Headlines for Thursday, June 10th

New Hope General Baptist Church recognized the recipients of its annual scholarships recently at a morning service. Myranda Kenshalo was awarded a $3,000 scholarship, and Jaden Boyd was awarded a $500 scholarship. Both are from Wayne City, with Kenshalo attending Missouri Baptist University and Boyd planning to attend Rend Lake College.

Kenshalo (left) and Boyd

The Edwards County 4-H Food and Clothing Show will be held Monday afternoon at 5:30 at the COUNTRY Financial Hall on the Edwards County Fairgrounds. The public is invited to attend.

29-year-old Parkersburg resident Tyler L. Hatcher was arrested by Fairfield police early this morning on a Wayne County warrant for failure to appear in court on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. Hatcher was taken to the Wayne County Jail and held, pending the posting of $1,095 bond.

Illinois State Police District 19 Commander Captain Nathan Douglas has announced the activity and enforcement figures for the month of May. Troopers in District 19 recorded 1,825 incidents during the month, including four DUIs, 512 speeding citations, and 12 criminal arrests. District 19 investigated one fatal traffic crash last month, which resulted in one fatality.

48-year-old Centralia resident Dewayne Whipple was found mentally unfit to stand trial this week in a Marion County Court. He has been charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts, including Class X home invasion and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, after reportedly entering his brother’s home uninvited, leading to a family face-off involving a sword and a bat.

The Harmony Way Bridge closed in 2012 due to safety concerns, and efforts from Illinois and Indiana to reopen it in some capacity restarted in 2019. Tomorrow morning, the Illinois and Indiana Bridge Authorities plan to meet to discuss updates on their goals, and they hope to get federal money to help cover the cost of needed repairs. The latest figures estimate those repairs to cost around $20 million.

Richie Fulkerson will begin his tenure as Fairfield Chief of Police on July 12th, after he was appointed to the position and approved by the City Council Tuesday night. He says he has nearly 30 years of experience with Illinois State Police that will help him run a smaller city force, and, though the budget will be smaller, he says Fairfield is well-equipped.

Several Fairfield FFA members were honored at an awards ceremony at SIU Friday as part of the District 5 State FFA Convention. Sara McGehee received her State Winner plaque for the second straight year in the FFA State Agri-Science Fair in Environmental Systems. Nine chapter members also received their State FFA Degrees this year.

Sara McGehee

From left: Konnor Dagg, Camden Robbins, Parker Richardson, Chase Hallam, Hunter Biggs, Chris Henry, and Sophia Wolfe. Not present but also receiving degrees: Lucas Halbert and Logan Kreiter.

The Wayne County Board will meet tonight at 7 in the upstairs courtroom of the Wayne County Courthouse. Republican Chairman Ron Woodrow is set to fill one board vacancy for District 7 and put forward a name for a replacement for another position for District 4. The board will then discuss courthouse repair and amendments to county liquor licenses.

The Fairfield City Band will have its second performance of the year tonight at 7 on the Wayne County Courthouse lawn, weather permitting. In the event of rain or incompatible conditions, the concert will be held at the First Christian Church, per Band Director Josh Livesay. Tonight’s concert will feature music for movies and stage. UPDATE: Tonight’s concert has been moved to First Christian Church due to rain.

The Albion City Council will meet in special session Monday night at 6 at City Hall. It is scheduled to immediately move to executive session to consider the employment of a police officer, and action is possible upon return to open session. As discussed at Monday’s meeting, Police Chief Mike Judge has found an officer candidate, and he would like to hire him immediately so he can go into training in January.

The Wayne County Health Department announced one new case of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing its total to 1,798; three people were in isolation. Wabash County announced two cases in the past week and sat at 1,312, with three people in isolation. White County announced no new cases and hasn’t moved from its total of 1,811 cases since May 22nd. The state Department of Public Health announced 408 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 23 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 1,386,262 cases and 22,997 deaths. The Southern Region had a positivity rate of 1.2 percent on June 6th, down from 1.3 percent on the 5th.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed the new redistricting bill into law, but Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin believes the courts will have the final say on the matter. He criticized Pritzker for going back on his campaign promise regarding non-partisan maps. Durkin is also critical of the governor for not cutting enhanced unemployment benefits as some other states have done.

The state Environmental Protection Agency is warning the public to look out for blue-green algae in Illinois lakes and rivers. The IEPA says it is starting to see more of the algae as temperatures rise, and large growths, or “blooms,” are typically harmless. However, they can produce toxic chemicals harmful to people and pets, which could lead to rashes, hives, diarrhea, coughing, and vomiting.

24-year-old Kenilworth resident Christian Kulas has been arrested on federal charges claiming he took part in the January 6th breath of the United States Capitol. Kulas is at least the ninth Illinois resident to be arrested for taking part in the attack and was taken into custody at his home Tuesday morning before being released into his mother’s custody on a recognizance bond.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 20.22 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 6.20 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 8.78 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 10.76 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 20.01 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 9.77 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $63.00, unchanged from yesterday. The July crude oil price is $69.78, down $0.68 from yesterday morning.