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Local News Archives for 2016-09

Litchfield Reunion Draws Over 400

The city of Litchfield hosted their all-year class reunion at the Community Center on Saturday evening.

Litchfield Tourism Coordinator Sarah Waggoner says that there was a very good turnout of alumni from all over the country. 474 people in total attended the event, representing 53 different classes. The oldest class that was represented was the class of 1941, while the youngest on hand was 2011.

The reunion also saw alumni representing 24 different states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Rhode Island and Washington, in addition to the neighboring states of Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin and Kentucky.

Litchfield School Board Addresses Personnel Matters

The Litchfield School Board hed their monthly meeting on Thursday, September 22nd. After returning from executive session, the board addressed personnel matters in the district.

A couple of volunteers were hired to assist with sports teams in the district. Brent Stewart was approved as a volunteer high school basketball coach, and Cole Werner was approved as a volunteer middle school wrestling coach.

The board also accepted the resignation of two employees. Harold Lankutis resigned as a custodian at Sihler Elementary School, effective September 30th; and Jim Brown resigned from the building and grounds staff, effective September 29th.

Two employees were approved for leave during the year. Justin Ripley, construction trades teacher at the high school, was approved for paternity leave beginning on September 23rd and continuing until October 11th. Kaitlin Heinz, pre-kindergarten teacher, was approved for maternity leave, which is slated to begin on approximatly November 11th and continue until January 2nd.

The board also accepted a letter of intent to retire from Peggy Adamick, who teaches computer applications at the middle school. Mrs. Adamick will retire after the 2019-20 school year.

Finally, the board approved Joseph Haarstick as a substitute custodian for the school district.

The meeting adjourned at 10:41pm.

St. Francis Auxiliary to Host Home Tour

The H.S.H.S. St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary will be showcasing homes in Litchfield this weekend as part of a fundraiser to benefit a scholarship program for students pursuing degrees in the healthcare field.

Six homes will be showcased on Sunday, September 25th during a tour that will take place from 12:30 to 4:30pm. Tickets are available in the hospital gift shop or at the Holiday Inn Express.

"We are is honored and grateful to the families who are allowing us to feature their homes in the fundraiser," said St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary President Denise Delacruz. "Each year, the auxiliary awards scholarships to students in the healthcare field and everyone who attends the tour will have the opportunity to walk through some beautiful homes."

The tour features the homes of Sonny and Audra Barrett, Erik and Meghan Hyam, Terry and Cindi Keeton, Aaron and Kassidy Paine, Ryan and Michelle Petrosky, and Mike and Kim White. All of the homes are located in Litchfield.

To see an online map to the homes, visit For additional information, call Hospital Director of Philanthropy Paula Endress at 217-324-8200.

Bourne Advisory Committees

State Representative Avery Bourne has been meeting with advisory committees throughout the month of September. The groups meet twice a year and are comprised of experts and concerned citizens from throughout the ninety-fifth district. The five committees include agriculture, education, healthcare, millennials, and veterans.

Advisory committees gather information and opinions about community issues and potential legislative changes. Additionally, they review and advise Bourne on legislation designed to improve the quality of life within the district.

The Veterans Advisory Committee had success during the last legislative session with several bills becoming law, and there are more legislative issues they are hoping to see enacted in the future. Most recently, the Agriculture Committee discussed transportation needs and the impact of the higher education system on agriculture industries.

Representative Bourne welcomes anyone from the community who would like to share their thoughts or concerns by joining a committee. The next meeting of the advisory boards will be in February 2017. Those interested in signing up can contact Bourne's office in Litchfield at 217-324-5200.

Voter Registration Day Open House

National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 27th, and the Montgomery County Clerk's office is inviting the public to the early voting center for an open house.

Those interested in attending should report to the early voting center in the basement of the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro on September 27th from 9 to 11am. Refreshments will be available. Voters are encouraged to stop by and check their voting status. If you are unable to attend, you may also check your voting status at

Montgomery County Clerk Sandy Leitheiser encourages those who have recently changed their address, gotten married or changed their name to check their voter registration status. She also said those who wait until election day to register may have to deal with long lines.

Bank & Trust Robbery Suspect in Custody

Bank & Trust Robbery Suspect in Custody

The suspect believed to be responsible for robbing Bank and Trust in Raymond last Tuesday is now in police custody.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, James Williams, 34, turned himself in at the Alton Police Department on Saturday. A warrant was issued last week for the Class X felony of Aggravated Robbery, and bond has been set at $500,000. Williams was on parole with the Illinois Department of Corrections for Aggravated Use of a Weapon in a separate incident.

At approximately 11:59am last Tuesday, a black male wearing light-colored blue jeans, a white v-neck t-shirt, tan boots, and a black "skull" cap entered the bank demanding money with a note. The man stood between 6'1" and 6'2", weighed about 200 pounds and was carrying a black and white plaid backpack. He also had a goatee and a tattoo next to his left eye, possibly in the shape of a teardrop.

The man appeared to be unarmed during the robbery.

Raymond Bank & Trust Robbed

Raymond Bank & Trust Robbed


A person of interest has been named in the robbery that occurred at Bank and Trust in Raymond Tuesday.

According to the Macoupin/Montgomery County Crimestoppers, James Williams, 34, has been named as the person of interest. Williams is said to be from the Springfield, Illinois area.

According to the Raymond Police, at approximately 11:59am, a black male entered the bank and demanded money by giving the teller a note. The man was stood between 6'1" and 6'2" and appeared to weigh more than 200 pounds. He was wearing light-colored blue jeans, a white v-neck t-shirt, a black "skull cap," tan-colored boots and was carrying a black and white plaid backpack. He has a goatee and a tattoo next to his left eye, possibly in the shape of a teardrop.

The suspect exited the building and was last seen crossing the street toward the car wash. Deputies and assisting agencies canvased the neighborhood but were unable to locate the man.

The incident caused Lincolnwood High School, Junior High and elementary schools to all be placed on lockdown for the remainder of the day as a precaution.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office has asked Williams to contact the department for verification of the crime.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of James Williams or additional information about the robbery is asked to contact the Macoupin/Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 1-800-352-0136.

Hit and Run Near Staunton

New information has been obtained concerning a hit and run north of Staunton on Sunday.

According to Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl, a 55 year old man from St. Louis was riding a bike south on Rt. 4 in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Bike Ride when he was struck by a vehicle at 9:44pm just north of the Staunton Country Club. The vehicle left the scene.

Deputies responded to the scene and found the victim conscious but suffering from head injuries. The man reported he could not remember anything. He was transported to Community Memorial Hospital and later air-lifted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

While a deputy was at the hospital with the victim, a witness who was at the hospital reported he saw a Maroon Hyundai Santa Fe SUV with front passenger side damage traveling southbound on Rt. 4 around the time of the hit and run. The witness said the driver was a male with blue tank top and had a hat on backwards.

Anyone with information concerning the hit and run or the vehicle is asked to contact the Macoupin County Sheriff's Office or the Macoupin/Montgomery County Crime Stoppers.

Litchfield Woman Sentenced For Aggravated Meth Participation

A Litchfield woman has been sentenced to nine years in prison for aggravated participation of methamphetamine.

Sierra Strahan, 20, was sentenced to nine years incarceration in the Illinois Department of Corrections on Thursday by Judge James Roberts for the Class X felony. She was also ordered to pay court costs and a $3000 drug assessment.

Litchfield Police officers responded to a Montgomery Avenue Residence on October 9, 2015, in relation to possible methamphetamine manufacturing. Officers discovered a duffle bag that contained an active meth cook as well as several other items consistent with the manufacture of the drug. Officers then conducted a further investigation that revealed that Strahan had made numerous purchases of pseudoephedrine in months prior in 2015.

States Attorney Chris Matoush indicated that the fact that a young child also resided in the residence where the methamphetamine was being manufactured provided another aggravating factor contributing to her sentence.

Strahan will serve a three-year parole term once she is released.

Litchfield Woman Sentenced for Unlawful Meth Delivery

A Litchfield woman has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for the delivery of methamphetamine.

Elizabeth Krech, 39, was sentenced to four years and six months incarceration on Tuesday by Judge James Roberts for the Class 2 felony offense of unlawful delivery of methamphetamine. She also received a concurrent four and a half year sentence for aggravated battery.

Members of the South Central Illinois Drug Task Force conducted an undercover narcotics operation on May 2, 2016. At 4:24pm on State Street in Litchfield, Krech sold an amount of methamphetamine to an agent.

In addition to her sentence in the Department of Corrections, Krech must also pay court costs and a $1000 drug assessment. She will serve a parole term of two years when released.

7th Annual Litchfield TriathLou to be Held Sunday

The City of Litchfield will host the 7th annual Litchfield TriathLou on Sunday, beginning at Lake Lou Yaeger's Marina 1. During the event, the city will welcome runners from across the country competing in sprint and Olympic distance races.

Marina 1 will be closed during the event, as will the intersection of Arrowhead Road and Beach House Trail. All other roads will remain open, but the city asks that the public use extreme caution in the area. Litchfield Police will be present at the main intersections to assist vehicles while ensuring the safety of the race participants.

For more information about the TriathLou, log on to, 'like' the "Visit Litchfield" Facebook page, or call the tourism office at 324-8147.

2 Accidents Separated by 1 Mile on I-55 Monday

The Illinois State Police responded to a couple of accidents that occurred separately on Interstate 55 Monday morning.

According to the state police, a motorcycle driven by Joseph Bravo, 57, was traveling north on I-55 when it began to slow due to a flat rear tire. The motorcycle lost control two miles south of the Toronto Road exit and overturned in the middle lane.

The driver and his passenger, 58-year old Leslie Bravo, were transported to Memorial Medical Center and treated for injuries. The accident occurred at approximately 11:26 a.m.

The second accident occurred a little more than half an hour later one mile south of the first. Billy Allison, 68, was slowing his vehicle due to the previous accident. A second vehicle, driven by 27-year old Thomas Keegan, struck the rear end of Allison's vehicle causing it to overturn and come to rest on its top. Keegan said he didn't realize traffic was slowing just before the accident occurred.

Occupants of both vehicles were transported to Memorial Medical Center and St. John's Hospital in Springfield for non-life threatening injuries.

Mental Health First Aid

On September 27 and 29, a Mental Health First Aid Training program will be offered to teach individuals how to help a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis including substance abuse disorders.

The training will focus on what is mental health, how to identify symptoms, how to assess risk of suicide or harm. Each participant will learn an action plan and gain the skills needed to respond to a person in a mental health crisis.

The training will be held at the Gillespie Civic Center and is sponsored by the Macoupin County Public Health Department. It is free to the first 30 persons who register. Participants must be age 18 or older. To register call 217-839-4111. Registrants not within the first 30 persons will be kept on a waiting list for a training to he held in the future.

Volunteers needed at Montgomery County Food Pantry

One in four children in Montgomery County lives in poverty. To help counteract this problem, volunteers are needed at the C.E.F.S. Montgomery County Food Pantry. Duties that volunteers would be helping perform include stocking, cleaning, sorting and packing.

The biggest need is to help unload delivery trucks on the second Tuesday of every month. This requires lifting 50-60 pound boxes.

If you are interested in donating your time or gas cards for clients to travel to the food bank, doctors' appointments, or work, contact Lois at the C.E.F.S. Montgomery County Outreach at 217-532-5971.


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