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Around the Tri States: Galesburg calls in bomb squad twice in one week; Burlington mayor earns another term; Monmouth fills vacancy on city council

Bomb squad called to Galesburg twice

A New Year’s Day bomb threat in Galesburg turned out to be a hoax.

Police responded to the Hy-Vee grocery store on Henderson Street on Monday morning. They found a device that had been delivered to the store with a pallet of grapes.

The device had tape and wires attached to it.

The store was evacuated and a bomb squad from Peoria was called in to investigate. They determined there was no explosive device, just tape and wires around the grapes.

Police said the hoax was a serious crime that caused significant disruption to the store. The incident is still under investigation.

Later in the week, the Galesburg Public Safety Building was evacuated for a short time after a resident brought in a mortar for police to dispose of.

The device was placed in the grass outside the building, and the Peoria Bomb Squad was called in.

The bomb squad found there was no explosive material in the mortar, and it was taken away.

The resident found the mortar while cleaning out a relative's garage.

Burlington mayor appointed to third term

Burlington Mayor Jon Billups will serve another two-year term.

He was appointed Tuesday by the city council on a 4-1 vote. This will be his third term as mayor.

The council chooses the city’s mayor from its own ranks.

Billups was nominated by council member Tim Scott.

Council member Lynda Graham-Murray nominated herself for mayor.

She was the lone vote for herself.

Grant appointed to Monmouth City Council

Jay Grant has been appointed to serve as the First Ward representative on the Monmouth City Council.

He replaces Justin Thomas, who stepped down in October.

Mayor Rod Davies said he conducted a number of interviews before nominating Grant. The council approved the appointment Tuesday.

Grant is a graduate of United High School and Monmouth College. He works as the IT director for Midwest Bank.

He will be sworn in later this month.

Sexual abuse arrest in Macomb

Macomb police arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile.

Willie Hughes, 24, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Police said the girl was assaulted in May, 2022. The attack was reported to police In October, 2023.

Hughes was arrested on Dec. 16, 2023 following an investigation.

He remains at the McDonough County jail, awaiting a preliminary court hearing scheduled for Jan. 10.

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