Thursday, December 18, 2014

Residents purchasing bricks for Veterans Memorial

HAVE YOU PURCHASED ONE YET? Here is a sample of the Veteran Memorial Project bricks being purchased by folks. These are 4" x 8" and can be purchased for $50. Also available are 8" x 8" bricks for $100. For more information or to purchase a brick, go to: Photo by Irvin Latta/Chillicothe

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Donations sought for family following fire

Alicia West and her sons Zach and Brandon.
By Jeff Rushin/ChilliBlogger

   CHILLICOTHE, IL -- Alicia West was outside her home with her husband Daniel the Sunday following Thanksgiving when they heard screams coming from inside their Pinewood Park home.

   THEIR SONS Zach, 13, and Brandon, 12, along with two friends who were over playing Xbox inside, came running out of their home screaming there was a fire behind the dryer.

   "This is the second time my home was burned down," Alicia said. "The first time was in 1995, I was in 7th grade and it was right after Thanksgiving on a Sunday, too. I am so heartbroken to have this happen a second time and for it to happen to my boys."
   THE WEST HOME at lot 125 in Pinewood Park was a complete loss as well as  their belongings. The family did not have insurance. A list of items they need are listed below.

  "I called 911 and our boys were crying because we could hear our guinea pigs weeping loudly! Daniel ran in and rescued both guinea pigs," said Alicia.

   FRIENDS HAS SET UP a collection point for donations to be dropped off for the West family on Cedar Hills Drive. The family is still in temporary housing and continue to look for a home to rent in the Chillicothe area. "We love Chillicothe and want to stay here," Alicia said.

  (Blogger's Note: As many of you know the West family lost nearly every thing that they owned in a house fire on Nov. 30th, they did not have insurance. We are now collecting items that they need. The items will be stored at the home of Lisa and Jeff Mantle, 3321 E. Cedar Hills Dr. Before dropping off a donation you must call Lisa at 309-219-2080. Thank you!!)
  The West family “needs” lists:
  As many of you know, the West family lost their home and most of their belongings in a house fire, and they did not have insurance and are in need of community support. 
   Donations are being stored at the home of Lisa and Jeff Mantle, 3321 E. Cedar Hills Dr., until the family is able to take the items to their future home. If you would like to donate items either message or call Lisa at 309-219-2080 first
Furniture needs:
   Couch, living room chairs, end tables, kitchen table, four kitchen chairs, queen mattress and box springs, night stands, tall dressers (instead of wide for space saving), and lamps (living room, and small night stand lamps).
Smaller items needed:
   A blender, can opener, large sauce pan, pots/pans, silverware, knives, baking dishes, coffee maker, food storage containers, cooking utensils, vacuum, broom/mop, hamper, laundry baskets, alarm clocks, dish strainer, totes for storage, household scissors, kitchen garbage can, small bathroom garbage can, hair dryer, and plastic hangers.
  Bath towels and washcloths, queen size sheets and comforter, twin size sheets, twin XL boy’s comforter (favorites are Star Wars and Batman), boy’s twin size comforter (favorites are Star Wars and Superman).
   The family will need curtains, but at this time I do not have sizes, I will post as soon as I know. 
Fridge, washing machine, a stove and clothes dryer.

Christmas wish list for the boys:
   Zach: Risk board game, Legos, Phase 10 card game, Xbox 360, Ipad or tablet, minecraft game (Xbox 360), Batman stuff, model cars.
   Brandon: Monopoly board game, Uno cards, Xbox 360, Ipad or tablet, Legos, Harry Potter Books, Skyrim video game for Xbox 360, Superman stuff, and model cars
   >> If you would like to donate items, call Lisa at 309-219-2080. <<

Snow in the forecast for Chillicothe on Christmas Eve

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Sharing is Caring: Salvation Army bell ringers return

'TIS THE SEASON: Christine Stuff of Chillicothe rings the bell for the

Salvation Army Wednesday afternoon in the entryway at Chillicothe Kroger.
Photo by Jeff Rushin/Chillicothe Blogger

IVC Unit 321 approves $11.9 million tax levy

   CHILLICOTHE, IL -- The Illinois Valley Central Unit District 321 Board of Education approved an $11,931,338 tax levy for 2015 on its Dec. 17 meeting
 The tax rate will be 4.5426 per $100 EAV (equalized assessed valuation).
   Tax bills are calculated by multiplying the EAV (after any deductions for homesteads) by the tax rate. An owner of a home in the IVC district with a fair market value of $100,000 (or $33,000 EAV) would pay $1,499 in tax.
   Assistant superintendent Patrick Hatfield said that EAV of properties in the IVC Unit District is up 2.6 percent this year, this following a half-dozen years of decline.
             In other business, the board:
  •  approved a dismissal of Rose Bachman as paraprofessional/special education aide effective Dec. 16, 2014
  •   approved a personnel contract with Chad McDowell as Mossville Junior High assistant volleyball coach for the 2014-2015 school year.
  •    approved Gary Heathcoat as volunteer assistant track coach at IVC High School for the 2014-2015 school year.
  • approved a one-year contract extension with the Illinois Valley Central Education Association for 2015-2015.
  • adjourned for the year until its next regular meeting on Jan. 13, 2015 at 5:30 in the IVCHS library.

Add CNA Basket assembly to your holiday traditions

  At 7 a.m. Dec. 20 in the Illinois Valley Central High School Commons,
 Community Needs Agency Christmas Baskets will be assembled for distribution.
   CHILLICOTHE, IL --  The Chillicothe Community Needs Agency (CNA) Board of Directors invites the community to come out to share the spirit of giving this holiday season.
  At 7 a.m. Dec. 20 in the Illinois Valley Central High School Commons, CNA Christmas Baskets will be assembled for distribution.
   "Many people have mjade helping assemble the Christmas baskets a part of their holiday tradition," said CNA Board member Karen Moewe. "We want to invite the community out to help and share the spirit of the season."
Related stories: Donations sought
CNA Brigade volunteers sought
   THE DISTRIBUTION PROCESS involves sorting thousands of canned and non-perishable goods to fill the baskets which will be give to individuals and families in need this holiday season.
  Once canned goods are sorted, volunteers will fill boxes with foods for a complete Christmas dinner.
  The Chillicothe Altrusa International even provides bags of candy for each basket.
  As in years past, the Chillicothe Fire Department will deliver baskets to those who are unable to pick up their basket at IVCHS.
   NO SIGN UP is necessary to help fill the baskets; volunteers need only arrive at 7 a.m. Dec. 20 at the high school.
  However, volunteers may call CNA Board member Rev. Ed Dutton at 309-339-1881 before the 20th , if they would like to help with a particular task or have done a particular job in the past.
   The Chillicothe Optimist Club will also on hand to distribute bags bags of toys to families with children, who are also receiving a Christmas basket.
  "There is still time to donate canned goods," Dutton said.
   DONATIONS of canned goods and non-perishable goods may be dropped off at South Side Bank in Chillicothe.
   The CNA Christmas Basket Drive goal is $25,000 this year. The monies collected are used not only to fill the Christmas Baskets, but also to help CNA help those in need all year long.
   "They money donated at Christmastime is used all year by CNA to help with emergency needs such as rent, medicines and utilities," Moewe said.
    ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the money collect by the CNA Bucket Brigade set up at the Chillicothe Kroger store will benefit people in the CNA assistance boundaries, which are the same as that of the Illinois Valley Central Unit District 321.
   Donations may be dropped off at South Side Bank in Chillicothe or mailed to CNA, P.O. Box 103, Chillicothe, IL 61523.

ARK Pets-of-the-Week look for forever homes

Little Bit is a very sweet-natured  young boy who likes
to have his chin rubbed. He logves to play, gets along well
with his other cat pals. He would be the perfect lap
warmer for the holidays. Little Bit is neutured, micro-
chipped and current on all shots. The ARK Humane Society
is open from noon to 2 p.m. Monday - Friday, from 11 a.m.
to 3 p.m. on Saturday, or by appointment. Phone 246-4275.

Puppies - these little tykes are German Shorthair
Pointer and (maybe) German Shepherd and/or Lab
mixes. The little girl pictured is fawned colored
but some are mostly black and others are black
and tan. They are about 14 weeks old. There are
both girls and boys available. They are spayed/
neutered, microchipped and current on shots.

Business 'Before Hours' benefits CNA of Chillicothe

IVC boys to play in State Farm Holiday Classic

Christmas trees at Public Library benefit Snack Pac

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

TGIS: God puts people in right place at right time

    CHILLICOTHE, IL -- Since my Friday was occupied with medical issues for myself, my Mom and Dad, I didn't find the time to pen a column. So just for this week, we'll call it "Thank God It's Sunday," or TGIS as opposed to Thank God It's Friday or TGIF.
    OUR FAMILY DOCTOR saw all three of us as his last appointment of the day this past Friday. My sister Stacie drove up from Springfield to set in on the conference.
    •    I got an injection, a prescription and a lot think about during hour plus conference with Dr. Thomas Kouri at Proctor Medical Group.
    •   My Dad, who turns 84 in January,  has been bleeding in his stomach and/or intestines for months and they were unable to pinpoint where the source of the bleed is located. Kouri informed us that my father would have to continue receiving blood transfusions the rest of his life. His blood count gradually drops every week. He will go Monday or Tuesday to Proctor for another transfusion.
    •   My Mother, who turned 83 earlier this month, had quite the day on Friday. My sister treated her, my Dad and myself to lunch at Olive Garden before our appointment with Dr. Kouri. She felt very nauseated most of the day. Kouri lauded her for going ahead with her knee replacement surgery in February. She fell the Saturday after Thanksgiving and dislocated her artificial hip, which was painful and required quite a bit of recovery time. After we left the appointment, my Mom came down with the stomach flu.
   I have taken Mom's place in doing the cleaning around the house, shopping for groceries, keeping up with laundry, and the dozens of other things she does for Dad and herself on a regular basis.
  When I was undergoing chemotherapy for Stage III colon cancer in 2002-2003, I never once drove myself to a treatment or procedure, my parents would take me and never complained once about the long hours they spent at the hospital with me.

   SO TODAY, I realize that God had a plan to let me outlive my parents. I have been in remission for 11 years now. And as it should go, I will most likely bury them, not the other way around. We have our three plots already picked out and paid for in the Chillicothe City Cemetery.
  There is no place that I would rather be than to be here to help them. As a person who always questioned God about why I was put on the Earth: today I have a pretty good idea.
   Everything happens for a reason.

'Life on the Illinois River" Photo & Art Contest

   CHILLICOTHE, IL --  The 2015 "Life on the Illinois River" Photo & Art Contest, sponsored by the Chillicothe Lions Club, Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce and the Chillicothe Rotary, is accepting entries through Jan. 28, 2015
   ALL ENTRIES must be received by the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce no later than Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015.
   The two categories for photos will be "Life on the Illinois River" and "Eagles."
   Images must have been taken along the Illinois River.
   All photos must be the constant's original work. Two (2) prints may be entered for each category.
   Artwork must be Eagles only. One (1) drawing only can be entered. Once an image wins it cannot ever be reentered. 
   CONTACT OR DROP BY the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce by phone or email to get an entry form. The Chamber of Commerce hours are: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Phone them at 309-274-4556 or email them at
   All photos/artwork can be picked up from the Chamber office on Monday, Feb. 24, after the conclusion of the display dates.
   All winners will receive thrie awards at a special recognition ceremony to take place at 10 a.m., Feb. 14, 2015 from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Shore Acres Clubhouse.
   All entries, including the winning images will be on display at the Chillicothe Public Library from Saturday, Feb. 7 through Friday, Feb. 21, 2015.

A Rushin' Rewind:

THE LEGEND of the Glowing Tombstone on Old Rome Road was put to rest in
 the late 1980s when we were able to trace the occupant of the grave back to Mrs. Ira Hicks, 
a victim of the great Chatsworth, Illinois Train Wreck in 1887.
Glowing Tombstone marks tragedy in
LaSalle Cemetery, rural Rome West Rd.

   By Jeff Rushin/Chilli Blogger
   Blogger's Note: The column below originally ran in the Pontiac Daily Leader from my"TGIF column that revisits my search for the glowing tombstone as a reporter at the Chillicothe Bulletin:
   ROME, IL -- It happened more than 100 years ago. It was one of the worst disasters in the history of our nation. But I didn't read learn about in a history class. I came upon it by mistake years ago IRL (in real life).

  THE CHATSWORTH TRAIN DISASTER took place in August 1887, when 85 passengers and crewmen were killed and 372 injured as a fire-weakened trestle collapsed two miles east of Chatsworth, Ill. in Livingston County, not far from the county seat of Pontiac.
  I came across news of the accident while investigating a mystery in a rural Peoria County cemetery close to where I grew up. A glowing tombstone had mystified motorists on this rural stretch of highway. Old Rome West Road is where the mystery was revealed with the help of a childhood friend when we were both right out of college.
   As a teenager, we lived for tall tales and legends of the unknown. The mystery that my friend Stephanie Farris and I were interested in solving was at the end on the same road her parents, Herman and Pauline Johnson, raised their family.

   IN REMOTE LaSALLE CEMETERY, where Medina and Chillicothe townships merge, there was a legendary piece of local folklore that had existed since automobiles had headlamps. There is a gravestone in this out-of-the-way graveyard that glowed in the dark.
  On many a night when I would bring my friend home, we talked about that glowing tombstone. Always wondering how and why this mysterious glow would occur on the same piece of granite over and over again over decades and decades for motorists and passersby on this rural Rome road. 
   So between Friday the the 13th and Halloween in October 1989, I decided to investigate the mystery of the stone while I was editor of the Bulletin in Chillicothe, giving readers some simple entertainment as Autumn set in some 20-plus years ago.
   We entered LaSalle Cemetery with stadium blankets to cover the stones along the west exterior of the graveyard in hopes of watching the glow fade in the skyline as cars passed.

  AFTER NUMEROUS TRIES at finding the stone, it finally happened. I drove my car once again down the road, did a U-turn at Old Galena and headed back east on Rome Road. After I made about the 10th grip, I no longer saw the glow and I honked my horn and flashed my lights to signal to Stephanie she had just covered "the Glowing Tombstone."