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Centralia High Superintendent says state teacher shortage committee holds final meeting  

Centralia High School Superintendent Chuck Lane says several bills will be considered by the State Legislature this year to address the teacher shortage.

Lane, who serves on a statewide task force, says the goal is to make it easier to get into the teaching profession, especially for those who have a bachelor’s degree and want to change careers.

“Traditionally they would have to quit their job and go back to school for two years.  No one can do that.  No one can afford that.   What we are working on is making it easier.  Maybe get these people hired into the buildings first and let them become certified as they work at the school.  That is what the Golden Apple program comes in.  But even without the Golden Apple, streamline the process to become certified to teach. We have to be able to give people that want to change careers and have bachelor’s degrees who either can’t find a job or don’t like the job they are in a way to get into the classroom.   There has to be an easier way and that’s what we are working on.”

Lane says two paraprofessionals at Centralia High School are applying for the Golden Apple program.    The program provides $30,000 in reimbursement to participants to attend college classes and work with a current teacher for a year before teaching a class on their own.   Schools must also guarantee a job after graduation.   At Centralia High, the participants would become physical education and special education teachers, two positions the district has not been able to fill.   Those wanting to apply for the Golden Apple program to start this summer need to apply on the program’s website by early February.

Lane reports Centralia High will also offer six hours of dual credit classes to students who are interested in becoming teachers to give them a headstart on college credits.

Jefferson County Sheriff's Badge

Both drivers injured in Jefferson County wreck  

Both drivers were injured when two vehicles collided on Illinois Route 15 at Harmony Lane near Bluford on Thursday afternoon.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies say Brian Turner of Wayne City was northbound on Harmony Lane when he didn’t stop at the stop sign at Illinois Route 15.   His SUV was t-boned in the side by Theresa Yancz of Bluford who was traveling eastbound on Route 15.  After the impact, the Turner SUV struck a utility pole and then a mailbox.

Both drivers were transported to SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon for treatment of injuries.

Turner was ticketed for disobeying a traffic control device and failure to yield the right of way.

The Jefferson County Fire Protection District was called to assist those involved in the crash.

The crash occurred at 4:17 Thursday afternoon.

Marion County Jail

Police Beat for Friday, January 24th, 2020

A 43-year-old Peoria woman has been arrested by Sandoval Police for misdemeanor theft and possession of a credit card belonging to another.  Elizabeth Best was taken to the Marion County Jail.

Three others were brought to the Marion County Jail on an outstanding felony failure to appear warrants.  39-year-old Tyrone Briscoe of Grove Street in Mt. Vernon was arrested in Jefferson County on a warrant issued in an aggravated battery case.  Bond was set at $25,000.  23-year-old Chilin Carpenter of Foxville Road in Kell was arrested in Jefferson County on a possession of meth precursor case.  Bond was set at $25,000.  37-year-old Danielle Myers of North Beech in Centralia was arrested in connection with a possession of meth case with bond set at $15,000.

26-year-old Steven Moore of Old U.S. 50 in Flora was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on a Marion County failure to appear warrant in a driving on a revoked license case, a Douglas County failure to appear warrant for driving on a revoked license and an Edgar County felony failure to appear warrant.  Bond on the warrants totals $16,000.

58-year-old Cathy Mayer of Cumberland Lane in Centralia was arrested for alleged DUI, leaving the scene of an accident,  and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.  Mayer was arrested when returning to the scene of a crash where her vehicle had run into a roadside ditch on Levy Road near Lakeshore Drive.  She was not injured.  Salem Firemen were called to the scene because the car had what appeared to be smoke coming off of it.  The smoke turned out to be steam.

JB Pritzker Carbon Bill Signing 1-23-19

Illinois law caps insulin patient costs at $100 monthly

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law Friday capping monthly insulin costs at $100 for state-regulated commercial health insurance plans.

The Democrat OK’d the legislation overwhelmingly approved by the General Assembly in November after people with diabetes complained about a spike in out-of-pocket insulin costs.

Insulin is necessary for people with diabetes to regulate blood sugar levels.

About 1.3 million people in Illinois have the unpreventable disease.


Chicago woman becomes 2nd US case of new virus from China

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Chicago woman has become the second U.S. patient diagnosed with the new pneumonia-like virus from China.

Health officials say woman returned from a trip to China on Jan. 13 without showing any signs of illness, but a few days later she called her doctor to report feeling sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the woman is doing well but is hospitalized to prevent the spread of the virus and anyone she had close contact with is being monitored.

CDC officials say the risk to the U.S. public remains low but more cases are likely.


Army probes handling of Illinois sex assault complaints

Army officials have launched an investigation into allegations that commanders of an Illinois-based reserve unit mishandled sexual assault complaints and protocols.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press indicate that Maj. Gen. A.C. Roper has assigned investigators to look into allegations that commanders in the 416th Theater Engineer Command improperly opened internal investigations into at least two complaints. They are also accused of suspending a victim advocate after she alerted the Army to the probes and placing a victim on a firing range with someone she had accused of sexual harassment.

lllinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth requested an investigation this month.

National News

One person still missing in gas explosion that destroyed building in Houston

Joey Charpentier/Twitter(HOUSTON) — A building explosion at a manufacturing warehouse sent shock waves across northwest Houston early Friday morningAuthorities are still assessing the damage, but one person remains unaccounted for, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference.”The family is here and we’re keeping that person in our prayers,” Acevedo said.The force of…read more »

Two dead in Houston gas explosion that destroyed building, caused ‘significant’ damage to homes

Joey Charpentier/Twitter(HOUSTON) — Two people were killed in a gas explosion at a manufacturing warehouse that sent shock waves across northwest Houston early Friday morning, authorities said.Multiple homes and a strip mall nearby also sustained “significant damage” in the blast, which happened around 4:30 a.m. local time, Samuel Pena, of the Houston Fire Department, said…read more »

Building explosion felt throughout northwest Houston

Joey Charpentier/Twitter(HOUSTON) — A building explosion at a manufacturing plant sent shock waves across northwest Houston early Friday morning. The force of the explosion, at around 4:30 a.m. local time, rattled nearby windows and was felt throughout the area, according to residents. The owner of the business, John Watson of Watson Grinding, says the blast…read more »

New Mexico college student shot during alleged fraternity hazing incident

SWInsider/iStock(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) — A New Mexico State University student has been accused of shooting a classmate in an alleged hazing incident that resulted in his fraternity’s suspension. Miguel Altamirano was charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly shot Jonathan Sillas in the leg as he pledged the Kappa Sigma…read more »