Headlines for Friday, February 7th

Fairfield rural firefighters, White County deputies, and White County EMS responded to a single-car crash in Mill Shoals this morning. 56-year-old Jay Morris was northbound on Highway 45 and reportedly flipped his truck on its top after striking a utility pole. He was transported to Fairfield Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

25 Cisne FFA members submitted Supervised Agricultural Experiences yesterday for Section 23 Proficiency Award Judging at Mt. Carmel High School. 16 students took home first place in their respective categories, and they will advance to District V Interview Competition in Mt. Vernon on March 4th.

Wayne County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who recently stole an EZ Go Electric Golf Cart belonging to Terry McKinney. Anyone with information on the incident should call or text the Wayne County Crime Stoppers at 842-9777.

Wayne City Cub Scout Pack 185 will hold its annual soup and chili fundraiser tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Wayne City Community Building. Service will continue until food runs out, and the cost is by donation. A father-son cake decorating contest is also scheduled, and the cakes will be served as dessert.

Republican Darren Duncan, a candidate for U.S. Representative, says he would look to improve infrastructure and broadband opportunities in central and southern Illinois if elected. Early voting for the March 17th primary began yesterday, and Duncan is one of eight total candidates for the seat.

Y-Fairfield has entered the city into the ring for the HGTV series Hometown Takeover. According to the show’s website, citizens of the town selected can expect to witness the rehabilitation of homes, public spaces, parks, and local diners. Y-Fairfield’s video may be watched at https://www.facebook.com/yfairfield/videos/vb.352893158585580/1533309613487410/?type=2&theater

Today is the deadline to submit nominations for the Fairfield Outstanding Community Service and Business of the Year awards, and they may be made by calling the Greater Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce at 842-6116 or by emailing chamber@fairfieldilcitygov.us. Winners will be recognized at the Chamber Dinner on March 9th.

The FCHS Varsity Scholastic Team went 3-1 in a Southern Illinois Academic Conference Meet yesterday, defeating Mt. Vernon, Marion, and Salem. FCHS fell to Carbondale. Jason Wright led the team in toss-ups answered with 18. Jalysse Kinney was second on the team with nine; Karlie Taylor answered six, and Brenna Freeman, Jacob Britt, Lex Gonzalez, and Xavier Tullis each added one.

The Wayne County Farm Bureau Foundation and Young Leader Committee will award a total of seven scholarships for county students who plan on majoring in an ag-related field in the fall 2020 semester. The Foundation will award six $750 scholarships, and the Young Leader Committee one $1,000 scholarship. Applications are due March 1st, and they may be downloaded from waynecfb.com.

The first $50 in rural broadband funding is being released by the State of Illinois. The money comes on a matching basis to expand access to high speed Internet; Internet providers, non-profits, local governments, and others can apply for the grants. Up to $5 million per project will be available in this first round of funding, and $420 million will be spent in all to increase Internet coverage. Officials say plenty of attention will be given to rural areas, but even some areas in Chicago have no access to high-speed Internet.

Secretary of State Jesse White says Illinois’ Automatic Voter Registration System is still a good program, despite a few recent glitches. White says he is angry a computer problem led to more than 500 non-citizens being registered to vote, and he apologized to the public. He says the error was fixed the day it was discovered, and he still has faith in the program. Some lawmakers are calling for AVR to be suspended and checked for any additional problems.

The Illinois Department of Revenue says it collected more than $237 million in back-taxes during a six-week amnesty period last fall. The revenue exceeded the $175 million that Governor J.B. Pritzker’s administration was expecting to help fund the state’s $40 billion budget, and officials say the final tally could be higher because they are still reviewing some payments.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 19.39 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 8.35 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 15.27 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 8.70 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 23.39 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 12.38 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $44.00, up $0.25 from yesterday. The March crude oil price is $50.99, down $0.39 from yesterday morning.