LOCAL NEWS

Local News

March 5, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  An Arctic high pressure moved into the Midwest overnight, bringing in much colder and dry conditions – as the high pressure moves to the east tomorrow, a southerly wind flow will set up, bringing in warmer air for the days & nights ahead – a shifting weather pattern will keep the warmer air in place thru most all of next week – look for a near 40-degree increase today thru next Wednesday – listen for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  With the rural roads somewhat melting with the rain & warmer temperatures this past Tuesday night, and then re-freezing with yesterday’s dropping temperatures, most all country roads are very slick – some have cleared off significantly, while yesterday’s snow added to the driving problems – most all area schools south of the U.S. Route 50 corridor are closed today while those to the north are pretty much open – here at the WVLN-WSEI Weather Station, we received less than an inch of snow, although the region to our south had anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of snow – further south, areas received 5 to 10 inches of snow – wind chill values will be a problem today thru tonight, but things will vastly improve by the weekend.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Public Health announced yesterday that 1,600 patients have now been approved for the state’s new medical marijuana program – this is 600 more patients than a month ago, but far short of the “thousands” of patients officials thought would enroll in the first year – so far, nearly 18,400 people have started the patient registration process, about 2,500 of which are a little further ahead.

 

(OLNEY)  A preliminary report filed yesterday by a federal court-appointed monitor recommends that the Illinois Department of Transportation should clean up its hiring rules – the report calls for more accurate job descriptions, a clear identification of each job position, and a hiring freeze to avoid political hires – the report is part of a lawsuit against IDOT that targets improper hiring of politically connected candidates.

 

(NEWTON)  A Jasper County farmer has donated funds to the local Embarras River Basin Agency from America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund – producer Megan Yager selected the local ERBA office to receive the $2,500 donation to help purchase additional food not provided by the area food bank to distribute to those in need – the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program enrolls farmers across the state & nation for a chance to win $2,500 which is then donated to the farmer’s nonprofit choice – a tip of the hat to Megan Yager for her support of the local ERBA office.

 

(OLNEY)  The local weather numbers for Richland County show this past month of  February was colder than normal and drier than normal, although the month’s snowfall total was a little higher than average – the numbers at the WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service “Weather Station” at the south edge of Olney show just over 11 (11.3) inches of snow was officially measured during the 28 days in February with a meltdown of only 87 hundredths (0.87 inches) of an inch of precipitation, indicating a very dry snowfall which is normal with colder temperatures – the average daily high in Richland County was 32.4 degrees, while the average daily low was at 10.5 degrees – sixteen of the days in February started out partly to mostly cloudy, while the remaining twelve were mainly clear – all numbers certified with the National Weather Service.

 

(NEWTON)  Nearly 280 fans of brrr-avery supported Special Olympics Illinois athletes this past Saturday by jumping into the waters of Lake Sara near Effingham, raising more than $54,400 – all the funds from the local Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge will benefit the athletes in the East Central / Area 9 which serves over 700 athletes in 12 regional counties – several Plunge teams and individuals were recognized for their help in raising funds : the Neoga Middle School received the Top Cool Small School award for raising nearly $2,800 : the Mattoon High School was noted at the Top Cool Large School : the Best Team Costume went to the Effingham Sheriff’s Department and the Effingham Police Department : the Top Cop award went to Chris Thies for raising over $1,100 : the Most Money Raised Team award went to Sigma RHO & Student Council for Exceptional Citizens from Eastern Illinois University with over $8,700 raised : the Most Money Raised Individually went to Ken Thompson with over $4,500 : the public can still help out with a donation by going online at www.plungeillinois.com and click on the “Support a Plunger” button.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee is gearing up to host the 2015 Agricultural Spelling Bee for all Richland County Middle School students – it’s all set to start at 6:00 on the evening of Tuesday, April 7th, at the East Richland Middle School Cafeteria – it’s for any current 6th, 7th, and 8th grade student in Richland County – the grand prize is an iPAD for the champion – those finishing second and third receive cash – while the complete word list is available on the Richland County Farm Bureau website, students can also register online at www.richlandcountyfarmbureau.com – folks can call or stop by the Farm Bureau office in Olney if any questions or if more information is needed about the event.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially with all blood types & blood platelets in special need – here’s the next upcoming blood drive   :  Sunday morning in Ste. Marie at the American Legion Hall from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  other blood drives are planned for next week to be held in area communities including  Iuka, Sigel, Windsor, Mattoon, Newton, and Olney  :  for more details on giving blood, go online at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)   This week is National MS Awareness Week, a time to learn more about Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks a person’s central nervous system – with a local “Talk MS” support group available, there’s also a local “Join the Movement” group as well – plans have already been made for the 6th annual “Join the Movement” event in Olney on July 25th, later this year – meanwhile, with this week’s observance of MS Awareness Week, we urge everyone to wear “orange” tomorrow on Friday – the local MS committee will be helping with tomorrow night’s “fish fry” at the KC Hall in Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  The public is invited to attend The Art of Delicious Desserts program set to start at 6:30 tonight at the Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton – it’s an informative and fun evening sponsored by the Jasper County HCE, featuring Extension Educator Mary Liz Wright who’ll be explaining the difference between a cobbler, a crisp, a grunt, or a crumble, all while keeping a healthy lifestyle – all are invited to the class tonight and get a taste of the delicious desserts, all free of charge – for questions about the event or to register for tonight’s program, call the Jasper County Extension office at 618-783-2521.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual St. Mary’s Brunch, cancelled this past Sunday, will now be held this coming Sunday morning, with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon, in the St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie – the Church Youth will also have their Bake Sale as well – all are invited out this Sunday morning to Ste. Marie


    Also cancelled last Sunday and rescheduled for this Sunday morning at the Bible Fellowship Church on East Hall Street in Olney – presentations by Shane Cessna on the Biblical Explanation on Dinosaurs at 9:30 and the Impact of Creation on Our Culture at 10:30 – all are invited out this Sunday morning


    The West Richland PTO will have its “Kids’ Carnival” this coming Saturday evening from 4:00 to 6:00 in the Grade School Gym in Noble – includes various games with tickets at the door, plus a fundraising raffle with tickets at the door and some great prizes – doors open at 3:30 – all ages are invited


    The Clay City FFA has a pork burger fundraiser this Saturday at the Clay City Schools during Saturday’s JMTC Volleyball Tournament – includes pork burgers, hot dogs, chips, & drinks – to preorder for a large group or a specified pick up time, call CCHS at 618-676-1522 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    The monthly 4-H recycling drive is this Saturday morning from 8:00 to 11:30 at the six normal locations in Richland County – that’s in Calhoun, Claremont, Dundas, Noble, Olney, & Parkersburg – all items should be bundled separately before dropped off – the sponsoring group is the Southern Smilers 4-H Club


    The East Richland Elementary School 1st graders will perform their music program entitled “March” tomorrow in the ERES dining hall – classes of Mrs. Anselment, Mrs. Bettis, & Miss Scherer at 10:00 – the classes of Mrs. Givens, Mrs. Rodgers, & Mrs. Shawver at 2:15 – all are invited to one or both performances


    The next Post Prom meeting at Newton Community High School is this evening, starting at 6:30 in the NCHS Library – all NCHS junior parents are needed to plan this year’s Post Prom

 

 

 

March 4, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  As the current cold front moving thru the Midwest drops further south, another surge of Arctic air will spill into our region by late tonight as temperatures fall today with the chance of snow thru tonight as well – but a high pressure ridge will set up over the Midwest by Friday, giving us some relief in the form of dry and warmer conditions for the weekend ahead, which continues into next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The Winter Weather Advisory in effect for Jasper, Richland, and most all area counties, runs now thru 6:00 this evening, calling for a quick mixture of sleet and snow this morning, before it turns to all snow – the steadiest snowfall is expected this afternoon with accumulation totals between 2 and 5 inches, with more expected near the Indiana border and less to the west – heavier amounts of snow, between 4 and 8 inches are expected areas to our south along Interstate 64 – combined with more cold air, wind chill values will be very low tonight thru tomorrow morning, so any travel on area highways and country roads is discouraged at least for tonight – conditions likely will not improve until Friday afternoon when we start to see a little warmer air filter in from the south – listen to your NOAA weather radio for continued updates.

 

(OLNEY)  State Democrats are pushing a plan in Springfield designed to close the gaps in the state budget – the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would allow nearly $580 million to be taken from special state funds to be used to help pay for budget shortfalls, such as subsidized child care and the salaries of state prison workers – the plan could be put to a full State Senate vote by the end of this week.

 

(NEWTON)  A search is ongoing to find the next head of the state’s prison system – Governor Bruce Rauner has replaced S.A. “Tony” Godinez as the Illinois Department of Corrections Director with the temporary appointment of Bryan Gleckler – Godinez was appointed to head up the IDOC by Governor Pat Quinn in 2011 – the Governor’s office hopes to have a permanent appointment in place by mid-April.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder from area County Clerks – voter registration of the Consolidated Election on April 7th, 2015, will close on March 10th, that’s next Tuesday – there is no same day registration for this election – voters should make sure that their registration information is current – to register to vote, residents should stop by their respective County Clerk’s office, open from 8:00 to 4:00 each weekday, Monday thru Friday – bring two forms of identification to register, one of which should have a current address – contact your area County Clerk’s office during regular hours for more information or details about the upcoming election.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met for less than one hour last night – the Council  :  on a 5 to 1 vote, authorized the distribution of the Dues & Donations as recommended by Committee – while we’ll have a list of all the recipients in our news report tomorrow, most all of the $5,500 goes to programs dealing with the youth of Newton & Jasper County  :  agreed to open the City’s Yard Waste Facility on Saturday, April 4th, from 8:00 to 12 noon – the facility will then be open the first and third Saturdays of each month  :  agreed to reinstate all part-time Street Department employees for the summer of 2015  :  agreed to reinstate Cheryl Michl as the City of Newton Pool Manager for 2015  :  noted compliments to the city workers for keeping the Newton streets clean during the recent inclement weather  :  and took no other action after a 14-minute closed session to discuss litigation & negotiations  :  Council’s next regular meeting is March 17th.

 

(OLNEY)  Most all area Soil & Water Conservation District offices are currently taking orders for their spring fish and tree sales – here in Richland County, the fish delivery date is March 25th, three weeks from today – while grass carp must be ordered by tomorrow, March 6th, all other species must be ordered shortly after that date – meanwhile, the expected delivery date for trees will be during the week of April 6th, a little bit later – contact the Richland County SWCD office or the office in your respective county to order.

 

(NEWTON)  Area residents continue to mourn the death of a former police chief of the Neoga Police Department – Cumberland County authorities say 68 year old Gerry Mattern suffered a heart attack and died while shoveling snow from his driveway this past Monday morning – Mattern retired as Neoga’s Police Chief in 2011 after serving for more than three decades with the Department in many different positions – funeral arrangements are currently pending at the Swengel-O’Dell Funeral Home in Neoga.

 

(OLNEY)  Frontier Community College in Fairfield has announced that its community Job Fair scheduled for today has been postponed until Wednesday, April 1st, four weeks from today – area and regional businesses can now still register to take part by contacting FCC in Fairfield or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(NEWTON)  Lake Land College, just south of  Mattoon, will host its annual Ag Open House for area high school students this Friday – students attending will learn about careers and opportunities in the agriculture industry, plus get hands-on experience during various break-out sessions – the students will also experience livestock judging, ag economics, agronomy, horticulture, and ag technology – plus campus tours will also be available – to learn more about the Ag Open House, call Lake Land College or check out their website.

 

(NEWTON)  All area blood donors and/or first-time donors are urged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity, especially with all blood types & blood platelets in special need – here’s the next upcoming blood drive   :  Sunday morning in Ste. Marie at the American Legion Hall from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  other blood drives are planned for next week to be held in area communities including  Iuka, Sigel, Windsor, Mattoon, Newton, and Olney  :  for more details on giving blood, go online at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual St. Mary’s Brunch, which was cancelled yesterday, will now be held this coming Sunday morning, with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon, in the St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie – the Church Youth will also have their Bake Sale as well – all are invited out this Sunday morning to Ste. Marie


    Also cancelled yesterday and move to this coming Sunday is the final day of the 2015 Bowl For Kids Sake at the Olney Bowling Center – that’s from 1:00 to 5:30 to benefit the local Big Brothers Big Sisters


    The East Richland Middle School is presenting Disney’s “High School Musical JR” this weekend in the Sliva Auditorium at East Richland High School – with three performances Friday night at 6:30, Saturday night at 6:30, and Sunday afternoon at 2:00, the general admission tickets will be on sale at the door


    A chili dinner fundraiser to benefit Kevin Seals of rural West Salem will be this Saturday afternoon at The House of Prayer in Albion, with serving from 12 noon to 3:00 – free will donations will be taken at the door with a silent auction for various items also to be held – all proceeds to help with medical expenses


    The monthly 4-H recycling drive is this Saturday morning from 8:00 to 11:30 at the six normal locations in Richland County – that’s in Calhoun, Claremont, Dundas, Noble, Olney, & Parkersburg – all items should be bundled separately before dropped off – the sponsoring group is the Southern Smilers 4-H Club


    The next Post Prom meeting at Newton Community High School is this coming Thursday, March 5th, starting at 6:30 in the NCHS Library – all NCHS junior parents are needed to plan this year’s Post Prom


    A reminder that the City of Olney’s Brush Dump will reopen to the public this Thursday, with regular hours, from 10:00 to 4:00 – the Brush Dump is also scheduled to be open with the same hours on Friday


    Tickets for “Mary Poppins” are on sale from 10:00 to 2:00 today and each weekday at the OCC ticket booth in the lobby of the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center at Olney Central College – the Theatre’s seven performances will be the final two weekends of March, the 20th thru 22nd, and the 26th thru 29th
  

 

 

 

March 3, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  As the current weather system over the Midwest continues to give us cloudy sky with some rain showers today, the trailing end of the cold front will give us some colder air tonight with a wind switch from the north / northwest and some snow, with an inch or two possible before it ends tomorrow night – then more cold air in place until a slight warm up to near or above normal this weekend – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  While our areas along Routes 33 and 50 stay mostly dry overnight thru early this morning, the region to our north did receive some of that predicted freezing rain or sleet – it was mostly areas along and north of a line following Interstate 70 – a Winter Weather Advisory for the counties of Cumberland, Coles, Clark, and others north will expire by mid-morning as temperatures rise thru the 30’s and into the 40’s.

 

(OLNEY)  Consumer debt continues to be the top complaint reported to the State Attorney General’s office – Illinois’ 2014 top ten list had consumer debt at the top for the 7th year in a row – identity theft was 2nd, followed by telecommunications fraud, construction & home improvement fraud, and motor vehicular fraud along with used auto sales rounding out the top five – as a response, the State Attorney General’s office has drafted a bill to strengthen the state’s Data Breach Notification Law with debate expected this spring.

 

(NEWTON)  March is being noted as Teen Dating Violence Awareness month as over one million high school students face physical abuse while in a relationship each year – the numbers show that one in every ten teenagers have been intentionally struck by a boyfriend or girlfriend – for tips on dating, sexual abuse, counseling prevention, and education, teenagers can go online around the clock at www.teendvmonth.org.

 

(OLNEY)  There’s a new president coming to Eastern Illinois University in Charleston – the EIU Board of Trustees announced yesterday that current Bradley University provost and vice president for academic affairs, David Glassman, will be replacing President William Perry in May – Glassman, with several ties to the downstate area, will become only the 12th President in the history of Eastern Illinois University.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that as part of Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which continues today thru Saturday, the National Weather Service will conduct its annual Statewide Tornado Drill this morning in the 10:00 hour – this will coincide with the “first Tuesday of the month” siren test that many communities conduct – while the statewide test will be transmitted thru weather radios, commercial radios, television stations, and elsewhere, residents should remember this will be a test and NOT AN ACTUAL emergency alert – it will also be an opportunity for area schools, factories, businesses, and others to practice their own tornado drills – to learn more about severe weather preparedness, logon at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney’s Plan Commission met last night with two items to consider on the agenda – the Commission  :  approved a rezoning request from Wabash Valley Service Company, asking to change a portion of property along South Baltimore Street from the current R-5 (Trailer or Mobile Home District) to M-2 (Heavy Industrial District)  :  and also approved the Final Plat of  Re-Plat of South Cove Subdivision, Lots 61-86  :  both decisions were unanimous and both recommendations now go to the Olney City Council for its consideration next Monday night – the regular bi-monthly meeting is at 7:00 at the Olney City Hall.

 

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to a Richland County farmer who’s been selected as a winner in America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund – Jeremiah Fleming has selected the Richland County 4-H Foundation as the recipient of the $2,500 donation – a special check presentation event has been set up for this afternoon, later today, at the University of Illinois Extension office in Olney – the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program enrolls farmers across the state and nation for a chance to win $2,500 which is then donated to the farmer’s nonprofit choice – other area winners are soon to be announced as well – a tip of the hat to Jeremiah Fleming and his support of our local 4-H Foundation.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that the Jasper County School District will conduct its annual Preschool Screening later than normal this year – instead of in this month of March, the free screenings will this year be offered in May – the screenings are free to all parents and are conducted to help school officials identify children who may need assistance before starting school – also available, the Birth-to-Three program will offer a no cost developmental screening for children from 6 months to 3 years of age – plus, the county’s Head Start program will be accepting applications – the screenings this year will be held at the St. Marie Elementary School, in conjunction with the Kindergarten screenings – more details will be provided in the days ahead.

 

(OLNEY)  In this week’s USDA Crop Report – the statewide average temperature for February settled in at 18.6 degrees, nearly 12 degrees below normal – February’s statewide precipitation averaged 1.54 inches, which is almost four tenths of an inch (0.39 inches) below normal – the statewide winter wheat crop is rated 47%  good to excellent, 40% fair, and 13% poor to very poor – plus most of the statewide topsoil & subsoil moisture levels are well over 90% adequate to surplus – local and area farmers in Southeastern and South Central Illinois agree, things are looking good as preparations are being made for the 2015 growing season.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s an update from Olney Central College – while parts of Wattleworth Hall remain closed for repair work, limited courses will continue to meet today at the West Richland Center in Noble – students should logon to their Entrata accounts to check the status of all Olney Central College classes – other OCC updates and information are available on the college’s and District’s website online, at www.iecc.edu/occ.

 

(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   :  today at St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia from 11:00 to 4:00  :  today at the KC Hall in Teutopolis from 1:30 to 6:30  :  also today at the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  the next area blood drive will be in Jasper County this Sunday morning from 8:00 to 12 noon at the American Legion in Ste. Marie  :  for more details on giving blood, go online at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual St. Mary’s Brunch, which was cancelled yesterday, will now be held this coming Sunday morning, with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon, in the St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie – the Church Youth will also have their Bake Sale as well – all are invited out this Sunday morning to Ste. Marie


    Also cancelled yesterday and move to this coming Sunday is the final day of the 2015 Bowl For Kids Sake at the Olney Bowling Center – that’s from 1:00 to 5:30 to benefit the local Big Brothers Big Sisters


    The East Richland Middle School is presenting Disney’s “High School Musical JR” this weekend in the Sliva Auditorium at East Richland High School – with three performances Friday night at 6:30, Saturday night at 6:30, and Sunday afternoon at 2:00, the general admission tickets will be on sale at the door


    A chili dinner fundraiser to benefit Kevin Seals of rural West Salem will be this Saturday afternoon at The House of Prayer in Albion, with serving from 12 noon to 3:00 – free will donations will be taken at the door with a silent auction for various items also to be held – all proceeds to help with medical expenses


    The next Post Prom meeting at Newton Community High School is this coming Thursday, March 5th, starting at 6:30 in the NCHS Library – all NCHS junior parents are needed to plan this year’s Post Prom


    A reminder that the City of Olney’s Brush Dump will reopen to the public this Thursday, with regular hours, from 10:00 to 4:00 – the Brush Dump is also scheduled to be open with the same hours on Friday


    Tickets for “Mary Poppins” are on sale from 10:00 to 2:00 today and each weekday at the OCC ticket booth in the lobby of the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center at Olney Central College – the Theatre’s seven performances will be the final two weekends of March, the 20th thru 22nd, and the 26th thru 29th

 

 

 

March 2, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  As a high pressure ridge moves east of our region today, another storm system quickly takes shape to the west – as the low pressure system moves thru our region tonight, we have the chance of sleet or freezing rain late tonight thru early tomorrow morning, then changing to mostly all rain by afternoon, if not sooner – then some more cold air before a warm up and a dry weekend ahead – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The weekend winter storm dropped anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of snow throughout the region on average – official snowfall amounts were 8 inches in Newton and 7 inches in Olney with most all other area snowfall amounts within the same range – while most all area highways are clear and dry, most country and rural roads are snow-packed and very slick, where travel is discouraged until later this week.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Weather Service has issued another Special Weather Statement for Richland, Jasper, and most all surrounding counties, calling for ice accumulations that are likely late tonight thru Tuesday morning – while minor accumulations of ice will amount to less than a quarter inch, if that, what does fall will quickly melt as the surface temperatures rise well into the 30’s by late tomorrow morning – motorists will plans to travel late tonight and early tomorrow morning should expect some possible delays due to the potential of icy road conditions – stay tuned to your NOAA weather radios for weather updates.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news today – former Governor Pat Quinn told students and lawyers last Friday at the Loyola University School of Law that pushing consumer rights and organizing are in his immediate future – Quinn also said that Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget is the “worst” he’s seen in Illinois history – Quinn said he has not ruled out a future run for public office but right now he’s focused on other things.

 

(NEWTON)  Organizers have released details regarding an upcoming Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day Rally and March to be held later this month in Springfield – the Rally will include a united March to the State Capitol at 1:00 on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 18th, with the purpose to lobby lawmakers, all to be followed by a Rally at around 3:00 – those interested in taking part will be picked up at several locations in Illinois, including the Wal-Mart Store in Mt. Vernon – to register in advance, call 815-635-3198.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s an update from Olney Central College – while parts of Wattleworth Hall remain closed for repair work, limited courses will continue to meet today and tomorrow at the West Richland Center in Noble – students should logon to their Entrata accounts to check the status of all Olney Central College classes – other information and updates are available on the District’s website at www.iecc.edu/occ.

 

(NEWTON)  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last Friday that a one-time extension is being provided to producers for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage) and PLC (Price Loss Coverage) – the final day to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres has been extended one additional month, from last Friday, February 27th, until March 31st – the final day for farm owners and producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage remains the same as before, also March 31st – area farmers are urged to make an appointment with their County FSA Office.

 

(OLNEY)   This week, today thru Sunday, has been designated as National MS Awareness Week, a time to learn more about Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks a person’s central nervous system – with a local “Talk MS” support group available, there’s also a local “Join the Movement” group as well – plans have already been made for the 6th annual “Join the Movement” event in Olney on July 25th, later this year – meanwhile, with this week’s observance of MS Awareness Week, we encourage everyone to consider wearing “orange” this coming Friday, March 6th, in support of those battling MS.

 

(NEWTON)  A reminder that as part of Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which continues today thru Saturday, March 7th, the National Weather Service will be conducting the annual Statewide Tornado Drill tomorrow morning, March 3rd, starting at 10:00 – this will coincide with the “first Tuesday of the month” siren test that many communities conduct – while the statewide test will be transmitted thru weather radios, commercial radios, television stations, and elsewhere, residents should remember this will be a test and NOT AN ACTUAL emergency alert – it will also be an opportunity for area schools, various factories, businesses, and others to practice their respective tornado drills – to learn more about tornado and/or severe weather preparedness tips check the IEMA website available online or logon at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that the Illinois Oil and Gas Association’s 69th Annual Convention & Trade Show is quickly approaching, scheduled to begin this Thursday, March 5th, and continue thru Friday – it’s all to be held at the Old National Events Plaza down in Evansville with plenty of seminars and workshops, oilfield vendors, and much more – the Thursday night Banquet entertainment will feature popular music legend Kenny Rogers – for last minute details check the Association’s website, online at www.ioga.com.

 

(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 Shelbyville High School from 9:00 to 2:00  :  also today at the Mattoon Middle School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia from 11:00 to 4:00  :  tomorrow at the KC Hall in Teutopolis from 1:30 to 6:30  :  tomorrow at the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more details or to schedule an appointment, go online at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual St. Mary’s Brunch, which was cancelled yesterday, will now be held this coming Sunday morning, with serving from 8:00 to 12 noon, in the St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie – the Church Youth will also have their Bake Sale as well – all are invited out this Sunday morning to Ste. Marie


    Also cancelled yesterday and move to this coming Sunday is the final day of the 2015 Bowl For Kids Sake at the Olney Bowling Center – that’s from 1:00 to 5:30 to benefit the local Big Brothers Big Sisters


    The West Richland PTO will have its “Kids’ Carnival” this coming Saturday evening from 4:00 to 6:00 in the Grade School Gym in Noble – includes various games with tickets at the door, plus a fundraising raffle with tickets at the door and some great prizes – doors open at 3:30 – all ages are invited


    The next Post Prom meeting at Newton Community High School is this coming Thursday, March 5th, starting at 6:30 in the NCHS Library – all NCHS junior parents are needed to plan this year’s Post Prom


    The Jasper Post #20 American Legion in Newton will host a pork loin dinner on this Monday night with serving to start at 6:00 – all are invited out for a good meal tonight at the American Legion in Newton


    Tickets for “Mary Poppins” are on sale from 10:00 to 2:00 today and each weekday at the OCC ticket booth in the lobby of the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center at Olney Central College – the Theatre’s seven performances will be the final two weekends of March, the 20th thru 22nd, and the 26th thru 29th
  

 

 

 

February 28, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  Another winter storm is tracking east from the Plains will spread accumulating snow across our region tonight thru tomorrow before ending tomorrow night – a wintry mix with freezing rain and/or sleet could be included at times – it will all clear out of our region with a dry Monday, followed by much warmer air and a chance of a thunderstorm on Tuesday, then colder again next Wednesday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Weather Service has a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 6:00 tonight thru 6:00 Sunday night for Richland and most all surrounding counties – the snow will begin falling by sunset this evening and continue thru the day on Sunday – some freezing rain is possible for a while tomorrow morning before the mixture changes to snow and rain – the area snow accumulations of between 3 and 5 inches are likely with more or less possible in some spots – then some melting during Sunday afternoon – motorists are urged to allow extra time if travel is necessary – stay tuned to your NOAA weather radio.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s an update from Olney Central College – while parts of Wattleworth Hall remain closed for repair work, limited courses will continue to meet next Monday & Tuesday at the West Richland Center in Noble – the Student Services Office, Food Service, Bookstore, and Anderson Library will all be open next week, but not accessible thru Wattleworth Hall – students should logon to their Entrata accounts to check the status of all OCC classes – other information’s available online, at www.iecc.edu/occ.

 

(NEWTON)  This year’s Special Olympics Illinois Polar Plunge, which locally will take place at Lake Sara, near Effingham, starts at 12 noon today – the proceeds will benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois, specifically the more than 700 athletes who compete in East Central / Area 9, including the counties of Jasper, Richland, Lawrence, Crawford, Clark, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Shelby, Effingham, and Clay –last year in 2014, more than $2.1 million was raised by over 7,300 plungers around the state – for last minute details or to see how local residents can help out, go online at www.plungeillinois.com.

 

(NEWTON)  It will be a busy day in Ste. Marie tomorrow – the annual St. Mary’s Brunch is in the morning from 8:00 to 12 noon in the St. Mary’s Parish Center with tickets at the door – plus a Bake Sale with plenty of homemade goodies to choose from – the Sainte Marie Foundation House and Museum will be open from 11:00 until 3:00 – folks are encouraged to stop by and view the current Military Exhibit which will only be available thru the end of May – it’s food in the morning & history in the afternoon in Ste. Marie tomorrow.

 

(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   :  tomorrow at the Salisbury Church in Charleston from 2:00 to 7:00  :  next Monday at the Shelbyville High School from 9:00 to 2:00  :  also Monday at the Mattoon Middle School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  next Tuesday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia from 11:00 to 4:00  :  next Tuesday at the KC Hall in Teutopolis from 1:30 to 6:30  :  and next Tuesday at the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  for more details or to schedule a blood-giving appointment, go online at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The annual Hunting Heritage Banquet, hosted by the NWTF’s Richland County Longspurs Chapter, is this evening at The Holiday in Olney – doors open at 6:00 with a social hour before the meal – then an auction for sporting art, hunting guns, knives, calls, & more – for tickets, call now at 618-843-7967


    A benefit dinner, auction, and dance is this evening at the Olney VFW with all proceeds going to Liza Miller-Martin to help with medical expenses – it’s a soup supper with chili, vegetable stew, or ham & beans at 5:00, an auction at 7:00, and live music to follow – donations accepted at the door – all invited


    The Noble Lions Club will host its annual fundraising breakfast this morning, with serving from 7:00 to 12 noon, at the Lions Club Building in Noble – it’s all-you-can-eat, pay at the door – all ages invited


    Republic Services are continuing to haul trash in the Newton and Jasper County area today – other locations are running on the regular trash pickup schedule, including the Olney and Noble areas