Headlines for Thursday, January 13th

The Fairfield Park Board will meet tonight at 6. After financial reports and a report from Park Superintendent Chris Jenkins, the board will move to old business. It is again scheduled to discuss its proposed splash pad project and new playground equipment at Lakeside Park. In new business tonight, the board is expected to discuss an equipment rental contract extension.

Wayne County deputies arrested 44-year-old Sims resident Karl D. Woolever yesterday afternoon. He was wanted on a Washington County, Missouri, warrant for probation violation for an offense of possession of a controlled substance. Woolever was taken to the Wayne County Jail and held on the no-bond warrant.

Wayne City High School has announced Rileigh Irwin as its January Senior of the Month and Ethan Thomason as its December winner. Irwin is the daughter of Jarrett Weaver and Johna Bailey and is a member of the Wayne City FFA and History Club. Thomason is the son of Brandon and Misty Thomason and is also a member of the FFA and History Club, as well as Scholar Bowl, Beta Club, and Band.

According to FCHS Athletic Director Justin Townsend, the Lady Mules will host Edwards County tonight with a modified JV basketball game at 6:15. The varsity game will follow at 7.

Wayne County VFW Post 4535 will hold a benefit dinner for the family of Wayne County Deputy Sean Riley this Saturday Service will include pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, baked beans, and cole slaw. The meal will run from noon until items are sold out, and dine-in and carryout options are available. All proceeds will go to the family of Deputy Riley.

The American Farm Bureau Federation meeting wrapped up yesterday in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Illinois Farm Bureau received several honors. IFB was given a New Horizon Award in recognition of its efforts on mental health, and it was one of six states recognized for exemplary financial support of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.

2021 crop production numbers are in, and Illinois posted record-breaking yields, per the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Illinois produced the second-most corn in the nation last year, trailing only Iowa. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says the estimated yield was 202 bushels per acre, and total production was estimated at 2.19 billion bushels. Illinois topped the nation in soybean production, averaging 64 bushels per acre and totaling 672.6 million bushels.

The Cisne Village Board met Monday night and swore in Rick Powell as a new board member. The board then approved a new contract with Sunrise Sanitation until 2026; the new price will be $12.25 per resident instead of $9.75, and the new fee will appear on residents’ next bill. The board also approved a $500 donation to the family of Wayne County Deputy Sean Riley.

The Wayne County Board will meet tonight at 7 in the county courthouse. The night will begin with a resolution coming from the Wayne County Highway Department. In new business, the board is anticipated to approve a plaque dedicated in memory of Deputy Sean Riley and a change to a resolution regarding criminal fee schedules.

The Edwards County Health Office announced 84 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, bringing its total to 1,413; 26 of the cases were in unvaccinated individuals. Wabash County added 223 cases in the last week to reach 2,770, and it also announced one additional death; three people were hospitalized, and 235 were in isolation. White County reported 47 cases yesterday morning and sat at 3,714, and Jefferson County reported 104. The state Department of Public Health announced 34,573 cases yesterday and 144 additional deaths. Statewide totals sat at 2,522,953 cases and 28,804 deaths. The Southern Region had a seven-day positivity rate of 15.3 percent on the 9th, up from 15 percent on the 8th.

The Illinois Department of Corrections says it has temporarily paused intakes from county jails because of COVID-19 outbreaks at some prisons. The IDOC said Tuesday affected facilities include the Graham, Logan, Menard, and Northern Reception and Classification Centers. It is using space normally reserved for new admissions to quarantine and isolate prisoners who have been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19.

The Illinois Department of Transportation invites people to take part in a virtual public hearing on January 21st to discuss an ongoing study of the state’s rail system. The online event will include a short video and information on feedback received since the study launched a year ago, per spokesman Paul Wappel. The study will wrap up at the end of the month. More information can be found at illinoisrailneeds.org.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 18.78 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.68 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 8.78 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 4.72 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 20.92 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 14.16 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $75.75, up $1.50 from yesterday. The February crude oil price is $82.53, up $0.61 from yesterday morning.