lockwoodPolice in White County, Ill. were asked to search a remote wooded area near Dogtown as part of the investigation into the disappearance of 30-year-old Joelle Lockwood of Evansville. Sheriff Doug Maier says his office received a request for assistance from the Evansville Police Department Thursday to search a heavily wooded area near Dogtown in connection with property owned by a person of interest in the Lockwood disappearance. The location is along the Wabash River south of Maunie, in southern White County. Sheriff Maier reports nothing was found as a result of the search. Joelle Lockwood was last seen on July 9 walking near Pigeon Creek. At the time of her disappearance, police said they had no evidence to suggest that foul play was involved in the case. Lockwood is described as 5’ 3” tall and weighing around 125 pounds.  She has brown hair and eyes. According to Evansville police, she might be driving a silver Chevy Malibu with Indiana license plate 2111 TYC.

A Johnston City teen was seriously injured early this morning when the pickup truck he was driving ran off Ill. Rt. 14 in rural Hamilton County, hit several culverts and overturned. 18-year-old Derek Smith was airlifted to an area hospital for treatment of serious injuries. A passenger in his truck, 18-year-old Andy Vaughan of Carmi fled the scene on foot and is being sought by police. Derek Smith was cited for DUI following the 12:01 a.m. crash.  Vaughan later checked in at an area hospital for treatment of his injuries.

39-year-old Jason L. Hart of Spring Street in Fairfield was arrested Thursday night on a charge of domestic battery.  Hart is accused of assaulting his wife, 25-year-old Elizabeth J. Hart during an argument. He is accused of pulling her hair and striking her on the neck.  Police responded to the call at 7:30 Thursday night.

A McLeansboro man remains hospitalized after being beaten with an aluminum ball bat. 35-year-old George Weingartner suffered major injuries when he was allegedly beaten by 36-year-old Terry Morgan of McLeansboro.  Morgan has been jailed under $100,000 bond on a charge of aggravated battery.

Farmers are expected to harvest a record-breaking corn crop this year, surpassing earlier expectations of the USDA.  The nation’s corn harvest is expected to hit 14 billion bushels. The soybean crop is expected to set a new record as well at 3.8 billion bushels.  Local corn and soybean crops are said to be in excellent condition.

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation aimed at improving emergency response in rural areas of Illinois. The law allows ambulance providers in rural areas to be upgraded to the highest emergency medical technician license of any person staffing that ambulance. Current law restricts an ambulance to a set level of emergency care regardless of the qualifications of those staffing it.  Sponsors of the law say the change allows more kinds of life-saving procedures to be performed in the ambulance.

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