Sunday, April 28 Local News

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Published on April 28 2013 10:44 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

 It's been an historic month for rain in Illinois.  State Climatologist Jim Angel says Mother Nature dropped about two inches more rain than normal for the month of April.  The rain this weekend could move the month of April up in the rankings.  The wettest April on record was in 2011 when the average rainfall was seven-point-four inches.

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Peoria-area congressman Aaron Schock is ruling out a run for governor next year.  His staff says he will seek reelection to a fourth term in the House of Representatives.  Schock has been mulling a run for the state's top office since last fall, but he says he can be more effective serving the people in Washington D.C.

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The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is launching a new underage drinking prevention campaign that takes aim at adults.  Specifically, it targets adults who provide alcohol to people under 21.  Commission member Ted Penesis says the initiative is called "Your Actions Matter" and will highlight positive behaviors.  As part of the campaign, signs and posters will be put up where liquor is sold.

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Illinois State University football will be staying in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.  ISU director of athletics Gary Friedman yesterday said the Sun Belt Conference contacted the school about a possible move.  However, Friedman says the Redbirds are not interested in a change at this time.  He says the focus is to make the football program as strong as possible at their current level.

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The Illinois River continues to be at or above flood stage, and for some towns, the danger won't be over for several more days.  In Meredosia, the levee system has been keeping the town dry, but the river isn't expected to crest until early Sunday morning.  In Beardstown, the levees and floodwalls are also holding, but the river won't start to fall until tonight.  Governor Pat Quinn has added three counties to the disaster declaration list, bringing the total to 48.

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The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has announced an initiative to enhance safety for students, staff and visitors on college and university campuses.  Nine colleges and universities will participate in a pilot of the Ready to Respond Campus program, with a full rollout of hte program expected in January 2014.  Among the schools planning to participate: Heartland Community College in Normal, Parkland College in Champaign, Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg, SIU Carbondale, and the U of I in Urbana-Champaign.

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The newly-named dean of the School of Continuing Education at Eastern Illinois University has a history of building strong relationships between a university and its local and regional constituencies.  Regis Gilman, currently serving as interim dean of Educational Outreach at Western Carolina University, plans to assume her new job at the Charleston campus on July 1.

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Thursday marked a milestone; it was the day Illinoisans no longer were working this year to pay their federal, state and local taxes.  The average day for the nation as a whole was April 18.  The states with the earliest Tax Freedom Day are Louisiana and Mississippi, March 29.  The state with the highest tax burden is Connecticut, May 13.

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A Red Cross blood drive will be held today at St. John's Lutheran Church on West Jefferson in Effingham, from 8:30am to 12:30pm.

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The Effingham County 40 and Eight is holding its 35th annual pancake and sausage breakfast to benefit their Nurses Scholarship Fund.  The breakfast will continue until 11 this morning at the American Legion Post in Effingham.  The breakfast site is wheelchair-accessible.  The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for those under age 12.  The menu includes scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, coffee, orange juice and milk.

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A Ladies Tea Party is being held today at Altamont First United Methodist Church.  Refreshments of tea, coffee and assorted desserts is planned.  Take along your own cup.  The event is planned from 2-4pm.  Tickets at $5 each will be sold at the door. All proceeds will go to the Altamont Food Pantry, and Garden Club hanging baskets.

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The Sacred Heart PTA Pig-Out Breakfast is going on this morning at the Sacred Heart Parish Center at Henrietta and Fayette in Effingham.  The menu includes whole hog sausage, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, eggs, fruit, homemade rolls and breads, and beverages.  They'll be serving in the Parish Center until noon.  There is also a raffle and mystery box stand.  During the breakfast, Sacred Heart is hosting a Scholastic Book Fair, where all items are buy one, get one free.  The Book Fair will be held in the school lobby.  The cost of the meal is $6 for a large plate and $4 for a small plate.  Tickets are available at the door, and the public is invited.

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"The Rices" will present a gospel music concert tonight at 6:00 at Watson United Methodist Church.  The church building is located at the intersection of Routes 45 and 37 east of Watson, or near the Watson "T".

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A reminder of a benefit today for Teresa Foreman.  Teresa was born with a complicated heart defect.  She has numerous surgeries as a child.  In December, she suffered a perforated appendix.  Due to her heart history, she was treated in St. Louis and has accumulated numerous medical bills.  A meal featuring fried chicken, green beans, cole slaw, hash brown casserole, chips, rolls and dessert will be available from 11am to 1pm today along with a silent auction.  There will be entertainment by the Illinois Old-Time Fiddlers. 

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Ready for a laugh?  Cornerstone Christian Church of Effingham is hosting the professional comedy duo of Amy Barnes and Jerry Miner to brighten the night of area residents.  Barnes and Miner, a married couple, are stand-up comedians appearing in numerous venues across the US and Canada.  Show time tonight is 6:00.  Doors will open at 5pm at the church building, located at 3600 South Banker, along US 45 near the airport.  Ticket prices are $5 for individuals, or $20 for families of four or more.  Tickets will be available at the door.

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The Edgewood Masonic Lodge will host a ham and bean dinner today from 11am to 1pmm at the Lodge.  Donations will be accepted at the door.  Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the lodge's building fund.