WEST FRANKFORT (K. Janis Esch- The Southern. Please Click to read the whole article. Here is an excerpt.) Chicago-based filmmakers Ethan Talley and Zach Xanders returned to their native Southern Illinois to discover the person behind a local legend. The poignant little film clocks in at just over 15 minutes, following William Reinschmidt, an iconic figure in Franklin County, on his daily adventures through Benton, West Frankfort, Herrin, Sesser and his hometown of Orient. “Wild Bill” was released last week on Vimeo, an online video streaming platform. It has been accepted to the Shawnee Shorts Midwestern Film Festival, and it will screen April 15 at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro.
The Following is a press release from the West Frankfort Fire Department:
At approximately 8:48 PM on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017, the West Frankfort Fire Department was notified of a fire in an occupied residence located at 10400 Gass Street in the Pershing area. When firefighters arrived on scene, they found the residence heavily involved in fire and spreading quickly. Fire fighters from several surrounding communities assisted in extinguishing the blaze. The structure was a total loss.
Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler confirmed that Gay Vaughn, 59, of West Frankfort was found deceased inside the structure by firefighters. She was pronounced deceased at 10:41 PM. The cause of death is unknown at this time but an autopsy has been scheduled. No one else was home at the time of fire and no other injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time by officials from the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Fire Chief Jody Allen says that more details will be released as they become available……
A GoFundMe account has been established for Henry Vaughn the surviving husband. Here is a link to the account. https://www.gofundme.com/vaughn-family-fire-recovery-fund.
More information will be updated as it becomes available. -sd
There will be two rounds of severe weather that will be hitting Franklin County and the rest of Southern Illinois. One will be late tonight. The other one will be this afternoon and evening.
The first round will be late tonight into the early morning hours. At this time the tornado threat will be minimal. Large Hail and damaging winds will be the greatest threat. Franklin County is in a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) for severe weather in this event.
Tomorrow is where things will get interesting. The tornado threat will be higher. Here in Franklin County we are under a marginal risk (level 3 of 5) for severe weather tomorrow.
For Southern Illinos, Dr. Greg Forbes of the weather channel has the TORCON level at four. This means there is a 40% change that there will be a tornadic event 50 miles from your location.
Here is the hazardous weather outlook issued by the National Weather Service in Paducah, KY.
.DAY ONE…Today and Tonight Isolated strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible late tonight, mainly after midnight across southeast Missouri, far western Kentucky and southern Illinois. Locally heavy rain is also possible. .
DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…Thursday through Tuesday There is a good chance of severe thunderstorm activity Thursday across most of the area, from midday through late afternoon. The area of greatest concern is western Kentucky at this time. Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes will be possible. Locally heavy rainfall is also possible. There is a chance of thunderstorms next Monday.
I will do my best to keep an eye on the radar through the severe weather event overnight and tomorrow afternoon. Any weather briefing videos or Facebook Live posts from local meteorologists will be posted on the franklincounty-news.com Facebook page. -sd
WEST FRANKFORT- (West Frankfort Gazette- Please click on link for the full story. Here is an excerpt.) A $1.5 million project is headed to the east side of West Frankfort, and will require approximately 50 right-of-ways from local residents. At last week’s committee meeting, Franklin County Highway Engineer Mike Rolla laid out a plan that he said would make improvements to the roadway and address sewer drainage on the east side of West Frankfort. Rolla added, “The project consists of going down Ninth Street to the road just north of Illinois 149. Then you go to east from East St. Louis Street all the way to Illinois 149. This is going to be a storm sewer job which consists of right-of-ways.” He continued, “There are 49 parcels, so there are 49 people that we may possibly have to buy right of way from. 49 people may be pretty mad. The city has gone through and gotten right-of-ways approved to the west with success.”
WEST FRANKFORT, IL (Tia Rienheart – WSIL TV- Please click to read the entire story and watch the accompanying video. Here is an excerpt) In West Frankfort Monday night a crowd at the school board meeting made it known that they do not support the board’s selected candidate for superintendent. The big concern in town is that just days before school board elections a new superintendent would be hired. The Frankfort Community School Board spent three hours deliberating the decision of hiring their final candidate for superintendent. Even busy students like Justin Dodd, a senior at Frankfort Community High, had the decision on their mind.
WEST FRANKFORT, IL (Isaac Smith – The Southern Illinoisan. Please click to read the whole article. Here is an excerpt) City Council will vote Tuesday whether to approve the city’s police department joining forces with the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force. The SIDTF is a multi-jurisdiction task force run out of the Illinois State Police District 13 office that focuses on helping small police departments in the state investigate narcotic crimes in their areas. There are two types of membership. To be a participating agency, a department supplies on officer and furnishes their needed supplies to the SIDTF in exchange for coverage under the task force. There is also a contributing agency status, which requires a yearly payment made to the organization; this is the route Mike Irwin, West Frankfort’s chief of police, hopes the city will take.
On March 23, at 4:13 p.m. a traffic stop in West Frankfort resulted in the arrests of Kevin W. Shuman, 40 of Benton, and Monte Johnson, 33 of West Frankfort.
Shuman was charged with driving with license suspended, possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Shuman was also wanted on a warrant for failure to appear on a previous felony arrest involving drug activity.
Johnson, who is on parole, was charged with possession with intent to deliver ecstasy (a class X felony) possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.
Both are being held in the Franklin County Jail pending review by the States Attorney’s office and further investigation. More charges and arrests are possible.
On March 18th., a traffic stop in West Frankfort, resulted in the arrest of John Ladd, 33 of West Frankfort, for driving while license were suspended.
On March 19th., a traffic stop in West Frankfort, resulted in the arrest of Steven R. Johnson, 29 of West Frankfort, for possession of drug paraphernalia.
On March 20th., a traffic stop in Royalton resulted in the arrest of Joni R. Williams, 32 of Royalton for driving while license suspended.
On March 20th., deputies responded to a domestic dispute in Royalton that resulted in the arrest of Terry L. Leonard, 36 of Royalton for domestic battery.
On March 15th., Braden Eubanks, 31 of Benton, for failure to appear on a traffic charge.
On March 16th., Jeremy Toth, 29 of Benton, for criminal trespass to a vehicle.
On March 17th., Catherine Meeks, 57 of West Frankfort, for failure to appear on traffic charges.
On March 23rd., Tyler Morlan, 23 of Sesser, for failure to appear on domestic battery charges.
BENTON, IL (Holly Kee – Benton Evening News. Please click to read the whole story. Here is an excerpt) For more than six decades, Benton’s Franklin Hospital has played an important role in meeting the health care needs of the surrounding area. Its role is critical in a community where the next closest hospitals are 25 miles away. The Franklin Hospital Auxiliary is a volunteer organization whose mission is to provide aid and comfort to the patients of Franklin Hospital. Auxiliary members staff the patient information desk, serve in the Med-Surg Department and maintain the gift center. Each year the Auxiliary holds a “Tree of Life” campaign that is essential in providing assistance to the hospital with the purchase of needed medical items.
SESSER, IL (Isaac Smith, The Southern Illinoisan. Please click on the link to read the entire article. Here is an excerpt) Jason Ashmore said his reasons for running for another term as Sesser’s mayor are the same as when he first ran four years ago. “I want to continue doing the work that we’ve started,” Ashmore said. He said he wants to continue efforts to make the city more economically stable by continuing to pay down its debts. He said at the start of his term in office, Sesser had an outstanding bond of nearly $1 million and since his election in 2013, the debt has shrunk to $610,000. Ashmore said he accomplished this by “cutting waste,” and “streamlining services.” Glenn Gulley has lived his entire life in the town he hopes to lead. “I have never lived more than eight-tenths of a mile from where I am now,” Gulley said. The 62-year-old said he has spent more than half of his life serving the people of Sesser, and only 17 years of that was on the city’s payroll. He was a volunteer firefighter and later advanced to captain and assistant fire chief within the department. He has taken on volunteer auxiliary police patrols and will soon retire after 4 years on the Sesser-Valier school board. Gulley said all these years of service have left him with a clear vision of the direction Sesser needs to be traveling in.
WEST FRANKFORT, IL (Evie Allen WSIL-TV Please click link for the entire story and accompaying video. Here is an excerpt. Morthland College in West Frankfort has received high honors in an online magazine. The website Faith on View ranked the Christian college sixth in the nation. Friday, school leaders celebrated the honor with students. The site ranks 201 faith-based institutions with 250 undergraduate students or less. The school also celebrated former student Rachel Rabe’s accomplishments.