Fire destroys Ina home leaving eight homeless

November 16, 2017 Comments off

INA — Fire destroyed an Ina home Tuesday morning, leaving eight people without a home.

According to Jefferson Rural Fire Protection, a passerby spotted the fire around 4 a.m. Tuesday at the home on Second Street and alerted the occupants who were able to safely escape the home before calling 911.

Firefighters say heavy fire was coming through the roof upon their arrival and that ultimately the entire roof of the home burned off. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Firefighters remained on the scene for three and a half hours.


Flue fire leads to evacuation of Radiac Abrasive plant in Salem.

November 16, 2017 Comments off

SALEM — A fire in the flue of a piece of equipment Wednesday morning resulted in a passerby calling 911 to report seeing the roof of the Radiac Abrasive plant in Salem on fire.

The call was made around 9:44 Wednesday morning with the caller reporting it didn’t appear anyone was evacuating the building.

As emergency officials worked to contact people at Radiac, others responded to the call, with Salem police officers arriving at the scene first and reporting a considerable amount of smoke coming from the building.

Ultimately workers were evacuated as firefighters worked to determine the cause and extent of the fire, which was eventually determined to have been from soot in a flue from one of the machines used at the plant.

Reports indicate employees had started diagnostic testing on the machine when the flue fire started.

Salem man sentenced to IDOC for threats to kill police officer

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MARION COUNTY — A 29-year-old Salem man was sentenced Wednesday in Marion County Court to six years in prison after he pleaded guilty to threatening to kill an Alma police officer.

Steven Schultz
(Source: MCSO)

In exchange for pleading guilty to the Class 3 felony charge of threatening a public official, charges against Steven Schultz for Class 2 felony aggravated intimidation of a peace officer and misdemeanor resisting a peace officer were dismissed.

Charges in three other 2017 cases against Schultz for Class 2 felony aggravated battery to a peace officer, Class 3 felony aggravated battery in a public place, Class 2 felony aggravated battery of a peace officer, and misdemeanor assault was also dismissed.

According to police, Schultz was arrested in May following a traffic stop in Alma. During the stop, they report Schultz became upset and told the officer he was not bringing him to jail. After a brief struggle with officers Schultz was handcuffed and taken to the Marion County Jail where he threatened to kill the arresting officer and take his gun away and shoot him.

Once at the jail, he reportedly remained combative and made more threats.

Clinton County dismisses child abuse charges against former Carlyle man

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CLINTON COUNTY — Charges accusing a 36-year-old former Carlyle man with striking a toddler were dismissed in Clinton County Court Wednesday in a motion that could allow prosecutors to take up the case again later.

James McDonald
(Source: CCSO)

James McDonald had been charged with two Class 2 felony counts of aggravated domestic battery involving strangling, two Class 3 felony counts aggravated battery to a child under the age of 13 resulting in bodily harm, Class 4 felony unlawful restraint, and misdemeanor interference with the reporting of domestic violence.

The prosecution filed a motion Wednesday to nolle prosse the charges against McDonald and close the case. If additional information or evidence is developed at a later date, prosecutors can move forward with the charges against McDonald without violating his Fifth Amendment rights against double jeopardy.

McDonald, former management at the Centralia Super Walmart, has moved to Peoria, Illinois since his arrest in the case. A related but separate order of protection was allowed to expire in December 2016 after no parties appeared in the case.

Police Beat for Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

November 16, 2017 Comments off

A 20-year-old Salem man has been arrested by Salem Police for theft. Dustin Taylor of Hotze Road is accused of entering the window of the Donald Bradley home on South Marion Street and walking off with a TV. The incident occurred around 11 Tuesday night.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a domestic battery complaint. Brandon Newcomer of Cartter Road in Kell was arrested and brought to the Marion County Jail.

SSM Health Announces Systemwide Layoff That Will Impact St. Mary’s and Good Samaritan Hospitals

November 15, 2017 Comments off

SSM Health has announced a layoff that will impact on one-percent of their workforce throughout the multi-state system.

While no specific numbers are being released for St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia or Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon, the Regional Manager for Marketing and Communications Randy Schorfheide says it will be in the same 1-percent range.

Most of the cuts are in administrative positions and not directly involved with patient care.

In a statement, SSM Health notes like other healthcare systems across the nation, they are facing increasing operational and financial challenges due to the complex and ever-changing demands of the industry. As a result of a continuous evaluation, they have identified some operational improvements necessary to better meet the needs of those they serve.

SSM notes they value all of their employees and have worked hard to minimize the impact on them. As a result, most of the work will be done through attrition, as well as optimized scheduling and workflow. However, they add it will ultimately lead to the loss of some positions, which is the estimated one percent of the total workforce. SSM says the action was not easily taken and they are committed to fully supporting the employees who are affected. This includes working to find them other comparable positions in the organization, where possible.

Centralia man sentenced to drug court for robbery of Family Dollar Store

November 15, 2017 Comments off

MARION COUNTY — A 28-year-old Centralia man was sentenced Tuesday in Marion County Court to problem solving/drug court after he earlier pleaded guilty to robbing the Family Dollar Store on North Elm Street.

Dierre Hill

Dierre Hill was arrested in March for the armed robbery of the Family Dollar Store in Centralia. Hill was ultimately charged in court with Class X felony armed robbery and Class 2 felony robbery.

Hill pleaded guilty last month to the Class 2 felony charge in exchange for the Class X felony charge being dismissed. Judge Mark Stedelin accepted the plea and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be conducted.

According to Centralia police, they responded around 8:50 p.m. March 31, to calls from the Family Dollar Store saying they had just been robbed at gunpoint and the suspect fled south on a bicycle.

Within minutes officers had Hill in custody and they had reportedly located a firearm.

Police say Hill was riding a bicycle and wearing clothes that matched that given of the robbery suspect.

Officers also located a bag of money on Hill that was described as that taken during the robbery and the Centralia Police K-9 located a pellet gun nearby that is believed to have been the weapon displayed during the robbery.