Headlines for Thursday, December 6th

28-year-old Darius L. Johnson was arrested by Fairfield polices yesterday evening on a charge of domestic battery. Police reportedly arrived at a residence to find a woman covered in blood, and Johnson is accused of punching her face at least five times after an argument. He was also arrested on a Cook County warrant. Johnson was transported to the Wayne County Jail and held, pending the posting of bond.

Several Wayne City students have been honored with various accolades in recent days. Chasidy Greenwalt was selected as the winner of the DAR Good Citizen Award, and she was also chosen as an SIUC Hometown Hero along with Maggie Dickey. Jayla Pendleton received two awards, and 11 students were named Salute to Illinois Scholars honorees.

On November 13th, various Wayne County law enforcement agencies conducted probation compliance checks. In the course of their searches, Jason R. McKitrick was arrested for violation of probation, Ashley N. Jolly for violation of probation and one new charge, and Tara L. Horath and Jeffery W. Wilkins for multiple charges.

51-year-old Geff resident Julie F. Friend pleaded guilty to a count of possession of less than five grams of meth in Wayne County Circuit Court on Tuesday. Friend was sentenced to 24 months special section probation, 30 hours of public service work, and time served. She was also ordered to pay fines and court costs, and other counts against her were dismissed per her plea agreement.

The first ever FCHS Christmas Craft and Vendor Show is scheduled for Saturday. The Music Boosters are sponsoring the event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Over 20 local and regional vendors have registered for the show, Santa and his elf will be present, and the FCHS Music Department will perform throughout the show. For more information, call Sherry Barnfield at 599-6948.

The Edwards County Council on Aging has announced their intention to take over operation of the Wayne County Senior Citizen’s Center. Services such as meals for the home-bound, congregant dining, assistance with transportation, and assistance with Medicare will continue. The transfer of operations will be effective December 22nd, pending state approval. No concrete information is available on where the Center will be located, but talks have occurred with the Elks Lodge in Fairfield. For more information, call 445-2017.

A plan for the Lamard Township Fire Protection District to dissolve and join the Fairfield Rural Fire Protection District is official after last month’s general election, but the Districts say the official merger likely won’t take effect this year due to several behind-the-scenes legal matters that still need to be addressed, such as tax levies and insurance information. The Districts hope to have everything ready to go by January 1st.

Friends and family of Megan Nichols are raising money to have a park shelter built in her memory at the Love of Mike Park on Southwest Seventh Street. An account for the project, called the Megan Nichols Memorial Fund, has been set up at FNB to accept donations. Nichols’ mother Kathy Jo Hutchcraft says she wants a memorial for families to gather and remember the joy Megan brought to the community.

The Frontier Food Drive ended last month, and Hayden McDuffee, Coordinator of the Adult Volunteer Literacy Program, said the event was a success, with over 10,000 donations received across IECC schools. McDuffee is also recruiting tutors for the Program and asks anyone interested in a tutoring position to contact him at the college to start the training process.

Illinois State Police have announced the results of a Special Traffic Enforcement Patrol conducted on November 21st and an Occupant Restraint Patrol held last month in Wayne County. Troopers issued 64 total citations in the two patrols- 50 were for speeding, and 11 were for safety belt violations. Both projects were funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The 2018 firearm deer hunting season in Illinois is over, and Johnston City resident Keith Szablewski appears to have nabbed a 51-point buck on private property in Williamson County during the first firearm weekend in November. The points will officially be scored by a panel of judges in July at the Deer and Turkey Classic Trade Show in Peoria. The current published point record is 47.

Illinois State Representative La Shawn Ford wants to bar law enforcement agencies from releasing photos of people who have been arrested for low-level crimes until after a conviction. Felonies and Class A misdemeanors, such as drunk driving and assault, would not be affected by the proposed legislature.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 20.07 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.91 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 9.54 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.).