Headlines for Saturday, November 16th

The Wayne County Farm Bureau has announced that the Fairfield Rural Fire Protection District is the recipient of a 2019 Community Impact Grant.  The district was awarded $2000 to help 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 $30,000 in grant funds since 2014 through their Community Impact Grant program.  Applications for the 2020 program will be available starting in January.

State Representative Darren Bailey voted against two bills Thursday that he says pretend to be ethics reform legislation, but don’t go far enough to actually address problems with corruption in Illinois.  He also voted to keep the session going to address the ethics crisis that he says is real and urgent.  Rep. Bailey commented, “there is no more important issue than ethics reform right now”.  He went on to say, “the first bill dealing with statements of economic interest was introduced in the middle of the night and then changed in the Democrat Caucus before it came to the House for a vote.”  Rep. Bailey and House Republicans have introduced nearly thirty bills to address the problem.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.  The 150 community colleges named Friday as eligible to compete for the 2021 Aspen Prize were selected from a pool of nearly 1000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes.  The top ten finalists will be announced in May 2020.  Wabash Valley College is part of the IECC district, which includes Frontier Community College in Fairfield, Olney Central College and Lincoln Trail College in Robinson.

Weather statistics at WFIW/WOKZ indicate that Fairfield recorded two record-low temperatures earlier this week during the early-season cold snap.  The low temperature this past Tuesday was 9 degrees, beating out the previous low of 13 set in 1908.  On Wednesday the low was 5 degrees, beating out the previous low of 10 degrees set in 1986.  Three inches of snow was recorded on Tuesday, which is the second year in a row with at least an inch of snow recorded in November, and the most in November since three and a half inches fell in 2014.

Hydrant flushing has started for the Mill Shoals and Burnt Prairie areas.  According to Wayne Carter, hydrants in Mill Shoals will be flushed next Monday.  Carter said he hopes the flushing will be completed by Thanksgiving.  Residents may notice discolored water and low water pressure during the flushing process.  Those with questions can call Carter at (618) 383-5850.

Area river stages as of this morning:   Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 6.02 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 5.68 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 4.48 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.36 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 4.19 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.