• Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Circuit Judge David K. Overstreet of the Second Judicial Circuit has been assigned as an Appellate Court Justice in the Fifth District Appellate Court.

    Judge Overstreet of Mt. Vernon was unanimously assigned to fill the vacancy created when Justice James R. Moore, who previously held the assignment, was elected to the Fifth District Appellate Court in the November 2016 general election.

    The assignment of Judge Overstreet takes effect next Monday and will remain in effect until further order of the court.

    Judge Overstreet says it has been an honor to serve the public as a circuit judge in the Second Judicial Circuit for the past almost 10 years. He looks forward to the challenge of serving the public on the Appellate Court and says he is humbled by this wonderful opportunity.

    Judge Overstreet has served on the bench since 2007 when he was unanimously appointed by the Supreme Court as a Circuit Judge in the Second Judicial District. He was subsequently elected to the position in 2008 and retained by voters in 2014. Prior to his judicial career, Judge Overstreet served as a partner at the Mt. Vernon law firm Neubauer & Overstreet.

    Chief Justice Karmeier noted throughout his nearly ten-year tenure on the bench, Judge Overstreet has exhibited precisely the type of temperament, wisdom and strong work ethic we hope all our judges will demonstrate. Karmeier says Overstreet has done an outstanding job on the circuit bench. As the Supreme Court's unanimous assignment order reflects, the Court has every confidence that he will continue to distinguish himself as a member of the appellate court.

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  • KAMPSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Firefighters in southwestern Illinois have been battling a wildfire for more than a week that has burned about 1,300 acres.

    North Calhoun Fire Protection District Fire Chief Gary Hall says dry conditions and high winds have continued to spark the fire. The (Alton) Telegraph reports the wildfire flared for a fourth time on Sunday. It apparently started Feb. 12 when a resident lost control of a leaf fire.

    Hall says his firefighters have spent at least 30 hours working on the wildfire. He says there have been challenges because the fire is located about a mile from any roads and there is rough terrain. Hall says up to 30 firefighters were on the scene at once.

    A burn ban remains in effect for Calhoun County, which is north of St. Louis.

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  • Salem Community High School has set meetings for parents of current eighth graders who will be attending high school next year.

    Students at Franklin Park with last names A-H, Selmaville, and Raccoon should meet from 5:30 to 6:30 pm Wednesday night. Franklin Park students with last names I-Z along with Iuka, Kell, St. Theresa, and Apostolic Christian Academy should attend the meeting from 7 to 8 pm Wednesday night.

    Both meetings will be held in the SCHS cafeteria. You should enter through door #16.

    If you have any questions, you can contact Mrs. Kessler at 548-0727.

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  • Harrion Hawkins and Scott Conner

    Marion County Sheriff's Deputies arrested both occupants of a car following a Monday afternoon traffic stop on the northwest side of Centralia.

    The driver, 20-year-old Harrion Hawkins of North Maple, and the passenger, 46-year-old Scott Conner of West Locust in Salem were both arrested for possession of heroin.

    Sheriff's Deputies say they found two baggies of what field tested as heroin in a soda can that Conner was holding as he exited the car. Nothing was immediately found on Hawkins, but police became suspicious with his amount of movement in the back seat while being transported to the county jail. After he got out of the car, deputies found two baggies similar to those in the soda can laying on the floor of the squad car. They also tested positive for heroin.

    In addition to the drug charge, Hawkins was charged with driving without a license.

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  • Jacob Cranford

    Centralia Police have arrested a 20-year-old Centralia man who allegedly attacked a woman giving him a ride when she refused to drive him to a west side fast food restaurant.

    Jacob Cranford of Lakewood Drive is being held in the Marion County Jail for domestic battery and criminal damage to property.

    Centralia Police report Cranford and three others were in Christine Witthaus' car when Cranford asked to be driven to the west side. After she said 'no', Cranford allegedly began choking Witthaus and punched her in the head.

    At that point, Witthaus pulled over and told Cranford to get out. Once he was outside, Cranford is accused of kicking the car causing a dent.