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Sauk Valley Sun 459 Il. Route #2 Dixon, IL 61021

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May 2013 | Vol. 1 Issue 2

Karen Abele is making dreams come true

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Fourth Fridays has returned! Fourth Fridays... Where People and the Arts Collide returned Friday, April 26, 2013 in Downtown Sterling. see page 7

Mark your calendars for high school postseason sports Postseason tournaments for the area’s spring sports kick off this month. For some, the postseason is the acceleration point of trying to meet goals and reach full potential see page 23

Photo from left to right – Janelle Beyer, Natalie Buck, Karen Abele

Courtesy photo

Karen Abele has been a volunteer with Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois for 15 years. She is a Wish Granter volunteer and has also volunteered with the Speaker’s Bureau for the past two years. “It’s a really rewarding See page 8 experience, and I meet the most amazing kids!” she said.

We’re being invaded! Illinois is being invaded by insects! If you haven’t heard about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), you must have had your head in the woodpile! see page 20





Street Beat


National Jellybean Day celebrated in Dixon

Bring your family to La Familia in Rock Falls!

Sterling’s Air Play Sports & Espresso can best be described as eclectic

Winners of StudentTeacher Art Exhibit announced in Sterling

Spin Doctors to headline Petunia Festival in Dixon

The man behind the badge in Whiteside County

see page 9

see page 11

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun


The Street Beat

Live music to highlight the summer in Dixon Dixon Main Street is delighted to bring back another year of the Musical Fridays Concert Series. We invite you to spend your lunchtime (12 p.m. - 1 p.m.) with

us each Friday from June 7 - September 27 on the Riverfront in Downtown Dixon. Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Community State Bank! And

Musical Fridays Concert Schedule presented by Community State Bank. June 7 - Kathy Cecchetti 14 - Nate Gordon 21 - Lowell Harp 28 - Robbie LeBlanc July 5 - Ray Rose 12 - Drew Dawson 19 - Eileen Quest 26 - Jay VonBruchhaeuser

don’t forgot to stop by one of our great restaurants for a to-go lunch or visit our great downtown stores after the music.

Brews, and BBQ. More information about this new music event for the city of Dixon to come in June. The day will feature a great

lineup of live music, a selection of craft brews, and great BBQ to sample. More details to come soon!

Newman High School upcoming class reunions


1963 – The Class of 1963 will hold their reunion the weekend of August 16 & 17. They will start off this weekend celebration at classmate Tom Hermes’ home in Dixon Friday at 7PM for a casual gathering. Saturday afternoon at 1PM, the class will meet at Newman for a tour of the school, including the practice facility. Classmates should meet in front of the Chapel doors for the tour. Saturday evening, the classmates will reconvene with dinner and reminiscing at 6:30PM at Rock River Country Club. For more information, please contact

Spin Doctors to headline Petunia Festival

Aug. 2 - Burn N’ Bush 9- Rowan Dierksen 16 - Tristan Bushman 23 - Mark Hobbs 30 - Jeff Kagay Sept. 6 - Ray Rose 13 - Nick Mahan 20 - Nate Gordon 27 - Kathy Cecchetti

Reagan Trail Days to bet the Blues Reagan Trail Days will be highlighted this year on Saturday, August 10 with the addition of a new music event featuring Blues,

Upcoming events and activities in Dixon by Josh Albrecht, Executive Director of Dixon Main Street

classmate, Tom Hermes. (815) 440-2967 1967 – 50th reunion will be held Columbus Day Weekend 2017. 1973 –This Class is planning their reunion for the weekend of September 13 & 14, 2013. NHS Class of ’73 will be meeting at Joe Bittorf’s home Friday night. Saturday, they will gather, along with the 1973 graduating class, from SHS at Moonlight Bay. “Save the Date” postcards have been sent out. If you did not receive one, please contact Newman’s Development Department. Chairs of this

P aper Es cape he

event are Julia Beatty Jones and Tony Papoccia 1988- The Class of 1988 will have their reunion July 20th. For more information please contact Dan Webber or Jamie Sanders. 2003 – The Class of 2003 is planning their first reunion to be held the first weekend of May 2013. For more information, please contact Diana Vasquez Fox. For all the latest news on reunions and happenings at Newman, we encourage all alumni to join the Alumni of Newman Central Catholic High School, Facebook page.

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Sauk Valley Sun


Spin Doctors

For the 49th Annual Dixon Petunia Festival, the music stage will be moving to the Riverfront in the downtown. The Petunia Festival prides itself on having the best entertainment in the area and in 2013 we have done it again. For up to date information on the festival go to www.petuniafestival. org. Here is the music lineup for this year’s festival. WEDNESDAY, JULY 3 Wednesday night, July 3rd,we will kick off the entertainment with our Country Concert on the new river front stage with “Back Country Roads” opening for “Brushfire”. Brushfire is burning up the country music scene, fresh off of their victory at the BATTLE FOR THE SADDLE at Nashville, Tennessee’s legendary Wildhorse Salon in early 2012. Out of over 300 national bands that entered, Brushfire was dubbed the champ. Since that time they have shared the stage with many country music legends as they continue to make a name for themselves. For more info go to THURSDAY, JULY 4 Thursday July 4th, the stage will be rocking from noon to midnight with a wide variety of musicians including the “Woodlawn Academy bands”, “Tristan Bush”, and “Burn N’ Bush” during the day. At night, the stage will feature local blues/rock band “Robbie LeBlanc and the Real Live Show”. Headlining on the Fourth of July will be “Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo.” Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin,” Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo” received first round Grammy nominations in 2011 for “Blues Album of the Year” and “Best New Artist”. Ever since, they’ve been skyrocketing towards a nationwide breakout. They also had the distinct pleasure of being named WAMI Blues Artist of the Year (2012). A “Madi-

Courtesy photo

son Favorite” the last four years, a title voted on by Isthmus Newspaper readers, and taking home 6 MAMA awards in 2010 & 2011 (including the coveted “Artist of the Year”), these titles have been a testament to the band’s success in a very short period of time. Their debut full length album “It Ain’t Easy,” won Blues/ Rock Album of the Year 2010- Real Blues Magazine. For more information, go to FRIDAY, JULY 5 Friday night we are proud to have Dixon’s own “Gina Venier and the Gentlemen” taking the stage. Fresh off of winning the Bar 1 Big Break competition in Chicago last year, Gina has been playing her “blue-eyed soulful pop music” throughout Chicago. More information is available at www.ginavenier. com. Friday night finishes up with crowd favorite “Dot Dot Dot”. They have been rocking the Chicago area since 2007. “The co-ed quintet may be familiar to some as finalists on FOX TV’s “American Idol” spinoff show, “The Next Great American Band,” during its 2007 season. High-profile shows have followed, including appearances at the Sundance Film Festival, a VH1 “Save the Music” benefit, events for WGN, T-Mobile, Victoria’s Secret, Wrigley, and an invite to perform at President Obama’s 2010 “Moving America Forward” rally in Chicago. More information can be found at their website SATURDAY, July 6 Saturday will be another full day of live music with a little something for everyone. Artists that day include great local talent with “Acoustic Circus”, “Trippin Molly”, and the “Noyz Boyz”. Headlining on Saturday night is famed alternative/blues legends the “Spin Doctors”.

The Spin Doctors first burst onto the scene in 1991 with the album “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” which would eventually go triple platinum, breaching the Top Five among Billboard Pop Albums while spinning off two major hit singles: “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and the No. 1 Rock radio song of 1993, “Two Princes.” Ultimately, “Pocket Full Of Kryptonite” sold over five million copies in the US and another five million overseas. Recently, the Spin Doctors announced the upcoming release of their latest album “If the River Was Wiskey”. According to their website, it is “the blues album the band was always meant to make, and their confidence shows as they give the songs lots of room to breath and let the tracks come alive via the road-tested musicianship of Chris Barron (vocals), Aaron Comess (drums), Eric Schenkman (guitar) and Mark White (bass)”. With no overdubs, irreverent lyrics, soulful drums and guitar licks that are on fire, ‘If The River Was Whisky’ captures lightning in a bottle and further cements Spin Doctors’ reputation as a live act to be reckoned with. Perhaps Schenkman puts it best, “We’ve been playing together for 25 years & we’re all badasses!” Listen to streaming samples, here:” For more information, go to www. SUNDAY, JULY 7 Sunday afternoon we kick off with festival favorites “Lyle Grobe and the Rhythm Ramblers” followed up by “South of Disorder”, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band from suburban Chicago that is sure to please Parrot Heads and festival goers of all ages. The group boasts an 11-piece band that will entertain the crowds up until we raffle off the Harley and light the fireworks!


May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Sterling municipal band’s summer concerts to feature special guests

Publisher’s Note We are one: The Tri-Cities Judy Bell Publisher Dixon, Sterling, Rock Falls…we are one. We are connected by the beautiful Rock River, by hundreds of years of being neighbors, friends, relatives, by our criss-crossing to the best of each community. We go to specialty stores in each area; we attend special events, we reach out to help and we reach out for education and information. We are one.

Many of you may enjoy the summer band concerts at the Grandon Civic Center in Sterling. This summer activity has been a tradition for many years. The band was originally called Sterling Silver Cornet Band, which began around the 1850s. The next band was called the Keystone Band. This band was under the direction of John Kadel for 21 years. Kadel also directed the 6 th Regimental Band of Illinois around the time of the Spanish-American War. The Sterling Municipal Band began around 1900. The first conductor was Jake Hitzelberger in 1919. Hitzelberger played taps at the burial of his predecessor, Kadel. Since the formation of the band with the current name, there have been

nine conductors including the current conductor, Jon James. He has conducted the band since 2003. The band hasn’t always performed in the Grandon Civic Center, since that facility wasn’t constructed until 1938. Mr. Grandon himself presented the Civic Center to the city of Sterling during a special dedication ceremony featuring many local bands as well as the Sterling Municipal Band. This summer the first concert will be Wednesday, June 12 beginning at 7:30pm. The concerts usually last about two hours. The last concert will play August 14. There are usually refreshments served during the evening as a fundraiser for a school or organization. The musicians range from teenagers to retirees. They blend their talents together for a free


evening of listening pleasure for people of all ages. Here are the concerts that will feature special guests during June and July: June 12 - Featuring guest trumpet soloist Mark Baldin, principal trumpet of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. June 19 - Featuring guest conductor Brian Balmages, an award winning composer, producer, conductor and performer. Saturday, June 22 - A chamber concert, small ensemble concert, featuring groups from within the Sterling Municipal Band. Specific groups to be announced at a later date. July 3 – Patriotic concert. July 17 – Featuring Peg Cornils, a Sterling native and flute soloist who has performed at Carnegie Hall.

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carry our loved ones into the future with us. Come remember and celebrate those being missed. There will be a candle lighting service, special music, and readings. We welcome all who have lost loved ones regardless of using hospice services. Light refreshments will be served following the service.


If you did not use hospice and would like your loved one’s name and/or photograph included in the presentation, contact Hospice of the Rock River Valley at (815) 288-3673 or email market@hospicerockriver. org. Hospice of the Rock River Valley is a United Way Agency.

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Hospice schedules memorial service Everyone is invited and welcome to attend the Hospice of the Rock River Valley yearly memorial service to honor loved ones who died during the past year. The service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 at the Wesley United Methodist Church, 2200 16th Ave. in Sterling. Remembering is how we

What could you envision? What might you, your friends and family want to have in our Tri-City? The Sauk Valley Sun is here to connect our community, to support your efforts, to celebrate and encourage the good, the honorable and every positive aspect of community life. Call me. 815-260-4350. I’m here. I will listen. Together we can achieve more!

We were GREEN before it was KEEN!

Courtesy photo

By Jill Horn

Each person who is a part of Sauk Valley Sun echoed this sense of oneness. Our Sauk Valley Sun will relect this oneness as we celebrate each community’s unique gifts to the whole. Let’s think: Tri-City. Let’s enlarge the vision of our connected communities. Let’s explore what this might mean for expanded tourism, expanded education, dynamic seminars, entertainers, and the arts.

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun


The man behind the badge By Jill Horn Whiteside County Sheriff, Kelly Wilhelmi, didn’t start out in law enforcement but looked for a job at the Whiteside County Jail and at the Dixon Correctional Center because he wanted a stable job that would provide a pension for him. He found work first as a correctional deputy at the Whiteside County Jail. Now he says it’s the best thing he

ever did. He likes helping people and protecting the public from the “bad guys�. He and the rest of the people who work for the sheriff’s office take their job very seriously. One of his goals as the sheriff is working on crime prevention. The Whiteside County Community Action Network (WeCAN) is one way the law enforcement agencies in Whiteside County work together

with community agencies to help the public. WeCAN would like to have a larger neighborhood watch that encompasses all of Whiteside County. Sheriff Wilhelmi says that people don’t know their neighbors anymore. He encourages us to check on our neighbors and to call his office if we see anything suspicious. People might say after a crime has happened, “I didn’t want to be a pest, and I wasn’t sure


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if it was important. I didn’t call.� He encourages people to call and let the police decide if it’s something to be concerned about. If a person calls when a crime is happening, it has a much better chance of being solved than if the person waits a day to call. Wilhelmi says, “We need neighborhoods to get involved.� The more people involved in keeping our neighborhoods safe, the better off we are. Another program that he and the local police departments worked together on was called “What your Kids Know That You Don’t�. Area high school students came together with parents and local law enforcement. The students made the parents aware of the fact that drugs were available if they wanted to get them. They knew where and how to get them, even if they didn’t use drugs. Hopefully parent awareness encourages families to discuss topics so the children feel comfortable discussing important issues with their parents. “Summit of Hope� was another program put together by the Sheriff’s office and local police departments. This was a social gathering with 30 different vendors. All parolees and persons on probation in Whiteside County were required to attend. The goal was to give the participants all the tools necessary for them to integrate back into society. Some of the vendors were church groups, colleges, GED programs, social agencies, NA, AA and the Secretary of State was there to issue state IDs or driver’s licenses. This program was something new, so he will wait to see the results of it. He believes if only a few of the attendees used the tools provided and integrated back into society, then that’s better for the whole county. He hopes all participants do just that.

Whiteside County Sheriff, Kelly Wilhelmi

The Sheriff feels it’s important for himself and his staff to have interests outside law enforcement. He likes hunting and fishing. These interests allow him a slight reprieve from the worries of his job for a while, although he says it never really leaves him. But he be-

Courtesy photos

lieves balance is important to make him effective when he is on the job. I’d like to conclude by saying thank you to Sheriff Wilhelmi, and to all the local law enforcement agencies for making Whiteside County a safe place to live.

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Things we want you to know: A new 2-yr. agmt. (subject to a pro-rated $150 early termination fee for feature phones, modems and hotspot devices and a $ 350 early termination fee for smartphones and tablets) required. Agmt. terms apply as long as you are a cstmr. $30 device act. fee and credit approval may apply. Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee applies (currently $1.40/line/month); this is not a tax or gvmt. required charge. Add. fees, taxes and terms apply and vary by svc. and eqmt. See store or for details. Kansas Customers: In areas in which U.S. Cellular receives support from the Federal Universal Service Fund, all reasonable requests for service must be met. Unresolved questions concerning services availability can be directed to the Kansas Corporation Commission Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at 1-800-662-0027. Offer expires 8/31/13. Trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners. Š 2013 U.S. Cellular

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

‘Little Mermaid Jr.’ wows audiences at Woodlawn Arts Academy

Open House Saturday MAY 11th 6-8pm

STERLING – Area junior high students performed “Little Mermaid Jr.” for packed houses in four shows the weekend of April 12th14th in the J. Mark Beaty Performance Center at Woodlawn Arts Academy. The students spent 12 weeks rehearsing under the instruction of Director Anne Whalen, Music Director Patrick Sheehan and Stage Director Faith Morrison. Woodlawn Arts Academy, an agency of United Way of Whiteside County, presents our next junior high theatre performance, “Alice in Wonderland Jr.,” this July. Registration for the show begins at 9am Monday, May 6th.

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Sterling Street Faire begins May 24

Courtesy photos

A deserted parking lot does not look like much to a casual passerby. But to Doug Wiersema looking out his window at Sterling Centers Inc., it is a vision of health and activity that will contribute to the vitality of downtown Sterling. 67 year old Wiersema, with a twinkle in his eye and mischief in his grin, does not see an empty lot. Doug sees Sterling Street Faire! More importantly, he sees a growing economy, people encouraged and a stronger downtown. According to Wiersema,

Sterling can become “a destination place”. He says, “In the same way that Sandwich, Illinois has become known for antiques by using its fairgrounds for vendors, Sterling can be known for Sterling Street Faire. This could grow into much more. “Unique products do well in a street faire environment. Sterling Centers may be able to help small businesses get to the next level and be permanent contributors to Sterling’s economy. Special opportunities such as these bring specially gifted people to the forefront, and communities respond.” Princeton, Wisconsin is such a community where a small event has become a statewide tourist attraction. 180 vendors and other businesses are promoting the town throughout the Midwest. Inspiration and direction has come from Sterling Main Street, Sauk Valley Chamber of Commerce, The

City of Sterling, Fourth Fridays, Janna Groharing and Tim McNinch. Also, Tim Obrien, formerly of WSDR, has been hired as coordinator to oversee the growth of the project. Tim’s background in entertainment will add flavor to what they hope to see. Everything from street performers to local and bigger name professional acts could be a draw. All those involved believe that downtown areas are recovering across the country; and this is not the time to be idle. This is the time to act. A Facebook page will be the primary source of ongoing information. Sterling Street Faire will be located in the 300 block of West Third Street in Sterling. Hours on Friday are designed to complement the Fourth Friday events and increase the downtown traffic, with vendor set up at 2 p.m. and hours from 3-7 p.m. Saturday hours are from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. with vendor set up at 6 a.m.

Sterling Street Faire will begin May 24th and continue on 2nd and 4th weekends until October 12th. Vendors will receive a space 10 x 20 foot (about the size of two parking spaces) for a $25 fee in order to buy, sell, trade and promote. To provide support to the community, non-profits, schools, clubs, churches, and other organizations will be allowed space for free. No produce will be sold because they do not wish to undermine the excellent Farmer’s Market already established in the downtown. “Certain rules will apply. You can buy, sell or trade anything except for firearms, fireworks, animals or other commodities prohibited by law, or anything that violates trademark, trade name or copyright laws.” For more information email to get Sterling Street Faire dates, rules and regulations and vendor applications.

Postal carriers organize Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive by Greg Smith

Got a thousand things to clean? We’ve got a thousand uses for Basic H2®. Try it on: Barbecue grill grunge Sticky countertops Muddy doggie prints Greasy pans Crayoned walls Splattered tomato sauce on stovetops Kitchen appliances Bathroom fixtures Streaks on windows Dusty tables Adhesive residue Microwave mishaps Patio furniture Wooden decks Chrome lighting fixtures

Spotty silverware Spilled juice Water-marked windshields Shoe track marks Grimy toilets Remote controls Filthy volleyballs Dirty gym bags Refrigerator inside and out Steering wheels Dusty ceiling fans Chandeliers Telephones Banisters Fingerprints on bathroom mirror Greasy kitchen sinks Chocolate on kitchen walls Coffee mug rings on tabletops Pizza dough on countertops Dog slobber on glass doors Veggie drawers

Call Jill Horn to learn more! 815-441-3959

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Residents of Sauk Valley are being asked to leave out more than just letters to be picked up by mail carriers on Saturday, May 11. On that day, postal workers will be collecting canned goods and other non-perishable food items for local food pantries as part of the National Association of Letter Carriers campaign, the “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive”. “All the food that is collected goes to local food pantries.” Kris Assellborn, postmaster for the Dixon Post Office said. “The drive is organized by the carriers themselves.” The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is a nationwide effort that provides food to local food banks and pantries that rely on donations. Residents who wish

to participate are asked to put items in bags next to their mail box for the carrier to pick up. Examples of non-perishable items include; peanut butter, canned soup, canned meats and fish, canned vegetables, fruits and juices, and boxed goods such as cereal, pasta and rice. “In the past we’ve had help from the Boy Scouts.” Darla Rangel, officer in charge of the Rock Falls Post Office said. “The carriers usually recruit their family members to help out.” In Sterling, the food collected by the mail carriers goes to churches and other organizations with food banks and pantries, according to Jo Bittinger, postmaster for the Sterling Post Office. “The donations are needed because hundreds of families need help, especially in this economy.”

Bittinger said. This will be the 21st year the letter carriers have collected non-perishable food for pantries, according to the National Association of Letter Carriers. Last year, mail carriers who worked for the Dixon Post Office collected 12,496 pounds of food for the local pantries. Nationwide, the carrier association collected more than 70 million pounds of food in 2012. “All the food will be dropped off at the food pantries by the time the carriers punch out at 4 p.m. May 11,” said Rangel. “They put a lot of effort to make this successful, but they need the community’s support.” For more information about Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, contact your local mail carrier or post office.  


May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Local Sauk Valley Sights and Insights

Dixon’s Ferry

by Ann Lewis Newcomers to the area often ask about the origin of the name “Sauk Valley” and the relationship of its 3 main towns: Dixon, Sterling and Rock Falls. The name was derived from Osawkee, meaning “the people at the outlet.” From the sound of Osawkee, the French derived “Sac” and the English “Sauk.” In the 1600s the Sauk Indians lived along the St. Lawrence River. The Sauk migrated to Sagniaw Bay in the Huron area of Michigan. In the 1700s, the Hurons drove the Sauk into southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, along the Rock River. This is when

Founder of Dixon, John Dixon

our area became the Sauk Valley. Chief Black Hawk was born in a village on the Rock River in present-day Rock Island, IL. In 1826, word of the richness of the Galena lead mines spread to the southern Illinois settlements, including Ft. Clark (now Peoria). Springtime brought hundreds of miners who headed directly north, crossing the Rock River at Dixon, thereby avoiding the Winnebago swamp. Around 1828, Joseph Ogee established a rope ferry and cabin at this location. In the spring of 1830, John Dixon bought Ogee’s Ferry. Dixon’s Ferry was a quiet outpost when in 1832 the

Founder of Rock Falls, A.P. Smith

Blackhawk War broke out. Because of its central location between Fort Dearborn (Chicago) and Ft. Armstrong (Rock Island), a log fort, Ft. Dixon, was built as the central command post for the Illinois state militia and the regular army. Two years after the Blackhawk War, in June, 1834, Hezekiah Brink came to Dixon looking for a homestead. The next day, he traveled south along the Rock River, up Elkhorn Creek to Prophetstown. Brink made his claim on the north bank of the Rock River, east of present-day Broadway in Sterling. The name Sterling was selected in 1838 in honor of Major James Sterling who fought

Early Sterling

Founder of Sterling, Hezekiah Brink

in the Blackhawk War. In 1839, Brink built a rope ferry across the Rock River. Using the water power, industries grew. The south side remained undeveloped for about 10 years until, in 1867, Augustus Smith bought the right to water power on the south side. He founded Rock Falls and promoted the use of water power to other businessmen. Around 1845, Dixon’s first dam was built. In 1851, a more substantial dam was constructed, stimulating industry.

Early Rock Falls

Courtesy photos & images

So, we see that Rock Falls, Sterling and Dixon all have prospered as a result of the rich land in the Sauk Valley and the lifeblood in the Rock River. In the early days, it was the power of the river that brought industries; to-

day, all three communities are revitalizing their river fronts, looking to tourism as the new lifeblood. A new day is dawning for the “TriCities”, along with a new spirit of cooperation.

▪ Metal Sculpture by Sloane Wolfe Beans Coffee House & Music Cafe - 121 E. 3rd Street ▪ The Return of Open Mic Night

working together to enliven the downtown and showcase the works of the artisans right here at home. To learn more about Fourth Fridays PAC, you may call Janna Groharing at 815.625.1248, or contact the Sterling Main Street Office at 815.626.8610, visit our Facebook Page at FourthFridaysPAC or e-mail us at FourthFridaysPAC@

Fourth Fridays has returned! Sterling, IL – Fourth Fridays... Where People and the Arts Collide returned Friday, April 26, 2013 from 6-8 p.m. in Downtown Sterling. Walking Maps outlining a complete list of venues and events may be picked up at any of the participating businesses and sponsors, or by downloading a copy online at www.fourthfridayspac. com. A complete listing of

venues and events for the evening: Sterling Main Street Office - 318 First Avenue ▪ Woodlawn Arts Academy featured artist John Gragert & Sons The Hair Gallery – 501 First Avenue ▪ Traveler’s Tale – Artwork by Victoria Sels featuring watercolor and acrylics on paper and canvas First Congregational Church - 410 2nd Avenue

▪ Artwork by Ben Perez ▪ Stanly Kurasz, handcrafted wood games, toys and children’s furniture ▪ Penny Henderson, Memories in Stone ▪ Informational Displays on the 30 Hour Famine ▪ Make & Take May Basket Project for the kids Champs - 216 Locust Street ▪ Music by Dickie Johnson and Joe Kodak from 6-9 p.m.

Attracting birds to your yard Glenda Sisson, Sisson Lawn and Landscape Company, has answers to your questions about attracting birds to your yard. She has a series of free booklets that tell you about what the birds

like for nesting, feeding, how to provide water, etc. Some of the bird booklets currently available: Hummingbirds, Orioles, Cardinals, Bluebirds, and Goldfinches.

Brad’s BEAT

Brad Monson Don’s Seafood and Restaurant, Sterling, is a small place yet home to the BIGGEST Pork Tenderloin we’ve ever seen. Give it a try next time you at at his place, 1501 West Fourth…. Choices! That’s our big-

gest challenge at the Oregon Soap Shoppe…there are over 300 varieties…all hand made (lovingly) by Lynnel Camling with supportive assistance of her partner Michael Olson. We found our Mother’s Day gifts… and more. It’s worth the drive! 866-411-6614. We wish it was our May wedding! Dr. Hey, Dixon, has a FREE OFFER $: a $350 teeth whitening. Call Patty at 815-288-4731 and ask for an appointment and have a dazzling wedding! Tara at Gazi’s Restaurant is the ultimate serving person…she never stops moving, she never let’s your coffee cup get empty or cold. And, they may have

Just stop in and ask for the brochures at Sisson’s , 1910 East 4th Street, Sterling. 815-626-7989. Your efforts may be rewarded by having feathered friends visiting all season.

the best breakfast on 1st Avenue in Rock Falls. 815626-4294 When we dine at Mama Cimino’s in Dixon we love having Shandi as our server…such loving attention! Also Mama Cimino’s buffet chicken wings are DELISH! Thanks Mama! 815-2884448. Sterling’s Asian Buffet on Lincolnway has opened and we are all happy for Mike, John and all of the extended family who have worked so long and hard to bring this stunningly beautiful restaurant to our area. Congratuations!!!!! 815-625-7838. It’s Brad on his Beat. Aloha!

Main Street Wine Cellar - 1 E. 3rd Street ▪ Artist Linda VonHolten ▪ Music by Matt Kinneman from 6-9 p.m. ▪ Music by Lewis Knudsen from 9-12 p.m. The Precinct - 113 E. 3rd Street ▪ Acoustic Duo Northbound Train 7-10 p.m. Air Play Sports - 115 E. 3rd Street ▪ Guitarist Daniel Bombliss

Fourth Fridays PAC is a monthly cultural event brought to you by Sterling Main Street which features downtown Sterling business owners partnering with the local arts community,

Just in time for Mother’s Day: Mommy-Son Date Night STERLING – Just in time for Mother’s Day, Woodlawn Arts Academy is giving boys ages 3-13 the chance to take their moms on a date! Make long-lasting memories with dinner, making cookies & a

craft, dancing, games & a special story from 5:00-7:30pm Saturday, May 11th in the J. Mark Beaty Performance Center at the Academy. Feel free to dress up for this special night! Tuition is $30 per boy;

moms attend free with son’s tuition! Registration for this event started 9am Monday, April 22nd. Register online or by calling (815) 626-4278.

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Karen Abele: The wish granter By Jill Horn Karen Abele has been a volunteer with Make-AWish Foundation of Illinois for 15 years. She is a Wish Granter volunteer and has also volunteered with the Speaker’s Bureau for the past two years. As a speaker, she makes speeches to local clubs about the organization and what she does. As a Wish Granter, she works with children to discern what the wishes are and then work with other wish volunteers to make the wish come true. There are six different ways one can volunteer within Make-A-Wish. One can also volunteer as an event volunteer, an office volunteer, a meet and greet volunteer, or as a committee member volunteer. Once a child is referred to Make-A- Wish by a doctor, themselves, or a parent or guardian, Make-A-Wish verifies that the child has a terminal illness and the wish is approved. Karen is part of the next step. She is given a name and then contacts the family and makes arrangements to meet with them. She usually asks, “If you could have anything, what would it be?” Most often the wish is a trip to Disneyland

or Disney World. Karen says, “Those are easy wishes to arrange since Disney has a place to stay for wish children and a program for the children during their stay.” Some other wishes she has granted are a playground set for a 3-year-old child, whose face lit up the second she saw it in her backyard. She also has arranged shopping sprees for wish children or room re-decorations. She Karen Abele arranged a wish for one As a Wish Granter, Karen child to meet Adam Sandler. is asked to work on grantThe child was able to meet ing three wishes per year. Adam, along with Drew If a trip is wished for, she Barrymore, while they were doesn’t accompany the child in Hawaii. The wish child - the family does. She usuwas able to hang out with ally works alone on wishes them for a few days, and since there aren’t that many Adam even took the child volunteers in this area. She to an amusement park while is currently working with in Hawaii. A current wish Janelle Beyer on a wish for she is working on is for an 7 year old, Natalie Buck. 18-year-old boy who wants Karen says, “It’s a really to meet one of the New York rewarding experience, and Giants and go to a game. I meet the most amazing That wish was set for last kids!” fall but then he became ill For more information and couldn’t go to the game. about Make-A-Wish or to Now he must wait until the become a volunteer, log on football season starts again. to

Make-A-Wish 5K Run/Walk is a little race with a BIG cause

Building Futures... Realizing Dreams

When the Make-A-Wish 5K Run/Walk happens May 18th, Trevor Belzer, Walgreens Dixon Manager, and Race Director, will have promoted two races in 16 months. And, he is convinced it is a “little race with a BIG cause.” Inspired by his wife Karla’s experience of organizing a 5K got Christ Lutheran church, Trevor partnered with Lisa Knebel-Cullen, Make a Wish Representative to orchestrate the May 2012 and May 2013 events. And it has simply grown. The first year there were 194 registered with 177

completing the race. “This year we have surpassed that registration,” Trevor said, “ and many, many people wait until the day of the race to register.” For all attendees there will be music, entertainment, Dr. Jacob Stegmaier, Now Care, will provide chiropractic adjustments, and after-race giveaway packets and samples from local restaurants including Culvers and Cobblestones. For pre-race information and to register on-line: www.makeawish5k.webs. com; Facebook: Dixon Make a Wish 5K and www. All proceeds benefit Make-a-Wish Foundation. Trevor believes the little race with the BIG cause will grow every year because it is “good to do good for others. I am only a part of a group of people who want to make our community better. Walgreens encourages me to make a difference in our community,”he said. Trevor is also an active member of Dixon Rotary Club. Karla and Trevor are parents of two little ones, 3 and 5 years old who will, no doubt, experience the joy of giving, too.


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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Local National Jellybean Day celebrated in Dixon Ronald Reagan’s favorite candy was the center of attention during National Jellybean Day celebration at his boyhood home in Dixon on April 22. “The kids had a blast coloring and participating in a jelly bean game,” Brandi Langner, executive director of the Reagan Home said. “This was the first time we have done this and we definitely plan to do it again next year.” During the two hour event, children enjoyed

coloring and creating Jelly Belly mosaics on cake boards and pizza rounds. They also sorted jelly beans into different bowls with the use of a straw and sucking in to capture the bean and drop it into the correct bowl. Nearly everything was donated, according to Langner. The cake boards were donated by County Market and the pizza rounds were donated by Angelo’s. The free samples of Jelly Belly beans were donated by Jelly Belly.

There was also a contest to see who could come the closest to guessing how many jelly beans were inside a gallon jug. The winner was Margie Jonic of Rockford. There were approximately 3,200 jelly beans in the jar. “She was really serious about wanting to win those jelly beans,” Langner said. “She had a pad and pen in hand and tried to calculate how many were in the container by counting how many were in a row.”

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Local Legislative update Tom Demmer State Representative, 90th Distruct The flood waters are finally receding and while some folks in our area saw some property damage, we’re lucky we didn’t bear the brunt of the flooding like the Peoria area or communities along the Fox River and the Des Plaines River. In the 90th District, both LaSalle County and DeKalb County

were declared disaster areas by Governor Quinn. The official designation for those counties will bring additional state resources for recovery and repair efforts. If you live outside a disaster area but still saw some personal property damage from the floods, you may still be eligible for a low-interest recovery loan through the state treasurer’s office—look for details on

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This week the House reconvenes in Springfield for an intensive session before our May 31 adjournment. We still have a number of big issues to address: the state budget, pension reform, concealed carry, and a proposed expansion of Medicaid, among others. All residents of the 90th District will soon receive a survey in the mail. In the mailer you’ll find contact information for my district office and have the opportunity to share your opinions on several key issues. I believe it’s important that elected officials ask questions of constituents and listen to the replies. That’s why I’m hopeful you’ll complete the survey and mail it back in. In order to be a good representative for you in Springfield, I need to listen to your opinions, concerns, and perspectives. That’s just what this survey helps me do. If you’d like, you can also visit and complete the survey online. Over the past week, several of my colleagues joined minority leader Rep. Tom Cross in support of a package of bills for welfare reform. The bills make common sense improvements to the welfare system by adding a photo ID to LINK cards to ensure that the user

of the card is the rightful owner. Another bill would prohibit using government cash assistance to buy alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, tattoos, and other items that are not what the assistance is intended to fund. The other bills prevent incarcerated inmates from obtaining welfare, and prohibit those with outstanding criminal warrants from receiving benefits. These welfare reforms are not only responsible safeguards, they protect the integrity of the program. Programs for food and cash assistance are designed to be a safety-net for people in need. Every dollar spent inappropriately is a dollar taken away from those who truly need it. Switching gears to firearms legislation, we still face a ticking clock toward the court-imposed deadline of June 9 for passage of a law that allows for concealed carry. A restrictive, “may-issue” proposal offered by Rep. Kelly Cassidy was soundly defeated 31-76 after a lengthy debate on the House floor. The following day, a permissive, responsible concealed carry bill offered by Rep. Brandon Phelps and supported by the NRA gained 64 yes votes, but failed to reach the necessary 71 votes for passage.

The Senate is weighing several proposals too. I suspect more votes to happen in the coming weeks, but our action so far demonstrates the difficulty of getting 71 members of the House to agree to any proposal. The bar is set high, and we’re working hard to protect our second amendment rights and gain the votes necessary for passage. We’re also faced with a significant challenge on the budget. I sit on the Appropriations for Human Services Committee, which oversees half the state budget and allocates funding for Medicaid, developmental disability care, mental health care, the department on aging, and a variety of social services. Over the past several weeks, we’ve heard testimony from providers and users of all these services. We have a steep curve in finding adequate funding for needed services while trying to do things more efficiently and in a less costly way. The month of May will be a long and busy month. I’m hopeful we’ll find responsible solutions to some of our problems, and begin to take steps to correct the course that led Illinois to the situation we’re in today.

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Local Dining

Bring your family to La Familia! Photos & story by Spencer Schein When looking for a hearty authentic Mexican meal in a casual setting, a great place to go is La Familia Restaurant located at 201. W. 2nd St., Rock Falls. The restaurant has genuine features befitting a family Mexican restaurant, such as photos of family and friends, as well as artwork fitting the theme. I sat in one of the seven booths, which are set on each side of the restaurant with tabletops in the center, and was greeted by my waitress who brought me a basket of chips and a mild salsa. She then asked for my drink order. I usually stick to a typical, American beverage such as Pepsi, but instead I ordered a Pineapple soda from Jarritos, a Mexican soft drink brand. The sweet-tasting pineapple soda was a great compliment to the meal. The menu offers individual and dinner platter selections of tacos, burritos, tostas, enchiladas, quesadillas tortas and more. Although I was originally thinking about ordering a

combination meal, I instead ordered a chimichanga with shredded beef. I was not disappointed. My waitress first served a cup of soup, which comes with the meals. The House Soup features a tomato/ vegetable base with many elbow noodles and an array of vegetables. The chimichanga was served with a sizeable portion of refried beans and rice. I asked for a spicier version of the salsa, but told my waitress not as spicy as the Habanero bottles on the table. The spicier salsa added the perfect touch to the meal, which was heavily flavored with beef, lettuce and tomato. The outer crust was a bit flaky from being deep-fried. It’s enough for two servings for some eaters. I was very impressed by the flavors and textures. Open for lunch and dinner, La Familia offers special dinner specials on Wednesday and Friday nights. These specials are announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page ( pages/La-Familia-Restaurant-Bakery/66391267907). The restaurant is a good

Chimichanga with rice and beans

stop for couples and families with children. Carryout is available. The La Familia restaurant is right around the corner from Dave’s Coffee Cake, 209 2nd St. Both the bakery and restaurant are operated by David R. Barajas, Sr. For more information, call La Familia at 815-6260158. Cakes can be ordered by calling 815-441-0708. Go to on the internet for more information. La Familia Restaurant Hours Tue - Thu: 11 am - 8 pm Fri: 11 am - 8:30 pm Sat: 8 am - 8:30 pm

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

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Whiteside County Health Department awarded grant Whiteside County Health Department was awarded a grant by the American Cancer Society to implement a Childhood Obesity Pilot Project in our community. This pilot project addresses the public health problem of excess weight and obesity in youth ages 2-18. This program has been presented to 2nd and 3rd graders in two local schools. The students have learned about My Plate, serving sizes, avoiding sugary drinks, anytime and sometime foods, and have a healthy snack example and activity during the lesson. The program provides education in nutrition and physical activity with the goal of behavior modification. The health department has developed program components including curriculum, evaluation plans, participant materials and program goals that can all be easily replicated and shared with other communities. A Parent Tip Sheet is included in every lesson to communicate with parents what their children are learning and to broaden the reach of the lesson. According to a recent Community Assessment performed in Whiteside County, 27% of adults

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consider themselves to be obese, while 36.6% of area residents consider themselves overweight, numbers both higher than that of Illinois. The recent County Health Rankings ranked Whiteside County much higher than both Illinois and the national benchmarks in both obesity and physical inactivity. Obesity is one of Whiteside County’s 2010 I-Plan goals and this project will allow the health department to expand its efforts to provide obesity prevention to youth in our community.




May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Local Dining

Ginkgo Tree Café breakfast service highly recommended By Spencer Schein When I entered the Ginkgo Tree Café on a wet and dark Thursday morning for breakfast, I didn’t know what to expect. When I left I knew I made the right choice. It was my first time at the café at 216 W. 1st St., Dixon. It is much bigger than any café I had visited. Kitchen Manager Laura Santos explained that most of the breakfast service is done at the back tables where the kitchen is located, although people are welcome to sit anywhere they choose. She greets everyone who walks in with a big, “Good Morning!” with her vantage point in the kitchen giving her full view of the front

door. I took one of the three tables in the back, where a semi-circle counter with jewels adorning the top will soon be refurbished to be a breakfast counter. Santos recited the menu for the day, which included an Apple Panini and a casserole full of eggs, roasted potatoes, spinach and goat cheese. Other items included an egg scrambler served on a bagel, English muffin, wholewheat toast, and oatmeal. I asked if it would be too much to order both the scrambler (which includes fresh vegetables, cheese, and sausage) and the oatmeal. Santos suggested I pick one or the other and then see for myself. I chose the scrambler and had some

coffee while waiting for the meal to be prepared. Each meal is prepared from fresh to order and from scratch, sans the bread. The casseroles, described as more like a quiche, are made from scratch but are prepared in advanced. The coffee was very robust, dark and full of flavor. The soft music, glowing light from lamps and strung


211 S. Peoria St., Dixon, IL 61021 • (815) 288-2151

lights, and the pastel color on the wall created a relaxing ambiance. My breakfast was served on a lare square plate with a great presentation of the bagel cut in half and fresh fruit scattered in a structured pile in the lower-right corner. The sandwich consisted of two free range jumbo eggs – one whole and one white – scrambled and combined with cheddar cheese, a soft cream cheese infused with fresh herbs, slices of yellow bell pepper and onion,

and an organic sausage free of nitrates. The concoction was placed between a softly toasted “everything” thin bagel, which was easily pliable with a fork. With my first bite I could taste the quality. The eggs were hearty and the cheeses most favorable. The sausage was a bit spicy. The meal was very filling. “Usually whole grains and fresh ingredients will make that happen,” Santos said. The raisin bran muffins

Santos makes are full of rich flavors. I highly recommend the breakfast service of Ginkgo Tree Café. Anyone who has a distinctive palate or who wants to try a healthier breakfast (full of whole grains, fresh ingredients, and made from scratch) are sure to enjoy. Service is from 7-to-10 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Carryout orders are taken. Menus may change daily or by the week.

Von Holten exhibits art at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

St. Luke's Episcopal Church welcomes you... Join us! 10:15 AM Sunday Service followed by coffee & Fellowship. Children welcome!

Sunday School 10:00 AM Wednesday Healing Service 10:00 AM

Sudoku Puzzle

By Jill Horn

The object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once. Answer key is found on page 19.




















2 1

1 9



Courtesy photo

Blackhawk Hills Regional Council to hold annual meeting ROCK FALLS, IL – Blackhawk Hills Regional Council will hold their annual meeting on May 15, 2013, at Basil Tree in Dixon, IL. The event will begin at 6:00 PM and dinner will be served at 6:30 PM. The




Linda Von Holten, Visual Arts Instructor, Newman High Schook, Sterling, is shown with some of her art as the current featured exhibitor at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Dixon. The Undercroft of the church has been used to exhibit members' artwork for several years. For further information about exhibits contact the church office, 815-288-2151.

meeting is open to the public and will feature Josh Albrecht, Executive Director of Dixon Main Street, as the speaker. Cost to attend the event is $20.00 per person or $35.00 per couple with a cash bar. To attend the event, please RSVP by contacting Blackhawk Hills at 815-625-3854 or by email at Reservations are due by May 10, 2013. About Blackhawk Hills Regional Council Blackhawk Hills Regional Council is a not-for-profit corporation based in Rock

Falls, IL, that serves Carroll, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, and Whiteside Counties in northwest Illinois. Services include community planning, development assistance, natural resources conservation and protection support, and grant writing and administration. Blackhawk Hills is sponsored by local county boards and Soil and Water Conservation Districts and is overseen by an 18-member council, consisting of three representatives from each of the six counties. Questions about Blackhawk Hills Regional Council may be directed to (815) 625-3854 or


May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun


THE HARDHAT Parent - The Importance of a Firm “NO” Rev. Jeff Coester Pastor of The Big Red Church When children are small they often respond to questions and instructions with an emphatic “NO”! This can be cute. It can be annoying. Yet, something in the early instincts of a child tells them that “NO” is not about negotiation. “No” simply means “NO”! The story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-39 illustrates the importance of a simple, emphatic “NO” perfectly. Scripture reveals one flaw in young Joseph. Other than speaking when he should be quiet, Joseph is outstanding in every detail. The favoritism of his father, the dysfunction of his home and too much talking

offend Joseph’s brothers and they sell him into slavery. Being a man of skill and character makes Joseph rise above other servants. Joseph manages the estate of the powerful man, Potiphar, who owns him. Potiphar’s wife finds Joseph attractive and would seduce him, but Joseph is firm in his resolve to be pure. Even so, his method of responding creates a problem for him. Joseph could say ”NO”. Instead he offers reasons for refusing her offer. She sees these reasons as objections to overcome. She found him powerful and attractive. She said “Sleep with me”. She was relentless in her pursuit and it went on day after day. Joseph offers three excuses for not being with her.

I know more about the house than your husband and control everything. – She hears, I am forgotten and neglected. She was attracted to power. I have everything I want here except you. – She thinks, I am offering myself to you. Joseph points to his morality. He respects her marriage, which she is already demonstrating is not an issue to her. Joseph cites his commitment to God. This woman does not worship God. Because they have no common values, Joseph is not persuading her to behave. In her mind, Joseph is giving her objections to overcome. Once she feels the objections have been adequately overcome she

feels scorned and is angry. To make it even worse, his objections could easily sound like a tease because they are clumsy. We should not fault his sincerity, only his strategy. An emphatic “NO” is definite. It is not intended to engage a discussion. Children are not an evangelist of the values of their parents. They are young people whose character is in formation. Parents can help a child by teaching them logic at home, and not to argue with peers. Peer pressure works like this: “Here Chris, smoke some weed with me; you will love it.” “No Pat, my mom will kill me.” “Ok Chris, don’t worry!

We have this private place we go to get high. The parents will never find out. We even have deodorizers for clothes and stuff for breath. You don’t have to be a chicken! Your mom will never have a clue.” What Chris meant to say was, “No. Smoking weed isn’t for me.” Instead, Chris did not want to look like a dork or endure uncomfortable silence. So the game begins. Pat is a determined salesman, because Pat likes to win at any cost. Bring on the objections; the one most prepared to argue might win the day. The problem is the lure of compromise is always strong. If Pat’s first response is “NO” and the second response is an equally firm “NO”, then there is no

verbal web to weave in which they might become entangled. Young people do not easily admit it, but I can tell you after years of counseling that they respect a strong will. They expect a strong will in their parents and respect it. They do not expect a strong will in their peers, but they respect a strong will just the same. A strong parent can teach their child the difference between making a strong argument and exercising a strong will, but we must teach them to say “NO” with firm resolve. Rev. Jeff Coester is The Pastor of The Big Red Church in Sterling. Like them on Facebook! Send Questions to hardhat1@

Keep an attitude of learning and growing, and watch what happens in your life! Remember that God loves you & I do too! Hello, my name is Scott Porter. I am the pastor of Abiding Word Church in

Sterling, Illinois. I have been in ministry at Abiding Word for 27 years in May. I was born in Dixon, raised in Rock Falls, and I now live in Sterling. I have been invited to share with you each month, a column

I call PASTOR SCOTT’S CORNER. I hope you enjoy it. You can send questions or comments to scottd16@ or check out our church website at www.

Pastor Scott’s Corner Have a heart for what matters most Scott Porter Pastor of Abiding Word Church In the day and age in which we live, we must determine to set ourselves to have a heart for what matters most. If we truly want to have a heart for what matters most, there are two spiritual priorities that I would suggest we set. Are you ready? First off is, to have a heart for God In Matthew 22 when Jesus was asked what the greatest command in the law was, Jesus responded in verse 37: “…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…” Here, a lawyer is crossexamining Jesus. Wouldn’t you have loved to have been there? Now, after this one, you might not even need the rest of the list if you really got this one right, you’ve got

them all. I have come to the conclusion that if I maintain my deep, passionate love for God, everything else flows out of that love relationship. The problem is that so many approach God through rules instead of relationship - duty instead of devotion. Rules, regulations, religion or relationship? Jesus didn’t come to bring us more rules, regulations, or a new religion. He came to earth so we could have a living, vital relationship with His Father, through Him. Here is the second spiritual priority. A heart for people. Jesus in continuing his conversation with that attorney told him that the 2nd greatest commandment was like the first: “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The “Pastor Scott” translation of these two verses is simply this, “love God and love people…” Do you ever stop and

think about the way you treat people? ASK YOURSELVES THE QUESTION: HOW DO I TREAT PEOPLE? Several years ago, I started thinking about this. I looked at the way I was treating people, looking at people, thinking about people, I knew that there was room in my heart for me to grow. I’m sure the same is true for you. Imagine what our life would be like if we saw people and treated people the way Jesus does, and enlarged our circle of love to include others. I was recently at a conference for ministers, and it dealt with the subject of leadership. The speaker really challenged me in many areas, specifically in the area of enlarging my heart to others outside of my present circle. I’ve always loved people. I’m a people person, but we must never think that “we’ve arrived” and that there is no room for us to grow.

Dixon Riverfront 2013 Spring sales and pledge program in full swing Kay Miller Executive Director, Dixon Riverfront Spring is here and the thought of being outdoors is on all our minds. Now is the time to order your commemorative paver for our next engraving. The pavers make a great gift for a loved one, school reunions, birthday, weddings and a multitude of other ideas. The engraving will take place around the middle of June and the deadline to

purchase these will be the first of June.There are many locations still available and the choice will be up to you. Check out our web-site at www.dixonriverfront. net, where you will be able to view the prices and pictures of the pavers, as well as other amenities. We still have a few benches and cafe tables available. These items can also be dedicated by an attached plaque. For any other questions please call me at 815-9730931.

The Dixon Riverfront is also starting on the Phase II program to develop a bike and walking path along the Rock River east of Dixon along RT.2. In addition, a project to install the boat dock facilities is underway. Your donation is tax deductible! The Dixon Riverfront Commission is qualified as a Section 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code.


BRUNCH in the Woods

Mother's Day Sunday, May 12 10:00am-2:00pm

Treat mom to a special brunch, and enjoy the beautiful grounds of Reynoldswood Christian Camp (Dixon).

$12.50 (Ages 12-59) $10.00 (Ages 60+) $5.00 (Ages 4-11)

Free for children 3 and under A percentage of profits will go towards providing day camp scholarships for local youth.

Mother's Day


$2.00 off

in the Woods

Good for one adult Brunch in the Woods on Sunday, May 12, 2013.


Grades K-6 For more information or to

Summer Day Camp

register, please email us at:,

June 10 - August 9 th

or phone: 815-284-6979.


621 Reynoldswood Rd. Dixon, IL 61021 (815) 284-6979


May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Health & Beauty

The doctor is in: “Throat-clearing, a lump in the throat and a mild cough”

Dr. Don Lewis, MD Otolaryngologist Reflux laryngitis and pharyngitis is a very common problem. Although it can exist in patients who already have a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux (or GERD), it is often an isolated and separate problem. Thus, it can, and often does, exist in the absence of heartburn. It is the source of frequent complaints of bad breath, post-nasal drip, the feeling of a lump in the throat, and throat clearing. In our modern American culture, in which we eat a great deal of fast food (read that as, unapologetically, BAD food), drink carbonated drinks of any sort, and ingest far too much caffeine, it is a common entity often invisible to the sufferers. Lots of cough syrup, antihistamines, decongestants, and even asthma medications are used by persons for what is

a wrong diagnosis. Left untreated, permanent damage to the larynx (voice box) can result. I hope by bringing you this column, I can you give greater insight and thus help you to take simple, effective steps, without resorting to medication of any sort, to feel better. I am drawing on over thirty years of experience, so please read further. There are two valves in your esophagus (swallowing tube) keeping the things you swallow from coming back up. The lower one, just “north” of your stomach, is relaxed by nicotine and caffeine. Even though chocolate doesn’t contain caffeine it contains theobromine, which is chemically almost the same. Tea contains theophylline, again, almost identical. Thus, eliminating caffeinated coffee, and drinking “decaffeinated” tea would be a great improvement. There is no other option for chocolate though. Carbonated beverages and beer contain gas which is liberated by the digestive process, hence the burping. This increases pressure in your stomach and makes things, especially liquids, come back up. The upper valve is located

just behind the opening of your trachea, or windpipe. When that valve is relaxed by the same chemicals, you can have spillage of little bits of gas-propelled acid into the airway. That is how reflux can damage your voice. If the reflux goes a little higher, for example up into the area behind your nose, as of course it will when you lie down, you can see how irritation results. You end up with puffy, irritated tissue in your nasopharynx, where your adenoids were when you were young. It can even irritate the opening of the Eustachian tubes, leading to ear pain and the development of middle ear fluid. You feel that irritation, and of course the “lump”, and try to “clear it”. That is the situation in which many people complain of “post-nasal drip”, which seems unassociated with either allergy or cold symptoms. In our hurried world, we often do really unwise things when it comes to our health. For example, instead of having a wholesome breakfast of whole grains and fruit, we either miss it entirely or eat junk food. If we miss it, we miss the chance to buffer all that stomach acid building

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A normal larynx, left, versus one with reflux laryngitis, above

Photos courtesy of

up overnight. Think about it. It is called breakfast because you break the fast. Eating a bad breakfast can be the topic for a different article, but it suffices to say that, if you are smart, you eat three meals a day with only midmorning and mid-day fruit or vegetable snacks. Then, eat nothing at all in the way

of solids within two hours of reclining. That doesn’t mean just sleeping, it includes flopping down on the couch. If you do, you are just asking for stuff to come back up. If you have these symptoms, try raising the head of your bed six inches on wooden blocks. The point I want to stress

is concentration on diet and lifestyle before looking to doctors and medications. Eat right, don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol regularly, avoid any carbonated beverages, get off caffeine, and don’t hit the recliner right after you eat. Come on, that’s easy.

VA Benefits for wartime Veterans and their spouses You served your country in its time of need. Let your country serve you in your time of need. Heritage Woods of Sterling to Host Free Workshop on VA Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit Who can qualify to receive over $13,000 to $24,000 per year tax-free? According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, about a quarter of the nation’s population – approximately 70 million people – are potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members or survivors of veterans. The VA Aid and Attendance Pension benefit, one of the many benefits available through the VA, offers eligible veterans or their surviving spouses a significant monthly pension, ranging from $1,113 to $2,054 per month tax-free for home care, assisted living, or skilled nursing. To be eligible, veterans must have served 90 consecutive days or more with at least one

day during a wartime period (World War II, Korea, etc) and meet a few medical and financial eligibility criteria. As part of our on-going commitment to making elder care more affordable, we are working to educate the local community about the availability of Aid & Attendance benefits. During our workshop, we will be reviewing the eligibility criteria and show how thousands of families, EVEN IN CASES OF HIGHER NET WORTH, have become eligible for this benefit helping to offset the cost of the care being provided. Heritage Woods of Sterling is hosting this educational workshop about VA benefits on May 30, 2013 at 6:30 P.M. The event will take place at our community, which is located at 2205 Oak Grove Ave, Sterling , Illinois]. The workshop is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Please call 815625-7045 to register – and if you know someone else who could benefit from this

information, please bring him or her along. If you are unable to attend the workshop, please visit www. for more information about the benefit, or email at info@ Heritage Woods of Sterling is your affordable assisted living community in Sterling, Illinois designed to serve adults 65 and older of all incomes who may need some help to maintain their independence and daily living. It especially benefits those who cannot afford private pay assisted living. For more information contact Diane Lopez at 815-625-7045 or e-mail at: marketing@hw-sterling-slf. com.

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Health & Beauty Hearing loss: the third most common health problem in the United States STERLING - According to the American Academy of Audiology, approximately 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. During the month of May, Better Hearing Month, CGH Audiology Services encourages the community to make hearing health a priority. Hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, but it is important to know that more than half of the people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. Hearing loss can affect people of all ages – newborn, children and adults. There are a mul-

titude of causes of hearing loss, some of which can be treated medically and others that are better treated with hearing aids. Ear-related diseases often result in problems with dizziness and balance. It is important to address any problems with dizziness or balance before an injury occurs. “We want to make people aware that it is important to have your hearing and balance tested if it seems diminished,” explains Mary Martin, CGH Audiologist. “It is also important to protect your hearing by using ear protection devices, such

as ear plugs or ear muffs, when likely to be exposed to excessive noise such as lawnmowers or firearms.” An audiologist is a highly educated health-care professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders. You may have a problem with your ears and need to see an audiologist if: • You have trouble hearing people talk in noisy environments, • You are unable to understand conversation when people are not facing you, or if

• You have a constant ringing or pain in your ears. At CGH Audiology Services, our goal is to help you. A good first step in treatment of an ear problem is evaluation by an audiologist. If you experience hearing loss, better hearing can help you enjoy life more and feel safer. If you are experiencing problems with dizziness and balance, we may be able to help. Ask your doctor for a referral to the CGH Main Clinic Audiology Services Department, where the audiologists are experienced professionals with a combined 50+ years

of serving the Sauk Valley. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Mary Martin, AuD, FAAA or Laurie Zollinger,

AuD, FAAA at CGH Main Clinic Audiology Services, (815) 632-5400.

no idea what the teacher is actually saying! That is what I hear students say to me when they finally overcome their fear of attending a class, because that is what their initial experiences were. You want to find a class that offers movements appropriate for you, no matter what your experience level is. Not everyone should be doing shoulder or headstands, even if they’ve been practicing for 10 or more years! You want to find a yoga teacher that has the ability to modify a pose to work for you, whether it’s putting you on a chair and showing you what to do or even suggesting that right now you should just sit, breathe and do nothing. I, personally, work mainly

with Baby Boomers. This generation has certain challenges physically in varying degrees, from an occasional bit of stiffness to full blown health challenges such as Parkinson’s or arthritis. Being a Baby Boomer myself, I understand the challenges of this age group; most of us love life, we are passionate about what we do, yet we find sometimes we are slower than we used to be, but we are not resigned to giving up. There’s the

dilemma. I encourage you to definitely pursue yoga, because it has so many health benefits, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Just find a teacher and a class that works for YOU. Yoga is meant to be enjoyed. It is meant to help you reduce stress, tension and leave you feeling rejuvenated and calm. You should never hurt during or after a class. If you do, that is a signal to stop (even in

class) and let the teacher know. She will be able to give you a suggestion on what you should be doing. Nancy Nesyto-Freske is a Certified Yoga Teacher and Certified Yoga Instructor. She teaches group classes and one-on-one sessions in Dixon, IL as well as one-onone sessions in Naperville, IL. She can be reached via email at Nancy@ or by calling 815-509-6479.

CGH’s Clinical Audiologists, Dr. Laurie Zollinger (left) and Dr. Mary Martin (right), are specialists in the assessment and treatment of hearing disorders. Courtesy photos

Yoga with Nancy

Nancy Nesyto-Freske Yoga Instructor When people hear that I am a yoga teacher or yoga therapist, the first thing that comes out of their mouth is “Oh, I’m not flexible”. Translation: “I can’t do yoga”. They imagine a class full of students bent in pretzel shapes, eyes closed, everyone seemingly in a state of bliss.

Want to know the reality? That doesn’t happen most yoga classes, let alone my own. What really happens in my classes is that every person in the room has very little flexibility, including myself! Everyone is encouraged to move only how and where it is appropriate for them! “Hmm,” you may say. “Should I try yoga?” Of course you should, however, it is important to find an appropriately taught class. That is why I encourage beginners to start in a beginner level class, not an “all levels class”. You want to really understand what the teacher is talking about instead of looking around the room to see what everyone else is doing, because you have

CGH expands hospitalist program to benefit patients Sterling, IL - People staying in the hospital, as well as their loved ones, all have unique needs that require unique care. At CGH Medical Center, this care may be directed by a hospitalist—a physician trained in Internal Medicine or Family Practice – who is devoted to caring for inpatients from the time of admission until discharge. The hospitalist program was implemented at CGH in 2008 andhas recently expanded to include more physicians. For patients, being treated by a hospitalist offers many advantages: · Availability: Because hospitalists only treat people staying in the hospital, they are readily available to patients and family members. They can answer all of your questions and are knowledgeable about services at CGH Medical Center. They are also close-by – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – in case of an emergency and are often able to spend more time talking to patients and

their loved ones about their care. · Consistency: Hospitalists can help achieve a smooth, speedy recovery by following up on tests, adjusting treatments throughout the day as necessary, and serving as a centralized resource for information throughout your hospital stay. · Communication: The hospitalist keeps your Primary Care Physician (PCP) up-to-date on any changes in your condition. Your PCP can contact the hospitalist at any time during your stay to learn about your progress. “Our hospitalists know that the key to providing quality care is excellent communication,” said Dr. Paul Steinke, CGH President and CEO. “That’s why they stay in close contact with your primary care physician throughout your stay. The transition between your hospitalist and your primary care physician is seamless.” Another benefit of the CGH Hospitalist program


Putting backs back on track for over 10 years in Sterling!

Dr. Nancy Tran, Hospitalist Director, is one of seven hospitalists now available to inpatients at CGH.

is more office hours for your physician. Because CGH Hospitalists make rounds and handle emergent situations, your physician can spend more time with you and other patients during their regular office hours. “Our hospitalist program is just one more example of how CGH is always working to enhance and improve patient care,” Steinke said. To learn more about the Hospitalist Program at CGH Medical Center, visit www.

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Young entrepreneurs of the Sauk Valley Gaston Gragert Gaston Gragert is a fortunate young man. He has known since the age of three that he wanted to be an artist. At 23, he has begun his career and there is no end in sight to what he may achieve. “I am from a family of artists and was taught and encouraged even in my earliest years,” Gaston said. He noted that throughout school he won many awards even though he did not study art. As a Rock Falls graduating senior he was voted “most artistic.” Today he balances his artistic endeavors with a

management position with the Candlelight Restaurants. Owner Matt Prescott is very supportive and understanding. “I love working with the restaurant and I love my art,” Gason said. Gaston’s art is both inspired and practical. He is an engraving artist that is often called upon to create memories of a person’s life onto a stone monument or marker. He remembers visiting cemeteries all over the Midwest to see what artists before him had created. This exacting awareness of what was done has led Gaston to

become focused and highly sensitive to what can be done. “I love making my work the most significant and personalized memorializing that can be…the family and loved ones will always know the art was totally individualized…totally persons and unique.”, he said. These are works of art. They never look mechanical. This is what we, as a family of artists can create for our local community. Gaston and his extended family of cousins, aunts and uncles are committed to Family Stone Memori-

Gaston Gragert

als as an artistic choice for difficult times of memorializing and also as artwork that can be given on special occasions. As a 3-year old Gaston

Courtesy photos

drew his favorite movie character of the time, “ Free Willie”. Today he recalls the pleasure and passion of that sketch. “I simply love to draw, to create beauty

and find my memorializing work greatly satisfying every day. Gaston can be reached at Family Stone Memorials, 815-716-8047.

Air Play Sports & Espresso by Bobby Dillon Sterling’s Air Play Sports & Espresso can best be described as eclectic: part disc golf retailer, part coffee shop, part art gallery and part micro-bakery. Furthermore, Air Play’s venerable and tireless owner/operator Tim McNinch plans to add “artisan bread bakery” to the mix in the not-toodistant future. Air Play began in McNinch’s garage after he retired and wanted to start something of his own. “I kinda just said ‘I’m outta here.’ and took off my coat and tie, quit cutting my hair and then said ‘Okay, I quit my job, now what am I gonna do?’” McNinch remembers. “I just started looking for things to do. If I’m not working ten, twelve hours a day or more, I’ll go crazy.” With his newfound free time, he rediscovered his interest in disc golf. When he went online to try to buy a bag to hold his discs, he was taken aback by how expensive they were. “So after a couple of weeks thinking about

it, I decided to design my own. When the building came available, I kind of married all my hobbies: sports, music, fun, coffee, baking.” which explains the wide variety of goods, art, and people one can find in the small store on any given day. Even more remarkable than Air Play’s variety is the effort being made by the small business and its employees to bring much needed vibrancy to Sterling’s downtown area. As a member of Sterling Main Street and co-creator of Fourth Fridays, McNinch has played and continues to play an active role in the revitalization of downtown Sterling. Fourth Fridays started with a conversation. McNinch, along with Jana Groharing, owner/operator of The Precinct Bar and Grill (which, incidentally, is right next door to Air Play) noticed the success of Dixon’s Second Saturdays and similar endeavors in nearby towns and wanted to bring that to Sterling. “Basically, I said, let’s not

reinvent the wheel. Let’s find a night and a time that doesn’t steal from nearby towns,” McNinch says. And so Fourth Fridays was born. “The idea was to open up our business to the arts, both performance and visual arts, and the churches got on board because they could give back to the community by providing space and opportunity for people to come in.” “Bands are playing where we didn’t have bands before, artists are able to come out and show their paintings or their sketches... We try to find people who’ve got something unique, something different, so that when you come downtown on Friday nights you can experience something out of the ordinary - it sure beats re-runs of ‘Law and Order’” The bottom line is that, at the end of the day, “It’s not easy to buy a steak dinner over the internet. It’s not easy to buy a cup of coffee over the internet. It’s not easy to buy inperson entertainment over the internet. If downtown is gonna survive, it’s not

Courtesy photos

gonna survive on appliances. It’s gonna survive and grow based on catering to a specialty - things you

can’t get anywhere else, but satisfy either a craving or a social need that you can’t get over the internet.” Mc-

Ninch says. Considering the breadth of interests Air Play covers, it’s safe to say that they aren’t going anywhere.


May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Sweet salty and savory caramels By Spencer Schein

I’ve been making the caramels myself for about four to five years.

The sweet salty caramels Janel Stahr makes in her kitchen often make her home smell like a sweet candy shop. For a busy mother of two who runs a graphic design business with her husband, Nathan, and teaches piano lessons and volunteers at a preschool, time is often of the essence. This makes for little time to have an interview. To make it work, Janel took a break and allowed me a 2 a.m. interview.

What is the inspiration you get to make caramels? This is a family recipe, and my mom taught me how to make them. She and my grandma and her motherin law, have been making them for longer than I can remember. If you hear the name Mama J’s Homemade Caramels, that’s me. “J” is for Janel, of course, but more importantly it is a tribute to my mom and grandma, as my maiden name is Janssen. It’s a family endeavor now too, as I have my daughter help stir sometimes and my husband helps cut and wrap. I have been married to Nathan for 13 ½ years. We have two children, Grace, 12, and Quinn, 5. We hand-cut every caramel, so they are kind of like snowflakes in that no two are the same size or shape. And we hand-cut the wrappers too. For Christmas, my mom cut about seven rolls of wax paper into the wrappers, so I’m keeping track of how many batches of caramels we can wrap with the incredibly generous gift she gave us.

What are you up to at 2 a.m. this morning? I’m glad to say I’ve been cutting back on my 2 a.m. workload, but it does still happen more frequently than I’d prefer. How long have you made your own candy? What types of candy do you make? I don’t make any other candies. In fact, I don’t really enjoy baking at all. I love to cook because I don’t feel the pressure of measuring ingredients perfectly. I have, however, started making salted caramels, which are a larger cut of the caramels I currently make, topped with sea salt. It’s a great blend for those who like savory and sweet flavors together.

Janel Stahr, right, with her husband Nathan

I love watching people try my caramels, especially for the first time. Almost everyone has had a caramel before, but the way these melt in your mouth is simply amazing. What are the basic ingredients in caramel? Butter, sugar and corn syrup are the most basic ingredients. You also need milk to keep them from becoming too hard. I always use high-quality ingredients, but I don’t give away our specific recipe or process. Do you give your caramel creations away or sell them? How are they distributed? Family, close friends and co-workers look forward to Christmas gift exchanges because they know they

Tell me the feelings you get when you make the caramels and/or when you present them to someone. It must be special.

How long have you been making caramels?

are getting caramels. I also sell them. I try to always keep some in the freezer for “emergencies.” It’s a quick, easy and delicious gift for anyone from children to grandparents. They won’t even stick to dentures! Orders can be placed by calling (815) 441-3664 or sending an email to janel@ The cost is $5 for ¼-pound (fits in a snack-size Ziploc bag); $15 for a pound (fits in a quartsize Ziploc bag); or $40 for 3 pounds (fits in a gallonsize Ziploc bag). The salted caramels are $10 a dozen. I will also gift-wrap any amount for an extra fee, which depends on the type of gift-wrapping. I also bring them to one or two vendor fairs around the holidays, but they are available year-round.

Salted caramels topped with sea salt

Besides making caramels, what do you do for a living? Do you volunteer in the community? I’m self-employed, along with my husband. We own a graphic design business, Stahr Design (, through which we design websites and print materials

for area businesses. I also teach piano lessons and music classes for Woodlawn Arts Academy, Sterling, and play the piano for weddings, funerals, etc. I volunteer my time doing some preschool music events and also designed and maintain the Fourth Fridays website ( as a volunteer.

Fund raising opportunity for area non-profits A great community event is coming to Rock Falls July 12-13 on the Rock Falls Riverfront.  Area non-profits, and local businesses are encouraged to participate.  If you are looking for an opportunity to reach thousands and make a little extra cash,

this is it!  The Rock Falls Chamber is looking for vendors and activity hosts for this event. Thousands of people flock to the Riverfront to enjoy buffalo, elk, alligator, and more during at the Rock Falls Chamber ’s cook-

out.  Vendors can rent a space for as little as $25.  Activity hosts can raise funds for their groups.  This event has a built in crowd and is the perfect opportunity to reach thousands without investing a lot of money. Your organization could sell cotton

candy, offer a petting zoo, organize a bingo tent, have a cake walk, or do a bean bag tournament.  What about a community safety program, like a bicycle rodeo, or car seat check?  Maybe you just want to spread the word about who you are what

you do.  This is the place! For more information about how you can get involved, contact the Rock Falls Chamber at 815625-4500.

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Home & Garden

We’re being invaded! Carol Chandler Columnist Illinois is being invaded by insects! If you haven’t heard about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), you must have had your head in the woodpile! The EAB is a tree-destroying insect that originated in Asia, but was probably brought to Michigan in the late 1990’s in wood products. It was first discovered in 2002 but has spread across the eastern half of the United States since then and was discovered in our area last year. It affects only ash trees- mostly green,

white, blue and black ash. It does not affect the Mountain Ash or most cultivars. The EAB is a shiny, green insect measuring about onehalf inch long and their larva are white and one inch long at maturity. As adults, they leave a one-eighth inch Dshaped hole as they emerge. They feast on foliage for one to two weeks before mating. Females produce about 50 100 eggs which are mainly laid on the surface of bark or within cracks or crevices. When the larva hatch, they tunnel into the tree and excavate S-shaped galleries just under the bark. This disrupts

Photo courtesy of USDA

the flow of nutrients to the tree. They feed through the summer and into the fall and winter within the outer bark or in the outer inch of

sapwood. Pupation occurs from mid to late spring. The adults emerge soon after to complete the typical one-year cycle. The growth

of EAB populations grows exponentially by a factor of fifty each year. One female can produce fifty trillion insects by the tenth year, and they are typically 56% female. The EAB only colonize living trees; dead trees are left untouched. The early symptoms of EAB damage are thinning at the top of the tree, branch die-back and sprouts around the base of the trunk. Death usually occurs two to four years after the onset of infestation. There are several types of treatment that are used on “adolescent” trees. The

older and very young trees usually succumb. There are sprays, injections and liquids that can be used in the ground around the base of the tree. Because of toxicity, many products are not recommended to be used by those other than trained professionals. If you believe that you have an ash tree in your yard and wish it to be treated, notify a professional tree service. Fees for treatment vary by the size of the tree. It should be noted that the treatments are recommended to be used on a regular basis, usually every two years.

to meet with the public regarding gardening concerns on Tuesdays. A bridge was recently built over a small creek  using several donations.  So far, a total of $100,000 to $150,000 has been invested in the gardens.   At last it was time for planting!  Lemme’s donated a lily garden and Joe Franklin donated an oriental garden.  Funds were raised and other areas were planted with earnings from pancake breakfasts, the sale of Christmas trees at Distinctive Gardens, cook-outs at the Dixon Food Center and private donations.  The Garden Club continues to support the Dixon petunia plantings as it has since the early 1950’s. The grounds today offer many deciduous trees as well as conifers and numerous shrubs and flowers along with a pergola that was built with the help of the Dixon Women’s Club.  Two

years ago, Terry and Bonnie Nichols donated a greenhouse which is now mostly completed.  The Plum Creek Arboretum is presently still under development.  Looking into the future, trails, more flowers and trees, and eventually an office, restrooms and a classroom are anticipated.  This will be a wonderful place to have a meeting with nature.  We  can all use a little relaxation and the Plum Creek Arboretum is the place where you can get it!  Or you can come out and donate some of your time to create a place of beauty that everyone can enjoy.  The gardens are open to the public at no cost. Contact Dixon Area Garden Club President Nancy Strock at 815-288-1000 for any questions. Nancy and her husband Ken have been instrumental in developing the arboretum and are always willing to help gardeners.

Nature’s Beauty - Plum Creek Arboretum Carol Chandler Columnist Back in 2004, Bill Ost suggested to the Dixon Area Garden Club during a meeting that they establish a public or botanical garden.  He had in mind a 2 1/2 acre plot by the Brown Shingle.  As the project developed, he contacted a landscape architect from Rockford and was advised to secure more land for parking and future expansion. It was at this point the

Walgreen Estate approached the Dixon Park District regarding the return of a previously donated 45 acres along the Lowell Park parking lot at the southeast border of the park. It was given back to the estate with the provision that it would not be subdivided and a replacement of the acreage was needed.  It was suggested the Park District locate a suitable replacement.  This search led them to inquire about acreage that abutted the 12 acres previously owned along

Plum Creek near the Brown Shingle. It was owned by a gentleman from Sycamore who was about to close a deal with Dr. Strom.  Dr. Strom agreed to sell off part of the property after Deb Carey, executive director of the Dixon Park District, and Bill explained the plans for the arboretum.  But the plans didn’t include the house that was considered a possible future liability issue due to its deteriorated condition.  Finally, an agreement was reached and the Walgreen


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estate bought 50 acres and donated it to the district, bringing the total ownership to 62 acres. Then, two members of the Garden Club approached Deb and broached the subject of a joint development of the project with a total of 16 1/2 acres- 14 acres owned by the Park District and 2 1/2 acres by the Garden Club.  An agreement was reached and the two entities agreed to help with some special projects.  The Park District mows the property except for the 2 1/2 acres and around buildings. Work began in earnest and a concrete building was renovated, a utilities disbursement building built for gas, electricity and telephone service, new roofs added to the garage, and a milk house.  The concrete block building is used as a shop and a meeting room for the Garden Club.  The Master Gardeners use part of the building

Home and gardening questions? Call the Master Gardener’s for help from May through September. In Lee County, Master Gardeners are available at the Plum Creek Arboretum, Dixon, 815-285-3242. In Whiteside County,

Master Gardeners can be reached Monday and Fridays, 9 am-noon at 100 East Knox Street, Morrison, Il, 815-772-4075. In Carroll County, Master Gardeners are at 807D South Clay Street, Thurs-

days from 1-2 pm. Phone 815-244-9444 Mount Carroll, IL. The Master Gardeners program is a part of the services of the University of Illinois Extension program, “Investing in You.”


May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Home & Garden

A cook looks at books Judy Bell, MS Food and Nutrition Tyler Florence and Betty Crocker? Yes, they have a bond: both are perfect choices for today’s young or not so young to-be-married. Today’s soon-to-be-married have a unique culinary perspective. The influences of their choice is a good-bad scenario. They may have grown up with the Food network, fast food and foodlike-substances. They know enough to know they don’t know enough. Enter a true hero: Tyler Florence, a culinary leader charging forth into the quagmire of today’s food world

with unabashed courage, skill and integrity. Tyler, an iconic food star is more than his image. He is a true believer in fresh, healthy, food-as-fuel and if you don’t choose wisely, you are making foolish choices. “Tyler Florence Fresh” is a choice Larry Dunphy, Books on First, Dixon, and I agree would be a great bride or groom’s book. In Tyler’s book you may be drawn into his novel combinations through the photography, his intense love of fresh ingredients and his presentations… each is a work of art. Be aware: Tyler Florence has your healthy choice uppermost.

Roasted Cauliflower with Anchovy, Capers and Fresh Thyme Serves 4 to 6

Cauliflower: • 2 heads cauliflower (preferably different colors) • Extra-virgin olive oil • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper • Garlic Chips • Olive oil for frying • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Larry and I agree, Fresh is best! Larry liked this simple vegetable combination. I second his choice. Anchovies are one of Tyler’s “hero ingredients’…their nutritive value and realistic sustainability is noteworthy!

Betty Crocker for the soon-to-be-married? For Mother’s Day? Yes. A resounding yes! Every home needs a basic cookbook and few with match the depth, breath or scope of the recently revised Betty Crocker. It would be great for a mom who hasn’t received a really basic cookbook since her own wedding. It will be in the married couples kitchen until the next version…or until their child takes it to off to their first abode. A Cook Looks at Books is sponsored, in part, by Books on First, Dixon, 815-285-2665. All books reviewed are immediately available from Books on First.

Anchovy Sauce: • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely minced • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced’ 1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only • ½ cup heavy cream • ¼ cup grated Parmegiano-Reggiano • ½ lemon • Freshly cracked black pepper • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Roast the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower and reserve. Cut the cauliflower heads into half, then into bite-size florets. Cut the stalks into bite-size pieces also. Place the florets and stalk pieces in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels to drain. Make Garlic Chips. Pour ¼ inch of oil into a small saucepan. Add the garlic and set the pan over medium heat. Heat the oil until the chips are golden and crisp,

about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Make anchovy sauce. Set a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and fry the anchovies, garlic, capers and thyme, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies and infuse the oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until fragrant. Add the cream and Parmesan, and bring to a simmer. Just before serving, add the roasted cauliflower pieces and fold in the reserved leaves. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and top with the fired garlic chips, cracked black pepper and shaved Parmesan.


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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun


Winners of Student-Teacher Art Exhibit Announced

Courtesy photos

STERLING –Soak Up the Sun, an oil pastel by Madison Meridian, ninth-grader at Polo Community High School, took first place in the high school category of Woodlawn Arts Academy’s 2013 Student-Teacher Art Exhibit. Community members were invited to view the artwork and vote on their favorite pieces during the first few weeks of the exhibit. First place in the junior high category went to Keagan, a pencil portrait by Sarah Marks, eighthgrader at Rock Falls Middle School. In the grade school category, Pointers, a marker piece by Tucker Mumford, fifth-grader at Centennial Elementary, Polo, took first place. Woodlawn Arts Academy Facilities Manager Molly Cunningham visited the top winners’ schools to present the students with awards. “Congratulations to the very talented students and their exceptional teachers that displayed in the 5th Annual Student/Teacher Art Exhibit!” Cunningham said. “We had many wonderful pieces of art and new schools exhibiting! Again, I would like to thank all of those who participated in this year’s exhibit, thus making the 2013 Student/Teacher Art Exhibit a delightful way to celebrate five years!” Rounding out the top 12 were: • Second place in the high school category: Untitled,

mixed media, by Peyton Taylor, 11th grade, Polo Community High School. • Second place in the junior high category: African Ages, metal jewelry, Gracie Young, sixth grade, Rock Falls Middle School. • Second place in the elementary category: London Bridge, wax resist, Kody Velazquez, fourth grade, Nelson School. • Third place in the high school category: Starlight Fiesta, mixed media, Ana Cazango, 11th grade, Polo Community High School. • Third place in the junior high category: The Sod House, mixed media, Avary Bielema & Julia Walters, seventh grade, Morrison Junior High. • Third place in the elementary category: Abstract Art Inspired by Kandinski, ink/watercolor, Anna Mickley, fourth grade, Southside Elementary, Morrison. • Fourth place in the high school category: Army Dad, acrylic, Allie Johnson, 12th grade, Sterling High School. • Fourth place in the junior high category: Untitled, recycled art, Olivia Hopkins, eighth grade, Aplington Middle School, Polo. • Fourh place in the elementary category: Mardi Gras Mask, paper/glitter, Clara Bush, third grade, Southside Elementary, Morrison. A special thank you to Dick Blick Art Materials for supplying gift certificates

for each of the 12 winners to help them further their artistic abilities and creativity. Photographs of each of the top 12 pieces will be featured in the Academy’s Summer Program Brochure. These and more than 100 other pieces can be viewed in the halls and lounge at Woodlawn Arts Academy, a Whiteside County United Way agency, through Friday, May 10th. The summer exhibit, “Capturing the Rock,” featuring 2-D art and photographs of life in the Rock River Valley, opens Friday, June 7th, with a public reception planned for 5-6:30pm Friday, June 21st. Woodlawn Arts Academy offers quality programming and instruction to all ages in visual arts, dance, music, theatre, literature, healing arts, culinary arts, and domestic arts, as well as events for the entire family. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. Donations are welcomed and are tax deductible. Woodlawn Arts Academy is a 501(c)3 educational organization that is proudly supported by United Way of Whiteside County. For more information on Woodlawn Arts Academy programming or events, please call (815) 6 2 6 - 4 2 7 8 , v i s i t w w w., like our page on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. Where the Arts are for Everyone!

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Ch ica go

Av e.

dation and Donaldson Company, Inc. in the amount of $9,600. The grant will help introduce new and necessary technology that will be accessible to  VITAL

tutor/student pairs at the Dixon, Sterling and Rock Falls public libraries as well as within the adult education classrooms throughout the Sauk Valley area. 

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Sauk Valley Community College’s Project VITAL (the only free adult literacy program in the area) received a generous donation from the Donaldson Foun-

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(815) 285-1033 38

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May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

Education Mark your calendars for high school postseason sports By Cody Cutter While this spring has been largely one to forget due to Mother Nature, the clock is ticking toward the end of the accumulation of memories made by our area’s high school sports athletes. Postseason tournaments for the area’s spring sports kick off this month. For some, the postseason is the acceleration point of trying to meet goals and reach full potential. For some others, high school seniors in particular, the postseason provides not only that, but the knowledge that such performances will be the final ones in which they don their respective uniforms. Newman’s girls track and field squad will compete at the Class 1A Erie/Prophetstown Sectional at Erie Middle School on May 9. Event winners and those athletes with performances surpassing Illinois High School Association State Final standards will advance to the IHSA State Final Meet on May 16-18 at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Field in Charleston. Dixon, Rock Falls and Sterling’s girls track and field squads will compete at the Class 2A Burlington Central Sectional at Central High School. Event winners and those athletes with State Final qualifying performances will also advance to the IHSA State Meet in Charleston on May 17-18. Girls soccer teams will kick off postseason play with regional tournaments starting on Friday, May 10. The area’s two girls soccer programs, from Dixon and Sterling, will be competing at the United Township Regional in East Moline. The winner of the regional tournament will advance to the Notre Dame Sectional in Peoria on May 21-22. The sectional winner will

advance to the University of Illinois at Springfield Supersectional on May 28 with the winner advancing to the Class 2A State Finals at North Central College in Naperville on May 31. Starting on May 13, Newman’s baseball and softball teams will engage in playoff competition with week-long regional tournaments. The Comet baseball team will compete at the Class 2A Oregon Regional at Park West in Oregon. If the Comets come away as regional champions, they’ll compete at the Byron Sectional on the following week, with further chances at postseason championships at the Augustana College Supersectional in Moline and the State Finals at O’Brien Stadium in Peoria. The Comet softball team will compete at the Class 1A Ashton-Franklin Center Regional in Ashton. If the Comets come away as regional champions, they’ll compete at the Dakota Sectional on the following week, with further chances at postseason championships at the Northern Illinois University Supersectional in DeKalb and the State Finals at EastSide Centre in East Peoria. One week after the girls perform on the track and field, the boys will engage in sectional competition on May 17. Newman will be competing at the Class 1A Bureau Valley Sectional in Manlius. Event winners and those athletes with performances surpassing Illinois High School Association State Final standards will advance to the IHSA State Final Meet on May 23-26 at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Field in Charleston. Dixon, Rock Falls and Sterling’s boys track and field squads will compete at the Class 2A Sterling Sectional at Sterling High

Diana Wade retires from Newman Central Catholic High School

Diana Wade

Courtesy photo

at the Augustana College Supersectional in Moline and the State Finals at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. The softball teams will all be at the Class 3A Sterling Regional. The regional winner will advance to the Rochelle Sectional on the following week, with further chances at postseason championships at the Judson University Supersectional in Elgin and the State Finals at EastSide Centre in East Moline.

Finals held in the northern Chicago suburbs beginning on May 24. Finally, starting on May 20, the baseball and softball teams from Dixon, Rock Falls and Sterling will be competing in regional tournaments. The baseball teams are all at the Class 3A Rochelle Regional. The regional winner will advance to the Sycamore Sectional on the following week, with further chances at postseason championships

Vacation Bible School Summertime is an excellent time for your children to learn about God’s unconditional love for us. There are many opportunities for your children to explore God’s love at area churches. First Baptist Church of Dixon Dates: June 10th-14th Ages: preschool-6th grade Phone: 815-284-6823 Call office for more information and registration forms Immanuel Lutheran Church Dates: June 17th-June 24th Time: 8:30 A.M.-11:00 A.M. Phone: 815-284-2808 Call office for more information and registration forms St Paul Lutheran Church Dates: June 24th-28th Time: 8:30 A.M.-11:00 A.M Ages: 5 years-5th grade Phone: 815-288-2757 Call office for more information and registration forms. First Presbyterian Church Dates: July 13th-19th Time: 8:30 A.M.-11:00 A.M. Ages: K-7th grade Phone: 815-284-7741 Call church for more information and registration forms Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Dates: June 17th-21st Time: 6:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M. Ages: pre-K-6th grade Phone: 815-625-3376 Call church for more information and registration forms First Congregational Church of Sterling Dates: June 24th-26th Ages: K-5th grade Dinner: 5:00 P.M. VBS: 5:30 P.M.- 8:00 P.M. Phone: 815-625-5112 Call for more information and registration forms

Coleta United Methodist Church Date: July 27th Time: 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. Ages: All ages are welcome Phone: 815-336-2226 Call church office for more information and registration forms Harvest Time Bible Church Dates: July 22nd-25th Time: 9:30 A.M.-12:00 P.M. Ages: 5years-6th grade Phone: 815-626-1234 Call church office for more information and registration forms First Congregational Church of Rock Falls Dates: July 29th-August2nd Time: 5:30 P.M.-8:30 P.M. Ages: 3 years-8th grade Phone: 815-625-3314 Call office for more information and registration forms Abiding Word Church Dates July 31-August 2 Ages K-5th grade Time: 6:00 P.M.-7:30 P.M. Phone: 815-626-3314 Call office for more information and registration forms There are five churches in Sterling that are combining their Vacation Bible Schools. They are the following churches: Grace Episcopal Church Phone: 815-625-0442 St John’s Church Phone: 815-625-2634 St Paul’s Church Phone: 815-625-3069 Bethel Reformed Church Phone: 815-625-1816 First Presbyterian Church Phone: 815-625-0452 Please call churches for information regarding dates, time and ages and registration forms

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We invite you to join in celebrating the retirement of Mrs. Diana (Devine ’66) Wade from Newman Central Catholic High school after 36 years of teaching. Mrs. Wade began her

teaching career at Montmorency School and also taught briefly at St. Andrews. She is the head of the math department and advisor to the Math Club. Diana is married to Carl Wade and has three daughters: Stephanie (Alex) DiBenedetto (’90) , Michelle (Steve) Brunswick (’92), Kathryn (Kyle) Bjur  (’02) and two grandchildren, Jake and Sophie DiBenedetto.   Please join us for an open house at Newman Central Catholic High School on Sunday, May 26th from 1-4 pm.  You may enter by the gymnasium doors.

School. Event winners and those athletes with State Final qualifying performances will also advance to the IHSA State Meet in Charleston on May 23-26. The area’s two boys tennis squads from Dixon and Sterling will be competing in Sectional competition on May 18. The Dukes and Golden Warriors will compete at the Moline Sectional. The top four placing singles and doubles competitors will advance to the IHSA State

w. 2nd St.

Sauk Valley Sun

DIXON - STERLING - ROCK FALLS Staff Judy Bell Publisher Ken Hauck VP Operations Katie Hauck Administrative Manager Julie Reeder Editor Robert Bell Distribution Manager Celeste Lightner-Greenwalt Senior Marketing Representative Joshua Hauck Marketing Representative Production Karina Ramos Art Director Samantha Gorman Graphic Artist Website John Yada Web Developer/IT Support Writers/ Contributors Donald R. Lewis, MD, FACS Carol Chandler, RN Jill Horn Rev. Scott Porter Pastor Jeff Coester Bobby Dillon Spencer Schein Darlene Rego Nancy Nesyto-Freske Josh Albrecht Ann Lewis Brad Monson Jill Shaw Greg Smith Tom Demmer Patricia Lewis Cody Cutter © Sauk Valley Sun, 2013 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 24,000 copies published monthly 21,000 copies direct-mailed to homes and business addresses in Dixon and Sterling Postage paid at Dekalb, IL Permit No. 321 Phone (815) 888-4403 Fax (815) 572-0153 Address: 459 Illinois Route #2, Dixon, IL 61021 Email:


May 2013 • • Sauk Valley Sun

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Sauk Valley Sun Dixon Edition  
Sauk Valley Sun Dixon Edition  

Sauk Valley Sun Dixon Edition