Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sabor De Mel Closing

Brazilian restaurant Sabor De Mel will close after Sunday. Apparently the customer base was not large enough to support the size of the new location into which it moved this year. I would also hazard that the lack of convenient parking didn't help. The closest parking is located across the street and is reserved for businesses in the University Plaza strip. Sabol's parking was located behind the building without ready access to the front of the building.

Reema's Indian Cuisine, located further south on the Strip, will move into the location.

Flag Raising Ceremony

There will be a flag raising ceremony at noon  to kick off the celebration of Illinois bicentennial next Monday. Mayor Henry will raise the Illinois Bicentennial flag on the flagpole in front of the Civic Center on the date that Illinois joined the US 200 years ago.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lights Fantastic Road Closures

The city has sent out the following press release regarding street closures for this Saturday's Lights Fantastic parade:

The 27th Annual Lights Fantastic Parade returns to downtown Carbondale on Saturday, December 2.

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 Route 13 and U.S. Highway 51 from 5-8 p.m.

West Bus Service and Jackson County Mass Transit will provide rides to the parade from Murdale Shopping Center, University Mall, SIU Arena and Student Center. Buses will pick up passengers every 15 minutes between 4-6 p.m. Buses will return passengers following the parade.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Attempted Robbery in Arbor District

Received this email from the Arbor district last night:

The Arbor District received notification from Carbondale Police today about crime activity in our neighborhood late last night.  The crime we're reporting here is not ordinary, and therefore the police wanted us to be aware and remain vigilant.  PLEASE REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY TO THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY.

Carbondale Police now has a heavier presence in our neighborhood of both plain clothes and uniformed officers.  A big thank you goes to the Carbondale Police for their concern for our neighborhood's awareness and active outreach about this crime.

Auto Burglary/Armed Robbery Investigation

On 11/27 at 12:36 am, officers responded to the 600 block of West Elm Street in reference to the report of an armed robbery.  The victim reported he had been inside his residence when his roommate told him a male suspect appeared at the door of the residence advising a car door was open in the driveway. He went outside to investigate, and was approached by a male wearing a ski mask, armed with a black revolver. The male demanded the victim’s phone and wallet and the victim complied. 

The suspect was last seen running south on South Hayes from West Cherry Street. The suspect is described as a thin black male around 5’08” tall, wearing black pants, a black hooded sweatshirt and a ski mask. The suspect was described as a black male in his early 20s who was either bald or had a very close cut hair style. The suspect wore dark clothing, including a sweatshirt with a possible school logo on the left chest area.

The investigation into this incident is continuing. 

The investigation into this incident is continuing and anyone who may have information about this incident is encouraged to contact the police department at 618-457-3200 or Crime Stoppers at 618-549-COPS (2677).

Monday, November 27, 2017

Tree LIghting Ceremony

The city will host its first Tree Lighting Ceremony tonight at 5 p.m. in front of city hall/civic center. Come by and see if we have a Clark Griswold style event.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Carbondale police responded to a reported stabbing just after midnight this morning. Since the victim's girlfriend, who lived in the apartment as well, is the alleged killer, I would bet some sort of domestic dispute.


In case you want to put in your two cents regarding the rezoning of the now closed fire station on Oakland Avenue, the Zoning Commission will discuss it on Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Civic Center. Given the bit of controversy there was over the sale of the property, I figure a few people might show up with questions. From the press release:

Public Hearings PC 18-09- John Deas and Alison Smith are requesting a rezoning from an R-1-8, Low Density Residential, to an NB, Neighborhood Business, District as well as a Special Use Permit for a tasting room, classified as a drinking place with alcoholic beverages, at 300 South Oakland Avenue.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Police Car Struck

This happened Monday evening around 5 p.m. How are you so distracted that you don't notice a police vehicle with lights and siren crossing the intersection ahead of you? Of course, anyone who has navigated the Mill Street and University intersection knows how annoying it can be to get through.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Varughese Trial Starts

Haven't heard much about the Pravin Varughese case in recent months. The trial started quietly earlier this month with the prosecution turning over to Gaege Bethune's attorneys a number of social media posts, giving evidence to Bethune's state of mind at the time of the death.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Tree LIghting

The city hopes to start a new annual tradition with its tree lighting ceremony scheduled for Nov. 27. From the email:

The City of Carbondale is kicking off the Lights Fantastic Parade a few days early with a special Community Tree Lighting Ceremony on Monday, November 27.
The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. in front of City Hall located at 200 S. Illinois Avenue.
The tree, donated by George Sheffer of Murdale True Value, will be lit every night at 5 p.m. throughout the holiday season.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Trash Can Recycling

In case you hadn't noticed, everyone with trash pick up in Carbondale will receive nifty new trash cans. So, the question becomes, what to do with the old ones? One option is to keep it as a souvenir of trash days past but that is probably not practical. There are two options you could choose:

1.  Leave your old trash can at the curb. The city will pick it up and toss it in  a landfill. Gets it out of your house but rather wasteful

2. Drop it off behind Hickory Lodge for someone else who might need a trash can. They have a spot marked in the back corner for trash can recycling

From the email sent out by the city:

Carbondale residents who find themselves with unneeded trash cans following the new trash cart rollout have several options to choose from.
Residents can keep their old can and use it for other purposes; pass it on to someone who needs it; bring it to Southern Recycling (wheels and metal must be removed); or make a note on it asking City workers to take it to the landfill.
If you would like to give your trash can a new home, a site has been set up by Keep Carbondale Beautiful behind Hickory Lodge at 1115 W. Sycamore Street for “Trash Can Give Away.” Residents can leave cans in the back corner of the parking lot, next to the shed. Anyone in need of a free trash can is invited to come take one.

Friday, November 17, 2017

SIUC Reorganization

Inside Higher Education doesn't appear particularly impressed with the Chancellor's planned reorganization of the University either. The article notes there are concerns with negation of college operating papers as well as a one size fits all approach to the restructuring. In addition, with the elimination of department chairs, their duties would fall upon current faculty members, increasing their workload as service activities, which is required of all faculty members are part of their terms of employment.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Police Arrest Staples Robber

Looks as if the local Staples was robbed last week, by a chap who had committed a similar robbery recently in Rolla, MO. Carbondale police, working with Rolla authorities, identified the suspect and arrested him at a Carbondale mote.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dog Park Site

Not surprisingly, the Carbondale Park Board opted not to select the property on which their offices sit for the new Carbondale Dog Park. Instead it will be by the LIFE Community Center on W. Sunset Drive.  so the ground of Hickory Lodge will still sit nicely landscaped and generally unused. Would be nice to see events held on the property, such as community gatherings or concerts, since they don't seem to get much use otherwise. Maybe there are events there and I just never hear of them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Chancellor on Reorganization

Chancellor Montemagno spoke on WSIU this morning regarding the proposed re-organization of the university and I am still not certain how the reorganization will attract more students. Students come for programs and degrees. The quality of the program and how well it meets their needs and interests is what they look for. I still haven't heard how this reorganization will address that.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Dairy Queen Closed for the Season

Hope you got your fill of Dairy Queen soft serve (not technically ice cream or even ice milk) as the downtown DQ closed for the season yesterday. Saw a few hardy souls trekking to the walk up window for a few more Blizzards and Pecan Mudslides but that it is until typically sometime in February.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Trash Cans

The city received the new trash cans it decided to start using and has been delivering to houses this week. This batch got dropped off about 10 p.m. Friday night. No idea why the city wanted to deliver them that late but saw the truck dropping them off on Springer late Thursday afternoon and on Oakland Friday night.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Walnut and Main Trees

The city cut down a number of the trees along West Walnut and Main streets in last spring, due to disease and rot. Now that all of the street scapes and trees along S. Illinois have been replanted and upgraded, maybe focus will turn to replacing the removed trees along Walnut and Main.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

City Council Meeting

Tuesday night's city council meeting clocked in at right about an hour.  Not much on the agenda but what was was rather important.:

1.  Carbondale Junior Sports requested a partnership or discussion with the city and the Park Board to upgrade the Superblock complex so it could host regional softball and baseball tournaments. The Superblock  fields are not at the level to host tournaments, which CJS says the city loses to Marion and St. Louis. A number of coaches  have expressed willingness to come to events here if the facilities get an upgrade with  better landscaping and signage. CJS would also need an upgraded concession stand, as that is where the bulk of tournament money would be made to support future events. City representatives will further discuss with CJS next week.

2. SSA tax hearing held. Every 5 years, the SSA tax that funds Carbondale Main Street, 48 cents per $100 of assessed property value, comes up for reauthorization. This was that time. 1 person got up to oppose it because they wanted to see taxes start to go down. 3 others, including me and the Main Street manger got up to support it. Council voted unanimously to reauthorize.

3. Discussion of Public Library property tax levy. Not put to a vote tonight but council seems in favor, noting that the library's funding has not increased for the past two years.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Taxes on the Agenda

City council meets at 7  p.m. tonight. Two tax authorizations on the agenda. One would reauthorize the downtown SSA property tax that funds the Carbondale Main Street program for another 5 years.  City council has to reauthorize it every 5 years. The other tax would increase the property tax to fund the Carbondale Public Library. This tax would increase library funding by about $15000. If my understanding is correct though, the city council doesn't have much say over this increase. Since the library board operates independently of the city, as do  a number of other community boards, it votes on property tax increases and council pro forma approves them. If my interpretation is incorrect, please let me know in the comments.

Sunday Night Downtown

I had heard a comment that most of the restaurants in downtown Carbondale were closing up on Sunday nights so took a stroll down Illinois Ave. last Sunday night to take a look. Heading down the street about 7:30 p.m., I found 4 of them closed:  EL Greco's, Sam's Cafe, Wise Guys' Pizza and Fat Patties'. Chango's appeared open as there were staff inside but they looked like they were mopping and the interior seemed pretty dark. Stix was closed but then, the hours sign indicated they didn't open at all on Sunday.

Pagliai's, Bombay Olive, Reema's, Jimmy John's , Sabor De Mel and Dairy Queen were all open

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Veterans Day

Veteran's Day event at across the street from the Newell House Building at 11 a.m. next Friday. From an email sent out by the city:

Southern Illinois University and VFW Post 2605 are teaming up to host a Veterans Day Ceremony to honor the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
The event will be held at Veterans Memorial Plaza (corner of Washington and E. Main Streets) at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 10.
There will be opening remarks by SIU President Randy Dunn, a keynote address by SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno and a proclamation by Carbondale Mayor John “Mike” Henry.
If you have questions or would like more information about this event, contact Southern Illinois University Army ROTC Office Manager Tammy Sanders at (618) 453-5786.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Schwartz Building

The Schwartz Building, located at the corner of Main and University, finally sold after several years. Met the new owner briefly as we was moving a large truckload of materials into the building. At least 2 tenants remain in the building but no idea what he plans for the rest of the office space.

Gold Diggers For Sale

Noticed a "For Sale or Rent" sign adorning the recently closed Gold Diggers building (formerly the Blue Martin and the Social House). Whomever goes in there next will have to compete with the recently opened Street Bar in the old Pony/Club Traz location.

Thought it would be rather hard to fail with a business based on video poker and other gaming machines but guess I was wrong. Most of the other locations in Carbondale have a much smaller footprint than the Gold Diggers location does.