Kenny and Mylene Knight of Pocahontas went to the Philippines February 25 to surprise Mylene’s family who live there.  But the Knights had a bigger and much less welcome surprise on their return trip.  WGEL spoke with Kenny Knight about the ordeal. Knight said he and his wife made the first leg of their journey home, flying from Manila to Tokyo for a nearly four hour layover March 11, when the earthquake, registering 8.9 on the Richter scale, hit.  The Knights were using some of the layover time to do some shopping when everything began to shake.  Knight said the quake went on for approximately two minutes. About 20 minutes later, Knight said the airport was evacuated and people were directed to the tarmac, or runway, area outside the building. When they were allowed to back into the airport, all businesses in the building were closed including restaurants and shops where food could be purchased.  Only two vending machines were available, one of those dispensing ice cream, and the Knights had only U.S. dollars, no Yen, to use in the machines. After a wait of about 1 ½ hours, Kenny Knight was able to use a pay phone to call his sister who worked with the airline for several hours to get the Knights confirmed seating on an outgoing flight.  The Knights were in the airport for more than 24 hours. Their ordeal was not yet over as they were forced to land in Dallas instead of their original stop in Chicago.  They had to spend another night waiting to get home.  However, in Dallas, they did get a room and a meal voucher from the airline for their trouble. Knight said it was good to be home but has great concern for what those in Japan are still going through due to the earthquake.


Nearly 4,000 Southwestern Electric Cooperative members in Madison County were without electricity for approximately 5 ½ hours Tuesday night.  The power went out around 8:30 p.m. when the transmission feed to three substations was interrupted. Director of Operations Paul Strausbaugh said the outage resulted from a blown current transformer in a metering station.  The problem was fixed and power was restored at approximately 2:00 a.m. Wednesday.


Tuesday, April 5 is Election Day and voters throughout the area have choices to make in regard to civic government and school board leadership. In Greenville, two city council seats are to be filled and four candidates are running for those seats.  The candidates are Donald Stover, John Gillard, Kenny Hampton, and Matt Roadman.  Hampton and Roadman are incumbents. Running for three Pocahontas Village Trustee positions are James Moore, Joe Rakers, Michelle Clark, Karen Heilig, and Jane Lantrip. Candidates for three seats on the Bond County Unit 2 School Board include Scott Gaffner, Erin Hill, Nathan Prater, Edmar Schreiber, and James Jackson.




The Illinois Department of Agriculture advises farmers to review safety and handling procedures before applying anhydrous ammonia this spring.  Accidental releases of anhydrous ammonia increased to fifty last year, twice the annual average for the previous five years.  The leading cause of accidents was the improper management of ammonia hoses.  To help prevent accidents, applicators should inspect hoses prior to each use, do regularly scheduled maintenance on the tool-bar quick-coupler to be sure it is suitable for service, always use safety chains while applying ammonia, and purge all tool-bars and hoses of ammonia before pulling a nurse tank on the road.  In the event of an accidental ammonia release, the applicator must report the incident within fifteen minutes if possible.  For more information on anhydrous ammonia safety, call 309-827-2774.



The sixth annual Rotary/Kaskaskia College Friends of the Fine Arts Scholarship Banquet and Auction is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 in the Lifelong Learning Center on KC’s main campus.  Social hour starts at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 and entertainment following.  There will be silent and oral auctions throughout the evening.  Tickets are $25.00 for a single and $40.00 per couple and must be purchased in advance.  For ticket information, call 545-3223.


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