Headlines for Tuesday, June 8th

The Wayne City Village Board met Monday night and opted to hold off spraying for Keenes until it receives payment for the work. The board approved spraying for bugs in Keenes once a week, and three sprays were completed. However, the board said it had only received partial payment for one. Board members also noted bids are still being accepted for the old ambulance.

The Fairfield Community High School Board of Education will hold a special meeting Thursday at 6 in its study hall. It is scheduled to swear in new board member Gayle McGehee, and it will then enter executive session to discuss personnel and/or contract negotiations. Action is possible on the employment of two teachers and the rehiring of administrators.

Flora police arrested 30-year-old Flora resident Nicole L. Keller last Wednesday on a charge of retail theft. She was also wanted on outstanding warrants in Clay and Wayne counties. Keller was taken to the Flora Police Department and released with a notice to appear after posting the necessary cash bond.

44-year-old Benton resident Chad J. Robertson was killed in a two-vehicle crash in Franklin County Friday night. The preliminary investigation revealed a Jeep was eastbound on the Rend Lake Dam, and Robertson was following it on a motorcycle. He did not see the Jeep slow and, as a result, struck its rear and was ejected. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

A new nationwide suicide prevention hotline number will be operational next summer after Illinois lawmakers passed a mental health emergency bill. It requires local governments to coordinate their 911 systems with the 988 hotline so calls are directed appropriately. The bill awaits the governor’s signature.

54-year-old Julie Friend died at her residence in Geff on Thursday, June 3rd. The Wayne County Coroner’s Office, along with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, scheduled a forensic autopsy to assist in the determination of the circumstances surrounding her death. Coroner Carrie Jo Dagg says complete results are anticipated to take several weeks, and the cause of death remains classified as pending.

The Fairfield City Council will meet tonight at 6 at City Hall. Most of the meeting will concern appointments for several city positions, including Fire and Police Chiefs, and any appointment made must be confirmed by a majority of the council. The council is also set to address a 2022 Vendor Agreement with WADI for its LIHEAP Program.

Mayor Mike Dreith says he is starting to assess property not owned by the city in an effort to gain control of them to bring in new business. He also says aldermen have identified several properties in need of a touch-up to follow city ordinances, and he, Fairfield police, and the municipal court are prepared to enforce the ordinances regarding cleanliness.

The Albion City Council met last night and heard from Erin Fenton and George Gerlach with the Edwards County Medical Association regarding the new county Health Office to be constructed on North Fifth Street. They said the project is behind schedule a few days due to weather, and the building, which will be large enough to have a health department if the county so chooses in the future, had been scheduled to be delivered on June 28th, though that will be pushed back.

The state Department of Public Health announced 244 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 14 additional deaths. No new cases were reported in Wayne or White counties. Statewide totals sat at 1,385,489 cases and 22,963 deaths. The Southern Region had a positivity rate of 1.2 percent on June 4th, down from 1.3 percent on the 3rd.

One issue not resolved during the General Assembly’s Spring Legislative Session was fixing the state’s FOID Card backlog. The House and Senate debated dueling bills, with one requiring fingerprints to get a FOID Card and the other giving people the option of submitting them if they want a card that doesn’t expire. The use of fingerprints at all was a major sticking point, and some, like Senator Darren Bailey, argued against the card at all.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 9.07 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.17 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 5.73 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 7.03 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 6.09 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 8.88 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $62.25, down $0.25 from yesterday. The July crude oil price is $68.70, down $0.56 from yesterday morning.