Several departments called to a large house fire in Royalton last night

Photo from West City Fire Department

 

by Steve Dunford

ROYALTON, IL –  Royalton, Zeigler, Hurst, Williamson County, West Frankfort, and Christopher firefighters, along with the West City Rehab Unit, and MABAS 45 air supply unit were toned to a large structure fire, at 202 S. Mannering Street in Royalton.

Royalton Fire Chief Mike Hooker told WSIL-TV, that crews left around 2:30 a.m. Monday, but were called back a few hours later when the house rekindled. Heavy equipment had to be used to help firefighters put out hot spots.

The house is considered a total loss.

Any information in regards to fundraising etc., please pass along.

 

 

Upward Bound students treated to a little magic

by Reece Rutland

INA, IL  – The Upward Bound program at Rend Lake College celebrated its students with a little magic at the annual Upward Bound Banquet, held RLC’s James “Hummer” Waugh Gymnasium.

This year’s Harry Potter-themed event recognized dozens of local students for their involvement in the academic year program, as well as the summer program. The academic year program focuses on achievement in the classroom, team building, and goal setting activities. The summer program is more intensive with five weeks of classes on the Ina campus. Some students also take part in trips throughout the year and others enroll in RLC credit courses.

During the awards aspect of the banquet, students received certificates for participation in the Upward Bound program and the summer program during the 2016-17 year, for earning straight As, for perfect attendance, for receiving RLC college credit, and many others.

The RLC Upward Bound program is a federally funded college preparatory program designed to provide academic support, personal and career counseling, and cultural and social enrichment to high school participants who have the academic ability to be successful in college. Services are provided at no cost to the student. To learn more about the Upward Bound program, contact Stallman at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1366 or stallmanl@rlc.edu

Reece Rutland is a Public Information Specialist and Sports Information Director for Rend Lake College

 

 

Zeigler-Royalton High School Participants
Front row, from left: Hannah Absher, Brie Bates, Erin Eldridge, Gabby Dover, Lacey Grammer, Dawson Thomas. Back row, from left, Payce Morgan, Draven Witt, Brandon Bates, Chase Bates, Dakota Emery.
( Photos by Reece Rutland – RLC Public Information)

 

Benton High School Participants
Front row, from left: Kendra-jo Sanders, Diamond Anderson, Brandie Anderson. Back row, from left: Desiree Phillips, Alexis Jones, Honey Harvill, Hailey Bryan, Andrew Blackman, Karli Slomka.

 

Hamilton County High School Participants
Front row, from left: Kennedy Moles, Alex Farthing, Emilie Green, Summer Matthews. Back row, from left: Samantha Alverth, Noah Colclasure, Cheyenne Powers, Alesse Strumpher, Kelcie Green, Elizabeth Isaacs.

 

Mt. Vernon Township High School Participants
Front row, from left: Asia Huggins, Jay King, Jasmine Howard, Caleb Isaacs. Back row, from left, Lance White, Casey White, Madison Waters, Ally Vuichard, Lexy McKinney, Hailey Mays.

 

 

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!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royalton residents band together to help hurricane victims

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/36306986/royalton-residents-band-together-to-help-hurricane-victims

Royalton residents come to the aid of victims of Hurricane Harvey. (WSIL-TV photo.

ROYALTON, Il – (Evie Allen, WSIL-TV. Please click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

People in Royalton came together Wednesday to help victims of the deadly hurricane in Texas.

In just two days, they organized a drive that sent a semi full of supplies to the gulf coast.

Babara Patterson says over the weekend she saw a side of her home town she hasn’t seen in years.

Friday, residents reached into their wallets and bought enough goods to send down to Houston Texas.

 

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 High School “Purple Tornadoes”

 

ZEIGLER, IL  –  (Illinois High School Glory Days.  Please click on the link above. Here is an excerpt below.)

The School system in Zeigler is documented at http://www.zeigleril.com/pages/schools.htm.  Zeigler began a school system soon after its first houses were built.  As Zeigler grew and prospered so did the educational facilities.  The first school house was the “Block School”,  In the 1920s the school pictured abovewas built.  This served the children until the 1960s when the building was demolished and a new building was erected.  The grade school pictured below was used for the high school for a bout three years until the new building was finished.
The year was 1962 when the towns of Zeigler and Royalton agreed to consolidate
their efforts.  The Zeigler-Royalton School District was established ending the solo efforts of the two towns.  If you would like to add any information regarding Zeigler High School please e-mail us at eganann@sbcglobal.net

Royalton High School “Pirates”

http://www.illinoishsglorydays.com/id381.html

Royalton High School building in the early 1960’s

ROYALTON, IL  (Illinois High School Glory Days.  Please Click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

Royalton (population 1,130) is located in far southern Illinois about 12 miles southeast of DuQuoin. In its “hey day” in the early 1900s Royalton enjoyed a population of over 3,800!  Illinois Route 149 is the main roadway to and from this southwestern Franklin County town.  The town’s area was settled in the mid 1850s but it was not recognized as an official Illinois town until 1907.  the Missouri Pacific Railroad runs to the southeast of town.  A branch of the Big Muddy River flows through the south side of Royalton.  For some EXCELLENT history and facts about Royalton and its former High School please visit the town’s official website at:
A school was established in Royalton by the late 1800s.  Royalton High School served the town as, at first, a three year school, and later earning a four year high school status.  The original school building was found unsafe in 1936.  A new building was quickly constructed and ready for use in 1937.  This is the building you see pictured above.  Royalton High continued to be the pride and joy of Royalton residents until the early 1960s.  It was then that dwindling enrollment led to a consolidation effort with its neighbor four miles to the northeast, Zeigler.  This effort became a reality in 1962 with the creation of the Zeigler-Royalton School District.
 

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.

LeQuatte named new Regional Office of Education Superintendent

by Steve Dunford

MARION, IL –  Democratic Party County Chairmen from Franklin, Williamson, Johnson, and Massac counties, caucused and  appointed Lorie LeQuatte to succeed Matt Donkin as ROE district #30  Superintendent.

LeQuatte and Donkin – WSIL file photo

LeQuatte a 1989 Zeigler-Royalton, John A. Logan, and SIU graduate, will be taking office on July 1st.  She was the principal of Project Echo, and Star Quest which is alternative school programs near Johnston City.  LeQuatte resides in Herrin.

Donkin stepped down to become Superintendent of Frankfort Community District #168 in his hometown.  Before taking over as Regional Superintendent, he was a Social Studies teacher and later an administrator at Frankfort Community High School.  He steered a troubled office in the right direction, taking over for Barry Kohl.

 

Illinois Legislature passes resolution honoring Z-R Coaches vs. Cancer

by Steve Dunford

From State Represenative Dave Severin’s office

ZEIGLER, IL –  In each of  the six high schools in the county there are some super fans that stick out.  At Z-R it is Randall Risley, or Double R as my good friend Tom Wheeler has me calling him.  I don’t know if I have ever been to a Zeigler-Royalton sporting event that I did not see him.  I can go all the way back to the 1980’s when I slid on the jersey of the Thompsonville Tigers.

Since I have completed my second year of covering high school sports.  I have had the opportunity to be around Randall a lot.  We would cross paths at the Christopher Turkey Tournament, the Sesser-Valier Holiday tournament, and this fall as my son was an offensive lineman for the C-Z-R Bearcats.

I had the opportunity to see him at several games, and he always graciously provides me with pics of the Tornadoes.

Z-R coaches vs. Cancer was founded in the 2009-10 school year by Risley, and Tornadoes Head basketball coach Matt Morgan.  Both lost their fathers to cancer at an early age.  I can easily identify, as I lost my mother in her mid 50’s to lung cancer.

Here is a side note I would like to share.  Six years ago today Matt Morgan was hired as the Tornadoes basketball coach.  He has always been very approachable, and I am proud to call him my friend.

In the seven year time frame Zeigler-Royalton High School has raised over $110,000 for the cause.  This is for a high school that over the years had an average enrollment of around 160.  For the upcoming school year, their enrollment has increased to 180.

Z-R leads the state in this time frame, and they are one of the top schools in the nation in fundraising for Coaches-Vs. Cancer.

State Representative Dave Severin with Zeigler-Royalton High School Principal Quent Hamilton. (from Rep. Severin’s office)

The Illinois House of Representatives passed Resolution #379, sponsored by Rep. Dave Severin (R – Benton).  The resolution will be posted at the bottom of the story. 

Rep Severin was at Art Brandon Gymnasium to present the resolution to Risley and the rest of the individuals that worked so hard in the community.  Severin made the following statement.   “Zeigler-Royalton Coaches vs. Cancer is an incredible group.” Rep. Severin said, “Zeigler-Royalton community is neither the biggest nor the wealthiest but somehow, year after year, they are one of the top fundraisers in all of Illinois. The numbers speak for themselves and what Zeigler-Royalton has been able to do is nothing short of amazing.”

In accepting the award, Risley had the following remarks, “The Zeigler-Royalton community is small but we are proud to say we have had a bigger impact than any other high school in the state since we started,” Risley said. “I really appreciate the recognition from Representative Severin as we are all so proud of what we have been able to accomplish.”

Congratulations to the Z-R community for continuing great things for a great cause. Watch for postings for fundraisers for Coaches-vs.-Cancer in the upcoming school year.

From the Z-R Coaches vs. Cancer Facebook page.