Headlines for Friday, November 18th

Murbarger Seeking New Trial   

Attorneys for Brodey Murbarger have filed a motion asking for a new trial for their client and on Wednesday the court scheduled a January 13, 2023, hearing on the motion.  

A jury found Murbarger guilty of first-degree murder, after a week-long trial last month, in the case charging him with his high school girlfriend’s death.  

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office assisted with the prosecution of the case and says Murbarger and Nichols were dating and ran away together in the summer of 2014. However, when Murbarger returned home, Nichols did not.  

In 2017, investigators found traces of Nichols’ blood in the trunk of Murbarger’s vehicle. Later that year, her body was found buried in a shallow grave in rural Wayne County.  

Her cause of death was determined to be probable asphyxiation by homicidal violence.  

Murbarger was 18, and Nichols was 15 at the time of her disappearance. Murbarger was arrested in 2020.  



FCHS Board of Education Special Meeting  

The FCHS Board of Education met in special session yesterday afternoon with only 1 item on the agenda. The Board approved an application for an SC Maintenance Grant for FY23. The vote was unanimous.  



FCHS Board of Education Regular Meeting  

The FCHS Board of Education will hold their regular meeting on Monday, November 21 at 6:00 pm in the FCHS Study Hall.   

Items on the agenda include a Tax Levy Presentation for 2022, for taxes payable in 2023 (No vote until December); 2022 Annual Summative Designation; FCHS Dual Credit Report from IECC; a motion to approve property/casualty/liability insurance renewal; the weighted grading system; the resignation of a paraprofessional; and approval to purchase Chromebooks for FY24. The board is also expected to enter into an Executive Session for the purposes of personnel.  



The Fairfield PSD #112 Regular Meeting 

The Fairfield PSD #112 will hold their regular meeting of the Board of Education Monday, November 21 at 6:00 pm in the Center Street School Board Room. 

Some of the items to be covered in the Superintendant’s Report include the Revenue to Expense Report, the Tentative Tax Levy, Immunization Report, the Fire Marshal and ROE Compliance Visit, the Illinois Report card, and Insurance Renewal. 

Action items on the agenda include action on the Tentative Tax Levy, and action on Insurance Renewal. 

The board will enter into a Closed Session to discuss information regarding appointment, employment, retirement or dismissal of an employee, as well as personnel and collective bargaining. Closed Session Action Items will include action on re-hiring long-term substitutes, and action on the memorandum of agreement. 



Arrest Made in Active Shooter Threat  

A 19-year-old Norris City man is being held without bond after he was arrested in connection with making active shooter threats earlier this week.  

According to the Harrisburg Police Department, they began conducting an investigation Monday night into the threat of an active shooter.  

Officers identified the suspect who allegedly made the threats as Hunter D. Gross. On November 15, 2022 Officers located and arrested Gross without incident.  

As part of the investigation, a search warrant was executed at a home in White County.  

Gross is currently being held the Saline County Detention Center, on a No Bond Warrant charging him with Making Terroristic Threats and Intimidation.  

The investigation is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time.  

The Saline County Sheriff’s Office, White County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police District 19 Investigations, Saline County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the ILEAS 9/11 Special Response Team assisted in the investigation.  



District 19 Patrol Reports  

Illinois State Police (ISP) District 19 Interim Commander, Lieutenant Kerry Sutton, has announced the results of a Distracted Driving Enforcement Program patrol held in Wayne County during November. This program provided extra patrol coverage for ISP officers to focus on saving lives and reducing serious crashes by enforcing distracted driving laws. District 19 wrote nine citations for Hand-held phone/device, one citation for texting while driving; for a total of 10 distracted driving citations. Overall, District 19 wrote a total of 23 citations and 14 written warnings. The extra enforcement patrols were made possible by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.  

Additionally, Interim Commander Sutton has released the results of a Nighttime Enforcement (NITE) patrol conducted in White and Hamilton Counties during November. This NITE patrol allowed the ISP to focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to impaired driving and occupant restraint violations, especially between the hours of 9:00 pm and 6:00 am. District 19 wrote one citation for Occupant Restraint Offenses, 12 citations for Registration Offenses, six Driver’s License Offenses, and tree Insurance Violations. In total District 19 issued 42 written warnings and issued nine total citations/arrests.  

Alcohol and drug impairment are factors in more than 30% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. Over half of all fatal crashes in Illinois occur at night. The NITE program allows officers to work even harder at removing dangerous impaired drivers from the road and making sure everyone is buckled up. This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”   



OCC Professor to Appear on History Channel  

Olney Central College Professor David Denton will appear in two upcoming episodes of History’s Greatest Mysteries on The History Channel.  

Hosted and narrated by Laurence Fishburne, the show delves into a wide range of historically compelling topics and the mysteries surrounding them.  Recent episodes featured the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping, the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and the Chicago Tylenol murders.  

On October 24th, Denton traveled to California where the show’s producers interviewed him for an episode exploring the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  While in the studio, they also asked him to read dialogue and provide historical context regarding the 1930 disappearance of New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Crater.   

Denton has spent 30 years researching Kennedy’s assassination.  He has interviewed several people associated with the case and has reviewed hundreds of documents relating to both Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald.  He has written numerous articles on the subject and in 2020 published a collection of his works, Essays on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.   

Denton also has hosted and participated in several conferences exploring the events surrounding Kennedy’s death.  This month he will be a presenter at the annual JFK assassination conference in Dallas, Texas.   

In his interview for History’s Greatest Mysteries, Denton shared insights and discoveries made during his extensive research.  

Among the theories Denton refutes is speculation that foreign governments actively participated in JFK’s killing.  

Denton sent the show’s producers two declassified documents which dispute Russian involvement in Kennedy’s death.   

During the taping, Denton also discussed Oswald’s involvement.  Research has led Denton and others to questions the Warren Commission’s findings that Oswald acted alone in Kennedy’s death.  

In his interview, Denton also shared research which connects Oswald to Clay Shaw and Jack Ruby, who was arrested for Oswald’s murder.  

The History Channel plans to air the JFK episode in January or February with the Judge Crater segment to follow in March.  



Chronic Wasting Disease  

With the Start of Shotgun deer hunting season, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding deer hunters about locations where deer can be tested for chronic wasting disease free of charge.  

Biologists track the distribution and intensity of Chronic Wasting Disease through testing of hunter-harvested deer.  Chronic Wasting Disease is not known to transmit to humans, but caution is advised.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend consuming CWD positive venison.  

Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal disease of the central nervous system in deer and elk.  Since 2002 when the first deer was diagnosed with Chronic Wasting Disease in Illinois, 150,970 wild deer have been sampled statewide, and 1,383 individual deer have been found to be infected.  The disease is predominantly found in the northern third of Illinois.  



SAFE-T Act  

Illinois state lawmakers left Springfield yesterday without taking up changes to the no-cash bail provision of the SAFE-T Act which begins statewide on January 1st, 2023. Leading up to last week’s election, Republicans and Democrats alike were talking about possible changes, however since the election, many lawmakers say the dynamics have changed, therefore no real changes to the legislation is needed. Lawmakers cancelled today’s session at the State Capitol and have adjourned for next week’s Thanksgiving break. The veto session will have its final three days the following week beginning November 29th.  



River Stages     

River stages as of this morning: the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 5.34 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.00 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.42 (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.43 feet. The Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.45 feet, and the Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 2.95 feet.     



Crude Oil     

Today’s Crude Oil Price is $74.64 down $3.95 from yesterday. The January Crude Oil Price is $81.66 down $2.82 from yesterday morning.