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Local News Archives for 2019-07

Hillsboro Police Hires Former Auxiliary Police Officer


A new officer with the Hillsboro Police Department was hired during a special city council meeting on Tuesday, July 30.

Tim Siverly fills a vacancy that was left by Kelly Brewer, who resigned last week. Prior to being hired as a member of the department, Siverly served with Hillsboro's Auxiliary Police. Councilman Don Downs pointed out the opportunity for advancement when joining the organization.

"They are always looking for volunteers," Downs said. "Chief (Randy) Leetham was an auxiliary policeman before his hire as well. This proves to be a good stepping stone for those who want to pursue a career in law enforcement."

Applications for anyone interested in joining the Auxiliary Police are available at Hillsboro City Hall.

The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 7 p.m.

Missing Hillsboro Teen Found in Litchfield


A Hillsboro teen who was reported missing on Saturday, July 27, has been found.

Vito Corsere, 17, was located by Litchfield Police at 10:33 p.m. on Monday, July 29, on the east side of town. He was reunited with his family at the Police Department.

The Hillsboro Police Department was notified of Corsere's disappearance at 2:18 a.m. on Saturday after he did not return home from work at Gianni's in Litchfield. Hillsboro began working with the Litchfield Police, who took over the primary investigation.

According to Litchfield Police Chief Kenny Ryker, officers made contact with acquaintances of Corsere, and evidence in the case indicated that he was a runaway. There was no evidence of criminal involvement. The Montgomery County Search and Rescue Team was deployed at 1:30 p.m. on Monday for a ground search along Route 16 between Litchfield and Hillsboro, but it produced no results.

Litchfield Police found Corsere after being called by a concerned citizen who had made contact with him.

"We welcome verified information and appreciate the assistance from those who provided information that led to the recovery of the missing juvenile," Ryker said in a joint statement released with the Hillsboro Police and Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Hillsboro Chief Randy Leetham said unfortunately, that is not always the case.

"During the course of an investigation, speculation and falsehood on social media can hamper law enforcement, requiring crucial time in chasing down leads that have no basis in truth," Leetham said. Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Robbins reminded the public that the county has trained professionals on their search and rescue team.

"Montgomery County has a trained Search and Rescue Team in place, used in areas determined by investigators as having a high probability of producing results," Robbins said. "These trained volunteers understand the needs of a law enforcement investigation, whereas unqualified searchers can accidentally destroy evidence and lead to false information."

The Search and Rescue Team is used solely by first responders. Anyone who wishes to apply for the team and take the mandatory training may pick up a volunteer application from Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Greg Nimmo. He can be reached at 217-532-9560.

Illinois Crop Progress and Conditions 7/29/19

There were 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 28, 2019. Statewide, the average temperature was 73.3 degrees, 2.0 degrees below normal. Precipitation averaged 0.42 inches, 0.45 inches below normal. Topsoil moisture supply was rated at 6 percent very short, 34 percent short, 57 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was rated at 2 percent very short, 23 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Corn silking was at 59 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 94 percent for the 5-year average. Corn dough was at 16 percent. Corn condition was 4 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 35 percent good, and 9 percent excellent. Soybeans blooming was at 52 percent, compared to 91 percent last year and 83 percent for the 5-year average. Soybeans setting pods was at 14 percent. Soybean condition was 6 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 36 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Winter wheat harvested was 98 percent complete.

Illinois Crop Progress and Conditions 7/29/19

There were 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 28, 2019. Statewide, the average temperature was 73.3 degrees, 2.0 degrees below normal. Precipitation averaged 0.42 inches, 0.45 inches below normal. Topsoil moisture supply was rated at 6 percent very short, 34 percent short, 57 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was rated at 2 percent very short, 23 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Corn silking was at 59 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and 94 percent for the 5-year average. Corn dough was at 16 percent. Corn condition was 4 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 35 percent good, and 9 percent excellent. Soybeans blooming was at 52 percent, compared to 91 percent last year and 83 percent for the 5-year average. Soybeans setting pods was at 14 percent. Soybean condition was 6 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 36 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Winter wheat harvested was 98 percent complete.

Authorities Searching for Missing Hillsboro Teen

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Authorities are seeking information from the public that may help locate a Hillsboro teen who was reported missing over the weekend.

Vito Corsere, 17, was last seen getting off work at Gianni's Pizza in downtown Litchfield at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 26. According to the Missing Persons Awareness Network, he made a call to a cab company seeking a ride home, but the company had closed. There has been no trace of him since.

Corsere is a white male, 5'10" tall, weighs approximately 120 pounds and has blond hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a t-shirt, blue jeans and black work boots when last seen. He also reportedly had a wallet with identification and a cell phone with him when he went missing.

Anyone with information about Corsere's whereabouts is urged to call the Hillsboro Police at 217-532-6120 or Macoupin-Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 800-352-0136.

Hillsboro Dog Park Name Revealed


The name of Hillsboro's new dog park was revealed at the city council meeting on Tuesday, July 23.

Nancy Slepicka with Imagine Hillsboro's parks and recreation committee announced that the park will be called Pawsboro 620-K9 when it opens. The site is located in the vacant lot on School Street next to Family Eye Care. The project is being paid for completely by fundraising, which Slepicka said hasn't been a problem.

"This has been the easiest fundraising I've ever done," she told the council. " We exceeded our goal by 50 percent."

There will be one entrance gate to the park, but two separate areas. One section will accommodate large dogs, while smaller canines will be designated to the other area.

Construction is ongoing and the park's opening date is not known. According to Jim May, some of the materials have still not arrived, and Ameren still has to install lights. He said they are waiting for a lot of moving parts.

The next Hillsboro City Council meeting will be a special meeting held on Tuesday, July 30, at 7 p.m.

POLICE: Woman's Death Similar to Other Homicides


Police believe the death of a Belleville woman on Sunday, July 21, may be related to two other homicides that occurred around East St. Louis earlier this month.

The body of Amanda Legare, 38, was found at 4:48 a.m. on Sunday in an area of overgrown vegetation near the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Bellevue Street in East St. Louis. She reportedly died of a gunshot wound.

Investigators say there are similarities between her case and those of two other women who were found in the area within the last few weeks. 49-year-old Sandra Reckmann of Alhambra was found dead from a gunshot wound on July 9, in Washington Park. Bridgette Williams, 56, was found the following morning in the same village.

According to the Illinois State Police, similarities in the cases include the lifestyles of the women, locations they frequented, the general time of day in which the bodies were found and the causes of death. Each died of a gunshot wound and all three were found early in the morning in areas of overgrown vegetation.

State Police Zone 6 Investigations is urging anyone with information about the cases to contact them at (618) 346-3721 or call Crime Stoppers at (866) 371-8477.

Hillsboro Council Discusses Water Line Maintenance


The Hillsboro City Council concluded their meeting on Tuesday with a discussion about sewer and water line maintenance.

Much of the discussion focused on where the city is responsible for repairing or replacing lines versus where the property owner's responsibility lies. Public Improvements Commissioner Don Downs said an ordinance was passed by a previous council in 2006 outlining such responsibilities.

"A property owner shall be responsible for the service line from the corporate stop on the water main to the water meter," Downs said reading the ordinance, "as well as the line from the meter into the premises served." The ordinance is in Chapter 38, Article 3, Section 17 of the Hillsboro Municipal Code.

City Attorney Kit Hantla said he believes the rationale behind the ordinance was to ensure that any new construction by a property owner is tied onto the existing water line. Mayor Brian Sullivan said the council that passed this ordinance was looking ahead, and that he believes they were correct in making this decision. He also said the city should not be held responsible for lines that they did not install.

The discussion stemmed from an incident on Anna Street, in which a service line is leaking, causing damage to the road. Downs said he has spoken with the property owner about the line on multiple occasions, but the individual has refused to repair it. The owner will be issued a written warning, and then the water may be shut off if the problem is not remedied, Downs said.

The council's next meeting will be a special meeting held on Tuesday, July 30, at 7 p.m.

Hillsboro Council to Meet on Tuesday


The Hillsboro City Council will discuss accommodating a pair of special events during their meeting on Tuesday.

Items on the agenda include:
1. Nancy Slepicka from Imagine Hillsboro to address the council on proposed rules for the dog park
2. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve closing Main Street from Tilson Street to Wood Street for the Fall Festival, to be held on Saturday, October 5
3. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve the Hillsboro Dragon Cheer Back-to-School 5K, to be held on Saturday, August 17
4. Discussion/Decision on a motion to expand liquor sales hours for the Old Settlers Car Show, Old Settlers and the Harvest Festival
5. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve purchasing a used squad car and a mobile radio for the police department
6. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve purchasing two new tires for the street department backhoe
7. Discussion/Decision on a motion on sewer and water line maintenance.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Hillsboro City Hall.

Litchfield Library to Hold Personal Assistant Training


The Illinois Department of Human Services is hosting a Personal Assistant Recruitment and Training Program in Litchfield on Wednesday.

The program is intended to help prepare a person to provide assistance to persons with disabilities. It is being held at the Litchfield Public Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Those who participate in the program will come to understand the independent living movement and philosophy, learn how to empower the independence of people with disabilities by assisting them with activities of daily living, and develop an understanding of treating persons with disabilities with the proper dignity by using proper etiquette.

Anyone who would like more information or would like to reserve a seat should call (217) 523-2587 ext. 215. There is no cost to attend.

Two Sentenced for Residential Arson in Hillsboro

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A pair of Royal Lakes residents were each sentenced to six years in prison for committing Residential Arson stemming from an incident in Hillsboro on May 4.

Alphonso Anderson was sentenced on Wednesday, July 17, and Emmanuel D. Welch was sentenced on Thursday, July 18. Plea agreements were presented by State's Attorney Bryant Hitchings and the defendants' Attorneys Alicia Granito and Erin Mattson. They were approved by the Honorable Judge Doug Jarman.

Anderson, 52, and Welch, 23, were arrested by Hillsboro Police following an investigation of a May structure fire at 677 Park Street. The investigation revealed that an accelerant was used by the two men to start the fire, which caused extensive damage to the outside of the single-family home. No one was inside the residence at the time of the fire.

In addition to fines and court costs, both defendants were ordered to pay restitution for the damage to the home. The Hillsboro Fire Department assisted in the investigation.(Photo courtesy of State's Attorney Bryant Hitchings)

Litchfield Man Indicted on Child Sexual Exploitation Charges


A Litchfield man is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service after being indicted on charges of child sexual exploitation.

On Friday, July 19, U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins found that Cory C. Robinson presents a danger to the community if released from law enforcement custody. According to court documents, Robinson's activities have included volunteering at a local church youth program, trips to Six Flags and Colorado, camping with minors and online conversations with minors using multiple social media platforms.

Robinson, 24, was arrested on July 15, following an indictment by a grand jury on charges of production of child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor. The indictment alleges that Robinson produced child pornography of a minor and attempted to entice a minor to engage in sexual conduct in August and September 2017. The grand jury returned the two-count indictment on July 9, however it had remained sealed pending the subject's arrest and court appearance.

If convicted of the offense of child pornography, Robinson faces a statutory prison sentence of up to 30 years. The statutory penalty for attempted enticement of a minor is 10 years to life in prison.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Crystal C. Correa.

Litchfield Closer to Sports Complex with Grant Application


Litchfield is one step closer to adding a sports complex after the city council approved a resolution on Thursday authorizing the submittal of a grant to help fund the project.

The IMPACT Soccer organization approached the City requesting assistance in locating a site for the development of fields. While in discussions, a grant cycle opened from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Open Space Land Acquisition and Development program.

The City and IMPACT Soccer will be partnering in the project, with the City owning the property and the club leasing, operating and maintaining it. Such a facility would include multiple fields for tournaments, and possibly multiple baseball fields as well.

A lease arrangement for the land is required for the application for the property, which would later be purchased by the City if the grant is awarded. The development would be considered the Route 66 Crossing Sports Complex.

The motion approved on Thursday allows the City to submit the application. Mayor Steve Dougherty told the council that they can back out of the project if the grant application is denied.

A public meeting will be held on August 1, in an open house format. Visitors will be able to view the concept plan and ask questions of Litchfield city officials. The meeting will be held at 5:45 p.m., prior to the city council meeting.

Search Warrant Leads to Arrest of Ohlman Man


An Ohlman man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly having firearms while his FOID card was revoked.

Brett Stokes, 54, was charged with Possession of Firearms with a revoked FOID, and was taken to the Montgomery County Jail pending a formal arraignment. The charge is a Class 3 felony.

According to Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Robbins, deputies executed a search warrant at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at 107 Oak St. in Ohlman. The warrant stemmed from an investigation by the sheriff's office. It resulted in evidence that led to Stokes' arrest. A bond hearing is also pending.

St. Francis Hospital Offers Tips for Staying Cool


HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield is offering tips for staying cool, as well as how to know the warning signs of heat-related illnesses.

Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency, and if someone is exhibiting the symptoms, 911 should be called immediately.

Heat stroke symptoms include a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher; hot, red, dry or damp skin; a fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and a loss of consciousness.

After calling 911, a person showing symptoms should be moved to a cooler place. The person's temperature may also be lowered with cool cloths or a cool bath. It is not recommended that the person be given anything to drink.

Certain people are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses. They include infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, and those who are physically ill.

Heat-related illnesses are preventable. It is recommended that people stay cool and hydrated. This can be done by wearing appropriate clothing, not being outside if one doesn't have to be, wearing sunscreen, avoiding hot and heavy meals, drinking more fluids and staying away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks.

St. Francis Hospital Offers Tips for Staying Cool


HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield is offering tips for staying cool, as well as how to know the warning signs of heat-related illnesses.

Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency, and if someone is exhibiting the symptoms, 911 should be called immediately.

Heat stroke symptoms include a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher; hot, red, dry or damp skin; a fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and a loss of consciousness.

After calling 911, a person showing symptoms should be moved to a cooler place. The person's temperature may also be lowered with cool cloths or a cool bath. It is not recommended that the person be given anything to drink.

Certain people are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses. They include infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, and those who are physically ill.

Heat-related illnesses are preventable. It is recommended that people stay cool and hydrated. This can be done by wearing appropriate clothing, not being outside if one doesn't have to be, wearing sunscreen, avoiding hot and heavy meals, drinking more fluids and staying away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks.

Litchfield City Council To Meet Thursday


A dozen new business items are on the agenda for the Litchfield City Council meeting on Thursday, July 18.

Items include:

1. A motion to approve the purchase and installation of a monitored battery back-up system for both the Police and Fire Department communication systems at the south water tower from Global Technical Systems, Inc., at a cost not to exceed $2,137 and authorize the City Clerk to issue a check upon satisfactory completion.

2. A motion to approve an Ordinance declaring a wood office desk and a metal credenza as surplus and to authorize the disposal by auction.

3. A motion to reject the bid from Southern Ledge Pools and Patios for the 1995 Ford Water Tender and authorize rebidding of the Tender truck and 1997 Squad car.

4. A motion to grant a 40-day extension to Tecorp. Inc., to complete the electrical work portion of their contract in both water towers.

5. A motion to approve the repair estimate on a 2009 Ford Water Tech truck from Gerls Auto Body for $1,829.76.

6. A motion to approve an ordinance to declare 16 department-owned firearms, listed in Exhibit A, as surplus and to dispose of them via trade-in with Acme Sports, Inc., to acquire nine SigM400 patrol rifles from Acme Sports, Inc.

7. A motion to direct the City Attorney to begin the order of demolition process for the property located at 409 N. State Street.

8. Discussion with possible action regarding new zoning classification for Lake Lease property contingent upon Plan Commission recommendation.

9. A motion to approve a half page advertisement in the Illinois Investment Guide/Intersect Illinois September 2019 edition for an amount not to exceed $3,520 and to authorize the City Clerk to issue a check.

10. A motion to approve a resolution approving and authorizing the submittal of an application for an open space land acquisition and development grant.

11. A motion to approve an ordinance amending the Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Plan and Project for redevelopment project area #1 dated February 1998 and approved June 2, 1999 to include the additional 12 years.

12. A motion to authorize the City Clerk to destroy the tapes of Executive Session meetings for those sessions that were completed at least 18 months ago or longer and whose minutes have previously been approved for release.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Litchfield City Hall.

Police Investigating Taylorville Shooting


Police are investigating a shooting in Christian County that left two individuals injured on Tuesday.

Nathan L. Howell, 40, was taken into custody near a residence on North 1250 East Road in Taylorville at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says the Taylorville resident is facing Charges of Unlawful Use/Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, and may face additional charges pending the results of the investigation.

According to Sheriff Kettelkamp, the two individuals who were shot were taken to a Springfield Hospital. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

Taylorville, Morrisonville and Edinburg Police officers assisted at the scene. The Illinois State Police is assisting with the investigation.

Semi Overturns, Spilling Dirt on Interstate


A Virden man was injured on Saturday, July 13, after the semi he was driving overturned on a ramp entering Interstate 72 south of Springfield.

Steven L. Horrighs, 65, was taken to a local hospital for injuries he sustained during the accident. The severity of his injuries was not reported.

According to the Illinois State Police, Horrighs was on MacArthur Boulevard attempting to enter the eastbound ramp to I-72 when he told police that he could feel the load of dirt he was hauling in his trailer shift. The shifting dirt, he said, caused the vehicle to roll over as he was completing his turn. Upon overturning, the load spilled onto the roadway.

The incident occurred at 12:29 p.m. The ramp was closed for several hours while crews worked to clean up the scene.

Macoupin Fatal Accident

A Brighton woman was killed in a single vehicle accident Sunday east of Brighton.

According to the Macoupin County Sheriff's Office, 39 year old Christina Reedy was driving a 2010 Chevy Cobalt east on the Brighton-Bunker Hill Road, west of Fosterburg Road, when the vehicle left the roadway at 4:20pm.

The car went down a large embankment, struck serveral trees and came to rest in a ravine.

Reedy was pronounced dead at the scene by the Macoupin County Coroner.

Two Charged in Woodburn Man's Death


Charges were filed on Monday against a pair of Madison County residents for their alleged roles in the 2015 death of a Woodburn resident.

Macoupin County State's Attorney Jennifer Watson announced Chancey Y. Hutson of Granite City and William D. Kavanaugh of Edwardsville are both charged with First Degree Murder, Home Invasion, Aggravated Battery and Residential Burlgary for their roles in the incident that resulted in the death of Cody Adams. He was 34.

It has been a long time coming," Watson said in statement announcing the formal charges. "Finally today those responsible have been charged. Several officers have worked on this case seeking the accused and evidence to convict. I appreciate their hard work and dedication in the interest of justice.

On January 1, 2015, Hutson, 28, and Kavanaugh, 34, allegedly traveled to Adams' home on Edwardsville Street. Investigators said the two were intent on committing a theft while knowing Adams was home. The victim was in a struggle with the subjects when a single shot was fired from a handgun. Adams was hit in the upper arm and chest and died shortly after. Hutson and Kavanaugh then allegedly fled the scene.

"I hope the family can find some comfort in the fact that those responsible have been charged with Cody's death," Watson said.

Panhandle School Board to Meet Monday


More personnel decisions are slated to be made at the monthly Panhandle School Board meeting on Monday, July 15.

Consent agenda items include:
A. Approval of minutes 1) June 24, 2019, Budget Hearing, Regular and Executive Sessions; 2) July 2, 2019 special meeting
B. Approval of Financial Reports:
1) July 2019 bills
2) June 2019 disbursements
3) Treasurer's Report
C. Approve the 2019-2020 vocational mileage reimbursement contract
D. Approve the 2019-2020 volunteer procedures
E. Annual approval of the District Affirmation of Assignments
F. Approval of District Treasurer's Surety Bond
G. Approve disposal of closed-session recordings over 24 months old.

Old business items on the agenda include:
A. Summer Maintenance Update
B. Resolution providing for the issue of General Obligation School Bonds, Series 2019, of the District, for the purpose of altering and reconstructing school buildings and purchasing and installing equipment therein for fire prevention and safety, energy conservation and school security purposes, providing for the levy of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the principal and interest on said bonds, and authorizing the sale of said bonds to the purchaser thereof.

New buiness items on the agenda include:
A. FY19 Cafeteria Report
B. FY19 Transportation Report

Items following a scheduled closed session:
A. Approve Raymond Grade School paraprofessional position
B. Approve Lincolnwood High School special education paraprofessional position
C. Approve district head cook

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the library at Lincolnwood High School in Raymond.

Police Investigating Mysterious Death of Chickens


Police are investigating the mysterious death of a flock of chickens after they were found in their pen on Wednesday, July 10.

Taylor Springs Police officers were called to a residence on Grant Street at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday when a resident returned home and discovered a number of dead chickens in the pen. According to the police, the resident said the chickens were healthy and very well taken care of.

Investogators said the chicken pen was completely closed and there was no sign of a predator getting through the fence. Officials with Montgomery County Animal Control also assisted at the scene. The chickens' cause of death is still undetermined at this time. Samples have been sent to the University of Illinois.

A release from the Taylor Springs Police Department says a person or persons appeared to have entered the property and interfered with the animals. Anyone with information is urged to contact Macoupin-Montgomery Crimestoppers or the Taylor Springs Police.

Shelbyville Man Allegedly Kills Pregnant Girlfriend

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A Shelbyville man is facing first degree murder charges after allegedly killing his pregnant girlfriend on Monday, July 8.

Deven A. Barger was arraigned on Wednesday, July 10, on charges of First Degree Murder and Intentional Homicide of an Unborn Child. The 24-year-old is accused of shooting and killing Samantha Cushing, 22, at a home on Will Street in Shelbyville.

After the alleged homicide on Monday, Effingham Police attempted to arrest Barger, but he fled and led police on a chase spanning multiple counties. The pursuit ended in Christian County, where the suspect was safely taken into custody.

Barger is being held by the Illinois Department of Corrections with bond set at $5 million. The incident is still under investigation.

Funeral arrangements for Cushing are being handled by the McCracken-Dean Funeral Home in Pana.

Rep. Bourne Gives Birth to Son

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Illinois' 95th State Representative District has gained a new constituent.

Rep. Avery Bourne and her husband Aaron DeGroot welcomed their son, Marshall Dean DeGroot, into the world on Saturday, June 29.

Marshall was born at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 and a half inches long. His paternal grandparents are Paul and Cindy DeGroot of St. Anne. Maternal grandparents are Rod and Kim Bourne of Pawnee. Paternal great-grandparent is Frances Lentz of Bradley. Maternal great-grandparent is Lynda Skinner of Pawnee. Maternal great-great-grandparent is Ruby Skinner of Jerseyville.

Patch Work to Close Route 203


The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that intermittent daytime and overnight closures of Route 203 will occur through Friday, July 12.

Crews with the East. St. Louis Maintenance Yard will perform patching work on all lanes of the roadway between Bend Road and Collinsville Road in St. Clair County. At least one lane will be open in both directions at all times.

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.

Area construction details are available on IDOT's traveler information map at gettingaroundillinois.com.

Man Arrested for Alleged Bank Robbery


A 70-year-old Texas man was arrested on Wednesday after allegedly committing armed robbery at Litchfield National Bank.

Gregory C. Stickel of Victoria, TX, was charged with Aggravated Robbery. He is currently being held in the Montgomery County Jail.

According to a news release from the Litchfield Police Department, officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at 9 a.m. at the bank's campus in the 1100 block of West Union Avenue. Prior to the report, an officer patrolling the area noticed an older man carrying a bag containing what appeared to be U.S. Currency. The officer made visual contact with the subject, who was also exhibiting suspicious behavior.

The officer received the report on the radio and discovered that the man, later identified as Stickel, matched the description. It was then that he detained Stickel and transported him to jail.

The department reminds the public that all charges are merely accusations and all suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Police Investigating Pair of Homicides


Authorities are investigating a pair of homicides after the bodies of two women were found in Washington Park within a 24-hour period.

According to the Illinois State Police, the first victim was identified as Sandra Reckmann of Alahmbra. Her body was discovered at 5 a.m. on Tuesday in an area of overgrown vegetation in the 1600 block of 56th Street. Investigators said Reckmann, 49, was known to frequent the area of Bunkum Road and Kingshighway in Washington Park.

The second victim's body was identified as 56-year-old Washington Park resident Bridgett B. Williams. She was found on Wednesday in John Thornton Memorial Park at approximately 3:10 a.m.

Illinois State Police and Washington Park Police are investigate the deaths. It is unknown if they are connected.

Anyone who has information related to the investigations is asked to contact Special Agent Travis Irwin at (618) 346-3769 or Special Agent David Wargo at (618) 346-3765.

Fake Prescription Leads to Three Arrests


Three people were arrested in Hillsboro on Monday after allegedly attempting to illegally possess prescription drugs.

Michelle Hubbard of Springfield, Anton Thomas and Warren Morris, both of Chicago, were arrested and charged with Unauthorized Possession of Prescription Form.

At 1:39 p.m., Hillsboro Police responded to Sullivan Drugs for a report of a person attempting to pass a fake prescription. Hubbard, 33, was arrested and taken to the Montgomery County Jail where she was booked on the charges.

According to Hillsboro Police Chief Randy Leetham, Hubbard had dropped off a similar prescription at CVS. Thomas, 36, and Morris, 41, had allegedly been driving a rental car with Florida license plates between the two businesses looking for Hubbard. They had not seen the arrest, Leetham said, because Hubbard was escorted out the rear of Sullivan's.

After the initial arrest, a Sullivan's employee called the police reporting that one of the suspects had walked into the store and asked for Hubbard. The suspect then reportedly left through the south exit. Officers responded and witnessed the suspect entering the rental car.

The vehicle was stopped by officers in the 400 block of South Main Street. Deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office arrived and took the two men into custody. Several other fraudulent prescriptions were found inside the vehicle, according to Leetham. Some forms were completely blank, he said, while others had names and false Hillsboro addresses.

Hillsboro Council To Discuss Water Equipment


Purchasing equipment for Hillsboro's water and waste water departments will be discussed during the city council meeting on Tuesday, July 9.

Items on the agenda include:

1. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve paying bills for July

2. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve purchasing two new EQ pumps for the waste water treatment plant with the remaining Woodard and Curran Funds

3. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve using the remaining unallocated funds returned to the city from Woodard and Curran for new water meters

4. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve the Anna Street lot as surplus property and advertise the property for sale

5. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve the fee for the IDNR/OWR permit for the area around the creek by the intersection of Wood Street and Welch Street

6. Discussion/Decision on a motion ro approve hiring a Sherwood Forest Campground co-host

7. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve purchasing software for the campground

8. Discussion/Decision on a motion to approve a "closed session" on 5 ILCS 120/2(C)(5) "the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body, including meetings held for the purpose of discussing whether a particular parcel should be acquired"

9. Discussion/Decision on the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Hillsboro City Hall.

Jersey County Fatal

One person was killed and another injured in a motorcycle accident Saturday in Jersey County.

According to Illinois State Police, 54 year old Paul Barnett of Madison was driving a 1995 Harley Davidson southbound on Otterville Road, approximately two miles south of Otterville, when he failed to negotiate a curve at 5:35pm. Barnett and a passenger were ejected from the motorcycle.

Paul Barnett was pronounced dead at the scene by the Jersey County Coroner.

45 year old Lanelle Hendon of Granite City was transported by Survival Flight Helicopter to Mercy Hospital in St. Louis.

Neither the driver nor the passenger were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Council Votes to Prohibit Animals at Pickers Markets


Most animals will no longer be allowed at the Litchfield Pickers Markets after the city council passed an ordinance prohibiting them on Tuesday, July 2.

Tourism Coordinator Sarah Waggoner told the council that she has discouraged pet owners from bringing animals to the markets since its inception five years ago. She said it has become more of a problem over the past four years, with the last market in June proving to be especially problematic.

Waggoner said there were multiple reports of dog fights throughout the market on June 9, in addition to some near misses. Sanitation, she said, has also become an issue. She reported that one unsanitary incident in June took 45 minutes to clean.

With large crowds attending, merchandise being sold, safety concerns for the public and health concerns involving animals, Waggoner said these issues needed to be addressed. The ordinance that was adopted on Tuesday prohibits animals, but does make an exception for service dogs and any animals associated with the event an example being pony rides or petting zoos that are ever incorporated.

Market vendors will be notified of the changes through a mass e-mail, as well as a physical letter. Signage will also be posted at the markets.

The next Litchfield City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m.

Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash Near Farmersville


A Missouri man was killed Tuesday evening when the motorcycle he was driving crashed near Farmersville.

Menno Yoder of Wright City was pronounced dead at the scene by the Montgomery County Coroner. He was 58.

According to the Illinois State Police, Yoder's motorcycle was on the northbound entrance ramp to Interstate 55 from Mine Avenue at 9:33 p.m. The bike failed to negotiate a curve, left the roadway and slid into the ditch, ejecting Yoder from the vehicle.

Investigators said Yoder was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. No further information is being made available at this time.

Utility Pole Replaced After Truck Crash


A utility pole along North Road north of Hillsboro had to be replaced on Monday, July 1, after a vehicle crashed into it late Sunday.

According to Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Robbins, Christopher Hamby was driving north on North Road at 11:14 p.m. on June 30, when his truck left the roadway and struck the pole. The 42-year-old Hillsboro resident was cited for driving too fast for conditions and for not wearing a seatbelt.

Virden Man Sentenced to Five Years


A Virden man was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday, June 27, for offenses stemming from an incident in Taylor Springs in mid-June.

Aaron Damm, 48, was charged with the Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, a Class 3 Felony, and Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding a Police Officer, a Class 4 Felony. A plea agreement was presented by State's Attorney Bryant Hitchings and the defendant's attorney Erin Mattson. It was approved by the Honorable Judge Jim Roberts.

Damm was arrested by the Taylor Springs Police after his motorcycle crashed following a chase through the village on June 16. He had previously been arrested in February by the Litchfield Police for Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine. He also previously served 180 days in the Montgomery County Jail after being convicted of a single charge of Battery resulting from a December arrest in Litchfield.

Damm was sentenced to two years for the methamphetamine offense and three years for the aggravated fleeing charge. The time will run consecutively.

Litchfield City Council To Meet on Tuesday


Because Independence Day is Thursday, the Litchfield City Council will hold their first July meeting on Tuesday, July 2.

New business items on the agenda include:

1. A motion to approve a partial release of the security for Philsam Properties LLC associated with the sale of lots to Litchfield Unlimited for the development of the recreational center.

2. A motion to approve a proposal with Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc for the grant preparation services for an IDNR OSLAD grant to develop a recreation sport complex.

3. A motion to approve an Ordinance Amending the Use of Signs in the City of Litchfield, Montgomery County, Illinois.

4. A motion to approve the purchase and installation of seven overhead garage doors at Fire Station #1 to include new door openers from Midwest Door in Pawnee, IL at a cost not to exceed $23,650 and to authorize the Mayor to sign documents and the City Clerk to issue a check upon satisfactory completion.

5. A motion to approve the purchase of an annual subscription for Target Solutions Training System for the amount of $1,641 and authorize the Mayor to
sign the agreement and authorize the City Clerk to issue a check for the first-year subscription and subsequent annual renewals.

6. A motion to approve an Ordinance annexing 207 Arrowhead Trail, PIN # 10-34-481-001.

7. A motion to approve the award of grant monies to the Litchfield Airport Authority in an amount not to exceed $300 for the Route 66 Jet Rally
to be held September 6-8, 2019.

8. A motion to adopt an Ordinance prohibiting animals at Litchfield Pickers Market.

9. A motion to approve a Resolution for Maintenance for the use of additional $24,495 of MFT funds for the fiscal year ending 2020 and authorize the
City Clerk to sign the agreement.

10. A motion to authorize the City Clerk to release all or portions of the Executive Session minutes from the following Executive Sessions: January 4, 2018; March 15, 2018; April 5, 2018; May 3, 2018; May 17, 2018; June 7, 2018; June 21, 2018; July 19, 2018; August 2, 2018; September 6, 2018; October 4, 2018; October 18, 2018; November 1, 2018; November 15, 2018; December 6, 2018; December 20, 2018; January 3, 2019; January 17, 2019; February 7, 2019; February 21, 2019; March 7, 2019 and March 21, 2019.

11. A motion to approve the purchase of four Panasonic Toughbook Mobile Data Computers for $14,000 from CDS Office Technologies and to authorize the City Clerk to issue payment of $14,000 to CDS Office Technologies.

12. A motion to approve a reimbursement agreement with Colton Faure.

Police Officer Colton Faure will also be sworn in.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the council chamber at Litchfield City Hall.

Illinois Crop Progress and Conditions 6/30/19

There were 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 30, 2019. Statewide, the average temperature was 76.7 degrees, 2.5 degrees above normal. Precipitation averaged 0.80 inches, 0.14 inches below normal. Topsoil moisture supply was rated at 1 percent short, 53 percent adequate, and 46 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was rated at 1 percent short, 53 percent adequate, and 46 percent surplus. Corn planted was at 95 percent. Corn emerged was at 89 percent. Corn condition was 5 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 36 percent good, and 6 percent excellent. Soybeans planted was at 87 percent, compared to 100 percent last year and the 5-year average of 98 percent. Soybeans emerged was at 78 percent. Soybean condition was 4 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 38 percent good, and 6 percent excellent. Winter wheat harvested was 47 percent complete, compared to 81 percent for last year and 71 percent for the 5-year average. Winter wheat condition was rated at 9 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 32 percent good, and 3 percent excellent.

Man Arrested After I-255 Shooting


A man whose description matched that of a homicide suspect was arrested on Sunday after allegedly shooting at a pair of Illinois State Police Troopers on Interstate 255.

Troopers arrived at the scene near milepost 21 after 6:03 a.m. and saw a man walking in the median. According to trooper Joshua Korando, the man matched the description of a subject that was possibly involved in a homicide in East St. Louis earlier in the morning.

As troopers arrived at the scene, Korando said the subject opened fire. After one of the troopers shot back, the man fled into a wooded area west of the interstate. No one was injured during the exchange of gunfire. At 10:54 a.m., the suspect was taken into custody a half mile north of the highway without further incident. A firearm was recovered at the scene.

The suspect has been identified, however no formal charges have been filed pending investigation, Korando said. The stretch of interstate between Collinsville Road and I-64 was shut down for several hours. The incident remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police and East St. Louis Police Department.

Carlinville Man Hit by Semi on Friday


A 35-year-old Carlinville man was injured after he was hit by a semi on Interstate 55 in Madison County on Friday, June 28.

According to the State Police, Danny Kline was standing in front of his vehicle, which was parked on the right shoulder in the southbound lanes of the interstate near milepost 27. At 9:13 a.m., a semi approached, and investigators say Kline walked into the roadway for an unknown reason.

The semi swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid hitting Kline, but the man hit the passenger's side door of the truck.

He was airlifted to an area hospital with serious injuries. 57-year-old Bradley Emerson of St. Louis was driving the semi at the time of the accident. The investigation is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.

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