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Several people were injured in Marion County accidents blamed on slick road conditions Wednesday afternoon and evening. Most of the wrecks occurred while about an inch or less of new snow fell across the county.   

Marion County Sheriff's Deputies say two people were taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Centralia when a car driven by 18-year-old Alexandra Green of Walnut Hill Road in Texico slid on the slick pavement of the Route 161 Extension when attempting to make a right turn onto the Iuka Road.  The car went past the Iuka Road, ran off the south side of the road, and came to rest in the roadside ditch.  Both Green and a passenger, 17-year-old Sierra Dodson of Iuka Road in rural Texico, were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.  

Just a few minutes earlier deputies were called to a two car wreck on U.S. 50 east of the Metcalf Road in rural Iuka.  Sheriff's Deputies say 43-year-old Maria Knight was attempting to turn into her driveway when she slid past the driveway into the ditch.  A vehicle behind her driven by 23-year-old Gavin Quandt of South Main in Iuka then lost control on the icy pavement, ran off the road and struck the Knight vehicle in the ditch.  Knight received minor injuries and was treated at the scene.  She did not go to the hospital.  Quandt escaped injury.  

Salem Firemen had to extricate 55-year-old Michael Reardon of North Walnut in Centralia from his car after it ran off the Levee Road between Lakeshore Drive and Richardson Road near Lake Centralia.  The car ended up overturned on the driver's side in a ditch.  Salem Fire Protection District Firemen were called.  They cut the roof out of the car to free Reardon.  He was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Centralia for treatment.    

The Marion County Sheriff's Department and Centralia Police had several other reports of vehicles mostly sliding off the road.  

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department reported traffic blocked at one point on Interstate 57 between Dix and Mt. Vernon after several vehicles slid off the road.  

State Police reported 12 vehicles involved in five traffic crashes on the Chain of Rocks Bridge on Interstate 270 headed into Missouri.  One of the drivers was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  No additional injuries were reported at the scene.  Preliminary investigation showed after the first crash, the rest were all chain reaction collissions.      

The Greater Salem Area Foundation and Salem Chamber of Commerce have announced the recipients of several annual awards at their Evening of Honors Award Banquet later this month.

The award winners this year include the Terry Crompton family as Humanitarian of the Year, Safe Sheds as Business of the Year, Retired Salem High School Superintendent Dr. Robert Raver as the Lifetime Achievement Winner, Salem Grade School teacher Debbie Cartwright as Teacher of the Year, Josh Dice of Security Alarm the Boss of the Year, the Marion County Fair Board as Organization of the Year, Bruce Kropp of WJBD Radio as Civic Achievement Award Winner and Guy Wilson as Volunteer of the Year. Wilson was nominated for his work as a volunteer at the Kell Grade School, Kell Fire Department and Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. 

The awards dinner will be held on Thursday night, March 26th, at the Salem Elks Lodge.  

Tickets are available at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem City Hall, Salem IGA, Salem Times Commoner, Office Products Center, Marion County Savings Bank, Salem IGA, Salem Travel and Peoples National Bank.  Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the night of the event.

Cedric Powe

A 27-year-old former Centralia man has pleaded guilty to an aggravated domestic battery charge in connection with the severe beating of his girlfriend. As part of the plea, charges of attempted first degree murder and aggravated battery were dropped against Cedric Powe.  He will be sentenced on April 15th at one pm and could face up to 14 years in prison.  

The charges stem from an incident on December 27th, 2013 when Powe is accused of beating, causing a severe eye injury and threatening to kill 20-year-old Chelsea Simmons at her Centralia home.  Centralia Police say Powe eventually left and Simmons was able to go to a neighbors house for help.  Reports indicate Powe was apparently upset after finding a text on Simmons phone from another man. Powe wasn't arrested until three months later in St. Louis when he was brought back to Marion County to face the charges.  

Marion County State's Attorney Matt Wilzbach says there was a consultation with the victim before the plea agreement was entered.  He notes Simmons was concerned about the impact the upcoming trial could have on her and family members that would have to testify and was pleased with the possibility of a sentence of up to 14 years in prison.  

The probation office will complete a presentence investigation that will be used to help Judge Mark Stedelin decide on Powe's sentence.  He is being held in the Marion County Jail in lieu of a half-million dollars bond.  

Wilzbach says separate charges against Powe for criminal damage to state supported property and bringing contraband into a penal institution are not included in the plea agreement.  Powe and another inmate are accused of making a shank that was found in a search of their cell on New Year's Eve.    

Harlis Atteberry, Junior

A 50-year-old rural Salem man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading  guilty to unlawful possession of a meth precursor.  

As part of the plea, Harlis Atteberry Junior had two Class X charges of aggravated participation in meth manufacturing and possession of 400 to 900 grams of meth dismissed.  The possession of a meth precursor charge is a Class 2 felony. 

Atteberry was one of three people arrested at his home at 5187 England Road south east of Salem in February of last year after Atteberry's state parole agent spotted methamphetamine activity.  A search of the home that followed turned up two shake and bake meth labs along with finished meth, meth percursers and meth waste.   

After completing the 14 year prison term, Atteberry will have to complete three years mandatory supervised release and given credit for 388 days served in the Marion County Jail.

Atteberry's 47-year-old brother Edgar Atteberry earlier entered a guilty plea to unlawful use of a structure to manufacture methamphetamine and was sentenced to three years in prison.  A third person at the home, 28-year-old Nicole Dulaney of Kinmundy, was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of under five grams of methamphetamine.   

Marion County Sheriff Rich Stevenson wants to conduct a cost analysis study of the sheriff's department to help set the cost of fees for services.  Stevenson made the request to the County Board's Law Enforcement Committee Wednesday night.  

The sheriff had been asked last month by the committee to determine if the county was charging enough to house federal prisoners.   Stevenson says Marion County's charges are low compared to neighboring counties.  He notes it also appears the county's fees for process serving and bonding are well under what counties of similar size are charging.   

Stevenson is requesting a group called DeLashmitt based in Bloomington be hired to do the cost study at a cost of $6,000.   The law enforcement committee recommended the sheriff take the request to the finance committee at their April meeting.   The group proposing the study told the sheriff it appears the county could generate $80,000 to $100,000 more per year by adjusting their process serving and bonding fees.  

Stevenson has received instructions from the U.S. Marshall's Service on seeking a rate increase for housing federal prisoners.   He plans to pursue a higher rate with or without a cost study.  Marion County is currently charging $45 a day, well under the $60 a day being charge by Clinton County and $50 by Jefferson County.  Marion County is also charging less for correctional officers to transfer the federal prisoners to court or other institutions as required by their contract.  

Stevenson noted Marion County's rate hasn't been raised in eight years.  He was told raising the rate wouldn't impact the county receiving federal prisoners.  The county currently is holding 22 federal prisoners, which Stevenson says is a normal number to be held.  

The law enforcement committee raised questions last month if the county was even covering their costs with the current rates they were charging to house federal prisoners.   

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