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Headlines for Wednesday, November 13, 2013

At last night’s Fairfield City Council meeting, the council voted to begin the process to purchase a home on property acquired from the Pappas family for future city developments.  The home was appraised at $62,000.  City Attorney Mike Molt said the Pappas family was willing to sell the home on the conditon that their mother could continue living in the home until her death, at which time the city would take possession.  Mayor Chuck Griswold noted the city has about $2.2 million for cash and investments on hand.  The council voted in favor of the transaction, with Alderman Jeff Wise abstaining.

Travis Williams appeared at last night’s city council meeting, stating that the airport hangar project is underway, with plans to put the concrete pad in place by Thanksgiving and the building construction getting underway next month.  The goal is to have tenants ready to occupy the new hangar by the middle of February.

A committee will be appointed to come back with recommendations at the next city council meeting on the sale of previously provided pistols to city officers.  Chief Brad Winter said officers can have personally-preferred pistols while on duty, resulting in a surplus of 13 pistols, which Winter recommended selling to an Indiana police supply company for $200 each.  City Attorney Mike Molt said selling the pistols to city officers would limit liability issues.

20-year-old Kyle A. Puckett of Norris City has been sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to possession of a stolen vehicle, a Class 2 felony.  In return for the guilty plea, a Class 3 Felony theft charge and a Class A theft charge were dropped.  Puckett was also sentenced to two years parole and ordered to pay restitution to the theft victims.

Brandon Smith mugshot43-year-old Brandon Smith of Crossville has been arrested in Evansville, IN on weapon and drug charges following an investigation at the Tropicana Hotel in Evansville, IN Tuesday morning.  Officers were called to the hotel on a tip, and later discovered a loaded handgun under one of the pillows that belonged to Smith.  A check of his criminal history showed Smith to be a convicted felon, and not allowed to possess a handgun.  Smith also faces charges of possession of drug parapheranalia and possession of a syringe in the same incident Tuesday morning.

The FBI has been asked to join the investigation into the alleged embezzlement of thousands of dollars from Wayne-White Electric by the former Manager of Financial and Office Services, Bruce Johnson.  A statement issued by CEO Daryl Donjon said a forensic audit of the alleged theft has been completed, with the results in the hands of the FBI to determine if the matter will be pursued in Federal Court.  Johnson is currently free on bond pending trial.  He also faces charges of forgery for allegedly forging the names of Donjon and one other co-op executive on checks written to a used car dealership in Lousiville, IL amounting to over $16,000.

Mt. Carmel, IL businessman and CPA Kevin Williams is scheduled to be sentenced this week in U.S. District Court on charges he swindled a 96-year-old woman out of nearly $3 million.  Williams entered a guilty plea to multiple charges of wire fraud and money laundering, and faces up to 40 years in prison when sentenced on Friday.  Williams is well-known throughout southern Illinois for several business ventures, including the former Windsor Oaks Hotel in Grayville and WSJD Radio in Mt. Carmel, IL.  He remains free on his own recognizance pending sentencing.

Ciara DeRyke, the mother of seven-year-old Willow Long of Watson, IL is in court today facing drug charges.  Police said she was involved in a traffic accident in Shelby County where police found drugs in the vehicle after the crash.  Her brother, 22-year-old Justin D. DeRyke of Watson, is charged with Willow Long’s death on September 8th.  Effingham County States Attorney Bryan Kibler announced in September he would seek a sentence of natural life in prison for Justin DeRyke.  He has a preliminary trail date set for December 2nd.

Frontier Community College in Fairfield will be offering Emergency Medical Technician B training in Fairfield starting January 6th and in Mt. Carmel, IL starting January 7th.  Students will be required to attend the EMT Orientation session on Tuesday, December 3rd from 8 a.m. til 4 p.m. on the FCC campus.  The course provides the knowledge to offer pre-hospital care and function as an entry-level EMT, and involves observing emergency department operations and performing patient assessments in a clinical setting.  To register for the courses call 842-3711 extension 4427 or (877) 464-3687.

Students return to Geff Grade School today after the school was closed Tuesday due to water system repairs for the village of Geff.  A boil order is in effect for the school and residents today.  Students are being permitted to bring water bottles to school, and the school will have water available for the students.

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