• Federal Courthouse East St. Louis

    A 16-year veteran of the Nashville Police Department says he was fired because he was trying to expose corruption at the police department to city leaders.

    Greg Hopfinger was fired last August by Police Chief Brian Fletcher. Among the allegations made against Fletcher were falsifying state firearm qualifications records, misappropriating donated funds, not being compliant with the U.S. Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture program, payroll violations, and trying to get a ticket dropped for a friend.

    Hopfinger said he made his complaints to former Mayor Raynold Kolweir and Council members Josh Fark and Eric Rolf. He claims after he was fired Fletcher told people in a Nashville bar that he was fired for a criminal matter.

    Hopfinger alleges in the lawsuit he was fired unlawfully, his right to free speech under the Illinois Whistleblower Act was violated, and defamation of character. He also claimed he was never provided written charges or an opportunity to defend himself.

  • Sandoval Junior-Senior High School

    The Sandoval School Board has named a new Superintendent.

    The Principal of the Madison School District Student Support Center Timothy 'Rob' Miller was hired Thursday night after four candidates of the ten who applied were interviewed.

    Outgoing Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Garrison says Miller will start on April 2nd, so no interim superintendent will be needed for the remainder of the school year. Garrison resigned to become the Superintendent of the Vandalia School District starting April 2nd.

    Garrison says the board had decided they would pick the best candidate and appoint an interim superintendent if needed, but that will not be the case.

    Garrison says Miller has been at the Madison School District for the past 17 years. He earlier was involved in social work in the Granite City area.

    The Madison School District website says the Student Support Center was developed to assist students who have exhibited behaviors that interfere with their ability to succeed in the traditional school setting. At the same time, academic instruction ensures that the learning process is uninterrupted. Success of the students is determined by their ability to be reintegrated into their home-school population without re-occurring conflicts.

    Garrison is very happy with the choice and feels Miller will keep the school district moving forward.

    There will be a Meet and Green for Miller at three Thursday afternoon in the Cafetorium at the Sandoval Junior-Senior High School.

    In other action at Thursday's special board meeting, Mary Suedmeyer of Hoyleton was hired as Elementary School Nurse and Parent/Community Coordinator.

  • Car That Rolled An Estimated Four Times Before Coming to a Stop on the Norfolk Southern Railroad Tracks
    Photo by Tim Ferguson

    The Clinton County Sheriff's Department says the 17-year-old male driver of a car that crashed on Monroe Street northwest of Centralia during the noon hour Friday has been airlifted to a St. Louis Hospital for treatment.

    Both the driver and 16-year-old passenger initially went to SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital when emergency help arrived on the scene. The passenger has since been released from the hospital.

    The deputy was unable to talk to either juvenile about the crash because of their injuries. Their names are not being released because they are juveniles.

    The deputy reports initial investigation indicates the car rolled about four times before it went onto the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks where it landed. While it was originally believed one or both of those in the car were ejected, he questions the theory. Since neither has had head injuries, the deputy believes both may have crawled out of the car before emergency help arrived.

    The Centralia Fire Protection District and Lifestar Ambulance assisted at the scene until the sheriff's department arrived. The Norfolk Southern railroad was alerted so they could shut down train traffic until the wreckage of the car could be removed.

  • Attorney General Lisa Madigan is alerting Illinois residents to a scam using her office and name offering free money in an attempt to solicit personal information from people.

    Madigan's office has received consumer complaints from people who have received solicitations from social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram that provide links to get "free money" from her office through alleged government grant funding. Madigan said these are scams designed to get personal information from people, including their social security numbers.

    Madigan says her office will never send messages over social media or emails asking for your social security number or personal information. If you receive a message claiming to be from her or the Illinois Attorney General's office, Madigan says do not respond or click on any links and contact her office directly to report the scam.

    The Consumer Fraud Hotline in Southern Illinois is 1-800-243-0607. You can also file complaints online at Madigan's website.

  • A 50-year-old Lehigh Acres, Florida man has been returned to the Marion County Jail on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a charge of financial exploitation of an elderly person. Bond for Gary Mey has been set at $100,000.

    A 35-year-old Centralia man is being held on a failure to appear in court warrant on a possession of methamphetamine charge. Bond for Matthew Peters of Deerwood Park is set at $1,500.

    30-year-old Holly Creamer of Camp Street in Iuka was arrested by sheriff's deputies on a battery charge. No other details are yet available.

    37-year-old Gilbert Sidener of West Bennett in Salem posted $120 bond and was released after being arrested by sheriff's deputies for disorderly conduct.