Headlines for Friday, November 19th

The Wayne County Farm Bureau has announced winners of the 2021 FFA Feed Our Future Corn Yield Contest. The contest was designed to encourage and reward students for studying agronomic decisions farmers make each year when planting corn. Allie McKinney won the Maximum Yield category, followed by Colt Henson, Jake Vaughan, and Casey Opell, and Grace Milligan won Maximum Revenue.

From left: Jake Vaughan, Grace Milligan, Casey Opell, Allie McKinney and Colt Henson.

30-year-old McLeansboro resident Ashley D. Hall pleaded guilty to a count of criminal damage to property in Wayne County Circuit Court yesterday. She was sentenced to two years probation plus time served for the Class A misdemeanor, and a separate case and count were dismissed. Hall was ordered to pay $4,466 in fines and court costs.

27-year-old Cisne resident Jason L. Robinson was booked in the Wayne County Jail yesterday on a Wayne County warrant for theft. He was held, pending the posting of $770 bond. County deputies arrested 20-year-old Fairfield resident Lucas A. Bryant and 35-year-old Edgewood resident Justin L. Sapp on failure to appear warrants. Bryant was wanted on a warrant from Clay County for theft and criminal damage to property, and he was released after posting $395 bond. Sapp was wanted on a warrant from Effingham County for possession of methamphetamine, and he was held, with bond set at $1,095.

The Fairfield Community High School Scholastic Team went 2-2 in an SIAC Conference Meet yesterday at Marion. FCHS defeated Centralia and Mt. Vernon, was narrowly edged out by Marion, and lost to Carbondale. Trenton Jones was named MVP for the meet and answered 20 toss-ups. Cale Simpson added seven toss-ups for the Mules, and Hunter Biggs and Cody Wick each had three. Also participating for FCHS were Tyler Koker, Avery Stence, and Aiden Whitfield.

Trenton Jones

Governor J.B. Pritzker says the state is preparing for possible response to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. He says talks have been ongoing between public safety officials, such as the Illinois State Police, and norther Illinois communities about what sort of help they may need once the verdict is read. The Illinois National Guard will be kept in the loop, but the governor says they aren’t typically trained in crowd control.

Fairfield Mayor Mike Dreith met with engineers and operations staff from IDOT yesterday morning regarding the planned resurfacing on Route 15 in Fairfield. Mayor Dreith says bids are planned to be let for curb work next year, but the actual resurfacing work won’t begin until 2023 at the earliest. Additionally, he says the cost will likely be higher than the $1.2 million already committed by the City.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says Sheriff Andy Myers encountered a red SUV partially blocking a field entrance just north of Highway 50 on North Olive Road in Flora Wednesday afternoon. Sheriff Myers conducted a standard motor assistance check and found a deceased female inside the vehicle. No name was released, and any further details will be provided by ISP Zone 8.

Basketball season has begun at Fairfield Community High School, with the girls team playing Flora last night and North Clay tonight. At this time, as with volleyball, all participants and spectators at basketball games are required to wear a mask. The IHSA is pushing for a change to the mandate to allow players on the court not to wear a mask, but spectators and benches would not be affected.

The Wayne City School Board met last night and heard from three parents regarding the Shield COVID testing form sent home November 4th. They were concerned about bribing students to complete the form, protecting medical information, future testing from samples given, and a lack of information for parents. The board assured them they were listening and would discuss the concerns.

The Egyptian Health Department announced eight new cases of COVID-19 in White County yesterday, bringing its total to 3,105; Jefferson County reported 14 cases. Marion County added 53 since Wednesday and sat at 7,240. It also announced the deaths of females in their 40s and 60s. The state Department of Public Health announced 5,644 new cases yesterday and 30 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 1,758,146 cases and 26,190 deaths. The Southern Region had a seven-day positivity rate of 3.3 percent on the 15th, unchanged from the 14th.

Statewide unemployment was down and jobs were up last month in Illinois. October’s jobless rate came in at six percent, down from the adjusted 6.2 percent in September and significantly lower than the over eight percent rate at this time last year. About 41,000 jobs were added as well, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

After a good 2021, some farmers are anxious about 2022, according to Cincinnati Ag Bankers Conference speaker David Kohl. He is an ag economist and professor emeritus from Virginia Tech, and he says inflating costs for fertilizer and energy, coupled with uncertainty in global trade, could turn things upside down quickly.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 6.87 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.32 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 6.22 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 2.24 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 4.58 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 6.98 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $72.00, up $0.75 from yesterday. The December crude oil price is $79.36, up $1.55 from yesterday morning.