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   A metro-east man is accusing a former Catholic priest of sexual abusing him when he was a child, and he wants to hold church officials accountable.  

   The Breese man filed a lawsuit against the Belleville Catholic diocese alleging Robert J. Vonnahmen sexually abused him at a church camp in the Ozarks in the early 1970s.  

   In the 1990s, Vonnahmen was one of more than a dozen priests in the Belleville Diocese removed for alleged sexual abuse of children.  Vonnahmen was formally defrocked by Rome in 2007.  

   The lawsuit claims the diocese failed to investigate complaints about Vonnahmen from other children.

Published in Local News

   The cost of everything is about to go up in Edwardsville, but only by a little.  

   The Edwardsville City Council Thursday night approved a 0.25 percent home-rule sales tax increase on a 5-2 vote.  The currently 6.85 percent sales tax will go up to 7.1 percent, adding 25 cents to every $100 spent in the metro-east city.  

   The additional revenue will be used to build a new police and fire station with the goal of cutting emergency response times.  

   Proponents of the sales tax say it would be unfair to put the whole burden of paying for the new station on property owners. 

Published in Local News
   EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Illinois State Police say an East St. Louis man used a safety vest and hardhat bearing a construction firm's name in a ruse to steal galvanized steel posts from the state Transportation Department.
   Soloman Craighead is being held in the Madison County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond on a felony theft charge.
   Authorities say the 61 year old Craighead took 400 posts between Jan. 4 and Sunday from a construction zone on Interstate 270 near Granite City.
   State Police Master Sgt. Mark Doiron says it is believed Craighead sold the posts, used to secure guard rails, to a scrapyard.
   Craighead was arrested Sunday as he and a woman was loading posts into a pickup truck. Police say the woman was released for lack of evidence to charge her with a crime.
 
Published in Local News
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 02:21

Columbia, IL police search for fugitive

   Police in Columbia, Illinois are looking for a fugitive who lied to them about turning himself in.  
   Thirty-six-year-old Jeremy Davis and two accomplices allegedly stole construction equipment in Missouri and then tried to sell it in the metro-east.  Davis was identified through a cell phone picture taken by construction workers who refused to buy the stolen equipment.  
   Police Chief Joe Edwards says his department contacted Davis by phone and he agreed to turn himself in, but hasn't.  
   Chief Edwards says they're concerned for public safety because Davis has already driven recklessly to avoid arrest and has lied to police.  "That leads us to believe that that person is going to do anything they can to elude law enforcement," he said.
   Davis is charged with two felony counts: aggravated possession of a stolen vehicle and driving on a revoked license for the third time. His bond is set at $50,000.
   Davis is a former resident of Waterloo, IL.  Police believe he now lives in Missouri, possibly in St. Louis County.
   Anyone with information about Jeremy Davis' whereabouts is asked to call the Columbia Police Department at (618) 281-5151.
 
 
 
Published in Local News
Friday, 03 January 2014 02:42

Alton man dies after clearing snow

   St. Louis' extremely cold winter weather has claimed the life of an Alton, Illinois man.  

   Police say 66 year old Carl Walker had been removing snow with a snow blower outside his home Thursday morning when he became short of breath.  He went inside and his wife called 9-1-1.  

   Walker was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he died.  

   Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn says Walker suffered a heart attack.  

   Nonn says its important for everyone, especially those with heart and other health conditions to use extra caution in cold conditions.

Published in Local News

   CASEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a former metro-east police officer has been charged with driving under the influence and impersonating a police officer.

   Caseyville Police Chief Jose Alvarez says 56 year old Harold J. Johnson of Brooklyn is being held in the St. Clair County Jail with bond set at $10,000.

   Authorities say Johnson was pulled over for a traffic violation early Saturday. Alvarez says Johnson was driving under the influence and claimed to be a Brooklyn police officer during the stop. He had a loaded gun with him, which police seized. Police later learned Johnson had been fired from the Brooklyn police force earlier this year, but he hadn't turned in his gun and badge.

   It was not immediately clear if Johnson has an attorney.

Published in Local News

   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.

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

   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.

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
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