Headlines for Tuesday, November 12th

Fairfield Memorial Hospital has announced that it will hold a groundbreaking ceremony next week for its expansion project. The ceremony will be held on Wednesday, November 20th, at 10 a.m. on the hospital’s front lawn. The public is invited to attend; a reception will follow, and refreshments will be provided.

Several area businesses have closed for the day due to yesterday’s weather. Compassion Pregnancy Center in Fairfield and Farmer’s Packing in Albion are closed, as is the Wayne-White Electric Enfield office. Wayne-White’s Fairfield office is open.

Several members of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office graduated from various programs last week. Bobby Warren graduated from the Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy as a county deputy. Dylan Massie and Sean Riley graduated from the St. Clair County Correctional Officer Academy.

The Community of Christ Church in Fairfield will host an American Red Cross Blood Drive tomorrow from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the church’s Family Life Center. Anyone looking to schedule an appointment should contact Diane Vaughan at 838-9873. People may also go online to redcrossblood.org.

The McLeansboro City Council will meet tonight at 6 at the McLeansboro City Hall. The council reportedly plans to discuss, and possibly act on, recommendations from an electrical engineering firm regarding a proposed McLeansboro-Fairfield interconnect and light plant maintenance. Action is also possible regarding a Public Library Construction Grant Program.

Slick roads early this morning forced several school closings, including all Wayne and Edwards County schools. FCHS had a College and Career Fair planned for today, and the school is unsure if it will be rescheduled. Johnsonville Elementary’s Veterans Day Program is expected to be rescheduled.

The Fairfield City Council will meet tonight at City Hall. The council is expected to amend the city’s zoning ordinance to allow short-term rentals in residential districts. Mayor Brent Maguire says the change wouldn’t apply to those renting a home on a monthly basis, and people would have to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for the exception. Other items on the agenda include discussion and possible approval of HLR Engineering’s Phase One Proposal for planning the restoration of the Lakeside Reservoir, approval of a leachate agreement with Republic Services, and the authorization of the sale of an old dump truck, airport truck, and arc welder. The council will also hold a discussion concerning the possible movement or cancellation of its second December meeting.

Mayor Maguire also says the city’s water line upgrade project is still on track to finish in February, despite some delays. He says water line installation is almost complete at this point, and the next step will be hooking up everything to the existing water lines.

The Wayne County Health Department will join with the American Cancer Society for the Great American Smokeout on November 21st. The society says the event is an opportunity for smokers to commit to a smoke-free lifestyle. Anyone who needs help quitting should call 1-866-784-8937.

The fall veto session continues today, and it will end on Thursday. Committee hearings are scheduled on a variety of issues, such as ethics reform, the minimum wage, and taxes. In addition, some groups, like the Mid-West Truckers Association, are hopeful of some clean-up language to the state’s new recreational marijuana law, which goes into effect in January. The association hopes for some clarity on what employers could be responsible for in the event an employee smokes cannabis.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 6.78 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.38 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 5.91 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.52 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 5.25 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $49.75, down $0.50 from yesterday. The December crude oil price is $57.06, up $0.59 from yesterday morning.