Shiloh takes first step towards new municipal building

SHILOH – Shiloh Village has been in talks to build a larger police department and municipal hall since their last space needs study was done in 2008. At their August board meeting, Shiloh trustees voted to authorize Mayor Jim Vernier to accept a proposal for a new space needs study, the first step towards the new building.

FGM Architects has proposed a pre-design service to update the space needs analysis for a full municipal complex that would allow for once centrally located police department and municipal hall.

While the update to the study was going to cost $8,500, Village Administrator John Marquardt announced that there would be no cost for the update so long as FGM Architects would be considered when it came time to hire architects for the building design.

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O’Fallon Woman’s Club Honors Pvt. Russell Kuehn

Pvt. Kuehn’s niece, Debbie Wolfersberger Braer, attended the flag ceremony honoring her uncle’s service and sacrifice.

The O’Fallon Woman’s Club held their August flag ceremony this past Saturday at Memorial Corner and honored the memory of Private Russell E. Kuehn.

Kuehn moved to O’Fallon in 1917 with his family when his father, Marcel Kuehn, bought the O’Fallon Progress. After graduating from OTHS in 1933, he wrote and worked for multiple newspapers before enlisting in the military.

O’Fallon Historical Society President Brian Keller wrote “He enlisted in the Marine Corps on February 13, 1942. He was killed in action on January 28, 1943 at Guadalcanal during the last days of Japanese resistance. He was returned to the United States in 1948 and was buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Shiloh with full military honors.”

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Destination O’Fallon Downtown Plaza faces major roadblock from high pressure gas line

The O’Fallon City Council met for their first Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday night. The meeting touched on a variety of subjects and allowed the officials to discuss them in a free, open setting where no action would be taken. Residents were also able to ask questions and bring up a variety of topics. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

O’FALLON – City of O’Fallon officials met Monday evening for a new town hall style meeting called Committee of the Whole. The meeting will take place on months with a fifth Monday at the Public Safety Building.

An upcoming priority for the aldermen will be possibly finding a new site for the Downtown O’Fallon Plaza project.

“The Downtown Plaza is still ongoing, but we have decided to take a thorough look at what all of the possibilities could be for us. We are waiting for some responses from the railroad to see if we could use or rent their right of way for a parking area, if that’s what they want, or if they would give it to us. That would be nice,” Mayor Herb Roach said.

He continued “We also have reached out to the county of taking over where the buses come through, that we could use that as additional parking. There would be additional room for the Chamber if the buses go away.”

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Shiloh hosts second workshop for comprehensive plan update

Shiloh residents voice desires for the future of Shiloh at visionary workshop. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

SHILOH – Representatives from Heartlands Conservancy held a second Visionary Workshop for Shiloh residents. The workshops are the preliminary step to updating the Village’s comprehensive plan.

“A lot of the time when a community reaches out to get grants for parks or transportation, one of the things that is asked for is an updated comprehensive plan,” said Associate Planner Tim Ashe when explaining why it was important to get a new comprehensive plan in place.

With the data from this second visionary workshop, Ashe and Heartlands Conservancy President and CEO Mary Vandevord will then draft a comprehensive plan and present it to residents before taking it to the Shiloh committee.

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Summer Bucket List: Make the rest of your summer meaningful

With school starting in just over two weeks, most families are shifting focus towards picking up school clothes and supplies. There are still two weeks of summer left to have fun, or to complete some meaningful projects.

Children are never too young to learn about service, and how it feels to give back to others. Here are some easy ideas for summer service projects that can be done before school is back in session.

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True Grit: O’Fallon octogenarian competes in National Senior Games

O’FALLON – Proving that only slows you down if you let it, 85-year-old O’Fallon resident Ed True recently competed in the National Senior Games. True, who also competes in the St. Louis Senior Olympics, has been competing since 1987 and plans to do so as long as he is able.

The National Senior Games are held in July every two years in cities across the country. The first two were held in St. Louis. The 12 time medal winner True usually runs track where he prefers to compete in the dashes. He has done long jump, bowling, shuffleboard and more. At the 2017 Birmingham games, he competed in Shuffleboard since he is still recovering from an injury.

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Hipskind wins the crown, named Miss O’Fallon 2017

Miss O’Fallon 2017 Ava Hipskind flanked by the first runner up Kathryn Sanders (right) and the second runner up Emily Jansen (left). (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

After a close competition between six local girls, Ava Hipskind was crowned as the new Miss O’Fallon. Hipskind is thrilled and eager to begin her reign.

The 17-year-old daughter of Sheila Hipskind and Tim Hipskind has been a resident of O’Fallon since 2009. At OTHS, she is a member of the Varsity Golden Girls, a member of the Wellness Club, Friends of Rachel Club, and the Spanish Club. The honor roll student takes her studies very seriously, and wants all O’Fallon girls to know that beauty, athleticism, and brains are not mutually exclusive. She loves chemistry, and is hoping to become a chemical engineer to help create environmentally friendly skin care products.

“I took chemistry in my sophomore year and just loved how hands on it was. Definitely sparked an interest that I want to continue,” she said.

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5 Elements Fitness opens it’s doors in O’Fallon

Sifu Nicholas Alsup works with one of his students (Submitted Photo)

5 Elements Fitness has opened it’s doors in O’Fallon. The martial arts and fitness center, run by Sifu Nicholas Alsup, offers a personal and well rounded approach to fitness.

Alsup moved to O’Fallon as a young child and graduated OTHS in 2011. He grew up learning the ancient art of Tai Chi from his father, Sifu LeRoy Alsup, a Navy veteran who retired from Scott Air Force Base, who has been training in Tai Chi for more than 30 years. The pair trained with Master Yang Jun.

“As a little boy, I just thought it was amazing, and I got to learn from my father, so what could be cooler than that? When we moved here from San Diego, he gave me the ropes to turn this into a business. Tai Chi isn’t common around here, and neither is Kung Fu. I pride myself on offering the Chinese martial arts that aren’t very common around here,” he explained.

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Shiloh welcomes new police officer; votes to contribute to feasibility study

SHILOH – Shiloh Police Department’s newest officer, James Korba, was sworn in at the Shiloh Committee at Large meeting. Officer Korba will begin on July 31, and is eager to begin.

Korba has previously served as an East St. Louis Housing Authority Officer for five years.

“I’m looking forward to starting with the department and being with my secondary family. I want to establish myself quickly to get respect in the community. I’m hoping to eventually move up through the ranks, and, God willing, I hope to retire from here,” he said.

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Consolidation study moving forward with help from Chamber of Commerce

O’FALLON – The BEST Committee met last week to discuss moving forward with a feasibility study, and the contribution of $7,500 towards the study from the city of O’Fallon.

The committee, made up of representatives from all four O’Fallon and Shiloh school districts as well as some community members, discussed the June BEST retreat, and the presentation by ISBE consultant Michelle Heninger. The BEST Committee decided that moving ahead with a feasibility study was the most practical way to figure out whether or not consolidation would be an option. The study was initially estimated to cost around $15,000, but after examining the magnitude and scope of what the study would need to examine, the committee decided that $25,000 was a much more realistic estimate.

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Community comes out for annual Library Book Walk

(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

The O’Fallon Public Library hosted their annual Book Walk at the Katy Cavins Community Center. The book walk is part of the summer reading program, and everyone in attendance, from babies through elderly residents, took home two free books and a bag full of prizes.

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OTHS Marching Panthers give back to community

The Kuhlman family (Robbie, Paige, Deacon, and Dallas, left) and the Lewis family (Brad, Jamie, and Landon, right) stand with a Star Wars Storm Trooper.

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Marching Panthers recently hosted a unique fundraiser that benefited the whole community. Partnering with O’Fallon Parks and Recreation, Chik-Fil-A and several other local businesses, they helped turn one of the Summer Movie Series events into a full blown carnival.

With a heat index of 115, the IHSA safety rules prevented the band from performing, but the heat didn’t stop the fun. The eleven carnival games included Ring Toss, Plinko, Pig Races, basketball, and there was also a photo booth, face painting, and a bounce house for little ones to enjoy.

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Area company provides free purified water for cancer patients

Wade Sales & Service Inc. wants to give back to their surrounding communities by helping residents who are battling cancer. Thanks to Jenny’s Water for Life Initiative, those who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation can get free purified bottled water.

Wade Sales & Service Inc. began in 1954. The family run business provides propane delivery, water cooler and bottled water delivery, as well as power generation. Now employing the third generation of the family, the small business, based out of Breese and Highland, employs eleven full-time employees and a handful of seasonal part-timers.

Brandon Wade, CPA and company president, said this was how they decided to give back to their community, and at the same time, gives them the ability to honor his grandmother. Jenny Wade-Timmerman was one of the original founders of the business, and according to Wade, was an incredible person that put everyone before herself.

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Summer Bucket List – Summer learning

While it’s true that summer break is a time for relaxation and fun, that doesn’t mean learning should stop. We ran an article at the beginning of the summer about the Summer Slide, a very real phenomenon that can take months of learning away from a student. This week’s summer bucket list is aimed at keeping learning alive before school begins, with as much fun as possible.

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USDA offers Shiloh residents safety tips for backyard chickens

SHILOH – The village recently approved an ordinance allowing backyard chickens and representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service want to be sure that residents know how to properly care for their birds.

Two of the main concerns the USDA-APHIS has are two avian diseases that can hopefully be avoided with proper biosecurity, Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) and the Avian Influenza (AI).

The USDA-APHIS defines biosecurity as “Using common sense practices to protect your poultry and birds from all types of disease agents – viruses, bacteria, funguses, or parasites.” There are six simple steps to ensuring proper biosecurity, according to Dr. Fidelis Hegngi, Senior Staff Veterinarian-Avian Health for USDA-APHIS.

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