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It may come as no surprise to the residents commuting out of the county each morning to go to work, but Calhoun County appears to have the worst commute times in the state according to a report from Stacker using U.S. Census data. Out of the 102 counties, Stacker, an online news site, ranked Calhoun County as the worst in the state when it comes to commute times. Their rankings are based off of 2019 estimated census data.
Zoey Joyce Ann Meyer will have quite a story to tell when she gets older because, unlike other babies, Meyer was not born in the hospital. At precisely 3:26 a.m. on July 8, she came into the world—delivered by her father Matt Meyer at home.
On Monday, July 19, the Calhoun High School team’s Clay Target Shoot champions, took a victory lap around Calhoun, and were escorted by local law enforcement vehicles helping them celebrate their win. “I am really proud of our team and it’s been an incredible year,” CHS’s Clay Shoot Coach Ryan Bland said. “ After winning this and at the tournament over the weekend in Ohio, we are excited to bring more trophies home. The guys just love this sport and they are awesome and just love to shoot.”
The time for festivities is near as residents of Kampsville prepare for their annual Kampsville Celebration. Not held since 2018, the Village of Kampsville is ready to bring back the summer time celebration that initially started in the 90s as a way to celebrate the Fourth of July. With most COVID restrictions lifted for the time being, it makes this year’s celebration all the more special for the community.
The legionnaires, sons and auxiliary members of the Francis Pohlman American Legion Post 685 at Brussels are keeping up the hard work around the legion grounds. Recently, the post installed a new electronic marquee sign that will aid in keeping the community more up-to-date on happenings at the organization’s facility. Additionally, the post has installed a new front door. Funds for these purchases were provided by memorials made by late members of the post and their families.
The Village of Kampsville is celebrating its summer faire with a lot of food, vendors, pageants, friendly backyard bbq competition and will kick off the day early in the morning with a parade.
Fireworks high over Kampsville on Saturday night offered a brightly surreal backdrop to the real action taking place below. Sometime around 9:20p.m. Saturday night, law enforcement officials began a high-speed chase in Grafton that passed through several counties before finally ending with the arrest of 40-year-old Christopher Raines of White Hall.
LeaAnn Klaas of Batchtown and Meghan Klunk of Kampsville are giving thanks to the Lord that they are alive. Both women, who are from Calhoun County, survived a horrific car crash and escaped with some minor injuries after surviving a terrible accident on Illinois State Highway 16 on Wednesday, Aug 18. The accident occurred around 11:16 a.m and the Illinois State Police District 18 (ISP) responded to a three unit crash at Illinois 16 at Otterville Road, Jersey County.
The annual Calhoun County Fair, formerly the Calhoun Apple Festival, will continue to provide fun, food and family festivities again this year beginning Thursday evening on Sept 9. Events will continue through Sunday night, and will end on Sept. 12, when a new Calhoun County Fair Queen will be crowned.
The St. Vincent de Paul Board of Directors is not ready to announce an opening date yet but volunteers from Calhoun High School (CHS) students, alumni, the football team, Haylee Kress and other students from Brussels High School have been providing their time to give the much needed assistance for St Vincent de Paul food and clothing pantry. “We are overwhelmed by God’s abundant kindness and the profuse generosity of all of our donors. We continue to receive contributions in the forms of goods and services, time, labor and money. It has been an overwhelming experience,” said Brad Vacca, Board President.
The Calhoun County Fair wrapped up on Sunday evening with the crowning of a new queen, Miss Calhoun County Alexis Klocke. She is the 20 year old daughter of Brad and Cindy Klocke of Batchtown. The first runner-up and Miss Congeniality was awarded to 19 year old Charleigh Wilson. Wilson also sold the most 50/50 tickets. She is the daughter of Billy and Ashley Wilson of Hardin.
The Brussels & Batchtown Woman’s Clubs held a Health & Safety Fair on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 9-11 a.m. at the Brussels Heritage park. The fair was to help raise money for the Calhoun County Search & Rescue Team’s needed items such as backpacks and other items that are essential for the organization to do their job.
History is everywhere in Calhoun County and there are some families that have deep roots that are planted with an ancestry dating all the way back to the 1800’s. David Bick and his family have a connection to Justus Franke. Bick was working last weekend dismantling a little bit of history, a log cabin. Bick has plans to restore the log cabin home later on down the road. “If anyone wants to see the log home that Justus Franke lived in, I have it exposed,” Bick said. “Justus is our great-great-grandfather and is the one responsible for the Hillens, Baalmans and Bicks.”
Kampsville will be hosting their second annual scarecrow contest. Villagers can be creative by decking out their yards and the village to bring a festive fall feel around Kampsville. Glenda Sidwell is heading up the contest again this year. “I started the contest last year because of COVID. Due to the epidemic we had no fall festivals, parades and other fall activities. So I brought up the idea to the Village Hall and it was a hit,” Sidewell said. “Last year, we had a lot of participation from people so we decided to bring it back this year and I foresee this will be a new tradition that will continue on through the years.”
On Saturday, the riverfront was flowing this weekend with a sea of people. Many people floated over from their educational outing at Old Settlers Days in Kampsville to the McCully Heritage Project’s Fifth Annual Kampsville Knap-In. People had an opportunity to learn more about historical practices, live demonstrations, as well as a discussion on why flint knapping is such a rewarding skill and hobby.
The Village of Hardin was the place to be on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the annual Piasa Free Trappers Rendezvous along the Illinois River. The festival, formerly held in Grafton, is modeled after the Rendezvous that took place along the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers between the 1820s and 1840s. The event, put on by the Piasa Fur Trappers Committee, has called Grafton home for the past 27 years, but has now made its way to Hardin. According to Committee member, Tony Coxton, “logistical issues” lead to the relocation of the annual Rendezvous.
The Calhoun Commissioners held their monthly meeting on Oct. 18, where the Extension building and the county’s COVID policy were two pieces that were discussed. The board of commissioners is desirous of making repairs to the building, but they can’t find anyone to help get the job done. “I have tried everyone I know and no one is interested in putting in a bid to do it,” Commissioner Doug Wilschetz said.
A Ladies Day Out vendor fair was held at Straight Home in Hardin on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 1-4 p.m. The event was jam-packed with vendors from all over the area for ladies to stop in and peruse. Additionally, there were refreshments, painting sign sets, giveaways, and a 50/50 drawing. According to event organizer and owner of MAB’S Customs, Debbie Benoist, there were 13 total shops set up. “There were four cancellations and we still ended up at capacity,” said Benoist, “it was a solid turnout.”
The Village of Kampsville has received a generous gift from Robert and Kim Parmenter, a homemade drop box that will serve as a receptacle for old, tattered American flags that need to be retired. The drop box, which was made using an old mailbox, was graciously donated by the Parmenters to the Kampsville American Legion Post 1083 as a way to give back to the community. The patriotic mailbox is located just outside of the Legion building at 320 South Broadway in Kampsville.
Calhoun Ambulance Service (CAS) has announced there are many new changes happening around the area which raises a lot of concern for their services. CAS is now asking for the public’s help to keep the service running which has been a lifeline for so many in this community. On Sunday, Nov. 7, the association held a public meeting to discuss its concerns with Calhoun’s citizens about the future of their emergency services. “As a volunteer ambulance service, the numbers we are looking at are very concerning. Right now we make around 300 runs per year and we have a handful of EMTs to take the runs,” Wanda Blackwell, Coordinator for CAS, said. “This is a 24/7 hour a day job for EMTs, drivers and we need help to continue our ambulance services.”
Calhoun County State’s Attorney Richard “Rick” Ringhausen announced his forthcoming retirement from his office, effective January 16, 2022. In his letter addressed to Chairman Woelfel, Ringhausen stated, “Having practiced law for over 37 years, I can say that the past nine years as Calhoun County State’s Attorney have been a rewarding professional life experience. I wish to express my gratitude to the good people of Calhoun County for having trusted me, and for having given me the opportunity to serve them.
The Belle of Calhoun is arguably the most prominent of the sternwheel packet boats that played an important part in the social and economic life of Calhoun citizens of yesteryear. In fact, one might say that it’s right on up there with the apple and peach in being symbolic of the county itself. This explains why the Calhoun County Historical Society is happy to have recently received a shaving mirror that came out of one of the cabins on the Belle. The piece was donated by August Beer and the Hampton Lammy family and will grace the museum floor for locals and visitors alike to see and learn about.
St. Michael’s Church has been receiving some much needed TLC this year and there have been a select few members (less than 10) who are in the progress of bringing St. Michael’s Church in Michael back into total repair and to its original beauty.
On Sunday, Dec. 11, many children and their families gathered on the riverfront to celebrate Calhoun’s biggest Christmas celebration yet. This community event was a perfect reason for everyone to come together and celebrate this Christmas. Although the weather was cool and mild for a December outing the festival featured a myriad of events beginning at 1 p.m. with all food, vendor and activity stands opening for business. The event, which was spearheaded by Lauren Eilerman, and it appeared well received by those who attended.
The Illinois State Police (ISP) is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Saturday, Dec. 18, following a hostage situation at a home in the 18000 block of US Route 67 in Jerseyville. When deputies from the Jersey County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene, it was reported that the subject fired shots at them. The deputies then returned fire. After the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) arrived on scene, the officers were able to enter the home and clear the residence. The subject was found dead a short time later. On Monday, the deceased subject was identified as James P. Izard, a 37-year-old male from Alton. At this time, it is unknown whether or not Izard was struck by gunfire from officers.
Keisha Morris, Pike County’s Chief Public Defender and clerk for the Village of Hamburg, was appointed interim state’s attorney at the monthly commissioners meeting on Monday, Dec. 20, effective Jan. 16, 2022, when current State’s Attorney Rick Ringhausen’s retirement goes into effect. Morris is most likely the first woman in Calhoun’s history to hold the office.