LOCAL NEWS

Local News

October 28, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As the cold front quickly moves thru the Midwest and then off to our east, the rain will end and cooler air will start to push in from the northwest, bringing our temperatures more in line with seasonal normal – our conditions will then be quiet for the rest of the work week with a high pressure ridge building in to keep us dry and cool – in fact, we’ll get even cooler for the Halloween weekend – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  State health officials confirmed yesterday that no one in Illinois is being quarantined or even monitored for Ebola, “yet” – Governor Pat Quinn said that if anyone deemed to be high risk comes to Illinois, such as someone who had direct, unprotected contact with an Ebola patient, they should be quarantined for 21 days and checked daily – Quinn said the situation in New Jersey in which a nurse who did not show any symptoms, but had recently been treating Ebola patients in Africa and was immediately quarantined upon her return home was “very wrong” – logon at www.idph.state.il.us/ebola/index.htm.

 

(OLNEY)  A new report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association has found that Illinois is fifth in the nation for bicycle deaths – the number of cyclist fatalities in Illinois has been rising since 2010, reaching 29 in 2012, the latest year that data was available – the report shows two-thirds of the bicyclists killed in the U.S. in 2012 were not wearing helmets, but there is no law mandating that riders wear helmets in Illinois.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 early this coming Sunday morning, November 2nd, as we turn our clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night – statewide fire departments also remind folks to change the batteries in all smoke detectors in their homes, businesses, churches, and other buildings – while more than 90% of all homes in the United States have smoke detectors installed, at least one-third of them are estimated to have dead or missing batteries.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night in regular session – the Council  :  approved an ordinance limiting the number of cats per property at four if they’re not neutered or spade – this is similar to the City’s dog ordinance  :  agreed to replace the boat slips and walkway between the East Fork Lake Boat Ramp and Rotary Park – the $73,250 quote from G&H Marine in Decatur includes installation  :  agreed to purchase 75 additional tons of road salt from a Kansas company – the cost at just over $105 per ton  :  dealing with the City’s water shut-off procedures, approved a $10 credit for those who sign up for an ACH automatic payment program for at least a six month period  :  amended the budget to approve the full cost of the City’s Enterprise Zone, at $41,900  :  approved an Electronic Email Retention Policy  :  approved an amendment to the City’s Mutual Aid Agreement with area communities dealing with reimbursements  :  took no other action after a close session to discuss real estate & personnel  :  Council’s next meeting is November 10th.

 

(NEWTON)  With a break in harvesting today, yesterday’s USDA Crop Report shows last week was very productive for statewide and area farmers with 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork – last week’s average precip was 0.03 inches, that’s just over a half inch (0.61) below normal – the state’s average temperature last week was 53.7 degrees, 1.6 degrees above normal – the statewide corn and soybean harvest numbers are running behind both last year’s and the five-year average  :  farmers in our ten county area report two-thirds of the local corn and just under two-thirds of the local soybeans have been harvested as of this past Sunday – a significant increase from last week’s harvest progress and all due to last week’s ideal harvesting conditions – farmers are reminded to continue thinking “safety first” as the 2014 fall harvest resumes later this week.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Police  Department continues to investigate an incident that occurred at around 7:30 yesterday morning in which a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle – the report indicates that 44 year old Shannon Middleton of Olney was southbound on Walnut Street and while turning east onto Main Street accidently struck 53 year old Robin Schwartzlose of Olney who was in the crosswalk – Schwartzlose was taken to Richland Memorial Hospital, then transferred to an Evansville, Indiana hospital – Middleton was not injured and was ticketed for failure to yield to a pedestrian – the OPD investigation is ongoing.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that Jasper County residents with American Flags to display for Veteran’s Day 2014 on the Courthouse Lawn in Newton have until this coming Friday, October 31st, to bring their flags to the Newton American Legion Post #20, between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00 each afternoon and evening – flags can also be dropped off at the Ste. Marie Bank during regular business hours thru the end of October – those dropping off the flags should make sure their name, address, and phone number is inside each flag case – those in need of a new flag or with a flag that needs to be lettered, call Patty at 618-793-2624 by the end of October – if any questions, feel free to call the Newton American Legion Post #20 at 618-783-2622.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton Street Department has begun vacuuming leaves along the city streets and while the southwest part of town was attended to yesterday, more collection work is scheduled – residents are reminded the leaves must be on the roadside of the ditch, near the street or at the edge of the street, for vacuuming – however, leaves should not be located on the street to interfere with traffic – and remember, only leaves will be collected, no twigs or limbs – the collection tomorrow (Wednesday) involves the north part of town, the area north of Jourdan Street and west of South Van Buren to West End Avenue – the collection on Friday will involve the east and southeast part of town – if there are leaves that need to be vacuumed, call 618-783-8511 and leave a message with your address and phone number – that’s 783-8511.

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially now when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at the Altamont High School from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also today at the St. John Lutheran Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at K.C. Summers Toyota in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Charleston High School from 9:00 to 3:00  :  on Friday at East Richland High School in Olney from 8:00 to 1:00  :  for more or for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Richland County SWCD is still taking orders for its fall fish sale – all species with the exception of grass carp can be ordered thru this Friday, October 31st – call the Olney office at 618-392-7141, ext 3


    The Stringtown Community Club will host a Soup Supper & Bingo this Sunday evening with serving from 4:00 to 6:00 at the St. Joseph Parish Center in Stringtown – includes chili, vegetable soup, sandwiches, a cake walk, 50/50 drawing, & more – Bingo from 5:00 to 7:30 – all are invited out this Sunday evening


    The Richland Memorial Hospital Foundation will have its fundraising “Diamonds & Denim” event this Saturday night at The Holiday from 5:30 to 10:30 – limited tickets available – call 618-395-6088


    The first annual all-you-can-eat Turkey Supper will be this Saturday evening from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Grove Township Community Center (former Grove School) – the Country Rhodes meal will include carry-outs with tickets at the door – also a themed basket raffle – for tickets in advance, call Kim at 217-683-2688


   The monthly 4-H recycling drive is this Saturday morning from 8:00 to 11:30 at the six normal sites in Richland County – all newspapers, magazines, aluminum cans, plastic bags, and other items should be bundled separately before dropped off – the sponsoring group this month is the County’s 4-H Federation


    The OCC Student Senate’s Gothic Nightmares continues three more nights, this Thursday, Friday, & Saturday from 7:00 to 10:00 – that’s in the woods just north of OCC – $5 for adults, $3 for children


    It’s the annual TrustBank Halloween Parade coming up this Friday night, starting at 6:00 – those taking part should be at the TrustBank parking lot downtown by 5:30, with judging at 5:45 – the Parade will leave the lot at 6:00, go west on Main Street, then south on Whittle Avenue, ending a Bower Park – all are invited


    The Crawford County Employment and Community Resource Fair will be held tomorrow from 10:00 to 2:00 at the Robinson Community Center – a free event for both job seekers and employers

 

 

 

October 27, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  Strong southerly winds ahead of an approaching low pressure system will bring a much warmer airmass into our region today with warmer than normal temperatures on this Monday – the approaching cold front will bring us a 70% chance of scattered showers & thunderstorms late tonight thru tomorrow morning – then a return to cool & dry conditions Wednesday thru the rest of the work week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  State officials are implementing a mandatory quarantine for anyone who comes into Illinois after having contact with an Ebola patient – health officials say they’ll keep watch on the person for 21 days – the new requirement comes days after a doctor in New York City fell ill with Ebola after returning to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in West Africa – so far, no cases have been reported in Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  While the race for Governor is very close between Governor Pat Quinn and challenger Bruce Rauner, one other state office race is very close – that’s for the State Treasurer’s job – a recent poll has Republican Tom Cross with 38% of the vote and Democrat Mike Frerichs with 34% while 8% is undecided – two other state office races however are not close as Attorney General Lisa Madigan leads her Republican challenger Paul Schimpf by 37 points – Secretary of State Jesse White has a 68% lead over his Republican opponent Mike Webster – all will be decided after the November 4th election, a week from tomorrow.

 

(NEWTON)  We’re now seeing the cheapest gas prices in nearly four years – according to the Lundberg Survey, the average price for a gallon of unleaded has dropped 18 cents in the past two weeks – the national average for regular unleaded in $3.08 while the average price for the same gas in Illinois is $3.13 per gallon – while the lowest area price is at $2.85 in Fairfield, the highest area price is at $2.99 per gallon in Olney – the price drop is attributed to lower crude oil prices, the result of ample supplies globally and weak demand.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s Clerk’s Office has announced that the necessary nomination papers for the office of Councilman for the 2015 Municipal Election are now available in the Office of City Clerk at the Olney City Hall – candidates can file nomination petitions during regular office hours from November 17th thru November 24th at City Hall – the election if for two Councilman positions – while a consolidated primary election will be held February 24th, if needed, the consolidated election is set for next April 7th – for more, call the Olney City Hall, or for a candidate’s guide, go online at www.elections.state.il.us.

 

(NEWTON)  With the November 4th election nearly a week away, here’s some reminders for everyone, as we prepare to go and vote : the Early Voting process is available to registered voters, now thru November 3rd – it’s for those who want to cast their ballot before election day at their respective County Clerk’s office  :  also, the Grace Period registration continues for anyone who missed the registration deadline – go to a County Clerk’s office with two forms of identification and vote at that time, all the way up until 7:00 on election night, November 4th  :  Absentee Voting can still be done, however this Thursday, the 30th, is the final day for a requested ballot to be mailed from a County Clerk’s office  :   for details, call the Jasper County Clerk’s office in Newton, the Richland County Clerk’s office in Olney, or the Clerk’s office in your county of residence – they’re open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00 – the Richland County Clerk’s office is open until 7:00 tonight and open again Saturday morning from 9:00 until 12:00 noon.

 

(OLNEY)  As local and regional farmers race to beat Mother Nature and finish the 2014 fall harvest, all motorists are reminded to be alert to farm machinery and other equipment on area roads and highways as the harvest continues during this dry weather – be on the lookout for those slow moving emblems and flashing lights as the equipment moves from field to field – farmers are also reminded to keep all those SMV emblems clean and visible at all times, plus make sure those flashing warning lights are working – let’s make it a safe fall harvest here in all of South Central and Southeastern Illinois for everyone involved.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton Elementary School is again collecting children’s coats, looking for new or gently used coats for the upcoming cold winter season – folks are asked to make sure all donated coats are in new or good condition and free from any rips, tears, and/or stains – in special need this year are coats for girls, size 7 to 14, and boys size 8 to 18, plus small size coats for women and men as well – for those who don’t have a coat to donate, monetary donations will also be accepted which will then be used to purchase new coats for a child in need – all coats will be accepted at the Elementary School now thru November 14th.

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially now when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  :  today at Lincoln Trail College, northeast of Robinson, from 9:00 to 1:00  :  also today at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:30 to 6:30  :  tomorrow at the Altamont High School from 8:00 to 1:00  :  also tomorrow at the St. John Lutheran Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at K.C. Summers Toyota in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Charleston High School from 9:00 to 3:00  :  on Friday at East Richland High School in Olney from 8:00 to 1:00  :  all blood types are needed.

 

REMINDERS :
    The RMH Auxiliary will soon be selling pecans and mixed nuts for the holiday baking needs – the fresh nuts should be arriving soon with sales available possibly next week – be listening for sale dates coming up


    A benefit dinner for Barb Thompson is this Saturday evening at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton – a free will donation Barbeque Pork Dinner will be served from 5:00 to 7:00 with entertainment and a live auction with various prizes – also a gun raffle and big raffle (need not be present to win) – tickets on sale at Celebrations in Olney, the Ste. Marie gas station, the Wakefield Mill, First National Bank of Dieterich Newton Branch, and Effingham Equity in West Liberty – for more, call Jody at 618-838-2217


    The first annual all-you-can-eat Turkey Supper will be this Saturday evening from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Grove Township Community Center (former Grove School) – the Country Rhodes meal will include carry-outs with tickets at the door – also a themed basket raffle – for tickets in advance, call Kim at 217-683-2688


    The OCC Student Senate’s Gothic Nightmares continues three more nights, this Thursday, Friday, & Saturday from 7:00 to 10:00 – that’s in the woods just north of OCC – $5 for adults, $3 for children


    It’s the annual TrustBank Halloween Parade coming up this Friday night, starting at 6:00 – those taking part should be at the TrustBank parking lot downtown by 5:30, with judging at 5:45 – the Parade will leave the lot at 6:00, go west on Main Street, then south on Whittle Avenue, ending a Bower Park – all are invited


    The Crawford County Employment and Community Resource Fair will be held this Wednesday from 10:00 to 2:00 at the Robinson Community Center – a free event for both job seekers and employers


    All Richland County teenagers are invited to attend a Teen Advisory Group organizational meeting at the Olney Public Library tonight at 7:00 – a chance for teens to have input for services provided by the library


    There’re two municipal meetings tonight – the Olney City Council meets tonight at 7:00 at the Olney City Hall – the Noble Village Board meets tonight at 7:00 at the Village Hall in Noble – both open to the public

 

 

 

October 25, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  An upper level high pressure ridge will make for a dry and mild weekend in downstate Illinois – however, a strong cold front will sweep thru the region next Monday night into Tuesday, bringing our next chance of rain and more cooler temperatures behind it – then next Wednesday thru Friday appears to be dry again with cool conditions – stay tuned to WVLN-WSEI-WIKK for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news this morning – Governor Pat Quinn has ordered the Illinois Department of Public Health to require a mandatory 21-day home quarantine for high-risk individuals who have had direct contact with an individual infected with the Ebola virus while in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea – before this order, these high-risk individuals were subject to a voluntary quarantine – the new order will now be implemented by local health departments across the state – there are still no confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in Illinois – for updates and more Ebola information, logon at www.idph.state.il.us/ebola/index.htm.

 

(OLNEY)  With the November 4th election fast approaching, the Early Voting process is available to registered voters, now thru November 3rd, all around the state – it’s for those who want to skip the lines on Election Day and cast their ballot in advance at their respective County Clerk’s office  :  also, the Grace Period registration continues for anyone who missed the registration deadline – go to a County Clerk’s office with two forms of identification and vote at that time, all the way up until 7:00 on election night, November 4th  :  Absentee Voting can still be done, however next Thursday, the 30th, is the final day for a requested ballot to be mailed from a County Clerk’s office  :   for details, call the Jasper County Clerk’s office in Newton, the Richland County Clerk’s office in Olney, or the Clerk’s office in your county of residence – they’re open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00 – the Richland County Clerk’s office is open this morning from 9:00 to 12 noon and next Monday night until 7:00.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police are again asking motorists to be extra aware of deer at this time of the year – with area farmers harvesting their crops, taking away some of the deer’s natural cover, the deer herd breeding season is heating up, therefore making deer more active as well – it’s estimated that more than 20,000 deer are involved in Illinois traffic accidents each year and it’s at this time of the year that is one of the most dangerous for drivers – so if you’re driving this weekend, be especially alert to deer along roads and highways, mostly during dawn and dusk hours, and especially close to wooded areas and/or fence rows.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s a busy weekend throughout the area with various Halloween Parades scheduled to take place  :  the Spooktacular Parade is tonight in Oblong with plenty of weekend activities there in Crawford County today thru tonight  :  the Fall Harvest Festival in Louisville runs all day today thru tomorrow morning – it’s annual Halloween Parade in Louisville is this afternoon at 2:00  :  then the annual Halloween Parade in Flora is tonight at 7:00  :  other area fall events also this weekend as well in Southeastern Illinois.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Indoor “Trunk or Treat Night” is tomorrow evening from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Grove Township Community Center in rural Jasper County – food for purchase and a best costume contest for all ages


    The Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin will host a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser tomorrow morning from 8:00 to 12 noon, by donation only – also Duck Dump Bingo – proceeds go to the Holy Cross CYM


    The OCC Student Senate’s Gothic Nightmares continues tonight from 7:00 to 10:00 in the woods on the north side of the campus – also next Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights – $5 for adults, $3 for children


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host a costume party and dance tonight from 8:00 to 11:00 at the Olney VFW – includes live music and prizes – a $5 admission at the door – all are invited


    The Olney Masonic Lodge #140 will host a chili dinner fundraiser today in the Olney City Park Community Building with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – chili will also be sold by the bulk – pay at the door


    The Olney Knights of Columbus “drive thru or carry-out” chowder today along Whittle Avenue in Olney – serving starts at 10:30 and continues until they’re sold out – it’s sold by the gallon or half gallon


    The Richland County Home Front will host a fundraising breakfast this morning from now to 10:30 at the Olney VFW with tickets at the door – proceeds for Christmas care packages for our area troops


    The Lawrence Allison Fire Association has an all-you-can-eat sausage & pancake breakfast this morning from now to 10:00 at the Lawrenceville VFW – free will donations accepted at the door

 

 

 

October 24, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a weak upper level disturbance moves thru with some clouds, but dry – another high pressure ridge will build into the Midwest by tomorrow night, giving us a dry and mild weekend with above normal temperatures and sunshine – our next weather-maker will be another weak front with rain chances next week on Tuesday, but then dry and cool for the rest of the month after that – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Unemployment is steadily dropping in every metropolitan area in Illinois – yesterday’s update from the Department of Employment Security shows that Decatur has seen the biggest improvement over the past year, with a rate dropping from 12.2% to 7.9% – the Bloomington-Normal area has the lowest rate for joblessness, at 5.5%, down from 7.2% a year ago – Illinois’ county numbers will be released next week.

 

(OLNEY)  In Illinois’ Gubernatorial race : Republican Bruce Rauner is shoring up his campaign account, giving himself another $3 million – altogether, he’s tossed in more than $23 million in his bid for the state’s top job : meanwhile, Governor Pat Quinn is trying to win over women voters with the assistance of Gloria Steinem, who’ll be in Chicago this afternoon – the Governor had the President, Vice-President, and former President Bill Clinton in Chicago over the past week : recent polls reveal Rauner slightly leading Quinn by less than two percentage points, which is within the polls’ margin of error – many voters are still undecided.

 

(OLNEY)  The Dixon Springs Ag Center in downstate Illinois will host its fourth annual Sustainable Living Expo tomorrow from 9:00 to 4:00 – the free event will focus on local foods, energy, and safety with specific subjects including food preservation, aqua-ponics, beekeeping, vegetable gardening, small-scale cattle & backyard chicken farming, and edible landscaping – the energy area will have information on interior and exterior home energy efficiency and water quality, plus a kids area will feature sustainable and science-based projects – a food court will also be available – the Dixon Springs Ag Center is located at 345 State Highway 145N near Simpson, down in rural Pope County – for more, logon at www.slexpo.org.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met in Newton last night for its regular monthly meeting – the Board  :  approved a resolution to issue General Obligation School Bonds for the purpose of altering & reconstructing school buildings and the purchase of equipment for fire prevention, safety, security, and energy conservation  :  also discussed, but no action, on the options available on issuing bonds to payback claims against the District from the Ameren Property Tax Settlement  :  noted that the District did receive a clean independent audit of District funds as required by state law  :  noted the District received a Secondary Agricultural Education Incentive Grant worth $2,178  :  noted that all District Schools are fully recognized by the State Board of Education thru the Illinois School Code and all of its regulations  :  approved nine volunteers for the Elementary School  :  approved Jordan Michels as a 5th/6th Grade Volleyball Coach  :  accepted the resignation of Mike Hartrich as NCHS Cross Country Coach at the end of this school year, thanking him for his 30-plus years of service  :  took no other action after a 55-minute closed session to discuss litigation  :  the Jasper County School Board has its next regular meeting on November 17th.

 

(OLNEY)  With the November 4th election fast approaching, the Early Voting process is available to registered voters, now thru November 3rd, all around the state – it’s for those who want to skip the lines on Election Day and cast their ballot in advance at their respective County Clerk’s office  :  also, the Grace Period registration continues for anyone who missed the registration deadline – they can also go to their respective County Clerk’s office with two forms of identification and vote at that time, all the way up until 7:00 on election night, November 4th  :  plus, Absentee Voting can still be done, however next Thursday, the 30th, is the final day for a requested ballot to be mailed from a County Clerk’s office  :   for details, call the Jasper County Clerk’s office in Newton, the Richland County Clerk’s office in Olney, or the Clerk’s office in your county of residence – they’re open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00 – the Richland County Clerk’s office is open tomorrow morning from 9:00 to noon and Monday night until 7:00.

 

(NEWTON)  The annual Jasper County Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Banquet last night in Newton with members and guests in attendance – while Chamber members were informed about the health of Jasper County, they also received several updates within the annual report as well – congratulations to this year’s Citizen of the Year, as the award was presented to June Bierman, who’s been heavily involved in promoting Newton and Jasper County, not only during her 7 year stint as the past Chamber President, but as a business owner, a volunteer for her church, school, and community, and an overall “people person – the Chamber also extended thanks to all its members for their hard work and dedication over the past year.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to go online at www.celebratemydrive.com and vote for the East Richland High School – although the leader board has been removed from the website, the voting continues all of today thru tonight, ending at 11:59 tonight, just short of midnight – at last check, ERHS was still in the top 30 on the list of top 50 small school vote-getters – so far, over 5.1 million safe driving commitments have been made nationwide – all part of the “Celebrate My Drive” initiative, sponsored by State Farm Insurance – it’s not too late to help out – simply logon and follow the instructions online at www.celebratemydrive.com.

 

(NEWTON)  It’s a busy weekend throughout the area with various Halloween Parades scheduled to take place  :  the Spooktacular Parade is tomorrow night in Oblong with plenty of weekend activities there in Crawford County tonight thru tomorrow night  :  the Fall Harvest Festival in Louisville begins tonight and runs all day tomorrow thru Sunday morning – it’s annual Halloween Parade is tomorrow at 2:00  :  then the Halloween Parade in Flora is tomorrow night at 7:00  :  other area fall events also this weekend as well.

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially now when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives  :  today at The Holiday in Olney from 11:30 to 3:30  :  also today at Buck Grove Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  then more area blood drives next week in Effingham, Robinson, Mattoon, and Olney  :  for more details or to schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The 2nd Annual Indoor “Trunk or Treat Night” will be this Sunday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Grove Township Community Center (the former Grove School) in rural Jasper County – pork burgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks available for purchase – also a best costume contest – all ages are invited


    The Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin will host a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser this Sunday morning with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon and by donation only – also will feature duck dump Bingo – all proceeds go to the Holy Cross CYM to help pay for the 2015 mission trip and other youth activities


    The OCC Student Senate’s Gothic Nightmares continues tonight in the woods on the north side of the campus – tonight & tomorrow nights from 7:00 to 10:00, plus also next Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights – the cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children – the OCC Automotive Club will sell refreshments


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host a costume party and dance tomorrow night from 8:00 to 11:00 at the Olney VFW – includes live music and prizes – a $5 admission at the door – all are invited


    The Olney Masonic Lodge #140 will host a chili dinner fundraiser tomorrow in the Olney City Park Community Building with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – chili will also be sold by the bulk – pay at the door


    The Olney Knights of Columbus “drive thru or carry-out” chowder tomorrow along Whittle Avenue in Olney – serving starts at 10:30 and continues until they’re sold out – it’s sold by the gallon or half gallon


    The Richland County Home Front will host a fundraising breakfast tomorrow morning from 6:30 to 10:30 at the Olney VFW with tickets at the door – proceeds for Christmas care packages for our area troops


    The Lawrence Allison Fire Association has an all-you-can-eat sausage & pancake breakfast tomorrow morning from 6:00 to 10:00 at the Lawrenceville VFW – free will donations accepted at the door


    A Country Rhodes fish fry fundraiser to benefit CTF Illinois in Olney is tonight at the Olney VFW from 4:00 to 7:00 – all-you-can-eat fish, mini shrimp, chicken strips, and more – either dine-in or carry-out

 

 

 

October 23, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  An approaching frontal boundary will bring us some clouds here and there the next couple of days, and while most of the spotty sprinkles will stay to our north & west, there is a slight chance for us to get a drop or two of rain – however, an upper level ridge of high pressure will take control of our weather for a dry and mild weekend – our next significant shot at rain is next Tuesday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The state says Chicago’s infectious disease network was mobilized for the first time earlier this week as two O’Hare International Airport travelers from Liberia were transferred to area hospitals – officials at Rush University Medical Center say an adult traveler brought in Tuesday night has now been moved out of isolation and is in good condition – the other is a child in the isolation unit of University of Chicago Medical Center, but in stable condition – health officials remind the public that there have been no confirmed Ebola cases in Illinois and there’s no threat to the public – so far, Homeland Security says no Ebola cases have been detected among the 562 air travelers that have been screened since October 11th.

 

(OLNEY)  Meanwhile, there’s a new Task Force in Illinois, as appointed by Governor Pat Quinn, designed to help ensure the public health system across the state is prepared for the Ebola virus – made up of mostly health care professionals who can lead a coordinated effort to make sure everyone in Illinois receives timely and accurate information regarding any potential threat, the Task Force will be meeting this weekend.

 

(NEWTON)  The downstate gasoline prices continue to drop – while the price of a gallon of regular gas last week averaged $3.27, down 30 cents from last month, the price of diesel fuel averaged $3.75 a gallon, down 29 cents from September – a key driver of the drop revolves around crude oil production – the Energy Information Administration reports the U.S. oil production reached 8.7 million barrels per day last month, that’s the highest monthly production since July 1986 – some predict this could keep gas prices around or below the $3.00 mark for the next several months – the EIA projects household expenditures for natural gas, heating oil, electricity, and propane will decrease this winter heating season compared to last year.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met earlier this week – the Board  :  adopted the 2014 Tax Levy, estimating the aggregate amount of taxes to be levied at $4.235 million and certifying the IECC District’s tax levies for 2014 at 42.88 cents per $100 in equalized assessed valuation  :  adopted a new policy on hazing  :  adopted a policy on assignment of credits  :  rejected a proposed policy on employment of family members of key administrative staff  :  accepted the proposed Blue Cross Blue Shield overall 5.6% average rate decrease for District employee’s health coverage, plus no increase in dental rates  :  approved tax abatements for Enterprise Zones in Richland, Jasper, and Wabash Counties  :  approved a $1,000 contribution for Calendar Year 2015 to each qualified employee’s Health Savings Account  :  employed Christopher Forde as Coordinator of Public Information & Marketing at Lincoln Trail College  :  hired Cheryl Holder as Director of Adult Education at Frontier Community College  :  hired Robin Pearson as Office Assistant at Frontier Community College  :  moved Robert Conn as Dean of Instruction from Lincoln Trail College to Wabash Valley College  :  accepted the resignation of Transition / Data Technician Leslie Talia  :  approved a 3% raise for all non-bargaining unit employees for the current year and a 3% raise for next year, effective September 1st, 2015  :  also approved a 2% increase to entry levels of non-bargaining unit positions for the current year and next year  :  the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board will have its next regular monthly meeting on November 18th at Wabash Valley College.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that Jasper County residents with American Flags to display for Veteran’s Day 2014 on the Courthouse Lawn in Newton have until October 31 to bring their flags to the Newton American Legion Post #20, between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00 each afternoon and evening, Monday thru Saturday – flags can also be dropped off at the Ste. Marie Bank during regular business hours thru the end of October – those dropping off the flags should make sure their name, address, and phone number is inside each flag case – those in need of a new flag or with a flag that needs to be lettered, call Patty at 618-793-2624 by the end of October – if any questions, feel free to call the Newton American Legion Post #20 at 618-783-2622.

 

(NEWTON)  All motorists are reminded to be alert to farm machinery and other equipment on area roads and highways as the 2014 fall harvest continues – be on the lookout for those slow moving emblems and flashing lights as the equipment moves from field to field – farmers are also reminded to keep all those SMV emblems clean and visible at all times, plus make sure those flashing warning lights are working – let’s make it a safe fall harvest here in all of South Central and Southeastern Illinois for everyone involved.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Fire Department and the Muscular Dystrophy Association wants to thank those that helped out last Friday during the firemen’s “Fill the Boot” fundraiser in Olney – during the short three hour period at the intersection of East Street and Main Street, the donations of cash and coins totaled $3,051 – that’s triple the amount set as a goal for the first-time event in Olney – all of the funds raised will go to help 18 families in Richland County that deal with MD – and again, a huge “thank you” to one and all that gave.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District has Parent / Teacher Conferences tonight and tomorrow morning, and parents or guardians are urged to make an appointment now – the conferences will be held this evening from 5:00 to 9:00 or tomorrow morning from 8:00 to 11:30 – parents can call the school office for an appointment – it’s a great opportunity to meet with the Jasper County teachers and to talk about the development of students on a one-on-one basis – there will be no school in Jasper County on Friday.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to go online at www.celebratemydrive.com and vote for the East Richland High School – now thru tomorrow folks can vote once per day for each email address they have – the nationwide “Celebrate My Drive” teenage driving initiative continues, sponsored by State Farm Insurance, now with over 4.1 million commitments nationwide – in checking the leader board this morning, ERHS was sitting at number 28 on the list of top 50 small school vote-getters – so spread the word, it’s not too late to help out – simply logon and follow the instructions online at www.celebratemydrive.com – your help is appreciated.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially now when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – 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 Holiday in Olney from 11:30 to 3:30  :  also Friday at the Buck Grove Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  then more next week in Effingham, Robinson, and Olney  :  for more, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The 2nd Annual Indoor “Trunk or Treat Night” will be this Sunday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Grove Township Community Center (the former Grove School) in rural Jasper County – pork burgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks available for purchase – also a best costume contest – all ages are invited


    The Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin will host a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser this Sunday morning with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon and by donation only – also will feature duck dump Bingo – all proceeds go to the Holy Cross CYM to help pay for the 2015 mission trip and other youth activities


    The Olney Masonic Lodge #140 will host a chili dinner fundraiser this Saturday in the Olney City Park Community Building with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – chili will also be sold by the bulk – pay at the door


    The Richland County Home Front will host a fundraising breakfast this Saturday morning from 6:30 to 10:30 at the Olney VFW with tickets at the door – proceeds for Christmas care packages for our area troops


    The OCC Student Senate begins it six night run of Gothic Nightmares tonight in the woods on the north side of the campus along Parker Street – tonight, tomorrow night, and Saturday night from 7:00 to 10:00 each night, plus Thursday, Friday, & Saturday next weekend – cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children – the OCC Automotive Club will be selling refreshments – all are invited starting tonight


    The Jasper County School Board will have its regular monthly meeting tonight in Newton, starting at 7:00, in the Administration Office – with a rather normal agenda, the public is welcomed to attend


    County Clerk’s offices are currently assisting residents with Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Grace Period Voting – call or stop by your Clerk’s office, open Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00