Headlines for Wednesday, August 12th

Edwards County 4-H Youth Leader Ava Anderson has been selected by the Illinois 4-H State office to serve on a newly created statewide leadership team focused on food advocacy and food justice. 20 leaders from around the state will join the team as it begins its work this month, and Anderson will also assist in planning the annual Food Action Summit.

43-year-old Joshua I. Musgrave was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday in Wayne County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty in March to a Class 2 Felony count of burglary. Musgrave was credited with 86 days served in jail, and a separate case against him was dismissed per his plea.

Several others were sentenced in Wayne County yesterday. 43-year-old Crystal D. Kuhn pleaded guilty in March to a county of delivery of a controlled substance, and 40-year-old Warren S. Hallbeck was found guilty in February of possession of less than five grams of meth. Both were given 18 months probation and 40 hours of public service work.

23-year-old Fairfield resident Aaron M. Clark was arrested yesterday afternoon by Wayne County deputies on a Coles County warrant for petition to revoke probation on a charge of domestic battery. Clark was released from jail with a notice to appear in court.

The Illinois Supreme Court has issued an order saying Governor Pritzker won’t have to appear in Clay County Circuit Court on Friday. State Representative Darren Bailey had asked for the governor to be held in contempt for continuing to issues executive orders, despite a ruling from Judge Michael McHaney saying he had exceeded his gubernatorial authority.

The Wayne County Health Department announced three new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 65. One person was hospitalized, and 17 were isolating at home. Edwards County announced five new cases to reach 26 total. Nine people were in home isolation, and 17 had recovered. Jefferson County reported five people at a long-term care facility had died from COVID-19 complications. No new cases were reported in White or Hamilton counties. The state Department of Public Health announced 1,549 new cases and 20 additional deaths; statewide totals sat at 196,948 cases and 7,657 deaths.

Mayor Brent Maguire and family

The Fairfield City Council met last night and elected Alderman Gary Moore as interim mayor. Alderman Jerry Lisenbee nominated Moore, and aldermen Terry Stahl, Jim Griffith, Tyler Lampley, Eugene McGill, and Ralph Barbre voted yes. Alderman Brett Coale voted no. Mayor Brent Maguire’s final day will be August 23rd, and he was presented a token of appreciation for his service.

Fairfield aldermen also held public hearings for two rezoning requests last night. In their regular meeting, the council voted to grant a change from R2 to B3 for property at 1301 West Delaware. A current house is expected to be razed to allow for a temporary parking lot for McDonald’s employees. A second request for Leininger Road died for lack of a motion.

The Cisne Village Board met Monday and recognized Stan Zdan for his years of service after he turned in his resignation last month. The board also said it will work to approve ordinances next meeting relating to clean-up and maintenance of properties in Cisne, including mandates for mowing, weed control, and abandoned vehicles.

The condition of Illinois corn and soybeans improved, according to the latest statewide weekly crop report. 66 percent of corn was in the dough state, 10 percent was in the dent stage, and 79 percent of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition. Soybeans improved to 78 percent in good-to-excellent condition; 91 percent of the crop was blooming, and 74 percent was setting pods. Average statewide topsoil moisture was rated at two percent very short, 21 percent short, 65 percent adequate, and 12 percent surplus.

A legislative oversight committee upheld Governor J.B. Pritzker’s mask enforcement rules for Illinois businesses, schools, and daycare centers yesterday. The rules create guidelines for enforcing the mandate, ranging from a warning to fines for repeat offenders. His counsel said businesses should post signs asking customers to wear a mask and provide one if possible. They do not need to police those who say they can’t medically wear a mask. Opponents argued any enforcement measure should be a part of state law.

Aletta Lawrence, Superintendent of Mt. Vernon City Schools, said on Facebook Monday night that her district would switch to fully remote learning due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County. As of yesterday, Mt. Vernon Township High School planned to proceed with in-person learning, beginning Monday, though it plans to continue to adjust its plan based on health guidance.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 22.96 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 6.12 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 11.47 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 2.98 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 20.57 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 5.82 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $34.50, down $0.50 from yesterday. The September crude oil price is $41.98, down $0.36 from yesterday morning.