Headlines for Friday, May 15th

27-year-old Taylor R. Loudermilk was taken to Fairfield Memorial Hospital after a two-vehicle crash on Enterprise Road yesterday morning. Police say Loudermilk attempted to pass 38-year-old Amelia Lingafelter just as Lingafelter began to turn onto a lane. She refused transport to a hospital. Loudermilk was cited by county deputies for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

41-year-old Robert N. McGowan was arrested yesterday morning by Wayne County deputies on a charge of domestic battery. McGowan was transported to the Wayne County Jail and held, pending an appearance before a judge to set bond.

The Illinois Sheriff’s Association has released a statement on Facebook regarding the Governor’s comments about the enforceability of his executive orders. The ISA says it is frustrating to hear of potential consequences, including loss of federal funding, for those who may not agree with the Governor’s positions.

The Greater Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce has announced winners for its Pretty Up Your Place Contest. DeWayne and Ruth Kissner (402 SE Fourth Stree) won prettiest front yard, and Wes and Cathy York (116 Lakeview Drive) won prettiest back yard. Voting for the People’s Choice Award is ongoing on the Chamber Facebook page until 10 p.m. on Sunday.

The Illinois Department of Transportation says there will be a lane closure next week on eastbound Interstate 64 near the Belle Rive exit. The entrance ramp from County Road 2200 East to eastbound I64 will be closed to all traffic, and maintenance crews will repair the structure carrying I64 over the railroad. Work is scheduled to run Monday through Wednesday, weather permitting.

The state says a man in his 80s in Wayne County has died as a result of complications associated with COVID-19. Wayne County Public Health Department Spokesman Mark Elliott says the county has had eight positive tests. Two individuals were released from isolation, and five are still being held in isolation. One individual at Aperion Care in Fairfield who initially tested positive was retested and came back negative for the virus, but they are still being treated as if they are infected. Edward County remained at two confirmed cases. The state announced 3,239 cases yesterday and 138 additional deaths, bringing statewide totals to 87,937 cases and 3,928 deaths.

The Wayne County Board met last night and said it will not authorize the “opening” of Wayne County. Board Chairman Steve Ehrhart said he wasn’t ready to expose the county to possible liability and health ramifications from opening early, and no opposing opinion was voiced.

The Fairfield Park Board met last night and discussed options for the city swimming pool. No motion was made to open the pool next month, but the matter is expected to be revisited in June to see what new state guidelines are in place. If the pool does not open this year, it could see renovation work to get ready for next year.

Darren Bailey’s revised lawsuit against the governor has been filed. In it, Bailey cites a memo from the office of the Attorney General in 2001 which says the Illinois Emergency Management Act only allows a governor to wield expanded authority for up to 30 days. The governor’s camp argues undoing his disaster orders would lead to harmful results.

Aperion Care in Fairfield will hold a family and friends drive-through parade this afternoon, beginning at 1:30. Participating parties are asked to stay in their cars as they drive by and honk or wave at Aperion residents to show support. Most contact visits at the facility have been prohibited since mid-March.

More than 50,000 independent contractors and gig workers in Illinois had applied for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in three days. The PUA portal opened Monday, and the state reminds people applying for PUA benefits that they need to apply for traditional unemployment first. More information may be found at ides.illinois.gov.

The Farm Progress Show is set for September 1-3 this year in Boone, Iowa, and people are expected to be able to attend with few to no limitations. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds had lifted restrictions in all but 22 of Iowa’s counties, and the remaining counties will have their restrictions lifted today. The show rotates between Boone, Iowa, and Decatur.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 8.46 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.78 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 6.92 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.94 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 10.20 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 7.10 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $20.50, up $2.25 from yesterday. The July crude oil price is $28.66, up $1.99 from yesterday morning.