Heading banner

Local News

3 Sentenced to Prison



July 20, 2017, Shawneetown, Gallatin County, IL- Three individuals were sentenced to prison Monday, July 17, 2017, in Gallatin County Circuit Court.


John H. Oldham, Jr., was sentenced on two felony counts of burglary alleged to have been committed on July 10, 2017 and July 13, 2017.   Oldham pleaded guilty to both counts.  One count alleged that Oldham burglarized an outbuilding of a Shawneetown resident and the second for committing a vehicle burglary in Shawneetown.  Oldham received a four-year sentence on each count to be served consecutively; effectively an eight-year sentence.  Oldham will also be required to serve two years of parole.


Oldham was apprehended by Shawneetown Police while on a foot patrol in the early morning hours of July 13, 2017.  While on the foot patrol the Shawneetown officer observed Oldham inside a parked vehicle at the rear of a residence.  Police then observed Oldham taking property items out of the vehicle and arrested him on sight.  Later, a search warrant was executed at Oldham’s residence.   Police found property at Oldham’s residence with another victim’s name written on it, which led authorities to investigate the second burglary of the outbuilding. 


The case was investigated by the Shawneetown Police Department and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Department.  The case was prosecuted by Gallatin County State’s Attorney Doug Dyhrkopp.  





            Charles N. Wenzel, was sentenced on one count of Possession of Methamphetamine Manufacturing Materials.  Wenzel received a four-year sentence to the Illinois Department of Corrections and will serve a two-year term of parole.  The amended charge alleged that Wenzel had in his possession certain chemicals and precursors with the intent that he would manufacture methamphetamine.

            The case was investigated by the Illinois State Police and prosecuted by Special Prosecutor Ralph Fowler.  



            William Stetson Levi Baker, was sentenced to a three-year prison sentence with one-year of mandatory supervised release for Aggravated Battery-Public Place.  Baker also was recommended to participate in the Impact Incarceration Program or Bootcamp Program through the Illinois Department of Corrections. 

            Baker pleaded guilty to one count of Aggravated Battery in a Public Place in that he struck an individual in the face and about the body while located in a public street at Main and Crawford in Ridgway, Gallatin County, Illinois.  Baker was serving a term of felony probation at the time he committed the Aggravated Battery offense. 

            The case was investigated by the Ridgway Police Department and prosecuted by Gallatin County State’s Attorney Doug Dyhrkopp.



4H News

UI Extension Banner

Our 4-H Fair is nearly here! I hope you are prepared for July 29! Depending on you project area you may make an item or make a poster.  Creating a poster is fairly straight forward, but here are a few tips and tricks to get the result you want the first time around!

Remember that neatness counts– sketch your poster idea on a piece of paper first.  Lay out all the pieces on the poster, step back, and stand look at it before you glue.  Very few of us have super neat handwriting.  If you are like me, think about using stencils or type out on the computer, trim and print information. If you do use the computer please choose easy to read fonts.  Some of them look really cool, but they are hard to read.  If you are using stencils lay out the word before you draw/ink it in.  It helps to start with the middle letter of the middle word when centering titles and text. Once you have it laid out, step back about 3-5 feet to make sure it is easy to read and understand.

Pictures are nice in up close settings. Use some of you scrapbooking skills to make your photos stand out from your poster. Color is another great way to add visual interest. Colored paper is great for framing any headings and pictures.  Make sure you use colors that are easy to read.  For example yellow doesn’t show up well on white. Try to stick to the main points. Sometimes it is tempting to put too much information on a poster and it becomes hard to read. Don’t worry; you will have a chance to tell the judge all about your poster and what you learned!

To check out the requirements for your fair project entries please drop by the extension office for a hard copy of the 2017 Gallatin county 4-H Fair Handbook or check it out online on the Gallatin County IL 4-H Facebook page. You will click on files on the left hand side then scroll down to the 2017 Gallatin County Showbook file.  It is in .pdf format so you can easily open and download it.

4-H Night With the Miners will be held Sunday, August 20, 2017. The Southern Illinois Miners will be playing the Florence Freedom at 5:05 PM at Rent One Park in Marion, IL.  Tickets are $5 each, with your 4-H club receiving $4 of each ticket sold!  Tickets are for reserved seating, and seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.  If your family or group wishes to sit together they need to send in one group order.  The deadline for ordering is August 4, 2017.

Come join the fun of the Solar Eclipse 2017 at Rent One Park in Marion, IL!  The University of Illinois Extension will be hosting a fun, education al event from 1:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Monday August 21, 2017. Ticket prices are $8 per person, or $15 if you would like to have your lunch provided as well. All tickets include 4-H Eclipse viewing glasses. Add a Southern Illinois Miners 4-H Eclipse T-shirt for only $12.  These black t-shirts are printed with a glow in the dark Southern Illinois Miners logo on the front and the 4-H clover on the back!

University of Illinois Extension will be hosting a wide variety of hands on learning opportunities.  As well as offering fun and games for the entire family. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the NEW 4-H Virtual Reality Project, create stuff in our Makey-Makey Computer Science Lab, watch a live Drone in action, play Laser Tag and Mini Golf. In addition participants can see greetings from an International Space Station Astronaut, learn about the Sun from University Astronomy Professors, look through a very large Telescope. Don’t fret if you don’t purchase the lunch combo ticket and forget lunch as concessions will be available for purchase. We are also trying to make the Guinness World Records with the largest number of 4-H members gathered for a solar eclipse! ORDER TICKETS 618-998-8499 OR ONLINE @ go.illinois.edu/eclipsetickets

Additional information is available at the Gallatin County Extension Office, located in the Farm Bureau Building in Ridgway.  If you know a youth who might be interested in 4-H projects or activities, or you would like to know more about how you can volunteer your skills and time toward the enrichment of youth in Gallatin County please contact Kassy Scates at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 272-3022. University of Illinois Extension is committed to a policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities and employment without regard to race, color, sex, religion, religious creed, ancestry or national origin, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, physical or mental disability. If you need a reasonable accommodation or special dietary or disability accommodations to participate in any of our programs, please contact the University of Illinois Extension office at 618-272-3022


Upcoming Events

7/4 Independence Day- office closed

7/23-26  FilmFest 4-H, Kansas City, MO

7/29 Gallatin County 4-H General Show

7/31 DEADLINE: 2017-2019 Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team Applications (for interviews to be held at the Illinois State Fair.)

8/12  Illinois State Fair General Project Show

821   Eclipse in Southern Illinois

8/24 Farm Credit calendar photo contest deadline

9/ 22-24     Family Camp at Memorial 4-H Camp

9/ 23 4-H Road Trip Rally, Champaign


4H News


L-R: Makenna Rife on Casanova, Tiffany Hawkins on Parker, Fallon Scates on Percy

Members and their trusty steeds strutted their stuff at the Gallatin County 4-H Saddle Club Fair Horse Show.  Youth enrolled in the horse project may participate in horseless activities such as Hippology, Horse Bowl and Animals Science Display as well as riding activities. The horse show gives youth an opportunity to show the progress they have made with their project animal over the course of the year.


Youth exhibit their horses in a wide variety of events for all types of horses.  They start with showmanship which is judged on how well the horse is presented and the accuracy of a pattern they must maneuver through while leading the horse. Equitation and horsemanship classes are judged on how correctly a person rides while executing a pattern. 


Western Pleasure, Country Pleasure, and Hunter Under Saddle classes are based upon the movement and presentation of the horse.  Western Pleasure is for stock or Quarter Horse type horses that perform a walk, trot and canter.  Country Pleasure is for gaited horses such as Tennessee Walking Horses or Missouri Foxtrotters.  These classes are shown at a walk, gait, and canter.  Hunter Under Saddle classes are for hunter horses such as Thoroughbreds and Thoroughbred crosses that were bred to be used in Foxhunting.  Each class has specific qualities of movement in the horse that are considered desirable.  The horses are ranked according to which closest meets the ideal standard.


The Barrel Race, Catalogue Race and Texas Rollback award the fastest completion of the pattern without penalty.  We see Barrel Races at a lot of rodeos.  Barrels are set up in a cloverleaf pattern and riders guide the horse around them at high speed.  Texas Rollback uses one barrel.  Participants race to the barrel, turn the horse 360 degrees then race back to the start.  In the Catalogue Race a barrel with a magazine is set up for each participant.  Riders run to the barrel, dismount, tear the correct page from the magazine, get back on the horse and race back. 


Egg and Spoon is a fun event.  Riders balance an egg in a spoon while performing maneuvers as they are announced by the judge.  The last egg to fall wins!  There are always lots of laughs with this one.  The sky is the limit in the Costume Class!  4-Hers dress themselves and their horses up in costume!  We’ve had everything from war ponies to beauty queens grace the arena for the Costume Class.


Makenna Rife and Casanova were the Showmanship County Champion as well as County Champion in the Western Walk Trot Division.  Tiffany Hawkins riding Parker was County Champion in the Western 14-18 Division.  Fallon Scates and Percy topped of the Hunter Walk-Trot Division.  We appreciate the support of our community.  The Gallatin County Fair Board was kind enough to allow us to hold our horse show at the fairgrounds.  The Horse Show is always a lot of fun and full of smiles.  This year was no exception!

For more information on 4-H activities, programs, and membership please contact Kassy Scates at 618-272-3022 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The Gallatin County Extension Office is located in the Gallatin County Farm Bureau Building.  Hours are Monday through Wednesday 8 am to 4 pm.  University of Illinois Extension is committed to a policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities and employment without regard to race, color, sex, religion, religious creed, ancestry or national origin, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, physical or mental disability. If you need a reasonable accommodation or special dietary or disability accommodations to participate in any of our programs, please contact your local University of Illinois Extension Office.

Upcoming Events

8/12 First Day of School

8/23 School Open House

9/1 New 4-H Year Begins

BBQ Cookoff Set for July 22nd in Ridgway

The 7th annual BBQ Cookoff in Ridgway will be on July 22, 2017.  Integrity Healthcare of Ridgway and the Oasis Bar and Grill are co hosting this great event.

All proceeds from the Raffle will be given to the Ridgway Haunted Park.

Below is a flyer showing all the events for the day from inflatables for the kids to music and entertainment and of course Lunch and Dinner Plates available from the BBQ.   Mark your calendar, come out and enjoy a fun filled day with family and friends and get some great BBQ.