LOCAL NEWS

Local News

December 20, 2013

 

(OLNEY)  An approaching strong storm system will roll across the Midwest this weekend with several rounds of rain expected today thru Sunday afternoon with heavy rainfall amounts possible – then colder air moves in for the first of next week – maybe some light snow on Christmas Night – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The National Weather Service has a Flood Watch in effect for all area counties late tonight thru late tomorrow night – with the area ground already saturated, any moderate to heavy rainfall amounts will cause significant flooding in our area – anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of rain are possible thru Sunday.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois’ unemployment rate ticked down a bit last month, but the state still remains in worse shape than most of the country – the State Department of Employment Security says Illinois added over 10,000 private sector jobs in November to put the rate at 8.7% – the national rate currently stands at 7%.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police, the State Department of Transportation, and hundreds of other law enforcement agencies throughout the state are underway with their end-of-the-year safe driving campaign – the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and the “Click It or Ticket” programs will include hundreds of extra patrols and roadside safety checks looking for those not buckled up or driving impaired by alcohol or drugs.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School Board met last night in Olney – the Board  :  approved the 2013 tax levy, payable in 2014 – the total amount levied will be $6,065,296 which exceeded a 5% increase over the prior year’s extension  :  approved the District’s Fiscal Year 2015 Risk Management Plan as presented  :  agreed to renew the District’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance  :  noted that the state owes the District over $873,000 in past due funding  :  approved the recommended Administrative Team assignments for the 2014-2015 school year starting next August – Larry Bussard as Assistant Superintendent – Mick Whittler as Special Education Director – Chris Simpson as ERHS Principal Grades 9-12 – Chad LeCrone as ERMS Principal Grades 6-8 – Andy Thomann as ERES Principal Grades 3-5 – and Cris Edwards as ERES Principal Grades Pre-K-2  :  accepted the resignations of Middle School Cooks Kim Billington and Joy Keys  :  approved the assignments of Angie Wisner as ERES Office Manager – Camelia Bettis as ERMS Head Cook – and Mary Ochs as ERES Head Cook  :  agreed to rehire all returning spring sports coaches  :  and publicly thanked the District’s transportation and maintenance departments for a job well done during the recent snowy weather  :  the East Richland School Board’s next regular meeting will be January 17th. 

(NOBLE)  The West Richland School Board met in Noble last night – the Board  :  approved the fiscal year 2013 tax levy, payable in 2014 – the levy includes a 19.72% increase, resulting in a 25-cent per $1,000 assessed EAV rate increase – there were no comments during the levy hearing  :  approved the District’s School Improvement Plan as presented  :  agreed to change three of the next four School Board meeting dates due to upcoming holidays and non-student attendance – the meetings will be January 21st at 6:00, February 18th at 6:00, and April 22nd at 7:00  :  approved an Industrial Arts and Science Club field trip on January 16th, 2014 to the Toyota Plant near Princeton, Indiana  :  approved the District’s discipline report as presented  :  and took no other action after a closed session to discuss personnel, litigation, negotiations, and student discipline  :  the West Richland School Board’s next regular monthly meeting is January 21st.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police District 12, in conjunction with the Illinois Liquor Commission, conducted an Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement surveillance at various establishments in the three area counties of Crawford, Clark, and Shelby this past Wednesday night – the purpose of the ACE details was to determine which businesses may be selling alcoholic beverages to minors – 23 locations were surveyed in the communities of Sigel, Robinson, Palestine, Martinsville, Casey, and Marshall and of those, two were involved in the sale of an alcoholic beverage to a minor under 21 years of age – two employees at Pizza Hut in Casey and at The Bar in Casey were arrested for unlawful delivery of alcoholic liquor to a minor, a Class A misdemeanor – both were released on a notice to appear in court – the Illinois State Police and other local authorities commend the remaining 21 businesses that did not sell to minors and observed all state laws.

 

(OLNEY)  Authorities are alerting the public about another scam in the downstate area – some residents have been receiving phone calls by someone posing as a representative of area electric cooperatives and electric companies, inquiring about homeowner’s account information – residents are reminded that their electric provider already has their account information on file and they would never call to take such information over the phone – authorities remind folks to never give out any personal information over the phone, especially to someone not known – if such a call is taken, homeowners should ask the caller for their name, an official identification, and a phone number of their office – do not give out personal information.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair is offering a sweet deal this holiday season on its popular Mega Pass, a ticket for unlimited rides on all of the Carnival Midway and Adventure Village attractions for the entire duration of the State Fair – the special holiday price is reduced to $55, a $20 savings, however the last day the pass will be sold for this price is Tuesday, December 31st – for details, check the State Fair website at www.illinoisstatefair.info – the 2014 Illinois State Fair will run August 7th thru 17th in Springfield.

 

(OLNEY)  All eligible and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood – here’s some area upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Olney Fire Department from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at The Holiday in Olney from 11:00 to 2:00  :  also next Monday at the Effingham K of C Hall from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types are very much needed.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Holly Jolly celebration will end tonight on the Square in downtown Newton – it’s the third of three consecutive Friday nights full of giveaways and more – shoppers have the chance to win gift certificates, chamber bucks, and merchandise with the Friday night drawing this evening at 7:00 – plus some great shopping in Newton tonight from 5:00 to 7:00 – folks and children can visit with Santa Claus and all of the Holly Jolly Characters – and tickets are on sale at various sites in Newton for the Christmas Table Top Raffle – for details, logon the Chamber’s website, at www.NewtonIllinois.com.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Check out this year’s Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park, on from 5:00 until 10:00 each night – plus all donations accepted by the Bucket Brigade at the end of the Display are much appreciated


    The Potter’s House Ministry will be serving free Christmas dinners again this year on Christmas Day – the meals can be delivered or folks are welcome at the church with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – to request a meal or for details, call 783-3496 and leave a name, address, number of meals needed, and phone number


    The “Socks for Seniors” is still taking donations of new socks for the elderly in local nursing homes, but today’s the final day to give – drop your socks off  at the Newton Press Mentor office in Newton


    Today’s the deadline to have consignment items put on the sale bill for the January 20th Mt. Erie Ruritan Club’s Farm Machinery Consignment Sale– for more details, call Steve Bass at 618-838-8398

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 19, 2013

 

(OLNEY)  A slow-moving frontal boundary is approaching from the west and will trigger scattered rain showers across much of the Midwest tonight – a stronger storm system will bring us the chance of heavy rains tomorrow and Saturday, before ending Sunday – then dry and cool next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Jasper, Richland, and most all surrounding counties, in effect tomorrow night thru Saturday night – with our area ground already saturated with the recent snow melt, any moderate to heavy rainfall amounts will cause significant flooding hazards in our area – amounts could range anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of rain tonight thru Sunday – those in area flood zones should be alert to flash flooding and take the needed precautions now before the rain begins.

 

(NEWTON)  A coalition of 20 health and hospital organizations from Illinois has been awarded an 18-month, $7 million federal award to establish a clinical data research network – with all of the collaborating healthcare institutions located in the northern third of the state, the network intends to improve health outcomes and drive down costs for both rare and common conditions, such as sickle cell disease, asthma, anemia, obesity, and diabetes – the coalition will pool data from more than 1 million patients in 3 years.


 
(OLNEY)  The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal has learned about a serious risk of fires or electric shocks caused by a specific artificial Christmas tree exclusively sold at Menards stores – the chain of stores has ordered a recall of  1,800 pre-lit Christmas trees due to a few incidents involving overheating, which could lead to fires or may cause electric shocks – the recalled trees sold under the Enchanted Forest brand are 7 1/2 feet tall with 400 champagne-colored diode lights, model number 287-1261 and its UPC code is 741895425478 – the trees sold between September & November of this year and full refunds are available.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School District is still looking for host families for next spring – it’s been announced that another group of Gars Germany students will be making their way to Olney in April of 2014 to visit the East Richland Schools and Richland County – therefore, host families are needed for the 24 students and 2 teachers that will be visiting, much like the visit made a year ago in 2012 – plus, in June of 2015, East Richland High School is planning another exchange trip to Germany – for host family details or for other information, sign-up forms are available in the ERHS office during regular school office hours – also, for more details, check the District’s website at www.ercu1.net on the District’s Headlines’ page.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton FFA Chapter wants to thank everyone in the Jasper County area for helping them and their recent “Hairy for the Hungry” fundraising event where all proceeds are donated to a local group or organization – while NCHS students and staff normally take part, this year community members also took part, and to add a twist, several students shaved their heads and donated a certain amount of money – but it was NCHS Ag Teacher Brock Tarr that challenged FFA members to raise $500 and he’d cut his hair – it only took two days to do so – all in all, a total of  $1,000 was raised by the Newton FFA with all the funds donated to the Master’s Hands of Jasper County – again, thanks to one and all who helped with the effort.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois residents are getting the opportunity to assist with the State's recovery from the November 17th tornadoes while building their professional skills and drawing a paycheck – temporary, full-time, positions are available locally with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and eligible residents may apply online at www.IllinoisJobLink.com, but only thru the rest of today – those applying should enter “FEMA” into the keyword search to find available positions – FEMA has joined forces with the Illinois Department of Employment Security to recruit and screen individuals to work in positions including administration, writing and public information, individual disaster assistance, logistics, and much more.


 
(OLNEY)  The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is recognizing more than 19,300 students from across the state as this year's Illinois State Scholars – the selection is based on SAT, ACT, and/or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year – plus high school guidance counselors work with ISAC to determine the winners – congratulations go out to sixteen Richland County students named as 2014-2015 State Scholars – the lone student from Noble is Amberlynn Drewes, while the remaining students from Olney include Ding Zheng, Kelsey Shipman, Madison Shaw, Sydney Shan, Jacob Reed, Connor Perkins, Aimee Pampe, Andrew Garrett, Nicholas Eckel, Wesley Eagleson, Ryan Eagleson, Lauren Dillard, Michael DeVenecia, Bridget Brian, and Caleb Bent – for more, go online at www.isac.org.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is recognizing more than 19,300 students from across the state as this year's Illinois State Scholars – the selection is based on SAT, ACT, and/or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year – plus high school guidance counselors work with ISAC to determine the winners – congratulations go out to twelve Jasper County students named as 2014-2015 State Scholars – those from the Newton Community High School includes Mallory Will, Mareah Volk, Tanner Shull, Hannah Parkerson-Mayhall, Ashley Meinhart, Jacob Lidy, Madison Kinder, Phillip Johnson, Lucas Huston, Landon Ghast, Caleb Chesnut, and Emmett Bartens.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Holly Jolly celebration will end this coming Friday night on the Square in downtown Newton – it’s the third of three consecutive Friday nights full of giveaways and more – shoppers can register throughout this week to win gift certificates, chamber bucks, and merchandise with the Friday night drawings at 7:00 – plus a scavenger hunt each Friday night as shoppers collect tokens at local businesses during the week and bring them to the Friday night giveaways – there will be great shopping in Newton Friday night from 5:00 to 7:00, plus folks and children can visit with Santa Claus and all of the Holly Jolly Characters – and tickets are on sale at various sites in Newton for the Christmas Table Top Raffle – for more details, logon the Chamber of Commerce website, at www.NewtonIllinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  All eligible and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood whenever possible – here’s some area upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Olney Fire Department from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  next Monday at The Holiday in Olney from 11:00 to 2:00  :  also next Monday at the Effingham Knights of Columbus Hall from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Check out this year’s Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park, on from 5:00 until 10:00 each night – plus all donations accepted by the Bucket Brigade at the end of the Display are much appreciated


    The Potter’s House Ministry will be serving free Christmas dinners again this year on Christmas Day – the meals can be delivered or folks are welcome at the church with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – to request a meal or for details, call 783-3496 and leave a name, address, number of meals needed, and phone number


    The “Socks for Seniors” is still taking donations of new socks for the elderly in local nursing homes, now thru this Friday, the 20th – drop your socks off this week at the Newton Press Mentor office in Newton


    Tomorrow’s the deadline to have consignment items put on the sale bill for the January 20th Mt. Erie Ruritan Club’s Farm Machinery Consignment Sale– for more details, call Steve Bass at 618-838-8393


    There are a couple of meetings scheduled for tonight  :  the West Richland School Board has its regular monthly meeting tonight in the High School Cafeteria in Noble – a Tax Levy Hearing at 6:00 will be followed by the regular meeting  :  the East Richland School Board meets tonight in Olney in the School District’s Administration office meeting room, starting at 7:00  :  both meetings are open to the public

 

 

December 18, 2013

 

(OLNEY)  It’s warmer weather on tap across the Midwest over the next couple of days – meanwhile, a slow-moving frontal boundary will spread rain showers across our area by late tomorrow night, with the rain continuing Friday and Saturday, before ending Sunday – then a little cooler air in place – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Governor Pat Quinn is giving up his fight to have a private company audit the state’s health care coverage for the poor – the administration had awarded an $85 million contract to eliminate fraud and cut costs from the state’s Medicaid rolls, but a state union said the contract violated a collective bargaining agreement, and an arbitrator agreed – Quinn yesterday said he would give up and recognize the new ruling.

 

(OLNEY)  Agriculture giant Archer Daniels Midland is moving its world headquarters to Chicago despite the fact that state lawmakers last month refused to act on an incentive package to keep the ag company’s main office in Illinois – although it’s not official until an announcement expected today, many say the move will not be as dramatic as indicated to state lawmakers last month when tax incentives were on the table.

 

(NEWTON)  Three of the four Republican candidates for Governor will square off in a live TV debate next month in Peoria – State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Senators Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard said they will take part in the debate sponsored by public broadcast stations – Businessman candidate Bruce Rauner hasn’t said whether he’ll take part or not – the debate is set for January 23rd, five weeks from tomorrow.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Central College Learning Skills Center is being recognized for its commitment to assisting students with disabilities – the LSC was one of just three nominees for the Illinois Statewide Transition Conference’s Outstanding Post-Secondary Program Award – an honor that notes a college or vocational program that has done an outstanding job of providing education and services for students with all disabilities and helps their students achieve their goal of high education – the LSC was nominated for the award by officials with the Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation Services in Olney and South Eastern Special Education, which serves the counties of Richland, Jasper, Crawford, and Lawrence.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night in regular session – the Council  :  approved the tax levy ordinance for fiscal year 2014 as presented  :  agreed to abate the taxes for the Newton Aquatic Center for tax levy year 2013  :  approved the annexation of property commonly known as 10091 North 1100th Street in Newton  :  approved the $26,188 change order and the $48,741 payment to Kieffer Brothers Construction for the IKE Project work in Newton  :  approved the $19,480 payment to Kieffer Brothers for retainage work on the IKE Project  :  approved TIF eligible expenses of  $2,149 for the Medicine Shoppe  :  adopted an amendment to the City Code concerning the city’s building demolition programs and the related annual budget  :  agreed to advertise for a part-time police officer in Newton  :  on a 6-0 vote with one abstention, hired Rachel McVicar as the City’s Assistant Treasurer  :  and took no other action after a short 6-minute closed session to discuss litigation and real estate  :  Council’s next meeting is January 7, 2014.

 

(OLNEY)  An Olney resident will be available this Saturday to sell and sign his new book, entitled “The Leaf of Golden Memories” – Harry T. Hall will be at the Olney Rural King Store, just off of Route 130, from 10:00 in the morning to 2:00 in the afternoon – Hall’s book is based on the true story of his family’s journey by covered wagon from the Plains of Colorado to the Ozark Hills of Arkansas in 1923, plus the various challenges faced by his family and the memories that helped shape Hall’s life – it’s a book for the young and old alike and would make a great Christmas gift – not to mention that 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the East Richland FFA Chapter – the book was edited and published by Richland County native Ron Scherer – that’s this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 at the Rural King Supply Store in Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  An Effingham County woman was arrested yesterday on murder charges  – authorities say 57 year old Christine Burr of rural Dieterich is charged with three counts of first degree murder in the death of 54 year old Joseph Delaney of Effingham – Burr, along with 40 year old Kristy Mathis and 25 year old Zebediah Houser, both of Effingham, have been charged with concealment of a homicidal death – while Delaney disappeared after July 1st, 2011, newly collected evidence indicates that the skeletal remains found in March of 2012 near the Embarras River northeast of Newton are those of Delaney – it’s believed that Delaney was murdered in Effingham, with his body later disposed of in Jasper County – Burr, Mathis, and Houser will make their initial court appearance today – the Jasper County State’s Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, and Coroner’s Office assisted Effingham County authorities as the investigation continues.

 

(OLNEY)  This Friday’s the deadline to include items for the annual Mt. Erie Ruritan Club’s Farm Machinery Consignment Sale, which is set for January 20th, 2014 on the Club’s grounds down in Mt. Erie – the sale is for farm machinery and equipment, including combines, tractors, trailers, trucks, livestock items, ATV’s and more, however no tractor tires – consignments must be made before this Friday in order to be listed on the consignment sale bill – for more details or information, call Steve Bass at 618-838-8393.

 

(NEWTON)  All eligible and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood whenever possible – here’s some area upcoming blood drives  :  today at the American Red Cross Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  also today at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the Olney Fire Department from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  all blood types are very much needed.

 

(OLNEY)  The Embarras River Basin Agency office in Olney will be host an informational “Get Covered Illinois” meeting for Richland County and surrounding residents this afternoon at the Senior Center in downtown Olney, starting at 2:00 – open to anyone, the meeting will include details about the new health insurance options available, especially thru the state’s Get Covered Illinois program, the official Health Marketplace for Illinois – for details, check the state’s website online at www.GetCoveredIllinois.gov.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Check out this year’s Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park, on from 5:00 until 10:00 each night – plus all donations accepted by the Bucket Brigade at the end of the Display are much appreciated


    The “Socks for Seniors” is still taking donations of new socks for the elderly in local nursing homes, now thru this Friday, the 20th – drop your socks off this week at the Newton Press Mentor office in Newton


    The East Richland High School Music Department has another concert tonight in the Sliva Auditorium at ERHS, starting at 6:00 - the ERHS Choir will have its Christmas Concert tonight – all are invited

 

 

December 17, 2013

 

(OLNEY)  While an upper level disturbance brought us some clouds and few flurries early this morning, the back side of an arctic high pressure in the Upper Midwest will keep us dry for a few days, plus give us a southerly wind flow today thru the rest of the work week – that means a warm up as we’ll have temperatures well in the 40’s by Friday – however, a chance of rain then wintry mix for the weekend – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  High speed rail construction across Illinois could mean that some businesses and properties may need to be relocated – while construction plans to increase freight and passenger speeds thru the City of Springfield will be presented early next year, an IDOT consulting firm says that property relocations, purchases, and land acquisitions are very likely in the State Capitol although the exact path is undetermined.

 

(OLNEY)  If Illinoisans want to apply for a concealed carry firearm permit, it will have to be done online – the Illinois State Police says they are not set up to process paper applications and that online applications are cheaper and allow state agencies to communicate better – online applications will start in January and the state expects 400,000 applicants in the first year alone – for more, go logon to the State Police website.

 

(NEWTON)  Residents are reminded to be alert to several scams circulating throughout the region – never give out personal information to anyone, whether it’s on the telephone or internet, and never share with anyone banking account numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal details, regardless of who they say they are or who they say they represent – contact police if any questions.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met with two special meetings last night  :  the first of which included no action taken, with most of the meeting held in closed session to conduct interviews for the position of City Clerk   :  in the second special meeting, the Council discussed several proposals for the tax levy, then approved a tax levy ordinance, calling for a 4.99% increase, with the total levy at $1,916,609 – this includes extra allocations to the city’s Police & Fire Pension Fund and to the city’s IMRF Fund, which both have been underfunded in the past  :  the Council also rescinded action from last week’s meeting and last night approved a revised Insurance Brokerage Fee agreement with Gallagher Insurance for the city’s insurance coverage – the new contract is worth $186,460 and will save the City of Olney nearly $14,000 in reductions and more  :  the Council agreed to cancel its December 23rd meeting  :  the Council took no other action after a closed session to conduct more interviews  :  the Council’s next regular meeting is January 13, 2014.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met for its regular monthly meeting last night in Newton – the Board  :  approved and adopted the District’s tax levy for fiscal year 2014 as presented  :  approved the respective School and District’s Continuous Improvement Plans as presented  :  on a 4 to 3 vote, approved a self-funded soccer program at Newton Community High School  :  noted the recent Newton Elementary School food drive was a huge success with over 2,400 items donated to area food pantries  :  noted the NCHS Marching Eagles for being named the 2013 Illinois National Outstanding Band in its division  :  noted the hard work by the District’s custodial staff for recent snow removal after hours  :  noted the 8th Grade Girls basketball team for its Regional and Sectional Championships and trip to the state tournament  :  and in one personnel move – hired Josh Benefiel as Junior High Boys Track Coach  :  then took no other action after a 32-minute closed session  :  the Board’s next regular monthly meeting is January 20, 2014.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Central College’s School of Cosmetology is celebrating a third place finish in the Illinois Association of Cosmetology Schools’ Student Competition – held annually up in Tinley Park, this year’s event drew cosmetology students from more than 30 colleges around the state to compete is a variety of categories, ranging from bridal and color, to the extreme to long hair mannequin – the OCC students attending the event included Karlie Switzer and Taylor Greentree, along with OCC School of Cosmetology Director, Linda Miller – for more information on the School, call Olney Central College at 618-395-7777.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA Farm Service Agency is reminding area farmers they now have until January 15th to report crops that had a December 15th acreage reporting deadline without paying a late-file fee – that’s four weeks now allowed to report to County FSA offices around the state – crops under this waiver include fall seeded small grains and perennial forage – farmers should contact their respective County FSA office.

 

(OLNEY)  Some University of Illinois students in Champaign are making the holiday season a little brighter for anyone willing to give them a call and hear a festive song – the 53rd annual “Dial-a-Carol” hotline is available around the clock for only a couple of more days and nights – students are ready for any call, at any time of the day or night, from all around the world, singing any carol that’s requested – over 4,000 people called in last year – the group at Snyder Hall hopes to break the 5,000 call mark during this holiday season – call anytime, now thru midnight tomorrow, on December 18th, at 217-332-1882.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Holly Jolly celebration will end this coming Friday night on the Square in downtown Newton – it’s the third of three consecutive Friday nights full of giveaways and more – shoppers can register throughout this week to win gift certificates, chamber bucks, and merchandise with the Friday night drawings at 7:00 – plus a scavenger hunt each Friday night as shoppers collect tokens at local businesses during the week and bring them to the Friday night giveaways – there will be great shopping in Newton Friday night from 5:00 to 7:00, plus folks and children can visit with Santa Claus and all of the Holly Jolly Characters – and tickets are on sale at various sites in Newton for the Christmas Table Top Raffle – for more details, logon the Chamber of Commerce website, at www.NewtonIllinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  All eligible and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood whenever possible – here’s some area upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Oblong High School from 10:00 to 3:00  :  today at the Kluthe Civic Center in Dieterich from 2:00 to 6:00  :  today at the Community Building in Stewardson from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the American Red Cross Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the Olney Fire Department from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  as always, all blood types are very much needed.

 

(OLNEY)  The Embarras River Basin Agency office in Olney will be host an informational “Get Covered Illinois” meeting for Richland County and surrounding residents tomorrow afternoon at the Senior Center in downtown Olney, starting at 2:00 – open to anyone, the meeting will include details about the new health insurance options available, especially thru the state’s Get Covered Illinois program, the official Health Marketplace for Illinois – for details, check the state’s website online at www.GetCoveredIllinois.gov.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The “Socks for Seniors” is still taking donations of new socks for the elderly in local nursing homes, now thru this Friday, the 20th – drop your socks off this week at the Newton Press Mentor office in Newton


    The East Richland High School Music Department has two Christmas concerts coming up this week in the Sliva Auditorium at ERHS, both starting at 6:00  :  the ERHS Band will have its Christmas Concert tonight : the ERHS Choir will have its Christmas Concert tomorrow night  :  all are invited


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will present its Christmas Program tonight in the Immanuel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, starting at 7:00 – it’s free and everyone of all ages are welcome

 

 

December 16, 2013

 

(OLNEY)  As an arctic high pressure keeps us mostly dry today, a weak clipper system will keep the clouds around until later tonight, plus drop some light snow in our northern listening area – on the back side of that high pressure, we’ll see a southerly wind flow develop by Wednesday with a warm up in store, but another storm system moves in with rain by Friday and maybe more wintry weather Saturday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  A plan to build an environmentally friendly coal-burning power facility is contending with yet another hurdle – this time it’s a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club, seeking to put a stop to the $1.3 billion FutureGen project until tougher permits are issued to control the potential release of pollutants – the suit targets Ameren Energy Resources, who are partners in the project with various coal companies and others.

 

(OLNEY)  Two new programs are being launched to help defendants with mental illness get help and stay out of jail – the “Second Chance Probation” starts in a few weeks and offers first-time, non-violent felons the chance to get a clean record by honoring their probation – public defenders across the state are looking for lawyers willing to serve as court-appointed guardians to help those who can’t care for themselves.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois officials say that one previously endangered animal is making a remarkable recovery in the state – the American otter was nearly wiped out due to decades of unregulated trapping, with only about 100 of them left 30 years ago – after special efforts to reintroduce otters in many downstate rivers and streams, Illinois’ largest member of the weasel family now numbers about 15,000 throughout the state.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council will meet in special session this evening at 5:30 at the Olney City Hall – most all of the meeting will be held in closed session to conduct interviews for the position of City Clerk – the Olney City Council will then have another special meeting tonight at 7:00 at the Olney City Hall – the agenda for the second special meeting includes consideration of an ordinance to approve the city’s Tax Levy for fiscal year 2014, plus another closed session to conduct more interviews, if needed, and to discuss the position of City Clerk – the Olney City Council’s next regular meeting will be held January 13, 2014.

 

(NEWTON)  In another meeting coming up tonight, the Jasper County School Board will have its regular monthly meeting for December this evening – however, the meeting will be held at a different site tonight – starting at 6:30, the meeting will be held in the Newton Community High School Auditorium – it’s a rather normal agenda with new and old business, plus more – as always, tonight’s meeting is open to the public.

 

(NOBLE)  One other local note – tonight’s scheduled meeting for the Zoning Board in the Village of Noble has been cancelled – again, tonight’s Zoning Board meeting in Noble has been cancelled.


 
(OLNEY)  Firearm deer hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of  74,191 deer during the 2013 seven-day firearm deer season – that number compares with 99,546 deer harvested during last year’s seven days, which is 25% less deer taken this year compared to 2012 – State DNR officials believe the weather conditions during both hunting weekends played havoc with hunters throughout the state, causing the lower number of deer taken in 2013 – all ten of our area counties had lower numbers this year compared to a year ago – Wayne County had the highest local total of deer taken at 1,268 – then Clay County at 863, Crawford County at 806, Jasper County at 835, Effingham County at 667, Richland County at 579, Cumberland County at 591, Lawrence County at 466, Edwards County at 339, and Wabash County at 249 – while the Archery Deer Season continues now thru January 19, 2014, the seven day split Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer Season will be the last weekend of December and the third weekend of January.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Holly Jolly celebration will end this coming Friday night on the Square in downtown Newton – it’s the third of three consecutive Friday nights full of giveaways and more – shoppers can register throughout this week to win gift certificates, chamber bucks, and merchandise with the Friday night drawings at 7:00 – plus a scavenger hunt each Friday night as shoppers collect tokens at local businesses during the week and bring them to the Friday night giveaways – there will be great shopping in Newton Friday night from 5:00 to 7:00, plus folks and children can visit with Santa Claus and all of the Holly Jolly Characters – and tickets are on sale at various sites in Newton for the Christmas Table Top Raffle – for more details, logon the Chamber of Commerce website, at www.NewtonIllinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The Embarras River Basin Agency, Olney office, will be hosting an informational “Get Covered Illinois” meeting for Richland County and surrounding residents, talking about the Affordable Care Act and more, coming up this Wednesday, starting at 2:00 – the meeting will be held at the Richland County Senior Center in downtown Olney and anyone can attend the meeting, which will include details about the new health insurance options available, especially thru the state’s Get Covered Illinois program, the official Health Marketplace for Illinois – to get details or more information in advance, check out the state’s website online at www.GetCoveredIllinois.gov, or call the GCI’s toll-free Help Desk at 1-866-311-1119.

 

(NEWTON)  All eligible and/or first-time donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the area upcoming blood drives over the next week  :  today at the Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also today at the American Legion Hall in Farina from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also today at the YMCA in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Oblong High School from 10:00 to 3:00  :  also tomorrow at the Kluthe Civic Center in Dieterich from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Community Building in Stewardson from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the American Red Cross Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  also Wednesday at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  on Friday at the Olney Fire Department from 2:00 to 6:00  :  on Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  as always, all blood types are very much needed to help replenish the low mid-western blood supply.

 

(OLNEY)  Tickets will go on sale tomorrow morning at 7:00 at Uebinger’s Furniture east of Flora for the April 2014 visit of Duck Dynasty’s Jep and Jessica Robertson to the Flora High School – sponsored in part by the Flora Rotary Club, the tickets range in price from $40 to $75, plus a limited number of “meet and greet” tickets will sell for $200 each – for ticket details or more, call Uebinger’s Furniture at 618-662-4322.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The “Socks for Seniors” is still taking donations of new socks for the elderly in local nursing homes, now thru this Friday, the 20th – drop your socks off this week at the Newton Press Mentor office in Newton


    The East Richland High School Music Department has two Christmas concerts coming up this week in the Sliva Auditorium at ERHS, both starting at 6:00 : the ERHS Band will have its Christmas Concert tomorrow night : the ERHS Choir will have its Christmas Concert on Wednesday night : all are invited


    The East Orchard Christian Academy will present its Christmas Program tomorrow night in the Immanuel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, starting at 7:00 – it’s free and everyone of all ages are welcome