Len Wells, News Director


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Headlines for Friday, June 20, 2014



Kyle Ellis of Fairfield has been awarded an Illinois Sheriff’s Association Scholarship. Ellis, the son of Randy and Cindy Ellis of Fairfield, received the scholarship in a brief ceremony Friday morning from Wayne County Sheriff Mike Everett.  The scholarship is for $500. Pictured is Sheriff Mike Everett and Kyle Ellis.

Illinois State Police investigated a four-car chain-reaction accident Thursday afternoon in Wayne County.  A Chevy S-10 driven by 18-year-old Dylan W. Massie of Mt. Erie failed to slow down as he approached a construction zone on Rt. 45 and ran into the back of a Buick LeSabre driven by 57-year-old Michele Johnson of Rock Falls, IL.  Johnson was hurt and taken to a local hospital. Massie refused medical treatment. The other drivers, Sara Keck of Cisne and William Nuxoll Jr., of Teutopolis were unhurt.

80-year-old Dorothy Crane of Salem was killed Thursday in a freak accident while gardening at her home.  The victim’s husband, Bob Crane backed his pickup truck over her. Investigators said the truck then lurched forward and ran over the victim a second time.  The Cranes were in the process of putting up tomato stakes and were going to stand in the bed of the truck for additional height when the accident happened.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to a felony conviction in the recent theft of 13 market-ready cattle from the George Kissner Farm near Wayne City.  The cattle had a reported value of over $25,000.  Anyone with information should call the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.

Closing arguments and jury deliberations are expected to begin today in the predatory criminal sexual assault trial of Jeffrey D. Casillas of Enfield.  Casillas is accused of sexually abusing a juvenile relative last fall.

Jeff Baker has been hired as Cisne High School head spring baseball coach.  Matt Racinowski has been hired as Cisne Middle School head baseball coach. The action was taken during this month’s meeting of the North Wayne Community Unit School Board.

Headlines for Thursday, June 19, 2014

McKensie Harrison

The Illinois Journalism Education Association and Illinois Press Foundation named McKensie Harrison of Cisne High School to the 2014 All -State Journalism Team. Harrison is the daughter of Steve and Angela Harrison of Cisne. The All-State Journalism Team recognizes those students who have proven to be key to their respective school media. Harrison just finished her sophomore year, but as copy editor of The Echo yearbook at Cisne High School, she has been invaluable, editing for AP and local style, and working with staffers to write concisely and with human interest. Her samples included the yearbook cover and a homecoming spread.  Pictured above – left to right –  Yearbook Adviser Trudy Hurd, McKensie Harrison with her All State Journalism Team Plaque and Illinois Journalism Education Association President Sarah Doerner.

The Illinois Eastern Community College Board of Trustees has approved a major project for Frontier Community College.  The Resource Allocation and Management Plan for Fiscal Year 2016 includes $3.1 million for a Student Education and Support Center for Frontier Community College.

Wayne County Sheriff’s Police are investigating a cattle rustling case near Wayne City.  George E. Kissner reports 13 head of market-ready Black Angus cattle missing.  The theft amounts to more than $25,000.  The 13 steers were taken from a herd of 30 cattle on Kissner’s ranch.

BROWN, CODY DHATCHER, THOMAS LTwo suspects have been jailed in connection with a rash of burglaries in Wayne County.  Thomas L. Hatcher of Cisne (pictured right)  and Cody D. Brown of Fairfield (pictured left), both 19 are accused of burglarizing Boondock’s Café in Cisne along with the Buckshot Grill. Brown is also accused of burglarizing Ray’s Doghouse in Fairfield and home in Fairfield.  Cash and merchandise were taken in all of the heists, police said.


april bestApril Best of Fairfield Memorial Hospital’s Therapy Services Department (pictured)  has been named the Employee of the Month.  April serves as the hospital’s Speech Language Pathologist.

Fairfield National Bank will host its annual 3-man scramble this Saturday at the Wayne County Golf Course.  Twenty-seven holes of play will begin Saturday morning following registration at 8:30 – 9:30. The tournament sign-up sheet is located outside the pro shop.

Headlines for Wednesday, June 18, 2014

55-year-old Karl Leland of South Prairie, Washington escaped serious injury this morning when the semi he was driving on I-64 in rural Wayne County ran off the road, struck a bridge and caught fire. The truck’s cargo of whiskey was damaged in the crash.  Fairfield Rural Firefighters responded to the crash at about 2:40 this morning.

Jury selection got underway Tuesday in the trial of an Enfield man accused of sexually abusing a female relative under the age of 18. 20-year-old Jeffrey David Casillas faces four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. White County State’s Attorney Denton Aud is prosecuting the case.

19-year-old Cody D. Brown of Fairfield was arrested Tuesday on charges he burglarized Ray’s Dog House in Fairfield and a house on N.W. 10th Street.  About $20 in cash and some soda was taken in the Dog House heist.

19-year-old Thomas L. Hatcher of Cisne was arrested early this morning on a Wayne County warrant charging him with burglary.  At about 1 a.m., City Police spotted Hatcher walking in the 300 block of N. First Street. A juvenile female runaway was with Hatcher. She has been returned to her parents.

State Fire Marshal officials are investigating the burning of three pieces of farm equipment on the Fred Tubbs farm west of Geff.  Officials said the fires that destroyed a tractor; backhoe and Bobcat were “suspicious.”


Caroline Neff, M.D. has received her Medical Doctor degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine.  Dr. Neff will begin her five year residence for General Surgery in Lexington, KY on July 1. After completing the residency in 2019, she will join the medical team at Fairfield Memorial Hospital. Pictured are Jessica Molt, Caroline Neff, M.D., and Patrick L. Molt, M.D. following Dr. Neff’s graduation ceremony from Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Headlines for Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A heat wave is in store for Southern Illinois today and Wednesday. Temperatures into the 90’s and high humidity rates will push the heat index to near 100.

The Edwards County Community Unit School Board voted Monday night to place a sales tax referendum on the November 4th ballot.  If approved by the voters of the county, the money raised could only be used for school facilities.

Wabash Independent Networks is seeking a USDA grant to construct a Fiber-Optics to Home infrastructure to residents in portions of Jasper Township and the northern part of Grover Township.  The public can learn more about the project at meetings this Wednesday and Thursday from 5 – 8 at the Jasper Grade School. The meetings are “come-and-go” sessions.

Passengers on an Amtrak train en route to Chicago were delayed Monday when the locomotive pulling the train ran out of fuel near Salem.  A Canadian National Railroad locomotive towed the train back to the Centralia Station where passengers boarded busses to continue their travel.

Kayti Carter and Sabra Dawson from Frontier Community College in Fairfield are among ten students who recently received the Spotlight on Literacy Award from Secretary of State Jesse White.

A new time capsule will be buried at the Hanna House Museum on Saturday, June 21. The capsule will be buried for 25 years. The Wayne County Historical Society will accept small items for the new time capsule in exchange for a receipt of purchase from participating local merchants.

Headlines for Monday, June 16, 2014

46-year-old Carl Gibson of Fairfield was arrested at Leo French Park Saturday morning by Fairfield City Police.  Gibson was cited for being a registered sex offender in a prohibited place and violating an active order of protection.  He allegedly was attempting to make contact with his estranged wife, April Gibson.

29-year-old Carrie L. Cullins  of Fairfield was arrested Saturday afternoon on a charge of aggravated drunk driving.  City Police pulled Cullins’ vehicle over in the 900 block of  W. Delaware for speeding and suspected she was driving drunk. Brought to the county jail, she tested .260 – more than three times the threshold for DUI in Illinois. She was also cited for driving suspended and driving with no insurance.

72-year-old Johnny Worth of Owensboro, KY was killed Saturday morning when the motorcycle he was driving crashed on Ill. Rt. 1 in Hardin County.  The crash happened when another cyclist, 72-year-old Oliver Berry of Owensboro rear-ended Worth’s bike, causing him to be thrown off his motorcycle.

Investors around Illinois are jockeying for positions in the marijuana business as they wait for Illinois’ new medical marijuana law to kick in. At least 36 marijuana-related business names have been registered in Illinois. Locally, the City of Grayville has taken the first steps in its efforts to draw a medical marijuana grow-operation to town.  The name of the developer has not been publicly named.

While you might think your hometown is boring, the Will County community of New Lenox has been named the most boring place in Illinois.  The ranking is based on how many young adults live there, how many fast food restaurants are in the area and what the nightlife is like.

Headlines for Sunday, June 15, 2014

22-year-old Callie Jean -Luc Buchanan of Mt. Vernon, IL was jailed Friday after leading police on a high-speed chase through parts of Jefferson County in a stolen pickup truck.  According to Sheriff Roger Mulch, police received a call shortly after 9:30 Friday morning of a pickup truck stolen from East Saddle Club Road.  The truck was spotted leaving the Dollar General Store at 1814 South 10th Street in Mt. Vernon, IL where police gave chase.  The chase was later terminated due to high speeds, Sheriff Mulch said.  A Jefferson County deputy followed Buchanan northbound on I-57, then west on the Dix-Irvington Road and north on Tank Lane.  Police said Buchanan then drove into a field where the truck caught fire.  Buchanan was taken into custody shortly after 4:30 Friday afternoon and was taken to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.  He faces charges of theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated fleeing and eluding and residential burglary, with bond to be set.  Other charges are pending.

Rend Lake College has announced its President’s and Vice President’s List for the Spring 2014 semester.  A total of 366 students made the lists, including some from Wayne County.  Those making the President’s List included Samuel Sorensen from Johnsonville, Brandon Bullard from Keenes, Brittany Hedden from Wayne City and Rachel Bennett and Nathaniel Burgess from Xenia.  Making the Vice President’s List from Wayne County were Levi Marsh from Fairfield, Charles Draper from Johnsonville, Hayley Spicer from Sims, Amy Carpenter from Xenia, and Kristen Keele, Megan J. Loker, Kacie Slater, Haden Smith and Kenna Zeigler from Wayne City.

Cisne FFA member Mitchell Levi has been nominated to represent the state of Illinois at the Nation Agriscience Fair in Louisville, KY.  He won top honors in Division 1 Power, Structural and Technical Systems.  Meg Sitzes has been named the Small Animal Care and Production State Proficiency Winner, and will also receive $250 for topping the state winners list.  She’s the daughter of Mack and Ellen Sitzes.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk is calling for accelerated access to doctors for veterans facing extreme wait times for treatment within the Veterans Affairs system.  Kirk sent a letter Friday to acting VA secretary Sloan Gibson, asking him to use his authority to declare a state of emergency to open up non-agency health care to veterans enduring delays.  Some of the delays were said to be as long as a year or more.

Governor Pat Quinn was expected to sign a measure Saturday that will launch a new scratch-off lottery game to benefit the Special Olympics.  Tickets for the two-dollar “Go for the Gold” game are expected to be available early next year.  Nearly $700,000 is expected to be raised for Special Olympics athletes’ training, programs and events.

Hadlines for Saturday, June 14, 2014



Two Cisne FFA members have been honored at the State FFA Convention in Springfield.  Meg Sitzes has been named Small animal Care and Production State Proficiency winner. She is the daughter of Mack and Ellen Sitzes.  Mitchell Levi was nominated to represent Illinois at the National Agriscience Fair in Louisville, KY.

63-year-old Roger Dale Young of Eldorado has been sentenced to 32 years in prison after being convicted of trying to hire someone to kill his wife in 2012.  Young’s wife, Linda died in an Evansville hospital from a prescription drug overdose shortly after his arrest.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk is calling for faster access to doctors for veterans facing extreme wait times for treatment within the Veterans Affairs system.  Kirk is asking that the acting VA Director declare a “state of emergency” to open up non-agency health care to veterans enduring delays.

The Illinois Department of Human Services and the Public Health Department have started collecting data from nursing home pharmacies weekly in an effort to prevent the inappropriate use of prescription drugs to subdue nursing home patients.  The resulting reports will help the nursing home industry stop using drugs as “chemical restraints.”

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was in Marion earlier this week to sign a bill that clarifies the legality of “Poker Runs”.  The law ensures that participants will be able to enjoy fundraising Poker Runs without worrying about high fines and legal troubles.

Headlines for Friday, June 13, 2014

Another Southern Illinois teacher is in trouble for taking inappropriate pictures of underage girls. Carterville band director, 40-year-old Todd Norrington is accused of taking pictures up a 14-year-old girl’s shorts at a Goodwill store in Carbondale.  He faces a charge of unauthorized video recording.  Norrington’s case follows the arrest of Fairfield High School math teacher and cross-country coach Timothy Goings. Goings is charged with videotaping girls in a FCHS locker room and a bathroom at a Fairview Heights motel.

Fire destroyed the Shawn Reynolds mobile home on N.W. 6th Street in Fairfield Thursday afternoon.  No one was home when the fire broke out shortly before 12:30.  The home was considered a total loss.

Another telephone scam is going around the area. The latest scam involves a caller offering to clean up a resident’s home computer to make it run faster. The caller’s over-the-phone instructions are designed to steal sensitive financial information, including bank account usernames and passwords.  If you receive one of these calls – simply hang up.

63-year-old Roger Young of Eldorado has been sentenced to 32 years in prison for trying to hire someone to kill his wife.  His wife, Linda Young died shortly after his arrest from an apparent drug overdose.

A $250 Crimestoppers reward is being offered by the White County Sheriff’s Department for the arrest of a man who stole a Carmi man’s wallet at the Carmi Wal-Mart this week.  The suspect is a white male who left the Wal-Mart store in a white pickup truck.  The victim, Charles Hale of Carmi inadvertently left his wallet at the self-checkout counter of the store.  When he returned to retrieve the wallet – it had been stolen.

Headlines for Thursday, June 12, 2014

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dog save

Fire gutted the Shawn Reynolds mobile home on N.W. 6th Street in Fairfield this afternoon. Fairfield firemen got the call at 12:30 this afternoon.  When they arrived flames were showing from the front of the home.  As firemen made their entry to the home, a small black and white dog that had been under a blanket in the living room fled the trailer unharmed.  Firemen brought out two more dogs. One was dead. Firemen were able to resuscitate another small chihuahua.   No one home when the fire broke out.  The house was a total loss.  The cause remains under investigation.

Woolsey Operating, LLC has been issued another drilling permit by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The latest permit is for a project in Edwards County – the Luthe #1 well.  Woolsey plans to drill the well to a depth of 8,300 feet – to the Potosi formation, which is a Dolomite formation. Les Wilson Drilling of Carmi will be the contractor on the project.

With uncertainty surrounding how well the State of Illinois will be able to fund local school districts, many area counties are moving forward with plans to ask the public to approve a sales tax increase to fund school facilities. Wayne County is expected to place the question on the November ballot, along with neighboring Edwards County.  If approved the money could only be used for school facilities – not salaries.

The police investigation of Fairfield Community High School teacher and coach Timothy Going continues. Forensic scientists with the Illinois State Police continue to examine computer related equipment seized at Going’s home in search of more evidence of illegal videotaping. Going is now awaiting trial in Wayne and St. Clair Counties on charges he secretly videotaped underage girls.  Total bond in both cases now amounts to $500,000.

21-year-old Lee D. Linder of Grayville has been sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty in White County Circuit Court to a charge of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.  The state has recommended that Linder participate in the state’s impact incarceration program – more commonly known as Boot Camp.

22-year-old Bobby L. Powell of Fairfield was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of disorderly conduct.  Local residents called police after witnessing Powell screaming at passing cars while waving his arms wildly. Police say Powell was “highly intoxicated.”

Headlines for Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Illini Restoration of Brownstown, IL has been awarded a $35,800 contract to make repairs to the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce building in downtown Fairfield. The contractor says the work will be done before the Fairfield Fall Fun Fest.

Municipal trash pickup rates are going up in Fairfield.  The rate goes up 27 cents to $9.28 a month.  The increase was imposed as part of the contract with the city of Fairfield.

The City of Fairfield is seeking estimates on what it will cost to clear brush from nearly three miles of Johnson Creek and Fairgrounds Creek in Fairfield.  Before any work can be done, the U.S. Corps of Engineers will have to approve the work.

Fairfield Community High School Math Teacher and Cross Country Coach Timothy Going has been formally charged with videotaping two girls in a hotel bathroom in Fairview Heights, Ill. last November. The alleged offense is on top of charges he videotaped FCHS students in the girl’s locker room last month.

Frontier Community College President, Dr. Tim Taylor has accepted a position as president of Oakland Community College in Bloomfield Hills, MI. He begins his new job July 1.

20-year-old Brandon Giddens of Cisne was injured Tuesday afternoon when the pickup truck he was driving was hit by a truck at the intersection of U.S. Rt. 50 and the Xenia-Iola Road in rural Clay County.  Giddens told State Police he passed out moments before the accident. He was taken to the hospital in Flora.

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