Headlines for Tuesday, February 11th

The Cisne Village Board met last night and renewed Cisne’s contract with Homefield Energy for three years. Effective in May, the new rate will be 4.466 cents per kilowatt hour, down from the current rate of 5.826 cents per kilowatt hour. Outside the meeting, Vicky Mugrage said she and another party have a purchase agreement in place for the Cisne Key Market building.

The Edwards County Medical Association has volunteered to build a new office for the Edwards County Health Department. The group is now looking for suitable building locations in the Albion area. The health office is currently located on the west side of the courthouse square and is not handicapped friendly.

Cisne FFA members Layton Atwood, Hannah Callahan, Melanie Jordan, Bailey Lewis, Zack Paul, Kaleb Smith, Gideon Walker, and Kailee Weber have been recommended to receive State FFA Degrees. Following final approval from the Illinois FFA, the degrees will be presented at the State FFA Convention this summer. In addition, Jordan was named the 2020 Section 23 Star in AgriScience.  She advances to District V Star interview competition on March 4 at Mt. Vernon Township High School.

Wayne County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who recently stole a Kubota M7040 tractor with a front-end loader from the property of Dustin Trotter. Anyone with information should call or text Crime Stoppers at 842-9777.

Facebook has agreed to a $550 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit accusing it of harvesting biometric data without permission of millions of Illinois users. The settlement still needs judicial approval. Illinois passed a law in 2008 that allowed individuals to sue in such instances of potential privacy breaches.

The City of Fairfield will hold a meeting on March 7th for the culmination of the MAPPING The Future of Your Community program that was started last year. Mayor Brent Maguire says the come-and-go meeting will run from 1 to 3 p.m., and people will be able to learn what is going on and how to get involved.

The Fairfield City Council will meet tonight at 6. The night will begin with a public hearing at 5:45 regarding the rezoning and annexation of multiple properties around the city. In their regular business, aldermen are expected to approve a contract time extension for work at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Joint Review Board for Fairfield’s TIF districts will meet tomorrow afternoon at 4:30. The meeting will include a review of the annual reports of TIF I and TIF II. Springfield attorney Dan Schuering is expected to be in attendance. The meeting will be followed by a TIF Committee meeting at 6.

The HOPE Rescue Board of Directors has announced its CEO Rhonda Koker has received certification as an approved Humane Investigator from the state Ag Department. She will work on a referral basis with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, and any complaints should be directed to the Sheriff’s Department.

Illinois’ 15th Congressional District is expected to disappear following the 2020 census as a result of steadily dwindling population. Four Republicans and four Democrats are running for the seat in this year’s election, but reports indicate the winner will likely serve only one term as the state undergoes redistricting.

The Ag Economy Barometer rose to 167 points in January, up from 150 in December. Michael Langemeier, with Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, says the jump is mostly attributable to a rise in optimism about future conditions in ag. This month’s survey, which is based on responses from a nationwide survey of 400 ag producers, was conducted January 13th-17th.

The Illinois Department of Revenue is reminding taxpayers to take advantage of the earned income tax credit this year when filing. The credit is for low- to middle-income taxpayers and could net them thousands of dollars. People can check to see if they qualify for the credit at irs.gov. People who qualify on federal returns automatically qualify for the state credit, as well.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 20.73 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 9.76 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 20.13 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 10.94 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 22.41 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 16.22 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $42.50, down $0.75 from yesterday. The March crude oil price is $50.41, up $0.25 from yesterday morning.