On this New Year's Day, we're taking a look back at the top five stories from 2015, as indicated from statistics gathered by dewittdailynews.com.
Story 5: School Board Member Hopes to Give Back
One of the newest members to the Clinton Board of Education was seated in April and wants to be a voice for teachers and students.
Long time principal at Clinton High School, Ron Connor ran unopposed in last spring's School Board election and was seated on the Board in April. Connor says it means a great deal to represent the teachers and students he served for so many years.
Being a former educator, Connor says he's well versed on the issues of testing. He says the tests are taking away from teachers doing their jobs and doing them well. He feels there's too much of it in the classrooms today.
He adds the power plant has to be one of the top issues facing the Board of Education. He feels their presence in the community is of the upmost importance.
Connor has been working as an advocate for education in Springfield, and he hopes to see Springfield begin to eliminate some of the unfunded mandates they burden schools with. He says so much more money and time would be available for education if that were to happen.
Story 4: EPA Addresses Odors At Clinton Trucking Facility
State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) announced in mid-June the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) was taking action to address odor complaints at a trucking facility on the west side of Clinton.
Ongoing odor complaints had been linked to two outdoor lagoons used to hold washwater and biosolids washed out of trucks. According to the IEPA, one of the problems detected at the facility is that the solids in the lagoons had not been breaking down as fast as they should, due to a lack of oxygen in the material. To address this, the IEPA worked with the company to apply various odor treatments to the lagoons, including the recent installation of aerators to help break down the material quicker, thereby reducing the odors.
The enclosed separation tank is designed to separate out all the solids before the washwater is pumped into the lagoons, an action the IEPA believes will eliminate most of the odor problem as the cleaner separated washwater replaces the material already in the lagoons.
Story 3: Multiple Arrests Made in Connection to Burglaries at CHS
The Clinton Police Department’s investigation into multiple incidents of vandalism and burglary to the Clinton High School football field’s concession stand has yielded multiple arrests of area juveniles from April of last year.
The investigations stem from reports of vandalism and burglary to the concession stand on April 2nd, April 24th and April 25th where suspects forced entry into the concession stand and stole large amounts of consumables.
On Monday April 27th, Clinton Police took custody of two juveniles, a third was taken into custody on Wednesday April 29th and a fourth on Thursday April 30th.
Two of the juveniles were released to their parents and two detained at a juvenile correctional facility.
Story 2: DeWitt County Board Member Files Suit Against County, Sheriff's Office
A DeWitt County Board Member filed a lawsuit in US District Court Central District of Illinois Springfield Division in February for almost $1-million in damages.
The suit filed by Terry Hoffman sites DeWitt County, DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shoffner, three of his deputies and Teresa Barnett, DeWitt County's EMA Director as defendants.
According to the 20-page document, Hoffman alleges he was falsely arrested and imprisoned as a result of a December 2012 incident at the DeWitt County Courthouse with Barnett. The suit also claims his arrest as motive of "suppression of Hoffman's right to speech in opposing hazardous waste being placed in the landfill".
Hoffman's suit also sites nearly $25-thousand dollars in attorney's fees as a part of the charges. He claims he is entitled to restitution.
In addition, he is suing for $850-thousand as compensatory damages from "unreasonable searches and seizures" and "suffered loss of reputation, mental anguish from imprisonment and the threat of additional imprisonment".
Hoffman was acquitted of charges of battery on May 21, 2014.
>>Clinton Business Owner Dies in Motorcycle Accident
A Clinton Business owner is died following a motorcycle accident in Logan County.
54-year old Allen Thomas passed away August 24 at approximately 9 pm in a single motorcycle accident. The accident took place at Hickox Drive and Woodlawn Road in Lincoln.
Thomas owned Thomas Automotive in Clinton.
Visit dewittdailynews.com for the 6-10 stories in 2015.