LOCAL NEWS

Local News

March 26, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A high pressure ridge will keep us dry today with a little warmer air moving in on a southerly wind flow – but an approaching weather disturbance will bring in clouds tonight and give us chance of rain tomorrow thru tomorrow night before ending – it’s a little cooler, but dry next Monday thru Wednesday, until we’ll have another rain chance by next Thursday, plus a slight warm up – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – silver bars, gold coins, collectible football cards, and jewelry are among the 12,600 items worth some $57,000 to be auctioned off online next week, March 28th thru April 1st – since the State Treasurer is the custodian of more than one million pieces of unclaimed property worth more than $2 billion, items are auctioned off after private & public entities have tried for at least 10 years to locate the owners – to take part in the auction next week, check the Treasurers’ website at  www.illinoistreasurer.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District is offering another concealed carry course to area residents – the 16-hour class requires firearms training with both classroom and range instruction, and will be held at Olney Central College on Thursday night and Friday night, April 14th and 15th, from 6:00 to 10:00 each night – then the final day on Saturday, April 16th, from 8:00 to 4:00, at the Olney Gun Range –– the tuition and fees are $173 for in-District residents and must be paid in advance to reserve a seat in the course – tuition is waived for residents in the IECC District who are age 60 and older – to register or for details, call OCC the first of next week – a summer class will also be held later this year, July 7th thru 9th.

 

(NEWTON)  The American Farm Bureau Federation, along with other agriculture groups and universities have joined efforts to create a national online repository where farmers can securely store and control the information collected by their tractors, harvesters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other devices – the Agricultural Data Coalition will empower farmers to better control, manage, and maximize the value of the data they collect every day in the fields – some requirements apply – farmers interested in learning more, & organizations interested in joining the ADC effort should visit online, at  www.AgDataCoalition.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Local blacksmith & musician Bryan Dale Headley of West Salem is again appearing on RFD-TV’s Rural Heritage Program – the second of three shows will re-air this afternoon at 2:00, featuring “The Unfolded Cross” special show with a Christian message, both in blacksmithing and song – the third and final show will air next Tuesday, March 29th, at 3:30, and again next Saturday, April 2nd, at 2:00 – tune in and check it out – RFD-TV can be found on Dish Network channel 231 and on DirectTV channel 345.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :  today at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at the First Presbyterian Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also Monday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:30 to 6:30  :  all blood types & platelets are much needed to replenish low area supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Olney Elks Lodge #926 will host its Annual Easter Egg Hunt for area children this morning in the Olney City Park – beginning at 11:00, the Hunt will include different sections for children ages Zero to 10 – free hot dogs will be served afterwards – prizes, cash, coupons, & candy will be hidden in the eggs


    A fundraising Easter Cookout is today from 10:00 to 2:00 at the CVS Store in Olney, plus the Easter Bunny will be on site – includes pork burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, brats, hot dogs, & plenty of baked goodies – proceeds to the Runyon Relay For Life team to benefit the local fight against cancer


    The 7th Annual “Step Up for Downs Syndrome Bake Sale” is this morning at Parklanes in Newton – that’s from now until 11:00, with a special visit from the Easter Bunny from 9:00 to 11:00 – all are invited


    Local author / illustrator, Patty Corcoran, will be signing her newly released book “Irene’s Day at the Zoo” in Olney today from 9:00 to 1:00 at the Roll With It Bakery – the $25 books will be available for purchase with all proceeds  to the Suntone Beach Survivors’ Relay For Life & their fight against cancer


    The historic Sailor Springs Foundation has another “country breakfast” this morning, serving from 8:00 to 10:00 in the Foundation Building – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs are available

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 25, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A ridge of high pressure will slide eastward across Illinois today, resulting in a light wind and eventually some sunshine by afternoon – after a dry and warmer day tomorrow, a pair of upstream short wave troughs will move thru the Midwest – while the first trough misses us to the north, the second one will bring us some rain Sunday afternoon thru Sunday night – then dry the first of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois’ unemployment rate slightly went up in February, up only a tenth of a percentage point to 6.4%, but the fourth straight monthly increase – officials say as more people seek jobs, Illinois’ economy is not creating enough positions to be filled – the national unemployment rate was 4.9% in February – the largest job gains last month were the 6,600 jobs added by the professional and business services sector – on the flip side, construction companies reduced employment in Illinois by 2,400 jobs.

 

(OLNEY)  In college news  :  SIU Carbondale has increased tuition by 3% for all new incoming students – while the cost of 15 mandatory student fees will stay the same, room-and-board fees will increase 1.9% – several student fees at SIU Edwardsville also went up  :  in Charleston, EIU has accepted a faculty union plan to defer more than $2 million in salaries so payroll can be met thru the end of the current fiscal year – all statewide college and universities have had no state payments for the past 9 months since last July 1st due to the state budget stalemate.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Supreme Court has declared that former Governor Pat Quinn was correct in 2011 when he denied state workers a promised 2% pay raise because lawmakers had not appropriated the money – on a 6 to 1 vote, the court determined that the state’s contract with 30,000 members of AFSCME does not trump state law requiring the General Assembly to authorize spending – an arbitrator in the case ruled in favor of the union and then Circuit & Appellate Courts upheld that decision until the ruling made this week.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into a traffic crash that occurred at around 10:49 yesterday morning along U.S. Route 50, a half mile west of  Xenia in Clay County – the State Police say 19 year old Malorie Harris of Centralia was traveling eastbound in a van when she crossed the centerline and struck the driver’s side of an oncoming semi-truck driven by 59 year old James Brown of Wildersville, Tennessee – Harris was airlifted from the scene to a St. Louis Hospital – a passenger in the van, 25 year old Timothy Haynes of Olney, was taken by ambulance to the Clay County Hospital in Flora – the truck driver and another driver, 24 year old Keifer Shaw of Marion, whose car was struck by a tire from the van, were not injured – State Police ticketed Harris for driving on a suspended license, for no insurance, and for improper lane usage – the section of  Route 50 was closed for nearly three hours while emergency crews cleaned up the scene.

 

(NEWTON)  It was a week ago last night that the Jasper County School Board met for its regular monthly meeting in March and approved the hiring of a new District Superintendent – Mr. Andrew Johnson has agreed to take over the duties beginning July 1st later this year, all according to a five-year employment contract – serving as current Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Teutopolis High School, Mr. Johnson graduated from McKendree University in Lebanon in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Physical Education – he then received his Masters of Science Degree in Educational Administration from McKendree in 2009 and his Specialist Degree from Eastern Illinois University in 2014 – Johnson says he is looking forward to the challenge of leading the Jasper County Schools into the future.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney's Tree Board met earlier this week on Wednesday night – the Board  :  discussed its preliminary Street Tree Replacement Program that it plans to present to the Olney City Council next month  :  discussed the locations to plant five trees, as authorized by the City Council – the sites chosen are the right-of-ways near the Carnegie Museum and the block between 416 and 600 East Main Street  :  agreed to recommend to the Richland County High School that a Weeping Cherry Tree be planted as a special recognition  :  noted the recent poll results to designate an Official Flower for the City of Olney – the public’s choice was the Garden Phlox, which will be recommended to the City Council  :  noted that it will be applying to become designated as a Tree City U.S.A.  :  noted that a tree on the right-of-way near 101 South Elliott Street is in bad condition and needs removed  :  also noted the tree on the right-of-way near 141 North Camp Street needs some selective pruning done  :  all Board recommendations go on to the Olney City Council for its consideration  :  the next meeting for the City’s Tree Board will be April 14th.

 

(NEWTON)  The 2016 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens a week from tomorrow, on Saturday, April 2nd, however nine sites, all in upstate Illinois, opened last Saturday, March 19th, for the new Spring Catch-&-Release Fly Fishing-Only Season – at least 50 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state have been stocked with more than 80,000 rainbow trout – all anglers must have a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp – the downstate area sites open on April 2nd includes the Mt. Vernon Game Farm Pond in Jefferson County, the Boston Pond at the Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area near Omega in Marion County, the Sam Dale Trout Pond at Sam Dale Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area west of Johnsonville in Wayne County, the Beall Woods Lake at Beall Woods State Park south of Mt. Carmel in Wabash County, the EIU Campus Pond in Charleston in Coles County, & the Forest Park Lagoon near Shelbyville in Shelby County – for more details on this and all other things outdoors, check the DNR website at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  Local blacksmith & musician Bryan Dale Headley of West Salem is again appearing on RFD-TV’s Rural Heritage Program – the second of three shows will re-air tomorrow at 2:00, featuuring “The Unfolded Cross” special show with a Christian message, both in blacksmithing and song – the third and final show will air next Tuesday, March 29th, and again next Saturday, April 2nd – RFD-TV can be found on Dish Network channel 231 & DirectTV channel 345 – check out the shows with our good friend Bryan.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :  tomorrow at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at the First Presbyterian Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also Monday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:30 to 6:30  :  all blood types & platelets are much needed to replenish low area supplies.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that most all city & village halls, including Olney & Newton, are closed today, in observance of Good Friday – the Noble Village Hall will close at 12:00 noon today – they will all reopen with regular office hours on Monday  :  also the City of Olney Brush Dump is closed today, on this Good Friday, but it will be back open tomorrow, from 10:00 to 4:00  :  also Olney’s curbside recycling pick up will run as usual today  :  and Republic Services will be hauling trash as normal today and tomorrow.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The City of Olney will begin mowing & spring maintenance of the Haven Hill, Maple Dale, & Memorial Garden Cemeteries on the week of April 4th – residents who would like to keep their decorations are asked to have them picked up from the ground by Monday, April 4th – your cooperation is appreciated


    The Olney Elks Lodge #926 will host its Annual Easter Egg Hunt for area children tomorrow morning in the Olney City Park – beginning at 11:00, the Hunt will include different sections for children ages Zero to 10 – free hot dogs will be served afterwards – prizes, cash, coupons, & candy will be hidden in the eggs


    A fundraising Easter Cookout is tomorrow from 10:00 to 2:00 at the CVS Store in Olney, plus the Easter Bunny will be on site – includes pork burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, brats, hot dogs, & plenty of baked goodies – proceeds to the Runyon Relay For Life team to benefit the local fight against cancer


    The 7th Annual “Step Up for Downs Syndrome Bake Sale” is tomorrow morning at Parklanes in Newton – that’s from 5:30 until 11:00, with a special visit from the Easter Bunny from 9:00 to 11:00 – all are invited to stop by Parklanes in Newton this Saturday morning to help out with the special fundraiser


    Local author / illustrator, Patty Corcoran, will be signing her newly released book “Irene’s Day at the Zoo” in Olney tomorrow from 9:00 to 1:00 at the Roll With It Bakery – the $25 books will be available for purchase with all proceeds to the Suntone Beach Survivors’ Relay For Life & their fight against cancer


    The historic Sailor Springs Foundation has another “country breakfast” tomorrow morning, serving from 8:00 to 10:00 in the Foundation Building – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs are available


    The Claremont BonPas Firemen will host a fundraising all-you-can-eat “fish fry” tonight at the Claremont Fire House with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – included Amish pie and more – children 5 & under eat free – tickets at the door – proceeds to help the firemen buy needed safety and firefighting equipment


    The East Fork Bassmasters will again be serving their famous fish sandwiches today under the awning at the Olney IGA Store – serving from 10:30 this morning until their sold out – get their early


    And we pray that you and your families and friends have a blessed Easter Holiday weekend as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – we pray that you and your family are able to attend any of the many area-wide sunrise church services or regular church services this weekend

 

 

 

March 24, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As a low pressure to our north drags a cold front along behind, moving across Illinois by late this afternoon, our rain chances are pretty much this morning thru early afternoon – then the wind switch will bring in some cooler air, but not real cold air by any means – it will be another overnight Friday night low down to around the freezing mark before we warm back up on Saturday – but another low pressure moves thru with rain on Easter Sunday – then we’re dry the first half of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner says private donors could help pay for needed repairs at Illinois’ two state fairgrounds – a bipartisan bill is calling for donors to help fix over $180 million worth of roofing, electrical, & other problems at the fairgrounds in Springfield & Du Quoin – while the Governor pitched the plan Tuesday in the State Capitol, he was in Perry County yesterday – the proposal seems to have support of most all lawmakers since the money saved would go back into human services and schools.

 

(OLNEY)  The State Attorney General’s office collected well over $983 million in revenue on behalf of the state thru litigation & collection efforts in 2015 – nearly a third of that total came thru cases involving the damage to state property, child support enforcement, fines, and penalties – other large amounts came thru tobacco litigation and estate tax revenues – while a portion of the funds help with office expenses, the rest helps fund the state’s pension systems, plus added support for various programs and services in Illinois.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Public Health is observing today as World TB (tuberculosis) Day – the focus is to raise awareness that TB is still present in Illinois and that it can still be fatal – in 2015, there were 344 TB cases reported in Illinois, the first yearly increase in state TB cases since 2005 – folks are reminded that Tuberculosis is contagious, transmitted from person-to-person thru the air when a person with active TB coughs or sneezes – to check the symptoms and for more, logon at  www.dph.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that most all city and village halls, including Olney & Newton, are closed tomorrow, in observance of Good Friday – the Noble Village Hall will close at 12:00 noon tomorrow – they will all reopen with regular office hours on Monday  :  also the City of Olney Brush Dump is closed tomorrow, on Good Friday, but it will be back open Saturday, from 10:00 to 4:00  :  also Olney’s curbside recycling pick up will run as usual tomorrow  :  and Republic Services will be hauling trash as normal the rest of this week.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Preschool and Kindergarten Screening is two weeks away and parents are reminded that the screenings are by appointment only – that’s Thursday, April 7th, two weeks from today, from 11:30 to 6:15, and Friday, April 8th, two weeks from tomorrow, from 8:30 to 2:30 – that’s both dates at the Elm Street Christian Church in Olney – ERBA Headstart and Kid Zone staff will also be available to answer any questions – to schedule that needed appointment, call Sherry at the RCES, at  618-395-8540.

 

(NEWTON)  Jasper County farmers are reminded the month-long signup continues for those who were affected by the late December / early January flooding – the Emergency Conservation Program signup runs now thru April 15th, three weeks from tomorrow – practices available includes debris removal from farmland, the restoration of permanent fencing, the restoration of conservation structures & installations, and the grading, shaping, and re-leveling of land and similar measures – the cost share rates will be determined – to sign up or for more information, call or stop by the Jasper County FSA Office in Newton.

 

(OLNEY)  Today’s the deadline to register for next Tuesday night’s Beef Cow / Calf Meeting to be held at The Holiday in Olney – sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension & the Newton Veterinary Clinic, along with Micronutrients and Merial, various topics will be discussed, plus a round table to answer any questions – it’s signup at 5:30, dinner at 5:50, and the program at 6:30 – to register, area cow/calf producers & others interested in cattle production should contact Teresa Steckler ASAP by calling  618-695-4917.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into a single car crash that occurred yesterday morning on Illinois Route 1, just south of the Route 33 intersection, east of Robinson – State Police report 24 year old Dakota Smith of Terre Haute was southbound when he fell asleep, lost control of his car, it ran off the highway, and into the ditch – Smith was treated at Crawford Memorial Hospital and ticketed for improper lane usage.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues down in Jefferson County where authorities say a Mt. Vernon man is in jail after an early Tuesday morning fire that destroyed the 24-unit Garden Glen Apartment Complex there – 30 year old James Scroggins crashed his van into the complex, which triggered an explosion & fire that completely leveled the building, causing more than $1 million in damages – Scroggins is facing charges of aggravated drunk driving, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and DUI – there were no injuries as law enforcement, ambulance, and firefighting personnel were able to evacuate the 31 families affected.

 

(OLNEY)  The 17th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet, hosted by the Lawrence County Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, is coming up Saturday night, April 2nd, a week from this Saturday, at the Lawrence County 4-H Fairgrounds, along U.S. Route 50, between Sumner & Bridgeport – all ticket holders will be eligible to win valuable prizes with an auction of sporting art, hunting guns, knives, turkey calls, outdoor equipment, and much more – to reserve tickets or for more details, call  812-568-6753.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :  today at the Moose Family Center in Centralia from 11:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at the First Presbyterian Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also Monday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:30 to 6:30  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to replenish low supplies here in our downstate area.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau has several different scholarship opportunities for area seniors, plus college freshmen & sophomores, however the application deadline is fast approaching, a week from tomorrow, April 1st  :  the Myra Lynn Burgener Memorial Scholarship is for Richland County seniors pursuing a career in elementary education  :  the Richland County Farm Bureau and RCFB Young Leaders Scholarships are for Richland County seniors pursuing a career in agriculture  :  the Women’s Committee Scholarship is for a college freshman or sophomore pursuing a career in an agricultural related field  :  all scholarship applications are available at the RCHS guidance office or at the Farm Bureau office in Olney – all completed applications are due either to the RCHS guidance office or the RCFB office by April 1st.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The City of Olney will begin mowing & spring maintenance of the Haven Hill, Maple Dale, & Memorial Garden Cemeteries on the week of April 4th – therefore, residents who would like to keep their decorations are asked to have them picked up from the ground by Monday, April 4th – cooperation is appreciated


    The Olney Elks Lodge #926 will host its Annual Easter Egg Hunt for area children this Saturday morning in the Olney City Park – beginning at 11:00, the Hunt will include different sections for children ages Zero to 10 – free hot dogs will be served afterwards – prizes, cash, coupons, & candy will be hidden in the eggs


    A fundraising Easter Cookout is this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 at the CVS Store in Olney, plus the Easter Bunny will be on site – includes pork burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, brats, hot dogs, & plenty of baked goodies – proceeds to the Runyon Relay For Life team to benefit the local fight against cancer


    The 7th Annual “Step Up for Downs Syndrome Bake Sale” is this Saturday morning at Parklanes in Newton – that’s from 5:30 until 11:00, with a special visit from the Easter Bunny from 9:00 to 11:00 – all are invited to stop by Parklanes in Newton this Saturday morning to help out with the special fundraiser


    Local author / illustrator, Patty Corcoran, will be signing her newly released book “Irene’s Day at the Zoo” in Olney this Saturday from 9:00 to 1:00 at the Roll With It Bakery – the $25 books will be available for purchase with all proceeds  to the Suntone Beach Survivors’ Relay For Life team & their fight against cancer


    The historic Sailor Springs Foundation has another “country breakfast” this Saturday morning, serving from 8:00 to 10:00 in the Foundation Building – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs are available


    The Claremont BonPas Firemen will host a fundraising all-you-can-eat “fish fry” this Friday night at the Claremont Fire House with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – included Amish pie and more – children 5 & under eat free – tickets at the door – proceeds to help the firemen buy needed safety and firefighting equipment


    The East Fork Bassmasters will again be serving their famous fish sandwiches this Friday under the awning at the Olney IGA Store – serving from 10:30 until their sold out – get their early

 

 

 

March 23, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A surface low pressure system that’s stationary over Northern Illinois will move a little further north today, giving us more mild air and a strong south/southwest wind flow – but an approaching cold front from the west will move thru the Midwest by tomorrow night, giving us shower and thunderstorm chances tonight & thru the day on Thursday – then cooler for Friday and the weekend ahead – then there’s another chance of rain and showers on Easter Sunday – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitors Bureaus reports the ongoing budget problems & marketing budget cuts is putting thousands of tourism jobs at risk around the state – a study released this week shows a 20% cut from $63.8 million for tourism marketing in fiscal year 2014 would cost the state $2.3 billion in visitor spending – also at risk are some 4,600 jobs and nearly $200 million in taxes over four years – the report also noted that tourism spending hit a record $36.3 billion in 2014 with 109.4 million visitors to Illinois – the numbers will be down for 2015 with the budget impasse.

 

(OLNEY)  The state & the nation’s largest union of public employees will head to court over an arbitrator’s decision that Governor Bruce Rauner was within his rights to order the layoffs of more than 150 state workers last year – while the state has gone to court in Sangamon County to uphold the ruling, AFSCME plans to file a counter-claim asking the court to vacate the ruling – in the decision, the arbitrator said the Governor’s administration had the right to exercise broad powers to deal with the state budget crisis.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Illinois State Tournament on Saturday, April 2nd, on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield – participation remains strong as 1,015 archers from 35 schools have registered to compete this year as the number of  those taking part has steadily climbed from 400 in 2012 – the top archers in all three age groups qualify for the NASP National Tournament to be held May 12th-14th in Louisville, Kentucky – the downstate schools taking part are in Mattoon, Champaign, Danville, Highland, and Pinckneyville.

 

(OLNEY)  Authorities are again warning area residents to be alert to a couple of current scams that are still circulating  :  one involves false phone calls from the Internal Revenue Service claiming the resident owes money and must pay immediately to avoid fines & jail time – the calls appear to be from Washington D.C. but they are not  :  the other scam is false phone calls from a utility company claiming residents owe money and must pay at once by giving out personal banking account information  :  remember folks, neither the IRS or local utility companies call and make such demands over the phone – most all initial contact made to customers is by mail and never by telephone and/or email – never give out personal details or information.

 

(NEWTON)  With the possibility of severe weather tonight, area residents are reminded to be prepared in advance – folks are encouraged to go online, to the state’s website, at  www.Ready.Illinois.gov,  and to read & print off the Severe Weather Preparedness Guide, which provides valuable information about tornadoes, severe storms, lightning, & flooding, along with recommended actions to take before, during, and after each of these weather events – plus now throughout this month of March, folks can read the prepared details and answer a five-question quiz for a chance to win one of  100 weather alert radios to be randomly given away.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District is offering another concealed carry course to area residents – the 16-hour class requires firearms training with both classroom and range instruction, and will be held at Olney Central College on Thursday night and Friday night, April 14th and 15th, from 6:00 to 10:00 each night – then the final day on Saturday, April 16th, from 8:00 to 4:00, at the Olney Gun Range – a summer class is also scheduled for later this year, July 7th thru 9th – the tuition and fees are $173 for in-District residents and must be paid in advance to reserve a seat in the course – tuition is waived for residents in the IECC District who are age 60 and older – to register or for details, call OCC today at  618-395-7777.

 

(OLNEY)  Area cow-calf producers and others interested in cattle production will find valuable information available at an upcoming Beef Cow / Calf meeting in Olney next week – the University of Illinois Extension and the Newton Veterinary Clinic, along with Micronutrients & Merial, are sponsoring the Beef Cow / Calf Meeting next Tuesday night, March 29th, from 6:00 to 8:00, at The Holiday in Olney – with signup to start at 5:30, dinner will be served at 5:50, and the program will start promptly at 6:30 – various topics will be discussed that will help beef cattle producers make profit driven decisions, such as meeting cow nutrient requirements on washy grass, spring calving & herd health considerations, cow herd parasite management, and cow herd mineral supplementation, plus Dr. Jessica McKinney, of the Newton Veterinary Clinic, will lead a round table discussion that will include the Veterinary Feed Directive and topics from those attending – for an accurate food count, pre-registration is requested by the close of office hours tomorrow, on Thursday, March 24th – those interested should contact Teresa Steckler ASAP by calling  618-695-4917.

 

(NEWTON)  Congressman John Shimkus is still accepting entries for the 2016 Congressional Art Competition, a contest that’s open to high school students in the downstate 15th Congressional District with entries due by April 5th, two weeks from yesterday – acceptable mediums include paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photographs, computer-generated art, and mixed media – plus other requirements apply – the winning entry will be chosen by a panel from the District and the finalists will also be displayed on the Congressman’s website and Facebook page – area art teachers are encouraged to enter their students – for entry forms and a full list of guidelines, go to the Congressman’s website at www.shimkus.house.gov/art.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :  tomorrow at the Moose Family Center in Centralia from 11:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at the First Presbyterian Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also Monday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:30 to 6:30  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to replenish low supplies here in our downstate area.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The City of Olney will begin mowing & spring maintenance of the Haven Hill, Maple Dale, & Memorial Garden Cemeteries on the week of April 4th – therefore, residents who would like to keep their decorations are asked to have them picked up from the ground by Monday, April 4th – cooperation is appreciated


    The Richland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is selling some remaining pecans & mixed nuts from their recent sale – the price has been reduced to $9 per one-pound bag – stop by the RMH Gift Shop Monday thru Friday, from 9:00 to 4:00 – all proceeds go to the Auxiliary projects at Richland Memorial Hospital


    The Olney Elks Lodge #926 will host its Annual Easter Egg Hunt for area children this Saturday morning in the Olney City Park – beginning at 11:00, the Hunt will include different sections for children ages Zero to 10 – free hot dogs will be served afterwards – prizes, cash, coupons, & candy will be hidden in the eggs


    The 7th Annual “Step Up for Downs Syndrome Bake Sale” is this Saturday morning at Parklanes in Newton – that’s from 5:30 until 11:00, with a special visit from the Easter Bunny from 9:00 to 11:00 – all are invited to stop by Parklanes in Newton this Saturday morning to help out with the special fundraiser


    The historic Sailor Springs Foundation has another “country breakfast” this Saturday morning, serving from 8:00 to 10:00 in the Foundation Building – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs are available


    The Claremont BonPas Firemen will host a fundraising all-you-can-eat “fish fry” this Friday night at the Claremont Fire House with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – included Amish pie and more – children 5 & under eat free – tickets at the door – proceeds to help the firemen buy needed safety and firefighting equipment


    The East Fork Bassmasters will again be serving their famous fish sandwiches this Friday under the awning at the Olney IGA Store – serving from 10:30 until their sold out – get their early


    The City of Olney’s Tree Board will have its next meeting tonight at the Olney City Hall, starting at 7:00 – several items are on the agenda for discussion – all recommendations go to the Olney City Council

 

 

 

March 22, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  High pressure east of the Upper Midwest region will keep us dry today with more sunshine and a strong southerly wind flow, plus warmer air will move in today thru tonight – an approaching low pressure will move across the state by Thursday, that means more warm air tomorrow with rain and thunderstorms possible – then dry and cooler Friday thru Saturday – maybe rain showers Sunday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – legislation has been introduced in Springfield to raise the age required to purchase tobacco products in Illinois from 18 to 21 – lawmakers site a study by the Institute of Medicine that estimates raising the age to 21 would lead to a 25% reduction in smoking among those ages 15 to 17 and a 15% drop among those 18 to 20 – the Illinois Retail Association says those affected by the change would simply find other ways to obtain tobacco products – the bill now goes to Committee for discussion.

 

(OLNEY)  Positive housing market momentum carried into February with home sales and median prices experiencing solid year-over-year gains, even amid lower inventory levels – the Illinois Association of Realtors reports statewide home sales last month totaled 8,528 units, up 5.7% from February of last year – the statewide median price in February was $160,000 which is up 7.8% from a year ago in February 2015 – the time it took to sell an Illinois home in February averaged 81 days, down from 90 days a year ago.

 

(NEWTON)  Silver bars, gold coins, collectible football cards, and jewelry are among the 12,600 items worth some $57,000 to be auctioned off online next week, March 28th thru April 1st – since the State Treasurer is the custodian of more than one million pieces of unclaimed property worth more than $2 billion, items are auctioned after private & public entities tried for at least 10 years to locate the owners – to take part in the auction, logon at  www.illinoistreasurer.gov – it starts at 10:00 next Monday morning.

 

(OLNEY)  It was a week ago this past Friday night, prior to the first of seven performances of the OCC Theatre production of “South Pacific”, that the stage of the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center was named in honor of the late Ruth Henry – in recognition of her 40 years as OCC Theater Director and the guiding presence behind the scenes, Henry’s name will now permanently grace the PAC stage – Henry helped launch OCC’s first theatrical production in 1976 and went on to produce 69 shows as OCC Theater Director, plus Henry was active in the community as an Olney Arts Council member and a longtime Board Member of the Southeastern Illinois Community Concert Association – joining the OCC staff  in 1972 as a part-time vocal instructor and organizing OCC’s first choir, Henry was the college’s longest-serving employee when she passed away at the age of  82 back on November 19th, last year, in 2015.

 

(NEWTON)  The Embarras River Basin Agency is still accepting applications for its SkillsTraining Employment Program, known as STEP, which gives help to assist individuals with training for future employment opportunities – for an appointment, call or contact any of the ERBA Outreach Offices in the area counties of  Jasper, Richland, Lawrence, Crawford, Clark, Cumberland, Coles, Edgar, and Douglas.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Soil & Water Conservation District is taking orders for its spring tree sale with a variety of evergreen species available – the list includes Colorado Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, Scotch Pine, and White Pine – while the seedlings can be purchased in bundles of 10, 20, or 25, there is a limited quantity of trees, so early ordering is suggested – the ordering deadline is March 31st, a week from this Thursday – call or stop by the SWCD office in Newton – the phone number is  618-783-2319, ext. 3.

 

(OLNEY)  Some reminders for area hunters  :  the Spring Youth Turkey Season County permits are still available over-the-counter from IDNR license/permit vendors around the state – the South Zone Youth Season is this coming weekend, Saturday & Sunday, March 26th & 27th, for the area counties of  Richland, Lawrence, Crawford, Jasper, Effingham, Clay, and all others to the south – the North Zone Turkey Season is the following weekend, April 2nd & 3rd, for the area counties of  Cumberland, Clark, Christian, Coles, and all others to the north  :  and don’t forget the new license year begins on April 1st, one week from this Friday – Illinois fishing, hunting, & sportsman’s combination licenses & stamps for 2106 are now on sale from all IDNR license/permit vendors  :  for all things outdoors in Illinois, logon at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Grove Township Community Center wants to thank everyone for helping out with its annual Easter Egg Hunt this past Saturday, deemed another success – there were over 4,500 eggs available for the children that took part – the Center is now preparing for its upcoming Country Rhodes Fish Fry fundraiser, which is set for Saturday, May 7th – also included there this year will be a gun & cash raffle with only five hundred $20 tickets for sale – plus those that would like to work or donate a dessert for the event are asked to call Kim at  217-663-2505 – that’s also the number to call to buy raffle tickets as well.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s Dodransbicentennial Commission is currently inviting applicants to for the upcoming 175th Anniversary Celebration Festival on July 23rd this year in Olney – for those who’d like to set up a booth for food, artisan, or historical purposes, or those with a youth activity or something similar, contact Deb by calling  618-843-7044 – a focus on historic themes is encouraged – it’s all for the City of Olney’s 175th Anniversary Celebration Festival later this summer on July 23rd – again, call  618-843-7044.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau Young Leaders and the Richland County 4-H Program will continue hosting their Tractor & Farm Safety Courses for countywide 4-H members over the next three consecutive Tuesday night’s – the next course will be offered tonight at Paul Pampe Repair in Parkersburg, starting at 7:00 – the remaining courses will be March 29th at the FS Plant in Olney and April 5th at Consolidated Grain & Barge in Olney – for more, contact the Richland County Extension office in Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :   today at the Highland Church of Christ in Robinson from 3:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Moose Family Center in Centralia from 11:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed in our downstate area.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The City of Olney will begin mowing & spring maintenance of the Haven Hill, Maple Dale, & Memorial Garden Cemeteries on the week of April 4th – therefore, residents who would like to keep their decorations are asked to have them picked up from the ground by Monday, April 4th – cooperation is appreciated


    The Richland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is selling some remaining pecans & mixed nuts from their recent sale – the price has been reduced to $9 per one-pound bag – stop by the RMH Gift Shop Monday thru Friday, from 9:00 to 4:00 – all proceeds go to the Auxiliary projects at Richland Memorial Hospital


    The Olney Elks Lodge #926 will host its Annual Easter Egg Hunt for area children this Saturday morning in the Olney City Park – beginning at 11:00, the Hunt will include different sections for children ages Zero to 10 – free hot dogs will be served afterwards – prizes, cash, coupons, & candy will be hidden in the eggs


    The 7th Annual “Step Up for Downs Syndrome Bake Sale” is this Saturday morning at Parklanes in Newton – that’s from 5:30 until 11:00, with a special visit from the Easter Bunny from 9:00 to 11:00 – all are invited to stop by Parklanes in Newton this Saturday morning to help out with the special fundraiser


    The historic Sailor Springs Foundation has another “country breakfast” this Saturday morning, serving from 8:00 to 10:00 in the Foundation Building – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs are available


    The Claremont BonPas Firemen will host a fundraising all-you-can-eat “fish fry” this Friday night at the Claremont Fire House with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – included Amish pie and more – children 5 & under eat free – tickets at the door – proceeds to help the firemen buy needed safety and firefighting equipment


    The City of Olney’s Tree Board will have its next meeting tomorrow night at the Olney City Hall, starting at 7:00 – several items are on the agenda for discussion – all recommendations go to the Olney City Council


    A planning meeting for the 2016 Parkersburg Chowder is tonight (Tuesday) at the Community Building in Parkersburg, starting at 7:00 – discussion will include the proposed date for this year’s event, plus more – all interested in helping are encouraged to attend – if any questions, call Jan at  618-838-2012

 

***   A reminder that an upcoming Relay For Life fundraiser at the Olney VFW is not tonight, but a month from tonight, on April 22nd – so mark your calendar – the Relay For Life fundraiser at the Olney VFW – it’s April 22nd