12-05-2006 



SCHOOL IN SESSION TODAY WITH SORENTO STUDENTS ATTENDING AT GREENVILLE

Students in the Unit 2 School District will be in class today, however, due to extensive power outages in the Sorento area, an alternate plan for educating students has been set.  This plan be in effect until power has been restored to Sorento.  Sorento Students in grades Kindergarten through 8th will be bussed to two different Greenville locations: grades K-4 will have classes at the First Christian Church and grades 5-8 will have classes at the Junior High School in Greenville.  Buses will run at regular times for all students, including those attending Sorento.  Parents who normally drop students off at the Sorento School may do so at the regular time with children meeting in the cafeteria as it will be heated and a light breakfast will be provided.  All lunches will be served in the GES/Jr. High Cafeteria with Sorento students walking over from the church at a designated time.

All students in Bond County Unit 2 will be in classes, including those who are transported to alternate sites.  Students will return to Sorento at the regular time and buses will run the regular schedules.

The Pre-K Program has been canceled, but all teachers will still report to work.  Even though this is the plan for now, parents should continue to listen for updates.  As soon as power is restored to the Sorento School, classes will return to their normal schedule.


COUNTY BOARD MEMBERS SWORN IN MONDAY

Three newly elected board members were sworn in at the Bond County Board meeting Monday morning; Jill Franks, Frank Lucco and a new face on the board Gerald McCray. Jill Franks was then nominated and voted to Board Chairperson with Joe Whalen nominated and voted to Vice-Chairperson.  The regular meeting then got underway with Howard Elmore and Max Sussenbach presenting the board with a final plat of the Whispering Oaks subdivision off of Stowe Ave.  Elmore commented that lot sizes have remained the same, but lot lines were changed due to the terrain.  All certificates and necessary signatures are in order.  The board unanimously approved the final plat to the new subdivision.

In other business, the Bond County Board appointed Barbara Haller and Jimmie Markey to the Sugg Cemetery Board, approved the bills as presented and the Sheriff's Report for October.  In new business, Chairperson Franks said board committees would need to be filled at the next meeting along with the appointment of someone to the SWIDA Board.  Also discussed was the idea of having quarterly budget meetings with office holders in 2007.


HOSPITAL BAZAAR NOT AFFECTED BY RECENT ICE STORM

The 49th annual Greenville Regional Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Bazaar was again a success despite the first winter storm of the season.  The event was held for the first time at the Greenville Free Methodist Church and proceeds totaled over $38,800.  This is the third highest total in history with totals exceeding $30,000 every year since 2003.  Funds from this year's bazaar will be used by the auxiliary to fulfill their three-year $600,000 pledge to the Greenville Regional Hospital Imaging Services and Laboratory renovation project.

The 2006 Holiday Bazaar will be remembered for the challenges presented by the ice storm that hit Bond County on Thursday, November 29.  The Free Methodist Church had no power much of the day Friday, and yet volunteers began working at 7AM to set up their booths.  It's not sure whether the storm impacted attendance at the bazaar, as a few said they had no power, and it was nice to be in a warm area.



RESIDENTS IN SORENTO STILL HAVE NO ELECTRICITY

Many residents in Bond County that were without power over the weekend, and are now back in their homes with electricity and heat.  However, there are some areas in the county still without power.  On Monday WGEL spoke with Sorento Mayor Brett Kunkel who said that nearly 75% of the town has been without power since Thursday night around 10PM.  Four hundred people are using generators and kerosene heaters to warm their homes.  The city's water lines are now being supplied by Litchfield water pressure through a booster station that is being opened manually.  All three of the sewer lift stations are without electricity.  Kunkel said they are having to take generators to each of those and flush them, as not to have sewer back up in resident's homes. He said that Ameren IP has not been able to give an estimated date as to when power might be turned back on.

Ameren IP spokesperson Erica Abbot told WGEL that there are still a total of 300,000 customers without power with 150,000 of those in Illinois, and nearly 1200 in Bond County.  She said Ameren crews are working at least 18-hour days in most areas to restore power to their customers.


POWER CREWS CONTINUE TO RESTORE POWER

Ameren Outages in Bond County looked like this at 6:30 this morning:

In the Sorento zip code 398 customers restored and 314 remain without power. In the Greenville zip code 3272 restored and 91 still without power.

This morning Southwestern Electric reports they continue to work to restore power to members in Bond and Madison counties. In Bond County work crews were concentrated near Pocahontas and Reno. In Madison County, crews focused their efforts on repairing damage near Bethalto, Edwardsville, Holiday Shores, Worden, New Douglas, Troy and Fruit Road.  Even with the aid of support crews, Southwestern estimates many members may be without power through midweek. Monday, Southwestern Electric estimated about 1,800 members were still without power.


ETHANOL PLANT PLANNING UNDERWAY

The important first steps have begun in making Greenville’s ethanol production plant a reality.  City Manager Dave Willey and Greenville’s Code Enforcement Officer Bill Grider recently met with engineers from Alternative Energy Sources to review the railroad track layout. 

Willey confirmed that railroad designers are mapping out where the rail access will be situated.  This will determine exactly where the 100 acre ethanol plant is located in the 500 acre park.  Willey added that this also impacts future development in the park. Alternative Energy Sources has announced plans to build facilities in not only Greenville but also in Kankakee and Boone County, Iowa.


MULBERRY GROVE HOMECOMING CORONATION

Despite the winter storm that rolled through the area the Mulberry Grove Junior Senior High coronation and homecoming dance was held Saturday night. The new prince and princess are 8th graders Allen Tompkins and Joanna Brewer and the new King and Queen are Seniors Brad Pospischel and Michelle Thole.  The theme for this year’s coronation was “Written in the Stars” and was held in the Mulberry High School gymnasium. 12 seniors total, six boys and six girls were nominated for king and queen. Four students from the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes were also a part of the court.


STEPHENS REELECTED TO HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP

After a caucus meeting of the Illinois House Republicans on Wednesday, State Representative Ron Stephens was re-elected to House Republican Leadership.  The leadership team is a group of eight members who set the agenda, determine priorities, and establish policies to guide the caucus through the legislative year. The new 95th General Assembly is expected to convene January 10th.


MARTINA CONCERT TICKET CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY

Martina McBride is bringing the joy of Christmas to the Scot Trade Center in St. Louis on Friday December 8th.  You could win a pair of tickets from your friends at WGEL.  On Wednesday, when you hear Rudolph open the WGEL ticket window, be caller #7 and you’re a winner.  You must be 18 or older and may only win once.  Only one winner per family.  Rudolph will open the WGEL ticket window on Wednesday giving you the chance to win Martina McBride concert tickets.


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