Headlines for Wednesday, June 16th

60-year-old Fairfield resident Jessie S. Robinson was sentenced to prison yesterday by Judge Michael Molt in Wayne County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty last June to a Class 4 felony count of obstructing justice for an offense originally committed in May 2018. He was sentenced to five years in prison, plus one year mandatory supervised release.

The Fairfield Retail Merchants are seeking help in hiding rocks and handing out prizes at the Rock Hunt this Saturday at Leo French Park. Anyone seeking more information should contact Mari Garner at 553-2448. The Rock Hunt is for children age three-12 and will begin at 3 p.m. Children will meet at the stage area by the lake, then go to designated areas to hunt painted rocks; all participants will receive a U.S. Flag and a surprise gift, in addition to prizes for rocks found.

The USDA says more than $1 billion in payments will be released in the next several weeks for ag producers with approved applications for the Quality Loss Adjustment Programs and for those who have already received payments through the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus. The USDA has also set a July 23rd deadline for ag producers and landowners to apply for the Conservation Reserve Program General Signup. Applications for CRP Grasslands will be accepted from July 12th to August 20th.

Officials with the Illinois and Indiana New Harmony Bridge Authorities are working to submit an application for a federal “Raise” grant by July 12th. The grant could result in the reopening of the bridge, and, if approved, the funding would be used to rehabilitate the span. The bridge links White County in Illinois to Posey County, Indiana, and has been closed since 2012, when major structural deficiencies were found in an inspection.

The 2021 Illinois Free Fishing Days celebration is this weekend, again coinciding with Father’s Day Weekend. From Friday to Monday evening, anglers can fish without purchasing a fishing license, salmon stamp, or inland trout stamp. The state says free fishing days help dads introduce their children to the outdoor adventure of fishing.

The Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation Zone 8 says it is leading the investigation into the shooting Monday afternoon near Grayville that culminated in the manhunt and arrest of 27-year-old Ashton T. Harper in Lawrence County. The Wabash County Sheriff’s Office leads the investigation into the pursuit and charges associated with a vehicle and foot chase.

The FBI and the Peru Police Department are seeking information on the location of 27-year-old Bobby A. Cross, who is believed to be of the Peoria area. He is wanted in connection to the reported kidnapping of a juvenile female Monday, and his current direction is unknown. Police say he has at least one violent conviction at a local level and should not be approached if seen. Any tips should be directed to the Peru Police Department at 815-223-2151.

Bobby A. Cross

Fairfield Memorial Hospital’s Horizon Healthcare Clinics in Fairfield, Cisne, Grayville, and Carmi will offer school and sports physicals to the public until September 1st at no out-of-pocket expense. People can call 842-4617 to schedule an appointment, and walk-ins are also welcome. FMH will also provide physicals at school registrations in Wayne, White, and Edwards counties.

The Edwards County 4-H Food and Clothing Show was held Monday. Addison Anderson, Hallie Shelton, Alyson Williams, Kamryn Trowbridge, Hayley Perry, Jaycey Buerster, and Lillian Bare were named State Fair delegates in the food show. Shelton, Addison Anderson, and Ava Anderson were named State Fair delegates in the clothing show.

The Wayne County Health Department announced one new case of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county’s total to 1,802; six people were in isolation. The state Department of Public Health announced 226 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 1,387,986 cases and 23,083 deaths. The Southern Region had a positivity rate of 1.2 percent on June 12th, down from 1.3 percent on the 11th.

Soybean planting is wrapping up in Illinois. According to the latest statewide weekly crop report, 95 percent of soybean acres had been planted, with 91 percent emerged and 63 percent of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition. 98 percent of corn had emerged, and 68 percent of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition. 82 percent of the winter wheat crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, and average statewide topsoil moisture was rated at six percent very short, 28 percent short, 56 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus.

Negotiations on a comprehensive Clean Energy Bill have stalled in the Illinois Senate, which adjourned yesterday without passing a bill as planned. The primary problem is the timeline for reducing carbon emissions and closing coal plants, and another issue up for debate is the prevailing wage for clean energy jobs.

Illinois State Police are struggling to keep up with processing applications for FOID cards in a timely manner. Director Brendan Kelly says applications are way up in the past 10 years, but funding remains flat. He says, whatever becomes of possible changes to the FOID system, lawmakers need to address the fundamental issues surrounding it and simplify the process.

Authorities say the death of 39-year-old Jaimeson Daniel Cody has been classified as a homicide; the official cause of death was “restraint asphyxia in the setting of methamphetamine intoxication.” Cody died on April 28th after he was restrained by Sangamon County correctional officers and shocked with Tasers, per Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon. He said an officer used his weight to apply pressure to Cody’s back as he was on the floor.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 6.56 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.11 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 5.11 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.92 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 6.01 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 8.50 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $65.00, up $1.00 from yesterday. The July crude oil price is $72.47, up $1.32 from yesterday morning.