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Local News Archives for 2012-06

Blackburn College President Retiring

Blackburn College President Miriam Pride has announced her retirement, effective June 30, 2013, culminating 22 years of leadership at the college. Ed Young, chair of the Blackburn College Board of Trustees praised Pride for her years of service, and announced that the college has already begun the process of searching for a new president.

Pride came to Blackburn in 1989, serving as Assistant to the President for Campus Life and then Vice President of Administration, before her appointment as the College's first female president in 1991. Prior to her career at Blackburn, Pride worked for 16 years at Berea College in Kentucky, another school that features, like Blackburn, a student work program.

Hot Weather Tips from WSMI

With triple digit heat expected throughout the WSMI listening area its time to review hot weather tips to help you stay safe.
Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Dont wait until youre thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
Dont drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugarthese actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public libraryeven a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
Infants and young children
People aged 65 or older
People who have a mental illness
Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
If you must be out in the heat:
Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first tip (above), too.
Try to rest often in shady areas.
Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say broad spectrum or UVA/UVB protection on their labels).
This information provided by NCEH's Health Studies Branch .

Solar Power in Mt. Olive

The Mt. Olive School District will soon have solar power.

According to Superintendent Patrick Murphy, a 2.2 gigawatt solar panel system will be installed this summer. The system will provide some of the electricity for the school sitrict and will also serve as an educational tool.

The system was paid for thru a grant and it is expected to be operational on the first day of school in August.

O'Fallon Man Struck and Killed Sunday Morning On Interstate 64

(O'Fallon)--An O'Fallon man was struck and killed by a car on Interstate 64 Sunday morning. According to State Police, a pick up driven by Tyler Staral of O'Fallon became disabled on the Interstate near O'Fallon, and was stopped along the road.

Staral stepped onto the right hand side of the interstate, and was struck by a car driven by 30 year old Jennifer Williams of O'Fallon, who was traveling eastbound. Staral was taken to Memorial Hosptial in Belleville where he was pronounced dead.

Williams was not injured in the accident. No citations have been issued. The accident remains under investigation.

Worden Man Charged For Causing A Fatal Accident

(Edwardsville)--A man is accused of driving under the influence and causing an accident that killed the other driver. Prosecutors in Madison County have charged 41 year odl Roger Stryker of Worden with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence.

Authorities say Stryker was driving on Route 4 on March 25th when his sports utility vehicle crossed into the path of another vehicle driven by 26 year old Allen Wempe of Staunton. Wempe was pronounced dead at the scene.

ROE #40 Carlinville Office Moving

Effective June 25-July 9, the Regional Office of Education #40 will be closed in order to move the Carlinville Service Center to 225 East Nicholas Street in Carlinville. The Jerseyville Service Center located at 303 West Exchange Street in Jerseyville will be open and able to assist during the move.

The Regional Office of Education #40 serves Macoupin, Greene, Jersey and Calhoun counties.

Updates and additional information can be found at

Lentz Crowned New Miss Montgomery County Fair Queen

(Butler)--A new Miss Montgomery County Fair Queen was crowned during ceremonies held Wednesday night at the fairgrounds in Butler. Being crowned as the new Miss Montgomery County Fair Queen was Miss Sunny Lentz of Hillsboro. Miss Lentz is the 18 year old daughter of John and Krissy Lentz of Hillsboro.

First runner up was Miss Natalie Hewitt, the 17 year old daughter of Jim and Kelly Hewitt of Litchfield. Miss Hewitt was also the winner of the Dallas Stewart Scholarship.

Second runner up went to Katelyn Maxwell, the 18 year old daughter of Todd and Sandra Maxwell of Raymond.

Litchfield Board Of Education Receives Donation

(Litchfield)--During the Litchfield Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, the board was presented a check from Dr. C. Ross Billiter and his wife Rose Mary in the amount of twenty five thousand dollars. The money will be used for district needs.

Closed Session Action

Following a closed session for personel: The board accepted the resignation of Monty Elvidge as the high school agriculture teacher; Dan Newkirk as assistant high school wrestling coach; and Marchelle Kassebaum as fourth grade teacher at Russell School.

The Board of Education also approved Thomas Marten as the new high school agriculture teacher. The board also reinstated Don Gursh as Girl's High School Athletic Director.


The Litchfield Board of Education also approved to transfer Katie Savage from the first grade to kindergarten, and Lindsey Knes from fourth grade to first grade.

Brighton Vandalism

The Macoupin and Montgomery Counties Crime Stoppers are seeking information that will help solve a report of vandalism that occured at Betsey Ann Park in Brighton. Sometime around April 13th, an officer from the Brighton Police Department discovered vandalism and graffiti in and around Betsey Ann Park in Brighton. Vandalism was also discovered to the inside of the north ball diamond dugouts. Estimated cost of damage is $10,000.

Anyone with information that would help solve the crime can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-352-0136. You can also submit an anonymous tip online at or use your cell phone to text information by entering "TIP722 and your message and send to CRIMES. In doing so you could be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Panhandle Board of Education Still Weighing Their Options

(Raymond)--During the Panhandle Board of Education meeting Monday night, a long discussion regarding the feasibility study on the possible consolidation of the Panhandle, Morrisonville, and Nokomis school districts took place. According to board member Greg Nimo, distance is key. After a public meeting that was held in Nokomis, board member Terri Payne stated that no one in attendance was in favor of the consolidation plan as presented. The Panhandle Board of Education approved to not proceed with the feasibility study.

Morrisonville Board Member Plan

Board President Mike Meisner then talked about what to do next. According to Terri Payne, a Morrisonville school board member came up with a plan that she said had several good points. Under the plan, the three school districts would combine. The district would have two high schools, one in Raymond the other in Nokomis. The idea would have two middle schools for grades 6 through 8 in Nokomis and Morrisonville.

The central office would be reduced to include on superintendent, building and grounds director, food service director, technology director, and two support staff. According to the proposed plan, Pre K thru fifth grade students will continue to operate where they do now in Morrisonville, Raymond, Nokomis, and Farmersville. The Panhandle Board of Education agreed to look further into the proposed idea.

Other Options

Meisner also stated that other options included to disolve the district. Another option mentioned would be to deactivate the district, having only Pre K through the 8th grade being in the district. High school students would then have the option to go where they would like.

Next Years Meetings

The Panhandle Board of Education also approved meeting times for next year. The board will be meeting at 7pm on the third Monday of the month at the high school library.

Montgomery County Cosolidates Six Precincts Into Three

(Hillsboro)--In an effort to reduce election costs, the Montgomery County Board approved to consolidate six precincts into three. According to Montgomery County Clerk and Recorder Sandy Leitheiser, the precincts consolidated were in the Coffeen, Witt and Nokomis areas.

Under the consolidation: East Fork #1 and #4 precincts were consolidated into one precinct name East Fork #1. Their polling place will be at the East Fork Township building. Nokomis #2 and #4 precincts were consolidated into one precinct name Nokomis Precinct #2. Their polling place will be at the Memorial Park House. As a result of the consolidation Nokomis Precinct #5 will be renamed Nokomis Precinct #4 and will vote at the St. Louis Parish Center.

Witt Precinct #1 and #2 were also consolidated into one, and will become Witt Precinct #1. Their polling place will be at the Witt Lions Club. As a result of the change, Witt Precinct #3 will be renamed Witt Precinct #2.

Anyone seeking more information is asked to contact the Montgomery County Clerk and Recorders Office.

Eagle Zinc Clean Up Still Waiting On Funding

(Hillsboro)--Representatives from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency were at Hillsboro High School Thursday to give an update on the Eagle Zinc site in Hillsboro. According to Nerfertiti DiCosmo there will be two phases for the project. The first phase is the demolition of the buildings currently on site. The second phase will be the treatment of the lakes and surrounding areas.

DiCosmo says the Illinois E.P.A. will be recommending too treat the waste at the site, reallign a new water stream, and remove sediment from the property. She says that once complete, the Eagle Zinc site would have one hundred and ten acres that could be used for potential industrial use. The estimated cost of the project will be twenty four million dollars.

DiCosmo reiterated that everything with the clean up project is in place. As of now, the Illinois E.P.A. is waiting on funding to proceed. She hopes the project can be complete by 2013 at the earliest, or 2014 at the latest.

Staunton Fire

Two garages were destroyed by fire and a fire fighter sustained minor injuries this morning in Staunton.

According to Staunton Fire Chief, Rick Haase, the fire department responed to the fire on 2nd streest at approximately 11:30pm Thursday and contained the fire by 3:00am; however, the fire re-kindled and crews were sent back out around 5:00am and remained on the scene for about two hours.

In all, two garages with several vehicles inside were destroyed and a small out building was damaged. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Haase adds that one fire fighter sustained minor injuries and was treated at Community Memorial Hospital.

The Staunton Fire Department was assited by Mt. Olive, Olive, Worden and Benld Fire Departments.

Decatur Man Killed In A Head On Accident In Christian County

(Christian County)--A Decatur man was killed in a head on accident Wednesday afternoon on Route 51 near North County Road 900 in Christian County. According to State Police, a vehicle driven by 80 year old Janet Tankersley of Assumption was southbound on Route 51. Another vehicle driven by 46 year old James Kinderman of Decatur was northbound.

Reportedly Kinderman crossed over into the other lane, and struck Tankersley's vehicle head on. Kinderman was pronounced dead at the scene by the Christian County Coroner's Office. Tankersley was taken to Memorial Medical Center for treatment of injuries.

Route 51 was shut down as a result of the accident.

Blackburn College Hires New Controlller

Blackburn College in Carlinville recently welcomed new staff member Dawn Kiper. As Controller for the college, Kiper will oversee the college's accounting functions. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Accountancy from the University of Illinois in 2001. Since then, she has held positions at the Dupge County Probation Department, Memorial Health Services, and Fleming, Tawfall and Co. P.C. as Senior Accountant.

Kiper currently resides in Hillsboro with her three children.

Albrecht Honored

Shari Albrecht, Executive Director of Macoupin Economic Development Partnership, was recently honored by St. Louis Commerce in its 2012 selection of "Who's Who in St. Louis Business Leaders." Albrecht and the Partnership appeared in the March issue of St. Louis Commerce, a publication of the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association.

Earlies this year, the Partnership unveiled a new Business Development Program setting a strong business recruitment/retention focus for 2012. This marks the second regional/statewide award for the young Partnership in less than a year. Richard Schien of Karmack received the 2011 Ameren Illinois Development Council Business Partnership Award for his groundbreaking leadership in the formation of the Partnership itself.

The Macoupin County Board, a charter member and largest contributor to the Partnership, presented Albrecht with a plaque.

Charges Dropped In The May 15th Fatal Accident On Route 16

(Litchfield)--Charges against an 82 year old Coffeen man have been dropped in connection to a fatal accident that happened on May 15th on Route 16. According to new information from State Police, on May 15th a vehicle driven by 51 year old Arthur Maguire of Hillsboro was eastbound on Route 16. Another vehicle driven by 82 year old James Altman of Coffeen was westbound. Reportedly Maguire's vehicle entered into the westbound lanes, striking Altman's vehicle head on.

Maguire was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead by the Montgomery County Coroner's Office. Altman was taken to Hillsboro Area Hospital, then transferred to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield for treatment of serious injuries.

The initial report was contrary to the newly found information. Charges against Altman have been dropped.

Carlinville Gas Leak

Carlinville residents on Tuesday afternoon were informed via telephone of an emergency situation concerning a gas leak in the North University Street area and the announcement warned residents to avoid the area on North University from near Heritage Manor ot Cisco Steel.

The Carlinville Fire Department was dispatched to the scene as a precaution and to help with traffic control.

According to Ameren Spokesperson Leigh Morris, the incident started at 2:30pm on Tuesday when a private entity was digging in the area and struck a gas line causing a leak to develop.

Ameren crews were dispatched to the scene and the leak was contained with no gas entering area buildings. Three gas customers did experience an interruption to their gas service while the repairs were made.

Leigh added the entire incident was handled without any injury or serious threat to public safety.

Residents Asked To Be Prepared For Tick Season

(Springfield)--Health officals are warning against the dangers of ticks as tick season is here. Ticks can carry lyme disease and other illnesses. Individuals are asked to consult a doctor if you experience a rash or illness accompanied by a fever after being bitten by a tick.

The best way to enjoy the outdoors and avoid ticks is to stay out of shin high grass and weeds. Walk in the center of trails so weeds don't brush up against you. Check often for ticks climbing on open skin. Also wear white or light colored long sleeved shirts and long pants where ticks are easy to see. Individuals are also asked to check their pets if they are outdoors.

Litchfield City Council Approves Sewer Rate Increase

(Litchfield)--During the Litchfield City Council meeting Tuesday night, Litchfield Fire Chief Michael Quint honored Gary Law for twenty years of service as a paramedic, and Robert Beechler with a service pin.

Weaver Request

Rodger Weaver addressed the city council regarding the condition of Lake Lou Yaeger. According to Weaver, the lake was supposed to be dredged, but the city backed out of the plan. He requested the one hundred and fifty thousand dollars of funds, that was orginally going to dredge the lake, be put back into the project. No action was taken by the city council.

Tyler Avenue Water Main Project

The Litchfield City Council approved a bid by Baxmeyer Construction for the Tyler Avenue Water Main Project. The cost of the project is over one hundred and fifty four thousand dollars.

Douglas Street Pump Station Project

The Litchfield City Council approved a bid by Haier Plumbing and Heating for the Douglas Street Pump Station improvements. The cost of the project was one hundred and twenty seven thousand dollars.

Change Orders

A long discussion regarding change orders to the membrane system at the water plant also took place. According to City Engineer Ted LaBelle, fifty thousand dollars worth of change orders were needed for the system. Alderman Tim Hancock asked why this was brought up now and not earlier in the process. The city council approved the change orders in a five to two vote, Alderman Tim Hancock and Harold Ellinger voting no.

Sewer Rate Increase

The Litchfield City Council also approved a three and a half percent increase to the city's sewer rate. The measure passed four to three, Alderman Tim Hancock, Harold Ellinger, and Alderwoman Marilyn Sisson voting no.

Closed Session

The Litchfield City Council then went into closed session for personell, no action was taken took place when the council came back into open session.

Three County Board Nominations Filed For The November Election

(Hillsboro)--Montgomery County Clerk and Recorder Sandy Leitheiser announced nominations to fill County Board vacancies in Districts 1, 3 and 7 in the November 6th elections.

On June 1st, the Democratic Precinct Committee filed a resolution to nominate Daniel White of Litchfield to represent the Democratic Party for County Board District 7 race.

On June 4th, the Republican Precinct Committee filed a resolution to nominate Heather Hampton-Knodle of Fillmore to represent the Republican Party in the County Board District 3 race.

Also on June 4th, the Democratic Precinct Committee filed a resolution to nominate James Gray of Litchfield to represent the Democratic Party in the County Board District 1 race.

RECC 75th Annual Meeting

Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative's 75 Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, June 9 at Glenwood High School in Chatham. Registration and a free pork chop dinner will begin at 5pm with the business meeting at 7pm. Vendor and craft displays will be open during the meal time, including historical displays and posters from the co-op's past. A special children's program has been added this year during the business meeting, so parents can have their children ages 4 through 12 supervised while they take in the business session.

The business meeting will include elections for three members on the Board of Directors, along with a vote on several proposed bylaws changes. The three incumbent directors are unopposed this year with Ted Dowson of Auburn running in District 7, Lou Weitekamp of Raymond in District 8, and Cassie Eigenmann of Modesto in District 9. All members of the cooperative are encouraged to attend, and attendance gifts and door prizes will be given.

Nokomis City Council Hires New Police Chief

(Nokomis)--A new police chief was hired during the Nokomis City Council meeting Thursday night. Following a closed session for employment, the council approved to hire Brad Ozee as the city's new chief. Ozee's first day will be on Monday, June 4th.

Liquor License

The Nokomis City Council introduced three new "Class C" liquor licenses. The new license will be for the sale of wine and beer only during a resturant's hours of operation. Approval of the new ordinance will take place during the city council meetin gon Monday, June 11th.

Wastewater Increase

The Nokomis City Council also introduced an increase to the cities wastewater rate. Under the proposed ordinance, the minimum rate for wastewater would increase one dollar fifty cents.


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