LOCAL NEWS

Local News

March 25, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As a storm system slowly moves across the Midwest this weekend, our downstate region has on-and-off rain chances today thru tonight and into tomorrow morning – most rain chances will end by early afternoon Sunday, although another rain chance moves in for late Sunday night into Monday afternoon – then dry weather returns next Tuesday & Wednesday, plus it will stay warm – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service are reminding taxpayers that filing returns electronically and requesting direct deposit into a checking or savings account is still the fastest and most secure way to receive a refund – the filing deadline is three weeks from next Tuesday, on April 18th – for the latest up-to-date information, tax forms, schedules, and instructions on filing taxes, check out the websites online, at  www.tax.illinois.gov  or  www.irs.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney Water Department will be switching the disinfectant in the city’s distribution system from combined chlorine to free chlorine this coming Monday – the switch is for maintenance purposes and is in conjunction with the city’s biannual water hydrant flushing – it’s at this time that water customers may notice a stronger chlorine smell while the free chlorine is being used – the city’s fire hydrant flushing will start next weekend – the patience of all water customers in Olney is appreciated at this time.

 

(OLNEY)  The Lawrence County Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will host its 19th annual Hunting Heritage Super Fund Banquet a week from tonight, on Saturday, April 1st, at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds Building, along Route 50, between Sumner & Bridgeport – with doors opening at 5:30, a great meal will be followed by a chance to win and/or outbid others for valuable prizes, including outdoor equipment, hunting firearms, knives, wildlife calls, & more – tickets are $70 for couples and $50 for singles – for tickets to the April 1st Banquet in Lawrence County, call today at  812-568-6753.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include  :  tomorrow morning at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  next Monday at the Effingham Elks Club from 2:00 to 6:00  :  next Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  also next Wednesday at the Palestine High School from 12:30 to 5:30  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Lake Land College Community Choir invites everyone to its annual spring concert tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 in the LLC Theater – a reception will follow in Laker Point – the concert is free to all

    The next St. Joseph School DC fundraiser is tomorrow at the Olney VFW – serving of the spaghetti dinner will run from 11:30 to 2:00 – all proceeds help fund the next St. Joseph trip to Washington, D.C.

    The Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin will host a Wine Tasting event tonight from 6:00 to 10:30 – there will be wine for tasting and/or purchasing, plus domestic beer and appetizers – tickets are $10 per person – no one under 21 admitted – the $15,000 cash raffle drawing is at 8:00 – all are invited

    A tribute to the Legends of Sun Records, including dinner, music, & more is tonight at the Olney VFW – the doors open at 6:00, dinner’s at 6:30, & the musical show at 8:00 with the silent auction running from 6:00 to 10:00 – it’s $25 per person – proceeds to the This Able Veteran program to benefit Veterans

    A benefit dinner for Jerry Hixon is this evening at the Claremont Community Building, with serving from 4:00 to 7:00 – carry-outs are available – also, gun raffle winners will be drawn as well

    The Berryville Jr Farmers 4-H Club has a soup & sandwich fundraiser tonight at the Berryville Community Center from 4:00 to 7:00 – it’s pulled pork sandwiches, chili, pork loins, desserts, & drinks

    The St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton will host its Spring Bazaar today from 9:00 to 3:00 – with various types of items available, food will be provided by Ochs Street Smoked Meats

    The Sailor Springs Historical Foundation has another country breakfast this morning from 8:00 to 10:00 at the Foundation Building in Sailor Springs – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs are available

    The next Jasper County Paper Drive is this morning from now until 12 noon at the Schackmann Insulation Building on South Van Buren Street in Newton – no glossy paper and no early drop offs

 

 

March 24, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  We’ll have more mild air move in today as a warm front lifts north thru Illinois by tonight – then our rain chances increase thru tonight with widespread rain & scattered storms expected tomorrow thru Saturday night – some lingering showers possible Sunday before the storm system moves thru with rain chances again on Monday – we’ll return to dry conditions on Tuesday – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – a Chicago Judge has ruled that the Illinois Comptroller must pay lawmakers even though the state does not have a budget in place – the ruling in favor of statewide lawmakers cited a 2014 law passed after then-Governor Pat Quinn withheld paychecks over pension reform – a group of Democratic lawmakers last year filed a lawsuit against the Comptroller’s office saying their paychecks were being held up for political leverage – their June paychecks were not issued until this past January.

 

(OLNEY)  Entries are now being accepted for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition, which is open to high school students in the downstate 15th Congressional District – while entries will be taken until April 28th, five weeks from today, the acceptable mediums include paintings, collages, drawings, prints, mixed media, photographs, and computer generated art – the winning entry will be chosen by a panel from within the District – entry forms and a full list of guidelines are available online, at  www.shimkus.house.gov/art.

 

(NEWTON)  Collectible coins, paper money, watches, & camera equipment are among the nearly 500 items worth approximately $32,000 to be auctioned online next week, Monday thru Friday, March 27th thru 31st, by the State Treasurer’s office in Springfield – auction participants can view items & register to take part by clicking on the auction link under the Resource Center on the right side of  www.illinoistreasurer.gov.

 

(OLNEY)  All Richland County residents are encouraged to join the conversation about the future of our local school facilities in Olney next Tuesday night, March 28th – it’s the first Community Engagement Session, or workshop, to be hosted by the Facility Advisory Committee for Tomorrow’s Students, also known at FACTS, which is a collaborative process between the community and school district – all community members are invited to provide their input as the effort’s focus is to ensure the continuation of a successful educational experience for Richland County students and provide input to the local Board of Education regarding long-term facilities planning – those attending will have the opportunity to share ideas and discuss topics in small groups, and Tuesday night’s first FACTS meeting will serve as a starting point for understanding the School District’s facility needs – while subsequent sessions will be held, it’s critical that community members become involved in this first meeting, including parents, grandparents, business owners, employees, senior citizens, alumni, & all others – that’s next Tuesday night at the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Olney, from 6:30 to 8:30 – for more, call the School District Office at  618-395-2324.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met earlier this week – here’s the unofficial minutes from that meeting – the Board  :  approved the list of pre-paid bills and accounts payable worth $116,531  :  also authorized the payment of bills and accounts payable worth $173,413  :  approved three resolutions each, not to raise water rates, electric rates, and wastewater rates for the next fiscal year  :  on a 4 to 1 vote, authorized the hiring of an as-needed part-time billing & collector employee  :  approved the $5,500 distribution of funds to various groups and organizations as recommended by the City’s Dues & Donations Committee  :  approved a resolution to pay each City of Newton household that completes a housing survey a $2.00 credit on their utility bill and an additional $3.00 will be credited to their utility account if a Comprehensive Plan questionnaire is completely filled out and returned to City Hall by the date on the request for a total $5.00 credit per property  :  agreed to have two City Wide Clean Up dates on May 19th and 20th  :  agreed to open the City’s Yard Waste Facility on April 1st – it will be open thereafter on the first & third Saturday mornings of each month from 8:00 to 12:00 noon  :  agreed to pursue a Community Development Block Grant for housing rehabilitation in 2017  :  approved an ordinance to amend the City Code section dealing with “weeds” within Newton  :  approved an agreement with Milano and Grunloh Engineering to apply for the 2017 IDNR Federal Recreational Trail Grant  :  approved a purchase order for the Wastewater Department worth $3,547  :  and after a 55 minute closed session, agreed to amend the TIF ordinance and approved a related resolution to induce the development of the biofuels production facility within the City of Newton’s TIF Area #1  :  the Newton City Council’s next meeting will be April 4th.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Elementary School has its Pre-K and Kindergarten Screenings coming up next week, on Thursday, March 30th, from 12:00 to 6:00, and Friday, March 31st, a week from today, from 8:00 to 2:00, all by appointments only – it’s for children at least 3 years old in the Richland County School District – representatives from ERBA Head Start and KidZone programs will also be present – for more details or for that needed appointment, call Sherry at the Elementary School in Olney today, at  395-8540.

 

(OLNEY)  The Farm Bureau Young Leaders in Richland, Clay, and Lawrence Counties are continuing with their free “Ag Safety Nights” with the third class next Tuesday night to focus on grain handling safety at the Bridgeport Grain facility in Lawrence County, starting at 6:30 – students in any of the three counties can register by calling either of the three County Farm Bureau Offices in Olney (618-393-4116), Lawrenceville (618-943-2610), or Louisville (618-665-3300) – the Farm Bureau Young Leaders encourage all area youth to attend the two remaining safety night courses to learn more about staying safe in and around the farm.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include  :  today at the Wal-Mart Store in Salem from 11:00 to 3:00  :  also today at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 11:30 to 6:00  :  today at The Holiday in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are very much needed.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Senior Center has another fish fry / salad bar meal today in downtown Olney – open to the public at the cost at of only $5 per person, it’s serving from 11:00 to 1:30, and while walk-in’s are welcome and carry-outs will be available, call ahead orders are appreciated at  618-395-3223 – proceeds will help the Richland County Senior Center continue its services & programs for local seniors.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Lake Land College Community Choir invites everyone to its annual spring concert this Sunday afternoon at 3:00 in the LLC Theater – a reception will follow in Laker Point – the concert is free to all


    The next St. Joseph School DC fundraiser is this Sunday at the Olney VFW – serving of the spaghetti dinner will run from 11:30 to 2:00 – all proceeds help fund the next St. Joseph trip to Washington, D.C.


    The Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin will host a Wine Tasting event tomorrow night from 6:00 to 10:30 – there will be wine for tasting and/or purchasing, plus domestic beer and appetizers – tickets are $10 per person – no one under 21 admitted – the $15,000 cash raffle drawing is at 8:00 – all are invited


    A tribute to the Legends of Sun Records, including dinner, music, & more is tomorrow night at the Olney VFW – the doors open at 6:00, dinner’s at 6:30, & the musical show at 8:00 with the silent auction running from 6:00 to 10:00 – it’s $25 per person – proceeds to the This Able Veteran program to benefit Veterans


    A benefit dinner for Jerry Hixon is tomorrow evening at the Claremont Community Building, with serving from 4:00 to 7:00 – carry-outs are available – also, gun raffle winners will be drawn as well


    The Berryville Jr Farmers 4-H Club has a soup & sandwich fundraiser tomorrow night at the Berryville Community Center from 4:00 to 7:00 – it’s pulled pork sandwiches, chili, pork loins, desserts, & drinks


    The St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton will host its Spring Bazaar tomorrow from 9:00 to 3:00 – with various types of items available, food will be provided by Ochs Street Smoked Meats


    The next Jasper County Paper Drive is tomorrow morning from 7:00 to 12 noon at the Schackmann Insulation Building on South Van Buren Street in Newton – no glossy paper and no early drop offs


    The Sailor Springs Historical Foundation has another country breakfast tomorrow morning from 8:00 to 10:00 at the Foundation Building in Sailor Springs – $6 tickets at the door – carry-outs are available


    A Relay For Life fundraising Canvas Painting Party is this Friday evening at the Olney VFW starting at 6:00 – all are invited – drinks & snacks available – the cost is $35 at the door tonight


    It’s another Knights of Columbus “fish fry” tonight at the Olney City Park Community Building with serving from 5:30 to 7:30 – carry-outs available – part of the proceeds go to the St. Joseph School


    The Trinity Lutheran Church has a community fundraising Country Rhodes Fish Fry & Silent Auction this evening from 4:00 to 7:00 – either eat-in or drive thru with proceeds to benefit the Good Samaritan, the Gaitway To Motion Program, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County – tickets on sale at the door


    The Claremont Bonpas Firemen have a fish fry tonight from 4:00 to 7:00 at the firehouse in Claremont – a $10 ticket for all-you-can-eat from three buffet bars, including ice cream and a new item, fish tacos


    Tickets for the production of “The Little Mermaid” at Olney Central College are on sale at the ticket box office, Monday thru Friday, from 10:00 to 2:00 each day – or online at  www.iecc.edu/occtheater  – the first performances are this weekend, tonight, tomorrow night, and Sunday afternoon at Olney Central College

 

 

 

March 23, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As the strong high pressure moves off to our east today, a weather system out in the Plains is moving in our direction – the initial warm front brings us warmer air tonight thru tomorrow – then another approaching front will bring us on-and-off rain chances, maybe a few thunderstorms, Friday night thru Saturday and Sunday, but still with warm conditions – some rain lingers into Monday – listen for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the State Government Administration Committee yesterday approved a plan to reduce fees people pay in administrative costs in court and to standardize the fees across the state – while current fees vary widely from county to county in Illinois, the legislation would categorize the additional charges and index fees to the offense an individual is accused of – opponents though say the decreased revenue will cripple court systems in the future – the plan now goes to the State House for consideration.

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois Realtors has released the February statistics – the statewide home sales last month was at 8,461 units sold, that’s down 2.8% from February a year ago – however, the statewide median price was at $170,000, up 6.3% from February 2016 – the numbers show the time it took to sell a home in February averaged 74 days, down from 81 days the year before – the data shows that 46 of Illinois’ 102 counties had sales gains for February 2017 over previous-year numbers – for more, logon at  www.illinoisrealtors.org.

 

(NEWTON)  The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has released a report noting that Illinois is home to 9% of the ag-manufacturing jobs nationwide – with farm equipment makers in Moline, Peoria, & Chicago, Illinois is second only to Texas which has 16% of the ag-equipment making jobs in America – it’s Wisconsin, Ohio, and Iowa that round out the top five – overall, the equipment-manufacturing industry in the U.S. supported about 1.3 million jobs last year with agriculture equipment accounting for 114,000 jobs directly – overall, farm equipment accounts for about 27% of all equipment manufactured in America.

 

(OLNEY)  In Richland County Court news – the status hearing for 53 year old Glenn Ramey that was scheduled for last week has been moved back to next month in April – the Olney man is being evaluated to see if he is fit to stand trial as he remains in the Richland County Jail on a $10 million bond – Ramey is charged with first degree murder and predatory criminal sexual assault – he is charged with killing 8 year old Sabrina Stauffenburg in Olney on November 23rd, 2016 – he’s presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting this week in Olney – the Board  :  with regret, accepted the resignation of Trustee Michael Correll, effective immediately due to personal reason – Correll has served on the Board since first elected in 2009  :  gave special recognition to Olney Central College student Gideon Raley, the Board’s Student Trustee, for his service over the past 12 months – a new Student Trustee will be seated at next month’s meeting  :  agreed to a fee structure reduction for the District’s Concealed Carry Course to bring the total cost down to $175  :  approved three policies affecting Dual Credit, Emergency Response Plans, and Substance Abuse Testing for Athletes  :  announced intentions to consider approval of contract extensions for the District’s CEO, four College Presidents, and Dean of Workforce Education  :  approved the bid from Gerber Tours, Inc. for student activities covered by the TRIO Upward Bound Grant Program  :  and in personnel matters – hired Bobbi Hart-Walka as an Office Assistant and Ashley Bigard as a Student Advisor, both at Olney Central College – changed the employment status for Dr. Jeffrey Cutchin from OCC Dean of Instruction to Chief Academic Officer at the IECC District Office  :  the IECC Board’s next regular meeting is April 18th.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney FFA Chapter did well again last night – the FFA members from Richland County High School won the District Five FFA Novice Parliamentary Procedure Career Development Event (CDE) held down at SIU’s College of Agriculture in Carbondale – the teams taking part were those that were either 1st or 2nd in their Section CDE’s – the Olney team finished 1st with 901 points, followed by a Gallatin County team at 869 in 2nd place and the team from Cisne at 862 points in 3rd place – Olney’s winning team included  :  President Tristen Payne – 2nd place as Chairman  :  Secretary Chelsea Ochs – 1st place as Secretary  :  and Floor Members Travis Wilke (2nd), Paige Steber (4th), Abby Meadows (8th), and Lance Mitchell (9th)  :  the Olney team now moves on to compete at the State FFA Novice Parliamentary Procedure CDE in June at the State FFA Convention up in Springfield – congratulations to one and all!

 

(NEWTON)  The voters of Jasper County are invited to attend a School Board Candidate Forum tonight, starting at 7:00, in the Newton Community High School cafeteria – the Forum is sponsored by the Jasper County Education Association – all school board candidates on the April 4th ballot are invited to attend and take part – the five candidates running for four seats to be filled include Rob Street, Mandy Rieman, Gordon Millsap, Holly Farley, & Joshua Kuhl – all are invited out tonight in Jasper County and Newton.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Registered voters are reminded that Early Voting is still being conducted in County Clerks’ Offices for the upcoming April 4th Consolidated Election – if residents desire to vote early for any or no reason, they can vote in person at the County Clerk’s Offices from 8:00 to 4:00 each Monday thru Friday – no appointments are necessary – an additional opportunity for Early Voting is this evening from 4:30 to 6:00 at Fox River Apartments in Olney – the last day for Early Voting is Monday, April 3rd, the day before the April 4th election – for more voting details, contact your Clerk’s Offices in Olney, Newton, or other elsewhere today with the April 4th election now less than two weeks away.

 

(NEWTON)  Here’s some State DNR reminders  :  Illinois fishing, hunting, and sportsmen’s combination licenses and stamps for 2017 are available from DNR Direct license & permit vendors or online thru the IDNR website – the new license year begins a week from this Saturday, on April 1st  :  the Illinois Fishing Information guide is now available at many DNR license & permit vendor locations, plus online – the regulations in the guide are effective April 1st thru March 31st, 2018  :  & the Illinois Spring Youth Turkey Season is now open two weekends this spring – that’s this coming Saturday & Sunday, March 25th & 26th, and the following weekend, April 1st & 2nd – the youth permits are now available over the counter from DNR license & permit vendors  :  for all things outdoors, check the DNR website at  www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include  :  today at the Moose Family Center in Centralia from 11:00 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at the Wal-Mart Store in Salem from 11:00 to 3:00  :  also tomorrow at the Effingham Blood Donation Center from 11:30 to 6:00  :  tomorrow at The Holiday in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  Sunday morning at the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Wendelin from 8:00 to 12 noon  :  all blood types and platelets are needed to help replenish the low area blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The next St. Joseph School DC fundraiser is this Sunday at the Olney VFW – serving of the spaghetti dinner will run from 11:30 to 2:00 – all proceeds help fund the next St. Joseph trip to Washington, D.C.


    The Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin will host a Wine Tasting event this coming Saturday – with the doors open from 6:00 to 10:30, there will be five wineries available for the sampling and/or purchasing of their products – domestic beer also available, plus appetizers and a complimentary wine glass for the $10 per person admission fee – the $15,000 cash raffle drawing is at 8:00 – tickets are $100 each and on sale for the final time to the public this morning at the Parish Office in Wendelin from 8:30 to 12 noon


    The Berryville Junior Farmers 4-H Club has a Soup & Sandwich fundraiser this Saturday evening at the Berryville Community Center, with serving from 4:00 to 7:00 – includes pulled pork sandwiches, chili, pork loins, desserts, & drinks – a special thanks to the Osmond Fox Hunters for the soup supplies and bowls


    The St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton will host its Spring Bazaar this Saturday from 9:00 to 3:00 – with various types of items available, food will be provided by Ochs Street Smoked Meats


    The next Jasper County Paper Drive is this Saturday morning from 7:00 to 12 noon at the Schackmann Insulation Building on South Van Buren Street in Newton – no glossy paper and no early drop offs


    The Trinity Lutheran Church has a community fundraising Country Rhodes Fish Fry & Silent Auction this Friday evening, with serving from 4:00 to 7:00 – either eat-in or drive thru with proceeds to benefit the Good Samaritan, the Gaitway To Motion Program, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County – tickets are on sale at the Trinity Lutheran Church or Runyon Insurance, plus at the door on Friday evening


    Tickets for the production of “The Little Mermaid” at Olney Central College are on sale at the ticket box office, Monday thru Friday, from 10:00 to 2:00 each day – or online at  www.iecc.edu/occtheater  – the first performances are this weekend, tomorrow night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon at OCC

 

 

 

March 22, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A cool high pressure will influence our downstate weather today with plenty of sunshine – however, the clouds move back in tonight thru tomorrow – plus warmer air moves back in tomorrow and Friday – that’s ahead of our next rain chances, early thru the day Saturday, then on-and-off chances of rain Sunday thru next Tuesday, although mild temperatures will be in place as well – stay tuned for updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois House has rejected a plan to make Barack Obama’s August 4th birthday an official state holiday – yesterday’s vote fell six votes short of honoring the nation’s 44th President in the state where he once served as a Senator – while many Democrats were upset, Republicans noted that Illinois native and the nation’s 40th President Ronald Reagan’s birthday is not a holiday as well.

 

(OLNEY)  The State Attorney General’s office is urging members of the Illinois House to pass legislation to strengthen the state’s hate crime law as current House Bill 3711 is up for a vote and if approved, would better protect Illinois residents from escalating incidents of hatred and bias – the bill would not only expand the reach of protection from hate crimes, but it would allow judges the option of imposing civil penalties.

 

(NEWTON)  The State DNR is working on a new White-Tailed Deer Illinois website, a collaborative effort by state and federal agencies – in fact, a random set of statewide deer hunters and landowners received an  e-mail invitation last week to assist in the work – the new website will provide up-to-date information on deer biology, management, research, regulations, and much more – it’s expected to go online April 1st.

 

(OLNEY)  Area residents are again reminded to be vigilant and stay alert to possible scams circulating in our downstate region  :  certain credit card holders are getting notices thru the mail from what actually appears to be from their credit card company, which is asking the card holder to call a number and confirm their personal information, such as social security numbers, checking account numbers, and more – folks are reminded that their credit card companies already have that information  :  some residents are also receiving phone calls telling them that they will soon get money thru the mail and that they should forward the amount to an address in Washington, D.C. – this is a money mule scam and folks should always remember there is nothing legitimate about receiving free cash from a stranger thru the mail – like any scam job, if it sounds too good to be true, it mostly generally always is – do not give out personal details, do not become a victim.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Water and Climate Summary has been released for the month of February  :  air temperatures last month averaged 41.0 degrees, that’s 10.1 degrees above the long term average – the southwest district had the state’s highest average temperature in February at 45.7 degrees  :  the state’s precipitation averaged only 0.70 inches in February, 1.36 inches below the long term average – the west / southwest district had the lowest average with 0.40 inches  :  shallow groundwater levels statewide were below normal in February  :  and the water surface levels at the end of February were below the full pool / seasonal target level at 9 of the 26 reporting reservoirs – while Rend Lake and Lake Shelbyville were above the spillway and seasonal target levels, and Carlyle Lake was at the seasonal target level, Newton Lake, East Fork Lake, and others in our region were just a little below seasonal target levels at the end of February.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney Water Department has announced it will be switching the disinfectant in the city’s distribution system from combined chlorine to free chlorine next Monday, March 27th – the switch is for maintenance purposes and is in conjunction with the city’s biannual water hydrant flushing – it’s at this time that water customers may notice a stronger chlorine smell while the free chlorine is being used – the city’s fire hydrant flushing will then be held starting at 9:00 Sunday night, April 2nd, continuing overnight thru the morning hours of Monday, April 3rd – the patience of all water customers in Olney is appreciated.

 

(NEWTON)  The voters of Jasper County are invited to attend a School Board Candidate Forum tomorrow night, starting at 7:00, in the Newton Community High School cafeteria – the Forum is sponsored by the Jasper County Education Association – all school board candidates on the April 4th ballot are invited to attend and take part – the five candidates running for four seats to be filled include Rob Street, Mandy Rieman, Gordon Millsap, Holly Farley, and Joshua Kuhl – all are invited out tomorrow night in Newton.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Registered voters are reminded that Early Voting is still being conducted in County Clerks’ Offices for the upcoming April 4th Consolidated Election – if residents desire to vote early for any or no reason, they can vote in person at the County Clerk’s Offices from 8:00 to 4:00 each Monday thru Friday – no appointments are necessary – an additional opportunity for Early Voting is tomorrow evening from 4:30 to 6:00 at Fox River Apartments in Olney – the last day for Early Voting is Monday, April 3rd, the day before the April 4th election – for more voting details, contact your Clerk’s Offices in Olney, Newton, or other elsewhere today with the April 4th election now less than two weeks away.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Farm Bureau is sponsoring a bus trip to Cloverdale, Indiana on Thursday, April 27th, five weeks from tomorrow – the trip includes a visit to the Orchid Farm, a tour of the Clabber Girl Museum in Terre Haute, & a meal, all of which are included in the $70 cost for Farm Bureau members or $75 for non-members – to place a reservation by March 27th, call the Newton office at  618-783-2733.

 

(OLNEY)  Those interested in obtaining an Illinois Concealed Carry permit can now enroll in an upcoming course at Olney Central College – the class provides 16 hours of required firearms training, including both classroom and range instruction, plus the course is designed for both the beginner and experienced shooter – starting four weeks from tomorrow night, the class will meet from 6:00 to 10:00 on Thursday and Friday nights, April 20th and 21st, at OCC – then the final meeting of the class will be Saturday, April 22nd, from 8:00 to 4:00, at the Olney Gun Range – the tuition and fees for the class are $183 for residents within the IECC District and must be paid in advance to reserve a seat – the tuition is waived for District residents who are age 60 and older, but course fees must be paid – to register, call OCC today, at  618-395-7777.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  also today at the Brownstown High School from 2:00 to 7:00  :  the next Richland County blood drive is this coming Friday at The Holiday in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets are much needed to help replenish the low area blood supplies.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The Lake Land College Community Choir invites everyone to its annual spring concert this Sunday afternoon at 3:00 in the LLC Theater – a reception will follow in Laker Point – the concert is free to all


    A tribute to the Legends of Sun Records, including dinner, music, & more is Saturday night at the Olney VFW – the doors open at 6:00, dinner’s at 6:30, & the musical show at 8:00 with the silent auction running from 6:00 to 10:00 – it’s $25 per person or $180 for a table of eight (in advance only) with tickets on sale at the VFW Post – proceeds to the This Able Veteran program, a service dog group benefitting U.S. Veterans


    A benefit dinner for Jerry Hixon is this Saturday evening at the Claremont Community Building, with serving from 4:00 to 7:00 – carry-outs are available – also, gun raffle winners will be drawn as well


    The St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton will host its Spring Bazaar this Saturday from 9:00 to 3:00 – with various types of items available, food will be provided by Ochs Street Smoked Meats


    The next Jasper County Paper Drive is this Saturday morning from 7:00 to 12 noon at the Schackmann Insulation Building on South Van Buren Street in Newton – no glossy paper and no early drop offs


    A Relay For Life fundraising Canvas Painting Party is this Friday evening at the Olney VFW starting at 6:00 – all are invited – drinks & snacks available – it’s $35 at the door Friday night or $30 before the event


    It’s another Knights of Columbus “fish fry” this Friday night at the Olney City Park Community Building with serving from 5:30 to 7:30 – carry-outs available – part of the proceeds go to the St. Joseph School


    Tickets for the production of “The Little Mermaid” at Olney Central College are on sale at the ticket box office, Monday thru Friday, from 10:00 to 2:00 each day – or online at  www.iecc.edu/occtheater  – the first performances are this weekend on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon at OCC

 

 

 

March 21, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  As the cold front continues to move south of the Ohio River Valley today, most of our sky will stay dry, although several clouds will hang around on this Tuesday with some sunshine possible – a high pressure ridge will then keep us dry tomorrow thru Friday with a warm up included by the weekend – our next chance of rain is Friday night thru Sunday, but not a total wash out – stay tuned for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – the Illinois Supreme Court will not immediately consider Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s appeal of a circuit court ruling that state workers must be paid during the state budget stalemate – Madigan argues the Illinois Constitution requires an enacted appropriation for any type of state spending, but the Justices yesterday denied her request to bypass the Appellate Court – Madigan’s office has already filed an appeal to the original ruling and will now wait to hear from the Fifth Appellate District.

 

(OLNEY)  Collectible coins, paper money, watches, and camera equipment are among the nearly 500 items worth approximately $32,000 to be auctioned online next week, Monday thru Friday, March 27th thru 31st, by the State Treasurer’s office in Springfield – auction participants can view items & register by clicking on the auction link under the Resource Center on the right side of  www.illinoistreasurer.gov  – the Treasurer’s office is the custodian of unclaimed property, which can be auctioned off after 5 years of not being claimed.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Illinois State Tournament this Friday & Saturday on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield – statewide participation remains strong this year with 1,120 archers from 38 different schools have registered to compete, a number that’s up from 400 participants when the program started in 2012 – the downstate schools taking part are from Pinckneyville, Highland, Athens, Mattoon, and Danville.

 

(OLNEY)  Congratulations to the newly named Richland County CEO community facilitator, Mrs. Sheri Gray – the Olney native will now help create a learning environment where students at Richland County High School are encouraged to explore, discover, and experience learning through real-world activities – the CEO Facilitator’s position is a part-time job, as students in the program meet weekday mornings, Monday thru Friday, from 7:30 to 9:00, during the school year – the rest of the Facilitator’s school day is spent calling on businesses, arranging business visits & guest speakers, and talking with community leaders – the program is provided by the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship where students are connected with community businesses to build a learning environment, giving the CEO students an opportunity to succeed.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police has released results of recent Nighttime Enforcement (NITE) patrols in Jasper and Cumberland Counties – there were 22 total citations and arrests made with 40 total written warnings – there were 5 registration offenses, 3 occupant restraint offenses, 3 driver’s license offenses, and 1 offense each for DUI, for another alcohol/drug violation, and for no insurance – the NITE patrols allow the District 12 Troopers to focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to impaired driving and occupant restraint violations especially between the hours of 9:00 pm and 6:00 am.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  Registered voters are reminded that Early Voting is still being conducted in County Clerks’ Offices for the upcoming April 4th Consolidated Election – if residents desire to vote early for any or no reason, they can vote in person at the County Clerk’s Offices from 8:00 to 4:00 each Monday thru Friday – no appointments are necessary – two additional opportunities for Early Voting will be held this week by the Richland County Clerk’s Office – this evening from 4:30 to 6:00 at Emerald Glen in Olney and Thursday evening from 4:30 to 6:00 at Fox River Apartments in Olney – the last day for Early Voting is Monday, April 3rd, the day before the April 4th election – for more voting details, contact your Clerk’s Offices in Olney, Newton, or other elsewhere today with the April 4th election now two weeks away.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Soil & Water Conservation District will have its annual “fish sale” on March 28th, a week from today – orders are still being taken for the various species available at the office during regular hours thru this coming Friday, March 24th – call or stop by the SWCD office in Olney today.

 

(NEWTON)  Area residents are being warned about another scam that is circulating in the downstate region – folks are getting calls from scammers claiming to be an agent with the Internal Revenue Service, telling residents that they owe the IRS delinquent funds and that they will be arrested if they don’t pay immediately – the scammers sound official and are using technology that makes their phone numbers appear to be with the IRS on caller-ID – everyone needs to remember that the IRS never calls taxpayers by phone and never contacts taxpayers by email, ONLY BY MAIL – if such a call is received, residents should simply hang up.

 

(NEWTON)  The voters of Jasper County are invited to attend a School Board Candidate Forum this coming Thursday night, starting at 7:00, in the Newton Community High School cafeteria – the Forum is sponsored by the Jasper County Education Association – all school board candidates on the April 4th ballot are invited to attend and take part – the five candidates running for four seats to be filled include Rob Street, Mandy Rieman, Gordon Millsap, Holly Farley, and Joshua Kuhl – all are invited this Thursday night.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross has an emergency appeal in place, asking all eligible and/or first-time donors to get out and give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives include  :  today at Lincoln Trail College east and north of Robinson from 9:00 to 1:00  :  tomorrow at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  also tomorrow at the Brownstown High School from 2:00 to 7:00  :  on Friday at The Holiday in Olney from 2:00 to 6:00  :  all blood types & platelets are much needed.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  There are a couple of meetings coming up tonight  :  the Newton City Council meets tonight at the Newton City Hall, beginning at 6:00  :  the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board will meet tonight at Olney Central College, starting at 7:00  :  both meetings are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS  :
    The next St. Joseph School DC fundraiser is this Sunday at the Olney VFW – serving of the spaghetti dinner will run from 11:30 to 2:00 – all proceeds help fund the next St. Joseph trip to Washington, D.C.


    The Holy Cross Parish Center in Wendelin will host a Wine Tasting event this coming Saturday – with the doors open from 6:00 to 10:30, there will be five wineries available for the sampling and/or purchasing of their products – domestic beer also available, plus appetizers and a complimentary wine glass for the $10 per person admission fee – the $15,000 cash raffle drawing is at 8:00 – tickets are $100 each and on sale at the Parish Office in Wendelin each morning today thru Thursday from 8:30 to 12 noon – call  618-752-5671 – no one under the age of 21 will be admitted – for more info, logon at   www.holycrosswendelin.com


    The Berryville Junior Farmers 4-H Club has a Soup & Sandwich fundraiser this Saturday evening at the Berryville Community Center, with serving from 4:00 to 7:00 – includes pulled pork sandwiches, chili, pork loins, desserts, & drinks – a special thanks to the Osmond Fox Hunters for the soup supplies and bowls


    The St. Thomas Parish Center in Newton will host its Spring Bazaar this Saturday from 9:00 to 3:00 – with various types of items available, food will be provided by Ochs Street Smoked Meats


    The next Jasper County Paper Drive is this Saturday morning from 7:00 to 12 noon at the Schackmann Insulation Building on South Van Buren Street in Newton – no glossy paper and no early drop offs


    The Trinity Lutheran Church has a community fundraising Country Rhodes Fish Fry & Silent Auction this Friday evening, with serving from 4:00 to 7:00 – either eat-in or drive thru with proceeds to benefit the Good Samaritan, the Gaitway To Motion Program, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richland County – tickets are on sale at the Trinity Lutheran Church or Runyon Insurance, plus at the door on Friday evening


    The Ridgway Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society will meet tonight in the hospitality room of the First Presbyterian Church in Olney, beginning at 7:00 – anyone is welcome to attend the meeting


    Tickets for the production of “The Little Mermaid” at Olney Central College are on sale at the ticket box office, Monday thru Friday, from 10:00 to 2:00 each day – or online at  www.iecc.edu/occtheater  – the first performances are this weekend on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon at OCC


    The City of Olney’s Fire Pension Board will meet this morning at 9:00 at the Olney Fire Station on North Walnut Street – the agenda is fairly full of various items up for discussion – the public is welcome to attend