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Local News Archives for 2022-02

Leitheiser Helping Montgomery County Residents with Property Fraud Concerns

Recent property fraud activity in the St. Louis area has prompted Montgomery 

County Clerk/Recorder Sandy Leitheiser to remind land owners of a free service 

her office provides notifying those who register via phone or email if a land 

document in Montgomery County is recorded in their name. 

According to Leitheiser, a St. Louis newspaper recently reported a St. Louis 

woman entered a plea agreement after using a quit claim deed and forging a 

deceased woman's signature to obtain ownership of a house. The document also 

contained a signature and seal of a notary who neither saw nor signed it. She was 

indicted on two counts of identity theft. 

“According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest growing white- 

collar crime,” Leitheiser stated, “and there are several costly “title lock” services 

available to warn landowners about potential fraud, but we offer a similar warning 

system for free!” She said her office voluntarily joins 46 other Illinois counties to 

offer a free Property Fraud Alert service to help customers should someone attempt 

to illegally use their property for financial gain by recording fraudulent real estate 

documents. Leitheiser reports a total of 448 Montgomery County property owners 

have joined 110,572 Illinois residents who have signed up for this service to date. 

She encourages land records customers to register for Property Fraud Alert which 

will notify them when a document is recorded in their name, and if it is fraudulent, 

allows the customer to contact the Recorder’s office and law enforcement 


authorities. Registration for this free service can be completed either at or in paper form at the Montgomery County Recorder’s 

Office, and participants’ information will not be sold or used for commercial 


Leitheiser stated while Property Fraud Alert does not prevent fraud from 

happening, it provides an early warning system for property owners to take 

appropriate actions should they determine possible fraudulent activity has taken 

place. To sign up, go to, select Montgomery County, 

Illinois and follow the prompts to complete the registration and submit the form 

electronically. Those wishing to complete the paper form may either download or 

print it from the Montgomery County website at and mail 

it to Montgomery County Recorder, PO Box 595, Hillsboro, IL 62049 or retrieve the 

form at the Recording Department of the County Clerk/Recorder’s office located on 

the first floor of the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro. Those with questions 

regarding Property Fraud Alert may call 1-800-728-3858 or county Recording 

Department staff at 217-532-9535. 

Carlinville Based Historian Releases New Book on Madison County History

There's something for almost everyone in a fast-moving new book on Madison County history that is loaded with facts and anecdotes.
            Writer Tom Emery of Carlinville is releasing The Madison County History Reader, a collection of over sixty of his articles on a wide array of subjects relating to the history, people, and places of Madison County.
             The reader is different than any other book on county history, and looks at many fascinating aspects of the past in this area. Many leading towns in the county are covered in some fashion in the book, which is 170 pages long and fully illustrated.
            Topics include the origins of the county, pioneer experiences in Madison’s earliest days, as well as the Civil War era and some of the remarkable women the county has produced. 

            Other topics include the world wars, education, natural disasters, sports, celebrities, and early holidays.

Emery’s work is familiar to area readers, as his articles regularly appear across Madison County. He has also appeared at a variety of speaking engagements in Alton, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Godfrey, Wood River, and elsewhere.

Articles with Emery’s byline have appeared in over 150 newspapers, and he has created thirty-eight book and booklet titles in his career. He has won fourteen awards from the Illinois State Historical Society.

            The Madison County History Reader sells for $21.99 plus $1.49 tax and $3.52 postage ($27 total). Reserve copies are recommended. Delivery is expected in late February.

Orders may be placed using PayPal (use the e-mail or mail by sending your name, address, phone, and check or money order to History in Print, 337 E. Second South, Carlinville, IL  62626. For more information, call 217-710-8392.

Harbor Freight Tools Coming to Litchfield, Bringing 25 to 30 Jobs

A big player in the tool game is coming to town in Litchfield. Harbor Freight Tools will open a store at 11-1 West Ferdon Street in the spring.   The California based company says construction is already underway with local workers and companies from the Litchfield area providing the labor. The store is expected to bring between 25 and 30 new jobs to the community, including Sales and Logistic Supervisors,  Senior Associates, Sales Associates, and seasonal opportunities as well. Harbor Freight Tools offers a competitive starting  rate along with a best-in-class retail benefits package that includes robust health coverage, and Thanksgiving and Christmas off. Harbor Freight provides stability and the opportunity to advance in a company that continues to grow,  with over 24,000 Associates and more than 1,200 locations nationwide. Forbes Magazine has recently recognized Harbor Freight as one of the top 20 large employers in all of retail and one of the country’s Best Employers for  Veterans for two years in a row. Interested applicants can apply online at and search “Litchfield, IL”. 

Hillsboro Man Sentenced to a Decade in Prison for Enticement of a Minor

Federal judge Sue Myerscough didn’t exactly have romance in her heart when she handed down a St Valentine’s Day sentence to a Hillsboro man who pleaded guilty to enticement of a minor. On Monday, Judge Mysercough sentenced 32-year-old Andrew Collins of the 200 block of Main Street yesterday to ten years in prison, followed by ten years of supervised release. Federal prosecutors say Collins offered various inducements to have a sixteen year old to have intercourse with him, including a chance to live together in the future.  

Agencies participating in the investigation include the United States Secret Service and Central and Southern Illinois Financial and Cyber Crimes Task Force. 

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Litchfield Student Takes Second in State VFW Contest

Litchfield students distinguished themselves at a state VFW competition in Springfield.   Litchfield Middle School student Ady Ferguson was among 5000 entries in the VFW’s statewide Patriot’s Pen Contest. She finished second in that sea of essays, narrowly missing out on the national competition.  Ferguson has received  a Certificate and a check for $500. Carly Favre, a Litchfield High School sophomore, also received honors in the state VFW Voice of Democracy contest for High Schoolers. That honor brought a 300 dollar check.  

Breaking: One Person Dead in Greenville, Standoff Over

ISP D11 and Zone 8 are handling an incident near the 500 block of E. Main Street in Greenville.

Please avoid the area.

#ISP #IllinoisStatePolice

Unit: ISP District 11 / Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Zone 8

Date: Feb. 10, 2022 at approximately 7:24 p.m.

Location: 600 block of E. South Street Greenville, IL, Bond County

Brief Synopsis: Preliminary investigative details indicate the following occurred: ISP District 11 and ISP DCI Zone 8 responded to a reported shooting at the above time and location. An unknown female was located deceased. A subject was barricaded in a residence in the 500 block of E. Main Street, Greenville but was later taken into custody around 1 a.m.  If anyone saw the shooting or knows anything about the events surrounding the incident, please call Crimestoppers at 314-725-8477 (TIPS). The investigation is still ongoing and no further information is available at this time.

Raymond Well Goes Online

In Raymond, Rick Broaddus and Devin Bedinger flipped the switch to turn on the new well for the city’s water supply.  A new water supply can have its share of growing pain, and residents may have encountered discolored water but that will pass as the well has become operational.  

Covid Deaths Up, Cases Down

Good news and tragic news on the Covid 19 front. in the first Montgomery County Health Dept numbers since Janary 27th, four new deaths tied to the pandemic have been reported, pushing the death toll to 94. The apparent slow down of the virus does appear to be happening with 311 new cases compared to well over 500 in the last report. There have now been nearly 8,000 cases of covid 19 in the county. 

State School Mask Mandate on Hold

The school mask mandate legal rolller coaster continues to be a wild ride.  A Sangamon County judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday on Governor J.B. Pritzker’s mask mandate executive order for public school students.  Starting today, Hillsboro CUSD3 will not be requiring students or employees to wear masks. The State is seeking an emergency stay and will appeal the decision, so things could change in the coming days and weeks.  Litchfield is also going mask optional, although masks are still required on buses per federal law.   Nokomis is mask optional for now, while continuing other efforts to limit transmission of the virus   Greenville and Highland is also in the mask optional crowd until new developments in the courts.   Edwardsville is going in a different direction, maintaining their mask mandate while only allowing students who were plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state to go to school mask free.


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