Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Putnam County Seeks New EMA Coordinator

Putnam County Emergency Management Agency coordinator John Ehrhardt announced his resignation Monday at the Putnam County Board meeting.

His resignation will be effective Sept. 30. If the board needs help choosing his successor, Ehrhardt said he would be happy to help.

“I truly enjoyed this job. It’s probably been one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done,” he said.

But, Ehrhardt who also is a veterinarian, said he could no longer effectively manage two careers and keep his health on track at the same time.

He said he would help ease the transition if possible.

“I will be around. I will help,” he said.

Ehrhardt thanked everyone who helped him perform his job and gave a special thanks to Bob Cofoid, who served as interim coordinator of the PC EMA before Ehrhardt was hired.

“Without him, I could not have done this job,” Ehrhardt said.

Board chairman Duane Calbow told Ehrhardt that the board accepted his resignation with “deep regret.”

“I appreciate the work that you’ve done,” Calbow said.

Cofoid, when asked by the county board, said he would step up to help if needed until a replacement is found.

Board president remembers Richardson

Board chairman Duane Calbow said the board’s condolences go out to the family of Karen Richardson, who died Sept. 2. Richardson had served as a courthouse employee before retiring. Calbow called her an “excellent worker.”

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hennepin Power Plant Fire Forces Unit 2 Off

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
Hennepin, Granville and other Putnam County fire departments were called to Dynegy Hennepin Power Station just before 11 a.m. today after reports of a “big fire” in the transformer yard or switch yard.

No injuries were reported, but the transformer fire forced the plant to shut down Unit 2 of the two-unit power generating station, said Katy Sullivan, public relations for Dynegy in Houston, Texas.

Sullivan said the transformer that burned caught fire in the transformer yard, where energy from the generating unit is connected to the grid or transmission system.

“We’ll do an investigation into the cause of the fire,” Sullivan said, adding that there were no injuries. She said she was not aware as of noon whether there’s additional damage to the power plant.

“At this point, our focus is to make sure the fire is completely extinguished,” Sullivan said.

Seen and heard

Smoke and noise from the fire could be seen and heard more a mile or more away, said Shelly Zywica, who lives across the street from LakeDePue on the other side of the Illinois River from the power plant.

“I was in my kitchen and all I could see was thick black smoke coming up from behind the trees,” Zywica said.

She said at one point she heard a pop and a boom, then a sound somewhat like a whale exhaling, only quite amplified. Then the sound was gone and eventually the smoke color changed from black to gray.

“It sounded like when you light a propane torch, only times that by 10,000,” she said.

Before noon, smoke no longer was visible, and by 12:20 p.m., firefighters were heading back to their fire stations.


Unit 2 at the plant has a capacity of 215 megawatts, so theoretically on a hot day with high demand from air conditioning use. Each megawatt can power 700-800 homes, so that unit can generate enough electricity to power more than 150,500 homes.

Unit 1 is smaller, with a 70-megawatt capacity, Sullivan said.

Source: News Tribune


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hennepin Man Helps Turns Around Struggling Restaurants

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
It isn’t an easy, painless process, but if your restaurant is struggling, Matthew Dean may be able to help.

Dean, a division chef and Food Fanatic chef for US Foods, is part of an elite club — there are only 17 Food Fanatics in the country.

During his two years with US Foods, Dean has worked with chefs, restaurant owners and others in the industry to help them with business growth and success.

“It’s something different every day,” he said.

A restaurant might call Dean because they are looking for a replacement for one of their pasta dishes. He would then help them find the right fit for their menu.

If a business is struggling, Dean would look objectively at all aspects of the business and find ways to turn the business around. That might entail doing wait staff training or overhauling a menu.

“You help them,” Dean said.

One of his favorite parts of the job is seeing a client a month later and hearing how much better the business is doing, he said.

Dean’s love of food was first sparked by his family, who let him help make holiday meals and cookies.

“It was the little things I helped with,” he said.

Dean admits he wasn’t always a prodigy in the kitchen.

“I thought I was hot stuff when I learned to make macaroni and cheese from the box,” he said.

In college, he got a job scooping ice cream and began learning how to cook in earnest when he moved out of the dorms and into an apartment.

While attending Illinois State University, a chef, Mark Buckley, took Dean under his wing. That, along with becoming a student manager at ISU’s campus dining services, allowed Dean to immerse himself in the culinary world.

“It was a great learning experience,” Dean said, adding that he was able to cook for visiting celebrities during his time at ISU.

From there, Dean went on to earn an associate’s degree in baking and pastry at LeCordon Bleu and worked at Uptown Grill in La Salle.

“I grew in the industry,” he said.

Dean loves to share his love of cooking with his community and his family. He often cooks at home and uses local, fresh ingredients whenever possible.

“Fresh foods make the dish taste better,” he said.

Quentin Buffington, who serves on the Hennepin Fire Department with Dean, appreciates his passion for food.

“Matt’s food is always an adventure in taste that challenges you to understand and experience all your taste buds allow in each bite,” he said. “His knowledge of food and flavor is something that I have the privilege and honor of calling on when I am stuck trying to elevate my own culinary experience, and he has never let me down yet.

“Matt is always giving back with food, I mean, good food leads to happy people. From his fellowship church meals, to the Hennepin Fire Department Christmas cookie drive, or a fully-prepared dinner for a needy family in the community, he has never hesitated to use his skills to give back and I know we are all grateful.”

Although he loves his job, Dean has envisioned what type of restaurant he’d like to own someday.

“I have lots of concepts in my head and someday I’ll bring those concepts to life,” he said.
But at this point, there’s no rush.

“There’s always a right time. There’s always a right place,” he said.

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2014 Harvest Home Parade & Scarecrow Contest to be Held September 20

 2014 Harvest Home Parade

"Out in the Field"
Scarecrows & Corn Stalks

This year's theme revolves around the harvest season and is dedicated to the generations of local farmers that have spent their lives in the fields. Dress your best and deck your floats in corn stalks, broom corn and get ready to kick off Hennepin’s first annual Scarecrow Decorating Contest!

This year there will be parade trophies for the best Golf Cart/ATV and for the best float that interprets “Out in the Field”. At the end of the parade there will also be a trophy for the Best Dinner Call so get your “Dinner's Ready” cry ready!

Parade is open to all businesses, groups, organizations, public, and politicians. Farm implements are welcome and encouraged to attend as are livestock walk-throughs or horse drawn/horseback entries. 

The parade starts at 11:00 AM, with staging at the Hennepin Pool starting at 10:00 AM.

2014 Harvest Home Scarecrow Contest

The best scarecrow will receive a $40 cash award for residential category and a trophy for business/organization category. Rules will be posted around town and on the Hennepin website. Judging will take place on Friday, Harvest Eve.

• All scarecrows are asked to be decorated appropriately and also be maintained.
• Please have them up on the week of Harvest Home and no later than Friday the 19th.
• If able to keep your scarecrows up through Halloween, please do, but once the scarecrows start to deteriorate we ask they are removed.
• Place scarecrows on the address side of your house in your yard so they are visible.
• Businesses and organizations are asked to theme decorate the scarecrows towards their purpose.

If you have any questions in regards to the parade or contests, please refer to posters at the Hennepin Food Mart, Hennepin Bank, Methodist Church, Country Stop, or here on the Hennepin website.

Email Matthew Dean with any questions or call (815) 303-3536. Thank you!


Voss, Fay Win Hennepin Scholarships

Board president Kevin Coleman said the first-place $1,200 Deck vocational scholarship has been awarded to Vanessa Voss. The second-place $1,000 vocational scholarship was awarded to Harold Fay.

Unfortunately, no other candidates applied so the third-place $800 vocational scholarship couldn’t be awarded, he said.

Hennepin Scholarships & Grants page

Students entering college still have time to apply for the Harold and Julia Kenney Collegiate Monetary grants though, he said. Those who win these grants will receive $500 for their first full term of study after high school graduation.

To be eligible, applicants and their custodial parent must have been a resident of Hennepin for a full year before high school graduation. Applications must be made no later than 90 school days after the student begins college. Applications have to be received within 40 months of high school graduation.

Congratulations Vanessa and Harold!

Source: News Tribune


Is That a Drone in Putnam County?

Reviewing ordinances and the appointment of people to various boards were on the top of the agenda at the Hennepin Village Board meeting on Aug. 20.

Enterprise Zone Ordinance 534 was reviewed and revised. A request had been made to expand the enterprise zone by TCI Enterprises. According to Mayor Kevin Coleman, this is part of the Bureau-Putnam Enterprise Zone.

The goal of establishing an ordinance for the flying of drones was addressed. Village lawyer Roger Bolin brought up questions to the board concerning the ordinance after discussion with Coleman before the meeting. One question was the definition of what a drone would be: A radio-controlled plane with a camera mounted on it or a remote controlled helicopter with a camera mounted on it. Board member Quentin Buffington had done some research on the issue.

“As I have read, if it’s airspace, the FAA has control, and we don’t. We can’t regulate the airspace over the city of Hennepin,” Buffington said.

Bolin asked what specific objective or policy the board has with the ordinance in mind.

“I’m just thinking of trying to stop something before it starts,” Coleman said. “We’ve got 28, 30 pools in town. I can just see someone in the summer flying over this guy’s backyard or that.”

Buffington suggested tabling the motion until the FAA establishes some of their rules and regulations. He noted the goal is to have something in place in early 2015.

“They’re trying to catch up to the technology,” Buffington said.

The board directed Bolin to research and talk to some major municipalities to see if any have an ordinance currently in place. The drone ordinance was then tabled.

The board also appointed Paul Loiselle of Hennepin to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Jane Loiselle was appointed to the Scholarship Committee, taking the place of Gilbert Tonozzi who retired from the committee.

Coleman also reported on the research to develop a plan to restore the cannon in Walter Durley Boyle Park. Coleman has found the cannon was made at a Westpoint Foundry between 1859 to 1861. It is a field cannon, and the concrete beneath it is deteriorating. According to Coleman, a possible restoration plan would include a base made with a monument style of stone that would be more durable with the cannon secured on the new base. Then new plaques identifying local veterans could be affixed to the base. After discussion it was agreed it would be helpful if a community group stepped up to help organize this process.

Discussion was also held on the possible rezoning of the property north of Interstate 180 from residential one (R1) to conservation. The former Modern Hard Chrome property is being looked at by Phar-Mar Labs, a company who is interested in obtaining the District 17 contract from the state to grow medical marijuana. The board temporarily adjourned the meeting to await the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation as to what action to take.

The board met on Aug. 26 to officially vote on this rezoning issue.

Source: Putnam County Record


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hennepin One Step Closer to Medical Marijuana Facility

The Hennepin Planning and Zoning Commission had a public hearing Wednesday to determine if it would recommend that the Hennepin Village Board change zoning on a property to allow for a medicinal marijuana facility.

The property being considered for the facility is a parcel which includes the former Modern Hard Chrome business on Power Plant Road. Steve and Kathy Siemers, who are neighbors to the property, would also be subject to the zoning change. Their property would be changed from R1 to conservation.

“We're not opposed to business. The county needs business … We're just concerned about what we have,” Steve told the planning and zoning commission.

Read more in an upcoming edition.

Source: News Tribune


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Make the Pills Go Away

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
Goodbye, meds
Debbie’s story

What if you could say goodbye to your medications?

Debbie Rodriguez of Granville did just that after starting a 30-day transformation kit, part of the Yoli Better Body System, in hopes of getting her diabetes completely under control. She had already eliminated one diabetes medication, but was dependent on another.

“I wanted to totally detox my body and get myself pH balanced immediately,” she said.

What she found was an increase in energy and mental clarity after just two weeks in the program, which includes making dietary changes as well as taking supplements containing alkaline minerals and probiotics.

“Before I started, I felt like a lump,” she said. “I had no energy, no ambition. Now, you can’t keep me down.”

Rodriguez was able to discontinue not one, but four medications she had been taking regularly. After 2½ months in the program — and conferring with her doctor — she no longer requires medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, and she has not had symptoms of acid reflux or asthma. In fact, she was grabbing her old pill bottles to show the NewsTribune when she came across her inhaler and realized she hadn’t needed it in months. She forgot she had asthma.

“I was always having bronchitis several times a year,” she added. “I have not had bronchitis (since beginning the program in November).”

Those are just the prescription medications; Rodriguez also no longer depends on over-the-counter allergy medicine or even Ibuprofen.

“I lived on Ibuprofen,” she said. “I just ached. I ached everywhere.”

“I don’t even own a bottle now. They all expired.”

The dietary changes boil down to something called “clean” eating.

“It’s just getting the junk out,” Rodriguez said, “getting the processed foods out, getting the artificial out — and the sugar.”

Now she drinks protein shakes instead of coffee and eats plenty of fruits and vegetables. She keeps a chart handy when planning meals to make sure the majority of the food she and her husband consume is alkaline — the opposite of acidic.

“We eat cucumbers and avocados like they’re going out of style,” she said.

Rodriguez said she was a “yo-yo” with weight loss all her life, but recently came home from the first vacation on which she did not gain weight.

“I would never go off of this way of eating,” she said. “I just feel too good.”

According to Rodriguez, her family has benefited from the program as well: Her husband’s cholesterol is down 40 points, one of their daughters lost 15 pounds even without using the protein shakes, and their son-in-law no longer suffers from debilitating migraines.

“It’s amazing what changing your diet can do for your body,” she said.

Why worry about pH?
Dr. Smith’s perspective

Dr. Ryan Smith of Advanced Chiropractic in Peru was approached about selling Yoli products last year, but did not get on board until January, after doing some research.

He had begun studying nutrition, and when he looked at the ingredients in the products Debbie Rodriguez has grown to love, he was impressed.

“The products were really good,” he said, noting they are all natural and gluten-free. “And the whole philosophy of reducing pH in the body goes with everything I learned.”

The other thing that struck him was the litany of conditions from which people claimed to have found relief by using these products. He noticed a lot of them were caused by inflammation.

“Acidity and inflammation go hand in hand,” he said. “This is the same stuff I’ve been helping with as a chiropractor, so it’s good to have two avenues to help people.”

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, cleaner eating can help reduce inflammation, Smith said. The body needs pure fruits and vegetables. When it gets processed foods and chemicals instead, it doesn’t quite know what to do with that.

“Inflammation is your body’s way of freaking out, in a way,” Smith said.

The most common conditions resulting from inflammation include migraines, asthma, acid reflux, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation and fibromyalgia.

Smith said he has seen patients find relief from these ailments using Yoli’s products coupled with a change in their diet.

“With Yoli, a lot of it is losing weight too, because fat cells store acid,” Smith said. “That’s how you gain weight.”

Reducing the acidity of the body makes it easier for the body to burn fat, he said.

Smith takes the supplements himself and said he noticed less soreness after exercising or lifting weights.

“I can do more, and I can lift more,” he said.

Smith said that is because the soreness is caused by lactic acid build-up, and the supplement he takes helps reduce acid in the body.

Yoli’s pH-balancing supplement contains three ingredients: calcium, potassium and magnesium.

“Those are the three minerals that we’re most deficient in that will help alkalize the body — bring down that acidity, bringing it more to a normal pH,” Smith said, “then you don’t have as much inflammation going on.”

Those minerals also can be found in fruits and vegetables, but Smith said most people don’t eat enough of them. Even if a person does get enough fruits and vegetables, it may be difficult to avoid another factor that increases the body’s acidity: stress.

Smith noted the supplement by itself would not be as effective as also making an effort to add fresh, organic fruits and vegetables to the diet.

“Realistically,” he said, “to get the best results you would want to eat healthier.”

An alternative
How selling makeup led to healthier living: Kelly’s story

Kelly Duttlinger of Oglesby previously sold cosmetics for Arbonne. When the company began adding nutritional supplements to its product line, she was contacted and offered some samples.

The Arbonne system includes an emphasis on cleaner eating, as well, with one major difference from Yoli: Arbonne’s products are vegan certified.

According to Duttlinger, all of Arbonne’s nutritional products are made from alkaline (rather than acidic) ingredients.

After trying the products, Duttlinger said she lost 20 pounds in one month and began running after age 50.

“When your body is alkaline, you have more energy,” she said. “Your mental clarity is off the charts.”

The Arbonne program includes an emphasis on education.

“We teach whole food — how to use food as fuel to heal your body,” she said. “We have coaches who coach you into health and wellness through the use of our supplements and whole foods.”

The Arbonne 30 Days to Fit program starts by eliminating “toxic foods” and eating “clean.”

“We ingest so many toxins throughout the day,” Duttlinger said. “Your body becomes acidic, and disease thrives in an acidic environment.”

Toxins can get into the body through the skin, she said, noting that artificial ingredients in lotions, soaps and perfumes can introduce harmful chemicals into the body.

“Sixty percent of what you put on your skin is absorbed into the blood in 26 seconds,” Duttlinger said. “Your liver has to clean that out.”

The cosmetics that initially attracted her to Arbonne are “clean” and natural.

Arbonne’s protein shakes are made from yellow peas, cranberries and brown rice.

“Those are all alkaline-forming ingredients,” Duttlinger said, “and I think that’s the key.”

She was on the verge of needing medication for her blood pressure, but since starting the program and giving up coffee: “It’s just not even an issue.”

Now, Duttlinger said, she uses the “80-20 method,” aiming to eat 80 percent “clean.”

“You learn foods that are triggers,” she said. “It becomes more of a way of life rather than a supplement.”

A place to start
Kathye’s story

Kathye Wrobleski of Oglesby used to buy makeup from her friend Kelly Duttlinger. That’s how she learned about Arbonne’s nutrition program. She had heard about “clean” eating and wanted to avoid processed foods, but didn’t know how to start, so she tried Arbonne’s 30-day Detox.

“Initially I did it to lose weight,” she said, adding she lost 8 pounds in the first month. “But what I noticed was that I was sleeping better and my joints didn’t hurt as much.”

Kathye said she thinks she may have been on the verge of developing arthritis, because every morning she would wake up and her joints would be swollen and achy.

“I really just stayed on it because when you use it, you just feel better,” she said.

The Arbonne system was easier than any other diet plan she had tried because of the simplicity of choosing whole foods. But she also did herself a favor by following the “80-20 method” that Duttlinger uses: sticking to “clean” eating 80 percent of the time. That way, if she is out with friends or a special occasion arises, she doesn’t feel bad having one glass of wine or an ice cream treat. She just considers that her allotted 20 percent.

“I think the hardest thing is having to make those healthy choices all the time,” she said.

As easy as the system was, she got away from it for two weeks. But then she came back.

“My body missed it,” she said, “and then when I came back on I feel so much better.”

She now drinks Arbonne’s protein shakes, which are full of alkaline ingredients, instead of acidic coffee. She still allows herself a cup of coffee now and then — remember the 20 percent? — but it is not an everyday thing for her anymore.

If she strays too much, she notices stiffness and aches in her body.

“When I stay focused on this I don’t hurt as much,” she said. “Overall I just feel better.”

Source: News Tribune