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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.

Salukis sign another All-American golfer

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Chris Barron   
Weekend Times

    There are two ways “minor” sports can excel at mid-major-level recruiting. Most of the great high school golfers either go to the power conferences or, if they are good enough, they just skate to the pros.
    The way for mid-majors to flourish is by recruiting transfers and international players.
    SIU’s head coach Justin Fetcho has obviously chosen the transfer route — kind of.
    In the fall, Fetcho signed former Stetson University star Dirk Kuehler, who graduated from Stetson after averaging 75 strokes per round.
Hunter York, a local All-American, was signed by Fetcho this past November.
    The Decatur native York also won the 1A level Illinois State Championship when he was in high school.
“I look for Hunter to step right in and make an immediate impact,” said Fetcho in November.
    But the best was yet to come for Fetcho’s recruiting efforts this spring. Just a few weeks ago, the Dawgs inked their second Junior College All-American, Oliver Meek.

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.

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