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Three people were injured in a two vehicle crash at Illinois and Spruce Street in Salem Friday morning.  

Salem Police say a pickup truck driven by 26-year-old Zachary Bass of Tulsa Street pulled from the stop sign at West Spruce and struck the front driver's side fender of a van traveling north on Illinois Street driven by 31-year-old Miranda Smith of East Third in Centralia.  

Smith and two children in the van, 14-year-old Kylie Helm and 10-year-old Gavin Johnson of East Third in Centralia, all were taken to Salem Township Hospital for treatment of injuries.  Bass was not hurt.

Bass was ticketed for failure to yield at a stop intersection.  Smith was ticketed for failure to have a child secure in a seatbelt.   

The crash occurred at 7:59 Friday morning.


The Marion County Board's Building Committee has voted to recommend reconstruction work in the Public Service Building to allow for the probation department to consolidate all on the main floor.  That's something the Administrative Director of the probation department Renee Pride feels is key to the department.

"We are going to have seven staff members on the east side of the building now.   We will have six probation officers located over there.  For security purposes, we will all be located on the first floor," said Pride. 

But not all the walls are in the right place.   The committee is recommending DePew and Owen of Centralia be paid $26,0000 to make the improvements.  

"The offices that the ROE (Regional Office of Education) had were not all inclusive.  For safety reasons, we need to take down some of those temporary walls and add some additional structure to there to create four more offices for officers to be located," said Pride.  "We are also going to include a training and group room so we can be running some of our cognitive behaviorial groups in those rooms and any type of training we have for the officers or any of the offenders that come in.  That would be very useful."

Pride says probation fees can be used to complete more than $13,000 of the cost, with the county funds needed to pay for the other $12,735.   She hopes the work can be completed over the next 45 days.   

Building Committee Chair Dr. Creighton Inkle admits its hard to spend the money in such a tight budget year when state funding is uncertain, but feels the work needs to be completed.   The move will also give the county five downstairs offices that can be used for much needed storage.   The changes follow the decision of the Regional Superintendent of Schools office which moved out after being told they would have to relocate to the basement.  

The full county board will vote on the proposal at its meeting next Tuesday night. 


The Illinois Department of Transportation and Amtrak have announced they have reached an agreement to keep existing service levels on state-supported routes at a savings to taxpayers and without having to raise fares on the downstate Illinois Routes.  

Under the plan, two daily round trips will remain in place on the Chicago to Carbondale line that stops in Centralia and Effingham.  Two daily round trips will also remain between Chicago and Quincy and four daily round trips between Chicago and St. Louis.  

To keep the schedule in place for the rest of the fiscal year that ends June 30th, IDOT negotiated the use of credits to lower its annual payments to Amtrak.  The credits cover previous equipment upgrades IDOT paid for on Amtrak's behalf as well as earlier state investments to establish onboard Wi-FI service.  The state also negotiated a $2.7-million reduction from Amtrak's original request for equipment maintenance for the year. 


NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has announced proposals he says would help shrink Illinois government and its costs. The proposals include legislation allowing voters to decide whether to dissolve units of local government.

The Republican publicized four bills Friday in Naperville. Officials there are considering merging road-maintenance services with a township.

Three bills are aimed at making township consolidation easier with specific plans for Evanston and DuPage County. The other allows voters to petition for a referendum.

Rauner says the proposals are a step toward "reducing layers of redundant bureaucracy" for Illinois' roughly 7,000 government units.

The legislation stems from a task force led by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti that offered dozens of recommendations, including some reflecting the first-term governor'The bills include: HB4968 and HB4967.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has rejected legislation to reopen the Illinois State Museum, but says it may operate again if the museum can find its own funding through entry fees, donations and partnerships.

The Republican governor used his veto powers Friday to suggest the changes to a bipartisan bill he's had since December.

Rauner closed the museum in Springfield and its satellite locations, including one in Chicago, on Oct. 1 because the state doesn't have a budget.

Rauner said in the veto letter to lawmakers that the museum should charge entrance fees and get funding from private and public parties that want to support its mission.

The state was spending $6 million annually on the museum.

Lawmakers must approve Rauner's changes. With enough votes they also could override his veto.





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