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GCS Credit Union Receives Mastercard Award

Candice Greene, Riverbender

GCS Credit Union was recently awarded the Doing Well by Doing Good Award by Mastercard for their charitable and community efforts as part of Mastercard’s Community Institution Segment Awards.

The Doing Well By Doing Good Award recognized GCS for their annual Tee Up Fore Veterans Golf Tournament. Raising funds for veterans is just one of the many ways GCS is able to support their local community. With the help of over thirty sponsors and one hundred twenty-four golfers, GCS raised $32,961 for our local veterans last year.

The Greater St. Louis Honor Flight, whose mission is to send our nation’s heroes to Washington D.C. for a one day, all expenses paid trip to see the memorials built in their honor, received $25,000 of last year’s proceeds. Got Your Six PTSD Support Dogs received $7,961 of the tournament proceeds. Got Your Six is committed to providing specialized service dogs to veterans and first-responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Over the past six years, GCS has raised over $150,000 for these brave veterans who have fought for our country. Keith Burton, GCS President, and CEO, said, “This award is reflective of our commitment to the credit union philosophy of people helping people. We are truly honored.”

GCS Credit Union is currently looking for golfers and sponsors for their seventh annual Tee Up Fore Veterans Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament will be on June 2nd, 2023 at the beautiful Stonewolf Golf Course in Fairview Heights, IL. If you are interested in supporting this worthy cause, then reach out to Candice Greene atcgreene@mygcscu.com.

Ollie’s opens to crowds in Granite City

Written By John Badman The Telegraph

More than 100 people lined up outside the new Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in Granite City Wednesday morning. The store, located at 3521 Nameoki Road in Granite City, advertises “good stuff cheap.” The business occupies the space of the old Shop n’ Save grocery store next to Hibbett Sports.

The Granite City location is the firm’s first store in the region. Customers who attended the opening day event Wednesday were commenting that they liked the prices on the store’s inventory of housewares, sporting goods, flooring and food.  The national chain claims to be the largest retailer of closeout merchandise and excess inventory. As of February, the chain had 468 locations in 29 states. In 2021 it listed 9,000 employees and total sales of $515,76 million.

Ollie’s was founded in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1982 by Morton Bernstein and Mark L. Butler, with backing from Harry Coverman and Oliver E. “Ollie” Rosenberg, the latter of whom is the namesake of the company. The stores feature its Rosenberg in the form of humorous caricatures throughout the stores’ interiors, merchandising displays, logo and exterior signage. Rosenberg died in 1996 at age 75.

Ollie’s selection of merchandise features discounted household goods, apparel, pet supplies, kitchen pantry staples and seasonal products, such as holiday, gardening, patio, pool and beach supplies. According to online reports, a majority of the items are unsold or overstocked merchandise purchased in bulk from other retailers — such as Walmart/Sam’s Club, Target, Kroger, Costco, Winn-Dixie, Publix, Whole Foods Market and TJX-owned stores — and sold at discounted prices.

ACT Drivers Awarded For Years Of Perfect Safety – New Agency Milestone Of 25 Years Of Safety Reached

As reported in The Riverbender, Ellie Carrow

From left to right, ACT Executive Director S.J. Morrison, Director of Operations Pam Rulye, ACT drivers Mike Saylor, Reatha Duff, Calvin Payne and Monte O’Bannon, Manager of Fixed Route Services Delanders Crochrell

The Agency for Community Transit (ACT) Board of Directors recognized five drivers for achieving consecutive years of perfect safety while driving a public transportation vehicle, at the March 9 Board Meeting. ACT operates bus service for the Madison County Transit District (MCT) fixed route and paratransit services. As defined by the National Safety Council, to retain the ‘perfect safety’ designation, drivers must, in all situations, make every effort possible to avoid an accident.

ACT drivers Ken Hill and Mike Saylor were recognized for 10 years of perfect safety—while logging more than 20,000 hours behind the wheel of a transit vehicle. Reatha Duff and Calvin Payne were recognized for 15 years of perfect safety, with more than 30,000 hours of driving. And, for the first time in ACT history, Monte O’Bannon was recognized for 25 years of perfect safety! O’Bannon achieved an agency first with her perfect safety record with more than 50,000 hours behind the wheel of a transit vehicle.

“The National Safety Council’s standards for perfect safety are very rigid,” said ACT Executive Director SJ Morrison. “To drive for 10 or 15 years without a preventable accident is a difficult milestone to reach. 25 years is remarkable and a new milestone for ACT. We’re very proud of these individuals for their diligence and ongoing service to the people of Madison County.”

Granite City Alumni Association Announces Healthcare Professions Scholarship Endowed By Wall Of Fame Honoree

Article and picture from “The Riverbender”

Dr. Brandt is a 1967 graduate of Granite City High School and Wall of Fame honor recipient for her work in healthcare education and practicum.

Link to the scholarship application: https://www.granitecityalumni.org/brandt-healthcare- professions-scholarship

The Granite City Alumni Association is announcing a scholarship for graduating students of Granite City High School entering into the healthcare professions. This scholarship will as- sist students starting their fields of study in a healthcare-related field and is being sponsored by 1967 GCHS graduate Dr. Barbara Fifield Brandt. “Today, hospitals and clinics are experiencing growing shortages of health professionals, especially nurses as well as primary care and mental health clinicians. To meet the growing workforce challenges in caring for our citizens, it is imperative that we spark and nurture an interest in healthcare careers when students are in high school or earlier by providing opportunities and removing obstacles,” stated Dr. Brandt.

Barbara Fifield Brandt, PhD, EdM, FNAP is the Founding Director of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota (UMN). Dr. Brandt is a tenured professor in the UMN College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems. She served as associate vice president for education in the UMN Academic Health Center from 2000-2017 and principal investigator and statewide director of the United States Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Minnesota Area Health Education Center from 2002-2013.

Dr. Brandt administratively led the creation of academic health center-wide inter-professional programs: the AHC Office of Education, Health Careers Center, the Inter-professional Education and Resource Center, the Minnesota Area Health Education Center from 2002-2013, the Center for Inter-professional Education, the Center of Allied Health Programs, the Academy of Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and 1Health inter-professional curriculum framework.

Dr. Brandt’s areas of scholarly focus centers on how professionals learn in practice, called workplace learning; reimagining academic-community partnerships, called the Nexus, especially for rural and underserved populations; optimizing workforce development of teams; educational design of inter-professional practice and education; the history of inter-professional practice and education; and knowledge generation using inter-professional informatics.

A Piece of Granite City History is Being Restored and Preserved

If walls could talk, they would have directed curious City Hall employees to explore the old vault on the bottom floor of the building where a treasure trove of old documents awaited their discovery. The vault contained all of the Clerk files dating back to the origin of the city. This included all of the minutes and ordinances from the 1890s through the 1960s.

Inside an old box of random papers was a very old cotton type tri-fold binder. It was inside that binder that the original document was found where on March 9, 1896, is recorded as the day of Incorporation with the State of Illinois. This information was certified on June 8, 1896, by then Secretary of State, William Hinrichsen.

 This amazing piece of history was transported to a historian and archivist who, along with a chemist, restores and preserves historical documents. The pieces that you see missing were still in the folder preserving the paperwork so they will be able to piece it back together. They will also be mounting and framing the document in protective glass for long term preservation. This important piece of Granite City history will eventually be on display inside the building for everyone to see.

Happy 127th Birthday Granite City, March 9th, 1896!

Granite City Warrior Hockey Team Champions Visit the Police Department.

With a signed card from the team and a delivered lunch, the Granite City Warrior Hockey Team stopped by the police station to thank the officers for the escort the night of their championship win.

The police department and its employees often go the extra mile in supporting school programs and the students of the community.

We are proud of our Police Department and our Hockey Champions!

Granite City’s Loss Is South Carolina’s Gain

Darren Miller, Cancer survivor and longtime advocate about the benefits of Medical Marijuana and his wife and partner Dr. Amy Miller announced their upcoming move to South Carolina. Leaving Granite City for the sand and the sun and shores of Myrtle Beach, as they will be planting new roots in what was once a favorite vacation destination, now to be called home.

Darren and Amy are well known not just in the Granite City area, but their stories are far reaching for their compassion for others and genuine caring hearts. Darren has made himself available to countless Cancer patients, sharing his knowledge and story to those with questions. Darren has often referred to his wife Amy, as his living angel and with good reason. During Darren’s Cancer journey Amy’s drive and determination for information and education helped to pave his path to wellness and recovery.

Dr. Amy Miller, better known to many as Amy, her compassion doesn’t stop with her husband. Her caring personality is often extended beyond family as her caring nature knows no boundaries. Her selfless act of being a living donor of a kidney saved the life of her friend and neighbor. Amy knew she had the gift of life to give and did so without hesitation. Dr. Amy has a long list of accomplishments and being a talented artist is just one among many. Amy is also a talented writer that we at GraniteCityGossip.com have had the pleasure of having as our website Columnist. Beyond the Doctor, the artist, and columnist is our friend that we are so thankful to have had the chance to get to know and love. Let us speak on behalf of our community when we say, we wish you both all the best in your exciting new adventure!

Marijuana Dispensaries Popping Up In the Metro

Cannabis dispensaries are becoming more popular than ever in Illinois. There are roughly 10 recreational weed dispensaries for every 100K Illinois residents. Recreational marijuana is legal for purchase and use at the state level, but it’s up to individual municipalities, towns, villages, and cities to decide whether or not they want to allow retail recreational marijuana sales. 

Collinsville Illinois HCI Alternatives /Ascend Medical Marijuana dispensary was one of the area’s first dispensaries to open for business. Shortly after, Hello Beyond dispensary opened in Sauget Illinois. Then Fairview Heights, Illinois, followed suit by eventually opening the Ascend Cannabis dispensary. Now preparations are in the works for the city of Edwardsville to welcome the city’s first adult-use cannabis dispensary. The goal is to open sometime later this month, with a banner now up announcing its impending arrival.

The most recent revenue statistic for Illinois is $563 million since recreational sales were approved.

Happy Endings For Homeless Dogs

A few furry residents of the Granite City Animal Control hit the jackpot recently when finding their new forever families. With yards of their own and loads of pampering and love in their future, it’s nothing but wagging tails ahead for these once homeless dogs.

To find the newest furry addition to your family click the link to contact Granite City Animal Control.

Chef Jon Serves Lunch To A Bunch!

When one hundred and eighty hungry fourth graders from Mitchell School needed to be fed, in a flash, after their recent field trip to see the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, who are you going to call? Chef Jon from Jerry’s Cafeteria, you know he can make this happen! The next question is, where are you going to go to facilitate this many starving students? The banquet hall at Twig’s is the answer. Their space was graciously offered to receive everyone for a fantastic lunch of chicken tenders, Jerry’s Famous Twice Bake Potatoes, a gooey fudge brownie and a cold juice drink. Jon was quickly recognized by many of the children as Chef Jon from the “Cooking With Chef Jon” classes that he offers to young future cooks. He was peppered with questions and received many hugs from the wonderful students from Mitchell. What a great afternoon!

Pontoon Beach Mayor Mike Pagano Welcomes New Police Officer

Officer Michelle Sinnokrak joins the Village of Pontoon Beach police department. Thank you for serving the community officer Sinnokrak.

Click for more archived Local News

Ward 4 Alderman Brad Eavenson recaps the March 7, 2023
Granite City Council meeting.

City Council Meeting Summary March 7th.

Several committee meetings were held prior to the city council meeting. In the Public Works committee meeting, Mr. Koberna announced we will be returning to the spring/summer hours at the leaf and yard waste site effective March 20th. Hours will be Monday -Friday 8-5 and Saturday and Sunday 11-3. Republic Service does have a yard waste program if you want to pay for that service. Please call them for details.

The city council meeting opened with the Mayor reading a resolution proclaiming Sunday, March 5th, 2023 as Stacy Monroe Day in the city of Granite City. Stacy owned and operated Fast Freddy’s Hair Salon in Granite City and was a true ambassador of the community prior to her untimely passing. She was credited for helping hundreds of people and charities. Members of her family accepted the proclamation on her behalf.

The mayor then recognized the GCHS Warriors Championship Hockey team and their coaches. Each member of the coaching staff was presented with an honorary key to the city. This is the third year this team has brought hockey gold back to our city. I’m thinking “dynasty”.

Under Legal and Legislative, the council adopted an ordinance to amend 5.04.125 of the Granite City Municipal Code pertaining to short-term liquor licenses.

The council approved the Granite City MFT Traffic Signal / Street Light Maintenance Bid Results and the 2023 MFT Material Letting Program bid result. These bids are for materials used by the Public Works Department including, asphalt, oil and concrete. We also contract for service to maintain our traffic lights and streetlights owned by the city.

The council also approved moving the April 4th meeting to April 5th to accommodate election day.

All other actions were standard operating procedures of approving committee minutes, the bill lists, and reports presented by our fire and police departments.

Prior to adjournment, Mr. Bill Jones, the executive director of the Wastewater Treatment Plant announced his retirement from the city. Bill has done an excellent job in that capacity. We wish him continued success with his new position in a neighboring community.

Reminder: This is a summary of events and not to be construed as the official minutes of the meeting.


Residents of the 4th Ward,

When elected, I promised to try to keep you better informed of things going on in your city. I’ve done that through my 4th Ward Alderman Facebook page and monthly ward meetings. The council meeting summary on the FB page keeps followers from all over the city informed.

I’m excited about the progress our city is making. We have new businesses, improvements in our infrastructure, and our stormwater response.  We will soon open a new event center in the “District”.

We have much more to do over the next few years.  A recently approved TIF district expansion will bring new business opportunities to Route 3 and the Nameoki Road corridor. We will continue repairing streets and replacing antiquated catch basins.  Phase 3 of the Johnson Road project, from Wabash to Edgewood, will be completed. Plans are now being discussed to build a roundabout at the intersection of Emert, Maryville and Stratford.

Progress takes time. We would all like to see overnight changes, but we must remain patient and do what we can to bring about changes. On April 4, 2023, I’m asking for your vote so I can help make these changes happen for our community.


  • Seven vacant and derelict properties removed
  • Dozens of new catch basins installed
  • A new neighborhood watch program created in the Bellemore Village area
  • Improved enforcement of ordinances
  • Increased transparency to residents
  • Better accessibility and response to resident concerns

Our ward meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at St. John’s Lutheran Church on St. Clair Avenue.  Schedule changes are posted on the FB page. All city residents are welcome.


  • Follow us on Facebook: Brad Eavenson Ward 4 Alderman
  • City E-Mail:  beavenson@granitecity.illinois.gov
  • Cell Phone: 618-975-4493


Please send comments and questions for Dr. Miller to GraniteCityGossip@yahoo.com. To read archived articles and responses click here.


Historical Downtown Granite City, “The District” at Night

Once the sun goes down and the stars come out, the traffic all but comes to a stop in the downtown streets and the silence of the night settles over the city. Time slows down and it’s a great time to take in the surroundings with more attention than just a passing glance. To see more images click here.

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Wthank you for visiting GraniteCityGossip.com, celebrating over sixteen years of service to our community, August 2006 – March 2023

We will update as we receive new information just as we always have, so remember to send your announcements, fund raisers, birthday wishes to granitecitygossip@yahoo.com so we can include them on our page. Here is to another sixteen years Granite City!

Website last updated March 15,2023