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Local News Archives for 2018-09

Woman Arrested After Man Dragged by Car in Hillsboro


A Carlinville woman has been arrested following an incident in which she allegedly helped drag a man in Hillsboro with a car before the vehicle ran him over early Sunday morning.

Megan J. Morgan, 27, was arrested on a Montgomery County Robbery Warrant in Carlinville by the Carlinville Police. According to Hillsboro Police Chief Randy Leetham, authorities received a report Sunday afternoon that a man had been dragged and possibly run over by a vehicle early that morning.

The initial report indicated that the man was dropped off on Sunday at a residence on Vandalia Street. The man left his wallet and cell phone inside the vehicle, then returned to the car and asked the female passenger for his items. The report said the woman acted as if she was handing the items to the man before he was grabbed and pulled towards the car. The vehicle then took off at a high rate of speed dragging the man down the street.

The victim stated that he held on as long as he could while being dragged, and then let go and was possibly run over by the vehicle, suffering several severe injuries. According to witness statements, the victim refused emergency medical service and did not want the police called. He was later taken to St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield before being transferred to a different hospital.

Morgan was identified as the female passenger and an arrest warrant was obtained. The incident is still under investigation by the Hillsboro Police, and additional charges are to follow.

Hillsboro Recognizes Retired Sewer Superintendent

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During Tuesday evening's meeting, the Hillsboro City Council recognized the retirement of a former city employee after he served the city for more than twenty years.

Brett Reynolds recently retired after working for the city for over twenty years, the last nine of which were spent as the Superintendent of the Sewer Department. Public Improvements Commissioner Don Downs presented a plaque to Reynolds, and thanked him for his service. Downs said that the sewer department was kept immaculate while Reynolds was in charge.

Reynolds appeared humbled by the recognition and thanked the city for taking care of him and his family during his time of employment. Downs responded that it is the city that thanks him for doing such great work. He also thanked Reynolds's wife, citing many times Brett's phone would ring after hours with a problem he would be called upon to help fix.

Woodard and Curran, the company that was hired to take over the city's water services, will be overseeing the sewer department for now as well.

The next Hillsboro City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9, at 7 p.m.

Nokomis Man Cited After Truck Crashes Into School Bus

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A Nokomis man was ticketed for driving under the influence of drugs Tuesday morning after he allegedly crashed a truck he was driving into a school bus in Christian County.

Carter Flowers, 18, was also cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. According to the Christian County Sheriff's Office, a school bus was stopped while picking up a student Tuesday at 7:39 a.m. The bus had its warning lights activated and stop arm extended while stopped at 1022 North Road in Rosamond. Police said a pick-up truck then failed to stop and struck the bus's rear end, causing minor damage to the bus and major damage to the truck.

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said a smoldering cannabis cigarette was found on the dashboard inside the pickup that Flowers was driving. No injuries were reported from the crash.
(Photo courtesy of the Christian County Sheriff's Office)

Montgomery, Macoupin CEO Programs Visit St. Francis Hospital

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Montgomery CEO and Macoupin County CEO shared a combined team meeting Monday morning at HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield. Pete Visintin led the discussion on the early formations of the program. Team members explained their initial fears for meeting people, public speaking, and making calls, but explored the value of improving their soft skills and self-confidence. Kent Probst and Amy Tarr from Midland Institute for Education spoke about the start of CEO and the residual investment for its alumni.

"Life is no laser beam," Kent said referencing a book by Craig Lindvahl, who was the first CEO facilitator. "It has many stops and detours and failures and lessons along the winding path to success."

(Photo and story courtesy of Montgomery CEO)

Hillsboro Police Arrest Two in Separate Incidents

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A Litchfield man was arrested in Hillsboro recently for alleged Criminal Trespass to property.

Cody Eardley, 22, was arrested for Criminal Trespass to Property at 2:21 p.m. September 9, at the Village Apartments, located at 300 South Hamilton Street. Eardley had previously been served a trespass notice and failed to follow the property manager's wishes of staying off the property. He was taken to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and booked into jail on the charges.September 12th

A Hillsboro man was arrested September 12, on a Sangamon County warrant for Retail theft.

Clayton Gruenloh (AKA Clayton Rosenthal), 22, was taken into custody after an incident that Wednesday morning. Hillsboro Police responded to a disturbance at 10:33 a.m. above Tee Shirts Ink. Officers reported a lot of yelling coming from the apartment above the business. Gruenloh was taken to the Montgomery County Jail and booked on the warrant.

2018 Home Tour to Benefit Scholarship Program

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The HSHS St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary will be showcasing homes in Litchfield next weekend as part of a fundraiser to benefit a scholarship program for students pursuing degrees in the health care field.

Six homes will be showcased on Sunday, September 30, during the 2018 Home Tour. They include the homes of Keith and Pat Aten, Steve Dougherty, Tyler and Antonia Downs, Jake and Jennifer Fleming, Richard and Stacy Ledford, and Steve and Angela Morris. Each residence is located in Litchfield, and the tour will be held from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. with an after-party at Maverick Steak and Spirits that will feature hors d'oeuvres and door prizes.

Tickets are on sale and are available at the HSHS St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop or the Holiday Inn Express.

Write-In Candidates Authorized for November Election

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Several candidates have been authorized as filed write-in candidates for various federal, state and county offices for the upcoming November election, according to the Montgomery County Clerk's office.

Candidates include Thomas J. Kuna for the office of U-S Congressional Representative for the 13th District, Craig Barnstable for State Representative of the 95th District, and Jake Leonard for Montgomery County Clerk. There are also six write-in candidates that have been authorized for the governor's race. They include Robert G. Canfield, Reverend Michael W. Scruggs, Gregg Moore, JO 753, Thomas J. Kuna, and Nancy Foster.

Only candidates who have filed write-in declaration forms should be written in by voters for election, and copies of these forms are sent to each precinct with write-in candidates. Write-in instructions will be provided in each voting booth at precincts where write-in candidates are authorized. To properly write in the candidates name on the optical scan paper ballot, voters should darken the oval next to the write-in line and write in the candidates name on the line next to the darkened oval.

Voters with questions about the write-in procedure are encouraged to call the Montgomery County Clerk's office at 532-9530 or visit the office on the first floor of the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro.

Man Arrested in Hillsboro With Fraudulent Prescription

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A Chicago man was arrested in Hillsboro Monday afternoon for possession of a fraudulent prescription.

Warren Kaczmarek, 36, was arrested and booked into the Montgomery County Jail on the charges after he allegedly attempted to collect narcotics at Sullivan Drugs in Hillsboro Monday afternoon with a fraudulent prescription.

According to Hillsboro Police Chief Randy Leetham, the case is believed to be associated with a prescription pill buying ring from Chicago. Leetham said Kaczmarek had previously been to several pharmacies in the area trying to purchase oxycodone with different fake prescriptions.

Two Women Arrested After Threatening Prison Guard

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Two Springfield women were arrested Monday afternoon after threatening a prison guard in Hillsboro.

According to Hillsboro Police Chief Randy Leetham, Shantel Williams, 47, was arrested for Aggravated Battery to an Illinois Department of Corrections Officer, and Sunte Kelleybrew, 27, was arrested for Aggravated Assault.

At 1:01 p.m. Monday, police were dispatched to John A. Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro after receiving a report that two female visitors had battered and threatened a correctional officer. Both women were released with notices to appear in court.

FY19 Budget is Proposed at County Board Meeting

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Members of the Montgomery County Board got a look at the first proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019 during their monthly meeting Tuesday morning.

The board will vote on the budget at their meeting in November. Finance Committee Chair Megan Beeler told the board that there will be revisions between Tuesday's meeting and November, and that there is currently a deficit in the general fund. In total, the budget calls for $21.9 million in expenses and $20.9 million in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

The board was also introduced to a $6.6 million tax levy for the fiscal year, which caused some disagreement between board members. Glenn Bishop said he believes the county is over taxing and over levying for Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) expenses that he said are not due until a few years down the road. Beeler responded that the county has an obligation to fund employee pensions and that "the money is not just sitting there," but rather "is a work in progress." She said she believes the county needs to get through one big retirement that is on the books for this year and then take a look at the issue again next year.

The next Montgomery County Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9, at 8:30 a.m.

Hillsboro Hires for Fire Dept., Sports Complex

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After meeting in closed session for nearly forty minutes, the Hillsboro City Council made some personnel decisions during their meeting Tuesday evening.

Public Safety Commissioner Michael Murphy announced the hiring of Taylor Cullison to work in the fire department. He said he is very excited to have Cullison as a part of their staff. Public Improvements Commissioner Don Downs echoed Murphy's excitement, saying that Cullison has been interviewed for multiple jobs for the city.

Public Properties Commissioner Daniel Robbins announced the hiring of Mike Cerutti to finish the season as the head of the sports complex. Cerutti replaces Jim Miller, who was forced to resign due to health reasons.

Finally, Commissioner Downs announced that Woodard and Curran, who agreed to take over water service operations earlier this year, will be taking over treatment of wastewater services following the retirement of supervisor Brett Reynolds. Downs said he would have preferred someone currently employed in the department to take over as supervisor, but that the test required to be eligible to become supervisor was one of the most difficult to pass and that currently none of the wastewater treatment employees interested in the position have passed it yet.

The next Hillsboro City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25, at 7 p.m.

Litchfield Approves Hike and Bike Trail Improvements

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The Litchfield City Council approved the purchase of several items on Thursday evening that will improve the Route 66 Hike and Bike Trail at Lake Lou Yaeger.

Among the items approved for purchase were three bicycle repair stations, nine 32-gallon animal-proof trash receptacles, and two commercial grade 6-foot hanging swings. The total cost of the items was approved not to exceed $12,663.78.

The trail, located inside the main park of the Lake Lou Yaeger Recreational Area, has proven to be a popular attraction for park visitors. The goal behind the improvements will be 'to make the trail more attractive to those who use it for fitness and interest others who may wish to use the trail for the enjoyment of nature.' The W. Darrell Kilton Foundation has provided grant money to the city for improvements to the Trail in the amount of $25,000, and the new items will be purchased using funds from this grant.

Lake Superintendent Eric Lamb told the council before they voted that the hope is that the new trash receptacles will keep raccoons from getting into the garbage. The motion was approved unanimously.

The next Litchfield City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 20, at 6:30 p.m.

Crimestoppers Seeking Info on Hillsboro Pool Burglary

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Macoupin-Montgomery County Crimestoppers is seeking information regarding a burglary that occurred on July 27 in Hillsboro.

According to Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins, the concession stand at the Central Park swimming pool in Hillsboro was broken into and multiple items were reported stolen. Anyone who may have information that would help solve this crime is encouraged to visit the crimestoppers website to email a tip at macmontcrimestoppers.com. Those with information may also text a tip by entering 722TIP and a message to the number 274637, or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-352-0136.

Any information that leads to an arrest is eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.

Double Homicide in Rockbridge

Two brothers from Rockbridge were victims in a double homicide Sunday night in Rockbridge.

According to Illinois State Police Zone 6 Investigations, 55 year old Ronald Plummer and 54 year old Billy Plummer both of Rockbridge were pronounced dead by the Greene County Coroners office after the incident at 585 State Road. The deaths resulting from reported stabbings.

A suspect was identified and taken into custody without incident. The name of the suspect has not been released.

An investigation continues concerning the incident.

Litchfield Approves Purchase of RAS Pump


Last Thursday, the Litchfield City Council approved the purchase of a new submersible pump for the Return Activated Sludge building at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The previous pump had failed as a result of a storm that occurred in Litchfield on July 19. At the August 2nd meeting, the council approved the repair of the existing pump. However, after being disassembled, it was found that certain internal components of the pump were beyond repair.

The cost for the new ShinMaywa explosion-proof submersible pump will not exceed $6,139.60, and will be installed by Equipment Pro, Inc. Alderman Dwayne Gerl told the council that Equipment Pro has been a good company for the city. The difference between the cost to repair the existing pump and replacing it was $3,766.10.

The next Litchfield City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 20, at 6:30 p.m.

Take It to Town Volunteers

For the 15th year, community volunters are signing up to participate in the Carlinville Federated Church's "Take It to Town" and more volunteers are needed.

This will be the first time the mission project takes place in the fall with the date of September 22.

This year's volunteers have ten worksites to choose from. The sites are: Beaver Dam State Park - clearing trails; Carlinville Park Board - painting concession stands; Carlinville Rehab - visiting with residents; Friendship Home - inside painting and cleaning; Heritage Health - outside painting; Library - outdoor trimming and wahing books; Macoupin County Animal Shelter - weeding and cleaning; MCDD - outdoor weeding and trimming; Senior Center - clean windows and floors, WeCare Recycling - sort materials and run baler.

Those interested in volunteering to support the project can obtain a registration form at the Carlinville Public Library or contact the Federated Church at 217-854-3031.

The work day will begin at the Federated Church at 8am with a light breakfast. Workers will then go to their sites to begin work at 8:30am and work until 12:30pm. A free lunch for volunteers will run from 12:30 until 2pm at the Federated Church.

Litchfield Creates 2 Four-Way Stops Behind Zion

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During their meeting Thursday evening, members of the Litchfield City Council adopted a pair of ordinances that would transform two intersections west of Zion Lutheran School into four-way stops.

The two intersections will be at Clark and Madison Streets and Madison and Fisher Streets. School officials recently approached the council, as well as the city Planning Commission, with the request to close Madison Street completely between Clark and Fisher Streets. However, there was opposition to closing the street due to safety and other concerns, so an alternative plan was created that would maintain Madison Street as an open roadway.

In addition to creating the two four-way stops, the city will install a crosswalk and control lights, at the expense of the school, on Madison Street between Clark and Fisher if warranted. The exact location of the crosswalk will be determined by Litchfield Police Chief Lee Jarman. The total cost of the project for the city will be $300 for the signage.

The next Litchfield City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 20, at 6:30 p.m.

Litchfield Woman Arrested in Hillsboro on Drug Possession Charges

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A Litchfield woman was arrested last week for Disorderly Conduct and Possession of Methamphetamine after wandering around a vacant property in Hillsboro.

According to Hillsboro Police Chief Randy Leetham, Tarea Cowgill, 42, was found wandering around a vacant house at 320 Bluff Street at 8:05 p.m. on August 31. She was also allegedly moving things around and looking in the windows.

Officers approached her, and she told them that she worked for Sweet Tea Enterprises and was looking to buy the property. When questioned about the time of day and who gave her permission to be on the property, Cowgill stated that a higher power gave her permission and she pointed to the sky.

In addition to the other charges, Cowgill was also charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was taken to the Montgomery County Jail.

County Jail Inspection Report Available at Courthouse

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The Montgomery County Clerk's Office has received a copy of the 2018 Illinois Department of Corrections Jail Inspection Report, according to County Clerk Sandy Leitheiser.

The annual report is now available for public review in the county clerk's office as required by State Statute.

In the report, Criminal Justice Specialists noted improvements that have been made to the jail since the last report; including the replacement of all mattresses, the installation of programming for the new pipe system for cell checks, and the purchasing of new cameras.

The report also provided noncompliances with Illinois County Jail Standards; including several shifts throughout the week having only one officer on duty, and no female officers being employed at the time of the inspection. According to Leitheiser, the inspector made recommendations, including increasing staff numbers, and hiring a full-time female staff member for the facility.

The report is now available for public review at the county clerk's office on the first floor of the historic courthouse in Hillsboro. Questions relating to the content of the report should be directed to Sheriff Jim Vazzi or Undersheriff Rick Robbins at 532-9511.

September Pickers Market to be Held Sunday

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The Litchfield Tourism Office will be holding their September Pickers Market this weekend.

Entertainment will be provided during Sunday's market by Hunter Sharp from 9 to 11:30 a.m., and by Jason Garms from noon to 3 p.m. Both musical acts will perform at Library Park.

Because of the size of the market, the city of Litchfield will be forced to shut down certain roads to accommodate the vendors. They include State Street from Union Avenue to the south entrance of the Brown Shoe Apartments, Monroe Street from Union to Ryder Street, Kirkham Street from Monroe to Madison Street, Ryder from Monroe to Madison, and Edwards Street from Monroe to Jefferson Street. Jackson Street will also be closed to be used as a fire lane.

Any vehicles left on those streets between the hours of 4 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday will be towed at the owner's expense. The market will take place Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Litchfield.(Photo courtesy of the Litchfield Tourism Office)

Alton Man Arrested for Allegedly Making Terrorist Threat

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An Alton man was arrested Friday for allegedly making a terrorist threat to a local community college.

Last Tuesday, at 7:36 a.m., an unknown person called the Alton Police stating that someone was going to shoot up Lewis and Clark Community College that day. The Madison County Sheriff's Office was notified, and they immediately contacted officials with the school.

On Friday, Mintai Bedford, 32, was apprehended during a traffic stop and arrested for the Class X felony of Making a Terrorist Threat. He is being held at the Madison County Jail, and bond as been set at $150,000.

(Photo courtesy of the Madison County Sheriff's Office)

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