A former Highland man is now back in Kentucky to face charges of alleged arson and murder. 37 year-old George Luna, of Benton, Kentucky, arrived at the Marshall County Detention Center late Monday morning. He was indicted by the Marshall County Grand Jury on the First Degree charges in September.  This came after authorities responded to a report of a house fire and discovered the body of 46 year-old Debra S. Hendrickson inside her home.  The cause of death was ruled a homicide due to blunt force trauma to the head.  The Grand Jury returned the indictment on Luna the following day.


Around two weeks ago, Luna was arrested on I-57, south of Marion, allegedly traveling at high rates of speed and driving a truck owned by Hendrickson.  He was being held in the Williamson County Jail on traffic and other unrelated charges until Monday.


The Marshall County investigation, into the murder and arson, continues.



It all started with a special Christmas present from Dad last year, and could end up with a local family winning $100,000. Tracy and Jessica Smith, of Vandalia, along with their son Joshua, are heading to California Tuesday for a taping of "America's Funniest Home Videos". Their tape of Joshua losing his two front teeth, while opening a Christmas present, is one of the three videos the audience will vote for, on the show scheduled to air next month. WGEL spoke with the Smith's and talked about how the decision was made to submit the tape, after all of their family and friends had seen it. They said that once everyone saw the video, they were encouraged to send in the tape.


The video was submitted in February and just a couple of weeks ago, the family received a call from the show inviting them to the taping. 7 year-old Joshua explains how the video shows him losing his two front teeth on Christmas morning last year. Joshua said he was biting on a plastic bag to open up his present, when his two front teeth came flying out. One hit the TV, the other remained in Joshua's hand. He then said he listened to "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth".




Tracy, Jessica and Joshua Smith and the bag he was trying to open with his teeth


The Smith's are guaranteed to walk away with $2,000 and third place.  But if they win the first place prize of $10,000, they will head back to California at the end of the month for the $100,000 show taping and their chance to take home the big prize.  The Smith's video will air on America's Funniest Home Videos on November 25th.



Take a step back in time and come out to the American Farm Heritage Museum this weekend, for the 2nd Annual Outhouse Festival & Auction.  Ollie Schaefer talked to WGEL and said that something new this year will be the Outhouse Races.  The teams will consist of one person inside the outhouse with four people pushing it.  And like last year, they will have the toilet paper toss, basketball and other fun activities like the Family Fall Festival and Craft Show. The event takes place this Saturday from 9am-3PM, with the Craft Show starting at 9am and the Family Fall Festival starting at 10:30am. 


The Okaw Valley Amateur Radio Club will also be demonstrating their Ham Radio Skills with a station set up inside an outhouse.  And representatives from the Hills Fort Society will be doing some work on the Fort and holding a few period demonstrations.  Admission for adults is $1. Admission for kids is $5, that allows them a free train ride, lunch, goody bags, scavenger hunt and much more. For additional details about the event or how to get a vendor space, contact the American Farm Heritage Museum at 664-3050.





More products are being recalled due to excessive levels of lead in the product itself or the surface paint.  The most recent recalls include the Kids II Baby Einstein Discover and Play Color Blocks that were sold nationwide between June and September of this year.  CKI Toys is recalling "These Totally Me, Room Décor Sets" that were sold at Toys R Us, between May and September of 2007.  KB Toys is recalling about 10,000 pull-along learning toys, sold in their stores over the past two years. Sports Authority is recalling nearly 12,000 kids' water bottles with an "Alpine" design.  And Dollar General is recalling almost 200,000 metal charm key chains with the words "wisdom", "truth", "love", "hope" or "dream" engraved on the front.


These recalls join over 10 million other toys and products that have been taken off the shelves over the past few months due to lead levels. For more details on these recalls and more, visit www.recalls.gov or www.cpsc.gov.



This week is National 4-H Week. WGEL spoke with Lynn Weis, Director of the Bond County Extension Office, about the annual celebration that has been going on for a little over 70 years. In Illinois, 4-H has been around for 104 years and 4-H was started in Bond County in the 1930s.


The 4-H members that have been involved in the program say that it helps to build self confidence and allows you to meet new people.  They are able to take the skills with them throughout high school and college and that people recognize that. Weis believes that helping young people to develop those personal and professional skills is just one of the things that 4-H has proven to help young people with.  


For more information on 4-H, call the Bond County Extension Office at 664-3665.




There’s a gang coming to St. Louis for one super kicking country party, and you could be part of that gang as Rascal Flatts hits the stage at the Scottrade Center, Saturday, October 13th, at 8pm. Your friends at WGEL have two pair of tickets in Section 107, facing the stage, for your chance to hear the fantastic harmonies of country's hottest act...Rascal Flatts. Tune in Wednesday, October 10th, for you chance to register to win a pair of these super tickets. Be one of the first 5 callers, to 664-3300 when you hear the Rascal Flatts hit “Me and My Gang” and you will be entered to win. We will draw our winners during the Mike and Tom morning show, Thursday, October 11th. More chances to win from your friends at WGEL. You must be at least 18 years old to registered and win. You can only register once. Only one winner per family. Employees of WGEL, Scottrade Center, and their immediate family members are ineligible to win. No purchase necessary.  All decisions of the judges final.






The Greenville Comets and Lady Comets were both in Sectional play on Monday.  The Comets team shot a combined 363 at Oak Terrace.  Low scorers for the Comets were Tyler Neese with an 85 and Jordan Wright with an 89.  The Lady Comets played at Governors Run on Monday, Katie Bohle shot a 93 and Stephanie Hoffmeier a 101




In the last regular season match the Lady Comets doubles tennis team of Vanessa Daniken and Katie Mangelsdorf won another match, and Vanessa also won her 13th singles match of the season




Lady Comets cross-county will be at the Carlinville Invitational.


The Comets soccer team will play at Breese Central.


The Lady Comets volleyball team will play at Staunton. 


The Pocahontas girls’ basketball team will play at Ramsey.


The Greenville Junior High girls’ basketball team will host St. Rose. 




Louise Compton, age 93, of Walshville, passed away Friday at Litchfield Health Care.  Funeral Services for 93 year-old Louise Compton were held Monday, October 8 at 11:00 am at the Perfetti Funeral Home in Sorento.  Burial in Sunnyside Cemetery. 

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