LOCAL NEWS

Local News

July 25, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  The high pressure ridge that’s moving off to the East Coast will still keep us mostly dry today, but an approaching low pressure system will bring unsettled weather conditions to Illinois this weekend, maybe as early as this afternoon – the chance of scattered rain and/or thunderstorms will run this afternoon thru tomorrow & Sunday before ending – then dry & cool for the first of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  More than 100,000 Illinoisans are now in position to get a refund from the government – it’s all part of the Affordable Care Act – insurance firms must spend at least 8% of the premiums they collect on medical care or return the difference to customers and employers – the money will not be required to be a check in the mail – employers can apply the rebate as a discount for employees’ future premiums.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois High School Association is defending its right to keep its records on sponsorship deals, vendors, and pension spending under wraps – the Better Government Association has filed suit against the IHSA, wanting the records made public, especially since state lawmakers are trying to get more details about how the agency conducts business – a letter from the Attorney General’s office back in 2010 clearly indicates that the IHSA is a private entity and it is not subject to the new FOIA laws in Illinois.

 

(NEWTON)  Time is winding down to purchase a State Fair Mega Pass at a discounted price – the current $65 fee will increase to $75 next Monday – the Mega Pass allows a person to ride all the carnival rides as many times as they want for the fair’s duration, which runs August 7th thru 17th – the Mega Pass does not cover admission or rides on the Giant Slide, Sky Glide, or Tram – check the State Fair’s website for more.

 

(OLNEY)  Downstate labor leaders, mayors, and lawmakers gathered down in Marion earlier this week to put pressure on the state’s Hydraulic Fracturing regulators – they noted that it’s been more than 400 days since the Governor signed the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act into law, however the rules governing the practice have still not been implement, little alone drawn up – while oil companies are putting men and women to work by using the oilfield process in other states, such as Indiana, thousands of acres in Illinois, mostly in the southern third of the state, have been leased for the production of oil and gas by utilizing the Hydraulic Fracturing process – while many of the land leases run out this year, thousands of jobs are being put on hold – some believe the rules may not be approved and in place till after the November 4th election.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police are investigating an incident that occurred shortly after 10:00 on Thursday morning in Jasper County – authorities indicate a cement truck was traveling on East 600th Avenue near Newton when one of the front tires blew, causing the truck to run off the road and into a home daycare building – fortunately, there were no children present in the room where the truck crashed into and there were no injuries reported – no tickets have been issued and the investigation continues by the police.

 

(OLNEY)  A separate investigation continues by the State Police involving a car / motorcycle collision in Clay County – State Police say 37 year old Chad Barbee of Louisville was eastbound on U.S. Route 50 near Flora when his motorcycle was struck by a car driven by 49 year old Lisa Whipps, of Valparaiso, Indiana – in an effort to avoid the crash, Barbee laid the motorcycle down on the highway, causing him to be ejected – Barbee was taken to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville with serious injuries – Whipps was not injured – no tickets have been issued as of yet – the accident occurred yesterday morning at around 6:15 in Clay County.

 

(NEWTON)  Area farmers are invited to a Lawrence County Tillage Day coming up a week from today, on August 1st, located 5 miles northeast of Sumner – beginning with registration at 9:00 that morning, a variety of vertical tillage tools will be demonstrated, all hosted by the Lawrence County Soil & Water Conservation District – it features tillage tools from equipment dealers in Albion, Vincennes, & Newton, including brand names such as Sunflower, McFarlane, Case IH, John Deere, Landoll, Kuhn Krause, Great Plains, & Salford – all are invited to the free event – for more information, call Kristie at 618-943-2621, extension #3.

 

(OLNEY)  Two area County Fairs continue the rest of this week – at the Clay County Fair over in Charley Brown Park west of Flora, will wrap up tonight with the Fair Queen Pageant at 7:00, plus it’s more on tap this weekend at the Edwards County Fair in Albion – it will end with activities thru tomorrow night.

 

(NEWTON)  Area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the list of area drives  :  today at the United Methodist Church in Xenia from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the United Methodist Church in Vincennes from 9:00 to 2:00, Illinois time  :  then Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  next Monday at the Charleston Public Library from 1:30 to 5:30  :  also Monday at the First Christian Church in Noble from 2:00 to 6:00  :  and next Thursday at The Holiday in Olney from 11:30 to 3:30  :  with an emergency appeal issued by the American Red Cross for blood and platelets, all eligible and/or first-time donors are strongly encouraged to get out and give blood – all blood types are in need – for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of notes from the City of Olney  :  the work has started on the portion of Holly Road which travels in front of, or just east of, the Elementary School in Olney – this section of Holly Road, from Hall Street south of Gadde Bridge Lane, will be closed for another week or so for the improvement work – during this time, the school can be accessed from the rear, off of Hall Street  :  also in effect this morning, the 100 block of North Fair Street, between Main Street and York Street, will be closed to all thru traffic as utility crews continue to change out and replace electric poles – the patience of all residents is appreciated.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Olney FFA Alumni raffle fundraiser has tickets now on sale at $10 each with the grand prize of  $5,000 in cash or towards a purchase at either Travco Motorsports or Vincennes Tractor – the drawing will be August 1st at the Alumni Golf Outing – need not be present to win – get tickets from any FFA member or Alumni member – proceeds to help sponsor various FFA activities & scholarships – call 618-843-5488


    It’s plenty of Bluegrass music coming up this weekend at the Mill Road Thresherman’s Show on the Effingham County Fairgrounds in Altamont – artists will perform from 11:00 to 7:00 Saturday and from 9:00 to 1:00 Sunday – the show, which starts today, features an antique tractor show, horse pulls, threshing demonstrations, and more, plus concessions – for more details, logon at www.millroadthresherman.org


    The annual Parkersburg Chowder is tomorrow with all proceeds to the Oak Hill Cemetery – 800 gallons of chowder will be served starting between 10:30 and 11:00, plus other food including barbeque & desserts – also the annual parade begins at 1:30, plus a tractor display, an HO train display, and more – all volunteers are welcome to help by calling Jan at 618-838-2012 – all are invited out to Parkersburg Saturday


    The 5th Annual Join the Movement activities are tomorrow in Olney – the eight Run/Walk/Bike events all start in the 6:00 hour at the East Richland Middle School, while the Road Rally for a Cure is later in the day – the mandatory driver’s meeting for all motorcycles, jeeps, and sports/muscle cars is at 9:45 at the Olney VFW, leaving then at 10:00 – back that night for a 5:00 meal, auction, & music – all are invited


    The Richland County Farmers Market is back under the pole barns in the Olney City Park today, with fresh produce and more available from 11:00 to 4:00 – the public is invited to stop by and look things over

 

 

 

July 24, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  As a Canadian high pressure builds southward into the Midwest today, dry and cooler air moves thru our region – while we’ll see a slight warmup tomorrow and thru the upcoming weekend, our chance of scattered rain increases as well, especially for Saturday and Sunday, although the rain could start as early as tomorrow night – then it will be dry and still somewhat cool for the first of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  There’s more bad news for Illinois’ credit rating – Standard & Poor’s has lowered the state’s outlook on general obligation bonds to “negative” – officials say Illinois’ latest budget is not structurally balanced and will contribute to growing deficits – the agency also noted that the rating was lowered because of a recent Supreme Court ruling that protects retirement pension benefits under the state’s constitution.

 

(OLNEY)  A ruling earlier this week indicates that state regulators can force Illinois electricity customers to help pay for the $1.6 million FutureGen project – the Illinois Appellate Court, on a 2 to 1 decision, says the charge of an estimated $1.00 to $1.40 a month can be implemented for the long-delayed project – over the past ten years, the FutureGen site moved from near Mattoon to a new site now in Western Illinois – it plans to refit an old coal-fired plant with technology to remove carbon dioxide and then store it underground.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced a number of changes for the upcoming deer hunting seasons – DNR officials say 20 counties will be removed from the late winter season and a number of firearm permits available in some counties will also be reduced – it’s all following advice from DNR biologists and statistics – to get more details, check the department’s website available online.

 

(OLNEY)  The American Red Cross has issued an urgent appeal for blood and platelet donors – following the recent Independence Day holiday, an emergency blood shortage has occurred, and while summer can be among the most challenging time of the year to collect blood, the urgent appeal has been made – platelet donors and blood donors of all types, especially those with type O negative, B negative, and A negative, are encouraged to give at their earliest opportunity – for more information, or to go online and schedule an appointment to give blood, logon at www.redcrossblood.org – we’ll list the upcoming area drives later on.

 

(NEWTON)  State Representative David Reis has issued an update on the investigation into Governor Pat Quinn’s troubled Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program – while last week’s hearings in Chicago were frustrating, the bipartisan commission agreed to avoid doing anything that might impede the federal grand jury investigation, and therefore agreed to delay further questioning for 90 days – the commission is now scheduled to reconvene on October 8th – Reis, a member of the 12 member Legislative Audit Commission, said documents relating to the audit and hearings can be found online at www.ilga.gov/commission/lac/lac.

 

(OLNEY)  Pay now and beat the crowd and the penalty – the Richland County mobile home privilege tax payments are due on July 31st, a week from today – the payments must be delivered to the Treasurer’s Office, postmarked, or placed in the Courthouse drop box by July 31st to be considered timely – the Treasurer’s office is open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00, if any questions or concerns.

 

(NEWTON)  There’s still a reminder to the citizens of Newton – while the community garden plants are growing well and yielding fresh produce, some is available to the public free of charge, but some remains private – the produce from plots #8 and #16 are for the community to enjoy – these plots are located on the northeast section of the garden, bordering Perry Street, near the parking area – plus, the sweet corn planted in plots #26 thru #30 is also for the community to enjoy – folks are reminded that the remaining plots have been rented and the produce from these plots belongs to the renters only – this produce is not available for the community of Newton – a huge “thank you” to the volunteer gardeners who’ve helped out this year.

 

(OLNEY)  Two area County Fairs continue the rest of this week – at the Clay County Fair over in Charley Brown Park west of Flora, it’s arm band night for the carnival rides, plus a special concert tonight featuring country music with Ira Dean, formerly of the group Trick Pony – also this evening the 4-H Horse Show will be held at the Clay County Saddle Club, located southeast of Clay City – the Edwards County Fair in Albion continues with local talent on stage this evening at 5:30 – both fairs roll thru Saturday night.

 

(NEWTON)  Area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – the list of area drives  :  today at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the United Methodist Church in Xenia from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Vincennes from 10:00 to 3:00  :  Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  next Monday at the Charleston Public Library from 1:30 to 5:30  :  also Monday at the First Christian Church in Noble from 2:00 to 6:00  :  and next Thursday, a week from today, at The Holiday from 11:30 to 3:30  :  for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org – all blood types are very much in need.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of notes from the City of Olney  :  starting today and continuing for about the next two weeks, Holly Road will be closed to all thru traffic from Hall Street south to Gadde Bridge Lane – that’s the portion of Holly Road that runs in front of the Elementary School – during the road work, the school can be accessed from the rear, off of Hall Street – again, the road improvements should be complete in a couple of weeks  :  and in effect for today, tomorrow, and Friday, the 100 block of South Fair Street, between Main Street and Market Street, will be closed to all traffic from 7:30 to 5:00 each day – utility crews are working to change electrical poles is this area of Olney – the patience of all residents at this time is appreciated.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Olney FFA Alumni raffle fundraiser has tickets now on sale at $10 each with the grand prize of  $5,000 in cash or towards a purchase at either Travco Motorsports or Vincennes Tractor – the drawing will be August 1st at the Alumni Golf Outing – need not be present to win – get tickets from any FFA member or Alumni member – proceeds to help sponsor various FFA activities & scholarships – call 618-843-5488


    It’s plenty of Bluegrass music coming up this weekend at the Mill Road Thresherman’s Show on the Effingham County Fairgrounds in Altamont – artists will perform from 11:00 to 7:00 Saturday and from 9:00 to 1:00 Sunday – the show, which starts Friday, features an antique tractor show, horse pulls, threshing demonstrations, and more, plus concessions – for more details, logon at www.millroadthresherman.org


    The annual Parkersburg Chowder is this Saturday with all proceeds to the Oak Hill Cemetery – 800 gallons of chowder will be served starting between 10:30 and 11:00, plus other food including barbeque & desserts – also the annual parade begins at 1:30, plus a tractor display, an HO train display, and more – all volunteers are welcome to help by calling Jan at 618-838-2012 – all are invited out to Parkersburg Saturday


    The 5th Annual Join the Movement activities are this Saturday in Olney – the eight Run/Walk/Bike events all start in the 6:00 hour at the East Richland Middle School, while the Road Rally for a Cure is later in the day – the mandatory driver’s meeting for all motorcycles, jeeps, and sports/muscle cars is at 9:45 at the Olney VFW, leaving then at 10:00 – back that night for a 5:00 meal, auction, & music – all are invited


    The fundraising garage sale at the Hope Food Pantry in Hidalgo will end today with all proceeds to help fund the new building – all are invited to stop by during the regular pantry hours today to help out


    The Farmers Market is later this afternoon and evening in Noble’s Village Park – from 3:00 to 6:00, the public can stop by and check out the fresh produce and more – that’s later today in the Noble Village Park

 

 

 

July 23, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  A cold front will continue moving thru the Midwest today with scattered rain chances ending by afternoon – then dry again for the rest of the work week before another on-and-off chance of scattered rain and thunderstorms Friday night thru Sunday – mostly dry the first of next week – stay tuned for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  A pop-up thunderstorm rolled thru a few area counties earlier this morning – a lot of lightning and some areas of heavy rainfall occurred, but no injuries or serious damage, although some power outages have been reported – our rainfall total here at the south edge of Olney, at the National Weather Service weather station, came in at 1.87 inches, all in 30 minutes – mostly centered over Richland County, the storm also effected the nearby counties of  Jasper, Clay, Lawrence, Edwards, Wabash, and Wayne.

 

(NEWTON)  The “Chicago Sun Times” is reporting emails from Governor Pat Quinn’s office show how politics played a role in how nonprofits received funds from the defunct Neighborhood Recovery Initiative – some of the emails show State Representatives trying to block the funds to one place or the other due to political ties, even though prospective recipients qualified for the money by presenting statistics and details.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois home sales reversed course in June with statewide home sales experiencing a slight year over year gain for the first time this year – home prices continued to climb in June, marking the 22nd consecutive month of annual increases – the statewide home sales totaled 15,661 units sold, up .01% from June of 2013 – the statewide median price in June was $179,000, up 5.8% from a year ago at the same time.

 

(NEWTON)  Education leaders in Illinois are concerned about the severe shortage of agricultural teachers around the state – with nearly 320 ag programs in statewide high schools, most agriculture teachers also serve as FFA Advisors for some 17,500 Illinois FFA members – it’s these ag teacher positions that help drive high school students to careers in ag-related businesses – in a typical year, there’s 50 to 60 vacancies for agriculture teachers – there are only around 25 agriculture education graduates in Illinois each year.

 

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School District is continuing with its online registration for the 2014-2015 school year and the online registration window will stay open until August 1st, one week from this Friday – for those with no computer access or those that may require assistance, two dates have been set up where help will be available at the District’s individual schools – that’s next Monday, July 28th, from 8:00 to 3:00, and next Tuesday from 10:00 to 6:00 – details about physicals, immunizations, emergency contacts, & other requirements will be needed, especially for new students in the District – parents can call their students’ respective school for more details or check the School District’s website at www.ercu1.net – those going to the Elementary School should use the back entrance off of Hall Street due to road work on Holly Road.

 

(NEWTON)   The Jasper County Extension is co-sponsoring another State DNR Hunter Safety Course coming up August 15th and 16th at the Latona Christian Church, south of Wheeler – it’s recommended for those age 10 and older with the minimum ten hour course covering instruction in wildlife management, firearms safety, hunter ethics, game identification, first aid, survival techniques, and hunting regulations – the course will run that Friday night from 6:00 to 9:00 and thru the day that Saturday from 8:30 to 4:00 – to make a required registration, call the Jasper County Extension office in Newton at 618-783-2521 or check the website online at www.web.extension.illinois.edu/cefj – space is limited, so register as soon as possible.

 

(OLNEY)  Area farmers are invited to a Lawrence County Tillage Day coming up a week from this Friday – located 5.1 miles northeast of Sumner – a variety of vertical tillage tools will be demonstrated on the farm, beginning with registration at 9:00 on the August 1st morning – it’s all hosted by the Lawrence County Soil & Water Conservation District and will include tillage tools from equipment dealers in Albion, Vincennes, Newton, and Princeton, Indiana – the brand name equipment includes Sunflower, McFarlane, Case IH, John Deere, Landoll, Kuhn Krause, Great Plains, and Salford – all are invited to the free event to be held at 3352 Petty School Lane, rural Sumner – for more information, call Kristie at 618-943-2621, extension #3.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Public Health and downstate county health departments are increasing their surveillance of birds and mosquitoes, which are potential carriers of the West Nile Virus – because the virus generally appears and spreads in Illinois bird and mosquito populations as early as two to six weeks before it’s transmitted to humans, monitoring the bird and mosquito populations in communities around Illinois helps predict when at-risk conditions exist – reports of dead birds will be evaluated and specimens will be considered for testing now thru mid-October with blue jays and crows with high priority of collection, although other “perching birds” are acceptable for testing – for more information or details, contact your respective or local health department office or check the state’s website at www.idph.il.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  Two area County Fairs continue with activities the rest of this week – at the Clay County Fair over in Charley Brown Park west of Flora, the annual 4-H Barbeque is this evening from 4:00 to 7:00 with tickets at the gate, plus the 4-H Livestock Auction is tonight at 6:30 – the Edwards County Fair in Albion continues with activities as well – both fairs roll throughout the rest of this week, ending on Saturday.

 

(NEWTON)  Area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – the list of area drives  :  today at the Edwards County Fair in Albion from 2:00 to 7:00 on the fairgrounds in the Senior Citizens Building  :  also today at the KC Hall in Vincennes from 1:00 to 6:00 (Illinois time)  :  tomorrow at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the United Methodist Church in Xenia from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Vincennes from 10:00 to 3:00  :  for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org – all blood types are very much in need at this time.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of notes from the City of Olney  :  starting today and continuing for about the next two weeks, Holly Road will be closed to all thru traffic from Hall Street south to Gadde Bridge Lane – that’s the portion of Holly Road that runs in front of the Elementary School – during the road work, the school can be accessed from the rear, off of Hall Street – again, the road improvements should be complete in a couple of weeks  :  and in effect for today, tomorrow, and Friday, the 100 block of South Fair Street, between Main Street and Market Street, will be closed to all traffic from 7:30 to 5:00 each day – utility crews are working to change electrical poles is this area of Olney – the patience of all residents at this time is appreciated.

 

REMINDERS :
    Don’t forget to get those raffle tickets for the Noble Chowder, which is set for August 9th – tickets on sale at the Noble Village Hall, at Noble Foods, or the First National Bank branch in Noble


    It’s plenty of Bluegrass music coming up this weekend at the Mill Road Thresherman’s Show on the Effingham County Fairgrounds in Altamont – artists will perform from 11:00 to 7:00 Saturday and from 9:00 to 1:00 Sunday – the show, which starts Friday, features an antique tractor show, horse pulls, threshing demonstrations, and more, plus concessions – for more details, logon at www.millroadthresherman.org


    The annual Parkersburg Chowder is this Saturday with all proceeds to the Oak Hill Cemetery – 800 gallons of chowder will be served starting between 10:30 and 11:00, plus other food including barbeque & desserts – also the annual parade begins at 1:30, plus a tractor display, an HO train display, and more – all volunteers are welcome to help by calling Jan at 618-838-2012 – all are invited out to Parkersburg Saturday


    The 5th Annual Join the Movement activities are this Saturday in Olney – the eight Run/Walk/Bike events all start in the 6:00 hour at the East Richland Middle School, while the Road Rally for a Cure is later in the day – the mandatory driver’s meeting for all motorcycles, jeeps, and sports/muscle cars is at 9:45 at the Olney VFW, leaving then at 10:00 – back that night for a 5:00 meal, auction, & music – all are invited


    The Hope Food Pantry in Hidalgo continues its garage sale fundraiser today, but ending tomorrow during regular hours – stop by for a bargain or two and help them complete their new pantry building


    The Olney Public Library will have another “story hour” this afternoon at 2:00, open to one and all – meanwhile, call or stop by the Library to see what’s available to you and your family or friends

 

 

 

July 22, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  Another warm day is in store today as more humidity pours into our region – an approaching cold front will move thru the state overnight with rain & storm chances late tonight thru tomorrow morning with some severe conditions possible – but we’ll quickly dry out with high pressure and cooler air in place by Wednesday night – however, more rain and storm chance Friday night thru Sunday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  There’s talk that Bruce Rauner is open to keeping a higher income tax rate in place – the GOP candidate for Governor has been campaigning on the idea of rolling the rate back from 5% to 3%, but he admits it cannot happen overnight – he believes a four-year-phase-out is best – that means lawmakers will likely be taking a vote to keep the higher rate after the November election, regardless of who wins the race.

 

(OLNEY)  More money does not necessarily mean better healthcare – a new poll by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found 37 percent of Americans feel that way – the survey shows a growing number of consumers are choosing healthcare providers based on people skills, not based on cost – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in 2011, the average American spend over $8,500 on healthcare.

 

(NEWTON)  More than 200 people are suing the state since they were denied the right to carry a gun in public – now, the Attorney General’s Office wants to give their applications a second look, just to make sure the rejections are valid – the Office is asking a Cook County Judge to send the applications back to a special review board – if turned down again, the people will get a letter explaining why they were rejected.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Fire Department was called out twice this past weekend  :  at 3:19 Saturday afternoon to a mobile home fire at 4375 East Kincade Lane where fire damage was found to a bed and flooring area in one room – there were no injuries and the fire is under investigation as it was suspicious in nature – the firemen were on the scene for just over two hours  :  the second call came in early Sunday morning at 1:32, to an abandoned house site near the intersection of Tank Farm Lane and East Road north of Olney – there was no real damage and no injuries – the firemen were on the scene for just over a half hour.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau has released its weekly rainfall report for the nine townships with the 7-day recording period ending at 10:00 yesterday morning – the only rainfall occurred a week ago Monday afternoon and early last Tuesday morning – the average county-wide rainfall was 0.27 inches – the county’s high rainfall total was an inch and two tenths (1.20) in Noble Township – then it was four tenths of an inch (0.40) in both Decker and Bonpas Townships – only two tenths of an inch (0.20) fell in Claremont Township – and one tenth of an inch (0.10) in both German and Madison Townships – there was no measurable rain during the seven day period in either Denver, Preston, or Olney Townships – at the WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service weather station at the south edge of Olney, we recorded seven hundredths of an inch of rain over the 7-day period – it was quite a contrast from this past week to the week earlier in Richland County.

 

(NEWTON)   The Jasper County School Board met last night in Newton for its regular monthly meeting in July – the Board  :  approved the contract with the Jasper County Mental Health Department for counseling services  :  approved a collaborative agreement with the Embarras River Basin Agency Head Start Program  :  noted that the Public Access Counselor has found that no violation occurred after a request for review of the Open Meetings Act from last winter  :  accepted grants from the Maxine E. Spitler Foundation – $2,294 to purchase microscopes for the Junior High Science Lab and $1,500 to purchase marimba for the Junior High / High School band programs  :  accepted the dairy bids for the new school year from Prairie Farms  :  accepted the Driver’s Education bids from Louis Ochs Chevrolet Buick as presented  :  approved the 5th thru 8th grade Athletic Handbook with the addition of athletic team tryouts  :  and after a 54-minute closed session made the following personnel moves – recognized the resignation of Teacher and School Nurse Denise Feutz, effective July 16th – hired Jamie Mahaffey as a Newton Elementary Teacher, Sarah Will as a Language Arts Teacher at the Junior High/High Schools, and Stephanie Klingler as an Elementary Teacher – also approved hiring Mallory Weber as Elementary School Counselor pending the successful completion of an internship  :  the Jasper County School Board will have its next regular meeting on August 18th.

 

(OLNEY)  There were 6 full days suitable for fieldwork last week, although some area farmers would have traded a few of those days in for rain instead – yesterday’s USDA Crop Report shows that statewide precip averaged just over a half inch (0.52), which is a third of an inch (0.36) below normal – last week’s average statewide temperature was 67.5 degrees, 9.4 degrees below normal – while the state’s wheat harvest is 95% complete as of Sunday, 82% of the state’s corn is silking, way ahead of the 5-year average of 70%  :  area farmers in our ten county region report much the same – nearly 90% of the corn is silking and over 70% of the soybeans are blooming, with a third of the beans now setting pods – although the lack of adequate rain is a growing concern, farmers say the local crops are around 80% in good to excellent condition and less than 5% in poor to very poor shape – farmers are reminded to think “safety first” while working out there.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District reminds everyone that school registration for the new school year is today at the Newton Community High School – the registration is from 10:30 this morning to 7:00 tonight with all elementary/junior high students in the NCHS Cafeteria and high school students in the NCHS Office – online registration is also available at www.jaspercountyschools.net – call 618-783-2303.

 

(OLNEY)  Two area County Fairs continue with activities the rest of this week – at the Clay County Fair over in Charley Brown Park west of Flora its plenty of more 4-H Livestock Judging plus tonight’s Junior Miss Pageant – down at the Edwards County Fair in Albion its more Harness Racing this evening at 6:00 - both fairs continue thru the rest of this week.

 

(OLNEY)  A Wayne County man has been remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshall Service after an appearance yesterday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis – former Fairfield High School Math Teacher and Coach Timothy Going (43) now faces federal charges of being in possession of child pornography and of unlawful videotaping of underage girls – local charges also have been made – he’s jailed without bond.

 

(NEWTON)  Area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – the list of area drives coming up  :  tomorrow at the Edwards County Fair in Albion from 2:00 to 7:00 in the Senior Citizens Building  :  also tomorrow at the KC Hall in Vincennes from 1:00 to 6:00 (Illinois time)  :  on Thursday at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the United Methodist Church in Xenia from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Vincennes from 10:00 to 3:00  :  for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org – all blood types are very much in need at this time.

 

REMINDERS :
    The annual Parkersburg Chowder is this Saturday with all proceeds to the Oak Hill Cemetery – 800 gallons of chowder will be served starting between 10:30 and 11:00, plus other food including barbeque & desserts – also the annual parade begins at 1:30, plus a tractor display, an HO train display, and more – all volunteers are welcome to help by calling Jan at 618-838-2012 – all are invited out to Parkersburg Saturday


    The 5th Annual Join the Movement activities are this Saturday in Olney – the eight Run/Walk/Bike events all start in the 6:00 hour at the East Richland Middle School, while the Road Rally for a Cure is later in the day – the mandatory driver’s meeting for all motorcycles, jeeps, and sports/muscle cars is at 9:45 at the Olney VFW, leaving then at 10:00 – back that night for a 5:00 meal, auction, & music – all are invited


    The Hope Food Pantry in Hidalgo is having a garage sale fundraiser today, tomorrow, and Wednesday to help finish their new building – stop by for a bargain or two and help them in their fundraising effort

 
    The Olney Connections Program, which enables people living with MS to meet others who deal with similar situations, will host a special guest this evening at the Olde Tyme Steakhaus, starting at 6:00 – Dr. Lori Guyton, with Neurology of Southern Illinois, will share details about a new oral MS treatment – registrations is free by contacting Amy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her at 618-628-9030

 

The Olney Public Library will have an edition of  its “story hour” tomorrow afternoon at 2:00, open to one and all – call or stop by the Library to see what it has available to you and your family or friends

 
  
    A note from the City of Olney – starting tomorrow and continuing for about the next two weeks, Holly Road will be closed to all thru traffic from Hall Street south to Gadde Bridge Lane – that’s the portion of Holly Road that runs in front of the Elementary School – during the road work, the school can be accessed from the rear, off of Hall Street – again, that road improvements should be complete in a couple of weeks

 

    The Richland County Farmers Market is back under the pole barns in the Olney City Park today, with fresh produce and more available from 11:00 to 4:00 – the public is invited to stop by and look things over

 

 

 

July 21, 2014

 

(OLNEY)  High pressure will continue to push east of our region today as a cold front approaches from the west – a southerly wind flow will develop on the back side of that high, bringing in warmer & more humid air today & tomorrow – then the cold front will spread scattered showers & storms for a short 24 hour period Wednesday – then dry again Thursday thru Friday – maybe some weekend rain – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The Governor signed a law into effect that will allow minors with epilepsy to use medical marijuana – the law adds seizures to the list of treatable conditions in Illinois’ medical cannabis program, allowing children to consume oil from the marijuana plant with a parent’s consent – currently, only Illinois residents 18 years and older may use medical marijuana in the state’s new four-year pilot program.

 

(OLNEY)  State officials are going to bat for people with criminal records – the Governor signed another law yesterday that bans companies from running background checks on applicants until they’ve been deemed qualified for the job and have been selected for an interview – supporters say the law is to help those that have paid their debts to society thru prison or jail, making the chance to get a job more fair.

 

(NEWTON)  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reminding statewide farmers that August 1st, a week from this Friday, is the deadline for local FSA county committee nominations – those elected to the local committees share their opinions and ideas on federal farm programs while serving a three year term – forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by the close of business on Friday, August 1st – more information is available by contacting local FSA county offices.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Treasurer’s Office is reminding all mobile home and manufactured home homeowners that the Mobile Home Privilege Taxes are due in one payment by the close of  office hours on Thursday, July 31st – the tax payments can be paid in three ways  :  by mail with a July 31st postmark  :  by using the drop box located on the south side of the Richland County Courthouse  :  and/or in person at the County Treasurer’s Office in the Courthouse, open weekdays, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 to 4:00  :  a $25 penalty applies on August 1st – call or stop by the Treasurer’s Office if any questions or for details.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into a four vehicle traffic crash in Fayette County this past Friday evening at around 5:00 – authorities say the accident occurred in the westbound lanes of  I-70 near Vandalia when a semi-truck, driven by 25 year old James Williams of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, struck a vehicle driven by 53 year old Dana Mendenhall of Robinson – the semi-truck then struck a vehicle driven by 47 year old William Dixon of Fairport, New York, and then struck another semi-truck driven by 38 year old Richard Nichols of Quincy – ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid the crash and for following too closely, Williams was airlifted from the scene to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis – Mendenhall was airlifted to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield – Nichols was treated at the Fayette County Hospital in Vandalia – the other driver was not injured – a portion of  I-70 was closed for nearly two hours for cleanup.

 

(OLNEY)  A Wayne County man is dead after a tragic accident this past Friday evening – authorities report 59 year old Timothy Lewis was apparently lowering the back door of his stock car trailer when he was pinned against a gate and crushed – while it’s not known how long Lewis was trapped before rural firemen and ambulance personnel freed him, he was transported to Fairfield Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:48 – Lewis was the operator of Lewis Brothers Scrap Yard in Burnt Prairie – also a popular stock car racer, the Clay County Speedway honored Lewis during the races Saturday night.

 

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to the newly crowned Miss Edwards County Fair Queen – 16 year old Sadie Marks of West Salem, the daughter of Kent and Jamilyn Marks, was crowned Saturday night by outgoing Queen Darien Lee of Bone Gap – the Pageant’s 1st runner-up was 17 year old Sadie Murbarger of rural Albion – the 2nd runner-up was 17 year old Bailey Alka of Albion – named as Miss Congeniality was 19 year old Sequoyah Judge of Grayville – the Edwards County Fair continues all of this week in Albion.

 

(NEWTON)  Area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – the list of area drives coming up  :  today at the Red Brush Christian Church north of Louisville from 1:30 to 6:30  :  also today at the St. John Lutheran Church in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  this Wednesday at the Edwards County Fair in Albion from 2:00 to 7:00 in the Senior Citizens Building  :  also Wednesday at the KC Hall in Vincennes from 2:00 to 7:00  :  Thursday at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the United Methodist Church in Xenia from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Vincennes from 10:00 to 3:00  :  for an appointment, logon at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

(OLNEY)  A special Multiple Sclerosis program is coming to Richland County tomorrow night – the Olney Connections Program, which enables people living with MS to meet others who deal with similar situations, will host a special guest Tuesday evening at the Olde Tyme Steakhaus, starting at 6:00 – Dr. Lori Guyton, with Neurology of Southern Illinois, will share details about the new oral MS treatment, Aubagio – plus, those attending can learn about the programs and resources available at the Gateway Area Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in St. Louis – registration is free – for more info, contact Amy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her at 618-628-9030 – also logon at www.gatewayMSsociety.org.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School District is reminding everyone that school registration for the new school year approaching will be held tomorrow, on Tuesday, July 22nd, at the Newton Community High School – while online registration at www.jaspercountyschools.net has been available for several days, registration details are there online as well – the registration will run from 10:30 until 7:00 on the 22nd with all elementary/junior high students in the NCHS Cafeteria and high school students in the NCHS Office – any high school student new to the Jasper County District should call the NCHS Office to schedule a registration appointment – it’s also important that parents of all students stop by the Bus Garage table to get details of the new pick up times & locations – if any questions, call the NCHS Office at 618-783-2303.

 

REMINDERS :
    The Olney FFA Alumni raffle fundraiser has tickets now on sale at $10 each with the grand prize of  $5,000 in cash or towards a purchase at either Travco Motorsports or Vincennes Tractor – the drawing will be August 1st at the Alumni Golf Outing – need not be present to win – get tickets from any FFA member or Alumni member – proceeds to help sponsor various FFA activities & scholarships – call 618-843-5488


    The 5th Annual Join the Movement activities are this Saturday in Olney – the eight Run/Walk/Bike events all start in the 6:00 hour at the East Richland Middle School, while the Road Rally for a Cure is later in the day – the mandatory driver’s meeting for all motorcycles, jeeps, and sports/muscle cars is at 9:45 at the Olney VFW, leaving then at 10:00 – back that night for a 5:00 meal, auction, & music – all are invited


    The Hope Food Pantry is having a garage sale fundraiser this week in its new building while it’s still under construction in Hidalgo – that’s this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during regular hours – please stop by and pick up a bargain or two – all proceeds to help finish the new food pantry building in Hidalgo


    The Jasper County School Board will meet in regular session tonight in the Administration Office Board room, starting at 6:30 – as always, the School Board meeting in Newton is open to the public tonight


    The RMH Auxiliary is having a Tastefully Simple fundraiser today from now until 4:00 this afternoon at Richland Memorial Hospital – proceeds go to the various Auxiliary projects at RMH – stop by and help out