Local News for Sunday, November 25
Published on November 25 2012 6:12 am
Last Updated on November 24 2012 11:13 am
Written by Greg Sapp
Effingham's annual Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration will take place today in a new location.
The event will be headquartered in the old 5th/3rd Bank/new Helen Matthes Library building from 1 to 3:30pm. Santa is scheduled to arrive at his house via the Caledonia fire truck at 1pm.
The celebration will feature horse and buggy rides provided by Bob's Legacy Carriage Company, Plant a Winter Garden provided by the Master Gardeners, Make and Take Christmas cookie decorating provided by Martin's IGA, Take and Go Christmas photos taken by Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Christmas Story Time led by the Helen Matthes Library team. Stang Arts will be doing an art demonstration throughout the event and Balda Dental Office will be handing out free toothbrushes to children in attendance. Santa will be available for visits from 1 to 4pm and each child will be given a special treat from Santa. Santa's full schedule can be found on the Chamber website at www.effinghamchamber.org and on our website.
Complimentary hot chocolate and coffee will be available for the afternoon provided by Martin's IGA. Raffle tickets will be sold for the "Spectacular Santa Sweep" inside the old 5th/3rd Bank/new Helen Matthes Library building starting at 1pm. Tickets will be sold for $1 each or a bundle of six for $5.00. Winners will be drawn at 3:45pm for several prizes donated by downtown businesses. Proceeds from the raffle ticket sales will go towards improvements to the Santa House.
Altamont is the scene of the 10th annual Christmas Trees at Dr. Wright's House event. The Altamont Community Choir is one of the groups and individuals scheduled to share Christmas music during the event. Today, and next Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4pm, volunteer guides tell about the three generations of the Wright family who lived in the 1889 home. Each of the 18 rooms is decorated with a tree. Members of the Altamont Chamber of Commerce were invited to provide trees that may feature their business.
During the event, raffle tickets will be available for the tree donated by Midland States Bank. The house museum is located at North Main and West Jackson in Altamont. The fundraiser will help provide operating expenses for The Wright House Property, not for profit. Adult admission is six dollars and student admission is one dollar. More information is available at 618-483-6397 or www.wrightmansion.org.
Governor Quinn refutes claims he wants to make the temporary income tax increase permanent. The increase was passed during the lame duck session in 2011 and is set to expire at the end of 2014. Many Republicans in Illinois claim the money generated from the increase hasn't gone toward paying off unpaid bills as it was supposed to, so Democrats will likely have to keep the extra money flowing in order to deal with the state's financial troubles. Illinois had a six billion dollar backlog when the tax hike passed but, because the money hasn't been properly funneled, the State now has more than eight billion dollars in unpaid bills. State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has said lawmakers need to buckle down and make sure the money doesn't go toward funding other services. Quinn says he's not focused on making the increase permanent. Right now, he said his number one goal is to pass a comprehensive pension reform package.
Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has a new prison job. Blagojevich previously worked in the kitchen as a dishwasher and will now offer up literary advice in the prison library. He is serving a 14-year sentence at a Littleton, Colorado facility.
Illinois' home foreclosure rate is up 19 percent compared to this time last year. According to Realty Trac, nearly 15,000 Illinois homeowners had some type of foreclosure filing last month. That's six percent more than in September. Illinois has the third highest foreclosure rating in the nation.
The Stewardson Snowflake Social will be held this evening. Activities will include an old fashioned soup supper at 5pm, Santa's arrival at 5:30pm and Santa's magic turning on the Snowflake Lights throughout downtown Stewardson at 6pm. Donations will be accepted for the Trinity Lutheran Church Food Bank.
It's time to get "Footloose" and tell the world "I'm Alright". Singer/songwriter/author Kenny Loggins will perform at the Effingham Performance Center Friday night, November 30, at 8pm. Ticket prices range from $47 to $65. Check for tickets at the EPC box office, open from 11am to 2pm each weekday and from 11am to show time the day of each performance.
A Red Cross blood drive is scheduled today from 8:30am to 12:30pm at St. John's Lutheran Church on West Jefferson in Effingham.
Illinois agriculture officials remain very concerned over a destructive insect making its way across the state. The Emerald Ash Borer is already responsible for million of dead trees in northern Illinois. The bug's larvae actually embeds itself underneath tree bark, ending the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. It's highly attracted to ash trees, which are found all over Illinois. In southern Illinois, officials worry the insect has potential for infestation in Effingham and Marion counties.
Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford will be hosting another unclaimed property auction and he says it'll be just in time for Christmas. Nearly 19,000 items will be up for sale, including a platinum ring with a one carat diamond, a Leica camera with removable lens, a signed copy of the book "The Mick" by Mickey Mantle, and antique political buttons for Roosevelt, MacArthur and Garfield. Bidding begins at 10am tomorrow and will begin closing at 10am Friday, the 30th. Participants must register in order to bid. You can register and check out the items up for bid at Treasurer.IL.gov.