News

    A county board employee who was charged with official misconduct had his case dismissed last Thursday morning in Clinton County Circuit Court.
    Keith Nordike, 52, of Aviston, was arrested in April and charged with Class 3 felony official misconduct, and misdemeanor unlawful use of an electronic tracking device, after he alleged placed a tracking device on a highway department employee’s county vehicle.
    His attorney, Doug Gruenke, filed a motion to dismiss the charges, stating that they are unconstitutional under state statute, adding that the vehicle to which Nordike is alleged to have attached an electronic device to was not the person's personal vehicle, but a vehicle owned by Clinton County.
    In the motion, it stated that county board members are charged with examining all accounts of the county, examining all accounts of receipts and expenditures of the county, considering and approving budgets for the county offices, considering and approving expenditures of the county offices, etc.
    "As a body politic and corporate of the State ... as applied to Clinton County, ... does not apply when the vehicle is under the control of the county and the electronic tracking device is used by the county, for the purpose of tracking vehicles driven by employees or contractors of the county," the motion read. "In the case at hand (the statute) does not apply to Nordike, in his capacity as a County Board member, if he attaches an electronic traffic device to a vehicle that is owned by the county for purposes of tracking an employee of the county."
    Special prosecutor David Rands filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss, stating that Nordike had no authority to act on the part of the board.
    Judge Michael McHaney heard arguments on the state's opposition and in the end, granted the motion to dismiss.
    However, McHaney did grant the state a leave to file amended information in the case within 21 days.
    Nordike represents District 4, on the Clinton County Board, which includes Aviston and Trenton. 

    A Breese man died in a head-on crash Friday afternoon on New Route 50, one and a half miles west of Carlyle, near Flat Branch Road.
    Clinton County Coroner Phillip Moss said Mikel J. "Mike" Huelsmann, 61, was pronounced dead at the scene from a two-vehicle crash involving a semitrailer.
    The crash occurred at 12:41 p.m. on Friday, July 12. Huelsmann was pronounced dead on the scene at 1:05 p.m.
    Illinois State Police preliminary reports indicated that Huelsmann, driving a 2003 Honda Odyssey, was traveling westbound on New Route 50, just west of Flat Branch Road, when his vehicle crossed into the eastbound lanes and struck the front end of a 2012 Freightliner semitractor-trailer, driven by  Thomas Stidham, 48, of Clay City.
    Immediately after the crash, the Honda caught fire and was engulfed in flames. Heavy smoke showed from the scene a few miles out.
    Firefighters from Carlyle, Beckemeyer and Wheatfield fire departments all responded to the scene. The Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, MedStar Ambulance, and Clinton County Emergency Management Agency also provided assistance.
    The road was closed for several hours during the cleanup and investigation.
    The crash is still under investigation by the Illinois State Police Crash Reconstruction Officers. 
    There were no passengers in either vehicle. No other information was available on the driver of the semitrailer.
    Huelsmann was employed at Basler Electric in Highland and was a member of St. Dominic Catholic Church and Sons of the American Legion in Breese. He enjoyed golfing, playing tennis, biking, cooking, and watching sports.
    Huelsmann is survived by his wife Kathy (Henken) Huelsmann of Breese, his children, Ellen Huelsmann of St. Louis, Mo., and John Huelsmann of Highland; father, Andrew (friend Julie Schlueter-Detmer) Huelsmann of Breese; siblings, Marcia (Cliff) Williamson of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Gary Huelsmann, Craig (Joyce) Huelsmann and Beth (Darren) Wise of Breese, Tona (Dan) Glarner of Warson Woods, Mo., and Jodi (Kyle) Klingenberg of Okawville; mother-in-law, Sylvia Henken of Carlyle; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Mary Jo (Mark) Kratschmer of Godfrey, Betsy (Paul) Bacon of Danville, VA, Terese (Bob) Kasson of Breese, A.J. (Carol) Henken of Webster Groves, MO, and Joe (Cindy) Henken of St. Charles, Mo.; and numerous nephews and nieces.
    Private services will be held.
    In lieu of flowers, plants, and gifts, memorials may be made to Mater Dei Catholic High School or St. Dominic Catholic Church and will be received through Moss Funeral Home (535 N. Fifth St., Breese, IL 62230), who is serving the family.

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