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Grace Shelly, a fifth grader in Mrs. Wolfe’s class at West Carroll Primary School in Mount Carroll, has earned 200 points in the Accelerated Reader program.

(Courtesy of Jennifer McGinnis, WCPS)

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Congratulations to Emily Hinrichs! She has earned 402 Accelerated Reader Points in the 1st Semester. Emily is the daughter of Dick and Elly Hinrichs and a 5th grade student at Chadwick Elementary. We are very proud of her accomplishment!

(Courtesy of Robin Palmer)


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The Lanark Community Club teamed up with the Friends of the Lanark Public Library on January 12th to install shelving in The Special Touch’s Unique Mall in preparation for the relocation of Twice-Sold Tales. (Left to Right) Kevin Barnes, Don Kuberski, Sue Lamoreux, and Cory Barnes assemble and clean shelves for the used bookstore, which will reopen February 1st at 504 IL Route 64, Lanark, IL.
(Courtesy of Denise Krysiak)

Time for an Outdoor Adventure Like No Other!

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2012 participants heading down to the Thunderbird Effigy Mound.

Regardless of what the weather brings, Casper Bluff will be the site of an exciting winter night hike for the whole family.  With luminary lit trails for all ages and abilities, a bonfire to warm up by, hot cocoa to enjoy, and wonderful views of the Mississippi River; this event will be the highlight of your January calendar.  Visiting Casper Bluff will also offer you the opportunity to visit the only known intact Native American thunderbird effigy mound in Illinois.  Mark your calendars for January 26, 2013, 4:30-8:30 pm. 

Rental of snowshoes and skis are available with advance reservations through Fever River Outfitters by phone at 815.776.9425.  For more information visit

A $5 donation per person to the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation, a local non-profit organization that owns and stewards Casper Bluff, is recommended for this event.  Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve is located at 870 S Pilot Knob Road, about 5 miles south of Galena, IL.  For directions call JDCF at 815.858.9100, or visit online at 

The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation’s mission is to conserve and enhance the natural wildlife habitat, cultural heritage, scenic vistas, and agricultural character of Jo Daviess County and the surrounding area for future generations. JDCF owns several beautiful and unique preserves all of which are open to the public for hiking, wildlife viewing, and picnicking. For more information, visit their office at 126 N Main Street in Elizabeth, IL, call (815) 858-9100, or find them online at


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The Carroll County Fair Association celebrating the Fair’s continued success at their Annual Dinner. (PA photo/Andrew Williamson)

Santa for Seniors

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Pictured L to R: Jeff Johnson (as Santa), Judy Johnson, Lee Tittsworth, and Patty Moore.

Santa came early for the residents of Big Meadows Nursing Home on December 23 when the ‘Santa for Seniors’ program delivered gifts to every resident. ‘Santa for Seniors’ has been a holiday tradition for the past 7 years however up until 2 years ago it had been a project of ABATE. When ABATE decided to no longer continue it four individuals from the community, Jeff Johnson, Judy Johnson, Lee Tittsworth, and Patty Moore stepped up and decided to continue the tradition. Last year, they purchased gifts for every resident using their own funds. This year they enlisted the help of the community through a giving tree at Sullivan’s and purchased gifts for residents that were not taken from the tree with their own money. Big Meadows would like to applaud Jeff, Judy, Lee, and Patty for such a wonderful job this Christmas and thank everyone from the community who took a name from the tree.






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Mount Carroll Rotary Club president Lou Schau (R) is pictured with Sycamore Rotary Club member Brian Adams, who was the guest speaker representing ShelterBox USA on Jan.8. Mt. Carroll Rotary donated $500 and has been a yearly donor for the past seven years. Shelter Box is an affiliate of Rotary International and has succeeded in delivering essential aid to over a million survivors of disasters all over the world. The green Shelter Box survival kit includes a tent for up to 16 people along with other essential items. Adams has been a presenter to 48 Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 6420 as a volunteer for Shelter Box. (Courtesy of MC Rotary)


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Savanna Rotary Club recently presented Julie Katzenberger, West Carroll Middle School Principal a check for $3000 towards the E-reader project which will promote reading for the students. Funds were raised through a 50” Flat Screen TV Raffle that was won by Brandt Hutchcraft. The $3000 was partially funded through a grant from Rotary International. Mt. Carroll Rotary Club was also part of this E-reader project, which enabled the West Carroll Middle School to receive a total of $6000. Pictured with Principal Katzenberger is Savanna Rotarian Mike Wey.


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The Milledgeville Elementary Week 13 Thumbs Up Winners from left to right: Front Row: Wyatt Beck, Dylan Wilkinson, Sarah Frint, Haleah Nampel. Back Row: Anthony Speers, Cortlan Stahl, Adriana Pyse, Peyton Urish.

Forreston Friskies 4-H News

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From Left to Right are Forreston Friskies who went bowling: MJ Griffiths, Daniel Ludwig, Spencer Cruthis, Kristian Sanders Payton Cuthrell, Chris Forney, Wyatt Smith, Kendal Kuelling, Haley Cuthrell, Layla Cuthrell, Mischelle Pearson, Nikki Lehmann, Ashleigh Brown and Degan Lehmann.

By Ashleigh Brown

In December the 4-H club members helped out with their community service project by helping the library with Christmas in the by county. Members helped the younger kids make ornaments for the town tree. Keeping with our theme of nature. We went to Krape Park and went all around the park looking for pine cones or acorns to use for Christmas in the country craft. The members that helped were Ashleigh Brown, Mj Griffiths, Kendal Kuelling, Haley Cuthrell, Layla Cuthrell, Payton Cuthrell, Eden Nieson, and Chris Forney.

The club started the New Year with sledding in Krape Park on January 2nd. Members that went were Payton Cuthrell, Layla Cuthrell, Haley Cuthrell, Kendel Kuelling, Chris Forney, Mj Griffiths, Daniel Ludwig, Ashleigh Brown and Lizzy Stamm. Then on Sunday members and their families went to 4 Seasons Bowling ally in Freeport. Members that went are Ashleigh Brown, Mj Griffiths, Kendal Kuelling, Haley Cuthrell, Layla Cuthrell, Payton Cuthrell, Chris Forney and Daniel Ludwig.

Milledgeville SADD Receives OTSD Grant

The Milledgeville High School Students Against Destructive Decisions were awarded the Operation Teen Safe Driving Grant, making this the 3rd consecutive year for the students and the community.

Students are involved in this statewide safety initiative which is designed for teens to educate their peers about driving responsibly in an effort to decrease the number of fatalities and injuries involving teenagers in Illinois. The students will be focusing on 3 local issues: seat belt safety, distracted driving, and impaired driving.

The students have placed 2nd in their division for the last 2 years and received statewide attention from their “Safety Never Takes a Holiday” and “Sammy” the safety penguin campaigns.

Locally, the Carroll County Substance Education Coalition works closely with the SADD students and the school to design and implement the campaign.

Milledgeville High School SADD Advisor Barb Peugh has been instrumental in helping the students organize and implement the safety campaign, “This campaign is a great way to educate youth and adults about the importance of safe driving and having the resources to do this is exciting for our students and our community.”

Shannon Park Project Continues

Pavers in memory of or in honor of someone are for sale. These will be placed as a patio area in front of the gazebo at the Village of Shannon Park.

The donation will pay for the paver and also help to fund Phase 3 (playground equipment for ages 5-12) at the Village Park.

There are 2 sizes of pavers available-order blanks are at First State Bank of Shannon or contact Joe Payette or Jane Schoeny. Orders need to be in by March 1, 2013, as the pavers will be installed this spring.

This patio area will be a part of Shannon’s history and also help to provide entertainment for our youth.

Planting Seeds for the Morrison Farmers Market

A planning meeting for the 2013 Morrison Farmer’s Market has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, January 31, 2013 in the Community Room at the Odell Library, 307 S. Madison Street, Morrison, IL.

There will be guest speakers to provide information about what vendors need to know to prepare for the upcoming farmers’ market sales season. Gene Johnston, Director of Environmental Health, Whiteside County Health Department will discuss the Cottage Foods Act and food permits required to sell at the market. Karen Real, Food Service Sanitation Certified Instructor, will discuss Illinois manager certification and classes.

Those full-time vendors who have had spaces at the market in 2012 will be able to lock in the same locations if they would like. New vendors are encouraged to attend to reserve a location and to learn more about the market. Delicious refreshments will be served.

The committee welcomes any comments, concerns, or recommendations. Some members of the committee have stepped down, so we are also seeking additional committee members and weekly volunteers to help set-up and tear-down the market. If you are unable to attend, but wish to be involved, please contact Flora Stralow (815-772-4874), Corinne Bender (815-772-3757), or Ron Weimer (815-718-5409).

The seasonal fee for 2013 is $60.00 per spot for the full season and must be paid in advance with application. If you require more than one assigned location, one additional space is $30 per full season. Weekly rates are $5 per space and must be paid before set-up. Weekly vendors needing more than one space will be charged full price for each additional space.

Vendors can download an application at or call 815-772-3757 and request an application package be mailed. The Farmers’ Market’s opening and closing dates for the year will be decided at the meeting. Market hours will remain the same, Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 11a.m., rain or shine.

ENF’s 2013 Wildlife/Historical Bus Tour

The Eagle Nature Foundation (ENF) has just announced that it has had to change the dates for its 4-day 2013 Wildlife/Historical Bus Tour to Nebraska from March 18-21 to March 19-22. So now the bus leaves on Tuesday, instead of Monday, and returns on Friday, instead of Thursday. This 4–day tour will leave promptly at 8:00 am on the morning of March 19 from the parking lot of Stoney Creek Inn on Hwy. 20 on the west side of Galena and return about 6:00 pm on the 22nd.

An added highlight for this year’s tour will be a behind the scenes tour of the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument. The Archway displays were originally developed by Disney artists and workers. Some of them added a few items which were not on their written orders without telling anyone. Some of these have caused some people to claim the Archway Monument has been haunted. Tour participants will see how these displays have been put together and how the sound changes from scene to scene as you walk through the nation’s history from buffalos to the Interstate Highways. This year the Archway has added a new section on Pawnee Scouts and how they had helped the army and pioneer people using the Oregon Trail.

This tour will be guided by ENF Executive Director, Terrence Ingram. During this tour Mr. Ingram will share his knowledge and love of pioneer history as well as the natural environment. One of the highlights of the tour will be witnessing the migration of Sandhill Cranes as up to as many as 500,000 of them stop in the area for several weeks on their journey north to their nesting grounds. These cranes will be observed feeding in the fields during the day and going to their roosts on the Platte River islands in the evening and then back out to the fields during the next morning. Everyone will have an opportunity to go to an Audubon blind early in the morning to watch the cranes leave their island roosts, and go to a bridge over the Platte River to watch the cranes come to their roosts in the evening. In addition to Sandhill Cranes other sights will include prairie dogs, bald eagles, snow geese, Whooping Cranes, Red-tailed Hawks and many other birds and animals. Last year a Snowy Owl was seen.

For the History part of the trip, the tour will visit many unique sites: Omaha’s Lewis and Clark Museum featuring a short video of their historic trip up the Missouri River, over the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean; Stuhr Wildlife Museum for a short video on Sandhill Cranes and a tour of their pioneer displays; Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, an eight story building over Interstate 80 with its history of the pioneers moving west; Fort Kearny, the first fort built on the Oregon Trail to protect pioneers using the trail from the Indians; Nebraska Prairie Museum, with its display of one of America’s World War II German Prisoner of War Camps; the Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History, featuring the world’s largest display of Whooping Cranes and three floors of many, many natural history exhibits of wildlife, Indians and pioneers including an enjoyable 3-D film in their 7-story I-Max Theater; including a final stop at the Amana Colonies on the way home. A lot of our nation’s history is packed into the four days of the tour.

Anyone going on the tour should bring binoculars, telescopes and cameras and be dressed for the normally warm weather during the day and very cool to cold nights. The cost for the tour is $975 per person or $875 per person, dbl occupancy. Members of ENF get a $100 per person discount from these rates. There will be an additional $30 per person fee for going to an Audubon blind early on one morning. Everyone who registers is automatically covered by a group insurance policy, which will refund some, if not all, of the premiums that have been paid, if he or she is unable to go on the tour.

All of this combined with great food makes for an exciting, quality and fun-filled educational four days. A different restaurant is visited for almost every meal, including: Cracker Barrel, Machine Shed, USA Steak Buffet; Iron Skillet, Country Kitchen, and Country Cookin’,

A copy of a tour brochure may be obtained by writing to the office: ENF, 300 East Hickory Street, Apple River, IL 61001 or calling 815-594-2306 or by going to ENF’s Website,

For more information contact: Terrence N. Ingram, Executive Director, Eagle Nature Foundation, 300 East Hickory St. , Apple River, IL 61001 Phone 815-594-2306

National Hot Tea Month

January is National Hot Tea Month and most of us have already made resolutions of one sort or another. Those that are simple to incorporate into our lives are the ones we are most likely to stick with past January. The potential benefits of adding tea to our diets, an easy and inexpensive addition to our daily lives, may aid in the ongoing battle of the bulge and increase the body’s immunity to colds and flu.

Weight Loss

One recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that substances in tea may even promote weight loss by increasing the amount of energy spent by the body. The theory is that green tea, because of the catechin (pronounced “cat E kins”) content, has thermogenic properties that promote fat oxidation, may work together with other chemicals to increase weight loss. With more than half of all Americans suffering from excess weight or obesity this is welcome news.

The study was conducted on healthy young men who ate a typical Western diet for six weeks. The study participants also consumed one of the following with each of their 3 daily meals;

A. The equivalent of one cup of green tea plus 50 milligrams of caffeine.

B. 50 milligrams of caffeine only.

C. A placebo.

The men in group A, who consumed the equivalent of 3 cups of green tea per day, showed a significant increase in the number of calories they used in a 24 hour period over either of the other groups B or C. This increase calorie burn resulted in more fats being metabolized by the body for energy.

Another study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, suggests that tea catechins may help resist the onset of obesity. Conducted by Japanese researchers the study compared the body weight and fat mass of mice who had eaten either a low fat or high fat diet, had exercised or had no exercise; had consumed tea catechins or had not consumed tea catechins, resulting in;

A. Those mice consuming a high fat diet and tea catechins but not exercising showed a reduced fat accumulation of 18%

B. Those mice consuming a high fat diet that exercised but did not consume tea catechins had only a reduced fat accumulation of 14%

C. Those mice consuming a high fat diet and tea catechins that exercised showed a reduced fat accumulation of 33%

Fighting Viral Infections

While looking so much better from drinking tea we also have the opportunity to feel better than our coffee drinking counterparts. Research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who drank 3 cups of black tea per day produced 5 times the amount of germ-fighting cells than those who drank coffee, suggesting that tea drinkers have more ability to fight viral infections such as colds and flu than non tea drinkers.

“January’s National Hot Tea Month can serve as a reminder to do something healthy for ourselves, like brew a hot cup of tea, which may provide a variety of health benefits, serve as a weight loss aid and help to ward off persistent cold and flu germs” said Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Council of the USA. “What more could you ask for in a beverage.”

We wish you all a Happy New Year filled with Tea and Good Health,

© 2007 Teas Etc., Inc


Beth Johnston, a tea importer and noted tea expert, publishes an informative monthly newsletter on tea, tea history, health and lifestyle enhancements. To learn more about the world of tea, join her free newsletter at or visit

New Valentine’s Dinner, Dance & Dessert Auction

Polo Town & Country Days hosting a Valentine’s Dinner and Dance to help finance the annual Fireworks Display. The dinner and dance will be held at The LaBranch on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Cockatils will start at 5:30 pm, Dessert Auction from 6 – 7, Dinner at 7, followed by the dace from 8 – 11:00 pm.

Every year this event helps us raise funds for the fireworks display, which is one of the best small town Fireworks show in the area. Join us for a good time and a good cause!

Tickets are only $25 per person and are available in advance at First State Bank-Shannon/Polo or from any Town & Country Days Committee member. Tickets are on sale until Feb 16th, 2013 but seating is limited, so call early.

Call Jon Miller at 815-973-3507 for info. Or, you may visit T & C website at

Smiddy Begins Term Serving the Region in Illinois House

Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) began his term as the 71st District’s State Representative on Wednesday. Smiddy will serve as a full time legislator for the district that includes portions of Carroll, Henry, Rock Island and Whiteside Counties. Smiddy defeated incumbent Rep. Rich Morthland in the November 2012 election.

Raised in a working class family in the 71st District, Smiddy knows the value of a dollar. He places economic development and creating good-paying jobs at the top of his legislative agenda, knowing that bolstering economic opportunities for working families is the key to solving the state’s dire financial crisis.

“People should not have to worry about whether or not their full time job will pay enough to raise their families,” said Smiddy. “We have to work together to strengthen our education system, invest in effective job training programs, and build a solid infrastructure that will support an economy that fosters the kind of job creation that gives families a fair chance at financial security.”

Smiddy has spent his time since the November election traveling the 71st District and meeting with residents, business owners, and community leaders. He plans to continue this commitment to accessibility by hosting events, town hall meetings and satellite office hours throughout the district.

“It is crucial that residents and business owners are able to access state government easily and hassle-free,” Smiddy said. “It is an honor to represent the 71st District, and it will remain my top priority to make state government accessible and keep residents engaged in the legislative process.”

For more information, contact Smiddy’s office at

Join a Quilt Guild

Have you ever thought of joining a Quilt guild? Are you looking for great programs and workshops in a warm friendly atmosphere? Country Crossroads may be what you are looking for. Not sure how to get there or where to find out more? Contact Bernie Bird at 815-732-7804 or Deb Ley at 815-732-7350. We will be happy to get you acquainted with a very active and varied group of quilters, who learn from each other and promote the art of quilting.

January meeting is a chance to get to know your other quilters better through “Quilters Gambling”. Bring some 2 1/2 inch strips of “quilt shop quality” fabric that you will use to possibly win more strips. Three strips will get you started, 12 strips will allow you to play more than one game.

Upcoming meeting February will feature Denise Rehnberg the new owner of Quilters General Store in Rockford. She will teach a Workshop earlier in the day on “Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star” using the new ruler that uses no “Y” seams. Call for information on the workshop or the meeting.

HRRV Creates Short-Term Support Group

Beginning Wednesday, January 30 Hospice of the Rock River Valley, a United Way Agency, invites individuals coping with the loss of a loved one to attend a 6-week grief support group to be held at the Whiteside County Senior Center in Sterling. The group will meet Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to Noon January 30-March 6.

The sessions will be conducted by Debbie Dean, HRRV Social Worker.

“When someone you love dies, it can be hard to understand your often complex- and painful- thoughts and feelings. This support group can provide a sense of hope and courage to those who are grieving,” said Dean.

Grief support groups are free and open to anyone experiencing a loss.

HRRV also offers a variety of bereavement services to families and community members. These services include home visits, one-on-one personal visits or meetings, or phone contacts. All services are free and open to the public.

For more information about this group or any of our bereavement services, call 815-288-3673 or visit

Crop Insurance and Truck Regulations Addressed at C.I.T.R. Regional Seminars

These multi-county seminars will help farmers understand two often-confusing topics—both of which are currently undergoing major change. Come learn what you need to know before the 2013 cropping season.


Federal truck regulations affect virtually all operating farmers in Illinois. Changes in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation enforcement occurred in May of 2012, with significant additional changes potentially to follow in 2013. At this seminar, you can learn to sort fact from hearsay in the changing world of trucking regulations, and gain a better understanding about which rules apply to you and why.

Illinois Farm Bureau® transportation expert Kevin Rund will cover a range of trucking topics including: Sorting “interstate” from “intrastate”; USDOT Number registration and the UCR; CDL; Medical card; MAP-21 changes for 2013; and, your questions.


Illinois Farm Bureau® risk management specialist Doug Yoder will cover new features to crop insurance in 2013 including the newest phase of rate adjustments which will be implemented in 2013. Much can be learned about the primary agricultural safety net following the 2012 drought. 2012 results will be provided and analyzed along with information needed to make the best crop insurance selection possible in 2013.

This segment will also include details of the 9-month extension of the 2008 farm bill and what it means to farmers, their risk management needs, and possible crop insurance ramifications.


The seminar is free courtesy of Illinois Farm Bureau® and your county Farm Bureau, but advance registration is requested. Please call 309-557-3207, sign in at CITR Regional Seminars or email to to reserve your place.

The event will be held locally at Highland Community College, 2998 West Pearl City Road, Freeport in the Newell room. 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Trucking Regulations, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Crop Insurance. At all seminars, the topics will be presented in the following sequence. Attendees may choose to sit in on either or both of the topics.

MMTA to Hold Annual Meeting

The Morrison Music Theater Association (MMTA) will hold their Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 20, at 4:00 pm, at Bethesda Lutheran Church, 303 W. South Street, Morrison, IL. Main order of business will be to discuss the upcoming production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” the first weekend of May, 2013 at Morrison High School. MMTA has been asked to help direct/mentor the high school students in this performance. Audition dates have been set. All interested parties are encouraged to attend this meeting and please invite others. For more information, call Bob Stone, President 815-772-5629 or Betty Stralow, Secretary, 815-772-2387.

The Note - First Baptist Church Sunday Night Movie

The First Baptist Church in Mt. Carroll is proud to present The Note for this Sunday’s Night Movie, January 20.

Genie Francis stars as Peyton MacGruder, a struggling human interest columnist whose editor warns her to bring her numbers up, or else. Dejected, her only moral support is from her longtime colleague, King Danville (McGinley), who she shares a flirtatious-but-professional relationship with. When a horrific plane crash kills all aboard in the waters near her office, Peyton suddenly finds herself in possession of a scrap of paper containing a hastily written but heartfelt message from one of the passengers to his child.

Inspired by the power of the words, Peyton pledges to discover the note’s intended recipient and deliver it by Christmas. Taking her readers along for the journey while trying to stay one step ahead of a TV tabloid reporter (Roberts), Peyton sets out across the country in her search, and unexpectedly confronts her own personal demons in the process.

Please come and enjoy with us this wonderful movie. Presentation will begin at 5:00 pm this Sunday, Jan. 20, at 201 S Main St. in Mount Carroll. Popcorn and refreshments will be served.







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