Headlines for Sunday, January 5th

The National Weather Service says the area could get pretty wet this coming weekend.  They posted information Saturday about the possibility of a heavy rain threat that could bring anywhere from two to four inches of rain to the southern Illinois region the latter part of this week, which could result in flooding of area rivers or worsen any flooding already underway.  Chris Miller with the National Weather Service said the weather in the next few weeks is also trending colder towards a more typical winter pattern, which could result in bitter cold temperatures and wintry precipitation.

A woman has died after her body was pulled from a vehicle that was found submerged in Rend Lake this past Thursday morning.  Reports out of Jefferson County said officials received a 9-1-1 call Thursday morning after duck hunters in the area initially heard a crash and called authorities.  A woman was found in the vehicle, which was overturned with the top submerged in the lake.  First responders were able to resuscitate the woman initially, who was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon and later to a St. Louis hospital, however authorities said she later died from her injuries.  Her identity has not been released.

An American Red Cross blood drive is set for Wednesday, January 15th at the Community of Christ Church in Fairfield, at the corner of Windsor Lane and Leininger Road, from 11:30 a.m. til 5:30 p.m.  The drive is being billed as a January Donorama, with chili served to all donors.  Door prizes will also be awarded.  The Red Cross says blood supplies are dangerously low and have issued an emergency plea for blood donations of all types.  Appointments can be made by calling Diane Vaughan at (618) 838-9873 or online at www.redcross.org

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications through January 21st for the state’s Park and Recreational Facility Construction (PARC) Grant Program.  The program will provide grants to eligible local governments for acquisition, development, construction, rehabilitation or other capital improvements to park and recreation facilities in Illinois.  IDNR is anticipating that $25 million in grants will be available through funding provided by the Rebuild Illinois Act.  The maximum grant award is $2.5 million.  More information is available online at  www.dnr.illinois.gov   or by calling (217) 782-7481.

Area river stages this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 22.74 feet, above the 17-foot flood stage.  At Clay City the stage is 13.18 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.   At Carmi the stage is 20.39 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 6.1 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 16.05 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  Dry weather is expected in the area until the predicted rain this coming weekend.