Headlines for Thursday, November 29th

Wayne County students Joey Allison, Kaley Konopasek, Katie McCleary, Breah Morlan, Jessica Simms, Dawson Barnard, Hanah Cooper, and Dalton Smith were recognized as 2019-2020 State Scholars this past week. Edwards County students Erica Michels, Emily Nead, and Micah Rowe were also named to the list. The students’ respective high schools will be provided with certificates of achievements to distribute at their discretion.

35-year-old Wayne City resident Desiree E. Pursley was arrested by Fairfield Police early this morning on a Wayne County warrant for escape from a penal institution. Officers also observed items consistent with the use of narcotics where Pursley was located, and she was also charged with possession of methamphetamine. She was lodged in the Wayne County Jail without bond.

County songwriters Darryl Worley, David Lee Murphy, and Ray Scott will perform at Johnny and June’s in Flora on Saturday evening. Doors will open at 6, and the live show will begin at 6:30. A meal will be available for purchase, and a variety of autographed guitars and other memorabilia will be auctioned. Proceeds from the event will go to the Pediatric Intensive Care and Neurology units at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

The Wabash Valley Service Company at Grayville will host a Christmas Open House tomorrow from 4 to 6 p.m. Santa Claus will be the guest of honor, and Wabash Valley also has several special surprises planned for the evening. No tickets or reservations are needed, and the event is open to the public.

The Illinois General Assembly will end its fall session today as Democrats anticipate complete control of the state Capitol in January. The bulk of the session’s work is over, as House action has already overridden multiple vetoes by outgoing Governor Bruce Rauner. The Assembly will briefly reconvene in January before J.B. Pritzker is inaugurated with a new legislature.

With the holiday shopping season underway, Fairfield Police Chief Keith Colclasure has some tips for area residents to keep their gifts safe. First and foremost, he says, homes and cars should be locked, and people may want to consider having online orders shipped to their workplace instead of an empty home. Also, he says that warmer weather traditionally brings more theft, as people have more opportunities to steal when out walking.

Johnson & Vaughn Funeral Home quietly celebrated its 100th anniversary in February of this year. The current building was purchased as a funeral home in 1930, Bob Johnson purchased it in 1977, and Jared Vaughn purchased it from him in 2008 to give its current name. Vaughn says there is no single secret to the success of the funeral home. Instead, he says he simply tailors his efforts to suit whatever a family may need.

Frontier Community College is offering a four-day Basic Drawing Skills course in Mason Hall from December 11th through the 14th. David Harl will be the instructor, and the class will meet from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The cost of the class is $30, and students should bring a sketchbook and pencils. To register for Basic Drawing Skills, call FCC at 842-3711 and reference course number 32594.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital is hosting a special event for children with sensory issues or Autism to have a special time to visit with Santa on Saturday, December 15th. Children will be able to visit Santa, as well as have a photo taken for free, at the event, with will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule a 20 minute session, contact FMH’s Administrative Assistant, Mary Knight, at 842-8243.

Illinois State Police District 19 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt, has announced the ISP will conduct a Roadside Safety Check in Hamilton County during December. The detail is designed to keep roads safe by taking DUI offenders off the roads, and officers will be on the lookout for those operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, transporting open alcoholic beverages, and driving under the influence.

Hunting season continues in Illinois, and Department of Natural Resources officials want those walking into the woods, or climbing into tree stands, to be safe. Ed Cross, with the DNR, says safely getting into a tree stand starts with wearing a harness; last year, 10 hunters in Illinois reported falling from tree stands.

American farmers are struggling to figure out what to do with a record soybean crop after their traditionally dominant export market, China, is largely closed. Farmers produced a record harvest of 4.6 billion bushels this year, but exports to China are down 94 percent from a year ago in response to President Trump’s trade tariffs. The President has created a program to compensate for the loss in trade, but, even with payments from the fund, farmers will still likely fall short of breaking even.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 12.01 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.85 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 11.17 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.).