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Gillespie Police Report: May 21-27, 2023

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SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2023

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Staunton Road and Charles Street. Donald E. Ruyle, 50, of Benld was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant for failure to appear for domestic battery.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 500 block of East Elm Street in reference to criminal trespass.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of Harding Avenue in East Gillespie in reference to a medical call.

Shane D. Robbins, 37, of Benld was arrested on a warrant out of Macoupin County for failure to appear to register as a sex offender.

An officer initiated a traffic stop in the 300 block of North Macoupin Street. William C. Cooper, 39, of Gillespie was arrested for driving while his license was suspended.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Lincoln Avenue and Edgar Street in Eagarville. Michael J. Allen, 18, of Gillespie was arrested for driving while his license was suspended and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of North 5th Street in Benld in reference to a theft from a vehicle.

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An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a male in reference to criminal damage in the 100 block of Main Street in Benld.

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a male in reference to an animal complaint in the 400 block of Henrietta Street.

An officer was dispatched to Second Street and Clark Street in reference to suspicious activity.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of Madison Street in reference to a medical call.

An officer was dispatched to North 6th Street and Eiler Street in Benld in reference to a suspicious vehicle.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 400 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to suspicious activity.

MONDAY, MAY 22, 2023

An officer initiated a traffic stop in the 200 block of Southern Street. James P. Licklider, 54, of Mt. Olive was arrested for driving while his license was suspended and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

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An officer was dispatched to the 900 block of Alton Road in Mt. Clare in reference to a civil issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of South Hard Road in Benld in reference to dumping trash. Theodore H. Hopper, 51 of Gillespie was issued citations for dumping garbage upon real property and driving while his license was suspended.

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department in reference to a juvenile issue in the 700 block of Abba Street.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of 8th Street in Benld in reference to a civil issue.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Route 4 and Walnut Street in Benld.  Benjamin S. Shepard, 28, of Moro was issued citations for expired registration of vehicles on truck and trailer.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of West Maple Street in reference to suspicious circumstances.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 400 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to criminal trespass.

An officer was dispatched to North Hard Road in Benld in reference to juvenile issues.

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An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of East Walnut Street in reference to criminal trespass.

TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2023

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 400 block of South Macoupin in reference to criminal trespass.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Lincoln Avenue and Henderson in Eagarville. Chevelle G. Crawford, 19 of Benld was issued citations for disregarding a stop sign, open title failed to complete owner, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 100 block of South Hard Road in Mt. Clare in reference to a business check.

An officer was dispatched to Springfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to juveniles in the roadway.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 500 block of East Elm Street in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Baker Street in reference to a medical call.

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An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of West Maple Street in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of North 8th Street in Benld in reference to a vehicle blocking the alley.

An officer spoke with a male in reference to a civil issue in the 500 block of South Hard Road in Benld.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street in reference to a juvenile issue.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 2023

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Oak Street in reference to a medical call.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Springfield Road and Elm Street in East Gillespie. Jacob A. Bloome, 44, of Carlinville was issued citations for expired registration and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

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An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Burton Street in reference to a death investigation.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Charles Street in reference to found property.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Charles Street in reference to criminal damage to property.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central and 2nd Street in Benld. Danasia R. Allen, 23, of Collinsville was issued a citation for the operation of a vehicle without evidence of registration.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 500 block of East Central in Benld in reference to an alarm sounding.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Park Street in Benld in reference to an ordinance issue of burning after hours.

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Lake at the boat ramp in reference to a boat on fire.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of South Street in reference to a theft.

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An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to a wellbeing check.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Francis Street in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of East Chestnut Street in reference to a civil standby.

An officer spoke with a male at Springfield Road and Elm Street in East Gillespie in reference to threats.

An officer was dispatched to Broadway Street and LJ Avenue in reference to juvenile issues.

An officer was dispatched to Welfare Park to pick up an item that was found.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 Block of Francis Street in reference to criminal damage to property.

An officer was dispatched to West Chestnut Street in reference to suspicious circumstances.

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An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of West Wilson Street in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Broadway Street in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to South Illinois Street and Kentucky Street in Benld in reference to a suspicious vehicle.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to an ordinance issue in Mt. Clare and was directed to City Hall.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to threats made with an electronic device.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Osie in reference to an ordinance issue of illegal burning.

THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2023

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Wilson Street in reference to a domestic dispute. Chad A. Pritchard, 38, of Benld was arrested for criminal damage to property.

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Jennifer L. Pickett, 41, of Gillespie was issued a citation for disobeying a stop sign at East Spruce Street and Second Street.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of North Hard Road in Mt. Clare in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of South Madison Street in reference to an ordinance issue of illegal burning.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to a wellbeing check.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South Illinois Street in Benld in reference to juvenile issues.

An officer was dispatched to the 1300 block of Staunton Road for a male walking in and out of traffic.

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An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to an alarm sounding.

An officer during normal patrol was out with a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot in the 900 block of Broadway Street.

FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2023

An officer was dispatched to the 2200 block of Staunton Road in reference to criminal trespass to property. 

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Springfield Road and Elm Street in East Gillespie. Matthew W. Stoops, 31 of Bunker Hill was arrested for no driver’s license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, operation of vehicle with expired registration, possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Walnut Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of Harding Avenue in East Gillespie in reference to a medical call.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to reckless driving.

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An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a theft at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of East Central in Benld in reference to criminal trespass.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Maple in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer assisted an alderman with an ordinance issue in the 1400 block of South Madison Street.

SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2023

An officer was out in the 100 block of North Macoupin Street with subjects in a dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of Harding Avenue in East Gillespie in reference to a medical call.

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An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of South Main Street in reference to an ordinance issue. Latisha L. Conner, 32, of Gillespie was arrested on two warrants first being out of Macoupin County for possession of a controlled substance and the second out of Montgomery County for failure to appear for possession of methamphetamine.

An officer was dispatched to South 4th Street and South Main Street in Benld in reference to four-wheelers up and down the roadway.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Park Avenue in reference to a report of paintball guns being fired.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Illinois Street and Walnut Street in Benld. Joshua L. Lyons, 32, of Benld was issued citations for driving while license were revoked, disregarding a stop sign, resisting peace officer, and illegal transportation of alcohol.

An officer was dispatched to Bishop Drive at Gillespie Lake in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to 1100 block of Staunton Road in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to South 7th Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to an alarm sounding.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Springfield Road in reference to a wellbeing check.

An officer was out in the 200 block of South 2nd Street in Benld with an intoxicated pedestrian.

An officer was dispatched to Springfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to reckless driving.

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

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Community News

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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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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