Mt. Vernon woman identified as body found in vehicle fire

Washington County Coroner Mark Styninger said Friday that his office has made positive identification of a body found in a vehicle fire in Radom earlier this week.

Styninger said in a Facebook post that through dental records, the body was found Wednesday afternoon in a vehicle near St. Michael’s Cemetery was to be Genevieve Barciszewski, 75, of Mt. Vernon. Barciszewski was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:21 p.m.

An autopsy was conducted in O’Fallon Thursday, and Styninger said a cause of death has yet to be determined pending the results of other tests.

The investigation is ongoing. Agencies involved include the coroner’s office, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Ilinois State Police Crime Scene Investigation as well as the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s Office.

Sheriff: Fatality reported in car fire Tuesday

Authorities are investigating a vehicle fire reported Tuesday afternoon near St. Michael’s Cemetery in Radom that resulted in the death of one individual.

Washington County Sheriff Len Campbell said in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon that the identity of the person discovered at the scene has yet to be determined. The incident was reported to the sheriff’s office at 1:19 p.m. The Ashley Fire Protection District responded and handled the fire call.

Firefighters were called to St Michael’s Cemetery in Radom for a vehicle fire.

The sheriff’s office is reportedly receiving assistance from the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigations Unit, the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Washington County Coroner.

Campbell said the investigation is in the preliminary stages and more details will be released at a later date.

The Standard will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

Nashville District 49 to dismiss early Wednesday

In anticipation of severe storm weather Wednesday afternoon, Nashville District 49 has announced that it will be dismissing school at 1:30 p.m.

District 49 Superintendent Mike Brink said in a parent letter said buses will start loading at that time and children will be available for pickup at 1:45 p.m. Brink said there has been reported an elevated risk of potential tornadoes large hail and winds up to 80 miles per hour throughout the day.

The main risk time for the county is between 3 and 7 p.m.

Junior Hornets will be in operation until 5:30 p.m., Brink said, but the school asks to not pick up children if the weather gets too bad.

Gallery: Oakdale Easter Eggstravaganza

After a week of cold rain and snow, the sun was out in full force, just in time for the popular spring event.

The Oakdale Easter Eggstravaganza featured a lot of the same seasonal festivities of festivals past, only this time in a new location — the Oakdale Village Park. There were hundreds in attendance, all to visit the famous Easter Egg Factory trail, seeing the Easter Bunny and other assorted fictional characters and many more family friendly activities. Another highlight of the day was the Great Easter egg hunt, where colorful, candy-filled eggs were scooped up in a matter of minutes.

Check out our gallery of some of the fun-filled events from the 27th annual event.

Feel Good Friday: April 8

Welcome to Friday! Check out these features that we have been reading lately:

This weekend has a few Easter festivities for those who are on the hunt for some eggs.

Make it out to the Oakdale Eggstravaganza, returning Saturday, April 9, after a three-year hiatus due to COVID restrictions. The 27th annual event is moved to the Oakdale Village Park and will still have some seasonal favorites like the Egg Factory, photo opportunities and hunt, which begins at 2 p.m.

Here is a schedule of the events.

Also on Saturday, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce is inviting all children to come and meet the Easter Bunny on the Washington County Courthouse lawn at 1 p.m. for a story time. Every young visitor will receive a special treat.

Wanna fill the whole weekend with Easter eggs? There is another hunt on Sunday, this time in Richview at the village park, beginning at 2 p.m.

Mrs. Kollbaum’s English IV Honors students were given the opportunity on Friday to virtually host Holocaust survivor Irene, or Reni, Butter in the classroom. According to the Facebook post, Irene spent her early teenage years imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps of Westerbork and Bergen Belsen, and her father, who she considered“her hero and idol,” died from the cruelties of the camp days after he was liberated. She survived along with her mother and brother.

Modern Woodmen fundraiser for Nashville District 49 PSO

Modern Woodmen of America members in Nashville are doing their part to help our local community.  They will be joining in support of Nashville District 49 PSO’s Cash Raffle.

Up to $2500 of the Cash Raffle Tickets sold will be matched by Modern Woodmen through Modern Woodmen’s Matching Fund Program.  The funds will be used to purchase and install Perforated Safety Film for the Middle School windows.

“With this project, every dollar truly counts,” says Kimberly Taylor, local Modern Woodmen Representative.  “It’s exciting to be involved in a project that is important to our local school.”

All tickets purchased thru the Modern Woodmen office will be matched up to the full $2500 match to the Nashville District 49 PSO.  Please contact Kimberly Taylor at 618-327-0346 to purchase Cash Raffle Tickets.  Cash Raffle Tickets are $10 per ticket and must be purchased by Friday, April 22.

Cash Raffle drawing will be streamed live Wednesday, April 27th via Nashville District 49 PSO Facebook page.

Modern Woodmen was founded in 1883 as a fraternal benefit society. The organization supports members, families and communities with a unique blend of financial services, fraternal benefits and local-impact opportunities. In 2018, Modern Woodmen and its members provided $19.9 million and 470,000 volunteer hours to support fraternal activities and programs. Learn more at

— Submitted article

Centralia man charged in 2015 murder

A 31-year-old Centralia man appeared in Marion County Court Tuesday and was advised of first degree murder charges stemming from a 2015 shooting death of Dustin Rhynes.

Bond for Ricky Norwood has been set at $1 million.

Prosecutors had filed a murder charge against Norwood in early March, and after a grand jury handed down a superseding indictment of a similar charge on March 25, a warrant was issued.

According to WRXX, the warrant alleges that Norwood shot and killed Rhynes.

The body of Rhynes, 24, was discovered in an alleyway on Aug. 23, 2015. It had been determined that Rhynes had died from a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Rhynes was also reportedly with another victim who was able to run from the scene and seek help from the Fireside Nursing Home.

Norwood had been serving a previous sentence, when Marion County Sheriff’s deputies picked him up from a federal prison in New Jersey for the charges.

Norwood was sentenced in July 2020 to 151 months in federal prison for unrelated methamphetamine distribution and weapons charges.

A first appearance with counsel is set for April 13 at 1 p.m. Emily Fitch has been appointed as the defense attorney in the case.

Feel Good Weekend: April 1-3

Welcome to the weekend! Here is a roundup of some of the local good news we have seen this past week.

Spring has sprung and many local tourist spots and eateries have opened for the season, including:

Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo, opened April 1

Twelve Oaks Vineyard, opened April 1

Got A Bite Restaurant at Washington County State Lake, opened April 1.

The Summer Concerts at the Town Square, presented by the Washington County Arts Council, announced this year’s concerts. The weekly musical events are held on Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. There will be popcorn and drinks available.

The lineup includes:

  • The Venedy Band, June 2
  • Paul Bonn Blues, June 9
  • George Portz and Friends of Bluegrass, June 16
  • The Clark Boys, June 23
  • Sam McKinnes and Sam Smith, June 30
  • Twilight Jazz, July 7
  • Threshermen, July 14

Parade set to send off NCHS music en route to New York City trip

The Nashville Community High School band and choir are traveling today to New York City to play at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.

Anyone who is interested in sending off the students can show their support by participating in an uptown parade beginning at 11 a.m.

The NCHS concert band will be participating in the National Festival Chorus event on April 4, where instrumental ensembles from all over the country will perform a once-in-a-lifetime experience as part of Manhattan Concert Productions’ Symphonic Series.

The musicians are expected to perform a diverse program, spanning from Schubert and Mahler to contemporary artists such as Samuel Hazo and James Swearingen. 

The NCHS choir will also participate in a choir event at Carnegie Hall that same day.

Donation to cover all April pet adoptions at Washington County Animal Control

As a way to give back to the community, the Antoine family will be covering all pet adoptions at Washington County Animal Control for the next month.

Dana Antoine, who has worked at the shelter for about three years, said the donation will include dog and cats that are looking for their forever homes from April 1 to April 29. It does not include any spaying, neutering or any shots that are required as part of pet ownership.

The family wanted to present this opportunity to Nashville and its surrounding areas before they move to Tennessee in May.

Washington County Animal Control is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out the shelter’s Facebook page for updates on available pets. You can also help the shelter by volunteering or purchasing items from the Amazon wish list.

Featured photo: Kia is a little less then a year old, spayed female, Catahoula mix that was recently featured on the Washington County Animal Control Facebook page as ready for adoption. We are told she loves everyone, good with other dogs but has ever been around cats before.

Here is the original post for Kia: