2-21-2007




TRAIN COLLISION KILLS THREE SUNDAY

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department is investigating a crash over the weekend that killed three people.  Around 9:52am Sunday morning, authorities received a phone call from Norfolk Southern Railroad advising of a car versus train crash near the County Line Road in northwestern Jefferson County, just south of Centralia.

Authorities say that after an initial investigation, the vehicle owned and driven by 61 year-old Stephen R. Gilbert is believed to have been traveling southbound on Old Centralia Lane, when it crossed the railroad tracks and intersected with the train.  The Norfolk train engineer stated that he saw the car enter the intersection and applied the brakes, but the train did not stop.  The engineer said he was traveling around 48 miles per hour at the time of the collision. The intersection contains flashing lights, but no crossing gates.

The train struck the vehicle and continued pushing it another 2,000 feet. Gilbert, the driver of the vehicle, was killed along with his two granddaughters, 8 year-old Brianna M. Pitts and 11 year-old Brittany A. Pitts.

The investigation continues by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, Jefferson County Coroner and Norfolk Southern Railway.


GREENVILLE POLICE FIELDING MORE PHONE SCAMS

A Greenville resident reported to police Monday that they had received a phone call by a company allegedly claiming to be the "New York Medical Center".  The caller was requesting personal and banking information.  When the Greenville resident began asking more questions, the caller hung up.  A related incident was reported last week involving a similar phone call, but the person alleged that they were with the "Jamaican Lottery".  Greenville Police are investigating both phone scams.

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GREENVILLE POLICE INVESTIGATING DOG THAT WAS SHOT

The Greenville Police Department along with the Animal Control Officer are investigating an incident that occurred Sunday afternoon.  According to police, a resident on Vine Street reported their yellow lab had gotten out of the house and when the dog returned, it had blood on it.  The owners took the dog to the veterinarian who determined it had been shot by an arrow and it's lung was punctured.  The dog later died.  The case is still under investigation.


CHIEF ILLINIWEK WILL MAKE FINAL APPEARANCE TONIGHT

After 81 years on the field, the University of Illinois' Chief Illiniwek is no more.  The U of I's board of trustees announced it will drop all use of the mascot.  His final appearance will be at the last men's basketball game of the season, tonight. The move comes in regards to satisfying the NCAA eligibility requirements, so that Illinois may host post-season championship events. 

In 2005, the NCAA had officially classified the Chief as an offensive use of the American-Indian imagery and instituted a ban on the University's team hosting post season events.

 
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ILLINOIS TO BEGIN MONITORING FOR CASES OF AVIAN FLU

The State of Illinois will begin surveillance for avian influenza among wild game bird and poultry breeders.  Through an intergovernmental agreement with the USDA, the state has been awarded $165,000 in funding to assist the game and poultry producers with free testing for the H5N1 avian influenza.  Governor Rod Blagojevich says that bird flu continues to be a concern in parts of Asia and Europe, and even though there have been no signs of it in the U.S., Illinois needs to be in the best possible position to detect the disease early.

This will be a joint effort by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  The program allows for the IDOA to provide autopsies of game birds and appropriate testing.  Flock owners may submit up to 10 birds per flock every 6 months to the Animal Disease Laboratory in Centralia.  Currently, the HP Asian H5N1 has caused deaths in domestic poultry, wild birds and humans on other continents, but has not been detected in the United States.


TUNE INTO WGEL FOR...

The Gilham Lodge 809 of Mulberry Grove is having its annual “all you can eat” spaghetti supper on Friday at the Mulberry Grove school cafeteria.  Proceeds will go towards the scholarship program.  WGEL has pairs of tickets to give away for the spaghetti supper Thursday between 5 and 8pm.  Tune in for your chance to win.  You must be 18 or older and may only win once.  Only one winner per family. 

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WEDNESDAY SPORTS

HS BOYS BASKETBALL
At the Greenville Regional, Breese Central defeated the Mulberry Grove Aces 33-14.  The half-time score was 7-0 Breese Central.  Reuben Betts led the Aces with 4 points.  Jacob Jolliff grabbed six rebounds. 

In the 3-point shooting contest at the Greenville Regional, Cody Emming, John Book, and Tommy Bock of Breese Central along with Chris Redfern of Staunton qualified for Friday’s finals.

In a game heard last night on WGEL, it was the Highland Bulldogs over Civic Memorial 53-39.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The GC Panthers were 85-77 winners over Westminster of Missouri.  Bryson Taylor scored 16.  The Lady Panthers posted a 72-56 win as Trisha Draege had 11 points.

TONIGHT ON WGEL:
The Greenville Comets play Bunker Hill at 7:30pm in the Greenville Regional.


OBITUARIES

JACK BOOTHE

Jack Boothe, 63 of Staunton, passed away Monday at Fair Oaks Nursing Home.  Graveside services for 63 year-old Jack Boothe will be conducted in Springfield, Missouri at a later date.  There will be no local services held.  Memorial contributions are suggested to Fair Oaks Nursing Home.


THE WGEL HAYRIDE.......COUNTRY CLASSICS EACH WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT FROM 7 UNTIL 10PM........REQUEST LINES OPEN..... CALL 618-664-3300.....


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