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Local News Archives for 2019-12

Montgomery County SWCD Holding Its 79th Anniversary

The Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District is planning a celebration event to honor its seventy-nine years of working to protect the countys natural resources. The SWCD was formed in Montgomery County in 1941 as a grass roots agency to promote practices that would conserve precious topsoil that was being lost to the dust storms of that era. Employees and district board members worked diligently to educate farmers about tillage practices that would leave topsoil in place and reduce ephemeral, gully and sheet/rill erosion. The Tools of the Trade have changed over the years with the size and type of equipment used and farming practices that are always evolving, but the mission of the SWCD has remained the same: strive to promote practices that conserve soil, improve soil health and clean up our precious water resources.
Future goals of the SWCD include improved soil health through the use of cover crops and minimal tillage methods and improved water quality that meets goals set by the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. Federal and state programs like Conservation Practices Program (CPP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) all provide guidance and cost share to landowners and tenants whose goals are in line with that of the SWCD mission statement. Federal and State dollars will also be available for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).
Please plan to attend the 79th Annual SWCD Celebration on Tuesday, January 14th at 6:00 p.m. It will be held at the U of I Extension office in Hillsboro. A light dinner will be provided with a short program from Ashley Dawson, Farm Bill Biologist with Pheasants Forever. Ashley will discuss the importance of providing wildlife habitat cover and how our programs can be utilized for that purpose. Door prizes will follow the meal. Please make your reservation by calling the office at (217) 532-3361, ext. 3 or by emailing Administrative Coordinator Melissa Cauble at melissa.cauble@il.nacdnet.net by January 10th.

IDOA Approves Cannabis Cultivation Centers


The Illinois Department of Agriculture has announced that all 21 cultivation centers to grow cannabis for adult use have now been approved.

Currently, only cultivation centers licensed to grow medical marijuana can apply for early approval adult-use growth. Social equity applicants will have additional opportunities to apply for licenses in an upcoming phase.

Of the 21 approved centers, some are located in the WSMI listening area. They include Compass Ventures Inc. in Litchfield, Shelby County Community Services in Shelbyville, and Progressive Treatment Solutions in East St. Louis. Adult-use cannabis license applications for craft growers, infusers and transporters will be available through the Illinois Department of Agriculture beginning on Jan. 7, with an application deadline of Mar. 15.

Knisley Sworn in as Litchfield Police Officer


A new police officer was sworn in during the Litchfield City Council's final regular meeting of 2019.

Tylor Knisley took his oath of office on Thursday, Dec. 19, in front of a crowded council chamber. According to Police Chief Kenny Ryker, Knisley is originally from Bingham and graduated from Ramsey High School. He also attended Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and is an active member of the Air National Guard. Attending the ceremony in support of Knisley were his girlfriend Alexis, his father and stepmother, his mother and stepfather and his little brother.

In other items, the council approved a pair of contracts with publications for tourism advertising. The first contract was with the publication 'On Route 66 for the First Time,' and was in the amount of $1,000. The second was with the quarterly Route 66 Magazine for an amount not to exceed $1,500. Both items were approved unanimously.

The next Litchfield City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 2, at 6:30 p.m.

Glen Carbon Man Collapses, Dies After Shoveling Snow


A Glen Carbon man collapsed and died on Tuesday, Dec. 17 after shoveling snow, causing the Madison County Coroner's office to issue a reminder about the dangers of snow shoveling and removal.

According to Coroner Steve Nonn, Otis Douglas, 65, had been outside shoveling snow on Tuesday morning. He returned inside his residence and then collapsed a few minutes after. First responders with the Glen Carbon Fire Protection District were able to successfully treat Douglas and restore a pulse. He was then transferred to Anderson Hospital in Maryville, where Nonn said his condition deteriorated. He was pronounced dead in the Intensive Care Unit at noon.

Douglas suffered from pre-existing heart disease, which Nonn said makes snow shoveling even more perilous. According to the coroner, the National Safety Council offers tips regarding snow removal; which include taking it slow and stretching before beginning, shoveling only fresh, powdery snow, pushing the snow rather than lifting it, and not working to the point of exhaustion.

Nonn added that everyone needs to consider their own state of health and what could be lost versus what could be gained. Funeral arrangements for Douglas are being handled by the Officer Funeral Home of East St. Louis.

Police Arrest Person of Interest in St. Louis Man's Death


A person of interest in the death of a St. Louis man was taken into custody on Friday, Dec. 13, on charges that police say are unrelated to the case.

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, Edwardsville Police discovered the body of Scott David Brown, 43, by Poag Road near Illinois Route 111. The victim was known to frequent the Collinsville, Edwardsville and Caseyville areas.

At 9 a.m. on Friday, members of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis attempted to make contact with a person of interest. Investigators say the subject fled in a vehicle from a Belleville residence, and a high speed pursuit ensued. The incident ultimately ended in St. Louis in the 1800 block of Cole Street.

The person, whose identity has not been released, is currently being held on unrelated charges. The Major Case Squad is still seeking information related to Brown's death. Anyone with information is urged to call 618-307-1611. No information concerning evidence, manner or cause of death, or past history of the victim will be released at this time.

Police Arrest Person of Interest in St. Louis Man's Death


A person of interest in the death of a St. Louis man was taken into custody on Friday, Dec. 13, on charges that police say are unrelated to the case.

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, Edwardsville Police discovered the body of Scott David Brown, 43, by Poag Road near Illinois Route 111. The victim was known to frequent the Collinsville, Edwardsville and Caseyville areas.

At 9 a.m. on Friday, members of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis attempted to make contact with a person of interest. Investigators say the subject fled in a vehicle from a Belleville residence, and a high speed pursuit ensued. The incident ultimately ended in St. Louis in the 1800 block of Cole Street.

The person, whose identity has not been released, is currently being held on unrelated charges. The Major Case Squad is still seeking information related to Brown's death. Anyone with information is urged to call 618-307-1611. No information concerning evidence, manner or cause of death, or past history of the victim will be released at this time.

Nokomis Cancels Friday's Activities Following Student's Death


Nokomis School officials canceled all extracurricular activities on Friday, Dec. 13, after a tragedy struck the community late Thursday night.

A student at Nokomis High School died suddenly on Thursday, Dec. 12, according to School Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr. In a statement released on Friday, Doerr said the sudden loss of a student "has a profound impact on students and teachers and everyone in the district and throughout the community." He also encouraged parents or guardians of students to talk with their children during this difficult time.

The identity of the student and the details surrounding the person's death have not been confirmed. Doerr said grief counselors will be available at the schools throughout next week to assist students and staff.

Elementary Teacher Receives VFW Award


Litchfield Elementary School Teacher Nancy Flack was recently named the Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Citizenship Educator Teacher of the year by the Litchfield VFW.

VFW Post Commander Ray Kellenberger, Post Auxiliary President Barb Angle and Program Director Dave Darte Presented Flack with the Award. The VFW and Auxiliary conducts several programs to partner with schools in communities nationwide.

Mrs. Flack was nominated by Principal Adam Favre based on many accolades. Darte said she encourages her class to participate in parades and other military-related holidays, teaches her students about election procedures, and has her students adopt a soldier to correspond with, writing letters and sending care packages to them.

Darte said Mrs. Flack was selected to receive this year's award because of her "excellence in providing a fine balance of preparing students academically for the future and helping them to become strong United States citizens." She joins Michelle Streibig and Jenifer Fleming as the recipients of this year's Citizenship Educator Teacher of the Year award winners. Streibig was awarded at the high school and Fleming at the Junior High.

Police Investigating Two Montgomery County Burglaries


Authorities are investigating a pair of burglaries that occurred in Montgomery County earlier in the week.

The two incidents are believed to have occurred some time between the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 10, and the early morning of Wednesday, Dec. 11. According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, one of the burglaries happened at a Trucking Business Office in Fillmore. The suspect, or suspects, unlawfully entered the building and stole money and a laptop computer.

The other incident occurred at a farm on North 9th Avenue, approximately 3.5 miles east of Taylor Springs. The suspects stole a black colored PT brand gooseneck dump-style trailer that measures 16-feet long.

Anyone who has information regarding these crimes is urged to contact the Macoupin-Montgomery County Crimestoppers via text by entering 722TIP and a message to the number 274637. Those with info may also call Crimestoppers at 1-800-352-0136.

Any information that leads to an arrest is eligible for a reward of up to $5,000. Crimestoppers reminds everyone that they are interested in the information, and not the submitting person's name. More information about Crimestoppers may be found online at macmontcrimestoppers.com.

Crimestopper Seeking Info on Greentree Burglary


Macoupin-Montgomery County Crimestoppers is seeking information on a burglary that occurred at the Greentree Lounge in Raymond on Friday, Dec. 6.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, the suspect, or suspects, forcibly entered the building on East Broad Street during the early morning hours and stole money from a gaming machine.

Anyone who has information that would help solve this crime is urged to text 722TIP and a message to the number 274637. Information may also be given by calling Crimestoppers at 1-800-352-0136.

Any information that leads to an arrest is eligible for a reward of up to $5,000. Crimestoppers reminds everyone that they are interested in information and not the submitting person's name. More information about crimestoppers may be found online at macmontcrimestoppers.com.

Farm Economy Continues to Concern Illinois Farmers

The annual Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting member survey reflected three overwhelming themes: Farmers have less optimism for 2020; there is a profound need to regain lost export demand; and building new global markets is vital for the future.

In 2019, farmers were challenged with historic flooding, delayed planting and harvesting, ongoing trade wars and demand destruction to the biofuels market, all of which were key factors in contributing to a sluggish farm economy and continued uncertainty for our Illinois farmers, said Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr.

Additional key priorities for members included pushing for USMCA ratification, expanding investment in modern waterway infrastructure on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers and defending the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Uncertainty and lack of optimism in 2020 were reflected in the following members comments:
Holding off on the purchases of new and improved equipment, upgrades and replacements;
Uncertainty regarding how long producers can manage at or below break-even income levels;
Restructuring debt and not being as concerned with growth and development as trying to make it to next year;
Less income, more instability and more risk;
Expenses high whereas income has not kept up.

Over half of farmer respondents indicated that it was likely that their farm would continue to be farmed by the next generation of their family after their retirement.

This is the ninth consecutive year weve surveyed members to gauge their feelings on key farming issues and concerns, Guebert said. It helps us as leaders ensure were tackling the issues and needs of our members and prioritizing our resources to the best of our abilities.

The annual Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting member survey results provided insight into their suggested organizational priorities. The survey, sent to all members who provided their email address to the organization, received over 2,700 responses.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 386,291 and a voting membership of 79,159. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

Litchfield Fire Dept. Extinguishes House Fire on Sallee St.


Litchfield Firefighters were dispatched to a residential fire at 9:33 a.m. on East Sallee Street on Monday, Dec. 2.

The first responding unit arrived to find light white smoke coming out of the eaves on the west side of the home, with black smoke pushing out the doorway on the southeast side. Upon entering the home, firefighters encountered the fire throughout the entire room. According to a release from the department, they were able to extinguish it without any difficulties. No injuries were reported.

The home sustained moderate to severe smoke damage to the walls, ceilings and contents of the main living area, with severe smoke, heat and fire damage to the east end of the home, which was identified as a converted garage. The incident was declared under control by 9:55 p.m.

Fifteen personnel responded to the scene. The incident remains under investigation. The Fire Department reminds everyone to have working smoke detectors in their homes and to have an escape plan, practice it and be prepared to use it in the event of any fire.

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