West City plans Christmas community movie night Dec. 8

A free family movie night will be held Saturday, Dec. 8 at the West City Community Center. The festivities start at 4 p.m. with a candy cane hunt for children.

At 6 p.m., the movies begin. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will be shown.

The evening’s free festivities will also include popcorn, hot chocolate and cookies, a coloring contest, and a visit from Santa.

John A. Logan College presents “The Holiday Hop”

By TERI CAMPBELL, Logan Media Services

The John A. Logan College Choral and Chamber Ensembles will bring to life the chart-topping hits of the 1950s and 1960s with a musical production of “The Holiday Hop.” Two evening performances are set for Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. in Logan’s O’Neil Auditorium.

Nathan Arnett, a music instructor at JALC, wrote the script and is directing the show.

“We’ve done these tributes to rock ‘n’ roll before and this year we will be doing much more holiday-themed music, as well popular hits from the 1950s and ‘60s,” Arnett said. “We have a new set design, and there will be lots of singing and dancing. We also have a live rock band made up of Logan students and faculty, and they are doing a super job. It’s going to be a fun show.”

Arnett said he enjoys reprising the holiday shows.

“Over the last few years, I’ve started a rotation of popular themes during the holidays,” he said. “We generally rotate among a rock ‘n’ roll show, ‘A Dickens Dinner,’ and a 1940s radio show, and this is the year for the rock ‘n’ roll show. Our audiences seem to appreciate the recurring themes.”

Arnett said the shows are also wonderful learning opportunities for his students.

“The students are taught these popular styles of music and we prepare for this show during the semester,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for the audience to see what we do in class.”
In addition to the evening performances of “The Holiday Hop,” a matinee, also in O’Neil Auditorium, will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, and will begin at 10 a.m. Tickets for the evening shows are $12 for general admission and $7 for JALC students and children 12 and under. Tickets for the matinee are $2 for the general public and free to Logan students and staff.

Adrienne Barkley-Giffin, director of student activities and cultural events at JALC, said tickets are going fast.

“We are almost sold out of tickets for both evening performances,” Giffin said. “Anyone wanting to see the show should contact my office as soon as possible.”

For more information on “The Holiday Hop” or to get advance tickets, contact the Office of Student Activities and Cultural Events at Logan, at 618-985-2828 or 618-457-7676, Ext. 8287.

Fantasy of Lights parade Tuesday night in West Frankfort

The 20th Annual Fantasy of Lights parade will be Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in Downtown West Frankfort.

The parade begins at St. John’s Catholic Church and School and heads west down Main Street to the railroad tracks. It features lighted floats, carolers and the big guy, Santa Claus.

After the parade, pictures with Santa will be available in the 100 block of East Main Street.

Community worship service planned Saturday in Whittington

They are calling it “Undivided,” and it is open to everyone. It is a night of community worship and ministry in Southern Illinois.

Jon Walker is the organizer and had the vision for this event from the beginning. The hope is that Undivided will bring people from different churches and with different backgrounds together for a great night of worship.

“I hope that fostering unity will eventually bring about ministry and reaching this community as one body of Christ. So we are collecting food for a local food pantry and we will be doing similar charity work with every event we put on,” Walker said.

An added feature of the event is that they are collecting food for the Benton Ministerial Alliance at the event. Bringing the community together and serving others by collecting food – some would say that Whittington Church does that very well.

The event starts with refreshments at 6 p.m., followed by the service at 7 p.m. Whittington Baptist Church is located at 200 W. Main St. in Whittington, IL.

— Tammy Head

Franklin County 4-H offers kids crafting workshops in Benton

Franklin County 4-H is offering two crafting workshops for kids in early December.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, a Chrismas crafting workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Franklin County Exptension Office, 1212 Route 14 West, Benton. This workshop is open to youth ages 5 to 18. The cost is $10, which includes all supplies, and participants will take home at least one finished project. To register, call (618) 439-3178 or register online here by Nov. 29. Class size is limited.

A sewing workshop will be held for kids ages 5 to 18 on Thursday, Dec. 6 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Participants will be making the owl purse pictured here. This workshop is free for 4-H members and $7 for non 4-H members. To register, call (618) 439-3178 or register online here by Dec. 3.

West Frankfort marks Veteran’s Day with downtown service

One of the largest Veteran’s Day crowds in recent memory assembled Monday morning in downtown West Frankfort to honor America’s war veterans. The ceremony at the Veteran’s Memorial/Museum was preceeded an hour earlier by a detail at the monument in one of the traveling graveside programs. The first eye-catching remembrance of those lost in combat, or injured in battle, comes from the concrete doughboy statue bearing the inscription, “Lest we forget.” Ceremonies like this Veteran’s Day program make sure that will never happen.

West Frankfort Mayor Tom Jordan spoke, with the mayor’s theme being “unity.” Jordan read the lyrics to a song which contained the phrase ” United we stand, divided we fall.” That lyric has been oft repeated in American history, the mayor said. Jordan pointed out how today’s society has fragmented along religious, political, sexual orientation, and other divides. Jordan then said that the military was a good example of the unity that is needed in society today.  The mayor spoke for others there, reminding everyone he is not a veteran, yet has a deep sense of their service in making us a free nation.

As people arrived for the service, some probably noticed a simple, wooden unit located in front of the Doughboy memorial. Led by Drill Sgt. Brad Dunning, the Black Tigers Ceremonial Guard made a stirring presentation to the assembled crowd. Flags from the various branches of the military were presented by the Black Tigers.

Following that, individual Black Tigers made a solemn procession to place items on that wooden shelf. There was a military weapon presented, along with boots, helmets and hats, dogtags and other memorabilia from past wars. Each piece represented a facet of military life: a life that those being remembered gave for our freedom. The presentation brought tears to the eyes of many of those assembled in the morning cold.

West Frankfort native Dunning then asked the crowd to put their hands over their hearts “in a show of respect” for those being honored. He then ordered the veterans, “You will salute the flag.”

It was pointed out that we gather for these few minutes at the same time each year to honor those who have made a sacrifice so that we remain free. Since World War I, over one million soldiers have died, and another 1.5 million have been wounded.

Following the outdoor ceremony, a public reception was hosted by the West Frankfort Veteran’s of Foreign Wars. Names of local veterans who had passed were solemnly read, with a single bell tolling after each name.

— Bruce A. Fasol


First-ever Ladies Night Out set for Nov. 15

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Saluki men’s basketball program will hold its first-ever Ladies Night Out on Thursday, Nov. 15, at SIU Arena.

Ladies Night Out

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the main lobby and includes a Q&A with head coach Barry Hinson, on-court demonstrations by Saluki players, a picture and autograph session, a strength & conditioning demonstration, and a locker room tour. Appetizers and beverages will be served, and all participants will receive a special gift.

The price to attend is $25. Please RSVP by Nov. 13 by calling Nate Mast in the basketball office at 618-453-7950 or by e-mail at nmast@athletics.siu.edu. Proceeds will benefit the Women’s Center in Carbondale.

First-ever reunion held for former UMWA Hospital employees

They had stories to tell, and folks who would appreciate them this past weekend.  Around 75 persons, with more than half former employees, gathered for a reunion of former workers at the UMWA Hospital, in West Frankfort. The reunion was held at the Aquatics Center, at the park.
Kim Stubblefield, one of the organizers, tells franklincounty-news.com that this may have been the first such reunion, but it could be an annual tradition.
“We got the word out mostly by social media,and still got an impressive attendance,” said Stubblefield.
One of the highlights was the surprise appearance of former hospital director Bill Palmer who mingled with the guests and exchanged stories with old acquaintances and their families.  Each person seemed to have their own story to tell, with each mention of a name or two bringing nods and smiles.
One of the plans of the former workers is to have some sort of commemorative rock, or monument where the former hospital once stood. The more modern portion of the structure is now gone. The original wooden building which served as the first hospital still stands, but is to be demolished.
Recently, the city of West Frankfort purchased the land to develope and / or resell.  Mayor Tom Jordan said he believes that it would be a prime site for medical concerns as it is across from a doctors clinic and two pharmacies.
Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News