At approximately 3:30 p.m. Monday, July 26, a panic alarm notified the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Hamel Police Department of a bank robbery at the Hamel Branch of the First National Bank of Staunton, at 105 East State Street in Hamel.  According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Department press release, a white male suspect entered the bank, displayed a gun, and demanded money through a note.  The suspect left the bank with an undetermined amount of money and drove westbound on Rt. 140 in a red pickup truck.  Madison County Deputies and a Hamel Police Officer were dispatched to the bank.  A deputy on routine patrol received the dispatch and stopped a vehicle matching the description on Rt. 140 near St. James Road, at 3:38 p.m.  The driver, the person who robbed the bank, was taken into custody along with collected evidence related to the bank robbery.  The driver was taken to the Madison County Jail where he is being held pending formal charges.  No one was injured in the bank robbery and the FBI is assisting in the investigation.



Hunters are encouraged to sign up for free Illinois Hunter Safety Education Course this summer. Courses are coordinated by the Illinois Depart of Natural Resources. Illinois law requires that anyone born on or after January 1, 1980 must complete a hunter safety course before they may receive a hunting license. Illinois hunters may also participate in online study courses to help familiarize themselves with hunting safety information. For more information on IDNR safety education programs, call 1-800-832-2599.




Sunday, at the Madison County Fair, the 2010 Madison County Fair Queen was selected. She is Anne Marie Connelly from Highland. The First Runner-up is Dana Anderson of Edwardsville and the Second Runner-up is Jesse Nosbaum of Marine. The retiring 2009 Queen is Britney Gibson of Alton who presented the crown to Miss Connelly.



The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity along with the Illinois Recycling Association announce the availability of a new toolkit to help businesses and organizations reduce the amount of materials they have taken to a landfill. Two free toolkit seminars are currently scheduled. The first is Wednesday, July 28 at the INB Center in Springfield and the second is Wednesday, August 11 at the Clock Tower Conference Center in Rockford. Specific details and registration information may be found on the IRA website at www.illinoisrecycles.org . The IRA is looking to coordinate with local interest groups to host recycling workshops. If your group is interested in hosting or partnering to host a workshop, call Mike at 708-358-0550.




Betty J. Mehl, age 69, of St. Ann, MO, passed away Saturday, July 24 at her home. Funeral services for 69 year-old Betty Mehl will be Thursday, at 10:30 a.m. at the First Congregational Church in Highland. There is no visitation. Memorials are suggested to H.I.S Kids.


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