Headlines for Wednesday, July 8th

Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler says 37-year-old Bryan W. Petty of Fairview Heights was found dead around 12:40 on Tuesday afternoon at Rend Lake. He was pronounced dead at 1:20 p.m. Emergency crews were dispatched to Rend Lake shortly after 5 Monday evening for a report of a man who had entered the water from a boat and failed to resurface. After an extensive search of the area on Monday evening, rescue personnel were forced to suspend the search until early Tuesday morning.

The Hamilton County Health Department has been notified of one additional positive case of COVID-19 in the last 24 hrs, a male in his 50’s. To date there have been seven lab-confirmed positive cases of the virus in Hamilton County. Four have recovered, one is currently isolating at home, and two people are currently hospitalized. Hamilton County has done 394 tests overall with 387 negative tests results.

The Wayne County Health Department has been notified of one additional positive case of COVID, a female in her 20’s. To date there have been 15 lab-confirmed positive cases in Wayne County. 12 people have recovered, two are currently isolating at home, and there is currently no-one hospitalized for the virus in the county. One person who tested positive has died. To date Wayne County has done a total of 1912 tests with 1897 negative results.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) yesterday announced 614 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 6 additional deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 147,865 cases, including 7,026 deaths, in 101 counties in Illinois.

38-year-old Albion resident Crate A. King was sentenced on July 7 to a total of two years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by a term of one year Mandatory Supervised Release for Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon. A second charge was dismissed per plea arrangement. King was ordered to forfeit all firearms and ammunition to the Albion Police Department. Edwards County State’s Attorney Eric A. St Ledger prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.

The Preliminary hearing for 22-year-old Toria Emerson of Eldorado took place in Saline County on Tuesday. Toria Emerson, along with Richard Emerson (30) and Troy Gwaltney (42) are charged with Concealment of a Homicide in connection with the death of 32-year-old Chase Mitchell of Eldorado. Emerson is due back in court for pre-trial on September 22nd, with a jury trial set to begin October 7th. Mitchell was reported missing by his family in early May of 2020.

The Illinois State Police District 19 has announced the activity and enforcement figures for the month of June. Troopers recorded 1,099 incidents during the month. Enforcement activity consisted of 358 citations and 751 written warnings, including three DUI, 186 speeding, 43 occupant restraint citations, 10 criminal arrests, and 266 written warning for speeding. Troopers also assisted 85 motorists, conducted 52 Motor Carrier Safety Inspections, and investigated 33 crashes. There were no fatal traffic crashes during the month.

The Wayne County Historical Society is planning a History Camp for Wayne County Students entering into grades third – eighth from 10:00 a.m. until Noon on Friday, July 31st. Space is limited and the cost per child will $5. Please call 842-3544 for more information or to register your child for a morning of learning and fun.

“Dig Deeper: Read, Investigate, Discover” is the theme of this summer’s reading program at the West Salem Public Library which is being held from July 6th through August 6th. Parents need to register children who are under 12 years of age. Registration must be completed no later than July 16th. Contact Gretchen Gerlach if you have any questions.

The Clothes Line will be opening this Thursday at 9 a.m. and will be taking donations during store hours, Mon-Fri 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The West Salem Grade School will be holding an Outdoor Education Fundraiser & Auction on Saturday, August 22nd at the Country Financial Hall at the Edwards County fairgrounds in Albion. The fundraiser is sponsored by the West Salem Grade School PTO. Proceeds will go towards a future Outdoor Education site.

Illinois’ chief election authority told a federal appeals court Monday it wants to continue its appeal of looser election rules for third-party candidates. While the appeals court’s decision is unlikely to affect ballot access for third parties in the current general election cycle, its decision could have implications on future elections as the state continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Board of Elections is asking the 7th ­­U.S. Court of Appeals to agree the case should proceed and to set a schedule for both sides to file their arguments

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 5.94 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.35 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 5.40 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.12 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 5.72 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 5.64 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $33.62, down $0.01 from yesterday. The August crude oil price is $40.53, up $0.32 from yesterday morning.