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The Canadian National Railroad has made a $20,000 donation to further develop the new railroad village and pavilion in Fairview Park. 

CN's Vice President of Mechanical Jim Danielwicz made the presentation to allow the addition of restrooms near the new pavilion.  "It's good to be back in Centralia.  It's a great town and a lot of great people here.  CN is proud to be a partner with Centralia and we run trains through your town 24 hours a day," said Danielwicz.

Mayor Tom Ashby not only thanked Danielwicz for the new donation, but for his assistance in development the railroad village, as well as his involvement in many other community projects.   

The Centralia City Council has given authorization to tear down five more deteriorating homes in the city that are a hazard to the health and safety of the area around it.  They are at 915 North Lincoln, 321 South Walnut, 606 West Noleman, 718 South Cherry and 873 East McCord.  A lien will be placed on each property for the full amount of demolition and court costs.    

The council approved the purchase of three police vehicles from Morrow Brothers, who holds the state contract.  Two of the cars will be for patrol and the third for administration.  Morrow submitted the only bid.    

City Manager Dan Ramey reported the new Walmart Store has set a tentative May 11th opening day, with the gas station in the front of the store scheduled to open April 27th.  The new Dollar General Store is scheduled to open in mid-March.  Ramey reports the shopping center has almost completed plans for a new store to replace Dollar General at their current location.  


A 25-year-old Centralia man wanted for attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery in connection with a shooting in Centralia last September has been arrested in Battle Creek, Michigan.   

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force based in East St.Louis learned that Charles Collins was reportedly at a home in Grand Rapids.  After waiting several hours outside the home, the U.S. Marshal's service reports Collins surrendered without incident.  

Collins reportedly shot Fernando Calcutt of Centralia in the right arm when firing shots while hanging out the passenger window near 4th and Linden Street near the old Centralia High School.  Calcut was released after 20 minutes of treatment at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital in Centralia.  

Calcutt told police he had just pulled into a driveway on Linden near the 4th Street intersection to turn around when an on-coming vehicle began firing shots at him.   The shots reportedly continued as the vehicle came closer. Calcutt's wife, Inez, was a passenger in his vehicle.  She was not hit.

Centralia Police Chief Doug Krutsinger earlier identified Collins as the man injured in the August 23rd shooting in the Maulding Drive area that resulted in the death of his friend, 24-year-old Dustin Ryhnes of Irvington.  That shooting remains under an investigation being headed by State Police.    

Collins is being held in the Calhoun County, Michigan jail awaiting extradition back to Marion County.  The Task Force also include Battle Creek Police Department officers and the Michigan State Police Fugitive Team.  


CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois officials say college students should continue to apply for financial aid, even though the state budget impasse has put grants for needy students on hold.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is encouraging students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The form determines if a student is eligible for most financial aid programs, including Illinois' Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants.

Funding for the grants has been frozen due to a stalemate between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and majority Democrats, leaving schools and students wondering how they'll pay their bills.

ISAC Director Eric Zarnikow says students shouldn't assume the grants won't be available for the 2016-2017 school year.

He says it's possible lawmakers will approve the funding, and students can't get money if they don't apply.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker wants to criminalize recording fights in order to post them online.

Rep. Terri Bryant says she was disturbed by a video of an altercation between two boys from her hometown of Murphysboro that was posted to Facebook. The Republican lawmaker says she wants to show that staging fights or being a willing bystander is unacceptable.

But a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union says Bryant's bill may infringe on people's freedom of speech. An executive at the state's prosecutors' office says it would be hard to prove the intent of the person doing the recording.

Bryant says she's not trying to inhibit anyone's First Amendment rights.

Concerns about free speech and over-criminalizing teens have hindered lawmakers around the country who've tried to crack down on cyberbullies.



Vandalia Man Injured in Crash

A 47-year-old Vandalia man was injured in a one truck accident early Tuesday morning on southbound Interstate 57 at mile post 28 in Union County in deep Southern Illinois.

State Police say Spencer Mason lost control of his rig and swerved into the median and struck the guardrail.  The semi tractor towing a van trailer then rolled over, coming to a rest on its roof.  Mason was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  

State Police say charges are pending.  

Traffic on southbound I-57 is down to one lane Tuesday morning for crash clean up.   The crash occurred at 12:08 Friday morning.  




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