Headlines for Tuesday, October 6th

Uber has announced it will expand to 39 additional counties in Illinois, including Wayne, Edwards, White, and Wabash counties. Starting tomorrow, people will have access to the transportation service as riders, and prospective drivers will have an opportunity to earn additional income. People must pass a series of checks and screenings before being able to drive.

One injury was reported in a single-car accident in northwestern Wayne County Sunday night. Deputies say 20-year-old Garry D. Lewis, Jr., lost control of his car after striking loose gravel and jumped a culvert. Another individual reportedly took him to Clay County Hospital. A tow truck was called to the scene, and the vehicle sustained over $1,500 damage.

The Fairfield Police Department reminds the public the deadline for the return of fire and police applications is this Friday at 4 p.m. Applications are still available at Fairfield City Hall. The Fire and Police Commission will conduct eligibility testing for the department on October 24th, with a mandatory orientation on the 23rd. The Commission is also seeking applicants for a lateral police officer list. A $2,500 sign-on bonus will be offered to qualifying officers upon hiring.

Today’s winning Fall Fun Fest Button numbers are 512, 1, 156, and 487. Winners will receive $25 in Chamber Bucks, sponsored by Joe’s Body Shop, and people can take their buttons to McDowell, Kenshalo & Jesop to claim their prize. Buttons are still available for purchase.

Wabash Valley College plans to hold several Concealed Carry courses in the coming days. A re-certification course will be offered this Saturday, and a course to obtain a license will be offered on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. Pre-registration is required for both courses, and people may do so by calling 866-982-4322.

John Haase, with the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities, says most of Illinois will see warm and dry weather for the remainder of the week, as storm tracks are shifting into Canada and a hurricane building near Jamaica is locking up moisture in the Gulf of Mexico. Haase says a low pressure system moving in early next week could bring some rain and cooler temperatures.

The Wayne County Health Department announced two new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 320; 57 of the cases were active, including eight hospitalizations. Hamilton County announced five cases, and Jefferson County announced 48 cases over the weekend. 21 of those cases were related to a single long term care facility. The state Department of Public Health announced 1,853 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 14 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 303,394 cases and 8,805 deaths. The Southern Region’s positivity rate was 5.8 percent on October 2nd, up from 5.7 percent on the 1st.

The Albion City Council met last night and voted to employ Cody Brown of Mt. Carmel as a new police officer; the move brings the force up to three full-time officers and Chief Mike Judge, and Brown will report for duty on November 18th. The Council also heard the Christmas Parade will be held on December 12th at 5 p.m., and it was told new trash receptacles have been delayed and won’t be delivered until sometime in December due to the pandemic.

Fairfield Public School District 112 will conduct Parent/Teacher Conferences at North Side and Center Street on October 28th, 29th, and as needed on the 30th. Conferences will be held from 2:15 to 7 on the 28th and from 2:15 to 6:30 on the 29th; they will be offered in person or via phone or virtual options. Times must be arranged with teachers.

This is National 4-H Week, and the theme this year is Opportunity4All. Locally, the Wayne County 4-H doesn’t have many events planned, as it isn’t officially meeting, but Thursday is the Kitty Litter Drive for the Wayne County Humane Society. Donations should be taken directly to the society, and photos of the donation may be posted on the 4-H Facebook page.

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson says the association hasn’t received answers from the IDPH or Governor’s Office for benchmarks that must be met to offer more sports. Anderson says the benchmarks are critical, and the IHSA has asked state officials in an effort to have a plan in place quickly. The winter sports season for basketball and wrestling is scheduled to begin November 16th.

It’s mating season for deer, so the Illinois Department of Transportation is urging drivers to be careful on the road. More than 40 percent of all crashes involving deer occur in October, November, and December, and IDOT says, if one deer is spotted, more are likely to follow. The top counties for deer/vehicle crashes last year were Cook, Madison, Sangamon, Will, and Fulton.

Illinois State Police have launched a tracking system for rape kits that will allow sexual assault survivors to track evidence in new cases. The system was reportedly intended to launch last year, but it was delayed to this August. Advocates say the new system can boost accountability and be a supportive tool for survivors.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 4.08 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 4.87 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 3.92 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 0.65 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.24 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 2.42 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $32.25, up $2.25 from yesterday. The November crude oil price is $39.17, up $1.18 from yesterday morning.