By Jim Muir Christmas traditionally is a time for wide-eyed children, … [Continue Reading]

UMWA president John L. Lewis is pictured leaving the Orient 2 Mine the day after a massive explosion killed 119 miners.

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has died, less than 24 hours after … [Continue Reading]


By David Mercer The Associated Press CHAMPAIGN -- The re-hiring of 1970s … [Continue Reading]


Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner won't raise your income tax next year. Or maybe … [Continue Reading]

rauner farm bureau

Gov. Pat Quinn’s former campaign manager has decided to pursue overtures to … [Continue Reading]

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missing man

Police seek help in finding missing Benton man

The Benton Police Department is asking for help in locating a issing Benton man.  Ira Goff , age 59 of Benton, IL. was reported missing by family members on Dec. 18, 2014.  Anyone with information to the whereabouts of Goff are asked to contact the Benton Police Department at 618-435-8131.  The Police suspect no foul […]

Benton Rangerettes Coach Andy Sloan

Rangerettes and Lady Redbirds, both unbeaten, set to renew rivalry in Ohio Division showdown

Through the generations Franklin County rivals Benton and West Frankfort have gotten together for some memorable match ups in multiple sports and many times on the line was a conference title, a regional championship or a chance to advance down the post season trail.

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christmas tree pic

Thankful for a garage full of memories

The young man in the frayed black and white photo looked to be in his early 20s. His eyes were bright and optimistic and he had a full head of thick, dark hair. He had a broad smile which made me feel that he was happy when the photo was taken.

How Madigan builds his patronage army

When House Speaker Michael Madigan accidentally triggered a patronage scandal at the Metra commuter rail agency, it was the result of two extraordinary events.

DCFS under fire about the number of child deaths in state

CHICAGO — Lawmakers questioned Illinois child welfare officials Tuesday about an increase in the number of children reported to have died of neglect or abuse in the state, though agency officials argued the number partly reflected a change in the way neglect cases are counted.

Obituary – Teresa Rae Darnell – Sesser

Teresa Rae Darnell, 61, of Sesser, IL, passed away December 14, 2014 at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Latest in Sports

Cheyenne Pitchford

Logan spikers add S-V’s Pitchford

CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College volleyball team has added to its frontline depth with this week’s announced signing of Cheyenne Pitchford of Sesser-Valier High School.

IHSA Archives Provides March Madness In December

The IHSA Archives project is serving up an early treat for high school basketball fans this holiday season. On Sunday evening (Dec. 21) the Illinois High School Association will release video recordings of 145 boys and girls basketball state championship games, covering tournaments from 1947 to 2007. The videos, available free of charge to anyone using a computer, tablet, or smartphone, will be posted on the IHSA Archives channel on YouTube.

DTHC Pairings

Pairings released for 2014 Duster Thomas Hoops Classic

NOTE:  This is a listing of games for Friday, Dec. 26, 2014.  Pairings for games on Saturday, Dec. 27 will be determined by a team’s record in pool play from first round games.

sv holiday tournament

Pairings announced for 2014Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament

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Breaking News

RLC offering SafeLand drilling instruction on Dec. 23

INA, Ill. – Attention all drill rig workers, little more than two weeks stand between you and the next SafeLand training course at Rend Lake College, which is set for 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 23 at the Coal Mine Training Center. The training course will cover materials required for PEC certification.

Benton’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ is set for Dec. 19

BENTON — A 10 year tradition continues at approximately 5:30 p.m. at Fred’s in Benton as children in kindergarten through sixth grades are invited to Shop with a Cop.

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Morthland game to benefit local family

On Wednesday, Dec. 17, Max Morris Gymnasium in West Frankfort will host “Morthland’s March for Marla,” a halftime fundraising event and 50/50 drawing that will take place during the Morthland College Patriots basketball game against Blue Mountain Toppers. Initiated by one of the Patriot’s star players, the money will go toward the financial burden of an area family dealing with stage four cancer.

Treasurer race could spark recount; Kirk seeks probe

SPRINGFIELD — The race for state treasurer remains undecided nearly two weeks after Election Day, with both campaigns agreeing fewer than 400 votes now separate the candidates in what could be the closest statewide race in Illinois in at least a century. It also may lead to the first recount request in three decades.

Benton man arrested on outstanding warrant

A 46-year-old Benton man was arrested after failing to appear in Franklin County court.

Free cardiac risk screening from Prairie Heart Institute

(CARBONDALE, IL) Appointments are still available for the fourth and final Prairie Power Check of 2014 at SIH The Place at University Mall. The Prairie Power Check involves a series of free screenings and cardiac risk assessments for residents of southern Illinois. The last Prairie Power Check for the year is scheduled for Saturday, November 22 from 8:00 am until noon at SIH The Place at University Mall.