COUNTY OFFERING REWARD FOR INFO
The Bond County Sheriff’s Department is now offering a $500 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction in a fatal hit and run accident. Richard Starkey, age 44 of rural Sorento, was walking on the north edge of Panama Avenue around 10PM New Year’s Eve when witnesses say he was struck by a small passenger car. Starkey was flown by helicopter to St. John's Hospital in Springfield where he later died. One eyewitness told the Sheriff’s Department that the car was red in color. Based on evidence collected at the scene, authorities believe it was a foreign made car possibly a Nissan or Mazda.
If you have information about the car or driver please call the Sheriff's Department at 664-2151.
CITY MANAGER TO PUSH FOR INVESTMENT IN AFHM
At last week's Greenville City Council meeting, a letter of financial support was requested by the American Farm Heritage Museum to use as matching money for other corporate and individual donors. City Manager Dave Willey told the council he would be pushing for more tourism funds for the museum. He believes that the AFHM holds a very specialized interest that in today's world has a huge draw. Willey commented that "heritage" tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the United States and believes that the city of Greenville needs to structure their contribution to the project in way that maximizes the benefit.
Willey notes that making a long-term investment in the AFHM would benefit Greenville. The museum has the potential of producing tourism dollars with things such as overnight stays and other spending habits of the travel population. In the end the decision will be based on the agreement of the Tourism Committee and the Greenville City Council.
COUNTY BOARD APPROVES REFINANCING OF ICIT BONDS
The Bond County Board has given the okay to the issuance of general obligation self-insurance refunding bonds that will have a long-term benefit. The bonds will refinance Bond County’s portion of the Illinois County Insurance Trust also known as ICIT. The refinancing results in Bond County’s interest rate lowering which will eliminate three years of its debt while keeping the tax levy essentially the same.
The lengthiest discussion at Tuesday night’s Bond County Board meeting involved a rezoning request from Leon Wall. Wall had gained the support of the County Zoning Board of Appeals on his request to rezone three acres along Route 127 as C-2 commercial. The property is 40th and Plum Furniture and was grandfathered in when the county adopted its zoning ordinance in the 1990s. However, because Wall wants to sell motorcycle parts in addition to furniture, the site must be rezoned. The county board voted in favor of the rezoning but immediately following the vote was asked by two audience members if they could share their concerns. Both men are neighbors of 40th and Plum and were worried how the property might be used in the future under the C-2 zoning. Board member Gerald McCray moved to vacate the earlier vote to allow further discussion on the request. Minutes later the board voted a second time to grant Wall’s request with the same 4-0 approval as it had earlier in the meeting.
State’s Attorney Chris Bauer reported that there could finally be a resolution on the horizon to the Tobias File Cemetery Road controversy. A previous property owner had been opposed to allowing public access to the cemetery which led to discussion on the existence of a public road to the site. Bauer said that another individual now owns the property who is interested in resolving the dispute. The State’s Attorney said he is seeking input from Bond County Highway Department Engineer Mike McCormick on where the road should go.
You can see the video of the Bond County Board meeting tonight at 6pm on Greene County Cable Channel 3.
VANDALIA CITY ADMINISTRATOR LEAVING FOR NEW POSITION
After nine and half years on the job, Vandalia City Administrator Ron Neibert will be leaving to take the position as City Manager of Mt. Vernon. Neibert commented on the progress of Vandalia through the years and believes a good balance has been kept between promoting new industrial companies to the area to establish job opportunities, but also keeping the integrity of the historical downtown area. The city has continued to generate additional revenue with the sales tax and has been very fortunate in the opportunities they were given with new developments, the TIF districts and acquiring new properties.
Neibert grew up south of Chicago and attended Eastern Illinois University. After his term in the Marine Corp, Neibert and his wife moved back to Southern Illinois, where he enjoyed the lifestyle and went to Graduate School at SIU-Edwardsville studying economic planning and development. Neibert commented that he appreciates the opportunities given to him by the City of Vandalia, the council and the mayor. Neibert's last day as Vandalia City Administrator is February 5.
OBAMA FILES PAPERS IN FIRST STEPS FOR PRESIDENTIAL BID
U.S. Democratic Illinois Senator Barack Obama is taking the fist steps toward running for President next year. He filed papers Tuesday that will allow him to raise funds to form a presidential exploratory committee. Obama made the announcement on his website, according to Metro News Source. On February 10th, he'll share his decision on whether to actually run for President.
Democrats who have already announced a bid for the presidency include former North Carolina Senator John Edwards and Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd.
GOVERNOR'S REQUEST FOR AGRICULTURAL DISASTER DECLARATION APPROVED
Last week, Governor Rod Blagojevich announced that federal assistance is now available to help farmers in 44 Illinois counties who suffered crop losses due to last year's drought. The United States Department of Agriculture has granted the governor's request to designate 23 counties as natural disaster areas; this includes Bond, Fayette, Madison and Montgomery. This designation qualifies farmers in these areas as well as 21 contiguous counties, including Clinton, to receive USDA assistance and low-interest emergency loans. Blagojevich commented that while many farmers in Illinois harvested record crops, farmers in west and southwest Illinois suffered significant production losses. This assistance will be crucial for those whose income cannot pay production costs and essential family living expenses.According to the state water survey, precipitation in west central Illinois was six to eight inches below normal during the growing season from May to September. Rainfall totals were off two to four inches in southwestern Illinois. Farmers who believe they may be eligible for assistance should contact their county farm service agency.
BOND COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUILT SHOW
The 5th Annual Bond County Historical Society Quilt Show is scheduled for Saturday, April 14 at St. Lawrence Catholic Church Hall in Greenville from 9am-4pm. The categories for the show are hand-quilted quilts, machine quilted quilts, and wall quilts. For this show the wall quilt maximum size is to be 60” X 60”. Bugs and/or butterflies is the theme for this year’s block contest. The un-quilted block must be 12 ½”. Any method or combination of methods may be used to construct the block. If you have a quilt that has not been shown in a show you are welcome to enter. Entry blanks with the rules and deadlines may be found at each bank in Greenville or by visiting the Bond County Historical Society website at bondcountyhistorical.org.
The Varsity Comets are now 2-0 at the Litchfield Tournament after posting a 46-41 win over Nokomis. Josh Patrick had 15 points. Greenville plays Civic Memorial Friday night at 7:30 at Litchfield’s Simmons Gym.
At the Highland Lady Bulldogs Tournament, the Lady Comets play Nashville at 4pm today.
JR HIGH BASKETBALL
The 8th grade Bluejays notched a 40-34 win over Salem in the James Burke Memorial Tournament. Zach Lewis scored 12 and Max Harris 11 for Greenville. The Bluejays will play for the consolation trophy Friday at 5:30pm against Aviston who defeated Triad in the evening’s other game 40-36. Tonight’s games are St. Anthony versus Carlyle at 6pm followed by Effingham against Hillsboro.
Lester Chumley, 79 of Chapman, passed away Tuesday at Hillsboro Area Hospital. Cremation rites were accorded for 79 year-old Lester Chumley, with no services held. The Toberman-Dean Funeral Home in Coffeen is in charge of the arrangements.
Donna Hartman, 66 of Glenview, IL formerly of Hillsboro, passed away Sunday at Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview. Funeral services for 66 year-old Donna Hartman will be held Friday at 2PM at the Bass Patton Dean Funeral Home. Burial in Oak Grove Cemetery. Friends may call from 1-2PM on Friday at the funeral home.
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