8-04-2006

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THIRD VICTIM OF HOUSE EXPLOSION DIES

A third person has died from injuries sustained in a house explosion in Carlinville.  15-year-old Cody Hatlen died Thursday from burns he suffered in Wednesday morning's explosion.  Cody's mother and nephew also died during the explosion, which destroyed their home on Sue Street in Carlinville.  A neighboring house caught on fire and over a dozen others in the area were damaged.  Officials believe a natural gas leak may have caused the accident.  A fourth person is still being treated for his injuries at a Springfield hospital. 


FIRE DAMAGES ONE OFFICE AT JANSENS FARM EQUIPMENT

The Keyesport Fire Protection District was called out to a fire at Jansen’s Farm Equipment at 7:35 Thursda morning.  The fire was contained to one room because the door to that office was closed.  There was smoke damage to other offices in the building and in the parts area.  Firemen believe that the fire was started by a computer, it is not certain whether lightning from a storm that passed through the area had anything to do with the fire.  Firemen were on the scene for an hour and a half and the Wheat Field Fire Protection District provided mutual aid to Keyesport.


DEMO DERBY TONIGHT AT THE BOND COUNTY FAIR

One of the Bond County Fair’s largest attractions is tonight.  The Demo Derby starts at 7:30pm in the grandstand.  Other highlights include the opening of the Antique Farm Machinery Expo featuring Allis Chalmers.  This is the 30th anniversary of the Bond County Antique Machinery Club.  Harness racing is at 1pm and the carnival is operating from 1 until 4pm for Kids Day.  The carnival will open up again at 6pm.  On the west side of the fairgrounds you’ll find the Western Horse Speed Warm-Up Show at 7pm.  Performing tonight at 7:30 in the Activity Building is the band “Flat Broke.”


NEW SCAM TO STEAL IDENTITY TARGETED TOWARDS SENIORS

Senior Citizens on Medicare benefits need to be alert for a new scam targeted towards them. Imposters are aggressively call senior citizens pretending to be from Medicare. Anna Oestreich of the Bond County Senior Center said that Medicare and Social Securtiy have stepped up so much activity in the older adult population that people who would take advatage of those on Medicare are using this method to access personal information.

Oestreich told WGEL the new scam is being executed by people pretending to be from Medicare or Social Security and calling people on Medicare benefits saying that their benefits have been lost due to computer failure or some other reason and they are calling to confirm Social Security number or to get other personal information. Some people do direct deposti so sometimes the people making these calls will ask for personal banking information like routing numbers. She said that Social Security and Medicare usually do not make these types of calls.

Oestreich is advising senior citizens that if you get a call from someone claiming to be from Medicare or Social Security saying that your account has been canceled, the card lost and benefits terminated tell the person thank you for alerting you of the problem.  Then tell the person you are going to hang up and call Social Security or Medicare. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or at the Alton office at 618-463-6568. The representatives at one of these numbers will confirm if it is true or not.


NEW STATE LAW MAKES CORONER'S INQUESTS OPTIONAL

In a move to expedite the process for families following a loved one's death, a new law has been introduced making Coroner's Inquests Optional.  Bruce Bagg reporting from the Illinois State Capitol said the request was made by the Illinois Coroner's Association. Holding an inquest can add week's to determine the cause of death.  Therefore, in cases where the cause and matter of death is obvious and there are no signs of anything suspicious or criminal, signing a death certificate prior to holding an inquest can make it easier and quicker for families needing this documentation.  This new law is permissive and allows County Coroners to continue to hold inquests into every accidental death and suicide if they so choose. 

WGEL spoke with Bond County Coroner Alan Young on his reaction to this new law.  He said that his plan is to continue to do inquests on any death involving a police officer or police agency and anything that might be questionable.  But in the obvious cases he will be signing the death certificate immediately which will expedite the family's legal needs and should be a benefit to everyone. The new law will go into effect January 1, 2007.





PANDEMIC FLU PREPAREDNESS MEETING HELD

A second meeting has been held by the Bond County Health Department’s pandemic influenza preparedness committee.  Comprised of representatives from local health care organizations, school districts, law enforcement, governmental bodies, and other groups, the committee on Wednesday reviewed some of the scenarios if a pandemic hit the United States.

There has been a lot of coverage in the media on the avian flu also known as the bird flu.  In a handout given to the committee, it is stated that current models predict that a pandemic could come in three waves, sweeping the globe in weeks and lasting up to three months.  There is currently no known immunization for the Avian Flu virus.  While a handful of person-to-person cases of Avian Flu have been recorded worldwide, they have never gone beyond one person.  There have been no cases in the United States.

The Health Department is required to assemble a Pandemic Influenza Plan which includes treatment of patients, preventing the spread of illness, and public education.  Part of Thursday’s discussion focused on how a pandemic might affect schools, businesses, and law enforcement.  A regional pandemic flu exercise is scheduled in Fairview Heights in August.  Several committee members will be attending. 


SPORTS

FOOTBALL EQUIPMENT HANDOUT ANNOUNCED

Coach Aaron Duff has announced that all boys planning on playing Comets football this season need to report to the football locker room on Monday (August 7) for equipment handout.  All sophomores through seniors need to report at 8am.  Freshman must report at 10am.  All players are required to have a current physical.  Insurance papers and athletic codes need to be turned in on Monday.  Football practices begin Wednesday August 9 at 7:30am.





OBITUARIES

No New Local Obituaries


WEATHER

Saturday: Parly Cloudy-High: 90-Low: 72

Sunday: Sunny-High: 96-Low: 70


PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROMO

Join us this Sunday for WGEL’s Public Affairs Program.  Renee Morgan’s guests this week will be Greenville Elementary School Principal Scott Pasley and Fourth Grade Teacher at Greenville Elementary School Jackie Blumer.  Scott and Jackie will be talking about Greenville Elementary School being selected as a NASA Explorer School and some of the ways it will help the students.  That’s Public Affairs this Sunday following our Noon Bond County Area News here on WGEL.


 

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