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Bake up some history page 4


The Review November 26, 2013


‘They’re all going to hurt’ BY MATT MENCARINI DIXON – If steps are taken, the Dixon school district could have a balanced budget by 2017, according to the superintendent. But those steps include closing Lincoln Elementary, cuts to various school funds, and layoffs, which Superintendent Michael Juenger said he hopes could be done through attrition. Juenger presented the school board with five options, labeled A through E, during its regular meeting Wednesday night. Each of the five options includes closing Lincoln. The options were meant as a starting point for a discussion with the board, teachers and staff about the best way to get the school district to a balanced budget. “They’re all going to hurt,” Juenger said Thursday. “We want to find the one that’s best for the school district.” The school district is facing a $1.5 million budget deficit in its current fiscal year. If Lincoln were to close, its second- and third-grade students would move to Jefferson Elementary School.

The fourth- and fifth-grade students at Jefferson would be housed at Reagan Middle School, according to Juenger’s proposal. Each option also consists of about 10 percent cuts to special education, technology, sports, the Whiteside Area Career Center, the building budget, travel and professional development, in addition to reduced health care costs resulting from layoffs and retirements. What differs in each option, Juenger said, is the number of layoffs and when they’re done. Options A and D reduce the deficit to $772,834 in fiscal year 2015 and about $300,000 in fiscal year 2016, with 10 combined layoffs in Option A and 12 combined layoffs in Option D. Options B and C reduce the deficit to about $500,000 in fiscal year 2016, and both put the deficit less at than $1 million for the 2015 fiscal year. There are 10 combined layoffs for Option B and 11 combined layoffs for Option C. The most aggressive of the five is Option E, which includes eight layoffs in 2015 and six in 2016, bringing the deficit to $719,249

and $200,647, respectively. Option E has the lowest deficit in fiscal year 2016, but with nine retiring teachers expected for the 2017 fiscal year, Juenger said, the final reductions on all the options could likely come through those retirements and hiring less-experienced teachers for lower pay. The nine retiring teachers all have about 30 years of teaching experience, and hiring lessexperienced teachers, who are paid a lower salary, to replace those nine positions could get the district to a balanced budget, Juenger said. The school district also has three teachers retiring in 2015 and 2016, Juenger said, and those positions won’t be filled.

Difficult decision During its October meeting, Juenger presented the school board with a proposal to close Lincoln. A public meeting was held Oct. 30, when Juenger gave residents and parents more information about the financial situation. Among the concerns that have been raised are overcrowding,

Options open Each of the five options presented to the Dixon school board includes three retiring teachers, who won’t be replaced, in 2015 and 2016. Each option also projects a budget that has the school district receiving 85 percent of its state funding. Each option also includes Lincoln Elementary School’s closure. Option A n Six layoffs for 2015 fiscal year and four for 2016 n 2015 fiscal year deficit of $772,834 and 2016 deficit of $311,446 Option B n Four layoffs for 2015 fiscal year and six for 2016 n 2015 fiscal year deficit of $939,128 and 2016 deficit of $503,961 Option C n Five layoffs for 2015 fiscal year and six for 2016 n 2015 fiscal year deficit of $977,906 and 2016 deficit of $522,898 Option D n Six layoffs for 2015 fiscal year and six for 2016 n 2015 fiscal year deficit of $772,834 and 2016 deficit of $322,060 Option E n Eight layoffs for 2015 fiscal year and six for 2016 n 2015 fiscal year deficit of $719,249 and 2016 deficit of $200,647

diminished education for the students, and mixing the second- and third-grade students with the fourth- and fifth-grade students. Those similar concerns were raised by two residents during public comments at Wednesday night’s meeting. In response to those concerns, board President Pam Tourtillott said she’s looking for the community to come together and share ideas. “These times, for this board here, are very difficult,” she said. “Times we’ve never been in before. And your sentiment is our sentiment. Our job is to figure out how to educate our children with the money that we have, with the lack of money that we’re given.” The school district has received less funding from the state in each of the past 3 years. The 30125 E. Thome Rd., Rock Falls, IL options given to the 815-626-2788 board include an estimate receiving 85 percent funding from the state, Juenger said.


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The Review

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STERLING – Sterling Police are looking for information about a hitand-run accident they say happened Saturday near Majeski Motors. According to police, an unoccupied car parked on the west side of the 300 block of 17th Avenue was struck by a green Plymouth Voyager heading south. The van is described as a rusty mid-

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Treatment center seeking runners Photos by Philip Marruffo/

ABOVE: Woodlawn Arts Academy tap and ballet dancers line up Thursday evening in front of trees decorated for the Festival of Trees. The dancers performed Thursday, and also have performances at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. today and Saturday. The Hospice of the Rock River Valley Fesivall of Trees continues through Sunday at Woodlawn Arts Academy, 3807 Woodlawn Road, Sterling. LEFT: Decorated trees line the hallways of Woodlawn Arts Academy.

DIXON – Home of Hope Cancer Wellness Center will have a “Facing the Challenge 26.2” virtual marathon from Nov. 29 to Dec. 26. The program will raise funds for the center and help to raise awareness. Community members can commit to walking or running 26.2 miles during 28 days. Participants can register at the Home of Hope Facebook page, online at or by calling 815

1990s model with black front and rear bumpers and white and yellow chalk on the windows. Police say the van most likely would have damage on its front right side. The driver was described as a white man with short brown hair and 5 o’clock shadow. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sterling Police Department at 815-632-6640 or Crime Stoppers at 877625-7867.

288-4673. After registering, runners and walkers are asked to recruit sponsors to pledge dollars or cents. Activity can be reported by logging on to the center’s Facebook page. Incentives will be offered for top money raised by individuals. Donations can be by check, cash, credit card and PayPal through the Home of Hope website. Recommended donations are $1 per mile, or $26. Call the center at 815 2884673 for more information. –SVM staff report

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The Review

November 26, 2013

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dixon | sexual abuse case

School’s leader charged Chief disappointed with VIVA! attorney response BY CHRISTI WARREN

DIXON – An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for the president of a performing arts school on a charge of failing to report sexual abuse allegations against an instructor, police said. Curt Schmitt, president of Dixon’s VIVA! Performing Arts School, is charged with failure to report abuse or neglect, a Danny Class A mis- Langloss d e m e a n o r Dixon police chief that could result in a fine of $2,500. Schmitt also is president of the Chicagobased Canterbury Foundation, which is a donor to VIVA! Canterbury and had $4.5 million in its coffers in 2012. Dixon Police Chief Danny Langloss said police have statements from more than one person indicating that Schmitt knew about abuse allegations made by a former student against VIVA! vocal instructor Robert Campbell. In response to questions about why charges didn’t come sooner, Langloss said in a statement: “We were trying to give Mr. Schmitt every opportunity to cooperate and share his side, but he chose not to do so. Our detectives met with State’s Attorney [Anna] Sacco-Miller, presented the evidence, and she decided to file charges against him.” In an interview Tuesday, Schmitt’s attorney, Barbara Sullivan, told Sauk Valley Media that she had instructed Schmitt and others at VIVA! not to comment on the allegations of sexual abuse. She also called a statement made by Langloss about Schmitt “ridiculous.” In response, Langloss said: “I am disappointed with the response from the VIVA! attorney. “I would have expected a statement about how VIVA! has launched a full investigation into this

incident and examined their policies and procedures.” Sullivan didn’t return a call for comment Thursday. Last week, police arrested Tim Boles, VIVA!’s director of drama. Police say Boles,

too, was aware of the allegations but failed to report them. Parts of VIVA!’s website were taken down last week, including its faculty page, which contained biographies and pictures for a number of instructors,

including Boles and Campbell. Police say that during the summer of 2012, Campbell abused a then16-year-old boy and that the abuse occurred at VIVA!. On Nov. 3, the student sent an email about the










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The Review

November 26, 2013

Sweet, sweet history Early American desserts connect us deliciously with tradition BY BILL DALEY MCT News Service


esserts are the sweet stuff of which memories are made, particularly in a holiday season, a time typically so rich with recollections. Salute that spirit with a historic dessert rooted in the North American past. For while tastes, trends and technology come and go, the country’s sweet tooth has remained ever keen. Why? Michael Krondl, a New York City food historian and author of “Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert,” says our continuing hunger for dessert is based on two things: childhood and celebrations. “Sweetness is one of the first tastes we love,” he says, referring to childhood. As for celebrations, “it used to be anything sweet was expensive because of the sugar” so sugar was saved for important things, like wedding cakes, birthday cakes and Christmas cookies. “Add those two things up and it sort of represents the culture,” Krondl says. “We don’t like to change our culture too much. We give lip service to change but we don’t like it too much. So foods stick around.” Traditional desserts are a particularly delectable way of connecting vividly with that culture. One may not be able to literally step into the shoes of one’s forefathers and foremothers but one can sup pretty much as they did. But today’s cooks need to remember that desserts – like much of everything else – were different then. “These recipes were not designed to match anybody’s modern diet plan,” says Frank Clark, supervisor of historic foodways at Colonial Williamsburg, the living history museum in Williamsburg, Va. “There was lots of butter, lots of cream, lots of eggs.” But that was – and is – part of the charm of historic desserts. Sweets

so epitomized hospitality that they were distributed throughout the menu. (“Dessert” as such was defined in the French sense back in Colonial America, as a small palate-cleanser to be enjoyed before leaving the table.) “Most of the 18th-century upscale entertaining was done with sweets,” says chef Walter Staib of Philadelphia’s City Tavern, host of television’s “A Taste of History” and author of a new cookbook, “A Sweet Taste of History” (Lyons, $29.95). “It was a way to show up the Joneses.” “Today, we don’t go in much for these celebratory everybody-eatsthe-cake desserts,” says Krondl. “They used to make election cakes that served 150 people. The tendency now is that everyone gets their own cupcake.”

BISCOCHITOS Prep: 25 minutes Chill: 2 to 3 hours Bake: 10 to 12 minutes per batch Makes: 40-50 cookies The story of exploration and settlement in what is now the U.S. was written in languages other than English. These anise cookies were brought to New Mexico by the early Spaniards, who established Santa Fe in 1607. New Mexico declared the biscochito (also spelled bizcochito) the state cookie in 1989. This recipe comes from the New Mexico secretary of state website. The yield will vary depending on the size of cutters you use. 6 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 2 cups lard 1 3⁄4 cups sugar 2 teaspoons anise seeds 2 eggs ¼ cup brandy 1 tablespoon cinnamon Sift flour in a bowl with baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, cream the lard with 1 ½ cups sugar and anise seeds until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in flour mixture and

brandy until well blended. Refrigerate, 2-3 hours. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Turn dough out onto a floured board; pat or roll to ¼- or ½-inch thickness. Cut into shapes. (The fleur-de-lis is traditional.) Place cookies on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. Mix the remaining ¼ cup sugar and the cinnamon together in a small bowl. Dust the cookies with the cinnamon sugar. Bake until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Nutrition information per cookie (for 50 cookies): 160 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 48 mg sodium, 0 g fiber ———

MARLBOROUGH PUDDING Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 1 hour Makes: One 8-inch deep-dish pie, 8 servings This is one of the most requested recipes at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. The original recipe from Amelia Simmons’ “American Cookery” of 1796 is quite terse: “Take 12 spoons of stewed apples, 12 of wine, 12 of sugar, 12 of melted butter, and 12 of beaten eggs, a little cream, spice to your taste; lay in paste No. 3, in a deep dish; bake one hour and a quarter.” This modern adaptation comes from the “Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook.” Pie dough, homemade or store-bought, can substitute for the puff pastry, if desired. 6 tablespoons butter Juice of 1 lemon 3/4 cup stewed, pureed apples, about 2 apples 3/4 cup sherry 1/2 cup whipping cream 3/4 cup white sugar 4 eggs, beaten 1 sheet puff pastry 2 teaspoons grated nut-

MCT News Service

Desserts are the sweet stuff of which memories are made, particularly in a holiday season, a time typically so rich with recollections. Serve your guests Malborough pudding and biscochito (cookies) this season. meg or to taste Heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a small saucepan; set aside to cool. Add lemon juice to apples, sherry, cream and sugar in a bowl; mix well. Add melted butter to mixture, blending well. Add eggs to mixture. Trim a sheet of puff pastry so that it fits a deep 8-inch pie plate.

Season stewed apple mixture with grated nutmeg; spoon mixture into prepared pie plate. Bake, 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 minutes. Cool before serving. Nutrition information per serving: 277 calories, 18 g fat, 10 g saturated

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fat, 136 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 72mg sodium, 0 g fiber ___ (c)2013 Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at Distributed by MCT Information Services _____

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