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Headlines for Monday, August 5, 2013

20-year-old Derek W. Walden of Mt. Erie was arrested Saturday night after he allegedly burned his ex-girlfriend’s personal belongings behind his home.  Among the items, police said, was a high school diploma and a dresser.  Walden was arrested on a charge of criminal damage to property under $300, and released on $150 cash bond pending a court appearance.

47-year-old Robert A. Butler of Fairfield was jailed Sunday evening following a wreck on the Jasper School Road just north of the Fairfield city limits.  Police said Butler admitted after the wreck that he had been driving on a revoked drivers license.  He was injured in the crash, but refused treatment.  He was lodged in the Wayne County Jail on the driving revoked charge, and later released after posting $150 cash bond.

Dakota B. Grimes of Mt. Carmel faces charges of burglary, theft over $500 and DUI.  Grimes is accused of stealing a church van from the Mt. Carmel Evangelical United Methodist Church while drunk over the weekend, and later crashing it in the county.  Grimes was taken to the Wabash County Jail and held pending the posting of bond.

A change of venue has been granted in the murder for hire case of 48-year-old Helen Marie Westall of Bridgeport, IL.  She is charged with paying $10,000 and a 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass to carry out the killing of her elderly uncle, 78-year-old Robert V. Westall of Lawrenceville, IL.  An autopsy report said that he had been stabbed 32 times.  A jury found 21-year-old Tyler R. McQueen of Mt. Carmel, IL guilty of first-degree murder for the slaying on May 3rd.  He is scheduled to be sentenced August 23rd.  Helen Marie Westall remains in custody under $3 million bond pending trial.  It has not been announced where the trial will be moved.

Registration for students in the North Wayne district will be held Tuesday afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.  Students entering the 6th and 9th grades as well as students new to the district must have had a recent physical exam and proof of immunization, and students entering kindergarten, 2nd and 6th grades must have proof of a dental exam, while students entering kindergarten must also have a complete eye exam.  The first day of classes will be Friday, August 16th.

High schools across Illinois will be required to cover injured athletes with up to $3 million worth of insurance benefits or for five years, whichever comes first, under a new law.  Schools that already require athletes to have private insurance will be exempt from the law.  The extra insurance is expected to cost less than five dollars per athlete.

Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation over the weekend giving ex-offenders a second chance at employment and a productive life, and offering prosecutors and judges more sentencing options for violent offenders.  The law is meant to help reduce the risk of repeat offenders.  It also increases the income tax credit for those who hire qualified ex-offenders from a cap of $600 to a maximum of $1500 per employee.  The law takes effect immediately.

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