Headlines for Tuesday, May 4th

The Edwards County Board of Education will meet tonight at 7 in the ECHS Atelier Room 172 for a reorganization meeting. Judge Michael Valentine will administer the Board Member Oath of Office after the official election results are accepted, and the board will then elect a new President, Vice President, and Secretary to two year terms. The new board will also consider the employment of an ECHS boys basketball coach.

No injuries were reported in a two-vehicle accident at the New Hope Curve Friday afternoon. According to police reports, 79-year-old Burnt Prairie resident George E. Vines and 79-year-old Mill Shoals resident Patricia K. Vaught were northbound on Highway 45. Vines was driving a 2014 Ford Escape and slowed to turn onto a county road, and Vaught, driving a 2015 Ford Taurus, rear-ended him. No tow truck was called to the scene, but the vehicles sustained over $1,500 damage.

32-year-old Fairfield resident Alyssa J. Carie was arrested by Wayne County deputies early this morning. She was wanted on a Lawrence County warrant for failure to appear in court on a charge of operating an uninsured vehicle. Carie was taken to the Wayne County Jail and held, pending the posting of $445 bond.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is collecting data from approximately 3,000 Illinois farmers and ranchers for its annual Ag Resource Management Survey. This year’s focus will be on corn, rice, dairy, and organic dairy production, and farmers and ranchers who are emailed a survey code should complete the survey at agcounts.usda.gov. NASS has suspended in-person data collection for the time being.

The Illinois State Fair is scheduled to kick off August 12th in Springfield, but questions remain about how much of the fair will be up and running this year in terms of coronavirus restrictions. The fair was cancelled last year because of COVID-19, but Governor J.B. Pritzker says he expects at least the livestock shows, corn dogs, and concerts to be back this summer. The Du Quoin State Fair is scheduled to run from August 27th to September 6th.

40-year-old Flora resident Shane R. Highsmith was sentenced to 20 years in prison yesterday in Clay County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated battery in connection to an incident on December 27th at the Rodeway Inn in Flora. The charges alleged he stabbed three people, though all have recovered.

The Albion City Council met last night and swore in its recently elected members, including new First Ward Alderwoman Heather Borowiak. Police Chief Mike Judge said the city police force was one short, and the city will advertise for candidates. City Attorney Brian Shinkle will also draft an ordinance relating to qualified immunity for police for a future meeting. The Council will hold a budget meeting on May 17th at 7 p.m.

Alderwoman Heather Borowiak

Mayor Wes Harris

The Wayne City Village Board met last night. Rocky Hedden will continue his service as Village President and Staci Choate her work as Clerk after last month’s election. Tim Piper continues as trustee, and he was joined by Kerry Esmon and Jarod Peyton. The board approved a new policy for qualified immunity for police and a new insurance policy for Wayne City.

The Wayne County Health Department announced three new cases of COVID-19 in the past three days, bringing its total to 1,753; 16 people were in isolation. It also says Moderna COVID vaccination appointments are still available for this Thursday at the Health Department, and anyone who would like to schedule an appointment can call 842-5166. The state Department of Public Health announced 2,049 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 28 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 1,341,777 cases and 22,047 deaths. The Southern Region had a positivity rate of 2.3 percent on April 30th, up from 2.1 percent on the 29th.

The state Department of Natural Resources is looking for those who are interested in combining their love of the outdoors with a commitment to public safety as Illinois Conservation Police. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, or an associate’s and three years of law enforcement experience. To see the job posting, people can visit illinois.jobs2web.com and search for Conservation Police Officer Trainee. The deadline to apply is May 31st.

A campaign highlighting the risk of falling at construction worksites kicked off yesterday. Illinois Department of Labor Spokesperson Mike Matulis says statistics show falls are the leading cause of death at construction sites, so it’s important that workers are taught how to take precautions. Employers can take advantage of training resources, posters, and videos from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration by searching online for “Stop Falls, Stand Down.”

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 16.86 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 6.75 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 8.33 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 4.65 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 14.34 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 12.71 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $57.50, up $1.00 from yesterday. The June crude oil price is $64.82, up $1.49 from yesterday morning.