THIRTY SIX ILLINOIS COUNTIES VIOLATE ELECTION LAW
Military and overseas voters are guaranteed the opportunity to vote absentee but 36 Illinois counties violated federal law when they did not get the ballots out before the September 18 deadline. Most of the County Clerks say pending lawsuits against candidates kept them from finalizing the ballot. St. Clair County Clerk, Bob Delaney, says he missed the deadline but it did not have an impact on election results. Missing the deadline is a violation of the federal MOVE Act. The Department of Justice may file a lawsuit against the county but no suits have been filed. Bond County was not one of the counties that missed the deadline for sending out absentee ballots. County Clerk Randy Reitz said all absentee ballots for Bond County were sent out on time.
HOUSE FIRE IN VANDALIA
Vandalia Firefighters were dispatched Thursday, at 2:20 a.m., to a house fire on Johnson Street. According to Fire Chief Merle Aderman, this was a single-family home and the residents were not home at the time of the fire. They were contacted at the home of a family member. Aderman said firefighters entered the home and located the fire in a bedroom. The fire was confined to the bedroom which sustained major fire damage. There was considerable smoke and heat damage throughout the home. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and the State Fire Marshall’s Office will be contacted today as standard procedure. No injuries were reported and firefighters were on the scene for about two hours.
JANUARY 7 POLICE REPORT
A Bond County Deputy responded to a single-vehicle accident Thursday, at 6:20 p.m., at Funderburks Phillips 66 lot in Pocahontas. According to the accident report, Joseph G. Welchlen, age 54, of Pierron, had stopped his 1985 Chevrolet pick-up truck at the gas pumps. After fueling his truck, he drove toward the building but failed to stop and hit the building. There is extensive damage to the building but very little damage to the truck. Welchlen was charged with alleged DUI and operating an uninsured vehicle.
Greenville Police are investigating reported damage at the FS building on Second Street. Glass in the west entrance door was broken to gain access to the building but nothing appeared to be missing or disturbed. Damage is estimated at $300.00.
Greenville Police are also investigating reported damage to a 2000 Ford F150 at Tri-Ford on Rt.40. Damage is estimated at $400.00.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE ON FEDERAL MENTAL HEALTH LAW
Federal law, effective since October 2009, requires group health plans to offer equivalent coverage for mental health or substance abuse disorders compared to other benefits.
The Illinois Department of Insurance, responding to several inquiries and concerns regarding the implementation of the federal law, has issued the following statement: “The Department of Insurance is committed to the principle that coverage for mental health or substance abuse disorder benefits must be equivalent to coverage for other benefits. In the event that ambiguity is argued to exist in the implementation of the regulations, the department will resolve in favor of the patients and families for whom the law is meant to protect.”
The department assists consumers with all insurance complaints, including health, auto, life, and homeowner. Consumers in need of information or assistance should visit the department’s website at www.illinois.insurance.gov or call toll-free at (866) 445-5326.