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Around the Tri States: Solar project gets green light from Macomb; Federal meth charges for two Galesburg men

A weekly roundup of news from around the region.

Solar project gets green light from Macomb

Macomb city council members approved a special use permit for construction of a solar farm on North 1150th Road.

The nearly 40-acre site is southeast of city limits but falls within Macomb’s 1.5 mile zoning jurisdiction.

The developers are currently completing pre-construction surveys, and expect the solar farm to be producing power within 18 months.


Federal meth charges for two Galesburg men

Two Galesburg men have been indicted in federal court for distributing meth in Knox County and surrounding areas.

The indictments are the result of a joint investigation by the FBI, Galesburg police, and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Villarreal, 49, and Casey McGee, 53, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

Over five pounds of meth and multiple firearms were seized as part of the investigation.

Authorities say Villarreal and McGee were distributing two to five pounds of meth a month in the area.


Bushnell murder cases back in court; both continued to next month

Davin Purden, 18, and Nicholas Lafary, 18, are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Travis Purden, 43.

His body was found in his home in Bushnell in June, 2023.

Lafary and Davin Purden both appeared in court this week via Zoom from the McDonough County jail.

Lafary’s attorney is still reviewing the most recent information provided by the state.

Another pretrial hearing is scheduled for April 30.

Purden’s case was also continued. A status hearing is scheduled for April 22, and another pretrial hearing for April 30.

Galesburg man charged with attempted murder

A Galesburg man is charged with attempted murder following a shooting.

Tomas Rubio, 21, is being held in the Knox County jail.

Police say the victim was driving in town on March 21 when a bullet grazed his left shoulder.

The victim was treated at the scene.

Rubio turned himself in to the police later that day. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 17.

High court seeks to fill judicial vacancy in western Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court is seeking applications for an at-large judge vacancy in the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

Applicants must be lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois.

Applications are due by Friday, April 12, 2024.

The Eighth Judicial Circuit includes eight counties: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Mason, Menard, Pike, and Schuyler.

The position became open when the Illinois Courts Commission removed Judge Robert Adrian on Feb, 23., 2024.

The Feb. 23 decision from the commission states Eighth Circuit Judge Robert K. Adrian “has engaged in multiple instances of misconduct, he abused his position of power to indulge his own sense of justice while circumventing the law, he lied under oath on multiple occasions, and he has failed to acknowledge his misconduct.”

Tri States Public Radio produced these stories. TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.