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Justin Atteberry

The now 17-year-old son of a Salem day care provider has entered an open plea of guilty in Marion County Court to a Class X charge of aggravated criminal sexual assault.  

Justin Atteberry of Mills Cart Road admitted to sexually assault a ten month old girl who was being cared for at the home day care center.  Sentencing has been set for November 16th.  

State's Attorney Matt Wilzbach earlier said the girl's mother discovered her daughter's diaper on backwards and blood inside after picking her up in December 2015.   After initial treatment at Salem Township Hospital, the girl was transferred to Children's Hospital in St. Louis where four anal tears and bruising were confirmed.  The criminal charge states Atteberry by the use of force inserted an object into the girl causing the bodily harm.  

Police began their investigation at the day care because it was last place the girl had been.  Fresh blood was found on a changing table.  The investigation led to Atteberry.

At the time of the arrest, Wilzbach says Atteberry initially denied any responsibility, but eventually confessed to committing the act in a video recorded interview.  Atteberry indicated a Matchbox type car was used to cause the injury, but never gave a reason for why he committed the alleged act. 

The State's Attorney says this is one of four sex crimes where a juvenile who is at least 15 years old is automatically tried as an adult.  

Anthony Shaw

A 45-year-old Odin man has pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of aggravated cruelty to an animal and was sentenced to 30 days in the Marion County Jail.

Anthony Shaw of Hoots Chapel Road had initially been charged with felony aggravated cruelty to an animal in connection with the shooting death of his neighbor's Golden Retriever in November 2013.  Shaw reportedly admitted to Marion County Sheriff's Deputies to shooting the dog while it was in his backyard because he was tired of chasing dogs out of his yard.  Shaw had turned over the gun and the casing of the shotgun pellet used to fire the shot.  

The owner of the dog, James Thompson of the Hoots Chapel Road, had earlier found his dog Jake lying in a ditch near Shaw's home.  The incident led to the formation of a Facebook Page 'Justice for Jake'.   

In addition to the jail time, Shaw will have to pay court costs in the case.

Meanwhile, Shaw asked for a continuance in an unrelated case where earlier this month he is charged with aggravated battery and resisting arrest.   He is accused in that case of shoving a Marion County Sheriff's Deputy out of the way when arriving at the Evergreen Apartments where his daughter had been in an earlier confrontation with another man.  

Two people entered guilty pleas to felony drug charges in Marion County Court on Wednesday.  One was sent to prison.  The other was placed on probation.

30-year-old Tiffany Organ of Howard Street in Salem pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a prescription drug.  She was sentenced to two years in the Illinois Department of Corrections to be followed by one year of mandatory supervised release.   Organ was given credit for time already served in the Marion County Jail and ordered to pay court costs.

A separate charge of unlawful delivery of a meth precursor was dropped as part of the plea.  

A 30-year-old Sandoval woman has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of heroin.  Lynette Winkeler of East Mississippi was placed on five years probation, ordered to pay court costs, and undergo drug, alcohol and mental health evaluation.   Two traffic cases were dismissed as part of the plea.  

Doug Dodson is sworn in as the fire department's new captain during a ceremony at Centralia City Hall Wednesday morning. City Clerk Kim Engh (right) administers the oath while Dodson's wife Tina holds the Bible.

The Centralia Fire Department has a new Captain.  

Doug Dodson was sworn in Wednesday morning to his new position.  He replaces Gene Kracht, who recently retired.  

Dodson has worked with the Centralia City Fire Department for 29 years.   He joined the Centralia Fire Department in 1987 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2000.  

Dodson began his career at the Sandoval Fire Department, where he served 11 years.   

CHICAGO (AP) - Higher prices and fewer choices on the Illinois "Obamacare" marketplace will make choosing a health plan for 2017 a potentially frustrating experience for families who buy their own coverage.

The Illinois Department of Insurance released information Wednesday on rates it submitted to federal officials. Statewide, the average rate increase for a typical benchmark plan is 43 percent.

In eight counties, only Blue Cross Blue Shield will sell individual coverage. Major insurers have left the Illinois exchange and Land of Lincoln Health is folding. Many parts of the state will have fewer than 20 plans to choose from.

In a statement, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner blamed "major structural flaws in the Affordable Care Act" for the higher rates. Rauner says Congress "must enact smarter policies that truly provide better choices for Illinois residents."

Congressman John Shimkus says we can and must do better by repealing Obamacare and rebuilding a foundation on free-market principals driven by competition, where insurers design and offer a variety of plan options for consumers to make choices on what meets their individual and family needs at a price they can afford.  He adds with increasing premiums and high deductibles, people are paying more for less coverage than they did before, while the newly insured are facing limited, expensive  choices on the exchanges.  

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