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   The former bishop of the Belleville Diocese says he may sell the $2.2 million home he had built in Atlanta's toniest neighborhood.  

   Archbishop Wilton Gregory apologized to parishioners late Monday for building the 6,000 square foot, Tudor-style mansion in Buckhead.  Gregory wrote on the website of the archdiocesan newspaper that he hadn't considered the impact his residence would have on parishioners who were giving to the church and struggling to pay their own bills.  

   Gregory was bishop of Belleville from 1994 to 2003, when he was named Archbishop of Atlanta.

Published in Local News

A total of three people are in custody connected the murder of Belleville man.

 

Anthony Allen and Amanda Kent are charged with first degree murder, and another suspect, Brittney Moore is accused of lying to investigators. On Sunday, police were called to a Belleville apartment and found Darrin Hayes with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

 

Police say a tip about a getaway vehicle, and they found Moore driving the car. Police say the killing wasn't random, but would not release additional details on the investigation.

Published in Local News

   A Belleville woman will spend 60 years in prison for her role in the 2011 kidnapping and murder of an 85 year old grandmother as she left a Collinsville bingo game.  

   That was the sentence handed down to 40 year old LaTosha Cunningham Tuesday.  Prosecutors call her the ringleader in the murder of Yoko Cullen.  

   Authorities say Cullen was forced into the trunk of her own car, beaten with a tire iron and then burned alive.  

   Last month, 21 year old DaQuan Barnes was sentenced to 60-years without parole for the killing.  

   A third suspect, 30 year old Demarcus Barnes was found mentally unfit to stand trial. 

 

Published in Local News

A Belleville martial arts instructor is headed to prison after admitting to sexually abusing three of his students.

Christopher Horton told a judge, he abused the students and recorded the acts on his cell phone. The incidents happened between May of 2012 and February of this year. The victims were between six and ten years old. Horton pleaded guilty to six total counts. When he is sentenced in March, Horton will face up to 30 years behind bars. 

Published in Local News

   Two metro-east teachers are among the finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year.

   Sina Rowe is a kindergarten to third grade special education teacher at Goshen Elementary School in Edwardsville.  Donna Whitaker teaches seventh grade Science at West Junior High School in Belleville.  

   They're among 11 finalists named Monday by state education officials.  The winner will be announced at an October banquet in Normal.

   Other finalists: John Bierbaum at Normal Community West High School in Normal, Mark Buesing at Libertyville High School in Libertyville, Amanda Dearmond at DuQuoin Middle School in DuQuoin, William Fritz at Adlai Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, DeLores Mannes at Parker Junior High School in Flossmoor, Kerry (Fran) Meyers at Brimfield Grade School in Brimfield, Pam Reilly at Woodbury Elementary School in Sandwich, Aaron Sitze at Oregon High School in Oregon and Amy Walsh at Tioga School in Bensenville.

 
Published in Local News

   A robbery near Belleville in which the victim was pistol whipped is prompting a warning from Metro-east authorities about the dangers of online sales.  

   St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson says a woman and her boyfriend were robbed at gun point in the parking lot of the Bradford Place Apartments.  They were lured there by someone who'd advertised an iPhone for sale on Craigslist.  

   Two teens, one with a gun, stole the couple's cash and a cell phone.  One of the teens struck the woman in the head with a handgun.  

   One of the suspects is identified as 17 yr. old Trevon Yates of East St. Louis.  The other is a juvenile, identified only as a 16 yr. old male. Both teens are now in custody and facing felony charges. 

   Sheriff Watson is reminding the public to use extreme caution when buying and selling things online and only meet strangers in a well-lit, public place.    

 
Published in Local News

   Police believe a man shot to death in the St. Clair County Courthouse Monday afternoon took his own life.  

   St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson says it happened on the fourth floor of the parking garage about 4:30 p.m.  

   Police haven't released the man's name pending notification of family, but say he was 25-30 years old and had addresses in both Belleville and Caseyville, Illinois.  

   Watson says the man had not gone to the courthouse but to the probation office on the other side of the garage.

   Sheriff's deputies and Belleville police had initially closed down the garage thinking there might be a gunman still lurking.  It reopened about an hour later.

Published in Local News

   BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The mother of a metro-east teenager killed a car crash is free on bond after being accused of giving her son beer and whiskey before the accident.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports 39 year old Ginger Zehner-Denton of Mascoutah surrendered this week on a charge filed earlier this month that accuses her of unlawful delivery of alcohol.

   Her 18 year old son, Stephen Zehner, died in a Jan. 26 crash. He was a senior at Belleville West High School.

   A 16 year old passenger in the car he was driving was seriously injured and hospitalized for three months.

   Zehner-Denton's attorney says he's not commenting publicly about the case.

   The felony is punishable by up to three years in prison.

 
Published in Local News

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois judge says a Belleville AIDS organization needs to stop its needle-exchange program until it gets a special zoning permit.

Bethany Place's will have to conform with the city's zoning code, which doesn't allow it to dispense medical supplies.

Published in Local News

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A judge in southwestern Illinois is considering an AIDS service organization's challenge of a city's decision to bar the group from running a needle-exchange program because of a zoning issue.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida took the matter under advisement after a hearing Monday. The judge will issue a written ruling.

The city sued in February, believing Bethany Place's needle-exchange program violates the type of operations allowed for that site under the city's zoning codes.

Bethany Place responded last month, arguing the city waited too long to complain.

The organization calls the city's move unfair and prejudicial to clients served by the program.

 

Published in Local News
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