Len Wells, News Director


images_banners_listentolocalnews1215 8-27-14

Headlines for Monday, July 28, 2014

MeganA series of fundraisers Saturday for a missing Fairfield teen netted over $4,500. Mayor Chuck Griswold declared this past Saturday as Megan Nichols Day. The 16-year-old girl has been missing from her W. Center Street Home since July 3.  The money raised will be used to establish a reward fund.


Goinig croppedFormer Fairfield Community High School math teacher and cross country coach Timothy C. Going is scheduled to make an appearance in Federal Court this morning.  Going will be arraigned this morning on federal charges of attempted sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography.  If convicted of the most serious charge, he faces up to 30 years in federal prison.

28-year-old Amanda M. Scott of Laurel Street in Fairfield was cited Friday for being in possession of marijuana. City Police went to her home Friday afternoon to speak to her about failing to pay for fuel at a gas station in Flora when they smelled marijuana coming from her home. She was given a notice to appear in court. Police say they recovered a small amount of cannabis from the home.

State and Union officials say a prisoner assaulted a guard Friday at the Shawnee Correctional Center in Vienna. The officer, not identified by authorities, suffered a concussion after being head-butted by an inmate.

Registration for Fairfield Community High School has been set for this Wednesday from 1 – 6 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Registration both days will take place in the Study Hall.

Headlines for Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wayne County and surrounding areas were placed under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch and were under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for a time Saturday evening as thunderstorms moved through the area.  Wayne County’s warning was issued shortly before 6:15 Saturday evening for the southwest part of the county.  Jefferson, Hamilton, Richland and Lawrence counties were also under warnings Saturday night as storms moved through, according to the National Weather Service.  No major damage has been noted from Saturday night’s storms.

Wayne County’s June unemployment was at 7.1 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, down from 8.6 percent a year ago.  Edwards County’s June rate was 7.3 percent, down from 8.9 percent in June of last year.  June unemployment rates ranged from 5.7 percent in Effingham County to 10.8 percent in Hardin County.  The IDES said there were only three counties in southern Illinois with a June unemployment rate of over ten percent.

38-year-old Christopher C. Huber of St. Marie, IL was hurt Saturday morning in an accident on a county road about 1 1/2 miles southwest of St. Marie, IL.  State police said the vehicle Huber was driving went off the roadway into a ditch, causing him to overcorrect and come back on the roadway before overturning.  Police said Huber was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the wreckage, and taken to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IN.

An accident in Clay County Thursday morning injured a Louisville, IL motorist.  49-year-old Lisa J. Whipps of Valparaiso, IN was stopped on U.S. Route 50 at Olive Road in Flora, and attempted to turn onto Route 50, and turned into the path of a motorcycle operated by 37-year-old Chad A. Barbee of Louisville, IL.  The impact caused Barbee to lay his bike down, causing him to be thrown from the wreckage.  He was taken to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IN with major injuries.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was joined Friday by Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau to commission 37 new state troopers during a graduation ceremony in Springfield.  The new troopers will begin their duties at various state police districts around the state on Monday.  Six of the troopers have been assigned to the District 11 post in Collinsville.  No troopers were assigned to the District 19 post at Carmi, the District 13 post at DuQuoin or the District 12 post at Effingham.

Headlines for Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fairfield Mayor Chuck Griswold has declared today as Megan Nichols Day.  Megan, now 16 years old, has been missing since July 3rd.  Organizers are staging a cookout, bake sale and bucket brigade today to raise money for a reward fund for information leading to her whereabouts.  City police say they continue to investigate Megan’s disappearance, and have followed numerous leads, but so far no credible evidence has surfaced as to her whereabouts.  Anyone with information should call the city police department at 842-2151 or dial 911.

71-year-old Dean Heley of Norris City was killed Friday morning when he fell off his tractor and was run over by the vehicle on the family farm.  Authorities say Heley was found by his oldest son shortly after the accident.  Heley was pronounced dead at the scene by White County Coroner Chris Marsh.  Reports indicate the accident happened around 8:30 a.m.

60-year-old Lance P. Avery of Creal Springs, IL was killed in an accident Friday morning in Saline County.  State police say Avery was operating a motorcycle eastbound on Illinois Route 13 just east of Harco Road and for unknown reasons attempted to change lanes, when an SUV, driven by 68-year-old Kim H. Fowler of Harrisburg, IL, struck Avery’s motorcycle on the left side.  Avery was pronounced dead at the scene due to his injuries.  Fowler was not injured.

Unemployment numbers for June from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show Wayne County’s rate at 7.1 percent, down from 8.6 percent in June of last year, and Edwards County’s rate for June at 7.3 percent, down from 8.9 percent in June of last year.    The IDES says unemployment was lower for June compared to a year ago in all southern Illinois counties, with just three counties, Alexander, Hardin and Pope in far-southern Illinois reporting an unemployment rate of over ten percent.

Results of the Edwards County 4-H Bucket Calf & Beef Show, held this past Wednesday, have been announced.  The champion dairy bucket calf was showed by Shelbey Walker, who received a trophy donated by David and Joy Coles.  The champion beef bucket calf was showed by Ava Greathouse, who received a trophy donated by Citizens National Bank of Albion.  The bucket calf showmanship belt buckle, donated by Citizens National Bank was also awarded to Greathouse.  Several other awards were presented, including a trophy to Olivia Hallam for showing the Grand Champion Market Steer donated by the Edwards County Farm Bureau.

Headlines for Friday, July 25, 2014

An Eldorado man has been arrested at a truck stop in Matthew Missouri after being accused of kidnapping his teenage girlfriend. 23-year-old Sonny Pilgrim was initially sought for kidnapping 19-year Courtney Godwin. Godwin later told police she left willingly with Pilgrim.  Pilgrim faces preliminary charges of vehicle theft and resisting arrest. Godwin faces a charge of being in possession of drug paraphernalia.

Local and state labor leaders, mayors and lawmakers gathered in Marion this week to put pressure on the state’s Hydraulic Fracturing regulators. It has been more than 400 days since Governor Pat Quinn signed the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. However, rules governing the practice have still not been implemented. Thousands of acres of Southern Illinois land has been leased for the production of oil and gas utilizing Fracking. Many of those leases run out this year.

Charlton Greathouse, the son of Mike and Joanne Greathouse of West Salem has won the Master Showmanship Contest at the Edwards County 4-H Fair.  He will be competing at the State Fair on August 8.

52-year-old Allen Gervais of Harrisburg has been sentenced to 6 years in prison after pleading guilty in White County Circuit Court to a felony charge of deceptive practice. He has also been ordered to pay $4,386 restitution to his victims.

Elastec American Marine has inked a deal to sell a large quantity of oil spill recovery equipment to the state oil company of Ecuador. The equipment will be used at PetroEcuador’s Esmeraldas facility, the country’s largest refinery. Elastec operates manufacturing facilities in Carmi and Fairfield.

Headlines for Thursday, July 24, 2014

going teachertimothy-goingGoinig croppedNew allegations have surfaced in the case of former Fairfield Community High School teacher and coach Timothy Going. On Wednesday, a Federal Grand Jury unsealed a four-count criminal indictment against Going. New charges allege that Going videotaped FCHS female athletes at a Madison County, Ill. motel as far back as August of 2012. The athletes were there to participate in a regional track meet. The new evidence was discovered during a forensic examination of computer equipment seized from Going’s Fairfield home this past May. Pictured above are Going as an FCHS teacher,  a Logistics Captain in the Illinois National Guard, and eventually – a criminal- defendant.

An Eldorado woman was involved in a traffic crash Wednesday afternoon that claimed the life of an Evansville truck driver.  A vehicle driven by 72-year-old Carolyn Boulds of Eldorado crossed the median on the Lloyd Expressway near the University of Southern Indiana and hit a truck head-on. The truck driver, 61-year-old Daryl Lattner died at the scene. Boulds was taken to Deaconess Hospital.

Lewis Scrap Metal in Burnt Prairie will be closed Friday and Saturday in honor of Tim Lewis, Sr. Mr. Lewis died last Friday in an accident at the scrap yard.

Thieves have targeted electrical breaker boxes at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Fairfield.  Ed Garrett reports to City Police that more than $5,000 worth of damage was done to the equipment as thieves made off with electrical components from the boxes.

The West Nile Virus is being reported in Carbondale. Two mosquito batches and a crow tested positive for the virus.  Nearly 120 people in Illinois were infected with the virus last year. Eleven died.

Local talent will be featured tonight at the Edwards County Fair. Katlin Schmittler, Abbi Rivers, Jordan and Brianna Robinson will perform starting at 5:30.

Headlines for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MeganFairfield Mayor Chuck Griswold has declared this Saturday “Megan Nichols Day”. Megan has been missing from her West Center Street home since July 3. A series of fundraisers will be held Saturday to raise money to establish a reward fund. Volunteers will hold a cookout, a bake sale and bucket brigade to raise money for the reward fund.  Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Megan Nichols should call the Fairfield City Police Department at 842-2151 or dial 911.


coaleBill Coale of Fairfield was awarded a 60 years of service award at the  Embassy Suites in East Peoria on July 19th, 2014 at the Sportsmanship officials Conference. Hhe was accompanied by his son Brett Coale also of Fairfield. Bill now 80 has served as referee and umpire for both girls  and boys softball, baseball and basketball in Fairfield, and the
surrounding area for 60 years. Bill suffered a stroke back in December which slowed him down just for a short time. Bill says “It’s my passion and when It’s time for me to go, I hope it’s right here on the field or the court”.

A plan to clear the brush from Johnson Creek and Fairgrounds Creek in Fairfield has hit a snag.  Only one bid was submitted for the project. The bid was for $307,820.  Mayor Griswold has appointed a committee to find other sources of funds for the project.

The Fairfield City Council has approved a change order for the raw water intake project at the Little Wabash River. Due to materials and labor not needed for the project, the city is receiving a deduction of $76,720 on the project.

Fairfield Police Chief Keith Colclasure has submitted a proposal to replace two aging cruisers with pickup trucks. The chief says the trucks would be cheaper than police cruisers and will be turned over to other city departments after three years of use.  Bids are being sought for the trucks.

The City of Fairfield has a new street sweeper.  The Elgin-brand “Cross Wind” sweeper cost $199,905. Elgin gave the city $8,750 trade in for the old sweeper.

60-year-old Robert D. Bushkill of Norris City was seriously injured Tuesday afternoon when the Harley Davidson motorcycle he was riding ran into the back of a truck turning off of Rt. 45 in Saline County.  Bushkill was airlifted to a hospital in Evansville for treatment of major injuries.

Headlines for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A federal magistrate has ordered former FCHS math teacher and cross country coach Timothy Going held without bond on charges he was in possession of child pornography and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.  Going, 43 made his first appearance on the federal charges Monday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.  He still faces state charges of unlawful videotaping of underage girls in Wayne and St. Clair Counties.

Josh Manahan of the Wayne City area will be Fairfield’s newest police officer. Manahan is currently attending a 12 week police academy training program.  He is replacing Sgt. Steven Sons who retired earlier this month.

A federal judge has ordered 29-year-old Dillion Wayne Bailey of Albion held without bond on federal charges that he was in possession of two ounces of methamphetamine. A Grayville police officer arrested Bailey on June 13 following a traffic stop. A Sept. 8 trial date has been set. The order was issued Monday following a detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Benton.

A federal judge in Chicago has ruled that the state can close the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. A group of parents and local residents had sought a preliminary injunction to keep the facility open. The center provides services to people with developmental disabilities.

Kiddie Kollege and the Wayne City Early Learning Center have been notified that they will be funded by the Illinois State Board of Education to serve 40 children at the Fairfield and Wayne City Centers in the state’s pre-kindergarten program.  Classes start August 11.

Headlines for Monday, July 21, 2014

Goinig croppedFormer Fairfield Community High School math teacher and Coach Timothy Going has been remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service following an appearance this morning in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis. Going faces federal charges of being in possession of child pornography and unlawful videotaping of underage girls. In court this morning, Going – through his attorney Valery Strawn, waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Two alleged victims in the case submitted statements to the court as part of Monday’s hearing.  One submitted a statement – the other made a verbal statement to the judge on the issue of Going being detained. In the federal case, Going is accused of placing a motion-activated camera in a motel room at the Super-8 in Fairview Heights for the purpose of videotaping a Fairfield High School female athlete. Going is no longer a FCHS teacher.  He submitted his resignation at a special meeting of the board last week and is no longer an employee of the district.  His bond on the two pending state cases amounts to $500,000. He is being held without bond on the federal charges.

Sadie Marks, the 16-year-old daughter of Kent and Jamilyn Marks of West Salem has been crowned Miss Edwards County Fair.  First runner up was Sadie Murbarger, the 17-year-old daughter of Lonny and Valerie Murbarger of rural Albion. Second runner up was Bailey Alka, the 17-year-old daughter of Harold and Becky Alka of Albion. Miss Congeniality was Sequoyah Judge, the 19-year-old daughter of Mike and Debbie Judge of Grayville.

Harness racing will be featured tonight and Tuesday night at the Edwards County Fair in Albion. Action begins at 6 p.m. each evening. The fair continues through Saturday.

Tim Lewis, SrFuneral services have been set for 59-year-old Tim Lewis, Sr. co-owner of the Lewis Brothers Scrap Yard in Burnt Prairie. Lewis died Friday evening when he was crushed while unloading a stock car at the scrap yard. The accident happened Friday evening.  Mr. Lewis was pronounced dead in the Emergency Room at Fairfield Memorial Hospital. Services will be 10 a.m. Thursday at the Johnson & Vaughn Funeral Home in Fairfield.  Visitation will be 5 -7 Wednesday evening.

Bids are expected to be awarded Tuesday night for the clearing of brush from Johnson Creek and Fairgrounds Creek in Fairfield.  Only brush that would impede the flow of water will be removed.

Frontier Community College still has openings in its Construction Technology Program for the fall semester.  The two-year associate degree program is designed to provide students with the skills needed for entry-level employment in general construction.  Call the college at 842-3711 for more information.

Headlines for Sunday, July 20, 2014

A co-owner of Lewis Brothers Scrap Yard in Burnt Prairie died Friday evening in a tragic accident. Timothy Lewis, Sr. 59, died after being crushed while unloading a stock car from a trailer.  Wayne County Coroner Jimmy Taylor said Lewis was apparently lowering the back door to the stock car trailer when he was pinned against a gate.  Mr. Lewis was freed from the car trailer by Tom Barton. CPR was performed for about 15 minutes before Fairfield Rural Firefighters arrived at the scene.  Mr. Lewis was taken by ambulance to Fairfield Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room.

The Fairfield City Council meets Tuesday night.  During the meeting the council is expected to discuss the acquiring of a new police department vehicle and hiring a new police officer, and hear from the Career Development Center concerning disposal of TV’s and computer monitors.  The council is also expected to approve street closings for the Fairfield Fall Fun Fest and FCHS Homecoming Parade, and award bids for the sale of property in the Fairfield Industrial Park and on NW 7th Street.

Enrollment is still open for the Construction Technology Program during the upcoming fall semester at Frontier Community College.  The two-year associate degree provides students with skills for entry-level employment in general construction, and covers several areas, including roofing, window installation, wiring and plumbing skills.  Larry Barbre and Gene Kollak will be the course instructors.  More information is available by calling the college at 842-3711.

Illinois’ unemployment rate fell in June for the 4th straight month, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  The rate fell to 7.1 percent, while employers created 6000 jobs.  The IDES says the combined April-June reduction of 1.3 points in the unemployment rate is the largest three-month drop since the data began in 1976, and the lowest since October 2008.  The IDES identifies the unemployment rate as those who are out of work and are actively seeking employment.

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Administrator is reminding area farmers, ranchers and producers that August 1st is the deadline for local FSA county committee nominations.  Farmers and ranchers elected to local committees share their opinions and ideas on federal farm programs.  Members serve three-year terms, and committees consist of three to 11 members that are elected by eligible producers.  Forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by the close of business August 1st.  More information is available by contacting your local FSA county office.

Headlines for Saturday, July 19, 2014

Authorities are searching for a Wayne City man who walked away from a federal residential reentry center in Evansville, IN Thursday.  34-year-old Paxton D. Bruce was housed at the center after his supervised release on a previous drug conviction was revoked.  The search for Bruce Thursday was centered in the Burnt Prairie area after a vehicle registered to the suspect’s wife was found abandoned.  Bruce is described as 5’10″ tall and weighing about 230 pounds.  Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the White County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 382-5321.

36-year-old Nathan Archer of Bellmont was sentenced in Edwards County Circuit Court Friday morning to four years in prison for violating the terms of his probation on a previous conviction of being in possession of a controlled substance.  Archer will also have to serve one year of parole once he gets out of jail.  Archer had originally been placed on two years probation for the offense, but violated the terms of his probation, resulting in Friday’s prison sentence.

29-year-old George W. Rankin of Carmi was arrested early Friday morning on a Wayne County warrant.  Rankin was indicted by a Wayne County Grand Jury on felony charges of being in possession of a controlled substance and burglary, and a misdemeanor theft charge.  Rankin is accused of taking a quantity of Lortab pills for Dwight Taylor of Fairfield and transporting them to Carmi.  At the time of Rankin’s arrest he was found to be in possession of a switchblade knife, resulting in an additional charge of unlawful use of weapons.

The Wayne County Fair comes to a close tonight with the Demolition Derby starting at 7 p.m.  Also tonight a “Chuck-a-Duck”, a 50/50 drawing with a twist, will be conducted during the derby.  Plastic ducks will be offered for sale for $1 each prior to and during the Demo Derby.  Duck purchasers will be able to gather and “chuck their ducks” towards a large circle.  The owner of the duck that lands closest to the center of the circle will be the winner of half of the proceeds.  The contest is being sponsored by Volunteers for a Progressive Fairfield, and proceeds will be used to conduct the Fall Foliage Paint Out October 8th through 11th.

The Fairield City Council is set to meet this Tuesday night beginning at 6 p.m.  A Public Hearing will precede the regular meeting at 5:50 p.m. concerning appropriations.  Items on the agenda include the awarding of bids for the clearing of Johnson Creek and Fairfield Creek, approval of street closings for the Fairfield Fall Fun Fest and Homecoming Parade, and discussion of a police department vehicle.  Also on Tuesday’s agenda is the Career Development Center concerning the disposal of TV’s and computer monitors.

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