LOCAL NEWS

Local News

July 4, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  A weak high pressure in the Upper Plains will give us some sunshine today & tomorrow, plus a southerly wind flow & warmer air moving in by Monday – that’s also when our next rain-maker moves into the Midwest with our next chance of wet weather next Tuesday and Wednesday – high temperatures will stay mostly in the 80’s for us all of next week – stay tuned for continued weather updates and details.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – Illinois would become the fourth state in the nation to allow video and audio monitoring devices in nursing homes if Governor Bruce Rauner signs legislation approved this past week by the General Assembly – supporters say the cameras in residents’ rooms would help ensure they’re treated well and give families added peace of mind – some say there are concerns – the law would require consent from the nursing home resident and any roommates  :  meanwhile, the stalemate continues over the fiscal year 2016 state budget – no agreement in Springfield as of yet – the debate will continue next week.

 

(OLNEY)  On this Independence Day 2015, all Americans should take time out to honor those before us who sacrificed their safety in the effort to secure freedom for the United States – it was 239 years ago today that the brave men of the Continental Congress gathered to adopt the Declaration of Independence, sealing the separation from Great Britain – since that time, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings, barbecues, and more – so take time today to recognize those who helped make America free.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police are out in extra force this weekend, along with hundreds of local law enforcement agencies, looking for those not buckled up and/or driving impaired, albeit by alcohol and/or drugs – it’s part of the statewide “Click It Or Ticket” program with extra patrols and roadside safety checks – the DNR Conservation Police & others are also out this weekend on statewide lakes, rivers, and other waterways looking for those boating impaired – an effort to reduce fatalities during this holiday weekend.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Fair is underway in the Olney City Park with general project entries all accepted today, plus tonight it’s the First National Bank in Olney Fireworks Display at 9:00 – a Cummins Band concert will be held at the Olney City Park Bandshell prior to the fireworks tonight – the Fair’s first 4-H activities will be tomorrow morning with the 4-H and Junior Horse Shows starting at 9:00 – the weekend will wrap up with tomorrow night’s Gospel Sing at the Olney City Park Bandshell featuring the group “Fortress” at 7:00 – the Richland County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee will host it’s Harvest for All “Fill-A-Ford Donation” Food Drive as everyone attending the fair next week can bring canned food items and fill the Ford Truck provided by Webster Ford in Newton to benefit those in need in Richland County – and don’t forget the Little Miss and Miss Richland County Fair Queen Pageant coming up next Monday night at 7:00 – the Carnival Rides will run each night next Tuesday thru Saturday, plus next Thursday afternoon, and tickets for all grandstand events will be on sale each day at the Fair Board Office from 8:00 to 5:00 – plenty of concessions and more at this years Richland County Fair in Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  Help is needed as the Jasper County 2015 Mission Work Week is next Monday thru Friday, July 6th-10th – with 43 project requests, volunteers are needed to help complete the work, ranging from carpentry & painting to cleaning & kitchen help to running errands & getting supplies – monetary donations are also welcome to help offset the cost of material or food to feed the volunteers – whether it’s one or all five days, volunteers will gather at 7:15 each morning at the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton – the Jasper County “Honey Do” Ministries was first organized in the summer of  1999 to assist the elderly, low income, & handicapped residents in Jasper County – to help, call 783-3335, 783-2534, or 783-8534.

 

REMINDERS  :
    With very low blood supplies on hand, there are several area blood drives coming up next week  :  next Monday at the Toledo Christian Church from 2:00 to 6:00  :  next Tuesday at the KC Hall in Teutopolis from 1:00 to 6:00  :  next Thursday at the Olney VFW from 1:00 to 6:00  :  next Friday at the KC Hall in Newton from 2:00 to 6:00 :  as always, all blood types and blood platelets are very much in need


    Jasper County Shooting Sports will begin next Tuesday evening, July 7th, at 6:00, at the Fairgrounds in Newton – Jasper County youth, ages 8 thru 19 can take part and learn the basics of bow and rifle shooting from certified instructors – for more details, call the Jasper County Extension Office in Newton at 783-2521


    All are invited to Sunday’s live music at Gym Bob’s Jamboree Show in Bible Grove, in northern Clay County – starting at 1:00, the show features Mike Porter, Marsha Banning, and the Panther Creek Band, plus this weekend’s special guest will be Bradley Cremeens – all ages are welcome to attend tomorrow


    The 4th of  July Ice Cream Social is this afternoon from 1:30 to 4:00 in the back yard of the Heritage House Museum, at the corner of  Kitchell Avenue and West Elm Street, in Olney – folks are welcome to tour the historic Victorian structure and enjoy plenty of  free ice cream, live entertainment, and more


    The Dieterich 4th of July Celebration continues today with the Firecracker 5K Run/Walk at 7:30 this morning, the Kluthe Civic Center Hog Roast runs from 10:30 to 2:00, the popular Parade is at 11:00, plus bluegrass music from 3:00 to 5:00 and the Fireworks Display will wrap things up tonight at 9:15


    Among other area celebrations in the area is the Flora Kiwanis Club’s Celebration in Charlie Brown Park just west of Flora – plenty of food, booths, children activities, live entertainment, and fireworks tonight


    The 4-H recycling drive is this morning at the six regular sites in Richland County from 8:30 to 11:30 – all items must be bundled separately – this month’s sponsoring group is The Rowcroppers 4-H Club

 

 

 

July 3, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  With a stationary front well to the south of  Illinois & a surface low moving east along the front in deep downstate Illinois, a trough of low pressure extending north from the low will be the focus of stray showers or thunderstorms today south of  I-70 although the higher chances of rain stay way to our south – it appears everything stays south for a dry holiday weekend with some sunshine – our next big chance of  rain & thunderstorms will be late Monday night thru Tuesday & Wednesday of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  While the state budget stalemate continues in Springfield, unions representing state employees have filed a lawsuit demanding they will be paid in full and on time until a new budget is in place – filed in Belleville yesterday, the lawsuit claims workers must be paid in conjunction with their respective contracts – there’s still no progress being made in the State Capitol as lawmakers and the Governor continue to talk.

 

(OLNEY)  With the July 4th holiday here, the Office of the State Fire Marshal reminds Illinois residents to leave fireworks to the experts this year – many injuries & fires occur each year from these devices and therefore should be used only by trained professionals at sponsored local displays – there’s an average of over 11,000 injuries each year due to backyard fireworks – for more info, logon at www.sfm.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  Speaking of  July 4th, it has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, however the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-1783) – it was June 1776 that representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle considered a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain – it was July 2nd 239 years ago that the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence and two days later on July 4th its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence – since that time, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings, barbecues, and more – we here at WVLN-WSEI-WIKK-WOWA pray that you and your family with take a little time to note the sacrifices made to make American what she is today.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Fair officially starts this weekend, although tonight's Motocross Racing has been cancelled due to muddy conditions - therefore the first Fair event will be the First National Bank in Olney's Fireworks Display tomorrow night at 9:00 and the Sunday night Gospel Sing at the Olney City Park Bandshell at 7:00  :  here’s some reminders for various Farm Bureau activities coming up during next week’s Richland County Fair, sponsored by the Young Leaders Committee  :  the public’s encouraged to help with the Harvest for All Fill-A-Ford Donation Food Drive – folks can bring canned food items all next week during the Fair, Monday thru Friday, and fill the Ford Truck provided by Webster Ford in Newton  :  also next week, the Committee will be selling Dippin’ Dots ice cream each evening under the Grandstand area to raise money for its 2016 Scholarship Fund  :  the Agriculture in the Classroom Program will host its “Ag-Tivities” in the white tent Tuesday night from 5:00 to 8:00  :  the 4th annual Pedal Tractor Pull “Pullin’ for Hunger” is in the white tent next Wednesday afternoon at 3:00, with registration at 2:00, followed by the 2nd annual Farm Follies Ag Olympics  :  don’t forget that today is the deadline to sign up for next Tuesday night’s Talent Show at the Fair – there are three age divisions – call the Show Director, Ruth Henry, at  618-302-4021  :  the Carnival Rides will run each night next Tuesday thru Saturday, plus next Thursday afternoon as well  :  tickets for all grandstand events on sale each day at the Fair Board Office – that’s all at the annual Richland County Fair in the Olney City Park starting tonight.

 

(NEWTON)  Congratulations to the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation for last month receiving the 2015 Outstanding Leadership in Community & Economic Development Award, presented by the East Central Illinois Economic Development Corporation – various Foundation members were on hand at the annual Awards Banquet in Effingham – the Foundation’s goal, along with its regional affiliate community foundations, is to promote the standard of  living & economic health in communities in the 11 counties of Jasper, Richland, Lawrence, Crawford, Clark, Cumberland, Coles, Shelby, Effingham, Fayette, and Clay – in July 2012 the SICF established the Jasper County Community Foundation, followed by the Crawford County Community Foundation being established this year, in 2015 – funds recently went to develop the CEO High School program in Jasper, Crawford, Effingham, and Coles Counties, creating entrepreneurial classes to provide outstanding education to high school students and encourage young people to return to their hometowns to live and work as adults – for more, go online at  www.enrichingourcommunity.org.

 

(OLNEY)  In this week’s USDA Illinois Grain Stocks Report  :  corn stocks in all positions on June 1st was at 846 million bushels, up 49% from last year – on-farm corn stocks totaled 330 million bushels, that’s 186 million bushels less than off-farm stocks, at 516 million bushels  :  soybean stocks in all positions on June 1st totaled 93.6 million bushels, up 65% from a year ago – on-farm bean stocks were at 35 million bushels, that’s 23.6 million bushels less than the 58.6 million bushels off the farm  :  the old crop all-wheat stocks in all positions on June 1st was 21.4 million bushels, up 93% from June 1st, 2014 – on-farm stocks was at 1.39 million bushels, far less than the 20 million bushels off-farm  :  for more, go online at  www.nass.usda.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  It was last week that the Maxine E. Spitler Foundation awarded grants to 12 organizations in Jasper & Lawrence Counties – during the ceremony held at the Sunrise Youth Center and Community Building in Newton, a total of  $27,229 was handed out for project funding – here’s the list of recipients in Lawrence County  :  $1,031.19 to the Lawrence County Farm Bureau Foundation “Ag in the Classroom” program  :  $2,398.49 to the Red Hill School District Libraries in Sumner & Bridgeport  :  $2,500 to the Lawrence County Humane Society for its “spay & neuter program” and equipment  :  and $5,100 to the Lawrence County Historical Society for a project at the Lanterman Park History Center  :  since 1997, the Spitler Foundation has given out over $614,300 to qualifying organizations during its 18 years of existence.

 

(NEWTON)  Help is needed as the Jasper County 2015 Mission Work Week is next Monday thru Friday, July 6th-10th – with 43 project requests, volunteers are needed to help complete the work, ranging from carpentry & painting to cleaning & kitchen help to running errands & getting supplies – monetary donations are also welcome to help offset the cost of material or food to feed the volunteers – whether it’s one or all five days, volunteers will gather at 7:15 each morning at the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton – the Jasper County “Honey Do” Ministries was first organized in the summer of  1999 to assist the elderly, low income, & handicapped residents in Jasper County – to help, call 783-3335, 783-2534, or 783-8534.

 

(OLNEY)  National Ruritan President Bobby Burton and his wife Linda are continuing their visit to the area Lincolnland District, hosted by the Dundas Ruritan Club – the Virginia native, along with Grover Burkett of Olney, will be visiting in Dieterich and three stops in the Indiana – the final visits tomorrow will be in West Union & Mill Shoals – the National Ruritan President’s message is one of appreciation to all area Ruritans.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of  local notes  :  most all area City and Village Halls are closed today in observance of  July 4th – all will reopen with regular office hours next Monday  :  also, the Olney brush dump will be open today from 10:00 to 4:00, but closed tomorrow, July 4th  :  and all regional trash collections by Republic Services, plus the local curbside recycling pickup, will run on the normal schedule today & all of next week.

 

REMINDERS  :
    Jasper County Shooting Sports will begin next Tuesday evening, July 7th, at 6:00, at the Fairgrounds in Newton – Jasper County youth, ages 8 thru 19 can take part and learn the basics of bow and rifle shooting from certified instructors – for more details, call the Jasper County Extension Office in Newton at 783-2521


    The 4th of  July Ice Cream Social will be tomorrow afternoon in the back yard of the Heritage House Museum, at the corner of  Kitchell Avenue and West Elm Street, in Olney – folks are welcome to tour the historic Victorian structure from 1:30 to 4:00 – plus plenty of  live entertainment, ice cream, and more


    The Dieterich 4th of July Celebration starts tonight with a Beer Garden, food, and live music – then it’s a full Saturday with the Firecracker 5K Run/Walk at 7:30 tomorrow morning, the Kluthe Civic Center Hog Roast runs from 10:30 to 2:00, the popular Parade at 11:00, bluegrass music from 3:00 to 5:00, many drawings at 8:00, and the Fireworks Display at 9:15 – that’s all this weekend in Dieterich


    The 4-H recycling drive is tomorrow morning at the six regular sites in Richland County from 8:30 to 11:30 – all items must be bundled separately – this month’s sponsoring group is The Rowcroppers 4-H Club


    The Richland County Farmers Market is today from 11:00 to 4:00 in the Olney City Park, but remember due to the Fair activities, the Market is located today in the north end of the Park – same all of next week       

 

 

 

July 2, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  The frontal boundary over downstate Illinois will dry up today, but plenty of cloud cover thru tonight – then we stay mostly dry tomorrow and Friday, and even thru the holiday weekend, although a slight chance of  a stray shower or storm will hang around tomorrow thru Sunday – the next significant rain chance then returns by next Tuesday – be careful out there with area flooding – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The budget stalemate continues in Springfield – while a temporary budget to keep the Illinois government operating in the new fiscal year failed in the State House by just four votes yesterday, the State Senate approved an identical $2.3 billion, one-month, bill which now moves on to the State House, where its prospects are dim – Governor Bruce Rauner has indicated he’ll veto that plan any way, a proposal that he claims would be unconstitutional – there will be plenty of more debate today up in our State Capitol.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Public Health reported yesterday that while the number of patients approved to use medical marijuana has been slowly climbing, it has mailed out nearly 100 approval letters to those that qualify for the program – that brings the statewide total up to around 2,600 patients approved since last September – of the over 22,600 people that have started the patient application process on the program’s website, only 3,200 have actually submitted a complete application, far less than anticipated.

 

(NEWTON)  In an update from the Illinois State Water Survey, new numbers are out for the state’s June rainfall amounts due to rain this past Tuesday – the statewide average that ended June was at 9.53 inches, an increase from the initial total of just under 9 inches – while the 30 days that ended Tuesday is the wettest June in state history, it was only nine hundredths of an inch (0.09) short of being the wettest of any month on record since 1895 – the wettest month in history is September 1926 with 9.62 inches of statewide rain.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Fair begins this weekend in the Olney City Park and one of the more popular events is the Miss Richland County Fair Queen Pageant, which is next Monday night – the 13 young ladies vying for the 2015 crown include (in no particular order) 19 year old Sydney Pitts, 19 year old Carlea Pierce, 18 year old Jayla Werner, 18 year old Payton Murphy, 18 year old Chloe St. Pierre, 18 year old Kyndall Miller, 17 year old Kamara Barksdale-Smith, 17 year old Rachel Woods, 17 year old Jasmine Parrish, 17 year old Jordan Laughlin, 17 year old Lizbeth Gonzalez, 17 year old McKayla Henry, and 16 year old Rylee Dial – current Fair Queen and Miss Illinois County Fair Queen, Sadie Gassmann, will help oversee this year’s Pageant, which is scheduled to start Monday night at 7:00 – the various Little Miss participants will also be on stage Monday night as well – with most of the 4-H Livestock Shows & activities next week, the Richland County Fair is slated to start tomorrow night with Motorcross Racing at 7:00 – grandstand event tickets and more details are available at the Fair Board office in the Olney City Park.

 

(NEWTON)  In a brief ceremony held yesterday, Regional Superintendent of Schools for Clay, Crawford, Jasper, Lawrence, & Richland Counties, Monte Newlin, was sworn-in to begin his second term – appointed to fill the vacancy left by the retiring Carol Steinman in April of  2011, Newlin was elected in November 2012 to serve two years of an unexpired term, and was then re-elected to a full four year term in November of last year, 2014 – Newlin begins his 29th year in public education, looking forward to serving the five county residents, parents, students, teachers, & school administrators based out of Olney’s ROE #12 office.

 

(OLNEY)  National Ruritan President Bobby Burton and his wife Linda are continuing their visit to the area Lincolnland District, hosted by the Dundas Ruritan Club – the Virginia native is actually making his second trip thru the Lincolnland chapters, located in both Illinois & Indiana, after his trip a year ago filling in for the then ill National President – with stops yesterday in Olney, Allendale, Mt. Carmel, and Griffin, Indiana, Burton and his host Grover Burkett of Olney will make stops today in Fairfield, Wayne City, Bluford, Geff, and Mt. Erie – tomorrow’s visits include those in Dieterich and three stops in the Indiana communities of Montgomery, Dubois, and Hayesville – the final visits Saturday will be in West Union and Mill Shoals – the National Ruritan President’s message is one of appreciation to all area Ruritans for their dedication to community by fulfilling the commitment of Ruritans to further fellowship, goodwill, & community service.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA has released its June Acreage Report  :  corn planted is at 11.8 million acres, down 1% from last year – the harvested area for grain is at 11.7 million acres, also down 1% from a year ago  :  soybeans planted is at 10.1 million acres, up 3% from 2014 – this represents the highest planted acreage in Illinois since 2006 – the beans harvested area is forecast at 10.08 million acres, up 3% from last year – if realized, Illinois will rank first in the nation in planted & harvested acres for soybeans  :  the winter wheat planted area is estimated at 590,000 acres, down 20% from the year before – the wheat harvested area for grain is forecast at 560,000 acres, down 16%  :  the hay harvested area is up 11% from a year ago.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging folks around the state to take precautions against the West Nile Virus – Illinoisans can take precautions by practicing the three “R’s”  :  Reduce, Repel, and Report  :  REDUCE exposure to mosquitoes by limiting time outdoors at certain periods of the day & by reducing any standing water where mosquito breeding occurs  :  REPEL when outdoors by covering all skin & using insect repellent containing DEET  :  REPORT any dead birds to a local health department  :  for more details, contact the Jasper County Health Department in Newton, or check the State Department of Public Health’s website, available online, around the clock, at www.dph.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  Still a note to area landowners that may be receiving letters from an out-of-our-area company that’s trying to gain business by offering a special price to provide landowners with a copy of their property deed – folks should remember that their local County Clerk’s Office offers the service at a fraction of the cost that’s proposed in the letter – while our local County Clerk’s Office will make copies of property deeds for only a dollar or two, the letter proposal is considerably higher, anywhere from 50% to 60% higher – so read those letters closely – if any questions, call the Richland County Clerk’s Office during regular hours, from 8:00 to 4:00, Monday thru Friday, or contact the Clerk’s Office in your respective county of residence.

 

(NEWTON)  With very low blood supplies on hand, there are several area blood drives coming up  :  next Monday at the Toledo Christian Church from 2:00 to 6:00  :  next Tuesday at the KC Hall in Teutopolis from 1:00 to 6:00  :  next Thursday at the Olney VFW from 1:00 to 6:00  :  next Friday, July 10th, at the KC Hall in Newton from 2:00 to 6:00 :  as always, all blood types and blood platelets are needed.

 

(OLNEY)  A couple of holiday weekend notes  :  most all area City and Village Halls are closed tomorrow (Friday) in observance of  July 4th – all will reopen with regular office hours next Monday  :  the Olney brush dump will be open Friday, but closed on Saturday, July 4th  :  and all trash collections and curbside recycling pickup by Republic Services will run on the normal schedule the rest of this week and next.

 

REMINDERS  :
    All are invited to Sunday’s live music at Gym Bob’s Jamboree Show in Bible Grove, in northern Clay County – starting at 1:00, the show features Mike Porter, Marsha Banning, and the Panther Creek Band, plus this weekend’s special guest will be Bradley Cremeens – all ages are welcome to attend this Sunday


    The 4th of  July Ice Cream Social will be held Saturday afternoon in the back yard of the Heritage House Museum, at the corner of  Kitchell Avenue and West Elm Street, in Olney – folks are welcome to tour the historic Victorian structure from 1:30 to 4:00 – plus plenty of  live entertainment, ice cream, and more


    The Dieterich 4th of July Celebration starts tomorrow night with a Beer Garden, food, and live music – then it’s a full Saturday with the Firecracker 5K Run/Walk at 7:30 that morning, the Kluthe Civic Center Hog Roast runs from 10:30 to 2:00, the popular Parade at 11:00, bluegrass music from 3:00 to 5:00, many drawings at 8:00, and the Fireworks Display at 9:15 – that’s all this weekend in Dieterich – all ages invited


    The 4-H recycling drive is this Saturday morning at the six regular sites in Richland County from 8:30 to 11:30 – all items must be bundled separately – this month’s sponsoring group is The Rowcroppers 4-H Club


    The Famers Market will be set up later today in Noble’s Village Park – fresh produce and more available from 3:00 to 6:00 this afternoon and evening – that’s in the Noble Village Park


    It’s another Bingo afternoon today at the Richland County Senior Center in downtown Olney from 1:00 to 2:00 – sponsored by RMH Home Health and Hospice of Southeastern Illinois – all are invited

 

 

 

 

July 1, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  The frontal boundary that’s stalled out over Southern Illinois will be the focus for shower and thunderstorm activity today thru tonight – then it’s a series of  shortwave disturbances moving thru with those on-and-off again chances of showers & storms tomorrow thru the holiday weekend, although it won’t be rain all the time – maybe no change until a cold front moves thru by next Tuesday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  While the National Weather Service has a Flash Flood Watch in effect for the St. Louis area, effecting some Metro East and other Illinois counties to our west, there’s nothing in line at this point for Jasper, Richland, or surrounding counties – the weather outlook for our region is calling for widespread rain and thunderstorms with the better chance later this evening – as the flooding continues along the Embarras, Wabash, & Little Wabash Rivers, all motorists & others are encouraged to stay off roads covered by water.

 

(OLNEY)  There’s no Illinois state budget for fiscal year 2016 with no action taken in Springfield last night – Democratic lawmakers are prepared to advance a one-month state spending plan today, the start of Illinois’ budget year, but questions remain on whether it would pass or how it would ease a long-running fight with Governor Rauner – most of yesterday was spent arguing on a variety of issues from both sides.

 

(NEWTON)  In other notes, the Governor has pledged to continue paying state employees as the stalemate moves into July, although State Attorney General Lisa Madigan says no checks will be issued if there is no state budget in place – new legislation will be heard today to freeze property taxes in Illinois for two years and overhaul the way Illinois funds schools – and it was yesterday that Governor Rauner cut $68 million from already-funded road construction and other bricks-and-mortar projects until a budget is approved.

 

(OLNEY)  Starting today, on this July 1st, U.S. military Veterans will be able to get an updated driver’s license and/or ID card with the word “VETERAN” displayed under the signature on the front of the card – Secretary of State Jesse White says the new Veteran’s designation will help ensure military Veterans living in Illinois receive the services & benefits for which they are entitled – if Veterans choose to add this new designation before their renewal date, the cost will be $5 for a driver’s license and $10 for an updated ID.

 

(OLNEY)  The unemployment numbers are out for the month of May with a mixture of higher or lower rates from a month earlier in our ten area counties, but all lower than a year ago – Effingham County continues with the lowest regional rate at 4.1%, followed by Cumberland County at 4.3% and Jasper County at 4.9% – then Crawford County and Wabash County, each at 5.0%, followed by Edwards County at 5.1%, Richland County at 5.4%, Lawrence County at 5.6%, Clay County at 5.9%, and Wayne County at 6.1% – the Illinois unemployment number for May at 5.6% is just below the national number for May, at 5.3%.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police and Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force announced yesterday the conviction and sentences of seven area people previously arrested for offenses related to methamphetamine manufacturing  :  30 year old Justin Pocrnich of  Wheeler will serve at least 12 years  :  32 year old Daniel Pickens of Wheeler will serve at least 11 years  :  22 year old Savannah Ellis of Newton will serve 9 years  :  40 year old Rachel Priest of Wheeler will serve at least 7 years  :  24 year old Joshua Rodgers of Newton will serve at least 7 years  :  49 year old Deborah Rogers of Wheeler will serve nearly 5 years  :  and 34 Kimberly Barker of Watson will serve 2 years  :  the investigation leading to these convictions was conducted by the Illinois State Police and Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force, with cooperation from the Jasper & Effingham County Sheriff’s Departments and the Jasper County States Attorney’s Office.

 

(OLNEY)  One of the wettest months in history is over as our official rainfall total for the past 30 days is in at 11.12 inches for June – this compares to just over 4 inches received in June of  last year and to the nearly 5 inches average for June rainfall in Richland County – meanwhile, the Illinois State Water Survey reports the past 30 days as the wettest June in recorded state history, dating back to 1895 – Illinois’ average rainfall was at just under 9 inches this year, breaking the previous June total of  8.27 inches that fell back in 1902 – ISWS officials say four of the five wettest Junes in Illinois state history have now happened since 1998.

 

(NEWTON)  It was last week that the Maxine E. Spitler Foundation awarded grants to 12 organizations in Jasper & Lawrence Counties – during the ceremony held at the Sunrise Youth Center and Community Building in Newton, a total of  $27,229 was handed out for project funding – here’s the list of recipients in Jasper County  :  $961.50 to the Jasper County Junior High Science Department for test kits & equipment  :  $987.24 to the Ste. Marie Elementary Kindergarten Center for 76 copies of a Welcome to Kindergarten Book  :  $1,285.71 to the Newton Elementary School to purchase a Spectrum MLT30 Mini Laptop Cart  :  $1,307.96 to the Falmouth United Methodist Church for playground equipment & supplies  :  $1,957.35 to the Jasper County Farm Bureau Foundation “Ag in the Classroom” program for books & equipment  :  $2,500 to the Jasper County Youth Soccer for concession equipment  :  $3,200 to the St. Thomas School in Newton to buy 12 Samsung Chromebooks  :  and $4,000 to the Jasper County School District’s R.E.A.D. program to purchase reading books to serve all Jasper County students  :  since created in 1997, the Spitler Foundation has distributed over $614,300 to qualifying organizations during its 18 years of existence.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA released livestock numbers from last Friday – the Illinois inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1st this year was 4.60 million head, down 2% from March 1st, but up 7% from a year ago – the state’s breeding inventory, at 490,000 head, was the same as the previous quarter and last year – and the market hog inventory, at 4.11 million head, was down 2% from last quarter, but up 8% from this time last year – the March-May 2015 pig crop, at 2.42 million head, was down 2% from 2014 – sows farrowing during this period totaled 230,000 head, down 4% from last quarter and down 8% from a year ago – the average pigs saved per litter was 10.5 for the March-May 2015 period, that’s compared to 9.9 last year.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Fair kicks off  this weekend in the Olney City Park – the lineup of grandstand events will start with Friday night’s Motocross Racing, followed by Saturday night’s Fireworks Display – the 4-H and Junior Horse Show will kick off  the livestock shows Sunday morning at 9:00, followed by the livestock entry day next Monday and 4-H General Project judging next Monday morning – the livestock shows will run next Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday, with the 4-H Livestock Auction next Thursday afternoon at 3:00 – the Richland County Fair’s carnival rides will run next Tuesday thru Saturday with afternoon rides available next Thursday – plus, making the rounds will be reigning Miss Richland County Fair Queen and Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Sadie Gassmann – that’s this Friday thru Saturday, July 11th, the annual Richland County Fair, on the fairgrounds, in the Olney City Park – we’ll see you there.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The 4th of  July Ice Cream Social will be held Saturday afternoon in the back yard of the Heritage House Museum, at the corner of  Kitchell Avenue and West Elm Street, in Olney – folks are welcome to tour the historic Victorian structure from 1:30 to 4:00 – plus plenty of  live entertainment, ice cream, and more


    The 4-H recycling drive is this Saturday morning at the six regular sites in Richland County, from 8:30 to 11:30 – make sure all items are bundled separately before dropped off


    The Richland County Fair kicks off this weekend, starting with Motocross Racing Friday night – then the Fireworks display Saturday night – all in the Olney City Park – make plans to attend this year’s big event


    It’s another Bingo afternoon tomorrow at the Richland County Senior Center in downtown Olney from 1:00 to 2:00 – sponsored by RMH Home Health and Hospice of Southeastern Illinois – all are invited


    The Cummins Band will again be in concert tonight at 7:30 at the Olney City Park Band Shell – it’s free admission – bring your lawn chairs – all ages are invited to attend


    The Rotary Book Bus will be available to Richland County youngsters today in the downtown TrustBank parking lot – that’s from 10:00 to 12 noon this morning and from 6:00 to 7:00 later this evening

 

 

 

June 30, 2015

 

(OLNEY)  A low pressure area over the Upper Midwest will give us a little warmer air today and still the chance of  isolated showers & thunderstorms today thru tonight – as that frontal boundary moves eastward, we’ll have a better chance of  rain tomorrow thru tomorrow night – then on-and-off chances of rain and storms Thursday, Friday, and right on thru the upcoming holiday weekend – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  The four legislative leaders in Illinois met with Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday as the deadline to have a state budget in place quickly approaches – no progress in the talks were reported as the stalemate continues over the 2016 fiscal year spending plan – the Democrats say they need to fund vital state services with a tax increase along with cuts – the Governor and fellow Republicans want spending cuts and business reforms – the General Assembly is in session today as many hope for a quick compromise.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger announced yesterday that her office will return $500,000 to taxpayers after implementing efficiencies & cost saving measures that allowed her office to end the fiscal year with a budget surplus – this comes two months after Munger presented lawmakers with a budget that included a 10% cut to the Comptroller’s cost of operations for the next fiscal year – while the office staff headcount is lower than at any time in its history, the consolidation of services was a key move.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is leading the campaign against drunk boating, now thru Sunday – the Operation Dry Water nationwide effort aims to raise awareness about illegally operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs – DNR Conservation Police and other law enforcement personnel will be out patrolling Illinois rivers, lakes, and waterways looking for violators.

 

(OLNEY)  In this week’s Richland County Farm Bureau rainfall report from the nine townships, the county’s average rainfall for the past week came in at an inch and seventy-nine hundredths (1.79), with the recording period ending at 10:00 yesterday morning – Denver Township for the second week in a row had the highest total of rain at two inches and eight tenths (2.80), followed by Preston Township at two inches and four tenths (2.40), and both Noble and Claremont Townships, each at two inches and one tenth (2.10) – then Olney Township at one inch and eight tenths (1.80), German Township at one inch and six tenths (1.60), and Decker Township at one inch and four tenths (1.40) – the county’s lowest total from the week was six tenths of an inch (0.60) in Bonpas Township, while Madison Township had an inch and three tenths (1.30) – the National Weather Service WVLN-WSEI Weather Station, at the south edge of Olney, recorded an inch and thirty-eight hundredths (1.38) – the current spring-to-date Richland County rainfall average is at nearly twenty and a half inches (20.43), which is now just over four inches (4.02) more than the average at this same time a year ago at nearly sixteen and a half inches (16.41) – thanks to all the rainfall reporters.

 

(NEWTON)  Rain continues to plague portions of the state, now delaying the winter wheat harvest and hay cutting – yesterday’s USDA Crop Report shows last week’s statewide precipitation averaged 1.92 inches, nearly an inch (0.94) above normal – last week’s average temperature was 72 degrees, almost 2 degrees (1.9) below normal – there was only one day suitable for fieldwork last week around the state  :  farmers in our ten county area report fairly good progress with the local corn crop, considering the recent heavy rains, with silking now underway – area farmers still have some soybean acreage left to plant and some winter wheat is still out there left to harvest – farmers are still reminded to think “safety first” while outdoors.

 

(OLNEY)  Entries are still being accepted for the Richland County Fair’s Talent Show, scheduled for Tuesday night, July 7th, a week from tonight, starting at 7:00 – the Show will have three performing divisions  :  Junior Division for performers age 14 and under  :  Senior Division for those age 15 to 21  :  and the Open Division for those age 22 and older, and for previous winners who’ve advanced to state competition  :  all contestants must complete an entry form with the final day to enter this coming Friday, July 3rd – entry forms are available at the Olney Chamber of Commerce Office – the Talent Show is open to the residents of Richland County – for more details, call Show Director Ruth Henry, at  618-302-4021.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Farm Bureau will be making a trip to Louisville, Kentucky later this year, September 15th thru 17th, with various stops to be made, including the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby Museum, the American Printing House for the Blind, Kentucky’s Distiller & Derby Dinner Playhouse, and more – the cost is $400 for Single per person, $380 for Double per person, and $10 extra for non-members – the cost includes Bales bus transportation, all events, hotel stay, and all meals with exception of two – reservations must be made by July 15th, two weeks from tomorrow, with payment due August 1st – for more, call the Jasper County Farm Bureau at  783-2733.

 

(NEWTON)  In regional news – an area teacher has been fired in Clark County for apparently stepping on a small U.S. flag during a class lesson earlier this year in May – according to the Journal-Gazette in Mattoon, the Martinsville School Board voted 6-0 last week to terminate English instructor Jordan Parmenter who was using the flag as a pointer during a lesson on free speech – after a student complained that the teacher was being disrespectful to the U.S. flag, Parmenter then stepped on the flag as an example of free speech.

 

(OLNEY)  Marion County authorities report U.S. Route 50 was closed for a few hours late yesterday morning after a multi-vehicle wreck occurred between Salem and Odin near RP Lumber, west of Salem – the State Police say the accident involved two semi-trucks, a box delivery truck, two cars, and a SUV pulling a small trailer – there were two minor injuries, however a hazmat unit was called in to help cleanup a diesel spill from one of the trucks – emergency personnel from Marion County and the State responded.

 

(NEWTON)  The 4th of July Celebration in neighboring Dieterich is this coming weekend, with most all events to be held in Liberty Memorial Park – it’s the Beer Garden and Food Stand at 7:00 this Friday night with live music from 8:00 to 11:00 – then a full day Saturday starting with the Firecracker 5K Run/Walk at 7:30 that morning, the Kluthe Civic Center Hog Roast runs from 10:30 to 2:00, with the popular Parade at 11:00 – the inflatable kids carnival runs from 12 noon to dusk, plus bingo at 1:00, an alumni baseball game, youth pedal tractor pull at 1:00, bluegrass music from 3:00 to 5:00, gravity golf, the Little King & Queen contest at 7:00, drawings at 8:00, & the Fireworks Display at 9:15 – that’s all this weekend in Dietiech.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s some reminders for various Farm Bureau activities coming up during next week’s Richland County Fair, sponsored by the Young Leaders Committee  :  in an effort to end malnutrition in Richland County, the public is encouraged to help with the Harvest for All Fill-A-Ford Donation Food Drive – folks can bring canned food items all next week during the Fair, Monday thru Friday, and fill the Ford Truck provided by Webster Ford in Newton  :  also next week, the Committee will be selling Dippin’ Dots ice cream under the Grandstand to raise money for its 2016 Scholarship Fund  :  the Agriculture in the Classroom Program will host its “Ag-Tivities” in the white tent next Tuesday night from 5:00 to 8:00  :  the 4th annual Pedal Tractor Pull “Pullin’ for Hunger” is in the white tent next Wednesday afternoon at 3:00, with registration at 2:00  :  and the 2nd annual Farm Follies Ag Olympics is in the white tent Wednesday immediately after the Pedal Tractor Pull  :  that’s all next week at the Richland County Fair in Olney.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The 4th of  July Ice Cream Social will be held Saturday afternoon in the back yard of the Heritage House Museum, at the corner of  Kitchell Avenue and West Elm Street, in Olney – folks are welcome to tour the historic Victorian structure from 1:30 to 4:00 – plus plenty of  live entertainment, ice cream, and more


    The Richland County Fair kicks off this weekend, starting with Motocross Racing Friday night – then the Fireworks display Saturday night – all in the Olney City Park – make plans to attend this year’s big event


    It’s another Bingo afternoon this Thursday at the Richland County Senior Center in downtown Olney from 1:00 to 2:00 – sponsored by RMH Home Health and Hospice of Southeastern Illinois – all are invited


    The Cummins Band will again be in concert tomorrow night at 7:30 in the Olney City Park Band Shell – it’s free admission – bring your lawn chairs – all ages are invited to attend


    The Rotary Book Bus will be available to Richland County youngsters tomorrow in the downtown TrustBank parking lot – that’s from 10:00 to 12 noon in the morning and from 6:00 to 7:00 in the evening


    The Pink Warrior Sisters of Southeastern Illinois will have their monthly meeting tonight at Monical’s Pizza in Olney, starting at 6:00 – an informal time to share information and support – all invited


    The Richland County Farmers Market is set up today in the Olney City Park, in the Swine Barn, from 11:00 until 4:00 – it’s fresh produce and many other items available for purchase to the public