August 8, 2017


(OLNEY)  As a strong high pressure ridge starts to move over the Midwest, our sky will clear up with abundant sunshine today and plenty of stars in the sky tonight – then still dry with a few clouds moving overhead tomorrow, plus of sunshine and dry skies for the rest of the work week, plus into the weekend as well – although a chance of rain late Saturday night thru Sunday morning – stay tuned for weather updates.


(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation yesterday requiring all State of Illinois employees to undergo annual cyber-security training to understand the risks of cyber threats and learn the best practices to defend against possible attacks – with Illinois becoming the 15th state to adopt a mandatory cyber-security awareness training for state employees, the program will help safeguard the information systems that support the delivery of critical state services and contain the personal information of taxpayers by facilitating a more cyber-aware state workforce – a recent study shows the average total cost of a data breach amongst the 419 companies surveyed across the nation was over $3.6 million.


(OLNEY)  Free family activities and shows for all generations highlight the theme of “Generations of Fun” at Conservation World at this year’s Illinois State Fair in Springfield, which starts later this week and runs thru all of next week – among the free activities are the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, Voyageur Canoe Rides, a New Butterfly House, a Live Reptile Show, and more – also for children, free fishing clinics and hands-on instruction for archery and BB guns – admission is free – located on the northwest corner of the State Fairgrounds, the 30-acre park has ponds, shade trees, & picnic benches – Conservation World is open from 10:00 to 7:00 each day of the State Fair, August 11 thru 20 – logon at  www.illinois.gov/statefair/info.


(NEWTON)  In yesterday’s USDA Crop Report – there were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork last week as the statewide average precipitation was less than a half inch of rain (0.46), which was less than a half inch (0.42) below normal – the state’s average temperature last week was 70.5 degrees, which was 3.3 degrees below normal – Illinois’ topsoil and subsoil moisture levels are both over two-thirds adequate to surplus – as of Sunday, 97% of the state’s corn crop was silking, 57% was in the dough stage, and 9% of was denting – also as of Sunday, 94% of the soybeans were blooming and 70% of the beans were setting pods  :  farmers in the ten county area surrounding Newton & Olney report much the same – well over half the local corn crop is in good to excellent condition and a third of the local corn is in fair shape – nearly two-thirds of the local soybean crop is in good to excellent condition with a quarter of the beans are in fair condition – area farmers are reminded to continue thinking “safety first” while working around and on the farm.


(OLNEY)  Richland County landowners are reminded that the second & final installment of real estate taxes is due on Tuesday, September 12th, that’s five weeks from today – there are three ways in which to pay the tax installment – either by mail, or in person at the Treasurer’s office at the Richland County Court House, open weekdays from 8:00 to 4:00, or by using the Treasurer’s drop box, located on the south side of the Richland County Court House – call the Treasurer’s office in Olney if any questions at  618-392-8341.


(OLNEY)  Olney Central College and the other IECC schools are now one to two weeks away from beginning their fall semester classes – here’s some of the courses that are available through Olney Central College  :  a Beginning Upholstery Class will be taught Thursday nights from 6:00 to 8:50 beginning August 17th at OCC, in the former Collision Repair Building  :  an Artistic Welding Class will meet on Thursday nights from 6:00 to 9:00 at the West Richland Center in Noble, beginning August 17th  :  an eight week Aerobics Zumba Class will meet on Monday and Wednesday nights from 6:00 to 7:40 at the West Richland Center in Noble, beginning August 21st  :  a T-Shirt Quilting Class will be taught Tuesday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 at the West Richland Center in Noble, starting August 22nd  :  a Furniture Refinishing Class will meet on Tuesday nights from 6:00 to 8:50 at Olney Central College, beginning August 22nd  :  a Basic Welding Class is available on Tuesday nights from 6:00 to 9:00 at the West Richland Center in Noble, starting August 22nd  :  an Unmanned Aerial Systems Class (commercial drone license course) will meet Wednesday nights from 6:00 to 9:00, beginning August 23rd  :  and a Beginning Woodworking Class will be taught on Wednesday nights from 6:00 to 9:30 at the West Richland Center in Noble, starting August 23rd  :  to register or to get more information on these and other classes available, call Olney Central College at  618-395-7777  or check it all out online, at  www.iecc.edu.


(NEWTON)  A note from the Jasper County School District – the Open House at the Ste. Marie Elementary School has been set for next Monday evening, August 14th, from 6:00 to 8:00 – while Mr. Josh Benefiel will speak both at 6:00 and 7:00 respectively, students are encouraged to bring their school supplies, plus students, parents, and/or guardians, will have the chance to meet all the Ste. Marie School teachers as well.


(OLNEY)  Those interested in obtaining an Illinois Concealed Carry permit can now enroll in an IECC course to be taught at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel later this week – the class provides 16 hours of required firearms training, including both classroom and range instruction, plus the course is designed for both the beginner and experienced shooter – the class will meet this Thursday and Friday, August 10th and 11th, each night from 6:00 to 10:00 – then the final meeting of the class is Saturday, August 12th, from 8:00 to 4:00 – the cost of the course is $175 for in-District students and must be paid in advance to reserve a seat – the cost for enrollees over 60 years old is $92 – to register, call WVC today, toll-free, at  866-982-4322.


(NEWTON)  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 President Obama’s administration – the proposed rule, initiated by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, has a 30-day comment period with the deadline set for August 28th – to sign the petition, go to the Illinois Farm Bureau website online, at  www.ilfb.org/actioncenter  – farmers will also have a chance to sign the petition at the Illinois State Fair.


(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  :  tomorrow & Thursday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Thursday at the KC Hall in Newton from 1:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed to help replenish the low blood supply throughout the downstate region.


(OLNEY)  Here’s a reminder from the Richland County High School – the junior parking permits are being sold today, on this Tuesday, August 8th, from 8:00 to 2:00, first come, first served – starting tomorrow, on Wednesday, parking permits will be sold during regular RCHS office hours – and once school begins next week, on August 16th, all permits must be purchased in the RCHS office either before or after school.


REMINDERS :       
    The Noble Chowder is coming up this Saturday in the Village Park with serving by the bulk or bowl to start at 11:00 – there will be other food available, plus activities and more – raffle tickets and quilt tickets are still on sale at the Noble Village Hall – all are invited to the Noble Chowder this coming Saturday

    The 6th Annual St. Thomas Duck Race is this Saturday morning at the Newton Aquatic Center, starting at 10:00 – ducks can be purchased this week at the St. Thomas School in Newton, the St. Thomas Catholic Church, the Peoples State Bank in Newton, and/or the Medicine Shoppe – get your ducks today

    The Willow Hill Fire Department will have its first annual Pancake, Sausage, and Gravy Breakfast this Saturday morning from 6:00 to 11:00 – also a 50/50 drawing – tickets on sale at the door – all are invited

    KidZone in Olney preschool will have its “Open House” tomorrow and Thursday, from 5:30 to 7:30 each evening – stop by and tour the preschool facility and see what KidZone is all about

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County has rescheduled its “Back To School Swim Party” – it will now be held tomorrow night from 6:00 to 8:00 at the Musgrove Aquatic Center – all bigs, littles, and their families are invited – children must be accompanied by an adult – refreshments will be available