Belleville

(Courtesy of the City of Belleville)

The board of Belleville Township could soon be voting to dissolve itself.

Currently an Illinois township can only be dissolved by a referendum of the people and approval from surrounding townships, but a bill awaiting consideration by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner would allow the Metro East township’s elected officials to vote for dissolution instead.

Hofbrauhaus, Shrine, Belleville
(courtesy Keller Entreprises)

A new convention center, two hotels, and several restaurants are being proposed for development across from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, all with the Catholic organization’s blessing.

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate own the 177-acre proposed site north of Illinois Route 15, just across from the Shrine. The Oblates said at a news conference Monday the development will augment their own conference space at the Shrine.

Guest services and marketing manager for the Shrine Chris Diel said it would also allow them to close an old hotel on the grounds.

(Courtesy: Catherine Betz)

It’s been 46 years, but people still ask Bob Goalby about the 1968 Masters Tournament.

“If he would have signed his card right, we would have tied, and we would have had a playoff,” Goalby told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh.

Goalby and Roberto De Vicenzo were tied after 72 holes of regulation play, and destined for an 18-hole playoff the next day. Instead, a mistake on De Vicenzo’s scorecard gave Goalby the championship that day.

Five men were inducted into the Belleville Walk of Fame in 2014: Ninian Edwards, Lyman Trumull, Bob Goalby, George Blair and Christian "Buddy" Ebsen.
Larry Betz / Belleville Historical Society

You’ve stumbled across the cakes, watched the fireworks and heard the stories about St. Louis’ 250th anniversary. But nearby Belleville also is celebrating a milestone: 2014 marked the Illinois city’s bicentennial.

Belleville was founded in 1814 when George Blair donated an acre of his farmland for the city, part of a deal that moved the St. Clair County seat from Cahokia, on the Mississippi River, to the center of the county.

publicity photo

Belleville, Ill. is the setting of a new movie premiering April 22 in the city’s historic Lincoln Theatre. The film, also titled “Belleville,” was produced by the city’s own Ted Trentman, known professionally as Ted Trent.

(Courtesy of the City of Belleville)

Updated following the show.

St. Louis is not the only local community celebrating an important milestone this year. Founded in 1814, Belleville, Illinois is turning 200.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

A group of citizens fed up with what they call a lack of transparency and responsiveness in St. Clair County government aired a wide variety of concerns today outside the county's headquarters in Belleville.

(Wikipedia Commons)

Leaders in Belleville are looking for community input on its Comprehensive Plan update.

The last plan, adopted in 2000, included projects like the extension of 17th Street and the reuse of former Belleville West High School for Lindenwood University.

This year's update, which began forming in mid-July, will focus on areas of development in mobility and housing, economic development, and infrastructure over the next 15 to 20 years. 

Emily Nathan

Belleville, Illinois native Jay Farrar is the leader of the band Son Volt, an alt-country group formed in 1994 after the break-up of Uncle Tupelo.

Earlier this month Farrar, with his band Son Volt, released Honky Tonk (Rounder Records), a more acoustic-based sound which recalls the classic Bakersfield honky tonk music.

The new album also features Farrar’s foray into playing the pedal steel guitar, which he learned while playing with the St. Louis band, Colonel Ford.

An advocate for the homeless is pressing for Belleville voters to decide whether he can convert the city's former YMCA building into a shelter. The Rev. Larry Rice on Monday submitted a 790-signature petition to the St. Clair County Clerk's Office to force the ballot measure calling for the city to sell the property to his New Life Evangelistic Center in St. Louis for $1.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the referendum could be on the April 9 municipal ballot if the petitions aren't challenged by Monday.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Belleville, Ill. man arrested as part of Attorney General Lisa Madigan's crackdown on child pornography last year will spend more than a dozen years in federal prison for his crimes.

Garold Lee Semelka, 62, pleaded guilty in June to receiving and possessing child pornography. His computer contained more than 600 images or videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit activity.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Rev. Larry Rice directed about 20 homeless persons to a mall in Fairview Heights on Tuesday to underscore the lack of shelters in St. Clair County.

Rice says many homeless persons seeking refuge from the triple-digit temperatures wind up across the river at his shelter downtown. 

“Belleville represents what we see in so many municipalities," Rice said. "Where people just aren’t dealing with the homeless. They’re closing shelters. We saw a shelter close here – the Salvation Army – in 2009. They made no other arrangements for the homeless.”

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Classes have been called off at a southwestern Illinois college after a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the campus.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that officials ordered Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville cleared out Thursday morning after a student found a threatening hand-written note in a men's bathroom of the main building.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Sentencing is scheduled for next spring for a southwestern Illinois man who's admitted using schemes involving leased copy machines to defraud a school, a church and community groups.

Forty-nine-year-old Kevin Welch of Altamont pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in East St. Louis to charges of mail fraud and engaging in a fraudulent financial transaction involving more than $10,000.

Authorities say the fraud took place from 2001 to 2009.

(via Flickr/chispita_666)

An 18-hole golf course in southern Illinois could be yours for $750,000.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the family of Joseph Trover is selling the Yorktown Golf Course in Belleville.

They have owned the 38-acre property since 1992 and hope to keep it a golf course. Trover says he is willing to come down on the price because a golf course is good for the community and people.

(via Flickr/jetsandzepplins)

Yesterday's record high temperature was a contributing factor in the death of a 79-year-old Belleville woman.

Ruth Reinhardt's body was found on the porch of a home Wednesday evening. The Belleville News-Democrat says police tried to locate Reinhardt earlier in the day after someone reported that she seems disoriented while walking around the neighborhood.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Ill. Attorney General Lisa Madigan says a year-long effort to target the top 25 consumers of child pornography in Illinois has been a success.

Two Belleville men - 61-year-old Garold Lee Semelka and Mike G. Telkamp, 48, were the 25th and 26th men arrested under Operation Glass House, the anti-child pornography initiative Madigan launched in August 2010.

(via Flickr/bridgepix)

Good morning! Here are a few of today's starting headlines:

Missouri to apply for high-speed rail funding

The State of Missouri will apply for federal funding to construct high-speed rail service between the state's two metropolitan areas. Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to announce details of the application during a 10 a.m. news conference at the Kirkwood Amtrak station in suburban St. Louis. Nixon's office says the application will include a proposal for immediate upgrades to improve speeds on existing lines between St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.