Dispatcher on administrative leave following sexual assault investigation

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/36577541/dispatcher-on-administrative-leave-following-sexual-assault-investigation

The Central Dispatch Board. (From WSIL-TV reporter Hannah Gebresialasse’s Twitter page

CHRISTOPHER, IL (Hannah Gebresilasse – WSIL-TV.  Please Click on the link for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.

Board members of the Central Dispatch of West Franklin County voted Wednesday night to place former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Hampton on unpaid administrative leave, indefinitely.

Hampton faces charges of criminal sexual assault and custodial sexual misconduct. The felonies stem from an incident in January of 2016. Following the incident, the Franklin County Sheriff placed Hampton on administrative leave and he later resigned then began work at the dispatch center.

Rebecca Whittington serves as general counsel for the West Franklin County Central Dispatch board. She told News 3 Hampton’s position will be held open, but he will not be on staff or payroll.

Area departments fighting field fire in Buckner

by Steve Dunford

BUCKNER, IL –  There is a field fire endangering structures in the 500 block of South Janette Street in Buckner.  Zeigler, Christopher, and Coello Fire Departments are providing mutual aid.

At least through the weekend, there is a danger of field fires.  The current humidity is 41% with a dew point of 50.  With dry vegetation as well, burning is not advised.  To the best of my knowledge there is not any burn bans in effect in any communities.

If any communities issue burn bans, we will share that information as soon as possible.

Local fire departments were busy Sunday evening

by Steve Dunford

 

Several area fire departments responded to a house fire last night at the corner of Horrell Ave. and St Louis St. in West Frankfort. (Zeigler Fire Department photo)

In a six hour stretch between 6:00 pm and around midnight, area fire departments were busy handling several calls.

Just right at 6:00 p.m. West Frankfort Firefighters were paged to the intersection of St. Louis Street and Horrell Avenue (Deering Road)  to a structure fire.  Departments from West City, Benton, Zeigler, Johnston City and Abbott EMS provided mutual aid.

Between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Royalton firefighters were toned to a pole barn fire on Washington Street.  Zeigler firefighters were leaving West Frankfort when the were called for mutual aid.  The structure was a total loss.  Christopher provided station coverage for Zeigler.

At 10:55 p.m., Benton firefighters were called to a single vehicle accident  and fire on East Main Street in front of the new Dollar General with injuries.

At 11;45 p.m.. West City firefighters were called to a three vehicle accident with injuries at the intersection of Route 14 and Central Street (in front of Walmart.)

I might be mistaken, but I am nearly positive that  Benton and West City provided mutual aid for each other during the wrecks.  Buckner Fire and Rescue also provided station coverage for West City.

 

 

Zeigler and Christopher firefighters called to a vehicle fire on State Route 148

ZEIGLER – Zeigler and Christopher firefighters responded to a vehicle fire on State Route 148 between the two towns this afternoon. (Zeigler Fire Department FB page with photo submitted by Kim McCullom

Retail outlets with eclipse glasses in stock

by Steve Dunford

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

Franklin County

BENTON

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

CHRISTOPHER

Hometown Shirts and Graphics

Bowlin’s Foodland

Casey’s

SESSER

Casey’s

WEST FRANKFORT

Kroger

Mom’s Milk

West Frankfort Gazette

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

Perry County

DU QUOIN

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

MARION

Menards

 

 

Information about the heat…updated list of cooling centers

by Steve Dunford

The Heat Advisory is still in effect until Sunday.  I would not be surprised if the National Weather Service ups it to an Excessive Heat Warning.  The NWS in St. Louis has had one for two days.

Here are some area temperatures and heat indexes across the region

  • Mt. Vernon 96 degrees/heat index 109
  • Marion 95 degrees/ heat index 103
  • Carbondale 93 degrees/ heat index 103

Here is an updated list of cooling centers across the county:

Benton:

City Hall

Fire Department

Township Community Building

West Frankfort:

Police Department

Sesser:

City Hall – Please use the police department entrance.

Christopher:

First Baptist Church will be having the lunch program between 11am till 1pm.  Kids 18 and under ear free.  Adults it is $3.00

 

Cooling centers in the region

by Steve Dunford

As long as the heat wave lasts, I will pass on any emergency information on a timely basis.

I would appreciate any information that you might have.  Over the last few months, and especially during the flooding in late April, the citizens of the county has trusted franklincounty-news.com to be a reliable source of information in the county.

The site has good numbers in the Jefferson, Williamson, Perry, Hamilton and Saline counties as well now.  Franklin County will be the top priority, but I will start sharing info from those counties as well.

Please contact me at 513-1274, 937-0253, send me a message on Facebook or email me at sdunford1970@hotmail.com

FRANKLIN COUNTY:

BENTON

City Hall – 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday

Benton Fire Department

Benton Community Building

SESSER

City Hall – Please use the police entrance

CHRISTOPHER

First Baptist Church is hosting their summer meal program, free for kids 18 and under.  For adults the cost is $3.  The time is 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You are welcome to come and cool off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Perry County man home safely

by Steve Dunford

Kenneth Mohr, a Pinckneyville area man was reported missing earlier this afternoon.

I just spoke with a family member a few minutes ago, and he is safely at home now.  Thank you all to everyone that helped.

 

WSIL Unsung Hero: Christopher summer meal program

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/35832497/unsung-hero-christopher-summer-meal-program

CHRISTOPHER, IL –  (Ashley Smith, WSIL-TV.  Please click on the link for the full story and video.  Here is an excerpt below.)

Kids in Christopher are eating lunch for free this summer, thanks to a grant. But that program was going to be cut short until a local church stepped into help.

Heather Little and Sandy Young prepare to feed hungry kids and adults in Christopher.

This week was the first time they served the summer meals at Christopher First Baptist Church.

“We’re picking up those kids in the Christian Church van, they’re delivering them to the First Baptist Church where they’re gonna get fed by the grant program by the Christopher Elementary School,” says Matt Crain, pastor of Christopher First Baptist Church . “The community working together.”

 

50 INFLUENCERS OF REND LAKE COLLEGE: MILLIE CALDWELL, MATRIARCH OF GENEROSITY

by Reece Rutland- Rend Lake College Public Information/Sports Information Director

INA, IL – Three decades of service. Three decades of unselfish giving. Verna Mildred “Millie” Caldwell has enthusiastically supported Rend Lake College and its students for a length and breadth that is nearly unparalleled in an already distinguished lineup of supporters.

Millie Caldwell – (All pictures provided by Rend Lake College

Caldwell and her husband Clifton were already community staples outside of their involvement with RLC. For years, the couple operated one of the area’s most successful newspapers, The Christopher Progress. In fact, the Caldwells purchased the two Southern Illinois papers in 1974 (the Progress and the Herrin Spokesman) and ran them for over a decade, eventually selling them in 1987 to the American Publishing Company newspaper chain.

Cliff passed away on Feb. 29, 2004. He was a well-known journalist for 46 years and a member of the Southern Illinois University Editors Hall of Fame. Together, Clif and Millie instituted zoned editions of their weeklies that provided published local news for the communities of Sesser, Zeigler, Royalton, Johnston City and Carterville, as well as the communities included in their names. They had been married for 61 years.

To commemorate Cliff’s legacy, the family banded together to create the Clifton Caldwell Endowment Scholarship for Rend Lake students. The scholarship looks to help a Journalism or Math major in need.

The Foundation was the natural fit; Millie had spent the better part of three decades doing everything she could to aid the RLCF and the students of RLC.

Caldwell has represented the Christopher locality on the RLCF Board since 1982 when she elected at 4th Annual Meeting to bring the board to nine members. She had been an integral part of three capital campaigns. She was a major part of the RLCF Children’s Center campaign and the RLC Music Program Addition and Theatre Renovation. All of that on top of the fact that she has donated toward RLCF scholarships for years.

But, it was never just money either. Both Millie and Cliff gave of their time. The Caldwells actively attended RLCF events throughout the years. He was a frequent player at annual RLCF Golf Tournaments and they regularly attended the RLCF Annual Dinner together. Millie was also frequently at the RLCF Women’s Luncheon and RLCF Scholarship Dinner.

In 2002, Millie was recognized by the Rend Lake College Foundation Board of Directors when the group enthusiastically and unanimously approved her for Emeritus status.

She earned it. Her support of the college through Foundation efforts is, without a doubt, significant. And her length of service to the organization is nearly unmatched. Only three other members hold Emeritus status on the board – Charter Director Howard L. Payne and former Rend Lake College President Mark S. Kern and long-time foundation board member and Sesser businessman George Slankard.

“This honor is reserved for members because of longevity and lasting contributions made to the RLC Foundation,” explained Pat Kern, RLCF consultant and former CEO.

“This status welcomes these selected Board members to the RLCF meetings at any time they wish to attend.”

It’s not the first honor Millie has received for her service.

She also earned the coveted RLCF Presidential Award in 2006. It’s an achievement set aside specifically for RLCF Board members who have displayed exceptional service.

Millie Caldwell (center) accepts the Presidential Award from then RLC President Mark Kern (left). She was joined by her daughter, and RLC Professor Cindy Caldwell (right).

For her numerous scholarship contributions, she has also been presented the RLCF Bronze Seal Award, an achievement also shared by her daughter Cindy.

In fact, the Math component of the Clifton Caldwell Endowment Scholarship stems from Cindy’s willingness to pick up her family’s legacy and continue the giving tradition. She is a Mathematics Professor who joined the Rend Lake College faculty in 2000. She also is a graduate of Rend Lake College (Class of 1980) who worked on the RLC Times student newspaper. The Caldwells also had three sons – Denis, Dave and Douglas.

“Like many of our influencers, Millie and the Caldwell family display a selflessness that has helped the institution become what it is today. We are able to do the things we do thanks to the generosity of people like Millie, people who care about the district’s students and want to see them succeed,” said RLC President Terry Wilkerson.