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Local News Archives for 2017-06

Residents Should Receive New Voter ID Cards Soon

Montgomery County Clerk Sandy Leitheiser has announced that all Montgomery County voters should receive new Voter Registration ID Cards in their mailboxes soon.

She says that if a voter doesn't receive their new ID card, which is a postcard printed with green lettering, by July 4, or if the card's information is incorrect, they should contact the County Clerk's Office.

Illinois Law requires County Clerk's to verify voter registration by mailing Voter Registration ID Cards, which also assures the voter their name, address and current election district is correct to avoid problems for them at the polls. The taxpayers also benefit by purging voter rolls of voters who are deceased or who have moved outside of Montgomery County, thus saving Election costs.

Upon receipt of the new card, voters should discard any old ID cards, and if all information on the card is correct, sign the bottom front of the card. Voters are not required to bring their ID cards to the polls with them as they vote each election; however, the ID card is considered a form of legal identification and voters may want to carry the card with them for this purpose.

Anyone with questions about their ID card or any voter services should contact the County Clerk's office on the first floor of the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro, by phone at 217-532-9530, or log on to

Robin Randle Wins 2017 Miss Montgomery County

A new Montgomery County Fair Queen was crowned Wednesday evening.

Robin Randle of Litchfield defeated three other contestants on her way to becoming the 2017 Miss Montgomery County Fair. Madison Baker of Hillsboro was named first runner-up and won the Dallas Steward Memorial Award for Volunteerism. Cheyenne Summers of Nokomis and Madison Hamby of Hillsboro also competed.

Randle was full of emotion following the pageant.

"I am shocked," she said after numerous photo opportunities. "I'm so excited! My heart is still racing. We were standing back stage when Ailie (Elmore) was giving her speech and we were all holding hands. My heart was pounding and I don't think it has stopped since."

Miss Randle received the crown from 2016 Miss Montgomery County Fair Ailie Elmore of Farmersville.

Jaci Hrabusicky of Hillsboro was named the 2017 Junior Miss Montgomery County Fair, with Addison Compagni of Hillsboro being named first runner-up. Other Junior Miss contestants included Marah Huber of Hillsboro, Alyssa Lohman of Litchfield, Karly Schaake of Litchfield, Carley King of Nokomis, Lauryn Miller of Hillsboro, Caitlyn Travis of Litchfield, and Kirsten Pope of Raymond. Miss Hrabusicky was given the crown by 2016 Junior Miss Montgomery County Fair Presley Lamb.

The title of Little Miss Montgomery County Fair went to Mia Matthewson of Witt, with Lydia Borror of Litchfield receiving first runner-up. Other Little Miss contestants included Nataleigh Cassidy of Hillsboro, Mackenzee Williams of Litchfield, Emma Millburg of Farmersville, Angel Balestri of Litchfield, Jayden Christ of Hillsboro, Jada Carroll of Litchfield, Ilexia Doyen of Nokomis, Remi Bell of Litchfield and Aria Feely of Litchfield. Miss Matthewson was given the crown by 2016 Little Miss Allee Schumacher and 2016 Little Mr. Izac Zerrusen.

Collision with Train Kills 5 East of Nokomis

Five people have died after a train hit a minivan east of Nokomis Wednesday, June 14.

According to a preliminary investigation, the minivan was traveling south on 1800 Christian County Road, and the train was parallel to Route 16. As the minivan approached the railroad crossing, the driver failed to yield the right-of-way. As a result, it was struck on its driver side by the train.

Three occupants were pronounced dead at the scene. The two other occupants were transported away from the scene and later flown to Saint Louis Area hospitals. Both later to succumbed to their injuries.

The identities of the victims are Herbert Castle, Mary Pugsley, John Castle, Nell Castle, and Mary Castle. All were from Pana.

Matt Hughes Reportedly in Critical Condition After Accident

Hillsboro resident and former UFC champion Matt Hughes is reportedly in critical condition after his vehicle was struck by a train Friday morning.

According to the state police, Hughes was traveling in a pickup truck at the Beelers Trail railroad crossing southwest of Raymond, when the truck was struck on the passenger side of the vehicle by a train traveling east. That specific crossing does not have any arm guards.

Hughes, 43, was airlifted to a Springfield-area hospital and is in critical condition. State Police responded at 10:45 a.m., and the Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit is investigating the accident.

20 Years for Burglary

A Collinsville man will serve a long sentence in prison for his involvement in the burglary of the Carlinville Moose Lodge.

According to Macoupin County State's Attorney Jennifer A. Watson, Associate Judge Joshua A. Meyers accepted the guilty plea of 46 year old Bradley Seyler for his role in burglarizing the Carlinville Moose Lodge.

He was sentenced to 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Registration Open for Litchfield Fun Run

Registration is now open for the 15th annual 5K Freedom Fun Run to be held in Litchfield in July.

The race begins at Lake Lou Yaeger's Picnic Area 3 on Saturday, July 1. The race winds thru the scenic lake area and includes two water stops and a course marshal at each intersection. Participants who register before June 19 will be guaranteed a commemorative t-shirt, sunglasses, and flag pin.

Registration forms can be found online at, or at the tourism office at 120 East Ryder in Litchfield. For more information, you can call the tourism office at 866-733-5833.

Litchfield Man Injured in Accident

A Litchfield man was injured Saturday morning about 7:20 when the vehicle he was driving was struck by a Norfolk Southern train. State Police report that 59-year old Steve Worker was east bound on Route 16 at the intersection of the tracks just west of Henderson Road east of Gillespie. Worker drove under the crossing gates when his vehicle was hit on the drivers side. Worker was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield and was in stable condition at the time. Worker told authorities that he was blinded by the sunlight. The road was closed for about an hour. The Macoupin County Sheriffs Office, Gillespie Police and Fire Departments and the Gillespie Benld Ambulance Service assisted. Worker was cited for disobeying a railroad signal.

Police Bust Underage Drinking Party in Taylor Springs

Taylor Springs Police broke up a large underage drinking party early Saturday morning on the south end of Park Street.

According to Taylor Springs Police Chief Warren Hall, there were juveniles from Witt, Mulberry Grove, Pocahontas, Litchfield, Raymond and Hillsboro. The Hillsboro Police and Montgomery County Sheriff's office were called for assistance.

When authorities arrived, most of the juveniles took off running thru the fields and woods. Deputies and Hillsboro Police officers found most of them and brought them back at approximately 6:00 a.m. The juveniles were turned over to their parents.

Three adults were charged in the incident. Bailey Heintz, 19, of Witt, was charged with obstructing a peace officer and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. Brock Ondesko, 20, of Taylor Springs, was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Gavin Twitty, 22, of Litchfield, was charged with Disorderly Conduct.

The incident occurred around 1:35 a.m. Saturday.

Accident Near Riverton Injures 4

Four Decatur residents were injured in an accident Sunday morning on I-72 near Riverton.

According to a preliminary investigation, a vehicle driven by Adam Martin, 32, was westbound on I-72 near mile marker 110, when it began to drift from the left lane into the right lane. Martin allegedly over corrected and swerved back to the left, causing the vehicle to drive off the roadway, into the median and overturn.

Martin and his three passengers - Melissa Martin, 32, and two juveniles - were ejected from the vehicle. All parties were transported by ambulance to St. John's Hospital in Springfield with non-life threatening injuries.

The accident remains under investigation by the state police.

Litchfield Man Arrested After Aggravated Assault

A Litchfield man was arrested early Thursday morning after a reported Aggravated Assault with a firearm.

At approximately 1:23 a.m. Thursday, Litchfield Police Officers were dispatched to a residence in the 600 block of North State Street for the reported offense. Upon their arrival, officers were told that a male subject had come to the residence armed with a shotgun. The subject, later identified as Gilbert Smith, 24, wanted to know the whereabouts of a female companion and threatened the victim with great bodily harm if he was not told the female's whereabouts or if the victim were to call the police. Smith was reportedly known by the victim.

Previously in the evening, Smith had been involved in a domestic dispute with the female whom he was attempting to locate. He then fled the area on foot.

After an extensive search of the area by the Litchfield Police, with assistance from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and State Police, Smith was located in the 300 block of South Douglas. He was taken into custody without incident and charged with Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon.

He is currently being held in the Montgomery County Jail.


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