DuQUOIN – (Isaac Smith – The Southern Illinoisan Please Click on the link to read the full article. Here is an excerpt) The noon sun sits high above Reese Creek near Du Quoin and Ray Wheeler squints his eyes to look out over the water to watch for the next big bite. Wheeler, of Sesser, came with his wife and designated fishing buddy, Patricia Wheeler, to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather Friday. Fifty-two-year-old Wheeler said fishing has been his life since he was young and he has caught some big ones in his time. He remembers a day fishing around his native Springfield that he brought in three 32 pound catfish.
Press Release from Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D) Springfield
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, released the following statement after a leaked pre-decisional memo outlining a Trump Administration plan to mobilize 100,000 National Guard troops to arrest and detain unauthorized immigrants. The reports are being denied by the White House and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“The reported Trump Administration plan to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to arrest and detain unauthorized immigrants would be a frightening exercise of police state tactics.
“Trump executive orders have re-defined criminal activity so as to make undocumented immigrants with traffic offenses priorities for deportation. The same order calls for increasing the number of ICE agents to enforce the order from 5,000 to 15,000.
“Now, this plan which would add 100,000 Guardsmen to the effort shows the extreme measures the Trump Administration would take to break up families and deport people who have lived in this country peaceably for decades.
“We cannot rein in the hateful anti-immigrant agenda of the Administration unless the American people stand in solidarity against it.
“This is not a bizarre tweet. This is a brazen, heavy-handed assault on innocent people.”
ST LOUIS, MO- ( Samantha Liss, St. Louis Post Dispatch – Click to read the whole article. Here is an excerpt) Abbott EMS is planning to add up to 75 jobs this year as its St. Louis office grows to cover five more states. From the third floor of their St. Louis-based operations, Abbott dispatchers direct paramedics and ambulances to emergency and non-emergency calls in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Abbott employs 450 people in the St. Louis area, and has its medical personnel on standby at Cardinals and Blues games and other events. By the end of the year, the St. Louis command center will more than double its reach as the company expands into Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
CHRISTOPHER, IL – (Carolyn Cerda – WSIL TV- Please click on the link to read the full story and video. Here is an excerpt) The town of Christopher bid a final farewell to a four-legged officer with Christopher Police Friday afternoon. Diego, a seven-year K9 veteran, needed to be put down after battling leukemia. But his fellow officers made the most of his last day on the job. Friday afternoon, officers held a final procession through town as a tribute to the eight-year-old German Shepherd. Diego served several cities in southern Illinois alongside Officer David Loucks. The two had been partners for seven years, half of Loucks’ entire career.
Severin Responds to St. Clair Judge Denying AG Madigan’s motion to block paychecks to state employees as a result of the budget impasse
Statement from State Represenative Dave Severin (R) Benton’s website, repseverin.com
Thursday, the St. Clair County Circuit Court made a responsible decision to deny the Attorney General’s request to block paychecks to state workers amidst the current budget impasse. From the beginning I felt this was a political stunt. It is a waste of time and tax payer money to create these legal battles that distract everyone from our root problems.
Now it’s up to the General Assembly and the Governor to come together pass a balanced budget. However, to avoid future threats to state employees, I am supporting a bipartisan effort that would keep them from being used as political pawn permanently by guaranteeing their pay checks even in the absence of a budget.”
THOMPSONVILLE, IL – (Brandon Merano -WSIL TV. Click for the link to the full story, and video. Here is an excerpt) A train derailment in rural Franklin County continues causing problems more than two weeks after it happened. A train car came off the tracks as the conductor dragged it nearly two miles before coming to a stop. The problem is, Thompsonville is part of Cave Township, which only gets about $65,000 a year from fuel and motor tax revenue, making it hard to pay for repairs and the roads harder for residents to drive on. Crystal Gresley says she’s fed up driving on roads in rural Franklin County, busted by railroad workers.
ReAnne Palmer- Rend Lake College Media Services
INA- IL Rend Lake College announced the 2017 Homecoming King and Queen last night during halftime of the Warriors basketball game tonight against Southeastern Illinois College. Wade Hutchens
of Ewing and Grace Pytlinski of Waltonville, both representing the Collegiate FFA, were crowned King and Queen.
Hutchens is the son of Rob and Kathy Hutchens. The Benton Consolidated High School graduate is an Agriculture Business major at RLC. After graduating, Hutchens plans to attend Illinois State University and continue on to graduate school, pursuing a degree in Animal Science Nutrition.
Pytlinski is the daughter of Bruce and Annette Pytlinski. The Waltonville High School graduate is an Agriculture Business and Production Management major. She plants to transfer to Murray State University to continue her education in Plant and Soil Sciences. She hopes to one day become an agronomist, working for a large company like Monsanto or Syngenta.
Runners-up for the evening were Nick Marlo of Sesser and Cali Carney of Benton, both representing the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams.
Marlo is a Sesser-Valier High School graduate and son of David and Cathy Marlo. He is studying Business Finance and RLC with plans to transfer to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and continue his education there. In the future, he also plans to get an internship and job after completing a Master’s Degree.
Carney is the daughter of Chad and Liz Carney, and is a graduate of Benton Consolidated High School. She is a Nursing major at RLC. In the future, Carney hopes to become a registered nurse and coach.
- On 2/8/17 at 9:34 p.m., a traffic stop in Benton resulted in the arrest of Kim L. Kash Age 44 of Benton for driving under the influence and illegal transportation of alcohol
- On 2/9/17 at 4:40 p.m., Deputies responded to Sugar Creek Road in rural Benton in regards to a disturbance. The investigation led to the arrest of Anthony K. Reed, age 35 of Christopher, for criminal trespass and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
- On 2/10/17 at 12:52 a.m., a traffic stop in West Frankfort resulted in the arrest of Debra S. Dingrando, age 55 of West Frankfort for improper lane usage and driving under the influence.
- On 2/10.17 at 9:13 p.m., a traffic crash occurred on Mercury Road, one mile east of Fox Hunter Road. An 1986 Dodge 1500 pickup driven by Jacob L. Holdren age 16 of Christopher was west bound on Mercury Road when a deer entered the roadway causing the driver to lose control, run off the roadway and strike a tree. The driver and a 17 year old female received minor injuries but both refused medical treatment. The driver was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash.
- On 2/11/17 at 2:13 a.m., a traffic stop in Benton resulted in the arrest of Ryan S. Lowery, age 22 of Benton for driving under the influence and illegal transportation of alcohol.
- On 2/11/17 at 1:45 p.m., a traffic stop in West Frankfort resulted in the arrest of Kevin G. Osborn of Zeigler for driving while license revoked, illegal transportation of alcohol, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
- On 2/12/17 at 10:54 a.m. a traffic stop in West Frankfort resulted in the arrest of Cody M. Key age 25 in West Frankfort for driving while license revoked.
- On 2/15/17 at 11:22 p.m. a traffic stop on State Highway 14 west of Benton resulted in the arrest of Melinda D. Burns age 48 of Sesser for felony driving under the influence, driving while revoked, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal transportation of alcohol.
- 2/8/17 – Cole T. Lee, 22 of Johnston City, for failure to appear on a DUI charge.
- 2/8/17 – Michael D. Needham, 21 of Herrin, for failure to appear on a traffic charge
- 2/9/17 – Kevin Kay, 26 of West Frankfort, for failure to appear on a domestic battery charge.
- 2/9/17 – Haley Redmond, 19 of Marion for failure to appear on a traffic charge
- 2/10/17 – Kaley L. Wher, 30 of Avon IN, for failure to appear for making a false 911 call.
- 2/10/17 – Jake B. Lambert, 21 of Benton, for violation of probation
- 2/10/17 – Preston T. Williams, 19 of Benton, for a battery charge.
- 2/11/17 – Leonard K. Curry, 36 of Christopher, for failure to appear on a traffic charge.
- 2/13/17 – Jacklin D. Domoleczny. 26 of Desoto, for failure to appear on methamphetamine charges.
- 2/13/17 – Rhonday K. Howell, 51 of Benton, for failure to appear on DUI
- 2/15/17 – Stephen R. Irvin, 52 of West Frankfort, for failure to appear on traffic charges.
SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) today said the Governor showed great leadership and gave guidance to the General Assembly in his Budget Address on Wednesday. Severin also expressed an eagerness to work out a compromise.
“The Governor really stepped up today,” Severin said, “He gave the General Assembly direction and leadership, by outlining parameters to the Senate’s compromise. This sort of direction has been desperately needed. Now it is time for us to put partisan politics aside, roll up our sleeves, and get to work on a long-term balanced budget.”
In the end, Severin was happy to see that the Governor’s top priorities are job creation, keeping taxes down and economic growth. Severin believes having a budget that enables those things is a must.
“At the end of the day, we cannot expect to tax our way out of our financial woes. We have to get more high paying jobs coming to Illinois. By doing this there is no doubt that this state will see a tremendous amount of economic growth.” Severin said, “That’s why I believe any balanced budget has to be a bargain for taxpayers and job creators alike.”
Leigh Caldwell- Morthland College Media Services
T he Morthland College Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to name Dr. Glenn Poshard president of Morthland College, effective Feb. 13, 2017.
“I’m very honored the Board and Dr. Morthland have offered me this position. I will do everything I can to live up to the vision and mission statement of the college,” Poshard said.
Dr. Tim Morthland, the founding president of the four-year, faith-based college in West Frankfort, has been named chairman of the Morthland College Board of Trustees. Morthland’s seven-year presidency saw the founding of the institution, the securing of degree-granting authority from the Illinois Board of Higher Education and full accreditation through the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.
Morthland said that growth in the college’s related enterprises — a series of Guilds designed to support the school and rebuild the region’s economy including Morthland College Health Services and Da Vinci Beverages — is necessitating the change in leadership. Morthland will devote more of his time to his role as Chief Executive Officer of these Guilds.
“We weren’t supposed to sit still, ever,” Morthland said. “We were called to keep dreaming, to keep building, to keep casting vision forward.”
Poshard, the esteemed former U.S. Congressman and retired president of Southern Illinois University, joins the college in the middle of its sixth academic year. Poshard will lead the institution as it prepares to add five new degree programs.
“I look forward to trying to build on the foundation that Dr. Morthland has begun of offering classical, faith-based education to students in the region,” Poshard said.
Morthland said as the enterprises surrounding the college began their rapid growth, he started to seek a seasoned educational leader to succeed him as president. Poshard’s history of leadership with integrity and his faith-based stance, as well as a history of sound fiscal management and successful building projects, made him the perfect person for the job.
“No one more suitable could be selected as Morthland College’s next president,” Morthland said.