Montgomery County Fair Queen Summer Robbins of Coffeen was crowned the 2014 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen on Sunday.

Summer Robbins

Robbins told WGEL the best experience has been developing skills in interviewing and public speaking that have already come in handy. She said she is looking forward to a year of developing those skills further in her upcoming work with the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs.

Robbins is 18 years old and a freshman in college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she is studying finance.

County Fair Queen Riley Langham represented Bond County in the state pageant over the weekend. Riley told WGEL last week that she was most looking forward to the memories she would make during the pageant. She is currently attending Saint Louis University where she is majoring in Nursing.

Photos courtesy of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs



Ryan Paine of Mulberry Grove was sworn in Monday, January 20 as the newest officer of the Greenville Police Department. Sergeant Scott Workman told us that after his 10-week training course at police academy, he will bring the department back to full staff.

Paine graduated from Mulberry Grove High School in 2009. He attended Kaskaskia College where he received his associate’s degree in 2011. He went on to Greenville College where he received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He comes to the department from the Bond County Sherriff’s Department where he worked as a correctional officer since 2010.


Each year the Greenville Chamber of Commerce showcases new businesses during the “New Faces and Places” breakfast. The event will be held Tuesday, February 18 at 7:30 a.m. at the St Lawrence Catholic Church Hall, 512 S. Prairie Street. The program is open to not only new businesses but also those that have expanded, extensively remodeled, are under new ownership, or have new personnel in key positions. Chamber membership is not required for participating. Each business is invited to send a representative to speak for a minute or two. Attendees are also encouraged to bring brochures, flyers, or other promotional pieces. 

Because of the potential length of the event, businesses are required to reserve a spot.

To be part of the “New Faces and Places” program, please contact John Goldsmith at 664-9272 or send an e-mail to greenville@newwavecomm.net

In conjunction with “New Faces and Places” the Chamber will present a brief year-end reports on activities and a preview of 2014 programs. The Chamber board of directors will be introduced. 

Chamber of Commerce members and the public are invited to attend.



The Pocahontas Center has announced their Character Education Students of the Month for January. The word for January is "Courage."

(L to R, back to front) Griffin Leitschuh, Kaleigh Anderson, Kelsey Tetreau, Dakota Dreimeyer, Shari Gibson, Nicholas Crawford Olivia Kalous, Anna Adams, Elias Hahn, Delaney Stricker, Christian Lee Hailey Quade, Shelby Haberer, Dalton Oliver, Austin Weiss, Ahrya McKelley

Photo courtesy of Mike & Carol Ellsworth


Bond County Foster Hope, an organization focusing on raising awareness for foster programs and encouraging assistance for foster families and children in Bond County, is now offering Pride classes free of charge in Greenville.

Foster Hope Executive Director Dora Mann told us the class is a state requirement for adoption or foster parenting.

The first nine-week class began Monday, January 13. Mann told us the next class will open as soon as enough people show interest. To learn more about Foster Hope, you can visit their website at www.bondcountyfosterhope.org.

Prairie Farms


Large numbers of Bald Eagles are being seen in the Pere Marquette State Park area thanks in part to the recent harsh winter weather which produces ideal river conditions for the majestic birds.

Listener Mary Neer told us after spending the day Sunday looking at Bald Eagles near Alton, she returned home to find one in a field near Red Ball Trail at about 4:30 p.m. They managed to snap a few photos before the eagle flew away.



Eagles are arriving just in time for the Bald Eagle Festival at Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton, within Pere Marquette State Park, on January 26, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. There is no entry fee and attendees may enjoy scenic outlooks, hiking trails, unique vendor booths, live music, face painting, and educational exhibits. The cost for the “Masters of the Sky” show is $3.00 per person. For more information, call 786-2331.

Photos courtesy of Terry & Mary Neer



The Greenville Plan Commission will meet tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the Greenville Municipal Building. During the meeting, a public hearing will be held to review and recommend a revised Planned Unit Development for Greenville Regional Hospital.

The Mulberry Grove Board of Education is scheduled to meet tonight at 7:00 p.m., in the district library. Agenda items include technology upgrades, the proposed calendar for the 2014-2015 school year, graduation dates, the creation of a budget for the 2014-2015 school year and superintendent evaluation.

The Bond County Board will also meet in regular session this evening at 7:00 p.m. Their meeting will be held in the Board Room of the Bond County Courthouse.


The Greenville Comets defeated the East Alton-Wood River Oilers in the Litchfield Tournament Monday afternoon. Final score was 58 to 42. The Comets are back in action as part of the tournament again tonight as they take on Mt. Zion at 6:00 p.m. You can catch that game live on WGEL 101.7 FM or streaming online at www.wgel.com.


David A. Wempe

David A. Wempe, age 65, of Germantown, passed away Monday, January 20 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese. Funeral services will be Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Moss Funeral Home in Germantown. Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. Friends may call Wednesday from 9:30- 11:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the donor’s choice.

Mr. Wempe was born August 9, 1948 in Breese to Virgil and Leanarda (Rosen) Wempe; they preceded him in death.

In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by a grandson, Braxton Wempe; and a sister-in-law, Dang Wempe.

He married Barb Albers on September 25, 1970, and they later divorced.

Surviving are his sons, Todd (Brenda) Wempe of Germantown, Keith (Jennifer) Wempe of Germantown, and Tim (Amanda) Wempe of Bartelso; 8 grandchildren, Tiffany Budde, Michael (Bethany) Monteiro, Zachary Wempe, Adam Budde, Michael (Annie) Strate, Camden and Griffen Wempe, and Isabella Wempe; 7 great-grandchildren, Skyley and Parker Budde, Corrine and Jacob Engelmann, Samuel and Ella Strate, and Alivia Monteiro; a brother, Virgil "Sonny" Wempe of Shreveport, LA; a sister, Mary (Henry "Red") Hoerchler of Breese.

Dave retired as an Aircraft Mechanic from Scott Air Force Base and he was a Veteran of the United States Air Force.

He was a member of the Clinton County Vietnam Veterans 269 where he was a past president, Breese American Legion Post 252, and a former member of the Germantown Kernel Nut Club.

Flora M. Henken

Flora M. Henken, age 99, of Breese, passed away Saturday, January 18 at Carlyle Healthcare Center in Carlyle. A funeral mass will be Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Breese. Burial will be in the St. Dominic/St. Augustine Cemetery in Breese. Friends may call Thursday from 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. at the church. Memorials are suggested to St. Dominic Church or to the Breese Senior Citizen Meal Site and will be received at the church or through the Moss Funeral Home in Breese who is in charge of the arrangements.

She was born in Greencreek, IL on February 17, 1914 to Henry Casper and Louisa (Stephany) Weirich. She grew up in Aviston and Germantown. In 1931 she married Arthur B. Henken and he preceded her in death.

Flora is survived by two sons, Arthur G. (Sylvia nee Heimann) Henken of Carlyle and Leland (Beverly nee Lea) Henken of Bluffton, SC; nine grandchildren, Mary Jo (Mark) Kratschmer, Betsy (Paul) Bacon, Kathy (Mikel) Huelsmann, Terese (Robert “Bob”) Kasson, A.J. (Carol) Henken, Joseph (Cindy) Henken, Heather (John) McDermott, Lindsey (Ryan) Watson, and Eric (Victoria) Henken; 18 great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law, Eleanor Henken of O’Fallon and June Gerhard of Maryville, TN.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband; a daughter, Phyllis Henken who formerly lived in St. Louis, MO; and siblings, Viola, Joseph, Henry “Hank”, Lucille, Hilda, Mary, Anna, Louise, Francis, Gertrude, and Charles; and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Antonia, Sr. Bernardi, Mary, Sr. Benna, Frances, Clara, Joseph, John, Sr. Jude, and George.

Flora became more or less deaf in her early twenties, but regained her ability to hear with hearing aids. With experience and training, she later formed the Henken Hearing Co. dedicated to fitting aids for sale and maintaining aids with repairs and batteries for Qualitone hearing aids.

She was a member of St. Dominic Catholic Church and Altar Sodality, was the past Treasurer of the Breese Senior Citizens, and was the last of the charter members of the Daughters of Isabella Precious Blood Circle 718.

Flora was blessed with many years of life, enjoying the society of people at the senior meal site, bingo, and bunko games with generous help and concern of friends and relatives. She would want to say thanks.


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