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Man Faces Charge After Gunshots Report In Granite City

3 months ago
GRANITE CITY - Granite City Police officers responded to a report of gunshots in the area of Leonard Avenue and Myrtle Avenue at 12:07 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Granite City Police Major Gary Brooks said upon arrival, officers encountered a subject who had sustained at least one gunshot wound which is non-life-threatening. A suspect was developed in this case and has been identified as Andrew J. Walker, 27, of Granite City. The case was presented to the Madison County State's Attorney's Office. Walker has been charged with one count of Aggravated Battery With A Firearm. Major Brooks said a petition was filed by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s office to deny Walker’s pre-trial release. Walker was remanded to the Madison County Jail and is awaiting a hearing for his pre-trial release.

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GCHS Competes inย Microsoft Office State Championship Qualifier

3 months ago
GRANITE CITY – Granite City High School freshman Carson Williams placed in the top-10 of the 2023 Fall Qualifier Microsoft Office Specialist Illinois State Championship, as announced by Certiport. Williams was ninth in the Microsoft Office Specialist Word Office 2019 category. Also recognized was freshman Lacey Clark for a qualifying score in the Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2019 category. Williams and Clark competed against students from across Illinois to earn this recognition. To compete in the Fall Qualifier, students aged 13 to 22 were eligible to participate in one of six competition tracks by submitting a qualified, passing score on the Microsoft Office Specialist Word, Excel®, or PowerPoint® certification exams by Dec. 15, 2023. “We have seen amazing results from the Microsoft Office Specialist program at our school as students learn and validate key workforce skills,” said Kellie Hutchings, Computer Concepts teacher at GCHS.

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Mustache March 4PD Plans Benefit to Support Local Police Departments

3 months ago
ALTON - Mustache March 4PD will host their annual benefit to raise money for 15 local police departments. The organization will host the event at Bluff City Grill on March 22, 2024. Tickets cost $25 and proceeds will help the organization fund different programs and items for the police departments, from new uniforms and equipment to donations for Shop with a Cop and other community events. “This is the most fun fundraiser anyone here has ever attended,” said Tina Bennett, vice president of MM4PD. “We really just try to have a night of fun for the police officers. They get to mingle, they get to talk with each other…As long as the funds keep coming in, we want to keep going.” The benefit will begin with an Honor Guard and a prayer from Chaplain John Gibson. The Gibson Girls will perform alongside the Glendale Riders. Attendees can enjoy the performances, a 50/50 raffle, a mustache contest and more. The money goes back to MM4PD, which has

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Civic Memorial High and Trimpe Middle School Dance Teams Celebrate Season Of Tenacity and Growth

3 months ago
BETHALTO - The Civic Memorial High and Trimpe Middle School dance squads recently completed outstanding competitive seasons. The CM Pazzaz school members were Izzie Ackerman, Sierra Branch, Ava Fassler, Abi Fischer, Vivienne Frew, Maicey Markle, Milla Munsch, Ashlyn Perkins, Kennedi Staggs, and Ella Toner. Jazzers members included Kynlee Boner, Kena Breyer, Reese Brueggeman, Emma Coffman, Kaylea Falk, Annabelle Kincaide, Bailey Kinkel, Elsie Lively, Frankie Newton, Emersyn Olmstead, Cecelia Silkwood, and Adelynn Spurgeon. Coaches for both teams were Joy Brueggeman, Jenny Spurgeon, Tatum Darr, Kat Wilson, and Kaitlyn Depping. The Civic Memorial High School Pazzazz Dance Team competed at Edwardsville and O'Fallon for IDTA. They also competed at the IHSA competition that was held at Mascoutah this season. "We have a very new group of girls on our team this year consisting of freshman and sophomores," Coach Spurgeon said. "It has been a rebuilding year for our team for sure. These

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Alton Little Theater Announces The 91st Season Of Live Theater At The Showplace

3 months ago
ALTON - The 91st Season at ALT officially launches on March 1st, 2024, but here is a sneak peek at the plans to "Sparkle" with so many choices of true Entertainment! Yes, there will be new, familiar, beloved plays and stories of inspiration (that also tickle the funny bone)......and given the National divides and polarization, ALT re-states its mission to create a safe space where people can just cast aside the worries of the world for a few hours and enjoy themselves. Kevin Frakes (Artistic Director) and Lee Cox (Executive Director) focus on giving patrons enjoyment and producing works that mean so much to them, and introducing some new Directors to ALT's Line-up. For the 91st Season, this means FIVE Mainstage productions and an additional FIVE Extra, Extra Entertainment Shows -- so that Theater-lovers have Choice AND something to see almost every month -- and who knows, ALT might add another show or concert and likely will as the 91st Season officially starts June 1st, 2024 and run

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Chuck Martin Named 2023 IRAP Landowner Of the Year, Three Others in Area Recognized

3 months ago
SPRINGFIELD – Chuck Martin, a lifelong upland bird hunter, conservation advocate and local author, is the Illinois Recreational Access Program's (IRAP) 2023 Landowner of the Year, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced today. Three area land owners were also recognized: Jonna Krueger, Macoupin County, Gary Kronable, Jersey County and Steve Zaubi, Macoupin, Christian and Menard Counties. Others recognized were: Craig Walter, Lee County Brad Petersburg, Jo Davies County The Landowner of the Year award is presented to a landowner enrolled in IRAP who has demonstrated outstanding habitat improvement and conservation practices while allowing public access on their private property through the IRAP initiative. Martin first enrolled in the program in 2016 and now allows youth hunting, third- and fourth-season turkey hunting, archery deer hunting, and pond fishing on his IRAP-leased property in Christian County. He said his decision to become a land steward was

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Bethalto Man Faces Attempted Murder, Battery Charges After Stabbing Family Members

3 months ago
BETHALTO - A man from Bethalto charged with stabbing two of his family members in the neck is facing multiple felony counts of attempted murder and battery, according to Madison County court documents. Austin C. Ferrell, 21, of Bethalto, was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder (both Class X felonies) in addition to aggravated domestic battery (a Class 2 felony) and aggravated battery (a Class 3 felony). Each of these charges were filed on Feb. 15, 2024. According to a petition to deny Ferrell’s pretrial release, he was identified by “multiple witnesses as the person who stabbed his grandmother and cousin in the neck, causing severe lacerations.” Ferrell was apprehended and reportedly admitted to stabbing them with the intent to kill them. Both victims were stabbed in the neck, one being a juvenile under the age of 13. The non-juvenile victim was additionally stabbed in the “face and shoulder, causing severe lacerations to the victim.”

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SIUE's Dr. Donavan Ramon Delves into Racial Passing in his New Book

3 months ago
EDWARDSVILLE – It’s a “line” that not everyone can cross. But for those who are able and willing, what causes them to do so? Is it the belief someone can leave behind adversity and bias to walk into a life of comfort and opportunities? Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Donavan L. Ramon, PhD, explores these questions and looks at various analyses and more in his book, “Striking Features: Psychoanalysis and Racial Passing Narratives.” Ramon, assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of English, Language and Literature, is one of three authors who will be part of “African American Literature at SIUE,” a panel and book discussion, at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28 in the Redmond Learning Center (LB 2020) of the Lovejoy Library. Also on the program will be CAS faculty: Associate Dean and Associate Professor Tisha Brooks, PhD, author of "Spirit Deep: Recovering the Sacred in Black Women’s

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The Illinois Library Association Awards Inclusive Travel Grant for National Conferences to Beth Smilack

3 months ago
JERSEYVILLE -The Illinois Library Association (ILA) has announced the recipient of the 2023/2024 ILA Inclusive Travel Grant for National Conferences . This $1,000 grant is designed to support the attendance of Illinois librarians and library staff from underrepresented populations in librarianship at a national conference of their choosing. The recipient of this grant is Beth Smilack, currently serving as the Marketing and Communications Specialist at the Jerseyville Public Library in Jerseyville. Formerly a member of the Board of Trustees at Jerseyville Public Library for nine years, Smilack resigned to take on the newly established Marketing and Communications position at the library. Over the past six years, Smilack has dedicated herself to expanding the library's outreach efforts, particularly through enhancing its social media presence. She has also worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the library within the community, effectively marketing its resources and services to

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Infinite Wellness Celebrates the Grand Opening of Infinite Vitality Lifestyle Medical Center In Glen Carbon

3 months ago
GLEN CARBON – Defying the aging process and deepening one’s well-being has never been simpler or more accessible. At the new Infinite Vitality Lifestyle Medical Center in Glen Carbon, Metro East residents can now optimize their overall health and wellness holistically through collaborative, patient-tailored care. Infinite Vitality offers a wide range of services, including hormone replacement therapy, medical weight loss, regenerative skin aesthetics, and IV therapy, to help patients live with more energy, strength, and a greater capacity for life. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Ryan Cleland and the Infinite Wellness Integrative Medical Cente r team have provided patients across Madison County with state-of-the-art chiropractic and pain management services. With the opening of Infinite Vitality, the Metro East’s premier lifestyle medical center, Dr. Cleland is blending his integrative model into a full suite of medical lifestyle services and adding regenerative

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Haine Announces Class X Felony Charges Against Alleged Cocaine Trafficker

3 months ago
EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced Friday that his office has filed Class X felony drug-trafficking charges against a California man who is alleged to have had more than 13,000 grams of cocaine in his possession. One of the charges is punishable by up to 120 years in prison. Haine’s office also has filed a petition seeking forfeiture of the defendant’s 2022 BMW X4, along with a petition seeking pretrial detention of the defendant. Richard J. Davis, 58, of San Clemente, Calif., is charged with one Class X felony count of controlled substance trafficking for allegedly using a motor vehicle to bring 900 or more grams of cocaine into Illinois. That charge carries a sentencing range of 30 to 120 years in prison. Davis also is charged with one Class X felony count of possession with intent to deliver 900 or more grams of cocaine. That charge is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison. “Major drug-trafficking corrodes the rule o

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Woody Resigns From Wood River Parks Director Post

3 months ago
WOOD RIVER - Jason Woody has officially resigned from his post as the director of the Wood River Parks and Recreation Department, submitting a letter of resignation which was read aloud at the City Council meeting earlier this week. City officials expressed their sadness to see Woody leave the department but wished him the best of luck in his future endeavors with the Village of Roxana. Woody wrote in his letter of resignation that he received an offer from Roxana to be their Village Administrator, an opportunity he said was too good to decline. Woody had been Wood River's director of Parks and Recreation for 15 years, starting in November of 2008; his official last day as director will be Tuesday, March 5, 2024. “Thank you again for the opportunity to work for the City of Wood River. It’s been a pleasure to work with everyone,” Woody wrote. “I’m truly grateful for all the opportunities that have been given to me throughout the years. I wish yo

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Carolyn Jason Selected To Lead A Revisioning Of The SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start Program

3 months ago
EDWARDSVILLE - After decades of ensuring program compliance, working with children, families, staff and more, longtime Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) staff member and interim program director Carolyn Jason was named HS/EHS Program Director. “I am pleased and excited to continue to help the program that I love and that has advanced so many lives over the years,” said Jason. “SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start has a commitment to provide services that not only prepare children for school readiness and success; but is also key to improving the lives of families.” “Early childhood services in a Head Start community, of course include education services, but also integrate those comprehensive services of health, dental, hearing and vision, and family goal setting,” she continued. “Since the inception of Head Start, these are services that help remove barriers to a child’s education.”

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Alton Committee Of The Whole Upcoming Agenda Preview - 2/26/2024

3 months ago
ALTON - From a solar project agreement to park improvement funds and more, here’s a look ahead at what’s next on the agenda for the Alton Committee of the Whole. The committee meets next on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 at Alton City Hall, with all meetings streamed live on Riverbender.com . Loan Agreement For “Solar For All Projects” Monday’s agenda includes a laid-over resolution authorizing a Loan Agreement for the “Solar For All Projects” at the Public Works Facility in the amount of $626,512.00. According to the resolution itself, the Alton City Council engaged GRP Wegman to pursue a state and federal grant and “incentives for the installation of the ground mounted solar energy array at the City's Public Works Facility.” When and if awarded the grant, GRP Wegman will “design, develop and construct the solar array in accordance with the Illinois Solar For All (ILSFA) program requirements.” The resolution will

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ChiliFest 2024 Coming Up Soon From Jerseyville Rotary Clubย 

3 months ago
JERSEYVILLE - The Jerseyville Rotary Club’s long-running annual ChiliFest event is returning soon on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church located at 200 W. Pearl St. in Jerseyville. Proceeds from the event will help the Rotary Club continue its service projects around the community. Tickets are available for $10 each and can be purchased in advance from any Rotary Club member - a full list of members is available at the bottom of this year’s ChiliFest flyer or on Riverbender.com . Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the day of the event, and each ticket purchase includes chili, a hot dog, and a cookie, all for $10 - homemade vegetable soup is also available for those who don’t prefer chili. Kim Hardin with the Jerseyville Rotary Club recently appeared on an episode of Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com to share more about the event as it inches closer. Hardin recommended ChiliFest attendees park in the parkin

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IDPH Issues Updated Standing Order Allowing Schools to Administer Medications to Counter Opioid Overdoses

3 months ago
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has issued an updated standing order allowing schools to keep a supply of medications like naloxone on hand, and also permitting school nurses or other trained personnel to administer them to students in the event of an opioid overdose. The updated order, signed by IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra, builds upon authority established in 2015 to expand access to naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The new order makes clear that schools can obtain a supply of such medications, known as opioid “antagonists,” without a prescription, and that a school nurse or other person who has been trained in their use may administer the medications to someone exhibiting signs of an overdose on school property. Under Public Act 103-0348 , which took effect January 1, 2024, public and private schools are now required to keep a supply of an opioid antagonist on hand to be used in the event of an overdose

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Community Members Protest Lack of Black Police Officers in Alton

3 months ago
ALTON - A few community members spent the day protesting outside of the Alton Police Department on Feb. 23, 2024. Led by Lee Barham, the community members were protesting the lack of Black officers in the police department. Alton hired five new white officers earlier this month. In a recent letter to the editor , Barham expressed disgust about the hiring of no new Black officers, and he called on Mayor David Goins, Police Chief Jarrett Ford, the Alton chapter of the NAACP, local Black leaders and others to do more. He echoed these sentiments during the Feb. 23 protest. “I feel it is a tragedy that we elected the first Black mayor and we only have one Black officer down here,” Barham said. “We’re not reaching out to our own, but when it comes to the election, we’re going to be reminded, ‘I’m Black, I want you all to vote.’ But by the same token, where’s the Black officers? Where’s the difference you have made? There isn’

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Gov. Pritzker says His 2025 Budget Makes Important Investments In Higher Education

3 months ago
SPRINGFIELD – Higher education leaders across the state applaud Governor JB Pritzker’s budget announcement, which includes a fiscal year 2025 higher education budget of $2.55 billion. The budget includes a $10 million increase for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), a $24.6 million increase for public universities, and a $5.9 million increase for community colleges. The governor’s budget builds on the historic funding of higher education over the last several years, which included the largest investment and the largest increase in higher education in two decades in fiscal year 2024’s higher education budget. Continuing to build on historic higher education investments from the last several years is key to removing barriers and ensuring all students have equitable access to higher education. “The governor’s investments proposed in this budget build on his previous historic higher education investments and allows us to continue the progress we have

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In Sweden and Netherlands, Duckworth Reiterates Bipartisan U.S. Commitment to NATO & Helping Ukraine End Russia's Unjust War ย 

3 months ago
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During her official visit to Sweden and the Netherlands on the eve of the two-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees—reaffirmed our nation’s steadfast commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and all its members after Donald Trump’s latest swipe at the alliance. After the U.S. Senate recently passed strong bipartisan legislation that would provide additional aid to Ukraine, Duckworth also underscored how important it is for the United States and the free world to remain united in support of Ukraine as they fight against Vladimir Putin’s continued aggression, which threatens global security. Photos of Duckworth during her official visit to Europe can be found on the Senator’s website . “As we reach the two-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion

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State Senator Harriss Criticizes Governor's Budget for Lack of Tax Relief

3 months ago
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Erica Harriss (56 th -Glen Carbon) has released the below statement following the Governor’s 2024 State of the State and State Budget Address: “As a strong advocate for working Illinois families, I believe that today’s budget address failed to meet the needs of our state’s residents. I am disappointed not to see one cent of property tax relief, yet the Governor has proposed over $2.2 billion in new spending with $1.1 billion in tax hikes. While this administration is focusing on funneling billions of dollars to migrants coming to our state, my focus remains on the citizens of our state and our hard-working Metro-East families.”

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