11-06-2006

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ELECTION NUMBER TWO FOR VOTING SYSTEM

The Optiscan voting system’s second use will be Tuesday and Bond County Clerk Randy Reitz says this will be a bigger test than the Spring primary.  He points to the expected higher voter turnout as a chance for Optiscan to show its “user friendliness.”

Optiscan requires voters to use a black felt pen to fill out ovals beside the names of the candidates they wish to vote for.  It’s important that they fill in the oval and not just put a checkmark or “x” in the circle.  The voter then gets to feed their own ballot into the computer at the polling place. 

We asked Reitz about the reviews on Optiscan that he’s heard from fellow county clerks across the state.  He admits that at first he was hesitant to accept the state-mandated change in balloting.  Reitz says, “Everyone loves it.”  He adds that because of this system there should be no long lines at polling places. 

Make sure you know where your polling place is prior to going to vote.  The polls are open from 6am until 7pm Tuesday.


BOND COUNTY RACES

When heading to the polls on Tuesday, November 7, Bond County residents will see candidates vying for several positions on the ballot.  There are three county board seats available.  District 1's Democratic incumbent Frank L. Lucco is being challenged by Republican Justin L. Lurkins.  Republican incumbent Dorine "Dodie" Price facing Gerald L. "Spanky" McCray for District 3's seat.  In District 5, Democratic incumbent Jill Franks is being challenged by Republican Brock Willeford.  Franks is currently the board chairman.

The Bond County Treasurer's race has generated a lot of interest. Democratic incumbent R. Katie Weiss is being challenged by Republican Della Field.  Weiss was appointed in the fall of 2004 to replace Bill Johnson. Randy Reitz for County Clerk and Sheriff Jeffrey J. Brown are both running unopposed.


CLINTON COUNTY BOARD SEATS ON TUESDAY BALLOT

On November 7, voters in Clinton County will have several choices to make when going to the polls.  There are seven seats open on the County Board.  In District 1, voters will choose from three men to fill two seats.  The candidates are Democratic incumbent Brian Hitpas, Democrat Craig Roper and Republican Jason M. Herzing.  For District 2 Democrat Stephen P. Kauling is challenging incumbent Republican candidate Jack Taylor.  In that same district, Democrat Steven J. Heiligenstein and Republican Jack Satterfield are vying for an unexpired 2-year term seat previously held by Brian Guthrie.  For Clinton County District 3 Democrat Jeremiah "Jay" Meyer is challenging the Republican incumbent Lavern G. Holtgrave.  And in District 4 there are two seats open in which Democrat Jim E. Timmermann and Republican Allan R. Huelsmann are challenging Republican incumbent James Howard Sullivan.

There are four propositions on the Clinton County ballot as well. The first is a property tax for social services for senior citizens not to exceed .25 percent of the equalized or assessed value. Another is to issue $1.25 million in bonds to the Aviston School District to improve the school building and build a new storage building.  The third proposition is to issue $2.1 million in bonds to the Germantown School District to acquire additional land to improve and repair the school, including renovating the existing gymnasium for instructional use and building a new gym.  The last proposition also involves the Germantown School District and asks whether or not to increase the maximum Annual Education Tax Rate to 1.17 percent.


FAYETTE COUNTY VOTERS TO ELECT NEW SHERIFF

Fayette County voters on Tuesday will elect a new Sheriff.  Running for this position are Democrat David K. Harris and Republican Aaron L. Lay.  One of these men will replace Harold Johnson who decided not to run after two terms as Sheriff.

In Fayette County Board races, Republican Greg Fulk is challenging the Democratic incumbent Morgan W. Pryor for the District 6 seat, which covers the Brownstown area.  And Republican Blaine J. (B.J.) Wilhour is challenging the Democratic incumbent Crystal A. Brasel for the District 7 seat that includes the St. Elmo area.


MADISON COUNTY RACES

A couple races that will affect Highland area residents in the Madison County Election on Tuesday are candidates running for County Treasurer and County Board. Democratic incumbent Fred Bathon is facing Republican Kurt Prenzler for the treasurer's position.  And in the race for District 4's County Board seat, Democratic incumbent, Robert A Daiber is being challenged by Republican Gene Rincker.  


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STATEWIDE OFFICES TO BE DECIDED TUESDAY

Voters on Tuesday will find a full slate of candidates for the statewide offices including representatives of the Green Party. Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, is facing Republican Judy Baar Topinka, and the Green Party’s Rich Whitney.  Topinka is currently the state treasurer. The candidates for lieutenant governor are Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn, Republican Joe Birkett, and Green Party’s Julie Samuels. The attorney general’s race features incumbent Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, and Republican Stewart Umholtz and Green Party’s David F. Black.

Secretary of State Jesse White is being challenged by Republican Dan Rutherford and Green Party’s Karen Young Peterson. Comptroller Daniel Hynes is seeking re-election and is opposed by Republican Carole Pankau and Green Party’s Alicia Marie Snyder. And running for Illinois Treasurer are Republican Christine Radogno, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, and Green Party’s Dan Rodriguez Schlorff.  The winner of this race replaces Judy Baar Topinka.


CONGRESSIONAL AND ILLINOIS HOUSE RACES PREVIEW

Voters in 30 counties will elect a member of the US House of Representatives for the 19th District.  This includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, and Fayette counties.  The district stretches from Sangamon and Christian counties to Massac County on the south.  The incumbent is Republican John Shimkus of Collinsville who has served in Congress since 1997.  Shimkus attended West Point and is currently a lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserves.  He was a teacher at Metro-East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville prior to entering into public service.

The Democratic challenger, Danny Stover is a Centralia city councilman and chairman of the Marion County Mental Health Board.  He also was a program coordinator and instructor for Kaskaskia College’s Administration of Justice and Political Science department. 

An Illinois House of Representatives race that has generated a lot of interest is in the 107th District which covers parts of Clinton, Fayette, and Effingham counties.  Democrat Kurt Granberg of Carlyle has been an Illinois House member since 1987 and is currently the Assistant Majority Leader.  His opponent, Republican John D. Cavaletto of Salem, spent 37 years as a teacher, basketball coach, and administrator in several school districts including Mater Dei, Salem, and Mulberry Grove from 1966 through 1968.


SOME CANDIDATES RUNNING UNOPPOSED

A few of Tuesday’s races will lack drama as candidates are running unopposed.  These include State Senator Frank Watson in the 51st District, State Representative Ron Stephens in the 102nd District, Bond County Clerk Randy Reitz, Bond County Sheriff Jeff Brown, and Regional Superintendent of Schools Mark Drone.  His district includes Bond, Effingham, and Fayette counties.


SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION PACKETS AVAILABLE THIS MONTH

The General Election is just around the corner.  November 7th is not only a day to go out and vote, but it's also the day when school board election packets, including the petitions, will be available for the Spring 2007 election.  They may be picked up at the Unit 1 and Unit 2 offices.  If you're interested in running for either board, the filing period for candidates is January 29 through February 6, 2007. Petitions must be turned back into the appropriate unit office.  The election is April 17, 2007.

Three seats are open on each board and include those currently held by Tom Theiss, Ron Smith and Roger Staff in Unit 2; and Bill Johnson, Kevin Rickman and Teresa Tompkins in Unit 1.

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LANGHAM OUTFITTERS OPENS

The public got a close look at a new enterprise in Bond County Saturday. Langham Outfitters and Vacation Lodge entertained a big crowd who came out to enjoy the hunting seminars and a huge Bar-B-Q. Earlier in the day Bow hunters held a mid day pheasant hunt. Professional hunters shared their expertise in several seminars Saturday evening and the crowd enjoyed the music of the Chapman Brothers. Langham's Outfitters and Vacation Lodge is located just off Route 127 just South of Donnaldson on 750 acres of mostly woods perfect for deer and turkey hunting.


RESULTS OF SECOND STATEWIDE METH PRECURSOR COMPLIANCE CHECK RELEASED

Following the second statewide check to determine whether retailers are abiding by restrictions on the sale of the methamphetamine precursors, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent said retailer compliance is improving and the number of Illinois meth labs is dropping. The second round of compliance checks focused on convenience stores and found that 81% no longer sell meth precursors and 49% of stores that do sell meth precursors are fully compliant with the restrictions.

As compliance with the restrictions on sales has increased, the number of meth labs has dropped.  The number of labs seized by the ISP fell by nearly half during the third quarter of 2006, when ISP seized 136 labs, compared to the third quarter of 2006 when ISP seized 257 labs.

CARLISLE SYNTEC SHOWS OFF THEIR NEW WAREHOUSE

Friday afternoon officials at the Greenville Carlisle SynTec plant showed off their new 294 thousand square foot warehouse to local business and political leaders and the press. Built at a cost of $9,800,000 the new warehouse is protected from fire by over 4000 sprinkler heads.  If you have driven on route 127 near the Conrail overpass lately you have seen this enormous structure. According to plant manager Andy Ferman for the first time since the plant opened 26 years ago Carlisle does not have to rent warehouse space and the structure was built larger then currently needed to accommodate future growth. The new building resulted in new jobs plus represents a major investment that should help insure a Carlisle SynTec presents in Bond County for many years to come. Carlisle employs 450 people in Bond County.


MONDAY SPORTS

HS FOOTBALL

The Greenville Comets post season journey continues following a 32-16 win over Breese Central on Saturday.  The Cougars scored their 16 points in the fourth quarter.  Derek Atchison scored touchdowns on 49 and 46 yard passes.  Josh Hulvey ran for two TDs and Nick Koonce scored the other.  Hulvey had 104 yard rushing and Josh Tebbe passed for 155 yards.  The Comets are now 10-1 have made it to the Class 3A Elite 8 and will host Anna-Jonesboro on Saturday at 1:30pm.

In other scores:

Jacksonville blanked Nokomis 36-0 and Mt. Olive was a 43-28 winner in Class 1A. 

Anna Jonesboro is 11-0 following their 41-7 win over Alton Marquette in Class 3A.

Mater Dei defeated Quincy Notre Dame 30-19 in Class 4A.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The GC Panthers won 45-7 over Concordia on Saturday.  Greenville scored 31 of its points in the 2nd quarter.  Dominic Kegel and Cody Griffith each had two touchdowns.  GC is now 6-3 on the season and wrap up their regular season this Saturday. 

COLLEGE SOCCER

The Panthers lost their Regional final game 2-1 to Fontbonne in overtime on Saturday. 

JR HIGH BASKETBALL

The Varsity Sorento Greyhounds defeated Mulberry Grove 32-22. Paul Schreiber had 12 points. The JV Greyhounds were 39-33 winners over the Eagles. Jack Chilovich had 12 points and Ray O'Brien 10.


OBITUARIES

PAUL OMELSON

Paul Omelson, age 55 of Freeburg and formerly of Greenville, passed away Saturday at his residence.  Funeral mass for 55-year-old Paul Omelson will be held Tuesday at 10AM at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Freeburg.  Visitation is tonight from 3-9PM at the Valhalla Holten Funeral Home of Belleville.  Memorials to Hospice of Southern Illinois.  Paul Omelson was a former member of the Greenville Police Department. 


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