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Local News Archives for 2022-12

Montgomery County EMA and Communities Prepare Shelter Scenarios for Cold Blast

— Montgomery County communities, along with County Emergency 

Management Agency are taking steps to prepare for the next round of winter weather taing place on Thursday and Friday of this week. The following communities are prepared to offer Warming Shelters  if needed: 

Hillsboro, Moose Club and Lions Club are on stand-by if needed. The centers will not open unless needed for large amounts of people. Contact 217-532-6129 

?Raymond/Harvel, Raymond Firehouse if needed. Contact Montgomery County non-emergency at 217-532-9564 

Nokomis City Hall, contact 217-563-2141 

Coffeen Firehouse, contact 217-534-2410 after 6:00 Thursday evening 

 Witt City Hall, contact Montgomery County non-emergency at 217-532-9564 

 Litchfield, The Community Center is a warming center if needed, contact Montgomery County non-emergency at 217-532-9564 

Taylor Springs, the Community Building is operating as a shelter.

Please follow the Montgomery County Emergency management Facebook page for any additions or changes. 

Foul Play Not a Factor in Death of Hillsboro Man Found in Creek

There are more details on last week’s death of the man found in the creek by the Hillsboro Lion’s Club and Hillsboro High School. The forensic autopsy of 33-year-old Joshua Ernst of Hillsboro, was completed at Memorial Medical center by a board approved forensic pathologist the coroner’s office contracts. The findings of the autopsy are consistent with the multiple hours of video surveillance that were obtained and viewed by investigators. Currently there is no criminal element of this tragic incident, Ernst is seen alone entering the creek multiple times on video. Toxicology is pending before a final conclusion is met. The investigation is ongoing by the Hillsboro Police Department and the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. 

Longtime Hillsboro Area Hospital CEO Retiring

The new year will bring the end of an era, a changing of the guard at Hillsboro Area Hospital.  CEO Rex Brown has announced his retirement effective New Years Eve.  In a statement, Brown said the decision comes with mixed emotions. Brown said in a statement he and his family have come to love this area and who can question that after a 29 year run in the CEO post starting in 1993.  Hillsboro Area Hospital Board Chairman Earl Flack credits Brown with being a boost to Hillsboro since coming to town, saying . “We have all benefited from his track record of strategic thinking, leadership and focus on execution. He will be deeply missed, and we are so grateful for the significant contributions he has made.”  

Metro East State Rep Encourages Constituents Suggest Legislation

State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is inviting community members to reach out with ideas for legislation that they’d like to see introduced in the upcoming 103rd General Assembly.

“Here in Illinois, we mean it when we say our government is the people’s government,” Stuart said. “Participation by members of the community in devising new and improved public policy is invaluable and it also helps me to ensure that I am addressing the concerns of the people who elected me.”

The current 102nd General Assembly began in 2021 and will soon conclude. The 103rd General Assembly is slated to begin January 11, 2023, Inauguration Day.

Everyone is encouraged to submit ideas, no matter how simple or unpolished. Experience with the legislative process is not necessary.

“No idea is too small, too specific, or too broad,” Stuart said. “Ensuring that everyone has a voice in government is among my most important duties as an elected official. Providing a forum for ideas that’s accessible to anyone is an important part of that. I’m excited to see what my constituents come up with.”

Ideas should be submitted to Stuart’s constituent service office at 618-365-6650 or

Nokomis Police Seeking Pana Man

The Nokomis Police Department is asking for our citizens help in locating Dakoda Cantrell, 26 years old of Pana. Cantrell has active arrests warrants from Christian County, for Methamphetamine Delivery/Possession and IL DOC Parole warrants. Cantrell was seen by NPD officers in town yesterday. If anyone has any information on his whereabouts you can contact us at 217-563-2141 or call 911.

Victory Lane Ups Matching Donation to Litchfield Food Pantry

Victory Lane Ford has put the pedal to the metal in the fight against hunger. They are going that extra mile this holiday season to help HSHS St Francis Foundation collect donations for the St Clare Center Food Pantry. The local Blue Oval dealership will match up to $7,500 in donations through December 31st for the pantry Victory Lane Ford owner Gene Hebenstreit upped the ante in the fight against hunger, pushing the challenge grant donation from the annual figure of $5,000 to $7,500 . Hebenstreit said it is more important now than ever during these challenging economic times to make sure the pantry has enough food to meet their needs for the upcoming holiday season and winter months. To participate in this challenge grant, there are a number of ways you can donate: 

  • Visit Victory Lane Ford. 

  • Mail your donation to HSHS St. Francis Foundation, P.O. Box 1215, Litchfield, IL 62056, and mark “Victory Lane Challenge” in the memo. 

  • Donate online at, select “Donate Now” and choose the designation St. Clare Center Food Pantry. 

  • Call 217-324-8200 to discuss how you can give.  

The St. Clare Center Food Pantry is located at 603 N. Madison Street in Litchfield and is a ministry of HSHS St. Francis Hospital. The pantry serves residents of Montgomery and Macoupin counties. For further information about the pantry, call 217-324-2800. 


Suspect in Custody after Lincolnwood Sr High on Lockdown After Note Indicating Threat is Found

Update:  The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office reports a suspect is in custody in connection with the following school threat incident yesterday at Lincolnwood High School. 

Yesterday, Lincolnwood Sr High Campus in Raymond was closed unti roughly two hours after the usual close of classes with no one allowed on to the campus after a note indicating a threat was found in the school, something seen recently in North Mac, Pana and Taylorville schools.  There are no indications a culprit has been found of that the threat is credible.  The investigation continues. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office reports Deputies, Officers from local jurisdictions and State Police are on the scene.  There are no injuries and no known immediate threat.  School officials will be in contact with parents in regards to a location for reuification.

Coin Flip Determines New Montgomery County Board Chairman, Doug Donaldson Wins Flip and is New Chairman

Sometimes a quarter is more powerful than a mere 25 cents. Last night’s Montgomery County Board reorganizational meeting offered some sports like drama... call it a matter of overtime, extra innings, sudden death.  The effort to elect the county board chairman was deadlocked at 7 all in the first gathering of the smaller version of the Montgomery County Board.  The man who entered the night as Chairman, Evan Young, and Board member Doug Donadlson, both of District 3, both received seven votes. That forced a flip of the coin to determine the winner.   Because he had more votes on Election Day, Young got to call heads or tails, Sheriff Rick Robbins handled the coin toss duties and the coin landed in favor of Donaldson.  Young was chosen as Vice Chairman in a close 8-6 vote.  

Litchfield Names New Interim Fire Chief

The Litchfield City Council has opted to choose a new Interim Chief for the fire department after the recent departure of Joe Hollomy.  Firefighter/paramedic Adam Pennock was promoted to the post and says he is hoping to keep the job on a permanent basis.  Pennock started off with the Raymond Harvel Fire Department and developed an interest in firefighting during his days at Lincolnwood High School. 


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