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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Coroner examines 3 Madison County heroin deaths

Saturday, 15 February 2014 09:34 Published in Local News

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.

Alton doctor admits fraud, unlawful prescriptions

Saturday, 15 February 2014 09:33 Published in Local News

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois doctor will be sentenced in April after he admitted defrauding the state's Medicaid program and illegally dispensing prescription medications.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 68-year-old Viwathna Bhuthimethee of Alton pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to one count of health care fraud and 14 counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance.

Authorities say Bhuthimethee ran an Alton walk-in clinic with his wife. He was indicted in 2012.

Investigators accused him of operating a "pill mill" in which he prescribed more than 2,000 painkiller or anti-anxiety pills to four women from 2008 through 2010 outside the course of his professional practice.

He's set to be sentenced April 3.

St. Louis City will appeal red light camera ruling

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 17:07 Published in Local News
St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - St. Louis City leaders are appealing a circuit court judge's ruling that the city must stop issuing red light camera tickets.
 
City Counselor Mike Garvin says that is confusing, because the city thought they addressed any problems in the program cited in a 2013 ruling. Garvin says the city will appeal the decision and will ask a judge to allow the city to continue issuing tickets until the Supreme Court weighs in.
 
"There's been 6 or 7 decisions in the last year that say different things about red light cameras", Garvin told KTRS News. "It's very hard for us to try to calculate our actions on these varying decisions, because they are all different."
 
On the other side of the issue, Police Chief Sam Dotson views the red light camera system as a matter of public safety. Dotson says with the cameras in place, his officers are freed to focus on preventing crime in the community. He says the cameras perform an essential service.
 
"Studies have shown, and we've seen in the city of St. Louis, that intersections that have red light cameras: fewer people get repeat tickets, fewer accidents occur, and people are safer," Dotson told KTRS. 
 
As for what you should do if you have an unpaid red light ticket from the city. Both Garvin and Dotson say the program could be reinstated and those tickets might come due, but if you have questions, you should contact an attorney.

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