Len Wells, News Director


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Headlines for Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Wayne County Farm Bureau will be offering a flu vaccination clinic on Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Farm Bureau building in Fairfield.  The vaccination will be administered by the Wayne County Health Department, and the clinic is open to those 18 years of age and older, and the cost of the vaccination is $30.  Payments from Medicare, Medicaid, Blue-Cross Blue Shield, Healthlink and most major area insurance carriers will be accepted.  Pre-registration is requested by calling 842-3342.

Petitions for the April 7, 2015 Consolidated Election can be picked up in the office of City Clerk Tina Hutchcraft starting this Tuesday from 8 a.m. til noon and 1 to 5 p.m.  The filing period for the petitions is December 15th through 22nd, 2014.  Among the offices in the election will be the city of Fairfield’s four wards, with one alderman to be elected from each of the city’s ward for a four-year term.

The Fairfield City Council meets Tuesday night at 6 in regular session.  The council is expected to discuss the purchasing of salt products for the upcoming winter, and discuss the purchase of a defibrillator for City Hall.  Other items on the agenda include discussion of an ordinance banning the illegal disposing of electronic devices.

Three former Williamson County employees were charged late last week in connection with the disappearance of thousands of dollars from the circuit clerk’s office.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says 43-year-old Kelly Trammel, 49-year-old Marsha Dickinson and 58-year-old Cheryl Cundiff face felony theft charges and official misconduct charges.  The three are accused of plotting to steal over $80,000 from the county over a five-year period by taking money intended for the county’s jail bond and keeping it while concealing the theft.

An Illinois lawmaker wants to make pumpkin pie the state’s official pie.  Republican state Representative Keith Sommer introduced legislation to make the designation last month.  Illinois is reported to be the top producer of pumpkins in the country, with the industry bringing in $33 million for the state.  Governor Pat Quinn issued a proclamation designating September 13th as Pumpkin Pie Day in Illinois.  Currently no other state has pumpkin pie as their official state pie.

Headlines for Saturday, September 20, 2014

Petitions for the Consolidation Election to be held on April 7, 2015 will be available in the office of City Clerk Tina Hutchcraft in Fairfield beginning this Tuesday from 8 a.m. til noon and 1 to 5 p.m.  The filing period for the petitions will be December 15th through 22nd, 2014.  Offices to be elected include the city of Fairfield’s four wards, with one alderman from each of the city’s wards to be elected for a four-year term.

The Fairfield City Council meets Tuesday night beginning at 6 p.m.  During the meeting the council is expected to discuss the purchase of a Defibrillator for City Hall, and discuss an ordinance to ban the illegal disposal of electronic devices.  Other items on the agenda include the purchase of salt products for the winter, and seeking bids for the sale of Allis Chalmers at the Fairfield Airport and a mower for the city’s Cemetery Department.

Power is scheduled to be out this Tuesday morning for residents in the 400 block of SE 2nd Street, 400 block of SE 3rd Street, and the 200 and 300 blocks of East King and East Douglas Street.  The outage is expected to begin at 8:30 Tuesday morning, weather permitting, and should last about three hours.  The outage is being scheduled to allow workers to perform a required power line maintenance project.

Wayne City’s Bean Days activities begin today with the crowning of the Bean Days Queen.  A full day of activities will be held next Saturday, September 27th, and will include the parade, a tractor show, flea market and the serving of the free ham and beans dinner, as well as a dance and rodeo next Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at the Wayne City Saddle Club.

Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro will be hosting its annual Wellness Program and Health Fair on Thursday, October 9th.  Several screenings will be available to the public at various prices.  The hospital will also be offerin adult flu vaccines for $25 during the fair between 9 a.m. and noon.  All results from test screenings will be sent to the patient and their primary healthcare provider.

Headlines for Friday, September 19, 2014

28-year-old Myles D. Allali of Norris City has been sentenced to 2 years in prison after failing to register as a sex offender as required by law.  Allali was sentenced Thursday in White County Circuit Court at Carmi. He will have to serve another year of parole after he is released from prison.

31-year-old Nathan Edward Case of Evansville has been jailed on charges he stole a Jeep Liberty and was in possession of drugs.  Case was arrested by Carmi Police near Burrell Park.  He faces charges of theft and possession of a controlled substance.

A scheduled power outage has been set for next Tuesday for residents in the 400 block of S. E. 2nd Street, the 400 block of S. E. 3rd Street and the 200 and 300 blocks of East King and East Douglas Streets.  Weather permitting, the outage will last around three hours.

The Wayne County Shrine Club will be sponsoring a free screening clinic next week for children with possible orthopedic conditions.  Children under the age of 18 are eligible for the clinic. The event will be held from 5 – 6:30 next Wednesday, Sept. 24 at Horizon Healthcare in Fairfield.

Headlines for Thursday, September 18, 2014

going perp walk

Under a plea agreement reached Wednesday between federal prosecutors and Timothy C. Going, the former Fairfield Community High School teacher and coach will serve 20 years in prison for secretly videotaping FCHS female students in the girls’ locker room and FCHS female athletes at two different motels in the Metro-East St. Louis area. The motel videotaping incidents happened in 2012 and 2013 when Going took the athletes to a regional cross-country meet in the Metro-East area. The agreement also calls for a concurrent ten year prison sentence for possession of child pornography. Formal sentencing in the case has been set for January 5, 2015.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company has announced plans to build a 30-inch crude oil pipeline from north of Johnsonville to Patoka, IL in rural Marion County.  The company also plans to repurpose an abandoned Trunkline natural gas pipeline near Wayne City to transport crude oil. The firm is in the process of contacting landowners for easements.

20-year-old Justin Gibbs of Mount Vernon, IN has been sentenced to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty in White County Circuit Court to a class-2 felony charge of burglary.  State’s Attorney Denton Aud is recommending that Gibbs serve his sentence in the Department of Corrections Boot Camp program.


Eleven couples competed in the Mixed Couples Scramble hosted by the Wayne County Golf Course on Sunday, September 13th. Terry Powell, Susan Murphy, Sadie and Philip Powell were the winning team at three under par for nine holes. Everyone enjoyed a potluck supper in the clubhouse following the scramble. The winning team players are (pictured left to right) Terry Powell, Susan Murphy, Sadie Powell, and Philip Powell.

At this month’s meeting of the Illinois Eastern Community College Board of Trustees, members accepted the resignation of Cindy Foerster, Director of Adult Education. The resignation was effect, Sept. 2.

Headlines for Wednesday, September 17, 2014


The long-awaited security entrance to the Wayne County Courthouse was officially put into service this morning.  Sheriff Mike Everett and his chief deputy Andy Milner were on hand this morning to guide folks into the new entrance, which is located on the northeast side of the courthouse. This new entrance is the ONLY way in or out of the courthouse now. Those entering the courthouse will be required to pass through a magnetometer. Bags and purses are subject to search by the security officers that man the entrance.  Cell phones are also banned inside the courthouse. Pictured above is court security officer Brad Winter.  In the background, Deputy Chris Otey escorts an inmate to a court appearance.

Harrison - scammerA Georgia man has entered a guilty plea to charges he scammed three Edwards County residents out of thousands of dollars in a driveway paving scam. 65-year-old Jack L. Harrison, Sr. of Acworth, GA appeared in Edwards County Circuit Court Tues day where he entered a negotiated guilty plea to a charge of theft.  He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,400 to Roy Longbons of Albion, $9,900 to MAP Oil Company of Grayville and $5,000 to Van D. Doty of Albion. Total restitution was $21,400.  Harrison paid the restitution Tuesday with a certified check.

Health officials say that 12 states, including Illinois are now seeing a respiratory illness caused by an uncommon virus – enterovirus 68. The virus has shown up in Southern Illinois in the past few weeks. The virus affects children. Kids with asthma are especially vulnerable to the virus. No deaths have been reported from the illness.

A legislative panel said Tuesday that it wants more time to decide whether rules written by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to govern fracking can take effect.  The panel has exercised a 45-day extension. Meanwhile, thousands of acres of Southern Illinois farmland remain under lease for the development of oil and gas utilizing horizontal drilling and fracking technology.

murphy brown donation

The Cisne FFA recently received a $500 donation to the chapter from Murphy Brown. The donation will be used to help sponsor upcoming FFA activities for 92 chapter members. Pictured above are Vice President Nick Konopasek, Murphy Brown Barn Manager, Rob Neikirk, and Chapter President Nicole Jordan.

Wayne County Property Tax bills will be mailed out this Friday.  The total to be collected amounts to $13.6 million.  The First installment will be due Oct. 24. The second installment will be due Nov. 24.  The first installment of Edwards County Property Taxes is due today.

Headlines for Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Following a sefarneyveral month investigation by the White County Sheriff’s Department and the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force, a Maunie woman has been jailed on drug distribution charges. Jennifer L. Farney, 42 of 224 S. Morgan Street in Mounie was arrested this morning on a White County warrant charging her with two counts of unlawful delivery of marijuana – between 30 – 500 grams, and two new charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  During her arrest this morning, Sheriff Doug Maier says the Farney admitted she had a quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in her home, which resulted in additional charges.  Farney has been lodged in the White County jail at Carmi under $3,500 bond on the warrant and another $150 bond on the new drug charges.

It took years of legal wrangling, but the City of Fairfield was finally able to demolish a dilapidated house at 611 W. Center Street on Monday.  The two-story house was owned by Jack and Linda Spurgeon. City officials had the home condemned and a track hoe demolished the house Monday.  Fairfield firemen sprayed water on the debris as the old house was reduced to a pile of rubble.

The Fairfield City Police Department will conduct a city-wide storm warning siren test this Wednesday at 10 a.m.  The test is being conducted to ensure the system works after lightning damaged some of the department’s radio equipment last week.   Repairs to the radios have been completed, but a full test of the storm sirens must be completed to make sure system is working properly.

Groundbreaking was held Monday for a new high school in Mt. Vernon.  The new school will cost $72.8 million to construct and will be the second largest school building construction project in Illinois.  The new school will sit on an 82 acre campus, replacing the current 109-year-old school.


Frontier Community College graduates Tyler Lashbrook and Ryan Barrett have been hired as apprentice linemen for the Electric Distribution Department for the City of Fairfield.  Graduates of the Frontier Community College Electrical Distribution Systems program, both men will spend the next three years completing on-the-job training and attending IBEW Apprentice Lineman classes in West Frankfort before becoming journeyman linemen.

Illinois State Police will be conducting special enforcement details at area rail crossings as part of Illinois Rail Safety Week this week. Troopers will be citing both drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings.

Headlines for Monday, September 15, 2014

FormGOING, TIMOTHY Cer Fairfield Community High School teacher and cross-country coach Timothy C. Going is expected to plead guilty this week to charges he secretly videotaped FCHS female athletes at a Metro-East hotel where they were staying in advance of an athletic event.  Going is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court at E. St. Louis this Wednesday for a “Change of Plea” hearing.  He faces federal charges of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography.  He faces up to 30 years in prison on the unlawful videotaping charge and another ten years in the child porn case.

42-year-old Dallas Broz of Fairfield was arrested Sunday morning after he allegedly torched a Chevy Blazer that belonged to him and his girlfriend, 44-year-old Dawn M. Turner of 1206 Illinois Avenue.  Police initially found the Blazer parked over a smoldering fire in the yard late Saturday night. After separating the couple from a domestic disturbance and moving the car, firemen were called back early Sunday morning to find the Blazer fully engulfed in flames. Broz faces charges of arson and reckless conduct.

Some very unusual items auctioned off last month to help satisfy a $1.8 million court judgment against former Mt. Carmel businessman Kevin C. Williams failed to bring the high bids many had expected.  Strands of hair from Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, George Washington and Andrew Jackson brought only $225 each.  Williams remains in federal prison where he is serving time for swindling an elderly Mt. Carmel woman out of nearly $2 million.

26-year-old Joseph J. Reese of West Frankfort was seriously injured Sunday afternoon when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a Jeep on U.S. Rt. 45 in rural Saline County.  The driver of the Jeep, 40-year-old Angela R. Reid of Harrisburg was cited for failure to yield at a private road.

The Wayne County Golf Course will host the 27-hole Midway Package Liquors 2-Man Chicken Feed Scramble this Saturday.  A sign-up sheet is located outside the pro shop at the golf course.

Headlines for Saturday, September 13, 2014

The annual Fairfield Fall Fun Fest wraps up today.  Activities include the Classic Car Show on the Lemonds Chevy/Chrysler parking lot and the Kiddie Parade this morning.  Afternoon activities include the Gong Show at 1 p.m. in the Entertainment Tent, Animals Requesting Friends Outrageous Dog Contest at 4 p.m. and a Chicken and Rib Cook-off Tasters Choice at 5 p.m.  Tonight’s activities include the Chuck A Duck, along with performances by the Fortress Quartet and Egyptian Combo at 6:30.

Winners have been named in the Fun Fest 5K Run/Walk held Thursday night.  The top male runners were Ron Moore, Lane Harvey and Patrick Harvey.  Top male walkers were Clayton White, Chris Drone, and Pete Orth.  Top female runners were Amelia Lingafelter, Leah Sample and Kerri Meritt.  Top female walkers were Carolyn Schmidt, Amy Moore and Linda Monge.

Wednesday’s blood drive at the Community of Christ Church in Fairfield produced 58 units of blood, just two short of the goal set for the drive.  Winners of the Wal-Mart $20 gift certificiates were Margaret Boucherie of Mill Shoals and Michael Simpson of Fairfield.  Several donors were presented with pins for donating gallons of blood over the years, including James Thompson for donating 14 gallons.

54-year-old Kenneth G. Summers of Belleville, IL was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident late Thursday night after the school bus he was driving ran into the rear of a vehicle that was stopped in a construction zone on I-57 in Jefferson County.  Traffic was being directed into the right northbound lane by police when Summers approached the scene and was unable to stop in time.  Both drivers and a passenger in the vehicle were taken to local hospitals for treatment.  None of the 23 passengers on the school bus were injured.

Illinois State Police at the DuQuoin post are asking for the public’s help in locating a man whose last known address is Carbondale, IL and was last seen on foot in the New Burnside, IL area.  27-year-old Tyree M. Neal Jr. (pictured left) is described as black male, 5′ 8” tall weighing 150 pounds with black hair and brown eyes and gold teeth.  He was last seen wearing a black shirt and blue jeans.  He is being sought by police in connection with a vehicular high jacking, ramming a squad car, aggravated fleeing and eluding and outstanding warrants.  Anyone with information should call (618) 542-2171.

Headlines for Friday, September 12, 2014

42-year-old Christopher L. Padgett of Fairfield was jailed Thursday night on a warrant charging him with unlawful presence in school.  Police pulled Padgett’s vehicle over near the intersection of Main Street and Clarence Avenue around 5:20 p.m.  Bond on the warrant was $1500 cash.

Fairfield city police took  22-year-old Michael Lee of Fairfield into custody after an officer spotted him riding a bike on NW 3rd Street Thursday afternoon and knew he was wanted on warrant.  He was jailed on a Wayne County warrant for failure to appear in court on a battery charge.  Bond was set at $375.

47-year-old Sheri L. Thomason of Fairfield was taken into custody Thursday night at her home on Laurel Street on a Wayne County warrant for failure to appear in court on a drug paraphernalia possession charge.  Bond on Thomason was set at $375.

A Flood Warning is in effect the next few days along the Little Wabash River at Clay City.  The river is forecast to remain above the 18-foot flood stage through Saturday evening.  The area received heavy rainfall Wednesday night as a cold front moved through, bringing cooler temperatures which should last into early next week, along with drier weather.

A blood drive held Wednesday at the Community of Christ Church in Fairfield resulted in 58 units of blood being collected, just two units short of the goal of 60 units.  Winners of the Wal-Mart $20 gift certificates were Margaret Boucherie of Mill Shoals and Michael Simpson of Fairfield.  Several donors were awarded gallon pins at the drive.  There was one new blood donor Wednesday, Ruth Hazel of Fairfield.

54-year-old Kenneth G. Summers of Belleville, IL was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident late Thursday night following a crash in Jefferson County involving a school bus.  State police said Summers was driving the school bus which approached a construction zone at the 89-mile marker on Interstate 57 and was unable to avoid hitting a vehicle which was stopped in the right lane due to construction on the interstate.  The impact caused the bus to come to rest in the median.  Police said none of the 23 passengers on the bus were hurt.  Summers and the driver of the vehicle he rear-ended, along with a passenger, were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Illinois State Police District 19 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, has announced the activity and enforcement figures for the month of August.  Troopers in District 19 issued 388 citations and 698 written warnings during August, which included 125 speeding tickets, two DUI arrests, 89 seat belt citations and four child-restraint citations.  Troopers also investigated one fatal traffic crash during August.

Eli Sharp, son of Becky Sharp and Todd Miller, was crowned the Fairfield Fall Fun Fest Prince Thursday night.  Eden Duckworth, daughter of Jess and Morgan Duckoworth, was crowned the Fun Fest Princess.  Activities tonight include performances by Tressie and the Mixers starting at 6 p.m. and The Blend at 8:30 p.m on the Main Stage.

Thursday’s winning Fall Fun Fest button numbers drawn are #561 and #260  each worth $25.  Prize money can be picked up at the offices of McDowell, Kenshalo & Jesop.

Two Illinois lawmakers announced Thursday they would be working towards passage of legislation to bolster a program that provides grants to local police departments to install video recording equipment in police vehicles and expand it to include body cameras for officers.  The measure would allow police departments to apply for grants to purchase either body-mounted or dashboard cameras for use in vehicles.  The grants would be funded by an additional $6 surcharge on those who are convicted or plead guilty to criminal or traffic offenses.

Headlines for Thursday, September 11, 2014

52-year-old Mark W. Johnson of Maunie has been sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to a Class 3 felony charge of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.  He was also ordered to serve one year mandatory supervised release following the prison sentence.  Several drug charges were dropped in return for the guilty plea, according to White County States Attorney Denton Aud.

24-year-old Ryan Tibbs of Cisne was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident early Tuesday morning in Saline County.  State police say Tibbs rear ended a vehicle driven by 30-year-old Kenneth D. Weasel of Crossville as he was in the southbound lane of College Road waiting to make a turn into the Southeastern Illinois College parking lot.  Tibbs was taken to an Eldorado hospital following the accident.

29-year-old Chance Ty Gilbert of McLeansboro was cited following an accident in rural Hamilton County Wednesday morning.  State police say Gilbert was southbound on Hamilton County road 1150E at 525N when Gilbert told them a truck tractor turned onto the roadway in front of him.  Gilbert swerved his vehicle to avoid a collision, causing it to leave the roadway and hit a ditch embankment.  Gilbert was taken to Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro for treatment of his injuries.  He was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, no valid driver’s license and DUI-drugs.

Voters in Hamilton County will decide in November if they want to authorize the county’s Ambulance Fund be used to assist in setting up an enhanced 911 system in the county.  Hamilton County is one of ten counties in the state without enhanced 911.  In 2013 the county received state approval from lawmakers to access the Ambulance Fund to assist with 911.  The Hamilton County Emergency Telephone System Board says there are several benefits to enhanced 911, including the ability for dispatchers to pinpoint a caller’s location, even if they’re unable to speak.

The Fairfield Fall Fun Fest opened last night with Church Night, featuring gospel music.  Threatening weather forced the event to be moved to the First Christian Church.  Activities tonight include the Fun Fest Prince and Princess Contest at 6:30 in the Entertainment Tent followed by the Roasted Chestnuts Brass Quintet at 7 p.m.  A 5K Run/Walk begins at 6 p.m. at the corner of Court and NE 4th Street.  Winning Fall Fun Fest Buttons for Wednesday were #538 and #343.

EOM August Bonnie Catton SCU ActivitiesEach month, Fairfield Memorial Hospital honors an employee who has exemplified outstanding patient care and customer service internally and externally.  In August, Bonnie Catton, Activities Director was named Fairfield Memorial Hospital’s Employee of the Month.  (Pictured is FMH’s Social Services Director, Andrea Shupe, MSW, LCSW, presenting the August Employee of the Month Plaque to Bonnie Catton, Activities Director for the Skilled Care Unit)




Winning numbers drawn at the Fairfield Fall Fun Fest Wednesday were: #538 and #343  each worth $25.  Prize money can be picked up at the offices of McDowell, Kenshalo & Jesop.

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