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Residents of Benld tell council “It is time to work together”

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Residents would like “police beat” published in newspapers

Tom Hubuert asked the council to start working as one now.

A handful of residents spoke up during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, August 13. Tom Hubuert asked the council “something that will not cost a penny.” Hubuert asked for the council to start working as one now.” There are no differences among yous and I know there have been differences, but there is a new council, new mayor and people need to work together for the better of the town.” Hubuert advised the council to vote how they feel right.

After a round of applause, Gina Mendenhall thanked the council “for stepping up to the plate for a job that is not always wanted.” Mendenhall advised the board to listen to a wise man as she pointed to Hubuert. Mendenhall questioned whether rental property is inspected and whether tenants can have a background check done.

Rick Vertichio, city attorney, explained that the property is inspected at least once per year and it would be illegal for the city to request or run a background check on tenants. “That would be the landlords job,” Vertichio added. Mayor Robinson said this is the way the city has been running it and will keep running it this way.

Phyllis Spurney, Mayor of Sawyerville, questioned if anyone said she turned the building on 6th street in to the EPA.

Mendenhall also questioned why Benld does not have their police news published in the newspapers. “I read Staunton’s, Litchfield’s, Gillespie’s, but not Benld’s. Why?” Mayor Robinson said it has been Benld’s choice to only publish arrests as someone in the audience referred to the rest as “noisy business.”

Ferdinand Gerardi agreed with Mendenhall. “I stay up late at night, I don’t go to bed early,” he started. “I see our police working hard. Publish in the paper what they are doing, when they are doing it, and what they hand out so people know what they are up to!” The audience agreed with Ferdinand.

Phyllis Spurney, Mayor of Sawyerville, greeted the council with a question: “Who turned me in?” She went on to say that she has heard many rumors that someone has turned her in for reporting a building on 6th street to the EPA. “I would not do this. I worry about Sawyerville and Sawyerville only. I take care of my plate.”

Jim Tilashalski responded to Spurney. He advised her that many people have confronted him as well. “I was for tearing that building down and I never wanted it to stop.” Tilashalski went on to say, he wanted to make it clear that he did not name any names when he questioned the EPA why demolishment had halted. Spurney told him, and the council, that people are saying this and she wants answers.

“People are also saying that I want to get rid of the police department,” Tilashalski responded. “These things start. I guess we find out what happens in small towns.” Spurney said she tries to work with Benld and she does not want any trouble with Benld.

Daniel Pinkerton of the boy scouts then asked permission from the council to work at the library in Benld. As pictures were passed around the room, he noted this would be project to earn his Eagle Badge. According to Pinkerton, he received approval from the library board already and Mary Newman advised him materials would be provided to him. Without any objections, the council applauded the fellow for his achievements.

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After the police report was approved, Jim Tilashalski noted that there is an ordinance that reads, “The police chief or anyone he designates must attend all city council meetings.” He went on to say he was struck when everyone was sworn in and they were swearing to uphold all the ordinances, “and that is an ordinance.” Mayor Robinson tabled any action, but notified Jim not to let it loose.

Daniel Pinkerton requested permission from the council to pour a sidewalk at the Benld Library to earn his Eagle Badge.

In new business, Bernot informed the council that he contacted a gentleman from the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. First he talked with him via phone and then via email to document the conversation. After Bernot questioned whether backflows were mandated on residential water meters, his response was: there are not any U.S. EPA requirements for backflow preventions to be installed on new meters. He handed forth the letter to the mayor.

Alderman Nepute explained to Bernot he is “exactly right.” There are no restrictions, but it will do the city good to install them on all the meters. The only problem is the City of Benld cannot afford backflows for the meters. The backflows are $116 each plus tax which would add up to nearly $96,420 for the city as there are over 800 meters in Benld.

Bernot went on to add that until these meters are installed, the grant that purchased these meters will not be closed out. This means, Benld cannot apply for any other grants through this agency until the previous grant is closed out. The city has already applied for another grant through the agency for sewer lift stations. This grant is a matching grant and will provide the funds to purchase 4 brand new sewer lift stations. But, to even be eligible for this, the city has to install the meters. A small minority of the meters in the ground now do have backflow preventers. Backflow preventers can be installed at a later date or as funds arise.

In other old business, the mayor is going to call to have the same company that repaired the floor in the civic center to put a fresh “buffing” on the floor. Robinson also said the general assumption of the post office is “Benld is without one.” Vertichio noted that USPS was not happy with the work the volunteers did inside the police office and requested more work that totaled nearly $16 thousand dollars.

Lastly, Lynn Fraelle made a motion that every alderperson receive a copy of the financial statement for all meetings in the future. The motion was passed 6-0.

The next meeting for the City of Benld is on Monday, August 27 at 6:00pm in the Benld Civic Center.

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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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