A group of citizens fed up with what they call a lack of transparency and responsiveness in St. Clair County government aired a wide variety of concerns today outside the county's headquarters in Belleville.
An advocate for the homeless is pressing for Belleville voters to decide whether he can convert the city's former YMCA building into a shelter. The Rev. Larry Rice on Monday submitted a 790-signature petition to the St. Clair County Clerk's Office to force the ballot measure calling for the city to sell the property to his New Life Evangelistic Center in St. Louis for $1.
Rev. Larry Rice directed about 20 homeless persons to a mall in Fairview Heights on Tuesday to underscore the lack of shelters in St. Clair County.
Rice says many homeless persons seeking refuge from the triple-digit temperatures wind up across the river at his shelter downtown.
“Belleville represents what we see in so many municipalities," Rice said. "Where people just aren’t dealing with the homeless. They’re closing shelters. We saw a shelter close here – the Salvation Army – in 2009. They made no other arrangements for the homeless.”
Classes have been called off at a southwestern Illinois college after a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the campus.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that officials ordered Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville cleared out Thursday morning after a student found a threatening hand-written note in a men's bathroom of the main building.
Sentencing is scheduled for next spring for a southwestern Illinois man who's admitted using schemes involving leased copy machines to defraud a school, a church and community groups.
Forty-nine-year-old Kevin Welch of Altamont pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in East St. Louis to charges of mail fraud and engaging in a fraudulent financial transaction involving more than $10,000.
Authorities say the fraud took place from 2001 to 2009.