1-04-2007


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A FEW NEW LEADS IN FATAL HIT AND RUN

The Bond County Sheriff's Department is reporting a few developments in their investigation of a fatal hit and run accident Sunday night on Panama Avenue.  44-year-old Richard Starkey of rural Sorento was killed when he was struck by what witnesses described as a small car possibly red in color.  Deputy Doug Lawrence told WGEL that based on evidence at the scene they have possibly identified the make and model of the car.  The Sheriff's Department is not releasing that information until it is confirmed.  Lawrence said they haven't had any tips coming in on the case but anyone with information on this fatal accident should call the Sheriff's Department at 664-2151.


MAN CHARGED TUESDAY WITH FALSE IMPERSONATION OF POLICE OFFICER

Michael L. Hall, 48 of Pocahontas, was charged in Bond County Court Tuesday with false impersonation of a police officer and unlawful restraint, each Class 4 felonies; and reckless driving, a Class A misdemeanor.  It is alleged that this past Sunday, Hall knowingly and falsely, without legal authority used his vehicle to pass another on Millersburg Road and stop across the road, forcing the other vehicle to stop.  It is then alleged that Hall knowingly and falsely reported to this individual that he was a detective for the Bond County Sheriff's Department.  Hall's bond was set at $30,000 with conditions that he shall not drive a vehicle or have contact with the said individual.  The preliminary hearing has been set for January 25.  Hall is currently being held in the Bond County Jail.


SCIGA ADDRESSES LOCAL SHORTAGE OF TRUCK DRIVERS

A solution to the future shortage of truck drivers has been discussed at a recent South Central Illinois Growth Alliance meeting. Director Art Borum said that over the next ten years statistics show a nationwide shortage of 320,000 jobs in the trucking industry.  In our area there are a large number of trucking firms, as this is one of the central points in the U.S.  Borum commented that with our transportation infrastructure and three interstates, I-70, I-64 and I-57, transportation can be done very easily in all directions.  And job shortage numbers in this area are expected to be higher than the national average.

With the annual turnover rate of truck drivers near the 116 percent mark, Borum explained that they put together an advisory board of trucking firms who looked at what they felt SCIGA needed in providing training for the industry.  One of the things they found is that some of the schools offer a four week program, which most trucking firms believe is not enough training to adequately supply the truck driving needs.  Therefore, Borum said, they have now proposed an expanded truck-driving program to eight weeks.  "Soft Skills", such as keyboarding and organizing personal finances and business from the road will be taught along with other technical courses.  This will be the first semester that Kaskaskia College will be offering their new Truck Driver Training Program.


ANHYDROUS AMMONIA SECURITY WILL AWARD SECOND ROUND OF GRANTS THIS SPRING

Governor Rod Blagojevich recently awarded nearly $140,000 in grants to help 35 west central Illinois agrichemical dealers prevent the theft of anhydrous ammonia used to manufacture methamphetamine.  The dealers operate 58 businesses in the region where meth was first discovered in the state.  Funds will be used to tighten security at their facilities, purchase lighting and video surveillance or blending additives that render the fertilizer useless in the production of meth. 

This pilot program intentionally targeted facilities in 21 counties where the meth problem is most acute.  The program will now be offered to dealers throughout the state with additional grants awarded this spring.  About $1.4 million is available for the second round of grants.  Applications are due February 1st and can be obtained calling 217-782-3817.

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SHIMKUS OFFICES THERE TO ASSIST RESIDENTS

Congressman John Shimkus, of the 19th Congressional District, has announced the relocation of both his Collinsville, IL and Washington, DC offices.  The new office in Collinsville is located at 240 Regency Centre and is open Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM.  Shimkus also has an office in Centralia at 221 East Broadway, Suite 102, that is open Monday and Wednesday from 10AM to 4PM.  Shimkus commented that his offices are available to assist in many ways including helping citizens when they have problems with the federal government, get residents opinions to the federal level, and to schedule tours of some Washington, DC buildings.


CDC SAYS THERE IS STILL TIME TO GET FLU SHOTS

After a slow start, the influenza season in the U.S. is starting to gain momentum.  The latest reports say there was a widespread outbreak of the flu in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, as well as regional outbreaks in several other states in the south and increased influenza activity in some Northeastern and Midwestern states. Because of the slow start to the flu season and the record number of influenza vaccine produced, the CDC says that people still have time to get a flu shot.

The CDC reminds that influenza results in an average of 200,000 hospitalizations each year.  Getting a flu shot can prevent you from potentially spreading the virus to others. Unused supplies of vaccine could encourage manufacturers to consider cutting back supplies next year.  And in 25 of the last 30 years, the winter flu season has peaked in January or later with February being the most common month.

For flu vaccine availability, contact your primary care physician or the Bond County Health Department at 664-1442.


THURSDAY SPORTS

ACES IN MORRISONVILLE TOURNEY

The Mulberry Grove Aces are playing in the 29th Annual Morrisonville Winter Classic Tournament.  There are eight teams competing in this two pool tourney.  The Aces play Saturday January 6 at 6:15pm versus Lutheran, Monday January 8 at 6:15pm versus Nokomis, and Thursday January 11 at 6:15pm versus the Sacred Heart Griffin JV team.  Trophy games are set for Saturday January 13.

JR HIGH BOYS BASKETBALL
At the Mulberry Grove 8th grade tournament:

The Mulberry Grove Eagles defeated the Sorento Greyhounds 47-39.  Billy Nelson and Sheldon Zomphier each scored 18 for Mulberry.  Paul Schreiber had 16 and Kevin Foley 13 for Sorento.  Ramsey was a 35-28 winner over the Pocahontas Indians.  Brad Perry had 14 for Pocahontas. 


OBITUARIES

NONE TO REPORT

 

 

THE WGEL SECRET WORD IS GIVEN MONDAY THRU FRIDAY IN THE 11AM, NOON, 1 & 2PM HOURS. WRITE IT DOWN AND WHEN WE CALL, YOU COULD WIN $50.

 

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