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Headlines for Thursday, August 14, 2014

Johnson, BruceMore than a year after being formally charged, a trial date has been set for former Wayne-White Electric financial officer Bruce D. Johnson. Johnson, 50, of Wayne City is accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from the co-op and faces two class-3 felony charges of theft.  A January 20, 2015 trial date has been set.  Johnson remains free after posting $5,000 cash bond in July of last year.

A Tamaroa truck driver was injured Wednesday when his truck load of hot asphalt overturned at a construction site on Interstate 64 in Jefferson County.  State Police reported the truck was on uneven pavement when it tipped over, spilling its load of hot asphalt.  State Police did not release the identity of the 53-year-old driver.

For the first time since the fatal accident in 2007, former Illinois State Police trooper Matt Mitchell has publicly apologized for the Interstate 64 crash that killed 18-year-old Jessica Uhl and her 13-year-old sister, Kelli.  Mitchell was back at the Illinois Secretary of State’s office in Centralia this week trying – for the fifth time – to get his drivers’ license back.  The Secretary of State’s office has 90 days to make a decision on Mitchell’s request.

Another rash of telephone scams is targeting area consumers. The latest one comes from a group claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service. These scammers are asking victims for personal and financial information.  The IRS has identified over 1,100 victims who have lost around $5 million in the scams.  IRS officials say they will never ask for debit, credit or prepaid card information over the phone.

The annual Elm River Chowder has been set for Saturday, August 30. Volunteers are asked to show up around 7 a.m. to help cut up vegetables.  Thirty cast iron kettles will be placed over wood fires to produce approximately 900 gallons of chowder. Serving will begin around 12:30 in the afternoon.  Bluegrass music will also be featured.

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