Local News

Centralia mayor kuder

Judge allows Bryan Kuder’s case to regain Mayor’s seat to move forward  

Elected Centralia Mayor Bryan Kuder will be allowed to continue his court case to get the Mayor’s job back.

Associate Judge Kimbara Harrell issued an order in Marion County Court Tuesday rejecting a motion filed by the City of Centralia to dismiss the case.   The judge provided three pages of applicable case law to the motion but did not specifically say what portions of the law she was using to make her decision.

Both Kuder and Centralia City Attorney Doug Gruenke agree the decision returns the case to the beginning.   The motion to dismiss had been filed by the city after Kuder lost an injunction to remain in office while the court case was argued.

Kuder says the decision is a victory for him.

“Absolutely very pleased.  I believe this gives us the opportunity now to take the next step.  I want to thank all of my supporters and everybody who voted for me throughout this process honoring their wishes to be seated as the newly elected and verified mayor.  The judge ruled today against the city in the motion to dismiss my case,” said Kuder.   “I’ll be meeting with my attorney next week to discuss the next and hopefully final step to seating me as mayor.”

Meanwhile, Gruenke feels the judge most likely wanted to hear evidence in the case before making a decision.  He continues to believe Kuder’s case has no merit.   Gruenke says his next step will be to answer Kuder’s complaint and begin the discovery process of evidence back and forth between the two sides.

No date has yet been set for the case to come back before the judge.

Kuder filed the suit after the Centralia City Council refused to seat him after he won the April 2019 election because they claimed he did not meet the residency requirement and actually lived in a home he and his wife own in Washington County.   Kuder has maintained he has always had a city of Centralia address although he had to vacate his apartment while repairs were made after a water line burst.


Trump commutes former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich’s sentence

CHICAGO (AP) — President Donald Trump says he has commuted the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The 63-year-old Democrat is expected to walk out of prison later Tuesday. Trump told reporters the sentence was “ridiculous.”

The former governor was convicted of political corruption in 2010, just months after he appeared on Trump’s reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.” He was convicted on charges included seeking to sell an appointment to Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat and trying to shake down a children’s hospital.

The Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party Tim Schneider first reacted to the possible pardon of Governor Blogovich last year.  He says he stands by what he said then following the President’s pardon on Tuesday.

“In a state where corrupt, machine-style politics is still all too common, it’s important that those found guilty serve their prison sentence in its entirety. Rod Blagojevich is certainly no exception. The former Governor’s proven record of corruption is a stain upon Illinois and its citizens. We must stand up and send the message that corruption will not be tolerated in Illinois.”

Wamac Zoning Board approves special use for cannabis grow facility and dispensary

The Wamac Zoning Board has approved a special use permit for a cannabis dispensary and grow facility on a 5-0 vote. The proposal presented by Roger and Pam McKay for the former McKay’s hazmat building at 1775 South Brookside will now go before the Wamac Board of Alderman at its March 2nd meeting.

More than two dozen people crowded into the Wamac City Hall Monday night for the hearing. Only two spoke against the proposal, including Pastor Don Smith, the minister of the New Testament Baptist Church located just 200 feet away.

“The right is never accomplished by doing wrong.  It is probably true this community would receive financial benefits that perhaps Mark and Dave will receive help with keeping up with our roads and many other responsibilities that they have.  Perhaps Police Chief Prather and those serving with him will gain more trained officers to assist them, but it is never right to do wrong to accomplish what seems to be right.”

Most of the rest of the audience members either voiced their support in favor because of the monetary and job benefits or were just there to listen.

There was no opposition from city officials. City Clerk Marian Suhl, speaking as an individual, sees many benefits.

“The benefit off of the tax would be very helpful.  We could get some much needed things for the city that we really have not been able to afford honestly.  We do the best we can, and I believe the Police Department is the best they’ve ever been and I think they can handle whatever happens.”

Police Chief Steve Prather said no one knows what the traffic will be, but feels they can handle whatever happens. Zoning Administrator Jeremy Howell, who is also a police officer, concurred.

McKay says he could hear about the application for the dispensary around March 1st and the grow facility by July 1st. He reports the state is limiting the number of dispensaries in the state to 200 and the number of grow facilities to 40. The 12,000 square foot building would have 2,000 square feet dedicated to the dispensary and 10,000 to the grow facilities.

McKay says they would provide their own security and if limited parking becomes an issue they could initially bus people from the Fairview Shopping Center. They do have four acres of adjacent land that could eventually be developed for parking.

“Why is my location better than other locations in this town?  I think its probably one of the best locations for this type of activity.  It would be so much better if the church wasn’t across the street from us but as good neighbors we would look to accommodate and worth with the church in any way we could.”

McKay says they would not sell before Sunday morning services were over and close early before Wednesday night services. He says they would also provide an drug and cannabis abuse program to North Wamac Grade School students in 6th through 8th grade.

McKay says they already have seven employees as they wait to see if they get state approval. If approved, he anticipates 20 to 25 employees apiece at both the dispensary and grow facility. McKay promises they will be high paying jobs with benefits.

Police Beat for Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Centralia Police have arrested a 28-year-old Centralia man for aggravated battery. Ronald Tinch of North Sycamore was wanted in connection with an incident that occurred in June of last year. Centralia Police questioned Tinch, who had been listed as a person of interest in the case, after Tinch had been stopped by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies. No other details are currently available.

Centralia Chamber Executive Director pleased with Home Show

Centralia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcus Holland is pleased with the results of the Home Expo over the weekend.

He assessed the success of the show as it was closing Sunday afternoon.

“We had an excellent 16th annual Show.  The vendors are excited because they had great crowds Saturday and Sunday both.  The food trucks were a great addition I know Baldies BBQ sold out of pork yesterday and they were open today with extra people buying so we were happy with the turnout.”

As far as next year is concerned.

“Looking to do something different.  Adding different games to give out door prizes was fun addition we might do something different with that too.  And talking to exhibitors afterwards we will see if there are any other tweaks we can do.”

Up next is the Salem Chamber of Commerce home show. It will be a one day show this year on Saturday, March 7th, from 8 am to 6 pm.


Sandoval High School’s 59th Homecoming

Sandoval High School and 20th Century Fox presents greatest movie remakes as their theme for the school’s 59th Homecoming.  The 59th queen and the 33rd king will be crowned Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6pm.

The theme was chosen by student council and the Homecoming coordinators.  The event has been in the planning since October.  We have kids of all ages set to entertain.  The festivities are celebrated at both the Pre-K/elementary School and the Jr/Sr High School.  It has become a town wide celebration.

The themed dress up days were selected by the Student Council at the high school, the junior high and the grade school coordinators.  Students are encouraged to dress up for each Homecoming Themed Day and follow handbook rules.

Senior High Theme Days

Tuesday – Pajama Day

Wednesday – Way Back Wednesday (Dress in your favorite decade)

Thursday – Tacky Tourist

Friday – Class Colors Day (Fr./Blue, Soph./Green, Jr./Pink, Sr./Yellow)


Jr High Theme Days

Tuesday – Hats and Shades Day

Wednesday – MEME Day

Thursday – Athletes v. Mathletes

Friday –  Spirit Day


Pre-K-6th Grade:

Tuesday – Pajama Day

Wednesday – Twin Day

Thursday – Tacky Tourist/Hats and Sunglasses Day

Friday – School Spirit Day


Saturday’s events will begin at 6pm sharp.  Doors will open at 5.  Due to limited parking, people are asked to carpool or take advantage of the shuttle bus that will run to and from the high school making stops at the elementary building, the Methodist Church, Pentecostal Church and the St. Lawrence Catholic Church.

There is handicapped seating available for the person and one guest.  Frank Fair will be the shuttle driver.  ESDA will be on hand during the event for parking control and the Sandoval Fire Department/EMS will also be on hand for any emergency, the Homecoming committee appreciates each for their assistance.

Advance tickets on sale now at the high school until Friday, Feb. 21st.  Adults $6, Students $5, Kids 4 and under are free.  Tickets at the door on the night of the event are Adults $7, Students $6.

The event will begin with an introduction by alumni Brenda Kunick.  After introduction of the court, there will be recognition of pasty royalty and special alumni by Missy Hoffmann Schlau.  A special presentation will be given to a dedicated Blackhawk Fan and community member.

After the entertainment portion, the King and Queen will be crowned.  Their photographer will be available for any person attending who would like pictures.  Following the event, tours of the high school renovations are available.  There will be a dance for any alumni and students grades 7-12 until 10pm.

Jr High will be in the cafeteria and High School including any alumni may visit and dance and reminisce in the Gym and the lobby.  SHS alunmi’s Jeff/Heather Day will DJ the dance.

The Homecoming coordinators once again thank everyone involved in this event. Its takes a team to make this happen.

The students work really hard and have alot of late nights juggling full schedules to perform at their absolute best on that night.  Special Thanks to Alumni Jeremy Johnston & Johnston Jewelers for donation of Crown/Scepter Kelly Knolhoff with Kelly’s for the Occasion for the décor and for the Tuxes, Nick Rockwell out of Collinsville for light and sound productions and all of the media and Alumni and community members who make this happen.


The Court:
2019 Retiring King Mack Weiss

2019 Retiring Queen Jalynn Day

Crown Bearers 1st grade students, Julian Sharkey and Hunter Timmons

Flower Girls 1st grade students Jacey Moore and Tyanna Tomes

Freshman attendant and escort Rheagan Rollinson and Brock Beckmann

Freshman usherette:  Destiny Schniers

Sophomore attendant and escort Nevaeh Andrews and Drew Hill

Sophomore usherette:  Lexie Cameron

Junior attendant and escort Morgan Weiss and Gage Rollinson

Junior usherette; Isabelle Moore

Senior Queen Candidates

Kenzi Gelsinger, Hope Beckmann, Jasmin Tarlton and Bailee Dykstra

Senior King Candidates

Seth Gelsinger, Briar Kelso, Jacob Pritchard and Daniel DeMaris

Senior Usherette:  Dasani Schaedler

Master and Mistress of Ceremonies Caden Gore and Megan Parson

For further information, please call 247-3450 (grade school)

National News

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