Centralia Man Draws 25 Year Prison Term Nearly Decade After Being Found Guilty

May 27, 2016 Comments off

A 33-year-old Centralia man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance nearly 10 years after being found guilty of the charge.  

Quinton Johnson of Martin Luther King Drive had been found guilty by a Marion County Jury following his 2006 arrest for selling cocaine to an undercover Centralia Police Officer.  He failed to show up for sentencing and three years later was located in California and arrested on an outstanding warrant.  Johnson was released to await the sentencing hearing after a judge lowered his bond from $75,000 to $25,000.   

As various legal maneuvers took place over the next six years, Johnson was arrested and convicted of two other crimes, the first an aggravated battery and the second a domestic battery charge.  Johnson also had a prior conviction on his record for a Class X drug delivery charge for which he was sentenced to seven years in prison.  He had just been out about a year when he was arrested on the drug charge he was sentenced for Thursday.   

Johnson’s attorney Craig Griffin argued at Thursday’s sentencing hearing that Johnson had become a changed man and a pillar in his community and should receive a sentence on the low end of the 4 to 30 year prison range.  State’s Attorney Matt Wilzbach countered Johnson just failed on three occassions to show up for a presentencing investigation leading to it being completed without him.  

When released from prison, Johnson will have to complete two years of mandatory supervised release.  

Griffin has already filed a motion asking Judge Michael McHaney to reconsider the sentence.   

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Salem Township Hospital Will Soon Allow Patients To See Medical Records on Line

May 27, 2016 Comments off

Salem Township Hospital President William Kessler says patients will soon be able to check their test results on line.  He told the Hospital Board a June 21st date has been set for Athena Net to go live.  

“The new electronic health record we’re going to it will automatically push that information from the system as it’s entered in, into the portal.  So as it’s available to us it will be available to the patients.  And that should be fairly instantaneous for some things.  Where as other test results you may have to wait until the doctor signs off on the result, but once it’s signed off by the physician it will be available on the portal 24 hours a day.” 

Kessler says Athena Net will even be able to do more in the future.

“Once we fully implement it we’ll be able to do payments online, they will be able to make appointments online.  They will be able to do a lot online that you can do with a lot of other things.”

Kessler says the first information to go on line will be from the Rural Health Clinic, which until now has only kept paper records.  

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Odin Fireman’s Picnic Starts Thursday Night, Runs Through Saturday

May 27, 2016 Comments off

The Odin Fireman’s Picnic opens Thursday night and continues through Saturday at the Odin Village Park.   

Fire Chief Greg Smith says the Midway and carnival will be open six to ten each night, with every night being a $15 armband night.  A drawing will be held each night for one of those purchasing an armband to win a bike.  For the first time, the carnival will feature a ferris wheel.  

Smith says opening night will also include karaoke, food and games.  He reports a number of special activities are planned Friday and Saturday night.

“Friday night will be the car show.  We are going to do something a little bit different this year.  We are going to put the car show on the big baseball diamond and we are going to put the Sound Off, cars with the loud speakers in it and stuff, we are going to put them on the small diamond.  So they will be separated a little bit there.”

He added, “We will also have all the carnival rides going, food and bingo and cake walk Friday night.  On Saturday night will be the fireworks display at 10:00.  Carnival and concession stands and all that stuff will open at 6.  We will do the raffle at 9:30 and weather permitting we are going to shoot off fireworks about 10 o’clock.”

Smith says this is the fire department’s major fund raiser.  While a final decision has not been made on how money will be used, he expects some of the money to be set aside for purchase of replacement brush and EMS trucks.

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Fire Damages Large Two Story Home on North Broadway in Salem

May 24, 2016 Comments off

Smoke poured out of the Doug Huff home at 825 North Broadway in Salem as firefighters arrived on the scene early Monday afternoon.

Salem Firemen report a Salem home sustained some fire and heavy smoke and heat damage during an early Monday afternoon fire.

Assistant Chief Dave Duncan said the fire in the Doug Huff home at 825 North Broadway may have started from an electrical problem in the kitchen in the rear portion of the home.  He reports the older construction of the home which contained no fire stops allowed the fire to burn up through the back wall of the home.  

There were some flames showing on the outside rear of the home upon the department’s arrival which were quickly knocked down. But when smoke continued to roll out of the back of the home, firemen had to tear off part of the back wall to reach the fire.  The aerial truck from the Centralia City Fire Department was extended from North Broadway to allow firefighters to gain access to the roof of the two story home to check for potential hot spots.

No one was home at the time the fire was discovered, but two pets in the home perished from the smoke.  

Salem received mutual aide assistance from Kinmundy-Alma, Centralia City, Odin, and Sandoval Firemen.  Salem was helping with the fire in Dix when the fire call came in shortly after one Monday afternoon.  Firemen were on the scene for three and a half hours.

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Fire Destroys Royal Fiberglass Pools in Dix

May 24, 2016 Comments off

The remains of the Royal Fiberglass Pool company in Dix following a Monday morning fire fought by several area fire departments.

Fire has destroyed a fiberglass pool manufacturing plant in Dix.

Jefferson Rural Firefighters were called Monday morning to Viking Pools at Duncan Road alongside Interstate 57 at the Dix-Irvington Road when a fire broke out and quickly spread through the 250 by 80 foot structure where fiberglass underground pools are made.  

Fire Chief Conan King says all of the employees inside got out safely as the fire quickly.  The building burned to the ground and is expected to smolder a few days.   King says 16 work at the plant, but he said it was not immediately clear all were at work when the fire began.

The State Deputy Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.  King suspects the fire spread as quickly as it did because of the resign and other flammable chemicals used in the fiberglass process.  The EPA was also called due to the number of chemicals that were involved in the fire.  King reports no damage figure has yet been compiled.  

Jefferson Rural Firemen received mutual aide from Mt. Vernon City, Centralia Fire Protection District, Kell, Irvington, Bluford and Salem firefighters.  

King says they had to haul all the water to the scene because the only nearby hydrant did not have significant water pressure.   44,000 gallons of water was used to put out the fire.  

Litton’s Ambulance provided two ambulances to help cool down firefighters.   King says while several became sick from the intense heat, non required hospital treatment.  The fire broke out at 9:15 Monday morning.  Firemen cleared the scene at 2:15.   

WJBD/WSIQ News Reporter Toby Gullion was on the scene and took these pictures…click here

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Salem Man Hurt in Green Street Road Motorcycle Crash

May 24, 2016 Comments off

A 33-year-old Salem man was injured late Sunday afternoon when a car pulled in front of his motorcycle on the Green Street Road.  

Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies say Jason Lewis of West Lovell was traveling westbound on the Green Street Road when a car driven by 37-year-old Cristy Cawthon of Fairway Drive in Centralia pulled from the stop sign on Brewery Hill Road in front of him. Lewis wasn’t able to get out of the way of Cawthon and struck the passenger quarter panel of her car.  The cycle went along the passenger side of Cawthon’s vehicle before running off the roadway into the ditch. 

Lewis was taken to SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia for treatment of injuries.  

Cawthon and three passengers in her car were not hurt.  She was ticketed for failure to yield at a stop sign.

The crash occurred at 5 Sunday afternoon.      

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Four Treated at Scene of Three Vehicle Crash At Entrance to Foundation Park

May 24, 2016 Comments off

Centralia Police say four people were treated late Sunday afternoon at the scene of a three vehicle crash on East McCord at the entrance to Foundation Park.

Police reports indicate that an SUV driven by 41-year-old Michelle Wallace of Shumway was traveling eastbound and had stopped in front of Foundation Park to make a left turn.  68-year-old Larry Hickey of Ava, who was traveling behind her, didn’t realize Wallace had stopped and ran into the rear of the car.  The impact caused Hickey’s car to go into the westbound lane of traffic where it was struck by a car driven by 41-year-old William Ryan of Brookside Avenue in Centralia.  

All three drivers and a passenger in the Wallace vehicle, nine-year-old Landon Wallace of Shumway, were all treated at the scene by Lifestar Ambulance personnel but did not require hospital treatment.

The crash occurred at 4:27 Sunday afternoon.    

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