LOCAL NEWS

Local News

June 23, 2014

 

(OLNEY) Mostly cloudy skies prevailed across central Illinois, through the overnight hours, with mostly clear skies seen across the southeast counties. An area of heavy rain tracked toward the northeast, along
the Illinois river overnight as well. A cold front will slowly track southeast across the Midwest through Tuesday. Periods of showers and thunderstorms will be common in the warm and humid air ahead of this front. Much of the region should be dry by Tuesday evening after the passage of the front. However, rain chances will begin to increase again mid week. – Stay tuned for more updates

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – President Lincoln's historic law offices in downtown Springfield could see some drastic changes.  Chris WILls with the ILlinois Historic Preservation Agency says they're looking to revamp the historic site to enhance the experience for visitors.  The final design isn't quite complete yet, but Wills says part of the building overhaul means turning the front section of the building into a working dry goods store, similar to the one that was run by a local businessman back in the 1840's.  They're also planning to move the Lincoln law office to the south end of the building where historians believe Lincoln's office was actually located.  President Lincoln practiced law at the downtown offices before he served in Congress.

 

(NEWTON)  There's been a lot of talk about what will happen to shuttered prison facilities across the state.  Some groups have been calling on Governor Quinn to find other ways to use the buildings, but so far he hasn't budged much on the pleas.  His GOP opponent in the race for governor, Bruce Rauner, won't say if he'll reopen the facilities either.  Rauner says he's not corrections expert, so he'll rely on a team of people who are to help him make the best decision about the shuttered facilities.  Leaders in areas where prisons have been shut down say they've taken a major economic blow.  They've been looking for ways to revive their communities.  Leaders in Dwight are considering a plan to use part of that facility to house overflow inmates from Cook County.

 

(OLNEY)  The city of Olney Plan Commission held a special meeting this past Friday:  The commission denied the two zoning addresses :  discussed Mowrey Subdivision plat

 

(NEWTON)  The 144th Jasper County Fair continues in Newton – it’s more Harness Racing this afternoon at 1:00, followed by the Jasper County Queen and Little Miss Pageant that night at 7:30 headlined by reigning Miss Jasper County, Cheyenne Goss – then more Harness Racing at 1:00 tomorrow afternoon with the Pedal Tractor Pull for youngsters at 6:30 and the Sanctioned Truck & Tractor Pull at 7:00 – the 4-H Livestock judging begins Wednesday – carnival rides are tomorrow thru Saturday, plus plenty of fair food and concessions – all at the Jasper County Fair in Newton.

 

(NEWTON)  A big part of the Jasper County Fair is tonight’s Fair Queen Pageant, featuring five young ladies – the contestants include  :  21 year old Heather King of Newton  :  18 year old Andrea Cartright of Newton  :  17 year old Macy Probst of rural Wheeler  :  17 year old Jessica Stork of Newton  :  and 16 year old Taylor Alzate of Newton  :  the Pageant will start at 7:30 and will be overseen by 2013 Miss Jasper County Fair Queen, Cheyenne Goss – also a part of tonight’s event is the Future Miss Jasper County which has 10 young ladies taking part, ranging in age from 4 to 6 – all are invited out to tonight’s Pageant.

 

(OLNEY)  The County Farm Bureaus in Southeastern Illinois will be hosting six informational Farm Bill meetings this week, all free of charge – pre-registration is requested by calling the local host Farm Bureau office – the meetings on this Monday  :  at the Edwards County Farm Bureau office in Albion at 7:30 this morning  :  at Frontier Community College’s Foundation Hall in Fairfield at 12:00 noon  :  and at the White County Farm Bureau office in Carmi at 7:00 tonight – tomorrow’s meetings  :  at Hogg Heaven Restaurant in Mt. Carmel at 7:30 tomorrow morning  :  at the Gallatin County Farm Bureau office in Ridgeway at 12:00 noon  :  and at Monical’s Pizza in Olney tomorrow night at 6:30  :  for more info, call your respective Farm Bureau office, or check their respective websites available online – all are invited to attend any or all.

 

(OLNEY)  Hay and forage producers can learn more about production efforts at the 28th annual Hay & Forage Expo, set for June 25th and 26th, next Wednesday and Thursday, at the Central Iowa Expo facility, near Boone, Iowa – the event includes daily seminars, educational & product exhibits, hay harvesting, second hay cuttings, other field demonstrations, and much more – admission is free and parking is $10 per vehicle – the show’s website at www.HayExpo.com features a map and detailed driving directions.

 

(NEWTON)  There’s more opportunities for folks to get out & give blood – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also toay at the Kluthe Center in Beecher City from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the American Legion Hall in Farina from 2:00 to 6:00  :  and Wednesday at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00  :  for an appointment to donate blood, logon at www.redcrossblood.org   :  all blood types are very much in need to replenish low supplies.

 

REMINDERS :

 

    A note from Republic Services – due to the summer heat, crews will be picking up trash earlier than normal – it’s recommended that customers set out their trash the evening before their scheduled pick up day – this includes all area Republic Services customers, including those in Olney, Newton, Noble, & elsewhere

    The Faith, Family and Freedom Rally to strengthen and promote the family unit will be held this Saturday, June 28th, in the Olney City Park at the Bandshell from 12:00 until 2:00.  Special guest speakers will be on hand as well as concessions – all are invited.

    The Richland County Fair Queen Contestants will be waiting tables at the The Holiday in Olney – The young ladies competing for the crown, will be at The Holiday this coming Thursday, June 26th.

    The White Squirrel Saddle Club Open Horse Show will be this upcoming Saturday, June 28th.  The Saddle Club will host the show starting at 3:00.

    The Hilltoppers 4-H Club in Richland County is celebrating 60 years as a 4-H Club.  To celebrate being one of the oldest clubs in the county, the Hilltoppers will host a reception Sunday, July 6, from 4:00 until 6:00  in the big white tent on the fairgrounds next to the grandstand.  The club would like to extend a special invitation to all former members and leaders.   

 

 

June 20, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  With the stalled out frontal boundary over the Upper Midwest and the approaching cold front to our west, we’ll stay a little cooler today with some cloud cover – also, a better chance of scattered rain or storms thru this afternoon – then the rain chances drop for tomorrow as we’ll mostly see a dry weekend ahead, but more spotty chances of rain and storms next Monday and Tuesday – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois unemployment rate is down for the third consecutive month in a row – the monthly number dipped from 7.9 percent in April to 7.5 percent in May – that’s the lowest joblessness number for Illinois in nearly six years – but, there are still more than 492,000 people in Illinois who don’t have a job.

 

(OLNEY)  State environmental regulators are getting more oversight for tire storage in Illinois – Governor Quinn signed a bill into law yesterday that requires a solid waste permit from any tire storage location with more than 10,000 passenger tires or that process 500 tons of used tires in a calendar year – it’s in response to a 2013 fire at a used tire service in Hoopeston that burnt for weeks and involved a 5 month cleanup.

 

(NEWTON)  Statewide drivers are being reminded to drive with added care in rural areas this summer – while the high stalks of corn is good news for farmers, they’re maybe not so good news for drivers – as the corn continues to grow, drivers are reminded to stay alert at those unmarked rural intersections surrounded by those fields of corn – all drivers are encouraged to take some extra time and double-check at these sites.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School Board met last night in regular session – the Board  :  after a public hearing, approved the final amended fiscal year 2014 budget  :  then approved a tentative budget for fiscal year 2015 which will be considered in final form on September 18th  :  approved the Prevailing Wage  :  approved the original bid and change order from Illini Builders for work at ERHS  :  approved the District’s insurance renewal with Wright Insurance Group  :  approved the School & Campus Safety Grant Agreement  :  heard a comparison of the projected tax rate and actual tax rate for 2013  :  accepted resignations from ERES Teacher Ann Garret and ERES ParaProfessional Sue Stevenson, both due to retirement – also from ERES Teacher and ERHS Coach Ethan Randolph, from ERHS Boys Soccer Coach Jason Burckhartt, and from Darrell Houchin as ERMS 7th Grade Boys Basketball Coach  :  employed 20 individuals for various positions – while most are returning, changes include ERHS Industrial Arts / Ag Mechanics Teacher Rylan Rusk, ERHS Girls Cross Country Coach Denyse Eagleson, and ERHS Boys Soccer Coach Kady Stallard  :  the East Richland School Board will have its next regular monthly meeting on Thursday, July 17th, at 7:30.

 

(NOBLE)  The judge that’s been considering the annexation process between the West Richland and East Richland School Districts announced yesterday a ruling in favor of the West Richland School Board, noting that the annexation process will continue – in response, it was noted that those opposed to the annexation will no longer appeal the process, therefore allowing things to move forward – as of the end of the day on June 30th, the West Richland School District will officially dissolve and no longer be in existence – the East Richland School District now will move forward with plans to annex West Richland on the 1st of July.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton has issued a reminder to its citizens – the community garden plants are growing well and will soon be producing – the produce from County Fair Queen Cheyenne Goss’ plots #8 and #16 are for the community to enjoy – these plots are located on the northeast section of the garden, bordering Perry Street, near the parking area – meanwhile, the sweet corn planted in plots #26 thru #30 is also for the community to enjoy – a “thank you” to Cheyenne and to the Master Gardeners for their work in planting and cultivating – folks are reminded that the remaining plots have been rented and the produce from these plots belongs to the renters only – this produce is not available for the community of Newton.

 

(OLNEY)  The Public Building Commission of Richland County had its regular monthly meeting this past Wednesday – the Commission  :  reviewed information from previous meetings and noted that Richland County has received an “A+” bond rating from Standard and Poors  :  also noted that the bonds to pay for improvements could be sold by the end of July, however the county’s 2013 audit must be considered, which is due on July 10th  :  in the only action, the Commission passed a resolution to approve the sale of bonds and to continue with the projects  :  while bids from Illini Builders were earlier accepted to replace the Courthouse roof and the County Highway Building roof, bids for the Courthouse exterior improvement work must be received by and open on July 2nd  :  the exterior improvement work will include cleaning, repair, tuck-pointing, and sealing – also concrete work will include the steps and porches, but the concrete piers on the East & South sides will not be replaced  :  the Commission’s next regular meeting is July 16th.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney Parks & Recreation Board also met this past Wednesday, under the leadership of Chairperson Morgan Henton – the Board  :  appointed John McLaughlin as Vice-Chair & Brandy Shouse as Secretary  :  reviewed the city-owned parks and assigned the parks to Board members who’ll walk thru them & take notes of needed items or work  :  reviewed a Facebook update on suggestions from the public concerning improvements to the parks  :  discussed possible solutions to lighting around the Musgrove Aquatic Center, due to recent vandalism  :  heard an update on possible upgrades at Rotary Park  :  and heard comments about the growing sport of Pickle Ball  :  the Board’s next regular meeting is July 16th.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s Tree Board met last night – the Board  :  established upcoming meeting dates for the rest of this year  :  discussed the application to be recognized as a Tree City USA, which will help tie tourism in with the support of Olney’s white squirrels – the application process is near complete  :  discussed the city’s tree planting plan for Musgrove Park, including a starter list of suggested trees for further research & recommendation  :  also talked about possible grants to help the city offset the tree purchase & planting costs  :  the City of Olney’s Tree Board will have its next meeting on July 10th.

 

(NEWTON)  The 144th Jasper County Fair kicks into gear tomorrow in Newton as the 4-H entries from last Saturday will be judged during the afternoon – the first day of Harness Racing will be this Sunday afternoon at 1:00 followed by the traditional Gospel Sing that night at 7:30 featuring The Lesters with free admission – it’s more Harness Racing Monday afternoon at 1:00, followed by the Jasper County Queen & Little Miss Pageant that night at 7:30 headlined by reigning Miss Jasper County, Cheyenne Goss – then more Harness Racing at 1:00 Tuesday afternoon with the Pedal Tractor Pull for youngsters at 6:30 and the Sanctioned Truck & Tractor Pull at 7:00 – the 4-H Livestock judging begins Wednesday with the final day of Harness Racing that afternoon at 1:00 and the Flat Drags that night at 7:00 – the 4-H Livestock Auction is at 5:00 Thursday, followed by the C Bar Rodeo that night at 7:00 – carnival rides will be available next Tuesday thru Saturday, plus plenty of fair food and concessions – all at the Jasper County Fair in Newton.

 

(OLNEY)  The County Farm Bureaus in Southeastern Illinois will be hosting six informational Farm Bill meetings next week, featuring Farm Bureau’s Doug Yoder and representatives from area County Farm Service Agency offices – topics of discussion at these meetings include price loss coverage, agricultural risk coverage (county & individual), payment limits, eligibility, rules, enrollment timelines, and more – a total of six meetings will be held, three each on June 23rd and 24th, with the same details presented at each site – all are invited to attend the free meetings, although pre-registration is requested by calling the local host Farm Bureau office – the meetings next Monday, June 23rd  :  at the Edwards County Farm Bureau office in Albion at 7:30 that morning  :  at Frontier Community College’s Foundation Hall in Fairfield at 12:00 noon  :  and at the White County Farm Bureau office in Carmi at 7:00 that night  :   the meetings next Tuesday, June 24th  :  at Hogg Heaven Restaurant in Mt. Carmel at 7:30 that morning  :  at the Gallatin County Farm Bureau office in Ridgeway at 12:00 noon  :  and at Monical’s Pizza in Olney that night at 6:30  :  for more details, call your respective Farm Bureau office, or check their respective websites available online.

 

(NEWTON)  There’s more opportunities for folks to get out & give blood – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at the First United Methodist Church in Flora from 10:00 to 2:00  :  next Monday at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also next Monday at the Kluthe Center in Beecher City from 2:00 to 6:00  :  next Tuesday at the American Legion Hall in Farina from 2:00 to 6:00  :  and next Wednesday at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00  :  for an appointment to donate blood, logon at www.redcrossblood.org   :  all blood types are very much needed to help replenish low supplies.

 

REMINDERS :
    A note from Republic Services – due to the summer heat, crews will be picking up trash earlier than normal – it’s recommended that customers set out their trash the evening before their scheduled pick up day – this includes all area Republic Services customers, including those in Olney, Newton, Noble, & elsewhere


    It’s Summer Fest tomorrow in the West Union Park – local talent performs from 1:00 to 4:00, then it’s the band “Acoustic Dog” from 5:00 to 9:00 – also includes a Cruise-In, choice of sandwiches, and more


    The Lawrence County Longspurs Chapter of the NWTF will host the 16th annual JAKES Field Day for area youth at the Red Hills State Park near Sumner tomorrow from 10:00 to 3:00 – includes archery, air rifle shooting, hunting safety instruction, & more – it’s free with lunch – registration starts at 9:00


    A fundraising “Jonah Fish Fry” is tonight in the Robinson City Park with serving from 4:00 to 7:00, plus carry-outs available and tickets at the event – all proceeds to help Developmentally Disabled Individuals


    The women of the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton will host their annual “salad luncheon” today from 11:00 to 1:30 – there’s all kinds of goodies on the menu and all are invited to attend


    There’s one meeting on tap for this evening – the City of Olney’s Plan Commission meets at 5:30 later this evening at the Olney City Hall – the meeting is open to the public


    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is today, set up from 11:00 to 4:00, under the pole barns in the Olney City Park – that’s fresh produce and much more available to the public for purchase

 

 

 

June 19, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As that frontal boundary wavers across the Upper Midwest again today, most of the shower & thunderstorm activity will stay to our north, however there is that slight chance of a pop-up storm for us – the hot & humid conditions will continue to hang around for the next few days, plus that chance of scattered rain each day & night now thru the upcoming weekend – stay tuned to WVLN-WSEI-WIKK for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The verdict is still out on whether voters will be given a chance to decide on how legislative districts are drawn – the group pushing for the ballot measure did not make the cut during an initial review of the petition signatures they turned in, but the Board of Elections has given them a 2nd chance to prove the signatures are valid – the Yes For Independent Maps campaign wants the issue on the November ballot.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois is being ranked as the fourth most corrupt state in the nation – researchers used data from over 25,000 convictions of elected officials between the years of 1976 and 2008, combined with an analysis of state spending – the study shows the most corrupt states tend to spend more money on construction and politician salaries, and less money on education – it also shows the corruption kills the state’s job climate.

 

(NEWTON)  Child abuse is a growing problem in downstate Illinois – new data from the Department of Children & Family Services reveals that 75% of all abuse cases are happening south of Springfield – part of the reason could be because there are fewer child welfare resources – officials say they’re trying to get a gauge on what’s causing the problem so they can find ways to tackle it and turn the trend around.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community College Board of Trustees met earlier this week – the Board  :  approved a resolution to accept property from the West Richland School District in Noble  :  approved the District’s Resource Allocation & Management Plan for fiscal year 2016 – the capital project requests include a $2,196,000 Applied Technology Center at Olney Central College and a $3,171,000 Student Education & Support Center at Frontier Community College  :  approved the continuation of the Teen Parent Contractual Agreement for the 2014-2015 school year for teens in the Clay, Jasper, Richland, and North Wayne school systems  :  noted the IECC District has received a $259,000 grant to construct a partnership simulated mine facility and to help provide training on the campus of Southeastern Illinois College near Harrisburg  :  approved the yearly Lease Agreements for several programs and buildings in Olney  :  approved the Prevailing Wage Act as presented  :  approved Joint Agreements will four other downstate junior colleges  :  approved five affiliation agreements  : and in personnel matters – hired Leann Gumbel as Financial Aid Office Assistant at Olney Central College – hired Tyler Browning as Academic, Advisement, & Recruitment Director at Lincoln Trail College  :  changed the employment status of Jessica Parrent to Coordinator of Human Services at Frontier Community College – accepted resignations from FCC Coordinator of Financial Aid Adam Bowles and FCC Library Technician Stanley Martin – and approved non-college employments for Mike Thomas and Shirley Smithenry  :  the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board has its next regular monthly meeting on July 15th in Mt. Carmel.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton Water Department will be shutting of the water service at 8:00 this morning to several areas of the city due to needed waterline repairs – the areas affected in Newton include  :
*  Washington Street, from Jackson to Stanley               
*  Church Street, from Washington to Decatur
*  Lafayette Street, from West Jourdan to Decatur         
*  Walnut Street, from West Jourdan to Decatur
*  Maple Street, from West Jourdan to Decatur              
*  Stanley Street, from West Jourdan to Decatur
*  Liberty Avenue, from West Jourdan to the Fairgrounds
Once the water service is restored, these areas will be under a boil water order until further notice.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School District wants your input over the next week – the School District has received a grant to plan for improvements and expansion of its music program – district residents are being asked to logon to the District’s website at www.ercu1.net and to take a short survey created by the planning committee to gather input from students, parents, and the community – all opinions will be compiled and shared at an upcoming meeting and all input must be received by next Friday, June 27th, a week from tomorrow – so go online at www.ercu1.net and share opinions about the music programs in the East Richland Schools, plus encourage others to do the same as well – your input is valuable in this instance.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Liquor Control Commission conducted compliance checks around the state in May and visited 367 businesses licensed to sell liquor, 62 of which were cited for violations of liquor control laws – of the 109 regional checks, there were 17 that were cited for selling liquor to underage participants – the list of violators include five in Effingham, three in Mattoon, two in Findlay, and one each in Toledo, Altamont, Beecher City, Kinmundy, Junction City, Salem, and Sandoval – the violations are the result of random visits to liquor stores, restaurants, and bars to see who’s selling liquor to those underage.

 

(OLNEY)  Hay and forage producers can learn more about production efforts at the 28th annual Hay & Forage Expo, set for June 25th and 26th, next Wednesday and Thursday, at the Central Iowa Expo facility, near Boone, Iowa – the event includes daily seminars, educational & product exhibits, hay harvesting, second hay cuttings, other field demonstrations, and much more – admission is free and parking is $10 per vehicle – the show’s website at www.HayExpo.com features a map and detailed driving directions.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois & several other adjoining states are working with federal agencies, volunteer organizations, and the private sector in a large-scale earthquake exercise this week, running thru tomorrow – the exercise is testing state, regional, and national response and recovery capabilities for a major earthquake in the New Madrid and/or Wabash Valley seismic zones – the states taking part in the CAPSTONE-14 exercise include Illinois, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

 

(OLNEY)  There’s more opportunities for folks to get out & give blood – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the First United Methodist Church in Flora from 10:00 to 2:00  :  next Monday at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also next Monday at the Kluthe Center in Beecher City from 2:00 to 6:00  :  next Tuesday at the American Legion Hall in Farina from 2:00 to 6:00  :  and next Wednesday at Olney Central College from 8:00 to 1:00  :  for an appointment to donate blood, logon at www.redcrossblood.org   :  all blood types are very much needed to help replenish low supplies throughout our region and the Midwest.

 

REMINDERS :
    A note from Republic Services – due to the summer heat, crews will be picking up trash earlier than normal – it’s recommended that customers set out their trash the evening before their scheduled pick up day – this includes all area Republic Services customers, including those in Olney, Newton, Noble, & elsewhere


    The Heritage House and Carnegie Museum will be open again this Sunday afternoon in Olney, from 1:30 to 4:00 – area families and/or groups are urged to tour both facilities for the history of the local area


    The Jasper County Fair officially gets started this Saturday and runs this weekend and all of next week in Newton – with concessions, carnival rides starting next Tuesday, and much more – check it out in Newton


    It’s Summer Fest this Saturday in the West Union Park – local talent performs from 1:00 to 4:00, then it’s the band “Acoustic Dog” from 5:00 to 9:00 – also includes a Cruise-In, choice of sandwiches, and more


    The Lawrence County Longspurs Chapter of the NWTF will host the 16th annual JAKES Field Day for area youth at the Red Hills State Park near Sumner this Saturday from 10:00 to 3:00 – includes archery, air rifle shooting, hunting safety instruction, & more – it’s free with lunch – registration starts at 9:00


    A fundraising “Jonah Fish Fry” will be tomorrow night in the Robinson City Park with serving from 4:00 to 7:00, plus carry-outs available and tickets at the event – all proceeds to Developmentally Disabled Individuals to the Lawrence / Crawford Association for Exceptional Citizens – all support is appreciated


    The women of the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton will host their annual “salad luncheon” tomorrow from 11:00 to 1:30 – there’s all kinds of goodies on the menu and all are invited to attend


    A couple of meetings are coming up  :  the City’s Plan Commission meets tomorrow evening at 5:30 at City Hall  :  the City’s Tree Board will meet tonight at 7:00 at City Hall  :  both are open to the public


    The East Richland School Board will have its regular monthly meeting tonight at the Administrative Office board room, starting at 7:30 – a public budget hearing will be held within the meeting as well


    The Farmer’s Market is later today in the Noble Village Park – that’s from 3:00 to 6:00 with fresh produce and more available to the public – that’s later today and evening in the Noble Village Park

 

 

 

June 18, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  A slow-moving frontal boundary over the Upper Midwest is producing widespread shower & thunderstorm activity in Northern Illinois – while that stays north, there is a slight chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm developing in our area each day & night now thru the upcoming weekend – the warm air will also hang around for the next week or so as well – listen for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  A ballot measure that would call for term limits for lawmakers in Illinois is one step closer to making the November 4th ballot – the Illinois State Board of Elections yesterday ruled that the “Committee for Legislative Reform & Term Limits” does have enough valid signatures – however, the measure is facing a lawsuit by those opposed to term limits, plus the ballot will not be certified until later this year in August.

 

(OLNEY)  There are now two female judges sitting on the bench at the federal court in downstate Illinois – the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Staci Yandle of Carlyle yesterday – her confirmation is historical in a number of ways – she’s the only African American woman to ever serve in the Southern District of Illinois and she’s now the second openly gay woman to be named as a federal judge.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois is among the best in the nation when it comes to protecting teenagers behind the wheel – a new WalletHub.com study puts the state at number three, citing its top notch graduated driver’s license program – and it seems that teens in Illinois are staying off the road if they’ve been drinking alcohol – on a national level, car crashes is the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 19.

 

(OLNEY)  Scattered rainfall continued throughout the state last week as temperatures fell to an average of 66 degrees, that’s just over 5 degrees below normal – the USDA Crop Report shows that an average of only 3 days were suitable for field work last week – the statewide precipitation average was 1.27 inches, right at three tenths of an inch above normal – as of Sunday, 94% of the state’s soybeans had been planted, that’s way ahead of the 5-year average of 75%  :  farmers in our ten county area report almost all the local beans have been planted, with the exception of any double-cropping in wheat stubble – area farmers are beginning the wheat harvest with most of the area wheat crop still in mostly good to excellent condition – area topsoil moisture rates are still mostly adequate to surplus – farmers are reminded to think “safety first” out there.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night for just over a half hour – the Council  :  approved the payment of bills and accounts payable worth $84,479  :  approved the $8,450 purchase of a mower for the Street Department  :  approved the preparation of a Servpro Emergency Readiness Profile at no cost to the City  :  approved an ordinance to amend the section on City Water Leak adjustments  :  approved the use of the City’s firing range to conduct Concealed Carry Classes, sponsored by the NRA  :  noted that street maintenance bids were opened yesterday and will be considered by the Council at its next meeting  :  noted information about habitual offenders of property maintenance issues  :  and noted updates on city projects  :  took no other action after a 19-minute closed session to discuss litigation  :  next meeting will be July 1st.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council is looking for input from the citizens of Olney on a couple of issues  :  one is part of an effort to improve the City Code in regards to junk on properties – the City Council is considering an amendment to the City’s Municipal Code regarding byproducts, waste, and/or scraps from operation of business  :  the second is the possible closing of the Linn Street railroad crossing  :  a copy of the proposals may be viewed in the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall during regular office hours each weekday, Monday thru Friday – plus, written and oral opinions will be accepted at City Hall – these issues will likely be considered at the City Council’s next regular meeting on June 23rd, next Monday night.

 

(NOBLE)  The West Richland FFA Chapter was busy at last week’s State FFA Convention in Springfield  :  Jordan Weidner received his State FFA Degree & was recognized for his Star in Ag Placement in Section 23  :  Garrett Williams won the Plant Systems Division 1 category in the State Agri-Science Fair – he now applies for the National FFA Show in October  :  Matthew Runyon was recognized for his 1st Place overall floormember award for the Varsity Parliamentary Procedure contest  :  the West Richland FFA scrapbook received a Gold Level finish – the work by Holly Stallard & Sydney O’Dell was listed as one of the top 15 in Illinois  :  the Novice Parlimentary Procedure Team placed 2nd in the State Contest – Faith Stallard was 1st overall Secretary – Kyleigh Hemrich was 3rd overall individual and Garrett Williams was 5th overall – the other team members were Vanessa Yager, Savannah Runyon, and Cheyla Lamb  :  and Hayden Kinkade was installed as Section 23 President – he’ll serve the 12 area FFA member schools over the next year.

 

(NEWTON)  It’s another annual Nick’s Race coming up this Saturday morning at the Sam Parr State Park northeast of Newton – with an entry fee of $25 per person, the first 100 registered participants will receive a free race t-shirt and entries are accepted on race day with onsite registration at 7:15 that morning – plus, online entries are available at www.raceit.com/Register/?event=26321 – the 2.85 mile run begins at 8:30 and the 2 mile walk will start at 8:40 – after the NCHS Drum Line performance, the awards ceremony will be at 9:20 with transplant donor and recipient stories to follow – the 10:15 raffle drawing will be followed by the closing comments at 10:30 – all are invited to attend – fundraising raffle tickets can be bought now thru Friday at Tarr Chiropractic Clinic in Newton – proceeds from the event will support the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Organization, the NCHS Drum Line, and the Cross Country teams at NCHS.

 

(OLNEY) There’s more opportunities for folks to get out & give blood – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Community Center in Robinson from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  and Friday at the First United Methodist Church in Flora from 10:00 to 2:00  :  for an appointment to donate blood or to get more details, logon at www.redcrossblood.org   :  all blood types are very much needed to help replenish low supplies throughout our region and the Midwest.

 

REMINDERS :
    A reminder that fundraising raffle tickets for the Noble Chowder are currently available at the Noble Village Hall, at Noble Foods, and the First National Bank in Noble – that $1 each or 6 tickets for $5 – all proceeds to benefit the Noble Chowder, which is August 9th in the Village Park – thanks for your help


    The Jasper County Fair officially gets started this Saturday and runs this weekend and all of next week in Newton – it includes Harness Racing this Sunday thru next Wednesday, plus carnival rides next Tuesday thru Saturday and more – that’s the Jasper County Fair in Newton June 21st thru June 28th – check it out


    The Lawrence County Longspurs Chapter of the NWTF will host the 16th annual JAKES Field Day for area youth at the Red Hills State Park near Sumner this Saturday from 10:00 to 3:00 – it’s an opportunity for youth to experience the outdoors thru hands-on events, education, fellowship, and family fun, including archery, air rifle shooting, hunting safety instruction, & more – it’s free with lunch – registrations is at 9:00


    A fundraising “Jonah Fish Fry” will be this Friday night in the Robinson City Park with serving from 4:00 to 7:00, plus carry-outs available and tickets at the event – all proceeds to Developmentally Disabled Individuals to the Lawrence / Crawford Association for Exceptional Citizens – all support is appreciated


    The women of the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton will host their annual “salad luncheon” this Friday from 11:00 to 1:30 – there’s all kinds of goodies on the menu and all are invited to attend


    There’s a couple of meetings coming up this evening  :  the City of Olney’s Parks & Recreation Board will meet at City Hall at 6:00  :  the Public Building Commission of Richland County will meet in the County Jail meeting room at 4:00  :  both are open to the public


    And the Cummins Band will be back performing in the Olney City Park this evening at 8:00 – that’s at the Bandshell, all free of charge – all ages are invited out to the concert tonight in the Olney City Park

 

 

 

June 17, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  With a stalled out frontal boundary in the Upper Midwest, we’ll stay dry and hot for the next few days until our next front moves thru during the upcoming weekend – until then, it’s mostly dry today thru Thursday – then spotty rain & storm chances Friday thru Sunday and into next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  A U.S. Supreme Court ruling could help curb violence in Illinois – in a five to four decision yesterday, the justices ruled that anyone who’s buying a gun for someone else must provide that person’s information, even if the person is legally allowed to own a gun – the high court says failing to provide the details minimizes the government’s efforts to conduct proper background checks – supporters say this will help keep illegal guns of the street – opponents say criminals don’t abide by the laws and it will not matter.

 

(OLNEY)  Newborn babies across the state are being tested for a rare blood disease – officials say severe combined immunodeficiency, or SCID, is an inherited disorder which causes improper development of white blood cells – those with SCID are very susceptible to recurrent infections & may develop pneumonia, meningitis, or other complications – babies born with the condition look normal, but cannot fight off the infection, which means they could die before their first birthday if they are not properly treated.

 

(NEWTON)  There are almost 700 new beekeepers in Illinois – the honey-producing colonies are at the highest level in the state since 2005 – the Illinois Department of Agriculture says the most recent increase brings the statewide numbers to 2,519 beekeepers operating a total of over 24,000 colonies in Illinois.

 

(NEWTON) The City of Newton has now announced that due to circumstances beyond their control, the waterline repairs will NOT be made today as earlier announced - therefore, the water service to the before-mentioned areas of Newton will stay on, as normal, and there will be no need for a boil water order as well - so no water shut-off today and everything stays as normal for the time being - thanks again for your patience.  

 

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to the Olney FFA Chapter for recognition at last week’s State FFA Convention – with more than 3,500 FFA members taking part, the annual event was held in Springfield with the 2014 theme “Planting Your Potential” – the Olney FFA was noted with three Section 23 awards  :  the Student Development Award for successfully implementing individual & cooperative activities to enhance student members’ life skills  :  the Chapter Development Award for providing opportunities for increased member participation, financial responsibility, a positive image, and more  :  the Community Development Award for promoting partnerships with alumni affiliates and other groups & organizations to make the community a better place to live  :  and the Team Award for winning the Forestry Career Development Event  :  a tip of the hat to all Olney FFA members – to learn more about the convention, logon at www.illinoisffa.org.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met last night in Newton – the Board  :  approved the collective bargaining agreement between it and the Jasper County Education Association – the three year deal consists of a half-year “hard freeze” in Year 1 as teacher salaries will remain frozen where they’re at until January 25th, 2015 at which point a .9% pay raise will be instituted – Year 2 will include a “soft freeze” and a flat $250 raise, while Year 3 will include a “soft freeze” and a flat $500  :  also approved Administrative salary increases of .9% effective January 25th, 2015, with a 1.8% increase the following year and a 1.9% raise for the 2016-2017 school year  :  also approved pay increases for classified personnel – a .9% raise for days worked starting January 3rd, 2015, then 1.8% the following school year and 1.9% for the 2016-2017 school year  :  accepted resignations from Elementary Teachers Dawn Meinhart and Sarah Deters, and from 7th Grade Boys Basketball Coach Eric Carr  :  agreed to hire Jordan Michels and Michelle Probst as Elementary Teachers, Brian Kusnerick as Junior High P.E. Teacher, and Alex Frohning as Junior High Social Studies Teacher  :  accepted the retirement agreement for Teacher Barbara Schulte at the end of the 2014-2015 school year  :  also approved the District Fee Schedule by raising registration, other than food, by 2.5% in order to cover online convenience fees, plus will have a hearing next month to consider raising the Driver Education fee as well  :  the School Board’s next regular meeting will be July 21st.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau has released its weekly rainfall report for the nine townships with the 7-day recording period ending at 10:00 yesterday morning with most of the rain falling last Monday night thru Tuesday night – the average county-wide rainfall was at eight tenths of an inch (0.80 inches) – the county’s high rainfall total was in Bonpas Township with an inch and three tenths (1.30 inches) – Olney Township also had over an inch of rain in the 7-day period at one inch and one tenth (1.10 inches) – the four Townships of Decker, Denver, Claremont, and Madison all had eight tenths of an inch (0.80 inches), while Preston Township had three quarters of an inch of rain (0.75 inches)- on the low side, German Township had nearly a half inch of rain at 0.45 inches and the county’s lowest amount was four tenths of an inch (0.40 inches) in Noble Township – here at our WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service weather station, at the south edge of Olney, our total for the 7 day period was at just over six tenths of an inch of rain, at 0.63 inches – the county’s average rainfall so far for June is at 2.24 inches of precipitation.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Rural Health Association has announced it will host its 25th Annual Educational Conference on August 14th & 15th at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham – the conference is a great chance for rural healthcare professionals to advance their skills thru continuing education and professional development with the various workshops geared towards public health departments, rural health clinics, and hospitals – exhibit space and student scholarships are available – for more, logon at www.ilruralhealth.org.

 

(OLNEY) There’s more opportunities for folks to get out & give blood – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also today at the Grace United Methodist Church in Neoga from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Community Center in Robinson from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  and Friday at the First United Methodist Church in Flora from 10:00 to 2:00  :  for an appointment to donate blood or to get more details, logon at www.redcrossblood.org   :  all blood types are very much needed to help replenish low supplies.

 

REMINDERS :
    A reminder that fundraising raffle tickets for the Noble Chowder are currently available at the Noble Village Hall, at Noble Foods, and the First National Bank in Noble – that $1 each or 6 tickets for $5 – all proceeds to benefit the Noble Chowder, which is August 9th in the Village Park – thanks for your help


    The Lawrence County Longspurs Chapter of the NWTF will host the 16th annual JAKES Field Day for area youth at the Red Hills State Park near Sumner this Saturday from 10:00 to 3:00 – it’s an opportunity for youth to experience the outdoors thru hands-on events, education, fellowship, and family fun, including archery, air rifle shooting, hunting safety instruction, & more – it’s free with lunch – registrations is at 9:00


    A fundraising “Jonah Fish Fry” will be this Friday night in the Robinson City Park with serving from 4:00 to 7:00, plus carry-outs available and tickets at the event – all proceeds to Developmentally Disabled Individuals to the Lawrence / Crawford Association for Exceptional Citizens – all support is appreciated


   There’s a couple of meetings coming up tomorrow evening, on Wednesday, June 18th  :  the City of Olney’s Parks & Recreation Board will meet at City Hall at 6:00  :  the Public Building Commission of Richland County will meet in the County Jail meeting room at 4:00  :  both are open to the public


    It’s another fundraising Tuesday for the East Orchard Christian Academy in Olney – fill out a form while ordering at Monical’s Pizza today thru tonight and a portion of the receipt will be donated


    There are a couple of meetings on tap tonight  :  the Newton City Council meets tonight at 6:00 for its second of two meetings here in June – the agenda includes both old and new business, plus more  :  the IECC Board of Trustees meet tonight at Olney Central College at 7:00  :  both are open to the public


    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is under the pole barns in the Olney City Park today from 11:00 to 4:00 – with farm fresh produce and much more, all are invited out to see what’s available to the public


    The Olney Public Library will host a program featuring puppeteer / ventriloquist Kevin Horner this afternoon at 2:00 – all ages are invited – it’s free and open to one and all – all at the Olney Public Library