Tennis Panthers win Triad Tournament

The Boys Tennis team dominated the Triad Tournament last weekend, capturing first place overall. 

The team first took on Quincy and made short work of them, winning 4-1. They would do the same to Peoria Richwoods, winning by the same score.

Later the Panthers took on the team from Jacobs and won 3-2.

Niko Papachrisanthou (2-1) was named number one in singles, while Kaden Vollmer (2-1) was named number two in singles. 

Evan Potter and Gavin Sohn (2-1) took the top spot in doubles, while Noah Kellermann and Nic Strobel (2-1) were named second in doubles, and Josh Collins and Luke Russo (3-0) were named third in doubles. 

The boys tennis team currently has a 9-2-1 record for the season. 

View of the Past: Advertising mural for Hires Root Beer

Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society

This week’s view is of an advertising mural for Hires Root Beer that was once visible on the side of the business at 129 E. State in O’Fallon.  The sign was originally painted sometime between 1946 and 1950 when the building was home to Willa Behrens’ grocery store called Willa’s.  At some point the mural was sided over, but it was uncovered during a renovation in 1993 when the photo was taken.  Over the years, many businesses came and went in the building which is now home to Three Sisters Crafts and Gifts.

O’Fallon PD takes part in SWIC career fair

(Photo by Jim Haverstick, SWIC)

Southwestern Illinois College students, veterans and members of the community explored career opportunities at the Spring 2019 Job Fair at the SWIC Belleville Campus. 

Seeking information about a possible future career, Blake Emery of Belleville, right, talks with O’Fallon Police Officer Nikki Brown about opportunities in law enforcement.  

More than 300 job seekers turned out to meet more than 125 employers representing a variety of Metro East and St. Louis career fields. The fair, sponsored by SWIC Career Services, included career fields such as education, nonprofit, financial services, health care, insurance, security, law enforcement, retail sales and more. 

For more information about SWIC Career Services, visit swic.edu/career-services.

OTHS lacrosse teams take part in annual boys vs girls charity game

(Photo by Scott Gaab)

On Saturday, both the JV and Varsity Boys Lacrosse teams played in the annual Boys vs. Girls Charity event.  This year the kids played in honor of Coach Terry Williamson who was lost to cancer last year.  The Boys and Girls programs teamed up with the local community and raised over $2,000 for the American Cancer Society.  The annual event started in 2011 and has raised over $20,000 in the fight against cancer.

Earlier in the week, the O’Fallon Varsity Boy’s Lacrosse team split two home games. The boys lost 1-7 to a strong Rockwood Summit team, but rebounded nicely later in the week with a dominating 14-4 victory against St. Mary’s High School.  

Police chief addresses use of storm sirens

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The Chief of Police took time during Monday’s Public Safety Committee meeting to explain the department’s use of the storm warning siren during Sunday night’s storms. 

The City of O’Fallon’s standard for warning for a severe storm is when there are straight-line winds of 58 m.p.h. or higher. The primary function of the sirens are to notify residents that may be outside to seek cover, so they may not necessarily be heard inside. 

Chief Eric Van Hook also indicated the siren located at EK elementary school is currently being repaired, but the department used the CodeRED notification service to alert residents in that area. 

Residents can sign up for the CodeRED emergency notification services from the main page of the City of O’Fallon’s website at www.ofallon.org. The city uses this service to notify residents in the event of emergency situations or critical community alerts. Notifications can be sent via phone, text message and email. Residents can also download the free CodeRED Mobile Alert app.

The committee approved to send to council a contract between the City of O’Fallon EMS and Mediclaims, Inc. The company’s primary responsibility is handling the third-party billing for EMS services. The contract is for five years and included a rate decrease. 

A resolution between the City of O’Fallon and the Village of Shiloh for dispatch services was approved to send to council. This is an annual contract payable by the village in four installments of $35,000 for dispatch services for the fiscal year 2020.

An intergovernmental agreement between the City of O’Fallon and the City of Fairview Heights for services provided by the Metro-East Communications Center (MECOMM) was approved to send to council. An assessment of the previous year’s calls was done to split the costs between the cities. Quarterly billing for fiscal year 2020 will have O’Fallon responsible for fifty-one percent of the costs, and Fairview Heights responsible for forty-nine percent of the costs. 

The final item of committee action was approving an amendment to an ordinance regarding the administrative hearing procedure to determine eligibility under the public safety employee benefits act of Chapter 32 regulating police and fire. The amendment was adding definition to the ordinance of a “catastrophic injury,” per the recommendation from the Illinois Municipal League.

Quick hits: Illinois news in brief

By Illinois News Network

Progressive tax talks get underway 

As the Illinois state Senate moves forward with a proposed constitutional amendment to change the flat tax to a structure with higher rates for higher earners, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is telling Republican opponents to come up with their own plan of address the state’s finances.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said Republicans have been pushing for pro-growth policies, to reduce property taxes, and prioritize pension debt and backlogged bills instead of tax hikes.

Senators raise questions about $100 million child care program surplus

A couple of state Senators from opposite sides of the aisle want the Illinois Department of Human Services to figure out why there’s a surplus of $100 million in the Child Care Assistance Program.

DHS is looking to increase the threshold a family is eligible for assistance to 200 percent of the federal poverty line, but there are millions in the current budget that hasn’t been delivered to families that are eligible at the current 185 percent FPL but aren’t taking up the benefit.

Bill aimed at HIV prevention for children as young as 12 moves ahead

A bill in the Illinois House would allow at-risk minors as young as 12 to independently get and take HIV prevention medication.

The bill now awaits consideration in the Senate.

State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst said the state can’t argue that minors are responsible enough to take an HIV prophylactic but not able to decide whether or not to smoke until 21.

Transportation, law enforcement launch new safe-driving campaign

Illinois transportation and law enforcement officials want you to pay attention in work zones.

Their “Drive Like You Work Here” campaign coincides with National Work Zone Awareness Week.

They urge drivers to slow down, avoid distractions and proceed cautiously in and around any construction sites or stopped vehicles.

Keeping Internet Devices Safe Act gets OK from committee 

A measure scheduled to be heard in a Senate committee this morning would require that technology companies disclose if their products are listening in on users.

The Keeping Internet Devices Safe, or KIDS act would require companies to put a notice of how and what their devices record in the products’ terms of service.

Proponents say it’s a common-sense bill to protect consumers using integrated smart technology.

Iconic cafe gets recognition in Congress

The iconic Ariston Cafe along Rt. 66 in Litchfield was recognized in the halls of Congress in Washington D.C.

Taylorville U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis recognized the 95th anniversary of the cafe which originally opened in Carlinville in 1924, before Rt. 66 was created. The Ariston moved along the Mother Road in Litchfield in 1935.

It’s Illinois fifth-longest running restaurant.

Rock Steady Boxing O’Fallon – Fight Parkinson’s

O’Fallon, IL. – The month of April was designated Parkinson’s Awareness Month by the United States Senate in 2010. This year, the Parkinson’s Foundation’s theme is “Start a Conversation.” It is a call to action that urges people to talk about Parkinson’s with their loved ones, friends, neighbors, care team and community. 

Rock Steady Boxing O’Fallon, located at 629 West Highway 50 in O’Fallon is hosting an Open House on Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 9 a.m. until noon to welcome all families who have been touched by Parkinson’s disease. Rock Steady Boxing is an exercise program for people at all levels of Parkinson’s to help manage their symptoms, maintain and maximize their level of fitness and help them stay as active as possible, thereby slowing the progression symptoms. “This program gives hope to all who participate and a sense of camaraderie,” said Steve Stephens, a coach at Rock Steady who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s nearly 30 years ago. “We encourage all who have been affected by Parkinson’s disease to come and see what we are all about. It will change your life.” 

An estimated on million people in the U.S. live with Parkinson’s disease and every year 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD. The importance of National Parkinson’s Awareness Month is to help people learn more about the symptoms, causes and treatments of the disease.

For more information, call Rock Steady Boxing O’Fallon, Inc. at (618) 589-9080 or visit the website at www.rsbofallon.com.

A night under the stars

O’Fallon – There will be a lot of beautiful things to observe in the sky, during the month of April. The O’Fallon Public Library is hosting a Star Viewing Party and is partnering with the St. Louis Astronomical Society. The event will start in the Library’s Community Room, where community members will learn how to unpack and use a telescope. They will then be shown how the telescope works and how to find different objects in the night sky. With the weather permitting, the event will then move out to the library’s lawn to use the telescope. 

“With summer coming up, we anticipate this being a fun family activity and the telescopes to be heavily requested,” Jessi Baker, Program and Social Media Coordinator, said. 

Come out to the O’Fallon Public Library on April 11th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and use the Library’s new telescope. After the Star Viewing Party, the telescope will then become available to the community. 

Southwestern Illinois College hosts G.R.E.A.T. Event for O’Fallon students

O’Fallon – For the past couple years, Gathering Resources for Excelling Adults in Transition (GREAT) has been hosting an event for local high school students, whom of which are graduating high school and moving up in the world. The reason behind GREAT, is for students who need a little extra helping transitioning out of high school and into college, a career or independent living. The Transition Planning Committee (TPC) comes together once a month to talk about what is going on in the community and at local schools. They also reaching out to agencies and organizations that could potentially be a big help to students. They are hoping to find as many resources as they can for students. 

“To me, as a teacher, it is very exciting and important for families to get connected with services that they can use and be connected with, after students have graduated and life after graduation. It helps students, eventually transition into their futures. It lets them be as independent as possible and understand what can be provided to them,” Stephanie Copelin, Special Education Transition Teacher at OTHS, said.

So far, 26 resource organizations have stepped forward and have agreed to come out to the GREAT Event and showcase how they can help students thrive in the community. These resources can help transition to colleges, community day services, careers and much, much more. Three guest speakers will also be talking about different services during each hour of the event. The GREAT Event will be held at Southwestern Illinois College on April 11th from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.; at the Belleville Campus Gym. For more information please visit; Monroe-Randolph-stclair-tpc.weebly.com

Brad McMillin for O’Fallon’s historic City Hall wins Beautification Chamber Salute to Business Award

Developer Brad McMillin will be presented with the Chamber of Commerce’s Salute to Business Award for Beautification for his work restoring O’Fallon’s Old City Hall.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its 43rd Annual Salute to Business Awards on Wednesday, April 10, at the Regency Conference Center.

Brad McMillin has a long history of development in the O’Fallon community. On Wednesday, April 10, McMillin will be recognized as a O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce Salute to Business award recipient for renovation of the historic City Hall. 

Along with the Old City Hall renovation, McMillin’s most notable developments are: 

• Beltone Hearing Aid Center – it was built 33 years ago, torn down and rebuilt 15 years ago. 

• Western Sizzler – it was purchased and remodeled in 1993. 

• The Econo Lodge (Quality Inn) – A new development for McMillin that was constructed in 2000

• The Peel building 

• Unity Yoga & Wellness – remodeled in 2016

• Old City Hall – Purchased and renovated in 2018

• 1st Street Exchange – currently under construction 

• TownPlace Suites by Marriott – currently under construction; expected to open late April of 2019.

“Unity Yoga & Wellness was certainly the most significant project to date,” McMillin said. “It holds a special place to me because my wife, Time McMillin owns and operates the business.” 

“I’m accustomed to remodeling buildings for myself or for others within the community, but working on this project was a labor of love for both my wife and I,” he said. 

McMillin said he grew up in a small town where there wasn’t a lot of development and growth. 

“Being apart of a community that plans for its future residents is not only inspiring, but it creates a great atmosphere for residents and business alike.” 

“For 33 years I have focused on growing the Midwest Beltone,” McMillin said. “Our corporate office in O’Fallon is the headquarters for what has become the largest Beltone dispenser.”

This year, Beltone will expand its offices to Florida and by the end of the year, Midwest Beltone will grow to over 130 locations. 

McMillin said he is lucky to have experienced the growth of O’Fallon first hand. 

“I watched cornfields transform into shopping malls and strip centers,” he said. “Corporations and hospitals have settled in for the along haul, making O’Fallon a career centered destination.” 

“But, what is heartwarming to see is the resurgence of downtown O’Fallon. It’s a place where you can spend time with your family, dine, shop and play,” McMillin said. 

“Brad McMillin is a champion of development in our community,” Chamber president Sid LeGrand said. “The renovation of Old City Hall is a wonderful testament to the history of downtown O’Fallon.”

The Weekly heads to Camp Hope with Xi Chi, takes Spring Break in Columbia

Chip Shaffer and several Xi Chi of ESA members went to Camp Hope on Farmington Missouri for their annual Spring Clean Up Day on March 23. While there, they took a photo with their copy of the Weekly. Thanks for bringing us along!

During spring break, Zoë Weld of Shiloh visited David Lewis of O’Fallon who is studying abroad in Medellin, Colombia. They spent much of their time outside in the beautiful tropical climate, hiked mountain trails and toured the city. They enjoyed the local cuisine and enjoyed amazing fresh fruits, such as, granadilla, mango, pina (pineapple), papaya, maracuya (passion fruit), coconut, and pitaya (dragon fruit).

They stopped for a picture with the Weekly in front of the Soldado Romano (Roman Solder) statue by famous artist Fernando Botero, whose style depicts figures in large exaggerated form. It is one of 23 statues in the Botero Plaza which is surrounded by the Museum of Antioquia and the Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture which they also visited.

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.”

New family registration for Breakers Swim Team set for April 6

The O’Fallon Breakers summer swim team will have open registration on Saturday, April 6 at the O’Fallon Township offices, located at 801 East State Street in O’Fallon. Registration hours are from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

The Breakers, which compete in the 10-team Midwest Swim Conference, have offered a competitive summer swim team for the youth of O’Fallon for over 30 years. And according to Breakers Board President Rick Edwards, while the kids do work hard they have lots of fun along the way.

“The Breakers are a longstanding summer tradition in O’Fallon. Practices are early in the morning, Monday through Friday. We generally have meets Tuesday and Thursday nights in early June, with at least half of those meets at O’Fallon Pool in the park. The season culminates with the Conference Meet in late July at the new Rec Plex. And yes, the Breakers have been highly successful over the years and the kids do work hard, but they have a blast as well. It’s just a great experience.”

“It’s also worth noting that while some swimmers are highly competitive and eventually branch out to year-round club swimming and/or swim in high school, many others are just out here to have fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But understand the Breakers are a competitive team, meaning our purpose is not to teach kids how to swim. Kids have to be able to do the stokes appropriate for their age group, which is generally Backstroke and Freestyle for the youngest age groups and then all four strokes (Back-Free-Breast-Fly) generally age 9 and above. So the focus is on getting better at those strokes and increasing endurance. And fortunately, we have an awesome coaching staff to lead the way, led by Head Coach Katie Kuhl – who swam competitively for Miami University in Ohio and is now the Aquatic Manager at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex here in O’Fallon. It’s a great group of kids and solid coaching staff.”

Swimmer ages generally range from 7 – 18, with 18 being the maximum age for eligibility (as of June 1, 2018). Other teams in the conference are located in Belleville, Highland, Trenton, and Dupo.

Annual Boys vs Girls Lacrosse game to raise money in honor of coach who passed from cancer

By Kate Crutcher

O’FALLON – To many the word “family” is just a word, but to the OTHS lacrosse program, it is a word that defines who they are and what it means to be in their program. After every practice and before every game, the team members say the word “family” to one another. No matter if you played for one year or all four years, if you are a sophomore or a senior, once a part of the OTHS lacrosse team, that player is always a part of the family. 

“Last year we lost one our own lacrosse family members to cancer, Coach Terry Williamson. He was an excellent lacrosse, football, and baseball coach and loved spending time with his friends and family,” Jen Gabb, friend of Coach Terry Williamson, said. 

Coach Terry Williamson served in the United States Air Force for 30 years. His service as a medical service corps officer shaped him into the leader that he was for the students that looked up to him. He greatly enjoyed being involved in his community, along with coaching the students of OTHS. 

In memory of Coach Terry Williamson, the OTHS lacrosse programs are gathering to play the annual Boys vs Girls charity game, sponsoring The American Cancer Society for their friend, community member and coach. The eighth annual game will be held on Saturday, April 6 at 5 p.m. on the OTHS Stadium Turf Field. There is a $5 suggested donation that will be donated to The American Cancer Society. 

Boys Track team takes the top spot at O’Fallon Relays

O’Fallon High School hosted the 53rd annual O’Fallon Relays on Friday, March 29. 

OTHS was the team champion for the Gold Division of the O’Fallon Relays. This was the team’s second team championship of the season. 

“Overall, we had another outstanding day. Our young athletes continue to impress and improve. We performed well again in the sprint relays, running season best times in the 4×100 and 4×200. We had a couple of hiccups in the SMR and the 4×400, but both relays still ran good times. The distance events also performed well, placing high in both 4x800s, taking two places in the 3200m run, and placing second in the DMR,” said Head Coach Joe Speaks. 

“Depth has been the key to both of our team wins this season. We have placed in most every event, often placing two in individual events.”

Rod Williams took first place in a variety of events including long jump, varsity 4×800, shuttle hurdle relay, and varsity 4×200. 

Taylor Lehman won first in the 300IH.

Zach Claxton took second in pole vault. Nick Farmer placed second in discus.

Will Ray placed second in the 3200m, F/S 4×800, and DMR. 

Boys Lacrosse team sees mixed results on the road

Goalie Tommy Fulford (#34) and Will Dunlap (#22) await the shot on goal as Braden Gaab (#2) attempts the block. (Photo by Scott Gaab)

The O’Fallon Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team recently hit the road for a few games.

The Panthers started on Friday and played a strong Jordan High School team from North Carolina.  The Panthers played hard, but lost their first game of the season.  

The boys bounced back nicely Saturday morning defeating Christian Presbyterian Academy (CPA), a high school team from Tennessee, in a close game that ended 15-12.  

Braden Gaab (#2) takes the faceoff with Ryan Ritchie (#28) watching from the defense. (Photo by Scott Gaab)

Finally, the Panther’s played Franklin High School, another local team, in the afternoon and came up short with a close 10-14 loss.  The Panthers are 6 and 2 on the season and have a home stand this week with games against Rockwood Summit and St. Mary’s.

On Saturday, April 6, at 5  p.m. at the O’Fallon High School Turf Field, the Boys and Girls Lacrosse programs will be teaming up to play the annual Boys vs. Girls charity game to honor a beloved coach, husband, father and friend. The kids will be playing in memory of the O’Fallon Boys Lacrosse Coach Terry Williamson who passed away last year from cancer.  Terry enjoyed coaching and mentoring the youth of O’Fallon. His selfless involvement has left a lasting impact on the local community. 

Beau Carney (#23) defends against CPA with Evan Carney (#19) and Braden Gaab (#2) backing him up. (Photo by Scott Gaab)

There is a $5 gate entry fee and proceeds this year will go to the American Cancer Society. Please come out to show your support and honor Coach Williamson.