• Salem Police arrested a 21-year-old Flora woman for felony retail theft after she tried to leave the Salem Walmart Store without paying for a full cart of items.

    Police say a loss prevention specialist stopped McKinzie Wallace of East 12th Street and confirmed she had not paid for the items. Wallace stayed at the store until Salem Police arrived.

    The charge was a felony because the items in the cart were valued at $400.

    McKinzie was taken to the Marion County Jail awaiting a first appearance in court.

  • Fire has heavily damaged a rural Iuka home.

    Kell Fire Chief Lonnie McDaneld says fire had engulfed about half the John and Kathy Myers home at 354 Eblin Road upon their arrival Sunday night. While the other half of the home is still standing, it sustained heavy heat and smoke damage. The State Fire Marshals office has been called in to try and determine the cause of the fire.

    Kell Firemen received mutual aide from Orchardville, Iuka and Salem on the scene, while Centralia District firefighters stood by at the Kell Fire Station in the event of another fire. With the tankers and manpower from the other departments, McDaneld says have enough water to fight the fire never became an issue. There were no injuries.

    A neighbor first spotted the fire in the outside carport area and knocked on the doors of the home to try and alert anyone inside. The Myers were away, although they had been at the home about four hours before the fire was discovered and noticed nothing unusual.

    The fire call came in at 9:23 Sunday night, with the final firemen leaving the scene at 1:05 Monday morning.

  • House Speaker Michael Madigan

    After months of taking issue with Governor Rauner bringing non budget issues into the state's budget discussion, House Speaker Mike Madigan is now making some demands himself. He came forward with them at a meeting of the four legislative leaders during the current special session of the legislature.

    "Republican leaders are continuing to talk about off-budget issues. Which prompted me to tell them that I would add items to the off-budget list."

    Madigan wants Governor Bruce Rauner to sign a school funding reform plan that the Governor has said he'll veto. That's the bill that has been pushed by area school superintendents. Madigan also wants legislation passed that would regulate workers compensation insurance rates and force the Rauner Administration to abide by procurement regulations in advance of a large contract for Medicaid managed care services.

    House Minority Leader Jim Durkin accused Madigan of moving the goal posts and says there won't be further meetings of legislative leaders until there is a balanced budget plan from House Democrats. Madigan says that will be provided soon.

    Meanwhile, Illinois is on track to become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to "junk" status, which would deepen its multibillion-dollar deficit and cost taxpayers more for years to come.

    S&P Global Ratings has warned the agency will likely lower Illinois' creditworthiness to below investment grade if feuding lawmakers fail to agree on a state budget for a third straight year.

    That would increase the amount the state will have to pay to borrow money for things such as building roads or refinancing existing debt.

    The outlook for a deal isn't good as lawmakers meeting in Springfield for a special legislative session remained deadlocked with the July 1 start of the new fiscal year approaching.

    Ratings agencies already have lowered five universities to junk status.

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  • A 25-year-old homeless man who led Kinmundy Police on a foot chase when they attempted to stop him on an outstanding Kansas City warrant was apprehended after being tased twice.

    Police first used the taser after Saul Busanda refused to stop as he ran down an alley after being spotted near the IGA store. While the taser knocked him to the ground, Busanda allegedly fought being handcuffed and ran another 20 feet before giving up. Busanda was allegedly in possession of some narcotic pills.

    The charges on the no bond warrant from Kansas City include resisting arrested, aggravated battery to a police officer and possession of a controlled substance.

    Busanda remains in the Marion County Jail pending a first appearance in court.

  • Hester (left), Ghelby (middle), Shoemaker (right)

    Three people were taken into custody on Sunday by Marion County Sheriff's Deputies at their homes on methamphetamine related charges.

    The first to be arrested was 40-year-old Rebecca Shoemaker of County Farm Road in rural Kell. The arrest of 49-year-old William Shelby of the Lakewood Motel in Salem followed. The final arrest was 47-year-old Bryan Hester of North Hotze Road in Salem. All three were charged with possession of under five grams of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Shoemaker and Hester were also charged with meth conspiracy.

    This was Shoemaker's second arrest of the weekend. She was also arrested during a Saturday evening traffic stop in Centralia where she was given a notice to appear for possession of drug paraphernalia.