A View of the Past

Cody Hall fire 1946

This week’s photo is of a Monday afternoon fire that destroyed the combination tavern and home of Coda “Cody” Hall and his wife Cora on Dec. 30, 1946.  The building was located at Carbon Hill which is where the I-64 interchange with Route 50 in O’Fallon is today.  The cause of the blaze was the ignition of spilled roofing tar that was being heated on a kitchen stove.  While the fire department had a plentiful source of water at nearby but now long gone Carbon pond, the flames rapidly overwhelmed the structure making it impossible to save it or anything in it.  Loss was estimated at $1200 not including $1500 in liquor and $500 in cash.  The tavern was uninsured.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)

Steve’s Auto Body continues on with new ownership

Steves Auto Body 3Owners’ Names:
Mike and Cindy Beshears

Business Name:
Steve’s Auto Body

Business Address:
120 Behrens Drive
O’Fallon, IL 62269

Business Phone:
(618) 632-2575

Business Website:

Steves Auto Body 2Year Business Established:
The business was established in 1975. It was purchased by Mike Beshears, a 20 year employee of Steve’s Auto Body, along with his wife, Cindy Beshears, on June 30, 2015.

Can you tell us a little more about your business and what products and services you offer:
Steve’s Auto Body has set the standard in collision repair for more than 40 years. Our goal is to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition, whether that be repairing a small dent or scratch, or a major collision repair. Our staff will assist you with the claim process from beginning to end.

What motivated you to open your own business:
I have been in the collision industry for nearly 40 years and had been an employee of Steve’s Auto Body for more than 20 years. It has always been a goal I have had in the back of my mind. Once the opportunity arose, it was something I decided I had to pursue.

Any suggestions for someone interested in opening a new business:
Be patient! It’s not going to be easy. There may be many bumps in the road. If it is what you really want to do, stay true to the process, as it is worth it. Have all of your financial information/paperwork together, and be ready to supply it in a timely fashion to speed the process.

Steves Auto Body 1Do you have any upcoming events at your business you would like to share with our readers:
We have a number of cosmetic changes we are working on accomplishing. Once that is completed, we will schedule our upcoming events.

A Note from John Bute, District 104 Superintendent

John ButeMost of today’s schools have some form of computing technology available to teachers and students, such as computer labs (classrooms with computer workstations) or mobile computer stations (typically carts filled with laptop computers that can be wheeled around a school and shared by teachers and students). Many educators and reformers view one-to-one computing environments as the next logical step for schools. A one-to-one program environment refers to one computer for every student.

In schools without a one-to-one computing program, teachers may need to schedule computing time in advance, depending on a school’s computing options and computer supply, scheduling conflicts can arise. Teachers may also need to postpone or modify certain lessons, and valuable instructional time can be eroded because students may need to be moved to a computer lab, it may take extra time to get shared computers configured properly, or the computers may not have the required software, for example.

One-to-one technology has been an integral part of teaching and learning in Central School District #104 for several years. In 2009, the school board authorized the use of laptop computers for the implementation of a one-to-one. Administrators and staff had recognized the need to add the technology component in order to lay the groundwork for the demands of high school and post-secondary education.

Using one-to-one technology prepares students for life and work beyond school. Digital technology is already driving how people work and live. Some students may have to “power down” if they attend a school without available technology. Many families have computers, tablets, smart phones, and other devices that allow students to learn, play games, and interact with friends across the world. There are jobs today requiring technology skills that did not exist ten, five, or even two years ago. Who would have guessed that nearly every Fortune 500 company and nonprofit organization would have departments for managing social networking on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Today’s students who are being told to get offline and get to work may be tomorrow’s workers getting online to do their jobs.

Access to technology addresses a key goal of equity in education. Outside of school there is a widening digital divide of those who have access to knowledge, data, and skills and those who do not. Access to digital tools helps to provide all students with resources for success both in and after school.

Greater access to digital resources and information results in more choices, more active student engagement, and stronger ownership of student learning. Rather than being students along for the ride, learners can help drive their own education. This is evident in theory and practices in classrooms at Joseph Arthur MS. Teachers use our one-to-one devices (Chromebooks) to push and pull assignments to and from students. Two years ago the District purchased a digital math textbook. Rather than shell out $100 each for 300 hard copy textbooks, we purchased subscriptions to access the information electronically. Teachers and students use one-to-one devices, along with Promethean Boards, to demonstrate math concepts and skills. In a recent Social Studies lesson, students were able to access more current reference materials and primary sources not available from a five-year-old History textbook.

According to Joseph Arthur MS Principal, Mr. Jered Weh, “Using one-to-one technology better reaches today’s learners in a style they are most comfortable with, digital. Our students in sixth through eighth grade are able to take these devices home and access the Internet (all devices are fully filtered to be compliant with the law) and classroom resources.”

Our technology has been shown to be a powerful tool for differentiating and personalizing learning. Students needing more support for basic skills can access on-line help or teacher help at any time. Likewise, students needing greater challenges can have their needs addressed. One-to-one access enhances the personalization of learning. More importantly, it has resulted in greater student engagement and willingness for students to persevere in difficult subject areas.

It may not be the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. Central School District #104 strives to be responsive to the ever changing landscape of 21st century learners.

Angela Simmons Joins the O’Fallon Weekly News Team

Angela SimmonsHello, all! My name is Angela Simmons and I’m excited to introduce myself to you. I’m the newest staff writer for the O’Fallon Weekly, and will primarily provide coverage for the Village of Shiloh. I’m looking forward to working with the community members and getting back to writing.

I attended college at University of Missouri- St. Louis, and while there, I wrote for their newspaper. After graduation, I spent a decade working in social services. I’m currently a stay at home mom to two girls, ages eight and one. Ideally, my days are spent snuggling, playing, and making good dinners. The reality is that I have a perma-ponytail, I always have glitter and food on my clothes, the laundry just never stops, and I’ve had a string of epic Pinterest fails. I do, however, have the benefit of having more time on my hands to watch my favorite guilty pleasure shows like “Veronica Mars,” and to commission my ladies fantasy football league. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.

At the beginning of the summer, my family moved to O’Fallon. My husband is an OTHS graduate and has several close family members living in the area, so we knew that O’Fallon was the kind of town where we would want to raise our two girls. Since moving, we’ve enjoyed meeting our wonderful neighbors, attending local events and meeting community members, and I’ve been privileged to join an awesome local book club. Between outings with my family and the book club, I’ve been able to explore more of what this great area has to offer. I’m very excited to have this opportunity to bring events and people from around the community to the pages of the O’Fallon Weekly.

Gateway Classic Cars and Sam’s Club raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Saturday

Parade Map

Click on Map to See Larger Image

O’FALLON – On Saturday, Gateway Classic Cars and Sam’s Club have partnered to put on the inaugural Cruisin’ for Kids Car Show and Cruise. All of the funds raised will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. The car show will feature cars from the 1960’s through today, as well as activities for children.
At 6:30 p.m., the cars will leave and go on a car cruise and parade through O’Fallon around Community Park.
To enter your car for in the show and parade, there is a $20 per vehicle charge.
“We’re really excited about this event and partnering with Sam’s Club to help the Children’s Miracle Network. Anytime we can bring together our love of great cars and the ability to help kids in need, its a win-win,” said Sarah Boothby of Gateway Classic Cars.

The car show and cruise is one part of a larger weekend long event taking place at Gateway Classic Cars. They have once again partnered with Collector’s Corner to host an exciting three days of baseball superstar signings.
Athletes will be available for signings on Friday from 3 – 8 p.m. Signings will begin on Saturday at 9 a.m. and will run until 5 p.m. Then on Sunday, athletes will be on hand from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Gateway Classic Cars of Saint Louis is located at 1237 Central Park Drive in O’Fallon.
Athletes attending the signing include: Roy Sievers, John Denny, Gary Mathews, Chris Carpernter, Andre Dawson, Bake McBride, Dick Allen, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman, George Hendrick, Orlando Cepeda, Scott Rolen, and Pat Zachary.

OTHS grads bring the laughs at Hey Guys Comedy Club

heyguys1For over 29 years, Bruce Veach has been making people laugh. And its a tradition he continues every weekend at the Hey Guys Comedy Club located at 5225 N Illinois Street (North 159) in Fairview Heights.

While located in Fairview Heights, Hey Guys is actually owned by two 1983 graduates of O’Fallon Township High School. Veach and Alex Bacchetti, along with co-partners Shireen Bacchetti and Shelbie Wohlstadter are living the dream hosting stand-up comedians, magicians, and a wide variety of entertainers at their club.

The O’Fallon Weekly stopped by the comedy club last week and talked with Veach to find out more about the business.

What made you guys decide to open a comedy business?

I have been doing comedy for over 29 years. I love making people laugh. Shelbie and I met while working at another job. We decided to start a business doing comedy night fundraisers. Organizations hired us to come to their fundraising events and do stand up comedy. However, one of the issues we encountered early on was that these organizations didn’t have a great venue for stand-up comedy, and by the time they secured one, they weren’t raising as much as everyone had hoped. So we opened the club as a way to provide a venue and help everyone maximize their return on the events.

When did you open the Hey Guy Comedy Club?

We opened the club in July of 2014. That is when Alex got involved. Opening the club has allowed us to bring in other acts, have an open mic night, and have a venue for organizations to have their comedy night fundraisers.

Tell me more about your fundraising opportunities?

Having a comedy night fundraiser is a lot of fun and an organization can raise a lot of money. It is a lot easier than having a car wash or barbecue. We offer two fundraising options and you can find more details on our website.

What is your website address?


Is there an age requirement to get in and do you have a drink minimum?

You have to be 18 years old to come to a show. We do not have a drink minimum.

Any advice to other people starting a business?

You have to have patience and persistence.

Any upcoming events or additional information you would like to share?

We have David Scott this weekend. He is part comedian, magician, impressionist, musical comedian, and all around Las Vegas-style showman. Mention the O’Fallon Weekly and we will give you a buy-one, get-one free ticket to the show.

Visit our website to get information on upcoming shows. We also offer a military discount to thank the men and women who are currently serving, have been honorably discharged, or retired from our country’s Armed Services. Bring your military or VA ID.

Dustin Diamond Performing at the Club

Dustin Diamond Performing at the Club

Police launch new website for Neighborhood Watch Program

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Police Department has launched a website dedicated to the O’Fallon Neighborhood Watch Program. The website can be found at http://www.ofallon.org/criminal-investigations-division/pages/neighborhood-watch-program. The Neighborhood Watch website includes information about the program, how to sign up or organize a neighborhood watch group in your neighborhood, and what is expected once a group is established. The program also posts a monthly newsletter to the website that includes upcoming events, recent crime trends, and important contacts. The program stresses two way communication between the residents of O’Fallon and the O’Fallon Police Department as well as periodic informational meetings meant to help residents stay informed on how their assistance can help prevent criminal activity. Members of the neighborhood watch serve as the O’Fallon Police Department’s eyes and ears within the community by alerting officers of suspicious and dangerous activity. The O’Fallon Police Department is always looking for more residents who would like to join or create a neighborhood watch program. If you would like to join or create one in your neighborhood, please contact Detective William Barlock at (618) 624-4545 or email at wbarlock@ofallon.org.