Local News for Sunday, June 23


Published on June 23 2013 6:40 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

This is Day One of the Jasper County Fair in Newton.

Harness racing begins today with a 1:00 post time.  The evening attraction will be a gospel sing featuring the Angela Lily Trio at 7:30pm.

Armband nights are set for Tuesday and Friday.  The carnival will be on site from Tuesday through Saturday.


The second big weekend of the Sigel Sesquicentennial celebration is next weekend, but there is a tractor drive planned today.  Meet on the west side of the railroad tracks at 12:30pm.


District 12 State Police answered 950 calls for service during May and investigated 28 traffic crashes.  There was one fatal crash, resulting in five fatalities near Vandalia during May.

Almost 1,100 citations and 425 written warnings were issued for "Fatal Four" violations including speeding, DUI, not wearing a seat belt and distracted driving.

Meanwhile, State Police and American Legion officials have prepared for a summer youth police program getting underway today.

The 41st annual American Legion Youth Police Camp at Camp Lincoln in Springfield will continue through Friday.

Dozens of aspiring teens from across Illinois will discover career opportunities through training with police and military.  The week-long residency camp is structured to promote educational and learning opportunities for youth ages 14-16 in the areas of law enforcement, military, leadership, cultural diversity, personal development, physical fitness, social and interpersonal skills.


Commissioner Office Hours will resume tonight at City Hall after a week off for Father's Day.

City Commissioners Brian Milleville and Matt Hirtzel will meet with local residents in the City Council chambers from 5 to 7 this evening about issues you want to discuss.


The Sacred Heart Parish Picnic will wrap up today with a variety of activities from noon to 11pm.

Chicken and ham dinners will be served from 11:30am to 7pm in the parish center.  The weekend also features other food, carnival rides, games for all ages including a new putting challenge, fast-pitch and basketball throw.

A live auction will begin at 1:00, featuring sporting event and entertainment tickets, furniture, sports memorabilia, I pods, hand painted tables, and art lessons at StangArts.

The big raffle prize is your choice of $15,000 cash or a 2013 Chevy Sonic.

For more information, go to www.sheff.org


First Baptist Church of Altamont will begin Vacation Bible School tonight.  The VBS will continue through Friday, meeting from 6 to 8 each evening.

First Baptist Church of Altamont is located across from McDonald's at 102 Baptist Drive.  For more information, contact VBS Director Robin Heltsley at 343-7908.


The National Trail Amateur Radio Club of Effingham County is holding its annual Field Day at Lake Sara again today.  This is a national event in which radio clubs across the nation are taking part.  The idea is to be ready for a disaster when normal forms of communications are unavaiable.  Radios can be run on generators or solar power.  The public and anyone interested in Ham radio are invited to attend.  They will be located at the pavilions on the south side of the dam.


The Altamont Immanuel LYF will be working at Culver's Frozen Custard and Butterburgers today from 11 to 1 to raise funds for their upcoming trip to the National Youth Gathering in San Antonio, Texas in July.  While at the Gathering, they'll meet with other youth from around the nation in gathering events and community service projects.


Champaign Democrat Mike Frerichs is gearing up to make a run at the state treasurer's office.  Frerichs, who has been a state senator since 2007, is also a former Champaign County board member and county auditor.  He's named Zach Koutsy to lead his campaign team.  There will be a scramble for the state treasurer's post with incumbent Republican Dan Rutherford running for the GOP nomination in the governor's race.   


Beware of bats. That's the message from Illinois health officials, who say bats are starting to become more active, which means the possibility of exposure to rabies is increasing.  Bats are the primary carrier of rabies in Illinois.  The Illinois Department of Public Health has already had eight bats test positive for rabies this year. 


Abused kids in Illinois may not be getting proper attention from the state.  A recent audit reveals the DCFS missed the deadline to investigate nearly 900 abuse cases last year.  That’s up from just 115 the year before.  Reports indicate it’s the biggest backlog since 2006.  Officials at the DCFS say they’ve had a record number of child deaths in the past year and investigating those cases take time.


A former U of I student may have gained access to three thousand student social security numbers when he hacked the systems.  Daniel Beckwitt pleaded guilty to computer fraud earlier this month but police now say the extent of his crime was greater than they first believed.  The original charges nagged Beckwitt for tampering with email accounts, damaging the locks on school computers, and installing “key loggers” to get access to sensitive information during the 2011-2012 school year.  But now police say Beckwitt also sneaked into an office at Hendrick House residence hall and used a thumb drive to download student information, including their social security numbers.  Officials don’t believe Beckwitt used the numbers in any way but they are notifying students who were impacted.