O’Fallon Police ask for public help in identification of man

The O’Fallon Police Department needs your help with identifying this subject.

On Monday, 04-01-2019, at 3:30 p.m., the suspect went into Schnuck’s and approached the 1st National Bank of Waterloo Bank counter. He presented a photo ID identifying himself as a bank customer.

Anyone with information about the identity of this man, please contact the O’Fallon Police Department at 618-624-4545.

City Council gets organized and prepares to welcome new members

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The Committee of the Whole meeting held Monday provided training for aldermen and committee assignments for the next two years. Mayor Herb Roach also announced the city has received the official results from the April 2nd election. Aldermen will be sworn in at the May 6th City Council meeting. 

New committee member assignments are as follows:

• Finance Committee: Chair – Mark Morton, Vice Chair – Nathan Parchman, Chris Monroe, Jessica Lotz, Ray Holden and Dan Witt

• Parks & Environment Committee: Chair – Jerry Albrecht, Vice Chair – Gwen Randolph, Mark Morton, Dennis Muyleart, and Tom Vorce

• Public Works Committee: Chair – Dan Witt, Vice Chair – Ross Rosenberg, Matt Gilreath, Gwen Randolph, Dennis Muyleart, and Todd Roach

• Public Safety Committee: Chair – Kevin Hagarty, Vice Chair – Jessica Lotz, Matt Gilreath, Ross Rosenberg and Chris Monroe

• Community Development Committee: Chair – Ray Holden, Vice Chair – Todd Roach, Jerry Albrecht, Tom Vorce, Nathan Parchman, and Kevin Hagarty

Deputy City Clerk Maryanne Schrader provided the council information on a variety of topics, to include the Open Meetings Act (OMA), Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and a review of the parliamentary procedure using Robert’s Rules of Order. 

Human Resource Manager April Mitchell reviewed various human resource policies for elected officials, covering topics like gifts, computer and email usage, identity and privacy protection policy, social media, and sexual harassment. Mitchell also covered alderman pay of $200 per council meeting and $125 for a special meeting (like the City Council retreat to be held on June 15th). 

It was also announced at the beginning of the meeting that an additional vote regarding the development known as Advanced Veterinary Center, LLC, to be located at 706 and 800 East Highway 50, will need to be made at the next council meeting. There was some confusion during the April 15th meeting after an amendment was made and approved by council. The final vote on the amended motion was not made, so council will correct the oversight next week. 

District 90 Board of Education swears in new members, elects officers

(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

O’Fallon District 90 swore in new board member Quennetta Chambers, pictured second to left, at a meeting on Monday, April 29. 

Chambers will be replacing board member Mary Baskett, who retired her position. 

Chambers received 1,511 votes and board members Becky Drury and Rebecca Huller will serve another term on the Board of Education. Drury received 1,720 votes and Huller received 1,644 votes. 

The board also voted on officer positions, re-electing John Wagnon as president, Becky Drury as vice president and Rebecca Huller as secretary. 

County Board approves ownership change of Shiloh Valley Township Road

By Pam Funk

BELLEVILLE – At their April 29, 2019 Board Meeting, the St. Clair County Board unanimously approved a resolution allowing Shiloh Valley Township Road, from Rieder Road to the beginning of the State of Illinois maintenance, to be transferred to the St. Clair County Highway system from the O’Fallon Road District.  

The County will pay O’Fallon Road District $40,000 for the roadway.  The transfer was unanimously approved by the St. Clair County Board and will facilitate the free flow of traffic and insure safety to the motoring public.  

Currently, this segment of road is rural in nature and not designed for large trucks or major traffic.  St. Clair County approved the plans for Bobcat to build a new facility in this area and the City of O’Fallon is actively working to market the northern acreage for light industrial/warehousing uses.  Improvements to this road will greatly enhance the marketability of this entire area.

In other news…

• The Board approved an ordinance establishing civil fees and criminal and traffic assessments to be charged by the Circuit Clerk.  The Illinois General Assembly passed comprehensive legislation in 2018, which completely overhauled the criminal, traffic and civil fee structures in the circuit courts throughout the State of Illinois.  The purpose of the legislation was to consolidate fees into unified schedules for all counties, to realign fees to be constitutional, and to provide for fee waivers for low income individuals.  

The St. Clair County Board was required to update their fee ordinance in order to comply with the new law.  The new fees will go into effect July 1, 2019.

• The Board also unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the County Board Chairman to submit a letter of notification to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for reallocation of Community Block Grant (CDBG) Program Years 2015-2019 goals/funds.  The reallocation reduced Demolition from 50 to 0 and Economic Development from 10 to 0.  The reduction in those goals allowed for additional public infrastructure and public service projects throughout the County.

• The Board authorized the County to enter into litigation with the City of East St. Louis regarding the operation of Cencom West.  Cencom West is an entity of the St. Clair County Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) and provides police and fire dispatching services for the City of East St. Louis.  Currently, the money owed to Cencom is around $210,000.

The ETSB is an agency of St. Clair County.  While the ETSB has the authority to enter into intergovernmental agreements and contracts, such as the one with the City of East St. Louis, the Board doesn’t have the power to litigate.  The County Board must initiate litigation on behalf of the ETSB. 

Young entrepreneur opens his own snow cone stand

By Kate Crutcher

O’FALLON – During the hours after school, Nicholas Sherman opens up his snow cone stand in his neighborhood. The young entrepreneur began selling the icy treats a few weeks ago after he saw a void in the community.

“I used to go to the big snow cone stand in town, but they closed and moved away. I wanted to bring it back for my neighbors and for myself,” Nicholas Sherman said. 

Each snow cone costs $2 and there are six different flavors to choose from. 

Fortunately, for O’Fallon, Nicholas is planning on being opened during the summer months to share his delicious summer treats, for any customers wanting one.

Veterans United Home Loans in Scott Air Force Base hosts grand re-opening

SCOTT AFB – The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce joined Veterans United Home Loans as they celebrated the expansion of their offices at 735 Seibert Road, Suite 3, in O’Fallon, Illinois.  They celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for real estate agent partners and clients on Wednesday, April 3.

On the same day, employees at Veterans United presented the local chapter of Disabled American Veterans with a donation of $5,000 through the company’s philanthropic arm, Veterans United Foundation. These funds will be used to help serve disabled Veterans in the St. Louis region through the Fisher House at Jefferson Barracks, meal programs, State Veterans Homes, honor flights and the Golden Age Games.

“We are proud to support such an incredible organization that is enhancing lives every single day,” said Michelle Dapkus, a loan officer for Veterans United at Scott Air Force Base.

First National Bank of Waterloo holds spring shred day, donates to food pantry

O’Fallon area residents were lined up to take advantage of First National Bank of Waterloo’s free annual spring shred day event on Saturday, April 13, in the Schnucks parking lot.

Throughout the morning, more than 16,575 pounds of paper were shredded, filling the truck. 

“It is such a secure way to clear the clutter, as well as helping to save the Earth. We also try to use the event to help the community. As part of the shred event, we accept donation items for the O’Fallon Community Food Pantry,” said Laura Mergelkamp, First National Bank of Waterloo’s Marketing Director.

ABOVE: Anita Hall and Ashley Gustin from First National Bank of Waterloo’s Schnucks Banking Center are pictured with the large number of donated items collected for the O’Fallon Food Pantry. Additionally, the bank presented a check for the cash donations they received. 
(Submitted Photo)

The bank also holds an annual fall shred day for those who couldn’t attend the recent event.

Central 104 to offer tuition preschool program for 2019-20

O’FALLON – Central School District 104 is offering a tuition based full day preschool program for the 2019-2020 school year. 

The program will be offered to any child between the ages of three through five residing within the O’Fallon community. Students must be three years old before the first day of school (August 14) to start. 

The full day preschool class is designed to provide a strong foundation of learning for young students prior to entering kindergarten. 

Studies indicate that children who participate in high quality early childhood development programs tend to have higher scores on math and reading achievement tests, greater language abilities, less grade retention, higher levels of school attainment and less need for special education and other remedial work in the future. 

The preschool program time goes from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $620 per month with a $50 registration fee. The program will run 10 months from August through May with August prorated. There must be a minimum of 12 students enrolled to offer the program. 

If you are interested in enrolling your child in the tuition based full day preschool program, call Mrs. Cassy Shelton at 618-632-6336 ext. 161. 

Space is limited to the first 18 students who enroll.

Acting F.A.S.T. during stroke can save life and function

Stroke is currently the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, with a stroke occurring every 40 seconds, yet 80 percent of strokes are preventable. 

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot, or bursts or ruptures. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it and brain cells die. 

“During National Stroke Awareness Month, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital along with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association encourages everyone to learn the warning signs and symptoms of stroke. Knowing how spot a stroke and acting FAST can save a life,” notes Misty Dickey, BSN, RN, CEN, Stroke Facilitator for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

The acronym F.A.S.T. teaches people to recognize a stroke and what to do if one occurs:

F – Face Drooping: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? 

A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S – Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T- Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Additional stroke signs include: Sudden severe headache with no known cause; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; or sudden confusion or trouble understanding.

Studies show that patients who arrive in the Emergency Room within the first three hours of their first symptoms, have better outcomes and less disability than those that delayed care.

 “The chances of survival are greater when emergency treatment begins quickly, so patients should ALWAYS call 9-1-1 if a stroke is suspected.  Immediate treatment and early intervention may minimize the long-term effects of stroke,” shared Dickey. 

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital serves as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital and offers a stroke telemedicine program, which connects stroke patients at St. Elizabeth’s to world-class neurologists using an audio and video connection through a telemedicine robot. When potential stroke patients arrive at St. Elizabeth’s, they receive appropriate treatments immediately to ensure the best outcomes possible. St. Elizabeth’s also has an Intensivist-led Critical Care Department and an Acute Rehabilitation Unit to provide region-leading care to maximize each patient’s recovery capabilities. 

Dickey also stresses the importance of understanding that while stroke risks vary by age, they can happen to anyone.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2009, 34 percent of people hospitalized for stroke were less than 65 years old.  

According to the American Stroke Association, risk factors for developing a stroke include the following: 

Age – The chance of having a stroke approximately doubles for each decade of life after age 55. While stroke is common among the elderly, many people under 65 also have strokes.

Heredity (Family History) – Your stroke risk may be greater if a parent, grandparent, sister or brother has had a stroke. 

Race – African-Americans have a much higher risk of death from a stroke than Caucasians do. This is partly because African-Americans commonly have higher risks of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Gender – Each year, women have more strokes than men, and stroke kills more women than men. History of preeclampsia/eclampsia or gestational diabetes, smoking and post-menopausal hormone therapy may pose special stroke risks for women. Be sure to discuss your specific risks with your doctor.

Prior Stroke, TIA or Heart Attack – The risk of stroke for someone who has already had one is many times more than that of a person who has not. Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are “warning strokes” that produce stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. TIAs are strong predictors of stroke. A person who has had one or more TIAs is almost 10 times more likely to have a stroke than someone of the same age and sex who hasn’t. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke. TIAs should be considered a medical emergency and followed up immediately with a health care professional. If you have had a heart attack, you are at higher risk of having a stroke.

To learn more about St. Elizabeth’s Stroke Telemedicine Program, visit www.steliz.org/stroke or to learn more about St. Elizabeth’s Stroke Support Group call 618-234-2120, ext. 52004. An online private support group is also available through Facebook. To join, simply log in to Facebook and search “Stroke & Recovery Support Group at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s,” then request to join the group. 

Boys Lacrosse captures win on Senior Night

The eight 2019 seniors and their parents celebrate Boy’s Lacrosse Senior Night. (Photo by Scott Gaab)

O’FALLON – Last Friday evening, the O’Fallon Boy’s Lacrosse program recognized and honored its eight 2019 graduating seniors and their parents in front of a home crowd before playing Parkway West. 

For the senior boys, it was a bitter sweet event; however, the future looks bright for these young men. Donovan Balisteri (#33) will be playing junior hockey for the Milwaukee Power,  Josh Bjornson (#11) will be attending Liberty University and majoring in Computer Systems, Nolan Bradley (#10) will be attending Penn State University and studying engineering, Evan Carney (#19) plans on joining the Air National Guard, Brooks Hackney (#21) will be attending Missouri State University,  Gabriel Picato (#12) will be attending college to study mechanical engineering, James Randolph (#25) will be attending Rockhurst University to study civil engineering, and Daniel Walker (#35) will be attending SEMO to study mechanical engineering.

Following the pre-game ceremony, the O’Fallon Varsity Boy’s Lacrosse team captured a win against Parkway West on this honorary night with a score of 12-4. Several Panthers scored to garner the win, but it was a total team effort that resulted in the final score. Josh McIntyre led the scoring with 5 goals, Braden Gaab scored 4 goals and had 2 assists, Nolan Bradley scored 1 goal with 3 assists, and both Evan Carney and Nick Johnson added to the score with a goal each. 

The defense had a strong performance keeping Parkway West off balance.  Goalie, Tommy Fulford, played tough with 7 saves and allowed only 4 goals. The Panthers close out the home-game schedule against Ladue this week.

O’Fallon Panther Junior commits to play for USPHL Florida Eels for the ’19-’20 season

(Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – O’Fallon’s Grant Miner will soon be heading to Florida to play for the USPHL Florida Eels during their 2019-20 season. 

Miner has been playing hockey for the past nine years and has been a part of O’Fallon Panther Hockey since he was an eighth grader. 

Wearing number 48, Miner is a junior forward. From watching hockey on side lines at a Junior’s game when he was six, to getting on the ice and actually playing the sport, Miner is now living out his life long dream of pursuing hockey at a new level.  

“From watching the sport as a child and wanting to play it, to actually getting to play it, hockey has been a long dream of mine. The decision to play for the Florida Eels wasn’t too hard to make, since hockey has been my dream, since I was six. I am looking forward to meeting new people and having a different hockey experience, than playing at a high school level,” Miner said.

All his team members and coaches will miss him, but wish him luck during the next hockey season. 

OTHS boys track wins St. Clair County Championship

(Submitted Photo)

The OTHS boys track team are the St. Clair County Champions for the second year in a row.

The team won the event on Tuesday, April 23, beating out many of the area’s best athletes. 

Will VanAlstine, Chris Wichlac, Nick Novy, Alex Tillock won first place in the 4×800, while Rod Williams, Alex Tillock, Taylor Lehman, Ryan Somraty took first in the 4×400. 

Additionally, Dorian Brown won first in the 100m, Will VanAlstine in the 1600m, and Christian Wallace in the 400m.

The Panthers also had a number of second place finishes. Rod Williams brought home the silver in the long jump, Nick Farmer placed second in shot put and discus, and Brendan Krell won second in the 3200m.

(Submitted Photo)

Will Ray won third in the 3200m, while Dewan Brown, Tamarion Bivines, Taylor Lehman, Tevion Holmes placed third in the 4×200. 

“We had an exceptional day across the board. Many athletes and relays ran season best or personal best times. The top finishes are always nice, but every point is important. We have a young group that continues to improve. They are great kids to work with and it is a blast to watch them win something that is important to them. The distance group really showed up well today by winning the 4×800 and placing two in both the 1600 and 3200m runs. All in all it was a great day,” said Coach Joe Speaks.

View of the Past: A wintry scene in downtown O’Fallon in 1930

This week’s view is a slushy wintry scene, ca. 1930, taken at the corner of State and Lincoln, looking east, in downtown O’Fallon.  On the right in the foreground is the First National Bank, now home to the history museum.  Just beyond it on the corner is Bittles Drug Store.  On the left is Allen’s Stop & Shop Market, now home to Gia’s Pizza, with Schildknecht’s grocery store on the corner in the background.  

Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society

The Weekly travels along the Great Wall of China

Sterling and Gail Dare recently visited China and Japan. They are pictured on the Great Wall of China with their copy of the Weekly. The Dares report that their cruise around the cities near the ocean was very enjoyable. Thank you for bringing us along!

Are you going on a trip? Take the O’Fallon Weekly along with you! Just take a photo of the Weekly while away from home and email it to us for the Weekly Traveler.  Please include who is pictured and where the photo was taken.  Email photos to Nick@OFallonWeekly.com and please mark them “Weekly Traveler.”

Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Wednesday, May 1

By Illinois News Network

Democrats introduce new progressive tax rates

Statehouse Democrats looking to change Illinois’ flat income tax to a system with higher rates for higher earners filed a new proposed rate structure Tuesday.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson’s proposed rates differ from what was proposed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker earlier this year.

Her rates lower the top bracket from $1 million to $750,000.

Opponents say that shows any progressive tax is likely to push higher rates on lower brackets as revenue projections don’t pan out.

Senate Committee backs package with new income tax rates, school property tax freeze

Proponents are promoting a package of bills to go along with a proposed change to how the state taxes income.

Attached to a proposed rate structure is an end to the state estate tax and a limit to what schools can levy in local property taxes.

State Sen. Andy Manar said the property tax freeze has two exemptions: pensions and debt. Republicans oppose the package.

Business groups gather today in Springfield

Businesses in retail, manufacturing and other sectors are in Springfield for what the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and Illinois Manufacturers’ Association says is the largest gathering of business leaders in Illinois.

Panel discussions will touch on data privacy, cannabis legalization and the proposed graduated income tax.

IEMA warns of flooding potential in Illinois

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says much of the state is under a flash flood watch and it is urging residents to work to reduce flooding risks.

The agency recommends making sure sump pumps are working properly, clearing debris from gutters and downspouts, and raising and anchoring service equipment and appliances onto platforms so they are at least one foot above potential flood waters.

Wet spring puts farmers’ behind schedule 

Less than 10 percent of Illinois’ corn crop is in the ground right now, and less than five percent of beans have been planted.

The USDA said Illinois farmers are behind where they were one year ago, and even more behind for the five-year average.

A wet spring could further delay planting.

State transportation officials urge motorists to watch for motorcycles

Illinois transportation and law enforcement officials are set to kick off Motorcycle Awareness Month this morning.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker proclaimed May Motorcycle Awareness Month and will join with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and motorcycle safety advocates to remind motorists around the state to Start Seeing Motorcycles.