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Headlines for Saturday, October 19, 2013

A 16-year-old female from Cisne was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident following a wreck on U.S. Route 45 a half-mile south of county road 1600 East Friday afternoon.  State police said the driver was southbound on U.S. Route 45 when she drove over the top of a hill and noticed a school bus stopped in traffic.  She was unable to stop for the school bus and left the roadway on the west side, striking a ditch and overturning.  The driver and a 16-year-old passenger from Mt. Erie were injured.  The passenger was taken to Fairfield Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries.  The crash was reported just after 3:30 p.m.

Carmi police arrested a Carmi man, 42-year-old Jason R. Weasel, Friday night on preliminary charges of home invasion and aggravated discharge of a firearm.  Carmi Police Chief Randy Hamblin says officers were called to 400 South Church Street on a report of shots fired at the residence.  Police said based on statements and physical evidence, it appeared Weasel’s 18-year-old daughter was at the residence, and Jason R. Weasel drove to the residence and later pushed his way inside to confront his daughter.  Weasel was then allegedly drug outside by the occupants, and Weasel is accused of going to his truck and grabbing a large handgun.  Witnesses said two shots were fired in the general direction of the house.  It was later determined one of the shots fired went through at least two neighboring homes and an SUV.  Jason R. Weasel was taken to the jail in Carmi and later treated for a head wound.

22-year-old Dusty Daniels of Mt. Vernon, IL has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of obstruction of justice in Hamilton County.  Daniels entered the plea in Hamilton County Circuit Court in McLeansboro.  Hamilton County States Attorney Justin Hood dropped a charge of burglary in return for the guilty plea in the obstruction case.  In pleading guility, Daniels admitted that he lied to investigators about a stolen credit card.

The second suspect in an armed robbery of the Old National Bank in Harrisburg, IL Thursday has been captured.  28-year-old Casey Allen Heflin of Boaz, KY, was arrested Friday night at a hotel in Cape Girardeau, MO.   His accomplice, 38-year-old Shawn Thomas Gregory of Harrisburg, IL was formally charged Friday with armed robbery with a firearm, a class-X felony, in connection with the armed robbery Thursday morning.  Police said video showed Heflin was armed with a silver handgun when he robbed the bank at gunpoint, and got away with approximately $4000.

38-year-old Brian K. Bowlby is scheduled to stand trial in Hamilton County later this month in a second sexual assault case.  He is currently serving a 270-year prison term for multiple convictions of predatory criminal sexual assault.  In the latest case, Bowlby is accused of sexually assaulting a female who was nine-years-old at the time when he lived in the Hamilton County village of Dale.  Prosecutors allege the sexual contact took place over the summer of 2005.  In the pending Hamilton County case, States Attorney Justin Hood admitted it appeared there would be no reason to prosecute Bowlby, given the fact he won’t be eligible for parole until the year 2240.  Jury selection in the Hamilton County trial is set to begin October 28th.

Motorists in Illinois will be able to legally drive 70 mph on interstates in just over two months, but it is not clear which interstates are covered by the change.  A provision allowing certain counties to keep speeds lower is creating confusion.  The bill’s primary sponsor, Senator Jim Oberweis, is scheduled to meet with transportation officials next week to clear up any questions about the measure.

The Illinois State Board of Education is telling schools across the state to be “very conservative” when it comes to putting together their budgets for the next school year.  They say more state funding cuts may be on the horizon.  The state board is warning districts they may only receive 85 percent of the normal state aid payments.  This year, districts are receiving around 89 percent of the normal funding.

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