Dispatcher on administrative leave following sexual assault investigation

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/36577541/dispatcher-on-administrative-leave-following-sexual-assault-investigation

The Central Dispatch Board. (From WSIL-TV reporter Hannah Gebresialasse’s Twitter page

CHRISTOPHER, IL (Hannah Gebresilasse – WSIL-TV.  Please Click on the link for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.

Board members of the Central Dispatch of West Franklin County voted Wednesday night to place former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Hampton on unpaid administrative leave, indefinitely.

Hampton faces charges of criminal sexual assault and custodial sexual misconduct. The felonies stem from an incident in January of 2016. Following the incident, the Franklin County Sheriff placed Hampton on administrative leave and he later resigned then began work at the dispatch center.

Rebecca Whittington serves as general counsel for the West Franklin County Central Dispatch board. She told News 3 Hampton’s position will be held open, but he will not be on staff or payroll.

Former Zeiger treasurer Ryan Thorpe indicted for fraud and embezzlement

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/36523386/former-zeigler-treasurer-indicted-for-embezzlement

ZEIGLER, IL – (Please click on the link above for the full story and court documents on WSIL-TV’s website here are the charges below)

Thorpe is charged with three counts of wire fraud and two counts of embezzlement.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 yeas in prison.

Each count of embezzlement carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

 

Plans to build medical clinic in Zeigler are on hold

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/36514866/plans-to-build-medical-clinic-in-zeigler-are-on-hold

WSIL photo

ZEIGLER, IL – (Evie Allen, WSIL-TV.  Please click from the link above for the full story and video.  Here is an excerpt below.)

With the City of Zeigler’s finances under scrutiny, some wonder if it has played a part in slowing down plans for a new medical clinic.

Mayor Dennis Mitchell told News 3, money for the clinic is still there, but other problems have halted plans, for now.

The dream for and old bank building in Zeigler to become a medical center, is now on hold.

Making the total cost around $525,000. Mitchell also said the “Morthland Foundation” had a part in the lease agreement.

Representatives with the Morthland Foundation told News 3, they still hope to move forward with the clinic as well.

 

Upward Bound students treated to a little magic

by Reece Rutland

INA, IL  – The Upward Bound program at Rend Lake College celebrated its students with a little magic at the annual Upward Bound Banquet, held RLC’s James “Hummer” Waugh Gymnasium.

This year’s Harry Potter-themed event recognized dozens of local students for their involvement in the academic year program, as well as the summer program. The academic year program focuses on achievement in the classroom, team building, and goal setting activities. The summer program is more intensive with five weeks of classes on the Ina campus. Some students also take part in trips throughout the year and others enroll in RLC credit courses.

During the awards aspect of the banquet, students received certificates for participation in the Upward Bound program and the summer program during the 2016-17 year, for earning straight As, for perfect attendance, for receiving RLC college credit, and many others.

The RLC Upward Bound program is a federally funded college preparatory program designed to provide academic support, personal and career counseling, and cultural and social enrichment to high school participants who have the academic ability to be successful in college. Services are provided at no cost to the student. To learn more about the Upward Bound program, contact Stallman at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1366 or stallmanl@rlc.edu

Reece Rutland is a Public Information Specialist and Sports Information Director for Rend Lake College

 

 

Zeigler-Royalton High School Participants
Front row, from left: Hannah Absher, Brie Bates, Erin Eldridge, Gabby Dover, Lacey Grammer, Dawson Thomas. Back row, from left, Payce Morgan, Draven Witt, Brandon Bates, Chase Bates, Dakota Emery.
( Photos by Reece Rutland – RLC Public Information)

 

Benton High School Participants
Front row, from left: Kendra-jo Sanders, Diamond Anderson, Brandie Anderson. Back row, from left: Desiree Phillips, Alexis Jones, Honey Harvill, Hailey Bryan, Andrew Blackman, Karli Slomka.

 

Hamilton County High School Participants
Front row, from left: Kennedy Moles, Alex Farthing, Emilie Green, Summer Matthews. Back row, from left: Samantha Alverth, Noah Colclasure, Cheyenne Powers, Alesse Strumpher, Kelcie Green, Elizabeth Isaacs.

 

Mt. Vernon Township High School Participants
Front row, from left: Asia Huggins, Jay King, Jasmine Howard, Caleb Isaacs. Back row, from left, Lance White, Casey White, Madison Waters, Ally Vuichard, Lexy McKinney, Hailey Mays.

 

 

Area departments fighting field fire in Buckner

by Steve Dunford

BUCKNER, IL –  There is a field fire endangering structures in the 500 block of South Janette Street in Buckner.  Zeigler, Christopher, and Coello Fire Departments are providing mutual aid.

At least through the weekend, there is a danger of field fires.  The current humidity is 41% with a dew point of 50.  With dry vegetation as well, burning is not advised.  To the best of my knowledge there is not any burn bans in effect in any communities.

If any communities issue burn bans, we will share that information as soon as possible.

Zeigler Finance Commissioner accused of using “strong and threatening language

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/36416221/zeigler-finance-commissioner-accused-of-using-strong-and-threatening-language

ZEIGLER, IL – (Andrew Feather, WSIL-TV.  Please click on the link to watch the video and read the full story here is an excerpt below.)

Ryan Thorpe was fired Tuesday night after an auditor’s report showed more than 200 thousand dollars missing from city accounts over the last 27 months, but he wasn’t the only city council member named in the audit.

As citizens demanded answers from Finance Commissioner Jim Flood, Tuesday’s special council meeting turned into a full-fledged shouting match.

This comes after an auditor’s report shows Flood would use “strong and threatening language” against female staff in city hall to pressure them into signing blank checks.

Some staff also say Flood would threaten people’s jobs if he didn’t get his way.

City attorney Rebecca Whittington calls it “bullying”.

 

 

 

 

Document shows Zeigler employee altered bank statements

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/36361395/document-shows-zeigler-employee-altered-bank-statements

ZEIGLER, IL – (Andrew Feather, WSIL-TV.  Please click on the link for the full story.  Here is an excerpt.)

A new document obtained as part of an ongoing FBI investigation into City of Zeigler finances could reveal how money turned up missing from city accounts.

It also outlines potential mismanagement by city leaders.

The FBI raided City Hall and city treasurer Ryan Thorpe’s house last month and placed Thorpe on unpaid administrative leave.

Now, a new 22-page report from City Attorney Rebecca Whittington outlines an internal review, which shows city checks made out to an employee, and not to approved vendors.

Z-R Junior High Girls Softball raised over $1K for Coaches vs. Cancer

By Steve Dunford

 

Randall Risley photo

ZEIGLER, IL-  Over time I have written a couple stories and shared a few links about the incredible work that Zeigler-Royalton Elementary/Junior High and High School has accomplished raising money for Coaches vs. Cancer.

I am going to mention in this story to people that I have a lot of respect for, Z-R superfan Randall Risley, and Tornado Junior High Girls Softball Coach, Amy Garmane.    I will be writing this from my own perspective.

Over the last several years, Z-R has raised $113,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer.  In the tournament over the weekend the junior high softball girls raised $1,058.10.

Let me give you a little background about Z-R Coaches vs. Cancer.  There have been a lot of   This effort has been spearheaded by Randall Risley, who in my book is the face of Zeigler-Royalton sports.  Even back in the 1980’s when I played basketball  Thompsonville, I would always see him sitting behind the bench keeping stats, etc.    I would see him around when I used to referee, and as a sportswriter and being at my son’s football games for C-Z-R I have got to know him..

Risley as well as Z-R High School Basketball Coach Matt Morgan had a conversation about can we do this here at Zeigler.  Both Risley and Morgan lost their fathers at a young age.  As you can see by the figure that I shared above, the rest is history.

I am nearly all the sports at Zeigler-Royalton have some type of fund raiser during the season for CVC.  Last Saturday, it was the junior high girls turn.

They are coached by Amy Garmane.  I have known her since she was in high school, first playing for Vienna, and later Sesser-Valier.  (They might have been co-oping with Waltonville at the time).  She later went on to play college softball for Rend Lake.   She has been an elementary teacher at Z-R for at least the last decade.

She has a passion for softball.  One thing that amazes me and we have not talked about it, she is pregnant and still coaching.  It was revealed Sunday that she and her husband Cory are going to have a little girl.

The Tornadoes went 1-1 on the day losing the opener to Crab Orchard 15-5 and winning the second game to Desoto 11-1.

Here is what the girls did at the plate on the afternoon:

Crab Orchard Game:  Lainey Morris 1-2, Skylar Hudson 1-2, Olyvia Crain 2-3, Hayley Pasquino 1-2, Bella Bate 1-3.

Desoto Game:  Lainey Morris 3-4 with a HR, Skylar Hudson 1-3, Olyvia Crain 2-3 with a HR, Hadleigh Swetz 1-3, Olivia Kirkpatrick 1-2, and Shelby Grove 1-1 with a sac and a walk.

They might have split on the day but their record is beyond 2-0 for the ones who worked real hard to raise $1.000 to fight cancer.  Yes I love sports and a stat freak, however, what was accomplished on the field is secondary to this amazing feat.

I am passionate about any fund raiser to fight cancer.  My mom has been gone over thirteen years to lung cancer, and she was a non smoker.

Any fundraiser the Zeigler-Royalton school district has for Coaches vs. Cancer I would be happy to share and promote.

Awesome job ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zeigler community demands answers about missing money

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/36352353/zeigler-community-demands-answers-about-missing-money

ZEIGLER, IL –  (Hannah Gebresilasse, WSIL-TV.  Please click on the link for the full story and video.  Here is an excerpt below)

Z-R High School Social Studies Teacher joins over 300 concerned Zeigler citizens over the missing funds in the Zeigler treasury. (WSIL-TV photo.)

People in Ziegler packed Tuesday night’s city council meeting demanding answers as to why FBI agents raided the town hall last month, and the home of the city treasurer.

“The money that’s gone came out of the pockets of the people sitting here,” said Jaime Moyers, a local high school teacher.

Moyers grew up in Ziegler. He said it’s one reason he’s passionate about the city’s issues. In the heated council meeting, he and others called for town leaders to take ownership of their mistakes.

“The last thing that we need to hear here is whitewash because what I need to know is that these elected officials have our best interest in mind,” Moyers said.

Local fire departments were busy Sunday evening

by Steve Dunford

 

Several area fire departments responded to a house fire last night at the corner of Horrell Ave. and St Louis St. in West Frankfort. (Zeigler Fire Department photo)

In a six hour stretch between 6:00 pm and around midnight, area fire departments were busy handling several calls.

Just right at 6:00 p.m. West Frankfort Firefighters were paged to the intersection of St. Louis Street and Horrell Avenue (Deering Road)  to a structure fire.  Departments from West City, Benton, Zeigler, Johnston City and Abbott EMS provided mutual aid.

Between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Royalton firefighters were toned to a pole barn fire on Washington Street.  Zeigler firefighters were leaving West Frankfort when the were called for mutual aid.  The structure was a total loss.  Christopher provided station coverage for Zeigler.

At 10:55 p.m., Benton firefighters were called to a single vehicle accident  and fire on East Main Street in front of the new Dollar General with injuries.

At 11;45 p.m.. West City firefighters were called to a three vehicle accident with injuries at the intersection of Route 14 and Central Street (in front of Walmart.)

I might be mistaken, but I am nearly positive that  Benton and West City provided mutual aid for each other during the wrecks.  Buckner Fire and Rescue also provided station coverage for West City.