Rep. Severin Honors Herschell Meadows of Pepsi MidAmerica at Retirement Ceremony

State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) today presented Herschell Meadows with a Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives in honor of his retirement from Pepsi MidAmerica. He had worked for the company for 38 years. Pictured from left to right are Christine Meadows (daughter), Harry L. Crisp II, CEO of Pepsi MidAmerica, Herschell Meadows, Kimberlee Parry (daughter), and Rep. Severin.

Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dies at age 85

NASHVILLE, TN (Jimmy Carter – WSMV-TV.  Please click on the link for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.

Country Music Hall of Fame member Mel Tillis has died after a long illness. He was 85.

In a press release from Absolute Publicity, Tillis’ publicist Don Murry Grubbs confirmed that Tillis died at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida after battling intestinal issue since 2016.

The Tillis family said they plan to announce funeral arrangements for Nashville and Florida in the upcoming days.

Tillis moved to Nashville from the Plant City, FL, area after serving in the United States Air Force as a baker.

“It seems like just yesterday that I left Florida head’n for Nashville in my ’49 Mercury with a busted windshield, a pregnant wife and $29 in my pocket,” Tillis is quoted on his website.

Share your Halloween events so they can be placed on the website

Any Halloween event I am aware of, I will be happy to share on the website.

1.  Please sent a flyer of the event if there is one.  If that is all you have it is ok.

2.  Please send any text that would go with the event in a copy and paste able form.

3.  It would be best to either send me a message Steve Dunford on Facebook, or e-mail me at

I want to promote any event in which the kids (and the big kids too) so they can have a safe fun time.



Today is National Junk Food Day

Enjoy it.  This would be an extra excuse to grab an ice cream cone.  I am going to add a new feature today.  I am going to start sharing historical facts on this day.

I am going to start to add some local things to the list over time.  I hope you enjoy this.  – Steve

Here is a link to the full list

This Day in History

1861 – The first major battle of the U.S. Civil War began. It was the Battle of Bull Run at Manassas Junction, VA. The Confederates won the battle.

1930 – The Veterans Administration of the United States was established

1949 – The U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

1968 – Arnold Palmer became the first golfer to make a million dollars in career earnings after he tied for second place at the PGA Championship.

2011 – Space Shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was the last flight of NASA’s space shuttle program.

Celebrity Birthdays

Ernest Hemmingway, 1899 – author, journalist

Don Knotts 1924 – Actor

Janet Reno 1938 – Attorney General of the U.S. (1993-2001)

Garry Trudeau 1948 – Cartoonist (“Doonesbury”)

Robin Williams 1951 – Actor, comedian

Today in Music

1979 – Robert Palmer’s “Bad Case Of Loving You” was released.

1980 – Keith Godchaux (Grateful Dead) was injured in a car accident. He died two days later.

1987 – Guns ‘n Roses released their debut album “Appetite For Destruction.”

1999 – Charley Pride received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was the 2,140th star to be dedicated.

2009 – The iTunes Music Store reached 8 billion songs sold.

Closing your bedroom door when you sleep could help save your life

(Jacob Rodriguez, WTSP-TV.  Click to read the full story.  Here is an excerpt.)

It takes just 30 seconds for a small flame to get out of control and start a fire in your home. Minutes later, thick black smoke has filled your home. If you wake up to a fire, you only have time to escape – flames move too quickly and are too deadly.

The U.S. Fire Association says that toxic gases and smoke kills far more often than actual fire. Fire deaths are on the rise – in 2012, 2,855 people died nationwide from fires but the most recent data from 2015 shows 3,275 people died.

Keeping your smoke detector in good working order is the number one way to protect yourself from injury or death in the home.

Watch Out For Rabid Bats And Animals

More than a dozen rabid bats found in Illinois so far this year

Press Release from the Illinois Department of Public Health

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) wants people to beware of rabid animals, including bats, as they become more active this time of year.  To date, more than a dozen rabid bats have been reported in Illinois this year.

“Most cases of rabies in Illinois are almost always found in bats,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “You can’t tell just by looking at a bat if it has rabies so it’s important to avoid handling bats and to make sure your home has no openings where bats can come in.”

Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system.  People can get rabies after being bitten by an infected animal.  Rabies can also be contracted when saliva from a rabid animal gets directly into a person’s eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound.  People usually know when they have been bitten by a bat, but bats have very small teeth and the bite mark may not be easy to see.  If you find yourself in close proximity to a bat and are not sure if you were exposed, for example – you wake up and find a bat in your room, do not kill or release the bat before calling your doctor or local health department to help determine if you could have been exposed to rabies and need preventive treatment.  If the bat is available for testing and test results are negative, preventive treatment is not needed.

The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort.  As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, and hallucinations.  Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.  If you have been bitten by any animal, seek immediate medical attention.  Rabies preventive treatment, if needed, must begin quickly.

An animal does not have to be aggressive or exhibit other symptoms to have rabies.  Changes in any animal’s normal behavior can be early signs of rabies.  A bat that is active during the day, found on the ground, or is unable to fly is more likely than others to be rabid.  Such bats are often easily approached, but should never be handled.


Study links diet soda to higher risk of stroke, dementia

Diet Soda ImageWASHINGTON, DC (Fred Barbash – The Washington Post. Please Click to read the full story. Here is an excerpt) Americans trying to stay healthy have abandoned sugary drinks for diet drinks in droves over the past few decades on the theory that the latter is better than the former. Now, more evidence has emerged to refute that rationale. Indeed, a new study shows an association between diet soda and both stroke and dementia, with people drinking diet soda daily being almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia as those who consumed it weekly or less. “This included a higher risk of ischemic stroke, where blood vessels in the brain become obstructed and Alzheimer’s disease dementia, the most common form of dementia,” said Matthew Pase, a Boston University School of Medicine neurologist and the lead author of the study published in the journal Stroke.

Kendall Marvel live on Anchorage, Alaska TV Station

Southern Illinoisan file photo

Southern Illinoisan file photo

ANCHORAGE, AK- Please click on this link to watch the video and read the blurb from Anchorage AK, CBS affiliate, KTLA. Kendell appears live with fellow singer songwriter Danny Myrick. Both are currently on an Alaskan tour. Marvel, a Thompsonville native, will be opening for Toby Keith at Black Diamond Harley Davidson in June.

Preparing for dark times: Total solar eclipse arrives 6 months from today

A solar eclipse over Indonesia in March, 2016.  (AP file photo)

A solar eclipse over Indonesia in March, 2016. (AP file photo)

ST. LOUIS, MO – (Valerie Schremp Hawn – St. Louis Post Dispatch- Click on the following link for the full story. Here is an excerpt. If you haven’t already, you might want to mark your calendars for six months from today, and make a special notation for oh, say, early afternoon, depending on your location. You’re in for one of the darker, stranger experiences of your life on this planet. A total solar eclipse — the first one in the continental United States since 1979, and the first one for most of the St. Louis area since 1442 — arrives on Monday, Aug. 21. The partial eclipse will start in late morning and end in early afternoon, with the total eclipse within the 1 p.m. hour. You may or may not have heard about the eclipse already — but folks at the Bloomsdale bank in Herculaneum and their City Hall have. They’re selling viewer glasses for $1. Southern Illinois University Carbondale will celebrate with a weekend of events to culminate in a public viewing at Saluki Stadium. & Even Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of Darkness, is in on the eclipse action: He’s performing at a “Moonstock” music festival in Carterville, IL.

‘M*A*S*H’ almost ditched Father Mulcahy, but Alan Alda fought to keep the character

William Christopher, who played father John Mulcahy on M*A*S*H* for 11 Seasons (MeTV photo)

William Christopher, who played father John Mulcahy on M*A*S*H* for 11 Seasons (MeTV photo)

(From MeTv’s website. Click on the link to read the full article. Here is an excerpt) This past New Year’s Eve, William Christopher passed away at the age of 84. Best known for his role as Father Mulcahy on M*A*S*H, the actor died exactly one year after his former costar Wayne Rogers. It’s been a tragic last year or so for fans of the classic sitcom, but we should be thankful for all the wonderful performances we got over the show’s 11 seasons. One of the stories that came out after Christopher’s death tells of how his character was almost cut off the series in 1976 — after the actor suffered a serious illness.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News