Len Wells, News Director
26-year-old Thomas M. Davidson of Poseyville, IN (left) has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the August 16 shooting death of Sandra K. Burkhardt, 58 of Poseyville. Burkhardt (right) was shot to death in a corn field west of Crossville, Ill. In White County Circuit Court this morning, Davidson entered a guilty plea to a single count of first degree murder and drew a 60 year sentence. All other charges were dropped. Davidson will not be eligible for day for day credit for good behavior. Davidson was represented by Public Defender Brian Shinkle of Albion. White County State’s Attorney Denton Aud was the prosecutor.
A McLeansboro oilfield worker died Tuesday morning when he was pulled into an operating pumping unit and crushed. Alexis B. Anderson, 62 of McLeansboro, Ill. was pronounced dead at 10:14 a.m. Hamilton County Coroner Ron Ewald says Anderson was a self-employed oilfield pumper and was servicing an oil well when he was killed. The scene of the accident was a very rural area of Hamilton County, south of McLeansboro.
A Richland County man has been sentenced to 28 years in federal prison after being convicted of five charges related to the manufacture of methamphetamine. 47-year-old Marty Cody Stacy of Calhoun must also serve another 8 years of parole once he is released from prison.
The family of a Wilmington, IL man who died last year while turkey hunting in the Shawnee National Forest has donated the funds needed to buy needed search and rescue equipment for the Saline County Sheriff’s Department. Items purchased include portable radios, landing zone kits, tracking devices and a cell phone extender.
Seven students from the Edwards County FFA recently attended the 86th annual National Convention in Louisville, KY. Four members competed in the Environmental and Natural Resource Career Development Event, placing 27th nationally. The team included Ethan Balding, Kevin Schuh, Andrea Marks and Tristan Hutchcraft. Also attending were Shelbey Walker, Sarah Carter and Jacob Balding.
This year’s Rotary Club – Wayne County Farm Bureau Travelogue Season opens Thursday night at the First Baptist Church in Fairfield. Thursday night’s show will be the “Lure of Alaska”. Tickets are still available at the Wayne County Farm Bureau office or local Rotarians.
The inaugural Fairfield Public Library Radiothon netted over $11,000 Monday night. The 2 ½ hour event – broadcast live on WFIW Radio – was staged to raise money for the operation and expansion of the local library. Local talent and emcees from the community were featured during the event.
An Albion man was one of 7 motorists injured Monday afternoon in a chain-reaction crash on Rt. 41 near Evansville. 22-year-old Justin Michael Fewkes of Albion was injured and taken to an Evansville hospital following the 1:40 p.m. crash. Witnesses told police that the driver of the semi that started the chain-reaction crash – 33-year-old Zivojin Lukic of Elk Grove, IL was unconscious when he drove through a red light and struck another semi.
Fairfield City Police are investigating two burglaries that happened over the weekend. Thieves entered the First Christian Church and stole $150 from the office. A burglary was also reported at the Gas for Less station on S. First Street. A case of Dr. Pepper was taken.
32-year-old Danny L. McNew of Mount Carmel has been jailed on multiple charges after he allegedly crashed through a window and charged a police officer with a knife. McNew told police he was under the influence of drugs when he entered a house on Cherry Street, smashed windows and assaulted a police officer.
47-year-old Craig L. Fenton of Wayne City has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Fenton was arrested April 2 by Wayne County Sheriff’s police who discovered he was armed with a loaded .38 caliber handgun and was in possession of marijuana and various items of drug paraphernalia.
Plans are being finalized for this year’s Fairfield Veterans Day Parade. This year’s parade will be held on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 9 and will honor area Vietnam War Veterans. If you plan to have a float or other entry in this year’s parade – contact Clifford Reever at 516-3111 to register. The event will begin with a flag raising ceremony at 1 p.m. at Freedom Park in downtown Fairfield. The National Anthem will be performed by Elizabeth Gonzales followed by a performance by the Roasted Chestnuts. The parade will step off at 2 p.m.
A series of fundraisers to benefit Darrell Meritt’s three favorite charities culminated Saturday night with a dinner and auction at the Fairfield CP Church. One of the items auctioned off was Darrell’s spatula which was used to flip more than 260,000 porkburgers over the past 30 years. Local farmer and rancher Bill Robbins and Fairfield Edward Jones Investment representative Chris Conard went together to buy the item for $1,000, then donated it back to Darrell.
A 17-year-old Fairfield teen was arrested Sunday for domestic battery for allegedly shoving his mother during an argument over how to spend her child support. The alleged victim sprayed her son with wasp spray so she could escape and call police.
Tonight is the night for the first Radiothon to benefit the Fairfield Public Library. The 2 ½ hour live broadcast can be heard on WFIW-FM 104.9 and will be streamed live from wfiwradio.com starting at 6 p.m. The program will feature local talent, emcees, and phone bank volunteers to accept call-in pledges. Money raised will be used to support and expand the services provided by the local library.
The Fairfield Rural Fire Department will conduct their annual Pork Chop Dinner this Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Mill Shoals Fire Station. Cost of the dinner is by donation. Money raised will be used to buy equipment for the Fairfield Rural Fire Protection District.
The inaugural “Radiothon” fundraiser for the Fairfield Public Library will be held Monday night from 6 to 8:30 p.m, and will be broadcast live on WFIW-FM. Residents can listen live and call in their donations, and the public is welcome to watch the event from the library. Several emcees and local talent will perform through the evening. Money raised will go towards the library and the Fairfield Public Library Foundation.
Courses to help residents obtain their Illinois Concealed Carry license and learn how to properly handle handguns will be held this month at each of the campuses in the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District. The courses will be offered in Albion this Thursday through Saturday and in Fairfield November 14th through 16th. The courses will meet from 6-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday nights and 8 a.m. til 4 p.m. on Saturday. Pre-registration is required and can be made by calling 877-464-3687.
State Representative David Reis is hosting his third and final Concealed Carry Town Hall meeting in Albion Tuesday, November 12th at the Albion Senior Citizens Center to discuss the new Concealed Carry law. The meeting is open to the public, and will discuss qualifications for obtaining a license, where concealed carry is prohibited and training requirements.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service are encouraging residents to begin preparing for winter weather and winter storms and cold. Both agencies are highlighting winter weather preparedness throughout November as part of their annual campaign. The National Weather Service says eight deaths related to extreme cold temperatures were recorded nationwide in 2012, while the ten-year average is 27 deaths. Three of the deaths were recorded in Illinois, and since 1995, 134 fatalities have occurred in the state.
A suspect in the murder of his wife in Cairo, IL Friday was taken into custody Saturday after he turned himself into police. 30-year-old Chauncy M. Hughes is suspected of murdering his wife, 22-year-old Heather N. Davis. Her body was found by police at about 8:30 Friday night after they received a call of a female victim that had been shot. Hughes was wanted on an Alexander County warrant for First Degree Murder, and is being held in Ullin, IL.
State Representative David Reis will be hosting his third and final Concealed Carry Town Hall meetings in Albion to discuss the new concealed carry law. The meeting will take place at the Albion Senior Citizens Center on Tuesday, November 12th at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public. The meeting will discuss qualifications to obtain a concealed carry license, where concealed carry is prohibited, training requirements and the implementation timeline.
21-year-old Christopher M. Adams-Rister of Harrisburg, IL was charged with DUI-cannibis and failure to yield at an intersection following a wreck on U.S. Route 45 in Saline County Friday morning. State police said Adams-Rister was stopped on Route 45 at Feazel Street, and failed to yield to a vehicle driven by 39-year-old Rechel N. Harrison of Harrisburg, IL who was northbound on Route 45. Both drivers were taken to the Harrisburg Medical Center following the accident, with Adams-Rister later transferred to a hospital in Evansville, IN.
Illinois State Police District 19 troopers will be participating in several enforcements this month throughout the district. Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement, or ACE, patrols will be conducted in Wayne and Saline counties. Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols, or STEP, patrols will be conducted in Wayne and White counties, and police will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols in Wabash and Saline counties in November.
Water line flushing on the New Hope water system will begin this Tuesday and continue through November 29th. Residents may notice some discoloration and a slight dip in pressure during the process, but the water will be safe to drink. Those with questions can call 842-3477 or 925-4445.
Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend. Residents are reminded to set their clocks BACK one hour before going to be tonight. The official change occurs at 2 a.m. Sunday. Daylight Saving Time will return in March of next year. The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal is also using the time change weekend to remind residents to check the batteries in their smoke detectors.
Strong thunderstorms moved through parts of the region overnight. Officially in Fairfield, over two inches of rainfall was measured. There were no reports of storm damage locally from the storms and rains. Tornado warnings were issued for parts of far-southern Illinois last night as storms moved into northern Kentucky. Some minor damage was reported in the Saline County community of Stonefort from an apparent tornado, with trees blown down and some roof and siding damage to homes. A Tornado Watch had been in effect for the region for most of last night. Cooler and drier conditions are expected the next few days. Officially, 2.20 inches of rainfall fell Thursday in Fairfield, and .39 so far today.
36-year-old Brain D. Beck of Fairfield was arrested by city police Thursday night at the Budget Inn motel. Beck was arrested on a Wayne County warrant for failure to appear on a DUI charge. Bond was $150 cash along with a $75 failure to appear fee. The arrest was made shortly before 8:15 p.m.
Governor Pat Quinn has announced a capital investment of over $628,000 for a bridge project in White County. A bride carrying Illinois Route 1 over Flanders Creek about three miles south of Carmi will be replaced. The project is part of the governor’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now program.
Illinois State Police in the District 19 post have announced several enforcements for November. Troopers will be conducting Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement, or ACE, patrols in Wayne and Saline counties. Special Traffic Enforcement Programs, or STEP, will be conducted in Wayne and White counties which will coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday period. Occupant Restraint Enforcement patrols have also been scheduled in Wabash and Saline counties during November.
Frontier Community College students will be electing an FCC student this Tuesday to serve as the student board member to the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District 529 Board of Trustees. The candidate for the position is Carrie Stephens of Fairfield, the daughter of Linda Stephens of Johnsonville. The student representative will be seated on the IECC Board of Trustees in April of next year to serve a one-year term.
31-year-old Miles Gass of Pinckneyville, IL was charged with DUI and operating an uninsured vehicle following an accident in Hamilton County Wednesday night. State police say Gass was driving a pickup eastbound on Illinois Route 14 just west of county road 500E, when the vehicle left the roadway and hit a guardrail before overturning onto the driver’s side. Gass was taken to Hamilton Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.
The Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District will be sponsoring three $500 scholarships to be given to a student from each of the high schools in Wayne County. The scholarships must be used for fees in a vocational or college program. Applications can be picked up from the high school’s offices, at the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District office or by calling 842-7602 extension 3. The application deadline is December 13th.
The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges district will be offering Concealed Carry Courses in November at each of its campuses, including Frontier Community College in Fairfield. The courses will teach the basic information required by the Concealed Carry Act and how to safely handle a handgun. Courses will be held in Albion November 7th through 9th and in Fairfield November 14th through 16th. Pre-registration is required and the cost of the course is $222 for in-district students. More information is available by calling Frontier Community College at 877-464-3687.
The 2014 White County Plat Book is now for sale. The book contains full-color maps of each township in the county, as well as census data, a business advertising and government directory, and a list of soil types in the county. The books are selling for $30 for White County Farm Bureau members and $40 for non-members. The maps are available online and at the White County Farm Bureau at 304 East Robinson Street in Carmi.
Reports out of Benton, IL say an ethanol plant in Franklin County that has sat idle for three years is still weeks away from reopening, but could create dozens of jobs for the region. Officials say they will focus on hiring veterans for the positions. Franklin County currently has an unemployment rate of over 12 percent.
City police are investigating a burglary at the Amanda Marshel residence at 1004 SW 7th Street, which was reported shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday. Police said her husband, 33-year-old Travis Marshel, committed suicide this past Saturday, and as Amanda was going through items in the home, discovered a Playstation 3 and console along with about 20 games taken, worth over $1000. The burglary was believed to have occurred sometime between Friday and Tuesday.
Culley Crook of Wayne City reports to county police Tuesday that his john-boat was stolen while it was chained and locked to a tree on the Skillet Fork River near Wayne City. The boat was described as light green with a pedestal constructed in the front, about 30 years old and 10 feet long. The boat is valued at $400. Crook said the boat had been tied up last November, but likely was taken near the time he discovered it missing, as there were fresh footprints in the sand nearby.
The three benefit cookouts staged for Darrell Merritt of Fairfield last weekend raised $3000 in profit. The money will be divided equally between Darrell’s favorite charities, the Scranton Memorial Cancer Fund, the Festival of Lights Program and the Secret Santa Program. One more benefit is scheduled for this Saturday evening from 5 to 7 at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Fairfield, which will consist of a dinner and charity auction. Darrell retired from the benefit cookout scene this past Saturday after more than 30 years of volunteering.
The Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District is sponsoring three $500 scholarships to be given to a student from each of the high schools in Wayne County. Applicants must be a high school senior in Wayne County with a “B” average or higher. The scholarships must be used for fees in a vocational or college program. Applications are available in the offices of each high school, at the Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District office, or by contacting Liz Ann Woodrow at 842-7602 extension 3. The deadline for applications is December 13th.
A Hamilton County jury deliberated for just under an hour Tuesday before finding 38-year-old Brian K. Bowlby of Eldorado, IL guilty of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl. Bowlby was already serving a 270-year prison sentence out of Saline County after being convicted in August of 18 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, and received a 15-year sentence for each count, all to run consecutively. Sentencing in the latest sexual assault case is set for December 5th in Hamilton County Circuit Court in McLeansboro.
26-year-old Ciara DeRyke, the mother of seven-year-old Willow Long of Watson, IL who was stabbed to death in early September, has been arrested on a drug-related charge. DeRyke was involved in a traffic accident in Shelby County, IL on October 14th and found to be in possession of a “one hitter” box commonly used to hold marijuana. She is scheduled for a first appearance in Shelby County Circuit Court on November 13th. Her brother, 22-year-old Justin DeRyke of Watson, IL is charged with the stabbing death of his niece, and is scheduled to go to trial December 12th.
Fairfield Memorial Hospital recently hosted a luncheon to honor its staff for five to 30 years of service. A total of 30 employees were recognized, with special recognition given to Kathleen Cropper for 3o years of service. CEO Katherine Bunting said the 30 employees have a cumulative total of 295 years service in the facility.
26-year-old Ciara N. DeRyke, the mother of seven-year-old Willow Long of Watson, IL, has been arrested on a drug-related charge. Court records show Ciara N. DeRyke was involved in a traffic accident in Shelby County on October 14th, and police investigating the crash recovered a suspected “one-hitter” box, commonly used to hold marijuana. Ciara N. DeRyke is the sister of 22-year-old Justin D. DeRyke of Watson, IL, charged with the stabbing death of Willow Long on September 9th. Court records indicate Ciara N. DeRyke is scheduled for a first appearance in Shelby County Circuit Court in Shelbyville, IL on November 13th. Justin DeRyke remains in the Effingham County Jail under $5 million bond, with a December 12th trial date set for the slaying of his niece.
The three cookouts scheduled last weekend in Fairfield in honor of “Mr. Porkburger”, Darrell Meritt, raised around $3000 in total profit. The money will be equally divided between Meritt’s three favorite charities, the Scranton Memorial Cancer Fund, the Festival of Lights Program, and the Secret Santa Program. Darrell Merritt officially retired from staging benefit cookouts this past Saturday. Records show he cooked up over 260,000 porkburgers over the years with the help of volunteers to help numerous individuals and charitable causes in the community. One more benefit is set for this Saturday evening from 5 to 7 at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Fairfield.
26-year-old John D. Atteberry of Fairfield has been jailed on a felony charge of home invasion in connection with a case dating back to Tuesday, October 22nd. Atteberry is accused of showing up drunk at the home of Anthony and Jason Lee Dunning at 901 George Street and breaking out a window on the front door to gain entry, walking in and getting Anthony Dunning in a wrestle hold. Dunning’s brother, Jason Lee Dunning, came to his brother’s rescue by hitting Atteberry in the head with a skillet, according to police. Atteberry was picked up by a Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy last Friday, questioned and booked into the county jail on the home invasion charge.
35-year-old Angela Seavers of Ridgway, IL has entered a guilty plea in federal court to charges she conspired with others to make methamphetamine between February of last year and March of this year in Gallatin County. Seavers is being held in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending a February 7th sentencing, and faces up to 20 years in prison.
A member of Congressman John Shimkus’ staff will be in Grayville Thursday afternoon to meet with constituents. A member of Shimkus’ staff will be at the Grayville City Hall at 122 South Court Street from 1:30 til 3 p.m. Shimkus said the staff member will be able to handle any issue constituents may have regarding his office or the federal government.
Fairfield Memorial Hospital recently hosted a luncheon to honor staff for their many years of service. Service awards were given to those who have served as Fairfield Memorial Hospital Association employees for five, ten, 15, 20 and 30 years service. A total of 30 employees were recognized. CEO Katherine Bunting said the 30 employees have a cumulative total of 295 years service in the facility. Pictured are front row, left to right: Kathy Cropper, Betty Masterson, Mary Knight, Susan McKnight, Katherine Bunting, Kayla Hough, Julie Aman and Amy Frymire. Back row, left to right: Staci Atteberry, April Best, Diane Essary, Blair Heisner, Kristin Boldt, Elizabeth Molt, Regina Grubb, Carla Dunhahy and Walt Eubanks.
Illinois residents who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will see a reduction in benefits due to the ending of the temporary increase put in place by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. On November 1st, most families will see their benefits decrease due to the end of the extra benefits provided, and can get the amount of their benefits by calling the number on the back of their Illinois Link Card or the Illinois Department of Human Services automated helpline at (800) 843-6154.
An Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group meeting has been set for Thursday, November 14th at 5:30 p.m. at Hosselton Funeral Home in Cisne. The meeting will focus on “Preparing for the Holidays”. Cindy Bradham, Alzheimer’s Association Community Representative will be the facilitator. The meeting is free and the public is welcome. To register, contact John or Darlene Hosselton at 673-2131.
Patricia Hoxsey of Gillespie, IL gave birth to twin boys Saturday morning in a 2013 Dodge Avenger parked alongside Ill. Rt. 1 at the south edge of Mt. Carmel. The twins’ father, Craig Randolph said he was trying to get Patricia to the hospital in Mount Carmel when the babies were born. The boys, Landon and London, are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville. Both are said to be doing well. The babies weighed two pounds each.
A young Fairfield man apparently took his own life Saturday night at his home on S.W. 7th Street in Fairfield. 33-year-old Travis D. Marshel was pronounced dead around 10:20 Saturday night by Wayne County Coroner Jimmy Taylor. No foul play is suspected.
The sentencing of Mount Carmel CPA Kevin C. Williams has been re-set for Friday, Nov. 15 in U.S. District Court at Benton. Williams faces up to 40 years in federal prison for looting an elderly Wabash County woman’s family trust fund of more than $2 million. Williams remains free on his own recognizance pending sentencing.
A benefit dinner and auction will be staged this Saturday evening at the CP Church in Fairfield in honor of Darrell Meritt who retired this past weekend from the charity cookout scene. All the money raised will be donated to Darrell’s three favorite charities – the Scranton Cancer Fund, Festival of Lights and Secret Santa program.
Tickets are on sale for the annual Travel Adventure Series sponsored by the Fairfield Rotary Club and Wayne County Farm Bureau. Travelogue tickets are $30 each and are available at the Wayne County Farm Bureau office in Fairfield.