An 86-year-old Greenville man is the second person in Illinois to die from the West Nile virus this year.  The announcement was made Tuesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.  The unnamed man was initially treated at Greenville Regional Hospital and then transferred to a Missouri hospital.

WGEL talked with Bond County Health Department Director Maxine Barth about their role in monitoring the case.  The health department was contacted on Friday August 25 by its communicable disease coordinator out of Glen Carbon.  The 86-year-old man was a patient at Des Peres Hospital in Kirkwood, Missouri.  The health department then contacted the Illinois Department of Public Health and waited for confirmation. 

Barth could not confirm that the man contracted West Nile locally but she pointed out that there have been positive test results on birds and mosquito pools in Bond County.  She explained to WGEL that people need to know that West Nile is not contagious.  However, there are things we can do to lessen the likelihood of a mosquito bite.  These include: avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active, wear long pants and sleeves along with shoes and socks when outside at night, and use insect repellant with DEET.  Also, homeowners should eliminate any standing water. 

Symptoms of West Nile include high fever, lethargy, and neck pain.  Barth encourages anyone who thinks they might have West Nile to see a physician.  An early diagnosis is crucial so antibiotic treatment can begin.  Only about two persons out of ten who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness.  The state's first West Nile virus death this year was August 23 in Will County. 


The Illinois State Police announced that the Illinois Crime rate fell 3.1 percent in 2005.  Reports of murder, theft and motor vehicle theft were the biggest decreases.  State Police Director Larry G. Trent said the continued decrease indicates the government is moving in the right direction.  Law enforcement agencies throughout the state reported a total of 473,834 indexed crimes occurred last year compared to 486,469 in 2004.  The rates were down in three categories: murder, theft, and motor vehicle theft. There was a slight rise, however, in robbery, burglary, arson, criminal sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault and battery. 

Director Trent says the Illinois State Police is committed to working with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of citizens.  Groups such as the Meth Response Teams, that handled a total of 559 incidents and seized nearly 34,000 grams of drugs, and enhancements to DNA technology have helped to lower Illinois crime rates.


The Highland School Board and district teachers Monday night agreed on a new two-year contract.  According to the Belleville News Democrat, Highland teachers will receive a 3 percent pay increase the first year and 3.25 percent the second year.  Teachers had been working since August 23 without a contract.  A retirement benefit was also featured in the agreement, calling for teachers to receive a 6 percent raise each year for the last three years they teach.  A letter of resignation must be turned in before the retirement pay would take effect.


The Madison County Sheriff's Department investigated two large underage drinking parties over the weekend.  The first was in front of a residence on Route 143 in rural Edwardsville.  Twenty-five people were charged with Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor.

Around 11:15 Saturday night, Madison County deputies responded to an anonymous tip of an alleged underage drinking party on Frey Meadows Road in rural Pocahontas.  Officers followed loud music coming from a shed near a residence and found the alleged drinking party.  Thirteen teenagers ranging in age from 17 to 19 were charged with Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor.  The homeowner, 58-year-old Charlotte L. Resmann, arrived as deputies were investigating.  She was arrested for alleged Unlawful Delivery of Alcoholic Liquor and Battery. 


A fifteen-year-old Mulberry Grove student was arrested by deputies on Monday morning after a fight on school property.  Teachers were attempting to break up the fight when the boy allegedly struck a high school staff member.  The juvenile was taken into custody on two counts of alleged aggravated battery. 


The Pocahontas Village Board discussed revising the Liquor Licensing Ordinance. The revision would increase the annual fee and allow business owners to extend their hours of operation. The village attorney was asked to draft the new ordinance and bring it before the board for approval at next month's meeting.

The board is also considering increasing the amount of the fine for breaking an ordinance. Currently the fine upon conviction is not less that $3 and no more than $500. There was some discussion of raising the range to no less than $100 and no more than $500. No decision was made and the issue was tabled till next month




Congratulations to our winners of tickets to see Kenny Chesney in concert Friday at the Savvis Center…Cindy Clark and Maxine Mollett.  They both won a pair of tickets to see Kenny, Dierks Bentley, and Carrie Underwood.  Thanks to everyone who called and registered to win the tickets courtesy of Illinois Paving and Exclusive Pottery Design Furniture Gallery at Thompson’s Home Center.  Again, congratulations to Cindy Clark and Maxine Mollett…enjoy the show from your friends at WGEL.


The National Road, our country’s first interstate highway, is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. It’s already been designated a National Scenic Byway, an All-American Road, and a National Civil Engineering Landmark. Gary Kruger, Illinois National Road Association member, is inviting people to join him for a 1,400-mile round trip from Cahokia Mounds to Cumberland, MD. The trip will begin on September 18 and Kruger expects to return on September 28.  He will be stopping at historic sites, museums, antique shops, and more along the way. You can join him for as long as you wish. 

Some information to consider if planning on going on the trip: there is no charge to participate, admission to private facilities and special tours will be limited to those who let him known by Wednesday, September 13th that you will be participating, each driver is responsible for arranging your own lodging, and you must pay for your own meals and admissions.  Cars will travel 40-50mph. A tour license plate will be available to those who order one before Thursday, September 7.   For more information call Kruger at 217-343-3430.



Arthur R. Dickson, age 87, of south of Mulberry Grove, passed away at 9:53 p.m. Monday at Barnes Hospital in St.Louis.  Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday September 1, 2006 at the Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greeenville with Rev. Francis Hudson officiating. Interment will follow in Noffsinger Cemetery with Full Military Honors by  Crawford Hale American Legion Post 282 of Vandalia. Friends may call at the Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville from 10 a.m. Friday until service time. For those who desire memorials may be made to the Pleasant Mound Methodist Church or the American Diabetes Assn.

Arthur Robert Dickson, the son of Robert Bruce Dickson and Altha Mae Cripe, was born on October 7, 1918 on the Dickson Farm south of Mulberry Grove in Seminary Township, Fayette County, Illinois. He grew up there and attended Willo Branch one room School. In his youth his mother died and his father married Flora T. Caylor Dickson. Following her death in 1956 he married Martha Dooley Dickson in 1958.

Robert farmed with his father, then worked for the Penn Rail Road laying rails. He returned home in 1941 and answered his countries call by joining the Army on January 23, 1942 at Camp Grant. He rose to the rank of Tech 4 serving overseas and was in battles including Northern France, the Battle of the Bulge, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. He was awarded the European Middle Eastern Theater Service medal with 2 overseas service bars and the Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged on October 19, 1945 at Camp McCoy. He returned to farming. He worked for the State Highway Department later transferring into the Department of Corrections raising to the rank of Lieutenant retiring in 1983 after 30 years of service.
Robert and Kathleen E. Miller were united in marriage in March 16, 1946 in Effingham and have enjoyed over 60 years together, She survives as do their children: R. Brian (Susan) Dickson of Vandalia, Carol, Mrs. Paul Hutner of Pinfield, NY, Nancy, Mrs. Bill Lewis of Decatur, Illinois, sister Lucille Dooley of Greenville, 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandsons.

Robert is preceded in death by his parents, two step mothers, and sisters Dorothy, Anna Mae, and Blondell Dickson.

Robert was a member of the Bond County Farm Bureau, former member of the Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95 of Vandalia and attended the Pleasant Mound Methodist Church.


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