Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!


Local News Archives for 2019-01

Three Arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine

Three Montgomery County residents were arrested over the weekend after all were found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

Hillsboro residents Ryan Harmon and Angelo Milanos, and Litchfield resident Dustin Kitchens were all arrested during separate police encounters.

According to Hillsboro Police Chief Randy Leetham, an employee from Hardee's called police shortly after 5 a.m. Jan. 25 about a vehicle leaving the restaurant and driving over the curb and across the grass at the War Memorial. With the assistance of the Montgomery County Sheriff's office, a Hillsboro officer located the vehicle and made contact with the driver. The man, who was identified as Harmon, admitted to recently visiting the restaurant.

Harmon, 28, was initially arrested for driving with a revoked license. During the arrest, police discovered that he was in possession of approximately two grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. They later learned that he was at the location to trade a TV for a quarter gram of methamphetamine. He was also driving a truck that was registered to Angelo Milanos.

On Jan. 26, police made contact with Milanos at a residence on School Street. Milanos, 51, gave officers his consent to search the property. During the search, officers found over 20 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and over 45 grams of a liquid substance containing methamphetamine. Milanos was then arrested and taken to the Montgomery County Jail.

The 51-year-old was cooperative during the investigation and told officers that he knew Kitchens was selling drugs from his property on School Street. Kitchens had previously been pulled over by Litchfield police during a traffic stop early that morning.

At 10:45 p.m. Sunday, Kitchens was arrested by the Litchfield Police upon Hillsboro's request. He was also cooperative and admitted to selling methamphetamine with Milanos.

All three men face charges of possession of methamphetamine. In addition, Milanos faces charges of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine-related child endangerment. Kitchens faces charges of delivery of methamphetamine. A fourth person, 29-year-old Kendra Blankenship of Hillsboro, was arrested during Kitchens' initial traffic stop for obstructing justice after giving police false identification.

21 Rescued After Bus Breaks Down on I-55


21 passengers were rescued from freezing temperatures Wednesday morning after a charter bus left them stranded on Interstate 55.

According to the state police, the bus was traveling north on the interstate near the Montgomery County line when it broke down at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday. Passengers of the bus, including two children, were put in state police vehicles and taken to places where they had access to heat. Many of the passengers were taken to Toni's Cafe next to the Travel Center in Auburn. There, they were accommodated with food and shelter as they waited for another bus traveling from St. Louis.

Officials with the State Police say the exact cause of the breakdown is unknown. However, it appears the diesel fuel gelled in the fuel system, as is the case with several dozens of semi trucks that become stranded on the roadway.

The State Police reminds motorists to stay alert of weather conditions where they plan to travel and treat their diesel fuel for extremely cold temperatures.

Team NokoBoro Wins Stamp Out Cancer 2019


Stamp Out Cancer team NokoBoro was named this year's fundraising winner during the annual Lip Sync Battle Saturday evening at the Hillsboro Knights of Columbus Hall.

The team, which is made up of Tisha Morris of Nokomis and Mandy Wessell of Hillsboro, raised $37,386 during the months leading up to Saturday's main event. $107,000 was was the combined total raised by all the teams this year.

During its nine years of fundraising for the Montgomery County Cancer Association, Stamp Out Cancer has raised a total of $532,000. All proceeds from each fundraising event go back to the MCCA, making it one of the organizations largest fundraisers each year.

Other participants in this year's event included Kenny and Ashley Ryker of Litchfield, Chris and Stephanie Short of Litchfield, and Aaron Duff and Jessica Furness of Hillsboro. In addition to the lip sync battle, those who attended Saturday evening's event were treated to live music performed by St. Louis-based band, The Dirty Muggs.

Hillsboro Hears Water Meter Presentation

Members of the Hillsboro City Council heard a presentation from a new water meter company during their meeting Tuesday evening.

Woodard and Curran, who oversees operations at the water treatment plant in Hillsboro, recommended the company Midwest Meter to the city as a way of hearing other options for meters. According to public improvements commissioner Don Downs, the city has experienced customer service issues with their current meter vendor since they first began dealing with them around ten years ago.

Midwest Meter Vice President Matt Carls told the council that one of the benefits of their company is that they have web-based software that would allow employees to access meter information on their smart phones or tablets regardless of where they are. He also said their meters would be able to detect a leak and notify water treatment employees within six hours, as opposed to when meters are regularly checked every 30 days.

The cost of the meters to the city would be 89 cents per meter per month, which would include the cost of software and firmware upgrades, as well as data fees.

Mayor Brian Sullivan asked if the meters were battery operated and if the batteries would be replaceable. Carls responded that they were battery operated, but they are not replaceable. He said if a unit fails, Midwest Meter would install another unit, adding that attempting to replace one of the lithium batteries would destroy the meter.

Sullivan said the council would have to consider their options and no action was taken on the matter Tuesday.

The next Hillsboro City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m.

Scholarship Available at Montgomery County Sheriff's Office

Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Robbins has announced that the Illinois Sheriff's Association will be awarding a $750 scholarship to a student in the county.

Eligible students must be permanent Illinois residents, scholarships must be utilized at institutions of higher learning within the state, and students must be enrolled as full-time students during the 2019-2020 school year, excluding the summer session. Scholarships are to be applied to tuition, books and fees only.

Applications are now available at the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office or online at Students must complete the application, answer the essay question and return all documentation to the sheriff's office by Mar. 15.

Anyone who would like more information about the scholarship may contact the sheriff's office, the Illinois Sheriff's Association, high school advising center or college financial aid office.

County Soil and Water District turns 78

The 78th annual meeting of the Montgomery County Soil & Water Conservation District was held at the U of I Extension office in Hillsboro on Tuesday January 15th. The emcee for the evening was chairman of the SWCD Ken Suslee. Following a meal catered by Milanos Catering, retiring District Conservationist CJ Liddell was recognized for his 26 years of service to the citizens of Montgomery County. The annual report of the SWCD was then given by Chairman Suslee, and the annual report of the Natural Resource Conservation Service was given by District Conservationist Aaron Engstrom. During his report Engstrom said that while county FSA offices are closed due to the government shut down, the NRCS and SWCD offices are still open due to appropriated funds. If the shutdown is prolonged however, those offices could shut down as well. Engstrom also said that as of 2016 Montgomery County was a part of a district that also includes Christian and Macoupin counties. So although the shutdown has limited the amount of staff available in the office, there are county NRCS offices that have been working hand in hand for the past 3 years for the producers of the three counties.

Multiple Injuries Reported in Two-Vehicle Accident

Multiple injuries were reported after a two-vehicle accident Wednesday morning on Route 16 near the WSMI Litchfield Hillsboro studios.

According to the State Police, one westbound vehicle pulling a boat trailer slowed down and indicated a right turn onto Parsons Road. Another westbound vehicle following behind did not slow down and crashed into the rear of the trailer. Both drivers were taken to HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield with non life-threatening injuries. The identities of the victims have not been released at this time.

The accident occurred between 10 and 11 a.m. A portion of Route 16 was closed for an hour and a half while authorities were on scene. WSMI will continue to update this story as information becomes available.

Multiple Injuries Reported in Two-Vehicle Accident

Multiple injuries were reported after a two-vehicle accident Wednesday morning on Route 16 near the WSMI Litchfield Hillsboro studios.

According to the State Police, one westbound vehicle pulling a boat trailer slowed down and indicated a right turn onto Parsons Road. Another westbound vehicle following behind did not slow down and crashed into the rear of the trailer. Both drivers were taken to HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield with non life-threatening injuries. The identities of the victims have not been released at this time.

The accident occurred between 10 and 11 a.m. A portion of Route 16 was closed for an hour and a half while authorities were on scene. WSMI will continue to update this story as information becomes available.

New Name for Litchfield Tournament Unveiled


The 52nd annual Litchfield Invitational Boys Basketball Tournament tipped off Monday evening, but a new name was unveiled prior to the games.

The tournament will now be known as the Rick McGraw Memorial Invitational, named after the late Litchfield resident and longtime sports booster. McGraw passed away last March at the age of 67.

McGraw's involvement with the Litchfield school district included funding for the weight room at the high school, funding scholarships including the Ray Kroc Youth Achievement Scholarship and the Middle School Scholar Athlete Award, and hosting McDonald's McTeacher Nights.

Nokomis defeated Mt. Zion, 44-33, in Simmons Gymnasium for the first win of this year's tournament. In other games, Greenville defeated the Taylorville Junior Varsity squad, 54-41, Taylorville defeated Pana, 82-58, and Metro East Lutheran defeated Lebanon, 63-30.

The tournament continues Tuesday evening with Civic Memorial taking on Nokomis, Lebanon playing Hillsboro, Taylorville JV playing Litchfield, and Pana facing Roxana. Games will be split between Panther Gym at the Middle School and Simmons Gym at the High School.

County Board Holds First Evening Meeting

For the first time in years, the Montgomery County Board held their full board meeting at night on Tuesday. Jan. 8.

The board began their first meeting of the year by adopting the rules of order, but some changes were made to the rules before they were approved.

One rule that was changed states that "any board member wishing to submit a question to the State's Attorney shall first submit the question to the appropriate Committee Chair, or the Chairman of the County Board." Previously, the rule did not include submitting a question to the board Chairman, however Chairman Evan Young said this change was made in case a board member felt he or she was being blocked by a certain committee chair.

Another change increased the amount of money for expenditures that would require the board to utilize a roll call vote. The amount was increased from $50,000 to $100,000. Now, whenever the board votes to appropriate funds and the amount is in excess of $100,000, the board must utilize a roll call vote. Young stated that any board member could still call for a roll call vote at any time for any reason.

The board also heard from Kelly Moroney with the Montgomery County Housing Authority. She updated the board on progress that has been made on the housing complex on Long Avenue in Hillsboro, stating that 50 family units will be torn down and replaced with single-family homes.

She also announced that the housing authority is in negotiations to take over the Brown Shoe Apartments in Litchfield. She said current ownership has allowed the apartments to deteriorate and that the county cannot afford to lose any additional housing. She said roughly half of the apartments in the building are empty because they are uninhabitable.

The housing authority plans on closing on the apartments by the end of the month, and Moroney said they plan on putting $3.5 million into restoring the facility.

The next Montgomery County Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 5:30 p.m.

Illinois Sheriff's Association Renewing Memberships

In response to the increasing number of people wanting to assist law enforcement officials, Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Robbins has announced that current members are receiving their annual renewals as Associate Members of the Illinois Sheriff's Association.

According to Robbins, the membership drive has "taken on greater importance with government funding becoming increasingly difficult to secure." He said the funding is "vital to helping (law enforcement) carry out their mission of making communities safer places to live, work and play."

Illinois Sheriff's Association membership renewals go out in the mail in early January. Those who are not currently members but would like to be a part of the program may become a member for as little as $20, while businesses can show their support for a $50 contribution.

Anyone who would like more information on how to become a member may call the Illinois Sheriff's Association at 217-753-2372. Information is also available on their website,

Disaster Loan Outreach Center Opens in Taylorville

The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened a Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Taylorville for those affected by the tornadoes that passed through the area in early December.

SBA representatives are available to meet face to face with disaster survivors, provide program information, answer questions about the disaster loan program and help submit an application. The center is located in the Taylorville Fire Department on North Main Street and is open January 3-17. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

According to John Veal, who is the acting director of the SBA's Illinois District, businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Additionally, loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, and homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

According to Montgomery County EMA Coordinator Greg Nimmo, the Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Taylorville is open to residents of Montgomery, Christian, Sangamon, Macon and Shelby counties.


2024-02 | 2024-01 | 2023-12 | 2023-11 | 2023-10 | 2023-09 | 2023-08 | 2023-07 | 2023-06 | 2023-05 | 2023-04 | 2023-03 | 2023-02 | 2023-01 | 2022-12 | 2022-11 | 2022-10 | 2022-09 | 2022-08 | 2022-07 | 2022-06 | 2022-05 | 2022-04 | 2022-03 | 2022-02 | 2022-01 | 2021-12 | 2021-11 | 2021-10 | 2021-09 | 2021-03 | 2021-02 | 2021-01 | 2020-12 | 2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-09 | 2020-08 | 2020-04 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-05 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2019-01 | 2018-12 | 2018-11 | 2018-10 | 2018-09 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-09 | 2017-08 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-04 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-12 | 2015-11 | 2015-10 | 2015-09 | 2015-08 | 2015-07 | 2015-06 | 2015-05 | 2015-04 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07 | 2014-06 | 2014-05 | 2014-04 | 2014-03 | 2014-02 | 2014-01 | 2013-11 | 2013-07 | 2013-06 | 2013-05 | 2013-03 | 2012-12 | 2012-11 | 2012-10 | 2012-09 | 2012-08 | 2012-07 | 2012-06 | 2012-05 | 2012-04 | 2012-03 | 2012-02 | 2012-01 | 2011-12 | 2011-11 | 2011-10 | 2011-09 | 2011-08 | 2011-07 | 2011-06 | 2011-05 | 2011-03 | 2011-02 | 2011-01 | 2010-12 | 2010-11 | 2010-10 | 2010-09 | 2010-08 | 2010-07