New police cooperation contract to be sought


A new contract among members of West Franklin Central Dispatch is to be formulated by Zeigler Mayor Dennis Mitchell.  The Zeigler City Council empowered their mayor to begin negotiations with Christopher and Valier toward a new agreement.

At Tuesday night’s meeting the situation with neighboring Royalton was discussed. Zeigler routinely responded for back-up to Royalton and vice versa. Now, Royalton has decided dispatching services should be concentrated in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. That puts officers, providing mutual aid to each other in dangerous situations on separate radio frequencies. It was theorized that life-threatening information may not reach officers on a frequency they would not normally monitor.

Mitchell is to now meet with representatives of the communities left in the pact. The Western Franklin Central Dispatch has developed a lawsuit against the City of Sesser. The suit stems from payments to the IRS and state agencies over the financial scandal that rocked the entity in 2012. That lawsuit against Sesser has yet to be authorized for filing by the Board.

The Board could vote to authorize filing tonight, or could authorize a final billing statement for money alleged due to Central Dispatch by the City of Sesser.

Zeigler Fire Department continues training programs in 2013

Zeigler Fire Department members participate in engine company training this week.


The first Wednesday of 2013 found 10 members of the Zeigler Fire Department doing what they normally do: training. Wednesday evenings are training sessions for Chief David Greer’s department. This training is for both veteran firefighters and those in training to become a firefighter. These are relatively new training rules implemented for that department.

A person undergoing training to become a member of the Zeigler Fire Department must complete a two-year training program to move from “firefighter candidate” to actual firefighter. This goes above and beyond the lack of mandatory state regulations covering training for certification.

The Zeigler Fire Department studies a different aspect of training each Wednesday evening. Some sessions may cover equipment, regulations, and of course procedural situations. The actual scene procedural training is done with full “bunker gear” worn by fire crews to more closely replicate real-life situations. Captain Ron Duigood handles the training tasks as the designated officer in that department.

The Zeigler Fire Dept. responded to more than 320 calls in calendar year 2012.

Public hearing on tax levy set for Friday night in Zeigler

A mandatory public hearing is scheduled for Friday evening in Zeigler. The hearing is required before the Zeigler City Council votes on its tax levy for the year. It’s a time for city commissioners to hear comments on the levy.

The public hearing will be held at 5 p.m. city council chambers at Zeigler city hall.

Zeigler-Royalton Tornadoes defeat Trico in overtime


ZEIGLER – Zeigler-Royalton used a tenacious team defense, clutch scoring and outstanding free-throw shooting to defeat Trico 64-61 in overtime Tuesday night.

“Our kids battled the entire game and gained confidence as the game went on,” said Zeigler Royalton coach Matt Morgan. “Their willingness to make a commitment on the defensive end, our ability to knock down free-throws, and our crowd’s energy were the difference in the game.”

The Tornadoes were led in scoring by Nick McPhail with 19 points and Boris Moskoff with 16.

McPhail had five field goals and was nine of eleven from the free throw line in addition to six assists and five steals.

Moskoff had three field goals and was an outstanding ten of ten from the charity stripe. Boris also added a team high seven rebounds.

Brandon Jones contributed eight points and six rebounds against the taller Pioneers, Jeffery Pedigo ran the offense, Jeremy Weddle added a clutch three pointer and Brandon Stubblefield and Bailey Schmipf
provided scoring and intense defense.

The Tornadoes are 10-3 on the season and 2-1 in Black Diamond Conference play.

Next up for Z-R will be #3 seed Waltonville in the first round of the Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament.

“It’s a big win for our team and we are going to enjoy it, but at the same time we know we have to get back to the gym and get to work to prepare for the Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament next week,” Morgan said.

Zeigler Fire Department fundraiser Saturday


One of this area’s most efficient volunteer fire departments wants to grow. So, Saturday night they are having a fundraiser to help fund an addition to their current home.

Chief David Greer’s department is hosting a Raise the Roof event Saturday night at Zeigler Eagles Lodge. The event is planned to raise money so that an addition can be built to the current fire station at Zeigler City Hall.

The department needs more room for their emergency vehicles and seeks to raise the money themselves, with community help.

“We literally have equipment stacked up and in the loft,” said Lt. Kathie Flowers. One emergency vehicle sits out in the elements.

Saturday night’s event begins with a BBQ dinner served from 6 to 8 p.m. Music by Shakey Jake begins at 8 p.m. There will also be a silent auction as well that night.
Tickets are $15 per person and will be available at the door.
This is the first of a series of fundraising events for the new construction desired. A Raise the Roof Concert Series is also planned.

Zeigler officials await property answer on old football field


One of the most meaningful projects in Zeigler’s early TIF District history could see construction in the near future. That optimism that a rumored Dollar General Store will be built in the community comes as a counter offer for land is being considered.

The 1.7 acres being considered is at the northern edge of the city. It is part of an area that is best remembered as the Zeigler-Royalton High School football field.  When the Tornadoes and the nearby Christopher Bearcats began co-oping their team, the games were moved to Spann Field in Christopher. Since that time, the former football field has been used as a walking path by some in the community.

Zeigler Mayor Dennis Mitchell confirmed that an offer by an unnamed developer was not quite enough money for the land. However, a recent counter offer was made which we are told is closer to the appraised value of the lot. Zeigler officials await a reply from the developer seeking the property.

Zeigler Council members have speculated on the use of the land by the developer. They have specifically mentioned Dollar General Store as a possible business seeking to build. That would fit a profile being watched in other communities as well. West Frankfort is believed to be in negotiations for a second Dollar General Store in that community. No timetable for reply to the counter offer was mentioned at the previous Zeigler City Council meeting.

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