Headlines for Friday June 17th

WFIW News Director Jeff Vaughan has announced he will leave the radio station on July 1st. Vaughan began working in the news department in August 2018 under the late Mike Dreith, former Fairfield Mayor and former Station Manager. Vaughan is on assignment for the next several days but will return on the 28th for the Illinois primary election.

The region experienced another earthquake Thursday morning . The magnitude 2.5 tremor was recorded four miles east-southeast of Parkersburg.  Officials recorded the quake at 7:14 Thursday morning. Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey reported the tremor originated at a depth of approximately 20 kilometers. The last major earthquake to rattle Southern Illinois was a magnitude 5.2 earthquake on April 18, 2008 and was centered near West Salem.

Hamilton Memorial Hospital District has been cleared to accept emergency room patients. All emergency patients will continue to enter through the front of the hospital, proceed to the ED waiting room, and pick up the phone on the wall alerting the ED Nurses of their arrival. The emergency department has been moved to same-day surgery until further notice.

A 50-year-old Salem woman was arrested on multiple drug charges Wednesday night after the Marion County canine Koda alerted on the U-Haul truck she was a passenger in. Tonia Jarnigan was taken to the Marion County Jail for possession of methamphetamine, three counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Deputies say less than five grams of methamphetamine and three different types of narcotic pills were found in Jarnigan’s purse while some drug paraphernalia was found in a toolbox located near Jarnigan. The driver 54-year-old David Jarnagin was arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license and improper lane usage. The traffic stop occurred at about 7:30 Wednesday night on Route 37 north of Salem.

A 22-year-old Salem man has been sentenced to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after he pleaded guilty earlier this month in Jefferson County Court to a charge of armed violence. Mt. Vernon police arrested Xander Calip in March during an investigation into vehicle burglaries in the area. Police had received a report that a loaded handgun had been stolen from an unlocked vehicle in the parked in the 800 block of Apricot. As one officer took the offense information additional officers responded to the area to search for suspects or additional offenses. While officers were checking the area the police department received a report of a person burglarizing a vehicle in the 600 block of Pear. Officers arrived on scene within a minute and located Calip burglarizing the reporting person’s vehicle. Upon taking Calip into custody, the officers found he was armed with the loaded, stolen handgun taken during the previous vehicle burglary. He was ultimately charged in Jefferson County Court with Class X felony armed violence and Class 2 felony possession of a firearm by a felon. The Class 2 charge was dismissed per the plea agreement. Calip was given credit for 81 days served in the Jefferson County Jail.

The Eldorado Police Department is requesting assistance in locating James Coomes, a 92 year old white male, who is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 145 lbs. James has gray hair and wears eyeglasses. He was last seen at his residence in Eldorado at 5:30 pm on June 14th. He is driving a white Lexus RX350 with Illinois license plates 832095. Mr. Coomes has a condition that places him in danger. Any person with information regarding the whereabouts of James Coomes should contact the Eldorado Police Department at 273-2141 or contact 911.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a report of road rage that ended with a 41-year-old Salem man being hit twice over the head with a baseball bat. Deputies say the incident that triggered the road rage occurred when one vehicle pulled in front of the other on Selmaville Road at the Ruble Road intersection southwest of Salem. The suspect pickup truck turned around and followed the alleged victim back to his home east of Centralia.  The suspect parked his car on the road and walked up the driveway where he struck the alleged victim twice over the head with a bat. The suspect left the scene before the sheriff’s department was called and has not been located.  The suspect reportedly was driving a white four-door Ford long bed truck with no direction of travel.  The suspect was described as having a long-tied goatee, short hair, and no shirt. Emergency Medical Services was called to the scene, but the victim declined hospital treatment.  Deputies encouraged him to go to the hospital for stitches to close a head wound.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 5,334 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease in Illinois, including 20 additional deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 3,376,596 cases, including 33,979 deaths, in Illinois.  As of Wednesday night, 1,188 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 129 patients were in the ICU and 39 patients were on ventilators. A total of 22,531,999 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Wednesday night, 4,574,752 of those were booster doses.  The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 10,239 doses.  Wednesday 10,649 doses were reportedly administered in Illinois.

The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday afternoon issued its ruling upholding the constitutionality of the state’s FOID Card law.  The case hinged on a White County case and a controversial June 15, 2020 ruling by White County Circuit Judge T. Scott Webb that elements of the state’s FOID Card law are unconstitutional.  The Illinois Supreme Court disagreed with Judge Webb and remanded the case for reversal.  Instead, Judge Webb wrote in an April 26, 2021 ruling that it was “in the interest of justice” that the Supreme Court’s order be ignored. The case involved the arrest of Vivian Claudine Brown of White County and led to challenge of the constitutionality of the state’s FOID Card statute.  When police responded to a call that Brown was shooting a gun inside her home, they found a rifle in Brown’s bedroom.  There was no evidence that the gun had been fired in the house.  Brown was charged with possessing a firearm without a Firearm Owners Identification or FOID card.  Brown asserted that she kept the rifle for self-defense; that she was over 21; and that, although she did not possess a FOID card, she was a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record, history of mental illness, or other disqualifying condition and would have been eligible for a FOID card.  She asserted that requiring her to go through the FOID process unconstitutionally infringed upon her fundamental right of self-defense in this “most private of areas.” The White County circuit court dismissed the charges, finding that, as applied to Brown, requiring a FOID card was unconstitutional.  The Illinois Supreme Court vacated, finding that the circuit court unnecessarily reached the constitutional challenge.  The court held that the FOID Card Act did not apply to the act of possessing a firearm in the home as a matter of statutory interpretation and, therefore, could not apply to Brown.  This was an alternative, non-constitutional basis for dismissal.  In addition, there were unresolved factual issues concerning Brown’s possession of the gun and eligibility for a FOID card, which were the basis of her challenge. In Thursday’s ruling, the State Supreme Court again ordered Judge Webb to vacate his ruling as previously ordered.  The ruling was issued by Illinois State Supreme Court Chief Judge Anne Burke and concurred by justices Theis, Neville and Carter. Justices Overstreet, Garman and Michael Burke dissented.

River stages as of this morning: the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 5.93 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.03 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.92 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.51 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.88 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 8.19 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $110.59, down $1.41 from yesterday. The July crude oil price is $117.39, down $1.65 from yesterday morning.