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Local News Archives for 2017-02

3 Arrested in Litchfield After Meth Delivery Items Discovered

Three Litchfield residents were arrested Friday afternoon after methamphetamine was discovered in a residence.

At 4:21 p.m. Friday, the Litchfield Police Department searched a residence on North Illinois Avenue and discovered items related to the delivery of methamphetamine. As a result of the search and investigation, Jamie Weller, 39, and Cody Miller, 41, both of Litchfield, were charged with Aggravated Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Possession of Less than ten grams of Cannabis, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Also placed under arrest during the execution of the warrant was Joseph Black, 47, of Litchfield. He was arrested for Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine.

Assisting at the scene were the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and the South Central Illinois Drug Task Force.

Two Injured Near Bunker Hill

Two people were injured in a single vehicle accident Saturday afternoon north of Bunker Hill. According to Illinois State Police, 52 year old Rudolph Jackson of Royal Lakes was driving a 2006 Pontiac south on IL Rt. 159, north of Rt. 138, when the vehicle left the roadway, struck an embankment and then a tree.

Jackson and a passenger, 36 year old Denita Hidden of Gillespie, were ejected from the vehicle. Jackson was transported by Survival Flight Helicopter Service to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Hidden was transported by ambulance to Alton Memorial Hospital.

The crash remains under investigation and no charges have been issued at this time.

Severe Weather Preparedness Guide Available to Public

Montgomery County Emergency Public Information Officer Sandy Leitheiser has announced that Montgomery County now has the new 2017 Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Guide available on the county website for public use.

According to Leitheiser, this important guide was provided to the county by Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Captain and 911 Emergency Management Coordinator Greg Nimmo. It was developed by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service.

The guide provides up-to-date information about tornadoes, severe storms, lightning and flooding emergencies, along with the recommended actions to take before, during and after each of these weather events. Leitheiser said that the guide also includes definitions of important weather terms, including watches, warnings and advisories, as well as a list of items needed for a family emergency supply kit.

Those interested in accessing the new Severe Weather Preparedness Guide may visit the Montgomery County website at and find the Emergency Management page.

Montgomery CEO Taking Applications for 2017-2018

The Montgomery CEO program has announced that applications for the 2017-2018 class are due March 15.

The Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, or CEO, class is a year-long course which takes high school seniors out of the typical school environment and places them into one focused on solving real world problems with business-based solutions. Students partner with local business leaders as part of the learning process.

Students will visit area businesses, learn from guest speakers, plan and run a class business and operate their own businesses.

The class will meet from 7:50 to 9:20 a.m. each school day in a variety of businesses located throughout Montgomery County. The class is financially supported by CEO business investors and Friends of CEO.

Applications for current high school juniors attending the Hillsboro, Litchfield, Nokomis and Panhandle school districts are available by clicking the link at the top of the website at Applications must be completed in full and returned to the school guidance counselor on or before March 15.

MCPHD Cholesterol Screenings

The Macoupin County Public Health Department is focusing on helping people identify risk factors such as high cholesterol. On Monday, February 27, anyone who makes an appointment for a Total Cholesterol/Lipid Panel Screening will also receive a free blood pressure screening and a Heart Health Risk Assessment.

Any one can participate in this February special program, but if you have never had a cholesterol, you are urged to make an appointment to learn your risk factors. Cost is $20.00 ffor the Cholesterol Screening and appointments can be made by calling 217-854-7272.

The Health Department is also helping Macoupin County residents control their cholesterol by Individual Nutrition Education Sessions.

If you prefer a one-on-one learning enviroment, the Health Department's Nutrition Education Program could help you. Appointments can be made to talk with a registered dietitian on a one-on-one basis. The dietician will help you design a meal plan that is right for your needs whether that is controlling cholesterol, losing weight, maintaining diabetes or other nutrition needs. The Cost is $10. To make an appointments call 217-854-3223, ext 225.

School Board Candidate Withdraws from Race

A Hillsboro School Board candidate has withdrawn his name from consideration ahead of the April election.

The Montgomery County Clerk's office announced Friday that Tom DeVore withdrew his candidacy from the race that will end Tuesday, April 4. According to County Clerk Sandy Leitheiser, all Montgomery County ballots have already been tested and printed with DeVore's name on them in order to be ready before military vote-by-mail and general vote-by-mail deadlines.

As a result of DeVore's withdrawal, any votes cast for him will not be canvassed and the three remaining school board member candidates are now uncontested as they seek four-year terms. Those candidates include Earl Meier, Gregory Bellaver, and Dan Wilson.

Signage informing voters about DeVore's withdrawal will be available in all polling places within the Hillsboro School District. DeVore's withdrawal comes on the heels of a pending lawsuit he filed after receiving backlash from a controversial post on social media.

CAH Auxiliary Scholarship

The Carlinville Area Hospital Auxiliary is urging Macoupin County high school students to apply for its Medical Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded in the spring of 2017 to a deserving senior who plans to enter the medical field at an accredited college of university.

Applications have been sent to every high school in Macoupin County, so they are readily available for students to complete and submit to the Auxiliary no later than March 1.

In additon to the application, the student must submit a comprehensive list of volunteer and/or comunity activities, a typed, one-page essay explaining why he or she wants to pursue a career in the medical field and two letters of recommendation. Qualifying candidates also must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher through junior year.

The Medical Scholarship is worth $1,000, with $500 given to the recipient upon acceptance into the accredited college or university and the other $500 sent to the student after the second semester, as long as he or she maintains a 3.0 GPA. The money may be applied to tuition, books, or other related fees.

The Auxiliary's scholarship committee will review all submitted applications and support documents in March and announce the winner in April.

Robbins Seeks Sheriff's Position in 2018

Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins has announced that he will run for sheriff in the 2018 election. The announcement comes following the news that current Sheriff Jim Vazzi will not be seeking re-election. Sheriff Vazzi has endorsed Robbins for the position.

Robbins, 47, has served as undersheriff since 2001. He worked as a general investigator and was assigned to the South Central Illinois Drug Task Force for six years in an undercover position. His law enforcement career began in 1994 with the Morrisonville Police Department.

"I want the opportunity," Robbins said in a statement, "to continue the mission that is in place now. It would be an honor to be the sheriff of this dedicated group of law enforcement professionals who strive to make our communities safe."

Robbins is a lifelong resident of Coffeen and a 1987 graduate of Hillsboro High School. He was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987 to 1991 and was a combat veteran during the Persian Gulf War.

He has also been active in the community, serving as a member of the Hillsboro Veterans Memorial Board, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Masonic Lodge, Moose Lodge, and SERTOMA Club, among other organizations. He is married to his wife, Julie, and the couple has two kids: Amanda Davidson and Summer Robbins.

Hillsboro Council Addresses Time off for Supervisors

The Hillsboro City Council adopted resolution 2017-01 at their meeting Tuesday evening, which addresses scheduled time off for department supervisors.

According to Mayor Brian Sullivan, there was nothing in writing that kept supervisors and deputy supervisors from taking scheduled time off at the same time. The resolution that was adopted makes it so a supervisor and deputy supervisor of the same deparment with the city may no longer take scheduled time off that overlaps with each other.

Another resolution the council adopted provided a change of control to the cable franchise. Mayor Sullivan informed the council that Cable One has agreed to purchase New Wave Communications, and the franchise agreement the city has with New Wave would automatically transfer unless the council rejected it, but the council unanimously approved the transfer.

The matter of new water meters for the city was also discussed during the meeting. Don Downs, Commissioner fo Streets and Public Improvement, originally believed the city would need to purchase 46 new meters. Additional research showed that only 40 meters were needed at a total cost of $7880. Downs had planned for a total cost closer to $9000.

Mayor Sullivan said water prices would not have to increase to help pay for the cost of the meters since the department had enough money.

The next Hillsboro City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, at 7 p.m.

MCAE Foundation Scholarships

The Macoupin County Agriculture Education Foundation is offering 1- $1,500 scholarhip, 1- $1,000 scholarship, and 7 - $500 scholarships for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year to students wishing to pursue agriculture majors.

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 and majoring in agriculture.

Applications are available through high school guidance counselors, high school agriculture instructors of the Macoupin County Farm Bureau. An electronic copy of the application can be requested by contacting the MCFB office by telephone or by email at: All applications must be submitted to the MCFB office by March 24, 2017.

2 Injured After Hillsboro Man Invades Home

The Montgomery County Sheriff's offce has released details of an attempted homicide that occurred Saturday in Hillsboro.

According to their report, at approximately 10:25 a.m. Saturday, the Montgomery County Sheriff's office received a 911 call stating that a male subject was in a man's house and was stabbing him and his daughter. Sheriff's deputies arrived at the residence, located at 8357 Walshville Trail, southwest of Hillsboro.

Deputies located the suspect - David Johnisee, 63, of Hillsboro - and placed him into custody. Also located inside the residence was the home-owner, Melvin Hoxsey, Sr., 75, who had sustained non-life threatening injuries from a knife and an apparent struggle with his alleged attacker. Mary Koch, 52, was also in the house with multiple non-life threatening injuries. She had a stab wound in the area of her face along with other injuries.

Statements from the victims indicated that Johnisee knocked on the door. Hoxsey then opened the door, when Johnisee proceeded to batter him and forced his way into the home. Johnisee allegedly began stabbing Hoxsey and Koch once inside the residence. Hoxsey was able to subdue Johnisee and held him until deputies arrived.

Hoxsey and Koch were both taken to Hillsboro Area Hospital; Koch by ambulance and Hoxsey via a family member. They each stated that they did not know Johnisee and did not know why he attacked them.

Johnisee is being held in the Montgomery County Jail pending formal charges. He is being charged with two counts of attempted homicide, home invasion, unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated battery. The Montgomery County Sheriff's office is continuing the investigation.

Plainview Man Charged

Macoupin County State's Attorney Jennifer A. Watson announced on Friday that 32 year old Danny G. Kline of Plainview was formally charged with one count of aggravated domestic battery and three counts of aggravated battery. He faces up to seven years in prison if he is convicted.

Kline was taken into custody early Thursday morning by the Macoupin County Sheriff's Office. Judge Joshua A. Meyer set bond at $75,000 and Kline us being held at the Macoupin County Jail.

The charges allege the defendant struck his girlfriend on the head with a closed fist and a crescent wrench. The charges also allege that a juvenile was struck in the head with a crescent wrench. The incident occured Wednesday night at a residence on Halliday Road north of Plainview.

Carrollton Woman is Missing

Police are searching for an elderly woman who has been missing since Tuesday night.

Betty Short, 85, of Carrollton, was last seen driving a white, 2008 Chevrolet Impala with the license plate number RS 2302. She was last spotted Wednesday heading east on Illinois Route 16 near Jerseyville.

Anyone with information on Betty Short's whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Green County Sheriff's office at 217-942-6901.

IDOT Seeks Input

The Illinois Department of Transportation is asking for additional input from the public in developing its Long Range Transportation Plan. The plan will identify policies to provide Illinois residents and businesses with innovative, sustainable and multimodal transportation solutions that support goals and grow the economy.

Feedback and comments can be provided at between now and March 8.

Last year, IDOT received more than 700 survey responses during the initial comment period. More than a quarter indicated that safety was their top priority. Respondents also expressed that maintaining Illinois' infrastructure is critical to improving the state's economy.

Sheriff's Association Scholarships

The Illinois Sheriff's Association has announced that it will be awarding over $54,000 in college scholarships throughout the state to students wishing to pursue higher education during the 2017-2018 academic year.

The scholarships are to be applied to tuition, books and fees only. Eligible students must be enrolled full-time to a certified institution of higher learning within the state of Illinois.

Montgomery County Sheriff Jim Vazzi will be awarding a scholarship in the amount of $500.

There are no restrictions on any applicant based on race, age, creed, sex or national origin. The only limitations are that applicants must be permanent Illinois residents, scholarships must be utilized at institutions of higher learning within the state, and students must be enrolled full-time during the 2017-2018 school year, excluding summer session.

Applications are available at the Montgomery County Sheriff's office or online at Applications must be completed and returned to the sheriff's office by March 15.

Fatal Crash in Greene County

A Carrollton woman was killed in a two vehicle crash Thursday night south of Carrollton.

According to Illinois State Police, 36 year old Kara Dunham of Carrollton was driving a 2002 Pontiac northbound on US 67, north of the Macoupin Creek bridge in Greene County, when for unknown reasons her vehicle crossed over the center line and collided head-on with a 2015 Ford SUV at 8:08pm.

Kara Dunham was pronounced dead at the scene by the Greene County Coroner.

The driver of the SUV, 29 year old Megan Skolasinski of Godfrey and two juvenile passengers were injured in the crash. Skolasinski and one juvenile were transported to Boyd Hospital in Carrollton and one juvenile was transported to Jersey Community Hospital in Jerseyville.

The crash remains under investigation.

ISP Pension Fund Phone Scam

Illinois State Police District 18 Trooper Heath Bryan is warning the public of a phone scam that is currently circulating throughout the state. Several have reported that they have received telephone calls from an individual discussing the State Police Pension Fund, and requesting they send money immediately.

The phone number associated with the calls has been fabricated to appear as a legitimate State Police telephone number with a 217 area code, in practice known as "Caller ID Spoofing." Trooper Bryan wants to inform the public that these calls are not coming from the State Police. Citizens should be wary of calls soliciting money regardless of the phone number the call is made from, particularly if threats are made by the caller or they become pushy.

The State Police will never call to solicit money on behalf of the department or ask for money to be sent for any reason. Those who believe they might be a victim of a phone scam should call 800-243-0618 and report it to the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.

For information on different types of phone scams and indicators of phone scams, visit

Illinois Sheriff's Association Scholarships

The Illinois Sheriff's Association announces that it will be awarding $54,500 in college scholarships throughout the State of Illinois to students wishing to pursue higher education during the 2017-2018 academic year. The scholarships are to be applied to tuition, books and fees only. The student must be enrolled full-time at a certified institution of higher learining within the State of Illinois.

Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl will be awarding a scholarship in the amount of $500.
Applicants must be permanent Illinois resident.

Apllications are now available at your local Sheriff's Office or on the ISA website- Students must complete the application; answer the essay question and return all documentation to the Sheriff's Office in their permanent county of residence by March 15, 2017.

Madison County Officials Investigating Infant's Death

The Madison County Sheriff's office is investigating the death of an infant that occurred Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday, at approximately 5:12 a.m., the Madison County Sheriff's office, New Douglas Fire Department and Staunton Area Ambulance Service responded to a residence at 406 North Main Street in New Douglas, to a report of an infant who was not breathing. Emergency medical personnel arrived on scene within minutes and began providing emergency care, which included CPR. The infant was rushed to Staunton Memorial Hospital for continued emergency care, but could not be saved.

Madison County Sheriff's deputies and investigators responded to the home and initiated an investigation into the death. Officials with the Illinois Department of Children and Familiy Services were requested and are aiding in the investigative efforts. The cause of death is still under investigation and pending autopsy results.


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