Guests at the Heirloom Market Old Time Heirloom Hour on Saturday, Dec. 1, were treated to Christmas Carols performed by Aaron Fuller (R) from Clinton, IA. Fuller, a self-described piano-nerd who faked NOT liking piano lessons as a child, is one of the finest classical pianists in the area.
Hosts of the Heirloom Market Old Time Heirloom Hour Bob Whitten (L) and Nick Houzenga (C) interview Heirloom Market manager James Traver, who discussed the cool imported toys, fresh Christmas trees, and visits from Santa available at the Heirloom Market in Thomson.
Performing at the Dec. 1 Old Time Heirloom Hour, live from beautiful, sunny, Thomson, IL, is Johnny Outlaw, a local band from Clinton, IA. (L to R) Ryan Costello, Jen and John Doyle. Costello and his brother, Uncle Bub, created the unique single-string bass called the “Bub Tub,” but the technical name is the Bub Tub Blastomatic Bass Hoss 5000, with a Christmas Angel on top to complete the Christmas theme. More photos may be seen at www.pacc-news.com, and click on the Heirloom Market Slide Show. (PA photo/Tom Kocal)
Welcome Lauren Schubert
Lauren comes to the bank with a secretarial background in healthcare and is eager to learn the financial planning industry. She is thrilled to assist Adam Ludwig and will work with existing and future clients of IPI Wealth Management. Lauren and her husband Derrick live in Freeport with their 2-year-old daughter Rylee and 2-year-old foster son. IPI Wealth Management, Inc. is located at 126 N. Broad St. in Lanark, IL.
(PA photo/Andrew Williamson)
Veterans Discuss Experiences, Flag Etiquette at EMS
On November 19th, four members of the Stockton VFW visited Eastland Middle School fourth graders during their Social Studies class.
“Mr. Howard Wilkinson (Shelby Homan’s grandfather) brought three other gentlemen from the Stockton VFW to talk with us about their service and show us how to fold and respect the American flag,” said Heidi Calzavara, Fourth Grade Teacher at the Eastland Middle School in Shannon. “After answering several questions about their past military service and sharing some of their unique experiences, each of the students presented our visitors with a heart-shaped thank you note.”
The Veterans, Howard Wilkinson, Bob Heuerman, Jim Vaupel and Mike Beatty, presented the class with a beautiful new American flag to be flown in front of the school.
“They told me that they really enjoyed speaking to our fourth- grade students and our students learned so much from these men who took the time and made the effort to visit our class. This was one lesson they couldn’t learn from any text book!”
(Top) With their newly-folded American flag are (front, L to R) Karlie Krogman, Shelby Homan, Chloe Bouvia, and Bailey Thede. Back row: Jim Vaupel, Bob Heuerman, Mike Beatty, and Shelby’s grandpa, Howard Wilkinson.
(Right) The Stockton Veterans present the proper way to fold Old Glory to the 4th graders. (Courtesy of Heidi Calzavara)
The Milledgeville Elementary Week 10 Thumbs Up Winners are from left to right, front row: Kiyah Wolber, Hannah Nampel, Abigail Sturrup, Payton Siperly, and Maliah Grenoble. Back row are: Kieren Harris, Lucius Braunstein, Keileigh Nimmo, Brady Brown, Ella Covey.
The Volunteers who came to help pack the Thanksgiving Holiday Food Basket boxes (left to right): DeAnna Wilson, Kendra Hull, DeAnne White, Betty Kindler (Foundation Chairperson), Lisa Higby-LeFevre, Bud LeFevre, Nancy Mayoral. Not pictures Phyllis Berge, Alison Boothe, Jason Brown, Crystal Hansen, Jesse Kent, and Sue Mills. (Courtesy of Andy Jackson)
Holiday Food Basket Project
The Holiday Food Basket project has been an important initiative of the Sinnissippi Foundation since 2008. Baskets are distributed to Sinnissippi Centers’ client families in need at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Baskets are delivered to families in Sinnissippi Centers’ four-county service area, Carroll, Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside.
The number of baskets delivered over the three holidays has grown dramatically over the years. During the first year of the project, 2008-09, baskets were delivered to 87 families. During 2012-13 it is estimated that over 300 baskets will be delivered to families totaling more than 1,200 individuals.
Each $30.00 donated to the Foundation’s Holiday Food Basket Project helps purchase contents for one food basket. Donations can be sent to the Sinnissippi Foundation, 325 Illinois Route 2, Suite 100, Dixon, IL 61021. You can designate that your donation benefit the Holiday Food Basket Fund.
Donations can also be made online at: http://www.sinnissippi.com/donate/donate.html
For more information, contact the Sinnissippi Foundation at 815-284-9380.
You may also get more information online at: http://www.sinnissippi.com/foundation/index.html or via Facebook by searching for “the Sinnissippi Foundation” from your Facebook page.
Lanark Vets Hold Supper
The Lanark American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars wish to thank all who attended the Veterans Day supper on November 10, 2012 at the Heritage Center.
We wish to especially thank all the merchants for gift certificates: Special Touch, Hollow Fence Post, Picket fences, JD Auto, Lanark Food Center, Bella’s, Express Lane, Lanark Locker, Carroll Service Company, Cutting Edge, Eastland Motor Sports, Brother’s Inn, Lake Carroll Golf, and the Lake Carroll Club House. A special thank you to Bill Piper for providing the meat dishes for the meal.
Guest speaker was Mr. Barry Williams, a veteran from Mt. Carroll. He spoke of his service to his country and the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Eastland students, Matt Keppen, Laura Kniss, Carli Snider, Jacob Dickman, Blake Gordon and Kari Freidag, provided the entertainment.
A special thanks goes to all who supported the Mess Hall. We are sending $500.00 from the profits to fellow veterans to help with damages from Hurricane Sandy.
Public Forum on Plan to Reduce Storm Damages
Projects and activities to prevent injuries, deaths and property damage from major storms will be presented for public comment in the Carroll County Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. The Plan will be available for review at a public forum on December 13 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Carroll County Farm Bureau in Mount Carroll. Members from the Carroll County Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning Committee will be available to discuss this Plan.
“Persons can come and go at their convenience to review the plan and comment. If an interested person only has a few minutes to review the plan, ask a question, or make a comment, they can easily do so at anytime during the forum. This forum is designed to accommodate busy schedules. Unlike conventional meetings, there are no formal presentations forcing attendees to wait before providing input,” according to Greg Miller, Carroll County Hazard Mitigation Committee Chairperson.
This Committee has been conducting working meetings open to the public since February to prepare a plan that will identify projects and activities to protect Carroll County residents and property from storms and other natural disasters. This plan, unlike all other emergency plans, is aimed at identifying projects and activities that can be taken before a natural disaster occurs.
“We have received public input to develop this Plan since we began meeting in February. This input has included photographs and insurance claims about damages caused by storm events as well as suggestions about potential projects that could reduce harm to people and property. This forum is an opportunity to see the draft plan in its entirety,” added Miller.
Chadwick, Lanark, Milledgeville, Mount Carroll, Savanna, Shannon, and Thomson are participating in the planning process. These municipalities and various County departments have been identifying the kinds of projects that should be included in the Plan.
A public comment period will remain open until December 28. Comments can be directed to the Carroll County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency. Following the public comment period, any revisions that are needed will be made before the Plan is submitted to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for approval.
Each participating jurisdiction must adopt the plan to become eligible for project funds distributed by the state and federal emergency management agencies.
For more information, contact Greg Miller at 815-631-8844.
Give the Gift of Blood
This Holiday Season, give something that means something. Give blood and you could help save three lives.
The Savanna Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring an American Red Cross Blood Drive on December 29, 2012 from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon at the First Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall at 502 Third Street in Savanna.
For an appointment, please call Tony at 815-541-8684 or visit redcrossblood.org. You may be eligible if you haven’t donated since November 3, 2012. Please bring ID, Red Cross donor card or photo I.D.
Rail System Public Hearings Scheduled
The Iowa Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Illinois Department of Transportation, has scheduled public hearings for the Chicago to Council Bluffs-Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS). Online, self-directed meetings will also be held.
The public hearings will be conducted as an open house the week of Dec. 11, 2012, using a combined informal open forum and formal format. Iowa DOT staff will be available to discuss the project informally between 4 and 5:30 p.m. A formal presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session concluding at 7 p.m.
The public is invited to attend the hearing at the following locations:
Chicago, Illinois - Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 at Chicago Union Station, 500 W. Jackson St., Great Hall Gallery
Des Moines, Iowa - Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 at the Des Moines Botanical Center, 909 Robert D. Ray Dr., Oak/Willow Room
Council Bluffs, Iowa - Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 at the Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave. Conference Room A/B
An online, self-directed open house public hearing will be available through Dec. 26, 2012, on the study’s website at
Information included on this website will be identical to the presentation made at the in-person meetings. A copy of the Draft EIS is also available at public libraries along the proposed corridor. For a list of libraries, visit
Decisions, Decisions: Christmas Tree Selection Guide
Christmas trees come in different varieties. Knowing the differences can make the selection process easier, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.
“Some of the most commonly sold varieties of Christmas trees are balsam fir, Fraser fir, Scotch pine, and white pine,” said Ron Wolford. “Each type has unique tree needle retention, color, and fragrance.” Wolford provided the following information about Christmas tree varieties. Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) has short, flat, long-lasting needles that are rounded at the tip and are a nice, dark green color with a silvery cast and fragrance. It is named for the balsam or resin found in blisters on bark. Resin is used to make microscope slides. It was once sold like chewing gum and was used to treat wounds in the Civil War. Canaan Fir (Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis) has soft, short, bluish to dark green needles that turn to silver on the underside. Its strong branches and open growing pattern provide good needle retention and fragrance. Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) has good fragrance and blue to dark green needles that have one of the best aromas among Christmas trees when crushed. Its branches are spreading and drooping, and it has a good conical shape. After being cut, the Douglas fir will last 3 to 4 weeks. Named after David Douglas, who studied the tree in the 1800s, it can live for 1,000 years. Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) has dark green, flattened needles; good needle retention; and a nice scent. It is pyramid shaped with strong branches that turn upward. The Fraser fir was named for botanist John Fraser, who explored the southern Appalachians in the late 1700s. Grand Fir (Adies grandis) has shiny, dark green needles. When crushed, the needles give off a citrusy smell. Grand fir will last 3 to 4 weeks after being cut. Noble Fir (Abies procera) has blue-green needles with a silvery appearance. Its short, stiff branches are good for heavier ornaments. It keeps well and is used to make wreaths, door swags, and garlands. With good care, the tree will last for 6 weeks after being cut.
Concolor Fir (Abies concolor) has blue-green needles, a citrus scent, and good needle retention. In nature, the concolor fir can live up to 350 years. Austrian Fir (Pinus nigra) has dark green needles that are 4 to 6 inches long and a moderate fragrance. It retains needles well. Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) is big and bushy with dark green needles 4 to 6 inches long. Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris) is the most common Christmas tree variety. It has stiff, dark green needles that are 1 inch long and stiff branches that hold heavy ornaments well. It holds needles for 4 weeks; the needles will stay on even when it is dry. Its open structure offers more room for ornaments and it keeps aroma throughout the season. Scotch Pine was introduced into the United States by European settlers. Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana) has dark green needles 1½ to 3 inches long in twisted pairs and a strong aromatic pine scent. Its strong branches enable it to hold heavy ornaments. It is a popular southern Christmas tree. White Pine (Pinus strobus) has soft, blue-green needles, 2 to 5 inches long in bundles of five. It has a very full appearance and retains needles throughout the holiday season. Because it has little or no fragrance, it is less likely than more fragrant trees to provoke allergic reactions. Its slender branches support fewer and smaller decorations than some other types of trees. It is the largest pine tree in the United States and the state tree of Michigan and Maine. Black Hills Spruce (Pinus glauca var.densata) has green to blue-green needles. Small children might find the stiff needles difficult to handle. Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) is dark green to powdery blue and has a symmetrical shape. It will drop needles in a warm room but is the best species for needle retention. Branches are stiff and will support many heavy decorations. The blue spruce is the state tree of Utah and Colorado and can live in nature 600 to 800 years. Norway Spruce (Picea abies) has shiny, dark green needles ½ to 1 inch long, a strong fragrance, and a nice conical shape. Without proper care, needle retention is poor. The Norway spruce is very popular in Europe. White Spruce (Picea glauca) has needles ½ to ¾ inch long that are green to blue-green, short, and stiff. Needle retention is good, but crushed needles have an unpleasant odor. The white spruce is the state tree of South Dakota. For more information, visit www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/trees.
Choosing a Perfect Christmas Tree
Some people think that a real Christmas tree is essential to a proper Christmas, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. “The following are a few hints to help you choose that perfect tree, whether you purchase it from a neighborhood lot or a Christmas tree farm,” said Ron Wolford. Decide where to place the tree before heading out to buy it. Pick a spot away from heat sources, such as TVs, fireplaces, radiators, and air ducts. A dried-out tree is a safety hazard. Make sure the tree is clear of doors.
Remember to choose a tree that fits where it is to be displayed. For example, if the tree is displayed in front of a large window, then all four sides should look as good as possible. If the tree is displayed against a wall, a tree with three good sides would be all right. A tree with two good sides works in a corner. The more perfect the tree, the more expensive it will be. “There is nothing worse than bringing a tree indoors only to find it’s too tall,” Wolford said. “Use a tape measure to measure the height and width of the space you have available. Take the tape measure with you to the farm or retail lot to measure your chosen tree and bring a cord to tie your tree to the car.” If purchasing a tree from a retail lot, go during the day. Choosing a tree in daylight is much easier than trying to pick one out in a dimly lit lot. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, consumers should not worry about the quality of trees they can find this year, no matter what the weather was like in the summer. Summer weather patterns have not affected trees harvested this year. Wolford advises consumers to do some research on different Christmas tree varieties. Some hold needles longer or have a longer-lasting fragrance than others. He warned that trees sold on retail lots in urban areas may have come from out of state and may have been exposed to drying winds in transit. They may have been cut weeks earlier. “Choose a fresh tree, one that has a healthy green appearance with few browning needles. Needles should be flexible and not fall off if you run a branch through your hand,” he advised. “Raise the tree a few inches off the ground and drop it on the butt end. Very few green needles should drop off the tree. It is normal for a few inner brown needles to drop. Make sure the handle or base of the tree is straight and 6 to 8 inches long so it will fit easily into your stand.” Buy the tree early, before the best trees have been sold. Ask the retailer whether his trees are delivered once at the beginning of the season or at different times during the selling season. Purchasing a tree from a Christmas tree farm ensures that the tree is fresh. If the tree will not be put up right away, store it in an unheated garage or some other area out of wind and freezing temperatures. Make a fresh 1-inch cut on the butt end and place the tree in a bucket of warm water. After bringing the tree indoors, make another fresh 1-inch cut and place it in a sturdy stand that holds at least 1 gallon of water. Fill the stand with1 quart of water for every inch of diameter of the trunk. Be sure to keep the water level above the base of the tree. If the base dries out, resin will form over the cut end. The tree will not be able to absorb water and will dry out quickly. “According to the National Christmas Tree Association, drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does NOT improve water uptake,” he said. “Commercially prepared mixes; aspirin; sugar and other additives added to the water are not necessary. Research has shown that plain water will keep a tree fresh.” For more information, please check out the University of Illinois Extension web site “Christmas Trees and More” at www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/trees
Selecting the Best Poinsettias
Poinsettias are traditional holiday plants that will last through the holiday season and beyond. It is important to select the best plant for your home environment. The following are a few selection pointers:
Choose a plant with dark green foliage down to the soil line.
Choose bracts (modified leaves) that are completely colored.
Do not purchase poinsettias with a lot of green around the bract edges.
Do not choose plants with fallen or yellowed leaves.
The poinsettia should look full, balanced and attractive from all sides.
Choose plants that are not drooping or wilting.
Do not purchase plants that are displayed in paper or plastic sleeves. Plants held in sleeves will deteriorate quickly.
Do not purchase plants that have been displayed or crowded close together. Crowding can cause premature bract loss.
Check the plant’s soil. If it is wet and the plant is wilted, this could be an indication of root rot.
Check undersides of leaves for insects like aphids and whiteflies.
Check the poinsettia’s maturity. Check the true flowers which are located at the base of the colored bracts. If the flowers are green or red-tipped and fresh looking the bloom will “hold” longer than if yellow pollen is covering the flowers.
When you take the poinsettia home, be sure to have it covered when the outdoor temperatures are below 50 degrees F.
‘Support Our Schools’ Giving Tree
Farmers Insurance and the Angie VanderVinne Agency are committed to education. No other insurance company offers anything like Farmers FREE award-winning education programs to teachers. In light of this commitment to education, local agents Angie VanderVinne and Abbi Bush are launching a “Support Our Schools” giving tree.
Due to increased budgetary demands and rising costs off supplies and equipment, class room budgets continue to be reduced. Teachers often spend money out of their own paychecks to pay for some supplies in their classroom. Do you buy your own work supplies?
Kids are our community’s most important investment, so let’s help by supplying the elementary schools with needed items. The “Support our Schools” giving tree is located at Farmers Insurance at 127 E Main Street. Additionally, needed supplies will be listed on the Angie VanderVinne Agency Facebook page or you can call Angie or Abbi at 815-772-8900.
Volunteers Needed for 2013 Eagle Count
The Eagle Nature Foundation (ENF) is looking for volunteers to help with its 53rd Annual Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Count to be conducted on January 26 and 27, 2013. This annual bald eagle count is being conducted throughout the Midwest from Northern Minnesota to Louisiana. The count is actually a one day count on Saturday with the 2nd day being used, only if weather does not allow a person or organization to count the bald eagles in their own locality on the official count day. At least 90% of the eagles will be counted before 11:00 AM on Saturday, the 26th. Each year some counters start the day by counting the bald eagles that can be seen leaving their nighttime roosts while it is still so dark that the birds are only silhouettes flying over head. Some conservation organizations count the bald eagles as a project for their club. In the past bald eagles have been counted from cars, boats and airplanes.
This annual count was started and coordinated for 20 years by the late Elton Fawks from Moline, IL. Terrence Ingram, President of ENF, from Apple River, has been the coordinator of the count for the past 30+ years. Mr. Ingram states, “This count has been the most important bald eagle count in the nation for many, many years. It was the first results of this count in the early 1960’s that truly documented the decline of the bald eagle in the nation. Now this count is the only factual account of how our eagles are reproducing in the Midwest. Since the USFW removed the bald eagle from the Endangered Species List there has been no funding for agencies to remained involved in the monitoring of the eagles reproduction. Most all of the reproduction records are just estimates or extrapolations of how many young have been raised.”
The last few years have documented that a low percentage of immatures were seen during the count. The cause for this low percentage of documented immatures on this count has been purely speculation. It could be that the immatures have been raised and are living somewhere else, or something could actually be affecting their survival; such as starvation, poisoning by chemicals, or a disease, such as West Nile Virus, or they are being killed by vehicles or wind turbines.
Anyone interested in helping with this research by counting the bald eagles in their own area on Jan. 26 should contact Mr. Ingram at ENF, 300 East Hickory Street, Apple River, IL 61001 or phone 815-594-2306 to get the necessary count forms and to receive their area assignment. This has to be done in advance of the count date, Jan. 26.
For more information contact: Terrence N. Ingram, Exec. Director, Eagle Nature Foundation, 300 East Hickory St., Apple River, IL 61001 Phone 815-594-2306
Farm Service Agency Conservation Loans Available
Scherrie V. Giamanco, State Executive Director for USDA’s Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced today that funds are now available for Guaranteed
Conservation Loans. Conservation loans allow farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices on their land that will help protect natural resources.
“Guaranteed Conservation Loans are a useful alternative to help operators implement any Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) approved conservation practice including, but not limited to, waste management systems, conservation structures or water conservation measures,” said Giamanco.
Unlike other FSA guaranteed loan programs, Conservation Loans are not limited to family size farms. Operators who may not normally qualify for an FSA guaranteed farm operating or ownership loan could be eligible for a Guaranteed Conservation Loan.
According to Giamanco, the Guaranteed Conservation Loan limit is $1,302,000 and interest rates and terms will vary. The maximum guarantee FSA can issue is 75 percent. A streamlined application process is available for applicants with a strong financial position. The streamlined process reduces paperwork requirements and eliminates the requirement to provide a cash flow statement and supplementary documentation. Interested applicants who do not already have a conservation plan approved by NRCS should work with their local NRCS staff to develop a conservation plan. As with other guarantees, lenders can reduce risk, increase liquidity and offer lower rates by selling the guaranteed portion in the secondary market.
For questions regarding Guaranteed Conservation Loans, please contact your lender or your local FSA Office.
A Rotating Exhibit by AVC National Art Honor Society Students
We all have other sides to ourselves. This exhibit is a collection of work by the 2012-2013 Jo Daviess Carroll Area Vocational Center National Art Honor Society (NAHS) members. The chapter selected the theme and made artwork in response.
Please join us for the Alter Ego Exhibit Opening on December 13, 2012 at the Freeport Arts Center from 5pm-7pm. Refreshments will be served. The artwork will also rotate through our local libraries.
Freeport Arts Center: 12/11/12 – 1/8/13, Opening: 12/13/12 5pm-7pm
Thomson Library: 1/8/13-1/22/13
Savanna Library: 1/22/13-2/5/13
Mt. Carroll Library: 2/5/13-2/19/13
Hanover Library: 4/16/13-4/30/13
Elizabeth Library: 4/30/13-5/14/13
*All dates are subject to change, please contact venue prior to visit.
National Art Honor Society is an extracurricular opportunity for Graphic Communications students and a part of the Jo Daviess Carroll Area Vocational Center. It is also open to art students from the 6 feeder districts. This year the Scales Mound art program has partnered with AVC NAHS. This is the third year the AVC NAHS has been active. Members must exhibit scholastic achievement in art, outstanding artistic ability, and display good character. Members complete community service hours, attend monthly meetings, and dedicate themselves to bringing art awareness to our communities. The AVC NAHS chapter is recognized by the national chapter.
The Star Of Bethlehem: FBC Sunday Night Movie
This Sunday the First Baptist Church of Mount Carroll is proud to present The Star Of Bethlehem.
Delve into an astronomical mystery in this documentary about the historical star that believers claim prophesied the birth of Jesus.
Could the star have been a comet or an unknown planet? Find out whether science can explain the biblical phenomenon. Examining the age-old story from the Gospel of Matthew, the film explores the possibilities and speculations of myth versus miracle.
Be sure to come watch this amazing documentary, sure to enrich your appreciation for God’s perfection. The movie will begin at 5:00 pm on Sunday, December 9, 2012. There will be popcorn and refreshments served. The First Baptist Church is located at 201 South Main St. Call John H McConnel Jr at 815-244-4005 for more information.