Headlines for Thursday, September 5th

Fairfield Mayor Brent Maguire says the city received a $27,000 phone bill last year, as several international calls were reportedly made from multiple numbers at City Hall during weekend hours. Mayor Maguire believes someone could have entered the system through network devices at City Hall to rack up the bill, but that issue has since been resolved.

Peoples National Bank has donated $500 to the Tech Fest, which will take place on Thursday and Friday next week. The annual event is hosted by the University of Illinois Extension Office and provides Wayne County 5th graders the opportunity to have hands-on learning with various areas of technology.

Yvette Anderson (left), representing the U of I Extension Office, accepts a check from Megan Berg, Retail Sales Manager at Peoples National Bank in Fairfield

Wayne County Crimestoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who damaged a vehicle belonging to Allen Marsh and stole a decorative windmill from the Everett Foster residence. Anyone with information should call or text Crime Stoppers at 842-9777.

Frontier Community College will offer a five-week Furniture Refurbishing class beginning Monday. The class will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the open area of the Workforce Development Center. The cost of the class is $75, and most supplies are included, though students must bring one piece of furniture.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has announced the new St. Louis Cardinals permanent Illinois license plate is now available for order at cyberdriveillinois.com. Each sale and renewal raises $25 for the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and is earmarked for the Common School Fund.

Wayne County’s Debbie Webb and Edwards County’s Neil Fearn were recently inducted into the Illinois 4-H Foundation Hall of Fame. The two were part of a class of 80 people honored during a celebration at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield last month. Each received a Hall of Fame medallion.

Fairfield Police Chief Keith Colclasure says his department is working quickly to incorporate golf carts and side-by-sides in the city. He said IDOT came by this week and approved the city’s plans for signs and permits. The actual application process could begin either next week or in the following week.

Fairfield Police recently conducted an active shooter drill at FCHS, and the department will have two more at North Side and Center Street schools. Police also expect more drills to take place in the future without students present, possibly including the Sheriff’s Department, Fire Departments, and EMS.

The Fairfield FFA Greenhouse will be undergoing some work thanks to a recently received grant. Chapter Advisor Curt Robbins said the structure suffered some wind damage on its roof that will be repaired. The chapter will also have mums available for purchase this Saturday, and pre-orders are available now.

Crop progress still lags behind, according to the latest statewide weekly crop report, with 82 percent of corn acres now in the dough stage. 46 percent of the crop is dented, and two percent is mature. 46 percent is rated in good to excellent condition. The soybean crop also is rated at 46 percent in good to excellent condition, with 84 percent now setting pods and 95 percent blooming.

The Citizen’s Utility Board recently asked its members to name their worst bill, and more than half said it was their cable/Internet bill. The CUB has revamped its “Guide to Cutting Your TV Costs,” and spokesman Jim Chilsen says it is filled with new information. He also says people may find it best to simply cut the cord entirely. The publican can be ordered at citizensutilityboard.org.

Facebook says it is ending its practice of using face recognition software to identify users’ friends in uploaded photos and automatically suggesting they “tag” them. Instead, it is replacing the feature with a broader face recognition setting, which identifies people’s faces in photos for various uses, not just tagging.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 5.52 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.08 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 6.12 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 0.94 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 4.25 feet.