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High school orientation to be offered Feb. 20. In conjunction with pre-registration of courses for all eighth-graders in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district, a high school orientation meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the PBL High School and Junior High commons area. All eighth-grade students and their parents or guardians are invited to attend. Students and parents will receive information about courses offered at PBL, graduation requirements, and required courses for college admissions. They also will hear about extra-curricular activities and general policies. There will be time for questions and answers. Tours of the building will also be available. For more information, call 379-4331.
‘Drinking Habits’ to be performed in February in Paxton. The Tri-County Players theater company will present “Drinking Habits” at the Market Street Theatre in Paxton on Feb. 22-24. Tickets can be purchased for the dinner theater in advance of the show by calling 379-7028. Show times are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings (Feb. 22 and 23) and 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoons (Feb. 24). Tickets for all shows can be purchased at the door or by leaving a message at 379-7028. The Market Street Theatre is located at 120 N. Market St., Paxton. Directed by Tammy Belanger, the show’s cast members include “sisters” Deb Kafer, Sherry Janowski, Pam Herriott and Shannon Satterlee; “father” Tony Lee; “reporters” Lindsey Wurl and Brandon Roberts; and “groundskeeper” Trent Groves.
Jerky-making contest set for March in Iroquois County. A contest to see who can make the best home-made jerky will be held Sunday, March 3, at the Longbranch Bar in downtown L’Erable in Iroquois County. The fourth annual Buckland “Jerk Off” deer jerky contest runs from noon to 4 p.m. Free registration begins at noon. Contestants are asked to bring enough of their own blend of jerky — deer, beef, turkey, goose or any other edible meat — cut into sample-sized pieces. There were 24 entries and 60 attendees last year.
Winter Beach Party at Eastlawn. PBL Eastlawn School’s Parent Involvement Team (PIT Crew) is sponsoring its annual Winter Beach Party at the school on Friday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. A number of games and activities will be available for students to enjoy, and concessions will be available for purchase.
ExplorACES set for March 8-9 at U of I. The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is giving potential students an opportunity to ExplorACES on Friday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 2,000 students are expected to attend the two-day, student-run event that acquaints prospective and admitted ACES students with the college’s faculty, curriculum and vast selection of student organizations and opportunities. Information will be available on study-abroad programs, potential careers, and how students can apply for nearly $2 million in scholarships. Prospective students will get a glimpse of all the college has to offer with more than 125 exhibits showcasing academics, research and student development. A reception for admitted students will complete Saturday’s activities at the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building. For more information, visit www.exploraces.org.
SWCD banquet on Feb. 25. The Iroquois County Soil & Water Conservation District board’s annual meeting and awards banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Woodworth. The program will be presented by Laurel Ross, who has served since 2004 as urban conservation director for the Field Museum’s Division of Environment, Culture and Conservation. A roast beef dinner will be served. For more information or to order tickets, call the Iroquois County SWCD office in Watseka at 815-432-6055, ext. 3.
Auditions offered for May show in Rantoul. The Rantoul Theatre Group will hold an open group-audition for its May play, “Alibis,” at 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Grissom Hall Theatre. Director Tina Killeen and Assistant Director Karen Hughes are seeking five female and four male actors ages 25 and over for the roles. The play will be performed on May 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19. No preparations are necessary. Readings will be from the script. The play, by author Peter Kennedy, is a comedy-mystery. For more information, visit www.rtgonline.org, email the director at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the theatre at 892-1121.
Kinzinger, Harms to host open house. U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger will hold a joint open house with State Rep. Josh Harms, R-Watseka, to unveil their congressional and state legislateive district office, located at 342 W. Walnut in Watseka, from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22.
Dog Park Committee to host pizza fundraiser. The Paxton Dog Park Committee is sponsoring a Monical’s Community Day fundraiser to benefit the construction of a dog park at Coady Park. The fundraiser will be held Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Monical’s Pizza, 500 W. Ottawa Road, Paxton. That day, Monical’s will donate 20 percent of each bill to the dog park committee, as long as the customer presents a required flier when paying for their meal. Fliers are available from dog park committee members Angie Russell (email@example.com), Patty Johnson (379-3624 or firstname.lastname@example.org), Jenessa Janssen (781-0232 or email@example.com) or Joy Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ag Day to take place at CLHS. The annual Ford-Iroquois Extension Ag Day will be held Friday, Feb. 22, at Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley, featuring a full day of agricultural-related presentations.The free event starts with registration from 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m., the first program begins.Speakers will cover a range of topics including agronomic issues, weather, crop insurance, grain marketing, herbicide carryover, BT corn, rootworm resistance and FFA week. Iroquois Memorial Hospital will present an alternative program on heart health, including a “heart healthy food demo.” Blood pressure screening will also be offered, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., by Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka.Diversified Services in Buckley will provide refreshments. Lunch will be catered by Brian and Kari Luke of Luke’s One Stop in Cissna Park.The 2013 version of Ag Day has been renamed “Aimee Chandler Ag Day.” Chandler is leaving University of Illinois Extension’s Ford-Iroquois unit this spring. The school is located at 201 W. Lincoln St. in Buckley.
PIT Crew to host beach party. PBL Eastlawn School’s Parent Involvement Team (PIT Crew) is sponsoring its annual Winter Beach Party at the school on Friday, Feb. 22, from 6-8 p.m. A number of games and activities will be available for students to enjoy, and concessions will be available.
Knights Templar to host open house. The Illinois Knights Templar Home in Paxton is hosting an open house of the nursing home’s renovated therapy room on Thursday, Feb. 21, from noon to 3 p.m. The event will feature tours, give-aways and door prizes. There will also be complimentary screenings, including hand screenings. Prior to the open house, at noon in the nursing home’s activity room there will be a presentation by attorney James E. Long of Chapin & Long PC Attorneys at Law, Champaign. Long’s presentation is entitled “Health Care POA: When Does it go into Effect.”
Photo sessions to take place for future Panthers. The VSI will be holding photo sessions for graduating classes from 2027 to 2031. Children from the Class of 2027 will have their photo taken at 2 p.m. Feb. 24, followed by the Class of 2028 at 2:30 p.m., the Class of 2029 at 3 p.m. and the Class of 2030 at 3:30 p.m. There is no sitting fee, but an RSVP is requiired. More information can be obtained by calling (217) 784-1310 or emailing email@example.com.
VSI to hold photo sessions for future Falcons. The VSI will be holding photo sessions for graduating classes from 2027 to 2030. Children from the Class of 2027 will have their photo taken at 10 a.m. Feb. 24, followed by the Class of 2028 at 10:30 a.m., the Class of 2029 at 11:30 a.m. and the Class of 2030 at noon. There is no sitting fee, but an RSVP is requiired. More information can be obtained by calling (217) 784-1310 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
PBL High School to give out sports awards. Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s annual Winter Sports Awards Night is Monday, Feb. 25. There will be refreshments in commons at 6 p.m., followed by the presentation of awards at 6:30. Awards will be presented for boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling and cheerleading.
Farm Bureau to host breakfast. The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau will sponsor two Viewpoint Breakfast Meetings. The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 27, beginning at 7:30 a.m., in the Farm Bureau building in Gilman. The second meeting will be held on Thursday, March 7, beginning at 7:30 a.m., at Happy Days Diner in Roberts. The meetings will begin with breakfast followed by discussion on the topics members wish to talk about. Viewpoint is the name given to Farm Bureau’s grassroots effort to raise issues and concerns from members. There is no charge for member to attend and reservations are not needed. Immediately following the Viewpoint Meeting in Gilman on February 27, a Crop Insurance Informational meeting will be conducted.
Photo opportunity for dogs. Dogs can get their photos taken with the Easter Bunny as part of a fundraiser at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16, to raise money to build a dog park in Paxton. The fundraiser will be held at Designer Dog Salon, 110 S. Market St. “Bring your pups to see that wascally wabbit and donate to help the dog park to raise the money we need to get the fence so we can all enjoy the dog park!” a news release said. For more information, contact Angie Russell, a member of the Paxton Dog Park Committee, at email@example.com.
UI Extension to hold ag breakfast. The University of Illinois Ford Iroquois Extension Ag Breakfast will start at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the Ford-Iroquois Extension Office, located at 912 W. Seminary in Onarga. Jean Payne, president of Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, is presenting a program entitled “What is Agriculture Doing to Address Nutrient Issues?” Reservations are required by noon, March 5. Registration is online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv or contact the office at 815-268-4051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Anyone in need of a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program may call the office by Feb. 28.
Museum to open doors Sunday. The Ford County Historical Society Water Tower Museum will be open on Sunday, February 24 from 2 to 4 pm. There is no charge for admission to the museum located at 145 S. Market St. in Paxton. For infomation call 217-379-3723.
Church women to hold rummage sale. The Presbyterian Women of Piper City will hold a rummage sale in the basement of the Presbyterian Church on Margaret Avenue on March 14-16. Sale hours are Thursday, March 14, from 3-6 p.m.; Friday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Saturday, March 16, opening at 9 a.m. with all items for sale for 50 cents. From 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 16, there will be a sale of $1 per bag for whatever items can be put in a grocery sack. Funds raised are used for supporting local mission projects. Items not sold are sent to World Relief at Fairbury, the Veterans Home at Manteno, the Salvation Army and Harbor House.
Lions to host breakfast. The Gibson City Lions Club is hosting its annual all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, in the cafeteria at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary School. Tickets can be purchased at the door; children under age 6 eat for free. To acquire tickets prior to the event, call Brian Steidinger at 249-8200 or Jerry Minion at 377-2327.
GAH to hold health presentation. Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services is presenting the first in its “Healthy Living Series” on Monday, Feb. 25. The program — “Osteoporosis/Bone Health ... Stay Strong for a Lifetime!” — will be offered at 6:30 p.m. at the Moyer District Library, 618 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. The talk will be presented by Lori Fitton, an advanced practice nurse with a special interest in bone health from Gibson Area Hospital’s orthopaedics department. “Osteoporosis is a disease of progressive bone loss affecting 44 million Americans,” said Fitton. “One in two women and one in four men older than 50 years of age will sustain a fracture caused by this disease. During this evening, we will discuss bone quantity and quality, as well as simple changes that can be made to stay strong, active and independent.” The presentation is part of a new community education series called GAHHS’s “Healthy Living Series,” which involves featured specialists presenting information about prevalent health issues. The series is free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested. To register, or for more information, contact Eileen Woolums at 784-4093.
Tea Party to offer informational meeting. The Iroquois County Tea Party will offer an informational meeting on Agenda 21 and the Common Core State Learning Standards at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Crescent City Community Center. Keynote speakers are Dottie Macqueen and Rich Porter, who are both experienced researchers in the Agenda 21 and the Common Core State Standards. Common Core State Standards are a federal program in which the federal government will define the curricula and the academic standards for each subject taught in the every school setting. According to the Iroquois County Tea Party, “these federal standards will basically eliminate local control of schools and provide unfettered access to curricula by the federal government and by the United Nations eventually.” Also, “the cost for implementing these standards may require a new method of taxation that is more accommodating for federal control of the educational system,” according to the tea party.
Doctor to receive honor. Staff Care, an AMN Healthcare Company, will present Neil Nelson, M.D. with his Country Doctor of the Year Award on Feb. 20. The Award Presentation will be held at the Railside Club House, 120 W. 19th St. Gibson City, IL 60936. This is event open to the public.Cocktails will be served from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with the award prsentation to follow at 6:30 p.m.
Concert to take place in Melvin. Rick Flessner & Friends will perform a concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Melvin Community Hall, 108 E. Main St.
A guest appearance will also be made by Lauren Wadley. An admission fee will be charged. Children 12 and under enter for free. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, or to order tickets, call Norman or Judy Schall at 388-2853.
Local woman to accept used prom dresses. A Paxton woman is asking people to donate their used prom dresses so they can be rented or sold at a low cost to local teenagers who might otherwise not be able to afford them. The prom-dress collection drive is being organized by Debbie Kafer. It will culminate with the Paxton Prom Dress Event, scheduled for Saturday, March 2, from 2-4 p.m. at the Paxton Market Street Theatre, 120 N. Market St. At the event, all the prom dresses donated will be available for purchase or rental. Fitting rooms will be set up so the dresses can be tried on. All proceeds will be distributed between two local nonprofit organizations: the PBL Area Community Food Pantry and the Tri-County Players theater group. Also, anyone who donates a dress will be given the choice of renting another one free of charge or receiving a gift certificate for a free half-hour massage from Kafer, a licensed massage therapist. Desserts will be served at the event. The desserts will be made by Kafer’s sister, Deanna Shane, owner of Creations by De. To donate a dress in advance of the event, drop off the dress at Kafer’s home at 6 Dawn Avenue in Paxton or call her at 217-778-9528. “The main purpose of this event is just to get dresses in the hands of girls who don’t have $200 to spend at M2 on dressses,” Kafer said. “It’s basically to help out.”
UI ACES to give students chance to explore college. The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is giving potential students an opportunity to ExplorACES on Friday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 2,000 students are expected to attend the two-day, student-run event that acquaints prospective and admitted ACES students with the college’s faculty, curriculum and vast selection of student organizations and opportunities. Information will be available on study-abroad programs, potential careers, and how students can apply for nearly $2 million in scholarships. Prospective students will get a glimpse of all the college has to offer with more than 125 exhibits showcasing academics, research and student development. A reception for admitted students will complete Saturday’s activities at the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building. For more information, visit www.exploraces.org.
Reunion to take place in June. The Piper City/Ford Central Alumni Reunion will be held Saturday, June 1, at the old Piper City gym. Dinner will be at 6 p.m., with Ne’s Place of Piper City catering the meal. Honored classes will be those ending in 3’s and 8’s. Letters will be sent to alumni by the end of February. For more information, call Ruth Rice Kurtenbach at 309-728-2263 or email her at email@example.com.
Peruvian Trio to host concert. The Hathaways Peruvian Trio will perform their unique musical style on Sunday, March 3, at 3:30 p.m. at Creekside Prarie in Cissna Park. For reservations, please call Sue Wellman at (815) 457-2453 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets will be available at the door but seating is limited so reservations are recommended. Groups of eight or more may inquire about discounts. Art Up Close, a central Illinois arts council, is sponsoring this event. The trio will play in the Fireplace Room at Creekside Prairie. Siblings Kate and James Hathaway will team up with Tom Turino, their former and now recently retired professor of Musicology and Anthropology from the University of Illinois. The Hathaways are an indie-pop duo originally from Rossville, Illinois whose music combines original songwriting with unique Andean folk influences. The pair has repeatedly toured and played at festivals in Peru, always to a warm reception and great acclaim for the way they infuse American pop music with Peruvian soul. The trio will also play traditional music of the Peruvian Andes, incorporating the charango (a ten-string lute), kena (a wooden flute), and guitar.
Diabetes event to take place in Champaign. Carle is hosting a free community diabetes event March 5, 2013, 6-8:30 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center, to educate Central Illinois residents who have prediabetes and diabetes. Type One, Type Two, Type You will be structured similar to educational events hosted annually in larger metropolitan areas – such as Chicago and Indianapolis – featuring exhibitors, national and local diabetes product retailers, an expert panel discussion as well as keynote speaker Jim Turner, a highly regarded actor and television series host who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in high school. Due to limited seating, the public is asked to RSVP by calling (217) 383-3021.
Southern gospel group to perform at Dewey church. Jake's Boys, a local southern gospel singing group, will in concert at 5 p.m. March 3, and a homemade pie auction will take place at the Dewey Community Church, located at 16 Third Street in Dewey. More information can be obtained by calling (217) 897- 6488.
Zumba Fitness class held at Cissna Park. There will be a free Zumba Fitness class held at Creekside Community Center in Cissna Park on 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9th This event will be instructed by licensed Zumba Fitness instructors Cierra Grohler and Amanda Nelson.
Church to host food giveaway. St Paul’s Lutheran Church and Eastern Illinois Foodbank are teaming up to distribute a truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank to hungry area families. The distribution will be held at Full Gospel Christian Fellowship, located at 619 S. Railroad Ave. in Paxton from 9-11 a.m. March 16. More information can be obtained by calling Andrea Rundell of Eastern Illinois Foodbank at (217) 328-3663.
Foodservice sanitation manager’s course set. A foodservice sanitation manager’s course will be offered Monday, March 18, and Wednesday, March 20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the ILEAS Training Center, the former Champaign Co Nursing Home, at 1701 E. Main St., Urbana. The exam will be Monday, March 25, from 9-11 a.m. at ILEAS. Persons needing recertification for their Illinois Department of Public Health certificate may attend the second day, Wednesday, March 20, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register or for more information, contact Sue Summerville at 684-2435.