A frantic search by hundreds of volunteers has been going on in Effingham County since seven year old Willow Long went missing Sunday after walking away from home in Watson according to police.  Effingham State’s Attorney confirmed that four volunteer searchers located the body of a small child in an area south of the village of Watson at about 7:30PM Monday night.  An autopsy is scheduled for today to determine the cause of death and the child’s identity.  The investigation continues by the Illinois State Police and the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department. 


As previously reported on WGEL, the Greenville City Council is in the process of forming a Business Tax District around the Rt. 127 and I-70 interchange.  An extra 1 percent sales tax would be collected at businesses in that district, the proceeds of which are to be used for new or improved infrastructure inside the Business Tax District.

One business in the proposed district has come forward in opposition to the plan.  WGEL received a statement from Reid Willen, Chief Financial Officer of Buchheit, whose Greenville location sits on Rt. 40, near the intersection with Rt. 127.

Willen’s statement reads, in part, that they “applaud the City of Greenville’s efforts developing a sustainable plan for infrastructure repair and improvement.”  However, Willen says their “experience has been that attempting to increase revenue through a retail sales tax increase is not an effective approach” and that “a sales tax increase will lower retail growth in this area.”  Willen says Buchheit believes “the long-term impact will be less revenue for infrastructure versus the potential for more revenue from more retail outlets in the area.”

Willen’s statement goes on to say that Greenville currently has a competitive sales tax rate compared to surrounding cities and he says Buchheit believes this is an important factor for their customers to stay in Greenville and shop, as well as for customers who travel from greater distances. 



Tonight's regular monthly Greenville City Council meeting will include a public hearing on the proposed Business Tax District. 

The public hearing at tonight’s meeting is one of many chances for residents to let their voice be heard.  The proposed Business Tax District would include up to 13 businesses on or near the Route 127 and I-70 interchange.  The public hearing is the one of the first items on the current agenda and the meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at Greenville City Hall.

The council will also consider the new Greenville Commons development that would include tearing down the old Greenville Junior High building and allowing apartments to be built on that property.  Tune into WGEL Radio for post-meeting coverage.    



With the word “drought” being used around south central Illinois recently, WGEL checked in with Bond & Fayette County Farm Bureau Director Ron Marshel.  Ron said the brief storm we received last week and this weekend’s showers were a big benefit to local crops, particularly soybeans.  Marshel said the beans were really under stress with the heat and lack of moisture.  The corn crop is filling out and will be harvested in another couple of weeks.

Ron told us Bond County’s Annual Crop Survey will be conducted on Tuesday, September 17th and officials will have a better idea then of the overall crop condition in the area.


After an unseasonably cool summer, we’ve had unseasonably warm temperatures more recently.  According to Julie Phillipson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, the heat will continue this week, but there is relief in sight.

Temperatures are expected to continue to reach the mid-to-upper-90’s through Wednesday.  Wednesday evening a front will move through, leaving us with a 30% chance of rain, and cooler temperatures.  Expect highs in the mid-80’s Thursday.  Temperatures may only reach the mid-70’s by Friday and into the weekend.

Phillipson told WGEL that after Wednesday’s chance of rain, the forecast calls for dry conditions for the foreseeable future.

Prairie Farms


WGEL will auction off four St. Louis Cardinals tickets tomorrow, with all proceeds benefitting the upcoming Greenville Bicentennial.

First National Bank donated the tickets, which are for this Saturday’s (9/14) Cardinals game against the Seattle Mariners.  First pitch is at 6:15 p.m.  The seats are First Base Field Box seats in Section 140.  Face value is $72 each. The auction will be held live on WGEL during the 7:00 hour on Wednesday. 

All proceeds benefit the Greenville Bicentennial, which will be celebrated in 2015.


The Pocahontas Water Department will flush the village’s water system today.  You may experience low water pressure and discolored water for a short time during the flushing.


The 15th annual Bond County Relay for Life is this Friday and Saturday, September 13 and 14 at the Greenville High School track.  The Survivors Dinner, usually held just prior to the opening ceremony, weill be held earlier this year. Event planners wanted the dinner to be less rushed and more of a recognition time to honor cancer survivors.  The dinner will be held tonight at the St. Lawrence Catholic Church Hall. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with a complimentary barbecue dinner served at 5:30.  Cancer survivors planning to attend the dinner, please call Jennifer Lappe at 339-0969.


The Greenville Jr. Comets hosted the Jr. Hilltoppers from Hillsboro Saturday.  The 5th Grade Junior Comets were defeated 22-36, the Six Graders defeated Hillsboro 60-0, the 7th Grade Junior Comets lost 14-26, and the 8th Graders won 52-0.


Marsha L. Allen

Marsha L. Allen, age 64 of Bartelso, passed away Friday at memorial hospital in Belleville. Funeral services will be today at 11:00AM at Zieren Day Funeral Home in Carlyle. Burial will be in Carlyle cemetery. Friends may call today from 9:00 am until service time at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to  Beckemyer United Methodist Church or to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Mrs. Allen was born on October 31, 1948, in Centralia, a daughter of Richard and Edna (Koehler) Rittenhouse. She married Martin Allen on January 27, 1968, in Centralia and he survives in Bartelso.

In addition to her husband Martin, Mrs. Allen is also survived by a daughter – Beth Fuehne and husband Paul of Albers; 3 grandchildren – Brittany, Brandon and Jacob Fuehne; brothers and sisters – David Rittenhouse and wife Janet of Shattuc, Marian Lammers and husband Bill of Sandoval and Shirley Bierman of Centralia; and her in-laws – Dale Allen, Brad Allen, Joyce Beckemeyer and Darlene Carter.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her step-mother – Velva Rittenhouse; brothers and sisters – Ralph Rittenhouse, Delores Schaeffer, Patricia Bierman, Georgia Underwood and a brother-in-law – Larry Allen.

Mrs. Allen was a member of the Beckemeyer United Methodist Church and enjoyed gardening and cooking. She also loved embroidery and making scarves and afghans.

Lela Bandy Blankenship

Lela Bandy Blankenship, age 93, of Greenville, passed away Sunday at Greenville Regional Hospital.  Funeral services will be held Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville.  Burial will be in Mt. Moriah Cemetery.  Friends may call Wednesday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.  Memorials are suggested to the Greenville V.F.W.

Lela Bandy, the daughter of Charles R. and Goldie (Smith) Bandy was born August 31, 1920 in Greenville, Illinois.  She grew up on the family farm and attended the local schools.  She helped her parents on the farm and enjoyed doing yard work and gardening. 

Lela was united in marriage to John Nolan Blankenship on April 9, 1977 in Mulberry Grove, Illinois.  He preceded her in death on November 26, 2000.

She is survived by her sister-in-law Norma Bandy, nephew Jim (Vickie) Bandy of Greenville and niece Bonnie (Jeff) Leidell of Greenville and 7 step-children.

Donna J. Elam 

Donna J. Elam, age 54, of Greenville, passed away Saturday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  Funeral services will be Friday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Greenville.  Burial will be in St. Lawrence Cemetery.  Friends may call Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church.  Memorials are suggested to the family or to masses.  The Young Funeral Home in Greenville is in charge of arrangements.

Donna is survived by her parent Thomas and Doreen Whalen of Greenville, her daughter Sharon Elam, her son Cory Elam, her sisters Joan (Cary) Wells, Mary (Gary) Korte, and Terry (Jim) Potthast.

She grew up in Greenville graduating from Greenville High School in 1977.  She moved to Mulberry Grove in 1981 and then returned to Greenville in 1989, she had worked at Fair Oaks Nursing Home and The Bond County Health Department.  She then worked at Brauns Terrace and also a caregiver for her niece.  She was member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church where she taught religion classes for several years.
Memorials are suggested to the family or to masses.

Mario J. Cirio

Mario J. Cirio, age 93, of Highland, passed away Saturday at Faith Countryside Homes.  A memorial service will be at a later date.  The Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland is in charge of arrangements.  Memorials are suggested to the donor’s choice.

He was born on Monday, November 10, 1919, in Saint Louis, MO, the son of Joseph and Nancy (nee Vescovo) Cirio.

On Tuesday, May 24, 1949, he married Ruth M. Cirio (nee Leonard) at St. Louis, Missouri.

Born and reared at St. Louis, Missouri; served with the US Army, active duty during World War II. Mr. Cirio was a pharmacist, he owned and operated Delmar-Taylor Drug, St. Louis, MO, from the 1940's to the 1970's, for 30 plus years; later during his retirement he worked part time with Kroger Grocery Stores, St. Louis, as a part time pharmacist. He and his wife lived and raised their children in University City, MO; they moved to Highland, IL in July 2012.

Survivors include:
Daughter - Phoebe A. (husband - John Tieman) Cirio, University City, MO
Daughter - Julia M. (Michael) White, Highland, IL
Son - Mario J. (Shirley) Cirio, Jr., Ballwin, MO
Grandchild - Susan M. White, Highland, IL
Grandchild - Patty A. (Scott) White-Nelson, Centralia, IL
Grandchild - Jennifer M. (Kelly) White-Flanagan, Tampa, FL
Grandchild - Alaina Cirio, Ballwin, MO
Grandchild - Amy Cirio, Ballwin, MO.

He was preceded in death by:
Father - Joseph Cirio
Mother - Nancy Cirio
Wife - Ruth M. Cirio [DOD 09/26/2012]
Brother - Louis Cirio.


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