Headlines for Monday, July 19th

Multiple injuries were reported in a two-vehicle accident Thursday morning about a mile south of Sam Dale Lake. Wayne County deputies say 44-year-old Rinard resident Jeremy J. Deem struck 74-year-old Dix resident Helen J. Clark on a county highway before striking a ditch and coming to rest. Deem was extricated by Cisne Fire and air-evaced to Deaconess in Evansville, Indiana. North Wayne EMS also responded to the scene, and Clark was transported to the Fairfield Memorial Hospital Emergency Room.

Several people were booked in the Wayne County Jail over the weekend, including 31-year-old Fairfield resident Kenneth A. Leinard. He was arrested by county deputies Friday afternoon on a Wayne County warrant for predatory criminal sexual abuse of a child, and he was held in the jail, pending the posting of $25,000 bond

The Fairfield Water Department has announced a boil order for residents in Kincaid Acres, Ligo Lane, Dickey Drive, and anyone affected by Sunday’s water main break. Affected people should boil water for human consumption until samples have passed inspection.

The Wayne County Farm Bureau says the Wayne County Saddle Club has received a $1,000 grant as part of the organization’s 2021 Community Impact Grant program. The funds were used for groundwork improvements in the club’s riding arena, including the addition of 108 tons of sand to finish it after dirt work and leveling.

From left: Nathan Vaughn, Randy Ellis, Jami Ellis, Fred Blessing, David White, Tylar McKitrick, Joe McKitrick, Bryn Wayland, Zach Coston, and Larry Ligon.

The Fairfield Public School District Board of Education will meet tonight. Superintendent Diana Zurliene is set to give an update on the North Side Cafeteria Project in her report before new business. After closed session for personnel and collective bargaining discussions, the board will move to personnel matters, were it is set to act on the employment certified staff and assistant coaches and the re-employment of coaching staffs.

Wayne County has seen quite a bit of rain this month, including about two-and-a-half inches Friday and over three inches last week. Centralia reported three-and-a-third inches Friday, and Salem reported two-and-two-thirds inches. The Little Wabash at Clay City sat at 20.81 feet this morning, and the river was at 24.20 feet near Golden Gate. The Little Wabash by Golden Gate has been above flood stage for the majority of July; Wayne County Farm Bureau Manager Doug Anderson says farmers in impacted bottoms don’t have the option for a replant at this point, and he said some have said, especially east of Fairfield, the river seems to rise at a normal rate but fall at a slower one compared to previous years.

The Edwards County Board of Education will meet tonight at 7 in the Albion Grade School Cafeteria. It is set to discuss the idea of home schoolers participating in extracurricular activities, and action is possible. The board is also scheduled to approve the school reopening plan for the upcoming year and to consider employment for several extracurricular positions. COVID-19-Back-to-School-Plan-2021-2022

Fairfield will see two blood drives in the coming weeks. The Community of Christ Church will host a drive Wednesday from 11:30 to 5:30. Fairfield Memorial Hospital will hold a drive August 18th from 11:30 to 4:30. The Red Cross has said current inventories continue to remain at critical levels across the country, and appointments can be made for either drive at redcrossblood.org.

COVID vaccination rates in the area continue to progress at a slow pace. According to dph.illinois.gov, as of Friday afternoon, Wayne County had administered 9,082 doses of the vaccine, and 28.21 percent of its population was fully vaccinated. One week ago, 27.96 percent of its population was fully vaccinated. Edwards County had administered 3,199 doses and had 26.17 percent of its population fully vaccinated. One week ago, that mark was 26 percent.

Wayne County reported eight new cases of COVID-19 from last Monday to Friday, bringing its total to 1,831; nine people were in isolation. COVID-19 cases in the state are increasing, but Governor J.B. Pritzker said last week there are no current plans to reinstate mask mandates. Some areas in the country are again requiring masks indoors, even for vaccinated people, but he says that isn’t the case in Illinois for now.

At the end of May, Illinois lawmakers preserved the biodiesel sales tax exemption. Mike Levin, Senior Director of Governmental Relations for the Illinois Soybean Association, says the move exempts about 13 cents a gallon on diesel fuel when blended with 11 percent biodiesel. He added the biodiesel industry has grown from 20 million gallons in 2003 to more than 200 million gallons in 2021.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 24.35 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 10.57 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 20.62 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 13.34 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 26.08 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 17.84 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $64.75, unchanged from Friday. The August crude oil price is $70.84, down $0.74 from Friday morning.