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Outgoing Sheriff Jerry DeVore addresses staff and supporters.

Marion County Sheriff Jerry DeVore isn't ready to leave the sheriff's department.  

DeVore confirms he has hired an attorney to investigate getting his former position as a road sergeant back when his term as sheriff ends November 30th.  DeVore says there is a clause in the merit board rules that allows a sheriff to return to his tenured position.  

State's Attorney Matt Wilzbach says there is such a provision, but no statutory requirement that DeVore has to be given his job back.  Wilzbach says incoming Sheriff Rich Stevenson opposes the idea of giving DeVore a job.   Stevenson beat DeVore in a hotly contested election on November 4th.  

The State's Attorney notes there is no current opening for a Sergeant at the department which means a new position would have to be created or someone would face a layoff.  Wilzbach says that action could pose another legal question.   

DeVore says he wouldn't have a problem working for Stevenson and can do the job just like anyone else.  DeVore is three years away from being able to get a pension and would like to be able to serve at the sheriff's department that much longer.  

DeVore said his farewell's as sheriff Tuesday to supporters and department employees.  

"I think [the department] is better than when I came in. I think that's the goal of every sheriff, to leave the place better than they found it. I hope that I've done that. I've tried really hard" said DeVore.

DeVore receive a round of applause from those in attendance.

DeVore says he plans to show up at the sheriff's department on Monday morning ready to go to work for the new sheriff.   Stevenson is scheduled to be sworn in at 8:30 Monday morning in the large third floor courtroom at the Marion County Courthouse.  

Steve Smith poses with around 80 boxes, each packed with five care packages each, ready to ship off to Afghanistan.

400 care packages will find their way into the hands of American soldiers at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan this year, thanks to the efforts of a Salem Teacher and his ministry group.

In 2004, Steve Smith's son was sent off to Iraq with the Illinois National Guard. It was then that Smith decided to begin sending monthly care packages to troops in war zones overseas. Smith started sending packages specifically to troops from Illinois, but as the War in Iraq ended and the War in Afghanistan began to wind down, he expanded his operation to include troops from the Midwest and across the country.

Volunteers packed the care packages at the Salem Community Center on Tuesday. The care packages include warm socks, homemade cookies, a pocket bible, peanuts and various other goodies. Each package includes a hand-drawn Christmas card by a Hawthorn school student and a letter from Smith detailing where the packages come from and the efforts of the people who packed them. 

Smith takes donations throughout the year to put the packages together. He plans to send them off in time for Christmas.

A blast of winter weather has fouled up travel conditions on the busiest travel day of the year. Kell EMS and the Marion County Sheriff's Department responded to an accident just before the 5 o'clock hour on Wednesday involving a number of injuries and vehicular entrapment. The accident backed up traffic for nearly an hour. No other details are available.

Areas of particular concern are curves, such as the curves south of Kindmundy and Sandoval. The Sheriff's Department, Local and State Police have responded to over a dozen motorist assist calls in the hours since the snow hit.

The poor road conditions are expected to continue for most of Thanksgiving day before hopefully melting off on Friday. Pay close attention to rapidly changing road conditions and adjust your driving behavior accordingly.

Salem's Bryan Bennett Library is pulling out all the stops this Holiday Season to make it a memorable one. The first event of the Christmas season, a Christmas Sing-a-long is scheduled for Tuesday, December 2nd. Library Director Kim Keller.

"We encourage anybody and everybody to turn out for this. Becky Carpenter will be the featured musician for this, and she'll provide music on a keyboard. We'll sing a variety of Christmas songs, and we promise good company and pretty good music, too!" said Keller.

Light refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome--the event is entirely free.

Another free event, this one for the young and young at heart. Santa Claus is planning two stops at the library, the first on Monday, December 8th and the second on Saturday, December 13th.

"Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras and get pictures, and we'll have light refreshments [provided by] Mrs. Claus," Keller told WJBD.

The Monday event takes place between 6 and 7pm, and the Saturday event runs between 10am and 11am. No reservations are needed.

For more information on either event. Contact the library at 548-3006.

The first firearm deer hunting season in Illinois has come and gone this weekend. Hunters across the state bagged 51,830 deer, down from last year's hunt, which saw hunters take 55,708 deer. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Deer Expert Paul Shelton says the drop in Deer Harvest numbers are due to a several factors.

"In many parts of the state, as deer populations decline towards population goals, we've started backing off of the amount of permits we put out in order to...level off the population," Shelton told WJBD.

In Marion County, hunters took 979 deer during the first week of the firearm deer hunting season. That's down slightly from last year, where hunters harvested 1,007 deer the first weekend. Numbers varied throughout the region. In Clinton County, 455 deer were taken, up from 420 in 2013. In Clay County, hunters took 695, up from 659. Fayette County saw a slight drop, 1,035 deer were taken, down from 1,035 the year before. Jefferson County, which is the biggest local deer-hunting county, saw hunters bag 1,295 deer, down from 1,340 last year. In Washington County, 658 deer were taken, down from 715 the year before. In Wayne County, hunters bagged 964 deer, down from 1,037 the year before.

The second firearm deer hunting season of the year kicks off the first weekend in December. Shelton expects numbers for the second season to continue the trend of being lower overall than the first season of the year.

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