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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   There won't be any relief for overcrowding at two metro-east jails after voters in two counties reject proposed tax increases to fund jail expansion.  A 0.25 percent sales tax increase to fund a $37 million expansion of the St. Clair County Jail was rejected by more than two-thirds of voters yesterday.  By a 2-1 margin, Madison County voters rejected a bond-finance plan to pay for nearly $19 million in renovations to bring their jail up to code.
   Meanwhile, Fairview Heights residents overwhelmingly approved an 85 cent property tax increase in order to save the two elementary schools in the Grant School District.  School officials had warned they would have to dissolve the district without the increase, sending about 680 students to neighboring districts.
 

Topsy turvey primary results for metro-east sheriffs

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 03:19 Published in Local News

   After an Illinois primary election that saw relatively low turnout yesterday, one metro-east sheriff is out, another is in.  

   Glen Carbon Police Chief John Lakin took 64 percent of the vote to defeat Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz in the Democratic primary.  With no Republican candidate, Lakin will officially win the post in November.  

   St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson had been appointed in 2012 to replace the late Mearl Justus.  Watson easily won the Democratic nomination.  Again, no Republican candidate means he'll begin his first full term after the November election. 

Crimean forces storm Ukrainian navy HQ

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 02:58 Published in National News
   SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP) — Crimea's self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy base in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region.
   An Associated Press photographer witnessed several hundred self-defense forces force their way onto the headquarters' premises and raise the Russian flag on the square by the headquarters.
   Ukrainian servicemen were standing guard by the main building. Crimean self-defense forces are not armed and seemed to be waiting for the Ukrainian army's decision whether to let them in.
   Russia on Tuesday signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into its territory following a referendum in which residents of Ukraine's region overwhelmingly backed the move. Ukraine and the West consider the vote illegitimate.
   The United States and the European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on Russia, targeting Russian and Crimean officials with visa bans and asset freezes.

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