Headlines for Saturday, July 30th

We would like to apologize to Alani Buchanan for wrong information that was announed yesterday afternoon. We hope that we can look past this as we try to bring you the most accurate news possible. We would like to thank Alani and her mother for being patient as we made the announcement.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a total of 3,563,653 cases of the coronavirus in the state as of this morning and 34,357 total deaths.  Some area counties have moved into the “high community level” for COVID-19.  Reports from the area indicated Marion County has been placed in the “high” level, as they reported 135 new or probable cases of the virus within the past week.  Wayne County had 61 new cases, which according to reports, was actually a nine percent decline, and two new hospitalizations.  Jefferson County moved to the “high” level, as they reported 135 new cases and three new hospitalizations.  Clay County had 72 new cases and one new hospitalization.  The CDC recommends that those in counties at the “high” level wear a mask in indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.

Illinois is set to receive about $760 million over the next 18 years through a $26 billion national opioid settlement agreement.  The money is expected to come from the country’s three major pharmaceutical distributors, which include Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.  The settlement, reports say, follows three years of negotiations to resolve over 4000 claims of state and local governments across the country.  The Illinois Department of Human Services says 400,000 residents in Illinois misuse prescription opiates and 74,000 have an opioid disorder.  Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order Friday to establish an Opioid Settlement Administration Office within the Illinois Department of Human Services, which will be responsible for the opioid remediation funds to help with recovery and treatment programs across the state.

The winning numbers in Mega Millions jackpot have been announced.  The numbers are 67-45-57-36 and 13.  The Megaplier is number 14.  The drawing was held Friday night.  The jackpot was estimated at $1.2 billion.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced $15 million in tourism grants for the state.  Ten million dollars has already been awarded through a state program to support exhibits, festivals and attractions around the state.  The grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, and applications for the second round of $15 million in tourism grants are being accepted through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.  Downstate communities are being prioritized.

Area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 25.58 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 20.29 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet, and the river should be below that level by Monday.  At Carmi the stage is 24.55 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 10.64 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 9.66 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  The area should remain dry until Sunday, when more rain chances are in the forecast.