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Headlines for Saturday, March 29, 2014

Center Street won this year’s Wayne County Scholastic Bowl, held at Frontier Community College in Fairfield.  Center Street defeated Cisne 235 to 155 to win the event.  Cisne defeated Wayne City, lost to Center Street and defeated New Hope in the semi-final round to reach the championship, while Center Street defeated Geff and New Hope earlier in the day to reach the championship.  Six teams competed in this year’s event.  They were Center Street, Cisne, Geff, Jasper, New Hope and Wayne City.  The competition was held in the West Classroom Building at Frontier Community College.

Edwards County officials are investigating an apparent suicide in West Salem.  The body of 38-year-old Charlie Stuessel was found around 7:30 Friday night in the garage of his home.  According to investigators, Stuesseel and his estranged wife had been arguing much of the day Friday, and at some point, Mr. Steussel apparently went into the garage of his home and shot himself with a shotgun.  Edwards County Coroner Mark Curtis, the Edwards County Sheriff’s Department and Illinois State Police Crime Scene officials are investigating the death.  No foul play is suspected, however an autopsy is scheduled for this afternoon (Saturday).

Two teens were injured and taken to Fairfield Memorial Hospital Friday night following an accident in rural Wayne County.  State police said a 16-year-old female juvenile from Fairfield was southbound on county road 1800E just north of county road 200N when a deer entered the roadway.  The driver swerved to the right, causing the vehicle to leave the roadway and hit a ditch before overturning.  The driver and a female juvenile passenger were taken to Fairfield Memorial Hospital following the 9:45 p.m. accident.  Police did not identify those involved due to their ages.  No tickets were issued.

Work is progressing on an upgrade and addition to Times Square Mall in Mt. Vernon, IL.  The west wing of the mall will soon be home to three new businesses, Hobby Lobby, Ross Dress for Less and Big Lots.  The $11 million project is employing around 60 workers, which includes major upgrades to the interior and exterior of the mall.  Construction began last August but has been hampered by winter weather.  The project is expected to be completed by early June.

Wayne County’s unemployment rate for February was 9.8 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, down from 10.2 percent a year ago.  Edwards County reported a February rate of 10.5 percent, down slightly from 10.6 percent a year ago.  Franklin County had the highest February unemployment rate in southern Illinois at 13.3 percent, while Washington and Moultrie counties had the lowest at 7.5 percent.   The IDES said winter weather caused declines in construction work and payrolls, and also affected employment in the Retail Trade and Leisure-Hospitality sectors.

19-year-old Alice G. Fine of Chicago, IL and 20-year-old Daniel A. Groering of Evanston, IL were arrested early Friday morning after allegedly blocking a roadway in Harrisburg and refusing to move.  Officers were called to a report of several people and vehicles blocking Rocky Branch Road around 5:50 Friday morning.  Both face preliminary charges of obstructing traffic peddling, obstructing or delaying, and obstructing or resisting a peace officer.  Both are being held in the Saline County Detention Center.

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