Headlines for Friday, March 15th

Reports have come in from Edwards County of damage from the recent high winds in the area. Roof sections from the old Southern Illinois Lumber building in Albion reportedly blew into the lot of Edwards County Motors, causing minor damage to vehicles there. Part of the back section of the old lumber building later collapsed.

Two people were injured in a car accident yesterday near the Wayne-Edwards County line. Terry and Joan Hoeszle were reportedly travelling on a blacktop when their vehicle was struck by a falling tree. The two were transported to an area hospital for treatment of injuries, then released. The vehicle sustained major damage.

Several people were sentenced in Wayne County Circuit Court yesterday. 35-year-old Billy R. Rawls was sentenced to one year conditional discharge on a count of domestic battery. Rawls had been sentenced to three years in prison in November, but he asked for a resentencing after his plea terms were changed without his approval. 50-year-old Jon D. Hicks pleaded guilty to a count of possession of less than five grams of meth and was sentenced to 30 months probation.

The Fairfield First United Methodist Church is hosting its annual Prom Dress Giveaway tomorrow in its Fellowship Hall. The event will run from 9 to noon and a variety of formal dresses, bouquets, and accessories will be available, free of charge. Anyone seeking more information should contact the church at 842-2129.

Kindergarten registration for the Johnsonville School is scheduled for Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. Parents or guardians should bring a certified copy of their child’s birth certificate from the courthouse, immunization records, and social security number to the registration. The school asks the people make an appointment by calling 673-3044.

IDOT says, starting at 6pm today, Illinois Route 37 will be closed between Rileyville Rd. and Walnut Hill Rd., one-and-a-half miles north of Dix, so a drainage structure can be replace. The road is expected to re-open on Monday by 6am. In the meantime, motorists should seek alternate routes. Message boards will be in place to alert traffic of the closure.

The Wayne County Board met last night and unanimously voted to purchase 20 new voting machines for Wayne County polling places. The total cost was in excess of $231,000. In other business, Larry McCormick was appointed as a trustee for the Orchardville Fire Protection District. He will serve a three-year term.

Demolition of the old fire department and chamber of commerce buildings next to the Fairfield City Hall will begin on Monday. A portion of Northeast Second Street between Main and Court streets will be closed during the work, and the parking lot west of City Hall may have closures, as well. City Hall will remain open during the demolition.

The Fairfield Park District met last night and unanimously approved a motion to run an ad for the sale of the Kon-Tiki in the March 18th edition of the Wayne County Press. The building will be sold as-is, along with all of its contents. Bids for the building will be open at the district’s April meeting, with a minimum bid of $1,000.

Frontier Community College is booking reservations for its second annual escape room, which will be held in the Learning Resource Center on FCC’s campus. The theme this year is “Secret Agent: Operation Zekestan,” and day and evening reservations will be available until March 29th. For more information, call the LRC at 842-3711.

The Lincoln National Heritage Area, which covers 42 counties across Illinois, has been expanded to Livingston and Union counties. The Heritage Area was established in 2008 and it stretches where Lincoln worked as a circuit-riding lawyer in the 19th century. Officials say the area generates $260 million in economic impact.

Acting Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan is looking to build a strong working relationship with incoming Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan. Sullivan said this is Callahan’s first week on the job, and he knows from experience that a new job as an Illinois Director can be a challenge, especially early on.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 22.94 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 11.58 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 19.99 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.).