$3-Million in Emergency Funds Headed to Illinois Community Colleges

December 9, 2016 Comments off

CARTERVILLE, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois board in charge of community colleges has approved distribution of $3 million in emergency funds to help schools across the state that are in need.

Illinois Community College Board chairman Lazaro Lopez said during Wednesday’s meeting in Carterville that Illinois community colleges will continue to struggle until there is a stable budget in Springfield. The state hasn’t had a budget for 18 months. A partial spending plan expires at the end of the year.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports state law says the Illinois Board of Higher Education must consult with the community college board for financial emergencies. The higher education board last month reserved $3 million for community colleges.

Community college board members say the exact distribution of the money will be determined after a “yes” vote from the higher education board.

Suspicious Fire Burns Pickup Truck in Wamac

December 9, 2016 Comments off

A fire of suspicious nature destroyed a pickup truck in Wamac early Thursday morning.

Centralia Fire Protection District Chief Greg Earle says the 2002 truck owned by Shane Brannon of East Peach Street in Wamac was fully engulfed upon their arrival. The truck had been parked.

Despite the frigid weather, Earle says they had no problems fighting the fire. The call came in at 12:22 Thursday morning, with firemen on the scene for about an hour.

2 Face New Felony Charges in Marion County Court

December 9, 2016 Comments off

Two were charged with new felony offenses in Marion County Court on Wednesday.

Bond has been set at $50,000 for a 28-year-old Centralia man formally charged in Marion County Court Wednesday with aggravated battery with a vehicle and aggravated reckless driving. Steven Myers of Frazier Drive is accused in both charges of striking Damian Marcum of North Locust in Centralia in the right leg with his van on Tuesday night following an argument on Facebook. Marcum was treated at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia for treatment. Myers had a public defender appointed to represent him and was ordered to have no contact with Marcum if released on bond. A preliminary hearing and first appearance with attorney is scheduled for December 27th.

Bond was set at $10,000 for 24-year-old Jerry Zappa of North Vine in Sandoval who was charged with felony aggravated fleeing police. A sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop Zappa after clocking his vehicle traveling at more than 100 miles an hour. Reports indicate Zappa pulled off U.S. 51 near the Fairman Road north of Sandoval between two buildings and then ran on foot with the passenger. Both were later apprehended. The juvenile passenger could also face eluding charges. Zappa had the public defender appointed and a preliminary hearing and first appearance with an attorney set for December 29th.

Police Beat for Thursday, December 8th, 2016

December 9, 2016 Comments off

A 38-year-old Bartelso man was arrested by Centralia Police for driving on a suspended or revoked license and possession of a controlled substance. Jason Loepker was initially arrested on the license charge following a traffic stop. The drug charge was added after Centralia Police found a brown bottle without a label under the drivers seat that contained four narcotic pills.

53-year-old Todd Giesing of 7th Street in Beckemeyer was arrested by Clinton County Sheriff’s Deputies on an outstanding Marion County failure to appear misdemeanor warrant. Giesing was transferred to the Marion County Jail where he remained Thursday.

Salem City Council To Be Asked to Assign US Sonet Franchise to Wabash Communications

December 5, 2016 Comments off

US Sonet is asking the Salem City Council to assign its franchise to Wabash Communications as sale of US Sonet moves towards completion. The proposal is on Monday’s City Council agenda.

City Manager Bill Gruen says the city doesn’t have to approve assignment for the franchise to be transferred, but recommends it do so at the request of US Sonet Manager Sue Andrews.

An official of Wabash Communications, Barry Adair, says approximately 30 of the company is employees are responsible for on-site customer service and to infrastructure maintenance. He reports Wabash will retain US Sonet staff.

The council will also hear presentations for three firms interested in being the city’s bond adviser for the refinancing of $3.2-million of the city’s 2009 series bonds. Proposed fees range from $9,500 to $15,000.

A closed session is scheduled to discuss personnel.

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

Centralia Man Arrested for Criminal Sexual Assault

December 5, 2016 Comments off

A 19-year-old Centralia man is in custody at the Marion County Jail for alleged criminal sexual assault.

Centralia Police arrested Justin Prunty of Cedar Street on Saturday in connection with the incident that occurred in a secluded part of Foundation Park early Friday evening. Police say Prunty allegedly forced an adult woman he knew to commit a sexual act after suggesting she drive to a dark portion of the park after going to the park to view the Christmas lights. The woman later took Prunty home and went home herself.

The incident was not reported until Saturday when the woman told a co-worker what happened and police were called. Prunty claimed the sexual act was consensual.

Police Beat for Sunday, December 4th, 2016

December 5, 2016 Comments off

A 38-year-old Centralia man has been arrested by Centralia Police for alleged misdemeanor theft and criminal damage to property. Carl Altom of North Hickory is accused of taking a bicycle owned by Tracy Koch of South Clinmar Street and damaging a back screen door at her sister’s home. Koch reported to police she had seen her bike outside of a tavern. The person who had bought said they had purchased it for $20. Police later developed Altom as a suspect, who was identified with 100-percent certainty as the person who had sold the bike. Altom told police the bike had been given to him before he sold it. He was released from the Marion County Jail after posting $150 bond.

40-year-old Stephanie McMillan of West Frankfort was being held Sunday in the Marion County Jail for disorderly conduct.

37-year-old Patricia Shaffer of South Cherry in Centralia was being held on a Marion County felony failure to appear in court warrant.