Prosecutor: Benton man stole $500,000 from employer

BENTON –  A Benton man now faces federal fraud charges for stealing more than $500,000 from his employer.

The U.S. Attorney charged Cary E. Mosley, 48, of Benton with six counts each of wire and mail fraud.

Please click on the link of the full story from WSIL-TV

Norah Jane Gariepy – Benton, IL

Norah Jane Gariepy, “Miss Jane”, 78, of Benton IL, passed away at 11:25 p.m., on  December 30, 2017, at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah, KY.

She was born on July 18, 1939, to Stanley and Geneva (Williams) Pemberton. Norah Jane married Robert Dean Gariepy on June 22, 1963. They lived their 54 years of married life in Benton, IL.

Norah Jane was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She took pride in her children and grandchildren. She supported them in sports, extra curricular activities, and life.

Norah Jane started her career at Lincoln Grade School as a first grade teacher after graduating from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her passion for education lead her to help start the EMH Program at Benton Consolidated High School.

Miss Jane was the owner and operator of Miss Jane’s Jack and Jill Nursery School. She was very loving and had a passion for helping build children’s learning foundations for future success. Her motto was “Education begins with love.” Norah Jane always loved seeing prior students, hearing of their success, and watching them grow into fine adults.

Norah Jane is survived by her loving husband Robert, two daughters, Lisa Gariepy of Benton, IL and Suzanne (Michael) McGuire of Benton, IL; one son, Stephen (Cathy Creed) Gariepy of Murphysboro, IL; several grandchildren, Rachel Miller of St. Louis, MO, Madison McGuire of Champaign, IL, Everett Gariepy of Murphysboro, IL, Landyn McGuire of Benton, IL,  Andrea Miller of Benton, IL,  and Haighdyn McGuire of Benton, IL; one sister, Diann (Robert) Keith of Benton, IL; and one sister-in-law, Kindra Pemberton of Macedonia, IL.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Stanley and Geneva  Pemberton, and one brother, John Pemberton.

Services have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St. Benton, IL.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, from  5:00 p.m. to  8:00 p.m., at Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, January 4, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., at the Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL, with the Reverend Kurt Sanders, officiating.

Burial will take place following services at Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery in Benton, IL.

Memorials may be made to the Benton Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at

Benton upsets Pinckneyville, plays for DTHC championship tonight at 8:30

By Steve Dunford 

PINCKNEYVILLE –  The Panthers raced out to a 7-0 lead this afternoon, but Rangers went on a run themselves to take a 10-7 lead in the first quarter. They never looked back for the win against undefeated Pinckneyville 51-41.

The Benton lead was as many as 15 in the third quarter.

Benton (11-2) will face Trenton-Wesclin (10-1) in tonight’s Championship game at 8:30 p.m.

Pinckneyville (12-1) will face their Perry County rivals the DuQuoin Indians (7-5) in the third place game at 7:00 p.m.

Scoring and other information will be added to this story.

Katherine Shew of Benton earns scholarship to SIU Carbondale

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Katherine Shew of Benton is the recipient of a Dean’s Transfer Scholarship at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for the fall 2018 semester. Scholarships are based on academic merit and potential for superior achievement in college.

Shew is attending Rend Lake College. A 2015 graduate of Benton Consolidated High School, she is the daughter of Elizabeth and Jeff Shew of Benton.

Shew plans to major in cinema and photography at SIU Carbondale.

SIU Carbondale is in the top 5 percent of public U.S. institutions for research.  The university offers 229 degree and certificate programs representing every major academic disciplinary area. In addition, a large number of scholarship opportunities are available.

To learn more, visit or contact the Academic Scholarship Office, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, at 618/453-4628.


Benton businesses rally around 10-year-old diagnosed with cancer

BENTON — Benton rallies around a ten-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of brain cancer.

A doctor diagnosed Makanda Williams with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG, and because there’s no cure or even a good treatment, her family has to go to Mexico for an experimental procedure.

Makanda Williams – File Photo

Makanda Williams hurt herself on a slide in May during a school field trip. When she went to the hospital, doctors found a tumor on her brain stem, starting a long journey for the child.

“I’ve been kind of scared sometimes and I mostly like to forget about it like I don’t have cancer,” Williams said. “I like to run around with just my brother and sister and just forget about the cancer.

Please click to read the full story and the video from Joe Ragusa of WSIL-TV

Rangers escape West Frankfort with a win by the skin of their teeth

By Steve Dunford 

WEST FRANKFORT – Looking at the records, you would think the Benton Rangers would be heavily favorites in tonight’s game with the West Frakfort Redbirds.

It is Benton and West Frankfort though.  I have always said that if two stray tom cats. one from Benton and one from WF would get in a fight in 18 Bottoms, it would draw a crowd.

The only blemish on the Rangers record is an overtime loss to Anna-Jonesboro in the season opener at the Goreville Invitational.  The Redbirds came into the game with a goose egg in the win column.

The Rangers made the six-mile trip home tonight pulling out a 49-45 win over their arch rivals in a nip and tuck contest.

Keagan Thrash at the FT line for the Redbirds. He had a game high 16 points last night.

The Redbirds jump out to an early 6-0  lead. In the first play of the game, the Redbirds pound it in to Bradlee Croslin, C.J. Johnaon hits the back in of two free throws, and Keagan Thrash steps out from behind the arc to hit a 22 footer on the wing.

Benton goes on a tear from behind the arc.  Hamilton Page started it, then Cade Thomas, then Parker Williams and finally Carson Lewis to put Benton up 12-8.

The Redbirds began chipping away.  At the :24 second mark of the quarter Brett Bonenberger scored the first points in the paint to put the Rangers up at the end of the first quarter 14-11.  Bonenberger gave Coah Ron Winemiller some big minutes in the post.

In the second frame the threes keep coming Gerhig Wynn got in on the fun then Willams agian, sandwiched in between another bucket on the post by Boenberger.  At that Point the Rangers were up 23-13 and looked like they were in command.

The teams began to trade buckets and Coach Winemiller calls a time out just under the two minute mark.  He and assistant coach Wade Thomas go back into their Foxes days and burn clock the rest of the first half.  The teams go to the locker rooms with Benton up  28-23.

Benton kept a five to seven point lead thorugh most of the third quarter, then West Frankfort came with a late rally to cut it to one, and Cade Thomas hit a buzzer beater to put West Frankfort 35-33 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter both teams traded jabs.  Brett Boneberger steps out and hits a three to make it 38-35.   The Redbirds end up going up to take their first and only lead of the night on a steal from Kyle Hammers which he goes coast to coast.

Stepping up big in the fouth quarter for the Redbirds is Bradlee Croslin.  He had six of his 12 points in the final stanza.  I don’t have the rebound stats yet, but I would not be surpised if he had a double double.   Defensively, he pushed Parker Williams to get most of his ponts behind the arc.

By far it was the best game I have watched Croslin play.  “He played a tremendous game.  He is not satisfied where he is at.  He gives me maximum effort every time out.”  Redbird coach Kevin Toney said after last night’s game.

In the maroon, Gehrig Wynn was ice at the free throw line down the stretch was going 6/6, and making it a two posession game twice   “He was who we wanted there. Our four seniors (Page, Williams, Thomas as well) that have have been seeing varsity minutes since sophmores were big tonight.” Coach Winemiller siad.

“When you come in here (WF) it is always a fight.  I came down here and watched them play Eldorado, and knew we were going to have our hands full. We held Johnson to five points tonight with him averaging 18 or 19.  This is a very good 0-6 basketball team.  Coroslin and Thrash are a handful down low.”  We were up ten a couple times and they kept fighting back.” Coach Winemiller said in his post game comments.

The Rangers travel to Nashville tonight to face the 4-2 Hornets at the Assembly Hall.  Long time sucessful girls coach Wayne Harre is now at the helm of the boys’ program after Brad Weathers retired.

Nashville has been on a roll in their last three games.  They beat A-J 61-36, Waterloo Gibault 37-21 and beat Sparta 52-16 (not a misprint) last night.

The Rangers have been road warriors this week.   “We will be heading up there with our third road game this week, and all three are tough places to play.  Bultman and the Parker Brothers are loads.  I am a little concerned about our legs.” Coach Ron Winemiller said.

The kids were receptive in practice all week.  “Their effort has been there.  I could not ask for anymore.  It is a matter of correction of  basketball skills.  When we get that first one (win) it will be huge for us.”  Coach Kevin Toney said after last night’s win.

Todd Tripp’s Goreville Blackcats (4-2) are coming to Max Morris gym this evening.  Their backcourt of Peyton Massey and Braden Webb has been banged up all year.  “I don’t know whether Webb is healthy, but he makes them go.  If he is,  the dribble drive pennetration could cause us problems.”

The “sixth man: showed up big for the Redbirds tonight

It has been nearly two weeks since Goreville has played.  The gap in their schedule was great timing so they can lick their wounds.

The Redbirds had their sixth man last night.  There was a near full boisterous student section last night. They all were in their pajamas.  I said they all looked like they were going Black Friday Shopping at Walmart.  I heard several variations of the theme.

Box Score

BENTON (49)  Williams 3 2 1-2 13, Page 2 1 4-6 11, Wynn 0 1 6-6 9, Bonnenberger 2 1 0-1 7, Thomas 1 1 0-1 5,  Lewis 0 1 0-0 3, Morris 0 0 1-2 1

WEST FRANKFORT (45)  Thrash 3 3 1-2 16, Croslin 6 0 0-1 12, Hammers 4 0 1-1 9, Johnson 2 0 1-2 5, Wolfe 1 0 1-2 3, B. Russell 0 0 0-0 0, J Russell 0 0 0-0 0, Melvin 0 0 0-0 0

Score by Quarters

BENTON (7-1)(2-0)  14 – 14 – 7 – 14  –  49

WEST FRANKFORT (0-6)(0-2)  11 – 12 – 9 – 13 – 45







Local businesses band together to support ‘Shop with a Cop’

BENTON – On Friday, Dec. 15 dozens of local children will get the chance to go Christmas shopping with some of Benton’s finest.


William McPherson – Gazette Photo

Lewis Barnhart, the Owner at S & S Mufflers & Tires stopped by Fred’s on Tuesday to make a monetary donation to the program. Barnhart and Fred’s manager Linda Sanders discussed how much it meant to them to see the community involvement in such a worthy project. Sanders shared several stories from past years of local children in need being helped by the generosity of Benton Police Officers.

Please click on the link below to read the full story from William McPherson of the Benton Gazette.

Rangers move to 5-1 with Ohio Division win over Herrin

By Jim Muir

 BENTON — Cade Thomas scored 22 points and the Benton defense held Herrin to eight second half points as the Rangers opened SIRR Ohio Division play Friday night with a 47-27 victory over Herrin.

A large and enthusiastic crowd was on hand at Rich Herrin Gym for the home-opener and the first game in the tough Ohio Division. After both teams played to a 12-12 first quarter score, Benton began the second frame with back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers – two by Gehrig Wynn and one by Mason Morris to open up a nine point lead at 21-12. Benton led 26-19 at halftime.

“Overall I was pleased with the way we played,” said Benton Coach Ron Winemiller. “I thought Cade played well and the three 3-pointers in a row was a big turning point. I thought we settled in and really guarded them in the second half.”

The victory moved Benton to 5-1 on the season with a tough week of basketball in front of them. The Rangers are on the road for the next three games, traveling to Carmi-White County on Tuesday and then head back to Ohio Division play on Friday night with a road game against cross-county rival West Frankfort. Benton will close out the busy week by traveling to Nashville on Saturday night to face the always-tough Hornets.

“This is a very big week for us,” said Winemiller. “All three are tough places to play but if we can guard like we did tonight we are going to have a chance in most games we play.”

Along with Thomas’ 22 points, Wynn also double figures with 11 points, followed by sophomore Carson Lewis with seven points, Parker Williams with four points and Morris with three. Brandon Anthony led Herrin with 13 points.

Pairings were released this week for the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic in Pinckneyville. The tournament is a 12-team pool format with four pools with three teams in each pool.  The tournament runs two days, Dec. 29 and Dec. 30. The Rangers are in Pool B with Greenville and Cissna Park. Benton will face Cissna Park on Dec. 29 at 3:30 p.m. in the Auxiliary Gym and then that night face Greeenville in an 8:30 p.m. contest at Duster Thomas Gymnasium. Game times for December 30 are determined by each team’s record on the opening day. Teams in Pool A are Pinckneyville, Jerseyville and Olney, Pool C is Wesclin, Carterville and Trico and Pool D is Jerseyville, Du Quoin and Elverado.











Benton Police make three arrests over the weekend

BENTON, IL- On December 1st, 2017 Benton Police were dispatched to the 100 block of Virginia Street in reference to a criminal trespass complaint.
Upon investigating, police arrested Jennifer R. Shelton, age 28, of Benton for criminal trespass. Shelton was transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

On December 1st, 2017 Benton Police were dispatched to the 800 block of Highland Street in reference to a domestic disturbance.
Upon investigating, police arrested Brandon Rodriguez, age 30, of Ellenboro, NC for domestic battery. Rodriguez was charged and transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

On December 2nd, 2017 Benton Police were dispatched to the 400 block of Lickliter Street in reference to a domestic disturbance.
Upon investigating, police arrested Zachary Odam, age 30, of Benton for domestic battery and unlawful restraint.
Odam was charged and transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

Rangers go 4-1 at Goreville, finish in second place

By Jim Muir

Prior to the start of the 6th Annual Goreville Invitational Tournament Benton Coach Ron Winemiller said the opening night game between his Rangers and Anna-Jonesboro “could be the championship game.” After a full week of action at the GIT the Benton coach looks like a prophet.

The Rangers dropped the Monday night contest with the Wildcats 68-66 in overtime on a last second shot by Jake Parr. And from that point on the Rangers and Wildcats both ran the table leaving A-J with a 5-0 mark and the championship and the Rangers in second place at 4-1.

“Overall it was a good week of basketball,” said Winemiller. “We learned a little bit about who we are as a team.”

With a 4-1 mark in 2017 the Rangers are now 18-2 at Goreville during the past four years.

The Rangers were sluggish in a 51-38 victory over Hamilton County on Friday night but were hitting on all cylinders in two lopsided victories on Saturday. Benton hammered Johnston City 59-20 in a 10 a.m. contest on Saturday. Johnston City trailed 13-10 at the end of one and then managed only 10 points total over the remaining three quarters.

The Rangers put 12 players in the scoring column with Hamilton Page leading the way with 11. Also in double figures was Mason Morris with 10, followed by Gehrig Wynn and Carson Lewis with eight each, Parker Williams with seven, Cade Thomas with four and Mason Wills, Braxton Lutz, Noah Kays, Brad Hammond and Brett Bonenberger with two each. Eldon Owens added a free throw for one point.

In the finale on Saturday Benton faced the host Goreville Blackcats with second place on the line. Benton led 18-11 after one quarter and then went on a 21-3 run in the second quarter to open up a 41-23 halftime lead.

“We did a good job of stringing some stops together and having some good offensive possessions,” Winemiller said. “I felt our rebounding was the key. We were able to finish the possession by getting some rebounds and then we got out in transition and made some easy baskets.

Benton was led in scoring with 20 points by senior Gehrig Wynn and 15 by Hamilton Page. Cade Thomas added nine points, followed by Parker Williams and Mason Morris with eight points each. Sophomore Carson Lewis added five points, Brett Bonenberger added 3 points and Noah Kays and Joey Craig had two points each.

The GIT All-Tournament team consisted of Ross Pinnon and Sheldon McGrath from Anna-Jonesboro, Cade Thomas, Parker Williams and Gehrig Wynn from Benton, Tanner Dunn and Braden Webb from Goreville, Matt Rubenacker from Hamilton County and Chase Selby from Johnston City.

The Rangers return to regular season play in the home opener and the kick off to the SIRR Ohio Division when they host the Herrin Tigers on Friday, December 8.




Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News