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Superintendent Chuck Lane described the budget for the upcoming school year as "OK", but that the school could have received more had the state budget not included a hold harmless clause. This clause prevents any schools from losing money over their previous year's state aid.

Centralia High School received an increase of approximately $130,000 from their previous allotment. However, financial concerns remained a constant element. The board approved two interfund loans as well as a new line of credit in order to account for money owed to the school that has not yet been paid.

Lane, while appreciative that a budget for K-12 was passed for the full upcoming year, was skeptical that further political headbutting wouldn't cause additional problems in the future.

Principal Reid Shipley announced the date of registration as well as plans to begin SAT preparation in the upcoming months.

Centralia High School will hold pre-registration on August 2nd and 4th from 12 to 8PM. Official registration for returning students will take place on August 9th, 10th, and 11th for returning students and August 12th for new students. Pictures will be taken on the date of registration. The first day of classes is scheduled for Tuesday, August 16th.

The Board also accepted the resignation of custodian Ernie Johnson. Heidi Livesay, a special education aide, Al Bazile, an in-school suspension supervisor, and Vicky Benjamin, a part-time librarian, were all officially employed for the 2016-17 school year.


CHICAGO (AP) - State officials are officially seeking a new private manager for the Illinois Lottery after moving to terminate Northstar Lottery Group's contract last year.

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the release Thursday of a request for proposal on a 10-year $300 million contract. He says proposed contract changes eliminate past problems. 

Illinois awarded Chicago-based Northstar a contract in 2010. The company was criticized about its management style and not meeting revenue goals. Under September's termination agreement, Northstar continues operations until 2017. 

Lottery officials say it took months to seek a new manager because of a complex agreement and state law. 

Rauner also floated a "public benefit corporation" similar to Georgia and Tennessee's lotteries. The Republican says he'll consider that if appropriate bids don't come in. Any changes require the Democrat-controlled Legislature's approval.


The YMCA has announced an initiative designed to help provide local students and schools with the necessary supplies for the upcoming school year.

The "Stuff the Bus" initiative is ongoing with collection locations at the Salem Walmart, Dollar General, Salem Township Hospital, IGA, and Salem City Hall.

Encouraged donations include the following items...

Student Supplies: Backpacks, pencils, colored pencils, pens, pencil boxes, scissors, basic and scientific calculators, notebooks, composition notebooks, crayons, washable markers, folders, glue, highlighters, and erasers.

School Supplies: Sticky notes, sharpies, glue sticks, colored pens, binder clips, card stock, smelly and dry erase markers, tape, staples, paperclips, rubber bands, stickers, construction paper, 3 ring binders, and Kleenex.

Those who bring a school supply to Dollar Day on August 13th at the Salem Family Aquatic Center will also receive a free hot dog.


Unemployment in Marion County in June was at 6.3-percent, down from 6.5-percent in May and three-tenths of a percent lower than last June.

The IDES report states that employment advances in transportation and health have been made throughout the year in South Central Illinois. Spring employment expansion in construction, agriculture, hospitality, and recreation were also reported.

Statewide, the number of nonfarm jobs in Illinois increased by 39,700 over last year. The majority of which were reported in the Chicago Metro Division.

Washington County continues to hold the lowest unemployment rate at 3.7-percent, down from May by two-tenths of a percent, but up one-tenth of a percent from last year. Clinton County unemployment is 4.2-percent, down one-tenth of a percent from last year while Fayette County unemployment sits at 6.3-percent, up three-tenths of a percent from last year. Jefferson County unemployment remains steady at 6.4-percent, down slightly from last month's report of 6.5-percent, but down significantly from last year by four-tenths of a percent. Wayne County continues to see high unemployment at 8.4-percent, up 1.3-percent from last year.

Illinois statewide unemployment remains at 6.0-percent, the same rate as last year.


Two people were charged in Marion County Court Thursday morning in the aftermath of a lengthy Wednesday morning high speed chase that began near Salem and ended in Centralia.  A Marion County sheriff’s deputy was reportedly struck by the chase vehicle, but was not hurt.

Bond was set at $100,000 for the driver, Ian Meredith of South College in Salem.   He was formally charged with aggravated battery to a police officer, two counts of unlawful use of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated possession of 2 to 5 stolen firearms, possession of a stolen license plate, aggravated fleeing and eluding with violation of two or more traffic control devices, and driving under the influence of drugs.

A passenger, Melanie Scurba of James Street in Wamac, had bond set at $1,500 after being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Initial information indicates the chase that reached speeds of nearly 100 miles per hour wound from near Salem to the east side of Centralia, where Centralia Police joined the pursuit.  The chase then continued through downtown and eventually ended near the Lincoln and Rhodes Street intersection. 

The sheriff’s department has not released any additional details on the chase itself.





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