Belleville

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Belleville, Ill. man arrested as part of Attorney General Lisa Madigan's crackdown on child pornography last year will spend more than a dozen years in federal prison for his crimes.

Garold Lee Semelka, 62, pleaded guilty in June to receiving and possessing child pornography. His computer contained more than 600 images or videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit activity.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

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.”

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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.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

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.

(via Flickr/chispita_666)

An 18-hole golf course in southern Illinois could be yours for $750,000.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the family of Joseph Trover is selling the Yorktown Golf Course in Belleville.

They have owned the 38-acre property since 1992 and hope to keep it a golf course. Trover says he is willing to come down on the price because a golf course is good for the community and people.

(via Flickr/jetsandzepplins)

Yesterday's record high temperature was a contributing factor in the death of a 79-year-old Belleville woman.

Ruth Reinhardt's body was found on the porch of a home Wednesday evening. The Belleville News-Democrat says police tried to locate Reinhardt earlier in the day after someone reported that she seems disoriented while walking around the neighborhood.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Ill. Attorney General Lisa Madigan says a year-long effort to target the top 25 consumers of child pornography in Illinois has been a success.

Two Belleville men - 61-year-old Garold Lee Semelka and Mike G. Telkamp, 48, were the 25th and 26th men arrested under Operation Glass House, the anti-child pornography initiative Madigan launched in August 2010.

(via Flickr/bridgepix)

Good morning! Here are a few of today's starting headlines:

Missouri to apply for high-speed rail funding

The State of Missouri will apply for federal funding to construct high-speed rail service between the state's two metropolitan areas. Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to announce details of the application during a 10 a.m. news conference at the Kirkwood Amtrak station in suburban St. Louis. Nixon's office says the application will include a proposal for immediate upgrades to improve speeds on existing lines between St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.

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