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Headlines for Monday, November 11, 2013

Fairfield’s Veterans Day service was held today at the Veterans Section of Maple Hill Cemetery.  The service included the laying of the wreath at the monument of the Unknown Service Person, a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.  Following today’s service the First United Methodist Church served a lunch for all veterans and their guests.

24-year-old Clarence Hutchinson and 21-year-old Cole Tatum, both of Wayne City, were jailed Saturday night following an incident in northern Wayne County.  Police were called to a location at county road 2000N and 575E on a report of a possible traffic accident, and spoke with Orchardville rescue personnel who had arrived on scene first.  As they were talking, police said two men walked out of a nearby woods, one of them identified as Tatum.  Both said they had shot a deer and were trying to “track the animal”.  After being given permission to search their vehicle, police found a gun case in the trunk.  Police were then advised a third person, later identified as Hutchinson, was in the woods allegedly in possession of a loaded handgun.  When police asked why it was necessary to carry a loaded hangun, Tatum allegedly said it was for protection and in fear of Hutchinson or himself “going to jail”.  Hutchinson was charged with possession of a firearm without a valid FOID card, while Tatum was charged with obstructing justice.

47-year-old Tawana Smith of Wayne City was jailed Friday night following a report of a domestic dispute at a home in Keenes around 8:45 p.m.  Police said the home’s occupant, Jerry J. Acord told them he had arrived home to get a glass of ice and came upon two occupants in the home.  As he was leaving the home, one of the occupants allegedly got into an altercation with Acord, with the two landing on the ground in the front yard.  Another occupant, identified as 47-year-old Tawana Smith, is accused of kicking Acord in the head multiple times during the alleged dispute.  Smith was taken to the Wayne County Jail pending the setting of bond.

The Wayne County Historical Society will present a collection of historical slides of Fairfield scenes Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. in the Fairfield Public Library meeting room at 300 SE 2nd Street.  The collection is mainly the work of photographer Kenneth Hammack, who had photographed scenes from the early 1900s to show changes over time.  His views are from the 1950s and 1960s, and include the Blackburn Poultry House, Brock Hotel and Phoenix Mill, along with other locations.  The public is invited, and is asked to use the west entrance to the libaray.

Illinois State Police District 19 Interim Commander, Lieutenant Cory Ristvedt, has announced the activity and enforcement figures for October.  Troopers wrote 252 speeding tickets, made six DUI arrests, issued 43 seat-belt tickets and three child-restraint tickets, 221 written warnings for speeding and made 26 criminal arrests.  Troopers in District 19 also investigated 31 traffic crashes during October, none of which involved a fatality.

Frontier Community College in Fairfield is launching its new Construction Technology Program in January with the start of the 2014 Spring Semester.  Gene Kollak of Fairfield will be the instructor.  The two courses will teach students techniques applicable to building a large home, and will be housed in FCC’s Workforce Development Center.  More information is available by calling the college at 842-3711.

Donald Hutson has been named the new director of the Marion VA medical center.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says Hutson will oversee operations of the center effective December 15th.  The center currently serves about 44,000 veterans a year in parts of three states.  The facility had been under scrutiny after an August 2007 incident in which a surgeon resigned just days after a patient bled to death following gallbladder surgery.  All inpatient surgeries were halted at the facility, with several deaths later determined to be cause by substandard care.  The facility was cleared in 2011 to resume in-patient surgeries with low complication risks.

Illinois lawmakers are not due to return to Springfield until late January, but many indications are that they will be back sooner.  The state’s pension reform issue is expected to require a special session in December.  Except for gay marriage legislation, many lawmakers are admitting that little got done in last week’s veto session, and an agreement on the pension crisis could not be reached.

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