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Local News Archives for 2014-01

Dust Storms West of Carlinville

Dust storms on Rt. 108 west of Carlinville should subside this weekend with the prediction of rain and or snow.

For the past, several days high winds have caused dust storms on Rt. 108 four miles west of Carlinville and at times, visibility is near zero when the storms occur. Two accidents were cuased by the poor visibility.

Jim Pitchford with Macoupin County Emergency Management says the possible snow or rain forecast for this weekend and next Tuesday should end the dust storms as the moisture should compact the soil and freezing will help hold the soil in place.

There is the possibility that the dust storms could appear again should the soil dry out and the winds become high.

Stamp Out Cancer Has Record Year

(Hillsboro)--Results from this years Stamp Out Cancer fundraiser were announced Tuesday. Zach Wygal from the Stamp Out Cancer committee presented the Montgomery County Cancer Association with a check in the amount of seventy thousand dollars.

This years Dancing with the Stars event raised over forty six thousand dollars for the cause. The rest of the money came from the events silent auction, T-shirt sales, and other efforts.

Hillsboro Woman Sentenced In Heroin Case

(Hillsboro)--A 37 year old Hillsboro woman was sentenced to fifteen and a half years for the unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, heroin. According to the Montgomery County States Attorneys Office, Elizabeth Willis was also ordered to pay a one thousand dollar fine, one thousand dollar drug assessment, plus court costs. She was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release following her release from the Department of Corrections.

Willis was arrested on August 27th by the South Central Illinois Drug Task Force, and by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office following a search warrant of her residence in rural Hillsboro.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office says law enforcement agencies have battled a reemergence of heroin used throughout the area.

Age 17 Eligible to Vote in Primary

Most 17 year olds are eligible to vote in the upcoming March primary election.

According to Macoupin County Pete Duncan, as of January 1, 2014, individuals that will be 18 by the November general election are eligible to vote in the March primary if they register to vote.

Interested persons can contact the Macoupin County Elections office or the Macoupin County Clerk's Office for complete information on how to register.

Carlinville Hunter Safety Course

The mandatory Illinois Department of Natural Resources Hunter Safety Education course will be held in Carlinville on February 28 and March 1.

Sign-in will begin at 5:00pm on February 28. The class sessions will be held from 5:30pm to 9:30pm on February 28 and from 8:00am until 4:30pm on March 1. The course is presented free of charge and will be held in the Macoupin County Farm Bureau Building on North Broad St. in Carlinville.

Students should register in advance by calling the Carlinville Police Department at 217-854-3221. The class is limited to the first 60 students to enroll.

Drug Sting Arrests Three People

(Hillsboro)--A two day meth drug sting shut down a meth lab and saw three people arrested in Hillsboro on Thursday and Friday. According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, on Thursday afternoon the South Central Illinois Drug Task Force, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, and the Hillsboro Police Department responded to a possible meth lab.

Officers arrested 33 year old Kimberly Foster, and 32 year old Barry Foster in the nine hundred block of St. Louis Street in Hillsboro. During the search of the residence, meth along with materials and chemical used in meth production were found. Reportedly Barry Foster had an undisclosed amount of meth on him, and was charged with possession. Both were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

Friday morning, officers carried out a search warrant at a residence in Tremont Terrace in Hillsboro. 58 year old James Parlante was arrested and charged with possession and unlawful delivery of methamphetamine.

All three were taken to the Montgomery County jail.

Groundhog Day Celebration

The 38th Annual Groundhog Day Celebration will be held at the Benld United Methodist Church on February 1st.

The event will begin with a potluck at 6:00pm, followed by the evening's program and musical entertainment by the "Pickin Chicks".

Over $64,000 has been raised over the years from the Groundhog Day Celebration with proceeds going towards the fight against hunger. This years event will also benefit the Gillespie Area Ministerial Association and Heifer International.

For more information, visit the website

Pregnancy Resource Center Has New Director

(Litchfield)--The Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center in Litchfield has a new director. With the start of the new year, Kim Doolin has taken over as the center's new director.

Doolin replaces Vicky Shaffer, who retired from the center last year. She will be overseeing daily operations at the center, coordinating fundraisers, and overseeing funding and donations given to the center.

One of the big fundraisers currently being worked on is the annual Walk For Life, which will be held in April.

Macoupin County Scholarships

Several scholarships are available for Macoupin County students majoring in agriculture.

The Macoupin County Agriculture Education Foundation is offering one $1,500 scholarship, two $1,000 scholarships, and seven $500 scholarships for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year to students wishing to pursue agriculture majors.

The MCAE Foundation offers the scholarships in an effort to provide encouragement and financial assistance to Macoupin County residents and /or students of Macoupin County Schools who display well-balanced attributes of good citizenship, commitment to activities and scholastic ability.

The applicant must be a graduating high school senior or a current college student who plans to attend or is attending an Illinois junior college, college, university, or trade school.

Applications are available through high school guidance counselors, agriculture instructors or the Macoupin County Farm Bureau. An application can be requested by contacting the Macoupin County Farm Bureau Office in Carlinville at 217-854-2571 or email:

U of I Extension Seeking Input

The University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 Council is seeking input from community leaders and residents at an upcoming public meeting.

The Extension will be hosting public meetings in each of the four counties that it serves and the Macoupin County meeting is scheduled for February 13th at 11:30am in the Extension office in the Carlinville Plaza. Luch will be provided.

The meeting will begin with a brief presentation by Unit staff on programs and services the Extension is currently offering. The staff will then seek input from the attendees as to what gaps may exist and what new educational programs or services should be offered.

Anyone interested in participating is asked to contact the Macoupin County Esxtension office in Carlinville prior to February 11th. Call 217-854-9604 or email

Robbins Crowned Miss Illinois Fair Queen

(Springfield)--Hillsboro High School Graduate, and Miss Montgomery County Fair Queen, Summer Robbins of Coffeen, was crowned the 2014 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen. Illinois Director of Agriculture Bob Flider and retiring Queen Amelia Martens did the honors at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield. The ceremony was part of the annual convention of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs.

Ms. Robbins is the daughter of Rick and Julie Robbins of Coffeen. She is currently a student at the University of Illinois, majoring in business.

First runner up went to Megan Magee of Winnebago County; 2nd runner up wen to Alehandra Gillen of Warren County and 3rd runner up wen to Hannah Wolfe of Macon County.

Blood Drive Hosts

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is seeking hosts for blood drives in the months of February and March.

According to Donor Relations Consultant, Mindy Melton, churches, schools, area businesses or other organizations are needed to host blood drives in Macoupin, Morgan, Greene, and Sangamon counties.

Interested parties can contact Melton at 217-502-9204 for complete details.

Rappe Named To The Hillsboro City Council

(Hillsboro)--A new commissioner was appointed during the Hillsboro City Council meeting Tuesday night. Mike Rappe was appointed to be the cities new commissioner. Rappe will be the cities finance commissioner. Commissioner Chris Sherer will be moved to public properties; Commissioner Dennis McCammack will be moved to police and fire.

Rappe replaces Paul Smith on the city county, who resigned last month.

Tower Hill Man Found Dead In Truck

(Tower Hill)--A Tower Hill man was found dead along a Christian/Montgomery County road. According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, 23 year old Eric Bird was reported missing Saturday, and was found Sunday along the intersection of a Montgomery/Christian County road in a creek bed by a family member. Bird's truck was overturned in the creek with Bird inside.

Montgomery County Coroner Rick Broaddus pronounced Bird dead at the scene. An investigation is ongoing by the Montgomery County Sheriff's and Coroner's Office.

CCCC 14th Annual Banquet

The Coal Country Chamber of Commerce's 14th Annual Banquet will be held February 1 at Jodanni's Amore in Mt. Clare.

Doors will open at 6:00pm with a sirloin steak and shrimp dinner served at 7:00pm. The program for the evening begins at 8:00pm and will include the announcement of the business of the year.

Banquet tickets are $20 per person, $35 for a couple, and $135 for a table of eight.

Those planning on attending should RSVP no later than January 24. To RSVP, send a check to the Coal Country Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 57, Gillespie, IL.

Carlinville Queen Pageant

The Carlinville Queen Pageant will be held on Saturday, April 12th in the Carlinville High School Gymnasium.

Those interested in entering the Queen Pageant must be 16 to 20 years of age as of April 12th. For the Junior Miss competition girls must be between 11 and 13 and Little Miss contestants must be 4 or 5 years old.

Information and entry forms are available by contacting Pageant Director Ashley Vinyard at 217-825-4866.

Hospice Volunteer Recruitment

Vna TIP Hospice will host a volunteer recruitment open house this month in Carlinville.

The open house will be held on Thursday, January 30th from 10:00am until noon at the VNA office on Oaklan Avenue in Carlinville.

Veteran hospice volunteers will be on hand to present personal perspectives of the role of the hospice volunteer and to answer questions. Other activities will include training orientation and refreshments.

Those interested should contact the volunteer coordinator Sarah Spencer at 217-854-2047.

Litchfield Woman Found Dead

(Litchfield)--The Litchfield Police Department is investigating the death of a 59 year old woman. According to police, officers received a call about a missing person Wednesday morning.

Following an investigation, officers found the body of 59 year old Christine Lucas in the 900 block of East Prairie. No foul play is suspected. The incident is under investigation by the Litchfield Police Department, and by the Montgomery County Coroner's Office.

Pana Man Found Dead In Snow

(Pana)--Dangerous cold temperatures are proving to be deadly across the state. A Christian County man was found dead Monday in the snow, just a half block away from his Pana home.

According to Christian County authorities, 64 year old Herbert Palmer left his house early Monday morning to take a friend to a doctor's appointment, but his car became stuck in the snow. According to authorities, other snow removal deaths have also been reported across the state.

Overturned Truck Closes Route 16

(Nokomis)--The Nokomis Fire Department on Thursday was dispatched to a fuel tank truck that had overturned on Route 16, near the Subway resturant. The Nokomis Police Department closed Route 16 in both directions while the tanker was being emptied and moved.

According to the Nokomis Fire Department, fuel tank trucks from Raymond and Nokomis were called in to empty over seventy five hundred gallons of product.

No one was injured in the incident, and Route 16 was reopened around 3:45 Thursday afternoon.

Area Legislative Forum

The Illinois Rural Health Association is sponsoring a Legislative Forum at the Magnuson Grand Hotel at the Carlinville exit on Interstate 55 on Tuesday, January 14 from 11am until 1pm.

State Senators Andy Manar and Sam McCann will be in attendance along with State Representatives Wayne Rosenthal and C. D. Davidsmeyer.

The purpose of the Forum is for lawmakers to gain a better understanding of rural health legislation and challlenges facing local providers.

Rural Health Providers from area counties are invited to attend. Lunch will be provided at the event. Those wanting to attend should RSVP by January 10.

Contact Margaret Vaughn, IRHA Executive Director at 217-280-0206.


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