- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) - Authorities in Coles County say the mayor of Charleston has died of natural causes.

The Coles County Coroner’s Office says 67-year-old Mayor Larry Rennels died early Thursday in the emergency room at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. Rennels was elected mayor two years ago. He previously served on the City Council since 1997. He also owned Rennels TV and Applicance.

Former Charleston Mayor John Inyart tells the (Charleston) Times-Courier and Mattoon Journal-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1IhDASf ) that Rennels “was not afraid to take on issues that were unpopular.” Inyart says Rennels will be hard to replace.

Charleston is home to Eastern Illinois University. EIU President David Glassman says Rennels was “a man of great knowledge, wisdom and integrity.”

City Councilman Brandon Combs will be mayor pro tempore.

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Information from: Mattoon Journal-Gazette, http://www.jg-tc.com

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