The Greenville Chamber of Commerce has officially begun raising money to replace the gazebo on the northeast corner of the Bond County courthouse grounds. The gazebo, which was erected around 20 years ago, had deteriorated to the point where the railing had rotted and the shingles were caked with moss and mold. Volunteers recently dismantled the gazebo to make room for a new one.

Replacing the gazebo is expected to be a cooperative venture involving several organizations. The Chamber is coordinating the fund raising for a gazebo kit, which will be assembled by volunteers.

Several individuals and civic clubs have already donated towards the gazebo project. “We need to raise around $2,500,” said John Goldsmith, Chamber of Commerce executive director. “Grant funds can be matched up to that amount, which will provide us with the money we need to purchase the kit.” The Chamber hopes to have the new gazebo in place by June 1. 

The Chamber used the gazebo last June for its “Old Fashioned Fridays” as free popcorn and snowcones were served to kids and parents. The structure has also been the site of weddings, cookouts, and musical performances. 

Monetary donations of all amounts are welcome. Checks should be made to the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Gazebo Fund, PO Box 283, Greenville. You may also contact the Chamber office at 664-9272.



Greenville College hosted a Greenville Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event Thursday evening at the college's Joy House, located on the corner of College and Spruce. Pictured above, GC's Michael Ritter (left), addresses the gathered audience of local chamber members.

Photo courtesy of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce


Average March rainfall in Greenville was 1.31 inches, almost two inches less than the ten year average of 3.38 inches.  We also had 23 hundredths of an inch of snow and two tenths of an inch of ice. The least March rain was just eight tenths of an inch in 1981 with the most rain falling in March 2008 when Greenville got 8.72 inches. Thirteen years show no March snow with 18.6 inches of snow in March 1978.



We recently reported Scott Lurkins has resigned as Economic Development Coordinator for the city of Greenville to take a position in Louisville Kentucky. Mayor Alan Gaffner told us the city is grateful for all that Lurkins has accomplished for the city.

“On behalf of the city of Greenville and the Greenville City Council, we want to thank Scott for his excellent work over the past four years in the area of economic development,” Gaffner told WGEL. “Scott has accomplished some very, very significant projects on behalf of the city, and they include the CSX Railroad site designation, the expansion of the Carlyle SynTec manufacturing facility, relocation of the Bond County Senior Citizens Center to Harris Avenue and what will become an expanded facility and the location of Joe’s Pizza on the Greenville square.”

The mayor said Lurkins has planted seeds with a number of other projects he expects to see come to fruition in the community.


Smithboro Firefighters responded Sunday, at 12:41 p.m., to a report of a grass fire at a residence on Trapper Avenue.

Greenville Firefighters were called Sunday, at 9:14 p.m., to a report of power lines down and a tree top burning at a location on Sorento Avenue and Reno Road.  Firefighters checked the area and found nothing.  They were on the scene about half an hour.

Shoal Creek Firefighters responded Sunday, at 10:22 p.m., to a report of arcing power lines.  According to the Greenville Police Department the cause was a broken power pole and a power line was arcing in a tree.  There was no fire when firefighters arrived.  Ameren IP was called to make repairs.


In celebration of Soil Stewardship Week, the Bond County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Bond County Ag in the Classroom Program is now accepting entries for their 2014 Poster Contest. The special week runs from April 27 to May 4. Emily Hartman with the Conservation District told us more about the contest.

“Students at any school in the county or home school student can enter the contest,” Hartman told WGEL. “We have five different categories—kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade, fourth through sixth, seventh through 9th and 10th through 12th. Students can enter a drawing, a painting, a coloring—any type of picture, but on the drawing itself, it needs to have the topic, ‘Dig Deeper, Mysteries of the Soil,’ and that title must be listed somewhere on the drawing. They can draw anything that has to do with soil and the life within it.”

Posters must be a minimum size of 8 ½ by 11 inches and a maximum size of a standard poster board. Entries may be submitted at the Bond County Soil & Water Conservation District office on Harris Avenue by Wednesday, April 30.

Prizes will be awarded to countywide winners in each category. Winning posters will also be submitted to the statewide contest.



A lawsuit out of Clinton County has started receiving national attention recently as non-profit corporation Citizens Opposing Pollution, along with several other Clinton County residents, are reaching out to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell after the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the circuit court’s decision in the case Citizens Opposing Pollution v. Exxon Mobil Coal. Attorney Penni Livingston with The Livingston Law Firm in Fairview Heights told us about the letter they sent to Secretary Jewell.

“You can force a government official to do what they are mandated to do, so I wrote Secretary Jewell a letter on March 17th indicating that I was requesting for the Citizens Opposing Pollution, a not-for-profit Illinois corporation in Clinton County, along with numerous individuals, requesting that she pull the program away from Illinois and put it back with the federal government,” Livingston told WGEL. “Secretary Jewell is mandated to pull the program, because Illinois can’t fix their program.”

Livingston said if they do not receive a response from Secretary Jewell within 60 days after the letter was sent, they will pursue a lawsuit in order to move forward with cleaning up the over 400 acres of land which she says were left to pollute the air and water supply with toxic coal slurry. Clinton County has changed their water supply, now charging residents for the use of an alternative water source.


Shoal Creek Fire Protection District recognized their firefighters recently for their service to the community at the annual awards banquet. Steve Langheim with the fire department told us more about the event.

“We had our annual banquet in the Sorento Firehouse—engine house number one, where we had members of the fire department recognized for their service,” Langheim told WGEL. “The banquet was catered by FEMA, and we had a good time and a good meal. The district recognized all its firefighters for their hard work and everything that we’ve done this past year. It’s what kind of keeps us going, striving forward for the next year of serving our communities.”

During the banquet, Kelly Voyles was named the 2013 Firefighter of the Year. Fire Chief Kent Priddle and Assistant Chief David Caulk also received special recognition.



According to District 11 Commander Captain Joe Kollins, Illinois State Police may conduct roadside safety checks in St. Clair or Madison Counties in April. Roadside safety checks are effective tools for generating voluntary compliance with traffic laws by the motoring public. They help keep our roads safe by taking dangerous DUI offenders off the road.  Troopers will be watchful for drivers operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, and transporting open alcoholic beverages.




The Greenville Comets hosted the Greenville Invitational Track Meet Saturday. Overall, the Lady Comets track team placed fourth and the boys placed ninth.

Mattie Carter took first place in the girls pole vault and 400 meter dash.

Other top three finishers included Abby Degler, who placed second in the girls high jump; Devon Leitschuh, who placed second in the boys 110 meter hurdles and second in the 300 meter hurdles; Devin Thompson, who came in second in the boys 400 meter dash; and the relay team of Ebony Cohen, Brooke Weiss, Haley Pierce, and Alyssa Moore, who placed second in the girls 4X200 meter relay.


Paul "Butch" Brueggemann

Paul "Butch" Brueggemann, age 84 of Pleasant Mound, passed away Wednesday, April 2 in Belleville, Illinois. Funeral services will be today at 10:00 a.m. at Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville. Burial will be in Noffsinger Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the St. Lawrence Catholic Church or in the form of Masses. The Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville is in charge of arrangements.

Paul "Butch" Anthony Brueggemann, the son of Herman and Frieda Luecke Brueggemann, was born on September 12, 1929 in Trenton, Illinois. He attended St. Teresa's School there and graduated from Trenton High School. Paul answered his country's call by joining the Army Air Corps on April 9, 1951 in Trenton where he rose to the rank of Corporal serving overseas in Germany for 1 year, 6 months, and 11 days. Paul was honorably discharged on March 28, 1953 at Fort Custer, Michigan. Paul was awarded the ACM Medal for service in Germany. Paul returned to the Trenton area where he worked as a Logistical Data Manager for many years with the Civil Service in St. Louis. It was during this time that he was assigned to Vietnam in 1968. Paul retired from Civil Service in 1987. In retirement Paul worked delivering propane gas around Bond County. Paul also enjoyed woodworking making lawn ornaments.

Paul married for a second time to Hazel E. Evans Hammond and they enjoyed over 16 years together before her death on November 12, 1996. Paul is also preceded in death by his parents Herman and Frieda Luecke Brueggemann, his brother Bernard Brueggemann and his sister Sister Renelle.

Paul is survived by seven children, four sons: Dennis P. Brueggemann of Sparta, Dale J. (Cindy) Brueggemann of Belleville, Donald H. Brueggemann of Belleville, Darrell J. Brueggemann of Belleville, three daughters: Diane M. (David) Flach of Mascoutah, Darlene A. (Richard) Ponsler of Freeburg, Doris K. (Brad) Barker of Cranberry, PA, step son Richard D. Hammond of Greenville, step daughter Nancy Obermark of Olivebranch, Miss, two sisters: Agatha Richter of Trenton, Mary Gartside of Carlyle, 16 grandchildren: Nicole Brueggemann, Michael (Lisa) Brueggemann, Carrie (John Sheldon) Brueggemann, April (Doug) Lopinot, Savanna Brueggemann, Samantha Brueggemann, Matthew Brueggemann, Angela (Jordan) Richter, Adam Flach, Chuck (Dori) Blaylock, Tarah Blaylock, Nathan (Megan) Ponsler, Jill (Scott) George, Brian Barker, Marie (Aaron) Stone, Michael (Laura) Minor, and 15 great-grandchildren: Jonathon, Joshua, Kylee, Codi, Avery, Jordan, Ethan, Kendall, Connor, Carter, Olivia, Dallas, Christopher, Dallas, and Alexandra.

Paul was a member of the Finley American Legion Post 1994 of Keyesport, the Trenton V.F.W. Post, and was raised in the St. Teresa's Catholic Church where his father helped build both the Church and the school.

Franklin D. Beatty 

Franklin D. Beatty, age 91, of Kissimmee, Florida, passed away Friday, April 4.  A memorial service for 91 year-old Franklin D. Beatty will be Saturday, April 12, at 2:00 p.m., at the Sherwood Community Chapel in Kissimmee.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Sherwood Community Chapel, 517 Archer Lane, Kissimmee, Florida 34746.
He was born May 20, 1922, in Irvington, Kentucky, son of Joseph and Wilda (Haynes) Beatty.  He spent his childhood in Jeffersonville, Indiana.  He married Betty J. Warner in St. Louis February 5, 1946.  She preceded him in death January 8, 2013.  Throughout their 66 years of marriage, they lived in East St. Louis, Caseyville, and Edwardsville before retiring to Kissimmee in 1980.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was also preceded in death by three brothers and four sisters.
Surviving are two sons; Mark (Kathy) Beatty of Greenville and Franklin (Bonnie) Beatty of Granbury, Texas, five grandchildren: Jan (Dustin) Fenton of Greenville, Keith (Andrea) Beatty of Cincinnati, Ohio; Scott (Lisa) Beatty of Prosper, Texas; Angela (Will) Behrmann of Ft. Mill, South Dakota; Derek (Jennifer) Beatty of Mt. Pleasant, South Dakota, and 11 great-grandchildren.

He was a World War II veteran in the Army Air Corps and served in the China, Burma, India (CBI) Theater.
He was employed at the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  He was a member of the Sherwood Community Chapel.  He and his wife spent much of their retirement years doing volunteer work in and around the Kissimmee area.  They also enjoyed their hobbies of golfing, bowling, dancing, and visiting Disney World with family and friends.

Dorothy M. Grapperhaus

Dorothy M. Grapperhaus, age 91, of Highland, passed away Thursday, April 3, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland. Funeral services will be Saturday, April 12, at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland.  Burial will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, also in Highland. Friends may call Friday, April 11, from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland. Memorials are suggested in the form of Masses.

She was born April 28, 1922, in Pocahontas, IL, the daughter of Erwin John and Ella Marie (nee Linenfelser) Wagner.

On February 04, 1947, she married Frank B. Grapperhaus who passed away on February 12, 1995.

She was a member of Saint Paul Catholic Church. She was also a member of Saint Paul Catholic Church-Highland, IL; Saint Anne Altar society of the church; Weinheimer Senior Citizens of Highland; former member of the Retail Clerk's Union - Peoria, IL.

Mrs. Grapperhaus was born on the family farm west of Pocahontas, IL; she grew up there attending Harned Country School and Pocahontas High School. She worked at the Egg Plant in Highland and then at Hug Truck Company in Highland. Following her marriage, she and her husband lived in Peoria, IL where he worked for the Caterpillar Company. (They had moved to Peoria in 1947). Mrs. Grapperhaus had worked at the Kroger Company for some 22 years until retiring to take care of her mother. After Mr. Grapperhaus' retirement, they moved to Highland, IL on August 6, 1987. She moved to Highland Home seven years ago. Mrs. Grapperhaus enjoyed her nieces and nephews.She also enjoyed quilting and sewing cooking and housekeeping. Earlier in her life she liked bowling.

Survivors include :
Niece - Diane K. Vilbig, Ellisville, MO
Sister - Ione A. (Warren) Walter, Highland, IL
Nephew - Kenneth (Betty) Wagner, Pocahontas, IL
Niece - Kathleen M. (Robert "Gene") McCain, Seneca, MO
Niece - Cynthia A. (Gary) Cashel, Arnold, MO
Niece - Diane K. (Fred) Vilbig, Ellisville, MO
Nephew - Ronald W. Walter, Old Monroe, MO
Nephew - James W. (Patty) Walter, Fairbanks, AK
Great Nieces & Nephews - 27
Great Great Nephews - Three

She was preceded in death by :
Father - Erwin John Wagner
Mother - Ella Marie Wagner
Husband - Frank B. Grapperhaus (died 2/12/1995)
Brother - Orville J. Wagner (died 4/4/1986)
Niece - Vickie Marie Ripperda nee Wagner (died 2/28/2005)
Great Nephew - Jason A Ripperda (died 12/16/2001)

Anita L. Jakel

Anita L. Jakel, age 97 of Highland, passed away Friday, April 4 at her residence. A funeral mass will be Saturday, April 12 at 11:30 a.m. at Saint Paul Catholic Church in Highland. Burial will be in Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Friends may call Friday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday morning from 10:00 to 11:15 at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland. Memorials are suggested to the Saint Paul School Educational Foundation.

She was born on Monday, February 26, 1917, Neodesha, Kansas, the daughter of Manuel and Oliva (nee Artime) Muniz.

On Monday, September 03, 1956, she married Floyd C. Jakel who passed away on Saturday, May 22, 1999.

She was a member of Saint Paul Catholic Church and the St. Anne Altar Sodality-Highland.

Anita was born in Kansas, the daughter of first generation Americans. She grew up in Terre Haute, IN and at age 13 moved to Spain. In 1950 her family moved to East St. Louis, IL and following her marriage she moved to Highland in 1956. She met her husband at Casa Loma Ballroom in St. Louis. They enjoyed dancing. She loved children and was a babysitter for the whole neighborhood. She enjoyed playing bingo. Always had a cat and loved them.

Survivors include:
Daughter - Mary Ann (Donald J.) Mueth, Chesterfield, MO
Grandchild - Andrew D. Mueth, Los Angeles, CA
Grandchild - Stephanie A. Mueth, Mobile, AL
Grandchild - Eric M. Mueth, Chesterfield, MO
Grandchild - Charlie D. Mueth, Chesterfield, MO.

She was preceded in death by:
Father - Manuel Muniz
Mother - Oliva Muniz (nee Artime)
Husband - Floyd C. Jakel (died 5/22/1999)
Sister - Marina Alvarez (died 11/8/1997)
Sister - Angelina "Angie" Cimerman (died 8/16/2007)

Shawn D. Wehrle         

Shawn D. Wehrle, age 26, of Vandalia, passed away Friday, April 4, at Greenville Regional Hospital.  Funeral services for 26 year-old Shawn D. Wehrle, will be Tuesday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m., at Young Funeral Home.  Friends may call Tuesday, from 4:00 p.m. until service time at the funeral home.  Memorials are suggested to the family.

He was born in Effingham, IL to Shawn and Shelly Jo (Wall) Wehrle.He is survived by his father Shawn Wehrle and his step-mother Angel, his sons Zenden Wehrle and Kane Wehrle, his daughters Nevaeh Werhle and Maci Bone, his brothers Jandon Werhle, Shane Miller, and Alan "Pee Wee" Miller, his sister Paige Wehrle, and his paternal grandparents Max and Kay Werhle.  He was preceded in death by his mother and his maternal grandparents.  He grew up in Mulberry Grove and Chandler, OK.  He attended The Oklahoma National Guard Youth Program.  He had been working for Joiner Roofing.

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