Thumbs down to the fact that skimmers found on gas pumps Tuesday at two MotoMart convenience stores in Williamson County. One was found in Carterville at the MotoMart on Plaza Drive, and the other was found at the Marion MotoMart on Main Street. With virtually everybody using credit or debit cards to pay for gas, this is a troubling find because nobody want their banking information stolen. But one officer who works for the parent company that owns MotoMart has some good advice — “Tamper evidence stickers are pretty intuitive. If anyone has access to the inner workings of a pump, the word 'void' is clearly readable on the fuel dispenser. Bring it to the attention of store right away. They will go through the whole procedure to check, put the pump out of service and report it to professionals right away,” said Rob Forsyth, an officer in FKG Oil Co. If there are any questions or concerns when you’re pumping gas, please let the store know.
Thumbs up to fair season opening up in Southern Illinois. Last week, the Peach Festival happened in Cobden, and this week, the Williamson County Fair kicked off Marion. And coming down the chute is the Du Quoin State Fair, the Apple Festival in Murphysboro and many more that we don’t have enough space to mention. Everybody loves a fair — it’s the perfect place to see old friends, make new ones and catch up on lost time. It’s fun for all ages.
Thumbs down to the state of Illinois missing its first installment of payments to schools. Thursday was supposed to be the day that state schools were supposed to get funds from the state, but because SB1 is still in limbo, nothing was sent out. Sure, Comptroller Susana Mendoza sent out $429 million in categorical payments to provide some cash flow, but that money is past due. We said it before, and we’ll say it again — students in Illinois should not have to pay for the state’s inability to get things done. It’s pathetic that it’s come to this — there are some schools in our region and the state that don’t have enough funds to stay open very long. It’s not fair to the children of Illinois and something needs to be done about it.
Thumbs down to eclipse planning at the Du Quoin State Fair. To be more specific, we agree with Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi when he said he thought the state could have done more. “I just think the state could have done a much better job as promoting the fairgrounds as an eclipse venue,” Alongi said. He also said that he doesn’t think officials knew just how big the event would be. The Du Quoin State Fair kicks off the Friday after the eclipse — a mere four days between events. And, both events figure to draw big crowds, so it doesn’t make much sense that it wasn’t promoted more. Regardless, both events will be good for Southern Illinois, and we hope that promotion doesn’t matter much when it comes down it on Eclipse Monday.
Thumbs up to Benton resident Murphy Hart making the field for the U.S. Senior Amateur golf tournament in Minneapolis. Last month, Hart was one of four qualifiers who played well enough at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, to advance to the 156-player field in Minnesota. And it was all thanks to a couple of clutch putts. “To qualify for a USGA event is a real bucket list item. When (the putt) went in, I knew I had fulfilled it,” Hart said in a story published this week. Now, the longtime attorney needs to post one of the 64 lowest score when he gets to Minneapolis. If he does, he’ll get to play match-play golf to try and take home the title. Congrats, Murphy, we’re all pulling for you.