LOCAL NEWS

Local News

February 12, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A weak clipper system will quickly track away from Illinois today as most of the heavier snow stays to our west and north – on the back side will be more arctic air moving in for tonight and tomorrow – then a major weather pattern shift will begin a slow warming trend, although we’ll have more snow Sunday and eventually rain by Monday afternoon, we’re back in 40’s by the end of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois Emergency Management Agency was notified yesterday that its request for a deadline extension to seek federal aid for recent flooding that affected 19 Illinois counties has been granted – the original deadline for submission was today, this February 12th, but now the state has until February 26th, two weeks from today, to request federal assistance – IEMA stated that it needed the extra time to review the documents and other information dealing with a possible request for aid.

 

(OLNEY)  Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday granted two clemency petitions, however denied 98 others – the 100 clemency petitions the Governor acted upon were part of dockets dating back to April 2008 – this is the eighth set of petitions that Governor Rauner has reviewed since taking office – approximately 800 petitions remain from the previous Blagojevich and Quinn administrations dating back to 2009 – a granted clemency request allows the petitioner to seek expungement of their conviction thru the court system.

 

(NEWTON)  University of Illinois interim Chancellor Barbara  Wilson has announced the school hopes to name a new Athletic Director by the end of this month – the university is looking for a replacement for Mike Thomas, who was fired back on November 9th after several accusations of coach misconduct – the announcement yesterday is in response to several questions by business and U of  I alumni leaders.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met last night in Olney – the Board  :  approved county claims for January worth $112,313 – among the bills were $24,391 for insurance, $8,900 for lawyer fees, $8,000 for electricity, and over $1,200 for a sprinkler safety inspection  :  approved the purchase of a pickup truck priced at $39,200  :  agreed to give $25,000 to the Claremont-BonPas Fire Department for the purchase of much-needed firefighting equipment  :  approved the $5,169 yearly fee for the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission  :  approved the $7,305 purchase of a belt unloader for the Highway Department to spread gravel  :  approved the annual liquor license for Berryville Vineyards  :  approved the appointment of Rob Anniss to the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission  :  approved the local support of the ILLINOISouth Tourism group  :  noted that the State of Illinois has shifted the responsibility and expense of 9-1-1 address sign maintenance to the county  :  agreed to seek a 50/50 matching grant to help purchase and install security cameras in the courthouse  :  in the Public Building Commission report, noted the courthouse 3rd floor improvement work should be complete by mid-March with work to soon start on the 2nd floor in the near future  :  took no other action after a short 10-minute closed session to briefly discuss personnel and negotiations  :  and said a big “thank you” to the Richland County 4-H Clubs for serving supper  :  the Richland County Board will have its next regular monthly meeting on Thursday night, March 10th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board met last night in Newton – the Board  :  agreed to place a County Highway Department Materials Tax resolution on the November ballot  :  approved the appointment of Daniel Alzate as the Ambulance Department Manager effective immediately  :  approved the installation of smoke detectors and security cameras at the Ambulance Building at a cost of just over $4,900  :  agreed to repair the courthouse basement restroom for under $1,000  :  approved the furnace replacement for the courthouse upstairs, priced at $7,638  :  discussed the County Jail renovation work and 9-1-1 renovations, but took no action  :  reviewed various other committee reports, including those from Animal Control, the Health Department, and the County Offices  :  also heard from a concerned citizen about the County’s tax system  :  the next regular meeting for the Jasper County Board will be on Thursday night, March 10th.

 

(OLNEY)  A downstate federal jury had sided with a Richland County man who claimed to be a victim of excessive police force during a stop near Benton back on April 17th, 2012 – following a four day trial at the federal courthouse in East St. Louis, the jury’s verdict included $32,092 for compensatory and punitive damages for 35 year old Isaac Capps of Olney – six law enforcement officers were named as defendants in the case, including three State Troopers (Kevin Drake, Jared Freeman, and Shawn Isaacs), two Franklin County Deputies (Kevin Roye and Brice Shaffer), and a West Frankfort Policeman (James Trogolo) – Capps, who was seeking a settlement of $3.6 million, claimed multiple officers made excessive use of their “tasers” during the stop – authorities say Capps was pulled over after another driver reported a possible domestic dispute with a passenger, plus they say the officers followed normal law enforcement protocol – the Southern Illinoisan report indicates that the defendants have until the end of the month to appeal.

 

(NEWTON)  The Norris Electric Cooperative’s annual meeting is tomorrow at Newton Community High School, starting at 11:00 – the business meeting will be followed by a luncheon and live entertainment – Norris Electric Cooperative members attending will receive a $10 bill credit, plus be eligible for attendance prizes – all members are encouraged to attend – for more, check the website at  www.norriselectric.com.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  A reminder that County Clerk’s offices can now mail out Vote by Mail ballots, plus Early Voting is now underway at County Clerk’s offices in Illinois – residents also have from now until next Tuesday, February 16th, to make sure they are registered to vote for the March 15th Primary Election – additional information about early voting hours and how to submit an application to vote by mail can be obtained by calling or stopping by the Jasper County or Richland County Clerk’s offices in Newton or Olney respectively – the offices are open each day, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give the “gift of life” at their next opportunity, especially now with very low blood supplies in the downstate & Midwestern regions – here’s some area blood drives coming up over the next week  :  tomorrow at the Olney Wal-Mart SuperCenter from 11:00 to 3:00  :  Sunday at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Effingham from 8:30 to 12:30  :  next Monday afternoon at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  and three area drives next Tuesday, the 16th – at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00 – at the Neoga High School from 1:00 to 6:00 – and at the Kluthe Civic Center in Dieterich from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets are much needed.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that most all City and Village Halls will be closed next Monday, February 15th, in observance of President’s Day – after today, they’ll all reopen with regular office hours next Tuesday, the 16th  :  also, the City of Olney’s Brush Dump will be closed on Monday, but will be open next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as normal, from 10:00 to 4:00, each of those days  :  plus, the area trash and curbside recycling pick up will remain on their same schedule next Monday and all of next week with no delays.

 

REMINDERS  :
    It’s the 20th annual Rotary Trivia Contest coming up this Sunday afternoon at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 2:00, with registration at 1:30 – teams of four will compete for fun & prizes at a cost of $10 per person – challenge other businesses, churches, families, or friends – free snacks and drinks provided


    The 16th annual Old Post Bluegrass Jam is this Sunday at Vincennes University’s Beckes Student Union from 9:00 to 4:00, Illinois time – it’s free admission with food & beverages on sale – along with musicians in different jam sessions at the same time, an open stage in the Food Court will feature various bands

  
    The Bend Community Club has a Valentine’s Breakfast this Sunday morning from 8:00 to 12 noon at the St. Valentine’s Hall in the Bend, just south & east of Ste. Marie – tickets at the door – carry-outs available


     The Willow Hill United Methodist Church will have its “Valentines Dinner” tomorrow evening at 5:00 – the best cooks in Jasper County are at it again in Willow Hill – for details, call  618-322-0352


    The First United Methodist Church is sponsoring a free showing of the movie “War Room” tonight at The Venue, just north of the church at 303 South Fair Street – starting at 7:00 tonight, the movie is free to watch, plus there will be free child care provided, along with popcorn & soda – all are invited to attend


    The 7th annual OCC Foundation Wine Tasting Affair is tonight at the Richland Country Club from 6:00 to 9:00 – various wines featured, plus light hors d’oeuvres – tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door


    The Olney VFW has another Taco Night tonight from 5:30 to 7:30, featuring tacos, nachos, taco salad, & more – all proceeds from their 50/50 raffle will be donated to The Master’s Hands in Olney – plus the Master’s Hands will have a bake sale and some t-shirts for sale – that’s tonight at the Olney VFW


    The Newton VFW Post will host a benefit “fish fry” tonight from 4:00 to 7:00 – it’s all-you-can-eat with dine-in or carry-out meals – proceeds go to PTO supported programs at Newton Elementary School


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney has its annual Salad Bar Luncheon today from 11:00 to 1:30 in the St. Joe Cafeteria – both dine-in and carry-outs available – the Country Kitchen will feature homemade noodles, baked goods, baby quilts, & more – the $6 tickets are on sale at local banks - also on sale at the door


    The RMH Auxiliary will host a fundraising “bake sale” this morning with the homemade baked items for sale from now until sold out – that’s in the Heim Room at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney


    For those unable to stop by last evening, the ERBA Office in Newton will distribute remaining Federal Surplus commodities this afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30 – normal requirements apply

 

 

 

February 11, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A weak surface high pressure ridge will give us some sunshine today but it will be short-lived as another clipper system will bring us more clouds and a chance of more light snow late tonight thru the day tomorrow – on the back side of the front is more cold, arctic air – plus another low moves thru with snow on Sunday thru Sunday night – then dry and back into the 40’s by next Wednesday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is asking its federal counterpart for more time to assess damage from recent floods that struck nearly two dozen counties – the state agency has asked FEMA to extend tomorrow’s deadline until March 14th – IEMA says it needs more time is to review local damage reports – the findings will help determine if Illinois should seek federal financial aid.

 

(OLNEY)  The State Education Board has approved 29 school districts for low-interest and zero-interest bonds to pay for the construction and remodeling of schools – the bond amounts range from a low $670,000 to a high of $50 million – the $495 million program that was created in 2009 as part of a federal stimulus package – nearly 200 statewide construction applications were considered using a priority ranking process.

 

(NEWTON)  A Chicago-based research group says cleaning up Illinois’ budget mess will require difficult decisions such as raising the income tax, more spending cuts, and imposing taxes on food, services, & some retirement income – the Civic Federation’s Institute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability says a tax hike of up to 5% is recommended as Illinois faces a roughly $5 billion budget deficit this year alone, a number that grows daily – the group’s officials say “there’re no more politically popular solutions left” – action is needed now.

 

(NEWTON)  There are two county meetings coming up tonight – the Jasper County Board will have its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 in the Jasper County Office Building in Newton – the Richland County Board will have its regular monthly meeting tonight at 7:00 in the County Jail meeting room – the Board’s Finance Committee will meet an hour earlier at 6:00 tonight – all these meetings are open to the public  :  meanwhile, the City of Olney has announced that tonight’s scheduled Tree Board meeting is cancelled.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s been nearly a week now that the State of Illinois reversed its position on withholding payments for their share of the salaries for local Supervisor of Assessments, Public Defenders, and County State’s Attorneys – it was a week ago today that White County State’s Attorney Denton Aud filed suit against the State Comptroller office and the Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue, noting that the state had failed to pay its share of the salaries since July 1st of last year – it was a day later, last Friday, that the State announced its policy switch and that it will be releasing support payments to every Illinois county.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  A reminder that County Clerk’s offices can now mail out Vote by Mail ballots, plus Early Voting is now underway at County Clerk’s offices in Illinois – residents also have from now until next Tuesday, February 16th, to make sure they are registered to vote for the March 15th Primary Election – additional information about early voting hours and how to submit an application to vote by mail can be obtained by calling or stopping by the Jasper County or Richland County Clerk’s offices in Newton or Olney respectively – the offices are open each day, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NEWTON)  The Norris Electric Cooperative’s annual meeting is this weekend at Newton Community High School with all cooperative members encouraged to attend – starting at 11:00 Saturday morning, the business meeting will be followed by a luncheon served by Martin’s IGA, plus the local band “Firebox” will provide entertainment during the meal – Norris Electric Cooperative members attending will receive a $10 bill credit, plus be eligible for attendance prizes – the local cooperative serves more than 19,420 members over 4,078 miles of electric line in parts of eight regional counties, including Jasper, Richland, Wabash, Lawrence, Crawford, Effingham, Cumberland, and Clark – that’s this coming Saturday at NCHS.

 

(OLNEY)  Acting on a tip from the public, the Wayne County Emergency Management team and local law enforcement officials were called out to search a wooded area south of Fairfield last Saturday, looking for evidence related to the disappearance of Megan Nichols – however, the over two hour search near the Burnt Prairie blacktop by Wayne County authorities came up empty, with no evidence found of the missing teenager – the 15 year old girl was last seen at her Fairfield home back on July 4th, 2014.

 

(OLNEY)  Whitetails Unlimited is sponsoring the River Bottom Stump Sitters Banquet on Saturday, February 27th, at The Holiday in Olney – tickets are on sale for the special sporting event, which will feature a two-meat buffet and an auction with prizes including a wide array of products, from firearms, outfitter packages, hunting & outdoor-related equipment, plus artwork and collectibles only available at a WTU event – the social hour starts at 5:00 with dinner at 7:00 – tickets are $35 each, $15 for a spouse, or $10 for children 15 & under – the ticket order deadline is February 20th, a week from this Saturday – no tickets will be sold at the door – call Tim at  618-335-9631 or go online at  www.whitetailsunlimited.com.

 

(OLNEY)  Bowlers are needed for the upcoming Bowl For Kid’s Sake, the only major fundraiser for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County – as in the past, the event will be held on two consecutive weekends at the Olney Bowling Center – that’s back-to-back Saturdays and Sundays on February 20th and 21st and a week later on February 27th and 28th – each bowler is asked to raise $30 in donations and they’ll in return receive free bowling and free shoe rental – so challenge your co-workers, family members, and/or other groups as teams should consist of five people – call the BBBS Office in Olney for details at 392-3863.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give the “gift of life” at their next opportunity, especially now with very low blood supplies in the downstate & Midwestern regions – here’s some area blood drives coming up over the next week  :  today at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Olney Wal-Mart SuperCenter from 11:00 to 3:00  :  Sunday at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Effingham from 8:30 to 12:30  :  next Monday afternoon at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  and three area drives next Tuesday, the 16th – at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 to 6:00 – at the Neoga High School from 1:00 to 6:00 – and at the Kluthe Civic Center in Dieterich from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed in our region.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Bend Community Club will host a Valentine’s Breakfast this Sunday morning with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon at the St. Valentine’s Hall in the Bend, just south & east of Ste. Marie – it’s open to the public with tickets at the door and carry-outs available – all ages are invited


    The 7th annual OCC Foundation Wine Tasting Affair is tomorrow night at the Richland  Country Club from 6:00 to 9:00 – various wines will be featured, plus light hors d’oeuvres will be served – tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door – call the OCC Foundation office for tickets, at  618-395-7777, extension 2003


    The Olney VFW has another Taco Night tomorrow night from 5:30 to 7:30, featuring tacos, nachos, taco salad, & more – all proceeds from their 50/50 raffle will be donated to The Master’s Hands in Olney – plus the Master’s Hands will have a bake sale and some t-shirts for sale – that’s Friday night at the Olney VFW


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney has its annual Salad Bar Luncheon tomorrow from 11:00 to 1:30 in the St. Joe Cafeteria – both dine-in and carry-outs available – the $6 tickets are on sale at local banks & the St. Joe Parish Office – the Country Kitchen will feature homemade noodles, baked goods, baby quilts, & more


    The RMH Auxiliary will host a fundraising “bake sale” tomorrow with the homemade baked items for sale from 7:00 in the morning until sold out – it will be in the Heim Room at Richland Memorial Hospital


    Culver’s Restaurant in Effingham will host a fundraiser tonight for Special Olympics from 5:00 to 7:00 – 10% of each cash receipt will assist local Special Olympians attend & take part in this year’s Summer Games in Bloomington/Normal – the District 12 Illinois State Police encourages everyone to stop by


    The Embarras River Basin Agency will distribute Federal Surplus commodities this afternoon from 4:00 to 6:00 at the ERBA office on West Jourdan Street in Newton – for those unable to stop by today, the “after hours” distribution is tomorrow from 1:30 to 3:30 – bring your own bags – normal requirements apply


    The Richland County Retired Teacher’s Association will meet today at The Holiday, starting at 11:00 – the special topic featured will be Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring as the local retired teachers will be donating to the upcoming Bowl For Kid’s Sake fundraiser – all local retired teachers are invited

 

 

 

February 10, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  As the cold conditions continue today in the Midwest, an approaching clipper system will move thru by tonight, giving us a chance of some more light snow with no real accumulation expected – with a dry & cold day tomorrow, we’ll warm up a little to around the freezing mark on Friday – but yet another clipper moves thru with more arctic air for the weekend – maybe snow on Sunday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – State Attorney General Lisa Madigan recognized yesterday as “2016 Safer Internet Day” as her office encouraged parents & educators to help students adopt healthy online habits – in fact, recommendations have been developed to help youth take steps to make sure personal information is secure online – never share passwords or account information, connect only to trusted networks & websites, remove unknown friends & followers, change usernames with personal details, create strong passwords, and keep all firewall, anti-spyware, & anti-virus programs current – never take online safety for granted.

 

(OLNEY)  A commemorative coin featuring a scene from the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois has entered into circulation – the U.S. Mint and Park officials introduced the quarter at a recent ceremony at Southeastern Illinois College near Harrisburg, about eight miles north of forest property – the coin displays Camel Rock and a red-tailed hawk flying in the sky, part of the Mint’s “America the Beautiful” series – the Forest consists of over 290,000 acres of land along the Ohio River that was set aside 77 years ago in 1939.

 

(NEWTON)  While the current state budget delay has made this a challenging time for higher education in Illinois, financial aid is available to help make college possible for Illinois students, that is if they apply for it – as part of February being recognized as Financial Aid Awareness Month, students are reminded to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form that determines a student’s eligibility for most federal, state, and college financial aid programs – filing is free and should be done as soon as possible – details are available on the Illinois Student Assistant Commission website, logon at  www.isac.org.

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met this past Monday night in regular session – the Board  :  noted there were four bids received for the South Noble Avenue Sewer Project, ranging from $109,000 to $166,000 – since the Greater Wabash Planning Commission has to review and complete additional paperwork, no action was taken until the next meeting  :  noted the recent inspection report for the Village’s water tower, which found several OSHA updates that are needed – the Pittsburgh Tank & Tower Company provided a quote to the Village for the needed work, priced at $43,550 – no action was taken until more discussion at the next meeting  :  approved the $7,700 repair bill for the Village’s utility tractor, which has been now returned to the Village  :  discussed a drainage issue at the Noble Cemetery and agreed to look into it further  :  noted two future potential projects that were given to the Greater Wabash Planning Commission to seek possible grants – one for the 1,600 feet replacement of water line on South Noble Avenue and Locust Street – the other to upgrade the Village’s water meter system to touch read or drive by  :  and it was noted that Village Hall in Noble will be closed next Monday, the 15th, in observance of President’s Day  :  the Noble Village Board’s next regular meeting will be Monday, February 22nd.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  A reminder that County Clerk’s offices can now mail out Vote by Mail ballots, plus Early Voting is now underway at County Clerk’s offices in Illinois – residents also have from now until next Tuesday, February 16th, to make sure they are registered to vote for the March 15th Primary Election – additional information about early voting hours and how to submit an application to vote by mail can be obtained by calling or stopping by the Jasper County or Richland County Clerk’s offices in Newton or Olney respectively – the offices are open each day, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(OLNEY)  The American Soybean Association has announced the success of the soybean checkoff over the past year, noting that partnerships with researchers resulted in development of 29 new, soy-based products in 2015 – these new products have helped farmers increase demand for U.S. soy from 14 million bushels in 2003 to more than 111 million bushels in 2013 – this sales trajectory should continue as a result of the checkoff’s ongoing commitment to support the discovery of new soy technologies – the new product list includes new insulating foam, adhesives, lubricants, solvents, rubber belting, and much more – for more information about the new products and more, go online at  www.soynewuses.org/soy-products-guide.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Oil & Gas Association’s 70th Annual Convention & Trade Show is set for March 3rd and 4th at the Old National Events Plaza, down in Evansville, Indiana – the yearly IOGA Convention gives tri-state oil producers, oilfield workers, and others connected to the area oilfield industry the chance to learn the latest in oilfield production news and more – various oilfield vendors will also have exhibits on display as well – plus this year’s entertainment during the Thursday night banquet will be the Oak Ridge Boys – for more information and details, visit the Association’s website online, at  www.ioga.com.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s the 20th annual Hunting Heritage Super Fund Banquet coming up on Friday, February 19th, at The Holiday in Olney – hosted by the Richland County Long Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the event includes a sit down meal & an auction of  NWTF sporting art, knives, unique hunting firearms, wildlife calls, outdoor equipment & more – the doors open with a social hour at 6:00 – tickets are $50 per person or $65 per couple – sponsorships are also available for area businesses or individuals – for tickets or information, call Brad at  618-843-7967  or send an email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(NEWTON)  There are two county meetings coming up tomorrow night – the Jasper County Board will have its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 in the Jasper County Office Building in Newton – the Richland County Board will have its regular monthly meeting Thursday night at 7:00 in the County Jail meeting room – the Board’s Finance Committee will meet an earlier at 6:00 – all meetings are open to the public.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give the “gift of life” at their next opportunity, especially now with very low blood supplies in the downstate & Midwestern regions – here’s some area blood drives coming up the rest of this week  :  today at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Olney Wal-Mart SuperCenter from 11:00 to 3:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed in our area.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual meeting of the Richland County Farm Bureau is Monday night, February 22nd – beginning with dinner at 6:00, a business meeting & entertainment will follow – those planning to attend should RSVP the Farm Bureau office in Olney by next Tuesday, February 16th – or call the office for more information


    The 16th annual Old Post Bluegrass Jam is this Sunday at Vincennes University’s Beckes Student Union with free admission – along with musicians performing in different jam sessions at the same time, an open stage in the Food Court will feature various bands – food and beverages will also be available for purchase – that’s from 9:00 to 4:00 Illinois time on Sunday – all ages are invited to attend


    The Bend Community Club will host a Valentine Breakfast this Sunday morning with serving from 8:00 until 12 noon at the St. Valentine’s Hall in the Bend, just south and east of Ste. Marie – the menu includes sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits & gravy, potato casserole, fruit, sweets, and drinks – it’s open to the public with tickets at the door and carry-outs available – all ages are invited


    The 7th annual OCC Foundation Wine Tasting Affair is this Friday night at the Richland  Country Club from 6:00 to 9:00 – various wines will be featured, plus light hors d’oeuvres will be served – tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door – call the OCC Foundation office for tickets, at  618-395-7777, extension 2003


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney has its annual Salad Bar Luncheon this Friday from 11:00 to 1:30 in the St. Joe Cafeteria – both dine-in and carry-outs available – the $6 tickets are on sale at local banks & the St. Joe Parish Office – the Country Kitchen will feature homemade noodles, baked goods, baby quilts, & more


    The RMH Auxiliary will host a fundraising “bake sale” this Friday with the homemade baked items for sale from 7:00 in the morning until sold out – it will be in the Heim Room at Richland Memorial Hospital


    The Richland County Retired Teacher’s Association will meet tomorrow at The Holiday, starting at 11:00 – the special topic featured will be Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring as the local retired teachers will be donating to the upcoming Bowl For Kid’s Sake fundraiser – all local retired teachers are invited

 

 

 

February 9, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A cold northwest flow will continue across our downstate region today with the upper low pressure centered over Ohio slowly moving east – some snow showers will hang around today with the cold west / northwest wind – it will stay cold tomorrow thru Thursday with a high back into the 30’s on Friday – then another clipper system brings in more arctic air for the weekend ahead – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – it was announced yesterday that the public will not be able to attend when President Barack Obama delivers a speech in the Illinois House chamber tomorrow – the only people allowed inside the chamber will be elected officials, those with approved credentials, and invited guests – the President’s speech however, will be broadcast live online at www.whitehouse.gov – the President will visit afterwards with a crowd of supporters gathered to watch his remarks at an unspecified location.

 

(OLNEY)  Eastern Illinois University has announced the layoff of 198 civil service employees, blaming the move on the continuing state budget stalemate – in addition, other EIU workers will be required to take one day of furlough per week until further notice beginning next month – if the university begins receiving state funds by the layoff date, they will be rescinded – EIU has had no state payments since June of last year.

 

(NEWTON)  Sites around Illinois where Abraham Lincoln made history are planning events to celebrate his birthday – many top Lincoln scholars will meet Thursday at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, where a birthday dance will be held Friday there in Springfield – other events are scheduled at the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site in Springfield, at the Statehouse State Historic Site in Vandalia, & the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in Lerna – for details, logon at  www.IllinoisHistory.gov  – President Lincoln was born February 12th, 1809 in Kentucky, however spent much of his adult life in various parts of Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met for just over three hours last night – the Council  :  held a public hearing about a Taxicab License request – afterwards, no action was taken on an ordinance amendment or a license for a Taxicab service – an updated ordinance will be explored for the next meeting  :  accepted the $559,500 low bid from B & T Drainage Incorporated from Marshall for the City’s West Main Street Water Main Replacement Project  :  accepted the $19,875 quote from Straeffer Pump & Supply Incorporated for the Doe Run Lift Station Renovation work  :  approved the request from the White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club for a $2,000 Tourism Grant for the Club’s annual Car Show later this year  :  approved an amendment to the Watergate Water Purchase Agreement dealing with the fee charge structure  :  approved the Gun Club proposal for it to install lighting for the new building at the Gun Range  :  noted that Employee Safety meetings are continuing for the various city departments  :  noted the earlier presentation at the Olney City Park Community Building, where information was shared about the flooring renovation work – also noted the restroom upgrades continue at the Community Building  :  and in a personnel move – approved the appointment of  City employee Jeff Lathrop as Olney’s new Waste Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, retroactive to February 1st  :  the Olney City Council’s next regular meeting will be February 22nd.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met in special session last night for right at 90 minutes in Newton – while no official action was taken, the School Board met mostly in closed session to discuss personnel and the details of its Superintendent search – the Board discussed the employment process of hiring a new Superintendent, plus associated financial information and the position expectations – the Board will begin candidate interviews at its next special meeting, set for next Monday morning, February 15th – the Jasper County School Board’s regular monthly meeting will be held next Thursday, February 18th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Norris Electric Cooperative will hold its annual meeting this weekend at Newton Community High School with all cooperative members encouraged to attend – the meeting will be called to order at 11:00 Saturday morning with the NCHS Chorus performing the National Anthem – the luncheon will be served by Martin’s IGA immediately following the annual meeting, with the local band “Firebox” providing the entertainment during the meal – Norris Electric Cooperative members attending will receive a $10 bill credit, plus be eligible for attendance prizes – the local cooperative serves more than 19,420 members over 4,078 miles of electric line in parts of eight regional counties, including Jasper, Richland, Wabash, Lawrence, Crawford, Effingham, Cumberland, and Clark – that’s this coming Saturday.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Farm Bureau has awarded 29 grants through the first-ever Nutrient Stewardship Grant program, which will help promote soil health, water quality, and nutrient stewardship – totaling more than $100,000, the chosen projects tackle issues relevant to local needs, soils, and farming practices, with the ultimate goal of achieving nutrient loss reduction goals under the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) – one of the most comprehensive projects among the 29 involves eight Southeastern Illinois counties – the Farm Bureaus in Richland, Crawford, Lawrence, Wabash, Edwards, Wayne, White, and Hamilton Counties, along with Wabash Valley College, Wabash Valley Farm Service, and a private lab, will conduct nutrient tests of soil and water on a variety of land uses and farming practices – in addition to area farmers, college agriculture students will learn from the project – other downstate projects are in Clinton County and the deep Southern Illinois counties of Massac, Pulaski, Alexander, and Union.

 

(OLNEY)  Tickets for the Olney Central College Theatre’s production of “South Pacific”, sponsored by the First National Bank in Olney, will officially go on sale next Monday, February 15th – five nighttime performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on March 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th, and 19th, while two afternoon performances are set for 2:00 p.m. on March 13th and 20th – dinner theatres will be held at 6:00 before the four Friday and Saturday night performances – starting next Monday, tickets will be on sale each weekday, Monday thru Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the OCC ticket booth in the lobby of the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center – any remaining tickets may be purchased one hour before each performance – for details call Olney Central College during regular office hours at  618-395-7777, extension 2408.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  A reminder that County Clerk’s offices can now mail out Vote by Mail ballots, plus Early Voting is now underway at County Clerk’s offices in Illinois – residents also have from now until February 16th, a week from today, to make sure they are registered to vote for the March 15th Primary Election – additional information about early voting hours and how to submit an application to vote by mail can be obtained by calling or stopping by the Jasper County or Richland County Clerk’s offices in Newton or Olney respectively – the offices are open each day, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors are urged to get out and give the “gift of life” at their next opportunity, especially with very low blood supplies in the downstate & Midwestern regions – here’s area blood drives coming up  :  today at the EIU Ballroom in Charleston from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the KC Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Olney Wal-Mart SuperCenter from 11:00 to 3:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :
    It’s the 20th annual Rotary Trivia Contest coming up this Sunday afternoon at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 2:00, with registration at 1:30 – teams of four will compete for fun & prizes at a cost of $10 per person – challenge other businesses, churches, families, or friends – free snacks and drinks provided


    The 7th annual OCC Foundation Wine Tasting Affair is this Friday night at the Richland  Country Club from 6:00 to 9:00 – various wines will be featured, plus light hors d’oeuvres will be served – tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door – call the OCC Foundation office for tickets, at  618-395-7777, extension 2003


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney has its annual Salad Bar Luncheon this Friday from 11:00 to 1:30 in the St. Joe Cafeteria – both dine-in and carry-outs available – the $6 tickets are on sale at local banks & the St. Joe Parish Office – the Country Kitchen will feature homemade noodles, baked goods, baby quilts, & more


    The RMH Auxiliary will host a fundraising “bake sale” this Friday with the homemade baked items for sale from 7:00 in the morning until sold out – it will be in the Heim Room at Richland Memorial Hospital


    The Richland County Retired Teacher’s Association will meet this Thursday at The Holiday, starting at 11:00 – the special topic featured will be Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring as the local retired teachers will be donating to the upcoming Bowl For Kid’s Sake fundraiser – all local retired teachers are invited

 

 

 

February 8, 2016

 

(OLNEY)  A surface low pressure centered over the Upper Midwest will drag a cold front with it across our downstate region today, bringing with it a good chance of some scattered snow showers and much colder air – if there’s any accumulation, it will be less than an inch, if that – then temperatures and wind chill values will bitterly cold for most of the work week – more cold air for the weekend as well – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – efforts to overhaul Illinois’ school funding formula again face long odds in the upcoming spring legislative session, despite calls to address the matter urgently – lawmakers say it will be tough to get support to fix the formula because current proposals call for some districts to lose money, plus the election year makes the effort problematic – everyone agrees the 30-year-old formula needs upgrading, but it’s the same story as in the past, the upstate, richer school districts don’t want to forfeit their funds to help the poorer, downstate districts that lack the property tax base to supplement state money – a new Task Force on Education Funding is scheduled to meet in Springfield a week from tomorrow, on February 16th.

 

(OLNEY)  Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation have reached an agreement to maintain existing service on state-supported routes, while reducing costs – Friday’s deal will keep things running as they are until June 30th with the price tag at $38.3 million, which is just under $4 million less than the year before – the state supports four daily round trips between St. Louis and Chicago, plus two more daily round trips between Carbondale and Chicago and two more daily routes between Quincy and Chicago.

 

(NEWTON)  Governor Bruce Rauner has rejected legislation to reopen the Illinois State Museum, but says it may operate again if the museum can find its own funding thru entry fees, donations, and partnerships – the Governor used his veto powers last Friday on what costs Illinois taxpayers $6 million annually – Rauner closed the Springfield facility and its satellite locations back on October 1st of last year due to no state budget in place – lawmakers can approve the veto or override it if they have enough votes to do so.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  A reminder that County Clerk’s offices can now mail out Vote by Mail ballots, plus Early Voting is now underway at County Clerk’s offices in Illinois – residents also have from now until February 16th, a week from tomorrow, to make sure they are registered to vote for the March 15th Primary Election – additional information about early voting hours and how to submit an application to vote by mail can be obtained by calling or stopping by the Richland County or Jasper County Clerk’s offices in Olney and Newton respectively – the offices are open each day from 8:00 to 4:00, Monday thru Friday.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council has a special meeting this Monday night, starting at 6:00, in the Olney City Park Community Building – the public’s invited to hear a presentation regarding the renovation work at the Community Building – the Olney City Council will then adjourn that meeting and move to the Olney City Hall where a public hearing will be held at 7:00 tonight in Council Chambers, to provide Olney residents an opportunity to comment on a newly submitted Taxicab License Application for Olney – that will be followed by the Olney City Council’s regular bi-monthly meeting there in Council Chambers – comments can be made at the hearing or to the City Clerk – call the Olney City Hall at  618-395-7302  :  also meeting tonight is the Noble Village Board with a 7:00 start time at the Village Hall in Noble.

 

(NEWTON)  All area unemployment numbers were up for the month of December, as compared to December a year ago – the region’s lowest joblessness rate is in Effingham County at 5% even, followed by Wabash County at 5.9% and Crawford County at 6% – then it’s Cumberland County at 6.1%, Jasper County at 6.3%, Richland County and Edwards County each at 6.5%, and Lawrence County at 7.1% – Wayne and Clay Counties had the highest rates at 7.5%, and 7.9% respectively – the Illinois 5.9% rate for December is slightly higher than the year before – the national U.S. rate, at 4.8%, is lower than December 2015.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s been announced that America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by Monsanto Fund, is now accepting farmer nominations now thru April 1st for rural public school districts to apply for grants of $10,000 and $25,000 – this year, the program will be awarding $2.3 million for math and science curriculum enhancement – the goal for the program is to have as many schools as possible take advantage of these grants, and for that to happen, farmers must nominate the schools that they want to support to receive the grant funds – more information’s available on the Monsanto Fund Program website.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s some reminders for area hunters  :  hunters have only two more days to apply for the third lottery for 2016 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online – that’s today thru tomorrow, February 9th  :  meanwhile, the Spring Youth Turkey Special Hunt Area permit applications will be accepted online for another week, thru Monday, the 15th – the permits will then be available from DNR license/permit vendors beginning March 1st  :  and registrations are now being accepted for Hunter Safety Education & Boating Safety Education courses from the IDNR with spring classes now being scheduled  :  for all these and other things “outdoors in Illinois” check the DNR website online, at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Central College Music Department is hosting two more auditions for area high school students this month – this coming Wednesday, February 10th, & February 20th, a week from this Saturday – students interested in OCC’s choral & instrumental ensembles must audition in order to be considered for a Music Department Tuition Waiver for the 2016-2017 academic year, waivers that are based on OCC needs as well as student ability and commitment – the audition dates also provide students the chance to perform with the OCC Cavalier Pep Band during OCC home basketball games – for more details about audition requirements, go online at  www.occmusic.org/auditions  or call OCC at  618-395-7777, extension 2251.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors, both regular and first-time, are urged to get out and give the “gift of life” at their next opportunity, especially with very low blood supplies on hand in the downstate and Midwestern regions – here’s some area blood drives coming up  :  today at the Lake Land College Centre in Effingham from 9:00 to 1:00  :  also today at the House of Prayer in Albion from 12:00 noon to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the EIU Ballroom in Charleston from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the KC Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  and Saturday at the Olney Wal-Mart SuperCenter from 11:00 to 3:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual meeting of the Richland County Farm Bureau is two weeks from tonight, on Monday, February 22nd – beginning with dinner at 6:00, a business meeting & entertainment will follow – those planning to attend should RSVP the Farm Bureau office in Olney by February 16th, a week from tomorrow


    It’s the 20th annual Rotary Trivia Contest coming up this Sunday afternoon at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 2:00, with registration at 1:30 – teams of four will compete for fun & prizes at a cost of $10 per person – challenge other businesses, churches, families, or friends – free snacks and drinks provided


    The Willow Hill United Methodist Church will have its “Valentines Dinner” this Saturday evening at 5:00 – the best cooks in Jasper County are at it again in Willow Hill – for details, call  618-322-0352


    The Newton VFW Post will host a benefit “fish fry” this Friday night from 4:00 to 7:00 – all-you-can-eat with dine-in or carry-out meals – proceeds go to PTO supported programs at Newton Elementary School


    The St. Joseph Parish in Olney has its annual Salad Bar Luncheon this Friday from 11:00 to 1:30 in the St. Joe Cafeteria – both dine-in and carry-outs available – the $6 tickets are on sale at local banks & the St. Joe Parish Office – the Country Kitchen will feature homemade noodles, baked goods, baby quilts, & more


    The RMH Auxiliary will host a fundraising “bake sale” this Friday with the homemade baked items for sale from 7:00 in the morning until sold out – it will be in the Heim Room at Richland Memorial Hospital – all proceeds go to fund Auxiliary projects at RMH – for details, call  618-395-7340, extension 4012


    Culver’s Restaurant in Effingham will host the first of two charity fundraising events for Special Olympics coming up this Thursday night from 5:00 to 7:00 – ten percent of the event’s cash receipts will assist local Special Olympians attend & take part in this year’s Summer Games in Bloomington/Normal – the District 12 Illinois State Police encourages everyone to stop by and support our local hometown heroes


    The Richland County Retired Teacher’s Association will meet this Thursday at The Holiday, starting at 11:00 – the special topic featured will be Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring as the local retired teachers will be donating to the upcoming Bowl For Kid’s Sake fundraiser – all local retired teachers are invited