April 21, 2014

Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.

Candidate Profiles

By Michael Kloppenburg
Star-Gazette Reporter

The General Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, March 18. The following candidates are running in Cass County.

Educator Associations’ heads tout consolidation

By Michael Kloppenburg
Star-Gazette reporter
With the fate of the effort to consolidate the A-C Central and PORTA school districts to be decided at the polls on Tuesday, the heads of the districts’ respective educator’s associations’ sat down with the Star-Gazette to discuss the viewpoints of teachers in the two districts. To the educators, it’s about maintaining and expanding curriculum and offering a better educational experience to students.

No prison time for Smith

Michael Kloppenburg
Star-Gazette reporter
A man who pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted predatory criminal sexual assault will face no prison time. That was the decision of Cass County Circuit Judge Bob Hardwick, Jr. following an hour-long sentencing hearing Monday afternoon. Instead, after Hardwick weighed aggravating and mitigating factors as required by law, Hardwick sentenced 73-yr. old Nolan L. Smith, now residing in Frederick, to 30 days of jail time and four years probation for the molestation of two eight-year-old girls in 2003 and 2004.

Club formed in response to budget cuts

An organizational meeting for the Beardstown Tiger Nation Booster Club was held March 4 in the Beardstown Middle/High School auditorium.
The newly-formed club is the result of recent cuts at the Beardstown Board of Education meeting held Feb. 27. The board cut funding for all middle school sports, high school clubs and organizations, high school assistant coaches, along with several other items.

Virginia joins mutual aid network

By Leigh Morris
For the Star-Gazette
On a unanimous vote, Virginia’s City Council acted to join the Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network (IPWMAN).
Through IPWMAN, mutual aid is available from other counties, cities and townships for emergencies ranging from chemical spills to devastating storms and floods. In turn, Virginia may provide assistance when requested and when its resources are available.
IPWMAN mutual assistance is similar to the mutual aid agreements that long have been used by electric utilities when severe storms cause widespread service outages.

Beardstown School Board makes budget cuts

Brick Elementary School to close

By Sandra Haschemeyer
For the Star-Gazette
Brick Elementary School will be closed at the end of the school year following multiple budget cuts made at the Feb. 27 meeting of the Beardstown School Board. Along with the elimination of  one custodian, one secretary, one head cook, one cook, one part-time librarian, one clerical aide and one elementary administrator, the closure will save the district $187,467.

Beardstown City attorney resigns

City of Beardstown Attorney, Luke A Thomas, has tendered his resignation to the Mayor and City Council, effective March 10. Attorney Thomas indicated in his resignation that he was very grateful for having had the opportunity to represent the community in which he works, has lived, and in which many of his family members and employees continue to reside.

Safety grant may fund new siren

By Steve Capps
For the Star-Gazette
Beardstown may soon get a much needed upgrade to its early warning system. Fire Chief Darin Paul presented the city council with information regarding a rural development safety grant that would help pay for early warning sirens.
The city currently has only a single siren located atop the fire stationhouse. Many residents simply live or work too far from the fire department to hear the alarm when it sounds.

Consolidation opponents skip discussion

By Mike Kloppenburg
Star-Gazette reporter
The chairs in St. Augustine Hall in Ashland filled but half of the tables were conspicuously empty. Only one member of the A-C Central board and no A-C First member occupied the seats at the table reserved for them for a meeting to discuss and debate consolidation. Board member Jeremy Garner, a consolidation supporter and candidate for the consolidated school board, was the only A-C member in attendance. Three PORTA board members were in attendance. Garner said Scott Boston, another A-C board member and consolidation supporter running for the consolidated school board, had prior commitments out of town. No explanations were offered for the other board members.

Beardstown High Student Art Exhibit Thursday March 13

The Beardstown Middle/High School cafeteria commons will be transformed into an “open studio” with professional artists and a student exhibit Thursday, March 13, from 4-8 p.m.
Kathy Korte, Beardstown art teacher for grades 6-12 and coordinator of “An Inspiring Night in Homage to Great Artists,” invites everyone to attend. The event will also include activities for youngsters and a potato soup supper.