LOCAL NEWS

Local News

August 17, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  A weak frontal boundary will move across the state today & while most of us will remain dry, there is a chance of some isolated showers & maybe a pop-up storm thru tomorrow – then dry & seasonable conditions Friday before more isolated chances of rain over the weekend – listen for weather updates.

(NEWTON)  The League of Women Voters in Illinois is challenging the latest versions of legislative and congressional maps by filing a lawsuit yesterday, asking a judge to throw the maps out – the League says the maps favor one political party over the other & are not fair – LWV officials say the map drawing process should be put into the hands of an independent group with no ties to any political party in Illinois.

(OLNEY)  Governor Pat Quinn says there is no way he’ll sign the gaming expansion bill in its current form – he says the bill is seriously flawed & compromises the integrity of Illinois citizens and that lawmakers need to go back to the drawing board to clear up some loopholes – the idea is to add five new casinos across the state, plus the addition of slot machines & more horse racing at the state fairgrounds in Springfield.

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is Governor’s Day with more harness racing, tractor & truck pulls, & in concert tonight, the Oak Ridge Boys with Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Band – tomorrow will be Republican Day with more harness racing, quarter midget racing, & more – Friday will be noted as Futures for Kids Day with activities centered around children, plus mud bogs & in concert, Head East, .38 Special, Loverboy, & The Tubes – not to mention all the carnival rides, concessions, Conservation World, livestock & commodity displays & more – admission is at $5 per person for those 13 & older – for more, go online at www.illinoisstatefair.info – the Fair runs thru this Sunday.

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met last night – the Council  :  approved a payment of $15,000 to the South Central Planning Commission for administration work on the city’s new water plant  : approved a payment of $8,450 to Connor & Connor Engineers for inspection work on the city’s new water plant  :  agreed to purchase 250 tons of rock in the amount of $4,625  :  approved the $2,564 purchase of materials to rehab the East Jourdan Street lift station  :  accepted the resignation of Police Officer Jarad Schackmann, effective August 31st  :  then agreed to hire Brian Cox as a full-time Police Officer, beginning August 17th  :  heard from New Wave Communications about the completion of cable TV system improvements, and noted future upgrades as well  :  and took no other action after a 45-minute closed session to discuss litigation, personnel, and the possible sale or purchase of real estate  :  Council’s next meeting is September 6th.

(OLNEY)  Sheriff Andy Hires has released his monthly activity report for July – the Sheriff’s Department took a total of 501 calls from the public over the 31 days – Deputies made 80 arrests, including three DUI’s, plus issued 49 warnings, investigated 18 thefts or burglaries, & responded to 8 domestic complaints – a total of 72 prisoners were processed thru the County Detention Center with the monthly fine revenue at $9,690 – the Ambulance Service made 141 runs & the County took a total of 258 emergency 9-1-1 calls.

(NEWTON)  As reported yesterday, a new three year agreement has been reached between the Jasper County School District & its teachers – a contract that officials on both sides say is “fair” and will allow the District to continue to provide a high quality education for all students – the new contract will result in savings of an estimated $1.3 million, which will help offset the loss of $1.1 million in state hold harmless revenue, plus significantly help reduce the District’s deficit while still compensating teachers at or below the cost-of-living adjustment – the provisions include a modest raise, consisting of a “soft freeze” of 1.8% in year one, a “soft freeze” and a flat $300 in year two, and a “soft freeze” and a flat $500 in year three – also, the retirement incentive will be reduced – the Jasper County Education Association says the three year deal provides necessary stability in an area that values education for the 1,400 students within the District.

(OLNEY)  Here’s some of the numbers in last week’s USDA August Crop Production Report : the 2011 Illinois corn crop is expected to yield 170 bushels per acre, up 13 bushels from the 2010 yield – production of corn for grain would be 2.09 billion bushels, up 7% from 2010 : Illinois’ 2011 soybean crop is projected to yield 48 bushels per acre, down from last year’s record yield of 51.5 bushels per acre – total production for the state is forecast at 424.8 million bushels : and the 2011 winter wheat yield is estimated at 61 bushels per acre, unchanged from the July 1st forecast, but five bushels above the 2010 yield – with 720,000 acres harvested for grain, production would equal 43.9 million bushels, more than 2.5 times the 2010 production.

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has reopened all of County Highway #10, west of Olney – the road repair work on sections of Seven Hills Lane, North Timber Trail Road, & Pleasant Ridge Lane is now complete – the Department is now assisting some of the townships with their oil & chipping work – including German & Claremont Townships today – then Noble and Denver Townships tomorrow.

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County 4-H Federation is now taking orders for the popular 4-H Nutty Bars – priced at six bars for $9 or one bar for $1.50, orders will be accepted thru August 18th, a week from tomorrow – call the Jasper County Extension Office at 618-783-2521, or order forms can be picked up at the Extension Office in Newton – payment will be expected upon delivery on September 1st at the 4-H Building on the Fairgrounds – place an order & help out in this Jasper County 4-H fundraising effort.

(OLNEY)  The OCC Community Chorus will begin meeting next Monday & each Monday night thereafter from 6:00 until 7:30 – comprised of area singers with a love of choral music & a rehearsal commitment, the Community Chorus will prepare for a 2nd annual holiday concert – call OCC for more information.

REMINDERS 
    The Richland County SWCD has a “pond demo” next Tuesday evening at 5:30, at the Cliff Sessengood pond – take Route 50 west of Olney 4.5 miles, then north a half mile, watch for signs – Fisheries Biologist Mike Hooe will give the presentation & answer questions, plus a light meal will follow – all are invited
    A fundraising “porkburger cookout” is set for this Saturday from 10:30 til 1:30 at the KC Hall in Newton – plus a benefit raffle drawing at 2:00 with over 50 items available – tickets on sale at the Newton IGA or the Red Rooster Truck Stop in Olney – proceeds to both Gail & Gary Wilson with their medical expenses
    The East Orchard Christian Academy will have a fundraising “porkburger & brats” cookout and “bake sale” this Saturday at the Olney IGA – that’s serving from 10:00 until 2:00 – all are invited to help out
    A reminder that the Village of Noble will have its “city-wide garage sales” this Saturday from early in the morning throughout most of the day, at least into early afternoon – that’s garage sale day Saturday in Noble
    The East Richland School Board will have its regular monthly meeting for August coming up tomorrow night at 7:30 in the Unit Office Board Room – as always, the meeting is open to the public
    The next area blood drive is today at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 until 6:00 – then tomorrow in Oblong, Friday in Olney, & Sunday in both Wendelin & Ste Marie – all types of blood needed

August 16, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  A large area of high pressure over the midwest will continue to produce dry & less humid conditions for our region – scattered showers & storms will spread ahead of a low pressure system that will move thru tomorrow thru Thursday – maybe another shot of rain over the weekend – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  The Illinois lottery generated more than $2 billion in fiscal year 2011 – that’s more than 3% more than the lottery profit from the previous year – state officials say the new scratch-off game “Cash for Life” is leading all sales – it was also announced that the instant games benefiting specific causes, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Breast Cancer, and Veterans care brought in a combined total of over $4 million alone.

(OLNEY)  “Operation Teen Safe Driving” is back underway – while teen drivers are involved in over 9% of all traffic accidents in Illinois, teen drivers only make up 6% of the driving population – but IDOT’s teen peer-led program shows a 45% reduction in teen fatalities since it began 4 years ago – the program allows statewide high schools compete for $2,000 grants to implement safe driving initiatives for fellow teenagers.

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is Agriculture Day with the grand champion junior livestock to be auctioned off at the Governor’s Sale of Champions, plus more harness racing, ITPA truck & tractor pulls, & in concert tonight is Luke Bryan & Craig Campbell – tomorrow is Governor’s Day with more harness racing, tractor & truck pulls, & in concert the Oak Ridge Boys with Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Band – Thursday will be Republican Day with more harness racing, quarter midget racing, & in concert All-Star Weekend with Greyson Chance – not to mention the carnival rides, concessions, Conservation World, livestock & commodity displays & more – admission is at $5 per person for those 13 & older – for more, go online at www.illinoisstatefair.info – it runs thru this Sunday.

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council held a special meeting last night, mostly to hear from the public on the newly proposed Sports Complex for Olney’s Musgrove Park – with standing room only at the Olney City Hall, over half of the Council’s three hour meeting dealt with discussion, both pro & con, on the plan, which will continue to be looked at – the Council talked about the combined dispatch progress & agreed to move forward in support of the effort – and after a closed session, the Council unanimously agreed to pay a $500 per month stipend to City Attorney Larry Taylor while he serves as the city’s Interim City Manager – the Olney City Council will have its next regular meeting next Monday night, August 22nd, at 7:30, at City Hall.

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met last night – the Board  :  approved a new three year deal with the Jasper County Education Association – the contract calls for a modest raise for teachers, resulting in an estimated savings of $1.3 million to the District – we’ll have more on the agreement tomorrow  :  also approved the classified & administrative pay schedules as presented  :  reviewed the tentative fiscal year 2012 District budget  :  heard an update on renovations to the Junior High & Elementary School classrooms  :  approved a three year agreement with New Wave Communications for the District’s internet services  :  & in personnel – accepted resignations from Melissa Kennedy & Jody Groves effective July 31st – from Gloria Bradley effective December 31st, 2011 – hired Elementary Teacher Catherine Riordan, NCES Librarian Torie Manning, & NCHS Custodian Roy Dhom  :  Board’s next regular meeting will be September 19th.

(OLNEY)  The Joint Emergency Dispatch Service Board met for a regular meeting last Friday morning – most all of the meeting dealt with policy & procedures discussion – as the City & County representatives continue to blend their respective policies together, some of which are similar & others that aren’t, the Dispatch Center currently has one city dispatcher & one county dispatcher on duty at all times – and while there’s still no recommendation from FOP union lawyers on the city dispatchers joining the county FOP with negotiated salaries & benefits, the local county FOP membership will meet this coming Friday to let their voices be heard with a vote on the issue – this recommendation will then be passed on to the Richland County Board for consideration – it was also discussed that a new computer system is needed for the Dispatch Center – the JEDS Board has its next regular meeting set for the morning of September 6th.

(NEWTON)  In this week’s USDA Crop Report – the lack of adequate moisture continues to interrupt crop development statewide – farmers in our 10 county area report concern about the lack of rain – nearly all the local corn crop is in the dough stage, with a third of the corn now denting – almost all the local bean fields are blooming, with over half the soybeans setting pods – over two-thirds the area in short to very short in topsoil moisture levels – farmers continue to work on equipment in preparation of the upcoming harvest.

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department has reopened all of County Highway #10, west of Olney – the sections of Seven Hills Lane, North Timber Trail Road, & Pleasant Ridge Lane have now been covered with rock & the road repair work is complete – the Highway Department will this week be assisting some of the townships with their oil & chipping programs – this includes Olney Township the rest of today – then German and Claremont Townships tomorrow – and Noble and Denver Townships on Thursday.

REMINDERS 
    A fundraising “porkburger cookout” is set for this Saturday from 10:30 til 1:30 at the KC Hall in Newton – plus a benefit raffle drawing at 2:00 with over 50 items available – tickets on sale at the Newton IGA or the Red Rooster Truck Stop in Olney – proceeds to both Gail & Gary Wilson with their medical expenses
    The 2nd annual MS “Join the Movement” poker run fundraiser is this Saturday morning with registration at 8:30 at the Olney VFW – it leaves at 10:00 with stops at Moonshine, Greenup, Farina, & Wendelin – back to the Olney VFW for a barbeque pork meal, music, & auction for anyone at 4:30 – all are invited
    A reminder that the Village of Noble will have its “city-wide garage sales” this Saturday from early in the morning throughout most of the day, at least into early afternoon – that’s garage sale day Saturday in Noble
    The next area blood drive is tomorrow at the Robinson Community Center from 1:00 until 6:00 – then Thursday in Oblong, Friday in Olney, & Sunday in both Wendelin & Ste Marie – all types of blood needed
    In meetings coming up tonight : the Newton City Council will meet tonight at 6:00 in the Newton City Hall : the IECC Board of Trustees will meet tonight at 7:00 at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson
    The Jasper County Health Department will host an immunization clinic today from 10:00 until 6:30 in Newton – records required if previous shots received elsewhere – call for an appointment at 783-4436
    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is set up today under the pole barns in the Olney City Park – that’s farm fresh produce, baked goodies, & more from 12 noon until 5:00 this afternoon for the public

August 15, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  The dry & cool conditions will continue today thru the Midwest as a high pressure ridge hangs over Illinois – a weak weather disturbance will move thru tomorrow night, but likely will be dry, with no rain for our area – our next significant chance of rain will by on Thursday & Friday – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  Illinois drivers are getting somewhat of a break at the pump – as of this morning, Illinois’ average price for a gallon of low-grade gas is at $3.85, which is 8 cents higher than yesterday, 5 cents cheaper than a month ago, but still over a dollar more than a year ago – the state’s lowest quote of $3.47 is in Bloomington with the highest price in Chicago at $4.49 – our area prices range from $3.55 to $3.70.

(OLNEY)  Illinois colleges & universities are being put to the test as a new law allows the state to fund higher education institutions based on their student performance – the Governor says the idea is to increase accountability & improve student outcomes – the new law creates a commission that will develop a new performance system that focuses on course completion, maintaining the quality of current degree offerings, & rewarding institutions that advance the success of students who are at-risk academically or financially.

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is Senior Citizens Day / Scout Day with more livestock shows, tractor & truck pulls, & the Illinois Symphony in concert – tomorrow will be Agriculture Day with the grand champion junior livestock to be auctioned off at the Governor’s Sale of Champions, plus more harness racing, ITPA truck & tractor pulls, & in concert tomorrow night is Luke Bryan & Craig Campbell – Wednesday is Governor’s Day with more harness racing, tractor & truck pulls, & in concert that night, the Oak Ridge Boys with Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Band – not to mention all the carnival rides, fair concessions, Conservation World, livestock displays, commodity displays & more – admission is at $5 per person for those 13 & older – for more, go online at www.illinoisstatefair.info.

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to a Richland County man who last Friday was named as the 2011 “County Fair Person of the Year” – it was at the Illinois State Fair that Bill Jennings of Olney was recognized with the award presented by the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs – Jennings was noted for his 40 years of involvement with the Richland County Fair and over 35 years of working with the IAAF – Jennings has been the President of the Richland County Farm & Fair Association for the past 36 years, since 1975.

(NEWTON)  Jasper County landowners are reminded that the 2010 payable 2011 real estate taxes first of two installments is due today – property owners have several options to make their payments by the close of office hours this afternoon : in person at the County Office Building either inside the offices or by using the drive-up window, all during regular office hours : by mail, to the Treasurer’s Office, with a self-addressed, stamped, envelope for the returned receipt : by using the drop box, located on the west side of the County Office Building, near the drive-up window, available 24 hours a day : or by making payments at the various area banks in Newton & Ste. Marie : if any questions, call or stop by the County Treasurer’s Office.

(OLNEY)  The Illinois State Police are investigating a Saturday morning traffic accident that occurred in Jasper County – 38 year old Ronald Collins of Noble reportedly fell asleep while approaching the Main Street / Mound Street intersection in Ste. Marie and his vehicle ran into the vehicle of 31 year old Amanda Kuhl of Ste. Marie, who was stopped at a stop sign – the State Police ticketed Collins for improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and for operating an uninsured vehicle – both drivers were transported to Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney for treatment of their respective injuries.

(XENIA)  Clay County authorities are investigating the death of a Xenia man – 81 year old Clinton “Junior” Nash was reportedly helping clean-out a grain bin on his farm this past Saturday morning when he fell inside the bin, striking the concrete floor – emergency personnel transported Nash to Clay County Hospital where he was life-lighted to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, where he died later that evening – funeral services are planned for tomorrow morning, with the visitation set for this evening in Flora.

(OLNEY)  The Olney City Council has a special meeting tonight at Olney City Hall, starting at 7:00, mostly to hear input about the recently proposed Sports Complex Development in Olney’s Musgrove Park – the Council will also discuss the Joint Dispatch issue, plus have a closed session to talk about personnel, the appointment & compensation of specific employees – most of the meeting tonight will be in open session.

REMINDERS 
    The Richland County SWCD will host a “pond demonstration” a week from tomorrow, on Tuesday, the 23rd, northwest of Olney – a IDNR fisheries biologist will take part – all are invited to mark your calendar
    Ralph Carter’s 18th annual benefit “poker run” is this coming Saturday with signup at 10:00 at the Olney American Legion – bikes out at 12 noon – then food, auction, & live band to follow – proceeds to benefit the of 4 year old Julia White who is battling Lukemia – all vehicles are welcome to come & help out
    A fundraising “porkburger cookout” is set for this Saturday from 10:30 til 1:30 at the KC Hall in Newton – plus a benefit raffle drawing at 2:00 with over 50 items available – tickets on sale at the Newton IGA or the Red Rooster Truck Stop in Olney – proceeds to both Gail & Gary Wilson with their medical expenses
    The Jasper County Health Department will host an immunization clinic tomorrow from 10:00 til 6:30 at in Newton – records required if previous shots received elsewhere – call for an appointment at 783-4436
    It’s a “Back to School Cookout” on the Lawrenceville City Square tonight from 5:30 until 7:30 with free hot dogs & drinks – sponsored by Cra-Wa-La ViP, Inc – all Lawrence County citizens are invited
    The next area blood drive is today at the Olney Fire Department from 2:00 until 7:00 with all types of blood very much needed – other drives this week : Wednesday in Robinson : Thursday in Oblong : Friday again in Olney : and this coming Sunday in both Wendelin & Ste Marie : all are urged to get out & give
    The RMH Auxiliary has a fundraising “book fair” today from 9:00 until 3:30 – all are invited to stop by Richland Memorial Hospital and see what’s available – all proceeds to the Auxiliary & it’s project work

August 13, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  An upper level disturbance will slide southeast today reaching the Ohio River Valley by later tonight – this could bring us our chance of scattered showers & storms, but ending by late tonight – then it’s cooler air in place for Sunday & Monday – maybe more rain chances next Tuesday – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair continues in Springfield – today is Local Officials Day with various livestock shows, a fiddle & banjo contest, the Illinois State Fair Colt Stakes harness race, the ISOBA Fair races, & on stage tonight is 3 Doors Down with Safety Suit – tomorrow will be Veterans Day, when all Veterans & their families are admitted to the fairgrounds for free – there are more livestock judging, plus it’s Jason Aldean, Chris Young, & Thompson Square all in concert tomorrow night – then Monday is being noted as Senior Citizens Day / Scout Day with more livestock shows, tractor & truck pulls, & the Illinois Symphony in concert – not to mention all the carnival rides, fair concessions, Conservation World, & more – admission is at $5 per person for those 13 & older – for more, go online at www.illinoisstatefair.info.

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to a Richland County man who yesterday was named as the 2011 “County Fair Person of the Year” – it was at the Illinois State Fair that Bill Jennings of Olney was recognized with the award presented by the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs – Jennings was noted for his 40 years of involvement with the Richland County Fair and over 35 years of working with the IAAF – Jennings has been the President of the Richland County Farm & Fair Association for the past 36 years, since 1975.

(NEWTON)  Jasper County landowners are reminded that the 2010 payable 2011 real estate taxes first of two installments is due this coming Monday, August 15th – property owners have several options to make their payments : in person, either in the County Office Building or by using the drive-up window, all during regular office hours : by mail, to the Treasurer’s Office, with a self-addressed, stamped, envelope for the returned receipt : by using the drop box, located on the west side of the County Office Building, near the drive-up window, available 24 hours a day : & by making payments at the various area banks in Newton & Ste. Marie : for additional information or if any questions, call or stop by the County Treasurer’s Office.

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department yesterday applied the final coat of heavy oil to three stretches of County Highway #10, west of Olney – these portions of Seven Hills Lane, North Timber Trail Road, & Pleasant Ridge Lane will be barricaded all this weekend to allow the heavy oil treatment to soak into the roadway – crews will cover it on the first of next week – motorists should use alternate routes.

REMINDERS 
    The next area blood drive is this coming Monday at the Olney Fire Department from 2:00 until 7:00 with all types of blood very much needed – other drives will be held next week in Robinson, Oblong, & Olney
    The annual Antique Tractor & Engine Show continues on the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Oblong – it’s a farm toy show & parade of power both today & tomorrow, plus a Sunday car show & concessions
    The Effingham County Fair is wrapping up in Altamont – it’s the special car soccer this afternoon at 2:00 and the popular demolition derby tonight at 6:30 – carnival rides, concessions, & more all thru tonight
    The White Squirrel Cruisers’ have their fourth of five “Drag Olney Main Street Cruises” this evening with registration in the TrustBank parking lot at 5:45 – the cruise begins at 6:30 – all are invited
    The Richland County Sheriff’s Posse has a fundraising cookout today at the Olney IGA, with serving from 10:00 until 2:00 – that’s porkburgers, brats, & drinks – proceeds towards club projects
    The annual Noble Chowder is today in the Village Park in Noble – chowder will be served from 11:00 until it’s all gone – also fried chicken, porkburgers, desserts, & live entertainment for all  :  the Noble Boy Scouts have a fundraising “car wash” today in front of the Firehouse in Noble, from 9:00 til 1:00
    The “M.S. Join the Movement” Mud Bog Run is this morning at the corner of Meridian Road & Radio Tower Lane, near Olney – signup for off-road trucks & ATV’s at 9:00 – plenty of concessions
    The Main Street Farmer’s Market is this morning from now until 11:00 in downtown Olney, just north of the Main Street / Whittle Avenue intersection – fresh produce & more available to the public
    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation has a fundraising “country breakfast” this morning from 8:00 til 10:00 at the Old Ruritan Building – the $5 tickets at the door – carryouts will be available
    And while out and about this weekend – make sure you “buckle up” and observe all those “rules of the road” while traveling throughout South Central and Southeastern Illinois

August 12, 2011 Local & Area News

(OLNEY)  A large area of high pressure will again dominate much of the midwest today, but a low pressure system across the plains will spread showers & storms across our area late tonight thru tomorrow night – then look for a dry & pleasant Sunday with the next chance of rain next Tuesday – listen for updates.

(NEWTON)  The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign just over $538,000 thru a research grant, aimed at developing cutting-edge nuclear energy technologies & training, all to educate the next generation of leaders in the U.S. nuclear industry – it’s part of up to $39 million in total grants awarded to support 51 different projects at colleges & universities around America.
 
(OLNEY)  Governor Quinn has signed legislation to help the trucking industry operate more efficiently in Illinois – the new law requires local governments to provide the most up-to-date truck route information for the Illinois Department of Transportation to post online, making it easier for truck drivers to pick routes that comply with local ordinances & provide the most efficient way to transport goods – takes effect in 2012.
 
(NEWTON)  A bill introduced by State Representative David Reis has been signed into law, expanding the list of mandated child abuse reporters to include medical employees at abortion clinics – under the new law, volunteers to medical professionals working in an abortion clinic or office will be informed of child abuse reporting laws & know what steps to take if child neglect is suspected – it’s in response to a sting operation conducted in New Jersey last year, where such information was not reported to the proper authorities.

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Board met in regular session last night – the Board  :  approved a one year contract offer from the Laborer’s Union, representing the courthouse employees – the agreement, which expires at the end of November, includes an undisclosed lump sum bonus settlement  :  appointed Mark Lambird & Jessica Buckels as county reps on the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission  :  approved a recommendation from the County’s insurance carrier to increase the yearly premium by $109 for terrorism coverage  :  noted that the County Highway Department will look into hiring a part-time worker to replace a recent retiree  :  noted the Animal Control Shelter is looking to hire part-time help, plus noted the Shelter’s roof is in dire need of repair  :  heard an update on the new Joint Dispatch Center, which was fired up for the first time this past Tuesday night  :  and also discussed the Olney-Noble Airport & it’s local funding thru taxes – more details next month  :  the Board’s next regular meeting is September 8th.

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Board met last night – the Board  :  after an 83-minute closed session, voted 9 to 3, to pay recent county retirees for 11 days of vacation time, 7 days of which were already paid at retirement  :  on an 11 to 1 vote, approved a $5,000 one-year contract with Bruce Harris & Associates for consulting services in the county’s GIS mapping process  :  approved a contract with Olney Central College to provide the county with an intern worker  :  took no action on discussion about a possible dispatch center & courthouse security improvements  :  noted that roof repair materials have arrived for the courthouse  :  set up a Procurement Committee to review requests for engineering & legal services for the county  :  noted the soil cement work on Hatchery Road begins next week  :  noted the concrete is being poured at the Blue Northern Biodiesel Plant in Newton with production next spring  :  next meeting will be September 8th.

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Highway Department is today applying a final coating of heavy oil to three stretches of County Highway #10, west of Olney – these portions of Seven Hills Lane, North Timber Trail Road, & Pleasant Ridge Lane will be barricaded all weekend long to allow the heavy oil treatment to soak into the roadway, then crews will cover it on the first of next week – motorists should use alternate routes.

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Fair is officially underway in Springfield – today is County Fair & Horse Racing Day as more than 70 county fair queens and 105 fairs & expositions from across the state will be represented during this opening day – tomorrow will be Local Officials Day and Sunday is Veterans Day – admission is at $5 per person for those 13 & older – for more, go online at www.illinoisstatefair.info.

(OLNEY) The White Squirrel Cruisers’ have their fourth of five “Drag Olney Main Street Cruises” coming up this Saturday, August 13th, with a goal to have at least 50 to 100 cars, trucks, & motorcycles taking part – participants can register at the downtown TrustBank parking lot starting at 5:45, with the cruise to begin at 6:30 with least six full rounds of dragging main – all are invited this Saturday night in downtown Olney.

(EFFINGHAM)  The Effingham County Fair continues in Altamont – it’s country music star Craig Morgan in concert tonight, followed by car soccer tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 and the popular demolition derby tomorrow night at 6:30 – carnival rides, concessions, & much more all continuing thru tomorrow night.

REMINDERS 
    The annual Antique Tractor & Engine Show starts tonight with an antique tractor pull – then a farm toy show & parade of power both tomorrow & Sunday, plus a Sunday car show & concessions – all in Oblong
    The Richland County Sheriff’s Posse has a fundraising cookout tomorrow at the Olney IGA, with serving from 10:00 until 2:00 – that’s porkburgers, bratswurst, & drinks – proceeds towards club projects
    The annual Noble Chowder is tomorrow in the Village Park in Noble – chowder will be served from 11:00 until it’s all gone – also fried chicken, porkburgers, desserts, & live entertainment for all  :  the Noble Boy Scouts have a fundraising “car wash” tomorrow in front of the Firehouse in Noble, from 9:00 til 1:00
    The “M.S. Join the Movement” Mud Bog Run is tomorrow morning at the corner of Meridian Road & Radio Tower Lane, near Olney – signup for off-road trucks & ATV’s at 9:00 – plenty of concessions
    The Main Street Farmer’s Market is tomorrow morning from 7:00 til 11:00 in downtown Olney, just north of the Main Street / Whittle Avenue intersection – fresh produce & more available to the public
    The Historic Sailor Springs Foundation has a fundraising “country breakfast” tomorrow morning from 8:00 til 10:00 at the Old Ruritan Building – the $5 tickets at the door – carryouts will be available
    The Richland County Farmer’s Market is today in the Olney City Park, under the pole barns, from 12 noon until 5:00 – it’s farm fresh produce, baked items, & more available to the public this afternoon
    The next regular meeting of the Joint Emergency Dispatch Service Board is this morning at the County Jail meeting room, starting at 9:00 – the regular agenda is in place for the JEDS meeting this morning