Greenville Regional Hospital will present Health Fair 2014 on Friday, March 21st at the First United Methodist Church on Second Street. A variety of free and low-cost health screenings will be offered. Charles Skorzewski, Director of Physician Practices and Laboratory at the hospital, told WGEL there are also several low-cost blood tests available.

“We’re proud to offer a comprehensive health and blood screening, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes to collect and costs just $35,” Skorzewski said. “You can expect your results within two weeks.  Men can add a PSA, or prostate, screening for $10 more. And anyone can add a hemoglobin A1C test to detect diabetes for $10.  Or they can check their Vitamin D level for $15."

Appointment times are required to receive your blood test prior to 1:00 p.m. at the health fair. To reserve a time, you must pre-register. Skorzewski told us about the opportunities to pre-register.

“The first one is March 11 at the following locations: [Greenville] First United Methodist Church, Keyesport National Bank, Pocahontas Village Hall, Mulberry Grove Firehouse, and the Sorento Municipal Center. Additional pre-registration dates will take place March 12, 13, and 14 at the Bond County Senior Center.”

Additional pre-registration sessions will also be held March 12th in Keyesport, Pocahontas, Mulberry Grove, and Sorento; times vary based on location. For more information, contact Greenville Regional Hospital at 664-1230, x3060 or email health fair@grhinc.org.



Over three dozen citizens discussed the topic of leaf burning at the special Greenville City Council meeting Thursday night.

Most, but not all, of those that spoke asked the city to ban the burning of leaves. Those asking for the ban cited health problems they or their family and friends suffered from that are aggravated by the burning of leaves. Smoke from leaf burning can irritate many conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and COPD. Proponents of the ban also cited the city’s leaf vacuuming efforts and called the burning of leaves unnecessary. Opponents of the ban said that in some cases the physical task of raking leaves to the side of the road was not possible due to the severe slope in their property. 

Opponents also pointed out that some properties have too many leaves to mulch with a lawn mower. It was also said that the city’s current policy of allowing leaf burning only on specific days and times concentrates the smoke on those days, and also doesn’t let those burning their leaves choose a day when conditions are the best, as in dry days with little wind. 

After two hours of discussion the meeting was closed. The council will likely consider the issue at Tuesday’s regular city council meeting. 



Greenville College students received high honors at this year’s American Advertising Regional Award Competition, held last month. GC President Dr. Ivan Filby told us by the end of the competition, Greenville students brought home 11 awards.

“One of the things I’m particularly pumped about at the moment is that our students just presented work at the American Advertising Association Chapter,” said Filby. “They competed against major state universities and others from the whole region. We got eight gold medals, two silver medals, and the Best of Show. We are just very proud of these students; they’re just doing such extraordinary work.”

Students who received Best of Show honors and gold medals will advance to a district competition that features work from students in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

The students’ projects are judged by professionals in the advertising industry.



Famous naturalist Eustace Conway will be the keynote speaker at the Owl Creek Gazette Self-Reliance Expo on Saturday, March 15 at First United Methodist Church in Greenville. Conway has been featured on the History Channel show “Mountain Men” and is the founder of Turtle Island Preserve in North Carolina.

Conway told us in his case, self-reliance actually meant living without electricity most of his life.

“We’re certainly off the grid and for many, many years we had no power whatsoever as far as electricity,” said Conway.  “We’ve actually wanted to experiment to show people models of some modern types of electricity so they can have more of a green and independent electricity. We have some solar panels and we have a water generation system. For me it’s quite an experiment because I’ve been living for decades without any power at all, so it’s like ‘Wow, check this stuff out’, you know?”

You can hear more from Eustace Conway at the Self Reliance Expo this Saturday. It runs from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, with Conway to speak at 1:00 p.m.  For ticket prices or more information, visit the www.OwlCreekGazette.com.



Greenville FFA members met with Senator Kyle McCarter on Thursday during the FFA’s annual Ag Legislative Day.  FFA members were there to impress upon lawmakers the importance of agricultural education. 

The March visit is an annual event for FFA members from around the state during National Agriculture Month. The visit included baskets filled with agricultural products and specialty lunches for the legislators.

Photo courtesy of Senator Kyle McCarter


The Bond County Unit 2 School Board is scheduled to hold a special meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is being held to discuss the finances of the school district and will take place at the Central Office.



Lorna V. Reinacher

Lorna V. Reinacher, age 84, of Highland, passed away Thursday, March 6, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland.  Funeral services will be today at 10:00 a.m. at the Grantfork United Church of Christ. Burial will be in the Grantfork U.C.C. Cemetery. Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. until service time at the church. Memorials are suggested to the Grantfork United Church of Christ Memorial Garden or Leaps of Love. The Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland is in charge of arrangements.

She was born March 18, 1929, in Highland, IL, the daughter of Edward Charles and Elvira (nee Dresch) Zobrist.

On August 16, 1947, she married Elmer Clarence Reinacher who passed away on February 27, 2001.

She was a member of Grantfork United Church of Christ. She was also a member of Search Committee for the Church; Highland Women's Club (past president); UFO (United For Others).

Born Southeast of Highland, IL; reared there on the family farm. She worked at many local places: Wicks Organ Co.; Basler Electric; Zobrist Bus Line, driving Highland High School students to Collinsville Vocational School. She helped her husband for many years with the family farm. She moved into Highland January of 2001. She enjoyed bowling, crocheting, quilting, playing cards with family and friends, making pies for the Fire Department, Grantfork Homecomings and the church sausage suppers.

Survivors include :
Daughter - Lynn A. (special friend-Ryan Dale) Rutz, Highland, IL
Daughter - Lora L. "Lori" (Earl) Stocker, Highland, IL
Daughter - Sandra M. "Sandy" (Mark) Abert, New Douglas, IL
Grandchild - Kari L. (Don) Rutz-Jakel, Highland, IL
Grandchild - Torre J. (Twyla) Rutz, Highland, IL
Grandchild - Abbey L. (Matt) Inlow, Highland, IL
Grandchild - Eric E. (Tiffany) Abert, Alhambra, IL
Grandchild - Kyle A. (special friend-Olivia Buehne) Abert, New Douglas, IL
Great Grandchild - Lily Jakel, Highland, IL
Great Grandchild - Brooke Inlow, Highland, IL
Great Grandchild - Reagan Rutz, Highland, IL
Great Grandchild - Morgan Inlow, Highland, IL
Great Grandchild - Harper Rutz, Highland, IL
Brother - Neal L. "Butch" (Pat) Zobrist, Highland, IL
Brother - Ron C. Zobrist, Highland, IL
Sister - Shirley Sackett, Highland, IL
Sister - Bernice M. (Larry) Fricke, Highland, IL
Sister In-law - Dolores G. Zobrist, Highland, IL

She was preceded in death by :
Father - Edward C. Zobrist
Mother - Elvira Zobrist (nee Dresch)
Husband - Elmer C. Reinacher (died 2/27/2001)
Son In-law - Allan J. Rutz (died 3/22/2000)
Sister - Marian E. Riegel (died 5/27/2001)
Brother - Maynard E. "Bud" Zobrist
Sister - Lynette "Chubby" Becker (died 1/23/1980)

Paul B. “Peanuts” Hilmes

Paul B. “Peanuts” Hilmes, age 80, of Breese, passed away Sunday, March 9, at Breese Nursing Home. A funeral Mass of Christian burial will be Tuesday, March 11, at 10:00 a.m., at the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Breese. Burial will be in St. Dominic / St. Augustine Cemetery, also in Breese. Friends may call Tuesday, from 8:00 – 9:45 a.m. at the church. Memorials are suggested to Hospice of Southern Illinois or to the donor’s choice.  The Moss Funeral Home in Breese is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Hilmes was born October 8, 1933 in Germantown to Ben and Frances (Theising) Hilmes; they preceded him in death.

He married Agnes "Aggie" Deiters on February 13, 1956 at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Breese; she preceded him in death on May 6, 2012.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was also preceded in death by sons, Jeff Hilmes and Gary Hilmes; a daughter, Pam Pitt; and sisters, Johanna "Micky" Kampwerth and Dolores "Mutz" Grady.

Surviving are his children, Deb (Cletus) Ratermann of Breese, Charlie (Carla) Hilmes of Breese, Diane (Alfred) Holtgrave of St. Rose, Mike "Red" (Chris) Hilmes of Breese, and Kevin (Vanessa) Hilmes of Breese; a son-in-law, Mike Pitt of Breese; a daughter-in-law, Shelly (friend Jason Holthaus) Hilmes of Aviston; 13 grandchildren, Greg (Teresa) Ratermann, Scott (Mary) Ratermann, Eric Ratermann, Cierra Hilmes, Tammy (DJ) Grindstaff, Lara (friend Josh) Holtgrave, Brad (friend Melanie) Holtgrave, Kristen Hilmes, Matthew Hilmes, Bailey Hilmes, Garrett Hilmes, Justin Hilmes, and Tyler Hilmes; 3 great-grandchildren, Alex and Jonah Brown, and Emma Ratermann; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Edward (Jeanie) Deiters of Carlyle, Catherine Schrage of Highland, Mary Deiters of St. Rose, and Mary Beth (Dwight) Schubert of Beckemeyer.

Peanuts retired as a dockhand from Southern Farms Egg Plant in Germantown and was a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Breese.

Myrtle M. Widger

Myrtle M. Widger, age 91 of Greenville, passed away Friday, March 7 at Greenville Regional Hospital. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at the Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville. Burial will be in Noffsinger Cemetery. Friends may call today from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Noffsinger Cemetery or the family.

Myrtle Marie, the daughter of Henry Russell and Goldie Belle (Stubblefield) Shipley, was born August 23, 1922 south of Noffsinger Cemetery.  She grew up near Pittsburg, Illinois, attended the Pittsburg schools and lived and helped her grandparents, Josh and Martha Shipley, on the family farm.

Myrtle and Ralph Allen "Toby" Widger were united in marriage on October 2, 1943 in Vandalia, Illinois.  They enjoyed 45 years of marriage before his passing on November 2, 1988.  Myrtle raised her family and then worked 11 years at Vandalia Cleaners and Laundry.  She then worked 8 years at Midwest Commodity in Mulberry Grove and 7 years at the Mulberry Grove Locker Plant.  When she retired, Myrtle loved spending time with her grandchildren.

Mrs. Widger is survived by her 3 sons; Loren (Beverly) Widger of Columbus, Ohio, Dennis (Judy) Widger of Greenville, IL and Russell (Candice) Widger of Mulberry Grove, IL.  She is the loving grandmother of 7 and great-grandmother of 14.  Also surviving are 2 brothers: Loyd Shipley of Taylor Springs, IL and Melvin Shipley of Mulberry Grove, IL., and two sisters Sue (John) Hagler of Highland, IL. and Pansy (Lloyd) Finley of Lockport, Illinois.

Myrtle is preceded in death by her parents, husband Ralph, brothers Earl Shipley and Claude Shipley in WWII in Germany, sisters Valeria Dively, Elsie Root, and  Henrietta File.

Robert L. Zobrist                     

Robert L. Zobrist, age 88, of Highland, passed away Saturday, March 8, at his home. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 12, at 11:00 a.m., at the Central Christian Church in Greenville. Burial is in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Friends may call Tuesday, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland and Wednesday, from 9:00 a.m. until service time at the church. Memorials are suggested to the Central Christian Church in Greenville.

He was born on Tuesday, February 09, 1926, in Greenville, IL, the son of Clarence and Goldie (nee Hill) Zobrist.

On Saturday, June 03, 1967, he married Verna Mae Zobrist (nee Von Alst) who passed away on Saturday, November 02, 2013.

He was a member of Central Christian Church, Greenville, IL.

Robert L. "Sewing Machine Man" Zobrist, was born and reared in rural Greenville, IL. Served with the US Army Air Force from 1944 to 1946; active duty during WWII. After his military service he worked for De Moulin Brothers, Greenville, IL; later began repairing commercial sewing machines, working for the Marine Garment Co, Marine and Highland, IL, working there until 1986. He then worked for Miss Elaine Garment Co., O'Fallon, IL until 1988. He was known in several counties for working on sewing machines. He worked on sewing machines from his house for over 50 years. He volunteer for Meals On Wheels, the Highland Food Pantry and drove people to hospitals and doctor appointments. He truly loved riding motorcycles; he and his wife travelled all over the United States.

Survivors include:
Son - Kenneth C. (Marsha) Holtgrave, Highland, IL
Daughter - Patricia A. Nichols, Maryville, IL
Daughter - Cynthia K. (Randy) Higgins, Highland, IL
Grandchild - Cortnie M. (Josh) Stone, New Baden, IL
Grandchild - Michelle T. (Jonathan) Huhn, Mulberry Grove, IL
Grandchild - Michael L. (Angie) Holtgrave, Sr., Trenton, IL
Grandchild - Ryan A. Higgins, Highland, IL
Grandchild - Brett R. Higgins, Highland, IL
Great Grandchild - Marissa E. Huhn, Mulberry Grove, IL
Great Grandchild - Gavin J. Hodges, New Baden, IL
Great Grandchild - Michael L. Holtgrave, Jr., Trenton, IL
Great Grandchild - Rylee A. Hodges, New Baden, IL
Great Grandchild - Joshua E. Huhn, Mulberry Grove, IL
Great Grandchild - Trent T. Stone, New Baden, IL
Great Grandchild - Nicholas C. Holtgrave, Trenton, IL
Great Grandchild - Brady M. Holtgrave, Trenton, IL
Great Grandchild - Myah C. Huhn, Mulberry Grove, IL.

He was preceded in death by:
Father - Clarence Zobrist
Mother - Goldie Zobrist
Wife - Verna M. Zobrist (nee Von Alst) (died 11/02/2013)
Son - Michael L. Zobrist (died 9/24/1975)

Marcelina J. “Marcy” Huber

Marcelina J. “Marcy” Huber, age 84, of Highland, passed away Monday, March 3, at St. Louis University Hospital. Funeral services will be Friday, March 14, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland. Burial will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery also in Highland. Friends may call Friday, March 14, from 9:00 – 9:45 a.m. at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland.

She was born April 15, 1929, in Breese, IL, the daughter of John and Anna (nee Lunitz) Baumgartner.

She was a member of Saint Paul Catholic Church.

Marceline was born at Breese. She grew up there and in Greenville. She worked at Demoulins in Greenville, and as a nurses assistant at St. Mary's Hospital in East St. Louis. She became an interior decorator for many years. After a back injury she became a housekeeper. She moved to Highland in 1979, and moved to Faith Countryside Homes Apartments in the early 2000's. She played tennis when she was younger, and enjoyed sewing, puzzles, hiking, and visiting parks.

Survivors include :
Daughter - Glory M. (Sgt. Wayne) Hill USAF Retired, Rapid City, SD
Son - Conrad P. (Jean) Thacker, Greenville, IL
Daughter - Barbara E. (Kevin) Westholder Sr., Machesney Park, IL
Daughter - Margaret Susan (Michael W.) Recker, Smithton, IL
Grandchild - Amber E Recker, Smithton, IL
Grandchild - Kara A. Recker, Smithton, IL
Grandchild - Kristen M. Recker, Smithton, IL
Grandchild - Brian L. Hill (Girlfriend Janet), Rapid City, SD
Grandchild - Shawn (Toni) Hill, Souix Falls, SD
Grandchild - Susette (Jamie) Mahoffy, Rapid City, SD
Grandchild - Christopher S. Thacker, Greenville, IL
Grandchild - Cassandra DeLuisa, Machesney Park, IL
Grandchild - Dawn (Jason) Klein, Rockford, IL
Grandchild - Jennifer Westholder, Machesney Park, IL
Grandchild - Kevin (Rita) Westholder Jr., Machesney Park, IL
Great Grandchildren - Seventeen .
Brother - John (Mary Lee) Baumgartner, Collinsville, IL
Sister - Dorothy Leidel, Greenville, IL
Sister - Mary Ann Jurgena, Greenville, IL

She was preceded in death by :
Father - John Baumgartner
Mother - Anna Baumgartner nee Lunitz
Second Husband - James Carl Huber died 3/3/2009
Son - Jimmy Thacker died @ age 7
Son - John Thacker Stillborn Infant
Sister - Bernadine Lauer
Sister - Agnes Baumgartner
First Husband - James E. Thacker

Wayne R. Hobbs, Sr.

Wayne R. Hobbs, Sr., age 74, of Highland, passed away Sunday, March 9, at his home. A memorial service will be held Friday, March 14, at 11:00 a.m., at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland. Burial will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Highland, with military honors. Friends may call Thursday, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until service time at the funeral home. 

He was born November 16, 1939, in Trenton, IL, the son of William and Marie (nee Haas) Hobbs.

On December 17, 1966, he married Norma J Vosholler who survives.

He was a member of United Auto Workers-Hazelwood, Missouri.

Wayne was born and reared in Trenton, IL. He attended the Trenton Schools and then enlisted in the US Marine Corp. He served From 7/1/59-4/12/63 with duty in the South Pacific. Upon his discharge, he started to work for Ford Motor Company. After 30 years and 3 months of service he retired from Ford in 1993. He and his wife enjoyed traveling, they had cruised the Caribbean a number of times and had been to Hawaii. Wayne followed the baseball Cardinals and Cubs - especially the Cubs. He liked to plant a large garden every year. Time with his grandsons was very important. Anything John Wayne was special.

Survivors include :
Wife - Norma J. Hobbs (nee Vosholler), Highland, IL
Daughter - Starla K. (Howard) Schuchardt, Highland, IL
Son - Wayne R. "Chip" Hobbs, Jr., Highland, IL
Grandson - Lance Corporal Hunter W. Schuchardt, USMC, USS Boxer in the Pacific,
Grandson - Cody M. Schuchardt, Highland, IL

He was preceded in death by :
Son - Tracy Allen Hobbs DOD-04/19/2009
Brother - Raymond Hobbs
Brother - Larry Hobbs
Brother - Terry Hobbs
Brother - Gene Hobbs
Father - William Hobbs
Mother - Marie Hobbs (nee Haas)

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