Headlines for Wednesday, June 24th

Wayne County Mobile Home Tax Bills will be mailed by July 1st, and the due date is September 1st. Bills may be paid in person at the Wayne County Courthouse, though people entering must wear a face mask and have their temperatures taken. Payments may also be made by mail or in the drop box on the west side of the courthouse. People needing to make other arrangements, or who have questions, should call Masterson’s office at 842-5087. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

28-year-old Derek S. Thomason was sentenced in Wayne County Circuit Court yesterday. He pleaded guilty to counts of DUI and driving with a suspended license. He was sentenced to two years probation for the DUI and two years special section probation for the other count, to be served concurrently.

Several people were booked in the Wayne County Jail yesterday, including 41-year-old David J. Straube. He is accused of restraining a woman in her vehicle, and then tackling her in a yard when she was able to get out. Straube was charged with domestic battery and held, pending an appearance before a judge to set bond.

No injuries were reported in a single-car accident near Geff last night. 32-year-old Joshua D. Downen reportedly lost control of a Kia Sorento, ran off the side of a road, and flipped the car on its roof. The vehicle sustained over $1,500 damage, and Downen was cited for leaving the scene of a property or vehicle damage accident.

The Fall Fun Fest Committee met last night and voted not to have the event this year. One major concern for the committee was acquiring state approval for shutting down a portion of the highway through Fairfield. The Fall Fun Fest is the latest event to be cancelled due to COVID-19, joining the Wayne County Fair and Wayne City Bean Days.

The Fairfield City Council met last night and voted to fund 75 percent of projects to replace certain gas and water meters. The total cost of the projects is roughly $58,000. The council also approved a street closing request from Not Your Ordinary Church for July 19th from 3 to 10 p.m. and appointed Henry Simmers to the Recreation Committee. The council also heard no release-to-build date has been announced in the Casey’s construction project on West Main Street, and aldermen discussed a total review of the city’s Tree Ordinance, saying several trees posed concern on city property. Aldermen also passed a Resolution of Support for Wayne County Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on July 2nd.

The Frontier Community College Foundation has received COVID-19 Emergency funds to assist students who need additional financial resources. Funding applications are available on the FCC Facebook page. The funds are emergency grants students don’t have to pay back, and they don’t impact financial aid awards.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced yesterday afternoon that face-to-face instruction in schools will resume this fall. Students and staff will be required to wear face masks, and a cloth masks will be provided free of charge by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. More than 50 people gathering in one place will not be allowed, and social distancing will be required when possible. Schools will be able to set up their own plans under the guidelines based on their own unique needs and capabilities, and a the full guidelines may be found at https://www.isbe.net/Documents/Part-3-Transition-Planning-Phase-4.pdf

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 601 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday afternoon and 38 additional deaths, including a man in his 70s in Jefferson County. Statewide totals sat at 137,825 cases and 6,707 deaths. Marion County reported two new cases yesterday to bring its total to 64. No other new cases were announced in southeastern Illinois, according to coronavirus.illinois.gov.

97 percent of soybean acres have been planted, according to the latest statewide weekly crop report. 60 percent of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition. Corn fell to 59 percent in good-to-excellent condition. 26 percent of winter wheat has been harvested, and the first cutting of alfalfa is wrapping up. Average statewide topsoil moisture sat at seven percent very short, 26 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and four percent surplus.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 4.92 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.03 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.84 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.06 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.79 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 4.84 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $33.25, down $0.25 from yesterday. The August crude oil price is $39.87, down $1.11 from yesterday morning.