Madison County | St. Louis Public Radio

Madison County

Madison County Resolution Has No Legal Protection For Defying Illinois’ COVID-19 Orders

May 13, 2020
Many Collinsville businesses are remaining closed or limiting customers to curbside and carryout purchases. Collinsville and several other Madison County cities are siding with the rules set by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and not the Madison County resolution.
Derik Holtzmann | Belleville News-Democrat

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the Belleville News-Democrat.

Madison County resolution suggesting businesses can reopen despite statewide coronavirus restrictions offers no legal protection for business owners, according to state’s attorney Tom Gibbons.

“The resolution does not have legal effect,” Gibbons said. “It has no enforceability. It can’t be enforced against someone. It can’t be enforced by someone. No business can take that resolution to court and win a case on it.”

The resolution protects the county from legal liability, however, because it does not force anyone to abide by its guidelines, Gibbons said.

St. Louis-area businesses remain closed as the coronavirus pandemic drags on. Weeks of reduced income, or none at all, has stretched small businesses thin.
Nat Thomas | St. Louis Public Radio

Business owners in Madison County are weighing their options after the Board of Health passed guidelines that allow them to reopen.

Those guidelines allow all businesses, including gyms, stores and bars, in the county to reopen at 25% capacity, in defiance of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive orders that close them. 

Madison County officials are considering a plan to allow businesses to reopen in the county in defiance of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's plans to slowly reopen the state's economy.
Wikimedia Commons

EDWARDSVILLE — The Madison County Board of Health voted 26-2 on Tuesday night to immediately start allowing businesses in the county to reopen.

The move by the health board, which is made up of the county board members, defies Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s phased plan for how the state’s economy will reopen. Pritzker has said he doesn’t expect limited reopening to start until May 29, at the earliest.

Madison County To Vote On Reopening From Coronavirus Shutdown, Defying Illinois Rules

May 11, 2020
Madison County officials are considering a plan to allow businesses to reopen in the county in defiance of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's plans to slowly reopen the state's economy.
Wikimedia Commons

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the Belleville News-Democrat.

A plan to reopen Madison County will be voted on Tuesday after county officials asked for more time to study the legality of the plan.

During a special meeting Friday of the Madison County Health Board, members voted to table until next week a plan to reopen the county that would defy Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to open the state on a gradual and regional basis. The action to delay a vote came at the request of State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons.

Kurt Prenzler Puts Aides On Leave After Madison County Democrats Demand Resignations

Apr 16, 2020
Kurt Prenzler, a Republican, dismissed the accusations against his office as highly politicized.
Derik Holtmann | Belleville News-Democrat

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the Belleville News-Democrat.

A day after Madison County Democrats called on members of Kurt Prenzler’s administration to resign, the county board chairman put two of the three on paid administrative leave and launched a separate investigation into allegations against them.

5 Things To Know Before Work Closes Down Parts Of I-255

Jan 28, 2020
Officials lay out the plans for work on I-255 at a press conference in Madison County on Jan. 28, 2020.
Derik Holtmann | Belleville News-Democrat

Starting Saturday, a portion of Interstate 255 will be shut down in both directions for five months, kicking off a 10-month project to renovate what the state considers one of its worst roads.

The Illinois Department of Transportation’s first phase of repairs to a crumbling section of I-255, one of many projects under the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, begins by closing down all lanes of a roughly 4-mile stretch between I-55/70 at Exit 25 in Collinsville and Exit 20 at I-64 west of Fairview Heights.

s_falkow | Flickr

A pilot program in courthouses in Madison and Bond counties in Illinois is designed to speed up simple family court cases.

The Third Judicial Circuit received a $5,000 state grant to pay for mediators who can help people without attorneys do the paperwork to make agreements in those cases legally binding. The program started Dec. 1.

A portion of the Goshen Trail expansion during construction in May 2019. The new trail opens Nov 15.
MCT Trails via Facebook

O’FALLON, Ill. — Madison County Transit will unveil the newest addition to its vast 130-mile trail network on Saturday. 

The expansion takes the existing Goshen Trail and extends it seven miles, from Troy to O’Fallon. It’s the first time the Madison County Transit, or MCT, trail system extends into St. Clair County.

Land of Lincoln Legal Aid Staff Attorney Nicole Massey (right) assists a volunteer at an Expungement Day event in Champaign County in 2018. Land of Lincoln will run a similar even in Woodriver on Sept. 27.
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation

WOOD RIVER — More than 7 million people in Illinois have a criminal record, according to the 2016 Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems. And 100 of them in Madison County will take the first step to sealing or expunging their criminal histories on Friday. 

It’s part of the Ready to Work: Madison County Expungement Day event hosted by Land of Lincoln Legal Aid Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation that provides free civil legal services to seniors and low-income residents in central and southern Illinois.

School Illustration
File | Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

School districts across the St. Louis region sought more money from taxpayers in Tuesday’s election. Also, there were three seats up for grabs for the St. Louis Public Schools’ elected school board., though the state still has oversight.

Here’s the breakdown of what passed and what didn’t:

Illustration by Rici Hoffarth / St. Louis Public Radio

School districts across the St. Louis area are asking voters Tuesday to consider various funding measures.

Two Metro East counties are hoping to join more than 40 others in Illinois that have started using sales tax increases to bolster school funding in the face of less state support due to a nearly two-year budget crisis.

And in St. Louis County, there are a half-dozen funding measures. Kirkwood would raise property taxes, while the rest are bonding measures, all of which need to pass with about 57 percent of the vote. The largest bonding measure, in the Rockwood district, seeks to spend $95.5 million on a new elementary school in Eureka and expand other buildings.

Lincoln School, the county's first public school for African Americansthe county's first public school for African Americans, prior to the construction of its new building in 1911 is one of many photos archived in Madison Historical.
Provided | Madison Historical and the Madison County Historical Society

Madison County has a new online archive that documents local history through century-old photographs, articles and recorded interviews.

The Madison Historical website produced by Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville invites exploration of the Metro East county’s history, sorting content by era (19th, 20th, or 21st century), theme (industry, education, government) and community.

The industrial park in Illinois covers 2,300 acres. Developers say it is within 1,500 miles of 90 percent of the people in North America.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Leaders in a Metro East County are taking a proactive approach to anticipated changes by the new administration in Washington, D.C. Massive infrastructure investments and re-working international trade deals are key parts of President Donald Trump’s blueprint and Madison County officials are trying position the area for growth under the potential new economic realities.

SIUE will build a new $105 million health sciences building. The money comes from the Rebuild Illinois capitol plan, passed by the state legislature last year.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Consider a student who may be weary of strict academic lectures and wants to see where all of this classroom learning is going to fit into the real world.

Then consider a business owner who wants to find new ideas and new energy but isn’t sure where to look.

A new cooperative program between Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Madison County hopes to match the expertise of academia with the needs of business and the community to make all sides stronger and more successful.

Courtesy Madison County Fair Association

Organizers of the Madison County Fair say the 120-year-old event will go on as usual this week, despite the ongoing lack of funding from the state of Illinois.

This is the second year for the state's budget impasse, which has held up funds earmarked for county fairs. Organizers from across the state have scrambled to make do, said Wayne Steiner, president of the Madison County Fair Association.

More than 1,000 Amazon jobs coming to Edwardsville

Jun 2, 2016
Inside Amazon fulfillment center
Amazon.com

Amazon has announced plans to open two distribution centers in Edwardsville.

The company says the facilities are expected to eventually employ more than 1,000 full-time workers.

Paul Sableman | Flickr | bit.ly/1sdAKc5

Domestic violence cases in Madison County will be handled a bit differently starting June 1.

The county will become the second in Illinois to establish a domestic violence accountability court, hearing all levels of cases between intimate partners. Two civil and two criminal judges will handle the docket, allowing for better coordination among criminal cases and orders of protection.

United Steelworkers Local 50 President Jason Chism after a news conference in Granite City in Feb. 2016.
File Photo | Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

A United Steelworkers local president is trying to remain as upbeat as possible, even though there is no indication when U.S. Steel might resume production in Granite City.

"I'm an optimistic person so my glass always runs half-full, even though it's been running close to empty here lately," USW Local 50 President Jason Chism told St. Louis Public Radio Friday.

America's Central Port

The forecast for 2016 in Madison County and the St. Louis region’s newly-created freight district includes 9,600 feet of rail track, 1 million cubic yards of dirt and 8,000 cubic yards of concrete — and the sound of barge horns. The South Harbor at America’s Central Port was recently christened and is set to open in 2016 — with an expected increase in commodities flow by 25 percent.

Madison County Transit

Madison County, Illinois, bus riders will soon start seeing some changes in service.  

Starting next Sunday, Madison County Transit will bring an entirely new bus route to areas popular with the Highland community, and add evening and weekend service elsewhere.

The expanded services will not be offered on all routes. Instead, according to SJ Morrison, Director of Marketing and Planning for Madison County’s transit system, the department evaluated holes in service and community demands, then chose to expand bus routes that demonstrated the most need.

(via Flickr/Michael Velardo)

The top two law enforcement officials in Madison County, Ill., say they want to hear from anyone and everyone who might have ideas about slowing the heroin epidemic in the county.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

Every year, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) releases its annual list of so-called “judicial hellholes," a term it uses to refer to civil courts that ATRA believes are consistently unfair to corporate defendants.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

A group that lobbies to make courts friendlier to business says it’s seeing a troubling increase in the number of large product liability cases filed in the city of St. Louis.

(via Flickr/Of Small Things)

Updated at 11:50 a.m., Friday, June 7 & 3:14 p.m. 

The Illinois State Police on Friday issued a response to Gibbons' letter. The state police, along with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriff's Association, say they will continue to enforce state law which prohibits the carrying of "an immediately accessible firearm on your person or in your vehicle regardless of whether it is concealed." Violating the law can result in an arrest.

Our original story:

(Courtesy Madison County Sheriff’s Department)

Updated at 11:40 a.m. with a statement from prosecuting attorney Thomas Gibbons.

An Illinois appeals court has overturned the conviction of a Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville student charged with planning to threaten a mass shooting at the campus.

Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today clean-up methods it will take on a former mining site in Madison County.

The Madison County Mines Superfund site is part of the Old Lead Belt, where the mining of heavy metals began in the 1700s. The nearly 500-square-mile area is contaminated by lead, a highly-toxic metal that can wreak havoc on organs and tissues in the human body.


View Larger Map

A tiny southwestern Illinois village's budget troubles have effectively shut the town down.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Metro sees double-digit increase in bus passengers

St. Louis’ mass transit agency saw the biggest growth in bus ridership in the country during the first three months of the year.

Longtime southwestern Illinois circuit clerk Melucci dies

May 11, 2012
(Madison County Government website)

A longtime circuit clerk in southwestern Illinois has died.

Madison County officials say Circuit Clerk Matt Melucci was 69 when he died Thursday night of cancer at his Collinsville home.

Melucci served in the post for nearly 20 years and was planning to retire in November, having announced last September that he would not seek re-election this year.

Democratic Madison County Clerk Mark Von Nida faces Republican John Barberis Jr. in the November election for circuit clerk's position.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

An annual ranking again cites Illinois as a state rife with "judicial hell holes." But a group representing trial lawyers says the listing is bunk.

The American Tort Reform Association ranks Madison, St. Clair and McLean Counties among the most unfair court jurisdictions in the nation. And Cook County's on the watch list.

Pages