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Headlines for Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the region from 6 a.m. Sunday til 6 a.m. Monday.  Forecasters at the National Weather Service expect freezing rain and some sleet to move into the area, beginning as rain tonight.  Ice accumulations of up to a half-inch are possible, along with a few inches of snowfall and some sleet before the storm system moves out of the area by early Monday morning.  Colder temperatures are expected behind the system, with temperatures possibly dipping into the single digits by Tuesday.

29-year-old Chance W. Young of Fairfield has been sentenced to four years in federal prison after entering a guilty plea to charges of being in possession of several stolen firearms.  Young was sentenced Friday on the one-count indictment.  In pleading guilty, Young admitted that he broke into a rural Wayne County home in July 2013 and stole several items, including three shotguns and a rifle.  Young has also been ordered to serve two years parole following the prison sentence.  The case against Young was investigated by the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force and the ATF.

Cisne High Yearbook awardsThe Southern Illinois School Press Association awarded the Cisne High School 2013 Yearbook, the Echo, the Golden Dozen Award at the journalism conference held at Southern Illinois University on Wednesday.  In addition, the staff received third place for coverage and third place for their endsheets.  The 2014 Echo staff also earned special awards, including Elizabeth Foley and Amy Sams earning second place for their advertising spread, McKensie Harrison earning first place for Theme Development, and Rebeccah Mugrage receiving first for her feature spread.  Audrey Kelly earned second place in the on-site Photography Contest.  Honorable mentions went to McKensie Harrison for the yearbook cover design and to Darian Shearer for her feature spread. (Pictured are front, Alyse Barnfield, McKensie Harrison, Darian Shearer. Second row, Kirsten Rodgers, Rebeccah Mugrage, Amy Sams. Third row, Becky Harper, Elizabeth Foley.  Back row, Theresa Drake, Summer Wilson, Audrey Kelly)

The Illinois State Police announced Friday that 5000 Concealed Carry License applications have been approved and are ready to be printed and mailed.  The department will be mailing the licenses and continue to issue licenses as they are approved on a daily basis.   Since the process of providing Concealed Carry licenses began, the state police say over 50,000 applications have been received, with over 800 of those objected.  So far, police say none of the objections have been appealed.

February ranked the seventh coldest for Illinois, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel.  He says the average temperature was just 19 degrees.  Snowfall was also above average, ranging from around five inches in the far-southern areas of the state, to 20 to 25 inches in north-central Illinois.

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