Headlines for Saturday, November 19th

The Fairfield Retail Merchants Holiday Open House is set for this weekend.  Residents are invited to shop participating stores, and they can bring kids to the Chamber Office Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.  They can write letters to Santa, receive a free gift, and register for a gift card bouquet from the local Retail Merchnats.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a total of 3,850,508 cases of the coronavirus in the state and 35,389 total deaths as of this morning.  Reports indicated Wayne County  had three new cases within the past few days.  Clay County had one new case, Richland County had two cases and Marion County reported four new cases.  The IDPH said as of this past Wednesday night, just over 1100 people in Illinois were hospitalized with COVID, with 138 patients in the ICU and 38 on ventilators.

Three horses were rescued, one euthanized and six others are unaccounted for after a bizarre series of events involving potential animal neglect in Carmi the past several days.  According to reports from our sister station WRUL, those who have been involved in the situation reported the devastating shape some of the ten horses were in where an Indiana woman was found squatting at the White County Fairgrounds.  Those with knowledge of the circumstances said the woman, alleged to be Angela Sue Hileman, works in Darmstadt and was allegedly given permission to utilize the vacant barn by a Carmi woman who wasn’t authorized to give such an approval.  One of the horses was saved and had a slab fracture on its knee.  Two others were chronically stall walking and all were skin and bones.  The horse that had to be euthanized had gotten down in its stall and was unable to regain its footing.  White County Sheriff Randy Graves indicated no criminal charges were pending.

Firearm deer season opened in Illinois Friday, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the cold weather recently should help deer hunters this weekend.  They also are stressing hunting safety when out in the woods.  Hunters can report their harvest on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website or by calling 1-866-IL-CHECK.  The first deer hunting weekend runs through Sunday, and the second weekend for firearm deer hunting is set for December 1st through 4th.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding the public that the extension of expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and learner’s permits is set to end December 1st.  White initiated the extension in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.  White continues to encourage people to conduct their business online at   ilsos.gov   The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also reminded the public that the federal REAL ID deadline has been extended to May 3, 2023.

Area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 5.31 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 4.44 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 3.43 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 4.99 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 2.81 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  The next chance of rain for the area is a small chance on Thanksgiving Day.