Since November 2010 viewers of the Science Channel have been amused - and occasionally perplexed - by “Oddities”, a program centered on Obscura Antiques and Oddities, a unique New York store that sells everything from shrunken heads to vintage surgical instruments. Mike Zohn, star of “Oddities” and co-owner of Obscura Antiques and Oddities, will be visiting the DeMoulin Museum in Greenville this Saturday. Zohn will be signing autographs and doing a program about his store and TV show. 

Mike Zohn

Zohn attended a program last spring presented by John Goldsmith, DeMoulin Museum curator, at the Observatory in Brooklyn, New York. “Mike brought a couple of DeMoulin initiation devices from his collection and we had a great time taking turns demonstrating pieces for the audience,” Goldsmith explained. “Since then I’ve been on the lookout for DeMoulin artifacts for Mike. He’s a big fan and we’re excited to have him visiting us.”

DeMoulin Bros. & Co. got its start in 1892 as a manufacturer of fraternal regalia and initiation devices for organizations like the Modern Woodmen of America, Odd Fellows, and Improved Order of Redmen. The DeMoulin Museum has 17 of these rare initiation gags on display, including one just recently added. “The museum purchased an original DeMoulin Knife Throwing Stunt in late December from a woman in Davenport, Iowa. Mike has mentioned to me that it’s a piece he’s really looking forward to seeing,” Goldsmith said.

Due to the anticipated crowd for Mike Zohn’s program it will be held at the Globe Theater, 105 N. Third Street, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. He will then greet fans at the DeMoulin Museum, 110 W. Main Street. Additional details will be released closer to the date.

John Goldsmith told WGEL Zohn will share some never-before-aired video footage of some DeMoulin pieces during Saturday's program.

For more information, contact Goldsmith at the DeMoulin Museum, 618-664-4115.

Photo courtesy of the DeMoulin Museum


The Greenville Comets baseball team will play the Highland Bulldogs this May in Busch Stadium. Greenville High School Athletic Director Joe Alstat told us that immediately following the Cardinal/Cub game on Thursday, May 15, the Comets will take the field for their third year in a row.

“It’s a great experience for our kids, first and foremost,” Alstat told WGEL. “And, it’s an opportunity for our community to come together to support them. Obviously we have to sell X number of tickets to be able to play there. We have a feature game, Cardinals against the Cubs, on a Thursday afternoon in May. So, it’s a chance to escape the normal routine of the daily grind and go to Busch Stadium and watch a Cardinals/Cubs game and then the Comets play Highland.”

The Comets are selling Lodge Level seats for $30 each, which are good for both the Cardinal and Comet games. The Cardinal/Cub game begins at 12:45 p.m. To purchase tickets, contact Alstat at 664-5580.



The Smithboro Fire Department recently received two grants that have allowed them to make updates to their firefighting equipment.

“We received one from Southwestern Electric Co-Op,” Fire Chief Dale Deverick told WGEL. “They give out money to different agencies on occasion to purchase different material. We received one of their grants and we have purchased a gas meter detector. It detects four different types of gases. In the previous we just had a small, cheaper one we used.  This one allows us to upgrade and do a little wider range of detection to protect people in our district.”

Deverick said they also received a partial grant from the state of Illinois. Previously the department had received the maximum grant amount of $26,000 but received only $9,000 this year. Deverick said they used that grant money to purchase five new self-contained breathing apparatuses, bringing their total number up to eight.



The Illinois Conservation Police are investigating an alleged poaching at Carlyle Lake. Sgt. David Hyatt told us more about the incident.

“Someone had gone into Carlyle Lake, the southern common area,” Hyatt told WGEL. “It appears they shot over 30 ducks and left them lay. When the officers responded, some of the ducks were crippled and still alive. Snow goose season is in, and we believe somebody went in there to shoot snow geese and when they raised up to shoot them, of course, there was a bunch of ducks mixed in with them.”

Hyatt said the incident does not appear to be an accident based on the number of ducks slain.

“Whenever you fire a gun, you’ve got to know what you’re shooting at. And for this many ducks to get killed, they had to pull the trigger multiple times. So they had to have known that they weren’t just shooting geese.

Police are seeking the public’s help in finding any additional information on this case. The Carlyle Lake Waterfowlers Association in partnership with the Carlyle Hunting and Fishing Association are offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who comes forward with information that could lead to the arrest of the person or persons responsible. To report information, call the Target Illinois Poachers Hotline at 877-236-7529 or Sgt. Hyatt at 322-0693.




The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has set a date for their annual fundraising banquet. This year’s event will be held Friday, May 9th at the Greenville College Armington Center.

Robert “Ish” Smith, with the FCA, told us more about this year’s program.

“This year we have a return guest speaker from our second banquet,” Smith told WGEL, “and that’s Any Benes.  Andy’s pretty well known in our area because of Cardinals fans. The way we do the banquet is we have our coaches and our board members and others each line up a table of eight. If a person doesn’t have an invitation from one of them, they can always contact Joanna or me at our house and we will put them on a list and have them there.”

Average attendance at the banquet is 450 each year. For more information, or to reserve a spot, call Ish Smith at 664-1747.



Illinois State Police (ISP) announced Thursday that districts statewide will enforce road safety with a special enforcement memorial operation dedicated to fallen Trooper James Sauter, who was killed in the line of duty on March 28, 2013, when his ISP squad was struck by a truck tractor semi-trailer at I-294 southbound at Willow Road.  

ISP officials underscored that Operation Sauter will also place a targeted focus on the safe driving of commercial motor vehicles. Within the last two years, ISP buried two troopers and remain hopeful that another trooper recovers from life threatening injuries – all resulting from commercial motor vehicle crashes.

“The men and women of the ISP want Operation Sauter to remind the motoring public and commercial motor vehicle operators that safe driving saves lives,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.  “Today, ISP officers statewide will enforce the road safety laws and remember Jim’s courage and dedication to keeping our roads and drivers safe,” Grau added.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passed new hours of service regulations in February 2013 restricting long-haul drivers to 70 hours of driving per week, a 15 percent reduction from the previous limit.

Driver fatigue is a growing problem for all motorists and can result in deadly consequences.   The ISP has recently adopted the slogan “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow” to emphasize the importance of adequate rest for drivers.

All ISP sworn personnel are committed to working Operation Sauter, and will be aggressively patrolling Illinois roadways for 24 consecutive hours, today through Saturday, in remembrance of fallen ISP Trooper James Sauter.

“Operation Sauter will kick off with ISP officers saturating the interstates statewide, conducting road side safety checks to enforce the ISP’s Fatal Four mission:  Speeding, Seatbelts, DUI and Distracted Driving, to ensure the safety of the motoring public in preparation for the busy spring travel season,” said ISP Division of Operations Colonel Michael Zerbonia.

“However our number one goal during this 24 hour enforcement period is to raise public awareness within the motor carrier industry on the importance of safety regulations – namely driver fatigue - because drowsiness can have the same effects as driving under the influence,” added Zerbonia.

Officials also stressed that fines have increased to $120.00 for texting while driving, and hand held electronic devices are prohibited while driving.

The Illinois State Police urge motorists and out-of-state visitors to plan ahead, follow the rules of the road, and take the necessary safety precautions during this spring’s driving season.



Ruth A. Klein

Ruth A. Klein, age 66 of Trenton, passed away Wednesday, March 26 at her residence. Funeral services will be today at 7:30 p.m. at Moss Funeral Home in Trenton. Friends may call from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Hospice of Southern Illinois or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Ruth Klein is the daughter of Evelyn Walker of Pocahontas.

She was born December 27, 1947 in Vandalia to Evelyn (Koonce) Walker and the late Edgar Walker Jr., her mother survives in Pocahontas.

She was also preceded in death by brother David Walker, a sister Lois Walker, father-in-law and mother-in-law Vernon and Erma (Grafton) Klein, brother-in-law Aaron Klein.

She married Terry Klein March 10, 1966 at St. John United Church, of Christ in Trenton and he survives in Trenton.

Also surviving her children Stephen (Tracy) Klein of Columbia S.C., Michelle Oechsner of St. Peters, MO, Chad (girl friend Stephanie Maeder) Klein of Trenton

5 grandchildren Kayla (Keith) Rankin, Hanna, Emily, Brady Oechsner, Tayler Klein.

Brother Robert (Christine) Walker of Pocahontas

Sisters June Boggy of Summerfield, Mary Carter of Mulberry Grove, Karen (friend Maynard Davis) Wernle of Greenville.

Sisters-in-law Lisa (Steve) Schroeder of Bartelso, Kathy (Ron) Schultz of Trenton.

Ruth retired from the Federal Records Center in St. Louis, past co-owner of 7 West Bar and Restaurant, and rural Postal carrier in Trenton.

Member of Trenton Chamber of Commerce, Lebanon Women’s Golf League, Okawville Women’s Golf League.

Betty Winkler

Betty Winkeler, age 81 of Carlyle, passed away Wednesday, March 26 at her residence. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Carlyle. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Friends may call Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. at the Zieren Day Funeral Home in Carlyle. Memorials are suggested to the Clinton County Humane Society or to the National Wildlife Federation.

Mrs. Winkeler was born on March 22, 1933, in Carlyle, Illinois, a daughter of Edward and Mabel (Mahlandt) Van Dorn. She married Norbert Winkeler at St. Mary’s Church in Carlyle on July 10, 1952, and he preceded her in death on August 1, 1999.

Betty is survived by her children – David Winkeler (Janet) of Highland, Mark Winkeler (Carol) of Carlyle, Craig Winkeler (Sue) of Aurora and Susan Winkeler (Mike) of Beckemeyer; her grandchildren – Julie Kreke (Jason), Amy Racanelli (Vito), Angela Winkeler, Joy Winkeler, Jamie Scott (Matthew), Laura Winkeler and Alex Cox; her great grandchildren – Isabella, Leo, Silas, Elsie, and Samuel Kreke; a sister – Sherry Laux-Mays (Tony) of Troy; and her in-laws – Don Vandeloo of Carlyle, Rosemary Winkeler of Germantown and Ted Sautman of Carlyle.

She was preceded in death by her parents – Edward and Mabel Van Dorn; her husband – Norbert Winkeler; a brother – Doug Van Dorn; and her in-laws – Lucille Vandeloo, Ervin Winkeler, Rosalind Sautman, Greg Winkeler and Helen Winkeler.

Mrs. Winkeler was a member of St. Mary’s Church, Carlyle V.F.W. Auxiliary and Beckemeyer American Legion Auxiliary. She was a homemaker and loved animals, especially her dogs and cat.

Helen Rehkemper

Helen Rehkemper, age 87 of St. Rose, passed away Wednesday, March 26 at Countryside Manor in Aviston. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Rose Church in St. Rose. Burial will be in St. Rose Cemetery. Friends may call tonight from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Moss Funeral Home in Breese. Memorials are suggested to Mater Dei High School, St. Joseph Hospital Lights for Scholarship or Hospice of Southern Illinois.

Mary E. Heilig

Mary E. Heilig, age 91 of Pocahontas, passed away Wednesday, March 26 at Helia Health Care Center in Greenville. Funeral services will be Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Meredith Funeral Home in Pocahontas. Burial will be in Robinson Cemetery. Friends may call tonight from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until service time at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the to Bond County Senior Citizens or Bond County Hospice.

Mary was born October 29, 1922, to Frank and Lola (nee Zoeller) Rea, in Pocahontas, IL.  On August 21, 1940, she married Lee Heilig in Cape Girardeau, MO.

She was recently baptized Lutheran.  She belonged to the senior citizens of Pocahontas, IL.  She loved flowers and liked her cats.

She is survived by four children, Leroy (Joyce) Heilig, Greenville, IL, Joe (Carol) Heilig, Pocahontas, IL, Jack (Karen) Heilig, Pocahontas, IL, Patricia Kircher, Sorento, IL; 1 sister, Opal Potts, Greenville, IL; 16 Grandchildren; 29 Great Grandchildren; 9 Great-Great Grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Lola Rea; her husband, Lee Heilig (2006); 1 Son-in-Law, David Kircher; 1 Granddaughter, Terri L. Heilig; 2 Grandsons, Steven Heilig and Douglas Heilig.

Tammy Gentz

Tammy Gentz, age 54, of New Baden, passed away Thursday, March 27.  A memorial service will be Sunday, March 30 at 5:00 p.m. at Hempen Funeral Home in New Baden.  Friends may call Friday from 1:00 p.m. to service time at the funeral home.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Clinton County Humane Society.

She was born April 23, 1959 in San Antonio, TX, daughter of Mark R. and Norma Jean (Daffron) Stanton II.  She married Eric Gentz in New Baden, IL on August 12, 1977 and he survives in New Baden, IL.

In addition to her husband she is survived by her father, Mark R. Stanton II of New Baden, IL; a daughter, Erin (Cameron) Pettus of Damiansville, IL; a son, Eric (special friend, Kayla Barkau) Gentz II of New Baden, IL; one grandchild, Cambell Pettus; a brother, Mark R. (Lisa) Stanton III of Tamaroa, IL; a sister, Lori  Fearing of Centralia, IL; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Harold and Pat Gentz of Aviston, IL; a sister-in-law, Vickie Gentz of Centralia, IL; and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Norma Jean Stanton; and a sister-in-law, Tina Gentz.

Tammy was a graduate of Wesclin High School, class of 1977.  She was the owner of Simple Country Treasures in Lebanon, IL and enjoyed collecting antiques and crafts.  She was a member of First Baptist Church in New Baden, IL.  Tammy enjoyed going to her children’s activities and was their number one fan.  She had a tender heart for all animals, especially cats, and took care of every stray she came across.  She had a warm smile and was friendly and congenial with everyone.  She was very optimistic in life and in her fight with cancer.  Her doctors said she was very inspirational to them and to other patients.  She always put everyone before herself.


Be sure to join Ryan Mifflin for WGEL’s Public Affairs Program this Sunday. Ryan will talk with Rachel Hunsdorfer of the Bond County Humane Society. The Humane Society has been making progress in serving the county in spite of some financial hardships. You can hear an update on where things are with the organization, how you can get involved and help, and the benefits of having a Humane Society in the county. Tune in for Public Affairs, right after the 12:05 Bond County Area News, Sunday afternoon on WGEL 101.7 FM.

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