COAL WAS A TOPIC OF DISCUSSION AT TUESDAY NIGHT’S BOND COUNTY BOARD MEETING
Coal was once again a topic of discussion at Tuesday night’s Bond County Board meeting. Coal rights, the chances of a mine starting in Bond County, and concerns about long wall mining have been topics for county board discussion and research for years. County resident John Davis voiced his opinion that the county should look into selling coal rights back to the land owners. Board member Tom Devore is on the board's coal committee. Devore said he’d like to hear from the community about their thoughts on coal mining and what would be the best fit for the entire county. Devore suggested possibly having special meetings to give citizens the chance to voice their opinions. State’s Attorney Chris Bauer reminded board members that a panel of local officials and members of business, farming, and environmental leaders was created about four years ago and that the information from that panel would still be of good use. Board member Jack Langel was a part of that group and said many of the stipulations to build a mine in Bond County make it unlikely that a mine will be built here. Langel said he is against long wall mining. Board member Frank Lucco said that the county may be in a better position to resist a coal mine if the county continues to own coal rights. Lucco said if landowners had those coal rights, a few of them could decide to sell those rights and make it much more likely a mine would be built. Currently, Colt Coal Company has a lease on coal rights in Bond County. With that lease, the coal company could build a mine if they decided too. The only thing that is certain at this point is the conversation about coal and mining will continue.
STATE LAWMAKERS CONSIDER LEGALIZING CONCEALED CARRY IN ILLINOIS
The National Rifle Association is helping put together the final package on a measure that would allow concealed carry in Illinois. Democratic Representative Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg says he has unsuccessfully pushed for the right to bear arms in the past but believes he has more support this year. Under the measure, each county's sheriff's office would issue concealed carry permits to citizens over 21 if they pass a background check. Phelps says he has overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle.
ILLINOIS BECOMES SAFER PLACE TO DRIVE
According to the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Transportation, traffic fatalities in Illinois were less than 1,000 for the second straight year, reflecting a record two-year low for the state dating back to 1921. Data shows there were 911 traffic fatalities in 2009 and 923 in 2010. Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said, “In recent decades, the goal of achieving fewer than 1,000 roadway fatalities in a state of this size was considered impossible, but now it is reality.” Several IDOT programs are credited with helping make Illinois roads safer. They include Operation Teen Safe Driving, Motorcycle Safety, Impaired Driving, Work Zone Safety, Motor Carrier Safety, and Occupant Protection. Also contributing to the reduced fatality rate is the increased use of safety belts. A record-breaking 92.6 percent of motorists reportedly wore safety belts in 2010.
ANTIQUE TRACTOR DONATED TO FARM HERITAGE MUSEUM
At the February Farm Heritage Museum Board meeting, Ollie Schaefer told the members an Alton resident donated an antique tractor to the museum. The gentleman had visited the museum a little while back and was impressed with what the museum was doing. The donated tractor is a 1947 Minneapolis Moline R which is on display inside the main building.
The annual fundraiser auction dinner will be March 12 at the museum grounds. If you need tickets, contact Marilyn Schaefer.