Du Quoin Schools Brace for Funding Cuts

Du Quoin District #300 is made up of about 1,800 students. To provide a good education to that number of students takes a substantial amount of money.

However, the Du Quoin Board of Education voted at their meeting on Thursday to amend the district budget because the expected state aid is not coming through. The district has not received any of the quarterly payments for the current school year from the state of Illinois.

This has been an ongoing issue for District #300. The district only recently received the final payment for the 2015-2016 school year in December.

The state is supposed to pay District #300 about $800,000 each year in quarterly payments to cover the cost of providing transportation and special education programs. The district has been recently informed that they, at most, may only receive half of that.

Superintendent Gary Kelly says that that is a substantial part of the district budget and a loss of that amount of money cannot go without having an impact of the district.

Jean Ann Mathis, co-president of the Du Quoin Educators Association, says that their top concern at this time is for the students. Cuts to any program would effect the students in the school and effect the education that they would receive.

Tornado Relief in Southern Illinois

Clean up efforts are still underway after last week’s EF-4 tornado that ripped through northern Jackson County.

Disaster relief teams from southern Illinois and all over the state have come to aid in the relief effort. The Elverado School District #196 is also allowing students to take excused absences to help their families and the community clean up.

The Elkville First Baptist Church is serving free lunches and the Elkville Christian Church is serving dinners through the rest of this week.

Elkville Woman Survives Torn

Nadine Lacy lost her home when a tornado ripped through Elkville late at night on February 28. Lacy said that she thought it was a train rolling by on the tracks that are only a couple hundred feet from her home.

When her chandeliers started shaking, she knew something was wrong. That’s when the tornado hit.

Lacy said that she could feel herself being sucked out of the home by the tornado and she grabbed on to whatever she could.

The whole house had collapsed around her and she had to be pulled from the wreckage, but she escaped unharmed.

She says that she lost a lot of things that she could not get back, but she is fine with that. However, there are two things that she did not lose in the storm.

Home Destroyed in Fire

A home and garage are being called a total loss following a fire Wednesday afternoon south of Carbondale.

The Carbondale Township and Makanda Fire Departments were called to the fire on Kennedy Drive just before 4 p.m.

The fire began in the garage and later spread to the home.  The garage was completely destroyed by the fire and the home was mainly damaged by smoke and water said the Carbondale Township Fire Chief.