LOCAL NEWS

Local News

July 23, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  The heat and humidity levels continue to stay high for this weekend although some relief is in the forecast as a cold front is expected to move thru by tomorrow night – this could trigger some more rain with showers & thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon thru the day on Monday – our temperatures then drop a little to near normal for most of next week with rain again possibly by Thursday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The National Weather Service has an Excessive Heat Warning in effect for the downstate area today thru tomorrow night – the warning calls for temperatures in the low to mid 90’s and heat index values between 100 and 110 degrees – there is a risk of heat related illnesses for people with prolonged outdoor exposure – the elderly and small children are especially at risk – please take those needed precautions.

 

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

 

(OLNEY)  It’s a busy weekend coming up as Richland County and Olney celebrates 175 years  :  beginning last night, the weekend full of activities continue today thru tonight  :  this morning’s 175th Anniversary Parade starts at 9:00, moving south from the Immanuel United Methodist Church on East Street, then west on Main Street, back south on Whittle Avenue, and ending at North Avenue  :  the 175th Celebration Festival is tomorrow from 10:00 to 4:00 in the Olney City Park with live entertainment, plus food & vendor booths, historic displays, antique vehicles & tractors, a kid’s area, and more  :  all three Richland County School District schools will have open houses with building tours every 30 minutes this morning at 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30  :  the Museums are open for free tours today from 1:30 to 4:00, including the Heritage House, the McsBurg One-Room School, and the Carnegie Museum  :  the country group Diamond Rio will hit the stage to add to the celebration, in concert at 7:30 tonight, with gates opening at 6:30 on the Richland County Fairgrounds – $15 tickets or $20 track admission tickets are still on sale, at  www.olney175.com  :  them the Celebration carries over into Sunday with a Community Picnic tomorrow from 10:30 to 2:00 in the Olney City Park  :  an Ecumenical Worship Service is tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 at the Band Shell in the City Park, featuring Brian Free & Assurance – bring your lawn chairs and blankets  :  and the Free Swim Day is tomorrow afternoon from 1:00 to 6:00 at the Musgrove Aquatic Center  :  that’s all this weekend, the Olney & Richland County 175th Anniversary – we encourage you and your family to check it out in Olney. 

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The American Red Cross is continuing with its Emergency Appeal, asking for all eligible donors to get out & give blood when possible with very low blood supplies on hand across the Midwest  :  the next Richland County blood drive is tomorrow morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12:00  :  other area blood drives are coming up next Monday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:00 to 6:00  :  plus in Olney, Newton, and Palestine  :  all blood types and platelets are needed.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Olney Public Library will host its final summer reading special event next Monday afternoon at 2:00 – entitled Animal Tales : Nature’s Olympians, the program is free for all ages – if questions, call  392-3711

    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation has a fundraising breakfast this morning from 8:00 to 10:00 in the Foundation Building – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs available – all ages are invited

    The Clay County Fair, west of Flora, is underway – the Fair will feature a Ranch Rodeo later this evening at 5:00, with gates opening today at 3:30 – all sponsored by the Clay County Farm Bureau Young Leaders

    The City of Olney reminds residents still cleaning up from last week’s storm damage, that Olney’s brush dump is open every Saturday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday, each day from 10:00 until 4:00

 

 

July 22, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As thunderstorms moving south from Central Illinois dissipate this morning, we’ll return to high heat & humidity levels by this afternoon with a repeat scenario with more storms again possible overnight towards tomorrow morning – the warmer-than-normal conditions continue thru the weekend with no relief in sight until a cold front arrives Sunday night – then more rain chances next Monday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The National Weather Service has an Excessive Heat Warning in effect for the downstate area today thru Sunday night – the warning calls for temperatures in the low to mid 90’s and heat index values between 100 and 110 degrees – there is a risk of heat related illnesses for people with prolonged outdoor exposure – the elderly and small children are especially at risk – please take those needed precautions.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – the Illinois Department of Employment Security says the unemployment rate in June dropped two-tenths (0.2) of a percentage point to 6.2% – job growth is still below the national average, with Illinois far short of its peak employment level back in September 2000 – the largest employment gains were in professional and business services, the largest job declines were in educational and health services.

 

(NEWTON)  Homebuyer demand drove sales and prices higher in June and marked a strong first half of the year for the Illinois housing market – according to Illinois Realtors, statewide home sales last month totaled 18,593 units, up 1.4% from a year ago – the year-to-date home sales is up 5.5% compared to the first six months of 2015 – the statewide median price in June was $204,000 which is up 5.8% from June a year ago – the data shows 42 of the state’s 102 counties reported sales gains for June 2016 over the previous year.

 

(OLNEY)  Farmland values continue to follow commodity prices downward, based on recent reports – however, the shift in values and decline in land sales has been more of a subtle adjustment, rather than a dramatic drop off as feared by some in the industry – Farmers National Company recently reported average prices paid for high-quality land from June 2015 to June 2016 declined by $600 per acre in Illinois & $500 per acre in Indiana and Iowa – prices for high-quality farmland during the same time actually was up $200 an acre in Missouri and $150 per acre in Tennessee – the prices remained stable in Kentucky and Arkansas.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met for its regular monthly meeting last night in Newton – the Board  :  made several personnel moves after a 39 minute closed session – transferred Josh Benefiel from JCJH Physical Education Teacher to Assistant Principal at Newton Elementary School – employed Rebecca Holkenbrink as Newton Elementary Counselor – employed Whitney Ritchhart as NE 3rd Grade Teacher – hired Craig Utterback as JCJH Physical Education Teacher, JCJH Girls Basketball Coach, and JCJH Head Track Coach – employed Derek Stanciu as NCHS night custodian – hired Josh Rushbrook as NCHS Head Cross Country Coach and NCHS Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Coach – hired Adrienne Ochs as JCJH Girls/Boys Cross Country Coach and JCJH Scholastic Bowl Coach – and appointed Jennifer Bales as Head Teacher at the Ste. Marie Elementary School – also accepted the resignation of Roy Dhom as night custodian at NCHS  :  approved the hiring authority to Superintendent Andy Johnson looking for a special education bus driver, a special education bus chaperone, and two teacher aides  :  agreed to advertise for a small used wheelchair bus  :  awarded diary bids for the 2016-2017 school year to Prairie Farms  :  agreed the Driver’s Education Cars for the new school year come from Louis Ochs Chevrolet Buick  :  noted that parking lot repair work worth an estimated $3,000 to $5,000 will soon be done at the Willow Hill School  : the next Jasper County School Board meeting will be August 18 in Newton.

 

(OLNEY)  The U.S. Route 50 Four-Lane Coalition is continuing its pursuit to convert U.S. Route 50 to a Four-Lane Rural Expressway across Illinois – members of the Coalition traveled to Springfield recently to meet with IDOT officials – also attending were State Representatives David Reis and John Cavaletto – while discussion included traffic counts & population changes along Route 50, talks also included tourist attractions, traffic bottlenecks, and economic growth, but eventually the discussion came down to funding – currently a Phase One study is being conducted for the 27 mile stretch between Olney and Lawrenceville, a process that has seen some delays, although IDOT District 7 is looking to finalize the study sometime in early 2017 – for more details, check the Coalition’s website online, at  www.us50coalition.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County School Board met for its regular monthly meeting last night in Olney – the Board  :  noted that the School District’s online registration is underway, continuing thru next Wednesday, July 27th  :  approved the first readings of  24 district policies  :  noted the state currently owes the District at least $433,000  :  approved the Prevailing Wage resolution  :  awarded the dairy bid to Prairie Farms  :  awarded the bakery bid to Earthgrains Baking Company / Bimbo Bakeries  :  made several personnel moves after a 70 minute closed session – hired Sue Pixley as RCHS Art Teacher – Monica Grove as a Teacher at RCES – Brittany Leaf as a RCES Teacher Assistant – Ashley Bursott, Judy Johnson, & Heather Hagan as Special Education Paraprofessionals – Jeffrey Ryden as RCHS Junior Class Sponsor – Scott Hahn as a RCMS Custodian – Amanda Musser as a RCES Secretary – Dan Totten as a Special Needs Route Bus Driver – Tracy Mehl & Zach Slater as Bus Drivers – and Cindy Hart as a Pre-K Bus Driver  :  the Board accepted resignations from RCMS Language Arts Teacher Ellen Beyers, RCES Teacher Assistants Erin Whisler & Stacey Frichtl, Paraprofessional Jena Ferguson, and part-time Bus Driver Steve Burgener  :  also approved a three year contract for Superintendent Larry Bussard, running thru June 2019  :  also gave the hiring authorization to Superintendent Bussard to fill employment vacancies to start the new school year  :  the next regular monthly meeting for the Richland County School Board is set for August 18 in Olney.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s a busy weekend coming up as Richland County and Olney celebrates 175 years  :  it all begins tonight at 7:00 with free entertainment by the “Feudin’ Hillbillys” in the Olney City Park, plus a car show at Chilly Willy’s along with free ice cream from 4:00 to 5:00 this evening, courtesy of Burgin Manor  :   tomorrow morning’s 175th Anniversary Parade starts at 9:00, moving south from the Immanuel United Methodist Church on East Street, then west on Main Street, back south on Whittle Avenue, and ending at North Avenue  :  the 175th Celebration Festival is tomorrow from 10:00 to 4:00 in the Olney City Park with live entertainment, plus food & vendor booths, historic displays, antique vehicles & tractors, a kid’s area, and more  :  all three Richland County School District schools will have open houses with building tours every 30 minutes at 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30  :  the Museums will be open for free tours from 1:30 to 4:00, including the Heritage House, the McsBurg One-Room School, and the Carnegie Museum  :  the country group Diamond Rio will hit the stage to add to the celebration, in concert at 7:30 tomorrow night, with gates opening at 6:30 on the Richland County Fairgrounds – $15 tickets or $20 track admission tickets are still on sale, at  www.olney175.com  :  the Celebration carries over into Sunday with a Community Picnic from 10:30 to 2:00 in the Olney City Park – the $3 tickets (children 2 & under free) are on sale in advance at the Olney City Hall, the Chamber Office, and Olney Banks  :  an Ecumenical Worship Service is Sunday afternoon at 1:00 at the Band Shell in the City Park, featuring Brian Free & Assurance – bring your lawn chairs and blankets  :  also a Free Swim Day on Sunday from 1:00 to 6:00 at the Musgrove Aquatic Center  :  that’s all this weekend for the Olney and Richland County 175th Anniversary – see you there!

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The American Red Cross is continuing with its Emergency Appeal, asking for all eligible donors to get out & give blood when possible with very low blood supplies on hand across the Midwest – here’s the list of upcoming area blood drives  :  today at the Blood Donation Center on Eden Avenue in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12:00  :  next Monday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also next week with drives in Effingham, Olney, Newton, Vandalia, and Palestine  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Olney Public Library will host its final summer reading special event next Monday afternoon at 2:00 – entitled Animal Tales : Nature’s Olympians, the program is free for all ages – if questions, call  392-3711


    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation has a fundraising breakfast this Saturday morning from 8:00 to 10:00 in the Foundation Building – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs available – all ages are invited


    The Clay County Fair, west of Flora, is underway – the 4-H barbeque is tonight from 4:00 to 7:00 in the air-conditioned REA Building – a “drive-thru” is available – the Fair will feature a Ranch Rodeo tomorrow evening at 5:00, with gates open at 3:30, sponsored by the Clay County Farm Bureau Young Leaders


    The Hunting Heritage Banquet is tonight at the KC Hall in Newton – doors open at 5:30 with a meal and auction of outdoor equipment & more – for last minute tickets, call Tyler at  618-267-9420  - all are invited


    The City of Olney reminds residents still cleaning up from last week’s storm damage, that Olney’s brush dump is open each day the rest of this week from 10:00 until 4:00 – that’s both today and tomorrow

 

 

 

July 21, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  The primary weather concern is the intense heat conditions thru the upcoming weekend with no real relief expected now until Monday and even then it will still be rather hot – some pop-up thunderstorms are possible for our area Friday night & again on Sunday night – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The National Weather Service has upgraded its Heat Watch to an Excessive Heat Warning, in effect for all of our downstate area today thru Saturday night – the warning calls for temperatures in the low to mid 90’s and heat index values between 100 and 110 degrees – folks should take all needed precautions.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – statewide health officials are urging Illinoisans to take preventive actions over the next few days to avoid heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke – while the elderly, those with chronic medical conditions, and children are most at risk, those working outdoors could also be in harm’s way – use some common sense – for heat safety tips, go online at  www.ready.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  Insurance plans and Medicaid providers in Illinois will be required to cover new technology for breast cancer screenings under a new law signed yesterday by Governor Bruce Rauner – the new 3D mammograms that insurance plans will cover work by taking X-rays from different angles making it easier to detect cancer – health officials say the new tool puts Illinois at the forefront in fighting breast cancer.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into the death of a Claremont man earlier this week – authorities in Crawford County report 56 year old Blake Smith was found trapped in a grain bin about three miles south of Oblong – the Crawford County Rescue Squad, Oblong Fire Department, and other emergency personnel responded to the scene – Smith was pronounced dead at 9:34 Monday morning – no other information is available at this time – funeral arrangements are being handled by the Pulliam Funeral Home in Oblong.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met for its regular monthly meeting earlier this week – the Board  :  adopted two new policies – one policy, the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Higher Education, will ensure the District meets requirements that all higher education institutions will adopt a comprehensive policy concerning sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking consistent with Federal & State Law – the other policy will increase diversity in purchasing practices that deal with increased participation of businesses owned by minorities, females, and persons with disabilities  :  adopted the Prevailing Wage Rates for the IECC counties  :  approved updated Emergency Response Plans for each of the four IECC colleges in Olney, Fairfield, Mt. Carmel, and near Robinson  :  approved a report on compliance with Drug Free Schools & Campus Regulations  :  reviewed and approved updates to the 2016-2017 IECC Catalog  :  in personnel moves – accepted resignations from Director of TRIO Talent Search Elizabeth Oliver and from District Office Assistant Olivia Pipher – employed Diedre de Gravina as Olney Central College / Frontier Community College Nursing Instructor and hired Lori Barger as Office Assistant at the District Office  :  the IECC Board’s next regular meeting will be August 16th in Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District is underway with student registration for the 2016-2017 school year – the completely online registration “window” is now open until Sunday, July 31st, which gives Jasper County families 11 more days to register – students can be registered by going to TeacherEase and entering a family’s username and password, plus all forms must be completed – for families that may not have computer access or for those that may require assistance, there will be time available at the individual schools (Ste. Marie Elementary will be at Newton Elementary) where computers and staff assistance will be provided – that’s next Tuesday, July 26th, from 10:00 to 6:00 – plus physical exams & immunizations are required for all students entering Pre-K, Kindergarten, 6th Grade, and 9th Grade prior to the first day of school – for more information, check the School District’s website or call your students’ respective school.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s Parks & Recreation Board met last night with a short agenda – the Board  :  agreed to recommend the City consider erecting a stop sign or yield sign at the western intersection of White Squirrel Drive & White Squirrel Circle in the Olney City Park  :  also agreed to recommend that new privacy wall be constructed in the Musgrove Aquatic Center’s changing area where the old lockers used to be before removal  :  there were no public comments  :  the recommendations now go to the City Council.

 

(OLNEY)  The Parkersburg Chowder is coming up on Saturday, July 30th – while the Drive-Thru starts serving at 10:30, the inside serving at the Parkersburg Community Center begins at 11:00 – there’ll also be barbeque, salads, pies, cakes, and ice cream – plus the Little Miss Queen Pageant is at 1:00, followed by the Annual Parade at around 1:30 – also tractor, automobile, and motorcycle displays, including a miniature train display – and by the way, the Little Miss Pageant is open to girls from 5 to 8 years old, they must live in Bonpas or Madison Townships, be members of the Community Center, & attend Walnut Grove Church, the Christian Church, or Methodist Churches in Parkersburg – to sign up, call Roberta at  618-897-2432.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s a busy weekend coming up as Richland County and Olney celebrates 175 years  :  it all begins Friday night at 7:00 with free entertainment by the “Feudin’ Hillbillys” plus a car show at Chilly Willy’s in downtown Olney along with free ice cream from 4:00 to 5:00, courtesy of Burgin Manor  :   Saturday’s 175th Anniversary Parade starts at 9:00, moving south from the Immanuel United Methodist Church on East Street, then west on Main Street, back south on Whittle Avenue, and ending at North Avenue  :  the 175th Celebration Festival runs Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00 in the Olney City Park with live entertainment at the Band Shell, plus food & vendor booths, historic displays, antique vehicles & tractors, a kid’s area, and more  :  all three Richland County School District schools will have open houses with building tours every 30 minutes at 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30  :  the Museums will be open for free tours from 1:30 to 4:00, including the Heritage House, the McsBurg One-Room School, and the Carnegie Museum  :  then the country group Diamond Rio will hit the stage to add to the celebration, in concert at 7:30 Saturday night, with gates opening at 6:30 on the Richland County Fairgrounds – $15 tickets or $20 track admission tickets are on sale at www.olney175.com  :  the Celebration carries over into Sunday with a Community Picnic from 10:30 to 2:00 in the Olney City Park – the $3 tickets (children 2 & under free) are on sale in advance at the Olney City Hall, the Chamber Office, and Olney Banks  :  an Ecumenical Worship Service is Sunday afternoon at 1:00 at the Band Shell in the City Park, featuring Brian Free & Assurance – bring your lawn chairs and blankets  :  also a Free Swim Day on Sunday from 1:00 to 6:00 at the Musgrove Aquatic Center  :  that’s all this weekend for the Olney and Richland County 175th Anniversary – see you there!

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The American Red Cross is continuing with its Emergency Appeal, asking for all eligible donors to get out & give blood when possible with very low blood supplies on hand across the Midwest – here’s the list of upcoming area blood drives  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center on Eden Avenue in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12:00  :  next Monday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also next week with drives in Effingham, Olney, Newton, Vandalia, and Palestine  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Olney Public Library will host its final summer reading special event next Monday afternoon at 2:00 – entitled Animal Tales : Nature’s Olympians, the program is free for all ages – if questions, call  392-3711


    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation has a fundraising breakfast this Saturday morning from 8:00 to 10:00 in the Foundation Building – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs available – all ages are invited


    The Clay County Fair west of Flora starts this weekend – the 4-H barbeque is tomorrow night from 4:00 to 7:00 in the air-conditioned REA Building – a “drive-thru” is available – the Fair will feature a Ranch Rodeo Saturday evening at 5:00 with gates open at 3:30, sponsored by the Farm Bureau Young Leaders


    The City of Olney reminds residents still cleaning up from last week’s storm damage, that Olney’s brush dump is open each day the rest of this week from 10:00 until 4:00 – that’s today, tomorrow, and Saturday


    There’s two regular monthly school board meetings tonight  :  the Richland County School Board meets in Olney at 7:30  :  the Jasper County School Board meets in Newton at 6:30  :  both are open to the public


     The Farmers Market is set up today in the Noble Village Park – that’s from 3:00 to 6:00 this afternoon and evening with farm fresh produce and much more available to the public for purchase


    The Big Blue Book Bus is back in at the Noble Village Park this afternoon from 3:30 to 4:30 and at the TNT Stop in Claremont this evening from 5:00 to 6:00 – it’s for area Pre-K thru 8th Grade students – no library card and no ID necessary – sponsored by the Rotary Club of Richland County and local schools

 

 

 

July 20, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As the frontal boundary hangs over the downstate region, some showers and thunderstorms will pop-up this morning as the chance of rain drops into the afternoon hours – then another slight chance of rain tonight – otherwise, the primary focus is on the high heat and humidity levels expected tomorrow thru the weekend – relief will come with a cold front by not until Sunday evening – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The National Weather Service has extended its Excessive Heat Watch, beginning tomorrow afternoon and continuing all the way until Saturday night – affecting nearly the entire southern two-thirds of Illinois, the watch is calling for temperatures in the low to mid 90’s and heat index values over 100 degrees all three days – with the risk of heat related illnesses for those outdoors or those with no air conditioning, folks should take the needed precautions to battle the heat – listen to your NOAA weather radio for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that could help families fighting to learn the truth about the death of loved ones – the new law will strengthen Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act by increasing fines for public bodies that fail to comply with court orders to release details – the new law also increases the statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits from two years to five years.

 

(NEWTON)  With the Illinois State Fair set to start three weeks from tomorrow, it’s been announced that for the first time in 10 years, the State Treasurer office will host a live unclaimed property auction on stage at the Ethnic Village on the fairgrounds – there will be some 21,500 unclaimed items available worth $167,000 on the morning of Saturday, August 20th – two previews will be held August 2nd in Springfield and August 5th in Chicago – for more, check the Treasurer’s website online at  www.illinoistreasurer.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  Statewide community colleges have implemented a variety of reforms to developmental education – promising strategies, including co-requisite developmental education, summer bridge programs, and fourth year high school courses are providing a pathway to success for underprepared students – the last five years show the number of students enrolled in at least one developmental course decreased nearly 24% - the ICCB oversees the state’s 48 community colleges in 39 districts and has the third largest community college system in the nation, serving close to 1 million residents each year in credit and non-credit courses.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night – the Council  :  approved the annual appropriations for the City of Newton  :  approved the Annexation Agreement with Valerie B. Burnell  :  agreed to hire two part-time Newton Police Department officers – A.J. Hyatt and Alec Westrich  :  accepted the resignation of part-time Newton Police officer Marty Hustad  :  accepted the $350 bid for an air compressor  :  noted that the State owes the City of Newton $4,439 in unpaid utility bills for street lights and the maintenance yard  :  heard an update on the downtown Streetscape Project  :  approved the monthly bills and payments as presented  :  and took no other action after a 22 minute closed session to discuss litigation and real estate  :  the next regular meeting for the Newton City Council will be Tuesday night, August 2nd, at 6:00.

 

(OLNEY)  Grants totaling $4 million awarded by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will help 120 accredited city and county emergency management agencies throughout Illinois support local disaster preparedness and response efforts – the grants will allow local EMA’s to continue efforts to ensure the safety of the residents in the communities and counties that they serve – while Richland County will receive $7,298 and Jasper County will get $8,924, all other area counties will receive between $7,000 and $15,000 – all of the grant amounts are determined by a base amount and a population-based formula.

 

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

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police has released activity and enforcement figures for the month of June – State Troopers in the ten District 12 counties answered 277 calls for service and initiated 1,874 incidents in the field – there were 793 citations and 655 written warnings, which included 362 speeding tickets, 120 seat belt citations, 39 criminal arrests, 11 DUI’s, and 4 child restraint citations – Troopers assisted 240 motorists, conducted 634 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 99 traffic wrecks, four of which involved fatalities – also during the 30 days and nights, there were 486 citations issued for the “Fatal Four” violations that are most associated with fatal traffic crashes, including driving under the influence of drugs / alcohol, distracted driving, speeding, and failure to wear a seat belt – the ten District 12 counties include Jasper, Richland, Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Marion, Cumberland, Clark, Crawford, and Lawrence.

 

(NEWTON)  The Ramblin’ Rose Bus, a ministry sponsored by Effingham Catholic Charities, is continuing to travel it’s seven-county area this summer, delivering school supplies and clothing to assist families with limited financial means – for those that apply, children (K-12) may receive needed items – the final stop this week is tomorrow evening from 4:00 to 6:00 at the Altamont Grade School – the two stops next week will be in Newton, next Monday from 4:00 to 6:00 at the Masonic Lodge, and in Greenup, next Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 at the Municipal Building – August stops are in Beecher City, Marshall, Casey, and Robinson.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s a busy upcoming weekend as Richland County and Olney celebrates 175 years  :  Saturday begins with the 175th Anniversary Parade at 9:00, starting at the Immanuel United Methodist Church, moving south on East Street, then west on Main Street, back south on Whittle Avenue, and ending at North Avenue  :  the 175th Celebration Festival runs Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00 in the Olney City Park with live entertainment at the Band Shell, plus food & vendor booths, historic displays, antique vehicles & tractors, a kid’s area, and more  :  all Richland County School District schools will have open houses with building tours every 30 minutes at 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30, including the Elementary School, Middle School, and High School in Olney  :  then the country group Diamond Rio will hit the stage to add to the celebration, in concert at 7:30 Saturday night, with gates opening at 6:30 on the Richland County Fairgrounds – $15 tickets or $20 track admission on sale online, at www.olney175.com  :  the Celebration carries over into Sunday with a barbeque meal and all the fixings provided, with serving from 10:30 to 2:00, while supplies last, in the Olney City Park – the $3 tickets (children 2 & under free) can be bought in advance this week at the Olney City Hall, the Chamber Office, or main locations at Olney Banks  :  Sunday will also be a Free Swim Day at the Musgrove Aquatic Center in Olney  :  and an Ecumenical Service Sunday afternoon at 1:00 at the Band Shell in the City Park, with free admission, will feature music by Brian Free & Assurance – bring your lawn chairs and blankets  :  that’s all this weekend for the Olney and Richland County 175th Anniversary.

 

(NEWTON)  The 20th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet, hosted by the Jasper County Wild Turkey Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, is coming up this Friday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton – the doors open at 5:30 with a social hour before a meal is served and the wildlife auction is held with various items available, including wildlife calls, unique firearms, sporting art, knives, outdoor equipment, and much more – tickets are available at $65 for couples or $45 for singles – all funds raised go for conservation efforts – for tickets, call Tyler at  618-267-9420 – all are invited to attend this Friday night.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  A couple of regular monthly school board meetings are coming up tomorrow night  :  the Richland County School Board will meet in Olney, starting at 7:30  :  the Jasper County School Board will meet in Newton, beginning at 6:30  :  both of these meetings are open to the general public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The City of Olney’s Parks & Recreation Board will meet tonight at City Hall, starting at 7:00 – a light agenda will be discussed with all recommendations forwarded to the Olney City Council – public is invited


    The City of Olney reminds residents still cleaning up last week’s storm damage, that Olney’s brush dump is open each day this week from 10:00 until 4:00 – that includes an additional day today, on this Wednesday

 

 

 

July 19, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  With the weak frontal boundary draped across downstate Illinois today thru tonight, the hot and muggy air mass will keep us mostly dry although another chance of scattered rain and storms is possible tomorrow – then it’s high heat and humidity levels hitting the Midwest with the most brutal conditions on Thursday & Friday – no relief until a cold front arrives Sunday afternoon – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  With yesterday’s late morning and early afternoon storms that popped up, mostly over Jasper County, flash flood rainfall reports had an average of  2 to 4 inches of rain falling in less than an hour – a Flood Warning was issued by the National Weather Service for Jasper County as a result of the heavy rain  – heavy rain also fell in portions of  Richland, Clay, Crawford, and Lawrence Counties  :  meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for our entire listening area for Thursday & Friday, with temperatures expected in the mid to upper 90’s and the heat index readings expected over 110 degrees both afternoons – that will produce a high risk of heat related illnesses for those outdoors and those without access to air conditioning – stay tuned to your NOAA weather alert radios for updates and details.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that bans the sale of synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” in Illinois stores – taking effect on January 1st, the law makes selling “bath salts” a felony, punishable with a fine of up to $150,000 – the goal is to help slow down the drug epidemic that’s afflicting rural areas around Illinois – the law also makes it possible for retailers to be prosecuted.

 

(NEWTON)  The state has announced a plan to reduce the threat of mosquito-borne diseases in Illinois, like West Nile virus and Zika virus, by removing used tires from public and abandoned properties – the Illinois EPA & Department of Public Health have divided the state into three priority zones for used tire removal – collection locations & dates will soon be announced – for details, check the IEPA or IDPH websites online.

 

(OLNEY)  Former members of the Guard and Reserve who do not have any periods of active duty, other than their initial active duty for training and annual training, are now eligible to receive “Veteran” on their state driver’s licenses – it was at last weekend’s 98th Annual American Legion Department of Illinois Convention in Springfield that Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law allowing the designation – those affected should contact a local IDVA office for assistance, or go online at  www.illinois.gov/veterans.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton Water Department is repairing water lines this morning, starting at 8:00, all to be followed by a “boil water order” in effect until further notice for the affected area of town – that includes  :  Washington Street, from Jackson to Stanley  :  Church Street, from Washington to Decatur  :  Lafayette Street, from Jourdan to Decatur  :  Walnut Street, from Jourdan to Decatur  :  and Liberty Avenue, from Jourdan to the Fairgrounds  :  Newton’s Water Department thanks everyone affected for their patience.

  

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney is still assisting residents with limb pickup as a result of last week’s storm damage – residents should place limbs as close to the street as possible without having the limbs in the street and call City Hall at  395-7302  during regular office hours to be placed on the “pickup list” – the City Hall will be taking addresses for pickup until the end of the day today  :  Olney’s brush dump is normally open every Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 10:00 to 4:00 – the brush dump will also be open today and tomorrow to help accommodate the extra brush from last week’s storm cleanup.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau weekly rainfall report is out, showing the amount of rain that fell in the past seven day period that ended at 8:00 yesterday morning – the largest amount of rain in the seven days was three inches and a tenth (3.10) in Decker Township, followed by two inches and two tenths (2.20) in Noble Township, an inch and a half (1.50) in Madison Township, and an inch and three tenths (1.30) in Denver Township – then an inch and two tenths (1.20) in both Bonpas and Olney Townships, an inch and a tenth (1.10) in Preston Township, eight tenths of an inch (0.80) in Claremont Township, and the least amount of rain during the seven day period was three quarters of an inch (0.75) in German Township – here at our WVLN-WSEI Weather Station at the south edge of Olney, we recorded ninety-four hundredths of an inch (0.94) of rain during the seven day recording period – so far this year, the average rainfall in Richland County is now running nearly eight inches (7.74) less than it was a year ago at this time in 2015.

 

(NEWTON) In yesterday’s USDA Crop Report, the statewide crop report was fairly average with some good reports weather wise, however some reports of wind & storm damage to fields – last week’s statewide average temperature was 76.1 degrees, which was almost normal, only one tenth (0.1) of a degree below normal – the average statewide rainfall last week was 1.07 inches, nearly four tenths of an inch (0.37) above normal – as of Sunday, the statewide crop conditions were pretty much in good to excellent shape in most all areas  :  farmers in our ten county area report two thirds of the local corn is silking with some corn starting in the dough stage – over a third of the local soybeans are blooming with a tenth of the bean crop beginning to set pods – farmers are continuing to spray for insects and weeds with some hay baling – all farmers are reminded to think “safety first” while working outdoors, especially with the heat this week.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau is sponsoring a bus trip to the St. Louis area on Saturday, August 20th, a month from tomorrow – the trip involves a two and a half hour visit to the St. Louis Science Center, which includes the Agricultural GROW Exhibit, then a visit to the Festival of the Little Hills on Main Street in St. Charles, which includes various vendors of wood, ceramics, & pottery, plus metalwork, fine arts, photography, jewelry, specialty foods, and more – then it’s dinner at Rigazzi’s before heading home – the $40 cost for Farm Bureau members, $50 for non-members, includes the bus trip to and from St. Louis & dinner – the bus is scheduled to leave the Olney Eagles Lodge parking lot at 6:30 that morning with return later that night – that’s an all day trip to St. Louis set for Saturday, August 20th – for more information about the trip, or to sign up, call or stop by the Richland County Farm Bureau office in Olney.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s a busy upcoming weekend as Richland County and Olney celebrates 175 years  :  Saturday begins with the 175th Anniversary Parade at 9:00, starting at the Immanuel United Methodist Church, moving south on East Street, then west on Main Street, back south on Whittle Avenue, and ending at North Avenue  :  the 175th Celebration Festival runs Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00 in the Olney City Park with live entertainment at the Band Shell, plus food & vendor booths, historic displays, antique vehicles & tractors, a kid’s area, and more  :  all Richland County School District schools will have open houses with building tours every 30 minutes at 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30, including the Elementary School, Middle School, and High School in Olney  :  then the country group Diamond Rio will hit the stage to add to the celebration, in concert at 7:30 Saturday night, with gates opening at 6:30 on the Richland County Fairgrounds – $15 tickets or $20 track admission on sale online, at www.olney175.com  :  the Celebration carries over into Sunday with a barbeque meal and all the fixings provided, with serving from 10:30 to 2:00, while supplies last, in the Olney City Park – the $3 tickets (children 2 & under free) can be bought in advance this week at the Olney City Hall, the Chamber Office, or main locations at Olney Banks  :  Sunday will also be a Free Swim Day at the Musgrove Aquatic Center in Olney  :  and an Ecumenical Service Sunday afternoon at 1:00 at the Band Shell in the City Park, with free admission, will feature music by Brian Free & Assurance – bring your lawn chairs and blankets  :  that’s all this weekend for the Olney and Richland County 175th Anniversary.

 

(NEWTON)  The Embarras River Basin Agency, Incorporated, is still taking applications for the CSBG School Supply Program, which provides required school supplies to eligible children attending K thru 12th grade during the upcoming 2016-2017 school year – those interested should call their local ERBA office for an appointment to apply, plus all applications will be taken on a first come, first serve basis – at the time of application, each applicant must show proof of all family income for the past 90 days, show a social security card for each family member, and show a photo ID for the applicant – the ERBA offices are in Newton, Olney, Robinson, Lawrenceville, and Greenup, plus the counties of Clark, Coles, Edgar, and Douglas.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Big Blue Book Bus is back in Olney this afternoon and evening, from 3:00 until 7:00, at the downtown TrustBank Lot, along Main Street – it’s for area Pre-K thru 8th Grade students – no library card and no ID necessary – sponsored by the Rotary Club of Richland County and Richland County Schools


    The Richland County Farmers Market is set up today, back at its normal location, under the pole barns, in the Olney City Park – that’s farm fresh produce available to the public, from 10:00 to 5:00