An early morning accident on Sunday claimed the life of two young lives in Clinton County.  According to Clinton County Coroner Phillip Moss Christopher Harper age 20 of St. Rose and Josie Lee Walker age 18 of Damiansville were killed when the vehicle that Harper was driving left the roadway and overturned in a water filled ditch.  Moss said Harper and Walker were traveling eastbound on Airport Road, south of Damiansville, around 1:30AM Sunday morning. 

The car over turned and ended on its top in a four foot deep ditch filled with water.  Harper and Walker were both wearing their seat belts but were unable to get out of the car and were in the water for more than 30 minutes.  Moss said emergency personal removed the two young people and they were transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese where personnel tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate them.  Moss said alcohol played no part in the accident. 



A Bond County Deputy, Bond County EMS, and Mulberry Grove Firefighters responded Sunday, at 12:40 p.m., to the scene of a two-vehicle accident on the Mulberry Grove Road about one mile north of Mulberry Grove.  According to the accident report, Kelly M. Neisler, age 49, of Mulberry Grove, was southbound on the Mulberry Grove Road in a Dodge truck and Eddie D. Heard, age 64, also of Mulberry Grove, was northbound, in a Pontiac Grand Pree. 

Neisler allegedly attempted to make a left turn into a private drive and turned in front of the Heard car.  Heard attempted to stop and swerved to miss the truck but the two vehicles collided.  There was damage to the right sides of both vehicles.  Eddie Heard was ARCHed from the scene to St. Louis University Hospital.  


Here are a few more pictures of the Blizzard of 2014 from WGEL listener Mike Waugh.

"A couple pics from last weekends snow storm. One from the water plant, hard to see but a pretty good size drift on top of the shed and one of the picnic table in my backyard. The drift has engulfed half of it. Sorry that they are night pics, but I was driving a snowplow 12 hours during the storm & took these pics after my shift was over."

Photos courtesy of Mike Waugh


An upswing in flu activity throughout the state and locally has made headlines recently and Bond County Health Department Director Mark Ayers wants you to know it’s not too late to get your flu vaccination if you haven’t received one yet.

Ayers told WGEL there has been a dramatic increase in the number of local residents who have had to visit the Emergency Department to be treated for the flu. 

The health department has vaccinations available on a walk-in basis. Ayers said you can drop by the Bond County Health Department between 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to receive a flu shot with minimal wait time. Ayers reminds you that the flu vaccine takes about two full weeks to get into your system.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu season in the U.S. typically spikes in January and/or February and can run as long as late May.

For more information, contact the Bond County Health Department at 664-1442.



Smithboro Firefighters responded Thursday, at 2:09 p.m., to a report of a skidder fire just east of the Mulberry Grove Road south of Pleasant Mound Avenue. According to Fire Chief Dale Deverick, a logging crew had been using a John Deere 640D skidder, valued at approximately $20,000.00, and shut off the machine when snow became heavy Thursday afternoon.

Around 2:00 p.m., a local resident noticed smoke coming from the machine and upon investigation found fire and called the fire department. Dale said the cause of the fire is unknown and the machine is severely damaged. The fire destroyed electrical wiring, hydraulic hoses, belts, and the battery casing. Mulberry Grove and Keyesport Firefighters responded to provide mutual aid. There were no injuries and fire department personnel were on the scene about an hour.



The trial date for a Watson, IL man accused of killing his seven-year-old niece is being pushed back. A pre-trial hearing for Justin DeRyke was supposed to get underway Friday, but a new date has been set for February 2nd. He’s accused of allegedly stabbing his niece, Willow Long, multiple times then dumping her body near the Little Wabash River. He’s pleaded not guilty to the charges.  




Greenville Regional Hospital recently added family physician Dr. Kelsey Hopkins to their Board of Directors.

“We’re grateful for Dr. Hopkins’s acceptance to serve on the board of directors and provide clinical representation,” Greenville Regional Hospital CEO Brian Nall told WGEL. “We have previously enjoyed that with board representation in the past, so we’re happy that he’s serving that.”

Nall said board members are not compensated for their work on the board. He also said the board is made up of good leaders and he is proud to serve with all of them.


In their meeting Tuesday, the Bond County Board discussed the upcoming consolidation of the Bond-Fayette-Effingham and Christian-Montgomery County Regional Offices of Education. County Board Chairman Howard Elmore said he’d been in contact with chairmen from other counties affected and they planned to meet soon to discuss how the consolidated office will be funded. Julie Wollerman, Regional Superintendent of Bond-Fayette-Effingham will continue to serve as Superintendent of the consolidated office, while Marchelle Kassebaum, current Regional Superintendent of the Christian-Montgomery office, will serve as assistant.

Board member Gerald McCray noted that he’d located someone who was willing to repair the heavily damaged roof at the Bond County Humane Society for free, but that in speaking with Humane Society leadership, they had also located someone willing to replace the entire roof free of charge. Either way, McCray said the roof would be taken care of, free of charge.

Frank Lucco noted the board may want to put discussion of the Humane Society on a future agenda, because if the Humane Society ceases to exist, it will have a big impact on the county. While the Humane Society doesn’t generate funds for the county, they help keep expenses down by reducing the workload on Bond County animal control.




Greenville College graduates Kris Truitt and Chase Castaldo created a website, www.Manbabies.com, in the spring of 2007. Co-founder Kris Truitt told WGEL it all began with a trip to Springfield for the two to be fitted for Kris’s wedding.

“After eating a ton of pizza, and I think it was like 1 o’ clock in the morning or something, some crazy time already, he (Chase) came across a picture of a man with his head swapped with a baby,” Truitt said. “It was probably the most hilarious thing we’d ever seen in our lives, so Chase actually asked me, ‘Hey, could we make one of these?’”

Kris Truitt's ManBabies photo, swapping heads with his infant son

Photo courtesy of Kris Truitt/ManBabies.com

They created 15 “manbabies” that night. The website went viral soon after its creation and was featured on Rachel Ray and several popular websites. The site’s popularity has since cooled to a simmer, but Truitt says he has no regrets.

“I maybe could have sold it for a little bit, probably not a ton of money, but I don’t know if the extrinsic value of selling for a small amount of money would be worth it versus, you know, the intrinsic value that we’ve gotten, the joy we’ve gotten out of doing the website.”

Truitt is now a web developer at Greenville College. He says he hopes to begin updating the website on a weekly basis soon but has no intention of returning to daily updates.


A silver Ford Freestar was reported stolen from a residence in Highland Saturday morning.  According to Highland police the van was reported stolen at 7:20AM Saturday from 804 12th street.  Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Highland police at 654-2131.




William A. “Hector” Benhoff

William A. “Hector” Benhoff, age 80, of Breese, passed away Thursday, January 9 at St. Joseph Hospital in Breese. A funeral mass will be today at 11:30 a.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Breese. Burial will be at a later date in the St. Dominic and St. Augustine Cemetery in Breese. Friends may call today from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the church. Memorials are suggested to St. Augustine’s Church, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkinson’s Research, or the Clinton County Humane Society. The Moss Funeral Home in Breese is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Benhoff was born February 2, 1933 in St. Louis, MO to Casper and Nellie (Lincoln) Benhoff: they preceded him in death.

He married Dolores Johnson-Schulte on November 19, 1977 at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Breese and she survives in Breese.

Also surviving is a daughter, Peggy (Carl) Thole of Breese and a son, Michael (Vicki) Schulte of Breese; 3 granddaughters, Kimberly (friend Randy Vandever) Thole, Becki (Ron) Foster, and Kelli Schulte; 3 step-great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Noreen (John) Doherty of St. Paul, MN; and 4 nieces.

Hector retired as a truck driver after 37 years from Granite City Steel.

Member of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Breese, American Legion Post 252 in Breese, Centralia Elks Club, United Steel Workers Local 30, and was a former Democratic Precinct Committeeman.

Thomas H. Stewart

Thomas H. Stewart, age 62, of Highland, passed away Wednesday, January 8 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland.  A memorial service will be tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland.  Friends may call from 6:30 p.m. until service time at the funeral home.  Memorials are suggested to the American Diabetes Association.

He was born February 08, 1951, in Bloomington, IL, the son of Thomas E. and Norma Eileen (nee Walker) Stewart.

Thomas was born in Bloomington, IL and lived in Hayworth until moving to Highland in 1954. He was a 1969 graduate of Highland High School and was active in Community Theater in IL and MO including Clinton County Show Case. He enjoyed visiting Flea Markets and Interior Decorating. He had worked at St. John Mercy Hospital for 7 years, St. Mary's Hospital 8 years, St. Joseph Hospital in Highland 3 years, and Edwardsville High School, retiring in 2009. His family had attended First Congregational Church in Highland. He loved his grandchildren very much.

Survivors include :
Son - Kevin T. (Heather) Stewart, Alhambra, IL
Life Partner - Henry L. "Hank" Crider, Saint Louis, MO
Grandchild - Katelyn R. Stewart, Alhambra, IL
Grandchild - Gavin T. Stewart, Alhambra, IL
Former Wife - Mary B. Mollett married 8/19/76 - divorced 1984, Greenville, IL
Sister - Linda M. (Victor"Vic") Kahn, Granite City, IL
Nieces - Three .
Great Nephews and Nieces - Five .
Great Great Nieces & Nephews - Three .
Life Partner's Daughter - Nicole D. (Partner Eddie Castanda) Crider, Indianapolis, IN
Life Partner's Daughter - Renae E. (Mark) Willis, Indianapolis, IN
Life Partner's Grandchild - Seven with an Eighth anticipated 2/1/2014

He was preceded in death by
Father - Thomas E. Stewart died 10/21//1995
Mother - Norma E. Stewart nee Walker died 5/26/2012

John B. Colvin, Sr.

John B. Colvin, Sr., age 63, of Trenton, passed away Friday, January 10 at Carlyle Healthcare Center.  A memorial service will be held tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Moss Funeral Home in Trenton.  Friends may call from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.  Memorials are suggested to Stress Management Strategies.

Mr. Colvin was born April 12, 1950 in St. Louis, MO to Doris (Buff) and Harry Colvin, Sr.; they preceded him in death.

In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by a son, John B. Colvin, Jr.; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Albert and Sylvia (Litteken) Rakers; and a niece, Charity Peek.

He married Elaine Rakers on October 7, 1972 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Trenton, and she survives in Trenton.

Also surviving are his daughters, Leah Colvin of Trenton, Jessica (Mike) Glielmi of St. Louis, MO, and Emily (friend Theo Odom) Colvin of Trenton; a brother, Harry (Marty) Colvin, Jr. of Farmington, MO; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Bonnie (friend Rob Mclean) Weinacht of Highland, Paula (Dale) Peek of Aviston, Jane (Marvin) Hollenkamp of Aviston, and Joan (Jay) Blair of Manito, IL; and numerous nieces and nephews.

John was a Telecommunications Specialist for Centene in St. Louis, MO.

He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Trenton, Trenton Knights of Columbus Council 2932, and at a younger age obtained the rank of Eagle Scout.

Carol A. Greek

Carol A. Greek, age 71, of north of Greenville, passed away Monday, January 6, at her home.  Graveside funeral services will be Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. at Buck Road Cemetery on Rt. 162 in Maryville.  Memorials are suggested to Bond County Hospice or Shriner’s Hospital.  The Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Carol Ann, the daughter of William and Marie Perry Carvelot, was born February 1, 1942 in Granite City, Illinois.  She was raised in Glen Carbon, Illinois and Collinsville where she graduated from Collinsville High School with the class of 1960.  Carol was a receptionist for a doctor's office and for 25 years the postmaster in Donnellson, Illinois.  She retired in 1997.

Carol and Michael Dale Greek were united in marriage on September 21, 1963 in Collinsville.

She is survived by her husband, sister Rosemary May of Collinsville and brother William Carvelot of Caseyville.  Carol was preceded in death by her parents.

Paul M. Capelle                                                                

Paul M. Capelle, age 87 of Highland, passed away Thursday, January 9th at St. Josephs hospital in Highland. A funeral mass of Christian burial for 87 year old Paul M. Capelle will be Monday at 10:00 AM at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland. Friends may call Sunday from 4:00-8:00 PM and again on Monday from 8:00-9:30 AM at Meridith funeral home in Highland. Memorials are suggested in the form of masses, St. Joseph’s Hospital or the Highland VFW.

Melvin Owens                                             

Melvin Owens, age 87 of Reno, passed away Thursday, January 2nd. A visitation for 87 year old Melvin Owens will be Tuesday from 5:00-7:00 PM at Perfetti Funeral home in Sorento. Cremation will be accorded following the visitation.

John A. Snider                 

John A. Snider, age 82, of rural Mulberry Grove, passed away Sunday, January 12, at Fayette County Hospital.  Graveside funeral services for 82 year-old John A. Snider, will be Tuesday, January 14, at noon, at Mulberry Grove Cemetery with flag folding by American Legion Post 1180 of Mulberry Grove.  Friends may call Tuesday, from 10:00 – 11:45 a.m., at the Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Mulberry Grove.  Memorials are suggested to Siteman Cancer Research or the donor’s choice.

John Alvin Snider, the son of John William Snider and Iona Kay Traylor Snider, was born on December 18, 1931 in New Douglas, Illinois. John was raised in Glen carbon and Coffeen. Early in life John worked construction. He then answered his country's call by joining the United States Army serving during the Korean Conflict.

John and Barbara Ellen Bunton were united in marriage on October 10, 1953 in Hillsboro and have enjoyed over 60 years together. Barbara survives as do three of their four children: T. Marie (Wayne) Lunsford of Granite City, IL, D. J. (D. Mike) Wemple of Ramsey, IL, Clifford W. (Cheryl) Snider of rural Vandalia, 8 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, sister Ora Mae Hatcher of Hillsboro, and twin brothers Cloyde (Alma) Snider of Donnellson, and Claude (Barbara) Snider of Fillmore.

John is preceded in death by his parents, his son John A. Snider in an auto accident in 1970, sister Lila King-Warren, one granddaughter Amy, and a son-in-law John Mitchell.

John and his wife Barbara lived in Granite City for 15 years moving to the farm in rural Mulberry Grove in 1969. John attended Bailey Tech in St. Louis in Diesel and Gas Engine service and worked construction for over 40 years. He became a Brick layer for many of those years. John farmed his farm alongside working since moving from Granite City.

John is a former member of the Granite City American Legion and a member of Brick layers Union Labor Local # 65 of Granite City which is now Local # 8 of Champaign.

Jean M. Butcher

Jean M. Butcher, age 72, of Greenville, passed away Sunday, January 12 at Alhambra Care Center. Funeral arrangements for 72-year-old Jean M. Butcher are incomplete with the Donnell Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville.

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