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Around the Tri States: Former Galesburg council member guilty on meth charge; WIU names Zoghi provost; Keokuk hotel evacuated due to fire

Around The Tri States
Jane Carlson
/
Tri States Public Radio

A weekly roundup of news from around the region.

Former Galesburg council member guilty on meth charge

Former Galesburg city council member Lindsay Hillery was found guilty of possession of methamphetamine.

Hillery represented Ward 5 from 2019 to July of last year, when she resigned after being arrested several times.

In this case, Hillery was pulled over for not using a turn signal. Officers found less than a gram of meth in a cigarette container in her purse during the traffic stop.

Hillery testified the drugs were not hers, but Ninth Circuit Judge Richard Gambrell found her guilty of the Class 3 Felony during a bench trial that lasted less than 30 minutes.

Knox County State’s Attorney Jeremy Karlin said parties could not reach an agreement on a plea deal. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 11.

WIU names Zoghi provost

Western Illinois University has a new provost and vice president for academic affairs. Manoochehr Zoghi will begin work July 1.

Zoghi is currently dean of the College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science at Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Ind. He has held that job for the past six years.

Billy Clow, who served as WIU’s interim provost, will return to his position as dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Keokuk hotel evacuated due to fire

Guests of the Baymont by Wyndham hotel in Keokuk were evacuated on Thursday due to a fire that started in the basement.

Firefighters responded to the hotel at 325 Main St. around 2:30 p.m. and found a pile of smoldering bedding in the basement.

The fire was quickly extinguished but smoke permeated all five floors of the hotel. Keokuk police assisted with evacuating hotel guests, and one hotel employee was examined for smoke inhalation.

Officials determined the fire started when a metal grate fell on exposed wiring and ignited the bedding.

Sandburg gets $1.5 million for Upward Bound

Carl Sandburg College will receive more than $312,480 in federal funding each year through 2027 for the Upward Bound program.

The $1.5 million, five-year grant cycle will serve area high school students working to become first-generation college students.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos’ office said the money will serve 67 students in several target communities by providing college preparatory activities and supportive services. The target communities are Galesburg, Knoxville, Abingdon-Avon, and the five communities in the ROWVA district.

One airlifted with serious injuries in Lee County accident

One person was airlifted from the scene with serious injuries after a tractor trailer collided with a pickup truck in northern Lee County.

Emergency personnel were dispatched to Pilot Grove Road and 130th Street around 1 p.m. Thursday.

The driver of the tractor trailer failed to yield the right of way from the stop sign at the intersection, and collided with the truck.

The accident remains under investigation.

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