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Employee of Centralia Correctional Center tests positive for COVID-19

One employee at the Centralia Correctional Center has tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

The Illinois Department of Corrections reports the facility was immediately placed on medical quarantine with increased movement restrictions.

Spokesperson Lindsey Hess says the Illinois Department of Corrections remains deliberate and aggressive in its response to COVID-19.  All staff and inmates are equipped with personal protective equipment and have access to antibacterial soap, and sanitizer and cleaning supplies.

The department continues to work closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Emergency Management Agency to ensure we are following all guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control.

Visitation has been suspended at all Illinois prisons since March 14th.   All prisons have been on administrative quarantine with restricted movement since March 20th.

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Salem man leads Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies on lengthy high speed chase

A 25-year-old Salem man is being held in the Marion County Jail on multiple charges after leading sheriff’s deputies on a three-county long chase Sunday afternoon.

John Phillips of Lynnwood Drive was eventually apprehended when attempting to flee on foot when his car ran out of gas and drove into a field on U.S. 51 near Irvington. He’s being held in the Marion County Jail for aggravated fleeing and eluding, possession of methamphetamine, criminal damage to state-supported property, and reckless driving.

The chase began after Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies were asked to assist Salem Police in locating Phillips in connection with a possible drug deal that had just taken place. While on the way there, Phillips reportedly nearly hit a deputy’s vehicle and the chase began.

The chase proceeded down Hardacre Road to Route 37, to Boone Street, to North Lincoln, Warmoth, and College Street. Deputies say Phillips then proceeded down the South College Street Extension to Church Road, back to Route 37 to Route 161 and southbound on I-57. He reportedly struck several of the construction barriers before getting off at the Dix-Irvington Road, turning back onto I-57 to Illinois Route 15 in Mt. Vernon, then west on Route 15 to Ashley.

Phillips then reportedly entered the exit ramp to I-64 and briefly headed westbound in the eastbound lane before doing a U-turn and heading back east. The chase then went back on northbound U.S. 51 where Phillips reportedly went the wrong way up an entrance ramp to the Dix-Irvington Road. He then allegedly reentered going northbound in the southbound lane of US 51 when he ran out of gas, drove into a field, and attempted to run on foot. Deputies say Phillips was able to run about 70 yards in the field before being taken to the ground and into custody.

A small amount of methamphetamine was reportedly found in the vehicle once the chase concluded.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies, Mt. Vernon Police, Wamac Police, and Centralia Police assisted at times during the chase.

The sheriff’s department reports Phillips had just been released on $25,000 personal recognizance bond from the Marion County Jail on July 28th after being charged with possession of methamphetamine. He was also wanted on an Illinois Department of Corrections warrant.

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SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital honored with two awards

SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Centralia has been named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list.  The award recognizes the hospital’s ongoing commitment to keep patients safe by lowering infections and streamlining processes that focus on putting patient care first.

SSM Health President Damon Harbison says the award recognizes their team’s daily dedication to their patients and is proof that their commitment to clinical excellence provides the community with a hospital that is dedicated to offering top-quality care.

SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital also recently received the honor of a 5-Star Rating in Overall Hospital Quality. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers understand the quality and safety standards of their health care options.

Salem City Hall

Salem City Council to consider new union contracts and name for historical museum

The Salem City Council Monday night will consider ratification of new three- year contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police at the Salem Police Department and the Engineers and Operators Union which represents Public Works employees.

The council will hear from the Chair of the Salem Historical Commission Luke Purcell on progress in opening the historical museum in the 100 block of South Broadway. He’s also recommending the museum be named the Salem Area Historical Museum.

A proposal will come before the city council to purchase new drive-by and handheld meter reading equipment for city utilities from United Systems. The total cost of the two computers, software, and training is $23,460.

The council will be asked to approve $11,770 in additional work completed by J.K. Trotter and Sons, Inc. on sewer blockages that occurred at Shelby and Oglesby and Bennett and Hamilton Streets. There was also additional work needed on piping near East Main Street.

The council will be updated on damage from an electric transformer that malfunctioned due to a July 19th electrical storm that resulted in damage to equipment at both the wastewater treatment plant and Salem Aquatic Center.

The meeting begins at six Monday night at Salem City Hall.

Wilmington-Dalton 8-2-20 mugshots

Two Centralia men in custody following weekend chase

Left to right:  Pierre Wilmington and Kenneth Dalton, Junior.  Marion County Sheriff’s Department booking photos.

Wamac Police have arrested two men on multiple charges following an early Saturday morning chase through the Centralia and Wamac area.

37-year-old Pierre Wilmington of Hickory Ridge Drive in Centralia is being held in the Marion County Jail for armed habitual criminal, aggravated fleeing, unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, and unlawful use of a weapon.

33-year-old Kenneth Dalton, Junior of Franklin Street in Centralia is being held for armed habitual criminal and illegal possession of ammunition.

No other details are yet available from Wamac Police.

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Central City man arrested after firing gun during domestic dispute   

A 32-year-old Central City man is being held in the Marion County Jail on multiple charges following a domestic disturbance where he allegedly went outside and fired a gun in the air.

Central City Police say Joshua Wood of North Morrison was eventually arrested for reckless discharge of a weapon, unlawful interference with a 911 call, aggravated domestic battery and resisting arrest.

Wood was allegedly involved in an argument with his girlfriend shortly before four Sunday morning when he went outside and fired the gun in the backyard.   His girlfriend used the opportunity to escape the home following what was estimated as a two-hour altercation to call for help.

When police arrived, Wood briefly stayed in the home before stepping outside without a gun.   As he was being handcuffed, Wood allegedly pulled away and struggled resulting in the resisting arrest charge.    Police say there was no indication the gunshot hit anything.

Wood was charged with interference with a 911 call for allegedly earlier breaking his girlfriend’s phone preventing her from calling for help.

Police report considerable damage to the home during the altercation.

National News

3 hot air balloons crash in Wyoming, injuring up to 20 people

iStock/MotortionBy: MEREDITH DELISO and LISA SIVERTSEN, ABC News (NEW YORK) — As many as 20 people were injured when three hot air balloons crashed in Wyoming Monday morning.According to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, each balloon “landed hard under unknown circumstances” shortly after 8 a.m. local time in Teton Village, near Jackson in western Wyoming.Teton…read more »

Judge drops one injunction against Robert E. Lee statue removal

iStock/niratBy: IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News (RICHMOND, Va.) — The legal battle over the future of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia, had two major developments on Monday.Judge W. Reilly Merchant dismissed a case filed by one resident who is blocking Gov. Ralph Northam’s June 4 order to remove the statue from Monument Avenue.…read more »

Tropical Storm Isaias expected to strengthen to hurricane, heads to Carolinas

ABC NewsBy EMILY SHAPIRO, MELISSA GRIFFIN and DANIEL MANZO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches northeastern South Carolina and southern North Carolina on Monday.Hurricane warnings have been issued for parts of the Carolinas and tropical storm alerts stretch from Florida to New…read more »

27-day-old elephant with developmental impairments dies at St. Louis Zoo

filo/iStockBy JON HAWORTH, ABC News(ST. LOUIS) — Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.A 27-day-old elephant with developmental impairments that limited his ability to feed since he was born has died at the St. Louis Zoo.The male Asian elephant calf named Avi was born to his mother, named Rani, on July 6 but after…read more »