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1 Front Volume 140 No. 47

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Tonica News

Single Copy Cost 50¢

Lostant tackles water, well issues By Dixie Schroeder

LOSTANT — The Lostant Village Board met on Jan. 13. Issues concerning upcoming grants for the town’s water tower and snow removal were at the top of the agenda.

Board member Dave Mertes reported the town might be receiving the emergency funding they had applied for in regards to the town’s water and well issues. “We don’t have anything official yet, but it looks like we are going to get that money from

Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP),” Mertes said. Mertes also explained there is a second grant which is a state-based grant. The town will receive $25,000. The board has decided to use this money as part of the village’s portion of the

CDAP project. The project requires Lostant to come up with 25 percent of the funds to make it happen. CDAP funds the other 75 percent of the costs. In regards to the town’s water tower, maintenance is normally performed once every 10 years. For

Lostant’s water tower, it has been closer to 15 to 20 years since it has been maintained. “There were some pictures inside when we last had Putnam County painting out,” Mertes said. Mayor Fred Hartenbower said the pictures show

normal deterioration over time. “It’s pretty much just general maintenance over time. It needs to get done. As repair work, however, we will not be able to find any grant money for that,” Hartenbower said.

See Lostant Page 3

TGS Foundation improves education By Ken Schroeder

TONICA — Established in 2002 to assist in the education of students at Tonica Grade School, the Tonica Grade School Foundation raises monies to help further student education. Lowell Beenenga, current president of the foundation, has served the board for four years. “We don’t have events. We stay away from them,” he said. “We just deal with donations entirely. We don’t want to overburden the people by asking too much. This is more or less like the donate in someone’s name situation.” The current 10 board members work to raise monies through donations of cash and checks. The group also receives pledges, memorials and even stock to help fund their efforts for the children of the area. To date the foundation has given $15,000 to Tonica Grade School in the form of requests from the teachers. “What happens is that the teachers will give Mr. (John) Suarez (superintendent/principal) a list of items they need,” Beenenga said. “We put a dollar amount for a limit, so that when the requests come in, we can evaluate them. It has to be educational. It must be something that encourages and reinforces the education in the entire classroom.”

See Foundation Page 3

Tonica News photo/Ken Schroeder

Barbara Billings (left), dental hygienist, and Dr. Susan Ash (right), DDS, talk to Tonica Grade School first-grader Carter Winebrinner to make him relax before his exam.

The dentist is in ... the classroom Smile Illinois visits Tonica Grade School By Ken Schroeder

TONICA — Sometimes, it’s difficult to get a child to the dentist. At Tonica Grade School on Jan. 10, that wasn’t a problem ... the dentist came to the school. Smile Illinois is a mobile dental service that visits schools throughout Illinois bringing oral hygiene to students who may not be able to see a dentist on their own.

“We go into schools and daycares and do exams, cleanings and sealants,” Dr. Susan Ash, Smile Illinois dentist said. “Our goal is to try and help working families who don’t have time off to get to the dentist and get the exams they need.” Ash is very good with children, making them feel relaxed about the examinations and treatments she does in the schools. “I love this. I think you have a calling for this; it must be

like teaching,” Ash said. “I was doing this part time, and I told my husband I wanted to do it full time. I’ve been doing it now for six years.” The dentists working for Smile Illinois are independent contractors, either full time or part time. Some have their own part-time practice while others work exclusively for the nonprofit service. Ash said the service is very important for students in need. “Illinois is very good about requiring exams on certain years, and we try to make that

easier to do,” Ash said. “I’m a big believer in the sealant program. A lot of our kids might have baby teeth with some decay, but if you can seal those 6- and 12-year molars, we’ve found that leads to a life of success in oral hygiene.” Smile Illinois serves children from 1 year old through 12th grade with several teams active around the state. The organization only uses hygienists and dentists, with assistants helping track the children’s records. All

See Dentist Page 3

Vol. 140 No. 47 One Section - 8 Pages

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2 Local 2 • The Tonica News • Friday, January 17, 2014

Seeking Sources Where in the world is The Tonica News? Are you planning a vacation or holiday trip? Don’t forget to take along a copy of the The Tonica News. Once you get to your destination, have someone snap a photo of you holding the newspaper, and then send the photo to us along with pertinent information about who is in the photo and where you are. We’ll be happy to share your photo with other Tonica News readers, your friends, family and neighbors. Email your photo and information to news@ You can also drop it by our office in Tonica.

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Tonica News photos/Dixie Schroeder

Rhoda Nicholson Hobneck now has possession of the Bible that was donated and used at the Lowell Methodist Church before it burned down.

Remembering Lowell Methodist Church By Dixie Schroeder

Contact Publisher Sam Fisher Editor Terri Simon


The Tonica News encourages readers to submit news for publication in our paper. Special events, weddings, births, awards and honors, anniversaries, promotions, etc. are welcome items for the paper. Some fees may apply. Schools, businesses, organizations and groups are encouraged to send information on activities and events. If you have attended a function or event and have a photo and/or news, please submit them.

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Rhoda Hobneck displays her perfect attendance pin she earned for Sunday school classes at Lowell Methodist Church.

LOWELL – It is said by some that a community starts to grow from the creation of its first church. That is very true for the small community of Lowell outside of Tonica. The Lowell United Methodist Church was built in 1851. It initially served Congregationalists, Baptists, Anglicans and eventually Methodist parishioners. Until its untimely demise from an electrical fire in 1971, the church had the unique distinction

1928, the church put a furnace into the building. Furnishing were added such as wooden tables for the downstairs area, and a new floor was laid. Parishioners took care of their church, and the community thrived. The church survived by smart investments. Mila Lock donated money to purchase sugar stock on the advice of the late Walter Clark. The church owned the stock, and it was passed on to the Tonica United Methodist Church after the Lowell Church was destroyed by the fire.

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of being the oldest sanctuary in LaSalle County. According to the LaSalle County Historical Society, after William Seeley, the founder of Lowell, donated the land for the church to the current trustees and their successors of the Lowell Congregation, history shows the original building was built in 1851. In 1895, the Lowell church along with the Tonica church started to be served by the same pastor. The building was originally heated by stoves on the north side of the church auditorium. In

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Rhoda Nicholson Hobneck of Tonica remembers the Lowell Church with extreme fondness. “I was born in 1943, and I attended the church until I left home in 1961. You started there as a baby. You were baptized and put on the Cradle Roll,” she said. “The whole family attended. My grandmother, Lilly Nicholson, even donated a large-sized Bible in memory of my grandfather, John Nicholson who passed away.” Hobneck remembers a church not only with Sunday services but church suppers, putting on Christmas programs and working to keep the church in good shape. The Lowell Methodist Church had a vibrant community of committed parishioners who kept the spirit of the church alive in fellowship and beliefs. Unfortunately in August of 1971, the church suffered a devastating fire that ended its special place in LaSalle County history. Hobneck noted members of the congregation were able to save quite a few things before the church was destroyed. “They were able to salvage a lot of things. They got the organ out, the Bible; the pulpit was saved and is now at the Tonica United Methodist Church,” she said. Being the two churches, Lowell and Tonica, were sharing the same pastor at the time of the fire, the Tonica church inherited most of the Lowell parishioners. “It always seemed so very big there,” Hobneck said. “With the school next door and the playground in between, it felt like home.”

3 Obit/Records Friday, January 17, 2014 • The Tonica News • 3

12 ways to a healthier and happier family in 2014 Your family can start 2014 the right way with a healthier and happier outlook on life. Having a positive attitude toward the new year will create upbeat energy the whole family will share and put everyone in a good mood. The beginning of a new year is the time to start off fresh by trying new things and doing your best to raise a healthy, happy family. founders Brett and Stephanie Parker offer 12 ways your family can stay healthy and happy this year; choose one way each month to gradually introduce change. 1. Set New Year’s resolutions: By setting up a New Year’s resolution — or even a few of them — as a family, you are showing your family how to create goals for themselves and how to achieve those goals. A resolution to get active or to spend more time with each other will bring you closer together as you support and encourage one another to follow through with your resolution. 2. Healthy sleep: Most families know that healthy sleep is the foundation of any balanced home. When babies and toddlers don’t get enough sleep, they get cranky and put stress on the entire family. 3. Go green: It’s important for families to do their part in taking care of the environment, and it saves money too! Parents can opt to buy organic kids products, buy locally grown food, and buy eco-friendly cleaning products. Families can also try to use the car less often, wash dishes by hand, and line dry clothes in order to save energy. 4. Eat clean: Getting healthier starts with eating healthier as a family. Your kids may not want to eat their fruits and veggies, but you can try making them yummy fruit smoothies (they will never know that there is kale in there!). Also encourage your kids to

try new foods by having them help you cook. When kids know that they’ve contributed to the meal, they will be more likely to at least try some of it. 5. Get movin’: An active family is a happy family! Start by taking walks together as a family or going to the park to play ball. You can even play right in your backyard instead of sitting around watching TV at home. Another good idea is planning vacations with fun activities that the whole family can participate in like swimming, biking, hiking or dancing. Plus, when you are busy with active activities, TV or movie time will be more of a treat. 6. Family vacation: Set aside some time to plan a getaway for the whole family to relax and have fun, even if it’s only for one weekend. If your family is on a budget and can’t travel far, think about going on a local road trip and visiting a few nearby places that you haven’t been to yet. Find a park, zoo, beach or lake for some peaceful family time away from home. 7. Grateful jar: Have kids and parents write down what they are grateful for on slips of paper and keep them in a jar in the living room. This reminds the family to appreciate the little things in life and creates a more positive mood at home. You can even dump the jar out on Sunday nights and read out loud what everyone is grateful for. Then start the jar again in the new week! 8. Create a vision board: A family vision board is fun to make. Get creative by using old magazines to cut out letters and pictures for your vision board and place the board where everyone can see it each day. Each child can create a mini vision board too for their rooms. Setting goals and envisioning them happening is a huge part of achieving those goals.

9. Try something new: Don’t stick to the same old boring routine if you feel like your family is in a slump. Mix things up by having a family game night, going to eat at a new restaurant, or trying a new hobby together. It’s good for kids to have new experiences and by trying new things as a family, it brings you closer together. Also, stepping outside your comfort zone makes us happier. 10. Designate a family fun night: Choose one night during the week for the family to have fun together. You can watch a movie, play games, or do both! Family members can take turns picking the movies and games, and you will find that everyone looks forward to this one night each week when you can forget about daily responsibilities and just focus on having fun. 11. Volunteer and give back: Volunteering is a good way to teach kids how to care for others, how to be humble, and to appreciate what you have. Teach kids about random acts of kindness and show them what little things you can do to say thank you to those who help us out every day. Show your kids that it’s nice to hold doors open for others, say thank you when others do the same, and offer help when someone is in need. 12. Share your stories: At the dinner table each night, encourage every family member to talk about their day. Ask kids about what happened at school, with their friends, and what they’ve been learning. Also share with them about your day, even if nothing particularly interesting happened that day. Kids want to know that their parents care about their day and that they are excited to listen to them. Sharing your experiences and knowing what’s going on in each other’s lives keeps the family closer. Source:

Two-vehicle accident TONICA — At 8:30 a.m. Jan. 12, LaSalle County deputies investigated a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 251 and North 20th Road in Eden Town-

ship. Beth E. Hickey, 43, of Peru was southbound on Route 251. Rachel E. Hettrick, 21, of Ottawa was westbound on North 20th Road and failed to stop at the stop sign.

LaSalle County court OTTAWA — James E. Finney Jr. of Tonica entered a blind plea in LaSalle County court to the charge of indecent solicitation of a child.

Prosecutors explained Finney sent text messages to a 13-year-old girl trying to procure sexual acts. Finney will be sentenced Feb. 28.

Hickey struck Hettrick in the intersection. There were no injuries or citations issued.

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Foundation From Page 1 Donations vary from year to year. At the school there is a plaque with names honoring those who have donated. Suarez appreciates all the foundation does for the school. “It’s very humbling, it’s very appreciated. It’s just nice to know that there are people out there that care so much about the school. The Foundation consists of people, who like Lowell, who went to school here, or others who have a vested interest in education,” Suarez said. “We always have our doors open for those people. We are able to do things for the kids that we normally couldn’t do because of budget constraints, because of cutbacks. There is no way we could afford to purchase a lot of the items. Even down to the app (application) on the iPads, we received those through the Tonica Grade School Foundation. To say that we are indebted to them is an understatement.” There have been a large variety of items requested by the teachers and staff throughout the years. The foundation has purchased smartboards for almost every classroom. They have purchased drums,

Lostant From Page 1 At December’s meeting, the board had approved work to the building where the village’s salt pile storage shed is located, and then found there were no funds allotted for it in the current budget. “It’s something every small town does. Instead of looking forward, we have to look over a year ahead when it comes time for us to do the budget. We have to figure out what kind of taxes we would need to go with,” Hartenbower said. Mike Cooper, board

Dentist From Page 1 of the examination tools you would find in a regular dentist’s office are brought into classrooms

Tonica News photo/Ken Schroeder

Lowell Beenenga (right) observes Tonica Grade School sixth-grader Haley Mulligan as she uses the electron microscope the TGS Foundation purchased. books on tape, classroom maps, library books, novels, a listening center and many other items. One of the foundation’s requirements is that items must be of a more permanent nature, so it can assist students year after year in their classroom learning. Often times it is hard to find people to serve on foundations. That isn’t the case in Tonica. Not only do people with children currently in school serve on the board, others like Beenenga who is a lifelong Tonica resident step up to help as well. “I’m an alumni, and being in the grain business, I know where a lot

of people in the area come from,” he said. “I’ve always been a volunteer. It’s just one of those things.” The Tonica Grade School Foundation was set up as a nonprofit Illinois corporation. The group established an endowment fund which seeks and receives funds from a variety of sources. While the goal of the group is long term and self sustaining, it works to enrich the education of Tonica Grade School students each year. To contact the Tonica Grade School Foundation, call 815-442-3420 or mail to 535 N. 1981 Road in Tonica.

member, reported while the contract was signed for the project, the contractor was willing to wait to do the work for the village. In other business, Hartenbower commended village board member Chris Dose and employees who have been working the snowplows so far this winter. “You all have done a pretty good job pushing snow. I know some people wanted to get out, and 51 wasn’t even open yet,” he said. The issue was raised about excessive amounts of dog droppings being left in the village park, despite

the fact that signs are posted to keep this from happening. Hartenbower informed the board of a creative fix he had tried to get the dog owners to take responsibility, but the problems are still happening. The village currently has an ordinance against dog owners leaving their pet waste in the park, but it has to have someone to be willing to witness the incident and swear out a complaint against the offender. The board agreed to speak with village police officers and encourage them to hand out garbage sacks to owners walking their dogs.

where the work is done, minus the x-ray machine. Students react positively to the service. “I love this. The kids are amazing,” Barbara Billings, Smile Illinois dental assistant said. “I

think the kids are more comfortable because they know we don’t do drills and needles. We just started doing restorative treatments. We’re really a preventative outreach program.”

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4 Biz Ag 4 • The Tonica News • Friday, January 17, 2014

Convention offers a host of big names in Midwest ag

Resolve to protect and educate yourself in 2014

Meeting calendar Jan. 20 — 7 p.m., Tonica Village Board, Tonica Village Hall Jan. 22 — 6:45 p.m., Lostant School Board, Lostant Grade School

don’t forget to regularly check for software and operating system updates and patches. Don’t open attachments or click on links in emails unless you can confirm the email came from someone you trust. 6. Never wire money to someone you don’t know. Many scams require the victim wire money to the scammers. Tracking money sent via MoneyGram or Western Union is extremely difficult. Even more troubling for victims is that it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. 7. Fight identity theft. Shred paper documents that include sensitive financial data and dispose of computers, cell phones and digital data safely. 8. Fight fake check fraud. Because of advances in printing technology, scammers have the ability to create real-looking but phony checks. Educate yourself on the common types of check fraud, and be extremely wary of checks that come with claims that you’ve won a lottery, are eligible for a government grant or have landed a job as a secret shopper when you never applied. Be aware if it sounds too good to be true. 9. Warn and empower others. File a complaint with your BBB if you have a disagreement with a business or have been ripped off by a scammer. Your complaint will go on record and may help others in dealing with that company. Use the BBB to educate and empower yourself to make informed decisions. 10. Create a budget and stick to it. If you’re a cashstrapped consumer, setting a budget can help you stay afloat in 2014. The BBB has additional advice on how to create a budget to help you get out and stay out of debt at www.   For more consumer tips you can trust from your BBB, visit

AMES, Iowa — Agriculture aces will spotlight market, risk management and technology trends, and key agriculture policy issues to monitor in 2014, at the Go Profit Wild National Farmers national convention Jan. 27-29, at the Kalahari Hotel in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. “We’re honored to host so many distinguished guests at our national convention this year,” said Perry Garner, National Farmers director of communications and marketing. “Their input about agriculture will complement what our professionals share with producers about the coming year in commodity marketing and risk management. These officials and true professionals will bring valuable knowledge to our producers.” Among those presenting as guests are the following: • Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel, Madison, Wis. • Wisconsin Farm Service Agency Director Brad Pfaff, Madison, Wis. • Producers Livestock Marketing Association Vice President of Pork Richard Ellinghuysen, Omaha, Neb. • Alan Guebert, award-winning syndicated ag columnist, Delavan, Ill. • Wenonah Hauter, Food and Water Watch executive director, Washington, D.C. • Kelsey Fink, BouMatic district sales manager, Madison, Wis. • Country Today Editor Jim

Massey, Barneveld, Wis. • Agri News Managing Editor Mychal Wilmes, Rochester, Minn. • U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota (Via video) The 2014 convention agenda is stacked heavy with ag topics for the farm and ranch operator who wants to advance.

experienced in using tools such as futures, options and processor forward contracts in their operations. The workshop is funded in part by a grant from USDA’s Risk Management Agency. All livestock producers are invited to attend by calling 515-598-4658.

For grain producers

For dairy producers BouMatic District Sales Manager Kelsey Fink will present “Trends in the Dairy Industry” on Jan. 27, discussing the move toward automation. Jan. 29, during the dairy workshop, dairy and ag news editors, along with Dr. Richard Levins, professor emeritus, University of Minnesota, will examine where cooperatives fit economically, with so much foreign ownership in the industry.

For livestock producers In a livestock workshop Jan. 29, Ellinghuysen will address red meat’s market share, the historically small cattle herd and what Asian markets can do for producers as he presents a program titled, “The Future of the Livestock Industry.” Additionally, on Jan. 27 at 1 p.m., National Farmers Livestock Program Manager Pat Lampert and Senior Cattle Marketing Negotiator Jeff Rose will present, “Cattle Marketing in Risky Times,” a risk management training session for producers both new and

On Jan. 29, Senior Grain Marketing Analyst Pete Lorenz will address the latest in the grain markets and how risk management profits for producers, along with touching on the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard to markets. Chris Webb, National Farmers Crop Insurance/AgAssure agent, will discuss why crop insurance matters in 2014, and how it performs. On Jan. 27, Vice President Paul Riniker, Greeley, Iowa, will share his outlook for agriculture and National Farmers. In the evening on Jan. 28, National Farmers President Paul Olson, Taylor, Wis., updates members during his keynote address highlighting 2013 accomplishments, and National Farmers presents Young Producer Awards to operations for each National Farmers region. The events combined provide important 2014 operational, commodity marketing and risk management insights from National Farmers professionals for dairy, grain and cattle producers. All producers are encouraged to attend.

IVCC offers water supply operators class OGLESBY — Water Supply Operations II will be offered by Illinois Valley Community College’s Continuing Education Center Feb. 4 through May 13. The 14 session, 6 to

9:20 p.m. Tuesday class, PWS 1201 349, prepares participants for the Class B operator’s license examination administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Topics include oxidation, filtration, ion exchange and process waste removal. Students will receive three hours college credit. Requirements include three years of study,

training and experience in water supply orientation and high school diploma or GED equivalent. Course fee is $499. To register, call (815) 2240447.

Food service course to be offered SPRING VALLEY — A food service sanitation manager certification course will be offered at St. Margaret’s Hospital, 600 E. First St., Spring Valley, on Jan. 25 and

Feb. 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. A test is set for 4 p.m. Feb. 1. This is a state-approved, 15-hour course for the Illinois Food Safety Certification. All food service

facilities are required to have certified managers. If someone just needs to renew their current certification, they may attend one day of either session for the first five

hours. For more information or to obtain registration forms, call David K. Williams at 815-564-5603 or email him at

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As the new year begins, it is important that being consumer-savvy is one of your goals for the year. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) offers 10 New Year’s resolutions to help you avoid scams, prevent identity theft and save money in 2014. “The new year is a great time to have goals to protect yourself,” says Steve J. Bernas, president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “By making small changes in your life, you may protect yourself from big issues.” The BBB recommends the following New Year’s resolutions to become a savvier consumer in 2014: 1. Get everything in writing. Get every verbal discussion in writing to limit miscommunication and misunderstandings between your expectations and what the business actually delivers. Always be sure to write down the name of the representative with whom you spoke. 2. Read the fine printespecially for “free” trial offers. “Free” trial offers often result in repeated charges to their credit or debit cards sometimes amounting to hundreds of dollars every month. Read the terms and conditions of any “free” trial offer before handing over credit or debit card numbers. 3. Look for the BBB Seal of Accreditation and always check out a business with the BBB prior to making a purchase. Over 8,000 businesses in the Chicago and Northern Illinois area bear the BBB Seal of Accreditation and maintain our standards; you can find the seal on websites and at business locations. You can locate trustworthy businesses by visiting to view free BBB Business Reviews for over four million businesses across Chicago and Northern Illinois. 4. Beware of “job” offers to make easy money. Unemployment in the nation remains high, and scammers are targeting the large pool of job hunters. Beware of any job offer, work-at-home scheme or business opportunity that promises big money for little work and no experience. Look up companies at before you apply for any job. 5. Keep your computer safe. If you haven’t already, install anti-virus software onto your computer, and

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5 Perspective Friday, January 17, 2014 • The Tonica News • 5

The Editorial Page The Tonica News Sam R Fisher

Terri Simon



Picture perfect I like art, and a trip to the art museum in Chicago is one of my favorite excursions. I also like to go to galleries, and I appreciate so many local artists. In other words, I admire those who take a paintbrush in hand, place a blank canvas before them, and then create a masterpiece before our very eyes. While there are those who paint and create professionally, I have to believe we are all painters in our own right. Whether we realize it or not, we’ve all painted a picture, but seldom does it ever make it to a canvas. That’s right; our pictures live in our heads. You know what I mean ... somewhere down that dusty road in our minds, we have a painted a picture of what we expectTerri Simon ed life to look like. In most cases, it’s a youthful painting with picket fences, butterflies, blue skies and lots of smiles on the faces that grace the invisible canvas. When we were young and we dreamed of the future, I contend we carefully crafted that aforementioned painting. Coupled with our little-kid experiences, dreams and aspirations, we added things one-by-one to our canvasses, careful to stay within the lines of what we thought represented the perfect picture — the perfect life, and we spent our youth revisiting that masterpiece, knowing someday it would definitely become a reality. Some of our canvasses held pictures of the perfect mate, accompanied by just the perfect amount of children and perfect, well-behaved pets. In the background, there was the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood with the perfect vehicles parked in the perfect garage. The backyard held the perfect pool with a perfectly-manicured lawn and a perfect flower garden where perfect plants never died. There was more ... Each one of us painted the perfect job with the perfect salary. Our pockets were full, and our home was beautiful. The sky was always blue; the grass was always green; and though we may have painted a cloud or two, no rain ever fell in our picture-perfect world. Butterflies floated through our masterpiece, and a rainbow could be seen in the distance. And best of all — perhaps most important of all — we painted a smile on everyone’s face ... a big, broad smile that would never be erased. If you can tell me the picture you painted in your head long ago didn’t somewhat resemble that, I want to meet you ... but I don’t think I’ll get many calls. For you see, I think most of us as young people dreamed about life in the future, knowing that canvas in our heads was going to come to fruition. Like the painting, life would be just about perfect. Fast forward quite a few years, and the painting which once lived in my head is filed so far back on that dusty road in my mind, that I don’t know if I could ever retrieve it — even if I wanted to. Somewhere along my journey through this world, that masterpiece got smudged; the canvas might have even been torn; and the colors kind of ran together. And the smiles? Well, that’s probably another column ... Don’t misunderstand. I am happy. I love my life, and I love everyone and everything in it. Quite frankly, with the exception of Publisher’s Clearing House’s refusal to stop by, I wouldn’t change much. Life is very good. But that doesn’t address the picture in my head — that picture most of us painted on that invisible canvas. I contend that picture is what causes us many problems in life as we reflect on what was “supposed” to be and what really happened. But perhaps the sooner we can forget about that picture in our head and focus on the masterpiece we paint every day, the sooner we can realize that smiles don’t have to be painted on ... they can just happen. Tonica News Editor Terri Simon can be reached at

Letters to the Editor should not be more than 500 words in length. Only one person can sign a Letter to the Editor. The author of the letter must include his/her name, hometown and telephone number. The author’s name and hometown will be published, however, the telephone number is only used to verify the authenticity of the author’s signature and will not be published. Unsigned letters are never read or published. No letter will be published until The Tonica News contacts the author of the letter to verify the signature. The Tonica News reserves the right to edit or refuse any Letter to the Editor.

On the street

The National Football League season is coming to it’s conclusion. Who do you think is going to win the Super Bowl?

“I like the 49ers. They are a pretty solid team.” Ed Mosell, Leonore

“I have never watched football. Not a fan. I am a baseball fan. I stand by the Cubs. Been over 100 years, but they are going to do it.” Matt Wiesbrook, Tonica

“I’m thinking Seattle Seahawks because that is where I am from. The whole team has it going here.” Holly Gordon, Bloomington

“I’m a football fan, and my team’s out. I think I got to pick the 49ers this year. Well, they are playing good, and my nephew is a fan as well as my niece, so I will lean that way.” Keith Alleman, Tonica

“We don’t want the 49ers. Seattle Seahawks I think are the ones. They are doing pretty darn good. They look good too. However I work a lot, so I don’t have as much time to watch as I would like.” Bobby Mcguire, Tonica

“I choose Denver to win the Super Bowl. I’ve always been a Denver fan, and I think Peyton Manning will come through. He is a good playoff player. He’s been doing good. He is having a record breaking season.” Jimmy Podkulksi, Streator TO Letter THE Editor

Merchants should be accountable To the Editor, The Target data breach has affected millions of consumers by compromising their credit and debit cards, once again raising the issue of a retailer’s responsibility in securing sensitive information for card transactions at their stores. How many millions of cardholders have to be harmed by financial data breaches before Congress enacts legislation to hold merchants accountable? A data breach might be embarrassing for the merchant involved, but keep in mind that they still get paid! Consumers and financial institu-

tions, on the other hand, bear significant burdens and costs. For compromised consumers, information and identities can be stolen, fraudulent account charges can occur, credit scores can be damaged, and enormous amounts of time can be spent on dealing with the issue. When a security breach occurs, cardissuing financial institutions incur significant costs — canceling and reissuing cards, freezing payments and closing accounts, monitoring card usage, handling customer inquiries and reimbursing fraudulent charges for customers – most of which are absorbed even if the losses were incurred through no fault of the

bank. It’s time that Congress acts to improve the safety and security of consumer card transactions by holding retailers accountable for breaches that occur on the retail side of a transaction: • Require merchants to disclose in a timely manner any security breach to their customers and the public. In the cases of Target, Schnucks and others, they waited weeks to notify the media and affected customers. • Financial institutions are required to meet rigid privacy and security standards for safeguarding personal financial information. Merchants should be held to these same high

standards. • Merchants should be held accountable to customers and to card issuers for the costs and losses they incur from the merchant’s own negligence. • A uniform, national standard governing how merchants respond and handle data breaches should be enacted to ensure that consumer protections are applied consistently to retailers across state lines. We think consumers have the right to have their financial and personally identifiable information protected by all parties involved — don’t you? Linda Koch, president and CEO of Illinois Bankers Association Springfield

First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Constitution of the United States, 1789

6 Life 6 • The Tonica News • Friday, January 17, 2014

Community Blood drive Jan. 20 MAGNOLIA — The American Red Cross bloodmobile will be at the Magnolia United Methodist Church from noon to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20. To make an appointment, contact Lisa Johnson at 815-882-2336. Walk-ins are welcome.

Special Olympics skills competition set GRANVILLE — The Starved Rock Area Special Olympics Committee will conduct an individual basketball skills competition on Jan. 18 at Putnam County High School in Granville. Sixty-five Special Olym-

pic athletes from Bureau, Grundy, Henry, LaSalle, Putnam and Stark Counties will participate in this event. Opening ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. The public is invited. There is no admission fee.

IVCC to conduct training for tutors OGLESBY — The I-READ Adult Literacy Program at Illinois Valley Community College will conduct free training sessions for new volunteer tutors in February. Volunteers must have a desire to work with adult learners and be willing to tutor two-three hours each week, but volunteers do not need to have teaching experience. Fifteen hours of training are required for all volunteer tutors. Required training sessions will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 in Room CTC221 in the college’s new Peter Miller Community Technology Center. Participants are required to attend both days and should bring a sack lunch as lunch is not provided. Visiting an adult education classroom is an additional

training component. After completing the training, tutors are matched with learners 17 or older whose reading or math skills are below the ninth-grade level or who need to improve their English language skills. Volunteers may choose to tutor in one-to-one sessions at a local library or in smallgroup sessions at an adult education classroom within the IVCC district. Free online tutor training is another option for volunteers whose schedules do not allow them to participate in the February training sessions. For information on the I-READ program, go to adulted.aspx?id=3120. To register, contact Angela Dunlap, I-READ program manager, at 815224-0372 or Chris Warren, I-READ literacy specialist, at 815-224-0345.

‘Gypsy’ auditions set OGLESBY — Children’s auditions for the Illinois Valley Community College theatre department production of the musical “Gypsy” will be at 4 p.m. Jan. 22, with a second round of auditions for adults and teenagers 14 and older at 4 p.m. Jan. 23. Participants should prepare a song and bring sheet music (accompanist provided) or CD accompaniment. Roles are open to all members of the commu-

nity, with opportunities for performers of many ages, including mature performers. Technical (sound and lighting), as well as crew and backstage opportunities, are also available. Audition forms can be filled out in advance by going to theatre and clicking on the Auditions link. For information, email Don_ The musical plays April 10-13 in the Cultural Centre.

Wrestlers have strong week at tournaments By Dixie Schroeder

FAIRBURY/AMBOY — The PC/Hall co-op wrestling squad split their efforts between two tournaments on Jan. 11 and showed well in both.

At the varsity level, PC/ Hall took eight wrestlers to the Prairie Central Tournament in Fairbury. The 15-team tournament is a well respected event that is a superior pre-

See Wrestlers Page 8

Panthers notch a Tri-County Conference win By Dixie Schroeder

STREATOR — The Putnam County Panthers basketball squad traveled to the home of the Streator Woodland Warriors on Jan. 10 and left their mark with a Tri-County win, 64-45. The first half of the game had the teams keeping a pretty tight score on each other. At the end of the first quarter there was only a four-point difference with a score of 17-13, the Panthers being on top. In the second quarter, the Warriors outscored the Panthers 10 to 8. This led to a score of 25-23 going into the locker room. Coach Josh Nauman had to

have laid down the law at halftime because the Panthers came out of the locker room a new team. They outscored Woodland 18 to 8 in the third quarter and 21 to 14 in the fourth quarter to lay the smack down on the Warriors and the game for the win. Leading all scorers was Harold Fay with 24 points. Fay shot 67 percent from the field on his twopoint shots, had four rebounds and two steals. Alec Veverka had a big night, following Fay with 13 points. He shot 75 percent on his two-point shots, pulled down eight rebounds and had four blocked shots. Evan Kreiser added seven points, pulling down three rebounds and two assists and two steals. Nick Diaz-

DeLeon pulled down five offensive rebounds and added two assists in the game. Sam Garland added two steals and two blocked shots. One of the keys to the Panthers’ win was turnovers. The Panther defense had Woodland on a shaky sea, forcing 27 turnovers during the contest, twice as many as the Panthers. This allowed the Panthers to pick up 18 steals and dish out 18 assists in the contest. Austin Biagini and Michael Weide were the steal leaders with four each. Biagini also had six assists while Weide had four for the Panthers. The next contest for the Panthers will be Jan. 17 at home when they play the Henry High School Mallards.

Casting Call for Stage 212’s ‘God’s Favorite’ LASALLE — Director Dixie Schroeder has announced auditions for Stage 212’s 2014 spring production, “God’s Favorite,” Neil Simon’s hilarious comedy, will be at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 and 18 at the theater, 700 First Street in LaSalle. A modern retelling of the story of Job, “God’s Favorite” centers on Joe Benjamin, a successful businessman who has it all, including a demanding wife, ungrateful children and wisecracking house-

hold employees. As if that weren’t enough, his problems are compounded when he is visited by angel on a mission to test Joe’s faith and report back to the Boss. Schroeder will be casting five men: two able to play 45-65, one able to play 25-30, one able to play 18-24 and one who can be any age; and three women: one able to play 45-65, one able to play 18-24 and one who can be any age. Those auditioning will be asked to read selected passages from the

script. Familiarity with the script is not required to audition. Perusal scripts will be available at the Stage 212 box office during regular office hours from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays, from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. For more information, contact Schroeder at 815876-0486. “God’s Favorite” will be presented April 4-13. Stage 212 auditions are open to all regardless of prior theatrical experience.

Upcoming events at Starved Rock State Park UTICA — Here are upcoming events at Starved Rock State Park in Utica. Everyone is welcome for the annual Winter Drum Circle in the Great Hall at Starved Rock Lodge at 3 p.m. Jan. 19. There will be plenty of drums for all, so attendants can feel free to join in the music making. Explore the roots of rhythm and learn to play the West African djembe, the ashiko and the dundunba. All ages are welcome to come and enjoy an afternoon of interactive, creative music making. A suggested dona-

tion is $5 for adult, $3 for seniors and $1 for students. Join Petunia the Skunk and her furry friends for a fun afternoon in the Great Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 20. Deb Moreland returns to Starved Rock Lodge to share her extensive collection of pettable and holdable animals such as tortoises, a long haired rabbit, white tailed deer and more. This event is free. Donations are welcome to help continue to bring quality programming to Starved Rock Lodge. Be delighted as love songs are

performed in The Legacy Girls’ signature charming and light-hearted style. Come on out to Starved Rock Lodge for this event of love and laughs. Matinee performances include lunch and show for $32 per person. Evening performances include wine tasting, dinner and show for $37 per person. Performances will be at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Feb. 12 and at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 13. For more information on these events or to make reservations for the Legacy Girls show, call 815220-7386.

Library Corner LaSalle — Jan. 21 and 28 — Storytime Express is an interactive mix of stories complemented with a variety of engaging activities like crafts, flannel boards, rhymes, songs and puppets. It is formatted to introduce children to the library and early literacy skills. The shorter, 30-minute length and fast pace make it perfect for active children with shorter attention

spans, and the express is a great way for busy parents to share special times with their children. Time will be set aside to help families find just the right books to check-out. Fun and educational, Storytime Express is a free program, open to the public. Storytime Express will be offered from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Tuesdays. For more information, call

PCCC Menus Jan. 20 — PCCC closed for Martin Luther King holiday. Jan. 21 — Baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli/cauliflower/cheese sauce/roll and butter, dessert. Jan. 22 — Lemon pepper chicken, baked potato/ sour cream, broccoli florets, Mandarin oranges, frosted cake, dinner roll. Jan. 23 — Tuna and noodles, tossed salad, roll and butter, dessert. Jan. 24 — Corned beef, red potato wedges, carrots, apricot halves, vanilla wafers, rye bread. To make reservations call 815-339-2711 at least 24 hours before the meal. Menu is subject to change. Monday, Wednesday and Friday suggested donation is $3. Tuesday and Thursday suggested donation is $5. Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m.

815-223-2341. Lostant — Jan. 21 and 28 — Families First, a state funded early childhood grant, is a program for families with children ages birth to 3. It is sponsored by the Oglesby Early Childhood Programs. Children will

read stories, sing songs, learn finger plays, do an easy art project and have a snack. The program also includes field trips and parent education meetings. Families First meets from 10 to 10:45 a.m. every Tuesday.

Date: Feb. 9, 2014 Time: Noon - 4:30 PM Place: Sauk Valley Community College What: Visit with 30 vendors that specialize in planning YOUR perfect wedding. Admission: $5

Seno Formal Wear Fashion Show: 3 PM Tickets Available Now at: Sauk Valley Media • Sterling, IL Telegraph • Dixon, IL

Style Show sponsored by Seno Formal Wear and Satin ‘N Lace

Sponsored By:

7 Spotlight Friday, January 17, 2014 • The Tonica News • 7

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8 History/Classifieds 8 • The Tonica News • Friday, January 17, 2014

‘Animal Tracks’ in Lostant LOSTANT — In December, Diane McCurdy visited Amy Roach’s secondand third-grade class and gave a presentation on “Animal Tracks.” During the presentation, the book “Animal Tracks” was read to the students and they were able to guess which animals were making the tracks throughout the book. Then stations were set up for the children to practice their skills of making and identifying the different tracks. The first station allowed the kids to do crayon rubbings of plastic track plates. The second station included matching the track cards with the animal cards and a dry erase poster to practice test themselves. The third station had a memory type game comprised of animals and tracks. Finally, the last station had rubber forms of animal paws, where the children were able to use the rubber paws and ink to make their own tracks. Each child that participated in the presentation and activity was sent home with sheets with more information for them to do further tracking at home. It contained hints on figuring out which animal family the tracks come from and how to help narrow down which animals they may be from. The Animal Tracks Natural Resources and Conservation Education

Wrestlers From Page 6 showing of what the IHSA state wrestling tournament might look like. Of the eight PC/Hall wrestlers, five placed in their weight class. At the 152-pound weight class, junior Ben Garland placed third

program is sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension - LaSalle Coun-

ty and the LaSalle County Soil and Water Conservation District.

For more photos of the event, visit

overall. Earning fourth place finishes, were seniors Mario Flores in the 126-pound weight class and Matt Briddick at the 195-pound weight class. At the 160-pound weight class, junior Cole Elliot took home fifth place. Senior co-captain, Nathan Tonozzi also took a fifth place finish at the 170-pound weight divi-

sion. Overall Argenta-Oreana High School took home first place as a team with 177 points. PC/Hall took 10th place with 75 points. Head coach Jerry Kriewald was happy with the results of his small squad. “This is the toughest varsity tournament we go to and the best we have

done,” he said. “There are 22 returning state place winners that participated in this tournament. We had a good day!” On the junior varsity side of the team, PC/Hall participated in the Amboy High School junior varsity tournament on Jan. 11. The squad did well with several wrestlers placing in their respective weight

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The Tonica News reserves the right to classify correctly, edit, reject or cancel any advertisement at any time in accordance with its policy. All ads must be checked for errors by the advertiser, on the first day of publication. We will be responsible for the first incorrect insertion, and its liabilities shall be limited to the price on one insertion.

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divisions. Newcomer to the mats, junior R.J. Copeland took a second place finish in the 145-pound weight division. In the 152-pound weight class, sophomore Luke McCook also brought home a second place finish. Sophomore Evan Kiphart also took home a second place finish in the 195-pound

weight division. Sophomore Nick Bouxsein earned a third place finish in the 160-pound weight class. Junior Josh McConnell took a fourth place in the 170-pound weight division. The PC/Hall co-op will hit the mats next on Jan. 18 in the Kewanee Invitational. Start time for the event is 9 a.m.

FULL TIME MARKETING/ GRAPHIC DESIGNER The award winning Bureau County Republican is currently seeking a full time Marketing/Graphic Designer in our Advertising Department. The successful candidate must have the ability to meet daily deadlines and work in a team environment. Responsibilities of this position include using a Mac to produce classified display advertising. You will be required to process, create, design and edit ads. Candidates also need to be knowledgeable of computer programs including InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat. Flash experience a plus. Good organizational skills and the ability to work creatively and independently is a must. The Bureau County Republican offers a competitive wage and benefit package. For more information or to submit your resume please contact:

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