Evidence of jail break allowed in Shock’s Monday murder trial

HAMILTON COUNTY — The jury trial of a 24-year-old McLeansboro man accused of the 2016 shooting death of 45-year-old James Burkel of Salem will begin Monday. Zachary Shock was arrested in Fairfield after he allegedly fled from his mother’s home in McLeansboro where he’s alleged to have shot and killed Burkel. Shock has been held…Read more…

Odin man sentenced in baseball bat beating case

MARION COUNTY — A 32-year-old Odin man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Marion County court to beating a Salem man with an aluminum baseball bat. Sean Gaul was originally charged with Class X felony home invasion and Class 3 aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to the lesser charge and was sentenced…Read more…

Illinois State Fair vendors see drop in attendance, sales

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Attendance and sales at the Illinois State Fair declined from last year, vendors said. Vendors also said the mostly favorable weather didn’t help boost sales for the fair that’s seen a downward trend over the past decade, The State Journal-Register reported. “We’ve had our busy nights, don’t get me wrong,” said Kelsie Vose,…Read more…

Storm forces Army helicopters to land in St. Louis area

FESTUS, Mo. (AP) — A U.S. Army helicopter was forced by bad weather to make an emergency landing at a restaurant parking lot near St. Louis. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports it was one of four CH-47 Chinook flying from California to Connecticut that landed briefly in the St. Louis area Monday afternoon because of low visibility.…Read more…

Central Illinois man sentenced in synthetic drugs case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a central Illinois man to five years in prison for possession with intent to distribute synthetic cannabinoids, known as Spice and K2. The U.S. attorney’s office says the judge in Springfield sentenced 37-year-old Noman Hizam on Monday. He pleaded guilty in March. K2 and Spice are…Read more…

Priests accused of sexual misconduct moving away from school

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet announced Monday that two retired priests accused of sexual misconduct will be out of a suburban Chicago retirement facility that is adjacent to a junior high school by midweek. The Revs. James Nowak, 81, and Richard Jacklin, 67, reside at the St. John Vianney Villa…Read more…

Law allows Medicaid flexibility for ‘medically fragile’ kids

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law that gives families of extremely ill children more flexibility in health care. The Republican’s action Monday affects children considered “medically fragile, technology dependent .” The law means that their expensive, highly technical care which is covered by Medicaid is exempt from managed-care organizations. The state…Read more…

Mt. Vernon businessman killed in weekend stock car race

FLORA — A 53-year-old Mt. Vernon business owner was killed over the weekend in a stock car accident at the Route 45 Speedway in rural Flora. Don Lamacchia was killed the second night if the new season. Witnesses said a car in front of Lamacchia’s flipped in the air; he tried to avoid it and…Read more…

Bail set at $200k for Wamac man accused of child sex offenses

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Bail has been set at $200,000 for a 69-year-old Wamac man charged with multiple felony child sex offenses. Court records indicate Henry Michael Wolenhaupt was arrested Thursday by Wamac police. Wolenhaupt was charged Friday in Washington County court with two counts Class 1 criminal sexual assault of a family member under the…Read more…

Centralia election petitions soon available for 2019 mayor, council seats

CENTRALIA — The City of Centralia is reminding voters of consolidated elections in April that will select a Mayor and two city council members. Petition forms and information will be available in the City Clerk’s office beginning August 28, 2018. This election will be for the seats currently held by Mayor Tom Ashby, and Council…Read more…

Sentencing delayed in Wheatly embezzlement case

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Sentencing has been continued until November for a 56-year-old former Jefferson County school administrator convicted of embezzlement. In July a Jefferson County jury found Sabrina Wheatley guilty on all counts of stealing more than $300,000 from Webber Township School District in Bluford. Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office prosecuted Wheatley on the charges…Read more…

Jefferson County murder trial set to begin

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning in Jefferson County court in the 2017 first-degree murder case against a 19-year-old Mt. Vernon man. Roderick S. Oats Jr., is facing three counts first degree murder for the July 2017 shooting death of Carlos Johnson. Mt. Vernon police responded in the early morning…Read more…

Rauner rejects expanded union benefits for paramedics, EMTs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that would expand benefits and collective bargaining rights for city paramedics and emergency medical technicians. The Republican took the action Sunday on plans that would define paramedics and EMTs as “firefighters” for purposes of union bargaining and benefits for injuries or death . Rauner has sought to limit unions’…Read more…