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.

OTHS names 2018-19 Scholar Athletes

O’FALLON – The OTHS Athletic Department is proud to announce its 2018-2019 Scholar Athletes. 

“As OTHS teachers and coaches, we are truly blessed to work with some of the very best and brightest young people, and we are always looking for ways to praise and acknowledge this very special list of student-athletes,” said Assistant Athletic Director Dave Gan. “We are extremely proud of the sacrifices our student-athletes make to their sport and in the classroom”

The following student-athletes have achieved a 3.50 cumulative GPA or higher.

Isabelle Akoro

Austin Ames

Olivia Anderson

Katarina Ausley

Mallory Bader

Emmayra Baez

Suzanne Baker

Hillery Balisteri

Alaina Balance

Haley Bartimus

Jordan Baskette

McKenna Bates

Cody Bauer

Samuel Becker

Amelia Bell

Brianna Berres

Makayla Best

Lucas Biehn

Abigail Blue

Andrew Boone

Nolan Bradley

Olivia Branz

Abby Braswell

Maisey Breedlove

Savanah Breithaupt

Ayanna Brown

Caden Brown

Dorian Brown

Miley Brunner

Alex Buchheit

Abbey Burkhalter

Jessica Camp

Alexander Carmichael

Beau Carney

Jamal Carter

Jacob Castillo

Chloe Cavazos

Trinity Choice

Anna Chor

Sidney Christopher

Kylie Clark

Grace Clinton

Harrison Clinton

Mia Colebrooke

Elizabeth Colson

Andrew Combs

Kayla Conklin

Megan Conner

Cortney Conners

Erin Connor

Sarah Cooley

Alyssa Corso

Leah Corso

Isaiah Craft

Noah Cutter

Kimberly Davenport

Shelby Davinroy

Lauren Dawson

Brandon Dawson

Joseph Deagan

Ryan Deagan

Alexis Denton

Kyle Dismukes

Kelsey Dismukes

Sarah Doyle

Jennai-Nicole Dugger

Grace Dumstorff

Kaleigh Dunahee

Ashlee Dunks

Rachael Dziaba

Nicholas Edwards

Laura Edwards

Kyla Ellis

Christopher Erickson

Hanna Ertel

Ashleigh Farmer

Valerie Finck

Tristen Fornes

Braden Gaab

Aidan Gass

Evan Gass

Abigail George

Amber Germuga

Hannah Gibson

Blaine Gittner

Sofia Gonzalez

Elyse Gordon

Kaylie Grout

Grant Gruenloh

Julia Gundlach

Cale Gundlach

Taylor Guy

Claire Hackney

Bridget Hagarty

Celena Haight

Brady Halloran

Travis Halverson

Quinn Harris

Nicholas Hartmann

Matthew Hartmann Rivera

Jacob Hayes

McKenna Heap

Savannah Hendrickson

Elizabeth Henken

Johnathan Hileman

Brendan Hill

Bridget Hill

Reagen Hoefle

Ethan Hoerner

Samantha Hogue

Cale Holan

Tanner Hollerich

Blake Holliday

Andrew Hong

Luke Hruby

Gavin Hughes

Alexa Huller

Abigail Hurst

Kaylee Jackson

Abigail Jackson

Vishal Jacob

Madeline James

Mackenzie James

Aaron Johnson

Emma Jordan

Hayleigh Juenger

Madison Jung

Morgan Jung

Klaire Keel

Aidan Keen

Calvin Keller

Noah Kellermann

James Kelly

Liam Kenney

Dylan Kirchoff

Jacob Knaust

Katelyn Knaust

Benjamin Koenig

Sophia Koesterer

Alexander Koesterer

Nathan Kolb

Jack Kollins

Ryan Komm

Alexa Kosmopolis

Austin Kostedt

Jan Kreft

Kennedy Kreidell

Ryan Krell

Brendan Krell

Danielle Landvogt

Michael Larson

Lauren Le Pere

Morgan LeeBurton

Conner Levin

Sarah Lewis

Connor Lindsey

Kevin Liu

John Lloyd

Sofia LoBue

Simoriah Longhorn

Logan Lowery

Madison Luechtefeld

Darwin Mah

Adler Maher

Riley Maher

Khang Mai

Isabella Malone

Lucas Mantay

Maximus Marrel

Brady Martinez

Amanda Matthews

Faith Mayfield

Benjamin McCoy

Zoey McDonald

Matthew McGee

Hailey McGinnis

Joshua McIntyre

Sophia McLeod

Briana McMinn

Samantha McNary

Joseph Medley

Hannah Meier

Michael Merrill

Ryan Merril

Makayla Mersinger

Michael Meyer

Kayla Miller

Emma Minton

Aubrey Mister

Brandon Monson

Stephen Monson

John Moore

Caroline Moxley

Alexandra Mueller

Paige Mueller

Peyton Mueller

Maicy Mueller

Megan Mueller 

Kalilah Muhammad

Tiffany Nguyen

Jessica Nguyen

Garrett Nichols

Josephine Nieroda

Madison Northrop

Nicholas Novy

Joseph Novy

Drake O’Leary

Olivia Ori

William Osuma

Sarah Owens

Vonner Panek

Nicholas Papachrisanthou

Marcus Parker

Gabrielle Parker

Milee Patel

Taylor Patterson

Taylor Peck

Jack Peterson

Gabriel Picato

Makenzie Pitts

Ashley Plaisted

Gabriella Poe

Christopher Porter

Evan Potter

Alexa Prouhet

Mark Joseph Prozinski

Corey Quintal

James Randolph

Riley Randolph

Noah Reed

Sophie Reilly

Sean Rhodehamel

Donald Richards

Brooke Riggan

Sara Rizzoli

Christopher Robinson

Chaya Ross

Garrett Roumpos

Jonathan Russo

Emma Ryan

Sophia Ryan

Sienna Salcido

Kaitlynn Schaefer

Donavon Schexnayder

Kelsie Schieppe

Kendall Schieppe

Peyton Schieppe

Ryan Schmidtke

Gabrielle Schram

Joshua Schulhofer

Logan Schweigert

Eric Shackelford

Raniyah Shannon

Kristina Sharpe

Luke Sheerin

Cameron Shelton

Kelly Short

Katherine Short

Kaylee Shull

Jackson Slaby

Claire Slone

Sarah Smith

Connor Sorgea

Natalie Spain

Hannah Spencer

Ethan Stein

Benjamin Stephenson

McKenna Stiles

Gabrielle Stone

Julia Streit

Curtis Stutsman

Samantha Suchanek

David Tady

Ava Taylor

Drew Tebbe

Madison Thornton

Alexander Tillock

Christopher Toennies

Katherine Toftemark

Aiden Toohey

Samantha Tooley

Mary Trelow

Mikaela Trujillo

Lairra Unverzagt

William Van Alstine

Hayden VanDeVoorde

Kaden Vollmer

Madison Vorce

Benjamin Wagener

Emerson Wallace

LiliAna Ward

Avery Ward

Michael Ward

Ally Ward

Ashton Wells

Lillian Wenkel

John Werner

Christopher Wichlac

Sophie Wichlac

Alexander Wilhelm

Kai Williams

Haydin Williams

Nylah Wise-Muhammad

Jennifer Zhao

Kirstin Zimmermann

Paige Zywickia

Local hospitals’ quality projects showcased at State Capitol

Shown at the Illinois Health and Hospital Association’s (IHA)
Quality Advocacy Showcase in the Illinois State Capitol April 3 with Senator Christopher Belt of the 57th District is Kimberly
Rickhoff, RN, assistant nurse manager of Telemetry B Unit at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, who highlighted infection prevention process to reduce Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection rates.
(Submitted Photo)

A number of quality improvement initiatives undertaken by HSHS Southern Illinois Division (SID) hospitals were on display in the State Capitol earlier this month as part of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association’s (IHA) Quality Advocacy Showcase. These clinical leaders met with legislators to share how their initiatives have benefited patients, families and communities while reducing health care costs. 

The HSHS Southern Illinois Division includes HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland. 

HSHS leaders were among over 100 hospital and health system leaders from across Illinois who met with legislators about their efforts to improve patient care and safety. In sum, 90 hospitals and health systems showcased their improvement projects at the event.

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital highlighted their infection prevention process to reduce Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection rates through appropriate testing. A multidisciplinary team instituted intervention including a Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) tick sheet to guide bedside nursing; secondary review by Infection Prevention and Pharmacy on a daily basis; Infectious Disease consults as needed; and having the ordering physician or nurse practitioner determine when to test for C. diff. 

Other HSHS Southern Illinois Division hospitals showcased the positive impact of their individual quality initiatives:

• HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital shared their social determinants of health initiative to increase screening for colon cancer, a highly treated cancer when caught early.

• HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese shared their infection prevention initiative to reduce surgical site infections by deploying an infection control risk assessment at every level of facility construction projects.

• HSHS Holy Family Hospital shared their proactive approach to decreasing patient harm events through their “Stop the Line/Good Catch Program.”

• HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland highlighted their care coordination process where they screen all patients on admission to assess if the patient qualifies for end-of-life care or requires an acute care admission.

IHA’s Quality Advocacy Showcase, in its fourth year, visually demonstrates the work of physicians, nurses, quality improvement leaders and hospital administrators to develop and implement solutions to improve care. IHA produced one 30-by-42-inch poster per hospital or health system project for the event.

“The Showcase gives hospital leaders and frontline staff an important opportunity to share their efforts to advance quality care,” said IHA President and CEO A.J. Wilhelmi. “It’s essential that policymakers and elected officials see how Illinois hospitals are doing more to serve their patients and communities—through innovation and practical strategies that improve outcomes.”

Last year, St. Elizabeth’s was also awarded an ‘A’ rating from The Leapfrog Group’s fall 2018 Hospital Safety Guide for their committed to providing quality patient care and proactively implementing initiatives to continue to elevate their quality and patient safety processes. Only 43 hospitals in Illinois received an ‘A’ safety grade.

District 90 and the Weekly Present the April 2019 Student Service Award Recipients

The following students have been named by their principals in recognition for their efforts to make their school and community a better place.

Hinchcliffe Elementary 
Lucy Blankenship

Lucy is a future leader in the making! Whether it is leading by personal example or being the leader during group and project work, she leads by setting a positive example. As classroom leader, Lucy takes over as the teacher and continues on with a lesson if there is a classroom interruption. She hops up in the teacher chair and continues the lesson with her best “teacher voice,” asking students questions and giving out compliments and encouraging words to her classmates. Her teacher said, “One time during group work when a student was upset because he struggled reading a specific word, Lucy calmly and respectfully acknowledged his frustration, helped him calm down, and helped him use decoding strategies with the word. She has a genuine concern, kindness, and acceptance for others. Lucy Blankenship is very deserving of this award.”

Evans Elementary
Reagan Rettig

Reagan Rettig is a conscientious student who always puts her best effort into her work. She often goes above and beyond in her writing. Reagan likes to help others get along and encourages caring and being respectful to others. She will help students that need additional assistance with work or activities.  Reagan’s teacher said, “I heard Reagan explain to other students how sometimes you have to forgive and move on to get along with them. She is a great classmate and student here at Evans!”

Estelle Kampmeyer Elementary
Juliann Neeley

Juliann Neeley shows great citizenship in everything she does! She is always caring and considerate to her classmates. Juliann is always willing to lend a hand to students and adults alike. She gives her best effort in her academics, and shows respect to EK School with both her actions and words. 

Delores Moye Elementary
Steven Markwardt

Steven Markwardt is a preschooler at Moye Elementary School. He is always willing to help his friends and help around the classroom. He is an extremely hard worker and is always excited to be at school. Steven is such a good friend. When we get new students, Steven is the first one to volunteer to show them around and make them feel welcome! We are so proud of Steven!

Marie Schaefer Elementary
Parker Kinney

Parker is always empathetic, thoughtful and helpful to others. His teacher noted a time when Parker ran over to help a fellow student after he fell playing soccer.  Parker made sure he was ok and helped him up.  When a classmate fell in the classroom recently Parker alerted his teacher and stayed by his side while patting his back.  He was so concerned that he kept asking if he could go check on the injured classmate. Parker then offered to gather all of his classmate’s belongings to take them to the nurse’s office, and made sure the class saved a birthday treat for him to have when he returned the next day. Parker also displays empathy and care for Schaefer’s Mr. Daren who is bravely battling cancer. Parker seeks Daren out daily to ask him how he feels, bring him a treat, and give him a hug.  It has touched Daren deeply that Parker and his family have shown him such great kindness and empathy. Parker also encourages his classmates and others daily to do their best. Parker’s teacher said, “I have known him to help the younger children when they have needed help in the hallway, or remind them of expectations. Parker definitely has a heart for others and is a true example of kindness and empathy!” 

Carriel Junior High
Kaitlyn Spinnie

Katie is and always has been an excellent student at Carriel.  She always enters the classroom with a positive attitude and helpful hand.   Her helpful spirit, reliability and hard-work make her a  student that teachers can trust to help with important tasks.  Katie is inspiring to others and has demonstrated strong leadership within the student community.  She is a Captain of the Dance Team and serves as an active member of NJHS. She has helped with numerous service opportunities including working the concession stand for basketball and volleyball games, helping the Little Panthers program with wrestling and lacrosse games, the Pennies for Pasta fundraiser, and tutoring at Moye.

Fulton Junior High
Chris Chaney

Chris Chaney is the recipient of this month’s Student Service Award due to his passionate participation in many activities at Edward A. Fulton Junior High School. Serving as an executive board member for Student Council, Chris recently represented Fulton at the state convention in Springfield. Beyond his service to Student Council, Chris is an active member of the Scholar Bowl Team, NJHS, and Boy Scouts (to name a few). Chris epitomizes the meaning of leadership and is an excellent example of everything a Fulton Panther should be!

Thirteen01 at Hartman Lakes Apartments celebrates grand opening

SHILOH – Thirteen01 at Hartman Lakes, the $26 million residential development in Shiloh, celebrated its Grand Opening on April 11, 2019 with a ribbon cutting provided by the O’Fallon -Shiloh Chamber of Commerce. Developer and owner Darrell Shelton of Commercial Property Investors, Inc., addressed the crowd and announced his appreciation for everyone involved in making this project come to fruition.

The 216-unit, one- and two-bedroom apartment project has released Phase I, of which 103 units are already leased, in the first of nine apartment buildings, which received its first residents on December 1st. The entire community is scheduled to be finished by October 2019.

The modern residential community is situated on 17 acres at 1301 Centerpoint Circle at the northwest corner of Hartman Lane and Frank Scott Parkway in the Hartman Lakes development and features spacious, well-appointed living spaces, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, balconies, in-unit laundry rooms with washer and dryer and detached garages. Community amenities include a clubhouse with a fitness room, resort-style pool, gas grills, fire pit, walking trail and two lakes with fountains.

One-bedroom apartments start at $990 a month and two-bedroom start at $1,290 a month.

Leasing office hours are Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 4pm. To schedule a tour please call 618-622-9140. For more information please visit www.1301HartmanLakes.com

The 38-acre Phase II site will consist of attached and detached one-story villas centered around a community activity center and clubhouse complete with a pool, fitness center, and more. Phase III will be an 8 acre commercial component along Frank Scott Parkway which will feature easy, walkable access for all the residents of Phases I and II.

Developer Darrell Shelton of Commercial Property Investors, Inc., has been developing real estate in southwestern Illinois since 1981. Shelton’s portfolio includes his most recent project, Regency Park, where he built a Hilton Garden Inn and the Regency Conference Center. Shelton has never been more driven to improve the southwestern Illinois landscape with planned quality construction developments reflecting the values and needs of the residents of the area than he is today.

Thirteen01 at Hartman Lakes is leased and managed by 2B Residential, an employee-owned, full-service, multi-family real estate company and recipient of the 2018 Property Management Company of the Year by the St. Louis Apartment Association.

Taste of O’Fallon to raise funds to help families affected by mental illness

O’FALLON – Karla Smith Behavioral Health (KSBH) will host the First Annual Taste of O’Fallon on Friday, May 10 at Gateway Classic Cars from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to raise funds to help families affected by mental illness.

“We are so excited to bring this one-of-a-kind fundraising party to O’Fallon,” said Mike Clark, KSBH Board Member and presenting sponsor Visionary Wealth Advisors. “Over 40 restaurants and businesses have already signed on to participate in the event to give back to our community.”

The Taste of O’Fallon will feature O’Fallon’s favorite restaurants, diners, pizzerias and bakeries who are preparing classic local dishes, specialty cuisines and inspired chef creations for party go-ers to taste throughout the four hour event.

“Whether it’s your friend, a family member, your neighbor or a customer, we all have a relationship with somebody that is struggling with mental health issues,” said Megan Pashea, owner of 1818 Chophouse. “It’s important for all of us to be aware and be able to help those around us.”

Restaurants are donating all of their food and services so that all proceeds from the evening go directly to help Karla Smith Behavioral Health provide mental health services to families experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

“Over 85 percent of our clients receive financial aid to pay for professional mental health services at KSBH,” said Emily Smith, KSBH Executive Director. “Mental health is a community issue that requires all of us to join together to help lift each other up. We are so grateful to the businesses and individuals who are organizing this event which will help change lives and celebrate the best our city has to offer.”

Local band S.O.S. will be performing live throughout the evening all your favorite hits from Fleetwood Mac to modern day rock.  For more information about Taste of O’Fallon visit karlasmithbehavioralhealth.org.

Tickets may be purchased online at karlasmithbehavioralhealth.org for unlimited food tastings and beverages.  There are two levels of tickets: $50 for General Admission and $75 VIP Pass.

Sponsors of Taste of O’Fallon include presenting sponsor Visionary Wealth Advisors, Peel Brewing Company, The FOURCE Group, Pure 111 Medical Aesthetics, Victory Men’s Health, Delmar Mortgage, Professional Therapy Services, Inc., Ironhorse Resources, Jenie’s Hair Loft, CR Holland Real Estate, Foley Dental Group, Federico Family of Dealerships, Mike’s Automotive, O’Fallon Electric, Veterans United Home Loans, 1818 Chophouse, Bella Milano, Gia’s Pizza, Soooo Yummy TC’s Treats, Syberg’s, Sweet Katie Bee’s Sustainable Café, Sugarfire Smoke House, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Hemingway’s Zen Garden Bistro and Pub, Fezziwig’s Tea & Gourmet, Southern Hop House and Peonies and Milk.

O’Fallon Panther senior to play for Milwaukee Power

By Kate Crutcher

O’FALLON – A member of the O’Fallon Hockey Panthers will be taking his talents to Milwaukee.

Senior forward, number 75, Donovan Balisteri has been tendered by the Milwaukee Power hockey organization. Balisteri will be hard to miss, standing at six feet seven inches tall with skates. Under the guidance of Coach Ernst, Balisteri will be able to develop his playing skills and be “all-in” when it comes time to getting on the ice. 

“Donovan is a raw, highly talented power forward with the ability to put the puck in the net. He has the ability to be a dominant force below the dots and bring a heavy and hard brand of hockey to our Power organization,” Coach Ernst said.

JAMS announces April Students of the Month

Joseph Arthur Middle School recently named their April Students of the Month. The word of the month is Fairness, and the following students exhibited great fairness. From left: fifth grader Cheyenne Wells, sixth grader Courtney McCoy, and seventh grader Niko Melendrez. (Submitted Photo)

Congressman Bost visits O’Fallon YMCA

Pictured from left: VP of membership for the Gateway Region Y Association Andy Stack, Congressman Mike Bost, O’Fallon YMCA Associate Executive Director Lisa Harley. (Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – Congressman Mike Bost visited the O’Fallon YMCA to discuss Operation Salute, which offers new military pricing supporting our military and veteran families. The Congressman also learned about Operation Kid Comfort that provides a free quilt or pillowcase to children on deployed parents. The YMCA also offers a program called Operation Fit For Duty that provides our military members with a medical profile an opportunity to recover by utilizing the Y’s pool for free.

The Weekly heads to Maui, Hawaii

This week we traveled to the 10,023-foot peak of Haleakala Crater on Maui, Hawaii, with Rich and Carol Lunan of Shiloh to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The Lunans last visited Maui 40 years ago on their honeymoon.

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.”

Venuti named 2019 Mr. Irresistible

O’Fallon Township High School recently held its annual Mr. Irresistible contest, a tongue-in-cheek pageant for the guys of OTHS. At the end of the event, Gio Venuti was named the 2019 Mr. Irresistible. 

Pictured from left: Sam McCoy who was named Mr. Macho, Nolan Bradley first runner up, 2019 Mr. Irresistible Gio Venuti, Miss O’Fallon Adriana Scagliarini, Ethan Weld second runner up, Nathan Amenn Mr. Charming. (Photo by OTHS Today)

District 90 Board approves tech upgrade at Moye

By Angela Simmons

O’FALLON – Championship bowlers, championship volleyball and excellent staff members were celebrated at the most recent District 90 school board meeting. The board also approved new positions, discussed the idea of added electives and approved a technology refresh after a presentation from district Technology Director Grady Niles. 

The annual technology refresh will be taking place at Delores Moye Elementary School. Niles shared that Moye’s projectors are fine, their Lenovo desktops need upgrading, but their Chromebooks and iPads need a refresh. The total cost to the district is expected to be $137,450 for 280 2019 32GB iPads, 280 Griffin Survivor iPad cases, 200 HP Chromebooks, 200 Google management licenses, and six Chromebook carts. Niles presented bids for each piece from multiple companies and highlighted the lowest bids for the best possible savings. 

The annual refresh is not new, and is part of a five year plan. Hinchcliffe and Estelle Kampmeyer elementary schools have already benefited from the plan. Laverna Evans and Marie Schaefer elementary schools will be the recipients of the refresh in the 2020-2021 school year, and Carriel and Fulton junior highs will receive a refresh in the 2021-2022 school year. 

As part of a refresh, Niles also presented on the districts copier machines. The current three year contract expired in February and is in a month-to-month status until the end of the school year. The district has 21 black and white and two color copiers covered under the lease, while their 14 laser printers are not covered. The district makes over 820,000 black and white copies monthly, and over 18,000 color copies. 

He proposed changing to 15 black and white copiers, eight color copiers and seven multi-function printers. The new contract with All Pro Office Technology would be $6,559.35, and would be a monthly savings over the previous contract of $650.86, amounting to an annual savings of $7,810.32. 

The board, minus absent members Mary Baskett and Steve Springer, unanimously approved both refresh proposals. 

In Other News:

Fulton Boys Bowling team made it to fourth place and Carriel student Hannah Williams placed thirteenth individually.

• The Fulton Boys Bowling team of Chase Keen, Jared Salzman, Tyler Mueller and Nathan Bassford made it to fourth place, and Bassford placed sixth individually. Carriel student Hannah Williams was also recognized for placing thirteenth individually. 

Fulton Girls Volleyball Team placed second in the SIJHSAA state tournament.

The Fulton Girls Volleyball team was also celebrated for their second place finish in the SIJHSAA state tournament, the highest that the team has ever accomplished. 

The board continued the celebrations by naming their teacher of the month, sponsored by the O’Fallon Fraternal Order of the Police. Physical Education teacher Sara Mudd teaches at both Evans and Schaefer elementary schools. She organizes annual field events, organizes the district’s Jump Rope for Heart event that has raised thousands of dollars, and, along with her colleagues, organizes the district’s annual Read and Run event. Mudd also “creates a positive, interactive learning environment every day in her physical education classes.”

Physical Education teacher Sara Mudd was named teacher of the month.

Staff member of the month Lynn Hoffman, the secretary at Carriel Junior High, was unable to be present for the meeting due to family commitments, but board and administrative members are looking forward to celebrating her.

• The board approved a job description for a new HVAC/grounds and maintenance position. The goal is to have additional help taking care of the grounds and schools and a certified pair of hands to help the district’s existing HVAC technician. 

• Also approved was the creation of a Behavioral Specialist position that will be housed at Moye. Superintendent Carrie Hruby explained that the specialist would be housed at Moye because it holds many of the district’s special needs programs. The specialist would work with teachers and students to coach them on behavioral plans to keep students on the best possible path. They would also travel to the other schools to observe and coach teachers on possible plans. The search criteria is broad to allow the board to meet with a wide variety of candidates and select the best possible person for the position. 

• A district literacy coach position that is currently part-time was approved to be full-time. The position is funded by a Title I grant, and Hruby believes that along with a math coach and Director of Curriculum Jill Lyons will be important for continuity through the schools. 

• The board discussed the possibility of adding electives at both the junior high and elementary levels. Technology and foreign language classes were discussed for junior high, while additional PE classes and technology or art were considered for elementary. The district’s budget will allow for the hiring of seven new teachers, and the board would prefer for any elective teachers to come out of that number. However, with the growth in the district, reducing class sizes is a very immediate priority. Two teachers are needed at Fulton for class size reduction, and the board would prefer to wait and see the numbers after July registration to know where the other five teachers are needed. 

When the next budget comes around and the district has a better sense of how many classroom teachers are needed, the board will revisit the idea of additional electives. 

Carriel Drama Club presents Lion King Jr.

The Carriel Drama Club presented The Lion King Jr. on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 with music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice.

Additional music and lyrics for the musical were by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Hans Zimmer. The book was by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. The Lion King Jr. is based on the Broadway production directed by Julie Taymor. 

The artistic and music director of the musical was Lori Hirst and assistant director was Terica English.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Becky Pitts)

Baseball Panthers split week against tough opponents

Josh Gibson broke the all-time career varsity games played record in the 117 year history of O’Fallon Baseball on Saturday, April 20, by appearing in his 132nd and 133rd games.
(Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – The OTHS Varsity baseball team split two series and ended the week with a current season record of 12-7.  

The Panthers started the week on Tuesday, April 16, with a 7-5 win at conference opponent Collinsville.  The game was tied at five with O’Fallon batting in the top of the sixth when TJ Morgan doubled and scored one run to take the lead.  Wes Collins tripled in the top of the seventh and scored on Kyle Becker’s sacrifice bunt.  Ben Koenig pitched four innings with Logan Lowery in relief.  Lowery pitched three scoreless innings, struck out four and allowed one hit.  

Unfortunately, the Panthers lost the lead late in a 3-2 defeat to Collinsville at home on Wednesday, April 17. Luke Gasser started and pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out seven and no walks. The Panthers were held at two runs despite multiple hits, including doubles by Logan Lowery, Drew Tebbe, and Tyler Stanton. Cody Bauer led O’Fallon with two hits in four at bats.  

Vonner Panek entered in relief and threw four and a third innings, allowing two hits and no runs. (Submitted Photo)

On Saturday, April 20, the Panthers played a double header at Blazier Field against Quincy Notre Dame.  The games were the 132nd and 133rd varsity games played for Josh Gibson, who broke the all-time career varsity games played record in the 117 year history of O’Fallon Panther baseball.

The Panthers put up a strong fight in game one against Quincy Notre Dame.  Despite a seven run deficit in the third inning, O’Fallon came back, eventually falling 7-6 to Quincy ND.  The Panthers six runs included a home run by Wes Collins in the third and a home run by Josh Gibson in the fifth.  Wes Collins (4) and Josh Gibson (3) are currently two of the the area’s home run leaders.  Mike Larson started for O’Fallon and pitched two and two-thirds innings.  Vonner Panek entered in relief and threw four and a third innings, allowing two hits and no runs.  O’Fallon rallied back and defeated Quincy Notre Dame 10-0 in game two.  The Panthers tallied 11 hits, including multiple hits by Kyle Becker, Wes Collins and Drew Tebbe.  Tebbe went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead O’Fallon.  Kaden Joggerst started, allowing one hit, no runs, and striking out five over three and a third innings.