Headlines for Wednesday, January 2nd

As 2019 begins, the Fairfield Police Department is encouraging the public to report any incident in which they are a victim. The Department says a report may lead to an investigation that could help close other cases. Reports may be made to the city Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, or the Wayne County Crime Stoppers.

The Fairfield Police Department has postponed the monthly test of the Storm Warning Sirens in both Fairfield and Wayne City to Tuesday morning at 10. Next month, the test will return to the first Tuesday of the month. The Department is also investigating vandalism at the Fairfield Pool, and anyone with information should contact Fairfield Police.

More information has been released regarding yesterday’s crash near mile post 107 on Interstate 64. Police say 26-year-old Mick E. Nolan ran off the roadway after a semi came to a sudden stop in front of him. No major injuries were reported in the accident. Nolan’s vehicle sustained over $1,500 damage, and a tow truck was called to the scene.

69-year-old Stephen K. McCormick was arrested Monday night on a charge of driving under the influence. Police found McCormick’s vehicle in a ditch, and he was taken to Fairfield Memorial Hospital. After treatment, he blew a .173 in a breath test. He was transported to the Wayne County Jail and held, pending the posting of bond.

A new law will allow Illinois courts to remove a person’s guns, if that person is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. Petitioners must go before a judge and prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that a person poses a significant danger by having a firearm. If the judge files the order, a person would have to step away from guns for up to six months.

The unemployment rate in Illinois dropped slightly from 4.2 to 4.1 percent in November, but most area counties saw an increase in their numbers. Hamilton, Clay, and Wabash counties each increased by .4 percent, and Edwards County rose .1 percent. Wayne and Richland counties were the only two to experience a decrease, each going down .1 percent.

The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network recently recognized Fairfield Memorial Hospital for its quality care outcomes and top performance. The ICAHN is a network of 55 small rural Illinois hospitals dedicated to strengthening the operations of its members through collaboration. It is recognized nationally for its work with rural healthcare.

Frontier Community College is offering several stained glass classes for the upcoming spring semester. A day class will be offered on Thursdays from noon to 3:30, and students will have evening class options for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 6 to 9:30. Phyllis Gill will be the instructor. To register for the stained glass class, call FCC at 842-3711.

Governor-elect JB Pritzker takes office in less than a month, and some lawmakers are anticipating a big change coming soon after his inauguration- the legalization of marijuana. Some have reservations about the proposal however, saying it could increase DUI arrests. In Colorado, traffic accidents are up since the passage of their marijuana legislation.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale is reportedly going to spend more than $2 million to purchase five new Cessna 172 planes to teach its students to fly. The plans will replace eight decades-old aircraft the university currently uses. School officials say that student flight fees will pay for the new aircraft.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 21.97 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 9.58 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 20.11 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.).