Denny’s in Salem, and at Kinmundy General in Kinmundy – other violations were in the counties of St. Clair, Kane, Knox, Henry, Macon, Logan, and LaSalle, plus in the cities of Elmwood Park, Lansing, Joliet, & Palos Heights – ILCC agents, along with local police & volunteers, randomly visit liquor stores, restaurants, and bars, looking for those illegally selling liquor to minors under the age of 21.

 

(OLNEY)  This month of February is Financial Awareness Month, an important time to remind Illinois families that despite the rising cost of college tuition and fees, financial aid is mostly likely available to help make college possible, especially for families with the most financial need – while students can find free assistance thru the new ISAC Student Portal, they & their parents can get help by attending free downstate workshops, including those at Olney Central College next Monday night, February 9th, from 5:00 to 7:00, and at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, February 25th, from 4:45 to 7:00 – for more information or to locate other workshops, logon at www.isac.org or call the ISAC call center toll-free, at 1-800-899-4722.

 

(NEWTON)  An Central Eastern Illinois hamburger shop with a long history and familiar name has a new owner – according to the Mattoon Journal-Gazette, Gene & Betty Hoots, the owners of what’s known as the original Burger King, located in Mattoon, have sold the restaurant to a local partnership – surviving a court battle with the national chain of the same name years ago, the Hoots plan to retire after more than 50 years in business – the family bought the then Frigid Queen in 1952, renamed it Burger King in 1954, and trademarked the name the same year, before the chain opened a location in Illinois – as a part of the court decision, the Burger King chain cannot open a franchise within 20 miles of the original store in Mattoon.

 

(OLNEY)  The First National Bank in Olney and the Richland County Farm Bureau are co-sponsoring a bus trip to the 50th Anniversary National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, next Thursday, February 12th, less than a week away – the $25 per person fee includes transportation and dinner at the Log Inn – the bus will leave Olney at 6:30 that morning and return by 7:30 that night – to reserve a remaining seat, call the First National Bank in Olney or the Richland County Farm Bureau office in Olney today.

 

(NEWTON)  A couple of special events are coming up tomorrow, sponsored in part by the State Department of Natural Resources  :  the annual Eagle Day Festival at the Dickson Mounds Museum is tomorrow from 9:00 to 4:00 – the event includes other activities, such as raptor programs, bird watching, and more, at the Lewistown Visitor Center, the Havana Nature Center, the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, and TNC’s Emiquon Preserve – while the events are free, all donations are welcomed  :  also, the Kaskaskia Eagle Fest at the Jerry F. Costello Lock & Dam in Modoc, Illinois, is tomorrow from 9:00 to 3:00 – the events there include eagle watching, interpreted walks both upstream & downstream from the dam, tours of the lock & dam, and more  :  for more details, check the State DNR website available online.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Newton Community High School from 8:30 to 2:00  :  next Monday at the Greenup Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also next Monday at the Mason Christian Academy from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for details on how to give blood or for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Olney Public Library will again be hosting a 9-week weight loss team competition, starting February 19th – four people per team and a $10 per person entry fee with cash prizes – the sign up begins next Thursday, February 12th – for more information or details, contact the Olney Public Library


    The Jasper County Health Department is offering another DUI Risk Education Class this month, set for next Monday thru Thursday, February 9th thru 12th, from 9:00 to 11:30 each morning – pre-registration is not required, but it will guarantee a seat – the $110 cash fee must be paid before the first class next Monday  morning – to register or for more details about counseling services, call the department office in Newton at 618-783-4154


    The annual Old Post Bluegrass Jam is this Sunday from 9:00 to 4:00 (Illinois time) at the Beckes Student Union on the campus of Vincennes University – admission is free with four bands and others performing


    The Newton Elementary / Jasper County Junior High School Band-Aides will host a Trivia fundraiser this Sunday afternoon, starting at 1:00 – teams of 6 to 10 members can compete for a fee of $10 per player – with concessions, a basket raffle also will be held – registration forms available at the Elementary School or Jasper County Junior High School in Newton – all invited out to support the Jasper County fundraiser


    The Dundas Ruritan Club has another “biscuits, gravy, pancakes, & sausage breakfast” tomorrow morning from 7:00 to 12 noon, or until they’re sold out – advance tickets from members is $5 for adults, $3.50 for children under 10 – tickets will be priced higher at the door Saturday morning – all are invited


    The Richland County 4-H monthly recycling drive is tomorrow morning at the six normal locations in Calhoun, Claremont, Dundas, Noble, Olney, & Parkersburg, from 8:00 until 11:30 – all newspapers, slick ads, magazines, aluminum cans, computer paper & junk mail, plus cardboard, plastic bags, and other items should be bundled separately before dropped off – this month’s sponsor is the Shooting Sports group


    It’s another Friday night fish fry coming up tonight at the Olney Knights of Columbus Hall, along Whittle Avenue – serving from 5:00 to 7:00 with tickets at the door – all ages are welcome