LOCAL NEWS

Local News

October 4, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A cold front currently extending from northern Missouri up into eastern Wisconsin will sag slowly southward today, eventually reaching I-70 by evening – our downstate area will stay mostly dry today with some better rain chances tonight thru early tomorrow morning – then maybe some spotty rain Thursday night thru Friday – another cold front could bring us rain early next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Illinois – therefore, the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) is conducting a statewide employee awareness campaign that shares cybersecurity resources & best practices to better protect against online risks – it was nearly two months ago that the Governor signed a bill into law requiring state employees to undergo annual cybersecurity training to understand the risks, threats, and best practices to defend against cyber threats.

 

(OLNEY)  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum will host the 2017 Conference on Illinois History tomorrow and Friday in Springfield – from outlaws getting quick justice from a mob to enslaved people suffering in a supposedly free state, from immigrants making new lives in small towns & big cities to lingering questions about President Lincoln’s coffin, these stories & others will be told & discussed – lunch sessions will be held both days with a special reception tomorrow night, plus much, much more – for last minute information and/or to register, go online at  www.PresidentLincoln.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Transportation is still seeking workers for temporary jobs to help with snow-and-ice removal this winter in several southeast Illinois counties here in IDOT District 7 – these seasonal positions are available for on-call work schedules in response to weather situations assisting in snow-and-ice control and working in emergency conditions at any time, including weekends, holidays, and nights – various other requirements are included – for more details, including information on pay and the potential for benefits, go online at  www.idot.illinois.gov  – the deadline to apply is Monday, October 16th.

 

(OLNEY)  Applications are now being accepted by the Embarras River Basin Agency for winter heating assistance for senior citizens & people with disabilities through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – contact the ERBA offices in the counties of Richland, Jasper, Lawrence, Crawford, Clark, Cumberland, Coles, Edgar, or Douglas for an appointment and to see what’s needed to sign up – for more information and details check the Embarras River Basin Agency website, at  www.erbainc.org.

 

(NEWTON)  100 Women Who Care Jasper County has announced it will make its third community grant of 2017 on Thursday, October 12th, a week from tomorrow night, at the Newton Masonic Lodge, at 207 South Van Buren Street – registration will begin at 5:00 and the meeting will start at 6:00 with light refreshments to be served throughout the evening – guests who are interested in learning more about 100 Women Who Care Jasper County are encouraged to attend the meeting for free – it was back in July that the giving circle chose the Jasper County Senior Citizens in Newton as the recipient of its $5,650 collected contribution.

 

(NEWTON)  On October 19th, 2017, two weeks from tomorrow, millions of people in the U. S. and all around the world will take a few minutes to practice three simple actions that could save their lives during a major earthquake – the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), and municipal & county EMA’s are encouraging statewide residents to drop, cover, and hold on during The Great ShakeOut earthquake drill – nearly 500,000 Illinoisans took part in last year’s drill and so far, more than 350,000 people in Illinois are registered for the safety event – schools, businesses, government agencies, families, & others can sign up for the drill online, at  www.shakeout.org/centralus  – for preparedness tips, go to  www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The First Annual Candle Lighting Ceremony will be held on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, which is Sunday night, October 15th, at The Venue in Olney, beginning at 6:30 – to have a name included in the program, registration is required by tomorrow, October 5th – however, all those that register late will still have their name mentioned during the ceremony, but they will not be listed on the program or the event t-shirt – to register or for more details, call Yvette today at  618-843-0963.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s Homecoming Week at Richland County High School – today is Way Back Wednesday, a retro dress up day or throw back jersey day – plus the Powder Puff Football Game between the Junior & Senior girls is tonight at RCHS, starting at 6:30, with donations accepted for Hurricane Relief Efforts at the gate – then a Pep Session is tomorrow afternoon with the Homecoming Parade at 2:00 tomorrow – then it’s Boys Volleyball after Lady Tigers Volleyball tomorrow night in Ron Herrin Gym – the Coronation will be at halftime of the Tigers football game Friday night, with the Homecoming Dance from 9:30 to 11:30.

 

(NEWTON)  During this Manufacturing Month observance, the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce has organized the annual Manufacturing Day for Effingham County to be held tomorrow – over 300 students, teachers, & counselors from 16 area high schools will spend the day touring 13 local manufacturing facilities to get acquainted with the jobs available, plus check out the technology involved and the state-of-the-art equipment needed to produce a wide variety of products that are shipped all around the world – for more information, visit the website online, at  www.effinghamcountychamber.com.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney is looking for a few good volunteers to help conduct its 39th annual Squirrel Count, which is scheduled for the first three Saturdays here in October, starting this weekend – that’s October 7th, 14th, and 21st – volunteers can help out on any or all three Saturdays – dedicated squirrel supporters are encouraged to contact City Clerk Kelsie Sterchi at Olney City Hall, at  395-7302.

 

(OLNEY)  HealthFest 2017 is coming up this Saturday morning from 7:30 to 11:00 in the Olney Central College Gymnasium – there will be numerous health exhibitors, a free continental breakfast, various free screenings, free medication safety cards, and much more – flu shots will be available for $25 each – and new this year are three free Breakout Sessions, discussing the ABC’s of Medicare at 8:00, Downsize & Declutter at 9:00, and Senior Fraud at 10:00 – also PSA Screening and Hemoglobin/A1C/Lipid Profiles for $25 each – all sponsored by Carle Richland Memorial Hospital and Olney Central College – all are invited.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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  :  also today at the Brownstown Elementary School from 2:00 to 7:00  :  on Friday at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:30 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are much needed.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The Olney VFW Auxiliary 4226 will host it’s first-ever Family Freedom Festival this Sunday afternoon – from 1:00 to 4:00, it will include carnival games, music, a cake walk, bingo, and a light supper, all in the parking lot between the Courthouse and VFW Post – visitors are urged to bring their lawn chairs


    The Olney Public Library is hosting a free 9/11 Craft and Games event this Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 – all ages are invited to come share memories, play games, & make crafts to decorate the Library”s Never Forget 9/11 Tree – this event serves as a reminder of the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit that’s coming to Olney next week, courtesy of the Olney Public Library and Rotary Club of Olney


    The Flora American Legion Post 14 will host a Hutsonville Homeless Veterans Benefit Ride this Saturday & all vehicles are welcome to take part – with registration at 9:30 in the morning, the event leaves Flora at 11:00 – the 100-plus mile trip then returns to Flora for a live auction and entertainment that evening – donations appreciated – all are invited – for more details, call Annie at  618-662-8626


    The Yale Village-wide Garage Sale is this Saturday with all visitors welcome – with most of the garage sales planned for the morning hours, a few will continue into early afternoon – all this Saturday in Yale


    The Rotary Club of Richland County will host its Annual Homecoming Dinner this Friday night at the Richland County High School Veterans Hall, with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – catered by Niemerg’s Steak House, the meal features fried chicken, pork loin, and more – $1 desserts available by the RCHS Interact Club – $10 adult and $6 children tickets on sale at all Richland County banks or by calling  618-843-4811 – there will be limited tickets at the door Friday night all during Homecoming Week at RCHS in Olney


    The American Legion Jasper Post #20 in Newton will hold its monthly pork loin dinner tomorrow night with serving to start at 6:00 – pay at the door – the public is welcome to attend as always

 

 

 

October 3, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  While the high pressure extending from Maine to the Gulf Coast losses control of our dry weather conditions, a nearly stationary frontal boundary is draped from western Kansas to the Upper Midwest – as that boundary moves southward, our chances of rain increase late tonight thru tomorrow – as it stalls, we stay dry Thursday – as it eventually moves thru, look for rain on Friday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois based companies and emergency responders are helping with the relief effort in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria – the Chicago Fire Department has sent two dozen firemen, paramedics, and engineers this week with stretchers, defibrillators, and other medical supplies for a ten day stay – Chicago-based United Airlines is delivering supplies – and over 550 Illinois National Guardsmen are on alert and ready for deployment when and if needed – many others are also assisting in the cleanup effort.

 

(OLNEY)  Each year, Illinois celebrates the contributions the manufacturing industry has brought to our state by recognizing October as Manufacturing Month – the observance includes Manufacturing Day, celebrated nationwide on the first Friday of October, noting the impact modern manufacturing has had on our country – Illinois is the fifth largest manufacturing state with manufactured goods comprising 92% of the state’s total exports – Illinois has nearly 13,000 manufacturing firms that employ over 572,500 workers.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the state’s college access & financial aid agency, is looking to hire community outreach staff to work within their community helping middle & high school students, as well as returning adults, with college planning & the financial aid process – the two year positions include six weeks paid training, vacation, and sick leave – those hired help students and parents navigate the path to college and the financial aid process – so for those who graduated college in 2011 or after and have excellent verbal and written communication skills, apply online to  recruiter.isac.org.

 

 (OLNEY)  The Illinois State Water Survey has released its monthly weather summary for September  :  the statewide average rainfall last month was just over three quarters of an inch (0.78), which was nearly two and a half inches (2.45) below normal and the 5th driest September on record – the driest September  on record since 1895 was in 1979 with less than a half inch of rain (0.46)  :  also, the August to September period was the 4th driest for those two months in Illinois, with a statewide average rainfall of 3.11 inches, which is 3.70 inches below normal – it’s also reported that with the dry conditions in the past two months, the U.S. Drought Monitor classified nearly 80% of Illinois as “abnormally dry” and 13% as in “moderate drought”  :  the statewide average temperature for Illinois was 68.7 degrees, which was 2.5 degrees above normal and the 28th warmest September on record  :  all from the ISWS based at the U of I in Champaign.

 

(NEWTON)  In yesterday’s USDA Crop Report – dry conditions were still prevalent across the state last week – the state’s average precipitation last week was only two-hundredths of an inch (0.02) which was just over two-thirds of an inch (0.68) below normal – last week’s average temperature was 66.4 degrees, which was 4.3 degrees above normal – the statewide topsoil and subsoil moisture levels are an average 80% short to very short with only 20% adequate – the statewide corn and soybean crops are still nearly 60% in good to excellent condition with 30% fair and 10% or less poor to very poor  :  the farmers in our ten county region report nearly 90% of the local corn is mature with close to half (48%) the corn crop now harvested – nearly 90% of all the local soybean fields are turning color, over 80% of the bean fields are dropping leaves, and almost half (46%) of the area soybeans have been cut – some area winter wheat crop has even been put in the ground – farmers are reminded to think “safety first” as the 2017 fall harvest continues to roll on.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Olney Central College has scheduled several transfer-level courses, offered October 16th thru December 14th – this is a perfect time for students who dropped a class this fall or those who need an additional class to complete to graduate – the classes available include  :  Composition I on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday mornings  :  Composition & Analysis on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday mornings  :  World Music (Hybrid) on Tuesday & Thursday mornings  :  College Algebra (Hybrid) on Monday & Thursday mornings  :  and Liberal Arts Math (Hybrid) on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons  :  three online classes are also available including Human Growth & Development, Social Problems & Trends, and Music Appreciation  :  for more information or to register, call Olney Central College today at  618-395-7777.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Republican Central Committee will host its Annual Fall Event this Saturday afternoon in the Olney City Park Community Building from 12:00 noon to 1:30 – there will be chowder, barbeque, baked beans, chips, and desserts with tickets at only $5 each, available from Republican Precinct Committeemen and Elected Officials or by emailing  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – expected speakers during the Fall Event are State Attorney General Candidate Erika Harold, State Senator Dale Righter, State Representative David Reis, and other local officials and candidates – all are invited to attend Saturday.

 

(NEWTON)  The 27th Annual Marching Eagles Band Classic is this Saturday at Newton Community High School with a total of 15 bands competing – the first band starts it off at 9:45 that morning – the Marching Eagles will perform at 2:30 with the awards ceremony at around 2:50 – concessions available with proceeds to the Band Boosters – the Class A Schools competing include Oblong, Casey-Westfield, Lawrenceville, Bement, and ALAH – the Class AA Schools competing include Robinson, Mt. Carmel, Vandalia, Tolono Unity, and Maroa-Forsyth – the Class 3A Schools competing include Olney, Paris, and Effingham – the Class 4A Schools competing include Belleville West and Champaign Centennial – all spectators welcomed.

 

(OLNEY)  It’s Homecoming Week at Richland County High School – today is Cubs versus Cardinals Day as students wear their respective baseball apparel and today after school is the Annual Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament between the classes in Ron Herrin Gym – tomorrow is Way Back Wednesday, a retro dress up day or throw back jersey day – plus the Powder Puff Football Game between the Junior & Senior girls is tomorrow night at RCHS, starting at 6:30, with donations accepted for Hurricane Relief Efforts at the gate – then a Pep Session & the Homecoming Parade is Thursday afternoon at 2:00 and that night Boys Volleyball after Lady Tigers Volleyball in Ron Herrin Gym – the Coronation at halftime of the Tigers football game will be followed by the Homecoming Dance in Ron Herrin Gym from 9:30 to 11:30 – check it all out.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Motorists using the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop are reminded the CSX Railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop in Montrose is now closed, today thru Friday for repair work – IDOT reminds all truckers to use alternate state or county roads that are appropriate, weight-wise  :  also, construction is underway to replace the Denver Township bridge over Coon Creek on Timber Trail Road, 3 miles west of Dundas – Timber Trail Road is closed south of the Dundas Lane intersection for six weeks.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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 at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 12:15 to 7:15  :  also tomorrow at the Brownstown Elementary School from 2:00 to 7:00  :  Friday at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:30 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are much needed.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District is underway with its annual fall fish sale – orders for various fish species are being accepted now thru October 26th, however grass carp must be ordered by October 19th – the fish delivery date is Thursday, November 2nd – for species available, pricing, and to place an order, stop by the SWCD office in Olney or call  618-392-7141, extension 3


    The Olney VFW Auxiliary 4226 will host it’s first-ever Family Freedom Festival this Sunday afternoon – from 1:00 to 4:00, it will include carnival games, music, a cake walk, bingo, and a light supper, all in the parking lot between the Courthouse and VFW Post – visitors are urged to bring their lawn chairs


    The Sailor Springs Chowder is this Saturday with serving from 11:00 to 2:00 – along with chowder, there’ll also be barbeque, brats, pie, and cake – either dine-in or carry-out – bring your own containers, but no glass – bring your lawn chairs – also inflatables & live music from the group Liberty Road – all invited


    The Walmart DC 6059 will have a fundraising motorcycle ride to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network this Saturday – the kick stands go up at 10:00, leaving Travco Motorsports in Olney and heading to Martins State Forest Park in Indiana – the $20 per rider or $35 per rider with passenger fees include a t-shirt & lunch – to register, for t-shirts, and to order pre-cooked pork loins, call today  618-393-5900

 

 

 

October 2, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  We’ll have warm & windy weather conditions today & tomorrow as we’re on the back side of the high pressure moving off towards the East Coast – then an approaching cold front will hopefully bring us some much-needed rain as early as Wednesday, although the better chances of getting wet are Thursday & Friday, maybe even into Saturday & Saturday night – for sure a dry & cool Sunday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – advocates for imprisoned women are thanking Governor Bruce Rauner for signing a law requiring gender-appropriate & informed practices in the Illinois women’s prison & parole systems – drafted by the Chicago-based Women’s Justice Initiative, the law adopts practices that recognize trauma women offenders often have suffered, ready them for community re-entry, and reduce recidivism – a 2016 study found women prisoners face unnecessary segregation and harsher discipline than men.

 

(OLNEY)  The Governor is looking to overhaul regulations on the last of the state’s coal-fired power plants – the Chicago Tribune reports the proposed amendments to Illinois’ rules would remove limits on the rate of pollution for eight downstate coal plants – the change would also impose annual caps on sulfur dioxide & nitrogen emitted by the plants owned by Dynegy, Inc. which would give the Houston, Texas-based company more flexibility in operations – however, critics say the changes will lead to dirtier air Illinois & elsewhere.

 

(NEWTON)  Illinois’ in-state college tuition and fees rank fifth highest in the nation and a new report says those costs are a major reason degrees are increasingly out-of-reach for low-income students – the Partnership for College Completion reports data from 2014 show low-income families in Illinois must set aside 63% of their local income for a student to attend a four-year institution while middle-class families must set aside 25% – this year looks better for higher education with $1.1 billion for public universities.

 

 (OLNEY)  Superintendent of Schools Larry Bussard recently announced that the Richland County Community Unit School District #1 was granted AdvancED School System Accreditation from the national commission that confers the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement accreditation seal – this means that the Richland County School District and all of its schools are accredited and that the RCCU #1 is recognized across the nation as a quality school system – the three components involved in the accreditation process are  : 1) meeting high quality standards  : 2) implementing a continuous process of improvement  : 3) engaging in quality assurance through internal & external review :  the accreditation is for a five year term with regular monitoring of progress and reporting occurring during the term – the district’s accreditation process began shortly after the annexation of the West Richland School District into the East Richland School District, forming the county-wide system in Richland County.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police District 12 has released results of recent enforcement patrols from surrounding counties  :  an August Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol in Richland & Lawrence Counties resulted in 48 total citations, 31 safety belt citations, 13 total written warnings, & 1 child restraint citation  :  a September Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol in Crawford & Clark Counties resulted in 37 total citations, 31 safety belt citations, 13 total written warnings, and no child restraint citations  :  a September Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement Patrol in Clay and Marion Counties resulted in 13 total citations, 32 total written warnings, 3 driver’s license offenses, 1 DUI, 1 insurance violation, 1 registration offense, 1 occupant restraint offense, and no alcohol/drug citations  :  and a September Roadside Safety Check in Effingham County resulted in 29 total citations, 11 total written warnings, 10 alcohol/drug citations, 7 occupant restraint offenses, 5 insurance violations, 3 driver’s license offenses, 1 registration offense, & 1 DUI  :  all of these special patrols were funded thru the Illinois Department of Transportation.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Motorists using the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop are reminded the CSX Railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop in Montrose is now closed, today thru Friday for repair work – IDOT reminds all truckers to use alternate state or county roads that are appropriate, weight-wise  :  also, construction is underway to replace the Denver Township bridge over Coon Creek on Timber Trail Road, 3 miles west of Dundas – Timber Trail Road is closed south of the Dundas Lane intersection for six weeks.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Central College is introducing a new Art Instructor – hired in August, Heather Sandy is now serving as a temporary full-time art instructor – the Dayton, Ohio native earned a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in painting with a minor in art history from the University of Dayton, plus holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville – as a graduate student, Sandy taught design, drawing, and art introduction classes at SIU-E, plus she served as a substitute teacher for a year and was employed as a teacher’s aide – Sandy’s individual art work has been featured in studios and gallaries in St. Louis and Chicago – the new Olney Central College art instructor is in the process of relocating to Olney.

 

(NEWTON)  The USDA has released the Illinois Grain Stocks Report  :  old crop corn stocks in all positions on September 1st, 2017 totaled 381 million bushels, up 76% from a year ago – the on-farm stocks totaled 73 million bushels, while off-farm stocks totaled 308 million bushels – the June to August 2017 indicated disappearance is 501 million bushels  :  the old crop soybean stocks in all positions on September 1st, 2017 totaled 38.6 million bushels, up 40% from last year – the on-farm stocks totaled 6.3 million bushels, while off-farm stocks totaled 32.3 million bushels – the June to August 2017 indicated disappearance is 126 million bushels  :  all wheat stocks in all positions on September 1st, 2017 totaled 50.4 million bushels, up 11% from last year – the on-farm stocks totaled 3.5 million bushels, while off-farm stocks totaled 46.9 million bushels – the June to August indicated disappearance is 9.48 million bushels.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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 Christian Church Annex in Mason from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 12:15 to 7:15  :  Wednesday at the Brownstown Elementary School from 2:00 to 7:00  :  Friday at the American Legion Hall in Mattoon from 1:30 to 6:00  :  all blood types and platelets are needed to help replenish the low area blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The City of Olney’s biannual hydrant flushing start at 9:00 last night and continue thru this morning at select sites around town – residents may experience low water pressure and some discoloration in areas where the flushing occurs – everything should return to normal by later this afternoon or evening


    The Olney VFW Auxiliary 4226 will host it’s first-ever Family Freedom Festival this Sunday afternoon – from 1:00 to 4:00, it will include carnival games, music, a cake walk, bingo, and a light supper, all in the parking lot between the Courthouse and VFW Post – visitors are urged to bring their lawn chairs


    The Olney Public Library is hosting a free 9/11 Craft and Games event this Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 – all ages are invited to come share memories, play games, & make crafts to decorate the Library”s Never Forget 9/11 Tree – this event serves as a reminder of the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit that’s coming to Olney next week, courtesy of the Olney Public Library and Rotary Club of Olney


    The Flora American Legion Post 14 will host a Hutsonville Homeless Veterans Benefit Ride this Saturday & all vehicles are welcome to take part – with registration at 9:30 in the morning, the event leaves Flora at 11:00 – the 100-plus mile trip then returns to Flora for a live auction and entertainment that evening – donations appreciated – all are invited – for more details, call Annie at  618-662-8626


    The Yale Village-wide Garage Sale is this Saturday with all visitors welcome – with most of the garage sales planned for the morning hours, a few will continue into early afternoon – all this Saturday in Yale


    The Rotary Club of Richland County will host its Annual Homecoming Dinner this Friday night at the Richland County High School Veterans Hall, with serving from 5:00 to 7:00 – catered by Niemerg’s Steak House, the meal features fried chicken, pork loin, and more – $1 desserts available by the RCHS Interact Club – $10 adult and $6 children tickets on sale at all Richland County banks or by calling  618-843-4811 – there will be limited tickets at the door Friday night all during Homecoming Week at RCHS in Olney


    The Jasper County Health Department will host a fundraising Bingo this Thursday evening at the St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton – doors open at 5:00 with Bingo at 6:00 – also a theme basket raffle, 50/50 raffle, door prizes, snack bags, drinks, & more – proceeds to the Jasper County Cancer Support, Inc.

 

 

 

September 30, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A high pressure anchored over the Upper Midwest will dominate our weather conditions today with plenty of sunshine and near normal temperatures – that ridge will also keep us dry for the next several days & nights as we enter the month of October – after warmer air moves in for the first of next week, a weak storm system could bring us our next chance of rain by next Thursday – stay tuned for updates.

 

(OLNEY)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation he says would restrict workers in deciding whether to join a union – the plan would have ensured that only the state’s General Assembly could restrict so-called union security agreements, that is deals between employers and unions – the Governor’s veto comes a day after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an Illinois case over whether non-union members who enjoy union benefits should have to pay “fair-share” fees to support union operations.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  Motorists using the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop are reminded the CSX Railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop in Montrose will be closed next Monday thru Friday for repair work – IDOT reminds all truckers to use alternate state or county roads that are appropriate, weight-wise  :  also, construction is underway to replace the Denver Township bridge over Coon Creek on Timber Trail Road, 3 miles west of Dundas – Timber Trail Road is closed south of the Dundas Lane intersection for six weeks.

 

(OLNEY)  Hunters & trappers may apply for an Illinois Bobcat Permit online, but today’s the deadline to do so – while 1,000 permits will be allocated during a lottery, any leftover permits will be sold online on a first-come, first-served basis – the Bobcat season runs this November 10th thru February 15th  :  resident combination & antlerless-only archery deer permits are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors – the Illinois Archery Deer Season begins tomorrow  :  go to  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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 Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  tomorrow morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are much needed to help replenish the low regional blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The City of Olney’s biannual hydrant flushing will start at 9:00 tomorrow night and continue into Monday morning at select sites around town – residents may experience low water pressure and some discoloration – everything should return to normal by Monday afternoon or evening


    The St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3 miles north of Dieterich, will start its annual Corn Maze and related activities tomorrow afternoon & evening, from 3:00 to 6:00 – admission is $4 – children under 5 admitted free, but must be accompanied by an adult – includes train rides, games, and concessions – plus a Kiddie Tractor Pull tomorrow afternoon – the Corn Maze will also be held the next two weekends in October


    The 2017 Blues Fest is tonight from 7:00 to 11:00 at the Richland Country Club, featuring the blues music of the Matt “The Rattlesnake” Lesch Band – the $10 tickets are on sale at all area banks or at the Richland Country Club – bring your lawn chairs or blankets – no coolers or carry-in drinks


    A benefit fundraiser to help Becky Sanders is tonight at the Newton VFW from 5:00 to 11:00 – includes pulled pork sandwiches and all the fixings, an auction, a raffle, and DJ music, all for a free will donation – also includes $5 carry-out plates – proceeds to help with incurred medical expenses due to a recent stroke


    The American Legion Family spaghetti dinner is this evening in Olney, with serving from 5:00 until sold out – the cost is $7.50 per person, plus a 50/50 drawing – all proceeds will go to the American Legion to support their programs in Olney and Richland County to help Veterans & their families


    The Fall Festival of Arts & Crafts is today in the Olney City Park from 9:00 to 4:00 – there will be wooden items, pottery, paintings, wrought iron, & much more – plus children’s activities, plenty of entertainment on the Band Shell Stage, and at least 14 different food concessions – all for a $2 donation


    Local author Gary Totten will be at the Fall Festival today – it’s all for a book signing featuring Gary’s book of short stories entitled “The Life of a Dog and Other Tales, Stories From the Rural Heartland”

 

 

 

September 29, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  Nice early fall weather is expected thru this transition weekend between September and October – while everyone will stay dry, a cold front will move thru the state by later this evening, then a Canadian high pressure will settle in the Upper Midwest – that will keep us dry & allow a slight warm up into & thru most all of next week – the next significant chance of rain not til the end of next week – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Governor Bruce Rauner says he understands the moral objections to abortion, but yesterday to signed into law expanded coverage for abortions because he believes all women should have the same health care options – the new law expands state health insurance coverage and Medicaid for low-income women for abortions – Governor Rauner said earlier this year, in April, that he would veto the plan, however he campaigned in 2014 in support of the abortion coverage expansion plan in Illinois.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has announced the Office of Trade & Investment received a grant from the State Trade Expansion Program grant, awarded by the Small Business Administration – the $890,000 in federal funds will support export growth for Illinois small businesses – since 2011, the State of Illinois has received a total of $4.8 million in STEP funding from the SBA – while Illinois is the largest exporting state in the Midwest and the fifth largest in the nation, most of the money will be used to assist more statewide businesses enter and expand to new international markets.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has received reports of 26 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in deer so far in 2017 – scattered reports from the southern two-thirds of the state involving a few deer suggests that EHD has been very light so far this year – however, recent unseasonably warm temperatures, along with prolonged dry conditions throughout the state, suggest that EHD may increase this fall – the State DNR continues to ask landowners, hunters, & others to be on the lookout for dead or dying deer & to report suspected EHD cases to their local DNR field office – so far, no EHD cases have been reported in any of the 15 area counties here in Southeastern & South Central Illinois.


 
(NEWTON)  This past week has been recognized as Rail Safety Week throughout Illinois as the State Police has partnered with local, state, and federal agencies to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains – and while Rail Safety Week officially ends today, it’s year round that motorists must obey the laws concerning railroads – during 2016, there were 120 railroad crossing collisions in Illinois involving motor vehicles, which resulted in 22 fatalities and 43 injuries – also last year, there were 39 trespassing incidents on railroad property which resulted in 22 deaths and 17 injuries – in fact, Illinois is ranked 2nd in the nation in grade crossing fatalities and 7th in the nation in railroad trespassing fatalities – for more information on rail safety, logon at  www.oli.org/about-us/news/rail-safety-week-2017.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity will next week begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for senior citizens & people with disabilities as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) gets started – the network of 35 local administering agencies around Illinois will accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis while various requirements apply – the sign up for disconnected households & families with children ages 5 or under begins November 1st and all other applicants can apply starting December 1st – for more, go online at  www.liheapIllinois.com.

 

(OLNEY)  Construction work begins today to replace the Denver Township Road District bridge over Coon Creek on Timber Trail Road, located three miles west of Dundas – Timber Trail Road will be closed south of the Dundas Lane intersection during the construction work, which is estimated to be complete in six weeks, by mid-November – motorists are urged to obey all barricades in this area of Richland County.

 

(OLNEY)  At last week’s regular monthly meeting, the Richland County School Board :  heard a report from the RCHS Olnean yearbook student co-editor Jayla Hildreth and faculty advisor Amy Rusk, which included a presentation of the 2016-2017 Olnean – the theme was “Small Town, Big Dreams” – the RCHS yearbook staff was made up of 15 students, who spent an average of 360 hours per student designing the yearbook  :  also heard a update on the district’s ongoing accreditation process – the district hosted an accreditation visit in March. earlier this year. while the final approval of the district-wide accreditation occurred at the AdvanEd Accreditation Commission held back in June of this year  :  also heard an update on enrollment figures for the 2017-2018 school year showing the district’s total enrollment from Pre-K to Grade 12 at 2,465 students – the largest class in the school district is in the 9th grade, with a total of 218 students  :  the Richland County School Board will have its next regular monthly meeting on October 19th.

 

(NEWTON)  At last week’s regular monthly meeting, the Jasper County School Board  :  heard from the NCHS Ag Business Corporation Class, which announced its Fall Decoration Business – the students will deliver to the public a corn shock, hay bale, pumpkins, etc… for a small price  :  heard comments about the Jasper County Youth Wrestling Organization  :  noted that the district will host guest speaker Al Kerns, with the Ed Thomas Foundation – he’ll speak to the public on Sunday night, October 22nd, at 6:00, in the NCHS Auditorium – he’ll then address district students in Grades 6 thru 12 the following day, on Monday, October 23rd  :  noted that the Jasper County School District will host the Wabash Valley IASB Fall Divisional Meeting on Thursday night, October 5th, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton  :  and noted a list of those who donated to a recent pork burger sale in August – the Scott Avenue Christian Church, the Peoples State Bank, Martin’s IGA, Wabash Valley Service Company, Karla Koebele, Jackie Schackmann, Janice Catt, and others – also thanks to the Dieterich Bank and to Tabatha Cohorst for donations of $1,840 and $1,675 respectively towards the NCHS Marquee  :  the Board’s next regular meeting will be October 19th.

 

(NEWTON)  Motorists using the Dieterich to Mattoon blacktop are reminded that the CSX Railroad crossing just south of the four-way stop in Montrose will be closed next Monday thru Friday for repair work – IDOT reminds all truckers to use alternate state or county roads that are appropriate, weight-wise – other motorists should also observe all barricades & related signs – again the road will be closed starting at 7:00 next Monday morning, October 2nd, and be closed all work week thru next Friday, October 6th.

 

(OLNEY)  Downstate motorists are reminded to be extra alert while traveling this fall – not only are area farmers moving from field to field for the 2017 fall harvest, but with the field cover disappearing due to harvest, the area deer population will become more active as their rut season is approaching – while the deer are most active in the early morning and late evening hours, especially along wooded areas, farmers are obviously on the road around the clock with farm equipment and grain trucks – let’s stay safe out there  :  by the way, the Illinois Archery Deer Hunting season will begin for all area counties this Sunday, October 1st.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  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 Altamont High School from 8:15 to 1:45  : tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:45 to 2:15  :  Sunday morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Olney from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are much needed.

 

REMINDERS :  
    The St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3 miles north of Dieterich, will start its annual Corn Maze and related activities this Sunday afternoon & evening, October 1st, from 3:00 to 6:00 – admission is $4 – children under 5 admitted free, but must be accompanied by an adult – also train rides, games, and concessions – plus a Kiddie Tractor Pull this Sunday – the Corn Maze will also be held the following two weekends


    The 2017 Blues Fest is tomorrow night from 7:00 to 11:00 at the Richland Country Club, featuring the blues music of Matt “The Rattlesnake” Lesch Band – the $10 tickets are on sale at all area banks or at the Richland Country Club – bring your lawn chairs or blankets – no coolers or carry-in drinks – all are invited


    A benefit fundraiser to help Becky Sanders is tomorrow night at the Newton VFW from 5:00 to 11:00 – includes pulled pork sandwiches and all the fixings, an auction, a raffle, and DJ music, all for a free will donation – also includes $5 carry-out plates – proceeds to help the daughter of Fred & Barb Bergbower


    The American Legion Family spaghetti dinner is tomorrow evening in Olney, with serving from 5:00 until sold out – the cost is $7.50 per person, plus a 50/50 drawing – all proceeds will go to the American Legion to support their programs in Olney and Richland County to help Veterans & their families


    The Fall Festival of Arts & Crafts is tomorrow in the Olney City Park from 9:00 to 4:00 – on display will be wooden items, pottery, paintings, wrought iron, & much more – plus children’s activities, plenty of entertainment on the Band Shell Stage, and at least 14 different food concessions – all for a $2 donation


    Local author Gary Totten will be at the Fall Festival Saturday – it’s all for a book signing featuring Gary’s book of short stories entitled “The Life of a Dog and Other Tales, Stories From the Rural Heartland”