Headlines for Monday, November 18th

Dustin and Kathy Smith, the owners of Johnny & June’s in Flora have announced through their official Facebook page that they have changed the name. It will be now known as Venue 720. In August 2019, the John R. Cash Revocable Trust filed a complaint against Johnny & June’s LLC and the Smith’s in order to protect its trademarks and rights of publicity related to the world-renown musicians. Both parties have announced that the case has been settled. Venue 720 will provide the same services and space for events as it did under its former name.

The Fairfield Public School District 112 Board of Education will meet tonight at 6 in the Center Street School Board Room. The night will begin with a public hearing regarding the waiving of tuition for out-of-district employees. The board is expected to approve the waiver and act on a tentative tax levy.

The FCHS Varsity Scholastic Team claimed third place with a 3-2 record in the Herrin Tiger Early Season Tournament over the weekend. Jason Wright and Lex Gonzalez were named to the all-tournament team, and Wright was the tournament’s top scorer with 19 toss-ups answered.

63-year-old Ralph E. Blevins went to Fairfield Memorial Hospital after a single-car accident Friday morning. According to police reports, Blevins was southbound on a county road near a “T” intersection when he blacked out, proceeded through the intersection, and came to rest in a field. His vehicle sustained over $1,500 damage, and no tow truck was called to the scene.

33-year-old Ashley E. Moore and 42-year-old Daniel B.J. Brockett were booked in the Wayne County Jail over the weekend on failure to appear warrants. Moore’s warrant was for possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis, and Brockett’s was for possession of methamphetamine.

Wayne County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who entered the property of Leslie Ewing recently. Several items were reported stolen. Anyone with information on the incident should call or text Crime Stoppers at 842-9777.

Illinois State Police say two adults and two 14-year-olds were killed in a head-on crash in Montgomery County Saturday night. Multiple area news outlets report one juvenile and the two adults killed were the daughter and parents of Vandalia High School principal Randy Protz. The four were reportedly headed to Vandalia following a football game in Williamsville.

The FCHS Board of Education will meet tonight at 6 in the school’s study hall. The board is expected to approve the FY19 audit and hear a presentation on the estimated tax levy for 2019. After closed session, board members are also expected to consider the employment of a paraprofessional.

The Edwards County School Board will meet tonight at 7 in the West Salem Grade School science room. The board will discuss details regarding the 2020 Prom, and action is possible. It is also set to approve the 2019 Tax Levy and 2019 School Report Cards. It will also hold the first reading of ECHS curriculum changes.

Cathy Bennett, Executive Director of the Compassion Pregnancy Center, reminds the public that the center has several classes for expecting and new mothers. She also says the center can use volunteers, though people need to undergo training and have a pastor’s referral before beginning.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to prepare for winter weather. Winter hasn’t officially started, but many areas have seen snow, including slight accumulation yesterday in the southern Illinois area. IEMA says people should prepare emergency supply kits that include water, blankets, flashlights, batteries, and first aid supplies. It also reminds people not to forget the special needs of pets, young children, and the elderly when putting together a kit.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has upheld its decision to deny financial assistance to Illinois residents and business owners affected by history flooding after an appeal by the state. The federal government did approve the state’s request for public assistance, allowing local governments, churches, and nonprofits to be reimbursed for flood-fighting expenditures and repairs to infrastructure.

The state of Illinois doubled its gas tax in July from 19 cents a gallon to 38 cents; the increase went hand-in-hand with several bills that Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law, including a $45 billion capital plan. Congressman Mike Bost, from the state’s 12 District, says the new tax is creating local dollars for a variety of projects. He says the local monies have helped match federal grant funds.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 5.96 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.37 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 5.50 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.43 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 4.39 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $50.75, up $1.00 from Friday. The December crude oil price is $57.74, up $0.98 from Friday morning.