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Salem to Celebrate First G.I. Bill of Rights Day on Sunday  

State Representative John Cavaletto has announced the ‘G.I. Bill of Rights Day’ in Illinois will be celebrated for the first time since being signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on Sunday, November 4th.

The Luther B. Easley American Legion Post 128 in Salem will host a 75th Anniversary Celebration reception at the post beginning at 12:00 noon.  A program is scheduled to begin around 12:45 pm.

“I am very proud to have sponsored this commemorative date legislation to help shine a light on the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 that actually was ‘born’ right here in Salem, Illinois,” commented Rep. John Cavaletto. “This is an example of something big that started in a small town and grew to impact our entire nation in a positive way. Men and women veterans, to this day, continue to receive benefits for their service in the armed forces of the United States of America.”

Salem has been called the “Birthplace of the G.I. Bill of Rights” for more than sixty years. In 1958, the American Legion, Department of Illinois, presented the Luther B. Easley Post 128 with a citation stating: “That all men will now recognize the Luther B. Easley Post No. 128 as the birthplace of the G.I. Bill of Rights.”

Two of the eight Legionnaires at that initial meeting in 1943 were from Salem: Omar J. McMackin and Earl W. Merritt. The other members at that meeting where they wrote down their ideas on napkins included former Illinois Governor John Stelle from McLeansboro, A.L. Starshak from Chicago, William R. McCauley from Olney, George H. Bauer from Effingham, Leonard W. Esper from Springfield, and James P. Ringley from Lemont.

Rep. Cavaletto says everyone is invited to the Salem American Legion to celebrate the 75th Anniversary Celebration and first even ‘G.I. Bill of Rights Day’.


Centralia Man Arrested on Drug and Theft Charges   

A 20-year-old Centralia man has been arrested by Centralia Police on meth and motor vehicle theft charges as well as on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a burglary charge.

Police stopped John Cluck of North Copple Road on Friday in connection with the theft of a pickup and attached trailer on October 4th.  The vehicle was owned by Charles Taylor and was taken from a work site in the 500 block of Linden Street.  Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies recovered the truck on East Copple Road two days later and located the trailer on property off the 1000 block of Phelps Road two days later.  Information led to Cluck as a suspect.

Police say Cluck allegedly had methamphetamine in his possession at the time he was stopped.

The warrant for failure to appear on the burglary charge is set at $50,000.

Cluck was taken to the Marion County Jail.

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Centralia Man Charged with Sex Offender Registration Violation   

A 27-year-old Centralia man has been charged in Marion County Court with failure to register as a sex offender.

Curtis Moghadam of North Walnut is accused of not completing the annual registration process as required by law.

Bond was set at $15,000 bond and Moghadam later posted $1,500 bond to gain his release.   the Public Defender was appointed to represent him.

Moghadam had been arrested by Centralia Police on Thursday.

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Illinois State Fair relies on sponsorships to keep running

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Fair relies on sponsorships to not only provide visitors with unique offerings and services but also to keep the event running, according to organizers.
There were more than a couple dozen sponsorship agreements for this year’s state fair, which saw a decline in attendance by 8 percent from last year, the State Journal-Register reported. The fair in Springfield attracted about 369,140 attendees this year.

“We could not do what we do out here without our partners,” said fair manager Luke Sailer. “Our sponsors that love the fair, our partners, they add those special touches, truly.”

Some sponsors’ offerings are generally well-known to fairgoers, such as the Budweiser beer tent from Skeff Distributing, while others are less known, including the portable phone charging stations provided by Springfield restaurant Westwoods Lodge.

New City Greenhouse in Pawnee donated 400 flats of flowers to decorate the fairgrounds this year, a gift that was worth at least $10,000. In return, the business was recognized as a sponsor and received fair and concert tickets, among other perks.

Altorfer Incorporated offered up a grader, backhoe and other equipment through its sponsorship agreement.

“Altorfer gives us over $1 million in equipment and resources that we honestly could never afford,” Sailer said. “They let us use their equipment and resources. It takes an army to get this fairgrounds ready.”

Sailer said that in most of the cases, businesses approach fair organizers about becoming a sponsor.

“We do actively try to go out and seek new sponsors for some new things, but for the most part they generally come to us,” he said.

Sailer said he’s satisfied with the fair’s current sponsorships.

“I’ve very happy where we are right now,” he said. “There’s a lot of wonderful people and a lot of wonderful companies out there.”

Fort Massac

Historic fort to be rebuilt at Illinois’ oldest state park

METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ oldest state park has received $2.8 million to rebuild a historic fort overlooking the Ohio River.

The Southern Illinoisan reports the Illinois Department of Natural Resources funding also will be used to build a new shower facility at Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis.  The first fort at the site was built by the French in 1757, with a second structure was built in 1760. The U.S. government commissioned a fort there in 1802.  Chris McGinness is the IDNR’s site superintendent at the park. He says the rebuilt fort will be an accurate depiction of the 1802 building.

The park is the site of the annual encampment, which attracts military re-encampment units, vendors and students.

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Marion County Clerk Projects 35% Voter Turnout Tuesday    

Marion County Clerk Steve Fox says the lack of any closely contested federal elections is keeping Marion County early voting totals below those of many parts of the state.

For the same reason, Fox doesn’t expect an overwhelming turnout for the Tuesday election.

“My project this year looking back at 2014 and 16, I think we’re going to be right around 35%.”

The county clerk’s office will be open from eight to noon on Saturday for early and grace voting.  Polls will then be open on election day Tuesday from six am to seven pm.  WJBD/WSIQ and WJBDradio.com will be providing election night reports throughout the evening.

Fox is also addressing concerns brought by Marion County Democratic Party Chair Danny Stover over some possibly being taken off the voter rolls incorrectly.  Fox notes the list of 870 registrations taken off the rolls was done through the Illinois State Voter Registration Program conducted by the State Board of Elections.

Stover feels up to 40 on the list may still be eligible to vote, including one he has confirmed.  The party plans to contact the other 39 about possible issues and make sure they are eligible to vote on Tuesday.  Stover was unhappy with the possibility some voters may become disenfranchised.

Fox says the state only purges voters if they receive some type of evidence of death or person moving.   Even if there is a mistake, Fox says voters have two options on Tuesday.

“If there is ever a question with their registration or if they are not registered, forget to get the registration done, or had a move and didn’t get it updated, the thing they want to do is go to one of the grace period voting locations on election day.  That’s here at the Marion County Courthouse or to the Centralia Township Office on South Poplar Street.  If they can’t do that, they can always request a provisional ballot at the polling place in their precinct. The judges will help them take care of that.  They still cast a full ballot.  They are taken care of on election day.  It just gives us a chance to review it to make sure everything is kosher,” said Fox

The Democratic Party is also providing a link that voters can check ahead of time to make sure they are properly registered.  It is  https://ova.elections.il.gov/RegistrationLookup.aspx

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