LOCAL NEWS

Local News

January 23, 2018

 

(OLNEY)  With the cold front bringing us some cooler air today thru tomorrow, a surface trough over the downstate area will trigger some spotty sprinkles or flurries – then gradual clearing with sunshine on tap for Thursday & Friday, plus a southerly wind flow will bring in some warmer air for the end of the week – that means another chance of rain Friday night thru Saturday night – then a dry Sunday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  Late last week, Governor Bruce Rauner issued an executive order declaring it impermissible for state legislators to represent clients before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board, which hears appeals of assessment decisions made in the state’s 102 counties – calling the practice a “clear conflict of interest that must end”, the Governor said the order, which is effective immediately, is a key step forward in restoring public trust & motivating lawmakers to tackle meaningful property-tax reform – the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board hears about 30,000 appeals per year, three-fourths of them from Cook County.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Conservation Foundation has announced that 21 Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grants have been awarded from the fall 2017 application period with a total of just over $18,300 to be distributed – four of the grants have been awarded in the downstate region – the Wayne City Schools get $1,000 for a prairie habitat project – the Villa Grove Schools in Douglas County get $1,000 for a butterfly garden project – the St. Peter and St. Paul Schools in Waterloo will share $616 for a butterfly garden project – the Douglas-Hart Nature Center near Mattoon gets $500 to remove nonnative, invasive plant species and replace them with native plants in wetland, savanna, prairie, and woodland habitats – more details on the program is available online at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Revenue will begin accepting 2017 state individual income tax returns next Monday, January 29th, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service  begins accepting federal individual income tax returns – the IDOR is reminding taxpayers that filing tax returns electronically and requesting direct deposit into a checking or savings account is still the fastest and most secure way to receive a tax refund – for forms, schedules, and instructions for 2017 taxes, go to www.tax.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night in regular session – the Council  :  approved an ordinance to vacate the east / west alley between South Wilson and South Woodlawn Streets and between West Main and West Elm Streets in Olney  :  approved the donation of used surplus fire and rescue equipment from the Olney Fire Department to the Noble-Wakefield Fire Department  :  agreed to dispose of personal property items owned by the City of Olney, including a 1994 pickup truck, thru Scrap Daddy’s in Olney  :  approved an ordinance to amend the City of Olney’s Municipal Code dealing with citywide raffles  :  also approved three raffle licenses as presented  :  and the Council discussed, but took no action, on a franchise agreement for residential solid waste collection and disposal services with Republic Services  :  no executive session was held  :  the next regular bi-monthly meeting for the Olney City Council will be February 12th.

 

(NEWTON)  Jasper County Sheriff Rick Britton has announced that applications are now available for a local student to receive a $500 scholarship thru the Illinois Sheriff’s Association – the deadline to submit an application, which includes an essay question and more, is March 15th, 2018 – various requirements apply – applications are available at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office in Newton or by going online to the ISA’s website, at  www.ilsheriff.org  – the Illinois Sheriff’s Association will be awarding over $53,000 in college scholarships throughout the state this spring to students wishing to pursue higher education in Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s time to go online and help out a 2nd grade class at the Richland County Elementary School in Olney win big, but time is running short – the RCES class has entered the Follett Challenge, a national contest which gives educators a chance to help showcase their unique or inventive programs that teaches students the 21st century skills they need to be prepared for life – as part of the application, the RCES class submitted a 3 to 5 minute video, giving an overview of the RCES program and how it’s positively impacting students, educators, and RCES – in turn, the top 13 schools will be awarded for their work as 10 “People’s Choice” video winners will each receive $8,000 – therefore, the public is encouraged to the website as often as possible to view and vote for the RCES video – those age 13 and older can vote only once per day and the voting period runs thru 11:59 this coming Friday night, January 26th – so fire up that computer and/or smart phone and logon at  www.follettchallenge.com  and follow the viewing & voting instructions and help out the 2nd grade class at the Richland County Elementary School in Olney – help make a difference.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has posted temporary weight limits on certain county highways as of yesterday (Monday, 1/22/18) – due to the current rapid thaw which has weakened most all rural roads, the temporary 10 ton load limit is in effect now until further notice for all gravel roads maintained by the County Highway Department and on eight county oil-n-chip roads, including portions of Mt. Gilead Lane, Praireton Road, Higgin Switch Road, Wynoose Road, Seminary Road, Bennington Road, Seven Hills Lane, and Shell Road – to view this list, go to our website online and click on the “community tab” and scroll down at  www.freedom929.com  – for more details, call the Richland County Highway Department at  618-392-3141  :  it was also announced yesterday that all Olney Township Roads are now under a 5 ton weight limit until further notice  : check with your respective township road commissioner.

 

(NEWTON)  The Winter Jasper County Solid Waste Program continues now thru the end of March – the mid-week dumpster will be at the Smallwood site tomorrow morning from 7:30 until 12:00, or if the dumpster is filled before 10:30, another dumpster will be brought to that location this Wednesday – the  Newton / Jasper County Highway Garage location will be open on Saturday from 7:00 to 3:30 accepting appliances (with requirements) plus the county’s drop-off recycling container also available.

 

(OLNEY)  Mark your calendar for a special fundraising “Trivia Night” coming up on Thursday, February 8th, at the Richland County High School, in the Sliva Auditorium, starting at 6:30 – sponsored by the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), the event will involve teams of from 6 to 8 people at a cost of only $30 per team – there will be snacks, drinks, and plenty of fun trivia, plus spectators are welcome – all the proceeds from the “Trivia Night” will be used to fund attendance to the National Leadership Conference for qualifying students – to register a team or if any questions, contact Brenda Stallard at RCHS by calling  618-393-2191, extension 3204, or send an email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the entry deadline is February 6.

 

(OLNEY)  Richland County families are invited this coming Thursday evening to “The Amazing Chemistry Show” at the East Richland Elementary School in Olney – starting at 4:30 and continuing until 7:30, those attending will be amazed  and entertained by explosions, colored foam, liquid nitrogen, & glow-in-the-dark solutions, plus more – in addition to the hour-long show, families are invited to take part in a hands-on science experience with more than 170 exhibits featuring rockets, magnets, electricity, magnification, slime, and much more – it’s a free event and all are invited – those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by visiting the Elementary School’s website, at  www.rces.rccu1.net  or check the RCES Facebook Page.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  All blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives in our area  :  today at the Home Depot in Mattoon from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  also today at the South Central Middle School in Kinmundy from 2:00 to 6:00  :  another Clay County blood drive will be this coming Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to replenish low supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The St. Thomas Annual Wine Tasting event is this coming Saturday evening at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton, starting at 6:30 – the $10 minimum per adult donation will go towards the new Church Building Fund – sponsored in part by Koerner Distributors, Friends of St. Thomas, & Knights of Columbus


    The fundraising “pancake & sausage” breakfast for the East Orchard Christian Academy is this Saturday morning at the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Olney, serving from 7:00 until 12:00 noon – it’s $6 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under – a drive thru for pickup orders in the half circle drive in the back


    The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County has a fundraising “Cocktails & Canvas” event from 6:00 to 9:00 this Thursday night at the Olney VFW – for $45 per person, anyone can pay at the door and create their own masterpiece on canvas – there’s limited seating – snacks provided – call  392-3863  for details


    The Red Rooster, at the intersection of Routes 50 and 130 in Olney, will be hosting open interviews this Wednesday, January 24th – that’s from 8:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon for those interested

 

 

 

January 22, 2018

 

(OLNEY)  As a cold front approaches, a line of showers and a few imbedded thunderstorms gave us some rain this morning –  with a dry sky & maybe some sunshine later today, we could have a few more showers late this afternoon – then the front moves thru as return to colder air by tomorrow morning – we’ll then stay dry thru most of this work week as our temperatures climb back to around the 50 degree mark by the end of the week – then more rain chances this coming weekend – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for most all downstate counties, calling for everyone to be aware of the gusty south / southwest winds today – with wind gusts of 25 to 35 miles-per-hour expected, some locally higher gusts up to 40 or 45 miles-per-hour are possible – although the stronger winds are forecast across portions of southwest Illinois and southeast Missouri into far western Kentucky, the gusty winds will likely still affect southeastern Illinois as well – weather officials say the strong winds will gradually ramp down this evening – listen to a NOAA Weather Alert Radio for more.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois’ unemployment rate for December dropped a tenth of a percent to 4.8%, but the state’s job climate still is far behind the nation’s average, at 4.1% – the numbers show the state gained nearly 30,000 jobs altogether in 2017, that included 7,700 more jobs created in the state’s manufacturing sector, plus more than 8,000 jobs created in the financial services sector – statewide Government jobs took a hit by losing 4,100 jobs last year while transportation & utility jobs were down by more than 2,000 in 2017.

 

(OLNEY)  This week is being observed as National School Choice Week – it’s the largest celebration of the many opportunities and choices that are now available for students and their families to find an education that works best for them – more than 1,000 events around the Land of Lincoln are among more than 32,000 events taking place nationwide – while Illinois’ one of the leading states in the observance, Ohio is arguably the national leader in school choice – in 1990, the Buckeye State created one of the nation’s first programs.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Illinois has a new Miss Illinois County Fair Queen, as crowned during last night’s 2018 Queen Pageant, which is held during the annual convention of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs in Springfield – it’s Miss Iroquois County Fair Queen, Samantha Hasselbring, of Cissna Park – she’s the 19 year old daughter of Troy & Lynn Hasselbring and is a student at Milliken University in Decatur studying Elementary Education – congratulations to Miss Richland County Fair Queen Kylar Craig who was named to the pageant’s Top 15 finalists and was selected as 1st Runner Up – the other selections included Miss Perry County Emily Kuberski as 2nd Runner Up, Miss Logan County Meg Meeker as 3rd Runner Up, and Miss Georgetown Fair Heather Simpson as 4th Runner Up – the non-finalist award winners included Beauty & Physique Award to Miss Clay County Mikayla Stanfield, new People’s Choice Award to Miss White County Peighton Parks, Stage Presence Award to Miss Edgar County Meghan Ingram, Ruby Crum Memorial Award to Miss Cass County Madison Cowell, Interview Award to Miss Marshall-Putnam County Alexis Benson, and Communication Skills Award to Miss Bureau County Brianna Legner – among the Top 15 Finalists were Miss Effingham County Maria Lueken, Miss Vermilion County Morgan Wright, and Miss Macoupin County Colleen Nichols – also on hand taking part in the pageant was Miss Jasper County Kennedy Parr, Miss Edwards County Katie Hnetkovsky, Miss Crawford County Grace Amburgey, Miss Lawrence County McKegan Swanson, Miss Clark County Whitney Stirrett, Miss Cumberland County Brianna Sowers, Miss Fayette County Elizabeth Miller, and Miss Marion County Emma Butler – new Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring will now represent Illinois over the next year by attending various county fairs and other agricultural events, plus oversee the Illinois State Fair and the Du Quoin State Fair later this year – again, congratulations to Miss Richland County Fair Queen Kylar Craig of Olney for finishing 1st Runner Up – there were a total 72 young ladies competing in this year’s statewide pageant.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Also held during the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Annual Convention in Springfield was the Illinois County Talent Show  :  congratulations to Jenna Zumbahlen from Jasper County who finished in 4th place among those taking part in the Senior Division – Corey Barlow from McHenry County won the Senior Division event  :  the winners in the Junior Division were Meara Seelbach, Laney Teeter, and Eliana Wilson from Sangamon County – 2nd place went to Lilly Nowak from DuPage County.

 

(OLNEY/NOBLE)  There are two municipal meetings scheduled for tonight – the Olney City Council will meet in regular session at the Olney City Hall while the Noble Village Board meets in regular session at the Village Hall in Noble tonight – both meetings start at 7:00 and both are open to the general public.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met for its regular monthly meeting last Thursday night in Newton – the Board  :  awarded the district’s fuel bid to Wabash Valley Service Company  :  agreed to advertise for a Special Education Teacher for the 2018-2019 school year  :  discussed and approved the establishment of the Newton Eagle Trap Team, a non IHSA sponsored activity  :  in personnel moves – hired Troy Bierman as a NCHS Science Teacher for the 2018-2019 school year – hired Kimberly Runde was the JCJH Assistant Track Coach for this 2017-2018 school year  :  on a 6 to 1 vote, gave hiring authority to Superintendent Andy Johnson until the Board’s next regular meeting  :  also present were the Team Quest members and coaches from both the Jasper County Junior High School and the Newton Community High School  :  the next regular meeting for the Jasper County School Board is February 15th.

 

(OLNEY)  Richland County families are invited this coming Thursday evening to “The Amazing Chemistry Show” at the East Richland Elementary School in Olney – starting at 4:30 and continuing until 7:30, those attending will be amazed  and entertained by explosions, colored foam, liquid nitrogen, & glow-in-the-dark solutions, plus more – in addition to the hour-long show, families are invited to take part in a hands-on science experience with more than 170 exhibits featuring rockets, magnets, electricity, magnification, slime, and much more – it’s a free event and all are invited – those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by visiting the Elementary School’s website, at  www.rces.rccu1.net  or check the RCES Facebook Page.

 

(NEWTON)  The Winter Jasper County Solid Waste Program continues now thru the end of March – the mid-week dumpster will be at the Smallwood site this Wednesday morning from 7:30 until 12:00, or if the dumpster is filled before 10:30, another dumpster will be brought to that location this Wednesday – the  Newton / Jasper County Highway Garage location will be open on Saturday from 7:00 to 3:30 accepting appliances (with requirements) plus the county’s drop-off recycling container also available.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  All blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives in our area  :  today at the Wal-Mart Store in Flora from 11:00 to 3:00  :  also today at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Home Depot in Mattoon from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  also tomorrow at the South Central Middle School in Kinmundy from 2:00 to 6:00  :  another Clay County blood drive will be this coming Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The St. Thomas Annual Wine Tasting event is this coming Saturday evening at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton, starting at 6:30 – the $10 minimum per adult donation will go towards the new Church Building Fund – sponsored in part by Koerner Distributors, Friends of St. Thomas, & Knights of Columbus


    The fundraising “pancake & sausage” breakfast for the East Orchard Christian Academy is this Saturday morning at the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Olney, serving from 7:00 until 12:00 noon – it’s $6 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under – a drive thru for pickup orders in the half circle drive in the back


    The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County will have a fundraising “Cocktails & Canvas” event from 6:00 to 9:00 at the Olney VFW – for $45 per person, anyone can pay at the door that night and create their own masterpiece on canvas – there’s limited seating – snacks provided – call  392-3863  for details


    The Red Rooster, at the intersection of Routes 50 and 130 in Olney, will be hosting open interviews this Wednesday, January 24th – that’s from 8:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon for those interested


    It’s been announced that all Olney Township Roads are now under a 5 ton weight limit til further notice

 

 

 

January 20, 2018

 

(OLNEY)  As we continue our slow warm up thru this weekend, an approaching low pressure system will bring our next chance of precipitation, all in the form of rain – prior to the rain though, be aware that we may some issues with patchy fog the next few mornings due to the snow melt – otherwise, its on-and-off chances of rain later tonight & tomorrow morning, then again tomorrow night into Monday morning – it appears most all of next week will be dry with nearly normal temperatures – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Authorities are warning area residents of more scams that are currently circulating in our region  :  with the tax season upon us, scammers are making phone calls posing as IRS workers, telling victims they owe extra funds and payments must be made immediately or risk going to jail – remember, the IRS never contacts taxpayers by phone and jail time is not an option  :  also phone calls are still being made from scammers claiming to be with a local utility company demanding payment on a delinquent account and threatening either jail time or service disconnect if not immediately paid – local utility companies do not make such calls   :  residents are reminded to never make such immediate payments and to never give out personal information to anyone – if any questions, residents should call their local police department.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The 108th Annual Convention & Trade Show of Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAAF) is continuing in Springfield with various workshops & committee meetings being held for fair board members all around the state – the event also includes a talent contest, a trade show, and the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant, which includes participation by Miss Richland County Fair Queen Kylar Craig, Miss Jasper County Fair Queen Kennedy Parr, and 70 other contestants from throughout the state – that’s now thru Monday morning, the Annual IAAF Convention up in Springfield.

 

(OLNEY)  The National Wild Turkey Federation is gearing up for its 42nd annual Convention and Sport Show, set for February 14-18, next month, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee – the event will include several seminars, meetings, competitions, meals, raffles, and auctions each day and evening, plus the latest hunting gear & more will be displayed by more than 600 companies featured in the exhibit hall – also, the NWTF will feature the Family Adventure Village with hands-on activities and much more for children of all ages – for more details, logon at  www.nwtf.org.

 

(NEWTON)  The Winter Jasper County Solid Waste Program continues now thru the end of March – the Newton / Jasper County Highway Garage location will be open today and every Saturday from 7:00 to 3:30 accepting appliances (with requirements) plus the county’s drop-off recycling container also available – the mid-week dumpster will be at the Smallwood site next Wednesday morning from 7:30 until 12:00, or if the dumpster is filled before 10:30, another dumpster will be brought to that location next Wednesday.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  All blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives in our area  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  next Monday at the Wal-Mart Store in Flora from 11:00 to 3:00  :  also next Monday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:00 to 6:00  :    all blood types and platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :
    A fundraising “fish fry” is coming up this evening at the Claremont Community Club, serving from 5:00 to 7:30 – it’s $10 per plate – proceeds to help with a local family’s mission trip to the Dominican Republic


    The Olney FFA Alumni has its “pancake & sausage breakfast” this morning in the RCHS Cafeteria, with serving from now until 12:00 noon – tickets at the door – $6 for adults, $4 for children age 12 & under – proceeds for college scholarships, leadership camps, conferences, & conventions for local FFA members

 

 

 

  

January 19, 2018

 

(OLNEY)  We’ll have warmer air pumped into our region today, and along with plenty of sunshine, some snow melting will occur, plus some of those rural road and streets will start to thaw and clear off – therefore some fog will develop for the next few mornings – we’ll have on-and-off chances of scattered rain Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night, & Monday morning – then dry thru most all of next week, plus our temperatures will return to somewhat normal for this time of the year – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – Illinois lawmakers will start returning to the State Capitol next week to begin work for the spring legislative session – onlookers believe there could be more debate and gridlock in the weeks ahead due to the statewide elections coming up in November – some say that’s obviously bad news for Illinoisans as the battle between Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan will likely fire things up – key issues include property taxes, minimum wages, and marijuana legalization.

 

(OLNEY)  Secretary of State Jesse White’s Traffic Safety Advisory Committee met yesterday in Chicago to examine impairing driving laws and to consider measures aimed at making Illinois roads safer by reducing impaired driving crashes and fatalities – on the table are several measures to strengthen the state’s DUI laws – the Committee includes lawmakers, federal and state traffic safety experts, and law enforcement officials.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County School Board had its regular monthly meeting for January last night in Olney – the Board  :  approved the financial report with a total bill list at $426,397 for December  :  adopted 24 new or revised policies for the school district  :  approved all building reports as presented  :  approved the $223,787 purchase of three new Blue Bird buses from Central States Bus Sales  :  noted that the State has issued vouchers to the district that exceed $2.7 million  :  heard the annual State of the District Report from Superintendent Larry Bussard & the administrative staff, which is available to the public online on the district’s website  :  and after a 17 minute executive session took some action – approved the sale of district-owned property at 1119 East Butler Street in Olney with a minimum bid at $2,250 – approved the resignations from RCHS Assistant Track Coach Louie Gassmann and RCHS Assistant Girls Soccer Coach Jason Burckhartt, both effective immediately – accepted the retirement resignation from Rick Franklin as RCMS Cross Country Coach, Boys Basketball Coach, and Boys Track Coach effective at the end of the 2018-2019 school year – accepted the resignation with the intent to retire from RCHS Food Service worker Donna Goff – agreed to hire Rachael Kharikar as a RCES Teacher Assistant – and hired Rick Franklin as RCMS Cross Country Coach, Boys Basketball Coach, and Boys Track Coach for the next school year  :  the next regular monthly meeting for the Richland County School Board in Olney will be February 15th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met earlier this week in regular session – here’s a look at highlights from the unofficial minutes – the Council  :  approved the pre-paid bills worth $142,388 and the accounts payable worth $118,888 for the city  :  agreed to allow 3 Newton Police employees to attend the Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Summit  :  also agreed to allow 2 Newton Police employees to attend the 2018 ILEAS Annual Conference  :  noted that the Jasper County EMA had received a grant to purchase a drone for emergency purposes  :  noted the City of Newton will have a booth at this Saturday’s CEO Expo from 9:00 to 3:00 at NCHS  :  and took no other action after a 10 minute executive session to discuss litigation and real estate  :  the next regular meeting for the Newton City Council will be Tuesday, February 6th.

 

(OLNEY)  The 73rd Annual Meeting of the Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District was held last night in Olney – with approximately 125 people in attendance, three Directors were re-elected during the night’s business meeting – Fred Ochs, Tony Kuenstler, and Heath Clodfelter will all serve two year terms from March 2018 to March 2020 – the two other hold-over Directors are Craig Runyon and Pam Runyon – huge “thank you’s” to the night’s entertainment provided by The Singing Blacksmith, Bryan Dale Headley, also to The Holiday for hosting the meeting & the great buffet meal, and to all of those that turned out to the meeting – our “thanks” to Loleta Yonaka and the SWCD office staff for their helpful assistance.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Wheat Association & the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff  program is again joining forces this year to co-sponsor the Illinois Double-Crop Farmers’ Forum, scheduled for Wednesday, February 7th, three weeks from today, at the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn Convention Center – starting at 9:00, the forum’s registration & exhibits will be open at 8:00 – the event will focus on production & profitability issues key to downstate farmers who plan on following this year’s wheat harvest by planting soybeans – various topics will be covered – the $20 registration includes lunch – logon now at  www.illinoiswheat.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Mark your calendar for a special fundraising “Trivia Night” coming up on Thursday, February 8th, at the Richland County High School, in the Sliva Auditorium, starting at 6:30 – sponsored by the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), the event will involve teams of from 6 to 8 people at a cost of only $30 per team – there will be snacks, drinks, and plenty of fun trivia, plus spectators are welcome – all the proceeds from the “Trivia Night” will be used to fund attendance to the National Leadership Conference for qualifying students – to register a team or if any questions, contact Brenda Stallard at RCHS by calling  618-393-2191, extension 3204, or send an email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the entry deadline is February 6.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The 108th Annual Convention & Trade Show of Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAAF) is underway in Springfield, with various workshops and committee meetings will be held now thru Sunday for fair board members all around the state – the event also includes a talent contest, a trade show, and the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant – current Queen Claudia VanOpdorp, Miss Henry County Fair Queen, from Annawan, will oversee the 2018 Pageant, which will include participation by Miss Richland County Fair Queen Kylar Craig, Miss Jasper County Fair Queen Kennedy Parr, and all other Fair Queens from around Illinois – that’s now thru Sunday night the Annual IAAF Convention in Springfield.

 

(NEWTON)  The Winter Jasper County Solid Waste Program continues now thru the end of March – the Newton / Jasper County Highway Garage location will be open tomorrow and every Saturday this month from 7:00 to 3:30 accepting appliances (with requirements) plus the county’s drop-off recycling container also available – the dumpster at the Smallwood site next Wednesday morning from 7:30 until 12:00, or if the dumpster is filled before 10:30, another dumpster will be brought to that location next Wednesday.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  All blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives in our area  :  today at the Clay City Banking Company from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also today at the Moose Lodge in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed in our region.

 

REMINDERS  :
    A fundraising “fish fry” is coming up tomorrow evening at the Claremont Community Club, serving from 5:00 to 7:30 – the cost is $10 per plate – the menu includes fish, baked beans, cole slaw, bread, & dessert – all proceeds go to help with the cost of a mission trip to the Dominican Republic for a local family


    The Olney FFA Alumni has its “pancake & sausage breakfast” tomorrow morning in the RCHS Cafeteria, serving from 6:30 to 12:00 noon – tickets at the door – $6 for adults, $4 for children age 12 & under – proceeds for college scholarships, leadership camps, conferences, & conventions for FFA members

 

 

 

January 18, 2018

 

(OLNEY)  Now with a southerly wind swinging around on the back side of that arctic high pressure that’s now over Tennessee and heading southeastward, we’ll experience a gradual warm up today thru Sunday – plus we’ll stay dry for a few more days – a storm system will likely bring us our next precipitation with rain Saturday night – then a dry Sunday, followed with rain that night into and thru Monday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news today – a government accountability group says the state is fudging employment data in order to allow more healthy Illinoisans to receive taxpayer-funded food stamps without having to work – last October the USDA approved an Illinois Department of Human Services waiver request for the entire 2018 calendar year – this move means that able-bodied adults without dependents can continue to get food stamps without having to seek work – the Foundation for Government Accountability says that while the food stamp program is mostly federally funded, the net result of the waiver will cost state taxpayers.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs says it will move forward with a plan to update the aging Quincy Veterans Home facility following 13 deaths of Legionnaires disease in the past two years – during a joint House & Senate veterans affairs committee hearing this past Tuesday in Chicago, lawmakers heard the comparison of either spending an estimated $30 million to replace old water pipes or spending up to $50 million to build a new facility – more debate on the issue is expected later this year in Springfield.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met for its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night – the Board  :  reviewed the District’s recent Employee Satisfaction Survey, which gives the employees the opportunity to give their opinions to health & dental benefits, personnel changes, information availability, website quality, equipment & technology needs, and a variety of other concerns – overall, the Survey shows the IECC employees are very satisfied with the operation of the District  :  approved a new Freedom of Information Act policy and fee structure  :  approved an application for Protection Health and Safety funds to pay for repair costs to the Pedestrian Bridge at Olney Central College  :  approved a two year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Illinois Eastern Colleges Education Association (IEA-NEA) thru the 2018-2019 academic year  :  approved affiliation agreements with area institutions for IECC health related programs  :  and in a few personnel moves – accepted the retirement resignation from Thomas Baird, Telecommunications Instructor at Lincoln Trail College, effective June 1st, 2018 – accepted the resignation from Heather Ackman, Nursing Instructor at Olney Central College – and accepted the resignation from Liesl Wingert  :  the next regular monthly meeting for the IECC Board of Trustees is February 20th in Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  Jasper County Sheriff Rick Britton has announced that applications are now available for a local student to receive a $500 scholarship thru the Illinois Sheriff’s Association – the deadline to submit an application, which includes an essay question and more, is March 15th, 2018 – various requirements apply – applications are available at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office in Newton or by going online to the ISA’s website, at  www.ilsheriff.org  – the Illinois Sheriff’s Association will be awarding over $53,000 in college scholarships throughout the state this spring to students wishing to pursue higher education in Illinois.

 

(OLNEY/NOBLE/NEWTON)  A reminder that Republic Services is now caught up from their winter weather delays from earlier this week – therefore, starting today, Republic’s trash collection is back on its regular pickup schedule – this applies to all Republic customers in the Olney, Newton, Noble, and surrounding area – Republic appreciates the public’s cooperation and understanding in this matter.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau has several events coming up  :  a Country Crop Insurance Meeting will be held Tuesday evening, January 30th, at The Holiday, starting at 6:00  :  on the following night, Wednesday, January 31st, a two hour On the Road Trucking Seminar will be held beginning at 6:00, also at The Holiday – with the focus on old and new trucking laws, the event is free but advance registration is requested by calling the Richland County Farm Bureau office at  393-4116  by next Wednesday, January 24th  :  and on Thursday night, February 1st, a Farm Estate Planning meeting will be held at The Holiday offering farm families the chance to learn how to develop a farm succession plan for their family farm – reservations are requested for the free event, which includes dinner  :  again, call  618-393-4116.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The 108th Annual Convention & Trade Show of Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAAF) is scheduled to start tomorrow in Springfield, although some of the activities actually begin today and/or tonight – it’s a time for statewide county fair board members to gather together to share ideas about how to make their respective fairs better than last year and year’s past – various workshops will be held throughout the weekend – the event also includes a talent contest, a trade show, and the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant – that’s all this weekend up in our state capitol, in Springfield.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  There are two regular monthly school board meetings scheduled for tonight  :  the Jasper County School Board will meet tonight in the District’s Administrative Office in Newton, starting at 6:30  :  the Richland County School Board will meet tonight in the Richland County Elementary School Library, beginning at 7:00  :  both of the school board meetings are open to the public at each location.

 

(OLNEY)  A reminder that the Annual Meeting of the Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District is tonight at The Holiday Restaurant in Olney – tonight’s annual business meeting will include the election of Directors plus information will be shared about the past year of activities – tonight’s entertainment is local artist, Brian Headley, The Singing Blacksmith – unfortunately, no tickets remain for tonight’s meeting.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  All blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – here’s the list of upcoming blood drives in our area  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 6:45  :  tomorrow at the Clay City Banking Company from 2:00 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Moose Lodge in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Saturday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed throughout our region.

 

REMINDERS  :
    A fundraising “fish fry” is coming up this Saturday evening at the Claremont Community Club, serving from 5:00 to 7:30 – the cost is $10 per plate – the menu includes fish, baked beans, cole slaw, bread, & dessert – all proceeds go to help with the cost of a mission trip to the Dominican Republic for a local family


    The Olney FFA Alumni has its “pancake & sausage breakfast” this Saturday morning in the RCHS Cafeteria, serving from 6:30 to 12:00 noon – tickets at the door – $6 for adults, $4 for children age 12 & under – proceeds for college scholarships, leadership camps, conferences, & conventions for FFA members