[rose] Roses to the Effingham County Fair, which celebrates its 75th year as it opens on Saturday in Altamont. Friday's fourth installment of the EDN's annual Farm Fair special sections gives a good overview of all the fun to be had there again this year. As EDN reporter Kaitlin Cordes put it, the fair "has something for everyone. Whether it’s the Demolition Derby, the 4-H shows or the fair food, fairgoers are sure to find what makes the Effingham County Fair so special. It’s sure to bring together history, tradition and something new for all who attend."

[rose] Another big event this weekend is EffingHAM-JAM, which opened in downtown Effingham on Friday. The local barbecue competition, Hometown Throwdown Corporate Challenge, set the stage Friday as a team of amateur barbecue enthusiasts competed for category trophies. Saturday is the official Kansas City Barbecue Society State Championship Competition from noon to 2 p.m., with the awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Start your day off by exploring the Effingham Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to noon, accompanied by live music.

[thorn] A pond in Neoga located at the south end of Industrial Avenue has signs posted banning all fishing due to blue-green algae. According to Brenda Evans, Neoga's clerk, the algae was discovered by city employees who were mowing and checking water lines in the area last week. According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency website, cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms that naturally occur in Illinois lakes and streams. Blue-green algae can reproduce very quickly in warm, shallow, undisturbed-surface water that receives a lot of sunlight. Blue-green algal blooms can look like blue or green paint spilled in the water, thick puffy blue or green foam on the surface of the water or swirling colors beneath the surface of the water. Odors of the blooms have been described as grassy, fishy or having a septic odor. When there is a rapid growth of algae, it can produce a bloom. When a bloom is created, it can create toxic chemicals, according to Kim Biggs, Public Information officer for the IEPA. Biggs said one of the reasons fishing has been banned in the pond is while someone is pulling the fish out of the water, they could expose themselves to algal bloom and toxins in the water.

[rose] Good news for Consolidated Communications customers. The company reported Friday afternoon that all customers should now have service, from those affected since the Tuesday morning vehicle accident took out a cabinet severing thousands of wires at the ground. “All customers should be in service now,” said Sarah Greider, corporate communications manager with Consolidated Communications. “However, if a customer who was impacted by the outage is still without service they should contact us at: 844-YOUR-CCI.” Greider said temporary repairs on the severed cable were completed Friday morning.

[rose] That was a cute story by EDN reporter Kaitlin Cordes this week, describing how when Cassie Heynen of Effingham went to the Effingham County Animal Shelter and Control to pick up her lost Great Pyrenees, Buddy, she found another member of her family. Heynen said the animal control officers showed her another Great Pyrenees that had been surrendered to the shelter. She said it didn't take much convincing for her to adopt the pup. "I was so upset and embarrassed that Buddy got away. Then I saw her," Heynen told Cordes. "It didn't take much for me to get talked into taking her."

[rose] Roses for Chasity Moses, 21, who is now a police officer in Greenup. Moses grew up in Jewett and attended Cumberland High School. She earned her associate's degree in Criminal Justice fromn Lakeland Community College. She attended police academy in October 2018 and graduated on Feb. 8 of this year. She was motivated to pursue a career in law enforcement by talking to other police officers and taking classes in law enforcement. "I've always wanted to do this," Moses told EDN reporter Crystal Reed. "I have a passion for helping people."

Effingham Daily News Editor Jeff Long can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 129 or by email at jeff.long@effinghamdailynews.com

Editor

Graduated with a degree in journalism from UW-Madison in 1987. Reporter at a newspaper outside London, England. Then a reporter at papers in Pennsylvania and Virginia. For 13 years, a reporter and editor at the Chicago Tribune. Named EDN editor in 2014.