8-24-2006




STATE HAS FIRST WEST NILE DEATH

A Will County man in his sixties is the first West Nile virus death this year in Illinois.  The Will County Health Department reported its first human case of West Nile virus Tuesday and the man died the next morning.  To date the Illinois Department of Public Health has reports of fifteen human cases of West Nile virus across the state.  The first reported case this year was a St. Clair County man in his sixties.  Dr. Eric Whitaker, state public health director, says the West Nile virus activity in mosquitoes this year is approaching the levels seen in 2002 when Illinois led the nation in cases. 


WHITE HAS BEEN EXTRADITED TO ILLINOIS

Anthony S. White has returned to Illinois.  The 21-year-old who had escaped June 24 from the Bond County Jail was arrested a week later in Oldham County, Kentucky.  He was being held at the jail in LaGrange, Kentucky until he was extradited to the State of Illinois’ Juvenile Department of Corrections on August 9th.  White was allegedly hiding in a shower during the nightly lockdown at the Bond County Jail.  He ran out the front door of the jail wearing a jailer’s uniform.  The Sheriff’s Department alleges that White then stole a car from a Greenville residence. 

Although he is now 21, White was being held in the state’s juvenile DOC because he was serving a sentence that was handed down while he was still a juvenile.  White was in the Bond County Jail awaiting trial on an Aggravated Discharge of A Firearm case in which he allegedly fired shots in a residential area of Pocahontas. State’s Attorney Chris Bauer told WGEL that he will be contacting the juvenile DOC to begin the process of bringing White back to Greenville to face the Escape charges.  


UNIT 2 CONTRACT DETAILS RELEASED

As reported earlier this week on WGEL, the Unit 2 School Board of Education Monday night voted in favor of a new contract with certified and non-certified staff.  The total increase of salary and benefits for teachers will be $257,600 or 4.08%.  The district will continue to pay 100% of the employee’s health insurance but now offers two options in those plans.  The total increase of salaries for non-certified staff is $52,000 for approximately a 3.56% increase.  

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SUMMER WORK, NEW HIRES AND A STATE AWARD PRESENTED TO THE UNIT 2 BOARD OF EDUCATION

Scott Pasley was introduced at Monday night's Unit 2 Board of Education meeting as the new principal at Greenville Elementary. He said he was pleased with this opportunity and added that Kolin Dothager has been hired as a 5th grade teacher along with Susan Donaldson.  Pasley also commented on the upcoming NASA Explorer School events at GES with more information to be available at a later date.  Another new principal, Bill Carpenter at Sorento Elementary, said he is thankful for the chance to work with such a great staff, district and community.

High School Principal Kevin Cochrane reports the additions of Paul Thiess as a Social Studies teacher and girls basketball coach, Jay Winter as a Math Instructor, and Jason Pierce as a Special Education Teacher.  He added that a new 10-ft X 16-ft remote control screen for the auditorium was purchased by previous classes that will be used starting this fall. Cochrane also presented to the board a certificate from the State Board of Education that recognized the high school as a 2005 Academic Improvement School on the Illinois Honor Roll.  The criteria included 15-point improvement in state student assessments between 2003-2005 with a continuing upward trend.  He said he is proud of the students and faculty for making this possible.

Greenville Jr. High Principal Gary Brauns presented Chad Ambuehl as the new P.E. teacher and commended the marching band program headed by Judy Peddicord.  Brauns also thanked Alan Tomilson for the donation of a new floor mat for the Gym and thanked the staff for the continuing upkeep of the 5 year-old-building, as it still looks brand new.  Pocahontas Principal Mike O'Boyle reported new doors installed in the pod sections of the school and the start of the Breakfast Program. The PTO was also able to purchase new playground equipment.

Superintendent Allyn said it was a busy summer with many new additions to all buildings throughout the district. There were six new exterior doors and roof sections installed at Pocahontas; two entry doors at GES; roof sections at Sorento; sidewalk paths, benches and extensive air condition work at the High School; and painting and outside work at the Greenville Jr. High.  She commended all staff and faculty for making the start of the new school year a success.


GREEN STEM RESEARCH TO ASSIST ILLINOIS FARMERS

When soybean harvest rolls around this fall, there will be many farmers thankful for ongoing research at the University of Illinois into Green Stem.  Bruce Bagg reports from Springfield that Green Stem is a disorder that prevents soybean plant stems from drying down.  University of Illinois senior researcher Kurt Hill says that the cause is not yet known, but that it can slow down harvest. It's believed that Green Stem doesn't necessarily reduce yield, but the green stems remain moist and pliable, therefore combines can not cut through them.  Hill says that five years of U of I test plot tracking has developed a list of soybean varieties that do not get Green Stem, so the problem is diminishing as more farmers consider this when making seed choices

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SORENTO HOMECOMING WITH TWO PARADES AND ENTERTAINMENT

The Sorento Homecoming is this Friday and Saturday, August 25th and 26th. The carnival will open at 6:00 p.m. each night.  The Kiddie Parade, with the theme of "My Favorite Day of the Year" will start at 6:30 Friday night.  Josh Rench and Friends will be the entertainment following the parade. Joy Cruthis told WGEL that the Big Parade will be on Saturday the 26th at 6:00 p.m. followed by entertainment from Rural Rhythm.  The event is located on Main Street in Sorento.  Cruthis said there will be quite a few food stands and craft booths

Sorento was built in 1883 around the local coal-mining area.  The Grand Marshall's of the Big Parade on Saturday are Mary Ann White of Sorento and Mary Howard.  They were the first women coal miners to be hired at the Consol Coal Company in Coffeen in 1975.

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PUTS STOP TO KITE TUBING

One of the summer's newest water sport is also one of it's most dangerous.  WGEL spoke with Park Ranger Jackie Taylor about the new trend and how the Army Corps of Engineers hopes to put and end to it.  Taylor said that kite tubes are large inflatable devices similar to an inner, but that they have a solid fabric core on the bottom.  They are designed for one or two riders.   As they pulled from behind the boat the front of tube is lifted into the air like a kite with the rider on top. There have been three deaths reported throughout the nation and numerous injuries. Therefore the Corps of Engineers has banned kite tubing on all local waterways they oversee in Missouri and Illinois, which includes Carlyle and Rend Lakes.

Taylor said the Corps wants to make sure they can do everything possible to ensure that the public is safe while using their lakes and facilities. Warnings and citations will be issued to those operating and/or riding a kite tube, with a maximum penalty of $5,000 and six months in jail.




OBITUARIES

No New Local Area Obituaries


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