Headlines for Wednesday, November 13th

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert says a second tranche of Market Facilitation Program payments will be coming to farmers in the coming weeks. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue reportedly announced the payments will be released near the end of this month or in early December.

S&M Farm Supply recently presented a $500 check to Wayne City FFA Alumni President Greg Dickey. Dickey says the money will go to support FFA members in various ways, as the association helps them travel to the National and State conventions and provides several scholarships each year.

S&M Co-owner Mike Doody (left) and Greg Dickey

Johnsonville Elementary School’s Veterans Day Program will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. All local veterans are invited to attend, and the school will serve coffee, juice, and donuts after the program. It was originally scheduled for yesterday, but it was moved due to winter weather.

35-year-old Crossville resident Clayton A. Swanner was arrested last week for aggravated domestic battery after allegedly starting a house fire and pushing his mother into it. White County State’s Attorney Denton Aud has reportedly filed several additional charges, including attempted first-degree murder.

Illinois State Police District 19 has announced that it will conduct Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols in Edwards, Wabash, and Wayne counties this month. The patrols allow the ISP to focus on safety belt and child safety seat laws. State Police say safety belts save nearly 14,000 lives each year, and half of occupants killed in traffic crashes were not properly buckled.

The Fairfield City Council met last night and, in a 7-0 vote, approved an ordinance amendment to allow short term rentals in residential districts. The vote ran counter to the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals, which voted against the proposal 4-3 in a meeting prior to the council’s meeting at 6.

Fairfield Mayor Brent Maguire also addressed the future of the Atkinson Forest Project last night. He said he met with Mike Podolsky last week and progress was made. Mayor Maguire said the city isn’t able to commit $20,000 annually, but he proposed using pledged money to specific projects.

67-year-old Peggy S. Vaught was transported to a local hospital yesterday morning after a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 64. State Police say 41-year-old Shi Jinglin lost control of his truck due to icy conditions and struck Vaught’s vehicle, which was on the road’s shoulder for a tire change.

The Fairfield Park Board will meet tomorrow at 6. The board has once again listed the Lakeside Reservoir Project on its agenda under old business, allowing discussion if it so chooses. The board will discuss a bid for work at Love of Mike Park and employee Christmas bonuses under new business.

The Albion Senior Center will host a Medicare Part D Seminar tonight at 6:30. Those unfamiliar with Medicare are invited to learn the basics of parts A, B, C, and D, though the main focus will be on Part D drug coverage. There will be door prizes and snacks during the seminar, and it is expected to conclude at approximately 7:30.

Less than five full days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, according to the latest statewide crop report. 71 percent of corn and 87 percent of soybeans have now been harvested, which is still well behind the average pace. Farmers are a little ahead when it comes to wheat planting, as 93 percent of acres have been planted and 75 percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as six percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 22 percent surplus.

A donation to a food bank this month might wind up doubling thanks to Wells Fargo, which has reportedly pledged to match the first one million dollars donated to food banks around the country through December. Each donation will be matched one-to-one until the money runs out, or until a food bank winds up with $25,000 in donations.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 6.48 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.36 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 5.83 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.49 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 4.92 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $49.75, unchanged from yesterday. The December crude oil price is $56.38, down $0.68 from yesterday morning.