Headlines for Monday, September 14th

An eight-man crew from Wayne-White Electric Cooperative has returned from Louisiana after spending two weeks helping provide relief after Hurricane Laura. Dennis Estes, Ryan Barrett, Clint Harl, Randall Douglas, Jason McKinney, Chad Hinkle, Tom Flannigan, and Lindy Simpson returned on Saturday, and a second crew has been sent to continue the relief effort.

Buildings and homes damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Fairfield Police Officers Justine Zurliene, Kody Moore, and Craig Zurliene, who is now with the Princeton, Indiana, Police Department, were recently awarded Certificates of Appreciation by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists. The alliance conducts an annual DUI survey to promote the enforcement of impaired driving violations.

Fairfield Police arrested 38-year-old Crystal A. Bradham last night on a charge of driving under the influence after she reportedly struck property at Mach 1 in Fairfield. Police conducted a traffic stop west of the business and detected the odor of alcohol. Bradham was lodged in the Wayne County Jail, pending the posting of bond.

53-year-old Robert D. Cline and 42-year-old Shawn M. Burgess were also booked in the jail over the weekend. Cline turned himself in on a Wayne County failure to appear warrant for failure to register as a sex offender, and he was released after posting bond. Burgess was charged with possession of meth, and he was also wanted on a Douglas County contempt warrant. He was held, with bond set at $520 for the warrant.

No injuries were reported in a single-vehicle crash east of Geff yesterday morning. Police say 23-year-old Bryton I. Musgrave looked away from the roadway for a moment, then ran off, struck an embankment, and overturned. A tow truck was called to the scene, and Musgrave was cited for operating an uninsured vehicle and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Petitions for the Fairfield Consolidated Election will be available in the office of City Clerk Tina Hutchcraft on September 22nd. Elections will be held on April 6th for the positions of Mayor, City Clerk, and one alderman for each of the city’s four wards. Petition circulation begins on the 22nd, and the filing period is December 14th through the 21st.

Wayne County Public Health Administrator Clark Griffith says many of the cases in the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be traced to the Frontier Bobcats baseball team. He says 62 tests were taken in the group with an over 50 percent positivity rate. The college and other organizations are working to keep the virus from spreading into the general student population.

The Wayne County Health Department announced three new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 215. 91 cases were active, including five hospitalizations, and the department says four people with lab-confirmed positive cases have passed away. Edwards County had three new cases reported over the weekend on coronavirus.illinois.gov, bringing its total to 55. The state Department of Public Health announced 1,462 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 14 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 261,371 cases and 8,309 deaths. The positivity rate for the Southern Region of the State was at six percent on September 10th, down from 6.4 percent on the 9th. The rolling three-day average for hospital availability was at 45 percent for Medical/Surgical beds and 59 percent for ICU beds.

Family Video in Fairfield will close in the coming weeks. Employees say there were informed of the upcoming move on Wednesday. The business’s final day is scheduled for October 25th, but it could close earlier if it sells out its inventory. Employees say the decision was prompted by already slowing business and the coronavirus.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital recently donated an Automated External Defibrillator to the Fairfield Girls Softball Association. The device will be installed at the softball field concession stand. FMH says, in a cardiac situation, each minute defibrillation is delayed reduces the chances of survival by approximately 10 percent. The AED was presented by Dr. Kory Blank, who will return to the area to join the staff at FMH in the fall of 2021 upon the completion of his orthopedic residency.

Kory Blank, MD, Future FMH Orthopedic Surgeon (left); and Jeremy Ellis of the Fairfield Girls Softball Association

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul says his office has received multiple complaints about robocalls trying to discourage people from voting by mail. It was told, in many cases, automated messages would claim people’s personal information would be compromised if they voted by mail, but the Illinois State Board of Elections says the process is a secure option in the November election.

Jennifer Russell, Economic Development Educator at the University of Illinois Extension, has some tips for businesses to make customers feel safe from the coronavirus. She says businesses should be very upfront about their cleaning protocols and do small things like having a cup for sanitized pens for signing receipts. She also says frequent hand sanitizer stations and going touchless when possible are good ideas.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is touting its new Outdoor Illinois app, which debuted last month. Deputy Director Rachel Torbert says the app can track season dates, find information on places to hunt and camp, and list DNR law enforcement officers. The app is available for download in both the App Store and Google Play.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 8.30 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 4.88 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.26 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 0.74 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.98 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 2.89 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $30.50, unchanged from Friday. The October crude oil price is $37.24, up $0.15 from Friday morning.