The water in some parts of Edwardsville may be a little brown, but it's still safe to drink. That's the message from Public Works Director Tim Harr.
He says a break in a 14 inch transmission line caused workers to reroute water city-wide and that may have stirred up sediment. As a result, about a thousand of the more than 9,000 water customers in Edwardsville, including the Public Works Department, are seeing discolored water from their taps.
Harr says the water is safe to drink. "We’ve tested it," he said. "The chlorine residuals are where they’re supposed to be, within the epa regulations. It doesn’t taste funny. It just looks a little funny with the sedimentation."
Harr says city workers opened 4-5 hydrants Wednesday to help flush the system and it might help if residents run their own taps 10-15 minutes to flush the lines.
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.
Another metro-east official is in trouble with the law. Alorton Fire Chief Carlos Darough is facing drug charges and a federal parole violation. KMOV TV reports that Darough was pulled over for running a stop sign.
Officers reportedly found marijuana in his car. He's been charged with possession with the intent to deliver drugs and violating his parole.
Court records show Darough has been arrested multiple times over the last 20 years on charges ranging from speeding to domestic battery.
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.
Two women who were elected to a metro-east park board may have to sue to take their seats on that board.
Ruby Mattox and Dora Warren finished first and second in an election to fill two vacant seats on the Stites Township Park District Board in Brooklyn, Illinois.
St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook certified the election results months ago. But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the park board has refused to swear them in, calling their election "a mistake."
Mattox told the paper that her opposition to no-bid contracts the park board has awarded may be why the board is now claiming there were no vacancies to fill.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois man who insisted he was not bound by U.S. tax laws faces up to two decades in federal prison after being found guilty of falsely claiming hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax refunds.
A federal jury on Wednesday convicted 47 year old Destry Marcotte of Belleville of four counts of filing false claims for federal tax refunds.
Federal prosecutors say evidence presented at trial showed that Marcotte submitted the false claims for refunds for years, claiming a total of more than $600,000.
Marcotte claimed to be a "sovereign citizen," contending he was not subject to U.S. tax laws.
After the jury's verdict, Marcotte was ordered detained pending his Jan. 17 sentencing.
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - A metro-east airport that has never turned a profit since opening with great fanfare 15 years ago continues to lose money.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports an audit shows the St. Clair County-owned MidAmerica St. Louis Airport last year suffered a $3.8 million loss. That's despite boosting revenue by $2.2 million from additional capital funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state.
The airport near Mascoutah got $5.6 million in county funds to subsidize its operations. That brings to $28.7 million the county has funneled into the airport over the past five years.
J.W. Boyle & Co. auditors anticipate the county will continue to subsidize the airport "in the near future."
MidAmerica has struggled since opening in 1998, and critics persistently have labeled it a $330 million boondoggle.
After a drug scandal rocked the county courthouse, St. Clair County officials are expanding their drug testing program. The board decided unanimously Monday night to expand the random drug testing to hundreds of additional employees.
Ironically, the new policy won't apply to the circuit court system where the scandal broke. That's because the courts are a separate government entity.
In March, Circuit Judge Joe Christ died while staying with Circuit Judge Michael Cook at a hunting lodge. In May, Cook was charged with heroine possession and a weapons violation. A probation officer and another man are also facing charges.
Another interstate closure will delay drivers in the metro-east this weekend.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will shut down westbound Interstate 55/70 between IL Rte. 203 and the I-64 merge starting at 9:00 p.m. Friday.
Eastbound Interstate 64 will remain closed this weekend between 25th Street the split.
Detours using Interstate 255 will be marked.
Both closures are related to the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River. Both highways should reopen by Monday morning; Westbound I-55/70 by 5:00 a.m.. Eastbound I-64 by 9:00 a.m.
Another former metro-east police chief is heading to prison. The former top cop in Edwardsville, 57 year old James Bedell, was sentenced Thursday to a year and a half in federal prison for stealing nearly $140,000 in city funds.
Bedell had pleaded guilty in April to taking money from a department lock box that contained vehicle impound fees between 2009 and 2012.
Bedell resigned nearly a year ago on the day agents raided his home and office. He had been with the department since 2007.