Headlines for Monday, April 26th

The Greater Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce has announced Claire Kakac as the recipient of its annual $500 scholarship. The daughter of Kevin and Sharmila Kakac, she will graduate with honors from FCHS on May 16th. She is also a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and is a sales associate at Kincaids.

Claire Kakac and Chamber President Tim McBride

Fairfield FFA recently competed in Section 23 Ag Business and Ag Mechanics competitions at Wabash Valley College. The Ag Business team of Trenton Jones, Hunter Biggs, Konnor Dagg, and Camden Robbins took second overall, and Jones placed second individually. In Ag Mechanics, Braxton Major placed second in Ag Power, Jones third in Surveying, and Caleb Vaughan fourth in Electricity.

From left: Trenton Jones, Braxton Major, and Caleb Vaughan

From left: Trenton Jones, Hunter Biggs, Konnor Dagg, and Camden Robbins

Several people pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Wayne County Circuit Court last week. 27-year-old Benjamin S. Wilson was sentenced to 18 months probation for the Class A misdemeanor. 22-year-old Zachary T. Vaught, 53-year-old Keith B. Kline, and 23-year-old Malorie J. Harrison were each sentenced to one year supervision.

Two Fairfield residents were booked in the Wayne County Jail over the weekend. 46-year-old William E.S. Abbot was wanted on a Wayne County warrant for violating an order of protection, and he was held, pending the posting of bond. 41-year-old Christopher W. Melton was wanted on a Clay County failure to appear warrant for violation of a civil no-contact order, and he was released after posting bond.

Marion County authorities have released new information regarding a fatal shooting near Salem after a Freedom of Information Act request. Deputies say the girlfriend of 31-year-old Salem resident Wesley Bivens called 911 the evening of April 15th to report Bivens was trying to hit her, causing her to shoot him. She told dispatch she had left the gun in the house and would wait outside, but Bivens hadn’t yet left the home. When deputies arrived, they found a black handgun on a counter and Bivens in the hallway, deceased. Her identity has not been released, but she was taken to the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, interviewed, and released from custody, with no charges filed.

The Fairfield Public School District 112 Board of Education will hold a special meeting tonight at 6 in the Center Street Boardroom. It is set to seat Jason McCulley as a new member, and it will then elect a new Board President, Vice President, and Secretary. A school treasurer will also be appointed.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital recently received a $100 grant from Hershey’s Heartwarming Project after a submission by six-year-old Fairfield resident Perry Kimberlin, who submitted the application to help fund new equipment for the FMH expansion. As part of his project, buckets for loose change have been set up at several locations around the county, and any business or school wanting a bucket can call 383-4463. Donations can also be sent directly to PO Box 84 in Fairfield.

Perry Kimberlin and Dr. Patrick Molt

State Senator Darren Bailey says his bill last week to eliminate edTPA teacher licensure in Illinois was not voted upon, but another bill from Democrat Senator Laura Murphy to modify and remove a portion of edTPA did get a vote. Bailey and Murphy worked together to get the bill passed in the Senate, which he says is a step in the right direction for the teaching system.

The City of Fairfield will flush its water lines next week, beginning Monday, May 3rd. The Water Department says, while lines are being flushed, residents may notice their water is discolored and may experience a drop in water pressure. Discolored water is not unsafe to drink, though people should check for discoloration before doing laundry. A schedule for the work can be found below.

Monday – 1st Ward, every hydrant east of First Street

Tuesday – 2nd Ward, every hydrant north of Elm between First and Seventh

Wednesday – 3rd Ward, every hydrant south of Elm between First and Seventh

Thursday – 4th Ward, every hydrant west of Seventh Street, stopping at Kincaids

Friday – Outlying areas, such as Walmart, Petroleum Blvd., Brach Oaks, Highway 45 South, and Highway 15 East to the City’s Old Filter Plant

The Wayne County Health Department announced one new case of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing its total to 1,737; 15 people were in isolation. White County added one case and sat at 1,770, and no new cases were announced in Edwards County. Wayne County’s positivity rate from April 16th through the 22nd was 2.1 percent, per dph.illinios.gov, with 329 total tests performed. Edwards County had a rate of 11.1 percent with 72 tests. The state Department of Public Health announced 2,035 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 24 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 1,321,033 cases and 21,826 deaths. The Southern Region had a positivity rate of 1.7 percent on the 22nd, up from 1.6 percent on the 21st. Its seven-day rolling average for ICU bed availability was at 21 percent.

The Grayville Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual city-wide yard sale this Saturday (May 1). Sales will begin at 7 a.m., and the Chamber will grill porkburgers, hamburgers, and hot dogs at the four-way stop in Grayville at 9:30.

State officials are urging the public to consider flood insurance this spring. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says it’s estimated that less than one percent of state residents have flood insurance, but past years have shown what kind of damage heavy rains can do. She also says, for those who do get the insurance, it usually takes up to 30 days to go into effect.

This is Alcohol Awareness Month, and agencies around the state are offering education and awareness programs. Andy Jackson with the Sinnissippi Centers says everyone needs to be aware of the problem, starting with parents talking to their children. He says alcohol use disorders can come in many different forms, from addiction to binge drinking.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 6.59 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.31 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 6.07 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.83 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 4.72 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 6.36 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $55.25, up $0.75 from Friday. The June crude oil price is $61.31, down $0.44 from Friday morning.