Year in Review 2022 – Part 2
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• Jerseyville kicked off the Fourth of July weekend in a musical way with the second installment of Explore Jerseyville Tourism’s concert series, Journey to Jerseyville Rock the Block, last Friday, July 1.
The band, Borderline, played music from 6 to 10 p.m. to a packed crowd on the 100 block of W. Pearl Street. There were also food and beverage vendors.
• Earlier this spring, the Jersey County Fair board unanimously agreed to bestow the honor of parade marshal to Tom Woelfel. Fair Board President Phil Ringhausen shared that the title was given to Woelfel this year on account of his assistance to the fair while he served as the Jerseyville Chief of Police.
• The Jersey County Fair welcomed IAFE President Marla Calico to its annual exhibition on Tuesday.
Calico presides as president and CEO of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), an organization that, since 1885, has existed to promote fairs to worldwide audiences and provide resources for member organizations to improve their exhibitions to the communities they serve.
• Jersey County now has a new pair of queens, following the Jersey County Fair Queen pageant last Wednesday evening, July 13. The 2022 Miss Jersey County Fair Queen is Matilynn Thornsbury and the 2022 Little Miss Jersey County Fair Queen is Tessa Huelskoetter.
Vying for the title of Miss, alongside Matilynn, were Emma Hahn, Kailey Smith, Tabitha Mcguire, Allie Hunn (First Runner Up, People’s Choice, and Miss Congeniality) and Sammie Malley (Second Runner Up).
Matilynn said that she was in shock when she won. She even shed a tear, or two when her name was announced.
• The Village of Hardin celebrated its 175th anniversary last Saturday, July 16, alongside the long- awaited return of the Great Illinois River Raft Race at the Hardin Riverfront, located at S. Water St. The event was largely successful in the late 70s and early 80s, and this past weekend’s turnout proved that the race has stood the test of time.
• After 48 years of service, Anita Driver has announced her retirement from the Jerseyville Public Library as Library Director.
During her career, Driver has been involved with some significant changes and improvements at the library. She’s seen building renovations, helped with reading programs and played a part in bringing the library online in 1996 with public internet access.
• The Grafton City Council met for their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, July 19, where the council bestowed a Certificate of Appreciation upon Alderman Peter Allen and, later, selected David Hand to replace Allen as Alderman in Ward I.
• Jerseyville welcomed a new business to town on Monday, Aug. 1, as Scooter’s Coffee officially opened its drive-thru hut at 11 a.m.
The grand opening of Scooter’s has been highly anticipated by Jerseyville residents since the announcement of the coffee shop’s new location was made earlier this year.
• Republic Services has recently announced the purchase of Robert “Bob” Sanders Waste Systems.
In a press release, Republic Services said they will continue to provide the same level of service that customers have come to expect from Sanders Waste, the company that has served the area since 1936.
• The Riverbend Humane Society is looking for support after rescuing over 30 Boston terriers this week.
According to a post on the human society’s Facebook page, they brought in 36 dogs Tuesday evening from Fidelity.
• Brighton BMX hosted the Gold Cup Qualifier and State races last Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6 and 7, at the track near Schneider Park. Track operator, Johnny Murdock, said they had a great turn out with riders from ages three to 60 racing.
• First Baptist Church in Jerseyville recently received a grant for $3,000 from the MJM Electric Cooperative.
The funding will help support First Baptist’s new mission called Come To The Table, which is a weekly meal that will be held at the Feyerabend Building.
• Bayer put some of their latest crop technologies and products on display last Thursday, Aug. 11, at their Fields of Opportunity showcase.
Rodrigo Santos, President of Bayer’s Crop Science Division, said, now more than ever, they’re focusing on the topic of food security and climate change at Bayer.
• After an absence of several years, the First Presbyterian Church of Jerseyville installed a new Carillon, in the bell tower of the church June 4, as a memorial to Georgia Ringhausen Schleper, a longtime member of the Church.
• The Jersey County Sheriff’s Department installed a new Intercept x-ray machine this week to prevent hidden contraband from entering the jail.
• The Grafton City Council met Tuesday evening, Aug. 16, where Jennifer Kapler was appointed as City Clerk and sworn into office during the meeting. Following this, the second motion was the appointment of Joe Seiler, Brian McDonald, and Russel Roy to the Veteran’s Committee and Don Mathenia and Ray Roentz were appointed to the Planning and Zoning committee.
• Liberty Village of Jerseyville celebrated the grand opening of Memory Lane Fitness for the Mind last Thursday.
Dana Bainter, Administrator at Liberty Village, said the Memory Lane program is designed to help residents suffering from memory loss enhance their memory and maintain independence.
• The Jerseyville Public Library announced Sara, Vincent and Riker Allgood as the winners of the Storywalk Picture Book Contest.
The Allgoods said their book is a story about two boys who try and find something to do on a rainy day. It will be featured at Storywalk at Wock Lake throughout the month of September.
• The Jersey County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) held a fundraiser for the care of their four-legged officer, K-9 Jax, on National Dog Day, last Friday, with an event they called “Dogs for Dogs.”
• Jerseyville City Council approved an inter-governmental agreement between the City of Jerseyville and Jersey County at the Tuesday, Sept. 6, council meeting.
The agreement allows the use of the Susnig Complex, located at 401 Mound St., as a shelter in the event of a disaster or extended loss of power.
• Wednesday, Sept. 7, got off to a messy start for the Jerseyville Casey’s General store gas station at 723 S. State St., following a car carrier-trailer emptying its gas tank on the ground while parked at the pump.
According to Casey’s manager, Christina, the driver of the vehicle mistakenly filled up his diesel truck’s tank with unleaded fuel.
• The Jest Murder Mystery Company is starting the fall season off with Dead Like Me murder mystery dinners at the Lemp Mansion every Friday and Saturday night in September and October
• St. Francis/Holy Ghost drew big crowds over the weekend for their annual Harvest Fest.
Leaf Lorton, Harvest Fest committee co-chair, said its always a great weekend as they celebrated the 24th year of the festival.
• Got Faith Ministry hosted Tigerlili Resources and speaker Meredith Seithel to discuss the issues surrounding sex trafficking last week.
Seithel started the outreach program in 2017 to expose the realities of human trafficking and support victims in recovery.
• Local author Colton Skinner recently received national recognition for his book “Life’s a Journey: Hardships to Blessings” at the 2022 Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards.
Skinner said he was honored to be awarded second place in one of the longest-running award competitions in independent publishing which receives entries from around the world.
• The Jersey County Historical Society and Explore Jerseyville Tourism unveiled the marker for the Historical Walking Tour outside the Jersey County Courthouse Monday afternoon.
The marker highlights the history of Courthouse Square, with information on the construction of the first courthouse building in 1840 and details about the current courthouses architecture.
• The Treehouse Wildlife Center will be holding Owl Fest on Saturday, Oct. 15, and Sunday, Oct. 16, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at their animal rehabilitation center in Dow.
• Jersey County Sheriff Mike Ringhausen sat down with the community Wednesday morning at Big Boy’s Donuts for Coffee with a Cop.
As part of the National Coffee with a Cop Day, Sheriff Ringhausen is trying to break down barriers between deputies and other citizens in the community.
• At their Tuesday evening meeting, the Jersey County Board approved a resolution that was drafted in support of the lawsuit filed by Jersey County State’s Attorney Ben Goetten in regards to the Illinois Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity Today Act (Public Act 101-0652), also referred to as the “SAFE-T Act.”
The SAFE-T Act was passed on Jan. 13, 2021 and is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2023. It eliminates cash bail and leaves only a limited number of offenses for which a person arrested may be held in custody prior to their trial.
• The first alpine coaster in Illinois is officially open at Aerie’s Resort and Winery in Grafton as the staff celebrated with a ribbon cutting Tuesday, Oct. 11.
J.D Lorton, Director of Operations at Aerie’s Resort, said it took over a year to develop the 4,000-foot track gravity coaster and make it unique in many ways.
• The Grafton Parks Committee hosted a volunteer workday over the weekend at Red Hawk Park.
Nick Hutchens, Director of Pub- lic Works, organized the work day, preparing and providing materials for repairing and starting the playground’s wooden pirate ship.
• Work on the new turn turf field at Jersey Community High School is officially underway after breaking ground last Thursday.
• The Jersey County Board and Jersey County 911 Board announced the integration of a new dispatching software for emergency 911 calls.
Kevin Klaas with the 911 dispatch said they were simply outgrowing the space and equipment was becoming outdated.
• The Grafton City Council gathered last Tuesday evening, Oct. 18, where it was announced that a $210,000 grant was recently secured from IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation).
Mayor Mike Morrow announced, during his report, that the grant was secured for the 2023 Statewide Planning and Research Program (SPR/PL).
• A Little Free Library was installed at Wock Lake in memory of Paul Hellrung.
Jane Hellrung, a former educator in the Jersey school district, said she and her husband were both educators and felt this was a great way to honor his memory.
• The voters have spoken and the unofficial results are in— Independent candidate Nicholas Manns has defeated Republican Incumbent Michal Ringhausen in the race for Jersey County Sheriff
• Jersey Community High School (JCHS) received an anonymous phone call around 1 p.m. on Monday afternoon, during which the caller falsely claimed that there was a student in the school with a gun.
In a letter sent to district parents, JCHS Principal, Dr. Jason Brunaugh stated that the caller said there was a student with a gun outside of the school’s cafeteria.
• The River Bend police departments received donations of gratitude at the annual Mustache March 4PD Committee appreciation awards ceremony last Wednesday, Nov. 16. The committee divided and distributed a total of $40,000 dollars in checks payable to each of the River Bend law enforcement agencies.
The local departments plan to use those funds for community betterment.
• The Grafton Chamber of Commerce has announced the recent launch of a new app that aims to keep residents and visitors in the loop with all there is to do in Grafton.
• The City of Grafton kicked off the holiday season with Santa Claus stopping by last Friday, Nov. 25, night to light the Christmas Tree at Grove Memorial Park.
• The eighth annual Downtown Country Christmas (DCC) festival was held last Saturday, Nov. 26, despite chilly, less than ideal, weather conditions. However, that didn’t deter residents and visitors alike from coming out to support the community. The DCC Commit- tee made sure to provide the best for those who came to the festival, with no hour of the day left untouched.
• More than 400 counterfeit Super Bowl champions rings were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) while en route from China to a residence in Jerseyville.
• The Jersey County Board held its reorganization meeting last Thursday, Dec. 1, following the swearing in of the new board members.
The meeting began with appointing a new chairman of the board. Republican Gary Krueger (District 4) was the only nominee and was voted into the position. Former Chairman Democrat Don Little (District 4) was not re-elected to the board. Appointed to the position of vice-chairman was Republican Mark Wagner (District 3).
• Governor J. B. Pritzker signed HB1095 this week adding clarification to the SAFE-T Act, which ends the cash bail system in Illinois at the start of 2023.
According to the press release, the bill clarifies aspects of the SAFE-T Act such as specifying definitions of willful flight and dangerousness and court authority to create a pre-trial detention system based on community risk rather than financial means.
• Jersey Community High School (JCHS) is showcasing the creativity, expression, and artistry of their students. There are many programs for students interested in developing these qualities, like art classes, band, and choir.
However, a new project has been in the works this year aimed at giving students a place to come and express their inner artist. The Makerspace project began earlier this year, with Digital Coach, Melanie Fessler, and JCHS students, Jack Dohrn and Bernie Dohrn, at the head of its development.
• The Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau won three Excellence in Tourism Awards at the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism, held recently at Navy Pier in Chicago.
The bureau received awards for Best Website, Best Cooperative Partnership for their work on The Last 100 Miles of Route 66 Postcard Mural Trial and the award for Best PR Campaign for The Eagles are Coming.
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hosted several public work- shops last week to discuss the Melvin Price Lock and Dam water control manual revision.
• The Grafton City Council held their final meeting of 2022 last Tuesday, Dec. 20, where two members of the Witches on the Water committee were in attendance to present the city with a check for $5,000 for the Grafton Veterans Memorial project.