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.



    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.