Members of Hidden Path Arts competition team recently competed at the Amateur Athletic Union National competition. Many members were awarded medals and all of the athletes competed at an extremely high level. Hidden Path Arts was awarded top 20 club status by the AAU. Not pictured : Rick and Randy Cartwright, Danny Antonson, Senseis Kim and Rob Bauman. Medals: Samantha Murray kobudo silver kumite silver, Randy Cartwright kobudo gold and silver kata gold, Rick Cartwright kobudo gold kata bronze kumite bronze, Cole Younger kobudo gold kata bronze kumite gold, Jake Doyle kobudo gold kata silver kumite silver, Max Doyle kumite bronze ippon kumite bronze, Bryan Euker kumite bronze, Tyler Rife kobudo silver kata bronze

Jerry Criscione (left) and employee Mike Olson with the 1970 Cutlass 442 W30 they are restoring.

Jerry Criscione is a happy man. He’s doing what he loves—working on cars. This is what he’s enjoyed most in life ever since he was a kid tinkering with cars with his father and grandfather. He enjoyed it so much and was so good at it, that it became his life’s work. He learned the basics and got his work ethic from his grandfather and even—to this day—has some of his tools and uses them. He went on for formal training and certification to do car collision repairs and made his living doing this all his adult life.

He set up his shop at 801 W. Grant Highway in Marengo in 2011. As always, he was running a business doing collision work. But also as always, he was doing car restoration work on the side. That was where his heart always was. Restoring classic cars gets Criscione’s blood singing.

Typically, by late July and early August gardens are dry and require regular watering. This summer our gardens may exhibit effects of the unusually heavy rainfalls and flooding in McHenry County. Frequent heavy rains stress garden plants and may lead to fungal and bacterial diseases caused by moisture on foliage and root systems.

Fungal diseases welcome damp conditions and once started, they are difficult to manage. Some fungal spores are carried by the wind so infection cannot be avoided but a light mulch can prevent soil borne spores from splashing up on foliage. Remove and discard diseased foliage using sanitized clippers between plants to avoid spreading spores. Prune plants to create more air circulation and sun exposure.

“1853,” said John Henning. “That’s when great-grandfather homesteaded our farm. I still have a sheepskin signed by Millard Fillmore on the property from my great-grandfather. I am a fifth generation farmer. I am retired. It’s my sons’ farm now. My two sons are farming and my three grandsons help. They are seventh generation farmers.

“We farm a little over 2000 acres. We grow corn, soybeans, and hay. We also raise some pigs. “I think one big misconception people have is that farmers go overboard with using chemicals and sprays. For the most part, we are very concerned about these but we still need to use some to control bugs and crop diseases, so we get the most out of our crops.”

Ervin G. Boeldt, 77 of Union passed away on July 3, 2017 in his home surrounded by his family, after a 9 month battle with brain cancer.

He was born on Feb. 9, 1940 in Oak Park, IL the son of the late Carl and Martha (nee Goethel) Boeldt.

One of his biggest prides in life besides being a Dad, was being a grain farmer and raising beef cows on his family farm in Union.

Ervin joined the carpenters union local 187 in January 1965, and he retired from local 2087 in January 2006 and after 53 years plus is still a member today.

He joined the Union Fire department in 1973 and retired in 2010. Of the 37 years he was a member he was Fire Chief for 24 years.

On Sunday, August 27, 2017 the first ever Kindness 5K will be held at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, IL to continue the life, love and light that Katie L. Kloess shared with the Marengo community. Katie, 29, was a victim of a fatal automobile accident on December 15, 2015 in Marengo. Katie lived her life to the fullest, emulating her favorite quote “Be the Change You Want in the World.” As friend, teacher, coach and member of Zion Lutheran Church, her light touched countless people in our community and will shine on for eternity.

American Idol winner and country music’s hottest new star Scotty McCreery will be headlining the 2017 Boone County Fair, 8847 Rt. 76, which runs from Tuesday, August 8th through Sunday, August 13th.

Scotty McCreery performs Saturday, August 12th at 8:00pm. Hear his hit songs such “Southern Belle” and Feelin’ It”. Only $25 for reserved grandstand and general admission track seating.

Marengo has been invaded! The signs of this invasion can be seen everywhere. Bright neon signs and large red flags shouting; “Video Poker”, “Video Gaming,” “Video Slots,” and “Play Here” are some of the messages that get people’s attention as they travel down the streets of our community. In the old days these invaders were referred to as one-armed bandits, but the modern version has no arm - just buttons. Marengo has survived this invasion before, and I’m sure that we’ll survive this one.

The first 100 days? How about the first 90? Things have been very busy at City Hall. Council recently approved spending money on a needed infrastructure improvement. This improvement involves replacing some 80 plus year old water mains. The current mains were failing at too rapid of a pace. We know there are many needed improvements over all but it was decided to start with our water supply.

The Marengo Indians varsity softball team (35- 6) continued a winning tradition, on their own terms. They came home as champions, carrying the 2017 IHSA Class 3A trophy, after a 1-0 semi-final win over Nazareth Academy July 9, and the closing contest, a 2-0 victory over East Peoria. The accomplishment adds the second state championship title for the softball program, and third overall, for the school. The program’s amassed hardware also includes three second- place crowns.

“They sacrificed a lot of things, missed a lot of social events, and played a lot of exciting games,” said Marengo Head Softball Coach Dwain Nance. “This is a great team, it’s basically the same core as two years ago, when we lost in the final. We’re going to miss the six graduating seniors a lot, they were a big part of this. The expectations to succeed are always the same.”

After some early season burps, the squad caught fire and tore through their inaugural regular schedule in the Kishwaukee River Conference, garnering an undisputed first place title. The post-season games ticked off consecutively with victories that featured some hair-raising finishes and come-from-behind rallies throughout the regional, sectional, and super-sectional tournaments... the path to East Peoria, and the EastSide Centre, for a shot at the state title.

Standout games included wins over nemesis Sterling, 7-1 in an Apr. 14 regular season contest, and then 2-0 in the sectional on home runs by Hannah Ritter and Lauren Aubry. In the May 27 regional title game, they tied Marian Central 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning on a home run by Mariah Dionne. In the ninth inning, with the bases loaded, Hannah Ritter hit a grand slam to win the game 5-1, only her second homer of the season.

Nance’s coaching record went to 340-94-1 at Marengo, and 431-137-1 overall in a fifteen year career. “Team first” was the focus, and individual statistics became a blur. Dionne (20-5) reached the 200-strikeout plateau in the second inning of the semi-final game. “I wasn’t aware of that,” she said. However, former Marengo Head Football Coach Matthew Lynch was well-aware of the team focus.

Invited to participate as the team’s motivational advisor, he said, “This is a good group of athletes, with a strong core and a good outlook on what needed to be done. Being selfless, and being there for each other...you couldn’t hope for more, and it was a joy being with them.”

Nance added, “We have kids that will fill in the openings in the programs; they’ll step up. It’s a matter of cycling through…so, we’re super-excited about the future.”

July 9: Semi-Final Game        MARENGO 1, NAZARETH ACADEMY 0

Nina Reed watched the pitches carefully. And Nazareth’s Devyn Zuro was just as careful, in the bottom of the seventh inning. Reed paid closer attention, drawing a walk. She was replaced by Susie Nawrot, and a fielder’s choice suddenly put a Marengo runner at second base. Grace Houghton struck out, which brought up Ritter, with two outs.

Ritter had come through in the clutch twice before, and people wondered, if it would happen again. It did. Ritter slapped a rocket grounder, past third base, as Nawrot slid over home plate, ahead of the throw. “It felt good, coming through in the clutch,” Nawrot said. “We’d hoped Hannah (Ritter) would put it into play, and she did.”

Ritter was relieved. “I go up there with the mentality that ‘I can hit this ball,’ and thinking that. But to execute it…it’s another thing altogether.”xxxxxxxxxx The game was a scoreless pitcher’s duel up to that point, with Dionne racking up 10 strikeouts, walking one, and allowing two hits. Zuro gave up four hits, walked two, and struck out seven Indian batters. Both pitchers tossed for the entire game.

 July 10: Final Game, State Championship      MARENGO 2, EAST PEORIA 0

The site is East Peoria’s home field, and the uniforms were the same maroon color as Marengo. It was billed as a pitcher’s day with noted strikeout artists, Dionne and the Raider’s Alyssa Graves, on the mound. The first few innings proved an adjustment period for both competitors: Dionne having difficulty locating a strike zone, due to the Raiders’ height, and Graves incurring the same problem, as the Indians were not as tall.

By the fourth inning, it changed. Graves gave up a single to Leah Secor, but struck out Riley Connell and Anna Walsweer. Dionne promptly responded by striking out the side. East Peoria threatened in the bottom of the fifth, as Caitlin Mc Whirter singled and stole second- base. She took third on a bunt single by Peyton Dearing that handcuffed Dani Hartmann.

Marengo broke through in the sixth inning, with a single by Ritter. She moved to second on a sacrifice by Connell. Secor struck out, and then, Dionne walked. Lillie Simons replaced her, as a runner. A throwing error by East Peoria’s shortstop, Ashley Emert, scored Ritter for the first run. Megan Anthony followed with single to right field, scoring Simons. Nawrot hit a grounder to shortstop for the third out.

The tension ratcheted up, when Dionne walked Kaitlyn Smith to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. She advanced to second base on a Mc Whirter single, after a pop foul out. Both runners then advanced on a grounder to Dionne, for the second out.

Emert and Dionne engaged in the perfect atbat to close a game. The count ran to 0-2, and the battle stretched out with five consecutive foul balls, drawing “oohs and ahhs” from the crowd on each attempt. Emert then swatted a ground ball to Secor, where it was scooped up and thrown to Anthony at first base for the final out.

Shortly after the game ended, the awards ceremony took place on a side field. Nina Reed was smiling. She downplayed that her walk, in the semi-final game, led to the team’s win. “I’m glad we did.”

******* For Marengo fans interested in seeing the semi-final and final games, visit the website (www.nfhsnetwork. com). DVD copies of the contests, professionally- made, with original broadcast play-by-play audio, go to the website (http://www.nfhsnetwork. com/dvds).

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