Headlines for Thursday, March 26th

The Youth Education Committee of the Illinois Farm Bureau and its affiliates has awarded nine Illinois 4-H members with its Leadership, Citizenship, and Professionalism Award this year. Winners include Meghan Anderson and Zack Paul from Wayne County, along with Madelyn Maxwell from Hamilton County.

A 16-year-old Flora resident was transported to the Clay County Hospital Emergency Room after a single-car accident yesterday afternoon. Police reports indicate the teen ran off the north side of Highway 161 just east of Johnsonville. North Wayne Ambulance and a tow truck responded to the scene, and the vehicle sustained over $1,500.

The Fairfield Rural Fire Protection District has cancelled its fish fry that was scheduled for next Friday. In addition, the April meeting of the Wayne County 911 Authority has been cancelled, and its next meeting is now scheduled to be held on May 6th. Wayne County Soil and Water has also cancelled its Spring Tree Sale this year due to COVID-19.

The state has announced all Department of Employment Security offices are closed until further notice. People may file unemployment insurance claims or certify for unemployment insurance benefits at ides.illinois.gov. People looking to post resumes or search job postings may visit illinoisjoblink.com.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced the state will delay its tax filing deadline from April 15th to July 15th, aligning the state’s tax day once again with the federal government’s. The Department of Revenue will continue to process tax returns and refunds as they come in, and people may file state income taxes at tax.illinois.gov.

Every American household will receive a postcard this month from the U.S. Census Bureau. After receiving the postcard, people may log in to 2020census.gov to complete the census online, or they may wait to receive a physical copy to fill out. People have until the end of July to fill out their 2020 census information.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital has announced its Respiratory Illness Screening Clinic Tent in Fairfield will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., effective immediately. While the tent is closed overnight, patients with signs and symptoms of a respiratory disease should report to the Emergency Department. The hospital also says its Urgent Care will be temporarily closed on weekends, and, as of this Monday, it will temporarily relocate to the Horizon Healthcare Suite A for non-emergent and non-respiratory needs.

Fairfield National Bank is accepting applications for the David Kinney Memorial Scholarship through April 17th. Scholarships are available to graduating seniors from any Wayne County High School who are pursuing an ag-related major. A one-time payment of $1,000 will be awarded to up to five recipients. Interested students should contact FNB.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 330 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, along with three deaths, bringing the total number of cases to 1,865 and deaths to 19. Clinton County announced one additional case, bringing its total to four; Franklin County also announced one case this morning, but it was not confirmed by the state early today. No cases have been reported in Wayne, Edwards, White, or Hamilton counties.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced millions of dollars in emergency assistance for small businesses in Illinois. The Governor says he knows how hard it has been for the past several days, especially for businesses that have had to close their doors. Three programs have been developed to help small businesses through the current shutdown, and more information may be found at dceo.illinois.gov.

Two recent federal waivers should help the trucking industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. One involves a grace period for commercial driver’s licenses and commercial learner’s permits, and the other a grace period for medical cards. Such licenses, permits, and cards that expired on or after March 1st will be extended through June 30th, per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding investors to beware of con artists seeking to capitalize on fear and uncertainty related to COVID-19. He says people should ask themselves three questions to identify common signs of fraud, including asking if the person selling the investment properly registered in the state, if there is a sense of urgency or limited availability surrounding the investment, and if the situation offers promises of no risk and guaranteed returns on the investment.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 25.72 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 6.92 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 16.12 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 10.99 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 32.08 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 24.73 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $17.50, up $0.50 from yesterday. The May crude oil price is $23.54, down $1.02 from yesterday morning.