Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hennepin Talks About Buying Potential Cameras

The Village of Hennepin might be getting cameras in town after a rash of unlocked vehicles were entered.

At the Wednesday night village meeting, trustee Teresa Clausen brought up the idea of the village buying cameras to keep an eye on things in town.

Trustee Quentin Buffington said he would look into the prices and get back to the board with the information.

The village wouldn’t share the locations of the cameras with the public, trustee Lynn Haage said, reminding everyone to always lock doors.

The board members discussed that if the cameras are purchased, they would be hooked up to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office where the activity could be monitored.

Source: News Tribune


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Rescued Pieces of Steel Mill History Will Be Dedicated

Image credit: News Tribune
Those who hold the former Hennepin steel mill plant in their hearts will be able to view part of it for years to come.

A dedication of the new steel mill display will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at the awning next to the Ag Museum, 501 Old Highway 26, Hennepin.

In May, a pair of work rolls were transported from the former steel mill plant to the Putnam County Historical Society.

The rolls, which steel went through, had been on display outside the plant since the plant’s 30th anniversary. The rolls probably were built around 1995, said former steel mill plant worker Mike Black in a previous interview. Black will talk at Sunday’s dedication. He plans to talk about positive points, including what the rolls represent — the innovation of the plant, the customer service provided, the people involved and more.

He said he’s happy the historical society was able to save a part of history from being scrapped with the rest of the plant.

The rolls originally were transported in May, and since then, an awning has been added above as well as lights to keep the display lit at night,

There is also a plaque that has been with the rolls since the 30th anniversary of the plant and a memorial rock that reads, “In memory of the deceased brothers and sisters of U.S.W.A. Local 7367 and amalgamates.”

A new plaque with pictures and history of the plant will be placed behind the rolls and should be completed this week before the dedication, said Sid Whitaker, president of Putnam County Historical Society.

If interested in contributing to the project, donations can be directed to the Putnam County Historical Society, 327 Old Highway 26, Hennepin, IL 61327 with the note, “steel mill display.”

Ag Open house

The annual Agricultural Museum Open House of the historical society will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at 501 Old Highway 26, Hennepin.

The society rearranged everything in the museum to open up space, helping with organization, Whitaker said.

“It looks quite different,” he said.

Permanent displays in the museum include agricultural equipment and tools, wildlife, coal mining, early 1900s general store, post office, one-room school, farm kitchen and sitting room.

Military memorabilia have been moved to the Meeting House.

Tractor drive benefits FFA

The Putnam County FFA Alumni will hold a tractor drive before the open house to raise funds for the Bill Biagi Memorial FFA Alumni Scholarship. Registration for the drive will begin at 8:30 a.m. at museum. The tractors will depart at 9:30 a.m. and return at 12:30 p.m. for lunch. Cost of the drive is $40 per tractor. For information on the Tractor Drive, contact Brian Biagi at (815) 252-0474 or

Lunch is served

Everyone is invited to the open house and admission is free. Pork chop and BBQ lunches will be available for purchase at the Meeting House. Pulsifer House will be open for tours. The Agricultural Museum and the Meeting House are handicapped accessible. Pulsifer House (historic house museum built in 1844) will also be open for tours. Pulsifer House is not handicapped accessible.

For more details on the open house, contact Luke Holly at or Sid Whitaker at or (815) 303-5104.

Donations can be sent to 327 Old Highway 26, Hennepin, IL 61327.

Source: News Tribune


Monday, August 6, 2018

BioBlitz Offers Hands-on Learning for Scientists and Public

Image credit: News Tribune
Kade Gensini visits the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge often, but he had never gotten to take part in the BioBlitz event until this weekend.

“I like to learn about wildlife,” the 11-year-old Hennepin resident said Saturday afternoon at the refuge just south of Hennepin. The refuge is owned and managed by the Wetlands Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring wetland resources of the Midwest.

This is the refuge’s second BioBlitz; the first was in 2015 when participants identified more than 675 species. During the free two-day event with scientists and volunteers surveying the 3,000-acre site for as many species as possible while sharing their findings and knowledge with the public.

The event attracted 40 experts (including their assistants) and 90 members of the public — 40 more than the previous BioBlitz. Illinois scientists volunteered their time, from organizations ranging from Illinois Natural History Survey to Prairie Engineers to Chicago Botanic Garden.

“Part of it was learning more about the biodiversity of the site,” said Vera Leopold, TWI grants manager and development associate. The event allows them to learn more about the species living at the refuge so the initiative can better protect them.

“The second goal was just to get people out to learn about the site and experience it,” she said.

The Friday-Saturday event featured activities for all ages, including an owl prowl, bat hike, educational stations with experts who talked about plants, birds, bats, insects, fungi and more. One outing included a three-hour canoe ride to find “whatever is out there,” such as plants, birds, frogs and more, said Gary Sullivan, senior ecologist with the initiative.

It’ll require some time before experts release what new species may be at the site, said Paul Botts, president and executive director of the initiative. There will definitely be another BioBlitz in the future, he said.
Want to help?

The initiative maintains the site with contributions from people and from grants, Leopold said.

To donate or to volunteer, call (312) 922-0777 or visit You can also send a check payable to The Wetlands Initiative to The Wetlands Initiative, 53 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1015 Chicago, IL 60604.

Source: News Tribune


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Text Alerts Coming to a Phone Near You

A system to bring information to Hennepin residents’ smartphones is coming to the village.

The village council voted for a year contract for a text message notification system on Wednesday night.

Residents who opt into the service will be updated in the event of water main breaks, severe weather alerts, boil orders, street work, upcoming event notifications and more, council member Quentin Buffington explained after the meeting.

Buffington said multiple people could be given access to send the notifications; residents choose to opt in for service, which will be easy to do. Messaging rates apply to the user; for example, if a resident pays per text message on his cell phone, he would be charged for the text updates from the village. 

The service will cost the village about $40 a month.

Source: News Tribune


Remember to Register Your Golf Carts

Village President Kevin Coleman reminded the board that residents with new golf carts need to get registered, and carts with expired registrations need to get new registration with the village.

Registration costs $25 and is good for three years. Stop in to the village hall on Wednesday afternoons to register and bring proof of insurance.

To operate a golf cart or small utility vehicle, you must have a valid driver’s license.

The board decided the village will start using different colored stickers to show that registration was purchased on different years to help show when certain carts are expired.

Stairway to Hennepin

The village board approved work on the staircase leading to the river on Front Street in front of High Street. There are three staircases on Front Street, and all are in need of repair, Buffington said.

The board agreed to choose a wooden structure for the staircase in front of High Street, and the work will cost less than $20,000.

Work on the other two staircases has not been approved yet.

Source: News Tribune


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Tree Trimming Information

Crews working for Ameren will be trimming trees soon in the Village of Hennepin around power lines. Please refer to the PDF below for more details and complete list of addresses. Thank you!

2018 Tree Trimming Info


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Man Doing Well After High-Angle Rescue at Hennepin Power Plant

Image credit: News Tribune
A Dynegy employee is “doing well” after being stuck on an elevator on the side of the smokestack at the Hennepin Power Station for several hours Thursday afternoon.

“I received an update that the employee is out of the elevator and doing well. All emergency responders have left the site,” said Meranda Cohn, a spokesperson for Dynegy.

Granville fire chief Ron Campbell confirmed the man refused medical treatment at the scene after he was brought down from the elevator, which was stuck about 200 feet above the ground.

Hennepin and Granville fire departments were dispatched around 1 p.m. to

the Dynegy-owned power station located at 13498 E. 800th St., Hennepin. Campbell said they cleared the scene by 4:19 p.m.

A MABAS 25 tactical response team were called due to the height of the rescue. Campbell said the power company also called in a crane from Imperial Crane to assist with the situation.

First responders reached the employee with a crane and brought him down in a basket, Cohn said.

The elevator, which was located on the outside of the smokestack, had a mechanical failure and became stuck, Campbell said.

The cause of the elevator malfunction is being investigated, Cohn said.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and Putnam County EMS also assisted at the scene.

“Plant and local emergency responders periodically conduct drills for high-angle rescues to be prepared for situations like the one today. The rescue was well-executed thanks to the invaluable training and partnership between plant personnel and local emergency response organizations,” Cohn said.

Source: News Tribune


Friday, June 15, 2018

4th of July Celebration

Hennepin is well prepared to celebrate its 42nd annual Fourth of July celebration “Thunder on the Illinois.”

Scheduled for Wednesday, July 4 in Hennepin, the event will have several family friendly activities, including the “Movin’ for Music” 5K run/walk that will be followed by a pancake and sausage breakfast sponsored by the Putnam County Music Boosters.

From noon to 4 p.m. will be the “Cruise-In” car show at Bassi Park. Other events will be a bags tournament, Bingo, a beer garden, inflatables, and water fights for children.

The Putnam County FFA will cook pork chops, and several other food vendors will also be in attendance. The Citizen of the Year will be presented at 4:15 p.m. on the courthouse stage, along with performances by the chorus and the Little Panteras.

“Bagshot Row,” a 1950s-’60s British Invasion band, will perform at 5 p.m., the golf cart parade will be at 6:45 p.m., and “Snap Shot” will perform from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

And the main event, fireworks over the river, will begin at 9:30 p.m. with the band resuming play from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Photo credit: Quentin Buffington

Please view the PDF below for the complete schedule of events.

Hennepin 4th of July Celebration