Pearl City School Working Toward Reading and Math Success
Mrs. Dietmeier listens to Molly Cropper read. Pearl City School uses AIMs Web to do “Well Checks” on student progress in Reading, Math and Writing. All students have their “Check Ups” three times per year (Fall, Winter, Spring). Some students are monitored more often if we are working on specific areas that are important for the student’s success. This is much like when you take your children to the doctor for their Check Ups or more frequent visits when the doctor is helping you and your child regulate their health. Because reading, math and writing are so important, on a regular basis, Pearl City School gives academic “Check Ups”. These “Check Ups” provide the staff with information when planning for instruction. This information is then also easily shared with parents so they can support students in academic areas.
(Courtesy of PC School)
West Carroll Accelerated Reader
Jacinda McCrudden has earned 200 points in the West Carroll Accelerated Reader program. She is a 5th grader in Mrs. Yochem’s class.
(Courtesy of Jennifer McGinnis)
Ready, Set, Grow Gardening Workshop Announced
Add a “spring” to your step at the 2014 “Ready . . . Set. . . Grow” Gardening Workshop, Saturday, March 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon. Join the Master Gardeners of Carroll, Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties in cooperation with Sauk Valley Community College for this one-day event offering participants information about various aspects of home gardening.
Fifteen different workshops ranging from alternative gardening to the wonderful world of food preservation are offered to participants. During three different sessions, participants can choose to attend workshops about hypertufa, terrariums, small fruits, attracting birds, container gardening, spring wildflowers, herbs, gardening with native plants and much more.
A keynote presentation on Heirloom Flavor will be given by award-winning author, enthusiastic gardener and heirloom authority - Doreen Howard. Let her show you how to return to flavor with heirlooms. She writes a weekly blog for the Old Farmer’s Almanac website, and has contributed to their publications for more than 15 years. She was garden editor at Women’s Day magazine for seven years, garden columnist at the Christian Science Monitor and contributing editor at Mother Earth News. She lives in Roscoe, IL on a glacial moraine and maintains an acre garden of vegetables, fruits, herbs, perennials and dwarf conifers.
The program fee is $40.00 and includes morning refreshments, lunch and select handouts. To register, call Ogle County Extension at (815) 732-2191 or visit their website at: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo. Registration is required by March 10.
Sessions will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Extension reserves the right to refuse registrations received at any time if numbers exceed room capacity. For more information about “Ready . . . Set . . . Grow” and other Master Gardener programs, please call the Carroll, Lee, Ogle or Whiteside county extension offices or visit their websites.
Eagle Tours: Behind the Gates. A Small Group Experience
One of the most spectacular things in nature is seeing an eagle soar over your head or come down to pick a fish out of the water. You have the opportunity to see just that and more during the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation’s annual Eagle Tours held every Saturday from February 8th to March 15th at the Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, just north of Savanna, IL. Tours begin at 9am.
During these two hour tours, participants will have the opportunity to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. In late winter, large numbers of bald eagles converge along the Mississippi River and can often be seen nesting, feeding, and interacting along the secluded backwaters. These tours take participants behind the gates at the former Army base, offering views of our national bird where most people are not allowed. While on the tour, you will learn about bald eagles as well as some of the history of the former Savanna Army Depot from the knowledable tour guides.
The tour will stop at various points and allow participants to view the eagles and other wildlife through spotting scopes. Everyone is encouraged to bring cameras and binoculars as well to dress for the weather. Group size is very limited and advance reservations are required. These tours are offered free to the public as a way to connect with nature. To make your reservation, please call JDCF at 815.858.9100.
The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation is a local non-profit whose mission is to conserve and enhance natural wildlife habitat, cultural heritage, scenic vistas, and the agricultural character of Jo Daviess County and the surrounding area for future generations. JDCF owns several beautiful and unique preserves that are open to the public for hiking, wildlife viewing, and picnicking. For more information about JDCF, please visit their office at 126 N Main Street, Elizabeth IL, or contact them at 815-858-9100, www.jdcf.org or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food for Thought
Kaywyn Beswick (L), Director of the Morrison Friends Food Pantry reports that over 200 people a month seek assistance from the local pantry. Local food pantries depends upon donations from individuals and businesses. Brad Quinn, Manager of Quinn’s Jewelers in Morrison at 104 W. Main St., offered the business as a convenient outlet accepting donations for the Morrison Friends Food Pantry. Quinn collected over $200 during the holiday season of 2013, and concluded a two-month community service and advertising campaign on Thursday, January 16, 2014 when he presented a check to Beswick. Quinn’s asked customers to contribute either monetary or (5) food products and in return, provided them a 20% discount on exclusive store merchandise, combining the gift of giving with holiday season Christmas gift shopping. Beswick was appreciative of all the support by the generous customers of Quinn’s Jewelers.
(PA Photo/Andrew Williamson)
Carroll County Tax-Aide Volunteer
Carroll County Tax-Aide Volunteers prepare for the upcoming tax season. To make an appointment for this free service, contact the Carroll County Senior Center at 815-244-1800.
First row, left to right: Susan White, Lori Brummer, Patsy Lehnhardt, Mary Ann Hutchison
Middle row: Diane Frese, Louise Kallemeyn, Vicky Trager, Barb Anderson, Anne Haliotis
Back row: Gladys Larem, Sandi Law, Jeannie Greenwald, Char Daehler, Eric Trager, Jud Smith, Lewis Lehnhardt, Frank Nester. Not pictured, Howard Kennedy and Pat Fox.
Stockton Bowling Lanes Donates Banner to Volunteer Hospice
(L to R) Gloria Benson, Joann Robinson, Mary Stayner, Jack Stayner, Board Members - Reva Aubrey, Diane Parkinson, Pastor Ron Albee and Heather Fonseca. (Courtesy of VHNI)
Volunteer Hospice of Northwest Illinois has been touching lives in the area for the past thirty years. Since it’s beginning in July of 1983 they have been providing compassionate care, support and education to families dealing with life-limiting illness and loss. The organization has worked hard to promote their anniversary since the summer of 2013 and part of the celebration was the design and purchase of a banner to be used at fundraising events and to be carried in area parades.
This banner was purchase with funds donated to us by Jack & Mary Stayner from Stockton Bowling Lanes. The banner was printed at Creativeations in Stockton.
Thank you Mary and Jack for your support and many hours of volunteer work for our organization.
For more information on Volunteer Hospice of Northwest Illinois, Stockton, Illinois and the services that they offer at no charge please call 815-947-3260 or email them at email@example.com.
Volunteer Hospice of Northwest Illinois wishes to thank Stockton Auto Supply – NAPA for their generous donation to our hospice. Their generosity and support of our cause is greatly appreciated. Pictured left to right are Mary Stayner (Volunteer Hospice Volunteer Coordinator), Sue Schubert, Randy Baysinger and Joann Robinson (Volunteer Hospice Director). Not pictured is Erwin Zueger, owner of Stockton Auto Supply-NAPA.
(Courtesy of VHNI)
Reminder: Land Use Policy, Economic Development Initiatives Meetings
Whiteside County is drafting a Comprehensive Plan, a plan to guide development and positive change over the next 20 years. The general public is invited to attend two public meetings to discuss specific land use polices and economic development programs.
The first meeting will be focused on policies regarding land use, development, and farmland preservation. We will discuss where development of all types should and should not occur in the County. This meeting will be hosted at the Odell Public Library, 307 South Madison Street, Morrison, beginning at 7:00 pm on Thursday, January 23rd.
The second meeting will be focused on programs and initiatives to spur economic development and job creation in Whiteside County. The emphasis will be on coordinating and focusing the efforts of existing economic development organizations and professionals, including Whiteside County staff. This meeting will be hosted in the Rock Falls City Council Chamber, 603 W. 10th Street, Rock Falls, beginning at 9:00 am on Friday, January 24th.
Questions about these meetings or the comprehensive plan should be directed to Betty Steinert, Whiteside County Economic Development, firstname.lastname@example.org, 772-5182,
200 East Knox Street, Morrison, IL 61270.
Creating Moments of Joy for the Person With Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Volunteer Hospice of Northwest Illinois is pleased to announce the presentation of a program entitled Creating Moments of Joy for the Person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia at their February Community Education Meeting. This program will be held at the Stockton Park House, Stockton, Illinois on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 at 10 a.m.
Based on a book and DVD of the same name, this program helps caregivers understand how important it is to enter the world of the Alzheimer’s patient. It gives concrete examples of how that can be accomplished. It helps others to understand the serious reality of this disease, but offers hope that we can bring joyful moments in the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia in the remaining time they have.
The program is ideal for caregivers and family members who are dealing with loved ones with these diseases. This video was previously presented in the fall of 2012, but time did not permit the showing of the entire video. The second part of the video will be shown at this meeting, but you need not have attended the previous meeting to benefit from the information that will be presented.
Please register for the event as seating is limited. Reservations can be made by phoning Volunteer Hospice of NWIL at 815-947-3260. The Stockton Park House is located one block off of Route 20 on Pearl Street in Stockton and is handicap accessible. During the winter months, please be aware that if the Stockton Schools are closed due to weather concerns, our meetings are cancelled as well.
Regional Spelling Bee Needs Local Financial Help
The Pearl City School gymnasium will be filled with anticipation and nervous energy February 25th as the top spellers from schools in Carroll, Jo Daviess, and Stephenson Counties compete in the Regional Spelling Bee.
Historically, the area spelling champion has received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where he/she has had the opportunity to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Aaron Mercier, Regional Superintendent of Schools, is asking for help in continuing this time-honored tradition.
For years, the Bee was supported by one corporate sponsor. When that funding source was lost, the Regional Office of Education reached out to the surrounding communities to help save the Bee and send the winner to Washington D.C. For the past few years, area employers, community service organizations, and individuals have generously donated funds, making it possible for the winner to participate in the national contest.
Mercier feels strongly about the importance of continuing this tradition and is asking local communities for their continued support. “As society becomes more and more technologically oriented, a Spelling Bee may seem old-fashioned,” Mercier states. “However, a solid mastery of the English language still gives people a strong advantage in educational settings and later in employment situations.”
The cost of sponsoring the Bee and sending a contestant to Washington is approximately $5,000. “If we all pitch in, we can make this a successful regional event. Even if our winner doesn’t make it to the final rounds in the national contest, the experience itself is invaluable, “says Mercier.
Individuals or groups wishing to donate may send their contributions to the Regional Office of Education – Spelling Bee Fund, 27 S. State Ave, Suite 101, Freeport IL 61032. Mercier will be happy to answer questions and can be reached at (815) 599-1408. All donors will be recognized in the Spelling Bee program flier as well as in area newspapers. The public is encouraged to attend the Regional Spelling Bee, which will be held at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 25th at the Pearl City School. In case of inclement weather, a “snow date” is scheduled for February 27th .
NAMI Sauk Valley Meets January 28
NAMI Sauk Valley will meet at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 28, at the Sinnissippi Centers, 325 IL Rt. 2, Dixon. This meeting provides education as well as support to families struggling with a diagnosis of mental illness in a relative or friend. Secrets to a relaxing holiday season will be shared.
NAMI Sauk Valley is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and NAMI Illinois, serving the residents of Ogle, Lee, Carroll and Whiteside Counties. For more information, contact Mary Ann Hutchison at 815-244-1405, Lorna Engwall at 815-778-3662, or e-mail email@example.com.
Dorothy Footitt Scholarship Applications Available
The Dorothy Footitt Scholarship Committee is announcing that scholarships will again be available to graduating seniors of Carroll County High Schools. The purpose of the scholarship is to assist Carroll County youth to further their education.
Applicants may be any graduating high school senior residing in Carroll County attending a state accredited high school. Selection of winners will be based on academic achievement, community activity, and personal recommendations. Application forms are available from high school counselors and may be submitted anytime before March 7, 2014.
The scholarships are available through a fund established in 1968 in honor of Miss Dorothy Footitt who organized the Carroll County Farm Bureau and Carroll County 4-H Clubs and served as advisor for many
years. The fund has grown over the years by donations from individuals, HCE Units, and from Miss Footitt. A copy of her autobiography, The Memoirs of Dorothy V. Footitt by Dorothy Footitt and Craig Sidor, is available at all local public and high school libraries.
Questions concerning the scholarship may be directed to: Arlene Johnson at 815-684-5629, or Denise Bormann at 815-590-3151.
Scholarship Opportunities Available
The Carroll County Farm Bureau Foundation has recently announced their 2011 Scholarship Opportunities. This year they will be offering five $1000 general scholarships along with the Harold Schmidt Memorial Forestry Scholarship in the amount of $1000.
To be eligible for all of the scholarships, applicants must meet the following criteria: must be a high school graduate; must be a Carroll County Farm Bureau member, spouse of a member or member’s child; must be accepted for enrollment or be enrolled at an accredited college, university, community college or technical school; must exhibit potential for successful completion of course of study; and must be a resident of Illinois. The general scholarships require a student to be majoring in agriculture, agribusiness, or an ag-related field. The Harold Schmidt Memorial Forestry Scholarship requires a student to be enrolled in Forestry, Wood Science, Wildlife Biology, Botany, General Biology, or other related disciplines as listed on the application.
Scholarship applications have been mailed to all Carroll County high school guidance counselors, FFA Advisors, and are available at the Carroll County Farm Bureau office or our website at www.carrollcfb.org.
Completed applications must be returned to the Carroll County Farm Bureau by Thursday, March 24, 2011. For questions or more information contact Chas Welch at 244-3001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scholarship Opportunity Announced
The Carroll County Farm Bureau Foundation has recently announced another scholarship opportunity for 2014, the Josh Heeren Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. Josh was a 2001 Eastland High School graduate, Highland Community College graduate, and obtained a Master’s degree in Crop Science from the University of Illinois. Josh was very involved in FFA and had a passion for agriculture and farming. This scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors or students currently enrolled at a community college or university who are majoring in an Ag-related course of study. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of exceptional scholastic ability and/or financial need.
To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria: must be a high school graduate; must be accepted for enrollment or be enrolled at an accredited college, university, community college or technical school; must exhibit potential for successful completion of course of study; and must be a resident of Illinois. The scholarship requires a student to be majoring in Ag-related field of study.
Scholarship applications have been mailed to all Carroll County high school guidance counselors, FFA Advisors, and are available at the Carroll County Farm Bureau office or our website at www.carrollcfb.org.
Completed applications must be returned to the Carroll County Farm Bureau by Monday, March 3, 2014. For questions or more information contact Chas Welch at 244-3001 or by email at email@example.com.
TipNow Campus Safety Tool Adpted by Sauk Valley CC
Another tool for campus safety and security has been launched by the Sauk Valley Community College district. TipNow™ is the flag-ship campus safety product from Resiligence, Inc., based in Silicon Valley.
TipNow™ is a tip collection and management system for anonymous tips originating from mobile-app, text/sms, voice and electronic mail. TipNow™ facilitates automated notification of campus security personnel regarding non-emergency suspicious activity which in the future could lead to human caused emergencies.
Brian Beckman, SVCC security lead, said “TipNow is a strategic tool in our arsenal to identify suspicious activity and behavior which will potentially help us prevent emergency situations.”
The unique aspect of TipNow is its ability to keep the identity of the reporting user anonymous.
The staff and school leadership also agreed that TipNow will bring a higher level of safety and security to the campus.
TipNow is offered in the software as a service model. Deployment does not require any hardware installation by the college. TipNow also gives the capability for the campus administration or the campus safety personnel to anonymously interact with the reporter.
Unfortunately, there have been too many campus events that creates an atmosphere of fear.
“TipNow is critical for every college campus globally and has potential to prevent the next Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook type of incidents” according to Cyril Rayan, Founder & CEO of Resiligence Inc.
To learn more about how SVCC will incorporate this tool into student life, contact Brian Beckman at 815-835-6323.
Substantial Gains Posted in Rutherford’s Unclaimed Property & College Savings Programs
January 15, 2014 – Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s Unclaimed Property Division returned over $139 million in assets and processed more than 70,000 claims in calendar year 2013. In addition, his College Savings Division has reached over $6 billion in total assets, with a record of more than 350,000 accounts.
“I have been committed to reuniting taxpayers with their unclaimed property since becoming treasurer,” said Treasurer Rutherford. “We have done just that, and as a result we have seen the value of assets returned grow $10 million dollars since 2012.
“Furthermore, I have been focused on helping Illinoisans save for college. As costs escalate, it’s important to begin saving as soon as possible. From what my office has seen with $6 billion in assets in the Bright Start Direct and Bright Directions programs, that message has not been lost.”
Since the end of 2010, assets under management in the College Savings Division have increased by 68%, and the number of accounts has increased by 31%. In 2012, the Unclaimed Property Division returned over $129 million in assets and processed more than 53,000 claims.
Conference for Fruit and Vegetable Producers
The University of Illinois Extension is soon to offer a full day of research based information for the fruit and vegetable producers in our area. Mark your calendar for Thursday, February 20th and plan to attend from 8:30am until 3:00pm at the Elizabeth Community Building in Elizabeth, IL. The conference, entitled Growing Produce for Profit will include information on fruit and vegetable production practices (organic included), niche crops, agri-tourism and composting. The day will end with break-out sessions specifically on SARE grants and funding opportunities through local NRCS and FSA offices.
The cost for the conference is $20 per person if paid by February 18th. After this date, registration goes to $30 per person. Seating may be limited, so please sign up in advance. Registration cost includes all materials provided by speakers, and lunch.
For pre-registration information, contact the Extension office in Elizabeth at (815) 858-2273 or go to: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw/ to sign up on-line.
Be Wary of ‘Work at Home’ Offers
Unemployed individuals who are looking for work or those looking to change jobs often renew their efforts with the start of the new year.
Work-at-home jobs look appealing to those looking for employment because they offer great pay for little labor. The problem is that most of these are scams. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) offers those looking for new employment opportunities some tips so that they don’t get burned in hunting work-at-home jobs.
“There were 17,478 inquiries to the BBB in 2013 about work-at-home companies. These scams were listed at number two on our Top 10 Scams List of 2013,” said Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford office of the Better Business Bureau. “The number of inquiries last year shows that job seekers are being more cautious. However, the number of individuals who fell victim to these scams remained steady.”
A recent example of a pricey work-at-home scam that was caught by the FTC is a telemarketing scam that targeted Hispanic consumers. Contacted by phone, they were promised they could make money by reselling high-end brand named goods. Rather than being sent high-end products, after they had paid the delivery person (cash on delivery), they discovered the products they received were unusable.
To avoid falling victim to work-at-home scams, the BBB suggests you look out for the following warning signs:
Companies that use personal testimonials but never identify the person. Exaggerated claims of potential earnings, profits, full-time earnings at part time hours. Company claims “inside” information. Requirements of money for instructions or products before telling you how the plan works. Claims of “no experience necessary.” Assurances of guaranteed markets and there is a huge demand for your handiwork. Always check out a company before making any decisions. For more information on this and other scams, visit www.bbb.org.
Papke Named as Executive Director of Mercy Healthcare Foundation
Mercy Medical Center today announced that Ruthann Papke has been named to the position of Executive Director of Mercy Healthcare Foundation. Papke accepted the leadership position of the Foundation late last year, having previously served as Vice President of Patient Care Services with Mercy and retiring from that position in 2008.
Papke brings extensive health care experience to the position. During her years as Vice President of Patient Care Services, she provided leadership to general nursing units, Dialysis, Emergency Services, Cardiac Cath Lab, GI Lab, Surgical Services, Behavioral Medicine, Radiology, Laboratory and Respiratory Therapy. Her nursing career began in 1977 when she was an office nurse with Medical Associates and a Surgical Floor staff nurse at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Clinton, Iowa. Papke has seen many changes in the healthcare profession since her early days in nursing. Her extensive experience in health care is what led her back to Mercy to lead the Foundation efforts.
“Health care has undergone tremendous change since I first began in the profession of nursing,” said Papke, “but in many respects, it has become much better and safer for patients. The transition to a comprehensive electronic health record allows us the ability to further expand the technology offered in our patient care, which ultimately increases the quality of care and level of patient safety.”
Papke added, “As the executive director of the Mercy Healthcare Foundation, I’m excited to continue to work to ensure that what we offer in our health care system is the very best care. The Foundation exists to support Mercy Medical Center by raising funds for the resources, tools and technologies that help to ensure that the highest level of care is available. Having a strong Foundation with community support will help us to achieve that.”
After retiring from the nursing leadership position at Mercy, Papke continued to serve as an Auxiliary volunteer and assisted in writing and submitting a variety of grant applications. She has also served in a variety of roles for area governing boards including past president of the Clinton County Heart Association Board, president of the Clinton United Way Board, member of the Bridgeview Board, chairman Paul B. Sharer Foundation Board, vice president of the Clinton Library Board and Friends of the Library, member of the Curtis Foundation, Clinton Rotary, and has served since 2009 on the Mercy Healthcare Foundation board.
When asked about coming out of retirement to take the Foundation position, Papke refers to a quote by St. Francis Assisi, which reads: “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received – only what you have given.”
“I truly believe that,” says Papke. “I feel like I have come home and I am humbled and grateful for the warm reception I’ve had coming back. I will continue to work to build on all that we have here at Mercy.”
Spirit Week at River Ridge CUSD #210
River Ridge’s Spirit Week is the week of January 26th. Many exciting and fun events are planned, acknowledging winter sports.
Every day there will be a different dress up theme as follows:
Monday is Multiple Day,
Tuesday is Reality TV Show Day,
Wednesday is Summer Day,
Thursday is Senior Citizen Day,
Friday is Spirit Day.
The girls’ basketball game kicks off the week with a home game against East Dubuque on Monday, January 27th at 6:00 pm. The boys will be playing home on Friday, January 31st, against Galena at 6:00 pm. The Junior Class is sponsoring a Soup and Sandwich supper on Friday from 4:30-6:30 pm. The cost is $5.00 in advance or $6.00 at the door. Please see a junior student to get tickets.
Saturday, February 1st, from 7 - 9 pm, the student council is hosting “fun in the gym,” with basketball tournaments, volleyball tournaments, badminton, cards and other fun games. The cost is $3.00 per person, $5.00 for a couple or each person can bring in three canned food items. All food and money will be going to the local food pantry.
River Ridge is going to continue “spirit” throughout the basketball season. During selected girls or boys basketball games, dress up themes were selected as follows:
January 23rd- Hawaiian
January 31st- Spirit Gear
February 4th- Western
February 13th- Black Out
West Carroll Seeks New District 7 School Board Member
The West Carroll C.U.S.D. #314 Board of Education accepted the resignation of board member, Jennifer Rice, on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. Ms. Rice represented District #7 (Thomson) since her election in April 2013.
Appointment of a candidate to fill the office is set by State Law and Illinois School Code. At a minimum, the candidate must meet these qualifications:
Be a United States Citizen.
Be at least 18 years of age.
Be a resident of the State of Illinois and the West Carroll School District for a minimum of one year immediately preceding the appointment.
Be a registered voter.
Not be a convicted sex offender.
Not hold another incompatible public office.
Not have a prohibited interest in any district contracts.
Not be a school trustee.
Not hold specific types of prohibited Federal or State employment.
Must reside within District #7.
The West Carroll Board of Education will accept applications for the vacant seat through Monday, February 3, 2014. Candidates will be interviewed, credentials verified, and an appointment made at the Wednesday, February 5, 2014 special meeting of the Board of Education.
The chosen candidate will fill the position until the April 2015 election. At the April 2015 election, the seat will be up for election for an unexpired two-year term per election regulations.
Interested residents of District #7 are encouraged to send a letter of interest and resume` of accomplishments to: President Michael Highland, West Carroll District Office, 801 South Street, Thomson, Illinois 61285.
Any questions can be directed towards Superintendent Craig Mathers at 815/259-2735.
How Important are GOP Debates?
Brady Creemens and Jackson Adams | Illinois Policy Institute
Five debates for the Republican gubernatorial primary have been scheduled for February and March, and while experts said they are important, they also create potential problems for the party and candidates.
Below are the planned dates and sponsors of the debates. Televised where noted.
1. Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
Date: Feb. 4
2. Citizens Club of Springfield
Date: Feb. 18
3. League of Women Voters, ABC 7, Univision
Date: Feb. 27
4. University of Chicago, NBC 5
Date: March 4
5. WTTW, Chicago Public Media - TV, radio, digital
Date: March 13
Gubernatorial candidates Rauner and Dillard have committed to these dates. INN did not receive confirmation yet from the Dan Rutherford and Bill Brady campaigns.
How much impact will those sparring sessions have on who gets the GOP’s nod?
Debates are important, especially in tight races like this one, said political scientist Christopher Mooney.
“Debates at the state primary aren’t highly viewed, but they are valuable to limit the field in a close race,” said Mooney, director of the Institute for Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois-Springfield. “They are important because the primary is fairly close, and every indication is that the general election will be very close as well, especially since the current governor is unpopular.”
The winner in the March 18 primary will face Gov. Pat Quinn in November.
Pat Brady, former chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, maintains that voters do and should care about debates, even at the state primary level, but that they aren’t without their drawbacks.
“In an ideal world, these debates give voters an opportunity to see their candidates in an unscripted light,” Brady said. “Unfortunately, it too often serves as a platform for the candidates who are trailing to beat up on the front-runner and thus damage the party.
“Republican candidates calling fellow candidates ‘Bad Republicans’ doesn’t get us any closer to beating Quinn in November.”
Brady said those attacks within the party can turn off voters, which has led to a move on the national level to limit the number of debates.
But debates are also a great way to define policy positions, letting folks know where they stand.
‘The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s’ Presented at Senior Center
No one is immune from Alzheimer’s disease. Although the disease is most prominent in people age 65 and older, Alzheimer’s disease does not just affect the elderly. It is being diagnosed at younger ages, sometimes as young as the mid-30’s.
Do you know the warning signs of Alzheimer’s? Alexandra Madole, program and event coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Iowa Chapter, Dubuque, Iowa, will present the program, “The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s,” at 10 am, Tues., Jan. 28, at the Carroll County Senior Center, 306 N. Main St. in downtown Mount Carroll.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, much can be done to support those living with the disease and, equally important, to assist those who love and care for someone with Alzheimer’s. From the first sign of memory loss through diagnosis and disease progression, the Alzheimer’s Association is a trusted source for care and support.
Madole will present two additional programs, “The Basics of Alzheimer’s” and “Conversations about Dementia,” on Tues., Feb. 25, and Mon., March 24, both at 10 am at the Senior Center. There is no charge and no reservation needed for any of these programs.
The Carroll County Senior Center offers assistance and services for Medicare, Social Security, Low Income Heating Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), Benefits Access Program (formerly Circuit Breaker), tax preparation (provided by AARP), outreach and options counseling, referral assistance, assessment tax freeze and transportation.
Special programs are held on defensive driving, rules of the road, and grandparents raising grandchildren. Health programs and Foot Clinics are also frequently offered.
Activities for the senior population include crafts, quilting, recycling, bingo, yoga, and trips to places of interest. Seniors can even stop in for a game of pool, to work on a jigsaw puzzle, or to use the treadmill, recumbent bike, and Wii games and Wii fit plus.
Personalized services are available free of charge to seniors, including notarizing, faxing and making copies. Seniors are also allowed to check their email and check out books, puzzles, and videos.
A calendar of events is posted monthly on the entity’s website at www.ccseniorcenter.org.
The Carroll County Senior Center was established in May of 1998 and is governed by a 15-member board representing the Carroll County area. The Center is funded through senior real estate tax, NIAAA grants, donations from organizations, churches, townships, and private citizens, and also from paper and aluminum can recycling and sales of crafts.
For additional information, call the Senior Center at 815-244-1800 or toll free 866-214-1959, or stop in at 306 N. Main St., Mount Carroll, between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
McKinley Withdraws from 71st District Race, Supports Wozniak
Citing family concerns, candidate for State Representative from the 71st District, Jeff McKinley (R-Orion), publicly withdrew from the race January 16 and offered full support to his friend and colleague, Jim Wozniak (R-East Moline).
McKinley is an Assistant State’s Attorney for Rock Island County, where he prosecutes juvenile abuse and neglect cases.
McKinley announced his decision to the Rock Island County Republican Party on Thursday, saying “Certain concerns have arisen within my family that make it impossible for me to proceed with the campaign at this time. I assembled a great team, and we had the pieces in place to achieve victory, not only in the primary, but also in the general election in November. I thank them and all my supporters for their efforts and dedication. Words are inadequate to explain just how grateful I am.
“Effective immediately, I am officially withdrawing from the campaign to be the next state representative from the 71st district. I also wholeheartedly endorse my former opponent, my coworker, and my friend, Jim Wozniak, as our next representative. Jim and I decided to run without knowing each other’s intentions. Our competition was never personal and we both ran positive campaigns focused on issues and the future. I am also grateful for that.
“Ideas are powerful, and we know that conservative principles are the bedrock upon which we can restore our state. I have every confidence that Jim Wozniak will successfully put our ideas into action. I look forward to joining him on the campaign trail and working with him to achieve a victory for our shared ideas of liberty and limited government.
“Mike Smiddy should consider himself on notice: his time as a cog in the Pat Quinn-Mike Madigan machine is up. Today, Republicans are united in our efforts to restore common sense in the 71st district and in Springfield.
“I know that, no matter what, I have the unwavering love and support of my family, and I know that they will stand by me through thick and thin. However, today, I have to consider my reciprocal duty to them.”
Wozniak, who is currently the Felony Division Assistant State’s Attorney and former City Councilor and U.S. Senate staffer, thanked McKinley for his support.
“I want to thank Jeff for the spirited and positive campaign he ran. Jeff is a co-worker at the State’s Attorney’s office, and he is a friend. Jeff is a good attorney, good Republican, and good father. I wish him and his family the best, and I know that Jeff will continue to lend his support and enthusiasm to Republican politics in the area, as well as, my race against Mike Smiddy in District 71.
“My attention now fully turns to the general election, and what we need to do to return District 71 and Illinois to the people. I will need all of your support and hard work to accomplish this mission. I look forward to the general election campaign where I can share my ideas on improving the job and business climate of Illinois, embracing individual freedoms, and making Illinois the most desirable state to live in the United States.”
ObamaCare Hurting the Middle Class under Cheri Bustos
With ObamaCare poised to become one of the biggest issues of the 2014 election, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) is notably absent from the debate. Instead, she’s trying to play both sides to save her political career, while Illinois’s middle class is stuck waiting in the middle.
“President Obama’s signature law isn’t living up to the Democrats promises, and the voters of Illinois know it,” said Jayme Odom, executive director of the Illinois Republican Party. “Families and businesses are feeling the brunt of this poorly-conceived plan – from the bills they pay to the uncertainty they feel – and they know exactly who’s to blame.”
According to former Congressman Bobby Schilling, ObamaCare is harming Illinois’s middle class in more ways than just the dismal rollout.
· ObamaCare will increase premiums for individual-market policies by 43 percent in Illinois, according to a study by the Manhattan Institute.[i]
· Uncertainty since the law’s passage has already resulted in reduced work hours equal to 66,000 jobs, according to a report from the Illinois Policy Institute.[ii]
· An estimated 185,000 Illinoisans received notice last year that their individual health insurance coverage would be dropped because of ObamaCare.
· In September, the month before the exchanges went live, Rep. Bustos did take decisive action on one component of the law: she voted against a measure that would have forced her and her colleagues in Congress to play by the same rules under ObamaCare as the rest of the country.
“Middle-class families already have enough on their plate here in Illinois: high taxes, runaway government, and a dismal jobs climate,” Schilling said. “Now they’re facing higher insurance premiums, rising deductibles, and some are losing their coverage altogether. The uncertainty of ObamaCare is affecting Illinois in very real ways, and Cheri Bustos is adding to that uncertainty with her failure of leadership.”
As a congressman, Bobby Schilling voted against ObamaCare, supported multiple efforts to undo the damage, and warned about the consequences of the law for Illinois’s middle class.
“While Cheri Bustos does nothing, Bobby Schilling will continue to fight against ObamaCare for the people of the 17th district,” Odom said. “And the voters will remember in November.”
Truax Proposes Check on Out-of-Control Federal Regulations
January 16 – U.S. Senate candidate Doug Truax (R-Downers Grove) said Thursday if elected he will seek to reform the out-of-control growth of federal regulations strangling our economy.
Truax, a West Point grad, Army veteran and successful entrepreneur and businessman, said one of his first legislative proposals would require all federal regulations to be justified by Congress at least once every five years or expire.
“Career politicians like Dick Durbin and the bureaucracies he created over 32 years are killing our economy with unnecessary regulations,” said Truax, while visiting the Quad Cities.
Truax noted that U.S. families pay $14,768 a year in regulatory hidden taxes, absorbing 23 percent of the average income of a family earning $63,685-a-year, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute further notes that for the first time in history, the estimated cost of regulation exceeds half the level of the federal budget. Regulatory costs of $1.8 trillion amounted to 11.6 percent of U.S. GDP in 2012.
The Federal Register of U.S. regulations now stands at 78,961 pages.
“Once a federal regulation is born, it never dies,” said Truax. “There needs to be a way to eliminate those regulations that aren’t working or are outdated.”
Truax said once he is elected he will craft the legislation so it is streamlined and effective.
Grazing Conference to be Held in Stockton
Speakers will present more topics than in any past year at the 2014 Northwest Illinois Grazing Conference, to be held on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Stockton, Illinois. A catered lunch will be served.
The day will begin with two general sessions. Doug Hanson, Iroquois County, IL beef and crop producer, will share his experiences and insights in explaining why you might want to consider converting some cropland acres to pasture. Next Jim Endress, retired U of I Extension Farm Management Educator, will discuss how you can get the most out of your pasture rental agreements.
For the rest of the morning, participants will choose between three sets of breakout sessions. Those in the early stages of adopting managed grazing may want to attend “If I Knew Then What I Know Now,” where Gene Schriefer, Beef/Sheep Producer and U of WI Extension Agriculture Educator, will reflect on lessons learned as a grazier. In the same time slot, others may learn how to renovate pastures infested by endophyte-infected tall fescue, presented by Matt Bunger, USDA-NRCS Illinois Grassland Specialist.
In the next pair of talks, Gene Schriefer will don his Extension hat to lay out strategies for setting up a successful grazing operation, while Bryon Kirwan, USDA-NRCS Illinois State Economist, will discuss the economics of grazing cornstalks.
In the final breakout pairing, Jim Morrison, retired U of I Extension Crop Educator, will discuss various forage-livestock disorders you should be aware of for the health of your animals, while Jay Solomon, U of I Extension Environmental and Energy Stewardship Educator, will give you insights to subdividing and watering paddocks with finances and flexibility in mind.
There will be three general session topics presented in the afternoon. Doug Hanson will discuss how to graze for more months of the year using cover crops and other valuable annuals. Appropriate for northwestern Illinois, Wade Conn, USDA-NRCS Illinois State Forester, will explain how you can maximize both the timber and forage/grazing value within forested pastures. Finally, with interest in grass-finished meats on the rise, we will hear from Dr. Floyd McKeith or Dr. Dustin Boler, University of Illinois Dept. of Animal Sciences, Meat Science, on the characteristics of grain- versus grass-finished meat.
Suppliers of agricultural products or services, or of livestock- or dairy-based local food, who wish to help sponsor the event or set up a booth at the conference should call the Jo Daviess Soil and Water Conservation District at 815-858-3418 ext. 3 by Monday, February 3.
The registration fee is $20 per person through January 31st and $30 thereafter. Contact U of I Extension in Elizabeth at 815-858-2273 for registration information, or register online with a credit card at web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw.
Morrison Kindergarten Screenings
The Morrison School District is sponsoring a developmental screening for those four and five-year-old children who will be eligible (age five before September 1, 2014 to attend kindergarten during the 2014-2015 school year.
Community Kindergarten Screenings will be held at Northside School on:
Tuesday March 4 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Friday, March 11 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Screenings are free of charge, but parents are asked to call and schedule an appointment for their child by February 24, 2014 by telephoning Northside Elementary School at (815) 772-2153.
Children who attend the Morrison Early Learning Program/Bi-County Preschool, Morrison Preschool, Morrison Community Day Care, or Morrison Head Start will be screened at these locations at a different time. An additional screening appointment is not necessary.
The screening inventory used helps kindergarten teachers assess readiness for school and developmental progress, as well as developmental strengths and weaknesses. Areas addressed include: fine and gross motor skills; receptive and expressive language; academic cognitive development; daily living skills; social-emotional skills; and overall adaptive behavior.
All families will receive a complete packet of registration materials for the 2014-2015 school year, as well as a list of additional required documentation, including, but not limited to immunization records, physicals, dental exams, optical exams, and birth certificates.
Parent Meeting and Screening Results – Thursday March 20, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the Northside Elementary School gymnasium, 520 N. Genesee St., Morrison, IL
Mediacom Sweepstakes to Send Winning Fan to The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament
Mediacom will send one of its Facebook friends to Indianapolis, Indiana in March to attend the Big Ten Men’s Basketball tournament. The unique sweepstakes, sponsored in partnership with Big Ten Network, gives men’s college basketball fans a chance to be a part of the action and watch their favorite Big Ten teams compete for the championship title live.
Mediacom’s BTN2Go Championship Sweepstakes is open to anyone who visits the company’s Facebook page and submits an entry form between January 13 and February 17. Contestants must “like” the Facebook page and also click on the contest entry link. The winner will receive airfare for two, a three-night hotel stay, car rental, two tickets to all eleven games in the tournament, and $500 in spending money. Contest information can be found at www.facebook.com/mediacomcable.
The Big Ten has four teams ranked in the top-15 of this week’s AP Poll, including two in the top five. BTN will air more than 65 Big Ten Conference games, as well as four men’s basketball tournament games. The tournament is March 13 – 16, 2014.
Mediacom Communications is the nation’s eighth largest cable television company and one of the leading cable operators focused on serving the smaller cities in the United States, with a significant concentration in the Midwestern and Southeastern regions. Mediacom Communications offers a wide array of broadband products and services, including traditional and advanced video services such as digital television, video-on-demand, digital video recorders, high-definition television, as well as high-speed Internet access and phone service. Through Mediacom Business, the Company offers affordable broadband communications solutions that can be tailored to any size business.
Presentation on Fallen Astronauts
NASA has been in existence for over 55 years, during which 339 astronauts have been selected and 12 of those 339 have walked on the moon. Dr. Paul Sipiera will be giving an informative presentation on our fallen astronauts who have given us the ability for space travel. Paul’s discussion will include Apollo I and the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters.
This program has been made to honor our fallen US astronauts and will be held on Saturday, January 25th at 1pm. Honoring the Fallen Astronauts will take place at the Planetary Studies Foundation’s new Earth and Space Science Museum, located in the former Design Mill building at 115 N. Main St. in Elizabeth IL. For more information please call 815-858-2014 and be sure to find the Planetary Studies Foundation on Facebook and follow @PSF1989 on Twitter for upcoming events.
The Carroll County Haiti Mission Project will hold its annual fundraiser on January 25, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Charlie’s Bar & Grill, 123 W. Market St. downtown Mt. Carroll.
Mat Timm and his band, The LR Band, from Peoria will be the entertainment. They play acoustic arrangements of music from a variety of genres including blues, blue grass, traditional country, folk and folk-rock from the 1960’s and 70’s as well as some old jazz standards. The arrangements of these tunes include instrumentation that involves various combinations of acoustic guitars, mandolin and banjo combined with vocal harmonies. Mat and Craig Curtis both provide a variety of finger and flat picking styles on the guitar.
There will be a raffle with door prizes and a 50/50 drawing.
Come early to have some great food and beverages at Charlie’s and then enjoy the music while contributing to a worthy cause. CCHMP members will travel to Juampas Haiti
Feb. 12-17 to work on water purification and medical clinic construction projects. For more details on this event, contact Pam Sorg at 815.244.9246. More information on Charlie’s is available at http://www.enjoycharlies.com or call 815.244.2737. For more information on CCHMP, check out the website at http://cchmp.tripod.com.
Matthew Keppen Named to Central College Dean’s List
Matthew Keppen earned a spot on the fall 2013 dean’s list for Central College.
Keppen, a native of Chadwick, is the son of Jon and Lori Keppen.
The honor is awarded to full-time students who achieve a 3.5 grade point average or higher on a 4.0 scale while taking 12 or more graded credit hours for the semester.
Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary Acreage Increased
The Illinois Audubon Society announced today it increased the protected acreage of its Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary with a 30-acre addition. Purchased by the Society in 2012, Amboy Marsh is a rare and fragile Northern Illinois ecosystem. Located in southeastern Lee County, Amboy Marsh is now a 302-acre wetland complex interspersed with black oak sand savannas, sedge meadows and dry sand prairie. According to Illinois Natural Area Inventory data, Amboy Marsh has unique natural features that attract and host one of Illinois’ highest populations of nesting state-endangered Blanding’s turtles.
Blanding’s turtles are medium-sized, semi-aquatic, freshwater turtles that inhabit wetlands in parts of the upper Midwest, New York, New England and southern Canada. With comparable sea turtle and tortoise life history characteristics, they can live 70 years. Blanding’s turtles reach sexual maturity at more than 20 years of age and have low reproductive potential.
Acquisition, restoration and long-term stewardship grants were initially provided by Grand Victoria Foundation and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. This recent purchase was funded through the Illinois Audubon Society’s land acquisition fund.
Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary opened to the public on October 13, 2013, and features a 2.5 mile marked trail. The trail is easy to walk and visitors will experience various habitats that offer a diversity of plant and wildlife species. The Sanctuary is located at 1701 Mormon Road in Amboy and is open dawn to dusk. Parking is available at the entrance to the Sanctuary.
The mission of the Illinois Audubon Society is to promote the perpetuation and appreciation of native plants and animals and the habitats that support them. The Illinois Audubon Society is an independent, member supported, not-for-profit, statewide organization. Founded in 1897, the Society is Illinois’ oldest private conservation organization with over 2300 members, 21 chapters and 16 affiliate groups. The Illinois Audubon Society has protected over 3300 acres by investing more than $6.6 million to protect land and water throughout Illinois.
‘America the Beautiful : A Concert’
On Friday, February 7th, 7:00 pm, the Savanna Historical Society will present “America the Beautiful : A Concert” at the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center at 406 Main Street. The concert will feature an area favorite, The New Spirit Band, under the direction of Juliene McCormick. Included in their repertoire will be a medley of songs by Stephen Foster, “Company of Cowards”, arranged by the New Christy Minstrels, with special accompaniment by Gene Wright on the banjo. The Band recently recorded their first CD, which was introduced during Savanna’s Christmas Walk. Well known and long time resident of Savanna, Gloria Miner will accompany tenor Michael S. Dunavant who will perform music from “Les Mis,” “The Sound of Music” and other selections. Michael studied voice at the Moazarteum in Salzburg, Austria and has appeared with numerous orchestras and opera houses across the world. When not on stage, he lives at Havencrest Castle, Savanna, where he serves as Curator and Events Director.
The evening will feature music that will appeal to all ages. The program is free, a donation of $5 would be greatly appreciated.