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Local News Archives for 2017-01

Hillsboro Juveniles Taken Into Custody After Vehicle Theft

Two juvenile males were taken into custoday last Wednesday in connection with a stolen vehicle.

Shortly after 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Hillsboro Police Department was notified that a vehicle had been stolen from a residence on Huber Drive. It was later recovered in a field south of Taylor Springs by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. The vehicle was towed to the Hillsboro Police Department for investigation by the Illinois State Police.

Two fourteen-year old juveniles were taken into custody and released to their parents after a detention hearing was conducted that afternoon.

St. Francis Opens New Cancer Center

H.S.H.S. St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield held a blessing of its all new Cancer Care Center on Tuesday, January 17. Hospital Chaplain Monsignor Kenneth Steffen presided at the event, with director of radiology and mission Joanne Van Leer assisting.

"It's wonderful to see the new cancer care center ready to be opened to serve patients," said Patti Fischer, Oncology Service Line Leader for the H.S.H.S. Central Illinois Division. "From the early planning stages of the program, many people expressed their gratitude to me when they heard the hospital was working to bring these services to Litchfield."

According to Fischer, the Montgomery County Cancer Association recently donated $10,000 toward the new center.

The Cancer Care Center will accommodate up to 16 patients daily, and is an addition to the existing outpatient medical oncology clinic at St. Francis. The area includes a private physician's office, nurse's desk, welcome desk, family waiting area, two private patient exam rooms, two private infusion rooms and four semiprivate infusion bays.

Montgomery County Residents Arrested on Drug Charges

Two Montgomery County residents were arrested Friday afternoon on drug charges.

Kasey Hodge, 28, of Raymond, and Richard Ross, 43, of Hillsboro, were taken into custody at 837 East Seward Seward Street in Hillsboro for possession of methamphetamine and heroin. The South Central Illinois Drug Task Force, along with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and Hillsboro Police, executed an arrest warrant and search warrant at the residence at 2:48 p.m.

Hodge and Ross were allegedly found to be in possession of approximately three grams of suspected methamphetamine and a half gram of suspected heroin. An additional search of the premises resulted in the seizure of an additional five grams of suspected methamphetamine.

The two are currently being held at the Montgomery County Jail awaiting formal charges. The arrest and search warrant was obtained with the assistance of Montgomery County State's Attorney Chris Matoush as a result of an ongoing narcotics investigation led by the South Central Illinois Drug Task Force.

Progressive Club Anniversary

The Wilsonville Progressive Club will hold its 68th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, January 21, starting at 5pm with food and music and public is invited.

The Club moved into the current location on January 22, 1949. Originally established in May of 1934 the Progressive Club will mark 85 years in business in the Village of Wilsonville in 2019.

Local Ladies Recognized at VFW Banquet

The 12th District of the Veterans of Foreign Wars held their annual awards banquet on January 7.

Julia Bader, who placed first in the Patriot's Pen Essay Contest at the local level, was awarded second in the district under the same category. She received a certificate and $100. Hannah Niemann, who was the 1st Place Voice of Democracy Essay Winner on the local level, was recognized as an honorable mention in the district. She, too, received a certificate.

The banquet was held at the VFW Post in Highland.

Litchfield Seeking Citizen of the Year Nominees

Each year, the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce recognizes an outstanding individual who has gone above and beyond with exceptional and continuous service to the community.

The chamber is inviting fellow Litchfield citizens to participate with the selection process by nominating someone whom they feel is most qualified to be the 2017 Citizen of the Year.

Those who believe they know someone who fits the description and would like to nominate them, should send the nominees name, address and telephone number to the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 334 in Litchfield, Illinois, 62056. In addition to the nominees information, a short description of why that person is worthy of being recognized should also be sent. Nominees must be submitted by January 28.

Hillsboro Business Owner Arrested for Arson

A Hillsboro business owner has been arrested for arson after a fire occurred a week ago.

Jeffery Holcomb, 48, was taken into custody for Arson on January 4, at approximately 1:20 p.m. He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and is currently awaiting a bond hearing.

On January 2, the Hillsboro Fire Department received a call at 8:24 p.m. of a structure fire at Holcomb Construction on Smith Road in Hillsboro. 38 firefighters responded along with four different pieces of equipment; two fire engines, one ladder truck and one squad. The fire department was back in service at 11:30 that evening.

The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by the Hillsboro Fire Department, Illinois State Fire Marshall's Office, and Hillsboro police.

Radon Testing for Schools

January is 'Rado Action Month' in Illinois to encourage residents to test their homes for radon, a radioactive gas that is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. To kick off the month, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the American Lung Association in Illinois have announced a statewide initiative to help Illinois school districts screen school buildings for radon.

As pary of the school initiative, districts throughout Illinois can receive radon detection equpment, assistance with developing a radon testing plan and guidance on rado detector placement within school buildings. To participate in the program, designated school district employees must complete an online traing course on procedures for performing screening measurements in their district school buildings.

In many cases, radon levels in schools can be lowered through modifications to the heating and air conditioning systems, while a professional radon mitigation contractor may be needed to address elevated radon levels in other schools.

School districts interested in participating can call Kallie Sinkus at 217-718-6667 or email

Health Department Statement on Norovirus

The Montgomery County Health Department released a statement Wednesday addressing the norovirus in Litchfield.

Health Department Administrator Hugh Satterlee said they are aware of social media outlets within their jurisdiction claiming a large scale outbreak in Litchfield. He said outbreaks commonly occur in closed or semi-closed communities such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, schools, jails, dormitories and cruise ships. There is currently no treatment for the virus. The treatments that are administered try to alleviate the symptoms so the patient is more comfortable during the recovery period.

The statement added that there had been a limited number of norovirus cases reported to the Montgomery County Health Department by facilities in the county. All facilities have followed and are currently continuing to follow Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines and procedures for this type of virus.

For questions or more information about the virusa, call the Health Department at 532-2001.

Injury Accident near Gillespie

Three people were injured in a single vehicle accident Tuesday afternoon between Gillespie and Benld.

According to Illinois State Police, 32 year old Nicole Ridenhour of Gillespie was driving a 2012 Kia northbound on IL Rt-4 when the vehicle left the roadway at 2:36pm. The Kia struck a culvert, went airborne, and rolled onto its roof before coming to rest in the middle of Rt-4.

Ridenhour, an eight year old male and a four year old female both from Gillespie were transported by Gillespie-Benld Ambulance to Community Memorial Hospital in Staunton.

IL Rt-4 was shut down for approximately thirty minutes while the vehicle was removed.

The crash remains under investigation.

Norovirus Hits Montgomery County

Reports have surfaced recently of the norovirus hitting the Montgomery County area.

According to the Montgomery County Health Department, the norovirus, frequently referred to as the stomach flu, is very contagious and can infect anyone. It may cause stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting, and usually lasts 48 hours or less.

To stay protected from the norovirus, people should remember to wash their hands, rinse fruits and vegetables, cook shellfish thoroughly, clean surfaces and keep clothes clean. If a person has been infected, they should stay at home if at all possible and limit contact with the elderly, newborns and pregnant women. For additional information on the virus, visit

Crimestoppers Seeking Burglary Info

The Macoupin-Montgomery County Crimestoppers is seeking information about a residential burglary that occurred on the evening of December 27, between 3:30 and 6:30.

Someone broke into a residence on the Miller Branch Trail, about one and a half miles southwest of Taylor Springs. Items taken include a purse and an electronic device. A vehicle was also broken into and another electronic device was taken.

Anyone with information on the crime can call Crimestoppers at 1-800-352-0136 or the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office at 532-9511. Information provided could lead to an award of up to $5000.


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