Headlines for Friday, November 15th

The Wayne County Farm Bureau has announced that the Fairfield Rural Fire Protection District recently received a $2,000 Community Impact Grant. The grant helped fund the purchase of pulse oximetry units, blood pressure kits, portable suction units, and an Automated External Defibrillator. The Wayne County Farm Bureau has awarded over $30,600 in grant funds since 2014 through their Community Impact Grant program. Applications for the 2020 program will be available in January.

Members of the Fairfield Rural Fire Protection District. Front, from left: Chris Wise, Justin Atwood, Nic Allison, Joe Meagher, and Clint Hayes. Back: Chad Smith, Paul Atwood, Hayden Byars, Matthew Byars, and Brandon Fry.

Several people were booked in the Wayne County Jail yesterday. 24-year-old Thomas L. Hatcher was booked on a failure to appear warrant for aggravated battery, and 55-year-old Brian E. Fitzhugh was booked on a warrant for cruel treatment to animals. 28-year-old Jessica R. Robertson was arrested on a failure to appear warrant for possession of meth. All three were held, pending the posting of bond.

37-year-old Dustin W. Rankin and 45-year-old Ronnie R. Starr pleaded guilty to counts of possession of less than five grams of meth yesterday in Wayne County Circuit Court. Rankin was sentenced to 18 probation and public service work; Starr was sentenced to 24 months special section probation. 32-year-old Shannon L. Cone was sentenced to time served in jail after pleading guilty to a count of criminal damage to property. All three were also ordered to pay fines and court costs.

State Senate President John Cullerton announced yesterday that he will soon be stepping down from the legislature. He was elected to the senate in 1991 and was elected Senate President in 2009. His retirement will be effective sometime in January.

At its meeting last night, the Wayne County Board did not support a resolution to place a referendum for separation from Chicago on the county’s November 2020 ballot. The Board split 5-5 on a vote for the measure. The matter could still be on the ballot due to signatures collected by Sonny and Janet McCulley, however. Several commissioners were appointed for various drainage districts as well, including: Scott Dozier (Leech/Grover), Richard Blanton (Elm River), Bill Book (Big Mound), Charles W. Shupe (Golden Gate), and Craig Williams (Woods).

The Fairfield Park Board President Jay Fyie discussed the Lakeside Reservoir Project last night at the board meeting, and he said the district would be happy to cooperate with the city. However, he said more information on what has been done, what needs to be done, and who would be responsible for the work must be determined. The board also approved a tax levy increase of just under five percent, or roughly $11,000, and it accepted a $6,280 bid from Hoffee Construction for work on the basketball court at Love of Mike Park.

Wayne County Farm Bureau Manager Doug Anderson says 80 to 90 percent of farmers in Wayne and White counties are finished, or mostly finished, with harvest. He also says yields are all across the board, though some farmers have been pleasantly surprised by their numbers after a very wet planting season.

31-year-old Christopher P. Zachman pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to a child pornography charge. He was arrested in 2017 by Fairfield police, and officers found cell phone that had downloaded and shared several files of child pornography. Zachman’s sentencing is scheduled for February.

The Illinois General Assembly Fall Veto Session ended yesterday. For the past several weeks, one of the hot topics of discussion at the Capitol regarded ethics violations and the need to reform. Despite indications from Governor J.B. Pritzker and House Speaker Michael Madigan, however, no sweeping reforms were passed. Senator Dale Righter says he is concerned lawmakers are content to let a self-governing committee police the legislature without a change in policy.

A propane shortage is prompting a regional emergency declaration that covers seven states, including Illinois. State Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan says the shortage is more of a delivery problem, so the declaration will ease some trucking regulations. Supplies are running low in many Midwestern states due to early cold temperatures and farmers needing more propane to dry wet grain.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 6.14 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.33 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 5.62 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.49 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 4.52 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $49.75, down $0.25 from yesterday. The December crude oil price is $56.76, down $0.70 from yesterday morning.