Headlines for Wednesday, December 4th

As of November 24th, the USDA estimated 88 percent of corn acres in Illinois had been harvested. The department says fewer acres were planted this year, and each acre planted is expected to produce less than in recent years. It estimates an average corn yield of 179 bushels per acre for this year.

37-year-old Jackie S. McKinney was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday in Edwards County Circuit Court. McKinney pleaded guilty to a count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, and her sentence will be served concurrently with one from Wabash County Circuit Court.

40-year-old Carmi resident John P. McKay was air-evaced to an Evansville hospital early this morning after striking a deer with his motorcycle near Eldorado. State Police indicate McKay overturned the motorcycle and was ejected from it. They also say he was not wearing a helmet.

56-year-old Dahlgren resident Alan L. Rubenacker was arrested and cited yesterday by Hamilton County deputies for DUI alcohol, illegal transportation of an open container of alcohol, improper lane usage, and driving with a revoked license. He posted $300 cash bond and was released. Rubenacker was also arrested in September for DUI alcohol and driving revoked, and he has previous DUI offenses in Jefferson County in 2015 and White County in 2016.

Kevin Leonard of the City of Fairfield Water Department has announced the following areas that are now under a boil order: On West Delaware Street, the following addresses: 1102, 1104, and 1106. And from West Delaware to Leininger Road on the west side of SW 11th Street, and all of Cheffield Drive. Residents who live in the affected areas are to boil water to be used for human consumption. The boil order is in effect until further notice.

Southern Illinois University has reportedly named Dan Mahony as its new president. Mahony has announced he will step down from his current position as President of Winthrop University in South Carolina, and SIU trustees are expected to meet tomorrow to approve his new appointment.

FMH CEO Katherine Bunting

FMH CEO Katherine Bunting has been recognized as the 2019 Rural Health Hero by the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Bunting received the recognition last month in Rockford for her ongoing efforts to serve as a rural health advocate for our community and those surrounding it.

Wayne County Clerk Liz Ann Woodrow has announced the candidates that have filed for various offices in the upcoming primary election in March. No candidate will face competition in their own parties, and only a few will run opposed, including Republican Carrie Jo Dagg and Democrat Jimmy Taylor for Wayne County Coroner.

Members of the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir will present the cantata “Come and See, Go and Tell” this Sunday at 10 a.m. At 6 p.m. this Sunday, the First Christian Church will host the As One Community Choir and Fairfield City Band for its Christmas performance. The public is invited to attend each event free of charge.

We recorded over seven inches of total precipitation here at the WFIW/WOKZ Studios last month, including three inches of snow on the 11th. That brings the total precipitation we have received this year to 79 inches and 12 hundredths, the highest recorded in over a decade. The average high last month was 49.1 degrees, and the average low was 30.5 degrees.

Senator Dick Durbin is pressing for a change in the formula that sends federal disaster aid to various communities in the country. He says the current formula sends less aid to rural communities in states with big cities, like Chicago, and small towns can’t qualify for the held they deserve. He says any aid sent to one community, such as Taylorville, affects the amount sent to other states, so any change will be a big battle to achieve.

Holiday lights won’t be strung up on the Capitol dome in Springfield for a while- and possibly not at all this year. Reports indicate a study that was ordered after state employees noticed pieces of concrete had fallen from the inside portion of the outer dome earlier this year is preventing the lights from being put up. Installation would occur after the study, but only if the weather cooperates.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 25.66 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 10.80 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 20.93 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 14.85 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 27.18 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $49.25, up $0.50 from yesterday. The January crude oil price is $56.78, up $0.41 from yesterday morning.