LOCAL NEWS

Local News

December 29, 2010 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  The high pressure that’s kept us dry since Sunday shifts off to the east today as the southerly wind flow brings in warmer air – while fog could be a problem now thru Friday, a low pressure system will bring us rain today thru Friday night – then colder air returns Saturday – stay tuned for updates.

(NEWTON)  In state news – time is running out for Medicare-eligible persons in Illinois to choose the best plan for their specific needs – the State Department of Insurance says volunteers are available to help enrollees make an educated decision – anyone eligible for medicare benefits, who needs assistance in choosing a plan, can contact SHIP volunteers toll-free, at 1-800-548-9034 – deadline is December 31st.

(OLNEY)  Governor Pat Quinn is considering a plan to borrow more money to pay the state’s overdue bills – lawmakers may be approached next week about taking out a $15 billion loan, mostly because the state has a backlog of payments due to hospitals, schools, human service agencies, & others – Quinn, in turn, will likely ask for an income tax increase to repay the loan – look for more debate in Springfield.

(NEWTON)  Speaking of the State Capital, Frank Edwards is the new Mayor of Springfield, chosen last night by his fellow Aldermen – he says his first priority is to build a workable budget – his term will be a short one, just four months – that’s until the April 5th, 2011, election when a permanent mayor is elected.

(OLNEY)  Area farmers are reminded that producers who want to obtain a Market Assistance Loan before the end of the year should contact their local Farm Service Agency office as soon as possible – with time needed to process the loan & it’s paperwork, only a couple of days remain – the MAL’s are available for the crops of wheat, corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, & much more – call or stop by your FSA office today.

(NEWTON)  At it’s regular monthly meeting last week, the Jasper County School Board : noted that the Jasper County School District has been recognized as “Educator of the Year” as awarded by the ARC Community Support Systems : noted that Jasper County teacher, Deb Einhorn, has been recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for her teaching efforts : accepted an anonymous $1,000 donation for school program snacks at the Newton Elementary School : accepted a $100 donation from the Peoples State Bank for the NCHS Student of the Month breakfast : & accepted a donation of 200 headsets with microphones from Theresa Schackmann & Tenant Services, Agrecel : next meeting is January 18th.

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District is one of 20 higher education institutions in the U.S. that have been selected by the Higher Learning Commission to participate in the development of a new accreditation process called “open pathways” – with a goal to complete by the year 2014, the IECC is the only community college district to take part in the pilot program including two stages, the second of which involves a self-improvement “pathway” at each college – while this will guarantee the IECC to be reaccredited, being invited into the nationwide project is an honor which will also lead to improving the student learning process at the IECC campuses in Olney, Robinson, Mt. Carmel, and Fairfield.

(NEWTON)  Illinois hunters can still donate deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, part of Illinois’ “Target Hunger Now” initiative to feed statewide familes – hunters can donate whole deer for processing into venison that’s provided to food banks & food pantries – tax-deductible $50 contributions also help with the cost of processing – only two area meat processors take part in the program : Mike’s Market in Louisville and Blair’s Slaughtering & Processing, west of Louisville, both in Clay County.

REMINDERS
    Auditions for the next OCC Theatre production are set for January 9th & 10th with parts available for high school & college students, plus adults – “Beauty & the Beast” will have seven shows next spring
    The next immunization clinic at the Jasper County Health Department in Newton will be January 4th, coming up next Tuesday, from 10:00 until 6:30 – to signup or for details, call the offices at 783-4436
    The next area blood drive will be this Sunday morning from 7:30 til 11:30 at the St Joseph Community Club in Stringtown – all types of blood are very much needed – all eligible donors are asked to turn out
    The Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton will host an Ambraw Country Music New Year’s Eve Dance this Friday night from 5:00 til 12 midnight – all are invited Friday night 
    Only four more nights to get out and view the Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park – it’s lit up each evening from dusk until 10:00 – load up the family and check it out tonight
    The Olney Recycling Collection is today for the Wednesday & Thursday routes – the Friday Recycling Collection will run normal on Friday – the Olney Recycling Collection returns to normal next week
    The Good Samaritan Food Pantry in Olney is open this morning from 9:00 until 11:00

December 28, 2010 Local and Area News

(OLNEY)  As an approaching storm system pumps in some warmer air, combined with the area snow cover, it appears fog will become a problem over the next few days & nights – plus it’s rain expected by tomorrow afternoon, continuing thru Friday night – then colder for the weekend – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  Area residents should be aware of flooding possibilities by the weekend ahead – with the expected warmup by Friday, the area snow cover will melt off, and with rain chances in the forecast for the rest of the work week, area creeks & rivers are expected to fill up quickly – residents should take the needed precautions, especially with colder air back over the weekend causing some ice problems as well.

(OLNEY)  The Springfield City Council meets tonight in special session, likely to select a new mayor to carry the State Capital thru the next few months – one of the city’s Aldermen is likely to be appointed by the Council tonight – the city’s next mayoral election will be next April 5th, 2011 – former Mayor Tim Davlin was found dead in his home over two week’s ago with no leader in place since that time.

(NEWTON)  Anyone looking to purchase a pet after January 1st will have new rights – a new law will take effect this Saturday making it mandatory for pet stores, animal shelters, & animal controls to disclose certain information on the animal’s cage before selling it or adopting it out – that includes the animal’s health & vaccination history, along with breed, age, date of birth, color of animal, retail price, & more.

(OLNEY)  A Flora man is dead after a two-vehicle crash last night in rural Wayne County – authorities say 56 year old Jackie Fulk was northbound on the Blue Mound Road, south of Flora, when his vehicle collided with a southbound vehicle at shortly after 5:30 – Fulk was taken to Clay County Hospital was he was pronounced dead – no other injuries have been reported as the State Police investigation continues.

(NEWTON)  The investigation continues into the traffic accident that claimed the lives of an Edgewood couple over the weekend due to bad road conditions – the State Police say 79 year old Alan White and 65 year old Sandra White were both pronounced dead at the scene after the vehicle they were in was struck by another vehicle traveling along Route 37 in Edgewood – the other driver was arrested for DUI, for no insurance, & for driving too fast for conditions – four others were taken to the hospital with injuries.

(OLNEY)  A $500 reward is available for details leading to the arrest & conviction of those responsible for a November 14th burglary that occurred at the south edge of Olney – the JPS Construction site break-in at the intersection of Whittle Avenue & Route 130 resulted in several items stolen – those with details will remain anonymous and are asked to call the Richland County Sheriff’s Department at 395-7481.

(NEWTON)  Illinois farmers still have the chance to plant $240,000 to grow their local communities – whether to support a local ag youth group, be it either FFA or 4-H, or to buy new equipment for a school, farmers have the opportunity to win a $2,500 grant for their community – it's possible thru the America's Farmers Grow Communities program, with money provided thru the Monsanto Fund – the application deadline is this coming Friday, with farmers in 96 Illinois counties eligible, including Jasper, Richland, & all others surrounding Newton - for details, or to apply, go online at www.growcommunities.com.

REMINDERS
    The next area blood drive will be this Sunday morning from 7:30 til 11:30 at the St Joseph Community Club in Stringtown – all types of blood are very much needed – all eligible donors are asked to turn out
    The Sunrise Youth Center & Community Building in Newton will host an Ambraw Country Music New Year’s Eve Dance this Friday night from 5:00 til 12 midnight – all are invited Friday night 
    Eagle Country Water Works is still selling its 2011 Cash Calendars for St. Thomas School – stop by Heartland Classics in Newton or see any 5th thru 8th grader at St. Thomas School by today 
    Only five more nights to get out and view the Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park – it’s lit up each evening from dusk until 10:00 – load up the family and check it out tonight

December 27, 2010 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  High pressure will build across the region today, bringing in a light wind & a partly sunny sky – plus we’ll see a slight warmup each day thru the end of this work week with rain likely by the weekend – we’re expected to wrapup the year 2010 with abnormally warm & wet conditions – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  All travelers are reminded to buckle up and observe all “rules of the road” while out over the next several days & nights – it’s another “Click It or Ticket – You Drink & Drive – You Lose” campaign, sponsored by the Illinois State Police, along with local law enforcement agencies – they’re all out in extra force now thru the new year of 2011, looking for those not buckled up and those driving impaired.

(OLNEY)  Illinois Republicans say last week’s U.S. Census results could be an indication of what will happen in 2012 – with five states gaining Republican seats in last month’s election, past history shows that the party will likely regain control of the U.S. Senate & possibly the Presidency in November of 2012.

(NEWTON)  Illinois is on target to become the first state in the nation with a high-speed rail passenger system – last week’s agreement between the federal & state governments, plus Union Pacific Railroad & Amtrak, will continue development on a corridor that will run from St. Louis to Chicago – while the project will cut travel time by nearly an hour, it will create about 5,000 jobs & be ready for use in the year 2014.

(OLNEY)  A $500 reward is available for details leading to the arrest & conviction of a November 14th burglary that occurred at the south edge of Olney last month – the break in at the JPS Construction site, at the intersection of Whittle Avenue & Route 130 resulted in several items stolen – anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 395-7481 – those with pertinent information will remain anonymous.

(NEWTON)  Ameren Illinois is still warning downstate consumers about a telephone scam continuing to circulate – someone is apparently calling electric customers, claiming the residents are past due on their electric or gas accounts, then the caller goes on to threaten to cut off electric service unless the customer provides the caller with credit card or personal checking account information – Ameren reminds all of its electric & gas customers that it never calls, asking residents for personal information – all customers are reminded to never give out credit card or personal checking information to anyone over the phone.

REMINDERS
    The RMH Auxiliary has a fundraising Pampered Chef “sale” coming up a week from today, January 3rd, from 7:30 til 4:00, in the hospital’s private dining rooms – for details, call Richland Memorial Hospital
    The next area blood drive will be this Sunday morning from 7:30 til 11:30 at the St Joseph Community Club in Stringtown – all types of blood are very much needed – all eligible donors are asked to turn out
    The Jasper County Health Department will be hosting the Mobile Mammography Van tomorrow – call toll-free to signup at 800-639-5329 or call the Health Department offices in Newton for details
    Eagle Country Water Works is still selling its 2011 Cash Calendars for St. Thomas School – stop by Heartland Classics in Newton or see any 5th thru 8th grader at St. Thomas School by tomorrow, the 28th 
    Only six more nights to get out and view the Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park – it’s lit up each evening from dusk until 10:00 – load up the family and check it out tonight
    A note from Republic Services – the area trash collection will be normal all of this week – the trash pickup was not affected by this past Christmas holiday weekend, so it’s back to normal today
    Also, the City of Olney recycling pickup scheduled for today will be delayed until tomorrow – then tomorrrow’s recycling will remain the same – plus then back to normal for the rest of this week as well

December 25, 2010 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  The upper level low pressure system responsible for our snow will continue to track northeast across Illinois, away from our region – however, plenty of clouds and scattered flurries will hang around thru tonight & tomorrow – a northerly wind will bring in some cooler air for the rest of the holiday weekend – but we’ll return to some sunshine & dry conditions for the first half of next week – stay tuned for updates.

(NEWTON)  The National Weather Service has cancelled that “winter weather advisory” that was in affect overnight – while an average of 1 to 3 inches of snow fell in Jasper, Richland, & surrounding counties, our official NWS weather station at the south edge of Olney measured & melted down 2 inches of snow – our weather station near Hidalgo also reporting between 2 and 3 inches of snow yesterday & overnight – with most all state highways & other roadways treated with salt are clear & wet, all rural country roads & the side streets in most all communities are somewhat snow-packed & slick – drive with added care out there.

(OLNEY)  All motorists are encouraged to be alert to all those snowplows, both state & municipal crews, as they work to keep our roads & streets as clear as possible during this holiday weekend – give them plenty of room while driving & slow down as you prepare to meet them on the roadways of Southeastern Illinois.

(NEWTON)  All travelers are reminded to buckle up and observe all “rules of the road” while out over the next several days & nights – the Illinois State Police, along with local law enforcement agencies, are out in extra force now thru the new year of 2011 – while authorities will be looking for those not using their seat belts, the main focus will be on those driving impaired by either alcohol and/or illicit drugs.

(OLNEY)  A big “thank you” goes out to everyone who has helped with the various charity events or local fundraisers over the past several weeks : from the “Shop With A Cop” programs, sponsored by the Sheriff’s Departments in both Richland & Jasper Counties, to the “Toys For Tots” program in Newton & the “Tree of Lights” campaign by the Salvation Army in Olney : from the pork loin fundraiser for the Jasper County Boys & Girls Park & the recent “Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas” to the Olney Chamber’s “Crazy Days Drawing” & the Olney Christmas Lights Display : “thanks” to one and all for the continued support.

REMINDERS
    The Jasper County Health Department will be hosting the Mobile Mammography Van next Tuesday, December 28th – call toll-free to signup at 800-639-5329 or call the JCHD offices in Newton for details
    Eagle Country Water Works is still selling its 2011 Cash Calendars for St. Thomas School – stop by Heartland Classics in Newton or see any 5th thru 8th grader at St. Thomas School by next Tuesday, the 28th
    Only eight more nights to get out and view the Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park – it’s lit up each evening from dusk until 10:00 – load up the family and check it out tonight
    A note to area communities & businesses – that the area trash collection by Republic Services will be normal the first of next week – the trash pickup will not be affected by the holiday weekend
    Meanwhile, the City of Olney recycling pickup scheduled for next Monday will be delayed until next Tuesday – then Tuesday’s recycling will remain the same – plus normal for the rest of next week

 


(OLNEY / NEWTON)  And on this Christmas Day 2010, all of us here at WVLN – WSEI – WIKK in Olney & Newton pray that your Christmas and holiday weekend are filled full of blessed memories with family and friends – let us not forget to take time to thank God for all of our blessings, plus celebrate the birth of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, this date so many years ago in a Bethlehem stable – may our Father in Heaven continue to bless you and your families as prepare to enter the new year of 2011.

December 24, 2010 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  An upper level disturbance dropping southeast across the Midwest will bring an accumulating snow thru tonight before ending & falling off to scattered flurries tomorrow thru Sunday – some colder air will then move in with colder wind chill readings for the holiday weekend – stay tuned for updates.

(NEWTON)  The National Weather Service has a “winter weather advisory” in effect thru Christmas Day morning for Jasper, Richland, & all surrounding counties in Southeastern & South Central Illinois – today’s snow is expected to continue overnight before tapering off to scattered flurries on Saturday & Sunday – a total amount of 2 to 4 inches is possible, maybe a little more, maybe less – take those needed precautions.

(OLNEY)  The holiday travel today thru tonight will likely become hazardous as our area highways and country roads become snow covered and slippery – and these conditions will continue thru Christmas Day tomorrow – motorists should allow extra time to travel, keep those fuel tanks full, and use that common sense with emergency car kits in your vehicle – for road condition reports, call toll-free 800-452-4368 or go online at www.gettingaroundillinois.com – some say don’t travel this weekend unless necessary.

(NEWTON)  All travelers are reminded to buckle up and observe all “rules of the road” while out over the next several days & nights – the Illinois State Police, along with local law enforcement agencies, are out in extra force now thru the new year of 2011 – while authorities will be looking for those not using their seat belts, the main focus will be on those driving impaired by either alcohol and/or illicit drugs.

(OLNEY)  A reminder that the City of Olney will initiate it’s city-wide “snow emergency” if two or more inches of snow falls today thru tomorrow – that means that city crews & snow plows will be spending major efforts in keeping the city’s “snow emergency” streets clear at all times – these snow routes are clearly marked by “snow emergency” signs and the citizens of Olney are encouraged to keep these “snow route” streets clear of any vehicles so that snowplows can keep the snow cleared away for possible emergencies – that means “no parking” today along the city’s “snow emergency” streets & likely thru the weekend as well.

(NEWTON)  Cellular One is still sponsoring its annual holiday “You Decide – We Donate” program, but less than one day remains for folks to stop by any of the twelve Cellular One stores and vote – it’s all to determine which local not-for-profit organization will receive a $500 donation from each Cellular One store – ballots are available now thru this Friday at Cellular One stores in Newton, Olney, Flora, Robinson, Paris, Lawrenceville, Charleston, Mattoon, Hoopeston, Casey, & Danville – one vote is allowed per person per day & those voting must be at least 18 years old – the final day to vote is today, this Christmas Eve.

REMINDERS
    The Jasper County Health Department will be hosting the Mobile Mammography Van next Tuesday, December 28th – call toll-free to signup at 800-639-5329 or call the JCHD offices in Newton for details
    Eagle Country Water Works is still selling its 2011 Cash Calendars for St. Thomas School – stop by Heartland Classics in Newton or see any 5th thru 8th grader at St. Thomas School by next Tuesday, the 28th
    Only nine more nights to get out and view the Christmas Lights Display in the Olney City Park – it’s lit up each evening from dusk until 10:00 – load up the kids, grandma & grandpa, and check it out
    Time is running out to support this year’s “Tree of Lights” campaign to benefit the Salvation Army – collection kettles are available thru today at the Olney IGA and the Wal-Mart Supercenter
    A note to area communities & businesses – that the area trash collection by Republic Services will be normal today & the first of next week – the trash pickup will not affected by the holiday weekend
    Meanwhile, the City of Olney recycling pickup scheduled for next Monday will be delayed until next Tuesday, the 28th, plus Tuesday’s recycling will remain the same – plus normal for the rest of next week
    A note that most all City & Village Halls are closed today & next Monday – there’ll reopen on Tuesday