Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hennepin Cancer Relay Team Selling Coffee Cake, Treats

Team Hennepin, a Relay for Life team captained by Betty Dean, is again holding a Butterbraid coffee cake/cookie sale, with orders to be turned in by Oct. 16. The frozen coffee cakes and cookie dough will be delivered on Friday, Nov. 6, in time for the holidays.

Items selling for $12 include apple. Bavarian cream/chocolate icing; blueberry cream cheese, caramel rolls; cherry, cinnamon, cream cheese, raspberry, and strawberry cream cheese for coffee cakes, and the following cookies, M&M cookie bits, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodles and white chocolate macadamia nut. The newest flavor of coffee cake is double chocolate, and it will be sold for $13.

Coffee cakes are 22 oz. and serve 11 people. Cookie dough is 2 pounds or 32 cookies.

Available for $13 are four apple dumplings, which include a whole apple surrounded by flaky dough, topped with a sweet cinnamon sauce; and a 22 oz pumpkin roll, a pinwheel made from scratch with cream cheese filling and confectioner’s sugar, both of which can be thawed and served. New this year are the oatmeal, cranberry, white chunk cookies, which sell for $12.

A new incentive this year is the “All American Tri-pack, which includes an apple, cherry and cinnamon coffee cake; and the “Cream Cheese Lovers Tri-Pack”, which includes a blueberry cream cheese, a strawberry cream cheese and a cream cheese coffee cake, each for $34.

Orders can be placed by calling Chairwoman Linda DeMattia at (815)-488-1026 or any team member. Team members include: Betty Dean, captain; Nita O’Neil, Kirsten Augspols, Nancy O’Connor, Ila Weddell, Lindsay Cattani, Sandy Hrasch and Gerry Skowronski, all of Hennepin, and Tim and Kathy Zens of Granville.

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Putnam County Remembers One of Its Own

By Ryan Friel

Image courtesy of the Putnam County Record
Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the Eric Ciucci benefit in Hennepin. Eric was somebody who touched my life and the lives of countless others from the Putnam County community and beyond.

I was tasked with taking pictures of the benefit for this publication. As I sat down at my computer Saturday night to look through the pictures, the idea to write this came to me.

The flyer for the event said this was a day to celebrate families and that it did. Everywhere I looked, I saw happy, smiling families enjoying the beautiful day.

For the 17 years I have lived on this earth, the only town I’ve lived in is Hennepin. My parents have always told me how great of a community we live in and Saturday confirmed that. While serving food under the pavilion, I looked around and I didn’t just see families, I saw business owners from around the county who donated their time and resources to make this event a success and to make it a profitable fundraiser for the Educational Foundation.

I remember looking at Jay McCracken and saying to him how truly great this day was and how great of a community we live in. The giving nature of this area is one in a million. This wasn’t a day to mourn, this was a day to celebrate families. One of the amazing things about this community is how we come together in times of need.

The most heartwarming sight I saw Saturday was the smiles on Eric’s family’s faces. That alone made the day all worth it. It wasn’t the golf cart race, the bouncy house, or even the ice cream eating contest, it was the ability to make his family happy.

Every time I saw Eric, he was always smiling. He always had a positive attitude that could make your day better. I remember distinctly during my time as a high school golfer when Eric came over to me on the driving range at Edgewood and watched me send ball after ball to the right. As frustrating as it must have been for him to watch me keep slicing it, he never dropped his positive attitude. He helped me fix it and make me a better golfer. He wasn’t my coach, yet he took the time out of his practice to help me.

There are very few people in my life who I can honestly say touched my life, and Eric was one of them. One of the hardest things I have done thus far in my life was attend his funeral, and I will forever cherish every encounter I had with him.

Source: Putnam County Record


Cutting Storm Sewer Project Cost

The Hennepin Village Board’s streets committee met Wednesday, Sept. 23, to further discuss a storm sewer project near Sixth and Locust streets.

The committee called the meeting to discuss ways to cut the storm sewer project cost.

At the last regular board meeting, village engineer Bill Shafer announced the lowest bid on the project was $123,351. The board was anticipating to only spend around $85,000.

Village board member Matt Dean expressed concern with using a large portion of the village’s general fund to pay for the cost of the project.

On Wednesday. Sept. 23, Quentin Buffington, Dean, village President Kevin Coleman and Shafer met with village resident Charlie Judd, who heard about the high cost of the project and had thought of an alternative solution to the problem with a less expensive price tag.

Judd is a property owner in the area were the village is having issues with the storm sewer, and he has had water in his basement due to the limited water flow.

Judd has a background in similar construction projects, and his sons own Judd Construction of Hennepin.

His proposed solution involved placing more storm drain inlets in the area to help direct the water flow to a nearby ditch, that would have to be dug deeper. He said some of the work involved could be completed by village employees, thus saving the village money on labor.

Judd estimated the cost of his idea to be in the range of $25,000 to $30,000.

Buffington had some hesitation on whether Judd’s idea would work and said he wasn’t comfortable with village employees taking on the work. Shafer also recommended certain parts of the project be contracted out, which Coleman agreed.

Coleman said there are variables to consider for the project.

The full board will meet in a special meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 30. They will review Judd’s purposed plan and decide whether they want to keep the current project bids or go for new bids on the project.

Source: Putnam County Record


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Village Water Rates Will Increase

Coleman reported the water district passed an ordinance last month to raise water rates. The new rates will go into effect Thursday, Oct. 1. He said the water and sewer rates will stay the same for the first 5,000 gallons used. After that usage, the cost per 1,000 gallons increased $2 — the rate went from $4.20 to $6.20 per 1,000 gallons used after 5,000 gallons.

Source: Putnam County Record


Hennepin Sets Special Meeting for Storm Sewer Project

The Hennepin Village Board tabled action on bids received for the storm sewer project near Sixth and Locust streets on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Village engineer Bill Shafer reported the project received three bids, with the lowest bid being Stott Contracting of Morris at a price of $123,351.60.

The board looked into completing the project this year to provide better drainage and water flow in the area during heavy rains.

Shafer said he had not worked with Stott Contracting before but did some checking with references and said they were good. He recommended the board go along with the bid.

However, village President Kevin Coleman reminded Shafer that when the board first discussed the project he had estimated the cost to be around $85,000.

“My feeling is ... if we would have known it was going to be that high, we may not have pursued this,” he said.

Shafer admitted he should have checked further on information he had gotten for the project.

He said he estimated low on some numbers received, and there were also water main adjustments and sanitary sewer items he did not take into account.

Board member Matt Dean said he realizes the problem needs to be fixed but didn’t know what options the village has financially and physically to get the project completed now.

Dean suggested the streets committee get together to look further into the project. He said he wanted to make sure the project cost doesn’t put the village at financial risk.

“I would have been more comfortable with the $85,000. I see the $125,000, and I’m nervous,” he said. “That’s a lot more.”

Board member Quentin Buffington agreed, but he said the project would only get more expensive if the board pushed it off longer.

“This is a second phase of a project that was started in the early ‘80s, and it wasn’t done by the village then and only has been delayed by village boards through the years by putting Band-Aids on it,” he said. “We’ve known the problem exists, we’ve known it has existed for over 30 years. It’s time to put the project to bed and move on to the next one.”

Shafer said he would get in touch with the contractor to see if he would extend his bid offer while the board took more time to discuss finances of the project. He said he didn’t think it would be an issue as the contractor didn’t plan to start the project until three weeks out.

The board tabled action on the project and planned for the streets committee to meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, to further discuss plans. The board will then meet during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, to take action on the project.

Source: Putnam County Record


Monday, September 21, 2015

Weather Perfect for Hennepin Harvest Home Event

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
Hennepin’s annual Harvest Home Festival brought people to town for a parade, face and pumpkin painting, and food at the United Methodist Church. There was also a Scarecrow contest that took place throughout the week before the event.

Scarecrows, including first-place winner — a mechanic by Mike Bouxsein, could be found throughout Hennepin leading up to the annual Harvest Home celebration. In the scarecrow contest, Hennepin Park District and The Country Stop came in second and third behind Bouxsein for businesses, with the Bassi Family Tribute, Dane Colby, and Dorris Miller winning for residential scarecrows.

Float winners were Bradley Wink and the Putnam County 4-H, Bouxsein Farms and the Putnam County High School band and Panteras. Relay for Life had the best golf cart float, PC Trail Riders were awarded Judges Choice, and best candy giveaway was the Hennepin Park District.

The Putnam County Band and Panteras float took both third place overall float and Best in Show.

Source: News Tribune


Friday, September 11, 2015

Public Auction of Ray's Place Bar & Restaurant

A public auction of Ray's Place Bar & Restaurant will take place on September 25 at 1:30PM. Please view the flyer below for complete details, or visit the McConville Realty website.

Ray's Place Auction Flyer


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hennepin & Hopper Lakes Opens to Fishing Tuesday

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
Hennepin and Hopper Lakes on the Illinois River will be reopened to public fishing under special rules Sept. 1-27, the first fishing allowed there since 2009.

Anglers will need a permit from The Wetlands Initiative. No fee will be charged. Applications will be available starting Tuesday by the boat launch. Anglers older than 16 also must have a state fishing license.

Fishing has been closed on the lakes since 2009 so that The Wetlands Initiative and DNR could reduce numbers of common carp and stock the lakes with native fish. Re-infestation of carp scratched a plan to reopen it in 2012.

The Wetlands Initiative waited for approval from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, according to a press release.

“It took much longer than we expected to get all the sign-offs needed in Springfield,” said Paul Botts, executive director of The Wetlands Initiative, which owns and manages the Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin and Hopper Lakes.

Fishing will be allowed from sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset Tuesday through Sunday, closed Monday. No gas-powered motors and no shore fishing are allowed. Kayaks and canoes are welcome.

“We've had so much interest and want to make sure the health of the lakes and the fishery isn't jeopardized, nor the experience of visitors who come to the refuge for hiking, birding or other activities,” said Suzanne Wagner, director of development and communications for The Wetlands Initiative.

The only live bait allowed is red worms, wax worms and night crawlers. You cannot use other animals or animal parts as bait including reptiles, amphibians, minnows, crayfish, leeches and cut bait.

Fishing is allowed only in a designated fishing zone south of buoys extending from the boat launch and north of buoys in the southern portion of the lakes.

The parking lot by the boat launch is limited to 40 vehicles with boat trailers, first-come, first-serve. When the parking lot is full, no more boats will be allowed. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.

Conservation officers will do spot-checks. State fishing regulations apply. State fines will be assessed for violations. Those who refuse inspection are guilty by default. Violators will have their Hennepin & Hopper permits revoked for one year.

Permits cover all immediate family members listed on the application. Children under 12 must be supervised by a parent or guardian.

Anglers must use a logbook by the boat launch, entering name, permit number, date and time prior to fishing. After fishing, anglers must log the number and sizes of each species caught and the number of species kept and released.

Fishing may be closed at the discretion of the site manager for special events and weather conditions. Final authority rests with the site manager.
Fish Limits

Here are the minimum size and daily creel limits at Hennepin & Hopper. Species not listed must be released and no other animals can be taken.

Bluegill — Any size, no limit.

Pumpkinseed — Any size, no limit.

Channel catfish — Any size, six fish.

Crappies — 9 inches, 20 fish.

Largemouth bass — 15 inches, three fish.

Muskellunge — 42 inches, one fish.

Northern pike — 24 inches, three fish.

Walleye — 18 inches, 3 fish.

Source: News Tribune