School faculty, admin invited to “Technology in the Classroom” workshop

INA, Ill. – Grab your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and come to Rend Lake College for a free “Technology in the Classroom” workshop designed to help school administration and faculty interact with their students through flipped instruction.

Dr. Jeannie Justice, CORD (Center for Occupational Research and Development) Trainer and instructor of Educational Technology and Leadership at Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky., will speak about technology in the classroom from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 5, in the Academic Building, Room 215, on the Ina campus.

School administrators and faculty are invited to from Justice learn about flipped instruction, a trend in education that is helping prepare students for a deeper understanding of content with increased collaborative and problem-solving skills. Technology plays a key role in flipped instruction due to the amount and quality of tools to help instructors increase interaction and communication.

This hands-on workshop will also feature several tools specifically geared toward function and usability in the classroom, such as recording features for lectures, communication through technology, back channel, interactive classes, and gamification of lessons. Participants will also learn about creativity with technology, collaboration and group projects, cooperative organization, and the positives and negatives of flipping instruction.

Attendees can earn 7 CPDUs or 0.5 credit hours for attending the workshop. Lunch will also be provided. Registration is due for the session by Friday, May 29. To register or for more information, contact RLC’s Community and Corporate Education Division at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1267 or 1714, or at

Logan spiker picks Kentucky State



CARTERVILLE – A second John A. Logan College volleyball player in as many days has announced that she will continue her collegiate career this fall. Sophomore rightside hitter Lauren Person will transfer to Kentucky State University this fall.

Kentucky State is located in Frankfort, near Louisville.

A St. Louis native, Person recorded 89 kills this past fall to help lead the Volunteers to a 24-10 overall mark. She also contributed 43 blocks and 30 digs.

Person said she is excited about signing with Division II Kentucky State.

“It was a hard decision because I was also considering a couple of other schools. I chose Kentucky State because I wanted to be closer to home and because I wanted to go to a historically black college or university for my educational experience these next two years.”

Person was accepted into the school’s animal science program, but has recently changed her major to physical therapy for animals.

“My freshman year here at Logan was all about adjusting to a different environment,” she said. “I didn’t get to play a lot. But I put a lot of work in the off season last year and became a starter this past fall. I got stronger, which helped, and I improved my hitting skills from the right side.”

Person said she will miss her Logan teammates and has made some lifelong friends at the school, some of which are teammates and some aren’t.

“The Logan experience has been good for me. I think I impressed Coach (Bill) Burnside with how much I improved from the first year to the second. Now, I can’t wait to see what I can do at the next level.”

Burnside said Person “is a very good athlete,” who has yet to reach her volleyball potential.

“You have to remember that Lauren was a track athlete in high school. She didn’t really get serious about volleyball until late in her high school career. She’s still developing. I think Kentucky State will be a good fit for her. I think she will help them.”

GRAC All-Sports trophy goes to Logan


CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College Athletic Department recently received news that it had won the Great Rivers Athletic Conference All-Sports Trophy for the sixth time in the last 15 years under the supervision of its director, Jerry Halstead.

Five sports (volleyball, women’s and men’s basketball, softball and baseball) are awarded point values based on one’s finish within the league. Golf is not a conference sport as not enough schools in the league participate.

First place in the GRAC equates to 18 points. Second place is 16, third is 14, fourth is 12, and so forth. A first-place tie results in 17 points.

Logan totaled 63 points this school year, edging out Lake Land and Kaskaskia, who totaled 60 points each.

The Vols’ top two sports were men’s basketball (18 points) and baseball (17).

“We’re extremely proud to win this trophy,” Halstead said. “I think it shows that Logan has good balance in its athletic program, year in and year out. We’ve obviously had to do more with less in recent years in terms of funding. We could use that as an excuse, but we try to go the other way and be positive with our approach.”

Franklin Hospital moves forward with building project, approves loan to repay Medicare

Franklin Hospital board members approved the borrowing of funds to reimburse Medicare for overpayments the hospital has been receiving.

Here’s a link in the Benton Evening News.

Benton-West City Area Chamber of Commerce accepting entries for Rend Lake Water Festival Parade

“Hometown Heroes” is the theme of this year’s Rend Lake Water Festival parade, and the Benton-West City Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for participants. The deadline for entry is May 7.

Here’s the link in the Benton Evening News.

Franklin County Farm Bureau News – TREES TO GIVE AWAY!!



Gay Bowlin, Manager

Congressman Mike Bost set up a meeting this past Tuesday with farmers and Ag Business people to be on his Ga Advisory Council. Marc Lamczyk from the U of I Extension and myself drove to Waterloo to participate in this meeting. Along with the many farmers through the Southern Region of Illinois also in attendance was Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert.

Among some of the issues discussed were the Farm Bill and Conservation Compliance including cover crops. A big issue right now is USDA “Actively Engaged” proposed rule. Because Congress chose not to define what an “actively engaged” farmer was in the 2014 Farm Bill, instead, Congress let USDA decide.

A person must be actively engaged to receive certain farm payments. An individual or entity (partnerships, corporations, etc.) must provide significant contributions to the farming operation. Contributions can consist of capital, land, and/or equipment, as well as active personal labor and/or active personal management. Management must be critical to the profitability of the farming operation and the contributions must be at risk.

I have a booklet in the office if anyone would like a copy please call so that we can have one ready for you to pick up.

When discussing Waters of the United States (WOTUS) it was stated that it is an overreach of epic proportion.

Congressman Bost has signed on to be a cosponsor of H.R. 594 which prohibits the CORPS and EPA from taking further action regarding this rule. He has signed a letter to the House Appropriations Committee asking that they not make any money available for implementation, applying, developing any part of the rule for FY 2016. He indicated that the Secretary of the EPA does expect final ruling on this to come out in May or June.

Another issue is GMO labeling – concern over a patchwork of state labeling laws is causing concern for the ag industry. 90% of scientists agree that genetically engineered traits that we consume are safe. 59% of the general public does not believe genetically modified traits are safe for consumption. The biggest issue is educating consumers.

We have trees available to be picked up to anyone who would like them. I thought that I was getting 20 and instead I receive 200. These are White Oak, Red Oak, Burr Oak and Swamp White Oak tree saplings. Please call the office at 435-3616 or just stop by.

This year we will have our Antique Tractor Drive on May 9th and for the first time we will be in the Rend Lake Water Festival Parade.  The tractors will be near the front of the parade.  We will drive the parade route then continue on to the Barren Township Building on 154 stopping for a fish dinner then continue back over the Rend Lake Dam back to the Rend Lake Plaza in West City.  Entry fee is $20 and this covers the cost of meal and a t-shirt.  For more information call the office at 435-3616.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

3rd Annual Car Show at the RLC MarketPlace set for May 9

MT. VERNON, Ill. – Springtime brings with it warm weather, sunny days, and for local residents, the annual Car Show at the Rend Lake College MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon. This year, the show will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 9.

Interested patrons can register their vehicles from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for $10 in the east parking lot of the MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon. The first 100 registrants will be given a dash plaque for participating. All of the proceeds from the Car Show’s registration will go toward RLC student scholarships in the Automotive Technology program.

Around 10:30 p.m., judges will begin inspecting every car on the lot for a 2 p.m. trophy presentation. The awards this year include Best of Show, Best Ford, Best GM, Best Mopar, Best Street Rod, Best Truck, Best Rat Rod, Best Paint, Best Interior, Best Motor, Top Five 1995 and Newer, Top 15 1974 through 1994, and Top 25 1974 and Older.

Shimkus, Bost and Davis question energy regulator over rate spike


WASHINGTON – Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today questioning this month’s Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) planning resource auction that resulted in significantly higher electricity capacity prices for central and southern Illinois. Congressmen Mike Bost (R, Illinois-12) and Rodney Davis (R, Illinois-13) joined Shimkus on the letter.

The letter notes that capacity prices for MISO Zone 4, which includes the majority of Illinois, unexpectedly skyrocketed “from $16.75 per MW-day in 2014-2015, to $150 per MW-day for 2015-2016.”

“Not only is this a 900 percent increase from last year,” Shimkus said, “but this year’s capacity rate for our region is 40 times the price set for neighboring zones. Illinois ratepayers deserve to know whether all the rules for this auction were properly followed and, if so, what can be done to prevent similar rate spikes moving forward.”

“A rate increase of this magnitude is harmful to working families, small businesses and manufacturers in Southern Illinois, especially since it won’t apply to neighboring jurisdictions,” said Bost. “I look forward to the FERC’s response to this inquiry.”

“Illinois families and businesses have a right to know that this auction was done properly and followed all the rules before being forced to pay higher utility bills,” said Davis. “Given the vast discrepancies from previous auctions, I want to make sure the proper review took place and I look forward to FERC’s response.”

The extent to which the capacity rate increase will affect individual ratepayers is not yet fully known. State officials have also questioned the auction in a separate letter to MISO.

A copy of the Shimkus, Bost and Davis letter can be found HERE.

Giving endures: Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship gives back to student in honor of donor’s father

INA, Ill.– For Rend Lake College Foundation scholarship donor Pamela Atkinson-Chadbourne, the saying, ‘what goes around comes around’ has never been truer. After the loss of her father in 2013, Atkinson-Chadbourne and her family established the Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship, and through it, her father’s spirit continues to give back to those who made his last years special.

Atkinson-Chadbourne said the scholarship will continue to give back to an RLC student enrolled in a health care program because of the care the certified nurse assistants (CNAs) gave her father at Stonebridge Senior Living Center in Benton. The idea for the scholarship started with wanting to be a stepping stone for a student who plans to care for others, specifically the elderly, as Atkinson was cared for.

For the last two years, Tymber Downen of Wayne City – an RLC nursing student – has been the recipient of the Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship. Downen will graduate next month with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from RLC.

“When my dad was living at Stonebridge, the care he received from his CNAs was overwhelming. He loved all of them and they had such a kindness in their hearts,” said Atkinson-Chadbourne. “My dad loved people, and I know he would’ve adored Tymber. He was a very kindhearted man, and so we’d like to keep the scholarship going in his honor.”

Summer Job Opportunities Available at Rend Lake


Rend Lake – is now accepting applications to fill summer positions at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facilities. This hiring includes Rend Lake, Benton, IL. Rend Lake is one of the many locations that will be hiring students for summer employment through the Pathways program. These positions are open to current students enrolled at least half-time in high school, vocational, technical, undergraduate, graduate or professional programs. The Pathways “Internship” Program is a paid student internship program that offers a clear path to Federal careers for students from high school through post-graduate school and provides meaningful training and career development opportunities for individuals who are at the beginning of their Federal service.

To apply, all applicants must first create a USAJOBS account by logging into the Once the applicant has his/her USAJOBS account set up, they can also create “Saved Searches” to receive email notifications when new jobs are announced that meet a specific criteria. All Pathways Program positions are announced on

Two job applications are being advertised for Rend Lake, a GS-02 position, for persons who have never worked in the Pathways Internship program; and a GS-03 position for persons who are currently in the Pathways Internship program.

Rend Lake’s announcement number for Pathway Internship applicants for the summer of 2015 for the GS-02 position is ANNOUNCEMENT NUMBER: SWGI155931431359197P. A direct link to the GS-02 announcement is:

For the GS-03 announcement refer to ANNOUNCEMENT NUMBER: SWGI155931461359411P. A direct link to the GS -03 job announcement can be found at: Both job announcements are open for self-nomination beginning today, March 20, 2015, and close Monday, March 30, 2015.