All Federally Recognized Tribes Invited to Meeting With Federal Agencies Over Input on Infrastructure Projects

September 24, 2016 Comments off

The Departments of the Army, Interior and Justice have invited all federally recognized Indian tribes to discuss how Federal decision-making on infrastructure projects can better allow for timely and meaningful tribal input.

The Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, says the Obama Administration’s call for national reform on this issue is a historic moment. He says they welcome the Administration’s invitation to all tribes to consult on the process for decision-making on infrastructure projects.

The meetings would begin with a listening session on October 11th in Washington, D.C.

Archambault says the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are fighting for their lives, their people and their sacred places because of a failed process for approval to the Dakota Access Pipeline. He notes the Federal agencies did not conduct a survey of cultural resources and have not conducted a full Environmental Impact Statement.

Archambault says they have already seen the damage caused by a lack of consultation. The ancient burial sites where the Lakota and Dakota ancestors were laid to rest have been destroyed. Archambault says the desecration of family graves something that most people could never imagine.

Archambault is calling on the Army Corps to complete a full Environmental Impact Study and is asking construction on the Dakota Access pipeline be stopped until the study is completed.

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Attack on State Senator Leads to Arrest of Murder Suspects

September 24, 2016 Comments off

HARVEY, Ill. (AP) – An attack on an Illinois state senator has led to murder charges in the death of a Georgia man.

Former NFL player and Democratic Sen. Napoleon Harris was attacked Sept. 6 as he made a pizza delivery from his restaurant in Harvey. The order was a ruse, leading to the attack by four men. Harvey police spokesman Sean Howard says the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Harris fought off the attackers. They did get money and the pizza from Harris before fleeing in an SUV.

The attackers abandoned the SUV, in which investigators found blood and determined it was registered to a man found dead in Georgia.

Descriptions of Harris’ attackers and evidence gathered by Harvey police led to the arrest last week of three men on murder charges in Georgia. Harris’ fourth attacker has yet to be charged.

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Police Worry About Health of Missing Illinois Teen, Newborn

September 24, 2016 Comments off

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) – Investigators in southern Illinois say they are concerned about health of a teenage girl and her newborn son who they believe were kidnapped by her stepfather.

Madison County Sheriff John Lakin on Thursday said 13-year-old Katherine Elizabeth Derleth of Carpenter has a congenital heart defect and a pacemaker. She was still under a doctor’s care after having a cesarean section delivery. Equipment to monitor the pacemaker was left behind when she went missing last weekend from a foster home in Madison County

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that police still don’t have any leads in the case.

Authorities on Monday filed kidnapping charges against the stepfather, 39-year-old Christopher M. Derleth of Granite City and were searching for the three. He had been previously ordered not to contact her.

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Three Plead Guilty in Marion County Court

September 24, 2016 Comments off

Three people have entered guilty pleas in Marion County Court.

54-year-old Rudolph Keen of East 1st was placed on two years probation and ordered to undergo evaluation and any recommended drug and alcohol treatment after pleading guilty to possession of under five grams of methamphetamine. A second unrelated count of unlawful possession of meth and a resisting arrest charge were dropped as part of the plea.

21-year-old Luke DeClue of South Elm in Centralia has pleaded guilty to felony domestic battery. He was placed on two years felony probation, given credit for 31 days served in jail and ordered to pay a $200 domestic violence fee. DeClue admitted striking Brittany Elliston in the eye. The charge was a felony because of a prior domestic battery conviction. Three counts of criminal damage to property were dropped as part of the plea.

A 37-year-old Centralia woman has pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Summer Tatro of North Poplar was placed on 18 months probation, ordered to undergo drug evaluation and treatment, and pay a $750 fine and costs. Two misdemeanor counts of endangering the life of a child were dropped as part of the plea. She had been charged with being unable to supervise her children due to being under the influence of heroin.

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South Central School Board Receives Positive Report from Auditor

September 23, 2016 Comments off

The auditor for the South Central School District told the board Wednesday night there were no compliance issues.

Fred Becker says the education fund finished the just completed year with a $250,000 fund balance, the building and operations fund had a $13,000 balance and the transportation fund was at the break even level.

Becker said they had done pretty good. Their financial profile was 3.35 on a 4.0 scale, which puts them on the Illinois State Board of Education’s review status.

The audit found average daily student attendance dropped last year to 568 from 592 a year earlier. The cost of educating a student was $10,372.

In other action, the board voted to continue participation in the Okaw Valley Vocational Center in Vandalia. Nine students are taking classes at the center this year.

The board was told South Central High School has 185 students this fall, with a senior class of only 29. There are 134 students at the middle school and 290 at the grade school.

After a closed session, the board acted on several personel issues. The board approved an irrevocable letter to retire from Theresa Linder at the close of the 2020-2021 school year.

The board accepted a letter of resignation from Christa Malone as 5th and 6th grade cheerleading coach for the middle school. Jessica Lother resigned as Student Council Sponsor.

John Stephenson was named Freshman Class sponsor. Christa Malone was appointed Beta Club Sponsor at the middle school. Reed Garrett was appointed a volunteer assistant coach for the middle school softball team. Naomi Ortega was hired as support staff pending a background screening completion.

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Illinois Executive Mansion Work to Follow Funding Rules

September 23, 2016 Comments off

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – An agreement shows that a privately funded renovation of the Illinois Executive Mansion in Springfield will follow wage and bidding rules required of traditional taxpayer-funded construction projects.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register obtained the agreement between the state’s Capital Development Board and the non-profit Illinois Executive Mansion Association via an open records request.

Turning to the private sector for renovation of the 161-year-old mansion relies on a 2014 state law that allows the board to comply with the terms of “gifts” as long as the donated products and services cover a majority of project costs.

The mansion association is leading efforts to raise private money for an estimated $16 million renovation of the historic home. The group will select contractors and pay the construction bills.

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Centralia Area Man Taken Into Custody For Aggravated Arson

September 23, 2016 Comments off

Jefferson County Sheriff Travis Allen says a 49-year-old Centralia man wanted for aggravated arson has been taken into custody following a day long manhunt.

Allen says Jefferson County Dispatch was able to ping John Brown’s phone in Centralia. Jefferson County officials joined Centralia Police and Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies in responding to an address in the 300 block of South Lincoln Street where contact was made with Brown. He was taken into custody without incident. Allen says Centralia Police had received reports of Brown sightings in their area and had been working to locate him before Brown’s phone was pinged.

Allen is personally thanking the Centralia Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Mount Vernon Police Department, the Jefferson County Dispatchers and Deputies and all the citizens who helped out on Thursday. He says they are very thankful the incident ended the way it did.

A warrant had been issued for Brown’s arrest for his role in setting a rural Centralia home on fire late Wednesday night that received heavy fire damage.

Allen said the sheriff’s department received multiple emergency calls of Brown pouring gasoline inside a residence located in the 4000 block of East Dix-Irvington Road. The sheriff reports Brown proceeded to set the house on fire, while the residence was occupied.

Centralia Fire Protection District Chief Greg Earle says four to five members of Brown’s family were at home when the fire was allegedly set. All the family members got out safely and were waiting at the road when the fire department arrived. It was unclear at the time if Brown may still have been in the house.

Earle reports fire was coming out of every window of the home. He reports while a large part of the roof burned off and there was substantial fire damage to the first floor, the living area in the basement received just smoke and water damage.

Kell and Woodlawn Firemen provided mutual aide assistance and helped haul water to the scene. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies, the Mt. Vernon canine, and the State Fire Marshals office all joined the investigation.

The fire call came in at 11:13 Wednesday night. Earle says firemen were on the scene for about six hours.

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