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   Two women who were elected to a metro-east park board may have to sue to take their seats on that board.  

   Ruby Mattox and Dora Warren finished first and second in an election to fill two vacant seats on the Stites Township Park District Board in Brooklyn, Illinois.  

   St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook certified the election results months ago.   But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the park board has refused to swear them in, calling their election "a mistake."  

   Mattox told the paper that her opposition to no-bid contracts the park board has awarded may be why the board is now claiming there were no vacancies to fill.   

Published in Local News

   EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois man who insisted he was not bound by U.S. tax laws faces up to two decades in federal prison after being found guilty of falsely claiming hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax refunds.

   A federal jury on Wednesday convicted 47 year old Destry Marcotte of Belleville of four counts of filing false claims for federal tax refunds.

   Federal prosecutors say evidence presented at trial showed that Marcotte submitted the false claims for refunds for years, claiming a total of more than $600,000.

   Marcotte claimed to be a "sovereign citizen," contending he was not subject to U.S. tax laws.

   After the jury's verdict, Marcotte was ordered detained pending his Jan. 17 sentencing.

   

 
Published in Local News

   MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - A metro-east airport that has never turned a profit since opening with great fanfare 15 years ago continues to lose money.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports an audit shows the St. Clair County-owned MidAmerica St. Louis Airport last year suffered a $3.8 million loss. That's despite boosting revenue by $2.2 million from additional capital funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state.

   The airport near Mascoutah got $5.6 million in county funds to subsidize its operations. That brings to $28.7 million the county has funneled into the airport over the past five years.

   J.W. Boyle & Co. auditors anticipate the county will continue to subsidize the airport "in the near future."

   MidAmerica has struggled since opening in 1998, and critics persistently have labeled it a $330 million boondoggle.

 
Published in Local News

   After a drug scandal rocked the county courthouse, St. Clair County officials are expanding their drug testing program.  The board decided unanimously Monday night to expand the random drug testing to hundreds of additional employees.

   Ironically, the new policy won't apply to the circuit court system where the scandal broke.  That's because the courts are a separate government entity.  

   In March, Circuit Judge Joe Christ died while staying with Circuit Judge Michael Cook at a hunting lodge.  In May, Cook was charged with heroine possession and a weapons violation.  A probation officer and another man are also facing charges.  

Published in Local News

   Another interstate closure will delay drivers in the metro-east this weekend.  

   The Illinois Department of Transportation will shut down westbound Interstate 55/70 between IL Rte. 203 and the I-64 merge starting at 9:00 p.m. Friday.  

   Eastbound Interstate 64 will remain closed this weekend between 25th Street the split.  

   Detours using Interstate 255 will be marked.  

   Both closures are related to the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River.  Both highways should reopen by Monday morning; Westbound I-55/70 by 5:00 a.m.. Eastbound I-64 by 9:00 a.m.

Published in Local News

   Another former metro-east police chief is heading to prison.  The former top cop in Edwardsville, 57 year old James Bedell, was sentenced Thursday to a year and a half in federal prison for stealing nearly $140,000 in city funds.  

   Bedell had pleaded guilty in April to taking money from a department lock box that contained vehicle impound fees between 2009 and 2012.  

   Bedell resigned nearly a year ago on the day agents raided his home and office. He had been with the department since 2007.

Published in Local News

   Monday is the first morning commute since Illinois transportation crews closed a key stretch of Interstate 64.  

   All lanes of eastbound I-64 are closed between the I-55/70 split and 25th Street.  And it's scheduled to remain closed until next Monday morning (Sept. 23).  

   The closure will allow crews to build connections to the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.  IDOT reports that the new bridge across the Mississippi River is on track to open early next year (2014).

Published in Around Town
Monday, 16 September 2013 02:09

Metro-east village honors fallen Marine

   BETHALTO, Ill. (AP) - A metro-east village is paying tribute to a hometown Marine who died in 2010 of complications from injuries sustained in Afghanistan.

   The Alton Telegraph reports that seven signs honoring Lance Cpl. Kenneth Corzine have been erected at each road entrance to Bethalto.

   Corzine was 23 when he died on Christmas Eve of 2010, 19 days after being injured by a roadside bomb that exploded, costing him both legs.

   Corzine grew up in Bethalto and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

   Bethalto is in Madison County, northeast of St. Louis.

 

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

   BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Three more women are accused in southwestern Illinois in the 2011 attack on a Red Lobster waitress who was pummeled after serving the wrong fish order.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports the latest charges come about a week after one of the defendants, 21-year-old Ania Wilkes of Ferguson, Mo., was convicted of felony assault and mob action. She awaits sentencing October 3rd.

   Prosecutors in St. Clair County charged Denise McNeal of Jennings, Missouri and Lareka McNeal and Diane Ryland, both of St. Louis, with aggravated battery and mob action.

   The victim, Heather Frink, says she was punched and pushed by diners at one table after she brought broiled fish instead of the requested fried fish.

   Online court records don't show whether the three newly charged people have attorneys.

 
Published in Local News
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