LOCAL NEWS

Local News

May 22, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  Increasing cloud cover will kick off the work week, but still high temperatures will dominate the day today as an upper wave moves into the broader trough will begin to kick off some precipitation chances more to the northern part of the state.  The progress of rain chances to our area to the south is slow.  As the wave moves into the trough for the southern part of the state, will bring chances of precipitation for most of the midweek.   – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  in state news – Lawyers for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich have asked for another hearing before the three-judge panel that affirmed his fourteen year prison sentence.  Blagojevich’s attorney petitioned the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday to rehear the case.  In 2015, the judicial panel overturned five of the original 18 criminal convictions.  That led to a resentencing hearing which handed down the same sentence as originally given in 2011.  If the appeals court refuses to hear the case, Blagojevich’s only hope for an early release is clemency from President Donald Trump

 

(OLNEY)   Heavy rainfall across much of Illinois late this past month and start of May, has left many corn farmers wondering about the fate of their crops.  While most of the corn has been planted around the state, the concern is that the flooding of some fields, mainly in southern Illinois, will force a replant to the fields.  Agronomist Jared Webb says a quarter of the corn fields that have planted might have to replant while twenty percent of the soybeans have been planted, with some potentially needing replanting.

 

(NEWTON)  The home state of President Barack Obama has made another step towards honoring the 44th president’s birthday.  The plan to tab Obama’s August 4th birthday as an honorary holiday took another step forward with an 87-0 approval in the Illinois House Friday.  The state Senate had previously endorsed the measure earlier this year and it now moves to the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner.  Obama began his political career serving in the Illinois Senate in 1997, where he served until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

 

(NEWTON)  With school finishing up for the 2016-2017 school year, kids will be out and about around towns more frequently.  Just remember to be extra alert to the surroundings while driving around this spring and summer season.  Young people being active and folks using caution while driving are requested so we can all have a safe and fun summer season.

 

(OLNEY)  As Memorial Day approaches, the Illinois Department of Transportation and state and local law enforcement agencies are joining forces to remind motorists to wear their seat belts and avoid driving impaired.  Increased patrols and enforcement zones throughout Illinois is expected as part of the IDOT’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign.  These efforts are being enacted to crack down on unbuckled or impaired drivers, especially as traffic fatalities are on the rise. 

 

(OLNEY) The Embarras River Basin Agency is accepting applications the Skills Training Employment Program (STEP) to assist individuals with training for employment opportunities.  ERBA will be assisting income eligible individuals who want to obtain a CDL license, CNA certificate, Basic Welding Certificate, or CNC Operator Certificate.  The assistance is made possible through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding throught the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  For more information, contact your local ERBA office in Clark, Coles, Crawford, CUmberland, Douglas, Edgar, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland Counties.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney has announced it is now soliciting Requests for Proposal for a mural to be placed on the south wall of the Olney City Hall, at 300 South Whittle Avenue – proposal and project specifications can be picked up at City Hall between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00, Monday thru Friday, or may be emailed by sending a request to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the deadline for proposal submission is June 30th, 2017, with a project completion date set for September 30th, 2017 – call if any questions.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2017 – applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31st – those interested can email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Jane Hart at  618-783-2867.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Road commissioner wants to remind the public that the intersection of Miller’s Grove and Silver Street road will be closed to through traffic starting on Monday, May 22nd.  Alternate routes will be needed until the work is completed and the city thanks you for your patience.

 

(OLNEY)  a couple of municipal meetings are scheduled for tonight  -  The Olney City Council will meet in regular sessions tonight  - The Noble Village Board will meet in regular session tonight.  Both meetings are open to the public.

 

REMINDERS:

    A Euchre Tournament will be held at the Olney City Park Community Building.  Registration from 7:00 until 7:20 with games beginning at 7:30.  Priced at only $10 per person, limited to the first 40 who register.  Winners will receive a $25 Ginger Ale’s gift card – all are invited.

   The Red Rooster will be holding open interviews coming up on Tuesday, May 23rd, from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  That is open interviews at the Red Rooster coming up on Tuesday

   The Sainte Marie Foundation Museum Exhibit will open Saturday, May 27th, from 10:00 until 2:00.  The New exhibit, Taking Care of Business: Sainte Marie Past and Present Businesses will be opening for the first time Saturday.  Also the Village wide garage sale on Saturday from 7:00 until 11:00 and breakfast burritos served at 7:00 am and Brats and Pork Burgers from 10:00 until 1:00, served by The Sons of the American Leagion.

   An inside rummage sale will be held Saturday, May 27th, from 7:00 until 12:00 noon at the First Presbyterian Church in Olney.  Items include books, dishes, bake ware, bedding, sports equipment toys and household items.  Proceeds help cover mission trip expenses for Darrelynn Eichhorst and Bea Gardner

   The St. Anthony Memorial Hospital will conduct blood pressure screenings todayf rom 11: 11:30.  The screenings will be conducted at the Altamont Municipal Building

   The Jasper County Senior Center will host a Lincolnland Health bingo on Wednesday, on May 24th, from 10:30 to 11:30.

   Local blacksmith Bryan Dale Headley will be back on RFD-TV with new shows airing this week.  The first show will be tomorrow, Tuesday May 23rd at 3:30 and the second showing Saturday May 27 at 2:00.  The show “Forging Chains” is where Bryan uses links of chain to describe our relationship to God.

   The Lake Land College Foundation will host their 20th annual golf classic this upcoming Friday, May 26th.  The shotgurn start will be at 12 noon on Friday at the Meadowview Golf Course – call 217-234-5363 for more details and information

 

 

May 19, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  An expanding area of showers and thunderstorms accompany the frontal boundary that moved into the area late Thursday evening.  The boundary continues into the southern part of the state bringing stronger winds with it.  The frontal boundary will push heavily into the area by the afternoon bringing with it the more likely chances of showers and storms. That is followed by a warm front following this frontal boundary which will enter the area tomorrow and will keep the rain chances in the area for the weekend.  We have a brief relief of rain Monday, before more rain Tuesday – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news –  officials say that in April, the Illinois unemployment rate dipped by 0.2 percent down to 4.7 percent.  Based on preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Studies, nonfarm payrolls decreased in Illinois by 7,200 jobs over the month.  April’s monthly payroll drop kept the over-the-year job growth below the national average.

 

(OLNEY)  An annual festival that toasts comedian Red Skelton’s life will honor Dick Van Dyke with the inaugural “America’s Clown Award.”  The 91-year old television won’t be able to attend the presentation held in Skelton’s hometown of Vincennes, Indiana on July 15th, but a video-acceptance speech from Van Dyke will be played for festival-goers.  The Danville native, Dick Van Dyke’s comedic body of work and joy he brought over the years embodies Skelton’s spirit.  Red Skelton died in 1997 at the age of 84, had an early impact on television with “The Red Skelton Show.”

 

(NEWTON) A new memorial located at the airport in Springfield will honor the city’s only resident to graduate from the Tuskegee Army Air Base during World War II.  The late Lyman L. Hubbard Sr. served in the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen.  A display honoring the late Hubbard was dedicated early this week at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport including several photos and some of his medals.  Hubbard was born in Springfield in 1926 and volunteered in the Army, flying a B-25 bomber.  Lyman Hubbard passed away in 2012 at the age of 85.  This award goes along with Lyman Hubbard Day in Springfield, which was declared on May 17th, 2006.

 

(NEWTON)  The Newton City Council met in regular session this past Tuesday -  the council  :  approved bills and accounts payable in the amount of $175,413.30  :  approved rescinding TIF funds of $1.750 to Newton Elite Fitness  :  approved a TIF revised application for Newton Elite Fitness for TIF eligible reimbursable funds of $2,500  :  approved TIF funds of up to $30,000 to Legend Realty Services, Inc. on behalf of 3 Point Properties III, LLC or its assignee, 3PP Newton, LLC per agreement in Resolution 17-05  :  approved SCIRPDC applying for a grant to purchase a Newton PD Squad Vehicle  :  approved the acceptance of Ina Denton’s letter or resignation effective May 31st, 2017  :  approved TIF application fro JCCU #1, Newton High School for TIF funds of $25,000  :  approved the appointment of Alan Bogardus to the Zoning Board of Appeals  :  approved the authorization of one Newton Police officer to attend training on June 8-11  :  an executive session to discuss various topics before the meeting adjourned  -  all minutes are unofficial.

 

(OLNEY) The Embarras River Basin Agency is accepting applications the Skills Training Employment Program (STEP) to assist individuals with training for employment opportunities.  ERBA will be assisting income eligible individuals who want to obtain a CDL license, CNA certificate, Basic Welding Certificate, or CNC Operator Certificate.  The assistance is made possible through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding throught the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  For more information, contact your local ERBA office in Clark, Coles, Crawford, CUmberland, Douglas, Edgar, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland Counties.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County School Board met in regular session last night  :  approved the financial reports with a total bill list of $431,795.77  :  approved building reports provided by building administrators  :  approved bank bid to Trust Bank  :  approved changes to the 2017-2018 Student Handbooks  :  approved the district Title I Plan  :  approved various school-wide Title  I Plans  :  approved the resolution authorizing payment of phone systems from Operations and Maintenance Fund  : Approved of a Memorandum of Agreement for the CEO program at RCHS  : following a twenty five minute executive session, approved the 2017-2018 fall and winter coaches for RCHS,  Matt Music as head football coach, Matt Powell, Brad Ameter, Hassan Steele, Chuck Snyder all as assistant football coaches  :  Louis Gassman as boys cross country coach and Denyse Eagleson as girls cross country coach  :  Emily Rusk as head volleyball coach and Jill Greenwood as assistant volleyball coach  :  Kady Stallard as head boys soccer coach and Jason Burckhartt as assistant boys soccer coach  :  Curt Nealis as golf coach  :  Breann Milam as dance team coach  :  Rob Flanagan as head boys basketball coach, Andrew Kapper as assistant boys basketball coach and Tony Dueanas as Freshman boys basketball coach  : Mark Anselment as head girls basketball coach, Klay Wheeler as assistant girls basketball coach and Chelsea Kermicle as Freshman girls basketball coach  : Tommy Leslie as wrestling coach and Brad Ameter as assistant wrestling coach  :  Kristin Flanagan as head cheerleading coach and Breann Milam as assistant cheerleading coach  :  appoved the 2017-2018 extra-curricular positions for RCHS – Athletic Director Curt Nealis  :  Band Director Christopher Jones and assistant band director Nancy Deimel  :  Sheri Gray, Amy Rusk and Jeffrey Ryden as Junior Class Sponsor  :  Mandy Ginder as musical director, Jeffrey Ryden assistant director, Warren Weitkamp musical director, Bryan Cummins as set design and Joyce Fritschle as pianist  :  Olnean – Amy Rusk  :  JROTC Roy Waldhoff with rifle team and Mickey Haynes with drill team  :  Brenda Stallard with FBLA  : Schoolastic Bowl head coach Martin Dunn and Gary Harris assistant coach  :  Julie Fleming and Jason Smith with Student Council  :  Approved the following 2017-2018 coaches for RCMS – Rick Franklin with Cross Country and 8th Grade boys basketball coach  :  Curt Nealis as 7th grade boys basketball coach  :  Norm Henderson as 8th grade girls basketball coach  :  Jill Ginder as 7th grade girls basketball  :  Emily Rusk as 8th grade volleyball coach  :  Jill Greenwood as 7th grade volleyball coach  :  Rick Franklin as boys track coach  :  Approved the resignation of RCMS cross country, 8th grade boys basketball and boys track coach Rick Franklin effective at the end of 2017-2018 school year  :  Drew Muston as RCHS Girl’s Tennis Coach effective immediately  :  Jana Roark as RCHS Guidance Counselor effective June 28, 2017  :  approved a 5-year contract for Assistant Superintendent Chris Simpson, retroactive to July 1st, 2016. 

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney has announced it is now soliciting Requests for Proposal for a mural to be placed on the south wall of the Olney City Hall, at 300 South Whittle Avenue – proposal and project specifications can be picked up at City Hall between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00, Monday thru Friday, or may be emailed by sending a request to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the deadline for proposal submission is June 30th, 2017, with a project completion date set for September 30th, 2017 – call if any questions.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau will host a “pallet sign painting party” this coming Saturday afternoon at The Holiday, starting at 2:00 – in conjunction with Sweet Hazel K, who is well known for creating crafty décor, all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Richland County’s Ag in the Classroom program – while signs, stencils, paint, and instruction to help complete the project will be provided and participants will take home their very own work, the cost is $30 for a regular sign or $37 for a custom sign – sign up today online, at www.sweethazelk.com, scroll down to “Richland County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Fundraiser” and choose from any of the four, farm-themed designs, and pay online – or call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116  to sign up and pay – all are invited to take part & have fun.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2017 – applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31st – those interested can email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Jane Hart at  618-783-2867.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

(OLNEY)  Olney Road commissioner wants to remind the public that the intersection of Miller’s Grove and Silver Street road will be closed to through traffic starting on Monday, May 22nd.  Alternate routes will be needed until the work is completed and the city thanks you for your patience.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Bikers With a Heart Motorcycle Show and Car Cruise In for Team Dale is this Saturday in the Olney City Park, from 11:00 to 9:00 – includes a tattoo contest, gun raffle, 50/50 raffle, corn hole tournament, food vendors, a guitar raffle, & more – to benefit 11 year old Dale Howser who’s awaiting a heart transplant

    The Flora Public Library will host the 2017 Local Authors Book Fair this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 – fourteen area authors will have their work on display – also light refreshments and a door prize drawing

    The Wynoose Mother’s Day Salad Banquet will be held this Friday night, starting at 6:30 in the Wynoose Community Center – those attending are asked to bring their favorite salad to share – all are invited

    The Newton Firefighter Association will host a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – drive-thru pick up available or delivery – for pre-orders, call  618-783-2165  – all proceeds go towards the purchase of needed rescue equipment

   Wabash Valley College is offereing concealed carry courses today through May 20th.  For more information or to sign up call 866-982-4322

   The City of Newton Cleanup day with Republic Services will be held May 19th and inlcude heavy items and electornics

   Gently used items and baked goods are needed for an adoption fundraiers for Andrea and Conan Tully.  The garage sale and bake sale will be held on May 20th, in Bridgeport.

   The Red Rooster will be holding open interviews coming up on Tuesday, May 23rd, from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  That is open interviews at the Red Rooster coming up on Tuesday

 

 

May 18, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  Temorarily clear skies over much of central Illinois today., however there are chances of a stray shower entering the area today with the warm and humid airmass as a cold front pushes into the region later this evening.  A marginal risk of severe storms later this afternoon with that cold front passing through.  The frontal boundary will be south of the area Friday brings with it rain chances and possibly storms into the weekend– listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois Senate will return to work today after Democrats continue with votes on the “grand bargain” budget compromise.  Republicans were not ready for votes yesterday, but with the May 31st adjournment date closing in, Democratic Senate President John Cullerton said he was tired of waiting. Pieces pushed through include an overhaul to the way schools are funded an a fix for beleaguered state pension systems.  Democrats approved a $36.5 million dollar budget, but a measure to authorize implementation failed.  Even after progress toward a resolution of the two year old budget stalemate, overdue bills for the state topped $14 billion. 

 

(OLNEY)  Illinois poets are being given a chance to show their stuff in a statewide competition – Secretary of State Jesse White says that entry forms are now available for the annual Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award – the competition is open to any Illinois resident at least 18 years of age and the winner will receive $500 in cash, with second and third place also receiving cash – the winning poems will be submitted for publication in various journals – entries must be postmarked by June 30th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police report that a fatal traffic crash occurred yesterday evening.  A 2003 Honda Accord, driven by a 16-year old from Robinson, traveling eastbound on CR 900 North at an excessive speed when it struck gravel and the driver lost control causing the vehicle to skid off the roadway to the north striking a ditch causing the vehicle to overturn and strike a tree.  The driver died due to injuries.  All other occupants were transported to Crawford Memorial Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

 

(OLNEY)  The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board of Trustees met in regular session this week – the board:  Approved with all 16 district high schools dual credit agreements outlining requirements for juniors and seniors to receive both high school and college credit for certain courses  :  approved a change in testing fees from a set fee to the actual cost for programs in Health Information management, Medical Assistant and Pharmacy Technician  :  approved a meal plan program to be utilized at the college’s food service facilities  :  approved policy revisions to the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources Policy to reflect current practices  :  approved ten affiliation agreements with area health care institutions dealing with the Pharmacy Technician,  Electronic Medical Records, and Certified Medical Assistant Program at Lincoln Trail College  : employed Megan Bunnage as Nursing Instructor at Wabash Valley College, effective August 10th  :  employed Beth Wilson as Nursing Instructor at Frontier Community College effective August 10th  :  Tyler Browning was changed from Director of Academic Advising & Recruitment at LTC to Sports Management Instructor at LTC effective August 10th  :  Tina Evans was changed from Custodian at OCC to Lead Custodian at OCC effective May 22nd  :  approved a resignation from Chad Noble as Information System Technician at Frontier effective May 29th  :  the next regular meeting for the Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, June 20th.
 

 (NEWTON)  The Rides Mass Transit District will hold a “Listening Session” this morning, May 18th, at the Newton Public Library meeting room, starting at 11:00 – since RMTD provides transportation services in Jasper County, the “Listening Session” will allow interested persons or agencies in Jasper County a chance to comment about the current service, possible improvements of service, and the current routes – for those that cannot attend in person, oral comments can be called into the RMTD office at 618-253-8761, extension 500312, or written comments can be mailed to : Rides Mass Transit District, 30 Veterans Drive, Harrisburg, Illinois, 62946 – all are invited to share their views about the RMTD services.

 

(OLNEY) The Embarras River Basin Agency is accepting applications the Skills Training Employment Program (STEP) to assist individuals with training for employment opportunities.  ERBA will be assisting income eligible individuals who want to obtain a CDL license, CNA certificate, Basic Welding Certificate, or CNC Operator Certificate.  The assistance is made possible through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding throught the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  For more information, contact your local ERBA office in Clark, Coles, Crawford, CUmberland, Douglas, Edgar, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland Counties.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney has announced it is now soliciting Requests for Proposal for a mural to be placed on the south wall of the Olney City Hall, at 300 South Whittle Avenue – proposal and project specifications can be picked up at City Hall between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00, Monday thru Friday, or may be emailed by sending a request to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the deadline for proposal submission is June 30th, 2017, with a project completion date set for September 30th, 2017 – call if any questions.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau will host a “pallet sign painting party” this coming Saturday afternoon at The Holiday, starting at 2:00 – in conjunction with Sweet Hazel K, who is well known for creating crafty décor, all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Richland County’s Ag in the Classroom program – while signs, stencils, paint, and instruction to help complete the project will be provided and participants will take home their very own work, the cost is $30 for a regular sign or $37 for a custom sign – sign up today online, at www.sweethazelk.com, scroll down to “Richland County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Fundraiser” and choose from any of the four, farm-themed designs, and pay online – or call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116  to sign up and pay – all are invited to take part & have fun.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2017 – applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31st, two weeks today – those interested can email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Jane Hart at  618-783-2867.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  Friday, also at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County School will meet for its regular monthly session tonight at 6:00 at the board room – the meeting is open to the public

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Bikers With a Heart Motorcycle Show and Car Cruise In for Team Dale is this Saturday in the Olney City Park, from 11:00 to 9:00 – includes a tattoo contest, gun raffle, 50/50 raffle, corn hole tournament, food vendors, a guitar raffle, & more – to benefit 11 year old Dale Howser who’s awaiting a heart transplant

    The Flora Public Library will host the 2017 Local Authors Book Fair this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 – fourteen area authors will have their work on display – also light refreshments and a door prize drawing

    The Wynoose Mother’s Day Salad Banquet will be held this Friday night, starting at 6:30 in the Wynoose Community Center – those attending are asked to bring their favorite salad to share – all are invited

    The Newton Firefighter Association will host a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – drive-thru pick up available or delivery – for pre-orders, call  618-783-2165  – all proceeds go towards the purchase of needed rescue equipment

   Wabash Valley College is offereing concealed carry courses today through May 20th.  For more information or to sign up call 866-982-4322

   The City of Newton Cleanup day with Republic Services will be held May 19th and inlcude heavy items and electornics

   Gently used items and baked goods are needed for an adoption fundraiers for Andrea and Conan Tully.  The garage sale and bake sale will be held on May 20th, in Bridgeport.

 

 

May 17, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A surface low pressure system to our west keeps us warm for another day with highs into the mid 80s, however as we transition into the evening to overnight a slight chance of showers and possibly a thunderstorm enter the area.  As a cold front pushes into the area late Wednesday into Thursday, keeps the chances of rain around through Thursday and into the weekend.  The deepening surface low pressure keeps the rain into Saturday and possibly some severe weather is possible – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – Illinois Senate Democrats plan to vote on the “grand bargain” budget compromise with the May 31 adjournment deadline approaching.  This grand bargain was intended to set a bar for ending the two-year budget stalemate in the Illinois.  The bargain was supposed to include an income-tax increase to tackle a multibillion-dollar deficit and changes to business climate. 

 

(NEWTON) Legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year olds to register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card passed the Illinois Senate this week.  The bill now goes to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration.  The current legislation requires an individual to be at least 18 years of age to join the registry.  Currently 47 states have already enacted this legislation.  For those already eligible, you can register with the Secretary of State’s Organ/Tissue Donor Registry at www.lifegoeson.com or by calling 1-800-210-2106 or visit your local Driver Services facility.

 

(OLNEY)  In this week’s Richland County Rainfall Report, with the recording period ending at 8:00 Monday morning, it was Denver Township leading the way with four and one tenth inches (4.10) of rain, followed by Noble Township with three and a half inches (3.50) and Farm Bureau Office in Olney with three inches (3.00).  The Preston Township totaled two and nine tenths inches (2.90) followed closely by German Township with two and eight tenths inches (2.80) followed by Madison Township with two and one tenth inches (2.10) and Claremont Township with two and sixth hundredths inches (2.06).  Olney Township recorded one and a half inches (1.50) while both Bonpas and Decker Townships each recorded one and two tenths inches (1.20).  At our WSEI National Weather Service Weather Station, at the south edge of Olney, we measured two and thirty four hundredths of an inch (2.34) of rain.

 

(OLNEY)  In Monday’s USDA Crop Report – Illinois’ precipitation averaged 0.91 inches, 0.06 inches above normal – there was almost two full days of field work in Illinois last week – the statewide average temperature was 62.7 degrees, 1.2 degrees above normal – as of Sunday, 75% of the corn and 23% of the soybeans had been planted around the state, plus most of the state’s winter wheat crop is in fair to good condition in spite of all the extra rain  :  farmers in our ten county area surrounding Newton and Olney report most of the local corn and at least a third of the local soybeans have been planted, although some replanting is expected – farmers are reminded to think “safety first” as the spring planting season continues.

 

(NEWTON)  The Rides Mass Transit District will hold a “Listening Session” this week, on Thursday morning, May 18th, at the Newton Public Library meeting room, starting at 11:00 – since RMTD provides transportation services in Jasper County, the “Listening Session” will allow interested persons or agencies in Jasper County a chance to comment about the current service, possible improvements of service, and the current routes – for those that cannot attend in person, oral comments can be called into the RMTD office at 618-253-8761, extension 500312, or written comments can be mailed to : Rides Mass Transit District, 30 Veterans Drive, Harrisburg, Illinois, 62946 – all are invited to share their views about the RMTD services.

 

(OLNEY) The Embarras River Basin Agency is accepting applications the Skills Training Employment Program (STEP) to assist individuals with training for employment opportunities.  ERBA will be assisting income eligible individuals who want to obtain a CDL license, CNA certificate, Basic Welding Certificate, or CNC Operator Certificate.  The assistance is made possible through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding throught the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  For more information, contact your local ERBA office in Clark, Coles, Crawford, CUmberland, Douglas, Edgar, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland Counties.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau will host a “pallet sign painting party” this coming Saturday afternoon at The Holiday, starting at 2:00 – in conjunction with Sweet Hazel K, who is well known for creating crafty décor, all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Richland County’s Ag in the Classroom program – while signs, stencils, paint, and instruction to help complete the project will be provided and participants will take home their very own work, the cost is $30 for a regular sign or $37 for a custom sign – sign up today online, at www.sweethazelk.com, scroll down to “Richland County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Fundraiser” and choose from any of the four, farm-themed designs, and pay online – or call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116  to sign up and pay – all are invited to take part & have fun.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2017 – applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31st, two weeks today – those interested can email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Jane Hart at  618-783-2867.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  today at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  Friday, also at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Bikers With a Heart Motorcycle Show and Car Cruise In for Team Dale is this Saturday in the Olney City Park, from 11:00 to 9:00 – includes a tattoo contest, gun raffle, 50/50 raffle, corn hole tournament, food vendors, a guitar raffle, & more – to benefit 11 year old Dale Howser who’s awaiting a heart transplant

    The Flora Public Library will host the 2017 Local Authors Book Fair this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 – fourteen area authors will have their work on display – also light refreshments and a door prize drawing

    The Wynoose Mother’s Day Salad Banquet will be held this Friday night, starting at 6:30 in the Wynoose Community Center – those attending are asked to bring their favorite salad to share – all are invited

    The Newton Firefighter Association will host a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – drive-thru pick up available or delivery – for pre-orders, call  618-783-2165  – all proceeds go towards the purchase of needed rescue equipment

   Wabash Valley College is offereing concealed carry courses May 18th through the 20th.  For more information or to sign up call 866-982-4322

   The City of Newton Cleanup day with Republic Services will be held May 19th and inlcude heavy items and electornics

   The Jasper County health department will host a children first class today from 8:00 am untill 12 noon.  Call 783-4154 to sign up.

   Gently used items and baked goods are needed for an adoption fundraiers for Andrea and Conan Tully.  The garage sale and bake sale will be held on May 20th, in Bridgeport.

 

 

May 16, 2017

 

(OLNEY)  A strong high pressure ridge will keep us dry with plenty of warm air and sunshine over the next two to three days – that’s when our next low pressure system will move thru with rain chances on Friday, maybe as early as Thursday night – the rain chances could hang around into Saturday and maybe even on Sunday as well – our high temperatures all this work week will be in the 80’s – listen for weather updates.

 

(NEWTON)  In state news – lawmakers are expected back in Springfield this week, both the State House and State Senate – both chambers have several proposed bills and measures to consider, not to mention the ever-looming discussion and debate on the ongoing state budget stalemate – the General Assembly has only a couple more weeks remaining in the State Capitol before the spring legislative session is scheduled to end.

 

(NEWTON)  Fair officials are expanding a statewide competition to find a singer who’ll be the opening act for both State Fairs in Springfield and Du Quoin – starting June 10th, there will be 12 karaoke competitions at local county fairs for soloists to compete – those taking part must be 18 years old and the registration on the Illinois State Fair website is already underway – one of the downstate sites is the Jasper County Fair in Newton – for contest rules and more, check the State Fair website online, at  www.illinois.gov/statefair.

 

(OLNEY/NEWTON)  The Illinois State Police report a traffic crash occurred at 9:00 am yesterday morning. Preliminary investigations report that a 2007 Freightliner truck and tractor driven by William L. Hill, age 61, of Oblong was traveling southbound on Crawford County Road 25 East when he attempted to overtake and pass a southbound 1994 Case IH farm tractor, driven by 64 year old Jack W. Snider of Oblong, when the truck and tractor left the roadway to the left and rolled over onto its driver side and came to a rest in the ditch.  Hill was transported to Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson for non-life threatening injuries.  Hill was cited for improper lane usage and failure to wear a seatbelt.  All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County School Board met in regular session last night – the board  :  approved the final 2016-2017 school calendar, with May 18 being the students last day and May 19th being a teacher’s institute  :  approved on a six to one vote to advertise for bids for a small economical car to e utilized for trips outside of the school district  :  approved to purchase seven busses from Bluebird at $79,820 each, and one wheelchair bus from Bluebird at $86,918  :  after an approximately 21 minute closed session, the board accepted the retirement of Darlene Walker at the end of the 2019-2020 school year  :  approved the resignation of Brock Tarr as NCHS assistant football coach at the end of this school year  :  approved the resignation of Josh Benefiel as JCJH head baseball coach at the end of the school year  :  approved the resignation of Yvonne Will as assistant musical director at NCHS effective the end of this school year  :  Approved the hiring of Jessie Smith as Social Worker at Newton Elementary, Amy Casey as JCJH Girls Basketball Coach, Brock Tarr as NCHS head cross country coach, Christina Murray, Darlene Coffin, and Jacque Holsapple to teach the Summer Bridge Program, Whitney Ritchhart and Stephanie Klingler for 3rd through 6th grade and Emily Myers as High School Summer School  :  approved to hire Jan Thompson as NCHS JV boys basketball coach, Katelyn Hardiek for the student summer technology position  :  approved to hire Kristen Hardiek and Donovan Cantrell for summer transportation building and grounds position  :  approved a 1.9% increase for all classified staff and administrators and Josh Benefiel will move from a 10 month contract to a 10.5 contract and serve as Principal at Ste. Marie Elementary and Assistant Principal at Newton Elementary  :  Approved to transfer Darla Mahaffey to Newton Elementary from St. Marie Elementary as Physical Education Teacher  :  Approved the collective bargaining agreement with the Jasper County Education Association for the 2017-2018 school year  :  The board’s next meeting will be held on June 15th.

 

(NEWTON)  The Rides Mass Transit District will hold a “Listening Session” this week, on Thursday morning, May 18th, at the Newton Public Library meeting room, starting at 11:00 – since RMTD provides transportation services in Jasper County, the “Listening Session” will allow interested persons or agencies in Jasper County a chance to comment about the current service, possible improvements of service, and the current routes – for those that cannot attend in person, oral comments can be called into the RMTD office at 618-253-8761, extension 500312, or written comments can be mailed to : Rides Mass Transit District, 30 Veterans Drive, Harrisburg, Illinois, 62946 – all are invited to share their views about the RMTD services.

 

(OLNEY)  The City of Olney has announced it is now soliciting Requests for Proposal for a mural to be placed on the south wall of the Olney City Hall, at 300 South Whittle Avenue – proposal and project specifications can be picked up at City Hall between the hours of 8:00 and 4:00, Monday thru Friday, or may be emailed by sending a request to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  – the deadline for proposal submission is June 30th, 2017, with a project completion date set for September 30th, 2017 – call if any questions.

 

(OLNEY)  The Richland County Farm Bureau will host a “pallet sign painting party” this coming Saturday afternoon at The Holiday, starting at 2:00 – in conjunction with Sweet Hazel K, who is well known for creating crafty décor, all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Richland County’s Ag in the Classroom program – while signs, stencils, paint, and instruction to help complete the project will be provided and participants will take home their very own work, the cost is $30 for a regular sign or $37 for a custom sign – sign up today online, at www.sweethazelk.com, scroll down to “Richland County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Fundraiser” and choose from any of the four, farm-themed designs, and pay online – or call the Farm Bureau office in Olney at  618-393-4116  to sign up and pay – all are invited to take part & have fun.

 

(NEWTON)  The Jasper County Retired Teachers’ Association is offering a $1,000 scholarship to any Newton Community High School graduate who will be a college junior or senior majoring in education for the fall semester of 2017 – applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31st, two weeks from this coming Wednesday – those interested can email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Jane Hart at  618-783-2867.

 

(OLNEY)  The Olney Public Library has announced it is making final plans for its 2017 summer reading program, this year entitled “Reading By Design” – the associated activities this summer will focus on area toddlers all the way thru adults – registration for the children’s reading challenge begins on May 22nd – call or stop by for more details or visit its website at  www.olneypubliclibrary.org.

 

(NEWTON/OLNEY)  The Red Cross is asking all eligible and first-time donors to get out & give blood at their next opportunity – upcoming blood drives are  :  Wednesday at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 11:30 to 6:00  :  Friday, also at the Blood Donation Center in Effingham from 7:00 to 2:00  :  all blood types & platelets are very much needed.

 

(OLNEY)  An update on a couple area meetings :  The Illinoi Eastern Community Colleges Board will meet tonight at Frontier Community College in Fairfield tonight at 7:00  :  The City of Olney has announced the Parks & Recreation board meeting scheduled for tomorrow, May 17th, has been cancelled.

 

REMINDERS  :

    The Bikers With a Heart Motorcycle Show and Car Cruise In for Team Dale is this Saturday in the Olney City Park, from 11:00 to 9:00 – includes a tattoo contest, gun raffle, 50/50 raffle, corn hole tournament, food vendors, a guitar raffle, & more – to benefit 11 year old Dale Howser who’s awaiting a heart transplant

    The Flora Public Library will host the 2017 Local Authors Book Fair this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 – fourteen area authors will have their work on display – also light refreshments and a door prize drawing

    The Wynoose Mother’s Day Salad Banquet will be held this Friday night, starting at 6:30 in the Wynoose Community Center – those attending are asked to bring their favorite salad to share – all are invited

    The Newton Firefighter Association will host a fundraising “pork burger sale” this Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newton with serving from 11:00 to 1:00 – drive-thru pick up available or delivery – for pre-orders, call  618-783-2165  – all proceeds go towards the purchase of needed rescue equipment

    The Ridgeway Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society will meet tonight at the First Prebyterian Church in Olney, starting at 7:00 – former Wildlife Specialist and outdoorsman Tom Micetich will discuss the status and population of Whitetail Deer in our region – the meeting is open to the public