Headlines for Sunday, July 26th

The Wayne County Health Department reported another positive case of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the county’s total to 29 lab-confirmed positive cases.  The latest case is a female in her 20s.  Of the 29 total confirmed cases in the county, one has passed away, 21 have recovered, seven are isolating at home and none are currently hospitalized.  Statewide, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported another 1426 cases Saturday and 12 additional deaths, bringing the statewide totals to 169,883 cases and 7397 deaths.

The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges have announced plans to return to in-person instruction in the classroom for the Fall Semester, which is set to begin August 20th.  The four colleges in the district, which includes Frontier Community College in Fairfield, along with Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Olney Central College and Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, will use a variety of ways to teach students this fall.  Many courses will be in person, however the class sizes may be smaller, or classes may be relocated to larger spaces to allow for social distancing.  The classes will adhere to IDPH guidelines and face masks will be required when social distancing is not possible.  The district will also offer some “hybrid” and “flex” teaching formats, involving students attending in-person one or two days a week and then engaging in remote learning on days when they are not in class.  Students can learn more by calling any of the district colleges or online at   www.iecc.edu

Fire caused heavy damage to a residence in Mt. Vernon, IL early Saturday morning.  Reports said as many as eight fire departments assisted in a fire in the 15,000 block of Fairfield Road near the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport around 5:45 Saturday morning.  No one was injured in the fire, and the report said firemen were on scene for nearly eight hours battling the blaze.  The cause is under investigation by the state fire marshal.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has honored four Illinois students who were the winners of the 23rd biennial Organ/Tissue Donor Poster Contest.  The 2020 overall contest winner was Allie Parks, a 7th grader at Adams School in Creal Springs.  The other winners were from Murphysboro, Lemont and Chicago.  Allie received a congratulatory plaque, a personalized Illinois Blue Book and a $100 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble from Donate Life Illinois for designing the overall winning poster.  Prints of the poster will be displayed throughout the state.

Published reports say residents in six central and southern Illinois counties have filed lawsuits against state-ordered restrictions on social interaction prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The counties include Clay, Richland, Clinton, Edgar, Bond and Sangamon counties.  The counties are seeking court orders declaring that there is no public health emergency as defined by Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Public Health Department, the report said.

Area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 22.86 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 19.88 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 16.39 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.84 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 9.06 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  Daily rain chances are in the forecast this week.