LOCAL NEWS

Local News

August 10, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  It was a quiet night over central Illinois as surface high pressure holds across the region.  That brings with it chances of patchy morning fog.  An increase in low level moisture and increase in heat later this morning will bring chances of showers this afternoon that will hang around throughout the rest of the week.  Stay tuned to Freedom 92.9 – 103.5 The Eagle for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – a federal judge yesterday refused to lighten former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s original 14 year prison sentence for corruption, rejecting pleas for lenience by the former governor who attended the hearing by video from his Colorado prison. The 59 year old Blagojevich was eligible for resentencing after an appeals court last year threw out several corruption convictions.

 

(OLNEY)  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is receiving a unique three-volume biography that includes writing from President Lincoln and nine other presidents.  The library is accepting the donation from the Abraham Lincoln Association today.  The special edition of the biography includes personal letter and other correspondence from President Lincoln and other presidents including John Quincy Adams, James Buchanan and Ulysses S. Grant.
 

(NEWTON)  Illinois’ state bird in now being commemorated on a US Postage stamp.  A spokesman for the US Postal Service said yesterday that the Northern Cardinal is one of four birds to be featured in the new Songbirds in Snow stamps issued last week.  The series is to celebrate four birds that brighten winter days.  Illinois schoolchildren chose the cardinal as the state bird of Illinois in 1928, with legislature making the designation official the following year.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met earlier this week – the Board  : noted of road closings on this Saturday for the Noble Chowder, those roads are N. Noble Ave between Elm and Poplar Streets. : Cemetery and sidewalk work matter was tabled until the next meeting : adopted a Resolution No. 2016-1 to update and supplement the Village Codebook by Illinois Codification Services : noted the sewer project is underway : Pittsburg Tank & Tower report provided from the last inspection in June : Committee meeting met and discussed Water/Sewer trainee position.  The Board agreed with Committee recommendation to place Bill Manuel in trainee position.  Manuel is also on the Zoning Board which still has 2 positions open.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced two significant road repairs to be made over the next two weeks – motorists in the selected rural areas should be alert for warning signs and be prepared to stop for possible short delays – the road work will involve four main areas  :  a portion of Berryville Lane & Gentry Road, both in Madison Township, west of Parkersburg  :  two areas of Wynoose Road in Decker Township, north of Wynoose  :  a section of Higgin Switch Road in both Decker & Noble Townships, southwest of Olney  :  a small portion of Pleasant Ridge Lane, at the Passport Road intersection, north of Noble  :  if any questions, call the Richland County Highway Department, at  618-392-3141.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Health Department has received a Vector Surveillance Grant for 2016 and since dead birds are an important indicator for early West Nile Virus activity, the Illinois Department of Public Health requests that local health departments submit at least 2 to 5 “eligible” birds for testing – all perching birds, such as the crow, blue jay, starling, sparrow, finch, robin, cardinal, swallow, mockingbird, and wren will be accepted for testing and the birds found should be believed dead less than 48 hours with no signs of decomposing – if during the week, Monday thru Friday, the dead birds can be picked up for testing, by calling the JCHD offices at  783-5206  – if during a weekend or evening hours, use rubber gloves, place the bird in a heavy bag & seal it, place that in another bag & seal it, then chill it or freeze it – call the before mentioned number and leave a message – the submission for testing runs from now until October 15th – thanks in advance for assistance in this surveillance effort in Newton and Jasper County.

 

(OLNEY)  The Fall Kids Mall of Richland County will have its annual “fall shopping day” this coming Saturday, August 13th, at the Trinity Lutheran Church, at the east edge of Olney – the shopping registration for Richland County children entering Pre-K thru 8th Grade will begin onsite at 9:00 that morning, continuing until 12:00 noon, and all registrants will shop until it’s all complete – there is no pre-registration and no financial requirements apply – Fall Kids Mall will ask only the child’s first name, address, age, and school of attendance – the children will receive new clothing, shoes, socks, underwear, & toiletry items – plus children will get a backpack & school supplies distributed by the local Salvation Army – and while a supervising adult must remain onsite at all times, each child will be assisted by a shopping buddy, a volunteer of the program – onsite dental cleanings will also be available – that’s all a week from tomorrow, the Fall Kids Mall of Richland County annual “shopping day” at the Trinity Lutheran Church.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s a couple of notes from the Jasper County School District with classes to begin a week from today on Wednesday, August 17th  :  the Jasper County Junior High School will host its 7th Grade Orientation tonight night, August 10th, in the JCJH/NCHS Cafeteria, beginning at 5:00 – after a short presentation to learn more about the Jasper County Junior High, all 7th graders and their parents can tour the Junior High Wing, find their classrooms, follow their schedules, and meet the Junior High staff and teachers – new JCJH 8th grade students and their parents are also encouraged to attend this evening, on August 10th   :  meanwhile, the following night, this Thursday night, August 11th, is the Open House at the Ste. Marie Elementary School, from 6:00 to 8:00 – those attending will hear a presentation about the school and important details – students and parents are encouraged to bring their supplies at this time and meet their respective teachers – call the Ste. Marie Elementary School if there are any questions  :  the first full day of school for all students in Jasper County is next Wednesday, August 17th.

 

(OLNEY)  The next area Concealed Carry Course, offered by the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, is open to the public this week at Wabash Valley College – designed for both the beginner and experienced shooter, the 16-hour course provides the required firearms training needed to obtain a Concealed Carry permit – it’s tomorrow night & Friday night, August 11th and 12th, from 6:00 to 10:00 each night, with the final portion of the course thru the day Saturday, August 13th, from 8:00 to 4:00 – tuition and fees for the course are $173 for IECC District residents and must be paid in advance to reserve a seat in the course – there is a discounted cost for enrollees over 60 years old – for more information or to get registered, call toll-free, Wabash Valley College at  866-982-4322  or Frontier Community College at  877-464-3687.

 

(NOBLE)  It’s the annual Noble Chowder coming up this Saturday in the Noble Village Park – serving will begin at 11:00 and continue until they’re sold out – this year for the first time, the bulk chowder will be available with drive-thru service, watch for signs – they’ll also have chowder by the bowl, fried chicken, pork burgers, and much more – plus live entertainment from 10:00 to 12:00 noon – the Little Miss Contest at 12:00 noon, the quilt raffle drawing at 1:15, and the general raffle drawing at 1:30 – all are invited out this Saturday, to the annual Noble Chowder, with all activities to be held in the Noble Village Park.

 

REMINDERS  :

    It’s another “taco night” coming up this Friday night at the Olney VFW, with serving from 5:30 to 9:00 – its open to the public with carry-out orders available – call ahead – all are invited this Friday night

    The Pink Warrior Sisters Breast Cancer Survivors Support Group has a fundraiser this Saturday at the Olney Wal-Mart SuperCenter – a bake sale starts at 9:00 in the morning with pork burgers and brats to be served at 11:00 – good food for a good cause – proceeds go to our local fight against cancer

    The next Dance Night at the Grove Township Community Center up in rural Jasper County is this Thursday night, from 7:00 to 9:30 – admission is by free will donation – light

     The Marching Tigers Color Guard will hold a bake sale at the Olney VFW this coming Friday, during the “taco night”.  The bake sale starts at 5:30 and Proceeds will go to help with RCHS Color Guard supplies for the upcoming Marching Tigers season.

 

 

August 9, 2016

 

(OLNEY)   A weak upper level disturbance is off to our west and will begin tracking east from Missouri into Southwest Illinois by later this afternoon.  That will bring with it some chances of scattered showers developing ahead of the disturbance.  The system will then begin tracking into central Illinois by the afternoon hours. This will bring with it the rain chances starting tomorrow through the rest of the week.  Stay tuned to Freedom 92.9 – 103.5 The Eagle for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – a federal judge is set to decide whether to cut the fourteen year prison term given to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich after an appellate court threw out several of his corruption convictions.  A resentencing hearing is scheduled for today in Chicago federal court.  The 59 year-old Democrat will appear on a courtroom screen at the hearing via a video link from prison in his first public appearance since entering prison.  Blagojevich was sentenced in 2011, following his conviction for trying to exchange an appointment to the US Senate for campaign cash.  The appeals court ordered the resentencing after striking down five of his 18 convictions.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois is honoring those who were wounded in combat with a monument in Springfield.  The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it has dedicated a monument at the Springfield cemetery where Abraham Lincoln is buried to Purple Heart recipients.  The Purple Heart is the nation’s oldest military award tracing its roots back to medals authorized by George Washington in 1782 and awarded to nearly two million people since World War I.  The monument joins state-operated monuments honoring men and women who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

 

(NEWTON)   Officials say an error with an online grade book affected the grades of hundreds of students at a suburban Chicago high school.  East Aurora High School discovered in mid-April that grades were not being calculated correctly.  Administrators eventually changed at least four hundred and ninety semester grades for high school students going back more than two years.  Interim Superintendent Mark McDonald says he’s confident it won’t be an issue in the future.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night – the Council  : Approved Final Plat of Gertrude Subdivision :  Approved appointments of Luke Fairless and Mallory Fairless to the Parks & Recreation Board : Approved the release of amendment to minimum deed restriction for Watergate Subdivision : approved the water supply agreement between the City of Olney and the EJ Water Cooperative, Inc. : held a discussion over Christmas Parade temporary no parking areas along staging area and parade route :  there was a closed session that was held : set minimum sale price of 19.6 acres in the industrial park :  the boards next regular monthly meeting will be August 22nd.

 

(NEWTON)  In yesterday USDA Crop Report  :  crops continued to benefit from favorable weather conditions.  The average temperature over the last week was 76.4 degrees, 2.7 degrees above normal. Last week’s precipitation averaged 0.86 inches, four hundredths of an inch (.04) below normal.  Topsoil and subsoil continue ot run mostly adequate to surplus, the statewide crop conditions are mostly in good to excellent shape.  Farmers here in our ten county area report much the same as of Sunday, most all of the corn crop is in the dough stage.  Meanwhile most of the soybeans are blooming and about half are setting pods.  Farmers are reminded to stay safe while working around the farm this summer.
 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau weekly rainfall report is out, showing the amount of rain that fell in a seven day period that ended at 8:00 yesterday morning – the largest amount of rain that fell was an inch and eight tenths (1.80) in Preston Township, followed by one inch (1.00) in Bonpas Township.  The third highest rainfall total registered in at four tenths of an inch (.40) in Noble Township with twenty-two hundredths of an inch (0.22) in Decker Township following behind that.  Our WVLN-WSEI Weather Station recorded three hundredths of an inch of precipitation during that span (.03). Townships in Claremont, Denver, German, Madison and Olney reported no rainfall during that span.  So far this year, the average rainfall in Richland County is now running 4.74 inches less than it was a year ago at this time.
 

(NEWTON)  Here’s a couple of notes from the Jasper County School District with classes to begin a week from tomorrow on Wednesday, August 17th  :  the Jasper County Junior High School will host its 7th Grade Orientation tomorrow night, August 10th, in the JCJH/NCHS Cafeteria, beginning at 6:00 – after a short presentation to learn more about the Jasper County Junior High, all 7th graders and their parents can tour the Junior High Wing, find their classrooms, follow their schedules, and meet the Junior High staff and teachers – new JCJH 8th grade students and their parents are also encouraged to attend tomorrow evening, on August 10th   :  meanwhile, the following night, this coming Thursday night, August 11th, is the Open House at the Ste. Marie Elementary School, from 6:00 to 8:00 – those attending will hear a presentation about the school and important details – students and parents are encouraged to bring their supplies at this time and meet their respective teachers – call the Ste. Marie Elementary School if there are any questions  :  the first full day of school for all students in Jasper County is next Wednesday, August 17th.

(NOBLE)  It’s the annual Noble Chowder coming up this Saturday in the Noble Village Park – serving will begin at 11:00 and continue until they’re sold out – this year for the first time, the bulk chowder will be available with drive-thru service, watch for signs – they’ll also have chowder by the bowl, fried chicken, pork burgers, and much more – plus live entertainment from 10:00 to 12:00 noon – the Little Miss Contest at 12:00 noon, the quilt raffle drawing at 1:15, and the general raffle drawing at 1:30 – all are invited out this Saturday, to the annual Noble Chowder, with all activities to be held in the Noble Village Park.

 

(OLNEY)  Fall semester classes are less than two weeks away from starting at Olney Central College, Lincoln Trail College, Wabash Valley College, and Frontier Community College – with various courses offered at the four colleges and other satellite sites, those interested should contact the respective Student Services Office or check out the IECC website available around the clock online – that’s at  www.iecc.edu.

 

(NEWTON)  With the Illinois State Fair starting this weekend, families are urged to visit Conservation World, which features nearly 30 acres of family activities including fishing instruction, archery ranges, various exhibits, & expert information on habitat enhancement, state parks, wildlife, fish, and forestry – Conservation World will be open daily from 10:00 to 7:00 – the Illinois State Fair in Springfield runs this Friday, August 12th thru the 21st – for more information and details, check out the state fair website online.

 

REMINDERS  :

    It’s another “taco night” coming up this Friday night at the Olney VFW, with serving from 5:30 to 9:00 – its open to the public with carry-out orders available – call ahead – all are invited this Friday night

    The Richland County Farmers Market is set up today under the pole barns in the Olney City Park – that’s fresh produce and more available to the public for purchase from 10:00 to 5:00 – stop by and check it out

     The Noble Chowder meeting will be held today at 6:00 tonight in the Noble Village Hall – again that is the Noble Chowder meeting tonight

    The Pink Warrior Sisters Breast Cancer Survivors Support Group has a fundraiser this Saturday at the Olney Wal-Mart SuperCenter – a bake sale starts at 9:00 in the morning with pork burgers and brats to be served at 11:00 – good food for a good cause – proceeds go to our local fight against cancer

    The next Dance Night at the Grove Township Community Center up in rural Jasper County is this Thursday night, from 7:00 to 9:30 – admission is by free will donation – light refreshments provided

 

 

August 8, 2016

 

(OLNEY)       High pressure centered to our north will continue to hold for the next day before heading off to the east.  The stalled frontal boundary will begin to track into southwest Illinois this morning bringing with it chances of light showers off to our west with our next rain chances later this week.  Stay tuned to Freedom 92.9 – 103.5 The Eagle for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill backed by the University of Illinois that would have allowed a nonresident student to serve as a student trustee.  Rauner’s veto keeps in place rules outlined by the University of Illinois Trustees Act.  Under the act, a student trustee must be a registered voter in Illinois, have proof of residency in Illinois for at least three months, and have a valid Illinois driver’s license.  The vetoed legislation would have allowed students who meet one of the previous criteria to be trustees.  Rauner said the legislation would have allowed nonresidents on the board, and because the school is a public institution, in-state representation on the board should be a priority.

 

(OLNEY)   Admission to the Illinois State Fair is up to forty percent and preview night is no longer free, but officials have gussied it up with grandstand entertainment and a free concert.  The upcoming August 11th preview night following the Twilight Parade will have a five dollar admission fee, still half the price of regular admission and includes music by the Chicago 6.  The Fair runs August 11th to August 21st with a ten dollar admission and kids up to age 12 are free.

 

(NEWTON)  It was an up-and-down winter and spring for southern Illinois peach growers, but the summer’s crop is strong despite the iffy weather.  The crop had to endure a frigid winter and excessively wet spring and some dry patches already this summer.  Recent rain within the past month has helped with the peach crop and the July heat was welcomed to help the crop as well.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into a fatal traffic crash that occurred at 6:20 this past Friday evening on the Ste. Marie Road in Jasper County, approximately 2 miles south of Ste. Marie, that involved a man and two children – the Illinois State Police report 56 year old Christopher Zuber of Ste. Marie was southbound when he apparently lost control of his pickup truck, it ran off the roadway, thru a ditch, and struck a creek embankment – Zuber was pronounced dead at the scene along with one of the passengers, 6 year old Austin Zuber from Albion – the other passenger, an unidentified 3 year old male juvenile, also from Albion, was life-lighted from the scene to Carle Hospital in Urbana – the Illinois State Police, Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, and other emergency personnel from Jasper County responded.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced two significant road repairs to be made over the next two weeks – motorists in the selected rural areas should be alert for warning signs and be prepared to stop for possible short delays – the road work will involve four main areas  :  a portion of Berryville Lane & Gentry Road, both in Madison Township, west of Parkersburg  :  two areas of Wynoose Road in Decker Township, north of Wynoose  :  a section of Higgin Switch Road in both Decker & Noble Townships, southwest of Olney  :  a small portion of Pleasant Ridge Lane, at the Passport Road intersection, north of Noble  :  if any questions, call the Richland County Highway Department, at  618-392-3141.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Authorities continue to remind area residents of several scams that are circulating the downstate region  :  one is the phone call received from someone claiming to be a relative who needs money wired to them immediately to get them out of jail or another difficult situation  :  another scam involves a call claiming the resident has won an international lottery drawing, however the caller needs money wired to them in advance before the victim can claim their lottery prize – some scammers are using Wal-Mart or various Credit Union offices to have the money transferred  :  another scam involves callers claiming to be with either the IRS and a local electric company, threatening residents with a warrant for their arrest if they don’t make an immediate payment or return the scammers’ phone call  :  yet another alert is coming from the Illinois Sheriff's Association, which solicits donations and memberships only by mail – if calls are received from those claiming to be with the Association, simply hang up  :  residents are reminded to never answer threats, never give out personal information, and contact your local police if such a call is received.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s a couple of notes from the Richland County High School with classes to begin a week from tomorrow  :  RCHS parking permits will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting today, on this Monday, August 8th – that’s for seniors from 8:00 to 2:00 – then tomorrow, Tuesday, August 9th, from 8:00 to 2:00 for juniors – beginning this Wednesday, August 10th, permits will be sold during regular RCHS office hours, however once school starts August 16th, all permits must be purchased in the RCHS office before or after school – all parking permits are $25 each – students who choose not to purchase a permit must park on the streets surrounding RCHS  :  also, all incoming freshmen and new students are invited to the school’s “Freshmen First” program, coming up Monday morning, August 15th, a week from today, from 8:30 to 10:30, in the RCHS Sliva Auditorium – students will have the chance to visit their classes, meet teachers, & discuss need-to-know topics  :  for more, call the RCHS office, at  618-393-2191.

 

(NOBLE)  With the annual Noble Chowder coming up this Saturday, folks are encouraged to get their tickets now for a chance to win  :  raffle tickets are on sale at four locations in Noble during regular hours of operations – at Village Hall, the Tin Cup Restaurant, at Noble Foods, and the RJI Package Store in Noble – the tickets are one for $1 each, or six tickets for $5, and winners need not be present  :  also for sale at each location are tickets to win a Four Patch Star Quilt, which is currently on display at the Village Hall in Noble  :  so get those tickets now for the Noble Chowder, coming up this second Saturday in August, the 13th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Ramblin’ Rose Bus, a ministry sponsored by Effingham Catholic Charities, is this week wrapping up to its seven-county area visits, delivering school supplies and clothing to assist families with limited financial means – for those that apply, children (K-12) may receive needed items – the first stop this week is tomorrow evening at the Nazarene Church in Casey from 4:00 to 6:00 – the second and final stop this week and for the season is Thursday evening at the St. Elizabeth Church in Robinson from 5:00 to 7:00.

 

(OLNEY)  There’s two municipal meetings scheduled for tonight in Richland County  :  the Olney City Council meets tonight at the Olney City Hall, beginning at 7:00  :  the Noble Village Board meets tonight at the Village Hall in Noble, starting at 7:00  :  both meetings this evening are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Pink Warrior Sisters Breast Cancer Survivors Support Group has a fundraiser this Saturday at the Olney Wal-Mart SuperCenter – a bake sale starts at 9:00 in the morning with pork burgers and brats to be served at 11:00 – good food for a good cause – proceeds go to our local fight against cancer

    The next Dance Night at the Grove Township Community Center up in rural Jasper County is this Thursday night, from 7:00 to 9:30 – admission is by free will donation – light refreshments provided

 

 

August 6, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As the cold front that moved thru the downstate area last evening brought a few isolated showers to our region, most of us stayed dry – and that will be the story now for the next several days & nights – a high pressure ridge will keep us dry and a little cooler today and tomorrow, then we’ll warm back up by the end of next week with our next chance of rain moving thru by next Thursday evening – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – in an effort to maintain sustainability, organizers of the Du Quoin State Fair have announced a minimal admission fee this year – all adult fairgoers will be charged only $2 to enter the grounds, while children under the age of 13 will be admitted free – in addition, the Fair will introduce new theme days which will give select fairgoers free admission on specific days as well – the Du Quoin State Fair is August 26th thru September 5th – for more, check the Fair’s website at  www.agr.state.il.us/dq.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced two significant road repairs to be made over the next two weeks – motorists in the selected rural areas should be alert for warning signs and be prepared to stop for possible short delays – the road work will involve four main areas  :  a portion of Berryville Lane & Gentry Road, both in Madison Township, west of Parkersburg  :  two areas of Wynoose Road in Decker Township, north of Wynoose  :  a section of Higgin Switch Road in both Decker & Noble Townships, southwest of Olney  :  a small portion of Pleasant Ridge Lane, at the Passport Road intersection, north of Noble  :  if any questions, call the Richland County Highway Department, at  618-392-3141.

 

(NEWTON)  Some reminders for area sportsmen and sportswomen  :  the 2016-2017 hunting seasons in Illinois are fast approaching – IDNR Hunter Safety Education courses are available in the weeks ahead and a list of statewide courses are listed on the DNR website  :  also, statewide wing shooting clinics are scheduled over the next several weeks for youth ages 10 to 15 and for women – the list of clinics are on the DNR website  :  for more on all things outdoors in Illinois, go online at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  Fall semester classes are less than two weeks away from starting at Olney Central College, Lincoln Trail College, Wabash Valley College, and Frontier Community College – with various courses offered at the four colleges and other satellite sites, those interested should contact the respective Student Services Office or check out the IECC website available around the clock online – that’s at  www.iecc.edu.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Richland County Home Front and M&M Wooden Flowers will have a fundraising “craft show” this weekend at the Richland County Elementary School in Olney – that’s today and tomorrow, each day from 9:00 to 5:00 – all the proceeds will help put together care packages for our local troops

    The Helia Healthcare “back to school event” is this evening from 4:00 to 9:00 with all children & parents invited – they’ll have a waterslide, a slip & slide, and a dunking booth for a donation of school supplies – also hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, & drinks for sale – plus a movie shown on the lawn after dark

    The Richland County ABATE has its annual fundraiser to help fight breast cancer today – sign up at the Olney VFW starts at 9:00 this morning, with the kick stands up at 11:00 – the 90 mile trip includes stops in Newton, Robinson, Lawrenceville, & Bridgeport – then back to Olney for a dinner & auction – all invited

    The Annual Community Wide Garage Sales are today from now until 1:00 this afternoon at the Grove Township Community Center, in rural Jasper County – by the way, the Community Center has rescheduled its Library “open house” from tomorrow to September 18th, later next month, there in rural Jasper County

 

 

August 5, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  An approaching cold front that will move across Illinois by early tomorrow morning will bring us our next chance of shower and thunderstorm activity, likely by later this afternoon and tonight – but after the rain chance ends late tonight, a high pressure ridge will bring us a little cooler & drier air both tomorrow and Sunday – we’ll warm back up next week with no rain expected until Thursday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting three pregnant women are among 46 cases of the Zika Virus in the state – meanwhile, five others are awaiting test results from the Centers for Disease Control – as of last week, there were 479 pregnant women infected with the Zika Virus nationwide – it’s spread to people through mosquito bites and can cause severe birth defects.

 

(OLNEY)  A recent survey by the USDA shows that honeybee colonies numbered 2.59 million in the U.S. as of January 1st – the over 20,000 honeybee keepers surveyed report an 18% loss of colonies in the January to March quarter in 2015 and a 17% loss in the same quarter this year, in 2016 – beekeepers with five or more colonies reported Varroa mites as the leading stressor affecting colonies – the report also shows the U.S. honey production was down 12% while the honey prices dropped some 4% as well – the survey results will allow USDA and other federal departments and agencies to create a more unified and complementary approach to implementing a national strategy, which was unveiled in May a year ago.

 

(NEWTON)  Free activities for children and families will give Illinois State Fair visitors a chance to sample the great outdoors in Illinois, all at Conservation World, at this year’s State Fair in Springfield, running next Friday, August 12th, thru the 21st – Conservation World is a 30 acre park with grass, shade trees, and ponds located on the northwest corner of the Fairgrounds – it includes free activities, especially for children, plus displays, instruction, and shows – Conservation World will be open from 10:00 to 7:00 each day at the Fair.

 

(NEWTON)  State and regional authorities are still looking for a wanted man – it was this past Monday that a State Trooper stopped a man on Illinois Route 130 near Hidalgo, when the driver ran into a nearby field – authorities have used search crews, horses, ATV’s, and even drones in their attempt to find the man, who’s described as a 5’4” Hispanic male in his mid to late 20’s – authorities say the man is not considered armed & dangerous – if any details, contact the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department or the Illinois State Police.

 

(OLNEY)  Area motorists and others may have noticed some futuristic cars traveling along U.S. Route 50 earlier this week on Tuesday – it was all part of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial American Solar Challenge Race, which started last Saturday in Brecksville, Ohio, and ends next week in Hot Springs, South Dakota – it’s an 8 day trip, covering an 1,975 mile road course thru seven different states – escorted by lead & chase vehicles, which carry other team members & equipment for possible roadside repairs, the solar cars drive from 9:00 to 6:00 each day – the cars can only be charged two hours each morning & evening – among the 20 teams taking part this year are three from Illinois, Northwestern University, Illinois State University, & Southern Illinois University Edwardsville – other U.S. colleges taking part are from Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, & Michigan – plus teams from four Canadian colleges & one from Switzerland.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Health Department has received a Vector Surveillance Grant for 2016 and since dead birds are an important indicator for early West Nile Virus activity, the Illinois Department of Public Health requests that local health departments submit at least 2 to 5 “eligible” birds for testing – all perching birds, such as the crow, blue jay, starling, sparrow, finch, robin, cardinal, swallow, mockingbird, and wren will be accepted for testing and the birds found should be believed dead less than 48 hours with no signs of decomposing – if during the week, Monday thru Friday, the dead birds can be picked up for testing, by calling the JCHD offices at  783-5206  – if during a weekend or evening hours, use rubber gloves, place the bird in a heavy bag & seal it, place that in another bag & seal it, then chill it or freeze it – call the before mentioned number and leave a message – the submission for testing runs from now until October 15th – thanks in advance for assistance in this surveillance effort in Newton and Jasper County.

 

(OLNEY)  The Fall Kids Mall of Richland County will have its annual “fall shopping day” a week from tomorrow, on Saturday, August 13th, at the Trinity Lutheran Church, at the east edge of Olney – the shopping registration for Richland County children entering Pre-K thru 8th Grade will begin onsite at 9:00 that morning, continuing until 12:00 noon, and all registrants will shop until it’s all complete – there is no pre-registration and no financial requirements apply – Fall Kids Mall will ask only the child’s first name, address, age, and school of attendance – the children will receive new clothing, shoes, socks, underwear, & toiletry items – plus children will get a backpack & school supplies distributed by the local Salvation Army – and while a supervising adult must remain onsite at all times, each child will be assisted by a shopping buddy, a volunteer of the program – onsite dental cleanings will also be available – that’s all a week from tomorrow, the Fall Kids Mall of Richland County annual “shopping day” at the Trinity Lutheran Church.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s a few more reminders for area sportsmen & sportswomen  :  online applications are being accepted for Illinois Free Dove Hunting permits – it’s a first come, first served basis now thru August 25th for any remaining permits  :  hunters can now apply thru August 22nd for the second lottery for 2016 Illinois Fall Wild Turkey Shotgun Season permits  :  also applications are being accepted thru August 19th for the third lottery drawing for 2016 Illinois Firearm & Muzzleloader Deer permits  :  and resident combo & antlerless-only archery deer permits are available over-the-counter from statewide DNR Direct license & permit vendors  :  for details on these & all other things “outdoors in Illinois, logon at www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Richland County Home Front and M&M Wooden Flowers will have a fundraising “craft show” this weekend at the Richland County Elementary School in Olney – that’s tomorrow and Sunday, each day from 9:00 to 5:00 – all the proceeds will help with care packages for our local troops during their service


    The Helia Healthcare “back to school event” is tomorrow evening from 4:00 to 9:00 with all children & parents invited – they’ll have a waterslide, a slip & slide, and a dunking booth for a donation of school supplies – also hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, & drinks for sale – plus a movie shown on the lawn after dark


    The Richland County ABATE has its annual fundraiser to help fight breast cancer tomorrow – sign up at the Olney VFW starts at 9:00, with the kick stands up at 11:00 – the 90 mile trip has stops in Newton, Robinson, Lawrenceville, & Bridgeport – then back to Olney for a dinner & auction – all vehicles welcome


    The Annual Community Wide Garage Sales are tomorrow from 7:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the afternoon at the Grove Township Community Center, in rural Jasper County – by the way, the Center has rescheduled its Library “open house” from this coming Sunday to September 18th, later next month


    The Richland County Farmers Market is set up today under the pole barns in the Olney City Park – that’s fresh produce and more available to the public from 10:00 until 5:00 – stop by and check it out