Headlines for Sunday, November 20th

The Fairfield Retail Merchants Holiday Open House wraps up today.  Several participating sponsors will have deals for the public.  Area parents are invited to bring their kids to the Chamber Office between 1 and 3 p.m. today.  Kids can also write letters to Santa, receive a free gift, and register for a gift card bouquet from local retail merchants.

The first half of the firearm deer hunting season in Illinois wraps up today.  Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials continue to stress the importance of safety when out hunting for deer, and wearing blaze orange when out hunting, and handle firearms with care.  Hunters needing to report their harvest can call 1-866-IL-CHECK or go online on the IDNR website.  The second weekend for firearm deer hunting is set for December 1st through 4th.

Reports out of Marion County say an autopsy is scheduled Monday to determine the cause of death of a 59-year-old Centralia, IL man.  Reports said Martin Metzger was found at the foot of his deer stand in a wooded area east of Centralia, IL Friday morning and pronounced dead at 10:50 a.m.  Foul play is not suspected.  The Marion County Coroner said the autopsy would be conducted to determine if Metzger died from falling out of the deer stand or if he suffered a medical condition.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding Illinois drivers that the extension of expiration dates for drivers licenses, ID cards and learner’s permits is set to expire December 1st.  White is also reminding the public that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the federal REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.  Residents can conduct business online at   ilsos.gov  and renew driver’s licenses and ID cards, obtain a duplicate driver’s license or ID card, order a driver record and purchase license plate stickers.

A Salem woman was sentenced to 23 years in prison Friday after holding up her manager at the Wendy’s restaurant in Salem, IL.  Published reports say Christina Lewis was sentenced after calling in sick in October 2021, and after pleading guilty to a charge of armed robbery.  The Wendy’s manager took the stand in Marion County Court, and said she no longer felt safe because of Lewis’ actions.  Salem police said video footage at the restaurant showed Lewis entering and staying in a back room waiting for a chance to walk up behind the manager and put a gun to her neck, and later forcing the manager to empty s safe.  Lewis took the stand in her defense, saying she needed the money, and that her only intent was to obtain a loan, and said she regretted not handling the situation better.

Area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 5.28 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 4.41 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 3.4 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 4.98 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 2.82 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  The latest forecast indicates small chances for rain Thanksgiving afternoon and Friday.