Headlines for Tuesday, June 23rd

21-year-old Fairfield resident James M. Kincart was arrested this morning by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in connection with damage done to oil tank batteries in the county. He was charged with felony criminal damage to property, taken to the Wayne County Jail, and held, pending the setting of bond. Kincart is the second person arrested in the case, joining 26-year-old Fairfield resident Tyler A. Hutcheson.

42-year-old Joshua I. Musgrave was arrested yesterday morning by Fairfield police on charges of burglary and battery. He was transported to the Wayne County Jail and held, pending an appearance before a judge to set bond.

42-year-old Dennis L. Galbraith was sentenced to one year probation and four weekends in jail in Wayne County Circuit Court yesterday. He pleaded guilty in February to a count of driving with a revoked license. Several other counts and cases were dismissed per his plea, and he was also ordered to pay fines and court costs.

Two 15-year-olds from McLeansboro were taken to a hospital in St. Louis with non-life threatening injuries after a single car accident yesterday in Hamilton County. State police say the teen driver lost control of the vehicle and rolled over off a county road. The driver was cited for driving without a valid license and driving too fast for conditions.

The Finance Committee of the Fairfield City Council will meet tomorrow at 5 p.m. at City Hall. The committee is scheduled to discuss electric, gas, water, and sewer utility rates as its only item of planned business. A phone conference option will be available for those wishing to attend, and those looking to join should call (844)854-2222 shortly before 5, enter access code 767116#, and state their name.

Wayne County’s self-response rate for the 2020 Census sat at 62 percent on Friday, behind Illinois’ rate of 66.3. Fairfield had a rate of 66.5 percent, and Wayne City and Cisne lagged behind at 54.9 and 47.7 percent. Edwards County’s rate was 65.5, and White County was just below Wayne County at 61.9 percent.

The FCHS Board of Education met last night and voted to waive the $55 technology fee for the upcoming school year. Money from the CARES Grant will be used to pay the fee. Substitute staff received a pay increase of $15 per day for certified staff and $10 per day for non-certified staff, and support staff received a two percent pay increase for FY21. Bobby Wells and Mark Leighty were rehired as Assistant Principal and Technology Director.

Fairfield Mayor Brent Maguire says the city’s proposed location for a new water tower in Maple Hill Cemetery is not set in stone, but it does present several positives for the city, including a lack of permitting complications. The city also needed to use property it already owned for a grant proposal for the new water tower.

The Fairfield City Council will meet tonight at 6 at City Hall, and the meeting will be open to the public. A call-in option will remain available. The council is scheduled to work through two street closing requests; one is from Not Your Ordinary Church for July 19th from 3 to 10 p.m., and the other is for a United Way Mobile Markets Program.

New Hope School held an outdoor graduation on Saturday. Dylan Fleener and Kinley Poole received the Mill Shoals Ruritan Awards, and Lainie Clark and Landon Harrelson were winners of the American Legion Awards. Clark was also the class Valedictorian, and Lily Simpson was Salutatorian.

From left: Trent Bliss, Lily Simpson, Lainie Clark, and Landon Harrelson

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 462 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 26 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 137,224 cases and 6,671 deaths. The Marion County Health Department announced one new case to reach 62 total, and 55 people have recovered. No other new cases were reported in southeastern Illinois, according to coronavirus.illinois.gov.

The Illinois Commerce Commission has agreed to provide more help to people struggling to pay their utility bills. The agreement covers eight of the state’s major utility providers, including Ameren, and it will assist qualifying residential and small business customers during the pandemic. A similar agreement has been reached with some smaller utility companies, and more information may be found at icc.illinois.gov.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is urging boaters to stay safe and sober this summer. Kids under 13 must wear a life jacket at all times on boats less than 26 feet long, and all ages must wear one while jet skiing. IDNR Spokesperson Rachel Torbert also says it is vital for boat drivers to remain sober, as drunk boating is as dangerous as drunk driving. 17 arrests have already been made for driving a boat while drunk this summer.

River stages as of early this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 5.03 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.05 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.80 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.07 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.85 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 4.91 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $33.50, up $0.75 from yesterday. The July crude oil price is $40.98, up $1.09 from yesterday morning.