• The CSX Railroad is once again using its tracks along U.S. 50 through Clinton and Marion Counties. However, the use is only temporarily as they move rail cars for storage.

    The trains showed up in Marion County early last week in the Iuka area and on Saturday a train moved through the Metro-East to the Shattuc area.

    O'Fallon Police report they have been told the use of the tracks could continue for the next few weeks, with a train about every other day. Police were told CSX personnel were manually stopping traffic at each crossing and the trains were moving at a slow speed. Flares were also reported out at many of the crossings during the train movement.

    The regular crossing lights have all been turned sideways to indicate the tracks have been taken out of service.

  • A large tree falls across Route 37 at Jefferson Street in Kinmundy, blocking the road for travel until the tree could be cut up.
    Photo by Delyn White Stanley

    Kinmundy appears to have taken the brunt of the storm damage early Saturday night when a line of severe thunderstorms crossed South Central Illinois.

    Kinmundy Police Chief Cory Parker says there are numerous downed trees and tree limbs, some of which brought down power lines and transformers. Power was off for about three hours. Parker reports trees or large limbs also came down on a few homes and one large tree was down across two cars on South Madison Street.

    Parker says Ameren crews along with the Kinmundy-Alma Fire Department are currently working to clear tree limbs, open streets, and restore power. Route 37 at Jefferson Street has been reopened.

    Ameren reported 964 without power in Marion County, all in the Kinmundy, Alma, and northeast Marion County area.

    While there is no exact measurement of how strong the winds were on the front of the storm, Parker described them as 'brutal'. He says the severe storm activity lasted for 15 to 20 minutes before letting up. Parker reports no injuries.

    Salem Police report the only damage report they received was a downed tree across Airport Road near the Salem Aire Apartments. It has been cleared from the roadway.

    There were also some large trees down in Carlyle that resulted in power outages.

    If you have pictures or more information on the damage, please e-mail the information to news@wjbdradio.com. Make sure to include the location, extent of the damage, and your name for photo credit. We appreciate your help.

    Large tree brings down power lines on Washington Street in Kinmundy
    Photo by Paula Cox Armstrong
  • Jacob Arter

    A 17-year-old Clinton County male juvenile has been charged in Clinton County Juvenile Court with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of an 18-year-old Breese man at a party in rural Germantown last Sunday morning.

    The juvenile indicated during his first court appearance that he understood the charges he faced as a result of the death of 18-year-old Jacob Arter. The Breese Central Senior was just a month from graduation.

    Associate Judge Ericka Sanders ordered the juvenile to remain in custody for now. He has been held in juvenile detention since his arrest the day after Arter's death. A hearing will be held next week to determine if the juvenile should have an opportunity to be released after the probation department accesses his home situation.

    The decision came despite arguments from the juvenile's attorney C.J. Baricevic of Belleville. The Belleville News-Democrat said Baricevic argued to the court the boy is not a danger to himself, to others, or a flight risk. The boy's mother also told the court she could supervise her son at home.

    Special prosecutor David Rands argued that the juvenile should remain in custody because of the very serious nature of the offense and that a child had lost his life.

    Judge Sanders also ordered that the juvenile's name not be disclosed.

    Clinton County Sheriff's Department Detective Scott Voss took the stand during the hearing and explained the juvenile and Arter had been involved in an 'altercation' at the clubhouse earlier in the evening where the juvenile had taken a knife from Arter's pocket and threw it.

    About an hour and a half later, the juvenile reportedly punched Arter in the head after a brief conversation. Accounts varied if Arter was hit just once or multiple times.

    Voss said a forensic pathologist found Arter died of blunt-force trauma to the head.

    The Belleville News-Democrat reported the mother testified the boy attended an alternative school because of poor grades and not because of behavioral issues.

    Rands was appointed a special prosecutor because Clinton County State's Attorney John Hudspeth is related to the juvenile in custody.

  • A 33-year-old Sandoval man is being held in the Marion County Jail for alleged aggravated battery and disorderly conduct. Daniel Hammer of West Virginia Street was arrested by Sandoval Police. No other details are yet available.

    A 28-year-old Salem man was arrested by Odin Police for criminal damage to property and criminal trespass to a residence. Joseph Walls of West Main is accused of breaking in the door of a former girlfriend's home and screaming about the location of a gun. Police say Walls did leave when asked to do so. He was later located by police and arrested.

    35-year-old Anthony Strain of Boles Street in Alma posted $150 and was released after being arrested by Alma Police for driving on a suspended license.

  • CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge has ruled a lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Corrections alleging inadequate health care in prisons may cover all inmates with serious medical needs in every state facility.

    The Friday ruling by U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso means thousands of inmates could be affected by the class-action lawsuit.

    Camille Bennett is a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which represents the inmates who sued. She says Illinois' system for providing health care in prison is "broken" and the ruling means "the solutions must be systemic."

    A 2015 report by court-approved researchers following visits to Illinois prisons found treatment delays, haphazard follow-up care and other serious problems.

    IDOC argued the report provided an incomplete picture of the comprehensive medical system in place.