Office Phone: 217-357-6056

WCAZ Radio News Archives for 2023-08

Sandburg Aiming to Add Practical Nursing Program in Carthage

Sandburg Aiming to Add Practical Nursing Program in Carthage


 Carl Sandburg College is pushing to bring a practical nursing program to its Carthage campus.


The Sandburg Board of Trustees during its regular monthly meeting Thursday was briefed on the results of a feasibility study regarding the potential addition of a practical nursing (PN) program to its location in Hancock County.


If approved, applications for the program will be open from Oct. 1-March 1, with classes starting in the 2024 fall semester. The Carthage campus currently offers a certified nurse assistant (CNA) course. Sandburg plans to present to the Illinois Board of Nursing in September for approval of the program.


Also Thursday, Vice President of Student Development Autumn Scott shared with the Board that Sandburg has 48 international students enrolled for the fall semester. Of those, 15 are from Brazil, 14 are from Kenya and five are from Spain. There are 27 international students who are new to Sandburg and 21 returning for their second year.


Emma Smith was sworn in as the student trustee for the 2023-24 academic year during the meeting.


In other business, the Board approved the following:

  • Employment of Lisa Hanson as dean of enrollment management, effective Sept. 1.
  • Employment of Michael Patilla as dean of transfer, effective Jan. 1.
  • Employment of Angela Snow as director of advising/registrar, effective Sept. 1.
  • Employment of Jay DeFord as infrastructure services specialist, effective Sept. 1.
  • Employment of Gabriel Sherwood as coordinator of financial aid, veterans and military services, effective Sept. 1.
  • Termination of Lindsey Huber as presidential coordinator, effective Aug. 15.


The Board’s next regular monthly meeting is 7 p.m. Sept. 28 on the Galesburg campus.


LaHood Op-Ed: Protecting Illinois agriculture in the 2023 Farm Bill

LaHood Op-Ed: Protecting Illinois agriculture in the 2023 Farm Bill

U.S. Representative Darin LaHood (IL-16) authored a guest column for the Shaw Local News Network highlighting the importance of the upcoming Farm Bill negotiations. The 16th Congressional District of Illinois is one of the largest agriculture producing districts in the country and passing a robust extension of the Farm Bill will be a top priority for central and northwestern Illinois.

As one of the largest agricultural districts in the country producing corn, soybeans, and biofuels, family farms are the heartbeat of our economy in the 16th Congressional District. Every five years, Congress is tasked with renewing the Farm Bill – comprehensive legislation that renews federal programs for agriculture, energy, and nutrition policy. The Farm Bill significantly impacts our communities, economy, and families in central and northern Illinois, making it critical that Congress pass a robust and timely extension of the legislation this fall. Investing in our rural communities means investing in the overall health of the American people, and I am working to protect and strengthen Illinois agriculture as Congress negotiates the upcoming Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill is vital to connecting Illinois agriculture to the rest of our country, the food we put on our plates, and the fuel that keeps our communities moving. The Farm Bill covers several different agricultural programs and policies, including crop insurance, commodity support programs, training for beginner farmers, export programs for agriculture products, conservation of our land and environment, support for expanded rural development, and much more.

I am proud to say that the 16th District has some of the most fertile farmland on our planet. Many of the top output counties reside in the 16th district. McLean County led the nation in total production of corn and soybeans in 2022, with Livingston and LaSalle following closely for corn output. The same results are true for nationwide soybean production – McLean leading with Livingston and LaSalle close behind. Illinois also has some of the top counties for soybean and corn yield in the nation.

As I have traveled throughout the 16th Congressional District this past year, one of the top priorities I hear about is the pending Farm Bill reauthorization. With family farms in Illinois facing diverse challenges, we must protect vital programs in the Farm Bill like access to credit, crop insurance, and agricultural research and development funding. Farmers were challenged this past year with low rainfall and strong storms and weather impacts, with drought conditions discouraging farmers as it lowers the chances of a good crop. They also face economic challenges, like inflation and rising costs of everyday goods and inputs, and a spike in energy prices. Low rainfall and other economic disruptions underscore why it is critical that we support and enhance crop insurance in the upcoming Farm Bill – which protects producers against poor yields and returns, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters. While crop insurance does not fully replace the loss of a good crop, it acts as an instrument to keep farmers afloat during these tough times. In addition, we have the opportunity to bolster key conservation programs that can help the United States expand sustainability efforts, enhance productivity and strengthen our food supply.

Biofuels, particularly ethanol, provide our farmers and our state with a major economic engine that reduces costs for consumers at the pump and lowers carbon emissions. Moreover, Illinois is the 4th largest producer of biodiesel in the United States and contributes thousands of jobs to our state. As we work on the Farm Bill, I want to ensure that we maintain biofuels protections, while we continue to encourage the construction of new ethanol and biodiesel facilities in Illinois. Producing and expanding biofuels in our country will help reduce reliance on foreign imports, improving America’s energy security and independence.

Reauthorizing the Farm Bill is vital to protecting our family farmers and rural Illinois. The Farm Bill impacts all Americans and now is not the time for politics. Passing a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill supports our farmers and creates a reliable safety net for our producers – this needs to be a top priority for Congress this fall. As we approach the deadline to pass the Farm Bill, I will ensure that Illinois farmers and producers have a seat at the table and a strong voice in Congress.


Memorial Hospital Health & Wellness Team is Hosting a Sheet Pan Dinner Workshop

Memorial Hospital Health & Wellness Team is Hosting a Sheet Pan Dinner Workshop

– The Memorial Hospital Health & Wellness Team will be hosting two Sheet Pan Dinner workshops in the Memorial Hospital Teaching Kitchen. The first workshop will take place on September 12 from 5:00-6:30 pm, and the second workshop will take place on September 15 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. The workshop will cost $35 and will walk participants through how to make a variety of sheet pan dinners. Participants will leave with the recipes from the workshop as well as some bonus recipes. Space is limited. Participants must be signed up in advance by September 10. To register for the Sheet Pan Dinner Workshop, visit

The Hannibal Concert Association kicks off its 2023-24 concert season on September 15.

The Hannibal Concert Association (HCA) kicks off its 2023-24 concert season on September 15.

The Hannibal Concert Association  brings a variety of world-class performances to the Hannibal area and has been doing so since 1945. The upcoming season includes a wide variety of musical styles and acts with Las Vegas divas, a Karen Carpenter tribute, British-style brass band, violin and classical guitar duo and American Idol/America’s Got Talent alums.  

Divas 3 will kick off the 2023-24 concert season at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15 at the HLGU Roland Fine Arts Center. Divas 3's show spans four decades covering the 1960s through the 1990s with hits by Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Cher, Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, ABBA and many more! 

Single ticket sales are $25 for adults and $5 for students. Season passes are available for individuals for $65 and couple/parent(s) with children for $125. Patron memberships are also available from $175-$1000 with those receiving multiple season passes at each level. HCA season ticket holders also benefit from free/discounted admission to performances of the Keokuk Concert Association and Quincy Civic Music Association.




Memorial Med Spa Amongst the First to Complete Stress Urinary Incontinence Procedure Training Within the United States

Memorial Med Spa Amongst the First to Complete Stress Urinary
Incontinence Procedure Training Within the United States

– Memorial Med Spa in Carthage recently hosted a  stress urinary incontinence procedure training on July 27 and 28. The two-day training focused  on a new advanced procedure to address stress urinary incontinence, a prevalent and distressing bladder issue affecting women. This was a groundbreaking moment as this training was amongst the first to debut in a clinical setting within the United States.

Dr. Ariel Luksenburg, the inventor of the stress urinary incontinence procedure from Uruguay, also trained Dr. Jessica Fang from Taiwan, Dr. Jason Bailey from Georgia, Dr. Jan Grewal from California, as well as Memorial Med Spa physician Dr. Gina Bell, OB/GYN. The collaboration between these physicians aimed to revolutionize the treatment for stress urinary incontinence,enabling women to access relief through a minimally invasive office-based procedure. Offering an office-based procedure eliminates the need for general anesthesia and hospitalization.

Dr. Ariel Luksenburg, a gynecologist from Uruguay, introduced his system for the treatment of severe stress incontinence to the U.S. in 2021 at Marco Pelosi's International Society for Cosmetogynecology Pre-Congress workshop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His expertise and insights proved invaluable during the training event at Memorial Med Spa, as he shared innovative techniques and best practices from his extensive experience with this procedure. The participating physicians brought diverse perspectives, which fostered a dynamic learning environment.

Stress urinary incontinence is a condition that significantly impacts the quality of life for millions of women worldwide. Stress urinary incontinence is a leakage of urine during moments of physical activity that increases abdominal pressure, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising. However, with the successful training session conducted at Memorial Med Spa, new hope has emerged for affected patients seeking an efficient and less invasive solution to their bladder issues.

Dr. Gina Bell, OB/GYN at Memorial Med Spa, specializes in Gynecologic care, such as
hormone replacement therapy, intimacy wellness, and aesthetic procedures. She has a passion for serving her patients at every stage of life and integrates an individual holistic approach to healthcare delivery. Dr. Bell is renowned in her area of practice and has been awarded numerous teaching awards, fellowships, and humanitarian awards in basic sciences and womens health.









Road closure

Road closure

County Highway 12 (Bluff Road) 480 East
Between 380 North and 450 North
Will be closed for bridge replacement from
September 6, 2023, at 7:00 a.m., to January 31, 2024.
This is approximately 5 miles South of Warsaw.


In rural areas like western Illinois, where many households own a car and public transportation options are uncommon, people who cannot drive or afford a car often struggle with accessing everyday services. Lower-income and elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable to falling through the cracks. Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC), a nonprofit, is pleased to announce they now have a program created to address the needs of those individuals: The Ride Forward Project (RFP).
WIRC officials say RFP provides a bicycle or tricycle to income-eligible individuals so they can access community services or get to and from work. The brand-new program is open to eligible individuals who live in Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, or Warren County in western Illinois.
The idea for RFP came from observations by WIRC’s Community Services & Public Relations Director, Jamie Roth. Roth says she saw the need for a program like this after having conversations with customers and reviewing survey data.
“A noticeable amount of our customers are walking to our offices to access services, even with public transportation options in certain areas,” said Roth. “In our survey, many customers are telling us they do not have a driver’s license, cannot afford a car or car repairs, and are worried about traveling to work. The idea behind the Ride Forward Project is that it empowers them to travel on their own terms, and just happens to also be good for the environment and their own physical health.”
Roth emphasized this program is not a toy program for kids. “If an older teenager needs a bike to get to and from work, an exception could be made after we hear their story. Otherwise, this program is meant to help adults who meet our program criteria.”


One of those adults is Melanie Harden, a McDonough County resident who is the first recipient of an electric tricycle through WIRC’s Ride Forward Project. Harden is thrilled with her new mode of transportation, and agreed to share her story in this press release to help spread the word about the program. Since the tricycle is electric, she has the option to either pedal on her own or use battery power when she is tired. Harden is especially excited that the tricycle came with a large basket that she can use for her groceries.
Roth says she hopes this program will help to empower many more people like Harden. She mentioned that funding is limited from year-to-year, and applications will be taken until funding is exhausted. Individuals must meet the following criteria to be considered for WIRC’s bicycle program: (1) They do not already have a working vehicle, bicycle, or tricycle; (2) They need transportation to access community services
(for example, getting groceries) and/or travel to their job; (3) Their household’s total gross income is within  200% of the federal poverty guidelines. Households with two or more working individuals who are sharing one vehicle will be considered.
To fit within the program’s income guidelines, a household cannot make more than the following amounts (gross) within a 30-day period: One-person household: $2,430; Two-person household: $3,287; Three-person  household: $4,143; Four-person household: $5,000; Five-person household: $5,857. For households with six or more members, contact WIRC or visit their website at to ask about income guidelines.
To apply, Roth says that people must schedule an appointment to meet with a WIRC case worker and provide income documentation. If the person is approved, their case manager will then order a bicycle or tricycle for them, depending on their physical abilities and needs. They will also get accessories such as a basket, helmet, reflectors, a reflective vest, and other various safety items.
Funding for the Ride Forward Project at WIRC is provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).
WIRC is a nonprofit that helps people and communities in multiple western Illinois counties. The Agency has offices in Macomb and Galesburg. For more information, find them on social media, visit their website at, or call 309-837-2997. WIRC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Caption: Melanie Harden smiles on her new electric trike given to her through the Ride Forward Project at  WIRC. The trike empowers her to get groceries, run errands, quickly travel to medical appointments, and more.

Hancock County Property Tax Bills 2ND INSTALLMENT DUE SEPTEMBER 1



Hancock County Property Tax Bills 2ND INSTALLMENT DUE SEPTEMBER 1

Hancock County Treasurer, Kris Pilkington, would like to REMIND property owners that the second installment of Hancock County property tax bills are due SEPT 1ST. Payments can be mailed to PO Box 248, paid in person at the Treasurer’s office, or paid at any Hancock County Bank. Sept 1st is the LAST DAY TO PAY AT THE BANK. We accept POSTMARKS on mailed payments. Payments can also be made with a credit card on line at, over the phone by calling 877-636-9586, or in the office. Please bring your payment stubs to avoid extra charges! Any questions about your bill, contact the Treasurer’s office at 217-357-3986.

BLS/CPR Certification Class Schedule September 21

BLS/CPR Certification Class Schedule September 21

The Hancock County Health Department is pleased to announce that on Thursday, September 21, 2023 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. they will be offering a BLS/CPR Certification Class.  BLS is more comprehensive and is geared toward medical professionals and first responders, including firefighters, lifeguards, possibly bus drivers, etc.  The class will be held at their agency at 671 Wabash Avenue in Carthage.  Space is limited therefore, those interested in the class are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible, but no later than September 18, 2023. Participant fee is $65.00.  For more information or to register, please call 217-357-2171, option 3.




Week 1 Football Game Illini West vs Farmington Time Change

Week 1 Football Game   Illini West vs Farmington Time Change

Due to the forecasted heat,  Friday nights Week 1 football game vs Farmington has been pushed back to an 8:00pm start time. Gates will open at 7:00pm. Go Chargers!




Illinois Extension Needs Western IL Landowner Input

 Illinois Extension Needs Western IL Landowner Input

– In order to address the needs of current residents and landowners, Illinois Extension is
asking for input about natural resource land management from area farmers, landowners, hunters, and residents within the counties of Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike and Schuyler counties. With this feedback, Illinois Extension will develop educational programming and resources that allows landowners to be more comfortable and confident in managing their land and water resources while leaving a strong land legacy. Landowner educational programs could include field days, workshops, how-to videos, technical fact sheets, and other resources. Forestry, water quality, wildlife management, and conservation practices like brush management, prescribed burning, equipment operation, tree planting
are topics that could be addressed based on the results of this survey.

The survey will take approximately five minutes of time. Surveys can be accessed at

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by
translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to
solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.

TODAY 20th Annual Fuel Promotion Event - Friday, August 18TH 11- 1 PM

TODAY   20th Annual Fuel Promotion Event - Friday, August 18TH     11- 1 PM

The Hancock County Farm Bureau and West Central FS are hosting our 20th Annual Biodiesel and Ethanol Promotion Friday, August 18, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Fuel 24 Station, on Highway 136, west of Carthage. Fuel will be sold at a discounted rate during the two-hour event only. The event is open to the public and local celebrities will be on hand to assist with pumping fuel and washing windshields.


We are excited to announce we have the following local celebrities joining us tomorrow:

  • State Senator Neil Anderson
  • Hancock County Sheriff Travis Duffy
  • Hancock County Fair Queen Tessa Sargeant
  • KHQA Meteorologist Tegan Orpet
  • District 9 Illinois Agriculture Association (IAA) Director Gary Speckhart

Free hot dogs, chips and soda will be available to those who attend. For more information, please contact the Hancock County Farm Bureau at 217-357-3141.








The highly anticipated unveiling of the newly
revamped Memorial Medical Clinic Colchester is just on the horizon. Following months of
meticulous planning and dedicated renovation work, the clinics fresh space, formerly known as The Spotlight, is thrilled to announce the commencement of phase 1 on Monday, August 21st. The extensively upgraded clinic has undergone a thorough transformation to elevate its facilities, services, and overall patient journey.
With great pride, Memorial Medical Clinic Colchester introduces Tracey Burgard, APRN-FNP, who will join forces with Kristy Wisslead, APRN-FNP, to offer primary care services to patients. As part of this expansion, patients can also anticipate extended operational hours, including a late  evening and early morning session each week, as well as availability on one Saturday per month. Furthermore, the roster of esteemed healthcare providers currently serving and continuing to serve patients at the Colchester clinic encompasses a diverse range: Dr. Niles Senthe, a dedicated pediatrician; Dr. Chris Jones, an OB/GYN specialist; Dr. Drake White, an accomplished orthopedic surgeon; and the skilled general surgeon, Dr. Peter Perll.
Following the August 21st milestone, phase 2 of the renovation project will kick off on the
section currently housing Memorial Medical Clinic Colchester. This next phase encompasses the addition of more examination rooms tailored for visiting specialists. The anticipated completion date for this phase is set for December 2023.
As we embark on this expansion journey through renovations, Memorial Medical Clinic
Colchester remains steadfast in delivering exceptional patient care. The clinic's address is 110 Market Street, and for those interested in scheduling appointments, please don't hesitate to reach out to the clinic at (309) 776-3301.




Macomb’s annual Art, Wind & Fire Festival weekend, held this year on September 8-10, will have even more to offer than the three unique annual signature featured events that includes the 52nd Gazebo Art Festival, the annual YFC Disc Golf Tournament, and of course the Midwest’s granddaddy of them all, the 35th  annual Macomb Hot Air Balloon Rally. This year visitors will also find the unforgettable celebration of Forgottonia’s 50th Anniversary plus the much anticipated inaugural WIU Mega Reunion!

ART: The Gazebo Art Festival takes place as it traditionally has for an amazing fifty-one years in Chandler Park on Saturday from 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Featuring a juried art sale showcasing dozens of incredible regional artists exhibiting exceptional original works of art in all mediums including, paint, sculpture, photography, jewelry, ceramics, fiber and many more. The event is free and all works will be on sale to the public. Details at 

WIND: Macomb YFC Open Mystery Challenge Disc Golf Tournament a novel event which is open to the public and tees off at 9:00 AM on Saturday at the Macomb Park District’s beautiful Everwood Disc Course. Registration begins at 8:00 AM and the tournament will be played at both the Park District’s Everwood Disc Course and WIU’s Sipolt Memorial Course. Entry is $40 per player with all funds raised directly benefiting youth in our community. Find more details and register at

FIRE: The Annual Balloon Rally began in 1987 and is considered the granddaddy of all Midwest Hot-Air Balloon festivals. This 35th anniversary opens at 6:00 PM Friday night, enjoy food, beverages and live music as you watch over 20 giant Hot-Air Balloons lift off and fly out from Vince Grady Field on the campus of WIU. Then Saturday, beginning in the wee hours of the morning and lasting all day, witness the skies across Macomb filled with balloons. Starting again at 6:00 PM at Vince Grady Field after the WIU Leatherneck’s football game enjoy delicious fare from regional food trucks and listen to live music while strolling amongst a field of towering Hot-Air Balloons. Then as the sun sets and the pilots fire things up for the unforgettable spectacle that is “The Balloon Glow!” Learn more at

But that’s not all! This year’s Art, Wind & Fire weekend also coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the inception of our mythical and beloved Republic of Forgottonia and Western Illinois University’s first ever, eagerly anticipated all alumni MEGA Reunion!

Forgottonia 50th Anniversary Celebration will begin at 11:30am in Forgottonia’s “capital” of Fandon were Neil Gamm became the self-appointed Governor. There, the main road will be officially declared by McDonough County board president Scott Schwerer as the Gov. Neal Gamm Forgottonia Freeway along with a military gun salute to the former Vietnam veteran. This will be followed at 1:30pm at Macomb’s Forgottonia Brewing with Mayor Mike Inman proclaiming the date as Gov. Neal Gamm Day with a group toast to Gamm accompanied by a band performance from Forgottonia Train Wreck

WIU MEGA Reunion will be be an entire weekend event starting on Friday, Sept. 8th at 5:00 pm on the campus of Western Illinois University and lasting through the afternoon of Sunday the 10th. In addition to all the above events, the MEGA Reunion will also feature a Reunion Social, a Mega-Tent Cook Out & Tailgate Party, Leathernecks Football game, Painting of The Paws, Community Service event with even more events to be announced. For details visit or 



The Hancockk County County Board is holding a public hearing on Tuesday August 22nd at approximately 7:30PM folling the Hancock County Board Meeting in the hancock County Courtroom, 3rd floor of the Hancock County Courthouse.   Residents are encouraged to voice their support or concrns with the CO2 pipeine and litigitation process.   Currently Hancock County is in the litigation to ensure the best possible outcome if the pipeline proceeds for the safety  and concerns of the citizens and property owners  of Hancock County.  The board  would  like to hear from the residents how the county should proced with taxpayers funds.   Hancock County has spent approximately $34,000 of the $40,000 appropriated for litigation. 

Carl Sandburg College Hosts Illinois Senator Mike Halpin on Listening Tour

Carl Sandburg College Hosts Illinois Senator Mike Halpin on Listening Tour


Carl Sandburg College hosted Illinois Sen. Mike Halpin on Thursday in his first visit to the college as part of his listening tour of Illinois community colleges and universities.


Halpin serves as chair of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee and represents the 36th District, which covers a significant portion of Sandburg’s district, including Galesburg and Monmouth. He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 2022 after three terms in the statehouse.


Halpin’s listening tour includes visits and conversations with leaders at each of the community colleges and four-year colleges and universities in his district to learn more about their needs, goals for the future and how the Illinois legislature can help reach those objectives.


Halpin met with Sandburg President Dr. Seamus Reilly and other college administrators. Reilly thanked Halpin for his efforts to date in support of higher education. He expressed his gratitude for the stability in state funding, which has made it easier for colleges to plan strategically.


Reilly detailed how the challenge of finding reliable and affordable childcare and transportation creates obstacles for current students as well as others who may want to attend Sandburg. He, Dean of Nursing Professions Dr. Emily Schaeffer and Dean of Health Professions Dr. Tiffany Viggiano also spoke about funding for the Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare Workforce (PATH) program, which has provided financial assistance for students to support those transportation and childcare costs.


Other topics college leaders and Halpin discussed included the potential for students to get free retraining at Sandburg through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; creating apprenticeship programs with local businesses; addressing the shortage of teachers and nurses; the growth of online learning since the COVID-19 pandemic; mental health services for students; and funding sustainability for community colleges in the state.


“We very much appreciate the opportunity to meet with Sen. Halpin and his team, and we look forward to working closely with his office to support continued access and funding for our district,” Reilly said.


Memorial Hospital Health & Wellness Team Hosting Prep & Go Meals Workshop

Memorial Hospital Health  &  Wellness Team Hosting Prep & Go Meals


The Memorial Hospital Health & Wellness Team will be hosting two Prep & Go Meals workshops in the Memorial Hospital Teaching Kitchen on August 24 at 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm. The workshop costs $150 and includes ten meals that yield 4-6 servings pending the meal.
This Prep &;Go Meals workshop is designed to help families start the school year on the right foot, as well as anyone wanting support with meal planning by providing a convenient and efficient way to prepare ten delicious, wholesome meals in less than 60 minutes. The best part of this workshop? All the meal options are Registered Dietitian approved and have been carefully crafted by Memorial Hospital’s own cu inary-trained chef, Amber Clark.
This workshop will feature a diverse menu that includes mouth-watering options such as
Chicken Fajitas, Sweet Potato Chili, Roast with Potatoes and Carrots, Classic Chicken Noodle Soup, Beef and Broccoli Teriyaki, Chicken French Dip Sandwiches, Chicken Marsala, Homemade Chicken Pot Pie, and Lasagna. Each meal is designed to yield 4-6 servings, ensuring that families can enjoy the meals together or pack them for on-the-go convenience. All meals can be frozen and thawed as needed to be cooked in a slow cooker, on a sheet pan, in the oven, or in a skillet. All cooking instructions and recipes as well as what side items to include with the entrée, will be provided.
To make the workshop more accessible, Memorial Hospital Health & Wellness Team will take care of all the pre-preparation work, including cutting vegetables and other ingredients, so participants can solely focus on the meal preparation process. Proper food handling and sanitization practices will also be reviewed and observed to ensure the utmost safety and hygiene.
Space is limited. To register for the Prep & Go Meals workshop, visit wellness-center/teaching-kitchen/ or for any questions, call Memorial Hospital Health & Wellness Center at (217)357-6540.

American Agri-Women Announces Road to Influence Inaugural Cohort

American Agri-Women Announces Road to Influence Inaugural Cohort


Six dynamic women will make up the inaugural Cohort of the American Agri-Women (AAW) Road to influence. The Road to Influence (RTI) is a new program developed by AAW designed to be a bold and innovative personal development experience for members. The program is intended to identify and move beyond limiting beliefs and behaviors, ultimately resulting in stronger leaders for AAW and beyond. The initial cohort will kick off their journey on August 24 in conjunction with the AAW event, Leading, Empowering & Aspiring toward Progress (L.E.A.P.) in Reno, Nev. L.E.A.P. is open to all AAW members, registration is available at

Through a combination of virtual and in-person sessions, participants will develop critical skills in areas such as communication, collaboration, driving vision and purpose, trust, managing conflict, and persuasion. In person sessions will be held in conjunction with AAW events through the 2024 AAW Convention in Wisconsin and the program will culminate in a capstone project designed to bring value to AAW, its state and industry affiliates, and members.

“AAW has a vision to create a one-of-a-kind development program for members,” said AAW Leadership Development Team Lead Sara Reid Herman. “Road to Influence is the culmination of an 18-month effort of a team of established leaders within the organization to identify the core competencies we want to develop in our membership. We are confident this program will strengthen and refine those skills within the culture of our organization.”

AAW is grateful for sponsorship from key industry alliances such as John Deere, Syngenta, Valent, and AAW Past President Mitzi Perdue to make this vision a reality. These partners will provide financial support, curriculum consultation, and additional resources to bring the program to fruition. In addition, AAW will partner with learning and development professional Sarah Hummell to provide key course content and program facilitation.

Initial Cohort members:

  • Debbie Bacigalupi - Co Owner, BaciBeef and Ranch Hand, Cold Springs Ranch, Montague, Calif.
  • Vikkie Becker – Co Owner, Becker Farms, Alexander, Ill.
  • Jenny Hitner - Owner, Timber Town Real Estate & Century Forest Management, Monroe, Ore.
  • Ally Moreau – Business Analyst, American National Insurance Co., Feura Bush, N.Y.
  • Donnell Scott – Food Labeling Professional, AIB International, Manhattan, Kan.
  • Chrissy Wozniak - Founder, North American Ag, Cape Coral, Fla.

Farm Progress Announces New Editorial Leadership

Farm Progress Announces New Editorial Leadership

 Farm Progress, Ltd. announced new editorial leadership that will continue to build on its strong momentum and commitment to agriculture media. Mike Wilson will serve as Senior Executive, Editor and Eric Braun as Senior Executive, Content.

Aligning with its chapter of growth, Wilson and Braun will lead Farm Progress editorial teams to deliver engaging content across its 18 brands for over half a million farm and ranch subscribers across the US.


“Farm Progress’ place in agriculture media has stood the test of time,” said Braun. “We have long delivered quality information to our readers and continually strive to provide timely, pertinent information to help producers run profitable operations. Our readers demand excellence on a variety of platforms and as a leader within ag media and within Informa Markets, we strive to meet them where they are, now and into the future.”


Both Wilson and Braun bring a diverse background of professional experience within agriculture and publication industries.


Wilson most recently served as Content Director and Executive Editor of Farm Futures magazine, Farm Progress’ national agribusiness title. Previous roles included Editor, Prairie Farmer, covering agricultural issues in Illinois. Wilson has also served as president of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association from 2016-17 and as President of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists from 2008-2012.


Braun will focus on Farm Progress’ digital presence increasing audience and engagement across websites and affiliated print magazines. Braun has worked in digital publishing for over 25 years. He joined Farm Progress in 2016 as Director, User Engagement. Previous roles included digital editor for several newspapers from the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, to Austin American-Statesmen. In addition, he worked as editor for, the digital presence for several newspapers in Michigan. During this period, he was part of the team that supported the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and won Pulitzer Prizes in Breaking News and Public Service.


“The Farm Progress editorial team is a group of highly respected, data and purpose-driven individuals who are leaders in their respective regions,” said Wilson. “They know their audiences and the challenges they face. Their focus on service journalism is the reason why Farm Progress enjoys the reputation it has today, and we will continue to drive that focus in the future.”



About Farm Progress

As part of Informa Markets, Farm Progress is the largest, most diversified agriculture information business in North America. Through a robust network of live events, digital products, data, marketing services, broadcasting and local and national publications, Farm Progress enables the nation's most economically significant farmers, growers and ranchers to connect and do business. It serves more than 80% of the 2 million farms and ranches in the U.S., and an estimated 87% of the nation's annual agricultural gross domestic product. Learn more about Farm Progress at

Sorensen Accepting Applications for Military Academy Nominations

Eric Sorensen (IL-17) is now accepting applications from high school students in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District seeking nominations to a U.S. Service Academy for the fall 2024 term. The deadline for applications is October 31, 2023, at 5:00 P.M. CST. 


"As the proud representative of many talented young people in Central and Northwestern Illinois, it is my honor to nominate select high school students to our nation's military academies," said Sorensen. "Those who attend these exceptional institutions bring honor to themselves, their community, and their country, and I'm happy to play a role in supporting their ambitions." 


Sorensen will nominate up to ten qualified high school students from Central and Northwestern Illinois for attendance at four service academies: the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY.  


Students interested in applying should visit Congressman Sorensen’s website to learn more about the process and download an application. The website features specific instructions on the accompanying forms and required documents, including an application form, an essay, high school transcript, ACT/SAT scores and letters of recommendation. Since these materials take time to compile, interested students are encouraged to start collecting everything needed for the packet as soon as possible. 


The application process for a service academy nomination opened on August 1, 2023, and the deadline to submit is October 31, 2023.   


For more information, answers to frequently asked questions and an application packet, please visit

Winners at Western Illinois Threshers 2023

Winners at Western Illinois Threshers

The 56th annual Western Illinois Threshers show concluded Sunday, Aug. 6, with the
announcement of several prize winners.
The following major prizes were given away:
1949 Farmall H antique tractor, Luke Buckert of Hamilton;
Hand-made quilt – Austin Buckert of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa;
Baby afghan– Janet Russell of New London, Iowa;
Pedal tractor – Billings Family, Keokuk, Iowa;
Tractor afghan – Lairyn Dingman, Danville, Iowa;
Additional tractor toys and items went to Rylen Love of Hamilton, Ryan Link of Bushnell,
Harrison Buckert of Nauvoo, Keith Feikert of Hamilton, Martin Spitznogle of Wapello, Iowa,
Griffin Harnetiaux of Clarksville, Tenn., Mary Buckert of Hamilton, Joey Hale of Bowen and
Marcia Gragg of Rushville.

New Carl Sandburg College Chief Safety Officer Sworn in

New Carl Sandburg College Chief Safety Officer Sworn in


 The Carl Sandburg College Board of Trustees swore in the college’s new chief safety officer at its regular monthly meeting July 27.


Douglas Sampson was hired and took his oath of office at the meeting. Sampson had been employed as a police officer in Yates City and as a paramedic with Galesburg Hospital Ambulance Service. He has training from the Police Training Institute, the University of Illinois and is a certified police officer by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. Sampson will head Sandburg’s Department of Public Safety in his new role.


Trustees also accepted a bid of $83,616 from Surface 51 for a brand revitalization and website refresh project. Surface 51 submitted the lowest qualifying bid of the eight that were received. The project will review and update Sandburg’s branding, including its logos, wordmarks and website.


In other business, the Board approved the following:

  • Employment of Darin Dunphy as director of TRIO Student Support Services and Gale Scholars advisor, effective Aug. 1.
  • Employment of Lauren Eurales as Upward Bound Math-Science project advisor, effective Aug. 1.
  • Employment of Kelli Hand as student services support specialist, effective Aug. 1.
  • Employment of Patrick McGee as Upward Bound project advisor, effective Aug. 1.
  • Employment of Le’Andra Mosley as physical plant support specialist, effective Aug. 1.
  • Employment of Melissa Poole as business office technician, effective Aug. 16.
  • Resignation of Michelle Erickson as coordinator of veterans and military services/financial aid manager, effective Aug. 14.
  • Employment termination of Dean Blust as coordinator of public safety, effective June 30.


The Board’s next scheduled meeting is 7 p.m. Aug. 24 on the Main Campus in Galesburg.



Find Out What Families Need Across Illinois

Birth to Five Illinois has published 39 Early Childhood Regional Needs Assessments, now available to both local communities and state leaders. The assessments reflect the strengths and needs in the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) service landscape at the regional level. The publication of these reports marks a major milestone for Birth to Five Illinois, the State’s equity-driven regional community system focused on understanding why families are not able to access ECEC programs and services.

Each of the State’s 39 Regions created an Early Childhood Regional Needs Assessment by reviewing available data from the Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM) and other state and federal sources, as well as listening to local communities about their experiences with accessing ECEC services. Information was gathered from parents and caregivers, ECEC professionals, business leaders, local and county elected officials, and other voices from every community in the State. Regional recommendations were developed based on the identified needs of families collected through focus groups, interviews, surveys, community meetings, and Action Council and Family Council meetings.

Established to highlight family and caregiver voices, Birth to Five Illinois will continue to be a regional convener, working to support the community in amplifying local needs and experiences throughout the upcoming year. Regional Council members and staff will share these reports, listen to feedback, and gather additional insights into the areas of ECEC needs. Statewide leadership will extend invitations to meet with ECEC leaders, advocates, and elected officials to highlight opportunities for improvements and support needed from state and federal ECEC programs.

“The importance of high-quality early learning experiences cannot be overstated. The first few years of a child’s life are critical to establishing a healthy foundation for lifelong learning,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tony Sanders. “ISBE is proud to have supported the launch of Birth to Five Illinois and the creation of these Early Childhood Regional Needs Assessments. We look to better understand the needs of each community as we work to eliminate early childhood deserts in every community and fill critical access gaps in underserved areas across the state.”

Kisha Davis, Bureau Chief for the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood, said, “It is our hope that the information provided within the reports will allow state, regional, and local stakeholders the opportunity to collectively come together to identify strategies to address the challenges identified in the reports.”

Working with state and local leaders, Birth to Five Illinois will develop Action Plans that will lay out how each Region can use available local resources to move forward with the needs they prioritized. The goal is that every Region in the State will have an ECEC blueprint and be prepared to take advantage of local and state opportunities for expansion.

These Early Childhood Regional Needs Assessments and more may be found at:

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