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Thank you to Mr. Thanet Natisri, a local Marion restaurant owner, who recently helped save the twelve young soccer players and their coach who were trapped in a remote cave in Thailand!

I was honored to help recognize Mr. Natisri along with the mayor of at tonight's City Council meeting in Marion.

While working in Bankok on a groundwater project for the Thai government to help farmers,Mr. Natisri was contacted by the military for his assistance when this incident happened. Mr. Natisri is a self-taught expert on diverting water into underground storage.

You can watch part of the presentation here.

All programs are free and appropriate for visitors of all ages. Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Unless otherwise stated, programs will be held at the Rend Lake visitor Center, located on the west end of the Rend Lake Dam. For more information, call the Rend lake Visitor Center at 618-724-2493. You may also visit their website at and 'like' their Facebook page at Rend Lake Project Office/Visitor Center.

It’s become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help them out, Target began providing field trip grants in 2007 for accredited K-12 public, private or charter schools in the United States.

As part of the program, Target stores award field trip grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued at $700. They are accepting grant applications now until Oct. 1st. Educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals or classified staff of these institutions must be willing to plan and execute a field trip that will provide a demonstrable learning experience for students should consider applying.

The Target Field Trip Grants program is managed and administered entirely by Scholarship America. Scholarship America will evaluate applications and award grants based on the following criteria:
* Applicant's description of the field trip and its objectives
* Benefits to the students, including overall student learning experience, relevance to curriculum and number of students who may benefit from the grant
* Proposed use of funds
* Trip to be taken between January 1, 2019 and the end of the 2018-19 academic year (May/June 2019)

Applications will be judged by Scholarship America, whose decisions will be final in all respects. In the event of a tie, the applications will be re-judged based on the criteria.

All applicants will be notified by e-mail by December 15, 2018. Potential recipients will also be notified by U.S. Mail at their home address and must follow instructions to verify their application information and sign a publicity release form. Grant checks are made payable to recipient's school. In the event a recipient does not implement the field trip by the end of the 2018-19 school year, the grant will be forfeited and funds returned to the SPONSOR. Any tax liability is the responsibility of the school.

Recipients may receive a grant only once in a given school year. Grants are to be used to cover field trip costs and fees. In the event the costs and fees are less than the grant amount, the balance of the grant may be utilized for other education costs such as materials, books and resources related to the curriculum.

WSIL-TV reported that the Benton American Legion hosted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Saturday.

Instead of a bucket, though, those who donated 50 dollars were soaked by a tractor full of water.

All proceeds went toward the St. Louis, Missouri Regional Chapter of the ALS Foundation.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosisdiseasem, commonly known as ALS, is a disease that causes nerve cells to break down and affects muscle functionality.

The chapter raised over $3,000 dollars, some of which came from local lawmakers State Senator Dale Fowler and State Representative Dave Severin.

Watch the WSIL-TV report by clicking here.

State Representative Dave Severin's Summer Reading Club for K-4th Grade is coming to an end for this year. August 1st is the deadline to get your forms returned to the Marion district office to be eligible to receive your certificate of accomplishment and to give your local library credit to be considered for the pizza party for the library with the most summer readers.

Please return the completed forms to the legislative office at:

1301 Enterprise Way
Suite 40A
Marion, IL 62959

If you have any questions, please call 618-440-5090.

State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) would like to remind residents that the Illinois State Treasurer's office will be at the West Frankfort Public Library and the Benton Public Library on Tuesday, July 31st to help research state records to see if there are any unclaimed dollars being held by the State of Illinois that belong to you.

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM             West Frankfort Public Library
                                                402 E Poplar Street

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM                Benton Public Library
                                                502 S. Main Street

These are both Check for Cash/I-Cash Events where a representative from the Treasurer’s Office will be set up to check their database and try to reunite people with their long lost cash or other property.

If you are unable to attend one of these events, you may learn more about this FREE service on-line at the Illinois State Treasurer's web site by clicking here.

State Representative Dave Severin is proud to support the Colt World Series coming to southern
Illinois in August!

"I encourage everyone to come out and support this international event right in our own backyard," said Rep. Severin. "Many of these young baseball players could end up playing in our professional leagues with teams like the St. Louis Cardinals or Chicago Cubs or White Sox."

The PONY Baseball Colt World Series is coming to Rent One Park in Marion from August 3rd to 8th, 2018, and the first two teams have qualified for the event from the European and Mexican regions.

In the European region, Holland A dominated in its semifinal and final games Sunday en route to its second-consecutive PONY European Zone title by an 11-0 final score in the title game against the Czech Republic. Naut Kragt pitched a complete game (five innings) shutout, allowing a hit and four walks, while striking out eight. Tyriq Kemp paced the Netherlands with three hits, while Ruendrick Piternella led the team with three RBI's. Overall, the Dutch offense took advantage of six walks and collected 10 hits on the day.

In the Mexican region, Mazatlán, Sinaloa took home the Colt Mexico Zone title. Liga Muralla will be making its third all-time appearance at the Colt World Series this summer, as well as its first since 2015.

Links to purchase tickets for the 2018 Colt World Series at Rent One Park are below:

Now in its 65th year, the Colt World Series is PONY Baseball's second-longest running World Series event. It is a ten-team tournament consisting of two, five-team double-elimination brackets, as well as ninth and tenth place games. The ten teams will be:

- Four (4) from the continental United States
one each from the West, East, South and North Zones

- Four (4) international teams
one each from the Asia-Pacific, European, Mexican, and Caribbean regions

- One (1) area host team from Southern Illinois
To Be Announced

- One (1) city host team from Marion, Illinois
To Be Announced

The Colt World Series will have a check-in date of August 2nd. There will be four games played on Friday, August 3rd, Saturday, August 4th and Sunday, August 5th. Three games will take place on Monday, August 6th, with two games contested on Tuesday, August 7th, and one to three contests on Wednesday, August 8th. There will also be opening ceremonies, as well as a Champions League game, which is the PONY Baseball League developed for special needs children.