First-degree murder charges will be filed today against 22-year-old Justin D. DeRyke in the slaying of his 7-year-old niece Willow Long of Watson, IL. The girl’s body was found Monday night near the Little Wabash River south of Watson. The girl had been missing since Sunday morning. Hundreds of volunteers joined local and state law enforcement agencies in the search for Willow. An autopsy conducted Tuesday confirmed she was the victim of homicide. DeRyke is being held in the Effingham County jail pending a first appearance in court later today.
Circuit Judge Mark Shaner has found probable cause to bind 25-year-old Thomas M. Davidson of Poseyville, Ind. over to trial on charges he shot to death Sandra K. Burkhardt last month. The 58-year-old rural Poseyville woman was found shot to death in a corn field west of Crossville on August 17. Davidson is accused of shooting the woman four times. He remains in the White County jail at Carmi under $2 million bond.
The Fairfield City Council Tuesday night passed a resolution of intent to trade 20 acres of city owned land south of Fairfield to the Fairfield Industrial Trust. The Industrial Trust is currently in negotiations with an un-named firm to bring a business to Fairfield. A public hearing on the land swap will be held during the first city council meeting in October.
Fairfield Police Chief Brad Winter and Assistant Chief Cameron Simpson are getting a raise. The City Council Tuesday night approved a 3% raise for each officer for the next two years. The raise is the same amount approved for city patrolmen who are members of the Fraternal Order of Police.
The 45th annual Fairfield Fall Fun Fest opens tonight with Church Night starting at 6:30 this evening in the Entertainment Tent, and a performance of the Harper Family at 8 p.m. Thursday night will feature the Fun Fest Prince and Prince Contest at 6:30 and performances by the Roasted Chestnuts at 6:30 and King City Swing at 7:30 on the main stage.