Zeigler High School “Purple Tornadoes”


ZEIGLER, IL  –  (Illinois High School Glory Days.  Please click on the link above. Here is an excerpt below.)

The School system in Zeigler is documented at http://www.zeigleril.com/pages/schools.htm.  Zeigler began a school system soon after its first houses were built.  As Zeigler grew and prospered so did the educational facilities.  The first school house was the “Block School”,  In the 1920s the school pictured abovewas built.  This served the children until the 1960s when the building was demolished and a new building was erected.  The grade school pictured below was used for the high school for a bout three years until the new building was finished.
The year was 1962 when the towns of Zeigler and Royalton agreed to consolidate
their efforts.  The Zeigler-Royalton School District was established ending the solo efforts of the two towns.  If you would like to add any information regarding Zeigler High School please e-mail us at eganann@sbcglobal.net

Four wheeler stolen between West Frankfort and Zeigler

by Steve Dunford

This evening, this Honda 250 four wheeler was stolen on Sandburg Road between West Frankfort and Zeigler, near the Plumfield area.

If you have any information, please call the Franklin County Sheriff’s office at 438-8211.

Please share this on Social Media.



Royalton High School “Pirates”


Royalton High School building in the early 1960’s

ROYALTON, IL  (Illinois High School Glory Days.  Please Click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

Royalton (population 1,130) is located in far southern Illinois about 12 miles southeast of DuQuoin. In its “hey day” in the early 1900s Royalton enjoyed a population of over 3,800!  Illinois Route 149 is the main roadway to and from this southwestern Franklin County town.  The town’s area was settled in the mid 1850s but it was not recognized as an official Illinois town until 1907.  the Missouri Pacific Railroad runs to the southeast of town.  A branch of the Big Muddy River flows through the south side of Royalton.  For some EXCELLENT history and facts about Royalton and its former High School please visit the town’s official website at:
A school was established in Royalton by the late 1800s.  Royalton High School served the town as, at first, a three year school, and later earning a four year high school status.  The original school building was found unsafe in 1936.  A new building was quickly constructed and ready for use in 1937.  This is the building you see pictured above.  Royalton High continued to be the pride and joy of Royalton residents until the early 1960s.  It was then that dwindling enrollment led to a consolidation effort with its neighbor four miles to the northeast, Zeigler.  This effort became a reality in 1962 with the creation of the Zeigler-Royalton School District.

Heroes and Horsepower big success

From the Zeigler Fire Department

ZEIGLER, IL  We cannot say thank you enough for all of the support that we received today at our 2017 Heroes and Horsepower Car and Truck show benefitting our Raise the Roof fund.

Jared Sieveking, (right) from Buckner Fire and Rescue  with Zeigler Mayor Dennis Mitchell, left. Sieveking accepted the award on behalf of the department for winning the  Emergency vehicles division today. (From Connie Sieveking’s Facebook page.

We had 92 cars and trucks at our show today and we cooked and sold 200 burgers and 150 hot dogs. We had amazing sponsors, participants, and members of our department who stepped up to make this show a HUGE success.

We would also like to thank Mayor Dennis Mitchell, City Clerk Pam Perry, Water Clerk Jane Edwards, and the City of Zeigler Street Department for their parts in making this event come together. A big thank you goes out to Franklin County Emergency Management for them allowing us the use of their mobile command trailer, generator, and personnel for this event.

We would also like to thank Hot Rod Nights for their amazing support planning this event, and providing top notch awards for our event. We cannot wait to see everyone back next year for what we hope is a bigger and better event.

Route 148 to be closed in Christopher at the RR tracks Wed.-Thurs

Press Release from the Illinois Department of Transportation

Beginning Wednesday, June 28 at 8:00 am and concluding on Thursday, June 29 at 5:00 pm, crews from the Canadian Northern / Illinois Central Railroad Company (CNIC) will be performing repairs on the railroad crossing on IL 148 (Victor St.) in Christopher.

There will be no traffic permitted through the crossing during the repairs. Motorists should follow the marked detour or seek alternate routes to avoid delays.

Heroes and Horsepower Car and Truck Show July 1st in Zeigler

from the Zeigler Fire Department

The Zeigler Fire Department will be hosting our 4th annual “Heroes and Horsepower” car and truck show on the Circle in Zeigler.

The event is FREE for specatators and participant registration will be $15.00, and is from 8am-11am, with judging beginning at 10am. Awards will be handed out at 2pm. The first 100 entries will receive a dash plaque.

We will have burgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks available for purchase the day of the event. We will also have Hot Rod Nights on site for music. Come out and support this great event that will be raising funds for our “Raise the Roof” fundraising campaign to add on to our current fire station.

LeQuatte named new Regional Office of Education Superintendent

by Steve Dunford

MARION, IL –  Democratic Party County Chairmen from Franklin, Williamson, Johnson, and Massac counties, caucused and  appointed Lorie LeQuatte to succeed Matt Donkin as ROE district #30  Superintendent.

LeQuatte and Donkin – WSIL file photo

LeQuatte a 1989 Zeigler-Royalton, John A. Logan, and SIU graduate, will be taking office on July 1st.  She was the principal of Project Echo, and Star Quest which is alternative school programs near Johnston City.  LeQuatte resides in Herrin.

Donkin stepped down to become Superintendent of Frankfort Community District #168 in his hometown.  Before taking over as Regional Superintendent, he was a Social Studies teacher and later an administrator at Frankfort Community High School.  He steered a troubled office in the right direction, taking over for Barry Kohl.


Illinois Legislature passes resolution honoring Z-R Coaches vs. Cancer

by Steve Dunford

From State Represenative Dave Severin’s office

ZEIGLER, IL –  In each of  the six high schools in the county there are some super fans that stick out.  At Z-R it is Randall Risley, or Double R as my good friend Tom Wheeler has me calling him.  I don’t know if I have ever been to a Zeigler-Royalton sporting event that I did not see him.  I can go all the way back to the 1980’s when I slid on the jersey of the Thompsonville Tigers.

Since I have completed my second year of covering high school sports.  I have had the opportunity to be around Randall a lot.  We would cross paths at the Christopher Turkey Tournament, the Sesser-Valier Holiday tournament, and this fall as my son was an offensive lineman for the C-Z-R Bearcats.

I had the opportunity to see him at several games, and he always graciously provides me with pics of the Tornadoes.

Z-R coaches vs. Cancer was founded in the 2009-10 school year by Risley, and Tornadoes Head basketball coach Matt Morgan.  Both lost their fathers to cancer at an early age.  I can easily identify, as I lost my mother in her mid 50’s to lung cancer.

Here is a side note I would like to share.  Six years ago today Matt Morgan was hired as the Tornadoes basketball coach.  He has always been very approachable, and I am proud to call him my friend.

In the seven year time frame Zeigler-Royalton High School has raised over $110,000 for the cause.  This is for a high school that over the years had an average enrollment of around 160.  For the upcoming school year, their enrollment has increased to 180.

Z-R leads the state in this time frame, and they are one of the top schools in the nation in fundraising for Coaches-Vs. Cancer.

State Representative Dave Severin with Zeigler-Royalton High School Principal Quent Hamilton. (from Rep. Severin’s office)

The Illinois House of Representatives passed Resolution #379, sponsored by Rep. Dave Severin (R – Benton).  The resolution will be posted at the bottom of the story. 

Rep Severin was at Art Brandon Gymnasium to present the resolution to Risley and the rest of the individuals that worked so hard in the community.  Severin made the following statement.   “Zeigler-Royalton Coaches vs. Cancer is an incredible group.” Rep. Severin said, “Zeigler-Royalton community is neither the biggest nor the wealthiest but somehow, year after year, they are one of the top fundraisers in all of Illinois. The numbers speak for themselves and what Zeigler-Royalton has been able to do is nothing short of amazing.”

In accepting the award, Risley had the following remarks, “The Zeigler-Royalton community is small but we are proud to say we have had a bigger impact than any other high school in the state since we started,” Risley said. “I really appreciate the recognition from Representative Severin as we are all so proud of what we have been able to accomplish.”

Congratulations to the Z-R community for continuing great things for a great cause. Watch for postings for fundraisers for Coaches-vs.-Cancer in the upcoming school year.

From the Z-R Coaches vs. Cancer Facebook page.


Rend Lake College Spring 2017 Honors Lists

ReAnne Palmer, Rend Lake College Public Information

INA, IL– Rend Lake College is pleased to announce 396 students have made the President’s and Vice Presidents’ lists of academic honors for the Spring 2017 semester.

The lists include 150 individuals named to the President’s List. Those students earned a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) during the semester as a full-time student earning 12 credit hours or more. Another 246 students were named to the Vice Presidents’ List. Students on the Vice Presidents’ List earned a 3.50 – 3.99 GPA during the semester as a full-time student.

“With nearly 400 students landing spots on the honors lists this spring, I couldn’t be prouder of the countless hours of hard work and dedication shown on campus. I speak for everyone on campus when I say congratulations,” said RLC President Terry Wilkerson. “It’s a testament to these students and their instructors, and they should all be very proud of this achievement.”

Below are the ones from Franklin County who achieved academic honors.

President’s List

BENTON – Mariann Cook, Sierra Deangelo, Ally Devore, Sara Dixon, Mackenzi Dollins, Emeri-Jean Farnam, Dakota Head, Hillary Ionson, Brette Mahan, Mallorie Melvin, Lindell Minor, Presley Robbins, Dylan Snyder, Noah Thomason, Anna Weaver, Lauren Zinzilieta

CHRISTOPHER – Camryn Maloney, Kayla Parrish, Phillip Smith

COELLO – Carrie Shaw

EWING – Wade Hutchens

MACEDONIA – Kelsey Conley

MULKEYTOWN – Kristi Barnett, Amber Dublo

ROYALTON – Kassandra Jones

SESSER – Emily Bulla, Pam Dorris, Nicholas Marlo, Skylyn Simpson, Mackayla Tindall

THOMPSONVILLE – Kayla Follmer, Hudson Garrison, Ivan Wysong

VALIER – Alexandra Boner

WEST FRANKFORT – Alexa Beaver, Jared Eastwood, Mary Linsley, Katie Ramsey, Christian Reed

WHITTINGTON – Morgan Wilson

Vice Presidents’ List

BENTON – Alison Anthis, Kelly Bishop, Lindsey Cox, Bria Curry, Dionna Dillon, Colton Essary, Johnel Eubanks, Brittany Ferris, Nicholas Freeman, David Garrett, John Giacone, Payton Hallis, Abbigail Hart, Kelsey Head, Aubrey Hunter, Haley Ing, Caleb Kearney, Christine Keppler-Clayton, Amy Kovarik, Matthew Krug, Andrew Lingle, Logan Maxey, Molly McGuire, Virginia Morgan, Devon Morris, Alexis Newell, Bradley Phillips, Makayla Rich, Naylin Ronchetto, Benjamin Schilli, Kassie Spencer, Holden Storey, Whitney Summers, Leigh Thomas, Caleb Wilkerson

BUCKNER – Morgan Wirtes, Callie Young

CHRISTOPHER – Brooke Akers, Emily Cavinder, Julie Faling, Zoie Frey, Anthony Hargrove, Kailey Kerkemeyer, Jacob Underwood

EWING – Ike Hutchcraft, Cole Hutchens, Kacee Roberts

MACEDONIA – David Motsinger

MULKEYTOWN – Sandra Eversole, Allanna Garrison, Cameron Jones, Loghan Matyi, Micah Motsinger, Jonathon Swisher, Zachary Webb

ORIENT – Brittany Segatto

ROYALTON – Kassie Jeralds, Kalynn Myers

THOMPSONVILLE – Maleissa Baney, Casey Bowlin, Austin Kerley, Maddie Miller, Aiden Payne, George Styles, Damien Wilburn

VALIER – Peyton Jennings, Sophi Johnson, Bailee Jones

WEST FRANKFORT – Courtney Browning, Shannon Browning, Kelsie Simpson

WHITTINGTON – Megan Rudolphi, Dylan Terry

ZEIGLER – Kenneth Newton


Local firefighters have been busy over the last several hours

by Steve Dunford

At 5:42 p.m. Benton and West City firefighters responded to the KOA campground on DuQuoin St. in Benton for a camper fire.  With two other structures in danger.  Amount of loss is undetermined.

Zeigler emergency officials responding to a previous incident. (Zeigler fire department photo)

Just after midnight, Zeigler firefighters responded to a chemical situation on Coxspur street, on the north side of the city limits.  There were some evacuations that took place.  Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 2:00 a.m.  Coxspur Street was reopened around 3:00 a.m.

At 3:10 a.m. Buckner and West City firefighters responded to a single vehicle accident on Route 14 at the Big Muddy Bridge.  There was a possible extrication.   Updates on the accident will be shared as information becomes available.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.  I just spoke with Buckner Fire Chief David Dolderer, and he said the accident occurred just west of Rend City Road.  There was a young man injured and he is in critical but stable condition.  Coello Fire Department was also called for mutual aid.



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