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Gillespie Police Report: November 27-December 3, 2022

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2022

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 300 block of North Macoupin Street in reference to an alarm sounding.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of Madison Street in reference to a suspicious noise.

An officer was dispatched to North 2nd Street in Benld in reference to an animal complaint.

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

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and Main Street in Benld. Judy G. Hutchins, 58, of Mt. Olive was issued a citation for speeding.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Park Avenue in reference to a well-being check.

An officer initiated a traffic stop on South Hard Road and Oak Street in Benld.  Dotty A. Blank, 49, of Gillespie was issued a citation for speeding.

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An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and Hard Road in Benld.  Andrew D. Kuehn, 42, of Carlinville was issued a citation for speeding and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

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

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2022

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

Donavon M. Holmes, 22 of Wilsonville, was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant for possession of methamphetamine.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of North 4th Street in Benld in reference to a suicidal subject.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Green Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Fillmore Street in reference to a noise complaint.

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

An officer was dispatched to Harding Avenue in East Gillespie in reference to an animal complaint.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2022

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Maple Street in reference to a theft.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of LJ Avenue in reference to criminal trespass to a vehicle.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Park Avenue in reference to a mental subject.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 300 block of North Macoupin Street in reference to an alarm sounding.

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2022

An officer was dispatched to Mt. Clare Drive in Benld in reference to a death investigation.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of 4th Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of West Baker Street in reference to a noise complaint.

Aaron J. Bennett, 23, of Gillespie was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant on failure to appear on domestic battery and assault.

An officer was dispatched to Route 138 in Mt. Clare in reference to an animal complaint.

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

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2022

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a male in reference to a theft in the 600 block of Staunton Road.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of Springfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to a domestic dispute. Jonathan R. Heiens, 37, of Gillespie was arrested for domestic battery.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of North Macoupin Street in reference to a subject going through trash at local businesses.

An officer was dispatched to Springfield Road and Virginia Street in East Gillespie in reference to a reckless driver.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2022

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of South Main Street in Benld in reference to criminal damage to property.

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Officers were dispatched to the Gillespie Middle School in reference to a threat.

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

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

An officer was dispatched to West Pine and South Macoupin Street in reference to a motorist assist.

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

An officer was dispatched to Harding Avenue in East Gillespie in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to Circle Drive at Gillespie Lake in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Springfield Road in reference to a well-being check on a person,

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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2022

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Easton Street and Staunton Road. Elizabeth M. Cooke, 36, of St. Louis, MO was arrested for driving while his license is revoked, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and having an expired registration sticker.

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

Keshawn K. Bush, 38, of East Alton was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant for failure to report a change of address.

An officer was dispatched to the 1400 block of Madison Street in reference to an ordinance issue.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 1100 block of South Second Street in reference to criminal trespass.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of East Pine Street in reference to suspicious circumstances.

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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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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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