Headlines for Wednesday, March 25th

57-year-old Robert J. Dodge was sentenced to prison yesterday in Edwards County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty to counts of unlawful possession with intent to deliver meth and unlawful possession of firearm ammunition by a felon. He was given four years and six months in prison for each count, with the sentences to be served concurrently.

47-year-old Thomas W. Cramer was arrested yesterday afternoon by Fairfield police on a charge of aggravated domestic battery. Cramer was transported to the Wayne County Jail and held, pending an appearance before a judge to set bond.

Five people were released from the Wayne County Jail yesterday after pleading guilty to various counts in Wayne County Circuit Court. Sentencings will be held at a later date. The court is only handling certain cases at this time, including emergency orders of protection and pleas for defendants already in custody. All other cases are in the process of being rescheduled.

Compassion Pregnancy Center in Fairfield will be available during regular business hours today to help with material needs, such as diapers and formula. Doors will be locked, and people must call 842-2525 or text 335-1347 to set up a no-contact exchange. The center’s banquet has also been rescheduled for September 18th.

The Wayne County Health Department will have limited hours and services until further notice and will not accept any walk-ins at this time. The department will offer WIC, Family Case Management, and Immunizations Services by appointment, and only the patient and parent, guardian, or child will be allowed to enter the building for said appointment. People looking to cancel or schedule an appointment should call 842-5166.

The national tournament in which the FCHS varsity scholastic team had been invited to participate has been canceled. As a result, the annual Mind Bowl that was set for April 16 has been canceled. The team greatly appreciates the support of those who had already sent in a donation or team entry, and it will ensure checks are returned. Anyone with questions should contact Tammy Austin at taustin@fchsmules.com.

The Fairfield City Council held a teleconference meeting last night and unanimously voted to hire Terry Bruckert as the city’s TIF Attorney. Mayor Brent Maguire said he believed Bruckert would be a great fit. He also encouraged residents to keep up their good work in getting through the coronavirus pandemic, adding it has not gone unnoticed.

The Edwards County Board of Education took no action at a special session last night regarding work with Schneider Electric. A bid on work around the district came in significantly higher than what was estimated earlier. The board agreed to allow Superintendent David Cowger to investigate other options and report back.

The Wayne County Farm Bureau has announced its 2020 4-H Project Grant awards. 18 Wayne County 4-Hers were awarded a total of $1,988.53. Each 4-Her will be required to submit receipts of their project purchases before receiving their grant money. Recipients include: Avery Barnard (Visual Arts Food Decorating), Nathan Barnard (Visual Arts Woodworking), Jude Carter (Meat Goats), Neve Carter (Meat Rabbits), Kenley Devoy (Meat Goats), Aidyn Dickey (Floriculture), Abigail Hallas (Seam Clothing 1), Apphia Hallas (Aerospace Adventures), Addisyn Hutchcraft (Sheep), Brody Hutchcraft (Beekeeping), Harv Keyser (Swine), Kohen Kinsolving (Vegetables), Aspen Legg (Dogs), Mya McGowan (Chickens), Kaelynn Stennett (Creative Arts: Clays), Anna Taylor (Poultry), Kamden Vaughan (Goats), and Kiersten Vaughan (Equine).

The Fairfield Business and Professional Women’s Foundation is accepting scholarship applications from Wayne County High School senior girls and mature women returning to college. Scholarships will be valued at $2,000. High schoolers should call or text Thea Gain at 919-2819, and the mature women scholarship application may be found at https://iecc.edu/files_user/FCCH/Scholarship_BPW.pdf. The deadline for scholarships to be postmarked is June 1st.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 250 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday afternoon and four deaths. The total number of confirmed cases was at 1,535 in 32 counties, as Grundy County in northern Illinois had reported its first positive test. Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, White, Clay, Hamilton, and Jefferson counties continue to have no confirmed cases, per the IDPH.

Senate leaders and the Trump Administration reached an agreement early this morning on a $2 trillion stimulus package to help the economy through the coronavirus assault, according to multiple reports from Washington, D.C. The agreement aims to send $1,200 checks to many Americans, create a $367 billion loan program for small businesses, and set up a $500 billion fund, much of which would go to businesses, cities, and states. Other provisions reportedly include a massive boost to unemployment insurance, $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds, and $130 billion for hospitals.

Governor J.B. Pritzker says he doesn’t have enough data yet to tell state residents when his Shelter-in-Place order will end. The order is set to expire April7th, but the governor says that could change based on the number of cases of coronavirus. He says he knows how hard the past few weeks have been for everyone, especially those who are unable to collect a paycheck or who have had to close their businesses under the order.

Illinois manufacturers and biotech companies are ready to help the state’s fight against COVID-19. The Essential Equipment Task Force has been created to allow for the state’s engineering and manufacturing might to be put to work in donating or making supplies such as N95 masks, gowns, and hand sanitizer. Mark Denzler, head of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, says many factories are already acting to help meet demand.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 26.00 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 7.54 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 19.90 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 13.54 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 31.84 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 24.32 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $17.00, up $1.00 from yesterday. The May crude oil price is $24.56, up $0.29 from yesterday morning.