Fowler-Bonan Foundation of Southern Illinois receives $5,000 Grant from Ameren Illinois


Funds will support the purchase of complete wardrobes for underprivileged school children.


Harrisburg, Ill. – The Fowler Bonan Foundation has received a $5,000 grant from Ameren Illinois to support the purchase of complete, new wardrobes for 50 underprivileged children.

“We are thrilled that Ameren Illinois deemed our “Clothes for Kids” program worthy of their sizable contribution,” foundation Chairman, Dale Fowler said. “We very much appreciate their corporate support for our mission to clothe underprivileged kids here in southern Illinois.”

The grant from Ameren will help provide new clothing including: jeans, shirts, socks, underwear, jackets and coats, to children based on referrals from area schools, completely free of charge. School administrators have reported that students exhibit increased self-esteem and an improved learning environment after receiving these services.

“Ameren Illinois’ grant to us will fund complete wardrobes for approximately fifty children,” Fowler added. “That’s huge. We value our new partnership with Ameren Illinois.”

The grant funds were made available through the Ameren Cares program, which connects Ameren Illinois with the communities it serves through charitable giving and volunteering. Richard Mark, president and CEO of Ameren Illinois, said a key focus of this program is to partner with volunteer organizations like the Fowler Bonan Foundation to improve the quality of life in Ameren Illinois’ service territory.

“Ameren Illinois is proud to partner with organizations like the Fowler-Bonan Foundation that are dedicated to enhancing the communities where we work and live,” said Eric Kozak, Director Division VI, Ameren Illinois. “Through this partnership, we are able to support their efforts and help to provide new wardrobes for children in need.”

Tina Gibbs, Community Relations Coordinator Division VI, Ameren Illinois, echoed those sentiments.

“Dale and the entire board of directors of the Fowler-Bonan Foundation do an incredible job of helping kids in our area,” said Gibbs. “We’re proud to partner with them in helping the kids of the communities we live and work in.”

For more information on the Fowler Bonan Foundation, visit or call 618-231-3904.

Summer, Fall Concealed Carry dates and handgun trainings scheduled

INA, Ill. – Seven Concealed Carry Firearms Training sessions and three different handguns training courses have been scheduled at Rend Lake College for the Summer and Fall 2015 semesters. Each unique class will prepare locals to apply for their Illinois Concealed Carry license or improve upon their firearm skills.

To complete the 16 hours of required training for the Illinois Concealed Carry license, students will meet from 8 – 4:30 p.m. on the following Saturdays and Sundays: June 20-21, July 18-19, Aug. 29-30, Sept. 26-27, Oct. 24-25, Nov. 21-22, and Dec. 5-6. Participants will meet in the Coal Mine Training Center (CMTC), Room 107, and on the RLC Shooting Range in Ina.

The classroom portion of the training will happen on Saturdays wherein students will learn about firearm safety and marksmanship, including loading and unloading a firearm, principles of marksmanship, fundamentals of firearm safety, and safety and cleaning. Students are asked not to bring a firearm or ammunition to the Saturday portion of the training.

On Sundays, students will participate in the live fire qualification of the training session, plus learn about weapon handling and State and Federal laws relating to firearms. To pass the live fire qualification, attendees will shoot 30 rounds at five, seven, and 10 yards with a 70 percent accuracy. A qualifying shot consists of a shot placed inside the seven ring of a B-27 target.

Presence of toxic algae closes Campus Lake

Campus Lake in Carbondale is closed, and contact with water in the lake can cause skin rashes in humans, and sickness in animals that can be fatal, Southern Illinois University officials said in a release Friday.

Here’s a link to the story in the Southern Illinoisan.

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.