Two rural Mount Vernon, Ill. men died early Tuesday morning when fire swept through their mobile home. A neighbor spotted flames coming from the home around 1:25 Tuesday morning and alerted authorities. The home, located on E. Davis Drive on the south edge of Mount Vernon, was fully engulfed in flames when Mount Vernon Rural Firefighters arrived. A relative arrived as firemen battled the blaze and informed them that his father and uncle were likely inside. The badly burned bodies were pulled from the structure shortly before daylight. The Jefferson County Coroner says it appears both men tried to escape the blaze, but were apparently overcome by smoke and intense heat. The brothers have been identified as 72-year-old Gary Melton and 73-year-old Don Melton.
Numerous accidents have been reported around the area overnight due to black ice. Moisture left over from yesterday’s rainfall re-froze overnight, creating difficult driving conditions.
18-year-old Kent T. Pollard of Carmi was injured Monday night when the Chevy Cobalt he was driving on Rt. 14 in Hamilton County hit a patch of black ice ran off the road and hit a tree. He was taken to the hospital in McLeansboro where he was treated and released. State Police say Pollard was wearing his seat belt.
The Fairfield Grade School Board met Monday night, approving a two-year contract with Iconik Studios of Fairfield for photography services. The board also voted to hire Jeffery Morris as boys track coach and accepted the resignation of Northside secretary Kayla Xanders.
Randy Dunn has been named the next president of Southern Illinois University. Dunn has been president of Youngstown University in Ohio for the past seven months. He replaces Glenn Poshard. His contract expires June 30 of this year. Dunn will be making $430,000 a year as President of SIU.
Circuit Judge Sherri Tungate has retired. A reception for the Fourth Circuit judge was held over the weekend at the courthouse in Louisville. Tungate was the first woman to ever serve as judge in Illinois’ Fourth Circuit. She plans to join her husband in his law practice in Flora.