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Headlines for Sunday, August 18, 2013

Illinois State Police along with White County authorities are investigating the discovery of Sandra K. Burkhardt of Poseyville, IN.  Her body was found Saturday night in a corn field about three miles west of Crossville shortly after 7 p.m. by an aerial surveillance operation carried out by Illinois and Indiana State Police.  Burkhardt’s death is believed to be related to a missing person’s case in Indiana involving a shooting suspect, 25-year-old Thomas Matthew Davidson a former Carmi resident  He was taken to the White County Jail in Carmi where bond was set at two million dollars.  Davidson faces preliminary charges of first degree murder.  The White County Coroner, Crime Scene Agents, Illinois State Police Detectives and White County Sheriff Doug Maier are investigating, along with Indiana authorities.  White County Coroner Chris Marsh said an autopsy Sunday afternoon determined the cause of death to be from four gunshot wounds.

White County’s annual Crop Tour is set for this Wednesday morning.  Breakfast will be served at 7 a.m. at the Farm Bureau Building in Carmi.  The teams will depart at 7:30 a.m. checking at least 10 different locations in each of the county’s 10 townships.  The groups will return to the Farm Bureau Building by 11 a.m. for lunch and to compile the data.  This will be the 17th year for the crop tour.

23-year-old Ronnie J. Stroud of Valier, IL was killed early Saturday morning in an accident on Illinois Route 148 in Jefferson County.  State police at the DuQuoin post said Stroud was southbound on Route 148 near East Flagg Road when the ride side tires of the vehicle he was driving went off the roadway, causing Stroud to overcorrect and leave the roadway on the opposite side, striking several trees and overturning down a large embankment.  Police said toxicology results are pending, and excessive speed likely contributed to the crash.

A bill that bans the use of hand-held cell phones while driving has been signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn.  The law takes effect January 1st, and will require motorists to pull off the road in order to make a call.  Hands-free devices are exempt from the law.  Violators will face fines starting at $75.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state’s unemployment rate for July was 9.2 percent, compared to 9.1 percent in June and an even nine percent a year ago.  The IDES said the number of unemployed people increased slightly in July for the second time since March, but that the state added 7100 private sector jobs in July, and has added 62,100 private sector jobs since July of last year.

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