The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Equipment moves into Rocky Branch

  • Peabody Energy completed moving it's heavy machinery across Rocky Branch Road on Tuesday afternoon.
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  • Peabody Energy completed moving it's heavy machinery across Rocky Branch Road on Tuesday afternoon.
    On Monday, state Route 13 was closed as the company moved the machinery south towards the site of their new mining area adjacent to Rocky Branch Road, east of Harrisburg. Tuesday, the machinery was moved across Old Route 13 toward the new mine site.
    Saline County Chief Deputy Ken Clore confirmed to the Daily Register that a protester, Glenn Kellen, a resident of Rocky Branch Road, was arrested Tuesday morning on a charge of criminal trespass to state supported property. Clore stated that Kellen deliberately stepped around a barricade in what appeared to be an act of civil disobedience and was placed under arrest.
    A Peabody worker stated that the move across Route 13 on Monday, “Went flawlessly. We had the road cleared off and reopened to traffic by 3 p.m.”
    Tuesday’s move across Old Route 13 was completed before noon, the crossing of Rocky Branch Road began at 1 p.m. and was scheduled to be completed by 2:30 p.m. The project reportedly caused power to be shut off south of the highway for several hours in the morning and afternoon and residents were unhappy with this, primarily because of heat related health and safety concerns.
    Kellen had a number of comments about his arrest during protesting Peabody’s action.
    “I thought the barricade was just for traffic. I was protesting for my rights. I have my civil rights and these guys (Peabody) don't think we have any civil rights,” Kellen said.
    “They just destroy everything and don't pay for it, they busted my chimney through blasting and caused a leak in my pond and I won't be able to fix that damage till they are done mining.”
    Judy Kellen stated that while they didn’t lose power today, a number of the neighbors did.
    “We have already called the Illinois Attorney Generals office today about the further damage they (Peabody) are doing to the property and health of the elderly who live here,” Judy said.
    “This is my home. I served my country in the Vietnam war.” Glenn Kellen said. “Now I'm treated like this, this is like a Hitler state in America.”
    Kellen added that he was treated with courtesy and respect by the Saline County Sheriff's Office Deputies during his arrest and transport to the County Detention Center. He posted $100 cash bond.
    The Kellens were again protesting with their signs Wednesday morning at the intersection of state Route 13 at College Road.
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