Headlines for Thursday, May 21st

Fairfield baseball and softball leagues this summer have been cancelled. All baseball registration fees will be refunded in the original form of payment, and refunds may be picked up from 8 to 4:30 on June 1st through the 5th at Rush Appliance. People may recoup softball fees at Southwest Park on May 26th, 27th, or 28th from 4 to 6 p.m.

FNB has announced a targeted lobby reopening date of June 1st for all locations in Fairfield, Wayne City, and Grayville. Measures will be put in place to promote the safety of employees and customers, and customers will be asked to wear face coverings when able. People are still encouraged to use drive-through and online options when possible.

The IECC Board of Trustees met Tuesday night. The board welcomed Dr. Ryan Gower as Chancellor of the District, and it approved a change in status for the employment of Debbie Bryant at Frontier Community College. She had served as an administrative assistant but was changed to a Distance Learning Specialist for the college’s Title III Grant.

Wayne County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who recently broke into a vending machine in Geff, damaging the machine and stealing money from it. Anyone with information on the incident should call or text Crime Stoppers at 842-9777.

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office has withdrawn rules that could have imposed a misdemeanor to Illinois businesses ignoring his stay-at-home order. The Governor also eased restrictions for Phase Three of his reopening plan, which should begin May 29th. Restaurants and bars will open for outdoor seating, and all state parks will open, along with barbershops, hair salons, and retail stores. State Representative Darren Bailey was escorted from the Bank of Springfield Center after refusing to wear a facemask during session. Bailey says he will wear a mask for today’s session, and he also says he is unsure if his lawsuit against the Governor will be heard in Clay County Circuit Court tomorrow. The Governor’s counsel has sought to remove the case to federal court.

Wayne County Farm Bureau Manager Doug Anderson says local farmers were able to put in solid work to close April, and despite a wet middle of May, planting is still ahead of last year’s pace. He also says the crops would benefit from a warm-up, but he has not heard of local crops having emergence issues because of the cool weather.

Memorial Day services at Maple Hill Cemetery are still on as scheduled. Services will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday in the cemetery’s Veterans’ Section, and retired Lt. Colonel Terry Prizer will be the guest speaker. The Wayne City Cemetery Board says there will not be services in Wayne City this year due to the pandemic. The VFW Post 8222 and American Legion Post 590 will work on their Avenue of Flags in Edwards County on Saturday, weather permitting. They will visit cemeteries on Monday morning and hold a 21-Gun Salute at the Memorial Arch on the Albion Square at 10 a.m. on Monday, but no formal service will be held. A schedule of Post 8222’s visits may be found below. The West Salem American Legion McCormack Post 658 will conduct their annual services on Sunday at 8 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial on the West Salem Square. It will then visit nine local cemeteries, and the approximate schedule is below.

Post 8222 (Monday): Birk (Glover) – 7:00 a.m., Mt. Zion – 7:15, Wanboro – 7:30, Little Prairie – 7:45, Samaria Baptist – 8:00, Pleasant Hill – 8:15, West Village – 8:30, Browns – 9:00, Union – 9:15, Graceland – 9:30, Old Albion – 9:45, Memorial Arch at Edwards County Courthouse – 10:00

Post 658 (Sunday): Shiloh – 8:30, Ebenezer – 8:40, Macedonia – 9:00, Little Wabash – 9:15, Marion – 9:30, Parkersburg Oak Hill – 10:00, Walnut Grove – 10:15, United Methodist – 11:00, and Moravian – 11:15 a.m. All times are approximate.

The FCHS Board of Education will meet tonight at 6. The board is scheduled to accept the retirements of Pat Gottfried, effective immediately, and Lori Robson, effective at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. The board could also act on the possible employment of social science and CEO teachers before adjourning for the night.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,388 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 147 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 100,418 cases and 4,525 deaths. The state’s website, coronavirus.illinois.gov, showed Williamson County with 55 total cases, and Marion County officials announced its 51st positive test. No other counties in southeastern Illinois reported any new cases on the state’s website; Wayne County remained at nine total positive tests, and Edwards County held at two.

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly says troopers won’t arrest people for violating the state’s stay-at-home order, though they will encourage people to do the “right thing.” Kelly says this has been a tough situation, and Governor Pritzker is seeking legislation that would let police impose a misdemeanor fine after dropping his initial misdemeanor rules.

Jennifer Tirey with the Illinois Pork Producers Association says there have been some improvements in processing capacity at meat packing plants. However, she doesn’t expect plants to reach full capacity in the coming months, in part because of precautions being taken against COVID-19. The IPPA is seeking state and federal funding sources to help offset costs for producers that need to consider depopulation.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 21.54 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 7.17 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 19.07 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 10.97 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 22.51 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 18.26 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $26.50, up $1.00 from yesterday. The July crude oil price is $33.88, up $2.01 from yesterday morning.