Connect with us

Community News

Sonya Levie informs Rotary of Pageant

Published

on

Black Diamond Days Pageant set for June 1

The Area Rotary met for a regular meeting Tuesday, February 7 to hear from Sonya Levie. Sonya is Black Diamond Days Pageant Director that coordinates the pageant and prepares the contestants over the five month process.

The first meetings begin in early February and proceed until the day of the pageant. Levie got started in the pageant world in 2007 when her oldest daughter, Courtney Ostendorf, was crowned as Miss Black Diamond Days. Then for the next three years, Courtney went to the County level and won in 2009.

In 2009, Levie took over the task of pageant director for Miss Black Diamond Days. “It has been interesting,” Sonya said, “But it has been a lot of fun too.” Levie starts preparing for the pageant towards the end of January when she tries to find contestants. Forms are sent to school and it is announced in the local newspapers.

After contestants are found, they attend numerous meetings that last up to three hours at length. “They learn how to walk, how to pose, how to express their self. It is all a learning experience,” Levie explained.


Follow The BenGil Post on Facebook


First, Levie works with the contestants as they create resumes which help them get to know themselves. The pageant crew brings in judges from all over the state and sometimes even out of state to judge the pageant.

During the 5 month process, Levie explains what is expected from them. No drinking, no smoking, and no intolerant behavior is permitted. All Facebook pages are monitored very closely. “These girls are going to represent the town, so they cannot display poor behavior,” Levie added, “Little girls look up to the girls.”

The first thing the contestants undergo is a three minute personal interview which contains all sorts of questions. The girls are given a sample question packet to help prepare for the interview. After the interview, they move on to the competition level.

Advertisement

For the queens, it is bathing suit and evening gown while the junior misses model a party dress and a casual outfit. The contestants are then judged on their walk, their public speaking ability, their beauty, their poise, and their outfits. They then are asked a ‘pop question’ and are expected to answer the question immediately on stage in front of the audience.

Last year, the pageant started something new which was the junior division consisting of girls ages 12-14. According to Levie, the juniors do practically the same thing the Miss Queens do excluding the bathing suit. Miss Queens consist of girls ages 16-21.

‘Bling’ is this year’s theme and an opening dance act can be expected. In the past, crowned queens moved on to Macoupin County Fair Pageant. Now, queens will not be able to compete in the County Pageant. “We want them to represent Gillespie entirely,” Levie explained, “If they were to win county, they would be Miss Macoupin County and have to represent the county and not Gillespie.”

The newly crowned queens represent Gillespie at all the local parades, the fall festival, and any Chamber of Commerce event.

The first informational meeting is scheduled for February 19at TwinnCo Real Estate in Gillespie. The meeting is scheduled at 6:00pm. All the rules will be handed out and gone over. The pageant is set to take place June 1 at 6:00pm at the Gillespie Civic Center.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Court News

Macoupin County Courthouse News

Published

on

By

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.

Advertisement

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

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community News

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

Published

on

By

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:

Advertisement
  • 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.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community News

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

Published

on

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.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Trending

×

We need your support. If you value having timely, accurate news about your community, please become one of our subscribers. Subscribe