Len Wells, News Director


images_banners_listentolocalnews1215 10-25-14

Headlines for Sunday, October 5, 2014

27-year-old Alan Dale Stratton of Crossville was injured and cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident following a motorcycle wreck Saturday afternoon in White County.  State police say Stratton was riding a motorcycle on White County Road 1950E near Illinois Route 14 when he ran off the roadway and crashed into a ditch.  He was airlifted from the scene to an Evansville hospital for treatment of his injuries.

FNB along with the Community Bankers Association of Illinois has announced this year’s winner of the 2014 Bancvue Scholarship is Janae Garrett of Fairfield.  Garrett was sponsored by Fairfield National Bank and has received an initial check of $1000 and will be eligible to receive $1000 per year for the next three years for her higher education.  She currently attends the Salon Professional Academy in Evansville, IN.  The scholarship is conducted through a blind drawing held during the CBAI Annual Convention in Chicago.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital will be holding a Book Fair on Tuesday from 9 a.m. til 4 p.m. in the hospital’s Medical Arts Complex Community Education Room.  The public is invited to purchase hundreds of new books and gifts at up to seventy percent off.  Twenty percent of proceeds from purchases will be donated to the Fairfield Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Fairfield Memorial Hospital Skilled Care Activities to help fund activities for the residents.

Artists from Illinois and Missouri will be coming to Fairfield later this week to participate in the 3rd Fall Foliage Paint Out.  The event will be held October 8th through 11th with artists painting outdoor scenes in the community through noon this Saturday.  The artists welcome the public to stop by to visit with them as they paint.  The public is also invited to view their works at the Landing on the corner of NE 3rd and Court Street each evening from 6 to 7 p.m.  There will also be a public viewing and art sale Saturday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital and Frontier Community College is sponsoring a “Run For Your Life 5K” this Saturday.  Registration begins at 7 a.m. with the race at 8.  The course begins at the hospital and runs out to the college and then back to the hospital.   Registration forms can be picked up at the hospital or college or printed off either organizations’ website.  Early registration is encouraged to allow time to order free t-shirts for participants, however late registration will be available Saturday morning until 7:45.

Headlines for Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Fairfield Community High School Homecoming Parade was held Friday afternoon in downtown Fairfield.  The parade lasted about 25 minutes.  The FCHS Senior class won first in the float entries, receiving $100.  Second place and $75 went to the Junior Class, and third place and $50 went to the FCHS FFA.  The Fairfield Mulebackers provided the prize money for the parade winners.  The Homecoming football game was played last night, with Fairfield losing to Eldorado in overtime 60 to 58.

Volunteers for a Progressive Fairfield along with family and friends will be honoring Robert “Poor Ol’ Bob” Medler today with two cookouts scheduled.  A drive-through only porkburger sale will be held on the IGA parking lot, and the second will be at the Darrell Meritt Corner at the corner of 7th and Delaware.  Volunteers for a Progressive Fairfield will be selling ribeyes, chops, chicken, polish sausage and porkburgers starting at 9 a.m.  As requested by the family, all donations received will be forwarded to the Fairfield Park District towards the goal of completing a pathway towards the ball diamonds, which will officially be named the Robert “Poor Ol’ Bob” Medler Pathway to Community Service.

Carmi police are asking for the public’s help in locating two suspects in a retail theft at the Carmi WalMart.  The theft occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on September 18th.  The suspects were last seen driving a white Cadillac, and exited the store with two carts full of merchandise without paying.  Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call (618) 382-4633.

The annual Bare Haunted School, sponsored by the Sims Village Board, is tonight at the former Sims Grade School from 7:30 until 12:30 Sunday morning.  A non-scary version will run from 6 to 7 p.m.  The cost to enter the haunted school is $5 per person and $2 for the non-haunted school.  After expenses, a donation will be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation in memory of Robert Staton.

President Barack Obama made a visit to Princeton, IN Friday.  The president spent much of the time, according to reports, talking about a recently released upbeat jobs report on Manufacturing Day during a visit to a Gibson County steel company.  The report said the President also talked about the nation’s unemployment rate, now at 5.9 percent, and the addition of nearly 250,000 workers last month according to a Labor Department statistic released Friday.  Reports said the President spoke to a crowd of just over 250.

Headlines for Friday, October 3, 2014


theft 2

The Carmi Police Department is asking for help in identifying two suspects in a retail theft case at WalMart here in Carmi, Illinois. The suspects were driving a white color Cadillac with unknown license information.  The theft occurred at approximately 8:30 pm on 09-18-14.  WalMart did not immediately know the theft had occurred. The suspects exited Walmart with two carts full of merchandise without paying.  A witness followed the vehicle Southbound on Rt1 before losing the suspect vehicle.  Any information on the suspects or their whereabouts should be directed to the Carmi Police Department at 618-382-4633.

It’s Homecoming weekend in Fairfield. The annual FCHS Homecoming Parade will be at 2:30 this afternoon. Bruce Dickey and Billy Rogers will be bringing you all of the highlights on WFIW FM 104.9 as a courtesy of Fairfield National Bank.  The Mules take on Eldorado this evening for the annual Homecoming game.

Volunteers for a Progressive Fairfield will be honoring Robert “poor Ol’ Bob” Medler Saturday with two cookouts. One will be a drive-through porkburger sale on the IGA parking lot. The other will be at the corner of 7th and Delaware.  Money raised will be donated to the Fairfield Park District to fund the completion of a pathway towards the Leo French Park ball diamonds.

A single vehicle crash in Saline County Thursday afternoon has claimed the lives of two Southern Illinois residents. The victims have been identified as Donald R. Childers, 73 and Betty J. Childers, 68, both of Marion.  State Police said Donald Childers swerved to miss a slower vehicle on Ill. Rt. 34 near Womble Road in Saline County when he lost control, ran off the road and hit a tree. Another passenger, 27-year-old David Grace of Marion survived the crash and was taken to a local hospital.

Two Eldorado residents were hurt Thursday in a near head-on crash on Rt. 45 at Gandertown Road in Saline County.  The drivers were identified as William Seth Dunn-Seets and Andrea M. Clark, both 28 of Eldorado.  Police said Dunn-Seets crossed the centerline and struck Clark’s car.

The Cisne FFA Greenhand Quiz Bowl team finished as second place team in an event this week at East Richland High School.  Team members were Karley Dagg, Jonathan Timm, Samantha Robertson, Matthew Billington and Jordan Hosick.

Headlines for Thursday, October 2, 2014

Black_MeganMegan Black (pictured left) has been hired as the Director of Instructional Services at Frontier Community College.  She comes to Frontier from the University of Southern Indiana at Evansville where she served as Assistant Director of Admissions.  She holds a Master of Science in Management Degree from Oakland City University.  Black lives in Barnhill with her husband Robert Black and their son, Graham.

A $500 cash reward is being offered for the arrest of two thieves who broke into Johnson Truck Sales in Norris City this week and stole over 1,000 pounds of No. 1 copper. The theft was captured on surveillance video.  Authorities are now attempting to identify the individuals involved in the heist. State Police Crime Scene specialists have gathered additional evidence from the scene.

Lovins dirt

It’s been well over a year since the City of Albion backed out of a deal to build a new fire station on property donated by Pat Lovins. Contractors tore down the former Lovins Pharmacy building and started foundation work on the new fire station before backing out of the deal. The failed project left a downtown eyesore and no plans to remediate the property.  Well, work finally began this week to restore the property. Albion Mayor Steve McMahel confirms that dirt is now being hauled in to the former Lovins lot. The dirt is coming from construction that is underway at the new fire station at the corner of second and Walnut.  The footers that had been poured at the Lovins site have also been removed.

43-year-old Harold Hull of Centralia has been jailed on charges he vandalized the WW II Memorial at the Iuka Cemetery.  Authorities believe Hull knocked out pieces of the concrete foundation to steal the flag pole for its scrap metal value.

Wabash Telephone and Wabash Independent Networks are hosting a customer appreciation day today in the park at Geff.  Starting at 11 a.m., the co-op will be serving lunch and providing free giveaways. Those attending will also be able to register to win additional prizes.

The Fairfield Community High School Homecoming Parade has been set for 2:30 Friday afternoon.  During the homecoming game, the Fairfield Mulebackers will be selling BBQ nachos at their concession stand. They will also be selling a number of spirit items.

Headlines for Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rig 2

A meeting has been set for Tuesday, Oct. 21 in Fairfield to discuss the potential for the development of Southeastern Illinois’ vast oil-bearing shale formations. The town-hall style meeting will start at 7 p.m. at Fairfield City Hall.   Several speakers have been lined up for the program, including Brad Richards with the Illinois Oil and Gas Association and Jerry Quindry, a local Environmental Engineer. The group wants to correct the current set of rules overseeing the use of Fracking so that they are actually workable for area oil producers.

Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for Illinois Governor made a campaign stop in Fairfield Tuesday. Rauner told supporters that he favors the use of fracking to unlock Southern Illinois’ vast oil reserves. The election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 4.

The Edwards County Sheriff’s Department is taking applications for the position of Deputy Sheriff beginning Monday, Oct. 13 through Friday, Nov. 14. Application packets can be picked up at the Edwards County Sheriff’s Department in Albion.  Sheriff Darby Boewe is updating the department’s eligibility list.

23-year-old Isaiah D. Tapia of Albion has been jailed on charges he was in possession of ten grams of suspected methamphetamine. Tapia was arrested during a traffic stop earlier this week in Grayville. He faces a felony charge of possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine.

38-year-old Phillip Sandusky of Carmi has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to a third offense of driving on a revoked license. Sandusky entered the plea and was sentenced Tuesday in White County Circuit Court at Carmi.

Wabash Telephone and WIN will be hosting a customer appreciation day Thursday in the park at Geff.  The event will feature lunch and various giveaways from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Headlines for Tuesday, September 30, 2014


photoBruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for Governor in Illinois made a campaign stop in Fairfield this morning.  A crowd of about 75 gathered around the bandstand to listen to Rauner’s campaign message.  Rauner said – if elected, he would make Illinois a two-party state again.  He also expressed his firm support for the practice of high pressure, high volume hydraulic fracturing in Southern Illinois. Rauner said fracking would bring badly needed jobs to Southern Illinois.  Also joining Rauner in Fairfield this morning were U.S. Congressman John Shimkus and State Representative David Reis along with a number of local Republican candidates and elected officials.

A Chicago man is being held without bond on charges he sent a number of bomb threats to Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. 21-year-old Derrick Dawon Burns allegedly sent the threatening letters in October of 2012 and October of 2013.   Entitled “The War on SUI”, Burns’ letters included threats to rape and murder, blow up buildings and decapitate female students. Burns also demanded $50 million or he would carry out his threats.

33-year-old Anthony C. Dunn of Fairfield has been jailed after he allegedly beat his wife during an altercation Monday night.  He is also accused of striking a neighbor, Brian Malone. When police finally located Dunn, he had allegedly been smoking pot.  Dunn has been jailed on preliminary charges of domestic battery, aggravated battery, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Dunn’s wife, 27-year-old Jessi Dunn did not require medical attention.

Officials say the first approval letters have been sent to Illinois patients who have applied to use medical marijuana legally.  Illinois is taking applications from patients whose last names begin with A through L. Patients whose last names begin with M through Z are asked to wait until Nov. 1 to apply.

Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for Governor in Illinois will make a brief campaign stop in Fairfield today.  Rauner will be on the south lawn of the Wayne County courthouse at about 9:45 this morning.

Artists from Illinois and Missouri will be coming to Fairfield October 8 – 11 for the third annual Fall Foliage Paint Out.  Artists will be painting outdoor scenes in the community through noon on Saturday, Oct. 11.  More information about the event is available at www.fairfieldpaintout.com.

Headlines for Monday, September 29, 2014

The lawyer that represented former White County jailer Phillip Lowery in his first sex abuse trial has withdrawn from the case.  Last week, Lowery tendered his resignation as a correctional officer at the White County jail.  He is now being represented by public defender Brian Shinkle.  Special prosecutor Michael Valentine of Albion is still the State’s Attorney on the case.  A pre-trial hearing has been set for Oct. 16.

A fundraising goal of $5,000 has been set for reward money in the case of missing Fairfield teen Megan Nichols.  A benefit cookout and bake sale was held Saturday at the Fairfield Wal-Mart.  Megan has been missing since the evening of July 3.

The annual Bare Haunted School has been set for this Saturday at the former Sims Grade School.  The hours are 7:30 Saturday night until 12:30 Sunday morning.  The price is $5 per person. After expenses, a donation will be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation in memory of Robert Staton.  A “non-scary” version of the event will run from 6 – 7 p.m. at a cost of $2.

Artist from Illinois and Missouri will be coming to Fairfield to participate in the third annual Fall Foliage Paint Out Oct. 8 – 11.  Artists will be painting outdoor scenes in the community through noon Saturday, Oct. 11.  The public is invited to view their works each evening from 6 – 7 at the Landing, at the corner of N. E. Third and Court Streets in Fairfield.

Harley-Davidson is recalling more than 105,000 motorcycles from the 2014 model year because their clutches may fail, causing stopped bikes to creep forward and potentially crash.  The company is also recalling 1,384 motorcycles made this year to test for possible fuel tank leaks.

Headlines for Sunday, September 28, 2014

Family and friends of missing Fairfield teenager, Megan Nichols, staged a fundraiser Saturday outside the entrance of the Fairfield Super WalMart.  Reports indicated the fundraiser was held to raise reward money in hopes of bringing the 16-year-old teen home.  Megan has been missing from her home since July 3rd.  A reward for information leading to Megan’s safe return currently stands at $2000, however a goal of $5000 has been set for the reward fund.

72-year-old Janice Lewis of Louisville, IL was injured Saturday morning in an accident in Clay County.  State police said Lewis was southbound on U.S. Route 45 at Persimon Drive north of Flora when the vehicle she was driving went off the roadway and hit a culvert before overturning and hitting a tree.  Lewis was taken to Deaconess Hospital following the crash.  Police said it was suspected that a medical condition caused the accident.

Artists from throughout southern Illinois will gather in Fairfield October 8th through 11th to participate in the 3rd Fall Foliage Paint Out.  They will be painting scenes in the community through noon Saturday, October 11th.  The public is welcome to stop by and visit with the artists as they paint.  The public is also welcome to view their works at The Landing on the corner of NE Third and Court Street each evening from 6 to 7 p.m..  There will also be a public viewing and art sale Saturday, October 11th from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

The state of Illinois plans to spend nearly $27 million on improvements to highways in some of the state’s southern counties.  Published reports indicate a construction project on U.S. Route 45 in Saline County is among the projects.  Work will include widening part of the highway to four lanes from Illinois Route 142 to Texas City Road.

Landowners affected by a pipeline planned by Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC, are being encouraged to attend a meeting this Thursday night at 7 at the First Christian Church in Salem, IL.  The pipeline is scheduled to run from a location four miles north of Johnsonville northwest to Patoka through Clay and Marion counties.  Registration for the meeting is being requested by calling the Wayne, Clay, or Marion county farm bureau.  The program will feature Laura Harmon, Senior Counsel with the Illinois Farm Bureau, and Chris Byron, a pipeline attorney from Edwardsville, IL.

Headlines for Saturday, September 27, 2014

Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC, known as ETCO, is developing plans to convert existing pipeline assets from natural gas to crude oil in western Wayne County, as well as installing a new 30-inch pipeline from four miles north of Johnsonville northwest to Patoka through Marion and Clay counties.  Landowners affected by the pipeline are being encouraged to attend a program sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau this Thursday, October 2nd at the First Christian Church in Salem, IL beginning at 7 p.m.  Registration for the meeting is requested by calling the Wayne, Clay or Marion County Farm Bureau.

The White County Farm Bureau Board of Directors have voted to support passage of the referendum on the November 4th ballot which would ask White County voters to increase the sales tax by one percent to raise revenue for school maintenance and construction in the county.  Directors approved a resolution supporting the tax at their September 8th monthly meeting, with the announcement of their support of the referendum made on Friday.

44-year-old Curtis L. Goolsby of Eldorado, IL was charged with DUI, driving with a revoked license and improper lane usage after crashing his motorcycle in Hamilton County early this morning.  State police say Goolsby was southbound on Illinois Route 142 just north of Hamilton County Road 200N when he missed a curve in the roadway, causing his motorcycle to leave the roadway and enter a group of trees before overturning.  Goolsby was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.  A passenger on the motorcycle, 37-year-old Misty D. Yarber of Harrisburg, IL was flown to an Evansville, IN hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Wayne City’s Bean Days celebration will take place today.  Activities include a 5K walk/run in the park and the parade this morning, followed by the serving of the ham and beans dinner, and a rodeo tonight at the Wayne City Saddle Club south of Wayne City beginning at 7 p.m.  There will also be music and kids activities throughout the day.

Wayne and Edwards counties unemployment rate for August was 7.5 percent, according to numbers released Friday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  Both rates are lower compared to a year ago.  The IDES says the beginning of the school year increased employment activity throughout the region, with employment remaining high in the construction and leisure-hospitality sectors.

Headlines for Friday, September 26, 2014

The Fairfield Community High School District is on much better financial footing now than years past according to the 2013-2014 District Audit presented Thursday by local CPA Kent Reeves. The FCHS District Financial Profile is rated at 3.9 out of a perfect score of 4.0.  The district’s financial profile had dipped to as low as 2.1 in 2006. The district is currently on the state’s Recognition List.

At Thursday night’s meeting of the FCHS Board, members accepted the resignation of Bob Simmers as Head Baseball Coach.  The board also hired Hunter Bryan as an Instructional Aide.

Four new teachers at Fairfield Community High School were introduced during Thursday night’s meeting.  They are Jenna Turpin, math instructor, Samantha Smith, Agriculture and Consumer Science, Kelsey St. Ledger, English and Bethany Rush as a Special Education instructor.

Fairfield’s newest police officer began patrol duties this morning.  Josh Manahan graduated from Police Academy Thursday at Champaign after 12 weeks of training.  Manahan had been a resident of Wayne City.  He now lives in Fairfield.

Governor Pat Quinn has to hold off on firing 58 Illinois Department of Transportation workers.  They were supposed to be fired by the end of the month, but a judge says they can stay on the job until they have their day in court.  The employees in question were allegedly hired based on their political connections instead of skill.

Wayne City Bean Days activities begin at 7:30 Saturday morning with a 5-K run.  The annual parade will be at 10 a.m.  Serving of Ham and Beans will begin at 11 a.m.  A flea market, car show and plenty of entertainment will also be featured Saturday.

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