Headlines for Friday, August 30th

Payton Howard was recently crowned 2019 Miss Grayville, and Grayville Days festivities begin this afternoon. A chicken and noodle dinner and ice cream social will begin at 5 at the Grayville First Christian Church. Mayor Travis Thompson will then officially kick off the weekend before The Duke Boys perform at 7.

18-year-old Brady M. Thomason pleaded guilty to a count of possession of ammunition without a FOID card in Wayne County Circuit Court yesterday and was sentenced to one year supervision. 52-year-old Darrin L. Blades pleaded guilty to the offense of driving without a valid license, and his judgment was his conviction.

State Representative Darren Bailey is reminding local teachers about transportation grants to help 4th through 12th grade students visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Grants can be up to $1,500. Applications must be submitted by October 15th and used between January 2 and December 21 next year.

Illinois officials announced yesterday that road work would be suspended at over 120 sites around the state to ease traffic congestion for the Labor Day Holiday. Work will be halted from 3 this afternoon to 11:59 p.m. on Monday. Motorists should still expect delays in affected areas, however. A list of the suspended work sites may be found at https://bit.ly/2MIXoHB.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital said in a Facebook post yesterday 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 recent report from the Illinois Petroleum Resource Board says the state collected more than $89 million in real estate property taxes on state oil and natural gas reserves from 2007-2017. Wayne County’s revenue in that time period was over $5.6 million, per the report, putting it in the top-15 in Illinois.

The 11th annual Wayne County Antique Tractor Drive will be held on Monday. Tractors model year 1989 or earlier are eligible to participate. Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. at the Fairgrounds, with a planned departure time of 9. On-scene registration will cost $30, and a lunch will be included in the fee.

Wayne-White Electric Cooperative is expected to send lineman to Florida tomorrow. The lineman will help restore power in areas where major outages are expected to occur as a result of Hurricane Dorian. Per policy, the identities of the linemen will not be revealed until they each return safely to their families.

The Illinois Corn Growers Association and U.S. Grains Council spoke during this week’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur about the importance of ethanol. They said ethanol is the fastest growing ag export in the United States over the last 10 years, and 1.6 billion gallons were exported last year. In addition to calling for that trend to continue, the two organizations also said finalizing the USMCA when Congress returns from its recess is a top priority.

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law aimed at improving the representation of women and minorities on corporate boards in Illinois earlier this week. Publicly-traded companies must now report the demographics of their boards, as well as plans for promoting diversity, to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office each year. The University of Illinois will study the data and publish an annual report, beginning in 2021.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 12.71 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.26 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 8.60 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.23 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 12.60 feet.