01-29-2014



UNIT 2 SCHOOL BOARD EXTENDS SUPERINTENDENT’S CONTRACT FOR ONE YEAR

The Unit 2 School Board voted to extend Superintendent Jeff Strieker’s contract for one year at their meeting Monday night.  The board went into executive session shortly after the start of the meeting and, upon returning to open session, voted 5-1 to extend Strieker’s contract.  Gaffner, Prater, Schreiber, Workman, and Young voted yes and Timmermann voted no.  Terms of the contract have not been decided. 

Board President Young announced that a change will be coming to Unit 2 Board meetings, where executive session will happen first and the open part of the meetings will follow executive session, likely at 8:00 p.m.  

The Unit 2 Board also voted to have school attendance on March 3, Casimir Pulaski day.  Other local schools, including Unit 1 in Mulberry Grove, have recently voted to have student attendance on Pulaski day.  The school has used 8 out of 10 scheduled snow days and having attendance on Pulaski day will give the school more flexibility in case of more extreme winter weather. 

In the administrator reports, GES principal Swingler told the board that GES students will be going back to Busch Stadium to sing God Bless America on Saturday, August 16.  Pocahontas Principal Rakers said his students are over halfway to their reading challenge this year. Rakers told the board that if the students hit 19,000 points he would spend a day on the school’s roof.  

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GREENVILLE CHAMBER TO HOST PROGRAM WITH TWO GUEST SPEAKERS

The Greenville Chamber of Commerce is hosting an informational program Thursday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kaskaskia College Greenville Education Center. The program will feature guest speakers from two State of Illinois departments.

“Our guest speakers on Thursday are Edie Koch, who is the Southwest Regional Manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and also Matt Rice, Public Affairs Manager for the State of Illinois Comptroller’s Office,” Chamber Director John Goldsmith said. “Both Edie and Matt will be talking about various programs and services that their offices have available to the business community.”

The program is free of charge and open to both chamber members and the public. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 664-9272.


DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES CLOSES BOND COUNTY OFFICE

As a follow up to a story we ran yesterday regarding a warming center in our area, WGEL has learned that the Illinois Department of Human Services closed their Bond County office, located at 100 North Locust in Greenville, on January 17th, so it is not available as a warming center.

Notices were sent to residents who had active cases with the office, however a public announcement was not made.  All business handled by the Bond County office has now been transferred to the Department of Human Services office in East Alton.  For information, call 258-1660.

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HIGHLAND BEGINS PLANS FOR FINE ARTS CENTER

After a firm out of Chicago found that the city of Highland has the demographic makeup to support a Fine Arts Center through a feasibility study, the City, together with the Highland Arts Council, has started taking the next steps toward breaking ground.

Highland City Manager Mark Latham told WGEL they are now in the process of finding grants to fund the building and maintenance expenses for the Fine Arts Center. He said the City is giving much of the control over to the Arts Council to make this more of a grassroots project.

Latham said no timeline has been set for the building of the Fine Arts Center and there is still no concrete plan on where it will be built.


POLAR PLUNGERS WILL BE FREEZIN’ FOR A REASON

It’s not every day that people are willing to “go jump in a lake” – particularly in the winter – let alone do so with thousands of other people, including members of the law enforcement community. But that’s exactly what will happen on various weekends in February and March as part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge® to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.

The event has grown from one location in 1999 to 20 locations across the state this year.  The annual Polar Plunge at Carlyle Lake will be held at noon on Saturday, February 22nd. 

Any adventurous soul is invited to join law enforcement officers and others to don bathing suits, costumes, or any clothing of choice (just no wet suits!) to jump in a lake. Each plunger must collect a minimum of $75 in donations that will be used to support Special Olympics programs in Illinois.

Individuals and teams can register for the Plunge on the Special Olympics Illinois website at http://www.plungeillinois.com. For information on the Carlyle Lake Polar Plunge, call Peggy Knebel at 654-6680.

Plungers are encouraged to form teams to spread the fun. Each team member must raise the minimum of $75 in donations and all team members’ individual fundraising totals will be merged to form a combined team total. Teams are placed into divisions based on size and are awarded prizes for the most money raised.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fundraising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals:  to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. Each year, more than 3,000 officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal in June.

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AMERICA’S FARMERS GROW RURAL EDUCATION ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS

The Monsanto Fund is sponsoring the third year of America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education and giving farmers the opportunity to nominate a local public school district to compete for a merit-based grant of up to $25,000. School administrators may then submit grant applications through April 21. To make a nomination, farmers may call 1-877-267-3332 or nominate online at www.americasfarmers.com. This year the Monsanto Fund is committed to granting $2.3 million.


LATE STARTING CLASSES OFFERED AT KC GREENVILLE EDUCATION CENTER

Kaskaskia College is offering late starting classes at the Greenville Education Center to accommodate students’ busy schedules. Late starting classes are in a variety of areas including business, food service, health, and community education courses. For a complete list of the classes offered including times and starting dates, call 664-9394.


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OBITUARIES

Allan R. Akers

Allan R. Akers, age 77, of Breese, passed away Tuesday, January 28 at Aviston Countryside Manor.  Graveside funeral services with full military honors will be Thursday, January 30 at 2:30 p.m. at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.  Friends may call Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Zieren Day Funeral Home in Carlyle.  Memorials are suggested to Aviston Countryside Manor or Hospice of Southern Illinois.

Mr. Akers was born on April 10, 1936, in Breese, Illinois, a son of Dennis and Sophie (Popeck) Akers. He served in the United States Air Force for 20 years, including 2 tours in Vietnam. After his retirement, he worked at Moto Mart in Breese. Mr. Akers enjoyed NASCAR racing, Cardinals baseball, fishing and spending time with his family. Allan was a regular at Wally’s in Breese, where he went daily at 3:00 for coffee.

Survivors include 3 daughters – Sharon Loddeke (Brad) of Breese, Illinois, Jennifer Akers (Jacob Hanke) of Richview, Illinois and Linda Langley of Jacksonville, Arkansas; his grandchildren – Beth Peek (Danny), Curt Loddeke (January), Breann Loddeke, Mya Hanke and Jason Langley; his great grandchildren – Alexander Hunter, Emily and Hayli Rinne, Page Loddeke, Cayden Holtgrave and he was anticipating the arrival of Baby Peek in March; 2 sisters – Esther VonHatten of Highland, Illinois and Lorraine Brueggemann (Joe) of Carlyle and a brother – Dennis “Pat” Akers (Sheila) of Ashland, Missouri.

Paula J. Koley

Paula J. Koley, age 51, of Pierron, passed away Sunday, January 26 at her home.  Funeral services will be Friday, January 31 at 2:00 p.m. at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland.  Burial will be in Highland City Cemetery.  Friends may call Friday from noon to service time at the funeral home.  Memorials are suggested to the American Diabetes Association.

She was born June 20, 1962, in Elmhurst, IL, the daughter of Jon David and Grace Elizabeth (nee Bergendoff) Schneider.

On Sunday, April 02, 2000, she married Ronald C. Koley who survives.
Paula was born at Elmhurst, IL and lived in Lombard, IL until she was 6 and her family moved to Sycamore, IL until she was 16 when she moved to Highland. She attended Highland High School. She and her children had lived in Naperville, Aurora, O'Fallon, MO, Fremont, CA, Manteca, CA and back to Highland in 1995, and to Pierron in 1997. She enjoyed art, painting, sketching, crafts and Leather Work. She made belts, medicine bags, holsters, and wallets. She was a graduate of the American Art Institute.

Survivors include :
Husband - Ronald C. Koley, Pierron, IL
Father - Jon David Schneider, Highland, IL
Son - Dustin M. (Laura) Barry, Highland, IL
Son - Eric J. (Bethany) Barry, Highland, IL
Daughter - Danielle M. Barry, Saint Peters, MO
Grandchild - Molly E. Barry, Highland, IL
Grandchild - Michael J. Barry, Highland, IL
Sister - Andrea K. (Lon) Schwend, Greenville, IL
Sister - Errin L. (George) Neuner, Saint Peters, MO

She was preceded in death by :
Mother - Grace Elizabeth Schneider died 2/19/2008
Brother - David Jon Schneider died 10/29/2004


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