Local News

courtroom gavel

Centralia man pleads guilty to federal drug charges 

A 45-year-old Centralia man has pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and distribution of meth, and possession with intent to distribute meth.

U.S. Attorney Steven Weinhoeft says Danny Lee DeShane will be sentenced on March 31st. He faces up to 20 years in prison on some of the charges. He has been in custody since his arrest in September.

Court documents establish that an FBI Task Force investigate DeShane’s narcotics trafficking activities in the Centralia area for several months leading up to his arrest. Court documents further establish that DeShane distributed and possessed with intent to distribute meth from a Centralia residence on South Elm and other locations in the Centralia area from March 12th, 2018 to April 24, 2019.

Also charged with conspiracy with DeShane were Cloyd ‘Rick’ Culver and Curtis Phelps. Culver was also charged with maintaining a drug involved premises. Charges remain pending against Culver and Phelps with a trial in federal court set for January 27, 2020.

Law enforcement agencies participating on the FBI Task Force include the Marion, Clinton, Washington and Bond County Sheriffs’ Offices and the Carlyle Police Department. The Centralia Police Department also assisted in the investigation.

Dodson James awards

Centralia Police name co-officers of the year and present special award

Dispatch Supervisor Stacey Jolliff is awarded a special plaque for her extensive work on Shop with a Cop and other programs.

Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson is surprised by being named Co-Officer of the Year by Sargeant Steve Whritenour (right) after awarding the annual award to Lieutenant Jamie James (left).   

Centralia’s recently appointed Police Chief Greg Dodson and Lieutenant Jamie James were honored Thursday night as the department’s co-officers of the year. This is the second year in a row James has won the award.

Members of the department voted for James in the results that went to the chief, but then Dodson was surprised with the award himself as officers wanted him to receive the award as well for all the extra work as head of the Investigations Unit prior to being promoted as chief.

Dispatch Supervisor Stacey Skibinski Jolliff was recognized for her tireless dedication to all the fundraising that makes Shop with a Cop and numerous other projects a success. Her dedication will allow the department to shop for approximately 200 kids this year.

About 60 employees and retirees were at the annual Christmas Party at Jerry’s where the awards were presented.


Marion County Jail

Police Beat for Friday, December 13th, 2019

Two people were arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies for bond violations in felony cases. 36-year-old Adam Phillips of West Warmouth in Salem and 34-year-old Scott Miller of Public Street in Alma were both taken to the Marion County Jail.

Three others remain in custody on outstanding warrants. 57-year-old Faith Moon of South Franklin in Salem is being held in lieu of $15,000 bond for failure to appear on a felony theft charge. 21-year-old Jasilyn Garcia of Howell Street in Irvington is being held on a misdemeanor retail theft failure to appear charge. 28-year-old Travis Hopkins of South Locust in Centralia was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on an outstanding Jefferson County traffic warrant.

Lifestar logo

Lifestar Ambulance Service Home For the Holidays

Lifestar Ambulance Service has announced that they are again this year participating in their annual “Home for the Holidays” in The Greater Centralia Area.  This is a program that is done yearly at Christmas.  Lifestar Ambulance will transport people from Skilled Care Facilities and other persons that are disabled, bed-ridden, or wheelchair-bound to their relative’s homes for Christmas at NO CHARGE.

President of Lifestar Ambulance Roger Campbell said this is one way to express their appreciation to the citizens they serve on a yearly basis.  He also added that this is something that the employees of Lifestar enjoy doing every year.  The gratitude that has been expressed in the past years from persons that would normally have to spend Christmas away from family has been overwhelming.

Lifestar will schedule a pickup time and a time to return them back to their residences after spending whatever time the persons wish with their families.  If the individual is a resident of a Skilled Care Facility there may be a release that the family may need to sign with that facility.  Family members choosing to utilize this free service should check with their Director of Nurses to find out what their procedure is.

Family members may contact Lifestar Ambulance or ask their nursing personnel to do so from 8 am to 4 pm up to one week prior to schedule time of pickup and return.  There may be some families as in the past that would like to have their loved ones home on Christmas Eve and stay over.  They can also accommodate those wishes.  The NON-EMERGENCY phone number for Lifestar Ambulance Service in Centralia is 532-2474.  We ask that people that would like to take advantage of this service call so scheduling can be done and they are able to accommodate as many families as possible this holiday season.

Southern Illinois Federal District Court

Vandalia Man Sentenced For Drug and Gun Offenses

A 26-year-old Vandalia man was sentenced in Federal court on a pair of charges.

Wade Garrett McWhorter was sentenced to 64 months imprisonment for distributing methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  McWhorter pled guilty in August of this year to being a felon possessing and selling three firearms, one of which was stolen, and distributed meth on multiple occasions.

The offenses occurred in Bond, Clinton and Fayette Counties.  McWhorter has been in custody since his arrest on March 5th of this year.

A federal grand jury charged McWhorter and Aeron Michael Davis in the same indictment.  In November, a federal judge sentenced Davis to 50 months’ imprisonment for his involvement in one of the meth sales and one of the firearm sales.


KSB Reminds To Recycle Old Christmas Lights

It’s that time of year again to check your Christmas lights before putting them up.

Those old Christmas lights can be recycled.  Keep Salem Beautiful (KSB) will be placing recycling containers at Salem IGA, and at Salem Rural King for collecting old Christmas lights for recycling.


National News

Storm system moves along Mid-Atlantic coast as 2nd storm impacts West

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A coastal storm system is moving along the Mid-Atlantic coastline this morning, bringing several weather hazards on all sides of the system from the Gulf Coast through New England.Strong storms from the Florida panhandle through parts of the Carolinas will fizzle out as we continue through Saturday morning with several tornado…read more »

New Orleans city government hit with cyberattack

City of New Orleans(NEW ORLEANS) — The computer network that handles governmental operations for the city of New Orleans was shut down Friday by a cyberattack, city officials say.New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed a declaration of emergency for the city after a ransomware attack was detected by staffers at city hall Friday morning.The perpetrators…read more »

Starbucks apologizes after 2 sheriff’s deputies say servers ignored them

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Starbucks is in the spotlight again for alleged mistreatment of law enforcement officers.The Riverside County, California, sheriff’s department claims that two of its deputies were refused service at a Starbucks location on Thursday night.Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco tweeted late Friday, “The anti police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end.”The…read more »