News View All →

Weatherization assistance available for Madison County renters and homeowners

Image by Svilen Milev

By   5 hours ago

The Madison County Community Development Office is now accepting applications to assist eligible renters and homeowners with the installation of energy saving measures for homes. Assistance includes insulating attics and sidewalls, caulking, weather stripping, addressing window problems, stopping air infiltration and addressing general heating and cooling waste. The program also includes inspecting furnaces for health, […]

Read More →

Interstate 55/70 lane closure at Illinois Route 157 coming Monday

Image by Roger Starkey

By   4 hours ago

The Illinois Department of Transportation recently announced lane closures on Interstate 55/70 over Illinois Route 157. Traffic will be reduced to one lane on northbound Interstate 55/70 over Illinois Route 157 July 28 and 29. The lane closures are to complete pavement repairs.

Read More →

Winner yet to claim $750,000 lottery prize sold at Collinsville Circle K

Image by Svilen Milev

By   2 days ago

In “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” strange things were afoot at the Circle K. In Collinsville, big lottery winnings are afoot at the Circle K. The $750,000 grand-prize winning ticket in Saturday’s Lucky Day Lotto drawing was sold at the gas station and convenience store at 2233 Vandalia. The winner, Illinois Lottery officials say, has […]

Read More →

Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge closing delayed by almost a year

"Martin Luther King Bridge from Lacledes Landing, Sep 2012" / Photo by Mitchell Schultheis, Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

By   2 days ago

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that the work previously planned to start in August on the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge has been postponed. The bid submitted to rehabilitate the bridge deck was considerably higher than IDOT had budgeted. The planned work will be revised and the work put out for bid later this […]

Read More →

New Collinsville Unit 10 policy allows advanced students to skip grade levels

Photo by Roger Starkey

By   2 days ago

Gifted students in the Collinsville Unit 10 School District can now skip grade levels if they meet certain criteria. The grade acceleration policy for elementary and middle school students was adopted by a unanimous vote of the School Board Monday and was put in place because some parents and staff have identified at least two […]

Read More →

The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle for sale

Sign announcing the sale of the World's Largest Catsup Bottle / Photo by Roger Starkey

By   3 days ago

***Updated: World’s Largest Catsup Bottle owner Larry Eckert contacted the Metro Independent to say he has had “a change of heart.” The warehouse and water tower are no longer offered for sale separately, they will be sold together***   Imaging going to Paris and finding the Eiffel Tower for sale, or strolling past the parliament […]

Read More →

A year later, both shelters benefitting from donation that went to wrong Collinsville

Photo by Roger Starkey

By   4 days ago

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for the Ward-Wiseman Animal Haven in Collinsville, Okla. In a tale of two cities that share a name and a coal mining history, the animal shelter in the town of fewer than 6,000 near Tulsa, Okla., received a large donation in the spring […]

Read More →

Madison County Board supports high-speed rail route bypassing East St. Louis

An Illinois High-speed rail car / Photo courtesy of the Illinois Department of Transportation

By   5 days ago

The Madison County Board unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday in support of one of two routes being considered as the final leg of the Chicago to St. Louis high-speed rail connection. The route would cross the Mississippi River at the Merchant’s Bridge in Madison and continue east of the river into St. Louis. The city […]

Read More →

$50,000 donation gives Big Brothers Big Sisters much needed financial boost

Left to right: Little Sister Erykah, Ron Pate, Ameren Illinois senior vice president, Operations and Technical Services and Big Brothers Big Sisters board member, Little Sister Keywanna,  Richard Mark, Ameren Illinois president and CEO, Big Sister Pam Manning,  Barbara Cempura, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois, Little Brother Ian, Gussie Reed, director, Division V and Big Brothers Big Sisters board member and Big Brother Rick Cavalier.

By   6 days ago

A recent $50,000 donation from Ameren Illinois to Big Brothers Big Sister gave the agency a much needed infusion of money. In a climate of dwindling federal funding for non-profit organizations, and virtually non-existent funds from the State of Illinois, donations from corporations and individuals are very important, said Barbara Cempura, President and CEO of […]

Read More →

    Sports View All →

    Kahok softball head coach not asked to return for 2015 season

    Cindy Kolda

    By   2 days ago

    The winningest coach in Collinsville High School softball history will not be asked to return for the 2015 season. Cindy Kolda was the target this season of formal complaints from parents that she acted inappropriately on and off the field. Anytime complaints or allegations are received against a coach, they are investigated, Athletics Director Darin […]

    Read More →

    Jr. Kahoks set the table for a more successful CHS athletics program

    Kahoks C Logo

    By   3 days ago

    The Jr. Kahok baseball team will hold tryouts on Aug. 2 and begin play next year, becoming the fourth feeder program for Collinsville High School athletics. The ultimate goal of each Jr. Kahok organization is to produce the best Kahoks. Each works closely with the CHS coach of their sport to make the transition from […]

    Read More →

    Jr. Kahok football camp is July 28 – 31

    Photo by Roger Starkey

    By   5 days ago

    The Collinsville Jr. Kahok football program will host a football camp July 28 – 31 at Kahok Stadium. All players entering 5th through 8th grade this fall are welcome. Players must live within the Unit 10 School District boundaries. Camp is from 5:30 – 7:30 each evening. Players can sign-up at the camp or by […]

    Read More →

    Jr. Kahoks announce baseball tryouts

    JrKahoksBaseball

    By   1 week ago

    Tryouts for the 14/15U and 13U Jr. Kahok baseball teams will take place on Aug. 2. An informational meeting for parents and players will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 1 at Fletcher Field in Collinsville. Tryouts are at 8 a.m. Aug. 2 Tryouts are open to all players entering 6th through 9th grade in […]

    Read More →

    Baseball Kahoks land four on All-Conference teams

    Photo by Roger Starkey

    By   2 weeks ago

    Four Collinsville High School baseball players earned a spot in five positions on the 2014 Southwestern Conference All-Conference teams. Toronto Blue Jays draftee and Mizzou recruit Tanner Houck was the lone first-teamer, earning the honor as a pitcher. The 6-foot-5 right-hander was named third-team All-Conference as a first baseman. Shortstop Grant Bauer was named to […]

    Read More →

    Two softball Kahoks earn All-Conference honors

    Photo by Roger Starkey

    By   2 weeks ago

    A pair of Collinsville High School sophomores have earned All-Conference recognition for the softball Kahoks. Catcher Kassidy Smith, who was named Second-Team All-State earlier this summer, is the lone Kahok on the Southwestern Conference’s First Team. Outfielder Becky Gibbs was tabbed for the Second Team. Smith led the Kahoks in average, home runs, RBI, doubles […]

    Read More →

    Lady Kahok soccer players and coach rake in post-season awards

    Collinsville Kahoks, 2014 Southwestern Conference champions / Photo by Sherry Holten

    By   2 weeks ago

    Following a perfect conference season, the team’s fourth consecutive Southwestern Conference championship and third straight Regional championship, the Collinsville High girls soccer team is busy collecting post-season awards. Junior midfielder Sophia Sharos earned All-State honors and fellow captain Matty Merlak, a senior, was named to the All-Section 12 team by the Illinois High School Soccer […]

    Read More →

    Kahok Dance Team announces summer camp dates

    Kahok Dance Deam 2014

    By   3 weeks ago

    ***Submitted Content*** The Collinsville High School Dance team has announced its summer junior camp will take place July 28 to August 1. All girls entering grades K-8 are welcome to participate and will be instructed by the Kahok Dance Team Varsity and Junior Varsity Squads.  The program is designed to help improve skills in basic […]

    Read More →

    Out of the spotlight, on the sideline, athletic trainers keep athletes going

    Amanda Baugher on right / Submitted photo

    By   4 weeks ago

    It’s easy for fans to see an athletic injury happen: A pitcher tweaks his throwing arm, a forward pulls up limping or a running back stays on the field after a tackle. The athletic trainers run out to check on the player and the fans start the guessing game. How serious is it? How long […]

    Read More →

      Living View All →

      Free concerts Sunday, under the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle and at Carisilos

      Cow Bop - feat

      By   23 hours ago

      “The World’s First Linear Musical Festival” thinks enough of Collinsville that the city gets two concerts. Sunday evening, Cow Bop will set up shop for a free concert under the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, alongside the STL250 Cakeway to West cake and within spittin’ distance of the Catsup Bottle for sale sign. The band, recently […]

      Read More →

      2014 World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival contest winners

      Announcements

      By   1 week ago

      The organizers of the 2014 World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival have announced the contest winners.   Little Princess Tomato Winner – Sophia Lewis (4) of Collinsville, IL First Runner Up – Amelia Hill (4) of Edwardsville, IL Little Sir Catsup Winner – Curtis Cline (6) of Edwardsville, IL First Runner Up – Bobby Hildebrand (3) […]

      Read More →

      2014 World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival C.I.A. Car, Truck & Motorcycle Winners

      Announcements

      By   1 week ago

      The organizers of the 2014 World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival have announced the winners for the Cruzin’ in Antiques (C.I.A.) car, truck and motorcycle show.   TOP 25 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS (Car/Truck Category) Sponsored by A-Rod-Shop Ernie Huffman of Troy, IL – 1950 Styleline Delux   Sponsored by A-Rod’s Auto Body Ed Lepold of Fairview Heighst, […]

      Read More →

      The C.IA., Winermobile and Jeepalope visit the Catsup Bottle Festival

      A poster advertising the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things / Photo by Rachel Heston-Davis

      By   1 week ago

      Despite a heat index above 90 degrees by noon, Collinsville’s 2014 Catsup Bottle Festival had another successful year celebrating condiments, cars and Collinsville spirit on July 13. Favorite catsup-themed activities returned to the fest, including the Little Princess Tomato and Sir Catsup Contest, the Brooks Tangy Catsup Taste Test stand, the catsup-smothered tater tot eating […]

      Read More →

      Castles in the Sky – Barcelona

      Palau de musica de Cataluyna / Photo by Roger Starkey

      By   2 weeks ago

      Story published previously in Travel Intelligence A towering mass of humanity stretched towards to the sky.  The cherry on the human ice cream cone scampered up the tower with rapidity and precision. Using the quadriceps of one person as a base, she clutched the waist of the person standing on the shoulders of her current […]

      Read More →

      Celebrating the Catsup Bottle’s 65th birthday with the Weinermobile

      CatsupBottleSantaWideShot

      By   3 weeks ago

      The 2014 edition of the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival will celebrate the 65th birthday of Collinsville’s iconic water tower turned roadside attraction. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 13. In its 16th year, the event, also dubbed a birthday party and car show, will welcome the Oscar […]

      Read More →

      Thwarting “tater haters,” Big Idaho® Potato poses for photo ops at Catsup Bottle®

      A replica catsup bottle in front of the Great Big Idaho® Potato in front of the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle ® / Photo by Roger Starkey

      By   3 weeks ago

      Toting a 28-foot-long, 12-foot-wide, 11.5-foot-tall plywood potato around the county requires one long truck and many permits. The average person may not know that permits are needed to haul the Great Big Idaho® Potato around the country, or that the 72-foot long truck is often required to avoid cities by using an interstate bypass. One […]

      Read More →

      Movie filming brings Hollywood stars to the Metro East

      Marshall_MoviePoster_ComingSoon

      By   4 weeks ago

      The dog days of summer have come early to the Metro East this year, and they brought some Hollywood stars with them. A movie based on the children’s book “Marshall: The Miracle Dog” has been filming in various locations around Edwardsville and Troy for most of the month of June. The original plan called for […]

      Read More →

      Great Big Idaho® Potato returning for more World’s Largest Catsup Bottle®

      From right to left: Collinsville fireman David Bennet with his children, Andy, Glen and Abby / Photo by Roger Starkey

      By   1 month ago

      Unable to resist another pairing of the greatest combination since water, barley, hops and yeast were magically mixed together to make beer, the Great Big Idaho® Potato is making a return visit to the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle®. The six-ton pseudo spud will take up residence at the 170-foot tall Catsup Bottle from 12-5 p.m. […]

      Read More →

        Events/Announcements View All →

        Lewis and Clark historic site hosts annual Hummingbird Festival on July 26

        Announcements

        By   2 days ago

        ***Submitted Content*** HARTFORD, Ill. – If you have questions about attracting hummingbirds to your garden, mark your calendar for Saturday, July 26. The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site will host its fifth Hummingbird Festival, co-sponsored by the Lincoln Land Association of Bird Banders. The free event runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Vernon Kleen, […]

        Read More →

        Collinsville Memorial Library to host blood drive Aug. 25

        Announcements

        By   3 days ago

        ***Submitted content*** Collinsville, IL –The American Red Cross is sponsoring a blood drive at the Collinsville Memorial Library Center. On Aug. 25 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. the American Red Cross will be at the library in the Community Room.  The need for blood is an ongoing and urgent need.  Help save a life by […]

        Read More →

        The 19th annual Mud Mountain 5K Classic and 1 Mile Fun Run will be held on Saturday, July 26th

        Announcements

        By   4 days ago

        ***Submitted Content*** Benefiting Edwardsville’s High school and Middle school Cross Country/ Track & Field teams, this year’s race will feature a few new changes.  For the first time ever, Mud Mountain will have team divisions.  Team divisions will include a Woman’s Division and a Men’s Division.  Teams can include four to seven runners, as the […]

        Read More →

        Collinsville yard sales July 18-20

        YardSales

        By   6 days ago

        The following is a list of yard sales within Collinsville from July 18-20 July 18 424 Short Street 303 N. Morrison 413 Chapel Drive 601 Maple Street 5 Miller Lane 920 Virginia Street July 19 413 Chapel Drive 601 Maple Street 5 Miller Lane 920 Virginia Street 310 S. Aurora 609 Greenwood Place 320 W. […]

        Read More →

        Vacation Bible School at First United Presbyterian Church of Christ, Collinsville

        Announcements

        By   1 week ago

        ***Submitted content*** Where: 201 E. Church St. Collinsville, Illinois 62234 When: Monday, July 21 through Thursday, July 24, 6 pm to 8 pm Why: We’ll be learning about God’s love and loving one another. With drama, games, crafts, and snacks, it’s two hours of fun that you don’t want to miss! Bring a Friend: Each […]

        Read More →

        Collinsville yard sales July 11-13

        YardSales

        By   2 weeks ago

        The following is a list of yard sales in Collinsville July 11-13 July 11 579 Carl 422 Chapel 401 S. Clinton 117 Gaylord 1125 Hampstead Court 319 N. Hesperia 100 Kingsbury Court 718 Maple 400 Peila Hill 889 Portland 500 Ridgemont Road 1508 Saratoga 704 Staten July 12 579 Carl 422 Chapel 401 S. Clinton […]

        Read More →

        Friday trash and recycle collection delayed until July 5 for Collinsville residents

        Image by Roger Starkey

        By   3 weeks ago

        Collinsville residents who have their trash and recycle picked up on Fridays will have a one day delay in service this week. The routes will, instead, run on Saturday, July 5.

        Read More →

        Collinsville Police sergeant graduates from the Southern Police Institute

        Charles Mackin

        By   3 weeks ago

        ***Submitted Content*** On May 9, 2014 Sergeant Charles Mackin graduated from the Southern Police Institute, Administrative Officers course session 131 in Louisville, Ky. The Southern Police Institute is a division of the Department of Justice Administration, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Louisville. It is an advanced education and training institute whose mission is […]

        Read More →

        First installment of Madison County property taxes due

        Announcements

        By   3 weeks ago

        ***Submitted content***   EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County Treasurer Kurt Prenzler is reminding taxpayers that the first installment of their tax bills is coming due. “With the holiday weekend I want to remind everyone that the first of four installments will be due July 9,” Prenzler said. “I want to make sure it doesn’t slip someone’s […]

        Read More →

          Columns View All →

          Keene on Your Finances: How well do you know your financial advisor?

          Brad Keene_Feat

          By   2 months ago

          It is fairly typical for financial advisors to be nice people with warm smiles and engaging personalities.  It is also not uncommon for them to appear financially successful by living in upscale communities and driving luxury cars. But does it qualify them to give you prudent financial advice and manage your investments?   What are their […]

          Read More →

          Think you’re not paying fees for your 401(k)? You’re probably wrong

          Brad Keene_Feat

          By   4 months ago

          “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  This widely used adage essentially communicates the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing.  Although this is intuitive for most people, when it comes to 401(k) plans, far too many participants think they are getting a free lunch. According to a recent survey by […]

          Read More →

          “Keene on Your Finances” – Roth 401k and Roth IRA, a lifetime of tax free earnings

          Brad Keene_Feat

          By   6 months ago

          A well-respected tax and estate planning attorney recently told me he had no idea he could contribute to a Roth 401k. He was sure there was an income limit. He and many others are missing a great investment opportunity. For years we have been wired to defer taxes and pay only when it is absolutely […]

          Read More →

          Coming soon: “Keene on Your Finances”

          Brad Keene_Feat

          By   9 months ago

          Brad Keene, vice president and partner at Meridian Financial Group, and lifelong Collinsville resident, will be a Metro Independent featured columnist, starting Friday. Brad’s “Keene on Your Finances” columns will appear every two months, providing valuable information about managing your personal finances. Keene is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM), holds an MBA from St. Louis University […]

          Read More →

            Opinion View All →

            Letter to the Editor: Fairness for Fairmount Park

            Typewriter / Photo by Roger Starkey

            By   1 month ago

            Fairmount racetrack has been in business since 1925.  At one time, the racetrack was one of the largest job creators in the Metro East and sent more tax dollars to Collinsville than most, if not all, businesses in Madison County. Today, the racetrack is a shell of what it was, what it could be, and […]

            Read More →

            Marleen Suarez: “Prenzler should turn his attention to his own office”

            Typewriter / Photo by Roger Starkey

            By   2 months ago

            My name is Marleen Suarez. As a candidate for Madison County Treasurer in the November Election, I promise to talk about issues that matter. I am a successful small business owner with more than a decade of professional investment industry experience and a plan for how to make the Treasurer’s Office work better for you. […]

            Read More →

            Letter to the Editor: Stand with Steelworkers

            Typewriter / Photo by Roger Starkey

            By   2 months ago

            A battle is on to protect American-made steel and the livelihood of those who make it. U.S. Steel in Granite City is the second-largest property taxpayer in Madison County. The steel mill pays more than $6.65 million to 10 local taxing districts, and provides jobs to more than 2,000 employees, most of whom live in […]

            Read More →

            Letter to the Editor: Revisiting the mayor’s role in the flower sculpture acquisition

            Typewriter / Photo by Roger Starkey

            By   2 months ago

            The Metro Independent published a great article about the flower sculpture at the corner of Clay Street and Route 159. It should serve as a reminder of our very unusual weak Mayor form of government that Mayor Miller fails to respect. But for being Liquor Commissioner and chairing meetings he is simply one of five […]

            Read More →

            Letter to the Editor: National Day of Prayer

            Typewriter / Photo by Roger Starkey

            By   3 months ago

            In 1952, the U.S. Congress established a day to remember the religious heritage of this country and to celebrate the rights to freely exercise our faith, and yes, to pray to God. As a nation, we unite on the first Thursday in May for the National Day of Prayer. In Madison County, religious beliefs also […]

            Read More →

            Letter to the Editor: When taxes go up, do you have a say in it?

            Typewriter / Photo by Roger Starkey

            By   4 months ago

            To the Editor: The number one complaint the Madison County Treasurer hears is about tax increases. People say, “I didn’t vote for an increase, so why do my taxes keep going up?” They’re right. The public often doesn’t have a say in the matter. How does it happen? First, let’s make it clear that the […]

            Read More →

            Letter to the Editor: Madison County Jail referendum, “the time for action is now”

            Typewriter / Photo by Roger Starkey

            By   5 months ago

            Letter to the Editor: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “the time for action is now.” The French novelist who penned “The Little Prince” believed “It’s never too late to do something.” He’s right. Early voting started in the Primary election and many of you will make the trip to the polls to cast your ballot. However, […]

            Read More →

            Letter to the Editor: Historically low rates at Madison County tax sale

            Typewriter / Photo by Roger Starkey

            By   5 months ago

            To the Editor: People usually don’t associate good news with taxes, but the annual Madison County Tax Sale, held this past Thursday, did result in good news for late taxpayers. Property taxes in the amount of $4.4 million were sold at a weighted average penalty interest rate of 1.59 percent. I’m not aware of any […]

            Read More →

            Have an opinion? Write a letter to the editor.

            By   9 months ago

            If you have an opinion about what is happening in the area, the state, the country or the world and you want your voice to be heard, write a letter to the editor. Submit all letters to rogerstarkey@metroindependent.com. Any profane, racist or otherwise inappropriate letters will not be published.

            Read More →