Local News Archives for 2019-05

Award-winning Irish Bluegrass Group to Perform in Cambridge

JigJam, a multi-award winning quartet from the heart of the midlands in Ireland, will be performing on Monday, May 27h at a private residence in Cambridge, IL. Blending the best of traditional Irish music with Bluegrass and Americana in a new genre which has been branded as 'I-Grass' or "CeltGrass", their onstage energy along with their virtuosic musical ability has captivated audiences throughout the world.


"Here's an Irish band that's going to impact the world as hard as Clancy Brothers or U2 if they get only half a chance." - MIDWEST RECORDS


Jamie McKeogh, Cathal Guinan and Daithi Melia all hail from Tullamore, Co.Offaly with Co. Tipperary born Gavin Strappe completing the quartet. All four members grew up immersed in Irish traditional music and culture which is reflected by the band collectively achieving over twenty All-Ireland titles at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competitions. They have now developed their own unique style of music influenced by American Folk music whilst staying true to their Irish roots. Described as “The best Irish group so far in bluegrass” (Irish American News) this sharply dressed outfit deliver an energy-fuelled, foot-stomping live performance. All multi-instrumentalists, JigJam interchange between banjos, guitars, fiddles, mandolins and double bass onstage which creates an experience which is pleasing to both the eye and the ear.


JigJam have recorded two studio albums (OH BOY! 2014 & HELLO WORLD 2016) to critical acclaim as well as a live album (LIVE IN TULLAMORE 2017). They have made a huge impact on the Irish American circuit performing as a headline act at all the major festivals including the world-renowned Milwaukee Irish Fest as well as touring various parts of the UK and Europe.


"The words sparkling, innovative and infectious come first to mind, beyond that you get into an unadulterated display of accomplished musicianship, skill and talent." - FOLKWORDS


The show will begin with a potluck dinner at 6PM, with music starting at 7PM. A $20 donation is suggested. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the Bishop Hill Creative Commons, located at 309 N. Bishop Hill St, Bishop Hill, IL.


For more information please email john.r.taylor@gmail.com.


To learn more about JigJam please visit jigjam.ie.

R.A.Sapp library Summer Reading Program

 School will soon be out for the summer. There’ll be plenty of time for reading, which means it’s time to get snazzy, glitzy and roll out the red carpet!  Join us at the R.A. Sapp Library this summer for It’s Showtime at your Library. We’ve lined up fascinating presentations, crafts, and story times for children that put books center stage and make reading the blockbuster event of the summer. Participants can win prizes for reaching their reading goals. 


Our Summer Reading program is simple: You read books and earn prizes. Program registration is Tuesday, May 28 – Saturday, June 1. Our summer reading program is open to the public, no matter where one lives.  Just stop by the library to sign up for the program. As always, library programs are FREE. Our Summer Reading Program runs on Monday, June 3, June 10, June17, and June 24 starting at 2pm.


Why not enjoy the activities we’ve planned for this year’s summer reading program?


If you have any questions, please feel free to call the library at 815-699-2342.


Bluegrass Festival Resurrected in Fulton, Scheduled for June 8th

2018 would have been the fifth year of an annual bluegrass festival held at beautiful Heritage Canyon in Fulton, Illinois; however, instead of continuing this tradition, the festival’s run came to an end.  Later that fall, a group of area friends decided to bring this truly American form of music back to the area and launched the Heritage Bluegrass Festival.


June 8th, 2019 guests are invited to experience one of the greatest natural amphitheaters in the area at Heritage Canyon in Fulton, IL where you will be treated to some world-class bluegrass from regional and national acts.


Musical Line-up:

Flash in a Pan: 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Milltown:  2:15PM - 3:15PM
Gone Fishin':  3:30PM - 4:15PM
Joe Hott: 4:30PM – 6:00PM

Tickets are available in advance at Eventbrite and will be available for purchase at the gate ($15 per person and $40 per family). Proceeds will benefit the Early American Crafters, Heritage Canyon, and other local charities.

Food will be available from Hillbilly Jack’s BBQ and, in addition, beverages and snacks will be available for purchase by the Early American Crafters. There will be a craft vendor fair and opportunity to explore the canyon and historic village throughout the day. 

Bring your lawn chairs and get ready for a fantastic afternoon of family-friendly entertainment!


To learn more about the Heritage Bluegrass Festival please visit: facebook.com/FultonHeritageBluegrassFestival.

IVCC Theatre Department hosts Tony Awards Viewing Party June 9

Broadway’s biggest night will be broadcast on the big screen when the Illinois Valley Community College Theatre Department and SPAMO (Students of Performing Arts and Musicals Organization) host a Tony Awards Watch Party in the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre Sunday, June 9.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with Broadway Trivia, Broadway Karaoke open to all guests, and other events. The broadcast begins at 7 and commercial breaks will serve as times for more brief interactive events and discussion.


Refreshments will be available for purchase with all proceeds benefitting SPAMO. Admission is free and open to the public.


SPAMO President, Ashley Hurst said, “This is an event for those who love and support theatre, as well as those who actually do theatre. The Tony Awards are the Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, and Academy Awards for Broadway!”


IVCC Director and Choreographer of Musical Theatre Don Grant Zellmer said, “This event is a way of expressing our thanks to our audiences who support our productions. It’s a great way to meet others interested in theatre, an opportunity for us to interact with our audience on a more personal level – as well as see what’s playing on Broadway currently.”


To follow this event as well as all IVCC theatrical news, the department hosts the IVCC Fine Arts Facebook group which community members are welcome to join.

IVCC Ag Club Donates Plants to Extension

An initiative begun last year by Illinois Valley Community College’s student Ag Club will result in fresh produce going to district food pantries this summer and fall.


The club grew well over a thousand plants this year in the college greenhouse including 800 tomato and 500 cabbage plants along with bell peppers, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, basil, cilantro and more.


Following a campus sale that ended last week, remaining plants were donated to University of Illinois Extension for replanting in community gardens and elsewhere.


Specific destinations include the 4-H Latino After-School Club at DePue Elementary School, the Ottawa Community Garden and a school garden located at Marseilles Elementary School.

At harvest, produce will be distributed to district food pantries.


The club and IVCC ag program coordinator and instructor Willard Mott worked with the Extension’s Meg Overocker, Program Coordinator for the Master Gardeners and Master Naturalist programs, and Paul Marincic, a Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteer.

Cycling To Fight World Hunger

The Northern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries (RALM) are co-sponsoring “Cycle to Synod,” a three-day bicycle ride (June 11 to 13) across Illinois to raise funds and awareness for the ELCA World Hunger Ministry.  “Cycle to Synod” will begin at St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Princeton, on Tuesday, June 11, at 10 AM with a kick-off “Blessing and Prayer” sponsored by the members of St. Matthews Lutheran Church.


Approximately ten bicycle enthusiasts will undertake the three-day-ride which will cover over 100 miles.  On Friday, June 14, the cyclists will enter the Northern Illinois Synod Annual Assembly at Centennial Hall on the campus of Augustana Lutheran College in Rock Island to celebrate their ride and to announce the funds raised along the journey.


ELCA World Hunger has partners and companions in the United States and over 60 countries with ministries addressing: Water and Sanitation; Education and Training; Agriculture and Nutrition; Income and Savings; Health; Peace, Justice and Human Rights; Advocacy and Community Organizing.  In 2017, ELCA World Hunger received over $21.3 million in support of these ministries. 


Anyone can donate to support “Cycle to Synod” by writing a check to the Northern Illinois Synod, with “Cycle to Synod” written on the memo line.  These donations can be received at any of the stops along the three-day ride or mailed to the Northern Illinois Synod office at 103 West State Street, Rockford, IL 61101.


“Cycle to Synod” can be followed on social media using “#CycleToSynod”.  The ride will make overnight stops at Zion Lutheran Church, Kewanee; First Lutheran Church, Geneseo; and, First Lutheran Church, Rock Island.  The ride will make lunch stops at the Hennepin Canal State Park sponsored by First Lutheran Church, Prophetstown; Cambridge Lutheran Church, Cambridge; and Augustana Lutheran Church, Andover.  At each of these stops, information regarding ELCA World Hunger will be shared through interactive Bible studies and promotional materials. 


For more information on joining the ride or making a financial donation to ELCA World Hunger contact: Pastor Jamie Gallagher, First Lutheran Church, Monmouth at 309-734-2106.

"Explore More Illinois" Discounted Passes Now Available Through The Princeton Library

The Princeton Public Library has added a free online service available to library patrons, Explore More Illinois, which provides instant access to free and discounted tickets to museums, science centers, sporting events, zoos, park districts, theaters, and other fun and local cultural venues.


At this time participating attractions include:

  • 1950s Park Forest House Museum / Park Forest
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum / Springfield
  • American Toby Jug Museum / Evanston
  • Chicago Children’s Museum / Chicago
  • Chicago Maritime Museum / Chicago
  • Discovery Center Museum / Rockford
  • DuSable Musem of African American History Museum / Chicago
  • Edwards Place / Springfield
  • Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park / Oak Park
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum / Skokie
  • Kankakee County Museum / Kankakee
  • Kidzeum of Health and Science / Springfield
  • Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art / Evanston
  • Momence Heritage Days / Momence
  • Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College / Chicago
  • Peoria Riverfront Museum / Peoria
  • Springfield Arts Association / Springfield
  • Viking Ship / Geneva

To obtain a pass, go to the library website, www.princetonpl.org, and click on the Explore More Illinois logo found in the Helpful Links column. The site can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection. Once you are logged in with your library card credentials, you will see offers for the upcoming three months. You can also search for offers by date, attraction name, or location. Information about each attraction and the offer is available before making the reservation.


Reservations must be made for a specific date. Using the calendar, you can choose what date you want to make the reservation for and then choose the Reserve option under the attraction. A confirmation box will appear, and a confirmation email will be sent to the patron. You have the option of printing out a pass at that time, or they can choose to print it out later. You can cancel a reservation before you print or download a pass.

Bureau County 4-H Shooting Sports Volunteers Wanted

The summer training for adults interested in joining the Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports program as a volunteer leader will be held July 20-21, 2019 at 4-H Memorial Camp, Monticello, IL. Adult volunteers are an important part of the Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports program. All 4-H shooting sports clubs must be led by adults who have completed the training and passed the certification test.


“After the training, our 4-H volunteers understand their role in mentoring youth to become self-directed, confident members of their community,” Curt Sinclair, 4-H Shooting Sports and Environmental Education Extension Specialist said. “Yes, they’ll also teach the fundamentals of safe shooting, but their bigger role will be helping youth feel welcomed, empowered, and successful; generous in spirit; and thoughtful of their fellow club members and the communities where they live.”


Instructors are needed in Bureau County in archery, rifle, and pistol, as well as coordinator positions. University of Illinois Extension will cover the cost of registration for two individuals registered by June 30. If you are interested in volunteering for a 4-H Shooting Sports, please contact the University of Illinois Extension Office at (815)875-2878 for more information.

If you need a reasonable accommodation, please indicate when registering.


For more information call University of Illinois Extension – Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 815-875-2878. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus.


The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. Visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/blmp/


Scholarship Created in Memory of Clarence Sapienza

An elementary education scholarship has been established with the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation in memory of longtime educator and World War II veteran Clarence Sapienza of Peru.


The annual scholarship was set up by Clarence’s widow Myrle and son Mike and wife Jackie of Peru. It will award $1,000 to a full-time elementary education major who had graduated from La Salle-Peru Township High School, St. Bede Academy or Putnam County High School.

Clarence died April 14 at age 99. A graduate of LP, he earned a teacher’s certificate from La Salle-Peru-Oglesby Junior College in 1940 and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Bradley University. He was a teacher, principal and retired as superintendent of Oglesby Public Schools.


Before beginning his teaching career at Sprinkleburg School, a one-room schoolhouse in Putnam County, Sapienza served in World War II for the U.S. Eighth Army Air Corps as a belly gunner on a B-17 bomber. 


“It is a privilege to work with the Sapienza’s to honor Clarence’s remarkable life,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran. “Clarence represented the ‘Greatest Generation’ – the men and women who lived through the Depression, fought so bravely in World War II and went on to live meaningful lives.”


The scholarship will be awarded for the first time at the Aug. 29 scholarship reception in IVCC’s gymnasium. There, the recipient may have an opportunity to meet Myrle, who was married to Clarence for 76 years.


“My father had a deep love of God and country,” said Mike Sapienza. “He would be happy knowing we are assisting future teachers in this way.”


To create a scholarship with the IVCC Foundation, contact Fran Brolley at (815) 224-0466 or fran_brolley@ivcc.edu.

Freedom House Offers Empowerment Program

The annual Empowerment Program for incoming grades 4-9 students, a series of one-day conferences presented by Freedom House, will be offered free of charge this June at eight locations in Bureau, Henry, Marshall, Putnam, and Stark Counties. This year’s theme is “Embracing Myself for All that I am Worth.”


For students entering grades 4-6, the program provides them with the tools to strengthen self-esteem, set goals, and acknowledge boundaries. The program for incoming 7-9 graders includes combatting negative self-talk, practicing self-compassion, respecting myself, becoming assertive, surviving conflict, and implementing healthy relationship dynamics.

Information about the conferences will be distributed to schools and sent home with students. For online registration, please visitwww.freedomhouseillinois.org or www.facebook.com/freedomhouseillinois. The registration deadline is May 31. For more information please e-mail: srosalez@freedomhouseillinois.com, or call (815-872-0087).


Schedule (8:30 am - 3:30 pm unless otherwise noted)

Princeton – Tuesday, June 4 – Bureau County Farm Bureau

Wyoming – Thursday, June 6 – WyHi Community Center

Geneseo – Monday, June 10 – Geneseo Public Library (9:30am - 4:00pm)

Spring Valley – Thursday, June 13 – Hall High School

Henry – Tuesday, June 18 – Marshall/Putnam County Farm Bureau

Granville – Thursday, June 20 – Putnam County HS, (8:15am-2:30pm)

Sheffield – Tuesday, June 25 – Cornerstone Community Wellness

Kewanee – Thursday, June 27 – Hill Church

Free Summer Youth Photography Mentorship Offered in Galva

The Levitt AMP Galva Music Series is offering a free summer youth photography mentorship and currently have openings for 9 middle/high school age youth who are interested in learning photography skills. This free mentorship program will run Sundays from June 2nd through August 4th and will cover all the basics of photography--no experience required. Students will have a chance to photograph at Levitt AMP Galva Music Series concerts alongside mentors who will critique work and help guide with composition and editing photos. Photos taken have the possibility of being included in national marketing and are eligible for entry in the photo contest scheduled for the final concert on August 4th.


To sign up or for more information please contact Tya Barman at mrsbarman12@gmail.com or (309) 631-7252.


To learn more about the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series please visit levittamp.org/galva.

Depue Fire

On Tuesday May 14, 2019, Bureau County Sheriff James Reed advised that deputies responded to a structure fire in Lakeview Estates, Depue, IL, to assist with traffic control.   Responding to the scene was 10-33 ambulance, Peru ambulance, Depue Fire, Bureau Fire, Spring Valley Fire, Dalzell Fire, Ladd Fire, and Princeton Fire, and Depue Police.


 Two adults and four children were in the residence at the time of the fire.  Upon arrival all six occupants were out of the residence. All occupants were transported to St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley for medical evaluation.  A 4 year old child was later transported to a Chicago, IL pediatric burn unit.


 Medical status of all occupants remains unknown.  The fire is currently under investigation by the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office.  Any further questions should be directed to their office or the Depue Fire Department.


Scott's Law

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association today stood with Governor Pritzker, Senator Antonio Munoz, Senator Neil Anderson, Representative John Cabello, Representative Marcus Evans and other members of law enforcement to announce proposed enhancements to Scott’s Law and the safety of all emergency personnel.


“There have been far too many terrible, yet preventable, accidents already in 2019. The proposed changes are a great first step, but this is just the beginning of an overall effort to evaluate how to improve the safety of all on our roadways”, said Jim Kaitschuk, Executive Director, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association.


Scott’s Law is (625 ILCS 5/11-907) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-907) (c) Upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when the authorized emergency vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, blue, or red and blue lights or amber or yellow warning lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:


(1) proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least 4 lanes with not less than 2 lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or


(2) proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.

The proposal:

Creates new funds for law enforcement agencies to hire off duty police back to monitor construction and safety zones, purchase equipment and educate drivers

The fine increases from a minimum of $100 to $250 and $750 for the second offense and up to $10,000.


Damage to another vehicle is a Class A Misdemeanor


Causing Injury or death to anyone is a Class 4 Felony


Causing death to emergency services personnel is a Class 2 Felony

Adds questions regarding Scott’s Law to driving exam


Creates “Move Over Task Force”-they shall provide recommendations to the General Assembly by January 1, 2020


The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association was founded in 1928. The ISA provides essential training and development for Sheriffs and their support teams. We also create, encourage and support various civic and youth-oriented programs. Through community outreach and the monetary support of its various memberships, the ISA continues to strengthen several important initiatives for our youth. The ISA is also a tremendous advocate for reasonable legislation regarding criminal justice to ensure the safety of the community and the officers that serve them.


Keeping lives safe and the well-being of our children are two of the most important investments we can make. Our sincere thanks for the commitment of our men and women in uniform along with the loyal support of citizens and businesses throughout Illinois. Together, we are making a difference!


Move Over, Slow Down and put down the phone. Help us all save lives.


State Senator Sue Rezin's Office Receives Threats; Peru Police Make Arrest

Chief Doug Bernabei announces the arrest of the below subject following an intensive investigation by members of the Peru Police Department patrol division, detective division and Special Investigations Unit.  The LaSalle County States Attorney as well as the Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC) also assisted our agency during the investigative phase.



Steven A. Tutko age 33

2830 4th Street Trailer 30

Peru, Illinois



Class 4 Felony of Threat to school building or person, bond set at $100,000.00.


Day/Date/Time/Location of arrest:

Tuesday May 14, 2019 1245 pm at the defendant’s residence.


Case background:

On Monday May 13, 2019, an officer of the PPD responded to the Peru Offices of 38th District State Senator Sue Rezin.  The senator’s office had received a voice mail at her office wherein an individual made very specific threats that in part making a threat to commit a mass shooting at “a school.”  For obvious reason the matter was treated as the highest of priorities and overnight efforts to identify a potential suspect continued. The threat was only to “a school” with no specific school, city, or county mentioned or named.  As a precaution, the appropriate measures were taken to make sure local schools were safe and secure.


Based on our investigation the PPD identified a person of interest by Tuesday morning and immediately presented the facts to the office of the LaSalle States Attorney.  The states attorney approved a felony charge against the defendant for threats to a school building and persons and Judge Michael Janz signed a warrant over the noon hour Tuesday.  At the same time, we obtained a search warrant for the residence of the defendant. The home of the defendant was placed under police surveillance after the suspect was identified and while the warrants were being obtained.


At 1245pm, members of the Peru Police Department emergency response team (PERT) executed the search warrant and at the same time took the defendant into custody.  PERT is a tactical response team consisting of members of the Peru Police Department who have undergone special training in tactical response and search warrant tactics.


The charge in this case, as in all criminal cases is merely allegations and the defendant enjoys the presumption of innocence.


Mosaic Community Art Project

Community Art Project Sunday, May 19th 1-4 p.m. Join us at the Mary Uthoff Memorial Walkway on Princeton's South Main Street (between Fawcett's Pharmacy & Quilter's Garden). Mosaic artist Susan Burton will be on hand to help community members create a small mosaic bird, flower, or heart that will become part of the public art installation coming to this South Main Street walkway.


Bring your own piece of china to contribute to the mosaic design or choose from our supply of china. All ages welcome.


Questions: 815-303-8034


Donations accepted.


Rain Location: Princeton's Prouty Building





The Princeton Public Arts Commission, in a collaborative effort with North Central Illinois Artworks (NCIA), has planned a public art installation on South Main Street in Princeton. The public art pieces will include a sofa, two chairs, and a table designed and created by mosaic artist Susan Burton. The walkway between Fawcett's Pharmacy and Quilter's Garden is the location. This walkway was dedicated back in 1977 as the Mary Uthoff Memorial Walkway, Mary Uthoff (1886-1974), was a longtime Bureau County educator and served as Superintendent of Bureau County Schools from 1924-1936.


Community members are invited to be part of the creative process. On Sunday, May 19th, from 1 to 4 pm, the project artist will be facilitating a hands-on workshop. Attendees will create a small mosaic heart, flower, or bird that will be incorporated into the walkway space. This workshop will take place at the Mary Uthoff Memorial Walkway. If case of bad weather, the workshop will be moved inside the Prouty Building.


Jyl Morse, of Hoffman's Patterns of the Past, will be supplying the china to be used for this project. You are also invited to bring your own piece of china that will be broken into pieces to become a permanent part of the original art to be created by Susan. All other supplies will be provided.


The Art Commission team members are excited to see this project come together with involvement from the community. Donations will be accepted with proceeds to be used to help fund the art installation.

Levitt AMP Galva Music Series Kicks Off June 2nd

As the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series begins its second year, attendees will be pleased to see great musical talent and fun family activities.  The first concert of the Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series will kick off this year's season with the talents of the rock group The 4onthefloor and folk group The Ragbirds.

The 4onthefloor will bring their well-oiled, high-octane, rock’n’roll music to Galva on June 2nd when they lead off the first of ten concerts to be held at Wiley Park starting at 6 p.m. They are an American rock and roll band from Minneapolis, MN known for each members playing a bass drum and writing all their songs in 4/4 time, evoking their namesake. Their music has been featured in such television shows as ABC’s Nashville and A&E’s Duck Dynasty. Concert goers will experience their furious delivery of ebbs and flows with sing-a-long anthems and breakdowns to soaring guitar solos and unbridled full-bore rock. Camaraderie is a common theme, finding like-minded rock’n’rollers at every show. The merriment must come from all angles, including the stage for a memorable and entertaining show.


The Ragbirds, led by dynamic, multi-instrumentalist front-woman Erin Zindle, create music that is equally danceable, intelligent and vulnerable. Since 2005 they have gathered and maintained a passionate, grassroots fan base by continually reinventing themselves with an ever-evolving sound, while remaining rooted in the high-energy, world-inspired folk-rock that they have become known for. They have performed in 47 states, averaging 150 shows a year and become festival favorites.


With a genre-bending hybrid of indie-pop melodies, global-infused beats, rock guitar riffs and folk sensibilities, this is music that comes to life on stage. Every concert leaves each listener in a higher place than when it began. The Ragbirds are constant travelers, impressed upon by a global consciousness, with lyrics that point to the daily paradox of intentionally cultivating hope in the midst of a crazed and jaded world.


Along with the amazing talent that will take the stage, activities for adults and children alike will be going on throughout the event. In addition, food vendors will also be available for those wishing for a bite-to-eat. All concerts are provided free of charge and are a wonderful way to spend an otherwise quiet Sunday evening.

IVCC student Shane Peek earns Sigma Tau Delta Transfer Scholarship

Illinois Valley Community College’s Sigma Kappa Delta Mu Alpha chapter vice-president Shane Peek of Rutland was recently awarded the Dr. William C. Johnson Sigma Tau Delta Transfer Scholarship.


Peek, the son of Jennifer Casey and Chad Peek received the scholarship at the national convention in St. Louis in late March which he attended with chapter president Summer Stueckrad.


The $1,000 award is for a transferring SKD member pursuing a degree in English or English education from a four-year college. Sigma Tau Delta, SKD’s sister organization, chooses recipients based on academic and service achievements as well as the goals outlined in the student’s autobiographical essay.


Peek will transfer to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to major in English after graduating with an associates from IVCC May 18. Upon completing his bachelor’s, he plans to obtain a master’s in library science. He hopes to become a librarian in a high school and earn a certificate to teach English.


Peek said, “I was actually surprised I received the award and I just sat in my seat for the first 30 seconds.”


SKD is active on-campus and in the community recognizing and rewarding outstanding achievement in English language and literature; providing cultural stimulation and promoting interest in English at two-year colleges; fostering English in all its aspects, including creative and critical writing; promoting good professional interaction among members; and exhibiting high standards of academic achievement.


Reflecting on his time as SKD vice-president, Peek said, “My favorite experience was meeting everyone who came to our booth on Spirit Day.”


Wheat Weavers at the 2019 Bishop Hill Quilt Show

During the Bishop Hill Quilt Show on May 17 to May 19, representatives of the Illinois Association of Wheat Weavers (IAWW), will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate various plaiting methods used to transform wheat straw into delicate works of art.   Walk-ins are welcome to try a variety of wheat weaving techniques, guided by experienced members of the IAWW. Recent works will be on display and available for purchase. The Wheat Weavers will be at the Steeple Building Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday.

The Steeple Building Museum is located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street, Bishop Hill, IL.  For more details about this free demonstration and other Bishop Hill Quilt Show activities, please call 309 927-3899, email bhha@mymctc.net or visit www.bishophillheritage.org .


Living Works Suicide Walk for Prevention

Community Partners Against Substance Abuse announces the 10th annual Living Works Suicide Walk for Prevention and Awareness, scheduled for Saturday June 1st, 2019 in Princeton. The Walk will begin with registration at Darius Miller Park at 9am. Gary Swanson will be providing music and announcements. The Walk begins at promptly 10 am and proceeds down main street until Zearing Park. A water station is provided in front of Covenant Church. Festivities will start at approximately 11 am, once all walkers have arrived.  If you are not a walker you are welcome to join us at Zearing Park. Music is provided by Long Ladder Home. Raffle tickets will be sold during this event at $1 each or 12 for $ 10. There will be a signing wall, guest speakers, face paintings, snacks, ice cream from Grandma Rosie’s and food from Princeton Jaycee’s. You can register for the walk either by picking up a form at The Health Department or The Princeton Chamber of Commerce, or online at Living Works Suicide Walks Facebook site. Register early for a $5 discount. T shirts pre-registered can be picked up early on May 22 and 23 at The Princeton Library between 6 and 8 PM. This years T-shirt has a new logo designed by 2 students with the theme Nobody can play your part. Walk to support Suicide Prevention June 1st in Princeton




May board report

Illinois Valley Community College’s agriculture program was recently bolstered when coordinator Willard Mott took delivery of a new Case IH Magnum 340 tractor through a Case IH School-Program, President Jerry Corcoran announced at Thursday’s board meeting.


Use of the tractor was facilitated by Kyle Dooley of CNH International and a vertical tillage tool has also arrived compliments of Stoller International Equipment of Ottawa.

Corcoran said Stoller also donated a utility tractor to support research being conducted on college land in partnership with University of Illinois Extension.


“Thanks to CNH, we may soon have a planter for some of our own work and the hardware needed to collect field data from the tractor and combine,” he said.


“It has been a great partnership. Our ag students are the beneficiaries of this tremendous support. We have everything we need to prepare the seedbed and monitor field conditions. Willard is now working on how to control the weather,” Corcoran said with a smile.


Mott said earlier this week, “Our partnership with CNH Industrial’s agriculture brand Case IH will have a profound impact on students as they will be driving a new M340 tractor, working the field with a new vertical tillage tool, and planting both corn and soybeans. Our program has been elevated to a new level thanks to Kyle Dooley and CNH Industrial.”


In other business, trustees approved a Medical Assistant certificate program to begin in spring 2020, pending approval by the Illinois Community College Board. IVCC has partnered with neighboring Kishwaukee College in Malta as both colleges launch the program, Corcoran said.

The program will prepare students for certification as a Medical Assistant and entry-level careers in physician’s offices, clinics and other medical settings. The 29.5 credit certificate includes seven new courses such as Medical Assisting Skills I through IV, Introduction to Electronic Health Records and Clinical Externship.  


In other action, the board approved:

  • Hiring Richard Marko as automotive technology instructor beginning Aug. 13.  Marko is a graduate of IVCC’s program and Southern Illinois University’s.

  • One year extensions of the contracts in place for President Jerry Corcoran, Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema and Vice President for Academic Affairs Deborah Anderson.

  • Accepted the resignation of developmental mathematics lab instructor Emily Lesman effective Aug. 10.

  • Following closed session, a 2.75 percent salary increase for all employees not affected by a negotiated labor agreement – contingent upon evaluations and grant support. The board also approved special salary adjustments for four employees identified as warranting in fiscal year 2020.

The board learned:

  • About 80 employees were honored at the 23rd Annual Employee Recognition Event April 18 in Utica.

  • Del Baracani is the new maintenance department groundskeeper and Jayna Leipart Guttilla has been hired as collection development and access librarian.

  • Duplication Center operator Sandra Kosciewicz is retiring June 30 after 33 years. “I will take many fond memories and friendships with me,” Kosciewicz said in her retirement letter.

  • Allied health instructor Linda Pinn will retire at the end of the spring semester, adult education instructor Tracy Makransky will retire after eight years, Terumi Scully, administrative assistant for Project Success, submitted her letter of resignation effective May 16 and women’s basketball coach Tom Ptak resigned April 30.

  • The theatre production of “Mama Mia!” – playing over two weekends in April in the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre – broke attendance records, Corcoran said.

  • IVCC geology instructor Mike Phillips was recognized May 2 at the Regional Office of Education’s 31st annual Excellence in Education awards banquet for his many years on the Lostant School board.

  • IVCC’s Transfer Academy initiative was the program topic at Wednesday’s Ottawa Noon Rotary and will be the focus of the Friday, May 10 Ottawa Sunrise Rotary. Dr. Anderson will be the presenter.

Tractor Show May 25 at the Princeton Public Library

On Saturday May 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. antique tractors and other farm equipment will be on display in the Princeton Public Library parking lot at 698 E Peru Street in Princeton. The Tractor Show is co-sponsored with the Indian Valley Antique Club. Club members will be happy to talk to you about their tractors and answer any question you might have. They will also be selling food and refreshments (hot dogs, popcorn, chips, water & soda) during the show....so come for lunch. If you have an Antique Tractor, feel free to bring it to the show and display it for all to see.  This will be a fun day for the whole family.


Backyard Birds May 21 at the Princeton Public Library

Get ready for spring by attending “Backyard Birds,” a program presented by Illinois Master Naturalist Bob Chinn at the Princeton Public Library on May 21 at 6:30 p.m.  Using his photo and video library, Bob will share insights about our feathered neighbors. This U of I Extension Program presentation will include: the most common backyard birds counted in Cornell Lab's2018 – 2019 Project Feeder Watch, ways you can contribute to a pro-bird environment in your own yard, and tips for a few places to visit in the surrounding communities that offer wildlife viewing opportunities.



O'Rourke Receives Rigazio Scholarship

Illinois Valley Community College communications student Ryan O’Rourke of Streator recently received the full-tuition Steven W. Rigazio Scholarship to Eureka College.


O’Rourke was a member of the IV Leader student newspaper, IVCC College Democrats and former member of the Friends of Lance Yednock campaign. After graduating from Eureka, he plans to go into journalism. With a passion for baseball, he would like to become a columnist, writer or blogger.


The scholarship was created and financed by Tony and Gretchen Rigazio of Oglesby to honor the memory of their son Steven, a 1974 IVCC graduate who went on to become President of Nevada Power Co.


After being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1999, Steven helped found Nevadans for the Prevention of ALS to raise money and awareness of the incurable disease. A married father of two, he died in 2001 at age 47.



State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) talks with students from Knoxville Junior High School about their “Using CoSpaces and Sphero SPRK+ in Earth Science” project at TECH 2019, a demonstration of school technology May 7 in the State Capitol.


Attending the TECH 2019 event were 8th-grade students Vincent Conlee, Brooklyn VanBeveran and Autumn White, and 8th-grade Science Teacher Katie Frey.


TECH 2019 allows students to display their projects and show state leaders what skills will be needed for the Illinois work force and how technology can improve teaching and learning.

IVCC's Sigma Kappa Delta inductions over 40 students

Illinois Valley Community College’s Mu Alpha chapter of the Sigma Kappa Delta English Honor Society for two-year colleges recently inducted over 40 students at its biennial induction ceremony. (SKD’s last induction was in spring 2017.)


Students recognized were:

Spring 2019: Lauren Bernardoni of Lostant, Alyssa King of Marseilles, Valerie Leonard and Adrienne Van Horn of Mendota, George Stuepfert of La Moille, Erica Swartzmiller of Grand Ridge;


Fall 2018: Rachel Black and Allison Shirley of Oglesby, Stephanie Boehm of Spring Valley, George Bond of Cedar Point, Elle Bottom, Janine Full and Ricky Martinez of Mendota, Mateo Eib and Zaria Sheedy of Marseilles, Sydney Johnson of Ottawa, Rachel Maggio of Lostant, Emily Sampo of Peru;


Spring 2018: Madeline Dougherty of Ottawa, Shane Peek of Rutland, Morgan Phillips of Lostant, Kelsi Rodriguez of Streator;


Fall 2017: Megan Bolelli, Michaela Eddy and Luciana Mautino of Spring Valley, Catherine Calderon and Summer Stueckrad of La Salle, Lindsey Ceja, Elizabeth Jones, Abigail M. Jordan and Chase Ochsner of Ottawa, Kellsie Edgcomb of Utica, Kaitlin Ernst, Nicholas Goth and Mason Lucas of Oglesby, Molly Ferguson and Alyssa McCauley of Peru, Mackenzie Geldean and Madison Menzel of Princeton, Taylor Johnson of Tonica, April Jording of Lostant, Winter Lane of Sheridan, Reilly Leonatti of Dalzell, Alexis Williamson of Marseilles and Cameron Schumacher of Mendota.


Headquartered in Decatur, Ala., SKD has 127 chapters nationwide to recognize and reward outstanding achievement in English language and literature, provide cultural stimulation and promote interest in English on two-year campuses and the communities they serve, and foster English in all its aspects, including creative and critical writing.


Stand-Up Comedians To Record In Princeton, IL

A group of touring stand up comedians are coming to Skooner'z Grill & Bar on May 14th at 8 p.m. to perform a live show and record for a documentary web series called the “Transparent Comedy Tour”. They are hitting the road, turning on the cameras, and not turning them off. The tour will be seven days on the road traveling the midwest starting in Maddison, Wisconsin and ending in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


The focus of the documentary web series is on what it’s like to do comedy on the road capturing genuine moments while they happen. The live show will feature six comedians of varying styles and backgrounds. From hard-hitting truth tellers to light-hearted story-tellers, the show will have something for everyone. The lineup for the tour is Perry Thompson, Matt Lamb, Jeremiah Scavo, Sam Hirchak, Matt Banwart, and Wade Taylor. Comics you’ve likely never heard of, but soon will. Between the ensemble of comics, they have played comedy festivals, sold out theatres, colleges, and, comedy clubs. More information can be found at TransparentComedyTour.com

Quilt Show Returns to Bishop Hill

The 2019 Bishop Hill Quilt Show will be from May 17 to May 19.  This year’s theme is “Yule, YoYo, and Yardage.” At the Colony School, a bedazzling display of color will fill the building.  Over 100 quilts will be on display: antique, miniature, patchwork, applique, and much more. Admission fee for the Colony School is $5.    The Prairie Queen Quilt Club Theme Challenge quilts will also be on display in the Steeple Building Museum. The quilt show is sponsored by the Prairie Queen Quilt Club, Bishop Hill Arts Council, and Bishop Hill Heritage Association.  Show hours for May 17 and 18 are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Show hours for May 19 are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


During the Bishop Hill Quilt Show, at the Steeple Building Museum, representatives of the Illinois Association of Wheat Weavers (IAWW) will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate various plaiting methods used to transform wheat straw into delicate works of art. Walk-ins are welcome to try a variety of wheat weaving techniques, guided by experienced members of the IAWW.  Recent works will be on display and for purchase.


While visiting Bishop Hill for the Quilt Show, please check out our stores, museums, and restaurants.  For more information about these places, the 2019 Quilt Show, or future events in Bishop Hill, call 309 927-3899, email bhha@mymctc.net or check out www.bishophillheritage.org.  Also, look for details at the Bishop Hill Heritage Association Facebook page.


IVCC Signs Men's Basketball Recruits

DePue High School’s Marcus Winfert has signed an NJCAA Letter of Intent to continue his basketball career at IVCC. He is pictured with DePue coach Charlie Klinefelter, left, mother Kim Lamkin and IVCC coach Chris Herman.


“Marcus is a quiet, humble kid who earned first team all-area recognition. He is a sneaky-quick player who makes his teammates better. Marcus was asked to do a lot for this year’s DePue team,” Herman said.

IVCC Signs Men's Basketball Recruits

 Former La Salle-Peru High School standout John Senica recently signed a National Junior College Athletic Association Letter of Intent to continue his basketball career at Illinois Valley Community College. He is joined by parents Tricia and John, both former IVCC basketball stars, seated, and IVCC coach Chris Herman.


Senica actually joined the team for the second semester this past season. “I was immediately impressed with John’s blue collar work ethic and great attitude. He was baptized by fire as his first game was on the road against eventual NJCAA Division II champion Kirkwood (Iowa) Community College. John was efficient on the floor and productive during that game while not being in great shape. He is coachable, hard-working, and a 4.0 student – a coach’s dream,” said Herman.


Residents of the 37th District can bring some of their unwanted household items to a free community recycling event being sponsored by State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) and Kuusakoski Recycling on May 11 in Peoria.  


The free Recycle Fair is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to noon on May 11 at Kuusakoski Recycling at 2202 West Townline Road in Peoria.


Items that will be accepted include: electronics, computers, DVD players, televisions (limit two per car), VCRs, printers, ink cartridges and cell phones.


Items that will not be accepted include: microwaves, appliances and batteries.

For more information about the free community recycling event, call Sen. Weaver’s office at 309-693-4921.

University of Illinois Extension Offers Program on Identifying Grasses

The Spring series of the Four Seasons Gardening Program from the University of Illinois Extension concludes with a session titled “Which Grass is Which? Identifying Grasses Made Easy.”


Identifying grasses can be tricky! Join Erin Medvecz, Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator, as she discusses basic grass identification, and shares tips and techniques to identifying a number of common grasses in Illinois, without learning complex terminology or needing a hand lens.


This program will be offered via a live webinar on Tuesday, June 11th at 1:30 p.m. at the following University of Illinois Extension Offices: Bureau County in Princeton; Marshall-Putnam Counties in Henry; and LaSalle County in Ottawa. This webinar may also be viewed from wherever you have internet access by pre-registering at go.illinois.edu/4seasons_webinars.


Recorded videos of these sessions can be viewed following the program at go.illinois.edu/fourseasonsrecordings.  This is the final session of the Spring series.

Each session is free to the public. Advance registration is needed. Phone or email the LaSalle County University of Illinois Extension office for more details at 815-433-0707, or you may email Extension Program Coordinator Meg Overocker at meo@illinois.edu.  


If you need a reasonable accommodation, please indicate when registering. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs. For more information call University of Illinois Extension –LaSalle County at 815-433-0707. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus.


The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. Visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/blmp/


Ptak Steps Down as Women's Basketball Coach

 Tom Ptak announced recently he is stepping down as Illinois Valley Community College women’s basketball coach after six seasons.


Ptak led the 2016-17 team that included Daniela Pavlovich, Hannah Wolfe and Julia Pohar to the Region IV District II championship game and was twice named Arrowhead Conference Coach of the Year.


Despite struggling to field teams of 10 or more players, Ptak’s squads remained competitive. Hired in July 2013, Ptak scrambled to put a team together – a unit that would go on to win a surprising 12 games.


“I know when we entered the gym with the small number of players we had, other teams counted it as a victory. That year an opposing coach told me, ‘Your team plays hard.’ To me, when you can get the most out of your talent, that is the greatest compliment you can get,” Ptak said.


A 1975 St. Bede Academy graduate and three-sport star, Ptak’s mentor was legendary Bruin football coach John Gaughan.


“Coach Gaughan always said if your team was better at the end of the season than it was at the beginning, you did your job. I believe we did that at IVCC,” Ptak said.


Ptak’s coaching style over a 22-year career was supportive rather than confrontational.


“I never believed in being in-your-face or making players uncomfortable. I told my players I was their biggest fan. I didn’t want them looking over their shoulder if they made a mistake,” he said.


“No one wants to be embarrassed. I wanted my players to relax and have fun. My teams knew I believed in them.”


Team-building events included a fall trip to Chicago where players toured the Lakefront on bikes, viewed architectural landmarks and saw – from the 25th floor of a building overlooking Grant Park – the path the Great Chicago Fire had taken.


“I wanted to expose them to things they were unaware of,” he said. “Those trips will have a greater impact on the players as they grow older.”


Ptak largely recruited only in-district players and had success with that model “but that got tougher and tougher.”


He praised the support he received from IVCC Athletic Director Cory Tomasson, President Jerry Corcoran and administrative assistant Sue Harding – “mother of the athletic department.”


“Everyone provided me everything I needed to be successful. I was never pressured over wins and losses. Foremost, they care about their student athletes and ensure they are students first,” he said.


His greatest support came from spouse Lynn Cawley who encouraged his players and provided them with thoughtful kindnesses such as special-order basketball cookies.


“I could never do what I do without Lynn,” he said.


Aside from coaching, Ptak operates a family funeral home, assists with Lynn’s busy hair salon and is the city of La Salle’s longest serving alderman. 


“What I will miss most about coaching is the relationships you develop with players,” he said.

Scott's Law Update

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association announced a statewide Officer Safety and Scott’s Law Safety Initiative in early April. This traffic detail was to be highlighted from 4/12/19-4/19/19. Many Sheriff’s offices from around the State had already acted prior to the initiation of this announcement due to the importance and clear need to enhance our traffic enforcement activities.


Scott’s Law is (625 ILCS 5/11-907) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-907) (c) Upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when the authorized emergency vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, blue, or red and blue lights or amber or yellow warning lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:


(1) proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least 4 lanes with not less than 2 lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or


(2) proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe. Sheriff’s Offices from across the State participated in this effort. As of the time of issuing the release the ISA has reports from 35 different offices.


The ISA has received activity reports from 36 counties at the time of this release. Sheriff Deputies issued 441 Scott’s Law violations, 827 speeding, 289 electronic devices, 84 seatbelt, 10 felony arrests, 87 suspended/revoked/no valid, 13 DUI, 14 drugs, 31 warrants, 3 stolen cars, and 425 other violations. A total of 1864 citations and 866 warnings were issued.

While this month was a focal point of many law enforcement agencies, this will continue to be at the forefront of our efforts. The accidents, injuries and deaths that have occurred as a result of these violations are avoidable. We will do our part in keeping the roads safe. We ask that all of you do as well.


The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association was founded in 1928. The ISA provides essential training and development for Sheriffs and their support teams. We also create, encourage and support various civic and youth-oriented programs. Through community outreach and the monetary support of its various memberships, the ISA continues to strengthen several important initiatives for our youth. The ISA is also a tremendous advocate for reasonable legislation regarding criminal justice to ensure the safety of the community and the officers that serve them.


Keeping lives safe and the well-being of our children are two of the most important investments we can make. Our sincere thanks for the commitment of our men and women in uniform along with the loyal support of citizens and businesses throughout Illinois. Together, we are making a difference!


Move Over, Slow Down and put down the phone. Help us all save lives.


Quilts of Valor May 14

On Tuesday May 14 at 6:30 p.m. Terry Johnson will present a program at the Princeton Public Library on Quilts of Valor, a nationwide foundation that awards healing quilts to service men and women who have been touched by war. Terry has quilted for more than 30 years and became a group leader for the Quilts of Valor two years ago. Join us to hear her journey of how she became involved and why it’s become almost a full time job. The Illinois Valley Quilt of Valor crew will bring quilts to show as well as a video and PowerPoint presentation.


This program is free and all ages are welcome to attend. More information on Quilts of Valor can be found at www.qovf.org.



IVCC Youth Basketball Camp July 8-11

The Illinois Valley Community College men’s basketball team will host its annual basketball camp Monday through Thursday July 8-11 in the gym.


Camp for first to fifth graders is 9 to 10:45 a.m.; sixth through ninth graders is 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.


Head coach Chris Herman and his players will work with participants on fundamentals. Campers will participate in drills, stations and competitions designed to develop their individual shooting, passing, ball-handling and defensive abilities.


Herman said, “The camp is designed to not only improve each camper’s skills, but also provide a fun week of basketball.”


Pre-registration is recommended. Cost of the camp is $50 per player and includes a camp T-shirt. Campers should bring their own basketball.


To register, contact Herman at (815) 224-0593 or the athletic department at (815) 224-0472.


IVCC's River Currents hosts launch party May 9

River Currents, Illinois Valley Community College’s literary and art publication, is hosting its 2019 issue launch party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 9 in Room C316.


Guests can join the celebration of this year’s student writers and artists with an open-mic hour at noon, free copies of the book and refreshments.


This event is free and open to the public. For information, visit www.ivcc.edu/rc.


Express Registration at Ottawa Center May 14

Illinois Valley Community College Ottawa Center is hosting “Express Registration” from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14.


The summer enrollment opportunity will feature on-the-spot counseling, financial aid information and admissions representatives. Main campus summer A begins Monday, May 20, Ottawa Center Summer begins Monday June 3 and main campus Summer B begins Wednesday, June 12.


Ottawa Center summer courses include basic and intermediate algebra, basic geometry, technical mathematics, music appreciation, general psychology, strategies for college and speech.

RSVP at www.ivcc.edu/events; call (815) 224-0800 for information.


Senator Weaver: Democrat leaders muscle through graduated income tax rates, without GOP support

 State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) released the following statement May 1 after Senate Democrat leaders muscled through a constitutional amendment and legislation that sets rates for Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s controversial plan to fundamentally change the state’s income tax system and increase taxes by an additional $3.4 billion per year.


“The vote by Senate Democrat leaders today to force through Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s controversial progressive income tax plan clearly shows the stark differences in their economic approach … and ours,” Weaver said. “Democrat leaders continue to ask for new spending. Instead of pursuing the common-sense reforms needed to attract jobs and businesses to Illinois, Democrat leaders are back asking for more money from taxpayers.


“Senate Republican lawmakers voted against the plan today because it has no guaranteed protections for middle-income families. Many of you share my concerns. Gov. Pritzker’s proposed tax increase is estimated to raise $3.4 billion. With around $10 billion having been proposed by the Governor on the campaign trail, the math just doesn’t work,” Weaver said. “Without adequate protections for middle-income families, taxpayers and citizens of this state have good reason to be concerned.”


In a March 15 newsletter, Weaver’s office asked: “Since his proposed tax increase will not raise the income needed by Gov. Pritzker, do you think Springfield will come back to tax middle-income taxpayers?” Not surprisingly, 89.36 percent of the respondents said they think the state will come back to tax middle-income taxpayers.


Illinois’ state income tax is currently a flat 4.95 percent rate for all residents.  Changing from a flat income tax to a graduated income tax requires amending the Illinois Constitution.  If approved by lawmakers in both chambers, the Constitutional Amendment would need to be put to Illinois voters in the next general election, which would be November 2020.

Rezin votes no on graduated income tax

 On Wednesday, May 1, the Senate approved a constitutional amendment (SJRCA 1) that would allow for Illinois to move to a graduated income tax system.


State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) released the following statement after she voted no on the proposal:


“I’ve said all along, my main concern with the graduated income tax proposal is the lack of protections in place to ensure that the rates won’t affect the middle class. When the government needs more money, which it will, eventually the middle class will be the ones footing the bill. In fact, the proposed graduated rates have already changed from what the Governor proposed a few weeks ago.”


Illinois Cottage Food Law Update Class

Have you considered selling your homemade foods at a farmers market? There are basic guidelines that growers and vendors must observe in preparation for farmers market sales.

Learn about the latest legislation concerning the Illinois Cottage Food law, and how to comply with safety standards to ensure that cottage food products are safe, healthy, and enjoyable for all.


This class is open to farmer’s market coordinators, current vendors, potential vendors, and others interested in cottage food operations.


Illinois Cottage Food Law Update Class will meet at La Salle City Hall located at 745 Second Street, La Salle on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.  Go home with a copy of the updated Illinois Cottage Food Guide.  There is no cost to attend Advance registration is requested by May 13, 2019.  


To register, call University of Illinois Extension or online at:

815-224-0889  · https://go.illinois.edu/cottagelaw


Serving Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam Counties


If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate or need more information please contact Susan Glassman, Extension Educator, Nutrition & Wellness, University of Illinois Extension at 815-224-0889.


Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry, and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus. The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. Visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/blmp/


Bureau County 4-H Shooting Sports Open for Enrollment

Do you know a youth, ages 10-18, who would enjoy participating in 4-H Shotgun instruction this summer? Starting June 23, John Gorman, a certified Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports instructor, will be working with youth on skill development.   Youth will be meet at a site approximately two miles East of Princeton for instruction on June 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 3 p.m.


Whether this is, your first time shooting or you are looking to work with an instructor to improve your skill level this is a wonderful opportunity to learn by doing. Pre-registration is required!  Current 4-H membership prior to participation is not required. Please contact the University of Illinois Extension for assistance with registration at 815-875-2878 or email 4-H Program Coordinator, Danielle Saletzki at des85@illinois.edu.


If you are a current member of Illinois 4-H the shooting sports fee is $25. If this is your first 4-H club in the 2018-19 4-H year you would need to pay the shooting sports fee of $25 plus the $20 enrollment fee.  Pre-registration is required with payment by June 21. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact 815-875-2878.


For more information on 4-H, call University of Illinois Extension – Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 815-875-2878. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus.


The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. Visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/blmp/


Camp Med, Health Science Camp, at Perry in June

Perry Memorial is hosting Camp Med, a health science camp June 10th-13th.

Seventeen, 7th & 8th grade students will be given the opportunity to participate in a four day camp that explores careers in healthcare.  Students will be introduced to healthcare professionals in laboratory, radiology, medical rehabilitation, nursing, respiratory, pharmacy, orthopedics, dietary, computer technology, plant operations and surgery.  In addition, the campers will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of hands on activities such as reading x-rays, creating laboratory cultures, making splints and casts, taking vital signs and various other health related activities.   The camp is funded through a grant from Northwestern Illinois AHEC Network and Perry Memorial Hospital.


Registration Deadline is May 13th.  


For more information please contact:

Stefanie Morris, 815-876-2085



Auxiliary Scholarship Press Release

Perry Memorial Auxiliary announces the open application acceptance for the 2019 Abbie Jean Gunning Memorial Scholarship & Harold Morine Scholarship.  Abbie Jean Gunning was the first Auxiliary President. The Morine Scholarship is an award bequeathed by Harold Morine in memory of his wife, Marilyn Morine, who was a nurse at Perry Memorial Hospital.  A total of four Abbie Jean Gunning Memorial Scholarships will be given and one Harold Morine Scholarship will be given.


Scholarships are available to recent high school graduates as well as advance degree candidates who have a permanent residence within Bureau County.  Students must be pursuing healthcare career options related to hospital, clinical work including (but not limited to) nursing, radiology, lab technology, physical or occupational therapy and pre-med.

Education: Applicants must prove a demonstration of academic achievement accompanied by high school or college transcripts, volunteer or work history and health related activities. Applicants must be planning to attend a post-secondary institution for a health career field of study.


To apply for either scholarship, interested students may obtain an application packet by visiting the Perry Gift Shop or visit perrymemorial.org  to download a copy.  Completed applications must be returned to Perry Memorial Hospital Gift Shop  by 4 p.m. May 6, 2019. Incomplete or late application packets will not be accepted. Scholarship recipients will be notified of their award. For more information, contact Donna Braida at 815-866-5791.

The Perry Memorial Hospital Auxiliary was founded in 1948. The Auxiliary has been committed to supporting Perry Memorial Hospital and its mission to provide compassionate, quality health services. Thousands of dollars of medical equipment are purchased each year with proceeds from the auxiliary hospital gift shop and fundraising events.

Rezin hosts Agricultural Advisory Committee Meeting

In an effort to encourage dialogue about agricultural issues between State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and leaders in the ag community, Rezin hosted an Agricultural Advisory Committee meeting on Monday, April 29 in Morris at the Grundy County Farm Bureau.


The group, which was comprised of farmers, farm bureau representatives, and other leaders in the agricultural field, discussed ways Illinois could better support farmers.


“It’s so important that I host this forum with experts from the community,” said Sen. Rezin. “These are people that have first-hand knowledge of the issues, and I’m so fortunate to have them to advise me on what they are seeing and experiencing in the agriculture community.”


Monday’s meeting began with a brief welcome by Sen. Rezin, and then remarks were given by John Sullivan, Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, who gave an agriculture update, and Tom Heinold, chief of operations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who discussed the upcoming closers of multiple locks along the Illinois Waterway. The meeting ended with a roundtable discussion among all attendees.




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