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Twenty-five community members participated in the National Day of Service in Lanark Saturday by helping to move books for the non-profit Twice-Sold Tales bookstore to its new location at The Special Touch’s Unique Mall. Pictured are (Left to Right): Marcia Clausen, Farrah Stubbe, Penny Lauritzen, Blake Steen, Jacob Gilman, Matt Keppen, Bob Kappes, and Katherine Murphy. The used bookstore, run by the Friends of the Lanark Public Library, plans to reopen on February 1st at 504 IL Route 64, Lanark, IL. (Photo by Denise Krysiak)

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Pete Harkness congratulates Roxanne Kness of Milledgeville, Grand Prize winner of the 2013 Chevrolet Spark. (Photo by Edward Lynott)

Local Car Dealer ‘Thinks Outside the Box’

The Pete Harkness Auto Group Booster Remote Broadcast was held on Saturday, January 26th to raise money for local schools. The event raised over $70,000 for area local Boosters.

These Booster Clubs will receive the following proceeds: Sterling Newman $46,470; Polo $5530; Erie $3390; Fulton $3900; Morrison $2780; Milledgeville $1010; Prophetstown $5050; Rock Falls $3460; and Self Help $710.

Grand Prize winners were announced during the Chili Cook Off at the Pete Harkness Buick location off Route 40 at Lynn Blvd. In Sterling. The Chili Cook Off began at 11:00 p.m. on January 26th, 2013. Drawing was at 1:00 p.m. (1) winner was chosen. School Boosters had 2nd chance prizes ready to give including, but not limited to the following: Spirit Wear, Gas Cards, up to $1000 cash prizes.

Winner of the 2013 Chevy Spark was Roxanne Kness of Milledgeville.

Winners of the Chili Cook Off were Sterling Newman in first; Polo 2nd and Milledgeville 3rd.

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In the photo, left to right, are: Natalie Comeau, Kevin Atherton, the Bear (of Course), Jeanny Stine, Kevin Quinn, and Kyle Behrens.
(Courtesy of Freddie Preston)

Now Appearing: Buckle Up Bear

West Carroll High School’s Operation Teen Safe Diving’s (OTSD) mascot “Buckle Up Bear” can be seen in several local businesses. The “Bear” was a culmination of work by Dan Hartmann’s Ag Construction class, Mrs. Holmes Art Classes and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).

\Businesses presently hosting “the Bear” are Savanna Thomson State Bank (Savanna location), The Pharmacy Center and Market Street Commons (Kraft Building) in Mt. Carroll.

The Bear comes with his own sign including the OTSD slogan, “Life is short, Live it safe.” And includes a student designed saying “Driving slow or driving quick, You save lives with just one click. Always buckle up.”

There are several “bears” available to display. If any business is interested, they can contact Freddie Preston at Carroll County Substance Education Coalition (CCSEC) at 815-244-0063 or 815-541-6983


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The Milledgeville Elementary Week 14 Thumbs Up Winners are, left to right in front row: Devyn Swanson, Holley Frederick, Hannah Foster, Erika Braunstein, Jackson Scidmore; back row: Ashton Nobis, Carter Dudley, Kolton Wilk, Aiden Barkley, and Isabella Pena

West Carroll FFA Parliamentary Teams Take 1st at Section #1 Contests


Varsity Team, left to right, are: Chloe Carson, Christy Ralston, Collin Wilkinson, Brianna Kampmeier, Dylan Williams, and Quinn Rumler. (Photo courtesy of Don Mathey)

The West Carroll FFA Varsity and Greenhand Parliamentary Procedure Teams each placed at the Section #1 FFA Parliamentary Procedure CDE held on January 23 at Stockton High School.

Individually for the West Carroll Varsity team, Chloe Carson placed 1st as chairman while Christy Ralston placed 2nd as secretary. West Carroll members, Collin Wilkinson, Brianna Kampmeier, Quinn Rumler and Dylan Williams placed 1st, 4th, 5th and 7th respectively as floor members.

Individually for the West Carroll Greenhand team, Brianna Kampmeier placed 1st as chairman and Cassie Johnson 1st as secretary. Bailey Durward, Quinn Rumler and Cameron Ehlers placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively as floor members.

A Parliamentary Procedure Contest consists of members completing a 25 question multiple choice test, doing a 10 minute demonstration using parliamentary motions, and answering questions about the motions used in the demonstration.

West Carroll and Stockton varsity teams and West Carroll and Forreston Greenhand teams will now advance to compete in the District I FFA Parliamentary Procedure Contest at Blackhawk East College in Galva, Illinois on March 7.


Greenhand team, left to right ,are: Bailey Durward, Cassie Johnson, Cameron Ehlers, Brianna Kampmeier, Quinn Rumler, and Chelsea Wurster. (Photo courtesy of Don Mathey)

Varsity Team Placings

1 – West Carroll, 2 - Stockton, 3 - Forreston, 4 - River Ridge, 5 - Orangeville.

Greenhand Team Placings

1 -West Carroll, 2 - Forreston, 3 - Scales Mound









The top 2 finishers in FFA Creed Speaking, Senior Prepared Public Speaking and Senior Extemporaneous Public Speaking will now advance to the District I CDE held on April 3 at Geneseo High School. West Carroll Speech Team, left to right are Chloe Carson, Christy Ralston, Cassie Johnson, KaCee French, Collin Wilkinson.
(Photo courtesy of Don Mathey)


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Exchange State Bank President John Nelson (L) congratulates Charles Guenzler for his 50 years of service. (Courtsey of ESB)



Ed Rogers (L), Chairman of the Savanna Knights of Columbus Council #890 Tootsie Roll Drive, and Bill Robinson (R), Grand Knight, present a check for $2,544.42 to Pete Hermes, Executive Director of Rolling Hills Progress Center in Lanark, (RHPC). The donation was raised through the K of C’s annual Tootsie Roll Drive to help those with intellectual disabilities. Over the last 43 years, the Savanna K of C has donated $56,698 to RHPC. (Courtesy of Savanna K of C)




Marissa Carlson Named to Fall 2012 President’s List

Marissa Carlson of Morrison, Ill., was named to the Fall 2012 President’s List at LeTourneau University.

Carlson achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average to receive this honor.

LeTourneau University Associate Provost and Dean of Faculty Dr. Steven D. Mason said being named to the President’s List is a “significant academic achievement and honor”.

“The rigorous curriculum and high academic standards at LeTourneau University are highly respected throughout our country and beyond,” Mason said. “LeTourneau University is well known for its quality education. To obtain a perfect grade point average for academic performance is, indeed, very impressive.”


New Microloans Expand Small Farm Finance Options

New and beginning farmers and ranchers in Illinois have an agricultural Microloan credit option to consider. As of Jan. 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will offer its customers a Microloan designed to help farmers and ranchers with credit needs of $35,000 or less. The loan features a streamlined application and a simplified qualifications process built to fit the needs of new and smaller producers.

“This innovative offering will be more customer-friendly than our larger, more traditional loan programs,” said Giamanco. “Farmers and Ranchers seeking a smaller loan for start-up or operational needs now have a great new tool to consider.”

As an example, for those selling at Farmers’ Market or through community-supported agriculture operations (CSAs), a Microloan might serve their needs perfectly, “Giamanco continued.” “And the reduced paperwork associated with the new Microloan will help expedite the process for everyone.”

In 2012, the Illinois Farm Service Agency provided a total of $190,162,000 million in farm loan assistance to agricultural producers of all size operations. Of the 859 loans made, 508 were made for farm ownership purposes, and 350 were made for farm operating purposes, with 1 loan Emergency loan issued. Of the 859 loans made, more than half (483) were made to Beginning and Socially Disadvantage Farmer applicants for $75,000,000 million.

The current interest rate for operating loans including the Microloan operating loan is 1.25% and they can be used for needed capital items as well as operating expenses” according to Giamanco. “Producers in Illinois can contact their local county FSA office for details and to determine if they qualify for a Microloan.” The Microloan term can be up to seven years.

For more information on Microloans contact your local County FSA Office.

Signs of The End of Life For Carbon Monoxide Alarms

As a new year has started, the Office of the State Fire Marshal warns residents across the state to pay special attention to the distinct signals sent by carbon monoxide alarms when their life has expired. Frequently, people may believe that a beep coming out of their CO means it’s time for a battery change, when in fact it means that the device needs to be replaced.

“It is extremely important to pay attention to the different beeps that come out of a dead CO alarm. We want to ensure that our residents understand the difference in order to take immediate action and prevent a tragedy,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. “Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer; the replacement of dead carbon monoxide detectors is also a life saver.”

Since January 2007, it has been an Illinois law to have a properly functioning CO alarm in all dwelling units. The law requires that detectors must have battery power as the primary or secondary power supply. They cannot be solely electric powered. Many carbon monoxide detectors now in service were made prior to the incorporation of the new requirements and may not have an end-of-life signal.

Carbon monoxide is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the nation, claiming approximately 300 lives a year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Because CO is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas, it can kill people before they realize its presence. It can be produced by gas or oil appliances such as furnaces, clothes dryers, water heaters, ovens, space heaters or, in some cases, by fireplaces and wood burning stoves.

OSFM advises consumers that if their CO alarms were manufactured before August 2009, prior to the incorporation of the new requirements, they may not have the end-of-life feature. In addition, residents who have a carbon monoxide detector installed for more than three years should look for the manufacturing date which may be found on the outside back of the alarm or visit the company’s website for further information. If none can be found, the device should be replaced without any hesitation.

Multi-State Earthquake Drill on February 7

More than 200 years ago today, two major earthquakes rocked the Central U.S., including much of Illinois. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is marking the 201st anniversary of those quakes by encouraging people to register for The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut on Feb. 7 at 10:15 a.m.

More than 286,000 Illinois residents have already registered for the multi-state drill, with a total of 1.7 million people registered in the nine participating states.

“History shows us that catastrophic earthquakes can happen in the Central U.S.,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “The ShakeOut drill only takes a minute or two, but the lessons learned could save your life.”

The Jan. 23 earthquakes were part of a series of earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone that began on Dec. 16, 1811, and concluded on Feb. 7, 1812. These earthquakes, each estimated to be around magnitude 8.0, were among the largest temblors ever recorded in North America.

Participants in the drill will practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On,” which reminds people to “Drop” down to the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and “Hold On” to the furniture item and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.

Schools, businesses, government agencies, families and others can register to participate in the drill at Registered participants will receive additional information about the drill and earthquake preparedness.

Additional information about the earthquake risk in Illinois and steps to take before, during and after an earthquake is available at

American Business Woman’s Association To Meet

The Jane Addams Chapter of American Business Woman’s Association will hold its regular meeting on Thursday, February 14, 2013 with networking beginning at 6pm. The meeting is our annual Woman of the Year and Business Associate celebration. The meeting will be held at the Riverside Café; 1024 C Riverside Dr., Freeport, IL 61032.

The speaker for the evening will be Pat Vorwald from the Freeport Public Library. She will be talking about the One Book One Freeport reading program and other programs available for adults through the Freeport Public Library.

The menu for the evening is: a dinner salad; grilled pork chops; baked potato; glazed carrots; hot rolls; beverage and cookies.

The cost of the evening is $25.00 per person with reservations needed by Monday, February 11, 2013. Reservations can be made by calling Kay at 815-235-7329.

Guests are welcome at all our meetings but must have a reservation so we can accommodate them for seating and food. Anyone with any questions regarding the meeting or about the Jane Addams Chapter can call Kay at 815-235-7329 or Ruth at 815-232-4839.

LED Lighting Available at Cost

The Jo Daviess County Soil and Water Conservation District has high efficiency LED light bulbs available at cost. Next Gen Illumination LED bulbs are available for $38 each from the SWCD office in Elizabeth.

These are 10 watt bulbs with 400 lumen output. The life expectancy of these bulbs is 35,000 hours and bulbs are completely compatible with dimmers. Each bulb comes with a 3-year warrantee. USDA studies have shown that flocks raised indoors under these lights have shown a 10% increase in daily gain as opposed to traditional incandescent. These LED bulbs also offer an average 81% savings in power usage.

LED users in trial studies have experienced increased growth, lower mortality, more natural light, no bulb failure, and calmer animals.

These bulbs may also qualify for a rebate from your local electrical provider.

Orders will be taken until March 1, 2013 at the SWCD office in Elizabeth located at 227 N. Main Street. Call 815-858-3418 x. 111 or email for more information.

Grazing Conference: Getting More from Pasture Forages

Are your pastures dominated by inferior performers such as Kentucky bluegrass, or host to endophyte-infected tall fescue? Do you know for certain what is growing out there, and it’s nutritional value and challenges to your livestock? Are forages overgrazed near water sources and underutilized further away? Are you aware of proven strategies for making better use of what’s there, extending your grazing season by two months or more, making “off-season” use of cropland for forage production, improving forage quality and being less at the mercy of fluctuating hay prices?

Many livestock producers can better appreciate the need to have more tools at their disposal for efficiently establishing, managing and harvesting grazed forages following the 2012 drought and the skyrocketing hay prices it has caused. Such opportunities will be discussed at the upcoming 2013 Northwest Illinois Grazing Conference: Getting More from Pasture Forages. The program will be held on February 6, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Stockton, Illinois. Lunch will be catered by Stella’s Café.

Steve Hollister, retired USDA-NRCS Area Resource Conservationist, will explain how you can apply managed grazing methods to better utilize what’s growing in your pastures and extend the grazing season to require less stored or purchased feed.

You may be considering re-establishing pastures following the 2012 drought, or simply would like to improve the feed quality of your pastures. Jim Morrison, retired U of I Extension Crop Educator, will discuss proven methods and species mixes.

Energy is more difficult than protein to provide at needed levels in pastures. What are some strategies for using a variety of perennials and annuals, warm- and cool-season species as mixes within a paddock or in separate paddocks to increase energy and maximize nutritional quality throughout the grazing season? Rhonda Gildersleeve, Associate Professor & Extension Grazing Specialist with UW Ag & Natural Resources Extension and UW-Madison Dept. of Animal Sciences, will address this topic.

While the 2012 drought is still fresh on our minds and in fact remains with us, most years include dry periods where forages would benefit from supplemental water. Jay Solomon, U of I Extension Educator, will discuss portable irrigation system options.

Cover crops and annual species can fit many forage needs. Summer annuals can provide high-quality forage during the “summer slump,” and winter annuals can help you extend grazing further into fall or start grazing earlier in spring. Certain species can help you “sneak” in additional grazing in fall or spring on cropland. Retired U of I Extension Animal Systems Educator, Dean Oswald, will discuss grazing annuals and cover crops.

More livestock producers are looking for ways to expand their marketing options. A panel with representatives from Arnold’s Farm, AJ’s Lena Maid Meats and Equity Livestock Association will provide an excellent discussion on this topic.

Suppliers of pasture-related materials or services, or of livestock- or dairy-based local food, who wish to help sponsor the event or set up a booth at the conference should call the Jo Daviess Soil and Water Conservation District at 815-858-3418 ext. 3 by February 4.

The registration fee is $20 per person through February 1st and $30 thereafter. Contact U of I Extension in Elizabeth at 815-858-2273 for registration information, or register online with a credit card at

Pearl City FFA & FFA Alumni to Hold Pork Chop Dinner

A Pork Chop Dinner will be held on Tuesday, February 12, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The dinner will be held by the Pearl City FFA & FFA Alumni at the Pearl City High School Cafeteria. Tickets can be purchase from members of the Pearl City FFA or at the door. The dinner will include a pork chop sandwich, chips, cookie and drink.

The Pearl City FFA & FFA Alumni are holding the dinner to benefit the Pearl City FFA. The funds will be used to help students attend leadership trainings, camps, state and national conventions as well as judging competitions and contests. A silent auction will also be held during the dinner. Please come out to support the Pearl City FFA!

Ashleigh Stingley on Dean’s List

Ashleigh Stingley of Savanna, IL, has been named to the fall 2012 dean’s list at Waldorf College.

To receive the honor, students must earn a grade point average of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale and complete a minimum of 12 credits during the semester.

Savanna Smiles 4-H Club Holds Meeting

By Izabella Fredericks, Savanna Smiles 4-H Club reporter

The monthly meeting of the Savanna Smiles 4-H club was held on Monday, Jan. 21st. We met with the Thomson Sandburr club at the CDG Ceramic shop in Thomson. There was 27 members along with several parents. We got to choose and paint a figurine. We had a good time. Julie reminded us that the next meeting will be Sun. Feb 10th and that we would be going to the Federation meeting and then doing Valentines with the residents of Big Meadows Nursing home, in Savanna. We will be back at the Community Church for the March meeting on the 10th of March.

Acres Of Adventures Spin Club

University of Illinois Extension invites you to explore the fun world of agriculture with Acres of Adventures! We will use the products farmers produce every year to make ice cream and pizza with homemade mozzarella cheese. Also, we will explore the makings of play dough and how to make your own paper. You will learn how farm grown produce can be used to tie dye shirts and how potatoes can make electricity.

Acres of Adventures SPIN Club will be held on Wednesday’s February 13th, 20th, 27th, March 6th, 13th, and 20th at Naaman Diehl Auditorium in Mt. Carroll. The sessions will be from 4pm-5:30pm and are for anyone in grades 3rd through 5th. The fee for all six sessions of Acres of Adventures is $15. Don’t miss out on this great adventure! Reserve you spot online at or call 815-244-9444.

Ready, Set, Grow Gardening Workshop Announced

Add a “spring” to your step at the 2013 “Ready . . . Set. . . Grow” Gardening Workshop, Saturday, March 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon. Join the Master Gardeners of Ogle, Lee and Whiteside counties in cooperation with Sauk Valley Community College Corporate & Community Services for this one-day event offering participants information about various aspects of home gardening.

Fifteen different workshops ranging from succulent container gardens to the wonderful world of beekeeping are offered to participants. During three different sessions, participants can choose to attend workshops about composting, organic soil, community gardens, miniature gardens, waterscapes, vertical gardening, rain barrels, insects, and more.

A keynote address by Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture at the Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, WI will close the workshop. Dwyer will speak on Ornamental Edible Gardening. Learn how to incorporate a wide range of ornamental edibles in your garden borders, containers and any open nook and cranny.

The program fee is $40.00 and includes morning refreshments, lunch and select handouts. To register, call Ogle County Extension at 815-732-2191 or visit their website at: Registration is required by March 1.

Sessions will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Extension reserves the right to refuse registrations received at any time if numbers exceed room capacity. For more information about “Ready . . . Set . . . Grow” and other Master Gardener programs, please call the Lee, Ogle or Whiteside county extension offices or visit their websites

Breakfast for Your Brain

Keeping your wits fit requires more than just doing crossword puzzles or word searches. There is increasing evidence that brain health is directly related to body health. This should come as no surprise since the brain and the body function interdependently. However, most people think more about keeping their bodies fit or their hearts healthy than working at maintaining a healthy brain. By attending the Breakfast for Your Brain workshop, you can learn more about the aging brain and what you can do to keep your brain healthy and engaged.

Janice McCoy, U of I Extension Family Life Educator, will conduct the workshop at Morrison O’Dell Library on February 20 and March 13 from 10:30-11:30 am and at Dixon Public Library on March 4, 11, 18 & 25 from 10:00-11:00 am. A light brain-healthy snack will be served. No fee to attend, but pre-registration is encouraged. To register, go online at HYPERLINK “ or call 815-835-2070” or call 815-835-2070.

Colors Workshop Offered for Non-Profits

University of Illinois Extension Unit 4 is offering Colors(tm), an extraordinary communications tool that will highly benefit you and your staff in working with those you serve.

Managers, staff and employees are encouraged to attend one of our three Free February Colors™ workshops scheduled specifically to serve nonprofits in Carroll, Lee and Whiteside counties.

Each organization is limited to three (3) participants. Space is limited so register now! All workshops are from 9 to 11:30 am. February 11 Lee County (SVCC in Dixon) February 12 Carroll County (Farm Bureau in Mt. Carroll) February 14 Whiteside County (Farm Bureau in Morrison) Visit to register or call 815-835-2070 for more information.

Social Media for Small Businesses

Social media can be a good way for small businesses to market themselves without a lot of up-front costs, and many small businesses have jumped into the fray with varying levels of success. A new University of Illinois Extension program, Social Media and Your Business is designed to help small business owners think strategically about how social media fits into their overall marketing plan so their efforts are rewarded with the results they seek.

Social Media and Your Business participants will build an action plan for using social media, consider how social media impacts their customer service, create an acceptable use plan for their business and learn how to measure their results. The program was developed based on feedback from local business owners.

Instead of focusing on particular social media outlets, the program asks business owners to examine bigger picture questions such as their goals and objectives, their target audience, and their customers’ comfort level with technology, and how to measure the success of their social media use.

The program will soon be available online and is being piloted in partnership with the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, February 20th at 9 am, Sauk Valley Community College. There is no fee for this pilot workshop; participants will be asked to evaluate the program to assist in finalizing the best possible program for delivery statewide. Please register online at or by calling 815-835-2070.

Chadwick 4-H Club Holds Monthly Meeting

By Rachel Scidmore, Chadwick Achievers 4-H Club Reporter

Chadwick Achievers had a meeting on Wednesday, January 9, 2013.  Chadwick Achievers won the Food Drive contest, and moved to donate the prize money won back to Federation.

We decided to apply for the First Farm Credit Grant, if we do get it we will use the money to beautify the community. 

Then talks and demonstrations were done, Brianna Wilkinson did a talk on Cooking.  Project books where handed out.

The record keeping for activities was explained.  All members participated in The Hoard’s Dairyman Dairy Judging Contest.

The meeting was adjourned.  The Next 4-H meeting will be Wednesday, February 6, 2013.

Carroll County 4-H Steer Weigh-In & Tattooing

By Leanne Rahn, Carroll County Program Coordinator, 4-H & Youth

4-H Steer weighing and tattooing will he held Saturday, February 2, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Jim & Kayla Ruter farm near Shannon. Snow date will be February 9 at the same location.

Any 4-H’er that is remotely thinking of showing steers at the State Fair Show in August in the Jr. Department beef steer and beef premiere classes. State Fair animals must also be tagged with an electronic ID tag. Qualifying carcasses must grade at least low choice, have a yield grade lower than 4.0 and weigh 900 lbs. or less. Also, any 4-H’er wanting to participate in the Carroll Co. 4-H carcass class must weigh-in and tattoo on this day.

For more information or to register by January 31 to attend the weigh-in and tattooing, contact Leanne Rahn at the Carroll County University of Illinois Extension Office at 244-9444 or e-mail at

Carroll County 4-H Leaders Meeting Planned

By Leanne Rahn, Carroll County Program Coordinator, 4-H & Youth

The next Carroll County 4-H Leader’s Meeting will be held Monday, February 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Carroll County Farm Bureau Board room. We have many agenda items to discuss – upcoming winter programs and activities, judging contests, ideas for 4-H Fair, etc. All organizational, project and Junior Leaders are encouraged to attend.

Carroll County 4-H Federation Meeting To Be Held

By Leanne Rahn, Carroll County Program Coordinator, 4-H & Youth

The February meeting of the Carroll County 4-H Federation will take place at the Big Meadows Nursing Home in Savanna, on Sunday, February 10, at 2:00 p.m. Following a short business meeting, we will make Valentines and enjoy activities with the residents. Federation is open to all 4-H’ers.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Leanne Rahn at Carroll County Extension Office at 244-9444 or


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