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Cleaning up Benton, one dilapidated house at a time
The Benton zoning administrator hopes to tear down 36 unoccupied, dilapidated houses in 36 months.
By Holly Kee
Apr 21, 2017 4:09 PM
Arsonist sentenced to 15 years
A Harrisburg man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for residential arson.
Mar 19, 2015 4:45 PM
Hay fire, dog, ATV thefts reported
Saline County Sheriff's Office is investigating a spat of odd theft and a hay bail burning that have occurred in recent days.
Jan 21, 2015 11:06 AM
Percy arson suspect is expected in court today
A 33-year-old man facing murder charges related to a southern Illinois house fire that killed four children is to make his first court appearance.Randolph County prosecutors charged Derrick Twardoski on Friday with four first-degree murder counts linked to the blaze early that day in Percy, a village 60 miles southeast of St. Louis.State's Attorney Jeremy Walker says he doesn't consider the fire random, though he's declined to detail what led investigators to Twardoski or any relationship he may have had with the victims.Authorities say the dead included siblings ages 12, 9, and 5-year-old twins. A 6-year-old child was treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation, and the children's parents and an 18-year-old woman escaped the fire.Twardoski is jailed without bond, pending his first court appearance this morning.Percy Mayor Mark Prange and Assembly of God Pastor Steve Duncan set up a fund to help the Owen family. The fund is at First National bank of Steeleville where donations can be made in care of the Owen Family Benefit Fund.
May 13, 2013 10:19 AM
No suspects in downtown Du Quoin storage building fire
There are still no leads in an early Monday fire that damaged three units of Scott Isom's storage facility at 23 North Chestnut across from the Amtrak station. The Du Quoin Fire Department responded to a call at 12:14 a.m. on Monday. The fire department responded with two trucks. The fire that spread through three units and damaged others was extinguished. Locks on some of the nearby units had to be cut off. Ameren cut power to the facility and firemen left the scene at 1:51 a.m. Both the fire department and the police department believe the fire is suspicious but have no suspects. If you have any information, please call the fire department at 542-5600 or the police department at 542-2131.
Jan 14, 2013 10:58 AM
Arson charged in S. Granger St. trailer fires
HARRISBURG - A Harrisburg man has been charged with the burning of two trailers on South Granger Street early morning. Daniel Robert Roark, 61, 70 W. Lighthouse Road, Harrisburg, was charged with arson which carries a cash bond amount of $5,000.
By Brian DeNeal | email@example.com
Oct 25, 2012 1:58 PM
Two trailers burn, cause is suspicious
HARRISBURG - Harrisburg firefighters extinguished fires in two adjacent trailers on South Granger Street at 2:20 a.m. Saturday.
By Brian DeNeal | firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct 22, 2012 1:56 PM
Local U.S. Reps issue statements on recent Middle East attacks
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Southern Illinois' two Congressmen condemned the new 9/11 terrorist attacks Tuesday in Egypt and Libya that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya and two marines.
By Jon Musgrave | email@example.com
Sep 13, 2012 2:38 PM
Carrier Mills woman charged with arson
Maria Belle Brand, 51, 708 N. Main St., Carrier Mills, was arrested Thursday following a series of bizarre events involving a dispute between neighbors.Brand was arrested by Carrier Mills Police Officer Billy Duncan at about 4:45 a.m. Thursday morning on initial charges of attempted arson, criminal damage to property, reckless conduct and a hate crime. Since then, Brand has been formally charged by the Saline County State's Attorney's office with one count of arson involving personal property.According to Duncan, Brand set the events in motion when she called dispatch herself at about 4:20 a.m. to make a loud music complaint against her neighbor, Byron Godsey. When Duncan arrived, he was unable to hear any music or any other general noise, but did observe Brand standing near Godsey's vehicle at 710 N. Main St., he said. She then came around the fence and entered her residence.At about 4:30 a.m., Duncan returned to the 700 block of North Main Street and still did not hear any loud music. However, he said he did see Brand walk out her front door and into Godsey's yard. He watched her then use a cigarette lighter to ignite yard waste in the bed of Godsey's truck, he said.Duncan jumped out of his vehicle and intercepted Brand as she was walking away, then called for assistance from the Carrier Mills Fire Department. At that point, Godsey ran out of his residence and began trying to extinguish the fire. Duncan said when he asked why Brand set Godsey's truck on fire, she said “they won't give me my stuff back.” Duncan noted a strong odor of alcohol on Brand's breath, he said. She told Duncan Godsey had a Global Positioning System device that was hers, which Godsey denied.Godsey added that at around 2 a.m. earlier that night Brand beat on his door and when he answered she asked for “something to smoke,” according to Duncan. Godsey told Duncan that he told Brand he didn't have anything for her, which prompted Brand to call Godsey a racial slur and a liar, which led to the initial hate crime charge, Duncan said.At that point, Duncan placed Brand under arrest.At around 4:46 a.m., firefighters arrived to douse the debris in the bed of Godsey's truck to ensure the fire was completely extinguished.After an initial hearing, probable cause was found to detain Brand and her bond was set at $5,000 cash. As of Tuesday morning, she remained held at the Saline County Detention Center.
By Christy Stewart | firstname.lastname@example.org
Aug 22, 2012 4:14 PM
Chief Tharp: Man in custody after burning woman with chemicals
A fire emergency alarm that came in to the West Frankfort Fire Department Monday at 3:40 p.m also. turned out to be a police incident. An engine and two ambulances initially responded within five minutes to a residence at 106 West 4th Street. The department called in mutual aid and the Benton Fire Department and Abbott ambulance service responded while the Ziegler FD covered the station. A woman suffering burns was transferred by ambulance to the Herrin Hospital. A helicopter was also summoned when the injury was reported. Firefighters put down the blaze to the family dwelling. The Illinois State Fire Marshal and other investigative authorities were called in.
Aug 21, 2012 1:52 PM
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