Top News

Businesses look to benefit from streetscape project

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Nathan Colombo 
Carbondale Times

The first phase of the downtown streetscape project is set to be ready in time to welcome visitors from all over the world. New street lamps cool the space with white LED lighting at night, trees and plants brighten up the days, and restaurants have stretched their sidewalk cafes to the sidewalk walls that line the streets.

Jason Buehner, owner of The Printing Plant, hopes the temporary struggle businesses faced during construction will be offset when commerce begins to pick back up.

“During the construction time it definitely hurt business because people didn’t want to come downtown because it was a big mess,” he said. “The light at the end of the tunnel is that it should be good for business, because somebody has to take the initiative to get downtown going in the right direction.”

Buehner, who recently expanded his business along South Illinois Avenue, sees this as possible catalyst for stakeholders in downtown to reinvest in their own properties.

Nathan Colombo
Nathan Colombo

SIU grad creates app for the eclipse

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times 

 

Cell towers may go down this weekend, but an SIU alum has developed a mobile application to help visitors and residents get around Carbondale without service. 

Jeremy Packer, founder of Packer Labs, launched the SI Eclipse app Monday.  The application was sponsored by SIU’s Research Park and it doesn’t need an Internet connect to work. 

The app, Packer says, is a useful tool for visitors that will provide information about events, businesses and services in the region. Additionally, Packer says the app will be able to communicate with visitors via push notifications, something he says he is not aware of in other tools available to visitors.

“When cellphone reception is available, which is hopefully all or most of the time, we’ll utilize the app to push notifications to visitors with general information or emergency announcements,” Packer said. “If cellphone connections fail during eclipse weekend, we won’t be able to send out notifications, but people will still be able to use the map and information provided through the offline capabilities we’ve created.”        

Dustin Duncan
Dustin Duncan

Vigil held in response to Charlottesville attack

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Nathan Colombo 
Carbondale Times

Residents from Carbondale did their part Sunday to speak out against violence happening throughout the country and specifically the incidents from Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

A vigil was organized at Gaia House in conjunction with the Women United Network. Local officials, as well as members of the community, gathered in support of the victims and in opposition to white supremacist ideology. 

Mayor Mike Henry was first to speak in support of the vigil.

“This is what Carbondale is about,” Henry said. “Getting together and letting people know that we’re a community that embraces diversity. We’re an inclusive community. We have to speak out on things like this, even when they’re very, very far from us.”

Emily Kircher, a community member, spoke to the crowd about what the vigil meant to those who gathered.

“We stand here today to say that we do not accept this violence, this hatred, and we will not be terrorized by white nationalist bullies,” she said. 

Nathan Colombo
Nathan Colombo

Where to park or get a ride in Carbondale

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times

With thousands of people expected to flood into Carbondale this weekend, one burning question remains — where is everybody going to park? 

Two Jackson County Mass Transit buses will each make two trips per hour from designated locations. The buses will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday through Monday. The Jackson County Mass Transit buses will be from the Civic Center and the SIU Student Center only. 

Shuttles will be available for those wanting to park on the outskirts of town and ride into the main entertainment venues in Carbondale. The parking lots for the shuttle transportation are at Carbondale Community High School, 1301 E. Walnut St., University Mall 1237 E. Main St., and Oakland Cemetery, corner of Oakland Avenue and Ready Mix Road. The city said riders will be able to use the service for $5 if paying cash per vehicle. The price will be $7 if using a credit or debit card. This route will run from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. 

City to try open container ordinance during eclipse

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times

 

In hopes to create more of a festival-like atmosphere this weekend, downtown Carbondale will allow individuals to move within a certain boundary with open alcohol containers. 

From Friday to Monday, alcoholic beverages purchased from a licensed liquor establishment downtown may be possessed in plastic containers between Jackson and Mill Streets, and University Avenue and Washington Street from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

The city says coolers and outside beverages will not be allowed. When purchasing an alcohol beverage within an establishment and you want to take it outside, simply ask an employee if they will pour your drink in a plastic cup and you’re free to wander outside. There will be signs posted to tell individuals where alcohol is permitted. 

Businesses look to benefit from streetscape project

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Nathan Colombo 
Carbondale Times

The first phase of the downtown streetscape project is set to be ready in time to welcome visitors from all over the world. New street lamps cool the space with white LED lighting at night, trees and plants brighten up the days, and restaurants have stretched their sidewalk cafes to the sidewalk walls that line the streets.

Jason Buehner, owner of The Printing Plant, hopes the temporary struggle businesses faced during construction will be offset when commerce begins to pick back up.

“During the construction time it definitely hurt business because people didn’t want to come downtown because it was a big mess,” he said. “The light at the end of the tunnel is that it should be good for business, because somebody has to take the initiative to get downtown going in the right direction.”

Buehner, who recently expanded his business along South Illinois Avenue, sees this as possible catalyst for stakeholders in downtown to reinvest in their own properties.

Nathan Colombo
Nathan Colombo

SIU grad creates app for the eclipse

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times 

 

Cell towers may go down this weekend, but an SIU alum has developed a mobile application to help visitors and residents get around Carbondale without service. 

Jeremy Packer, founder of Packer Labs, launched the SI Eclipse app Monday.  The application was sponsored by SIU’s Research Park and it doesn’t need an Internet connect to work. 

The app, Packer says, is a useful tool for visitors that will provide information about events, businesses and services in the region. Additionally, Packer says the app will be able to communicate with visitors via push notifications, something he says he is not aware of in other tools available to visitors.

“When cellphone reception is available, which is hopefully all or most of the time, we’ll utilize the app to push notifications to visitors with general information or emergency announcements,” Packer said. “If cellphone connections fail during eclipse weekend, we won’t be able to send out notifications, but people will still be able to use the map and information provided through the offline capabilities we’ve created.”        

Dustin Duncan
Dustin Duncan

Vigil held in response to Charlottesville attack

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Nathan Colombo 
Carbondale Times

Residents from Carbondale did their part Sunday to speak out against violence happening throughout the country and specifically the incidents from Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

A vigil was organized at Gaia House in conjunction with the Women United Network. Local officials, as well as members of the community, gathered in support of the victims and in opposition to white supremacist ideology. 

Mayor Mike Henry was first to speak in support of the vigil.

“This is what Carbondale is about,” Henry said. “Getting together and letting people know that we’re a community that embraces diversity. We’re an inclusive community. We have to speak out on things like this, even when they’re very, very far from us.”

Emily Kircher, a community member, spoke to the crowd about what the vigil meant to those who gathered.

“We stand here today to say that we do not accept this violence, this hatred, and we will not be terrorized by white nationalist bullies,” she said. 

Nathan Colombo
Nathan Colombo

Where to park or get a ride in Carbondale

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times

With thousands of people expected to flood into Carbondale this weekend, one burning question remains — where is everybody going to park? 

Two Jackson County Mass Transit buses will each make two trips per hour from designated locations. The buses will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday through Monday. The Jackson County Mass Transit buses will be from the Civic Center and the SIU Student Center only. 

Shuttles will be available for those wanting to park on the outskirts of town and ride into the main entertainment venues in Carbondale. The parking lots for the shuttle transportation are at Carbondale Community High School, 1301 E. Walnut St., University Mall 1237 E. Main St., and Oakland Cemetery, corner of Oakland Avenue and Ready Mix Road. The city said riders will be able to use the service for $5 if paying cash per vehicle. The price will be $7 if using a credit or debit card. This route will run from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. 

City to try open container ordinance during eclipse

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times

 

In hopes to create more of a festival-like atmosphere this weekend, downtown Carbondale will allow individuals to move within a certain boundary with open alcohol containers. 

From Friday to Monday, alcoholic beverages purchased from a licensed liquor establishment downtown may be possessed in plastic containers between Jackson and Mill Streets, and University Avenue and Washington Street from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

The city says coolers and outside beverages will not be allowed. When purchasing an alcohol beverage within an establishment and you want to take it outside, simply ask an employee if they will pour your drink in a plastic cup and you’re free to wander outside. There will be signs posted to tell individuals where alcohol is permitted. 

Preparing for visitors: Arbor District, Keep Carbondale Beautiful clean up litter

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dylan Homoya 
Carbondale Times

Carbondale will soon receive a host of visitors for the solar eclipse and many new residents this week for the start of the fall semester at SIU. 

In anticipation of these events, two organizations teamed up Saturday to pick up litter around the streets of Carbondale. 

Volunteers from both Keep Carbondale Beautiful and the Arbor District Neighborhood Association came together to clean up trash in downtown Carbondale and the Arbor District neighborhood.

Keep Carbondale Beautiful does these cleans up frequently, but it is typically only done by the Arbor District when students are about to return to class or when there is a big event nearby. This time of year, it so happens that a big event and classes start at the same time.

The upcoming solar eclipse is a big part of why both groups came together. It is the goal of the groups to make Carbondale look more presentable to visitors, 

Dylan Homoya
Dylan Homoya

Welcome to Carbondale

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times

So, I’m not sure if people in Southern Illinois know this, but there’s an eclipse coming Monday. Additionally, this little event called SIU Move-In weekend, well, week started Wednesday in an attempt to clear the streets in time for tens of thousands of people to infiltrate our university community.

As the region braces for the one of the largest events it has ever seen, let’s not forget that Carbondale will be front and center for the entire world. The city of Carbondale has been making improvements around the downtown area to present a good face for visitors. Let’s do our part as residents to be a friendly and welcoming community to those coming to see this once-in-a-lifetime event — or twice-in-seven-years event in this case.

Dale’s Burger Shack to be open 24 hours

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Nathan Colombo
Carbondale Times

Carbondale boasts an ever-changing cycle of locally-owned restaurants. While new restaurants open, other restaurants change hands, switch locations or even close. 

It’s a cycle that afforded the owner of Carbondale’s newest restaurant, Josh Leitchy, an opportunity to open Dale’s Burger Shack, 1709 W. Main St., in a location that is purpose-built to be a restaurant.

“They did an auction of the property that was abandoned here,” Leitchy said. “We picked up two pieces of equipment at that auction. The majority of it went away.”

As for his other equipment, he said he looked far and wide to make things fit his new digs and budget. 

“I traveled all over the Midwest to get good stuff, to get good deals, and to get things that would fit perfectly for the spot because it’s a small location,” he said. 

Leitchy, who opened Dale’s Burger Shack in July, has been a team member and manager at establishments throughout Carbondale’s restaurant industry. He hired staff who he has worked with before, and he serves customers who he has served at other establishments.

Little Makanda bracing for hordes of eclipse-watchers

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

BY HOLLY KEE

hkee@bentoneveningnews.com

There are no super highways or billboards to mar the natural beauty of the hills surrounding Makanda.  

From the south, a winding, two-lane highway with steep hills and blind curves levels out at a railroad crossing next to the post office and a park. 

From the north, alongside Giant City State Park, the trees part around the railroad tracks, opening to a view of the boardwalk with shops that look like the stage of an 1800s-era Hollywood western.

Makanda has seen its share of changes in 172 years, but it remains stubbornly lost in time, for generations remaining one of southern Illinois’ best-kept secrets.

The secret is about to be out. On Monday, thousands of umbraphiles — eclipse chasers — are expected to arrive for the greatest show on Earth, a total solar eclipse. 

What’s more, the international eclipse spotlight will shine brightest on Makanda, where totality will last 2 minutes and 40 seconds, longer than anywhere else in the United States.

Schimpf, Bryant to hold senior fair

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Carbondale Times

Senior citizens from throughout the area will find a range of services and information available at the annual Senior Fair July 20 in Carbondale.

State Sen. Paul Schimpf, State Rep. Terri Bryant and Mayor Mike Henry will serve as hosts for the event, which will run from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center, located at 200 S. Illinois Ave.

All interested senior citizens are invited to attend for information and demonstrations on quality-of-life issues. More than 50 area vendors will be in attendance to provide services to area seniors.

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