Central 104 Board of Education allows students to attend District 90 schools

By Nick Miller

O’FALLON – The Central 104 Board of Education approved a resolution Monday evening allowing residents living on Carnegie Knolls Road, a road attached to the subdivision Parcs of Arbor Green, to send their children to District 90 schools even though they reside in the Central School District.

The resolution will allow the four students impacted by the boundary issue to attend District 90 schools for one year while the residents of Carnegie Knolls Road appeal to the Regional Office of Education to have their homes permanently listed within District 90 boundaries.

At the July District 90 Board of Education meeting, it was announced by Superintendent Carrie Hruby that four students who reside on Carnegie Knolls Road were mistakenly registered and should have been attending Central District 104 schools based on the zoning of the neighborhood.

At the meeting, Hruby said an intergovernmental agreement was made between the two districts to allow the four students to continue to attend District 90 schools for the 2018-19 school year. However, the resolution adopted by District 90 was different than the one originally approved by the Central 104 Board at their July meeting, resulting in the need for the Central Board to address the issue again at Monday’s meeting. 

“Central School District 104 provides a quality education for all students in our district. We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate how we can serve the needs of all students within our district boundaries. However, without compromising its boundaries, the District 104 Board of Education finds it appropriate to allow the affected children to switch schools for the 2018-19 school year only. Under these circumstances, the Board is approving a one year agreement,” said Board President Sarah Svoboda. 

The impacted students will begin classes at their appropriate District 90 schools on Wednesday, August 15.

O’Fallon PD raises $14K for Special Olympics at lunch

By Nick Miller

Last Thursday was my favorite lunch of the year, and this year I didn’t even get to eat.

Each year, the O’Fallon Police Department, in conjunction with Texas Roadhouse, holds a free lunch fundraiser for the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Everyone gets a free meal and are just asked for a small donation. 

There are multiple departments around the state that hold this event on the same day and they make it an unofficial contest to see who can raise the most money. Last year, O’Fallon PD was the winner by far, and they won again this year by raising an astounding $14,100.  They even ran out of food this year!

I always look forward to this event, as I love spending time meeting and talking with the athletes. Tony and Tony are event stalwarts and always keep the guests rolling with laughter, typically by giving Capt. Jim Cavins a few jabs. 

O’Fallon should be proud of the efforts of its police department who do such an outstanding job supporting such a worthy cause.

Ameren releases new electric rate for O’Fallon, Shiloh customers

For the O’Fallon Weekly

Ameren Illinois has released its new residential electric rate for customers in the O’Fallon and Shiloh areas. 

Effective June 2018, the new Ameren summer rate (June 2018-September 2018) is 0.0460 per kwh and the non-summer rate (October 2017-May 2019) is 0.0515. These rates are lower than O’Fallon and Shiloh’s current municipal electrical aggregation contract with Homefield Energy, which is 0.0570. The municipal aggregation rate will decrease an additional 2% to 0.05596, beginning June 2019 and lasting through December 2020.

“As we work to be good custodians of your tax dollars, we are always looking for how we can save you dollars.  When the municipal aggregation contract was signed in the Fall, 2017, Ameren’s current rate was 0.0617,” stated O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach. “We felt it was important to let our residents know that they have the choice to opt out of the municipal aggregation program in order to take advantage of the lower Ameren rate. Each resident will have to do their own research in order to determine what is best for themselves.”

O’Fallon and Shiloh’s municipal aggregation rate is higher that Ameren’s current default rate. However, Ameren may raise their rates at any time if they file with the ICC and demonstrate that its costs have changed.

While the municipal aggregation rate is higher, Roach stated it delivers price stability and is expected to provide savings over the contract term.

“Since this program’s inception in 2013, it has saved our residents a considerable amount of money at a time when many are struggling financially,” said Mayor Herb Roach. “Ever since I sponsored this concept in 2012, I also believed that residents should have a choice if they want to participate in the program.”

Ameren’s current residential rate became effective in June (4.66 cents Summer; 5.15 cents Non-Summer), which runs through May 2019, when new annual rates will be announced. Ameren’s rates for small businesses are higher, averaging approximately 5.5 cents annually. Ameren retains the right to raise rates if its costs rise, while Shiloh’s aggregation contract price will not change during the term.

While Shiloh’s 3-year fixed rate is higher than Ameren’s default rate for the next 12 months, it will deliver price stability and is expected to provide savings over the contract term. The 3-year contract term at fixed, stable rates offers a hedge against unknown future utility rates. This approach has resulted in substantial overall cumulative savings since the inception of the program for participating residents and small businesses.

In addition to long-term savings, the certainty of price stability is a core benefit of the aggregation program at a time when utility rates have been fluctuating quite considerably. 

In either O’Fallon or Shiloh’s aggregation program, residents are not required to sign a contract and will not be contacted by a salesperson. If you are approached by an electric marketer, please be aware that it is not part of either municipality’s electrical aggregation programs.

There is no risk for the residents and no contracts, but we still feel that it is important to have a choice in whether to participate or not, so if you ever feel that this is not a good choice, you can switch back to Ameren or any other vendor at any time by contacting Homefield Energy at 866-694-1262.

Customers that choose to opt out of the aggregation program are subject to a contract lock period and the utility will not allow you to re-join the O’Fallon or Shiloh Municipal Aggregation Program for 12-months.

O’Fallon and Shiloh’s contract includes over 110 municipalities with a possibility of over 850,000 residents throughout the state of Illinois. Illinois law allows municipalities and counties to negotiate the purchase price of electricity on behalf of residential and small business utility customers living within their borders.

If you are a new residential electric customer, or uncertain if you are enrolled in either city’s aggregation program, please contact Homefield Energy at 866-694-1262.

For more information about the electrical aggregation program, contact Sandy Evans, O’Fallon Director of Finance, at 618-624-4500 Ext. 8723 or at sevans@ofallon.org. or John Marquart, Shiloh Village Administrator at 618-632-1022 Ext. 116 or at jmarquart@shilohil.org.

Driver speeds at 80 mph, hits house near St. Clare School

Brandon Barker

By Nick Miller

O’FALLON – A Shiloh man was arrested Thursday after allegedly driving as fast as 80 miles per hour through the intersection of South Lincoln and West Third Street and running off the road and into a house. 

The accident took place at around 4:30 p.m. on July 19, when Brandon Barker was driving his 2007 Honda Civic. According to the O’Fallon Police Department’s accident report, Barker was reportedly drving at speeds near 80 mph near City Hall. Barker continued down West Third, through the intersection of West Third and South Oak, where he ran off of the road and into the conrete slab on the front porch of 301 West Third Street.

It is unknown what speed Barker hit the house at, but airbags did deploy in the car.

Police on the scene said no one was injured. Barker had a passenger, Dawn DeAngelo.

The police report states that Barker said he didn’t know what had happened. A DUI report is referenced in the accident report, but was unavailable at this time as the investigation is still in progress.

Vice President Pence

Roads to be closed due to Pence visit

Vice President Pence

Vice President Micheal Pence poses for his official portrait at The White House, in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

O’FALLON – Drivers will want to avoid certain roads this afternoon due to Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to O’Fallon.

The O’Fallon Police Department are asking drivers to avoid the stretch of Green Mount Road between Highway 50 and Frank Scott Parkway, as well as Regency Park from Highway 50 to Green Mount Road, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. today.

The Vice President is in town for a fundraiser for Congressman Mike Bost and the roads around the Regency Center will have limited access between those times.

Entrances to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital will not be impeded, but drivers heading to any other destinations in that area or traveling through may be stuck for a while or denied access. 

The O’Fallon Police did tell the Weekly that the situation is fluid and they are asking drivers and residents to be patient, as plans can be altered in a moment’s notice.

O’Fallon Lion’s Choice to open, feature breakfast menu

O’Fallon’s Lion Choice is set to open tomorrow morning, July 10, at 6 a.m. featuring a new breakfast menu. 

The O’Fallon branch, located at 450 Regency Park, is the only location that is currently offering breakfast. 

The breakfast menu will feature a variety of flatbread sandwiches, including a steak-and-egg sandwich and a ham-and-egg sandwich, as well as a sausage-and-egg muffin sandwich, among other “breakfast favorites.” Prices range $2.69 to $3.29.

Breakfast will be offered from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The O’Fallon fast-food restaurant expects a large crowd for it’s grand opening. 

O’Fallon Woman’s Club honors Pvt. Philip Fritz at monthly flag ceremony

By Nick Miller

O’FALLON – The monthly flag ceremony in downtown saw the O’Fallon Woman’s Club and Cub Scout Pack 94 honor the life and service of Private Philip W. Fritz. 

Fritz was born on August 14, 1896, in O’Fallon Township and entered the Army in June, 1918, where he was assigned to the infantry. While on a troop transport ship headed for Liverpool, England, Fritz developed pneumonia. He would later pass away on November 7, 1918, only four days before the end of World War I. 

He was initially buried in Everton Cemetery, Liverpool, with full military honors. He was later brought home to be buried at College Hill Cemetery in Lebanon. 

Members of Cub Scout Pack 94 raised the flag in Pvt. Frtiz’s honor, while Katherine Rubish sang the National Anthem, and Jack Lloyd played the bugle. 

Cub Scout Pack 94 is led by Dan Waford.

Next month, on August 4 at 9 a.m., the Woman’s Club will honor the life of Pvt. Henry Love, World War I. 

O’Fallon honors its fallen heroes at Memorial Day events

Brigadier General Kenneth T. Bibb, Jr., Commander of the 618th Air Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center) was the guest speaker at the Veterans Monument ceremony. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – The annual tradition of honoring the fallen veterans of O’Fallon at two different Memorial Day ceremonies continued this past weekend, despite rising temperatures and direct sunlight.

The first event took place at the City Cemetery. It was organized by the men and women of VFW Post #805 and featured Illinois VFW State Commander Jeff Hastings as the main speaker. Hastings discussed the origins of Memorial Day.

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District 90 Board Member under fire for comments about library program

District 90 Board Member Jason Boone (right) called for fellow Board Member Steve Springer to resign during the meeting held on May 15. Additionally, Boone asked Superintendent Carrie Hruby to research whether the Board had the option to remove Springer. Springer has come under fire for comments made about a program at the O’Fallon Library and emails sent to the superintendent. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – A large crowd of parents, teachers, and residents descended upon the District 90 Board of Education meeting held on May 15 to express their displeasure with the statements made by Board Member Steve Springer at a recent City Council meeting about a program held at the city library.

The library event focused on a book, “Justice Makes a Difference: The Story of Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire,” and taught children age five and older about civil rights, community service, and how to impact the world in positive ways. Springer however felt the event taught social activism and was indoctrinating the city’s youth.

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition. Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper. 

Missing O’Fallon man found in Arkansas River following search

Brennan Willis, 28, who went missing on Saturday evening in Little Rock, Arkansas, was found Monday afternoon in the Arkansas River. He was in town for a wedding.
(Photo courtesy of Missing – Bring Bryn Willis Home Facebook page)

O’FALLON – The search for a missing O’Fallon man in Little Rock, Arkansas, tragically ended Monday afternoon when he was found dead in the Arkansas River by local police.

Brennan “Bryn” Willis, 28, was visiting Little Rock for a friend’s wedding. He was last seen Saturday evening at around 10:30 p.m. as he was leaving his hotel for a late jog.

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition. Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper. 

Police ask for help identifying suspects in CVS robbery

Police are asking help identifying this man in connection to the robbery of CVS Pharmacy on Mothers Day.

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Police Department are asking for help identifying a suspect who robbed the CVS Pharmacy on West Highway 50 around noon on Mothers Day.

According to a press release issued by the Police Department, “On Sunday May 13, 2018, at 12:18 p.m., O’Fallon Police responded to the CVS Pharmacy located at 753 W Hwy 50 in O’Fallon for a report of a Robbery. It was determined that a white male entered the store, and shortly after approached the cash registers. The suspect demanded money from the employee, and after being handed the money, exited the store. 

The suspect departed the scene in a red four-door passenger car.  The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 50-60 old, 6’0 tall, 200lbs., with long brown hair and grey facial hair.  He was wearing a blue long sleeve shirt, jeans, and black shoes.”

The police indicated that no weapon was inferred or displayed, and no one was injured during the incident.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the O’Fallon Police Department at 618-624-4545. Individuals may remain anonymous when reporting.

Memorial East offering high tech rehab facility

Therapist Bridget Whiteside shows Cheryl Singsank how the Alter G, anti-gravity treadmill, can track various pieces of information while a runner uses the machine in order to help get them back on a road to recovery. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

SHILOH – Located on the third floor of the new medical office building at Memorial East, patients can receive a wide variety of recovery assistance in the hospital’s new Rehabilitation Services suite.

Aside from physical therapy, the Rehabilitation Services area offers speech and occupational therapy assistance as well. Memorial East is inviting the public to come by and see what all is available at an open house on Thursday, May 10, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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Sugarfire 64 opens its doors for business

Executive Chef Tyson Long and Sugarfire 64 Owner Gregg Medeiros are ready to serve up O’Fallon
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – The wait is over. Sugarfire Smoke House has opened its O’Fallon location for business and the barbecue is selling quickly.

The Sugarfire brand is expanding rapidly around the region and the country. The O’Fallon location, known as Sugarfire 64, is the ninth location for the St. Louis based chain. Their eighth store, located in Indianapolis, just opened two weeks ago, and there are plans for a massive expansion in Colorado. For Sugarfire 64 owner Gregg Medeiros, who partnered with Sugarfire founder Mike Johnson in the O’Fallon location, he believes the success of the brand is tied to the unique experience his patrons receive.

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Bodies found Monday are identified


O’FALLON – On Monday April 23, 2018 at 10:00 AM the O’Fallon Police Department responded to 675 Carol Ann in reference to a Check on the Well Being request. 

The deceased bodies of mother and daughter, Linda Lyons, age 62 and Victoria Lyons, age 33 were located.  An autopsy was conducted on 04-24-18 and initial results indicate no evidence of any trauma or suspicious circumstances in the death of either female.  No foul play is suspected at this time.  Toxicology results are pending, and a cause or manner of death has yet to be verified. 

This is a tragic loss of life and our sympathies go out to the family of Victoria and Linda.  

Captain Kirk Brueggeman
O’Fallon Police Department

Gander Mountain to return to O’Fallon in new location

O’FALLON – Gander Mountain may be making a comeback to O’Fallon soon, but not in the same location as before.

Sources at City Hall have told the Weekly that Gander Outdoors, as it has been re-branded following its purchase by parent company Camping World, is coming back to O’Fallon but will build a new location on Central Park Drive on other land the company owns.

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