A U.S. District Court Judge has denied a preliminary injunction to halt the closure of the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. The decision was handed down by Judge Marvin Aspen Monday afternoon. The case had been brought by the Murray Parents Association and other groups interested in protecting the rights of developmentally disabled persons they claim were being violated by the state’s closure plan for the facility.
The President of the Murray Parents Association Rita Winkler and State Representative Charlie Meier says they are very disappointed in the judge’s ruling, but indicate they will look at options to continue the fight to keep Murray Center open. Meier says Quinn who touts job creation in the state has just fired 541 employees who are caring for the state’s most fragile citizens. Meier promises the State Department of Human Services will be watched like a hawk to make sure they are providing the ‘choice’ parents of developmental disabled residents are promised.
State Representative John Cavaletto also expressed disappointed with the court’s ruling and the eagerness of the administration of Governor Quinn to close Murray Center. He promises to continue to work with fellow legislatorsand affected families in the fight to keep Murray Center open.
The Department of Human Services issued the following statement about the ruling. “The Quinn Administration is committed to improving the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities by reducing the number of out-dated institutions in the state. Illinois has relied on an outdated system of care for people with developmental disabilities for far too long. Living and being included in the community offers people with disabilities the opportunity to be more productive and social, live close to family and friends and enjoy an overall improved quality of life. Over the past several years, we have helped thousands of individuals move out of large institutions and into their very own homes.”
We’ll have further reaction to the decision as this story continues to develop.
Despite a slightly lower turnout at the 3rd Annual Kinmundy Thundermoon Festival, it’s famous activities were still as entertaining and popular as ever. Those activities of course being food, sand volleyball, horseshoes, live music, three wheel races, and the Festival’s Famous Outhouse Racing.
The outhouse racing was bigger than ever this year with a full seven teams gearing up to compete with custom-built and rental outhouses of all shapes and sizes. This year, a few new challenges were built into the race that racers had to complete mid-challenge in order to come out on top, such as wiping off a toilet seat, bobbing for circus peanuts, and installing a fresh roll of toilet paper before crossing the finish line.
One of the youngest groups of outhouse racers were South Central High School Students Triston Claster, Angel McWhorter, and Amber Lilley. They were drafted by outhouse racing coordinator Rick Hanks.
“I was just walking and they just told me to do it, and I just did it” said Claster.
Their outhouse, the “King and Queen Throne” was plagued by steering issues and ended up near the back of the pack, but they certainly won an “A” for effort.
The winners? 22 year old Will O’Leary, returning champion 21 year old Sam Mitchell, and 18 year old Collin Fitzwater, native Kinmundians who finished the course in exactly 1:00. They contribute their win to their Kinmundy blood.
“It was all skill. We were all born and raised in the Kinmundy area, that’s where the prime comes from” said O’Leary.
“That’s all you can really say about it” added Mitchell, “We’re just Americans.”
They also thanked Festival Chair Curt Jones for setting up the race in the first place.
The two-day festival included performances by Impact Band and Local Favorite Jamie Nattier. The “Thundermoon” a cycle of the moon that begins in July.
Marion County Sheriff Jerry DeVore says a 21-year-old Sandoval man has admitted to making up an early Sunday morning armed robbery complaint.
James Sum had told sheriff’s deputies he was pulled out of his van by two men and held at gunpoint while they ransacked his vehicle. Sum said the two men had approached his vehicle while he was stopped on Old U.S. 51 at the new U.S. 51 intersection south of Sandoval.
After further questioning by the sheriff’s department investigator, DeVore said Sum admitted making up the story to cover up that he had lost his wallet at a party his father had told him not to go to.
DeVore is leaving it up the State’s Attorney’s office on if Sum should face charges for filing the false police report. He notes an investigator was called in on overtime and a State Crime Scene Investigator was called from Olney to fingerprint the car.
Two people were airlifted to St. Louis Hospitals from the scene of a three vehicle crash on Illinois Route 37 near the Paradise Cemetery Monday morning.
Salem Police say a northbound van crossed the center line and struck a southbound SUV head on. The impact caused the van to spin sideways where it was hit by a third vehicle that was heading south. Salem Firemen had to extricate the drivers of the two vehicles that initially collided. They were then taken to Air Evac medical helicopters who transferred them from the scene. The driver of the third vehicle was taken to Salem Township Hospital for treatment. There were no passengers in any of the vehicles.
Salem Police have not yet released the names of the drivers pending completion of the report Route 37 was closed to traffic for more than an hour while the crash scene was being cleaned up. The wreck occurred at 8:19 Monday morning.
Three people were injured in a two vehicle crash in the 11-hundred block of West McCord Street Saturday afternoon.
Centralia Police say 70-year-old John Flanagan of Isle Street in Sandoval was stopped in traffic waiting for another vehicle to pull out of a private drive when he was struck in the rear by a pickup driven by 62-year-old Dennis Albers of Pine Tree Drive in Breese. Police say a vehicle immediately behind Flanagan avoided a collision by swerving into the median. Albers could not stop in time to avoid the crash.
Flanagan complained of minor injuries, but did not go to the hospital. Two passengers, 27-year-old Bryan Flanagan of North Walnut in Centralia and seven-year-old Mirandon Tatro-Flanagan of North Poplar in Centralia, were both taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia for treatment.
Albers was not injured. He was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
The crash occurred at 3:20 Saturday afternoon.
A 22-year-old Centralia man received apparent minor injuries when he ran in front of a car in the 300 block of East Noleman in Centralia Friday afternoon.
Centralia Police say Dylan During of West Kell disobeyed a crossing signal and ran in front of a car driven by 70-year-old Kathryn Crooks of Myers Road in Centralia. During was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia, where he was later released.
A second person, who those who witnessed the accident initially thought was also hit, was actually trying to keep During from running in front of the car.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Department is looking for two men who forced a 21-year-old Sandoval man out of his van at gunpoint and robbed him early Sunday morning.
Sheriff Jerry DeVore says James Sum escaped injury. Sum was reportedly stopped on Old U.S. 51 at the new U.S. 51 intersection on the south side of Sandoval when a car pulled up behind him. Sum said two men exited the car and pulled him out of his van. One held Sum at gunpoint, while the other ransacked Sum’s van. They reportedly took Sum’s wallet, which contained no cash, and some Playstation games. Sum was then released.
DeVore says the department is seeking a white male and a mixed race male between the ages of 25 and 30 with no facial hair. The white male is described as five feet five inches tall wearing a dark navy blue hoodie. The mixed race male was about six feet tall, where a white shirt and khaki shorts. The white male reportedly held a small black handgun on Sum, while the other man went through his van. The two men were in a car described as a brown Impala with round taillights, which would indicate it was from 2005 or earlier.
The State Police Crime Scene technicians were called in to see if they could obtain fingerprints from the van. The incident occurred at 4:25 Sunday morning.
Anyone with information, is encouraged to call the Marion County Sheriff’s Department or the Marion County Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-499-U-TELL or 1-800-499-8835. You do not have to give your name.