O’Fallon Middle School Tennis Program to begin March 14, open to boys and girls

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Middle School Tennis Program will take place beginning March 14 and is open to local boys and girls in the sixth, seventh and eight grade. 

There will be a total of eight sessions that take place on Thursday’s from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m at the OTHS tennis courts. Sessions will take place on: March 8, March 21, March 28, April 4, April 25, May 2, May 9 and May 16.

According to the OTHS Tennis Team head coach Erin Thoman, this will be the seventh year for the middle school tennis program. 

“The middle school tennis program is for all levels,” Thoman said. “It allows middle schoolers to have a chance to see how they like tennis. For some, they decide they want to continue on and play competitively in high school. For others, it is recreational.”

Current OTHS tennis players will serve as instructors for the program. Participants in the program will receive a t-shirt. 

A $50 fee covers all eight sessions of the program. Checks can be made payable to Erin Thoman (OTHS Tennis) at 600 S. Smiley St. O’Fallon, IL 62269. 

Participants in the program are responsible for their own transportation to and from the tennis courts. 

City leaders highlight upcoming development in Town Hall meeting

O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach highlights future plans for the city in Town Hall Meeting (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Martha Stoffel)

By: Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – Mayor Herb Roach held the first Town Hall meeting of 2019 on January 23rd, during which he provided a summary of city activities from 2018 and highlighted upcoming development and plans for 2019.

Several of the city’s aldermen, a handful of aldermanic candidates, a local Boy Scout troop and several residents were on hand for the discussions. The meeting was also broadcast live on Charter, and is available on demand on the city’s website. 

2018 brought several exciting things to O’Fallon, to include the return of a city-wide homecoming celebration now called CityFest. O’Fallon saw a twenty-percent increase in new residential construction, as well as the first new construction in downtown O’Fallon in over 50 years with the construction of the O’Fallon Station and Outdoorsman expansion. 

The city was able to maintain an AA+ bond rating, the only city/village in the metro area to hold that rating, and the council established a new investment policy that forms a five-person investment committee. In December, the council approved a $56,713 increase to the tax levy, but taxpayers will likely see a reduction to their city tax rate because of the growth in the tax base for 2018. 

The O’Fallon Police Department added three new officers in 2018, bringing the department total to 50. The growth in the city, as well as increased number of visitors from the activities at the Sports Park, RecPlex and hospital, warranted the increased staff. The department was also awarded the Police Accreditation certificate from the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP).

The construction of the O’Fallon Station is in the final stages of completion. The mayor indicated they have received a dozen phone calls since the Festival of Trees inquiring about use of the facility for other events. “I think that’s going to do just what everybody intended it to do, to help bring people downtown and to also, in return, help our downtown businesses” said Roach. In addition to the 65 parking spots at the Station, the city has also added 13 spots in the old bus lane and 60 spots at City Hall for lighted and paved parking in the downtown area in 2018. 

As part of the city’s pavement management program, several streets and subdivisions will be receiving road resurfacing in 2019. The third phase of work on the presidential streets will also begin. The mayor also reviewed the Public Works snow removal plan for the 160 miles of road they service. Priority is given to the main thoroughfares and snow routes in town for removal and treatment. The mayor encouraged residents to give the snow plows plenty of room to work safely when they are out, and to try and remove vehicles from the street.  

With council’s recent approval on first reading of the construction of a Fairfield Inn on Central Park Drive, this will be the third hotel to be built in O’Fallon for 2019/2020. The Marriott Town Places Suites is nearing completion, and the Hampton Inn is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. The mayor noted the increase in hotel usage from the hospital, as well as sporting events at the Sports Park and Rec Plex. The hotel/motel tax increase approved in 2016 is used by the city for a variety of tourism-related projects. 

The mayor also discussed the city’s desire to develop the area off Reider Road as the Mid-America Commerce Center. The area is envisioned for light manufacturing, engineering and a distribution center to diversify the economy of O’Fallon. It is an undeveloped area, so the city is budgeting to bring sewer to the area to make it more attractive to developers the city has been in discussions with over the last several months. The area falls into the Mid-America Enterprise Zone which, per the city’s website, has local incentives that include “abatement of property taxes on new improvements, homesteading and shopsteading programs, waiver of business licensing and permit fees, streamlined building code and zoning requirements, and special local financing programs and resources.” 

Resident Jessica Lotz asked the mayor to speak to the complexities involved with the state and county to improve traffic issues recently addressed by council members and residents regarding certain developments, and how the city can strategically work to improve that flow. “One of the problems is, you have to be able to show the need before we can get some of the grants, whether it be state or federal, before we can get some of the funding for it,” explained Roach. The grant funds can pay for up to eighty-percent of the costs for projects, so it is financial advantageous for the city to seek the grants to keep the cost at a minimum for the taxpayers. City Administrator Walter Denton also pointed out that not all roads in O’Fallon are under the city’s jurisdiction. Examples given were Highway 50 is a state-controlled road, portions of Seven Hills Road are under the jurisdiction of O’Fallon Township and Troy-Scott Road is a county road.   

Town Hall meetings are held every quarter, and the next meeting is scheduled for April 10th

O’Fallon Station’s Vine Street Market to open May of 2019

O’FALLON – The newly opened O’Fallon Station will host Vine Street Market, a high- end farmer’s market event with farm, culinary and artisan products come May of 2019. 

Vine Street Market will take place on the second Saturday in May through the third Saturday in October with hours from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Sarah Burton, Horticulturist and Market Coordinator for the City of O’Fallon, said that Vine Street Market was a conglomerate idea between O’Fallon Parks and Recreation and the city. 

“It’s something that we knew the city needed,” Burton said. “It’s always been in the background of everyone’s mind.” 

Burton said that O’Fallon Station, located at 212 E. 1st St., is the “perfect venue” to host events with a community atmosphere. 

“What a better way to do that than a farmer’s market,” she said. 

Burton said herself and others preparing for the market are working on an idea that they call the “Breakfast Club.” From 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., there would be coffee, tea, donuts and pastries available for people to enjoy before the Vine Street Market were to open.

“We are working right now with trying to get multiple vendors to help with that,” Burton said. “We want to include everybody who wants to be included in the downtown and outer O’Fallon area.” 

 Burton said that there are already vendors signed up for the market launch in May and they will be posted on the O’Fallon Station website as they become registered. 

“All of this is very fluid. It’s going to be built kind of as we go,” she said. “At the moment we have seven vendors approved.” 

Some of the vendors that will participate in Vine Street Market come from Trenton, St. Louis and local growers such as The Tiny Acre in O’Fallon. 

“They will have an array of breads and different seasonal vegetables, a really good mix,” she said. 

Burton said that Vine Street Market will have a mix of typical farmers market produce and artisan products, as well. 

She said artisan vendors could be soap makers, painters, sculptors or flower grovers. 

Burton said that members of the community can expect market Saturday’s to be a lively atmosphere, with music, food vendors and shaded outdoor seating. 

While there will always be music playing during market hours, which will be sponsored by Avenue Realty in O’Fallon, Burton said she is working on having different acoustic artists play during morning hours. 

Burton said that those working on the market are not soliciting food trucks. “If food trucks want to participate, they have to register with the city and follow the rules that the city has set. Food at the Vine Street Market will be available through market vendors.”

She also said that at this time, there has not been vendors that have applied to provide alcoholic beverages during market hours. 

“We are open to their applications and would welcome them.”

“Right now, if I envision what the atmosphere will be like, it will be very grassroots, very fun, family friendly, definitely a community event.”

Burton said that Vine Street Market will be different from other markets because the O’Fallon Station provides an inside space. There will be both inside and outside vendors.

“We have eight glass garage doors, we will be able to have them up whenever it’s hot.”

Burton said that she hopes Vine Street Market will help not only downtown businesses, but all of the businesses in O’Fallon. 

“We’re growing a destination place, we want to have a spot that supports the entire community and gives them the option of a place to go to display their goods or display talents.”  

“O’Fallon is more than a spot off the interstate, we have a lot to offer.”

Vine Street Market is still accepting applications for vendors. 

Burton said that vendors will be able to choose witch Saturday’s they want to participate in the market. 

“Our goal is to create a very high end market, not a flea market. We are pretty picky about who gets in and who doesn’t,” she said. “We think that will be a benefit to our community.”

To apply to become a vendor, call Sarah Burton at 618-206-4379 or email her at sburton@ofallon.org

You can also apply on the O’Fallon Station website: http://theofallonstation.com

Community commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. at annual church breakfast

Community members gather at New Life in Christ Church to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 21

The 10th annual O’Fallon Metro East Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast took place at New Life in Christ Interdenominational Church on Monday, with a keynote speech on injustice delivered by the first African American woman elected judge in St. Clair County.

The breakfast event commemorating the late civil rights leader was hosted and sponsored by the church, in partnership with the city of O’Fallon and the local NAACP Metro East chapter. 

Around 150 people attended the Jan. 21 program. Attendees included local community leaders and dignitaries. 

Bishop Geoffrey V. Dudley, Sr., New Life in Christ Church pastor, welcomes those gathered for the breakfast event

Bishop Geoffrey V. Dudley Sr., pastor of New Life Church, welcomed those gathered at the commemorative event. 

“God is growing us, growing our campus, growing our influence and we are so thankful but we cannot do it on our own,” Dudley said. “We stand on the shoulders of all of you who are in this community, who are serving God.”

After breakfast was served, O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach addressed the audience. 

 “Dr. King was noted for a statement that he made in Washington D.C., ‘I have a dream.’ Dr. King was more than a dreamer — he was not just a dreamer, he was a doer. He was involved, he was a man of action. He was a man of the people and for the people,” Roach said. 

Roach then spoke about emulating Dr. King and his approach at driving people together, not apart. 

“We as a community must work together. Be leaders. Be givers in your community and not takers,” he said. “When we work together, we all gain. We become a more united community.” 

Judge Zina Cruse gives key note address at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration event

St. Clair County Judge Zina Cruse of the 20th Judicial Circuit was the keynote speaker at the Monday morning event. Cruse was the first African American woman elected as a circuit judge in Southern Illinois in 2012. She was recently retained in the November 2018 general election. 

“As we focus on the word injustice today, I ask you to reevaluate on the various aspects of your life and of your community. I ask you to pay close attention to what is said, what is done and how you and others are treated,” Cruse said.  

“We can no longer turn away and bury our heads in the sand when we see the injustices that are plaguing us. The injustices of which I speak transcend any one race or ethnicity. It extends culturally, economically, socially. It is inclusive of and extends outside of our front doors, our neighborhoods, our churches and our schools, our jobs. Whether or not it is happening to us directly, until we take the time to recognize it and acknowledge it, we are doomed to suffer from it. Until we let our eyes see it, until we let our hearts feel it, until we let our minds think about it, injustice will abound.”

Cruse said she wasn’t just referring to injustice within the legal system, but also within education, healthcare, politics and government. 

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not rest, he went from town to town from meeting to meeting and church to church,” she said. “He worked the four steps of his nonviolent campaign: find out if there is injustice, negotiation, self purification and finally — direct action. We must begin or continue to cause reactions which make acts of injustice unwelcome. We must not watch the suffering in silence.”

Cruse encouraged those at the Martin Luther King Jr. event to “have a plan” as the civil rights leader once did. 

“I am encouraging you to get together with organizations like NAACP to figure out what is the most effective way to bring an issue to the forefront and deal with it. Dr. King was not just talking to the oppressed, he was talking to the oppressor, and all who fall between the two. We must all — no matter our color, no matter our age, our socioeconomic status, we must all feel the indignation that should swell within us when we see senseless deaths or read provocative commentary. I encourage you to change the commentary.”

During the program, the Worship Arts Ministry for New Life in Christ Church performed a dance tribute

“The destruction of injustice is the goal.” 

Troy- O’Fallon Bike Trail expected summer of 2019

Construction on Troy- O’Fallon Trail is expected to be complete in the summer of 2019

O’FALLON- A bike trail development along Troy- O’Fallon Road can be expected around the beginning to mid- summer, according to Metro East Parks and Recreation District Executive Director Bryan Werner. 

The development is a seven mile trail that will extend from Troy south to O’Fallon. The trail will go past the intersection of Simmons and Witte Road. 

While there was a previous delay in construction due to the need of steel for bridges, Werner said that construction is now “well underway.” 

Werner said that the need for steel “is no longer an issue” and that it should be delivered and installed on necessary bridges in coming months. 

While Madison County Transit is overseeing construction of the trail, Metro East Parks and Recreation District is providing the necessary funding for the project. 

“As far as we know as an organization, it is still anticipated to be completed in the early summer,” Werner said. “Just like any project that continues through the winter time, mother nature and snow plays a part.” 

Werner said that there is a high probability of bike trails to be connected throughout neighboring communities. 

O’Fallon assistant city administrator Grant Litteken said that once the Troy- O’Fallon bike trail is complete, the city will look for ways to create connections with existing trail infrastructure.

According to Litteken, the City’s Capital Improvements Plan includes future construction of a trailhead near Kyle Road.

Litteken said that the city is looking forward to the day when someone can hop on their bike and travel to O’Fallon from neighboring communities.

Werner said that the Metro East Parks and Recreation District website has a page dedicated to bike and pedestrian infrastructure plans as they currently exist. He also encouraged individuals to visit the website to check out current and future trail maps. 

Hampton Inn-O’Fallon breaks ground

(Submitted photo)

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce joined in celebrating Darrell Shelton’s Commercial Property Investors, Inc. of O’Fallon and HMA (Hospitality Management Associates, LLC) of St. Louis in the ground breaking for their new Hampton Inn at 430 Regency Park Drive. The groundbreaking was held on November 8, 2018.          

The Hampton Inn will be a new 100 room hotel in the growing Metro-East suburb of O’Fallon. Known for quality and consistency, Hampton Inn by Hilton is one of the most desirable hotel chains for both corporate and leisure travelers and will be a welcome addition to the area. The new Hampton Inn – O’Fallon, IL will be physically connected to the Regency Conference Center. Together the new Hampton Inn and Regency will be the place to stay and meet in the Metro-East.

View of the Past: Inside of a saloon in 1890’s O’Fallon

(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society)

This week’s view is of the inside of a saloon in 1890’s O’Fallon.  While it’s unclear which one, it’s certainly typical of the era.  Back then, O’Fallon was still a village, not yet a city, with a population of 1100 and a bit of a western, rough edged flavor.

View of the Past: Santa Claus arriving at Southview Plaza Shopping Center in 1966

(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society)

In the holiday spirit, this week’s view features Santa Claus arriving at Southview Plaza Shopping Center in O’Fallon on Nov. 25, 1966.  Not by a sleigh pulled by reindeer but by a KMOX Radio helicopter.  Sponsored by the shopping center businesses, Santa’s Southview headquarters was in Feickert’s Bakery.  Children could visit him each Saturday from 1 – 5 p.m. after his arrival and daily from 5 – 8 p.m. starting Dec. 12.  Feickert’s was three stores south of Plaza Drug in what later became the House of Hunan.

Candidates file to run in April election

The makeup of the ballot for the April 2, 2019, election has come into focus following Monday’s deadline for individuals interested in running for office to file their necessary paperwork.

In O’Fallon, all but two City Council seats will see a contested race take place.

In Ward 1, Dennis Muyleart, who ran in 2017, will take on Jessica Gunther and Catherine McBride in one of the two three-way races taking place in the city.

Over in Ward 2, incumbent Bob Kueker is being challenged by Jessica Lotz.

Incumbent Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Hagarty is running unopposed for re-election to another four year term.

Ward 4 will see the other three-way race in the April election. Mary Lynam-Miller, Sarah Atterberry, and Todd Roach, who is the son of Mayor Herb Roach, will take each other on for the position.

Ward 5 has both seats up for election, one for a full four-year term and one for a shortened two year term. 

For the four year position, former O’Fallon Alderman Chris Hursey will challenge Gwendolyn Randolph, who was appointed to the City Council by Mayor Roach when Alderwoman Courtney Marsh resigned after moving out of the ward.

Former Central School District 104 Board of Education Member Chris Monroe has filed to run for the two year position. Monroe is unopposed.

In Ward 6, current alderman, Ned Drolet, is retiring. Tom Vorce and Christopher “Casey” Scharven have both filed to run for the seat.

Ward 7 Alderman David Cozad is also stepping away. Nathan Parchman and Brian Gibson are running for the opportunity to replace him on the council. 

In Shiloh, there are three positions on the Village Board up for election. Current trustee Colleen Powers is retiring, while incumbents Kurt Burrelsman and Greg O’Neil have both filed. Julia Warchol Black has filed to run in for the third position.

Voters in Lebanon will have a few City Council races to watch in April. 

In Ward 1, there will be one open seat as incumbent Alderman Frank Almeter is stepping down. Peter J Wehrly and Charles Witty have both filed to run for the position.

Over in Ward 2, incumbent Alderman Landall Mack is running for re-election, and will be challenged by Teddy Sells, Jr. and Robert Lee.

In Ward 3, incumbent Alderman Bruce “Bart” Bartholomew is running for re-election and will be challenged by Jessica Zurliene.

Voters in Ward 4 will have no option in April unless someone opts to run as a write-in, as incumbent Alderman Al Gerdes is stepping down and no one filed paperwork to run for his position.

There is little competition in the various races for school board, only OTHS District 203 and Lebanon CUSD District 9 will see competition. 

In District 203, three seats held by incumbents Mark Christ, Brandt House, and Donna Johnson are up for election. All three have filed to run for re-election, as well as challengers P.K. Johnson and Martha Fraier Stoffel.

In Lebanon, there are also three open seats. Current incumbents President Mike Harter and Vice President Bill Layman will step down. Incumbent Board Member Nancy Henss is running for re-election. Additionally,  Adam Noud, Gary J. Haas, and Yasanne J Garrett have filed to run as well.

There are three open positions in District 90, currently held by Mary Baskett, Rebecca Huller, and Becky Drury. Baskett has chosen to not seek re-election. Huller and Drury have both filed, along with Quennetta Chambers.

Three candidates have filed to run in Shiloh District 85. Leslie Tesluk-Ecker, Theodore “Ted” Schaal, and Kelly Waldrup will all appear on the ballot and run for the three open positions.

Central District 104 has three candidates filed for the three open positions. Andrea Mouser, Laurie Burian, and David Swaney have filed to run. 

Tinsel Around Town encourages residents to shop local

O’FALLON – The third annual Tinsel Around Town event gathered local residents to downtown O’Fallon where there was holiday serenades, food vendor concessions and merchant specials lasting all afternoon. 

The event, which took place on Saturday, December 8 from noon to 4 p.m., encouraged local shoppers to support O’Fallon brick and mortar businesses. 

O’Fallon- Shiloh Chamber of Commerce president Debbie Martinez said that a lot of people jump on the “shop local bandwagon” around the holidays, but it’s important to remember that business owners are invested in the community year round. 

“We have to invest in them year round if we want them to continue to be here,” Martinez said. “By keeping your shopping here in Shiloh and O’Fallon, you’re supporting them.” 

Tinsel Around Town featured entertainment from the OTHS Madrigals — they roamed from business to business in downtown and serenaded shoppers. The event also featured funnel cake sales by the OTHS Band Boosters. To keep shoppers warm between their shop stops, the chamber placed different fire pits along First Street. 

Owner of Fezziwigs Marketplace, Ellen Leaf-Moore, expressed the same sentiment as Martinez in the importance of supporting local businesses year round. 

“Shopping small businesses is so important because most of the time it’s our livelihood. This is what we count on to be able to live,” Leaf-Moore said. 

She said that events such as Tinsel Around Town or Small Business Saturday are great projects that a lot of residents attend — but they may only be shopping local once a year.   

“It’s actually really important that they shop the other 11 months out of the year as well — especially for brick and mortar businesses because we have taxes we have to pay, we have rent, we have all kinds of permits that we have, we staff people and hopefully there is enough left over for us to be able to live on.”

Leaf-Moore said that spending just $50 per month in a small business brick and mortar adds a great deal of money to the local economy. 

Leaf-Moore used shopping at Walmart as an example. 

“If you’re shopping at Walmart, very little of your tax dollars stay right here and the rest of it goes to their corporate headquarters. If you’re shopping a small business like ours, so much more of your tax dollar stays here,” she said. “Tax revenue goes to our schools, local fire department, goes toward roads, police force, goes to all of those people that you are wanting to have better your communities.”

On the convenience of shopping online — “many of us have online businesses as well. When they are purchasing online, those tax dollars still stay here.” 

Owner of Refinery Salon Whitney Leidner said that shopping local is reinvesting in your own community. 

“When you shop at a local business, an actual person does a happy dance,” Leidner said. “It’s more interesting to shop at a local business. There is more of a relationship.”

Leidner said that it’s more fun to shop local. 

“We were just doing our yearly planning and we have Pretty in Pink day where we all wear pink and have the movie playing,” she said. “We do more personal and fun things. You don’t get that when you go to a big company.” 

Many O’Fallon residents chose Tinsel Around Town to complete their Christmas shopping and also took advantage of what local restaurants had to offer. 

Manager of Hollyhock House Boutique Victoria Caswell said that the shop has a great variety of gift options for shoppers. 

“We have everything from baby gifts to women’s fashion. We carry sizes extra small to 3X, so we have a little bit of everything for anyone out there,” Caswell said. 

“We are really happy to be in O’Fallon and support the community.” 

Local eye surgeon speaks to Shiloh Middle School students

SHILOH – Dr. Michael Stock of Ideal Eye Surgery in O’Fallon spoke to Shiloh Middle School seventh and eighth graders about the effects of artificial blue light on eyes on Tuesday, Nov. 20. 

Julie Carson, SMS Language Arts teacher, said that the presentation was inspired by informational text that students were reading in her classroom. Carson said that her students were “astonished” at additional research on the topic. 

“The presentation was very informative and Dr. Stock was great with the students,” Carson said.

Central School District presents check to American Red Cross for hurricane relief

Left to right: Larincia Hambrick from the American Red Cross, Mrs. Kerri Thaler (Teacher,) Mrs. Dawn Elser (Superintendent,), Mr. Tron Young (Principal at Joseph Arthur Middle School,) Jayson Baker (Principal at Central Elementary School).
(Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – Central School District 104 held a penny war and raised $800 that was donated to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund. Kerri Thaler, a teacher at Central Elementary School, came up with the idea to help hurricane victims. 

“Our generous staff, students, and their families showed generosity that will impact many people in need,” Central Elementary Principal Jayson Baker said. 

A check to American Red Cross was presented on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

St. Clare School announces first quarter Honor Roll

O’FALLON – St. Clare School recently announced the students named to its first quarter Honor Roll. 

Principal’s List

Grade 6

Clark Davis, Isabelle Elliott, Elena Rybak, Jack Toennies, and Kylie Voss

Grade 7

David Barker, Michael Barker, Nathan Finck, Logan Greene, Alex Hattan, Sam Hiller, Jack Hong, Anya Kenney, Josh Maher, Keller Maher, Beatrice McCoy, Ella Meyer, Regan Oladipofaniyi, Isabella Ponciroli, Andrew Rottschalk, Audrey Smith, and Ian Taylor

Grade 8

Kate Adkins, Jimmy Bisesi, Natalie Hale, Kelly Hayden, Ben Hug, Lily Kampwerth, John Martin, Ava Pace, Adeline Smith, Niki Thoman, and Keegan Umali

High Honors

Grade 6

Audrey Adkins, Madeleine Alberico, Amalia Distler, Ashtyn Feliciano, Aiden Freiburg, Kaitlyn Howenstein, and Macy Lubak

Grade 7

Bisesi, Daniel Evans, Lyndi Kaufman, Heather Kenney, William Kinsella, Emily Landoll, and Jack Velino

Grade 8

Jack Costello, Kerry Costello, Colin Fleming, Tia Golder, Ben Gorazd, Matthew Hettenhausen, Nick Jansen, Aidan Kelly, Matthew Kulp, Kiley McMinn, Shyanne Thompson, Ryan Voss, Ryan Weyhaupt, Julia Whitworth, and Ryan Zimmerman

Honor Roll

Grade 6

Luke Bautz, Will Bautz, Robbie Greene, Caroline Hopkins, Tessa Lee, Laura Pierre, Jacob Ryan, Jonathan Sill, Lauren Smith, Bianca Torelli, and Gabriella Turkington

Grade 7

Parker Bruening and Michael Ruocco

Grade 8

Sean Chaffee, Kristen Green, Clint Hertzler, Jack Rineberg, and Evan Rybak

St. Elizabeth’s announces approval for a Radiation Oncology Clinic in O’Fallon

O’FALLON – HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, and its parent company Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), announced Tuesday that they have received approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (HFSRB) to lease space for a radiation oncology clinic near their new, state-of-the-art hospital along Interstate 64 and Green Mount Road in St. Clair County.

President and CEO Patti Fischer stated, “St. Elizabeth’s delivers high-quality Franciscan health care, and we continue to develop plans to bring needed health care services to patients in our region. With the addition of this radiation oncology clinic, cancer patients will have the opportunity to receive the excellent care they deserve in a location that is close to home.”

The 11,750 square foot clinic will be constructed by Green Mount Enterprises, LLC with space being leased to St. Elizabeth’s.  St. Elizabeth’s services will offer patients access to personalized cancer care all in one convenient location. Technologies and treatment techniques will include a linear accelerator and CT-simulator, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Additional services such as cancer clinical trials from the National Cancer Institute, University of Chicago, NSABP Foundation, and other pharmaceutical trials along with genetic counseling, cancer screenings, wellness programs and cancer prevention education will provide ongoing support to the community.

Cancer Care Specialists of Illinois (CCSI), a medical oncology physician group, plans to lease separate space in the building where PET/CT services will be available.

St. Elizabeth’s is the only American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer designated cancer program in the service area of southwestern Illinois. “This comprehensive and multi- disciplinary patient-centered recognition, coupled with the advanced radiation oncology services offered in the new building, will bring innovative treatment and experienced cancer specialists to the community,”  Fischer added.

In addition to serving residents in the Metro-East, the clinic will benefit patients from smaller community hospitals within and outside of our system, including HSHS affiliate hospitals St. Joseph’s in Highland, St. Joseph’s in Breese, and Holy Family in Greenville, as well as Washington County Hospital, Sparta Community Hospital, Memorial Hospital of Chester, and others.

St. Elizabeth’s plans to open the new clinic in early 2020.

View of the Past: The old Marie Schaefer Junior High building in 1992

(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society)

This week’s view is of the old Marie Schaefer Junior High building that once stood at Route 50 and Cherry Street in O’Fallon.  The school was built in 1925 and was home to O’Fallon Township High School from the fall of that year through the graduation of the Class of 1958.  After that, the high school moved to a new building at Smiley and Route 50 (the present day Smiley campus) and the old building was sold to O’Fallon District 90.  The photo was taken just before the school was torn down in 1992.  The view is from Cherry Street, looking southwest.  The south edge of the Marie Schaefer School gym, still standing, can be seen on the right.  The entrance in the middle was actually the back entrance.  But it was the one everyone actually used since the front entrance had been bricked up years earlier.