LOCAL NEWS

Local News

May 26, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  With the slow-moving front still out in the Plains and a mid-level ridge over the East Coast, we’re squeezed in the middle with warm & humid weather conditions that to this point, have stayed mostly dry – however, that will change this morning as we move into the holiday weekend – after today, it appears another good chance of rain & storms will be tomorrow and Saturday, although the chance continues really each afternoon now thru next Wednesday – it’s possible we could stay dry on Monday & Tuesday next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Democratic-led Illinois House passed a budget for next year in defiance of Governor Rauner’s wish for pro-business legislation – the appropriation plan would spend $7 billion more in revenue than the state has coming in and it was voted on only 90 minutes after it was introduced – in fact, the House Floor was limited to less than an hour of debate and after the 63-53 vote to approve it, the session was adjourned with no vote verification allowed – while the bill appropriates $14 billion, along with court orders, continuing appropriations & more, state spending would top $40 billion – look for more debate.

 

(OLNEY)  A national Moment of Remembrance has been set for this coming Monday afternoon, Memorial Day, at 3:00 local time – the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs encourages everyone to take one single minute to show reverence to our heroes and reflect on their great sacrifices for our country – officials say the “Moment” does not replace the traditional Memorial Day observances, but rather adds to the importance of the day, intended to be a unifying act for Americans of all ages to remember those who have given their lives for our great country – while participation is voluntary & informal, folks can observe in their own way with respect, pausing for just one minute for the remembrance, wherever they are, whatever they’re doing.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police is reminding motorists to take the necessary safety precautions to prevent senseless tragedies during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend – it’s one of the busiest periods for travelers as millions of motorists are expected to hit the roadways and interstates across the state and country – statewide Troopers will be out in extra force doing their part in keeping the roadways safe for those traveling – the Illinois State Police will be strictly enforcing the four most common traffic violations, including DUI, seat belt use, distracted driving, and speeding – last year in 2015, Troopers issued 3,309 tickets for speeding violations during the four day holiday weekend period from Friday to Monday.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College continues to receive national recognition for its quality education and affordable cost – the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District, which includes Olney Central, Frontier Community, Wabash Valley, and Lincoln Trail Colleges, has been named one of the nation’s Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges of 2016 – in fact, IECC ranked 16th in the nation, the highest of any Illinois institutions to make the list – that’s from an overall list of the nation’s 1,717 community colleges that offer two-year associate’s degrees – while that list of institutions was whittled down to 614 that met the criteria, the top 50 ranking is derived from the highest scoring schools based on three metrics  :  graduation / transfer rate, mid-level salary for graduates, and actual tuition – congratulations to all within the IECC District.

 

(NEWTON)  Officials are reminding the area that the annual StrawberryFest event in downtown Newton will not be held this year – with the City of Newton’s Eagle Trail / Streetscape Project beginning a month ago and continuing thru mid-July or August in downtown Newton, the StrawberryFest Committee and the City of Newton agreed that the dangers associated with the construction work and the lack of electrical access due to the work was reason enough to forego the 2016 celebration and wait until next year when the improvements made will made the 2017 StrawberryFest bigger and better than ever – the list of upgrades within the Streetscape Project includes new sidewalks, light poles, and upgrades to the current electrical system along the outer edges of the square – and although other optional locations at the Jasper County Fairgrounds and Peterson Park were considered, a scheduling conflict and a lack of services needed to run the event were not available – the Committee thanks everyone for their understanding and encourages one and all to look forward to the 2017 StrawberryFest, scheduled for next spring in downtown Newton.

 

(OLNEY)  During the next several weeks, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct two major mid-year surveys, the June Ag Survey and the June Area Survey – over 4,000 Illinois farms will be included to determine crop acreage for 2016 and stocks on hand as of June 1st – while most information will be obtained by mail or telephone, some random in-person visits and interviews will be included – remember, all information gathered remains confidential – results of both surveys will be released on June 30th – for contact information or details, check their website, at  www.nass.usda.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  Area sportsmen & sportswomen are reminded that resident deer hunters can apply now for the second lottery drawing for 2016 Illinois Firearm Deer & Muzzleloader-only Deer permits – the deadline to do so is June 30th  :  :  don’t forget Illinois Free Fishing Days coming up June 17th thru 20th with events planned all over the state – for more, logon at  www.ifishillinois.org  :  and remember this week is National Safe Boating Week, a reminder to all boaters that Illinois law requires that life jackets or life vests (PFD’s) must be provided for each person aboard a boat or other watercraft at all times – Conservation Police are out in extra force  :  for all things outdoors in Illinois, check the DNR website at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library is still registering children for its Summer Reading Program – this year’s theme is “Read For The Win” and this summer’s reading will support Olney’s Together We Play Park in Musgrove Park – the Library staff and trustees are also dedicating this summer’s program to the memory of  Wilma Hanna, in honor of her faithful service to the Library in the past, serving as a very special storyteller for many years – that Summer Reading Program signup continues during regular hours.

 

(OLNEY)  Area donors are encouraged to get out and give blood when possible – here’s the upcoming list of blood drives in our region  :  today at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  also tomorrow at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to replenish area supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The public’s invited to the annual Memorial Day Parade coming up next Monday morning in Olney – the lineup at the VFW Post Home is at 10:30, with the Parade to start at 10:45, moving north on Walnut Street to Haven Hill Cemetery, where the Memorial Day program will start at 11:00 – all are invited out to attend


    The Antioch Christian Church, west of Olney & south on Higginswitch Road, will host a special program this Sunday with Shane Cessna, of Creation Ministries International – includes messages Sunday morning at 9:30 and 10:20, then again at 6:00 that evening – talking about dinosaur mysteries, creation, & Noah’s flood


    A fundraising cookout is tomorrow (Friday) at the Olney IGA with pork burgers, homemade baked goods, and more from 10:00 to 6:00 – proceeds to benefit the Faith Bible Church building improvement fund


    The Ste. Marie Sons of the American Legion will host a cookout this Saturday at the American Legion in Ste. Marie – from 8:00 to 1:00, they’ll have breakfast burritos, pork burgers, bratwursts, and more – plus maps will be available for the Village-wide Garage Sales also being held Saturday throughout Ste. Marie

 

 

 

May 25, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A long area of low pressure is slowly moving into the Midwest, giving us some warm and humid conditions with a southerly wind – plus, it will be daily chances of scattered rain and thunderstorms this afternoon thru tonight – then again each afternoon tomorrow thru the first part of next week as it does appear that most nighttime hours will stay dry – stay tuned for continued weather updates and information.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – a lawyer would have to be present when police question juveniles younger than 15 in murder or sex offense investigations under a measure Illinois lawmakers are considering that seeks to eliminate false confessions – sponsors of the bill say the current law mandates legal representation for those younger than 13 and it should be raised to 15 even if they are not the targets of a criminal probe.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is seeking redevelopment proposals for the Eagle Creek Resort & Conference Center facility on Lake Shelbyville – while the resort complex has been closed since 2009, the Eagle Creek Golf Course has remained open – the decision to get proposals comes after a recent assessment survey, showing the probable cost to repair or replace the existing structures, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and life safety systems would be an estimated $17.8 million – one other option is to demolish all or part of the resort facility and start over – to learn more, logon to the State DNR website.

 

(NEWTON)  To help raise awareness about the escalating costs of higher education and the importance of saving for college with the help of Illinois 529 college savings plans, the State General Assembly has officially designated this coming Sunday, May 29th, as “529 College Savings Day” – to celebrate, State Treasurer Michael Frerichs will be touring Illinois to meet with financial advisors over the next two weeks – the State’s Plans are coming off of a record-breaking year where contributions topped the $1 billion mark.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met this past Monday night – the Board  :  approved the Village’s MFT street maintenance program totaling $35,490 with anything over $21,000 to be paid out of the Village’s general fund  :  approved the $20,538 estimate from Kocher Brothers Construction to replace the building posts and concrete floor at the Village Park Pavilion  :  approved the sale of municipal property at 205 South First Street to Harold Lindsey for $5,000  :  noted a letter has been sent to the property owner of 121 West South Street, giving the owner until August 10th to take action on the house condition  :  noted that property mowing is needed at 105 South Noble Avenue and along the railroad property in Noble  :  noted that the permit for the needed manhole work on Route 250 / First Street has been received with bids to be sought for the project  :  noted that applications for the Village’s trainee position are still being accepted until June 10th  :  agreed to put additional gravel in the area around the Village playground equipment when the weather allows it  :  and noted that Village Hall will be closed next Monday, in observance of Memorial Day  :  the next regular meeting for the Noble Village Board will be June 13th.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s circus time again in downstate Illinois as the Ainad Shriners Circus will have its first two of twelve performances coming up a week from this Saturday – while the circus shows will vary with each location, Carden Circus International will bring tigers, elephants, ponies, dogs, clowns, and contemporary acts to the three-ring stage, plus there will be aerial and high wire acts, concessions, and much more – it all kicks off a week from this Friday night, on June 3rd, with the Annual Circus Parade at 7:30 in Belleville – then two performances each on Saturday & Sunday, June 4th & 5th in Belleville – the following Monday night in Jerseyville, Tuesday in Fairfield, and two weeks from tonight on June 8th in the Olney City Park – then the following two nights in Salem and the final three shows that weekend down in Du Quoin – tickets are available from any Olney Center Shrine Club member, plus on sale at most all downstate MotoMart and Hucks Convenience Stores – tickets will also be on sale on performance night at the ticket window.

 

(NEWTON)  Preparations are underway now for the upcoming Jasper County Fair in Newton – while the Jasper County 4-H activities begin on the weekend of June 17th, 18th, and 19th, the Fair’s first grandstand event will be the Talent Show at 7:30 Monday night, followed by the State Fair Karaoke Regional Contest – then Tuesday night’s Queen and Little Miss Pageant, plus Family Night on the midway – it’s a Rodeo Wednesday night, Tractor / Truck Pulls Thursday night, Harness Racing on Friday and Saturday, and the popular Demo Derby Saturday night – not to mention the 4-H shows & more – all at the Jasper County Fair.

 

(OLNEY)  Area women are invited to the annual Women in the Outdoors event coming up a week from this Saturday, June 4th, at Red Hills State Park near Sumner, all at the Lakeside Shelter on the south side of the park – hosted by the Lawrence County Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the program runs from 8:30 to 4:00 and uses expert instructors to teach outdoor skills using a hands-on approach including a wide variety of activities, such as canoeing, archery, geocaching, outdoor cooking, outdoor photography, handgun safety, basketweaving, shotgunning, preserving jams & jellies, self-defense, and more – it’s for females age 14 and older with the cost at $45 per woman if registered prior to May 30th, $10 additional after that – lunch will be provided – for details or to register call Michelle at  618-943-7538.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs wants all young photographers around the state to enter the 2016 Cream of the Crop Photo Contest, all to share their vision of agriculture in Illinois – the contest is part of the Ag Invest Program and offers an opportunity for Illinois students to submit their most innovative or scenic picture that depicts their vision of agriculture in our state – the Treasurer’s office is accepting electronic submissions from students ages 8 to 18 – there are three age categories & each student is allowed to submit up to two photos – deadline is July 7th – for more, logon at  www.illinoistreasurer.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  Signups for the 2016 City of Olney summer recreation program are now being accepted at the Olney City Hall during regular office hours – that’s Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00, each day – registrations will be accepted for both sessions which run thru the months of June and July – the program offers several different levels of swimming classes and parent/tot swimming, plus punch cards are available – more details and registration forms can be found on the City of Olney’s website, at  www.ci.olney.il.us.

 

(OLNEY)  A special program will be held in Olney this coming Thursday night, sponsored by both the Richland County & Lawrence County Farm Bureaus, plus Country Financial – it’s a course developed for citizens who refuse to be a victim and choose to take an active role in personal safety for themselves and their family against predators – a two hour message delivered by law enforcement officer Ray Minor – the event is free, but space is limited – that’s this Thursday night from 6:00 to 8:00 at the Christian Church of Olney – a pizza dinner will be provided – call the Farm Bureau office in Olney to sign up at  618-393-4116.

 

(OLNEY)  Area donors are encouraged to get out and give blood when possible – here’s the upcoming list of blood drives in our region  :  today at the YMCA in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  also Friday at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types are needed.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Olney Central College is offering free eight-week GED classes beginning June 7th, two weeks from today – both daytime & night classes available with all classes & materials free – registration is ongoing now thru June 3rd, from 9:00 to 2:00 daily – appointments are recommended, but not required – call OCC  395-7777


    The public’s invited to the annual Memorial Day Parade coming up next Monday morning in Olney – the lineup at the VFW Post Home is at 10:30, with the Parade to start at 10:45, moving north on Walnut Street to Haven Hill Cemetery, where the Memorial Day program will start at 11:00 – all are invited out to attend


    A fundraising cookout is this Saturday at the Olney IGA with pork burgers, homemade baked goods, and more from 10:00 to 6:00 – proceeds to benefit the Faith Bible Church building improvement fund


    The Ste. Marie Sons of the American Legion will host a cookout this Saturday at the American Legion in Ste. Marie – from 8:00 to 1:00, they’ll have breakfast burritos, pork burgers, bratwursts, and more – plus maps will be available for the Village-wide Garage Sales also being held Saturday throughout Ste. Marie

 

 

 

May 24, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  While a departing high pressure ridge keeps us warm with some sunshine today, the approaching storm system will bring us more clouds today thru tonight, plus a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm to pop up this evening – the rain chances increase tomorrow & continue pretty much each day & night thru the rest of this week & thru the upcoming weekend as well – although we do stay warm – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois Secretary of State’s office will soon launch a new program to issue new driver’s licenses & state identification cards that are more secure with no new state funding needed – the effort will bring Illinois closer to meeting federal security guidelines – Illinois has a January 22nd, 2018 deadline to provide identification valid under the nation’s Real ID Act of 2005 – more details forthcoming.

 

(OLNEY)  During this month of May, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and local EMA’s are highlighting the importance of disaster preparedness for people with functional and access needs – families with members who are disabled need to take immediate steps to develop and practice a preparedness plan for their home and/or other family locations – the state’s Ready Illinois website offers a free guidebook for those with special needs, simply go online at  www.ready.illinois.gov  – also, a note for everyone to be aware of possible severe weather over the next several days – stay tuned to a NOAA weather alert radio.

 

(NEWTON)  The State DNR is seeking a $1.5 million federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant for the first phase of design and development of a public off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail down at the Sahara Woods State Fish & Wildlife Area in Saline County – located just west of Harrisburg, along Illinois Route 13, the former strip mining property was donated to the state by the Sahara Coal Company back in 1999 – the OHV facility will be Illinois’ first on lands managed by the State Department of Natural Resources.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues today into the death of an area 11 year old after an ATV traffic accident – the State Police report the unidentified youngster from Casey was traveling in an ATV one mile south of Casey at approximately 5:14 yesterday afternoon when the ATV lost control and overturned into oncoming traffic – the driver was ejected from the ATV – the 11 year old was pronounced dead at the scene while the other driver was not injured – Clark County authorities are assisting – no tickets were issued.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night – the Council  :  adopted a new and revised Drug & Alcohol Abuse Policy for City of Olney employees who hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) – the new policy is in line with requirements from the Midwest Truckers Association  :  approved a resolution for MFT funds to be used for future paving projects within the City of Olney  :  gave authorization to City Manager Allen Barker to reach a commercial real estate lease with Illini Wire Works for former railroad property east of the IWW facility  :  approved a request from the Small Blessings Christian Development Center for discounted admission rates to the Musgrove Aquatic Center  :  approved the consent agenda, which included three raffle license requests  :  heard an update on the City of Olney’s new mosquito spraying machine which will be put into service soon  :  and took no action after a closed session to discuss real property, negotiations, & personnel  :  the next regular meeting for the Olney City Council is June 13th.

 

(NEWTON)  In yesterday’s USDA Crop Report – continued cool temperatures have slowed the state’s emergence of corn and soybeans – last week’s average precipitation was only 0.39 inches, just over a half inch (0.51) below normal – however, last week’s average statewide temperature was 58.1 degrees, which was a full 7 degrees lower than normal – as of Sunday, 89% of the state’s corn was planted, compared to the five year average of 91%, plus 51% of the state’s soybean crop was planted – the state’s winter wheat crop is rated 59% good to excellent, 33% fair, and 8% poor to very poor  :  farmers in our ten area counties report a lot of planting progress has been made in the past three to four days with two-thirds of the intended corn acreage planted and around a third of the soybeans now planted – a lot of replanting has also taken place – area farmers are reminded to think “safety first” while continuing the 2016 spring planting season.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau weekly rainfall report is out, showing the amount of rain that fell in the past week that ended at 8:00 yesterday morning – the largest amount of rain in the past seven days was in Madison Township with eight tenths of an inch of rain (0.80), followed by both Bonpas and Noble Townships, each with seven tenths of an inch (0.70) – then Claremont Township with sixty-four hundredths of an inch (0.64), followed by Olney Township with fifty-five hundredths (0.55) – then both Decker and German Townships each with forty-five hundredths of an inch (0.45) – and the least amount of rain during the seven days was in both Denver and Preston Townships with two tenths of an inch (0.20) – here at our WVLN-WSEI Weather Station we recorded forty-two hundredths of an inch of rain – as of this week, this spring’s average rainfall is running nearly an inch and two tenths (1.1945) more than a year ago at this time.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police has released enforcement figures for a recent special Traffic Enforcement Patrol wave conducted recently in the District 12 counties of Jasper and Crawford – the 24 hour patrol resulted in 42 total citations and arrests – that included 30 tickets for speeding and 8 tickets for occupant restraint violations – among 27 written warnings issued, 12 were for speeding – there were no DUI’s and no arrests for drug and/or alcohol related issues – a special emphasis on the recent STEP patrol was placed on speeding, failure to wear a safety belt, DUI, and other alcohol-related offenses.

 

(OLNEY)  A special program will be held in Olney this coming Thursday night, sponsored by both the Richland County & Lawrence County Farm Bureaus, plus Country Financial – it’s a course developed for citizens who refuse to be a victim and choose to take an active role in personal safety for themselves and their family against predators – a two hour message delivered by law enforcement officer Ray Minor – the event is free, but space is limited – that’s this Thursday night from 6:00 to 8:00 at the Christian Church of Olney – a pizza dinner will be provided – call the Farm Bureau office in Olney to sign up at  618-393-4116.

 

(OLNEY)  Area donors are encouraged to get out and give blood when possible – here’s the upcoming list of blood drives in our region  :  today at The Holiday in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the YMCA in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  also Friday at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much in need to help replenish low supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Dodransbicentennial Commission reminds the public that entry forms for the 175th City of Olney Celebration Parade are due in by June 17th, that’s three weeks from this Friday – the parade will begin at 9:00 on the morning of Saturday, July 23rd, and parade entries are limited for this event – those interested are encouraged to confirm their entry as soon as possible – entry forms are available at the Olney City Hall


    Olney Central College is offering free eight-week GED classes beginning June 7th, two weeks from today – both daytime & night classes available with all classes & materials free – registration is ongoing now thru June 3rd, from 9:00 to 2:00 daily – appointments are recommended, but not required – call OCC  395-7777


    The public’s invited to the annual Memorial Day Parade coming up next Monday morning in Olney – the lineup at the VFW Post Home is at 10:30, with the Parade to start at 10:45, moving north on Walnut Street to Haven Hill Cemetery, where the Memorial Day program will start at 11:00 – all are invited out to attend


    Even though the Salvation Army Store in downtown Olney is now closed, the Salvation Army’s Social Services Extension is still in Olney to help people by appointment – plus, the Services Department is getting ready for its 2nd Annual Helping Hands Vendor Show coming up this Saturday afternoon from 12 noon to 5:00 at the Olney VFW – at least 25 area vendors will be on hand from homemade crafts to other items


    The last day of school for students in the Jasper County School District is this coming Thursday – the Jasper County Junior High 8th Grade Promotion is tonight at 7:00 in Newton

 

 

 

May 23, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  High pressure over the Midwest will keep us dry and warm today with plenty of sunshine but an approaching storm system will change the weather picture by tomorrow night – tomorrow will likely be another mostly dry day, but rain chances will increase each day Wednesday thru Friday for the rest of this work week – some severe weather conditions are possible – stay tuned to your NOAA weather alert radio.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says there’s still time for lawmakers to reach “a grand compromise” on a balanced state budget before the General Assembly adjourns May 31st – since Illinois has been without a state budget for nearly 11 months, Rauner says he believes both sides of the aisle are ready to accept economic, workers’ compensation, and pension reforms along with new revenue as well.

 

(OLNEY)  The state’s auditor general says the Illinois Lottery violated state finance law by prepaying $20 million to ensure it could participate in future multi-state lottery games even without a state budget in place – the state’s Lottery Department and Lottery officials dispute the findings and say no laws were broken – the audit says finance law requires appropriated money to be spent in the year in which is was appropriated.

 

(OLNEY)  This is National Safe Boating Week, observed annually at this time, leading up to the Memorial Day holiday weekend – the Illinois Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone that spends time on or around any Illinois waterway this coming weekend or throughout this summer that state law requires everyone to use a PFD, Personal Flotation Device, which includes life jackets or vests – in fact, a PFD must be available for every person onboard a boat or any other type of watercraft – and remember, alcohol and operating a boat, do not mix – Conservation Police Officers are out in extra force keeping our waters safe.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into a personal injury traffic crash that occurred Saturday night at around 9:00 on a Jasper County road south of Wheeler – the State Police report that 52 year old Rodney A. Shamhart of Wheeler was operating an ATV when the accident happened – Shamhart was transported to the Dieterich Fire Department by a family member after he was found unconscious at the scene of the accident – Shamhart was then airlifted to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana where his condition is unavailable.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into the death of a Wayne County man last Friday afternoon at 3:35 in a construction zone accident on Illinois Route 242 in Hamilton County – the State Police say 36 year old Neil Hendrick of Fairfield was northbound when he drove around several vehicles that were stopped for the construction zone work, failed to stop for a flagger, ran off the roadway, then back onto the roadway, struck a construction worker, and then collided with a backhoe – Hendrick was ejected from his vehicle following the impact – he was pronounced dead at the scene – the backhoe operator, 28 year old Aaron Musgrave of Fairfield, and the construction worker, 25 year old Brandon Biggerstaff, of McLeansboro, were both taken to an area hospital for treatment of their injuries – both lanes of Route 242 were closed for several hours.

 

(NEWTON)  Today’s the deadline for the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to receive a photograph and written remembrance of a Veteran that’s no longer with us to honor and remember their sacrifice – the Veteran will be honored on the Illinois State Capitol Memorial Day Remembrance Wall and also displayed in the State Capitol Rotunda starting this Thursday all the way thru Independence Day, on Monday, July 4th – while any deceased Veteran can be honored, the display will pay special tribute to those who were killed in combat – the public can submit a photo and a written remembrance (maximum of 250 words) by email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – for more details, call  217-782-1650  – again, that deadline is today.

 

(OLNEY)  Congressman John Shimkus has announced the results from his recent Congressional Art Competition involving youth from within the downstate 15th Congressional District – this year’s winning entry is Megan Hodge, a student at St. Anthony High School in Effingham – four other students received honorable mentions for their artwork, including Joe Perez from Charleston High School, Jamesha Western from Red Hill High School, Katelyn Miller from Mt. Carmel High School, and Breanna Tomblinson from Mt. Carmel High School – while the winning entry is on display in the pedestrian tunnel that connects the U.S. Capitol with the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., the four runners-up pictures are displayed in the Congressman’s downstate district offices in Effingham, Harrisburg, Danville, & Maryville.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County & Lawrence County Farm Bureaus are looking for a few more participants for a One Day Consumer Agriculture Institute coming up tomorrow, from 8:00 to 2:30 – the event includes a tour of the Lincolnland Agri-Energy LLC Ethanol Plant near Palestine, now entering its 12th year of operation in nearby Crawford County – the trip also includes a stop at Clover Farms Dairy Farm near Dundas, which was founded in 1940 – to learn more about the tours or to reserve your spot, call the Richland County Farm Bureau at  618-393-4116  or the Lawrence County Farm Bureau at  618-943-2610.

 

(OLNEY)  Signups for the 2016 City of Olney summer recreation program are now being accepted at the Olney City Hall during regular office hours – that’s Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00, each day – registrations will be accepted for both sessions which run thru the months of June and July – the program offers several different levels of swimming classes and parent/tot swimming, plus punch cards are available – more details and registration forms can be found on the City of Olney’s website, at  www.ci.olney.il.us.

 

(NEWTON)  The IDOT District 7 office in Effingham is reminding motorists that the yearly maintenance striping operations will start today, on this Monday – over 2,000 miles of pavement will have newly painted center lines, edge lines, & no passing zone lines by the end of October – motorists are reminded the painting equipment travels at only 15 miles-per-hour while applying the paint – so slow down and drive safely.

 

(OLNEY)  Area donors are encouraged to get out and give blood when possible – here’s the upcoming list of blood drives in our region  :  today at the Flora VFW from 12:00 to 3:00  :  also today at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:30 to 6:30  :  tomorrow at The Holiday in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the YMCA in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  also Friday at the  Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much in need.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Raffle tickets are now on sale in Noble for the upcoming Noble Chowder to be held later this year in August – the tickets are one for $1 each, or six tickets for $5 – they’re on sale now at the Village Hall in Noble, plus at Noble Foods and the TinCup in Noble – it’s your chance to win later this year in August


    The Dodransbicentennial Commission reminds the public that entry forms for the 175th City of Olney Celebration Parade are due in by June 17th, that’s three weeks from this Friday – the parade will begin at 9:00 on the morning of Saturday, July 23rd, and parade entries are limited for this event – those interested are encouraged to confirm their entry as soon as possible – entry forms are available at the Olney City Hall


    Even though the Salvation Army Store in downtown Olney is now closed, the Salvation Army’s Social Services Extension is still here to help people by appointment – plus, the Services Department is getting ready for its 2nd Annual Helping Hands Vendor Show coming up this Saturday afternoon from 12 noon to 5:00 at the Olney VFW – at least 25 area vendors will be on hand from homemade crafts to other items


    The last day of school for students in the Jasper County School District is this coming Thursday – the Jasper County Junior High 8th Grade Promotion is tomorrow night at 7:00 in Newton


    There are two municipal meetings on tap tonight  :  the Olney City Council meets tonight at 7:00  :  the Noble Village Board meets tonight at 7:00  :  both of tonight’s meetings are open to the public

 

 

 

May 21, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As a surface high pressure builds into the Midwest today our sky will clear with sunshine and some clouds mixed together today – then sunny and dry again tomorrow and Monday, plus a little warmer – then a weak cold front will stall out and waver back & forth over Illinois, therefore giving us scattered rain & storm chances next Tuesday thru Friday, although a little warmer conditions – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the IDOT District office in Effingham is reminding motorists that the yearly maintenance striping operations will start next Monday as over 2,000 miles of pavement will have newly painted center lines, edge lines, & no passing zone lines by the end of October – motorists are reminded the painting equipment travels at only 15 miles-per-hour while applying paint – so slow down and drive safely.

 

(OLNEY)  Area sportsmen & sportswomen are reminded that resident deer hunters can apply now for the second lottery drawing for 2016 Illinois Firearm Deer & Muzzleloader-only Deer permits – the deadline to do so is June 30th  :  also, May is Invasive Species Awareness Month with a special symposium coming up later this month – logon at  www.invasive.org/illinois  :  and don’t forget Illinois Free Fishing Days coming up June 17th thru 20th  :  for all things outdoors in Illinois, check the website at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s some Jasper County dates to remember – the last day of school for students in the Jasper County School District is next Thursday, May 26th – the Jasper County Junior High 8th Grade Promotion is next Tuesday night, May 24th, at 7:00 – the 8th Grade Promotion at the St. Thomas School in Newton is tomorrow at 1:00 – the Newton Community High School Graduation is tonight at 7:00.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm & Fair Association will host a special event today & tonight on the Fairgrounds in the Olney City Park – it’s ATV/UTV/Dirt Bike Racing at 2:00 with the grandstand seats going on sale at 12:00 noon – riders must be 16 years old or older to compete – then it’s a Beer Garden provided by Bobalou’s in the infield area from 6:30 to 10:00 tonight – must be 21 to enter – plus two bands in concert tonight – The Thing-A-Ma-Jugs from Olney perform at 7:00, followed by the Matt Poss Band of Effingham – check it out this afternoon and tonight on the Richland County Fairgrounds in Olney.

 

(NOBLE)  The Village of Noble has it’s Village-Wide Yard Sales today, on this Saturday, mostly this morning thru early afternoon – to look over a list of the addresses where yard sales will be held, stop by and look over the list which is posted in the Village Hall window, plus at Noble Foods and the TinCup – that’s the Village-Wide Yard Sales, mostly this Saturday morning, throughout the Village of Noble.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host an Open Horse Show tomorrow at 1:00 at the Arena, just north of the East Fork Lake damn, north of Olney – gates open at 10:00 – includes various youth & adult classes – a $5 admission with concessions available – for more, logon at  www.whitesquirrelsaddleclub.com


    The Richland County Trivia Contest is tomorrow in the Olney Public Library Multi-Purpose Room, beginning at 2:00 – refreshments will be available for a donation – all are welcome to take part or spectate


    It’s a special Dinner & Garden Theater this evening at Fox River Assisted Living Center in Olney – pork burgers, hot dogs, & more from 6:30 to 7:30, with the movie “Junglebook” to start at dusk


    The Sumner Booster Club will host its “Bike Night at the Shack” tonight from 5:00 to 9:00 in downtown Sumner – live music, plenty of food, and tons of door prizes – all bikes invited – there’s no charge


    The Claremont BonPas Fire District has a fundraising “fish fry” this evening at the Claremont Firehouse, with serving from 4:30 to 7:30 – it’s all-you-can-eat, including pie & ice cream – tickets at the door


    The Olney VFW will host a fundraising pork burger sale today with serving from 10:00 to 2:00 – all proceeds will benefit the JROTC program at Richland County High School


    The HOPE Food Pantry has a fundraising breakfast this morning at its new facility in Hidalgo, with serving from 7:00 to 11:00 – donations taken at the door – proceeds towards the new facility building costs


    The Ingraham Community Association has a fundraising breakfast and gun raffle this morning from now until 11:00 at the Community Building in Ingraham – the gun raffle drawing will be at 11:00