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It looks like the new Centralia High School Football Field is going to stay within the district's $2 million budget. The school board approved a bid of $1,080,000 from the lowest of seven bidders, the Evrard-Strang company of Marion, to construct the Concession, Restroom, and Locker Room Building at the new Evers Field.

Superintendent Chuck Lane says that the number came as a huge relief, as administration and architect estimates came in at several hundred thousand dollars higher.

"I had said at $1.2 [million] it would have been really tight, so at $1 million and 80 thousand...we're really happy about that.  The architect estimated $1.4 million. We did our due diligence to design something that would keep it within budget" said Lane.

With the prices for lighting coming in at $215,000 and bleacher prices around $565,000, the district is expecting their costs to stay under $2 million. However, the board agreed not to add anything extra to the construction at this time.

In other action, the board hired Jesse Gray as an extraordinary aide to assist a student with disabilities.


A 29-year-old Dix man allegedly fought with Centralia Police Wednesday night trying to arrest him in connection with a fraud case.

Jeremy Smith ended up being taken into custody for resisting arrest, aggravated battery to a police officer, possession with intent to deliver heroin, and on the original fraud charge.  

Police initially made a traffic stop on a car where they believed Smith was a passenger.  When they approached the passenger window, Smith allegedly began moving around in his seat raising safety concerns.  After he was told he was under arrest for home repair fraud, police say Smith unsuccessfully tried to pull away and run. During the altercation, one of the Centralia Police officers sustained a finger injury, leading to the aggravated battery charge.   

An inventory of the vehicle allegedly turned up a plastic baggie with three three rocks that field tested as heroin.  Because the amount totaled 1.4 grams or about 14 doses, Smith was charged with the intent to deliver.  

The original fraud case stems back to July 29th, where Smith allegedly asked for a $550 check when just starting a tree trimming job and then never returned as promised.


Salem Township Hospital has received an award from the American Red Cross for sponsoring blood drives in Salem.  Tammy Lampe with the Red Cross made the presentation at Wednesday's Community Blood Drive at the Salem Community Activity Center.

"In 2013 they collected 665 units of blood, each unit could possibly save three lives. So they potentially helped save almost 2000 lives in 2013" said Lampe.

Salem Township Hospital President Stephanie Hilton-Seibert says the work of the Red Cross is important.

"We are face to face with the people who truly need this blood" said Hilton-Seibert, "It's important to support this mission in any way we can."

Red Cross officials say the overall supply of blood in the St. Louis Region has been holding steady with no shortages. 


A 20-year-old Dix man formerly from Salem who arrested last May for conspiring to hack into several government computers, including the U.S. Navy's "Smart Web Move" (SWM) database was sentenced Wednesday to time in a federal prison.

Daniel Trenton Krueger has been sentenced to 24 months in prison and has been ordered to pay his share of $509,464 in restitution to the U.S. Government.  He was a student at Kaskaskia College when the hacking occurred.  

Krueger's co-conspirator, 27-year-old Nicholas Paul Knight of Chantilly, VA has entered a guilty plea in the case and has been set for sentencing on November 21st. The cases are being prosecuted in U.S. District Court at Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the Navy's SWM computer system is housed.

U.S. Attorney Danny Williams called cyber crime one of the most serious national security challenges we face as a nation, and it is one of the Department of Justice's highest priorities. "We will vigorously investigate and prosecute cyber crimes. I commend the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service for their quick actions to identify and investigate the computer intrusions," said Williams.

In pleading guilty, Krueger admitted he hacked into the Navy's SWM computer that stored personal information for over 200,000 service members and sent the information to his co-defendant, Nicholas Knight.

Krueger also admitted that he hacked into at least one National Geospatial Intelligence Agency computer and downloaded information for more than ten databases.

Victims of the conspiracy included the following organizations: 
• U.S. Navy 
• U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency 
• U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
• MobiTv 
• Autotrader.com 
• Harvard University 
• Johns Hopkins University 
• Kawasaki 
• Library of Congress 
• Los Alamos National Laboratory 
• Louisville University 
• MeTV Network 
• Montgomery Police Department (Alabama) 
• Peruvian Ambassador’s email (in Bolivia) 
• San Jose State University 
• Stanford University 
• Toronto Police Service (Canada) 
• Ultimate Car Page 
• University of Alabama 
• University of British Columbia (Canada) 
• University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
• World Health Organization 

Knight and Krueger have been free on a $250,000 personal recognizance bond since their arrest last spring.


Unemployment numbers fell during the month of September in Marion County to around 8.2%, a decrease of over a full percentage point from August, where unemployment stood at 9.5%.

Labor Market Economist Dennis Hoffman contributes the drop to a number of factors.

"Some of the factors that occur in September and October that help the unemployment rate decline, is the continuation of the construction season and the return to school from the students. So some of the students have left the job market. The retail trade is gearing up during the fall [as well]" said Hoffman.

Unemployment numbers count only those who are both unemployed and actively seeking employment. Unemployment in the county was at 11% a year ago.

Elsewhere in the listening area, the story was the same. Clay County unemployment rate stood at at 8.6%, down from 10.3% a year ago. Clinton County unemployment stood at 4.9%, down from 6.4% a year ago. Washington County unemployment was at 4.7%, down from 6.2% a year ago. Jefferson County clocked in at 6.4% from 8.7% in 2013. Wayne County stood at 6.6%, down from 8.2% a year ago. 




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