Headlines for Friday, August 9

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is declaring an agriculture disaster throughout Illinois. Governor J.B. Pritzker requested the declaration in July because of unprecedented spring flooding. The Secretarial Disaster Declaration will provide new federal resources to aid recover efforts.

Illinois is spending 20-million dollars to encourage a complete census count. The money is being given in grants to community organizations and local governments to help ensure all resident are counted in the 2020 census.

The Illinois State Fair is now officially underway. The annual Twilight Parade kicked off this year’s event, and hundreds came out to celebrate the beginning of the fair. This year’s Grand Marshall for the parade was track and field star and East Saint Louis native Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation eliminating a requirement that teacher candidates pass a basic skills test to get an educators license. Illinois has more than 1,400 unfilled classroom positions, and this new law means about 1,300 teaching candidates will be able to start student teaching this fall.

President Trump is tweeting that he may commute the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Illinois Democratic Representative Dick Durbin says he agrees. Blagojevich has served seven of his 14 year sentence. He was impeached and removed from office in 2009 for corruption, and convicted of soliciting bribes in exchange for political appointments.

The 2019 Cisne Reunion pageant winners are: Little Miss Aubrynn Barnfield (Princess’ Hadley Howard and Myla Hearle). Miss category winner was Hanna Callahan (runner ups: Shelby Scarborough, and Katie Miller). Shelby Scarborough also received the award for Miss Photogenic, and Miss Congeniality, with the Director’s Award going to Hanna Callahan.

According to Fairfield Mayor Brent Maguire, the City’s Water Main Replacement Project along Illinois State Route 15 is scheduled to start Monday, August 12th. During this work, there will be partial driving lane closures and temporary closures of certain intersections. Drivers are urged to use caution and patience during travel, and when possible consider alternate routes.

The Wayne County Board met for its monthly meeting Thursday night. Permission was granted to combine the polling places Ryder and Jasper 2 with Grover. Merriam will combine with Fairfield 1 and Fairfield 2. Among other business at the meeting Pam Barbre was appointed to the 708 Board and construction of a new bridge over Coon Creek.

The Fairfield swimming pool passed state inspection this week for the 18th straight year. For her efforts, Pool Manager Libby Pond was awarded on week’s pay as a bonus in a unanimous vote. The park district is losing greenskeeper Avery Sprehe, and is starting the process of looking for a replacement. Sprehe resigned to take employment elsewhere.

The 2019 Cisne Reunion continues today and tomorrow. Free inflatables for kids, craft and flee vendors, and specialty foods will be available. Music and activities will begin at 6, and bingo will run from 7 to 9. Other events include a Community Center Breakfast from 7 to 10 on Saturday with parade beginning at 2:30.

The Butter Cow is officially on display at the Illinois State Fair. The cow sculpture, made of 800 pounds of salted butter features a hard hat and is standing in a field of road cones. Governor J.B. Pritzker says it’s emblematic of the state’s commitment to a multi-billion dollar capitol rebuild of Illinois.

Illinois officials are encouraging families to make preparing for an emergency part of back-to-school planning. The I.E.M.A. recommends keeping emergency contact information up to date, and authorize for a friend or relative to pick up children in case of an emergency. IEMA also suggests teaching children to send quick texts to let parents know they are alright as texts are more likely to go through than a phone call if service goes down.

According to Fairfield Mayor Brent Maguire, the City’s Water Main Replacement Project along Illinois State Route 15 is scheduled to start Monday, August 12th. During this work, there will be partial driving lane closures and temporary closures of certain intersections. Drivers are urged to use caution and patience during travel, and when possible consider alternate routes.

The Wayne County Board met for its monthly meeting Thursday night. Permission was granted to combine the polling places Ryder and Jasper 2 with Grover. Merriam will combine with Fairfield 1 and Fairfield 2. Among other business at the meeting Pam Barbre was appointed to the 708 Board and construction of a new bridge over Coon Creek.

The Fairfield swimming pool passed state inspection this week for the 18th straight year. For her efforts, Pool Manager Libby Pond was awarded one week’s pay as a bonus in a unanimous vote. The park district is losing greenskeeper Avery Sprehe, and is starting the process of looking for a replacement. Sprehe resigned to take employment elsewhere.

The 2019 Cisne Reunion continues today and tomorrow. Free inflatables for kids, craft and flee vendors, and specialty foods will be available. Music and activities will begin at 6, and bingo will run from 7 to 9. Other events include a Community Center Breakfast from 7 to 10 on Saturday with the parade beginning at 2:30.

The Butter Cow is officially on display at the Illinois State Fair. The cow sculpture, made of 800 pounds of salted butter features a hard hat and is standing in a field of road cones. Governor J.B. Pritzker says it’s emblematic of the state’s commitment to a multi-billion dollar capital rebuild of Illinois.

Illinois officials are encouraging families to make preparing for an emergency part of back-to-school planning. The I.E.M.A. recommends keeping emergency contact information up to date, and authorize for a friend or relative to pick up children in case of an emergency. IEMA also suggests teaching children to send quick texts to let parents know they are all right as texts are more likely to go through than a phone call if service goes down.

Illinois State Police District 19 has announced they will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols in Wabash, Edwards, White, and Hamilton counties this month. The object of the patrols is to increase occupant restraint compliance through education, child seat inspections, and enforcement.

River stages as of early this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 4.79 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.02 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.43 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.06 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.64 feet.