Headlines Saturday January 7, 2016

Southwire announced it will be closing its Flora manufacturing facility.  According to a post on its corporate blog, Southwire said full plant operation will subside in the first quarter of 2017 and the facility will continue to operate at a limited capacity until the fourth quarter. No numbers were included as to employment levels.  The company works in the bare overhead transmission market.   Eligible employees will have the opportunity to bid on open positions at other Southwire locations. Those who do not wish to transfer to another Southwire facility will be offered severance packages.

Emergency crews had to rescue a hiker at Garden of the Gods Thursday afternoon.  Dispatchers got the call around 3:50 p.m. saying a man was stuck on top of the Devil’s Smokestack formation.  Hardin County’s Emergency Management repelling team responded along with Saline County Sheriff’s Deputies, Hardin County Sheriff’s Officers and Equality Fire Department.  Nearly two hours later the crews rescued Jachin J. Gillis, 25, of Ontario Canada.  An ambulance crew checked Gillies for injuries and exposure to the cold, but he refused medical treatment.

The Illinois Eastern Community College is among 7 community colleges to share in $3 million in emergency funds.  The money is being distributed by the Illinois Community College Board.  The IECC will receive their equal share of the funds amounting to $428,571 in financial support to be used for essential operations.  The seven districts were chosen based on the districts with the least amount of property tax funding and the hardest time operating without state funding.

A Wayne County jury decided that a Wayne County man should remain behind bars as a sexually dangerous person.  Claiming he has recovered, Edward S. Abel, 45 of Fairfield had petitioned the court to be discharged from prison or be released on conditional discharged.  Following a jury trial this week in Wayne County Circuit Court, the jury rejected Abel’s contention that he is recovered and no longer a danger to society as a sex offender. Abel is currently serving his time at the Big Muddy Correctional Center near Ina. He will remain behind bars until psychiatrists and the courts determine he is no longer a danger to society.