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Madison Communications speak to Area Rotary

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Kim Harber, of Madison Communications, visited the Area Rotary once again and focused mainly on how economic development depends on broadband deployment and expansion.

“Rural economic development is going to depend on the basis of broadband or connectivity,” said Harber, “It is a critical major of where we will see rural America.” The inability to effectively compete with the urban areas in the world because they are not connected. Rural connectivity is more important than urban connectivity, Harber told the Rotary. This is true because there is only way to access the critical information. Madison Communications supplied Staunton High School and Community Memorial Hospital fiber wiring to run at higher speeds and to provide a more efficient way to deliver information to both the students and health care staff. At Madison, the principle of gathering information (not just electronically) and enact that principle is always their main goal.

“This infrastructure, is what I like to call the interstate highway system for the future years to come,” Harber stated. This economic development will allow rural America to be competitive. The explosion of data usage is related to the internet, obviously, but also comes from government usage and other infrastructure use. 2 years ago, Madison used 48 megabyte pipe that backed to St. Louis. Now, 2 years later, Madison brags a 600 megabyte and now apart of one hop to the internet. Because of this speed, families are able to stream HD videos from an internet connection to their family room television and let us say, without glitches or pauses from lack of bandwidth. The number of business meetings over a connection has almost tripled.

Harber questioned the Rotary on how they are using their connectivity, “Are you using your connectivity to reach customers or are you using it to cut cost?” Harber went on to specify on how Madison handles reinvestment principles. The company is well above and beyond any other business in the internet industry that is more committed in their reinvestment principles to the issue of putting the money back in the community to support economic development. That development is above and beyond anything Harber has experienced in any larger or urban community in the State of Illinois, according to Harber.

Madison just deployed docsis 3.0, which is an enhanced data service that will put them “leap years ahead” of competitors. At this point in time, Madison is only testing it in select locations and has not released is yet. All internet customers are running 10 megabyte connection speed, but can look forward to 50 megabyte speed that is in the testing stage now. “To many people this does not sound too critical,” Harber said, “But it very relevant when someones life is at stake, or when schools are trying to educate our youth, or when law enforcement has to pull up relative information in the community.”

Linda Prante, marketing director at Madison Communications, then informed the Rotary on how Madison gives back to the community. Madison just launched new business bundles, “Which is real exciting for us and it gives out customers incentives that are enrolled in either our voice service or internet service,” Linda stated. Madison is now reaching out to the community so businesses can get that information and take advantage of it. As stated earlier, the platform connection is 10 megabyte service. Newly launched at Madison is PC protection services. These services will provide the customer that they have network services that will protect against viruses that are very harmful to the PC. Another service area program launched in the last year by Madison is bundles for schools. “Keep in mind,” Linda advised, “Bundles are the most cost efficient for our consumers to purchase their products.” With every new bundle purchased, Madison donates $75 to the area school and if a customer just renews their bundle on their existing contract, Madison donates $25.

Harber then closed and said Madison would love to take credit for all these ideas, but they can’t. “I am not an advocate of selling technology; I am an advocate of helping our business community, helping our consumer community, helping our education and healthcare community. If they all are willing to share the business plan, since technology and connectivity are adaptable that many businesses need, and share their desire to reach out and help the community, we can do that together.”

 

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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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