LOCAL NEWS

Local News

January 23, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  While it stays dry today thru tonight for the downstate area, the clouds will also hang around for another several hours – eventually some sunshine, especially tomorrow, on Saturday – but, an approaching storm system will bring us rain chances with some warmer air on Sunday – however, we’ll dry out and cool down the first of next week – then warm up into the 40’s by the end of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The former Governor of  Hawaii is taking over as the state’s new Chief Operating Officer – Republican Linda Lingle served in Hawaii from 2002 until 2010 – in fact, she was the first female Governor there and the first with a Jewish background – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced her appointment to his team yesterday – he said Lingle will help Illinois bring about the “biggest turnaround in America”.

 

(OLNEY)  The State’s Board of  Education wants an extra $729 million next year – most of the money would be divvied up among schools to make sure they get about $6,100 for each student – that’s actually required by law, but schools have been shortchanged by the state in recent years – right now, statewide schools are only getting about 89 percent of what they’re supposed to be getting from the state of Illinois.

 

(NEWTON)  The pension case before the State’s Supreme Court will stay on the fast track – union lawyers wanted the Justices to hold off at least a month on hearing oral arguments – they say they need extra time to review some of the paperwork that’s been filed, but that’s been denied – the case will be heard in March.

 

(OLNEY)  Statewide deer hunters came up a bit short in the deer harvest this past hunting season – the State DNR’s preliminary numbers show 145,804 deer were taken during the 2014-2015 seasons – that’s down by about 2,800 deer compared to a year ago – we’ll look at the local harvest numbers in our news next week.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District hosted its 70th annual meeting last night in Olney with approximately 150 people in attendance – with a great buffet meal at The Holiday, plus door prizes, those on hand re-elected two Directors to continue serving Richland County – with 22 years of service, Elaine Snider was elected for another two year term, plus Craig Runyon was elected to his third term of two years – the guest speaker was Larry Cooper of Albion – and the Conservationist of the Year Award was presented to a man who not only has spent time protecting the natural resources on his own land, but has spent years of hours on helping others protect their acres in Richland County – congratulations to Tom Zuber, a true “steward of the land” – the Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District wants to thank everyone, landowners, farmers, local businesses, and others for their support over the past year.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met for a special meeting last evening in Olney – the Board  :  approved a three year contract with the Fraternal Order of Police which involves employees with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department  :  agreed to transfer $500,000 from the County’s Public Safety Fund to the General Fund to cover payroll expenses for correctional officers within the Sheriff’s Department  :  and approved the paperwork for the 2.5 acre land purchase on the west side of Olney for the future site of the Richland County Animal Control – a committee will be formed to explore future funding for a new facility at that location  :  the County Board’s next regular monthly meeting will be February 12th.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night for a special forum at the Olney Fire Station – the City Council heard from the various Department Heads, who shared their priorities about possible projects and needs within the City of Olney – Council members also talked about their priorities and projects needed for the future of Olney – an unofficial tally of the projects was taken and will be used in the future weeks to possibly act upon in the next fiscal year – the Council’s next regular meeting is next Monday night at 7:00.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District is offering another Concealed Carry course later this week at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel – the 16-hour course is tonight and tomorrow night, from 6:00 to 10:00 each night, and then all day Saturday from 8:00 to 4:00 – the cost is $167 for in-District students, which includes tuition & fees, and must be paid in advance to reserve a seat – the cost for enrollees over the age of  60 is $90 – to sign up, call today the toll-free numbers, at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel at 866-982-4322 or at Frontier Community College in Fairfield at 877-464-3687.

 

(OLNEY)  Folks are invited out to see Sadie Gassmann this Saturday, although the parade route for the new 2015 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen has been changed – the small parade in honor of the new Queen will still begin at 11:00, but now it will start at the Fairgrounds, in the Olney City Park, move south on Ludlow, go east on Main Street, then north on East Street, and end at the Immanuel United Methodist Church – it’s at the church that pictures will be available with the new Queen for a $5 per person fee – all are invited out to say congratulations to Miss Illinois and Miss Richland County Fair Queen, Sadie Gassmann, of Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  Registrations are now being accepted for the upcoming Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunges to benefit Special Olympics Illinois – area individuals and teams can sign-up on the special online website, at www.plungeillinois.com – the annual Polar Plunge is one of the premier fundraising events, raising more than $2.1 million last year with over 7,300 plungers taking part statewide – now with twenty different locations throughout Illinois, everyone’s encouraged to get involved – ranging from February 20th thru March 22nd, the plunges are available statewide – three downstate plunges will be held Saturday, February 28th, at the Campus Lake in Carbondale, at Carlyle Lake, and at Lake Sara near Effingham – a week later on March 7th, plunges will be held at Rend Lake and at Lake Decatur as well – for more details, check the official website online at www.plungeillinois.com and help support Special Olympics Illinois.

 

(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 Red Hill High School in Bridgeport from 9:00 to 2:00  :  also today at the Clay City Banking Company from 2:00 to 6:00  :  this Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  and next Tuesday at the Palestine High School from 12:30 to 5:30  :  for more information or details on giving blood or to set up an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Most all Richland County and township roads are posted with weight limits until further notice – pay attention to those weight limit signs posted on each road, whether it’s a 5 or 10 ton restriction – contact the Richland County Highway Department or the respective Township Commissioner if any questions


    It’s a special “Bingo for a Cause” next Monday night at Helia Healthcare of Olney, at 410 East Mack Avenue – live music starts at 6:00 with Bingo at 7:00, plus vegetable soup, chili, and sandwiches will be served from 6:00 to 8:00 – also a silent auction and more – all proceeds go to Swan of Olney


    The Richland County HEA invites the public to its Cultural Enrichment Show this Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 at the Extension Office meeting room in Olney – HEA members will have their quilts, crochet items, photography, woodworking items, & more on display – winners advance to the State Conference


    The annual Sportsman Banquet is this Saturday at The Holiday in Olney, with a free chili dinner, door prizes, guest speaker, & more, all starting at 6:00 – sponsored by the local Truth Hunters & Sportsmen Church, seating is limited – for tickets or more details, call Jeff at 843-8548 or Mike at 843-5057


    The Olney Knights of Columbus will have another Friday night fish fry tonight at the KC Hall along Whittle Avenue in Olney – serving from 5:00 to 7:00 with tickets at the door & carry-outs available


    Congressman John Shimkus will be available to meet with local constituents in Lawrence County this Friday afternoon from 1:00 to 2:30 at the Lawrenceville Civic Center

 

 

 

January 22, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  A weakening frontal boundary across downstate Illinois will give us some clouds today thru tonight, however a high pressure ridge will build into the Midwest by tomorrow, with some sunshine and dry conditions for Friday and Saturday – a weak low pressure system will bring us some rain Sunday, but we’re quickly back to a dry and colder sky for the first half of next week – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Governor Bruce Rauner will be talking about the state’s structural challenges today – he’s slated to give a speech in the Gleacher Center at the University of Chicago – Rauner says Illinois’ money troubles are much worse than people have been led to believe – he says he and his staff uncovered hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in additional debt when the books were opened for the first time last week.

 

(OLNEY)  The poor economy is apparently driving people out of Illinois – according to the Illinois Policy Institute, nearly 95-thousand people left the Land of Lincoln last year – the report shows many of them moved to other states so they could find work, and they took their money with them – the rough estimates reveal that Illinois’ state and local governments lost about $350 million in tax money due to the migration.

 

(NEWTON)  Children who make a trip to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield with their school can get in free – the deal is available now thru the end of February – schools can book their trips thru the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau – for more information about the Library and Museum and on what’s available to the public, check the web at www.PresidentLincoln.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met earlier this week – the Board  :  approved a resolution to issue $4.46 million in General Obligation Community College Bonds – the funding will repair and replace heating & cooling units throughout the IECC District  :  approved a contract to continue to provide professional development units to K thru 12 faculty to fulfill the Illinois State Board of Education license renewal requirements  :  approved two affiliation agreements for the District’s Basic Nurse Assistant Program at Lincoln Trail College with Crawford Memorial Hospital and Heritage Health  :  in personnel matters – accepted the resignations of Lincoln Trail College Softball & Volleyball Coach Ashley Gordon, Lincoln Trail College Process Technology Instructor Christopher Boyd, Wabash Valley College Office Assistant Kimberly Merrick, and Lincoln Trail College Career Advisor Gayle Zaring – also approved the retirement resignation for Lincoln Trail College Remedial Education Instructor Mary Jane Becktell – hired Adam Greathouse as Assistant Dean of Student Services at Olney Central College – moved Veralee Harris from Educational Talent Search to Coordinator of Financial Aid at Olney Central College – approved for special assignment Kristen Selph as Head Volleyball Coach at Lincoln Trail College  :  the next regular meeting for the IECC Board of Trustees will be February 17th at Lincoln Trail College.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s Parks & Recreation Board met last night – the Board  :  discussed and then agreed to recommend that the City Council convert one of the city’s northern tennis courts into 4 temporary Pickleball courts  :  then discussed and voted to include several items into the future Comprehensive Plan  :
*  the paving of all current parking areas in Musgrove Park
*  the installation of lights on the current soccer field at Musgrove Park
*  the demolition of the house next to the baseball fields in Musgrove Park
*  the addition of another set of basketball courts in Musgrove Park
*  and the creation of a 58-spot parking lot near the Babe Ruth Field
All recommendations and suggestions are passed on to the Olney City Council for it’s consideration.

 

(NEWTON)  A Jasper County woman has been sentenced to three years in state prison for the violation of her probation terms and conditions – 61 year old Judy J. Houser, formerly of Newton, was originally found guilty of possessing methamphetamine manufacturing materials and on July 1st of last year was place on 30 months of probation – Houser tested positive for meth use back in November, therefore leading to the new sentence in Jasper County Court earlier this week – Houser will serve her time at the Dwight Correctional Center, to be followed by two year’s parole – State’s Attorney Kevin S. Parker complimented the efforts of the Jasper County Probation Department for its vigilance and enforcement of compliance in this case.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that the Richland County Highway Department and the County’s Township Road Commissioners have portions of the county / township road system under their respective 10-ton or 5-ton weight limits until further notice – it’s all due to the recent warm weather and thaw – the roads are clearly marked with weight limit signs and if any questions, call the County Highway Department at 618-392-3141 or the respective Road Commissioner – the list of County Highways under the 10-ton weight limit is available on our website, at www.freedom929.com, click on the Agriculture News tab and view the list.

 

(OLNEY)  Richland County residents and those from the surrounding area are invited out to welcome home our new 2015 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen, Sadie Gassmann, who’ll be officially be returning to Olney for the first time since being crowned this past Sunday night – a small parade in honor of the new Queen will begin at around 11:00 this Saturday morning at the Immanuel United Methodist Church – the ERHS graduate will ride an Olney Fire Truck down East Street, then west on Main Street, and north on Ludlow Street to the Richland County Fairgrounds in the Olney City Park – Miss Gassmann will be available for pictures both before the parade at the church and afterwards on the Fairgrounds – it will be a chance for everyone to turn out and congratulate our new Miss Illinois County Fair Queen, Sadie Gassmann of Olney.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County HEA invites the public to its Cultural Enrichment Show this Sunday afternoon, January 25th, at the Extension Office meeting room in Olney, from 1:00 to 3:00 – quilts, crochet items, photography, woodworking items, and much more are all eligible for the show, but has to have been made by HEA members – the public’s help in voting will determine the show winners which will be presented at the State Conference in March later this spring – all are invited to check it out this Sunday.

 

(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 – here’s the upcoming blood drives  :  tomorrow at the Red Hill High School in Bridgeport from 9:00 to 2:00  :  also tomorrow at the Clay City Banking  Company from 2:00 to 6:00  :  this Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  and next Tuesday at the Palestine High School from 12:30 to 5:30  :  for more information or details on giving blood or to set up an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  There are several meetings coming up in the City of Olney on this Thursday  :  the Olney City Council will hold a special meeting tonight at 6:30 in the Training Room of the Olney Fire Station on North Walnut Street – the meeting will be a work session to prioritize projects for the coming year  :  the JEDS Board, the Joint Emergency Dispatch Service Board, will have a special meeting today  :  the City of Olney’s Fire Pension Board will meet this morning at 9:00 at the Fire Station  :  all are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    It’s a special “Bingo for a Cause” next Monday night at Helia Healthcare of Olney, at 410 East Mack Avenue – live music starts at 6:00 with Bingo at 7:00, plus vegetable soup, chili, and sandwiches will be served from 6:00 to 8:00 – also a silent auction and more – all proceeds go to Swan of Olney


    The annual Sportsman Banquet is this Saturday at The Holiday in Olney, with a free chili dinner, door prizes, guest speaker, & more, all starting at 6:00 – sponsored by the local Truth Hunters & Sportsmen Church, seating is limited – for tickets or more details, call Jeff at 843-8548 or Mike at 843-5057


    The Olney Knights of Columbus will have another Friday night fish fry this weekend at the KC Hall along Whittle Avenue in Olney – serving from 5:00 to 7:00 with tickets at the door & carry-outs available


    Congressman John Shimkus will be available to meet with local constituents in Lawrence County tomorrow afternoon from 1:00 to 2:30 at the Lawrenceville Civic Center – to schedule an appointment, call the Congressman’s Effingham office at 217-347-7947 or check his website at www.shimkus.house.gov


    The annual meeting of the Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District is tonight – it will include a buffet dinner, Director’s election, various awards, a guest speaker, and much more

 

 

 

January 21, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  A fast-moving weather system will track across Northern Illinois today – while the northern half of the state will get some light snow, we’ll stay dry with plenty of sunshine and just a little cooler air in place compared to the past several days – an area of high pressure then builds in to keep us dry for the rest of the work week and Saturday – maybe some light snow, then rain on Sunday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  A recent study by the University of Illinois Institute of Government & Public Affairs shows there is no easy was to repair Illinois’ chronic annual deficit – the Fiscal Futures Project indicates that Illinois currently faces a $9 billion annual deficit that will continue to grow to an estimated $14 billion by the year 2026 – officials say solving the debt problem will require a long-term fiscal plan that includes tax increases, spending cuts, economic growth, and more importantly, new policies to restore fiscal balance.

 

(OLNEY)  While Illinois’ new Governor Bruce Rauner has finished up a very busy first week in office, the State’s new First Lady has been busy as well – Diana Rauner is preparing for initiatives that could vary from children’s advocacy to restoring the Capitol City’s Executive Mansion – some of the First Lady’s interest in children comes from her full-time, unpaid job, as president of the non-profit group “Ounce of Prevention”, which promotes early childhood education throughout the State of Illinois and the Midwest.

 

(NEWTON)  University of Illinois and state officials have approved the construction of a 5.87 megawatt solar farm on the school’s Urbana-Champaign campus – first approved by the U of  I Trustees back in 2012, the solar farm will be located on the south edge of the campus, on the south side of Windsor Road, and will be one of the largest on-site university arrays in the nation – the EPA says the solar farm could produce about 2% of the campus’ electrical demand in fiscal year 2015 – construction will begin later this spring.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced that due to the recent warm up and thaw, certain county roads will have the 10 ton weight limit applied effective at 12 noon today – these roads will be posted with the respective weight limit signs and any questions should be directed to the Richland County Engineer by calling 618-392-3141 – portions of the following county highways are affected  :
*  Mt. Gilead Lane (CH 14)  :  between Ridge Road and Illinois Route 130
*  Pleasant Ridge Lane (CH 10)  :  between Passport Road and Timber Trail Road
*  Timber Trail Road (CH 10)  :  between Pleasant Ridge Lane and Seven Hills Lane
*  Seven Hills Lane (CH 10)  :  between Timber Trail Road and the Olney City Limits
*  Prairieton Road (CH 1)  :  between U.S. Route 50 and Dundas Lane
*  Prairieton Road (CH 6)  :  between Berryville Lane and the Wabash County line
*  Berryville Lane (CH 20)  :  between Illinois Route 130 and Gentry Road
*  Gentry Road (CH 20)  :  between Berryville Lane and Seminary Lane
*  Seminary Lane (CH 20)  :  between Gentry Road and Shipley Road
*  Bennington Road (CH 19)  :  between Seminary Lane and the Edwards County line
*  Wynoose Road (CH 9)  :  between Elbow Lane and the Wayne County line
*  Elbow Lane (CH 8)  :  between the Wynoose Road and Illinois Route 130
*  and Higgin Switch Road (CH 11)  :  between U.S. Route 50 and Elbow Lane
this list is also available on our website – click on the Agriculture tab, at www.freedom929.com
also be alert to the township roads in Richland County that may be posted as way – look for the respective weight limit signs on the various township roads in Richland County.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night – the Council  :  approved the payment of bills and accounts payable worth $75,157 – plus the pre-paid bills worth $448,544  :  approved the $115,251 pay estimate to B&T Drainage for work on the Brookside / Xander’s Addition project  :  agreed to send two Police Department employees for training in February, with the cost at $125 per person plus expenses  :  on a 6 to 1 vote, authorized the $5,500 expenditure of funds for the 2015 dues & donations with applications due by February 13th  :  agreed to advertise for a part-time Police Officer with application due by February 6th  :  approved the procedure to sell surplus property of the City of Newton  :  heard various committee reports, one of which discussed improvements for Peterson Park and the Eagle Trail  :  no other action was taken after a 13-minute closed session to discuss litigation and negotiations  :  next meeting is February 3rd.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs presented their coveted “Friend of Illinois County Fair” awards at its annual convention this past weekend in Springfield : one went to Ray and Janice Swyear of New Athens, celebrating their 57th year in the amusement industry – Swyear Amusements is one of the oldest Illinois based traveling amusement companies and one of the longest serving associate members of the IAAF : another award went to Robert “Bob” Scherer of Genoa, who has served on the Boone County Fair Board for 18 years : and the other recipient is Jerry Jacobs of Milledgeville, a 26 year board member of the Carroll County Fair Association : each year the IAAF recognizes individuals who are outstanding Illinois county fair supporters, volunteer workers, or innovators in the industry that are respected by their colleagues and peers at the 104th annual convention – over 3,500 county fair members and friends spent this past weekend selecting their entertainment and service needs for the upcoming 2015 county fair season.

 

(NEWTON)  Cellular One of East Central and Southeastern Illinois is offering $13,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors in its 11-county service area – each of Cellular One’s 13 stores will award a $1,000 scholarship to a 2015 spring high school graduate who is a Cell One customer or is the child of a Cell One customer and will attend one of the 2-year or 4-year state colleges within the company’s service area – other requirements apply – forms are available at any of the Cell One stores, including those in Newton, Olney, Robinson, Lawrenceville, Flora, Mattoon, Marshall, Casey, Paris, Charleston, or Danville – applications must be submitted to the Cell One headquarters in Danville by March 19th – see your local store for details.

 

(OLNEY)  The Dodransbicentennial Commission is conducting a logo contest for a logo to use in celebration of Olney and Richland County’s 175th Anniversary – the logo will represent the community in a variety of media and would be presented in a digital format – the creator will be awarded a prize of $250 and rights to the winning logo would be assigned to the City of Olney for its use – the deadline to submit logos is March 2nd and logos can be submitted online to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – for more details, call the Olney City Hall any weekday from 8:00 to 4:00 or check the city’s website available online.

 

(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 – here’s the upcoming blood drives  :  this Friday at the Red Hill High School in Bridgeport from 9:00 to 2:00  :  also Friday at the Clay City Banking  Company from 2:00 to 6:00  :  this Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  and next Tuesday at the Palestine High School from 12:30 to 5:30  :  for more details on giving blood or to schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  There are several meetings coming up in the City of Olney  :  the Olney City Council will hold a special meeting tomorrow night at 6:30 in the Training Room of the Olney Fire Station on North Walnut Street – the meeting will be a work session to prioritize projects for the coming fiscal year  :  the JEDS Board, the Joint Emergency Dispatch Service Board, will have a special meeting tomorrow  :  the City of Olney’s Fire Pension Board will meet tomorrow morning at 9:00 at the Olney Fire Station with several items on its agenda  :  and the City of Olney’s Parks & Recreation Board will meet tonight at the Olney City Hall, starting at 6:00  :  all of these listed meetings are open to the public at each of their respective sites.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual Sportsman Banquet is this Saturday at The Holiday in Olney, with a free chili dinner, door prizes, guest speaker, & more, all starting at 6:00 – sponsored by the local Truth Hunters & Sportsmen Church, seating is limited – for tickets or more details, call Jeff at 843-8548 or Mike at 843-5057


    The Olney Knights of Columbus will have another Friday night fish fry this weekend at the KC Hall along Whittle Avenue in Olney – serving from 5:00 to 7:00 with tickets at the door & carry-outs available


    Congressman John Shimkus will be available to meet with local constituents in Lawrence County this Friday afternoon – that’s from 1:00 to 2:30 at the Lawrenceville Civic Center – to schedule an appointment, call the Congressman’s Effingham office at 217-347-7947 or check his website at www.shimkus.house.gov


    East Richland High School will host its Freshmen Orientation tonight, starting in the Sliva Auditorium at 5:30 – then a chance to meet teachers in their classrooms at 6:30 – followed by free pulled pork and ice cream in the Ag Room – all local 8th graders and their parents / guardians are encouraged to attend tonight


   The Richland County Farm Bureau will host an AgriVisor Marketing meeting with Dale Durchholz this evening at 5:30 at The Holiday in Olney – to RSVP, contact the Farm Bureau office in Olney

 

 

 

January 20, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  An upper level weather disturbance will track southeast across the Midwest this afternoon thru tomorrow, bringing with it some clouds for us, but some spotty light rain to our north – we’ll enjoy the warmer-than-normal temperatures one more day before the weather system brings in some cooler air behind it for the rest of the work week – we could see some rain and/or snow on Sunday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Governor Rauner has signed an executive order requiring state agencies & others to report how many minorities and Veterans are in training and apprentice programs – while the order was signed yesterday, during Martin Luther King Junior Day, the measure applies to labor organizations, contractors, and subcontractors, who must report the information with a 30 day period – Rauner says the order is focused on the goal of revealing causes and identifying ways to solve the injustice of under employment.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Revenue has announced that due to newly implemented security measures to help deter identity theft and fraud, statewide residents shouldn’t expect quick state income tax returns in 2015 – while both electronic and paper filings will be affected, electronic filings still will be quicker – the delay could add a week or two to the tax return time-line, depending on the filing process.

 

(NEWTON)  Working more and sleeping less may not get you ahead in your career – a new study by the Division of Sleep Medicine shows sleeping less to work more leads to an inability to focus, a draining of one’s mood, and less access to higher-level brain functions – all of which could lead to increased stress levels and an inability to solve problems and find creative solutions – researchers say the best way to achieve career success is to try and get between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police in District 12 were busy during the twelve months of  2014 – Troopers in the ten area counties of  Richland, Jasper, Crawford, Clark, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Clay, Marion, and Lawrence responded to 4,031 calls and initiated 19,535 incidents during the entire year – the yearly enforcement figures totaled 10,363 citations and 10,693 written warnings, which included 4,889 speeding citations, 1,785 seatbelt citations, and 198 DUI’s – State Troopers investigated 960 traffic wrecks, involving 17 fatalities – during the 12 months, there were 7,290 citations and 4,373 warnings issued for the “Fatal Four” violations, which include speeding, failure to wear a seatbelt, distracted driving, and DUI.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met last night in Newton – the Board  :  agreed to help the Newton Police Department purchase electronic school speed signs to be placed in front of the respective schools in Newton – the up to $1,000 amount will help with the cost of $3,200 per sign  :  accepted the base fuel bid from Wabash Valley Service Company on a 4 to 1 vote  :  discussed the District’s Strategic Plan, including the five goals set forth within it and how to publicize them  :  discussed the District’s Budget with a need for the District to reduce a budget deficit of at least $1 million by the end of fiscal year 2016 – a Budget Advisory Committee has now met on three occasions  :  discussed the contract renewal with the Jasper County Boys & Girls Park  :  talked about possible improvements to the wireless infrastructure at the High School & Junior High School by possibly using E-Rate funds, if available – the District’s share of the $15,000 cost for hardware would be approximately $4,500  :  heard reports from the District’s schools  :  approved the Summer Food Service program waiver  :  recognized the retirement of Bus Chaperone Cynthia Benefiel  :  accepted resignations from 7th Grade Girls Basketball Coach Elijah Knepper and from Junior High Girls Track Coach Emily Flach  :  hired David Sheppard as a Bus Driver  :  approved Substitute Teacher Aides Gloria Litzelman & Amy Tarr  :  the Board’s next regular meeting will be February 16th.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police have announced that more than 91,000 concealed carry permits have been issued statewide since Illinois began allowing guns to be carried in public a year ago – Cook County led the list with almost 24,000 permits while suburban DuPage County was a distant second with nearly 5,600 permits – on the flip side, the state has denied more than 2,300 applications in the past year – looking at some of the area numbers  :  Marion County had the largest amount of permits issued at 525, followed by Effingham County at 327, White County at 305, Crawford County at 282, Wayne County at 259, Lawrence County at 211, Richland County at 207, Wabash County at 175, Clay County at 166, Cumberland County at 160, Jasper County at 152, and Edwards County at 113  :  Illinois became the last state in the nation to sign off on allowing concealed carry in 2013, but taking nearly another year before actual permits were issued.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Republicans are getting ready for their annual Lincoln Day Supper, set for Saturday, February 7th, to be held at the Sunrise Youth Center and Community Building in Newton – the social hour begins at 6:00 with the catered meal served at 6:30 – the $15 tickets are currently available from any Republican Committee member, or call Judy at 618-783-3185 – call now for your February 7th tickets.

 

(OLNEY)  The start of the new year is a great time to make choices that help better the environment and taking part in the local curbside recycling program is a great place to begin – the City of Olney’s curbside recycling program accepts newspapers, office paper, magazines, cardboard, aluminum cans, tin cans, all plastics (numbers 1 thru 7), plus small appliances and small electronics – in fact, Olney Mayor Ray Vaughn says he will pay the first month of recycling service for any new curbside recycling enrollees during this month of January – call or visit the Olney City Hall, open Monday thru Friday, each day from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(OLNEY)  East Richland High School will host its Freshmen Orientation Night this coming Wednesday evening at the ERHS Sliva Auditorium from 5:30 to 6:30 – all local 8th graders and their parents and/or guardians are encouraged to attend this information meeting as faculty will be on hand to discuss their classes and to answer any questions concerning high school programs – packets will be available at the door at 5:20, the welcome and a curriculum presentation starts at 5:30, and then those attending can meet with the various ERHS teachers by department – afterwards, free pulled-pork and ice cream will be available in the Ag Room, provided by the Ag and Tech Industrial Departments – all future freshmen at East Richland High School and their parents and/or guardians are invited out Wednesday night to Freshmen Orientation.

 

(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  :  this Friday at the Red Hill High School in Bridgeport from 9:00 to 2:00  :  also Friday at the Clay City Banking  Company from 2:00 to 6:00  :  this Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  and next Tuesday at the Palestine High School from 12:30 to 5:30  :  for more details on giving blood or to schedule an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual Sportsman Banquet is set for this Saturday, January 24th, at The Holiday in Olney, with a free chili dinner, door prizes, guest speaker, & more – all sponsored by the local Truth Hunters & Sportsmen Church – there’s limited seating – for tickets, call Jeff at 843-8548 or Mike at 843-5057


    The Olney Knights of Columbus will have another Friday night fish fry this weekend along Whittle Avenue in Olney – serving from 5:00 to 7:00 with tickets at the door & carry-outs available


   The Richland County Farm Bureau will host an AgriVisor Marketing meeting with Dale Durchholz tomorrow evening at 5:30 at The Holiday in Olney – to RSVP, contact the Farm Bureau office in Olney


    The Jasper County Health Department will host an immunization clinic today at its offices in Newton from 10:00 to 6:30 – to sign up, or for more details, call the Department at 618-783-4436

 

 

 

January 19, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  Plenty of sunshine and still above normal temperatures will prevail across the region today as the surface ridge pushes off  to the east – a weak upper level disturbance will move across the Upper Midwest tonight thru tomorrow, bringing some clouds, although most of the light rain will stay to our north – another disturbance will bring us more clouds and cooler air later in the week – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Governor Bruce Rauner has named his new Department of Agriculture Director – it’s Phillip Nelson, who served several years as head of the Illinois Farm Bureau – the appointment must be approved by the Illinois Senate – one of Nelson’s plans is to repair the fairgrounds in both Springfield and Du Quoin.

 

(OLNEY)  University of Illinois trustees meet later this week and the word is that they will freeze in-state tuition rates at the school’s three campuses – however, the tuition is expected to increase by 2 percent for non-Illinois residents – Trustees are also expected to approve Timothy Killeen as the next U of I President.

 

(NEWTON)  There’s still no word who hit the big Mega Millions jackpot last Friday – the winning ticket was sold in Glendale Heights – the winner will get a cash payout of about $181 million before taxes – the winning ticket holder has a year from the drawing date to claim the jackpot thru the Illinois State Lottery.

 

(OLNEY)  The new Miss Illinois County Fair Queen was crowned last night in Springfield and it was Miss Richland County Fair Queen, Sadie Gassmann, of Olney – the ERHS graduate was chosen from among 74 contestants and will now reign over the 2015 Illinois State Fair and Du Quoin State Fair, plus travel the state visiting county fairs later this summer – Miss Morgan County, Brianna Klein, was the 1st-Runner Up, while Miss Henry County, Maggie Schlindwein, was the 2nd-Runner Up – three other area queens were in the list of 15 finalists, including Miss Clay County Tia Rinehart, Miss Marion County Morgan Belcher, and Miss Coles County Lacey Solomon – Sadie Gassmann is Richland County’s fourth Miss Illinois County Fair Queen, following in the steps of Misty Ferguson in 1992, Nikki Bauman in 1993, and Jamie Bolander in 2003 – congratulations to Sadie, her Mother Gwen, and all the supporters of the county fair pageant – also a tip of the hat to Miss Jasper County, Andrea Cartright, for representing our region as well – the Fair Queen Pageant is part of the annual convention of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs, which will wrap up this morning with a Board of Directors breakfast and meeting – members of the Richland County Farm & Fair Association, plus those from the Jasper County Fair Board and others, are in attendance.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation continues into a two vehicle crash that occurred this past Friday morning at shortly after 9:00 on Illinois Route 130, two miles north of Olney – the Illinois State Police still have not identified the two men involved – the information available indicates an 89 year old man from West Liberty was northbound, when his pickup truck went into the southbound lane, striking head-on, a pickup truck driven by a 24 year old man from Yale – both men were flown from the scene to regional hospitals for treatment of serious injuries – tickets are pending – that’s all the information available to this point from the Illinois State Police – Richland County emergency personnel assisted at the accident scene Friday morning.

 

(NEWTON)  The Internal Revenue Service has issued another Tax Scam & Consumer Alert as an aggressive and sophisticated scam targeting taxpayers is circulating throughout the country – the callers claim to be an employee of the IRS, but they are not – the con artists sound very convincing, using fake names and bogus IRS identification numbers – in fact, even their phone numbers on caller ID have been altered to look like the IRS is calling – the victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly with a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer, otherwise they’ll face prosecution – in some cases, victims are told they have a refund awaiting them, but they must provide personal information, such bank account numbers, etc.. – folks should remember that the IRS never calls to demand an immediate payment, plus the first contact made by the IRS with any taxpayer is by mail – for more information or details about the statewide scam, go to the Internal Revenue Service website online, at www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams.

 

(OLNEY)  The First National Bank in Olney and the Richland County Farm Bureau are co-sponsoring a bus trip to the 50th Anniversary National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday, February 12th, less than four weeks away – the $25 per person fee includes transportation and dinner at the Log Inn – the bus will leave Olney at 6:30 that morning and return by 7:30 – to reserve a spot as soon as possible, call the First National Bank in Olney or the Richland County Farm Bureau office in Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District is offering another Concealed Carry course later this week at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel – the 16-hour course is this Thursday night and Friday night from 6:00 to 10:00 each night and then all day Saturday from 8:00 to 4:00 – the cost is $167 for in-District students, which includes tuition & fees, and must be paid in advance to reserve a seat – the cost for enrollees over the age of  60 is $90 – to sign up or for details, call toll-free, Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel at 866-982-4322 or Frontier Community College in Fairfield at 877-464-3687.

 

(OLNEY)  East Richland High School will host its Freshmen Orientation Night this coming Wednesday evening at the ERHS Sliva Auditorium from 5:30 to 6:30 – all local 8th graders and their parents and/or guardians are encouraged to attend this information meeting as faculty will be on hand to discuss their classes and to answer any questions concerning high school programs – packets will be available at the door at 5:20, the welcome and a curriculum presentation starts at 5:30, and then those attending can meet with the various ERHS teachers by department – afterwards, free pulled-pork and ice cream will be available in the Ag Room, provided by the Ag and Tech Industrial Departments – all future freshmen at East Richland High School and their parents and/or guardians are invited out Wednesday night to Freshmen Orientation.

 

(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 Red Brush Christian Church north of Louisville from 1:30 to 6:30  :  also today at the Robinson VFW from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org – a big “thanks” to those that turned out to give blood yesterday at the St. Joseph Community Club in Stringtown.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Mark your calendars – the Richland County Relay For Life “kickoff” event will be held Thursday night, January 29th, at The Holiday in Olney – starting at 6:00, all are invited out to attend later this month


    The Jasper County Health Department will host an immunization clinic tomorrow at its offices in Newton from 10:00 to 6:30 – to sign up, or for more details, call the Department at 618-783-4436


    It’s another fundraiser at Monical’s Pizza in Olney to benefit the East Orchard Christian Academy in Olney – when ordering at Monical’s today thru tonight, fill out a fundraising form, and a portion of your receipt will be donated to the EOCA for needed equipment & programs


    The RMH Auxiliary has a fundraising “uniform sale” today in the hospital’s private dining rooms from now until 3:00 – proceeds to help with Auxiliary projects – that’s today at Richland Memorial Hospital