Headlines for Monday, May 18th

The Wayne County Health Department has been notified of one additional positive case of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours in Wayne County residents. The notification was announced through the Wayne County Health Department Facebook page. The person is a male in his 50s and is in isolation at home. To date, there have been nine lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Wayne County. One of these positive lab-confirmed cases has passed away. Two of the positive cases have recovered. Six remain in isolation. Wayne County has done a total of 520 total tests with 511 negative test results as of Monday afternoon.

Wayne County first responders were called to a single-car accident approximately one mile north of Fairfield yesterday afternoon. 19-year-old Deena K. Leonard hydroplaned after passing a vehicle on Highway 45 and struck a ditch, though she was not taken to a hospital. Wayne County EMS and a tow truck were called to the scene.

No injuries were reported in a two-vehicle accident Friday afternoon approximately five miles northeast of Fairfield. Police reports indicate 46-year-old Glenna J. Michael struck 32-year-old Kelly L. Lane as Lane was attempting to turn onto a driveway. No tow truck was called. Michael was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and Lane was cited for failure to signal.

The Fairfield Public School District 112 Board of Education will meet tonight at 6 in the North Side Gymnasium, and it is scheduled to approve policy updates and the sale of surplus inventory. The board is also expected to act on the employment of a special education teacher and the resignation of an assistant girls basketball coach.

The Greater Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the winner of its Pretty Up Your Place People’s Choice Award. DeWayne and Ruth Kissner at 402 Southeast Fourth Street won the award after a vote on the Chamber Facebook page over the weekend. They also won the prettiest front yard award last week.

Businesses defying the Governor’s stay-at-home order could face a misdemeanor under emergency rules filed by his administration. The changes were filed on Friday, and lawmakers in a bipartisan committee will have the chance to review the changes later this week. If they are not rejected, the rules will remain in effect for 150 days.

Hundreds gathered at the Illinois State Capitol this weekend to protest ongoing stay-at-home orders from Governor J.B. Pritzker. State Representative Darren Bailey attended and told the crowds he anticipates the Clay County Circuit Court will find the Governor’s most recent orders to be unconstitutional and illegal.

The Edwards County Board of Education will meet tonight at 7 in the West Salem Grade School Gymnasium. The board is expected to approve an amended tentative 2019-2020 budget and set a budget hearing for June 15th. People wishing to attend the meeting should call 1-978-990-5000 and enter access code 843221#.

Julie Bryant’s last day as Frontier Community College’s Coordinator of Public Information and Marketing is May 27th. The 2013 FCHS graduate has accepted a job as University Relations Coordinator at the University of Evansville. FCC has posted her position and is looking for a replacement.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,734 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 51 additional deaths. The state’s “positivity rate,” or snapshot of how widespread infections are, was at a seven-day rolling total of 15 percent. The state’s reopening plan requires a rate of 20 percent or lower to move to Phase Three later this month.

Governor Pritzker says the state is expanding testing for the coronavirus, and anyone with symptoms is encouraged to get tested at one of the state’s 250 sites. Additionally, certain workers, such as local and state government employees, grocery store and restaurant employees, and child care workers, can be tested at a community-based testing site even if they don’t have symptoms.

Murphysboro State Representative Teri Bryant says there has been a major mistake made by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The IDES web page had reportedly published an open database filled with personal information, including name, address, and social security information, for thousands of people who had applied for benefits. The Governor’s Office says the situation was “immediately” fixed, and an investigation has been launched.

Illinois State Police remind drivers that crews are still working in construction zones across the state, and posted construction zone speed limits are in effect all day in the zones, regardless of whether or not workers are present. The minimum fine for the first speeding offense in a work zone is $375, and the second offense nets a $1,000 fine, with more severe punishments also possible.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 18.35 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 9.18 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 17.68 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 13.11 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 22.26 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 10.92 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $22.50, up $2.00 from Friday. The July crude oil price is $31.06, up $2.40 from Friday morning.