Headlines for Thursday, September 17, 2015

Officials in Piatt County are moving forward with a petition to have Fairfield native Jerad Gale declared a Sexually Dangerous Person. Earlier this week, a judge ruled that Gale must undergo a psychiatric evaluation as part of the process to have him declared sexually dangerous. Gale, a suspended Champaign City Police officer, faces a charge of criminal sexual assault with force in Piatt County. He also faces multiple sex charges in neighboring Champaign County.

33-year-old Ronald W. Coyne of Clarksville, TN escaped injury Wednesday afternoon when he was forced to land his airplane in a farm field near Sparta. Coyne’s Cessna 210 experienced engine problems, forcing him to make an emergency landing about 8 miles southeast of the Sparta airport.

The man that police say shot and killed a Kentucky State Trooper earlier this week has a criminal history in Southern Illinois. Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks was arrested last Christmas Day in Franklin County for being in possession of guns and drugs. He was serving 30 months of probation out of Franklin County when allegedly shot and killed Kentucky State Trooper Cameron Ponder. Police later shot and killed Shanks when he refused to surrender.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has announced more than $20 million in federal funding for community health centers across Illinois. Christopher Rural Health will receive $354,402. The firm operates a clinic in Fairfield.

The IECC Board of Trustees has approved selling a 1.6 acre lot to the Frontier Community College Foundation. The foundation is expected to sell the lot to Keiffer Development of Mt. Carmel for the construction of a 40 bed housing unit. The project is expected to cost $1.1 million.

The Fairfield Fall Fun Fest Prince and Princess Contest is tonight in the entertainment tent. The event starts at 6:30. The Mardi Gras Band will perform from 7 – 8:30 on the main stage.