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Bond reduction denied for Williams

London Williams
London Williams

London Williams appeared before a different judge at the Randolph County Courthouse for an Aug. 18 case management hearing on his charge of first degree murder.
A last minute change of judges had Associate Circuit Court Judge Gene Gross instead of Circuit Court Judge Richard Brown presiding over the hearing.
Williams’ attorney, Justin Kuehn, first presented Gross with a motion for a bond reduction. Williams is currently being held at the Randolph County Jail on a $1 million bond for the stabbing death of T.J. Michael at Bernasek’s Bar and Grill in Chester on June 22.
Kuehn pointed out that he felt Brown did not have a full understanding of all the facts in the case when he set Williams’ bond so high.
For more from this hearing, please see this week’s print edition.

Heavy rains cause leaks in circuit clerk’s office

Circuit Clerks office 1AFTER THE RAIN–Heavy rains this month caused quite a leak in the ceiling of the Randolph County Circuit Clerk’s Office. Pictured is a section of court files covered by tarps while a bucket collects water still dripping from the ceiling.

On Monday, Aug. 15, staff in the Randolph County Circuit Clerk’s office came to work to find quite an unwelcome surprise – the recent heavy rains had caused the roof in their office to leak.
Circuit Clerk Sherry Johnson and her staff all acted quickly to prevent any further damage to the court files kept in her office. Files that had been stored where the leak was were moved to a safer location.
Johnson and her staff then spent hours working on drying off and restoring these files.
She told the North County News how important it was to save these files as the records her office keeps cannot be destroyed.
Later in the week, a quick look in the circuit clerk’s office and the damage from the leak was still obvious. Some of the carpet in the main part of the office was still soaked. In the file room, tarps hung over sections of the file shelves and buckets were strategically placed to collect water. Numerous fans were blowing, trying to dry off the carpet and stacks of damp files. And of course there were the stains and cracks in the ceiling.
For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.

Traffic issues by high school brought to Red Bud School Board’s attention

School is back in session and some of the school’s neighbors are less than thrilled about the traffic.
“Our neighborhood’s having quite a bit of trouble with the traffic situation,” Charles Muench told the Red Bud School Board at their meeting on Aug. 18. Muench lives on Charles Street, next to the high school and was addressing the board on behalf of those in the neighborhood. “The (high school) kids are coming out (of the parking lot), acting like idiots.”
He continued, “We’re just trying to figure out what we can do. We know they’re on school property, but when they leave they are on city property.”
Muench has noted that he has taken pictures of license plates of offenders and has threatened to turn them in to the police, but the police need to catch them in the act. “We’re open for ideas.”
High school Principal Rob Pipher thanked Muench for bringing this matter to their attention. He noted that they will talk to students about the matter. Superintendent Jonathan Tallman agreed, saying it would be good to show a presence there and to give the students a reminder.
“Sometimes those kids are just out of control,” Muench continued. “The kids fly into the parking lot, speed through it and out the other side.”
He feels a solution is needed to slow down the traffic on the street. He believes that 75 percent of those speeding up and down Charles Street are students.
For more from the school board meeting, please see this week’s print edition.

Randolph County tourism revenue tops $35 million

The Illinois Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism announced on Aug. 17 that Randolph County again drew higher tourism revenue numbers last year. $35.37 million dollars came to the community, an increase of 2.6 percent over 2014. The percentage matched the state’s overall percentage increase. Illinois garnered $37 billion dollars in tourism funds in 2015.
Chris Martin, coordinator of economic development for Randolph County, credits an eclectic blend of attractions and events, and the community working together to promote the region as the reasons why tourism dollars continue to increase.
“First, we have an amazing community,” said Martin. “Illinois started here, so we have history and the events and attractions germane to our heritage that bring thousands here every year. There is so much to do here in nature. We have the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. The World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta brought in more than 10,000 people this year. Chester has the Popeye Picnic and Character Trail. Every community has celebrations, car shows and festivals. Events like the Shiloh Hill Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Show, the Kaskaskia Picnic, and Steeleville’s July 4th celebration attract a multitude of people.”
Tourism revenue supports roughly 200 entry-level and service jobs in Randolph County. That helps young people who are just entering the job market, and also provides supplemental income for seniors who may need to augment their social security and find working part time rewarding.
To learn more, please see this week’s print edition.

Red Bud Regional Hospital’s Senior Circle program has changed

Exciting news was recently communicated to members of Red Bud Regional Hospital’s Senior Circle program. During the past year, the national program has been encouraging its members to share their thoughts regarding the program. The feedback solicited from adults aged 50+ came from all regions of the country and led to a program makeover, complete with a brand new name – Our Healthy Circle™.
Our Healthy Circle has more than 23,000 members nationwide with 350 plus here in Red Bud and from the surrounding area. Program leadership found that their members no longer identify with the term “seniors,” and that their interests and concerns have evolved over the past decade.
For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.

Regional Leaders Breakfast

The fall Regional Leaders Breakfast has been scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Chester American Legion Hall.
This breakfast will look at the Aug. 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. This eclipse will be seen across the entire breadth of the continental United States for the first time in nearly a century and southern Illinois is the prime location for observing the eclipse.
The eclipse is already attracting national and worldwide attention, so breakfast keynote speaker Dr. Scott E. Ishman from Southern Illinois University Carbondale will talk about the eclipse and how it will impact southern Illinois.
Invitations and registration for the breakfast will be sent out in September.

Girl Scout registration

In Girl Scouts, girls are always counting down to the next adventure she will go on.  Maybe it’s artistic.  Maybe it programming a robot.  Maybe it’s going to camp or selling Girl Scout Cookies.  It may even be providing community service to her town.  In Girl Scouts, girls will make a bunch of new friends and have a ton of new experiences.
A Girl Scout registration event will be held for Randolph County North on Aug. 29, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Red Bud Regional Hospital’s auditorium with fun luau themed activities; and on Aug. 30 at Prairie du Rocher School from 6 – 7 p.m. For more information, contact: Sarah Smith at 618-340-2044 or 800-345-6858.
Girls in grades K-12 and their parents are invited to drop by to get information about Girl Scouts and register for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year. Get outdoors! Meet new friends! Try something new!
For more information, please see this week’s print edition.

Holding bull riding event

Bull rideWaterloo Rural King manager Mike Buettner, at left, is pictured sealing the deal with a handshake from Jim Probst, chairman of the Blue Army Bull Bash professional bull riding event, for this year’s event. The event, which is hosted by the Waterloo Optimist Club, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Monroe County fairgrounds. Rural King and Wrangler are the main event sponsors. This event draws the best CBR bull riders and bulls from throughout the country.

Musketeer football season kicks off Friday

by Brian Magee
Hello Football Fans and welcome to the start of the 2016 High School Football Season! This year’s edition of the RBHS Musketeer Varsity squad promises to be exciting and competitive. The season starts this weekend as Red Bud hosts rival Pinckneyville.
“We should be improved over last season with the return of a number of players in starting positions,” Head Coach David Lucht commented during a resent interview.
“Our line is big and strong, but we don’t have very much depth, we have to keep everyone healthy.”
For more on 2016 Musketeer football, please see this week’s print edition.


CC medalistsRBHS opened the Cross Country season at the New Athens Invitational on Monday. Medal winners include in front: Daniele London, Brooke Supancic, Calyn Hartman and Mary Wagner. In back: Garrett Headen, Chase Headen, Alex Sievers and Wyatt DuClos.