Friday, December 30, 2016

Shoplifter at Kohl's

Carbondale Police are asking for help in identifying the chap in the pictures at the link. Apparently concealed merchandise under his jacket and left without paying for it. Sorry, but you don't need anything at Kohls badly enough to steal it.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Home 2 Suites By Hilton

Construction for the Home2 Hilton Suites building is moving along with the outer first floor walls up. Plans are to have it completed just in time for next year's eclipse. Going to be a tight schedule though with the eclipse taking place next August. Local hotels are almost completely booked with the very few remaining rooms asking prices of $500 per night with a 3 night minimum, meaning AirB&B will get lots of use next summer.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Eve Business

I happened to be driving around town the night of Christmas Eve and happened to notice only three types of businesses still open at that hour:  Chinese restaurants, liquor stores, and bars. Even the Casey's , at least the one on Giant City Road, had closed its doors for the night.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Dinner

In case you have no place to dine on Christmas Day, St. Francis Xavier Church at 303 S. Poplar Street will host its annual Community Christmas dinner from noon to 2 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

More Graffitti

The Regions Bank building at the corner of Main and Poplar got vandalized for the second time in a month this week, likely due to the high visibility of the building and the light color of the bricks.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Meet the Mayor

First, there was "Coffee with a Cop", now there is "Meet the Mayor".  Don't think he is buying buy you can meet Mayor Mike Henry on the following dates at the following locations. From the city's press release:

The City of Carbondale is excited to announce that it will begin offering a “Meet the Mayor” Program in 2017.
Sessions will be held on the first Tuesday of every month from 8-9:30 a.m. Citizens will have the opportunity to talk to Carbondale Mayor John “Mike” Henry and Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams over coffee.
The location will be as follows: 
·        1/3      Harbaugh’s
·        2/7      Common Grounds
·        3/7      IHOP
·        4/4      Mary Lou’s
·        5/2      Sunny Street Café
·        6/6      Neighborhood Co-Op
·        7/11    Panera
·        8/1      Longbranch Café & Bakery
·        9/5      Harbaugh’s
·        10/3    Common Grounds
·        11/7    IHOP
·        12/5    Mary Lou’s

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Fine Reason to Shop at Bookworm

From the press release sent out today:

 Customers at Bookworm, a locally owned new- and used-book store in Carbondale’s Eastgate Shopping Center, can now see a portion of their purchase go to support Keep Carbondale Beautiful, it was announced on Sunday.  If a customer references KCB when they make a purchase, one percent of the total will be donated to KCB.  The idea developed when they were asked to play the same game as some giant retailers.

The Executive Director at Keep Carbondale Beautiful had seen the offers:  get your supporters to sign up at one of the corporate retailers where they already do business, and a portion of their purchases would be directed to the not-for-profit.  A certain online store offers to send 0.5% of a purchase price to a customer’s preferred charity. 

There was only one problem.  “I just couldn’t in good conscience encourage people to go online and send more money out of the area, especially when we have our own stores that provide the identical service.”  So she pitched the idea to Bookworm owners Carl and Kelly Rexroad, who even offered to double the percentage.  "As local business owners, we believe in helping community causes. Sarah's idea is another great way for us to give back to the people and organizations who continue to shop locally."

Keep Carbondale Beautiful has been a voice in the “buy local” movement for several years, in sync with Keep America Beautiful’s call “to build and sustain vibrant communities.”  Heyer added, “Bookworm has been very helpful with our Read for the Environment program, which brings books into elementary school classrooms.  I send them a list of books, and they call when they are ready.  I rely on them and am thrilled to formalize our relationship in this way.”

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Southern Illinois Fracking

Illinois Issues and the Southern took a look at the failed promise of fracking in southern Illinois. The permit process got up and running about the same time as the price of oil collaped

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Carbondale Traffic

Got to wondering what auto traffic was like on the main streets in Carbondale, so stopped by the Public Works office, where they were kind enough to pull up the IDOT traffic maps, since Carbondale doesn't track vehicular traffic on its own.

Highest traffic area in town is, not surprisingly, out by the intersection of Highway 13 and Reed Station Road, which sees (and all of these figures are averages) about 26,300 cars pass by per day. Traffic drops off significantly as you get to downtown, where the intersection of 13 and Illinois has about 19,200 cars a day heading west. Highway 51 traffic at that spot heading south is about 9100.

Traffic picks up somewhat as 13 reaches the west side of Carbondale with  about 22,700 cars exiting and entering the town at that point and between 15000 to 16000 cars a day travelling between the 2 cities.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Community Garden

The community garden that has sprouted on the site of the long demolished Tuscan Lodge building has expanded to take up much of the lot.

Monday, December 12, 2016

State Of the City

The State of the City is.....

Find out tomorrow at the Mayor's annual State of the City Address

 The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will host the 2016 State of the City Address on Tuesday, December 13 during their monthly luncheon.

Carbondale Mayor John “Mike” Henry will highlight the city’s progress and accomplishments over the last year.

Lunch will begin at noon in the Carbondale Civic Center at 200 S. Illinois Avenue. Tickets for the event are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Reservations can be made by calling: (618) 549-2146.

Proceeds from the event will support the Mayor’s Scholarship Fund which provides scholarships for Carbondale Community High School students attending Southern Illinois University.

Hollywood Lounge

The Hollywood Lounge has had a soft opening in its location at the corner of Jackson and Illinois, in the location previously occupied by Noah's Lounge, Big Boys Quin and other businesses that didn't last very long there.  Here's hoping that Hollywood has a longer track record.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Parking

I realize school ends tomorrow and then SIUC has a week of finals but can the city get the "free parking" bags on the meters already? While I understand the need for meters in downtown in order fund repairs to the parking lots, free parking at this time of year would really help the few retail shops (Carbondale Cycle, Phoenix Cycle, Walk the Line, Nest, Bella Sara and I may have forgot a couple) in downtown.

Most of downtown Carbondale is destination shopping. People either go to a restaurant or a bar or to a stylist. There is not enough product based retailing in downtown to entice people to spend a Saturday afternoon wandering around the downtown area. Customers come in and take care of business at the Civic Center, get their hair done or get something to eat, then leave. Free parking,even for a few weeks, would help them stay in downtown longer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Benches Replaced

The benches on either side of the railman statue on the Town Square that the city removed last fall to keep people from sleeping on them have been reinstalled. Apparently the advent of colder weather convinced the people who were occupying them to move along and the city returned them, though I really doubt anyone will use them until warmer weather in the spring.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Bully Juice Vapor Is

.... now the Vape Shop. It would appear that Bully Juice Vapor sold out to the Vape Shop as there is now a second Vape Shop in the University Plaza strip mall in downtown Carbondale, where Bully Juice used to be. This puts two vape stores, Chuckin Clouds and the Vape Shop within a block of one another. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lights Fantastic 2

From the city:

CARBONDALE – The 26th Annual Lights Fantastic Parade returns to downtown Carbondale on Saturday, December 3.
The parade will begin promptly at 6 p.m. along Mill Street and will travel north on Illinois Avenue to Town Square.
Parade goers are encouraged to arrive early to avoid road closures and detours along Illinois State Highway 13 and U.S. Highway 51 from 5-8 p.m.
West Bus Service will provide rides to the parade from Murdale Shopping Center and the Main Entrance of University Mall. Buses will pick up passengers every 15 minutes between 4:30-6 p.m. Buses will return passengers following the parade.
For a complete list of detours and road closures, visit the Carbondale Lights Fantastic Parade Facebook page or the City’s website:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Lights Fantastic

Carbondale's annual Lights Fantastic parade takes place this Saturday starting at 6 p.m. Downtown parking on S. Illinois will start closing up about 3 p.m. and detours around downtown will start at 5 p.m. There will be several pre-parade events from 4 to 6 p.m. as well