Len Wells, News Director
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.
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.
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.”
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.
As Fairfield Community High School math teacher and cross country and track coach Timothy C. Going awaits trial on charges he installed a motion-activated camera in the girl’s locker room, more allegations of unlawful videotaping of an underage girl have surfaced in St. Clair County, Ill. Going, 43, now faces three additional felonies and one misdemeanor charge in St. Clair County for allegedly videotaping one juvenile female and an adult woman in a Fairview Heights, Ill. hotel bathroom. In one charge, Going is accused of making a video tape of a 15-year-old girl while she was in the hotel bathroom of the Super 8 Motel in Fairview Heights, Ill. The incident happened, investigators said on or about Nov. 2, 2013. The date of the alleged offense coincides with the date FCHS sent a one girl to the Cross Country Sectional Competition at Edwardsville, Ill. Another count alleges he committed the same offense with an adult female. The additional charges allege he physically placed the covert camera in the bathroom for the purpose of videotaping the women. Going remains in the Wayne County jail under $250,000 bond on the FCHS locker room charge. Bond has not been set at this time in the St. Clair County case. The case against going is still under investigation by Illinois State Police detectives and forensic analysts with the Illinois State Police Crime Lab. Additional charges are possible as the investigation continues.
The one-year anniversary of the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Act being signed into law is coming up on June 17. Despite being passed by a combined 160-12 vote in the House and Senate, the law has yet to be enacted. Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have been given until November to produce the rules to govern the practice. Until then, a potential Southern Illinois oil boom has been put on ice. Many believe the rules won’t be released until after the November General Election.
36-year-old Craig A. Donoho of Fairfield was injured Monday after the vehicle he was driving ran off Wayne County Highway 9 north of Sims and crashed into a ditch. After being treated at Fairfield Memorial Hospital, he was taken to the Wayne County jail and booked on a charge of DUI.
A motorcycle stolen from Lonzo’s Tavern in Sims over the weekend has been recovered in Clay County. The 2005 Harley Davidson Heritage Soft Tail cycle was owned by Darren G. Tucker of Wayne City.
A new state law will give juvenile offenders a break. The “Clean Slate” law will now expunge the arrest records of many teens arrested for non-violent, less serious crimes. Under the law, their record will be wiped clean as soon as they turn 18.
An analysis of Illinois Department of Corrections records show that as many as 24 inmates who escaped from Illinois prisons or halfway houses over the years are still on the run. Most missing inmates escaped from transition centers. One escaped in 1955 and hasn’t been seen since.
Edwards County officials are investigating the cause of death of a West Salem teen. Coroner Mark Curtis has identified the victim as 14-year-old Maxwell K. Elliott of West Salem. Coroner Curtis was called to the scene around 5 p.m. Saturday. An autopsy was conducted on Sunday.
Ina Farler and her two grandchildren were able to escape their burning mobile home Sunday morning after the family’s pet pot belly pig “Lucky” woke them up. Mt. Carmel Fire Department officials say Farler and her grandkids were able to escape the burning trailer through a window. The fire was reported shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday.
The Fairfield City Council meets Tuesday night. Aldermen will consider a proposal to raise the rates for trash pickup. Aldermen are also expected to approve the sale of surplus property.
The Fairfield swimming pool opens for the season today. Hours of operation are 1 – 5 and 6 – 8. Swim lessons will also start today. To sign up for swimming lessons, contact Libby at 599-6924.
Fairfield’s town-wide yard sale has been set for this Saturday, June 14. Over 40 families and organizations throughout the city will have a yard sale. Maps for the yard sale can be picked up starting today at Uniquely Rustique, the Fairfield Chamber office, Fairfield National Bank, Peoples National Bank and the Press office.
The deadline for reporting spring seeded crops, including soybeans and other grain crops is Monday, July 15. In order to comply with Farm Service Agency program eligibility requirements, producers are encouraged to visit their local FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report before the July 15 deadline.
Mt. Carmel, IL firefighters were called to a trailer fire early this morning in Mt. Carmel, IL located at 11516E 920 Lane. Upon arrival, flames were shooting out the east side of the structure. The homeowner stated she and her grandkids were awakened by their family pig “Lucky” and escaped through a bedroom window. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Firemen were on scene for about two hours.
The wet and stormy pattern that has gripped the region for the past several days is expected to continue for most of this week, according to forecasters. Chances of rain are in the forecast beginning Monday and continuing through Friday, with some heavy rainfall possible Monday night. Officially, a quarter-inch of rain was recorded in Fairfield as rain and storms moved through Saturday evening, with another 42 hundreths Saturday night and into early this morning. Much of southern Illinois had been under a Tornado Watch Saturday night, however there were no reports of any storm damage locally.
The Fairfield City Council meets Tuesday night at 6 p.m. During the meeting, the council is expected to discuss an increase in garbage collection rates for the city and the sale of excess property, including the old Red & White building on West Main Street. The council is also expected to award bids for repairs to the Chamber of Commerce building and discuss brush clearing along Johnson Creek.
The Wayne County Board meets Thursday night at 7 for their monthly meeting. The board will be asked to approve the transfer of $125,000 from the county’s General Fund to the County Highway Department. The re-appointment of Dale Warren to a three-year term with the Wayne County Housing Authority, and the appointment of Keith Colclasure to a term on the Wayne County Emergency Telephone System Board to replace Brad Winter is also expected at Thursday’s meeting.
Several vehicles were involved in an accident in Williamson County Saturday afternoon that shut down the westbound lanes of Illinois Route 13 near Cambria for several hours. Reports say two children and an adult were taken to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries. The driver, 31-year-old Melissa Simpson of Herrin, IL attempted a left turn off of Route 13 onto Cambria Road and drove in front of another vehicle, police said, causing her vehicle to hit another unit. Simpson was cited for failure to yield. Route 13 was reopened to traffic late Saturday night.
Armadillo sightings have been on the increase in parts of southern Illinois and southern Indiana. Reports say armadillos have been migrating slowly northward since the late 1800s, starting out in Central America. Sightings have been noted in the Illinois and Indiana region as early as last year, mostly in the form of roadkill. Armadillos are nocturnal mammals, and do not hibernate, making it more difficult for them to find insects to eat and dig burrows for shelters.
The Fairfield Retail Merchants are planning a promotion in conjunction with the unearthing of two time capsules on the court house lawn in Fairfield on Saturday, June 21st. Various civic groups will be selling baked goods and concessions starting at 10 a.m. around the courthouse square. The Wayne County Historical Society will be providing pamphlets for a “walking tour” of downtown Fairfield and will be displaying large photographs of Fairfield’s past in many stores. The city will begin digging for the time capsules around 1 p.m. with the items to be revealed to the public around 2 p.m. The items will then be displayed at the Hanna House Museum June 28th through October 25th during regular museum hours.
The Fairfield City Council meets Tuesday night starting at 6 p.m. Items on the agenda include a garbage rate increase and the sale of excess real estate. A committee report is also listed concerning a multi-use vehicle for the city fire department, and the awarding of bids for repairs to the Chamber of Commerce building.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is expected to travel to Troy, IL next week to visit Chloe Stirling, who had her homemade cupcake business shut down in January by the Madison County Health Department, saying she was out of compliance with health regulations for food. Lawmakers have since passed a bill that overrides the local rules and sets standards for selling baked goods made at home. Governor Quinn is expected to sign the bill at Stirling’s home on Tuesday.
Fifteen people, including two from south-central Illinois, are facing federal charges for allegedly defrauding the Medicaid home services program in Illinois by filling out bogus time sheets. The charges were announced Thursday in Springfield. Among those charged are 46-year-old Jody R. Wooters of Centralia, IL and 31-year-old Margaret Teriet of Mt. Vernon, IL. The home services program allows people with disabilities to hire assistants to perform household tasks and help with personal care, and submit time sheets twice a month for payments.
Armadillo sightings have been confirmed in southern Illinois. A report says the mammal has been slowly expanding its range northward, with confirmed sightings in southern Illinois and southern Indiana as recently as last year. Wildlife experts said most of the sightings have been in the form of roadkill. The report said the armadillos have been making steady progress northward from Central America to Mexico, Texas and the southeastern United States since the late 1800s.
Two area residents were seriously injured Thursday afternoon in a single-vehicle rollover accident in rural Edwards County. The injured have been identified as Kenneth Bryant, 40 of Albion and Ashley Roosevelt, 30 of Grayville. The accident happened on the West Village blacktop near the westbound curves. Both victims were airlifted from the scene to an Evansville hospital.
Ill. Rt. 1 was shut down for a time Thursday afternoon when a large truck being towed by a wrecker separated and overturned. The crash happened on Rt. 1 north of White County Road 2400 N. The driver of the wrecker, Gerald W. Foster, 60 of Noble was not hurt. The vehicle he was towing, a 1984 International truck owned by Westar Energy of Mt. Carmel was heavily damaged. Rt. 1 was also damaged. Ill. Dept. of Transportation workers were called to make repairs.
U.S. Congressman Bill Enyart visited the V.A. Medical Center in Marion Thursday. Enyart was investigating reports that veterans have had to wait 90 days or longer to get an appointment. The Marion facility has more than 1,400 full time employees. Enyart says the facility needs at least 100 more medical professionals.
Fifteen Illinois residents face federal charges for allegedly defrauding the Medicaid home services program in Illinois by filling out bogus time sheets. Locally, Margaret Teriet of Mt. Vernon and Jody Wooters of Centralia were indicted by the feds.
Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that requires teaching CPR and other safety skills to all Illinois High School students. The law also requires students to get trained on automated external defibrillators – or AED’s. The governor says it is a common sense law that will help students in case of an emergency.
Forecast severe weather missed the Wayne County region Wednesday evening. Most of Southern Illinois was placed under a tornado watch until 8 o’clock last night. Gallatin and Saline Counties received heavy rains and some wind damage.
Minor flooding is forecast along the Wabash River at Mt. Carmel. The stage this morning was 10.25. The river is forecast to crest at 19.4 feet Sunday – slightly above the 19 ft. flood stage.
Illinois members of Congress are increasing their scrutiny of veteran’s hospitals in the state. Officials say they have found instances of 90 day waits at the VA hospitals in Marion and St. Louis.
The Wilson County, Tennessee trial of suspected serial killer Bruce D. Mendenhall of Albion has been delayed again. Mendenhall is scheduled to be back in court on August 18. He is awaiting trial on charges he murdered 48-year-old Symantha D. Winters of Lebanon, TN.
Two area bridges are slated for replacement as part of a $17 million state highway project. A bridge over Deer Creek southeast of Cisne will be replaced. And, a bridge five miles southeast of Burnt Prairie over Limekiln Creek will also be replaced.
The Fairfield City Band will be in concert tonight on the lawn of the Wayne County Courthouse. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. The band will be under the direction of David Kosmatka.