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Local News Archives for 2017-03

Joe Page Bridge Lane Restrictions

The Illinois Department of Transportation is advising motorists that the Joe Page Bridge carrying IL Rt. 16/100 over the Illinois River will be restricted to one lane beginning on Monday, April 3. Temporary traffic signals will be installed to maintain two-way traffic through this area. This work is required to perform maintenance and paint the existing bridge and is expected to be completed by the end of September 2017.

Long delays are expected. This will be especially true when the bridge is raised for river traffic. The Department recommends using alternate routes as much as possible during this time frame.

Suicide Investigated After Man Found Hanging in Front Yard


The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and Coroner's Office are investigating a suicide that occurred on the south end of Litchfield last Thursday.

On March 23, at 11:43 p.m., 911 Dispatch received a call for assistance in reference to a man found hanging in the front yard of a residence on 30 Bluebird Lane. The caller had cut the man down and started CPR. The victim was later identified as Jeffrey Jeffers, 51, of the same residence.

Within two minutes, Litchfield Police Officers were on scene and took over CPR. After a patient assessment from the Litchfield Area Ambulance and Fire Service, Montgomery County Coroner Randy Leetham arrived and prounced Jeffers dead. Evidence from the scene indicated that the victim died of self-inflicted strangulation, and there was no evidence indicating any criminal acts.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office also assisted at the scene and is continuing the investigation along with the Coroner's Office.

Greene County Health Fair

The Greene County Health Department, in cooperation with Boyd Healthcare Services, Knights of Columbus, Lions Clubs of Greene County, Greene County Farm Bureau, Gable Family Pharmacy and Pharmacy Plus, is sponsoring a Health Fair for people of all ages on Wednesday, March 29, from 7:00am until Noon at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Route 67 in Carrollton.

Over 40 different screenings and informational displays with free promotional materials will be offered, including free blood pressure, blood sugar test and hearing and vision screening.

Boyd Healthcare Services Lab will be available from 7:00am until Noon for blood testing. Clients will need to go to Boyd Hospital Lab to pick up test results about 1-3 weeks after the blood testing is done. Fees for some the testing and services being offered are as follows:

Coronary Risk Profile $20.00 (fasting preferred - nothing to eat for at least 8 hous before test)

A1C $20.00; Prostate Cancer Screening $15.00; Hemogram $15.00; Thyroid Testing $15.00 and a Colon Cancer Screening take-home kit $6.00.

There will be several door prizes given away.

The sponsors welcom Greene County residents, as well as out-of-county residents to participate in the Greene County Health Fair at no charge.

2 Cited for Retail Theft at Hillsboro IGA


Two people were cited for retail theft at IGA in Hillsboro on Monday morning.

At 9:06 a.m., the Hillsboro Police Department was requested to respond to the grocery store in reference to a shoplifter they had detained. After speaking with management, officers cited Kimberly Deck, 40, of Witt, with Retail Theft. Karen Summers, 48, of Irving, an employee of the store, was also cited for Retail Theft for facilitating Deck in the act.

Besides the items that were not paid for, there were items that had been coded as grocery that were not food items that Deck apparently attempted to purchase with an Illinois Assistance Card. These items are not allowed to be purchased using this card.

Public Safety Tax Discussed at County Board Meeting

The Montgomery County Board discussed the proposed Public Safety Sales Tax at their meeting Tuesday morning, ahead of the Consolidated Election in April.

Board Member Joe Gasparich made a motion to have the revenue collected from the tax be divided into one-third for the Montgomery County Sheriff's operations, one-third for maintenance of the public safety complex and equipment, and one-third to the county-wide first responder organizations. The motion also stated that the Finance Committee will administer two-thirds of the revenue for the sheriff's department and public safety complex and equipment through the budget process, and the remaining one-third will be administered by the joint committee of the Finance and Emergency Management Agency Committees.

After the motion was seconded, Board Member Jay Martin informed the room that he had heard some initial resistance from one of the fire departments because an unnamed source had not presented the revenue from the tax as being divided into thirds. Gasparich reiterated that he himself had only ever presented it as being divided this way.

After no further discusion, the board voted and passed the motion, 19-1, with Glenn Bishop as the lone 'no' vote. Richard Wendel was absent during the meeting.

The next Montgomery County Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, at 8:30 a.m. at the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro.

Blackburn Board of Trustees

Mayor Deanna Demuzio of Carlinville has been elected to a three-year term on the Blackburn College Board of Trustees. A member of the Board since 2005, she will continue in her role as board member until February 2020.

A Carlinville resident, she first became a State Senator in May 2004 when she was the unaimous choice to fill the vacancy created when her husband, Senate Majority Leader, Vince Demuzio, passed away at the age of 62.

While a member of the Senate, Demuzio served on the Senate Committees on State Government and Veterans Affairs; Education; Agriculture and Conservation; and Commerce and Economic Development in addition to being an appointed member of both the Legislative Audit Commission and Clean Coal Review Board.

Demuzio currently serves as the Mayor of Carlinville, a position she has held since 2013.

Green Makes History with Hillsboro Police

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History was made at the Hillsboro City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

Vonna Green was sworn in as a new part-time police officer and, according to Hillsboro Police Chief Randy Leetham, she is the first sworn female in the department's history. Green (on left pictured with Hillsboro Mayor Brian Sullivan) said she is excited about the opportunity to work in the department, as working in law enforcement is something she has been interested in since she was a child. She is currently employed at National Bank in Hillsboro and will remain an employee there for the time being.

Chief Leetham said that Green will start mostly in clerical work while she works to become certified in firearms training.

In another police-related item, the council approved the purchase of a K-9 and training for the department. Leetham notified the council that since his promotion, the department was in need of a K-9 team.

Michael Murphy, Commissioner of Public Health and Safety, said the council had attempted to save taxpayer money by using a K-9 that was donated to the department. The donated K-9, however, did not possess the necessary drive for investigative work and, after an evaluation, was deemed not effective in all environments. Leetham recommended purchasing a 13-month old K-9 from Indiana for a cost between $12,000 and $14,000 that would include training.

Murphy mentioned that the council had budgeted $60,000 for radios but had only spent $43,000, leavning money available for the purchase. The council approved the motion unanimously.

The meeting adjourned shortly before 8 p.m. The next Hillsboro City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28.

2 Charged After Drug Bust and Fight with Deputy


A Montgomery County Deputy Sheriff suffered minor injuries after an altercation at a drug bust on Thursday afternoon.

At approximately 12:10 p.m. Thursday, March 9, a Montgomery County Deputy Sheriff on patrol northwest of Raymond observed Regina Burks, 42, in her yard. The deputy knew Burks was wanted on a felony drug warrant. She was placed into custody, but requested to speak with her friend that she lived with to obtain bond money. The deputy and Burks went to the doorway and spoke with her friend, Joe Radcliff, 52. The deputy smelled a strong odor of cannabis and attempted to detain Radcliff for the investigation.

Radcliff resisted and the altercation escalated into a fight of nearly ten minutes. The deputy was eventually able to subdue Radcliff as soon as assisting law enforcement officers arrived on scene. The deputy was transported to HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield for treatment of minor injuries.

The South Central Illinois Drug Task Force continued the investigation, and seized over 40 pounds of suspected cannabis, over 200 pounds of suspected cannabis plants, approximately 45 grams of suspected methamphetamine, over 50 controlled substance prescription pills, and several fentanyl patches. More than $8000 in cash was also seized.

Radcliff and Burks are being held at the Montgomery County Jail pending official charges.

"I am thankful that the deputy was not seriously injured and I commend him on his actions to further an investigation," said Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins in a statement released Friday. He added that Radcliff was not known to law enforcement in the area, and by the deputy doing his job, an alleged drug dealer was taken off the streets.

Assisting the deputy at the scene were other Montgomery County Officers, State Police, Litchfield Police, and the Farmersville Ambulance.

Mobile Vet Center Coming to Carlinville

The Mobile Vet Center is coming to Carlinville on Wednesday, March 15th from 9am until 3pm at 220 North Broad Street behind the Farm Bureau building.

MVC Outreach Staff consists of outreach specialists and readjustment counselors. Most of them are Veterans and are trained and certified to assist Veterans, family members and the general public on a first-come, first served basis on a wide range of Veteran issues to make appropriate referrals and provide counseling services on post-war readjustment. They will be speaking Veterans from all eras and encourage all Veterans to come learn more about the VA programs, benefits and support that they may be eligible for.

The Vet Center program is a division of the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Mini Miner and Little Miss Meeting

An informational meeting concerning the Black Diamond Day's Mini Miner and Little Miss contest will be held Monday, March 13 at 6:30pm in the Gillespie Civic Center.

Parents considering their child's participation in the Mini Miner and Little Miss pageant are encouraged to attend the meeting.

Any child in PreK or Kindergarten in the communities of Gillespie, Benld, Mt. Clare, East Gillespie, Eagerville, Sawyerville, Dorchester, Wilsonville and Hornsby are eligible.

Litchfield Alderman Candidate Withdraws


A Litchfield candidate for alerman has withdrawn his name from the race, leaving his ward with one candidate running uncontested.

According to the Montgomery County Clerk's Office, Charles James Randle withdrew his candidacy on Tuesday for Litchfield Alderman serving Ward 2 for the April 4, Election. County Clerk Sandy Leitheiser says that all ballots have already been tested and printed with Randle's name on them in order to be ready before the military vote-by-mail and general vote-by-mail deadlines. As a result of Randle's withdrawal, any votes cast for him will not be canvassed and the remaining Ward 2 candidate Mark Brown is now uncontested as he seeks a four-year term.

Signage informing voters of Randle's withdrawal will be available in all polling places within the City of Litchfield's Ward 2. Voters with questions may contact the Montgomery County Clerk's Office at the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro.

IRS Scam Reportedly Hits Montgomery County


The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office was recently notified of a new IRS scam being perpetrated in the area.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the scammer will call and claim to be from the IRS and inform the victim that he or she has won a $9000 grant that does not need to have taxes paid on it. The scammer states that if the victim purchases iTunes cards and gives the card information to the scammer for fees associated with the grant, the IRS will send the victim a check for the money promised.

Sheriff Jim Vazzi reminds citizens that during tax season, the number of scams claiming to be related to the IRS increases. Sheriff Vazzi encourages citizens to contact their local law enforcement agencies concerning potential scams prior to sending any money or providing personal information to solicitors.

Litchfield Woman Dies in ATV-Train Collision


A Litchfield woman has died after her ATV struck a train on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, a 911 call was received Saturday, March 4, at 1:59 p.m. in reference to an ATV hitting a train at a private railroad crossing on South Clinton Street, near the southwest edge of Litchfield.

Dianna Morgan, 62, was traveling west on the railroad crossing when her ATV was struck by a northbound Norfolk-Southern train. Moran was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. by Montgomery County Coroner Randy Leetham.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Coroner's office, and the Norfolk-Southern Railroad Police are continuing the investigation. The Litchfield Ambulance, fire department, and police all responded to the scene along with the sheriff's office and state police.

Morrisonville Man Arrested After 30 Cannabis Plants Seized


A Morrisonville man was arrested after 30 cannabis plants were seized in Christian County.

According to the Christian County Sheriff's office, Nathan Pinnell, 33, was taken into custody and charged with Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Deliver over 500 Grams. The charge is a Class 2 Felony.

A drug investigation was conducted by the Central Illinois Enforcement Group and the Morrisonville Police Department. 30 Cannabis plants were discovered Tuesday, February 28, inside a residence in Morrisonville. Christian County State's Attorney Mike Havera is prosecuting the case.

Man with Loaded Firearm Arrested


A Standard City man was arrested in Hillsboro Tuesday evening after a loaded firearm was discovered in his vehicle.

According to the Hillsboro Police Department, James Davidson, 61, was stopped at 7:35 p.m. Tuesday at Springfield Road and Oak Street for a traffic violation. Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and recovered a loaded firearm. Davidson was arrested for Felony Possession of a Firearm, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition.

He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail.

Hillsboro to Host Public Meeting on Eagle Zinc Cleanup


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is hold a public meeting to share information about the next phase of the Eagle Zinc cleanup project in Hillsboro.

The Eagle Zinc site closed in 2003. For more than 90 years, it was used for smelting and manufacturing sulfuric acid, zinc oxide, and leaded zinc oxide.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hillsboro Moose Lodge. For more information about the project, call U.S. EPA representatives Tim Drexler at 312-353-4367 and Teresa Jones at 312-886-0725, or U.S. Army Corps representative Amanda Kruse at 314-331-8095.

Fatal Crash Near Bunker Hill

One person is dead following a collision between a law enforcement vehicle and an ATV Tuesday night north of Bunker Hill.

According to Illinois State Police, 42 year old Michael Cathorall of Bunker Hill was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at 9:43pm by the Macoupin County Coroner.

Reportedly, Cathorall was driving a 2006 Kawasaki ATV without lights on IL Rt. 159, just south of IL Rt. 138, when a Macoupin County Sheriff's Office squad car ran into the rear of the ATV. The deputy was responding with lights and siren activated to a domestic disturbance at approximatley 9:05pm.

IL Rt. 159 was shut done for approximately 5 hours following the crash. Assisting at the scene were the Bunker Hill Police and Fire Departments and the Macupin County Sheriff's Office. A State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit continues to investigate the accident.

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