Girl Scout Troop 5103 recently held a sleepover at the Mount Carroll United Methodist Church. There were 27 girls in attendance for the evening. The girls did Jazzercise with Carla Eaton to kick off the evening and then were treated to pizzas donated by Seivert’s Pizza/Kris Plattenberger. Along with many games and activities, the girls dedicated part of their night to participating in service projects. The girls made 17 tie-blankets to donate (some for Pitter Patter & some for local pet shelters), decorated several bookmarks for our town’s library, and collected 61 rolls of paper towels for our local food pantry. Breakfast was prepared in the morning with the help of Delbert & Ryan Hockman. Moms in attendance were Sherrie Mueller, Jes Hockman, Stephanie Hughes, Elizabeth Timm, and Amanda Honchell.
The photograph shows the girls proudly holding up the items they created or collected for the service projects.
Front row seated L-R: Jenna Hockman, Kendyll Cassidy, Lilly Hayden, AnnBrielle Young, Olivia Shelly, Kylie Hill, Tori Moshure, Diana Harridge, Emily Harridge, Aubrey Charles.
The Week 23 Thumbs Up Winners at Milledgeville Elementary are (L to R), front row: Johnathan Brearton, Kyle Bowers, Skyler Hartman, Rylan Shenefelt, Sarah Frint, and back row: Sophie Shaw, Salome Pasch, Ethan Bradley, Ainsley Yingling, Zachary Pauley.
4-H Presents to Mt. Carroll Lions
Carroll County 4-H recently did a presentation on the county 4-H program and special programs to the Mt. Carroll Lions Club at their monthly meeting at Oakville Country Club.
Speaking to the Lions Club was 4-H Federation President & 4-H Ambassador Mary Francque of Dixon, Lightning Bugs 4-H Club Leader Linda Davis and Lightning Bugs Club 4-H member Kim Pues from the Gordon Jones Home in Lanark.
Pictured L to R presenting a donation from the Mt. Carroll Lions to the county 4-H program is Lion Denise Meyers, 4-H’er Mary Francque, 4-H’er Kim Pues and Lion Jeff Kromer.
Jump Rope for Heart
There has been a lot of action going on in the physical education classes at Eastland Elementary School. We had a week long roller skating unit that went really well. The students were a little nervous and unsure of themselves at first but by the end of the week, they were really rolling along!! Please help your child improve their skills even more by taking them roller skating somewhere. It is great fun and fitness for the entire family. There are several options for skating near you and it is an activity that is not terribly expensive. There were many helpers in class also to help the days run smooth--Jane Martz, Jennifer Sturtevant, Dana Keim, Julie Janssen, Tina Doubler, Stacey Lamoreux, Tonya Joens, Kara Sword, and Connie Tegeler.
We also worked on our jump rope skills. Jumping rope is another activity that can be worked on at home. We took part in Jump Rope for Heart working to get another banner for our gym and help raise almost $2000 in the process. The last day we worked in centers and had some healthy “red” refreshments to symbolize our healthy hearts and to be aware of those who do not have healthy hearts. The top money collectors for the elementary school were Addie Rush and Trevor Janssen. Good job to the top money raisers and all the participants. The following students also helped raise money for the cause: Cooper Dollinger, Olivia Klinefelter, Peyton Spears, Jonathon Spoerlein, Summer Stoner, Ella Dampman, Cole Knebel, Brogan Wilkinson, Emmah Cady, Ella Gunderson, Cole Huber, Ethan Kessler, Madison Schubert, Isabelle Lego, Ryan Morgan, Max Pasch, Carter Piquette, Jenica Stoner, Cooper Taylor, Jason Prowant, Morgan Wolber-Cavett, Levi Burkholder, Nevin Erbsen, Karlee Etchberger, Mia Knebel, Alex Knipschield, Max McCullough, Adam Messenger, Sam Pasch, Hayden Ruter, Brieann Spoerlein, Keegan Strauch, Alllyn Geerts, Carsen Heeren, Kayden Homan, Emily Janssen, Bryson Joens, Allica Simpson, Ryan Sauer, and Jack Hammer.
Please mark your calendar as the Elementary Field Day is scheduled for the afternoon of May 17th with the rain date set for the 24th of May. To make things run smoothly, I will need lots of volunteers for this event. More information on Field Day will be coming home with your child.
Mount Carroll Rotary Club members and friends recently helped to spruce up the landscaped areas and lawns at Good Samaritan Society-Mount Carroll. Pictured are Rotarians Cathy Smikle and Carol Bates, past Rotarian Jeb Kresge, and Bill Zink, environmental services supervisor. “Service Above Self” is the motto of Rotary International. To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Good Samaritan Society-Mount Carroll, contact Anna Gray at 815-244-7715.
Musical and Art Show in Morrison This Weekend
Andrew Rinker as Linus and Kurtis Klimson as Charlie Brown rehearsing a scene from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
The Morrison schools will be highlighting the talents of student artists, actors and musicians the weekend of May 3-5. “Spring into the Arts” will include performances of the musical “You’re A Good Many Charlie Brown” at Morrison High School and an exhibition of student art work at the Morrison Junior High School.
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be performed on Friday, May 3 and Saturday May 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the MHS auditorium. The musical depicts a typical day in the life of Charlie Brown and the other characters of the “Peanuts” comic strip. The production is a joint effort by Morrison High School and the Morrison Music Theater Association. Seating is reserved and costs $5 for all ages. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Fitzgerald Pharmacy, and will also be available at the door.
An exhibition of artwork by Morrison students of all grade levels will be held at the Morrison Junior High School. The exhibit will be presented on Saturday, May 4 from noon until 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 5 from noon to 4:00 p.m. The exhibit is sponsored by the Children’s Art Preservation Association.
The Morrison community has a long and proud tradition of community support and student achievement in the Fine Arts. All are invited to attend these events as we encourage our students and celebrate their accomplishments.
Touchdown for Tips was held Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Kallamezoo’s (THE ZOO) 206 West Market St. in Mount Carroll. Erin Derrer, Owner, thanked Guest Bartenders (L to R) Sue Simpson, Lisa Metz, and Dawn Hastings for rounding up tips. All proceeds will go towards the West Carroll Youth Football TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More. (PA photo/Andrew Williamson)
Twice-Sold Tales Unplugged
Join Twice-Sold Tales, the gently used bookstore and more, and the Friends of the Lanark Public Library in celebrating National TV-Turnoff Week, April 29th to May 5th. Designed to promote greater interaction between family members, increased community involvement, and a more active lifestyle, the initiative asks families to spend one week focusing on activities that do not involve a screen. Outdoor sports and activities are emphasized, but reading, board games, puzzles, and conversation are also encouraged.
To assist your participation, Twice-Sold Tales has thousands of books for all ages and interests. In addition, books of both old-fashioned games and modern activities and puzzles are available; jigsaw puzzles are also for sale. At present, the bookstore is featuring a 50% off Clearance Sale—a perfect opportunity to stock up!
Twice-Sold Tales is located in The Special Touch’s Unique Mall at 504 IL Route 64 in Lanark. Its hours are 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Friday, and 9 am to 12 pm on Saturday.
Volunteer Millers Prepare for Season
Volunteer Miller Al Jackson readies the millstones for cleaning.
De Immigrant Volunteer Millers cleaned Fulton’s authentic Dutch windmill in preparation for a new tourism season. Each spring, the windmill is cleaned from cap to basement and the millstones are lifted and vacuumed. Another part of the preparation is to reattach the canvas and the sliding boards on the sails. This year, a new video system was installed in the cap making it easier for visitors to view what is happening at the top of the windmill.
Volunteer Millers are currently working with the Volunteer Educators by hosting school children throughout April and May. This year’s theme is “Wheels around the World” with emphasis on pulleys and wheels, European geography, and modes of transportation.
Fulton’s windmill is open to visitors on weekends in May and every day from Memorial Day through October. The Volunteer Millers are need of more volunteers and ask that anyone interested in learning how to become a volunteer miller or how to book a field trip should contact Heather Bennett at 815-589-4545.
Know Your Smart Phone From Top to Bottom
Representative Nickie Benters of Security plus Wireless, a branch of US Cellular in Morrison, overviews with Larry Bushman, local area customer, on his new Samsung Axiom.
(PA photo/Andrew Williamson)
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
Security Plus Wireless, a branch of U.S. Cellular in Morrison is working to help local residents learn and be more comfortable using today’s technology. With many folks having “smart phones,” Scott Stocker and the girls at 604 E. Lincolnway in Morrison are trained to help consumers know all they can about purchasing a new phone. Training classes are forming, or one can simply stop by the store for a personal demonstration and hands on session.
Opened the day after Labor Day in 2012, Stocker has two knowledgeable employees besides himself who are more than willing and able to serve the public. “The girls really learned a lot, and have done a great job. We can teach smart phone usage, and how to use all of the phones we sell. We pride ourselves in making sure that the customer knows and understands the phone they are leaving with, and what they are getting. We even put on face plates, and covers before you leave to make sure customer satisfaction is at its highest. We can do everything in our store that the Sterling US Cellular stores can do, but on a more personal level,” Stocker explained. “We like to show you everything new technology can do for you, and especially the time it can save.”
Besides purchasing a cell phone, customers can make payments at the facility, bring in phones for troubleshooting, and receive guidance in phone operations. Smart phone classes will be held on a regular basis, but can also be done just by coming into the store.
“We are about taking care of our customers. We want to get the customer the right product the first time, and make sure they know how to use it before they leave,” said Stocker.
Visit Security plus Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., or from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Don’t hesitate to give a call at 1-309-582-3293. Great plans and packages are available for individuals, families and businesses. “We will always do our best, shop local,” Stocker added.
Be sure to stop in and check out what Scott and the girls can do for you today.
Mt. Carroll Farmers Market
The Farmers Market will begin on Saturday, May 4, 2013 in downtown Mt. Carroll on Market Street 8 am-noon and continue every Saturday through October.
The Market will feature locally grown specialty crops as well as goods contributed by bakers, crafters, and artisans.
Enjoy the opportunity to buy high quality, fresh, nutritious, affordable farm products directly from our local farmers every week! The Farmers Market is sponsored by the Mount Carroll Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-244-9594.
It's Gotta Be Jazz
West Carroll Primary students gave a great performance during their Spring concert. Students presented lively jazz tunes under the direction of Anne Pudwill.
(Prairie Advocate photos/Lynnette Forth)
(Prairie Advocate photos/Lynnette Forth)
Valerie Johnson Wins Second Place
Sophomore Valerie Johnson from West Carroll High School received 2nd place in the Aspiring Artists exhibit at the Freeport Art Museum. The annual spring exhibition highlights the best work by students in grades K-12. Awards are given for First, Second, Third places as well as Honorable Mentions in three different grade groups. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the exceptional talent and creativity of young artists in our communities. The exhibition is sponsored by Freeport Health Network and awards are sponsored by Blick Art Materials. The exhibit runs through May 25, 2013 in Freeport.
Chadwick-Milledgeville Attends FBYC
On Monday April 8, 2013, four members of the Chadwick-Milledgeville FFA chapter traveled down to Springfield, IL for the 2013 Farm Bureau Youth Conference that took place at The Crowne Plaza Hotel. The conference was full of activities that would teach the students how to grow their legacies. Students had opportunities to go to six different growth sessions that each had different themes relating back to agriculture, such as what to do after the FFA, Leadership rules, and how to promote agriculture in a positive way and teach those who do not know exactly what the agriculture industry does. Attendees also went to a career fair to learn about careers in agriculture and to talk to colleges. After a long day, everyone was rewarded with a dance and evening activities. The students returned home Tuesday night with many new leadership skills to bring to the chapter.
Reported by Lauren Hackbarth Chapter president.
Carroll County 4-H Horse Bowl Members Compete
Horse bowl participants are from left to right, front row: Natalie Shaw, Savanna; Megan Poole, Ogle Co.; Alivia Preston, Mt. Carroll; Olivia Charles, Mt. Carroll; Coach Bryan Hollewell, and back row: Coach Joan Harms; Coach Mary Francque; Kaiti Collins, Polo; Caryssa Hemmen, Sterling; Katie Hoffman, Savanna; Gretchen Richter, Ogle Co.
By Leanne Rahn,
Carroll County Community Worker 4-H & Youth
Carroll County 4-H horse project members participated in the Regional Horse Bowl & Hippology contests at Highland Community College in Freeport.
In the Sr. Horse Bowl division – Carroll Co. team placed 2nd. Team members were Natalie Shaw, Renee Henert & Megan Poole. In answering the most questions correctly, Natalie Shaw placed 1st and Renee placed 8th over-all.
Jr. Horse Bowl Division – Carroll Co. team placed 1st overall. Team members are Kaiti Collins, Katie Hoffman, Olivia Charles, Alivia Preston and Caryssa Hemmen. The team will now compete at the State Contest on May 4th, in Champaign. In answering the most questions correctly, Katie Hoffman placed 1st, Gretchen Richter 2nd, Caryssa Hemmen 9th over-all.
In the Hippology division individual state qualifiers were Jr. Division: 1st place Olivia Charles; Intermediate division: Natalie Shaw, 1st; Katie Hoffman, 2nd; Megan Poole, 3rd; Caryssa Hemmen 4th; Kaiti Collins, 6th; Gretchen Richter, 7th; Senior Division: Renee Henert, 5th. They have the opportunity to participate at the State Contest May 4-5.
In the horse judging contest, Olivia Charles placed in Jr. Divisionand Kaiti Collins placed 2nd in Intermediate Division. In Oral Results, Olivia Charles placed 1st in the Jr. Division.
Team coaches were Bryan Hollewell of Millegdeville & Joan Harms & Mary Francque of Sterling.
Peak Migration Brings Hundreds Of Frequent Fliers To The 15th Annual Birdfest
Escape to nature with an up-close look at wild birds, hawk show, guided walks and more – one weekend only, rain or shine.
Hundreds of wild birds migrating through the area are just an arm’s length away at BirdFest 2013, Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12, from 8a to 4p. BirdFest is hosted by Illinois’ largest bird observatory – Sand Bluff Bird Observatory (SBBO) – located in Colored Sands Forest Preserve, four miles northwest of Shirland, Ill. SBBO is one of the largest banding stations in the region that welcomes visitors.
Get a first-hand view of a wide variety of birds, such as Bluebirds, Scarlet Tanagers and Baltimore Orioles. BirdFest is held during peak migration when thousands of birds return from their homes as far south as Argentina to summer here or continue farther north to Canada and Alaska.
To commemorate the organization’s 15th anniversary, Research Scientist Dr. Mike Ward, Illinois Natural History Survey, and Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present “Tracking Birds Migrating Across the Gulf of Mexico.” Dr. Ward is the co-author of a study that tracks Illinois’ avian population over 100 years and identifies the factors impacting the declines of certain species.
“BirdFest is a wonderful opportunity to spend time outdoors and learn about nature,” said Anna Gray, president of the all-volunteer organization. “Visitors who hold and release the banded birds are often amazed by their size, colors and markings. With extensive experience in studying and researching birds, the SBBO staff devote their free-time to sharing this passion with others. “
Visitors are welcome to shadow certified net checkers and watch as they gently remove birds safely captured in the mist nets and then brought to the observatory for identification. At the observatory, visitors will see master banders evaluate and band each bird. Experts will share interesting facts about the birds—what they eat; where they nest; the distances they travel—and will answer questions. Guests will have an opportunity to examine the birds before the birds are set free.
SBBO’s annual spring celebration of offers a host of family fun activities:
• Bird-banding demonstrations
• Special presentations, including Dr. Mike Ward, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois
• Guided nature hikes
• Free Kids’ Korner with activities, including birdhouse kits, owl pellets, games and face painting
• Raptor shows
• How-to nature exhibits, such as butterfly gardens
• Wood crafters and other nature artists
• Silent auction with a specially designed “Bird-in-Hand” quilt, and wildlife and nature items
• Food stand featuring delicious breakfast and lunch menus
Admission is $3 for adults; $.50 for children ages four to 12; and free for tikes three and under. Money collected at BirdFest goes toward purchasing new nets and equipment.
The event takes place rain or shine as the birds continue to be active in a light drizzle. SBBO is located at 10602 Haas Road, four miles northwest of Shirland, Ill. Follow signs on Yale Bridge Road. For more information, please go to sandbluff.org or call Mike at (815) 871-8483.
Illinois’ oldest and largest bird observatory, SBBO is one of the few banding stations that is open to visitors. Operated entirely by volunteers, SBBO’s banding efforts help to track bird population trends, migration patterns, and adverse effects on birds caused by nature or mankind. BirdFest is an environmentally responsible event, using earth-friendly, biodegradable products.
Founded in 1967 by area resident Lee Johnson, SBBO collects, identifies and releases birds for approximately 12 weekends each spring, and 12 weekends every fall. Last year, SBBO banded more than 5,700 birds, including hawks and owls.
Local Vocalist Traveling to Florida with Waldorf Choir
This spring, Ashleigh Stingley of Savanna, Ill., will travel throughout Florida with the Waldorf College Choir for its annual tour. With almost 30 students performing, the vocal ensemble will present 10 concerts during its May 1-12 tour.
“Touring is an important component of the students’ Waldorf experience because it speaks directly to the College’s mission,” said Dr. Adam Luebke, choir conductor and director of choral activities. “The students get to meet and interact with many different people on tour, learning how others live and experience the world.”
“I think the students will learn a lot about themselves on this trip and their capacity to influence and shape the lives of others through their creative selves,” added Luebke. “Plus many will get to see the South and the ocean for the first time.”
A number of the concerts will be performed at area churches, including the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke in Orlando and the Cathedral Basilica in Saint Augustine. Along the way, the choir will visit and collaborate with several high schools, including a joint concert in Orlandowith the Freedom High School and Timber Creek High School Choirs, as well as the Florida Gulf Coast University Choir.
Additionally, the Waldorf ensemble will travel to Florida State University for a special clinic with Dr. Kevin Fenton, one of Luebke’s graduate school professors. The trip will also include a stop in Orange Beach, Ala., at Waldorf College’s sister school Columbia Southern University.
Titled “A New Day,” the tour program features a wide selection of music, with pieces ranging from Lutheran choral traditions to folk songs to contemporary choral melodies. Some of the pieces the choir will perform include F. Melius Christiansen’s setting of Praise to the Lord; Lux aurumque by Eric Whitacre; a spiritual by William Dawson, In His Care-O; and a beautiful arrangement of Dolly Parton’s famous song, Light of a Clear Blue Morning.
Sheep/Goat Weigh-in & Tattooing For State Fair
By Leanne Rahn, Carroll County Program Coordinator, 4-H & Youth
On Saturday, May 11, will be the annual sheep/goat weigh-in and tattooing for any 4-H’er or FFA member that is planning to exhibit at the Illinois State Fair Jr. Show in August.
This is not a requirement to show on the county level only if you are going to State Fair.
The weigh-in will take place at the Terry Bocker farm near Lanark, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Please arrive during this time. This will be the only weigh-in for state in this area. Others are scheduled for the Quad Cities and in Central Illinois.
If you have any questions please call the Carroll County Extension Office at 815-244-9444 or e-mail Leanne Rahn at email@example.com.
The weigh-in will be held rain or shine. You must be 10 years old by September 1, 2012 to exhibit at the Illinois State Fair Jr. Show.
Savanna Smiles 4-H Club Holds Meeting
By Izabella Fredericks, Savanna Smiles 4-H Club Reporter
The Savanna Smiles 4-H club held their monthly meeting on Sunday, April 14th. Mimi Hicks from the Extension office was a guest speaker. She updated us on how things are running now between the counties. At the beginning of the meeting we all planted vegetable seeds to start growing for our garden this year. We will be planting them at the next meeting at the Rice’s.
Dena Harridge gave a report on the federation and that on the 27th they will be holding a project workshop at the Farm Bureau in Mt Carroll. Katie Hoffman gave an update on the Jr. Ambassadors and that they will be cleaning up the parks in the Savanna Area in June.
Everyone is to be thinking of what we would like to do for the silent auction basket for the fair and we will pick one or two at the next meeting.
Julie told us that anyone who had sewing projects this year, that we would be showing this on July 27th after the dog show, so if you are in sewing mark this date down.
Our club will be working the ice cream stand the first 2 shifts on Sat the 10th of August.
Junk in the Trunk has several events scheduled this year and our club decided to donate $25 to help with the expenses of these events.
Next meeting will be May 19th at the Rice’s where we will be planting our garden.
County 4-H Shooting Sports Shotgun Group to Meet
By Leanne Rahn, Carroll County Program Coordinator, 4-H & Youth
Clinics for the 4-H Shooting Sports Shotgun project will be held every Tuesday and Thursday night from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Clark VanBuskirk shooting range at 8989 VanBuskirk Road, Mt. Carroll during the month of May (May 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 & 30th).
The Shooting Sports Shotgun Club is open to current and non-4-H youth 10 and older by September 1, 2012.
Bring with you to the clinics: $10 to cover the cost of shells and targets; A 20 or 12 gauge shotgun; A parent or adult – you will also have paper work to fill out that needs a parent signature; Safety glasses if you have them; Dress for the weather & bring bug spray
If you have any questions, contact Wayne Knight at 815-244-3380 or the Carroll Co. Extension Office at 815-244-9444.
4-H Pork Quality Assurance Class to be Held
Leanne Rahn, Carroll County Program Coordinator, 4-H & Youth
Carroll County 4-H Swine Committee will be hosting a Pork Quality Assurance Class on Tuesday, May 7, at 6:30 p.m. in the Extension Office meeting room.
All 4-H’ers will need to have passed the Pork Quality Assurance test to show at the 4-H Fair.
If you have any questions, contact Leanne Rahn at the Carroll Co. Extension Office at 244-9444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carroll County 4-H Shooting Sports Groups to Meet
By Leanne Rahn, Carroll County Program Coordinator, 4-H & Youth
4-H archery workshops will be held on Saturday, May 11 at 9:00 a.m. and Sunday, May 19 at 1:00 p.m.
The workshop will be held at the Mike & Jodi York farm located at 25269 E. Locust Rd., Lanark. You must be accompanied by a parent, if your mom or dad cannot then you need to find another adult to be responsible for you. Dress for the weather.
For more information contact Mike York, Lanark or Leanne Rahn at the Carroll Co. Extension Office 815-244-9444 or email@example.com.
Governor Declares Whiteside Co. Disaster
Citizens in Whiteside County that have been affected by damages caused by the recent flooding in April 2013, may qualify for federal assistance after Governor Quinn declared Whiteside County a disaster area. The first step after a disaster event has occurred is to conduct an initial damage assessment. Damage assessment forms may be obtained by visiting the lEMA website at
If a Presidential declaration is made, the Individual Assistance Program may provide Federal disaster assistance to the local home owners and businesses. Please note that there is no guarantee at this time that Federal disaster assistance will be made available.
After the damage assessment forms have been completed, they can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to the Whiteside County Sheriffs Office at 815-772-7944.
These forms must be completed and received no later than April 30th , 2013. Questions can be directed to Emergency Services Disaster Agency Coordinator, Doug Buhler at 815-772-5215 or at 815-772-4044.
The History of Men’s Clothing
There was once a time in history when a man’s hat reflected his occupation. From head to toe, learn about the history of men’s clothing. Diane Sipiera will use a simple PowerPoint presentation to illustrate how men dressed throughout the Victorian Era.
Program will be held on Saturday, May 4th from 1:00 to 2:00pm at the 1876 Banwarth House & Museum, 408 E. Sycamore St in Elizabeth. Admission is $3.00 per person, or free for PSF members. Visit www.banwarthmuseum.com for more information or to reserve a seat please email email@example.com or call (815) 858-2014.
Planting Progress Report from U of I Crop Research Center
Although it is mid-April, the “agronomy news” is on what is not happening, as opposed to what could or should be happening. Russ Higgins, Commercial Ag Educator with the University of Illinois Extension based at the Northern Illinois Crop Research Center in Shabbona Illinois shared that they have yet to turn a wheel toward planting the 2013 crop. “Normally at this date we are starting to consider seedling diseases, early insect problems or emergence issues. We are not addressing these typical early season issues because quite simply; we don’t have anything planted.” The continuing weather patterns have affected the entire state. Current projections have 1% of the Illinois corn crop planted. That is compared to a five year average of 24% at this date. When compared to 2012, 56% of the corn crop was already in the ground and most emerged. These numbers were gleaned from the National Agricultural Statistics Service which released its weekly Crop Progress Report on Monday April 22nd. The following link will provide more details:
The heavy rains along with the below average temperatures resulted in only 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork last week and very little progress in spring fieldwork.
Topsoil moisture increased dramatically this week and was rated at 35 percent adequate and 65 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated at 5 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and 27 percent surplus.
Cold soil temperatures also continue to be another factor delaying corn planting
Despite this dismal start to the planting season, Higgins encouraged producers to not panic. As Dr. Emerson Nafziger reminded producers in a recent article, final yield is much more dependent on what happens in the remainder of the growing season as compared to the specific planting date. We continue to encourage farmers to practice patience and not work or plant in unsuitable soils.
Taken from a blog by U of I Extension Commercial Agriculture Educator, Russ Higgins.
Free Child Care Business Training
4-C: Community Coordinated Child Care is presenting a free workshop for individuals interested in offering child care services in their home. “How To Start A Successful Family Child Care Business” will be held at the YWCA of Sauk Valley, 412 First Ave, Sterling, IL on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM; and at 4-C: Community Coordinated Child Care, 155 N Third St, Suite 300, Dekalb, IL on Tuesday May 21, 2013 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. To register, please call 800-848-8727 ext. 230.
4-C is a non-profit agency serving children, families, parents and child care providers for over 35 years. Services are offered in the counties Dekalb, McHenry, Ogle, Lee, Whiteside and Carroll. Our mission is to promote children’s well being by advocating for quality, affordable child care. We support parents and those providing child care by offering information, education, resources and support.
Encouraging gun owners to purchase firearm safety devices is the aim of legislation sponsored by State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) and approved April 23 by the Senate.
Senate Bill 2086 creates a sales tax exemption on firearm safety devices until Jan. 1, 2015. Firearm safety devices include safes, lock boxes, trigger and barrel locks, and other items for home firearm safety.
“We are embarking on a major policy change with the state of Illinois under a federal court order to adopt a ‘Right to Carry’ policy,” said Bivins, a former Lee County Sheriff. “To that end, we want people to be responsible with firearms and we would like to encourage them to buy those devices that keep them secure – items like trigger guards and gun safes.”
Approved by a 53-0-1 vote, Senate Bill 2086 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. The legislation is cosponsored by State Sen. Napoleon Harris III (D-Flossmoor) and State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago).
Senate Approves Sen. Bivins’ Practical School-Safety Ideas
The Illinois Senate has passed two bills and adopted a resolution sponsored by State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) that offer immediate and practical solutions for keeping students safe at school.
“The shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was a stark reminder of just how vulnerable schools, students and teachers are to violence from the outside,” said Bivins, a former Lee County Sheriff. “With ideas ranging from a School Security task force to architectural standards for school building construction to a School Crime Watch program, these measures have changes that communities can make right now.”
Senate Bill 1931 creates the School Security and Standards Task Force to study the current security conditions, make recommendations, and draft minimum standards for use by schools to provide a safer learning environment for students. The Task Force is to submit its report to the General Assembly and the Governor by Jan. 1, 2014.
“The Task Force is going to focus on the actual physical building, the school, and how they can create minimum standards to protect those schools. We are looking at physical security,” Bivins said.
Senate Bill 1932 requires a local school board to consult with law enforcement and security experts in the design and planning stages of the construction of any new school building or any additions to or major remodeling of an existing school building.
“Any time a school district is going to build a new building, remodel or put an addition on, we are asking that they consult with law enforcement and security experts during the design phase to make sure they are doing everything properly as far as security,” Bivins said. “For example, a wall of windows can be a stunning architectural feature, but it can also pose a serious security risk if it is in a part of the building that students move through on a regular basis.”
The Senate also adopted Senate Resolution 91, asking schools to create a School Watch Program similar to the successful Neighbor Watch Program that has been in place in communities around the country for years.
“A School Watch is not a new concept. We have Neighborhood Watch, which was created by the National Sheriffs’ Association many years ago. We are recommending that schools either partner with Neighborhood Watch and local law enforcement and follow that same model in your communities, or you create a stand-alone program,” Bivins said. “It’s one more set of eyes, or many sets of eyes, watching out for our schools and our kids.”
Senate Bill 1931 was passed by a 53-0 vote and Senate Bill 1932 was approved by a 48-1 vote. The two bills now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Senate Resolution 91 was adopted by a 53-0 vote.
“It is very gratifying that both bills and the resolution received such strong bipartisan support,” Bivins said. “These suggestions are practical and realistic. And while schools may already be taking steps to improve safety, I believe the General Assembly also has a responsibility to act.”
Enjoy Kiss the Pig and Sundaes on Sunday
Bring your lawn chair, enjoy an ice cream sundae, listen to music by Second Time Around and see who has to “Kiss the Pig”.
What do Cancer, Ice Cream, and a Pig have in common? The “Extra-Strength Ebenezer” Relay for Life Team is hosting “Sundaes” on Sunday followed by a “Kiss the Pig” contest. This fundraiser will be held at Ebenezer Reformed Church on Sunday May 5th from 2-4 p.m. Who would you like to see Kiss the Pig? Reverend Gerry Norman with a cash donation at Morrison Hardee’s or Sullivan’s. Cast your vote for Coach Brian Onken with a cash donation in the canister at Morrison Happy Joe’s or Movie Magic. Cast your vote for Volunteer Fireman Scott Allison with a cash donation in the canister at Fat Boy’s or KJ’s Bar-n-Grill. Donations will be accepted and given to the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life. Bring your lawn chair, enjoy an ice cream sundae, listen to music by Second Time Around and see who has to Kiss the Pig. * If we reach our goal everyone wins. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held inside the church.
HCC Foundation Announces $250,000 Matching Challenge
The Highland Community College Foundation is pleased to announce a new matching gift challenge called “Double Play.” Thanks to two very generous anonymous donors from Jo Daviess County and Stephenson County, the Highland Foundation is welcoming donations that will be matched dollar-for-dollar.
The Double Play matching gift challenge kicks off Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at which time, donations to the Highland Community College Foundation of up to $60,000 a year for the next five years will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Donors who wish to participate can designate their gift to the “greatest needs of Highland Community College” or to the current major gift campaign, Growing for tomorrow…changing lives today.
Contributions to the major gift campaign have been used to fund the construction of the Ray and Betty Stamm Health Science Nursing Wing built to help meet the challenge of training significant numbers of highly qualified health care professionals such as nurses, medical assistants and emergency medical technicians. Additionally, the facility has been designated as an Emergency Care Center in the event of a disaster in the Highland district.
Campaign donations have also supported the construction of the Wind Turbine Technician Training Center. This center provides a state-of-the art training facility for this new career opportunity, which has a major future in green energy development.
Donations to the major gift campaign, which have recently surpassed $2.5 million, along with revenue from debt certificates issued by the College, have allowed both the Ray and Betty Stamm Health Science Nursing Wing and the Wind Turbine technician Technology Center to be constructed and occupied by students and faculty. However, more than $3.5 million remains to be raised so that the Foundation can fulfill its pledge to retire the debt, according to James M. Berberet, Foundation Executive Director.
If you would like to take advantage of “doubling” your donation for local higher education, please contact the Foundation office at 815-599-3413 to request additional information and to secure a donation form. Highland Community College and the Foundation thank you for your consideration and for helping to build a better future for higher education in northwest Illinois.