Local News

Nicole Voss mugshot

Beckemeyer woman gets five year prison term for allegedly running over 2-year-old son 

A 38-year-old Beckemeyer woman was sentenced to five years in prison in Clinton County Court for aggravated DUI involving an accidental death.

Nicole Voss was charged with running over two-year-old Jenson Voss in August of 2017 in the driveway of a home in Keyesport.   The charge maintained she had meth in her system at the time.

Voss also pleaded guilty to three other charges and received concurrent jail time.   She received three years for possession less than five grams of methamphetamine, three years for driving on a revoked or suspended license, and 364 days in the Clinton County Jail for criminal damage under $500.

Four other aggravated DUI charges, as well as a count of reckless homicide and possession of drug paraphernalia, were dropped.

Clinton County Sheriff’s Officials say the two-year-old apparently climbed out of the vehicle to try and retrieve a toy while his mother was preparing to leave and was struck her son.

A witness told deputies Voss didn’t immediately go to aid her child, but instead went back to her vehicle and retrieved and then hid a plastic bag.

Aaron Thomas mugshot

Mt. Vernon man gets 24-year prison term on child pornography charges   

A 66-year-old Mt. Vernon has been sentenced to 24-years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of child pornography involving a child less than 13 years old.

Aaron Thomas had 16 other counts of child pornography involving a child under 13 were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Thomas was arrested in July 2018 shortly after a search warrant was executed on his home by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and a computer and related items showed the evidence of the child pornography.

Thomas received six years on each of the four charges he pleaded guilty, with all the time to be served consecutively for a total 24-year prison term.


7 school districts get grants to prepare, retain teachers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Seven Illinois school districts have received state grants to promote teacher preparation and retention.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced Educator Effectiveness grants totaling $1 million on Tuesday.

Four districts will receive grants encouraging leadership roles for new teachers to promote retention. Bunker Hill School District 8 and Altamont District 10 will receive $75,000 each. Calumet District 132 in Calumet Park and Township High School District 214 in Arlington Heights will receive $50,000 apiece.

Three districts working with universities to ensure teacher preparation get $50,000 grants. North Chicago District 187 will work with National Louis University; Woodstock District 200 with Aurora University; and the Chicago Public Schools with Roosevelt University.

Implementation grants of $200,000 are available in the second year for these districts.


Educator Effectiveness Grants: https://bit.ly/2WR9qPU

Marion County Courthouse

Marion County property tax bills in the mail

Marion County Treasurer Gary Purcell has announced the 2019 real estate tax bills are in the mail.

The total of the bills this year is up nearly $1-million dollars over last year. This year’s bills total $39,342,038 compared to $38,375,639 last year. While the amount of taxes to be collected is up, the actual number of bills are down 295 to 34,581. There were $3.8-million dollars in new property added to the tax roles for this year’s bills.

The due dates this year are July 26th for the first installment and September 26th for the second installment.

Payments can be made by mail, at local banks, and credit unions or the drop box on the west side of the courthouse. If you are paying using online bill pay from your checking account, please include property number with your payment. Credit card payments can be made at Marionil.devnetwedge.com under the county’s pay taxes tab. The treasurer’s office at the courthouse is open from eight am to four pm Monday through Friday to receive payments.

The printing process has changed and if you own more than one piece of property and have the same name and address on the bills you will receive multiple bills in the same envelope. With this process, the treasurer’s office was able to reduce the number of pieces of mail by 40-percent and saving just under $7,000 in postage fees.

If for some reason you do not receive your bill, you may call the treasurer’s office at 548-3858.

Marion County Jail

Police Beat for Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

A 32-year-old Centralia man has been arrested for aggravated battery after allegedly beating up another Centralia man in the 600 block of West Noleman in Centralia Tuesday morning. Centralia Police say Jacob Williamson of Park Forest Drive was taken to the Clinton County Jail at Carlyle. The victim was taken to SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia and was later released.

A 43-year-old Edwardport, Indiana man was arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies for driving under the influence and child endangerment. The deputy initially had stopped to help Brian Mitchen after his car was found parked with the lights out on Hotze Road at the West Main intersection. He reportedly told the deputy he had run out of gas, but upon further investigation deputies determined he was under the influence. The child endangerment charge was added because he had a small child inside the vehicle.

53-year-old Frank Goff of North Broadway in Salem was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for alleged domestic battery and violation of an order of protection. He was arrested as a result of an altercation at a home on Cartter Lane with a person who had an order of protection against him.

30-year-old Sara Wilson of State Route 37 in Kell was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for misdemeanor theft as part of an on-going investigation. She was released after posting $150 bond.

Relay for Life

Centralia Relay for Life $12,200 shy of goal following bank night

The Centralia Relay for Life is entering Friday night’s event at Fairview Park having to raise only $12,200 more to reach their goal.

Community Development Manager Olivia Magerchin provided the update at Bank Night held at People’s National Bank Tuesday night.

“Before we started turning in money tonight we were at a little over $25,000 towards our $54,000 goal.  And so far tonight we’ve already turned over $16,800 so as of right now we are only about $12,200 left before we reach our goal which is really exciting.”

Magerchin says only eight of the 15 teams had turned in money by the close of bank night.

The Relay will be held from five to 10 this Friday in Fairview Park, with the opening ceremony featuring cancer survivors and caregivers at six pm. Teams will have various fundraising activities. The lighting of the luminaria will be another highlight at nine Friday evening.

National News

Feds arrest Syrian refugee accused of plotting terrorist attack on Pittsburgh church

vmargineanu/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Justice announced the arrest of a Syrian refugee on Wednesday in connection with an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack on a Christian church in Pittsburgh.Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, was accused by federal prosecutors in court documents filed on Wednesday of planning to attack a church on the north side of Pittsburgh,…read more »

NXIVM founder Keith Raniere convicted of all charges in sex cult case

ABC News(NEW YORK) — NXIVM’s founder Keith Raniere was convicted on Wednesday on all seven counts against him, for creating what prosecutors described as a sex cult in which female members were branded with his initials and kept in line through blackmail.Raniere, 58, was convicted after a six-week trial of charges including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy,…read more »

Heavy rain brings flash flooding threat for Midwest, Northeast

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Heavy rain has fallen over much of the eastern half of the country the last few days, a pattern that will continue on Wednesday. Since the weekend, 5 to 10 inches of rain has prompted widespread flooding issues over an area stretching from the Central Plains through the Ohio River Valley.…read more »

Rare wave-shaped clouds hovering over Virginia skyline caught on camera

FILE photo – Richard Heath/iStock(ROANOKE, Va.) — A Virginia resident captured a rare cloud formation hovering over the skyline near her home.Amy Christie Hunter posted a photo of the wave-shaped clouds to Facebook on Tuesday evening. In the image, they can be seen rolling over Smith Mountain near Roanoke.The formation is known as the Kelvin-Helmholtz…read more »