Kaskaskia College To Hold Salem Education Center Advisory Meeting

October 7, 2015 Comments off

Kaskaskia College is inviting the community of Salem and the surrounding areas to attend an Advisory Board meeting to be held at the Salem Education Center on Wednesday, October 21st from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Those attending will be able to offer comments about services provided by the college and what they would like to see in the future. The meeting will help the college effectively serve the Salem community. 

The public is invited for coffee and breakfast pastries to meet with Salem Education Center Director Janice Eichens;  Chairman of the KC Board of Trustees Bill Hawley; and College President Dr. Penny Quinn.  

Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by calling the Salem Education Center at 548-9001.

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Centralia Juvenile Shooter Faces Three Charges

October 7, 2015 Comments off

A 16-year-old juvenile who just returned to Centralia from Chicago has been charged in Marion County Court with an August second shooting incident in the 700 block of North Lincoln in Centralia.

Marion County State’s Attorney Matt Wilzbach says the juvenile was charged with two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm for shooting at two people with a hand gun.  While those shots did not hit anyone, a shot from a BB gun grazed the cheek and struck the chest of another 16-year-old juvenile.  He was not injured.  

The 16-year-old in custody is charged with aggravated battery in connection with that incident.   The juvenile allegedly had left after losing a fight and returned with the gun.  

The juvenile was ordered to remain detained at a juvenile facility until a Wednesday court hearing where he will make his first appearance with an attorney.  

Centralia Police say the juvenile had fled to Chicago immediately after the shooting and was arrested the day he returned to Centralia last Friday.

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Two Face Drug Charges Following Weekend Arrest in Salem

October 7, 2015 Comments off

Kelsey Hess and Kellie Schoreck.

Formal charges were filed in Marion County Court Monday against 26-year-old Kellie Schoreck of High Street in Alma and 23-year-old Kelsey Hess of Bee Branch Road in Salem following their weekend arrests on drug charges.  

Both were charged with unlawful possession of cocaine and another controlled substance as well as possession of drug paraphernalia for allegedly having a glass drug pipe.  

Salem Police arrested the two after an employee of the Comfort Inn reported suspicious activity and the two were stopped while walking to the nearby Guesthouse Inn.  A bag they had thrown down earlier allegedly contained the drug items.  

Bond for Schoreck was set at $75,000. Bond for Hess was set at $50,000.  They had public defenders appointed to represent them.  

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Salem City Council Monday Night To Discuss Walton Drive-West Main Intersection

October 5, 2015 Comments off

The Salem City Council Monday night will hold public discussion on how to proceed with changes to the Walton Drive-West Main Street intersection at the east entrance to Wal-mart now that initial reports have been released on two traffic studies.

City Manager Bill Gruen says Mark Rujawitz of Rhutasel and Associates and Jim Wessell of IDOT District 8 at Collinsville will be on hand to discuss the findings of their reports.  Gruen says the staff has no immediate recommendations for city council action. However, he notes there seems to be agreement among multiple parties that the stop stripe at Walton Drive could be moved forward to improve vision of approaching eastbound traffic on Main Street.  

Both studies did not recommend signalization without further development.  While the state report suggests the possibility of limiting left hand turns onto West Main from Walton Drive, the Rhutasel study suggests it would be better to close the exit all together rather than try and block vehicles from turning left.  

Gruen is welcoming public comment, but hopes those planning to comment are asked to review the two reports before the meeting.  They are available on the city’s website under the news section.

The city council will also discuss a proposed requirement that reservations be placed prior to any use of park pavilions.  The reservation requirement could be limited to evening or night time hours.  Gruen says the goal is to make it simpler for the police department to make suspicious characters in park pavilions move on when they don’t otherwise have a good reason for being there.  The park pavilions have become frequent targets of vandalism.   

The council will also discuss requiring those riding horses in the city to outfit their horses with manure bags.  Gruen says horses are ‘neat’ to see and certainly welcome in Salem.  However, he notes some horse owners and riders don’t always pick up after their horses.  

The Salem City Council meeting begins at six Monday night at Salem City Hall.

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Pinckneyville Man Killed In Washington County Crash

October 5, 2015 Comments off

A 24-year-old Pinckneyville man has died in an early Sunday morning traffic crash in Washington County.

Coroner Mark Styninger pronounced Zachary McCrary dead at the scene of the single vehicle crash on Washington County Highway 12 near Marissa Road.  

Styninger says McCrary was the apparent unrestrained driver of a pickup truck which was heading west on County Highway 12 just east of the Marissa Road when the vehicle ran off the north side of the roadway, overcorrected and re-entered the roadway where it flipped onto its top throwing McCrary from the vehicle into the roadway.

The coroner reports the apparent cause of death appeared to be massive blunt force head trauma.  Alcohol was not believed to be a factor.  

McCrary had reportedly just left his job at the Prairie States Coal Mine site about one mile away.  

There will not be an autopsy but toxicology samples were taken by Coroner Styninger.  

Medstar Ambulance, Washington County Ambulance, Marissa Fire and Police Department were on the scene along with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department who along with the Washington County Coroner’s office continue to investigate the accident.

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Illinois Budget Impasse Affecting Emergency Call Systems

October 5, 2015 Comments off

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois residents seeking help through their local emergency 911 systems may be on their own if the budget fight between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats in the Legislature continues.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprise newspapers reports that without a budget in place, emergency call systems are no longer receiving revenue from a tax on cell phone users.

Under state law, 911 fees for landline phones are paid to county-level systems. Fees for cell phones go into a statewide pool. But Rauner says without a budget in place the money cannot be distributed.

Connie Armstrong of the Woodford County 911 service says the situation is hurting every 911 center. He notes the money the state is holding is used to pay bills, adding “we don’t know what we’re going to do.”

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University of Illinois Donations Dip, But Still Top $250M

October 5, 2015 Comments off

URBANA, Ill. (AP) – Donations coming in to the University of Illinois dipped slightly in fiscal 2015, but still totaled more than $250 million.

According to the UI Foundation, cash gifts, pledge payments, annuities and estate distributions totaled $251.5 million.  The figures for the fiscal year that ended June 30 were released Friday night.  The previous year’s total was $259.5 million.

Chad Ruback is the foundation’s vice president for marketing and donor engagement.  The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that he could not address whether recent controversies at the university affected fundraising.

That turbulence included criticism over administrator use of private email accounts and allegations that coaches mistreated athletes. The university also faced a lawsuit over a decision to rescind a job offer to a professor who had written Twitter messages critical of Israel.

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