Around The County

    Charges were filed against a Virginia man with connections to a woman whose body was recovered by police last August in Trenton.
    A press release from Clinton County State's Attorney Doug Gruenke, issued on March 2, stated that on Aug. 28, 2020, the Trenton Police Department and the Illinois State Police recovered the body of a female victim near the intersection of New Highway 50 and Illinois Route 160 in Trenton. 
    "The Illinois State Police identified the victim as Charity M. Greene, 46, of Louisville, Kentucky, and asked for the public's assistance in providing any information surrounding her death," the release stated.
    On Jan. 11, charges were filed against James K. Pruitt, 59, of Marion, Virginia, in connection with the death of Greene. 
    Pruitt is charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, a Class 3 felony, and two counts of obstructing justice, both Class 4 felonies. 
    The charges allege that Pruitt "unintentionally killed Charity M. Greene" in that he failed to request emergency medical assistance, and removed Greene from his tractor-trailer cab and left her on the side of the road when he knew that Greene was suffering from a possible drug overdose.
    In addition, Pruitt allegedly furnished false information to an Illinois State Police trooper in a  text message with all of his locations and log sheet, from Aug. 23, 2020, through Aug. 27, 2020.
    A caller reported on Aug. 28, 2020, at 9:14 a.m., the discovery of human remains that were located in the ditch, according to a log from the Clinton County Sheriff's Department. 
    Trenton Police Chief Chris Joellenbeck had stated at the time that since the remains were located on a state highway, Illinois State Police were also involved.
    The state's attorney's office thanks the Illinois State Police and the Trenton Police Department for their efforts in the investigation.
    Pruitt was apprehended in Kentucky by Kentucky State Police and was extradited to Clinton County at the end of February. 
    He is in custody in the Clinton County Jail and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 10 at 1 p.m. 
    Pruitt is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

JanMathewsAuthor Jan Schmitz Mathew, left, shares her father’s journey with ALS through her book, "Surrounded by Love: My Family’s Journey Through ALS.”    "Surrounded by Love: My Family's Journey Through ALS" is a daughter's tribute to her father, a Carlyle native, and their family as they battled ALS.
    When Jan Schmitz Mathew started writing a book about her dad, Roger Schmitz, she found it to be healing in some way.
    Roger died in October 2013, after a seven-month battle with ALS. He was 78 years old.
    Mathew, of Decatur, said she started writing about her dad when her father was experiencing symptoms of ALS.
    "Every time I would see him, I would just starting taking notes and then I would process it into an essay," she said, adding that it helped wrap her head around what was going on.
    ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS is also commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, after famous baseball player Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with the disease in 1939. 
    It wasn't until several years after he died, that Mathew started sharing her essays to local writing groups.
    "I wanted people to know my dad as a person, other than a person with ALS," she said, adding that they then persuaded her into turning her work in a manuscript.
    "Even though ALS is rare, there is a common ground for other families who have struggled with the loss of a loved one in this book," she said.

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