O'Fallon Weekly January 30, 2019

Wednesday January 30, 2019 Local girl raises money for Randy's Rescue Ranch Page 17 James Gomric sworn in as new St. Clair County State's Attorney Vol. 4, No. 41 $1.00 Local school districts working toward plan to establish their own bus services Plan would require identical academic calendars among all four districts By Nick Miller Weekly Editor Judge Andrew J. Gleeson administers the oath of office to the newly appointed St. Clair County State's Attorney, James Gomric. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo) By Annabelle Knef Weekly Reporter BELLEVILLE - The St. Clair County Board confirmed the appointment of Belleville attorney James Gomric to the open position of State's Attorney, following Brendan Kelly's departure to lead the Illinois State Police. Following his oath of office, administered by Judge An- drew Gleeson, Gomric gave a short speech where he pledged to work for the people of St. Clair County. "I solemnly promise to each and every one of you assem- bled here tonight that I will utilize every bit of intelligence that I possess, all talent which I am endowed, and with abso- lutely fervor I will work hard on behalf of each and every one of you here tonight and for all of those not here that you lead in this county in an effort to provide to you the best state’s attorney’s office we can have," Gomric told the assembled County Board. Gomric is the brother to St. Clair County Assessor Jennifer Gomric Minton and St. Clair County Board Member Steve Gomric. He is married to Associate Judge Julia Gomric, who See “County Board” on page 5 In This Edition Calendar..................................................2 News................................................... 3-7 Law & Order............................................8 Education............................................ 9-12 Health & Wellness ���������������������������������� 13 Sports................................................14-16 Community............................................. 17 Milestones..........................................18-19 Vantage Point.........................................20 Lifestyle.................................................. 21 Fun & Games..........................................22 Marketplace...........................................23 Bon Appétit............................................24 O'FALLON - Changes could be coming to local bus routes if a plan for the four local school districts to establish their own transportation system were to come to fruition. O’Fallon/Shiloh school districts began analysis of transportation costs and services over the summer, as an area where potential cost savings could be found. The preliminary direction of the analysis was for the districts to combine transportation services and become self-operational. All four districts, Shiloh District 85, O’Fallon District 90, Central District 104 and OTHS District 203, currently use Illinois Central for bus services and EMT for special education trans- portation. Superintendents have been in com- munication with Belleville schools that went self-operational this school year, tracking their methods and savings as a model for O’Fallon/Shi- loh districts. At their December board meetings, all districts approved the creation of a Transportation Director position as the first step to becoming self-operational as early as July 2019. Meetings have taken place over the last couple of months with Illinois Central, and recent proposals may have superintendents and school boards looking in a different direction for the 2019-2020 school year than originally planned. At the OTHS school board meeting on January 24, Superintendent Dr. Darcy Benway presented informati- on to the board from Illinois Central with discounts and other opportuni- ties for additional savings. The most recent proposals from Illinois Central have estimated cost savings for OTHS of $216,000 per year. Illinois Central is offering a seven percent rate decrease for the 2019- 2020 school year, an immediate $85,000 savings for OTHS. Because school districts are not charged sales See “Bus Plan” on page 6 O'Fallon area Service Academy nominees honored by congressman in ceremony For the O’Fallon Weekly SHILOH - U.S. Representati- ve Mike Bost recognized 18 local Southern Illinois students nominated for admittance to the U.S. Service Academies. A recognition ceremony took place at the Shiloh Senior Center on Thursday, Jan. 24 with nominees, their families, Congressman Bost and Colonel Kevin Schiller of the United States Air Force in attendance. Nominations were made following the recommendations of an indepen- dent panel that reviewed applications and conducted formal interviews. Final determination on admission is made by the individual academies. “Southern Illinois is blessed to have exceptional and patriotic young men and women who are already leading their community in and out of the classroom,” said Bost.  “As a Congressman Mike Bost poses with the local students nominated for admittance to the U.S. Service Academies. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef) veteran, I encourage these individuals to apply for an academy nomination and continue to represent the best our state has to offer.  I’m proud that Southern Illinois produces some of the best students in this country to lead a new generation.” See “Service Academies” on page 6