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The Chamber of Commerce held the business portion of the Annual Meeting

The Chamber of Commerce held the business portion of the Annual Meeting today. We would like to introduce the 2022 Carthage Area Chamber of Commerce President, Cynthia Stewart.

We wish to thank Kelly Freeman, who served as President during 2020 and 2021, for her dedication and service to Chamber and our local businesses.

Brody Stapel re-elected president of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative

Brody Stapel re-elected president
of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative

 Wisconsin farmer Jay Stauffacher picked as new board member

MADISON, Wis. — Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative President Brody Stapel was re-elected today and a new member was voted onto the board of directors during the co-op’s annual business meeting at the Dairy Strong conference.

Brody Stapel of Double Dutch Dairy in Cedar Grove, Wis., who has been Edge president since 2018, will continue in that role. Stapel owns and operates the farm with his brother and father.

Jay Stauffacher, co-owner of Highway Dairy Farms in Darlington, Wis., will join the board for the first time. Stauffacher has served on the boards of Dairy Management Inc. and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, including as chairman of the state organization. He’s also served as president of his county dairy promotions board.


Jim Winn, a Wisconsin dairy farmer who served on the Edge board since its inception in 2010, retired from the board.


Other board members: Michael Crinion of Ash Grove Dairy in Lake Benton, Minn., vice president; Heidi Fischer of Fischer-Clark Dairy in Hatley, Wis., secretary; Jamie Witcpalek of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee, Wis., treasurer; Mitch Davis of Davis Family Dairies in Belle Plaine, Minn.; and Justin Peterson of Creamery Creek Holsteins in Bangor, Wis. John Umhoefer of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and dairy economist Dr. Marin Bozic are advisory members.

About Edge:


Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative provides dairy farmers throughout the Midwest with a powerful voice — the voice of milk — in Congress, with customers and within our communities. Edge, based in Green Bay, Wis., is the third largest dairy cooperative in the country based on milk volume. Member farms are located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. More information:

Carthage Library Receives Land for New Building

Carthage Library Receives Land for New Building

Carthage Public Library District now officially owns the site where the new library building will be constructed. The property, at First and Center Streets on the northwest corner of the Carthage Veterinary Service campus in Carthage, was donated to the library by Prairieland Investment Group, LLC. The legal process to transfer the property and record the deed was completed on December 6, 2021. The land transfer was announced to the public at a press conference on January 19, 2022.

Doug Groth, DVM, and Bill Hollis, DVM, of Prairieland Investment Group presented Library Board President John Dittmer with a copy of the deed. In return, the library presented them with a certificate of appreciation which represents a plaque which will be displayed in the new library.

This land transfer is an important step toward the goal of a new library building. Carthage Public Library District applied for a Public Library Construction Act Grant of almost $1.259 million through the State of Illinois. The passage of a bond issue in April 2021 provided the library’s local cost share and secured the grant funds.

Since their original architect retired and closed his firm, the library has been working with StudioGC based in Chicago to refine the original plans and ensure compliance with all of the various building codes and zoning requirements. They are currently working on details such as the color of the exterior brick, the type of windows and doors, the HVAC systems, the color of carpeting and other flooring, the number and placement of electrical outlets and data ports, and a myriad of other decisions. The board hopes the project can go out to bid in February so that groundbreaking may take place this spring.

The Carthage Public Library District Board of Trustees and staff appreciate the community’s support, which is an integral part of the project. In addition to the donation of the land, the library has received generous monetary donations. Current fundraising efforts are focused on raising money for shelving and furnishings. The engraved brick and paver fundraiser continues. Donations of any size are always appreciated. Checks should be made out to the Carthage District Library Foundation, or on-line donations may be made through their website:




(Macomb, Illinois, January 19, 2022) – Anyone who wants to provide crisis counseling to survivors of abuse in the State of Illinois can earn a Crisis Intervention Training certificate by taking a course taught by Victim Services. The non-credit course, called Crisis Intervention Training, will cover these important topics: the types of domestic and sexual abuse; creating a safety plan; working with child survivors; developing your listening skills; the cycle of violence; and other relevant subjects to help survivors of all ages and backgrounds. 

The certificate is effective for life, and can open doors for people who want to work at an Illinois sexual assault crisis center and/or domestic violence agency or shelter. Those who pass the course will be invited to become a crisis hotline volunteer with Victim Services, but it is not required. 

“Some people who enroll are doing it only for professional development or to be better prepared to help their employees, friends, or family members when they disclose that they were abused,” said Victim Services Public Relations Manager Jamie Roth. “This course is also helpful for college students who are studying law enforcement, counseling, social work, or psychology.”

Per requirements by the State of Illinois, all crisis volunteers must complete special training before they will be allowed to assist survivors. This one-time, one-semester course covers all of the needed materials for volunteers to meet the State of Illinois requirements. 

The 2022 spring semester class will meet in-person on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 5:00 – 9:00 p.m., unless other arrangements have been made by the instructor. All attendees must wear a facial covering. The first class will be held on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. The location of Victim Services is kept confidential out of concern for the safety of counselors and their clients. Therefore, classes will be held at the main WIRC-CAA office, 133 West Jackson Street, Macomb, Illinois.

The Crisis Intervention Training course is free for students ages 18 and up and $100 for working professionals. Working professionals are considered to be community members who are not actively enrolled in high school or college as a student. Payment can be made by cash or check to Victim Services during the first meeting. 


The spring registration deadline is 4:00 p.m., Friday, February 11, 2022. To register, call the Victim Services business line at 309-837-6622 or email

Victim Services provides free and confidential counseling, medical advocacy, and legal advocacy to survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking in western Illinois. The nonprofit agency also provides free counseling to friends and family members of survivors.

If you have experienced or witnessed abuse at any point in your life, Victim Services’ free and confidential crisis hotline is available 24/7 at (309) 837-5555.


Hancock County Reports 167 Cases and 1 Death Related to COVID During the Week of January 9-15, 2022

Hancock County Reports 167 Cases and 1 Death Related to 

COVID During the Week of January 9-15, 2022


The Hancock County Health Department and Memorial Hospital report one hundred sixty-seven (167) laboratory-confirmed cases and one (1) death related to COVID during the week of January 9-15, 2022.  The Hancock County Health Department and Memorial Hospital extend sympathies to the family and friends of the individual who passed away.  Fifty (50) of the one hundred sixty-seven (167) cases are vaccinated.

Cases include two males in their 80’s, two males in their 70’s, six males in their 60’s, eight males in their 50’s, fifteen males in their 40’s, thirteen males in their 30’s, ten males in their 20’s, six males in their teens, two pre-teen males and six males 10 years old and younger.  In addition, female cases include one female in their 80’s, seven females in their 70’s, eleven females in their 60’s, ten females in their 50’s, sixteen females in their 40’s, fourteen females in their 30’s, thirteen females in their 20’s, nineteen females in their teens, one pre-teen female and five females 10 years old and younger.

There have been a total of three-thousand-seven-hundred-twenty (3720) COVID-19 cases in Hancock County; three-thousand-four-hundred-ninety-seven (3497) people have recovered, one-hundred-eighty-one (181) people are currently isolated, and forty-two (42) have passed.   

Remember to stay home if you are ill, follow the CDC’s isolation and close contact guidance, practice good hand-washing, and wear a mask when you are going to be around people.   Your doctor is most familiar with your health.  Talk to him or her about getting vaccinated, because it can reduce the severity of covid symptoms.


Carthage, IL – Tuesday, January 18, 2022 – Memorial Hospital’s Annual Employee Wellness Program seeks to provide resources and engagement that benefit the health of all Memorial Hospital, Memorial Medical Clinics, and Hancock Village staff members. In 2021, Memorial Hospital invested over $20,000 to provide staff with mental, physical, and emotional health resources and outreach. 


Memorial Hospital’s Executive Director of Community Health and Wellness, and Employee Wellness Program Director, Ashlyn Housewright, states, “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wear on our staff, both physically and mentally. As a wellness committee, we knew that in 2021, we needed to expand and offer even more through the wellness program to support our team.”


Therefore, the Wellness Program increased cash payouts for staff members who participated in wellness challenges. These challenges include “Destination Fit” walking programs, participation in fitness classes, mental health outreach, nutritional education and challenges, and more. Employees also had the opportunity to be rewarded for attending physician appointments and completing complementary lab tests that screened for lipid and A1C level abnormalities. By participating in the outreach offered, each team member had the opportunity to collect up to $110 at the end of the year, as well as benefit from a variety of other prizes, incentives, and giveaways.


Housewright stated, “This program not only addresses and improves the health of our team but also provides much-needed morale boosts throughout the year, as our team participates in and looks forward to each challenge and prize drawing.”


In addition to cash rewards, the wellness committee also purchased requested items for Memorial Hospital, Memorial Medical Clinic, and Hancock Village. These items include: therapeutic chair massagers, desk foot peddlers, stand-up desks, air popcorn makers, self-care items, take and bake meals, and more. 


Memorial Hospital is incredibly proud to offer this substantial and vast program to support its team and looks forward to improving and expanding the Wellness Program even more in 2022.


Tuesday, January 18, 2022  



On January 17th at 8:38 PM, a 911 call was received from an occupant in the  2800 block of Avenue K stating that shots were fired into his house. Investigating  officers observed damage to a second story window and recovered four shell  casings from the roadway. The residence was occupied at the time, but no one  was in the adjacent upstairs bedroom, and no injuries resulted.  

The neighborhood was canvassed, yielding additional video evidence of the  crime. It is believed that the incident was intended as a threat directed toward a  resident, who was not home at the time, and not a random act. Officers are  currently following up on investigative leads.  

Mark A. Rohloff,  

Chief of Police




Carthage, IL – Tuesday, January 18, 2022 –Memorial Hospital is thrilled to announce the arrival of their first baby delivered in 2022. Teegan Rex was born on January 4th, 2022, weighing in at 7 pounds 6 ounces and measuring 19 inches tall. 


Teegan Rex is the son of Victoria Moore and Dylan Hickey of Macomb, IL. When deciding where to deliver their first baby, Dylan and Victoria expressed what they most desired in a hospital. 


Moore stated, “We knew we wanted to deliver Teegan in a small hospital where we would receive a personal touch. We are so glad that we chose Memorial Hospital. Teegan has been showered with love and attention and we are so grateful for the incredible staff here.” 


Hickey added, “We were surprised that Teegan was the New Year’s baby here at Memorial, but we’re so excited and grateful.” 


The staff at Memorial Hospital, Memorial Medical Clinics, and Hancock Village, all came together to individually donate items for Teegan and his family, to celebrate his arrival in the new year.  Donated items included diapers, wipes, clothing, blankets, toys, gift cards, and more. 


Memorial Hospital would like to formally congratulate the Moore-Hickey family on their new arrival. To learn more about Memorial’s Stork Stopp and other Obstetrics services, visit 







(Macomb, Illinois, January 13, 2022) – Victim Services counselors and advocates were horrified and saddened by the recent reversal of a guilty verdict in a sexual assault case by an Adams County judge. 

The perpetrator, who was 17 years old at the time of the crime, was initially found guilty of one count of criminal sexual assault of a teenage girl while she was unconscious at a graduation party. The survivor says the perpetrator placed a pillow over her head during the assault. She regained consciousness and told him to stop, but he continued. Eventually, the survivor was able to push the perpetrator off of her and escape.  

In an unusual and shocking turn, the judge reversed the decision to not guilty. The judge says the perpetrator had already served five months in jail and that the mandated sentence of four years in prison was not justifiable for the situation. Instead, he blamed the parents who hosted the graduation party for not being responsible hosts and providing alcohol to teenagers.   

Survivors struggle with coming forward because they worry they will not be believed and/or they will be blamed for what happened to them. By reversing the guilty verdict in this case, the judge is blaming the victim and discouraging survivors from coming forward. 

  • Consent CANNOT be given when a person is UNCONSCIOUS. 

  • The way that a person is DRESSED, or whether or not they have been DRINKING, is NOT an open invitation for sex. 

  • If consent was given in the past, it is not valid for any other time except that moment; prior consent does NOT obligate the person to give consent throughout the relationship.

Victim Services wants to reassure survivors that this type of verdict reversal is unusual, and that speaking with a counselor can help you feel empowered on your healing journey. Sexual assault is a traumatic crime and can have lifelong mental and physical health impacts on survivors.  Speaking up and telling your story takes courage.


Victim Services provides free and confidential counseling, medical advocacy, and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual violence in Hancock, Henderson, Fulton, Knox, McDonough, Warren counties in Illinois. The nonprofit agency also provides free counseling to friends and family members of survivors who witnessed the abuse themselves.

When you call the Victim Services crisis hotline, staff pledge to believe you and listen to your story. You have the right to be heard, to get help, and to be treated with respect. 

We will LISTEN to your story! We will SUPPORT YOU! We will SPEAK UP on your behalf in court! We will never stop SPREADING AWARENESS!

How can you be an ally to survivors? Being an ally means supporting survivors, in whatever capacity you can, during their healing journey. When someone tells you they were sexually assaulted, the best response is, “I believe you”.  Listen to their story, and ask them how you can help. Let them know about the free resources available to them, like those provided by Victim Services. 

If you have experienced or witnessed abuse at any point in your life, Victim Services’ free and confidential crisis hotline is available 24/7 at (309) 837-5555.

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