Retrun to summer: Football Friday forecast for the next two weeks

by Steve Dunford

I have not issued a forecast in a few days because it would be a broken record.  I have said it has been coming since I shared the remnants of Irma.

It could be what the old timers called “Indian Summer”.  This is when the multi-colored corn, that people call Indian Corn would be ready for harvest.  This is used in multiple fall decorations.  There is always a cool down, then warm up to summer like conditions around this time of year.

If there are stretches of fair weather, I will not update the forecast.  However, I will always have an update on Thursday or Friday for the weather conditions for High School Football.

Kickoff weather for tomorrow night is supposed to be 80 degrees and mostly sunny.  It sounds like a shorts night instead of a hoodie.

Week 5, which I call rivalry week, it was hotter than blue blazes.  I was able to attend both games against C-Z-R and S-V-W-W and Benton vs West Frankfort.  It was 91 degrees at kickoff at Christopher.  It was 96 at Tabor Field when the horn sounded that Saturday afternoon.

That weekend it is going to be in the upper 80’s with a chance of thunderstorms on Friday.  It will be hot but not as hot as last year.  A lot of things can change in nine days.

There are no advisories out for Southern Illinois.  There is a slight chance of thunderstorms Monday and Wednesday.

Seven Day Forecast

Mostly clear, with a low around 62. Light southeast wind.
Patchy fog before 7am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 86. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 7 mph in the morning.
Friday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 65. South southeast wind 3 to 5 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 7 mph in the morning.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 64. Light south southeast wind.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Calm wind becoming south southwest around 5 mph.
Sunday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. Calm wind.
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Light south wind.
Monday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 66. Calm wind.
Partly sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming south around 6 mph in the morning.
Tuesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. South southeast wind 3 to 5 mph.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 87. Light south southeast wind becoming south 5 to 9 mph in the morning.
Wednesday Night
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 67. South wind 5 to 8 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. South wind 5 to 8 mph.




Document shows Zeigler employee altered bank statements

ZEIGLER, IL – (Andrew Feather, WSIL-TV.  Please click on the link for the full story.  Here is an excerpt.)

A new document obtained as part of an ongoing FBI investigation into City of Zeigler finances could reveal how money turned up missing from city accounts.

It also outlines potential mismanagement by city leaders.

The FBI raided City Hall and city treasurer Ryan Thorpe’s house last month and placed Thorpe on unpaid administrative leave.

Now, a new 22-page report from City Attorney Rebecca Whittington outlines an internal review, which shows city checks made out to an employee, and not to approved vendors.

Bost Votes for Bipartisan Funding Bill

From George O’Connor, Communications Director for Congressman Mike Bost  

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) today voted for H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Act, to fully fund the federal government for Fiscal Year 2018. The legislation—which passed the House with a bipartisan majority – supports America’s rural economies, provides law enforcement resources to fight crime, and promotes small businesses.
“This legislation invests in proven programs that are vitally important to Southern Illinois while also reducing unnecessary and wasteful spending,” said Rep. Bost. “It is Congress’s constitutional responsibility to exercise the power of the purse and this legislation sensibly funds our government and puts the American people first.”

Make America Secure and Prosperous Act:

Spurring Economic Growth:

• Supports America’s rural economies by providing funding for infrastructure development, housing needs, and loans to help expand rural businesses and industries
• Promotes opportunities for American small business to begin, grow, and prosper by providing funding for small business loans and veterans’ small business programs

Supporting Our Farmers:

• Continues funding for critical programs that support farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners, including programs that help with the implementation of the Farm Bill
• Invests in agricultural research by continuing operations at all Agricultural Research Service facilities and supporting the Agriculture Food Research Initiative grant program

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic:

• Enhances drug enforcement efforts within the DEA, including heroin enforcement and combatting transnational organized crime, and increasing funding for DEA’s Diversion Control Program
• Includes funding for drug courts, treatment, and prescription drug monitoring as authorized in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

Supporting National Security:

• Includes funding for physical barrier construction along the Southern border
• Invests in new border technology, new aircraft and sensors, and new inspection equipment to protect the border
• Combats the increasing threat of cyberattacks by funding programs to enhance critical infrastructure and secure government networks

Gas line rupture on Carbon Street in Benton

by Steve Dunford

BENTON, IL-  Benton Firefighters and Ameren Illinois are on the scene of a gas rupture in the 700 block of Carbon Street in Benton.  The rupture was caused by a construction crew.

More information will be provided as it comes available.  Please avoid the area at this time.

UPDATE 10:43 a.m  In an unrelated incident on the east side of town,  Benton Firefighters have been called to a possible gas leak at 403 North Stotlar.

Several reporting no water service, low pressure in the Corinth Water District

by Steve Dunford

CORINTH, IL –There have been several social media reports of low water pressure in the Corinth Water District.

I just spoke with a representative from the district, and they are having trouble with their pump station.  She also said the district is under a boil water order till further notice, and it is district wide.

The Corinth Water District, covers rural areas east of West Frankfort and south of Thompsonville.  The also serve areas southwest of Galatia, and the northeast quadrant of Williamson County.



Z-R Junior High Girls Softball raised over $1K for Coaches vs. Cancer

By Steve Dunford


Randall Risley photo

ZEIGLER, IL-  Over time I have written a couple stories and shared a few links about the incredible work that Zeigler-Royalton Elementary/Junior High and High School has accomplished raising money for Coaches vs. Cancer.

I am going to mention in this story to people that I have a lot of respect for, Z-R superfan Randall Risley, and Tornado Junior High Girls Softball Coach, Amy Garmane.    I will be writing this from my own perspective.

Over the last several years, Z-R has raised $113,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer.  In the tournament over the weekend the junior high softball girls raised $1,058.10.

Let me give you a little background about Z-R Coaches vs. Cancer.  There have been a lot of   This effort has been spearheaded by Randall Risley, who in my book is the face of Zeigler-Royalton sports.  Even back in the 1980’s when I played basketball  Thompsonville, I would always see him sitting behind the bench keeping stats, etc.    I would see him around when I used to referee, and as a sportswriter and being at my son’s football games for C-Z-R I have got to know him..

Risley as well as Z-R High School Basketball Coach Matt Morgan had a conversation about can we do this here at Zeigler.  Both Risley and Morgan lost their fathers at a young age.  As you can see by the figure that I shared above, the rest is history.

I am nearly all the sports at Zeigler-Royalton have some type of fund raiser during the season for CVC.  Last Saturday, it was the junior high girls turn.

They are coached by Amy Garmane.  I have known her since she was in high school, first playing for Vienna, and later Sesser-Valier.  (They might have been co-oping with Waltonville at the time).  She later went on to play college softball for Rend Lake.   She has been an elementary teacher at Z-R for at least the last decade.

She has a passion for softball.  One thing that amazes me and we have not talked about it, she is pregnant and still coaching.  It was revealed Sunday that she and her husband Cory are going to have a little girl.

The Tornadoes went 1-1 on the day losing the opener to Crab Orchard 15-5 and winning the second game to Desoto 11-1.

Here is what the girls did at the plate on the afternoon:

Crab Orchard Game:  Lainey Morris 1-2, Skylar Hudson 1-2, Olyvia Crain 2-3, Hayley Pasquino 1-2, Bella Bate 1-3.

Desoto Game:  Lainey Morris 3-4 with a HR, Skylar Hudson 1-3, Olyvia Crain 2-3 with a HR, Hadleigh Swetz 1-3, Olivia Kirkpatrick 1-2, and Shelby Grove 1-1 with a sac and a walk.

They might have split on the day but their record is beyond 2-0 for the ones who worked real hard to raise $1.000 to fight cancer.  Yes I love sports and a stat freak, however, what was accomplished on the field is secondary to this amazing feat.

I am passionate about any fund raiser to fight cancer.  My mom has been gone over thirteen years to lung cancer, and she was a non smoker.

Any fundraiser the Zeigler-Royalton school district has for Coaches vs. Cancer I would be happy to share and promote.

Awesome job ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!







Zeigler community demands answers about missing money

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

Z-R High School Social Studies Teacher joins over 300 concerned Zeigler citizens over the missing funds in the Zeigler treasury. (WSIL-TV photo.)

People in Ziegler packed Tuesday night’s city council meeting demanding answers as to why FBI agents raided the town hall last month, and the home of the city treasurer.

“The money that’s gone came out of the pockets of the people sitting here,” said Jaime Moyers, a local high school teacher.

Moyers grew up in Ziegler. He said it’s one reason he’s passionate about the city’s issues. In the heated council meeting, he and others called for town leaders to take ownership of their mistakes.

“The last thing that we need to hear here is whitewash because what I need to know is that these elected officials have our best interest in mind,” Moyers said.

Benton man arrested on attempted first degree murder……other charges

West Frankfort woman arrested on obstructing  justice charges

Press Release from Don Jones, Franklin County Sheriff

Franklin County Sheriff’s office photos using WSIL-TV’s format

On 9-13-17 at 8:30 am Deputies responded to a reported break in at a rural Benton residence. Deputies discovered forced entry and conducted a search of the residence. Deputies initially located a female, Eva Y. McPherson age 54 of West Frankfort. McPherson stated she was alone and had the homeowner’s permission to be in the house.

Deputies conducted a search of the house and located a second subject identified as Alan W. Bennett age 47 of Benton hiding in a bedroom. Bennett is wanted on a Franklin County warrant for attempted first degree murder, home invasion, aggravated battery with a firearm and unlawful use of weapons by a convicted felon.

He also will be charged with a second count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon as a handgun was found in his possession at the time of his arrest. McPherson is also being charged with obstructing justice.

Street named after long time pillar of the community in Coello

by Steve Dunford

COELLO, IL –  In my adult life, I spent a lot of time around the village of North City (Coello).  I came to be acquainted with Louis (Louie) Thery.

I spoke this morning with mayor Curtis Overton, about naming a street after Louie Thery, who recently passed away on August 3rd.

Over the years it was my assumption that Thery was a long time, full time employee of the Coello water department, in my conversation with Overton most of the work he performed was volunteer, especially when they had a water main break in the village.

Thery served as a long time village trustee, volunteered with the “Dumplin Gang” and did whatever needed to be done in the city.

I also know first hand that he had two great-nephews he thought a lot of, and spent a lot of time watching them come up the athletic ranks at Sesser-Valier.

In my conversation with Overton, he said after his passing, there were some people that suggested a street in town be named after him.  The two residents that lived on the street agreed to the name change, which the street is directly north of the city park.

In our conversation we agreed that Louie was a type of man that had no enemies, would do anything for anyone, and went about his daily business.

After the next “Dumplin Dinner” I will be writing a story on the “Dumplin Gang” and the work they do for the residents of the small Franklin County village.

RLC, Land of Lincoln Foundation partnering for free legal services

by ReAnne Palmer, Rend Lake College Public Information

INA, IL– Coming in September, Rend Lake College and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation will be partnering to assist individuals with legal barriers to employment. Attorneys from Land of Lincoln will provide on-site free legal services by appointment from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, at Rend Lake College in Applied Science Center, Room 103.

Land of Lincoln attorneys will assist clients with filing petitions for the expunging or sealing of criminal records and will address other employment barriers. It is preferred that attendees bring their criminal records, but it is not required. The services are free and open to the public.

If you are interested in attending the event or would like more information, please contact Charah McKinzie, paralegal for Land of Lincoln, at 618-457-7800, Ext. 133, or Kaylee Smith, Career Services Specialist at Rend Lake College, at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1264.