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Local News Archives for 2022-08

Taylor Springs Man and His Brother Arrested After His Girlfriend, and Two Young Children Were Assalted

A Taylor Springs man is accused of a domestic rampage in which his girlfriend and her toddler and infant children were injured and Hillsboro Area Hospital, the Taylor Springs Nursing Home and Graham Correctional Center were placed on lockdown. Police say 32-year-old Nicholas Mohr assaulted his girlfriend, and their two children, ages 2 and 3 just before midnight Saturday, and threatened further violence but she and the children ran to a neighbors house. Police say Mohr fled the scene in his vehicle and police learned he was possibly armed. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s office and Hillsboro Police joined the response.   Litchfield and Hillsboro both dispatched their K9 units as well as the Montgomery County EMA thermal imaging drone. The suspect was apprehended at approximately 4:30am the following morning attempting to escape police custody with the help of his brother Larry, age 37, who had driven up from Imperial, Missouri to pick him up and help him hide from the police. Both males were taken into custody; Nicholas was charged with 3 counts of aggravated domestic battery, obstruction, and driving with a revoked driver’s license. Larry was charged with obstruction and driving with a revoked drivers license. 

Overdose Awareness Event in Hillsboro Wednesday, and connected event tonight (Tuesday) in Raymond

Cross Over Ministries will be hosting a FREE event to raise awareness about drug overdoses.  The event will be held on Wednesday 8/31 from 2:00-7:00pm at the Lincoln Plaza, downtown Main Street in Hillsboro.  A community event on 8/31/2022 to recognize those lost to drug overdose. We will have various speakers who share stories of hurt, healing, and hope. 

Event will include candlelight vigil, slideshow of our lost loved ones, several guest speakers, community information tables, Narcan demonstration. Food available by Lipe’s Lunchbox food truck.

Preregistration can be done at

The event is located on Facebook or go to the cross over ministries Web page. 


Sign up for shirts is closed. There will be some additional  shirts available at the event on a first come first serve for $20, but can't guarantee size or color. 

Pictures of loved ones lost to overdose for the slide show can be sent to our email at


The other event is Trauma Informed Seminar for our Community. This will be held at multiple locations with the first one in Raymond at the Raymond Baptist Church (see address on poster attached).  Event will be on Tuesday August 30. It will take place from 6 to 9  Trenda Hedges with Whole Hearted Counseling will be featured.  To register call 217-608-0266 or check out Crossover Ministries Facebook page. 

Active School Shooter Exercise/Drill Set for Friday in Nokomis

Nokomis Community Unit School District #22 Nokomis Police Department Nokomis Area Fire Protection District Nokomis Witt Area Ambulance Service August 19, 2022 Nokomis Community Unit District #22 will conduct an active shooter response exercise on September 2, 2022 to allow the district personnel and emergency response agencies to demonstrate response actions for any event that may occur in the Nokomis Community Unit School District. The exercise will occur between the hours of 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM in vicinity of the North Elementary School. No students will be present for the exercise other than some volunteer emergency medical services junior volunteers. “The public will see a large amount of emergency response vehicles in the area of the North Elementary School,” stated Dr. Scott Doerr, Nokomis Community Unit District #22 Superintendent, “These exercises are part of a comprehensive planning and preparedness strategy that we have developed in the district to be sure we are ready for any event that may happen.” Nokomis Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Nokomis Witt Area Ambulance Service, Nokomis Area Fire Protection District and Fillmore Fire Protection District along with mutual aid agencies will be part of the response for the event. “Recent events throughout this country and in Illinois only serve to help us to understand how important it is for us to be prepared for any event that may happen,” said Nokomis Police Chief Talon Burton. Nokomis Police Department and other law enforcement agencies routinely train on school violence situations in the county. “This event allows us to work with other response agencies in the Nokomis Area including fire and EMS, to increase overall preparedness to any type of event that might affect our schools,” said Chief Burton. Emergency Medical Services and Fire Response agencies will also participate in the drill. Nokomis Witt Area Ambulance Services Chief Travis Hocq emphasized, “We’re glad to be involved in this type of exercise as this allows us to work closely with law enforcement to improve our response time in a critical event.” Nokomis Area Fire Protection District Chief Mike Smalley said, “It’s important for our fire department to be involved in this with our medical and law enforcement partners as we are a support agency in this type of event. We need to expand our capabilities in order to better serve the citizens.” Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency will serve in a support role in the exercise and the drone team will support the response operation as well. Weather permitting, Arch and Air Evac Medical services will participate in the exercise as well. “In addition to the immediate response, we will test our abilities to re-unify students with care-givers and we will develop some action plans that will look not only at this part of the response, but also what will be happening in the days after such an event,” stated Dr. Doerr. “So please don’t be alarmed by the number of response agencies, equipment, and personnel that you see around the school on the afternoon of September 2, it’s something that are doing to help us better protect our staff and students.” 

Hillsboro Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty

Nearly three years ago, a shocking shooting in the parking lot of the Hillsboro Free Methodist Church, near Hillsboro’s Beckemeyer School left a woman dead.... Now, justice has been served against her husband in her 2019 shooting death. The murder trial of 72-year-old David Chesser got underway yesterday in the shooting death of 68-year-old Mary Chesser. After four witnesses testified, David Chesser folded his cards and tossed aside his not guilty plea. With consent from Mary Chesser’s family, a plea deal was accepted to put David Chesser behind bars for 16 and a half years. He pleaded guilty to second degree murder.

Collapse Damages Downtown Litchfield Building,Triggers Water Outage

Downtown Litchfield has a series of closed off streets and water service is shut down in the 300 and 400 blocks of North State Street after an apparent explosion at the 307 Collective, an event rental space business at 307 North State Street, between Short Furniture and Petal Pushers Flower Shop.   Litchfield Fire officials are waiting for their investigation to wrap up before they comment further.  There are no indications of injuries.   Fire crews are continuing to tend to the structure and its neighbors. So far,there are no indications of fire.  


From the City of Litchfield.


Downtown Structure

On August 6, 2022 at 1148 hours, the Litchfield Fire Department was dispatched by Montgomery County dispatch to a report of possible explosion or building collapse.  Ten 911 calls were received mostly by those within the building.  Litchfield Fire Department requested upgrade to the response to a Box Alarm at 1158.  The area is closed off on State Street from  Union Avenue to Ryder Street.  Eleven staff members are on scene in addition to the Springfield TRT from Division 48.  Departments from Gillespie, Hillsboro and Raymond-Harvel are assisting at the Station.   All occupants in the building are accounted for. 

West Nile Discovered in Nokomis

The Montgomery County Health Department reports that the first West Nile Virus positive mosquito was collected in Nokomis, Illinois. The mosquito was collected on August 2, 2022. To date, West Nile positive birds and mosquitoes have been reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health in 18 counties. The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported no human cases at this time. As we continue into our warmer months this reminds us that West Nile 

Virus continues to be a threat. Warmer weather allows mosquitoes to reproduce at a faster rate. Area residents need to remain vigilant and protect themselves. Illinois Department of Public Health reports the best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report. 

REDUCE exposure - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. 

- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair orreplace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night. 

- Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles. 

REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET,  picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants. 


REPORT - In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report dead birds and areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards,water filled containers, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. 

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at . Dead birds or standing water can be reported by calling the Montgomery County Health Department at  (217) 532-2001. 

Paul Anderson of Irving, formerly of Litchfield and Raymond

59 year old Paul Anderson of Irving, formerly of Litchfield and Raymond, passed away on Monday (August 1).   Funeral services for 59 year old Paul Anderson will be held on Friday (August 5) at 12:00 noon at First Baptist Church in Litchfield. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at the church.. Burial will be in Raymond City Cemetery. Plummer Funeral Home in Litchfield is in charge of arrangements. 


Robert Leroy Hemken of Walshville

79-year-old Robert Leroy Hemken of Walshville passed away  Saturday (July 30).  Visitation: The family will receive guests from 10:30-12:30 p.m. on Wednesday (August 3)  at Perfetti-Assalley Funeral Home, Sorento. Private family burial will be held at Kirkland Cemetery in Rural Sorento. 

Scott Michael Langen of Portland, Oregon, formerly of Litchfield

50-year-old Scott Michael Langen of Portland, Oregon, formerly of Litchfield, passed away on July 20. Mr. Langen’s ashes will be scattered along the Oregon coast.   Plummer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Taylor Springs Man Accused of Rampage, Assaulting Mother of His Child, Taking Child and Intentionally Striking Pedestrian

Taylor Springs Police are sharing details of a wild Saturday morning incident where a 41-year-old man is accused of putting his ten-year-old child in his car by force, domestic abuse, ignoring railroad crossing signals and cutting in front of a train on Main Street, then intentionally striking a pedestrian.  The saga began just after 2 a.m. as Zacariah Kimbro allegedly assaulted the mother of his ten-year-old son, 37-year-old Heather Petroski on Grant Street next to the Post Office, took the child by force, fled the scene, avoided the oncoming train, and while moving eastbound on Main, allegedly swerved to strike 33-year-old Michael Groeteke of Hillsboro. Groeteke refused medical treatment, saying he couldn’t afford the hospital.   Needless to say, the folks at the Taylor Springs PD made a few calls to friends as they sought to apprehend Kimbro.  The Montgomery County Sheriffs office, Bond County Sheriffs office, Illinois State Police and Hillsboro Police are joined in the hunt for Kimbro and his son.  Petroski learned her son was left with Kimbro’s cousin in Bond County and the boy was picked up by police.   Kimbro would turn himself in at the urging of the mother at 7:45 a.m.    The vehicle in the incident, which belonged to Petroski and Kimbro, was recovered on Buckeye Trail, southeast of Taylor Springs.  It had windshield and body damage consistent with the impact of the Groeteke hit and run.    Kimbo remains in the Montgomery County Jail on charges of domestic battery, hit and run and endangering the life and health of a child.  


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