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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.

Council to meet to discuss Gill’s replacement

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The Carbondale City Council will conduct a special meeting Nov. 4 to discuss applications received for the position of city manager. The meeting, set for 2 p.m. in the mayor’s conference room at the Carbondale Civic Center, is for the Council to review 12 finalists for the position and to decide which ones should be invited for interviews.

Council approves water and sewer rate increase

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City water customers will see an increase in their rates beginning next spring after the City Council approved a measure Tuesday evening. Under the new system, minimum water and sewer charges will end April 30, 2012, and new fixed rates will take effect May 1. The city’s current fixed rate for water, $3.35 per 1,000 gallons, will rise to $3.69.

VA to build new outpatient clinic in Carbondale

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A new Veterans Affairs medical clinic is expected to open on Carbondale's east side next year. The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Oct. 7 that it had awarded a contract to the Carrington Company of Eureka, Calif., to build a 9,999-square-foot outpatient clinic at 1130 E. Walnut St. at the former location of Office Depot.

Shooting victim a father ‘trying to turn his life around’

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Deaunta R. Spencer died Sept. 14 after a dispute at a residence on the north east of Carbondale. Though he was born in Carbondale, the 20-year-old was from Byltheville, Ark., and is being remembered as a young man ready to take a new lease on life. He likely was killed with a pistol stolen from Carbondale’s chief of police.

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