LOCAL NEWS

Local News

June 18, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  A warm front is drapped across Central Illinois and it will continue to produce unsettled weather conditions today thru tomorrow – outbreaks of scattered thunderstorms with heavy rains are possible – then we’ll dry out with more heat & humidity on Monday & Tuesday – stay tuned for continued weather updates.

(NEWTON)  While a line of thunderstorms moved thru the area yesterday afternoon with small amounts of rain, the early morning storms here today have dropped too much rain in many cases – with some dangerous lightning associated with this morning’s thunderstorms, heavy rainfall amounts range from one inch to over two inches – plus a few reports of three to four inches in isolated areas – stay tuned for more alerts today.

(OLNEY)  In state news today – Governor Pat Quinn is still confident that the state’s road construction program will continue with lawmakers to return to Springfield for a special session vote to approve funding for the program – the road program failed to pass earlier as Senate Democrats tied it to $430 million in additional spending for education & human services – however, Senate Republicans, along with both parties in the State House, balked at the extra money & left town without resolving questions about the construction package – while the special session next Wednesday & possibly Thursday would cost taxpayers nearly $50,000 each day, some downstate lawmakers still believe the construction projects should stay seperated from extra spending for education & human services – more debate forthcoming on the first of next week.

(NEWTON)  It’s just around the corner – the Jasper County Fair is set to start a week from today, with yet another week full of activities on the fairgrounds – the popular harness racing will begin that Saturday and run three days straight before ending the following Tuesday night – then the flat drag races, tractor & truck pulls, the 4-H livestock auction, the demolition derby, & mud drags thru the rest of the week – plus carnival rides, food, & more – that’s the Jasper County Fair, June 25th thru July 2nd, on the fairgrounds, in Newton.

(NEWTON)  Meanwhile, the Jasper County 4-H Horse Show and the 4-H Alumni Horse Show that was scheduled for last night was cancelled due to yesterday afternoon’s storms – both shows have been reset for July 3rd, two weeks from tomorrow, at the same times of 5:00 and 6:30 – all are encouraged to attend.

(OLNEY)  With the Richland County Fair quickly approaching, the annual Talent Show is set for July 12th, now nearly three weeks away – entries are now being accepted with three divisions available as in the past – the Junior Division for those age 14 & under, the Senior Division for those age 15 to 21, and the Open Division for those age 22 & up – there will be cash awards, plus the Junior & Senior Division winners will advance to the Illinois County Fair Talent Competition in Springfield next January – the entry deadline is July 8th, three weeks from this Friday – entry forms are available at the Chamber Office or call 392-0721.

REMINDERS 
    The Jasper County Health Department offers another DUI Risk Education Class next week, each morning from 9:00 until 11:30, Monday thru Thursday – for info or to register, call the Newton offices at 783-4154
    The next area blood drive is tomorrow morning from 8:00 until 12 noon at the St Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste Marie – with all types of blood needed, all eligible and/or first-time donors are urged to give blood
    The annual “Memorial Ride” is today – leaving the Olney American Legion at 10:00, registration begins at 9:00 this morning – there will be stops in Olney, Albion, Lawrenceville, Palestine, & Casey, plus lunch in St. Francisville, then back to Olney for an evening meal & drawing – all bikes and vehicles are welcome
    Olney’s Fashion Bug will accept items for the Fall Kids Mall today from 10:00 until 9:00 – includes new children’s & small adult size socks & underwear, plus toiletry items such as soap, shampoo, etc……
    The Star Studio Competition Team has a fundraising “bake sale” today from 10:00 until 2:00 in front of Fashion Bug, just east of Wal-Mart – proceeds go to next month’s trip to the Junior Olympics
    ERFAE has it’s fundraising “Duck Race” this morning at the Musgrove Aquatic Center at 10:00 with cash prizes as always – need not be present to win – tickets on sale at area banks & ERFAE members 
    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation has a fundraising “country breakfast” this morning, with serving from 8:00 until 10:00, at the old Ruritan Building – $5 tickets at the door – carryouts are available
    The Main Street Farmer’s Market is this morning from now until 11:00 in the lot just north of the Main Street / Whittle Avenue intersection, in downtown Olney – various items available
    And while out and traveling throughout the area, make sure you are buckled up and observe all of those “rules of the road” – we want everyone to be safe with driving around Southeastern & South Central Illinois

June 17, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  A low pressure system developing over the Central Plains will push a warm front back & forth thru the Midwest with a chance of scattered showers & thunderstorms today thru Sunday morning – then a hot & dry start to next week on Monday with more humid air returning this weekend – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  Governor Pat Quinn has given legislative leaders until the end of the day today to come up with a resolution on construction funding, otherwise he’ll start shutting down the projects – at issue is $430 million in operating funds added to the construction budget by Senate Democrats, opposed by Republicans – lawmakers will return to Springfield for a special session next Wednesday, possibly Thursday, as well.

(OLNEY)  Two birds in LaSalle County have tested positive for West Nile Virus – the State Department of Public Health says the virus is circulating more now because of the hot weather – people are reminded to protect themselves against mosquitoes by using insect repellent & eliminate any standing water at home.

(NEWTON)  For the first time in months, Illinois drivers are paying less than $4.00 to buy a gallon of gas – the average statewide driver is paying $3.93 per gallon, that’s a quarter per gallon higher than the national average price of $3.69 – Illinois’ lowest gas quote this morning was $3.48 in Springfield with the highest in Chicago at $4.79 – our ten county region average price stands between $3.63 and $3.81 per gallon.

(OLNEY)  The East Richland School Board met last night – the Board  :  approved the amended Fiscal Year 2011 budget – one that’s balanced with no projected deficits  :  noted the District has received a state grant worth over $330,000 to provide each 6th thru 8th grader at ERMS with an I-Pad 2 this coming school year  :  accepted the recently conducted Feasibility Study for further review  :  approved two resolutions asking the City of Olney to annex two District properties (1) 3.51 acres just north of the East Richland Elementary School and (2) 2.50 acres on which the District’s Bus Barn sits, at the east edge of Olney  :  adopted the newly developed “head lice control” policy  :  accepted four resignations – from ERES Teacher Jamie Lukens – from Senior Army JROTC Instructor CSM Mickey Haynes – from ERHS Office Manager / Secretary Jessica Johnstone-Guzman – from ERHS Assistant Girls Soccer Coach Christina Evans  :  accepted the retirement of ERMS Head Cook Becky Benson  :  recalled 2 teachers and 5 classroom aids from the District’s RIF list from earlier this year  :  hired the following – Darrel Houchin as part-time ERMS Dean of Students – Kelsie Kaericher as ERHS Chemistry / ERMS Science Teacher – Major Roy Waldhoff as ERHS JROTC Instructor – Sonja Holtz as ERHS Office Manager / Secretary – Keith Redman as ERHS Freshmen Boys Basketball Coach  :  the Board's next regular monthly meeting will be July 21st.

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met last night briefly for a special meeting – while no action was taken, the Board spent most of the time in closed session discussing items involved in the upcoming collective bargaining process between the District and its teachers – the Board also received details on a website design proposal – the Board’s regular monthly meeting is next Monday night, starting at 8:00.

(OLNEY)  The collection of much-needed items in Joplin, Missouri continues at the Christian Church of Olney – with one trailer full, a second trailer is being filled before heading to help those in our neighboring state – items still needed includes non-perishable food, medical supplies, cleaning supplies, & more – the collection continues until 11:00 this morning or other times by calling the church office at 393-6421 – to view the list of needed items or for details check our “community tab” online at www.freedom929.com.

(NEWTON)  It’s just around the corner – the Jasper County Fair is set to start a week from tomorrow, on Saturday, June 25th – it’s another full week of activities on the fairgrounds – the popular harness racing will begin that Saturday & run three days straight before ending that following Tuesday night – then the flat drag races, tractor & truck pulls, the 4-H livestock auction, the demolition derby, & mud drags to wrap things up the following Saturday – plus carnival rides, food, & more – that’s June 25th thru July 2nd in Newton.

(NEWTON)  Meanwhile, the Jasper County 4-H Horse Show will begin at 5:00 this afternoon at the Jasper County Fairgrounds in Newton – following this evening’s Horse Show, the 4-H Alumni will hold the first Alumni Horse Show, set to start at approximately 6:30 – all Jasper County 4-H Alumni are encouraged to saddle up this evening to exhibit the riding skills learned in 4-H – all are invited to the events as spectators.

(OLNEY)  The USDA Farm Service Agency Offices are now accepting nominations for the local county committee election – farmers and lawnowners are encouraged to nominate candidates to serve on their local FSA county committee by the August 1st deadline – those elected will serve a 3-year term & are responsible for helping make decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity, & price support programs.

REMINDERS 
    The Jasper County Health Department offers another DUI Risk Education Class next week, each morning from 9:00 until 11:30, Monday thru Thursday – for info or to register, call the Newton offices at 783-4154
    Olney’s Fashion Bug will accept items for the Fall Kids Mall tomorrow from 10:00 until 9:00 – includes new children’s & small adult size socks & underwear, plus toiletry items such as soap, shampoo, etc……
    The Star Studio Competition Team has a fundraising “bake sale” tomorrow from 10:00 until 2:00 in front of Fashion Bug, just east of Wal-Mart – proceeds go to next month’s trip to the Junior Olympics
    ERFAE has it’s fundraising “Duck Race” tomorrow morning at the Musgrove Aquatic Center at 10:00 with cash prizes as always – need not be present to win – tickets on sale at area banks & ERFAE members 
    The Main Street Farmer’s Market is tomorrow morning from 7:00 until 11:00 in the lot just north of the Main Street / Whittle Avenue intersection, in downtown Olney – various items available
    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation has a fundraising “country breakfast” tomorrow morning, with serving from 8:00 til 10:00, at the old Ruritan Building – $5 tickets at the door – carryouts are available
    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is this afternoon under the pole barns in the Olney City Park, from 12 noon until 5:00 – various types of produce, baked goodies, & more available to the public
    The annual “salad luncheon” at the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton is today with serving from 11:00 until 1:00 – a large variety of ham balls, salads, hot rolls, & more for only $6 per person
    Upcoming blood drives : Sunday morning from 8:00 til 12 noon at the St Mary’s Parish Hall in Ste Marie : today from 10:00 til 2:00 at the Red Cross office in Effingham : all types of blood are needed

June 16, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  Quiet weather will set up across the Midwest today as a weak ridge of high pressure keeps us dry – but, the active weather pattern will resume by tomorrow as the frontal boundary that moved thru yesterday returns as a warm front – scattered storms continue into Saturday, then dry Sunday – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  Yesterday’s late afternoon pop-up storms were much more than anticipated by weather officials – the 4:00 and 5:00 hours included several downstate weather bulletins from the National Weather Service – a tornado warning for portions of Jasper, Cumberland, & Clark Counties, plus thunderstorm warnings for other surrounding counties – while no official tornado was spotted, there was some regional wind damage to a few buildings, trees, and utility poles – however, no injuries have been reported.

(OLNEY)  Health insurance for state workers will not expire tomorrow – contracts with health insurance providers have now been extended for a 90 day period – the contracts do not automatically go into effect as the employees will need to signup for the coverage – more details are available on the state’s website.

(NEWTON)  More than 2,000 law school graduates are admitted to the practice of law each year in Illinois and now they’ll have a mentor to help them along the way – the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism is teaming up with the University of Illinois and the State Bar Association to initiate the mentoring program – it’s a program that’s totally funded by Illinois attorneys from all over the state.

(OLNEY)  Mega Passes for the 2011 Illinois State Fair are now on sale, officially beginning today – the popular carnival ride passes are available for a discounted price of $55 until July 18th, when the cost will increase by $10 – the Mega Pass is valid all ten days of the fair plus Preview Night, but it does not include admission to the Fair, and it does not include rides on the Fair Tram, Sky Glide, & Giant Slide – along with more information, the Mega Passes are available on the State Fair's website, at www.illinoisstatefair.info - the Fair also plans to offer special, one-day ride bracelets, priced at $25, providing unlimited carnival rides during the specific day that they are purchased – the Illinois State Fair will run August 12th thru 21st.

(NEWTON)  The Illinois High School Rodeo Association State Finals open tonight at the Effingham County Fairgrounds in Altamont – at least 15 athletes in each of several events will try to advance to the National Finals to be held in Gillette, Wyoming later this summer – those events include bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, goat tying, pole bending, breakaway roping, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, & team roping – the first of four rounds of rodeo competition starts at 7:00 tonight – then at 7:00 tomorrow night, at 12 noon Saturday, & again at 7:00 Saturday night – among the contestants that have been competing since last August to take part in this weekend’s State Finals are Lukas Newbolt of Newton, Jessie & Dalton Cox of Mattoon, Hailey Mettendorf of Stewardson, Anne-Marie Martin of Effingham, Jarret Summers & Timber Morrison both of Beecher City, & Amanda Barr of Altamont – tickets at the gate.

(OLNEY)  Richland County has completed its tax deed proceedings on real estate properties that were delinquent for 2007 and prior real estate taxes – the County will offer for sale the real estate obtained to the public next month, including four items thru a scaled bid auction sale – all sealed bids must be received by the Richland County Treasurer’s Office by July 8th, three weeks from tomorrow – complete bidder’s packets & sale catalogs are available now at the Treasurer’s Courthouse office or go online at www.iltaxsale.com.

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police report an out-of-state trucker died yesterday after a single vehicle crash along I-70 in Clark County, just west of the Cumberland Road rest area, near the Marshall exit – the eastbound semi-truck, driven by 63 year old Rascoe Parker, Jr., of Memphis, Tennessee, crossed the median thru the westbound lane, ran over a pole, & came to rest in a grassy area – Parker was pronounced dead at the scene by Clark County authorities – there were no other vehicles involved in the 12:06pm incident.

(OLNEY)  Illinois Department of Natural Resources personnel will be out today attempting to capture & band Canada geese in the Olney area & Newton Lake vicinity – biologists from throughout downstate Illinois will be participating in the goose management effort – the purpose of the banding is to study movements of the resident geese in Illinois and to determine sex & age composition of the area flock – DNR personnel & their vehicles will be involved as the geese will be surrounded, captured, banded, and then released, unharmed – this will affect geese on lakes & ponds in the Newton Lake & Olney area today.

(NEWTON)  A reminder to Republic Services trash customers in Newton – Republic will continue its residential garbage pickup route at 2:00 on Friday mornings – residents in Newton should have their trash at the curbside by this evening – the earlier-than-normal pickup is for the hot summer months only.

(OLNEY)  There’s two meetings coming up in Richland County : the Joint Emergency Dispatch Systems Board will meet tomorrow morning in the County Jail’s meeting room in Olney, starting at 9:00 :  the East Richland School Board will have its regular monthly meeting tonight in the Board room in Olney, at 7:30.

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board has a special meeting scheduled for tonight, starting at 6:00, in the Board’s meeting room in Newton – while the Board will consider a website design proposal, a closed session will involve negotiation matters – the Board’s regular monthly meeting is next Monday night.

(OLNEY)  A big “thank you” to everyone who helped out with donations to this past weekend’s “Undie Sunday” and now the Fall Kids Mall of Richland County is asking for the community’s help again this Saturday – that’s when Fashion Bug in Olney will host a collection of new children’s & small adult size socks, underwear, & toiletry items, such as toothpaste, soap, & shampoo – that’s from 10:00 until 9:00 all day & night at Fashion Bug, in the shopping plaza just east of Wal-Mart, along North Route 130 in Olney – all items will be distributed to local children during the Fall Kids Mall “shopping day” on August 6th.

REMINDERS 
    ll are invited to join the American Legion Riders this Saturday for their annual “Memorial Ride” with stops in Olney, Albion, Lawrenceville, Palestine, & Casey – all are invited with signup at 9:00 at the Olney American Legion – it’s lunch in St Francisville then back to Olney for an evening meal & a drawing
    The annual “salad luncheon” at the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton is tomorrow with serving from 11:00 until 1:00 – a large variety of ham balls, salads, hot rolls, & more for only $6 per person
    The Olney Public Library will host Rick Rayburn, singer/songwriter, this afternoon at 2:00 – all ages are welcome to come & enjoy an afternoon of songs, laughter, & audience participation – that’s today at 2:00
    Upcoming blood drives : tomorrow at the American Red Cross office in Effingham from 10:00 until 2:00 : today at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 until 6:00 : all types of blood are needed

June 15, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  A low pressure storm system & an associated warm front is teaming up to produce showers and thunderstorms this morning with some heavy rainfall possible – after a dry period later today thru tomorrow another chance of storms will move in for Friday & Saturday – stay alert this morning – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  Governor Pat Quinn says he’ll start shutting down construction projects as early as Friday if a spending resolution isn’t agreed upon – it’s all because lawmakers did not approve spending for the projects to continue before they adjourned a few weeks ago – the Governor will meet today with legislative leaders for further discussion – lawmakers are expected to return to Springfield to vote on the issue by July 1st.

(OLNEY)  Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus have been confirmed in Tazewell County as the State Department of Public Health says people can help themselves by eliminating any standing water around their homes or businesses – officials also note that people over the age of 50 are most at risk for contracting the West Nile Virus disease – while outside, folks should wear insect repellent & take other precautions.

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Transportation didn’t keep adequate payroll numbers during fiscal year 2010 – a state audit found IDOT paid employees a little more than $33 million in overtime, but didn’t provide proper paperwork to justify some of it – in fact, one worker was paid 385 hours of undocumented overtime – IDOT officials say the problem is being handled, but they provided no other details on how.

(NOBLE)  The Noble Village Board met this past Monday night – the Board  :  approved the Noble’s MFT street maintenance program, estimated at $26,035 – included a map of streets to be resealed & one area to be street tilled  :  agreed to continue the sidewalk repair in front of the Tin Cup Restaurant with the TAR Excavating estimate at $1,700  :  adopted an ordinance to amend the Village’s Municipal Code regarding the number & classification of liquor licenses available in Noble  : noted that the tree stumps on North First Street are scheduled for removal  :  heard from the Noble Little League, wanting to work together to pour a new sidewalk & add to the existing concession stand building – no action taken  :  noted that the garbage extension agreement with Republic Services expires on August 31st  :  next regular meeting is June 27th.

(NEWTON)  In yesterday’s USDA Crop Report, last week’s average temperature was nearly 5 degrees above normal, while the average statewide precipitation was a third of an inch higher, plus there were over 4 days suitable for field work in Illinois – as of Sunday, 99% of the state’s corn & 92% of the beans have been planted : locally, farmers in our 10 county area report nearly all the corn & over 80% of the soybeans have been planted – most all the area wheat is turning yellow, with almost 20% now ripe, and less than 1% harvested – the local & area wheat is rated 55% good to excellent, 35% fair, and 10% poor to very poor.

(OLNEY)  Illinois Department of Natural Resources personnel will be out attempting to capture & band Canada geese in the Olney area & Newton Lake vicinity tomorrow – in fact, biologists from throughout downstate Illinois will be participating in the goose management effort – the purpose of the banding is to study movements of the resident geese in Illinois, and to determine sex & age composition of the area flock – DNR personnel & their vehicles will be involved as the geese will be surrounded, captured, banded, and then released, unharmed – this will affect geese on lakes & ponds in the Newton Lake & Olney area.

(NEWTON)  At last week’s meeting, the Newton City Council heard various reports  :  the Cooperative Economic Development Committee heard updates on the Eagle Trails project including information about the old iron bridge in Newton – also discussed Ameren’s new gas line for the Southtown Industrial Park and talked about funding for the Cooperative & the Jasper County Educator position  :  the Finance Committee noted the city’s appropriations will be on display July 5th thru 19th with a public hearing set for the July 19th Council meeting – also talked about zoning personnel, the water plant construction grant, & possibly taking credit card payments for utilities  :  the Water Committee discussed the new water plant construction & the operations of the new plant, plus employees  :  the Police Committee talked about West End Avenue traffic control, the city’s dog ordinance, a possible speed limit change for the west edge of Newton, and possibly raising the fine for unkept property  :  the City Council’s next regular meeting is next Tuesday, June 21st.

(OLNEY)  With the Richland County Fair quickly approaching, the annual Talent Show is set for July 12th, now less than four weeks away – entries are now being accepted with three divisions available as in the past – the Junior Division for those age 14 & under, the Senior Division for those age 15 to 21, and the Open Division for those age 22 & up – there will be cash awards, plus the Junior & Senior Division winners will advance to the Illinois County Fair Talent Competition in Springfield next January – the entry deadline is July 8th, three weeks from this Friday – entry forms are available at the Chamber Office or call 392-0721.

(NEWTON)  A reminder to Republic Services trash customers in Newton – Republic will continue its residential garbage pickup route at 2:00 on Friday mornings – residents in Newton should have their trash at the curbside by Thursday evening – the earlier-than-normal pickup is for the hot summer months.

(OLNEY)  The next scheduled meeting for the Joint Emergency Dispatch Service Board will be this Friday morning at 9:00 at the County Jail meeting room – the agenda includes scheduling & staffing, the JEDS budget, policies & procedures, the Director’s report, & more – that’s this Friday morning at 9:00 in Olney.

REMINDERS 
    The local collection continues at the Christian Church of Olney to help those in Joplin, Missouri – call or stop by the church, just west of The Holiday, during regular church office hours – call today at 393-6421
    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation has a fundraising “country breakfast” this Saturday morning, with serving from 8:00 til 10:00, at the old Ruritan Building – $5 tickets at the door – carryouts are available
    Make sure you stop by & help Lisa’s “Little Ones” this Friday from 1:00 til 3:00, serving lemonade at the corner of Vine Street & Walnut Street – all proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House in Evansville
    The annual “salad luncheon” at the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton is this Friday with serving from 11:00 until 1:00 – a large variety of ham balls, salads, hot rolls, & more for only $6 per person
    The Olney Public Library will host Rick Rayburn, singer/songwriter, this Thursday evening at 6:00 – all ages are welcome to come & enjoy an evening of songs, laughter, & audience participation
    The Cummins Municipal Band will be back in concert tonight in the Olney City Park, at the Bandshell, from 8:00 until 9:00 – admission is free to all ages – some concessions available – all are invited
    Upcoming blood drives : tomorrow at the Oblong Municipal Building from 1:00 until 6:00 : today at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00 : all types of blood are needed to replenish low supplies

June 14, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  A slow-moving warm front moves north of our area today – after rain this morning, look for multiply chances of scattered showers & thunderstorms later today thru tomorrow night – then after a dry Thursday, maybe more unsettled storm chances on Friday, continuing into the weekend – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  Illinois Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka has launched a new website to make information more accessible to the public – it includes easy-to-access state financial records and reports, program & service information, and enhanced search capabilities that allow the public to “follow the money” – the revamped site can be viewed online at www.ioc.state.il.us – more additional initiatives from the office are coming.

(OLNEY)  More teenagers are becoming addicted to prescription drugs these days & experts say the teens can get the drugs just about anywhere – from the street corners to their own parents’ and/or grandparents’ medicine cabinets – folks are urged to lock-up their prescription meds and to keep an eye on how much is left in the bottle – teenager behavior such as isolation, lying, & stealing could indicate a problem.

(NEWTON)  Today is “Flag Day” and while July 4th was traditionally celebrated as America’s birthday, the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the “Flag” is believed to have first originated back in 1885 – that’s when a Wisconsin schoolteacher arranged for his students to observe June 14th, the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars & Stripes, as “Flag Birthday” – although it was 21 years later in 1916 that “Flag Day” was officially established, it wasn’t until 1949, some 33 years later, that President Harry Truman designated June 14th of each year as “National Flag Day” – it’s a day to remind citizens everywhere the correct way & conditions of displaying the American Flag, both inside & outside, all in honor of what the Flag stands for each & every day – for more on “Flag Day” and it’s history, logon at www.usflag.org.

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council met last night – the Council  :  approved a contract with ACI Roofers for repair work at the Pacific Cycle Building, at a cost of $76,800 – future roof repair work is expected  :  agreed to use city workers to pour concrete floors for the dugouts at the Musgrove Park Ball Diamond, plus agreed to bid out the dugout construction work, with funds to come from the designated amount of $23,500  :  agreed to sell the city properties at 402 West Elm Street & 418 East Monroe Street  :  approved electrical work in the City Park for the major league ball diamond lights  :  approved a Special Use Permit Class “S” Liquor License for a downtown August concert  :  discussed concerns of recent recreational fires / campfires within the City Limits  :  discussed the possible extension of the Republic Services franchise agreement – did approve a rate increase for refuge collection from $6.88 to $7 per month – more discussion at the next regular meeting, which is June 27th  :  the Council took no other action after an executive session.

(OLNEY)  A Richland County collision has sent two Olney men to hospitals with injuries – State Police report 23 year old Joshua Bare pulled his car into the path of a motorycycle driven by 33 year old Jeffrey Cowman, causing the crash last night at around 8:49 along South Route 130, just north of the Route 50 intersection – Cowman was taken to Richland Memorial Hospital, then lifelighted to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville – Bare, who was not taken to the hospital, was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way.

(NEWTON)  It’s just around the corner – the Jasper County Fair is less than two weeks away, set to start on Saturday, June 25th, with another full week of activities on the fairgrounds – the popular harness racing will begin that Saturday & run three days straight before ending the following Tuesday night – then the flat drag races, tractor & truck pulls, the 4-H livestock auction, the demolition derby, & mud drags to wrap things up the following Saturday – plus carnival rides, food, & more – that’s June 25th thru July 2nd in Newton.

(CASEY)  The investigation continues into the weekend deaths of two Cumberland County men and the wounding of another – the Illinois State Police say it all started at around 9:00 this past Saturday morning, on a small family farm west of Casey, where a family dispute erupted and David Brussell shot his father, William Brussel, then shot another man, Kevin Brussell – that man drove away in his pickup truck, crashed nearly a mile from the home, and died – the shooter, David Brussell, then turned the gun on himself and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital after arrival – the Father was shot in the arm, but not seriously hurt – authorities cannot confirm whether or not the two dead men were brothers, nor the cause of the argument.
 
(ROBINSON)  Authorities in Illinois say the body of a missing Vincennes, Indiana man has been found in a pond – Crawford County officials say the body of John McCrary was discovered this past Sunday morning in a pond on the grounds of a flea market just west of Robinson – in fact, McCrary was apparently last seen late Friday night at the “flea market” where he works as a vendor – Indiana authorities have scheduled an autopsy for tomorrow – authorities say no foul play is suspected while the investigation continues.
 
(FLORA)  A Xenia man escaped serious injury in a farm related accident last Friday afternoon down in rural Wayne County – authorities report 29 year old Travis Cooper was spraying a farm field just off Illinois Route 161, west of Johnsonville, when his agriculture sprayer, came in contact with a high voltage power line – while the resulting arc of electricity caught all of the sprayer tires on fire, Cooper was rescued by emergency personnel without injury – no other information is available at this time from authorities.

(EFFINGHAM)  The Illinois State Police say no signs of foul play resulted from their investigation of a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran’s death a week ago yesterday during a Memorial Day camping trip at Stephen Forbes State Park near Omega – authorities say they believe 33 year old Jon Kruger of Patoka died of natural causes while camping with his family – it’s noted that Kruger was reportedly on medication for injuries sustained overseas while serving in Iraq, plus he had recently developed a heart condition as well.

REMINDERS 
    The local collection continues at the Christian Church of Olney to help those in Joplin, Missouri – call or stop by the church, just west of The Holiday, during regular church office hours – call today at 393-6421
    The annual “salad luncheon” at the Grace United Methodist Church in Newton is this Friday with serving from 11:00 until 1:00 – a large variety of ham balls, salads, hot rolls, & more for only $6 per person
    The Olney Public Library will host Rick Rayburn, singer/songwriter, this Thursday evening at 6:00 – all ages are welcome to come & enjoy an evening of songs, laughter, & audience participation
    In area blood drives this week : tomorrow at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 to 6:00 : today at the Christ the King Catholic Church in Greenup from 1:00 to 6:00 : all types of blood are much needed
    The Richland County Farmer’s Market will start this afternoon, under the pole barns in the Olney City Park, from 12 noon until 5:00 – that’s every Tuesday & Friday now thru October – fresh items & more
    The Jasper County Chamber of Commerce reminds everyone that this month’s “Lunch N Learn” program is cancelled – the next program will return next month in July when Parklanes is expected to reopen