Headlines for Friday, September 10th

The North Wayne Board of Education met in special session last night and voted to follow the state mask mandate. Masks are to be required inside school buildings and on buses for all staff, students, and guests. District administration said the decision was not an easy one, but, in the end, the possible negative consequences for students were too great to risk.

Two people were sentenced in Wayne County Circuit Court yesterday. 26-year-old Wayne City resident Dalton L. Dickey pleaded guilty to a count of DUI, a Class A misdemeanor. He was sentenced to one year supervision and time served, and two cases were dismissed per his plea. 29-year-old Fairfield resident Rachael L. Walker pleaded guilty to a count of disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. She was sentenced to one year supervision.

41-year-old Sims resident Jason D. Head was arrested by county deputies yesterday on a Jefferson County failure to appear warrant for possession of methamphetamine and criminal damage to property. He was taken to the Wayne County Jail and held, pending the posting of $2,595 bond.

Fairfield and Wayne County will hold a ceremony tomorrow to observe the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Volunteers for a Progressive Fairfield will conduct an observance at 8 p.m. at the Wayne County Fairgrounds Grandstand. It will include music and will be emceed by Mayor Mike Dreith.

Illinois State Police Commander Captain Nathan Douglas has announced the results of a Distracted Driving Enforcement Program patrol held in Wayne County this month. Troopers issued 15 citations, with four for hand-held device use and three for texting while driving. ISP also issued nine total written warnings.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White warns consumers purchasing used vehicles to beware of cars damaged by flooding caused by Hurricane Ida. White has instructed his office to monitor title applications involving potential flood vehicles, including ensuring those coming from counties impacted by flooding are properly identified and labeled as flood vehicles when applicable.

The Wayne County Board met last night. County Republican Chairman Ron Woodrow said he had been set to nominate a candidate for Interim Sheriff, but the candidate felt he did not have enough support on the board and withdrew. Chairman Bruce Reeves then nominated Detective Sergeant Chris Otey for the position. After an executive session, Otey was approved by a 10-2 vote to take over at midnight on September 12th until the next election. Board members Gary Sloan and Vern Hutson, Sr. voted no, and Nathan Jones and Roy Estheimer were absent. In other action, Gene Kollak was approved to fill a board vacancy in District 7, and Heidi Hoffee was approved as full-time Public Defender beginning December 1st.

The Wayne City Village Board met last night and said there will be a big push to clean up lots in town before Bean Days. Residents will be given 10-day notices to clean their properties, and fines will be given to encourage a timely response. The board also approved ordinances for the tax levy for the ambulance and the local fiscal recovery fund.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital will offer free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations from 1 to 6 on Tuesday (September 14) for anyone over the age of 12. FMH will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from 1 to 5 on Wednesday (September 15) for anyone over 18 wanting the single-dose shot. The clinics are by appointment only, and anyone wanting to schedule an appointment or get more information should call 599-6211 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

Reduced Rate Lab Testing with FMH’s Laboratory Department will take place Monday through October 2nd by appointment only. People can schedule an appointment at the Horizon Healthcare Clinics in Fairfield, Carmi, Grayville, or Cisne; the FMH Lab; or FMH Albion Lab Draw Station at the Edwards County Health Office by calling 847-8256. Tests available at all locations include: Hemoglobin A1c (Diabetic Monitor) $20 | Lipid Panel (Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, LDL, and VLDL) $20 | PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) $20 | Thyroid Function Panel (T4, Free T3, Free T4, TSH) $40 | General Health Profile (Includes CBC, Lipid Screen, and a 12 test chemistry profile) $40 | Vitamin D Test $40

The Hamilton County Health Department announced 22 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing its total to 1,193; eight of the cases were in teens or younger. Two people were hospitalized, and 74 were in isolation. White County reported 35 cases and sat at 2,655. Jefferson County added 31, and it said Wednesday it had 72 cases in the past week in teens or younger. The state Department of Public Health announced 4,741 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 1,559,077 cases and 24,215 deaths. The Southern Region had a positivity rate of 10.1 percent on the 6th, down from 10.5 percent on the 5th.

The Illinois House has approved a compromise Clean Energy Package. Kim Howard has more. With a goal of eliminating carbon emissions by 2050 and keeping the state’s nuclear fleet up and running, the legislation includes incentives for purchasing electric vehicles and invests in wind and solar power. One of the biggest sticking points calls for municipally-owned coal-fired power plants in Springfield and Marissa to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2035 and then close in 2045 if they can’t reach zero emissions. The Senate now needs to approve the new bill.

The latest data is out from the monthly Purdue University/CME Group ag barometer. Ag Economist Jim Mintert says it had very little change, which stopped a downward trend that had been occurring. The index is based on a survey of 400 ag producers on economic sentiment. Quarterly, it is accompanied by an in-depth survey of 100 ag and agribusiness thought leaders.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 6.26 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.05 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 5.78 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.15 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 3.98 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 3.56 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $61.25, down $1.00 from yesterday. The October crude oil price is $69.30, up $0.19 from yesterday morning.