May 15, 2017


(OLNEY)  A strong high pressure ridge will keep us dry with plenty of warm air and sunshine over the next three to four days – that’s when our next low pressure system will move thru with rain chances on Friday, maybe as early as Thursday night – the rain chances could hang around into Saturday and maybe even on Sunday as well – our high temperatures all this work week will be in the 80’s – listen for weather updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news – lawmakers are expected back in Springfield this week, both the State House and State Senate – both chambers have several proposed bills and measures to consider, not to mention the ever-looming discussion and debate on the ongoing state budget stalemate – the General Assembly has only a couple more weeks remaining in the State Capitol before the spring legislative session is scheduled to end.


(OLNEY)  Illinois poets are being given a chance to show their stuff in a statewide competition – Secretary of State Jesse White says that entry forms are now available for the annual Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award – the competition is open to any Illinois resident at least 18 years of age and the winner will receive $500 in cash, with second and third place also receiving cash – the winning poems will be submitted for publication in various journals – entries must be postmarked by June 30th.


(NEWTON)  Fair officials are expanding a statewide competition to find a singer who’ll be the opening act for both State Fairs in Springfield and Du Quoin – starting June 10th, there will be 12 karaoke competitions at local county fairs for soloists to compete – those taking part must be 18 years old and the registration on the Illinois State Fair website begins today at 12 noon – one of the downstate sites is the Jasper County Fair in Newton – for contest rules and more, check the State Fair website online, at  www.illinois.gov/statefair.


(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police in District 12 and the Farm Bureaus in both Richland and Jasper Counties are urging all motorists to be extra alert while traveling on Illinois roadways this week and for rest of the 2017 spring planting season – with many fields drying out this week and farmers returning to the fields for the first time in at least two weeks or longer, drivers should be on the lookout as farmers and farm service workers move agriculture equipment from field to field, traveling at speeds of 25 miles per hour or less – drivers should be ready to reduce speed immediately upon encountering slow moving vehicles – let’s keep it safe on highways & rural roads as the spring planting season slowly comes to an end.


(NEWTON)  The Rides Mass Transit District will hold a “Listening Session” this week, on Thursday morning, May 18th, at the Newton Public Library meeting room, starting at 11:00 – since RMTD provides transportation services in Jasper County, the “Listening Session” will allow interested persons or agencies in Jasper County a chance to comment about the current service, possible improvements of service, and the current routes – for those that cannot attend in person, oral comments can be called into the RMTD office at 618-253-8761, extension 500312, or written comments can be mailed to : Rides Mass Transit District, 30 Veterans Drive, Harrisburg, Illinois, 62946 – all are invited to share their views about the RMTD services.


(OLNEY)  The City of Olney has announced it is now soliciting Requests for Proposal for a mural to be placed on the south wall of the Olney City Hall, at 300 South Whittle Avenue – proposal and project specifications can be picked up at City Hall between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00, Monday thru Friday, or may be emailed by sending a request to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the deadline for proposal submission is June 30th, 2017, with a project completion date set for September 30th, 2017 – call if any questions.


(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau will host a “pallet sign painting party” this coming Saturday afternoon at The Holiday, starting at 2:00 – in conjunction with Sweet Hazel K, who is well known for creating crafty décor, all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Richland County’s Ag in the Classroom program – while signs, stencils, paint, and instruction to help complete the project will be provided and participants will take home their very own work, the cost is $30 for a regular sign or $37 for a custom sign – sign up today online, at www.sweethazelk.com, scroll down to “Richland County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Fundraiser” and choose from any of the four, farm-themed designs, and pay online – or call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116  to sign up and pay – all are invited to take part & have fun.


(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2017 – applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31st, two weeks from this coming Wednesday – those interested can email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Jane Hart at  618-783-2867.


(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins a week from today, on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.


(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  today at the Noble First Christian Church from 2:30 to 6:30  :  Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  Friday, also at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.


(NEWTON)  There’s two area meetings coming up tonight  :  the Jasper County School Board will have its regular monthly meeting for May tonight in Newton, starting at 6:30  :  the Edwards County School Board will have its regular monthly meeting tonight in Albion, beginning at 7:00  :  both are open to the public.


    The Bikers With a Heart Motorcycle Show and Car Cruise In for Team Dale is this Saturday in the Olney City Park, from 11:00 to 9:00 – includes a tattoo contest, gun raffle, 50/50 raffle, corn hole tournament, food vendors, a guitar raffle, & more – to benefit 11 year old Dale Howser who’s awaiting a heart transplant

    The Flora Public Library will host the 2017 Local Authors Book Fair this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 – fourteen area authors will have their work on display – also light refreshments and a door prize drawing

    The Wynoose Mother’s Day Salad Banquet will be held this Friday night, starting at 6:30 in the Wynoose Community Center – those attending are asked to bring their favorite salad to share – all are invited

    The Newton Firefighter Association will host a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – drive-thru pick up available or delivery – for pre-orders, call  618-783-2165  – all proceeds go towards the purchase of needed rescue equipment

    The Ridgeway Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society will meet tomorrow night at the First Prebyterian Church in Olney, starting at 7:00 – former Wildlife Specialist and outdoorsman Tom Micetich will discuss the status and population of Whitetail Deer in our region – the meeting is open to the public

    The Effingham Deanery Monthly Prayer Vigil for Life will be held this evening at the St. Aloysius Church in Bishop Creek – praying the scriptural rosary starts at 6:00 with a 6:30 mass to follow – then the 7:30 business meeting in the Parish Hall – includes refreshments and pro-life and pro-family information

    The Carle Richland Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has an Arbonne and Tupperware fundraiser today in the hospital’s private dining rooms from 8:00 until 4:00 – proceeds go to Auxiliary projects at the hospital