Headlines for Saturday, July 25th

The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday announced 1532 new cases of the coronavirus in the state, including 19 additional deaths.  New cases Friday included 9 cases in Jefferson County, five cases in White County, eight cases in Saline County and six in Gallatin County.  The IDPH is reporting a total of 168,457 cases and 7385 deaths across the state.  The preliminary seven-day positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 17th through 23rd is 3.4 percent.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has announced that due to an “abundance of caution”, the Fairfield Driver Services facility has been closed until August 5th and the McLeansboro Driver Services facility has been closed until August 6th after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.  The Illinois Department of Public Health has been consulted and confirmed that the public is not directly impacted by the situation.  Employees who work at the facilities are being quarantined for 14 days and the facilities are scheduled to be cleaned and sanitized according to CDC guidelines.

Wayne City Community Unit School District Superintendent Myron Caudle has announced plans for school reopening this fall.  He says the complete reopening plan can be seen on their Facebook pages and will be available next week on the school’s website.  In-person instruction will be conducted from 8 a.m. til 2 p.m. for all students Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  There will be no in-person attendance Wednesdays, which will be used for teachers to conduct remote learning for all students as well as a day for additional cleaning of the school.  All families will have the option of remote learning, but a decision will need to be made by August 6th.  Masks will be required for all persons inside the buildings unless eating, drinking, or playing a musical instrument in band.  Superintendent Caudle also said the plans are subject to change.

State Representative Darren Bailey told Fairfield Rotarians Thursday the federal investigation into Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is the tipping point when it comes to corruptiion in federal government.  Bailey also said ethics reform is desperately needed in Illinois and also pointed to an ongoing investigation of Governor J.B. Pritzker.  Bailey represents the 109th House district which serves Wayne and surrounding counties and is unopposed in the race for Illinois Senator.

26-year-old Remington C. Harrison of Geff, IL was hurt Friday morning in an accident in White County.  Illinois State Police said Harrison was driving a 1998 Mack truck westbound on Illinois Route 141 at Noel Road and for unknown reasons, lost control of the vehicle, causing it to leave the roadway to the right, hitting a pole and overturning.  Harrison was airlifted to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  The accident was reported just after 9:30 Friday morning.

A blood drive Wednesday at the Community of Christ Church in Fairfield netted 81 pints of blood, right on target for the projected goal for the event, according to Blood Drive Coordinator Diane Vaughan.  Winners of $25 Simply Enough gift cards were Crystal Baker and Nicole Schoenborn of Fairfield.  Teresa Courtight was recognized for donating eleven gallons and Scott Merkle for donating nine gallons.  The next local drive at the church is set for September 23rd.

Area river stages this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 22.38 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the river is at 20.23 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the river is at 16.65 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 6.91 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 9.56 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.