Headlines for Monday, May 9th

41-year-old Flora resident Emily S. Denning was arrested last week on a charge of concealment of a homicidal death in connection to the November death of 54-year-old Flora resident Stephanie L. Harrell. Harrell was found dead inside her parked car near a field entrance on November 17th, and 52-year-old Flora resident Phillip Blaine Henson was arrested in March on a charge of drug-induced homicide.

57-year-old Geff resident Carol S. Robertson was sentenced in Wayne County Circuit Court last week after admitting to violating probation for a Class 3 felony count of theft. Robertson was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $6,269 in fines and court costs. 25-year-old Fairfield resident Gage L. Devers pleaded guilty to a Class 3 felony count of possession of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 18 months probation. Several other cases were dismissed per the plea, and Devers was ordered to pay $4,800.24 in fines, court costs, and restitution.

Several people were booked in the Wayne County Jail over the weekend. Fairfield police arrested 35-year-old Fairfield resident Donald E. Baker, Jr., Saturday night on a charge of aggravated domestic battery. Baker was held in the jail, pending the setting and posting of bond. County deputies arrested 24-year-old Fairfield resident Jacob A. Chrtt Saturday night on a Wayne County failure to appear warrant for aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer; he was held without bond.

20 students were initiated into the Rho Psi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa last month at Wabash Valley College. Officers conducting the ceremony were President Caterina Martineau, Vice President Taya Rush, Secretary Mindy Wampler, and Treasurer Malena Bixby. Initiates were Alexandria Archer, Maggee Bleyer, Larissa Bluntschli, Coy Crull, Clay Dempsey, Anna Eicke, Peyton Fallen, Christian Flores, Micah Henson, Riley Julian, Michael Keneipp, Sarah Kieffer, Joyce Lang, Christan Manning, Grace Milligan, Jonah Potts, Emma Shell, Kristi Walker, Emma Westlake, and Maxwell Zimmerman.

According to a Facebook post, Fairfield businessman Gary Carter remained off the primary election ballot for Illinois House District 116 as of Saturday. He is fighting in court to be put back on the ballot, but the appeal process must be completed, and a ruling made in his favor, by the time early voting begins on May 19th. Carter filed an objection in Sangamon County Circuit Court on April 26th, but, as of Saturday, no hearing date had been set.

Fairfield Community High School will hold its graduation services this Sunday at 2 p.m. The event will be held indoors this year due to weather predictions for the weekend. Last year, guests were limited for an indoor graduation, and the school held an outdoor evening graduation two years ago with limited guests and social distancing on the track. This year, there will not be any attendance limits because of the pandemic.

The Wayne County Memorial VFW Auxiliary has announced the winners of its Patriotic Art Contest this year. FCHS student Migon Thomason won first place, earning $100. Wayne City student Jade Weaver won second and earned $50, FCHS student Jazmyn Sutton third and $25, and FCHS student Sarah Ruhl Honorable Mention and $20. Each also earned a certificate of recognition.

The Fairfield City Council will meet tomorrow at 6 at City Hall. Aldermen are set to discuss an ordinance amending the liquor code to add a new Bed & Breakfast license as their first item of scheduled business. They will then work on a resolution setting the dates for city council meetings and the FOP contract. The council is also scheduled to approve the seeking of bids for the sale of vehicles and equipment before adjourning for the night.

According to the CDC over the weekend, 6,400 people in Wayne County were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or 39.5 percent of its population, including 48.7 percent of people over 18 and 69 percent of people over 65. 46.5 percent of fully vaccinated people had been boosted. 40.3 percent of Edwards County residents were fully vaccinated, including 50.1 percent of those over 18 and 75.9 percent of those over 65. 46.4 percent of vaccinated people had been boosted.

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis met with a group of farm broadcasters last week from across the country. He discussed a bill he authored that would prohibit local governments from banning or regulating the use of pesticide levels more stringent than state and federal regulations. He was among a group of 14 lawmakers speaking to the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Washington Watch Event.

The new official Illinois Highway Map is now available. While people may mostly use smartphones for directions, IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel says paper maps can still be a good resource. The latest version includes route updates and a new feature showing the mileage between towns. People can email dot.maps@illinois.gov for a copy, and copies will also soon be available at Interstate rest stops and other IDOT facilities.

The Citizens’ Utility Board wants people to know of some things they can do to prepare for what looks to be an expensive summer in terms of power bills in Illinois. Energy prices are dramatically high across the globe due to a number of factors, and CUB Spokesman Jim Chilsen says there are three things people can do right now to cut back on energy use: set thermostats smartly, weatherize doors and windows, and use energy-efficient lighting.

River stages as of this morning:  the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 17.81 feet, above the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 6.50 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 14.20 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 2.65 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 14.32 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 14.32 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $102.75, up $1.50 from Friday. The June crude oil price is $109.01, up $0.49 from Friday morning.