Headlines for Tuesday, August 4th

Payment for Wayne County Mobile Home Tax Bills is due September 1st, and a late fee of $25 per month will be assessed beginning September 2nd. The fee will cap at $100. Payment may be made in person at the Wayne County Courthouse between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., by mail, or by using the drop box on the west side of the courthouse. Anyone with questions should call County Treasurer Donna Masterson at 842-5087.

Fish from the Wayne County Soil and Water District Fall Fish Sale is set for delivery on September 16th. All fish orders due by noon on September 1st, and anyone looking to order should call the District office at 842-7602, Extension 3.

The 23rd annual White County Crop Tour will be held on August 26th. Participants are invited to a breakfast that morning at 7 in the basement of the meeting room of the Carmi Farm Bureau building, and teams will leave at 7:30. Lunch and data accumulation are scheduled for 11, and data will be posted at whitecfb.com. Anyone who would like to participate should call 382-8512, and the event is limited to 50 participants.

29-year-old Golden Gate resident Christina O. Tatum was booked in the Wayne County Jail last night. She was wanted on a Wayne County warrant for retail theft, and Tatum was released from jail after posting $520 bond.

Bail was set at $500,000 yesterday in Jefferson County Court for 35-year-old Brandi Tate. Tate was charged with controlled substance trafficking and manufacturing with the intent to distribute more than 900 grams of fentanyl, both Class X felonies. She is scheduled to appear in court on August 25th for a preliminary hearing and appearance with a court-appointed attorney.

The Wayne County Health Department announced five new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 50; one person was hospitalized, 21 were isolating at home, 27 had recovered, and one person with the virus passed away. Edwards County reported three new cases to reach 17, and Wabash County reported one to reach 34. Hamilton County added two, Marion and Jefferson counties announced eight, and White County reported four new cases. The state announced 1,298 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday afternoon and 10 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 183,241 cases and 7,526 deaths. The preliminary statewide positivity rate for July 27th-August 2nd was four percent. The Southern Region’s positivity rate was 7.4 percent on July 31st, the highest in the state.

The FCHS Board of Education met in special session last night and unanimously approved a Return to School plan. Superintendent Jill Fulkerson said she believes the Wayne County Health Department will do everything possible to keep schools open, and 32 students had opted in to the district’s remote learning option to start the year. Athletic Director Bobby Wells gave an update on sports for next year. For fall and summer sports, IDPH spectator guidelines would be in effect. For winter sports, no spectators are expected to be permitted due to the number of players, coaches, officials, and staff. For spring sports of football and volleyball, he said the school would do its best to accommodate as many fans as IDPH guidelines would allow. In other action, the board employed Grace Borah to fill a teacher’s maternity leave for the first semester of the FY21 school year.

The Albion City Council met last night and agreed to look at a new sidewalk ordinance for another month. The current ordinance does not state the city will do repair work, and the council would like more input on sidewalks replaced by homeowners. In other action, the council voted to purchase a new police squad car for $43,585 from Edwards County Motors.

The Wayne City Village Board met last night and approved multiple ordinances, including one prohibiting the keeping of inoperable vehicles. The policy allows for the towing of vehicles that have been inoperable to 60 days- or after seven days if the engine or tires have been removed. An ordinance prohibiting the dumping of trash in city limits was also approved.

A judge in Logan County has ruled Governor J.B. Pritzker’s order temporarily halting county jails from moving prisoners to state-run facilities was counter to state law. The IDOC must accept an inmate with 14 days of a transfer, but the governor’s executive orders during the pandemic struck that language. The Illinois Sheriffs Association filed suit in May, and attorneys representing the state requested a stay or the recent ruling in advance of an appeal

Doug Wilson, State Director for USDA Rural Development, says his office has been busy during the pandemic, and, even though they are watching their dollars, now is the time for communities to look for offered programs. He says the USDA’s water and waste programs have historically low interest rates at present, and more information on the programs can be found at usda.gov/il.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 23.35 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 7.44 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 19.87 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 6.04 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 21.37 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 14.76 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $34.00, up $0.75 from yesterday. The September crude oil price is $40.57, up $0.71 from yesterday morning.