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Impact of solar eclipse discussed at Regional Leaders Breakfast

Dr. Scott Ishman
Dr. Scott Ishman

Something exciting that is gaining national and worldwide attention will be happening in southern Illinois in August 2017 and again in April 2024. What exactly is happening and its impact on the area was discussed at the Oct. 13 Regional Leaders Breakfast held at the Chester American Legion.
Dr. Scott Ishman, the associate dean for the College of Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and co-chair for the Solar Eclipse Steering Committee at SIU, was on hand to discuss these historic events.
On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 there will be a solar eclipse viewable in the United States with its path of totality crossing through southern Illinois. Then on April 8, 2024, another solar eclipse will cross the nation, again with the path of totality crossing through our area. Southern Illinois has been dubbed the “Eclipse Crossroads of America.”
Outside of the path of totality, eclipse viewers will only see a partial eclipse. But those in the path, they will see a total eclipse, where the sun will be blotted out and it will be as dark as night for approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
“It’s 2 minutes, 40 seconds worth of wow,” Ishman excitedly said. “The eclipse will block out the light of the sun and it will be dark, with a sunset 360 degrees around you. It’s going to be super cool.”
While partial eclipses aren’t exactly uncommon, total ones are. Ishman continued, “It’s a very rare occurrence that we’ll have two total eclipses in the same area in seven year’s time.”
For more information on the solar eclipse, please see this week’s print edition.

Future Leaders

breakfast-rbhsRecognized as Future Regional Leaders from Red Bud High School at the Oct. 13 Regional Leaders Breakfast were: Frederick Grohmann and Kendra Shepard. They are pictured with RBHS Principal Rob Pipher.

Progress Committee supports public safety tax

The Randolph County Progress Committee (RCPC) voted Thursday, Oct. 13 to endorse and recommend passage of Randolph County’s proposed public safety tax. RCPC President Nancy Crossland explained the board’s unanimous decision.
“This is not about politics,” said Crossland, who also serves on the Chester Board of Aldermen. “This is about a county in crisis because of millions in lost revenue on coal sales. If that revenue is not replaced, then we lose services in Randolph County, there’s no way around that. Then it becomes an issue of economic development. Companies check many factors before moving or expanding into a new community. They look at the community’s health department and ambulance service, what business assistance programs are available, and most importantly, how a community is policed and what the crime rate is. We have great law enforcement in Randolph County. We also have an excellent health department and other services. If this tax is not passed, every one of those services, and others will be diminished.”
Crossland said the RCPC has worked very hard in the past few years to help the community grow jobs and tourism revenue. She estimates that more than 200 manufacturing, mining and transportation related jobs have been added to the local economy. Last year, the RCPC with partners around the community, helped generate more than $35 million dollars in tourism revenue for Randolph County, and that money helped generate another 150 entry-level jobs.
For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.

St. John’s wrapping up their 150th celebration

On Sunday, Oct. 23, all are invited to join in the celebration as St. John the Baptist Parish Family concludes the year long celebration of St. John’s Catholic School’s 150th anniversary.
The Mass will begin at 10 a.m. The children’s choir will provide special songs along with students from the fourth, fifth and sixth grades presenting various symbols and reflections which speak of faith, academics and service.
For more, please see this week’s print edition.

Red Bud Masons win top award

masons-awardAWARD WINNING LODGE–The Red Bud Masonic Lodge has continued their streak of winning the Grand Master’s Award of Excellence from the Grand Lodge of Illinois. Some of the Red Bud Lodge members are pictured at a recent meeting with the award.

Red Bud Masonic Lodge 427 recently was recognized by the Grand Lodge of Illinois as the winner of this year’s Grand Master’s Award of Excellence.
This award, also known as the Golden Trowel Award, is a statewide first place award.
The Red Bud Lodge has been consistent in receiving this recognition. In 2011 they placed third overall in the state, but in 2012 they took first.
Starting in 2013, while still statewide, the award was split into two categories, for lodges with 79 members or less, and for those with 80 or more members.
For 2013-2016, the Red Bud Lodge took home the first place award for lodges with 79 members and under.

Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail Coalition received award

Randolph County and the Randolph County Progress Committee have been in partnership with people and agencies in Monroe and St. Clair Counties for years in creating and promoting the Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail. The Trail Coalition has garnered another award for these efforts.
Each year, the East-West Gateway Council of Governments honors local jurisdictions, public officials and projects that are making special contributions to their community and to the region. This year, the partners in the Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail (KCT) Coalition have been selected to receive a 2016 Outstanding Local Government Achievement for Exemplary Intergovernmental Collaboration in recognition of the efforts to identify, designate and promote the historic 60-mile-long Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail.
For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.

First Bank to hold customer appreciation day Oct. 22

To thank the community for their longtime relationship and to protect the public against ID theft, First Bank’s Red Bud branch will host an appreciation day and free shredding event on Saturday, Oct. 22.
Free and open to the public, the celebration will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature food, activities, the Balloonatic and prizes.
To provide a convenient and secure way to dispose of sensitive documents, First Bank will also host free shredding from 9 to 11 a.m.
For more information, please contact First Bank’s Tammy Salger at 618-282-6255.
First Bank is one of the largest privately owned banks in the country with $6.1 billion in assets and over 100 locations in Missouri, Illinois and California.

All Conference!

All Conference - Daniele London and Calyn Hartmann
All Conference – Daniele London and Calyn Hartmann

Senior Daniele London and freshman Calyn Hartmann ran to All-Conference honors in Saturday’s Cahokia Conference Cross Country meet at New Athens.
For London, the excellent race was in defense of her All-Conference performance of a year ago. She placed sixth Saturday, up one from her seventh place in 2015. Her nicely-paced 20:36 on the 2.95 mile course was a minute better than her season opener on the same course.
Hartmann was only seconds behind in eighth place, her 20:57 a remarkable contrast to the 24:25 in the season opener. Wisely, she used her more experienced teammate as a pace monitor.
New Athens nipped the Red Bud girls’ team for second in team standings, 71-72. Freeburg won with 20. The RBHS boys’ team was unable to “put it all together” and placed fourth in standings, behind Freeburg’s perfect 15, Steeleville’s 76, and Columbia’s 105. Red Bud had 107.
For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.

Award Winners

cc-kids-with-fort-peopleJason and Jennifer Duensing were among the dozen costumed members of the Fort de Chartres Les Coureurs des Bois organization who provided “local color” for the sixth running of the RBHS Cross Country Invitational of the same name. Members used a cannon shot to start races, then marked each race leader’s progress by firing muskets when he/she passed the one mile and two mile marks. Jason also presented awards. He and Jennifer pose with RBHS girls’ award winners Daniele London (fifth), Calyn Hartmann (eighth) and Mary Wagner (ninth) and boys’ medalists Wyatt DuClos (seventh), Alex Sievers (10th), Garrett Headen (sixth) and Chase Headen (first). For more on the Les Coureurs des Bois, please see this week’s print edition.