Headlines for Thursday, October 15th


The Illinois State Police have released details, regarding a traffic accident involving two semis south of Fairfield this morning at 9:15 a.m. A 2020 white Freightliner truck tractor semi trailer combination driven by 27-year-old Azamat Pardaev of Brooklyn, New York, was traveling north on Highway 45, approaching County Road 690 North by Koontz Cemetery. A previous crash at this location caused a utility pole and telephone line to fall across both lanes of Highway 45. Numerous vehicles had stopped in the northbound lanes due to the obstruction across the roadway. A 2005 Red Western Star truck tractor semi trailer combination driven by 73-year-old Flora resident, Wayne Fatheree, was traveling south on Highway 45 and stopped in the southbound lanes due to the obstruction. Pardaev crested a hill and noticed numerous stopped vehicles in the northbound lane, was unable to slow down in time and swerved left to avoid the stopped vehicles. Pardaev struck Fatheree’s semi head-on in the southbound lane. Fatheree was flown to a regional hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Pardaev was uninjured. Highway 45 was closed for six hours following the accident. ISP cited Pardaev for improper lane usage. ISP, Wayne County deputies, Fairfield Rural Fire Protection District and Wayne County EMS responded to the scene.


The Wayne City Fire Protection District has been called to several fires in the past day. Firemen were aided by Bluford, Dahlgren, and Jefferson fire for a combine/field fire yesterday afternoon southwest of Keenes. David Boyles, the owner of the combine, would like to thank those who responded to assist, including neighboring farmers. Fairfield Rural provided mutual aid for a smaller grass fire east of Sims yesterday, and Wayne City responded to a third field fire early this morning near the Orel Township Building. Little damage was reported in the second two fires, though the combine was a total loss for the first fire yesterday. Roughly three acres of standing beans, 40 acres of cut-over field, an old barn, and several fence rows were also caught in the blaze as high winds whipped through the area.

Fairfield plans to conduct a city-wide cleanup Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Street and Bridge Department. The service is for Fairfield residents only, and a utility bill stub and driver’s license will be required to dispose of materials. Dumpsters will be available for general waste, tires, metal, and appliances. Unacceptable items include construction or remodeling debris, electronics, liquid paint, batteries, and items considered hazardous waste. Light truck tires can be disposed of for $3 each, passenger car tires $2 each, and bicycle and ATV tires $1 each. Commercial contractors will not be allowed.

The Fairfield Community High School Board of Education will meet tonight at 6 in the school study hall. Superintendent Jill Fulkerson is scheduled to give updates on the district’s TIF and COVID-19 situations, and the board is set to discuss first semester exams. Next month’s meeting is also scheduled to be moved to November 16th.

A Sangamon County Circuit Judge is weighing whether or not to dismiss lawsuits challenging Governor Pritzker’s use of emergency powers during the pandemic, including a suit from Representative Darren Bailey. The two sides are set to submit proposed orders by October 23rd, and a final order will be based on one of the two proposals.

Edwards County schools have been notified of a positive COVID-19 case at ECHS. ECHS will learn remotely today, but Albion and West Salem grade schools will attend school normally. Fairfield Community High School was also notified of a person with a positive case, and the Wayne County Health Department is working to identify and notify close contacts. FCHS says it will continue to monitor the situation and will notify people if conditions change.

Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 patients being treated and in the interest of public safety, Fairfield Memorial Hospital says it will close its cafeteria to the public until further notice, starting today. Meal service will still be available to FMH patients and staff, as well as visitors. The hospital’s Meals on Wheels program will continue to deliver. FMH thanks the public for its cooperation and understanding as it takes the precautionary measure.

The Wayne County Health Department announced 14 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 405. 88 cases were active, including six hospitalizations. Edwards County announced 14 cases from October 1st through the 13th, bringing its total to 90; eight people were in isolation, and it said anyone who visited the Christopher Rural Health Community Center in Albion from the 5th through the 14th could have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus. The state Department of Public Health announced 2,862 new cases of COVID-19 and 49 additional deaths. The Southern Region’s positivity rate dipped to 7.7 percent on October 11th, compared to eight percent on the 10th.

Fairfield Police Chief Keith Colclasure is warning the public about various scams circulating the area. He says most scams are from overseas; he says, when calls from unknown numbers begin with long delays, it is likely a scam. He also says his department had an ADA grant reinstated, so work on the department building will be underway in the near future.

Dry weather continues to be the norm for much of Illinois this month, which has helped aid harvest. However, Freese-Notis meteorologist Dan Hicks says cooler air and a chance for rain will come into play today and this weekend. In the six-to-10 day forecast, he says the weather pattern indicates cooler temperatures will be more prominent for much of the Midwest, though the Ohio Valley could see above average temperatures.

Governor J.B. Pritzker is making a final push for Illinoisans to fill out the 2020 Census, which will end its collection efforts today. He says he’s disappointed in the latest court ruling which pushed the Census end date to today, but it’s more important than ever to be accurately counted. The Census can be completed at 2020census.gov.

Secretary of State Jesse White has announced a new email service is available to members of the public who need information on reinstating driving privileges, obtaining driving relief, or scheduling and administrative hearing. Emails may be sent to adminhearings@ilsos.gov, and a response should be sent within three days. More information may be found at cyberdriveillinios.com.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 3.95 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 3.85 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 0.64 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.19 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 2.46 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $34.00, up $0.75 from yesterday. The November crude oil price is $40.58, up $0.56 from yesterday morning.