According to a press release from the Bond County Sheriff’s Department, at 1:30 a.m. today, three inmates escaped from the Bond County Jail.  Brian A. Wilt, age 28, Joshua D. Frith, age 26, and James A. Hickman, age 21, escaped when a correctional officer unlocked a cell door to deliver items to the cell.  The correctional officer was struck and knocked to the floor by one of the inmates.  The inmates escaped through a rear jail door that had been unlocked for maintenance.
At approximately 4:30 a.m., the Bond County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a stolen vehicle south of Greenville.  The information was put out via police radio and at approximately 4:45 a.m., Carlyle Police observed the stolen vehicle southbound on Rt. 127 in Carlyle.  The stolen vehicle turned onto a side street and the occupants exited the vehicle and fled from police.  Carlyle Police, Clinton County Sheriff’s Officers, Bond County Sheriff’s Deputies and K-9, Greenville Police K-9, and Breese Police searched a large residential area in Carlyle.  At approximately 6:00 a.m., two vehicles were reported stolen in the same area of Carlyle. 
At approximately 8:00 a.m. today, Indiana Authorities conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle stolen from Carlyle earlier in the day.  Taken into custody were escaped inmates Joshua Frith and James Hickman.  They are both awaiting extradition from Indiana to Bond County. At news time Brian Wilt remained at large.
The case remains under investigation by all of the above departments including the United States Marshals Service.
Wilt was being held on forgery charges, Frith on drug charges, and Hickman on sexual abuse charges.  Photos of the three escaped inmates are available on WGEL.com.


Brian Wilt


The Bond County Board met Tuesday night at the courthouse.  The county board has authority to appoint members to many different boards in Bond County including fire protection boards, cemetery boards, and the housing authority board.  It has been the practice for many years that each individual board would notify the county when a vacancy occurs, or a board member's term needs renewing.  During Tuesday night’s meeting, Board Chairman Brock Willeford said it is possible many of these boards have not been notifying the county of expired terms and it is possible some boards have members that are unaware their terms have expired.  The Bond County Board is asking county clerk Randy Reitz to help compile a list and reach out to the various boards in the county to find out when members terms expire so a master list or calendar may be kept. 

Bond County Highway Engineer Doug DeLong spoke with the board about the Old Ripley Bridge and the possibility this bridge could be repaired instead of replaced.  DeLong said borings and more tests need to be done, but if the bridge could be repaired the cost would be between $100,000.00 and $200,000.00, compared to the 1.2 million dollar cost of replacing the bridge. 

Board Chairman Willeford brought up his proposal to change the health benefits for elected and appointed officials to the same health benifits other county employees receive.  Currently, elected and appointed officials receive full family health benefits and vision and dental benefits at no cost, while other county employees pay extra for that coverage.  Willeford said for the changes to take place after the November elections, the board needs to act six months prior to those officials taking office.  The board moved their next meeting to March 21 due to the primary election.   



On Tuesday, thousands of cities, businesses, and schools all participated in a state-wide Tornado Drill as a part of Severe Weather Preparedness Month.  The sirens in Greenville did not go off at 10:00am, so we spoke with Greenville 911 Director Alan Davis. Davis told WGEL that they test the sirens the first Tuesday of every month to make sure that they work and that there are no issues.  When they went to sound the sirens at 10:00 on Tuesday, they found that they had a minor programming issue in the consoles.  They had recently installed some new radios and performed some updates, and the system wasn’t quite right yet.  Davis said that this is why they test; so that when they truly need the system, it is fully functioning.  Greenville Police Chief Lou Lorton sent an officer out to each of the siren locations later in the day to ensure that they were working properly.  The sirens sounded at 1:00pm, and everything is up and running like normal.  If you have any questions, you may call the 911 Office at 664-1911.



March is Severe Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois and local and state emergency management officials recently launched a statewide contest aimed at increasing use of weather alert radios.  The “Weather Alert Radios Save Lives” contest is an on-line quiz, participants will complete for a chance to win a weather alert radio.  The contest is available on the Ready Illinois and IESMA websites as well as many county and municipal emergency management agency websites.  A total of 100 weather alert radios will be awarded to participants who register and successfully complete a five-question quiz.  The contest continues now through March 31 and winners will be announced in April.  For more information, call 217-557-4756.


Greenville received 2.23 inches of rain in February 2012.  The amount is just about average when comparing records for the past 45 years, with 22 years having more rain and 23 years showing less.  Greenville received 2.8 inches of snow this February which is also about average with 21 years of the past 45 having less snow in February.  The most rain was 5.9 inches in February 1990 and the most snow fell in February 1993 with 17.25 inches.




Opening night for the Greenville High School production of Beauty and the Beast is fast approaching.  We spoke with Mr. Shawn Cox at the High School about the show.
Mr. Cox told WGEL that their production dates are coming up quickly.  The show will run for two weekends this year.  Friday, March 16th and Saturday, March 17th is the opening weekend.  The following week, there will be performances on Thursday, March 22nd, through Saturday, March 24th.  Tickets may be purchased at Watson’s Drugstore or at the high school office.  Tickets will also be available at the door; however Mr. Cox said that they may sell out, so you should get your tickets soon.  Adults are $7, and children age 12 and under are $5.  Tickets will be $1 more at the door.  Mr. Cox said that the kids have been working really hard, and that they’re going to have a great production this year.  Once again, if you have any questions, you can call the high school at 664-1370.



Betty L. Kiraly

Betty L. Kiraly, age 81 of Highland, passed away on Tuesday, March 6th at Saint Luke’s Hospital – West in Chesterfield, Missouri.  Funeral services for 81 year-old Betty L. Kiraly will be Saturday at 1:00pm at the Evangelical United Church of Christ in Highland.  Burial will be in Highland City Cemetery.  Friends may call on Saturday from 11:00am until service time at the church.  Memorials are suggested to the Evangelical United Church of Christ.  The Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland is in charge of the arrangements.

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