Headlines for Tuesday, June 30th

Rain was spotty in the area overnight, as we recorded a quarter of an inch at the radio station. Farmers in southeastern Wayne County and northwestern White County reported an inch of rain over the same time period, and reports from McLeansboro indicate it received almost three and a third inches.

Several people were booked in the Wayne County Jail recently, including 30-year-old Cory S. Jones. Jones was found to be in possession of a glass meth pipe and a plastic bag with a small amount of meth after a traffic stop early this morning. He was charged with possession of meth, taken to the jail, and held, pending an appearance before a judge to set bond.

The Edwards County Farm Bureau has cancelled its Ag Olympics, which had been scheduled for this coming Tuesday. However, the ECFB Young Leaders will hold a tractor drive on July 25th, and that event will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the Albion Square. The cost is $25 per tractor and includes a gift and dinner at the drive’s conclusion.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will host junior livestock and horse shows later this year in lieu of state fairs. The Junior Livestock Expo will be held in Springfield on the weekends of September 11th and 18th. The Junior Horse Show will be held in Du Quoin on August 29th and 30th and September 5th and 6th.

The Wayne County Health Department announced the county’s 13th case of COVID-19 yesterday. The individual is a male in his 40s. Two people are in isolation at home, and 10 have recovered. Hamilton County also announced one positive case yesterday, bringing its total to four, and two people have recovered. The state announced 738 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 14 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 142,461 cases and 6,902 deaths.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Gilbert Sison has reportedly remanded Darren Bailey’s lawsuit against Governor J.B. Pritzker back to Clay County Circuit Court. Judge Sison wrote federal courts may only hear certain claims, and, though the governor was reasonable in seeking its removal, the complaint did not fall under federal jurisdiction.

Frontier Community College is moving forward in Phase Four of Restore Illinois. For the remainder of the summer, degree-seeking students may schedule appointments for on-campus meetings, including advisement and financial aid. Auxiliary services, such as the Fitness Center and bookstore, will remain closed to the public.

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and Governor Pritzker have announced the recipients of the Small Equipment Grant Program. A total of $3.5 million was awarded to 154 fire departments, districts, and EMS providers, including nearly $16,000 to the West Salem Fire Department in Edwards County.

The IDPH has launched a new tool to help assess the threat of the coronavirus in each community. The Risk Assessment Tool provides information like the number of new cases in a county, ER visits with virus-like symptoms, and whether there have been any clusters of infection. The information may be accessed at dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.

USDA Rural Development continues to promote infrastructure programs for local communities, according to State Director Doug Wilson. He says $23 million in water or waste-water infrastructure improvement grants was recently distributed to seven communities, and the program’s loan rates are the lowest they have ever been for places who don’t receive grant money. More information may be found at rd.usda.gov/il.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield plans to reopen for visitors tomorrow. Tickets must be purchased in advance online or over the phone; visitors will have their temperatures checked before entering, must wear masks, and will be asked to stay one “Lincoln” apart, a nod to Lincoln’s 6’4” height.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 6.90 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 6.31 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 8.76 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.95 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 16.29 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 7.99 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $32.75, up $1.25 from yesterday. The August crude oil price is $39.36, up $1.63 from yesterday morning.