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Headlines for Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Flood Watch remains in effect for the region through 6 a.m. Sunday.  Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Paducah, KY, say the area is expected to receive two to four inches of rainfall by early Sunday morning.  Flood Warnings have been posted along the Little Wabash River at Clay City and the Wabash River at Mt. Carmel, IL as a result of the expected rains.  At Clay City the Little Wabash is expected to jump ten feet today, cresting at just under 20 feet Sunday.  At Carmi, moderate flooding is expected, with a crest of 34.4 feet expected Thursday, over seven feet above flood stage.  The Wabash at Mt. Carmel, IL is forecast to rise to nearly 21 feet by late next week, about three feet over flood stage.

Lawrence County Circuit Judge Robert Hopkins ruled Friday that the March 25, 2012 stabbing death of 78-year-old Robert V. Westall of Lawrenceville, IL was “brutal and heinous and indicative of wanton cruelty”.  The ruling made Westall’s killer, 22-year-old Tyler R. McQueen of Mt. Carmel, IL, eligible for a sentence of natural life in prison.  Special Prosecutor Michael Vujovich had argued for a 78-year-sentence, one year for each year of the victim’s life, while McQueen’s defense attorney, Matt Vaughan of Fairfield, asked for a 20-year sentence.  Eventually, Judge Hopkins rejected a sentence of natural life and instead ordered McQueen to serve 50 years in prison.  Under Illinois law, he will have to serve 100% of the sentence.

Two Richland County residents have drawn stiff federal prison sentences after pleading guilty to charges related to the manufacture of methamphetmaine.  32-year-old Timothy L. Garrard of Olney was sentenced to 15 years after pleading guilty to a three count federal indictment.  In an unrelated case, 32-year-old Carol R. Wille of Noble was sentenced to eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a single federal indictment charging her with possession of pseudophedrine pills knowing they would be used to make meth.  She was also ordered to serve three years parole after her jail time.

19-year-old Edward B. Healy of Norris City was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident following a wreck on White County Road 600E at Illinois Route 141 Friday morning.  State police said Healy was driving a pickup southbound on White County Road 6ooE and failed to yield at the intersection, crossing into the path of a vehicle driven by 66-year-old Gail E. Glass of Harrisburg, IL.  Neither driver was hurt, however a passenger in Glass’ vehicle, 64-year-old Connie J. Glass of Harrisburg, IL was taken to Ferrel Hospital in Eldorado, IL for treatment of her injuries.

Bond has been set at $250,000 for 49-year-old Louis E. Banks Jr. of Carmi.  Banks was taken into custody Thursday on a White County warrant charging him with two counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child, a Class-X felony.  Illinois State Police investigators allege the unlawful sexual conduct happened on or about December 16th.  Banks was lodged in the White County Jail at Carmi pending a preliminary hearing.  If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison on each count.

Today’s winner in the Fairfield Community High School After Prom Committee’s 12 Days of Christmas promotion is Lester Simpson.  Lester wins $500.  Today’s drawing is the final drawing in the promotion.

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