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   Cleanup and repairs are still going on five months after tornadoes struck two central Illinois towns.

   Fayette County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Kendra Cray says debris removal has been the biggest challenge in Brownstown and St. Elmo after last November's tornadoes.  

   Cray tells the Effingham Daily News that her office has been working to educate residents as tornado seasons returns. She says they're starting efforts with children because "if we can prepare them, they prepare the parents."  

   St. Elmo has about 1,400 residents and Brownstown has about 750. The towns are about 80 miles east of St. Louis.

Published in Local News

   EFFINGHAM, Ill. (AP) - A 22 year old southern Illinois man accused of fatally stabbing his 7 year old niece won't go on trial until next year.

   The Effingham Daily News reports an Effingham County judge on Monday tentatively scheduled Justin DeRyke's trial for February. But State's Attorney Bryan Kibler says it likely will be later than that because DeRyke's attorney has so many audio and video interviews to review.

   DeRyke is accused of killing Willow Long in September near her home in Watson, a village about 100 miles northeast of St. Louis.

   Investigators say DeRyke insisted he killed his niece to "put her out of her misery" after he says she fell onto a brush pile and pierced her neck.

   DeRyke has pleaded not guilty and is jailed on $5 million bond.

 
Published in Local News

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