Less Serious Charges Filed In Case Surrounding Princeton Pet Store Owner's Brother

A pet store is heavily damaged and some animals died in the blaze on South Main Street.  But instead of everyone coming together after the tragedy, there is unrest regarding an arrest.

While controlling the crowd, Princeton Police Chief Tom Kammerer says 50-year-old James Boekeloo of Hennepin refused to comply with orders on more than one occasion to stay away from the burning building.  Boekeloo is accused of twice pushing an officer before he was taken to the ground and arrested. Chief Kammerer says while Boekeloo’s efforts are noble, they were extremely dangerous.  The chief did agree to lower obstructing justice and aggravated battery charges against Boekeloo from felony to misdemeanor.  Kammerer says he realizes Boekeloo was trying to rescue animals but that doesn’t excuse his actions towards police officers and firefighters working to save the business.

Boekeloo is out of custody on bond.  His sister owns the pet store that caught fire. Investigators say at one point Sunday a supp…

Hennepin Fireworks Show a No-Go This Year

Fourth of July event canceled due to coronavirus

Hennepin’s annual Independence Day fireworks are known far and wide, but this year they’re not happening.
The Hennepin Fourth of July Committee and local health officials released a statement that, after a vote, they decided to cancel the event “in the best interests of community health and safety.”

The release also noted that due to large crowds, the committee believes it would be unsafe to hold the event during the coronavirus pandemic. There are no plans to reschedule the event later this year.

Many other local communities also are grappling with the issue whether to cancel summer events. Spring Valley Mayor Walt Marini said at the city council’s last meeting that officials in his city contemplated doing fireworks because of Hennepin’s anticipated cancellation. They went as far as to float the idea by Hall High School board to potentially use the football field for a fireworks ceremony, but in the end decided for the safety of residents …

Dixon Waterfowl Refuge to Open May 19-21 Only

Trial run for public access during pandemic; only trails will be open
Paul Botts, president and executive director of The Wetlands Initiative, issued the following statement:

On Tuesday, May 19, through Thursday, May 21, the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge will be open to visitors from dawn to dusk for a trial run of public access during the COVID-19 epidemic.

We’re glad so many people treasure and enjoy this special place. Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this unusual and unprecedented time.

Only the trails will be open on these days. The lakes will remain closed to paddling and fishing at this time. Please practice social distancing and stay at least six feet away from other people including TWI staff doing restoration and stewardship work. Of course, the standard rules for visiting, which are posted at the refuge, also still apply.

As always, parking is allowed only in the official lots. If all parking spaces are filled, please visit the refuge at another time.

No portable toilets …

Should the Stay-at-Home Order Apply?

6 Illinois counties have no confirmed cases of coronavirus

Every afternoon during the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has provided an update on the spread of the virus.

There are six counties in Illinois out of 102 without a single confirmed case.

It’s easy to say rural areas are not as dense and keep the virus from spreading. But there are rural areas all over Illinois that have cases.

But Putnam County has zero cases.

Hennepin, Illinois is located in the county and home to Putnam County’s government offices.

Mayor Kevin Coleman said there may be unreported cases.

“The testing is one thing. There is not much of it going on here,” he said. “So how do we know if it’s actually here or not.”

But all around town signs are up and masks are on.

The regional health department for Putnam County says they finally started to feel confident about testing last Friday.

The county has clinics but no hospitals.

Many are rural areas that are questioning if the stay at home order should apply to…

GROWMARK and Ag Groups Team up to Distribute Hand Sanitizer

In an effort to keep essential agriculture employees and customers safe and healthy during this pandemic, GROWMARK/FS is teaming up with the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff Program to help distribute free hand sanitizer to ag retailers.

Lindsay Mitchell, director of communication and marketing for IL Corn, says the organization knew ethanol plants were struggling due to the steep drop in fuel usage recently and wanted to help out. “They’re out of storage and looking for other ways to use the ethanol. When they transitioned to making hand sanitizer, we proposed making a large purchase to supply ag retailers,” says Mitchell. “It was a pretty big effort within a couple weeks to get it all going.”

The Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Illinois Soybean Association sponsored the hand sanitizer, which is made from ethanol by Marquis Energy located in Hennepin, Illinois. Knowing that ag retailers are the foundation of keeping the essential food supply op…

Marquis Energy Pivots to Produce Hand Sanitizer

Product will help protect health care workers, first responders, public

As the largest dry-mill ethanol facility in the world, Marquis Energy is well-positioned to supply the much-needed alcohol component needed in hand sanitizer.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has led to shortages in hand sanitizer, Marquis is now producing mass amounts of this vital product during this crisis to supply the American people.

“There is an immediate need for hand sanitizer throughout our nation to provide an instant virus-killing remedy for health care workers and the general public,” said Marquis CEO Mark Marquis.

“Our team is working 24 hours per day, seven days a week to provide hand sanitizer to health care workers, police and fire departments and the general public to help protect them against the spread of the pandemic we face,” he said.

“Marquis is proud and fortunate to be able to supply the American people with this critical need during this pandemic. Now is the time when our communities must band toge…

Water District April Meeting Canceled


The April 13 Public Water District meeting has been canceled due to COVID-19 safe distancing.

Unless additional restrictions are put in place by the state, the next meeting will be held as usual on May 11, 2020 at 6:30PM.

Thank you!

Notice: Burning Ban Effective Immediately


 By order of the Village President, the Village of Hennepin has issued a burning ban, effective immediately.


The ban includes, but is not limited to, burning of landscape or garden waste, agricultural waste, household trash or garbage, burn barrels and open fire pits until further notice, due to the Coronavirus COVID-19.

Individuals who violate this ban may be subject to a fine.

Thank you for your cooperation.