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.

 

 

 

Overnight house fire in Christopher

WSIL – TV photo

By Steve Dunford

UPDATED – 10:45 a.m.

CHRISTOPHER, IL –  WSIL-TV reported a  house fire that happened overnight in the 300 block of South Thomas street in Christopher.

Christopher fire officials told News 3, they believe it was an exterior electrical panel, but the investigation is still ongoing.

I just spoke with Christopher Fire Chief Ron Learned, and he says loss to the structure was about 25%.  Coello fire department was called for mutual aid.  The financial loss was undetermined.

 

Buckner High School “Wildcats”

http://www.illinoishsglorydays.com/id973.html

The white building is believed to be Buckner High School which sit next to the grade school which burned a few years ago. (Genealogy Trails website.

NOTE:  I will be sharing links from time to time from the website, Illinois High School Glory Days.  It is a website dedicated to schools that have consolidated in Illinois.

Please click on the link above for several news clippings and photos about Buckner High School.

I am a history buff.  I would like to share stories in the future of some of the consolidated grade schools and one room schoolhouses that use to dot the landscape of Franklin County.

Here are some excerpts about the Buckner Wildcats.

Buckner (population 479) is located in far south-central Illinois in the west-central portion of Franklin County.  Buckner is located on Illinois Route 14 about three miles west of Interstate Route 57.  The Illinois Central Railroad also passes through Buckner and runs parellel with Illinois Route 14.  The city of Benton is located about 4 miles east of Buckner.

It was in 1880 that a post office was erected and the town was named Sofronia.  Soon, however, the town seemed to disapate and the post office was closed.  Eventually a railroad was slated to pass through the town.  The owner of the land that the railroad would pass over was donated by J.L. Buckner on the promise that the railroad complany would name the town Buckner.  Such was the deal and the town was so named in 1914.

Russell Browning provided a lot of information to the website about Buckner, He said the following.”I grew up in the town of Buckner and I did not know, and only the very old people there knew, about the High School.   Nothing was known about teachers, class mates and any other thing until I found one woman, who has passed away now, that gave me access to pictures. Then I did a micro film search of those years and came up with the information.”

 

Route 148 to be closed in Christopher at the RR tracks Wed.-Thurs

Press Release from the Illinois Department of Transportation

Beginning Wednesday, June 28 at 8:00 am and concluding on Thursday, June 29 at 5:00 pm, crews from the Canadian Northern / Illinois Central Railroad Company (CNIC) will be performing repairs on the railroad crossing on IL 148 (Victor St.) in Christopher.

There will be no traffic permitted through the crossing during the repairs. Motorists should follow the marked detour or seek alternate routes to avoid delays.

Rend Lake College Spring 2017 Honors Lists

ReAnne Palmer, Rend Lake College Public Information

INA, IL– Rend Lake College is pleased to announce 396 students have made the President’s and Vice Presidents’ lists of academic honors for the Spring 2017 semester.

The lists include 150 individuals named to the President’s List. Those students earned a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) during the semester as a full-time student earning 12 credit hours or more. Another 246 students were named to the Vice Presidents’ List. Students on the Vice Presidents’ List earned a 3.50 – 3.99 GPA during the semester as a full-time student.

“With nearly 400 students landing spots on the honors lists this spring, I couldn’t be prouder of the countless hours of hard work and dedication shown on campus. I speak for everyone on campus when I say congratulations,” said RLC President Terry Wilkerson. “It’s a testament to these students and their instructors, and they should all be very proud of this achievement.”

Below are the ones from Franklin County who achieved academic honors.

President’s List

BENTON – Mariann Cook, Sierra Deangelo, Ally Devore, Sara Dixon, Mackenzi Dollins, Emeri-Jean Farnam, Dakota Head, Hillary Ionson, Brette Mahan, Mallorie Melvin, Lindell Minor, Presley Robbins, Dylan Snyder, Noah Thomason, Anna Weaver, Lauren Zinzilieta

CHRISTOPHER – Camryn Maloney, Kayla Parrish, Phillip Smith

COELLO – Carrie Shaw

EWING – Wade Hutchens

MACEDONIA – Kelsey Conley

MULKEYTOWN – Kristi Barnett, Amber Dublo

ROYALTON – Kassandra Jones

SESSER – Emily Bulla, Pam Dorris, Nicholas Marlo, Skylyn Simpson, Mackayla Tindall

THOMPSONVILLE – Kayla Follmer, Hudson Garrison, Ivan Wysong

VALIER – Alexandra Boner

WEST FRANKFORT – Alexa Beaver, Jared Eastwood, Mary Linsley, Katie Ramsey, Christian Reed

WHITTINGTON – Morgan Wilson

Vice Presidents’ List

BENTON – Alison Anthis, Kelly Bishop, Lindsey Cox, Bria Curry, Dionna Dillon, Colton Essary, Johnel Eubanks, Brittany Ferris, Nicholas Freeman, David Garrett, John Giacone, Payton Hallis, Abbigail Hart, Kelsey Head, Aubrey Hunter, Haley Ing, Caleb Kearney, Christine Keppler-Clayton, Amy Kovarik, Matthew Krug, Andrew Lingle, Logan Maxey, Molly McGuire, Virginia Morgan, Devon Morris, Alexis Newell, Bradley Phillips, Makayla Rich, Naylin Ronchetto, Benjamin Schilli, Kassie Spencer, Holden Storey, Whitney Summers, Leigh Thomas, Caleb Wilkerson

BUCKNER – Morgan Wirtes, Callie Young

CHRISTOPHER – Brooke Akers, Emily Cavinder, Julie Faling, Zoie Frey, Anthony Hargrove, Kailey Kerkemeyer, Jacob Underwood

EWING – Ike Hutchcraft, Cole Hutchens, Kacee Roberts

MACEDONIA – David Motsinger

MULKEYTOWN – Sandra Eversole, Allanna Garrison, Cameron Jones, Loghan Matyi, Micah Motsinger, Jonathon Swisher, Zachary Webb

ORIENT – Brittany Segatto

ROYALTON – Kassie Jeralds, Kalynn Myers

THOMPSONVILLE – Maleissa Baney, Casey Bowlin, Austin Kerley, Maddie Miller, Aiden Payne, George Styles, Damien Wilburn

VALIER – Peyton Jennings, Sophi Johnson, Bailee Jones

WEST FRANKFORT – Courtney Browning, Shannon Browning, Kelsie Simpson

WHITTINGTON – Megan Rudolphi, Dylan Terry

ZEIGLER – Kenneth Newton

 

West Franklin Historical District thrift sale/breakfast Saturday

The West Franklin Historical District is hosting a Thrift Sale this Saturday, June 17th, from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm. It is in conjunction with their third Saturday meal for June which is breakfast. Breakfast will be served from 7:00 am to 9:30 am.

The Thrift Sale will be in the gym and the breakfast will be in the kitchen/dining room, in the Historical District building, which is the former Mulkeytown Grade School.

Proceeds will go toward maintenance projects on the Historical District building as well as the Silkwood Inn.

Benton News interview with Christopher HS Valedictorians

http://www.bentoneveningnews.com/news/20170607/a-conversation-with-christopher-high-schools-2017-valedictorians

The above link is an extensive interview by the Benton News of the five Valedictorians of the Christopher High School class of 2017 by the Benton News.  Here is the introduction of the interview below.

Five graduating seniors at Christopher High School finished tied for first in their class.

We asked Athena Flint, Camryn Maloney, Joshua Underwood, Madeline Gossett and Megan Wilson to tell us something of their high school careers — what made them successful, what their future holds and who helped them along the way.

The next link is pictures of the  graduating class of Christopher High School.

http://www.bentoneveningnews.com/news/20170607/a-photo-gallery-of-the-christopher-high-school-class-of-2017—all-51-graduates-

 

 

Power outage in Coello during the overnight hours

Village of North City (Coello) mayor Curtis Overton reports that parts of the village will be without power starting at 2:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 1st.

Ameren Illinois will be replacing some defective power poles in the village.  The outage will last between four to five hours.

Rend Lake college graduates from Franklin County

ReAnne Palmer- RLC Public information 

 

Rend Lake College officials want to congratulate the Class of 2017 for another successful year. The 50th Annual RLC Commencement was held Saturday, May 13 in James “Hummer” Waugh Gymnasium. A total of 633 graduates were conferred 681 Associate Degrees and 454 Occupational Certificates for a total of 1,135 degrees and certificates. Bob Carlock, retired vice president of finance and administration at RLC, was the keynote speaker.

BENTON – Gary Allan, Michael Allan, Alison Anthis, Ashley K. Atkins, Alissa Bain, Leigha Bain, Deryck Bates, Jonathon Carson Batts, Kelly L. Bishop, Brandtlee Abram Brown, Brandi Nicole Cairns, Cali M. Carney, Aubrionna Casey, Joseph James Clinton, Kaleigh Cole, Mariann R. Cook, Lindsey Marie Cox, Zoie Paige Crain, Bria Leigh Curry, Pari Morgan Davis, Mackenzi Dollins, Heather Crystal Drew, Chason Lee Dunford, Rachel Raquel Easton, Curtis Alan Eubanks, Emeri-Jean Allyce Farnam, Connor Foltz, Samantha Franklin, David Bradley Garrett Jr., Sadie Hall, Abbigail E. Hart, Kelsey Morgan Head, Nicholas Sebastian Hoffman, Katelyn J. Houghland, Sarah E. Hubbard, Laura Katherine Jamerson, Emmy-Leigh Jay, Robin Nicole Johnson, Caleb James Kearney, Christine Keppler-Clayton, Amy Kovarik, Molly LaRae McGuire, Matthew Krug, Dakotah Micheal Lampley, Leanne Ledbetter, Shelby Lewis, Alaina Lynch, Dionna Grace Martin, Jayme Martinez, Janie Marie McMurray, Mallorie Melvin, Darian O’Brien Menees, Brandon Meyer, Kenneth A. Miner, Lindell Ray Minor, Virginia Morgan, Devon Jean Morris, Lorie Jane Nalley, Ashley Odom, Samantha R. Orrill, Ben Pankey, Gabriel Price, Joshua Price, Tarron Pulliam, Presley Robbins, Naylin Ronchetto, Charles Schram, Jenna McKay Shadowens, Andrea Linda-Marie Shaw, Kerrie Smith, Dylan Snyder, Kassie N. Spencer, Whitney Summers, John David Sweet, Nathan Watkins, Allee Nicole Wellen, John R. Wilder IV, Jacob Young

BUCKNER – Alyx Michaela Starkweather

CHRISTOPHER – Andrew David Benard, Jacob Ross Burkitt, Michael Taylor Calloni, Julie Y. Faling, Austin Frey, Zoie Danielle Frey, Amanda Gant, Nicole D. Howell, Jacob Allen Jablonski, Trevor Johnson, Kailey Kerkemeyer, Brittany N. Lowery, Camryn Joan Maloney, Erica Lynn Maple, Micah Motsinger, Kayla Parrish, Adam Jay Porter, Annabelle Lea Shukites, Jacob W. Underwood

COELLO – Joseph N. Shaw

EWING – Jaylyn Cozart, Delta Dawn Hermann, Ike Hutchcraft, Wade M. Hutchens, Kacee Leann Roberts

LOGAN – Dakota Casey, Nicole Marie Mullins

MACEDONIA – Bailey Jo Hiestand, Terrence Anthony Richard Marshall, Anthony L. Page, Danielle Rena Richardson, Martin John Ward

MULKEYTOWN – Brianna Bowlin, Ryan Andrew Curry, Allanna C Garrison, Michael T. Hoffman, Cameron Jones, Tara Chantell Law, Loghan Danielle Matyi, John Rapp, Christopher Richard, Breanna Faye Whitley, Cindra F. Wroblewski

ORIENT – Brittany Segatto

ROYALTON – Meghan Marie Clark, Kassandra Jones, Brandon Stubblefield, Stephan Threewitt, Austin D. Walker

SESSER – Ashly Lynn Brown, Reginald Joseph Eubanks, Johnathon Leonard Galloway, Cody Hamm, Blaine Leslie, Nicholas David Marlo  Caleb I. Mays, David Nelson, Brianna Joyce Risley, Kyle Andrew Robinson, Monica Lynn Scott, Skylyn DeVonne L. Simpson, Luke William Thompson, Matthew D. Wallinger, Kieran S. White

THOMPSONVILLE – Maleissa Anne Baney, Charlene Boyd, Chelsey Lynn Bundy, Kayla Follmer, Brady German, Cecily Ann Heusner, Austin Kerley, Austin Michael Kessler, David K. Payne, Kenzie Nichole Rizor, Kyle J. Shimkus, Kenise Rashelle Smith, Damien Sky Wilburn

VALIER – Sophi Rai Johnson, Bailee Lynn Jones, Jamie Jones, Courtney D. Smith

WEST CITY – Amanda Frankart

WEST FRANKFORT – Alexa L. Beavers, John Fenton Bowers, Shannon Browning, Jared Lee Eastwood, Garrett Karoski, Makenzie Kondoudis, Brittany Nicole Long, Alexis Rae Newell, Charles Saunders, Amber Marie Sloan, Kailee Spears, Adam Wiggins, Bryce Timothy Wiley, Kathryn Nichole Wise

WHITTINGTON – Dakota J. Head, Tabitha Hopkins, Noah Jones, Nathan Scott MacDonald, Jennifer Young

ZEIGLER – Breanna Renee Davis, Bailey Schimpf

 

Christopher man killed in Coello Traffic crash

Press Release from the Franklin County Sheriff’s office scan0008