• News

    Park to be dedicated in slain girl’s honor

    by  • May 23, 2014 • News

    An Illinois community will honor the life of a 7-year-old girl this weekend with a special dedication. Willow Long was found stabbed to death near her home in Watson last September. Her uncle has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in connection with Willow’s death and will spend the rest of his life in prison....

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    Friday marks anniversary of woman’s disappearance

    by  • May 23, 2014 • News

    Four years ago today, a then 41-year-old Benedetta “Beth” Bentley of Woodstock was allegedly dropped off at the Amtrak station in Centralia, never to be seen or heard from again. Beth reportedly left Woodstock on Friday, May 21, 2010, with her friend and coworker Jennifer Wyatt-Paplham, also known as Jenn Wyatt. The two are...

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    Marion County unemployment lowest since 2008

    by  • May 23, 2014 • News

    Unemployment has dropped to its lowest level in Marion County since 2008. April numbers released by the Illinois  Department of Employment Security show unemployment fell to 8.4 percent in April, down from 10.1 percent in March and 10 percent a year ago. The seasonally unadjusted April numbers for Washington County are at 5.0, showing...

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    Task force expands scope of heroin use education

    by  • May 22, 2014 • News

    The Illinois Senate gave final legislative approval Wednesday to a measure expanding the ongoing study of a growing heroin use problem in Illinois to include the drug’s impact on younger children, according to state Sen. Kyle McCarter. House Bill 4542, co-sponsored by McCarter, broadens the scope of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force...

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    Bill banning ticket quotas goes to Quinn for approval

    by  • May 22, 2014 • News

    Under a possible new law, police departments would be prohibited from having ticket “quotas” under legislation approved Wednesday by the Illinois House. The measure, sponsored in the House by Rep. Jay Hoffman, a Swansea Democrat, passed 106-9, and now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk for his approval. If signed into law, the measure...

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    Charges of predatory assault dismissed against teen

    by  • May 22, 2014 • News

    Sexual assault charges a 17-year-old resident of One Hope United were dismissed in Marion County court Wednesday. Phinique Jones was arrested in December by Centralia police for alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl. Jones was subsequently charged with two Class X counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age...

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