Headlines for Monday, September 30th

Frontier Community College has been selected to receive a grant of nearly $2.25 million for the institution of a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) Program. Funds will be allocated in roughly $450,000 installments over five years. In addition to the new program, several health certificates and degrees will be offered online and with online components in the coming years, and several improvements will be made to the Frontier campus, including an update to its existing science lab in Mason Hall and new MLT lab. We’ll have more information on the grant on the 5 p.m. news on 104.9 WFIW.

In other college news, FCC will be closed tomorrow for a district-wide staff & faculty workshop, and the closure will include The Bobcat Den. Day and evening on-campus classes will not meet, but off-campus classes will meet at their regularly scheduled times. FCC will reopen at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday (October 2).

Wayne County deputies have released information on two hit and runs that occurred in the last week. One was last Monday northeast of Fairfield where a truck hit a parked GMC Terrain. The other involved a 2015 Peterbilt on Highway 15 Friday. No injuries were reported in either incident.

21-year-old Bethany D. Bailey was taken to Fairfield Memorial Hospital after a single-car accident Friday morning north of Sims. Police reports say Bailey lost control of her 2015 Chevrolet Sonic, ran off the right side of a county highway, and struck a ditch. The vehicle sustained over $1,500 damage, and a tow truck was called to the scene.

34-year-old Texaco resident John R. Powell was arrested last night by Fairfield police on charges of aggravated domestic battery and violation of an order of protection. Powell was transported to the Wayne County Jail and held, pending an appearance before a judge to set bond.

Illinois State Representative Daniel Didech has proposed legislation that would prohibit the state from requiring staff to travel for work to states that criminalize reproductive healthcare. He says the bill is intended to protect pregnant employees from being denied necessary healthcare.

WADI’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will begin tomorrow for households with anyone 60 or older, or with anyone receiving disability. Amy Hart says LIHEAP applications went up 20 percent last year; she says people should call 842-2962 quickly to get the assistance process started.

The 8th Annual Fairfield Paint Out begins tomorrow, and it will run through Saturday. 26 artists will headquarter in Bob Boyles Hall on the campus of Frontier Community College for the event. Completed works will be available for purchase at a Premier Exhibit on Friday.

The 55th Annual FCHS Alumni Association Dinner and Homecoming will be held at the Community of Christ Family Life Center on October 12th at 5 p.m. Dr. Cindy Bigler will be the speaker for the dinner. Reservations may be made until Saturday by emailing judygris@aol.com. The cost is $20 per person.

Frontier Community College will hold a Student and Parent Information Night on Wednesday at its Workforce Development Center. People are encouraged to RSVP, and an online form can be found on FCC’s Facebook page. Several $500 scholarships will be awarded to seniors in Clay, Edwards, and Wayne counties at the conclusion of the night.

IDOT has announced traffic will be reduced to one lane on Illinois Route 141 east of Illinois Route 1 near Omaha at 7 a.m. today. Weather permitting, IDOT will begin construction to remove and replace the bridge carrying 141 over a tributary to Cane Creek, just east of Route 1. The work is expected to last until next summer, and the existing lane will have a 10’6” width restriction in place.

The archery season for deer hunting begins tomorrow, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to be safe as hunting begins. Also, the IDNR says people should be sure to check regulations for public land, and permission on private land, before hunting. The two firearm deer weekends in Illinois will be November 22-24 and November 29-December 1.

River stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash, east of Fairfield stands at 4.55 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.00 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.21 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 0.84 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.40 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $49.50, down $.050 from Friday. The November crude oil price is $55.69, down $0.81 from Friday morning.