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Businesses look to benefit from streetscape project

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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

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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

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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. 

Making new plans: Major promoter and city cut ties

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Dustin Duncan
Weekend Times

    The city of Carbondale has been promoting a downtown street festival for the weekend prior to the eclipse with possible national music act as a headline, but it appears things won’t go as planned.
    Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams said Wednesday that Arizona-based promoter Danny Zelisko Presents and the city no longer have a contract together. He said the city had been waiting for a “number of months” for the promoter to make an announcement, and sometime in May, the promoter told the city it wasn’t going to be able to make it work for that particular weekend.
    “So we’re keeping our options open and exploring other opportunities at this time,” Williams said.
    The city manager said there were a combination of things that led to not being able to land a big name. Proximity could have been one of those factors, he said. 

“Painful cuts” lead to about 80 layoffs at SIU: Interim chancellor says cuts were necessary to evolve as an institution

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Murphysboro to close a chapter of its history

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Ada McCarroll
Carbondale Times

    The building that once housed Murphysboro’s formerly booming business, The Brown Shoe Factory, is at its last straw.
    The Murphysboro City Council has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the building — Carl and Carol Hohman — for the ability to knock down a wall threatening to fall onto 19th Street if not safety demolished, according to Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens. He said the city wants to also fence off the area around the building, but currently, it has no legal right to be on the property.
    “Were not trying to use eminent domain to take possession of the property,” Stephens said. “We just want to get in there and make it safe for those people around the building.”
    The building, built in 1907, has survived more than 100 years, including the distinction of being one of the few large industries in Murphysboro that came back after the 1925 tornado, according to Mike Jones of the Jackson County Historical Society.
    “[The Brown Show Factory] provided work until the end of the 1970s,” Jones said. “It was one of Murphysboro’s major employers.”

Amtrak train hits vehicle north of Carbondale: Carterville woman treated for non-life-threatening injuries

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 Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times

A Carterville woman was taken to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after her vehicle was hit by an Amtrak train just north of Carbondale, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Marion boy to appear next month on Food Network: 6th grader participated in Kids BBQ Championship

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Josh Loyd, a sixth-grader at the junior high, said he started learning how to grill from his father, Anthony, as early as 5 years old. Thinking that he might be good enough to enter a competition, he, with help from his mother, DeShona, browsed the Internet and found the Kids' BBQ Championship competition advertised on the Food Network website.

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