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Gillespie Police Report: January 8-14, 2023

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SUNDAY, JANUARY 8, 2023

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Second Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street in reference to a violation of an order of protection.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of West Hickory Street in Benld in reference to a suspicious vehicle.

An officer was out at Chestnut Street and Shelby Street in reference to a suspicious person on a bicycle.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to phone harassment.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and Main Street in Benld. Joseph B. Boente, 71, of Gillespie was issued a citation for expired registration.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and Main Street in Benld. Destiny M. Crider, 36, of Gillespie was issued a citation for speeding.

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Gillespie Police Department assisted Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department in arresting Christian M. Grimes, 25, of Benld for failure to comply with probation.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a noise complaint in the 100 block of South Macoupin Street.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of South 5th Street in Benld in reference to a suspicious person.

MONDAY, JANUARY 9, 2023

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Frey Street in reference to a found item.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to harassment by telephone.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of Chestnut Street in Benld in reference to a medical assist.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Second Street in reference to a violation of protection.

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An officer was dispatched to Elm Street and Frey Street in reference to suspicious persons.

A male called into Gillespie Police Department in reference to a dog complaint.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Macoupin Street and Walnut Street. Betty L. Slone-Steward, 68, of Gillespie was issued a citation for disregarding a stop sign.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2023

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 400 block of Springfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to criminal damage to property.

An officer was dispatched to Staunton Road and Jersey Street in reference to a traffic crash.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Oak Street in reference to a domestic dispute and juvenile issues.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of North 4th Street in Benld in reference to a civil issue.

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An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of North Kentucky Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespass to land.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Charles Street in reference to a child calling 911 playing with the phone.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Charles Street in reference to a wellbeing check.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of West Elm Street in reference to an alarm call.

An officer was dispatched to Route 4 and Route 138 in Mt. Clare in reference to a suspicious vehicle.

An officer was out at East Elm Street and Adams Street for a motorist assist.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2023

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

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An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a scam phone call.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of LJ Avenue in reference to criminal damage to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of South Madison Street in reference to harassment and suicidal threats.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Central Avenue in Benld in reference to a theft of a motor vehicle. The vehicle was later located.

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

THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2023

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department in reference to a dog-on-dog bite that took place in the 400 block of Park Avenue.

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An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a female in reference to criminal damage in the 900 block of South Macoupin Street.

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a male in reference to an order of protection and to keep the peace in the 700 block of South Second Street.

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a male in reference to a violation of an order of protection.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of West Easton Street in reference to an issue with the construction crew.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of West Hickory Street in Benld in reference to a wellbeing check.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Charles Street in reference to a wellbeing check.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a suspicious vehicle in the 900 block of South Madison Street.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2023

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An officer initiated a traffic stop at 8th Street and Locust Street in Benld.  Deanna M. Graham, 44, of Hartford was arrested for a warrant out of Alton for child neglect. She was also issued citations for speeding and disregarding a stop sign.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department about found property and was able to return it to the correct owner.

An officer was dispatched to Central Avenue in Benld in reference to a report of a reckless driver.

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

An officer was notified of reckless driving in the 300 block of Kelly Street.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Macoupin Street and Walnut Street. A 16-year-old juvenile from Litchfield was given a written warning for improper U-turn.

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

The School Resource Officer out on Frey Street and Broadway Street with a juvenile that left the school. The child was released to her parent in the 300 block of East Oak Street

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

SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2023

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 900 block of North Hard Road in Mt. Clare in reference to a hit-and-run traffic crash.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Dorsey Road in Mt. Clare in reference to a domestic battery. Julia C. Cuvar, 24, of Granite City was arrested for domestic battery.

An officer was dispatched to the 1000 block of Madison Street in reference to criminal damage and a juvenile shooting a BB gun in city limits.

Edgar A. Schubert, 62, of Sawyerville was arrested for driving while license was suspended, suspended or revoked registration, improper use of registration, and illegal transportation of alcohol.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Richard Street in reference to a suicidal subject.

An officer was out with a suspicious subject around a business in the 400 block of South Macoupin Street.

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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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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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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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