Headlines for Sunday, January 9th

An American Red Cross blood drive is set for this Wednesday, January 12th from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Community of Christ Church in Fairfield, south of McDonalds.  Those wishing to make an appointment or get more information can call 838-9873 or online at   redcrossblood.org  with sponsor code  communityofchrist   The drive is the annual winter donorama, and donors will be treated to chili and snacks.  Door prizes will also be awarded, and all blood types are needed.

The Illinois Attorney General is accusing a coal mine operator in Franklin County of polluting the area with toxic foam to try and stop an underground fire.  Reports say Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s lawsuit alleges that the Sugar Camp mine used firefighting foam this past August containing PFAS compounds.  The compounds are called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment or the human body and can accumulate over time.  The mine is located near Macedonia, about 110 miles southeast of St. Louis.

Portions of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in southern Illinois will close March 1st as work begins on a $5 million project.  An Associated Press report says the work is expected to take about a year to complete, and will include replacing the roof, lighting and fire suppression and security systems, according to the site superintendent.  She said some of the work was last done back in 1988.  The 2200 acre site near Collinsville contains remains of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico.

Students, staff and faculty in the University of Illinois school system will soon be required to get a COVID-19 booster shot once they are eligible for one, school officials said last week.  The school board president said in a mass email that “there  is now significant evidence that vaccinations plus boosters are effective at preventing infections from developing into serious illness.”  The university did not give a timeline for the booster requirement, just a “strong encouragement” to get one before the spring semester begins.  School officials had already announced last month that the Champaign-Urbana and Chicago campuses would be starting the spring semester online.

Area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 22.66 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 8.31 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 23.03 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.79 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 18.54 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.