Thumbs up to all the doctors, nurses, medical professionals and volunteers across Southern Illinois working their tails off to help us all get through the coronavirus pandemic. Things are most certainly going to get worse before they get better, and life right now isn’t exactly easy right now. But life will go on, and the only way we’re going to get through this is together. There are a lot of good people out there helping one another get meals, get groceries and get on with regular life as much as possible. We give kudos to all of you out there.
Thumbs up to all the athletes around the region who had their seasons cut short because of the pandemic and social distancing measures. No, we’re not saying we’re happy for you. We’re saying that we feel for you all. Bluntly put, it sucks that seasons have come to halt in all corners of the country, and it’s tough to put in all that work just to not play. We get it. It happened to the SIU women’s basketball team. John A. Logan College’s men’s basketball team had a chance at a national championship. Spring sports at SIU are done. There are stories like this all over our region. We feel for you all.
Thumbs up to the SIU men’s basketball team on a fantastic season. Sure, the Salukis lost last weekend in the MVC quarterfinals to Bradley, but we’d classify the season as a success. Remember, this team was picked to finish last in the Valley this season, but finished fifth. Rookie head coach Bryan Mullins has this program trending in the right direction. "I think we have a great foundation … because of the seniors, Barret (Benson), Eric (McGill) and Ronnie (Suggs) — they've done a great job throughout the year of leadership on and off the court and represented themselves and their families, and this program, the right way. They've practiced hard every single day and shown the younger guys what it takes to be successful at this level. For the younger guys … they played in big games. They played in big atmospheres now. … Hopefully, that fuels them for the rest of their careers at SIU," Mullins said after the loss to Bradley. We’re all looking forward to what the future holds for the Salukis.
Thumbs up to all the local candidates who ran in Tuesday’s primary — and we’re talking about the winners and the losers. It takes a lot of guts to run for political office, any office. In order to run, it takes a lot of time and sacrifice. And then if a candidate should win, even more time and sacrifice. A bonus thumbs up goes to the families of all the candidates. Arguably, they make even more sacrifices. It takes a special person to run for public office, and while we may not agree with everything they say, we’re proud to have candidates who want to run.
Thumbs up to Herrin Mayor Steve Frattini and the Herrin City Council for its extraordinary transparency. That transparency stems from the fact the City Council hasn’t gone into executive session for more than three years. Frattini said it was a feature in The Southern five years ago that inspired him to stake out this position. “We do have a high degree of accountability to the taxpayers of our community and I think that they are entitled to see how and why we make some of the decisions that are made. They're paying the bill. They have that entitlement. It’s their city government,” he said.
Thumbs up to members of Carbondale’s First Presbyterian Church, The Sparrow Coalition and the city's interfaith council for a monthly free laundry day that they host. The day, which happens on the second Tuesday of the month, is set to happen next on April 14. The event happens at Laundry World in Carbondale. In a report to the Sparrow Coalition, the Carbondale Laundry Project noted that between November and February it had served 137 people, providing $1,034.75 of assistance. Plus, in the future, they said they hope to build on the success, potentially offering other services like haircuts and a meal.
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