Don’t miss these top stories Wednesday:
▪ Washington Park Fire Chief Charles Schreiber said that an early-morning fire started when a stolen car was set on fire in the rear garage of a Washington Park home.
A man doing repairs inside the home at the time discovered the fire after hearing a loud noise coming from outside.
The fire spread to the home and a house next door, causing damage to both residences. No injuries were reported.
▪ A Belleville man is facing sexual assault charges in a case involving two children with whom he was “closely acquainted.” The alleged assaults took place between 2011 and Jan. 20.
Dennis C. Theurer, 66, faces eight felony charges, including six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. The former are class 2 felonies, while the latter are class X felonies.
Theurer was in custody Wednesday at the St. Clair County Jail on $200,000 bond.
▪ An East St. Louis man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to armed robbery.
Wallace B. Carson, 48, pleaded guilty to interference with commerce by robbery, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and unlawful possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The guilty pleas stem from a Sept. 2 incident, when Carson brandished a gun during the robbery of an East St. Louis Walgreens.
▪ A Belleville auctioneer wants to expand along Illinois 15.
Adam Jokisch, president and CEO of Adam’s Auction & Real Estate Services Inc. in Belleville, will propose to the city’s Planning Commission on Wednesday a new, 19,400-square-foot auction and event center to be built on the east side of town.
The new location could also be used to hold car and tractor shows.
▪ The Columbia Journalism Review takes a long look at the investigative efforts of News-Democrat reporters George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer, whose work culminated in an award-winning look at how sexual assault cases are investigated by prosecutor and police across Southern Illinois.
▪ St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly’s office has been appointed to investigate whether charges should be filed against a former Granite City police officer.
Lt. Thomas Paul’s unmarked police car was stolen from him in December and he quickly retired after the incident.
Paul reported that he was carjacked after he stopped to check on a motorist pulled over at the side of the road. But Granite City Police Chief Rich Miller said “Facts were not truthful, and that’s when we turned it over to an outside investigator.”
▪ Glen Carbon’s Little Caesars becomes the second of the franchise’s eateries to be robbed in less than a week.
The latest robbery happened at 8:50 p.m. Sunday.