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CCHIlmesBreese mayor Charlie Hilmes calls on the Clinton County Board to dismiss Dr. Deanna DuComb from the Board of Health following her asking what he called a “slanderous” question. DuComb herself (pictured at left) attended the meeting to deliver a rebuttal. (Photo by Melissa Wilkinson)    Breese mayor Charlie Hilmes made an appearance at the Clinton County Board meeting on Monday, March 18, where he delivered on a promise to formally request the dismissal of Dr. Deanna DuComb from the Clinton County Board of Health.
    Hilmes announced his intent to call for DuComb’s dismissal at the March 5 Breese City Council meeting after replying publically to a question asked by DuComb regarding whether or not the county health department should be moved to Breese from Carlyle. DuComb asked whether the county’s African-American residents would feel safe coming to Breese after dark, asserting that to move the health center to Breese would disenfranchise the county’s poor minorities. 
    Hilmes said he believes the quote to be “slanderous” and alleged that DuComb posed the question purely to keep the health center in Carlyle. Hilmes contacted DuComb about her question several weeks ago, asking her to make a formal apology to the city of Breese. After DuComb refused, Hilmes told the Breese Council that he would call on the board to dismiss her.
    “Breese is not a movie about the 1950s and ’60s. Breese is a town that takes great pride in what it has managed to accomplish over the last 50 years. What I’ve seen since 1960 is people who have moved into our community becoming involved in churches, schools, organizations and then passing this involvement on to their children,” said Hilmes at the county board meeting. “We want to keep those children in Clinton County. I do believe Dr. DuComb’s statement doesn’t represent the reality in Breese … I ask the board to dismiss Dr. DuComb from any and all appointed positions in Clinton County. I truly believe she does a disservice to the county as a whole.”
    DuComb, who practices dermatology in Carlyle, was also in attendance at Monday night’s meeting to speak in her own defense. DuComb asserted that Hilmes “extrapolated” several untrue statements from her question, which she said was posed after researching the population of Breese. Much of DuComb’s research involved school data, in which it was reported that Breese has very few African-American students attending school within city limits.
    “I’m an inquisitive person by nature. I think it’s relevant. if we’re not allowed to ask a question, what kind of community are we? If we ask good questions we get good answers, we solve problems and move forward,” said DuComb.

CSXrailcarsCSX crossing guards on standby Friday Morning, March 15 to direct traffic around the intersection of Spring and West Railroad streets as the abandoned railcars are pulled through. (Photo by Melissa Wilkinson)    Clinton County’s CSX railroad crossings saw new action last Wednesday through Friday as the Florida company moved abandoned railroad cars from downtown Aviston to East St. Louis. 
    The rail cars were stored in Aviston for several years after the CSX line, built in the 1800s as a side track on the line running from St. Louis to Cincinnati, was shut down. 
    According to Aviston village administrator Mike Buscher, the cars were “extremely dangerous” as a climbing attraction to kids and teens. Buscher said the village of Aviston has been communicating with CSX about removing the cars for some time.
    “We’re very glad they’re gone,” Buscher said. “I’ve got to give credit to Tom Livingston, who works for CSX and worked with me.”
    Buscher also thanked Aviston mayor Dale Haukap, the Aviston village board and Breese mayor Charlie Hilmes for their support.
    The process was done in 12-hour shifts, moving the trains at 10 mph across the three-day period. CSX personnel were on-site to protect crossings during the move.

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Carlyle Lake Levels

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 Fri., March 15
446.60 
 Sun., March 17 447.75 
 Tues., March 19 448.51 

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 March 14 1.49" 
 March 15 .00" 
 March 16
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March 17 .00" 
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 March 19 .00"