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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. 

SIU Admissions looking to the future

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Dustin Duncan
Carbondale Times

 

It’s no secret to the Southern Illinois community that Southern Illinois University has experienced declining enrollment for several years. 

Terri Harfst, director of the SIU Financial Aid office and director of undergraduate admissions, said the university has taken steps to change that trend. 

She said in the past the university had been purchasing fewer names from various sources for students who take the ACT or SAT tests. She said the university had only been purchasing the names of students who were seniors in high school to recruit them to SIU. 

“When you start thinking about college selection, you know that when you are thinking about college, you didn’t start making decisions your senior year in high school,” Harfst said. “That is a process that requires us to be out in front of students and parents early on.

Vote to borrow funds from SIUE delayed after discussion stalls at board meeting:Late agenda item not unanimously approved is cause of the delay

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SIU President Randy Dunn said the board will most likely have to hold a special meeting in early- to mid-May to discuss the item. Chances are that the board will also be able to move forward with hiring a chancellor at that time, he said.

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