11-03-2006

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FARM BUREAU ALLOWS VOTERS TO "MEET THE CANDIDATES"

The Globe Theatre was the venue for the Bond County Farm Bureau's candidates forum last night. Local candidates for county offices answered questions submitted by the Farm Bureau board and  presented by Farm Bureau Executive Director Ron Marshal. Bond County Treasurer Katie Weiss and her opponent Della Field were first to talk to the voters. Both spoke about their qualifications and their vision for improving county services to residents. Besides the very competitive treasurer's race voters will be choosing three Bond County Board positions. Board Chairperson Jill Franks is challenged by local attorney Brock Willeford. Incumbent Dodie Price's opponent is Gerald McCray, and incumbent Frank Lucco's competition is Justin Lurkins. You can see the entire Meet The Candidates Forum tonight at 6PM on Greenville Cable Channel 3; also WGEL will broadcast the forum Saturday night at 8PM.


GOOD VOTER TURNOUT EXPECTED

When Election Day rolls around, the most optimistic person in Bond County is usually Clerk Randy Reitz who is always hopeful for a big turnout.  Judging upon the number of ballots cast by grace voters, early voters, and absentee, Tuesday could see a lot of people entering the voting booth.

“That’s always my hope,” Reitz said.  “I’d like to see a 90% turnout but it’s never happened.  Four years ago in the Governor’s race we had a 61% turnout and I expect more than that (this year.)”  Reitz pointed to the number of issues on the ballot as a draw.  These range from the Governor to a US House race and Bond County treasurer and county board races. 

Reitz said Thursday was the final day for early voters.  This new option allowed anyone to vote without providing a reason, a requirement for absentee balloting.  The county clerk told WGEL that over 250 people had taken advantage of early voting.  Absentee ballots may be cast through Monday.  Reitz’s office will be open from 8 until noon Saturday for absentee voters.  The polls will be open from 6am until 7pm Tuesday.


THREE JUDICIAL RACES ON THE TUESDAY BALLOT

Voters will find three judicial issues on Tuesday’s ballot.  The first involves the retention of 3rd Judicial Circuit judges John Knight, Charles Romani, and Ann Callis.  The 3rd Circuit includes Bond and Madison counties.  Voters will be asked if these judges should be retained in office.  It is a yes or no question on the ballot.  Knight, a former Bond County State’s Attorney, is Bond County’s presiding judge; Romani, also a former Bond County State’s Attorney, is the Chief Judge of the Criminal Division; and Callis is the circuit’s Chief Judge, a position she was elected to in May of this year. 

Voters will also fill the vacancy of George Moran on the 3rd Judicial Circuit who announced his retirement in 2005.  His spot on the bench has been filled temporarily by retired judge Lola Maddox.  On the ballot are Republican James Hackett and Democrat Barbara L. Crowder.  Hackett grew up in Edwardsville and had a general law practice for 17 years before serving for 11 years as an Associate Judge.  Crowder was named an Associate Judge in January 1999 and is now the Presiding Judge of the Madison County Family Court. 

The other judicial race involves Bond and 36 other downstate counties.  The Fifth District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon hears appeals from cases in its member counties.  This district stretches from Christian and Shelby counties to the north down to the southernmost counties of Alexander, Pulaski, and Massac.  The candidates are incumbent Steven McGlynn of Belleville who was appointed to the Appellate Court in July 2005.  McGlynn, a Republican, was a fourth generation member of a family law firm prior to the bench appointment.  His challenger is Democrat Bruce Stewart, currently the Presiding Judge of Saline County, a job he has held since 1998.  Stewart spent 19 years practicing general law before his appointment as a Circuit Judge in the 1st Judicial Circuit.


SECRETARY OF STATE OFFICES CLOSED ON ELECTION DAY

Secretary of State Jesse White has announced that all Secretary of State offices and facilities will be closed Tuesday, November 7 for the statewide elections.  Normal business hours will resume Wednesday November 8.

Additionally, all Secretary of State offices and facilities normally open Monday through Friday will be closed Friday, November 10 for Veteran's Day.  They will resume normal business hours Monday, November 13.  Facilities normally open Tuesday through Saturday will be open Friday, November 10 and closed Saturday, November 11.  They will resume normal business hours Tuesday, November 14.


LONG WALL MINING HOT TOPIC ON MONTGOMERY BALLOT

It’s a simple “yes or no” question on Tuesday’s Montgomery County ballot.  However, the topic has been one of the most talked about in the last year for residents of that county.  Voters are asked to consider whether longwall coal mining should be prohibited in Montgomery County.  It is an advisory, non-binding referendum that has been supported by a group calling itself CALM or Citizens Against Longwall Mining.  The Montgomery County Farm Bureau has also expressed its opposition to this type of mining which has been proposed by two companies, Hillsboro Energy and the Drummond Company. 

State Representative Gary Hannig says that if the referendum passes he will push statewide legislation prohibiting longwall mining in Montgomery County.  Opponents cite subsidence as their primary concern.  To get a permit, companies must submit a subsidence plan.


SHIMKUS HELP DESK COMING TO GREENVILLE

If you have questions about your Social Security benefits, tax questions, questions about any other federal government agency or would like to receive your military medals that were lost or never received then be sure to mark you calendar for November 9. Congressman John Shimkus will be sending a member of his staff to meet with area residents at the First Bank Community Room in Greenville from 1:30-3pm.

Shimkus calls this service his “Traveling Help Desk,” where you can seek assistance from his office.  Appointments are not necessary; just stop in. If you require special accommodations call 344-3065 at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled office hours




REVIEW BOARD ON TIF DISTRICTS MET THURSDAY

The Joint Review Board for Greenville's two proposed TIF districts met Thursday at the municipal building. The board was created to represent the taxing entities within the TIFs and includes representatives from Central Township, Unit 2, Kaskaskia College, the Greenville Fire Protection District, the Kingsbury Park District, the City of Greenville, and a member of the public. After hearing from Mike Webber, the attorney consultant putting together the two districts for the city, the board decided to take Webber's information back to their respective boards and meet November 21 to pass their non-binding recommendation. That recommendation would be passed along to the city council.

Don Albert, County Assessor, said he had originally been opposed to the TIF districts, but after looking into the proposal, had no objection to passing a favorable recommendation and made a motion to do so. Other members wanted to wait until they had a chance to review the proposal.  One of the districts takes in most of the downtown Greenville area and the other deals with property near Route 127 and I-70. The purpose of a TIF or tax increment financing district is to set aside any additional property tax generated in those areas by expanded business activity to enhance infrastructure within its boundaries.  Since there will be a public hearing on the proposals on December 12th, the earliest the city council could move on the TIF recommendations would be December 26th.


GC POSTS BIG ENROLLMENT NUMBERS FOR FALL

Greenville College has posted its final enrollment figures for the fall semester.  A total of 1,451 students registered an increase of 100 over last fall.  The college’s primary areas of growth are in the undergraduate student population as well as the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program, which has almost doubled in size since last fall. 

Vice President of Enrollment Dr. Pepper Dill attributes the growth to the consistency and expertise of the admissions counselors and leadership by the director of admissions, Michael Ritter.  A GC alum, Ritter said he strongly believes the college’s best days are ahead.


TRS REACTS TO LEVINE PLEA

Former TRS trustee, Stuart Levine, has pled guilty to extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from investment firms seeking to do business with the Teachers’ Retirement System. TRS is cooperating in the investigation; providing documents, data, and testimony to the FBI and to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Levine admitted using his position and influence as a TRS trustee to coerce investment firms to pay “finder’s fees” for consulting work that was never provided. Prosecutors say Levine and another man, Tony Rezko, were the true recipients of the fees. Levine and former TRS outside counsel Steven Loren allegedly concealed these fees from the TRS Board of Trustees and agency staff. 


CUSTOMERS IN KEYESPORT AREA WITHOUT POWER WEDNESDAY

Some residents in Keyesport were without power for a few hours Wednesday.  An Ameren IP spokesperson told WGEL that around 2PM a truck snagged a wire near an entrance to a gravel pit in the Keyesport area.  This caused 93 customers to lose power at that time.  Ameren crews responded to the scene, and once the damaged wire was located, turned off the power to an additional 243 customers for twenty minutes to safely repair the wire.  Service was restored to all customers around 5:30PM and all repairs were made




FRIDAY SPORTS

HS FOOTBALL

The Comets have adanced to the second round of the IHSA football playoffs. Greenville takes it's 9 and 1 record to Breese Central Saturday for a 1pm game. The Breese Cougars are 6 and 4. It's the Comets vesrsus the Cougars this Saturday at 1pm live on WGEL Radio.

JR HIGH GIRLS BASKETBALL

The 8th grade Lady Bluejays topped Vandalia 20-16 in overtime. Kayla Gray and Carsen Funneman each had 6 points. Gray pulled down 9 rebounds. The 7th graders lost 32-9 to Vandalia. Cheyenne Rogier had 4 points.


OBITUARIES

No New Local Area Obituaries


WEATHER

Saturday: Partly Sunny Turning Mostly Cloudy High: 55 Low: 25

Sunday: Mostly Cloudy 30% of Rain High: 50 Low: 40


PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROMO

Join us this Sunday for WGEL's Public Affairs Program. Our guest this week is, Editor of The Old Farmer's Almanac, Janice Stillman.  Janice will tell us the history of The Old Farmer's Almanac, how their weather forecasts are so accurate, and the weather forecast for our region for 2007.  That's Public Affairs this Sunday following our noon Bond County Area News here on WGEL.


 

IT'S FRIDAY AND WELCOME TO THE WEEK-END!!!

STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE LATEST LOCAL NEWS, SPORTS, AND WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND TOWN, BY TUNING INTO WGEL FM 101.7

 

 

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