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The temperatures may be moderating, but heating bills from this past winter remain high for many Ameren Illinois customers.  
With that in mind, the utility is offering customers in Madison and St. Clair counties an opportunity on Monday (March 31) to make payment arrangements.
 
Customers can get back on track with as little as 10 percent down. They can also set up budget billing, which sets monthly payments based on customers average usage over 12 months.
 
Customers need to bring their ID, Ameren bill and proof of income to the event.  The event is at East St. Louis City Hall. It starts at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. Several energy assistance agencies will at the event.
Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A southwestern Illinois county that has grappled with heroin deaths is trying a new approach after there were three deadly suspected overdoses in a five-hour span last week.
 
Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz says he'll be joining the county's top prosecutor, Tom Gibbons, to convene a panel to talk out possible answers to the problem. It could be as early as next week. Hertz says that group may include substance-abuse treatment providers, educators and perhaps addicts.
 
The county's coroner, Steve Nonn, says his office already has handled six suspected heroin deaths this year. Last year, there were 23 in the county, more than three times the number in 2009.
 
Nonn calls heroin providers "dealers in death."
Published in Local News
Saturday, 15 February 2014 09:34

Coroner examines 3 Madison County heroin deaths

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Illinois' Madison County are investigating the deaths of three people who died from suspected heroin overdoses after all three bodies were found within a span of five hours.

Coroner Stephen Nonn says the body of 29-year-old Katie Heavey of Collinsville was found Thursday night by her father.

Nonn says 38-year-old Dearold Oseland was found dead early Friday in his Roxana apartment by his girlfriend. That was about 90 minutes before 40-year-old Paul Simpson's body was found in his Granite City home.

Nonn says autopsies in each case were inconclusive, and toxicology tests are pending.

The coroner says evidence of drug use was found at each scene.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 30 January 2014 09:58

Morning fire in Madison County destroys home

Two people escaped a three-alarm fire early this morning in Madison County.
Fox2 News reports that authorities believe an explosion started the blaze which destroyed a home in the  400 block of Valley Drive in Rosewood Heights.  The fire was reported just before 6:30 a.m.
The fire chief says there was some type of explosion inside the garage and the fire spread through the main part of the home.
Both people in the home were taken to an area hospital for smoke inhalation.  A house next door was also damaged by the explosion.  
The fire chief says the fire is not suspicious. There are reports that the family had propane tanks in the garage. The State Fire Marshall will investigate the cause of the blaze. 
Published in Local News

   Metro-east police say the death of a Worchester, NY woman inside a gas station restroom was probably drug related.  

   Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz says 25 year old Angela Lamar, a Belleville native, had been traveling through Illinois with her boyfriend, a truck driver, when the couple stopped at a gas station along I-70 just outside of Highland.  

   Lamar was unresponsive when she was found inside the station restroom around 1:00 a.m. Sunday.  She was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland.  

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports that investigators seized a syringe and heroin-filled capsules during their investigation.  Sheriff Hertz says investigators suspect a drug overdose, but toxicology tests are still pending.  

Published in Local News

Madison County, Illinois will pay almost 500-thousand dollars to settle a gender-discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee.

 

The Madison County Board has voted to resolve the case involving former Regional Office of Education youth advocate Mary Parker. Parker claimed she was paid less than her male counterpart - 13-thousand dollars less in one particular year.  She also says she was retaliated against when she complained.

 

A jury in November 2012 awarded Parker 100-thousand dollars in damages after agreeing with the retaliation claim.

Published in Local News

   EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A Madison County Board members says it's "disgusting" that the county's ex-treasurer still collects a pension after pleading guilty to a crime.

   Fred Bathon pleaded guilty eight months ago to rigging 2005-2008 tax lien auctions so his political donors could profit from inflated penalties paid by property owners.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reported Sunday that the 58 year old has received more than $340,000 in pension benefits since his 2009 retirement. He was treasurer for 11 years.

   Kathy O'Brien is general counsel with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. O'Brien says that according to state law a pension is terminated at sentencing, not conviction.

   Court records show Bathon's sentencing is Dec. 6.

   Republican Madison County Board member Jamie Goggin says continuing to collect a pension is abusing the public.

   Bathon's attorney declined comment.

Published in Local News

   EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The beating death of Cahokia man whose body was found in an Illinois state park has been ruled a homicide due to blunt force trauma.

   The Telegraph in Alton reports that a Madison County coroner's inquest made the ruling Wednesday. The victim was 20 year old Dakota Jones. Three fishermen found his body in Aug. 11 in the water near a boat launch ramp at Horseshoe Lake State Park.

   Coroner Steve Nonn testified to the coroner's jury that Jones had evidence of severe head injury and his body "appeared to have been thrown."

   A man paroled after prison time for killing an elderly woman in 1989 is accused in the death. Forty-one year old Scott Thompson of Centreville is charged with first-degree murder.

 
Published in Local News

   A metro-east man is facing felony charges for allegedly shoplifting a single bottle of liquor.  

   Madison County prosecutors have charged 23 year old Jason Whitney of Alton with felony theft.  Police say a worker at a Godfrey supermarket caught Whitney red-handed early Saturday morning.  

   Sheriff's Captain Mike Dixon told the Belleville News-Democrat that the alleged theft qualifies as a felony because of Whitney's burglary conviction earlier this year.

Published in Local News

Drivers in Madison County should allow extra time for their travels Saturday if they use Interstate 270.

Starting at 5:30 AM, all westbound lanes of I-270 will be closed between Interstate 55/70 and Illinois Rte. 157. Crews will be replacing a damaged beam in the Meridian Road Bridge.

A detour is marked directing drivers to use I-55/70 west to I-255 north.

Transportation officials say the interstate should reopen by 9 PM Saturday.

Published in Around Town
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