February 2024 Archived Articles

Madison County Public Health Inspections of Food Service Establishments

With the first of the year local Madison County public health inspectors begin making their rounds. “The goal of the Food Sanitation Program is to protect citizens from contracting and transmitting foodborne diseases and to educate food service operators and consumers about safe food handling practices.” How does your favorite establishment compare to others? From full-service restaurants, fast food chains, and even the local hospital you will find information published on the Madison County, Illinois website.

The Granite City, Il. Pizza Hut located at 3801 Nameoki Road had a perfect inspection report without a single violation reported. You can find more reports by tapping the link.

Kari Shipley and Chelsea Scaturro Bring Mardi Gras Back to Granite City for the Third Year in a Row

Shipley, along with Chelsea Scaturro, organized the first Granite City Mardi Gras two years ago and were told they were signed up for life to organize future Mardi Gras celebrations in town. The two gladly accepted the role.

Article written by Billy Woods, The Telegraph

“We’re huge on family,” co-organizer Kari Shipley said. “It’s more about family than drinking. I know Mardi Gras is a big drinking holiday, but we focus on coming together and starting the spring off right.” “We’re hoping that people really show up,” Shipley said. “Being on stage when I’m making the announcements and seeing all those people laughing and having fun is what makes it all worth it.”

The celebration starts with the 1 p.m. parade, which takes off from Granite City High School, goes down State Street to Madison Avenue and down Niedringhaus Avenue, where it ends, and the block party will begin. In years past, Niedringhaus Avenue has been jam-packed with families for the parade and the ensuing block party, which spills into Civic Park and will feature eight food trucks and stands, participating bars and mobile axe throwing.

For kids, there is the Alligator Alley. The kids’ section features plenty of children’s games and activities, such as face painting. The block party lasts from 2-5 p.m. and is followed by the bar crawl from 5-10 p.m. Buses take partygoers around 18 different bars in Granite City. Full article here…

The Thursday Night Date Night Adventure

The daily life of work, rest, play and repeat can easily be turned upside down with a simple phone call. Suddenly all that seems important is scrambled and rearranged and priorities and goals get a reset. This is exactly what can happen when the non-discriminating disease of Cancer finds its way into a family.

With one goal in mind, Paula Wilder, retired schoolteacher of 30 years teaching for the Granite City school district and her husband Kendall Wilder, that works for the Public Works Department for Granite City decided to turn one night a week, each Thursday into “date night”. Throughout the process of the 43 radiation treatments, five days a week, Paula knew after speaking with other cancer patients one of the biggest challenges they all shared was the loss of appetite and finding the energy to eat.

“We started playing a game, a restaurant game.  I told him to start thinking about what sounded good to him to eat, and where he would like to go on Thursday nights.  We were going to start going out to eat every Thursday night and call it Thursday Night Date Night.  One of the early rules was that we could only go to that restaurant one time, then he would have to pick somewhere new to eat.  This gave him incentive to eat, think about eating, and research places to eat.  We started going all over Creve Coeur at first, then traveled to Webster Groves, The Hill, and anywhere that he wanted to go.”
Kendall’s first treatment was on September 25th and his last was November 26th.  We’re very happy to report that Kendall has remained Cancer free since that last treatment.  The Thursday night date night adventures have continued and taken on a whole new meaning now. The restaurant adventures of Paula and Kendall have become a popular story they have started sharing with friends and family and now they are dedicating at least one Thursday a month for local establishments only.

“After all of the years of trying new restaurants all over the St. Louis area, we never posted about Granite City.  It’s not that we don’t ever eat in Granite City, but we never posted about it.  We never featured it in our restaurant adventure.   We never made it a priority.  We kind of took Granite City restaurants for granted, because it’s right here. I decided to start featuring a different place in Granite City every month.  We have a pretty good following for our Thursday Night Date Nights, so why not help our own community? Now, our mission is to help Granite City.  We believe in this city.  We love this city, and we are going to try to help our city in our very small, but huge heartfelt way.”

You can find Paula and Kendall’s Thursday night date night adventure below.

Thursday Night Date Night with Paula and Kendall

“For tonight’s Thursday Night Date Night, we stopped at one of the two oldest establishments in Granite City! We ate at The Park Grill!!! This restaurant was established in 1956 in Venice, Illinois. It moved to Granite City in 2002. The waiter that waited on us is the grandson of a woman who started working here in 1958. She still helps out. She’s 82 years old.

Okay. Let’s talk food. I had the hamburger steak with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, fries, and applesauce. The applesauce and mashed potatoes were for the grand baby. Kendall had the pork tenderloin, salad, coleslaw, baked beans. Yes, that’s how he eats. My hamburger steak was fantastic, as were the mashed potatoes and fries. Astrid was a huge yes for the applesauce.

The atmosphere is a rustic 4, service was a 5, food was fantastic, 5, and price was like no other, 5. We are taking dinner to two other people for a total of $48.00. That’s dinner for four for $48.00.

People!! You can’t feed a family of 4 for $48.00 at McDonald’s!!! Check out Park Grill in Granite City!!”

In the Still of the Night

Working the night shift can present a special opportunity every now and then that many people don’t get to experience. An event such as the one Dawson Pierson, working the night shift security at Wilson Park in Granite City was able to capture while on the job.

When the snow begins to fall and busy streets become deserted, it seems as if mother nature brings on a winter night’s silence that gives way to the flapping wings and variety of sounds that come from the park’s visiting owls.

The city slows down for the night and as the quiet grows you can actually hear the snowflakes as they float from the skies to settle on the tree limbs and the ground. The snow covered park and its water features and structures were as beautiful as a wintery postcard.

State Senator Erica Harriss and Senator Jason Plummer
Remembering Seniors for Valentine’s Day

As a way to honor area seniorsState Senator Erica Harriss (56th-Glen Carbon) and Senator Jason Plummer (55-Edwardsville) will host their annual Valentines for Seniors Card Drive through February 5, 2024.

“I often hear of people in the community looking for ways to help others. This is an opportunity people can show our seniors love and support this Valentine’s Day,” said Senator Harriss. “We have several nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the district, and I want to make sure these residents don’t feel unloved or forgotten about on a day focused on love.”

Both Senators are asking students, scout groups, churches, families, and other groups to consider creating homemade cards that will be delivered to nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and other long-term care facilities throughout each Senate District.

“This is a chance to make sure people know that we care and are thinking about them,” said Senator Plummer. “Every year our communities show these recipients that they are appreciated, and I look forward to another great response in 2024.”
Cards can be dropped off from now until February 5th at Senator Harriss’ District Office at 120 North Main Street, Suite 1B, Edwardsville or at Senator Plummer’s District Office at 310 West Gallatin Street, Vandalia.

There will be a drop box inside both offices during normal business hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A small mailbox will be located outside the office for after-hour drop-offs.

In 2023, members of the Senate Republican Caucus collected and delivered more than 45,000 Valentines through the program.

This information is from the newsletter of Kurt Prenzler, December, 27, 2023

“This evening I was wondering if there were any backdoor referendums in St. Clair County and began searching on the Public Notice Illinois website.
To my surprise . . . I discovered that Granite City District #9 had – on Nov. 22 – published – in the Belleville News-Democrat newspaper – a $20 million “working cash” backdoor referendum.
That means the 30 day opportunity to gather signatures to put this on the ballot has come and gone.
My office routinely searches the Public Notice Illinois website for notices in Madison County – looking for notices just like this.
Why did we not see it?
Look closely – below – on the left hand side of the notice. It says: “Publication County: St. Clair.”
No wonder we didn’t see it. 
We don’t search public notices in St. Clair County.
I will look into this tomorrow.
And if you’re a taxpayer in Granite City District #9, you also probably want to look into it.”

“Searching for backdoor referendums in St. Clair County, I discovered that Dec. 20, O’Fallon District 90, also known as the St. Clair County Community Consolidated School District Number 90, published a $18.5 million working cash backdoor referendum.
A “working cash” bond means that the proceeds of the bond sale go into the working cash fund, which means that the district can basically use the money as it sees fit, without restriction.
The notice says that if 2,320 signatures are gathered within 30 days of the publication date, then the voters will be able to vote on it – on Nov. 5, 2024. If the signatures are not gathered, then District 90 will be able to issue the bonds, which will be repaid with higher property taxes.”
Click here for the rest of the newsletter…

January 2024 Archives