04-24-2014

POWER OUTAGE AFFECTS ALMOST HALF OF BOND COUNTY

Almost half of all Ameren customers in Bond County were without power for a time Wednesday afternoon. Just before 3 p.m., power was lost for over 2,600 people in Bond County, as well as a few hundred in Madison County and a few dozen in Clinton County. 

An Ameren spokesperson told WGEL the outage was due to a faulty breaker at a sub-transmission substation. Ameren reported power had been restored to all customers at 3:50 p.m.

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BOND COUNTY INMATE FACES FELONY CHARGES FOR ALLEGED ESCAPE, THEFT

Following his capture early this week, 30-year-old Andrew J. Walker, of Pierron, is facing felony charges of alleged escape from a penal institution, criminal damage to government property of more than $500, burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, and aggravated fleeing from police. That’s five additional felony charges to be added to Walker’s original nine meth-related felony charges. 

Andrew J. Walker

Bond County State’s Attorney Chris Bauer told WGEL that some of the new charges against Walker would include mandatory sentencing that would be served consecutively with any possible prison term stemming from the drug charges. Bauer said the Class X felony charge for allegedly manufacturing over 400 grams of methamphetamine in the presence of a child could carry a 15 to 30 year sentence.

Walker was caught and taken into custody by Bond County Deputies Monday morning after a car chase and foot chase near Pierron. He is now being held in a jail outside of the county. Including the new and old charges Walker’s bail is set at 1.5 million dollars. 

Photo courtesy of the Bond County Sheriff's Department


FATAL TRACTOR TRAILER ACCIDENT IN FAYETTE COUNTY

A tractor trailer accident on I-70 in Fayette County claimed the life of Royce Horton of Highlandville, MO early Tuesday morning. According to the Fayette County Coroner’s office, Horton was traveling westbound near the 73 mile marker when she lost control of the tractor trailer. The big rig rolled over many times in the median, ejecting Horton from the vehicle. Horton was killed instantly and pronounced dead at the scene at 4:33 a.m. Tuesday. The crash remains under investigation by the Fayette County Coroner’s office and the Illinois State Police.

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SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TODAY

Showers and thunderstorms are expected across the area today with rainfall amounts generally between a quarter to three-quarters of an inch. Temperatures will be warmer on Friday with highs around 80 degrees across the region.


CITY HEARS MORE COMMENTS ON OCCUPANCY PERMIT DEBATE

Tuesday night was the third and final public hearing on the occupancy permit debate at Greenville City Hall. An occupancy permit would require the city to perform a safety inspection of any home or apartment prior to a new occupant moving in. If the residence failed to pass the inspection, the deficient condition would need to be fixed and re-inspected prior to anyone moving in. As the proposal sits now, the first inspection would be free and any subsequent inspection would cost $30. City Manager Dave Willey said the fee amounts could change anytime the City Council voted to change them, the same as any other city fee.   

City Hall was packed with residents and many landlords. Most, but not all, spoke out against the idea of an occupancy permit. Some in attendance asked that the issue be put on a ballot -- others suggested the city make an effort to inform renters of their rights, including their right to ask a city code enforcement officer to come inspect the apartment they are living in. 

The potential impact on property values of occupancy permits were discussed. Greenville realtor Lester Harnetiaux said that just the need for a permit could scare away investors from Greenville, therefore leaving more homes vacant -- those vacant homes would then deteriorate further, driving down the value of nearby homes. Willey said he believed the occupancy permits would raise the stock of housing in the city and eventually drive property values up. Lester asked what proof there is that property values will rise. Willey said there is none but that’s the theory. 

Willey also said the city’s goal with occupancy permits is to force some safety issues to be fixed, and if a home is unsafe or a fire hazard, that impacts the nearby homes. Councilman Kenny Hampton was asked to comment on the discussion.  Hampton said for the him the main issue is safety, and that some residents might fear a backlash from their landlord if they complain to the city about safety violations. Hampton also said that the city council has not made up their mind yet and were grateful for the input from citizens. Hampton said the city has let people down by not letting them know about their rights, including the right to ask the city to come and inspect housing they believe to be unsafe. Willey said occupancy permits are likely to be on the May agenda to be either discussed or voted on.    

The Greenville City Council will meet in special session tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Greenville Municipal Building. Agenda items include employee health insurance proposals, the 2014-2015 budget, appointments to boards and commissions, and an executive session.

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS DAY WINNER

Congratulations to Stephanie Blankenship of Travel Connections, winner of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Administrative Professionals Day Contest. Stephanie was entered in the contest by Diane Busch. 

Stephanie won flowers from Floral Designs by Cindy and lunch for two at Joe's Pizza & Pasta.

Photo courtesy of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce


MULBERRY GROVE UNIT ONE RECEIVES STATE MONEY

At the Tuesday Mulberry Grove Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Mike Gauch reported the district received the second categorical state aid transportation payment of $47,826. General state aid payments are still coming in on schedule and the district’s financial condition is good.

Elementary Principal Annette Hartlieb said through a grant from the smart board company and PTO funds, ten smart boards will be purchased for the elementary school. Almost all elementary classrooms will now have a smart board.

The board approved the issuance of $370,000 in working cash fund bonds. The bonds will be issued for a three-year term.

Superintendent Gauch said the Illinois Senate is considering two bills which may change the state aid formulas. If these bills are passed, more money might be available to downstate schools.

Following a closed session, the board hired Bruce Sasse to be a substitute bus driver and Maggie VonVokel summer school teacher. The board accepted Ryan Bauer’s resignation as Athletic Director effective next year.

 

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CARLISLE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS TO HOST GRAND OPENING EVENT

Carlisle Construction Materials will host a grand opening event at their Greenville campus on Monday, April 28 to celebrate the completion of their new PVC manufacturing line. Director of PVC Sales and Marketing Joe Stassi told us more about the decision to locate the new line in Greenville.

“Carlisle Construction Materials is proud to announce the grand opening of our new commercial roofing PVC production line in Greenville, IL,” Stassi said. “Carlisle has a long history in Greenville, dating back to the early 1980’s. The exceptional workforce made the decision easy for Carlisle to locate the line in southern Illinois. The new production facility opens up a $700 million market opportunity for Carlisle. We are excited to add to our existing workforce in Greenville. Stay tuned, as further expansion is likely in the years to come.”

Stassi said the addition of the PVC manufacturing line will create jobs for the community help further develop the economy.

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SPORTS

The Greenville Lady Comets soccer team hosted their Kick for the Cure game Tuesday night. The Lady Comets lost to the Staunton Bulldogs in penalty kick overtime. Final score was 3 to 2. Goals were scored by Kailah Hilmes and Katie Horton. Maria Reinhard was credited with the assist to Horton. Emily Gaffner recorded 14 saves in the match. 

Coach Mike Young said the Kick for the Cure event was a memorable game on a memorable night and thanked everyone that helped with the match, particularly Jane Wilhite for her involvement.


OBITUARIES

Ronald O. Yehling

Ronald O. Yehling, age 72, of Edwardsville, passed away Tuesday, April 22 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville. A graveside funeral service will be held Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at Valley View Cemetery in Edwardsville. There will be no visitation. The Weber & Rodney Funeral Home in Edwardsville is in charge of arrangements.

Ron worked at Olin Brass in East Alton. He was born March 19, 1942, in Alton, Illinois the son of the late Orville & Bessie (Slaby) Yehling. He is survived by 1 son, Rod Orville Yehling of O’Fallon, Illinois; 1 daughter, Pamela Louise Althardt & husband Richard of Pocahontas, Illinois; 2 grandchildren, Macie L. and Brenton J. Althardt; and 1 sister, Rae Ellsworth & husband, Steve of Edwardsville. There is no visitation.

James J. Buetikofer

James “Jimmy” Buetikofer, age 62 of Highland, passed away Tuesday, April 22 at his residence. Funeral services will be Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at the Evangelical United Church of Christ in Highland. Burial will be in Highland City Cemetery. Friends may call Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland and again Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until service time at the church. Memorials are suggested to the Highland Masonic Lodge, Shriner’s Hospital, the Evangelical United Church of Christ or the Highland Animal Shelter.  


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