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Franklin County area briefs

Benton News staff report
updated: 9/7/2022 3:53 PM

Franklin County mobile home tax bills are out
Franklin County Collector Steve Vercellino says 2022 Mobile Home tax bills have been mailed, and payment is due no later than Friday, Oct. 28.
Payments can be accepted in person at the Treasurer's Office in the Campbell Building on the Benton Public Square or by mailing to P.O. Box 967, Benton, IL. Also, there is a drop box on the south side of the Campbell Building.
The Franklin County Treasurer's Office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. If you own a mobile home and have not received your tax bill by Sept. 16, call the Treasurer's Office at 618-435-9800.

Christopher student on UT Martin honors list
Kirsten P. Jolly of Christopher has made the honors list at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Jolly achieved highest honors, reserved for students with the top GPAs.

Cave rescuer speaks at film screening
A screening of the award-winning National Geographic documentary "The Rescue" planned for Sept. 15 at SIU will feature a Q-and-A session with the film's executive producer, Thanet Natisri, also the co-owner of Thai D in Marion. Natisri made key contributions in rescuing 19 young soccer players trapped in a cave in northern Thailand in 2018, which the film documents. The screening will begin at 5 p.m. in the SIUC Law School Auditorium and is open to the public. The event is sponsored by the UNA-USA Southern Illinois Chapter, SIU Model UN RSO, and the International and Immigration Law Society.

Snake Road closes for fall migration
Biannually the Shawnee National Forest closes Forest Service Road No. 345, also known as Snake Road, to ensure safe crossing for all species of snakes and amphibians moving to the limestone cliffs from LaRue Swamp. The 2.7-milelong road is closed Sept. 1 through Oct. 30 to allow snakes and amphibians to migrate from their summer habitat in the LaRue Swamp across the road to their winter habitat in the limestone bluffs. Closure periods are sometimes extended due to present observations and weather. The road is closed to vehicles, but open to people traveling on foot. The gradual, two-month movement attracts people from across the country eager to witness the rich diversity of reptile and amphibian species along this single stretch of road. Info about LaRue-Pine Hills Research National Area, visit

Crawford Cemetery Popcorn Day raffle
The Crawford Campground Cemetery is preparing to hold its Popcorn Day raffle in Ridgway. Stop by the booth located in the craft vendor section, next to Banterra Bank and the Tin Shop. Tickets will be sold from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 and 9 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. The drawing will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday. You do not have to be present to win. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Raffled items are donated by businesses, families, individuals and friends of the cemetery. All the proceeds go to the mowing and maintenance of the cemetery.

Sierra Club program on area coal mining
The Shawnee Group of the Sierra Club will play host to the program "Overview and Insight into Coal Mining Issues in the Shawnee Group Area" beginning at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 on Zoom. This virtual program presented by Joyce Blumenshine, Illinois Chapter Sierra Club Mining Issues Team member, will provide an overview of coal mining in southern Illinois with particular focus on the largest mines and updates on their environmental and local impacts. This program is intended to expand awareness of coal mining in the Shawnee Group area, what kinds of mines there are, and to consider the environmental justice and legacy impacts of this mining. The program is free. To register and receive the Zoom link, go to

Southern 7's 'Tour de Seven' is Oct. 1
Southern 7 Health Department will hold its seventh "Tour de Seven" -- Fall into Fitness 5K Run/Walk in Rosiclare Oct. 1 during the town's annual Fluorspar Festival. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to a local food pantry in Hardin County. A portion of the proceeds from the 5K will be donated to Hardin County Food Pantry through Shawnee Development. Joining in the event again this year is Arrowleaf, a local nonprofit community service agency, to provide participant support and be on hand with information about their services. Early registration for the Tour de Seven ends Sept. 15. Entry fee is $25 and includes a participant T-shirt. Late registration is $30 with no guarantee on T-shirt. Day of registration begins at 7 a.m. followed by the Race at 8 a.m. A shorter route, the one-mile "Fluorspar Mineral Mile" will start at 8:30 a.m. Enter by donating a nonperishable food item. T-shirts can be ordered for $10 with a "Fluorspar Mineral Mile" registration. To register for the Tour de Seven, call Bobi Cavins at (618) 634-2297 ext. 9123 or Visit or the Southern 7 Facebook page.

Entries sought for 4-H STEAM Challenge
In honor of National 4-H week, fifth- through eighth-graders in southern Illinois are invited to design a unique project during a 4-H STEAM Challenge on Oct. 8. This year's theme is community awareness. Students are challenged to design a project related to science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) that can help improve their community. All projects will be on display and judged on Oct. 8 at the Expo Hall at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds. Students do not have to be 4-H members to enter, and individuals can enter a solo project or group project with up to 10 participants. Top prizes will be awarded in each grade level, the top three individual projects and the top three group projects. Students must register their projects by Sept. 20 at For rules, visit info: Carrie Eldridge, at

Neighborhood Co-op Grocery to host Farm Crawl
The annual Neighborhood Co-op Grocery Farm Crawl fundraiser will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10 and 11. The self-guided tour has attendees visiting participating farms at their own pace for $20 per carload. Car passes must be purchased in person at the Neighborhood Co-op, 1815 W. Main St., Carbondale, by Sept. 11. All proceeds will benefit Food Works. Participating farms include Echo Valley Farm, Jackson County Extension Demonstration Gardens, Angie's Farm, La Colina Linda, Mulberry Hill Farm, Wichmann Vineyard, Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch, Bison Bluff Farms, Red Hen Garden, Union County Food Pantry Garden, Bloom Ridge Farm, Countrysprout Organics, Flyway Family Farm, Meadows Bluff Farm and Back Achers Farm. Info: (618) 529-3533.

SILIR announces four fall classes
Southern Illinois Learning in Retirement will offer four classes during its fall term beginning Sept. 12. Beth Lordan will teach "Film from Short Stories," Kay Carr will teach "A Brief History of Colonial America (to 1763)," Dick Matthews will teach "The History of the English Language," and Walter Metz will teach "World Geography and International Cinema." Classes are held at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Carbondale. They will meet two hours weekly for five weeks with the exception of "The History of the English Language," which will meet for four weeks. Course descriptions and schedule details are at Students must be SILIR members. Annual dues are $25. To join, call Jackie Welch at (618) 536-7751, or email

Carbondale solar tour coming Sept. 24
The city of Carbondale has partnered with the Illinois Solar Education Association (ISEA) to arrange host sites in Carbondale for the 2022 Illinois Solar Tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Residents, businesses or nonprofits using solar technology that are willing to share their knowledge and experience are encouraged to sign up to be a host on the tour. The first stop on the tour will be the Carbondale Civic Center, where community members will learn about city solar sites and recent code text amendments pertaining to local solar. Participants will also learn about the logistics of solar energy and solar incentives. For more information, contact the city's sustainability coordinator, Lauren Becker, at

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