Headlines for Tuesday, October 13th

The Wayne City Village Board moved their meeting from last week to this week because of the coronavirus, but the board didn’t have enough members present for a quorum, so it plans to try and meet next week. It is working on applying for a grant to cover the lion’s share of a project for a new sidewalk near Cesario’s and the Dollar Store, and paperwork is due by the 26th.

No injuries were reported in a single-vehicle crash about four miles north of Wayne City yesterday morning. Deputies say a 16-year-old from Clay City didn’t see an upcoming intersection due to heavy fog and struck a Wayne-White utility pole guy wire. A tow truck was called, and the teen was cited for operating an uninsured vehicle.

Several people were booked in the Wayne County Jail over the holiday weekend. 63-year-old Phillip D. Brown was arrested Saturday on charges of aggravated battery, aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and driving with a revoked or suspended license. He was held in the jail, pending an appearance before a judge to set bond. 35-year-old Cody L. Massie was arrested Sunday on a Wayne County warrant for theft, and he was held, pending the posting of $1,020 bond. 38-year-old Brian L. Malone was arrested Saturday on a Wayne County failure to appear warrant for failure to register as a sex offender; he was released after posting $595 bond.

Soybean trading had a rough start to the week. AgriVisors’s Karl Setser said November contracts were down 31-and-three quarter cents to close yesterday. He says a rally last week was partly due to light buying and little selling, but yesterday’s market had moderate selling and no buying. Overnight trade saw November beans go up six-and-a-half cents.

44-year-old Fairfield resident Reggie L. Shemwell was reportedly arrested in connection with the death of a 10-year-old from a motor vehicle accident. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said Brandon Tate was struck by a vehicle Friday night, and Shemwell was arrested for aggravated driving with a revoked license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. Other charges are possible, pending a blood and urine test, but police say it appears to have been just an unfortunate accident.

The Wayne County Health Department announced six new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 386; 89 cases were active, including seven hospitalizations. Hamilton County added seven cases yesterday to reach 94 total, and Jefferson County announced four cases yesterday and two deaths over the weekend. No new cases were announced in Edwards, Wabash, or White counties. The state Department of Public Health announced 2,742 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 13 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 321,892 cases and 8,997 deaths. The Southern Region’s positivity rate was 7.5 percent on October 9th, up from 7.3 percent on the 8th.

The Fairfield City Council will meet tonight. The night will begin with public hearings at 5:40, the second of which deals with annexing the Wayne County Fairgrounds into City Limits. Interim Mayor Gary Moore says the move is important in that it would allow the city’s TIF I and TIF II districts to touch, but no vote is scheduled for tonight. In other action, Fairfield aldermen are scheduled to work through an ordinance moving the mayoral position back to full-time. Mayor Moore says the position’s salary was upped at the previous council meeting, so the job description should be changed to reflect its duties and pay. The meeting will be held via phone conference, as well as in person at City Hall.

The Edwards County Health Office and Edwards County Farm Bureau will sponsor a drive-through flu-shot clinic from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Edwards County Fairgrounds. The clinic is for private pay, private insurance, and Medicare customers only; all Medicaid customers must make an appointment with the health office.

The state Board of Education is teaming up with teachers unions to provide support for first-year teachers. High-quality mentoring programs are designed to reduce turnover among new teachers and give them a shoulder to lean on. Mentors and coaches are available in schools and virtually, and there is an online library of resources, as well. The programs are funded with a $6.5 million federal grant.

63-year-old Freeport resident George Buss has pleaded not guilty to charges of child pornography and prostitution. He is known for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, and has participated in portrayals across the country for more than 30 years. Buss posted $20,000 bond last month, and jury trial is reportedly set for December.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 4.02 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 3.91 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 0.65 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.20 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 2.48 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $32.50, down $1.00 from yesterday. The November crude oil price is $39.61, down $0.38 from yesterday morning.