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July 25 School Board Meeting: Bernot Suggests Halt Construction

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CUSD #7 school board met on the evening of July 25 for their regular scheduled meeting. Assistant Superintendent Joe Tieman replaced Superintendent Paul Skeans while he is away on vacation. After 58 minutes in executive session, the board appeared before the public. All 7 board members were in attendance Monday night. After the Pledge of Allegiance was repeated, first tab under open action was personnel issues.

The board certificated many open vacancies tonight; they are as follows:

  • Motion made by Bernot, seconded by Dobrino to appoint Matt Brawner as Gillespie High School Scholar Bowl Sponsor for FSY 2012.
  • Motion made by Griffel, seconded by Carter to appoint Tina (Niehaus) Blevins as Gillespie High School Prom Sponsor for FSY 2012.
  • Motion made by Schmidt, seconded by Bernot to appoint Andy Easton as Middle School Girls Assistant Basketball Coach for FSY 2012.
  • Motion made by Alerpa, seconded by Carter to accept the resignation of Dennis Tiburzi as Gillespie High School Freshmen Boys Basketball Coach for FSY 2012 and to post the position of Gillespie High School Freshmen Boys Basketball Coach for FSY 2012. Griffel added to the discussion after the job was posted. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Tiburzi,” Griffel said, “on an excellent job as freshmen coach. He has been coach for over 20 years and I have had 2 sons go through his program. I greatly commend him and all I can say is, he will be greatly missed.”
  • Motion made by Bernot, seconded by Carter to recall CUSD #7 paraprofessionals as presented for FSY 2012; Amy Baker (BES), Trinity Bray-Jet (GMS), Theresa Carter (BES), Sharon Heyen (BES – Title), Misty Parker (BES – Title), Ella May Roemer (GHS), Tim Wargo (GMS), Kathy Wheeler (GHS – Staunton), and Nicole Zenner (Pre-Kindergarten Aide).

In legal action, motion made by Alepra, seconded by Griffel to accept legal easements as presented. Griffel added that the drainage of the water on the new elementary site will drain from the east instead of the west. He provided that this will be very convenient, there were no other comments made.

Under the consent agenda, motion made by Carter, seconded by Schmidt to approve the minutes of the regular meeting and executive session minutes of June 27 and the special meeting minutes and executive session minutes of July 13, 2011. In further action, the board approved the payment of July bills. Motion made by Bernot, seconded by Dobrino to approve payment of the July bills as follows:

  • Education Fund: $88,774.29
  • Building Fund: $191,894.51
  • Transportation Fund: $8,031.00
  • Total Insurance Fund: $25,116.00
  • For a Grand Total of: $313,815.80

With no recognition of the public, Mr. Tieman read the superintendent’s report. Tieman advised the public that Mr. Paul Skeans recently attended a city council meeting to advice them that road was being built from Route 16 to the site of the new elementary school so there will be no destruction to Kelly Street. Tieman also provided that the school is only 54% of the property taxes. As many residents taxes are increasing, the school is not fully accountable for the increase since it is only about half of it. Tieman added that the 5 year plan is available in the library and advised the public to get one and view what is in store for the district in the next 5 years. Alepra added that the past plans have been changed 11 times due to the amount of progress the school is making.

Mr. Tieman then turned it over to the principals. Ms. Angela Turcol (Benld) discussed Family Literacy Night. The program is funded by an IRC Grant which was awarded to the Title Reading Teachers: Dana Tieman, Suzie Tiburzi, Lorraine Strutner, and Kimberly Link. The grant is $1500 and is to be used to promote family reading. The family literacy night is planned for September 8 from 6:00-8:00pm. Every student who attends the program will leave with book to keep as their own. Turcol went on to discuss the summer reading program. The program was instated at the end of the last school year when each student was given a summer reading packet to encourage them to read throughout the summer. When the students return in August, they will turn in the reading form to their teacher and be given a token for a Dairy Queen treat as well as other recognition. Turcol is working on the ISAT report for the teachers so they will know how last year’s students scored as well as enable them to begin working on the students’ skills immediately.

Tieman reads the superintendent's report.

Ms. Lori Emmons then gave the principals report for the middle school. Emmons said registration is set to begin August 2nd, and all information regarding sign-ups can be found on the districts website. Emmons also advised the board that baseball practice will begin next week. The ISAT data was compiled from individual student scores by Emmons through the student information systems on the ISBE website. According to her data, 6th grade had 51 students increase in Language Arts while 25 fell and 66 students increased in Math while 15 fell. In 7th grade, 80 students increased in Language Arts while 13 fell and 63 increased in Math while 17 fell. In 8th grade, 49 students increased in Language Arts and 13 fells while 52 students increased in Math and 5 fell. Overall, the middle school noticed a slight increase, but is still not meeting comparing to the rest of the nation.

Mr. Dennis Tiburzi then updated what is going on in the high school. Tiburzi stated that registration is slated for next week and an informational meeting on “8th period” is scheduled for Tuesday, August 9 at 6:00 pm in the cafeteria. Tiburzi also advised the board that the freshmen orientation is scheduled for Thursday, August 11 at 6:00pm and a meet and greet with the new band director is scheduled for July 30 at 1:00 in the afternoon. Tiburzi provided insight on the athletics also. 10 footballs helmets were received from a $1500 grant from USA Football, this is the fourth year the program has received this grant. The football team just got back from Vanderbilt were they competed in a 7 on 7 passing tournament. The girls volleyball team competed in a summer tournament and the JV squad did very well in Auburn, Tiburzi said. Both the girls and boys basketball summer programs are wrapping up as well as the boys soccer program. The soccer program just completed a summer camp and Tiburzi announced that all home games will now be played at the Coal County Sports Complex near Little Dog Mine now.

Board listens to Hyde explaining the energy efficient features incorporated in the new school.

In old business, Hyde and Bernot explained the school in Richardsville they viewed over the weekend. Bernot explained the school is one of his greatest experiences in his life and he highly advised the board to consider halting construction and having Hyde draw up a 2 story plan that could potentially save the district 10 million dollars. After much debate from Griffel and other board members, no action was taken. Griffel said the contracts for the mine grouting is already signed and to reject the contract now would be a tedious process as well as a possible lawsuit. Bernot assured him that the contract has not even been signed “for one” and “If you read the contract,” Bernot stated, “we have the option to null any contract at any time.” Alepra added that waiting on construction could jeopardize the CBD grant. Bernot persistently went on to advice the board that they are just a phone call away. “I am sure they would understand that we could potentially save them millions of dollars, I am sure we would get our extension then,” Bernot said. With much debate, the board decided it was proper to go ahead with the $27 million dollar school and there will be no changes to the design.

Bernot seemed to get the last word in again, “There is an elephant in here; is it our objective to spend the most money on this school and send the bill to the taxpayers? No, but that is what it seems like you all want to do! We had 2 designs for the school, a ‘H’ design and a ‘V’ design. As you all know, the ‘H’ was $150,000 cheaper and yet we still went with the ‘V’. Now that is only $150,000, we are talking $10 million dollars here! Our architect just stood before you and told you that 2 story building would be cheaper, and yet none of you blink. I went to Kentucky to compare two schools and I come back and tell yous that this new design could save $10 million dollars and none of you blink an eye.”

With no other comments, the board moved on to awarding bids. The board awarded trash, fuel, milk, and bread bids. With a motion made by Alepra, seconded by Dobrino, the district awarded the trash bid to Merritt of Bunker Hill. Merritt will cost $17,550 for 3 years and there will be no increase each year. The fuel bid was awarded to M&M Service Company of Carlinville, the milk bid to Prairie Farms in Carlinville, and the bread bid to IBC Sales Preparation of Peoria for FSY 2012 as presented.

In new business, motion made by Hayes, seconded by Carter to approve student fees for FSY 2012 as presented. All $20 classes were raised to $25. Driver’s Education remained at $50 for this year, but is expected to be raised FSY 2013. Welding class was raised from $50 to $60. The parking sticker fee was also raised from $50 to $60. The textbook rental fees remained the same as well as the locker fee and all cafeteria food prices.

In other new business, motion made by Alepra, seconded by Dobrino to keep executive session minutes from March 2010 to February 2011 closed and to destroy executive session tapes from September 2008 to August 2009.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:18 and the next board meeting is scheduled for August 15 at 7:00pm.

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Progressive Club to celebrate 90th anniversary

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Benld Entreprise

The Wilsonville Progressive Club will celebrate and host a 90 year Anniversary Party on Saturday, May 11. The party will include a catered dinner, a live band, and fireworks.

Doors will open at 2 pm with a catered dinner being served at 4 pm.  The Shane Kessinger Experience (live band) will play at 5 pm, and a grand fireworks display will be held at dusk.

The Progressive Club was originally established in 1934 by the Progressive Miners and was located on the northwest side of Wilsonville’s main street. The Club moved to their new building in January of 1949 and today this is still the current location at 212 Wilson Street in Wilsonville.

Wilsonville was founded in 1917 when Superior Coal Co. Mine No. 4 was sunk and this was the most modern mine in the Superior field. At that time, the little settlement which grew up around the mine was called Wilson. One day a worker paused and asked, “What are we going to name this town?” President Wilson was in office, thus the town was then and there named Wilson until 1919 when it was incorporated and the name expanded to Wilsonville.

The Wilsonville Progressive Club is operated and maintained by an elected panel of trustees and loyal members.  The Club is open to the public and membership is always welcome.  The large outdoor covered pavilion and manicured grassy side lot offer an attractive and convenient venue for any event along with inside facilities. 

If you are interested in renting for any kind of event, call 217-835-3122 during open hours which are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 4 pm to close, and Sunday doors open at 2 pm.  Every Sunday afternoon at 4 pm is the Queen of Hearts drawing and the Club is on Facebook as well.

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Gillespie Police Report: April 14-20, 2024

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SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Oak Street in reference to a dog bite.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street to pick up a found item.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Chestnut Street in reference to a burglary.

An officer was out in the 200 block of North Macoupin Street in reference to a motorist assist.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Schmidt Street in reference to a 911 call.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South 1st Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

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An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Broadway Street in reference to a medical call.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of South Illinois Street in Benld in reference to illegal burning.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South 5th Street in Benld in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Horizon Street in reference to a 911 call.

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2024

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a male in reference to a theft in the 100 block of South Main Street in Benld.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Osie Street in reference to a violation of an order of protection.

Nicholas O. Landolt, 36, of Gillespie was arrested on multiple warrants including one out of St. Clair County for possession for methamphetamine, a second one out of Montgomery County for failure to appear for driving while license was revoked, and a third out of Macoupin County for failure to appear for methamphetamine.

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An officer was dispatched to East Walnut Street in reference to a suspicious noise.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Broadway Street in reference to a medical alarm.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a theft in the 200 block of West Oak Street.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to criminal damage to her property.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to identity theft.

An officer spoke with a female in the 100 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to a neighbor dispute.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a violation of an order of protection.

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An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Southern Street in reference to a suspicious person.

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 1100 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to criminal damage to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 900 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of East Walnut Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespass to property. Melissa J. Hughes, 49, of Benld was arrested on a Montgomery County warrant for theft/larceny.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Francis Street in reference to a traffic crash.

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An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil issue in the 700 block of Rose Street in Benld.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South 5th Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Pine Street to assist the Department of Children and Family Services.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Broadway Street in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Central Avenue in Benld in reference to a 911 call.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2024

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to fraud in the 200 block of South Macoupin.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 500 block of East Elm Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

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An officer was dispatched to Route 4 and Staunton Road in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Gillespie Street in reference to unwanted solicitors.

An officer was dispatched to High Street and Gillespie Street in reference to a suspicious noise.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of High Street in reference to unwanted solicitors.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil standby.

An officer was flagged down at Elm Street and Clinton Street and spoke with an individual in reference to a civil issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Mt. Olive Road in Eagarville in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a suspicious circumstance.

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THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2024

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 400 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to a panic alarm sounding.

An officer was dispatched to the 1300 block of South Second Street in reference to a civil standby.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Osie Street in reference to a dog bite.  Heather L. Kimberlin, 47, of Gillespie was issued a citation for dog at large.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Baker Street in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was out with a suspicious vehicle in the alley in the 500 block of Park Avenue.

An officer was dispatched to East Walnut and South Main Street in Benld in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the Veterans Memorial Park in Benld in reference to a suspicious vehicle that had been parked there for a couple of days.

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Gillespie Police Department was requested for traffic control by the Gillespie Fire Department for a fire on Eagarville Road.

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of East Walnut Street in reference to a traffic crash.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South Street in Gillespie in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Litchfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to a suspicious person at the storage units. Kathy J. Henderson, 49, of Sawyerville was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant for failure to appear for bad checks

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Maple Street and Macoupin Street. Kenny L. Fults, 18, of Belleville was issued a citation for possession of cannabis.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Mt. Olive Road in Eagarville in reference to civil standby.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Burton Street in reference to an animal complaint.

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SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespassing. Timothy J. Dalpozzo, 57, of Benld was arrested for criminal trespassing to residence and a Macoupin County warrant for criminal trespassing to a residence.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at South Street and Chestnut Street and charges are pending crime lab results.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to Macoupin Street and Elm Street in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Osie Street in reference to a dog at large.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of North 8th Street in Benld in reference to medical assist.

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An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of West Spruce Street in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Baker Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Park Street in Benld in reference to a medical call.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to an ordinance issue.

All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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HSHS St. Francis Hospital offers volunteer opportunities for feens

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LITCHFIELD, Ill. — HSHS St. Francis Hospital is offering service opportunities to area teens this summer through the 2024 Junior Volunteer Program. Applications are being accepted now through May 1.

Applicants must be high school students maintaining at least a “C” average, be a minimum of 14 years of age by June 1 and be willing to volunteer at least two hours per week during the summer program. Junior volunteers will perform a variety of duties in various hospital departments. 

Registration materials are available on the hospital’s website volunteer page at https://www.hshs.org/st-francis/community/volunteer.

All participants in the program will be required to present proof of immunizations for MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and Varicella (chicken pox). An additional requirement includes attendance at a hospital orientation.

A limited number of positions will be available. For more information, contact HSHS St. Francis Hospital at 217-324-8200.

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