Headlines for Friday, July 24th

The Albion Police Department and Edwards County Sheriff’s Department were investigating a stolen late model Cadillac on Thursday from South 8th Street in Albion, when a report came in of a car found abandoned near the Little Wabash River west of West Salem. The car had become stuck in a ditch and then was burned. The car reportedly had the key in the ignition. If you observed any suspicious activity on 8th Street early Thursday or have any information in regards to the stolen vehicle, please contact the Albion Police Department.

The Wayne County Health Department has announced an additional case of COVID-19 in the county, a female in her 60s. The case brings the county’s total to 28; 18 people have recovered, and nine are currently in isolation at home. The department will continue to investigate each case, and anyone contacted by public health officials should respond promptly.

The North Wayne Community Unit School District Board of Education met earlier this week and accepted the resignation of Sheila Massie as Johnsonville Pre-K aide and bus driver. Holly Angle was employed to fill the positions for the upcoming school year; the board will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the Cisne Middle School Cafeteria.

32-year-old Nathan S. Foley and 24-year-old Quila M. Hart were booked in the Wayne County Jail recently. Foley was arrested on a charge of retail theft, and Hart was charged with aggravated battery, resisting or obstructing a peace officer, and criminal trespass to real property. They were held, pending the posting of bond.

Emily Rush RN, Surgical Services Department

Fairfield Memorial Hospital has announced Emily Rush as its July Employee of the Month. A Registered Nurse in the Surgical Services Department, Rush has been with FMH since December 2007. Hospital officials say she is willing to help where needed, even if it is not her assignment for the day, and Surgical Services Director Hazel Vest also praised the care she shows her patients.

The Jefferson County Health Department in encouraging anyone who visited the Mt. Vernon Applebee’s between July 9th and 19th to seek a vaccine for Hepatitis A as soon as possible. The department says the restaurant may have been exposed, and it has since been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

The National Weather Service has released its Central Region Climate Outlook for August to October, and it says it anticipates warmer than normal temperatures in that timeframe. A La Nina watch has been issued for the next six months, which could mean colder temperatures and wetter than normal conditions this winter.

FCHS Athletic Director Bobby Wells says the school currently plans to switch to a block schedule for the upcoming school year, and students will not attend the building in person on Wednesdays. FCHS will offer an e-learning option for immunocompromised students and for those who don’t wish to return to in-person classes.

Fairfield Public School District 112 has released its plan to return to classrooms this fall. For the first nine weeks, North Side and Center Street will begin at 8:10 and end at 1 and 1:10, respectively. Families may opt for distance learning, but they must do so by August 7th and must stick with their decision for at least a four- week period.

Jasper Grade School also released its return to school plan. Though it is subject to change, the plan says remote learning will only be offered to immunocompromised students, or students with such family members. In addition, Jasper says it will not enforce mask wearing during class times, though masks will be required for other situations.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,624 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday afternoon and 20 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 166,925 cases and 7,367 deaths. New cases were reported in most counties in southeastern Illinois, but not in Edwards, Wabash, or Hamilton counties.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is warning the public about a nationwide fraud scheme, which primarily impacts each state’s Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. Governor J.B Pritzker says anyone who gets a debit card in the mail although they didn’t apply for PUA should be on alert, shouldn’t use the card, and should check their credit report for any suspicious activity.

Lawmakers in Washington are working on another stimulus package, and Congressman Darin LaHood says a big talking point for this round focuses on litigation protections for businesses against coronavirus infections. LaHood also says unemployment compensation from the last package incentivized not working, and he wants to put a limit on how much individuals can receive.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 21.88 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 7.85 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 20.43 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 3.60 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 16.05 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 9.75 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $34.00, down $1.00 from yesterday. The September crude oil price is $41.19, down $1.09 from yesterday morning.