Headlines for Saturday, January 9th

The Wayne County Health Department reported 20 new lab-confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus Friday.  The latest cases are a male child, a female teen, two females in their 20s, two males in their 20s, four males in their 30s, a male in his 30s, a female in her 40s, two males in their 40s, a male in his 50s, three females in their 60s, and two males in their 70s.  The county has now recorded 1301 lab-confirmed positive cases of the virus.  45 people have passed away, two are currently hospitalized and 131 are isolating.  There have also been 128 “probable” reported cases of COVID-19 in Wayne County, according to the health department.  15 are isolating along with being actively contact traced.

The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday reported 9277 new cases of the coronavirus and 123 deaths.  State number totals are at 1,017,322 cases and 17,395 deaths as of early this morning.

A law enforcement coalition comprised of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, Chiefs of Police, Fraternal Order of Police, and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 have issued a response to a proposed House Bill introduced this week for the General Assembly’s lame duck session, which is scheduled to continue this weekend.  The coalition says the bill ends nearly all protections for officers who do their jobs correctly and has the potential to cause massive numbers of officers to leave and leave departments with an inability to recruit new members.  The coalition issued a 15-step strategy for police reform in response to the bill, which supports broader implementation of body cameras, and calls for an established statewide standardized use of force policy.

Congresswoman Mary Miller of Illinois, representing the Illinois 15th Congressional District, issued a statement Friday regarding her statement on Moms for America remarks during an event earlier this week in Washington D. C.  The statement read in part, “I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth.”

Fairfield Memorial Hospital has issued an update on its expansion project.  Weather permitting, the week of January 11th, work scheduled includes the exterior sheathing on the West side of the building, spray fireproofing and framing of partitions on the second floor, as well as continuing with piping, ductwork and electrical rough primarily on the third floor.

Area river stages this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 18.75 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 8.32 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 17.21 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.73 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 12.07 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.