Illinois quick hits: Parties settle in fireplace explosion case; stolen backhoe used to catch flight

Parties settle in fireplace explosion case

An Illinois couple will receive nearly $1 million in a settlement in connection with an explosion of an outdoor fireplace at an Antioch restaurant.

Charles and LaVerne Burress were dining on the patio of Anastasia’s Restaurant and Sports Lounge in September 2020 when a brick fireplace blew up because of a crack in a gas hose.

The couple’s attorney said LaVerne suffered a laceration to her Achilles tendon and required surgery. The two sides decided to settle the case just before going to trial.

Stolen backhoe allegedly used to catch flight

A Carbondale man is facing charges after he allegedly stole a backhoe to catch a flight.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois for a report of a backhoe in the parking lot. An investigation concluded that Timothy Baggott used the backhoe to drive more than 10 miles to the airport.

Police said security camera footage shows Baggott arriving at the airport and parking the backhoe, then walking to the terminal with a guitar case. He faces felony theft charges.

‘Little Liberty’ in Sauget

Metro East is getting a taste of New York City in the form of a statue. Little Liberty, a 34-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty, arrived in Sauget Thursday. The statue originally stood atop the Liberty Warehouse in New York City.

The statue will be cleaned up and then placed at the entrance to the National Building Arts Center, and will be visible from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

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