Headlines for Friday, September 11th

Frontier Community College has announced their plans to open facilities on Monday, September 14 have been pushed back due to rising COVID numbers. The new re-opening date has yet to be determined. Their community education courses will continue as planned.

60-year-old Janice A. Shewmaker and a passenger were taken to the Fairfield Emergency Room after a two-vehicle accident on Highway 15 at Keenes yesterday. Police say she pulled onto the highway and was struck by 49-year-old James K. Garrison. Shewmaker was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

No injuries were reported in an accident near Baldwin Vision Systems yesterday. Reports say a teenager had the front left wheel come off their 2007 Dodge, causing them to lose control and crash. The tire continued into the business parking lot and struck the side of a truck driven by 51-year-old Ronald K. Koontz.

The Fairfield Park Board met last night and voted to resurface the two northwest tennis courts at Lakeside Park. The project is expected to take place next year, and the cost is $18,520. The board felt the six remaining courts were in good shape, and an estimate for more extensive work for all four west courts came in at $180,000.

North American Lighting has earned the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association 2020 Healthy Manufacturer Certification for its COVID-19 response plan. NAL submitted a playbook for review by the IMA and Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, and the plan was certified without recommendations for improvement.

Fairfield National Bank will host a Paper Shred Day in Fairfield tomorrow from 9 a.m. to noon. The community is invited to bring up to 50 pounds of paper materials to be recycled and safety shredded. This is a paper shred event only, and other recyclable materials will not be accepted.

The Wayne County Board met last night, and County Clerk Liz Ann Woodrow reminded members early voting will begin September 24th. She also said her office had received over 500 vote-by-mail applications, far outstripping the previous record of 189. For in-person voters, she said thorough safety measures would be in place at all county polling places.

The Wayne County Health Department announced six new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 166. 54 of the cases were active, including six hospitalizations. Wabash County also announced six cases to bring its total to 135, and it says it will be removed from the IDPH county warning level today. Hamilton County added one new case. The state Department of Public Health announced 1.953 new cases of the virus yesterday and 28 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 255,643 cases and 8,242 deaths.

Wayne City Superintendent Myron Caudle said yesterday he had been notified by the health department that individuals in the schools have tested positive for COVID-19. Close contacts were being notified and quarantined, and the affected areas have been disinfected.

Ed’s Medicenter Pharmacy has had its records and inventory sold to CVS, according to Stephen Potts. He says the company that acquired the store in 2016 from his father informed him of the move yesterday morning. The purchase and closure will take place at the close of business next Tuesday, September 22nd.

The seven-member steering committee for the group looking into possibilities for a Senior Citizens Center in Fairfield has been announced. Members include David Savage, Brett Coale, Mike Dreith, Donna Masterson, Mary Musgrave, Flo Simpson, and Lisa Thomason. Ad hoc members will be added as needed.

Frontier Community College will observe Constitution Day on Thursday. The Learning Resource Center and Student Senate plan to host an essay-writing contest for all county seventh and eighth graders; 300-500 word essays on “The U.S. Constitution- What It Says, and What It Means” are due to the LRC by the 17th. Winners will be announced the following week based on a rubric created by the LRC and Student Senate.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted several areas of the ag industry, according to Illinois Corn Growers Executive Director Rodney Weinzierl. He says the food chains were disrupted earlier in the year as people ate at home more instead of at restaurants or schools. He also says gasoline sales are dropping as people drive less; about 30 percent of the corn crop goes into ethanol production, so profits for farmers go down as gas sales drop.

After a fairly dry August, half the state is experiencing drought or near drought conditions. The month ended up cooler than normal and the 15th driest on record in Illinois. State Climatologist Trent Ford says most of the rainfall last month was in southern Illinois, and he says it will take a good chunk of the fall to replenish soil moisture in the really dry areas.

Fall enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has set a new record despite the pandemic. Enrollment sat at 52,331, more than 1,000 more than a record set last year. The rise is attributed to a jump in graduate students, as their enrollment increased to a record 17,802 from 16,319 last year. Undergraduate enrollment declined from 33,850 to 33,492.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 4.63 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 4.99 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.27 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 0.77 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.47 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 2.90 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $30.50, down $0.50 from yesterday. The October crude oil price is $37.09, down $0.36 from yesterday morning.