Rock & Worship Roadshow coming to Carbondale

The 7th Annual Rock & Worship Roadshow, presented by Compassion International, will be coming to the SIU Arena on the campus of Southern Illinois University on Sunday March 1, 2015. Headlining the Roadshow are tour founders MercyMe who will be joined by Crowder, Matt Maher, Jamie Grace, Tedashii and Group 1 Crew. Being introduced on the tour are newcomer artists I Am They and Jon Guerra, while Shaun Groves is slated as the guest speaker.
General admission will be $10 per person at the door. A VIP ticket will also be available for $50 per person and will include a Q&A with select artists, early entrance for premium seating, an exclusive tour tshirt, a VIP laminate and more. For more information and to order your VIP ticket please visit  For information regarding parking, line-up instructions, and entry times please visit the following website.
Since The Rock & Worship Roadshow first kicked off in 2009, the tour has performed more than 150 shows to an audience of 1.2 million. According to Pollstar in 2012, the hugely popular tour was named one of their Top 50 Tours for Mid-Year. “The success of The Rock & Worship Roadshow over the last six years has been incredible,” shares Brian Seay, executive producer of the tour. “The quality and variety of the artists in our 2015 lineup ensures that we will continue to provide the entire family – parents and kids alike – with an unforgettable evening of ministry and music presented by Compassion International.”

Rauner makes university trustee appointments, two named at SIUC

Governor Rauner announced today he has made appointments to the Board of Trustees at Southern Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University and Chicago State University.

Name: John Gilbert

Position: Board of Trustees – Southern Illinois University

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected John Gilbert, 65, of Carbondale to the Board of Trustees at Southern Illinois University. Gilbert is a life-long public servant and is currently a United States District Court Judge (senior status).

Gilbert was appointed to the federal bench in 1992, and currently presides over criminal and civil cases. Prior to that, he was a First Judicial Circuit Court Judge for nearly five years.

Gilbert has also served the people of Illinois as a member of the State Board of Elections, where he set policy matters for the board and presided over election challenges.

Gilbert holds a law degree from Loyola University Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.

Name: Joel Sambursky

Position: Board of Trustees – Southern Illinois University

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Joel Sambursky, 32, of Carbondale to serve on the Board of Trustees at Southern Illinois University. Sambursky is a graduate of SIU and is the president of Liberty Wealth Management, LLC.

Sambursky has worked at Liberty Wealth Management since 2012. Currently, he manages the day-to-day affairs of the firm including financial and investment planning, marketing and client recruitment. He also advises clients on retirement and college savings plans.

Prior to his work at Liberty Wealth Management, Sambursky worked for Forbes Financial Group in Carbondale as a financial adviser. He advised clients and helped determine if they had adequate retirement assets and insurance policies. Sambursky also worked for the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce.

Sambursky graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2005 with a degree in science finance and earned an MBA in 2007. He was also recognized for his athletic accomplishments during his four years on the SIU football team.

Name: Amy Sholar

Position: Board of Trustees – Southern Illinois University

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Amy Sholar, 43, of Alton to serve on the Board of Trustees at Southern Illinois University. Sholar is a graduate of SIU – Edwardsville and currently owns her own law firm.

Sholar has owned the Law Office of Amy Sholar, P.C. since 2004. Prior to owning her own law firm, Sholar worked for the City of Alton as a planning coordinator. She was responsible for community redevelopment, real estate acquisitions and zoning matters.
Sholar was also a recipient of the 2012 Women of Distinction award.

Sholar graduated from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville in 1998 with a degree in business administration and holds a law degree from St. Louis University.

Name: Timothy Burke

Position: Board of Trustees – Eastern Illinois University

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Timothy Burke, 65, of Evanston to become a member of the Eastern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees. Burke is a graduate of EIU and is currently a member of the EIU Foundation Board of Trustees.

Burke is currently a project risk manager at William Blair & Company. In this role, he works on financial risk management and internal control matters. For ten years until 2012, he was the company’s CFO.

Prior to his work at William Blair & Company, Burke worked at Arthur Andersen & Company for more than 20 years. He became partner in 1987 in the audit practice of the financial services group. He also managed a World Bank project in Indonesia focused on reforming securities industry regulations.

Burke received his bachelor’s degree in math and master’s degree in counseling from EIU. While earning his MS, he also served the EIU community as a residence hall counselor.

Name: Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch

Position: Board of Trustees – Chicago State University

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch to join the Chicago State University Board of Trustees. Hatch has spent years in the community and in public service to help others.

Since 1993, Hatch has been the pastor of the New Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago’s west side. Prior to that, he served as the pastor of Commonwealth Baptist Church.

Throughout his work in the ministry, Hatch has created and developed a number of outreach programs. He is responsible for an interfaith affordable housing development project, which built more than 200 homes for Chicago families. He also established an annual mission trip for inner-city youth.

Hatch earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Western Illinois University. He holds a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University. Hatch also earned a doctorate and masters degree in ministry and theological studies from McCormick Theological Seminary. He was also one of four Merrill Fellows at the Harvard Divinity School in 1998.

Second Mining in Society Merit Badge workshop returning to RLC

INA, Ill. – Southern Illinois’ second Mining in Society workshop is again teaming up with the Rend Lake College Mining and Industrial Department to give local Boy Scouts the chance to earn a new merit badge and learn all about the coal mining industry at the same time.

The classroom aspect of the workshop will meet at the RLC Coal Mine Training Center from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, March 21. Local scouts will get some hands-on experience with coal mining, an effort aimed to teach the boys about different career opportunities. There will be several guest speakers and activities focusing on mining enterprises in the state or region, understanding the hazards a miner may encounter while in an active mine, reviewing dangers someone might encounter in an abandoned mine, and many other topics.

“I don’t know which, the adults or the Boy Scouts, were more excited about the workshop last year,” said Dr. Joseph Hirschi, member of the Boy Scouts Content Development team and creator of the merit badge. “I was personally gratified because I’ve been doing a lot with the Boy Scouts for many years. At the end, they were all saying it was the most fun merit badge they’d ever worked on.”

Boy Scouts will then travel to one of Knight Hawk Coal Company’s mines for a tour of the facility from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, March 28. There, they will get a hands-on look at coal mining and hear from professionals in the industry.

The workshop is a combined partnership between RLC, Knight Hawk Coal, and the Illinois Mining Institute. The Boy Scouts of America officially approved the merit badge in February of 2014, making last fall’s Mining in Society workshop the first of its kind in the area to encourage young boys to look into coal mining as a potential career path in the future.

“The Boy Scouts program is all about exposing boys to opportunities and potential careers,” said Hirschi. “The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration wanted this merit badge for the Boy Scouts because we need more people going into mining as a career. The goal is to expose as many people as possible.”

Meals and transportation to the Knight Hawk Coal Mine will be provided. Troops with multiple scouts must provide adult leadership and participation is limited to 20 youths and five adults. All participants must make reservations in advance by Friday, March 13. To make reservations, call the Herrin Service Center at 888-942-4863 or 618-942-4863. For more information about the Mining in Society Merit Badge, contact Joseph Hirschi at 618-751-0364 or

Food Sanitation course rescheduled for Feb. 28, March 7

INA, Ill. (Feb. 24, 2015) – Due to winter weather last week, one Food Sanitation course has been rescheduled to start this weekend, Saturday, Feb. 28, and finish up next Saturday, March 7.

Students will meet from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days at the Rend Lake College MarketPlace, Room 338, in Mt. Vernon, to learn all about food sanitation in preparation for the ServSafe exam for Management and Sanitation Training.

Students can also enroll now in the last Food Sanitation course of the Spring semester, set for Saturdays, March 21 and 28. This course will also meet from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Advanced Technology Center, Room 118, on the Ina campus.

In Food Sanitation, participants will learn to identify the causes of food-borne illness; identify and apply correct procedures for cleaning and sanitizing; recognize problems and potential solutions associated with facility, equipment, and layout; and understand the Illinois code related to food service establishments. The ServSafe Essentials textbook is required and is available in the RLC Bookstore or online.

Those who successfully complete the class can sit for the ServSafe exam at the end of the second session. The exam requires a $40 online voucher and photo identification. The cost of the course is $100.

For more information about Food Sanitation, contact Stephanie Smith in RLC’s Community and Corporate Education Department at or 618-437-5321, Ext. 1714.

Franklin County Farm Bureau News – Louisville Farm Show Bus – February 11th


By Gay Bowlin, Manager

We will be taking a bus to the Louisville Farm Show on February 11 – if you are a farm bureau member and would like to go please call the office – there are only a few seats left. We will leave at 6 a.m. and return approximately 7:30 p.m.

I am currently working on the 2015 Plat Book – the book should be out sometime late summer.  If you would like to advertise in the book please call the office.

The following is a statement from Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) President Richard Guebert, Jr., regarding President Obama’s State of the Union address.

“Illinois Farm Bureau opposes President’s Obama’s plan to increase the capital gains tax. Good tax policy sets capital gains tax rates at a lower level to encourage business investments that grow the economy and create jobs.

“Unfortunately, the President’s proposal would dramatically increase the tax bill for any farmer who sells land, buildings or breeding livestock.

Our Adopted Legislator Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, is behind Senate Bill 61 to reduce the sales tax on diapers and baby wipes.

The Senate Democratic Staff news release explains:

Illinois currently has two sales tax rates; a general merchandise rate of 6.25 percent and a food and drug rate of 1 percent. Sandoval is pushing for diapers and wipes to be added to the 1 percent (rate now assessed on purchases of) groceries, medicine, and certain other medical products.

One of the biggest issues facing farmers today is their age – I don’t necessarily mean that they are getting old but they are getting “older” and this means that there is a need for younger farmers to take over.

We feed the world’s population today and it is only going to grow in the future. As agriculture professionals I feel that it is our responsibility to speak to the young people today. If we wait it may be too late and there won’t be anyone to take over. This does not mean that farming will go to the wayside just that there will be fewer farms to produce what the America and the world will need.

The way that Farm Bureau handles this is to involve 18 to 35 year olds in our Young Leaders Committee and high school age under 18 in our Junior Young Leaders Committee. Being a part of this committee will help the youth today by exposing them to young people who are already heavily involved in agriculture business and farming. For more information on joining either one of these committees please call the office.

There are many more discounts available to anyone who has been a member in good standing for at least 30 days.  So don’t wait – call or come by and join now.  The savings are amazing and it is a great organization.

The Franklin County Farm Bureau has many businesses giving discounts and/or support to our members.  Here are just a few:

Mr. D’s Drive-In – 219 N Main St, Benton, IL  (618) 439-9647

Free medium Pepsi with purchase of steak sandwich

Door Doctor of Southern Illinois Inc – 1208 W Webster St, Benton, IL  (618) 439-3667

Farm Bureau Members – “The doctor will see you now!”

Jamerson Auto Sales – 1512 N Main St, Benton, IL  (618) 439-9668

Voted best pre-owned auto dealer in Franklin County – Family owned & operated

Rend Lake Marina – Rend City Road, SW end of the lake by the dam, Benton, IL  (618) 724-7651

10% off week day boat rental (not including holidays)

For more information on joining the Franklin County Farm Bureau please call our office at 435-3616.

Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Fun facts from the 2014 Illinois governor’s race — and a whole lot more

The 2014 gubernatorial election was chock full of milestones. With $80 million spent by incumbent Pat Quinn and challenger Bruce Rauner, it easily was the most expensive in state history. It also ended a 12-year drought for Republicans, who held the governor’s office for 26 years before losing it in the 2002 election.


Here’s a link to the story at Reboot Illinois.

SIU sets up seven bicycle stations

Located at various spots across campus, the bicycle repair stations were installed through a partnership with the sustainability office and several other campus organizations. Each station features tools to help cyclists make basic bicycle repairs, from changing flats to adjusting brakes.


Here’s the story in the Southern Illinoisan.

Rauner among the nations’ top donors in 2014 election

CHICAGO — Multimillionaire Bruce Rauner was one of the top donors in the U.S. to 2014 state-level political campaigns, sinking more of his own money into his successful bid for Illinois governor and other races than almost any other organization or person nationwide, a new study found.

Here’s the story in the Springfield State Journal-Register.

JALC signs 10 to softball scholarships – three from Franklin County schools


Logan Media Services

 CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College softball team will certainly have a Southern Illinois flavor at the start of the next school year. No fewer than nine of the 10 signees are from the heart of Southern Illinois with the 10th residing on the outskirts of the region.

Committing to play at Logan this past Saturday were: Kiarha Wilce (West Frankfort); Katie Sandusky (Benton); Sydnee Rushing (Goreville); Nicole Short (Zeigler-Royalton); Grace Vaughn (Hardin County); Hillary Ingram (Hamilton County); Jordyn Smith and Krista Garduno (Massac County); Megan Hampton (Carterville); and Madison Rapien (Trenton-Wesclin).

“This is one of the most talented recruiting classes we have ever had,” said Vols head softball coach Bruce Jilek. “We certainly have acquired pitching depth (Rushing, Vaughn and Short), including multiple Division I prospects, and all are Southern Illinois kids.”

Infield prospects include Wilce (middle infield); Rapien, Smith and Hampton. Outfielders include Sandusky, Ingram and Garduno.

Informational meeting on Feb. 3 will discuss Costa Rica Collette Vacation

INA – Students interested in learning more about traveling to Costa Rica in 2016 with Collette Vacations have the chance to ask questions at an informational meeting, set for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 3 in the Historic Schoolhouse on the Rend Lake College Ina campus.

This meeting will discuss all aspects of the Tropical Costa Rica trip, as well as answer questions and provide details on an early booking discount. The nine-day trip is scheduled for Feb. 1-9, 2016 starting in the capital city of San Jose.

This trip highlights San Jose, a coffee plantation, the northern city of Guanacaste, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range, the Arenal Hanging Bridges, the Arenal Volcano, a cruise of Lake Arenal, a local cooking demonstration, the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, the city of Zarcero, and the National Theatre in San Jose. The lush forests, stunning waterfalls, exotic wildlife, and endless coastlines make Costa Rica a slice of paradise.

The Tropical Costa Rica trip costs $3,249 per person or $2,699 per person for double occupancy, which includes an eight-night stay and 14 meals.

Attendees can also discuss the Pacific Northwest and California trip, scheduled for Aug. 9-16, 2015. Featuring three states – Washington, Oregon, and California – participants on this trip will start their tour from Seattle, travel through the Cascade Mountains in Portland, and into the Columbia River Gorge and the Bonneville Dam. The Pacific Northwest and California trip costs $3,399 per person or $2,749 for double occupancy, which includes seven nights’ stay and 10 meals.

To RSVP to the informational meeting, contact the Community and Corporate Education Department at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1714 or