Headlines for Sunday, February 3rd

There were some intense moments in downtown Fairfield last night.  A merchant noticed water coming from the old firehouse immediately adjacent to City Hall and notified authorities.  The cause was determined to be a split water pipe within the abandoned facility.  The water was several inches deep in the firehouse and infiltrated into the City Hall Council Chambers.  Mayor Brent Maguire and several city employees were able to help clean up the mess.  The Mayor did not believe there was any damage done to City Hall.  The incident took place around 7 o’clock last night.  The firehouse is due to be razed in the near future.

The New Hope Panthers advanced Saturday in the SIJHSAA Class S state tournament at Rend Lake College.  The Panthers defeated Raccoon 45 to 29.  New Hope will play Unity Christian-Energy in the Elite 8 Monday afternoon at 4:45.  The game will be broadcast on WFIW FM 104.9  The Panthers were able to come back in the second half after trailing by a point at halftime.

The National Weather Service in Paducah, KY says heavy rain is a possibility in the region later this week.  Rain is expected to move into the area beginning late tonight and Monday, and could become heavy by mid-week.  Forecasters are currently talking about rain amounts of two to four inches as a possibility.  The rain would likely cause area rivers to rise.   The Little Wabash River east of Fairfield as of this morning was at 23.2 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a Buckner, IL man missing since last month.  Published reports indicate the body of 42-year-old Allen Woolard was found less than 250 yards from where he was last seen on January 23rd.  A search team and members of Woolard’s family walked the area of Mine Road in Franklin County during a search on Saturday.  His body was found about an hour later.  Franklin County Coroner Marty Lefler said an autopsy is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

State Senator Jason Plummer of Edwardsville, IL is speaking out against a pair of proposed gun control bills.  One would ban the sale or unregistered possession of dozens of semi-automatic firearms, or “assault weapons”.  Another bill would require citizens to turn over their social media accounts to state agencies if they want to apply for a FOID card.  The Illinois State Rifle Association says it’s gearing up to challenge all measures impacting gun owners, if they were to pass.