Local News

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.



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