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September 16, 2019 

Palestine finances in good shape; mini-park will feature LED sign
Palestine's finances got a clean bill of health in the latest audit report.

Carol Holbert, the village's auditor from the firm of Holbert & Phipps, was at Thursday's meeting of the board of trustees and said the village is in good standing and remains consistent in maintaining good accounting procedures. One recommendation was made to provide more clarity about the transfer of excess funds between accounts.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

$36K in prize money up for grabs in rodeo
The 66th Annual Pioneer City Rodeo and Labor Day celebration in Palestine has come and gone, and while organizers were apprehensive about audiences and performers, a sold-out Saturday night and top-notch competitors made for an outstanding weekend.

Bareback and saddle bronc riding have been big events for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and this year's competitors left nothing in the chutes.

Monday, September 9, 2019

State rep Miller announces bid for re-election
First-term state Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) is announcing his intent to run for re-election.

"The need for reform in Illinois government is greater than ever," the 110th District representative said. "There is a growing dissatisfaction with state government because too often our legislative leaders are listening more to politically connected insiders than they are to the people of this great state. I am running again to keep the pressure on Springfield to finally put politics aside and put the needs of people of Illinois first."

Monday, September 9, 2019

Apparent New Hebron suicide being probed
Authorities are still investigating an apparent suicide that happened in the New Hebron area Wednesday morning.

Aaron Harper, 40, was found dead at his residence, 10803 E. 775th Ave, Robinson, around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Oblong planning public meeting on pot business
The Oblong Village Board continues to look at recreation as a way to grow the community while continuing to weigh pros and cons associated with the legalization of marijuana in Illinois Jan. 1.

Across the state and county, communities are deciding whether or not to allow state-approved cannabis businesses. While the legality has been decided at the state level, local communities can still decide if they want to allow such a business and establish taxation for the benefit of the community, similar to alcohol sales and gaming. Moral and community standards also weigh into the equation.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Phillippe gets 18 years for aiding in mother's death
A rural Oblong woman has been sentenced to 18 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in connection with her mother's murder.

Kristine Phillippe, 41, was sentenced Wednesday in Crawford County Circuit Court on an amended charge of home invasion in connection with the the 2018 shooting death of Sandra Kendall of Bellair.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Oil still has big impact on tax revenue here
A new report from an industry group finds Illinois oil and natural-gas producing counties collected more than $89 million in property taxes on state oil and natural gas reserves from 2007 through 2017 - and that Crawford County, still with the state's third-highest oil production, is a big contributor to that total.

The Illinois Petroleum Resources Board report, "Illinois Oil and Natural Gas Property Tax Payments 2007-2017," is based on county-level property tax revenue data posted on the Illinois Department of Revenue website.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Robinson native creates movie, TV 'VFX' magic
Fantasy films and television series carry audiences to amazing worlds beyond reality. A Robinson native is among the effects artists who bring those worlds to life.

Jason Pethtel is a matte painter at DreamWorks Animation. For seven years, he has worked in the film and television industry as an environment artist and matte painter, adding his touch to everything from U.S. Navy recruitment commercials to a sequence showing Daenerys Targaryen flying on the back of one of her dragons in Game of Thrones.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Sold-out Saturday rodeo a highlight of big weekend
Positive thinking, good planning and a little bit of luck made for the best Pioneer City Rodeo in recent years.

"We had an excellent year," said Rodeo Chairman Marcus Deckard. "Matter of fact the best year since we came back to the PRCA."

The return of legendary clown Rudy Burns, great weather and a sold-out crowd all contributed to this year's Labor Day Celebration.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Rep. Shimkus decides not to seek re-election
Republican Congressman John Shimkus (Illinois-15) announced Friday he would not seek reelection. A lifelong resident of Collinsville, Shimkus has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997.

"It has been the honor of my lifetime to be asked by the people of Illinois to represent them in our nation's capitol," read a press release issued by Shimkus. "Each day I have tried to do this as best as I possibly could, and my success lies squarely at the feet of my incredible staff in Illinois and Washington, DC."

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Palestine cops make arrests during Labor Day weekend festivities
Campers at Palestine's Leaverton Park aided the Palestine Police Department with an arrest early Friday.

Police Chief Jeff Besing patrolling the campground about 10 a.m. when he was flagged down by some campers reporting a domestic battery incident at a camp site. Upon arrival, Besing took statements from the victim and witnesses and then located the suspect, identified as Brennan C. Brown, 27, Sullivan, Ind., at the campground managers' site.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Stolen-vehicle manhunt results in arrest of two
A report of a stolen vehicle from Lawrence County led local police on an all-day manhunt in Robinson.

According to Robinson Police Sergeant Dan Strauch, Lawrence County law enforcement issued a bulletin Tuesday on a gray Chevrolet Malibu and a licence plate number that was reported stolen.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Palestine ready for big weekend
It's time again to rustle up some rodeo excitement in Palestine.

The first performance of the annual Pioneer City Rodeo, sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, is 7 p.m. Friday at the Pioneer City Arena a Leaverton Park.

The Mount Carmel band Smoke Rings will provide musical entertainment in the Coors Light Beer tent following the performance.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Local police keeping an eye out for Labor Day weekend violations
As Illinoisans gear up to mark the end of summer with Labor Day celebrations throughout the state, the Robinson Police Department announced its plans for a traffic safety campaign focusing on drunk, unbuckled and distracted drivers.
Friday, August 30, 2019

Shaner runs for state's attorney
A Robinson man has announced his candidacy for Crawford County State's Attorney.

Cole Price Shaner said Friday he intends to run for the office in the March 17 Republican primary.

Shaner was born and raised in Crawford County and has more than nine years of experience in criminal law. He currently serves as the assistant state's attorney in both Crawford and Richland counties and previously was a public defender in Crawford and Wabash counties.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

May be tough for smaller districts to meet $40K minimum
Taking another step intended to address the statewide teacher shortage, Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation raising teachers' minimum salary to $40,000.

"As Illinois children head back to school this week and next, this new law says to them and their parents loud and clear: we value teachers," the governor said.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Unit 2 investments starting to show good returns
Robinson Unit 2 school board members received good news about district investments just in time for them to take the next step on a new budget.

"We just ended the best year we've ever had on your behalf," Mike Vezetti of Vezetti Capital Management told the board Monday. "We actually earned you some real money this year."

Friday, August 23, 2019

Unit 4 OKs teachers, coaches, drivers and tentative budget
The Oblong Community District 4 Board of Education took care of some budget and personnel matters as the new school year gets underway around Crawford County.

The board tentatively approved a budget for the 2019-20 school year. The budget will now be available for public review at the district office until the budget hearing to be held Monday, Sept. 23, at 5:50 p.m.

Friday, August 23, 2019

H'ville board passes budget, makes personnel changes
With the start of the new school year the Hutsonville Board of Education got a look at the 2019-20 budget and finalized a number of personnel changes during Monday night's meeting.

Originally, Superintendent Julie Kraemer reported the FY2019-20 budget was expected to show a $132,366 deficit, but on further review by the board it may show a positive final balance, and still include the purchase of two buses and maybe even a van.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Unit 3 to start taking bids for new gym roof later this week
The Palestine Unit 3 board learned about special dates for the 2019-20 school year during their meeting Monday.

Grade school principal Jessica Sisil announced the opening for of bids for gymnasium roof, which will begin later this week.

"Roof bids will open on Aug. 22 at the central office for the room of the gym," Sisil said.

The district has shown interest in making repairs to the roof since last summer.

Friday, August 23, 2019

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