LOCAL NEWS

Local News

March 21, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  The warm front that lifted north across the Midwest last night will give us warmer-than-normal conditions today, but with clouds tonight, there’s a slight chance of some scattered rain – then the cold front to our west will move thru with a wind change overnight and cooler air moving in for tomorrow – plus, colder air Sunday and Monday before rain and/or snow mixed up next Tuesday – be listening for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  A plan to boost the minimum wage in Illinois is headed for a vote in the State Senate – the plan to increase the rate from the current $8.25 an hour to $10.65 an hour was approved in committee yesterday – supporters say workers need the pay hike, businesses say it may force them to layoff workers.

 

(OLNEY)  A Millionaire’s Tax is being introduced in Springfield – House Speaker Michael Madigan wants to raise money for K-12 education by taxing millionaires an extra 3% – Madigan says the plan could bring in an extra $1 billion a year if approved by voters – the measure would have to put on the November ballot.

 

(NEWTON)  The search is over for a missing Gallatin County woman as crews pulled the body of Chrissy Williams from the Ohio River, near Rosiclare, just a few miles from her home – she was inside her SUV and at this time foul play is suspected – Williams was reported missing by her family on December 2nd.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting – the Board  :  approved the amended School Calendar with the last day of school set for May 23rd – the graduation at East Richland High School will be May 18th at 3:00 – the Middle School promotion will be May 22nd at 7:00  :  approved the $123,000 bid to re-roof the ERHS Sliva Auditorium  :  approved the $88,898 bid for the ERES flooring project  :  approved the Athletic Trainer agreement with Richland Memorial Hospital  :  approved the Summer Maintenance and Five Year Maintenance Plans  :  approved Student Fees for next school year – the only increase involves a few food service prices  :  noted the State now owes the District $834,810  :  accepted the retirement resignation of bus driver Pam Ledeker  :  accepted the retirement of Klay Wheeler as ERHS Scholar Bowl Coach  :  hired Andy Julian as ERHS Assistant Principal for next school year  :  approved Bernie Rusk as a volunteer baseball coach  :  approved the list of nine summer maintenance workers  :  approved the Reduction in Force resolution to let go 17 employees at the end of the school year – includes 4 certified teachers (Leslie Davis, Molly Hahn, Chelsea Kermicle, Kyle Shipman) and 13 educational support staff (Melissa Belcher, Stacey Frichtl, Danny Hartleroad, Leslie Davis, Brandi Mitchell, Tracy Mehl, Amy Rhoads, Robert Phillips, Cathy Steber, Darletta Wagner, Julie Williams, Erin Whisler, & Harry Wells)  :  the School Board’s next regular monthly meeting will be April 17th.

 

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

 

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to those who were honored at the recent annual convention of the Illinois Oil & Gas Association  :  the Service Person of the Year was Gareld Bilyew, a Pump Repair Specialist from Oblong  :  the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Chris Mitchell of George Mitchell Drilling of Carmi  :  the Petroleum Professional of the Year was Dale Helpingstine with Shakespeare Oil Company of Salem  :  the Petroleum Professional Woman of the Year was Sherry Hutchison of Orion Petro of Mt. Vernon  :  the Outstanding Exploration and Development Award went to Cambell Energy of Carmi   :  the IOAG reports one of their largest crowds attended the convention held earlier this month in Evansville – thanks to all.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that over-the-counter sales of county permits for the Spring Youth Wild Turkey Season continues – the dates for this year’s Youth Turkey hunts are next weekend, March 29th and 30th here in the Southern Zone, and April 5th and 6th in the Northern Zone  :  also, the random daily drawings for resident hunters for 2014 Spring Wild Turkey permits continue  :  check the DNR website for details.

 

(NEWTON)  The State DNR will be hosting the National Archery in the Schools Program Illinois State Tournament coming up tomorrow on the State Fairgrounds in Springfield – participation continues to grow as 873 archers from 32 schools have qualified to compete tomorrow – last year’s tournament drew about 700 archers with 400 students competing in 2012 – the three divisions of competition range from 4th thru 12th grades – tomorrow’s top finishers qualify for the NASP National Tournament to be held in May down in Louisville, Kentucky – the only downstate schools taking part are from Pinckneyville and Highland.

 

(OLNEY)  Orders are still being accepted for the annual spring fish and tree sales at the Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District office – for fish, the last day to order grass carp is March 25th, next Tuesday, while all other species of fish can be ordered until April 4th – the delivery date for fish is April 8th in the Olney City Park – tree orders can be made now thru the end of March with the delivery date during the week of April 14th – call or stop by the SWCD office in Olney for details or to place an order – other surrounding SWCD offices are also taking such orders, including those in Newton and Louisville.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of notes from the City of Olney  :  if residents have leaves that need picked up, call the Olney City Hall at 395-7302 by next Monday to schedule a pick up – leaves will no longer be scheduled for pick up after next Monday – plus, leaves can be taken to the city’s brush dump on West Mack Avenue – it’s open from 10:00 to 3:00 each Monday, Friday, & Saturday.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s been announced this morning that tickets for the OCC Theatre’s performance of “Shrek the Musical” are sold out for this weekend, with the first of seven performances tonight, plus tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon – tickets are also sold out for the final performance a week from Sunday, on March 30th – now tickets are still available for the 7:30 shows next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 27th, 28th, and 29th, however tickets are going fast – tickets are on sale today from 10:00 until 2:00 at the ticket booth.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Olney Public Library is still accepting used books, CD’s, and DVD’s for its annual “book sale” fundraiser coming up on April 11th and 12th – to help out, stop by or call the Library at 618-392-3711


    The 3rd annual Olney Community Job Fair is next Wednesday, March 26th, at The Holiday in Olney – running from 10:00 to 3:00 that day, the event invites everyone – employers can call 217-520-7988


    The Lake Land Community Choir will have its annual spring concert this Sunday afternoon at 3:00 in the College Theater – a reception will follow the free concert – all ages are invited to attend


    The next fundraising breakfast is this Sunday morning at the St. Joseph School cafeteria with serving from 8:00 to 11:30 and tickets on sale at the door – proceeds to help with the next St. Joseph DC trip


    The local band “The Dip Sixty” will be playing tomorrow night at The Gypsy in downtown Olney starting at 9:00 – proceeds to the Suntone Beach Survivors & the local Relay For Life fight against cancer


    A fundraising benefit for Jennifer Vowels in her fight against breast cancer is tomorrow night at the Elks in Lawrenceville from 5:00 to 9:00 – includes food, live music, a silent auction, and more


    The Calhoun Community Club has its soup fundraiser tomorrow from 11:00 to 2:00 with chili and chowder by the bowl or bulk, plus other food and desserts available – all proceeds to towards a new roof for the Community Building there in Calhoun, plus for other upcoming community events – all are invited


    The Parkersburg Community Club “spring carry-out chowder” is tomorrow with serving from 11:00 until sold out at the Parkersburg Community Building – for non-glass containers only – all proceeds from Saturday’s chowder in Parkersburg will be used for various are community projects in the future


    And it’s another Friday night “fish fry” tonight at the Knights of Columbus Hall along Whittle Avenue in Olney with serving from 5:00 to 7:30 – pay at the door with carry-outs available – all are invited tonight

 

 

 

March 20, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  A high pressure ridge moving in from the west will bring us warmer temperatures and quiet weather conditions today, plus even warmer air moves in for tomorrow – but, an approaching cold front will move thru mostly dry Friday night with cooler air in place Saturday and colder on Sunday – the new extended forecast calls from dry and cool weather on tap for the first of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The State Attorney General’s office is going after a short-term lending company – officials say All Credit Lenders is setting people up for failure, charging up to 500% in interest and fees – this means if the customer just pays the minimum balance every month, they would never pay the loan off because none of their payment is applied to the principal – the suit is seeking to ban the company from Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  The State Treasurer’s office continues the next two days with its Online Unclaimed Property Auction, running the rest of today until10:00 tomorrow morning – it started this week with more than 14,000 items available for purchase – to register and become a bidder, logon at www.treasurer.il.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The fight for Governor is likely going to be the most expensive in Illinois history – political analysts expect Governor Pat Quinn and challenger Bruce Rauner to spend from $80 and $100 million between the two of them – that means voters can expect to see and hear an overflow of ads from the two candidates – in fact, the mudslinging has already started with Quinn attacking Rauner for being out of touch with working class people – Rauner says Quinn has failed to lead the state out of its financial hole.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community College Board of Trustees met earlier this week – the Board  :  approved the revised Campus Emergency Plans for each of the four IECC campuses  :  accepted the annual report of the IECC 403(b) plan  :  approved the payment of balance owed Ameren under the Ameren Newton Settlement Agreement  :  approved agreements between two area hospitals and five area high schools concerning the District’s Health Careers Program established in 2009  :  in personnel matters, the Board – hired Ed Patton as full-time temporary Lineman Instructor – hired Kalie Naas as Coordinator of Career Advisement at Wabash Valley College – hired Aaron White as Coordinator of Financial Aid at Lincoln Trail College – hired Debbie Bryant as Administrative Assistant at Frontier Community College – changed the employment status of Raymond Gillette to full-time Custodian at Wabash Valley College – and accepted the retirement for Larry Arnold as Custodian at Wabash Valley  :  no other action was taken after a 81-minute closed session to discuss personnel and real estate  :  the next IECC meeting will be April 15th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Health Department is offering several scheduled dates and locations for enrollment in the “Get Covered Illinois” health insurance program – due to limited space, it’s recommended that folks call ahead of time to schedule an appointment for a specific location – the next enrollment chance is tomorrow at the Jasper County Health Department offices from 8:00 to 4:00 – the final two scheduled dates are next Tuesday, the 25th, and a week after that, on April 1st – for more information or to schedule an appointment time, call the Jasper County Health Department offices in Newton at 618-783-4154.

 

(NOBLE)  The West Richland FFA Novice Parliamentary Procedure team finished in first place at the District 5 Contest held this past Tuesday night down at SIU in Carbondale  :  Faith Stallard placed first as overall Secretary  :  Cheyla Lamb placed 2nd as Floor Member  :  Vanessa Yager was 4th place Chairman  :  other team members were Garrett Williams, Kyleigh Hemrich, and Savannah Runyon  :  this West Richland FFA team now advances to competition at the State FFA Convention – West Richland is the reigning State Novice Champions from the 2013 convention – the Novice event is for 7th, 8th, & 9th grade FFA members.

 

(OLNEY)  Downstate voters made their voices heard with area referendum issues during Tuesday’s primary election  :  down in Johnson County, the voters rejected a proposal to restrict hydraulic fracking, a form of oil drilling – the 3 to 1 vote on the non-binding referendum was meant to advise the County Commission on whether to support or oppose the process  :  meanwhile, voters in at least four area cities approved a power aggregation referendum – residents in Bridgeport, Albion, Cisne, & Norris City, along with several others, will look for lower electricity rates by shopping in bulk with four of the country’s largest electric suppliers.

 

(NEWTON)  The Teutopolis Education Association has announced that they will begin a strike tomorrow if a tentative contract agreement is not in place by then – the main concern for teachers is the hard freeze in pay increases that the Board is seeking, plus a two-tier pay scale – the Teutopolis School Board is looking at several options concerning the issue – the teachers’ contract expired at the start of the school year.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of notes from the City of Olney  :  if residents have leaves that need picked up, call the Olney City Hall at 395-7302 by next Monday to schedule a pick up – leaves will no longer be scheduled for pick up after next Monday – plus, leaves can be taken to the city’s brush dump on West Mack Avenue – it’s open from 10:00 to 3:00 each Monday, Friday, and Saturday  :  also, the Boone Street Storm Water Project continues with the portion of Fair Street closed between Scott and Vine Streets – that work will continue for another few weeks – while local residents there can enter from the north or south, no thru traffic is allowed.

 

(OLNEY)  The OCC Theatre Ticket Office is extending its ticket sale hours for the production of “Shrek the Musical” – continuing now thru tomorrow night, tickets will be on sale from 5:00 to 7:00 each weekday evening, plus during the day, from 10:00 to 2:00 – call or stop by the ticket office today as soon as possible – the first of six performances over the next two weekends is this coming Friday night, the 21st.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Richland County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee is sponsoring an Agricultural Spelling Bee for middle school students on Tuesday, April 1st – registration is free and the Grand Prize is a new iPad2 – for more, logon at www.richlandcountyfarmbureau.com or call the office in Olney at 393-4116


    The 3rd annual Olney Community Job Fair is next Wednesday, March 26th, at The Holiday in Olney – running from 10:00 to 3:00 that day, the event invites everyone – employers can call 217-520-7988


    The next fundraising breakfast is this Sunday morning at the St. Joseph School cafeteria with serving from 8:00 to 11:30 and tickets on sale at the door – proceeds to help with the next St. Joseph DC trip


    The local band “The Dip Sixty” will be playing this Saturday night at The Gypsy in downtown Olney starting at 9:00 – proceeds to the Suntone Beach Survivors & the local Relay For Life fight against cancer


    A fundraising benefit for Jennifer Vowels in her fight against breast cancer is this Saturday night at the Elks in Lawrenceville from 5:00 to 9:00 – includes food, live music, a silent auction, and more


    The Calhoun Community Club has its soup fundraiser this Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00 with chili and chowder by the bowl or bulk, plus other food and desserts available – all proceeds to towards a new roof for the Community Building there in Calhoun, plus for other upcoming community events – all are invited


    The Parkersburg Community Club “spring carry-out chowder” is this Saturday with serving from 11:00 until sold out at the Parkersburg Community Building – for non-glass containers only – all proceeds from Saturday’s chowder in Parkersburg will be used for various are community projects in the future


    Spring will officially arrive at 11:57 this morning when the vernal equinox occurs – this is the time that daytime and nighttime are approximately equal, with the Sun rising due east and setting due west

 

 

 

March 19, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a cold front swings thru the Midwest today, our rain chances will end and it’s a return to cool, but dry air on a strong westerly wind – then with a brief warm-up tomorrow and especially Friday, another quick-moving front moves thru with rain possible Friday night, followed by cooler air Saturday and especially on Sunday – then another chance of rain moving thru next Monday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – Governor Pat Quinn will have an uphill battle in an effort to keep his job – he’ll be up against multi-millionaire Bruce Rauner in the November general election – both men won their primary election last night, Quinn with no problem over challenger Tio Hardiman, and Rauner will a slim win over Kirk Dillard – Quinn has already released an ad attacking Rauner on the issue of minimum wage.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s during this National Flood Safety Week that the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is warning people about the risks of driving or walking thru standing water – drivers often underestimate how deep or how fast the water is moving across roads – vehicles can be swept away in as little as two feet of water – drivers should always remember to “turn around, don’t drown” when they see a flooded roadway.

 

(NEWTON)  Four lottery players in Illinois are now millionaires – lottery officials say each of the four won a-million-bucks on the St. Patrick’s Day Millionaire Raffle with the winning tickets bought at convenience stores in Bloomington, Decatur, Gillespie, and Collinsville – winners have one year to claim their cash.

 

(OLNEY)  Less than 14% of the Richland County voters went to the polls yesterday for the primary election  :  the only local race was on the Democratic ballot for Richland County Sheriff, where Ronald Krueger beat out Brian James O’Neill II, 272 votes to 27 – Krueger will now face Sheriff Andy Hires on November 4th, in the general election later this fall – Hires, by the way, received 1,050 votes while unopposed on the Republican ballot  :  local officer holders, County Clerk Alice Mullinax and County Treasurer Sheila Ritter, were running for re-election unopposed  :  County Board members Melinda Hunt, Bill Clow Jr., and Dennis Graves were all running unopposed  :  all precinct committeemen on both ballots were elected unopposed.

 

(NEWTON)  Nearly 26% of the voters in Jasper County went to the polls on Tuesday  :  the only local race was on the Republican ballot for Jasper County Sheriff, where Dan Cheadle beat out John Curtis, 659 votes to 302 – Cheadle will now face candidate Rick Britton who was unopposed on the Democratic ballot with 538 votes  :  local office holders, County Clerk Linda Griffith Huth and County Treasurer Clinton Bigard, were unopposed  :  County Board candidates Brian Leffler, Dustin Granby, Angela Fehrenbacher, Ron Heltsley, Jeffrey Smithenry, and Danny Kerner were all unopposed  :  all precinct committeemen on both ballots were elected unopposed  :  and on the question “should the office of Supervisor of Assessments of Jasper County be an elected position?” – there were 1,481 “yes” votes and 206 “no’s” within the county.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night for less than an hour – the Council  :  agreed to accept the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City of Newton and the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the Southern and Central Illinois Laborers’ District Council, and the Laborors’ Local 1197  :  authorized the Cobra rates for 2014 as presented  :  approved claims worth $54,583 for the month of February  :  agreed to send City Waste Water Department employees to the annual conference of the Illinois Association of Water Pollution Control Operators in Springfield next month  :  noted that the City Street Department is starting to work on the city’s new road program  :  noted that budget work is underway for fiscal year 2015  :  noted the proposed community garden project to be located on the corner of South Church Street and Decatur Street  :  also noted that the City of Teutopolis will keep its water agreement with the City of Newton  :  and took no other action after a short 7-minute closed session to discuss litigation and potential litigation  :  the Newton City Council’s next regular meeting is April 1st.

 

(OLNEY)  It will be official during the day tomorrow as spring begins with the vernal equinox at just before noon, at 11:57 our time – it’s at this time that the daytime and nighttime are approximately equal with the Sun rising due east and setting due west – while the tilt of the Earth is always at about 23.5 degrees, it’s also at this time that the Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun – it’s officially “springtime” after tomorrow although we’ve had hints of warmer weather a few days over the past week or so – enjoy.

 

(NEWTON)  The uncle of a 7 year old murder victim will spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole – 22 year old Justin DeRyke pled guilty in Effingham County Court yesterday in the death of Willow Long as her body was found near Watson last fall, following a massive search – yesterday’s court appearance was suppose to be for pre-trial motions however the negotiated plea was reached and approved.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of notes from the City of Olney  :  if residents have leaves that need picked up, call the Olney City Hall at 395-7302 by next Monday to schedule a pick up – leaves will no longer be scheduled for pick up after next Monday – plus, leaves can be taken to the city’s brush dump on West Mack Avenue – it’s open from 10:00 to 3:00 each Monday, Friday, and Saturday  :  also, the Boone Street Storm Water Project continues with the portion of Fair Street closed between Scott and Vine Streets – that work will continue for another few weeks – while local residents there can enter from the north or south, no thru traffic is allowed.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton Water Department has issued a “boil water order” for water customers on Scott Street, from Reynolds Street to Jourdan Street, for all of Hillcrest Drive, and for Decatur Street, from Elizabeth Street to Scott Street – water customers in these areas should boil their water before cooking or drinking until further notice – it’s due to emergency water line repairs made overnight by city workers.

 

(OLNEY)  The OCC Theatre Ticket Office is extending its ticket sale hours for the production of “Shrek the Musical” – continuing now thru tomorrow night, tickets will be on sale from 5:00 to 7:00 each weekday evening, plus during the day, from 10:00 to 2:00 – call or stop by the ticket office today as soon as possible – the first of six performances over the next two weekends is this coming Friday night, the 21st.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Richland County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee is sponsoring an Agricultural Spelling Bee for middle school students on Tuesday, April 1st – registration is free and the Grand Prize is a new iPad2 – for more, logon at www.richlandcountyfarmbureau.com or call the office in Olney at 393-4116


    The 3rd annual Olney Community Job Fair is next Wednesday, March 26th, at The Holiday in Olney – running from 10:00 to 3:00 that day, the event invites everyone – employers can call 217-520-7988


    The next fundraising breakfast is this Sunday morning at the St. Joseph School cafeteria with serving from 8:00 to 11:30 and tickets on sale at the door – proceeds to help with the next St. Joseph DC trip


    A fundraising benefit for Jennifer Vowels in her fight against breast cancer is this Saturday night at the Elks in Lawrenceville from 5:00 to 9:00 – includes food, live music, a silent auction, and more


    The Calhoun Community Club has its soup fundraiser this Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00 with chili and chowder by the bowl or bulk, plus other food and desserts available – all proceeds to towards a new roof for the Community Building there in Calhoun, plus for other upcoming community events – all are invited


    The Parkersburg Community Club “spring carry-out chowder” is this Saturday with serving from 11:00 until sold out at the Parkersburg Community Building – for non-glass containers only – all proceeds from Saturday’s chowder in Parkersburg will be used for various are community projects in the future


    The Richland Memorial Hospital Relay for Life team has a “barbeque lunch” fundraiser today in the RMH Cafeteria – serving from 10:30 to 1:30 – it’s good food raising funds for the local fight against cancer

 

 

 

March 18, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  Southerly winds on the back side of a departing high pressure will bring warmer air back into the Midwest today – but the warm-up will be short-lived as an approaching cold front swings thru the region with a few scattered showers tonight thru tomorrow morning – then we’re back to cool and dry conditions for the rest of the work week with a mostly dry weekend coming up as well – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – the State Attorney General’s office is asking major retailers to stop selling tobacco products – at least 28 Attorney Generals across the nation say major stores and chains are sending a mixed message because they market themselves as a source for community health care, yet they sell tobacco products – the nationwide action was made Sunday as letters were sent out to the retailers.

 

(OLNEY)  The Federal Emergency Management Agency is pitching in more than $4 million to help rebuild communities that were hit by severe flooding – the state will divvy up the funds among towns in Alexander County – it will be used to buy up 167 flood-prone properties, plus it will be used to raise four buildings above the flood danger zone – it’s the result of widespread flooding in downstate Illinois back in 2011.

 

(NEWTON)  Republican lawmakers have been calling on the Governor to fire DOC Director Salvador Godinez, but it looks like he may be keeping his job – a Senate Committee re-confirmed Godinez yesterday as the hearing was held outside of Springfield – many lawmakers say Godinez is too soft on prisoners which they say has led to increased violence – approval in the full Senate is needed for Godinez to keep his job.

 

(OLNEY)  The 2014 primary election is today with the polls open from now until 7:00 tonight – with the Gubernatorial candidates to be cut down to only two, one in each major party, there are some local races in most all counties in Illinois – more than 180 crews will be out at polling places throughout the state looking to enforce voter rights and to keep an eye out for potential voter fraud – be listening to Freedom 92.9 WSEI and 103.5 “The Eagle” WIKK tomorrow morning for complete local and statewide primary election results.

 

(OLNEY)  The local investigation continues by the Olney Police Department and the Illinois State Police, looking into the death of  Joseph M. Galyean of Olney – the 33 year old man was found deceased this past Saturday afternoon in the home at 123 South Adams Street in Olney – no other details are available at this time – an autopsy conducted this past Sunday led to the investigation that is now underway by authorities.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District is conducting its annual Preschool Screening for 3 to 5 year old children this week, continuing today and tomorrow at the First Baptist Church in Newton – that’s today from 11:30 until 5:30 and tomorrow from 8:30 until 2:30 – the local Head Start Program is accepting applications on site and the local Birth-to-Three program is conducting no cost screenings as well.

 

(NOBLE)  Congratulations to a couple of local young men  : OCC student Nick Amerman recently captured first place in the 16th Annual Accounting Challenge down at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale – the Noble native received both a trophy and a $500 scholarship to SIU’s School of Accounting as the top finisher in the written accounting test – while more than 400 students from downstate Illinois competed in the event, it was the first time for an OCC student to take part  :  another West Richland FFA member did well in last week’s District Five Science Fair down at Benton High School – Garrett Williams had a 1st place finish for his Division One Plant Systems project & a 5th place finish in the overall project category.

 

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

 

(OLNEY)  The OCC Theatre Ticket Office is extending its ticket sale hours for the production of “Shrek the Musical” – continuing now thru this Thursday night, tickets will be on sale from 5:00 to 7:00 each weekday evening, plus during the day, from 10:00 to 2:00 – call or stop by the ticket office today as soon as possible – the first of six performances over the next two weekends is this coming Friday night, the 21st.

 

(NEWTON)  There are two area meetings on tap tonight  :  the Newton City Council meets this evening at 6:00 at the Newton City Hall  :  the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees will meet at 7:00 tonight down at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel  :  both meetings are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Richland County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee is sponsoring an Agricultural Spelling Bee for middle school students on Tuesday, April 1st – registration is free and the Grand Prize is a new iPad2 – for more, logon at www.richlandcountyfarmbureau.com or call the office in Olney at 393-4116


    The 3rd annual Olney Community Job Fair is next Wednesday, March 26th, at The Holiday in Olney – running from 10:00 to 3:00 that day, the event invites everyone – employers can call 217-520-7988


    The next fundraising breakfast is this Sunday morning at the St. Joseph School cafeteria with serving from 8:00 to 11:30 and tickets on sale at the door – proceeds to help with the next St. Joseph DC trip


    The Calhoun Community Club has its soup fundraiser this Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00 with chili and chowder by the bowl or bulk, plus other food and desserts available – all proceeds to towards a new roof for the Community Building there in Calhoun, plus for other upcoming community events – all are invited


    The Parkersburg Community Club “spring carry-out chowder” is this Saturday with serving from 11:00 until sold out at the Parkersburg Community Building – for non-glass containers only – all proceeds from Saturday’s chowder in Parkersburg will be used for various are community projects in the future


    The Richland Memorial Hospital Relay for Life team has a “barbeque lunch” fundraiser tomorrow in the RMH Cafeteria – serving from 10:30 to 1:30 – it’s good food raising funds for the local fight against cancer


    The Ridgway Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society will present a program on raptor rehabilitation tonight during its next meeting – that’s at 7:00 at the First Presbyterian Church in Olney – all are invited


    The annual Crawford County “Trivia Night” is tonight at the Oblong Grade School, starting at 6:30 – teams of 3 to 6 people are invited to compete with popcorn and soft drinks provided – the entry fee is $50 per team – call the Oblong High School at 618-592-4235 to sign up – spectators are also welcome


    The City of Olney has another wagon load of squirrel corn to give away, but only a limited supply – stop by the Olney City Hall for pick up from 8:00 to 11:30 in the morning or from 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon – there’s also various squirrel and bird feeders to be given away – for more, call Belinda at 395-7302, x3

 

 

 

March 17, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  High pressure will control our Midwestern weather with dry and cool conditions today and tomorrow – with the warm up, another fast-moving cold front will trigger a few rain showers tomorrow night, but it’s back to a dry sky for Wednesday and right on into the weekend – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – the four GOP candidates for Governor wrapped up a busy weekend last night as they criss-crossed the state with hopes of securing last minute votes – the latest polls indicate that businessman Bruce Rauner still holds a double-digit lead over Kirk Dillard who has been gaining some ground in the past weeks – Bill Brady and Dan Rutherford are holding down the other two spots in the race.

 

(OLNEY)  A revised gambling bill is back on the table in Springfield – the plan offers a couple ideas that many believe will clear the General Assembly this year – the first would allow a casino only in Chicago, but to be owned by the state, not the Windy City – a second option would allow a Chicago casino & four others across the state – the extra revenue raised would go to education, pensions, and for infrastructure upgrades.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois’ poison control center may soon be shutting its doors – the center is currently facing a financial shortfall, like most entities within the state – in fact, the center’s budget has been slashed by more than $500,000 over the past five years – officials say if there’s no increase in funding this year, the center will close on June 30th – the center answers thousands of calls every year, even from medical professionals.

 

(OLNEY)  An investigation is underway by local and state authorities as the body of an Olney man was found this past Saturday afternoon – the Richland County Coroner’s office conducted an autopsy on 33 year old Joseph M. Galyean, which prompted the investigation by the Illinois State Police and the Olney Police Department – Galyean was a resident at 123 South Adams Street and his body was discovered by the property owner on Saturday – no other details are being provided by authorities at this point in time.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that the polls will open at 6:00 tomorrow morning for the March 18th Primary Election and remain open until 7:00 tomorrow night – County Clerk’s offices around the state are open today from 8:00 until 4:00 to answer any questions and to still conduct “absentee voting” – if any questions, call or stop by the Richland County Clerk’s office at the Courthouse in Olney or the Jasper County Clerk’s office in the County Office Building in Newton – again, both offices are open until 4:00 this afternoon.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Health Department is offering several scheduled dates and locations for enrollment in the “Get Covered Illinois” health insurance program – due to limited space, it’s recommended that folks call ahead of time to schedule an appointment for a specific location – the next enrollment chance is tomorrow morning, March 18th, from 9:00 to 12 noon, at The Master’s Hands, on Van Buren Street, in Newton – then later this week, on Friday, at the Jasper County Health Department offices – the final two scheduled dates are March 25th and April 1st, both to be held in Newton as well – for more information, or to schedule an appointment time, call the Jasper County Health Department in Newton at 618-783-4154.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police, along with IDOT and nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies urge all motorists to plan a safe ride home tonight and never get behind the wheel after drinking on this St. Patrick’s Day and Night – extra patrols and roadside safety checks are planned, all part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign all over the state – over the past five years in Illinois, 10 people have lost their lives after St. Patrick’s Day parties – make sure you have a safe ride home planned for later tonight.

 

(NEWTON)  With very low blood supplies on hand, there are several area blood drives coming up this week throughout the area  :  this afternoon at the North Clay High School in Louisville from 2:00 to 6:30  :  this coming Wednesday at the Flora VFW from 12:00 noon to 4:00  :  and this Thursday at the Clay City High School from 1:00 to 6:00  :  as always, all blood types are very much needed to replenish low supplies.

 

(OLNEY)  The OCC Theatre Ticket Office is extending its ticket sale hours for the production of “Shrek the Musical” – continuing now thru this Thursday night, tickets will be on sale from 5:00 to 7:00 each weekday evening, plus during the day, from 10:00 to 2:00 – call or stop by the ticket office today as soon as possible – the first of six performances over the next two weekends is this coming Friday night, the 21st.

 

(NOBLE)  It’s been officially announced that the next regularly scheduled meeting for the West Richland School Board has been moved back a week – the originally scheduled meeting tonight has been reset for next Monday night, March 24th, in the High School Cafeteria, starting at 7:00 – the agenda will include a Reduction is Force Hearing as well – so the next School Board meeting in Noble is a week from tonight.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder from the Jasper County Highway Department that the bridge located 3 miles northwest of West Liberty is being replaced – that’s the bridge on road 300N, known as Rest Area Road, almost a mile west of  Route 130 – starting today, the work is expected to take up to six weeks to complete, with the road closed to all thru traffic – motorists should observe all barricades and signs during the work.

 

REMINDERS :
    The “Sounds of Swing” fundraiser to the St. Thomas School band program is set for Saturday night, March 29th, at the Newton KC Hall – doors open at 5:30, with the meal at 6:00, then plenty of music from 7:00 to 9:00 – priced at $17 per person, tickets are on sale at all area banks or the St. Thomas School


    The 3rd annual Olney Community Job Fair is next Wednesday, March 26th, at The Holiday in Olney – running from 10:00 to 3:00 that day, the event invites everyone – employers can call 217-520-7988


    The next fundraising breakfast is this Sunday morning at the St. Joseph School cafeteria with serving from 8:00 to 11:30 and tickets on sale at the door – proceeds to help with the next St. Joseph DC trip


    The Calhoun Community Club has its soup fundraiser this Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00 with chili and chowder by the bowl or bulk, plus other food and desserts available – all proceeds to towards a new roof for the Community Building there in Calhoun, plus for other upcoming community events – all are invited


    The Ridgway Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society will present a program on raptor rehabilitation tomorrow night during its next meeting – that’s at 7:00 at the First Presbyterian Church in Olney


    The annual Crawford County “Trivia Night” is tomorrow night at the Oblong Grade School, starting at 6:30 – teams of 3 to 6 people are invited to compete with popcorn and soft drinks provided – the entry fee is $50 per team – call the Oblong High School at 618-592-4235 to sign up – spectators are also welcome


    The Newton City Council will have its next regular meeting tomorrow night at the Newton City Hall – the meeting will start at 6:00 and as always, the public is welcome to attend


    Monical’s Pizza in Olney is hosting a fundraising event for the East Orchard Christian Academy this evening – when placing an order, fill out a fundraising form and a percentage of your receipt will be donated to the East Orchard Christian Academy here in Olney – that’s this evening at Monical’s Pizza