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Headlines for Saturday, July 13, 2013

The annual Wayne County Fair opens today at the fairgrounds in Fairfield.  The Lucas Oil Pro Tractor Pull will start at 7 this evening in front of the grandstand.  Sunday will feature harness racing at 2 p.m. and Monday night at 7.  Sunday night’s grandstand event will be the southern gospel group Union Street, featuring local vocalist Aaron McCune.  The fair runs through next Saturday, July 20th, concluding with the demolition derby.

Pork Day USA will be held in today in Albion.  Highlights include the Little Miss Pork Queen Contest, an amateur pulled pork barbecue pork cookoff, the parade through downtown Albion, and a performance tonight by Country Music Legend Tony Booth at 7:30 this evening on the Main Stage.

39-year-old Jerry E. Schnicker of Dahlgren, who was awaiting trial on charges he texted lewd photographs of himself to a 13-year-old girl, was arrested Thursday for allegedly violating the conditions of his bond by contacting the alleged victim.  Schnicker was arrested on a charge of violating bond on an original charge of indecent solicitation of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.  He had been free on $3500 cash bond when he was arrested on the latest charge Thursday.

Wabash Area Development Inc. (WADI) will begin taking appointments Monday for the Summer Energy Assistance Program for the counties of Wayne, Edwards, Hamilton, White, Wabash, Saline and Gallatin.  Certain requirements must be met for a household to qualify for the assistance.  Those making appointments will need to bring a current utility bill, proof of household income for 30 days prior to the appointment, and social security cards for all members.

A federal judge in East St. Louis Friday gave Illinois and gun-rights advocates until this Thursday to submit written arguments on whether concealed carry can begin in the state next week.  Friday’s ruling means the court will not immediately act on a motion filed last Wednesday that is supported by the Illinois State Rifle Association.  Under the law passed Tuesday, Illinois State Police will have six months to set up a concealed carry program before accepting applications.  Police will then have 90 days to accept or reject an application once it’s received.  The Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last December that Illinois’ ban on public possession of handguns was unconstitutional.

Tourist spending is up in Illinois.  The Illinois Office of Tourism said the state hosted 99 million domestic visitors last year, a six percent increase from the year before.  All of the state’s 102 counties recorded an increase in tourist spending last year.  A total of $31 billion was spent in the state.

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