On May 10, an early morning fire at Country Meadows Antique Store, 401 E. Broadway, resulted in loss for two of the eight vendors with inventory in the shop.
Alton Fire Chief Bernie Sebold says the fire is being treated as “suspicious.”
Alton Antique Center, located around the corner and underneath Country Meadows, also sustained water and smoke damage.
The fire was the latest incident on “antique row” along Broadway to cause concern for shop owners. Janet Kohler of Mineral Springs Mall, 301 E. Broadway, says her building has been broken into more than once, and a shop within the mall, Something Simple Something Grand, recently was burglarized, with money and property stolen.
Prairie Peddler Antiques, 413 E. Broadway, had a situation with vandalism last year. The owners have since installed surveillance cameras that record activity on that block.
Alton Police Chief Jason “Jake” Simmons reappointment under fire
The reappointment of the Alton police chief is scheduled to take place at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. The appointment is not without controversy, and supporters spoke in favor of Simmons at last Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
Jan Mirikitani, a continuing education instructor for the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy (and former employee of the APD), says Simmons has created a hostile work environment and abused his authority. She recommended the chief, who has served his position since 2013, not be reappointed.
Also this week, Alton NAACP President James Gray, another opponent of Simmons holding his title as chief, released a video to the media he says was sent to him in the mail, allegedly showing an Alton police officer spraying handcuffed teenagers with mace in January of 2015. The video is under investigation.