Local News

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Pritzker picks St. Clair County prosecutor to lead police

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The St. Clair County state’s attorney is in line to become head of the Illinois State Police.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the nomination of Brendan Kelly. He’ll need approval from the Illinois Senate.

Kelly ran for Congress in November but lost to incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Bost. He says “there’s nothing more important for government” than justice and public safety. As a prosecutor, he worked closely with state police on corruption investigations and drug cases.

Kelly has been the St. Clair County prosecutor since 2010. He became a local resident in 1986 when his parents were stationed at Scott Air Force Base.


Authorities continue search for missing woman after 40 years

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The case of a missing Missouri woman hasn’t been solved in more than four decades, but her family recently regained hope after authorities discovered a possible link with an unidentified body in a nearby cemetery.

A body buried in a cemetery in Fairview Heights, Illinois, known only as Jane Doe, has similar features to Geneva Adams and was found near where the Festus woman went missing weeks earlier, according to records. But authorities didn’t make the connection between Adams’ disappearance and the unidentified body until 2014, when an Illinois State Police sergeant started working to identify remains in cold cases.

Authorities decided last month to exhume the body, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. But Herculaneum Police Chief Mark Tulgetske said they were unable to find the remains, discovering the cemetery records were wrong.

“There is no doubt that the body that we’re looking for is in that cemetery somewhere,” Tulgetske said. Authorities don’t plan to dig again until they’re sure they know where the body is buried.

Steve Crump, Adams’ son, said he doesn’t understand why it took more than 35 years to make the connection.

“I am grateful that they’re still trying to find her,” Crump said. “I just hope they stay on it.”

Adams, a mother of 10, went missing in 1976 after a night out at a Herculaneum roadhouse. She had told her daughter she was meeting a man later identified as Jimmie Lee Mills, who quickly became a person of interest in the disappearance.

Mills had served less than a year in prison for attempting to rape a 20-year-old woman, and he was charged in the rape of a 16-year-old hitchhiker weeks before Adams went missing.

Since Adams’ body was never found, Mills was never charged. Mills, now 76, has been in prison since 2010 for a weapons conviction. He’s scheduled for release in August.

He declined the newspaper’s request for comment.

“He is getting to the end of his life,” Crump said. “So I keep thinking, ‘Just tell us: What really happened?'”


Doctoral student, Chicago suburb settle false arrest lawsuit

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — A Chicago suburb and a former Northwestern University doctoral student have tentatively settled a lawsuit filed after the student was accused of stealing a car he owned.

Lawrence Crosby was brought to the attention of Evanston police in 2015 by a woman who said she saw a black man trying to steal a car.

Attorney Timothy Touhy tells the Chicago Tribune that Crosby was trying to repair loose molding on his car before driving off.

The woman followed Crosby in her car as he drove from his apartment to Northwestern’s science building, giving police his location.

The then 25-year-old Crosby got out the car with his hands raised after being stopped by police, but was tackled when he failed to immediately obey orders to get on the ground. Police later determined the car belonged to Crosby, but charged him anyhow with disobeying officers and resisting arrest.

The tentative settlement awards Crosby $1.25 million.

icy trees

Driver dead in icy roll; freezing rain in Central and North Illinois, Indiana

LINCOLN, Ill. (AP) — The National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory for central and northern Illinois as snow and freezing rain are predicted for the regions.

Temperatures are likely to be above and below 32 degrees Tuesday, making travel risky. Similar conditions are predicted for southwestern Michigan and parts of Indiana.

More than 300 flights have been canceled at Chicago’s airports. Illinois State Police say a 62-year-old woman was killed Tuesday when her vehicle slid off Interstate 155 in Logan County and rolled many times.

In Indiana, all Gibson County schools were closed Tuesday due to the weather. Some schools in western Illinois sent students home early.

Customers of the Kalamazoo water system in Michigan are being urged to keep their water flowing 24 hours a day to prevent pipes from freezing.

Vieira swearing in

Salem City Council approves new liquor license and swears in new police officer

Salem’s newest patrolman is Craig Vieira.  He was sworn in Monday.  Left to right are his daughter Kiley, wife Cheryl, Craig Vieira, and Mayor Rex Barbee.  Photo by Bruce Kropp.

The Salem City Council has approved a new Class G Liquor License for the new Idyllwood Entertainment Center in the former roller rink on North Vail. One of the owners, Melanie Johnson, said they were planning for wine and beer only during limited times.

“It’s not going to be available all day.  It’s not a bar.  Where we serve the alcohol will not be open but will be limited hours.  We close at 8 pm on Wednesday and Friday night’s and 4 pm on Saturday.”

Johnson says as a Baptist she is against gambling and had no interest in video gaming machines. The city council has been trying to limit the future growth of the machines.

In other action, the council also approved an ordinance change to allow retail sales with a special use permit in non-urban districts. The issue comes up because Roy and Beth Landers have purchased property at 3734 Cross Road in the southwest corner of I-57 and Cross Road for various activities associated with rodeo events.

However, City Clerk Bev Quinn says the change would affect all non-urban property.

“It’s not an automatic permit, it has special use which means we will consider this on a case by case basis.  And we’ll notify the neighbors and get their petitions and will make the decisions based on the input they receive.”

The Landers request will go before the planning commission at its February meeting.

An ordinance will be brought back to the council to allow remote participation in city meetings by council members if they cannot attend in person due to medical or business reasons.

Former Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Vieira was sworn in as a new city police officer.

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Salem City Council votes to add student resource officers at SCHS and Salem Grade School District

The Salem City Council on a 4 to 1 vote has approved the Salem Police Department adding school resource officers at Salem Community High School and the Salem Grade School District.

Councilman Jim Koehler made the motion. He admits it is unfortunate they have to have such a program, but felt it was needed especially since the city manager and finance director said the money was available. Under the plan, the city, SCHS and Salem Grade School will each pay a third of the cost.
The lone no vote came from Craig Morton. He noted after the meeting he was not against the concept and has children in the schools, but still questions where the city’s $100,000 increase in revenue is coming from.

“It doesn’t mean it’s going to be there next year or the following year, I don’t know what we’ll do next year.  I’ve been on the council for four years now and this is the first time we’ve had increased revenues.  What are we giving up? Curbside recycling that we’ve been talking about the whole time, that would be easy.  Sidewalks, we’ve had several complaints about those.  And even the Dog Pound needs work and we always say there is no money there.”

Morton also has problems with city revenue supporting a program that also benefits those who don’t live in the city limits or pay city taxes. He adds the police department is approaching 40-percent of the general fund budget and almost all of the city’s video gaming proceeds are needed to properly
fund the police pension fund.

City Manager Bill Gruen says he’ll have his regular weekly meeting on Tuesday with Police Chief Sean Reynolds were they will discuss implementing the two officers.

“Definitely have to ask the Police Board to hire two new people assuming we have two people within the department who are interested in taking an assignment at the schools.  First things first, let’s look internally to see if we have anybody that is interested going over.  If we do then we know we need two additional people to be hired off the list.”

Gruen didn’t want to speculate at this time on how soon the student resource officer program might be able to begin.

National News

Yosemite National Park hikers trapped in crevasse get helicopter rescue

Central Division Air Operations(NEW YORK) — Video has been released of two hikers being rescued by helicopter after getting trapped at Yosemite National Park.The rescue took place on the morning of Jan. 16, after the pair got stuck in a crevasse on the North Dome the night before.In a video posted on the California Highway…read more »

DACA to continue with Supreme Court mum on Trump request to act now

dkfielding/iStock(WASHINGTON) — As it concludes its January session, the Supreme Court is taking no action on cases involving the DACA program, leaving in place for at least several more months protections for 700,000 immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.President Donald Trump moved to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative in…read more »

Police officer shot in face at traffic stop in Michigan, manhunt underway

Michigan State Police(SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, Mich.) — A manhunt is underway in Michigan after a police officer was shot in the face at a traffic stop Tuesday, state police said.Authorities are trying to locate Joshua Michael Rosebush, 29, considered armed and dangerous, in connection with the shooting of a Saginaw Township officer, Michigan State Police officials…read more »