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Sauk Valley Sun P.O. BOX 678 Dixon, IL 61021

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Sauk Valley Sun

DIXON - STERLING - ROCK FALLS …the community’s newspaper May 2014 | Vol. 2 Issue 5


local Undefeated Dixon Vipers 2014 Indoor Soccer Champs! Great artwork earns

appreciation and awards The Phidian Society’s 67th Annual Art Show…

see page 9

It was called Dixon’s Darkest Day May 4, 1873 has been called by many through the years…

see page 26

Olympic Gold Medalist Speaks in Sterling Coming out onto the gymnasium floor in front of a couple of hundred wrestlers, coaches and fans…

Dixon Vipers Team (from left) Kirstin Carlson, (Assistant Coach), Devon Attig, Michael Gale, Mitchell Etheridge, Thaison Bettes, Thailer Bettes, Caleb Carlson, Marco Ortiz, Brandon Elefante, Jacob Fane, Gary Davey (Head Coach), Connor Carlson and Eric Gale (Assistant Coach). The Vipers finished the 2014 season as unbeaten league champions of the U16 Division which included teams from larger cities. The team played 10 games and won 10 games. The variety of jerseys show former team associations. See page 25

see page 24

Home & Garden Dining





Digging in the Dirt is child’s play. It’s fun, carefree and good for you.

A recent visit to Mama Cimino’s, Dixon: A feast!

KSB has gone to the dogs… PAWS pet therapy begins.

Brent’s Upholstery: 29 years of repairing and restoring cars, boats..even airplanes.

CEO students take business seriously by creating companies selling wares.

Armed Forces Event Joint Celebration by Rock Falls -Sterling on May 17th-18th.

see page 13

see page 22

see page 12

see page 16

see page 18

see page 5

DIXON FORD LINCOLN VOLKSWAGEN MAZDA HAS EXPANDED SERVICE HOURS TO SERVE YOU BETTER! New service hours: Monday 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM / Thursday 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM Saturday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays are still 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM


Your Authorized Dealer for Sales & Service! 489 IL Route 2 • Dixon, Il 61021 815-288-3366





May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Community Brad’s Beat

Brad Monson While many of us may be skeptics, please do not be skeptical about this opportunity: Hillcrest Farm

just outside of Dixon is offering FREE GARDEN PLOTS for Veterans! There are no strings, no hidden agenda and it really is true! Jerry Stuff and his family have 100 acres. They will start digging and dividing ground into 5 x 10 ft plots next week. They are even providing free water. Jerry and his family’s dream is that EVERY VETERAN who wants a garden has a garden. If you are a veteran or know a veteran who wants to garden, call

Jerry at 800-578-5123 or 317-796-6198 (cell/text) or e-mail: You don’t want to miss out. You have nothing to lose and a garden to gain. Motorcycles, classic cars, budding bushes…it must be spring….finally! So, we’ll need to be doing that “spring stuff”…..just to be sure the AC is working right give a call to Farley’s Appliances, Dixon. They have 7/24 hour service available. They also have an amazing staff of appli-

$50 in Free Accessories with Purchase of a new Trek Bike Some restrictions may apply. Sale ends May 17th.

ance professionals who can help you make good appliance decisions. We love that they “service what they sell.” If you ever crave guacamole, run to La Familia, Rock Falls, and treat yourself to their “chunky guacamole”. Each order will serve at least two persons. The avocados are chunky, the seasonings perfect and the chips that accompany amongst the best we’ve tasted. David and his staff welcome customers as their extended family. David says, “Join our family.” In our opinion, La Familia is one of the culinary gems in Rock Falls.

Sauk Commons, right across the street from Sauk Valley Community College, has apartments for students with almost everything a student needs…including a TV in every unit. After reading the list of items and services provided, I thought about the fortunate students and their parents. A modest rental fee seems a smarter solution than purchasing all of the “stuff” a person needs for an apartment. Students and parents of students: You need to check out Sauk Commons! Applause! Applause! Dixon’s Stage Left premier performance last weekend was a huge success in so many

ways. The ambiance is just what proprietor Tim Boles wanted: intimate, comfortable and unique. For the “Vanities” performance, the thrust stage had attendees as little as three feet from the performers. Those in the back of the theatre were no more than 25 ft. from the stage. Tim made arrangements with Crystal Cork to provide beverages and Orum Restaurant, conveniently located downstairs, sent everyone complimentary dishes of a creamy pudding-like dessert. It was just the right sweet note to a lovely evening of theatre. Keep those cards and letters coming…..Brad

SVCC to host free family learning night and dinner May 22nd Sauk Valley Community College is hosting its Family Learning Night May 22, 2014. At no cost to guests, the night begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner, continues on through presentations and raffle prizes and wraps up with the

Adult Education Graduation Ceremony from 7:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.. Presentation topics will include Parenting 101, Wellness for Teens and Children, Substance Abuse Impact on My Family and CoDependency, Stress and

Anger Management Tools for Adults, Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs, and Adverse Childhood Effects. For more information, please contact the Adult Education office at (815) 835-6310.

Spring garage sale days in Rock Falls May 9-11th A spring all-city garage sale sponsored by the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce will have sellers listing their own dates and times on a map that will be distributed at area gas stations. SELLERS

414 Locust St. Sterling, IL 815-626-4601

All sellers are strongly encouraged to register their sale. Registration is $15 and is available until 4 pm Monday May 5th at the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce. The registration includes 2 free Garage Sale signs, helpful tips, en-

As we so intensely enjoy these early days of spring, it seems as if memories of that Big Bad Winter we just survived are truly history. No more blizzards to imprison us. No more icy roads. Can you hear the collective sigh of our 55,000+ plus population as we all internalize our restored freedoms? Freedom to shop may culminate on the Shop Local Shop Small Saturday. On May 31 our area merchants offer us their

best samplings of the season, bargains to please our budgets and gratitude that we chose to be a customer season in and season out. Spring gives us freedom to nurture our souls and our environment as we start digging in the soil to plant that which we love. Our local growers battled the same winter we did. We are blessed to have local nurseries. We h o p e t h a t m o r e churches and spiritual organizations will honor their cherished freedoms by communicating with us about what they are doing to enrich our communities. Pas-


Register by printing form or come to the Rock Falls Chamber Office.


Visit the Rock Falls Chamb e r We b s i t e a t w w w. r o c k f a l l s c h a m b e r. c o m and click “Events” or call 815.625.4500. SHOPPERS

Maps will be available (FREE) at Schreiner’s Mobil (1st Ave/Rock Falls) & Shell Stations in both Rock Falls and Sterling on Thursday, May 8th after 12 pm/noon. Maps will also be posted online and can be printed from your home computer.

Petunia Festival Bingo meets Cinco de Mayo on May 5th

Publisher’s Note Judy Bell Publisher

sures that the sale address will be placed on 3,000+ printed maps distributed locally as well as on maps available for download online. Feature ads are available on the back of the maps for an extra $10. Feature ads help highlight the types of items available and will strongly encourage more shoppers. A limited number of feature ads are available.

tor and other leaders of these organizations….we are here to serve you and your flocks. The service organizations, clubs and cause-related groups need us now. They need us to buy tickets for their raffles, attend their events, volunteer to help, spread the news about their good works. Our Tri-Cities would be “poor” without the contributions of all of our non-profit organizations. Each one is encouraged to be in contact with us through our website: Through our website you can tell our 55,000+ population what you are doing,

what you need, how they can help. On Facebook (please “Like” us) we help keep people informed with frequent postings. Anyone and everyone is welcome to contact me directly by e-mail: We want to be sure that we know about everything you are doing. We want to help your organization reach its fullest potential. Our mission is to serve our Tri-Cities. We are the community’s newspaper! Most kindly, Judy Bell Publisher

The Dixon Elks Club will host their regular Monday night Bingo games on Monday, May 5, with some added fun provided by the Dixon Petunia Festival. The Petunia Festival is celebrating their 50th anniversary year in 2014. They have partnered with the Dixon Elks Club for this festival fundraising event. Everyone will receive a ticket for Petunia Festival giveaways during the rounds of Bingo play. In addition to monetary payouts to Bingo winners, there will be random drawings throughout the evening for Petunia Festival items. The 2014 Petunia Festival Royalty Court will be introduced.

The 2014 Harley Davidson Street Glide Special, the festival fundraiser, will be on display and tickets available. The Dixon Elks kitchen will be open with menu items to include tacos, taco salads, various sandwiches, nachos, snacks, desserts, and soft drinks. The bar will also be open for the evening. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m., with Bingo paper sales and the kitchen to open at 5:00 p.m. Bingo will begin at 6:30 p.m. The Dixon Elks Club is located at 1279 Franklin Grove Road. Hope to see you on Monday, May 5th, for Bingo – Great Food – Cinco de Mayo – and Petunia Festival Spirit!


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


YWCA Wall of Heroes and Mother’s Day cards

The YWCA of the Sauk Valley is offering special Mother’s Day cards to help honor the wonderful women in your life. For a small donation, the YWCA will provide the card and dis-

play the name(s) of those being honored on our Wall of Heroes. The wall will be exhibited in the Sterling office and on our Facebook page during the month of May. Your

donation will help support our programs throughout the Sauk Valley area. Please contact the YWCA at 815625-0333 for more information.

Local Marines win pistol and rifle competition awards

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home get Kiwanis Kids clean up

K-Kids, a youth organization under the sponsorship of Kiwanis Club, recently did a cleanup day at the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, Dixon. Lots of kids meant lots of fun, too. This service activity gives the K-Kids a sense of contribution and the community a visable sign of how working together works well.

Dixon Main Street has new Events and Marketing Coordinator Dixon Main Street and Riverfront is pleased to announce the hiring of Giana Bonneur as the Events and Marketing Coordinator. The position will oversee all events and promotions taking place on the Riverfront, as well as, aiding with other promotions throughout the downtown and city.

“We are delighted to add Giana to the team at Dixon Main Street and Riverfront,” Josh Albrecht, Executive Director of Dixon Main Street said. “Her ideas for the future of our city were dynamic and enthusiastic and that is exactly what we are looking for.” Bonneur spent seven years as a Director of Sales

educating a personal sales area of several hundred individuals and planning marketing and training events. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University and spent time as a fellowship recipient to the Graduate School at Northwestern University.

Wedding Guest Accomodations Bridal Showers Girls Get-Away Special Celebrations

Tri-Cites Marines took home awards in the national competition of Marine Corps League (MCL) Rifle and Pistol Match. From left: Don Lewis, Mike Sturch and Colin Bond. The competition was held at the Tri-County Gun Club, Polo. The Dixon Detachment shoots for scores. When all done the scores are sent to the national headquarters of the MCL. Lewis won highest pistol score and highest rifle score went to Bond. The Dixon MCLD #76 was awarded third place for national rifle scores.

Get a new lease on renters insurance. Just pennies a day. Did you know your landlord’s insurance only covers the building? Protect your stuff. There’s no reason to take a chance. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® CALL ME TODAY.

Gary Presley, Agent 221 Crawford Avenue Dixon, IL 61021 Bus: 815-288-1020 0901142.1

Gary Presley Ins Agcy Inc

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company, Bloomington, IL

Hillcrest Farm, recently restored to its pure 1905 vintage, rests on 100 acres of woods, farmland, rolling pastures, and a spring-fed creek. The farmhouse sleeps 6-8 people and features 2 bathrooms. Hillcrest Farm is ideal for a Victorian country wedding, weekend family retreat, family reunion, romantic weekend... and whenever you want peace and serenity! Close to Dixon, Polo, Mt. Morris...Hillcrest Farm is near White Pines State Park, the Wedding Canyon and Lowell Park. A pre-booking tour is available with 48-hour notice.



May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Shining Star walkers help create safety for abused children It only takes one word, one conversation, one moment to make a difference in the life of a child. In the United States, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18. More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse. Most victims of child abuse are abused by someone they know and trust.

Each year, Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center serves over 200 children and families from Lee and Ogle Counties providing them with a safe place to talk about their abuse, coordinated multi-disciplinary forensic interviews, advocacy and counseling services. However, our mission to transform victims into survivors is one that we cannot accomplish alone.

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, hundreds of walkers will gather at Lowell Park

in Dixon to show their support in the fight against child abuse. The 6th Annu-

al Champions for Children Walk will help Shining Star to provide children with a safe place where they can speak up about their abuse and get the help they so desperately need. Community support of people who donate, walk, volunteer, learn and speak out about issues of child abuse that make Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center’s work possible.

Shining Star hopes to ensure that all children in our community have the opportunity to be safe and happy. If you have any questions or would like to request a speaker for your business or group, please feel free to call or email at 815284-1891 or sbrantley@

Dixon woman part of Avon Walk for breast cancer team Spencer Schein Three women have joined forces to create “Team Wonderbra Barbies” to raise funds for breast cancer awareness. The team, consisting of one woman from Dixon and two others from west central Illinois, participates in fundraising for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This walk is held the first weekend in June in Chicago every year. To get ready, the team has scheduled several fundraisers for later this year. “In order for us to walk in the Avon Walk, each one of us must raise $1,800,” said Jena Queckborner of Dixon. The women send out per-

50 July 2 - July 6, 2014

sonal fundraising letters to their friends and family and hold a cookout in Carthage, which is closer to where Queckboerner’s two teammates live: Sara Bruns (team captain) of Quincy, and Kris Dornbush of Carthage. Two of the three friends first met in kindergarten and have remained friends throughout high school. “Sara and I graduated from Milledgeville High School and met when we were in kindergarten at Chadwick Elementary,” Queckboerner said. “There were some years when we didn’t talk as much but I dated her brother for awhile and we became close again because of the walk. I met Kris through

Sara and her brother, as Kris is Sara’s aunt. I have known Kris for about four years,” Queckboerner said. The trio has taken part in the Avon Walk for the past three years, starting with the 2011 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. “We started doing this walk because Sara’s grandma and Kris’ mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor,” Queckboerner said. “We do this for my Grandma Houzenga who has had breast cancer twice. And, we do this for our kids so they don’t have to go through this disease,” Bruns said. Fundraising is a big part of the team, which combined must raise $5,400 to

meets at the Elks!

Bingo at the Elks! with drawings for Petunia Festival Giveaways

Doors open at 4PM Food service at 5PM

Sara Bruns, Jena Queckboerner and Kris Dornbush at their first Avon walk.

join the thousands of other Avon walkers. One of their biggest fundraisers is an annual golf tournament in Lake Carroll. “We always need golfers, sponsors and goodies for goodie bags,” Bruns said. “We also get donations from area businesses that are auctioned off at the golf tourney,” Queckboerner said. The golf tournament is held in May, and this year the trio has added a big incentive to participating. “This year we are adding a test drive event with an auto dealership in Freeport. We need people to test drive vehicles,” Bruns said. People who want to play in the golf tournament this spring can send an e-mail to Bruns at Team Wonderbra Barbies also hold smaller fundraisers. “Some of the smaller

items we have sold in the past are homemade, crocheted or sewn by us or our moms, including hair bands, kitchen scrubbies, cross stitched items and quilts,” she said. When not volunteering time for the team, Bruns works as an insurance agent with Winters Insurance Group in Quincy; Dornbush is a State Farm Insurance agent in Carthage; and Queckboerner is working on her accounting degree at Sauk Valley Community College. She will graduate with an associates degree in accounting in May 2014. “I am currently working for H & R Block in Dixon as a Tax Specialist during tax season,” Queckboerner said. Bruns is married with two children ages 3 and 6 years old respectively.

Kris is married and has a son, 24, one daughter-inlaw and a granddaughter, age 3 months. Jena lives in Dixon with her dog, Willis, a purebred beagle who is 3-years-old. Anyone interested in donating funds to Team Wonderbra Barbies can do so online at avonwalk. org. Once at the site, click on donate and search for any of the team member’s names. “We also have a Facebook page (Wonderbra Barbies) where people may like to follow our fundraising events,” Queckboerner said. For more information on Team Wonderbra Barbies contact Queckboerner at For more information on how to participate in the walk, go on the web to www.

Tacos • Taco Salads • Sandwiches • Nachos • Snacks • Desserts • Soft Drinks

Bingo starts at 6:30PM

Appearance by 2014 Petunia Festival Royalty Court

Raffle GRAND PRIZE 2014 Harley Davidson Street Glide Special

penny lane Antiques • Collectibles • Crafts Old Memorabilia NOTARY SERVICES AVAILABLE

50/50 Raffle to benefit Breast Cancer Fighter

Fundraising Event supports 50th Anniversary Petunia Festival

May 1–10

Drawing at 8pm on May 10

$1 per ticket • $5 for 6 • $10 for 15

Check out our website at

1 ticket for $20, 3 tickets for $50 or 7 tickets for $100

New Hours

Closed Sun & Mon Tues-Sat 9-5

Open later during special events

MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL Buy a $25 Gift Certificate for $20!

221 S. Peoria Ave. Dixon, IL 815-499-1292


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Parents moving in - Put them to work! Lonnie Miller Parents have a lot to offer when they move into your home. Even if they can’t physically or mentally do all they used to do, there are some very important contributions they can make. Sharing a home means sharing ideas and processes. It may be difficult to relinquish control but shared responsibility can make your house feel like home to all who live there. It’s important to remember that tasks and activities will take much more time than when we tackle those tasks without their help. “Let patience have her perfect way, that you may develop strong faith!” My mother-in-law is active on her prayer chain at church. It’s one of the most important things seniors can still do for their church and community or for your family. Write a list of prayer needs and requests, and keep a notebook so you

can track when and how you see those prayers answered. Maybe your family doesn’t practice prayer in the traditional sense but you could have your parent write cards, notes and letters to family members. Because of physical or mental limitations this task may take several sessions to complete. Stock a basket or your writing area with blank note cards or all-occasion cards and stationery. Add a large calendar (or notebook with pockets), a stash of postage stamps and a list of important dates printed off your computer in a large font. An alternate method, which we use at our house, is to put important dates right on the appropriate calendar square. An additional tip came from Kati Benelli, a Geriatric Activities Specialist who works with seniors every day. “We have a big calendar on the wall and I have a little green frame that gets moved every day to frame the new day. This way

they know what day it is and what’s going on. Bright green is one of the last colors we see, believe it or not. (Especially good for people with dementia.) Also, put together an address book with pictures of loved ones beside each address.” This is easy to edit as needed if you print it off your computer with current photos and any address or phone number changes. Photos help track the growth of children who may live away from home, and changes within your family as kids graduate from school, enter college, get engaged, etc. It helps grandma or grandpa keep up with current events. In our home, I call the spot at our dining room table mom’s “office”. Your schedule may not allow oldfashioned letter writing but a parent who’s willing to do that job can bring a lot of joy to the rest of the family. In this day of cell-phones, text messaging and e-mail,

Rock Falls, Sterling mayors host joint armed forces event May 17-18 in both cities

Rock Falls Mayor Bill Wescott (left) and Sterling Mayor “Skip” Lee pictured in front of the American Legion Memorial, Sterling, have joined forces to host an Armed Forces Celebration spannng May 17th and 18th. See details on page 20.

815-285-4900 Downtown Dixon

Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM / Sat 9AM-1PM / Sun Closed

getting a letter or card in the mailbox is still one of life’s sweetest moments. My own mom is also a prayer warrior. Though her physical activities have diminished with changes in her health, she is extremely active in her spiritual life. Always a great cook, my mom is eager to share her recipes and tips for meal preparation or summer canning. This is another way she contributes.

My dad, who deals with COPD, loves to share his gardening and yard-maintenance skills with my husband. Dad drives the lawn tractor with a trailer, hauling equipment and supplies while he and my husband work for hours together in the yard. They both love yard work and dad shares tidbits of knowledge from his years of experience. His past carpentry experience made it possible for him to

offer great ideas about how the new addition on our home should be designed to accommodate my motherin-law. (I think he may want a reservation when it’s his turn to move in, as he had a lot of “opinions” to offer.) Parents need to know they are contributing in a major way to your household. A few adjustments can add life to their years and give you a much-needed respite.

Tony & Mike

Friday-Night Dinners Soup and Salad Bar with All Meals

• Deep-fried Cod • Open-faced Ribeye Steak Sandwich • Deep-fried Chicken

Here are the cooks who are making your delicious meals! 609 Depot Avenue, Dixon, IL



May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Sauk Valley Sister Cities link people and places Phillip Sitter Cathy Seagren loves to chat often with her good friend Rose Muema. This friendship is unique, however, because Muema is from Nairobi, Kenya and Seagren is president of the Dixon Sister Cities Association, which has a relationship with Thika, Kenya. This is just one of the relationships forged through cross-cultural experiences

shared between the Dixon Sister Cities Association and its four international partners, which also include Herzberg, Germany, Castlebar, Ireland and Dikson, Russia. “The more we have a chance to meet and talk with people from other countries, the better understanding we have of how others see the world,” says Sterling Mayor Skip Lee of the benefits of sister city relationships. “In-

directly there could be business networking benefits,” Lee adds. The Sterling city website says that Canoinhas, Brazil has been a sister city since April 26, 1990. However, according to Lee, Sterling does not maintain regular contact with any city abroad and has not sent or received international visitors. “A few years ago some city officials took a trip to a city

in Brazil to deliver medical supplies, but nothing else followed that trip,” says Lee. Six members of the Dixon Sister Cities Association visited Castlebar, Ireland and Herzberg, Germany, September 23 through October 7, 2013, according to President Seagren. On the same trip the group also visited Dublin, Ireland, Dresden, Berlin and Wittenberg, Germany. They even had the opportunity to go to an Oktoberfest. “One really gets to know the people involved and the customs of each place by staying in homes when it is possible. Once you reach the destination, you are in the

care of your hosts and they show us their world,” says Seagren of visits abroad. Rose Muema, Seagren’s Kenyan friend, has visited Dixon twice with delegations. The Association also has regular contact with people in Herzberg and Castlebar. Contact with anyone in Dikson, Russia is “difficult at best,” says Seagren of the remote Siberian settlement, although the Association is trying to change this. Membership in the Dixon Sister Cities Association is available to individuals, families and businesses. All members are welcome to attend monthly board meetings

on third Tuesdays at 5:45 p.m., usually in the community room of the Dixon Police and Fire Building on Hennepin Avenue. More information on membership and the Dixon Sister Cities Association’s activities and history can be accessed under the “Government” tab of discoverdixon. org. More information on Canoinhas, Brazil can be accessed at sister.cfm. Sister city relationships not only make the world smaller but they also make the world broader and richer with international connections and experiences.

Herb of the month program offered by master gardeners Join University of Illinois Extension-CLW Master Gardener’s as they explore the world of herbs at their “Herb of the Month” program. Participants will learn all about chives, basil, rosemary, mint, dill and garlic. Learn their history, how to grow them and how to add herbs to your daily menu. Enjoy some delicious samples prepared from our Nutrition Educator,

Natalie Rodakowski. The monthly Herb Program will begin the week of May 20th and 22nd and run through October 21st and 23rd. Participants will have the choice to attend two different locations: Rock Falls Public Library, 1007 7th Avenue, fourth Tuesday of each month, 4:30-5:30 p.m. or Mt. Carroll Public Library, 208 N Main St., fourth Thursday of

each month, 5:00-6:00 p.m. Advanced registration is needed one week prior to the program and the cost is $5 each, or $20 for all sessions. Register online at https://web.extension. egistrationID=10112 or by calling the Carroll County Office at 815-244-9444 or Whiteside County Office at 815-772-4075.

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Sauk Valley Sun


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


The “THING” - The sequel Duane Paulsen In a previous issue of the Sauk Valley Sun I wrote about a vine that grew out of my compost pile and the strange looking “thing” that it produced on top of my tin-roofed woodshed. I received many comments from readers who mostly wanted to know more about this strange “thing.” When the frost was

right around the corner, I cut the vine and pulled it down, “thing” and all, for a closer look. There are two “things.” Being a fan of NCIS, I am familiar with how they do an autopsy. First, I carefully examined the skin and it was still dark green but gradually turning pumpkin orange color. The bodies had to be weighed. So an old bathroom scale was dusted off and they

Jenna, 3, holds the smaller version of “The Thing” which grew from seeds tossed into the author’s compost pile.

were weighed in at 7 and 5½ pounds respectively, give or take an ounce or two. No need to be precisely accurate… After all, these are “things” not humans. Now I needed witnesses to give their opinions on the “things” and assist in the autopsy. My neighbors, Jeremy and Terri Heller, and their three children (12 year old Julia, 7 year old Trent and 3 year old Jenna) came over to participate in this part of the autopsy. Terri had her camera and photographed the procedure. I had forgotten to measure the bodies or “things” so Jeremy used a tape measure to get the statistics. The big one was 10 ½ inches long and 6 inches in circumference. The little one was 10 inches long and also 6 inches around. I asked my friends what they thought the “things” were, and the most original suggestion by Trent was that they were 1/3 watermelon, 1/3 pumpkin and 1/3 gourd. We never really came to any conclusion on what they were. My guess is that they are some sort of weird pumpkin. A pine board served as the autopsy table and a butcher knife substituted for a scalpel. Jeremy laid the larger

Trent, 7, demonstrates the inside of “The Thing” which all decided was most similar to a “weird” pumpkin. The larger of the two “Things” had flesh that was bright yellow-orange.

“thing” on the board and split it open head to toe—or top to bottom. The flesh was a bright yellow-orange, about one inch thick, and smelled like the inside of a pumpkin. The large seeds looked like pumpkin seeds—or squash. Definitely not watermelon seeds, Trent. We decided to make a jack-o-lantern out of the smaller “thing.” Using a paring knife, Jeremy ex-

pertly cut off the head (top) of the smaller “thing” and there was just enough room to scoop out the innards (seeds and stuff). Having a small surface to work with, Jeremy cut a single eye in the center—sort of like a Cyclops, a nose and a mouth with a tooth or two. The orange flesh showed through the orifices (openings) and we had a scary face that could compete with the best


Halloween pumpkins. After a few photo ops the Heller family and the jack-o-lantern headed back home. The two halves of the larger “thing” and the seeds are in my back room. What to do with them? I do not think that I will toss the seeds into the compost pile because that is what got me into trouble this year. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Do you know where you came from? Carol Chandler Without knowing our past, it is difficult to know who we really are. Do I have a great ancestor? Any horse thieves? Am I related to the president or anybody important or rich? There are places in the Tri-city area that will help you look for the answers to these questions - the Lee County Genealogical Society at 111 S. Hennepin Avenue in Dixon or the Sterling Public Library Genealogy Department in Sterling. You will find friendly people to help you and LOTS of references that you can check. What is genealogy? Webster says, “It is a line of descent traced continuously from an ancestor. It comes

from the Greek meaning generations with knowledge - the study of families and their traces in lineage in history.” The Whiteside County Genealogy Society was founded in Sterling in 1973. It was the first organized effort of the kind in this area. I spoke with Marilyn Anderson, the genealogy librarian and she was glad to share her experiences with me. “We have over 50 members right now from all over the country”, she said. The library has two computers with Ancestry. com. One is paid for by the library and the other by the genealogy group. The great news is that there are no fees for genealogy research here. Marilyn says that they

have indexes to 500,000 references. Marilyn first got interested in genealogy when her mother was always asking for her help in researching their family history. “I was always in the library researching, so when the job was established, they called me up.” she said. “The neatest part of my job is connecting a lot of adopted children to their parents. I did a lot with old telephone books and old city directories.” Her favorite experience was helping a young man find his biologi-

cal family. “He was a Vi e t n a m War vet and as he lay severely wounded on the battlefield, he wanted to know who the heck he was. He was my favorite. I found an obituary with some of his mother’s information. All his siblings had been sent to Mt. Carmel except him. He wasn’t taken because he was too small. He was adopted in Whiteside County. One year after he received his information, he came into the library and told me that he had found all

his siblings.” For help in Sterling, call the library at 815/625-1370. ext. 20 and you will reach Marilyn. She will be very happy to help you. The Lee County Genealogy Society was formed in 1994. There were 35 charter members and the current membership is now 270 from all over the U.S. and a couple from Europe. The LCGS boasts close to 50,000 references. The Family Tree Center, located at 111 S. Hennepin Avenue in Dixon, welcomes the public to do research or just to check out the library. Pat, the president of LCGS said that the neatest memory he has of his work is “putting families back together that have been separated for

Remembrance of a last mission - Part 2 of 2 Scott Hibbard In the April issue of the Sauk Valley Sun, Scott Hibbard, Sterling wrote,” Remberance of a last mission “....recounting the immediate details that preceded the ambush that was his last encounter.

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IEDs, locals don’t use it. The locals knew, but just watched as we passed by. Few Afghans would ever intervene to help. To think for a minute that the men and money we were dumping into their country was for them. So they watched and we drove into inevitability. I don’t remember much

Gary Davey 815-440-3687

about the first ambush. I do remember being surprised because the Intel was right for a change. It lasted for awhile and what was left was blown-up vehicles and bullet holes. Our vehicles limped forward into a wadi with a dry field to the south and RCP 6 called for a medevac for the guys that

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100 to 150 years.” In fact, Pat was instrumental in reconnecting one of LCGS’s members with her biological family who had been hunting for her for years. Kathy now has met a number of her relatives and they keep in touch and visit frequently even though they live several hundred miles apart. The Lee County Genealogical library (The Family Tree Center) membership is $20 per year for a family and there is a small fee for using the library for nonmembers. Pat and his wife Carol found their families in Ireland. He says, “You’re never alone.” Take advantage of these great facilities! You may find something that will surprise you!

Continued on page 31 got blown up. We pulled security, watched and waited. Blackhawks came in from Bagram with Apache escorts. We were still in the valley surrounded by ridgelines, but the terrain was more flat because we were at a higher elevation. The medevac came from the west heading into the valley

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in a hi-lo pattern swarming like mad hornets. They landed to my left. The rotor wash made everything seem urgent billowing dirt all over us until we were lost in our own eclipse. I was distracted by my own mortality as they loaded a limp body into the Blackhawk. I drifted into

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Winners of the 67th annual Phidian Art Show announced The Phidian Art Club held its 67th Annual Art Show at Loveland Community Building last month. There were 87 entries in this year’s Phidian Art Show with a variety of media and subject matter represented. The following awards were presented: Myrtle Walgreen Best of Show, John Wildman of Dixon for “At Ease”; Phidian Purchase Award, Becky Hundrieser of Dixon for “It is a Barn”; Roger Brown and Iva L. Gamel Memorial Award for Best American Scene, Craig Carpenter of Oregon for “Joyride”; Phidian Past Presidents’ Award, Sydni L. Reubin of Dixon for “Ross”; Dr. Martin Power Memorial Award for Best Landscape. Stuart Roddy of Coleta for “Rocks”; Judith Ann Valenti Memorial Award – Reflections of the Past, Craig Carpenter of Oregon

for “Short Shorts at the Tipi”; Robert Crowson Memorial Award, Suzanne Shedosky of Prophetstown for “Snow Melt”; Ann Roe Memorial Award for Best Watercolor, Graydon Cafarella of Dixon for “Autumn Road”; Sauk Valley Bank Award for Best Oil, John McLane of Dixon for “Cloudy Day in Banff”; LeSage Memorial Award for Realistic Style, Nate Bierdeman of Dixon for “Weathering the Storm”; The Helen M. Dixon Memorial Award, Lorraine Straw of Oregon for “Zachary and His Treehouse”; Marion Anderson Memorial Award for Multicultural Art, Shirley Guay of Amboy for “Ancestral Shadows”; Ethel Kerchner and Hilda Meyer Memorial Award for Best Floral, Carolyn Mastroianni of Freeport for “Explosion”; Ruth Wood Davis Memorial Award for

Craig Capenter’s “Short Shorts at the Tipi” won Judith Ann Valenti Memorial Award for Reflections of the Past.

a Watercolor, Fred Bushnell of Stillman Valley for “Winter Lite”; People’s Choice Award in Memory of Agnes Ferguson, Betty Kerchner Higby of Dixon for “Little Mouse on the Prairie, Autumn”; Marie L. Helin Memorial Creativity Award, Jane Cress Edgar of Grand Detour for “Remembering Mike”; KSB Hospital Award, Terry South of Dixon for “Gunfighter & Old Glory”; Caryl Crawford Fleming Memorial Award for Best Nature Subject, Stuart Roddy of Coleta for “Cypress Trees.” Ronald Reagan Presidential Award for Best Regional Scene, Ellen Mumford of Dixon for “Hiersche Centennial Farm”; Dixon Telegraph Award, Sarah Mathew of Sterling for “Why Do Stars Come Down From the Heavens?”; Ken Nelson Auto Plaza Award, Debbie

Nate Bierdeman honored with LaSage Memorial Award for Realistic Style… Dixon artist did “Weathering the Storm.”

orthwest territory Nh istoric ceNter Research - Discovery Heritage - Legacy

Thompson of Dixon for “Fall in the Meadows”; Honorable Mentions, Mame Cooper of Dixon for “Think Spring” and Richard Anderson of Oregon for “Art Show Today”; First Place - Emerging Artists, Syndi L. Reubin of Dixon for “Justin”; Second Place – Emerging Artists, Lorraine Straw of Oregon for “Huntley’s Woods”; Emerging Artists Honorable Mentions, Betty Kerchner Higby of Dixon for “Berries for Bluebirds, Virginia Creeper” and Ben Perez of Sterling for “Untitled in the Rain.” Entries were judged by Diana Garrett, artist, former art educator and Fine Art Consumer Specialist for Prismacolor Fine Art Products. Ms. Garrett is from Freeport. She is a graduate of Illinois State University and received her degree in Administration and Supervision with a Visual

Learning - Insight Tradition - Enrichment

In Ronald Reagan’s beautifully restored boyhood South Central School building. A memorable visit includes: “Dutch” Regan’s Restored Classroom Walgreen History Room Rock River Assembly Diorama Original Reagan Movie Posters Chautauqua Assembly Building Model Original Ronald Reagan Diplomas Earth from Space Poster Exhibit Beautifully Restored Gymnasium Dixon-1846 Diorama Museum Store and Art Gallery President Reagan History Room Historical Paintings on every floor

Lorraine Straw won the Helen M. Dixon Memorial Award.

Arts Focus from Bank Street College and Parsons School of Design in New York City. Diana has spent recent years in the art materials industry

and has held seminars across the country at colleges, trade shows, artist studios, and town halls. Photos: Tony Winstead

John McLane, awarded “Best Oil” from Sauk Valley Bank.


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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Advance Directives - who will make health decisions for you? Towana Ernst Family Nurse Practitioner Life is a daily occurrence. Tomorrow is planned. Next month, maybe you have plans by semester or season. Communication is a key component to ensuring that these plans are fulfilled. Imagine if you were in charge of planning a wedding for your sister. There would be many questions asked and discussions that would take place regarding preferences and wishes she has thought of. Although you have agreed to plan it, you are really simply carrying out the directions of the bride. When the day arrives and the wedding unfolds, because she has communicated her plan to you, the outcome should be her dream come true. In life there are several events that we do not plan. Illness and accidents happen to every family. While the severity may be limited to a clinic visit for an antibiotic or a minor auto accident, both carry the potential for more complicated treatment. If the disease or trauma from the accident renders you unable to communicate

who will make healthcare decisions for you? How will that individual know what treatments or procedures you would or would not be willing to undergo? If we are adults, aged 18 or older, perhaps now is a good time to consider completing an Advance Directive. One document that is used is called Healthcare Power of Attorney or Power of Attorney for Healthcare. The name is self-explanatory. These are available on the internet and are available in pdf to print. Consider who you would like to carry out your decisions if you are unable to share your wishes with the treatment team. There are several key components of this document. For example, the person that you have chosen to speak for you is called your “agent” and typically this information is found at the beginning of the document. The document is also dated. When you are preparing this document, you need to take time to share with the agent your wishes. How many times you may have heard someone say, “My mom would have never wanted that.” or

“Wanted what?” or “How did you know that?” So, it is a good time to consider different scenarios with your agent and communicate: if the disease or trauma is irreversible do you want them to allow you to be put on a breathing machine (ventilator); what if you were in a coma and the doctors suggested dialysis because your kidneys are failing; what if you fell and hit your head and were unconscious and the physicians were not hopeful that you would recover with the ability to swallow food again; would you want artificial feeding through a feeding tube? It would be impossible to exhaust the list of possible scenarios, however nothing is accomplished if the conversation never takes place. This document must be signed by you and your signature witnessed. It does not require an attorney to complete, nor does it need to be notarized. The Healthcare Power of Attorney, if read together with your agent, will prompt you to discuss possibilities that may arise. This is also a good time to talk about the things in life that bring you

joy and personal satisfaction. One thing to remember is that this is the time to share your plan with your agent. Identify how you define quality of life. The time in the future when they act as your spokesperson is stressful, however that stress is reduced if they have a clear understanding of your wishes. Many individuals do not have a Healthcare Power of Attorney. So what happens if they arrive to the hospital unconscious? Who makes decisions for them? Oftentimes the treatment

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if the patient is a ward of the state. Second on the list is the spouse or civil union partner. So what happens if you are not living with your husband/wife and are perhaps in a relationship with another individual? Well, this has the potential to be an uncomfortable situation because the person to whom you are legally married becomes your health decision maker. If you sign a Healthcare Power of Attorney, you may appoint anyone your agent and the person you wish to make your decisions must be honored.

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team will just accept the nearest reported relative, be it spouse, sibling, parent, or adult child. However in the State of Illinois there is a Surrogate Act. If the patient is determined to be “nondecisional” for a variety of reasons, and they have no previous Healthcare Power of Attorney, then a decision maker needs to be appointed. How is that done? The Illinois Surrogacy Act has a list of individuals and the order in which they are ranked. The first person who would be appointed is the Court appointed Guardian

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Tooth and gum care as it affects your general health

Donald Lewis, MD FACS You might wonder why I would spend time talking about dental health in a column which generally gives insight into medical and surgical problems. The answer is quite clear: Problems in the mouth can affect you in many ways you probably have never considered. Serious infections can arise from untreated plaque and cavities. Not only oral pain and discomfort, but heart disease, stroke, dia-

betes, respiratory diseases, premature and low birthweight babies are associated with dental and gum disease. In addition, depression, low self-esteem, sleeping problems and behavioral and developmental problems in children are seen. There can also be digestive problems because of the inability to chew food properly. Older adults may have a harder time keeping their teeth and gums healthy due to low income, lack of dental insurance, increased dependence on others to get to dental appointments, and an increased dependence on others for personal care. Pregnant women with gum disease may be at a higher risk of delivering pre-term or low birth-weight babies than women without gum disease.

These premature or low birth-weight babies are then at a greater risk for ear infections, behavioral problems and asthma. In this way, you see, poor dental health becomes inter-generational. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms, thickens, and hardens on the teeth. Plaque can turn into tartar and cause gum infections if teeth are not brushed and flossed every day. Gum disease, or gingivitis, is an inflammation of the gums that can also affect the jawbone and teeth. The teeth are not solidly locked into the jaw, but held there by the periodontal ligaments, sort of like “shockabsorbers. If this soft tissue gets infected, you can lose even an otherwise healthy and cavity-free tooth. What

a shame. Dentists have told me that as many teeth are lost to gum disease as to tooth disease, perhaps even more. Seriously neglected teeth and gums can lead to a group of infected lymph nodes in the neck as a result of neglected gum and tooth infection. That would require a hospital admission and surgery to treat. In another serious complication, the bacteria from untreated plaque and gum disease can

travel to the bloodstream and cause serious infections and diseases in other organs of the body. People with diabetes are at an even greater risk due to gum disease. Smoking reduces the blood flow to the gums, so they cannot get the oxygen and nutrients needed to stay healthy and prevent bacterial infection. So for good oral health: 1. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day and

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A primer on walking

Nancy Nesyto-Freske Outdoor activities are upon us now that the weather has finally settled. What does that mean for you? Does that mean you’re able to do all of your favorite activities while enjoying the sun and warm weather? Or, does that mean you’ll be sitting on the sidelines because pain, aches, or stiffness are holding you back? If you’re in the former category, have a ball and enjoy yourself! If you find

yourself in the latter category and sitting on the sidelines more than you’d like, I hope you understand that change is possible. I’ve been writing this column for several months now and I hope I’ve been getting the point across that change is possible. You are required to be a participant in that change. You have to decide if you’ve had enough of the same old and that it is time to do something different. Try this out: Start by walking slowly, seeing how you feel, noticing what it really feels like to walk. How does your foot hit the ground? How do your knees and legs feel? How about your hips? Does your torso rotate when you walk, or are you stiff? Is there movement at the pelvis from your thigh bones or is most of it in your knees? Walking is vital to us as

humans. When you watch a kid walk, it looks effortless! Notice how their trunk rotates. Look at the movement of their legs and arms. Do you see the coordination? When the right hip comes forward, so does the left shoulder. It is a beautiful rhythm indeed! Nancy Nesyto-Freske is a Certified Yoga Instructor and Certified Yoga Therapist with years of training and experience. Nancy is passionate about helping people get out and enjoy life again! Check out her website at She can be reached by calling 815509-6479. She works with people both in Dixon and Naperville.

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


KSB Hospital has gone to the dogs with pet therapy

Dee Duffy of Dixon and her Chihuahua, Charlie, visit with KSB patient Michael Murphy

Dwight Oltmanns KSB Hospital is looking for a few good dogs… to be therapy animals in its new Pet and Wellness

Service (PAWS) program. PAWS kicked – or wagged – off earlier this year as a program to bring dogs into the hospital to visit patients, many of whom have

4-legged friends at home. Deb Crowson of Dixon and her golden retriever, Gracie, made the first visits on March 12-13. “Gracie just loves visit-

The saying “It’s raining cats and dogs” is just an expression people use to mean a heavy rain. As far as it is known, it is not possible for rain to really contain cats and dogs. But there have been rains containing other small animals, including fish and frogs. In 1947, great

numbers of fish rained down on Marksville, Louisiana. How did this happen? A possible explanation of

how fish might get in a rain storm is that a waterspout, which is a tornado that touches down on water instead of land, could have sucked up the fish when it touched down on the water. Then, it dropped the fish and frogs over land, causing it to “rain” fish.

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accepted into the program and are scheduled to make patient visits. Now Sheila is looking for additional dogs to be temperament tested to see if they have the qualities and personality to be a therapy pet. Assessments will be scheduled to determine if dogs are suitable for patient therapy. Certified trainer Rosemarie Farmer of Therapy Dogs Inc. will lead the testing. Dogs will be observed for their behavior, how well they “play” with other dogs and owners, and whether they obey their owners’ commands. “The first thing Rosemarie will do is test the dog’s temperament,” Sheila explained. “She calls it an assessment

to determine if the dog has the right temperament to be a therapy dog and to see whether it works well with not only people but other dogs too.” Once dogs are certified to be therapy pets, they and their owners will need to complete a day-long orientation class before patient visits can be scheduled. If pet owners are interested in having their dog assessed for KSB’s PAWS program, they can contact Sheila at 815-285-5549 or Patient Advocate and PAWS Coordinator Andrea Cook at 815-285-5525. Sheila and Andrea will ask owners a series of questions to prescreen them before attending an assessment session.

What is this?

Fish from the sky? Tricia Lewis

ing the hospital,” Deb said. “She probably gets almost as much out of the visits as do the patients. She is an absolute glutton for the attention.” Gracie may enjoy being petted and fawned over. But the patients often receive some tangible benefits from interacting with a therapy dog. “It’s been proven in many studies that having dogs visit patients reduces a person’s blood pressure, stress, anxiety and pain perception,” Patient Advocate and PAWS Coordinator Sheila Brune said. “Therapy dogs have a tremendous value in helping a patient cope or even recover from an illness.” So far ten dogs have been


Answer on Page 29

Photo: Tony Winstead

What are these pieces of wood for? They are notched in two places. Without the words on the pieces of wood it is unlikely you’d know what they’re for. What is their function in life?

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Home and Garden

Playing in the dirt Kimberly Watley This column from next month through November will touch on topics for greenhorn green thumbs, seed sultans and everyone in between. Gardening ideas, tips and your questions will be answered. Email or post on Facebook at www. sun. Timely questions will be responded as quickly as possible. General questions will be answered in the next edition of Playing in the Dirt. Have you ever taken a moment to observe a child outside? They are happiest when they are playing in the dirt. They get lost in their own world, using their imaginations and really enjoying what nature provides. You can learn a lot from a kid. Being in the great outdoors, under a beautiful blue and sunny sky, breathing in the fresh air, with your hands planted in rich soil can have the same effects on grownups. For me, it is a piece of heaven, nirvana, Zen, therapeutic and most of all fun - even weed pulling. If you don’t already have an established garden, but have always admired other’s, now is your chance to start. Not only will you have healthy food at your fingertips and beautiful flowers in your yard, you will also have the benefits of simply playing again, something I feel we all need to do more often. Years ago, I waited until Mother’s Day to plant because there was that wonderful mom and daughter bonding project marked by a special day. There was also a very slight chance of

a frost by then, which can ruin plants if they go into the ground too soon. After the winter we had, that began with a first snow the third week of October, we are all antsy to say the least. Using the same approach as children, begin by observing. Look all around your yard for a perfect spot. Be mindful of how much sun and shade each area gets throughout the day, because what you plant may require more of one than the other. Take a walk or drive around your neighborhood. Notice how others have landscaped their yards, and if you happen to see a gardener outside working, go talk to them. I have never met a fellow gardener who wasn’t excited to dish dirt and swap seeds with someone. We take great pride in introducing people to our little world. I’ve made a few great friends along the way, and now have plenty of people nearby to share plants with when it is time to divide overgrown ones... or pawn off the excess of vegetables I excitedly planted too many of. Make sure you walk by your house using critical eyes. Seek the flaws in your landscape. Remove any eyesores. Look for places that could be greatly improved with some flowers, ornamental trees or shrubbery. Try not to start too many projects at once, however. When we are overwhelmed, we tend to not enjoy things as much, turning it into a chore rather than an enjoyable and rewarding activity. When planning the location of your garden, consider potential expansion at a later date. Think about propagation and the natural

Waking up from a long winter’s nap, ferns grow best in mostly shade. There is something special about watching them break through the ground, uncurl and spread out into a beautiful richly green plant.

spreading of plants. Do not plant anything too closely together. Most perennials spread out in a couple of years, and what looks thin this year can double in size next. Keep in mind where your garden hose is attached. Hauling a watering can could become tiresome. You’ll have to water new plants once a day either before the sun comes up or right as it goes down. Watering in daylight can cause foliage to scorch. If you add a peat moss or mulch to the top layer, it will help hold water in, allowing you to skip a day or two. You don’t have to go big or go home. Start small. But be aware, if you enjoy it as much as I do, you’ll want to expand sooner rather than later. Do as much research as possible in advance. Decide what you want most and for what purpose. If the thought of flowers makes you happy, plant perennials with long bloom times. Those are the ones that come back year after year, taking care of themselves mostly. The seeds from them scatter in the dirt surrounding, giving you more each season. Every few years, you’ll want to thin the herd and maybe start another garden elsewhere in your yard, or share them with your friends and neighbors. Splitting most are easy, which we will cover in the next edition. You can research perennials, biennials, and annuals online to determine what is going to be best for you. This sector of Illinois is called “Zone 5” and the Illinois Extension and various gardening websites explain what grows best in our area. Look through pictures as well. Make a list of what you would like to grow. Many sites offer information such as the best time to plant, divide, bloom times, sun and shade requirements, and which attract butterflies, birds and bugs. Each are great things to consider in the planning stage. Take into account the varying heights, planting the shortest in front, gradually leading to the taller standing in back. Many tall varieties need to be supported or tied back to keep from drooping. Incidentally, this method doesn’t work on the aging body, unfortunately. If you’re in it for the food, only plant what you know you’re going to eat. Someone, I’m not mentioning any names here, planted an absurd amount of kale one year. And I… I mean, she, doesn’t even like that stuff. I also wound up with way too many tomatoes a few times. Learning to can and make

Photos: Kimberly Watley

Another favorite of mine is the Liatris. It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies and requires little more than splitting after a few years. The tall stalks grow tiny purple flowers that add height to the garden.

salsa and homemade sauces helped with that problem. Know too that most vegetables do well in sun and require plenty of water in well-drained soil. Also if you’re making traditional rows, allow at least a foot to a foot-and-a-half of working space between them. Don’t forget, animals love vegetables too, and if they are able, they will eat every single one before you can say, “Lil’ Bunny Fu Fu,” so they must be enclosed somewhat. Many vegetables can be started right now indoors, to later plant outside. I feel this method helps them have a fighting chance and provides a ready to harvest crop several weeks earlier than putting seeds directly in the ground. You can also purchase some starters from a garden center. There are a plethora of sources online to help get you started. But the best advice you will ever get can come from those who run area garden centers. They know we live in Zone 5. They carry everything that flourishes in our area. They have knowledge and a passion unmatched by the internet. Do not invest money into plants – flowers or vegetables, that you intend to starve. They require nutrients to grow. Some compost, peat moss or manure are all easy affordable feeds to enrich your soil. Prepare your soil before

planting, or add it around your existing plants early in the season, applying again in a couple of months. Using a tiller or digging it out with a shovel, loosen the dirt, then spread soil enrichers, working them into the ground with a tiller or pitchfork and water thoroughly. Again, to keep from overwhelming yourself, call it a day. Let your body and the soil rest. If excitement gets the best of you and you buy your plants first, make sure you keep them in the shade and watered well. Position them in different ways to decide how you will plant them, making sure each compliments the other before they are in the ground. Plant in the evening if possible and water upon completion. The harsh afternoon sun can damage their growth or kill them. If you love flowers but are a renter, ask your landlord. You have nothing to lose and they have everything to

gain. If they say no, you can grow in containers. Container gardening can be perfect for people who have limited yard space, who have aches and pains or are unable to bend and squat for long periods of time. It’s also nice for people who love flowers but don’t like to get too dirty. The smaller scale makes them easy to maintain as well. When it’s time to buy, shop locally at specialty garden centers. Realize the prices of big box stores offer no discount in the grand scheme of things. When it comes to service and information, these local business owners who are our neighbors, have been elbow deep in dirt for years, decades even. None want to sell you something that will not flourish in your yard either. Trust them and learn from them. They never charge for advice, but their know-how is priceless. They are the true weed warriors.

Summer coneflowers bloom, bringing in a lot of butterfly varieties. They spread quickly and are a low maintenance, long-bloom flower variety that small birds feed from.


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Home and Garden

Sauk Valley Strong… your local growers Gary Scott Now that our garden beds, containers, and more importantly ourselves, have thawed from a long, cold winter, it’s time to begin the process of adding life and color back into our outdoor surroundings! I will again caution readers to pay close attention to temperatures, especially those at night. Most all our plants appreciate and thrive only when outdoor night temperatures

are consistently at 50°F or higher. Warmer weather in May brings us many chances to get out and about to scout for plant selections. Some roadside shops will be setting up with their 2014 offerings. As a local greenhouse owner, experienced grower and a lover of plants, I encourage you to only use these types of places as a last resort if your local growers are out of

something or cannot procure that special plant for you. “Why?” you say. Several factors come into play when you, the consumer, head out into the market with your purchase-power. When heading into any establishment, look for some sort of staff that can offer you suggestions for your plantings and who can also speak intelligently about the plant you are

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where were they grown? Keep in mind when out there seeking out new beauties that, just like every business, the green industry has and continues to be subject to increasing costs for production. Most local quality growers have overhead much like our own households. Perennials will be offered to you in full bloom. Know that perennial plants bloom only once per season. What you are seeing is it (for the most part) until next year. There’s an old gardener’s saying, “The best plants come from friends.” Divisions of perennials from a friend’s garden can easily be done throughout the season; usually after the plants have gone through their blossom

period. We are very fortunate to have some talented growers right here in our area. Shop all your local growers who offer quality products grown right here in the Sauk Valley. This ensures that you will continue to be offered the widest selection of healthy plants at the best prices and keep the area Sauk Valley strong. Gary Scott holds an advanced degree in Horticulture Sciences from the University of Minnesota and is co-owner/head grower at Palmyra Greenhouse located at 489 Palmyra Rd, Dixon. Gary can be reached at 815 285-2800 or via email at

Have container, will garden

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eyeballing as a possibility. Most times, a simple plant tag does not give all the information craves as a gardener. Big box stores and roadside stands offer little to none of this important aspect of customer service, as some of them don’t know the difference between an annual plant (one that must be planted each year) and a perennial (one that is hardy and comes up on its own each year). Some get plants; put them down on benches and may not nurture their plants. If you return to one of these places after having a plant fail in your garden you may not find someone to offer you advice. What size pots are you getting for your money? Are the plants healthy and

I love to garden! I love the feel of the moist dirt in my hands. Every year I pour over plans for my garden. But, sadly reality sets in and between being responsible for four pre-school grandchildren, volunteer work, a drought and not enough time in my day, I can’t have the garden of my dreams. But I have come up with a viable solution to my gardening woes. It is a container garden. Fortunately, it is not necessary to have a green thumb or a big yard to create a container garden. I spoke with Bud LeFevre from Distinctive Gardens in Dixon. He said that container gardens are perfect for people who live in apartments or someone like myself who loves the scent of flowers and fresh herbs but doesn’t have the time to garden. He also explained that in the last few years, container gardens have changed to more foliage and succulents with less flowers. Here are some tips to follow when planting a con-

Creating Container Gardens by Bud LeFevre, Distinctive Gardens, Dixon, drew participants from the Tri-Cities as well as Clinton Iowa. Here Regina Dahl and Joy Hinrichsen look over containers and materials used in the presentation.

tainer garden: Choose three types of young plants. One for height, another to trail and a third to fill out the pot. Select a container at least 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep. If the pot doesn’t have drainage holes, it’s easy to drill your own. Put newspaper, broken terra pottery shards or gravel in the bottom for drainage. Fill it halfway up with a bagged potting soil mix rather than soil from the garden because garden soil is too heavy. Gently remove each plant from it’s plastic pot and work outward with the fillers closest to the edge. Add the entire mix as needed so



that the soil around plants is at the same level as it was in the original nursery pots. Leave at least one to two inches of space below the lip of the container. Give your garden a good drink with a watering can or a hose with a soft spray nozzle. Water and then check soil level, which may settle, adding more soil if necessary. Container plants have just one season to shine. Consistent watering and fertilizing is necessary. Placing sun lovers in the sun and shade lovers in shade are the keys to lush, bountiful plantings.

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Home and Garden

TOMATOES - A vegetable gardener’s favorite fruit Tracey Montgomery Tomatoes have to be America’s most beloved fruit in the garden. There are two types of tomatoes: indeterminate and determinate. So, why is this important? Indeterminate varieties are a vining type that produce ripe fruit all season, whereas determinate varieties are a bush type that produce most of their ripe fruit all at one time (great for home canning). The earliest date to plant tomatoes in our area is May 10th. If deciding to plant at this time, make sure to have a back-up plan to cover the plants just in case of frost. Before planting it’s always a good idea to properly prepare the soil. There are a number of soil amendments that we find work best. Those include compost, composted manure, spent coffee grounds, a small amount of horticulture lime (Calcium), Epson Salt, and an organic fertilizer (i.e. Espoma Tomato Tone). Once the soil is prepared, it’s planting time.

We recommend planting in the late afternoon as this will help prevent transplant shock. We are going to try something new this year by placing a Bluegill Fish in the bottom of our planting hole. As the fish breaks down, it will provide a natural fertilizer to the plant. Once the plants are in the ground, help them off to a great start by watering them with a mixture of Fish Emulsion (i.e. Alaska Fish Fertilizer). Warning - this stuff really stinks! Next, your plants will need support. We use two types of support, one is the Mr. T’s Ultimate Tomato Cage and the other is the Florida Weave System (see images). Tomatoes are usually pest-free but if a pest problem develops, check out the link to some organic home remedies below. Tomato plants will usually experience some sort of blight. Blight and other diseases are usually caused from water splashing up on their foliage. Removing the low-

er foliage and covering the soil with dried grass clippings will help. There are also organic sprays like Serenade that can be sprayed every two weeks during the season. One more critical issue is Blossom End Rot. This condition appears in the form of a black spot at the bottom of the fruit. This condition is believed to be caused from a lack of calcium and the amount of water that the plant is receiving. Using horticulture lime with a regular watering schedule will help prevent this condition. There’s nothing better from your garden than a homegrown tomato!

Mr T’s Cage is two-fold: a standard wire tomato cage in the center with a wooden frame surrounding that is wrapped in “strectch wrap” to protect from cold and wind. Florida Weave (below) is best understood when watched as a youtube video:

PRUNING and WEAVE SYSTEM watch?v=eak7yj0tEvM ORGANIC HOME SPRAYS http://homeguides.sfgate. com/homemade-organicpesticides-tomatoes-47644. html

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Brent’s upholstery has things all sewn up! Randy Ernst Some people are fortunate in that the work they do isn’t really work at all. To get paid for doing what one enjoys makes for a best case scenario for the person doing the work and for the customer. After 29 years, Brent Eilers loves what he does. Born and raised in Sterling, he has built quite a reputation for his unique business. The 3300 square foot facility is located at 405 Elm Ave in his home town. His passion for cars and the desire to work with them spurred him to take a basic automotive course after high school and the rest has all been selftaught. These days Brent’s Upholstery is about much more than fixing rips in seats, al-

though they still do that too. “Minor repairs help keep the doors open” he says. But he also sells truck accessories, can build navigation systems into a dashboard, install automatic starters, heated seats and audio systems including DVD players built into the headrest. Brent can convert a cloth interior to leather - adding heated seats, and can even replace that worn out interior in a boat or airplane. With a two to four month backlog for custom projects, it is clear that the quality of his workmanship is in high demand. Back in his shop is a candy apple red ’61 Cadillac in the process of receiving custom seats and a new convertible top. Having worked on everything from Rolls Royce cars

Brent Eilers’ passion for cars comes through as quality workmanship. Photos: Larry Hammelman

A Trans Am from high school was a “keeper” for Brent Eilers. “It keeps me feeling like 16,” he says.

to “rat rods”, Brent willingly admits to being car crazy. He enjoys TV shows like Chip Foose’s Overhaulin and Unique Whips. And even though he likes “resto rods” (older cars updated with modern suspension, brakes, motor and safety features) his favorite car is his first car. About the ’77 Trans Am he has owned since high school, he says, “I turn 16 every time I get in it!” Other “favorites” are 1960’s Camaros, Chevelles and of course, the 1957 Chevy. He also likes and has worked on the “coach cars” of the 1920’s and 1930’s as well as installed the interiors for Concourse cars presented

in California car shows. With decades of experience, beautiful workmanship and a never-ending passion for cars, Brent is definitely the man to see for anything from a minor upholstery

repair to an entire custom designed and installed interior. The best news for car crazy people in our area is that Brent’s Upholstery is in our own back yard - right here in Sterling!

Brent’s Upholstery (815) 625-3169 405 Elm Avenue, Sterling

Three classic cars repaired or restored with Brent’s help adorn the facility.

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*Offer good on new HELOCs only. All loans subject to credit approval. Your rate and credit limit will be determined based on individual creditworthiness. Homeowners insurance is required. The APR includes interest only and no other costs and is based on the value of the Federal Cost of Funds Index and is current as of 4/02/2014 and could change at any time. In no event will the regular Annual Percentage Rate be less than 3.25% or more than the lesser of 18% per annum or the maximum rate allowed by applicable law. A $5,000 initial advance is required to obtain this introductory rate. At the beginning of the seventh month, your APR will be determined by a margin added to the current index rate. Offer good through June 30, 2014. † Rate based on current index plus margin.


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Dixon to host business competition to inspire entrepreneurs

$10,000 in prize money and free rent as part of the winnings offered Dixon Main Street, Dixon Chamber of Commerce and the City of Dixon will present The Dixon Business Competition as a way to inspire entrepreneurs in the region. This is a business competition for innovative entrepreneurs, businesses and startup companies. Entrepreneurs can compete for $10,000 in cash prizes, one year of free commercial rent, top tier professional advisory support, and the opportunity to showcase your business idea to the Dixon community. City of Dixon Mayor Jim Burke first brought the idea of the competition to local business leaders in the fall of 2013. “The competition is a great way for Dixon to give opportunities to budding entrepreneurs. We want dynamic and innovative businesses to be in Dixon and this competition will allow those businesses

to not just start-up, but to thrive,” Josh Albrecht, Executive Director of Dixon Main Street said. “Our local business leaders jumped at the opportunity to help make this business competition a reality.” The registration deadline to be a part of the competition will be May 14. Registration is available online at www. dixonbusinesscompetition. com. The Dixon Business Competition begins with a free three-hour workshop that guides entrepreneurs through the essential steps to successfully start or expand a business. The first seminar will be on Friday, May 16 from 6 – 9 pm in the Loveland Community Center. The Startup Success Seminar will be repeated on Saturday, May 17 from 9 – 12 pm and then again on Saturday, May 17 from 1 – 4 pm.

All Seminar participants will receive The Startup Success Guide and Essential Spreadsheet Templates that will help them evaluate their business idea and create a concise Summary Business Plan which includes financial statements, startup capital needs, competitive analysis, and marketing strategies. Participants can then enter their Summary Business Plans in the Competition where they will be confidentially scored by a panel of judges. The competition finalists will be chosen based on the best scores achieved. The final event is the “Pitch Competition” where the finalists will present a two minute Elevator Pitch to a panel of judges. “Many of our local business leaders have joined the competition as sponsors and mentors and we hope additional existing businesses

Step 2 – Attend one of the free Startup Success Seminars. The Startup Success Seminar is a three hour workshop that guides entrepreneurs through ten important steps to turn that great idea into a business reality. Startup Success provides tools to help entrepreneurs define the value proposition, set revenue goals, analyze the market, and identify the competition. All Seminar participants will receive The Startup Success Guide and Essential Spreadsheet Templates that will help you evaluate your business idea, calculate startup costs, forecast sales and expenses, and create a concise Summary Business Plan. The first seminar will be on Friday, May 16 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Loveland Community Center. The Startup Success Seminar will be repeated on Saturday, May 17 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and

come aboard to support this great contest,” Albrecht said. “The more our existing businesses invest in the future of our city, the greater Dixon will be.” For more information visit or contact Josh Albrecht at 815-288-2308 or Competition Timeline May 14 – Registration Deadline May 16 -17 – Start-up Success Workshops May 30 – Business Plans Due June 16 – Finalists Chosen June 25 – Pitch Event and Awards Ceremony Here are four steps to startup success: Step 1 – Apply online at Registration must be received by 5 pm on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

then again on Saturday, May 17 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Step 3 – Submit your Summary Business Plan. Your business idea and Summary Business Plan will be confidentially reviewed and scored by competition judges and up to ten finalists will be chosen. Step 4 – Pitch your idea. Finalists will be invited to present a two-minute Elevator Pitch at a public “Pitch Event.” Judges will then have five minutes to ask questions and to score the elevator pitch. Each finalist’s Summary Business Plan score will be combined with their Elevator Pitch score to determine the prize winners. “We would love to have additional businesses take part in sponsoring this great opportunity for our community,” Josh Albrecht, Dixon Mainstreet said. Interested businesses can contact Josh at 815-288-2308.

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Students learn entreprenuership skills in CEO classes Rachel Humphreys C.E.O. Student CEO, Creating Entreprenural Opportunities, is a class through Whiteside Area Career Center for juniors and seniors. This class is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Students, like myself, learn the basics of business, but not in the traditional classroom setting. We t o u r b u s i n e s s e s around the area and learn from people about every aspect of business. You can also learn more about CEO at our website If you find CEO to be something you are very passionate about you can become a mentor or an investor. The CEO class has been very busy this year. Whether we were planning the Annual Sterling Chamber dinner, planning our own Hollywood Glamour dinner, creating business plans, giving business pitches, touring a business, or helping the community; the CEO class always keeps busy. Hopefully you have seen a CEO student at your business or

attended one of our events. We strive to get the word out about CEO in a positive way. A years worth of learning and hard work from the CEO students will be at CEO’s Trade Show at Northland Mall in Sterling on May 7th from 4-7pm. Students will be revealing their hard work by selling their products and services at the trade show. Not only will you be able to see our businesses: you can enter to win prizes, support not-for profits, learn more about the class, sample tasty foods, and even pick up a few free gifts along the way. What type of businesses will be at the trade show? The CEO students have very different personalities and interests so there is a very wide variety of business to view. You can taste healthy muffins and sushi, try on a wooden watch or some Dainty jewelry, test out an indoor putting green or a play a quick game of Corn Hole, or even get help planning your child’s graduation party. The CEO board will

also have a booth and will be handing out the CEO annual report that was created by the WACC Digital Media Arts students. “For my CEO class business, instead of creating a new business, I decided on expanding my father’s existing restaurant and created Asian Buffet Catering. I will deliver party trays and supply Asian cuisines to people in and around the Rock Falls/Sterling area,” said Thomas Wei. “The product that I am selling is a clothing line of pillowcase dresses for girls ages 6 months- 8 years of age. These dresses are not the average dresses that you usually see girls wearing. My dresses have a more elegant and classic look to them. They allow the young girl to be all dressed up without being hindered as to how she can play. These dresses are made out of 100% cotton which allows for easy cleaning and is an inexpensive alternative,” said Bailey Wallingford. “The business I created through CEO is Dainty Jewelry and I named it Dainty

CEO students learn by doing. Class is pictured at a local TV studio. See samples of their companies and products at the CEO Trade Show May 7th at Northland Mall

because I wanted my customers to know that I am selling small exquisite pieces the moment they read the name of my company. All of my products are handmade

by professional jewelry makers. I have a lot of pride in my company and the pieces that I sell because they are high quality, but you can’t find pieces like mine in my

Marketing tech talk: Question & Answer Tony Winstead Question: What is a “responsive” website?

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Answer: A responsive website responds to the the device it is being viewed on, such as a tablet, laptop, desktop monitor, television or smartphone. It morphs itself to be viewer friendly on the device that is accessing it. Have you ever tried to look at a website that is not device friendly? You’ve seen people staring at their phone intently pinching the screen to zoom in and out to see a phone number. Argggh!! Frustrating right? That is why Web designers build responsive websites now. 90% of people access their news, entertainment and research products and services from

their phones, many people are using multiple devices simultaneously. Would you like to see your favorite businesses menu, services, products and hours on your phone or tablet while in the drive-up, on the couch or waiting somewhere? Most people would. Many businesses are not sure where to advertise in todays complex environment. One thing is for certain and can be seen in the changing landscape in America


Tony Winstead is an accomplished professional photographer, videographer and responsive web designer. He has the capability to host and support digital products and is a full time, independent, experienced web designer. He also has the ability to develop E-Commerce and Mobile websites. Tony is the Vice President of Digital Marketing for the Sauk Valley Sun.

May Diane Johnson



and around the world. The Web is the way to reach the people, more specifically mobile web. It is overtaking all other forms of media consumption. The reason is smartphones offer internet and phone service inexpensively. You can get your games, apps, magazines, books, TV shows, music, radio, news, social fix, viral videos and virtually everything else on this one device at anytime almost anywhere.

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community. I would only sell products that I would wear myself and I do admit to having champagne taste,” said Rachel Humphreys.

Contact us at 815-625-7474

I am Diane Johnson and I have been with Hawkins Cassens Insurance since 2004. I am a lifelong resident of Sterling where I live with my husband, Rick. I have a daughter, Heather, that lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Jake. I have one son, Jared, that lives in Sterling and two step-daughters, Jennifer from Silvis and Kym from Rock Falls. My husband and I enjoy boating and listening to music. I also enjoy meeting new people so stop by the office anytime! I can be reached at the office or by email at

Hawkins-Cassens Insurance 2321 E. Lincolnway, Sterling, IL 61081


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


2014 Hot Rod Power Tour

Big news for car lovers! Randy Ernst There are certain oncein-a-life-time events that come along that can best be described as, well, once-ina-lifetime! For the folks who live in our tri-city area, all the planets have aligned for a very special day on June 12th this year. For those who enjoy watching cars of all kinds: rat-rods, muscle cars, Corvettes, antique cars, classic cars, sports cars, real expensive foreign cars, custom cars… those people have been blessed

beyond measure! This year, the HOT ROD POWER TOUR comes right through our own backyard! The HOT ROD POWER TOUR is a unique, annual event sponsored by none other than the world-famous, Hot Rod Magazine. The tour is organized months in advance and usually starts where it ended last year. It normally runs through five states in five days. This year, the tour starts in Ohio and ends in Crown Point, Indiana on the first day. On the second day, June 12th,

thousands and thousands of cars will head out of Indiana, across I-80 and stop in Bettendorf, Iowa. This means that a short drive down IL 40 to I-80 will allow you to jump in on the tour. The cost? Gas money. That’s it! Just jump right smack dab in the middle of the world-famous HOT ROD POWER TOUR! Every exit from the Indiana state line to Iowa will reveal these cars lined up at gas stations, truck stops and restaurants. There will be literally dozens of mini car

Let the car shows begin! Randy Ernst Some of the things about Spring that are enjoyable include longer, sunnier days, the crisp, earthy smells on a moist, cool breeze. Birds are chirping and chasing each other and every day we anticipate tree buds appearing on bare branches. It truly is a wonderful time of year! For “gear heads”, spring means even more… Winter is over, and without the threat of running through salt that can eat away at the metal our cars are made of, we’ll surely start to see some hot rods, muscle cars and classics appear. Though sparingly at first, as the season progresses owners of these very cool cars will get “gearhead fever”. This is a condition that occurs around this time of year to those who own something other than the normal daily driver that got us through the five inches of snow all winter. It starts with a small grin as anticipation builds for what the eyes are about to take in. The eyes widen as the car cover gently slides off, revealing a dust free beauty that has been sleeping since the cover went on in late September. Euphoria starts to waft

over said gearhead as the hood is opened and the fluids are checked. Once it is ascertained that all is well, the gearhead inserts the key. And at its turning, the sleeping beauty roars and the beast is alive! The fever

enough so that everyone can see Beauty and catch the fever. The only cure for the fever is to gather together with others who have it. We call these gatherings? Car shows! There will be many, maybe not enough for the

shows everywhere along the route wherever car food or people food is sold! All day long, a steady stream of automotive eye candy will head west on the interstate, filling up car-lover’s senses for hours and hours. You don’t have to have a special vehicle to jump in and enjoy the fun. The cars in the tour use both lanes of the interstate and are in no

particular hurry to get to the next day’s destination. One could just hop onto I80, go to Bettendorf, turn around and come home, and spend an hour driving alongside some better than average, cool cars. And on the way home, see them coming at you! That’s truly a win-win situation! This is a great time for Dad’s and sons (especially

since Father’s Day is June 15) to spend some quality time together in the car or truck, enjoying each other’s company while actually “participating” in the Tour. What a great memory-maker! Circle the day and get your day off approved. Go for it! For car lovers, this could be one of the best days of the year. Hope to see you there!



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has reached its peak as the gearhead puts beauty in gear and starts out of the garage. Sunlight now bounces off of her and all is right with the world. Gearheads are not selfish people. They enjoy sharing their joy. It’s almost a duty to society to drive slowly

most hardcore gearheads, but hopefully enough for everyone in every community. Some car shows are fundraisers for good causes and some are just for fun. Either way, be sure to attend as many as possible. It’s the only cure for “gearhead fever!”

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Rock Falls and Dixon Public Libraries theme: Paws to Read Rock Falls Library Registration for summer "Paws to Read" is May 27th-June 13th. There are four programs for various age groups. The programs will include stores, games, activities and a craft project. The program is free. There are incentives to be earned in various ways.

The program begins the week of June 9th. The Rock Falls Library also offers one-on-one help with computers. There is a mystery book club that meets at the library. For more information about programs, events or other services offered by

Dixon Library the library call 815-6263958 or visit the website: www.rockfallslibrary. com. A reminder: the Rock Falls Library will be closed May 5th-9th for construction. During this time please return library materials to the book drop next to the front door.

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The "Paws to Read" is one of several programs for young people, young adults and adults for the Dixon Public Library this summer beginning June 2nd. There are several interactive programs including comic book buying and selling. All information is at the library

and registration is there as well. Monday Family Nights from 7-8 pm start on June 9th for four weeks. Wednesdays are drop-in craft/story and snack time from 9:30 to 4 pm. Those 11-14 years old may participate in a book club from 1-2:30 on Wednesdays.

Registration began May 1st and is ongoing. New hours for the library effective May 3 for adults and youth are Mon-Thur 9 am-7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday 9 to 4 pm. The library is closed on Sunday.

Sounds of pomp and circumstance Dixon High School Date: June 1st Time: 1:00pm Place: Outside, weather permitting. Inclement weather: Auditorium at Dixon High School

Newman High School Date: May 21st Place: St Andrew’s Catholic Church Time: 5:45pm

Rock Falls High School Date: May 25th Time: 2:00pm Place: Rock Falls High School

Sterling High School Date: May 25th Time: 3:00pm Place: Field House, Sterling High School

Armed Forces Celebration Continued from page 5

Rock Falls and Sterling will host a joint Armed Froces Celebration Saturday and Sunday, May 17th and 18th. On Saturday May 17th, there will be a Veteran's Family Day Picnic in the Park from 1-5 pm, at Sinnissippi Park, Sterling. There will be inflatable toys and fire truck rides for children.

There will also be Civil War Encampment Activities and Veterans Informational booths. On Sunday May 18th at 9 am there will be a community-wide non-denominational church service with Retired Col. Mike Durham, Chaplin, United States Army and soloist Jim Worthing, Nashville, TN. Sunday afternoon

at 2 pm at the Grandon Civic Center in Sterling there will be a Military Awards and a Recognition Ceremony with a guest speaker from the Rock Island Arsenal. Also featured will be a Recognition of Military Branches Award Winners of 2014. There will also be a presentation of area Youth Essay Contest winners.


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Where will they go? - Part 2 of 2 Jill Horn What is the class of 2014 going to do once they graduate? Larissa Garcia of Sterling has a very good idea. In fact, she has already started her college level classes. Taking only one class at Sterling High School this semester and three dual credit classes at Sauk Valley Community College (SVCC), she plans to start in the veterinary technology program at the Veterinary Technical Institute of Fox College in

Chicago this fall. Planning to finish in 18 months, Larissa says, “It will be really hard to be away from my family but it will be worth it since I will be doing what I love once I graduate.” She plans to work in a rescue center for animals and also in a veterinary clinic. Alyssa Kutz of Dixon High School is finishing her high school classes at SVCC this spring. She is taking the only class she needs to graduate, an applied math class. She currently works part time at Sow Belly’s in

Dixon and also works as a driver for her dad’s food taxi business (featured in the March issue of the Sauk Valley Sun). Once Alyssa graduates with the rest of her class in June, she plans to get a job, save her money and relocate to Arizona where she plans to attend college. Alex Weeks already graduated from Morrison High School last May and is attending Linn State Technical College in Missouri. He plans to be a nuclear technician and will graduate in

Larissa Garcia of Sterling High School, class of 2014, plans to attend Veterinary Technical Institute of Fox College in Chicago in the fall.

May 2015. He hopes to have an internship at the nuclear plant in either Cordova or Byron this summer. Upon graduation, Alex plans to work at a nuclear plant or at a university doing research. These teenagers have a good idea about what they will do in life, where they will go, and are already on their way to reaching their goals. (Left) Alex Weeks’ long term plan includes the possibility of university-level nuclear research.

Alyssa Kutz of Dixon High School, class of 2014, plans to move to Arizona next year to attend college.

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May 02 – Kathy Cecchetti May 09 – Ray Rose May 16 – Dirt Simple May 23 – Robbie LeBlanc May 30 – Olivia Dvorak

Jun. 06 – Nate Gordon Jun. 13 – Lowell Harp Jun. 20 – Eileen Quest Jun. 27 – Pete Ayling

Jul. 04 – Petunia Festival Jul. 11 – Tristan Bushman Jul. 18 – Maggie Hilliard Jul. 25 – The Catfish Dogs

Aug. 01 – Kathy Cecchetti Aug. 08 – Charlie Gall Aug. 15 – Eileen Quest Aug. 22 – Mark Hobbs Aug. 29 – Burn N Bush


200 Keul Road, Dixon, IL (815) 284-0881 Near Wal-Mart

Fiesta Cancun Authentic Mexican Food

3203 E. Lincolnway, Sterling, IL (815) 625-4482

Photo courtesy of Lee County Genealogical Society

Sep. 05 – Nate Gordon Sep. 12 – Steve Robery Sep. 19– Jeff Kagay Sep. 26 – Robbie LeBlanc


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


No one cooks like Mama…

Mama Cimino's is DELICIOUS dining in Dixon

Mr. & Mrs. Let’s Eat Out Mama Cimino's Restaurant Open 7 days 104 South Peoria Dixon 815-288-4448 Wow! That was the uniform response when our server brought the BBQ Pork Rib Dinner to our table. It was huge! The full rack of pork ribs could satisfy three people. There’s a good sauce on the ribs with

Since 1987

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a bit of a flavor kick. Yet, it wasn’t too “hot”. We opted to sample our giant portion and take the leftovers home. Ribs were one of the four choices of our dining out at Mama Cimino’s in Dixon…all the better for a true sampling of what this established restaurant has for customers every day. We also had pizza, chicken strips and ravioli. What a feast! Pizza….well, Mama Cimino's has the most choices we’ve ever seen. There are 19 choices of top-

Butcher of choice for Flynnie’s Diner & BombDigity Bar & Grill

pings; five sizes with three choices of crust: regular, pan (thicker) and stuffed (two layers with “toppings” in-between). A suggestion: take your time to make a choice knowing that you will return. Mama Cimino's pizza is GREAT pizza! Our group narrowed our pizza choices to The Sicilian and Chicken Florentine. The Sicilian won. We chose a thin crust. The pizza is made with fresh garlic, onion, fresh spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. There was plenty of flavor and plenty of cheese. We’d order this again…and again…and again. It was delish! Folks who eat at Mama Cimino’s restaurant on a regular basis tell us that their favorite is the Vegetarian. That will be our next sample at our next dinner. Mama Cimino’s Chicken Strips MAY be the VERY BEST in the Tri-Cities. Our tasters agreed: we’ve never tasted better nor have we seen larger chicken strips. One taster said, “Two of Mama Cimino's Chicken Strips would be a full meal for me.” The special sauce

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Mother’s Day

(Above) Pizza, pizza, pizza…and pizza! A customer has many pizza choices at Mama Cimino’s Restaurant in Dixon. There are three crust choices, more than 19 different toppings and sauce choices, too. The Sicilian pizza was the diner’s group choice….and it was delicious…freshly made, well seasoned and lots of cheese. Yummy!

served with the Chicken Strips is Oh-My-Gosh good! Ravioli, in some diners’ mind, is one of the true tests for a restaurant with an Italian theme. Mama Cimino’s Ravioli (beef or cheese) more than exceeds that test…quite simply it was delicious. The plump ravioli seemed handmade and the thick and slightly chunky marinara sauce as good as we’ve sampled anywhere. One diner said, “You can almost tell that this sauce was made from scratch, simmered all day, deftly seasoned and by an experienced chef…a person who knows what seasonings are perfect for marinara sauce.” Our mutual curiosity was piqued by items with peoples’ names: Lyndey’s Quesadillas and Brandon’s Salad. Our tasting group surmised that these were people who had worked with Mama Cimino's and left a legacy of a special culinary creation. In perusing the appetizer menu we noted the deep

fried fresh mushrooms, cauliflower and even pickle spears! There is also Mama Cimino’s “Erdy Nuggets” ...fried chunks of dough smothered in garlic butter that you then dip into Mama’s special Sauce or marinara sauce. It would seem possible, if one wanted, to make a meal of the appetizers. And, so there is… the Create-A-Combo choice of four items. What a feast! What fun! Mama Cimino's also has a Special Events room for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinner, baby or wedding showers, retirement event, business functions or any other festive function. They provide off-site and on-site catering. Lastly, there are three Mama Cimino's buffets: lunch buffet is 11 am-2 pm; dinner buffet is 5-9 pm and Sunday brunch buffet is 9 am-1 pm. Mama Cimino's is very active in the digital world! Check out the Mama Cimino's website and also their

Facebook page for Facebook promotions. Everyone in the Tri-Cities can agree, “No One Cooks Like Mama.” *Mr. & Mrs. Let’s Eat Out represents two to four persons who go to a restaurant to sample its menu and write about their collective experience. The Mr. & Mrs. group always represents male and female persons. The restaurant being sampled does not provide the food gratis nor does it know in advance that Mr. & Mrs. Let’s Eat Out team is coming. Mama Cimino’s on Peoria in Dixon has it all...great food, an affordable and enticing menu that will satisfying a variety of tastes. Plus customers can dine-in, do take-out or have food catered to their home or business. Or, use the Special Events Room for any number of occasions.


in the Woods May 11, 2014 10am-1pm

Visit for a coupon to bring Mom for 1/2 price. (Value $5.00-$6.25)

Thinking about what to do over the summer with your children? Check out our website, and find Summer Overnight and Day Camp Opportunities. Scholarships are available for those that qualify.

• • • MAY 17, 2014 • • • REYNOLDSWOOD STOCK

Area bands will perform from 12:00pm - 9:00pm. Grounds open at 11:00am, Free-will offering. Concessions will be available for purchase. 621 Reynoldswood Rd. Dixon, IL 61021 (815) 284-6979

(Above) No one makes a marinara sauce like Mama Cimino! We enjoyed it with meat-stuffed ravioli and believed it to be that old fashioned home-made style that simmered for hours, was deftly seasoned and distinctively savored by all. No one cooks like Mama!


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Tequila, or not tequila… a Cinco de Mayo favorite Jeff Bridgeman For many, the month of May often begins with a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Though parades, dancing in the streets, and mariachi bands may not be prevalent in our Tri Cities, traditional Mexican food is usually served along with Mexican beer or a pitcher of margaritas. Since a margarita would be my preference, I thought if others knew more about the main ingredient, tequila, and how to make a better,

no, “perfect” margarita, they might enjoy them as I do. If nothing else this could be a conversation starter at any Cinco de Mayo celebration. Tequila is probably the most vilified of all the adult beverages. If there was a night of excess, often Tequila was involved. The story of that night usually ends with “…and that is why I don’t drink Tequila anymore.” My hope in writing this article is to explain the various quality levels of Tequila and to assure the reader that if

consumed in moderation, it can be enjoyable without the negative after effects. All Tequila is Mezcal but not all Mezcal is Tequila. Tequila and Mezcal are made from Agave, which is a succulent or flowering plant. Its leaves look like Aloe, which are chopped off leaving the center or Pina. The Pina is cooked, then pressed and finally distilled. The difference between Mezcal and Tequila is that Tequila can only be made with Weber Blue Agave and Mezcal can

Dixon’s Stage Left venue opening production: “Vanities”

use many of the other 200+ types of Agave. A single Weber Blue Agave plant takes seven years to mature and will produce a Pina that weighs 100 pounds. That 1 plant will be used to make 11 bottles of Tequila. Tequila is labeled based on the age of the product. Silver or Plata is less than 60 days old, Reposada means rested and is aged in used barrels (normally Bourbon barrels) from 60 days up to 365 days. Anejo, which means aged, is a minimum of one year old. The final category that was created in 2006 is extra Anejo and is a minimum of three years old. The aging process softens the alcohol and adds a little sweetness. The most recognized name is Jose Cuervo and that is for good reason, the distillery holds the first license issued to legally produce Tequila. This class of Tequila is called a Mixto. It is a minimum of 51% Weber Blue Agave that is blended with sugar and water during distillation. These normally are called Silver or Gold and a good rule for all Tequila is that the darker it is the more flavor it will have. Mid-priced 100% Weber Blue Agave Tequila is a

relatively new addition to the Tequila category. The purity and taste profile of this class of Tequila is a big step above the Mixto class. Sauza Hornitos is available in Plata, Reposado and Anejo variants. Premium 100% Weber Blue Agave Tequila gets special treatment. The Agave is hand selected then slow cooked in traditional stone ovens. Multiple distillations and filtrations eliminate off flavors and leave only the flavors that distiller wants. Patron is the best known but if you want to try something really special look for a brand called Clase Azul.

The Perfect Margarita 1 ½ oz. 100% Weber Blue Agave Silver Tequila 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice ½ oz. Grand Marnier Salt for the rim (optional) and ice Fill glass with ice, add Tequila, lime juice and Grand Marnier then stir until chilled. The Paloma 1½ oz. 100% Weber Blue Agave Reposado Tequila Juice from ½ a lime Squirt Fill an 8 oz. glass with ice, add Tequila and lime juice then top with Squirt.


Patrons of Dixon’s newest special event venue, Stage Left, saw “Vanities” by Jack Heifner opening weekend. In June there will be a Broadway cabaret revue followed by Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” in July. The venue’s website, provides upto-date information.



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Sat. May 3

Sat. May 10 & Sat. May 24

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BRAVO TROOP 2-106CAVFRG Fundraiser to benefit local National Guard Unit. Bags tournament & silent auction. SUPER RED HOT KARAOKE 9PM to Midnight

Sun. June 1


Sat. June 7


Check our Web site and Facebook for Mother's Day details

Live Music & Karaoke

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Friday and Saturday we will have live music or karaoke. Check the event calendar on the BombDigity web site for more info.

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628 Palmyra Rd. Dixon, IL 61021



May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Lessons from a legend Cody Cutter Coming out onto the gymnasium floor in front of a couple of hundred wrestlers, coaches and fans to the tune of the Olympic theme, Dan Gable went right to business explaining arm bars, and how to barely fly under the rule violations against them while wrestling. Makes sense for someone as accomplished as Gable to open up with wrestling-related specifics. However, Gable’s mission as a motivational speaker is to teach people about life lessons through the sport of wrestling, using for examples his experiences as a near-undefeated collegiate wrestler, an Olympic gold medalist and a 16-time NCAA championship-winning coach. His appearance was part of a fundraiser for the Morrison High School wrestling program, speaking for just a little over an hour about topics such as the importance of wrestling, lessons learned from mistakes, family, goals, performance, leadership

and dealing with adversity. The event attracted many school-aged wrestlers and wrestling coaches throughout the Sauk Valley and beyond. “He’s a very interesting guy,” said Dixon High School junior wrestler Jake Johnson, who had never heard Gable speak before until the event. “I already knew that he was pretty intense but from the speech, I can definitely tell that he is a very intense man. He doesn’t take anything very lightly. I can see why he would be a real good wrestler and wrestling coach.” Gable also spoke of Mike Mena, a 1993 graduate of Newman Central Catholic High School, who wrestled for Gable at Iowa after a legendary career at the high school level. Driving to the event from Sterling reminded Gable of his days coaching Mena and incorporated his experiences with the four-time All-American in his speech. “He was a coaching lesson for me,” Gable spoke to the crowd in a raised voice. “Because he hadn’t made the finals,

and was an All-American three times. He finally won a semifinal match and had a grin on his face. He was doing real good. We went to a team meeting the next morning and he still had this smile on his face. I didn’t like it. I wiped that smile off his face in that meeting before the finals. But I actually should have addressed that smile earlier, the night before, so he could get his focus off of winning his last match and instead on winning the next match.” Dealing with mistakes involves recovering from them, a topic Gable spoke about toward the end of his speech. Gable stressed breaking things down analytically and recovering on a daily basis so that one can be ready to go the next day, as well as making new goals. When it came to goals, Gable described perhaps his most important goal set during practices. My goal at the beginning of practice was to practice so hard that I would pass out just from the hard work. I always wanted my coach to carry

Wrestling legend Dan Gable spoke to wrestlers and wrestling coaches during a recent fundraiser for the Morrison High School wrestling program.

me into the locker room and pour cold water on me to revive me but that never happened.” He went on to say that the only time that happened was when he was coaching the United States wrestling team in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, during a tense match pinnng one of his wrestlers. When revived

in the locker room, Gable recalled saying, “Finally. I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.” Gable’s dedication resonated with high school wrestler Johnson after the speech, as he said, “When he was talking about his goal to pass out, that’s pretty crazy. Every day he was

disappointed that he didn’t pass out, and that’s half the reason why he was able to work so hard and get to where he is today.” Wrestling - what a great sport! Gable - what a legend and inspiration! Thank you.

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Dixon Vipers - Undefeated indoor soccer champs 2014 With a larger “talent” pool, the competition is that much more intense for the Dixon team. As Head Coach Gary says he enjoys teaching the fundamentals of the game and watching his players develop over the years. Gary has coached since 1996. His Dixon Raptors won the Indoor Soccer League championship four years ago. The players on the Dixon Vipers now move into the

We are seeking nominations for

Magic Monday

men’s haircuts - $8.50

reg. $17

reg. $47

highlights - $31.00

reg. $62

facial wax - $7.50

Winner will be selected by independent judges. Cash prize, gifts and recognition will be bestowed to winning nominees on May 10th at the LASC Mother’s Day Dance. Winner will be revealed at 10PM the night of the dance.

Bethany Wright Janice Campbell McKenzie Cullen Giavanna Percudani Contact us at 815-284-4247 to make your reservation. Future Magic Mondays will be held on the last Monday of each month.

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LASC Mother’s Day Dance! Saturday, MAY 10

Affordable Dining! Tri-Cities’ Most

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Join us on Monday, June 30th for

women’s haircuts - $11.50

young people today. This growth comes in spite of computers and all of that digital world that lures the younger folk. However, in Gary’s life he has seen youth `soccer become the most participatory sport in the country. He enjoys knowing he has been a part of that growth. He’s in the game. And his teams will likely win more championships.


Be our guest!

Gary’s winning reputation is attractive to would-be soccer competitors because they hear about his techniques, his coaching and his winning teams. Like almost everyone, all of his players want to play their best…and win. For an indoor team, Gary has 10 players on his team. Outdoor teams carry 16 players. Certainly soccer is a dominant sporting activity for

16-19 year old bracket and Gary will continue to coach. He is a nationally licensed “D’ coach which means he can coach at the high school level anywhere in the United States. A native of England, Gary has played soccer since he was five years old. He grew up on Canvey Island at the mouth of the Thames. He truly loves the game and often reminds his players “Soccer is a team sport.”


tices once a week at the Armory November through February prior to the finals in DeKalb. When weather permits the team might practice outdoors many as three times a week. “ Teams travel an hour or more to be in the league,” according to Gary Davey, Dixon Viper’s head coach. “This means,” Gary said, “other teams are drawn from many communities that are larger than Dixon.”


Ten Games. Ten Wins. You don’t get any better than that in any sport. For the Dixon Vipers the clean sweep in the Indoor Soccer League (based in DeKalb) meant being unbeaten champions. It is only the second time this title has been won by one of Gary’s Dixon teams. In the U16 Division the players are 14-16 years of age. The Dixon team prac-


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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Dixon’s darkest day ~ May 4, 1873 Pat Gorman President, Lee County Genealogical Society May 4th 1873 has been called by many through the years as “Dixon’s Darkest Day”. That name has been given to the sunny Sunday afternoon in early May when approximately 2,250 people were thrown into the Rock River by the collapse of the Truesdell Bridge.

But first, I’ll give a brief history of the structure, its construction and dedication. The Truesdell Bridge was the first iron bridge to span the Rock River. The structure was made from iron except for the floor and the floor beams. There were five spans, each 132 Ft. long, making the entire length of the bridge 660 Ft. long. The roadway was 18Ft. wide and a 5 Ft. side-

walk was on either side of it with a railing that was 3Ft. high. There were 4 piers and 2 abutments made

“Several parties reported vibrations …and left.” -Chicago Timesof “Heavy Mason Work”. The total cost of the bridge was $75,000, the structure of iron costing $31,512, the mason work and other expenses were $43,488.

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of the bridge. As with any celebration of the day, the streets were lined with people to watch the half mile parade that included many of Dixon’s leading citizens of the day. Among those included was: Father John Dixon, Dr. Oliver Everett, Joseph Crawford, the City Fathers, Mayor McPherran, Aldermen Little, Cheney, Porter, Becker, Robinson, Underwood, and Wheeler, and Mr. Jason Ayres the City Clerk. Members of the press and its employees followed in a large carriage. The Dixon Coronet Band and a line of buggies and carriages were also included in the parade that wound through the streets of Dixon on that cold January day. After the parade was completed and had returned to the base of the bridge, it was tested under the weight of four teams loaded with stones, a team loaded with flour, along with all the pedestrians who could be gathered on the bridge. It was thought that the entire weight of all those on the bridge was at least 45 tons. The test was satisfactory and was formally accepted by the City Council when Mr. Truesdell arrived later in the day. In the evening a dance was held and attended by a large number of citizens. It was a fitting end to a day of celebrations the likes of which had been seldom seen in the small town of 5,000, Dixon, Illinois. On May 4, 1873, less than five years later, tragedy in its largest manner was to strike and erase the memories of grandeur of that January day. At about 12:30 in the afternoon on that beautiful spring day the crowds were gathering on the bridge and the north river bank to witness the rite of “complete immersion” by Rev. J. H. Pratt of the Baptist Church in Dixon. Among those to be baptized that day were Reverend Pratt’s own daughter and about nine others. A quote from the Chicago Dailey News, he (Mr. Pratt) detained the crowd longer than is customary, feeling the importance of impressing on them the advantage to be derived from ‘coming to Jesus’. No thought of an

accident entered his mind. Reverend Pratt led the first candidate, Mr. Hodgon, into the water while the Baptist Choir on the bank sang a hymn. Mr. Hodgon was told to lean back onto the surface of the water while Rev. Pratt supported him. Placing his hand under him the minister lowered him into the river. Rev. Pratt then raised him out of the water and led him to shore. He did the same with a second man, Mr. Kieth. The time was 1:15 and Reverend Pratt entered the water with Mrs. Brewer. Col. H. T. Noble, a notable Dixon citizen, told The Chicago Tribune “There was a sharp snap between the north end and the first pier, apparently of the cord near the end. This part of the bridge then commenced to drop as fast iron and wood could”. Yes in ten minutes it was over but the lives of some 200 Dixon residents have been forever changed. Descendants to this day live and work in the area and most have little or no knowledge of the events that took the lives of 44 of Dixon’s finest citizens, most of whom were women and children. Some locals put the death count as low as 41 and some as high as 50. I have spent many hours over the last several months researching the names with particular emphasis on giving an identity to the women and the children. Of the 44 that perished that day, seven were men and the rest women and children. Women were commonly referred to by their husband’s name in the old days (Example: Mrs John Smith vs. Mary Smith) and children were referred to as the Smith child rather than Billy Smith. The intent of this story and all this research was so that a plaque could be erected near the sight of the disaster designed to honor the memory of those that perished that fateful day in May. Through the generosity of KSB Hospital, Father Michael Morrissey and the efforts of The Lee County Genealogical Society the plaque is now a reality. The dedication took place in Dixon on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 3pm. on the southwest corner of the Galena Ave. Bridge near the new riverfront. Staff Judy Bell Publisher Patty Bridgeman Publisher’s Assistant Ken Hauck VP Operations Katie Hauck Administrative Manager Julie Reeder Editor Robert Bell Distribution Manager Production Karina Ramos Graphic Designer Joseph Doane Jerry Knox Layout Artists Liz Davis Graphics Associate Website Tony Winstead VP of Digital Marketing John Yada Web / IT Support Writers/Contributors Lindsay Aiello Josh Albrecht Carol Chandler, RN Pastor Jeff Coester Cody Cutter Gary Davey Tom Demmer Randy Ernst Towana Ernst Larry Hammelman Jill Horn Ann Lewis Donald R. Lewis, MD, FACS Patricia Lewis Lonnie Miller Brad Monson Nancy Nesyto-Freske Frances O’Dorrell Rev. Scott Porter Spencer Schein Greg Smith Jill Straw © Sauk Valley Sun, 2014 The opinions expressed in the Sauk Valley Sun do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sauk Valley Sun staff. Advertising Policy: Acceptance of an advertisement by Sauk Valley Sun does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of its sponsors or the products offered. We will not knowingly publish advertisements that are fraudulent, libelous, misleading, or contrary to the policies of Sauk Valley Sun. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement we find unsuitable. Please direct all advertising inquiries and correspondence to the address below. Editorial Contributions, Letters to the Editor, and Advertising Inquiries: Please submit all correspondence to our office by e-mail, at All correspondence must be dated and signed and include the writer’s full address and phone number in order to be considered for publication. Email would also be helpful. All editorial content is subject to editing to fit the publication’s format. Word count for letters is 250. Sauk Valley Sun 25,250 copies published monthly 24,400 copies direct-mailed to homes and business addresses in Dixon, Sterling, Rock Falls, and Galt Postage paid at Rockford, IL Permit No. 28 Phone (815) 888-4403 Address: PO BOX 678,

Dixon, IL 61021 Email:


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Real Estate

Contemplating selling your home? Gary Davey Spring is generally recognized as a great time to sell a home. The winter doldrums have disappeared and optimism is the fragrance of the moment. So what to do and how to go about it? First impressions it is one of the most important factors to remember when getting a home ready to place on the market. “Great curb appeal” or “a nice drive-

by” are remarks often used when seeing a home for the first time. The exterior and interior of the home should be clean and ready to show at anytime. Let us start with the outside. The following are quick and inexpensive fixes for the exterior of the property: a fresh coat of paint for the front door, clean windows inside and out, clean out gutters, trim back bushes if they hinder the

view of the home, remove weeds from pathways and oil spots from driveways. Spring is here so plant beds of flowers or use flower boxes if outdoor space is restricted. Keep lawns well cut and manicured. Remember the first impressions rule? It applies to the interior of the home as well. Most important, make sure the home has a nice pleasant smell! Deep clean carpets and rugs, polish

Real estate definitions

wood floors and furniture and vacuum everywhere. Try not to use plug-ins to mask a smell as this can be a sign to potential buyers that something isn’t quite right. Remember pets are great but their odors are not! De-clutter the rooms. This is a great description of what to do and where: keep counter tops clean and clear, remove magnets from refrigerators, sanitize bathrooms, de-personalize the

rooms by removing family photos, etc. Re-arrange or even remove large pieces of furniture to give an impression of space in a room. Keep window treatments open to allow natural sunlight to brighten the rooms. Surfing the Internet brings a multitude of advice, direction and stories of the trials and tribulations of selling a home. Which brings us to the last but most important factor… Enlist the help of



a Real Estate Broker. Although you should choose someone with whom you feel comfortable, interview potential candidates. Look for experience, competency, integrity and their marketing strategies. From day one a good Broker will walk you through all the aspects of selling your home.


FORCLOSURE! REO! SHORT SALE! With the ongoing recovery of the housing market, there has seen a growth in some Real Estate terminology. What was rarely used before, is now being used almost on a daily basis. Read about them in the newspaper, hear about them on the radio and watch television programs about them. What is a foreclosure? Foreclosures occur when the owner, doesn't make any mortgage payments over a

lengthy period of time to the lender (ie: the bank). The actual length of time is determined by the lender. The bank then takes possession of the property. What is an REO? (real estate owned) REO's occur when a property has gone through the foreclosure process, and the lender (bank) has failed to sell it, at a trustee sale or foreclosure auction. It is then regarded as a REO or

bank owned property. The bank will then often assign a Real Estate Office to list and sell the property. What is a short sale? Short sales occur when the borrower and the lender or lenders (there could be more than one lien holder) agree to accept less than the payoff amount owed from the sale of the property. This is an alternative to a foreclosure.


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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


The hardhat parent - anticipate consequences Jeff Coester In Proverbs 22:3 you find the words, “A wise man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.” Once it is written in the context of keeping a good name, and once regarding having a highly productive life. Repetition in the Bible is always for emphasis. God did not inspire the writers redundantly because He forgot what He was trying to say. This simple teaching is: People who behave wisely and experience true blessing have a specific habit that contributes to their success. This habit is anticipating

the consequences of their actions. Too much time is spent talking about the limitations children have because of age. Not enough time is spent talking with them, teaching them or even having fun with them in ways that help them learn this habit. We are not born with thoughtful behavior. Thoughtful people learn to slow down enough to practice mental exercises that help them determine the natural course of things. Facebook is a prime example of how people have lost the connection between the way people behave and the consequences of their behavior. People criticize

jobs, bosses, relatives, even their children and spouses. They expect no backlash because “they are just exercising their rights”. It is simple to say that reactions have consequences but this is principle must be taught. Children should not be treated like smaller sized adults. The observation skills of a child are immature, not defective. Let me give four steps that can help develop this skill in a child and avoid that which undermines them. 1. Approach this as a partner who is helping them get what they really want. A scolding for failure to anticipate should be very

rare. Children want to be like friends. Children want to be successful in the things they do. Children want more personal freedom. Teaching them as a partner allows you to share the struggle and enjoy the success together. Repeated failure by the child to anticipate simple things can mean the parent needs to sharpen their own skills, be a better example or have the child’s learning skills evaluated. A child should not be punished if these real issues are the source of their struggle to accomplish. 2. Show how this works in real life. It can be through observing simple physical science, teaching the mechanics of a sport or by helping them to be more

successful as they enjoy their favorite activities. 3. Show them in human terms what brings people to places of success or failure. Show your child the preparation that makes a hero of yours great. Engage people who may share an interest with your child. Ask them questions about their success, the steps they took and the hard work it required. This is casual not formal. People who are inquisitive are usually well liked. People love to talk about themselves. Give successful adults in many fields the opportunity to interact with your child. 4. Teach children not to be critics. We learn from the failure of others if we

are wise but looking down on people brings harm to the spirit and reduces the likelihood one will have compassion that helps others. When you see failure and discuss it, do not speak in derogatory terms. Calling people an idiot or fool instead of teaching compassion gives a child permission to be a critic when they observe others shortcomings. Churches are known for being societies of critics because leaders fail this principle. We as parents must not. Rev. Jeff Coester is Pastor of The Big Red Church in Sterling. Like them on Facebook! Send Questions to

Cross walk - Reviving a tradition Pastor Rick Morris from The Big Red Church is always looking for ways to bring the community together. Often this is demonstrated by the outreach of the church to those hurting or in need. Rick is also active in strengthening the community socially through WeCan and other group efforts. On Good Friday, Pastor Morris

and his wife Terry sought to touch our spiritual side by organizing Cross Walk. To their delight, members of their congregation had been encouraging them to revive this old community tradition. At 9:30 about 25 community members gathered at The Big Red Church. Inside they had a reading

and an explanation of the event. Pastor Morris also gave them a set of reflections on the Stations of the Cross, written by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday in 1991. This account is an alternative to the traditional reading focused more on the Scriptural account of Christ’s passion. The Big Red Church Pastor said,

Walkers gather at The Big Red Church in Sterling

COME WORSHIP WITH US Our church family is united in our commitment to Jesus Christ. We would be honored to have you join us. 311 2nd Ave., Sterling 815-625-5112

An outdoor* Worship Service will be held Sunday, May 18 at 10:00AM in our Courtyard & Prayer Garden. *If weather is inclement the service will be held in the Sanctuary

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Pastor Jeff & Mary Coester

“This writing encourages a deep meditation and appreciation of what it cost Jesus Christ to suffer anguish, humiliation and death prior to His resurrection for our sins.” Pastor Morris led the group outside. They began the walk headed south on 2nd Avenue toward the First Avenue bridge. After crossing the bridge they proceeded to the Christian Church in Rock Falls, with participants taking turns carrying the homemade cross. Periodically they stopped along the way to commemorate the actual Stations of the Cross. The cross that was carried was made by Carl Boehm. Carl said, “Our church celebrates Holy week with a Maundy Thursday supper and normally a Good Friday service. This year our service has been replaced with the Cross Walk. Our reason for this was to get the annual Cross Walk started again. It is great when you bring a group of people from the

Carl Boehm positions the cross on his shoulder.

community together carrying the cross to demonstrate their faith. We hope more will join us next year.” “It is important to bring our community together on every level possible, without sacrificing individ-

ual beliefs”, Pastor Morris said. “Reminding people of the love of Christ through this commonly understood symbol is part of meeting that challenge. We want everyone to know the Love of Christ.”

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Pat Gorman Duane Paulsen How does one describe all that Pat Gorman has done in the Dixon area—much of it since he retired from Commonwealth Edison in 2010? He has taken on many projects such as repairing and restoring markers in local cemeteries for veterans, war mothers and the women’s relief corp. Many of the markers were in bad shape and he took them to his home workshop, removed years of rust and grime and repaired them. He researched 150 soldiers,

primarily from World War I, that were buried in local cemeteries. Along the way, Pat discovered six World War I veterans buried in unmarked graves, obtained government markers, and reunited five of them with relatives - some in Ireland. Among community activities, Pat is involved with the Knights of Columbus and the Shamrock Club. He is Treasurer of the Sauk Valley Veterans Memorial Museum and on the museum board at the Loveland Community Center. Pat gives willingly of his time to all of these

Pat Gorman

endeavors, whether it is scanning and archiving old pictures or assisting people in their quest for family history. In recognition of Pat’s contributions to preserving history, in 2012 he was

presented with the Langan Award for excellence in preserving the history and heritage of Dixon at the annual Founder’s Day gathering. Pat is proud to be an Irishman. He caught the genealogy bug from his wife, Carol, and has been tracing his Irish background since 1999, making ten trips back to County Kirkenny where his Gorman forefathers lived. As an extension of this interest, he is a member of the Lee County

Genealogical Society and is currently president—as well as being president of the Lee County Historical Society. Very much a family man, Pat enjoys talking about his three children—Amanda Dickson, Bridget Schein and the newly-minted Dr. Eoin Gorman. It would be impossible to total the hours Pat has devoted to Dixon community activities. He leads in a quiet way. When he sets his mind to something, it gets

done—one way or the other. He has a knack for obtaining funding for projects or knows the right people to approach for assistance. Pat, with wife Carol close by, can be found several days of the week at either the Lee County Historical Society or the Genealogical Society. He is a person one should get to know as a friend, when searching for an ancestor, or for discovering a bit of local history.


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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun

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May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Community Continued from page 8 my own world. The Apache pilot radioed over the net and said she cleared the route and said “we should be okay.” I tilted my head like a dog toward Burke. “Really?” wondering out loud if it was possible. An Apache going 140 mph flying map of the Earth could see an enemy holed up in fighting positions under blankets. So many people don’t understand what is going on in this fight, this war, and these people. They come close, but it’s hidden behind the flagpole; a truth

fense? Our column almost 1,000 meters long, driving down a black route like we were everybody’s friend. I hated the mindset that had developed in this AO (area of operations), never really fighting just shooting at each other. Our static positions were ideal and Intel came over the net that we were going to get hit again. I had already been thinking about the terrain and how to defeat its effect on how we were being ambushed. As the forward element moved down Jeep

Scott Hibbard’s group prepares for a mission.

too inconvenient to believe because of the inappropriateness of its conclusions. The Blackhawks lifted and we moved out again. Why? Why do we always seem to fight in the de-

I had my unit drive slower so we could fall back and possibly deceive the enemy and shoot flanking fires right up their a... The sun was starting to set, turning the sky shades of purple. As the

front of our column drove through a narrow spot in the road the Husky (mine detector vehicle) in front of me blew up. It rose about six feet off the ground, flipped on its side, then landed on its top. I still remember his screams – then silence. RCP 6 radioed the vehicle, but nothing. His frantic voice shaking as he tried to get a hold of his friend. Simultaneously, the convoy came under overwhelming fire. The darkening sky was pierced by thousand of tracers shot from a horseshoe ridgeline from my right. Guys were screaming over the net “we’re getting turned into Swiss cheese.” Rounds in all directions. The ambush and the kill zone was a bright glow. I maneuvered my guys and shot the flanks. One truck staggered over the next and laid down rounds into their flank and rear. It took only a few minutes to run out of ammo. Burke and Safi frantically searched for and linked ammo and handed it up to Colon. As I looked for targets we were being targeted. The Taliban had set another kill zone and we were trapped in it. We were blocked by blown-up vehicles and civilians running for cover - for their lives. Burke laughed out loud seeing two guys lying in a ditch

wishing that the buttons on their shirts weren’t so thick. SSgt xxxxx (new guy) in the vehicle directly behind me screamed over the net “we got to get out of here we’re trapped in the kill zone.” It was hard to believe he was losing his mind like that. I radioed back and told him to calm down, we weren’t going anywhere. We couldn’t if I wanted to. We were trapped. He refused to fire his weapons. He didn’t want to give away his position. So everyone else fought while he pissed himself. I thought, “I’ll deal with him later,” and the fight continued. I looked up and saw and heard mortars being dropped right on top of us. I thought we were F…. I couldn’t escape the thought that my life was about to be over. That I was going to die in this worthless country 5 days before I fly out of here - forever. There is no way to defend against mortars – except run like hell. My gunner’s weapon jammed. He mumbled in a broken terror that his gun was down, adding to the risk of one a….. refusing to fire his weapon. I ordered SSgt xxxxx (new guy) to move forward and fire his MK-19 as I guided him to targets. He got two shots off and his weapon jammed.

His gunner didn’t lube the weapon enough and it froze when our lives needed it the most. After a few minutes he got his weapon up and he hit targets into fighting positions and we got secondary explosions. Then silence. It was over. Smoldering and shot up vehicles lay quiet like grave stones. The TOC called me and said artillery was on the way, but it never came. The pilots from the fast movers called down to my call sign and I gave them guidance on where to drop, but they never did. They couldn’t confirm locations. The Taliban exfilled and we let them. Shameful. There was no fog of war in this battle just the sad reality of the world’s greatest super power scared to finish the job. We consolidated and reorganized as a QRF (quick reaction force) came to resupply us and help out. The QRF leader radioed me to ask if we were still taking fire. He didn’t want to enter our ambush. I told him it was all clear even though we were still taking small arms fire. I just shook my head in unbelief - that’s what a QRF does. It reacts. He just wanted to be a spectator in a fight he didn’t start. We drove into our assembly area at the FOB (forward operating base) and I noticed through broken and dusty

glass my commander standing – waiting. My unit was in the TOC listening to our fight. He had heard it all and was there to greet me like the father did his prodigal. “Hey Scott, glad your okay” and put his arm around me. After we cleaned up and put away our gear I walked to the chow hall and sat alone drinking a Pepsi, listening to the noise blaring out of the TVs; my hands still shaking. It was good to be alone. I sat wondering if I would make it through the next 4 days. I hoped to see my kids again. I hoped to see my wife. I hoped. It was 2:34 am, July 13, 2009. A few weeks later I sat in church listening to the congregation sing a hymn. I was in disbelief that I had made it. My body at home-my mind in combat-my heart guilty-because I made it back. Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain Leave to thy God to order and provide In every change he faithful will remain Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Father thru thorny ways lead to a joyful end Submitted by Scott Hibbard. To contact him email

441 Il Rt. 2 - Dixon, IL



In our Celebration Lounge


May 2014 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Zoomer says,


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Sauk Valley Sun  

Sauk Valley Sun May 2014

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