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Local News Archives for 2017-04

Free Seniors Fraud Seminar

A free Seniors Fraud Seminar will be held in Gillespie on Monday, May 1st.

Attendees will learn how to protect themselves and family members from scam artists and fraudulent businesses. Information will be presented on identity theft, how to check credit reports and how to file a consumer fraud complaint.

The free seminar will be held from 10-11:30am in the Gillespie Civice Center. It is sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar and Gillespie Mayor John Hicks.

Annual Montgomery CEO Trade Show is May 2


The Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities Board of Directors is inviting the public to attend the second annual Montgomery CEO Trade Show.

The program is the culminating activity of a year-long entrepreneurship course open to Montgomery County High School Seniors. Each student's individual business will be highlighted, giving the attendees a chance to meet the entrepreneurs, purchase their goods or services, and learn about the program.

The CEO class is a yearlong course that removes students from the typical school environment for an hour and a half each morning, and places them into one focused on solving real world problems with business based solutions.

The trade show will be held at Lincoln Land Community College in Litchfield on Tuesday, May 2, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Ryan Payne Arrested for Alleged Arson

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Authorities have now arrested two suspects allegedly involved in the fire that occurred at Payne's Tire and Auto in Hillsboro last year.

Ryan Payne (pictured at right), 38, of Hillsboro, was arrested by Bond County Sheriff's officials Tuesday evening during a traffic stop. William Hirsch, 50, of Coffeen, was arrested April 12, at Payne's Tire and Auto.

The alleged arson criminal charge was filed by Montgomery County State's Attorney Chris Matoush, following an extensive investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Hillsboro Police and Fire Departments. The fire at Payne's occurred on May 6, 2016. The damage from the fire was estimated at $1 million. Physical evidence at the scene and multiple interviews led to the arrest warrants.

Payne was scheduled to appear in court Thursday, April 20. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Hillsboro Police and Fire Department are continuing the investigation.

County Board Approves CBA with Sheriff's Dept.


The Montgomery County Board approved a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Sheriff's Department Fraternal Order of Police at their meeting April 11.

The board met during closed session towards the beginning of their meeting to discuss the matter. The agreement is for two years at an increase of 70 cents per hour in the first year, and another 70 cents per hour in the second. After returning to open session, the board voted, and the motion passed with 16 voting yes, 3 voting no, and 1 member abstaining. Board members Mike Plunkett, Glenn Savage, and Connie Beck all voted no, and Tim Hopper abstained.

Health, Wellness, and Elections Committee Chairman Connie Beck informed the board that State's Attorney Chris Matoush was in possession of the proposed Animal Control Ordinance, and that the board would not vote on it until he has had a chance to look through it. Beck admitted that it could be months before a vote is taken.

During the Buildings and Ground briefing, Undersheriff Rick Robbins informed the board that a lightning strike at the jail hit the microwave system from the old tower that transmits communications to the new tower. Robbins stated that the entire system had to be replaced and that everything is up and running again. Board member Ron Deabenderfer asked if there was anything that could be done to prevent such damage in the future, citing a similar incident from a few years ago. Robbins said no.

The next Montgomery County Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9, on the second floor of the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro.

3 Arrested for Drugs and Weapons in Litchfield


Three Hillsboro residents were arrested in Litchfield last Thursday evening on drugs and weapons charges.

At 9:20 p.m. Thursday, April 13, a Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy stopped a vehicle for a suspected traffic violation at the intersection of Union Avenue and Van Buren Street. Inside the vehicle were Joseph Moore, 20, Macen Weigand, 18, and Ashley White, 18, all of Hillsboro. During the stop, the deputy requested assistance from the Litchfield Police Department K-9 Unit. The dog had a positive alert on the vehicle, and the ensuing search led to the discovery of approximately three poudns of cannabis and a .40 caliber pistol.

Weigand was issued a civil citation for Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and was released. Moore was charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Unlawful Posession of a Weapon by a Felon, Possession of Cannabis 500-2000 grams, and the Manufacture and Delivery of Cannabis 500-2000 grams. White was charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons and a civil citation for Possession of Cannabis.

Moore and White were taken to the Montgomery County Jail and later bonded out.

"The Deputy's stop and his experience led to the seizure of the weapon and cannabis, which is now off our streets," Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins said in a statement. "I commend the Deputy and Litchfield K-9 Unit for their desire to go beyond a 'routine traffic stop' to keep our communities safe."

Macoupin County Tails Fundraiser

Macoupin County Tails will hold their 10th Annual Benefit Banquet and Auction on Saturday, April 22, in the Bates building on the Macoupin County Fair grounds.

Doors will open at 5:00pm and a cater meal by Jo Danni's catering will be served at 6:00pm. Musical entertainment will be by the Glendale Riders.

Advanced tickets are $20 and tickets at the door will be $25.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Macoupin County Aninal Adoption Center. For more information call 217-556-9941.

Police Searching for Hillsboro Man Accused of Arson

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Police are searching for a Hillsboro man accused of arson in connection with a business fire last year.

Arrest warrants were issued Wednesday for Ryan Payne, 38, of Hillsboro, and William Hirsch, 50, of Coffeen. Hirsch was taken into custody for the warrant at Payne's Tire and Auto in Hillsboro on Wednesday at noon. He is currently being held at the Montgomery County Jail pending $500,000 bond.

Payne (pictured at right) has not been located at this time, and according to Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins, he may have left the area.

The alleged arson criminal charge was filed by Montgomery County State's Attorney Chris Matoush after an extensive investigation by the Sheriff's office, Hillsboro Police and Fire Departments. The alleged charge stemmed from the fire that occurred at Payne's Tire and Auto on May 6, 2016. The damage from the fire was approximated at $1 million. Physical evidence at the scene and multiple interviews led to the arrest warrants.

Law enforcement is seeking the public's assistance in locating Ryan Payne. Anyone with information should visit the Crimestoppers website at macmontcrimestoppers.com, or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-352-0136.

Any information that leads to an arrest is eligible for up to a $5000.

Macoupin County Little Miss Pageant

The Macoupin County Fair is looking for 5 and 6 year old girls in the Macoupin County area to participate in the 2017 Little Miss Macoupin County Fair Pageant. This years pageant will take place on Thursday, July 6 at 7pm.

Children may not be younger than 5 or older than 6 years of age by the pageant date in order to be eligible. Little Miss contestants must reside in or attend school in Macoupin County. Prior to the pageant, children and parents or legal guardians will be required to attend practices to prepare the children for the stage.

The pageant is limited to 20 total contestants. These spots are filled on a first come first serve basis. If your child has been a previous contestant you may enter again; however, they will be placed on a waiting list as first time contestants will have the opportunity to fill slots first.

Send a letter with the child's name, age, birth date, parents/guardians name, address and phone number where a parent/guardian can be reached. The contestants will receive a phone call confirming their entry into the pageant. The deadline for applications is May 2, 2017.

Mail entry letters to Elissa Graham at 17363 Prairie Lawn Road, Carlinville, IL 62626. For more information call 217-827-7156.

Litchfield Chamber To Resume Farmers Markets


The Litchfield Chamber of Commerce has announced that their annual Farmers and Community Market will open again on Friday, April 14. The market will be held every Monday and Friday afternoon beginning at 2 on the north side of Library Park.

"The market is a great venue to showcase locally grown produce, baked goods, and homemade artisan items from the Litchfield area," said Chamber Executive Director Dawn Pezold. All area organizations and churches are invited to host a booth, which may be reserved on a first come basis.

Vendor Applications and guidelines are available thru the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce, and can be found online at litchfieldchamber.com, or by calling the chamber office at 324-2533.

Katie Wilson Visits with Local Beekeeper

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What's all the buzz about? Katie Wilson spent the day with local beekeeper, Ron Niehaus, of rural Fillmore. Ron has hives throughout the WSMI listening area and sells his local honey at Sullivan's Drugs locations. Local honey has many benefits, including relief from allergy symptoms. Tune into the Farm Show to find out more!

High Speed Rail Public Meeting

The Illinois Department of Transportation will host a public meeting Wednesday, April 12, to discuss the upcoming construction schedule for the Chicago-to-St. Louis high speed rail program. Detailed information on the construction impacts - including where and when work will take place - and subsequent benefits of the completed project will be available for the public to review and ask questions.

The meeting will focus on imporvements to be made in the Metro East area and is an open-house format. It will be held Wednesday, April 12, from 5-7pm in the Atrium Hotel and Conference Center in Alton.

Attendees can view a video presentation, review exhibits and meet with IDOT staff and represnetatives working on the project.

The corridor improvements are tentatively scheduled to be complete by the end of 2017.

Litchfield Spring Clean Up Announced


The City of Litchfield has announced that they will host a Spring Clean Up during the week of April 24.

Items to be picked up may not be placed in the boulevard any earlier than Monday, April 17, as it may be subject to a code violation and a citation. Litchfield Code Enforcement and the Litchfield Police will be working together in an effort to identify and address code issues beginning the week of April 17.

Violators will be notified and given ten days to abate the violation. This will include the identification and abatement of violations such as outside storage of junk, trash and debris, inoperable motor vehicles, and overgrown grass and weeds.

A dumpster will be available on a short term basis to assist with spring clean up. The dumpster is located in the police department parking lot. In order to use it, residents must check-in with dispatch inside the department to have items approved. Dispatch will be available 24 hours a day.

Eligible items include but are not limited to small quantities of building and lumber materials, and disposable containers. The dumpster is for Litchfield residents only; contractors are excluded.

Macoupin County Fatal Accident

One person is dead following a single vehicle accident Friday north of Modesto.

According to Illinois State Police, 27 year old Mason Dougherty of Kane was driving a 2003 Chevrolet SUV southbound of Rt. 111 when the vehicle left the roadway at 8:30am. The vehicle struck a utility pole and rolled over before coming to rest. Dougherty was ejected from the SUV and was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:30pm by Macoupin County Coroner Brad Targhetta.

Rt. 111 was shut down for approximately six and a half hours to remove ppower poles and lines to restore power.

The crash remains under investigation.

Macoupin Consolidated Election

Voter turnout in Macoupin County was just short of 25% in Tuesday's Consolidated Election.

All results from the election are unofficial until canvassed and write in votes for various offices will not be available until Friday, April 7, 2017.

In a race that saw many challenges, twists and turns, the Carlinville Mayors race was won by incumbent Mayor Deanna Demuzio. Demuzio obtained 776 votes, Gerald Levora Jr. 522 and George Cerar 128.

In other contested mayors races in the county, totals were as follows:

Gillespie - John Hicks 357
Robert Fritz Jr. 152

Bunker Hill - Betty Phelps 292
Glen Bruckert 122

Staunton - Craig Neuhaus 585
Herb Sievers 389

For complete vote totals for the over 270 races and questions on the Macoupin County Ballot visit the website- macoupinvotes.com.

Montgomery County Election Results


Tuesday's Consolidated Election saw two different tax questions in Montgomery County receive very different results.

The School Facilities Sales tax passed by a narrow margin, while the Public Safety Sales Tax failed with nearly two-thirds of the voters in the county voting 'no.' Here is a list of the unofficial results from the contested races in Montgomery County:

City of Litchfield

Mayor
Steven F. Dougherty - 1,026 - 61.62%
Johny C. Leonard - 639 - 38.38%

City Clerk
Carol Burke - 978 - 59.56%
Mary Ann Frerichs - 664 - 40.44%

Alderman Ward 1
Marilyn Sisson - 226 - 66.86%
Russell E. Beason - 112 - 33.14%

Alderman Ward 4
Ray Kellenberger - 344 - 60.46%
William E. Borklund - 225 - 39.54%

City of Witt

Alderman Ward 1
John Bauerle - 21 - 63.64%
Randall L. Lowe - 12 - 36.36%

City of Nokomis

Commissioner
Alan B. Hard - 175 - 43.42%
Matthew Golitko - 125 - 31.02%
Derek A. Durbin - 103 - 25.56%

Village of Farmersville

Village Trustees (Top 3 Elected)
Susan Aherin - 90 - 27.36%
Doug Orr - 85 - 25.84%
Tabitha Pritchard - 78 - 23.71%
Greg Nimmo - 76 - 23.10%

Village of Fillmore

Village President
Rexdon Boliard - 81 - 78.64%
Richard Roth - 22 - 21.36%

Village of Ohlman

Village Trustees (Top 3 Elected)
Mark Rakers - 33 - 32.67%
Jason Kline - 30 - 29.70%
Nick Presnell - 25 - 24.75%
Ronda Wareham - 13 - 12.87%

Village of Schram City

Village President
W. Albert Oberle - 135 - 79.88%
Bernard Groves - 34 - 20.12%

East Fork Township

Township Trustees (Top 4 Elected)
Donald L. Huber - 349 - 27.24%
John "Jake" Blankenship - 330 - 25.76%
Scott N. Snow - 277 - 21.62%
Steven L. Traylor - 272 - 21.23%
Write-In - 53 - 4.14%

Fillmore Consolidated Township

Township Trustee (Top 4 Elected)
Debbie Davidson - 144 - 20.03%
Gene Smith - 124 - 17.25%
Braunda Hopwood - 117 - 16.27%
Wade moore - 102 - 14.19%
Dale Nobbe - 101 - 14.05%
John Chumley - 82 - 11.40%
Carol Moral - 49 - 6.82%

Hillsboro Township

Township Trustees (Top 4 Elected)
Jennifer Anderson - 766 - 22.97%
Mark Hughes - 709 - 21.26%
Jim Moore - 653 - 19.58%
Lenny Homa - 628 - 18.83%
Ben Hemken - 579 - 17.36%

Nokomis Township

Township Trustees (Top 4 Elected)
Roger Battles - 396 - 20.28%
Daryl Keiser - 366 - 18.74%
Pat Epley - 314 - 16.08%
Russ Foster - 311 - 15.92%
Dennis K. Matthews - 284 - 14.54%
James Brookshire - 282 - 14.44%

Raymond Township

Township Trustees (Top 4 Elected)

William Held - 193 - 22.65%
Carol Sue Rossi - 180 - 21.13%
Larry Wernsing - 174 - 20.42%
Darrell Pitchford - 159 - 18.66%
Kayla Lanter - 146 - 17.14%

Rountree Township

Highway Commissioner
Jay DeWerff - 58 - 65.91%
Joe Bugg - 30 - 34.09%

South Litchfield Township

Highway Commissioner
Raymond Akeman - 355 - 52.36%
Richard Wendel - 323 - 47.64%

Board of Education

Auburn (Top 4 Elected)
C. Fred Jessup - 2 - 28.57%
Josh J. Smith - 2 - 28.57%
Matthew Kern - 1 - 14.29%
Scott Norris - 1 - 14.29%
Mark Killam - 1 - 14.29%
Mt. Olive (Top 3 Elected)
Matthew DeVries - 16 - 29.63%
Jeffrey Adam Osmoe - 15 - 27.78%
Tammy L. Sievers - 12 - 22.22%
Mike Markezich - 11 - 20.37%
Nokomis (Top 4 Elected)
Dennis Bauman - 539 - 16.04%
Carl Fesser - 521 - 15.50%
Jim Eisenbarth - 496 - 14.76%
Steven Janssen - 486 - 14.46%
Brian Chausse - 411 - 12.23%
John S. Crowe - 378 - 11.25%
Tami Clymer - 284 - 8.45%
Bruce L. Cox - 194 - 5.77%
Jake L. Leonard - 52 - 1.55%
Pawnee (Top 4 Elected)
Joe Fisher - 4 - 25.00%
Gary P. Starr - 4 - 25.00%
Scott Phillips - 3 - 18.75%
Josh Adcock - 3 - 18.75%
Kristina L. Shelton - 1 - 6.25%
Scott Howard - 1 - 6.25%

Kaskaskia Community College District Trustees (Top 2 Elected)
Kelly Bennett - 8 - 40.00%
Malia Boozer - 6 - 30.00%
Bryan S. Holthaus - 5 - 25.00%
Dee Charles Boswell - 1 - 5.00%

Lake Land Community College District Trustees (Top 3 Elected)
Doris Reynolds - 4 - 44.44%
Robert Luther - 2 - 22.22%
Mike Sullivan - 2 - 22.22%
Matt Forcum - 1 - 11.11%

Tax Questions

County School Facilities Sales Tax
Yes - 3,144 - 51.58%
No - 2,951 - 48.42%County Public Safety Sales Tax
No - 4,008 - 66.34%
Yes - 2,034 - 33.66%

All election results are unofficial until canvassed on or before Tuesday, April 25. For a complete list of all Montgomery County races, visit the County Clerk's website at montgomeryco.com/countyclerk.

Litchfield Ag Teacher Not Retained


The Litchfield School Board elected not to re-hire the high school agriculture teacher during a special board meeting that was held last Thursday.

After returning from closed session, the board voted to approve a resolution of non-reemployment for David Belusko for the 2017-2018 school year. The motion carried unanimously. Towards the beginning of the meeting, the board heard from Matt Belusko - a citizen of Litchfield and the borther of the former ag teacher - regarding the high school's agriculture program.

The meeting adjourned at 7:19 p.m. The next Litchfield School Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 20.

Mark Brazel Joins Race for Montgomery County Sheriff


Another candidate has joined the race for Montgomery County Sheriff in 2018.

Mark Brazel, a 22-year veteran of law enforcement, has announced his candidacy for the position, joining current Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins and Deputy Scott Woods. Brazel started as a telecommunicator for the city of Litchfield in 1995. He graduated from the University of Illinois Police Training Institute in 1996, and became a Litchfield Police Officer thereafter. He was hired as a deputy for the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in May, 2001.

He says he is grateful to former Litchfield Police Chief John Thull for his start in law enforcement, and to current Montgomery County Sheriff Jim Vazzi for furthering his law enforcement career.

Brazel has been active in the community, serving as a Montgomery County CPR Instructor, a former volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. He also founded the popular Litchfield Picker's market and - along with his wife - started the Christmas toy drive, bringing law enforcement officers together to proivde toys for children across the county.

He and his wife, Selena, have three children, Ceara, Adam and Hannah.

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