Flash Flood Warning until 9:00 p.m. for Franklin and surrounding counties

The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a * Flash Flood Warning for… Perry County in south central Illinois… Union County in southern Illinois… Pulaski County in southern Illinois… Johnson County in southern Illinois… Williamson County in southern Illinois… Jackson County in southern Illinois… Alexander County in southern Illinois… Franklin County in south central Illinois… Scott County in southeastern Missouri… Perry County in southeastern Missouri… Cape Girardeau County in southeastern Missouri… * Until 900 PM CST *

At 354 PM CST, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms with heavy rain were moving into the warned area. Close to 5 inches of rain have fallen over the past four days or so. Rainfall rates around one-half inch per hour are developing over the region. Flash flooding is expected to begin shortly. * Some locations that will experience flooding include… Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Marion, Sikeston, and Herrin. Additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches are likely in the warned area through early this evening. Rapid rises in water levels will occur. This is a potentially life-threatening situation.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Tornado Watch until 9:00 p.m. for the counties just to our south and east

The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a * Tornado Watch for portions of Eastern Arkansas Southern Illinois Western Kentucky Southeast Missouri Northwest Mississippi West Tennessee * Effective this Saturday afternoon and evening from 315 PM until 900 PM CST.

COUNTIES IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS:  Saline, Gallatin, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Pulaski, and Massac

* Primary threats include… A few tornadoes likely with a couple intense tornadoes possible Widespread damaging winds likely with isolated significant gusts to 75 mph possible Isolated large hail events to 1.5 inches in diameter possible

SUMMARY…A line of intense thunderstorms over central AR will track rapidly eastward across the watch area this afternoon and evening. Damaging winds and a few tornadoes are the main threats. The tornado watch area is approximately along and 70 statute miles north and south of a line from 10 miles west southwest of Walnut Ridge AR to 30 miles northeast of Fort Campbell KY. For a complete depiction of the watch see the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS WOU5).

Chance of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms today

Flash Flood Warning until 9:00 p.m. for Franklin and surrounding counties
The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a * Flash Flood Warning for... Perry County in south central Illinois... Union County in southern
Chance of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms today

As long as the temperature remains in the low 50's the chance of severe weather, especially tornadoes for this region lessens.   The further south you go, or
Christopher man charged in his wife's shooting death has trial date set back again

BENTON — After what was scheduled to be his final pretrial before a March trial, Brian Pheasant, the Christopher man accused of killing

We’re continuing to monitor the potential for severe thunderstorms later this afternoon and evening. The primary concerns include damaging winds and flooding rains, with a smaller risk for a few tornadoes. Do you have a way to receive warning alerts and a plan of action to seek shelter in case severe weather threatens today? (NWS Paducah)

As long as the temperature remains in the low 50’s the chance of severe weather, especially tornadoes for this region lessens.   The further south you go, or if you are south of the cold front, the tornado chance increases.

If the sun comes out and it warms up quickly into the 60’s is when we will be under the gun.

We will still be monitoring the situation.  Follow the website’s Facebook page for info on the upcoming weather from area meteorologists.

Below are the statements issued by the National Weather Service.

Flood Warning for the Big Muddy

The National Weather Service in Paducah, Kentucky has issued a * Flood Warning for the Big Muddy River near Plumfield. * from late Sunday night to late Wednesday night.

* At 10:00 AM Saturday the stage was 17.9 feet. * Flood Stage is 20.0 feet. * Minor flooding is forecast.

* Forecast…Rise above flood stage by Monday morning and continue to rise to near 21.1 feet by Tuesday morning. * Impact…At 20.0 Feet…Minor flooding occurs affecting mainly bottom land and surrounding low lying area.

Flood Watch Until 6:00 a.m. Sunday

…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT… The Flood Watch continues for * All of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, southwest Indiana and western Kentucky. * Through late tonight.

* Showers and thunderstorms will be on the increase today, peaking in coverage and intensity later this afternoon and evening as a cold front approaches. With ground conditions already saturated, any additional rain from thunderstorms will only worsen existing areal flooding. Additionally, heavier rainfall rates from strong thunderstorms could easily produce dangerous flash flooding.

* Additional rains will aggravate already ongoing flooding of area rivers and tributaries across the region. Smaller streams and creeks not currently in flood will fill up and overspill their banks quickly, heightening the flood threat. In addition, elevated water levels in low lying and poor drainage areas, as well as waters that may not yet have receded from antecedent rainfall, may lead to more road closures due to high water crossings.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop. Heed all flood warning signs, and never cross a flooded roadway. Turn around and don`t drown! Remember it is harder to see rising waters at night. Seek high ground immediately if you encounter an area with rising waters.

Hazardous Weather Outlook 

This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for portions of southern Illinois, southwest Indiana, western Kentucky, and southeast Missouri. .

DAY ONE…Today and Tonight There is a risk of severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. Damaging winds will be the main hazard. There is a risk of a few tornadoes as well. The areas with the highest probability for a tornado or two are southeast of a Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff Missouri line into far west Kentucky, mainly west of the Lakes, and the southern tip of Illinois.

Additional rainfall of up to 2 inches, with isolated higher amounts possible, will result in an additional flooding risk across the region today into tonight, especially across southeast Missouri into west Kentucky. A Flood Watch remains in effect through tonight for the entire region.

With stronger thunderstorm activity, Flash Flooding will be possible. Updates and details on continued river flooding can be referenced on the latest flood warnings and statements. .

DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…Sunday through Friday Updates and details on continued river flooding can be referenced on the latest flood warnings and statements.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT… Spotter activation will be likely this afternoon and evening. Additional heavy rainfall and flooding reports are requested.

Seven Day Forecast 

This Afternoon
A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 3pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 62. East southeast wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Showers and thunderstorms before midnight, then a slight chance of showers between midnight and 1am. Some storms could be severe, with heavy rain. Low around 40. South wind 8 to 18 mph becoming west after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Sunny, with a high near 54. West wind 5 to 9 mph becoming south southwest in the afternoon.
Sunday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 35. Light south southeast wind.
Sunny, with a high near 61. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph.
Monday Night
Clear, with a low around 37. Light south southeast wind.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 64. Light south southeast wind becoming south 6 to 11 mph in the morning.
Tuesday Night
Showers likely after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 49. South wind 6 to 8 mph.
A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 64. South wind around 8 mph.
Wednesday Night
Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 49. South southwest wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 59. Breezy, with a southwest wind 15 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.
Thursday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 36. West northwest wind 13 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. Northwest wind 9 to 11 mph.

Christopher man charged in his wife’s shooting death has trial date set back again

Franklin County Sheriff’s office

BENTON — After what was scheduled to be his final pretrial before a March trial, Brian Pheasant, the Christopher man accused of killing his wife on Halloween 2016, will be tried for the crime in May.

Pheasant, 43, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife, Beth Pheasant, 37.

Pheasant appeared in court Friday with defense attorney Paula Newcomb and Franklin County State’s Attorney Evan Owens to hash out any last-minute motions and details for his scheduled court date on March 6.

Please click on the link for the full story from Isaac Smith of the Southern Illinoisan.


Missouri offers pair of educational trips to lifelong learners

INA, Ill.  – Rend Lake College’s Institute of Lifelong Learning has a pair of day trip offerings this spring aimed at providing adventurers with fun and affordable trips to Missouri to take in some culture, history and, of course, food.

On April 19, travelers kick off their trip with a visit to historical Missouri with a visit to the “Old Courthouse” and a ranger-led tour.

The “Old Courthouse” was the site of the first two trials of the pivotal Dred Scott case in 1847 and 1850. It was also where Virginia Minor’s case for a woman’s right to vote came to trial in the 1870s. Visitors will tour this historic structure, and visit the restored courtrooms to learn more about 19th century judicial system, followed by lunch at The Lodge at Grant’s Trail.

In the afternoon, activities begin with a visit to the Missouri Civil War Museum, one of the largest Civil War museums and research libraries in the nation. Participants will be treated to the story behind Missouri’s role in the American Civil War.

The trip concludes with a drive through Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, which was established during the Civil War in 1863 and is the final resting place for some 16,000 Civil War Soldiers. (Note: To view Civil War tombstones, participants will have to de-board the coach and walk – this can be optional.)

The cost of the excursion is $130 and includes tour fees, lunch, gratuities and charter bus transportation. Anyone interested is asked to pre-register by March 12. The bus will depart from RLC’s Ina Campus at 7:30 a.m. and return by 6:30 p.m. The bus will depart from the Mt. Vernon MarketPlace Campus at 8 a.m. and return by 6 p.m.

On May 11, travelers begin their day at Trinity Lutheran Church with a tour by Dennis Amman, sexton. He will show the beautiful sanctuary, their priceless communion chalice (if available) and speak of the fascinating history of this church, which was the birthplace of today’s Missouri Synod.

The next part of the trip ventures to the Shrine of St. Joseph, with its vast history. This beautiful old church had its beginnings in 1843. Founded by Jesuits to serve a residential German community, the church is the site of the only authenticated miracle in the Midwest.

Travelers will then enjoy lunch at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and take a tour of the church as well. After lunch, there will be a tour of the Cathedral Basilica, an amazing architecture structure home to 83,000 square feet of mosaics.

Rounding out the day will be a visit to Christ Church cathedral, an inspiring space for worship, prayer and advocacy for the neighborhood and city. The cathedral is an example of 14th century English Gothic architecture and is well-known for its stained glass windows, organ and its reredos, carved between 1909 and 1911 and shipped to the Cathedral in 230 cases. The reredos consist of 52 religious figures and biblical scenes in stone. (Please note, some churches may not be available due to funerals or other church functions that may arise. Organizers will do their best to schedule the churches listed above, but may need to substitute at the last minute due to funerals, weddings or special church ceremonies.)

The cost of the excursion is $110 and includes tour fees, lunch, gratuities, and charter bus transportation are included. Anyone interested must pre-register by April 11th. The bus will depart from RLC’s Ina Campus at 8 a.m. and retur

Benton High School releases statement regarding school security

From Dr. Aaron Mattox – Superintendent 

scirestream.com image

BENTON – As the Superintendent at Benton High School, I am writing this letter for the purpose of communicating the commitment that the Board of Education, administration, faculty and staff at Benton High School have to continue to make BCHS a safe place to work and learn.

You may have noticed that we have been working with local law enforcement to have an increased police presence in our school on a regular basis. In addition, I want to convey some of the safetyprotocols we have in place as well as those we are currently working to add to our overall plan:

  • Benton High School is actively working with the City of Benton to employ a School Resource Police Officer to be in the building and hallways on a daily basis. I would like to thank Chief Melvin, Mayor Kondritz, and the City Council, for their assistance in helping make this happen.
  • Safety and security glass is currently in place on the building’s primary exterior entrance. We will be installing additional safety film on both interior and exterior glass where students and teachers are routinely housed.
  •  Main entrance doors have security access and require visitors to be identified.
  • BCHS maintains an extensive video security network.
  • BCHS has a comprehensive safety plan. In addition, drills are conducted throughout the school year. We will continue to update and improve the plan as needed.
  • We are in the process of conducting a school safety assessment to identify areas we can improve the overall security of our building.

Finally, I am asking that students be forthcoming with any information they might run across that could potentially create a threat to our school. Students need to learn to utilize strong judgement and understand the importance of being responsible for the content they place on social media and through electronic communication. We no longer live in a society where threatening comments and jokes can be tolerated and overlooked. As a district, we will vigorously pursue and prosecute anyone who makes a threat for the purpose of creating fear and disrupting the educational process at Benton High School.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the school.

Christopher falls to Webber in the NCOE Regional Championship game

By Steve Dunford 

NORRIS CITY –  Defense and free throw shooting wins championships. Webber Township executed at the stripe and getting in Christopher’s grill.  They earned the right to play Tuesday night in the Hardin County sectional by defeating Christopher 59-49,

Webber Township was was 14-20 from the line and 8-10 down the stretch.  Christopher was uncharacteristically awful, shooting 8-18 at the line.

Trojan coach Brad Beatty made a defensive adjustment in the second half, going from a box in one in the first half, switching off defenders on Jared Curry, to going man to man.

Curry was lighting it up in the first half with 14 points and several assists.  Coach Beatty put Dylan Stratton on Curry, and he shut him down.  Charles Neal turned in a great defensive performance on Bradley Young.  This resulted in the Bearcats losing their composure.

Neal owned the game on both ends of the floor as he had a game high 26.

Webber runs out to a 5-0 lead by Brody Mount and Charles Neal.  Curry was shooting the Bearcats back in it, with three trifectas in the quarter.  Both teams were knotted at 13 after one.

Bradley Young scores seven of his 14 points in a two minute stretch.  With a dunk, a three and and nearly picked up his second dunk, but was altered by the Webber defense.

The Bearcats were up 24-17 at that point.  The could have put Webber away, but their Achilles heel, free throws bit them.  Christopher had a 28-22 lead at halftime.

Webber came out chipping away in the second half.  The Trojans tie it up at 33 around the three minute mark as Neal converts on the “deuce and the abuse” to tie it up at 33.  That was the beginning of a 13-0 run by Webber as they had a 41-33 lead at the end of three quarters.

The Bearcats have their one last gasp as they cut the Webber lead to four from back to back buckets from Jared Curry and Bryce Pratt.  Webber goes on a 6-0 and extends the lead to 10. Pratt scores four straight points on a 15 footer and converts on two free throws to cut the Webber lead to 49-43 with a little over two minutes to go.

Stratton gets a run out to extend the Trojan lead to eight.  Someone on the Webber bench gets excited, throws a towel up in the air and it lands on the floor.  One of the officials gave a technical to the to their bench.

Starting this year, you can give the bench an official warning written in the score-book.  Should one been given there, yes.  But to “T” someone up for that in a close regional championship game, unreal.

Christopher could not convert on their good fortunes.  Pratt went to the line and missed both free throws, which he has been money all year.  The Bearcats cough it up on the next possession.

As said earlier, Webber made their free throws down the stretch, and coach Beatty had a do not foul philosophy the rest of the way, as there was celebrating in the streets in Bluford last night.

The Bearcats end their season at 20-9.   Along with Curry’s 21 and Young’s 14, Bryce Pratt had nine points.

Webber Township improves to 20-8 on the season.  They will face the Goreville Blackcats in the first round of the Hardin County Class 1A Regional, Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.

Along With Neal’s 26, Stratton added 15, and Brody Mount added nine.

Box Score

WEBBER TOWNSHIP (59) – Neal  7 1 9-11 26, Stratton  4 1 4-8 15,  Mount  4 0 1-1 9,  Hart 1 1 0-0 5,  Davis 1 0 0-0 2, Adcock 1 0 0-0 2 Taylor 0 0 0-0 0

CHRISTOPHER (49) –  Curry  3 4 4-6 21, Young 5 1 1-3 14, Pratt 3 0 3-5 9,  Hawkins 2 0 0-2 4,  Motsinger  0 0 1-2 1, Garver 0 0 0-0 0, Saeger 0 0 0-0 0

Score By Quarters

WEBBER TOWNSHIP (20-8)  13- 9 -15 – 22  –  59

CHRISTOPHER (20-9)  13 – 15 – 5 – 17  –  49

Sesser-Valier….. Z-R Regional Champs!!!!!!!!

ZEIGLER –  The Sesser-Valier Red Devils punch their ticket to head to the Hardin County sectional as they defeated the Woodlawn Cardinals in a more than packed house at Art Brandon Gym tonight.

Preston Launius hit a game tying three with less than :02 on the clock at the end of regulation to tie it at 41.

Lukas Gunter had a game high 19 for the Devils, Tyler Winchester, 13 and Launius added 10.

For Woodlawn Chase Hollenkamp had 14.  Something that jumps out at me, Blake McKay was held to 13 and Race Rynski added 10.

Woodlawn ends the 2017-18 campaign with a record of 21-9.

Sesser-Valier improves to 20-11 on the season.  They face the Cairo Pilots, 58-42 winners over the hosts at the Gallatin County Pilots.  Game time is Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.


Water nearly over the Norris City blacktop

Hamilton County Sheriffs Office photo

MC LEANSBORO –  The above photograph is taken from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office late Wednesday afternoon of the Norris City Blacktop between Broughton and Norris City. This area is very prone to flooding.

The road is still open at this time, but unsure if the water has receded.

I was unaware that several from Christopher take that way to NCOE.  I just wanted to make you aware.  An alternate route is to take Route 14 to Enfield and go south on US 45. -sd

Approximately 90 tickets remain for the championship game of the Z-R Class 1A Regional

By Steve Dunford 

ZEIGLER – I just spoke with Zeigler-Royalton Athletic Director Jeremy May, and 90 general admission tickets remain for the championship game between Sesser-Valier and Woodlawn.

The school will set up cameras where the game can be streamed inside the school when the gym reaches full capacity.

The doors will open at 4:45 p.m. with the Country Financial Three Point Showdown starting at 5:00 p.m.