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Gillespie Police Report: May 7-13, 2023

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SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2023

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of East Central Avenue in Benld in reference to a traffic crash.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of West Wilson Street in reference to an ordinance issues no burning on Sundays. Matthew C. Stull, 28, of Bunker Hill was issued a citation for burning after hours.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Springfield Road and Virginia Avenue in East Gillespie. Joseph W. Homan, 28 of Gillespie was issued citations for speeding, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, operation of vehicle when registration was suspended, and driving while license was suspended.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of West Burton Street in reference to a neighbor complaint.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street in reference to a mental subject.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Frey Street in reference to a theft.

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An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of West Chestnut Street in reference to telephone harassment.

An officer was dispatched to the Benld Bike Trail in reference to an intoxicated subject.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of Broadway Street in reference to a suspicious vehicle.

MONDAY, MAY 8, 2023

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Park Street in Benld in reference to a vehicle blocking an alleyway.

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

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

An officer was dispatched to North Main and East Walnut in Benld in reference to a tree being down across the roadway.

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An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to a suspicious vehicle.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of South Main Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Edwards Street in reference to fraud.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 900 block of North Hard Road in Mt. Clare in reference to fraud.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Adams Street in reference to an animal complaint.

TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2023

An officer initiated a traffic stop at East Maple Street and Fulton Street. Amanda L. Vernon, 41, of Benld was arrested for driving while license were suspended, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and improper use of evidence of registration or certificate of title.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Fulton Street and East Maple Street. Dustin M. Thompson, 29, of Benld was arrested for driving while license is suspended.

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An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of LJ Avenue in reference to a civil issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of Shelby Street in reference to a noise complaint.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and 4th Street in Benld. Shaun M. McCaw, 33, of Gillespie was issued a citation for operation of expired registration.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Hard Road and Oak Street in Benld. Susan L. Pirok, 64 of Worden, was issued a citation for speeding.

An officer was out in the 300 block of East Spruce Street in reference to an ordinance issue.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Hard Road and Oak Street in Benld. Roberto Rodriguez, 25, of Chicago was issued a citation for speeding.

An officer was dispatched to Route 16 and Litchfield Road for a juvenile walking on the roadway.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of West Walnut Street in Benld in reference to a medical assist.

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An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and Illinois Street in Benld. Jon P. Linnertz, 46, of Red Bud was issued a citation for operating a vehicle with no registration.

An officer was dispatched to Route 138 and Maple Street by Benld Cemetery in reference to a car/deer traffic crash.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Osie Street in reference to a domestic dispute and civil issue.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Springfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to a vehicle parked in the middle of the road.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Baker in reference to a suspicious vehicle parked in the alley.

An officer was dispatched to the Railroad Tracks at Park Street in Benld in reference to juveniles throwing objects.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Central Avenue in Benld in reference to criminal trespassing.

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 2023

An officer made contact with Kathryn J. Ayers, 51, of Gillespie in reference to a parole violation.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Green Street and Osie Street. Randy L. Baldwin, 33, of Benld was issued a citation for operating a vehicle with suspended registration.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of South Main Street in Benld in reference to a suicidal subject.

Alicia N. Tamosaitis, 26, of Benld was arrested on a Montgomery County warrant for failure to appear on criminal damage.

An officer was dispatched to the area of Spruce Street and Illinois Street in Benld in reference to a suspicious person.  Miguel A. Agosto, 19, of Mt. Olive was arrested for aggravated assault, obstructing identification, and resisting a peace officer.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil issue in the 300 block of North 8th Street in Benld.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and 2nd Street in Benld. Kimberlee A. Gillespie, 33, of Benld was issued a citation for speeding.

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An officer was dispatched to the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in reference to a suspicious vehicle.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South 1st Street in Benld in reference to harassment by telephone.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Broadway Street and LJ Avenue. David A. Pace, 67, of Shipman was issued a citation for speeding.

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

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a neighbor dispute in the 400 block of Broadway Street.

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

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and Main Street in Benld. Katilyn D. Craig (Adams), 27, of Benld was issued a citation for speeding.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and Main Street in Benld. Ashley N. Page, 35, of Mt. Olive was issued a citation for speeding.

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An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of South Main Street in reference to a well-being check.

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

THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2023

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of North 8th Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute. Cody A. Barksdale, 26 of Benld, was arrested for domestic battery and Andrea J. Richardson, 18 of Gillespie, was arrested for domestic battery.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of South Main Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of North 8th Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespass.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South 1st Street in Benld in reference to harassment.

An officer met with a male at Gillespie Police Department that brought in an item he found and later recovered by the registered owner

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An officer was dispatched to the Gillespie Police Department to speak with a female in reference to her son missing. He was later found and returned home.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Springfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to theft.  Amanda T. Patterson, 39, of Gillespie was arrested on a warrant out of Macoupin County for failure to appear for possession of methamphetamine.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of Dorsey Road in Mt. Clare in reference to a suspicious person.

Officers were dispatched to Gillespie High School for a report of multiple juveniles on the front lawn of the school.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of North 8th Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespass.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil issue in the 200 block of North 8th Street in Benld.

An officer was dispatched to LJ Avenue and West Maple Street in reference to a suspicious person.

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An officer initiated a traffic stop at Springfield Road and Virginia Avenue in East Gillespie.  Pamela S. Qualls, 60, of Carlinville was issued a citation for speeding.

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

FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2023

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a female in reference to harassment by telephone.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to reckless driving at South Street and Green Street.

An officer was out in the 1400 block of Madison Street assisting an alderman with an ordinance issue.

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department in reference to a missing person. The female returned home

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

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

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of West Maple Street in reference to harassment by telephone.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Dorsey Road in Mt. Clare in reference to an ongoing neighbor dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Park Avenue in reference to a dog at large. Cassie N. Montine, 22, of Gillespie was issued a citation for dog at large.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South Illinois Street in Benld for a medical assist.

An officer during normal patrol found an open door on a residence in the 800 block of Fillmore Street.

SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2023

An officer was dispatched to the 1300 block of South Second Street in reference to a domestic dispute. Karena A. Haller, 37, of Carlinville was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant for failure to appear on driving while license is suspended.  Keyshawn K. Bush, 38, of Gillespie was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant for failure to appear of an address change.

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An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Adams Street in reference to a noise complaint. Lavonne M. Berry, 50, of Gillespie was issued a citation for noisy animals.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of West Dorsey Street in Benld in reference to a noise complaint.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 100 block of North Macoupin in reference to criminal trespass.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of Abba in reference to a dog at large. Jason A Schalk, 39, of Gillespie was issued a citation for dog at large.

An officer was dispatched to Shelby Street and Pine Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to 100 block of Frey Street in reference to wellbeing check.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of West Wilson in reference to an ordinance issue of illegal burning.

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie City Cemetery in reference to a male subject carrying a BB gun.

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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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