Headlines for Tuesday, September 13th

The Fairfield City Council will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in City Hall, with a Public Hearing to rezone properties to be held prior to the regular meeting at 5:50 p.m. Items in Routine Business include an ordinance to rezone hospital owned property from an R-2 Zone to a P Zone, an ordinance to rezone city owned property from an R-3 Zone to P Zone, a street closing request for FCHS Homecoming, and a resolution for an appointment to the Police Pension Fund. Other items on the agenda are an ordinance for the transfer of property between the Park District & the City, TIF Redevelopment Agreement for the Water Tower Project, TIF Redevelopment Agreement with Ginger Ale’s, and an ordinance authorizing modification of the city’s agreement with Sunrise Sanitation.


Crimestoppers is offering a reward for the person or persons who stole a Toro Dingo from the Lyndal Eshbach property. Crimestoppers is also offering a reward for the person or persons who entered a locked storage building belonging to Nicole Simpson and stole a Blackstone grill, baskets, and a police vest. And Lisa Ridgley reports someone entered her deceased parents’ residence in Cisne and stole a Cast Iron Safe, poker child, a lunchbox and a flag. If you have information on these, or any other crimes, call or text crimestoppers at 842-9777.


Two people were formally charged in Wayne County Court on Monday in connection to a joint operation with Wayne City Police that we reported on last week. 43-year-old Paxton D. Bruce of Wayne City was formally charged with Class X Felony delivery of between 15 and 100 grams of methamphetamine, and Class 3 felonies for possession of less than 5 grams of Methamphetamine and criminal fortification of a residence or building. 35-year-old Heather N. Crow of Evansville was charged with two counts Class X felony delivery of between 15 and 100 grams of methamphetamine and Class 1 felony possession of between 15 and 100 grams of methamphetamine. Per our initial report, on 9/7 at approximately 9:30 p.m., Deputies with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Wayne City Police Department arrested Bruce and Crow in a large-scale methamphetamine distribution case. These arrests were the culmination of an extensive investigation by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. After the arrests of the suspects, deputies executed a search warrant at a rural Keenes residence where Bruce was also found to be in possession of a loaded altered “sawed Off” shotgun and suspected methamphetamine.


Wayne County Sheriffs responded to a two-vehicle collision on 9/12 at 7:50 a.m. William Shelton was backing out of his driveway in a 2004 Dodge Dakota. Lisa Friske was stationary in a 2021 Bluebird Bus. Shelton collided with Friske causing damage to both units. Shelton was cited for Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid and Accident. He was given a promise to comply.


Eight people were recently booked into the Wayne County Jail.

On 9/4 Wayne County Sheriffs booked Rachel M Hutchinson on a Failure to Appear warrant on a charge of Theft.

On 9/5 Wayne County booked Michael D. Dye on a Wayne County Failure to Appear warrant on one charge of Driving with Suspended or Revoked License, one charge of Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, and one charge of Failure to Wear a Properly Adjusted and Fastened Safety Belt.

On 9/6 Nelson L Greenman was booked by Wayne County on a Wayne County Petition to Revoke warrant on a Felony charge of Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts or Accessories. Also on 9/6 ISP booked Michael A Grimes on a charge of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs.

On 9/7 Wayne County Sheriffs booked Paxton D Bruce on charges of Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, Unlawful Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine 15-100 Grams, Armed Violence, Criminal Fortification of a Residence or Building, and an IDOC Warrant. And Heather N Crow on charges of Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, Unlawful Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine 15-100 Grams, Armed Violence, and Criminal Fortification of a Residence or Building.

On 9/8 Fairfield Police booked Wesley A. Cone on a charge of Possession of Methamphetamine.

On 9/10 Kyle Butcher was booked by ISP on a charge of Aggravated Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs.


As a reminder, the city is currently accepting applications for Police Officers. The next test dates are September 23rd and 24th. For more information call 842-2294.


Illinois State Police District 19 Interim Commander, Lieutenant Kerry Sutton, has announced the activity and enforcement figures for the month of August. Enforcement activity consisted of 368 citations and 1,295 written warnings, including 3 DUIs, 156 speeding citations, 54 occupant restraint citations, 15 distracted driving citations, 15 criminal arrests, and 336 written warnings for speeding. Troopers also conducted 155 Motor Carrier Safety Inspections and investigated 28 traffic crashes. There were no fatal traffic crashes investigated by District 19 during August. Moreover, District 19 issued 228 citations and 416 written warnings for “Fatal Four” violations. These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include DUI, Speeding, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving. District 19 includes Wabash, Edwards, Wayne, White, Hamilton, Saline, and Gallatin Counties.


State Representative Adam Niemerg and Gubernatorial Candidate State Senator Darren Bailey will be co-hosting satellite office hours at three different area locations today. The two will start their day in Lawrenceville at City Hall from 8 – 10 a.m., then they will be in Richland County at the Jail from 10:15 a.m. to noon. The pair will finish their day out at Fairfield City Hall from 2 – 3:30 p.m. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call either district office at 665-4109 or 217-813-6036.


Fairfield Public School district #112 along with Jasper, New Hope, and Geff School Districts are conducting Child Find/Preschool Screenings for 3 to 5-year-old children not yet enrolled in public schools and who will not be kindergarten eligible for the 2022-2023 school year. The screening checks each child’s progress in hearing, vision, speech, language, and coordination skills. This will give parents a better idea of how their child is progressing at this very young age before school begins. The screening program is free, and parents will receive immediate feedback on how their child is developing. Head Start and Family Enrichment personnel may also be present to explain their program and services. The preschool screenings will be held at North Side School tomorrow, as well as Thursday, September 15th, and Friday September 16th. The screening procedure takes about 45 minutes and appointments must be made to avoid a long wait period. To make an appointment, or for more information, call 842-6501. Additionally, North Wayne will hold screenings at Johnsonville on September 27th from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Wayne City will hold screenings September 29th & 30th from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Wayne City Baptist Church.


Fairfield Fall Fun Fest kicks off tomorrow with the Roasted Chestnuts, sponsored by the Wayne County Press, performing on the Main Stage from 6 until 7 p.m. After the concert, it will be Church Night Gospel Music organized by Lowell Beckel & Kristen Musgrave; sponsored by Johnson & Vaughn Funeral Home. Thursday will be the FNB 5K Run/Walk, Fall Fun Fest Prince & Princess Contest, and Miss Fall Fun Fest. Fairfield Police are reminding the public that Main Street (IL HWY 15) will be closed through Sunday morning (9/18).  The closed portion of Main Street is from First Street, east to NE 4th Street, including the 100 blocks of NE/SE 2nd Streets and NE/SE 3rd Streets (FNB drive thru will be accessible from SE 3rd Street during daytime). The Illinois Department of Transportation has designated the detour route to be south on SE 4th Street, west on Center Street, then returning to Main Street by traveling north on South First Street. There will be no on street parking on any part of the detour route. The public is asked to please be aware of increased pedestrian traffic in these areas.


Fairfield Memorial Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions will hold the next Coffee Club from 9:30am – 10:30am on Thursday, September 15th. The Coffee Club will meet in the Fairfield Memorial Hospital Cafe and is open to anyone interested in attending. This is a great opportunity to get together with other people in the community in a social atmosphere. You do not have to be a participant in the Senior Life Solutions program to attend. Free blood pressure checks and refreshments will also be offered at the Coffee Club. We look forward to seeing you there! For more information about this Club or to learn more about Senior Life Solutions, call 847-8298.


Well known Tri State Forensic Pathologist Dr. John Heidingsfelder died early Monday as the result of a heart attack. Heidingsfelder came to the Tri State in 1989 by request of a group of Coroners led by then Coroner Carl McVeigh from White County and Coroner Mark Curtis from Edwards County, moving himself and his family from Louisiana to Evansville. Heidingsfelder was the lone pathologist for most of Southern Illinois and Indiana for the better part of 20 years and was involved in the investigation of several famous Southern Illinois and Indiana homicide cases, including the identification of those killed in the Army National Guard C-130 plane crash that slammed into the Drury Inn and Jo Jo’s Restaurant in Evansville that occurred on February 6, 1992. The C-130 had taken off from a National Guard base near Louisville, Ky around 9 a.m. for training in touch and go maneuvers and crashed in Evansville around 50 minutes later. Dr. John Heidingsfelder graduated from Louisiana State University/School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1973. He was a practicing Forensic Pathologist for over 49 years.


According to the latest Illinois Crop Report, 70% of corn acres have reached the dent stage and 16% are mature, compared to 36%. 1% has been harvested. Corn is rated at 9% very poor to poor, 19% fair, with 72% of the Illinois corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition. According to Illinois State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener, 91% of soybean acres were setting pods compared to the 5-year average of 97%. 15% of soybean acres were dropping leaves compared to 20% normally. Soybeans conditions improved slightly coming in at 10% very poor to poor, 23% fair, and 67% good to excellent. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is now 79% complete and average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 4% very short, 24% short, 70% adequate and 2% surplus.


River stages as of this morning: the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 5.86 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 5.29 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.85 feet. The Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 4.07 feet, and the Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 3.59 feet.


Today’s Crude Oil price $80.78 up $0.99 from yesterday. The October Crude Oil price $87.77 up $2.43 from yesterday morning.