Headlines for Wednesday, September 16th

According to a statement from North Wayne Community Unit School District #200 Wednesday afternoon, the school district has been notified of an individual at Cisne Middle School who has tested positive for COVID-19. The Wayne County Health Department is currently working to notify those who are considered close contacts and who need to quarantine. Notifications of need to quarantine will come from the health department and not from the school district. The person is currently recovering at home in isolation. The school building will be deep cleaned and disinfected before any students or staff are allowed to enter. North Wayne Community Unit School District will continue to monitor the situation and notify employees, parents, and students if conditions change.

Firemen were called to the Walmart parking lot yesterday afternoon to a report of a Hyundai SUV on fire. The Fairfield Fire Department says no injuries were reported, and nobody was inside the vehicle when they arrived.  Firemen were on-scene for roughly 30 minutes, and the vehicle was towed after the fire was extinguished.

Several people were booked in the Wayne County Jail yesterday. 55-year-old Brent e. Thomason was arrested for disorderly conduct after police investigated a neighbor dispute involving a bb gun. He was held, pending the posting of $100 bond. 26-year-old Alec M. Draper was booked on Wayne County warrants for failure to appear in court on two counts of theft and one count of burglary; he was held, pending the posting of $1,595 bond.

Wayne County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who recently stole a 1991 XR80 Honda motorcycle from the Tony Jones residence in Ellery. Anyone with information on the incident should call or text Crime Stoppers at 842-9777.

17 Wayne County 4-Hers participated in the virtual Illinois State Fair General Projects Show recently. All exhibitions will receive an Award of Excellence recognition ribbon. In addition, Zachary Boatner, Sara McGehee, and Grace Milligan were named Champions in their respective categories, and Addisyn Hutchcraft and Braxton Kirk were named Reserve Champions. Macie Edwards and Hunter Kirk were given Inspire awards for projects highlighted by the judges.

Fairfield Public School District 112, Jasper, New Hope, and Geff will hold Child Find/Preschool Screenings next week at the Fairfield First Christian Church. Screenings will be held from 8:30 to 2:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and appointments are required. People may call 842-6501 to make an appointment or get more information. Each screening procedure takes roughly 45 minutes, and the program is free.

Fall Fun Fest Buttons will be sold for $2 each at several businesses in Fairfield, and there will be daily drawings for Chamber Bucks from October 5th through the 9th. Daily winners will receive $25 in Chamber Bucks, and two winners will be drawn on the 10th for $100 in Chamber Bucks. Buttons may be purchased at McDowell, Kenshalo & Jesop; Joe’s Body Shop; Carnaby Square; Save-A-Lot; FNB; Fairfield Banking Company; Peoples National Bank; Black’s Fashion Flowers; the Chamber of Commerce; John’s Butcher Block; Uniquely Rustique; and the Wayne County Press.

The Big 10 has announced its Council of Presidents and Chancellors has voted to allow the league to play football this fall. The Big 10 season will open on the weekend of October 24th, with teams playing eight games in eight weeks. A championship game is reportedly scheduled for December 19th, and the Big 10 should be eligible for the College Football Playoff.

The Wayne County Health Department announced four new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 222. 91 cases were active, including four hospitalizations. The county also announced one person with a lab-confirmed case of the virus had passed away, marking the county’s fifth virus-related death. Edwards County announced nine new cases since last Wednesday, bringing its total to 61, and 10 people were in isolation. The state Department of Public Health announced 1,466 new cases of COVID-19 and 18 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 264,210 cases and 8,332 deaths. The positivity rate in the Southern Region of the state jumped from 6 percent on the 11th to 7 percent on the 12th.

Fairfield Community High School will return to in-person learning this Friday after going remote for two weeks due to COVID-19. Officials say they have consulted with the Wayne County Health Department and believe it is safe to return. Students should use their assigned doors for entry, and all safety measures will be in place. Anyone with questions should contact FCHS at 842-2649.

The Cisne Village Board met Monday night and held a special meeting regarding a Greater Wabash grant to help update the village’s water treatment plant. It may be six months before Cisne hears if it receives the roughly $550,000 for the project, which would leave its costs at roughly $6,400. Mayor Roy Atwood also announced Jimmy Barnfield would replace Stan Zdan on the board.

The Fairfield Ministerial Alliance is collecting toiletries and other items for Frontier Bobcat athletes currently in isolation. People may leave the items at the New Beginnings Church from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and tomorrow, and the alliance will also accept monetary donations to help offset some of the costs it incurs in helping the athletes. Some are lodged in the Briarwood Inn and have limited resources for food preparation, so they are in need of dry goods or food that may keep in a refrigerator and is easily microwavable.

Corn harvesting is just beginning in Illinois, according to the latest statewide weekly crop report. Statistician Mark Schleusener says 37 percent of corn was mature, two percent had been harvested, and 72 percent of corn was rated in good-to-excellent condition. 49 percent of soybeans were turning color, 17 percent were dropping leaves, and 71 percent of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture was rated at four percent very short, 26 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and seven percent surplus.

The State is offering $245 million in grants to small businesses struggling during the pandemic. This is the second round of Business Interruption Grants, and officials say it will focus on heavily-impacted industries, downstate businesses, and places hit especially hard. There is also money set aside for businesses suffering damage in recent civil unrest and looting. Grant applications will be available tomorrow at illinois.gov/dceo.

DTN Meteorologist Bryce Anderson says Hurricane Sally isn’t expected to have a big impact on Illinois weather, though it will be heavy rainmaker in the southeast. He says tropical storms and hurricanes tie up all the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, leaving limited moisture to come north to the Midwest. As such, crops are likely to continue to dry down as the area maintains is stretch of relatively dry weather.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 5.18 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 4.93 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.21 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 0.72 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 4.47 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 3.00 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $31.25, up $1.00 from yesterday. The October crude oil price is $39.24, up $2.07 from yesterday morning.