Headlines for Tuesday, August 13th

The roof of an outbuilding collapsed this afternoon on North 4th Street in Albion. The building was being torn down, when the roof collapsed. A rescue operation by local emergency personnel commenced. An individual with injuries was flown out by chopper to an area hospital. At this time, there have been no reports of serious injuries.

The City of Fairfield has announced that the street closing has been extended to Friday, August 16 at 7 a.m. Utility workers have announced that due to unforeseen circumstances, Harding Street between N.W. 10th Street and N.W. 12th Street and N.W. 10th Street between West Water Street and Bryan Street will be closed until Friday, August 16 at 7 a.m. The City apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Ag producers reported they were not able to plant crops on more than 19.4 million acres in 2019, according to a new report from the USDA. That is the most prevented plant acres reported since the FSA began releasing a report in 2007, and it is 17.49 million acres more than were reported at this time last year.

55th District State Senator Dale Righter has been assigned to the recently created bipartisan Property Tax Relief Task Force. The task force has been charged with identifying the causes of burdensome property taxes across the state and will look for ways to provide relief to homeowners.

Frontier Community College will offer Food Sanitation and Safety classes next Monday and August 26th. Carrie Dagg will be the instructor for the class, which will meet from 6 to 10 p.m. in Mason Hall on both dates. The cost will be paid at the time of registration, and a discount is available for senior citizens.

The Saline County Sheriff’s Office has issued a Silver Alert for 64-year-old Galatia resident Wendell A. Williams. Williams has not been heard from since Saturday. His last known location was near the area between Omaha and Carmi. Anyone with information should call the Saline County Sheriff’s Office at 252-8661.

The Fairfield City Council will meet tonight at 6 at City Hall. Aldermen will hear an ordinance for amending an area redevelopment plan for the city, as proposed by the Finance Committee, to address past TIF expenditures. The council is also expected to seek bids for the sale of city-owned vehicles.

Fairfield Mayor Brent Maguire says he expects actual boring work to begin tomorrow on the city’s water line upgrade project on Main and Delaware streets. Mayor Maguire said work will begin on the east end of town. He stressed that this will not be a one-week project, and it will cause some inconveniences.

Mt. Erie and Johnsonville elementary schools will hold open houses on August 27th, with Mt. Erie’s running from 5:30 to 6:30 and Johnsonville’s going from 5 to 6. Cisne Middle School and Cisne High School will hold their open houses on August 28th from 5 to 6. Refreshments will be served at each location.

State Representative Darren Bailey is reminding farmers about Farm Service Agency low-interest loans. The low-interest loans are available to farmers who have experienced at least a 30 percent reduction in production or reduced prices from damaged crops because of early flooding during planting season.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation expanding the state’s medical marijuana program. One measure makes the pilot program permanent and adds 11 new conditions, like chronic pain, anorexia, migraines, and osteoarthritis to the list of those eligible for medical cannabis. A second new law makes it easier for students to get their prescribed doses at schools.

Today is Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair, and State Agriculture Director John Sullivan has shared his thoughts on what has been a tough year thus far in Illinois. Sullivan said it is amazing to see how resilient farmers are in tough conditions, and he said he looks forward to doing what he can to help farmers, whether that is relaying information to the USDA or something more localized.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 8.70 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 9.07 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.67 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 8.08 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 14.65 feet.