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In God We Trust
Serving St. Elmo and Brownstown Since 1880
St. Elmo, Illinois - Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015
Busy board gives unanimous consent on new TIFs
Share the details of your organization’s meeting or event by
calling newspaper correspondent Anna Jean Rhodes
(618) 829-5488
Feb. 10
6 p.m. -- Avena Township Park Board, St. Elmo
Community Park Centennial Building
7 p.m. -- American Legion Post #420, American
Legion Home
7 p.m. -- Fayette County Board, Fayette County
Courthouse, Vandalia
Feb. 11
6:30 p.m. -- Reverb
Youth, St. Elmo Christian
Feb. 12
Noon -- Lunch Bunch,
Mary Ann’s Restaurant
2 p.m. -- St. Elmo
Women’s Civic Club, St.
Mary’s Catholic Church
Parish Hall
7 p.m. -- St. Elmo
Library District Board, St.
Elmo Public Library
7:30 p.m. -- Effingham
Chapter #110 Order of the
Eastern Star, Effingham
Masonic Temple
Feb. 13
5-7 p.m. -- St. Elmo
Educational Foundation
will have a soup supper
at St. Elmo Jr-Sr cafeteria
with all proceeds going
toward scholarships
Feb. 14
7-10 a.m. -- The St.
Elmo Ministerial Alliance is sponsoring a fire
relief benefit breakfast at
the First Church of God
S.H.E.D. to aid all persons
affected by recent fires
5 p.m. -- ALIS Dinner
Auction at the Carriage
House Event Center,
5:30-7 p.m. -- Valentine
Day Walk at Ballard Nature Center. Come out and
enjoy walking the trail
with luminaries
7-9 p.m. -- Vandalia
American Legion fundraiser, country singer Barbara Fairchild to entertain.
Feb. 15
Please attend the
church of your choice.
6 p.m. -- Sunday Night
Live, youth 7th-12th
grades, First United Methodist Church Fellowship
6:30 p.m. -- AMP’d,
High School Youth Group,
St. Elmo Christian Church
Feb. 16
6:30 p.m. -- Historical Vandalia, Inc. annual
meeting, Fayette County
7 p.m -- St. Elmo School
Board at St. Elmo Unit
7:30 p.m. -- St. Elmo
Board of Education, Unit
Volume 135 - Number 6
Proposed tax increment districts could bring funds to downtown. (photo by Nathan
At the regular meeting
of the St. Elmo City Board
on Monday, Feb. 2, Mayor
Ernie Myers discussed his
efforts to set up two new tax
increment financing (TIF)
districts in St. Elmo. One
would include an area near
the Interstate 70 interchange
to which Myers would like
to attract a truck stop. The
board gave their unanimous
consent to him to continue
his efforts.
Finance Chairman Dylan
Myers reported seeing
trucks filling rest areas to
maximum capacity, believing that a truck stop in St.
Elmo could provide revenue
to the city.
“That’s one worthwhile
venture,” stated Parks, Local
Improvements, and Zoning
Chairman Charles Bosomworth.
The project will require
the zoning board to re-zone
areas and Myers stated that
it is possible that some funds
generated could be used
to revitalize downtown St.
Elmo. He was adamant that
the city tax base must continue to grow.
The city water agreement
was discussed. The rate that
the city received included a
30-percent increase.
The board reviewed the
quarterly investment report
for the fourth quarter of 2014
and a finance meeting was
set for Wednesday, Feb. 11 at
5:30 p.m.
Water and Sewer
The board voted to
confirm the water softener
polling board recommendation to clean resin out of the
supply at a cost of $3927.
A bid from Brown’s
Repair was approved to replace a truck transmission at
a cost of $2302. The bid was
higher than other bids received from Sperry Service,
but the board favored the
three year warranty included in the winning bid.
The board approved a
motion to send employees
•see BOARD pg 2
ALIS dinner auction to raise funds on Valentine’s Day
The ALIS dinner auction
will be held on Saturday,
Feb. 14 at the Carriage
House Event Center beginning with a 5 p.m. social
hour. Dinner will be served
at 6 p.m.
The list of items includes:
a gun safe, handmade
wooden bench constructed
from an ACHS bleacher, St.
Louis Blues tickets, handmade wood dump trailer,
handmade burlap wreath,
John Deere wagon for
kids, handmade wooden
cooler, golf training bag,
yard ornament windmill,
St. Louis Cardinals T-shirt
quilt and game tickets,
Ashley rocker/recliner,
personalized wooden cooler,
wine rack, birthday parties
hosted by the Altamont Fire
Department and Mayce’s,
experiences such a family
pool party, Mayce’s party,
red solo cup triathlon, and
wine trip party. ALIS class
projects include: Little Tree
House book series, fire pit,
eighth grade ALIS T-shirt
quilt, book shelf, and stepping stones.
Pictured with several of the items available for auction are, front row, from left: Nathan Budde, Hannah Tappendorf,
Leah Mayhaus, Hayden Voelker, Dawson Guerretaz; back row: Dawn Pagel, August Laatsch, Violet Wendling, Jacob
Robbins, Grace Simmons. (photo by Nathan Scholes)
Larson faces four counts, including kidnapping
Rural Altamont resident
and karate instructor Steven
C. Larson, 60, appeared in
court before Judge Kimberly
Koester on Friday afternoon,
Feb. 6. Larson faces a total of
four counts stemming from
the Jan. 31 disappearance of
a 13-year-old girl.
The charges brought
against him at the Feb. 6
hearing include two counts
of kidnapping, both of
which are Class 2 felonies,
one count of unlawful
restraint, and one count of
obstructing justice, both
Class 4 felonies. Larson is
accused of attempting to
destroy evidence by tossing two cell phones out of a
moving car near the I-57/I70 split south of Effingham.
The kidnapping charges
carry a maximum penalty of
seven years in prison, while
the other charges carry a
maximum penalty of three
years behind bars.
Effingham County State’s
Attorney Bryan Kibler did
not object to the appointment of the Effingham
County Public Defender as
counsel for Larson, who will
return to court on Feb. 18 at
11 a.m.
His bond
set at
Larson be
he is not
to have
under 15
years of age, excluding his
dependent grandchildren.
Kibler stated that the case
is under further investigation and that the various authorities involved have not
yet turned in final reports. It
is possible that the charges
could be amended as information is gathered.
It is alleged that on
Saturday, Jan. 31, Larson
took the 13-year-old girl
out of Effingham County
without legal authority to do
so, eventually being found
with her in a hotel room
in Sikeston, Mo. While it
is unclear whether Larson
picked the
girl up at
her home,
or she was
off at his
stated that
was to
her to
class that
girl’s family alerted
police when she did not
return home at a reasonable
time. After an initial period
of investigation by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department, the Illinois State
Police were called around 4
p.m. The Amber alert was
then issued. Kibler obtained
a warrant for Larson’s arrest
early Sunday morning and
as a result of a “citizen tip,”
he says the two were found
in the Sikeston hotel room.
Larson was arrested, while
the girl was taken to an area
hospital for a routine examination before she returned
to the Effingham area. Kibler
declined to discuss the
physical condition of the
girl or further details of the
relationship between she
and Larson.
Kibler stated that “others” found Larson’s vehicle
at the Effingham Amtrak station sometime on Saturday.
Given Larson’s ties to the
Chicagoland area and the
train’s route, the idea was
put forward by investigators that the two may have
headed to Chicago. A note
was found in the vehicle, but
Kibler declined to elaborate
on specifics. It appears it
was addressed to both Larson and the girl’s families.
Kibler stated that the letter
was open to interpretation.
“It wasn’t full out threatening,” he said, “but it
caused concern.”
Kibler also stated that
no information would be
given regarding the juvenile
female who allegedly drove
the pair to Sikeston.
It is doubted by Kibler
that Sikeston was the ultimate destination for Larson
and the girl, but details
concerning their terminus
are unclear at this time.
coming to
St. Elmo
St. Elmo Christian
Church has announced
that Shane Cessna,
on behalf of Creation
Ministries International,
will give a presentation
concerning the creation/
evolution debate on
Sunday, Feb. 22 at the
Three presentations
will be held throughout
the day.
8:30 a.m. – Noah’s
Flood: Feasible or
10:30 a.m. – Dinosaurs and Fossils:
Amazing Evidence for
6 p.m. – Creation:
Why It Matters
Cessna will share
how the scientific evidence, when properly
understood, confirms
the details of the biblical account and expose
the bankruptcy of the
evolutionary myth.
The St. Elmo Christian Church is located
at 112 W. Sixth St., St.
Elmo, IL 62458