hayden-stork
Author

Hayden Stork | Contributor

Hayden Stork was a Mail Correspondent covering the Olympia communities, and now is the Mail Sports Columnist. He is from Danvers, Illinois, and is currently attending Kankakee Community College with a major in mass communications.

 


Blackhawks Season Preview
Hockey

Blackhawks Season Preview

The NHL season has just gotten started this week, with the first matches being played on Tuesday. The Chicago Blackhawks are looking for a bounce back season after finishing one game under .500 in their shortened 2021 campaign. The Blackhawks really struggled with holding onto a lead last season. The one, two or even three goal leads that the Blackhawks failed to maintain last season was enough to drive their fans crazy. Another lead that they failed to maintain last season was their standing in the central division. At the beginning of March, nearly two months into the season, the Blackhawks were only three games back from first place, sitting at fourth in the division. By the end of the season, Chicago ended up finishing sixth in the division and twelve games out of first place. That was quite the drop-off for a team that looked like they could legitimately compete for a spot in the NHL Playoffs. Although the overall season was not a “success”, there were plenty of positives that came from Chicago’s 2021 season. Kevin Lankinen emerged as a potential long-term goalie option, Patrick Kane showed that he is still a great player and Alex DeBrincat rebounded from a subpar 2019-2020 season and turned into a star.   READ MORE...

Football  |  October 10, 2021
Fields Named Starting Quarterback

Fields Named Starting Quarterback

The Chicago Bears are coming off of a big time bounce back win against the Lions last week to move their record to 2-2 going into week five. The Bears will travel to Las Vegas this week to play the Raiders with rookie quarterback, Justin Fields, officially being named the starting quarterback by head coach Matt Nagy. After Fields’ first start against the Cleveland Browns in week three, there were many questions facing the Bears and their offense after only gaining 47 total net yards on an average of 1.1 yard per play. The Bears total of 47 yards was their worst offensive performance in 40 years. In his first start, Fields was hit 15 times and sacked 9 times, losing 67 yards on those 9 sacks. With only 68 total passing yards, Fields’ net passing yards for the game was only 1 yard. After this brutal performance from Chicago’s offense, they desperately needed a bounce back game against the Lions in week four. During the week between the loss to the Browns and the upcoming game against the Lions, the starting quarterback for the game against Detroit was not determined until the Thursday before the game. Justin Fields was once again named the starter for the second consecutive week over Andy Dalton and Nick Foles. Although his first NFL start was a complete disaster, Bears fans had faith in Fields and were excited to see how the rookie quarterback would come back from the loss against the Browns. 

Baseball  |  October 3, 2021
American League MVP Race

American League MVP Race

The American League MVP race is going to be a close one between two players who have both had historic seasons. The Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani has been one of the most fascinating players since coming to the United States from Japan in 2018. Ohtani is a two-way player, meaning he can hit and pitch. Right now, Shohei is one of a kind in the MLB, making him that much more special. Many people say that there hasn’t been any other player in the history of baseball that can pitch and hit at the level that Ohtani is doing it at right now. As of Tuesday, September 28th, Shohei has 45 home runs and a 9-2 record and a 3.18 ERA in his 23 starts for the Angels. Ohtani has been very impressive but someone who has been having an MVP season as well is Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As the only player in the MLB with more home runs than Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., or Vladdy, has also had an impressive season. Vladdy currently leads all the MLB in homeruns, runs, and total bases and leads the American League in hits, on base percentage and slugging percentage. So how will there possibly be a decision between these two guys who have both had incredible seasons?

Baseball  |  September 26, 2021
Cardinals Make a Postseason Push

Cardinals Make a Postseason Push

The St. Louis Cardinals have been heating up just at the right time. As the MLB regular season is coming to an end soon, the playoff picture is beginning to be set. There have been three teams already punch their ticket to the postseason, the San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. As of Tuesday, September 21st, the Cardinal hold the second Wild Card spot with an 80-69 record. They are three games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in the Wild Card race and four games ahead of the San Diego Padres. This past weekend, the Cardinals came up with a huge three game series sweep over the Padres to put themselves in a great position to seal the deal on that second Wild Card spot in the National League. The Cardinals have won their last nine games, with all of those games being against National League teams in contention for the second Wild Card spot. Just two weeks ago, on September 7th, the Cardinals had a 2.8% chance to make the postseason. After their recent surge of winning, St. Louis improved that chance to earn a spot in the postseason to a 73.7% chance. 

Football  |  September 19, 2021
Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football

With the NFL season just getting underway with week one starting last Thursday and many more games being played on Sunday, NFL fans are more excited than ever for football to be back. After a 2020 season with no fans in the stands, there was a ton of excitement in the stadiums during week one. With this excitement and having fans back in the stadiums, the NFL is calling this season the “biggest season ever” and have used that quote on many commercials already. Football is a sport that is continuing to grow and gain more and more popularity. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the continuing growth of the NFL has been fantasy football. 

Football  |  September 12, 2021
Bears Season Preview

Bears Season Preview

The Chicago Bears ended the 2020 season with an 8-8 record and managed to just barely sneak into the last Wild Card spot over the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears would go on to get beat 21-9 in their Wild Card game against the New Orleans Saints. After this game, a couple major changes took place in Chicago. Starting out bold, the Bears decided to not exercise Mitch Trubisky’s fifth year option, making their second overall pick from just four years prior a free agent. Going into free agency, the Bears’ General Manager Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy were on the hot seat. Fans speculated that this offseason could have been the beginning of the Bears turning things around or it could have been the continuation of what had seemed like a steady decline. After a free agency period that brought back Allen Robinson and addressed a lot of depth needs, Nagy and Pace seemed to be on the right track. When the Bears missed out on a couple big name quarterbacks in free agency, they ended up signing former Cowboy backup, Andy Dalton, towards the end of free agency. This move was a bit of a head scratcher for most fans, but fans were generally pleased about the free agency period as a whole.

College Football  |  September 5, 2021
Redbird Football Preview

Redbird Football Preview

The Redbirds of Illinois State University will be opening their season Saturday, September 4th after a short off season due to the 2021 spring season. To make up for no games played in the fall of 2020, Illinois State and the Missouri Valley Conference agreed to play a ten-game schedule in the spring of 2021. Unfortunately for the Redbirds, due to COVID issues, ISU was only able to play four of their ten games and ended with a 1-3 record. The Birds come into this new season with high hopes. Sophomore quarterback Bryce Jefferson is returning after a shaky spring season. Jefferson did show flashes of great ability, but overall, there were constant mistakes. Jefferson does have some experience winning, as he was the starting quarterback at the end of the 2019 season, after starting quarterback Brady Davis suffered a season ending injury late in the regular season. In that 2019 season, Illinois State made it to the FCS quarterfinals with Bryce Jefferson under center, so he has shown that he can be the guy for the Redbirds. 

Baseball  |  August 29, 2021
Miguel Cabrera Hits Home Run Number 500

Miguel Cabrera Hits Home Run Number 500

On Sunday, August 22nd, longtime Detroit Tigers first baseman, Miguel “Miggy” Cabrera made history as he became the 28th player in Major League Baseball history to hit 500 home runs in a career. To put it into perspective just how impressive it is for a player to hit 500 home runs in their career, the MLB has been in existence for 152 years and only 27 players have achieved that milestone, before Miguel Cabrera became the 28th. Just to give an even better understanding of how impressive this feat actually is, throughout the 152 years of Major League Baseball, there have been 18,918 players in total, so before Miggy joined the 500 home run club, there was .14% of MLB players ever to hit 500 home runs or more. Cabrera has already had a great career up to this point and hitting his 500th home run has only added to an extremely impressive 18-year career in the MLB. 

College Football  |  August 22, 2021
Fighting Illini Football Season Preview

Fighting Illini Football Season Preview

After a 2-6 season in 2020, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini Football team is looking forward to an improved season in 2021 under a new head coach, Bret Bielema. The Fighting Illini parted ways with former coach, Lovie Smith, after a five-year stint with the program. In those five years, Coach Smith and Illinois went 17-39 with no winning seasons. Illinois did not wait long to find Lovie’s replacement, hiring Bret Bielema off the New York Giants’ staff in December, on the same day as the team’s last game of the 2020 season. The Fighting Illini had no problem with hiring Coach Bielema in a timely manner, as they were very impressed with his Big Ten-heavy background. Coach Bielema is from Prophetstown, Illinois, played football at the University of Iowa and had a long run of success as Wisconsin’s head coach. As Wisconsin’s head football coach, Bielema led the Badgers to three Big Ten championships, six consecutive bowl games and a 68-24 record. This kind of success in the Big Ten is something that the Fighting Illini could not overlook. 

Top Story  |  August 15, 2021
Pacesetters 4-H Club at County Fair

Pacesetters 4-H Club at County Fair

The McLean County Fair was deemed a success by fair manager, Mike Swartz. After a “minimal” fair last year due to COVID, Swartz was very excited to see the success that the fair had this year. Last year, the fair only consisted of a private junior livestock show and seven total vendors for a food fest. With less COVID restrictions this summer, the McLean County Fair was back and better than ever. Swartz said that “Saturday was the biggest Saturday I’ve ever seen in my 17 years as the fair manager.” 

Football  |  August 15, 2021
Why Mitch Trubisky can Reset his Career in Buffalo

Why Mitch Trubisky can Reset his Career in Buffalo

Former Chicago Bears quarterback and second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mitchell Trubisky has had an underwhelming start to his career. In the spring of 2020, the Chicago Bears decided against exercising the fifth-year option on the original contract they agreed on with Trubisky, after they drafted him. When that happened, Trubisky tested free agency this past off-season and agreed on a contract with the Buffalo Bills. Although Mitch Trubisky’s time with the Bears was not great, many Bears fans were still sad to see him go. 

About Town  |  August 8, 2021
Vickie Glenn

Vickie Glenn

Vickie Glenn has been the village clerk for thirty years. Vickie is a Danvers Village native, having lived there her whole life. She graduated from Olympia High School. Vickie has had three children, of which all grew up in Danvers. Vickie is a family first person, so her children and grandchildren are very important to her. Vickie has been married to her husband, Dan, for forty years. All three of Vickie’s children are out of college now and have started their working careers. 

Spotlight  |  August 8, 2021
Hopedale Agri Center

Hopedale Agri Center

The Hopedale Agri Center is an agriculture business located in Hopedale. They sell both equipment and custom feed for cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs. They also have recently added a gift shop, The Mill Gift Shop, filled with many items ranging from fun house decorations to boots and T-shirts located inside the Hopedale Agri Center. Right now, the shop is full of fall themed decor and shirts. The Hopedale Agri Center works well with The Mill Gift Shop, encouraging all their customers to check out the shop when they stop by. 

Athlete of the Week  |  August 8, 2021
Adam Swartzendruber

Adam Swartzendruber

This week’s Olympia Athlete of the Week is Adam Swartzendruber. Adam is from Minier and will be a senior at Olympia High School this upcoming school year. Ever since his freshman year at Olympia, Adam has been an athlete for the Spartans. Adam has been a basketball and baseball player for Olympia starting his freshman year and just last football season, in his junior year, Adam also started playing football for the Spartans. 

Top Story  |  August 1, 2021
Olympia's Return to School Plan

Olympia's Return to School Plan

With the end of summer arriving and the start of school getting closer and closer, there have been many questions throughout the community about what school will look like this year. Will students wear masks, will social distancing be enforced, will the COVID vaccination be required, will students have to quarantine? All of these questions were answered at Olympia’s recent board meeting. 

Meet The Chief  |  August 1, 2021
Chief Kemp Plans to Retire

Chief Kemp Plans to Retire

Danvers Chief of Police Michael Kemp has recently decided that he will be retiring from his position as Chief on Friday August 13. Chief Kemp has been the Chief of Police for the Village of Danvers since 2013, making many connections with locals during that period of time. Chief Kemp says, “I have greatly enjoyed every moment that I have served the citizens within our jurisdiction.” Chief Kemp was always thinking of what was best for the Village of Danvers. After eight years of being the Chief for Danvers, it is a given that a special connection between Chief Kemp and the community members has been built. 

High School Sports  |  August 1, 2021
Spartan Baseball Coach Mark Finchum

Spartan Baseball Coach Mark Finchum

Coach Mark Finchum has been involved in coaching the Olympia Spartans baseball program for 26 years. Coach Finchum bleeds Spartan blue and white, being an Olympia Class of 1988 graduate. During his time as a student at Olympia High School, Coach Finchum played football and baseball for all four years. In his junior year of high school, Coach Finchum’s baseball team was the first team to make it to the state tournament in 1987. This was only the beginning of what was to come in the future of Olympia baseball. 

Community Spotlight  |  July 25, 2021
6.6k Run/Walk on Route 66

6.6k Run/Walk on Route 66

The 8th annual 6.6k Run/Walk will take place on Saturday, August 28th in McLean. This run/walk is sponsored by CORE of McLean, a nonprofit organization for the benefit of the community of McLean. The 6.6k on Route 66 will be a point-to-point run/walk that starts in Funks Grove, with a shuttle service provided from McLean to Funks Grove. The participants will then run or walk on Route 66 to the new park under the old water tower in McLean. The new park in McLean was funded by previous proceeds from the 6.6k on Route 66. 

Spotlight  |  July 25, 2021
The Sip Shack

The Sip Shack

The Sip Shack is a drive-thru coffee hut located in Atlanta owned by Molly Mowery and Samantha Runge. They have just recently opened on Wednesday, July 21, and they are very excited for their new business to get rolling. Molly and Samantha’s goal for The Sip Shack is to give their customers an experience that is “quality and convenient with a laid-back vibe.” The Sip Shack will be a great spot for locals to stop by and grab a quick coffee, lotus energy drinks, tea, lemonade, or even a smoothie. 

Athlete of the Week  |  July 25, 2021
Austin Swan

Austin Swan

Austin Swan is this week’s Olympia Athlete of the Week. Austin is from Hopedale and will be a senior this year at Olympia. Since his freshman year, Austin has been on the varsity wrestling team and was a starter on the varsity football team in his sophomore season. As a senior, Austin is looking to have another successful year in sports, as he will be back out on the field and on the mat this fall and winter. 

Top Story  |  July 18, 2021
Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School is a program that many churches offer nationwide. The purpose of this program is to incorporate enjoyable activities that entertain the children, while also giving them an opportunity to learn more about their religion. Vacation Bible School is an easy way to get kids involved in church. Typically, Vacation Bible School is about a week-long event that takes place in the summer. During this week-long event, children usually attend around three or four hours each day. 

High School Sports  |  July 18, 2021
Cross Country Coach Mike Neisler

Cross Country Coach Mike Neisler

Coach Mike Neisler had been Olympia’s boys and girls cross country and track coach up until his retirement this year. Coach Neisler had been a student and athlete favorite as one of Olympia’s health and PE teachers. With a long history in athletics, especially running, Coach Neisler was the right guy for the cross country program at Olympia. At Girard High School, Coach Neisler ran track, played basketball, and played football his senior year and says that, “the best day of the season was the day we ran the mile in pads! I won. Maybe I was in the wrong sport.”

Community Spotlight  |  July 11, 2021
Minier Corn Daze

Minier Corn Daze

The Minier Corn Daze is a festival held in Minier by the Olympia Kiwanis Club. This year, the Corn Daze will be held on Saturday, July 31st and Sunday, August 1st. There will be many different activities that can be enjoyed by attendees. On Saturday, there will be a Softball Tourney and a Fire Department Water Fight. Sunday will have, “all the sweet corn you can eat”, a Cruise-in, tractor pulls, a community church service at 10 AM, a vendor fair, a pedal tractor race, a lawn mower tractor pull, multiple events for kids, a car show, live music, and lots of food. 

Spotlight  |  July 11, 2021
Sweeney Repair: Specializing in On-Site Diesel Work

Sweeney Repair: Specializing in On-Site Diesel Work

Sweeney Repair is a diesel repair shop for businesses and farms located in Armington. They specialize in on-site repairs to give their customer’s the most convenient service they can. Sweeney Repair is owned by Ryan and Stacey Sweeney and they got their start in 2010, with Ryan working in their driveway. Soon after, they had a machine shop built and Ryan started working out of the shop. They now own a shop on N Maple Street in Armington. 

Athlete of the Week  |  July 11, 2021
Hunter Berges

Hunter Berges

Hunter Berges from Stanford is this week’s Athlete of the Week. Hunter was a class of 2021 senior and played baseball, basketball for all four years, and football his senior year. Growing up, Hunter was always active and involved in sports. His active childhood led him right into a high school career full of sports. In football, Hunter was a first-year player his senior year, but still managed to do more than enough to help the Spartan football team go 4-2 this spring. Hunter started at both wide receiver and corner for his six games of high school football. His athleticism and length were a lot for opponents to handle on the field. Hunter’s specialty was making the spectacular catch for Olympia. 

Top Story  |  July 4, 2021
Happy Birthday America

Happy Birthday America

On July 4th, Americans celebrate the birth of American independence. The Fourth of July has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of the holiday goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 British Colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. 

Meet The Chief  |  July 4, 2021
Dustin Carter

Dustin Carter

This week’s edition of “Meet the Chief” features the Chief of Police for the Stanford Police Department, Chief Dustin Carter. Chief Carter grew up around Hoopeston and Leroy and has been around law enforcement his whole life. His father was also a Chief of Police and being in a household that focused on public safety made it feel very natural for Chief Carter to pursue a career in law enforcement. Chief Carter obtained his bachelor’s degree from Lincoln College with a major in Business Management and a minor in Criminal Justice. Although Chief Carter understood that law enforcement was not for everyone, he saw it as his calling. 

High School Sports  |  July 4, 2021
Spartan Football Coach Eric Lyons

Spartan Football Coach Eric Lyons

Olympia Spartan football coach Eric Lyons is this week's Coach of the Week. Coach Lyons has had a life full of football. During his childhood, Coach Lyons grew up the son of a football coach, so he was destined for a future full of football. Lyons played high school football for the South Piatt Co-op, where he was a four-year starter, a two-time Decatur Herald all area player, and earned News Gazette all area player one year as well. At the end of his high school career, Lyons left as the all-time leader in career assists, solo tackles, and tackles for loss. He also held the single season records for each of those categories. His incredible high school football career earned him a scholarship to play at McKendree College. After a freshman year injury, Coach Lyons made the transfer to Eureka College where he was a four-year starter, three year All Illini Badger Conference selection at offensive guard, three-time Nick Award winner for the team’s most valuable Offensive Lineman, and a two-year team captain. Coach Lyons’ playing career was over, but he was not done with football in the slightest. 

Community Spotlight  |  June 27, 2021
The Origins of Hopedale

The Origins of Hopedale

Hopedale is a village in Tazewell County that has a lot of history in its past. The first settler of Hopedale was Aaron Orendorff, in the fall of 1827. When he discovered the village, Orendorff first named it Osceola, but later found out that there was already a town in Illinois named Osceola, so the name was then changed to Hopedale. Aaron Orendorff’s youngest granddaughter, Lydia Orendorff, was the town’s first telephone operator and organized the “Hopedale Chapter of Eastern Star and was their first worthy matron.” Lydia Orendorff’s family still owns the original map of Hopedale to this day. Staying in the Orendorff family, Lydia’s uncle, Thomas Orendorff, was in charge of creating the town’s first ever post office in 1852, organizing the first ever bank of Hopedale, and even gave the town it's then 20-acre park. The Orendorff family was also in charge of adding a sawmill, a woolen mill, a lumber yard, a furniture store, and a public hall. The family not only discovered the village of Hopedale, but they also helped set the foundation for a successful small town. 

Spotlight  |  June 27, 2021
Carz R Us

Carz R Us

Carz R Us is a car dealership located in Armington. Carz R Us sells used cars, car parts, and offers car service to customers. They offer many different types of vehicles such as, coupes, sedans, convertibles, vans, suvs, and trucks. Carz R Us is open from 9 am- 5 pm Monday through Friday. Carz R Us works with customers from all over the Armington area. The statement on the business’ website says, “We take pride in the way we do business. We focus 100% on our customers and believe car-buying should be a fun, hassle-free experience! Our impressive selection of cars, trucks, and suvs is sure to meet your needs.” 

Athlete of the Week  |  June 27, 2021
Trevor White

Trevor White

Trevor White is this week’s Olympia Athlete of the Week. Trevor is from Minier and went to Olympia his whole life. From a young age, Trevor always enjoyed playing or watching any sports. In his time at Olympia High School, Trevor played baseball, basketball, and even represented the Spartans very well in bowling. Trevor’s basketball career came to an end after his freshman year, when he decided to really focus on bowling, which ended up paying off for him in a big way. In his junior season of bowling, Trevor placed 11th in the IHSA Regional Bowling Tournament with a six-game total score of 1232, which was good enough for him to advance to the IHSA Bowling Sectionals. At Sectionals, Trevor finished 3rd, this time bowling a six-game total score of 1342, earning him a spot in the IHSA Bowling State Tournament. Trevor performed very well at State, in front of many of his friends and family. He ended up bowling a score of 2468 in twelve total games at the State Tournament. This performance was enough for Trevor to start getting noticed by college bowling coaches. After talks with a few different schools and after a couple different visits, Trevor accepted a scholarship offer and committed to bowl at Missouri Valley College. Unfortunately, for Trevor’s senior year, there was no IHSA Postseason Bowling due to COVID concerns. Now a graduated senior, Trevor is looking forward to moving into MVC in August and getting his collegiate bowling career started. 

Top Story  |  June 20, 2021
Illinois Reopens: The Move Into Phase 5

Illinois Reopens: The Move Into Phase 5

Illinois fully reopened and moved into Phase 5 of the state’s reopening plan last Friday. The continuously declining COVID infection rates and the continuously increasing vaccination rates is what made Governor J.B. Pritzker pull the trigger on moving into the state’s full reopening phase. Although Phase 5 does include the full reopening of Illinois, not quite all of the COVID restrictions have been lifted. According to the governor, entry into Phase 5 “will mean businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and seated-spectator venues, among others, will be able to operate at full capacity for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Community Spotlight  |  June 20, 2021
Olympia Kiwanis Club

Olympia Kiwanis Club

The Olympia Kiwanis Club is a part of the global Kiwanis organization of volunteers that are “dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.” The Olympia Kiwanis Club sponsors a bunch of different events throughout the year that bring the community together. A few of these events are a house decorating contest around Christmas, a Christmas parade, The Olympia Kiwanis Corn Daze, and community Easter Egg Hunts. The Olympia community has always enjoyed these events that the Kiwanis Club puts on. 

College Baseball  |  June 20, 2021
2021 Men's College World Series

2021 Men's College World Series

College baseball is back and better than ever after having their season canceled last year due to COVID-19. The Division I baseball season has just recently moved into their postseason play. Entering the regional tournaments, which is the first round of postseason play, 64 teams make it to the tournament with 31 conference tournament champions getting automatic bids, and 33 other teams are selected at large. After the 16 regional tournaments are played out, the team that wins each one moves on to the next round of the postseason, called the super regional. The super regional is just a best of 3 series between two regional tournament winners, and the winner of that 3 game series earns a trip to Omaha, Nebraska to compete in the College World Series. 

Community Spotlight  |  June 13, 2021
Danvers Library Summer Reading Program

Danvers Library Summer Reading Program

The Danvers Township Library sponsors a couple different summer reading programs each summer. This summer, there are programs for 0-4 years of age, 5-12 years of age, 13-17 years of age, and 18 or older. The Danvers Township Library welcomes children, teens, and adults to sign up for these summer reading programs, where they will be eligible to compete for a selection of prizes. Signing up for the summer reading programs has been made very simple by the library. Going to danverstownshiplibrary.com/programs will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to sign up for each of the summer reading programs. All it takes is downloading an app, finding the Danvers Township Library on the app, registering your account, then you just track your reading through the app. This easily accessible reading program is a great way to maintain a great habit over the summer. 

Spotlight  |  June 13, 2021
The Gift Box in Atlanta: Locally made unique gifts

The Gift Box in Atlanta: Locally made unique gifts

The Gift Box is a gift shop in Atlanta located just off Historic Route 66. The Gift Box offers locally made unique gifts and free gift wrapping. Currently, they have 21 local artisans located in Atlanta, Lincoln, Bloomington, and McLean. You can find many different items at The Gift Box including goat soap and bath products, stained glass, laser engraved items, blown glass, candles, wax, handmade jewelry, bird houses, signs, repurposed farm and garden tools, candy, popcorn, t-shirts, Watkins table runners, boo boo bags, aprons, rugs, and many more great gift items. The Gift Box is open Wednesday- Saturday from 10 AM- 4 PM and Sunday from 12:00 PM- 4:00 PM. They also offer local delivery and can schedule appointments for any possible wants a customer could have. Artists that work with The Gift Box are more than willing to customize their items to create something that you would be proud to give as a gift. 

High School Sports  |  June 13, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Monday afternoon the Spartans’ week of sports got started with the baseball team travelling to Shelbyville for the Regional Championship. Shelbyville came into the game with a 20-3 record and the top seed in the regional. In a close, hard fought game, the Spartans season unfortunately ended after losing 3-2. The team showed a lot of improvement throughout the season and had a great season. Seniors Andrew Nichols, Ethan Davis, Ryan Cleinmark, and Hayden Stork were all selected to the McDonalds All Star Game. 

Top Story  |  June 6, 2021
Police Department Stays, For Now

Police Department Stays, For Now

On Tuesday, the Armington Village Board had a meeting to discuss the future of their police department. The cause for this decision on the future of the police department was the change in the way Tazwell county bills communities for 911 dispatch service. They used to bill communities based on the number of 911 calls handled from that community. Now they are billed on a flat rate, regardless of the number of calls. The 911 dispatch bill for Armington went from $1,800 annually to $8,300 annually with the change. With this drastic increase in cost, a decision to either keep or cut the police department had to be made. 

Community Spotlight  |  June 6, 2021
Hopedale Betterment Association

Hopedale Betterment Association

The Hopedale Betterment Association is an organization that seeks to serve and improve the quality of life in Hopedale. They run the Hopedale Happenings Facebook page that shares information about upcoming “happenings” in Hopedale. With the Hopedale Happenings Facebook page, the Hopedale Betterment Association is able to provide a very open source for communication amongst Hopedale community members, giving them even just a slightly increased quality of living. The Hopedale Betterment Association also offers a $500 scholarship to high school seniors within the Olympia School District. They also have sponsored town-wide garage sales, euchre tournaments, Hopedale birthday calendars, farmers market, maintained Hopedale Business Directory, and donated to the village for flowers planted on Main Street. 

Spotlight  |  May 30, 2021
White's Farm Equipment

White's Farm Equipment

White’s Farm Equipment is a business in Waynesville that sells new and used farm equipment and a variety of vintage tractor and machine parts. Looking more specifically at their products, they sell Westfield Augers, Big Dog Mowers, Bobcat Mowers, a variety of new and used equipment, Interstate Batteries, KillBro Grain Wagons, TroyBuilt, and Summers tillage and spray equipment.  They also can provide maintenance to automotive, lawn mowers, and farm equipment. Being one of the only local farm equipment providers for Waynesville and other small towns in the area, White’s Farm Equipment is known for having a great connection with it’s customers. Their commitment to a strong relationship with Waynesville and other small towns has been a key factor in the business’ success.

High School Sports  |  May 30, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Monday afternoon, Olympia High School sports got started with a record-breaking girls soccer match at Macomb. The girls got the win 3-0 over Macomb and Ida Neumann tallied her fourth total hat trick on the year, while also becoming the new record holder for goals in a single season. Assists in the match came from Andi Ewalt and Amy Dederich, and Isabelle Forrest was in the net with a shutout. 

Top Story  |  May 23, 2021
How To Combat Cyber Bullying

How To Combat Cyber Bullying

Cyberbullying is defined as, “the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.” Cyberbullying has been a frequently discussed issue over the last decade. Bullying has been taking place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets on apps such as SMS, Text, and social media, and has had a direct impact on teenagers all over the world for many years.

Community Spotlight  |  May 23, 2021
Danvers Lions Club

Danvers Lions Club

The Danvers Lions Club is a community non profit organization in Danvers, that does many different things for the community. The Danvers Lions Club is part of The Lions Club International, which has over 48,000 different clubs all over the world. The main goal of all of these different clubs around the world is to “take action and serve the people in their communities.” The Lions Club International focuses on five global causes, diabetes, vision, hunger, environment, and childhood cancer. The Danvers Lions Club has been working hard to bring positivity into our local communities recently, and there has been a lot of appreciation from community members. 

Spotlight  |  May 16, 2021
Hopedale Garden Shop: A Staple for Gardeners

Hopedale Garden Shop: A Staple for Gardeners

The Hopedale Garden Shop is a garden center located in Hopedale that supplies soil, potted plants, lawn decorations, and other garden necessities. It has been a staple for gardeners in Hopedale and the surrounding communities. To have such a convenient location and great service available within minutes to maintain a beautiful garden, is the main advantage of the Hopedale Garden Shop. Like any local business, it has been extremely important for the Hopedale Garden Shop to maintain a steady relationship with local gardeners, which they have done by providing quality products with every product they sell to their customers. 

High School Sports  |  May 16, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

On Monday afternoon, the Olympia Spartans got their sports week started with a softball game against St. Thomas More at home. The Spartans dominated the game, winning in three innings by a score of 18-0. Olympia freshman Danika Frazier had herself a day, going 3-3 with 3 home runs. 

Top Story  |  May 9, 2021
Ethan Davis’ Incredible Multi-Sport Performance

Ethan Davis’ Incredible Multi-Sport Performance

Ethan Davis is a senior at Olympia High School that has been having one impressive year in his sports. Ethan has been a three-sport athlete since his freshman year, playing football, basketball, and baseball. This year, Ethan has had some very impressive performances. In basketball, Ethan broke the single game record for points in a game with 42 points. In football, he broke the single game record for rushing yards with 371 yards. Ethan is not just a one game wonder, he has been a great athlete and leader for Olympia for many years. 

Community Spotlight  |  May 9, 2021
The City of Atlanta’s Tourism Department

The City of Atlanta’s Tourism Department

Atlanta’s Tourism Department’s goal is to drive tourists into Atlanta and have them spend significant time in the town. There are a couple different ways that the tourism department has been able to accomplish this goal. These different methods of driving tourism in Atlanta include outreach with Facebook groups, keeping good relationships with neighboring Route 66 communities, staying in touch with other tourism departments in the region, planning special events, maintaining social media presence, and keeping visitors and tourists connected to Atlanta. 

Spotlight  |  May 2, 2021
Village Flowers & Gifts

Village Flowers & Gifts

Village Flowers & Gifts is a local flower shop in Minier owned by Susie Smith. They pride themselves on providing a 100% satisfaction guaranteed to create long term relationships with their customers. Village Flowers & Gifts has a great connection with the local community and the emphasis that they put on maintaining that connection has really paid off for them. They are a wonderful small business that a lot of locals depend on for flowers on special occasions, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day. 

High School Sports  |  May 2, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia’s girls soccer team kicked off their season on Monday afternoon with a home game against Macomb. The Spartans came out on top, 3-1 over the Bombers of Macomb. Battling against the wind, the Olympia girls were led by Ida Neumann. She put up a hat trick in the second half of the game, while the Spartan’s defense held Macomb scoreless in the first half. 

Top Story  |  April 25, 2021
Winner Will Be Drawn From a Hat

Winner Will Be Drawn From a Hat

The third seat for the Danvers Village Trustee was recently voted on and is locked in at a tie of 78 between Bill Lally and Mike Deavers. A village trustee initiates conversation, then considers the residents’ viewpoint and votes on issues that affect the everyday life of residents, businesses, and property owners. These include economic development, public safety, road improvements and property conditions. The village board also addresses any concerns raised by residents but without a great group of village trustees, the village board may never hear any concerns from residents.

Community Spotlight  |  April 25, 2021
Local Tarzan Answers the Call of the Wild

Local Tarzan Answers the Call of the Wild

Local Tarzan’s Compassionate Wildlife Solutions is a local wildlife rescue organization, based out of Bloomington, run by Chase Cavalera. Chase has a background in veterinary medicine, wildlife, and private investigation. He says that “these skills have pointed me in the direction of my true calling, that is, answering the call of the wild yet voiceless.” Chase operates as “the investigator, the negotiator, the ambulance, and the short-term nurse” for wild animals in need. This has all been made possible for Chase by the Department of Natural Resources, who authorized him to be able to work with wildlife. 

Spotlight  |  April 18, 2021
The Hardesty Company

The Hardesty Company

The Hardesty Company is known as a motorcycle repair shop, although they do much more than just repair motorcycles. The business in Danvers provides on or off-site inspections and appraisals on modern, classic, and antique cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and “just about anything with an engine.” With the weather finally starting to turn, classic vehicle owners are starting to bring out their prized possessions. The Hardesty Company hopes to help all classic vehicle owners attain sufficient insurance, to protect all of the hard work that owners have put into their vehicles during the winter. With a proper appraisal done by The Hardesty Company, classic vehicle owners can give the appraisal to their insurance agent to ensure their vehicles will be covered and protected. The Hardesty Company will also help owners with any repairs that they could possibly need. 

High School Sports  |  April 18, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

On Tuesday, Olympia High School’s sports kicked off with a home soccer match against rival Central Catholic. The Saints of Central Catholic came in as the top team in the Illini Prairie Conference on Tuesday, having a great season so far. The Spartans were hoping they could make a big statement win and knock them off, but Central Catholic held strong winning the match 9-2. The Spartans will be ready to get back on the field on Thursday at Tolono Unity.

High School Sports  |  April 11, 2021
Armington Gymnast Places 4th at State

Armington Gymnast Places 4th at State

AnElyse Sweeney is a thirteen-year-old gymnast from Armington with a very bright future. When she started at nine years old, AnElyse knew she would love doing gymnastics. It took her a couple of years at the start to find a gym where she would really be able to excel. Two years into her gymnastics journey, she found Gym Corner in Washington, IL, where she and her mother, Stacey Sweeney, felt she would truly be able to grow as a gymnast.

Spotlight  |  April 4, 2021
Minier Lanes Bowling Alley

Minier Lanes Bowling Alley

Minier Lanes is a bowling alley that provides family fun to locals by way of bowling. They host many bowling leagues and events throughout the year that are enjoyed by citizens in Minier and the surrounding area. Some of their events include the 9 Pin no Tap Team Tournament, 9 Pin Snake Bite Tournament, and open bowling on the weekends. They have leagues available for children and adults to compete and have fun. Minier Lanes has extremely positive feedback with 4.9 stars out of 5 from 46 Google reviews. It is also highly recommended by Olympia High School’s IHSA State bowler Trevor White. 

High School Sports  |  April 4, 2021
OHS Sports Recap

OHS Sports Recap

Olympia High School sporting events got started this week on Tuesday when the volleyball team took on the Sages from St. Thomas More. The Spartans put up a good fight against the Sages, but ended up losing in two closely decided sets. Some highlights from the game include ten kills from senior Bella Dickhut, eight kills from senior Katlin Dean, and seven digs from senior Abbi Bode. The girls gave a great effort and continue to improve every game. 

Top Story  |  March 28, 2021
Reed Returns to School

Reed Returns to School

Cancer has impacted everyone in life in one way or another. On April 13, 2019, the Fry family from Mackinaw headed to the emergency room for their son, Reed’s, headache. They thought it might just be a concussion or a migraine. That’s when they had heard news that no family ever wants to hear, a CT scan showed that Reed had a large tumor on the back of his brain. 

Community Spotlight  |  March 28, 2021
Waynesville American Legion

Waynesville American Legion

The Waynesville American Legion has been a large part of the Waynesville community for several years. They hold different events such as their cheeseburger nights, St Patty’s Day Party, trivia nights, chilli cookoffs, the Olympia Progressive Baseball Association’s fundraising night, the Cash Bash, and many more different events or fundraisers. Waynesville natives and area locals have enjoyed these different events throughout the years. Township Supervisor Cathy Cisco said, “Waynesville needs this organization in our community. They provide the building for so many different events.”

Spotlight  |  March 21, 2021
Central Illinois Limo Service

Central Illinois Limo Service

Central Illinois Limo Service LLC is a limo service based out of Bloomington and is “open to wherever the party goes.” Oftentimes, this includes small towns in the surrounding area, including our communities. The owners are father and son, Bill and Ryan Curtis. Bill worked for the Department of Corrections for many years and Ryan attended Heartland and Illinois State for his education. He now works full time as a commercial lender at a bank in Danvers and having this small town connection proved to be very important in opening their limo business. Ryan also runs another business called The Shrimp Farm, where he sells freshwater aquarium shrimp. As you can see, Ryan has a desire to learn how businesses make money. Ryan says that this desire “leads me into having a wide range of any business for sale or business ideas.”

High School Sports  |  March 21, 2021
OHS Sports Recap

OHS Sports Recap

Olympia High School’s sporting events started this week on Tuesday after a cold and rainy Monday, causing boys soccer to postpone their game vs. St. Thomas More. The Spartans soccer team got back out on the field Tuesday afternoon at home vs Rantoul. Senior Justin Siebert and sophomore, Gannon Willie led the team to a 6-1 victory with 2 goals each. Other goal scorers in the match included Corentin Thumfart and Payton Carroll. Some highlights from the game included Noah While and George Martin with 2 assists each and Jace Whitted with an assist. The Spartans improve to 2-1 on the season.

Top Story  |  March 14, 2021
HELP IS ON THE WAY

HELP IS ON THE WAY

On Wednesday, The House of Representatives passed the final version of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus package. This massive package helped fulfill Democrats’ promises that they made during their campaign. President Biden was very grateful after the divided Senate approved the relief plan on Saturday. “When we took office 45 days ago, I promised the American people that help was on the way,” Biden said. “Today I can say we’ve taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise.”

Community Spotlight  |  March 14, 2021
Olympia 4H Pacesetters

Olympia 4H Pacesetters

The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club members have recently installed Emergency Mini Food Pantries [EMFP] in the Olympia School District in Stanford, Danvers, Minier, OHMS, Hopedale, and Waynesville. They have also added one just outside the district in Carlock. 4-H members involved in this project are known as the Hunger Ambassadors; youth that are passionate about fighting rural hunger. This group built their first ever EMFP in 2018 in Stanford, and have been working ever since then to build a network of these pantries in the greater McLean County area. 

Spotlight  |  March 7, 2021
Retrospect Salon & Boutique

Retrospect Salon & Boutique

Retrospect Salon & Boutique has recently opened in Danvers and the co-owners, Ashley Hathaway and Wendy Dotson are very excited for their new business to get rolling. Ashley is from Elkhart, IL and has been in cosmetology for 10 years. Wendy is from Bloomington, IL and has been in cosmetology for 18 years. Their salon and boutique is a retro theme with a hair salon, tanning, and a boutique with clothing and accessories. 

High School Sports  |  March 7, 2021
OHS Sports Recap

OHS Sports Recap

Our OHS Sports Recap begins with the Monday night girls basketball game at Prairie Central. The Spartans came away with a win over The Hawks 61-56, moving their record to 6-3. Olympia junior Taylor Nowaskie led the way in scoring for the Spartans with 18 points. 

Sponsors
Advertisement 0000024 Advertisement 0000021 Advertisement 0000022 Advertisement 0000023 Advertisement 0000025 Advertisement 0000001 Advertisement 0000030

 

Top

Breaking News