COLLEGEMarengo’s landscape has changed significantly from those days in the spring of 1835 when the ox drawn carts clunked on to the prairie that eventually became our town. Over the years Marengo has supported various enterprises - nurseries, a few pickle factories, a stove factory, lumber yards, a steam mill, an interurban electric railway, and a college – yes, a college.

Snow fallWe all have our winter memories which are usually broad in nature. But then there are those more “personal” events that I shall call winter moments. In the January 18, 1979, edition of the Marengo Beacon News, reporter, Scott Brown, highlighted a few of those more personal events that arose out of a significant snow event that, according to Floyd “Fritz” Griebel, created the need to remove approximately 25 tons of snow from the central business district.

Simons FarmEditor’s note: This is the third of a series of articles on local farms that produce the food we eat.

Curt Simons is a fifth generation farmer on Carmack Road in Marengo. “My family originally purchased sixty acres of land from the State of Illinois. Now we have three hundred and thirty acres.”

“We have forty Holsteins and Jersey cows. They provide approximately two hundred and twenty five gallons of milk each day. Our milk is hormone free, we do not give growth hormones to our cows. We grow our own replacement stock.” Forty cows are milked and forty more are in different stages of development. As the cows age, younger cows take over milk production. “We sell the bulls.”

ROB SHERMAN DIES IN PLANE CRASH

According to a National Transportation Safety Board report, the plane crash that took the life of Rob Sherman came down minutes after taking off from Poplar Grove Airport, due to a “loss of control” on the experimental Zenair CH601, which he was piloting. The preliminary finding indicated Sherman left at 6:19 p.m., Dec. 9, with the intent of attending a holiday party of the Experimental Aircraft Association, being held at the Schaumburg Regional Airport.

Rob ShermanThe Mc Henry County Coroner’s Office identified the remains of a plane crash victim in a rural Marengo farm field, as those of Rob Sherman. A Dec. 12 press release was issued confirming the individual’s name, following an autopsy performed that afternoon. 

santa adYou better watch out,                                                                                     you better not cry                                                                                   Better not pout.                                                                                        I'm telling you why                                                                                        Santa Claus is coming to town

You’ll probably hear this song numerous times before Christmas 2016 comes around; especially if you listen to that radio station that plays Christmas Carols twenty-four hours a day. The song was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie in the early 1930’s and was first recorded in 1934. Santa Claus or St. Nicholas has been coming to town for a significant time longer than the song has been around.

The Marengo Park District would like to give a big thank you to all that have extended a helping hand in bringing the park district back in a positive direction. While there is a long way to go we have certainly seen things get better and hold out hope for more good things in the future. We have tried to present the challenges that the park district still has in front of it, some of the more pressing issues involve facility management and finance.

The park district is struggling with a repair of the roof at the community center; because of poor design which has led to snow settling on the roof and water leaking in to program areas, the roof over the building addition needs to be repaired. The cost of this repair is approximately $19,000.

The insurance claim for the flood and destruction of the new hardwood dance floor was denied; the cause was determined to be poor building design that led to the flooding. Repairs were made in November as well as replacement of the hardwood floor, with the cost covered by the park district.

The cost for these repairs was approximately $6,500.

The largest hurdle the park district faces is the restructuring of a bond issue that is scheduled to start repayment in 2020. The district currently has two outstanding bond issues and a bank loan, this long term debt was taken out many years ago. In 2020 the park district will be required to repay three outstanding bond issues and any outstanding balance that remains on the bank loan. The 2020 bond issue will cost the park district over $300,000 per year for four years, this will be in addition to the $250,000 required to pay for the two other bond issues and the approximately $25,000 annual payments for the outstanding bank loan. The district only receives approximately $490,000 annually from tax revenue, so the district is developing a plan to manage this problem that is three years away.

I have heard many positive comments from residents about the information being shared regarding the park district financial situation both present and past. I present this information because the residents deserve to know what problems are present and hopefully will gain an understanding of the park district moving forward.

DionneMariah Dionne signed with Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. Southeastern University competes in the NAIA division of college athletics. Mariah has been a four year varsity starter here for the Indians. She will hold several individual pitching records after she leaves MCHS. Mariah has been very solid inside the circle and we hope that she can finish off her great career with another trip to the state tournament. During Mariah's sophomore season, the Indians were state runners-up, where she earned all-state and player of the year (Northwest Herald) honors. Mariah is undecided of her degree at this time.

Leah SecorLeah Secor signed with Rock Valley College in Rockford on November 12, 2016. She will be playing for the three time back to back to back NJCAA D3 National Champions, and joins the same program that Marengo Alums Jessica Turner, Abby Kissack and Taylor Carlson experienced. She is continuing her post-secondary education to pursue Agricultural Business. Head Coach Darin Monroe said "Leah comes from one of the best programs in Illinois and will have the opportunity to play the middle infield from the start. She has quick hands at the plate and has some untapped power that we will look to develop. Leah has great range and excellent arm strength." Leah will be a 4 year varsity starter for the Indians this spring, with her primary position at short stop. Congratulations!

wreathThe Marengo Fire Protection District urges the community to help them “Keep the Wreath Red” throughout the month of December.

The firefighters will place a wreath, which is lighted with red bulbs, in front of the fire station at 120 E. Prairie Street, that is visible to all. If a fire occurs during the holiday season in which holiday decorations are involved, one of the red bulbs will be changed to a white bulb. This will act as a remind of the safety precautions that should be taken during the holiday season. Visit us at Marengofpd.org.

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