Headlines for Thursday, January 3rd

The annual filing numbers for Wayne County Circuit Court last year have been released. 2,477 total cases were filed in 2018, down 653 from 2017. Most of that decrease came in traffic citations, with 582 fewer filed. Misdemeanor cases also went down. Felony and juvenile abuse cases each jumped, and juvenile delinquent case filings remained the same.

Three Wayne County residents were arrested by county deputies yesterday. 22-year-old Matthew B. LeMond, 29-year-old Bryan W. Williams, and 38-year-old Amber D. Taylor were arrested on failure to appear warrants. All three were transported to the Wayne County Jail.

Centralia police are asking for help in locating 32-year-old Bart N. Brown, who is wanted in connection with a Tuesday night shooting in Centralia. Brown is considered armed and dangerous; anyone who sees him should not approach him, but contact 911 immediately.

Bart N. Brown

The number of Illinois farm operations filing for bankruptcy is holding steady, despite spikes in nearby states. According to the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, 84 farm operations filed for bankruptcy in a 12-month period that ended in June, more than twice the level seen since 2014. Illinois has averaged about 10 filings for the last 13 years.

Egyptian Health Department’s Fairfield office has hit the ground running in its first month in Wayne County. According to CEO Angie Hampton, Egyptian is always looking to partner with other service providers in the area to make referrals to best help each individual. She also said Egyptian will be hosting an Open House later this month or in early February.

Last month was warmer and much wetter than December of 2017. We received nearly six inches of rain at the WFIW/WOKZ studios last month, along with over an inch of snow. One year ago, we recorded an inch and eight hundredths for the entire month. The average high temperature was up nearly two degrees, and the average low was up nearly eight degrees.

The Fairfield Public School District 112 will hold a gym dedication to Diana Zurliene on Wednesday, between the boys JV and Varsity basketball games against Olney-East Richland. “Z” spent her career serving students at FCHS and District 112 in various roles, and the District Board decided last year to rename the Center Street gym the Gymna“Z”ium in her honor.

Frontier Community College has resumed normal campus hours. Classes begin Monday, and students may register over the phone, or in the Student Services office, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. On Monday and Tuesday, the Student Services office will have extended hours for registration and will remain open until 6.

The end of 2018 seemed to signal good things for American farmers, with the passage of a new farm bill and USDA payments on the way to farmers impacted by President Trump’s trade war with China. However, with parts of the government shut down, direct payments for farmers who haven’t certified their production, as well as farm loans and disaster assistance programs, will be on hold until the government reopens.

After a rather warm end to 2018, DTN Agricultural Meteorologist Bryce Anderson says warm air will lead to some unseasonably mild temperatures in the Midwest over the next week. Highs in Illinois will likely be above 40, and they may even hit 50 in some places through early next week. Anderson said quite a few records could be broken in the Midwest during the week.

Governor-elect JB Pritzker has named former state senator John Sullivan as the director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Sullivan served as chairman of the Senate’s Agriculture and Conservation committee during his term in office. Republican state representative David Harris was named director of the Illinois Department of Revenue by Pritzker. Ann Spillane, longtime chief of staff to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, was named Pritzker’s general counsel.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 22.40 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 9.27 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 19.82 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.).