The legendary Coliseum Ballroom in Benld, Illinois was gutted by fire Saturday night, leaving only a charred shell.  According to Larry Norville, Chief of Unit 7 Fire District, the 20,000 square foot building is a total loss with the inside and roof completely burned leaving only the brick walls which are cracked and bowed.  The cause of the fire which was reported at 9:00 p.m. is unknown and the state fire marshal is investigating.  Firefighters from sixteen fire departments in three counties answered the call for mutual aid.  Three persons were injured and taken to Staunton Hospital for treatment.  Norville said one person suffered minor burns and none of the injuries were serious.  Firefighters were on the scene for about 8 ½ hours.  The fire re-kindled Sunday and firefighters from Benld Station 2 returned for about an hour and secured the building.  Fire Chief Larry Norville thanked the firefighters from the sixteen fire departments who responded.  He said this department cooperation allows their fire district to adequately respond to most any emergency situation.  The Coliseum Ballroom on Rt. 66 was one of the largest ballrooms between St. Louis and Chicago.  The ballroom eventually became an antique mall and in recent years, bands started performing on the original stage in addition to part of the building still used as an antique mall.  A band was reportedly playing Saturday night when the fire started. 

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Madison County Coroner Stephen P. Nonn reports his agency completed an autopsy examination in the death investigation of Walter S. Alexander, age 53, of Leavenworth, Indiana.  Alexander was found dead Sunday, at 3:45 p.m. alongside his car at Belle Street and Madison Avenue in Alton.  Coroner’s Investigator Sakina Hall pronounced Alexander dead at the scene at 4:27 p.m.  The autopsy indicated the decedent suffered from a number of health issues including pneumonia and heart disease that could have been responsible for his death.  The autopsy revealed no evidence of violence or foul play.  Alton Police continue the investigation. 


The Bond County Board will meet Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the courthouse.  Phillip Borgic from the National Pork Board Speakers is on the agenda along with approving bills and reports and an executive session.  

Prairie Farms


Sandy Grapperhaus was appointed to the Southwestern Electric Cooperative Board of Directors. There was an opening on the board due to the death of Jim Grapperhaus July 12. Mr. Grapperhaus had served as a director for District I, representing Macoupin, Madison and St. Clair Counties, since February 2006. He was 72. The co-op’s eight directors unanimously selected Sandy Grapperhaus to serve the remainder of her predecessor’s elected term, which expires in September 2013. Sandy Grapperhaus, age 47, has been a Southwestern Electric Cooperative member for 25 years. She works in Korte Construction Company’s Highland office as an executive assistant to the chief executive officer and chief financial officer. Sandy and her husband, Dan, reside southwest of Troy and have three children.


Harold “Harry” Raymond Manley

Harold “Harry” Raymond Manley, age 74, formerly of Highland, passed away Friday, July 29 at his residence in Tennessee.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Jude’s Children Hospital or to Alive Hospice.  The Woodfin Memorial Chapel in Tennessee is in charge of arrangements.

Kevin L. Williams

Kevin L. Williams, age 43, of Edwardsville, passed away Saturday, July 30 at his residence.  Funeral services will be Thursday, at 1:00 p.m. at Dauderman Mortuary in Hamel. Memorials are suggested to Barnes Siteman Cancer Treatment Center or to the family.

Shawn Travis

Shawn Travis, age 39 of Keyesport, passed away Monday, August 1 at his residence. Funeral arrangements for 39 year-old Shawn Travis are pending at Zieren-Day Funeral Home in Carlyle.

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