Thumbs up to John A. Logan College and the 50 years it has been in Southern Illinois. This past weekend, the college celebrated its 50th anniversary. John A. Logan College was created by public mandate in 1967 under the authority of the Illinois Community College Act of 1965. The college opened to its charter class in fall 1968 with 238 students and eight full-time faculty members. “The college is everything we hoped and prayed it would be,” said Harry L. Crisp, who is the only surviving member of the college’s first board of trustees. Here’s to another 50 years.
Thumbs down to Gov. Bruce Rauner and the fact that he has not been to Cairo since April, when it was announced that about 400 people would have to move from run-down public housing in the city. Countless state and federal leaders have been there, but yet the leader of our state has not. That’s not right. Since July, The Southern has discussed the situation with at least seven different officials in Rauner’s communications office. There have been numerous staff changeovers since that time, and many of those people are no longer in the governor's employ. When we last talked to the governor, Rauner said the situation is largely a federal issue. It’s not, it’s a state issue — one that needs addressed. And, even if it was a federal issue, it’s still happening within the state that Rauner is the governor of.
Thumbs up to veterans all over Southern Illinois and the country. On Saturday, we’ll celebrate Veterans Day, a holiday in which we honor military veterans. And it’s so much more than free food at restaurants for veterans — there are ceremonies and events all over Southern Illinois this weekend that will honor those who have served our country well. We’re proud of our veterans. A hearty thank you goes to all who have served — we cannot thank you enough.
Thumbs up to the Varsity Center in Carbondale. A community fundraiser is ongoing with the goal of bringing movies back to downtown Carbondale, something that hasn’t been done on a regular basis since 2003. “People like to tell us what was the last movie they saw in The Varsity before it closed. And so we started experimenting,” said Peter Gregory, president of The Varsity Center’s board of directors. The board hopes to raise a total of $5,000 and is offering various incentives through the crowdfunding website Generosity.com, including movie passes and T-shirts. Factoring in checks dropped off at the theater, the effort has already raised over $1,000 since it was launched a week ago. The marquee at The Varsity is always lit up on weekends, and there are always things happening there since the remodel. Having The Varsity up and running is a great thing for Carbondale, and it is great for Southern Illinois. The online fundraiser can be found at http://bit.ly/varsityfund.
Thumbs up to the Herrin and Anna-Jonesboro high school football teams. Both will play this weekend in the state quarterfinals. The Herrin Tigers (10-1) will face a tough test, as they have to travel to defending champion Rochester (11-0) in a Class 4A quarterfinal game at 4 p.m. Saturday. Anna-Jonesboro (11-0), meanwhile, has to travel to Vandalia (8-3) for the Class 3A quarterfinal at 2 p.m. Saturday. Good luck to both teams. Hopefully, there’s still more prep football to be played in Southern Illinois.