Headlines for Saturday, December 7th

The Fairfield Kiwanis Club Christmas Parade and Lighting of the Christmas Tree on the Wayne County Courthouse Lawn is set for today, starting at 4:30 p.m.  Phyllis Hilliard Wilks is the parade grand marshal.  The parade is expected to reach the southeast corner of the courthouse square as the lighting ceremony is wrapping up.  For those unable to attend the parade, it will be broadcast on WFIW FM 104.9 and a video stream will also be available at   wfiwradio.com  There will be pre-judging of the parade during lineup on North First Street starting at 3:30 p.m.

70-year-old Clifford S. Champion of Carmi was arrested Thursday by White County authorities on a possession of child pornography charge.  According to police reports, the White County Sheriff’s Department, Carmi Police Department, and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a search warrant at Champions’ home after a lengthy investigation into child pornography possession.  Champion was taken into custody and taken to the White County Jail, where bond was set at $10,000.

The Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigation arrested 29-year-old James T. Dierkes of Greenville, IL Friday on one count each of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse and Criminal Sexual Assault.  State police say a request for assistance was received this past Tuesday by the Vandalia City Police department regarding allegations of criminal sexual assault made against Dierkes, who has been with the Illinois State Police since June of 2018.  The reported incidents occurred in 2016 during Dierkes’s employment at the Vandalia Community High School prior to joining the state police.  He is being held at the Fayette County Jail under $1 million bond.

The second and final firearm deer season in Illinois is underway and runs through Sunday.  The first half of the season’s deer numbers were down statewide, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  They indicated several factors could be the reason for the lower numbers.  Randolph County’s 1553 deer taken were a state high during the first firearm season, but that total is down by nearly 100 from a year ago.

Area river stages this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 25.55 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 18.95 feet, just above the 18-foot flood stage.  At Carmi the stage is 28.57 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City stands at 5.99 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 11.33 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.