Mike Fitzgerald, News Democrat

Mike Fitzgerald

News Democrat

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Past articles by Mike:

Joliet Catholic finds room to run on Highland, eliminates Bulldogs in quarterfinal

The Highland Bulldogs from Southern Illinois traveled to the Chicago area to take on the Joliet Catholic in IHSA Class 5A High School football playoff quarterfinal game. → Read More

Region’s second medical cannabis shop to open near baseball stadium

The metro-east’s second medical cannabis dispensary, The Green Solution, is set to open in mid-September at the Archview Medical Center, a short distance from the stadium where the Gateway Grizzlies minor league baseball team plays its home games. → Read More

Four firefighters injured battling Centreville fire

Four firefighters from the Camp Jackson Fire Department suffered minor injuries while battling a fire at a vacant house late Friday afternoon. The fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. in the 5700 block of Baker Street, according to the Facebook page of the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency. One firefighter suffered an electrical shock, while the other three suffered heat exhaustion. → Read More

Belleville woman violates order of protection

A 46-year-old Belleville woman has been charged by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office with two counts of violation of an order of protection/prior domestic, both class 4 felonies, after an investigation by Shiloh police. Michelle K. McIntyre, of the 1700 block of Roosevelt Avenue in Belleville, remains in jail after St. Clair County Judge Jan Fiss set McIntyre’s bond at $40,000. → Read More

‘We’re not playing games here’: In Madison County, special court helps veterans avoid jail — most of the time

Since its launch in early 2009, the Madison County Veterans Court has a two-pronged aim: getting nonviolent military veterans with otherwise clean records into treatment, and sparing them a criminal conviction. Treatment can include psychological counseling or drug and alcohol rehab. Other forms of assistance can include help finding a job or a place to live. → Read More

Scott AFB renames building in honor of late U.S. senator from Belleville

The life and 40-year political career of the late Alan J. Dixon — a former two-term U.S. senator, Illiinois state treasurer and secretary of state from Belleville and a big booster of Scott Air Force Base — was honored Friday afternoon with the renaming of the Scott visitor control center in Dixon’s honor. → Read More

Scott AFB to name Visitor Control Center after late U.S. senator Dixon

Family members of the late U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon, who passed away two years ago, are scheduled to be on hand for a ceremony set to begin at 2:30 p.m. Friday to dedicate the Scott Air Force Base Visitor Control Center just west of the Shiloh gate in Dixon’s honor. → Read More

Can this type of medical cannabis save lives?

A medical marijuana cultivation farm is pioneering a strain of hemp whose oil is being used to treat successfully severe childhood epilepsy. → Read More

House sit-in over guns frays friendly ties among Illinois delegation

The normally friendly ties among members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation have frayed noticeably in the wake of the daylong sit-in that Democrats staged on the U.S. House floor Wednesday. → Read More

How long will lottery winners have to wait for their money?

The state will stop paying lottery winners starting July 1, just like last year, because of the ongoing state budget impasse. → Read More

FBI, local police capture fugitive in Swansea; was wanted on kidnapping charges

— A 26-year-old man wanted in connection with an alleged kidnapping conspiracy — and whom federal authorities have been looking for since December —has been captured at the Swansea home of an associate, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. → Read More

You’re going to want to check out this summer’s long-range weather forecast

The summer weather for Southwestern Illinois is going to be a hotter and drier than normal. → Read More

Three Phoenix VA executives fired for patient care delays

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairson Thursday announced that it has removed three senior officials at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. → Read More

Military advocates against Senate plan to slash military housing stipends

Military advocates are baffled over a Senate plan to overhaul troops’ housing stipends, saying the change appears unneeded and potentially crippling to family finances, according to Military Times. → Read More

Rauner to sign medical cannabis bill, giving struggling metro-east industry new lease on life

Uncertainties about the fate of the Illinois medical cannabis pilot program have cleared up thanks to a compromise bill now awaiting Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature. The measure will extend the state pilot program by 2.5 years, to July 1, 2020, and expand the list of qualifying conditions to include post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illnesses. → Read More

Final NGA decision set to be announced this week

The final decision on the location of the $1.75 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — whether it will go to North St. Louis or St. Clair County — is set to be announced either Thursday or Friday. → Read More

Costello sponsors bill to honor sacrifices of Gold Star Families

State Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, is sponsoring a bill in the Illinois House to recognize the sacrifices of Gold Star Families — all members of a family that have lost a loved one during time of war → Read More

Bost urges Army Corps IG to investigate report that led to NGA decision

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, is calling on the Inspector General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an independent investigation into the site selection process for the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency West campus. → Read More

Kirk submits letter formally asking for NGA site-selection probe

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., on Tuesday sent a letter to the Comptroller General of the United States seeking a review of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Final Environmental Impact Statement, or FEIS, that led to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to decide to build the $1.75 billion NGA West campus in North St. Louis and not St. Clair County → Read More

Tricare pilot program will allow families to use in-network urgent care

Some Tricare users will soon be allowed to use in-network urgent care providers without receiving any authorization under a new Tricare pilot program set to start May 23, according to policy documents released Tuesday. → Read More