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MARION VA UNDER INVESTIGATION: Congressional subcommittee looking into allegations of mismanagement

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By Holly Kee
hkee@bentoneveningNEWS.com

Less than a decade after a federal investigation into the Marion Veterans Affairs Medical Center resulted in wholesale changes to its surgical department, the Marion VA is again under investigation.

The Veterans Affairs Congressional Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee is looking into allegations made by whistleblowers and other informers from within the Marion facility — among them that radiology tests were misread and the mistakes were covered up; that employees who complained about what they considered mismanagement within the VA were bullied or in some cases reclassified or fired; that nepotism has figured into some hirings; and that in general the culture inside the VA is not transparent.

Centralia runs through Terriers 42-21

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Chris Barron
Carbondale Times

The Carbondale Terriers scored 21 points in the first half against the preseason South Seven Conference favorite Centralia Orphans. However, giving up 28 points in that same first half, isn’t the way to win conference games. 

Friday’s 42-21 loss again revolved around another talented quarterback. This time it was Javon Williams, who ran and passed for 357 of the Orphans’ 460 total yards and accounted for five of its six touchdowns. 

Nevertheless, Terrier Head Coach Bryan Lee was upbeat about his team’s defense — especially in the first half.

“It’s the best effort we have shown in the three years I’ve been at Carbondale,” Lee said. “Especially in the second quarter where we grabbed a lead.”

Ryan Neal named MVFC Defensive Player of the Week

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Saluki Media Service

SIU football defensive back Ryan Neal was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced Sunday evening. Neal led SIU to a 35-17 win at Southeast Missouri on Saturday night. 

Neal had an interception, a fumble recovery and a game-high eight tackles in the victory. He returned his interception 52 yards, and his fumble recovery set up an SIU touchdown. Neal led SIU’s defense, which held SEMO to 278 yards of total offense and less than four yards per play.

Neal is SIU’s first MVFC Player of the Week this season, and he is Southern’s first MVFC Defensive Player of the Week since Brandon Williams on Sept. 26, 2015. 

Special teams and defense lead to a Saluki win

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Chris Barron
Carbondale Times 

The 2015 away game against Southeast Missouri State and this past Saturday’s away game in the same stadium, both started off with a turnover by SIU. However, the reaction of those two teams was worlds apart.

In 2015, SIU emotionally folded after an interception by Mark Iannotti and went on to turn the ball over six more times (four fumbles, three interceptions in total) in a 27-24 loss to the Redhawks.

On Saturday, SIU’s Daquan Isom put the ball on the turf on his first carry. This time SIU’s veteran team just bowed its figurative football neck and scored the next 21 points — to basically win the game. Winning in Football, like any other sport, is a good part mental and emotional — not necessarily about who has the best talent.

Walt Frazier returns to highlight ‘Heroes, Myths and Traditions’ at SIU’s homecoming

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Christi Mathis
SIU Media Service

Walt “Clyde” Frazier, one of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s legendary alumni, returns to campus next month as “Heroes, Myths and Traditions” are celebrated during Homecoming 2017 festivities, Oct. 8-15.

Frazier, the homecoming grand marshal, will participate in the parade at 10 a.m. on Oct. 14.

Bella Sofia Threads makes a move to family environment

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Colleen Frease
Carbondale Times

With a new location and a new attitude, Bella Sofia Threads owners Brittany and Jacob Cook are ready to take on the Carbondale business world. 

Bella Sofia Threads is a children’s store located in the Murdale Shopping Center. It’s a modern boutique providing a wide array of children’s clothes to families shopping for their children in Southern Illinois. 

Brittany and her husband Jacob Cook opened Bella Sofia Threads two years ago in September 2015. The store originally was in downtown Carbondale and recently moved to Murdale. The Cooks loved being in downtown Carbondale, but moving to Murdale has allowed the store to become part of the Murdale Shopping Center’s family atmosphere, Brittany said. 

“I love being in Murdale,” Brittany Cook said. “Families are shopping at the Co-Op, running into True Value, there is a neighborhood right behind the shopping center. “

New Kahala turns 25 in September A new generation set to take over operations

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Nathan Colombo
Carbondale Times

Will and Jeff Lo have been working at their parents’ restaurant for much of their lives. When their parents Sen and Chun opened New Kahala Chinese Cuisine in 1992, Will was nine and Jeff was 16.

Now, as the family prepares to celebrate 25 years of business in September, Will and Jeff are committing to providing the same food service their parents mandated for New Kahala for the past two and a half decades.

Before becoming a restaurant-centric family, father Sen Lo immigrated to United States in the early 1980s as an apprentice working with textile. Due to limited work in that industry, Sen Lo began work in a restaurant in New York City.

“He found a job at a kitchen. He started washing dishes, started to learn to cook, and a few years later mom came over from Taiwan and then started waitressing,” Will Lo said. 

New Kahala turns 25 in September A new generation set to take over operations

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Nathan Colombo
Carbondale Times

Will and Jeff Lo have been working at their parents’ restaurant for much of their lives. When their parents Sen and Chun opened New Kahala Chinese Cuisine in 1992, Will was nine and Jeff was 16.

Now, as the family prepares to celebrate 25 years of business in September, Will and Jeff are committing to providing the same food service their parents mandated for New Kahala for the past two and a half decades.

Before becoming a restaurant-centric family, father Sen Lo immigrated to United States in the early 1980s as an apprentice working with textile. Due to limited work in that industry, Sen Lo began work in a restaurant in New York City.

“He found a job at a kitchen. He started washing dishes, started to learn to cook, and a few years later mom came over from Taiwan and then started waitressing,” Will Lo said. 

Annabelle: Creation ***

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Bryan Miller
Nightlife

If it seemed like the whole point of the Conjuring spinoff Annabelle was to explain the creation of the titular spooky doll…it was. 

But what is the story behind that story, the origin of the inception of the creation of the beginning, as it were? That’s the question nobody asked, but director David Sandberg and Annabelle writer Gary Dauberman go ahead and answer it anyway in the definitively titled Annabelle: Creation.

The result is a kinda-fun, medium-scary movie that leans heavily on the competent execution of familiar horror tropes to be an okay version of exactly what it purports to be. That’s not a ringing endorsement of a piece of art, but in terms of both capitalism and pulp entertainment, it counts as a square deal.

Carbondale’s own blues legend Big Larry dies at 80 Friends and fellow artists recount stories from his life

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Leah Williams 
Nightlife

Martin “Big Larry” Allbritton — Carbondale’s own blues legend — died early Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, at Memorial Hospital. He was 80 years old. 

Allbritton was a drummer for Bobby “Blue” Band and performed with Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows before coming to Southern Illinois and playing for decades in venues throughout the region. Allbritton told the Nightlife in 2012, when he was honored with his own Big Larry Day in Carbondale proclamation, that he never felt that he had to stick with one genre.

“Blues is the roots of all music,” he said at the time. “Country, rock… music is music. I have done all kinds. Anything that felt right at the time, I did it.”

Will Stephens, mayor of Murphysboro and radio host on WXAN and WDBX and Murphysboro Mayor said he first met Allbritton nearly 20 years ago.

“I was working at Kroger, when someone pointed him out to me and said that guy is a blues man,” Stephens said. “He then came by the radio station, and from there, I just wanted to help him book shows.”

That chance encounter grew into a business relationship and a friendship.

Katherine Cramer to visit SIU for discussion about public opinion

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Leah Williams
Nightlife

A well-known political science professor from the University of Wisconsin Madison is coming to Southern Illinois University to talk about public opinion. 

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute’s Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture in the Student Center Ballroom B.

Cramer, who is the director of the Mogridge Center for Public Service and a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the college, will present a discussion on public opinion with an immersive focus where she invites herself into the conversations of different groups of people in hopes of learning how they understand public affairs.

Cramer said she first became interested in public opinion while she was growing up and having dinner conversation about current events with her parents. 

“I have probably been interested in public opinion my whole life,” Cramer said.

Man charged with arson in house fire

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Carbondale Times

A Carbondale man has been arrested in connection to a structure fire at 523 E. Burke St., according to Carbondale Police Department.
Keelan Bush, 46, has been charged with aggravated arson and has been incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail.
At about 5:10 a.m., on Monday, officers arrived at the Burke Street home to find the back boor in flames. The occupants of the residence were alerted and able to exit out of the house without injury.
As the investigation continued, officers arrested Bush, who is an acquaintance of a resident of the home. That person’s identity has not been released.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the police at 618 457-3200 or the Carbondale/SIU Crime Stoppers 618-549-2677.

Man charged with attempted murder

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Carbondale Times


A Carbondale man has been arrested in connection to a stabbing occurring this past Sunday, according to the Carbondale Police Department.
Nathan Bowles, 36, has been charged with aggravated battery and attempted murder, police say. He is incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail.
At about 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, officers were called to the 400 block of East Sycamore Street for a report of a male being stabbed. Police found one individual with serious stab wounds who was taken o the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.
The investigation revealed Bowles stabbed the victim following a dispute. The victim, whose name has not been released, remains hospitalized for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
The investigation into this incident is continuing.
Anybody who has information about this incident is encouraged to call the police department at 618-457-3200 or Crime Stoppers at 618-549-2677.


SIU still gearing up for season opener

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Chris Barron
Carbondale Times

SIU head football coach Nick Hill will battle several foes in the next two weeks.
There is the upcoming opener with Mississippi Valley State University on Sept. 9 at Saluki Stadium. But there are other things about such a late start to the season that are problematic.
“With this practice (Saturday) it is the conclusion to fall training camp,” Hill said. “Now with school started, we fight a different type of animal. Players have to deal with school schedules, classes and we (coaches) have to deal with all that and also bringing in new players.”
There is also the fact the coaching staff has its season opener coming up in 9 days.
“We haven’t yet seen MVSU,” Hill said. “But we caught a break on that. They play North Dakota State this coming Saturday, so we will get to really game plan them then.”
Meanwhile, this past Saturday’s action at Saluki Stadium was more like a first week of practice in August.
“We’re trying to keep everyone healthy, so there was no full contact,” Hill said.

Big plays lead Terriers past Murphysboro

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Chris Barron
Carbondale Times

Carbondale Terriers Bryan Lee’s new spread offense was a little cranky during Friday’s 21-6 win over their Jackson County rival, the Murphysboro Red Devils.
The spread is viewed by many as an offensive pepper-upper, but if it isn’t done correctly, it leads to a lot of three and outs. The latter situation occurred frequently for the Terriers (1-0) Friday. In the first half, Murphysboro’s Wing-T offense obtained just as many first downs as the throwing offense of the Terriers. Carbondale and Murphysboro both had an anemic six first downs in the first two quarters and about 100 offensive yards each.
Lee choose to install the spread because if the team has athletes who can run fast and catch the ball in space, mismatches tend to happen.
Carbondale did that a few times in this close game, and when they did, it led to scores. Carbondale went ahead 7-0 on a 11-yard run at the beginning of the second quarter by Courtney Hunter.

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