Therapeutic Massage Conference to cover Pillossage Nov. 7-8

INA – Massage Therapists can get hands-on with their continuing education this fall at the Therapeutic Massage Conference, scheduled for 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Nov. 7-8, at the Rend Lake College MarketPlace, Room 354, in Mt. Vernon.

The theme of the conference will center on Pillossage, a new treatment sweeping the hearts and hands of massage therapists across the country. Guest speaker and Registered Nurse Karen Kowal, LMT, will discuss the Pillossage techniques with several modules, including Shoulders to Hips; Hips, Glutes, ITBand to the Toes; The Forgotten Chest; Shoulder Therapy; Sinus Therapy; Cervical Therapy; and Self-Care Techniques.

RLC Massage Therapy Professor Michael Adamson said Pillossage is one of the newest and greatest techniques in the field.

“Pillossage is a nice addition to any massage therapist’s tool box because it can provide clients with an effective, comfortable, and memorable massage experience that is easy on the client and therapist as well,” said Adamson.

Pillossage and Mother Earth Pillows are self-care products that treat pain while decreasing the strain on the therapist. Pillossage Bodywork reduces numerous types of painful client conditions, directly treats dysfunctions that cause pain, improves mobility and flexibility, softens connective tissue, relaxes and lengthens muscle fibers, softens scar tissue, decreases stress and anxiety, and stimulates the release of Endorphins and Oxytocin.

The conference is sponsored by RLC, Stress Knot Massage of Mt. Vernon, and the South Central Illinois Area Health Education Center (SCI-AHEC). Certificates and 16 continuing education hours will be provided for those who complete the class. Massage tables will be provided; however, participants are asked to bring a flat sheet and face-rest cover. Comfortable clothing is suggested.

Adamson added, “Illinois Massage Therapy license renewal is due at the end of this year. This conference will provide 16 of the 24 continuing education hours required for licensure renewal at a very affordable cost that is close to home.”

The conference costs $200 per person and includes lunch both days. To register, contact Stephanie Smith in the RLC Community and Corporate Education Division at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1714 or Spots at the conference are limited to the first 20 who register by Friday, Oct. 31.

Shimkus accepting applications for military academies

Maryville, Illinois — Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) is now accepting applications from young men and women interested in attending one of the United States military academies.  High school seniors, college students, and anyone interested should apply now for summer 2015 admission.

“As the school year begins, many students are thinking about what’s next.  As a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, I am eager to provide information and assistance with nominations to the military academies,” Shimkus stated.

To be eligible for appointment, you must be a United States citizen; at least 17 and not more than 23 years of age on July 1, 2015; unmarried; not pregnant; have no dependents; and a legal resident of the 15th Congressional District of Illinois.  Average acceptable ACT scores are 24 in English/reading and 25 in math.

Applications are accepted for the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado; U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York; U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York.

Those seeking more information or who are interested in applying for any or all of the academies should write or call for an application packet from Congressman John Shimkus, 15 Professional Park Drive, Maryville, IL 62062; (618)288-7190.

Completed applications must be received by November 5, 2014.  The Congressman nominates to the academies; however, academy officials actually make the final selection regarding admission.  Those accepted into an academy will be notified in early 2015.

“I encourage young men and women with any level of interest to contact us now,” Shimkus added.  “There are several steps in this process, and applications must be filed with both my office and online with the individual academies.”

Science Center in need of volunteers

The Science Center of Southern Illinois, located in the University Mall in Carbondale, will be holding an orientation for potential volunteers on Wednesday, September 10 and Thursday, September 11 at 3:30 p.m. at The Science Center.  Individuals who are interested in volunteering but who can’t attend one of the sessions are encouraged to contact the Science Center at 529-5431.

Artisan’s program deadline is Oct. 12

The Illinois Artisans Program is looking for talented artisans.

All areas of arts and crafts, including folk, traditional, contemporary, and ethnic, as well as fine art forms are eligible.

Created in 1985 by Governor James R. Thompson, the program provides economic and exhibition opportunities for Illinois artists. Once juried, artisans participate in art sprees, craft festivals and exhibitions.

The Illinois Artisans Program focuses national attention on the rich heritage of the fine crafting that exists in Illinois. Over its 30-year history, the program has expanded across the state from The James R. Thompson Center to inside The Illinois State Museum’s Museum Store and The Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center.

For additional information, call the Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center at 629-2220.

The Artisans Center is located at 14967 Gun Creek Trail next to the Rend Lake Golf Course

County Board anticipates budget cuts

Franklin County Board finance committee Chairman Jim McPhail cautioned board members of pending budget cuts during Tuesday’s rescheduled committee meetings.

Franklin County Farm Bureau News

By Gay Bowlin, Manager

Is everyone enjoying the beautiful weather we have been having?  Well I know that the farmers are saying a very enthusiastic “Thank you” to the Lord above for finally giving them the weather that they have been craving.

Gay Bowlin

Gay Bowlin

There is an the old wives tail of “No rain on Easter” that means no rain for seven Sundays.  Not sure exactly how accurate this weather forecast is but hey we’ll take whatever nice weather we can get.

Many farmers in the county have not gotten any planting done yet but are looking forward to next week when planting should be well underway.

Thinking of adding more corn acres to your rotation? Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association (FBFM) data from four of the last five years indicate higher costs overcome any revenue advantage gained from growing more corn. Check details at

Melissa Lamczyk, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, had been very busy at schools throughout the county.  Even though it is getting close to the end of the school year she continues to go into the classrooms and will be involved in the Earth Day events next week at Rend Lake Visitor’s Center.  If you know of anyone who would like to have Melissa come to their classroom just give us a call at 435-3616 and let us know.

The Young Leaders Pork Loin Sale was a huge success with just over $1,000 being raised for scholarships this year.

The Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program offered by Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) is good for students and farming. How so? It helps out nurses and it helps out rural healthcare. It’s a win-win all around!

Twenty percent of the U.S. population live in rural areas, but only nine percent of physicians practice there. The Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program (RNPSP), now in its twenty-second year, supports nurses who want to become nurse practitioners and serve in rural communities.

There are five scholarships of $4,000 granted each year to nurse practitioner students who agree to practice for two years in an approved rural area in Illinois. The program is sponsored by the  Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois State Medical Society.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be Illinois residents and be a Registered Nurse accepted or enrolled in an accredited Nurse Practitioner Program. Funding is provided by the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program.

This scholarship has helped many qualified applicants hurdle financial needs or borderline academic barriers to receive a medical education. In all, more than 55 students have benefited from loans and recommendations to the University of Illinois.

The application deadline of May 1 is just around the corner! Applications are available at county Farm Bureaus, on the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program website at, or by contacting the Special Services Department.  Illinois Farm Bureau, PO Box 2901, Bloomington, IL 61702-2901.

The Jay Webb Memorial Antique Tractor Drive will be on May 10th and everyone is welcome – there is a $10 registration fee and the first 15 to register will receive a t-shirt. We will drive around Rend Lake and eat fish at the Barren Township Building.  If you need more information or want to register please call the office at 435-3616.

Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Thanks to graphic design at RLC, Skyler Taylor may never work again

INA, Ill. – Though the path was winding, 2002 Rend Lake College graduate Skyler Taylor has used his graphic design degree to find the perfect fit for himself and his family: Vine Church in Carbondale. Taylor said he loves what he does; working for a non-profit in design that allows his creativity to flourish, but it also gives him time to set aside for his family. For him, it’s not going to work every day, it’s living the life he was born for.

Originally from Wayne City, Taylor attended Rend Lake College from 2000-2002 when he received an Associate of Arts Degree with emphasis in art and design. He took that degree to Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design.

Skyler Taylor, SECOND FROM LEFT, said starting his education at RLC led him down the path to his current job at Vine Church in Carbondale.

Skyler Taylor, SECOND FROM LEFT, said starting his education at RLC led him down the path to his current job at Vine Church in Carbondale.

“Being from Wayne City, a small rural town with a graduating class of 50 students, SIUC seemed like a metropolis. It sounds funny to say now, but the first time I was on SIUC’s campus, I was almost sick to my stomach because of how large it was,” said Taylor. “RLC was a great transition for me, because I learned a lot of life lessons. I think I would have had a lot further to fall if I went all in at a university.”

At RLC, Taylor said he remembers several staff members who stood out and pushed him the most toward getting an education, including Dorothy DeAngelo, Steve Kennett and Tracey Webb.

Though not technically an instructor, Taylor said DeAngelo taught him several important lessons, including one that he’s not likely to repeat any time soon.

“She hired me to work at the bookstore stocking shelves, but, good-intentioned as I was, I couldn’t seem to get to work on time. Once, she asked me to open the store while she was on vacation, and I was 30 minutes late,” he said. “When she returned, she quietly fired me. Luckily, I learned my lesson, and that job remains the only one I’ve been fired from.”

When it came to instructors, Taylor said Kennett was the one who pushed him the most academically.

“His philosophy class usually filled up very quickly, and when I finally got in, I understood why. No one had challenged me intellectually the way he did,” he said. “Many of my assumptions of who I was to ‘be’ were never the same after his class. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, for instance, still sticks with me, and started the long journey that eventually led me to give up commercial work and go full-time at a non-profit church.”

“Being involved in the theatre productions with Tracey are among my fondest memories at RLC. I loved every moment of it, even when she was frustrated with us for barely trying. Our improv troupe was also incredibly fun.”

After graduating from RLC and SIUC, Taylor started getting serious about his graphic design career.

“I have been fortunate in that I was able to get a job in my major almost immediately after graduating SIUC,” he said. “I started doing graphic design at a T-shirt shop. While I was there, I did illustration and layout for silk-screened shirts.”

About one year later, Taylor took a job with Arthur Agency, a small start-up advertising agency, where he kick-started a career with big projects, such as one for the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team. Together with the Arthur Agency team, Taylor created a logo, the mascots, team uniforms, and other elements found in the stadium today.

“They were small, but they had big dreams and were willing to take a lot of risk,” said Taylor. “I had a lot of fun and gained valuable experience working with clients, managing projects, getting files ready to print, and developing brand strategy for a variety of companies.”

Currently, Taylor is the Art Director and Lead Designer at Vine Church in Carbondale, where he gets to balance his personal values with his love of design. On the side, Taylor does freelance work that varies from branding local businesses to developing websites to planning technology conferences. His website,, showcases all of his work.

“Of course, with all the opportunities I’ve been afforded, I do make sure that my family gets the priority they deserve. Part of my decision to work at a non-profit in a place as small as Carbondale is too allow for my attention to not get diverted too easily from what I feel matters the most in my life,” Taylor added.

As for the future, Taylor said he isn’t planning on any big career moves, but leisure travel may be in the works.

“As much as I’d like to set out on another adventure and embark on something new, I know Carbondale is a good fit for my family right now. I feel like the work I’m doing in Carbondale at Vine Church is meaningful work, and I count myself fortunate to be a part of it,” he said. “At the same time, I’m allowing room for the possibility of travel, and even international travel, if the opportunity arises. At this point, I have friends in Switzerland, India, Scotland, and on both U.S. coasts, so there are a lot of avenues open.”

IHSA replies to action by Illinois House

Statement by IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman regarding HR 0895 that was approved today by the Illinois House:

“We believe that the Illinois High School Association has been a model of transparency in the great state of Illinois for over 100 years. The Association has nothing to hide and will be fully cooperative with the General Assembly, as we have done on so many other issues before.

We wish Representative Chapa LaVia had provided the courtesy of discussing any issues she believes exist within our organization prior to the introduction of this Resolution, which has unfairly cast the Association in a negative light. While we believe the hearings she proposes will be an unnecessary strain on the time and resources of both the General Assembly and the IHSA, we welcome the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions this Resolution has created.

As we await word from the General Assembly on the next step in this process, it will be business as usual at the IHSA: administering spring sports and activities for the hundreds of thousands of high school students in Illinois who participate in them.

We will also maintain posting our financial information online for the public to review (  click Documents tab), continue to be a national leader in student-athlete safety and offer one of the largest and most inclusive rosters of programs for high school students in the country.”


Two Concealed Carry trainings left for spring semester at RLC

INA, Ill. (March 24, 2014) – Two more Concealed Carry training classes will be offered during the spring semester at Rend Lake College. The sessions are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6 and Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4. All classes will last from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. both days in RLC Coal Mine Training Center, Room 107 on the Ina campus and the RLC Range.

The session previously scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27, has been cancelled.

Fingerprinting will be available on the first day of each session, April 5 and May 3. The cost to be fingerprinted is $50 in cash or $52 with a credit or debit card. A state-issued identification card is required to participate in this service.

In addition, attendees must bring a valid FOID card to the first day of class. Instructions will be provided to students regarding bringing a handgun and two boxes of unopened factory ammunition to the second day of the training session. Handguns will be inspected by RLC certified instructors.

The costs of the courses are $200 for Illinois residents or $300 for out-of-state students.

Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. For more information or to enroll, contact the RLC Community and Corporate Education Division at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1714 or at Visit us online at

Our Universities: Awash in Bad Paper

Students borrow too much.  What’s worse, the institutions they borrow too much to attend, borrow too much.  A ferocious cycle is created: endlessly optimistic and apparently never satisfied.

“Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.”

— Samuel Johnson —


By Walter Wendler

The higher education debt bubble is bursting at both ends. According to a Josh Freedman post on Forbes last week, “The Hidden College Problem: When Universities, Not Just Students, Take On Debt,” the challenges are present at many universities.  Debt is taken on for projects tangential to educational purpose.  U.C. Berkeley has racked up a $.5 billion tab for a renovated football stadium.

Walter V. Wendler

Walter V. Wendler

CAL borrowed so much to keep up with the Joneses that the Moody’s General Revenue Bonds rating for the University of California juggernaut sank from Aa1 to Aa2. Berkeley may be the best public university in the world, but its adoption of the “mine-is-bigger-than yours” model of academic excellence is shortsighted and out of character.  It’s not an anomaly unfortunately, but an endemic ailment affecting higher education institutions of every stripe.

Eva Bogaty, Moody’s Vice President, is wary at best. “Although higher education institutions have shown willingness and ability to adapt to weak economic conditions, the uncertain funding and regulatory environments will overshadow the sector’s strengths in the near term.”  Bogaty does not mention demographic changes and the falling numbers of college-ready high school graduates.  And these are not the unemployed single mothers of two, or laid-off dads, who come back to school to earn a degree with marketability to make ends meet, and who care little about football and fancy dining halls.  These determined students understand purpose as did Russell Crowe’s Jim Braddock in Cinderella Man when he proclaimed he was “fight[ing] for milk.”

Students have swallowed a trillion dollars in debt.  They’re gagging.   The campus debt problem, created in part by emaciated universities competing for students packing subsidized loans is unsustainable. Universities should right the fiscal ship based on mission, not maybes.
John Rockefeller’s University of Chicago rate of gobbling up debt tops the elite private school list. According to a Michael McDonald and Brian Chappatta post in Bloomberg last week, the University is “… in the midst of a $1.7 billion development plan. The plan prompted S&P and Moody’s Investors Service to cut the school’s credit outlook to negative. Chicago already has $3.6 billion of debt — the most relative to its endowment among the richest U.S. schools.”

The debt would make Mr. Rockefeller, the famously generous but simultaneously meticulously calculating penny-pincher, cry in his crude.
And not just the state flagships or prestigious privates are taking on water.  According to Freedman other universities are awash in questionable paper, “…schools like The College of New Jersey are stuck paying a large portion of their revenue (TCNJ paid 7.2% in 2012) in interest payments with few other options.”  These may be the “underwater mortgages” of the mid twenty-first century.

Monetary machinations hidden in the labyrinths of fiscal gamesmanship allow leaders to hide tuition and fee increases, deflecting attention from essential educational costs.  Education costs have increased to be sure, but not as dramatically as the cost of curb appeal.  Football, five-star dining, and other expensive accoutrements are lustrous losers for too many universities, and the seers of credit worthiness know it.  The child’s rejoinder “everybody’s doin’ it” won’t float much longer.

Distance education as the salvation from wanton expense for the gratuitous trappings of the “Great Gatsby,” or the ludicrous indifference to purpose of “Animal House,” are delusions.  Distance education offerings are being used to subsidize increasing costs of campus attendance escalated by non-instructional expenditures. Masqueraded as an elixir, such obfuscation and shortsightedness is a disaster akin to the Titanic’s iceberg.
The increasing indebtedness is sinking schools; the undertow drowning students. An unwillingness to focus on academic intention is choking the life out of U.S. higher education.  It is a slow moving malady rather than a runaway freight train. The latter would draw more appropriate attention and concern.  The former allows the can to be kicked down the road.  The pension systems in too many states serve as a bellwether. And the similarities to the foul lending practices through an asleep-at-the-switch-not-my-fault home mortgage industry and its regulators provide uncanny — even frightening — parallel universes.

Our universities should be attentive to purpose and hold academic pursuits above all else, no matter how much money they can borrow.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News