Legal Notice Legal Notice



Click link below to continue reading legal notice.


Hargett Legal Notice

Bost Applauds House Passage of Tax Reform Legislation

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) today released the following statement after the House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“Southern Illinois’ hardworking middle-class families deserve a break. We need more jobs, higher take-home pay, and greater opportunity to get ahead. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is focused on empowering middle-class working families by delivering more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger take-home pay. For the 78% of tax filers in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District who currently take the standard deduction, you will see an average $1700 more in your pocket after taxes. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act gives you the breathing room you need to save for college, help raise a family, or prepare for a rainy day. When given the chance, I have no doubt you’ll keep a closer eye on your hard-earned dollars than any Washington bureaucrat ever will.”

For individuals and families, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

  • Lowers individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans to zero, 12 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent so people can keep more of the money they earn throughout their lives, and continues to maintain 39.6 percent for high-income Americans.
  • Significantly increases the standard deduction to protect roughly double the amount of what you earn each year from taxes – from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples.

Recipe For Healthy Holiday Foods

SPRINGFIELD – Starting with Thanksgiving and going through New Year’s Day, it’s the time of year for family dinners, parties, and other gatherings where food is served.  But the merriment can turn to misery if the food makes you sick.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 48 million people a year get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.

“While most healthy people who become sick with a foodborne illness, typically called food poisoning, will get better without seeing a doctor, others can experience severe illnesses,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “By taking a few simple precautions, you can help protect yourself and those around you from an unhappy holiday.”

Typical symptoms of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms, which can start anywhere from hours to days after consuming contaminated food or drinks.  Symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.  Those at risk of more severe and even life-threatening foodborne illness include older adults, infants, young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.

Fortunately, there is a simple recipe that can help you stay healthy.

Healthy  Holiday  Recipe

  1. CleanKeep everything in the kitchen clean, including your hands
  2. SeparateSeparate raw meats from other foods
  3. CookCook and keep food at the right temperature
  4. ChillRefrigerate food promptly

A good rule of thumb is, make sure hot foods are hot (above 140°F) and cold foods are cold (below 40°F).  Don’t eat food that has been sitting out for more than two hours if the food is not being kept hot or cold.  More information on Food Safety During The Holidays can be found on the IDPH website.

Rend Lake College Board Meeting Minutes

Transfer agreement with U of I Chicago gets green light
The board approved a transfer admission guarantee (TAG) agreement between the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, specifically U of I Chicago, and Rend Lake College. This agreement allows RLC students guaranteed admission to the University of Illinois at Chicago provided they meet the requirements of the agreement.

Three new certificates receive approval, other curriculum matters
The board approved the creation of three new occupational certificates – Entrepreneurship, Early Childhood Education and Graphic Technician – and authorized their submission to the Illinois Community College Board for action.

The Entrepreneurship certificate program prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in business as an entrepreneur and to prepare them for further educational opportunities in a variety of business areas. This certificate will lay the foundation in preparing students to be enterprising individuals who contribute to the economic development of our community.

The one-year Early Childhood Education certificate provides students with a background in ECE courses. Courses in this two-semester certificate align with the associate degree program to promote a seamless transition into the Associate in Applied Science Degree in ECE.

Falling under the umbrella of the Graphic Design program, the Graphic Technician certificate program prepares students for employment requiring design responsibilities in a variety of organizational settings. The curriculum partners the necessary knowledge of design techniques with skills needed to be successful in business settings through enhanced communication skills and a working knowledge of office systems software.

Two new courses, Diversity in Education and Graphic Design’s Portfolio Review, also were approved Tuesday, and approval also was granted to develop an online Portfolio Review class in the Graphic Design program. Among other changes approved were title changes to four courses, inactivation of the Mining Technology and Surveying Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree programs, semester course sequence changes to eight degree programs and six certificate programs, and withdrawal of 25 courses.

Farner to take reins of Applied Science & Tech
Gabriele Farner was appointed Dean of Applied Science and Technology effective Nov. 27. She will replace the retiring Chris Nielsen. Farner holds both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University and is pursuing a doctorate degree in Educational Teaching and Leadership through Walden University. She currently is the Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Learning for Shawnee Community College.

CCRR seeks License Exempt Monitor
Permission was granted to create the position, approve the job description and advertise for a License Exempt Monitor for the Child Care Resource and Referral program (Project CHILD). This new position is required by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

PHS projects receive approval
The board granted permission to bid to replace the gymnasium and Aquatics Center roof, flashing and part of the guttering and downspouts using Protection, Health and Safety Levy funds for Fiscal Year 2019. The current roof is 24 years old and has exceeded its life expectancy.

Accreditation update
The board heard a report on the college’s reaffirmation of accreditation activities. The college is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is due for an evaluation by the HLC in September 2018. The Steering Committee and various other working groups and committees will be meeting later this week to work on writing specific sections of the Assurance Argument and to provide an update on progress.

Advisement’s Hicks moving on
The board accepted with regret the resignation of Jordan Hicks, Academic Advisor, effective Nov. 10. He had been with RLC full-time since July 2014. “I have witnessed first-hand how an excellent higher education institution operates,” Hicks wrote in his resignation letter. I hope I have had a positive impact on my co-workers and most importantly our students.”

In other business, the board …
• Heard a report from Dr. Elizabeth Bailey-Smith of the Academic Council covering the curriculum matters taken up by the board Tuesday and reporting on additional meetings and activities.
• Accepted the audit report for Fiscal Year 2017 as presented.
• Approved revisions to board policy concerning background checks for potential and current employees (second reading) and return to work certification (second reading) and tabled a board policy regarding holidays (first reading).
• Approved revisions to board policy and procedure concerning enrollment of international students (second reading).
• Approved creation of board policy and procedure concerning media relations (second reading) and student employment (second reading).
• Amended the retirement resignation for the administrative assistant of the Math and Sciences Division.
• Ratified the acceptance of the resignation of a Certified Nurse Assistant associate professor.
• Approved the Student Worker Handbook.
• Approved the 2018-2019 academic calendar.
• Ratified payment of college expenses including travel reimbursements.

Mark your calendars …
• Documentary Film Showing: Paper Clips, noon Wednesday, Nov. 15, RLC Theatre.
• RLC Foundation Annual Dinner Meeting, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, Holiday Inn / DoubleTree Inn, Mt. Vernon.
• RLC Faculty / Staff Holiday Luncheon, Friday, Dec. 8, Waugh Gymnasium.

Wind advisory remains in effect until 6:00 p.m.


* TIMING…Gusty southerly winds will increase from mid to late
morning as a cold front arrives. In the wake of the front, even
stronger wind gusts from the northwest can be expected through
the afternoon.

* WINDS…Peak wind gusts will be 40 to 45 mph, especially in the

* IMPACTS…Minor damage is possible along with more difficult
driving conditions.


A wind advisory is issued when sustained winds are expected to
reach 30 mph or greater for longer than one hour…or wind gusts
are expected to reach 40 mph for any duration.


By Steve Dunford 

The storms have cleared Franklin County and in the last five minutes the Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Franklin County has been cancelled.

Ameren Illinois reports spotty power outages south of Benton and on Boner Cemetery Road Near Old Marion Road south of West Frankfort.

A wind advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m., and I would not be surprised if that is extended.  The winds have switched to the northwest, temperatures in the 40’s.  To put it plainly, it will be a miserable one for the rest of the day.  It is a good day to stay in.

There haven’t been any reports of damage across the county.




Kelley adds another chapter with Alumnus of the Year honors

INA, IL– Prolific doctors, prominent business owners, a pair of NASA employees, a famous stage actress, judges, state legislators and even a true-blue American hero, the list of Rend Lake College Foundation Alumnus of the Year award winners is impressive company.

So, in the midst of the RLC’s 50th anniversary, what stellar former Warrior did the Foundation select to represent all the best that Rend Lake College represents?

“I’m typical. I’m average. I’m common … I just had a very fulfilling career and Rend Lake helped me find that career and facilitate a life I have totally enjoyed. Obviously, I could not be more honored,” said the ever humble former RLC Communications Director and 2017 Alumnus of the Year Bob Kelley.

Kelley might not view himself as remarkable, but his legacy and impact are still being felt on campus more than a decade after his retirement, a true testimony to the dedication and devotion that he poured into a community he loved for almost his entire professional life.

Bob Kelley as a Rend Lake College Freshman

His connections go much deeper than employee, however. Kelley’s story is also perfect for this 50th anniversary because of his time with the institution. He was a member of the first-ever RLC freshman class, growing up alongside the fledging institution.

“My ties to Rend Lake are pretty deep. My mother was the executive secretary to Dr. [Howard] Rawlinson [RLC’s first dean] for the first 10 years of the college. So, I had 10 years of connection through her. Then, I had the two years as a student, and then 27 years as an employee. Plus, in the 11 years since my retirement I’ve stayed connected to Rend Lake in various ways, whether it’s the RLC History Book or the Hall of Fame. The college has been around for 50 years, and I feel like I’ve got pretty close ties to most of those years,” Kelley expressed.

“Because of all that connection, there’s nothing outside of family that means more to me than the college. To think that I’m being recognized by Rend Lake, to my amazement, just humbles me. I am very appreciative,” said an emotional Kelley.

While the bulk of Kelley’s life has been involved with the college, it wasn’t his only stop. A fresh-faced RLC graduate, Kelley transferred to Southern Illinois University Carbondale for two years where he majored in journalism. He was even the recipient of a transfer scholarship because of his time at RLC.

For the first two-and-a-half years of his professional life, Kelley worked for the Illinois State Journal Register (SJR) in Springfield as a sports writer, his childhood aspiration. That particular paper offered Kelley a unique look at the industry as the SJR, at the time, printed both a morning and afternoon paper.

“Those two editions were totally separate staffs except for sports and the society sections. It was just a great experience for a young journalist. If I went out and covered a ball game, I’d hurry back to the office to meet the deadline with my game story that night and then immediately turn around to write a feature story with quotes and all that that would appear in the afternoon paper.”

Following his time at the SJR, Kelley spent six years at the Sunday Courier and Press in Evansville, Ind., as a sports writer on their staff.

He made one last brief stop at the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer as the sports editor. But, shortly after he took the position, an opportunity arose at RLC that Kelley couldn’t pass up.

“We had a three-year-old. It was just a chance to come back and be near grandparents and be in a similar environment and situation I grew up in. I grew up in Mt. Vernon with both sets of grandparents. That was just so meaningful. So, when an opportunity like that came up for us, we knew it was something we should pursue,” Kelley expressed.

Perhaps to get a better judge of his character, it still bothers Kelley today that he went into the Messenger-Inquirer office to put in his notice so soon after taking the position. His sense of loyalty and duty cause him to still feel like it was his “sleaziest moment.”

Yet, Kelley said, ultimately it was a good move. After years in the newspaper business, it was time for him to move on, and while the details surrounding the move aren’t to his liking, the transition itself was.

“I came back home for the interview and stayed at my parents’ house. I wanted to watch a ballgame. That was the night Larry Bird and Magic Johnson played for the National Championship, that famous game. That was the day I interviewed,” he recalled.

Kelley came on board as an employee during the summer of 1979 as communications director. Just a few months later, discussion began about getting the Foundation up and running. Dr. Curtis Parker had the initial realization that RLC needed to have a Foundation created when the college was established. But, the institution didn’t start to fully form the organization until 1979. So, prominent community members decided to have an informational meeting to officially start the Foundation.

It fell on the newly hired Kelley to get the word out about the meeting. In addition to issuing the standard press release, the new communications director also recommended placing a notice in the schedules the college sent out each fall and spring. He called this one of his biggest professional flubs.

The rub? These mailing schedules went out to every household in the district, all 40,000 of them.

“Here’s how smart I was, it was too late to get it printed in the schedule. They were already being printed. So, I said I could do up a flier announcing the meeting and we could just insert it in every schedule. Don’t ever volunteer to do something that involves stuffing 40,000 papers. That’s a number you have a hard time visualizing until you had them all in front of you. I was bringing these things home to have my four-year-old help me stuff. We finally got it done, but that’s how the announcement of the first foundation meeting went out,” Kelley said with a chuckle.

“So, that’s how it all got started. I’ve seen the Foundation grow from less than 100 at that first meeting to so much more. It’s remarkable what they’ve done over the years. I don’t have anything to prove it, but I feel like it has to be one of the top five Foundations at a community college nation-wide. What they have done over the years, and what the college has now because of the Foundation’s work is truly remarkable.”

He said that while other institutions suffered during the lengthy, and still ongoing, state budget issues, RLC is able to find itself on firmer footing thanks, in part, to the Foundation and the generous people who support it.

The thought of Kelley stuffing 40,000 papers by hand to get the word out isn’t a concept that would surprise anyone who knows him. His passion for keeping others informed and promoting the institution are legendary.

Retired Director of Marketing Bob Kelley served as the keynote speaker during Rend Lake College’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. In addition to being an retiree, Kelley was also a member of the first freshman class to attend RLC. He shared his memories and highlighted a number of individuals from that inaugural class that went on to do amazing things. (Reece Rutland-RLC Public Information

Kelley was well known for saving everything that had to do with the news and history of RLC. Even today, it’s likely that the former communications director can hunt down a specific press release, baseball score, obscure fact or vital detail though this extensive documentation and cataloging.

“A lot of people probably remember my office looking like a big junk pile from the outside. But, there were many times that people would come to me and ask about this or that because they knew I would have the information they needed,” he joked.

The internet and electronic files have helped cut down most of the clutter. So now, Kelley is just up to his digital eyeballs in historical information about the institution.

In fact, even in retirement, Kelley has continued working away, creating a tome of the complete history of Rend Lake College. He has produced more than a thousand pages of content, documenting everything from the roster of every given athletic team to ever take the field for the Warriors to even the most tumultuous details of the college’s history.

His work has been vital in the institution’s celebration of its 50th anniversary.

“I don’t know what anyone does when they just retire. I think productive senior citizens stay active and interested in things. So, in addition to a half-dozen other things that keep me busy and feeling productive, the book gave me something to work on every night after I got off grandson duty. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed putting it together.”

Kelley also maintains his ties with his other professional passion, athletics, by being an active participant in the Rend Lake College Hall of Fame Committee. To this day, he still produces all the publication and promotion for the annual induction ceremony and still maintains meticulous records of Warrior Athletics.

“I first got to know and respect Bob Kelley when I was a student at Rend Lake College from 1982-84. Bob was an assistant basketball coach and statistician for our team in those days. He showed every day that he truly cared about each and every one of the players on the team. When I returned to work at RLC in 1992, Bob immediately became one of my closest friends,” said RLC Athletic Director Tim Wills.

“He was always willing to help out with anything that we needed in the Athletic Department or anything that I need help with personally. He has continued to that type of person in his retirement. Bob Kelley is one of the most caring, dedicated and reliable people I have ever had the pleasure to know. I hope he knows how much he has meant to me over the time that we have known each other. There has never been a more deserving recipient of the RLC Alumnus of the Year than Bob Kelley. I am extremely happy that he is finally getting recognized for his contributions to this great institution.”

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 for his years of work as the school’s de facto sports information director and even in-a-pinch assistant coach.

“There’s no question there, I have to be the least athletic person on that wall,” Kelley joked in his usual manner.

Ever humble, always self-deprecating, Kelley filled a much larger role than “the guy who wrote press releases.” He is the intuition’s historian, and the unsung hero of information preservation that will ensure the story of RLC, and everything that surrounds it, is retained far into the future. From a student in RLC’s first freshman class to now Alumnus of the Year, Kelley has seen the institution through thick and thin.

“The college has grown by leaps and bounds, but it’s never changed its true mission of helping students of all types and abilities to make something of themselves. There was that stigma for many years that community college students couldn’t make anything of themselves. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just look at all the alumna of the year, all the people who have gone on to do such great things. That’s why I say I’m ‘Mr. Ordinary.’ You look at that list and what those people have accomplished, and you can’t help but be impressed. I’m probably the least accomplished person on there,” he said.

“I had a job I enjoyed doing, and that’s what Rend Lake is all about, preparing people for careers and the future. They do that very well. It’s amazing when you really stop and look. I think if people didn’t already know, they would be shocked at some of the people to come out of this community college.”

“Rend Lake has helped feed my family when I was growing up because of my mother. It helped feed my family when I worked there. There was never a day I wasn’t happy I was going to work. That, to me, is what success is. Rend Lake let me do that. Rend Lake means everything to me from the standpoint of what it has done for me in various capacities, and continues to, including this honor. I’m very touched,” said an emotional Kelley.

“Bob is how I measure dedication to this day,” said Chad Copple, RLC’s Dean of Communications and Marketing. He worked alongside Kelley in the Marketing and Public Information Department from 2003 until Kelley retired in 2006. “There was never anything he wasn’t willing to do for the betterment of this college or to help out a colleague, and he’s still doing it even in retirement. I hope that even just some of his dedication has rubbed off on me.

“Those same stacks on his desk he used to laugh about … now my desk looks just like that,” Copple joked. “The Marketing and Public Information Department has grown exponentially from the foundation he put down, and I hope we have done him proud.”

For his numerous contributions, and overall positive impact, Kelley will be honored at this year’s Rend Lake College Foundation Annual Dinner, set for Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Mt. Vernon Hotel & Event Center (formerly Holiday Inn) on Potomac Boulevard in Mt. Vernon.

In addition to honoring the 2017 Alumnus of the Year, the dinner will also highlight several generous members of the community and celebrate RLC’s 50th Anniversary. It’s an excellent opportunity for people in our communities to come together and support the work of the RLC Foundation.

The Dinner is open to the public. Tickets are $40 per person or $400 for a table of 10. Cocktails will begin at 6 p.m. with the dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the dinner must be purchased in advance. Interested individuals are asked to RSVP by Nov. 27 by contacting the Foundation at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1324, or by sending an e-mail to

“Scouting for Food” Saturday in West Frankfort

By Steve Dunford 

Boy Scouts across the region will be picking up can goods for their annual  “Scouting  for Food Drive” on Saturday.

Last Saturday bags were distributed.

In West Frankfort, troop leader Schannone Steinberger said that,   If someone did not get a bag any bag will work.  If their bag is not picked up by 3:00 please call or text 937-4101 and some one will be there to get it. 


State Route 149 closed between Zeigler and Royalton

ZEIGLER, IL –  Franklin County Emergency Management Agency states that State Route 149 west of Zeigler is closed due to a vehicle fire.

Further updates will be provided as soon as information becomes available.


Gov. Rauner announces plans for new off-road trails


CARRIER MILLS, IL-  (Andrew Feather, WSIL-TV) Please click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

At the Sahara Woods Fish and Wildlife area Tuesday, Illinois governor Bruce Rauner announced plans for a new off-road trail facility he says will bring jobs to Saline County.

“We’ll be getting dozens and I think hundreds of jobs very quickly around here because of the visitors coming to enjoy this park, the hunting, the outdoor hiking and the riding, so this can move the needle very quickly,” Rauner said.

The initial plans include 26 miles of off-road trails at the facility, designed to make better use the 4,100 acre strip mine turned state park.

Site superintendent Eric McClusky says he’s excited because the new trails will add more appeal to the park, hopefully attracting people seeking some outdoor fun.

UPDATED 8:45  a.m.  Press Release from Governor’s Bruce Rauner’s office

— A new project will make southern Illinois a destination for off-road riders, Gov. Rauner said while announcing development of a 26-mile off-highway vehicle trail system at Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area.

“Demand is growing for off-highway vehicle recreation, and this state-of-the-art facility will give riders from across the Midwest a place to enjoy the outdoors,” Rauner said. “Not only will this trail bring additional resources to southern Illinois, it’ll also put Illinois on the map when it comes to offering diverse outdoor experience for riders of all ages.”

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources received a $1.2 million grant from the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which allows the state agency to move forward with the project. IDNR will pitch in an additional $303,000 from its state parks fund to complete the trail.

This will be the first state-owned off-highway vehicle trail facility.

IDNR will oversee design and development of the project. The setting is ideal, agency Director Wayne Rosenthal said.

“There used to be a coal mine at Sahara Woods,” Rosenthal said of the location, which is just west of Harrisburg. “The topography of the reclaimed, strip-mined land will allow us to develop some challenging trails that should attract a lot of interest from OHV enthusiasts.”

Some mine reclamation projects already are ongoing at the site, including interior roadway and boat-access development, as well as openings for limited fishing and hunting programs. State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, said the wildlife area already is a southern Illinois gem, one the new trail system will aid in promoting.

“Expanding on the treasures that Sahara Woods already offers could translate into increased job opportunities and a much-needed economic boost for the region,” Fowler said. “It will go a long way in boosting tourism in Saline County, giving us a platform to continue promoting southern Illinois in the future.”

Federal RTP grants are funded through a portion of motor fuel excise taxes collected from non-highway recreational use, including all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and snowmobiles. Federal law requires that a portion of each state’s RTP funding must be earmarked for motorized trail projects, including trail construction, support facilities, and restoration of areas adjacent to trails.

The recreational area is expected to be ready for riders in spring 2019.