LOCAL NEWS

Local News

December 17, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  With a high low pressure system in the Upper Great Lakes region, it will be quiet weather for us with some lingering clouds mixed up with some sunshine although cold and dry – however, an approaching low pressure from the southwest will bring us some light snow chances tomorrow – then after a dry Friday, maybe more snow chances Saturday morning, although nothing significant expected – after a dry Sunday, some slightly warmer air will bring us a chance of rain the first of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Some Illinois state agencies are pressing Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner for more money as they will fall short by some $760 million – that’s because they kept spending at high levels this year, even though their budgets were cut short – the new Governor-to-be won’t say if he’ll support a deal that would cover the shortfall, but he says if the money is approved, it’d add to the state’s already high bill backlog.

 

(OLNEY)  Another pension battle is brewing in the Illinois court system – four unions have filed suit against the City of Chicago’s pension law as leaders say the law reduces annual increases for retirees who participate in the Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund – plus the law also requires current workers to pay more into the system – union officials say that’s a clear violation of the State Constitution.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair Mega Pass is now on sale and officials say it would be a great stocking stuffer for those who plan on attending the yearly event in Springfield next summer – currently priced at $55, the Mega Pass covers unlimited rides on all the Fair’s Carnival Midway and Adventure Village attractions for the entire 11-day duration of the Fair – the Mega Pass price jumps up to $70 on January 1st.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Rotary Club wants to thank everyone that helped out last Saturday morning during its annual Radio Auction on Freedom 92.9 WSEI – thru the purchases made during the three hour event, with donations, the total amount of money raised came in at $6,000, which is about $800 more than the previous two years – the funds raised will be split between the Good Samaritan of Richland County, the Fall Kids Mall of Richland County, and the local Rotary Scholarship Fund – thanks again to everyone that helped out.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night in regular session – the Council  :  approved the payment of bills and accounts payable, worth $145,667  :  approved an agreement with B & T Drainage, Inc. for the Brookside / Xander Addition water & sewer improvement work and the Newton City Square water main replacement project estimated at $510,079  :  authorized B & T Drainage to do storm water work south of East Washington Street worth $24,540  :  approved the $72,300 payment to Hanfland Painting contractors for work on the City’s south water tower  :  on a 6 to 2 vote, accepted the $946,667 bid from Grunloh Building, Inc. for the City’s new electric building  :  on a 7 to 1 vote, adopted the 2014 fiscal year Tax Levy as presented  :  on a 7 to 1 vote, accepted the $6,350 or less quote from R.L. Sparks Backhoe & Trencher Service to scrape the property at 405 North Maple Street  :  agreed to abate the taxes for the City’s Aquatic Center for the 2014 Tax Levy  :  agreed to purchase $54,275 worth of pole-mount electric transformers and a Circuit A pad-mount for the City’s Electric Department  :  the Council took no other action after an 11-minute closed session to discuss litigation  :  Council’s next meeting is January 6, 2015.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Central College Foundation has received a $98,295 endowment from the estate of a retired OCC instructor who passed away in April 2013 at the age of 80 – Dr. Gloria Bousley joined the staff of Olney Central College in May 1971 and taught business courses thru the 1990’s – serving as a Division Chair, she oversaw the business classes OCC offered off campus, plus spent many extra hours making sure OCC students had opportunities to succeed – coming to Olney Central College after teaching at the Red Hill High School in Bridgeport, Dr. Bousley was also very active in state educational organizations and served as President of the Illinois Business Education Association – the endowment has been earmarked for the OCC Business Department and the income generated from the gift will be used for equipment purchases – we recognize the service of Dr. Gloria Bousley and now her gift to help the future of students at OCC.

 

(NEWTON)  The state has awarded a $5.9 million federal investment to create Illinois Safe Routes to School to split among 50 different projects – designed to enable and encourage children to walk and bike to school by creating a safe environment with new sidewalks between neighborhoods and schools, the program will distribute funds to five regional projects – an average of $155,000 will go for sidewalk construction in the towns of Neoga, Shelbyville, and Mt. Vernon – an additional $64,000 for sidewalks will go to the City of Lawrenceville – and nearly $11,000 to the City of Mattoon for a speed feedback sign for school zones.

 

(OLNEY)  A Fairfield woman reported missing 18 years ago has been found alive in Texas and now has been brought back to Wayne County on a failure to appear warrant from a 1995 forgery case – authorities say the search for now 53 year old Shavonna Welty has involved several up’s and down’s, including at one point, a homicide investigation – but eventually, it was a series of Facebook posts that lead the Illinois State Police to locate Welty in Crystal Beach, Texas, and an attempt to bring her to justice – after a court appearance yesterday, Welty is now free pending a January 29th, 2015 court appearance in Wayne County.

 

(NEWTON)  Authorities have announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has captured that escaped prisoner that drove away from the Federal Prison Camp in Terre Haute this past Sunday morning – 61 year old Michael Ward was found in Champaign County and apprehended without incident this past Monday night – originally serving a 10 year term for fraud, Ward now faces additional escape charges.

 

(OLNEY)  Petition papers for the April 7th School Board or Community College Board elections can still be filed all this week until the close of office hours next Monday, December 22nd – while area School Board candidates can file their paperwork at area County Clerk’s offices, the area Community College Board candidates are doing so at their respective College District offices – all for the April 7th Election.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Hall is the filing place for candidates in Newton as the filing period runs today thru Friday, then ends at the close of office hours next Monday, December 22nd – there are three Aldermen seats on the Newton City Council,  plus five Zoning Board positions to be chosen next April 7th.

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – here’s the upcoming blood drives  :  today at the YMCA in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Flora Church of the Nazarene from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the Olney Fire Department from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also Friday at the Altamont Christian Church from 3:00 to 7:00  :  and Saturday at the Flat Rock Fire Department from 9:00 to 1:00  :  for more details on giving blood or to make an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Rides Mass Transit District will have its final Saturday trip for Richland County Seniors to Terre Haute this weekend – for a ride or more information, call the RMTD Olney office at 618-395-1272


    Santa Claus will visit the Clay City Fire Department this Saturday afternoon with all children welcome to stop by and visit, starting at 1:00 – each child will receive a treat bag, plus pictures will be available


    It’s another Friday night “fish fry” this weekend at the Olney American Legion Post #30 with serving from 5:30 until sold out – all families are welcome – $8 tickets for adults at the door – half price for kids 3 to 6 years old – children under 3 eat free – a DJ and Karaoke will follow the meal – all are invited


    The East Richland High School Library will be open additional evening hours tonight and tomorrow night, from 6:00 to 8:30 each night – this is to allow extra evening hours for studying in preparation of the finals coming up this Thursday and Friday at ERHS – all students are welcome to the ERHS Library

 

 

 

December 16, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As the low pressure system over the Upper Midwest pushes off to the east, a trailing cold front will move across downstate Illinois today, bringing in colder air for tonight and the rest of the work week ahead, although we’ll stay dry tomorrow thru Friday – another weather system will move thru with maybe some rain and/or snow Friday night thru Saturday, although it could miss us altogether – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office is thanking everyone that helped find two young sisters who were taken by their stepfather yesterday – authorities say they received several calls from people who spotted the Dodge van that was described to statewide radio listeners during the Amber Alert message that aired in the 12 noon hour – 37 year old Damon Jones was taken into custody without incident and will likely be charged with kidnapping – the 9 and 7 year old girls were returned to their Mother uninjured.

 

(OLNEY)  Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants voters to decide who’ll replace the late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, saying the State Constitution gives Governor Pat Quinn the right to appoint someone to the post, but only to serve until January 12th – Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner will then appoint someone after that date – Madigan believes voters should pick Topinka’s replacement in a special 2016 election.

 

(NEWTON)  Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner will not be having the traditional festive ball on the night of his inauguration – instead, he’s planning a big concert at Springfield’s Prairie Capital Convention Center – the tickets will be $125 each, but so far no word on who’ll be on stage to perform – Rauner’s two day inaugural celebration will include free admission to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum on January 11th and a free “Open House” with elected officials at the Old State Capitol throughout the day on Monday, the 12th.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met for only a few minutes during a special meeting last night at the Olney City Hall – the Council  :  approved the 2014 Tax Levy as discussed in the past – the combined levy for the City of Olney and the Olney Public Library included a 3.52% increase, which is on levied amounts, not a direct tax increase – most of the increased levy is based on the proposed EAV, that is the Equalized Assessed Valuation of property within the City of Olney  :  accepted the $3,625 low bid from Doll’s Inc. to demolish the property at 631 West Butler Street  :  and agreed to cancel the Council’s next regular meeting scheduled for next Monday, December 22nd  :  the Council’s next regular meeting will be January 12, 2015.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met for its regular monthly meeting last night in Newton – the Board  :  agreed to place a question to district-wide residents on the April 7th Consolidated Election ballot next spring, asking for authorization to issue bonds worth $2.2 million for the purpose of paying claims against the School District  :  approved the 2014 Tax Levy as presented with a 4.56% increase in the levied amount, not a raise in taxes to the public  :  took no action, but did discuss budget projections with the District facing a $1.2 million loss in revenue – this includes a reduction in expenditures and/or a rise in revenue  :  approved a contract with GRP Mechanical, Inc. to complete health life safety projects at NCHS, specifically a secure entrance or science lab  :  and after a closed session, approved a student suspension with the student expelled for the rest of the school year, however to attend Safe School under Principal’s Probation, plus bus expulsion for the rest of the year  :  in personnel matters – recognized the retirement of Bus Driver Deania Trimble – employed Darla Mahaffey as NCHS Special Needs Paraprofessional – hired Kimberlin Wallace as NE Paraprofessional – hired Alex Frohning as JCJH Boys Track Coach  :  the Jasper County School Board will have its next regular monthly meeting for the new year on January 19th at 6:30.

 

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to East Richland High School in Olney and to all of Richland County for its support as ERHS was one of the 90 winning high school nationwide to receive a $25,000 grant thru the Celebrate My Drive teen safety awareness program, powered by State Farm Insurance – only 100 of the 3,283 registered schools received grants, as students, parents, and the entire community rallied in support of teen drivers, making online safe driving commitments, helping East Richland High School reach its goal – while 10% of the grant money must be invested in the school’s teen driver safety program for students, the remaining funds will be used to purchase an additional driving simulator for the ERHS Driver’s Ed Program – among the other 90 nationwide schools receiving grant funds were five others in Illinois, including those in Mt. Carmel, Herrin, Spring Valley, Washington, and Naperville – thanks again for the local support.

 

(OLNEY)  Petition papers for the April 7th School Board or Community College Board elections can still be filed all this week until the close of office hours next Monday, December 22nd – while area School Board candidates can file their paperwork at area County Clerk’s offices, the area Community College Board candidates are doing so at their respective College District offices – all for the April 7th Election.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Hall is the filing place for candidates in Newton as the filing period runs today thru Friday, then ends at the close of office hours next Monday, December 22nd – there are three Aldermen seats on the Newton City Council,  plus five Zoning Board positions to be chosen next April 7th.

 

(OLNEY)  In regional news – Wayne County authorities are still searching the Golden Gate area looking for 55 year old Thomas Sharp, who drove his ATV into area flood waters last Thursday night – Sharp’s ATV was found in the backwaters of the Little Wabash River, east of Fairfield, and its believed that he left the 4-wheeler after it quit running in the water – the ground and aerial search has also included boats and rescue divers although all efforts to this point have been fruitless – authorities continue that search today.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation also continues today into a traffic crash that claimed the life of the Woodlawn Grade School Cheerleading Coach this past Sunday afternoon at around 3:00 along Illinois Route 15 west of Mt. Vernon – State Police report 22 year old Krista Storment was a passenger in a car returning from a cheerleading event when the head-on crash occurred – Storment was pronounced dead at the scene while four other adults were injured, two of which were airlifted from the crash location – few other details are being released at this time – no students were involved – Route 15 was closed for several hours for cleanup.

 

(NEWTON)  The public’s invited to the Newton Elementary School tonight, as it will host Dr. Steven Layne, for a special presentation later tonight in the Elementary School Gym, starting at 7:00 – the current Professor of Literacy Education at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, Dr. Layne has authored 21 books and is a frequent keynote speaker at conventions worldwide and also serves as a literacy consultant and visiting author in Pre K thru 12 schools – admission is free, plus there will be book giveaways, books for sale, and refreshments – that’s tonight at the Newton Elementary School Gym, beginning at 7:00.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Rides Mass Transit District will have its final Saturday trip for Richland County Seniors to Terre Haute this weekend – for a ride or more information, call the RMTD Olney office at 618-395-1272


    The East Richland High School Library will be open additional evening hours tonight thru Thursday night, from 6:00 to 8:30 each night – all due to semester and final exams later this week at ERHS – this is to allow extra evening hours for studying in preparation of the finals coming up this Thursday and Friday


    The Olney Central College Music Department will host its annual Holiday Concert tonight at 7:30 in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center, featuring the OCC Community Choir – free admission


    The Elm Street Christian Church will host a Grief Share tonight, entitled “Surviving the Holidays” – from 6:30 to 8:30, the free program is for anyone who has lost a loved one – all are invited to attend tonight

 

 

 

December 15, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a low pressure storm system rolls across the Midwest, we’ll see plenty of light rain today thru tonight before ending tomorrow morning – then colder and drier air will filter in on the back side of the cold front – in fact, we’ll have sub-40 degree days and below freezing nights all week into the upcoming weekend – a chance of a snow and/or rain mix Friday night and Saturday – stay tuned for weather  updates.

 

(NEWTON)  It looks like the flu bug is coming on pretty strong across Illinois this year – numbers from the State Health Department show more than 100 people have already been admitted into hospital intensive care units for serious treatment – several statewide hospitals and nursing homes are limiting visits due to the outbreak – no deaths have been reported – folks are urged to get their flu shots if they haven’t already.

 

(OLNEY)  A public memorial service honoring the late Judy Baar Topinka is scheduled for this coming Wednesday up in Countryside, Illinois, starting at 9:30 that morning – the longtime politician died early last week after suffering a stroke – the State Comptroller had also served as State Treasurer in years past.

 

(NEWTON)  Gas prices continue to drop across the state – down nearly 50 cents per gallon over the past month, the prices are down nearly 75 cents per gallon compared to a year ago this week – the average price for regular gasoline in our downstate area is at $2.50 per gallon – the prices in the Newton area are at $2.57 and higher, while the Olney area prices are at $2.54 per gallon – the area’s lowest prices are in Fairfield, ranging from $2.43 to $2.48 per gallon – the Clay County prices are in the $2.60 range while higher yet in the Lawrenceville and Vincennes areas to the east – there’s still a lot of price fluctuation in our region.

 

(OLNEY)  A Richland County woman has been indicted on drug charges – the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois has announced a federal grand jury has indicted 43 year old Jacque Lee Brown of Olney on one count of a methamphetamine related charge – the indictment alleges that Brown possessed pills for the use of manufacturing meth from April 2009 thru September 2012 – she faces up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine – the original investigation was conducted by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department – Brown is presumed innocent until proven guilty in an Illinois court of law.

 

(NEWTON)  Authorities are looking for an inmate that escaped yesterday morning from the Federal Prison Camp in Terre Haute – 47 year old Michael Ward was determined missing after an official prison inmate count at around 9:50 Sunday morning – Ward is believed to escape in a government vehicle, a white Chevy Silverado pickup truck with the U.S. Government license plate  J0011THA – Ward is described as a white male, standing 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 195 pounds, with brown eyes, and short gray hair – he was in the minimum security prison serving a 120-month sentence for fraud – anyone with information about his whereabouts or if anyone has seen the inmate or the above mentioned vehicle, contact your local police.

 

(OLNEY)  Today is the first day for candidates to file their petition papers for the April 7th School Board or Community College Board elections – while area School Board candidates will file their paperwork at area County Clerk’s offices, the area Community College Board candidates will do so at their respective College District offices – the filing period runs today thru Friday this week and then the final day, a week from today, December 22nd – that’s each day from 8:00 until 4:00, today thru Friday, then the final day, next Monday, from 8:00 to 5:00 – it’s all for the April 7th Consolidated Election ballot for next spring.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton reminds citizens that nominating petitions can also be filed starting today and continuing thru the end of the day next Monday, December 22nd – there are three Aldermen seats up for election on the Newton City Council,  plus five Zoning Board Members – petitions can be filed today thru Friday, each day from 8:00 to 5:00, in the Office of the City Clerk, at the Newton City Hall, and the final day of filing next Monday, from 8:00 to 5:00, at City Hall – all for the April 7th election next spring.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney has announced some visitation restrictions due to the flu season that’s upon us – RMH is taking the precautions to help limit the spread of influenza among its employees, patients, visitors, and the community – with that in mind, folks are encouraged to follow the list of various guidelines now in effect at Richland Memorial Hospital – here’s the highlights on that list  :
  *  visitors will be limited to two (2) at a time in the hospital
  *  those age twenty-four (24) and younger are encouraged NOT to visit the hospital
  *  pregnant women or those with chronic conditions are encouraged NOT to visit the hospital
  *  those who have outpatient appointments are urged to come without their children
  *  those with flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea) should not visit RMH
  *  those who have had contact with someone with flu-like symptoms within the past 7 days should not visit
  *  visitation exceptions may be made on a case by case basis as approved by the Administrative Team
  *  masks, tissues, and hand sanitizers are available at entry and registration areas at RMH
  *  folks should wash their hands with warm soapy water to prevent the spread of infection
Richland Memorial Hospital appreciates the cooperation of everyone involved at this time of the year.

 

(OLNEY)  With the Mt. Erie Ruritan Club’s annual Farm Machinery Consignment Sale coming up on January 19th, folks have until this Saturday, December 20th, to submit consignment items do they’ll be listed on the sale bill – call Steve Bass at 618-838-8398 or Victor Frohning at 618-854-2223 at the Mt. Erie feed mill – the sale will include tractors, combines, field & livestock equipment, ATV’s, trucks, and more.

 

(NEWTON)  The Potter’s House Ministry in Newton has announced that it will be serving a Christmas dinner, free of charge, on Christmas Day, December 25th, from 11:00am to 1:30pm – free Christmas meals will also be delivered upon request – all are welcome to visit them at the church for lunch on Christmas Day at #1 Kennedy Drive in Newton or for delivery, call Ron Mulvey at 618-783-3496 with a name, address, phone number, and the number of meals needed – that’s at the Potter’s House Ministry in Newton.

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – there are three area drives on this Monday  :  at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  and at the Mason Christian Academy in Effingham County from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more details or for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Rides Mass Transit District will have its final Saturday trip for Richland County Seniors to Terre Haute this weekend – for a ride or more information, call the RMTD Olney office at 618-395-1272


    The East Richland High School Library will be open additional evening hours tonight thru Thursday night, from 6:00 to 8:30 each night – all due to semester and final exams later this week at ERHS – this is to allow extra evening hours for studying in preparation of the finals coming up this Thursday and Friday


  The Olney Central College Music Department will host its annual Holiday Concert tomorrow night at 7:30 in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center, featuring the OCC Community Choir – free admission


    The Olney City Council has a special meeting this evening at the Olney City Hall, beginning at 6:00 – the tax levy ordinance is among only a few items on the agenda – as always, the meeting is open to the public

 

    The Noble Village Hall has announced that this evening's scheduled Zoning Board meeting has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled - so no Zoning Board meeting tonight in Noble - it's been cancelled

 


    It’s another fundraising to thru tonight at Monical’s Pizza – fill out a form while ordering and a portion of your receipt will be donated to the East Orchard Christian Academy in Olney – all support is appreciated

 

 

 

December 13, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  With a warmer-than-normal weekend today and tomorrow, our next chance of rain moves thru on Monday with rain maybe as early as late tomorrow night – otherwise, most of rain will fall Monday before ending that night – then a little colder air moves back in place for the rest of the work week, next week – possibly another slight warm up with more rain the following weekend – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – students across Illinois can send a bit of  holiday cheer to the men and women who are serving the United States overseas – the state’s Illinois Heroes Holiday Card Drive is well underway, asking everyone to take a moment to show appreciation for the sacrifices soldiers make to defend our freedom in America – for more details on how to help out, go online at www.OperationHomefront.org.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney has announced some visitation restrictions due to the flu season that’s upon us – RMH is taking the precautions to help limit the spread of influenza among its employees, patients, visitors, and the community – with that in mind, folks are encouraged to follow the list of various guidelines now in effect at Richland Memorial Hospital – here’s the highlights on that list  :
  *  visitors will be limited to two (2) at a time in the hospital
  *  those age twenty-four (24) and younger are encouraged NOT to visit the hospital
  *  pregnant women or those with chronic conditions are encouraged NOT to visit the hospital
  *  those who have outpatient appointments are urged to come without their children
  *  those with flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea) should not visit RMH
  *  those who have had contact with someone with flu-like symptoms within the past 7 days should not visit
  *  visitation exceptions may be made on a case by case basis as approved by the Administrative Team
  *  masks, tissues, and hand sanitizers are available at entry and registration areas at RMH
  *  folks should wash their hands with warm soapy water to prevent the spread of infection
Richland Memorial Hospital appreciates the cooperation of everyone involved at this time of the year.

 

(OLNEY)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – there are three area drives next Monday  :  at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  and at the Mason Christian Academy in Effingham County from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more details or for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to visit the Olney Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park this season – the display is lit up each Friday and Saturday night from 5:00 to 10:00 and each Sunday thru Thursday from 5:00 to 9:00 – a huge “thank you” to those who help with the Bucket Brigade at the end of the Lights Display, where donations are accepted to help with the Display’s expenses – also, don’t forget that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for visits and pictures tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 in the Olney City Park Community Building – check it all out in the Olney City Park this weekend and thru December 28th.

 

(NEWTON)  The 2014 Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas continued last night on the Square in downtown Newton, but several activities are still on tap for this weekend – Breakfast with Santa at the St. Thomas Parish Hall is this morning from 7:30 to 10:00 – then Story Time with Mrs. Claus is this morning at 10:30 at the Newton Public Library – and a Bend Country Christmas at St. Valentines Hall in The Bend, south and east of Ste. Marie is tomorrow evening from 4:00 to 6:00 – then it’s back to more activities again next Friday night in the downtown Newton area – for more details, logon at www.NewtonIllinois.com.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Heritage House Museum, at the corner of Elm Street and Kitchell Avenue in Olney, will host it’s Christmas Open House tomorrow afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 – along with special music throughout the afternoon, hot cider and cookies will be served, plus a Christmas Quilt Display – all are invited


    The Humane Society Shelter of Olney, at 928 West North Avenue, will host its “Christmas at the Shelter” this weekend – that tonight and tomorrow evening, from 5:00 to 7:00, both nights – all are invited


    The Beulah United Methodist Church, southwest of Sumner, will host its 22nd annual live nativity scene this evening from 5:30 to 8:30 – the church will also be collecting non-perishable food items for the local food pantry, plus free refreshments – follow the luminaries south of Sumner this Saturday evening


    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation will host a Christmas Dinner with live music tonight from 5:00 to 7:00 in the Foundation Building in Sailor Springs – $7 tickets per person on sale at the door


    Be listening for the 2014 Rotary Radio Auction from 9:00 to 12 noon this morning on Freedom 92.9 as over 100 items will be auctioned off over the airwaves to benefit local charities – you can view that list of auction items on our website at www.freedom929.com – click on the “community” tab

 

 

 

December 12, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  A warmer weather pattern will take hold across the Midwest for the upcoming weekend, leading to well above normal high temperatures – however, a low pressure system is looming close behind – it will move thru giving us rain chances thru the day and night Monday – then colder air returns for the rest of next week, which also appears to a mostly dry week as well – stay tuned for complete weather details & updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Politics is adding to the confusion in Springfield, not necessarily on who’ll replace Judy Baar Topinka as the next State Comptroller, but on who’ll make the decision – some say Governor Quinn should make the pick, others say it should be Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner’s decision – House Speaker Michael Madigan says there will not be a special session to deal with the issue – Governor-Elect Rauner suggested yesterday that Topinka’s Chief of Staff Nancy Kimmen should be appointed until he officially takes office.

 

(OLNEY)  Statewide electric customers are going to be paying more on their bills starting next month – state regulators approved a deal earlier this week giving Ameren a $137 million rate hike and ComEd a $245 million rate hike – downstate Ameren customers will pay out an average of  $6 more per month.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois is getting federal grant money to improve early childhood education – the state will see $20 million as part of the Preschool Development Grants program – all in all, there are some 18 states that will split up the overall $226 million total – it’s all part of an application process thru federal links.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met last night in Olney – the Board  :  approved claims for the month of November worth $86,559  :  approved the fiscal year 2015 tax levy as presented with an increase of under 5%  :  approved a resolution for the County Engineer’s salary  :  agreed to seek bids for a new backhoe for the County Highway Department  :  agreed to get bids for new road signs with both federal and state grant money to cover the costs  :  approved the yearly liquor license for the Richland Country Club  :  approved a procurement policy for the DCEO to assist the West Liberty Sanitation District  :  approved a culvert petition for the Noble Township  :  heard an update from the Richland County Development Corporation  :  took no action on the Courthouse Vault reinforcement project  :  noted the Courthouse improvement work that’s continuing  :  said “thanks” to the Berryville Junior 4-H Club for serving last night’s supper  :  and said an overall “thank you” to all the 4-H Clubs for their service throughout the entire year of 2014  :  the Richland County Board has its next regular monthly meeting on January 8th, 2015.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board met last night in Newton – the Board  :  approved the 2015 fiscal year tax levy as presented  :  approved the Appellate Prosecutor’s one year contract worth $5,000  :  agreed to use Jasper Services for snow removal at the County Office Building on an as-needed basis  :  took no action on a 50-cent salary increase proposal for part-time Ambulance personnel  :  agreed to allow the local Rolling Thunder Chapter to install a POW / MIA Chair of Honor on the Jasper County Courthouse lawn next spring – the County will pour a 4 by 4 feet pad to anchor the memorial  :  noted that the County’s rock and pipe bid letting will be next week for the County Highway Department  :  approved a few committee appointments as presented  :  the Jasper County Board’s next regular meeting will be January 8th, 2015.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police District 12 has released its activity and enforcement numbers for the 30 days in November – District 12 Troopers issued 1,050 citations including 482 for speeding, 233 for seatbelt violations, and 13 DUI’s, plus there were 31 criminal arrests made – of the 872 written warnings, 298 were for speeding – Troopers assisted 263 motorists, conducted 255 motor carrier inspections, and investigated 100 traffic accidents, including 2 fatal wrecks – there were 409 citations and 258 written warnings issued for the “Fatal Four” violations, which are those most associated with fatal traffic crashes, including failure to wear a seatbelt, speeding, DUI, and distracted driving – overall, District 12 Troopers in the counties of Richland, Jasper, Cumberland, Clark, Crawford, Lawrence, Clay, Marion, Fayette, and Effingham answered 302 calls for service and initiated 1,765 incidents in the field during the 30 day period in November.

 

(OLNEY)  With the 2014 Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Season underway today thru Sunday, each day from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset, in all hunting areas of Illinois, downstate hunters are reminded that 20 new counties have been closed this year for the upcoming Late Winter Antlerless Deer Firearm Seasons – while the area counties Jasper, Lawrence, and Wabash remained closed from last year, the area’s newly closed counties include Richland, Cumberland, Fayette, and Jefferson – the area counties open include Clay, Effingham, Clark, Crawford, Edwards, Wayne, White, Hamilton, and Marion – the Late Winter Antlerless Deer Seasons are January 1st thru 4th and January 16th thru 18th – any remaining permits for the seven days will be available for purchase over the counter starting next Tuesday, December 16th.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially when all blood types and blood platelets are in special need – there are three area drives next Monday  :  at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  and at the Mason Christian Academy in Effingham County from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more details or for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org – by the way, a big “thank you” to those that turned out to give blood yesterday in Newton and Jasper County.

 

(OLNEY)  Don’t forget to visit the Olney Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park this season – the display is lit up from 5:00 to 9:00 each Sunday thru Thursday and from 5:00 to 10:00 each Friday and Saturday – a huge “thank you” to those who help with the Bucket Brigade at the end of the Lights Display, where donations are accepted to help with the Display’s expenses – also, don’t forget that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for visits and pictures tonight and tomorrow night night from 6:00 to 8:00 each evening in the Community Building – check it all out in the Olney City Park this weekend.

 

(NEWTON)  The 2014 Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas continues tonight with another Friday night on the Square in downtown Newton – held in front of Arndt’s tonight, Santa Claus, the Holly Jolly characters, and others will be on hand from 5:00 to 7:00 – there will be children’s cookie decorating, pictures, and more – not to mention great downtown shopping opportunities in Newton Friday night – also today is Postmark Day in Newton only from 8:30 to 5:00 at the Post Office – plus tickets available at area locations for a Christmas themed basket raffle – plus other activities this weekend : Breakfast with Santa at the St. Thomas Parish Hall tomorrow morning from 7:30 to 10:00 : then Story Time with Mrs. Claus tomorrow morning at 10:30 at the Newton Public Library : and a Bend Country Christmas at St. Valentines Hall in The Bend Sunday evening from 4:00 to 6:00 : for more details, logon at www.NewtonIllinois.com.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Heritage House Museum, at the corner of Elm Street and Kitchell Avenue in Olney, will host it’s Christmas Open House this Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 – along with special music throughout the afternoon, hot cider and cookies will be served, plus a Christmas Quilt Display – all are invited


    The Humane Society Shelter of Olney, at 928 West North Avenue, will host its “Christmas at the Shelter” this weekend – Saturday & Sunday evening, from 5:00 to 7:00 both nights – all are invited


    The Beulah United Methodist Church, southwest of Sumner, will host its 22nd annual live nativity scene this Saturday night from 5:30 to 8:30 – the church will also be collecting non-perishable food items for the local food pantry, plus free refreshments – follow the luminaries south of Sumner this Saturday evening


    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation will host a Christmas Dinner with live music this Saturday night from 5:00 to 7:00 in the Foundation Building in Sailor Springs – $7 tickets per person on sale at the door


    Be listening for the 2014 Rotary Radio Auction from 9:00 to 12 noon tomorrow morning on Freedom 92.9 as over 100 items will be auctioned off over the airwaves to benefit local charities – you can view that list of auction items on our website at www.freedom929.com – click on the “community” tab


    The 2014 RadioThon is this evening from 4:00 to 6:00 on Freedom 92.9, all to benefit the East Richland Foundation for Academic Excellence and the ERHS Music Boosters – all donations appreciated


    The East Richland Elementary School 2nd grade classes will perform their Christmas Program today in the ERES dining hall – three classes will perform at 10:00 this morning with the remaining three classes to perform at 2:15 this afternoon – all are invited to one or both performance today at ERES in Olney