Headlines for Thursday, November 18th

60-year-old Salem resident Mark L. Beehn was injured in a two-vehicle crash last night on Enterprise Road about three miles north of Fairfield. According to Illinois State Police, at approximately 7:36, 40-year-old Fairfield resident Nicholas W. Smith was eastbound on a county road in a 2014 Ram. Been was northbound on Enterprise in a 2010 Kenworth semi, and Smith failed to stop at a stop sign and struck Beehn on his passenger side.

25-year-old Wayne City resident Andrew Gregory was arrested yesterday morning by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. Police say discarded a prescription pill bottle containing meth during a struggle with police, but he was eventually restrained. Gregory was charged with resisting or obstructing a peace officer and possession of meth, and he was held in the Wayne County Jail, pending the setting of bond.

Wayne County Deputies arrested 38-year-old Fairfield resident Michael L. Brothers last night on a Wayne County warrant for failure to appear in court on a charge of aggravated battery. He was held, pending the posting of $595 bond.

42-year-old McLeansboro resident Joshua A. Bell was sentenced to prison Monday in White County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty to two Class 4 felony counts of aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and driving with a revoked license. Judge Thomas Dunn sentenced him to five years in prison for each count, to be served concurrently.

Bond has been set at $75,000 in Marion County Jail for 40-year-old Salem resident Anthony Phillips, who has been charged with 10 counts of child pornography. Court documents indicate he had 10 digital photos of children under 13 in pornographic poses. Phillips was held in the Marion County Jail and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on December 7th.

Republican State Representative Dan Brady has announced he will run for Illinois Secretary of State. The Bloomington-area lawmaker says he is running because the Secretary of State’s Office is behind in technology, and he wants to improve the user experience at driver’s license facilities. Democrat Jesse White has been Secretary of State since 1998, but he announced in 2019 he would not seek re-election.

The Fairfield Joint Review Board met yesterday to discuss pledges for site preparation work for the Wayne County Senior Citizen and Community Center, which would be placed at a renovated Bob Boyles Hall. All parties indicated they would have to bring the matters to their individual boards to discuss; they indicated they support the idea, but have their own projects to consider and need to do what is best for them. The City of Fairfield is anticipated to commit $230,000 in TIF funds to the project, along with its $72,000 TIF surplus payment, and other funding sources total about $100,000, which the Lions Club should match. The project committee says it needs to reach $750,000 in donations or pledges for a Rebuild Illinois Grant, which is due by January.

The Fairfield Legislative Committee met last night and discussed changes to water meter charges. Currently, in cases where one meter serves more than one house, apartment, or other living situation, a minimum monthly rate is multiplied by the number of separate living quarters served by the meter. The committee discussed changing it to base the fee structure on the size of the meter instead, as there is no consistency in assessing the fees.

The Illinois Eastern Community College Board of Trustees met Tuesday. Following a public hearing, trustees certified the district levies for the calendar year 2021, and they also approved the certification of compliance with the Truth in Taxation law. In personnel matters, Chase Bramlet was employed as Coordinator of Public Information and Marketing at Wabash Valley College, effective November 29th.

The Edwards County Health Office announced 32 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, bringing its total to 1,113; 17 of the cases were in unvaccinated individuals. Wabash County added 24 cases in the last week and sat at 2,221; one person was hospitalized, and 20 were in isolation. White County reported two cases yesterday to reach 3,097, and Jefferson County added 18. The state Department of Public Health announced 4,989 new cases and 23 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 1,752,502 cases and 26,160 deaths. The Southern Region had a seven-day positivity rate of 3.3 percent on the 14th, up from 3.1 percent on the 13th.

Firearm deer season kicks off Friday in Illinois. It’s the busiest hunting season of the year, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Tim Schweizer reminds hunters of reporting requirements; in southern Illinois, successful firearm deer hunters must report their harvest by 10 p.m. on the same calendar day a deer is taken, either by phone at 866-452-4325 or online at www.exploremoreil.com/wildlife/harvest. Firearm deer season runs Friday through Sunday, and the second season will be December 2nd through the 5th.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed a new law creating economic incentives for electric vehicle production. The measure provides tax credits to electric vehicle manufacturers, which he says will create jobs and build facilities in the state. The governor says this is a major step toward his goal of having one million electric vehicles on roadways by 2030.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 6.91 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.19 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 5.95 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.90 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 4.40 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 7.06 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $71.25, down $2.50 from yesterday. The December crude oil price is $77.81, down $2.48 from yesterday morning.