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Local News Archives for 2015-04

Criminal Damage Cancels School in Bunker Hill

Criminal damage to the Bunker Hill School District buses caused school to be canceled on Thursday.

According to District Superintendent, Dr. Victor Buehler, sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday morning someone removed a valve stem from one tire on each of the district's nine buses causing the tires to go flat. The damaged was discovered at 6:20am.

Do to the damage and the cancelation of school, students will now attend school until May 28th instead of getting out for the summer on May 27th. Dr. Buehler adds that students who were to take the PARCC test on Thursday will now take on Friday.

Currently, the Bunker Hill Police Department and the Illinois State Police are investigating the incident.

Special Olympics Spring Games

A not-for-profit organization offers an event for area athletes this weekend. Special Olympics Illinois began in 1968 in Chicago at Soldier Field. Eighteen areas in Illinois participate each year and involve over 22,000 athletes with disabilities. The Southwestern Area 12 includes the counties of Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Fayette, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, St. Clair and Washington. The Annual Spring Games take place this Saturday. Athletes will compete in track and field events such as the shot put, high jump, tennis and softball throw, 50 meter to 1,500 meter runs and wheelchair competitions. Special Olympics Illinois Regional Director Linda Wunder says this Saturday's event is their largest competition of the year with over five hundred athletes competing.

"It's a huge event for our athletes. A lot of them may not compete in other competitions throughout the year, but Spring Games is always a big, festive event where we have the competition, there's a lot of comradery, they see their friends from different agencies that they haven't maybe seen for the rest of the year, as well as it being a qualifying event for our Summer Games. It's, all in all, a large event and I think anyone that comes out and has an opportunity to actually see the competition will come back and either want to volunteer or come back and watch one of our other competitions throughout the year."

To find out more about volunteering with Special Olympics, you can go to the website: The Annual Spring Games begin with the Opening Ceremony at 9:15am on Saturday at Korte Stadium at the Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.
Thomack 4/29/15

Advisory Committees

State Representative Avery Bourne looks to put together advisory committees. The committees include the areas of agriculture, healthcare, veterans, education and senior citizens. State Representative Bourne says the purpose of the committees is to give citizens an opportunity to voice concerns and give input on legislation.

"If anyone is interested in being on an advisory committee or has a recommendation for another advisory committee that they think would be a good group to let me know what they're thinking about policy, let me know about specific issues that group is facing, that would be wonderful. Like always, our office is there in Litchfield and in Carlinville and then, as always, give our office a call if you ever need anything or if you have any questions, concerns or ideas."

State Representative Bourne's Litchfield office is at 324 A North State Street. The office number is (217) 324-5200.
Thomack 4/28/15

Catholic Charities 2nd Annual 5K Run

Catholic Charities will hold its 2nd Annual 5k run/walk Saturday, May 2, at Beaver Dam State Park.

Registration will begin at 8:30am at pavilion #1 and the event will start at 9:30am. The 5k run registration fee is $30 and the walk fee is $15. There will be a limited number of T-shirts available.

The course will be partial trail and partial paved through out Beaver Dam State Park.

Proceeds from the event will provide funding for Catholic Charities Mobible Food Pantry program. Catholic Charites provides a variety of social services in Macoupin, Montgomery, and Greene counties.

Litchfield Farmer's Market

The Litchfield Chamber of Commerce prepares for Farmer's Market season. Litchfield Chamber Executive Director Dawn Pezold says the Market begins Friday.

"We're excited about that. Definitely excited for good weather and all that brings. The Market is a great venue to showcase locally grown produce, baked goods and homemade artisan items from the Litchfield area."

Pezold says vendor applications and guidelines can be obtained through the Chamber office or on site Friday from Market Master Dale Jett.

"He is one of the vendors and he does a great job and he's very excited for this season. I've had some good feedback and Dale has been chomping at the bit to get started. He said he's heard some vendors are ready,so hopefully that will ring true and we'll have a great summer and a good growing season."

The Litchfield Farmer's Market takes place from 2pm until dusk every Monday and Friday in Library Park.
Thomack 4/23/15

LLCC Summer Classes

Summer and fall registration at Lincoln Land Community College in Litchfield begins soon. LLCC Litchfield Director Lorie McDonald says there are many reasons to take summer classes.

"Get a head start on everything. If you had to drop a class for some reason in the earlier semesters, pick it up in the summer. If you have a class that is particularly challenging for you, you can take it during the summer and just focus on that class. I've actually already registered many students for that. A lot of people don't like math. A lot of people don't like writing. So I encourage them to come out and take their English or Math class during the summer so they can focus on it and work on getting their grade up. It's just a wonderful way for you to take classes because you get to focus on a tough course."

McDonald says LLCC Litchfield offers some new classes this summer including Developmental Geometry and Introduction to Humanities. Open registration for summer and fall begins April 29th. To hear the full interview with LLCC Litchfield Director Lorie McDonald, you can listen to the podcast here: LLCC PodcastThomack 4/17/15

Fusion Women's Program

A new women's health program at a Hillsboro fitness facility addresses heart health. The 12-week course at Fusion Fitness is know as the SHAPE program: Stronger, Healthier, Active and Positive Everyday. Fusion Director Jessica Chappelear says the main issue the program addresses is women's heart health.

"One out of two women will suffer from heart disease and one out of four will die from it. So, I know there's a lot of information out there right now about breast cancer, but heart health is one of those things that is just overlooked. So what we've done is come up with a program. We're incorporating fitness, we're incorporating nutrition, we're incorporating stress management (and) we've got speakers. Some of the things that we've recently done in the program: Last week we did a cooking class of cooking healthy foods; the women loved it. We had a tremendous time. A lot of (women) will say, 'I know how to eat healthy, I know how to do this. I just can't, I don't know how to cook it, my husband won't eat it.' So we gave them some tips on how to cook healthy."

Chappelear says while the current program is full, it will be offered again in the fall. To find out more you can contact Fusion at 532-3908. Thomack 4/8/15

Macoupin Alderman Vote Totals

Voter participation in the Consolidated Election on Tuesday in Macoupin County was 13.63%.

Voting totals for the alderman races within the county were:

Carlinville Ward 1 Kimberly Heigert 123 Joseph Konneker 69
Carlinville Ward 2 Randal Bilbruck 152 David Steiner 106
Carlinville Ward 3 Beth (Link) Toon 143 Brian Mitchell 69

Gillespie Ward 1 Jim Alderson 46 Robert Fritz Jr 23

Girard Ward 3 Randy Gray 59 Bradley Smith 37

All totals are unofficial until canvassed.

Blankenship-Beeler Benefit

A benefit for a local woman with a rare form of cancer takes place this month. Fifty-two year old Raymond resident Carrie Blankenship-Beeler began noticing problems in June. Her sister, Karla Davis, says it has been a journey since then in and out of the hospital trying to find what's going on with Beeler. Davis says her sister was diagnosed with appendix cancer.

"Appendix cancer is very very rare. The doctors, they don't know for sure how to treat it. Everybody says don't treat it like colon cancer because it's not the same, but there's not that much documentation on appendix cancer because of it being so rare."

Davis says her sister is currently undergoing chemotheraphy.

A benefit for Beeler takes place from 5 to 6:30pm on Saturday, April 18th at the Litchfield Moose Lodge. There will be a dinner of mostaccioli, salad and garlic bread and entertainment including a magician and music. Tickets will be sold at the door. For more information, contact Karla Davis at 313-6507 or visit the Benefit For Carrie Blankenship-Beeler Facebook Event Page.Thomack 4/7/15

MCEDC Meeting

A local organization celebrates their 10th anniversary. The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation will hold their celebration at their annual meeting this month. The MCEDC is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to try to bring about more business opportunities and improve quality of life for citizens. MCEDC Board of Directors Secretary Terri Miller says everyone is invited to attend the meeting and celebration.

"We love and encourage people from the community to come and see what we're doing and to get involved with what we're trying to accomplish which is bringing more business and economic opportunity to the county. So we get to hear what we've been up to for the past year and what our future plans are. It's our 10th anniversary so we're going to kind of have a nostalgic view back on the accomplishments of the organization and really focus on the future because I think there are many positive things that are happening in the county. It's a great time to be involved in that and it's a wonderful event to hear about what's happening right here in Montgomery County. We're making progress everyday and so I think the general public loves to hear that and they need to know that despite some of the budget issues that we're hearing about in the state, right here in Montgomery County we're making things happen one day at a time, one program at a time, one business at a time."

The meeting and dinner takes place at 6pm on Thursday, April 16th at the Hillsboro Moose Lodge. To purchase tickets for the event, RSVP by April 10th by calling 851-4332.Thomack 4/6/15

Camp Clean-up

An opportunity to help prepare a local campground for Girl Scout Camp takes place this weekend. The Scott family donated the former Honey Bend campground to the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois. This will be the first summer for Camp Soar Resident Camp. Camp Soar Director Jessica Yeager says the theme for this summer's camp is "Choose Your Own Adventure."

"The girls will get a packet in the mail, prior to coming to camp. They will have three choices for each session and they'll get to tailor their camp experience to exactly what they're interested in. So there are 25 different options for camp sessions and it really just runs the gamut of interests and every girl should be able to find something that they will enjoy."

Before camp begins, however, some clean-up and preparation needs to take place. Some of the work includes painting picnic tables and fenceposts and gardening work. Yeager says volunteers for the clean-up are needed.

"The camp is really just such an amazing donation to Girl Scouts and now that we're offering community programs, it's just a great experience for the public and for Girl Scouts to have. We're open to the public year-round for camping, we offer these community programs for kids to come to that aren't necessarily Scouts, so it really is just a great asset for the community and Scouts as well. We would like to be involved with the community, we'd like the community to be involved out here, so we just feel like it's a win-win situation for everyone involved to have this awesome property for all of us."

The Clean-up Day takes place from noon to five on Saturday at the camp, located in Honey Bend. Lunch will be provided for all volunteers. Also, a community Earth Day celebration takes place at the camp from 10am to noon on Saturday for children of all ages. Five dollars covers activities, crafts and snacks. For more information about the celebration or clean-up, you can contact Jessica Yeager at 217-720-2089.Thomack 4/6/15

Unemployment in Montgomery Co

According to January unemployment data, Montgomery County's Rates went down from last year, but continue to be among the worst in the state. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the February results for Illinois. The state unemployment rate dropped from 7.9 percent in February 2014 to six percent for this year. Montgomery County's unemployment rate fell from 11.5 percent last year to 7.9 percent, but is still one of the worst in the state. (You can find that data here: IL February Unemployment Rates

Montgomery County Board Chairman Roy Hertel says the county needs jobs.

"Jobs are created by private business. Government is not the answer to employ people, it's private business and the creation of jobs. Montgomery County has been lagging behind and it has for quite some time and we are trying to change that."

Hertel says some of the changes include the county coming up with a list of things to offer a business.

"In other words, if you want to come to the city of Hillsboro, you're going to get X, Y and Z. I think Litchfield has that kind of a list and the county needs to have that same kind of a list - what can we offer."

To hear the full interview with Roy Hertel, you can listen to The Forum.3/31/15 Thomack

Staunton Health Screening for Men

The Staunton Lion's Club is partnering with the Macoupin County Health Department to sponsor a men's health event. Nursing staff from the health department will present a short educational program and offer serveral screenings on Tuesday, April 7, from 6-8pm at the VFW post on East Henry Street in Staunton.

The free screening event will include a prostate cancer blood test screening, blood pressure screening, and a colon cancer take home kit. Participants will also be asked to fill out a diabetes risk assessment.


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