Local News

Peoples National Bank

Danville man indicated for September 2018 armed robbery of People’s National Bank in Centralia   

A 21-year-old Danville man has been indicted for the September 2018 armed robbery of the People’s National Bank facility at 400 East Broadway in Centralia.

The indictment charges Aaron Moss and an unnamed person of robbing the bank using a Glock .40 model 27 firearm.  No one else is named in the two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury earlier this month.

Moss made his initial appearance and was arraigned Wednesday in federal district court.   He pleaded not guilty to both charges.  If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison on the bank robbery charge and an additional seven years to life for brandishing a gun during the crime.

Moss is scheduled to go on trial December 16th before U.S. District Judge Staci Yandle at the federal courthouse in Benton.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Centralia Police Department.


Bond set at $50,000 for Salem woman charged with aggravated battery to correctional officer

A 22-year-old Salem woman had bond set at $50,000 in Marion County Court Wednesday after being formally charged with domestic battery and aggravated battery to a correctional officer following separate incidents Tuesday night.

Salem Police initially took Brittnay Finley of East Olive to jail for domestic battery after she allegedly struck her boyfriend in the face.

Once she was at the Marion County Jail, Finley allegedly became involved in an altercation with a correctional officer attempting to book her into the jail.  She is accused of kicking the officer in the leg, them coming at her with her hands out, striking the officer’s hands and grabbing her wrist.

The correctional officer received minor injuries but did not require medical treatment.

As a result of the incident, a charge of aggravated battery to a police officer was added.

Finley had the public defender appointed to represent her.  If released on bond, she was ordered to have no contact with the victim of the domestic battery, abstain from alcohol and drugs and be subject to random testing.


No decision on two liquor license requests in Centralia

Centralia Mayor Herb Williams delayed a vote on two new liquor licenses until the next city council meeting when the entire council can be present.

Former Mayor Tom Ashby spoke against issuing any more liquor licenses saying the city didn’t need to be a city of gaming. He noted he had rejected numerous applications for additional licenses while he was mayor.

“Let’s support the individuals that have been supporting our community for years.  The VFW, Elks, local bars and restaurants.  We don’t have an unlimited population boom or anything. We have a limited amount.  Let’s take care of our own citizens first.”

But City Manager Dan Ramey feels in these two cases the city would benefit by the issuance of the licenses because vacant buildings would be renovated and put back to use.

He says a new Class E1 license is being proposed for the Food Mart Cafe that would utilize an empty former convenience store at 609 East 15th.

“What we have is a dilapidated building that had been sitting down there for years and obviously we want something to be done with it.  There’s nothing around it and there’s a large apartment complex across from the whole thing.  There would be 500 sq. ft. requirement with a separate entryway for the convenience store and restaurant.   That seemed to be a way we could avoid everyone just calling themselves a restaurant.”

Ramey feels a Class C license for a package liquor store in the former Jumpin Jimmies Convenience store at West Broadway and Pullen would fulfill a need for the west side of town.

“That would not allow them whatsoever to do any kind of gaming in the facility at all.  That is just packaged liquor where someone would go in and buy their beer or wine and take it home with them.  No drinking inside or anything of that nature.”

Ramey didn’t think the two-week delay in taking action would have a major impact on either project.

Centralia BPW Logo

Centralia BPW names its Woman and Boss of the Year

The Centralia Business and Professional Women’s Club has named its 2019 Woman and Boss of the Year.

The Woman of the Year is Sally Tiemann and the Boss of the Year is Larry Hoelscher.

Tiemann worked in banking before her retirement and has been active in many BPW and community activities. Hoelscher is the manager of the Schnucks Store in Centralia.

The two will be honored at a reception scheduled for Monday, October 21st, from five to seven at a Centralia Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at the Centralia Elks.

If you’d like to attend, you are asked to RSVP to the Centralia Chamber of Commerce Office.

Brian Atchison retires

Centralia Police Chief honored on his retirement

Mayor Herb Williams reads from a plaque honoring Centralia Police Chief Brian Atchison on his retirement at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.  Photo by Bruce Kropp.

Centralia Police Chief Brian Atchison was honored by the Centralia City Council Tuesday night for 30 years of service to the police department, the last three as chief.

Atchison was praised for his work by Mayor Herb Williams, City Manager Dan Ramey and the council. He was presented a plaque of appreciation. Atchison feels one of his accomplishments has been building relationships with other law enforcement and city departments.

“We all work well together.  I think that’s what is making things work for us in improvements and I assure you there are things coming down the pipe that you are going to see this department has been working hard with other departments to continue to make this better.  I really want to conclude by saying when I took this job, and most people when applying for it, they say they want to help people and make a difference, and I think I’ve got a chance to do both.  Thanks.”

Atchison was flanked by several members of the police department as well as his family. While Atchison is retiring from the city, he will remain in law enforcement as an officer for the new Kaskaskia College Police Department. Atchison’s last day on the job is Friday. That is also the deadline for applications for the job.

One of the applicants, Ted Johnson, spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting and asked the city council to Censure Ramey for what he called unprofessional comments made in an e-mail to his reply about getting military credit. Johnson also asked that Ramey be removed from the decision making process in selecting a new chief because he would be prejudicial against Johnson. He then angrily left the meeting.

The city council took no action on the request, but Mayor Williams asked those speaking to the council to be respectful and mindful of how they talk to each other. He said those who aren’t will be asked to be removed from the meeting.

road construction - roller

Centralia City Council awards bid on road resurfacing project

The Centralia City Council has approved a bid from Howell Paving for resurfacing of portions of Broadway and Frazier Streets.

The $343,894 project includes resurfacing on Broadway from Lincoln to East McCord and on Frazier from Lincoln to South Perrine along with spot sidewalk ramp and curb and guttering repairs.

City Manager Dan Ramey says the project will begin this fall but reports most of the work will be completed next spring.

Ramey was questioned about another road resurfacing project on South Hickory Street where the bid was rejected earlier for being too high. Ramey reported he is working to remove parts of the project that can be done by city crews to hopefully lower the cost to within budget.

“We would have had to come up with another half-million-dollar which obviously we didn’t have.  I feel pretty comfortable that we will be in the budget here and what we are doing is a very important project.”

Ramey says if an acceptable bid is received in November, work could be completed next year.

National News

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