Monday, November 17, 2014

18th Annual Christmas Cookie Walk

18th annual Christmas Cookie Walk

Sponsored by the Women on a Mission group of Hennepin United Methodist Church, the walk will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 in the Fellowship Hall at Fifth and Court streets. A large variety of Christmas cookies will be sold for $6.50 per pound.

Advanced orders will be taken by calling (815) 925-7253 or (815) 925-7252. All proceeds are donated to local charities.


Hennepin Steel Mill Sold

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
A new Michigan company has acquired the former LTV Steel property and may raze the property for commercial use other than for a steel mill, sources told the NewsTribune this morning.

Putnam County officials and former steel workers rejoiced about a published report the longtime steel mill had been purchased, though the property transfer has not been recorded and is not yet part of the public record.

“I’m optimistic about the jobs coming in and what it means for the county,” said Duane Calbow, chairman of the Putnam County Board and vice president of United Steelworkers Local 7367, Hennepin, “I’m hoping to meet with them and find out their plans.”

Calbow cited an announcement by U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) to the Peoria Journal Star that the steel plant had been sold to a company identified as IPS Steel of Michigan.

That the company name includes the word “steel,” however, may not mean there will be steel operations in Hennepin.

“The company is newly organized and they don’t have existing steel operations, those two things I’m certain of,” said Marc Marquis of Marquis Energy LLC.

“The Journal-Star article read like it would be reopened as a steel mill. I don’t believe that to be the case. I’ve talked to a number of people with different levels of involvement. It is my expectation that they are going to scrap the copper and the steel and raze the building.”

Hennepin Mayor Coleman said recent reports of the sale of the mill, which housed Arcelor Mittal, LTV and J&L steel operations for half a century, are correct. However, most details of the sale were uncertain to him and to sources at the Putnam County Courthouse.

“No deed was recorded at the courthouse this morning,” said Kay Rue, office associate of Tamara Mahalic, Putnam County Assessor. “We can’t give an assessed value because we don’t know what was purchased.”

Nancy Mattingly, working in the office of Kevin Kunkel, county treasurer, was unable to give any information on the assessed tax value currently. There are 25 parcel numbers associated with the facility.

“I believe there are multiple parcels for the building,” Mattingly said. The tax bills currently go to ISG Hennepin Inc. in East Chicago, Ind.

Coleman said Schock has been working on behalf of Putnam County even though his district no longer includes the county. Coleman said he was unsure the number or kind of jobs that will come from IPS, the reported purchaser, but that more information would be available in the coming week. Coleman also said he signed a confidentiality agreement.

Regardless, it came as positive economic-development news.

“We are working with several promising projects in the area and this is very good news and hopefully the beginning of great things to come,” said Scott Stavrakas, president of Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce.

Schock told the Journal Star he and his office had worked alongside local, state and federal officials as well as members of the steelworkers local to find a buyer since shortly after he took office in 2009. 

Schock told the Journal Star he was unaware of any federal incentives being offered to IPS. Rather, IPS was attracted by the skilled workforce, transportation systems — the mill is on a rail line, near the Illinois River and is the reason four-lane spur from Interstate 180 leads to Hennepin.

Former steelworkers and managers at the Hennepin plant said they were uncertain what “IPS Steel” is. Precisely what type of manufacturing will be done by IPS of Michigan in the massive building and the number of jobs was not immediately clear.

“We are very excited with the purchase of this facility and look forward to working with the local community and officials to bring back business and jobs to this area” said IPS project manager Kishan Sutariya told the Journal Star in a statement.

Arcelor Mittal had operated the rolled steel mill at Hennepin until 2009, when it not only closed but the multinational company removed much of the equipment for storage or use in its overseas plants or sale. When it closed, Arcelor Mittal employed 245 people; 25 stayed on and followed company orders in the shutdown.

Source: News Tribune


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall Street Sweeping Notice

Attention Hennepin Residents

Weather permitting, the street sweeper will be sweeping the streets the week of November 17.

Please refrain from parking along curbed streets on these days.

The sweeper cannot sweep under cars. Also, do not rake leaves onto the street. The sweeper is not equipped to remove piles of leaves!

Thank you,

Hennepin Village Board


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

North Central Bank Hosts Scholarship Opportunity

North Central Bank announces a competition that enables Illinois high school seniors to enter a statewide essay-writing contest. It is all part of a program sponsored by Illinois community banks and the Community Bankers Association of Illinois (CBAI) Foundation for Community Banking to increase public awareness of locally-owned banks and their contributions to the community.

North Central Bank is a member of the (CBAI), which formed the foundation in 1996. A monetary award in the amount of $1,000 a year for up to four years of higher education will be given to the author of the best essay submitted to the CBAI Foundation by a participating Illinois high school senior. Up to 12 additional first-place $1,000 awards and 13 second-place $500 awards are available throughout the state. An additional $500 will be awarded to the high school of the overall winner.

North Central Bank will also be offering up to $500 as a local award. The same entries sent to the state competition will be judged locally.

The bank is encouraging local high school seniors to submit short essays on the following theme: “The Importance of Community Banking.”

Information on the contest is available at North Central Bank and the local high schools. Entries must be submitted to the bank by Jan. 23, 2015. The bank will then submit selected entries to the CBAI Foundation to be eligible for statewide competition.

CBAI is a professional trade association representing approximately 400 Illinois-chartered banks and thrifts throughout Illinois.

Source: Putnam County Record


Prosecutor Elected Judge, Examining Law to See What's Next

With Jim Mack’s election to the bench, the Putnam County State’s Attorney position is open.

Monday’s Putnam County Board meeting allowed Mack to explain the process of choosing a new state’s attorney, but left as many questions as answers.

According to Mack, once the election results are certified and he submits his resignation, the county board has three days to notify the central committee of the political parties, who will then make recommendations to fill the position. The county board then has 60 days to approve the appointment made by the county chairman.

Mack could not answer the questions Monday night about timing. He wasn’t sure when the vacancy of the position, and therefore the ability to appoint a new state’s attorney, happened when the resignation was submitted, or when he is sworn in as judge.

Mack also wasn’t sure if the current board would be doing the appointing, or if it would have to wait until the new board is sworn in on Dec 1.

“It’s (the answer) is not clear from the statute,” Mack said.

He said he believed he would have the answers to the board by the beginning of next week. Until that time the state’s attorney job will remain a mystery.

Source: News Tribune


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Enterprise Zone Hearing

A public hearing for the creation of an enterprise zone will be held on Thursday, November 13 at 12:00 PM in Spring Valley. Please view the PDF below for complete details.

Enterprise Zone Public Hearing


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Putnam County Election Results

Putnam County
Referendum questions
Victim’s Bill of Rights
Yes   1,636
No   737

Voter discrimination prohibition
Yes   1,462
No   842

Statewide advisory questions
Shall the minimum wage in Illinois for adults over the age of 18 be raised to $10 per hour by Jan. 1, 2015?
Yes   1,661
No   909

Must birth control be included in health insurance coverage in Illinois?
Yes   1,549
No   999

“Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income greater than one million dollars?”
Yes   1,475
No   998

Federal offices
Jim Oberweis (R)  1,231
Richard J. Durbin (D) 1,163
Sharon Hansen (L)  131

16th Congressional District
Adam Kinzinger (R)  1,597
Randall Olsen (D)  894

State offices
Bruce Rauner/Evelyn Sanguinetti (R)......... 1,263
Pat Quinn/Paul Vallas (D) ........................ 1,096
Chad Grimm/Alexander Cummings (L) ........ 176
Write-in   N/A

Paul M. Schimpf (R) ............... 1,024
Lisa Madigan (D) .................... 1,400
Ben Koyl (L) ............................... 80

Michael Webster (R)  794
Jesse White (D)  1,666
Christopher Michel (L) 86

Judy Baar Topinka (R) 1,288
Sheila Simon (D)  1,062
Julie Fox (L)  142

Tom Cross (R)  1,160
Michael Frerichs (D)  1,087
Matthew Skopek (L)  137

Representative in the General Assembly
Jerry Lee Long (R)  1,170
Frank J. Mautino (D)  1,400

County offices
Daniel Kuhn (D)  2,163

Kevin Kunkel (D)  2,133

Kevin Doyle (D)  2,314

La Salle, Marshall and Putnam counties
Christopher Dvorak (D) 1,909

(Vote for not more than three)
Steven O. Malavolti (R) 1,491
Duane A. Calbow (D) 1,481
Luke Holly (D)  1,317
Eric Balma (D)  1,301
Write-in (Woest)  146

(To fill the vacancy of the Hon. Scott A. Shore)
James A. Mack (R)  1,198
Bradley Popurella (D) 929
John A. Grivetti Jr. (Ind.) 483

William Holdridge
Yes   1,688
No   465

Mary K. O’Brien
Yes   1,660 
No   479

Stephen A. Kouri
Yes   1,670
No   472

Source: News Tribune


Friday, October 31, 2014

The Country Stop is a Hennepin Landmark

35 years... and still a local favorite

Image courtesy of the Putnam County Record
A decent early breakfast can be hard to find in some places, but Hennepin isn’t one of them. For 35 years, area residents have known where to go for great food and warm greetings.

Cindy Migliorini opened the Country Stop Restaurant in 1979, although it wasn’t quite her idea.

“Basically, my dad was putting in the market next door and I was working at O’Connor’s at the time,” Migliorini said. “He said, ‘Do you want to put in a restaurant?’ and I said ‘Sure.’”

A typical day for Migliorini starts between 3 and 4 a.m. when she wakes up. The restaurant opens at 5 a.m., and some days she’s in early working on the day’s specials. Sometimes, she said she arrives in time to let the first people in.

“It depends what I have to do. If I have to bake pies, or if there’s a delivery due, than I have to be here,” Migliorini said. “It just depends on what’s happening.”

Everything in the Country Stop is homemade by Migliorini’s own hands, although through the years, she’s had some help keeping the restaurant open ... and not just by the hired help.

“When I started, I didn’t have any kids; I wasn’t married. Things change, and the business grew. Even though my kids have careers and college, they still come back and help,” Migliorini said. “Except for my son. He worked here one day and said, ‘This isn’t for me,’ and he never came back to help.”

She credits good workers and help by the family for keeping her and the restaurant going, but especially her customers who come back day after day, year after year.

“The best thing about it is all of the people I’ve met that I never would have met otherwise,” Migliorini said. “I’ve learned a lot about myself and about life here.”

Through the years, she’s seen a lot of changes in the area, but not all of them have been good for her. When the Country Stop opened, Migliorini said the most busy time of the year was hunting season.

“That’s changed. With the new technologies and changes, a lot of hunters have those small grills and stuff and take it with them,” she said. “When I started out, they didn’t do that. They’d come back here for a sandwich or something. Now they just stay out all day.

“Sometimes, trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for things ... it gets to you,” Migliorini said. “You never know what’s going to happen in this area. Some days, everything goes so smooth, and the next it’s just like the first day you opened.”

Being a fixture of the area for so long, Migliorini has a very loyal clientele. That’s not always as good as it sounds. Customers become family, and after 35 years, some of those customers pass on.

“This year, we lost three of our everyday people. That’s when you really start thinking about the past. I wish I would have kept a journal,” she said.

Source: Putnam County Record