Benton Rotary Club donates to Franklin Hospital’s Back to School Party

Benton man arrested on petition to revoke charges

From the Benton Police Department

The following person is presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law

BENTON, IL – On August 14th, 2017 Benton Police arrested Issac M. Goosby, age 25, of Benton on an active Franklin County warrant for petition to revoke.

Goosby was transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.


Franklin Hospital Acquires New PFT System

Press Release from Derek Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, Franklin Hospital

Franklin Hospital Cardiopulmonary Dept. Supervisor Frank Cline, CRT with the new Jaeger Masterscreen PFT System by CareFusion

BENTON, IL- Franklin Hospital is pleased to announce the addition of a new service offering. The Jaeger Masterscreen Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) System by CareFusion was recently installed in the Cardiopulmonary Department at Franklin Hospital.

“The Jaeger Masterscreen provides state of the art technology for Complete Pulmonary Function Testing,” according to Frank Cline, Cardiopulmonary Department Supervisor.

Franklin Hospital now has the equipment to measure:

Body Plethysmography (Gold Standard) for accurate measurement of airway resistance and lung volumes, Single Breath (Real Time) diffusion capacity (DLCO), Spirometry, both Pre- and Post-Bronchodilator.

The Jaeger Masterscreen PFT System quickly and safely provides accurate diagnostic results in patients with:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Pulmonary Fibrosis, Asthma, Black Lung
Shortness of Breath, Assessment of Dyspnea, Neuromuscular Disease, Pre-Op Screening

Drs. Suhail Istanbouly and Walid Halees from Southern Illinois Respiratory Disease Consultants will be two of the pulmonologists interpreting the pulmonary function tests for Franklin Hospital.  Call PFT Specialist Frank Cline, CRT, at 618-439-3161, Ext. 574 to learn more about the new PFT technology at Franklin Hospital or to have your medical provider schedule a diagnostic exam.

Benton sewer plant more than half completed

BENTON, IL – (Rick Hayes, Benton News. Please click on the link for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

Benton’s new wastewater treatment plant has reached the halfway point of construction and is expected to be operational by spring 2018.

Officials from River City Construction, the general contractor, and HMG (Henry, Meisenheimer and Gende) Engineers say that while most of the construction will be complete by the end of 2017, it will take a few more months to install the equipment and check the system. An April 1, 2018, date has been set for the plant to become fully operational.

“We’re at 56 percent completion money-wise and work-wise too. All of their equipment is beginning to show up since we started in January,” said Harry Borrenpohl, senior project manager for HMG.


Remembering Benton’s Storied Capitol Theater

Interior of the Capitol Theater in the 1920’s. (Gazette photo)

BENTON, IL – (Benton Gazette.  Please click on the link for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

With the recently announced purchase of Toler Cinema in West City, many people have remarked about memories of another, sadly long gone, iconic piece of our community’s fabled past.

There’s few reminders left on the current site of the former Capitol Theater that once towered over the southeast corner of the Public Square in Benton. On its’ former lot now stands the Capitol Park Pavilion which was named in its’ honor and carries on its’ spiritual legacy as the host of live music and other entertainment during City festivals and happenings.

If you could time travel back nearly 100 years ago however, you would get a glimpse of the larger than life brick structure which was the hub of activity for Benton teenagers of the era. In the 20s, before the “talking pictures” had emerged, the theater served as the scene of many well-attended vaudeville acts, stage shows, and silent films—such as 1924’s “The Perfect Flapper” or D.W. Griffith’s “That Royle Girl” in 1925 which turned up in advertisements of the era.

Retail outlets with eclipse glasses in stock

by Steve Dunford

The following list does not guarantee the quality, or if no longer in stock. is not liable for any malfunction of the glasses.

Franklin County


Casey’s (East Main Street Location)

Heartland office supply – free with a can good donation

Benton Gazette

Walmart is sold out and they do not anticipate receiving any more


Hometown Shirts and Graphics

Bowlin’s Foodland






Mom’s Milk

West Frankfort Gazette

West Frankfort Public Library (Free to patrons with a library card)

Perry County


Walmart – They have a limited supply

Available tonight from 7:30-9:00 p.m. at the Alder Planetarium Mobile Crew Show at the St. Nicholas Hotel

Williamson County





Franklin County businesses are prepared for the eclipse

by Steve Dunford

Several emergency officials has labeled the Interstate 57. US 51, Illinois 13 corridor in Jackson, Williamson, Perry, and Franklin Counties, for having heavy traffic and an influx of tourists coming to see the total eclipse,  which the path will cut right through Southern Illinois on Monday.  Estimated totals will say hundreds of thousands will ascend on Little Egypt.

Carbondale McDonalds at University Place Shopping Center, that has was purchased by Moreland/Bishop enterprises.  Their corporate office is in West Frankfort  (File photo)

Moreland-Bishop enterprises, based out of West Frankfort, owns a chain of McDonald’s restaurants across Southern Illinois, including two that the company recently required in Carbondale in February.   They also own stores in, Benton-West City, West Frankfort, Johnston City, Herrin, Carterville and two in Marion, in the four county area that will experience the extra tourists.

Late last week, I spoke with John Moreland, who with his wife Mary, and daughter Stephanie who has been long time owners of the franchises.  In the conversation he told me that coupled with the eclipse, SIU students will be allowed to move in the dorms on Thursday, as classes start next Tuesday.

He said this is unprecedented, but they are going to have extra staff, shuffled from other stores.  Management has been meeting for months to prepare for this weekend.   Their suppliers are prepared to make extra runs to the stores if necessary.

Moreland was concerned about the weather, and people might go elsewhere   At the time, The Weather Channel, predicted showers and thunderstorms for Southern Illinois on Monday in their 15 day forecast.  The storm system forecasters had their eye on will hit the region on Saturday.

He said, “No matter what, there will be people here,” citing that most hotels in Jackson and Williamson counties were requiring at least a three night stay.

To deal with communication issues, he said all of the company cars are General Motors vehicles, and they will rely on OnStar if local cell services go down.

Moreland told me their family will be guests to several friends and relatives during that time, coming from as far away as Texas.

Moreland gave me a story suggestion, follow up with businesses and officials to see what went right, and what went wrong.

“We are preparing for a typical fourth of July Weekend.”  says Bob Brothers, Store Manager of Benton-West City Walmart.  He says the reason being with the campgrounds are full at Rend Lake during that time and he expects a similar bump in sales.

Brothers said the store will be well stocked, and nearly every register will be going for the weekend.  They put emphasis on extra camping supplies and emergency management supplies,  such as batteries and generators, in case the power grid would be overloaded.

He says some sales will be determined by how heavy the traffic is on Interstate 57, barring whether people will exit to avoid the congestion.

Brothers also said they are sold out of eclipse glasses, and do not expect to get any more in.

Karen Freeman of Benton KOA says there are no vacancies for camping spots.  It has been that way over a year now.  “Several are staying five and six days and making a vacation out of it, Freeman said.”

Trudy Phillips, Store Manager of Sesser Casey’s, says at this time they will not have any extra staffing.  The store just received more eclipse glasses in stock though.

Benton Police Department make three recent arrests

On August 11th, 2017 Benton Police arrested Theodore Long, age 58, of Benton on an active warrant for violation of probation. Long was transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

On August 12th, 2017 Benton Police were dispatched to 1642 N. Main Street in reference to a retail theft. Through investigation, police arrested Danielle M. McCain, age 30, of Benton for retail theft. McCain was charged and transported to Franklin County Jail for further processing.

On August 12th, 2017 Benton Police conducted a traffic stop in the 600 block of North Buchanan Street.  Through investigation, police arrested Bryan F. Parks, age 36, of Briadwood Illinois, for driving while license revoked.  Parks was transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

Eclipse soda being sold at Benton flower shop

BENTON, IL (Rachel Duensing, WSIL-TV.  Please click on the link for the full story and video above.  Here is an excerpt below.)

A Benton flower and gift shop want to make the eclipse experience a little sweeter.

The Weeping Willow in Benton is selling a black cherry soda called Darkest Hour. They’ve had it on their shelves now for a little over a month, but if you want a taste of this soda you’ll want to grab it now

“It’s something you don’t get to see everyday, so they have something to remember it by,” owner Terry McGuire said. “We know the kids will be sneaking in and drinking that soda.”


Benton Grade School students will see new faces

BENTON, IL – (Holly Kee, Benton Evening News.  Please click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

When Benton Grade School students return to classes this week, they will be greeted by some new faces.
Steve Smith has been at work for about the past month, getting acclimated to his new position as superintendent of District 47.

Smith comes from a family of teachers. His mother, Mona, spent 35 years in the classroom before retiring from Johnston City High School as a business teacher. His father, Chuck, taught English and was the guidance counselor at West Frankfort High School, as well as running the John A. Logan extension center in West Frankfort before retiring.