Closings and cancellations 1/13/17

snow-dayI will use media sources to get every closing from I -64 south, since people go to this website all over Southern Illinois.  Please contact me with any closings by the following ways:

You can call or text me at 513-2516, call at 937-0253; PM me on Facebook (Steve Dunford), email me at

It will be nearly impossible to reply to individual requests if a school or business is closed.  I will update frequently with times.

Updated 6:30 am 1/13/17

I will lump all closings categorized by county.  Any type will be under the county listed.  

SCHOOLS-The only schools that I do not have in Southern Illinois are the following:  Century, The only Johnson County School I have is Lick Creek, Hardin County and Pope County.  

COLLEGES-  The only ones I have not heard anything about is Shawnee Community College and SIU, which never calls off.  The key staff needs to report at Morthland COllege.  

I am going to go to sporting events/business mode now.  


Murphysboro at Benton Boys HS basketball/no make up date as of yet

Kids R My Business Day Care, Christopher

Girls Junior High Class L regional Benton/DuQuoin





Law enforcement agencies put out APB

Franklin County Sheriff’s office has reported there is an erratic driver on Route 14 at the Franklin-Hamilton county line.  They sent out an APB to the State Police and all local authorities.

Mug shot of this man

                      Mug shot of this man

He is a jolly fat man in a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer.  He is weaving rooftop to rooftop and going down chimneys with homes that have them.  He is carrying a bag that is suspected to be full of toys for children.

Direction of travel is unknown.  He is suspected to either head to Ewing and Whittington, maybe head to Benton, or go down North Thompsonville road and hit Akin and T’ville next.

It is guaranteed that he will hit all houses in West Frankfort, Logan, Zeigler, Freeman Spur, Orient, Pulmfield, Royalton, Cleburne, Mulkeytown, Christopher, Coello, Valier, Sesser, Buckner, West City and all rural areas in between.

He prefers milk and cookies at every stop.  He will visit every house in the county.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


Road conditions deteriorating across the county

franklin-county-emaThe Franklin County Emergency Management Agency issued the following statement: Road conditions will continue to deteriorate through late tonight. Motor vehicle accidents have been reported. Travel only when necessary.

Winter weather heading to Franklin County over the weekend

FIRST ALERT: I expect light accumulations of ice and snow to cause some travel headaches this weekend. It all starts Saturday with scattered rain and a high forecast of 60°F…but the mercury will fall so quickly at night that the roads may not have time to dry. Rain will change over to a light wintry mix after sunset and taper off early Sunday morning. Mind your bridges, overpasses, as well as untreated sidewalks. Immediately following Saturday night’s wintry weather, dangerously cold & windy weather for Sunday and Monday. The wind chill could approach zero. Help spread the word–like and SHARE!  This is from KFVS 12 Meteorologist Bryan McCormick.   Follow for the latest cancellations throughout this winter season and updates during severe weather events.

Model shared by KFVS 12 Meterologist Bryan McCormick

Model shared by KFVS 12 Meterologist Bryan McCormick



Police investigation in Sesser

SESSER — An investigation underway in Sesser Saturday night, at one point, involved more than one unit of the Illinois State Police Homicide Squad. Witnesses tell us it happened on Locust Street, sesser-investigationthough city officials could not confirm that. Sesser Mayor Jason Ashmore could only say police officers needed assistance “checking something out” and that Sesser had “NO MURDER” take place. Stay with News Three on air, and on-line, as this story continues to develop, we’ll update you with any details we uncover. will monitior local media sources to keep everyone updated.  Link taken from WSIL website.

Three-week speech class returning to RLC for Summer 2017

INA, Ill. (Dec. 1, 2016) – Rend Lake College students and other students home for the summer break can knock out a required speech class next summer in only three weeks. RLC is again offering the intersession class between the Spring and Summer 2017 semesters.

rlc-old-school-logoThe class – Principles of Effective Speaking (COMM 1101) – will meet from 8 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Monday through Thursday beginning May 15, excluding Memorial Day, in the Academic Building, Room 209, on the Ina campus. The last day of class will be June 1, just in time to start regular summer classes the following week.

RLC Professor Elizabeth Bailey-Smith said this is the second time she’s taught the class during the summer, and students last year found the layout helped to keep them on their toes.

“One student stated, ‘I am usually somewhat of a procrastinator, but I didn’t have time to procrastinate with this class.’ It offers the opportunity for students to complete a three-credit hour class in less than three weeks. It’s intense, but only 11 times,” said Bailey-Smith.

In addition to the shorter-than-normal schedule, students enrolled in the intersession class have added benefits. Bailey-Smith explained, “Students can focus on one course and receive more one-on-one attention because of the small class size and longer sessions.”

Principles of Effective Speaking is a requirement for many programs and degrees at RLC and other institutions to which the class can transfer. To register for the course, contact RLC’s Academic Advisement Center at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1266 or

Peabody, UMWA settle dispute over retiree health benefits

The United Mine Workers of America has agreed to a $400 million agreement with Peabody Energy Corp. and Patriot Coal Corp. that settles a bitter dispute over healthcare benefits for retirees in the wake of Patriot’s bankruptcy.

Here’s the link to the story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cast revealed for RLC fall play “Treasure Island”

“Treasure Island” will feature several returning actors to the RLC theater stage, including a duo who have performed together five times.

Aaron Dawson, a 15-year-old from Benton, will be playing the role of Captain Flint, a parrot puppet. “Treasure Island” will be Dawson’s ninth show with Webb and 11th show of his acting career, making him one of the more experienced of the actors and also the youngest.

“I have a lot of fun at the theater and I get to meet all sorts of new people,” said Dawson. “When I was younger, my parents asked me if I was interested in acting, so I tried it and I really liked it. Tracey invited me to do a show at Rend Lake after seeing me with Pyramid Players [a theater company out of Benton], and it went very well.”

TWO DAYS OF DANCING  Cast members of Rend Lake College's fall play "Treasure Island" spent two days last week learning a dance number for the musical piece in RLC's Theatre. The play will open at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 and will run through Sunday, Nov. 10. Tickets are on sale, starting Oct. 7.  (ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

Cast members of Rend Lake College’s fall play “Treasure Island” spent two days last week learning a dance number for the musical piece in RLC’s Theatre. The play will open at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 and will run through Sunday, Nov. 10. Tickets are on sale, starting Oct. 7.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

Dawson said he plans to attend Rend Lake College in a few years as a general studies and theater major before graduating and attending ministerial school.

Another actor from Benton, John Nalley, will be joining Dawson on stage for his fifth show as the notorious Long John Silver. Nalley has had several starring roles on the RLC theater stage, including the father in Father of the Bride, Mr. Banks.

“My friend and I auditioned on a whim back in 2009, and we ended up playing the villain and villainess in the show,” said Nalley. “I began to think of the theater as my home away from home. I’ll take any role, big or small, as long as I get to perform.”

In addition to Dawson and Nalley, there are 33 actors, all of which are expected to help build the set in addition to learning lines and dances:

  • Tara Bell Janowick (Johnston City) as Meg Trueblood
  • Phillip Borcherding (Mt. Vernon) as Banjo Brody (banjo)
  • Bethaney Brown (Mt. Vernon) as Nightingale Nell
  • Shawna Cardwell (Benton) as Whipstitch Winnie
  • Phillip Catt (Tamaroa) as Newport Ned
  • Nick Conner (Sesser) as Nathaniel Crisp
  • Elecia Crider (Woodlawn) as Shoreditch Sal
  • Cortne Fletcher (Benton) as Canterbury Kate
  • Curtis Galloway (Benton) as Israel Hands
  • Donald T. Graham-Barnett (Du Quoin) as Peatbog Pat
  • Sierra Harrell (Mt. Vernon) as Miss Lucinda Livesey
  • John Hunsell (Mt. Vernon) as Old Joe
  • Brandon Isom (Christopher) as Gentleman Jack
  • Robin Johnson (Benton) as Greystoke Gertie
  • Clay Lewis (Mt. Vernon) as Hardy
  • Chris Milburn (Mt. Vernon) as Captain Obadiah Smollett
  • Thomas Miller (Pinckneyville) as Tenderloin Ted (guitar)
  • George Motsinger (Christopher) as Barnacle Billy
  • Cheyenne Needham (Benton) as Cornwall Kelly
  • Josh Nelson (Mt. Vernon) as Ben Gunn
  • Quentin Overturf (McLeansboro) as Blind Pugh
  • Vonnie Palmer (Johnston City) as Mad Mary Maguire
  • Shelby Patterson (Waltonville) as Piccadilly Poll
  • Eric Price (Benton) as Jim Hawkins
  • Danielle Roberts (Mt. Vernon) as Dizzy Delores (recorder)
  • Devin Riley (Dix) as Harry Flash
  • Trevor Skidmore (Mt. Vernon) as Lionheart Lenny
  • Christina South (Enfield) as Lady Jacqueline Trelawney
  • Caleb Staples (Mt. Vernon) as Black Dog
  • Troy Stickey (Benton) as George Merry and Billy Bones
  • Lauryn Strom (Sesser) as Liverpool Lee (percussion)
  • Shannon Twitty (Bluford) as Sherwood Sheila (tambourine)
  • Yuting Zhang (Dahlgren) as Cheng I Sao

There are also several crew members and volunteers helping with the play, including Skyler Alldredge (Benton), Josh Dawson (Benton), Nicole Foskey (Johnston City), Timothy Learned (Mulkeytown), Anthony Mitchell (Benton), Josh Moyer (Mt. Vernon), Shelby Patterson (Waltonville), Jessa Poninski (Mt. Vernon), Aaron Ramsey (Mt. Vernon), Matthew Rush (Benton), Krystal Schuh (Newton) and Shannon Webb (Ewing).

Tickets for the play will go on sale today (Oct. 7) for $12 a ticket. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 through Saturday, Nov. 9; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10. To purchase tickets, contact Cathy Cross at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1263. Tickets will be available at the Theatre on show night if they are not sold out.

RLC awarded up to $2.25 million from U.S. Department of Education

INA, Ill. – Big changes lie ahead for students looking into healthcare at Rend Lake College as updated curricula, student support services and new programs will be taking shape over the next five years with the help of federal grant money.

The Title III Pathways to Success in Health Careers Grants were announced last week by the U. S. Department of Education (USDE), which added that a total of approximately $20.1 million in grants to 39 colleges and universities across the nation will be awarded under the Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP).

RLC will receive the first grant payment this fiscal year in the amount of $449,960 to begin making big changes in the Allied Health Division. Kim Robert, Dean of Allied Health and Project Director, said the grant money will help increase educational prospects for RLC students.

Annually, per approval by the USDE, RLC will receive approximately $449,000 annually, for a total of $2,249,833 over five years. By the end of the grant period, RLC expects to see an increase in the number of Health Studies degrees and certificates awarded, as well as an increase in overall enrollment and enrollment-based revenue.

“The Allied Health Division is extremely excited to be awarded such a grant from the U. S. Department of Education, and we look forward to utilizing it to help our students in a number of ways,” said Robert. “We are looking into starting some new programs, purchasing equipment and starting an Allied Health Student Success Center to help our students be successful in their field of choice. Personally, I’m looking forward to working with the Rend Lake College staff to prepare our students for life after graduation in a number of healthcare occupations.”

Other plans include the establishment of a new Anatomy & Physiology (A&P) lab and revision of A&P I and II curricula, revisions to the Practical Nursing program curricula to incorporate educational simulation and web-based interactive instructional modules, development a new Health Studies advising and tutoring systems, and the establishment of a new Health Studies Success Center.

“Rend Lake College is one of only 39 schools across the nation to receive a part of the $20.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and the only one in Illinois,” said RLC President Terry Wilkerson. “The grant will help us improve on our health studies programs, including the addition of two programs, and the support our staff can give to our students. On behalf of the college, faculty and staff, I want to thank the Department of Education for believing in Rend Lake College and our students by helping us expand our educational options and become one of the best higher education institutions in healthcare.”

Information from the USDE states that the healthcare and social assistance sector will create 149,000 new jobs in Illinois alone by 2018, effectively ranking Illinois as one of the top five states in the nation with the greatest shortage of healthcare professionals. More than a third of RLC students, or 35 percent, identify completion of health studies as an educational goal, and enrollment in these programs has increased 22 percent since the 2009-10 academic year.

U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stateddue to these job increases, both in Illinois and across the country, grants such as the Pathways to Success in Health Careers will allow students more options for careers post-graduation.

“Everyone deserves access to high-quality learning opportunities, from preschool to middle school and all the way through college,” said Duncan. “In order to achieve President Obama’s goal to lead the world in college graduates by 2020, we must work to ensure that everyone has a chance to enroll and complete postsecondary education. These grants will boost the capacity and quality of programs offered by higher education institutions that serve low-income students as they work to increase completion rates and better prepare their students for success in college, careers and lifetime aspirations.”

SIP helps postsecondary schools expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen their academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability, as well as build a framework to help students complete college.

For more information, contact Kim Robert at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1251.

Benton police make multiple weekend arrests

Benton police reported a busy weekend with multiple arrests.

On October 5, 2013 Benton Police arrested Koltyn Irvin, age 24, of Christopher for public indecency and resisting a peace officer.  Irvin was charged and transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

On October 5, 2013 Benton Police arrested David J. Marks, age 42, of Carbondale for driving while suspended.  Marks was charged and transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

On October 5, 2013 Benton Police were dispatched to the 100 block of East Main Street in reference to a domestic disturbance.  Through investigation, police arrested Angela K. Behringer, age 42, of Benton for aggravated battery and vehicular invasion.  Behringer was charged and transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

On October 6, 2013 Benton Police arrested Nichole R. Maynor, age 32, of Benton on an active Franklin County warrant for failure to appear.  Maynor was transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

On October 6, 2013 Benton Police were dispatched to the 200 block of West Sixth Street in reference to criminal trespass.  Through investigation, police arrested Randy A. Joy, age 30, of Ina for criminal trespass to property.  Joy was charged and transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

On October 6, 2013 Benton Police arrested Anthony D. Cano, age 22, of Herrin for violation of order of protection.  Cano was charged and transported to the Franklin County Jail for further processing.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News