Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hennepin Spring Townwide Garage Sales

Hennepin will be having its town wide garage sale in conjunction with the Illinois River Valley Sales Ride on Saturday and Sunday, May 19th and 20th.

If you live in Hennepin or Hennepin Township and would like to be on the map, please call 815-925-7319 or email at hennepinparkdistrict@mchsi.com. Thanks!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Judge Gives Possession to IPS Steel in Hennepin

Image credit: News Tribune
A judge has ordered IPS Steel of Michigan can take possession of the former Hennepin steel mill site, and collect profits from it. The current owner, Hennepin Industrial, is responsible for paying back its liens.

IPS Steel is a former owner of the steel mill who sold the property to Hennepin Industrial last year. IPS Steel filed for a motion of possession for the site, which isn’t the same as ownership. After a judge makes the order, the body given possession of the property will have possession of the mill until this case ends.

Judge Stephen Kouri filed the order Friday, giving possession of the site to IPS Steel.

“This ruling is based on the filing of numerous liens against the property and not based on any other alleged defaults,” the order says.

In court last week, Andrew Bossory, attorney for IPS Steel, said Hennepin Industrial hired multiple subcontractors to do work and hasn’t paid them. Hennepin Industrial has multiple liens against it, Bossory said, which is usually a document signed by someone to whom money is owed.

Bossory said these liens include about $92,400 to Tiger Demolition, $330,000 to R&M Metals, $98,000 to Dykon, $395,900 to American State Equipment, $16,500 to United Rentals and $86,000 to another group.

Source: News Tribune

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Adam and Ida Deck Scholarships Awarded

Image credit: Putnam County Record
The Hennepin Village Board awarded the Adam and Ida Deck Scholarships during its April 18 meeting.

The first-place recipient was Emma Cyr, daughter of Christian and Jamie Cyr. The scholarship will provide her with $1,200 each year for four years.

The second-place recipient is Cameron Colby, son of Julie and Dane Colby. He will receive $1,000 each year for four years. These scholarships are subsidized through proceeds from the Adam and Ida Deck Scholarship Fund and are awarded on the basis of scholastic ability.

Congratulations, Emma and Cameron!

Source: Putnam County Record

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Putnam County Will Soon be the Newest Home to Little Free Libraries

Image credit: Putnam County Record
Libraries are hubs of their communities, a place where residents gather to learn, make connections, share ideas, or simply pick out a good book.

Residents of rural areas, however, may have a challenge getting to a library, but the Putnam County Library District has taken steps to assist them by joining the Little Free Library movement.

“This will be a great outreach for Putnam County, and it will give our residents a better chance to get quality books they may not normally have access to,” Librarian Matt Miller said.

Little Free Libraries is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities engage with their “take a book, leave a book” free book exchanges. While they’re generally small wooden boxes that are found in a variety of locations, stewards often use a surprising amount of creativity when building or decorating their Little Free Libraries.

What started as a small, local project in Wisconsin, has since grown into a movement that includes more than 60,000 Little Free Libraries in more than 80 countries.

Nearby Princeton embraced the Little Free Libraries a few years ago after co-founder Rick Brooks retired to the community, and they’ve proved very popular with residents of all ages. Many residents often work in visits to several during their evening walks.

Miller said the county’s five new Little Free Libraries have been funded through a grant and community donations, and their construction has been undertaken by the Putnam County High School FFA class. Each library will require a steward to care for its overall condition and to monitor and maintain the collection within.

Currently, one is scheduled to be installed at Lake Thunderbird, but stewards and locations are still being sought for the others.

The hope is that some will be installed in rural areas where residents may not have easy access to reading materials. Little Free Libraries also often result in an increased connection with neighbors.

“LFLs can help bridge the gap when traditional access to books isn’t available. In rural areas, for example, public libraries can use LFLs to reach farther into the community. We currently work with more than 600 public libraries across the country who use them for community outreach,” Margret Aldrich, of the Little Free Library organization and author of “The Little Free Library Book,” said.

Brooks added the book exchanges also frequently lead to the creation of a variety of additional and socially beneficial events such as inter-generational reading programs and book clubs.

Anyone may contribute or take books from a Little Free Library. If you take a book from one, you don’t have to return that exact book. However, in order to keep them stocked with a variety of choices for the whole community, people are encouraged to add a book of their own to share. In other words, they work on the honor system; everyone contributes, and everyone benefits.

According to the Little Free Library website, three out of four people report they’ve read a book they normally wouldn’t have read because of a Little Free Library. Seventy-three percent also say they’ve met more of their neighbors because of a little library, and 92 percent say their neighborhood feels like a friendlier place because of the addition of an Little Free Library.

In addition, up to 61 percent of low-income families report they don’t have any books for their children at home, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The multi-award-winning Little Free Library organization has partnered with such organizations as Rotary International, Lions International, Girl Scouts, the Library of Congress, AARP, multiple law enforcement agencies, Scouts BSA, Kiwanis International, United Way, the YMCA, the National Book Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and many more, including several major corporations.

To become a steward or for more local information, contact Miller at 815-925-7020. To learn more about the Little Free Library organization and to see the photo gallery of the many creative little libraries that have been crafted with a personal touch, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.

Source: Putnam County Record

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Hennepin Park District Will Offer Red Cross Swimming Lessons

The Hennepin Park District is having three sessions of Red Cross Swimming Lessons this summer. Each session will be two weeks long. There will still be six levels of swimming abilities.

Level 1 is the beginning class, and participants must be 5 years old by Sept. 1 and be at least 42 inches tall in order to enroll. The morning sessions will run 40-minute classes, Monday through Friday. The night sessions will run 50-minute classes, Monday through Thursday. The sessions are as follows:

Session 1: June 11-22 — 9 to 9:40 a.m., 9:50 to 10:30 a.m., and 10:40 to 11:20 a.m.

Session 2: July 9-20 — 9 to 9:40 a.m., 9:50 to 10:30 a.m., and 10:40 to 11:20 a.m.

Session 3: July 23-Aug. 2 — 5 to 5:50 p.m., and 6 to 6:50 p.m.

The Hennepin Park District will also be offering preschool aquatics again this year. This class for children ages 3 to 5 will be held July 9-20 from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Space is limited. The cost for this class is free for Hennepin/Hennepin Township and $33 per child for all other areas.

Registration for these sessions will begin at noon Saturday, May 12. You must come in person to register at the Hennepin Pool. If you cannot come to register at this time, you will be able to register during normal pool hours up until each session begins. The cost for lessons is $33 per child, per session. Hennepin and Hennepin Township residents will be free for all sessions. Granville, Granville Township, Mark and McNabb town boards will pay the cost of one child for one session. Standard and Magnolia will pay $16.50 for one child for one session.

For more information, call the Hennepin Pool at 815-925-7319 or email ryan@hennepinparkdistrict.com.

Source: Putnam County Record

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

2018 National Food Drive

The 2018 National Food Drive will be held Saturday, May 12.

Donations can be brought to the Hennepin Post Office any day during normal business hours. All donations will go to the Putnam County Food Pantry, which serves all of Putnam County.

Food Pantry Wish List

  • Paper products
  • Cleaning products
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Canned fruit

Thank you in advance for your donation!

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

EPA Responds to Hennepin Mayor and Checks Former Steel Plant

Image credit: News Tribune
On a request by the Hennepin village president, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency inspected the closed steel mill plant outside of town on March 9 for environmental hazards and contaminants.

“Our Bureau of Land staff will be meeting with Bureau of Air staff to discuss the findings and a final report will be completed,” said Kim Biggs, spokeswoman for the Illinois EPA. “There will be more information available in the coming days/weeks.”

The steel mill opened in the late 1960s and closed in 2009, and the property is now owned by Hennepin Industrial Development LLC. It previously operated under various names including ArcelorMittal.

The steel mill opened in the late '60s and closed in 2009, and the property is now owned by Hennepin Industrial Development LLC. While addressing guests last month at a business luncheon, village president Kevin Coleman said half of the building was torn down and several parties are involved in litigation over the site and its demolition. He also said he was worried about possible hazards and contaminants at the closed factory.

While addressing guests last month at a business luncheon, village president Kevin Coleman said half of the building was torn down and several parties are involved in litigation over the site and its demolition. He also said he was worried about possible hazards and contaminants at the closed factory.

This week Coleman said his worry came from his recent aerial views of the plant during a flyover. Among things he saw that prompted him to call the EPA, Coleman said, were waste treatment cells and materials lying on the ground.

“It was pretty awful,” he said. “In my position as the mayor I felt I could make a call and ask questions and hopefully get a response. I contacted the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in February.”

Old PCE issue

Coleman — who has been village president for 21 years and served on the Hennepin Public Water District board for about 28 years, chairman most of those years — remembers underground water contamination at the steel plant about 10 years ago, he said.

“Illinois Environmental Protection Agency helped us tremendously and pinpointed the location where this was coming from,” he said.

Referring to documents from the Hennepin Public Water District, Coleman said the water district received a letter in November 2009 from Illinois EPA that a contaminant posed a threat to public drinking water in Hennepin.

The contaminant of concern was tetrachloroethylene, aka perchloroethylene, perc or PCE. Tetrachloroethylene is used as a cleaner and solvent in dry cleaning fabrics and for degreasing metals.

The PCE was detected at more than 2.5 parts per billion, exceeding the Class I groundwater quality standard and warranting public notification. Some people who ingest water with PCE over long periods can experience adverse health effects, according to the EPA’s letter and notice from 2009.

“We were fortunate that our secondary well is three-quarters to 1 mile from the primary well,” Coleman said. “We were able to run our secondary well until they solved the problem.”

The steel mill had dumped this used solvent on steel mill land about a half-mile west of the plant, about 400 feet north of the water district plant, said Coleman, referring to a map.

This dump site had been cleaned up in the late ‘80s and early 1990s, Coleman said. However, by then, unknown quantities of PCE had seeped into the groundwater, he said.

The EPA installed a special recirculation pump at the water district plant in 2012, Coleman said. This continuous system pulls water out of the aquifer and aerates it, allowing the volatile PCE to evaporate and returning cleaned water to the aquifer.

Old Pickle liquor issue

In a separate incident, the Illinois EPA closed and plugged an underground injection well in 2014, which had been used by the factory to inject used pickle liquor deep underground. Pickle liquors are acid solutions used to clean metal.

Coleman said the mill’s underground injection well was so deep that it was far below the aquifer used for drinking water, he said.

Source: News Tribune

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Hennepin Church Celebrates 150 Years

Image credit: Putnam County Record
St. Patrick’s parish in Hennepin celebrated its 150-year anniversary on March 17.

The evening began with Mass and the baptism of its newest member, Silvia Anne Boggio, the daughter of Frank and Heather Boggio. Following Mass, the parishioners enjoyed a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage. A written history of the church, composed by lifelong parish member Terry Judd, was provided. Lifelong members who were in attendance at the dinner were honored.

The village of Hennepin has Catholic roots. It was named after Father Louis Hennepin, who first explored along the Illinois River under Robert de La Salle in 1680, nearly 140 years before it was incorporated. Missionaries of faith would visit the village at intervals depending on the needs of the community.

It was not until 1852 that the first Catholic building was erected and was named St. Anthony Church. In 1868 the church received parish status from the diocese of Chicago. There are no known pictures of the original St. Anthony’s. More than 50 years later in 1902, a second church was built. The Dore family donated the new church and it was renamed St. Patrick in memory of their ancestor Patrick Dore who emigrated from Ireland. The hall and church are still standing today.

The hall is now used as the public library and the church is a private residence. The current St. Patrick church was completed in 1990. Much of the furnishings from the old St. Patrick church building, including stained glass windows, side and high altars from the were incorporated into the new church. St. Patrick Parish is located on 920 E. Dore Drive with Fr. Patrick DeMeulemeester as pastor.

Source: Putnam County Record

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