Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Dairy Queen

 If you want to get a photo of the illumniated Dairy Queen sign one last time, the owner said he would turn it on between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on May 31. Lst chance before, barring a change of heart at corporate headquarters, it goes dark forever.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Dairy Queen Closed

 Downtown Dairy Queen has closed effective immediately. No problem with the business as it was finacially sound. After disagreements with the franchisee,Joe Waicukauski,  on the way the store should be the national company decided not to renew the franchise agreement. From what I understand, for a number of years, the national company had been pushing Waichkauski to expand the selection to burgers, fries and other hot foods and to add a drive through, following the Chill & Grill model at most other DQs. This would increase sales, and hence the size of the franchise fees paid to the company.

As long as Waichkauski held the DQ franchise for the Carbondale area, no store using the Chill & Grill model could open up in the community. Now Dairy Queen is free to accept franchisees that it feels will generate more revenue for the company. 

The company forced a similarly operated DQ in Morton Ill. to close earlier this year, after 72 years in operation. Other walk up operations in Illinois and Florida have closed this year as well.

Carbondale did have a Chill & Grill format DQ at one time. Located on the west side of town, it closed down well over a decade ago, with a used car dealership most recently occupying the building. If someone was to put in a DQ franchise like the national company wants, it would most likely locate on the more heavily trafficed east side of town.

Here is a link to more background on the closure.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Art Services

 Looks as if something else will be moving into the Art Services location on South Illinois. There is a dumpster in front of the location getting filled with what looks like refuse from inside the building.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


 From what I hear, Slabz new  retail location will be just south of SauSea's Seafood, in the old QQ Bubble Tea location. Unfortunately, not gaining a new retail location, therefore, just shifing spots, albiet to one with more visibility but less convenient parking.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Memorial Day

 Carbondale Will celebrate Memorial Day on May 29, starting with a flag raising at 10 a.m. Typically , the event lasts about a hour and the city will set up a walking tour of notables buried in the cemetary for a couple of hours afterward.

Saturday, May 20, 2023


 Antoher retailer is leaving University Mall. The Buckle has followed Old Navy and Bath and Body Works to Unversity Place Shopping Center, relocating to the vacant Kirkwood's location next to PetCo. I think now the number of empty locations in the mall exceeds the number of operating retail locations.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Fuller Dome Yard Sale

 The Buckminister Fuller Dome Home Not for Profit will host a yard sale to raise money for continued rehab work on the home. The society has collected items for the sale all year so should have a number of items available. Sale will take place on 5/20 at the Dome property.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Cookbook Swap

 Picked up a lot of extra cookbooks during the epidemic?  You can donate them to benefit Good Samaritan House at the Carbondale Farmers' Market this Saturday. You can also take books, should you wish, for a donation to Good Sam.

Partnership Programs

 Apparently Chancellor Lane is establishing partnership programs with other colleges, wherein SIUC faculty will go teach assorted courses at the partner college. Unfortunately communication is somewhat lacking as in at least two cases, no one told the appropriate college or department until the program had been established and at lest one of the programs has already folded due to no students signing up for the program at the partner college.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023


Saw this group protesting women's health/abortion clinics outside City Hall about a quarter after 10 Tuesday morning. About two dozen of them there though the camera footage makes it look like more. you can read the lawsuit the Thomas More Society filed here. Certainly drawing national attention to the town, though probably not the type of attention city government would like.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Rise and Decline of SIUC

 The author, as do I, ascribes almost all of SIUC's growth during the 1950s and 1960s to Delyte Morris' focus on growing the univeristy through outreach beyond southern Illinois. He developed relationships with and expanded SIUC's reach into half a dozen different countries during his tenure as well as bringing numbers of GIs to study here under the GI Bill. After he was forced out, his relationships and single minded focus left with him. The univeristy, through inertia, continued to grow but more slowly until the 1990s when growth peaked and then started to slowly decline. 

No chancellor or president has held the office sufficiently long or with as much dedication as Morris did and the lack of resurgent growth shows. Chancellors continuallyproclaim that this year the univeristy is "turning a corner" towards growth but it never turns far enough.  Could SIUC grow again? Sure, but it will need a chancellor with a longer range focus than those over the past 30 years have offered.

Tower Road

 City has finished work on Tower Road. The patching is similar to that done on Giant City Road a couple of years ago, with the area containg the potholes removed, filled in and leveled, making the street much more tire friendly. The city is now working on Pleasent Hill Road east of Highway 51, the stretch from 51 over to Lewis Lane.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Robbie Stokes

 In case you missed it, local (and national) musican  Robbie Stokes passed away at age 73 this past weekend. His Music Historicity columns in the Southern grew out of his storytelling on the patio at Hangar 9 before and after shows.

Harbor Freight

 According to the sign on the building , big box tool retailer Harbor Freight will move into the location vacated by Party City. With Old Navy and Bath and Body Works moving into the space previously occupied by Best Buy, stores will occupy almost all of the storefronts in that retail strip. 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Quiet in Downtown

 Took a quick drive through the student housing area between Poplar and University this evening and found it very quiet. I rather expected a few house parties but I guess students got all of their partying out of their system last weekend before finals week. Today was the day to graduate and/or leave town permanently or for the summer. 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

City Council Seat Open

As Carolin Harvey assumes the postition of mayor of Carbondale, her seat on the city council is now open. If you would like a seat on the council, through April 30 2025, you can drop off a  letter of interest and resume at City Hall or email them to charvey@explorecarbondale.com no later than 5 p.m. May 22.  Below are the qualifications:

To qualify for the appointment, candidates must have been a resident of Carbondale for at least one year prior to the appointment, be free of tax and other debts owed to the City, and have no record of infamous crimes, bribery, perjury, or any other felony.

Memorial Day

 Wonder if Carbondale is backtracking on its claim as the location of the first Memorial Day celebration? Banners up throughout downtown promote Memorial Day but the subheading says it is the first celebration in Illinois rather than just the first proclaimed celebration anywhere.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

City Council

 Mayor and city council members sworn in today.  I think Mayor Harvey is the first black and second female mayor for the city and the new members make the council majority female for the first time I can remember. Will be intersting to see if or how the city's direction changes.


Second Saluki Mural started over the weekend on the side of the Mountain Valley Water building, clearly visible to anyone heading west on Highway 13/ Main Street.  Started this past weekend, should be completed by this upcoming one. Project of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Saluki Pride Committee.


Monday, May 8, 2023

Downtown Saturday Night

 Looksed as if a lot of people were in downtown Carbondale Saturday night celebrating the end of classes for the year as well as parents in town to pick up their kids. The Hilton parking lot was packed as was nearly every parking space along South Illinois and in the First MidWest parking lot. It was shortly after 9 when I drove through so the crowd typlically perched on the wall enjoying Dairy Queen had dispersed and I did not see  much foot traffic in the area and no lines waiting to get into any of the bars.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Internet Outage

 The internet has had problems over the last couple of days in Carbondale, especially Clearwave. Apparently a cable got cut somewhere in the Kansas City region and it was enough to affect us here in sourthern Illinois, even if you do not have Clearwave as a provider.  Seems to be fined now as I have not heard any complaints today. Also shows how interconnected we are, that a damaged cable in the KC region can have an effect here.


 New mural going up on the east side of the Mountain Valley Water building. Will be another Saluki SIUC themed mural like the one downtown.  Plant is to paint it this weekend, weather permitting.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Train speeds

 According to the news, Amtrak train speeds will finally increase from a top speed of 90 mph to 110 mph later this month, meaning people travelling to Chicago from Carbodnale should get there about 15% faster.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Multi Modal Transit Center

 Heard an interview with city manager Gary Williams on WSIU today regarding the downtown transit center. Clearing the remnants of the old Carbondale Cycle building should be completed in a week or so and construction of the multi-modal transit center should begin by the end of May or first week of June. Wonder what will happen to the current Amtrak station? It will probably get removed as well but I would imaging that will happen after the new building is complete and its location used for more parking.

Monday, May 1, 2023


 State of Illinois still accpting applicatons for the B2B grants for hotels, restaurants and creative arts. Restaurant grants range from $5000 to $50,000, hotel grants are up to $1500 per room and creative arts can apply for $5000 to $250,000. If the business has already received some form of epidemic based grant, it is inelgible for these grants.

The B2B Grant for creative arts, hotels & resturants is still accepting applications. 

The grant applications will be open until May 10th! You can click here to get started. If you would like some assitance in getting your application done, please don't hesitate to reach out to Carbondale Main Street. We can reached by email at info@carbondalemainstreet.com or you can give us a call at 618-529-8040.