04-04-2007




RETAILERS OCCUPATION TAX INCENTIVE REQUEST APPROVED BY COUNTY BOARD

After sitting empty for nearly a year, the old Ethan's Place building will now be home to a new restaurant. In March, Mike Mabry's interest in opening up a new restaurant at the location lead to a Retailers Occupation Tax Incentive request to the county. Board members discussed the idea at their March 20th meeting and came to the conclusion of putting together a written agreement with a vote to be cast at the next meeting.

State's Attorney Chris Bauer presented an agreement to County Board members at Tuesday morning's April meeting setting the stipulations in the tax incentive request. Included in the guidelines is a maximum cap of $400 per month in reimbursements of the state sales tax over a two-year period that Mabry could receive. Board members again voiced concerns over the precedent of a contract like this, but then it was mentioned how unlikely it would be that any future business would ever fall under these guidelines. Jack Langel motioned to vote in favor of the request. Joe Whalen then seconded. The request was approved by a vote of 3-2 with Gerald McCray and Frank Lucco voting against it.

WGEL spoke with Mike Mabry about the new restaurant. He says he has hopes of opening up "Mabry's" the first week of May and is excited about serving Greenville and the surrounding areas. He currently owns "The Depot" in Vandalia. WGEL will have more on Tuesday's Bond County Board meeting in a future newscast. And you can see the meeting in it's entirety, Wednesday (tonight) at 6PM on Greenville Cable Channel 3.


SPRING ELECTION LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY

Residents will be heading to the polls in a couple of weeks to vote in the Spring Election. On April 17th, voters will see several names on ballots for seats on school boards and various positions in area townships. In the Unit 2 school district, three four-year seats are open with incumbents, Ronald Smith and Thomas Theiss running, along with newcomer Scott Gaffner. For Unit 1, there are three seats open as well, with incumbents William Johnson, Kevin Rickman and Teresa Tompkins running, along with newcomer Tonya Jett.

For village positions, in Mulberry Grove, Brook Earnest is running unopposed for village clerk and incumbents Donald Smith, Karan Belcher, and Ron Hartman are vying for three trustee seats with newcomer David Wilson. For Keyesport, Marylin Rich is on the ballot unopposed for village clerk, along with Marsha Martin running unopposed for village treasurer. Incumbent Penny Sanders, with newcomers Helen Sharp and Bill Smith are on the ballot to fill three trustee seats. Ken Kious is looking to fill an un-expired two-year term. WGEL will have more information on candidates for the Spring Election in future newscasts.

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AFHM TO OPEN MUSEUM TO THE PUBLIC

The American Farm Heritage Museum has announced that it will be opening up a museum of "What’s to come" located in the red barn. Items will be displayed throughout representing farm heritage and rural living. On one side will be household and barn items, with tractors and equipment on the other end of the barn and outside. The Museum will be open every Saturday beginning April 14th from 9am-4PM.

The AFHM is seeking various items to be displayed in the museum. This includes old clothing, literature, household items, advertisement from equipment businesses, and anything heritage or rural living related. For more information, or if you have an item that could be used in the museum, call 664-3050 during the day.


METRO EAST JANUARY UNEMPLOYMENT ON THE RISE

Over the year, payroll jobs have grown or remained the same in all twelve metropolitan areas of Illinois according to February 2007 data. And Illinois gained a total of 71,000 new jobs in 2006, the best calendar year since 2001. However, The Illinois Section of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area shows a rise in the unemployment rate for February to 6.8%, up from 6.5% last year. In Bond County the rate was 6.6%, up from 6.1% one year ago, with Clinton County at a huge increase; 6.9%, compared to 5.8% in February 2006. Madison County went from 6.2% this time last year to 6.4% currently.

Out of the eight counties that comprise the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area, only one showed a decrease in unemployment rates.

 
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RAIN TOTALS FOR MARCH

According to the city of Greenville rain gauges, the month of March brought in the lowest amount of precipitation so far this year. There were 2.27-inches of rain reported at the Waste Water Treatment Plant on Route 40, 2.44-inches at 6th Street, and 2.49-inches of rain at Route 140 and Idler Lane. The ten-year March average for rain is 3.35-inches of rainfall.

All three locations recorded no snow for March, just a few flurries, which is below the ten-year average of 2.03-inches.


BOATING SAFETY EDUCATION URGED FOR RESIDENTS THIS SEASON

With Spring underway the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is urging residents who plan on spending time out on the water, to participate in a boating safety education course. These free classes provide an important and potentially life-saving review of laws, regulations and safe boating tips. IDNR Director Sam Flood comments that safety education is key to the state's boating safety effort.

Nationwide, nearly 90% of all reported fatalities on boats involve boat operators who had not received safety instruction. Those between the ages of 12 and 18, who operate a motorized watercraft by themselves, are required by law to possess a boating safety certificate. Anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while aboard any watercraft under 26 feet in length. And all persons are required to wear a life jacket while operating a personal watercraft or Jet Ski.

In Illinois in 2006, there were a total of 78 boating accidents, involving 118 watercraft and resulting in 66 injuries and 17 deaths. For more information call the IDNR at 1-800-832-2599.

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SPORTS

GREENVILLE JUNIOR HIGH BLUEJAYS TRACK

The Greenville Junior High Boys and Girls Track teams were in action this week. In a three team track meet with Hillsboro, Pocahontas and Greenville. The boys’ 8th grade team placed first, the 8th grade girls’ team finished 2nd. In 7th grade results, the boys’ team finished 2nd and the girls’ third.


OBITUARIES

DANA LYNN BROWN

Dana Lynn Brown, 29 of Vandalia, passed away Saturday, March 31 at St. Anthony's Hosopital in Effingham. Funeral services for 29 year-old Dana Lynn Brown will be held today (Wednesday) at 10am at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Interment in Fairlawn Cemetery. Friends may call today (Wednesday) from 9-10am at the church. Memorials may be to the Darin and Mattie Brown Educational fund at the First National Bank in Vandalia.


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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