rafferty clippedSteve Rafferty, lead instructor for the Frontier Community College Electrical Distribution Program has died.   Rafferty, 49, died Wednesday morning from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Mt. Carmel. Wabash County Coroner Larry Hodgson said Rafferty’s body was found at about 10:50 Wednesday morning.  While no foul play is suspected in Mr. Rafferty’s death, an autopsy was conducted.  Mount Carmel City Police, Coroner Hodgson and Illinois State Police investigated the death.  Rafferty worked 16 years as a journeyman lineman for Mount Carmel Public Utility before joining the staff at Frontier Community College in August of 2008.  Funeral services are pending at the Short-Cunningham Funeral Home in Mount Carmel.

Voters in Hamilton County will decide next week if they want to raise sales taxes to support their schools.  If approved, the measure would impose a one percent increase on sales tax. The increase would not apply to groceries, farm equipment or cars.

29-year-old Josiah Griffin of Carmi has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of escape.  Griffin was sentenced Wednesday in White County Circuit Court.  The sentence will be served consecutively to a sentence he is currently serving for aggravated domestic battery.

The Mt. Erie Ruritan Club recently celebrated its 45th anniversary during a Spring Awards Banquet.  Ruritan National Director Grover Burkett presented a 45 year certificate to Mt. Erie Ruritan President Rita Woods and Robert Walker, representing the local club.

Fairfield FFA members had a successful night last night at the District 5 Science Fair in Benton.  Leah Carter placed first overall and Katie Liston placed 2nd overall in the event. Also participating for Fairfield was Mercedes Grote.

Officers with the Illinois Conservation Police are investigating a significant poaching incident at Carlyle Lake. Someone illegally shot and killed more than 30 ducks. Several other ducks were crippled by the poacher.  The ducks killed included several northern pintails and mallards.

A 20-year-old rural Kell man died Wednesday from an apparent electrocution in the garage of his home.  The Marion County Coroner says Dalton Osterman was working alone on some sort of “electrical experiment” when he was fatally shocked.

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