State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) announced that Centerstone of Illinois has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery. The grant money will be used to create a ‘hub & spoke’ model Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Pilot Program for Williamson, Franklin, Johnson, Saline, Jackson and Union counties in southern Illinois.

“I am glad to see that my efforts to help fight for this grant for our area was successful,” said Rep. Dave Severin, a member of the Appropriations-Human Services Committee in the House. “Centerstone will be the hub in Williamson County and then the spokes of this treatment program will be the other counties in our under-served part of the state to help people with opioid use disorders.”

The grant will create a team that can support physicians and other prescribers through technical assistance and training, and on-site counseling and other supports as needed. The new location in Williamson County will serve 100 clients during the first grant year and will open before the end of 2018.
Watch the full report by clicking here.

The Marion Wellness School Health Center welcomed Representative Dave Severin for a tour in honor of National Health Center week as reported by Hannah Gebresilassie of WSIL Channel 3.

The week is centered around raising awareness about the mission of health centers across the nation and the dedicated staff who provide the care. The tour's aim was to show support for community and school based health centers, like the one at Marion High School. They offer everything from preventative and sick care services to mental health services.

"I see the efficiency of healthcare being initiated here on a daily basis," Severin said. "If you're in this school district, any part of it and you have needs with your students, you call the clinic, make an appointment and they will work with you. What an awesome program."

Shawnee Health Service operates Marion Wellness School Health Center which serves students, parents, faculty and staff of Marion Consolidated Unit School District #2.
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.