Headlines for Sunday, August 4th

The annual Johnsonville Days event wraps up today.  Activities include a Church service and Cisne FFA program at the Johnsonville Park at 10:30 a.m.  A chicken dinner will be served at noon in the Ruritan Building.

SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia has been recognized as a High Performing Hospital for 2019-2020 by U.S. News and World Report.  The hospital earned a High Performing rating for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  The award was in recognition of care that was significantly better than the national average as measured by factors such as patient outcomes.  St. Mary’s President Damon Harbison said this is the second consecutive year the hospital has received the High Performing designation.

Traffic was tied up on I-57 in Franklin and Williamson counties Saturday night after a semi reportedly caught fire.  There was no immediate word on what caused the semi to catch fire.  I-57 was reported to be down to one lane as of late Saturday night while cleanup efforts were underway.  Drivers reported traffic backed up for miles on the interstate.

50-year-old Trevor Clark of Pittsburg, IL was arrested Friday and charged with five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and four counts of criminal sexual assault in Williamson County.  Reports said Clark has had two stints as Johnston City Baseball’s head coach, from 1998 to 2011 and his most recent stint starting in 2014.  State police announced the arrest Friday after a joint investigation with Johnston City Police.  The Johnston City School District said in a statement they were made aware of the arrest Friday and will pursue its own investigation into the situation.

A group calling itself “The Illinois Separation” is holding a rally today for their petition drive in Richland County.  The event will take place at The Venue at 303 South Fair Street in Olney from 2 to 4:30 p.m.  According to a press release, The Illinois Separation is a grass roots effort seeking to separate the majority of Illinois from the Chicago area over what it calls “constant government failure and constitutional infringements”.

Here are the area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash east of Fairfield is at 5.61 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 4.96 feet, below the 18-foot flood stage.  At Carmi the stage is 3.83 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.07 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 5.51 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.