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Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Resident claims Eagerville mayor is abusing his power

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letter-to-the-editorI believe the Village of Eagarville mayor, Alvin Garst, is abusing his power of position. We have received 5 tickets for mowing grass and running a tractor after 9 pm and another 2 tickets for having our semi-truck parked in our driveway.

Alvin has passed 2 ordinances since I filed an order of protection against him in April. He changed both the ordinances in the middle of the month without approval. The first ordinance is a noise ordinance banning ATV’s, go-carts, and motorcycles in village limits along with no yelling between 11pm and 6 am.

The second ordinance bans semis parked for more than 3 hours on village street and not more than 3 days on private property. We have 2 tickets for parking more than 3 hours on private property.

The aldermen that keep bringing the tickets said that Alvin is changing the no noise from 11 to 9 pm but hasn’t done it with board yet. The semi one appears to only apply to us who can’t have our truck home for more than 3 hours. The ordinance officer, Gaylon McCallister, text messaged my husband and told him that Alvin told Melvin Mills (another alderman that lives behind us) to watch us.

I’m sorry, but I have 3 daughters and this makes me very uneasy. I talked to State’s Attorney and they said that basically Alvin could do anything he wants as long as the village attorney approves it.

This is all aimed at us because we called EPA last fall on Alvin for dumping hazardous material into our pond, for getting a restraining order against him, and turning the village into the Attorney General’s office for altering minutes. (I have documents and pictures.)

My kids are scared to play outside because “the badman” (what my 6 year old calls the village) might give us another ticket. We are trying to teach our kids that bullying isn’t to be put up with and this is getting to be too much for them and us.

We moved from Edwardsville/Collinsville area 10 years ago to get away from all the crap. Raising our kids in this small community, until this point, has been a wonderful place to live. We can’t sell because the village is trying to say that an alleyway previously vacated is not vacated anymore. It’s just a big mess and we feel like we are up against a brick wall.

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The village has a lot more money than we do and they are using the village’s money on Alvin’s personal vendetta he has with us. It has gotten so bad that someone decapitated a cat and put it on our property line. Thank God my kids didn’t see it. We just don’t know what to do. We’ve exhausted our resources.

We had a court date regarding the tickets this week on Wednesday, August 21 and since only the village lawyer showed up with no witnesses they postponed it until September. On the evening of August 21, I called the Sheriff because Mr. Garst violated an order of dismissal on the order of protection by coming onto our property. The Sheriff advised me to see State’s Attorney on Thursday, which I did. Apparently, the village lawyer and our former lawyer made up a fake document and got the judge to sign it. The State’s Attorney told me that it isn’t a legal document and they had never seen one before. How is any of this right and legal?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Amanda Gray
Resident of Eagerville

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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Domestic violence is prevalent in Macoupin County

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Dear Editor,

Domestic Violence within Macoupin County is prevalent. It is destructive and can be both physical and psychological. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. It may include behaviors meant to scare, physically harm, or control a partner. While every relationship is different – domestic violence generally involves an unequal power dynamic in which one partner tries to assert control over the other in a variety of ways. The following statistics are all according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

We can see domestic violence inside the home: through the use and control of household pets. In one study, 85% of survivors who experienced co-occurring animal abuse reported that the behavior of their pets had changed. An even higher percentage of survivors who reported partners had harmed or killed their pet, have also reported their partner for domestic violence. We can also see an increase usage of firearms within the intimate partner violence home. A survey of contacts by the National Domestic Violence Hotline found (of those with access to firearms):  

  • 10% said their abusers had fired a gun during an argument.  
  • 67% believed their abusers were capable of killing them. 

We can see domestic violence inside our schools: as partner violence is not exclusive to the home. There are many instances of violence between dating partners that begin in high school. Nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States are physically abused by dating partners every year. Within those relationships, 13.4% of male high school students report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.  

We can see domestic violence inside our community: Macoupin County provides a specific set of needs for those victims and survivors of domestic violence. There are several complex concerns within a violent relationship that come to light once action has been taken. Safe Families sees a few main re-occurring concerns within the county:  

  • Survivors have fewer financial resources, making them more financially dependent on an abusive partner.  
  • The lack of rental units or other affordable housing options makes it more difficult for survivors to leave spouses or co-habiting abusers.  

The Macoupin County Safe Families program provides support for residents as they journey the emotional endeavors to leave behind domestic violence. As a contributor to that experience, we will be hosting a Domestic Violence Awareness Walk on October 7th on the Carlinville Square. An event shirt will be included with a ticket sale. The online tickets will close 09/29 at 5pm. Tickets will be sold at 9am day-of event at the Safe Families booth. More information about the Awareness Walk can be found on our website at mcphd@mcphd.net. We urge Macoupin County residents to join us and rally against domestic violence together.  

Juliet Wooldridge and Lilly Booth

Domestic Violence Advocate Coordinators
Community Health Worker
Macoupin County Safe Families

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Letters to the Editor

Letter: National Health Center Week is week of August 6

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Dear Editor,

Community Health Centers are the backbone of our nation’s primary health care system. We design innovative, integrated primary care based on what services communities need most — ensuring access to affordable, quality healthcare for over 30 million people. In addition to creating jobs and saving lives, collectively we save American taxpayers $24 billion a year in health care costs by preventing and managing chronic diseases.

Community Health Centers are not ordinary medical clinics; we are also problem-solvers who reach beyond the exam room to care for the whole person by providing access to necessities like food, transportation, and housing. Community Health Centers care for everyone, regardless of insurance status. Nationwide during hurricanes, floods, and fires, and locally during the pandemic, Community Health Centers are first on the scene and are vital to keeping America healthy.

The 2023 theme of National Health Center Week is ‘The Roadmap to a Stronger America.’ Community Health Centers serve as the beacon of strength, service, and care in their communities. In moments of pain and loss, we offer support and love. In moments of triumph, we offer hope and a vision for the future. This year’s National Health Center Week theme takes us on a virtual road trip across America, highlighting the achievements and amazing work being done at Community Health Centers in every state and territory. Celebrate the uniqueness of our community and get to know others as we journey across the U.S. together!

Each day of National Health Center Week is dedicated to a particular focus area. We will be working with community partners to recognize and celebrate each of the following focus groups in our community.

As part of National Health Center Week 2023, we invite you to support Macoupin Community Health Centers, Inc. to celebrate our mission and accomplishments.

Christy Blank
CEO/Public Health Administrator
Macoupin Community Health Centers, Inc.
Macoupin County Public Health Department

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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Drobney family thanks the community

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To the great people of Macoupin County.

Although several months have past, the family of Bridget Drobney would like to extend their deepest gratitude for the overwhelming love and support that we received during the recent attempt to secure the release of one of Bridget’s rapist/murderers. We are truly grateful for the numerous letters that were written and sent to the Governor of our state, the Illinois Prison Review Board, and the personal outreach to our family; all of which demonstrated your unwavering love and support. Your efforts were instrumental in persuading the Governor and members of the Prison Review Board to deny clemency for Bridget’s murderer.

While it remains a possibility for the individuals involved in Bridget’s kidnapping, rape and murder to annually petition for clemency, The Drobney family takes solace in knowing that the exceptional people of Macoupin County will steadfastly oppose any such requests and stand ready to fight should the matter of clemency arise again. We are particularly grateful to retired Macoupin County State’s Attorney, Vincent Moreth, as well as the current members of the Macoupin County State’s Attorney’s Office, under the leadership of State Attorney, Jordan Garrison. Their unwavering dedication and support was evident as they traveled to Chicago to represent Bridget and the Drobney family during the clemency hearing.

Once again, we express our sincerest appreciation for your profound support and unwavering commitment to justice. Your solidarity has been a source of strength for us during these difficult years. We will keep you in our prayers and will be forever grateful to the people of Macoupin County.

Sincerely,
The Drobney Family

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