After well-below seasonal average temperatures recently, a quick warm up is expected today and Thursday, ahead of an approaching low-pressure system. The National Weather Service says southwest winds will help push temperatures into the 50s for many areas today and into the upper 50s to lower 60s for most areas on Thursday.

Showers are expected to begin breaking out across the area tonight and a cold front pushing through later on Thursday and Thursday night will result in thunderstorms. According to the NWS, some storms may be strong to severe.



The Greenville Fire Department used backpack leaf blowers to help control several grass and brush fires taking place through Bond County recently. Fire Chief Bill Johnston said he discovered the unlikely use for this tool while visiting another fire department. He told us how it works.

“You just get into the unburnt part and blow it back into where it’s burning,” said Johnston. “It actually blows a fire line and sometimes you get enough wind to actually blow it out. It’s a little heavy to carry it on your back and go up and down some of those hills, but right now, that’s what I like the best, those backpack air blowers.”

Johnston said Bond County is still under a burn ban until at least Saturday, March 29 because the dry conditions make it too easy for fires to get out of hand.

Photo courtesy of the Greenville Fire Protection District



The Greenville Public Library will host John Coleman as he speaks on “The Fascinating History of the Railroad in Greenville and Bond County” this April. Coleman gave WGEL a preview of the presentation.

“There were four railroads that came through the county,” Coleman said. “The biggest one was the Pennsylvania Railroad which originally started as the St. Louis, Vandalia and Terre Haute. Then there was also the Nickel Plate that went through Sorento, and there was the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, which went through Sorento to Smithboro to Keyesport.

“And then there was another little bitty railroad that was called the Chicago, Greenville and Southern, which didn’t go to Chicago and it didn’t go south of Greenville, so it’s a funny little railroad that went from Durley Campground to Greenville…I’m going to talk about the history of those, I’ll have some pictures, I’ll have some artifacts and some other stories to talk about, too.”

The event will be held Thursday, April 10 at the Bradford Room at 7:00 p.m. Cost to attend is an $8 donation which includes refreshments. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Greenville Public Library or from library board members. Tickets will also be available at the door. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Library’s Summer Reading Program.




As part of National Flood Safety Awareness Week last week, the American Red Cross released a new Flood App. The free app gives smart phone users instant access to local and real-time information. Robin Summers, Executive Director of the Southwestern Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross, told us more about what the app has to offer.

The app will allow audible NOAA, and NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flood and flash flood watches and warnings,” Summers told WGEL. “The audible warnings will come through to alert people when they’re asleep or they’re away from the TV and radio, which is really kind of neat, so you’ve always got that protection in your hand.”

Summers said the app also provides tips on how to prepare for flooding.

“Basically anything that you need to know to protect your home and property, to make a plan for your family and your pets, and to make an emergency kit, should you be alerted to flooding, are available in this mobile app.”

The new app is available for download in the Apple store and the Google Play store by searching for American Red Cross.



Kaskaskia College scheduled an open house at the Vandalia Campus today from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A light lunch will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and refreshments will be served all day. You may tour the facility, meet the Vandalia Campus staff, and meet with financial aid specialists to complete the FAFSA application. Returning students may register for classes and new students may complete their education plan to be ready to register March 31. For more information, call 283-1780.


Sharon L. Haar

Sharon L. Haar, age 65, of Highland, passed away Saturday, March 22 at Relais Bonne Eau in Edwardsville.  Funeral services will be Saturday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m. at Meridith Funeral Home in Highland.  Burial will be in Highland City Cemetery.  Friends may call Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to service time at the funeral home.  Memorials are suggested to Highland Food Pantry, Highland Animal Shelter, HACF, the Nan Carpenter Donor Advised Fund, or His Kids.

Sharon was born October 16, 1948, in Highland, IL, to Estelle (nee Dill) Seals and Louis Koch.  On September 5, 1970, she married her loving and devoted husband, Stanley Haar. 

Sharon graduated from Highland High School in 1966.  She worked for a short period of time at Highland Supply and Essenpries Plumbing & Heating.  She then worked for the Korte Company, and retired from SIUE in January 2010, after working 18 years in the chemistry and social work offices.  Sharon always took pride in performing her work to the best of her ability, and received several award recognitions for her efforts through the years.

She was a fun loving person and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends.  During her life, she enjoyed playing softball, volleyball, bowling, and horseback riding.  She was an animal lover and had dogs and horses throughout her life.  Sharon was a member of the original Highland Saddle Club.  She was also a member of the original Highland Junior Women’s Club.  She was a member of AFCSME retirees.  Sharon and her husband enjoyed their family time, traveling, and spending time with their many friends and relatives during their 43 years together.

She is survived by her husband, Stanley Haar, Highland, IL; son, Matthew Haar, Highland, IL; brother, Dennis Koch, Highland, IL; half brother, Jeffrey Guenther, Arizona; stepmother, Jean Koch, Trenton, IL; stepbrother, Harvey (Candy) Guenther, Trenton, IL; step grandmother, Verna Koppers, Aviston, IL; sisters-in-law, Ruth Ann (Bill) Kirby and JoAnn Shalhoub, both from St. Louis, MO; brother-in-law, Joe (Louise) Haar, Breese, IL; aunts, uncles, many nieces and nephews, cousins, and special cousin, Bunny (Daniel) Korte.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Louis and Estelle Koch; maternal grandparents, Richard and Mabel Dill; paternal grandparents, Belmont and Irma Koch; step grandfather, Vince Koppers; sisters-in-law, Irene Sowul and Cleo McKee; brother-in-law, Severin Haar.

Braylin Joseph Torti

Braylin Joseph Torti, child of Kandice M. Smith and Michael J. Torti, of Pocahontas, passed away Thursday, March 20, at Greenville Regional Hospital.  A memorial service will be Friday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. at the Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville.  Family and friends will gather from 6:00 p.m. until service time at the funeral home.

Braylin is survived by his parents, his brother Mason Michael Torti age 2, maternal grandparents Tina Osborn and Danny Hill of South Roxanna, great grandmother Marcella Smith of Alton, paternal grandparents Stacey Torti and Curt Eversgerd of Pocahontas, and paternal great-grandparents Joyce and Jack Eversgerd of Jamestown, and Barbara and Tony Torti of Collinsville.

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