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Marion County State's Attorney Matt Wilzbach has released a 40-year-old Centralia man who had been arrested by Centralia Police Thursday for aggravated domestic battery for allegedly setting his wife's legs on fire.  

Wilzbach says he made the decision to release Fernando Calcutt of Howard Street because the story given to police by his wife Inez did not match up with evidence in the case.  The prosecutor notes flames don't remain open on cigarette lighters for long periods of time that would allow them to be thrown and start a fire.   Inez indicated the fire started on her legs from the lighter after her husband had thrown gasoline on her as she was trying to leave the house.  She told police she was able to put the fire out by patting her legs and using a nearby can of beer to extinguish the fire. Inez was treated and released at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital for her injuries.

Wilzbach believes Fernando Calcutt's story to police is more creditable.   He claimed to have been carrying a gas can to start a pit fire outside the home and dropped the can when a flash fire started when he lit a cigarette.   Fernando maintained the gasoline getting on his wife was an accident as well as the starting of the fire on her leg that caused second degree burns.  Wilzbach says there was evidence of a smoldering fire in an area outside the home.  

The incident occurred on February 7th.  Calcutt was arrested Thursday after coming in for questioning by Centralia Police.  

Wilzbach says since there were no signs of injury that Fernando had earlier struck his wife with his fist in the face, it would be difficult to proceed on that portion of the allegation without further evidence.   

The State's Attorney notes the case is not closed if Centralia Police can get a further statement for Inez about the incident that supports her story.  Wilzbach said further compounding the case is that the Calcutt's are apparently back together again. 

Fernando Calcutt was the victim of a shooting in Centralia last September that led to the arrest earlier this week of 25-year-old Charles Collins on charges of attempted first degree murder and aggravated battery.  Calcutt was allegedly shot in the right arm as Collins fired shots from the car he was riding into Calcutt's vehicle.   Calcutt was treated and released at St. Mary's Hospital for his injuries.   Collins remains in custody in Battle Creek, Michigan in lieu of a half-million dollars bond where he was arrested on the outstanding warrant.


The Salem Relay for Life Committee is getting ready for this year's event.

Event Chair Melissa Cantrel Hays says the goal and theme have been selected.

"The goal this year is $70,000.  We are going to be going back to Friday, June 24th from 4:00 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the high school again.  The theme is -- Don't Let The Cure Become A Fairytale."

Hays says they are doing a different type of kick off this year.  She says it will consist of two fund raising events.

"We are going to do a Coaches v. Cancer game with the Salem Basketball Team on February 19th.  We are going to be there for the jv and varsity game.  We're going to have half-court shots for prizes and are asking for donations from the community." Hays added, "The second part is February 22nd the following Monday we are having a Dine To Donate fundraiser at Joe's Pizza here in Salem and that's from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m."

Hays says Joe's will donate 10-percent of sales on Monday, February 22nd, to Relay for Life for those who present the Stick a Fork in Cancer flyer.  Representatives of the committee will be available at Joe's All Day handing out prizes and giving out information on the Relay event.  

In addition to the Coaches vs.Cancer game on February 19th, the Relay team is asking businesses to allow employees to wear sneakers to work that day for a $5 donation.  

So far eight teams have signed up for this year's relay, with a goal of 30 teams.  

For further information go to www.relayforlife.org/marionsalemil


Two Ontario Canada residents were injured in a single vehicle crash on southbound I-57 south of Mt. Vernon Friday morning.  

State Police say 89-year-old Alphonsus Veinhuzeen was southbound on I-57 when he lost control of the SUV and camper trailer it was pulling.  Veinhuzeen slid into the median, entered back into the southbound lanes, which it crossed, and then entered the west ditch where it jackknifed and struck a large tree.  The trailer came to rest on its side, facing backwards alongside the driver's side of the SUV.  

Both the SUV and trailer received extensive damage and had to be towed from the scene.  

The driver and a passenger, 82-year-old Francoise Veinhuzeen, were both transported via ambulance to a local hospital for non-incapacitating injuries.   

The driver was cited for driving too fast for conditions.  

The right lane of I-57 southbound was closed for approximately one hour while the SUV and trailer were removed from the ditch.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration says it will close the youth correctional facility in Kewanee.

A statement Friday by Illinois Juvenile Justice Director Candice Jones says closing the facility which opened in 2001 will save money, improve rehabilitation of young offenders and improve community safety.

It did not say how much money shuttering the center would save or how those savings would be used.

Anders Lindall is spokesman for the state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He says administrators "blind-sided" Kewanee staff with the announcement Friday morning.

He says costly improvements were made to Kewanee to receive maximum-security offenders when the Joliet Youth Center closed in 2013. And Kewanee has a treatment program for sex offenders.

Kewanee is 150 miles southwest of Chicago.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The organization leading efforts to renovate the Illinois governor's mansion says it received $1 million in donations last year.

The mansion has fallen into disrepair in recent years with a flooded basement, leaky roof and peeling paint. The Illinois Executive Mansion Association said Friday that it also received $280,000 in free services last year and completed the first phase of work on the mansion roof.

The association estimates renovating the 160-year-old home will cost between $8 million and $12 million and take two years. It's the third-oldest state governor's residence in the U.S.

The second phase of work includes exterior and interior renovations, private residence modernization and updates to landscaping, grounds and security. The association in July chose Springfield contractor Henson Robinson Company to do roofing work.




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