Scott Air Force Base Commander Relieved of Command

December 13, 2017 Comments off

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) – An Air Force general says he has lost confidence in a commander at Scott Air Force Base and relieved him of his command.

In a news release, Lieutenant General Giovanni Tuck says he relieved Colonel John Howard of command of the 375th Air Mobility Wing on Monday and that Colonel W. Chris Buschur had taken over.

The release does not explain why Tuck had “lost confidence in Howard’s leadership and ability to continue serving in command.”

The (Belleville) News-Democrat reached Howard by phone on Monday night but Howard told the paper he was asked not to comment.

Howard was scheduled to speak at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s fall commencement on Dec. 16 but a university spokesman says the school was notified that the base will send another colonel.

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Deadline for Health Insurance Coverage Coming Up Friday

December 13, 2017 Comments off

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois residents are being reminded that if they need health insurance coverage for next year they must register by Friday night.

The Illinois Department of Insurance says it is issuing the reminder because people may not understand that they can no longer change their plans in January after receiving their first premium bill.

The department says people looking to purchase insurance should visit GetCovered.Illinois.Gov to view individual plans offered both on and off the exchange. It also says the connector tool on the website will allow people to arrange appointments with navigators and certified application counselors.

Consumers with questions or hoping to sign up for a plan over the phone may request to speak to a licensed insurance agent by calling 866-311-1119 on weekdays from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Stolen firearms investigation leads to charges for two Marion County men

December 11, 2017 Comments off

MARION COUNTY — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two men in connection with an ongoing investigation into a stolen gun.

According to court reports, 35-year-old Jamie Charlton, of Salem, and 23-year-old Anthony Devor, of Kell, were arrested after allegedly trying to sell firearms that were believed to be stolen.


Bail for Charlton has been set at $75,000 and he’s been formally charged with Class 3 felony possession of a weapon by a felon.

Bail for Devor has been set at $25,000 and he’s been charged with felony theft for having unauthorized possession of another person’s firearms, scope, TV and other property valued at more than $500.

Both men are next scheduled to appear in court December 19 for a first appearance with their court appointed attorneys.

Bail set at $200k for Centralia man arrested on firearms charge

December 11, 2017 Comments off

MARION COUNTY — Bail has been set at $200,000 for a 30-year-old Centralia man charged in Marion County Court with Class 2 felony possession or use of a firearm by a felony with a prior conviction.

Mark Riggs
(Source: MCSO)

Mark Riggs was released to parole from the Taylorville Correctional Center in August. Riggs had been serving a six-year sentence for a 2014 conviction out of Jefferson County for Class 1 felony manufacture of less than 15 grams of methamphetamine.

He was reportedly arrested Thursday by Marion County Sheriff’s deputies for possessing six rounds of ammunition while on parole.

A Class 2 felony is punishable by between 3 and 14 years in prison if convicted.

Riggs is next due in Marion County Court January 2, for a first appearance with his court appointed attorney.

Salem Man Arrested for Possession of Stolen Property

December 11, 2017 Comments off

A 24-year-old Salem man has been arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies for possession of stolen property.

Deputies say they had searched the pickup truck driven by Austin Hawley of Kirby Road earlier in the week following a traffic stop after the Marion County canine alerted on the vehicle. At the time, some items that appeared to have been stolen were located.

Hawley was allowed to go on his way following the traffic stop, but after a further investigation confirmed some of the items were stolen, deputies went to Hawley’s home on Saturday and took him into custody.

Deputies say Hawley still had the alleged stolen items in his truck, which were turned over to deputies.

3 Teens Out of Hospital After Shooting After High School Basketball Game in Champaign

December 11, 2017 Comments off

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – Three teenagers have been released from the hospital after they were wounded by gunfire following a high school basketball game in central Illinois.

The News-Gazette reports the shots were fired outside Champaign Central High School Friday night. Champaign police say the shooting occurred as a large crowd moved outside the school after the game for “a potential fight.”

The gunfire sent people scattering and injured three females: A 15-year-old Danville student, a 17-year-old from Champaign and an 18-year-old who attends Parkland College in Champaign. Police say they were released from the hospital Saturday.

Authorities are still investigating who fired the shots, which also hit the school and a parked car. Police say they’ll have an increased presence at the school Monday but they don’t believe there’s a further threat to the school.

Mt. Vernon Home Destroyed in Early Sunday Morning Fire

December 11, 2017 Comments off

A Mt. Vernon home was destroyed in an early Sunday morning fire.

Mt. Vernon Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Sargent says members of the Lawanda Rhineheart family of 917 Perkins were able to get out of the home safely and call the fire department to report their home on fire.

Sargent says heavy fire was showing upon their arrival. While firemen were able to get a quick knockdown of the fire in the home, multiple ceilings from remodelings made it difficult to put out the fire that had spread into the attic and burned through the roof.

There was heavy fire damage throughout the home along with heavy heat and smoke damage. The fire appeared to have started near the stove in the kitchen, which occupants fear they probably forgot to turn off. An investigation is continuing to confirm the cause of the blaze.

All available Mt. Vernon Firemen were called to the scene and Jefferson Rural Firemen provided mutual aid assistance. There were no injuries in fighting the fire. The Red Cross was called in to assist the family.

The fire call came in at 4:15 Sunday morning. Firemen were on the scene until around 7 am.