Headlines for Tuesday, January 14th

The Wayne County Ambulance Service responded to a single-car accident last night near the Fairfield Airport. Deputies say 32-year-old April J. Vaughan was eastbound on Highway 15 and struck a sign. The ambulance service also attended to three passengers.

Illinois Route 1 between Grayville and Mt. Carmel is closed due to flooding. State officials say portions of the roadway are covered by 12 inches of water due to a clogged culvert by a railroad. IDOT reminds motorists to not drive through the water, and it says people should use an alternate route and expect delays. The road is expected to be closed for several days.

State Ag Director John Sullivan has resigned due to inaction regarding an email sent in 2012 referencing a state employee who kept his mouth shut regarding a rape in Champaign. Then a senator, Sullivan said he did not read the email thoroughly at the time, and he accepts responsibility for the oversight.

Secretary of State Jesse White has awarded over $1.2 million in FY20 School District Library Grant Program awards to 684 public school districts. Edwards County, Wayne City, FCHS, and Fairfield Public School District 112 will each receive $750 from the grants. More information on the grant program may be found at cyberdriveillinios.com.

The Fairfield Community of Christ Church and Fairfield Memorial Hospital will hold blood drives in the coming days. The church’s will run from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, and FMH’s will be next Wednesday from 10:30 to 3:30. The Red Cross has issued an emergency plea for donations as blood supplies are dangerously low.

Fairfield Mayor Brent Maguire says the city is looking into all options for its electrical grid, including selling its distribution system. However, he says no decisions have been made as Fairfield’s study of its system continues. He also says there is no solid information on the Casey’s construction on Main Street, although Casey’s did renew their building permit for this year.

The Fairfield City Council will meet tonight at 6. Aldermen are expected to discuss possible work on the Lakeside Reservoir Project and other work to address flooding issues in the city. The council will also hear the FY19 audit and discuss an ordinance pertaining to video gaming.

The Fairfield Area Development Commission met yesterday afternoon and discussed the city council’s upcoming vote that could abolish the commission. Chairman Royce Carter said there would still be outstanding issues to resolve, including the handling of $50,000 left in a Revolving Loan Fund.

Frontier Community College will hold a one-day winter youth baseball camp this Monday from 9 a.m. to noon at Carter Athletic Academy. Registration will be held from 8 to 9, and pickup will be from noon to 1. The cost is $60 per child, and no pre-registration is necessary. Children 5-12 years old are invited to attend.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign a Phase One trade deal with China later this week. Adam Nielson, Illinois Farm Bureau Director of National Legislation and Policy Development, says the deal should call for a substantial amount of purchases by China. He hopes the deal is real and can get farmers back to where they were five to six years ago with China, and he says everyone is looking forward to getting back to normal trade relations.

Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is launching a program to replace all B-Truck license plates in Illinois. The oldest plates will be replaced first, and drivers will be notified by mail when their plates are eligible for an upgrade. There will be no cost to motorists, and this will be an ongoing process that replaces plates every 10 years. About 1.3 million Illinoisans have B-Truck plates.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 26.85 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 16.26 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 23.80 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 19.36 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 30.46 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 23.28 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $51.25, down $0.75 from yesterday. The February crude oil price is $57.90, down $1.25 from yesterday morning.