Meier also announced his plans to run for re-election next year.
“I am going to run for State Rep. for another two years. I thought tonight would be a good night to say that. We are going to keep doing this battle for all Centers and all the families that go to the state of Illinois and repeatedly are turned down because they don’t fit into the arc claim.”
The President of the Murray Parents Association Rita Winkeler says no residents have moved into Murray since the governor announced it would stay open. She hopes that will change once the center is fully staffed. Winkeler agrees the battle still has not been totally won.
“There will always be challenges. There’s a group of people that feel State Centers need to be closed and that there is only one way of placement and that’s in the community. We are going to continue to work because federal law backs us up that we have a right to State Centers. I think we will always be working and working to keep Murray improving.”
The Parents Association and others who filed a federal lawsuit to block the closure of Murray will be back in federal court September 9th. At that time, a judge will review the status of an appeal and how it can move forward. Winkeler wants the court to rule that choice for the developmentally disabled includes facilities such as Murray Center. State Senator Kyle McCarter was also on hand to offer his congratulations to the group of Murray Center supporters for reaching their goal of keeping the center open.
Salem Police are investigating four motor vehicle burglaries that were reported on Saturday.
Darren Steele of East Mitchell reported his pickup truck entered and a cell phone, glasses, and change stolen.
Mark Baldridge of South Castle reported his car entered and rummage through. However, he reported nothing appeared stolen.
James Lloyd of East Rainey reported his pickup entered, but nothing apparently taken.
Vicki Pippin of East Mitchell reported her gone through, but nothing was missing.
45-year-old Michael Miller of North Merritt in Odin and 31-year-old Shane Nibert of Community Beach Road in Odin were both arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies. Nibert is accused of striking Crystal Smith of the same address three times in the back of the head. He told sheriff’s deputies he was defending himself.
52-year-old Joetta Blackburn of Universal, Indiana was arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies for driving on a suspended license and on a Vermilion County warrant. Blackburn remained in the Marion County Jail Sunday.
An 18-year-old Sandoval man was arrested by Sandoval Police Friday night for aggravated battery and unlawful use of weapons. Police say Kyle Simmons of East Texas was arrested after he came up to a squad car saying he needed help before he snapped. The person who Simmons allegedly struck earlier was already talking to the officer. Cody Kingston was bleeding from the left ear area when he ran to the squad car for help. Simmons said he struck Kingston because he had been ‘running his mouth’. Simmons was taken to the Marion County Jail.
A 62-year-old Alma man is being held in the Marion County Jail for threatening a public official, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Alma Police say Steven Logue of Boles Street had started yelling at the the clerk at the Alma Store when his Link card wouldn’t work. Logue allegedly threatened Mayor Russell Swift when he told Logue to calm down. When police arrived, he ordered them to leave. After a few minutes of wrestling, police were able to handcuff Logue. A one hitter pipe with drug residue was allegedly found in his possession when he was being padded down.
A 77-year-old Centralia man is in custody on an outstanding Missouri warrant for failure to register as a sex offender. Henry Hawkins of 17th Street was arrested by Centralia Police.
Two others arrested on warrants posted bond and were released. 56-year-old Greg Allen of West 8th in Junction City turned himself in on an outstanding felony failure to appear warrant. He posted $500 bond and was released. 60-year-old Janet Barbre of Buchannon Road in Iuka posted $300 bond on a Marion County misdemeanor warrant after being arrested by Iuka Police.
40-year-old Jeff Pflueger of Farthing Road in Odin posted $150 bond after being arrested by State Police for illegal transportation of liquor and obstructing a police officer.
“Celebrate the fact Murray Center is still open for all those who volunteered and helped us in this three year fight. We’re having that out on our farm. The weather sounds like it is going to be great. The Beaucoup Bottom Band is playing for us. Parking might be a little bit of a challenge, but we have plenty of parking there. Just kind of watch and think about it and we will make it work. We always do. Remember to bring your lawn chair,” said Meier. “We’re providing water, tea and lemonade, fish and bratwurst, bake beans and slaw for as long as the food holds out.”
The event is also sponsored by the Friends for Murray Center and the Murray Parents Association. Food will be served beginning at six. The band will perform from seven to eleven.
Meier says his farm is located at 1359 Railroad Street just outside of Okawville. Turn off Route 177 at the Burger King and follow the signs.
Shimkus was highly complimentary of the new facility during the tour and a later reception with hospital employees. He later said the Critical Access Program that gives higher reimbursement rates to small rural hospitals enjoys broad support in Congress from members who realize the need for critical access care in rural areas. Salem Township Hospital is a critical access hospital.
The Congressman feels the shortage of doctors wanting to practice in rural areas can be addressed by opening up more slots in medical schools. Shimkus feels there are a lot of bright students who would make good physicians, but can’t get into the programs. He notes a similar expansion of training programs helped ease the nursing shortage that impacted the area about ten years ago.
A 51-year-old Centralia man has been arrested by Centralia Police for burglary. Andre Robinson of North Pine was taken to the Marion County Sheriff’s Department after allegedly trying to sell a lawn mower that was stolen earlier from a shed on property owned by Louis Fogleman on Linden Avenue in Centralia.
A 62-year-old rural Odin man, James Shields of Hoots Chapel, was arrested by Salem Police for felony driving under the influence and felony driving on a suspended or revoked license. Shields was taken into custody after Salem Police were called to a report of a van in a ditch on South Lackey Street.
Two others were arrested on outstanding warrants. 23-year-old Kelsey Hess of Boone Street in Salem was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. 21-year-old Kevin Hernandez of Pearl Street in Salem posted $500 bond after being arrested on an outstanding traffic warrant.
Salem Police are investigating two vehicle burglaries. Katheryn Phelps of South Lincoln in Salem reported her van was entered while parked at her home. A small amount of cash was stolen. Michael Wood of West Allmon Street in Salem reported his vehicle was entered while parked at his residence with change stolen.