• Survivors take part in the Survivors Lap during Opening Ceremonies of Relay for Life 2017

    (SALEM, IL) - The Salem Relay for Life came to a close early Saturday morning with a total of $43,150 raised.

    Several teams indicated they would do additional fund raising prior to the August 31st cutoff day to turn in money to try and get closer to the $70,000 goal.

    Lindsay DuBois feels the event was a success, with more than $13,000 raised during the relay itself Friday night.

    "We had great weather. We are so thankful for that. We had a really good turnout, even though we did have a threat of bad weather, which sometimes keeps people away," said DuBois. "We had a good number of survivors out here tonight and a lot of teams selling food."

    DuBois says even though the event fell short of goal, all money raised is important in the fight against cancer.

    There were an estimated 800 luminaria purchased in memory of those fighting cancer or who have lost their lives to cancer that were lit during the Luminaria Ceremony.

    Several special awards were handed out. North American Lighting Points of Light won for Best Campsite, Most Time on Track, and Best Float. Schutt Out Cancer won for best shirts. Salem Township Hospital was honored for being most energetic. Friends for Life won for Best Gordie and Best Costume matching the Wizard of Oz theme. The Walmart team won for most original Gordie.

    Other team awards will be announced at an upcoming wrap up meeting.

      • An 18-year-old Walnut Hill man was taken to the Marion County Jail after being arrested by Centralia Police Friday night for possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm with invalid FOID card. Police had been alerted to be on the look out for John Cluck of North Copple Lane after a gun was reportedly stolen in Jefferson County. During the traffic stop, Cluck allegedly admitted to having a .22 caliber weapon under the seat. Police recovered the gun and reportedly determined it had been stolen. Cluck was also arrested for improper display of license plates, no valid drivers license and no insurance.

        18-year-old Oslo White of East Saddler in Centralia was arrested by Centralia Police for alleged aggravated domestic battery. He was taken into custody after police were called to an altercation that had made its way into the roadway near the East McCord and Airport Road intersection on the east side of Centralia.

        24-year-old Donae Benton of North Maple in Centralia was arrested for domestic battery and criminal trespass to land. He allegedly got his hand inside the driver's side window of a car driven by Jaleena Poore of Rexford Street as she was trying to drive away from her home. Benton allegedly struck Poore and attempted to keep her from calling 911. Once she did, Benton left, but was taken into custody by Centralia Police a short time later.

        Two others have been returned to the Marion County Jail via prisoner transport service on outstanding felony failure to appear warrants. 25-year-old Lamar Bennett of East Kerr in Centralia is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond for failure to appear on an armed robbery case. 19-year-old Shawn Roemer of Fischer, Illinois is wanted for failure to appear on a petition to revoke his probation.

        Two people were arrested by State Police on DUI charges. 35-year-old Braden Jamison of South Campground Road in Carlyle posted $100 bond and was released for DUI. 19-year-old Dawson Thomas of Baker Street in Walnut Hill posted $100 bond and was released for driving under the influence of drugs and illegal consumption of liquor by a minor.

        44-year-old Robert Sherman of West 3rdin Flora posted $150 bond and was released after being arrested by sheriff's deputies for criminal trespass to property.

        59-year-old James Morlan of County Farm Road in Salem posted $500 bond and was released after being arrested by Sheriff's Deputies on a misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear on a possession of drug paraphernalia charge.

        Salem Police are investigating a motor vehicle burglary. Desiree Gensler of South College reported her car was entered and $300 stolen while parked in the 300 block of Indiana Street from 11 Thursday night until 10 Friday morning.

      • Fire damaged items in garage at 1201 Dover in Wamac.

        Centralia Fire Protection District officials say some contents of a garage were destroyed by fire early Saturday morning.

        Firemen responded to the James Robison home at 1201 Dover in Wamac and found a mattress and pile of clothing on fire. The fire was extinguished without incident.

        The mattress, box springs, miscellaneous clothing and a wooden shelf and television were destroyed in the fire.

        The call came in at 4:51 Saturday morning. Wamac Police assisted firemen at the scene.

        Outside of garage on James Robison property at 1201 Dover in Wamac following the fire.
      • SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials are asking the public to let trained and licensed experts handle fireworks as the Fourth of July holiday approaches.

        The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says anyone who buys, uses, transfers, stores or disposes of fireworks in Illinois must have an explosives license and explosives storage certificate that it issues. The department says anyone sponsoring fireworks displays in Illinois should make sure their vendors have the required state licenses and certificates.

        About 2,200 people are licensed to use explosives in Illinois, with about 1,000 are specifically licensed for fireworks displays.

        Violations can be felony crimes with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Hand-held fireworks, including firecrackers, roman candles and bottle rockets are not approved for sale or use in Illinois.

      • McLEAN, Ill. (AP) - Illinois health officials say they're seeing an increase in tick-borne illness among residents in the state.

        Department of Public Health entomologist Linn Haramis tells The Pantagraph that the state had about 40 confirmed cases in 2000. By 2010, the number increased to 200 confirmed cases. The provisional total for 2016 is nearly 350 cases.

        The number tick-borne illness cases isn't known precisely because the department only counts those confirmed by testing.

        Such tick-borne illnesses include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and Anaplasma Phagocytophilum.

        Illinois State University infectious disease researcher Ben Sadd says one reason for the uptick in such illnesses could be global warming. He says fewer ticks, and the small mammals they feed on, die during milder winters.