Wednesday, January 23, 2019

NRCS Team Receives Volunteer Award

NRCS Team Receives Volunteer Award

(Photo via NRCS News) Illinois State Conservationist Ivan Dozier (left) and District Conservationist Gary Zwilling (right) stand with Earth Team volunteer, Janet Billington (center) to thank her for serving as a volunteer at the Wayne County USDA Service Center in Fairfield, Illinois.

 Champaign, IL   January 16, 2019 –Staff from Southern Illinois who make up USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS’s) Edwards-Lawrence-Richland-Wayne-Wabash County District Group were recognized for accomplishments achieved when they captured 340 hours of hard work from talented Earth Team volunteer, Mrs. Janet Billington. Illinois State Conservationist Ivan Dozier traveled to Fairfield, IL to present the award to the NRCS team and to meet Billington on January 10, 2019. By working together, these individuals accomplished a tremendous amount of conservation work that supports the NRCS mission and use of conservation programs and practices NRCS administers. “Thanks are due to the volunteer and to our NRCS Team who found her and put her time and skills to valuable tasks and local work that truly impacts NRCS customers and the natural resources we protect,” says Dozier.

District Conservationist for the group, Gary Zwilling, is proud his team received the agency’s traveling award for Fiscal Year 2018. The award will spend time in each county’s Field Offices for the rest of the fiscal year to thank and recognize all staff who helped make this successful use of this community volunteer possible.

“There’s no doubt we value our employees, but we want to show them the extra appreciation for using the volunteer program to get even more quality work on the land. It’s hard to put a price on what 340 hours of hard volunteer work means. It’s great to have our state leader notice the effort and shows us all how much he appreciates their work,” Zwilling said.

Janet’s efforts helped free up both NRCS and local Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District staff so they could focus more on the heavy Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) workload they face during summer months. A quick learner and a good communicator, Janet helped in the office and tackled the tough job of completing important paperwork and government program forms. She also reviewed and organized about 2,200 Wayne County case files, which is about 25% of the total files on hand in the office. According to Zwilling, Billington’s work not only accomplished important NRCS conservation work, but it also earned her college credits towards the Ag Business Production and Technology degree she is pursuing at Wabash Valley Community College in Mt. Carmel, Illinois.

NRCS uses the Earth Team volunteer program in Illinois---and in all 50 states--to use the time, skills, and passion of local people to do work that protects and enhances soil, water, and other natural resources all citizens and communities share. “If you are a student looking for job experience, a way to job shadow, or a retiree with technical skills or interest in helping protect land, water, and the environment, seriously consider the Earth Team. It offers an opportunity to learn and use important skills that can make a difference in your life and for your piece of the planet,” Dozier adds. To learn more, contact your local NRCS office or visit

ICC Welcomes Phi Theta Kappa Students for Fall 2018

ICC Welcomes Phi Theta Kappa Students for Fall 2018

ICC Welcomes Phi Theta Kappa Students for Fall 2018, Metamora Herald

EAST PEORIA, IL (01/22/2019)-- Nearly 100 Illinois Central College students recently accepted membership into Phi Theta Kapa Honor Society during the Fall 2018 semester. Students who accept membership have completed 12 credit hours of college coursework with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Local students include:

Lauren Schmillen of Metamora, Ill.
Mollie Wood of Metamora, Ill.
Parrish Higgins of Germantown Hills, Ill.
Brenna Rulis of Metamora, Ill.
Timothy Cleveland of Metamora, Ill.
Megan Traver of Metamora, Ill.
Alyssa Waters of Metamora, Ill.

Phi Theta Kappa is the only internationally recognized scholastic honor society for students of community colleges. Membership is by invitation only and is based on scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service. Special transfer scholarships to four-year colleges and universities are available.

For more information on ICC's programs, visit
Taela Roth Named to Cedarville University's Dean's List

Taela Roth Named to Cedarville University's Dean's List

Taela Roth Named to Cedarville University's Dean's List, Metamora Herald

CEDARVILLE, OH (01/22/2019)-- Cedarville University student Taela Roth of Germantown Hills, IL, whose major is Nursing, was named to the Cedarville University Dean's List for Fall 2018. This recognition required Roth to maintain a 3.5 GPA for the semester and carry a minimum of 12 credit hours.
Cedarville University, located between Dayton and Columbus, Ohio is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study.
Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit
Illinois had the most Frozen Pipes claims in 2018

Illinois had the most Frozen Pipes claims in 2018

Illinois had the most Frozen Pipes claims in 2018, Metamora Herald

Snow and cold temperatures are hitting the state once again, and the risk of frozen pipes will certainly be an issue in the upcoming days.

According to 2018 State Farm® claims data, more claims were paid in Illinois (1,546) for winter water losses (including frozen pipes and ice dams) than any other state in the U.S. The total pay-out for Illinois claims in 2018 reached nearly $28,000,000, with the average cost per claim just under $18,000.

The next closest state was New York at 1,364 claims and an average pay-out of $27,000 per claim. Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas rounded out the top five states with the most water peril claim counts in 2018.

State Farm provides the following tips to prevent frozen pipes from happening during the winter months:
When temperatures drop:
A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night.
Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
Before you travel:
Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F (12°C).
Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it's warm enough to prevent freezing.
Shut off and drain the water system.
If you experience frozen pipes:
If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water to avoid electrocution.
Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard.
You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.

Local students graduate from Bradley University

Local students graduate from Bradley University

Local students graduate from Bradley University, Metamora Herald

PEORIA, IL (01/22/2019)-- More than 300 students received their degrees from Bradley University at the December commencement ceremony. The following students are from your area and received their degrees on December 15, 2018.

Samantha Barth of Germantown Hills, IL (61548) received a BS in Interactive Media Animation and Visual Effects & Studio Art.

Austin Crawford of Germantown Hills, IL (61548) received a BS in Communication Sports Communication & Social Media Marketing.

Joseph Kennell of Metamora, IL (61548) received a BSIE in Industrial Engineering Logistics & Supply Chain Engin.

Katherine Kessler of Metamora, IL (61548) received a BA & BA in Foreign Language Spanish & Biology.

Melissa Vogel of Germantown Hills, IL (61548) received an MA in Counseling Professional School.

Bradley University is a top-ranked, private university in Peoria, Illinois, offering 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students the resources of a larger university and the personal attention of a smaller university. More than 185 academic programs are offered in business, communications, education, engineering, fine arts, health sciences, liberal arts and sciences, and technology.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019



photo via NIU

NIU announces Fall 2018 Dean's List

DeKalb, Ill. (January 18, 2019) - Northern Illinois University announces its fall 2018 Dean's List students. To earn this distinction, students must meet a minimum semester grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology or a minimum of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale in the colleges of Business, Education, Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts.

Students from your area who achieved this honor include:

Eureka, IL 

 MaKenna Beard, Child Development, Washington Cmty High School

 MaKenna Beard, Rehabilitation & Disability Se, Washington Cmty High School

 Mary McCabe, Nutrition, Dietetics, &Wellnes, Eureka High School

Metamora, IL 

 Josh Robbins, Accountancy, Washington Cmty High School

Roanoke, IL 

 Eric Craps, Studio Art-Design & Media Arts, Roanoke-Benson High School

Congratulations to all!!!



photo  via Iowa State University

Iowa State University announces fall 2018 Dean's List

AMES, Iowa (January 21, 2019) - Approximately 9,752 Iowa State University students have been recognized for outstanding academic achievement by being named to the fall semester 2018 Dean's List.

Students named to the Dean's List must have earned a grade point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.00 scale while carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours of graded course work.

Students listed below are from your area.

Eureka, IL

 Nathaniel Brent Sylvester, 4, Materials Engineering

Germantown Hills, IL

 Kelsey Morgan Alderson, 2, Pre-Business
 Elizabeth Autumn Durbin, 2, Pre-Business
 Ryan Joseph Meyer, 2, Mechanical Engineering
 Joel Richard Sutter, 4, Mechanical Engineering
 Bethany Bac-Nghi Trang, 3, Graphic Design

Metamora, IL

 Timothy Richard Hoffman, 4, Mechanical Engineering
 Patton G. Kiesewetter, 3, Supply Chain Management