11-08-2006 




BOND COUNTY INCUMBENTS FARE WELL

Three of the four incumbents on the ballot in Bond County were selected by the voters on Tuesday.  County Treasurer Katie Weiss was voted to a four year term as she tallied 57% of the vote to Republican challenger Della Field’s 42%.  There will be a new face on the Bond County Board.  Democrat Gerald “Spanky” McCray defeated the incumbent Dorine “Dodie” Price for the District 3 seat.  Democrat Frank Lucco had 66% of the vote to defeat Republican Justin Lurkins in County Board District 1.  Jill Franks, currently the board chair, was re-elected in District 4 by 48 votes over Republican Brock Willeford. 


DEMOCRATS CONTROL STATEWIDE OFFICES

Voters have selected Democrats for the entire slate of Illinois’ top offices.  Governor Rod Blagojevich defeated Republican challenger Judy Baar Topinka.  Other Democrats winning re-election were Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White, and Comptroller Daniel Hynes.  Democrat Alexander Giannoulias was a winner over Republican Christine Radogno for the treasurer’s job formerly held by Judy Baar Topinka. 

Republican John Shimkus is returning to Washington for another term as the US House member from the 19th Congressional District.  Shimkus picked up 60% of the vote over challenger Danny Stover.  Shimkus has been in Congress since 1997.

John O. Jones, the Republican Illinois Senator from the 54th District, won re-election over challenger Bart Wright. 


THREE JUDICIAL ELECTION RESULTS

Voters in Bond and Madison counties chose to retain 3rd Judicial Circuit Judges John Knight, Charles Romani, and Ann Callis on Tuesday. Knight is Bond County’s presiding judge; Romani is the Chief Judge of the Criminal Division; and Callis is the circuit’s Chief Judge.

Also elected was Democrat Barbara L. Crowder to fill the vacancy of George Moran on the 3rd Judicial Circuit who announced his retirement in 2005.  Crowder beat out Republican James Hackett.

The other judicial race, The Fifth District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon, which covers Bond and 36 other downstate counties, elected Democrat Bruce Stewart, currently the Presiding Judge of Saline County, over Republican incumbent Steven McGlynn of Belleville


LONGWALL MINING REFERENDUM TOTALS

Montgomery County voters have said “no” to a non-binding referendum concerning longwall mining.  Two companies, Hillsboro Energy and the Drummond Company, have proposed using longwall mining in Montgomery County.  The question on Tuesday’s ballot asked, “Shall the longwall method of mining coal be prohibited in Montgomery County?”  Voters cast 5,811 “no” votes and 5,035 “yes” votes for a difference of 776.


MADISON COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS

There were a couple races that affected Highland area residents in the Madison County Election Tuesday.  Democratic incumbent Fred Bathon was re-elected as Madison County Treasurer and in the race for District 4's County Board seat, Democratic incumbent, Robert A Daiber maintained his seat by 866 votes over Republican challenger Gene Rincker.


CLINTON COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS

Voters in Clinton County had several choices Tuesday including filling seven seats on the County Board.  In District 1, voters chose Democratic incumbent Brian Hitpas and Democrat Craig Roper.  For District 2 Republican candidate Jack Taylor retained his seat.  In that same district, Democrat Steven J. Heiligenstein won an unexpired 2-year term.  For Clinton County Board District 3 Republican incumbent Lavern G. Holtgrave was re-elected.  And in District 4, with two seats open, Republican incumbent James Howard Sullivan was re-elected along with Republican Allan R. Huelsmann.

In the four propositions on the Clinton County ballot, the property tax for social services for senior citizens not to exceed .25 percent passed along with the $1.25 million in bonds to be issued to the Aviston School District. However, the third proposition to issue $2.1 million in bonds to the Germantown School District did not pass. The proposal to increase the maximum Annual Education Tax Rate to 1.17 percent for the Germantown District was also turned down.


 FAYETTE COUNTY VOTERS ELECTED A NEW SHERIFF

Fayette County voters elected a new Sheriff on Tuesday, Republican Aaron L. Lay.  He will replace Harold Johnson who decided not to run after two terms as Sheriff.

The challengers were winners in two of the Fayette County Board races, Republican Greg Fulk won the District 6 seat, which covers the Brownstown area and Republican Blaine J. (B.J.) Wilhour won the District 7 seat.

 
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DELINQUENT TAX SALE RESULTS IN OVER $160K

Last Tuesday's Bond County delinquent tax sale resulted in 206 parcels being sold for $160,111.  This amount does not include interest or penalties.  There were eight buyers and according to Treasurer Katie Weiss, taxing districts should receive their money from the sale within the next thirty days.


ILLINOIS RECEIVES LOW SCORE ON EDUCATION FUNDING EQUITY

In its 10th annual report entitled Quality Counts 2006, “Education Week” graded the states based on more than 100 indicators of education policy in four areas:  standards and accountability, efforts to improve teacher quality, school climate, and resource equity.  Overall, Illinois received a grade of C+ and the researchers concluded that the state was about average.  Illinois scored above average in the area of standards and accountability with a B+.  However, the state received a grade of D+ for the area of resource equity.  This compares local education revenue available to wealthy versus poor school districts.  Illinois placed 41st. 

The state’s share of education funding has dropped dramatically during the last few fiscal years.  After reaching a high of 38.8% in school year 2001-2002, the state’s share decreased five percentage points in the next three years.  The decrease in the state’s portion was offset by an increase in the federal and local share.

These statistics were recently released by Comptroller Daniel Hynes in his September issue of “Fiscal Focus.”


ETHANOL PLANT IN THE WORKS FOR NOKOMIS

A new ethanol plant will be built in Montgomery County.  Metro News Source reports that a company named Illinois Central Ethanol announced plans earlier this week to develop a facility in Nokomis.  The dry mill plant will use an estimated 18 million bushels of corn to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol annually.  Dry mill ethanol processing plants are usually smaller than their wet mill counterparts.  Dry mill plants typically produce fewer byproducts.  The Nokomis plant will create up to 40 jobs once completed in the fall of 2008.


PROPOSAL TO RAISE MINIMUM WAGE

Governor Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley have announced plans to introduce legislation during the November veto session to raise the minimum wage to $7.50 an hour.  Under the proposed bill, the state’s minimum wage would rise $1 to $7.50 per hour beginning July 1, 2007.  Beyond that date, the minimum wage would be indexed with the annual rate of inflation.  This means that each year the wage will be recalculated to reflect the amount that the price of goods and services has increased. 

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OBITUARIES

LINDA NEUMANN

102-year-old Linda M. Neumann of Alhambra, formerly of Bond County, passed away Monday, November 6 at St. Joseph Hospital in Highland.  Funeral services for 102-year-old Linda M. Neumann are Thursday at 10am at the Evangelical United Church of Christ in Highland.  Visitation is Wednesday from 4-8PM at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home and again Thursday from 9-10am at the Evangelical United Church of Christ.  Burial will be in Hug Cemetery in Millersburg.

RICKEY P MACON

Rickey P. Macon, age 54, of Greenville passed away Monday, November 6 at his residence.  Visitation for 54 year-old Rickey P. Macon will be held Friday from 7-8PM with a memorial service at 8PM at the Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville.  Memorials may be made to the family.


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