Headlines for Thursday, January 16th

26-year-old Aaron C. Blevins was life-flighted to Evansville after a single-car crash on Interstate 64 in Wayne County yesterday. Police reports indicate he lost control of his car, struck a guard rail, and ricocheted into a concrete bridge railing before coming to rest. A passenger was not transported to a hospital.

Wayne County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who recently entered a home and stole several items, including two gun cabinets containing eight firearms. The home burned down overnight. Anyone with information should call or text Crime Stoppers at 842-9777.

The White County Sheriff’s Office, Carmi Police Department, and Southern Illinois Drug Task Force arrested 11 White County residents yesterday morning in Operation Dealer’s Choice. The arrests were the results of a months-long investigation into drug use in White County, and more arrests are anticipated.

Kevin Leonard of the Fairfield Water Department has issued a boil order for the following areas: NE 4th Street from Main to East Court; East Court Street from N. 1st to NE 4th Street; NE 3rd Street from Main to East Court; NE 2nd Street from Main to Court Street; N. 1st Street from Main to East Water Street; South 1st Street from Delaware to Center Street; West Main Street from NW 6th to NW 4th. Residents in the affected area should boil water to be used for human consumption until further notice.

President Donald Trump signed the first phase of a trade deal with China yesterday that he says will bring big jumps in business to the nation’s farmers. Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr., says the state is well-positioned to fulfill China’s demands of soybeans, pork, and additional commodities.

22-year-old Cody Collins and 23-year-old Austin Kehrer were arrested yesterday morning after a car chase that began in Jefferson County. The two were stopped after striking multiple Marion County squad cars near Johnsonville. They were transported to the Jefferson County Jail, pending the posting of bond.

The FCHS Board of Education will meet tonight at 6 in the school’s study hall. The board is expected to discuss a school maintenance grant, and it is also scheduled to accept the retirement of Angela Tucker after the 2023 school year. Action is also possible on a contract extension for Superintendent Jill Fulkerson.

Wayne County Sheriff Mike Everett will award one $500 scholarship to a student pursuing higher education during the 2020-2021 academic year. Applications are available at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office or on ilsheriff.org. They must be returned to the Sheriff’s Office or postmarked by March 15th.

The Wayne County Historical Society will hold their January meeting at 6 this evening in the Wayne County Courthouse. Doors will lock at 6 for security purposes, and people should only enter through the east door. The night’s agenda includes discussion on the society’s 2020 Cemetery Tour.

Kevin Leonard, with the Fairfield Water Department, has announced a boil order for residents in the four-and-five hundred blocks of East Court Street, all of Northeast Sixth, and Southeast Sixth from East Delaware to East Center streets. Residents in the affected area should boil water to be used for human consumption until further notice.

Freese-Notis Meteorologist Dan Hicks says an uneasy feeling has built as heavy rains drenched portions of Illinois this past weekend. He says the rain is not a good sign after the flooding issues the state experienced last spring and summer, and it just adds to thoughts of a difficult and delayed spring planting season in the coming months. Much of the state recorded between one and four inches of precipitation last weekend.

As investigations continue into an email from lobbyist Mike McClain mentioning rape and ghost payrolling in 2012, Governor J.B. Pritzker says he expects everyone questioned to fully cooperate. The Illinois Inspector General, State Police, and others are investigating the email, and Governor Pritzker says everyone in Springfield needs to assess whether they have contributed to the government’s culture of corruption.

Illinois regulators say they are investigating apparent violations of a rule intended to prevent cannabis shops from stockpiling weed from a single cultivator while also reminding retailers they must keep enough product on hand for medical patients. Some dispensaries struggling with the supply deficit say they were worried that companies owning both dispensaries and cultivation sites could be attempting to limit product available to competitors.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 27.95 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 6.86 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 21.31 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 15.95 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 32.13 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 25.85 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $50.75, down $0.50 from yesterday. The February crude oil price is $58.22, up $0.31 from yesterday morning.