• A semi crashed into traffic slowed for bridge construction on southbound I-64 near Mt. Vernon just before noon Friday, setting off an eight-vehicle crash that resulted in minor injuries to two people. The cleanup closed southbound traffic on I-57 for two and a half hours.

    State Police say 61-year-old Eulalio Alvarez of Edcouch, Texas was in the center of three lanes when it swerved to the right to avoiding hitting another semi in the rear. Instead, he hit a car driven by 73-year-old Billy Olden of Kinmundy, who escaped injury.

    The crash caused the hood of Alvarez's truck to fly upward and block his view. Disoriented, Alvarez swerved left and struck the right corner of the semi in the center lane of travel. After passing the semi, Alvarez went on to hit five other vehicles.

    The only two people injured were driver 49-year-old Lavondra Smith of Horn Lake, Mississippi and a passenger in another vehicle, 32-year-old Bertha Mungia of Joliet. Both were transported to the hospital for treatment of apparent minor injuries. None of the other drivers or passengers required hospital treatment.

    Jefferson Rural Firemen say none of those involved in the crash had to be extricated.

    Alvarez was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

    Southbound I-57 was closed for about two and a half hours for crash investigation and cleanup.

  • A 30-year-old Salem man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty in Effingham County Court to aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

    Rodney Wynn admitted to committing the sexual abuse against a victim more than five years younger than himself.

    Wynn was also ordered to serve two years' mandatory supervised release once he's out of prison. He received credit for 76 days already served in jail awaiting action on his case. Wynn is also barred from contacting the victim, the victim's family or the victim's home.

    Wynn was sentenced to three years in prison in Marion County Court in 2014 for failure to report a change of address as required by a convicted sex offender.

  • Steven Schultz

    A 29-year-old Salem man for the second time has been charged with aggravated battery to a correctional officer at the Marion County Jail.

    In the latest charge filed Thursday, Steven Schultz of East Boone is accused of striking and biting the hand of a correctional officer on August 18th. His bond will remain at $60,000. Schultz waived appointed legal counsel on the latest charge.

    Schultz faces another count of aggravated battery for another altercation with a jail correctional officer on June 19th. He also still faces charges of aggravated intimidation and threatening a public official in connection with his May 30th arrest by Alma Police. Schultz has remained in the Marion County since that arrest.

    He also has a reduced charge of misdemeanor assault still pending from a January incident where he fought with Kinmundy Police Chief Corey Parker as he was attempting to bring Schultz into the jail. Schultz had originally been charged with aggravated battery in connection with that case as well, but it was later amended to a misdemeanor count.

    Schultz was found fit to stand trial on the offenses on October 11th after the court reviewed an evaluation by a psychiatrist.

    Schultz is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing on the pending charges October 25th.

  • Two people are being held in the Marion County Jail after being arrested on outstanding warrants.

    27-year-old Richard Woods of North 5th in Ashley is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond for failure to appear on a domestic battery conviction.

    30-year-old Holly Creamer of Camp Street in Iuka is being held in lieu of $5,000 bond for failure to appear on a methamphetamine charge.

  • The City of Salem is hosting an electronics recycling drive next Saturday, October 28th.

    You can bring items to Tully Park at 707 Oak Park Drive from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm that day. Ultimate Electronic Recycling, Incorporated will be there collecting anything with a cord or battery.

    All computers and their accessories, phones, laptops, and printers will be accepted. There is a 25-cent a pound fee for old TVs and computer monitors. Everything else is free.

    For a list of acceptable materials, you can check out the www.ultimateelectronicrecycling.com website and click on the 'Common Asked Question' tab. You may also call 217-854-2730 for further information.