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Local News Archives for 2023-07

Nokomis Man Dies After Exiting Moving Vehicle on Route 16

A 28-year-old Nokomis man is dead after leaving a moving vehicle Saturday morning on Route 16 between Irving and Hillsboro. The victim is identified as Shane Horve. Illinois State Police and the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office are investigating the incident near Grand Point Lane, northeast of Hillsboro. An autopsy was expected today (Monday).  The Witt Fire Department, Hillsboro Police Department, and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.  

Clean Sweep Approaching for Free Disposal of Outdated Pesticides


- Illinois residents can dispose of unwanted agrichemicals for free this year through the Illinois Department of Agriculture's (IDOA) agricultural pesticide "Clean Sweep" program. IDOA will host ten sites in central and southwestern Illinois.  "Clean Sweep" collections have been scheduled for Montgomery, Macoupin, Bond, Clinton, Fayette, Jersey, , Madison, Marion, Monroe, and St. Clair counties. The collection, which rotates among Illinois counties is open to farmers, retired farmers, nursery owners, private pesticide applicators, structural pest control applicators and landowners who inherited unwanted agricultural pesticides with their property. Participants must register the products they plan to dispose of by July 28. Registration is required to give the waste disposal contractor time to prepare for the different kinds of materials that will need to be handled. Forms can be obtained either by calling the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Hotline at 1-800-641-3934, on the IDOA website or by visiting one of the sponsors listed.  

Completed forms should be mailed or faxed to the Illinois Department of Agriculture at Clean Sweep Program, Illinois Department of Agriculture, State Fairgrounds, P.O. Box 19281, Springfield, IL, 62794-9281. The fax number is (217) 524-4882. Participants will be sent a reservation card indicating the date, time and location of their collection.  You can visit the Montgomery County Farm Bureau and SWCD in Hillsboro, the Macoupin County Farm Bureau and SWCD in Carlinville, Bond County SWCD and Farm Bureau  in Greenville, the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service in Vandalia, the Madison County Farm Bureau and SWCD in Edwardsville, the Jersey County SWCD in Jerseyville and the Clinton County Farm Bureau and SWCD in Breese. 

Today is the Deadline to Apply for Montgomery County Eco Development Director

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. This is a fully remote, part-time position with a salary range of $30,000 - $35,000. Applicants must reside in Montgomery County, IL. 

The MCEDC Executive Director will be responsible for the following duties/operations: 

1. Work with the Executive Committee and other staff to manage operations. 

2. Cultivate relationships with all MCEDC members and elected and agency officials at the 

local, state, and national level. 

3. Develop and implement a business retention and expansion (BRE) program to further 

the mission of the MCEDC. 

4. Assist the MCEDC Chairman in preparing for MCEDC Board Meetings and possess a 

working knowledge of the corporate operation and budget. 

5. Communicate regularly with all MCEDC members via quarterly email newsletters, 

monthly articles in The Journal News, and regularly scheduled interviews with WSMI 


6. Perform frequent and timely updates to the MCEDC Website and Facebook page. 

7. Communicate with members to help promote their fairs, festivals, and special events. 

8. Promote tourism in the County by publishing updated activities and events to the 

website, Facebook page, and newsletter 

9. Serve as an advocate for local businesses. Keep a current listing of Montgomery County 

businesses on the MCEDC website. 

10. Grant Writing 

11. Other duties and special projects as assigned by the MCEDC Board of Directors. 

Interested parties should email a cover letter, resume, and references by July 26th to: 

Hillsboro, SWCD Hosting Lake Water Quality Meeting and Tour

The City of Hillsboro, in partnership with the Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation  District, has scheduled an informational meeting and tour regarding issues facing Lake Glenn Shoals and  Old Hillsboro Lake. The event will take place on Tuesdsay  (August 1 st). Participants will learn about the  siltation and erosion that is affecting the lake, how the water treatment plant is dealing with increased sediment in the lake, view a field that is using sustainable growing practices, tour a portion of Glenn Shoals Lake and be treated to a catered lunch. The day will start at 10:30 am at the Hillsboro Water Treatment Facility located at 118 Smith Rd in Hillsboro. Participants will meet at the Facility, tour the operation and hear about how the City is working to ensure water quality for our area. Lunch will be provided at the Fireman’s Clubhouse where an American Farmland Trust Representative will give a short presentation. After lunch, the group will view a local field where practices are being used that mitigates soil erosion and then all attendees will proceed to the North Marina at Lake Glenn Shoals for a boat tour. This meeting is to inform farmers, land owners, and local residents of the issues facing Lake Glenn Shoals and our drinking water supply. We will discuss ways that we can work together as a community  to mitigate soil erosion, siltation, and runoff that is damaging our Lake. If you would like to participate, please RSVP by Friday, July 28, 2023 to MCSWCD at 217-532-3361 ext 3. 

Car Crash Leads to Power Outage

An incident related to a vehcile at an unknown location has triggered a power outage for hundreds late tonight around Hillsboro.  Ameren expects power to be restored around 12:30am. 


1050 customers are without power in areas to the north of Lake Glenn Shoals.  Another 325 customers are without power in the area northeast of Butler.  Nearly 1500 customers are without power in the Morrisonville/Harvel area.  



Litchfield Set to Open Cooling Shelters and HSHS Offers Advice on Dealing with Heat

The City of Litchfield is preparing for a growing heat wave.  The City is teaming up with local partners to open a cooling center at the Beacon Church at 622 North Franklin.


Water: Your everyday energy drink

Benefits of staying well-hydrated


LITCHFIELD— Water does your body good. In fact, it is the best choice for your body.


As we head into the middle of summer, HSHS St. Francis Hospital wants to remind everyone of the importance of staying well-hydrated.


Jennifer Becker, MS, RD, LDN, clinical dietitian at HSHS St. Francis Hospital, said, “Water is a necessary component of human life. It helps your body function properly, contributes to your overall health and well-being, and can make a real difference in your life if you drink enough each day.”


Benefits of drinking water

About 60% of the body is made up of water. It regulates body temperature, lubricates and cushions joints and protects organs. Cells need water to transport nutrients. Wastes and toxins are flushed out through sweat, urine and bowel movements—all of which require water.


Drinking enough water can also affect mental health. Being well-hydrated provides what a person needs to stay alert, focused and productive throughout their day. All of this is why it's so important to replace the fluids lost during activities.


Are you dehydrated?

Dehydration occurs when a person loses more fluids than they take in. Be sure to increase your fluid intake in hot weather, when you increase your physical activity and when you are sick (especially with vomiting, diarrhea or fever). Additionally, drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks can also cause you to lose water.


Some common signs of dehydration include:

  • Extreme thirst.
  • Dry or sticky mouth.
  • Less sweat than usual.
  • Dark-colored urine or no urine at all.
  • Dry skin.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Headaches or dizziness.


The good news is that symptoms often go away when you rehydrate.


Choose water

Many people reach for beverage options like sports drinks to hydrate during or after high-intensity exercise or activities with their added carbohydrates, minerals and electrolytes. Other popular drinks are regular soda, fruit drinks and energy drinks. However, these also contain sugar, calories or caffeine.


Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet. People who often drink sugary drinks are more likely to face health problems, such as weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.


Becker shared, “Reading the nutrition labels on the drinks you put in your shopping cart can be surprising when you discover how many added sugars are in some of them. Water is the healthiest alternative, as it contains no calories and is 100% natural.”


For example, a 12-ounce regular soda has more than 10 teaspoons of added sugar, adding up to 150 calories. Consuming two sodas a day adds up to 2,100 calories in a week.


Becker recommends the following simple steps to increase your water intake without the added sugar:

  • Carry a refillable water bottle with you. Set reminders on your phone if you need a nudge to drink throughout the day.
  • Choose water when eating out. It saves both money and calories.
  • Drink a glass of water before you consume your meal. Besides helping with hydration, it will help you feel fuller so you will eat less.
  • Mix up your water options. Try adding fruit slices, like pineapple, watermelon or lemon, or vegetables and herbs, like cucumber or mint. Make flavored ice cubes with 100% fruit juice, unsweetened tea or chopped fruit. Choose seltzer or sparkling water over juices and sugary beverages.
  • Don’t forget fluids are in many foods too. Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables, such as melons and tomatoes, can help you stay hydrated.


Water is often overlooked as a key element to overall health. Just taking a few simple steps can help you stay hydrated and healthy. If you suspect significant dehydration, seek medical attention immediately. HSHS St. Francis Hospital’s emergency department, 1215 Franciscan Drive in Litchfield, is well-prepared to deliver high-quality emergency medical care 24/7.


Safe T Act Wheels are Back in Motion After Illinois Supreme Court Decision, Current Cash Bail System Ends in September

 The Illinois Supreme Court announced its opinion in the Rowe v. Raoul (SAFE-T Act) case Tuesday morning.  The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 vote that the pretrial fairness portion of the SAFE-T Act is constitutional. That means cash bail can now be abolished in Illinois.

Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Robbins, an outspoken opponent of the legislation, offered his response.  "SAD.  Not what Montgomery County deserves!  Kudos to our area's Justice Overstreet for dissenting."

Governor JB Pritzker weighed in.   “We can now move forward with historic reform to ensure pre-trial detainment is determined by the danger an individual poses to the community instead of by their ability to pay their way out of jail,” 

State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) released the below statement following the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling on the SAFE-T Act. 

“If there were any questions before, it is abundantly clear now to all Illinoisans how political our state’s highest court has become. This ruling was not about what is actually in our constitution, and it is not about what is best for the average Illinoisan. It is about politicians sitting on the bench and voting to support the extreme and dangerous agenda of this Governor and his legislative allies.  

“It is unhealthy to our society for the judicial branch of government to become as politicized as it has become. The politics that has infected our highest court will now tie the hands of local judges and law enforcement who work hard every day to keep Illinoisans safe. This is dangerous to the brave men and women who serve in law enforcement, it is devastating to communities across our great state, and it is frightening to the families who just want safe neighborhoods. All of this simply because a few of our top elected officials kowtow to activists and are completely disconnected from the realities their constituents face every day.” 

Local State Senator Steve McClure (R-Springfield), a former Sangamon County prosecutor, offered a statement.   “It’s disappointing that the Supreme Court overruled our state’s constitution and the will of the people of Illinois by upholding the SAFE-T Act. This ruling is just one more blow to the credibility of the Illinois Supreme Court, particularly after two of the justices accepted a million dollars from the main proponent of the Act—Governor JB Pritzker. This is yet another victory for the people who choose to commit crimes in our state. Where are the victories for the victims?” 

Carlinville Woman Receives Decade Plus Prison Term in Death of Toddler

A 34-year-old Carlinville woman who threw a toddler against a wall, didn’t get immediate medical attention for him and drove for three hours running errands before finally stopping in Litchfield where she  finally tried to get help too late, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. Ashley Bottoms received the sentence in the death of her stepson, 3-year-old Hunter Drew. She threw Hunter against a wall to break up a fight at her residence. The impact caused a brain bleed, leading to Hunter’s death. , Bottoms pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter of a family member at an April hearing. Macoupin County Judge Joshua Meyer handed down the sentence Monday morning

Pipeline Meeting in Springfield this (Monday) Evening Will Draw Montgomery County Officials and Residents

Sangamon County is hosting a public hearing this evening on the Navigator Greenway CO2 proposal. While this meeting is hosted by Sangamon County where residents, farmer and non farmer alike have been more vocal up there, Montgomery County residents and officials will be among those in the crowd at the Bank of Springfield Center, the former Prairie Capital Convention Center, in Downtown Springfield. The event is set for 5pm this evening. It will be an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of the pipeline project. The Montgomery County Farm Bureau is urging members to attend.  

Carlinville Murder Suspect Arrested

Breaking. The suspect in a Carlinville murder is in custody. Prosecutors charged Shawn Evans, 36, with first-degree murder. A judge set his bond at $2 million in the Wednesday shooting death of Dana Morgan Jr.  Evans was taken into custody around 3:30 Thursday afternoon. 

Ameren Offers Information on Storm Claims


Recent storms hit hard... not just on property but the pocketbook.  In a time of rising grocery costs, sending food to the dumpster because of spoilage was hard on the heart for many impacted by power outages, including Litchfield and Pana, where they encountered a multi-day outage.   Ameren is sharing information on how people can submit a claim for storm damage and loss.    To submit a claim for actual damages, including food spoilage, due to a power interruption, outage, surge, or other fluctuation, you can complete a Claim Form and mail the Claim Form and supporting documentation to: 

Brentwood Services Administrators, Inc. 

PO Box 4605 Chesterfield, MO 63006-4605 

After receiving a claim, Ameren Illinois officials will determine whether the claim is the product of a qualifying interruption, outage, surge, or other fluctuation.  The Illinois Commerce Commission will review requests rejected by Ameren.  Typically, claims are resolved within 90 days.   

Anyone with questions about the Ameren Illinois’ claim process can call Ameren at 1 (800) 755-5000. If you have questions about your particular claim, you can call the Ameren Illinois claims administrator, Brentwood Services Administrators, Inc., at 1 (800) 781-2075. 

Former Litchfield Mayor John Dunkirk Jr Passes Away

A former Litchfield Mayor and longtime educator has passed away.   John Dunkirk Jr, who served one term from 2001-2005, opted to not seek re-election after steering the city through the post 9/11 years.  He is remembered as an outstanding teacher and coach.  

Litchfield Council Puts Golf Cart Issue on Hold Until Possible Advisory Referendum

Before the election, the push from some residents for legalized golf cart use on Litchfield streets gained zero traction from the city council.  Now with new faces on the council, there’s a new development.   While golf carts and other so called off highway vehicles like UTV’s  aren’t getting the go ahead, the council took a big step toward putting the issue before voters.  In a 4-3 vote, the council adopted Alderman Josh Hughes resolution to table the issue of golf carts until it could be put before voters next spring for an advisory, non binding referendum.  Voting in favor of the move were Hughes, Ray Kellenberger, Kassidy Payne and Jake Fleming.   Dwayne Gerl, Sara Zoomwalt and Marilyn Sisson voted against.   During an extended conversation about the legalities the city would deal with  if it agreed to let golf carts on city streets and potential liability, a number of facts came out, including word some higher end carts and vehicles that are more road ready can be licensed through the state, shifting the liability from Litchfield to Springfield. 

Montgomery County Tax Payment Deadine Closes in, Here are Tips on Dealing with Sidewalk Work

The Montgomery County Treasurer's Office reminds you of the approaching property tax due date.  There are tips on how to adjust to work on the sidewalks surrouding the Historic Courthouse. 


The Montgomery County Treasurer, Nikki Lohman, would like to remind everyone that the first installment of real estate taxes is due on Friday July 14th. Due to the sidewalk repair construction we would also like to make the taxpayers aware of the options to pay your taxes. Taxes can be paid online at montgomerycounty! and go to the pay Montgomery County Property taxes online tab, you can pay at most Montgomery County banks, taxes can be mailed and the postmark date is accepted or you can come to the courthouse and drop it in the drop box on the north side of the historic courthouse under the fire escape or in the treasurer's office in the historic courthouse. The treasurer's office is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm. Please, again, remember due to construction parking and in person access is a little more difficult at this time. If you choose to pay in person at the historic courthouse and would like the treasurer's office to come outside and assist in taking your payment please do not hesitate to call the office at 217-532-9521 and someone will come out and assist you. Your safety is our first concern. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. 


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