Friday, December 9, Sorento School will celebrate recently being named a Blue Ribbon School.  We spoke with Principal Bill Carpenter who said the festivities begin with a school assembly at 12:30 p.m. including parents, alumni, and community members.  A parade on Main Street starts at approximately 1:30.  There will be a flag raising ceremony at the flag pole followed by a Blue Ribbon cutting ceremony.  Refreshments will be served and there will be various activities for the students.  Carpenter told WGEL he believes this award speaks volumes for the students and teachers at the school as well as all the other people who offer support to the students on a daily basis.  Only 304 schools received this recognition nationally with only 19 schools in Illinois.  Sorento School is the only rural school to receive the award.


The 2011 Illinois High School Coaches’ Association All State Team has been announced and it includes Greenville Comets Quarterback Brady Huber.  Huber was part of the Comets team that went 12-1 this season, winning the conference, three playoff games and coming just one victory short of a State Championship appearance.  Unlike in past years, there was no second team all state announced and no honorable mentions.  The team only includes 18 players state-wide.  Breese Central’s Nick Grapperhaus was selected as a wide receiver.      


State climatologists are predicting a snowy winter in part due to a weather event called La Nina in which unusually cold Pacific Ocean temperatures affect weather patterns across the United States and other countries. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service are encouraging you to prepare for the cold, snow, and ice common in Illinois winters.  One of their recommendations is to create an emergency preparedness kit for your home and car. The home kit should be stocked with a battery-powered weather radio, a flashlight, spare batteries, non-perishable food, water, a first-aid kit, extra medications and special items needed for babies, disabled or elderly family members, and food and supplies for family pets.  A vehicle emergency kit is also recommended. For more information on winter safety, go to www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

Prairie Farms


The Pocahontas Fire Department annual awards ceremony was earlier this month at the St. Nicholas Church Hall in Pocahontas.  Kenny Hanscom was named Firefighter of the Year, Jane Lantrip received the EMT of the Year award, and Mike Lantrip got the Rookie of the Year award.  Dennis Lindley received a 15-year service pin.


According to information from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Illinois unemployment rate increased from 10.0 percent in September to 10.1 percent in October.  According to statistics, 30,000 jobs were added in October but the number of unemployed individuals increased by .9 percent compared to September.  Total unemployment declined since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate was 11.2 percent.  Leading growth sectors in Illinois are Professional and Business Services, Educational and Health Services, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, and Manufacturing.


Linda M. Elam

Linda M. Elam, age 66, of Troy, passed away Saturday, November 19 in Edwardsville.  Funeral services will be Wednesday, at 10:30 a.m. at Meadow Heights Baptist Church in Collinsville.  Burial will be in Liberty Cemetery in rural Mulberry Grove.  Friends may call Tuesday, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Wilson Funeral Home in Maryville.  Memorials are suggested to Meadow Heights Baptist Church or Hospice of Southern Illinois.

Grace L. Mank

Grace L. Mank, age 89, of New Baden, passed away Monday, November 21.  A funeral Mass will be Friday, at 10:30 a.m. at St. George Catholic Church in New Baden.  Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery in New Baden.  Friends may call Friday, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.  Hempen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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