Headlines for Sunday, November 15th

The Wayne County Health Department has been notified of fifteen additional positive cases of COVID-19 in the last 48 hours in Wayne County residents.  The newest cases include seven females in their 20s, two females in their 30s, three females in their 40s, a male in his 40s, a female in her 60s and a male in his 60s.  The newest cases brings the total number of positive cases for the county to 676.  27 people who were lab-confirmed positive cases have passed away, six are currently hospitalized, 125 people are isolating at home and 518 people have recovered.  The health department also said that there was an error on last Thursday’s advisory on the actual reported number of Recovered Individuals.  The correct number should have reflected 509, according to the health department.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a total of 562,985 cases of the coronavirus statewide and 10,670 deaths since the pandemic began.  Saturday’s cases amounted to 11,028 and 166 deaths.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital has given an update on its expansion project.  The hospital says weather permitting, the schedule this week includes finishing the roofing, as well as completion of the first floor concrete deck pours excluding the Ambulance Bay.  The mechanical and electrical trades will continue placing their supports and core drilling for floor penetrations.  The drywall contractor will continue on both the exterior stud wall and some interior framing.  It is hoped that some of the exterior sheathing will be going up if everything goes as scheduled.

Sales at dispensaries around Illinois have reached over $100 million between recreational and medical use, according to reports.  The Illinois Comptroller’s Office said they take in ten percent of the income tax on cannibis sales to help local organizations.  Treasurer Ashley Gott said in the report that in October they received over $30,000 from July sales and nearly $30,000 in November from sales in August.  There are currently 70 dispensaries open in the state, with more expected in the future.

Illinois state transportation officials have awarded $112 million to boost transit projects in downstate Illinois communities ranging from construction of new bus shelters to new maintenance buildings.  The grants were announced Friday by the Illinois Department of Transportation for 31 downstate transit providers as part of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program.  Although no specific communities were named, the largest single grant is for over $16 million to the Peoria Mass Transit District.  Reports say funding for the other 30 entities will help buy new vehicles, build new bus shelters and other transit improvements.

Area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 4.98 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 4.77 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 3.91 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.26 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 3.84 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  Dry weather is expected this week, with warmer temperatures by mid-week.  A Wind Advisory is also in effect for the region through 6 p.m. Sunday.  At the studios of WFIW/WOKZ 1.33 inches of rain was recorded Saturday and Saturday night.