Gov. Rauner signs bill reducing pot penalties in Illinois

July 29, 2016 Comments off

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that makes marijuana possession in small amounts punishable only with fines and no jail time.

The governor’s office announced that Rauner signed the legislation Friday. The announcement came after The Associated Press reported the signing.

The new law means possessing 10 grams or less of marijuana will be punishable with a fine of up to $200. The governor’s signature makes Illinois the 17th state to treat possession of marijuana in small amounts as a civil offense rather than a criminal one.

The legislation also sets a standard for what’s considered too high to drive.

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Salem Man Charged with Attempted First Degree Murder

July 29, 2016 Comments off

23-year-old Xavier D. Goostree of North Broadway in Salem was formally charged with attempted first degree murder along with four other felony offenses. Goostree is accused of entering the home of Michael Bartley on South Walnut in Salem and attacking Shannon Reed. Goostree was charged with felony home invasion as well as aggravated domestic assault and domestic battery for strangling Reed, slamming her head into a television, and biting her on the face, neck, and back. 

Goostree was also charged with aggravated battery for pushing Dorinda Castellari, grabbing her, scratching her face, and hitting her in the stomach twice with his knee, knowing that she is pregnant. A bond of $500,000 was set and public defender Matthew Chancey was appointed.

51-year-old Linda S. Ridings of St. John Street in Greenville was charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. The misdemeanor charge was made for possession of a drug pipe. Bond was set at $1,500.

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Two People Are Killed in Early Thursday Morning Crash in Washington County

July 29, 2016 Comments off

Two Mt. Vernon residents were killed early Thursday morning in a one car crash on Interstate 64 in Washington County.

State Police say 20-year-old Chelsea Dunn and 19-year-old Wilyssa Moore were both killed in the crash.  Both were passengers in a car driven by 31-year-old Zacchaues Williams of St. Louis.  He was flown from the scene in serious condition by medical helicopter to a regional hospital.  Another passenger, 30-year-old Jessica McSwain of Mt. Vernon was also injured and taken to an area hospital in good condition. 

Preliminary investigative details indicate Williams was east on I-64 at mile post 54 in the left lane.  For an unknown reason, the car left the right side of the roadway and entered onto the shoulder and then off the highway where it struck a tree.

The road was closed for about an hour for investigation and crash clean-up.  State Police say only McSwain was wearing a seatbelt.

The crash occurred at 1 Thursday morning.

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Police Beat for Friday, July 29th

July 29, 2016 Comments off

A 23-year-old homeless man is in the Marion County Jail following an arrest by Salem Police for several charges. Xavier Goostree was arrested for alleged aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery, and home invasion.

51-year-old Linda S. Rilings of Clarence Street in Greenville was arrested by Centralia Police for alleged possession of drug paraphernalia and on Madison and St. Clair County warrants. She remains in the Marion County Jail.

21-year-old Matthew Davis of Hawthorne Estates in Salem was arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s deputies on a Marion County warrant. He remains in the Marion County Jail.

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Salem Man Charged with Multiple Felony Offenses Following Chase

July 29, 2016 Comments off

32-year-old Ian N. Merideth of South College in Salem was formally charged with six felony offenses following an incident on Wednesday. Merideth is accused of striking Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Cory Parker with his van and leading Deputy Parker on a chase. Merideth was also charged with possession of two stolen weapons, a 12-gauge shotgun and .22 caliber rifle as well as possession of a stolen license plate. Bond was set at $100,000 and a public defender appointed.

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Marion County Sheriff’s Department Releases Details on High Speed Chase

July 29, 2016 Comments off

Marion County Sheriff’s Department reports show a lengthy Wednesday morning police chase began when the suspect driver struck a deputy with the van he was driving.   Ian Meredith of South College in Salem later is accused of calling 911 during the chase and indicated he was going to kill himself or a cop.

The sheriff’s department had initially been called to a report of a suspicious vehicle in a parking lot at 3601 Kell Road in rural Walnut Hill.  Meredith and passenger Melanie Scurba of James Street in Wamac, both appeared to be sleeping in the van that was still turned on. 

After Meredith put the van in reverse the deputy ran around from the passenger side to the driver’s side of the vehicle to try and get Meredith to stop.  Instead, Meredith put the van into drive and struck the deputies left leg, causing him to lose his balance.  Meredith sped off down Myer’s Road and the deputy, who was not hurt, followed in his squad car. 

Another deputy soon joined the chase that wound through the very southeastern part of Marion County before dipping down onto the Dix Irvington Road and then north on U.S. 51 into downtown Centralia.   Several near accidents occurred as Meredith allegedly ran several red lights.  

The van abruptly turned onto Rasback Street just as a Centralia Police officer took over the lead in the chase.  

The Centralia squad car used the PIT maneuver to strike the van and cause it to spin out of control at South Lincoln and Rhodes.   The van came to a stop after striking a house near the intersection and Meredith and Scurba were taken into custody at gun point without further incident.

Upon later questioning, Meredith said he didn’t mean to say he would kill a cop, but rather would make a cop kill him by drawing one of two stolen guns that were the vehicle.  

Meredith said he knew the guns were stolen, but refused to say which friend had given them to him to sell.   The car was also originally believed to have been stolen, but the owner did not want to prosecute because she had just broken up with Meredith earlier in the week and he had still been using the vehicle. A dealer’s license plate had reportedly been taken for the van from Max Dye, Inc. in Salem earlier in the evening.

Meredith, who threw a loaded syringe and other items out of the car during the chase allegedly admitted to just shooting up heroin before deputies arrived. 

Bond was set at $100,000 for Meredith when he was formally charged in Marion County Court Thursday with aggravated battery to a police officer, two counts of unlawful use of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated possession of 2 to 5 stolen firearms, possession of a stolen license plate, aggravated fleeing and eluding with violation of two or more traffic control devices, and driving under the influence of drugs.

Scurba had bond set at $1,500 after being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. 

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Unemployment Down Slightly through June

July 28, 2016 Comments off

Unemployment in Marion County in June was at 6.3-percent, down from 6.5-percent in May and three-tenths of a percent lower than last June.

The IDES report states that employment advances in transportation and health have been made throughout the year in South Central Illinois. Spring employment expansion in construction, agriculture, hospitality, and recreation were also reported.

Statewide, the number of nonfarm jobs in Illinois increased by 39,700 over last year. The majority of which were reported in the Chicago Metro Division.

Washington County continues to hold the lowest unemployment rate at 3.7-percent, down from May by two-tenths of a percent, but up one-tenth of a percent from last year. Clinton County unemployment is 4.2-percent, down one-tenth of a percent from last year while Fayette County unemployment sits at 6.3-percent, up three-tenths of a percent from last year. Jefferson County unemployment remains steady at 6.4-percent, down slightly from last month’s report of 6.5-percent, but down significantly from last year by four-tenths of a percent. Wayne County continues to see high unemployment at 8.4-percent, up 1.3-percent from last year.

Illinois statewide unemployment remains at 6.0-percent, the same rate as last year.

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