Headlines for Wednesday, November 11th

A 16-year-old from Woodlawn was taken to Deaconess Midtown Hospital after a Sunday afternoon crash near Keenes. County deputies say the teen zoned out or fell asleep, and he left Highway 15, struck a concrete culvert, went airborne, and was partially ejected through the windshield of his vehicle. Wayne City EMS and Air Evac responded to the scene.

20-year-old David K. Porter and 33-year-old William M. Weccele, Jr., were booked in the Wayne County Jail yesterday. Porter was wanted on a Wayne County warrant for aggravated battery, and he was held, pending the posting of $5,020 bond. Weccele was wanted on an Edwards County failure to appear warrant for the second or subsequent offense of driving with a suspended license, and he was held, pending the posting of $245 bond.

Wayne County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who recently entered a locked storage building rented by Skylar Esmon. Several items were reported stolen, including a push mower, game console, turkey fryer, and propane tank. Anyone with information should call or text Crime Stoppers at 842-9777.

Amber Morton has been selected as the Fairfield Memorial Hospital November Employee of the Month. She works in the Cardiopulmonary Department and has been with FMH since October 2007. Officials say she is always willing to help her co-workers when possible and has been a positive influence on others, especially in times of crisis.

Amber Morton, CRT, FMH November 2020 Employee of the Month.

The Illinois General Assembly has postponed its veto session due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state. Senate President Don Harmon said this is not the time to bring hundreds of people together from around the state. The session had been scheduled for the 17th through the 19th and December 1st through the 3rd.

Secretary of State Jesse White encourages all people to stop and thank veterans on Wednesday who served our country. He also reminds veterans they have the option to have the word “VETERAN” displayed on their licenses or ID cards, which can help ensure they receive the services and benefits to which they are entitled, including healthcare, education, and employment assistance.

The Fairfield City Council met last night and heard the annual audit report from Kemper CPA Group. No major deficiencies or issues were detected. The council did say the parking lot east of the Post Office is ready to host food vendors with an electrical cost of $25 per day. Spots can be reserved by contacting Dian Downs at City Hall.

In other action, aldermen annexed a four-acre tract in Farrington Farms and the Wayne County Fairgrounds into the city, which officially connects TIF I and TIF II. The city will not be responsible for fairgrounds maintenance. The council also approved a rezoning request from B3 to R3 for property at 1227 South First Street.

The Wayne County Health Department announced 10 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 618; 134 cases were active, including two hospitalizations. Wabash County added 13 cases to reach 337, and White County announced its seventh COVID-related death and 11 new cases to reach 392 total. The state Department of Public Health announced 12,623 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 79 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 511,183 cases and 10,289 deaths. The Southern Region had a positivity rate of 11.8 percent on the 7th, up from 11.5 percent on the 6th. The Region, which includes Wayne and Edwards counties, is now under the state’s Tier 2 mitigations, which, among other things, limit non-school gatherings to 10 people.

West Salem officials say a boil order has been issued for all residents in the village on and west of South Albion Street. That includes all water customers located south of Church Street and on and west of South Albion.

Frontier Community College recently awarded the Clemence Elizabeth Cox Scholarship to Kacie Berry, Autumn Buffington, and Jessica Rinebold. The semi-annual scholarship awards $500 to second-level nursing students at FCC, and each recipient is on track to complete their Associate’s Degrees in Nursing this May.

From left: Jerry Cox, Jessica Rinebold, Kacie Berry, Autumn Buffington, and Julie Bullard

Corn and soybean harvesting is starting to wrap up, according to the latest statewide weekly crop report. After a warm, dry week, 95 percent of corn and 96 percent of soybeans had been harvested; 97 percent of winter wheat had been planted, and 90 percent had emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to six percent very short, 25 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and two percent surplus.

Social Security has offered a few reminders for veterans and their families on this holiday. It encourages anyone who knows a wounded veteran to visit ssa.gov/woundedwarriors, and it also says any disability claim submitted by a veteran is immediately expedited to the front of the line as a thank you for serving the country.

Temperatures likely won’t hit 80 for the rest of the month, but Freese-Notis Meteorologist Dan Hicks says there won’t be too drastic of a change in daytime highs. Nevertheless, a more normal weather pattern is coming back to the state after a hot start to the week. Hicks sees an up and down temperature pattern in December, as well, and he expects precipitation next month to be a bit below normal.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 5.11 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 4.96 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.53 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.16 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.82 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 4.32 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $34.25, up $1.00 from yesterday. The December crude oil price is $42.51, up $1.88 from yesterday morning.