Bennett Metal Products donates to Rend Lake College Machining Program

INA, Ill. — Rend Lake College machining students will have new equipment to work with thanks to a generous donation from an area business.

Bennett Metal Products, Inc., located in Mt. Vernon, recently contributed an Okuma CNC LB15 Lathe along with a monetary donation to purchase toolboxes for RLC’s Machining program.

Jim and Robin Stowers, owners of Bennett Metal Products, were on the Ina Campus Tuesday to present the new equipment in the college’s machine shop. Jim Stowers said the lathe machine will give students a chance to gain experience with equipment they may encounter in their future profession.

“It’s great for the students. It gives them more opportunities to come into the workforce prepared,” Stowers said.

Machining instructor Ken Lund agreed, saying the new equipment will give students greater chances to expand their work skills while studying at Rend Lake College.

The Stowers are steadfast supporters of Rend Lake College and local education with Robin serving on the Rend Lake College Foundation Board of Directors.

“Jim and Robin Stowers have been very supportive of Rend Lake College and we appreciate their generous investment in our Machining Program. Their investment in machining equipment and technology assists RLC in ensuring our students are adequately trained and ready to enter the industry upon completion of the program,” said Kay Zibby-Damron, CEO of the RLC Foundation.

To learn more about RLC’s Machining program, or the vast number of degrees and certificates offered at Rend Lake College, visit

Influential House Democrat calls chaotic South Carolina debate a ‘disgrace’

Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan called the fiery debate in South Carolina overnight a “disgrace” and chided the Democratic candidates for trying to destroy each other rather than debate the issues.

Here’s a link to the story at Fox News.

Apprenticeship programs showcased at Rend Lake College

INA, Ill. — Students and businesses from around the region got a firsthand look at how apprenticeships benefit the local workforce Wednesday at Rend Lake College.

RLC hosted Apprenticeship Works! — a program that showcased how local businesses have worked with the college to give students on-the-job training that will benefit them during their future careers.

Representatives from Northern American Lighting, Continental Tire and Phoenix Modular Elevator all spoke during a panel session where they answered questions about how the program has benefited their businesses and employees. Current students working as apprentices also discussed their experience utilizing Apprenticeship Works! The apprenticeships allow students to attend school and earn a degree or certificate while also working a paid job. Most businesses also pay tuition for the students in their apprenticeship programs.

Interested in getting involved in your own apprenticeship? Rend Lake College has a variety of partners across a multitude of different industries. To learn more about these apprenticeship programs, contact RLC Career Technical Education Support Specialist Joy Fitts at or 618-437-5321 Ext. 1280.

Rod Blagojevich accused of ‘moral turpitude’ at hearing on his law license

Rod Blagojevich was famously convicted of an array of brazen corruption schemes as governor, but in a cramped administrative hearing room on Tuesday he was accused of something else.

Here’s a link to the story at the Chicago Tribune.

Fundraising effort underway to make “The Hub” a reality at RLC

INA, Ill. — Plans to expand and enhance the Learning Resource Center at Rend Lake College are well underway.

At its Annual Dinner in December, the Rend Lake College Foundation launched The HUB fundraising campaign with the announcement of a very generous lead gift from George and Mary Slankard. “We are very grateful for Mr. and Mrs. Slankard’s strong commitment to Rend Lake College. The Slankard’s are passionate about education and they care deeply about the future of our area,” said Kay Zibby-Damron, Chief Executive Officer of the RLC Foundation.

Here’s a link to the story.

New semester, new beginnings at RLC

INA, Ill. — Opportunities are endless at Rend Lake College, especially for those looking for a fresh start. And the chance to build upon your skills or choose a new career path is fast approaching.

Here’s a link to the story.

RLC has plenty of studio art classes to offer in coming semesters

Rend Lake College offers a variety of studio art classes each semester that can help nurture your skills in many different mediums. And these classes are not just for students looking to pursue an art degree. Anyone interested in honing their talents is welcome to register. To learn more, or to register, visit

Here’s a link to the story at Rend Lake College.

Missouri farm awarded $265M in suit against BASF and Bayer

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A jury on Saturday awarded $265 million in punitive damages to a southeastern Missouri peach farmer who argued that weedkiller dicamba that had drifted onto his orchards from other farms had severely damaged his trees — an award that could bode well for other farmers suing the chemical’s makers.

Here’s a link to the story in the Southern Illinoisan.

State releases $500 million for statewide technology innovation network; SIU included as a hub

Here’s a link to the story at the Southern Illinoisan.

State lawmakers face opposition to proposal to end cash bail system in Illinois

State lawmakers are considering changes to the state’s criminal justice system, including a proposal to end cash bail in Illinois.

Here’s a link to the story.

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