LOCAL NEWS

Local News

August 23, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  It’s a quiet weather pattern in place for the next several days & nights across the Midwest, due mostly to a very strong high pressure that’s set up over the Great Lakes Region and north into Canada – as a result, the cooler air is making its way south into our area – in fact, we’re expected lower than normal temperatures over the next seven to ten days and no rain until the first of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – House Speaker Michael Madigan has cancelled a scheduled Illinois House session today that was originally called to vote on Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a school funding bill – the State Senate met a week ago Sunday to override the veto – the State Democrats are pushing their plan that ensures no school district gets less funding than it did last year, plus it funnels new money thru an “evidence-based” model to the school most in need – Governor Rauner says the new system unfairly favors the Chicago School System over the rest of the state, therefore he rewrote the plan with an amendatory veto – there’s no word now about when the State House will meet again to consider the issue in Springfield.

 

(OLNEY)  The Du Quoin State Fair has announced Dinger Bats co-owners, Kyle and Randy Drone of Ridgway, as the Grand Marshalls of the fair’s 2017 Twilight Parade – the downstate family business is being noted for providing a slew of Major League Baseball players with quality baseball bats, but more importantly for giving back to community baseball teams and others – the Twilight Parade at the state’s second State Fair in Du Quoin gets started at 6:00 this coming Friday night, plus it’s College Night at the fair as anyone with a current student ID will be admitted free – Friday night’s grandstand act includes a free concert by Chicago 6, which is three members of the 1985 NFL Champion Chicago Bears – the Du Quoin State Fair is this Friday thru Labor Day, September 4th – for more, go to  www.duquoinstatefair.net.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Board of Education has named ten finalists for the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year award – State Superintendent Tony Smith says the finalists “continuously go above and beyond to make students feel well known & well cared for” – a selection committee made up of past winners, teachers, administrators, and support staff selected the finalists from 234 total nominations – none of the ten finalists were from our downstate, Southern Illinois region – the winner will be announced October 28th.

 

(OLNEY)  In this week’s Richland County Rainfall Report, with the recording period ending Monday morning at 8:00, with the numbers provided by Farm Bureau members around the county – the highest amount of rain was measured in Bonpas Township with an inch and eight tenths (1.80), followed by an inch and five hundredths (1.05) in Olney Township and nine tenths of an inch (0.90) in Noble Township – both the Farm Bureau Office in Olney and Preston Township had a half inch of rain (0.50), followed by Denver Township at forty-five hundredths (0.45) of an inch, German Township at four tenths of an inch (0.40), Decker Township with a quarter of an inch (0.25), and Madison Townhip at two tenths of an inch (0.20) – there was no reading from Claremont Township – here at our WVLN-WSEI National Weather Service Weather Station, at the south edge of Olney, we measured two tenths of an inch (0.20) during the period.

 

(NEWTON)  Congratulations to a Jasper County high schooler for making a great showing at the recent National High School Rodeo Finals, held last month out in Gillette, Wyoming – Stetson Bierman, the son of Bret and Jody Bierman from Hidalgo, represented Jasper County and all of Illinois very well in the competition, which included riders from not only the United States, but from all around the world as well – Stetson competed in bareback horse riding and bareback bronc riding – the other competitions included several other rodeo events, such as calf roping, team roping, bull riding, steer wrestling, and much more.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced that it has closed the Pleasant Ridge Lane Bridge over Sugar Creek, which is approximately 800 feet east of the Ridge Road intersection, about three and a half miles north of Noble – the bridge there will be closed until a replacement structure can be designed and installed, which could and most likely will take several months – drivers should be alert to any and all signs and/or barricades concerning this road closure – if questions, call the Highway Department.

 

(NEWTON)  The 2017 Farm Progress Show is getting ready for its 64th annual start, scheduled for a week from today, August 29th, at its permanent site in Macon County, near Decatur – the three day show will feature over 600 exhibitors displaying new farm equipment, tractors, combines, and farm implements, plus seed & crop production products, additional farm supplies & services, and more – the show’s most popular activities are the field demonstrations, which includes side-by-side tillage techniques, tractor & combine performance comparisons, and more – also, the livestock area includes horse training demonstrations and the newest equipment and animal health products – plus, restored antique machinery, entertainment, and plenty of concessions are also all included – for details, check the website, at  www.farmprogressshow.com.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  today at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 12:15 to 7:15  :  today at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  also today at the Stewardson Community Building from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the Wal-Mart Store in Salem from 11:00 to 3:00  :  also Friday at the Olney City Park Community Building from 2:00 to 7:00  :  all blood types & platelets needed.

 

(OLNEY)  A special fundraising event is coming up this Saturday afternoon and evening at the Olney VFW, from 3:00 to 10:00 – it includes a dinner and silent auction with all proceeds to help 16 year old Miranda “Roo” Acord of Olney – diagnosed with Leukemia at 11 months of age, Miranda spent over a year in St. Louis Children’s Hospital, received a bone marrow transplant from her oldest sister, and was in remission until 4 years ago when she was diagnosed with Cardio Myopathy, which now has progressed – with no cure, a heart transplant is needed – to donate a silent auction item or to help out in general, call Lauren, at  618-839-8383  – a Go Fund Me page has also been set up at “Miranda’s Heart Transplant”.

 

(OLNEY)  The South Central Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission, in partnership with the Greater Wabash Planning & Development Commission, will host an Elected & Local Official Training / Workshop tomorrow morning from 9:00 to 12:00 noon at Olney Central College, in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center – no RSVP’s or pre-registration is required and all are invited to attend tomorrow.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The Claremont Community Center has its Summer Chowder this Saturday evening – the serving will start at 4:00 in the air conditioned center and continue until it’s all sold out – also ground beef barbeque, fish, hot dogs, pies, cakes, and drinks – bulk chowder also available, but no glass containers – all are invited


    The Rides Mass Transit District is offering another trip to Jasper and Crawford County residents this Saturday – it’s a trip to the Frog Follies in Evansville, including supper – those who live in Jasper or Crawford Counties interested, can schedule a ride by calling the RMTD office toll-free, at  866-389-7536


    The Richland County Farm Buruea Young Leaders have their annual Trap Shoot this Saturday at the County Line Gun Club, west of Noble, just north of Hites Hardwood, off of U.S. Route 50 – it’s registration at 9:00 that morning, with the shooting to start at 10:00 – to pre-registration for individuals and/or teams of five, call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116 – raffle tickets and concessions also available


    The OCC Foundation’s Annual Wine Tasting Affair fundraiser is this Friday night from 6:00 to 9:00 at the Richland Country Club – plenty of local wine & hors d’oeuvres – $15 tickets are on sale from any OCC Foundation member, plus at Blank’s Insurance and all TrustBank or First National Bank in Olney locations


    The Farm Bureau offices in Richland, Edwards, & Wabash Counties will host a State Legislative Meeting coming up tomorrow night at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 7:00 – all area farmers and others are invited


    It’s been announced that the Richland County Animal Control will be closed today, on this Wednesday, August 23rd, due road work – again, the Animal Control is closed all of today – back open tomorrow

 

 

 

August 22, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  The cold front and upper level disturbance that brought us some thunderstorm activity yesterday afternoon and evening will move thru our downstate region by late this afternoon – with some lingering rain ending by sunset, cooler air moves in tonight – we’ll stay cool & dry then with plenty of sunshine tomorrow thru the rest of the work week and thru the upcoming weekend – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois State Fair officials say this year’s grandstand sales surpassed a record-setting number of guests in 2016 – it’s reported more than 58,800 people bought tickets for the Grandstand, up from 58,540 last year – the previous high was nearly 57,800 back in 1999 – the Fair’s largest draw was Five Finger Death Punch, a heavy-metal band that played to more than 13,300 last Friday – officials say that while part of the success was the diversity of Grandstand acts, the great weather also helped out as well.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police joined members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists at the Illinois State Fair last week to remind motorists of the importance of driving sober, 20 years after Illinois’ implementation of its 0.08 DUI legislation – while Illinois was the 15th state to lower the DUI threshold to a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 in 1997, today all 50 states have a legal limit of at least 0.08 or lower – since the 0.08 law was enacted, alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crash fatalities in Illinois have dropped by nearly 43% – as Labor Day approaches, state and local law enforcement are reminding motorists of the importance to drive sober – they’ll be ramping up enforcement efforts thru a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, running from August 21st thru September 5th – there will be roadside safety checks, saturation patrols, & more, looking for impaired drivers & seat belt law offenders, all in an effort to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and injuries.

 

(NEWTON)  Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law bipartisan legislation that extends the River Edge Redevelopment Zone tax credit program – the initiative is credited with creating a $10 return for every $1 of credit – the tax credit program has helped preserve historic buildings & grow local economies in the five communities where the credit is applicable, including East St. Louis, Peoria, Aurora, Elgin, and Rockford.

 

(OLNEY)  Area authorities and U.S. Marshall’s Service officials are warning the public about two new phone scams that are currently targeting regional residents – one scam involves a caller identifying themself as being with the U.S. Marshall’s Service, seeking payment for a bogus fine for allegedly being absent from a federal grand jury – the other scam involves a fake U.S. Marshall seeking payment for a fine in lieu of being arrested – the U.S. Marshall’s Service reminds everyone that it does not make calls directly to people and it does not directly collect money of any kind – do not give out personal information or details – if such a call is received, contact your local police department, sheriff’s office, or State Police as soon as possible.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met a week ago tonight in regular session – the Council  :  approved all prepaid and bills & accounts payable since the previous meeting on August 1st  :  approved an ordinance dealing with golf carts & neighborhood vehicles within the Newton City limits  :  approved the renewal for IMRF for the Newton City Clerk  :  accepted the resignation of Alan Bogardus from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals  :  approved the Friends of the Trail Designated Fund agreement with the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation  :  and after a 26 minute closed session, the Council agreed to destruct past closed session audio recordings and minutes – no other action was taken after discussion about litigation, real estate, and personnel  :  the Newton City Council will have its next regular meeting September 5th.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s a few notes from the Richland County Farm Bureau  :  area farmers and landowners are invited to attend tonight’s National Legislative Meeting at the West Salem Community Building, starting at 5:30  :  a State Legislative Meeting will then be held this coming Thursday night at The Holiday in Olney, beginning at 7:00  :  the Illinois Farm Bureau is urging farmers to sign a petition supporting a proposed federal rule to repeal the definition of “waters of the U.S.” put in place under previous administration – the proposed rule has a 30-day comment period that ends next Monday, August 28th – to sign the petition, area farmers and landowners can go to the Illinois Farm Bureau website online, at  www.ilfb.org/actioncenter  –for more details about upcoming events or more, call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116.

 

(NEWTON)  In this week’s USDA Crop Report – there were 6.3 days suitable for field work with last week’s dry weather conditions around the state – Illinois’ average precipitation was less than a half inch (0.45), which was just over four tenths of an inch (0.41) below normal – last week’s average statewide temperature was 74.2 degrees, which was nearly normal, at only two tenths of a full degree (0.2) above normal – as of Sunday, the condition of the state’s corn and soybean crops were over 50% good to excellent with around 30% fair and under 20% poor to very poor  :  farmers here in our ten county area report 90% of the local corn crop is still in the dough stage with close to half the corn now denting – also nearly 90% of the local soybeans are setting pods while less than 10% are starting to turn colors – area farmers are still reminded to think “safety first” while working outdoors especially with the fall harvest fast approaching.

 

(OLNEY)  Congressman John Shimkus will be making a few stops later today in the 15th Congressional District – at around 2:30 today, the Collinsville native will be touring the Beck’s Hybrids Seed Plant in Effingham – then he’ll follow that up by attending this evening’s Farm Bureau Round Table event down in West Salem, with farmers and Farm Bureau members from Richland, Edwards, and Wabash Counties.

 

(OLNEY)  The Biker Bible Church is sponsoring a special Memorial Run this coming Saturday, beginning at The Master’s Hands in Olney with registration at 9:00 and the kick stands up at 11:00 – in fact, all vehicles are welcome to take part, not just motorcycles – the cost is only at $5 per person – the Memorial Run will then return and end Saturday night at Pita’s and More within the Eagles Lodge in Olney with a pulled pork meal served at 5:00 by free will donation at the door – all proceeds go to the proposed Paper House project, a youth center to be built in Olney to serve the youth of the entire surrounding region – to get more information about the event or to see how you can help out, call Shelley at  618-843-0595.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  today at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 12:15 to 7:15  :  tomorrow at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Stewardson Community Building from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Friday at the Wal-Mart Store in Salem from 11:00 to 3:00  :  also Friday at the Olney City Park Community Building from 2:00 to 7:00  :  all blood types & platelets are needed to replenish low supplies.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The 85th Annual Xenia Volunteer Firemen’s “Fish Fry & Dance” is this coming Saturday afternoon & night from 3:00 to 12 midnight, with all events behind the Xenia School – there’ll be live entertainment, tickets on sale for three gun raffles, and a silent auction closing at 10:00 that night, plus food served during all nine hours – the popular mud bog registration is at 2:00 with racing at 3:00 – also a beer garden & more


    The Claremont Community Center has its Summer Chowder this Saturday evening – the serving will start at 4:00 in the air conditioned center and continue until it’s all sold out – also ground beef barbeque, fish, hot dogs, pies, cakes, and drinks – bulk chowder also available, but no glass containers – all are invited


    The Richland County Farm Buruea Young Leaders have their annual Trap Shoot this Saturday at the County Line Gun Club, west of Noble, just north of Hites Hardwood, off of U.S. Route 50 – it’s registration at 9:00 that morning, with the shooting to start at 10:00 – to pre-registration for individuals and/or teams of five, call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116 – raffle tickets and concessions also available


    The City of Olney has announced that tomorrow night’s rescheduled meeting of the Parks & Recreation Board has now been cancelled altogether – that’s no Parks & Recreation Board meeting in Olney this month


    It’s now been announced that the Richland County Animal Control will be closed tomorrow, on Wednesday, August 23rd, due road work – again, the Animal Control is closed all of tomorrow


    The Olney Central College Community Choir will begin rehearsals tonight at 6:15 – the choir is open to anyone high school age or older, regardless of musical experience – the OCC Community Choir is starting its 8th season – for details, call OCC at  395-7777  or simply attend the rehearsal tonight at OCC


    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is set up today under the pole barns in the Olney City Park – that’s fresh produce, baked goodies, and more available to the public from 10:00 to 4:00 today

 

 

 

August 21, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  An approaching cold front will give an unstable air mass today with a slight chance of getting wet this afternoon, plus an associated short wave will give us some cloud cover today as well – the better chance of rain is tomorrow morning thru midday with some severe weather conditions possible – then the cold front moves thru with cooler and dry air moving in for the rest of this work week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – with the solar eclipse set for today, researchers in Illinois are hoping the great event can shed light on how sudden atmospheric changes can alter the weather – the Illinois State Water Survey, based in Champaign, will use weather-monitoring equipment to collect temperature and other data before, during, and after the eclipse – the last total solar eclipse in the U.S. was in 1979 – the next total solar eclipse in the U.S. is forecast for 2024 and will again, at that time, move right across Southern Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  Authorities in downstate Illinois spent this past weekend preparing for thousands of people to be in the state’s southernmost counties to view the total solar eclipse this afternoon – the State Transportation Department is restricting some traffic today and has installed digital message boards, providing travelers with real time information on backups or delays – law enforcement agencies have added officers from all over Illinois and other Midwestern states to help out – in Carbondale, where the eclipse will last the longest, nearly three minutes in totality, Southern Illinois University is hosting a sold-out viewing party at Saluki Stadium, not to mention hundreds of other viewing sites throughout the downstate Southern Illinois area.

 

(NEWTON)  An Illinois State Police District 12 Trooper, patrolling Interstate 70 east of Vandalia, discovered 4 pounds (1,852 grams) of heroin after a routine traffic stop at around 10:55 last Thursday morning – the heroin’s street value is at $648,000 – the driver, 54 year old Rosario Gonzalez, of San Diego, California, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and for controlled substance trafficking, and is currently being held in the Fayette County Jail in Vandalia – the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force assisted with the investigation – the Trooper pulled the Dodge Durango over for improper lane usage.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced that it has closed the Pleasant Ridge Lane Bridge over Sugar Creek, which is approximately 800 feet east of the Ridge Road intersection, about three and a half miles north of Noble – the bridge there will be closed until a replacement structure can be designed and installed, which could and most likely will take several months – drivers should be alert to any and all signs and/or barricades concerning this road closure – if questions, call the Highway Department.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt, has released the activity and enforcement figures for the month of July – Troopers answered 222 calls for service and initiated 1,254 incidents in the field – there were 561 citations and 610 written warnings issued in July, including 293 tickets for speeding, 41 seat belt citations, 35 criminal arrests, 6 DUI's, and 1 child restraint citation – Troopers assisted 234 motorists, conducted 247 motor carrier inspections, and investigated 79 traffic crashes, 4 of which involved fatalities – also during July, there were 208 citations and 247 written warnings issued for the “Fatal Four” violations, those most associated with fatal traffic crashes, including DUI, failure to wear a seat belt, distracted driving, and speeding – the ISP District 12 includes the ten area counties of Jasper, Richland, Effingham, Cumberland, Clark, Crawford, Lawrence, Clay, Marion, and Fayette.

 

(OLNEY)  While the fall semester classes at Olney Central College & the other Illinois Eastern Community Colleges began last week, there’s a couple of classes that are getting started on this Monday at OCC  :  a Sound Recording & Engineering Course is being offered on Monday nights, starting tonight, from 6:00 to 8:50 – the class will include both lecture and the chance to work on projects in the OCC recording studio and new Mac lab, plus the class is ideal for both musicians and sound technicians at churches or clubs who want to improve their skills  :  also a Genealogical Class is being offered at OCC with the first of two organizational meetings set to start this morning at 9:30, with a lunch break from 11:30 to 1:00, followed by an afternoon session from 1:00 to 3:30 – anyone unable to attend today’s meeting can join a second organizational meeting coming up next month, on Wednesday, September 6th  :  plus, many other classes are still open with the second meetings available for sign up this week – for more information or details, call Olney Central College at  618-395-7777  or check the District’s website online, at  www.iecc.edu.

 

(OLNEY)  The South Central Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission, in partnership with the Greater Wabash Planning & Development Commission, will host an Elected & Local Official Training / Workshop this coming Thursday morning, August 24th, from 9:00 to 12:00 noon, at Olney Central College, in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center – no RSVP’s or pre-registration is required & all are invited to attend – some of the agencies invited include the Departments of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Natural Resources, Transportation, Aging, Agriculture, Employment Security, Workforce Development, and the State Comptroller’s Office – for more details, call the SCIRPDC office in Salem, at  618-548-4234.

 

(OLNEY)  A special fundraising event is coming up this Saturday afternoon and evening at the Olney VFW, from 3:00 to 10:00 – it includes a dinner and silent auction with all proceeds to help 16 year old Miranda “Roo” Acord of Olney – diagnosed with Leukemia at 11 months of age, Miranda spent over a year in St. Louis Children’s Hospital, received a bone marrow transplant from her oldest sister, and was in remission until 4 years ago when she was diagnosed with Cardio Myopathy, which now has progressed – with no cure, a heart transplant is needed – to donate a silent auction item or to help out in general, call Lauren, at  618-839-8383  – a Go Fund Me page has also been set up at “Miranda’s Heart Transplant”.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  today at the Beecher City High School from 1:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Dieterich High School from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Wednesday at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Stewardson Community Building from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets needed.

 

(OLNEY)  The Birthright Office in Olney has announced that due to today’s eclipse occurring during the main part of its open hours, it will be closed all of today, on this Monday – the Birthright Office will be pleased to assist with any infant and/or maternity needs later this week, on either Wednesday and/or Friday.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The Claremont Community Center has its Summer Chowder this Saturday evening – the serving will start at 4:00 in the air conditioned center and continue until it’s all sold out – also ground beef barbeque, fish, hot dogs, pies, cakes, and drinks – bulk chowder also available, but no glass containers – all are invited


    The Rides Mass Transit District is offering another trip to Jasper and Crawford County residents this Saturday – it’s a trip to the Frog Follies in Evansville, including supper – those who live in Jasper or Crawford Counties interested, can schedule a ride by calling the RMTD office toll-free, at  866-389-7536


    The Richland County Farm Buruea Young Leaders have their annual Trap Shoot this Saturday at the County Line Gun Club, west of Noble, just north of Hites Hardwood, along U.S. Route 50 – it’s registration at 9:00 that morning, with the shooting to start at 10:00 – the pre-registration for individuals in $20 or $25 on Saturday – the pre-registration for a team of five is $100 or $125 on Saturday, with cash prizes – plus $20 raffle tickets on sale for $500 cash or a Silver Hunter 4+1 3 inch 12 gauge shotgun – a concession stand available for lunch – for details or to pre-register, call the Farm Bureau office at  618-393-4116


    The Olney Central College Community Choir will begin rehearsals tomorrow night at 6:15 – the choir is open to anyone high school age or older, regardless of musical experience – the OCC Community Choir is starting its 8th season - for details, call OCC at  395-7777  or simply attend the rehearsal tomorrow night


    It’s been announced that the Richland County Animal Control will be closed tomorrow, on Tuesday, August 22nd – so again, the Animal Control will be closed tomorrow, on Tuesday


    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life is tonight at St. Mary’s Church up in Shumway – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00, followed by the 6:30 mass – then a 7:30 business meeting will follow with refreshments – plenty of pro-life literature, books, bumper stickers, and more


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host the Wild Horse Ministries this evening at the East Fork Arena, north of Olney, starting at 6:30 – gates open at 5:30 with free admission, plus free will donations accepted – food concessions will be available and bleachers are provided – lawn chairs are also welcomed

 

 

 

August 19, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As an upper level disturbance moves across downstate Illinois this morning, there could be a few lingering showers and/or isolated thunderstorms, but it will all be short-lived – we’ll return to sunshine by later today, as the dry sky will rule our weather thru both Sunday and Monday – our next approaching storm system could bring us come afternoon clouds on Monday, then rain by next Tuesday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois State Fair continues up in Springfield – today is Park District Conservation Day with more livestock shows, USAC Auto Racing, & a Demolition Derby – the final day tomorrow, is Family Day, with plenty of family activities, plus ARCA Auto Racing and John Mellencamp on stage Sunday night : also Conservation World is open today and tomorrow from 10:00 to 7:00 with special outdoor amphitheater events on this Saturday and the Agriculture Tent is open both today and tomorrow with Ag Tours from 10:00 to 3:30 each day – go online for details, at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(NEWTON)  The investigation is continuing into a fatal traffic crash that occurred in Clark County, at a construction site along Interstate 70, about 4 miles east of Martinsville – the State Police report the seven vehicle pile-up took place yesterday afternoon at 4:56, started by an eastbound semi-truck that failed to stop for slowing traffic at the construction site – the driver of the first car hit by the semi-truck, 74 year old Raymond Johnson of Orange, Connecticut, was pronounced dead at the scene – a passenger in Johnson’s car, 76 year old Ruth Johnson, also of Orange, Connecticut, was air-lifted to Regional Hospital in Terre Haute – the semi-truck driver, 66 year old Wayne Kauffman of Oakland, Maryland, was not injured, but ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, for aggravated reckless driving, and for using an electronic communications device while driving – two other drivers were injured, 70 year old Dale McWilliams of Rolla, Missouri was air-lifted to Carle Hospital in Urbana, and 43 year old Amy Allen Crosier of Overland Park, Kansas was taken to Regional Hospital in Terre Haute – the other un-injured drivers were from Kansas, Ohio, and Indiana – multiple emergency crews responded to the accident scene – Interstate 70 was closed for nearly 9 hours, reopened shortly after 2:00 earlier on this Saturday morning.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has announced that it has closed the Pleasant Ridge Lane Bridge over Sugar Creek, which is approximately 800 feet east of the Ridge Road intersection, about three and a half miles north of Noble – the bridge there will be closed until a replacement structure can be designed and installed, which could and most likely will take several months – drivers should be alert to any and all signs and/or barricades concerning this road closure – if questions, call the Highway Department.

 

(OLNEY)  A “Clear the Shelters” event is today as twelve Wabash Valley animal shelters are hosting the popular pet adoption drive as they offer low cost fees to help area families & individuals adopt a new pet – visit the online website  www.MyWabashValley.com  to access a list of area animal shelters taking part – for more information or details here locally, call the Humane Society of Olney, at  618-392-2699.

 

(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show today in the Olney City Park with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 noon this morning – over 100 awards to be passed out, plus plenty of concessions and more  :  also being held is a Ms. Vintage Pin Up Contest, open to area women age 18 or older with an entry fee of $20 per contestant, but limited to the first 25 entries  :  check it out today.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  today at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 7:45 to 2:45  :  also today at the Flat Rock Community Building from 9:00 to 1:00  :  the next Jasper County blood drive is tomorrow morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30  :  there are blood drives next week in Olney, Robinson, and Effingham  :  all blood types and platelets are needed.

 

(OLNEY)  The Birthright Office in Olney has announced that due to Monday’s eclipse occurring during the main part of its open hours, it will be closed all of next Monday, August 21st – the Birthright Office will be pleased to assist with any infant and/or maternity needs later next week, on either Wednesday and/or Friday.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life is next Monday night at St. Mary’s Church up in Shumway – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00, followed by the 6:30 mass – then a 7:30 business meeting will follow with refreshments – plenty of pro-life literature, books, bumper stickers, and more


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host the Wild Horse Ministries next Monday night, August 21st, at the East Fork Arena, north of Olney, starting at 6:30 – gates open at 5:30 with free admission, plus free will donations accepted – plus food concessions will be available – lawn chairs welcomed – bleachers provided

   
    The Cornerstone Community Church in Noble will host an Open House / Ice Cream Social this afternoon & evening from 3:00 to 7:00 to formally welcome their new Pastor & his family – includes hot dogs, ice cream, & snacks, plus face painting, games, & more – the Jake Hoult Band will also be in concert as well


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for today with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The Richland County High School Marching Tiger Color Guard will have a fundraising “car wash” today at Wood’s Auto Body, along South Route 130, in Olney – that’s from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – the cost is a simple money donation – please stop by and help them out


    The 2017 Willow Hill Annual Homecoming is today through evening – includes an antique tractor show, a car/bike show, corn hole rally, cake walk, bingo, flea market, pedal tractor pull, a rabbit catch, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, afternoon entertainment, plenty of food with pulled pork & more

 

 

 

August 18, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As a narrow ridge of high pressure gives us a sky full of sunshine today, an approaching short wave weather system will bring in some clouds tonight and likely bring a sprinkle or two after midnight – then after the spotty showers end tomorrow morning, we’ll return to sunshine the rest of tomorrow and thru Sunday – maybe a few clouds by Monday afternoon and some rain next Tuesday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law earlier this week a bill which allows Emergency Medical Services to transport police dogs injured in the line of duty to a veterinary clinic, that is provided that no people require medical attention or transport at that time – supported by the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies all over state, Illinois lawmakers passed the bill earlier this year.

 

(OLNEY)  The State Attorney General’s office has issued a consumer alert warning Illinois residents about reports of scam artists selling counterfeit solar eclipse glasses to try to take advantage of the many people planning to watch Monday’s event – to double-check those glasses available, the American Astronomical Society provides a list of manufacturers & authorized dealers that are verified to meet the safety standards – go online, at  www.eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters  :  meanwhile, IEMA has set up its State Unified Area Command in Effingham to monitor the downstate eclipse-related activities today thru next Tuesday – the SUAC includes reps from the state departments of Transportation, Natural Resources, Public Health, Corrections, State Police, Illinois National Guard, American Red Cross, & IEMA, plus the downstate local law enforcement, fire, & emergency mutual aid organizations – for more, go to  www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is First Responder Day as all police officers, firefighters, & EMT’s who show their badge at the gate will be admitted free, plus on stage tonight is the Southern Uprising Tour, which includes the Charlie Daniels Band, Montgomery Gentry, the Marshall Tucker Band, and The Outlaws – tomorrow is Park District Conservation Day with more livestock shows, USAC Auto Racing, & a Demolition Derby – and the final day Sunday is Family Day with plenty of family activities, plus ARCA Auto Racing & John Mellencamp on stage Sunday night : also Conservation World is open each day from 10:00 to 7:00 with special outdoor amphitheater events Saturday and the Agriculture Tent is open each day with Ag Tours from 10:00 to 3:30 each day : go online at  www.IllinoisStateFair.info.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County School Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in Olney – the Board  :  heard an update on the start of the new 2017-2018 school year, noting the District’s enrollment in Pre-Kindergarten thru 12th Grade is at 2,457 students  :  noted that the State now owes the District at least $563,000  :  approved the various building reports as presented  :  approved the first readings of five new policies  :  and after a 28 minute executive session, made several personnel moves – accepted resignations for retirement from RCMS Teacher Sherri Snider, effective July 25, 2017, and from RCES Secretary Sherry Clinton, effective December 31, 2017 – accepted resignations from RCES Nurse Heather Maschoff as of July 31, 2017, and from Parent Educator Sarah Vaal – recalled from a Reduction in Force RCES Teacher Kelli Prevo and RCMS Math Teacher Megan Graves – employed Darla Johnson as RCES Nurse, Barbara Geltz as RCES Food Service Staff, Jennifer Fancher was part-time Pre-K Secretary & part-time Pre-K Paraprofessional, Brianne Urfer as Pre-K Paraprofessional, Clarissa Kocher as RCES Teacher Assistant, Eric Combs as RCMS Band Director, and Matt McLaren as the new RCHS Head Baseball Coach – agreed to reduce from full-time to part-time RCES Teacher Deven Moseby and RCES Food Service Staff Donna Swinson – and also approved various volunteers  :  the Board’s next regular meeting is September 21st.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met last night for its regular monthly meeting in Newton – the Board  :  approved the tentative Fiscal Year 2018 Budget as presented  :  heard Transportation Reports from the end of last year and the start of this school year  :  approved a loan agreement with People’s State Bank in Newton for new bus purchases  :  agreed to amend the Title District Improvement Plan  :  on a 6 to 1 vote, approved a contract for Dr. Beth Presser as Co-Author of the District’s Title Grant  :  recognized retiree David Rubsam for his years of service in Maintenance since 1999 and Annette Kirts for her service as a District Secretary since 1986  :  and after a 25 minute closed session, made several personnel moves – accepted resignations from  NES Aide Kimberlin Wallace Michels and NES Nurse Nikki Westendorf – employed Chris Bradley as District Maintenance, Joni Milliman as NCHS Library Aide, Steve Bickers as NCHS Lunch Supervisor, Shanelle Julian as SME Special Education Aide, Brad Harris as Sophomore Class Sponsor, and Jan Thompson as JCJH Head Track Coach  :  and gave Superintendent Johnson the authority to hire, if needed, until the next meeting  :  the School Board’s next regular meeting will be September 21st.

 

(OLNEY)  Here’s a couple of notes from the Richland County Farm Bureau  :  area farmers and landowners are invited to an upcoming National Legislative Meeting next Tuesday evening, August 22nd, at the West Salem Community Building, beginning at 5:30  :  meanwhile, a State Legislative Meeting will be held two nights later, next Thursday night, August 24th, at The Holiday in Olney, starting at 7:00  :  also, the Illinois Farm Bureau is urging farmers to sign a petition supporting a proposed federal rule to repeal the definition of “waters of the U.S.” put in place under previous administration – the proposed rule, initiated by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, has a 30-day comment period that ends a week from next Monday, August 28th – to sign the petition, folks can go to the Farm Bureau website online, at  www.ilfb.org/actioncenter  – farmers can also sign the petition at the Illinois State Fair, continuing today thru Sunday, in Springfield  :  for more details about upcoming events or more, call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116.

 

(OLNEY)  A “Clear the Shelters” event is tomorrow as twelve Wabash Valley animal shelters are hosting the popular pet adoption drive as they offer low cost fees to help area families & individuals adopt a new pet – visit the online website  www.MyWabashValley.com  for more details and to access a list of area animal shelters taking part – for details locally, call the Humane Society of Olney, at  618-392-2699.

 

(OLNEY)  The White Squirrel Cruisers Car Club will host its 30th Annual Car Show tomorrow in the Olney City Park with registration from 9:00 to 12:00 noon – over 100 awards to be passed out, plus plenty of concessions and more  : also being held is a Ms. Vintage Pin Up Contest, open to area women age 18 or older with an entry fee of $20 per contestant, but limited to the first 25 entries – for more, call  723-2853.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  All area blood donors are encouraged to get out and give blood at their next chance – here’s the list of all upcoming regional blood drives  :  today at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney from 12:00 to 4:00  :  today at Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson from 1:00 to 5:00  :  also today at the Salvation Army Store in Mattoon from 2:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 7:45 to 2:45  :  tomorrow at the Flat Rock Community Building from 9:00 to 1:00  :  blood drives next week in Olney, Robinson, and Effingham  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS :   
    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life is next Monday night at St. Mary’s Church up in Shumway – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00, followed by the 6:30 mass – then a 7:30 business meeting will follow with refreshments – plenty of pro-life literature, books, bumper stickers, and more


    The White Squirrel Saddle Club will host the Wild Horse Ministries next Monday night, August 21st, at the East Fork Arena, north of Olney, starting at 6:30 – gates open at 5:30 with free admission, plus free will donations accepted – plus food concessions will be available – lawn chairs welcomed – bleachers provided

   
    The next Jasper County blood drive is coming up this Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Ste. Marie from 7:30 to 11:30 – all blood types are needed – all donors and first donors are urged to turn out


    Rides Mass Transit District will offer another trip to Crawford & Jasper County residents for tomorrow afternoon & evening – it’s a trip to the Centralia Balloon Festival with the featured Balloon Glow Saturday night at 7:30 – interested residents in Jasper & Crawford Counties can call toll-free now, at  866-389-7536


    The Cornerstone Community Church in Noble will host an Open House / Ice Cream Social tomorrow afternoon & evening from 3:00 to 7:00 to formally welcome their new Pastor & his family – includes hot dogs, ice cream, & snacks, plus face painting, games, & more – the Jake Hoult Band will also be in concert


    Ralph Carter’s 24th annual “Poker Run” to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children is set for tomorrow with sign up at the Olney VFW from 10:30 to 12:00 noon with a new shortened route to be announced – then food, an auction, gun raffle drawing, and entertainment to follow at the Olney VFW – all are invited


    The Richland County High School Marching Tiger Color Guard will have a fundraising “car wash” tomorrow at Wood’s Auto Body, along South Route 130, in Olney – that’s from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon – the cost is a simple money donation – please stop by and help them out


    The 2017 Willow Hill Annual Homecoming is tomorrow throughout the day & evening – includes an antique tractor show, a car/bike show, corn hole rally, cake walk, bingo, flea market, pedal tractor pull, a rabbit catch, 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, afternoon entertainment, plenty of food with pulled pork & more


    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is set up today under the pole barns in the Olney City Park – that’s fresh produce, baked goodies, and much more available to the public to purchase from 10:00 to 4:00