Headlines for Thursday, November 12th

28-year-old Michael B. Thomason and 32-year-old Joseph L. Jordan were sentenced to prison Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court. Thomason pleaded guilty in March to residential burglary, and Jordan admitted to violating probation on possession of less than five grams of meth. They were sentenced to four and two years in prison, respectively.

The Fairfield Police Department says officers received a complaint on Monday of a stolen four-wheeler from a residence in the 200 block of Southwest Seventh Street. The four-wheeler was described as an olive green Honda four-wheel drive. Anyone with information should contact Wayne County Crime Stoppers at 842-9777.

The Fairfield Rural Fire Protection District responded to three fires on Tuesday, and no injuries were reported. Firemen were on scene for about 90 minutes for a garage fire between Merriam and Mt. Erie, and the garage was considered a total loss. The other two fires were brush and leaf fires just south of Mill Shoals and just north of Fairfield.

The Wayne County Board will meet tonight at 7 in the upstairs courtroom of the Wayne County Courthouse. Vaughn Law Office is scheduled to ask for several three-year Commissioner appointments for drainage districts, and the board is also scheduled to approve the Sheriff Merit Commission Hiring List. The agenda does call for executive session to discuss personnel, and there will be an opportunity for public comment before the board adjourns for the night.

Wabash General Hospital has announced Dr. John Pidgeon will join its staff later this month to offer neurology services to patients 16 and older. He has a special interest in EEG/Epilepsy and Sleep Medicine and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. WGH says he will be able to treat Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Bell’s Palsy, Cerebral Palsy, Encephalopathy, Epilepsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Huntington’s Chorea, Meningitis and Encephalitis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, Headache, Shingles, and Stroke.

WFIW/WOKZ General Manager Mike Dreith has announced his retirement from the station, effective November 30th. He has announced his run for Fairfield Mayor in the municipal election, as well, and he plans to file a petition in December. The Original Company said Dreith had been an asset to the company and wished him well.

The Wayne County Health Department announced 18 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing its total to 636. Edwards County announced its first COVID-related death and 16 cases from the 6th through the 10th to reach 149 cases. The IDPH has issued a statewide Stay-at-Home recommendation for the next three weeks, but it is not an order. The IDPH also announced 12,657 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 145 deaths. Statewide totals sat at 523,840 cases and 10,434 deaths. The Southern Region had a positivity rate of 12.2 percent on the 8th, up from 11.8 percent on the 7th.

The IHSA Board of Directors held a virtual session yesterday to discuss basketball. It announced its plan to invite members of several organizations, including the governor’s office and IDPH, to its regular November meeting on the 19th. It also said roughly 55 percent of member schools who participated in a recent survey did not plan to start basketball this month, and another 39 percent remained unsure. 546 of 813 member school responded to the survey in all.

Colonel Stephen Prizer spoke to a crowd of more than 150 people at the Fairfield Veterans Day Ceremony yesterday at Maple Hill Cemetery. Joey Myers of the VFW and Commander Tom Seaman of the American Legion placed a wreath at the stone of the unknown service person, and Doug Aman played Taps.

The University of Illinois has announced FCHS graduate Karlie Taylor as the recipient of the 2020-2021 Myron and Carole Goldblatt Scholarship. The scholarship is given annually to residents of Wayne County who have graduated from one of its high schools. Taylor joins Amy Chen, Taylor Putman, Macklin Snyder, and Darci Welty as recipients.

Governor J.B. Pritzker says COVID-19 hospitalizations are rapidly increasing across the state. For nearly a week, more than 4,000 COVID patients have been hospitalized in the state, and the number of coronavirus patients in northwestern and southern Illinois hospitals has about doubled since its peak in May.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 4.99 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.00 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 4.47 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.10 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.74 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 4.17 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $34.50, up $0.25 from yesterday. The December crude oil price is $41.41, down $1.10 from yesterday morning.