Headlines for Thursday, August 29th

Fairfield Memorial Hospital said in a Facebook post earlier today that the USDA had finalized its paperwork to enable the hospital to move forward with its expansion project. More information about a groundbreaking ceremony and the work itself is expected to be provided at a later date. A photo of the expected finished project can be found on the WFIW Radio and FMH Facebook pages.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department announced yesterday on Facebook that work began this week on replacing the jail’s 26-year-old detention control system. The company that installed the original system integrated parts of the old system in the update, saving the county close to $100,000.

The City of Fairfield says Republic Trash Service will be on a one day delay next week due to the observance of the Labor Day Holiday. Routes will begin on Tuesday, and the regular Friday route will be run on Saturday next week. Anyone with questions or concerns may call City Hall at 842-2294.

The Fairfield Police Department is acquiring the permits and road signage to initiate the recent golf cart ordinance. The Department will announce at a later date when the permits will be available for application, and it says the golf carts or side by sides will have several pieces of equipment required to be eligible, including seat belts, brakes, steering wheel, tires, rear-view mirror, red reflectorized warning devices in the front and rear, a “slow moving” emblem on the rear, headlights, tail lamps, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield, or worn eye protection.

Three men were booked in the Wayne County Jail yesterday. 23-year-old Andrew N. Gregory was arrested on a warrant for burglary, as well as a charge of possession of controlled or counterfeit substances. 27-year-old Derek S. Thomason and 20-year-old Brynden K. Payton were booked for driving with a suspended license and disorderly conduct, respectively.

SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon will soon bring four of its metabolic services together in a new Weight Management and Metabolic Center. An open house for the new building, located just behind the hospital and Medical Plaza buildings, will be held next Thursday, September 5th, from 3 to 5 p.m.

12 candidates have been announced for Miss Fall Fun Fest, and the winner will be decided on September 12th at 8 p.m. on the festival’s Main Stage. The contestants are Kylee Young, Chandra Lee, Kayli Kohn, Riley Hedden, Lainie Milner, Shelby Shelton, Cadie Devous, Kenna Keyser, Maddison Oliver, Saydee Chappell, Mady Koontz, and Jaylee Vaughan. Last year’s winner was Lenze Lane. Also, the deadline to enter the Prince and Princess Contest is tomorrow at 4 p.m.

FNB has announced the addition of three new members to its leadership team in Reece Copeland, Debra Curd, and Jordan Atwood. Copeland joins as Senior Loan Officer, Curd as Senior Credit Officer, and Atwood as Customer Service Supervisor. All three are based at FNB’s Fairfield location.

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Frontier Community College is teaming up with Carnaby Square to host a Fall Fashion Show on October 20th at Johnny and June’s in Flora. The show will begin at 2 p.m. Tickets will cost $15 for individuals or $100 for a preferred table of eight. Tickets will be available at Carnaby Square in Fairfield.

Wayne County’s unemployment rate came in at 4.7 percent in July, according to recent statistics from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. That mark is up from its June rate of 4.4 percent. Edwards County also saw its rate rise slightly, going from 3.6 percent in June to 3.7 percent last month.

State Senator Jason Barickman is concerned that property taxes will go up after Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law last week to raise the minimum wage for teachers to 40,000 per year. He says teachers should make more money, but he suggested finding ways to increase the wage through the current school-funding formula. Governor Pritzker says property taxes shouldn’t increase, due to a large bump in state education funding and his commitment to improve that funding in the future.

The Illinois Gaming Board is seeking comments and suggestions on shaping the state’s newly legalized sports-betting industry. A public comment period is open until September 27th, and the board wants comments from the public, the gaming industry, and others in advance of the rule-making process. All comments will be posted on its website after the 27th.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 17.04 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.34 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 7.96 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.29 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 13.97 feet.