Local News for Sunday, August 5

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Published on August 5 2012 10:44 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

It will be a busy day at the Effingham County Fair.  Today is the first day of horse racing action.  Seven heats of harness racing are scheduled.  Post Time is 1pm.  If you can't be there, you can hear the action on 979XFM.  Announcer Kurt Becker said that a good field is expected in each heat as Effingham County is one of the few county fairs in Illinois being held this week that offers horse racing.

Other activities today will include a church service in the 4-H Arena at 8:30am; the Twilight Parade at 5pm; the Master Showmanship Contest in the 4-H Show Area; and the Effingham County Fair Talent Show at 7pm with a special performance by the vocal group "Blend".  Last year's Junior Division winner was Jodi Thoele; last year's Senior Division winner was Greg Watson and Christian Stuckemeyer.

By the way, "Blend" will be performing on the free stage at the fair today from 2-3pm.  "Blend" is a doo-whop quartet that performs music from the 50s and 60s. 

This year's Parade Marshal is Carl Becker, who has been a part of the fair for decades.  He is also a highly-successful horse breeder and is known nationwide as a horse race broadcaster, having called races such as the Hambletonian and the Breeders Cup.  He'll be calling races at this week's fair.

The parade theme is "A Blue Ribbon Affair".  There will be plaques provided by local businesses along with cash prizes awarded for chosen parade categories, with ribbons presented to all participants.  The parade will take off from Altamont Community High School at 4:45pm to be in front of the grandstand at the fairgrounds at 5pm.

In addition to the Master Showmanship this evening, the 4-H beef show will be held today at 1:30pm.

Grandstand admission this evening is $8/person.  Be sure to pick up your KJ Country fan when you're headed into the grandstand.

Also on the free stage...the Sarvers from Cowden featuring country gospel music from 5 to 6:30pm, and Eagle Nest Quartet of Shelbyville featuring gospel music from 7 to 9pm.

The fair will continue each day through Saturday at the fairgrounds at Altamont.

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American athletes earn thousands of dollars in prize money when they medal in the Olympics and now one Illinois congressman wants their winnings to be tax exempt.  Congressman Aaron Schock has introduced The Olympic Tax Elimination Act, which would stop the IRS from taking 35% of the payout.  Gold medalists earn $25,000 while silver and bronze medalists earn $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.  Schock said the tax penalizes the athletes and calls it a prime example of why the nation's tax code needs to be changed.

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A new law protects the privacy of Illinois workers and job applicants by banning employers from asking for the passwords to social media accounts.  The move is designed to keep workers from being reprimanded over something they've posted on their personal pages.  It also keeps employers from screening job applicants and making a hiring decision based on the profiles.  The new law goes into effect January 1 and does not prevent employers from using information on accounts that aren't set to private.

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Local Congressman John Shimkus voted for the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act, which provides supplemental funding for agricultural disaster aid.  Shimkus said the 2008 Farm Bill had livestock programs expire in 2011, so those farmers are not in any insurance or other protection program at this time.  The bill supported by Shimkus continues the Livestock Indemnity Program for 2012 and 2013, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, and several other programs.

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The race for a seat in the new 50th Senate District apparently won't include Bob Gray.  He'd hoped to run against Republican State Senator Sam McCann of Carlinville, but says he expects to be removed from the race due to a lack of needed signatures.  Gray planned to run as an independent candidate.  There is no Democrat on the ballot in the contest.

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Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White encouraged Illinois residents to follow the Bicycle Rules of the Road and practice safe bike riding, including wearing a helmet, at a bike rodeo for kids in Chicago. 

White reminds Illinoisans that the office issues the Bicycle Rules of the Road to ensure safe bike travel.  Visit any of the Secretary of State's facilities for a copy of the Bicycle Rules of the Road, or visit the website at www.cyberdriveillinois.com. 

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Talent is needed for the Cowden Pioneer Days Talent Contest, which will be held Saturday, August 25 in Cowden.  There are two divisions, ages 7 to 14 and ages 15-18.  There will only be 12 acts allowed in each category.  To enter, phone Barb Sarver at 217-783-2439.  Also needed are cars for the Demolition Derby held Sunday, August 26 at Joe Thompson Arena beginning at 6pm.  Phone Denny Vaughn at 618-292-3062.

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Today's the day for the 2012 Holy Cross Parish Picnic at Wendelin.  A chicken dinner will be served in the air conditioned parish center from 11am to 5pm.  Lunch ticket sales start at 9:30am.  Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for those ages 6 to 12.  Children five and younger eat for free.

Other attractions will include country store, instant winner, inflatables, cake stand, Bingo, ring toss, kids games, 50/50 drawing, theme baskets, take-a-chance, watermelon stand, mystery box, duck pond and beer garden.  There will be live bands including Gun Slingers at 11am, Rhonda Kuenstler at 1pm, Benny and the Amigos at 2pm, Rhonda Kuenstler back at 4pm and Crazy Horse at 7:30pm.  There will also be a lunch stand featuring porkburgers, brats, ice cream, soft drinks and more.  There are more than 200 raffle prizes.

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Visitors can view more than 30 rooms of the Teutopolis Monastery Museum today.  The Museum will be open for tours from 12:30 to 4pm.  Admission for adults is $3 and $1 for children.  The Museum is located on the second floor in the former Franciscan Novitiate building, which is located behind St. Francis Church in Teutopolis.

Besides its collection of articles used by the Franciscan Friars, the Museum is also known for Bibles and books in different languages, some from the 1700s.  One section features items used by early Teutopolis pioneers.  You can also tour the Mausoleum and the church with stained glass windows that depict highlights in the life of St. Francis.  Volunteers are available along the tour to explain displays and assist visitors. 

For more information go to the parish website: stfrancischurch.com

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Foodie Fest: A Cooking and Entertainment Expo, wraps up today at the Effingham Performance Center.  The celebration features a variety of exhibitors, live cooking demonstrations by local and regional chefs, workshops on both indoor and outdoor entertaining and hands-on cooking classes.  Find out more online at www.TheEPC.org.