Headlines for Friday, January 10th

Periods of heavy rain are expected into tomorrow afternoon for much of southeastern Illinois, and Wayne, Edwards, and surrounding counties are under a flash flood watch. Skillet Fork in Wayne City will also be under a flood warning tomorrow afternoon. Total rainfall is expected to average between three and four inches.

Two prominent members of Effingham County’s government have endorsed Adam Niemerg for 109th District State Representative, citing his pro-2nd Amendment stance. Niemerg also has the support of Cory Musgrave, who bowed out of the representative race last month. The primary election is March 17th. Niemerg, Richland County Sheriff Andy Hires, and John Spencer will be at the FCC Workforce Development Center in Fairfield on January 27th for a candidate forum, and questions for that forum must be emailed by the end of the day to fccstudentsenate@iecc.com.

Frontier Community College will offer a two-night Food Sanitation and Safety class on January 14th and 21st. It will meet from 6 to 10 p.m. in Room 25 of Mason Hall, and Carrie Dagg will be the instructor. The cost of the class will be paid at the time of registration, and a tuition discount is available for senior citizens.

The Jefferson County Fire Protection District responded to an accident near mile-marker 89 on I-64 yesterday morning. A tractor-trailer had overturned and was blocking the Interstate’s westbound lanes. The interstate was reportedly closed for several hours near Opdyke, but no injuries were reported.

Illinois State Police District 19 has announced the results of an Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol held in White and Saline counties last month. Troopers reported 25 safety belt and 15 written warnings, and state police remind the public that lives can be saved if people simply buckle up.

The Career Development Center will permanently cease its operations of the Wayne County Recycling Center in Fairfield on February 1st. The recycling center is owned by Wayne County and has been operated by the CDC since 2000, but market issues and low value have hurt the stability of the program.

The Wayne County Board met last night and was informed that the Wayne/Hamilton County Enterprise Zone has been approved. The board also approved an engineering agreement to explore the possibility of lowering the south Enterprise Road approach to its intersection with 161, which has been the scene of several accidents.

The Fairfield Park Board met last night and approved the purchase of two new HD cameras, a new monitor devoted to the cameras, and other associated equipment. Two older cameras at Leo French Park will be swapped for the new additions. The total cost of the equipment was $2,893. The board also moved its February meeting from the 11th to the 20th, and it reported that the shelter in memory of Megan Nichols at Love of Mike Park is nearly complete.

Dr. Caroline Neff

Dr. Caroline Neff will be adding office hours at Horizon Healthcare in Grayville, beginning January 20th. No physician referral is needed to see Dr. Neff, and she will see patients there on the first Monday of each month. Dr. Neff is a graduate of FCHS and joined FMH as a general surgeon last year.

Kevin Leonard, with the Fairfield Water Department, has announced a boil order is in effect for residents on Southeast Seventh from East Delaware to East Douglas streets. Residents in the area should boil water to be used for human consumption until further notice.

A recently unveiled email shows that a once powerful lobbyist, Mike McClain, emailed two top aides in two top aides in the Quinn administration in 2012 to seek leniency for a corrections worker facing disciplinary action. The email urges restraint against the worker, who had “kept his mouth shut about ghost workers and a rape in Champaign.” McClain was a close confidant of House Speaker Mike Madigan, who says he knew nothing of the rape case.

The State Department of Labor wants Illinois workers to know their rights when it comes to breaks and time off. It says full-time employees must get a meal break of 20 minutes for every seven-and-a-half hour shift, and that break must be no later than five hours into a shift. There are exceptions for some employees, such as farmers and security guards. Full-time employees are also required to receive a minimum of 24 hours of rest in each calendar week.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 19.45 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 8.98 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 14.81 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 15.08 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 21.39 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 12.99 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $52.50, unchanged from yesterday. The February crude oil price is $59.26, down $0.76 from yesterday morning.