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Girl Scouts team up with H.E.I.D.I Association for Twilight Camp

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photo/Teresa Raynor Photography

Girl Scout Service Unit 107 began their Twilight Camp at Camp Hugh on Memorial Day, May 27, and spent the first night of Twilight Camp decorating flower pots and planting butterfly attracting flowers thanks to the generous $750 donation from the H.E.I.D.I. Association. The camp continued through May 31 where approximately 100 Girl Scouts participated plus volunteers and leaders.

Girl Scout Service Unit 107 is composed of Girl Scouts from Bunker Hill, Benld, Gillespie, Mt. Olive, Staunton and surrounding areas. There are approximately 194 registered Girl Scouts in this Service Unit.

At camp, the Girl Scouts applied their Girl Scout Promise to daily camp activities, honored our Service Men and Women by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every day and singing TAPS at the end of every day, climbed a rock wall, hiked, built owl houses, met animals from a Wildlife Sanctuary, cooked food over a fire, painted flower pots and learned about H.E.I.D.I. and pollinating flowers, explored nature’s shapes and colors, learned about archery, ate sno-cones, and the older troops were able to camp overnight on the last night of camp. 

The Girl Scouts learned about the H.E.I.D.I. Association. H.E.I.D.I. (Helping Every Individual Develop Independence) was established by Gerald and Sandi Brand in memory of their daughter Heidi who passed away May 26th, 2011. Heidi was a special needs child and was an advocate for the rights of the disabled. The mascot of the Association is a butterfly, and the Girl Scout Service Unit 107 incorporated this symbol into their camp patches, shirts, and activities. The butterfly is a symbol of growth and adaptation, and illustrative of the purpose of the H.E.I.D.I. Association. All monies donated are put directly back into the community to assist those with special needs to help improve their lifestyle.

Recently, the H.E.I.D.I. Association has donated $5000 to help fund the purchase of a 2022 Chrysler Voyager LX minivan equipped with a folding ramp to the Bryant Family from Hillsboro, donated $500 to FAYCO Enterprises, donated to MCDD in Carlinville, donated to Illinois Valley in Gillespie, donated money for a field trip to the Altitude Trampoline park in Glen Carbon for the Ben-Gil Elementary School Special Education Class, donated a custom wagon for a little boy from Litchfield, and donated money for the building of several handicapped accessible ramps for individuals in Macoupin and Montgomery counties.  

The Association also routinely assists several individuals, school programs and organizations by getting them supplies, resources and donations to meet their needs.

Girl Scouts discovered all that the Association has done for their community and surrounding areas and were eager to make their flowerpots and plant their pollinating flowers. Community and individual growth are important to all Scouts, and the girls learned first-hand the figurative and literal application of what Heidi Brand advocated, and what they can continue to do for all special needs persons within their own communities.

If you are interested in requesting assistance from H.E.I.D.I, please contact the Association at mule.gb@gmail.com or 217-971-7325.

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If your daughter is interested in joining Girl Scouts, please contact Service Unit 107 Leaders Jessica Wieseman at jwieseman@hotmail.com or 618-772-8191, or Krystle Morgan at GSSU107@hotmail.com or 618-225-7971.

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Court News

Macoupin County Courthouse News

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Cases filed during July 7 through July 13. Visit the “Court News” category under the “Community News” tab for other editions.

FELONIES

Timothy D. Conlee, 29 of Gillespie, is charged with aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer, driving on a suspended license, and reckless driving in connection with a July 6 incident.

Dylan J. Arview, 25 of Benld, is charged with driving under the influence while license revoked or suspending, DUI, driving on a suspended license and driving 15-20 mph above the limit in connection with a July 5 incident.

Bobby L. Walker, 35 of Sorento, is charged with driving revoked/suspended with a DUI, driving on revoked license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, displayed registration plate, and expired registration in connection with a June 27 incident.

Dustin W. Gooch, 34 of Beecher City, is charged with aggravated fleeing/bodily injury, unlawful display of a title, improper use of registration/title, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and registration light in connection with a June 17 incident.

MISDEMEANORS

Jordan A. Black, 24 of Gillespie, is charged with battery/causing bodily harm in connection with a July 8 incident.

Dustin R. Stieglitz, 37 of Shipman, is charged with aggravated assault/use of a deadly weapon in connection to a June 29 incident.

Steven A. Kroll, 33 of Eagarville, is charged with resisting a peace officer, fire fighter, or corrections employee in connection with a June 26 incident.

TRAFFIC

David B. Brown, 58 of Virden, is charged with cancelled/revoked/suspended registration in connection with a July 3 incident.

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Jennifer L. Roberts, 47 of Worden, is charged with driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle in connection with July 5 incident.

Andrew L. Connoyer, 31 of Bethalto, is charged with improper use of registration, driving 15-20 mph above the limit, and no valid registration in connection with July 7 incident.

Megan E. Bertoldi, 37 of Gillespie, is charged with leaving the scene in connection with July 11 incident.

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE FILED

  • Tasha McQuay versus David McQuay

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Community News

School board disciplines staff member; hires AD and Student Services Coordinator

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In a relatively brief meeting Monday night, the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education approved a “resolution of remedial warning” against an unidentified district teacher, and hired a new Student Services Coordinator and Athletic Director.

The actions followed an 80-minute executive session during which board members presumably primarily discussed personnel issues. The regular monthly meeting of the board was moved up by one week to fill key positions, such as the Athletic Director and Student Services Coordinator, prior to the start of the school year next month. The district was taken by surprise when former Student Services Coordinator Stephanie Bray and Athletic Director Mike Bertagnolli both announced their retirements within days of each other.

Supt. Shane Owsley said the resolution of remedial warning is a disciplinary action representing “a second strike, so to speak.” Neither the teacher or the nature of the infraction was disclosed in open session.

In other action, the board, voted unanimously to hire Shelsie Timmermeier as the district’s Student Services Coordinator for the 2024-25 school year, stepping into the vacancy created by Bray’s retirement, pending confirmation of certification and a background check. In a separate action, the board also appointed Timmermeier as an assistant high school women’s volleyball coach.

Jeremy Smith was hired, also by a unanimous vote, as the district’s Athletic Director for the 2024-25 school year. In a related matter, Smith’s resignation as middle school head baseball coach was accepted. Additionally, the board posted the coaching position as vacant for the coming school year.

On a motion by Weye Schmidt, seconded by Dennis Tiburzi, the board hired Alex Jasper as a high school social science teacher for the coming school year. The board also voted unanimously to hire Tate Wargo as a first-year, non-tenured physical education instructor, pending confirmation of certification. Both positions were vacated as a result of the sudden resignation of Dalton Barnes in April as head football coach, physical education teacher and social science teacher. 

In related matters, the board also hired Wargo Monday night as an eighth grade boy’s basketball coach, and accepted Jasper’s resignation as a district paraprofessional and posted the position as vacant.

In other personnel action, the board:

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  • Hired Amanda Ewin as a one-on-one aide.
  • Hired Anthony Kravanya as a freshman men’s basketball coach.
  • Appointed Melissa Heigert as a volunteer assistant high school softball coach.

In other action, the board gave routine approval to a list of policies provided by the Illinois State Board of Education. 

Supt. Owsley also provided a brief update on the progress being made on safety projects expected to be completed before the start of the school year, including installation of a new intercom system, a card-reader entry system and shatter-proof protective film on exterior windows.

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Community News

Gillespie Library, United Community Bank to host Fraud and Scam Prevention seminar on July 22

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Gillespie Public Library (Photo by Gillespie Public Library)

Friends of the Gillespie Public Library and United Community Bank are hosting a joint “Fraud and Scam Prevention” seminar at on Monday, July 22 starting at 6 p.m. at the Gillespie Public Library.

The seminar will focus on today’s common scams and frauds, which includes imposter and check scams, money mule fraud and those that target seniors. Presenters will be Jenni Alepra of Gillespie UCB and Kennen Bertolis of Carlinville UCB.

The seminar is open to the public and is free of charge. For additional questions, call the Gillespie Public Library at 217-839-3614.

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