LOCAL NEWS

Local News

February 17, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  With a warm front moving north across Illinois, we’ll continue to have spring-like conditions today and right on thru this third weekend of  February – near record high temperatures are possible for Sunday and Monday as an upper level ridge over the Great Plains will keep us dry – a weak low pressure system to our south could give us a few sprinkles on Saturday, although most of the heavier rains will stay to our south – with rain chances again next Tuesday, we’ll stay mild all of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – an Illinois judge has denied a request to stop paying state workers unless lawmakers resolve the state’s budget impasse – State Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the Illinois Constitution requires an enacted appropriation for state spending and that until a budget is in place, the workers cannot be paid – while Madigan says she will appeal the judge’s ruling, Governor Bruce Rauner says he hopes Madigan will drop her efforts and allow budget negotiations to continue in Springfield.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Transportation is asking for additional input from the public in developing its Long Range Transportation Plan, which will eventually help residents around the state with transportation solutions to support local goals and economic growth – feedback and comments can be provided online at  www.AllOurIdeas.org/IDOTideas  – the interactive website is available now thru March 8th and allows participants to vote for ideas to improve transportation in Illinois and to add their own ideas.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Water Survey has released its State Water & Climate Summary overview for January 2017  :  air temperatures in Illinois averaged 32.1 degrees last month, 5.7 degrees above the long term average – the state’s highest January average was 38.5 here in the southeastern district  :  the statewide precipitation averaged 2.08 inches, just one hundredth of an inch (0.01) above the long term average – the highest precipitation average was 2.79 inches in the eastern district  :  the statewide shallow groundwater levels were above normal in January  :  and the water surface levels at the end of the month were mostly below the full pool / seasonal target level at only 6 of the 27 reporting reservoirs in Illinois – most all of the downstate lakes were above the spillway level, including Newton Lake, East Fork Lake, and most others.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County School Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in February, as the meeting was held in the Middle School Library in Olney – the Board  :  approved previous meeting minutes and the financial reports with a total bill list worth $361,133  :  noted the financial report showing the state now owes the District in excess of  $2.7 million  :  reviewed an update on budget projections for fiscal years 2018, 2019, and 2020  :  heard an update on the District’s accreditation process as the District will host an External Review Team during the week of March 20th  :  approved a resolution to regulate expense reimbursements  :  approved the Non-Certified Employee Seniority List  :  approved the latest Performance Rankings File for all Certified employees  :  noted that the District’s annual Service Awards Banquet will be held on April 18th  :  in personnel matters – hired Jason Burckhartt as Girls Assistant Soccer Coach – approved Mitchell Burgener, Candy Schrader, & Lady Stallard as volunteer Girls Soccer Coaches – approved  Leroy Stallard as a volunteer driver for the FBLA State Conference – approved the resignation of Terry Puckett as Boys 7th Grade Basketball Coach – approved resignations with intent to retire from Teacher Diana Hagan effective at the end of this 2016-2017 school year, from Teacher Sherry Geier effective in 2021, and from Teacher Beth Petty effective June 30th, 2021 – and approved several Leave of Absences  :  the Richland County School Board’s next regular monthly meeting is March 16th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board had its regular monthly meeting for February last night in Newton – the Board  :  approved previous meeting minutes and financial reports  :  approved the District’s School Calendar for the 2017-2018 school year, noting that school will begin with a Teacher’s Institute on August 15th, 2017  :  noted that bids are being sought for the District’s insurance coverage with a bid due date of May 23rd  :  noted a Board Evaluation / Training special meeting is set for March 2nd, at 6:30, at the District Office  :  and in personnel matters – approved Jake Volk as a volunteer coach for Girls High School Track – approved Gina Kocher as half time Cep Teacher and half time Consumer Science Teacher – and agreed to advertise for a Guidance Counselor at NCHS for the 2017-2018 school year  :  the next regular monthly meeting for the Jasper County School Board in Newton will be Thursday, March 16th.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s Parks & Recreation Board met this past Wednesday night – the Board  :  discussed the Adopt A Bed program – despite issues with the lack of water at some locations, the Board agreed to continue with the program, looking for a few new Beds to be adopted this year  :  after discussion on the Fair Board’s request to add eight RV camping spots west of the old swimming pool in the Olney City Park, the P&R Board had mixed feelings, but decided to send the request to the Olney City Council for its consideration  :  agreed to look into the options for a trail head sign for the trails north of East Fork Lake  :  and with only three board members present, took no action to elect a new Board Chairperson and Vice Chairperson  :  all P&R Board recommendations are forwarded to the City Council for its consideration.

 

(NEWTON)  The 2017 Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season opens at 5:00 Saturday morning, April 1st, six weeks from tomorrow, at 52 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state – all anglers must have a fishing license, an Inland Trout Stamp, & the daily catch limit is five trout per angler – the six regional sites are  :
* the Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond in Charleston, in Coles County
* the Forest Park Lagoon, at the northeast edge of Shelbyville, in Shelby County
* the Boston Pond, in Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area, southeast of Kinmundy, in Marion County
* the Sam Dale Trout Pond, in Sam Dale Fish & Wildlife Area, west of Johnsonville, in Wayne County
* the Beall Woods Lake, in Beall Woods State Park, southwest of Mt. Carmel, in Wabash County
* the Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond, south of Mt. Vernon, down in Jefferson County
for more information or details, check the State DNR website online at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  today at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also today at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  tomorrow at Papa Murphy’s in Mattoon from 11:00 to 3:00  :  and Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the low regional blood supply.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of reminders  :  most all City and Village Halls will be closed next Monday, February 20th, in observance of President’s Day 2017  :  all trash pickup by Republic Services will run as normal on Monday & all of next week  :  the City of Olney Brush Dump is closed next Monday, but open with regular hours from 10:00 to 4:00 next Friday & Saturday – the Dump is open today and tomorrow from 10:00 to 4:00  :  and the curbside recycling pickup in Olney will remain on its normal schedule with no delays.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will have its fundraising “steak dinner” tomorrow night at the Olney VFW, starting at 6:30 – the band “Hot Rod Lincoln” will perform at 8:00 – the $25 per person tickets are available at the door or call Cathy at  618-869-2025  – proceeds go to the Club’s Gaitway to Motion fund


    A benefit fundraiser for 11 year old Dale Howser is tomorrow evening from 4:00 to 8:00 at the VFW in Lawrenceville with tickets at the door – it includes a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, live karaoke, and a DJ – Dale was born with HLHS and is currently on the heart transplant list, awaiting a life-saving new heart


    The RCHS Construction Club has a fundraising “pork burger sale” tomorrow at the CVS parking lot in Olney with serving from 9:00 to 1:00 – it’s pork burgers at $2.50 each – all the money raised will support the Club’s upcoming annual trip to help those in need build with Habitat for Humanity


    The 30th Annual Claremont - Bonpas Volunteer Fire Department breakfast is tomorrow morning at the Claremont Community Club, with serving from 6:00 to 11:00 and tickets at the door ($7.50 adult / $5 children / 5 & under admitted free) – it’s all-you-can-eat with a huge menu available – carry-outs available – all proceeds will be used to help purchase much-needed emergency equipment for the volunteer firemen


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney has its Annual Salad Bar Luncheon today in the handicapped accessible St. Joseph Cafeteria, with serving from 11:00 to 1:30 – while the menu has meatballs & more, the Country Kitchen has baked goods & homemade items for sale, including noodles – carry-outs available

 

 

 

February 16, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As a warm front moves northward thru our downstate area today, its southerly wind flow will continue to pump in warmer-than-normal air, which will hang around for the next several days – an upper level disturbance moves thru the Midwest Saturday and it will bring us some clouds and a slight chance of some scattered afternoon rain – then dry Sunday thru Monday, maybe rain on Tuesday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner gave his third “budget address” to the State General Assembly yesterday in Springfield – he continued his call for pro-business legislation and said the best way to improve the economy is to pass measures such as legislative term limits & workers’ compensation reform – opponents of the Governor say the speech had no real numbers for the General Assembly to work while the Governor’s supporters say it have to be a bipartisan effort of “give and take” to reach a compromise.

 

(OLNEY)  A federal judge has rejected an effort by former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and some Chicago residents to force the city to adopt an elected school board – a lawsuit filed last October contended that the current school board appointed by Chicago’s mayor violated the constitution and overall civil rights – it also states that such a board raises the question of taxation without representation and the lawsuit demanded a plan to allow a public election – the judge struck down the lawsuit, rejecting all claims within the suit.

 

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

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District will be hosting a CRP Pollinator Meeting on Tuesday morning, February 28th, from 9:00 to 12:00 noon, at The Holiday in Olney, with a free lunch to be served – information provided includes pollinator benefits, habitat establishment, pollinator programs & guidelines, projects & seeds, and pollinator conservation programs available to landowners and operators in Edwards, Wabash, Lawrence, and Richland Counties – along with USDA, NRCS, and FSA staff, others on hand will represent the Quail & Upland Game Alliance, Trees Forever, and Roundstone Seed – to attend, those interested need to RSVP the Richland County SWCD Office by next Wednesday, February 22nd – simply call the Olney office during regular hours at  618-392-7141, extension number 3.

 

(OLNEY)  Bowlers are still needed for this weekend’s start of the 2017 Bowl For Kid’s Sake at the Olney Bowling Center, all to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County – that’s this coming Saturday and Sunday, February 18th and 19th – five member teams can sign up with each bowler asked to raise at least $30 each in donations, all in exchange for free bowling, free shoe rental, lane prizes, t-shirts, pizza, and drinks – the final two days are next Saturday and Sunday, February 25th, and 26th – to sign up a team or for details, call the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County office in Olney, at  618-392-3863.

 

(OLNEY)  The Whitetails Unlimited River Bottom Stump Sitters Chapter will have its Annual Banquet on Saturday, February 25th, at The Holiday, in Olney – the special event will feature a buffet meal, an auction, & prizes with a wide array of products such as firearms, hunting & outdoor-related equipment, outfitter packages, artwork, collectibles, & more – with the social hour at 5:00, followed by dinner at 7:00, tickets are now available at $35 per person, $15 for a spouse, or $10 for a child 15 and under – no tickets will be sold at the door and the ticket order deadline is February 18th, this coming Saturday – for tickets locally, call Tim at  618-335-9631  or go online for more details and information at  www.whitetailunlimited.com.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  tomorrow at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also tomorrow at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  on Saturday at Papa Murphy’s in Mattoon from 11:00 to 3:00  :  and Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the low regional supply of blood.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of reminders  :  most all City and Village Halls will be closed next Monday, February 20th, in observance of President’s Day 2017  :  all trash pickup by Republic Services will run as normal on Monday and all of next week – there will be no planned changes  :  the City of Olney Brush Dump is closed next Monday, but open with regular hours from 10:00 to 4:00 next Friday and Saturday – the Dump is also open from 10:00 to 4:00 tomorrow and Saturday, this weekend as well  :  and the curbside recycling pickup in the City of Olney will remain on its normal schedule with no delay  :  all patience is appreciated.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  There are two are meetings tonight  :  the Richland County School Board meets in the Richland County Middle School Library in Olney, beginning at 7:00  :  the Jasper County School Board meets at the Unit Office in Newton, starting at 6:30  :  both regular monthly meetings are open to the public.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library is offering an 8-week weight loss team competition that will start today – the cost is $10 per person with four people per team and the signup begins today at the Library, during regular business hours – cash prizes will be awarded – call the Olney Public Library at  392-3711.

 

REMINDERS  :
    A reminder from the City of Olney – city crews will begin mowing and spring maintenance at Haven Hill Cemetery, Maple Dale Cemetery, and Haven Hill Memorial Garden during the week of March 13th – those who’d like to keep any ground decorations should have them picked up by Sunday, March 12th


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will have its fundraising “steak dinner” this Saturday night at the Olney VFW, starting at 6:30 – the band “Hot Rod Lincoln” will perform at 8:00 – the $25 per person tickets are available by calling Cathy at  618-869-2025  – proceeds go to the Club’s Gaitway to Motion fund


    A benefit fundraiser for 11 year old Dale Howser will be Saturday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 at the VFW in Lawrenceville with tickets at the door – it includes a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, live karaoke, and a DJ – Dale was born with HLHS and is currently on the heart transplant list, awaiting a life-saving new heart


    The RCHS Construction Club has a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Saturday at the CVS parking lot in Olney with serving from 9:00 to 1:00 – it’s pork burgers at $2.50 each – all the money raised will support the Club’s upcoming annual trip to help those in need build with Habitat for Humanity


    The 30th Annual Claremont - Bonpas Volunteer Fire Department breakfast is this Saturday morning at the Claremont Community Club, with serving from 6:00 to 11:00 and tickets at the door ($7.50 adult / $5 children / 5 & under admitted free) – it’s all-you-can-eat with a huge menu available – carry-outs available – all proceeds will be used to help purchase much-needed emergency equipment for the volunteer firemen


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney is sponsoring its Annual Salad Bar Luncheon tomorrow in the St. Joseph Cafeteria, with serving from 11:00 to 1:30 – while the Luncheon menu includes meatballs and much more, there will also be a Country Kitchen with homemade noodles for sale as well as other homemade items and baked goods – carry-outs available – all are invited to the handicapped-accessible cafeteria tomorrow

 

 

 

February 15, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  Quiet weather will continue across our downstate area today as a high pressure ridge builds into the Midwest – we’ll have more warm air move in as a warm front lifts northward across Illinois tomorrow with plenty of sunshine on tap now thru the upcoming weekend, although a few clouds will move overhead on Saturday – our next storm system will bring us rain by next Tuesday – stay tuned for continued updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner will propose a third annual budget today in that is likely to be shelved by the General Assembly, just like his first two – in his budget address today before the State Senate and State House, the Governor will outline budget priorities – currently, the state is on track to build up a $5 billion deficit by the end of the fiscal year on June 30th – it has $11 billion in overdue bills and pension-program shortfalls totally $130 billion – Illinois has had no state budget since July 2015.

 

(OLNEY)  Legislation has been introduced in Springfield to require 3-point seat belts on statewide school buses – so far, six states require seat belts in all school buses, including California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, and Texas – while Illinois is a national leader in school bus safety, especially with its stringent bus driver requirements, it’s very likely this proposal will move quickly thru the State Legislature.

 

(NEWTON)  Former Congressman and Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard has been named President at Morthland College, a private Christian liberal arts college down in West Frankfort – with a current enrollment of nearly 450 students in on-campus and online courses, Morthland College opened in 2011 – some of the primary goals for new President Poshard is to implement a comprehensive building plan and to seek accreditation for Morthland by the Higher Learning Commission.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met Monday night in regular session – the Board  :  agreed to install an additional security light in the Village Park around the playground area  :  also agreed to install a new street light in the 400 block of North Noble Avenue, as requested  :  noted that repairs are being made at the Village’s waste water pump station – one pump recently shorted out and was replaced with an older spare pump temporarily until repairs can be made permanently  :  noted that graffiti painted on the Village Park’s shelter and playground equipment has been removed by employees  :  approved the use of the Village Park for an Easter Egg Hunt, plus a $25 donation  :   noted that the Noble Village Hall will be closed next Monday, the 20th, in observance of President’s Day  :  the Noble Village Board’s next regular meeting is February 27th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Norris Electric Cooperative held its 79th annual meeting of members this past Saturday at Newton Community High School  :  Board President Gordon McClure explained the process taken to select the Cooperative’s new manager instead of using an outside search firm to replace retiring Manager Keith McKinney  :  new Manager Tamara Phillips welcomed all members and those attending, noting her 34 years of working at Norris Electric – Phillips noted the Cooperative’s upgrading of over 20 miles of line and the building of 11 miles of new line – she also reported on the aggressive line clearance work and she thanked the Norris Electric employees for their commitment to safety with 130,272 hours worked and 537,806 miles driven without a safety incident  :  Board Treasurer Dean Dietrich reported the Cooperative had revenue of $44.3 million, noting that 66% of that amount was used to purchase power from the Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, about 29% was used for operating expenses and taxes, and the remaining 5% which includes interest revenue and other non-operating margins allocated to the members as capital credits  :  members re-elected three board members to new 3-year terms, including Dan Strine of Wabash County, Ron Viehman of Lawrence County, and Dean Dietrich of Richland County  :  based out of Newton, the Norris Electric Cooperative serves more than 19,478 meters on over 4,089 miles of transmission line in parts of eight area counties, including Jasper, Richland, Wabash, Lawrence, Crawford, Clark, Cumberland, and Effingham.

 

(NEWTON)  Online registration is continuing for the 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge, all to benefit Special Olympics Illinois – among the 22 total Polar Plunge locations and dates, those in our area – February 25th at Carlyle Lake, March 4th at Lake Sara near Effingham, and also March 4th at Rend Lake near Ina – individuals and teams can get more details and/or register online, at  www.plungeillinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library is offering an 8-week weight loss team competition that will start tomorrow – the cost is $10 per person with four people per team and the signup begins tomorrow at the Library, during regular business hours – cash prizes will be awarded – for more information, call the Olney Public Library at  618-392-3711  or visit the Library’s website online, at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Central College Music Department has two more audition dates coming up with tuition waivers available for Concert Band, Concert Choir, and Jazz Ensemble members in the 2017-2018 season – students who participate in one or more of the ensembles are eligible for 8-hour or 16-hour tuition waivers and students do not need to major in music to receive the award – any student who plays a band instrument or sings is eligible for consideration – the second of three auditions is this coming Saturday, the 18th, with the final audition a week from tonight, on Wednesday, February 22nd – for details or to schedule an audition with the Music Department, call Olney Central College today, at  618-395-7777, ext. 2251.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at the Effingham Donation Center from 11:30 to 6:00  :  also today at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  Friday at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also Friday at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  on Saturday at Papa Murphy’s in Mattoon from 11:00 to 3:00  :  and Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the low regional supply of blood.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  There are a few meetings coming up  :  the Richland County School Board will meet tomorrow night in the Richland County Middle School Library in Olney, beginning at 7:00  :  the Jasper County School Board will meet Thursday night at the Unit Office in Newton, starting at 6:30  :  both are open to the public  :  in a meeting tonight – the City of Olney’s Parks & Recreation Board will meet at the Olney City Hall, starting at 7:00 – with a few items on the agenda, the meeting is open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    A reminder from the City of Olney – city crews will begin mowing and spring maintenance at Haven Hill Cemetery, Maple Dale Cemetery, and Haven Hill Memorial Garden during the week of March 13th – those who’d like to keep any ground decorations should have them picked up by Sunday, March 12th


    The RCHS Construction Club has a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Saturday at the CVS parking lot in Olney with serving from 9:00 to 1:00 – it’s pork burgers at $2.50 each – all the money raised will support the Club’s upcoming annual trip to help those in need build with Habitat for Humanity


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney is sponsoring its Annual Salad Bar Luncheon this Friday in the St. Joseph Cafeteria, with serving from 11:00 to 1:30 – while the Luncheon menu includes meatballs and much more, there will also be a Country Kitchen with homemade noodles for sale as well as other homemade items and baked goods – carry-outs available – all are invited to the handicapped-accessible cafeteria this Friday


    The Flora VFW will host its “Taco Wednesday” today from 12:00 noon until 7:00 tonight – that’s at 128 East 2nd Street in Flora – “Taco Wednesday” this afternoon thru this evening at the Flora VFW

 

 

 

February 14, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A dry weak surface trough will slide thru our downstate area today, bringing in some cooler air for tonight thru tomorrow night and a clearing sky later today – we’ll stay dry for the next several days and nights, courtesy of a surface high pressure ridge to our south – plus a southerly wind flow will pump in more warm air for the weekend – our next chance of rain by Tuesday of next week – listen for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – health officials say it’s still not too late to get the flu shot – while the typical flu season runs thru March and into the month of May, there’s still several weeks of protection needed against influenza – even though Illinois has not been hit hard to this point in time, an major flu outbreak can occur in less than a week or two – for details, check with your doctor or go online at  www.dph.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service is still accepting nominations for the 8th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, which recognizes individual volunteers & for-profit businesses to highlight the importance of community service in Illinois – the awards go to one youth (18 years & under), one adult (19-54 years old), and one retiree/senior citizen ( 55 years & older) in each of the Serve Illinois’ five service regions throughout the state – all nominations are due to the Serve Illinois offices by this coming Friday, February 17th – for more, logon at  www.Serve.Illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The University of  Illinois has named the Dean of the school’s Library to serve as Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Provost Designate – John Wilkin will begin his new role as the School’s top budget and academic officer on Saturday and serve until a permanent Provost is named later in the fall – before coming to Champaign in 2013, Wilkin worked at the Universities of Michigan & Virginia.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night for its first regular meeting in February – the Council  :  followed the recommendation of the City’s Plan Commission and approved the rezoning requests for property at 800 East Locust Street and 702 North Silver Street in Olney  :  agreed to amend the City Ordinance to allow overnight parking on Market Street between South Kitchell Avenue and South Fair Street in Olney  :  agreed to establish a Class II Designated Truck Route on Whittle Avenue from Illinois Route 130 to Brentwood Street  :  accepted the $14,500 bid from Royse Plumbing for work at the new restroom facility near the basketball courts on the north side of Musgrove Park  :  amended the City’s Hunting Ordinance for East Fork Lake restrictions dealing with duck blinds  :  agreed to waive Community Building Rental fees for the upcoming “Bikers With A Heart” fundraiser on May 19th and 20th this spring  :  took no action on reducing swimming pool rates for groups – all rates remain as they are  :  approved six raffle licenses as presented  :  discussed, but took no action on the implementation of a Food Establishment Inspection Program in Olney – talks will continue  :  approved the easement for maintenance of water and sewer mains running thru Fehrenbacher Trailer Court  :  and took no action after a short closed session to discuss real property and personnel  :  the Olney City Council’s next regular meeting will be February 27th.

 

(NEWTON)  The 4th Judicial Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council is sponsoring its annual Symposium on Wednesday, March 1st, to address mandated reporting – hosted by the Knights of Columbus Hall in Effingham, the event, entitled “Mandated Reporting : Abuse and Neglect of Children, Older Adults, and Persons With Disabilities” will be held from 9:00 until 3:30, with signup at 8:30 – the multifaceted training will take an in-depth look at what it means to be a mandated reporter and the responsibilities and rights that accompany this role – the registration fee is $25 for the whole day or $20 for half the day and both fees include a catered lunch – the training is open to professionals who address abuse and neglect of children, older adults, and persons with disabilities as well as anyone else interested in helping to solve the problems of child abuse and domestic violence – the registration deadline is February 17th, this coming Friday – to sign up or for details, call Brenda at  618-533-1530  or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Area residents should stay vigilant in the fight against circulating scams – remember that the State Police and Ameren Illinois will never call, threatening jail time or utility shut-offs due to what the scammer claims are criminal investigations or unpaid utility bills – if you get a call and are threatened in this way, IT IS A SCAM – do not give out personal information – simply hang up and call authorities.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that with the Bowl For Kids’ Sake at the Olney Bowling Center coming up the next two weekends, there’s another way folks can help out in the fundraising effort to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County – the First National Bank in Olney is currently selling raffle tickets for a boy’s and girl’s gift basket filled with toys and goodies – the tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and can be purchased at the Main Bank, plus the Whittle Avenue and Route 130 branches – there will also be a “bake sale” at the Main Bank this coming Friday, the 17th, from 8:30 to 4:00, or until they’re sold out – so please stop by and help out – all proceeds to benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College has a couple of notes  :  OCC is offering a new course this spring, the first of its kind in the area – the Unmanned Aerial Systems I Class will meet Monday nights from 6:00 to 9:00, March 13th thru May 8th, and will address vital information for commercial drone users, such as rules and regulations of operation, air space use, preflight operations & inspections, and more – from farmers who want to make crop inspections from the air to real estate agents who wants pictures of property from the air, from the hobbyists to recreational users, all are invited  :  also a reminder that OCC’s Radiography Program application deadline is tomorrow, February 15th – individuals wishing to be considered for entry into the program for 2017 must submit their applications ASAP  :  for information or to sign up for these and other classes available, call the Student Services Office today at Olney Central College, at  618-395-7777.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  today at the Neoga High School from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also today at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Effingham Donation Center from 11:30 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types needed.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  There are two regular monthly school board meetings coming up this Thursday night, February 16th  :  the Jasper County School Board will meet at the District Unit Office in Newton, starting at 6:30  :  the Richland County School Board will meet in the Richland County Middle School Library in Olney, beginning at 7:00  :  as always, both meetings are open to the general public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    A reminder from the City of Olney – city crews will begin mowing and spring maintenance at Haven Hill Cemetery, Maple Dale Cemetery, and Haven Hill Memorial Garden during the week of March 13th – those who’d like to keep any ground decorations should have them picked up by Sunday, March 12th


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will have its fundraising “steak dinner” this Saturday night at the Olney VFW, starting at 6:30 – the band “Hot Rod Lincoln” will perform at 8:00 – the $25 per person tickets are available by calling Cathy at  618-869-2025  – proceeds go to the Club’s Gaitway to Motion fund


    The RCHS Construction Club has a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Saturday at the CVS parking lot in Olney with serving from 9:00 to 1:00 – it’s pork burgers at $2.50 each – all the money raised will support the Club’s upcoming annual trip to help those in need build with Habitat for Humanity


    The 30th Annual Claremont - Bonpas Volunteer Fire Department breakfast is this Saturday morning at the Claremont Community Club, with serving from 6:00 to 11:00 and tickets at the door ($7.50 adult / $5 children / 5 & under admitted free) – it’s all-you-can-eat with a huge menu available – carry-outs available – all proceeds will be used to help purchase much-needed emergency equipment for the volunteer firemen


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney is sponsoring its Annual Salad Bar Luncheon this Friday in the St. Joseph Cafeteria, with serving from 11:00 to 1:30 – while the Luncheon menu includes meatballs and much more, there will also be a Country Kitchen with homemade noodles for sale as well as other homemade items and baked goods – carry-outs available – all are invited to the handicapped-accessible cafeteria this Friday


    The Flora VFW will host its “Taco Wednesday” tomorrow from 12:00 noon until 7:00 that night – that’s at 128 East 2nd Street in Flora – “Taco Wednesday” tomorrow afternoon thru evening at the Flora VFW


    It’s a “community day fundraiser” today thru tonight at Monical’s Pizza in Olney, with all the proceeds to benefit this year’s local Relay For Life – fill out the fundraiser form before paying and 20% of the receipt will go to the Relay For A Cure team – also mention the fundraiser when placing a carry-out order as well

 

 

 

February 13, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  High pressure will dominate our downstate weather today, although a weak disturbance will bring us some clouds today thru tonight – as the high pressure ridge moves away to the east, we’ll return to sunshine tomorrow and mostly for the rest of the work week as temperatures remain warmer-than-normal – in fact, we’ll warm back up for another dry weekend coming up – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – an Illinois court is set to take up a motion filed by the State Attorney General to halt state employee paychecks until lawmakers solve Illinois’ budget stalemate – meanwhile, lawmakers are simultaneously considering a threat by Governor Bruce Rauner to veto one of two proposals to keep the payments going – House Democrats & Republicans say they agree paychecks should continue & they have launched competing legislation to avoid a state government shutdown if the Attorney General succeeds.

 

(NEWTON)  State lawmakers are making another attempt at bringing automatic voter registration to Illinois – bills were filed last Friday in the State House & Senate that would automatically register state residents to vote when they visit certain state agencies, unless the voters decide to opt out – the Governor vetoed vetoed the proposal last year despite wide support in the General Assembly – the Governor says more safeguards need to be in place – several states including Alaska and California have some form of the plan in place.

 

(OLNEY)  Hunters and trappers took a preliminary total 141 bobcats during the 2016-2017 Illinois Bobcat Hunting & Trapping Season as more than 6,400 people applied for the 500 permits that were awarded thru the State DNR’s lottery system – of  the 141 bobcats harvested, 69 were taken by hunting, 49 by trapping, 12 by archery, and 11 by being salvaged from roads – the bobcats were taken in 44 counties in the open zone, including western & southern Illinois, mostly between mid-November thru the end of January – in our Southeastern Illinois area, there were 4 bobcats each taken in Jasper and Clay Counties, 3 bobcats taken in Wabash County, 2 bobcats each in Effingham, Wayne, and Cumberland Counties, and 1 bobcat each in Edwards and Crawford Counties – there were no bobcats taken in either Richland or Lawrence Counties.

 

(NEWTON)  Chief Judge Michael D. McHaney, on behalf of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, is acknowledging & celebrating the importance of  National Court Reporting & Captioning Week, running now thru Saturday, February 13th-18th, 2017 – these courtroom professionals are vital in preparing an official written transcript of all courtroom proceedings and the court reporters in the Fourth Circuit are recognized for being reliable, impartial, dedicated, and outstanding individuals who strive for accuracy and accountability – the Fourth Circuit employs 17 court reporters who cover nine area counties, including Jasper, Effingham, Clay, Fayette, Marion, Clinton, Christian, Montgomery, and Shelby – all other court reporters are also recognized for their work in the surrounding counties of  Richland, Lawrence, Crawford, Edwards, Wabash, & Wayne.

 

(OLNEY)  The Guardian Center in Carmi is gearing up for its annual banquet, which is set for Friday, March 24th, at The Floral Hall, on the White County Fairgrounds, in Carmi – starting at 5:30 that evening, the fundraiser tickets are $25 per person or $200 for a table of eight people, and includes a great meal, the one-of-a-kind music and comedy provided by the Midwest Dueling Pianos, plus both silent & live auctions with several items – all proceeds from the banquet will benefit the Guardian Center’s programs for abused children and their families – meanwhile, the Guardian Center is now taking nominations for its “Friend of the Children Award” to be given to a person who has an established record of working with children in some mentoring, treatment, and/or character building activities – plus for those that go “above and beyond” the call of duty in their service to children – the nominations are due in by March 10th – for more information, call call Nicole at  618-382-8247  – the Guardian Center serves eight Southeastern Illinois counties, including Richland, Crawford, Lawrence, Wabash, Edwards, White, Saline, and Gallatin.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library will be offering an 8-week weight loss team competition that will start on this Thursday, February 16th – the cost is at $10 per person with four people per team and the signup begins on the 16th at the Library during regular business hours – cash prizes will be awarded – for more information or details, call the Library at  618-392-3711  or visit it online, at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Bowlers are needed for this weekend’s start of the 2017 Bowl For Kid’s Sake at the Olney Bowling Center, all to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County – that’s this coming Saturday and Sunday, February 18th and 19th – five member teams can sign up with each bowler asked to raise at least $30 each in donations, all in exchange for free bowling, free shoe rental, lane prizes, t-shirts, pizza, and drinks – the final two days are next Saturday and Sunday, February 25th, and 26th – to sign up a team or for details, call the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County office in Olney, at  618-392-3863.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  tomorrow at the Municipal Building in Oblong from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Neoga High School from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Effingham Donation Center from 11:30 to 6:00  :  also Wednesday at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types are needed.

 

(OLNEY)  There’s a couple of municipal meetings on tap tonight  :  the Olney City Council will meet in regular session tonight in Council Chambers at the Olney  City Hall with meeting time at 7:00  :  the Noble Village Board meets tonight in Village Hall in Noble, also at 7:00  :  both meetings are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host the band “Hot Rod Lincoln” at the Olney VFW this Saturday night – it’s a steak dinner at 6:30 with the music at 8:00 – the $25 per person tickets are available by calling Cathy at  618-869-2025  – proceeds go to the Club’s Gaitway to Motion fund to assist local and area youth


    A benefit fundraiser for 11 year old Dale Howser will be Saturday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 at the VFW in Lawrenceville with tickets at the door – it includes a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, live karaoke, and a DJ – Dale was born with HLHS and is currently on the heart transplant list, awaiting a life-saving new heart


    The 30th Annual Claremont - Bonpas Volunteer Fire Department breakfast is this Saturday morning at the Claremont Community Club, with serving from 6:00 to 11:00 and tickets at the door ($7.50 adult / $5 children / 5 & under admitted free) – it’s all-you-can-eat with a huge menu available – carry-outs available – all proceeds will be used to help purchase much-needed emergency equipment for the volunteer firemen


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney is sponsoring its Annual Salad Bar Luncheon this Friday in the St. Joseph Cafeteria, with serving from 11:00 to 1:30 – while the Luncheon menu includes meatballs and much more, there will also be a Country Kitchen with homemade noodles for sale as well as other homemade items and baked goods – carry-outs available – all are invited to the handicapped-accessible cafeteria this Friday


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