Paul’s Frame Shop building redevelopment plan approved

An artist’s rendering of the proposed new building to be known as The Drug Store.
(Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – A plan to tear down and rebuild the building located at the corner of South Lincoln Avenue and East State Street, which used to house Paul’s Frame Shop, was approved by the City Council at their meeting Monday night.

The building was purchased by photographer Sal Cincotta with the intent of rehabbing the structure. However, after he took possession, Cincotta realized the building is in such poor condition that rehabbing it will be cost prohibitive and that the structure will need to be demolished. Cincotta approached the city seeking planned use zoning approval to tear down the old building and build a new brick two-story building that will house a café on the first floor and office space for Cincotta Photography on the second floor.

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This Able Veteran brings hope to veterans through four-legged friends

Army veteran Rick Gill stated he is confident would have taken his life had it not been for This Able Veteran and his service dog. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – “I was struggling. And then Lenny came into my life,” said Army Veteran Rick Gill.

Gill, who served in both Vietnam and Desert Storm, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He battled nightmares every night and was progressively becoming more and more lost in his trauma. Gill would ultimately reach out to an organization called This Able Veteran, based at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, for help.

“The really cool part about [This Able Veteran] is, early on, Behesha asked me what my biggest problem was. I said nightmares, it still is, and has been for the past 45 years. She replied ‘We’re going to work on that’. Lenny [Gill’s service dog] has been trained to help. He sleeps at the foot of my bed and when he feels me thrashing around at night, tossing the sheets around, and mumbling, he will intervene. He will come up and nose me in the belly or start licking me in the face. That breaks that cycle and helps me so much,” Gill explained.

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O’Fallon commemorates Memorial Day

BY NICK MILLER
WEEKLY EDITOR

AND SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

Brigadier General Stacey T. Hawkins delivers remarks during the event held at the O’Fallon Veterans Monument.

O’Fallon city leaders were on hand at two ceremonies Monday morning as the town honored those who have given their lives in defense of this nation.

To begin the morning, VFW Post 805 Commander Ed Martinez led a service, which started at 9 a.m. on the grounds at the front of the city’s cemetery.

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New development proposed at site of former restaurant

The development would be located along Highway 50 where a number of restaurants have been previously located, most recently Luna. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – A new development, which may include a currently unnamed coffee cafe, has been proposed for a location along Highway 50 where an empty building that has housed many previous restaurants currently sits.

The building, located at 1411 W. Highway 50, has been home to many restaurants in the past, most recently Schiappas and then Luna.

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Two Cents Worth – Honor their sacrifices by creating a better society

Two Cents Column

Last Monday, O’Fallon did what it does best and honored and recognized the sacrifices made by the men and women of the United States armed forces. Two different public ceremonies marked the occasion, allowing the citizens to reflect on the lives of those who have given all so we can be free.

It’s sad how little the mainstream media (I’m talking the Big Boys here) recognized the occasion. How could they possibly stop trying to tie Trump to Russia for even a moment to remember our fallen brothers and sisters?

I find myself wondering if the nation we live in is what those soldiers would have wanted their sacrifices to result in. And if not, what needs to be changed.

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Two Cents Worth – May 24, 2017

Three hundred and sixty six days ago my world changed forever and little Mister Maxwell greeted my wife and I. In the year that followed, I learned things that I didn’t even realize I needed to know. To commemorate his first birthday, I thought it would be fun to do a quick rundown of a few life lessons Maxwell has already bestowed upon me.

durable than you would think. Not that we’ve been just tossing him around the room willy nilly, but like all kids (especially now that he’s attempting to walk) Max has bumped his head or fallen over a few times. Honestly, I was afraid to dress him for the first two months because I feared him getting his arm caught in a sleeve weird and popping an arm out of socket. These things obviously didn’t occur and he’s fine.

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City Council denies video gaming establishment

City Hall

O’FALLON – A proposed video gaming cafe was denied by the O’Fallon City Council at Monday night’s meeting.

The cafe, known as “O’Fallon Cafe”, would have been located in a strip mall along Central Park Drive, near Mungo’s Italian Restaurant.  The business, which was proposed by Abdullah Abraham of Raqqa Inc., would have included slot machines and other video gambling machines, alcohol, and a very limited food menu.

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Mike Bost speaks to local junior high students about life in Congress

Addresses student questions about healthcare reform, Trump travel ban

Congressman Mike Bost addresses the room full of junior high students at Carriel last Thursday. Bost spoke about life in Congress, what it is like to meet a president of the United States, and answered questions on a variety of topics and issues. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – The students at Carriel Junior High School had the opportunity to get a front row seat to national politics on Thursday when Congressman Mike Bost visited the school and spoke about his role in the government.

Bost, who lives in Murphysboro and is serving his second term in Washington, gave a brief introduction and bit of background before diving into talking about his current role. He began his political career by running for the county board. Later he would be elected to the Illinois House of Representatives where he would stay until 2014 when he was elected to Congress.

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Two Cents Worth – Don’t let your mouth (or email marketing) write checks your body can’t cash

Two Cents Column

Part of me doesn’t want to print my column this week because I don’t want to sound petty or like I’m complaining. But I’ve decided to write this as a warning for you to think twice before giving your money to a business you may have considered employing on special
occasions.

I had Mother’s Day under control. I had placed my order, received confirmation, and was waiting for the phone call from Laura thanking me profusely for having a nice bouquet of pineapple, chocolate covered strawberries, and grapes delivered to her office.

By 4 p.m. Friday I hadn’t heard anything and began to get worried.

I finally decided to text my wife and ask if she had received a delivery. She replied saying no and asked if she should have. That’s when I knew something had gone amiss.

I checked my email and found one from 2:50 p.m. refunding my $80 order from the Edible Arrangements store in Collinsville. No notes as to why were provided on the refund email. So I called them.

After being given over to the store manager, Stacy, I asked as politely as I could given that they had just nuked my Mother’s Day gift plan just why they refunded my order. I was told they were “swamped” and couldn’t accept it.

I then asked them why they didn’t let me know this earlier. Stacy told me that they left me a message and that I didn’t get back to them. Now, as many of our subscribers who have tried calling me to renew their subscription by credit card know, I’m slow at returning calls. I freely admit that I’m way behind. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t listen to messages. I listen to messages right away. So if they would have called me, I’d have known.

I then asked Stacy why, if they are so busy, did I receive no less than three emails that day, prior to my refund being issued, telling me it wasn’t too late to order for Mother’s Day. It obviously was! She told me that those emails came from corporate and they didn’t control that. Since Friday, I have received 13 emails from Edible Arrangements promoting their products, many of them assuring me it wasn’t too late to get a nice gift for Mom.

I’ve since called their corporate office to lodge a complaint about Stacy, who was extraordinarily rude and unhelpful. Additionally, I wanted to know why I was getting so many emails if their store was unable to accommodate the business.

I question if the Collinsville store had enough staff on hand to take care of the second busiest holiday of the year (Valentines Day taking the top spot) for their type of product. I also question why a store manager can’t hold up under pressure without getting rude with paying customers on the phone. I also question why Edible Arrangements would employ a customer service rep who would tell me its cheaper for me to go to the grocery store and buy my own fruit and cut it up (she seriously said that to me).

But, despite all those thoughts, I still needed to scramble and find something for Maxwell to give Laura for her first Mother’s Day. Driving around Sunday morning, a nice bouquet of flowers from Dierberg’s and chocolate covered strawberries from the Chocolate Chocolate Company seemed to fit the bill.

Oh, and I’m still waiting to receive the call from the franchise owner. Edible Arrangements said he’d call in 48 hours. I guess he’s just swamped.

Goodwin reflects back on four terms as City Clerk

Phil Goodwin gives his final thoughts prior to swearing in newly elected City Clerk Jerry Mouser at the May 1, 2017, City Council meeting. Also pictured is Deputy Clerk Maryanne Fair.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – Sixteen years ago Phil Goodwin approached Gary Graham and expressed an interest in running for public office. However, despite serving four terms as O’Fallon’s city clerk, Goodwin had his eye on another position.

“Sixteen years ago I decided I wanted to be an alderman. I approached Gary [Graham] who was finishing up his first term as mayor then and I told him I wanted to run for alderman. He stopped and thought for a moment and told me ‘Phil, the city clerk is retiring. Why don’t you consider running for clerk’,” Goodwin said. “My first thought was ‘What does the clerk do’. I was like most people in that I knew a little about government. Most people might know their mayors name, fewer maybe know their alderman’s name. I thought about it and came into the office to see what it was all about.”

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Local girl uses birthday to raise money, donations for Fontebella

O’FALLON – For the last three years, Delaney Hall has used her birthday as an opportunity to give back to local charities and enhance the lives of others. This year, as she turns 11, Delaney decided she wanted to collect donations for Fontebella Maternity Shelter.

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Two Cents Worth – Celebrate your Mom this weekend

For nearly a year, my wife has proven day in and day out why she is the greatest person on earth. Not only has she put up with my ongoing wackiness, but she has been a phenomenal mother to our son, Maxwell.

One of the joys of my life now is to hear Max giggle and laugh when Laura plays with him. In the space of a moment, he became her world and she has adapted wonderfully.

So this week, I’m not going to ramble on. Rather I’m going to take this opportunity to wish Laura, and all of the other moms out there, a Happy Mothers Day.

CSX running trains along O’Fallon line, plans to store empty cars along track

City officials notify CSX they do not want unused train cars stored within city limits

The train rolls by the intersection of East First Street and South Smiley Street Saturday morning. (Photo by Brian Keller)

O’FALLON – The ongoing saga of what will happen to the train line running through O’Fallon took a surprising turn Saturday morning when a train rolled through at approximately 7:30 a.m.
The tracks, which have been closed since August 2015, had been cut at Caseyville and Flora. It has since been put in place and restored at those two locations. However, there are still diamonds that were removed in Shattuc, in Clinton County, and Odin, in Marion County, preventing the track from being fully used.

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Newly elected officials sworn in at O’Fallon Council Meeting

Herb Roach takes the oath of office becoming the first new mayor of O’Fallon in 20 years.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – Just after the start of the meeting Monday night, the newly elected city officials were sworn into office, including Herb Roach as the city’s first new mayor in 20 years.

Outgoing City Clerk Phil Goodwin began by taking a moment to thank everyone who helped him over the past 16 years, especially his deputy clerk Maryanne Fair. Goodwin then swore in the new city clerk, Jerry Mouser.

From there, Mouser handled the duties and proceeded to give the oath of office to Roach and the aldermen who won their elections, Ross Rosenberg, Jerry Albrecht, Matthew Gilreath, Mark Morton, Andrew Lopinot, Courtney Marsh, Ray Holden, and Dan Witt.

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The eight aldermen elected in the April contests are sworn into office by the new city clerk, Jerry Mouser. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Hartmann, Jones named 2017 OTHS Prom Queen and King

ST. LOUIS – It was a magical and rainy night for OTHS students attending the annual prom at the Hyatt Regency in downtown St. Louis. Following a nice meal, some dancing and fun, and the introduction of the prom court, it was time to announce the winners of Prom King and Queen.

Jessica Hartmann and Aaron Jones were named the 2017 royalty.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

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