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the Pleasant Grove Church took the Grand Marshall's trophy. The church congratulated Salem's 150 birthday while celebrating the church's 175th birthday.

Marion County ESDA Coordinator Donnie Brooks served as the parade's Grand Marshall.

The theme was "Salem Strong," and the 2015 Little Egypt Festival Parade didn't disappoint with a strong showing in downtown Salem Saturday.

Judges chose winners in eight categories for floats. In addition, Grand Marshall Donald Brooks had the honor of selecting his favorite float. This year's Grand Marshall's trophy went to Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church. The Church had a large cupcake and candle with their float. Jana Jones with the church says they are celebrating with Salem this year. 

"175 years we've been with Marion County. We're one of the oldest churches in Marion County. We're still going strong, so we wanted to celebrate with Salem. They're doing 150 year celebration, we're going to celebrate our God-strong 175," Jones said.

Salem Township Hospital was awarded first place in the large business category. Diane Boswell says they went with a baseball theme this year. 

"It goes along with the health fair that we just had. We carried the theme on to the parade. We're going to have children on the float, we're going to be playing the music 'Put Me in Coach (The Centerfield Song)' just reminding everybody that we're here keeping Salem strong," Boswell said.

Second place in the large business division went to Americana. Melissa Ortiz says they chose to focus their entry on their products. "The back of the float is a soccer field basically with a player's bench and then we have some bleachers. Towards the back, we added a pergola and a trash receptacle and a couple benches," Ortiz said.

In the Church category, Evergreen Christian Church claimed first prize followed by Salem Assembly of God in second. Williamson County Shriners were the second place Civic Organization with Salem Strong taking first.

Pollard Motors scored second in the Small Business division, led by Marion County Savings Bank. Kim Turner explains how the bank fit with the parade's theme. "Our theme was 'A Pillar of Strength in the Community.' We thought we were not only Salem Strong, but Community Strong. So we have our big columns, our pillars of strength," Turner said.

Southern Illinois Elite Tumble & Cheer were the first place entry in the Dance category followed by Studio 50. One of the parade's final entries, the horse with the hoop, galloped into second place in the Other category with Little Miss Xenia taking first. The Youth division was led by Little Miss Kell followed by Marion County YMCA.

In the Schools category, Kaskaskia College left with second place, with St. Theresa taking first. St. Theresa Principal Marcia Stinde says several parents volunteered to work on their entry. "Our float is 'Be Someone's Hero and Keep Salem Strong.' We are St. Theresa School and we figured that with God watching over us, we can do anything," Stinde said.

Several bands marched through Salem making music during the parade. Breese was awarded first place for Junior High schools. Centralia Junior High took second place, followed by Iuka in third and Selmaville in fourth place. Breese was also awarded best percussion and Centralia awarded the best auxiliary. The Junior/Senior High division saw South Central take first and Sandoval second.

St. Theresa Grade School's entry took first in the school division.

The Salem Township Hospital floot took first in the large business catagory.

Marion County Savings Bank entry takes 1st place in the small business division.

Two people were arrested by Marion County Sheriff's Deputies after they were called to a disturbance at the home of 50-year-old Sherrod Louge of Laughlin Street in Alma.  Louge was arersted for disorderly conduct.  He posted $120 bond and was released.  Another person at the home, 21-year-old Brandon Kehn, was arrested on a probation violation and remained in the Marion County Jail.

37-year-old Shannon Winkler of West Whitaker in Salem remained in custody Saturday after being arrested by sheriff's deputies for a probation warrant.  

Two others remained in custody on outstanding warrants.  41-year-old Timothy Marshall of South Walnut in Centralia was arrested on two Marion County misdemeanor warrants  45-year-old JulieanneTensmeyer of Pope Road in Sandoval was arrested on outstanding Marion and Clinton County warrants.  

35-year-old Raymond Smith of LIncoln Street in Centralia was arrested by sheriff's deputies for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Salem Fire Protection District officials were called to the scene of a large corn stubble field fire early Saturday morning.  

Fire officials say the fire burned 20 to 30 acres on the Charlie Fulton property near the Cotton Lane and Burge Road intersection.  

It apparently had been burning some time before being discovered.  The cause of the fire has not been determined.  There were no injuries.   

The fire call came in at 3:57 am Friday morning.

Centralia Police have made an arrest in connection with a shooting incident in August where no one was struck by the gunshots.

A 16-year-old juvenile who is believed to have left the area following the shooting was apprehended after police learned he had returned to Centralia.  He has been charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and transferred to a Juvenile Detention facility to await his first appearance in court.   

Police say they responded to the 700 block of North Lincoln on August second to a report of a shooting.  Witnesses stated that the juvenile subject who was arrested Friday night got into an altercation on that date with another juvenile male.  After reportedly losing a fight, the suspect left and returned shortly with a pistol and attempted to shoot the other juvenile.   No one was injured.

The Centralia Police has been looking for the suspect since the time of the shooting, but determined he fled to the Chicago area right after the incident.  Police then received information on Friday that the juvenile had returned to Centralia and were given his location. After locating the juvenile and positively identifying him, an arrest was made.  The juvenile indicated he had just returned from Chicago the day before his arrest.

Salem Police have arrested two people on felony drug charges after receiving a complaint of suspected drug activity taking place in a room at the Comfort Inn and Suites.    

23-year-old Kelsey Hess of Bee Branch Road in Salem and 26-year-old Kellie Schoreck of High Street in Alma are both being held in the Marion County Jail for alleged possession of a controlled substance, manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a narcotic instrument.  

Salem Police say by the time they arrived, the hotel management had asked the two to vacate the room.  The two were approached by police as they walked towards the Guesthouse Inn.  Police asked to search a purse after noticing a hotel towel inside.  Tubing and drug pipes were also allegedly found.  

During questioning, police learned of another bag that had been tossed near the Guesthouse Inn.   After recovering the bag, police say they found syringes, three bags of white powder that field tested for cocaine, 22 white round pills, two digital scales and $2,966 in cash.  

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