O'Fallon Weekly March 7, 2018

O'Fallon Woman's Club crowns annual art contest winners Page 4 O'Fallon Council approves sewer and road work Mayor Herb Roach addresses a resident during the public comment portion of the meeting. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Martha Stoffel) By Martha Stoffel Weekly Reporter O'FALLON - The main actions at Monday’s City Council meet- ing involved approval for upcoming Public Works projects and a new, residential development. Council approved a $2,049,992 agreement with Haier Plumb- ing & Heating, Inc for the Woodstream Sewer Bypass Phase 1 project. The project will replace approximately 1,800 linear feet of the existing 21-inch concrete sewer with a 30-inch PVC sewer. Included in the project are three bores under Quarry Road, Rock Springs Branch, and the CSX railroad. The bores, consist- ing of 48-inch steel casing around the 30-inch pipes, account for almost $1.1 million of the total project cost. Funding for this project is reserved from the FY18 sanitary sewer budget. An IDOT construction engineering services agreement with SCI Engineering, Inc for the North Green Mount Road & Central Park Drive intersection improvements project, not to exceed $62,555, was also approved. This project will add right turn lanes where needed and widen the intersection. Motor Fuel Tax Wednesday March 7, 2018 Vol. 3, No. 46 $1.00 A Pipe Dream: Renowned organist calls O'Fallon home By Angela Simmons Weekly Reporter O'FALLON - World renowned organist and retired United States Air Force Colonel Jack Moelmann has made O’Fallon his home for over 30 years. At the end of a quiet drive, Moelmann’s house holds both musical and electronic wonders that have entertained community students and residents, and has been featured on news programs across the country. Moelmann grew up in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago, with his brother Larry and sister Linda, and supportive parents that encouraged education. He was always fas- cinated by electronics, and was drawn to the organ because of all of the buttons they had. He began his musical career in his church choir, and then started piano lessons. “I was fired from them at eight years old, have you ever heard of such a thing? She wouldn’t teach me anymore,” he said. He went on to learn thousands of songs and play at famous theaters and movie houses across the United States and several European countries. He’s played at Westminster Abbey, the St. Louis Fox Theater, and Radio City Music Hall. He’s also been inducted to the American Theatre Organ Society Hall of Fame, and the Theatre Organ Society International Hall of Fame. He was at one time the presi- dent of the ATOS, and boasted an all time high membership at that point of 6,000. “I wish I could have found her. I would have made her sit in the front row to watch me play at Radio City Music Hall,” he said of his old teacher. He played at RCMH in 2008 for a crowd of over 1,000 people that came to support him in achieving his longtime dream of playing the venue’s organ, the largest operational and original Wurlitzer in the country, installed in 1932. Moelmann used his own funds to pay for the venue, $118,182.44, and after ticket Colonel Jack Moelmann sits at his Rodgers theater organ in the music room of his home. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons) sales, he was still out $97,000. It was the majority of his life savings, but he says it was worth fulfilling the dream. The event drew the attention of news stations across the country. After an Associated Press story about Moelmann was shared, he was told that his phone would begin to blow up. “Within an hour, my phone was ringing off the hook, and CBS was here to film by the next morning,” he said. Moelmann’s event, dubbed “Those Were the Days,” featured Moelmann and his friends and fellow musi- cians Russell Holmes, Walt Strony, Lew Williams, and Father Gus Franklin perform- ing classical, Broadway, and opera tunes. Moelmann also played what he joked is an intellectual tune, Sesame Street’s “Rubber Duckie.” The evening was so much fun for Moel- mann that he decided to do it again at the St. Louis Fox Theater in August of 2017. Again, he dipped into his own funds and paid $38,000 to rent the Fox, where he has been a staff organist since 2009. “Those Were the Days- Again” featured Moelmann, Dave Wickerham, and Justin LaVoie. The three and a half hour show drew a crowd of over 1,500. Moelmann has not just achieved great- ness in his musical career. He entered mili- tary school in high school. “I started wear- ing a uniform as a high school sophomore,” he said. After a rocky college start at the University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign, he graduated from Bradley University with a degree in electrical engineering. He went on to serve 26 years in the United States Air Force in Communications and Engineering, and retired in 1991 at the age of 49. “And I haven’t worked a day since,” he said. He stayed in O’Fallon, his last assigned post, because he loved the town. “I wanted to be near a big city but not in it, near an See “Moelmann” on page 6 See “Council” on page 6 Youth arrested for threatening graffiti found at Hinchcliffe Elementary By Nick Miller Weekly Editor O’FALLON - A 15-year old has been arrested in connection to graffiti found on a wall at Hinchcliffe Elementary School Monday morning that put Dis- trict 90 officials and parents on alert. The O’Fallon Police Department arrested the juvenile overnight Monday into Tuesday. The boy took full respon- sibly and explained it was written as a joke for attention with no legitimacy. He is currently being held at the St. Clair County Juvenile Detention Center.  Because the investigation involves a juvenile, no further information can be released at this time.  O’Fallon School District 90 and the O'Fallon Police De- partment will continue to work together communicating w ith the St Clair County State's Attorney's Office for formal charges. The graffiti, which was described by Superintendent Carrie Hruby as partially threatening and partially sexually ex- plicit drawings. According to a statement by Hruby, “a District 90 employee located damage and graffiti to the exterior of the Hinch- cliffe School building. The contact of the graffiti contained both threatening and non-threatening marks. The O’Fallon Police were immediately notified and are currently conducting an investigation.” District 90 excused any absences from Hinchcliffe on Monday for students whose parents felt the need to keep them at home. Additionally, an increased police presence was at all District 90 schools as a precaution. No graffiti was found at any other schools. Later on Monday, the O’Fallon Police Chief Eric Van Hook issued a letter that stated that the damage consisted of cut window screens, drawings of a sexual nature, and a hand written message on a window stating “I’m going to shoot this b**** up.” The police indicated there were no indications listing when and where the event may happen, nor any threat made to a specific person or group.