Thumbs up to Southern Illinois University Carbondale and its Day of Giving, which was Wednesday. The fundraising campaign Wednesday raked in more than $440,000, almost $100,000 more than officials had hoped for. The event, which is an online crowdfunding campaign designed to generate a sense of immediacy and enthusiasm, has become more prevalent at universities in the last several years, said Rebecca Renshaw, associate director of development communications at SIUC. “A lot of universities across the country are now turning to an online giving day … so we just said let’s try it and see what happens, and it was a great success,” she said.
Thumbs up to a federal grant that has been awarded to the Illinois Department of Transportation to help make Interstate 57 safer near Marion. The grant is $7.6 million, and can be used for infrastructure improvements along I-57 in Williamson County. It was awarded through U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER grant program. In a release from U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, it was said that the money will be used for the expansion of approximately five miles of the interstate — an additional lane will be added in each direction, a median barrier will be installed, the existing lanes will be resurfaced, pavement markings and deficient guardrails will be updated, and raised reflectors and rumble strips will be installed. That’s good news for a stretch of road that has seen its fair share of deadly accidents.
Thumbs down to the situation at Southern Illinois’ community radio station, WDBX 91.1 FM. This week, station manager Dave Armstrong resigned, saying on the WDBX Facebook page, “Although I had a sincere desire to stay; the abusive, bullying treatment I have received from my bosses has made it impossible to perform my job — it seems certain to me that this is their intent.” Armstrong later told The Southern that he felt he was “forced out” because he and others wanted to bring community radio back in the control of the community.
Thumbs up to the city of Du Quoin and its series of videos aimed at promoting all the city has to offer. Announced earlier this week, the series of nine videos highlights city services as well as the school system and Marshall Browning Hospital. “We need to have something that promotes our town and our hospitals and our schools,” Mayor Guy Alongi said in a story this week. It’s a solid idea to promote your city, and we hope it only does good things for Du Quoin.
Thumbs up to the 63 cadets who graduated from training and started their careers as correctional officers in the Illinois Department of Corrections last week during a ceremony at the Murphysboro Life Skills Re-entry Center. Of those graduates, 32 will be working at the Murphysboro facility when it officially opens April 16. The remainder of graduates will be working in Pinckneyville. ”Please stay dedicated to a second chance,” Rauner said during the ceremony. “Everyone makes a mistake in life, some mistakes are more serious than others, but when folks have served their time, giving them a second chance to redeem themselves to become productive citizens, that’s what the good Lord expects of all of us.”
Thumbs up to the boys basketball teams at Pinckneyville and Goreville high schools, as both will play this weekend at the state tournament in Peoria. Today, in the Class 1A semifinals, Goreville takes on Okawville for a shot at a state title. Later on, Pinckneyville will play Winnebago in the Class 2A semifinals. Good luck to both schools and here’s hoping we have two parades come Sunday in Southern Illinois.