Headlines for Thursday, November 19th

Two juveniles were booked in the Wayne County Jail last night and released to their guardians after a high-speed pursuit west of Fairfield. Police say a juvenile sped away after a traffic stop near Kincaid’s, with speeds nearing 100 miles per hour, and their vehicle was run into a ditch near Sims after a deputy utilized stop sticks.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital has provided its weekly update on its expansion progress. This week should see the completion of concrete floor pours, with the exception of the new ambulance bay. Electrical, mechanical, and roof work will continue in the first part of next week, but construction will be shut down Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving.

Hamilton Memorial Hospital has modified its visitor restrictions, starting today. Only one visitor over 18 is allowed at any time per eligible patient, and they should not stay or wait in the lobby or other public spaces unless asked to do so by the care team. Hospital visiting hours will be 2 to 5 p.m. each day, and people are encouraged to use electronic devices to connect with patients.

Jerry Musgrave, Joe Porter, Harold Rush, and Charles Sanders were the winners of four quilts in the third Veterans Quilt Giveaway this year. Sharon White makes and donates the quilts each year in memory of her father, Clifford Shreve, who served during World War II. Louise Rodatz of Wayne City does the quilting.

According to KMOX in St. Louis, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, a former Fairfield resident, will retire from her position in April. The 67-year-old has served as St. Louis mayor since 2017 and was an alderwoman prior. Krewson said she would focus on the rising number of COVID-19 cases, gun violence, and the economy in her final months in office.

The Wayne County Health Department announced three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 yesterday, as well as the county’s 29th COVID-related death. Wayne County had 691 cases, with 96 active. Edwards County announced 37 cases from the 11th through the 18th and sat at 186 cases; 36 people were in isolation. Wabash County added 11 cases and sat at 407, and it also announced two COVID-related deaths in recent days. The state Department of Public Health announced 8,922 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 139 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 606,771 cases and 11,014 deaths. The Southern Region had a positivity rate of 13.3 percent on the 15th, down from 13.9 percent on the 14th.

The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a red flag warning today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for southeastern Illinois. Strong winds, low humidity, and drying fuel conditions will promote rapid fire growth, and the service says there should be no burning today.

The Illinois Eastern Community College Board of Trustees met Tuesday and approved resignation ratifications for Joseph Lampley and Kimberly Venters, effective November 28th and 12th, respectively. The board also approved a recommendation for a nearly $28,000 bid for a nursing simulator manikin to be used by the Frontier Nursing Program.

The Fairfield Retail Merchants will hold their three-day Christmas Open House event this weekend. Participating merchants will offer daily giveaways and sales from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and from noon to 5 on Sunday. Participating merchants include Barb Wire Grill, Black’s Fashion Flowers, B-Way Design and Decorating LLC, Carnaby Square, Classic Pizza and Pasta, Farmer’s Daughter, Gottman’s Jewelry, La Fuente, Mama Bear’s 4 Seasons and More, Mindy’s Sew Shop, Pizza Hut, Simply Enough, The Corner, The Willow Tree, Uniquely Rustique, and Your Flower Shop. Rush Appliance and Furniture, The Clothes Line, and The Green Pig will also participate during regular business hours.

The Fairfield Park Board will meet tonight at 6. It is scheduled to hear from Dustin Smith with Concrete Evolutions regarding a pool deck bid, and it’s also scheduled to discuss an annexation ordinance for property recently annexed into the City of Fairfield. The board will also discuss the 2020 Tax Levy Ordinance before adjourning for the night.

Social Security is once again warning of impersonation scams, where people call, pretending to be from the agency, to demand credit card numbers or personal information to resolve a conflict. Social Security says any official contact will come via letter in the mail, and it will never threaten the suspension of social security numbers. Anyone who receives a scam phone call can report it at oig.ssa.gov.

Governor J.B. Pritzker says there is a real hope for widespread distribution of a coronavirus vaccine by the spring. Although measure will continue in the battle against the virus for the next few months, he says there is a light at the end of the tunnel after recent announcements from Pfizer and Moderna. In the meantime, however, he urges everyone to do what they can to prevent further spread.

Recent numbers released by the Illinois Gaming Board show bettors in the state wagered more than $285 million on sport contests in September. The state’s October numbers hadn’t been released, but New Jersey reportedly led the nation in sports betting with $803 million in bets. Sports bettors at first had to register for accounts in person at a casino, but Governor Pritzker eased that rule due to the pandemic and allowed bettors to register from their phones.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 13.13 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.71 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 7.70 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.73 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 11.14 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 4.12 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $34.75, up $0.25 from yesterday. The December crude oil price is $41.39, down $0.34 from yesterday morning.