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Gillespie Police Report: December 11-17, 2022

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2022

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South Main Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to East Elm Street and Clinton Street in reference to a suspicious noise.

An officer was dispatched to North Main Street and Locust Street in Benld in reference to a suspicious vehicle.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to criminal damage in the 500 block of South Macoupin Street.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a child custody issue.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at South Macoupin Street and Elm Street. Brandi L. Schmitt-Brewer, 40, of Benld was issued a citation for operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2022

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An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to a battery.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 300 block of North Macoupin Street in reference to found property.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of North 5th Street in Benld in reference to reckless driving.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Francis Street in reference to a suspicious person.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2022

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of North Lincoln Street in Eagarville in reference to harassment.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South 5th Street in Benld in reference to a dog at large. James C. Dean, 39, of Benld was issued a citation for a dog at large.

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An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to an order of protection issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of North 8th Street in Benld in reference to an abandoned vehicle.

An officer was dispatched to the 1100 block of Madison Street in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Walnut Street in reference to a civil issue.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a suspicious message.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to criminal damage in the 500 block of South Macoupin.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to trespassing.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a juvenile issue.

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An officer was dispatched to Park Avenue and Elm Street in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of North Illinois Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2022

An officer was dispatched to Pine Street and South Street in reference to a traffic crash.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a theft in the 400 block of LJ Avenue.

An officer was dispatched to Route 4 and Route 16 in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was out in the 400 block of LJ Avenue checking on a crime-stoppers tip.

An officer was dispatched to Broadway Street and Montana Street in reference to a traffic crash. Troy E. Barker, 48, of Troy was issued a citation for hit-and-run.

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An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of East Elm Street in reference to a suspicious vehicle.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Elm Street for possible criminal damage.

An officer was dispatched to Madison Street and Charles Street in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer spoke to a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a theft.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South First Street in Benld in reference to a well-being check.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to a civil issue.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil issue in the 700 block of East Walnut Street.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2022

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An officer was dispatched to the area of Gillespie Street at Handy Street in reference to a loud vehicle.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to suspicious activity in the alleyway in the 200 block of East Maple Street.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of Park Avenue in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South 4th Street in Benld in reference to a mental subject.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2022

An officer was dispatched to the 900 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to a theft.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of LJ Avenue in reference to a suspicious person.  Latisha L. Conner, 32, of Gillespie was arrested on a Montgomery County warrant for failure to appear for possession of methamphetamine. She was also arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance.

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An officer initiated a traffic stop at South Hard Road and East Spruce in Benld. A 16-year-old male from Benld was issued citations for exceeding GDL passenger limits and possession of drug paraphernalia.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Elm Street and Macoupin Street. Kevin L. Cox, 24, of Brighton was issued a citation for expired registration.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Springfield Road and Maple Street.  Anita F. Terry, 72, of Wilsonville was issued a citation for disregarding a stop sign.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2022

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Staunton Road and Charles Street.  William J. Cooper, 60, of Benld was arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol and improper lane usage.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to a theft.

An officer spoke with a female in the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to harassment by telephone.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of LJ Avenue in reference to a domestic dispute.

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An officer was initiated at Montgomery Street and Cedar Street. Desirea N. Manus, 25, of Gillespie was arrested on a warrant out of Macoupin County for a traffic offense. She was also issued citations for expired registration, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, obstructing identification, possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of East Chestnut Street in reference to a theft.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Dorsey Road in Mt. Clare in reference to a mental subject.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of East Maple Street in reference to a suspicious person.

All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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School board deals with personnel issues during special meeting

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By

Stephanie Bray

Meeting in special session Monday night, members of the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education accepted “with regrets” the resignation for purposes of retirement of Stephanie Bray, one of the district’s three technology integration specialists, effective June 4.

The board called a special session to deal with the apparently unexpected resignation before the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting later this month. However, board members tabled action on approving a revised job description for the Student Information System/Data Integration Specialist position, pending further discussion.

The board also tabled action on posting the newly created vacancy and tabled posting a district-level secretary’s position.

In February of 2022, the board accepted “with regrets” Bray’s announcement of her retirement “no later than the end of the 2025-26 school year.” There was no indication of why Bray moved her retirement date up by two years.

On a motion by Weye Schmidt, seconded by Amanda Ross, the board voted unanimously to accept Bray’s resignation. The action followed a 50-minute executive session to discuss personnel issues behind closed doors. The public portion of the meeting lasted less than 10 minutes.

In other action, the board voted to renew the district’s One Room contract to offer a remotely taught Spanish class to fulfill the district’s foreign language requirement for the 2024-25 school year. This will be the second year an off-site teacher will teach foreign language at GHS, using remote communication technology. Supt. Shane Owsley said the district had no applications for the vacant teaching position last year. This year, an applicant from Brazil explored the possibility of teaching in Gillespie but ultimately accepted a tutoring position at Greenville University. Owsley said hiring the applicant could have become cumbersome because she was not yet certificated to teach high school Spanish. He said he recently changed the job description from Spanish to foreign language to expand the pool of potential applicants.

In other personnel action, the board approved the maternity leave request of Amber Allan, BenGil Elementary physical education teacher, effective Aug. 28 through Jan. 20.

In separate actions, the board accepted Nathan Henrichs resignation as Gillespie High School freshman football coach, posted the position as vacant, and appointed Henrichs as a varsity assistant football coach. The board also voted unanimously to appoint Alex Jasper as an assistant freshman football coach. The board unanimously accepted Wayne Ireland’s resignation as a volunteer assistant football coach, and voted unanimously to appoint Jarrod Herron and hire Trenton Cleveland as volunteer assistant football coaches.

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The board voted unanimously to hire Michael Rodriguez as a high school volunteer assistant women’s basketball coach.

On a motion by Schmidt, seconded by Kelli Vesper, the board hired Alexis Ollis as a head cook and kitchen staff member, pending documentation of certification and a background check. The board also Brittany Hughes as a district kitchen staff worker, pending documentation of certification and background check.

On a motion by Vesper, the board voted unanimously to post a vacancy for a one-on-one paraprofessional aide.

Board members voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Jessica Kelly as a middle school assistant track and field coach and voted unanimously to hire Jay Weber as the high school head track and field coach.

The regular monthly meeting of the board is set for 6 p.m., Monday, June 24, at the district’s administrative office.

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Community News

Americana festival set for July 4 at Benld Park

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Jess Barker, The Lodge Brothers, and The New Prairie Drifters are set to take the stage at Benld City Park on Thursday, July 4 as part of the Americana Festival.

The music festival intends to celebrate the birthday and spirit of America with thriving local culture of music, food, and art. It is scheduled to begin at 12 noon and end at 6 pm.

Food will be available for purchase from The Barracks American Table, a new Gillespie restaurant, and skincare products will be available from Nature’s Bliss, a Benld gift shop.

The park is located at 305 North Main Street in Benld. Admission is free.

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Macoupin County Fair underway until Sunday

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Rides, tents, food trucks, music, animals, and plenty of other offerings fill the grounds at the Macoupin County Fair for the 172nd year. The fair is held June 4 through June 9 at the Macoupin County Fairground north of Carlinville.

The oldest county fair in Illinois, the Macoupin County Fair welcomes thousands of guests to the area and unites agriculture, family, and community. The fair continues through Sunday with highlights every evening.

The fair also meets the needs of families on a budget, for just $10 per person you get parking and all-access to the carnival rides. The cost-friendly fun draws in visitors and locals who get to embrace the county’s namesakes.

Tracy Lawrence and Walker Montgomery are set to take the stage Thursday evening, June 6, at 7:30pm. Friday evening features the tractor and truck pull, and Saturday evening is the crowd-favorite demolition derby.

The fair opens every morning at 8am and closes at 12 midnight. For a full list of schedule of events or to pre-pay for entry, visit the fair’s website here.

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