Headlines for Wednesday, October 7th

24-year-old Brodey I. Murbarger was arrested in Evansville this morning in connection with the death of Megan Nichols. He was reportedly arrested at his place of employment without incident, and a search warrant was executed at his home in Evansville. He was taken to the Vanderburgh County Jail as he awaits extradition to Illinois.

Brodey Murbarger

56-year-old John D. Tucker was taken to Fairfield Memorial Hospital after a Monday afternoon accident in Fairfield. Police say he attempted to turn south from the north lane of West Main Street onto Clarence Avenue, and he pulled into the path of 19-year-old Chloe J. McNeil. Fairfield Fire and Wayne County EMS responded to the scene, and the crash remains under investigation.

45-year-old Melissa A. Young was taken to FMH after striking a deer last night between Fairfield and Geff. County deputies say she was lost control of her truck after striking the deer, left the roadway, and rolled, coming to rest on the truck’s top. Wayne County EMS responded to the scene, and two passengers refused transport to the hospital.

Several people were booked in the Wayne County Jail yesterday. 54-year-old Jesse O. Hedden was arrested in Madison County on a Wayne County warrant for failure to register as a sex offender. 46-year-old Serena A. Neaveill was arrested on a Hamilton County failure to appear warrant for leaving the scene of an accident; both were held, pending the posting of bond.

Today’s winning Fall Fun Fest Button numbers are 310, 225, 518, and 342. Winners will receive $25 in Chamber Bucks, sponsored by Carnaby Square, and people can take their buttons to McDowell, Kenshalo & Jesop to claim their prize. Buttons are still available for purchase, as well.

The Wayne County Health Department announced seven new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and one additional death. The county had eight total deaths, and 327 total cases; 61 of the cases were active, including eight hospitalizations. Marion County reported 17 cases and two deaths, and Jefferson County reported six cases and one death. The state Department of Public Health announced 1,617 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 31 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 305,011 cases and 8,836 deaths. The Southern Region’s positivity rate was 6.3 percent on October 3rd, up from 5.8 percent on the 2nd.

Fairfield Public School District Superintendent Dr. Scott England says the deadline for changing to or from in-person learning at North Side and Center Street is tomorrow. He also says the district has purchased 20 wireless hotspots, which will help provide Internet access to quarantined or isolated students without reliable connectivity.

The Wayne County Board will meet tomorrow night at 7 in the upstairs courtroom of the Wayne County Courthouse. The meeting will begin with guest comments from Jason Simpson of Wayne City regarding the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. The board will also discuss courthouse repairs as a matter of old business.

Last month was drier and far cooler than one year ago. We received just 61 hundredths of an inch of rain at the station, compared to just over an inch-and-two-tenths last September. The average high last month was 81.9 degrees, with a high temperature of 93 on the 5th and 8th. Last September, the average high was 88.2 degrees, with a high of 96 on the 10th.

Harvest continues to progress ahead of last year’s pace, according to the latest statewide weekly crop report. 89 percent of corn acres were mature, and 26 percent had been harvest compared to 10 percent last year. 81 percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, and 25 percent of the crop had been harvested. Average statewide topsoil moisture was rated at seven percent very short, 23 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and two percent surplus.

Illinois livestock producers impacted by meatpacking plant disruptions due to COVID-19 are eligible to apply for grant funding. The $5 million is through the state Department of Agriculture, and areas eligible for help include swine producers who faced herd depopulation after April 15th, livestock producers who were holding animals between April 15th and May 15th, and meat and poultry capacity programs.

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 4.86 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 3.97 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 2.40 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $33.75, up $1.50 from yesterday. The November crude oil price is $40.02, up $0.85 from yesterday morning.