LOCAL NEWS

Local News

January 16, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As a warm front lifts northward across Illinois, widespread rain is expected today thru tonight in our downstate region – that’s after some dense fog lifts by noon today – then a weak cold front moves thru late tonight with the rain chances ending and maybe a storm included – we’ll then stay warmer-than-normal for most all of this week ahead – maybe more rain Thursday night thru Friday morning – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The Southeastern and South Central portion of Illinois was mostly fortunate when it came to the weekend weather conditions – although there was freezing rain and icing problems last Friday thru Saturday morning, the temperatures stayed just warm enough to keep most of the weekend precipitation in the form of rain, which amounted to a little over 1 inch in most of our downstate areas – most of the icing problems were reported to our west and northwest, pretty much along a line along I-57 and I-70, however with the warm up yesterday, the ice had melted and things are mostly back to normal on this Monday, other than some of the damage that occurred with downed power lines, utility poles, trees, and some buildings.

 

(OLNEY)  Today has been proclaimed by Governor Bruce Rauner as Martin Luther King Junior Day of Service in Illinois as people around the state are encouraged to take a part of this special day to volunteer in their community – available online throughout the year, the website at  www.serve.illinois.gov  has a list of more than 2,000 volunteer opportunities around Illinois – also, by the way, it’s also been announced that nominations are due to Serve Illinois by January 29th for the annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced last week the expansion of a unique service for farmers – the Bridges to Opportunity program provides a one-stop-shop that connects producers with resources, programs, and educational services offered, as well as from other USDA partner organizations – the program, which currently provides enhanced customer support to more than 150,000 farmers in 20 states, will now expand to serve those across the country before the end of January by using FY 2016 funds.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District is getting ready for its Annual Meeting, coming up this Thursday night, January 19th – hosted by The Holiday in Olney, the registration will start at 5:30 that evening, with the buffet meal served at 6:00, and the business meeting to follow – tickets are on sale thru tomorrow, the 17th, from any SWCD Director, at the District office, or by calling the District office and reserving a ticket – there will be no ticket sales at the door on Thursday night.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton Elementary / Jasper County Junior High Band-Aides will host a fundraising “chili lunch” followed by the 3rd Annual Trivia Fundraiser this coming Sunday in the Newton Community High School cafeteria – the chili lunch will be served from 11:00 to 1:00 with tickets at the door – plus there will be a 50/50 raffle and a large selection of raffle baskets with tickets also on sale that day – then the Trivia competition begins at 2:00 in the NCHS Gym – teams made up of between 6 and 10 people can register for the Trivia event on Sunday with the cost at $100 per team – all proceeds will help provide new uniforms for the Junior High Band, which are currently over 20 years old – for information or to obtain a Trivia registration form, call Cherilea Pitcher at  217-683-2369  or call the Newton Elementary School.

 

(OLNEY)  Although originally announced last November, the Olney Central College Foundation is proud to have awarded its new Ruth Henry Performing Arts Scholarship, which was created by Ruth’s family, friends, and others in the community to honor Ruth for her four decades of service to the college and the community – Jordan Morris of Olney was the inaugural scholarship recipient, who is now at McKendree University, majoring in elementary education – while at Olney Central College, Morris was a member of the OCC Concert Choir and a cast member of last year’s OCC Theater production of “South Pacific” – to support the Ruth Henry Performing Arts Scholarship, donations can be sent to the OCC Foundation.

 

(OLNEY)  The Mt. Erie Ruritan Club is set for its annual Farm Machinery Consignment Sale, coming up today, starting at 9:00 this morning, at the Ruritan Club building and grounds in Mt. Erie – the consignment sale will include all types of farm machinery and farm equipment, including combines, livestock equipment, trucks, trailers, ATV’s, and other miscellaneous items – concessions will be available for purchase today.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – with blood donations the past several months running much lower than needed, everyone’s help is desperately needed – upcoming blood drives include   :  today at the Red Brush Christian Church north of Louisville from 1:30 to 6:30  :  also today at the First Presbyterian Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Vandalia Moose Lodge from 12:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Cowden-Herrick High School from 1:30 to 5:30  :  Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  Thursday at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the Hutsonville High School from 1:30 to 5:30  :  Friday at the Clay City Banking Company from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets are needed to replenish regional blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Tickets are on sale now for the Olney Chamber of Commerce’s “Ladies Night 2017” which is set for Tuesday, March 7th, at The Holiday – all area ladies are invited out to an evening with entertainment, door prizes, a style show, a great dinner, & more – the $15 tickets are on sale at area banks or the Chamber office


    A fundraising "fish fry" is this Saturday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Claremont Community Center with all proceeds to help defray costs for RCHS student Colleen Inyart in an upcoming educational trip to Peru – the $8 tickets for adults and $5 tickets for children age 6 and under will be on sale at the door – carry-outs will be available and bake sale items will also be for sale – all are invited


    The Olney FFA Alumni pancake & sausage breakfast is this Saturday morning at the Richland County High School cafeteria with serving from 6:30 to 12:00 noon – also a 50/50 drawing – tickets available at the door – proceeds for college scholarships, leadership camps, conferences, and conventions for FFA members


    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life will be held this evening at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Sigel – praying the rosary begins at 6:00 with a 6:30 mass to follow – a 7:30 business meeting will follow in the Grade School – refreshments and pro-life literature and other items will be available


    The RMH Auxiliary will host a fundraising “uniform sale” today in the private dining rooms at Richland Memorial Hospital, from 8:00 until 3:00 – all proceeds will help the Auxiliary will projects at RMH

 

 

 

January 14, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  With a stalled out frontal boundary along the Ohio River Valley to our southeast and with the surge of precipitation moving up from our south/southwest, we’ll have on-and-off chances of rain and/or freezing rain over the next 24 hours – it should be mostly rain for our area this afternoon & especially after tomorrow morning – then warmer with more rain on Monday and Tuesday next week – listen for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Weather Service has it’s Freezing Rain Advisory still in effect for Richland and surrounding counties thru 12:00 noon tomorrow – the expected rain, freezing rain, and/or sleet will continue to spread northward thru our region today, tonight, and tomorrow morning – then as we warm up tomorrow and especially on Monday, it will be an all rain event into the first of next week – everyone is encouraged to stay tuned to a NOAA weather alert radio for complete updates & continued weather information & details.

 

(NEWTON)   The Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding statewide motorists to visit IDOT’s website, www.gettingaroundillinois.com  for updated Illinois road conditions before traveling – available on computers and mobile devices by clicking the “Winter Road Conditions” tab, the handy map is continually updated & provides an overview of how the roads are looking throughout the state – IDOT wants all drivers to be ready & prepared for all road conditions before leaving home & traveling around the Land of Lincoln.

 

(OLNEY)  The Mt. Erie Ruritan Club is getting ready for its annual Farm Machinery Consignment Sale, coming up this next Monday, January 16th, starting at 9:00 that morning, at the Ruritan Club building & grounds in Mt. Erie – the consignment sale will include all types of farm machinery and farm equipment, including ATV’s, trucks, trailers, combines, livestock equipment, and other miscellaneous stuff – there will also be concessions available for purchase on the grounds – all are invited down to Mt. Erie on Monday.

 

(OLNEY)  The River Bottom Stump Sitters Chapter of the Whitetails Unlimited will have its Annual Banquet on Saturday, February 25th, at The Holiday, in Olney – the special event will feature a two-meat buffet, an auction, and prizes with a wide array of products such as firearms, outfitter packages, hunting & outdoor-related equipment, artwork, collectibles, & more – with the social hour at 5:00, followed by dinner at 7:00, tickets are sale at $35 per person, $15 for a spouse, or $10 for a child 15 and under – no tickets will be sold at the door and the ticket order deadline is February 18th, five weeks from today – to purchase tickets locally, call Tim at  618-335-9631  or go online for information at  www.whitetailunlimited.com.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  A reminder that all the cancellations we receive are listed as soon as possible on our websites online – simply click on the “snowflake” in the upper right hand corner of your computer screen or click on the “weather” tab, and scroll down to check what’s available – cancellations can be submitted to us at the same place on our websites – that’s at  www.1035theeagle.com  or at  www.freedom929.com.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Albion Moose Family Center, located 4 miles north of Albion along Illinois Route 130, will host a “spot shoot” tomorrow afternoon, starting at 1:00 – individual shoots and splatter boards available – limited to 12, 16, and 20 gauge shotguns with shells furnished – plus food & refreshments on site – prizes include pork chops, loins, bacon, semi-boneless hams, and cash – all are invited out to take part tomorrow

    The annual Wynoose Community Chowder “appreciation dinner” is this evening at 6:00 at the community building in Wynoose – anyone who worked at last year’s chowder is welcome to attend – the meat and drinks will be furnished – those attending are asked to bring a side dish

    The Trinity Lutheran Church will host its Preschool Benefit Breakfast this morning with serving from now until 12:00 noon – the menu includes blueberry & regular pancakes, breakfast rolls, sausage, egg casserole, biscuits & gravy, plus milk & juice – tickets on sale at the door – all ages are invited out

 

 

 

 

 

January 13, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  With a stalled out frontal boundary along the Ohio River Valley to our southeast and with the surge of precipitation moving up from our south/southwest, we’ll have on-and-off chances of rain and/or freezing rain over the next 36 hours – it should be mostly rain for our area Saturday afternoon & especially after Sunday morning – then warmer and rain on Monday and Tuesday next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Weather Service has cancelled the Winter Storm Watch and has now issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for Richland, Jasper, and most all surrounding counties between I-70 and U.S. Route 50 – it’s in effect from 12:00 noon today thru 12:00 noon on Sunday – the expected rain, freezing rain, and/or sleet will spread northward thru our region today, continuing thru tonight & tomorrow morning – then another round is expected Saturday night into Sunday morning before warming up Sunday afternoon – our ice accumulations are predicted to be one tenth to two tenths of an inch – the main impact will be the hazardous travel conditions, especially on bridges, overpasses, & untreated roads – ice accumulations on trees & power lines could cause some power outages, plus sidewalks & driveways will likely be slick & treacherous – authorities are encouraging everyone to stay at home and avoid any travel, unless absolutely necessary – stay tuned to a NOAA weather alert radio for complete updates and weather information.

 

(OLNEY)  During the winter weather, the Richland County Highway Department will be out operating two sand spreading trucks at intersections, on hills, and on curves although rural residents should avoid traveling if at all possible – plus, only a few Township Road Districts in Richland County have specialized equipment for spreading sand on roads, so that is limited as well – simply put, do not get out & travel unless necessary.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Also out in extra force will be the city crews in our local communities with their specialized trucks and spreaders as they try to keep the main streets clear and open at all times – residents should be alert to parking restrictions that apply during such bad weather and keep those vehicles away from the marked streets that will get the highest priority by city workers – the same advice is offered as we said before, residents should stay at home and not get out and travel if at all possible now thru Sunday.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday convened the first meeting of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission & unveiled the official Bicentennial logo at the Old State Capitol – the co-chairs were announced, Gloria Castillo, President and CEO of Chicago United, and Randy Dunn, President of the SIU System, based in Carbondale – the diverse Commission includes 38 other members as it will lead the state’s effort in planning Illinois’ 200th Birthday Celebration – for more, logon at  www.illinois200.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The investigation is continuing into a fatal single vehicle traffic accident that occurred at 10:35 yesterday morning on U.S. Route 50, approximately one mile east of the ATS Manufacturing Plant, about 5 miles east of Lawrenceville – the State Police report 23 year old Dillon J. Boger of Vincennes, Indiana was eastbound on Route 50 when at the time during a heavy downpour of rain, his car left the roadway, traveled down the embankment, and struck a tree – Boger was pronounced dead at the scene by the County Coroner.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board met last night in regular session in Newton – the Board  :  appointed Ben Bland as the Acting Jasper County Highway Engineer for 100 days, pending IDOT approval – Bland, the current Cumberland County Highway Engineer will get $2,000 per month with some expenses  :  agreed to amend the Sheriff Department’s budget with a $27,398 increase for salaries, effective March 1st, per the new contract  :  approved the $5,850 bid from McClure’s Masonry to tuck point and repair the columns at the Jasper County Jail  :  noted the Ambulance Service will advertise for bids to replace the parking lot  :  noted the Sheriff’s Department purchased new cell phones for all squad cars with the price at $2,947 per year  :  approved reports from the County Clerk, County EMA, Health Department, and others  :  and met in closed session for 50 minutes  :  the Jasper County Board’s next regular meeting will be February 9th.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met in regular session last night in Olney – the Board  :  approved the County Claims for December worth $67,670  :  approved the request to change the name of Kiwanis Road to North Rotary Road  :  approved the bid to purchase diesel fuel for 2017 from Wabash Valley Service Company  :  agreed to install additional security cameras and monitors in the Richland County Jail  :  approved an ordinance for raffle license applications worth $10 each  :  agreed to close the outside animal pens for the winter months at the Animal Control Shelter  :  noted that the First Floor of the Richland County Courthouse will be closed next Tuesday thru Friday, January 17th thru 20th, with the offices moving back into the Courthouse  :  approved a few re-appointments as recommended – Dennis Totten to the Richland County Housing Authority, Fred Prosser to the Public Building Commission, and Jennifer Cummins Zuber to the Claremont Bonpas Fire District  :  took no action after a closed session to discuss litigation, negotiations, and personnel  :  set a Negotiations Committee meeting for Monday night, January 23rd, at 7:00pm  :  set a full Board special meeting for Tuesday night January 24th, at 7:00pm  :  and noted the Richland County Board’s next regular monthly meeting will be Thursday night, February 9th in Olney.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  A reminder that all the cancellations we receive are listed as soon as possible on our websites online – simply click on the “snowflake” in the upper right hand corner of your computer screen or click on the “weather” tab, and scroll down to check what’s available – cancellations can be submitted to us at the same place on our websites – that’s at  www.1035theeagle.com  or at  www.freedom929.com.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton has a boil water order in effect for East Marion Street, from Van Buren Street to Scott Street – this coming after emergency water line repairs yesterday – the boil water order for this area of Newton is in effect until further notice – the City appreciates the patience of those affected.

  

REMINDERS  :
    The Albion Moose Family Center, located 4 miles north of Albion along Illinois Route 130, will host a “spot shoot” this Sunday afternoon, starting at 1:00 – individual shoots and splatter boards available – limited to 12, 16, and 20 gauge shotguns with shells furnished – plus food & refreshments on site – prizes include pork chops, loins, bacon, semi-boneless hams, and cash – all are invited out


    The annual Wynoose Community Chowder “appreciation dinner” is tomorrow evening at 6:00 at the community building in Wynoose – anyone who worked at last year’s chowder is welcome to attend – the meat and drinks will be furnished – those attending are asked to bring a side dish, if possible


    The Trinity Lutheran Church will host its Preschool Benefit Breakfast tomorrow morning with serving from 7:00 to 12 noon – the menu will include blueberry & regular pancakes, breakfast rolls, sausage, egg casserole, biscuits & gravy, plus milk & juice – tickets at the door – all ages are invited out

 

 

 

January 12, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  The frontal boundary moving thru the Midwest today with replace our warmer-than-normal air with colder air by tonight and as that storm system stalls out around the Ohio River Valley, we’ll expect a mixture of rain and/or freezing rain tomorrow thru early Sunday morning – more warm air moves back in by Sunday night & Monday – back to warmer-than-normal the first of next week with rain – listen for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Richland, Jasper, and most all surrounding counties, in effect Friday afternoon thru Sunday morning – as temperatures drop today, the main impact will be the wintry precipitation resulting in hazardous travel conditions, especially on bridges, overpasses, & untreated roads – ice accumulations on trees & power lines could cause some power outages, plus sidewalks & driveways will likely be slick & treacherous – authorities are encouraging everyone to stay at home and avoid any travel, unless absolutely necessary – and oh, by the way, our high temperature of  66 degrees last night tied the record high temperature for January 11th, originally set back in 1911 – stay tuned to a NOAA weather alert radio for complete updates and weather information for the days and nights ahead.

 

(NEWTON)  With the arrival of Winter Storm Jupiter, the Illinois State Police has issued a Winter Weather Travel Advisory, encouraging drivers to be prepared for the predicted weather conditions – all vehicles should have a full tank of fuel, an emergency supply kit with a flashlight, ice scraper, food items, water, a first aid kit, and gloves, plus extra clothing and/or blankets – drivers should be alert to stranded motorists, who, by the way, should stay in their vehicles if they become disabled along the road – remember to stay alert to snowplow trucks and to give them plenty of space to operate – the most emphasized message from the State Police is to avoid heading out on any roads at all during this approaching winter storm event.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the 100th Illinois General Assembly was seated yesterday afternoon in the State Capitol – State Representative Michael Madigan handily won re-election as Speaker of the House – also re-elected was Minority Leader Jim Durkin – meanwhile, downstate Representatives David Reis of Ste. Marie and John Cavaletto of Salem, plus State Senator Dale Righter of Mattoon, were all sworn into office as members of the 100th General Assembly – the biggest job in the year ahead is the state budget issue.

 

(OLNEY)  Conservation Police in Illinois and Indiana have investigated cases of hunting license & permit fraud beginning in early 2015 extending thru 2016 that has resulted in over $85,000 in fines and restitution – the “Operation Double Dip” investigation dealt with individuals who claim residency in Indiana & Illinois in order to purchase hunting licenses & deer permits at the cheaper resident rate – there were 211 counts of falsification in Illinois with a 100% conviction rate with $65,000 ordered in fines & restitution and a total of 21 years of hunting privilege revocations ordered – Indiana has recorded an estimated 57 defendants with some cases still pending, over $20,500 in restitution ordered, and at least 12 years of privileges revoked.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police District 12 has released its activity and enforcement figures for the month of  December – Troopers in the ten District 12 counties answered 218 calls for service during the 31 days & nights, and initiated 1,473 incidents in the field – in addition, enforcement numbers totaled 646 citations and 583 written warnings in December – Troopers issued 267 tickets for speeding, 155 seat belt citations, made 25 criminal arrests, had 9 DUI’s, and issued 4 child restraint citations – Troopers also assisted 290 motorists, conducted 301 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 84 traffic crashes, two of which involved fatalities – Troopers issued 311 citations and 219 written warnings for the “Fatal Four” violations, those that are most associated with fatal traffic wrecks, including failure to wear a seat belt, DUI, distracted driving, and speeding – the Illinois State Police District 12 includes ten area counties  :  they are Jasper, Richland, Crawford, Clark, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Marion, Clay, and Lawrence.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has issued a statement concerning the Winter Storm Watch – while the county operates two sand spreading trucks, the Highway Department reminds motorists that it will use sand at intersections, on hills, & on curves to give motorists extra traction at these locations, however if significant ice accumulations occur, rural residents should avoid traveling – only a few of the Township Road Districts in Richland County have specialized equipment for spreading sand on roads, so that is limited as well – simply put, do not get out & travel unless absolutely necessary if ice buildup occurs.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Also out in extra force will be the city crews in our local communities with their specialized trucks and spreaders as they try to keep the main streets clear and open at all times – residents should be alert to parking restrictions that apply during such bad weather and keep those vehicles away from the marked streets that will get the highest priority by city workers – the same advice is offered as we said before, residents should stay at home and not get out and travel if at all possible now thru Sunday.

 

(NEWTON)  The City of Newton has announced the water service has been shut off this morning for emergency water line repairs for East Marion Street, from Van Buren Street to Scott Street – once the repairs are complete & water service restored, a boil water order will be in effect until further notice.

 

(NEWTON)  The American Red Cross is asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming regional blood drives include   :  today at Helia Healthcare in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish low area and regional blood supplies.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  A reminder that all the cancellations we receive are listed as soon as possible on our websites online – simply click on the “snowflake” in the upper right hand corner of your computer screen or click on the “weather” tab, and scroll down to check what’s available – cancellations can be submitted to us at the same place on our websites – that’s at  www.1035theeagle.com  or at  www.freedom929.com.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  There are two area meetings tonight  :  the Richland County Board has its regular monthly meeting tonight in the County Jail meeting room in Olney, starting at 7:00 – the Board’s Finance Committee meets an hour earlier at 6:00, also in meeting room  :  the Jasper County Board has its regular monthly meeting tonight at the County Office Building in Newton at 7:00  :  both are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual Wynoose Community Chowder “appreciation dinner” is this Saturday evening at 6:00 at the community building in Wynoose – anyone who worked at last year’s chowder is welcome to attend – the meat and drinks will be furnished – those attending are asked to bring a side dish, if possible


    The Trinity Lutheran Church will host its Preschool Benefit Breakfast this Saturday morning with serving from 7:00 to 12 noon – the menu will include blueberry & regular pancakes, breakfast rolls, sausage, egg casserole, biscuits & gravy, plus milk & juice – tickets at the door – all ages are invited out


    It’s not too late to register for the various classes and courses offered at Olney Central College – with the spring semester beginning this week, students can still sign up until the second meeting of a class and/or course – call the Student Services Office today at  618-395-7777  or logon for details at  www.iecc.edu/occ


    The ERBA office in Newton will be distributing federal surplus commodities this evening with “after hours” pickup from 4:00 to 6:00 – for those unable to drop by today, the commodities will also be available while supplies last tomorrow afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30 – the normal requirements apply


   And a reminder that the Richland County HEA Craft Club scheduled for today has been cancelled

 

 

 

January 11, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  The weather system developing out west has a warm front that will move across our downstate region by tonight, giving us warm conditions overnight with rain chances today thru tonight – then dropping temperatures tomorrow will give us chances of freezing rain Thursday night, continuing thru Friday – then freezing rain & rain mixed into Saturday turning to maybe all rain on Sunday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Weather Service has just issued a Winter Storm Watch for an area to the west of Richland and surrounding counties – in effect for Thursday night thru Saturday afternoon, the Watch is for the area from Salem west to St. Louis – however as we move thru today, the Watch area will likely be extended further east into our region of the state – while still being fine-tuned, the forecast initially is calling for freezing rain, sleet, & rain during the 36-hour Watch period – stay tuned to a NOAA weather alert radio.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois’ budget stalemate is moving from one set of lawmakers to a new set as the General Assembly being sworn in today in Springfield is the state’s 100th, a historic one marking the Prairie State’s 2018 bicentennial – while the State Senate broke away with a budget proposal this week, the battle between Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan is likely to continue – many believe the budget matter will not be resolved before the 2018 election which is less than two years away.

 

(OLNEY)  Before adjourning, the 99th General Assembly did approve a four-month extension of a corporate tax incentive program amid the ongoing budget standoff – set to expire at the end of last year, the EDGE program offers businesses tax breaks in exchange for agreements to create and maintain jobs – both the House and Senate approved the plan and it’s believed that the Governor will sign the extension into law.

 

(NEWTON)  The State Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday that the controlled pheasant hunting season has been extended at four IDNR sites and hunters can make reservations now for additional hunting opportunities this month – two of the four sites are in our downstate area  :  the Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area over in Clinton County, north of Carlyle, and the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area in Franklin & Jefferson Counties, south of Mt. Vernon  :  ten hunting days have been added to the seasons at both sites, running today, this January 11th, thru Sunday, January 22nd – hunters are encouraged to use the online Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation System at  www.dnr.illinois.gov  to obtain permits for these additional hunt dates – other information, including cost and other details are also available online.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Area residents and businesses are being alerted of another scam currently circulating in our region – Ameren Illinois says the scammers are calling and going from door to door and threatening immediate disconnection of utility services unless a payment is made immediately from a pre-paid debit card – this includes both electrical and gas services – customers are reminded to never give any payment or personal information to anyone that comes personally to a home, or calls, or sends an email demanding a payment in this fashion – for more information, call Ameren, toll-free, at  1-800-755-5000  or contact your local police department if you get such a call or visit – pass the word to those you know, this is a SCAM!!!

 

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met this past Monday night – the Board  :  approved an ordinance for travel, meal, and lodging expenses with a maximum of $250 per occurrence and anything over $250 would require Board approval  :  approved the previous meeting minutes as presented  :  approved the Treasurer’s report as presented – noted a final $11,839 payment to Heuerman Trucking for services rendered and the $1,600 purchase of a new dissolved oxygen meter to replace the old meter that was obsolete & quit working properly  :  noted that Village employees have filled potholes along West North Avenue with other pothole filling work to be done  :  noted the last 16 ton purchase of road pack for pothole filling cost $445  :  and noted the request for an alley culvert along Alco Street will be delayed until later in the year due to weather & ground conditions  :  the next regular meeting for the Noble Village Board will be Monday, January 23rd.

 

(NEWTON)  Online registration is continuing for one of the coolest events of the winter – the 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge, all to benefit Special Olympics Illinois – it was last year that more than $1.9 million was raised by some 6,480 statewide Plungers – in fact, in 18 years since the event began, at least $16.5 million has been raised by over 60,000 Plungers – among the 22 total Polar Plunge locations and dates, here’s those in the downstate area – February 25th at Carlyle Lake, March 4th at Lake Sara near Effingham, and also March 4th at Rend Lake near Ina – individuals and teams can get more details and/or register for the 2017 Plunge on the Special Olympics Illinois website – logon at  www.plungeillinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District is getting ready for its Annual Meeting, coming up on Thursday night, January 19th, one week from tomorrow night – hosted by The Holiday in Olney, the registration will start at 5:30 that evening, with the buffet meal served at 6:00 – tickets are now on sale thru January 17th, next Tuesday, from any SWCD Director, at the District office, or by calling the District office and reserving a ticket – there will be no ticket sales at the door that night.

 

(NEWTON)  The American Red Cross is asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming regional blood drives include   :  today at the Eastern Illinois University Student Union in Charleston from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at Helia Healthcare in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  and on Friday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish low area and regional blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    An area Storm Spotter Class has been scheduled for Monday night, January 30th, at 6:30, at the Marion County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building in Salem – for details, call Terry Mulvany at  618-267-0264


    The annual Wynoose Community Chowder “appreciation dinner” is this Saturday evening at 6:00 at the community building in Wynoose – anyone who worked at last year’s chowder is welcome to attend – the meat and drinks will be furnished – those attending are asked to bring a side dish, if possible


    The Trinity Lutheran Church will host its Preschool Benefit Breakfast this Saturday morning with serving from 7:00 to 12 noon – the menu will include blueberry & regular pancakes, breakfast rolls, sausage, egg casserole, biscuits & gravy, plus milk & juice – tickets at the door – all ages are invited out


    It’s not too late to register for the various classes and courses offered at Olney Central College – with the spring semester beginning this week, students can still sign up until the second meeting of a class and/or course – call the Student Services Office today at  618-395-7777  or logon for details at  www.iecc.edu/occ


    The ERBA office in Newton will be distributing federal surplus commodities tomorrow evening with “after hours” pickup from 4:00 to 6:00 – for those unable to drop by Thursday, the commodities will also be available while supplies last Friday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30 – the normal requirements apply


    Freshmen Orientation Night is tonight at the Richland County High School in Olney – it starts with packets being passed out at 5:20, then a presentation in the Sliva Auditorium at 5:30, classroom and teacher visits at 6:00, and free pulled pork and ice cream after 6:30 in the RCHS Ag Room – all incoming freshmen and their parents and/or guardians are invited to attend – call the RCHS office is any questions