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Current News: 04/16/14 (Click HERE for Archived News):
  • The story behind a brick
  • Mock Crash Scene
  • Prom Court
  • First Dance
  • Four persons charged in meth bust
  • Trenton council debates salt shed replacement
  • City of Trenton Warning Sirens
  • Warnecke - Obit
  • Hudson - Obit
  • Brede - Obit

  • The story behind a brick

    Kaskaskia College 1974 Nursing class graduates. Thelma Schoonover is third from the left.

    KC education mission has special meaning for one family.

    The Trenton Education Center campaign is selling inscribed brick pavers to be placed near the entrance to the newly renovated and expanded facility. One of these brick pavers was purchased by the family of Thelma Shanafelt Schoonover, a remarkable lady who became a Registered Nurse through Kaskaskia College at the age of 60.

    According to the family, "Thelma Shanafelt Schoonover, Kaskaskia College Nursing Program Class of 1974, graduated at the age of 60 and practiced as a Registered Nurse until a few months before she died in 1994 at the age of 80. In 1932 she entered the St. Luke's Nursing School in St. Louis. Because she married before she graduated, she had to leave the program. In those days you had to be an unmarried, childless student.

    "Following a divorce, she and her son returned to Salem, Illinois where she obtained work as a nursing assistant to Dr. H.E. Schoonover. As has been known to happen, Dr. Schoonover, a widower, and Thelma fell in love and were married in October of 1939. She continued to assist him in his medical practice until his death in 1969. They raised his three children, her son, and added three more children to the group.

    "Dr. Schoonover was the old time 'Country Doctor' who was more concerned about his patients' health than in sending bills for his services. When he passed away, Thelma was left with a mortgage, accounts receivable (which she made no attempt to collect) and little else. After recovering from some challenges to her health, she started working as a nurse's aide at Salem Memorial Hospital.

    "When Kaskaskia College announced its Nursing Program, she immediately began working for admission. She was questioned that at her age it might be too difficult and/or she would have a shortened work career. It was suggested she shouldn't take the place of a younger student who would have more years to nurse. Finally, she was accepted, graduated, and passed her state boards the first time around.

    "Thelma, a member of the Marion County Ladies Medical Society, was chosen to receive their Nursing Scholarship to help her through school. She nursed at Salem Community Hospital for 15 years and at Bryan Manor another four years. She truly spent 60 years nursing, although because of Kaskaskia College, 20 of those years were as a Registered Nurse.

    "Her family is so proud to honor this extraordinary woman on the Kaskaskia College campus. She knew the importance of an education for both men and women. We are grateful Kaskaskia College made it possible for Thelma and so many others to achieve their dreams."

    Thelma's family has commissioned a brick paver that will be installed at the Trenton Education Center entrance, reading "Thelma Elaine Schoonover RN Class of 1974."

    If you would like to honor someone with a permanent brick paver, inscribed with a message of your choosing at the entrance to the Trenton Education Center, please contact Suzanne Christ at 618-545-3069 or by email at

    Mock Crash Scene

    LOCAL FIRST RESPONDERS FROM NEW BADEN, TRENTON, AND CLINTON COUNTY coordinated with emergency personnel from the ARCH helicopter ambulance service and MedStar Ambulance to put on a cautionary demonstration for Wesclin High School students last week, in the lead-up to the school's annual prom. Fire departments and ambulance services from the two western Clinton County communities staged a mock crash scene in Wesclin's north parking lot that included several students to play the parts of 'victims.' Police 'arrested' the driver of one of the cars; one victim was transported by ARCH helicopter, and others were whisked away in local ambulances. Emergency personnel demonstrated the equipment that dismantles vehicles to allow evacuation of passengers.

    Prom Court

    WESCLIN'S JUNIOR CLASS PUT ON THE ANNUAL prom for the senior class this past Saturday at the Regency conference center in O'Fallon. Here are prom court members dressed in their finery, from left, Nick Thoele and Karlee Rehkemper, Alan Tieman and Brittany Stegman, Jacob Wilhelm and Vanessa Major, Nathan Powers and Ashleigh Brandmeyer, Kirk Litteken and Bailey Kattenbraker, Dustin Jacober and Willa Kollmann, Kyle Eversgerd and Courtney Alli, and Ryan Meddows and Marlaina Kehrer. Kyle Eversgerd and Courtney Alli were crowned king and queen of the prom. Kirk Litteken and Vanessa Major were first runners-up.

    First Dance

    WESCLIN PROM QUEEN AND KING COURTNEY ALLI AND KYLE EVERSGERD enjoy the ceremonial first dance at Wesclin's junior-senior prom this past Saturday at The Regency conference center in O'Fallon.

    Four persons charged in meth bust

    Four people have been charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine following a police bust of a meth lab in a Trenton apartment building, according to information from the Clinton County Circuit Clerk's Office and other sources.

    Neither Trenton police nor local officials have issued any official statement about the arrests.

    Curtis Pendegraft, 47, and Cindy L. Smith, 37, both of Trenton, along with Sandy L. Weissert, 47, of O'Fallon, and Allen L. Goodwin, 27, of Alorton, all have been charged with felony manufacture of 400 to 900 grams of methamphetamine in connection with the arrests.

    Trenton council debates salt shed replacement

    Trenton's city council spent about an hour debating plan for building a new salt shed to replace the one that will be displaced by construction of a new sewer plant in the near future.

    Council member Dan Kohlbrecher advanced a plan for a permanent structure that will cost an estimated $50,000 and last up to 75 years, according to Kohlbrecher.

    Trenton city administrator Doug Brimm offered the alternative of a more temporary structure that would utilize a foundation six feet high built of three courses of 2ft. x 2ft x6 ft. concrete blocks under a tubular structure and canvas roof and cost in the neighborhood of $14,000 including installation of a new concrete pad.

    Kohlbrecher's plan would utilize poured concrete walls ten feet high and about seven inches thick as a foundation for a metal structure. Kohlbrecher stressed the durability and safety of his proposal as factors to support the higher cost. "I think that safety is as important as the finances are," Kohlbrecher said. "I've spent a lot of time going around to different salt sheds and taking pictures to determine the best way to do this. All of you have areas of expertise, in technology and finance, but I'm an automotive and building specialist, and I guess general business. I have more experience in business than most of you have being alive, and I don't think we should jump forward and basically put up a tent."

    In support of the durability of his proposal, Kohlbrecher predicted that the salt would corrode the tubular metal framing that supports the canvas top on the less expensive alternative and the potential for the heavy equipment the city uses to load salt to push one of the concrete blocks off its moorings. He showed a picture of an instance of a block shifting at the Highland salt shed, which is built similarly to the less expensive option. "You guys were brought up in a throwaway world," he said. "I was brought up in a world where we believed in doing things right and you built things to last. There are more defects on this type of structure (the less expensive option) than any other I've seen. I realize it's cheaper, but we have to take other things into consideration besides cost." Kohlbrecher said the cheaper alternative wouldn't last longer than seven to ten years.

    Council member Brent Woods conceded that Kohlbrecher's structure would be sturdier and longer-lasting, but said he wasn't comfortable building with the amount of money that would be required to build it. "These structures (the less expensive alternative) are in use all over the place," he said, "including places where the winters are typically more harsh than they are here. I'm just not comfortable spending $50,000 on a salt shed."

    Mayor Kyle Jones said he will support the council's decision, whatever it decides, but doesn't believe the public will support the more expensive option. "If you think the majority of people are going to favor a $50,000 building to protect $6,000 worth of product, I think you're wrong," Jones said. "We're talking about salt here."

    Kohlbrecher noted that it's $6,000 per year that the building will be protecting, and questioned whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the city's insurance company would approve of the less expensive option.

    "They're in use in a lot of other communities," Woods reiterated. "I don't think the safety argument is appropriate. Are you aware of any incidents where a worker has been injured as a result of one of these structures?," Woods asked Kohlbrecher, who said he was not but that it is a possibility.

    The city's lead maintenance worker, Brett Therion, said he would prefer a permanent structure and noted that the walls of the shed are used for leverage when loading salt. "I know these (less expensive structure) are in use in a lot of places and that it's a lot less money. It's the council's decision."

    Mayor Jones said there is a safer alternative to either proposal. "If you really are that concerned about safety, we could just put a tarp over the salt pile," Jones said. "Then there would be virtually no change of a worker getting injured."

    Woods said he wouldn't support spending more than $20,000 on the salt shed, and council members Lori Zurliene came down in the same range. Council member Dan Rosen said he came to the meeting believing he could support spending $25,000 to $35,000 for a shed. Scott Westbrook was absent.

    The mayor suggested an in-between solution. "In most things, moderation is the best policy," Jones said, and asked Kohlbrecher to work with Brimm in developing a proposal for the council to consider that might address some of the safety concerns while keeping the cost lower than the $50,000 figure.

    "What good would it do?," Kohlbrecher answered. "I don't see any reason for me to do more work on it when you're not going to accept it anyway."

    The mayor tasked Brimm with developing a more moderate proposal that addressed Kohlbrecher's safety concerns while keeping the price as low as possible. "We'll just have the administrator bring a proposal to the council and bring it up for a vote at the next meeting. We've spent too much time on this already," said Jones.

    In other council discussion Monday night:

    Mayor Jones dovetailed the discussion of the salt shed into a proposal for funding some smaller infrastructure projects that are needed in town but would be pushed off significantly if they relied on capital improvement funding, since three major projects--resurfacing Northland Acres streets, addressing drainage issues on East Second and East Third Streets, and continuing drainage work south of the four-way intersection of Routes 50 and 160--have already been earmarked and prioritized.

    "My suggestion is that we not use capital improvement funding for the salt shed nor for a number of smaller projects that need to be addressed," Jones said. He suggested instead that the city divert about $1,000 a month from a portion of a city utility tax that is now being used to fund the industrial commission to the general fund and utilize the cash flow as a debt service tool. "That way, we can borrow the money we need to complete these projects one at a time and use that money to pay off the loans in a fairly short period of time, and then move on to the next one," Jones said. The city has been quoted rates from local banks from 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent annually for such borrowing.

    Council member Dan Kohlbrecher said the industrial commission may need money in the future to support activities related to an enterprise zone a combined group of municipalities and the county are seeking.

    The industrial commission has about $85,000 in the bank, according to Jones. "I'm not suggesting we stop funding the industrial commission," he said. "We can continue to put a smaller portion of the utility tax into their account, but they haven't presented the council with any plans for the money they have on hand, and once that money enters their account it becomes restricted. It can only be used for economic development, and I don't think it's a good idea to take unrestricted money that can be used for any purpose the council approves and make it restricted."

    City attorney Doug Gruenke said there is nothing to prevent the council from spending money from other funds such as the general fund or Tax Increment Financing for economic development purposes.

    "If we start using capital development money on these smaller projects, we're telling the people who will benefit from the larger projects we've already established that we're pushing those improvements farther down the line," said Mayor Jones.

    Kohlbrecher also quoted someone named Chris Cochran who teaches business classes and has written articles and books, who said long-term and short-term goals should be established and then adjustments should be made.

    "If the council decides to use capital development money for anything other than the projects we've already publicly identified and prioritized, I will fight them with every legal maneuver I have at my disposal," the mayor said.

    In an unrelated matter, Jones raised the issue of capping late fees on city water bills. Jones said a local businessman had recently incurred a late charge of $350 on a water bill that had been lost or overlooked. "This gentleman had never been late before, and it was a very unusual circumstance because his water bill was very high that particular month," Jones said. Based on the city's ordinance establishing a ten percent late fee, Jones said there was no legal recourse for he or the council to forgive the fee based on an otherwise sterling payment record, but suggested that going forward a maximum late fee might be appropriate. The average late fee is less than $10, according to city clerk Karen Buzzard.

    The council will consider an amendment to the ordinance in May, capping late fees at $50 per late payment.

    City of Trenton Warning Sirens

    Following the recent wave of severe weather, the City of Trenton has received numerous calls from concerned residents regarding the usage of the City's emergency outdoor warning sirens. As "tornado season" has arrived in the Midwest, please take a moment to understand how the City of Trenton works to keep residents safe.

    As many residents are aware, testing of the outdoor warning sirens for the City of Trenton is conducted the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m. Please note these tests will not be conducted during severe weather.

    As a StormReady community recognized by the National Weather Service since 2004, the City of Trenton has established specific criteria for the activation of its emergency outdoor warning system. During severe weather, sirens will activate when:

    • The National Weather Service places Clinton County under a tornado warning with the storm projected to directly impact Trenton.

    • A trained weather spotter observes an actual funnel cloud and the sighting is confirmed.

    • When there is one inch hail and/or 45 mph wind.

    Through the Trenton Emergency Management Service, trained SKYWARN storm spotters volunteer their time during severe weather to actively monitor current conditions.

    It is important to note that the purpose of the sirens is not to notify people who may be indoors during severe weather. These sirens are intended to warn individuals who are outdoors of the impending danger, and urge them to take shelter immediately. Sirens can be damaged during a storm before a tornado develops and will not activate. If a storm approaches while you are sleeping with the windows closed, air conditioner running, television on, etc., you will likely not hear the outdoor warning siren.

    Even if the sirens are not activated, you should not hesitate to take shelter if you feel the weather is dangerous. You are responsible for your own safety.

    To stay safe during severe weather you should use a variety of sources to include:

    • Know what the weather forecast is for the day and monitor it for changes.

    • Own a NOAA Alert Weather Radio with back up battery capability.

    • If the skies indicate an approaching storm, take the initiative and turn on your television and radio. In addition, there is an abundance of internet and social media sites that can give you current weather information.

    • Sign up for weather alerts on your cell phone.

    Finally, the City encourages residents to contact the Trenton Emergency Management Service at 224-7575 for more information about attending a SKYWARN Spotter Training Class.

    Warnecke - Obit

    Allen Warnecke

    Allen L. Warnecke, 60, of Breese, died Friday, April 11, 2014 at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville. He was born November 11, 1953 in Highland, son of Bernell and Yvonne Warnecke, nee Jenny, and they survive in Breese. He married Diane Markus on June 28, 1975 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Aviston, and she survives at home. Also surviving are his daughters, Sarah (Jason) Timmermann and Jenny (fiancι Greg Santel) Warnecke, all of Breese; five grandchildren, Nicholas Warnecke, Jadyn Schulte, Charlotte Santel, Jayce Timmermann, and Jeremy Timmermann; a brother, David (Jan) Warnecke of Caseyville; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Cyril and Edna, nee Fuhler, of Glen Carbon; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Paul (Sharon) Markus of Loveland, Colorado, Dan (Betty) Markus of Maryville, Cathy Huelsmann of Highland, and John (Kathy) Markus of Mt. Vernon; and the entire Breese Central Community High School family. Mr. Warnecke graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. His career began in January 1976, teaching mathematics at Central Community High School in Breese. He retired from teaching at the end of the 2011-2012 school year, but continued to serve as Athletic Director, a position he assumed in 1986. He was a former baseball and softball coach. He was a member of the Illinois Athletic Directors Association and the Bent Oak Golf League in Breese. Allen enjoyed golfing, playing Blackjack, and attending his grandchildren's sporting events. His first true love was his family, and his second was Central Community High School. There will be a memorial service Friday, April 18, 2014, 11 a.m., in the main gymnasium at Central Community High School in Breese, Pastor Donald Propek officiating. Friends may call on Thursday, April 17, 2014 from 4 to 8 p.m. and on Friday, April 18, 2014 from 9 to 10:45 a.m. in the main gymnasium at Central Community High School. Memorials to his grandchildren's college education funds will be received at the services or through Moss Funeral Home in Breese.

    Condolences to

    Hudson - Obit

    Kraig Hudson

    Kraig S. Hudson, 64, of Pocahontas, died Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at his home. He was born October 20, 1949 in Dixon, son of James and Eleanor Hudson, nee Lyons, and they preceded him in death. Other precedents included a half-brother, Kelly Kappler, and a half-sister, Charlee Ruhe. He married Wanda Elling January 4, 1980 in Edwardsville, and she survives at home. Also surviving are his sons, Nicholas Hudson of Glen Carbon, and Tyler Hudson of Pocahontas; brothers and sisters Kirk Hudson of Dixon, Keane (Sally) Hudson of Dixon, Kandys (Harold) Queisser of Coronado, California, and Krystal Pennington of Warrenville; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Tom Elling of Centralia, Lloyd Elling of Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, Lois (George) Zollner of Breese, Lyle (Janet) Elling of Trenton, Ellen (Rick) Isert of Highland, Bob Elling of Breese, and Walter Francis Elling of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Hudson was a retired laborer. He was a member of Laborers Local 397 in Edwardsville. There will be no services. Memorials to the charity of the donor's choice will be received through Moss Funeral Home in Breese.

    Condolences to

    Brede - Obit

    Cleo Brede

    Cleo F. Brede, 89, of New Baden, died Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She was born November 3, 1924 in Mascoutah, daughter of Edward and Ida Klein, nee Frivogel, and they preceded her in death. She married Raymond F. Brede in St. Louis on September 23, 1941, and he died February 24, 1996. She was also preceded by a daughter, Debra D. Cryder; a son-in-law, James O. Aemisegger; and six siblings. She is survived by a daughter, Lana Rae Aemisegger of Maryville; a son-in-law, Steve Cryder of Highland; seven grandchildren, Jason, Janel, Jay, Jill, Joel, Justin, and Jeanna; and seven great grandchildren. Mrs. Brede was a member of Zion United Church of Christ in New Baden. The funeral was Saturday, April 12, 2014 from Hempen Funeral Home in New Baden. Interment Greenmount Cemetery, New Baden. Memorials to Zion United Church of Christ will be received through the funeral home.

    Condolences to

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