Len Wells, News Director
Fairfield 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.
Bill 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.
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.
Former 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.
Funeral 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.
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.
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.
Authorities in Southern Illinois are looking for a Wayne City, Ill. man who walked away from a federal residential reentry center in Evansville Thursday. Paxton D. Bruce, 34 was housed at the center after his supervised release on a previous federal drug conviction was revoked. The search for Bruce was centered in the Burnt Prairie area of northern White County, Ill. Thursday after a vehicle registered to the suspect’s wife was found abandoned. White County Sheriff’s police, assisted by a Carmi K-9 unit searched the area Thursday with no results. Bruce is described as 5’ 10 inches tall and weighing about 230 pounds. In 2004, Bruce was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison on convictions of possession and distribution of methamphetamine followed by five years of supervised release. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Paxton D. Bruce should call the White County Sheriff’s Office at 618-382-5321.
29-year-old Brandon S. Skelton of McLeansboro has been sentenced to 8 ½ years in prison after pleading guilty to a Class-X felony charge of being in possession of child pornography. The child porn was found on his cell phone. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
A Carmi teen reported missing Wednesday night has been found safe and sound. 16-year-old Brittany Nicole Lloyd, a local gospel artist was located early Thursday afternoon. No foul play was noted in her brief disappearance.
A Federal Grand Jury has indicted 29-year-old Dillion Wayne Bailey of Albion on a single charge of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The case stems from his arrest in White County last month.
The Edwards County Community Unit School Board met Thursday night. Members learned that the district ended the fiscal year in the red by $371,000. The figure was somewhat lower than what administrators had expected.
Gill Excavating and Woods Waterproofing have been approved to complete waterproofing work on the tunnel at Cisne High School. Funding for the work was provided through a state maintenance grant.
Motocross races start at 7 tonight at the Wayne County Fair. The fair wraps up Saturday night with a demolition derby. The Edwards County Fair opens Saturday with a big parade at 10 a.m. The Fair Queen Contest will be 5 p.m. Saturday.
16-year-old Brittany Nicole Lloyd of Carmi – reported missing Wednesday night – has been found. White County Sheriff Doug Maier says she is safe and there was no foul play in her disappearance. Brittany is a widely known gospel artist and recently completed a tour, performing at many area churches. She was reported missing at about 11:15 Wednesday night.
Federal Prosecutors have filed a motion to detain former FCHS teacher and coach Timothy Going. Going is duein U.S. District Court Monday to face charges of being in possession of child pornography and unlawful videotaping of underage girls at a motel in Fairview Heights. If the motion is granted, Going will be transferred from the Wayne County Jail into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. He still faces state charges of videotaping underage girls in Wayne and St. Clair Counties
44-year-old Donald Terrell of Carmi has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge of driving revoked – his 7th such offense. He will have to serve another year of parole once he is released from jail.
24-year-old Eric Johnston of Fairfield was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of domestic battery. Johnston is accused of yanking 18-year-old Vivian Robertson out of her car and shoving her against the vehicle. The incident happened on the parking lot of Way-Fair in Fairfield.
Beth Meeks will end her 40 year tenure at Jasper Grade School next week. Her last official function will be the 2014-2015 student registration next Tuesday, July 22. A “come and go” reception for Beth will be held from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. during the school registration.
The Illinois Eastern Community College Board of Trustees has approved a change in status for Jervaise McDaniel from Associate Dean of Adult and Continuing Education at Frontier Community College to Dean of Outreach at the District Office at Olney. The change takes effect on Sept. 1.
Regulations governing the growing and retail sales of medical marijuana have been approved by state lawmakers. Would-be growers and retailers can soon apply for a permit. Fairfield and Grayville are in the running for the location of a medical marijuana growing facility for the District 19 Illinois State Police district.
43-year-old Brandon S. Smith of Carmi has been sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to charges he was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. In White County Circuit Court, Smith also drew a concurrent sentence of 7 years for being in possession of a stolen firearm and another 6 years for felony driving revoked. A number of traffic charges were dismissed by White County State’s Attorney Denton Aud as part of the plea agreement.
The Fairfield Memorial Hospital Foundation will hold its annual meeting for election of officers on Thursday, July 31 in the Board Room of the Medical Arts Complex. The public is invited to attend the meeting.
Kiddie Kollege’s Early Childhood Center has received funding from the State Board of Education to serve 30 children in their prevention initiative program. The free program is for parents with children ages birth to three.
“Chuck-A-Duck” a 50-50 drawing with a twist will be featured during the Demolition Derby at the Wayne County Fair this Saturday evening. Plastic ducks will be available for $1 each during the Demo Derby. Those who buy a duck will gather to “chuck their ducks” towards a large circle. The owner of the duck landing closest to the center will win half of the proceeds. Money raised will be used to support the Volunteers for a Progressive Fairfield Fall Foliage Paint Out set for October 8 – 11.
When Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies rolled up to Brian Gregory’s 414 N.W. 5th Street home in Fairfield Monday night to execute a search warrant, they unexpectedly came across two suspects stealing the Gregory’s central air conditioning unit. Tony W. Staton, 49 of Mill Shoals and Michael Eric Moore 51 of Fairfield were arrested on a charge of felony theft over $500 for allegedly stealing Gregory’s air conditioner. Continuing with the execution of their search warrant, police arrested Brian K. Gregory, 49 and Robert A. Butler, 48 of Fairfield on multiple drug charges. Police reports indicate the seizure of a quantity of suspected methamphetamine, digital scales, drug paraphernalia and cannabis from Gregory’s home. Gregory and Butler were both booked at the county jail on charges of possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Butler faces an additional charge of being in possession of marijuana. Pictured above left to right are Tony Staton, Robert Butler, Michael Moore and Brian Gregory.
A Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy has arrested 34-year-old Joshua A. Zoph of Eldorado on charges of reckless driving and speeding. The deputy clocked Zoph’s Mustang traveling 104 miles per hour on Ill. Rt. 15 near Sims.
36-year-old Jeffrey J. Norville of Carmi has been sentenced to three years in prison for escape. Norville failed to show up from a furlough after being sentenced to five years in prison for domestic battery. Norville was found hiding under a desk at a house in Grayville.
42-year-old Wade N. Crockett of Carmi has been sentenced to one year in prison after pleading guilty to a class-4 felony charge of driving on a revoked license. He will have to serve another year of parole once he gets out of jail.
67-year-old Leroy O’Ryan of Flora has been sentenced to two years in federal prison on a conviction of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Federal investigators say they caught O’Ryan selling guns to an undercover officer. He has previously been convicted of aggravated battery.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed suit against two debt-settlement firms for allegedly scamming consumers trying to pay off their student loans. Madigan says the $1,200 services offered by the two firms are available for free from the U.S. Department of Education.
Illinois Stock Pullers and local truck pullers will be featured tonight at the Wayne County Fair. The event starts at 7 p.m. The annual talent show is Thursday night. Motocross action is Friday night with the fair wrapping up Saturday night with a demolition derby.
Much cooler weather is on the way to Southern Illinois, following the passage of a cold front later today. High temperatures will dip into the mid to upper 70’s Tuesday, with lows dipping into the 50’s. The fair weather should continue through Friday.
Former U.S. Congressman Ken Gray died Saturday. Gray represented Southern Illinois for 20 years. He was often referred to as the “Prince of Pork” for bringing as much as $7 billion in projects to his district. A portion of Interstate 57 in Southern Illinois bears his name. He was also responsible for securing the funds to build Rend Lake.
The Wayne County Fair is underway and will run through Saturday night. Harness racing will be featured at 7 tonight. Tuesday night, the Illinois Stock Pullers and local truck pullers will be featured at 7. Motocross is Friday night, with the fair wrapping up Saturday night with a demolition derby.
Members of the Wayne County Farm Bureau are invited to the organization’s annual Member Appreciation Dinner on Friday, August 1 at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Fairfield. Tickets for the dinner are $2 with $1 going towards the group’s Ag in the Classroom program. Tickets may be purchased at the Wayne County Farm Bureau Office through July 25.
Hamilton Memorial Hospital has joined the Memory and Aging Network at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Center for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders. Hamilton Memorial becomes part of a network that includes physicians, nurse practitioners, and other staff members dedicated to serving patients with memory problems and their families.