Zeigler-Royalton to send a dozen to RLC

Pictured is, FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT, Dakota Emery, Summer King, Andrew Morris, and Lyla Miller; BACK ROW, Jakob Baxter, Haley Edwards, Nicholas Fry, Austin Bolinger, Kendall Cochran, and Nolan Domineck. Not pictured is Sydney Noto and Amber Reece.  (ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

Pictured is, FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT, Dakota Emery, Summer King, Andrew Morris, and Lyla Miller; BACK ROW, Jakob Baxter, Haley Edwards, Nicholas Fry, Austin Bolinger, Kendall Cochran, and Nolan Domineck. Not pictured is Sydney Noto and Amber Reece.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

ZEIGLER– More than a third of Zeigler-Royalton High School’s senior class will be making their way to Rend Lake College next year after enrolling in summer and fall classes during College Signing Day. Today, RLC Advisors met with the students to get them prepared for the next academic year.

RLC Academic Advisors will visit Mt. Vernon Township, Pinckneyville Community, and Webber Township high schools next month to register interested seniors for classes at RLC. Advisors will visit all 13 in-district high schools in the coming weeks.

Registration for Summer 2017 is going on now for all students with classes starting the week of June 5-9. Fall 2017 registration for sophomores begins Monday, April 3 by appointment. For incoming students, Fall 2017 enrollment appointments begin Monday, April 17. The Fall semester begins the week of August 14-18.

According to the U. S. Department of Education, college graduates typically earn more and are less likely to face unemployment than those with a high school diploma. Over the course of a lifetime, the average worker with a postsecondary degree will earn approximately $1 million more than a worker without a postsecondary education. In fact, by 2020, an estimated two-thirds of job openings will require postsecondary education or training.

RLC is a comprehensive community college located in Ina in Southern Illinois. Rend Lake College offers more than 100 associate degree and occupational certificate programs, preparing students for transfer to a four-year university or direct entry into the workforce. In addition, RLC offers personal interest classes, continuing education, business & industry training, computer workshops and much more. To learn more about RLC, visit www.rlc.edu/journey.

5th Annual Farmer to Table in Franklin County

Local farmers show Zeigler Royalton Elementary students all the aspects of farming. (WSIL-TV photo)

Local farmers show Zeigler Royalton Elementary students all the aspects of farming. (WSIL-TV photo)

ZEIGLER, IL- (Rachel Duensing- WSIL TV. Please click to read the whole story and accompanying video. Here is an excerpt) Students in Franklin County got a unique lesson on farming outside of the classroom Tuesday. The Franklin County Ag in the Classroom held the 5th Annual Farmer to Table event in Zeigler to show what it takes to produce our food. Zeigler-Royalton Elementary students got an up-close look at farm equipment Tuesday morning and how it’s used to make the meals they enjoy. “Basically what we’re trying to do is show the kids how the food gets to their table,” explained Melissa Lamczyk, Franklin County Ag in the Classroom coordinator. “So we start off with the seeds that the farmer plants and then we go through the process of tillage, planting and harvesting.”

Paychecks almost delayed at Zeigler-Royalton schools

WSIL Photo

WSIL Photo

ZEIGLER, IL – (Roni LaForge WSIL TV – Please click to read the story and watch the video. Here is an excerpt) Because of the state budget mess, the Zeigler-Royalton School District nearly missed payroll this week. The district is scheduled to pay employees Friday, but a state payment isn’t scheduled to hit their account until next week. The superintendent sent out an email just after school started Wednesday morning, telling teachers and staff they would not get paid on Friday. Late Wednesday afternoon, he told News 3 the district got enough credit from its bank to cover payroll. But the close call shines a light on the financial struggles Illinois schools are facing. Since the state budget impasse began two years ago, schools have anxiously awaited payments they weren’t sure they’d get.

Families rebuild as NWS tracks Franklin County tornado

One of the three destroyed homes in Franklin County from last night's tornado.  (WPSD-TV photo)

One of the three destroyed homes in Franklin County from last night’s tornado. (WPSD-TV photo)

MULKEYTOWN, IL- (Ashley Sanchez, WPSD-TV. Click to read the entire story and video. Here is an excerpt.) The National Weather Service rates the tornado that touched down in part of southern Illinois as at least an EF-3. An EF-5 is the strongest. The NWS says it was part of a storm that started in Springfield, Missouri, and ended in Indiana. A tornado touched down in Franklin County, Illinois, where It destroyed three homes. No one was injured. A NWS surveyor says the tornado touched down Tuesday night between Royalton and Mulkeyyton, Illinois. The tornado destroyed Shannon Parvin’s barn. “We heard a bunch of wind. It sounded like hail when we was in the basement. It took the barn, and it was gone,” Parvin said.

Town Hall Meetings planned to discuss proposed penny sales tax increase

Franklin County Board press release

Franklin County voters have the opportunity to take control of the future of their court house by voting for the proposed penny tax on April 4. The county’s current facility has outlived its usefulness, posing numerous maintenance challenges and safety risks to the public, employees, and crime victims who must attend court daily.

Funds are needed to build a new facility. The Franklin County Board has identified a couple of potential sites for the facility, which would be built to new state requirements for a court house. The best way to fund this construction is through a penny sales tax, which would not be charged on the necessities of food and medicine, but would add $1 to a $100 purchase of goods bought by those with discretionary income. The sales tax would be paid by visitors to our county, spreading out the cost of our new court house — leveraging the power of the penny.

A series of Town Hall Meetings has been planned to answer your questions about the proposal. County officials will be on hand at the following dates and times:

CHRISTOPHER: 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 22 at the Christopher Civic Center

SESSER: 6 p.m. Thursday, March 2 at the Goode Township Building

BENTON: 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 at the Benton Civic Center

ROYALTON: 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 at the Royalton Village Hall

WEST FRANKFORT: 6 p.m. Thursday, March 9 at the Aquatics and Activities Center

ZEIGLER: 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 14 at the Six Mile Township Building

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 sdunford1970@hotmail.com.

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.


Zeigler-Royalton HS Boys/Girls Basketball teams give back to their communities

by Steve Dunford

Tornadoes form both the girls and boys teams gather for a group photo last Saturday while serving the Seniors dinner in their community. (Photos courtesy of Randall Risley)

Tornadoes form both the girls and boys teams gather for a group photo last Saturday while serving the Seniors dinner in their community. (Photos courtesy of Randall Risley)

When it was dark in most gyms last Saturday, because of threatening weather, there was a packed house in the Zeigler-Royalton Elementary/Junior High School cafeteria.  Both Tornado girls and boys basketball teams fed Christmas dinner to several senior citizens across the community.

The Z-R community has a storied history of coming together.  One was several years back for Tyson Kretz helping when he was in junior high with his battle with illness.  Kretz is a senior on the basketball team.

Over the last several years, Zeigler-Royalton athletics has been involved with Coaches-vs-Cancer.  These efforts has been spearheaded by Tornado Super-fan Randall Risley.  There have been several national awards given to Z-R for their efforts.

z-r-seniors-dinner-2I heard about this event around Thanksgiving.  Someone posted about it on my Facebook blog covering high school sports in the county.  There were flyers circulating around the Christopher Thanksgiving Tournament about the event as well.  Myself, along with others were blown away by the idea of service of these young people.

Matt Morgan, the head boys high school basketball coach, and Jeremy May the girls coach were the ones who guided their players in getting the event together.  Here is what Coach Morgan had to say about the day:

“It was a great opportunity for our kids to give back to the community. One of the most important things we try to teach our athletes at Z-R at all levels is that they can contribute to

Coach Morgan and his assistant coach Scotty Clark in "pregame preparations" before the meal Saturday.

Coach Morgan and his assistant coach Scotty Clark in “pregame preparations” before the meal Saturday.

something bigger than basketball or any sport that they can play. It is a very important message to get across and I feel like our school does a good job of it.

Granted, it makes it a lot easier when the families are on-board with developing that same culture. We are fortunate that our families at Z-R support us 110% in what we try to do. Seeing the smiles on the senior citizens faces on Saturday meant a lot to all of us that were there. Our entire community is so good about pitching in and helping support causes like this.  I’m blessed and very fortunate to be able to work and live in a community like the one that I do!”

Going into the Sesser-Valier Holiday tournament the boys team is 1-4 on the season.  They have a tough task waiting for them on the 26th as they face Wooldawn, who finished fourth in the state in Class 1A last year.  The girls team has not won a game this season.

senior-dinner-3Very few kids will come out of Franklin County playing college athletics.  The most important things is the lessons learned on the hardwood, diamond, or gridiron can translate into being better citizens, employees, and most importantly better mothers and fathers.  The biggest W of the year by any of the Franklin county teams took place in a tiled-floor multi purpose room this day.

Something else that took place a long similar lines that is noteworthy. The Home Economics department of Christopher High School had a similar event for the senior citizens of their community on Friday.

I am around teenagers a lot in various circles of my life.  This generation is a better bunch of kids than mine was in the 80’s, as a whole.  They are selfless, and have much more compassion than we did.  A great example is what took place last Saturday at Z-R.



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 update with cancellations

Updated at 5:30 pm






Flora at CHRISTOPHER rescheduled for Thursday, 12/22

Nashville at BENTON no make up date yet.

THOMPSONVILLE at Elverado no make up date yet

WEST FRANKFORT at Goreville rescheduled for Thursday, 12/22

Sparta at Murphysboro no make up date yet.

Herrin at Pinckneyville no make up date yet.

Hamilton County at Eldorado rescheduled for Thursday 12/22

DuQuoin at Harrisburg no make up date yet.



City Hall-Sesser…


East Side Baptist Church-Mt Vernon No Sunday Services

The forecast has not changed.  Franklincounty-news.com will keep this page updated with cancellations and changing weather conditions.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News