Headlines for Monday, June 27th

A boil order has been issued for the areas of SE 6th Street between Center & E. Douglas and E. Douglas between SE 7th and S. 1st Street.  Any water used for human consumption needs to be boiled until water samples have passed inspection.

The City of Fairfield along with the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce are planning an event for the July 3 city fireworks display. They are currently looking for vendors and food trucks interested in setting up on July 3 at Fairfield’s Southwest Park. Event will start at 5 PM, with food and vendors, nonprofits welcome. Followed by live music from 5 pm -8 pm and fireworks at dusk. There will be no fee for setup and no utilities will be provided. If you are interested in setting up, please contact the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce at 842-6116.

Wayne County Crimestoppers is offering a reward for the person or persons who removed an 8×14 outbuilding (Morton Type Building) from property owned by Ethan Keyser in Fairfield. Call or Text Crimestoppers at 842-9777

The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday reported 27,094  new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease, including 82 deaths since June 17. According to the CDC, 20 Illinois counties are now rated at High Community Level for COVID-19, an area that includes some of the counties around the Chicago metropolitan area, counties around Peoria and Champaign in central Illinois, and counties in Southern Illinois. An additional 47 counties throughout the state are now rated at Medium Community Level. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 3,407,189 cases, including 34,076 deaths, since the beginning of  the pandemic. As of last night, 1,099 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 114 patients were in the ICU and 32 patients were on ventilators.  The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 213 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans, last week the case rate was also 213 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans. The counties listed at High Community Level include Johnson, Marion, Massac, Washington and Wayne Counties in Southern Illinois. The Counties in our immediate area that are at the Medium Community level are Clay and Jefferson. A total of 22,604,803 vaccines have been administered in Illinois.  The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 8,727 doses.  Since June 17, there have been 61,088 doses reportedly administered in Illinois.  Of Illinois’ total population, more than 76% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, more than 69% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated, and more than 53% of the vaccinated population has an initial booster according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Mt. Vernon Police officer was involved in an officer involved shooting late Saturday night. Police report that at 11:54 pm officers from the Mt Vernon Police Department responded to a residence in the 2600 block of Wescott for a report of an armed home invasion.  Dispatch reports indicated when a resident of the home answered the door the resident was confronted by an individual armed with a handgun.  It was further reported the armed offender struck the homeowner with the gun causing injury and fled from the residence.  Medical personnel were also dispatched to the scene. The first officer on scene observed a vehicle leaving the area.  The officer attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, but the vehicle fled.  Officers initiated a pursuit of the vehicle until it crashed on 42nd Street North of Veterans Memorial Drive. The offender fled from the vehicle while armed with a handgun.  As an officer pursued the offender, the offender displayed the handgun towards the officer.  The officer had to discharge their firearm to protect themself.  The offender’s weapon was located at the scene.  The offender was struck and transported to a local hospital for treatment. The officer was transported to a local hospital and was treated and released. The Mt Vernon Police Department is conducting the investigation into the armed home invasion that initially occurred.  Criminal charges are pending. The Illinois State Police responded to the scene to conduct an investigation into the officer involved shooting.  Additional criminal charges are pending.

Area police departments are looking for a suspect in a hit-and-run crash and three stolen vehicle cases that are believed to be related. Salem Police say the series of incidents began when a City of Salem Public Works pickup truck was involved in a hit and run crash at Blair and South College.  The city truck, which turned out to be stolen from the public works yards, fled the area. The driver of the stolen city vehicle reportedly went around an eastbound vehicle driven by 66-year-old Robert Ratts of South Avenue in Iuka that was at the stop sign on Blair Street.  After nearly hitting another vehicle head-on, the stolen pickup sideswiped the front of Ratts’ vehicle.  Ratts was treated on the scene and said he would go to the hospital on his own. The stolen city truck was later found off of Steel Lane in rural Woodlawn.  Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies say another vehicle was stolen from nearby. Washington County officials found that vehicle and another taken in the same area.  The vehicle was pinged and showed it was in the Jackson Avenue area of Junction City.  A Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy found the vehicle with no one around.  They remained with the car until it was towed from the scene by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. Salem Public Works Director Annette Brushwitz says the truck had just been returned to the far east end of the city’s maintenance building and the keys had been left inside.  She reports the suspect had to walk into the shed and past several employees to get to the truck.  Brushwitz says with so many temporary employees in the summer, not everyone knows everyone else.  She reports one side of the truck was damaged when hitting the other vehicle. While no one has been arrested, police say they have a suspect that is currently being sought.

A 20-year-old Mt. Vernon man is in custody on three weapons charges after allegedly threatening a victim with a firearm and then refusing to come out of a home. Alexander Kuhn reportedly went into a residence at 719 South 20th Street on Friday after making the threat.  He was eventually located hiding in a crawl space and was taken into custody without further incident.  Kuhn is being held in the Jefferson County Justice Center on charges of resisting or obstructing arrest, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm by a felon. After a search warrant was obtained with the assistance of the Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s office the Mt Vernon Police Department / Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department High-Risk Team was activated due to illegal firearms believed to be inside the residence. Patrol officers and members of the High-Risk Team repeatedly requested Kuhn voluntarily exit the residence, but he would not.  The High-Risk Team made entry into the residence and located Kuhn hiding in a crawl space area. Mt Vernon Police Department Detectives then conducted a search of the residence and located an AK-47 type weapon, a drum magazine for the AK-47, and additional ammunition. Bond for Kuhn has not been set.

Salem Police arrested both men involved in a fight that resulted in stab and cut wounds to both with a kitchen knife. Police say 21-year-old Mason Allison and 22-year-old Dalyn Opolony got into the altercation at the home they were sharing on West Warmoth early Friday morning.  Both ended up going to the Salem Township Hospital emergency room for treatment of stab and cut wounds. Salem Police say the two friends had different stories on how they got the knife wounds when they were called to the hospital to investigate. Police report Opolony ended up with deep knife wounds to his right lower leg.  Allison had deep cuts to his right hand.  Both had swelling and bruising to the face. The two received stitches to close their wounds.  After being released from the hospital they were both taken to the Marion County Jail for alleged aggravated domestic battery.

On Thursday morning Reporting Officer George Spencer responded to Enfield Rehabilitation and Health Care Center after receiving report of an employee’s vehicle having been stolen from the parking lot.  Ruth Barger was the one making the report, stating that her silver 2004 Toyota RAV4 had been stolen from the parking lot sometime between 5AM and 8:30AM.  She reported that she did not give anyone permission to remove the vehicle, and that she did not know who may have taken it.  Barger signed a probable cause complaint for Theft Over $500, and an incident report was placed on file at the White County Sheriff’s Department.

River stages as of this morning: the Little Wabash east of Fairfield stands at 8.45 feet, below the 17 ft. flood stage. Meanwhile, the Skillet Fork at Wayne City has a reading of 5.88 feet (flood stage is 15 ft.). The Little Wabash below Clay City is at 12.53 feet (flood stage is 18 ft.). Bonpas Creek at Browns reads 1.91 feet, and the Little Wabash at Main Street in Carmi reads 14.16 feet. The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel sits at 4.99 feet.

Today’s crude oil price is $100.62, up  $1.43 from Friday. The July crude oil price is $103.50, down $6.08 from Friday morning.