Despite concerns, measure to tax vaping products the same as tobacco products moves forward

By Greg Bishop, Illinois News Network

Lawmakers plan further discussions on whether vaping products that contain nicotine should be taxed the same as other tobacco products in Illinois.

State Sen. Terry Link, D-Indian Creek, got Senate Bill 1124 got out of committee Tuesday after he said there’d be an amendment to address concerns raised by opponents.

The measure would wrap electronic cigarettes, also known as vape products, into the Tobacco Products Tax Act of 1995.

Danne Reinke, from the Smoke Free Alternatives Coalition of Illinois, testified in opposition to the bill Tuesday. He said the measure would tax vaping products at 36 percent. He said consumers can use vaping products to help quit smoking cigarettes.

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Revenue said: “E-cigarettes and vapor products are currently assessed the general merchandise rate of 6.25 percent.”

“Is bad public policy,” Reinke said. “[Vaping is] the leading cessation product.”

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, also had concerns about the measure.

“My biggest problem is taxing it as something it’s not,” Hutchinson said. “At its core, they’re not tobacco products. To tax them as something they’re not, it misses the opportunity. I’m not opposed to taxation, but we need to taxing it as it actually is.”

Link said he’s open to continued conversation about the issue, but said there are real concerns.

“We have an epidemic going on,” Link said. “In our schools, we’re having a total epidemic with it. We got to look at this in a different manner.”

“I’ve seen plenty of people who do stop smoking with vape products, but I also know we have a fear of the rising use among kids, so it’s complicated and I get that, but they’re not tobacco products so it’s hard for me to make that jump,” Hutchinson said.

Link said also has another bill, Senate Bill 1864, he got out of committee with the promise for amendments. That measure would add e-cigarettes and vaporizers into the Smoke Free Illinois Act, which bans smoking in places of public accommodation.

SNAP benefits will continue through February for Illinois users, despite shutdown

By Bret Rowland, Illinois News Network

State officials announced Friday that Illinois residents who rely on federal food assistance will continue to get those benefits through February despite the partial government shutdown.

“The benefits are going to have to be issued early,” Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary James Dimas said at a news conference Friday in Chicago.

February benefits will be issued before Jan. 20, about a week and a half earlier than normal, because of a workaround authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture to keep the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously known as food stamps, going as the shutdown stretches into its 21st day.

“It’s going to be really important that people understand that this is early, not extra,” Dimas said. “These benefits have to last them through the end of February. I think we can all appreciate that Illinois is no place to be hungry in February.”

State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, emphasized that point.

“It’s not a bonus, it’s an advancement for your February benefit,” he said. “It will be important to budget this money appropriately.”

SNAP users will get the normal amount of monthly benefits on their Link cards, the debit-like cards used to spend SNAP benefits and other cash assistance, Dimas said.

Illinois congressional delegation to shrink after 2020 Census

Continued population loss means Illinois will have to say goodbye to one at least one of its 18 congressional representatives after the 2020 Census.

Election Data Services recently released its annual projections of which states will gain and lose U.S. Representatives at the next turn of the decade. The projections show Illinois’ 18th Representative will almost certainly be removed and given to another state, said Kimball Brace with Election Data Services.

Other states projected to lose seats include Alabama, California, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, according to EDS. New York is projected to lose two representatives.

Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon are all on track to gain a member of the House. Seeing even larger population booms, Florida will likely gain two new representatives and Texas should gain three.

With another two years to go until the Census takes the surveys that will determine which states gain and lose representatives, Brace said Illinois’ seventeenth congressman is likely in danger as well.

“What we are still not certain of is if that loss will actually be two seats and [Illinois] is very close to that,” he said.

Nationally, Brace said most states are seeing fewer people move out of state than normal, where Illinois saw more than 114,000 people move away last year.

“Movement between states is down to only 10 percent,” he said.

The seats will be realigned in 2021. When the Democrats in control of the state redrew the maps in 2001, a Republican Congressional seat was lost.

The official reapportionment will happen in 2021 after Census numbers are finalized. Once the redraw is certified between the Democratically-controlled General Assembly and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the 2022 election will reflect the newly-drawn maps with fewer representatives.Brace said the migration of people to the Southern and Western U.S. has been happening since World War II.

Multiyear vehicle registration is coming to Illinois in 2021

Hundreds of new laws go into effect Jan. 1, but the one that will save you time at the Secretary of State’s Office isn’t among them.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation in the fall that will allow vehicle registration to be paid for two years at a time. It won’t save vehicle owners money on the $101 annual cost. but it would save time. Drivers would pay $202 for the two-year registration. Trailer owners would be able to register for up to five years at once.

State Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorne Woods, said his father inspired the bill.

“He said ‘I don’t understand why we can’t just renew our license plates for more than one year at a time,’” McConchie said. “And I remember thinking ‘hey, what a great idea.’”

McConchie said 10 other states offer multi-year vehicle registration options.

There was pushback, McConchie said, from some state workers, but common-sense prevailed.

“The bureaucrats don’t necessarily like change but we did finally get it through,” he said.

The bill passed both House and Senate with unanimous support.

The law won’t take effect until 2021 in order to allow Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White the time to implement the change.

Illinois law enforcement groups eye teen marijuana use trends

A new survey from two Illinois law enforcement groups provide anecdotal evidence that more teens are using marijuana as state lawmakers draft legislation to legalize recreational use of the drug for adults.

An advocacy group has questioned the value of the law enforcement survey and pointed to statistics in other states that show teen cannabis use declined after recreational use became legal.

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police surveyed 104 school resource officers and found 75 of them dealt with a pot issue in the past month, an increase from the year before. The survey also found more reports of teenagers vaping, which can be a delivery mechanism for nicotine, THC or other substances. THC is an active ingredient in marijuana that produces a high.

In the first survey last year, the groups reported that nearly 60 percent of respondents said marijuana was the primary drug problem in schools. The groups say that was up 8 percent.

Reports gathered by the groups included students using and selling THC products for use in vaporizers.

Marijuana Policy Project’s Chris Lindsey said the survey was anecdotal and questioned the value of the survey.

“What they present is a pile of anecdotal stories about ‘hey, there was a kid in the bathroom at this school, look at what he said’,” Lindsey said.

Chiefs of Police spokesman Ed Wojcicki said the survey provided a snapshot of what resource officers see in schools.

“They do track the number of incidents,” Wojcicki said. “It’s data. It’s not anecdotal.”

The report puts part of the blame on a 2016 state law that made possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana a civil infraction, not a crime.

“With that, it is found that it has been increasingly difficult for adults to convince teens that marijuana use is dangerous,” the law enforcement report said.

“The implication is if you make those kinds of changes and look what happens, kids, boy, they run out and they get the marijuana,” Lindsay said. “And the problem with that is it overlooks what actually happens.”

Lindsay said in states that have legalized pot for recreational use, the rate of teen use decreases. That’s true for Colorado.

In Colorado, the state’s 2017 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey found that since legalization in 2014 the rate of middle school and high school students using marijuana is down from 21 percent in 2015 to 19 percent in 2017. The number of youth who reported having ever used marijuana was down from 38 percent in 2015 to 35 percent in 2017. The survey is done every two years.

“Marijuana affects more than just a teen’s developing brain and health,” Illinois School Resource Officers Association President Jonathan Kaplan said in a statement attached to the report. “Frequent use of the drug can have long-term effects on a teen’s life goals.”

Lindsay said the study is a tactic he’s seen law enforcement groups try in other states. Ultimately, he said prohibition doesn’t work and makes everyone, including young people, less safe. He pointed to research he’s seen into the unregulated alcohol market during Prohibition in the early 20th century.

“During Prohibition, the incidents of minors going to seek or get medical assistance during that time spiked,” Lindsay said.

He said if marijuana is legalized for recreational use, it comes out of the shadows and is regulated. Law enforcement agencies can still go after bad actors.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports 5.6 percent of 8th graders in 2018 used pot in the past month. That’s up a tenth of a percent from the year before, but down nearly a full percent from 2015. Nearly 17 percent of 10th graders in 2018 reported using marijuana in the previous month, a 1 percent increase from the year before and nearly two points higher than 2015. For 12th graders, NIDA puts 22 percent used it in the past month in 2018. That’s down seven-tenths a percent from last year but up nearly a percentage from 2015.

Report: Highest-in-the-nation cellphone taxes disproportionately hurt poor Illinoisans

Illinois edged out Washington state to charge the highest cellphone taxes in the country this year, with wireless taxes accounting for 21 percent of the state’s average consumer bill, according to a report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

Tax Foundation spokesman John Buhl said Illinois’ tax rates on cell service is similar to the sin taxes slapped on alcohol and tobacco. When including the federal tax on cell service, the combined total is about 27.5 percent of the average consumer bill.

“Taxes should be broad-based and low rates,” Buhl said. “[Taxes] should apply to everything equally and at as low a rate as possible, so this is kind of the opposite of that. The question is why should phones be taxed at such a higher rate than anything else we buy?”

He said such taxes on what’s become an essential part of life has a disproportionate effect on poor people.

“About two-thirds of lower-income adults rely on mobile phones in particular for their phone services, so it’s really the main way that they communicate,” Buhl said.

While tax revenue from landlines continues to decline, Buhl said the high tax rates put on cellphone service is pushed higher because each layer of government in Illinois is getting a piece.

“They can be county taxes, they can be local taxes for a variety of reason,” Buhl said.

He also said that while 911 fees added to cellphone bills serve an important purpose, sometimes those fees are diverted to fund other operations.

The city of Chicago is the worst offender, Buhl said. In Chicago, the effective tax rate is 41 percent. He said Illinois’ local governments should be mindful of the effects of high taxes.

“Lawmakers should kind of take a step back the next time they’re thinking of adding another few percentage point fee here, another tax there, on wireless services they should really think about what the big picture looks like and instead find fairer ways to raise revenue,” Buhl said.

Illinois’ average cell tax is the highest in the country at 27.6 percent, a full 1.5 percent higher than second-place Alaska and Washington.

Tax Foundation’s report also noted the national trends in tax rates imposed by all levels of government on taxable wireless service increased 0.6 percent across the country over last year.

“Between 2005 and 2006, wireless taxes dropped after the federal courts forced the IRS to end the imposition of the 3 percent federal excise tax on wireless service,” the report said. “After that court decision, wireless tax rates dropped to a low of 14.1 percent. Since then, however, wireless tax rates have climbed steadily to their current rate of 19.1 percent.”

Siteman Cancer Center plans 2020 opening at Memorial Hospital East

Siteman Cancer Center’s newest location, at Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, Ill., will open in 2020. The facility will replace temporary space at 4000 N. Illinois Lane in Swansea, Ill.

Siteman Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region, has received all necessary approvals to construct a new facility at Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, Ill., slated to open in early 2020. Washington University Physicians In Illinois, Inc., will provide specialty cancer care to patients at the Memorial East location.

Siteman – based at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis – is known for its exceptional cancer care. Its NCI designation recognizes the cancer center’s scientific leadership, resources, and breadth and depth of clinical and laboratory cancer research. Siteman also is one of the top 15 cancer centers nationally, according to U.S. News & World Report’s “2019 Best Hospitals” rankings, which consider survival rates, patient services and other factors.

“We look forward to welcoming patients to this new facility,” said Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, Siteman director and the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor at the School of Medicine. “At Siteman, we’re committed to delivering outstanding cancer care to patients, in a comfortable and convenient setting. We believe strongly in a team approach to cancer care, and our Washington University physicians provide unparalleled expertise and experience in treating all types of cancer, even those that most physicians would consider to be rare.”

Preparations are underway to break ground officially on the $38 million, 70,650-square-foot medical office building at Memorial Hospital East, 1404 Cross St. in Shiloh, that will house Siteman’s sixth location overall. The facility will replace temporary space at 4000 N. Illinois Lane in Swansea, where Siteman has been operating.

The following care providers, now practicing at Siteman’s Swansea location, will move to the new location when it opens. They will be joined by additional physicians in the future.

• Radiation oncologists Susan Laduzinsky, MD, and Jason Lee, MD, PhD, and nurse practitioner Rhonda McCabe, and

• Medical oncologists William J. Popovic, MD; Alfred O. Greco, MD; Guillermo Rodriguez Jr., MD; John L. Visconti, DO, and nurse practitioner Alicia Carmack.

The new facility will accommodate multidisciplinary care with radiation oncology and chemotherapy services, and will provide access to therapeutic clinical trials, which are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative cancer therapies. By participating in a clinical trial, patients can gain access to investigational therapies that are not widely available to the public. For the convenience of patients, the new location also will include a diagnostic laboratory and a pharmacy.

“We are very excited to bring Siteman Cancer Center to the Memorial East campus,” said Mark J. Turner, president of Memorial Regional Health Services, which includes Memorial Hospital East and Memorial Hospital Belleville. “This will provide convenient, world-class cancer treatment services to residents throughout the entire region.”

The project now has all necessary approvals from the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board, BJC HealthCare, which owns and operates Memorial Hospital East, and Washington University Physicians In Illinois, Inc. The three-story building also will include clinical space for non-cancer care providers affiliated with Memorial and BJC Medical Group of Illinois.

Other Siteman Cancer Center locations at BJC-affiliated facilities include:

• Washington University Medical Campus in St. Louis, home to Siteman’s main outpatient facility and the new Barnes-Jewish Hospital Parkview Tower for cancer patients who require hospitalization.

• South St. Louis County, near Interstate 55 and Butler Hill Road.

• Christian Hospital in north St. Louis County.

• Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in west St. Louis County.

• Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Charles County.

Registered nurses coordinate care at all Siteman facilities through the Patient Care Coordination Center. To make an appointment, call 800-600-3606 toll-free from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, or visit

Staffing centers criticize schools for not addressing skills gap

A professional recruiting company says the nation’s public schools aren’t giving students the opportunity to learn skilled vocational trades.

As unemployment hits record lows and the nation’s pool of workers to be hired thins, Express Employment Professionals’ franchise owners say local high schools are graduating kids who lack many of the skills that employers are having the greatest difficulty finding – specifically, high-skilled jobs in trades.

Terri Greeno owns a number of Express franchises in northern Illinois. She says schools are so geared toward college enrollment that technically talented students often miss out.

“They don’t even have the chance to discover that and develop that and hone that,” she said.

A recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Business showed 90 percent of their small business members polled reported few, if any, qualified applicants applying for job openings.

Greeno thinks schools should work closer with local businesses like theirs who are willing to train students, often free of charge.

“This is really the free-market response,” she said. “No one’s compelling these companies to do it. It’s just smart business.”

Part of the problem, Express owners say, is the disconnect between what’s being taught in the classroom and what skills are needed from the workforce.

“We need better partnerships with schools and businesses,” said Birmingham, Alabama, franchise owner Daniel Morgan, adding that in-demand skills are “not taught because school has become all about test results.”

Grand Rapids, Michigan, franchise owner Janis Petrini said businesses should work to train the workforce they require.

“Students need to become exposed to actual career options that have potential earlier on,” she said.

Illinois has 24 career and vocational skill centers across the state that high school students can attend for credit, but Greeno says students would be better-served if they could attend their choice of specialized schools with public assistance.

“If there was more of a free-market education program where people could send their kids to schools that specialize in the subjects and studies that are appropriate for their children, it would be a great way to handle it,” she said.

The Illinois Career and Technical Education Innovative Curriculum Resources Project is run by Illinois State University and works with the state’s career centers in an effort to close the skills gap Greeno refers to.

AAA, Illinois tell drivers to get ready for winter

It’s that time of year again, time to get ready to drive in the snow and ice.

AAA’s Beth Mosher said anyone who’s driven in Illinois has heard winter weather driving advice before. But she said it bears repeating.

November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month. The state and AAA are reminding people to get ready for the cold, snow, ice and slush.

Mosher said that starts with making sure to have an emergency kit in the car.

“That includes a cell phone, cell phone charger, a battery-powered flashlight,” Mosher said. “And warm clothes. That’s really key.”

Mosher said motorists may want to add a shovel and some kitty litter, if there’s space.

She also reminded drivers to check the battery in their vehicle and not to leave it running to warm it up if there’s a chance someone else may take it.

“You may think that you are in a safe community, but it’s really a good idea to keep watch over that car if you’re going to start it early,” Mosher said. “And, of course, open the garage door.”

The state of Illinois has all sorts of winter driving tips on its website,

Pritzker wins governor race, Dems take all statewide offices

JB Pritzker,
Illinois Governor Elect

By Cole Lauterbach, Illinois News Network

SPRINGFIELD – Voters handed Gov. Bruce Rauner a decisive rebuke Tuesday, turning the governor’s mansion to Democrat J.B. Pritzker and giving Democrats even more power in Springfield.

Democrat J.B. Pritzker rode the wave of significantly higher turnout, with many pollsters calling the race in the billionaire Chicago Democrat’s favor minutes after the polls closed.

Pritzker’s win gives Democrats firm control of all branches of state government. Party leaders, including Pritzker, want to implement a progressive income tax structure, but have not given details on what the rates might be for different income levels. The Democratic party is also in a position to redraw the state’s political boundaries in 2021 in a way that would further strengthen their numbers, in both the statehouse and Congress.

In addition to winning the governor’s mansion and holding onto the Attorney General’s office, Democrats also retained the statewide offices of the Comptroller, Treasurer and Secretary of State.

“Are you ready to fight for Illinois?” Pritzker asked cheering supporters at an event in Chicago. “We will become the leading protector of workers rights and civil rights in the nation.”

Pritzker becomes the first Illinois Democratic candidate for governor to win more than four counties since Rod Blagojevich in 2006.

“This election is over,” Rauner told a crowd in Chicago. But Rauner said “that does not mean the end of the change we need.”

Rauner thanked supporters for the chance to serve them.

What turned out to be the most expensive statewide race in U.S. history, put an incumbent multi-millionaire investor against a multi-billionaire heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune. Rauner and Pritzker spent more than $284 million between them in the race.

Pritzker stands to get paid $177,412 annually as governor. Rauner had not taken a salary.

Rauner will remain in the governor’s mansion until January, when Pritzker’s administration will take over.

There’s still time to register and vote in Illinois

There’s a little less than a month till Election Day, but there’s still plenty of time to register to vote.

In Illinois, voters can register to vote up to and on Election Day.

Matt Dietrich with the Illinois State Board of Elections said no one needs to worry that they missed a deadline for the November election.

Oct. 9 was simply the last day to register now, and vote later.

“In Illinois, voter registration never closes,” Dietrich said. “You can register right up to, and on Election Day itself. The only difference is that, beginning on Oct. 10, if you go in to register to vote at your county clerk’s office and register in person, you will have to vote at the same time you register.”

Illinois’ grace period registration and early voting laws work hand-in-hand.

Dietrich said the rules for where people can vote early depends on where they live in Illinois.

“It’s a little bit different in the less populous counties, the ones that have less than 100,000 residents,” Dietrich said. “In those cases, sometimes you’ll be able to register at your polling place. Depending on whether your county clerk uses electronic poll books that can register you right there on site. You can always register to vote on Election Day at the election authorities.”

Dietrich said there’s also an online registration option at the State Board’s website. Voters will need an Illinois drivers license to do that.

Lebanon receives 2017-18 Fiscal Year Audit Report

By Annabelle Knef

A financial audit of the city of Lebanon shows that assets exceed its liabilities by $10.3 million

According to an annual audit provided by outside auditor C.J. Schlosser & Co. on Aug. 10, the largest portion of the city’s net assets reflects investment in capital assets, such as land, buildings, machinery, equipment and infrastructure, minus any debt to acquire them.

The report analyzes the city’s position through the end of the fiscal year, April 30, and shows that the city’s net position increased $409,580 over fiscal year 2017.

It further states that current assets – cash, investments and accounts receivable – increased $157,908 over last year.

Current liabilities, which include accounts payable, advance payments for water and sewer tap deposits and customer deposits, decreased $48,731, the report states. Also, long-term liabilities were down $364,701, “primarily” because of a decrease in the net pension liability and the retirement of debt.

Total revenues decreased $377,148 for the year ending April 30, which the report attributes to lower reported capital grant contributions for payments the state made on capital projects in the city. For instance, in 2017, capital grants and contribution revenue was $518,419, compared to $58,551 in 2018.

However, property tax and sales and use tax both increased in 2018 over 2017.

Property tax revenues in 2018 were $290,454, compared to $284,260 in 2017. Sales and use tax in 2018 were $621,937, compared to $602,439 in 2017.

The city increased expenses in governmental activities by $235,854 – the largest category of expense being public safety, according to the report.

In 2018, the city spent $2,207,913 on governmental activities; in 2017, it spent $1,972,059.

New guidelines expand federal free and reduced lunch eligibility in Illinois

More families in Illinois could be eligible for free and reduced school lunches this year.

The Illinois State Board of Education is encouraging families to check to see if they qualify.

The United States Department of Agriculture, which runs the school lunch program, is increasing the amount of money people can make to qualify for free and reduced lunch.

The new guidelines say a family of four can make up to $32,630 a year and get a free lunch. That’s about $650 more than last year.

A family of four can make $46,435 and qualify for a reduced price lunch. That’s nearly $1,000 more than last year.

The Illinois State Board of Education’s Roxanne Ramage said everyone who is eligible should apply.

“It’s a lifeline for students who are in the free or reduced lunch category,” Ramage said. “So that those children are able to get the meals that they need to be able to learn at school.”

Ramage said sometimes school meals may be the only meals that some students get.

“Many of our schools are a part of the lunch program,” Ramage said. “We also administer a breakfast program, and we also have after-school snacks.”

Just over half of Illinois’ 2 million students qualify as low income, according to ISBE’s report card. But it’s not clear how many of them are signed up for the free and reduced lunch program.

The State Board said questions about the free and reduced lunch program should be directed to local schools.

Rauner signs multi-year vehicle registration bill into law

In just a few years, drivers in Illinois will be able to pay for two years worth of registration on their car at once.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that would allow a vehicle registration to be paid for two years at a time. It won’t save money on the $101 annual cost but it would prove more convenient. Motorists would pay $202 for the multi-year registration. Trailer owners would be able to register for up to five years at once.

State Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorne Woods, said his father inspired the bill.

“He said, ‘I don’t understand why we can’t just renew our license plates for more than one year at a time,’ ” McConchie said. “And I remember thinking, ‘hey, what a great idea.’ ”

State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, was the house sponsor.

“I was shocked to find out that about 75 percent of license plate renewals are done in person, and this – the two-year sticker – would only be allowed online,” he said. “So what you’re looking at is you’re looking at a situation which would ease the burden of staff at the Secretary of State Department, so there’s certainly an ability there to streamline operations a little bit.”

McConchie said 10 other states already offer the option for multi-year vehicle registration.

There was pushback from some state workers, but common sense prevailed, McConchie said.

“The bureaucrats don’t necessarily like change but we did finally get it through,” he said.

The bill passed both the House and Senate with unanimous support.

The law won’t take effect until 2021.

View of the Past: The Willard Steel Range Company

This week’s view is of the Willard Steel Range Company which once stood south of Betty Lane in O’Fallon. Founded by William G. Willard in 1896, the factory primarily made cooking stoves.  Later, it became known as the Eureka Steel Range Company and also made large heaters.  The company liquidated in 1941, a casualty of the Great Depression.  This photo, taken ca. 1903, shows one of the factory’s more interesting products.  To the far left is a home built of tin from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, presumably originally used to ship material to the fair during its construction.  The tin was used for the exterior and interior walls as well as the roof.  This house and others like it were assembled at the factory and then moved to home sites just to the east where many of them still stand today.  
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society)