Bond County Clerk Randy Reitz is urging citizens to participate in the primary election today. Reitz said in the past, primary voter participation has only been 11 percent.

“While there may not be very many races on each party ballot, there are five referendums going on throughout the county,” Reitz said. “Some will affect you – will affect your pocket book, tax payments and everything. So please take the time to go and vote.”

Reitz said registered voters don’t need to bring any type of special identification to their polling place because in Illinois voters are identified by their signature. Polling places close at 7:00 p.m.

WGEL will have live election coverage tonight, starting at 7:00 p.m. We'll cover the races in Bond and surrounding counties as well as state races.



A Marine from Highland is being honored at Arlington National Cemetery. Aaron Ripperda was one of seven Marines killed during a training exercise in Nevada last March. He’d served a couple overseas tours in Haiti and Afghanistan. A memorial ceremony is being held at Arlington tomorrow today.



A nine-year-old girl from Troy says a man tried to lure her into his black panel van as she was walking home from the store Sunday. Troy Police Chief Brad Parsons said the young girl handled the alleged abduction attempt perfectly.

“A black van approached her and offered her a ride,” Chief Parsons told WGEL.  “She declined, at which point, she stated that the driver yelled for her to get into the van and she ran away and ran to her house. She did everything right.  We hope we’ll have parents reminding their children and discussing this with all their children; run to a safe place, don’t get into any vehicle, of course, with someone you don’t know and if they persist, scream and run to either a place of business or your house, but someplace safe.”

The suspect is described as a black male, around 50 years old, wearing a skull cap. Chief Parsons asked that community members would report any suspicious vehicles or persons to the Troy Police Department at 667-6731.



Greenville High School is now in the process of planning their second annual Comet Give Back Day. Assistant Principal Brad Turner said they are excited to find new opportunities to give back in the community.

“If there are businesses or non-profits that are interested, they could certainly contact me at the high school,” Turner told WGEL. “We try to think of as many different possibilities as we can but certainly we don’t think of everything, so if there are people who didn’t participate last year, who are interested in having students this year, they just need to contact me here at the high school and we can try to set that up.”

Turner said the event was developed last year by Character Ed committee as a way for students to back to their community. Although the official deadline for student signup has passed, Turner said any interested students can still get involved by filling out the necessary form and that members of the community are also invited to participate.

Comet Give Back Day will take place on Friday, May 2. For more information on how to get involved, call the high school office at 664-1370.


Prairie Farms


Greenville College President Ivan Filby recently spent some time in WGEL studios where he extended his thanks to the community for their continued support of Greenville College.

“We know so many people in this community pray for us, they care for us, they look out for our students, so I just really want to say thank you very, very much for just the care of this community,” Filby told WGEL. “Because we’ve lived in Greenville, we don’t recognize how unique that is. I get to see campuses all over the world where the community is entirely indifferent, where there are all sorts of challenges between the colleges and the communities.

“There’s always scrapes and different things, but by and large, this is a really positive relationship. I believe the community wins by having the college here and the college certainly wins by being surrounded by such loving people.”

Filby said the college tries to play an active and positive role in Greenville and that they deeply value the community’s support.



Due to a lack of business, the regular Greenville Zoning Board of Appeals meeting scheduled for tonight at 7:00 p.m. has been cancelled.


Illinois’ poison control center may soon be shutting its doors. They’re facing a financial shortfall like most other entities within the state. Their budget has been slashed by more than a half-million-dollars over the past five years. The center answers thousands of calls every year from people who think they’ve ingested some type of poising and, the reps even provide training for medical professionals. Officials at the center say their budget is tight and if they don’t get an increase for next year, they’ll have to close at the end of June. 


Dorothy E. Kroner

Dorothy E. Kroner, age 83 of Highland, passed away Sunday, March 16 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville. Funeral services will be Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland. Burial will be in Highland City Cemetery. Friends may call Wednesday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and again Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until service time at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to H.A.C.S.M.

She was born July 10, 1930, in Highland, IL, the daughter of Charles and Anda (nee Dresch) Hediger.

On April 24, 1954, she married Nelson G. Kroner, Sr., who passed away on April 11, 2003.

She was a member of Evangelical United Church of Christ, VFW Auxiliary POST 5694, and Woodmen of the World.

Dorothy was born at Highland (Saline Township) and grew up on a farm. She moved to Marine and then to Baltimore, Maryland where she met her husband. After marriage, they moved back to Highland and reared her family. She was an Avon dealer. She and her husband enjoyed bowling, dancing, bingo and camping. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Survivors include:
Daughter - Darnise A. (John) Frey of Lewes, Delaware
Daughter - Darnel M. (Randy) Darr of Villa Grove, IL
Son - Nelson C. Kroner, Jr. of Highland, IL
Grandchild - Misty Darr of Mahomet, IL
Grandchild – Jennifer Darr of Bloomington, IL
Grandchild – Charlene Hamel of Highland, IL
Grandchild – John (Elizabeth) Frey of Pontoon Beach, IL
Grandchild – Jeremy (Ellie) Frey of Pocahontas, IL
Grandchild – Nathan Frey of Highland, IL
Great Grandchild – Blake Baum
Great Grandchild – Tiffany Hamel
Great Grandchild – Chris Frey
Great Grandchild – Josh Frey
Great Grandchild – Maranda Stoklosa
Great Grandchild – Domonic Frey
Sister – Alice (Marvin) Bleisch of Highland, IL

She was preceded in death by:
Husband-Nelson G. Kroner, Sr. died 4/11/2003
Father-Charles Hediger
Mother – Anda Hediger nee Dresch
Daughter – Charlene Kroner as infant
Sister – Louise Guentensberger
Sister – Anda Donnelly
Brother – Charles Hediger

Ruby Wideman LeBegue

Ruby Wideman LeBegue, age 94, of near Bauer’s Bonanza in rural Smithboro, passed away Sunday, March 16, at Montgomery Nursing and Rehab Center in Hillsboro. Funeral services will be Thursday at noon at the Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville. Burial will be in Gullick Cemetery. Friends may call Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until service time at the funeral home.

Ruby Irene Wilken, the daughter of Charles and Mabel Goodman Wilken, was born on December 11, 1919 in Dixon, Missouri. Ruby was raised in Granite City, Illinois and attended the public schools. Ruby moved to Bond County in 1977 and lived near Bauer's Bonanza for 36 years. Ruby and Perry Henry Wideman were united in marriage and were blessed with ten children. Ruby is survived by five children: Evelyn (James) Gard of Maryville whose daughter is Brenda (Jason) Dill, Lilia (Richard) Lehn of Keyesport whose children are Angie (Luke) Thole whose children are Kent, Aubrey and Holley, Mary (Todd) Siebert whose children are Lincoln and Levi, Lori (Art) Zobrist whose child is Aaron, Richard (Kelly) Lehn whose child is Ryan, Patricia (Dennis) Woll of Pocahontas whose children are Brandy (Art) Roy whose children are James Elam, Dennise Roy, Bobbie Roy, Madison Roy, Stacey (William Jr.) Debatin, whose children are William Debatin III, Wayne Debatin, Dennis Debatin, and Jamie Woll, Bernie (Marvetta) Wideman of Donnellson, whose children are Amanda Scott whose child is Kaytlynn Scott, and Chad Wideman, Gary (Janie) Wideman of Cicero whose children are James Wideman, Cherie Wideman whose child is Andrew, April (Eugene) Clipper whose children are Chris, Brandon, Joseph, Tyler. Ruby is survived by one brother Charles Wilken of Eureke, MO.

Ruby is preceded in death by her five children: Perry (Ellen) Wideman II. of Collinsville whose children are Shelly Neuman-Light whose daughter is Lisa Story whose daughter is Kristen, Perry Wideman III who died in January of 2014, Ralph (Shelly) Wideman whose chilodren are Richard and Katlyn, Jeff whose triplets are Alle, Emily Wideman, Barbara McCallister whose 4 children are Ruby Ann Kelly whose 3 children are Jamie Mastas, Chrystal Hatley, Dwane Scott, Jessie Kelly, Frank Kelly, David who died, Cecelia Moore whose 3 children are Danny Smith, Ronald (Shelly) Smith, Sherman Smith who died and grandchildren Heather, Brandon (Kristi) Smith, Cody Smith, Shirley Zanchette with 3 children Beverly (Doug) Pittman, David Zanchetti who died with 3 children Kayle, David, Michael, and Bobby Zanchetti who died in infancy, and Ruby's son Larry Wideman who died in infancy.
Ruby also is preceded in death by her parents, her husbands Perry Wideman, Ted Thompson, Loren LeBegue, sisters Vivian Jeffers, Eva Barklage, and three brothers Bernie, James, and Carl Wilken.

Louellen M. Rochelle

Louellen M. Rochelle, age 85 of Pocahontas, passed away Monday, March 17 at Memorial Hospital in Belleville. Graveside service will be Friday, March 28 at Hug Cemetery in Millersburg, Illinois. Friends may call Thursday, March 20 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland.  

Dolores Jean Espenschied   

Dolores Jean Espenschied, age 83 of Plano, Texas, formerly of Marine, passed away Sunday, March 17 at her residence. Funeral services will be Friday at 10:00 a.m. at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Marine. Burial will be in Marine Cemetery. Friends may call Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and again Friday from 8:00 a.m. until service time at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society.


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